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Meet The Denominator

Posted on 13 February 2011 by Rob Honeycutt

As most here have followed the climate issue for some time I'm sure we have each been faced with climate skeptics throwing out big numbers related to different aspects of climate science.

There is the ever present "31,000 Scientists Who Challenge Global Warming," the infamous Oregon Petition.

And then many of us have run into the ever ravenous PopTech (Andrew) and his, now, 850 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of "Man-Made" Global Warming (AGW) Alarm

These folks have yet to meet….   The Denominator!


Fig 1  -  Okay, this is really the Terminator but bear with me, the effect is about the same.

In this exercise we are going to give both the Oregon Petition and PopTech's 850 papers the benefit of the doubt.  We know there are many many reasons to challenge the assumptions of their claims but there is one thing they can not defend.  They are only presenting one side of the equation.

First, let's look at the Oregon Petition.  They define "scientist" as anyone with a BS degree or better. They state, "This includes primarily those with BS, MS, or PhD degrees in science, engineering, or related disciplines."  Thus, 31,000 is their numerator.

According to the US Census for 2000, 28 million people had bachelors degrees and 16 million had graduate or professional degrees.  We'll safely assume that half of the bachelor degrees are BA's and not BS degrees.  In 2000 that represented about 10% of the population.  If the proportions hold today it leaves us with a total of 31 million people of the current US population of 312 million (Note: the Oregon Petition is limited to the US).

Numerator, meet The Denominator!  31,000 over 31,200,000 comes to 0.00099.  Or roughly 0.1% of persons holding a BS or better have signed the petition challenging anthropogenic global warming, assuming that every single signature on the list is legitimate.  This is what The Denominator does.  He crushes big numbers into itty-bitty numbers.

Now let's look at PopTech's 850 papers.  Even mainstream skeptics like Roger Pielke Jr. as well as others have taken exception to PopTech's list but again, we're going to give him the benefit of the doubt and allow him the concept that 850 peer reviewed papers actually do challenge AGW alarm.  (I know it's a stretch but we're going to cut him a break, this time.)

Here I just went to Google Scholar.  I limited the search to the term "climate change" and only searched articles in the subject areas of 1) Biology, Life Science and Environmental Science, and 2) Physics, Astronomy and Planetary Science.  That returned 954,000 articles.  I did a pretty thorough perusal of 200 articles of the 100 pages of results and it looks like they are all actual papers and not just references to any blogs or websites.  A number are listed as "[citation]" so we might pull out about 10% for good measure.  But everything else looks to be published works in a very wide variety of scientific journals.  I intentionally left out the 177,000 papers that result when I do the same search on "global warming" since I don't know how many of those will be duplicate hits.

Numerator, meet The Denominator!  What we are left with is about 850,000 peer reviewed papers on climate change for the 850 peer reviewed papers that PopTech presents.  That leaves our friend with 0.1% of peer reviewed papers that challenge AGW alarm, as defined by him.  

I'm sure some folks will find ways to quibble about the numbers but I don't think even the very best debater can appreciably alter the resulting percentages.  And if they try…

"I'll be back."

 
Update (Feb 18):  In the comments Poptech has brought up several valid points about the search results I came up with.  In an effort to better quantify the denominator I did some additional research. I did year by year searches going back 40 years on "climate change" and "global warming", excluded citations, and checked for various other erroneous results. 
 
The outcome was, without even addressing the accuracy of the numerator, that the percentage does not change dramatically.  My first cursory search returned 0.1%.  The more detailed work resulted in 0.45%.  It's a big improvement for Poptech, by almost a factor of 5, but still the denominator is so large that it dwarfs the numerator. If a qualified outside group were to audit Poptech's list I believe the numerator would also shrink significantly. 
 
There is plenty of room for skepticism in all areas of science. Good science relies on healthy skepticism.  One highly biased individual creating a subjective list does not rise to the level of good scientific skepticism.
 

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Comments 351 to 400 out of 401:

  1. "Incorrect, I have irrefutably demonstrated that his denominator is based on erroneous results." Nope, only in your own mind-& in the Denialist Universe you inhabit. Out here in the real world, you've still largely missed the point "That is because it is a scholarly peer-reviewed journal." Cato Journal, like E&E, has *proven* low standards when it comes to the publication of papers that "tow the party line"-due to their funding links with the Coal & Oil industries (you don't bite the hand that feeds you). Good & Bad are definitely *not* a subjective terms either-as many fail the basic evidence test that should be the foundation of any published paper. Many papers published in E&E fail Science 101, yet still get published as long as they say "Climate Change isn't real". If you're going to rely on relatively obscure journals-with poor Peer Review Standards & a clear ideological agenda-just so you can pad the list out a little bit more, then it doesn't say much for the strength of your list.
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  2. "It supports skepticism that CO2 is a primary driver of the current climate." That is the biggest load of ignorant hokum I've ever heard. That claim is as ludicrous as saying "forest fires have largely been caused by lightening strikes in the past, therefore it supports skepticism of arson". Total & utter *hogwash*-but still pretty much what I've come to expect of Denialists like yourself. To claim that such things *strengthen* your argument just prove how utterly deluded you are!
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  3. "Since it is subjective I can choose whether I consider it "strong evidence" or not. Just like you have with my list." No matter how often you make this false claim, PT, "belief" & "subjectivity" don't cut it in the world of science. In that world, nothing but objective evidence & facts will do the trick. I'd suggest you'd do better in Philosophy or even Religion with that approach-& we all know that Denialism is pretty much a religion-with Monckton, Plimer & Inhofe as its High Priests. Clearly, though, Poptech sees himself as an aspirant for the top job.
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  4. "Incorrect, Iron & Steel Technology is a peer-reviewed trade journal (ISSN: 1547-0423)" Yes, & that makes them experts in global warming how exactly? You see, PT, you do a better job than we do of showing just how worthless your list really is-by showing that many of these skeptic viewpoints are published in obscure journals whose reviewers don't know the subject matter well enough to decide whether it has actual merit (indeed, it reads more like a page filler for the journal). The same goes for Journals of Law-I might go to them for peer-reviewed opinion on purely legal matters, but I do *not* expect them to know about Global Warming. Of course, if the science of the skeptics was so strong-*objectively speaking*-then the authors of these papers wouldn't need to seek out such obscure journals just to get their work published (oh, & please spare us another rant about some kind of "conspiracy" to keep skeptics out of mainstream journals, 'cause that won't wash here).
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  5. E&E is listed as a scholarly peer-reviewed journal in some databases. It also does have an agenda. That agenda has been claimed vigorously by Sonia Boehmer- Christansen, who is intimately involved in the development of that "publication." That you deny this fact does not make it go away, it only indicates how ready you are to twist reality in order to fit your strange world view. The quality of the work in E&E is miserable. Quality in science publication is not subjective. It is dependent on the rigor in analysis, the care in choice of data and their treatment, the coherence in the reasoning, and how the conclusion is supported. If you don't understand that then you're probably not qualifed to comment on science. Peer-review in science is meant to guarantee a minimumn level of quality. If a publication can not achieve that minimum level, it has a serious problem. When the editorial board headed by Von Storch understood how much of a problem they had with the Soon&Baliunas paper, they all resigned. That was the right thing to do and indicates that they all had an idea of what objective level of quality should be present in their journal. You can deny that all you want, it will only demonstrate how delusional you are willing to be. The Beck piece was so flawed that it did not deserve any consideration. E&E decided to publish it. Other pieces with very low quality have appeared there. It makes it a low quality journal that does not deserve attention. We're not just talking about somebody who is wrong here; the Beck piece was so bad that it wasn't even wrong, it was a travesty. Anyone peering through that paper will realize as much, that is not subjective. You have not irrefutably deomstrated anything except a somewhat unique perception of reality. The denominator can be estimated with a range, the lower end of which, for science papers only, still dwarfs your ridiculous little list, which is loaded with law articles, obscure policy publications, think tank papers and all sorts of junk. Everyone can see why you are trying so hard to argue about the subjectivity of quality. As for CATO, it is a political think tank. Their journal's only function is to foster the organization's idelology. That makes it worthless as a source of information, regardless of how it is listed in databases. I repeat my question: How does the Mavromichalaki et al paper support AGW alarm skepticism? If it does not, it must be removed from the list. And how are conference proceedings peer-reviewed?
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  6. Also, going back to an earlier matter. MacLeans paper didn't just receive *criticism*, it was shown to complete & total *junk*. I mean, come on, the guy spliced together the temp. anomalies for weather balloons & satellites, without telling readers he'd done it, & using the same anomaly values-even though said values were based off completely different baselines-all in order to *hide* the increase in temperatures. By having that trick exposed, it rendered the rest of his entire paper totally null & void (his attempt to link ENSO to recent global warming relied entirely on that temperature graph). Now, if a Climate Scientist were to do that in order to advance the AGW theory, denialists like yourself would be screaming in faux outrage, yet you not only have no criticism for MacLean's dodgy work, you're quite happy to retain it in your list-simply because it pads it out that little bit more.
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  7. "If you don't understand that then you're probably not qualifed to comment on science." I think we've established that fact multiple times over Phillipe. Indeed, his pseudo-religious approach to science makes me think that he's not overly qualified to work in IT either. I mean, does he think the quality of computer code can be "subjective"-tell that to the guy whose software crashes because he put a colon where a comma should have been!
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    Moderator Response: [Daniel Bailey] Poptech's qualifications in his day job are not to be considered as "fair game" for discussion and are off-topic.
  8. Poptech #518 Woah dude - those are some tenuous lines of evidence you've got going there. Certainly not enough to falsify the large coherent body of knowledge that's amassed showing the important role of CO2 in anthropogenic climate change. In fact I would imagine that the authors of these publications would be horrified to see that you're misusing their work in this way. In your own mind this material may support your view. From a more objective position, and with more scientific training than you appear to have they certainly do not.
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  9. "f you understood the cosmic ray theory, it is that the fluctuating of suns magnetic field relates to the fluctuation in cosmic ray intensity that controls cloud cover on earth. This paper supports his theory." Yep, we've done Cosmic Rays to death here PT, & the suggestion is that-if anything-current interactions between solar activity & Cosmic Rays should be causing a cooling trend right now-i.e. increasing cloud cover due to increasing exposure to cosmic rays. As has already been pointed out, a paper that shows factors *other* than CO2 have caused climate change in the deep dark past do *not* strengthen the case for CO2 not playing a role in current climate change. That's the worst, weakest kind of circumstantial evidence imaginable &-were to to present that in a court of law-would see your case summarily thrown out. Once again, PT, you prove that *science* is not your strong suit- ( -Snip- ).
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    Moderator Response: [Daniel Bailey] Please, keep it civil.
  10. Poptech "these support the galactic and cosmic ray theories of climate change," So the proof: You really either don't read the papers, don't know what it is you read or simply don't care. The first two papers deal only with change on the scale of millions of years due to solar system motion through the galaxy. That is NOT any known form of 'skepticism' of recent anthropogenic climate change. "If you understood the cosmic ray theory," You're the away team on that turf (perhaps you don't know what muons are and why they are counted). Fluctuations in the sun's magnetic field and the resultant modulation of earth surface CR flux are well-researched. However, this paper does not link this with clouds or climate in any way, nor does it support any skeptical argument regarding such unproven hypotheses. So Poptech admits his hypocrisy: game, set and match. We're done here (except I just found a few more on the list that don't do what you say).
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    Moderator Response: [DB] He don't know you very well, do he?
  11. You don't understand neither the cosmic ray theory nor the Mavromichalaki paper. This is the subject of the Mavromichalaki paper, summarized in the last sentence of the abstract: "This interpretation is explained in terms of different contributions of convection, diffusion and drift mechanisms to the whole modulation process influencing cosmic-ray transport in the heliosphere." Convection, diffusion and drift all apply to solar processes. The paper treats of how variations in the Sun's magnetic field influence the cosmic ray flux. The interrelation between solar activity and cosmic rays is well known and not in dispute. This paper studies it from the point of view of magnetic activity (Hale cycle). It has absolutely nothing to do with any hypothesis on the effect of cosmic rays on Earth' weather. Nothing. Find one quote in that paper that can support skepticism of AGW alarm and I'll be glad to acknowledge it. If you can't you should take the paper out of the list. Hint: it has to be something that is actually said in the paper, by the authors. You know, just like the conclusion of a paper should be supported by the data and anaysis presented. The hypothesis of cosmic ray induced cloud formation is discussed elsewhere and further mention should be brought to the appropriate thread. Nonetheless, this hypothesis (callig it a theory is a stretch since it has no plausible physical mechanism) relies on dubious correlation. Everyone who has examined that correlation closely enough has seen it behave in quantum ways: when you look too close, it disppears. No physical mechanism for growing the ionized particles to CCN size has yet been postulated. The CERN CLOUD experiment has yielded nothing truly substantial, except revelations on the shortcomings of the experimental design.
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  12. It is actually that simple. How is a reviewer determined to be qualified? by having demonstrated the ability to advance knowledge in the field under study. That is done through intimate familiarity with the technical aspects, solid reasoning abilities, etc, all demonstrated by their track record of publications. How is it determined they publish regularly? They have a track record of publications. Why is someone who publishes in the field irregularly not considered an expert? Because if they do not publish regularly, they're less likely to have kept up some of the qualities mentioned above. Although Eisntein did understand Quantum theory, he was not an expert in it. The go-to guys were Bohr or Von Neuman. It does not change that Einstein understood it well. He also published in it but not so regularly. Nothing wrong with that. But he wouldn't have been the top choice as a reviewer of Quantum Theory papers. How is someone's reputation determined? By their track record of publications. By the relative importance of their publications, or how much they advance knowledge in their field. Breakthroughs are a good reputation builder. For instance, even if Einstein had published only the Special and General Relativity papers, he would have got quite a reputation.
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  13. I understand that solid reasoning abilities could appear to you as subjective. It would explain a lot. Here is an example for you. As a flight instructor I used to test the reasoning abilities of my students by asking them to describe why the maneuvering speed (Va) of an airplane increases when the total weight of the airplane increases, which is counterintuitive. I could judge very objectively their reasoning ability as it pertained to principles of flight by their answer. Why do you think that it's so difficult? Anyone who knows their stuff can do the same. If you don't know how to examine a researcher's track record of publications, perhaps you should hold back on the Google Scholar pontification. Important publications are widely cited and give rise to numerous other papers (they're called seminal papers for a reason). Seminal papers advance knowledge any way you look at it. You're a stickler for words with everybody but yourself. I did not say that Einstein would not be considered worthy of reviewing papers. I said he wouldn't have been the top choice on Quantum. He certainly would have been on Relativity.
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  14. Did you find any excerpt in the Mavromichalaki paper that supports AGW alarm skepticism? How are conference proceedings peer-reviewed exactly?
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  15. "Incorrect, you have simply provided more subjective criteria." Wow, you really have no *clue*, do you Poptech? Its hardly subjective criteria. For starters, the person in question most be *qualified* in the field they're reviewing-nothing subjective about that, no matter how you would like to believe otherwise. Secondly, they most be currently working in an appropriate field-again, nothing subjective about that. Thirdly, their is seniority-another objective criteria-the longer a person has worked in a relevant field, the more likely they are to be qualified to review papers in said field. Fourth is track record-slightly subjective but, as this usually ties strongly into the first 3 criteria, it usually ends up being highly objective-namely that a person who has worked a long time in the relevant field will almost *always* have a good track record-as determined by publications &/or the respect of other scientists in that field. This is why we take issue with such a large number of the papers you use to pad your list-many of them are published in obscure journals utterly unrelated to climate science-& so reviewers from said journal are unlikely to properly understand the subject they're reviewing. With E&E & Cato, it's simply a question of the fact that they don't *care* whether the paper meets the basic standards of the Scientific Method-just as long as its pushing their ideology forward. So you see that, as with everything else you've claimed on this site, you're completely wrong about this too-& have simply reiterated your complete ignorance of how science works. However, as you're a card-carrying member of the Denialist Cult, a knowledge of scientific procedure would be viewed more as a negative than as a positive.
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  16. "Ok then give me the objective procedure to determine if someone is "qualified". What am I looking for? What specific degrees?" Oh dear, do I *really* have to walk you through this? Are you really that thick PT....oops, I already know the answer to this. Of course they have to have degrees relevant to the specific field-you can't ask someone with a medical degree to review a paper on horticulture. In climate science, a degree in atmospheric physics, geology, geography or biology is a good start-multiple degrees certainly help. "So the minute someone retires they lose all previous knowledge and cease being an expert?" Nope, that's not what I said-stop misusing people's words, given how much you claim to hate other people misrepresenting you. I meant that someone should have been working in the relevant field-not necessarily at that given moment. Obviously, though, the longer a person is out of a relevant field, the less likely they are to be qualified to review a paper that might contain new knowledge or procedures. Again, very objective. "So the older skeptics are more qualified than the younger alarmists?" Oh, your ignorance is bordering on life-threatening PT. Some of the best papers predicting anthropogenic warming actually come from 30-50 years ago, from people who'd now be retired. The fact is that there is *no* correlation between age & skepticism-so your argument is a total strawman. Obviously though, age also means *nothing* unless backed up by relevant experience-as I've already stated. "But that is not how peer-review works. Regardless of the journal the reviewers would be from the appropriate field." So you claim, but can you *prove* it? If what you claim is true, then why would scientists be publishing in journals utterly unrelated to their field or-in some cases-totally non-science based journals? Hardly the best way to get recognized or cited by other authors. No, the only answer that makes sense is that they publish in obscure journals to avoid proper scrutiny of their work. "This is utterly false as both adhere to scholarly peer-review standards." Incorrect-the existence of papers like those by Beck is *proof* that basic standards are not important to these journals, only telling its readership what they want to hear. Of course, I'd be willing to entertain *proof* to the contrary-but all we have from you so far are utterly unfounded assertions as to the "high quality" of their peer review process. So, once again PT you've displayed your unfailing ability to epically *fail*. I do notice, though, that your defense is getting weaker & weaker with each repetition. Don't you get *bored* of putting so much effort into misleading others PT? Don't you have better things to do with your life than create useless lists?
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  17. "Philippe Chantreau, "Here is an example for you..." You failed to answer any of my questions." Wrong again PT-you're getting good at this. Philippe actually *did* answer your questions. Just because you didn't get the reply you were hoping for, doesn't mean the answer wasn't provided. Indeed, both of us have shown you how the peer review process is *very* objective. Not perfect, perhaps, but its worked perfectly well for decades-especially in the more respected journals. As a scientist, I also know that there are journals that have lower standards of peer review than others-as I've seen many people get their papers knocked back by Science or Nature, only to have them published in some obscure journal desperate for papers to publish. Of course, as you're completely ignorant of how science works, I wouldn't expect you to know that!
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  18. PT: "Since it is subjective I can choose whether I consider it "strong evidence" or not." And yet you choose based not on the quality of the papers, but on the number of them, as you stated above you would consider 850 2nd hand smoke articles "strong evidence" sight unseen. The point of this post is that it's unwise to use numbers to decide the strength of evidence, when the numbers have no context(i.e. the denominator). If someone precisely identified 1000 peer reviewed articles to be in the world literature on global warming, your 850 would seem like strong support of the skeptical position, if someone precisely identified 1 million peer reviewed articles on global warming your 850 would seem very weak evidence against the consensus, yet you judge the 850 to be strong evidence without any notion or attempt to understand which denominator is closer to true...
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  19. poptech@536 Quality is indeed subjective, but that doesn't mean it isn't important. It is a shame that you can't take advice from those, such as myself, that are generally in favour of a well curated list of papers supporting a skeptical stance.
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  20. poptech@502 >"You did not check very well, # 398" > >>"just because solar forcing has been the dominant driver of >>paleoclimate does not mean that the current warming is >>non-anthropogenic." > >It supports skepticism that CO2 is a primary driver of the current >climate. " Sorry that is just restating your assertion and ignoring the point being made, that it is a logical error to suppose that solar forcing being dominant in paleoclimate means it is dominant now. We have observations of solar activity and it is too weak and in the wrong direction to be the cause of the observed warming. Hence if you think that paper supports skepticism you are unaware of what the data actually say. >>"If you don't have the scientific background to judge the >>difference then you ought not to compile a list and should leave >>it to someone who does, for the reasons I gave." > >The authors of the papers in question have the scientific >background and disagree. I am talking about your ability to determine whether the papers support skepticism and hence belong in the list. Not all of the papers explicitly state that the authors consider the paper to support skepticism, so you can't use their judgment by proxy. Especially since a couple of authors have told you that they don't think their papers belong in the list. >>"That is a non-sensical requirement. Journals generally only >>retract papers becuase of plagiarism or scientific fraud etc. I >>don't recall ever seeing a paper retracted simply because it was >>wrong. If that was general practice it would be very common." > >I will also remove papers if the author admits the whole paper (not >part of it) was wrong. Again that is a non-sensical criterion. Very few papers are ever utterly wrong. For instance Essenhigh's computes the residence time correctly in his paper, it is only the conclusion (that a short residence time means the rise in CO2 is non-anthropogenic) that is completely wrong. >>"Not all the papers on your list are dud," > >Then please point out a paper from the list that you agree with and >defend it when it is criticized here. I notice you didn't apologise for your misrepresentation of my position there. for examples, try: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL038082.shtml Which looks O.K. from the abstract. If I notice papers I agree with being criticised, then I am happy to defend them. However given that you appear impervious to attempts to help you improve your list, there isn't much point any of us discussing it with you is there?
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  21. "You failed to answer any of my questions" Nonsense. I've answered all of them. That you failed to understand the answers is not a big concern of mine. However, it seems to indicate that your reading comprehension may be impaired. Perhaps that's the problem on your side of the debate. That would explain also why you thought that the Mavromichalaki paper in any way supported your "skepticism." Or maybe you did not even read the abstract and just posted it on your list because it said cosmic rays somewhere. Which is it? As far as how to examine a researcher's record of publication, the fact that you are asking how to do it, while not long ago you were lecturing others on Google Scholar, is downright comical. And you talk about beating chests. That is really funny. You've given every indication that you wouldn't know a logical fallacy if your life depended on it. The Beck paper used measurements of CO2 taken in the middle of highly concentrated active sources of CO2 and used it as if it were well mixed. If you don't see the logical fallacy in that, there is no hope for you. That the paper was peer-reviewed at E&E says everything one needs to know on the standards of that journal. There is nothing subjective about it. Beck used to try to bamboozle people with a graph that had a truncated x axis so that it would simulate periodicity where there was none. Oops, sorry, that's not a logical fallacy, that's deception. Now you may not be satisfied with my answers to your questions but I did make some effort to answer them. You, on the other hand have not even attempted to answer mine. Where in the Mavromichalaki paper is there anything said by the authors that support your AGW alarm skepticism? How are conference proceedings peer-reviewed?
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  22. Talking about logical fallacy, I ignored this question of yours, since it was logically at odds with the rest of your argument: "So a scientist who publishes one breakthrough paper and wins a Nobel Prize would not be considered an expert while someone who published 300 mediocre papers would be?" According to yourself, there is no objective determination of what a mediocre paper is, so I was not sure what the question meant. Plus, it seems to be a rather inane question and it is, in fact, addressed by my relativity example as far as I can tell. It's hard to tell sometimes. You have slipped quite a bit on coherence. It was fun. As these remaining British players of spoof say: Thank you, gentlemen, for the game...
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  23. "I need to know exactly what degrees count and which do not." I've already told you which degrees would count-you're just selectively blind. Given this blindness, how much *real* faith can we place in your claims to have *properly* read through the papers on your list-to confirm that they really do support your claim. "There is nothing objective about what you stated as it requires subjective judgment." What, that's complete & total bunkum. Either a person is working in the relevant field-or was until recently-or they aren't. Can't get more objective than that. Why do you keep falsely claiming that something is subjective, when its *clearly* not? "Do you accept an older skeptic to be more qualified than a younger alarmist? If not then your seniority criteria makes no sense. Do you believe that once someone retires they lose their expertise or credibility?" Like I said, total strawman argument-& pretty typical of the denialist cult. The majority of seasoned scientists are a lot less dogmatic than you seem to believe. They don't go around with signs over their head indicating their leanings &-given the preponderance of non-skeptic climate papers being published in respected journals-I'd argue that any experienced scientists/reviewers who do hold skeptic views are not letting that skepticism sway their objective judgment of whether a paper is *good science*. As I've already said, though, given that most of the original papers warning of climate change were from the 1950's to 1970's, I'd say that this suggests that the majority of experienced climate scientists are *not* skeptics/deniers. As I've also said, my personal experience with my older colleagues suggests very little skepticism of global warming amongst them. "Actually I have been repeatedly told that most of the skeptics are all older and therefore not experts anymore. This is a common argument I have run across. Maybe you are new to the debate?" No, I'm not new to the debate-as I've heard these kinds of denialist "anecdotes" many times before. I've never heard such claims made by non-skeptics, & my own personal experience doesn't back that viewpoint-as I said above. "I thought how peer-review works was well known here?" I do understand how it works-clearly better than you given the ongoing ignorant claims you keep making. "They sometimes publish in these journals to provide a review of the science for the journal's audience. Iron & Steel Technology is a perfect example of this." Total rubbish-for 4 key reasons: (1) The kinds of people who are usually called on to review papers are in great demand-as well as having their own full time jobs to attend to. It is extremely unlikely that said reviewers would have the time to spare to review for every obscure journal out there. (2) Having personally seen the difficulty involved in writing & submitting a paper for publication, I doubt very much that a serious scientist would waste their time trying to get their paper into a journal that wasn't for either (a) general consumption (like Nature or Science) or that will be seen by their peers. (3) I've read papers in many different journals relating to my own field of expertise-& I have *yet* to see anyone trying to publish papers unrelated to my field in those journals-yet so-called "skeptics" seem to be doing it more & more often. (4) If I was trying to find information pertaining to my own field of expertise, I doubt I'd have *any* interest in reading a paper totally unrelated to my field-& I doubt those who read "Iron & Steel Technology" feel any differently. "Beck's paper was peer-reviewed. Your judgment that it does not meet basic standards is an opinion, Beck has argued otherwise. All of your assertions to their peer-review process and all sorts of other allegations are unfounded" Funny how all your unfounded opinions are "facts", but everyone else's well founded facts are just "unfounded opinion. You claim Beck's paper was peer-reviewed-by who? Can you name one chemist, physicist or atmospheric scientist prepared to admit to having peer reviewed this paper? Every scientist I've ever spoken to about it derides it loudly as not even meeting the basic criteria for good scientific method. Beck's sampling methods were downright awful, with error bars significantly larger than his averages-yet still he had the audacity to claim that his results were better than those obtained from the most pristine atmospheric samples available, & measured using the most sensitive measuring equipment currently available. That's not *opinion*, that is *fact*-something you & your denialist mates seem to know nothing about. "Your actions demonstrate that the list is not useless but very problematic for you. " Hardly. I find your list-& the time you waste defending it-absolutely chuckle worthy. I've really enjoyed exposing you as the fraud you are, & equally enjoyed watching you frequently shoot yourself in the foot, by exposing your pseudo-religious approach to so-called skepticism. Plus, I get huge amounts of enjoyment out of baiting you & watching you froth at the mouth. That said, even my enjoyment has run dry. I believe I've already done my bit in exposing you & your denialist mates for the cultists you are, & I think I've done my bit in tearing your precious list to shreds. I will leave it to the others to keep up the pressure on your sham list. I will watch with interest though, just from the sidelines.
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  24. Poptech #542 I must say I am finding your attempt to maintain your argument somewhat amusing, although the amusement is at your expense. "So if they have a degree other than these they are not considered climate scientists?" This is a perfect example of a ridiculous straw man argument that is a case in point. Without a good quality science degree there will be an awful lot more self-learning required than for an appropriately degree qualified practicing scientist than would be required in any case.
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  25. Marcus, your arguments are generally good except when you get personal. Please try to remember that people like Poptech may try to use ad hom arguments as evidence that they are correct (unfortunately that is also a personal argument, but hopefully useful)
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    Moderator Response: Concur.
  26. Phillipe @539 wrote: "You've given every indication that you wouldn't know a logical fallacy if your life depended on it. The Beck paper used measurements of CO2 taken in the middle of highly concentrated active sources of CO2 and used it as if it were well mixed. If you don't see the logical fallacy in that, there is no hope for you. That the paper was peer-reviewed at E&E says everything one needs to know on the standards of that journal. There is nothing subjective about it. Beck used to try to bamboozle people with a graph that had a truncated x axis so that it would simulate periodicity where there was none. Oops, sorry, that's not a logical fallacy, that's deception." Poptech, I'd like to read your response to this.
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  27. You prove my point when from upthread re: all authors "disagreeing" with predominant theories regarding global warming when you run rough shod over the author's opinion of their own work (not even of their supposed personal evaluation of the evidence surrounding climate change). Unless Pielke, Jr. stated "Oh, I didn't realize the purpose of the list, in that case....", then the fact that he used the word "Assuming" is of no import--it's just you ignoring the primary source. You also stated that it is objective to say 1000 is more than 850. Ok, I'll stipulate to that. What does that mean? What can be derived from that information? Without being able to have reasonably agreed upon value judgements in relation to the data, the data is worthless. Again, we have to cater to everyone's opinion, no matter how far in the minority--which brings us back to the heart of your position: scientific nihilism. Nothing means anything and everything is left to the eye of the beholder.
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  28. Poptech@547 wrote >>"So do you reject all arguments that CO2 was ever a primary >>climate driver in the past?" It depends on exactly what you mean by "primary climate driver". There are examples in paleoclimate where CO2 was very probably the driver of substantial climate change (e.g. the PETM event or the escape from the "snowball Earth" period) in the sense that CO2 had initiated the change as well as being the cause of much of the warming/cooling. However, for most of paleoclimate, the sun has been the dominant driver in the sense of initiating change (e.g. Milankovic cycles, solar brightening), however the carbon cycle has been a key element controlling the temperature of the Earth, mostly acting as a negative feedback on very long time scales (weathering thermostat), and amplifying over shorter timescales (exchange of carbon between oceans and atmosphere). In short, in paleoclimate, to a first approximation, it is generally changes in solar forcing that have initiated changes in climate, and carbon dioxide has generally acted as a feedback. However, as we now have anthropogenic emissions, there is now a new possibility for carbon dioxide to initiate climate change, rather than acting as a feedback. So just because climate change was generally initated by solar activity in the past, that is no cause for skepticism that it is due to CO2 now. >> Why can I not use a paper that argues against Hurricane damage >> getting worse due to AGW against those who claim it is? I didn't critisize your inclusion of a paper arguing against hurricane damage getting worse. I criticised you inclusion of a paper that showed that past climate change has caused the colapse of civilisations, which does not support skepticism of AGW "alarm" as just becuase climate change was initiated by solar forcing in paleoclimate, that doesn't mean it is initated by solar forcing now. >>"Very few papers are ever utterly wrong." > >Exactly. The criteria for the list is that they are peer-reviewed, >published in a peer-reviewed journal and support skepticism of AGW >Alarm. That is it. The list is a resource that does not >discriminate past this criteria. And that is why it is worse than useless as a resource for skeptics. I chose the example of the paper by Essenhigh becuase where it is correct it supplies no support for skepticism and where it does provide grounds for skepticism it is (rather obviously) completely wrong. Any skeptic who uses Essenhigh's paper to support skepticism demonstrates that they have not bothered to look at the data or attempt to understand the science of which they are skeptical. In short, they will look foolish. >> I understand your concerns but this is not going to change. Yes, but that isn't a very skeptical attitude is it? The fact that you are not willing to change your list regardless of what criticisms are made is unscientific and makes you look bad. I don't want that and am trying to help, but you can lead a horse to water... >>"I notice you didn't apologise for your misrepresentation of my >>position there. for examples, try: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref >>/2009/2009GL038082.shtml Which looks O.K. from the abstract. If I >>notice papers I agree with being criticised, then I am happy to >>defend them." > >I will accept your one paper as not believing "all" the papers to >be a "dud". Might be a good idea to appologise for misrepresenting me then, or perhaps to stop complaining that others have misrepresented you. > Roughly how many do you believe not to be "duds"? I don't know, mostly because my expertise only covers a subset of papers in the list and I know better than to make strong statements about topics that lie outside my expertise. I can point out the duds where I see them - that is pretty much how peer review works. All I have done is suggest you weed out the duds that don't support skepticism of AGW "alarm" to make it a better resource. As a resource against AGW alarmism, the IPCC WG1 scientific basis report is way better than your list, at least until you weed out the duds.
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  29. Poptech: "Incorrect, using words like 'strong' and 'weak' are subjective judgments. Word like 'less' and 'more' are not. Saying 1000 is more than 850 is objective." That helps, thanks! So your *subjective* opinion is that finding 850 papers is "strong" evidence to support the skeptical position. I was laboring under the misapprehension that you thought the fact there were 850 papers was *objectively* strong evidence. Now I see that you’re just saying 850 is more than 849, is more than 848 etc…In other words, 850 papers are “one stronger” than 849. I concur that 850 papers are “one stronger” evidence than 849. But isn't it better to base our actions on the most objective evidence possible? One way for you to make the list more objective would be to assign a denominator, which would add some perspective. Another way would be to only include truly peer-reviewed articles as has been noted previously. Letters to the editor or editorials are not themselves peer-reviewed, even if they are submitted to "peer-reviewed journals".
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  30. Poptech: Why can I not use a paper that argues against Hurricane damage getting worse due to AGW against those who claim it is? How is that paper not supporting skepticism against alarmist claims relating to AGW causing increases in Hurricane damage? Because increased hurricane intensity is linked to increased temperature. It doesn't matter whether that temperature is due to natural or AGW causes. The paper would be arguing against the reason hurricanes intensify, not AGW. How does a paper argue against AGW that doesn't address the causes of AGW?
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  31. Poptech @550: I was referring to the science, specifically that Beck based his results on CO2 concentrations that were not well-mixed. I'm not a scientist, but it is easy to understand how this fact invalidates Beck's results. Can you offer a scientific reason why this is not true?
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  32. Poptech: Incorrect, it matters if their is a claim that AGW is the cause. So are you claiming AGW will not cause an increase in Hurricane damage? Are you saying the paper argues that hurricanes don't increase intensity due to more heat?
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  33. Poptech 557, No, I am drawing attention to that specific paper because you specifically pointed that paper out as an argument against AGW. Now, seem to state that hurricanes don't intensify due to increased heat, regardless of the source of heat. That is an argument against how hurricanes intensify, not against AGW.
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  34. I have a great deal of confidence in Poptech's tenacity and altered state of logic that he is fully capable of finding something in absolutely every paper on climate change that applies to his subjective measure of "AGW alarm." I have a question though. I believe there is a clearly objective measure of the quality of scientific papers, at least over time. The number of citations by other papers. It would also be a measure of the quality of science being done by specific researchers as well. Is this data available anywhere?
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  35. poptech@556 wrote "I have no interest in debating the scientific validity of any of the papers on the list, that is not the purpose of the list" That is a pretty damning indictment of your project. If the purpose of the list is not to provide valid support for skepticism of AGW, then it doesn't support skepticism, it supports denial. I'm sorry to have to use the d-word, it isn't one I use often or lightly; but if you are not interested in the validity of the science, what else can it be called?
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  36. Poptech @556: "I have no interest in debating the scientific validity of any of the papers on the list, that is not the purpose of the list." That's too bad. I thought you were interested in science.
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  37. Poptech you are talking out both sides of your mouth. On one hand, you state that the list has nothing to do in relation to validity, but is merely a resource. On the other, you argue that the 850 is strong support for a skeptical point of view. Which is it?
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  38. poptech@563 wrote: "In regards to Beck's papers I would only be interested in a debate that involved him (not possible anymore) or someone else capable of arguing for him." [emphasis mine] Sorry poptech, you have just shot yourself in the foot once more; if you don't understand how, perhaps you should reflect on that a bit. If you are not interested in discussing the scientific validity of the papers in your list, then there is no point in discussing your list any further. Sadly is a hazard to genuine skeptics out there as it will encourage them to make themselves look foolish by trotting out tired old canards that have been long debunked. That doesn't do either side of the debate any good. You are just adding to the noise.
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  39. @565: I don't see the Poptech post that is excerpted by DM. But I would like to know if that means that Poptech believes he is capable of arguing for Pielke, Jr.
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    Moderator Response: [DB] Cf. comment number 562 here.
  40. Poptech 563: RickG, "No, I am drawing attention to that specific paper because you specifically pointed that paper out as an argument against AGW." Poptech 563: I did no such thing, I pointed it out as an argument against AGW Alarm in relation to Hurricanes. I did state in relation to hurricanes. You conveniently excluded the next sentence of that statement (in 558) which states: "Now, [you] seem to state that hurricanes don't intensify due to increased heat, regardless of the source of heat. That is an argument against how hurricanes intensify, not against AGW. "
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  41. Rob: "The number of citations by other papers." That wouldn't work; junk science papers just cite each other. One laborious test might be how many times an author cites his/her own work vs. citing the work of others. An obvious example of this is Landscheidt, who almost exclusively cites his prior papers. Either he was a true unrecognized genius or nobody else believed his work enough to use it as a reference.
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  42. poptech@568 Sorry, you have made it clear that you are not interested in defending the validity of your selections. Sadly the scientific validity of your list is the only thing worth discussing, and I have no interest in arguing just for the sake of it. If you want to discuss the science, let me know and "I'll be back".
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  43. poptech@571 wrote: "I would be interested in someone who worked with him and would be able to argue his position well. " [emphasis mine] That is exactly what I implied, namely that you are only interested in discussing the validity of Beck's paper with someone someone able to argue his position (and not the opposing position). If you only want to hear from people that already agree with you it is neither science nor skepticism. [as your earlier post was deleted]
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  44. This thread has been going in circles for about 10 pages. Poptech makes the claim that Rob's original denominator number is not well researched and so not useful. I have to agree, it is guesstimation and not a hard number. Sorry Rob. Everyone else has made very valid points (despite Poptech's protests) that his list is entirely subjective and riddled with poorly reviewed, rebutted, and irrelevant papers. Since Poptech is not interested in defending the science in the papers and dismissive of any criticism I think there is nowhere left to go with this discussion. In my opinion the only constructive things to do at this point are compile a proper Denominator List and perhaps a list of rebuttals to the papers on PT' list. Otherwise we will just continue arguing in circles. It has been entertaining but for me it is over.
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  45. Fine. I will admit that Rob's first cut at creating the "denominator" contained inapplicable papers. You cannot, however, use that to argue that the denominator is "meaningless". The denominator is particularly relevant in relation to your claims that your list consitutes strong evidence in support of a skeptical position towards climate change.
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  46. mclamb6... Heck, even I admit that the first pass contained inapplicable papers. But the point was that you can throw out literally half the papers that I pulled up and it would barely put a dent in the resulting percentage. But if you apply more rigorous methods to the denominator you need to do the same for the numerator. Then we get back down to similar numbers again. As I stated in the original article, people can quibble the numbers all day long (and PT seems more than willing to engage in prodigious quibbling), but the overall results are not going to significantly change. As I said many pages back, this would be a very interesting detailed study. How many peer reviewed papers genuinely do challenge AGW? I know they are out there. But my general sense is the results are going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of what my shoot-from-the-hip method has produced.
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  47. 574 pbjamm You summary of the state of play so far is good, but I'm not sure about your remedy. If it's not possible to reach a conclusion on what's subjective and what's objective, it's not possible to do any science... which is the essence of how this whole thing produces a message with no meaning. I mean, for gods sake, it's from on a site claiming to be about popular technology - which isn't! lost cause, lost interest...
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  48. poptech@576 You keep saying it but it does not make it so. This seriously feels like the Argument Clinic.
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  49. Poptech: RickG, "You conveniently excluded the next sentence of that statement (in 558) which states: Now, [you] seem to state that hurricanes don't intensify due to increased heat, regardless of the source of heat. That is an argument against how hurricanes intensify, not against AGW." Poptech: "Because it is a strawman argument". Sure Pop. You "quote mine" me and when I call you on it, you say "I" created a strawman. Well, that's enough for me. As someone previously stated, "You are the gift that just keeps giving".
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  50. "editorials can be peer-reviewed depending on the journal." Come on. An editorial is an opinion piece. Just because the editorial is in a peer-reviewed journal, do not claim that makes the editorial itself peer-reviewed. Or have you redefined 'editorial' to suit your needs? But wait a bit: You include papers that have nothing to do with your so-called skeptic arguments just because you like something in their title or abstract. You admit you do not read or even have access to full content. You admit you don't really care if the paper is valid or not, because the list is 'a resource.' Why do you even care if they are peer-reviewed? Even a toxic waste dump can be considered a resource.
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