Friday, November 20, 2009

Annals of advertising: The "climate skeptics" party in Oz goes on television 

The "Climate Skeptics Party" in Australia has launched a new television campaign that is bound to stir things up down under:

More along the same lines here.

No news on the sources of funding. Regardless, these ads will irritate all the right people.

Meanwhile, Der Spiegel -- a publication heretofore not known for being Big Oil's mouthpiece -- reports that climate scientists are "baffled" -- its word, not mine -- by the recent flattening in global average temperature (emphasis added):

The planet's temperature curve rose sharply for almost 30 years, as global temperatures increased by an average of 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.25 degrees Fahrenheit) from the 1970s to the late 1990s. "At present, however, the warming is taking a break," confirms meteorologist Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in the northern German city of Kiel. Latif, one of Germany's best-known climatologists, says that the temperature curve has reached a plateau. "There can be no argument about that," he says. "We have to face that fact."

Even though the temperature standstill probably has no effect on the long-term warming trend, it does raise doubts about the predictive value of climate models, and it is also a political issue. For months, climate change skeptics have been gloating over the findings on their Internet forums. This has prompted many a climatologist to treat the temperature data in public with a sense of shame, thereby damaging their own credibility.

"It cannot be denied that this is one of the hottest issues in the scientific community," says Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. "We don't really know why this stagnation is taking place at this point."

Of course, all of the disaster scenarios that justify massive regulation of greenhouse gas depend from the various climate models. If the models do not work in the short run, is there so much as a shred of evidence that they are accurately predicting the climate decades from now?


By Blogger Brian, at Fri Nov 20, 11:11:00 AM:

You've just got to love ads that take three years of data and draw trend lines indefinitely. Shows what they know about climate.

As for Mojib Latif, he's an outlier in the real-world community, and in any event does not deny AGW:


The predictions for 5 degree Celsius rise for 2xCO2 are over 100 years old. They don't depend on computer modelling and can be done without modelling. Modelling just reinforces information about CO2 that has been known since the 19th Century and not denied until it made some folks uncomfortable.

And finally, the climate models are not good at short-term forecasts, and no one denies that. They work on long-term trends. The signal to noise ratio of 2xCO2 is much higher than it is currently.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Fri Nov 20, 11:51:00 AM:

'Even though the temperature standstill probably has no effect on the long-term warming trend, it does raise doubts about the predictive value of climate models.' Translation: The long term models are right even though they are wrong. Echoes of 'Fake but accurate.'  

By Blogger John, at Fri Nov 20, 11:54:00 AM:

Predictions that the world is going to end date back much further than the 19th century. Perhaps we should sacrifice a virgin or two to appease the global warming gods.

The point is, even if the earth was warming in some cycle other than it has experienced for the past 100,000 years (during which time the earth has been much warmer and colder than it is now), you would need to prove that the warming is causing more harm than the benefit of CO2 emissions.

maybe if you do some blood letting you can reduce the earths fever. That has always been a acceptable scientific practice.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Fri Nov 20, 12:43:00 PM:

Somebody is certainly being conned. Somebody nice and well intentioned.

Two or three years ago I would have thought that the rag tag skeptic community was the center of goofy, politically tainted, overly confident ideas about science and climate.

Since then the debate has moved into the region of a tipping point. My guess is that we are now probably on the far side of the change. It is no longer ridiculous or socially dangerous to question GWT. It is no long political suicide to oppose legislation like Cap and Trade. And most important, it is no longer a certain career ending move for a climate scientist to question conventional wisdom or the orthodox view. Oh, one more thing, evidence of cherry picked data which continues to emerge, even today, adds no brake to this trend.

Yes, some nice folks are certainly being conned.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Nov 20, 03:58:00 PM:

"If the models do not work in the short run, is there so much as a shred of evidence that they are accurately predicting the climate decades from now?


By Anonymous Brian Schmidt, at Fri Nov 20, 07:52:00 PM:

I may as well get this comment in now about the stolen emails: if there's a skeptic out there whose confidence has increased enough to put his money where his mouth is, please do get in touch with me.

I'll be offline for a few days, but will check for messages.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Fri Nov 20, 08:15:00 PM:

Brian, please, enough with the bet stuff.

I'm satisfied enough that my training has turned me into a well informed skeptic. Anybody who does any science professionally who is not skeptical about even his own pet projects is simple not being honest with himself.

...Insert your favorite Einstein quote here...

It's truly pitiful that so many people have sullied thier careers by hopping on this bandwagon before there are wheels on the wagon.

First comes the hypothesis, then comes the data collection, then the conclusion, then the argument.

With AGW, we have gone directly from hypothesis to dogma.

Pathetic display, actually.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 21, 09:55:00 AM:

Brian - Please explain to us why these scientists were so concerned about the warming cycle that ran through the 30s and early 40s, that they felt the NEED TO REMOVE IT FROM THEIR DATA.

Thank you.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sat Nov 21, 11:38:00 AM:

Must've been to win a bet...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 21, 03:47:00 PM:

>Must've been to win a bet...

I owe you for the belly laugh, Dawnfire82. You owe me for the keyboard and the mouthful of beer!

Some words of wisdom from the water-skiing world, Brian: when you fall, let go of the rope.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Nov 22, 07:34:00 AM:

Our nation is being politically hijacked by elements that want us to make a national suicide attempt. That many involved in this effort are just misguided and even well-intentioned is beside the point. We face a decade of bad outcomes as a result. Best case is a few years of stagnation, followed by renewal. Worst case is there's too many of us for the lifeboat.

In the latter case, I ask Brian why he shouldn't get tossed overboard. He wants us to be European -- but we'll get the Europe of the 1930s. His choice, not mine.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Nov 22, 04:14:00 PM:

"Must've been to win a bet..."

Sarcasm is its own reward.

Good one!!!  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Mon Nov 23, 09:38:00 PM:

At a minimum, we seem to have delayed catastrophe by a decade. Scientific advances occurring at the ever-increasing rate they do, a decade is quite a lot, actually. So it is hard to see that we have lost much by not electing Al Gore in 2000.

On Social Security, however, the catastrophe seems to be running ahead of schedule.  

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