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Visually depicting the disconnect between climate scientists, media and the public

Posted on 1 August 2010 by John Cook

Matthew Glover at Renegade Conservatory Guy has created a telling visual on the disconnect between the scientific consensus on global warming, how the media portray the science and subsequent public opinion:

As there's plenty of detail, there's also a PDF version of the graphic (the above graphic also links directly to the PDF). The PDF also includes hyperlinks to the peer-reviewed papers where Matthew got his figures. While the graphic is quite simple and clear in how it presents the data, there's plenty of meat in there to chew over. Discuss...

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Comments 1 to 50 out of 80:

  1. Yes, the mainstream media coverage, therein lies the problem. Notice how the media coverage and public perception percentages are almost identical?.
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  2. An incredibly revealing and useful graphic - thank you.

    I think (hope) that the wave of denial is now on the wane although my experience is restricted to the UK. News stories like this may be helping.
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  3. re #1 : "Notice how the media coverage and public perception percentages are almost identical?"

    I would suggest that most media coverage supposedly not supporting the 'consensus', is actually questioning public policy relating to it, not the science.

    The disconnect between the 'consensus' and media coverage suggests there is something currently fishy with the 'consensus', not the media; and most of this probably relates to public policy issues which is often intermingled within the 'consensus', rather than the science itself.

    Part of the problem almost certainly lies in the distinction between science, and public policy-ie what 'ought' to be done about something. This is a value judgement, and technically, science can't make decisions about value judgements, yet many scientists within the 'consensus' often report that it can, and betray their own value judements. 'Science says' we should' do this' or 'we should do that'.

    The 'should' often reflects people's relative values, and more often than not, advocates use only that branch of science which supports their value position. Their 'science' is often correct/well-established, its just that often it is not the only relevant data.

    This is especially the case, for example, in land tenure issues, where an area may have competing values and interests: eg "the science says this area should be set aside for National Park". This is not a scientific statement, it is a value judgement, which depends on relative community values, and a range of datasets-social, economic, and conservation/environmental.

    It is essentuially the same with climate change science and public policy. Climate change policy must take into account social, economic, and environmenal/'natural' science data, in conjunction with relative community values.

    Part of the role of the media is to examine the relationships between the above: socio-economic data, environmental data, and relative community values, to report on what is largely a political process. Some scientists don't understand this process, and essentially want to subvert and corrupt it for their own narrow, specialised, interests.

    I'm pretty sure the statistics given in the above arcticle fail to make the proper distinction also; there is a difference between what the science says, and what policies ought/ought not, to be put in place. This probably largley explains the disconnect between the 'consensus' and the media.
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  4. thingadonta #4:

    It may be true that the press is reacting to the policy, not the science, but aren't you missing the point? They are reacting to the policy because they do not accept or understand the science that lies behind it. That science is: AGW is real, it is a real problem, we must act NOW to keep it from being an absolute disaster for our descendants. In fact, now is already rather late: we should have acted in the 80s.

    Once this is understood, then the policies proposed no longer seem so very outrageous. On the contrary: they are all inexpensive and even mild compared to the outrageous high cost (politically and economically) our descendants will pay should we continue to do nothing to mitigate AGW.
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  5. A heretical comment:

    In American frontier history, there's a fine story about how, when a 19th century mountain man (beaver trapper) rode away from a campsite, he did not notice that his "possible sack" (a small sack contained flint, steel and other items essential for survival in the wilderness) had fallen off his saddle and lay in the dust. His friends at the campsite saw it fall, but said nothing. When a visiting Englishman asked them why, the answer simply was: "He'll find soon enough."

    By the same token, don't you think that the deniers will find out "soon enough" even if we say nothing more about the perils of global warming?
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  6. I would question the media coverage and public perception figures. i do not think either are as negative as these graphics portray. I have not read or heard about studies that show only 26% of the public thinks Global Warming is real. And unless one is including the right wing blogoshere, I doubt the media coverage is only 28% supportive. I would guess it is more like 50-50. And I have seen polls that showed significantly more than 50% believe ACC is real and happening.
    There is no need to exaggerate the problem, since the disconnect between 97% and even 60% is a serious problem
    @Thigadonta@4
    You are right that scientists should not be determining policy, other than as concerned citizens. and they should be contributing only to their areas of expertice. The problem is that almost NOTHING is being done, there is NO policy toward climate change, which means the policy is effectively to do nothing. You can't really expcet scientists who understand what is happening to not react.
    I see a similar situation with military leaders. While they are subordinate to the civilian political structure their obligation is to advise on national security. In 1938 after Germany had annexed Austria and Sudetenland, and Japan had occupied China and indochina, would you consider it improper for military leaders to say we have to do SOMETHING to defend against German and Japanese Military. it is POSSIBLE we won't go to war, but we NEED to do something. Some scientists are convinced the situation is drastic and are proclaiming that we need to radically change our economy and way of life. It is certainly their right to do that, as long as they are not saying that there view is the only possible way to look at the science.
    In fact the media is NOT covering what you actually suggest they do. There are numerous state federal and private collaborations studying the various economic social and political options including a wide range of expertise, including scientists, economists and public policy experts who are trying to develop broad based approaches based on real science. I just met someone tonight who is going to work at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, which is doing great work in this area, but the media is focused on being "fair" about climate change, so the groups like this doing the real work don;t get any real exposure. the media doesn't get into the details because it is still milking the "conflict" about the science.
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  7. I would be very interested in analyses that compare the different media and public perceptions in different countries.

    Does anyone know of anywhere that this has been done or will I have to do it myself?
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  8. It would also be quite interesting to compare media reporting and public perceptions in different countries on other issues too (not just climate).

    I don't suppose anyone knows of any research that has been done into this? Not my area!
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  9. Another nice graphic depiction here, covering only one story. Might be a handy example when thinking about thindadonta's more general remarks.

    For my part, if I'm a mechanical engineer designing locomotives and a mathematician points out to me that I'm making a mistake and that designing a railroad locomotive using the fallacy that 2+2=4.25 is a cause for concern, I should thank him. If I ignore him and the mathematician objects to being coerced into joining other travelers riding transport equipment designed around fallacies, I can't reasonably object. If the mathematician adds his informed voice to a public hue and cry to correct the problem, I don't have reasonable grounds to object. The only legitimate reason I can think of for objecting to such a continuum of activity is if the mathematician were incorrect, or if I did not care about public safety for some reason.

    So if we have a problem with scientists participating in public policy, the answer lies not in silencing them but instead in doing -better- science to overcome their concerns. If we can't do that, we're better to listen instead of reaching for a gag.
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  10. A poll I remember reading here in Australia, although I can't find it no showed people who don't believe AGW is real at all was 13%, up from 10% a couple of years back. So the deniers had made some inroads. The frightening part was that of those who believed AGW was real, around half thought it wasn't happening very fast so we didn't need to do to much about it yet.

    Through such well meant ambivalence do civilisations die.
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  11. I think the figures above which represent the public's views, are a little misleading because, although only 26% accept the fact that AGW is happening, 38% seem to think that it hasn't been proved conclusively, and a further 35% either think it isn't happening at all or is just propaganda. It seems that it is that 38% that is being misled by the media and which needs to be sought out and shown the facts. How ? That is the problem.

    It is interesting, though, that the survey shows slightly more people who were MORE convinced about AGW after hearing about things like Climategate, etc, although the vast majority didn't change their views at all.
    Full details here.

    From other polls, however, and considering all the noise there has been over the last year or so from the denialosphere, it is still encouraging that more people still accept AGW generally, than deny it - although many think it is exaggerated or won't affect them personally.
    More polls here, here, here, and here.
    (We need more up-to-date ones, obviously)

    Another problem, which I'm not too clear about with regard to its influence, is the blogosphere, particularly the denial part of it. During one week last December, the blogosphere had five times as much coverage of AGW as the mainstream media, mainly down to so-called Climategate, I suppose. That has to be taken into account when deciding how to get the media to concentrate on the facts behind the science because, no doubt, once the mainstream moves towards reality, the denialosphere will surely move more towards extreme denial, which will hopefully only convince those already convinced in their long-held beliefs in conspiracy, etc. Those non-committed at that stage will surely reject such denial sites then, the way most people reject the 9/11 Troofer sites now.
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  12. There is a common misconception in the graphic which is that correlation (of the media and public perception) implies causation (i.e. the public think that because the media have told them) Indeed one could argue the other way; that the media, so intent on retaining their customer base, are simply reflecting what their readership think.

    My own, rather pessimistic, belief is that much of the denier-sphere, free of any real constraint to think logically, often back-think along the lines of "I like driving and flying, I don't like being made to feel guilty about it therefore I'll grab any half-arsed argument to rubbish AGW, and then I can fly guilt free" Its from such thinking that the pensions of people like Ian Plimer and Nigel Lawson are secured.

    It doesn't really help that tackling climate change is somewhat confused in the public mind with "being green" which in turn often suggests a hippy-style, mother earth lifestyle with too much interest in sewerage. Many people don't like it and so the back-think tendancy kicks in.

    So, as great a job as Skeptical Science, Real Climate, Science of Doom etc do, and no matter how often people demonstrate that deniers really don't understand the second law of thermodynamics, it is changing the perception of the lifestyle changes that will really shift public opinion.
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  13. huntjanin #6
    That is a great story as it makes one ask whether global warming is really something the public will notice in time. Paradoxically, the more global warming awareness depends on scientists, the more benign it must be; however, things arent always what they seem. Example, chain smokers that end up with cancer find out the hard way.
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  14. Most people are pretty reasonable, and will accept the views of experts. They will also accept that when experts disagree, they should just sit on the fence and wait until the experts have sorted it out.

    The problem is that the media portrays the skeptics "experts" too fairly, and creates doubt in the public mind because they see "experts" disagreeing.

    If you look at Jo Nova's site, you'll see they are wanting the ABC to give their views equal time. Of course the Murdoch media is cheering on coal.
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  15. Once the battle for acceptance of AGW has been won, the next debate will be the seriousness of the consequences? One camp (the ex-deniers) will argue that just patching up the problems (like building dykes) as they occur is better than doing something now - like spending a fortune on wind farms or nuclear power plants.
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  16. In my book-in-progress about sea level rise, I want to have some "poster children" for sea level rise -- that is to say, different countries with different approaches (or lack of them) to the problem.

    I already have two candidates (the Netherlands, and Nigeria) and will welcome your suggestions for others. What do you think?
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    Response: Bangladesh would be an obvious poster child, being such a low lying country that is already suffering inundation issues - I've heard stories of villages that have been abandoned due to flooding and the locals/government lacking the resources to build levees to fix it. Sadly, some people are so poor, they don't even have the ability to relocate without losing everything and they're stuck in these situations. Sadly, the glib argument "don't worry about global warming, we'll adapt when it happens" doesn't apply to those who lack the resources to adapt and this isn't some impact in the distant future - it's happening now.
  17. John Chapman #18 This debate is already taking place and is, of course, the remit of IPCC working group II. (Working group I covers the same subject area as this site - the evidence for AGW)

    A summary of the latest report (for policy makers - i.e. non-technical) is here.
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  18. Where do I find Boykoff 2008?

    It seems like an update of Boykoff & Boykoff 2004.

    And indeed, the media coverage and public perceptions are astonishingly similar.
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  19. I would suggest that Poptech's (#15 and #16) complaints against each of these papers are not reasonable.

    In relation to Doran 2009 the response rate of the questionaire would have no bearing on the poll results. The sample size is large enough to produce a margin of error of ~4%. That would not appreciably change the conclusion of the paper.

    The complaints against Anderegg 2010 are even more bizarre. Pure hearsay and speculation. If he wants to make a substantive case that the paper is in error he should at least make an attempt to reproduce the results and show where it is in error rather than just spouting off.
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  20. Alexandre at 02:27 AM on 2 August, 2010

    boykoff publications / links here:
    http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/people/boykoffmax.php

    and the full anderegg paper is here:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.full.pdf+html
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  21. robhon, don't you think it is rather ironic the way Poptech complains about these studies, given the methods he uses to include all sorts of publications in his little list of so-called anti-AGW studies, i.e. he believes them to be anti-AGW, no matter what the authors themselves state; and papers from 'Energy & Environment' are considered as worth the same as papers from properly peer-reviewed publications.
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  22. Poptech #15

    This comment doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Science is not a democratic process, it's a process that is lead by evidence. Your argument appears to be leading to the erroneous conclusion that expertise in one subfield of a discipline equates to expertise in all subfields of a discipline which is clearly erroneous.

    #16

    Here's a nice example of the Dunning-Kreuger effect in action. My area of expertise happens to be within the social sciences, and I have completed a number of literature surveys over the past few years, so I know that the kind of 100% comprehensive, no error survey that you're demanding is impossible to achieve. Because of this I know that I'd need to read the Anderegg paper quite closely, and consider the presentation of the results quite carefully before coming to any conclusion about it. I certainly wouldn't rush to the conclusion that "the study is worthless due to Google Scholar illiteracy and Cherry Picking" without a careful justification of why. Besides, skimming the paper tells me that you're misreporting the methodology. I suggest that if you knew more about how this kind of quantitative social science research is conducted (along with basic concepts like sampling and probability) then you'd understand that the Andreagg paper provides a reasonable estimate of expert consensus. We also see from your previous post that your concept of expert is seriously flawed anyway.
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  23. Re: huntjanin at 00:46 AM on 2 August, 2010

    While I applaud consideration of Bangladesh, the Netherlands and Nigeria (due to the millions of people to be impacted), no nation will be more impacted by the coming rising waters than the Maldives or Tuvalu.

    Maldives, population 396,334
    Elevation above sea level 2.3 meters or 7'7"

    Tuvalu, population 12,373
    Elevation above sea level 4.5 meters or 15'

    These two nations will lose all that they are due to either the loss of the Greenland ice sheet or the WAIS, or a moderate combination of the two.

    They will be a footnote to history...and to man's indifference to man.

    The Yooper
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  24. A recent random-sample survey of 500 people in New Hampshire found:
    51% agreed climate is changing now, due mainly to human activities;
    39% believe climate is changing now, due mainly to natural causes; and
    10% think climate is not changing, or don't know.

    So that's 90% on this survey who believe that climate is actually changing. Which it visibly is, in New Hampshire.

    Asked what they thought _scientists_ believe,
    49% thought most scientists agree that climate is changing now, due mainly to human causes; and
    41% believe there is little agreement among scientists that climate is changing now, due mainly to human causes.

    There were strong patterns in responses by education, and by political party.

    This was the first in a series of surveys that will be asking the same questions.

    http://www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/publications/IB_Hamilton_Climate_Survey.pdf
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  25. I had an interesting experience in my town recently. A local radio station switched from bad pop music to talk radio. Rush/Hannity/Beck. Now it is often said "stop getting your news from Rush and see what the scientists say."

    But I've taken the opportunity to listen to these guys. The format is make a bogus statement (something like): "Even Phil Jones, the author of the most disturbing of the Climategate emails, says there has been no warming for the last 15 years." - then the process is to support this for the next 30 minutes with callers saying "yup" and "these marxist liberals think they can hijack the country based on bogus science" and on and on.

    Now this is obviously false and intentionally deceiving. But the folks who are listening to these programs, either because they already agree, or without a critical ear, are very vulnerable to eventually accepting this as the truth - they hear it for 18 hours a day, day after day after day.

    I was stunned at how bad it was. I haven't heard Beck or Hannity before, and Rush not since the 90s, when it was entertaining to listen to him rail against the Clinton's.

    The stakes just seem higher now.

    Anyways, this isn't "media" per se, but it is how some folks form this ironclad, bedrock belief in the anti-science.
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  26. Daniel Bailey #25 mentions Tuvalu as an early victim of rising waters. Depending on the rate at which the sea level rises, the deposition of coral debris can keep abreast of the sea level rise and the island can maintain its footprint. This is why its surface area has remained essentially unchanged since 1950. Mind you I suspect it has no hope when the sea rise is 5 metres!
    There's a lot on the net to do with a recent study that 27 of these Pacific Islands have actually gained area, but strangely I can't find any comments from the inhabitants on what they observe. (e.g. we've gained coral beaches but lost fertile land.)
    As a slight aside, I was interested to read a few months back in the New Scientist that it takes 30 years for the effects of water from Greenland ice to makes its way round to the Pacific. Hard to imagine really.
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  27. Poptech #28

    1. You will not find an objective measure of what constitutes a specialist. Clearly from your list of skeptical articles, your subjective list of specialists is far too inclusive.

    2. I think I know how to use Google Scholar thanks. I earn my living doing so (among other things) - I have published work which I'm not going to cite here that uses it for systematic literature survey work in the field. I find that I have to cross validate against other databases though due to its excessively inclusive indexing criteria.

    E&E is clearly a poor quality journal - it's not listed in the relatively authoritative Journal Citation Reports (hidden behind a paywall unfortunately), and is certainly not a reputed source for technical information on climate and energy issues - it's focus is on social science, and has strayed outside of its remit into politics unfortunately - which you can discover by dredging up quotes from its editor.

    So I think you're suffering from the Dunning-Kreuger effect. If you can come up with a better methodology than Andreagg's then please be my guest, however, based on your poorly edited catalogue of supposed sceptical papers, I very much doubt that you are capable of maintaining the objectivity or rigour necessary to do so.
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  28. Re: John Chapman at # 29 above

    You are very correct, sir, as the historical record shows, corals have a great ability to adapt to changing sea levels over time. We must remain cognizant of the probability that changes in future sea levels may not be linear to those of the past in terms of rate.

    Catastrophic deglaciation of the Pine Island glacier in Antarctica, the WAIS or Greenland, or mixed composition of all 3 (the most likely occurrence) will result in sea level changes unlikely to have comparators in the paleo record.

    Earthquakes can cause local land rise, as meter rises during the recent Chilean and Indonesian Earthquakes were observed.

    Mean sea level on the local level is more a function of the geoid. However, a 20 cm differential does exist in sea level between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

    As far as Greenland water transport to the Pacific, if I understand your intent to mean via level equalization, then that would depend more upon the rate of ice sheet decomposition. If you mean in the traditional sense via the THC, then that would be more on the order of a thousand years or so.

    Some good Sea Level sources:
    Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level

    Tides and Currents- NOAA - Sea Levels Online

    Trying to precisely project sea level rise is essentially pointless: too many variables can occur. However, based on known paleo comparators (Ballantyne & Greenwood 2010 is a good recent paper) we know that temperatures associated with CO2 concentrations similar to today's were much higher, as were the corresponding sea levels.

    We are going to learn the hard way the amount of changes already in the pipeline.

    The Yooper
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  29. Thanks Daniel, yes level equalisation.
    Back to the initial post topic ... it would be interesting to know the proportion of non-published, any-discipline scientists (like me!) who support AGW. Such figure would be useful to counter one of the skeptics' arguments that 30,000 (US) scientists have signed a petition that disagrees with AGW. At the moment all I'm able to say is that there are a few million scientists.
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  30. As far as sea level rise affecting how liveable an area is - I rather thought that long before seawater rolled over the landscape, the seawater would have contaminated rivers upstream and wells and springs.

    No drinkable water, no irrigation for crops, move out.
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  31. John Chapman @ 29 - "but strangely I can't find any comments from the inhabitants on what they observe. (e.g. we've gained coral beaches but lost fertile land.)"

    John, living in New Zealand, we've had a few Tuvalu people appear on local TV over the last few years. All the older people say the same thing, the sea level is rising and the salt intrusion is killing their crops.

    There was a piece on a local documentary only a week or two ago, however part of it focussed on the horrendous problem with rubbish they have there, which seemed rather irrelevant to me.

    Paradise Lost
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  32. Poptech, hopefully the moderators won't allow us to go around in circles again (your speciality), because you know you have been shown (not just on previous threads here, but on many other websites) that papers you have included in your little list are not anti-AGW in any way (as the authors [like Pielke Jr] themselves have stated); and many are not properly peer-reviewed, especially if they have appeared in E&E. You believe your little list is what you think it is because that is what you want to believe.
    This article is correct, and is based on evidence as shown. Again, you don't believe it because that is what you WANT to believe.
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  33. Going slightly off-topic, but I gather that the salt intrusion into the wells and groundwater of some Pacific Islands (re Dappledwater #34) is because the fresh water has been drained due to irrigation for crops and so the salt water moves in. Contamination of ground water as a reuslt of sewerage is also a problem.
    Maybe these islands are a microcosm of the planet and in time we too will suffer from lack of fresh water, flooding, too many people and too much rubbish! Maybe not in NZ :)
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  34. Unfortunately I don't think the visual is that useful. The first thing is that it blends US media coverage on one graphic and puts UK public opinion on the next. Secondly, and rather more importantly on the last visual, most public opinion polls are subject to question bias (and then filtered by journalists into articles). For a number of years the proportion of the population in the UK who held the view that the world was warming was around 80%. That number remains fairly consistent today. Almost all of the other questions asked on this subject are of limited utility because they are extremely hard to ask 'neutrally'.

    Please do more, however to emphasise the first two visuals, it is the connection to the third that it is harder to make.
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  35. #31 Daniel Bailey at 14:04 PM on 2 August, 2010
    We must remain cognizant of the probability that changes in future sea levels may not be linear to those of the past in terms of rate.

    What do you mean? When the great North American glacial lakes (Lake Ojibway & Agassiz) emptied into Hudson Bay in less than a year around 6200 B.C., there was a sea level rise of about 2 m at sites far enough not to be influenced by isostatic adjustment.

    That's a rate a thousand times faster than anything we have seen during written history. Do you see something even faster than that?
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  36. BP #38

    I reckon it's pretty clear that he means extrapolating on the linear trend of recent history. Stripped of the innuendo, your post informs us that this kind of behaviour is entirely possible given the right situation :-).
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  37. kdk #39
    I reckon it's pretty clear that he means extrapolating on the linear trend of recent history

    I don't think so. He also writes: "will result in sea level changes unlikely to have comparators in the paleo record". In my vocabulary it means he is considering something unprecedented in the paleo record.

    this kind of behaviour is entirely possible given the right situation

    Yes. But the right situation is not given. We have no lakes comparable to those monsters.
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  38. Steering off topic again - John Chapman @36 - Tuvalu is essentially subsistence farming and has a declining population, where do you get the idea that the salt intrusion is from increased water use?.

    Inhabitants there, whom I've seen interviewed, regularly claim higher king tides and greater storm surges, are responsible for the salt intrusion. Seems reasonable given the photos I've seen of the inundation.
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  39. Dappledwater ... that what a Stev W reckoned on a blog in reference to what happened on the Carteret Islands. May not be applicable in the case of Tuvalu, but maybe it is.
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  40. Poptech...

    What constitutes a specialist is not subjective at all. I can't randomly perceive someone to be an expert and expect that to be correct. What constitutes as a expert has much more to do with quality and quantity.

    And for the use of E&E for the majority of your "800 papers." That's tantamount to bottom feeding. It's where scientists go when they can't get published in respected journals. You know this is the case.

    Even the fact that you absolutely insist that your statements are "100% correct" shows the absurd level you are willing to go to. You exhibit a bizarre megalomaniacal adherence to your own capacity to understand an issue that not even the most eminent scientists in this field would lay claim.
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  41. So, 16% of Poptech's little list can be discounted straightaway, because the relevant papers come from E&E. That's good to know.
    I have also read lots of other criticisms of that list on so many different blogs, etc. that I reckon less than half are actually valid in any pertinent way.

    That just leaves the papers that Poptech subjectively reckons are anti-AGW (despite what their own authors say - even after being told by Poptech what their papers actually say !), so not very many.
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  42. Hi Poptech,
    If you wanted to educate an uniformed lay person (or scientist for that matter), which are the most important papers from your list which justify/ demonstrate your understanding of AGW? Perhaps a top 10 for starters?
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  43. I was reading an interesting article the other day about how a "scientist" has just written a paper explaining how light from distant galaxies could reach earth when the earth is only 6000 years old. The "starlight problem" as the creationist community calls it. You can imagine my surprise to find out that the paper is out for peer review. Where? The "Answers Institute." Answers in Genesis.

    By Poptech's standards, this would constitute a legitimate peer review of legitimate science.
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  44. Poptech... No, quality is not so subjective as you would wish it to be. This is not a case of beauty being in they eye of the beholder.
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  45. Poptech wrote : "My purpose is not to determine which are the top 10 but to provide a resource for peer-reviewed papers that support skepticism of AGW or the negative environmental or economic effects of AGW and to prove that these papers exist contrary to widely held beliefs"


    No, that is not right. Your purpose was to gather papers from any source (especially from E&E) which YOU believe (despite protests from some of the original authors) "support skepticism of AGW or the negative environmental or economic effects of AGW [ALARM]" - the final word being included in the title to your little list but not, strangely, in the main body describing it (from which your quote comes).
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  46. Poptech... You've actually ventured into my area of professional expertise here with quality. Quality is NOT subjective. Aesthetics may be subjective, within a range of perception, but even then experts - even in an area as subjective as 20th century abstract art - can readily agree on what constitutes quality.

    Quality is without doubt quantifiable and measurable. It is measured in a wide ranging number of fields and applications. Quality is NOT a matter of opinion. That is a statement which is beyond absurd.
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  47. Poptech,

    If you believe in quality, you must be able to identify the most important papers from your list.

    If it is only a numbers game as you seem to be saying, then pro AGW papers will win hands down.

    Thanks
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  48. Excellent point canbanjo... If 800 is the numerator (that even being a stretch), what is the denominator? 10,000? 20,000? More?

    If you ran those numbers I think you'd be pretty close to the 97% and 3% figures again.
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  49. Oh, brother, I just noticed that the Financial Times piece redlined by The Way Things Break included a quote from none other than Steve Goddard who claims therein that temperature data is "fabricated."

    So FT's credibility is now on a par with The Register. Nice.
    0 0
  50. Poptech #43

    This LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU mode of argument is pretty tiresome.

    1. As I said, you're welcome to try coming up with a better systematic criterion for expertise. This concept is more important and achievable than objectivity.

    2. Again you are confusing your self-appointed expertise with the idea that a systematic procedure if fairly applied across the sample of interest is adequate. Your self-professed expertise on the workings of Google Scholar is irrelevant here.

    3. By other measures, E&E is not a good quality journal (e.g. library holdings) - it's actually quite difficult to get hold of, only being held in about 50 libraries. It's also clearly contaminated by the editorial desire to confound research results and political ideology - a kiss of death for a journal focusing on social science.

    You do seem to enjoy talking around in circles, I suspect it's due to the weakness of your argument, and lack of range of what you will argue about.
    0 0

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