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UN To Create Independent Panel To Review IPCC 342

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-can-only-end-well dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that an independent board of scientists will be appointed to review the workings of the world's top climate science panel, which has faced recriminations over inaccuracies in a 2007 report that included a prediction that Himalayan glaciers would vanish by 2035, although there is no scientific consensus to that effect. That brief citation — drawn from a magazine interview with a glaciologist who says he was misquoted — and sporadic criticism of the panel's leader have fueled skepticism in some quarters about the science underlying climate change. Nick Nuttall, a spokesman for the United Nations Environment Program, said the review body would be made up of 'senior scientific figures' who could perhaps produce a report by late summer for consideration at a meeting of the climate panel in October in South Korea. 'I think we are bringing some level of closure to this issue,' says Nuttall. One area to be examined is whether the panel should incorporate so-called gray literature, a term to describe nonpeer-reviewed science, in its reports. Many scientists say that such material, ranging from reports by government agencies to respected research not published in scientific journals, is crucial to seeking a complete picture of the state of climate science."
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UN To Create Independent Panel To Review IPCC

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:22PM (#31297136)

    Nothing could be sillier than some fake UN panel investigating itself.

    Whatever anyone thinks of AGW or GW or CC or anything else, this has to be seen for the nonsense that it is.

    There are no "independent" climate scientists and haven't been for decades, if ever.

  • Extra, Extra! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:25PM (#31297150)
    UN agrees to let scientists disagree ...

    The UN doesn't really do anything very well ... and this won't be any different. Their contribution will most likely be just another thumb on the political scale of this controversial topic.
  • by uassholes (1179143) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:36PM (#31297222)
    By who?
  • by thrillseeker (518224) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:39PM (#31297242)
    Something is causing the environment to change. It may not be all us but it is very likely that we are contributing in a significant amount.

    Since you've already decided that people [especially relatively rich Westerners] are the significant contributors to your already decided 'changes' in environment, you're just the kind of 'scientist' being solicited for the 'independent panel'.
  • by Pete Venkman (1659965) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:41PM (#31297260) Journal

    The main problem with this issue is that science and government operate very differently. When are people going to realize that governmental panels on climate change will not work as science.

  • by jfengel (409917) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:42PM (#31297272) Homepage Journal

    The report is going to conclude that a bunch of minor errors were made, and does not alter the fundamental conclusions. This is what has been said all along.

    The climate change deniers, who believe it's all part of a massive conspiracy against them, will simply see that as more evidence of the conspiracy. They did not understand the science in the first place, which is why they were able to seize on small errors and blow them out of proportion.

    I suppose it's intended to demonstrate integrity, to develop another report confirming that the errors did indeed exist (and possibly even uncover others). They should even go in with the full intent of finding serious errors, should they exist. But failing to find those errors will not convince anybody who needs convincing. Nor can I imagine what would.

  • by RingDev (879105) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:43PM (#31297282) Homepage Journal

    The 2 big issues I've heard about that report are the citing of a non-peer reviewed source for the Himilaya glacier and an incorrectly phrased line about flooding in the Netherlands (propertly cited, just incorrectly stated)

    Now those two mistakes should not be in a paper from such a highly regarded organization, but...

    THE PAPER WAS OVER 3000 PAGES LONG.

    If I were to write a 3000+ page paper and only had 2 significant mistakes in it, I would be freaking estatic! I mean really, we are humans, there are going to be mistakes in everything we do. That the IPCC has been so responsive in retracting the parts of the paper that have not stood up to review and that out of such a huge document so few mistakes have been reported, shouldn't we instead see this as a great work?

    -Rick

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:44PM (#31297288)

    There are no "independent" climate scientists and haven't been for decades, if ever.

    That's a pretty bold claim. Do you also think it is the same with sciences? Are there no independant botanists either? Are they all involved with some big conspiracy to hide the fact that all the leaders of the world are actually vegetables?

    Hmm, maybe not. I does sound a tad silly. Perhaps the conspiracy just involves those scientists who claim something that you don't want to believe.

  • by Oligonicella (659917) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:50PM (#31297350)
    Yeah, right. It will be UN bureaucrats. There will be no voting or even asking.
  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:00PM (#31297404) Journal

    Well for a start, calling those of us who have some skepticism "deniers" doesn't do you any favours. As to telling us what we will or wont be satisfied with is not your place either. We've just seen some of the leading proponents of AGW fudging data, destroying data, using personal influence in attempting to keep critical papers from being included in reports. If a second body can help bring some credibility back to the debate, then I'm all for it. The interest of anyone should be the truth and it's insulting to say that anyone who questions what they're told is doing so because they are trying to conceal the truth. It's by questioning that the truth is found and we shouldn't criticise people for questioning and saying someone is a "denier" when all they're saying is "the evidence hasn't convinced me" is wrong. And let's not even get started on your characterisations about black helicopters and commies. You think you understand climate science? I'd say you don't. The climate is very, very complicated and I doubt Phil Jones of the CRU is posting on Slashdot under the username Bemopolis. So don't mock other people who admit they don't know how the climate works and ask for explanations.
  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:04PM (#31297426) Homepage

    There are no "independent" climate scientists and haven't been for decades, if ever.

    That's a pretty bold claim. Do you also think it is the same with sciences? Are there no independant botanists either? Are they all involved with some big conspiracy to hide the fact that all the leaders of the world are actually vegetables?

    Hmm, maybe not. I does sound a tad silly. Perhaps the conspiracy just involves those scientists who claim something that you don't want to believe.

    There actually are independent scientists, and as the CRU emails show, they have been disparaged and shut up at every possible point.

  • by JDmetro (1745882) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:05PM (#31297428)
    They did not understand the science in the first place, which is why they were able to seize on small errors and blow them out of proportion.
    The climate change supporters always say "they just don't understand the science" so then why don't the climate scientists explain things very nice and clearly instead of making wild claims and picking on the minors and ignoring the majors and all the while refusing to show anyone their raw data.
    It is kind of like not showing your work in math class then whining that the teacher is unfair for accusing you of cheating. You can't prove you did any calculation right if you don't show your work.
  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:06PM (#31297434) Homepage

    Um, so those are the only two errors or just a couple that were really obvious? I think we both know the answer to that question.

    Given that the entire thing is based on bad data (if it weren't it would have been released), I'm not even sure why we're still discussing this. It's a sham.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:09PM (#31297452)

    Every year for the last ten years has been setting record temperatures.

    This is just false. I have yet to see a report that does not agree that there has been no warming since 1998. And many reports that suggest temperatures have fallen slightly since 1998 (several that suggest they have fallen as much as they rose in the previous 2 or 3 decades of warming).

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .retawriaf.> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:23PM (#31297530) Homepage

    When I find two major errors in such an important report that was supposedly written, edited, and reviewed by some of the top experts in the world - I wonder what other mistakes slipped by. Checking your writeup against your sources and verifying those sources is something even Wikipedia enforces.
     
    I'm doubly suspicious when it takes the people derided as 'deniers' to find the errors, but the people who support the conclusions can't be bothered to take time out of their cheerleading to double check the document themselves. That smells of religion, not science.

  • Wrong response (Score:2, Insightful)

    by A beautiful mind (821714) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:40PM (#31297750)
    There should be no panel to investigate stuff, as there was nothing wrong with the report that covers the physical science and there were only a small number of minor mistakes in WG3's document (that is not about the science basis for AGW).

    Setting up a panel is exactly the wrong response, because it lends credibility to the whackjobs. What the scientific community needs is better PR and stating that essentially those who think AGW is not happening are gullible, misguided people, whackjobs and paid ex-tobacco lobbyists.
  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:41PM (#31297766)

    A little mistake is fine. Referencing a WWF report is not a little mistake. Arguing that "gray literature" is required to get an accurate picture basically blows your credibility.

  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bemopolis (698691) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:41PM (#31297772)
    How much of the literature have you actually read, yourself? Not books. Not newspaper articles. Not a lecture from a blond melonhead on FNC. Actual, peer-reviewed, scientific articles written by actual scientists who understand science and do science for a living. Seriously. How much. And how much did you understand. What other scientific theories did you put to the same rigors before you accepted them. Heliocentrism? Gravity? Do you refuse to fly because you don't feel the jury is completely out on the Bernoulli effect? But perhaps I *am* being presumptuous; based on recent surveys, and assuming you are American, it's about a 50-50 chance that you don't even accept the well-established theory of evolution.

    "But, but, but, the climate is complicated." Complicated? Shit, the human body is complicated. When you get sick, do you comb through the medical journals to find out the double-blind study on the latest treatment your ailment (which you have diagnosed using your years of medical training and the DSM, no doubt). Because hey, if you don't, you are putting your very life in the hands of scientists WHO MAY BE IN ON THE CONSPIRACY. My God man, it's YOUR LIFE, employ some of that "skepticism". When you feel that lump under your armpit, get thee to a homeopath and crystal healer! And don't forget to stop by a Scientology church for your free audit — it could be a fat thetan.

    But of course not. While doctors can and do make mistakes, on the whole they are generally treating their patients under the current understanding of their field. So it is with climatologists. So please, spare me your hurt wittle feewings because I know the difference between a skeptic and a denier, and say so. And while you're at it, Google "confirmation bias".

    But hey, thanks for making my point.
  • by jfengel (409917) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:47PM (#31297834) Homepage Journal

    Don't care about your race, class, political party, gender, sexual preference, or anything else aside from your ability to evaluate the facts.

    I do care that if you're going to express an opinion on climate change that you have a source other than blogs, and enough science background to evaluate the claims.

    There do exist climate change skeptics. I've met a few. They have a science background and grasp the complexities involved.

    Those who deny it without the science background, believing it to be nothing more than a conspiracy, I term "deniers". Especially those who grasp at any straw, from "it's not happening" to "it's not our fault" to "it's OK", because their concern is less with the reality of the situation than with ensuring that nothing is done because those who want something done are bad people.

    The former are very interesting. The latter are irrelevant.

  • by jadavis (473492) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:55PM (#31297900)

    Do you also think it is the same with sciences?

    In other scientific fields, the problem is not nearly as severe because:
    (a) There is not such a huge difference in the amount of money scientists receive for one result versus the opposite result; or
    (b) The field is not as politically charged; or
    (c) The ultimate accuracy of a theory is seen more decisively in a shorter period of time.

    Even with other money-charged scientific fields, like medicine, the results ultimately play out in clinical trials and then general availability. The truth will reveal itself relatively soon, serious investigations will follow any serious problem, and the consequences to anyone who violates the rules are severe.

    However, with climate scientists, just like with economists, they can always claim their theories are correct throughout their entire lifetimes regardless of the outcomes. They just say that some "other, unforeseen factor" changed the outcome without contradicting their theory. And serious investigations are much less likely -- note that "ClimateGate" was the result of hacking rather than systematic review or investigation.

    None of this means that the climate isn't changing. But it does mean that we will have a major problem getting accurate information, making useful predictions, and crafting effective policy regarding climate change (that is, if policy is the correct approach at all).

  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by reboot246 (623534) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:59PM (#31297950) Homepage
    What you and everyone else just can't seem to grasp is that it is the very "peer review process" that has been compromised. In climate science peer review has become nothing more than a circle jerk, so claiming something has been peer reviewed means diddly squat.

    Until we can trust the process, climate science is just a bunch of claims and counter-claims. Of course, this new U.N. panel is a waste of time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:59PM (#31297952)
    Last winter we had 2 inch of snow, this we had 20. that means we'll have 200 inches of snow the next winter and 2000 after that. This is clearly a true and well determined problem, we can't afford to wait until next winter before we implement a multi billion$ anti-snow policy. We also should not waste any more money on any further studies of the predicted snow depth because I already have a consensus that it's a real problem.

    If you disagree with me you don't understand the science or hold stock in snow-removal services. And those are the only possibilities, there's no one that cares about truth anymore, there's only monetarily motivated people and stupid people in this world.
  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bemopolis (698691) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:03PM (#31298016)

    What you and everyone else just can't seem to grasp is that it is the very "peer review process" that has been compromised. In climate science peer review has become nothing more than a circle jerk, so claiming something has been peer reviewed means diddly squat.

    So, what you are saying is that *no* amount of scientific data and publication will convince you, because the "peer review process" has been compromised. The same argument made about biology among the "Intelligent Design" crowd.
    That's called denial.
    That makes you a denier.

  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:08PM (#31298072)

    As to telling us what we will or wont be satisfied with is not your place either.

    Actually, it is quite reasonable to say what the deniers will be satisfied with because they are so predictable. For example, look at your own post:

    • Complain about being called a denier
    • Make vague and unsubstantiated accusations about "fudging data" and "destroying data" (with the implication of trying to hide the facts)
    • Be the victim: "Our papers get censored. It's all a conspiracy!"
    • Mention Phil Jones - imply he is the antichrist where ever possible

    It is all cookie cutter stuff. You did miss a few points, though.

    • It is actually getting cooler (Warning! Do not link to graphs)
    • The science isn't settled - the debate still rages
      (Warning! Do not use this in the same post as "there is no debate because we get censored")
    • Point out the few errors in the IPCC report and say the entire thing is discredited because of them
    • Say that AGW has been proved to be all a hoax and hope that nobody asks for details
    • There is a lot of money to be made in being an alarmist (but don't mention stock options in mining companies or industry funded think-tanks)

    But seriously, if you are indeed a genuine skeptic, then you should recognise that the denier tag is not being attributed to you. You must have spotted that there ARE people out there who will not be convinced on this subject no matter how much science you can show them.

  • by zippthorne (748122) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:15PM (#31298142) Journal

    The problem is that there is a massive conspiracy trying to use climate change as a lever to promote a social agenda. They have insinuated themselves into the process and have tainted some of the research.

    There is also a loose gathering of industrialists trying to use the same thing as a bullet point to help separate you from your dollars. From the greenwashing of GE using their mouthpiece of every show on NBC, to the auto companies with their claims of 200+ mpg hybrids (which, of course, get a "small" portion of their motive energy out-of-band...), to the electric utilities with their "we need you to approve another rate hike because those windmills we haven't installed yet cost twice as much per kW as conventional fuels" plans.

    There are a lot of thumbs leaning on the scales, and it's made it more challenging to separate the nuggets of truth from the nodules of crap that have been surreptitiously dumped into this "perfect storm" of conflicting interests.

  • by Bemopolis (698691) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:24PM (#31298244)

    Seriously I think that one of the most important lessons from his role on the NASA Challenger commission, is what an outside[r] can accomplish.

    You left an important word — qualified outsider.

    Even if they are not weather experts, they may provide some insight to the scientific methods used.

    Repeat after me — "Weather is not climate; climate is not weather."

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:25PM (#31298256)

    Its been cooling a bit for the last 8 years... the trend began in 2002.

    Wow! I can't believe anyone seriously uses that argument anymore. This last decade as been the hottest decade on record. Any slight cooling doesn't change that. You make it sound like it must be much cooler than the record books, but 2009 was globally the 5th hottest year on record.

    Have a look at any temperature graph [wikipedia.org] and tell us how significant is your cooling period. Can you spot any other similar cooling pattern in the preceding decades? If so, did those times also prove that it is getting cooler, or did it just bounce back even higher?

  • by jfengel (409917) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:25PM (#31298260) Homepage Journal

    I'd have to assume that those that agree with 'climate-change' and don't have a the appropriate science background are irrelevant as well?

    In fact, yes.

    If I as a non-scientist cannot have an opinion, then you cannot have my money.

    As long as we are putting things into everybody's air, we are going to have to come to a conclusion. In a democracy, all those people get a vote, regardless of the fact that their opinions are ill-founded.

    But if you want to actually win an argument, rather than an election, you need to be able to back up your opinion.

  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:27PM (#31298296) Journal

    Goodness! By using terminology like "hurt wittle feewings" and extrapolating from my skepticism about AGW that I must also disbelieve evolution, medical science and refuse to fly because I think aviation is unproven, you have completely refuted my own post which was a mere logical argument following from what you said. Well played, sir, well played.

    But just so I don't get sucked into the same vortex of facetiousness that you have, I'll respond to some of your points anyway. You're likening of climate science to current medical science is very unfounded. The foundations of practical medical science (a) has been developed over a very long time whilst climate science in its current form is very recent and far more significantly (b) medical science is based on falsifiable experiments - many of them. Do you want to list some of the falsifiable experiments that climate scientists have carried out? We can compare them to the millions of repeated experiments that form the foundation of modern medical science. And remember, that medical science is frequently limited in scope. We try this single drug on 500 hundred mice with cancer and note its effect. The climate is a massive holistic system that makes it near impossible to isolate factors in the same way. Climate scientists simulate falsifiable experiments by looking for "natural" experiments in history and the environment today and that's valid, but it's not the same thing by a long shot. So we are very valid in making distinctions between medical science and climate science.

    And I think your parts about heliocentrism and gravity are hillarious. The implication is that you think anyone who doubts AGW might as well doubt gravity. Really? They're equivalent in their obviousness? You're really prepared to say: "Well if you don't notice the impact of CO2 in the upper atmosphere and how that may cause increasing humidity from the oceans causing a runaway effect which is exasperated by released glacial methane but somewhat mitigated by the increased albedo of the planet and the greater level of carbon-absorbing oceanic life-forms and plantlife then you might as well just doubt that there's a force that stops you floating into space, moron."

    Really, the point I made was "without studying all the material yourself and researching it, how can you state what the Truth is with great certainty". Do you want to explain how "how much of the literature have you read?" refutes my point? Because I don't see a connection. I say we don't know, and you respond with "well you don't know." That doesn't follow.

    And for more poor logic, no, I didn't google "confirmation bias". I find it tiresome how many people try to argue by Google, as if looking up a word is akin to making an argument. You might want to explain how someone who says that they don't know the answer and haven't reached a conclusion, is guilty of "confirmation bias". But who knows. Maybe if you google "relevance" you'll be able to cut and paste the results into your reply. ;)

    If you want to reply again, this time please actually argue points, rather than a spiel about scientology and other attempts at argument through mockery.

    Regards,
    H.
  • by UltraAyla (828879) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:42PM (#31298436) Homepage

    There actually are independent scientists, and as the CRU emails show, they have been disparaged and shut up at every possible point.

    Yes, because as we all know, a single case study always generalizes to the whole. I think it's ridiculous that people who are criticizing science are being so unscientific themselves.

    As someone who has worked a great deal on climate change issues, I want to respect skepticism in the scientific process because it *usually* is very healthy. In this case though, so much of the skepticism is fueled by political bias that I believe it's become, for the most part, unhealthy for the science. That said, I understand your criticism of the CRU emails. It made me mad too, but it has been blown out of proportion. If you look at the IPCC reports, many of the studies the CRU scientists were criticizing were actually included. These guys had some power in the discourse, but not as much as people attribute to them.

  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:45PM (#31298462)
    Why do we care about this? What is the consequence if somebody thinks the earth is getting warmer or cooler?

    Why should we do your homework for you? Go and look it up for yourself, or hand in your nerd card. You'll find it's more complicated than "the earth is getting warmer or cooler".
  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Bemopolis (698691) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:48PM (#31298478)
    Pick one:
    If you have read the literature and understand the science well enough to make cogent arguments against the conclusions, that makes you a skeptic.
    If you have not read the literature, have no grasp of the science behind it, but accept the conclusions because you like them, that makes you a zealot.
    If you have not read the literature, have no grasp of the science behind it, but reject the conclusions because you don't like them, that makes you a denier.

    I merely stated that the term "denier" applies to you, and pointed out your defensiveness about being labeled as such. (The facetiousness was value-added content just for my own amusement.) As for whether you are a geocentric Intelligent Design-loving Scientologist, that's just as likely as any other supposition on my part. Since you seem to be a "skeptic" about one particular field of science based on no reasoning whatsoever (other than "It's so complicated, waaaa"), why not the rest of them?
  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:53PM (#31298518)

    In other scientific fields, the problem is not nearly as severe because:
    (a) There is not such a huge difference in the amount of money scientists receive for one result versus the opposite result

    Where is your proof of this. I have never seen one single shred of evidence for this outlandish claim.

    (b) The field is not as politically charged

    What difference does that make? How is the science more correct in another field because fewer people have alternative reasons to disagree with it? And this wasn't always a political debate. President George Bush Snr publicly stated that the world needed to act to prevent the problems of global warming. Up until the mid 90s this had bipartisan support.

    The ultimate accuracy of a theory is seen more decisively in a shorter period of time

    The predictions that we would experience warming due to CO2 dates back to the 30s. Guess what? Their predictions have proven correct.

  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by feepness (543479) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @03:09PM (#31298700) Homepage

    So, what you are saying is that *no* amount of scientific data and publication will convince you, because the "peer review process" has been compromised. The same argument made about biology among the "Intelligent Design" crowd.
    That's called denial.
    That makes you a denier.

    So what you're saying is that *no* amount of malfeasance will convince you the belief system is invalid. The same argument made about the bible among the "Intelligent Design" crowd.
    That's called faith.
    That make you a member of a religion.

  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @03:27PM (#31298844) Journal

    Do you want to explain how "how much of the literature have you read?" refutes my point?

    It's a pertinent question. When someone claims that there is effectively no evidence in favor of AGW, they'd damn well better know what is actually being written in the relevant science journals otherwise it's little different than what the creationists do. i.e. a YEC claiming evolution doesn't exist ought to be fairly knowledgeable of any scientific papers on the subject of evolution just as AGW deniers. This isn't an unreasonable request, that is that if your going to make a claim either way you ought to know what the hell you're talking about.

  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by durrr (1316311) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @03:29PM (#31298860)
    A lot of skeptics are not denying we're seeing a long time warming, glaciers after all have been receding for some 150+ years.
    They are however rejecting that human activity is the primary driving factor and that things will go to shit and the sealevel will reach the moon before the end of next week if we do nothing.

    To condense it, there's two main disagreements: The cause; Man vs Nature. And feedback; negative or positive.

    To the latter i may add that negative feedback is more often found in nature, perhaps because it dutifully returns towards its origin and can experience feedback once again, whereas positive feedback once put in motion is not likely to stop or return anytime soon. If negative feedback, i'm buying a SUV. If positive, i'll buy an amphibic SUV, because even the most dreamy scenario of 30-50% reduction in CO2 emissions would still not be enough to stop it.
  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @03:37PM (#31298920) Journal

    Pick one:

    You see, you go wrong on the very first line of your post. If I ask you what 5 + 3 gives and tell you to pick an answer from [1,7,9,11] then that's no good at all. And your post is similar. You list a few positions which you have created so that you can point out what is wrong with them and tell me to choose which applies to me? Well none of them, I'm afraid, or have you not read the posts you are replying to? I think we're more or less done here, but I'll cover the last few bits of your post.

    I merely stated that the term "denier" applies to you, and pointed out your defensiveness about being labeled as such

    Great logic - I'm a "denier" because you say so and this is confirmed by my saying I'm not because rejecting a label is a sure sign of guilt. In other words: if he says he's not a commie traitor, he must be, because that's exactly what a commie traitor would say.

    The facetiousness was value-added content just for my own amusement

    It's good that you can amuse yourself. I'm afraid the rest of the world probably just saw it as ad hominems.

    Since you seem to be a "skeptic" about one particular field of science based on no reasoning whatsoever (other than "It's so complicated, waaaa"), why not the rest of them?

    I explained this. Falsifiability, controlled experiments, not to mention how stupid it is for you to suggest man's precise effect upon the climate and in what ways is as obvious as gravity's effect upon ourselves and that one who is uncommitted on the former might as well dismiss the latter. And as to "it's so complicated, waaaa", my first inclination is to tell you to grow up, but honestly, I make no apologies for not understanding all the intricacies of how the climate works and I grow tired of you implying that it's easy.

    I'm probably done here,

    Regards
    H.

  • by dwguenther (1100987) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @03:44PM (#31298998)
    This is also typical. Attack the science with quotes from an opinion column that cites other opinion columns that make up stories and repeat falsehoods until they look like truth. Thank goodness most national governments aren't run by bloggers, so we can actually get something done.
  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bemopolis (698691) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @04:04PM (#31299176)

    So what you're saying is that *no* amount of malfeasance will convince you the belief system is invalid.

    Why, because scientists being dicks to each other is out of character? Please. And as for dismissing the general public, you should have seen some of the bullshit mail I got from the general public as an astronomer (O may "God" bless you Honest John Malatich you crazy-ass sumbitch!). And that was just from the self-motivated whack jobs; I can only imagine the volume of shit what climatologists get from those in the general public, especially as they tend to be well-funded by those with financial and political agendas.

    Personally I will not waste my time discussing science with deniers face to face, any more than I will listen to rant about Jeebus as you try to hand me your pamphlet. Now skeptics are another matter, but you better be prepared to answer some basic physics questions, lest ye be a denier in skeptic's clothing. And besides, malfeasance is not counter-evidence. If it turns out that Isaac Newton was a child-molester who enjoyed stealing from the Treasury while screaming blasphemes about Christ's after-Last Supper activities at the Archbishop of Canterbury, it would not affect his theory on the motions of the planets or those on the nature of light.

    Conversely, if it turned out he never kicked a puppy, gave his possessions to the needy, and died keeping the temple of his body virginal so he could sit at the right hand of God, it would not make his theory valid at speeds near that of light.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:06PM (#31299640)

    "A little mistake is fine, but..."

    Except that it is not claimed that those are "little" mistakes.

    In fact the parent called it "significant" mistakes.

    The argument is that 2 mistakes in a 3000 page long document is not bad at all; it means 99.9 % of the findings in the report are not mistakes.

  • by chrb (1083577) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:45PM (#31299862)

    Um, so those are the only two errors or just a couple that were really obvious?

    If the errors were really so obvious, then why did it take two years for anyone to notice them?

  • by wytcld (179112) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:48PM (#31299878) Homepage

    Many scientists say that such material, ranging from reports by government agencies to respected research not published in scientific journals, is crucial to seeking a complete picture of the state of climate science.

    Ceoyouo confuses the camps. The "scientists" who say we need gray literature are those who produce the gray literature. The gray literature is almost entirely supportive of the denialist political camp. The UN would panel, if it leaves out the gray literature, will most likely end up fully supporting the IPCC's reports, aside from the small corrections already noted as necessary such as the estimate of the speed of glacial melting in the Himalayas, which in that case crept in from gray literature itself (although from bad pop reporting rather than denialist pseudo-science).

    So: The IPCC would prefer to exclude gray literature, and regrets it wasn't 100% successful in its prior attempt to do so (e.g. the Himalayan thing). Those opposed to the IPCC, most of whom haven't been able to publish in peer-reviewed journals, insist that their gray literature - largely papers published by think tanks funded by oil interests, outside of the recognized scientific press - should be taken into account. They believe that the peers who peer review are all in on the conspiracy, so that any limitation to peer-reviewed literature misses the "truth" of how nearly everyone in academia is part of a vast effort to bring One World Government, an agenda which includes fostering panic and fear so that the population turns over control of the economic system to bureaucrats, whom it is presumed most scientists have a deep, instinctual, natural love of.

    What do you say, scientists? I know a few of you are reading this. You love bureaucrats, don't you? Ha.

  • by graft (556969) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:51PM (#31299890) Homepage
    Are you serious? Maybe you should ask some Australians; they've had a drought for fifteen years. Maybe you should ask some Indians; if the Himalayan glaciers DO disappear, the water source for their major river system, responsible for a huge part of their agriculture, will dry up with it. Maybe you should ask some South Americans, who face the same issue with glacial melt. Maybe you should read about the effect increasing ocean acidification has on coral bleaching, and the resulting devastation to all sorts of marine wildlife.

    Or maybe you should display zero intellectual curiosity and write this off as "a bunch of guys arguing".

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:54PM (#31299916) Journal
    The scary part is that they are even considering the idea that 'grey literature' might be acceptable. The answer is no, and we already have examples of why not: they are not held to the same standards and are often wrong.

    Seriously, if you need grey literature, what it really means is you need to do more research. That is all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 27, 2010 @06:04PM (#31299986)

    I am so not replying to all of those. Come on, man. This is like trying to be right because you scream the loudest.

    I stopped reading after this one, though, because...

    ClimateGate - This scandal began the latest round of revelations when thousands of leaked documents from Britain's East Anglia Climate Research Unit showed systematic suppression and discrediting of climate skeptics' views and discarding of temperature data, suggesting a bias for making the case for warming. Why do such a thing if, as global warming defenders contend, the "science is settled?"

    ... okay, let me answer that question. They were discrediting sceptics' views because scientific organizations exist to discredit the nonsense that those idiots put out. I'm not saying all sceptics are idiots, but global warming opponents in general do bravely lead the way in spouting non-scientific absurdities. They were discarding temperature data because some data is not accurate, useful or unbiased and NEEDS to be discarded. Like weather stations that used to be suitably far away from a city but aren't anymore due to urbanization (which, had they not filtered those out, would actually have meant a bias towards higher temperatures, mind you). In order to get a good and clear report of the actual temperatures, you NEED to strictly impose restrictions on which stations you use for your data. This is called doing science.

    ClimateGate was one gigantic manufactured controversy and it GENUINELY saddens me that there are so many people who fall for this.

  • by graft (556969) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @06:21PM (#31300088) Homepage
    What bad data are you talking about? The temperature record? The CO2 record? Both of those are fairly open datasets. Are you talking about data from, say, 1986 not being available? Is that really surprising? How much stuff do you have left from 1986? Scientists aren't always completely diligent about keeping around old data, little imagining that 20 years later some jackass who thinks they're guilty of (20-year sustained and multiply sourced) conspiracy is going to come around and ask for it.
  • by CheshireCatCO (185193) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @07:33PM (#31300516) Homepage

    The oil industry has been found to be funding at least one of the more prominent skeptical scientists, for a start. And even just yesterday, All Things Considered reported a story about how an industry lobbying group for the power industry is lobbying against the EPA's plan to regulate greenhouse gases, claiming that they're not a pollutant as the EPA claims.

    We've also seen, in recent years, that the tobacco industry was helping lobby against climate change findings. (The logic being spreading doubt over one kind of science taints it all, apparently.) Link: http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/09/19/1819257 [slashdot.org]

    So while I applaud your skepticism on such things, in this case, the data are there.

    All I ever see and hear in the media (with exception to Fox 'News') is that climate change is man made, end of story, no room for questions, the end, it's done.

    Which ignores the fact that the media widely has carried the counter-claims and stories about the leaked emails and other would-be scandals. One never really does feel that the media gives one's own side a fair shake, do they?

    I hate that kind of crap, can anyone here think of a single other scientific theory that is so adamantly fought for by a group of people?

    Evolution springs to mind. (I seem to recall at least one person being put on trial for teaching it, don't you?) Which is, as I said, similar in that it is also fought against viciously by another group. Which is why you get the strong support: the science community, under assault, are simply pushing back. And apparently, they're wrong to do so. What would you have them do, when their work and their very honesty is attacked?

  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PeterKraus (1244558) <peter.kraus@member.fsf.org> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @08:40PM (#31300952) Homepage

    Well,
    I have just finished an essay on Aerosols and Climate change (which are the main part of negative feedback effects, ie, climate cooling effects). What the IPCC 2007 report states is merely just that:

    a) yes, aerosol effects have a negative feedback
    b) yes, we understand some of the mechanisms by which aerosols affect radiative forcing
    c) we are not sure which aerosols are anthropogenic and which are not (due to atmospheric mixing)
    d) we have only limited models and the scientific understanding of this issue is low
    e) resulting uncertainties in the modelling are too big to be taken as a fact
    f) therefore we can't say how much do aerosols reduce the CO2 effect

    Now, this is my interpretation in what the IPCC report says (and the documents it links to/quotes); but the fact is - we know how much does CO2 change the radiative forcing, cause that is relatively easy to model, and we know that it is having a positive feedback effect. We know there are negative feedback effects, but the magnitude of them is very uncertain. I personally find it better to try and reduce CO2 emissions (and other positive feedback causes) just in case they are outweighing the negative feedbacks, you know, just in case...

    I believe it's okay to question the reports - that's what science is all about. The problem is the way the discussion is taking place - you know, slashdot, with people arguing that because in the last 5 years the average temperatures went down, or that all data is fabricated, or that there is a conspiracy - that doesn't really help.

    I might have missed it, but I would like to hear your questions about AGW, which make you "not convinced" about it. And I find the (variation on the) argument - you don't know enough - to be strong enough an argument. In my sort of idealistic thinking about science and society, if we know something can be only bad, or worse, or less bad (but not good), there is not many scientific reasons not to try to change it (i'm directly referencing CO2 emissions now).

  • by Jiro (131519) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @08:50PM (#31301004)

    Catching scientists in a misrepresentation isn't "the scientific process worked", it's "the scientific process failed, but it could have failed even worse if they had gotten away with it". Lying is an attempted subversion of the process, not part of the process. You might say that being able to catch lies is part of the process, but not lying is still better than lying and being caught.

    And many of the proposed anti-global-warming measures themselves have the potential to "eventually devastate our social and economic well being".

  • Re:Extra, Extra! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @10:11PM (#31301624) Journal

    And also in this time, I've seen it shift from "Global Warming" to (when the former turned out to be too hard to prove) to "Climate change" which is pretty much irrefutable, and pretty much useless as well.

    So far as I understand, the name change was purely political, because labeling it "global warming" required explaining that it's the average temperature is going up, not the local one for every single guy asking this question - and there were (and still are, as evidenced by Slashdot discussion) surprisingly a lot of them.

    Even though they name it "climate change" now, the prediction is the same - global average temperature going up. So it's not any more or less refutable - all you need to do is measure it and see what the long-term trend is.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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