Astounding manipulation of data — from the climate denialists


Especially since they purloined the e-mails from the Hadley Climate Research Unit (CRU), climate change denialists get bolder and bolder about making wilder and wilder statements of disinformation.

For example, our old friend Anthony Watts now makes criminal charges in his headlines, that scientists altered data to reflect the opposite of what their research found and then lied about it — but read the story, about Himalayan glaciers.  Watts quotes a story with a bad headline from The Daily Mail, in which a scientist tells how important scientisits consider the situation in the Himalayas, with glacier decline. There is no confession of any wrongdowing, but Watt’s headlines it “Scientist admits IPCC usied fake data to influence policy makers.”  There’s no confession.  Were it so wildly inaccurate, wouldn’t Watts post the science that rebuts the IPCC claim?

Anyway, Dale Husband takes a harder look at some of the denialist claims.  Nils-Axel Morner claims that, contrary to all measures and the actual submersion of islands, sea level rises do not occur.  Morner testified to that point to the British government in 2005, according to Dale Husband.

Can you detect the “trick” Morner used to deny sea level rise in his graph?

Morner's "data trick" to show no sea level rise, 2005

Morner's "data trick" to show no sea level rise, 2005

Morner’s work is the basis of Anthony Watts’ and Christopher Monckton’s claims that the Maldives are not sinking, and probably the “science” basis for almost all claims that the oceans do not rise.  You gotta follow the footnotes.

The intellectual execution, drawing and quartering of Morner’s claims is worth a read, at Dale Husband’s Intellectual Rants.

Good heavens.  Is Morner really the intellectual basis of this part of the denialists’ denial?  This isn’t an area I’ve followed closely.  My experience is that if Monckton cites him, he’s probably wrong.  But Morner is the major author on sea levels in the denialist compilation of what they claim is not crank science.

Maybe the denialists should just take up yoga.  If you stand on your head to look at the charts, they all look different, and the charts showing the temperature rising aren’t quite so scary.

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28 Responses to Astounding manipulation of data — from the climate denialists

  1. Dale Husband says:

    Geoman, the simple fact that you took nearly six months to come back here once more and still said ABSOUTELY NOTHING USEFUL OR HONEST is enough for me to conclude that you have been playing us. Goodbye again.

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    “Inability to perfectly explain all previous climate fluctuations is not justification for dismissing current science on CO2. That’s all.” I agree. I wasn’t dismissing the science on CO2. I’m saying that the inability to explain previous climate change suggests there are many things we still don’t fully understand, meaning the science on global warming is not settled.

    Truth – because of AGW something bad might happen. Unfortunately, until we understand what caused past changes, feedback mechanisms, carbon sinks, etc, we are powerless to predict future changes with any degree of certainty.

    This is one of the key misunderstandings of critics of climate science, I think. Many assume that all great warmings must be caused by CO2. Not so. There have been several different causes of past warmings.

    They could be operative again — but they have been eliminated as potential causes this time around. CO2 isn’t the default culprit of warming, but is instead the most likely candidate left standing after all other causes have been disproven as the current cause.

    Was it warmer in the past? Sure. Does that mean it’s a good idea to let it warm now? No. Why not? In the first place, runaway warming is likely to produce great climate disaster. It appears that past runaways triggered a series of events that led to dramatic downward turns. “Ice Age” is a fun movie, but it’s fiction. Ice ages are not kind to humans, nor to most other life on Earth right now.

    For that matter, in no past warming did humans do very well. Were we to judge by past warmings, we should understand that a current warming of such significance would likely spell the end of the human race.

    Oh, you and I won’t be around to be the last person standing — most likely — but I don’t want my children, nor grand children, nor great grand children, to worry about whether they will, either.

    A little warming might produce some benefits, but it will produce greater offsetting harms. A lot of warming, the harms become crushing to human civilization, and then to human existence.

    Was it warmer in the past? Not for humans, no. When it was warmer, humans either did not exist, or did not prosper. I think advocates of Do Nothing should be held to justify why they think eradication of all human life would be a good thing.

    Because we don’t understand all the feedback mechanisms, standing pat and doing nothing, condemning human life to end, is not reasonable. Complete knowledge about some things may never be obtained, nor have we prospered waiting for all the answers. We barely understand gravity — it’s only in the last generation or so that we have come to understand it’s carried by particles, gravitons, and still no one has ever isolated one. We measure the indirect effects of gravity, like objects falling or light bending around a star, but we strain to see any direct effects, like a gravity wave.

    Were we to apply your “we shouldn’t do anything until we understand everything” principle, we should never have allowed the Wright brothers to experiment with heavier-than-air flight machines, nor indeed should we have allowed anyone to use gas- or hot-air balloons.

    Or, how about atoms? Ernst Mach complained, about a century ago, that he found it difficult to “believe” in atoms. “No one has ever seen one,” he said.

    That’s still true. No one has ever seen an atom. We’ve seen shadows of them, but no one has ever seen an atom directly.

    So, by a standard that says “don’t act until you understand everything,” we should have passed laws against the use of radiation in x-rays, glowing watch dials, isotopes for all medical uses, and especially fission and fusion, foregoing the atom bomb, the hydrogen bomb, and nuclear-generated electricity.

    We don’t fully understand the causes of cancer — maybe we don’t understand all the causes. Should we shutter the National Cancer Institute and fire all the oncologists at M. D. Anderson Cancer center?

    In the history of air pollution, never have we fully understood all the chemistry, let alone physics, of the pollutants we put into the air, and the pollutants we controlled. Never.

    By a standard of “don’t do anything,” should we remove the stack scrubbers and let the clouds of smoke obscure the sun in cities, to the point that normal humans get rickets from lack of exposure to sunlight?

    We understand that CO2 and other greenhouse gases — there are more powerful greenhouse gases — are warming the planet. We understand that runaway warming will spell disaster.

    Why in the world would we not act now, when it’s cheap, to stop the disaster? You say we don’t know how big the disaster will be, or how quickly it will come?

    We know there will be disaster. We know the costs rise higher the longer we delay action. The costs may rise exponentially, the longer we delay.

    What is the chance that we will discover that greenhouse gases are not causing the warming? Less than 0.5%, less than a half of a percent, most scientists agree. The chief political argument is not that we don’t know, but that we can’t afford the total cost. Those critics of controlling pollution never state the costs of doing nothing, which will certainly be much greater — but, adopting Keynes’s jokes while claiming his policies folly, they claim we’ll all be dead when the disaster strikes.

    What a godawful policy — or God damned policy, if you’re Christian.

    The science of global warming is settled. There is not just a consensus of thought, there is near-unanimity among scientists practicing in the field (what was that figure? 97%?).

    That’s not “unsettled.” That’s settled, with a few, misanthropic but loud dissenters.

    There is no good argument for continuing pollution of the air, none. Every time in the past we have proposed to control any form of air pollution, the same nay-sayers have predicted economic disaster — and they have been proven wrong each and every time. Pollution control proved cheaper than imagined for sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, tetraethyl lead, particulates, the free fluoride radicals that destroy the ozone that protects us — in each and every case. The health benefits have been enormous in each case, more than offsetting the costs of pollution control. Non-leaded gasoline, alone, raised our national average IQ, so great was the brain damage done by lead in the air.

    History and science say we should act now. Morality, I believe, says we should act now.

    Why would we delay? Do we really hate our grandchildren that much?

    What is the cost of our hatred of our grandchildren, if that’s what it is? I think the hatred unjustified, and so the cost wholly justified.

    If you argue we don’t hate our grandchildren, then the cost argument is completely obliterated.

    What are you waiting for?

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  3. geoman says:

    Sorry – I lost interest there. I never did see the final response from you guys and thought I might take a look. This is probably stale bread, but…

    Dale – If I agree with Ed I’m sucking up and if I disagree with you I’m a liar and troll. Got it. Actually since this isn’t your website, aren’t you a troll as well? Best not to think about that too much. I notice you have stopped any and all attempts at discussing facts, data, science, etc. Probably for the best.

    If you read carefully, I never ignored one of your points, and provided loads of data and examples to support my position. I don’t see any strawmen – perhaps you could point them out? I ask because some people throw out terms like “strawman” and “ad hominem” without having any apparent idea what those terms mean, other than some sort of point they don’t like. I don’t mean you of course. Those other guys.

    I started using inflammatory rhetoric? Reading my first post again I get…nothing. But I think your idea of inflammatory rhetoric is that I disagree, to even the smallest degree, with your own opinion. So you might want to get some ointment for that inflammation – I’m not the cause.

    On to Ed:

    “Inability to perfectly explain all previous climate fluctuations is not justification for dismissing current science on CO2. That’s all.” I agree. I wasn’t dismissing the science on CO2. I’m saying that the inability to explain previous climate change suggests there are many things we still don’t fully understand, meaning the science on global warming is not settled.

    Truth – because of AGW something bad might happen. Unfortunately, until we understand what caused past changes, feedback mechanisms, carbon sinks, etc, we are powerless to predict future changes with any degree of certainty.

    I’m not sure why, but you guys seem to mix up aspects of the science that are well understood and measured (carbon dioxide causes warming) with parts of science that are not agreed on or settled (x amount of carbon dioxide will increase temperatures by X amount, causing sea level to rise X feet).

    “Which other mechanism do you propose is doing the warming now? If you have no such proposal, what’s your point on history?”

    Since when do I have to know the alternative mechanism before expressing doubt? We know that AGW doesn’t explain previous warming. It can’t – the mechanism didn’t exist. It is definitively excluded as a cause for past warming. I can note this fact and say I don’t have full faith and confidence that AGW explains all the current warming, or the consequences of CO2 increases, because such warming has occurred before without input from AGW. I can note that since we don’t know what the other causes of warming were, we cannot exclude their influence now.

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  4. Dale Husband says:

    So in his last response, Geoman resorts to MORE trolling behavior:
    1. More personal attacks on me.
    2. Attempting to suck up to Ed.
    3. Ignoring my earlier point about how scientists accept fully a basic idea while continuing to study and argue about detailed concepts relating to the idea.
    4. Using strawman type fallacies again.

    [[[I first looked at Morner graph and thought the same thing – this looks like baloney. I thought the venomous tone was out of line, and that is why I started writing, trying to get you to cool the rhetoric.]]]

    By using your own inflammatory rhetoric at us? What a two-faced hypocrite you are!

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  5. Ed Darrell says:

    I’m completely baffled as to why you would think explaining previous climate change is entirely irrelevant to AGW. We are talking about the basic mechanisms that control Earth’s climate. Carbon dioxide is one input into the equation. What are all the others and how do they interact?

    Inability to perfectly explain all previous climate fluctuations is not justification for dismissing current science on CO2. That’s all.

    Which other mechanism do you propose is doing the warming now? If you have no such proposal, what’s your point on history?

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  6. Geoman says:

    Okay, Dale, I think, that if you try, you can perhaps still get a refund on whatever you paid for your education. Just send them a couple of your blog posts. I’d be happy to send along a letter of recommendation if you like…

    Sorry, I just like to make your lower lip quiver.

    And please, never discuss radiocarbon dating with another scientist again.

    Ed, at last. A well considered and thoughtful argument. Bravo.

    I do think you spend a lot of time answering questions you wished I had asked, or responding to points you wish I had made. Still, the responses are correct and intelligent, so what can be said?

    re. Darwin – sounds like you know a lot more than I do, and I don’t have any particular area of disagreement with what you have said – most of it interesting without being necessarily relevant.

    The point I make is still valid – Darwin unsettled previously settled science. And I think you leave too little to chance – Darwin also made some very astute guesses, but they were guesses any way you slice them.

    My favorite age of the Earth measurement method was Halley – assume the ocean was once fresh, calculate the salinity in rivers, compare to the salinity of the ocean, and viola, the Earth is 90 million years old. And it was completely consistent with Lord Kelvin! And of course – Lord Kelvin’s experiments made perfect sense – perfectly reasonable, perfectly wrong.

    The point is “settled” science. My point is that science is never settled, that previously settled science has fallen to pieces many times before. In the previous case, two entirely independent measurements of the Earth’s age confirmed the Earth was around 100 million years old. Darwin doubted that result because his theory of evolution was inconsistent with 100 million years. But, between the two, who to believe? What evidence did Darwin have, really? The “known” age of the Earth was inconsistent with his theory, but so what? He suspected it was wrong, but couldn’t prove it. Forget for a moment about who was eventually proven right, who would you believe in those circumstances?

    And that is not to say that Morner isn’t entirely wrong, or a crackpot. Still and all, what he does resembles science, and appears to make some sense. He’s no Lord Kelvin, but worth a listen and logical refutation rather than off hand dismissal or raging anger.

    I’m completely baffled as to why you would think explaining previous climate change is entirely irrelevant to AGW. We are talking about the basic mechanisms that control Earth’s climate. Carbon dioxide is one input into the equation. What are all the others and how do they interact?

    What you seem to be selling is rather thin soup. AGW is flawed because we simply don’t understand the other inputs into the climate equation. I understand the decades of research, etc. But bottom line – we don’t know. Not really. While we don’t know, building up carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is probably a bad idea, but no one really knows just how bad, or what might ultimately happen.

    Now, if we could just shut off the spigot tomorrow, like we did with CFCs, then we should just do it. But shutting off the spigot will be intensely hard to do, and cost trillions of dollars. So we kinda, sorta, haveta, know what the hell we’re doing.

    In the remainder of your post you mistake a great deal of my taunting the lunacy of Dale as serious arguments.

    I would point out that you are arguing at cross purposes here. To the casual observer, it isn’t getting any warmer, so why worry about AGW? It is probably just BS. You are trying to argue people out of that thought pattern, which is fine and good. But you can’t do that by saying the truth of AGW is “obvious” and that anyone who disagrees is an idiot. How are you then behaving in the slightest way differnt? Both sides screaming at each other that something is “obvious” is obviously not science, it is politics. And the fence sitters get pissed at both sides.

    Soooo. You want to…get even? Revenge fantasy, that’s what this is about? So you defame Morner, lie about, smear him, scream, yell, attack…because you feel the denialists are doing the same to you? And Morner is what? The football?

    And you wonder why support for AGW is going down in the general population? It is not just the denialists causing that my friend.

    I look at how I’ve been treated here. And despite our differences, I don’t think we are miles apart on most of these issues. You and Dale were spoiling for a fight from my first post. I made light of it, but I also found it a bit shocking. You insist I am a “denialist” when I agree with AGW, and have said so a half dozen times? My purity is insufficient for you. And the Creationist baiting? Sheesh.

    “It’s the double standard I complain about. I think Morner’s explanation not nearly so solid as it needs to be — but the fact that denialists seize on his chart-tipping, without good cause, while refusing to accept serious work done on the basis of hard data, seems incongruous at least.” But…is that Morner’s problem? I agree – Morner explanation should be better. He’s recently revised it by the way – the paper was several years old. But whatever – you are pissed at people who are not Morner and take it out on Morner.

    Dale absolutely misrepresented and misunderstood Morner’s work. He did it purely out of spite. You believed him because that is what you wanted to believe. A lot like what a denialist might do.

    I first looked at Morner graph and thought the same thing – this looks like baloney. I thought the venomous tone was out of line, and that is why I started writing, trying to get you to cool the rhetoric.

    “It never ceases to amaze me how denialists spend a lot of time fulminating, and very little time explaining. Fulmination to information quotient for Geoman’s post confirms the denialist trend, not science trend.” Why end on a sour note? I’ve spent inordinate amounts of time explaining my thoughts. I’ve only fulminated at abuse, and only for amusement purposes.

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  7. Ed Darrell says:

    How to keep this brief? Not enough time.

    Geoman said:

    You also miss the central point, which I know is hard for you to understand. Darwin proposed his theory based on the limited data set he had. So did Lamarck. Was Lamarck dumber than Darwin, or a liar? Of course not. He just proposed a different solution to the same problem.

    Darwin had a much larger dataset than Lamarck, sampled from a much larger chunk of the world, coupled with the advantages of having Lamarck spelled out against Paley’s obviously erroneous, but more accepted, claim that species are static and have a preferred expression to which all members of the species stray little. Darwin also had the advantage of a deep background in geology, having spent the previous summer with one of the greatest geologists of the time looking at rocks obviously laid down in time sequences, in England; plus, Lyell’s three volumes were all available to him by the third year of his voyage.

    Remember, Darwin didn’t get to evolution (as we now call it) until 1837, after he’d returned to England, and especially after the ornithologists at the British Museum revealed to him that the 13 much different birds he had sent them from 13 different islands in the Galapagos were, all of them, finches.

    All of which means we don’t have to debate who was more brilliant, Darwin or Lamarck. We merely need to look at the evidence to which Darwin pointed.

    Darwin’s theory explained many things, but was also incompatible with many other well established “facts”. Same for Lamarck. But today we celebrate Darwin for his genius, and Lamarck is more or less forgotten.

    I think it’s error to suggest Lamarck just missed the boat by a bit. Darwin’s genius is well demonstrated by his mastery of a broad range of facts in biology and geology, and his ability to contrast them with claims of theory in both areas, pointing out why others had made the errors that are now revealed through Darwin’s lens on the facts.

    Darwin invented new scientific methods and used disciplined science as few had done before, if any. He set the standard for laboratory and field research in biology. It may not rank quite up there with the invention of calculus, but it’s at least as significant as the laying down of the Scout Law, at least for science.

    Fortunately for Darwin’s rep the data that was incompatible with his theory was shown to be incorrect. But if the various “known” facts that were not consistent with evolution had been proven to be true, it could very easily have been Darwin we forget about, and someone else we celebrate.

    I think you leave too much to accident here. Darwin didn’t haphazardly pose a theory at odds with facts; wherever there were competing hypotheses he tracked them down, and showed how the evidence pointed in a different direction.

    Darwin’s genius was in testing the theory against objections. His 20+ years of breeding experiments in animals destroyed a host of shibboleths, and confirmed natural selection and evolution.

    Scientists were quite comfortable with the estimated age of the Earth in Darwin’s time. It enjoyed widespread acceptance. They knew nothing whatsoever about continental drift, and would think anyone proposing such an outlandish idea to be insane. That was the accepted position, the consensus, the settled science.

    But of course, the age they were “comfortable” with was far too short for evolution to have occurred. There was the famous dispute between Lord Kelvin, whose peerage was due to his accepted scientific prowess while Darwin went undecorated. Lord Kelvin argued the age of the Earth, and the age of the Sun, based on sheer thermodynamics that is irrefutable, except for the existence of continuing radioactive heating inside the Earth and the fact that the Sun is not made of iron. Darwin’s calculations of the age of the Earth based on his observations of living things and the rocks both turned out to be much more accurate than Kelvin’s work — but Darwin died 30 years before anyone knew that. Darwin stuck to his guns on the basis of what he observed, in the face of accepted science on the age of the Earth.

    The theory of evolution, which explained so many other facts so well, became a good reason to begin to “deny” other well established theories. Darwin was widely accepted, but a whole host of other theories suddenly fell apart.

    Can you offer some examples? I’m not clear on your point here.

    So was Darwin a “denialist” of the Earth’s estimated age? Or a “denailist” of the obvious “fact” that continents were stationary? Of course not.

    Drifting or stationary continents don’t affect Darwin’s work much. I’m not sure of the point. Darwin fully accepted Lyell’s reading that extreme catastrophism in geology is generally erroneous, and that the world we see is the product of slow geological processes carried out over millions of years. Darwin’s genius was in seeing that the same processes would change the conditions of life, and that living things would have to adapt to those changing conditions — and then posing the mechanism by which they could adapt.

    I think AGW (let’s stick to one acronym, shall we?) is probably correct, to some degree. Can I say that any plainer? The problem I have, which is very basic, is that AGW obviously does not explain previous climate change on Earth.

    Which is an almost completely irrelevant argument. AIDS can’t explain the fall of the Roman Empire, either. Nor does AIDS explain anything about World War II. So what?

    So, my question (which oddly neither you or Ed even seem cognizant of) is if we don’t know what caused previous warming and cooling of the Earth, how can we hope to estimate what possible impact AGW is having, now?

    I see. You came in late.

    50 years ago those who studied climate noted cycles in ice ages, especially in the past few millions of years. Using Darwin’s and Lyell’s idea that such cycles, if consistent, probably should continue, they were puzzled by the fact that the Earth was not only staying warm, but getting warmer, a few hundred to a few thousand years past the time that we might have expected significant cooling, and perhaps another ice age of some sort. Major cooling in any case.

    We do know pretty solidly that the Earth’s climate, over the entire planet, is warm enough to support life due to CO2’s greenhouse effects. Once we recognize that CO2 has such power, it becomes a good target for research.

    Coincidentally, measurements of CO2, contemporaneously, and historically through various methods, showed that there was a signficant rise in CO2 since we began mining fossil fuels and burning them.

    About the only way to ignore human causation is to assume that CO2 science was wrong previously, or to assume that the rise in CO2 in the atmosphere was caused by something other than fossil burning.

    Do you have such a cause to propose?

    How can we prove that it is ocurring as we predict? Are we assuming (based on no data I can see) that those previous warming and cooling forces are inoperable for some reason?

    No — but we don’t assume that all previous heating and cooling cycles were caused by CO2 that didn’t exist in the atmosphere, either.

    If I understand your issue here, it’s that you aren’t much familiar with climate science prior to 1970 or so, and you’ve not looked at the long history of climate as scientists propose to understand it.

    That’s no strike against AGW.

    Will the impacts from AGW be much greater, or much less, or even nonexistent because other climate factors are pushing the system in a different direction? Do we have weeks, years, or decades, or centuries to make changes in our behavior? Will temps go up no matter what we do?

    Great questions. They were first debated decades ago. We now know that human activities can greatly affect climate — think Dust Bowl, for one example — and we know that perturbations in CO2 can have significant effects over time, and that even minor changes in temperature, if persisting over time, will have major effects on climate. It takes a long time to warm the oceans, but once warmed, they continue in a warmed phase for a long time, too.

    Most of the scientists out on the edge of the “weeks or months” question long ago concluded that we’ve passed a couple of tipping points, and the question is whether we can recover to historic temperatures (during modern human habitation, say the last 100,000 years or so) or whether it’s too late.

    Then we get all these johnny-come-latelies who assume that because they are unfamiliar with the previous century’s work on climate, no one has done it at all. It’s frustrating, about like someone claiming now that Lamarck was right, and we should use his model instead, assuming Darwin was unfamiliar with Lamarck’s work and no one else bothered to check it.

    It is a huge “flaw” in the AGW theory, which is why I say AGW is really just a subset of TCC. We will always have enormous problems with predictions and measurements of AGW until and unless we solve TCC as well.

    Problems with not using AP style: What is TCC?

    Good theories explain all the past data. Great theories allow us to make accurate predictions of the future. Currently, AGW is incapable of either. So, color me a skeptic on those grounds alone.

    AGW perfectly explains what’s happened since we started dumping grotesque quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, which is all it purports to explain — your desire to make it account for things it had no effect on does not invalidate anything. Why should we assume CO2 caused warming previously, when there was no source of CO2 like fossil fuel burning, and no evidence that CO2 was the culprit?

    Why should we not assume CO2 the culprit for the current extended-warming trend, when there is really no other culprit, and the trend contradicts all historical cycles?

    The rest of your post – Perhaps if I pointed out some of the comedy gold you spew out so regularly, you’d better understand how absurd your position really is?

    1) “…most of us would still be wasting out (sic) time arguing about evolution and how old the Earth is”. You are aware that loads of scientists still dedicate their entire careers to arguing these exact two questions?

    No one since Rutherford has proposed that the Sun is 200 million years old based on the color the iron in the Sun glows, as Lord Kelvin did. We’re not debated a 20-million-year-old Earth vs. a 1 billion-year-old Earth. You’ve misstated the debate.

    2) “Skepticism demands that data and the theories that explain the data be more accurate, but not that we should keep demanding more and more and more data to PROVE something that should be obvious to the causal observer.” I think it is fair to point out that, to the casual observer, continents don’t drift. I shouldn’t have to prove that – it is plain to the naked eye.

    So, you think we should toss out all science and start over to pitch it to the lowest level of intelligence, or greatest level of denial?

    Mach didn’t believe in atoms, either. He had the good grace to assume his students who had developed atomic theory were not all charlatans, however, and so he did not jump on a bandwagon to deny atoms. The science would work it out, he thought, despite his own doubts. He didn’t call Mendeleev, Rutherford, Roentgen nor Einstein “liars.”

    If the current raft of denialists would retreat to that gentlemanly position, it would be good.

    3) “He provided NO justification for his tilting his graph to match satellite data, and in fact his presentation of that data was falsified by the actual data itself (as shown on the first chart of my blog entry)! HELLO! The guy LIED! Get over it!” You….really don’t read any source material, do you? Morner has said he tilted the graph because he felt that the tidal gauge adjustment to the satellite data used by NASA was wrong. The unadjusted NASA data shows almost no sea level rise. Your first chart is from a tidal gauge in Australia. NASA says the satellite data shows much more sea level rise off the cost of Australia than other places on the planet. Morner and NASA are arguing over average sea level change, not sea level change at one location. So your first graph has almost nothing to do with the disagreement. For all I know Morner agrees with the first graph.

    And then the denialists get all worked up when Mann and others use actual temperature readings at the end of a graph on dendro readings, and yell “fraud!?”

    It’s the double standard I complain about. I think Morner’s explanation not nearly so solid as it needs to be — but the fact that denialists seize on his chart-tipping, without good cause, while refusing to accept serious work done on the basis of hard data, seems incongruous at least.

    I think it’s malicious.

    4) “Radiocarbons are used to measure sea level rises??? Uh, NO! They are used to determine how old something is, regardless of sea levels. Get your terminology straight!” I’d just hazard a guess, but between the two of us, only one of us has actually done radiocarbon dating. Hint: it has nothing to do with taking radiocarbons to the movies. And if you’d actually read Morner’s stuff, or knew what you were talking about, you’d know Morner used radiocarbon dating to show where plants were growing on the Maldive Islands at what time in history. Since terrestrial plants don’t grow in the ocean, it creates a crude measurement of the relationship between the land and sea over time. A kinda clever idea actually. That is why that particular graph looks so different from the others and extends much farther into the past – well past were any tidal gauge data can take you. Of course I don’t know if it is right or wrong, just what it is supposed to be showing.

    So, with your first graph and the radiocarbon graph, it is clear that you don’t have the slightest idea what the data is saying or what it means. You also seem to only dimly comprehend what the dispute between NASA and Morner is actually about. You are really lost on the concept that many, if not all, the graphs presented might be correct to varying degrees, since they are all measuring something a little different. One is measuring sea level change in Australia using a tidal gauge, one is measuring sea level change in the Maldives over centuries using radiocarbon dating, and the last is measuring the average world wide sea level change over 10 years using a satellite.

    I was struck by Morner’s tipping of the graph of actual measurements to suggest that they were different than they are, if adjusted. It makes no difference that the chart can be tipped, to the corals now too deep to reproduce, nor to the islands lost in the Marshall Islands.

    The denialist extension of Morner’s findings for the Maldives, to cover the globe, is wholly unwarranted, and not really scientific.

    You set yourself up as some sort of science guy, setting the record straight. But you’re are just a “denialist” in another guise, stamping your feet and holding your breath, attacking and defending things you barely comprehend. Burn the witches and smash the looms!

    It never ceases to amaze me how denialists spend a lot of time fulminating, and very little time explaining. Fulmination to information quotient for Geoman’s post confirms the denialist trend, not science trend.

    Gotta go.

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  8. Dale Husband says:

    [[[Dale buddy, you never fail to disappoint. Seriously, each post is better than the last. I’d quit, but I could use the laughs.]]]

    Condescending opening. Fail!

    [[[Funny you mention Lamarck, because I was just thinking about him. He was proven wrong. The problem was that over the last hundred years or so scientists have realized that natural selection is inadequate to explain all inherited traits…hence the burgeoning study of epigenetics which is more or less the same mechanism Lamarck proposed 150 years ago. I guess it pays to keep studying issues long after the question is “settled”.]]]

    That is your interpretation of the matter, perhaps made ad hoc to save your failed position. Epigenics, involving cases like fetal alcohol syndrome, are rare and special cases that cannot account for evolution as shown by most of the fossil record. It merely deals with unusual things that neither Darwin nor Lamarck ever dealt with and is thus irrelvant to the points I was making about how Darwin’s ideas were indeed better than Lamarck’s. Next….

    [[[You also miss the central point, which I know is hard for you to understand. Darwin proposed his theory based on the limited data set he had. So did Lamarck. Was Lamarck dumber than Darwin, or a liar? Of course not. He just proposed a different solution to the same problem.]]]

    How old are you again? Twelve? Lay off the sarcasm and move on to the not so damned obvious.

    [[[Darwin’s theory explained many things, but was also incompatible with many other well established “facts”. Same for Lamarck. But today we celebrate Darwin for his genius, and Lamarck is more or less forgotten.]]]

    If that was true, we wouldn’t be talking about him now. Darwin was still more accurate with his ideas than Lamarck was.

    [[[Fortunately for Darwin’s rep the data that was incompatible with his theory was shown to be incorrect. But if the various “known” facts that were not consistent with evolution had been proven to be true, it could very easily have been Darwin we forget about, and someone else we celebrate.]]]

    True. So what?

    [[[Scientists were quite comfortable with the estimated age of the Earth in Darwin’s time. It enjoyed widespread acceptance. They knew nothing whatsoever about continental drift, and would think anyone proposing such an outlandish idea to be insane. That was the accepted position, the consensus, the settled science.]]]

    When continental drift was proposed in 1912, long after Charles Darwin was dead, its proponents faced the same problem proponents of evolution did prior to Darwin’s time…..they had a lot of evidence for it, but no credible physical mechanism to explain how it could happen. It wasn’t until the 1960s that plate tectonics was developed as the mechanism for continental drift, and when that happened, continental drift became established as settled theory.

    [[[The theory of evolution, which explained so many other facts so well, became a good reason to begin to “deny” other well established theories. Darwin was widely accepted, but a whole host of other theories suddenly fell apart.

    So was Darwin a “denialist” of the Earth’s estimated age? Or a “denailist” of the obvious “fact” that continents were stationary? Of course not.]]]

    Yes, that’s why he was a better scientist than you. Darwin lived before 1912, as noted earlier.

    [[[I think AGW (let’s stick to one acronym, shall we?) is probably correct, to some degree. Can I say that any plainer? The problem I have, which is very basic, is that AGW obviously does not explain previous climate change on Earth.]]]

    It was not supposed to.

    [[[So, my question (which oddly neither you or Ed even seem cognizant of) is if we don’t know what caused previous warming and cooling of the Earth, how can we hope to estimate what possible impact AGW is having, now? How can we prove that it is ocurring as we predict? Are we assuming (based on no data I can see) that those previous warming and cooling forces are inoperable for some reason? Will the impacts from AGW be much greater, or much less, or even nonexistent because other climate factors are pushing the system in a different direction? Do we have weeks, years, or decades, or centuries to make changes in our behavior? Will temps go up no matter what we do?]]]

    We know that solar output, shifts in Earth’s orbit, and interactions between the oceans, the land, the biosphere, and the atmosphere were all factors in past climate change. But the rise of man’s civilization, including its constant release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, means that comparisons with prehistoric examples of climate change are of limited value to understanding what is happening now.

    [[[It is a huge “flaw” in the AGW theory, which is why I say AGW is really just a subset of TCC. We will always have enormous problems with predictions and measurements of AGW until and unless we solve TCC as well. Good theories explain all the past data. Great theories allow us to make accurate predictions of the future. Currently, AGW is incapable of either. So, color me a skeptic on those grounds alone.]]]

    What is TCC??? In any case, you start off with a mad premise and thus reach a bad conclusion. Next…

    [[[The rest of your post – Perhaps if I pointed out some of the comedy gold you spew out so regularly, you’d better understand how absurd your position really is?]]]

    More condescending rhetoric. Let’s see…..

    [[[ 1) “…most of us would still be wasting out (sic) time arguing about evolution and how old the Earth is”. You are aware that loads of scientists still dedicate their entire careers to arguing these exact two questions?]]]

    No, and neither are you. That’s false, unless you mean either “scientific” Creationists or efforts by real scientists to make improvements to established theories and hypotheses of evolution, both of biology and of planets like Earth. If you meant that, I note that most scientists who do the actual research no longer question whether evolution happened or whether or not Earth is billions of years old. That’s like climatologists trying to make more accurate predictions of future man-made climate change, while fully accepting that man can change climate.

    [[[ 2) “Skepticism demands that data and the theories that explain the data be more accurate, but not that we should keep demanding more and more and more data to PROVE something that should be obvious to the causal observer.” I think it is fair to point out that, to the casual observer, continents don’t drift. I shouldn’t have to prove that – it is plain to the naked eye. ]]]

    Strawman. Besides, any child can see that South America fits into Africa and continental drift can certainly explain to the average layman’s satisfaction why earthquakes, mountain building, and certain features of the ocean occur.

    [[[ 3) “He provided NO justification for his tilting his graph to match satellite data, and in fact his presentation of that data was falsified by the actual data itself (as shown on the first chart of my blog entry)! HELLO! The guy LIED! Get over it!” You….really don’t read any source material, do you? Morner has said he tilted the graph because he felt that the tidal gauge adjustment to the satellite data used by NASA was wrong. The unadjusted NASA data shows almost no sea level rise. Your first chart is from a tidal gauge in Australia. NASA says the satellite data shows much more sea level rise off the cost of Australia than other places on the planet. Morner and NASA are arguing over average sea level change, not sea level change at one location. So your first graph has almost nothing to do with the disagreement. For all I know Morner agrees with the first graph.]]]

    Nice set of rationalizations. You must be a Morner groupie.

    [[[ 4) “Radiocarbons are used to measure sea level rises??? Uh, NO! They are used to determine how old something is, regardless of sea levels. Get your terminology straight!” I’d just hazard a guess, but between the two of us, only one of us has actually done radiocarbon dating. Hint: it has nothing to do with taking radiocarbons to the movies. And if you’d actually read Morner’s stuff, or knew what you were talking about, you’d know Morner used radiocarbon dating to show where plants were growing on the Maldive Islands at what time in history. Since terrestrial plants don’t grow in the ocean, it creates a crude measurement of the relationship between the land and sea over time. A kinda clever idea actually. That is why that particular graph looks so different from the others and extends much farther into the past – well past were any tidal gauge data can take you. Of course I don’t know if it is right or wrong, just what it is supposed to be showing.]]]

    You know that when plants or other organism die, they can be moved from one place to another afterwards by various means. So your claim (and Morner’s) holds no water (pun intended).

    [[[So, with your first graph and the radiocarbon graph, it is clear that you don’t have the slightest idea what the data is saying or what it means. You also seem to only dimly comprehend what the dispute between NASA and Morner is actually about. You are really lost on the concept that many, if not all, the graphs presented might be correct to varying degrees, since they are all measuring something a little different. One is measuring sea level change in Australia using a tidal gauge, one is measuring sea level change in the Maldives over centuries using radiocarbon dating, and the last is measuring the average world wide sea level change over 10 years using a satellite.]]]

    Did you note where I said there was NO absolute accuracy in any meansurement?

    [[[You set yourself up as some sort of science guy, setting the record straight. But you’re are just a “denialist” in another guise, stamping your feet and holding your breath, attacking and defending things you barely comprehend. Burn the witches and smash the looms!]]]

    Another strawman.

    [[[ 5) “But eventually we have to decide which theories and hypotheses are correct like looking at which ones (sic) fit the data best.” hmmmm. Why do we have to ever decide? Define “eventually”? Define “correct” Define “best”. ]]]

    Define “patholigical nitpicker”. Define “troll”. Define “making a pointless argument for the sake of harassment”. You know exactly what I said, you are just playing dumb to annoy me.

    [[[ 6) “Otherwise, we would still be arguing about evolution being true or not, whether continental drift happened or not, or whether the universe started in a Big Bang or not.” Stupid scientists, wasting their valuable time when we all know those issues are settled!!

    7) “But in fact, scientists don’t have such arguments among themselves, only with denialists like yourself who claim to be “skeptics” because they hare (sp) hostile to some idea in science for ideological reasons.” That is clearly spoken by someone who has never published a scientific paper or spoken at a scientific conference. What a hoot! Every scientist I know argues with each other over everything, all the time. Yes, scientists united against the cranks. That is exactly how it goes.]]]

    Again, it should have been obvious what I was saying.

    [[[Let me tell you how it really works, outside of fantasy and movies. Scientists by and large research things that get funding. I know I do. So they spend a lot of time researching things that corporations, politicians and the public think are important. I’ve seen many a grant denied because the science that might be generated was not “interesting” enough, and complete BS applications approved because it was in a “hot” area. I’ve seen many scientists bury the hatchet after years of vicious argument, so that they can get some money. What they say to you, to the public, to politicians, to denialists, changes with the seasons, with politics, with mood, and with funding.]]]

    Noted. Next…

    [[[Also it changes with how much hostility they have to face from ignorant half educated mobs.]]]

    Including AGW denialists, I suppose.

    [[[Given the hysterial anger you and others display, I have no doubt that there are lots of scietists ducking the issue, or mouthing stuff they don’t believe. I am also positive that my particular brand of sketicism is the norm, not the exception.]]]

    Ad homimum attack and unsupported assumptions.

    [[[ Ed – Actually I’ve read Origin twice, once a looong time ago (I think I was one of Darwin’s contemporaries), and once last year when a really nice new edition came out. It has got to be the most talked about, and least read, book in history.

    As to the time to do research – why do you and Dale think this is important? As I said, big complex theories take as long as they take, the bigger and more complex, the more time. 14 years, 20 years? Both seem like a long time to me. I have no critisizm of AGW based on the age of the theory, just that research takes time. Actually, I think research is much faster now than it has ever been before, and we are able to prove up theories at a more rapid pace than ever before. Okay?

    Both you and Dale seem to suffer from gut level responses to stuff I say, that seem largely unwarrented by my actual intentions or words. I’m sure loads of idiots spout off that such and such a theory took 50 years to prove, and AGW has only been around for 10 years, so we need to wait 40 years. I don’t think that, and havn’t said that or implied that. I think it has been around long enough to be taken seriously, if not completely proven based on my previous objections. My main objection is to the silly word “settled”. Nothing in science is ever settled. Nothing. Just ignored for a time.]]]

    AGW has been around a lot longer than 20 years. It has been around for over a century.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect

    It’s just been a big news issue since the 1970s, but it was discussed by scientists long before then. I think if you were a REAL scientist, you would have known that already.

    And we react to you the way we do because YOU come here with your know-it-all attitude, misrepresenting it as “skepticism” and it offends us. But you must have planned it that way, I suppose.

    Like

  9. Geoman says:

    Dale buddy, you never fail to disappoint. Seriously, each post is better than the last. I’d quit, but I could use the laughs.

    Funny you mention Lamarck, because I was just thinking about him. He was proven wrong. The problem was that over the last hundred years or so scientists have realized that natural selection is inadequate to explain all inherited traits…hence the burgeoning study of epigenetics which is more or less the same mechanism Lamarck proposed 150 years ago. I guess it pays to keep studying issues long after the question is “settled”.

    You also miss the central point, which I know is hard for you to understand. Darwin proposed his theory based on the limited data set he had. So did Lamarck. Was Lamarck dumber than Darwin, or a liar? Of course not. He just proposed a different solution to the same problem.

    Darwin’s theory explained many things, but was also incompatible with many other well established “facts”. Same for Lamarck. But today we celebrate Darwin for his genius, and Lamarck is more or less forgotten.

    Fortunately for Darwin’s rep the data that was incompatible with his theory was shown to be incorrect. But if the various “known” facts that were not consistent with evolution had been proven to be true, it could very easily have been Darwin we forget about, and someone else we celebrate.

    Scientists were quite comfortable with the estimated age of the Earth in Darwin’s time. It enjoyed widespread acceptance. They knew nothing whatsoever about continental drift, and would think anyone proposing such an outlandish idea to be insane. That was the accepted position, the consensus, the settled science.

    The theory of evolution, which explained so many other facts so well, became a good reason to begin to “deny” other well established theories. Darwin was widely accepted, but a whole host of other theories suddenly fell apart.

    So was Darwin a “denialist” of the Earth’s estimated age? Or a “denailist” of the obvious “fact” that continents were stationary? Of course not.

    I think AGW (let’s stick to one acronym, shall we?) is probably correct, to some degree. Can I say that any plainer? The problem I have, which is very basic, is that AGW obviously does not explain previous climate change on Earth. So, my question (which oddly neither you or Ed even seem cognizant of) is if we don’t know what caused previous warming and cooling of the Earth, how can we hope to estimate what possible impact AGW is having, now? How can we prove that it is ocurring as we predict? Are we assuming (based on no data I can see) that those previous warming and cooling forces are inoperable for some reason? Will the impacts from AGW be much greater, or much less, or even nonexistent because other climate factors are pushing the system in a different direction? Do we have weeks, years, or decades, or centuries to make changes in our behavior? Will temps go up no matter what we do?

    It is a huge “flaw” in the AGW theory, which is why I say AGW is really just a subset of TCC. We will always have enormous problems with predictions and measurements of AGW until and unless we solve TCC as well. Good theories explain all the past data. Great theories allow us to make accurate predictions of the future. Currently, AGW is incapable of either. So, color me a skeptic on those grounds alone.

    The rest of your post – Perhaps if I pointed out some of the comedy gold you spew out so regularly, you’d better understand how absurd your position really is?

    1) “…most of us would still be wasting out (sic) time arguing about evolution and how old the Earth is”. You are aware that loads of scientists still dedicate their entire careers to arguing these exact two questions?

    2) “Skepticism demands that data and the theories that explain the data be more accurate, but not that we should keep demanding more and more and more data to PROVE something that should be obvious to the causal observer.” I think it is fair to point out that, to the casual observer, continents don’t drift. I shouldn’t have to prove that – it is plain to the naked eye.

    3) “He provided NO justification for his tilting his graph to match satellite data, and in fact his presentation of that data was falsified by the actual data itself (as shown on the first chart of my blog entry)! HELLO! The guy LIED! Get over it!” You….really don’t read any source material, do you? Morner has said he tilted the graph because he felt that the tidal gauge adjustment to the satellite data used by NASA was wrong. The unadjusted NASA data shows almost no sea level rise. Your first chart is from a tidal gauge in Australia. NASA says the satellite data shows much more sea level rise off the cost of Australia than other places on the planet. Morner and NASA are arguing over average sea level change, not sea level change at one location. So your first graph has almost nothing to do with the disagreement. For all I know Morner agrees with the first graph.

    4) “Radiocarbons are used to measure sea level rises??? Uh, NO! They are used to determine how old something is, regardless of sea levels. Get your terminology straight!” I’d just hazard a guess, but between the two of us, only one of us has actually done radiocarbon dating. Hint: it has nothing to do with taking radiocarbons to the movies. And if you’d actually read Morner’s stuff, or knew what you were talking about, you’d know Morner used radiocarbon dating to show where plants were growing on the Maldive Islands at what time in history. Since terrestrial plants don’t grow in the ocean, it creates a crude measurement of the relationship between the land and sea over time. A kinda clever idea actually. That is why that particular graph looks so different from the others and extends much farther into the past – well past were any tidal gauge data can take you. Of course I don’t know if it is right or wrong, just what it is supposed to be showing.

    So, with your first graph and the radiocarbon graph, it is clear that you don’t have the slightest idea what the data is saying or what it means. You also seem to only dimly comprehend what the dispute between NASA and Morner is actually about. You are really lost on the concept that many, if not all, the graphs presented might be correct to varying degrees, since they are all measuring something a little different. One is measuring sea level change in Australia using a tidal gauge, one is measuring sea level change in the Maldives over centuries using radiocarbon dating, and the last is measuring the average world wide sea level change over 10 years using a satellite.

    You set yourself up as some sort of science guy, setting the record straight. But you’re are just a “denialist” in another guise, stamping your feet and holding your breath, attacking and defending things you barely comprehend. Burn the witches and smash the looms!

    5) “But eventually we have to decide which theories and hypotheses are correct like looking at which ones (sic) fit the data best.” hmmmm. Why do we have to ever decide? Define “eventually”? Define “correct” Define “best”.

    6) “Otherwise, we would still be arguing about evolution being true or not, whether continental drift happened or not, or whether the universe started in a Big Bang or not.” Stupid scientists, wasting their valuable time when we all know those issues are settled!!

    7) “But in fact, scientists don’t have such arguments among themselves, only with denialists like yourself who claim to be “skeptics” because they hare (sp) hostile to some idea in science for ideological reasons.” That is clearly spoken by someone who has never published a scientific paper or spoken at a scientific conference. What a hoot! Every scientist I know argues with each other over everything, all the time. Yes, scientists united against the cranks. That is exactly how it goes.

    Let me tell you how it really works, outside of fantasy and movies. Scientists by and large research things that get funding. I know I do. So they spend a lot of time researching things that corporations, politicians and the public think are important. I’ve seen many a grant denied because the science that might be generated was not “interesting” enough, and complete BS applications approved because it was in a “hot” area. I’ve seen many scientists bury the hatchet after years of vicious argument, so that they can get some money. What they say to you, to the public, to politicians, to denialists, changes with the seasons, with politics, with mood, and with funding.

    Also it changes with how much hostility they have to face from ignorant half educated mobs.

    Given the hysterial anger you and others display, I have no doubt that there are lots of scietists ducking the issue, or mouthing stuff they don’t believe. I am also positive that my particular brand of sketicism is the norm, not the exception.

    Ed – Actually I’ve read Origin twice, once a looong time ago (I think I was one of Darwin’s contemporaries), and once last year when a really nice new edition came out. It has got to be the most talked about, and least read, book in history.

    As to the time to do research – why do you and Dale think this is important? As I said, big complex theories take as long as they take, the bigger and more complex, the more time. 14 years, 20 years? Both seem like a long time to me. I have no critisizm of AGW based on the age of the theory, just that research takes time. Actually, I think research is much faster now than it has ever been before, and we are able to prove up theories at a more rapid pace than ever before. Okay?

    Both you and Dale seem to suffer from gut level responses to stuff I say, that seem largely unwarrented by my actual intentions or words. I’m sure loads of idiots spout off that such and such a theory took 50 years to prove, and AGW has only been around for 10 years, so we need to wait 40 years. I don’t think that, and havn’t said that or implied that. I think it has been around long enough to be taken seriously, if not completely proven based on my previous objections. My main objection is to the silly word “settled”. Nothing in science is ever settled. Nothing. Just ignored for a time.

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  10. Ed Darrell says:

    Complex theories require a long time to mature and prove out.

    Depends.

    It was 14 years from hypothesis to proof for part of Einstein’s work, confirmed by the eclipse of 1919 — as Dale noted.

    Fewer than 20 years from Alpher, Herman and Gamow’s Big Bang computations to the Nobel-winning discovery of the echo they predicted. Read Darwin — much of the confirmation evidence appears in the first edition of Origin.

    Like

  11. Dale Husband says:

    Evolution wasn’t really a slam dunk till we had a good handle on genetics, which was in the 20th century. Also Darwin admitted that the age of the Earth was a major problem for his theory – then current estimates of the earth’s age showed it to be far too young for evolution to work as he had proposed it. That got resolved in the 1930s. Darwin also couldn’t figure how similar species resided on different continents, which would seem to indicate some aspect of his theory was incorrect. People horsed around with parallel evolution, bizarre land bridges and Atlantis concepts for decades until we discovered continental drift. Then there was the “missing link” controversy. The theory of punctuated equilibrium put that to bed. I think that was in the 1970s.

    Here you are talking about common descent of all life, not natural selection. Lamarck gave a mechanism for evolution, inheritance of acquired characterstics, which was inadequate for the task and eventually debunked by experiment. Darwin gave natural selection as his mechanism and it proved far more useful and consistent with the evidence including experimentation on animals and plants. An evolution denialist would counter that artificial selection of domesticated plants and animals would not prove that natural selection happens. The point I made was that even in Darwin’s lifetime, he provided enough evidence and sound enough arguments to convince most of his fellow scientists that he was right. The problems he described and others noted even after he died were indeed real, but were not excuses for denying evolution; they were reasons to do more research to find explanations for the problems so that the case for evolution could be either falsified or made stronger.

    It is the same with the Man-Made Climate Change Hypothesis (MMCCH). There is no question that there are problems with it as well and that those problems may be resolved over time and the dedicated work of scientists. But what you are doing is saying, “There is not enough evidence to convince me that the MMCCH is true,” long after the evidence has convinced most scientists. You are like Sir Richard Owen, Darwin’s contemporary, who arrogantly denied Darwin’s ideas to the end of his life, and was ultimately ridiculed for it by his colleagues. So should you be. Uncertainties in data are no excuse for denial, or most of us would still be wasting out time arguing about evolution and how old the Earth is. Skepticism demands that data and the theories that explain the data be more accurate, but not that we should keep demanding more and more and more data to PROVE something that should be obvious to the causal observer. That’s DENIALISM.

    I had charitably assumed that you had looked at Morner’s data then performed some sort of calculation to show it had been manipulated. In fact, what you have is a figure clipped directly from Morner’s own paper, where he explains his adjustment to the data. Then you drone on about how his data doesn’t match other data, other opinions, so he must be a damn dirty liar.

    In his testimony to the British House of Lords (why them and not a conferance of his fellow scientists? Maybe because he was looking for a receptive audience instead of trying to win over actual skeptics of his claims?) he provided NO justification for his tilting his graph to match satillite data, and in fact his presentation of that data was falsified by the actual data itself (as shown on the first chart of my blog entry)! HELLO! The guy LIED! Get over it!

    The main controversy seems to revolve around the T/P satellite data. Unadjusted the data shows little rise in sea levels. NASA used a tidal gauge to calibrate the results. Morner says the tidal gauge used is wrong, and proposes a different adjustment. He also has a radiocarbon study from the Maldives (finally a connection!) that shows no sea level change, and avoids the messy tidal gauge stuff altogether.

    Radiocarbons are used to measure sea level rises??? Uh, NO! They are used to determine how old something is, regardless of sea levels. Get your terminology straight!

    To a scientist, there is NEVER enough data, NEVER enough time to study. They continue collecting, sorting, refining, arguing. There is no end to the process. There is no point where we dust off our hands and say that’s that, issue settled. The goal post always moves forward, forever. That is Science. That is how it works.

    What obvious bull$#it! In science, we do continue gathering and analyzing data, and making theories and hypotheses to explain the data. But eventually we have to decide which theories and hypotheses are correct like looking at which ones fit the data best. We can also falsify outright some of them and accept others as true if the predictions they make turn out to be true. Otherwise, we would still be arguing about evolution being true or not, whether continental drift happened or not, or whether the universe started in a Big Bang or not. But in fact, scientists don’t have such arguments among themselves, only with denialists like yourself who claim to be “skeptics” because they hare hostile to some idea in science for ideological reasons.

    Like

  12. Geoman says:

    Dale

    How long do complex theories take to prove out? However long it takes, bub. Usually decades. Why is it controversial for me to say that complex theories are harder (and take longer) to prove than simple theories?

    Evolution wasn’t really a slam dunk till we had a good handle on genetics, which was in the 20th century. Also Darwin admitted that the age of the Earth was a major problem for his theory – then current estimates of the earth’s age showed it to be far too young for evolution to work as he had proposed it. That got resolved in the 1930s. Darwin also couldn’t figure how similar species resided on different continents, which would seem to indicate some aspect of his theory was incorrect. People horsed around with parallel evolution, bizarre land bridges and Atlantis concepts for decades until we discovered continental drift. Then there was the “missing link” controversy. The theory of punctuated equilibrium put that to bed. I think that was in the 1970s.

    Darwin, smart guy that he was, pointed out most of these problems from the start. The guy was a humble visionary, two great things that rarely go together.

    I finally did read your blog entry last night. It reads like a note from a kidnapper – Three or four fonts and eight colors. Nice.

    I had charitably assumed that you had looked at Morner’s data then performed some sort of calculation to show it had been manipulated. In fact, what you have is a figure clipped directly from Morner’s own paper, where he explains his adjustment to the data. Then you drone on about how his data doesn’t match other data, other opinions, so he must be a damn dirty liar.

    The main controversy seems to revolve around the T/P satellite data. Unadjusted the data shows little rise in sea levels. NASA used a tidal gauge to calibrate the results. Morner says the tidal gauge used is wrong, and proposes a different adjustment. He also has a radiocarbon study from the Maldives (finally a connection!) that shows no sea level change, and avoids the messy tidal gauge stuff altogether.

    Your sole contribution to this discussion seems to be Morner believes in dowsing, and dowsing is stupid.

    The current state of the controversy is that Morner now insists that sea level change on average is 1 mm per year, while NASA is insisting it is 2.8 mm per year. But even then the T/P data shows that sea level rise across the globe is uneven, being very high around Australia, and low or even non-existent around California.

    All of this “controversy” seems to resemble science, at least to me. Claims, counter-claims, studies, data, adjustments. Pretty typical stuff. Who’s right? Probably NASA. They’re rocket scientists after all.

    Now, concentrate for a moment. Whether sea levels rise 1 mm/yr, or 2.8 mm/yr. or even not at all, does that prove or disprove AGW? Does Morner’s work with radiocarbon studies in the Maldives seriously damage AGW? Is Morner a liar for publishing a contradictory paper?

    The honest answer is no. Darwin’s theory suggested that there must be some connection between all the continents. Hundreds of papers and books were published on this issue, most of them wrong. But another mechanisms, continental drift, was found to be right.

    So, if sea levels changes are less than predicted by AGW, it doesn’t mean AGW is wrong. It may just mean there are other mechanisms that are exerting a brake on sea levels changes. That might be a very interesting finding.

    Try to wrap your head around this. To a scientist, there is NEVER enough data, NEVER enough time to study. They continue collecting, sorting, refining, arguing. There is no end to the process. There is no point where we dust off our hands and say that’s that, issue settled. The goal post always moves forward, forever. That is Science. That is how it works. Darwin didn’t settle things with his work, he expanded them, opened up new lines of research and thought, raised countless new questions and arguments. Big theories tend to do that.

    Really AGW is just an appendage from an even bigger theory, the Theory of Climate Change (TCC), the one that explains all the variations in our climate for the last 10,000 years, both natural and artificial. Part of AGW’s problem is that it cannot be complete until TCC is fully developed, and people have already been struggling with that problem for decades.

    Honestly, I expect that the AGW question will be resolved by worldwide flooding and polar ice cap melting (or lack thereof) long before we “settle” it with the science.

    Thanks for posting something worth reading. Keep bringing the crazy!

    Like

  13. Dale Husband says:

    I asked specifically, “Where did Ed admit to not understanding the science?”

    Geoman replied, [“I confess I’m not deeply entrenched in the science” Ed.] Not even remotely the same thing! You are hereby dismissed, Geoman, for willfully distorting what Ed said. And also for these:

    [[[Complex theories require a long time to mature and prove out.]]] How long? The Big Bang theory took only a few decades. The theory of evolution had actually been around for a long time even before Darwin’s time, what it lacked was a mechanism, natural selection, which Darwin provided. And then you say, [[[Darwin didn’t have the data to prove his theory when he published. Darwin himself admitted as much. It took years and years of painstaking study to prove him right.]]] WRONG! He spend DECADES gathering the data he needed before the Origin of Species was published and he made a compelling enough case in that book and his subsequent writings to win over most of his fellow scientists before he died.

    [[[I don’t think we have the ability to accurately measure sea level changes in the Maldive Islands for a host of reasons. The changes are too small to be accurately measured against background. Better data would require fewer adjustments, and be less prone to manipulation.]]]

    Again, if you had read my blog entry, you’d have the answer to that. But since you didn’t bother, I’ll just copy and past what I wrote.

    {{{Tide gauges are indeed based on sea levels relative to land, so if the land is rising or sinking, it will indeed affect their measurments of sea levels. It reminds me of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Even with tide gauges, you can get a more accurate reading of sea levels by taking readings from dozens of places around the world, taking into account that it is unlikely that all those locations are rising or sinking at the same rate.

    Satillite readings of sea levels may seem more accurate than tide gauges, but even satillites can be affected by variations in their orbits. It’s the same issue as satillites taking temperature readings vs temperature readings based on the ground. There is no ABSOLUTE accuracy in any measurement.}}}

    The truth is that no matter what evidence is presented to support AGW theory, “skeptics” like you can always claim that there is not enough data, that there hasn’t been enough time to gather enough data, or that some of the data could have been faked. It’s a denialist rhetorical tactic called “moving the goalposts”.

    Like

  14. Geoman says:

    Dale, you poor lad.

    1) Sorry I called you Dan. Typo. It happens.

    2) Ummm. Yeah. I didn’t track back to your website, or read your no-doubt illuminating post there. Sorry if that offends you in some inexplicable way. I thought the point of Ed’s bit was that the graph was manipulated. I assumed your central point was the same. I assumed you simply had more detail on how the graph was being manipulated, etc, etc. Since I agreed – it looks manipulated, I didn’t track it back. Sorry, my assumptions seemed sound at the time.

    I did read your post on skeptics vs. deniers. Does that make you feel any better? Gave me a good hearty belly laugh this morning. Thanks.

    3) Scrolling down…let’s see – I’m so stupid for not reading your website, I’m so stupid for not reading your website, I’m so stupid for not reading your website. Hey everyone, Dale needs some more hits on his website, you should check it out!

    4) Whine about this, whine about that. So far, no info.

    5)Oh, hey, something new. “Do you think AGW denialists are better, perhaps?” Define…better? So far them seem a lot nicer. But I think you mean correct. And that would be a no. Never said that, and I don’t think that. Did I mention the graph looks manipulated? Dirty denialist dogs!

    To get back to the start, I don’t think we have the ability to accurately measure sea level changes in the Maldive Islands for a host of reasons. The changes are too small to be accurately measured against background. Better data would require fewer adjustments, and be less prone to manipulation. There are other locations/methods where such measurements might be more accurate, but it may be that the changes in elevation are simply too small to be measured at this time. That’s it bub. That is all I have been saying. Not that AGW is false, or even that sea level changes have not been occurring.

    My other thesis is that those of you who blindly defend AGW do so out of a sense of mission. Stifling debate and discussion is part of that. You are out to save us all from our own foolish behavior. Unfortunately I think your own actions are damaging science and your own cause. On a related note – chill out, if AGW is true we are all doomed anyway – the Chinese, Saudis, and Indians will see to that. So your holy mission to convince us of the error of our ways is pointless.

    6) I’m have not nitpicked Ed, I’m trying to tell Ed, (and you for that matter) that you are part of the problem. Your zeal is damaging your own cause. I find it hysterical that someone who publishes a point by point detailed rant includes nitpicking as one of grievances. But hey. You are out there crusading for the truth! Fighting the man! Totally different from those other guys! Denialist scum!

    7) Creationists are for the most part fools and tools. Based on your response to me, I can see why most of the “denialists” that post to your site are Creationists.

    8) Complex theories require a long time to mature and prove out. We look on Darwin and think he was a genius, and everyone who disagreed with him were idiots, because we now know he was obviously right. But at the time, his theories were just one of many making the rounds at the time.

    Darwin didn’t have the data to prove his theory when he published. Darwin himself admitted as much. It took years and years of painstaking study to prove him right.

    I don’t think scientific theories are imperfect because we are imperfect humans (what an odd thought). They are imperfect usually because we don’t have enough data, or the right kind of data. When you think about it, a lot of science revolves around measurement issues. Inevitably we have to guess at some of the gaps. The more gaps a theory has, the weaker the theory. The more complex the theory, the more gaps we usually have to deal with.

    9) “Skepticism is a double-edged sword. I’m just as skeptical of YOUR claims as you expect us to be of the AGW proponents.” er. Ouch? Is that what you want me to say? I encourage you to be start being skeptical wherever you like. Just more often, and more evenly.

    10) “I confess I’m not deeply entrenched in the science” Ed.

    11) “You’d really like us to shut up and never answer you back, I suppose.” You suppose quite a bit, huh? Answer away. Did you provide any new data, suppositions, proofs? Not much of an answer then.

    12) I pick on Ed? Poor Ed. Sorry Ed. I like most of your site. I also like the title. Seriously.

    13) “What, you are afraid to confront me on my own turf, but you think Ed is somehow an easier target?” Damn, you are funny. I would be afraid to post to your website because…? Really, you think entirely too much of you rhetorical skills. Next I suppose you’ll challenge me to a duel…

    14) “I find nothing remotely amusing about YOU.” That is because you are a humorless scold.

    15) “I see what you are doing. It’s called backpedaling to look humble and honest after being busted.” Busted…how? By who? On what? I say I’m not convinced, and I say exactly what problems I have. So…convince me. With anything. Like data. Or logical arguments. You know, some sort of persuasive writing, exchange of views. But it’s all just bombast and bluster.

    16) “I have every right to come here and tell you to F– OFF!” Well, now if that isn’t the best advertisement to visit your website, I don’t know what is!

    Well, as amusing as this has been, I have to go earn some filthy lucre. Ed, a pleasure. Dale…based on your post here I sincerely doubt there’s much point in a further exchange of views.

    Like

  15. Dale Husband says:

    Who is Dan? Dale Husband is my name and always has been.

    Geoman, your last response only gives further evidence of why you are not worth listening too. Shall I repeat your own words back to you?

    “Shouldn’t the rise and fall of sea levels be easily measurable? I mean we have tidal gauges all over the world, satellites, etc.”

    You wouldn’t have asked such a dumb question if you had read my blog entry that Ed linked to first.

    “You really don’t get it, do you? Maybe if I type a little slower…”

    Personal attack.

    “The rest of your post is the typical snarky non sequiturs and strawmen, none of which are worth responding to. I should say, most of your clever “zingers” leave me at best with a “so what?” feeling, and at worst with an overwhelming sense of fatigue.”

    Again, it seems you didn’t read MY entry, and just wasted your time slamming Ed. Stupid!

    “Obviously you are an intelligent person, yet clearly you are not a scientist. Despite this, you are very quick to fawn over one bit of data, while damning another, with very little knowledge or independent thought.”

    Assertions and ad homimem fallacy.

    “How can you be so sure what you are attacking or promoting is even close to being correct? That you are not simply perpetuating things that aren’t true as often as things that are?”

    By being skeptical of EVERYTHING, not just certain things that offend you.

    “My observation so far is that you don’t seem so much dedicated to the truth, as to shaping a history that pleases you (morally, intellectually, politically) in some way. It is kinda…sad.”

    Assertion.

    “What is the saying, once is a mistake, twice coincidence, the third time is enemy action? I think this will be my last post on this site – I can’t seem to get anywhere without cutting through forests of strawmen and unfocused data dumps.”

    In other words, you are a sore loser at debates.

    “I think the real problem is that you view Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) as if it was gravity, or the Earth being round. Proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. From there flows all you subsequent foolishness. Any side theory or measurement that supports AGW must, by definition, be true, and anything that is not consistent with AGW is at best, false, or at worst, a damnable lie. That point of view spares you from alot of critical thinking, but is not very useful.”

    Do you think AGW denialists are better, perhaps? Responsible scientists, being skeptics, check and recheck data to ensure its accuracy and make corrections when they are necessary. Denialists find one error in an issue and use that to deny the issue outright.

    “The problem is that AGW is an imperfect theory, one that does not explain all the facts and observations we have avalible. That is not uncommon at this stage of the game, or even a criticism of AGW – lots of great scientific theories took time to fully prove out. But AGW has a long way to go, and some substantial refinement, before it becomes the automatic trump card you seem to think it is.”

    Correct. Scientific theroies, being made by imperfect humans, must themselves be imperfect. But that can always be improved. So are you helping to make the necessary improvements to the research, instead of just nitpicking what Ed is doing?

    “Unfortunately AGW has gotten all tangled up with politics and emotions, much like the Theory of Evolution was, and unfortunately still is (sigh).

    Based on past incidences, blind boosterism of AGW will retard the its acceptance rather than enhance it.”

    I often compare the controversy over Creationism vs evolution with that over AGW too, and have noted that Creationists also tend to be AGW denialists. Coincidence? Maybe not.

    “Re. AGW – I’m skeptical. I’ve explained why ad nausea. Skeptisism should be the default position of any scientist, or thinking human for that matter.”

    Skepticism is a double-edged sword. I’m just as skeptical of YOUR claims as you expect us to be of the AGW proponents.

    “On the other hand you seem entirely credulous of any AGW claim, despite admitting you don’t really understand the science. Your very choice of language, calling anyone who doubts AGW a “denier”, is painful to read.”

    Where did Ed admit to not understanding the science?

    “See, your post was just that. A gleeful volley against the side you hate in favor of the side you like. Take that! And that! I know nothing about the subject, but I’m on a crusade against ignorance! But you don’t really understand that if one side is lying, the other side isn’t necessarily telling the truth. You’re swinging a club around in a darkened room, and think you are winning the fight whenever you connect with something, anything.

    Do yourself a favor – read the recent Geology article on the Maldives – I checked and it is avalible on-line. Then ask yourself – is an island that emerged from the ocean 4,000 years ago a good place for long term sudies of sea level changes? Then read Peter Huber’s “Bound to Burn” article. After that you’ll spend a lot more time laughing at this horseshit than fervently defending it.”

    You’d really like us to shut up and never answer you back, I suppose. And again, you did not read my own blog entry, did you? You don’t even reference it here, you just bash Ed! What, you are afraid to confront me on my own turf, but you think Ed is somehow an easier target?

    “Dale, that is about the funniest thing I’ve ever read. “You are too arrogant, and here, on my blog, you can read what I wrote about people just like YOU!” Please tell me you understand the comedy in that statement.”

    I find nothing remotely amusing about YOU.

    “Too sure of myself? yeah…that’s the problem. When I say I don’t know if AGW is true, I’m expressing my supreme intellectual arrogance. When I say I don’t know who to believe…yes, that too is arrogant. Why didn’t I see that before?”

    I see what you are doing. It’s called backpedaling to look humble and honest after being busted. You say now that you don’t know what is true, but you are sure those who DO know more than you are somehow wrong. Sorry, that is a logical FAIL!

    “I have thrown a few barbs at Ed, as he has thrown at me. I think it is arrogant of you to assume you need to mediate.”

    Geoman, since my blog entry that Ed was linking to was the actual subject matter above, I have every right to come here and tell you to F– OFF!

    Like

  16. Geoman says:

    Yep Ed, I’ve occasionally read “Watts up with that?” Not my favorite site. To much nit picky he said/she said and not enough actual science. Sorry, that probably disappoints you.

    Dale, that is about the funniest thing I’ve ever read. “You are too arrogant, and here, on my blog, you can read what I wrote about people just like YOU!” Please tell me you understand the comedy in that statement.

    Dan, I don’t have a blog, and I haven’t written about people like you. Mostly because,…I have no idea who you are, or what you are like. I make no presumptions regarding your character…that would be too arrogant.

    Too sure of myself? yeah…that’s the problem. When I say I don’t know if AGW is true, I’m expressing my supreme intellectual arrogance. When I say I don’t know who to believe…yes, that too is arrogant. Why didn’t I see that before?

    Most of the topics on this site I don’t post to, because I don’t know anything whatsoever about the subject and have nothing to add to the conversation. I guess that makes me smug and self righteous, right?

    I have thrown a few barbs at Ed, as he has thrown at me. I think it is arrogant of you to assume you need to mediate.

    Like

  17. Dale Husband says:

    Geoman, I have written about people like you. The condescending attitude you express towards people like Ed Darrel is that of a someone who is too sure of himself and not critical enough of himself while being hypercritical of others, the very opposite of being consistently “skeptical”. Physician, heal thyself!

    http://circleh.wordpress.com/2008/03/04/a-real-skeptic-vs-a-denialist/

    When you clean up your act, you will be listened to by a lot more people.

    Like

  18. Ed Darrell says:

    Have you ever read Watt’s Up With That?

    Like

  19. Geoman says:

    I don’t think you bend my statements, they just seem to bounce off the mental force field you surround yourself with. At first I thought the force field was composed of pure stupidity…which was why I persisted in posting. But now, I’m not sure. It is probably just extreme intellectual prejudice, combined with a bit of arrogance. Not atypical for bloggers on both sides of the spectrum. With the Internet, everyone is an expert on everything, even things they know nothing about.

    Re. AGW – I’m skeptical. I’ve explained why ad nausea. Skeptisism should be the default position of any scientist, or thinking human for that matter.

    On the other hand you seem entirely credulous of any AGW claim, despite admitting you don’t really understand the science. Your very choice of language, calling anyone who doubts AGW a “denier”, is painful to read.

    Re. the chart – Assuming some Nigerian prince didn’t supply you with the chart (this being the internet, you never know), what does it prove? That the blind “deniers” are just as full of crap as the blind proponents? Tell me something I don’t know.

    See, your post was just that. A gleeful volley against the side you hate in favor of the side you like. Take that! And that! I know nothing about the subject, but I’m on a crusade against ignorance! But you don’t really understand that if one side is lying, the other side isn’t necessarily telling the truth. You’re swinging a club around in a darkened room, and think you are winning the fight whenever you connect with something, anything.

    As I said, claims that sea levels changes can be accurately measured using data from the Maldives are laughable, given the poor quality of the data, and the small magnitude of the change. So both sides fuss over a bunch of crap data and their various “adjustments”. I feel like I’m watching two sorcerers arguing over the entrails of a dead animal, and one claiming the other illegally manipulated the gallbladder. A pox on both.

    Do yourself a favor – read the recent Geology article on the Maldives – I checked and it is avalible on-line. Then ask yourself – is an island that emerged from the ocean 4,000 years ago a good place for long term sudies of sea level changes? Then read Peter Huber’s “Bound to Burn” article. After that you’ll spend a lot more time laughing at this horseshit than fervently defending it.

    Like

  20. Ed Darrell says:

    What is the saying, once is a mistake, twice coincidence, the third time is enemy action? I think this will be my last post on this site – I can’t seem to get anywhere without cutting through forests of strawmen and unfocused data dumps.

    You seem bent on making an argument where I have made no statement at all. Perhaps, just perhaps, it’s not my bending of your statements that makes the problem.

    I’m willing to concede I may misunderstand what you mean, but I can’t do more than respond to what you write.

    I think the real problem is that you view Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) as if it was gravity, or the Earth being round. Proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. From there flows all you subsequent foolishness. Any side theory or measurement that supports AGW must, by definition, be true, and anything that is not consistent with AGW is at best, false, or at worst, a damnable lie. That point of view spares you from alot of critical thinking, but is not very useful.

    Meanwhile, it seems to me that you’re willing to treat any argument counter to warming or human causation as pure perfume. You never did respond to the chart posted above. I mean, turning the chart on a bias — could there be a more clear demonstration of bias than a literal bias? I confess I’m not deeply entrenched in the science, but I read that testimony three times trying to figure out why we shouldn’t count that as just a bold and bad lie.

    Did you even look at the chart?

    Like

  21. Geoman says:

    What is the saying, once is a mistake, twice coincidence, the third time is enemy action? I think this will be my last post on this site – I can’t seem to get anywhere without cutting through forests of strawmen and unfocused data dumps.

    “No part of the ocean is not subject to tides, nor is any part of the ocean not subject to shrinking or swelling due to heat expansion or ice expansion of the water. So no place on Earth meets your first criterion.”

    Errr. Yeah. Ignoring the rather confusing syntax, did you…um …actually read what I wrote? I clearly said that no place was ideal, but that there were places considerably closer to the ideal than the Maldive Islands. That was the purpose of listing out the types of criteria one might look for. I didn’t even say the word “tides”, other than to warn about measuring in bays, which tend to magnify the effects of tides. So clearly you have (once again) constructed a straw man argument.

    “Measuring in one place is silly, you argue with regard to the Maldives. (You argue correctly, but maybe not for the right reason.) So measuring at one place is out.” Er. Yeah. Okay. I didn’t actually say measuring in one place was silly (though I would agree), just trying to come to any conclusion regarding sea level changes by using the Maldive results was probably a waste of time. And what would be the “right reason”? Relying on a single point of measurement for any scientific conclusion is usually a mistake. What other reason could there be?

    Then follows a bit of data that looks like it was clipped from some wiki. And my response is…so? Measuring sea levels changes, especially small changes over a long time…is very hard. I think we agree. Measureing in the Maldives is just as dumb as measuring in Louisiana, or Alaska, or any place else where the land elevation is subject to change. Probably your best bet would be satellite altimeter data. The data we have appears to show an increase in sea levels of around 3 millimeters over the last decade. Unfortunately that result is a bit shakey too – the altitude of the satellite is only known to an accuracy of about 20 millimeters, which means the reported increase may just be…noise.

    I think the real problem is that you view Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) as if it was gravity, or the Earth being round. Proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. From there flows all you subsequent foolishness. Any side theory or measurement that supports AGW must, by definition, be true, and anything that is not consistent with AGW is at best, false, or at worst, a damnable lie. That point of view spares you from alot of critical thinking, but is not very useful.

    The problem is that AGW is an imperfect theory, one that does not explain all the facts and observations we have avalible. That is not uncommon at this stage of the game, or even a criticism of AGW – lots of great scientific theories took time to fully prove out. But AGW has a long way to go, and some substantial refinement, before it becomes the automatic trump card you seem to think it is.

    Unfortunately AGW has gotten all tangled up with politics and emotions, much like the Theory of Evolution was, and unfortunately still is (sigh).

    Based on past incidences, blind boosterism of AGW will retard the its acceptance rather than enhance it.

    Like

  22. Ed Darrell says:

    I could set up some criteria pretty quickly. A place with little subsidence or isostatic rebound, preferably on the equator. Not in a bay (tides). Geologically stable. Deep water, close to the coast. Low currents (erosion). Away from rivers. Perhaps Brazil? Maybe Namibia? You get the general idea. It is really not that hard.

    No part of the ocean is not subject to tides, nor is any part of the ocean not subject to shrinking or swelling due to heat expansion or ice expansion of the water.

    So no place on Earth meets your first criterion.

    Measuring in one place is silly, you argue with regard to the Maldives. (You argue correctly, but maybe not for the right reason.) So measuring at one place is out.

    Other difficulties intrude, too; for example:

    U. S. Tide Gauge Measurements
    U. S. Sea Level Trends 1900-2003

    Tide gauges in the United States show considerable variation because some land areas are rising and some are sinking. For example, over the past 100 years, the rate of sea level rise varies from about an increase of 0.36 inches (9.1 mm) per year along the Louisiana Coast (due to land sinking), to a drop of a few inches per decade in parts of Alaska (due to post-glacial rebound). The rate of sea level rise increased during the 1993-2003 period compared with the longer-term average (1961-2003), although it is unclear whether the faster rate reflects a short-term variation or an increase in the long-term trend.[19]

    Like

  23. Geoman says:

    You really don’t get it, do you? Maybe if I type a little slower…

    We agree that accurate measurements of sea levels changes are hard to make. Let’s work with that. Why are they hard to make? Because currently the changes are very small. If sea levels rose by a foot, well, that would be pretty dramatic and clear cut, right? But for now the change in sea levels are much smaller than background at most locations. So small to be potentially even non-existent.

    Logically, the best place to take such measurements would be a place where you have the minimum background forces in effect, right? Then you would have to make fewer adjustments to the data, and would have a more accurate and defensible data set. In science terms, your signal to noise ratio would be improved. Ideally you would have no adjustments at all, right? Then no one could dispute your adjustments. But we know that isn’t likely, so let’s focus on minimizing the number and type of adjustments.

    I could set up some criteria pretty quickly. A place with little subsidence or isostatic rebound, preferably on the equator. Not in a bay (tides). Geologically stable. Deep water, close to the coast. Low currents (erosion). Away from rivers. Perhaps Brazil? Maybe Namibia? You get the general idea. It is really not that hard.

    We know that atolls appear (such as the Maldives did around 4,000 years ago) and disappear (as some of the Marshall Islands have done) on relatively short time scales. Coral atolls are temporary structures that are not geologically persistent or stable. This has been occurring for a loooong time – there are many seamounts in the Pacific with sunken coral atolls on them. Why does this happen? All sorts of reasons having nothing to do with sea level changes or glabal warming.

    So, on our list of criteria for a good place to take a sea level measurement, the Maldives would be far down the list. Just because the Maldives would be impacted more by rising sea levels has no bearing whatsoever on where the best place to take the measurement would be. Also, if the Maldives are sinking, doesn’t mean that sea levels are rising.

    Now, I suspect, that many people are monitoring sea level changes in areas with little background impact. And, I suspect, those people are not reporting significant sea level changes. If they were it would be in all the papers a proof of global warming. So, I suspect, that the Maldive data is anomalous, and entirely meaningless regarding the case for or against global warming.

    The rest of your post is the typical snarky non sequiturs and strawmen, none of which are worth responding to. I should say, most of your clever “zingers” leave me at best with a “so what?” feeling, and at worst with an overwhelming sense of fatigue.

    Obviously you are an intelligent person, yet clearly you are not a scientist. Despite this, you are very quick to fawn over one bit of data, while damning another, with very little knowledge or independent thought. Going to the title of your post, isn’t that exactly how the story of Millard Filmore’s bathtub got started? People badly wanted to believe one thing over another, because it fit their world view, or was humorous, or whatever. How are you not doing exactly the same thing, right here, right now? Is “The Maldives are the first victim of global warming!” just the most recent version of Filmore’s bathtub? I know your quick response would be no, you are telling the truth. But is it? Really? As a professional scientist I can say the Maldive case doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense. But then again, maybe I’m not truthful either, eh?

    How can you be so sure what you are attacking or promoting is even close to being correct? That you are not simply perpetuating things that aren’t true as often as things that are?

    My observation so far is that you don’t seem so much dedicated to the truth, as to shaping a history that pleases you (morally, intellectually, politically) in some way. It is kinda…sad.

    Like

  24. ligne says:

    in theory, yes. in practice, no :-) there’s no such thing as a single global mean sea level, for a start (yup, completely unintuitive. i can’t remember all the factors involved off the top of my head, but they include air pressure, winds and sea currents). fun factoid: sea level at the two ends of the panama canal are quite significantly different.

    as you correctly point out, local surface elevation can change due to isostatic rebound. there are a few others too, mostly fairly localised. but the general trend looks to be up: http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.shtml

    the FAQs on that page seem to give a good overview of the problems.

    the reason the maldives keep coming up is that, at only a metre or two above sea level, they’re going to feel any sea level changes first. so it’s not surprising they’re kicking up a fuss.

    NOAA at least don’t have any stations there: http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/MSL_global_trendtable.html

    by the way do you have any links to good resources on the geology of the maldives? i don’t know much about them, beyond the fact they’re atolls, and my google-fu is week tonight :-)

    Like

  25. Ed Darrell says:

    Okay, using a little science and logic:

    1) Shouldn’t the rise and fall of sea levels be easily measurable? I mean we have tidal gauges all over the world, satellites, etc.

    Measurement is rather easy. The adjustments are hard. Measurements have to be adjusted for tides, heat effects, wind, and the rising or falling of the geological entity to which the gauge is attached, if any, among other things. Got a quick formula to do that?

    2) If sea levels are changing, shouldn’t we be noticing that change everywhere in the world? I realize that the Maldives would be most affected, but that doesn’t mean they would be the only place the change could be measured.

    No. As glaciers melt off of Alaska, for example, the land rises as the weight comes off the craton and the craton floats higher in the mantle of the Earth. In some parts of Alaska ocean rise is more than offset by the rising of the land, due to the loss of glaciers — as measured from an as-yet-uneroded part of the beach.

    The reason they are not measurable is because so far sea level changes (if they even exist) are really, really small. So small as to be indistinguishable from background. Which means it may well not exist.

    For the Maldives, small increments add up quickly. If the Maldives existed solely by coral growth, a rise of a millimeter or two a year may quickly outstrip the ability of the coral to grow that fast.

    The reason for the Maldives and not Miami Beach? Well, the land elevation is not static – it can change as well. The Maldives did not even exist 4,000 years ago – they were below current sea levels. They are coral atolls – maintained via coral growth and water circulation. Changes to these factors could result in growth or erosion of the islands, which would then be interpreted as a sea level rise and fall.

    Which doesn’t negate the rise of oceans. Rising oceans also have a huge effect on harbors. EPA is coordinating a series of meetings for U.S. harbors to study how they can mitigate bad effects, at huge costs. There are damages beyond your entire nation sinking away, even for those nations that are not sinking away.

    So the entire premise that sea level change can and should be measured in the Maldives, and that the data collected would have any value or meaning, is a lie.

    No one is suggesting all measurement should be done in the Maldives. The Maldives are simply the nation next scheduled to go underwater due to sea level increase. We’ve already lost islands in the Marshall Islands.

    Actually a rather obvious lie at that. It is possibly one of the WORST places to try and measure sea level change in the world.

    No, it’s just a lousy place to be living while the sea is rising. Plus, it’s frustrating to be losing your homeland while amateurs claim they know your land is not going under water, while it’s going under water.

    But hey, a bunch of climate researchers got a nice vacation out of the deal. In the meantime, wake me when they measure sea level rise in Rio.

    Who said any climate researchers went to the Maldives?

    If we find any reports about Rio and Brazil, we’ll let you know, okay?

    Like

  26. Geoman says:

    Okay, using a little science and logic:

    1) Shouldn’t the rise and fall of sea levels be easily measurable? I mean we have tidal gauges all over the world, satellites, etc.

    2) If sea levels are changing, shouldn’t we be noticing that change everywhere in the world? I realize that the Maldives would be most affected, but that doesn’t mean they would be the only place the change could be measured.

    The reason they are not measurable is because so far sea level changes (if they even exist) are really, really small. So small as to be indistinguishable from background. Which means it may well not exist.

    The reason for the Maldives and not Miami Beach? Well, the land elevation is not static – it can change as well. The Maldives did not even exist 4,000 years ago – they were below current sea levels. They are coral atolls – maintained via coral growth and water circulation. Changes to these factors could result in growth or erosion of the islands, which would then be interpreted as a sea level rise and fall.

    So the entire premise that sea level change can and should be measured in the Maldives, and that the data collected would have any value or meaning, is a lie. Actually a rather obvious lie at that. It is possibly one of the WORST places to try and measure sea level change in the world.

    But hey, a bunch of climate researchers got a nice vacation out of the deal. In the meantime, wake me when they measure sea level rise in Rio.

    Like

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