Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The case for global warming

In getting on for what must be a decade of global warming research, first as I was interested in it, and then as I saw it fall apart within a few years of the original stories, I very rarely come across anyone with the means to defend it when they attempt to. I realised something, if all the activists can only raise weird and abstract arguments for their case which amaze me in their entire emptiness of substance then what case do they have? Clearly diddly-squat. Let me go through them and you can make up your own minds:

1) 97% of scientists agree on man made warming.
2) This is the same sort of misinformation as given by tobacco companies.
3) You must be working for big oil.
4) You can't pollute the world and expect to get away with it.
5) You can't alter the composition of the atmosphere without causing problems.
6) Your information is not peer reviewed/from a blog/from a site sponsored by oil companies.
7) "You are insulting science"

Working through them,

1) This is based on a survey of under 100 results, as from the original few thousand most were rejected on various grounds (you tell me), until they reached the responders they considered qualified. The question was so vague (basically 'do you believe mankind is affecting the climate') it was very hard to disagree with, so naturally forms a false positive. There are well over 100 specialist scientists who say mankind's contribution is negligible, so they are clearly a very significant minority.

2) Smoking and health is a discrete measurable correlation, albeit requiring some years and large samples to demonstrate, but the damage to lungs can easily be seen on X rays and the tar and nicotine are stored in them, as seen in autopsies. There is absolutely no way it is possible to hide the damage caused by smoking where the CO2 added to the atmosphere cannot be seen to do anything directly, unless the temperature rises sharply, which it hasn't.

3) Big oil support global warming research, Shell and BP among others helped found the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. There are no oil companies as such, there are oil fields and companies who own the oil, but very few only supply oil, all supply energy from any source required including renewables if paid to do so, as they are, with guaranteed profits of 2-10 times that of fossil fuel, so they are definitely not employing anyone to discount global warming, quite the opposite. Their fossil fuel may run out, and will need alternatives, so being both paid to develop them through taxes and restricting the use of fossil fuel which puts the price up is a win-win situation for oil, gas and all energy companies.

4) This produces the classic philosophical fail of the leading question and false premise. Pollution is defined as noxious substances which are somewhere they do not belong. Plants and animals need an optimum amount of CO2 for the carbon cycle, otherwise all plants would die, no oxygen would be produced, so all the animals would also die. No one knows the exact effect of a 50, 100 or 200% rise until it happens as we have no direct experience of it, but we do know through simple experiments CO2 needs to be 10,000 ppm to restrict our breathing. Up till there people's lungs grow to increase the relative uptake of oxygen as they do if living in the Andes or Himalayas. Of course pollution is bad, but is CO2 pollution? I can't exactly see how.

5) The UN clearly state the advantages of warming may be overtaken by the problems at a 2C rise. Till then the clear message is overall conditions will be beneficial, from fewer deaths from cold and greater food production and lesser energy usage among others. Until the problems occur you cannot predict what will happen as we haven't experienced anything like this directly before.

6) Maybe or maybe not (they are often wrong), but what about the information? If a graph is correct then whichever source has shared it is unrelated to the graph itself. They are diverting attention from the facts as they can't deal with them directly.

7) No, people are making errors. If I mark an essay with ticks and crosses, I am not insulting the writer when mistakes are picked up, I am pointing them out and hopefully helping them not to do it again. If scientists make mistakes, no one is being personal when they point them out.

The truly amazing thing is the restriction of  almost identical responses received, as if they are either from a small team of a few people (which they are not, they are repeated like mantras by millions worldwide as if programmed), which if nothing else implies a few people are creating the memes (despite none being fit for purpose as none address actual absence of significant warming on the back of increased CO2 so totally valueless) and those recycling them have no personal questioning or responsibility for repeating them, so it is impossible to challenge them as they have not worked out these responses themselves but just repeating what they were told to. How can a genuine theory be based on so little evidential material leaving them to resort to no more than utter nonsense which breaks every rule of logic on one page. I have not even included induction here as it speaks for itself. If it's warm it's warming, if it's cold it's warming, and this applies for however long it lasts or otherwise, and however local or general it is. Despite telling us (we know already) not to use weather, not only do they always raise weather for their case (the great majority of academic papers not actually set decades or more ahead simply focus on minute local details and induce from them, which peer review is supposed to reject). Unless it's both worldwide and long term (ie more than a few years, 15 to 20 according to them for pauses in warming, extending to over 30 when the pause overtook 15 years) it's not really indicative of anything much.

I have not included ocean acidification, mainly as of course it's entirely unrelated to the temperature so something which should not be introduced into an argument about it, but also the ocean is alkaline, fresh water is acidic, and all the life survives larger swings in pH value than those expected from added CO2 absorption, so it is not only a harmless result, but one totally divorced from the topic in hand. They also refer to coral bleaching, which many papers explain is unrelated to warming and temporary.

Finally, here are some examples, mainly courtesy of that wonderful source of unfiltered fertiliser, Skeptical Science, which appear to be one of the major roots of this disease.

"Google Earth: how much has global warming raised temperatures near you?" (answer, it's local, weather, short term and if using absolute not relative measurements hardly at all).

"[JH] Jakobshavn Isbræ (Jakobshavn Glacier) is moving ice from the Greenland ice sheet into the ocean at a speed that appears to be the fastest ever recorded." Local conditions only.
""But there's a flip side to this American success story. Even as our nation is pivoting toward a more sustainable energy future, America's oil and coal corporations are racing to position the country as the planet's dirty-energy dealer... – supplying the developing world with cut-rate, high-polluting, climate-damaging fuels. Much like tobacco companies did in the 1990s – when new taxes, regulations and rising consumer awareness undercut domestic demand – Big Carbon is turning to lucrative new markets in booming Asian economies where regulations are looser. Worse, the White House has quietly championed this dirty-energy trade." - Tim Dickinson - Rolling Stone
Illustrates most of my points quite nicely, and brings politics into it which isn't related to science.
"When asked whether they believe the Earth has been warming over the past 100 years, large percentages of Americans said yes, according to preliminary findings presented in November 2013 by researchers of the Stanford Woods Institute fo...r the Environment at Stanford University"
Politics, appeal to the masses, irrelevant to actual science.

"Чарлз Картр The big oil companies have spent millions trying to counter the evidence for anthropogenic global warming, but just like the tobacco companies when they tried to combat the science exposing the dangers of their product, it has all been for naught. The overwhelming evidence, along with the consensus of the vast majority of climate scientists (as well as the rest of the scientific community) is crystal clear. It's real. Get over it. Sorry you can't keep up. The truth always comes out. No matter how much you people try to blow smoke, the evidence will keep piling up and the consequences will keep coming home to us. Keep burying your heads in the sand. The rest of us will bury your irrelevant denialism in the past where it belongs."

This represents 99% of global warming supply and response. Short term and local conditions extended to the general (against the rules of science) and long term predictions within a non-linear complex system (against the rules of science, with responses being personal attack (irrelevant), non-sequiturs (ditto), false premises and diversionary tactics.

And one from one of their supporters:  " If the carbon tax were done correctly, to be used to help mitigate the drivers and the effects of global warming , it will be liberating to people and anything but slavery."

Here's a typical deluded example from one of the mind controlled minions:

"Many of us recognize that we are shouting warnings to people sitting in houses that are on fire ....... people who will deny the fire and will fight any rescue attempts others will "impose" on them ....... so be it.

Some of us will simply present the facts and do what we can to improve the situation knowing full well that there will always be detractors while the ashes of their houses stare them in the face.

We are not trying to spread doom and gloom .... we are expressing caution. When the canaries in the mine signal that it is time to clear out of the mine, some will choose to stay and try to wring more out of the vein of coal, gold or whatever ...others will head to the surface or to the safety stations.

You get to choose your actions but you do not get to choose the consequences."

Not a single word of reality in the entire statement.

Forget the poor people who spend more and more of their capital on heating as it is an essential, and thousands die every year as they can no longer afford it at all.

If global warming was genuine and solid the data would speak for itself, and all the proponents would need to do would be to present it in simple items, which of course they can not, as there are none, shown by what passes for data from Skeptical Science and all who supply them. They have lost as they have no serious case to present and even less to defend. There is simply nothing of substance there whichever way you look at it.

As a reader criticised this post for being light on science (that's on other posts here but never mind) here are the basics, from the UN directly and their suppliers of data:

Temperature rise required for benefits to be outweighed by problems: 2C
Amount of increase from 260ppm CO2 1C
Amount added by doubling CO2 (at any level as it reduces with concentration) 1C
Amount added after a 50% rise in CO2 0.8C
Amount the 0.8C is attributed to CO2 c0.5C
Positive feedback (temperature amplification) from added water vapour from oceanic evaporation and less ice reflecting heat back so far: zero, possibly negative.
Models overestimated temperature in 2010s by more than double.
Models unable to factor in the two major coolants, cloud cover and aerosol dust.
Sea level rise in 20th century c7 inches
Sea level rise so far in 21st century if extended to 2100 c7 inches.

I see not only no signature of man made warming here (whatever the cause of the CO2, as if it follows warming then it is released by the sea after it warms, not mankind) but a positive absence of any feedback making the bare 1C rise from doubling CO2 the maximum possible, as with a 50% rise already it is clearly not happening.

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