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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Is there a scientific consensus on global warming?

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate Advanced

97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.

Climate Myth...

There is no consensus
The Petition Project features over 31,000 scientists signing the petition stating "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the forseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere ...". (Petition Project)

Science achieves a consensus when scientists stop arguing.  When a question is first asked – like ‘what would happen if we put a load more CO2 in the atmosphere?’ – there may be many hypotheses about cause and effect. Over a period of time, each idea is tested and retested – the processes of the scientific method – because all scientists know that reputation and kudos go to those who find the right answer (and everyone else becomes an irrelevant footnote in the history of science).  Nearly all hypotheses will fall by the wayside during this testing period, because only one is going to answer the question properly, without leaving all kinds of odd dangling bits that don’t quite add up. Bad theories are usually rather untidy.

But the testing period must come to an end. Gradually, the focus of investigation narrows down to those avenues that continue to make sense, that still add up, and quite often a good theory will reveal additional answers, or make powerful predictions, that add substance to the theory.

So a consensus in science is different from a political one. There is no vote. Scientists just give up arguing because the sheer weight of consistent evidence is too compelling, the tide too strong to swim against any longer. Scientists change their minds on the basis of the evidence, and a consensus emerges over time. Not only do scientists stop arguing, they also start relying on each other's work. All science depends on that which precedes it, and when one scientist builds on the work of another, he acknowledges the work of others through citations. The work that forms the foundation of climate change science is cited with great frequency by many other scientists, demonstrating that the theory is widely accepted - and relied upon.

In the scientific field of climate studies – which is informed by many different disciplines – the consensus is demonstrated by the number of scientists who have stopped arguing about what is causing climate change – and that’s nearly all of them.  A survey of 928 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject 'global climate change' published between 1993 and 2003 shows that not a single paper rejected the consensus position that global warming is man caused (Oreskes 2004). 

A follow-up study by the Skeptical Science team of over 12,000 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subjects of 'global warming' and 'global climate change' published between 1991 and 2011 found that of the papers taking a position on the cause of global warming, over 97% agreed that humans are causing it (Cook 2013).  The scientific authors of the papers were also contacted and asked to rate their own papers, and again over 97% whose papers took a position on the cause said humans are causing global warming.

consensus pie chart

Lead author John Cook created a short video abstract summarizing the study:

Several studies have confirmed that “...the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes”. (Doran 2009). In other words, more than 97% of scientists working in the disciplines contributing to studies of our climate, accept that climate change is almost certainly being caused by human activities.

We should also consider official scientific bodies and what they think about climate change. There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Not one.

In the field of climate science, the consensus is unequivocal: human activities are causing climate change.

 

Basic rebuttal written by GPWayne

Last updated on 1 August 2013 by gpwayne. View Archives

Printable Version  |  Offline PDF Version  |  Link to this page

Related Arguments

Further reading

Further viewing

The "Climate Denial Crock of the Week" video series examines the list of "32,000 leading skeptical scientists."

Naomi Oreskes gives a thorough presentation of the development of our scientific understanding of anthropogenic global warming:

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Joe Crouch for his efforts in tracking down scientific organizations endorsing the consensus as well as links to their public statements.

Update

On 21 Jan 2012, we revised 'the skeptic argument' with a minor quote formatting correction.

Comments

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Comments 301 to 350 out of 523:

  1. Neo: "Would you please list just one study that is accepted by the consensus that contradicts AGW."

    Sure. Angstrom 1900.

    Of course, it has since been proven wrong... but it was accepted at the time.

    You won't find any recent 'accepted studies' which contradict AGW because AGW is an observed reality. It would be like having studies showing that water always runs uphill. Even 'skeptic' scientists like Richard Muller and Roy Spencer acknowledge that AGW is happening... they just question how much the total impact will be and/or the best way to handle it.

    That you think AGW is somehow in question, despite the fact that even 'skeptic' scientists will no longer make that claim, shows just how little you really know about the subject.
  2. Neo,

    I should clarify that I am interpreting "accepted" as "accepted as a reasonably scientifically sound study". Not a study that is "accepted as a theory that offers an alternative explanation to the warming".

    Mods, sorry for the double post.
  3. #287: My point was that the church had the consensus and they vigorously defended it to the detriment of science. Further, perhaps my analogy was a little too subtle, but to some, AGW has become its own religion. It has to be taken on faith.

    That's the problem with your analogy, Neo: "but to some." Upon what basis do you establish the value of a statement? For scientists, it's the science. For anyone who enjoys real, direct power, it may be whatever helps maintain and enhance that power. You, apparently, do not argue from science but rather from the representation of science in popular media. In other words, you rely on others for your understanding. If this is not true, bring on the attacks against the science. They are welcome. If it is true, it seems hypocritical to come to a place like this and use the ideas of others to blindly bludgeon at what those others think is false. At the very least, you end up being a sort of puppet--a being completely in the control of someone absent. I'd rather discuss the situation with the person pulling the strings.

    As others have suggested, take your arguments to the appropriate threads and engage in open-minded discussion. Who won't respect that kind of move? If you're not willing--willing--to learn, then expect to be ignored or ridiculed.
  4. Neo @297 said
    Further, perhaps my analogy was a little too subtle, but to some, AGW has become its own religion. It has to be taken on faith.

    If AGW has become a religion to some then it is taken on faith (by them), but that doesn't imply that it has to be, nor that it is by other people who accept AGW on more rational arguments.

    Everyone takes some aspect of the world "on trust" from others, the amount of human knowledge is too vast for any other way of living. Most people find quantum mechanics strange or counter-intuitive but all accept it on "faith" when they have an MRI scan. I wonder why you do not feel that quantum mechanics has also "become its own religion" - after all it is 30 years younger than Climate Change, and some scientists did not like it:

    Einstein:
    Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the "old one." I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice.

    If you dislike the idea of taking AGW "on trust" but wish to delve deeper, then I would echo the others who have responded; this website is a great resource for those with an open mind and genuine skepticism to evaluate the science behind AGW
  5. A general response to Neo Anderson @ 297, if you're still reading this thread:

    I'll forgo adding to what the others have ably dealt with and focus on this:

    "Further, perhaps my analogy was a little too subtle, but to some, AGW has become its own religion. It has to be taken on faith."

    Science is the focus on what is seen, measurable and testable. Climate Science, using the Scientific Method, looks at weather conditions averaged over a period of time.

    Faith, on the other hand, looks beyond the seen to the unseen, past the measurable to the immeasurable and puts the untestable to the test.

    So, given that climate change is an accepted fact, where does that leave those who would have us debate even the existence of gravity? For it is those in Denial that are most in demonstration of faith when it comes to matters of climate science, climate change and its human attribution. For they deny what is seen, measured and tested.

    Subtle, I am not.

    But undeniably faithful,

    The Yooper
  6. 308 Daniel, 297 Neo... "AGW has become its own religion. It has to be taken on faith."

    I do think this is a fascinating accusation and one people often use - and not just for AGW.

    My partner is an atheistic (normally people say non-confessional) theologian. To be clear, theology in the modern academic world is the study of religion, not the construct of dogma. I've had a chance to delve into the subject and discuss with other theologians as well; and never do they define a religion as being anything to do with taking anything of faith. Further, I have a reasonable background in philosophy and the history and philosophy of science - and it's pretty clear that there is no sharp boundary between the epistemology of science, religion or just about any realm of human knowledge. They are all social constructs of knowledge, use evidence and reason to varying degrees and in varying ways, individuals have to take some knowledge on trust or authority, other knowledge through traditional experience, other through sophisticated experimentation etc. etc. Clearly and obviously the methodologies of science can differ to those of religion, or history, or the construct of a shopping list, or deciding who to marry. No one, these days, can draw clear distinctions between realms of knowledge based on epistemology and methodology alone.

    Various scholars do have their favorite "essential" attribute for science/religion, but there is no consensus - theology being, in it's own way a science. I shan't go into those, suffice to say that - in the professional world - it's a brave person who points the finger and says "that is/isn't a religion" over and above those which are commonly designated as such.
    ... A brave person or, indeed, an foolish one.
  7. Bruce Frykman @310, having studied both theology and science, I can confidently tell you that your theology is not better than your science - which is deplorable.

    In neither field does simple declaration make something true. In theology, the source of truth is a 'revelation' from a divine source, which is closely studies to determine which theological view most closely conforms to it. If a theological theory does not conform to the revelation, it is thereby refuted.

    In science, the only 'revelation' is observation. Scientists have the advantage over theologians in that they can multiply observation by experiment; thus quickly determining which of even subtly different theories are true. Modern scientists have a further advantage of a centuries old tradition in this practice, and a very competitive framework in which reputations are made by showing somebody else has made a mistake. In that environment, the natural conclusion when a theory commands a consensus is that the theory cannot be shown to be a mistake, and that no rival theory can claim the same virtue.

    We all, including you, acknowledge this in our everyday lives. We believe the Earth orbits the sun even though most of us could not tell us why that is true. We believe Newton's laws of motion even though our everyday appearance appears to contradict that, because there is a scientific consensus behind the theories. We believe that man walked on the moon.

    Well most of us do. Some of us would rather develop conspiracy theories than either accept the scientific consensus or seriously examine the claims of the scientists. In most areas, we call the people who won't accept the science kooks, and ignore them. In climate science we have their opinions thrust daily in our face by an industry funded PR campaign.

    Of course, we accept the consensus view of science because we know (and I have checked) that it is based on observation, not simple declaration. In that it contrasts sharply with the views of the kooks deniers who base their objections on simple assertion.

    As to how the deniers are to be dealt with? My hope is that we will persuade the world of the truth as soon as possible. In that case, the deniers will simply be dealt with by derision.
  8. Wouldn't it be more honest to say that 97% of all people who make a career out of the idea that man's behavior must conform to that required by the same politicians who fund their careers.

    What are the career prospects for deniers within the EPA? Are their any job openings for research leading to the concept that were are spending to much treasure studying climate?
    Response: [muoncounter] Please lose the ideological bias if you want to be taken seriously. Unless you can substantiate the statement in your first paragraph, it must be considered purely an opinion; it is also a borderline accusation (which violates the Comment Policy).
  9. 311 Frykman - Do you have any evidence for that or is it just speculation or just a hollow - and rather over done, by now - polemic?

    In my limited experience of folks working in relevant disciplines is that they are interested in things like climate, ice caps, satellites, etc. And apply their academic interests to what ever is interesting. it's not a great career choice - little money, few academic positions etc. same as most sciences.

    But if you have evidence to back up your thoughts, lets have them...
    ... that or a retraction; if you're man enough.
  10. RE: "lose the ideological bias"

    I apologize, please strike the word "honest" from 311 and substitute the word "accurate"
    Response: [muoncounter] No difference. A fact-free argument is usually the hallmark of a troll. Please peddle that soap elsewhere; no one's buying it here.
  11. Bruce Frykman - That word substitution does not change the core of your post: that scientists are conforming to political opinion/pressure rather than doing honest science. I consider it (although I'm not a moderator) well outside the limits of the Comments Policy.

    Most of the political pressure in the US over the last decade or so has been to deny anthropogenic global warming, not to promote it. And yet the science has continued, and the evidence is even more solid now than a decade ago.

    Unless you have evidence of such political kow-towing, you are making wholly unsupported accusations. It's obnoxious, outside the comments policy of this site - and utterly unconvincing.
  12. Bruce Frykman, if you have anything at all to back-up your accusations, why don't you show it. Any links to evidence or facts at all ?
    Or do you only have your own personal and ideological prejudices and bias ?
    If you have no evidence, I'm sure you'll be man enough to come back and admit it...
  13. RE: Les - 312

    "Do you have any evidence for that [politicization or careerism as a driver of climate science] or is it just speculation or just a hollow - and rather over done, by now - polemic?

    This is a target rich environment; I have proposed that the political authorities who fund climate science do not countenance appeals for funds to examine the proposition that human freedom is deleterious of the earth's climate.

    My primary support of this is the near certain fact that any such funding is either minuscule or non-existent. I look forward to your refutation of my proposition.

    If you would like just one tangible example of political control of climate science, I would refer you to Dr Chis Landsea's resignation from the IPCC after politically appointed authorities put his name to the proposition that man's activities modulated both the frequency and severity of Atlantic hurricanes.

    Dr Landsea found no evidence to support such a claim, so his name was in fact fraudulently attributed to a proposition he would never have supported. This was not simply a mistake which would have been forgivable; when Dr Landsea asked the IPCC to redact the error they would not. We thus at least have some evidence that at one time at least some members of the IPCC were both honest and trustworthy to the extent they would not tolerate fraud committed in their name.

    I believe Dr Landsea is now classified by IPCC supporters as "a denier"

    Space and time prohibits me from listing the hundreds of similar assaults on integrity by the political process supporting AGW science.
  14. Bruce Frykman - "Space and time prohibits me from listing the hundreds of similar assaults on integrity by the political process supporting AGW science."

    Space and time? Or lack of actual content?

    Landsea didn't provide evidence regarding his claims as far as I can tell; if you have any, please provide it. As to your other assertions - no evidence presented means just that, nothing to take seriously.

    Assertions without evidence can and will be dismissed without evidence.
    Response: [DB] Fixed text.
  15. RE: KR - 314

    RE: "That word substitution does not change the core of your post: that scientists are conforming to political opinion/pressure rather than doing honest science."

    ( -Innuendo into character snipped- )

    ( -Innuendo into character snipped- )

    I do hope that you will take this opportunity to disabuse me of my impressions in this regard.

    ( -Ideological/political statements snipped- )

    RE: "I consider it (although I'm not a moderator) well outside the limits of the Comments Policy."

    ( -Moderation complaints and ideological statements snipped- )

    Tom Curtis - 310 "I can confidently tell you that your [my] theology is not better than your [my] science - which is deplorable."

    ( -Moderation complaints and ideological statements snipped- )


    RE: KR at 14:37 PM on 13 April, 2011

    "Space and time? Or lack of actual content?"

    The former, space and time.

    RE: "Landsea didn't provide evidence regarding his claims as far as I can tell;"

    Do you have evidence that Dr Landsea didn't have evidence? Silly argumentation isn't it.

    Please read Dr Landsea's letter of resignation and tell me why Dr Landsea needs to provide you more proof of what he said is what he said.

    http://sppiblog.org/news/dr-chris-landsea-leaves-the-ipcc#more-743


    Oh, finally is Dr Landsea now a "kook" or a "denier?"

    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/landsea_bio.html
    Response: [DB] Adherence to the Comments Policy is NOT optional. Further perambulations, both off-topic and ideological, will cause comments to be summarily deleted.
  16. Bruce. Bizarre I am sorry. In science you only get advancement and recognition by doing something different. If you found replacement for current theory of climate that got human's off the hook, then a noble prize awaits you. You also seem to have the mistaken idea that funding is for "pro" and not "anti". In fact funding is for finding out what we dont know and the funders of science (unlike SPPI, Koch, Cato etc) are indifferent to what the outcome of the research is.

    Your assumptions sir are flawed.
  17. Bruce,

    When you are sick, I presume you go to a doctor. Why not simply consult a bright engineer friend who reads about medicine as a hobby? After all, doctors are paid to heal illness; there are clear monetary pressures at play. They also possess the same "human weaknesses that the rest of us do." Why then should anyone bother listening to doctors at all?

    This is not a question of "are scientists perfect", it is a choice between opposing viewpoints. You can choose to listen to a) political pundits / bloggers / industry spokesman or b) scientists. Instead of telling us why we should not choose option b, how about you explain why you think option a is the more rational choice?
  18. RE: #
    scaddenp at 15:17 PM on 13 April, 2011

    RE: "If you found replacement for current theory of climate that got human's off the hook, then a noble prize awaits e of you."

    The assumption you are making is that politically funded science is presumed to be of noble purpose.

    ( -Snip- )

    RE: "You also seem to have the mistaken idea that funding is for "pro" and not "anti". In fact funding is for finding out what we dont know and the funders of science (unlike SPPI, Koch, Cato etc) are indifferent to what the outcome of the research is."

    ( -Snip- )

    RE: "Your assumptions sir are flawed."

    This is simply cheap characterization lacking any proof.....Sir.
    Response: [DB] Political/ideological statements A-R-E-N-O-T-O-K. Discussion of the science = OK. Be advised: Last warning. Sir.
  19. Bruce
    >"My primary support of this is the near certain fact that any such funding is either minuscule or non-existent. I look forward to your refutation of my proposition."

    >"Oh, finally is Dr Landsea now a "kook" or a "denier?"
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/landsea_bio.html
    "

    Oops, I think you just scored an own goal. Your argument was that skeptics are pressured out or unfunded by the government, but then you went and posted a link that shows a) Landsea is still in the employ of the government and b) listing the extensive research Landsea has been able to perform since since his IPCC resignation letter. What point are you trying to make again?

    If your argument is specifically about the IPCC, then please take it to one of the multiple IPCC threads listed here. This thread is about general consensus among climate scientists.
  20. 316 Frykman "My primary support of this is the near certain fact that any such funding is either minuscule or non-existent. I look forward to your refutation of my proposition."

    Ammeter time in argumentation, I see. Make a vague statement that something ill defined doesn't exist and ask for it to be refuted? You will really have to raise your game if you want to engage here.

    To help you do that I suggest you look at a certain Mr. PoopDrecks list of "anti-AGW publications". The reason to do this is that what you'll find is that the whole idea is totally meaningless in reality. The reality of the practice of science is no one has ever had a grant or got a job to prove or disprove AGW. Working scientist - which I'd hazard you have absolutely no experience of - get jobs and grants (public funding, at least) to go measure things, do analysis, build models; which reflect and improve our understanding of reality - another thing I'd hazard you are a stranger to.
    If you find a public funded grant which sets out to prove or disprove an ideology - that would be a bad thing and should be queried.
    That's been tried here and there - see, for example, Cucinelli V Mann - and, to date, has failed.
    The failure of such law suites is, so far as it goes, a legal refutation of your proposition.
    However, none of that applies to private funding, as for example the funding of the Koch brothers - which is targeted specifically at people who promise, although may fail, to disprove AGW.

    I've no doubt that's a waste of typing. And, unless you take advice and raise your game; you won't get much more.
  21. Bruce Frykman @323, the correct suposition when a debater breaks up his opponents sentences line by line, or into even smaller fragments, as you do, is tht the debater is dishonest, and cannot rebut their opponent when the sentences are taken in context. This impression is reinforced when they treat metaphor as literal utterances. I have no time for such fools, and hence not time for you.

    I will only comment that if you are going to push conspiracy theories of science (as you are), then at least be honest enough to call it what it is. If scientists are deliberately not reporting adverse results, and discuss together how to avoid the adverse results coming to light as you maintain, then they are involved in a conspiracy.
  22. Well Bruce @326, at least you seem to be in agreement with the main topic of this thread; there is scientific consensus on global warming. It is the orthodox position and if you are going to challenge it I suggest providing evidence.
  23. RE: les - 323 "Ammeter time in argumentation, I see. Make a vague statement that something ill defined doesn't exist and ask for it to be refuted? You will really have to raise your game if you want to engage here."

    Let us see if this one meets your profile:

    If "we" [excludes the power elite].... don't break "our" [your] "addiction to fossil fuels" [access to free energy markets], then "n years from now" [after we are all dead] the earth will experience a "feverish" temperature rise that "may" [or equally may not] be .6 C above "natural variability" [that we cannot hope to quantify].

    Now "deniers" have never been able to disprove this wonderful scientific theory. Therefore AGW science is "settled"

    Help, the coulombs are melting my computer.
    Response: [muoncounter] Still have yet to see any actual evidence on any of these points. Forget the ammeter, worry about the credibility meter.
  24. This is index number 329
    Response: [Dikran Marsupial] There has been some deleting of posts that contravene the comments policy, but some replies to those comments may still be present. Please can we all re-start the discussion in a more moderate impersonal tone, and try to keep on-topic.
  25. (mods, I'd suggest deleting my 329 now as it really makes no sense as you deleted my re-response to 327!)

    my re-response only said - in short - I don't see how 327 substantiates the claims in 316 as it contains no evidence of corrupt public grant allocation or corrupt recruitment to publicly funded research positions...
    Response: [Dikran Marsupial] Cheers, that re-statement simplifies matters considerably! Any responses please note the first item of the comments policy. Unsubstantiated accusations of corruption are not acceptable.
  26. [complaint about moderation snipped]
    Response: [Dikran Marsupial] Please read the comments policy, posts that contravene the comments policy are likely to be deleted. Of course moderators being only human sometimes miss comments that should be moderated (although the one you point out is not acturally an ad-hominem). This is more likely to happen if we have to spend all our time deleting repeated complaints about the moderation here. Keep on-topic and observe the comments policy and your comments won't be deleted. It isn't as if you have not been warned more than once before.
  27. It is extraordinarily how these allegations of corruption get made despite the evidence to the contrary.
    The Cuccinelli witch hunt went no where - despite having huge financial and legal resources at their disposal. Not only that, be even Steve McIntyre said that corruption was not the issue (not that his allegations of misconduct where upheld either).

    The fact is, when there is a perfectly good paper-trail (as all public funding bodies maintain) available and when nothing is found despite huge investigative effort... one has to conclude that there is neither smoke nor fire.
  28. This following interview with Bob Carter might be useful to this debate. Bob Carter, to me, seems to be a mild and reasonable fellow who also speaks with a soft and pleasing accent regarding the heat of climate change that is indeed man-made; the heat of the debate seen here and all over the world as well.

    He is in fact a paleoclimatologist. I subscribe entirely to his comments here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfMB1BpPqsU&feature=watch_response_rev

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbASZUXbDME&NR=1

    Would this place either himself or me, as one endorsing his comments, as "a denier" in the vernacular of the partisans here who either speak-for the editorial process of this website or are indeed directly involved with it.

    Your comments are welcome.
  29. Bruce,

    The specific topic of this thread is "is there a scientific consensus". Displaying the opinion of a single scientist does not refute this claim. Nobody is arguing that dissenting opinion does not exist, only that it is a small minority when considering those with the most expertise on the subject.

    Bob Carter's claim is that no evidence exists for an anthropogenic source for recent warming. That claim is addressed here and here. Please review those posts and place any relevant arguments within the appropriate thread. Thus far you have not provided any specifics about why you doubt AGW (and this thread would not be the appropriate place to do so).
  30. RE: Bob Carter's claim is that no evidence exists for an anthropogenic source for recent warming.

    He made no such claim. I believe you have inadvertently created a straw-man. Bob Carter clearly has stated that carbon dioxide is indeed a greenhouse gas and that we are releasing more carbon into the fluid surface of the earth. Of course he also points out the fact that agriculture (wheat fields etc) represents another facet of anthropogenic climate change.

    It's the fact that growing crops and burning fossil fuels appears to redound to well understood benefits for mankind that recommends these activities to us.

    Computer modeling of various input scenarios might be interesting, but none of these models are predictive in nature and have established no such understanding towards making some reasoned fact based decision that curtailing either is in fact beneficial.

    These are thrusts of his claims.
  31. Bruce>He made no such claim. I believe you have inadvertently created a straw-man.

    Check out your first video at 1:10, quote:

    "... no evidence at all that any these changes have anything to do with human activity or influence"

    Anyways, I'm not interested in Bob Carter's claims, I'm curious about your claims. Please take a look here, and post your specific scientific points in the appropriate thread. Don't worry we'll be able to see your posts wherever you put it, note the comments link at the top that displays all recent comments across all threads.

    I think we are all in agreement that evidence is better than consensus. So please, indulge us and bring forward your comments on the evidence (in the appropriate thread and in your own words, not Bob Carter's).
  32. Bruce Frykman, you're confused about what scientific consensus is.

    The subject has by now been extensively reasearched. The results of the research all point in the direction of one coherent whole, which can be called the consensus model of Earh climate. It is established enough that it has been elevated to the level of a scientific theory. Please do not start ranting about "theories are not fact"; if you know anything about what a scientific theory is, you know how stupid that argument is.

    That is what the consensus is. It is a consensus of research results, built over many years. It is not some sort of vote in which people get to say what they believe. It is constrained by the results of a a very large body of scientific work. Science has not been done by consensus, it's the other way around.

    As for Bob Carter, all you are demonstrating is how biased you are. You believe him because you like what he says. Can you be sure that he is not corrupt? No, just like you can't be sure that all the other scientists you half accuse have done anything wrong. But in his case, he says what you want to hear, so you trust him. This is the exact opposite of a skeptical attitude. I'l add that Carter's record of publications in climate is less than impressive. In the El-Nino paper, he tried to push a conclusion that was not supported by the data.

    Talk from "skeptics" about scientists under pressure always makes me smile. James Hansen has been under pressure, from his governement, with an official order; isn't that exactly the kind of thing you object? Did you object in that case? If not, why not?

    Cuccinelli engaged on a whitch hunt/fishing expedition against a scientist he didn't like and did so purely for political reasons, abusing the legal and political power given to him. Did you object to that? These are real, observable, documented occurrences of what you complain about. But they don't mandate your protest because they are perpetrated against those who say stuff you dislike.

    On the other hand the accusations you are trying to relay here have not yet been substantiated. No real evidence has been brought, zilch. The so-called climategate has only revealed how solid the science actually is.

    And yes, it is possible that Bob Carter is lying. Or that he's twisting the truth, or misrepresenting it, or taking it out of context. If you think all these other people are lying without a shred of evidence that they are, why would that not also be a possibility?
  33. Good point he did say what you said he did.

    I'm not sure what we are calling recent warming, are we talking about the early 20th (warming) , mid 20th (cooling) later 20th (warning) recent (cooling).

    I believe Bob was saying that although CO2 will might well contribute to slight warming, any recent perturbations of the climate might well be in response to many other factors not at all related to man's use of fossil fuels. Do you have some proof that this statement is scientifically unsupportable (please no appeals to authority - just give us your own assessment)

    I don't know the basis of your interest in my claims since I can never be clear of what you have seen of them before they are deleted. Perhaps if you were to cut and save them before they are deleted you could very circuitously and circumspectly refer to them in some kind of code or something like that within your own comments.

    As to which of my claims are "scientific," would it be helpful to provide links to partisans of the issue as most here do in order to bolster defense of "the science"

    You must understand that I am operating under severe restraints here. Any criticism of the processes of this science will quickly be deleted after being characterized as unscientific.

    I was never aware that criticism of the processes of science would be characterized as unscientific.

    There is data that has been purported to represent the global mean surface temperature of the earth over decades to a high degree of accuracy. This data is not raw collected data but highly modified data collected under ever changing conditions as to how where and when it is collected. I am not in possession of the means which this data has been modified to corroborate the idea that the abstraction called can be accurately constructed and measured.

    I could of course instrument my own back yard but no one can or has instrumented the earth to collect global mean temperature.

    I could of course refer you to endless argumentation over the process of collecting and modifying the data that purports to measure this abstraction but that would simply be argumentation by appeal to authority which I am sure that your are aware represents fallacious argumentation.
    Response: [muoncounter] The way to bolster your claims is to provide links to actual science, rather than partisans. Here are some hints to help avoid deletion of your comments:

    Criticism of scientific processes is not quickly deleted; criticism of the scientists is. Criticism of the science based on hearsay, accusation or other unsubstantiated rumor-mongering is deleted. Arguments over the reliability of data collection and analysis methods have their own threads. However, those arguments must not be cherry-picked; they must also be tempered by the fact that multiple means of measurement often report the same thing, ie, it is not sufficient to claim 'the thermometers are all wrong' if, for example, satellites confirm those temperature readings.

    If you find these basic parameters to be 'severe restraints,' perhaps there are better forums for your style of commentary.
  34. #336 Bruce - It's hard to trust what you say when you wander into tired old arguments by your second sentence. The world is not cooling in recent times, as evidenced by 2010 being the warmest or 2nd warmest year on record (depending on your dataset) and the 2000's being the warmest decade.

    It is interesting to plot the global temperature data with a regression line from 1975-2000, then extrapolate that line through the last 10 years of temperature data. Most residuals lie above the line, indicating that this decade was even warmer than would have been forecast in 2000. Tamino's excellent post Riddle Me This illustrates this beautifully. And yes, there's a scientific consensus about that...
  35. Bruce,

    Don't worry I have seen your deleted comments.

    My request was simple, let's forget the whole "is their consensus"/"isn't there consensus" argument and focus on the actual evidence. Do you agree with this approach?

    If so, the next steps are simple: organize your own thoughts on the evidence (do not just summarize what Bob Carter has to say), then find where the subject is covered in this site's List of Skeptic Arguments. If the content of the post does not address your concerns, then feel free to post your thoughts within that thread. Your posts will be clearly visible to anyone checking the recent comments link from the top menu. No need to clutter this thread with off-topic discussion.

    Is this not a reasonable request?
  36. RE: "Criticism of scientific processes is not quickly deleted; criticism of the scientists is."

    I always thought of a "scientist" as an individual and I am unaware that I have unfairly characterized any scientist either living or dead on this forum.

    Just who is(are) "the scientists" that I may be sure not to offend any of them?

    Further, who confers the title "scientist." I used to have some very bright little girls next door who collected and classify insects in their own back yard. They make observations and collected data as to how their numbers varied from year to year. Were these little girls acting as scientists and would they be included in your group called "the scientists?"
    Response: [muoncounter] Your record of comments over the past few days shows that you find it easier to unfairly characterize a group than pick out an individual. There's a word for that kind of behavior and it ain't pretty. If you need to have the word 'scientist' defined for you, then you really are in the wrong place. Further nonsense like this will be deleted on sight.
  37. Turns out, I'm a "mild and reasonable fellow" and, what's more, I speak with a soft and pleasing accent...
    Having established my credibility.

    I've read Mr. Frykmans' posts and have yet to see any evidence supporting his initial claims regarding corrupt practices.
    No acknowledgement of my reply regarding the practice of funding etc.

    Can we assume that Mr. Frykman has withdrawn these accusations and apologized?
  38. Bruce >Further, who confers the title "scientist."

    A scientist in the sense used here is one who actively practices the scientific method. More specifically, level of expertise in climate science is gaged by the amount of research published in relevant subject areas. This classification is discussed in the papers cited in this post.
    Response: [muoncounter] Please avoid the temptation to reply to these ludicrous questions of who is and who is not a 'scientist.'
  39. RE: PC- 335

    RE: "It is a consensus of research results, built over many years. It is not some sort of vote in which people get to say what they believe. It is constrained by the results of a a very large body of scientific work.

    OK, I get it, science demands precise data but ethereal and formless consensus that cannot be quantified. Only politics requires precise consensus.

    RE: "Science has not been done by consensus, it's the other way around."

    I get it; consensus is a meta-process that builds science that can stand entirely upon its own legs.

    ( -Snip- )

    RE: "As for Bob Carter, all you are demonstrating is how biased you are."

    Of course I am biased, to be human is to be biased. I would never trust anyone who claimed he was not. Its not the bias of our individuality that is of any importance but only that our biases may be freely aired. Science operates in a world of humans and of human bias. Your position appears to support the notion that there are a class of people who are not biased and are therefore what?
    ( -Snip- )

    RE: "You believe him because you like what he says."

    Of course I do, and you don't like him for the reason that you don't like what he says - let him say it.

    RE: "Can you be sure that he is not corrupt?"

    I'm not a religious person, but I do find lessons to be taken from faith: Have you ever listened to Handel's beautiful Messiah? - "And we shall be raised incorruptable"

    ( -Snip- )

    RE: "No, just like you can't be sure that all the other scientists you half accuse have done anything wrong."

    I 'have' accused no one, I do not trust the processes of climate science. I might make the same judgment of the processes of my own physician without accusing him of anything.

    RE: "In the El-Nino paper, he tried to push a conclusion that was not supported by the data."

    Oh by that you mean he is human?

    RE: "James Hansen has been under pressure, from his governement, with an official order; isn't that exactly the kind of thing you object?"

    If I can stand in the kitchen and take the heat I don't see why he can't - I'm not paid to do this.
    Response: [DB] Off-topic perambulations snipped. "I'm not paid to do this." Neither are we, pal. Neither are we.
  40. Bruce@343
    "Is this really a debate forum?"

    No. It is a forum for the presentation and discussion of scientific evidence.
  41. Bruce Frykman - The major problems that I see with your posts are:

    - Ad Hominem accusations of distortion against the majority of climate scientists with no evidence for same.
    - Posting ideology rather than facts.
    - Major, major tendencies to run off-topic.

    Do you have any science to present? Evidence? This site is set up to discuss science, after all, not politics. If you don't, then it's your opinions versus assembled facts. Quite frankly, in my view, your opinions aren't holding up very well...
  42. RE: # Bruce@343

    "Is this really a debate forum?"

    "No. It is a forum for the presentation and discussion of scientific evidence."

    OK, which of your have presented "your" scientific evidence here; not other's - "yours".

    So far I have seen no scientific evidence of any kind here being presented here by anyone.

    If you are merely linking to stuff you like, then all you are doing is cheer-leading your cause.

    If you are simply denigrating others by linking to science you don't like then your are engaging in something but it is clearly not science.

    ( -Snip- )

    RE: "- Ad Hominem accusations of distortion against the majority of climate scientists with no evidence for same."
    #

    Where is the ad hominem? Have I called anyone's comments "deplorable?", "rants?"

    Clearly you have!

    How have I distorted "the majority" of climate scientists? Who or what represents this "majority?"

    Do any of you have any data of figures that substantiate what and who represents this majority?

    I belong to several groups but I would never be mindless enough to suggest that "group think" constitutes is my think. It all sounds rather militaristic.

    In discussing all of this science do any of you ever favor one individual scientist's ideas over another's?

    If you did, would not this be casting an ad hominem towards the group's endorsed thought processes by your own standards?

    Re: "Posting ideology rather than facts"

    What is my "ideology?"

    RE: Major, major tendencies to run off-topic.

    Guilty, I have devoted major major tendencies to discuss why you have deleted my comments.
    Response: [DB] "So far I have seen no scientific evidence of any kind here being presented here by anyone." Try actually reading the posts and the linked source studies. Staying on-topic on a science-discussion (not debate) website is a must, not a want. Adherence to the Comments Policy is also not optional. Complaining about having to comply with it is a surefire ticket to forcing the moderators to act. Maybe you might want to perhaps consider other venues with less restrictive policies?
  43. Hummm two more looong post by Mr. Frykman and still no evidence to back up his earlier claims. Clearly not here to present nor discuss facts.
  44. Bruce@345
    "So far I have seen no scientific evidence of any kind here being presented here by anyone."

    Then you should be doing more reading and less typing. This site is chock full of links to scientific studies and data that support the the premise that the earth is warming and that human activity is driving the change in temperature. Not many people here are practicing climate scientists so not much original work is generated, thus the links to others work. If you have a published paper of your own or links to studies that you think are relevant to the discussion then please post them in the appropriate thread.
    As for this thread, you have not provided anything constructive to the discussion (not debate! not argument!) of the original post. Your first comment @311 was an accusation that Climate Science is driven by politics rather than data with no supporting evidence. That is not how this site works. If you are going to take a position you need to support it somehow.
  45. 347 pbjamm

    Indeed. But he posts a lot of hot air...
    ... Gilles' be along in a moment to claim that that's the reason the arctic is melting.
    Response: [DB] DNFTT.
  46. Bruce, I would characterize science is learning to use data to overcome our biases. Some non-scientists learn this; some scientists dont.

    Overturning AGW is straightforward at one level. Current climate theory (from which AGW is a consequence) makes a huge no. of predictions. If reality turns out different using both the margins of errors in data and margins of error in the prediction, then the theory must be modified.

    Of course, even more convincing would a different better theory that explained all current observations and had stronger predictive power.

    Nothing doing so far on either front, but who knows? Convince me.

    So, care to tell us what data would it take to change your mind? What's the point at which you decide that you are wrong?
  47. DNFTT is in order indeed.
  48. I'm very new to this site. Credit where due: you lay out your arguments fairly well and quite clearly.

    HOWEVER, I watched your "Crock of the Week" video "32000 Scientists". What are the odds that the only video I've yet clicked would be a statistical outlier that doesn't apply to all your other "Crock of the Week" videos?

    The surely-typical video in question is an almost completely contentless ad-hominem attack on AGW skeptic Dr. Frederick Seitz, on Fox News, and at one point on "right wing causes", accompanied by lurid video of smokers smoking through their tracheal holes, and movie clips of the retards from "Deliverance". The ending statement is "...or you can die from lung cancer".

    It is incongruously opposite of the on-topic and content-heavy article it accompanies. It is propaganda at its most obvious and blatant.

    You have no right to expect your commenters to stick to the science if the material your administrators post does not do the same.

    Hence this comment of mine is not science because some of your own subject matter is not. And judging from your Comments Policy and several of your moderators' posts, I wonder if I am permitted to point out ANY of this.

    Your Policy says, "Any accusations of deception, fraud, dishonesty or corruption will be deleted." Propaganda is in fact all of those things, and I have no honest choice but to accuse you of posting propaganda, because you did. Will my comment deleted for telling the verifiable truth?

    Your Policy also says, "No ad hominem attacks", and in #336, "muoncounter" responds to a commenter by saying: "Criticism of scientific processes is not quickly deleted; criticism of the scientists is." Since your video criticizes Dr. Seitz and his associations but does not deal with his actual ideas, it is ad hominem by the standards of your Policy and should be deleted by the standards of muoncounter. Will your commenters have to continue obeying a prohibition that you yourselves ignore?

    Do I even dare even mention your Policy in the first place? In #345, "DB" responds to a commenter by saying, "Adherence to the Comments Policy is also not optional. Complaining about having to comply with it is a surefire ticket to forcing the moderators to act. Maybe you might want to perhaps consider other venues with less restrictive policies?"

    Your policy is fine. Let's see if I need to opt for a "venue" where EVERYONE is held to it.

    As said: You have no right to expect your commenters to stick to the "science only" if the material your administrators post does not do the same.

    As I see it, your choices are to 1) loosen up the Comments Policy so that it may devolve to the very low standards set by the "32000 Scientists" video, 2) apply the Comments Policy TO that video and promptly remove it, or 3) delete my comment so that you don't have to face your own contradiction.

    You should be aware - and I'm sure you are - that one of the skeptics' complaints about AGW believers is that your alleged "consensus" in the IPCC and elsewhere isn't built on science, but on double standards and suppression of dissent.

    I wonder if THAT is one of your 150+ topics on here...?
    Response:

    [Dikran Marsupial] The "crock of the week" video is not "our" video, it comes from climatecrocks.com. IMHO the video is not an ad-hominem as it does address the substance of the issue, namely that the "32000 list" is meaningless as the vast majority of the signatories have no relevant expertise. Personally the style is perhaps not my cup of tea, or yours, but as they say "chacun à son goût". It would clearly be unreasonable to require every link to another site posted on SkS to conform to SkS's comments policy. Sadly not all of the useful information out there is conveyed in the generally very restrained manner you find here.

     

    N.B. Moderator trolling comments such as "Will my comment deleted for telling the verifiable truth?" and "delete my comment so that you don't have to face your own contradiction." do you no favours. If you sincerely want to change things, setting out (happily unsuccessfully) to annoy is rarely a good way to achieve your aims.


    [DB] Additionall, please refrain from the use of all-caps (that Comments Policy thing-y).

  49. Chuck PRIVATE... You need to realize, first, that the video you're commenting on is not a product of the Skeptical Science site. It is a product of Peter Sinclair.

    I also seem to continually see people inaccurately using the term "ad hom" to anything they believe is insulting. Peter points out in the video that the tactics used by Seitz and others are the same being used against the science of climate change. That makes it, to my understanding, NOT an ad hom attack.
  50. Aye, Chuck, what Rob said, and if you think that claims about Seitz's integrity are not well-founded, do some research. Here's a good starting place.

    Ad hominem is the technique of attacking the individual as a substitute for attacking the individual's ideas. If I say that Seitz lacked moral integrity at times when he was working for the tobacco industry, I am attacking Seitz the man--but it's not an ad hominem attack, because I'm not substituting this argument to avoid confronting Seitz's ideas. Seitz at the very least consistently allowed himself to be strongly associated with people who did lack moral integrity at various times in their lives (unless you subscribe to Randian morality).

    Consensus is a political subject more than it is scientific. Science provides the evidence, but most people don't have the time to review the science. They still need to engage in the democratic process, though, and so they look for experts to tell them what to think. Consensus works as a strong form of expert testimony. Mass media agents also act as expert testimony in the same way. These agents are opinion makers, and not all mass media agents push the same opinion. There are hundreds of analyses of Fox News that reveal a right-wing (both economic and social, paradoxically at times) agenda. There are perhaps thousands of reports and studies that reveal the same right-wing political stance to be strongly associated with a position that global warming is either not happening, not our fault, or not bad. The first two positions are not consistent with observation and physics (if you have a contrary claim, bring forth the evidence on the appropriate thread). The third position is an ongoing wait-and-see kind of deal, and so far things aren't looking good. The science also supports a high probability that things will get bad.

    Now, given that, how is making reference to economic conservatives, the self-identified "right," in any way propaganda? Their positions are one of the reasons why a site like this exists. If you looked around a little on any of the threads, you'd see a clear pattern emerging: self-proclaimed libertarians tend to disbelieve that AGW is happening or is bad. Propaganda is a systematic institutional effort to bring about a specific change in beliefs (and it was once an acceptable term). Look at what the Koch brothers (unabashedly economic right-wingers) are doing and tell me that this is not propaganda. Are posters on this site--a site devoted to testing the BS against the science--not allowed to attack the instruments (living and artifactual) of such propaganda when the connection is quite clear? When propaganda bots attack, it is acceptable to attack the human, because the human has ceased to be human and is simply a robot or a paid (sometimes) repeating machine. It is acceptable to attack anyone who willfully ignores evidence and engagement.

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