Lisbon Reflections: A Tale of Tribes

Posted: February 22, 2011 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics
Romanes Ite Domum

Courtesy of CartoonsbyJosh.com

CartoonsbyJosh.com

 

I still haven’t fully formed my thoughts about Lisbon in the wider context yet, but thought I ought to express something about my current take on things. On Judy Curry’s blog earlier this evening I came across a comment on a Lisbon thread by Werner Krauss. Werner attended with Hans von Storch, who several times characterised the various groups of skeptics as the tribes. At one point this irked me a bit, so I told him that if the mainstream wanted to characterise the sceptics as ‘the tribes’, we would characterise the mainstream as ‘The Roman Imperium’. He didn’t see the funny side of this, so I thought a cartoon by Josh might help. 🙂

Anyway, here is Werner’s comment and my reply:

 

Yesterday, I wrote a comment over at klimazwiebel (http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/) with Lisbon and non-violent strategies in mind. Here it is:
Let’s give it a try and see the conflicts from a Freudian perspective. Of course, it is deeply humiliating that we neither can predict nor control climate. Even worse, we are completely dependent on it. We are not the bosses in our very own climate house!
So what to do? As a sublimation to this humiliation we engage in ritualistic power plays; ‘big men’ pretend to have powerful models which are of course more powerful than those from the other climate tribe. Both parties develop strong opinions about climate, and the followers have to share these beliefs, or else they get excommunicated.
You cannot argue with the climate, but you can insult the scientist from the neighboring department. That’s called sublimation.
I am not anti- science, not at all. But I really think it is necessary to get those feelings under control which are so virulent in parts of the climate science community. Envy, superstition, depression, narcissism, conspiracy, and many other strong emotions are freely floating and disturbing the exchange of knowledge. This is indeed a big problem, because climate science has an important role to play.
I suggest to practice some trust and generosity; indeed, we breathe the same air and share the same atmosphere. Climate is not about ‘versus’; quite the contrary.

  • Hi Werner,
    Interesting Freudian analysis. Lets continue with it a bit further.

    Because some people want to be able to control climate, they ignore or underestimate the big climate factors which can’t be controlled, and blame the factor that they might be able to control if they can get governments to reduce dependence on fossil fuel.

    When mother nature stops cooperating with this fantasy, they have gone too far down the road of promoting false certainty and they find other people to blame for the failure of the theory.

    They project the problem onto sceptics who they say are delaying the adoption of the policy they have advocated. As the time before the climate starts to cool again as it does every 60 years runs short, the rhetoric becomes increasingly loud, because nobody likes to be proved wrong.

    The sceptics continue to demand access to the data and methodology and intermediate code used by the AGW proponents in their studies. They continue to point out the uncertainty in the science and the non-replicability of the claims made by AGW proponents. They continue to point out that scientists who prevented publication of opposing science and approved their own work in the IPCC process are still in their positions, and so trust cannot be restored.

    Climate science will not be ready to play an important role until uncertainty is acknowledged and reduced through realistic assessment, and the scientists who subverted the scientific method are removed from positions of influence.

    Policy makers are moving on to look at policies which makes society more resilient to climate change, whichever way the climate changes. They don’t need to provide big funding to climatologists to do this.

    The American House of Congress votes to defund the IPCC and the EPA.

    I am sorry to see this happen, because the research which has needed to be done for 20 years will now not be funded. I can only do my best with the small resources I have. A computer, some data, and a team of fine minds who contribute to my blog.

    It seems the mainstream scientists are too tired to look at alternative hypotheses. The renaissance of climate science will arise from the green shoots on the internet.

I feel a bit sorry for Werner now. He was just trying to make small talk and something about his analysis hit a nerve so I let go with both barrels. Me and my big mouth. Sorry Werner.

Comments
  1. P.G. Sharrow says:

    I think that the barbarians are seated as they were a head taller and 3 stones heaver then the Romans. The Romans prevailed because they operated as a well organized “team”. 🙂 pg

  2. P.G. Sharrow says:

    As to the “Lisbon” field. That ground has likely been plowed enough. pg

  3. Tenuc says:

    “…so I let go with both barrels. Me and my big mouth. Sorry Werner.”

    Only two barrels Rog… I’m sure you have plenty more ammunition. 🙂

    The CAGW conjecture has become a religion. From this perspective it is not only wrong to question the faith, but it is your duty to convert the tribes of sceptical atheists into the fold.

    Once belief becomes your raison de etra, then wisdom, truth and facts go out the window and your ability to observe what is happening in the real world is removed.

    Time to reload again, I think…

  4. Amabo says:

    Religion or relegion, Tenuc? 🙂

  5. T G Watkins says:

    Only one side has powerful models and only one side believes they mean anything.There should be no sides in science just empirical data and any conclusions which are drawn from adjusting the data should be openly discussed and adjustments disclosed and justified.
    That has plainly not happened in climate science which is why ‘scientists’ the world over are making a fuss.
    If Werner does not understand that this is the basis of science he would be better not to comment. I’m sure he’s a nice chap, but as my elderly aunt says, it is better to stay quiet and appear stupid than to say something and prove it.

  6. Joe Lalonde says:

    Tallbloke,

    I don’t think you fully comprehend the many years of damage with all the propaganda and publicity with the AGW hype. Many peer-reviewed papers then must also be considered as false as funding leaned heavily on the side of it must be man made as the cause.
    How many “green products” and policy changes were due to this push of bad science.

    I have been pushing of the study of planetary mechanics as it would make sense to understand this planet and all that entails before theories can be made. BUT also too the science must be correct to incorporate our sister planets and the time line of distant past.
    So far scientists have treated the planet like a tube and use a time line of far less than 1%.

  7. James P says:

    >The Romans prevailed because they operated as a well organized “team”.

    But their empire still collapsed in the end… 🙂

  8. R. de Haan says:

    The worst aspect of the AGW proponents besides railroading climate science is the fact that world wide a number of regulations and technologies have been adopted that will seriously undermine our economies causing hardship, riots and even war.
    It’s sabotage masqueraded as a ‘solution’ for a non existing problem and the sum of the measure sold to us as the Green Transformation of our Industrial society in reality accelerate our consumption of resources, energy and food stocks.

    For example:
    Carbon sequestration, mandated by the EU will increase fossil fuel consumption by 50%

    Wind power, mandated by the EU increase the use of fossil fuels and resources not only to produce the wind farms but also also during their exploitation for which 100% conventional power back-up is necessary.
    Wind power not only doesn’t deliver the rated power output, it is also extremely costly since no wind farm has produced more than 32% of the set energy production specifications. This makes wind farms a money and a energy pit.

    Electric cars mandated by the EU and President Obama are the worst investment possible for the fact that we will be forced to increase the production of scarce metals which is only possible with a massive increase of fossil fuel use. In essence we will replace a fuel tank with a few hundred ponds of scarce metals, a bad idea which won’t work.
    Besides that electric car batteries will be recharged with electricity from fossil fueled
    power plants with an efficiency of 30%. We will need more power plants to meet increased power demand.

    Bio fuels mixed with gasoline and diesel are produced from food stocks and palm oil, mandated by the EU an President Obama Both, have devastating consequences.
    We have food riots in NA, the Middle East and Asia and the lives of people earning less than 2.00 US dollar a day (approx. 1.5 billion people) are at serious risk

    In fact this is policy induced genocide.

    The incredible stupid idea to fuel jet liners with palm oil has devastated huge amounts of pristine tropical forests.

    This too should be regarded as a criminal act.

    Non of these so called Green technologies and measures are ‘sustainable’.

    Their application will destroy our entire economies and Western civilization and only serves the single objective to create the chaos necessary to establish a Totalitarian Global Government.

    The process we’re in is called by members of the UN and the Club of Rome the First Global Revolution’ and it just started.

    http://green-agenda.com

  9. Kip Hansen says:

    Am I the only one that doesn’t quite get Josh’s cartoon? I admit to not following all the Climate War blogs too carefully the last couple of weeks, but I seem to have missed something….I feel like the only kid in the crowd that’s not laughing. I get the tribes thing, but not who the Romans represent? Maybe the identity of Vernus and Manus? Help me out here…even it it makes me look dumb-as-a-doorknob.

  10. jorgekafkazar says:

    Werner Krauss had several good things to say. However, I think his conclusions reflect more his own noble character than the reality of the situation. Right or wrong, though, I salute his participation.

  11. Roger Andrews says:

    Kip Hansen

    I think the Romans are supposed to represent the climate change “team” or “cabal” or “establishment” or whatever you want to call them. The point seems to be that the Roman Empire started to disintegrate as soon as the Romans let the Barbarians in the gates, although there are theories that what did in the Roman Empire wasn’t the Barbarians at all, but climate change (shudder).

  12. tallbloke says:

    Kip, does this help:

    “I told him that if the mainstream wanted to characterise the sceptics as ‘the tribes’, we would characterise the mainstream as ‘The Roman Imperium’”

  13. R. de Haan says:

    “I still haven’t fully formed my thoughts about Lisbon in the wider context”.

    We have discussed some aspects before you went to Lisbon.

    To be honest with you I am still questioning the sense of the entire operation.

    Not for the opportunity to pay a visit to a nice town like Lisbon but because many of the people on the other side of the isle are types like Gore, Hanson and Dana1981, a person I engaged in endless discussion that left me in nowhere land.
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/02/why-dana1981-hasnt-proved-climate.html

    Could it be that you feel you’re in nowhere land now?

    With the odd exception of people who finally see the light the hard core of warmists can’t be convinced of anything even it they spend 6 months on the North Pole in mid winter.

  14. tallbloke says:

    Hi Ron,
    it’s not that. In fact I feel more energised and definite and empowered to speak and act since Lisbon. I’m just letting my activity form itself rather than pushing the issue. I simply don’t have much to say about the ‘official’ aspects of the event. partly because I’m uncertain about the restrictions of the Chatham House Rules which were nominally in place. Partly because there hasn’t been much reaction from those on ‘the other side’ of the wall.

    Busy with the science anyway, which is going well, so I’ll just press on with that.

  15. Kip Hansen says:

    Thanks to all who are trying to help me understand the Romans/Barbarians cartoon.

    I am not totally convinced that the Romans (‘The Team’ scientists) HAVE invited the Barbarians (‘The Skeptics’, ‘Lukewarmers’, ‘Heretics’, or ‘Denialists’) over the wall, as yet anyway.

    Well, maybe, except Judith did, but I don’t think she counts as a ‘True-blue Roman’.

    Hey Josh, you in here somewhere? Am I trying too hard to ‘get it’?

  16. tallbloke says:

    Kip,
    In fact we were all invited to Lisbon by the Joint research Centre of the European Union. The dialogue in the cartoon is part of a private joke between Hans and myself which etiquette (and Chatham House Rules) prevent me from enlarging on. Sorry.

    I should also point out that Hans most definitely is not one of the Team scientists, though he is an IPCC lead author, and a good man, if somewhat conflicted.

  17. Kip Hansen says:

    tallbloke,

    Thank you, now I don’t feel quite so dumb. I will respect the ‘private joke’ aspects, and enjoy the rest.

    Kip

  18. tallbloke says:

    Having reflected on what Werner Krauss said, and after a bit of Freudian self analysis, I think I have identified the reasons for my combative response.

    He wasn’t talking about the ‘mainsteam’ and ‘sceptical’ tribes so much as one ‘mainstream tribe’ and other ‘mainstream tribes’. The skeptical ‘tribes’ wre excluded from his analysis. The implication was that the scientific views of the sceptical ‘tribes’ are so unimportant that they don’t need to figure in the climate analysis. This is what subconscously motivated me make statements about the lack of trust in the mainstream position and the renaissance of climate science taking place outside of the corrupted process.

    The ‘hide the decline’ post on Judith Curry’s site yesterday exemplified the attitude of the ‘Team tribe’. Any scientist who publicly criticises their position will be told they have “crossed the line” and joined the tribes who do not need to be debated with. Their validity is revoked

    Many people misunderstand the main issue in ‘hide the decline’.

    The whole raison d’etre for the hockey stick is that it makes the recent warming look “unprecedented”, and significantly correlative with the C20th rise in co2.

    No SUV’s or high co2 level in the Medieval warm period or maybe the co2 level was higher, due to the warmth of the oceans, but anyway not much coal was being burned.

    “ Around 1996, I became aware of how corrupt and ideologically driven current climate research can be. A major researcher working in the area of climate change confided in me that the factual record needed to be altered so that people would become alarmed over global warming. He said, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”
    -Dr. David Deming (University of Oklahoma)-

    George Orwell said:

    “He who controls the past controls the present. He who controls the present controls the future.”

    Which is why the Team are medieval warm period deniers, despite evidence from around the world that it was far more widespread than parts of Greenland and Europe. (They can’t deny the medieval warming there because of copious written records and historical data). It wasn’t so big in the southern hemisphere but neither is the modern warming. This is because the unimpeded circulation of the southern ocean works more efficiently to store and dissipate heat and maintain a balance despite changing levels of insolation into its surface.

    And it turns out the Chinese and the Russans had a MWP too. The evidence has grown stronger and stronger, and the Team’s silence on the MWP issue has grown louder and louder. Now they will try to excommunicate Judith because she has the temerity to call them for their scientific dishonesty. Considering the names they have been calling people with valid evidence for years and years, this ploy looks a bit short on credibility to me.

    This is why I said that until people who can’t deal with the reality of the situation are removed from positions of influence in the IPCC process, trust cannot be restored.

  19. Perry says:

    Combative response or not suffering fools gladly? What’s the difference between a CAGWarmist and a computer? You only have to punch the information into a computer once.

    Elsewhere, I have been following the boating exploits of a chap who boated into Tarr Inlet in the Glacier Bay Wilderness Park in the mid 1980s. When discovered in 1794, Glacier Bay was iced over, in 1879, the ice had retreated almost all the way up the bay, a distance of around forty-eight miles and by 1916 the Grand Pacific Glacier was at the head of Tarr Inlet about 65 mi (105 km) from Glacier Bay’s mouth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_Bay_National_Park_and_Preserve

    Then come the weasel words, “Scientists are hoping to learn how glacial activity relates to climate changes from the retreat.”. That means to me, “Setting out to discover evidence, to support a preconceived theory and ignoring evidence to the contrary.”.

    85 years (including 36 years of the Dalton Minimum) saw a retreat of up to 48 miles and a further 15 miles in the following 37 years. Wagner and Zorita, as well as Wilson, have suggested that a rise in volcanism was largely responsible for the DM cooling trend. OTOH, Ed Grabianowski, a freelance writer from Buffalo, N.Y., who worked as a newspaper reporter and attended school at SUNY Plattsburgh and Kansas State University, would have us believe that volcanoes spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere allowed the planet to warm up.

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/glacier5.htm

    Here we have an assertion that volcanoes produce far more CO2 than humanity (I agree) with the proposition of Volcanic Winters (I agree).
    http://www.andaman.org/BOOK/originals/Weber-Toba/textr.htm
    http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/journey/
    http://www.economist.com/node/5299220?story_id=5299220&no_na_tran=1

    Conclusions

    Water vapour warmed the planet. CO2 greened the planet. Humans survived the Toba bottleneck by the skin of their teeth and I have no idea why Glacier Bay is so accessible now. Just be grateful for the beauty.

  20. Werner says:

    Oh, my comment is discussed here! Just stumbled across this. Thanks for posting it on your blog!
    I agree, obviously, something about my comment hit your nerve – but what? I don’t get it. I bet I could have written something completely different, and your answer would still be the same. Is that possible? Did you read my comment at all? Maybe it is stupid and not very intelligent; if so, I am sorry. But I really wanted to take another look at the discussion. And it’s true, I think there is more to climate than alarmists versus skeptics. I even insist that there is more to it. But maybe, as the alarmists are behind you and want to get you by the balls, there is no time to see things from a different point of view.
    Let me know when you found out what really hit your nerve.

  21. tallbloke says:

    Hi Werner, and thanks for visiting. I did read your comment. Did I misunderstand what you wrote? Please help me understand the points you are trying to make and the discussion you are interested in having.

    I can understand the alarmists being tired of the same old questions coming from the sceptical side. We are very tired of not getting scientific answers to them as well. But if you would like to respond on easier subjects, I will be happy to discuss them with you. I would like to find a way to meaningful dialogue with you.

  22. Werner says:

    Hej tallbloke,
    sorry for confusing you. Here another try. You write as an answer to my comment:
    “I can understand the alarmists being tired of the same old questions coming from the sceptical side. We are very tired of not getting scientific answers to them as well.”

    In my opinion, this is a fine example of what I addressed in my comment. Have another look what I wrote:
    “Envy, superstition, depression, narcissism, conspiracy, and many other strong emotions are freely floating and disturbing the exchange of knowledge.”

    Maybe I should have listed despair, too. I think, your statement is an example that my diagnosis is not completely wrong. There is no solution, reconciliation or whatever possible on the basis of a statement like yours. Your statement is about maintaining the difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’, not about getting rid of it. And I am afraid that you will repeat it over and over again, just like a mantra. We, the sceptics, victims of evil mainstream science!

    I just want to state that this is not about arguments anymore (in my opinion); it is about group building, group identity, and, of course, power. We, the sceptics, versus them, the alarmists. We, the ‘tribes’, versus them, the ‘Roman Empire’. My argument is that the combatants on both sides are no longer interested in ‘climate’ anymore; the social dynamic of such a blunt oppositional constellation seems to be overwhelming. That’s where the metaphor ‘tribe’ comes from that I introduced into the discussion. Climate change turned into a contested symbol for group identities. From this perspective, the climate debate is as much a topic for the social / cultural sciences as it is for natural sciences.

    No, I don’t want to argue here who is right or wrong in this discussion. My contribution to the idea of reconciliation is to focus on something both sides can agree upon. That’s why I introduced the somehow esoteric idea that all of us, including sceptics and alarmists, live inside the same climate envelope, breathe the same air and share the same atmosphere. All of us are concerned, I guess, and all of us think that climate indeed is something we should take into account. And in-between, we should try to get under control our strong feelings that are necessarily involved as long as the discussion indeed resembles a (cartoon) tribal war; a war that can never be won, by neither side. We are only humans, and as such we have never become modern, as the sociologist Bruno Latour once wrote. Just like them, we are still afraid that the skies fall in on us.

  23. tallbloke says:

    Hi Werner,
    Thanks for your well considered response. There’s a lot I want to say in return but I have to use the daylight today to get this years growing season under way in my vegetable garden. I will think about what you have said and make a longer response as soon as I can.

  24. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Werner says:
    February 27, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Most of us here are interested in extending our knowlage and understanding of the causes and effects in the physical world that we live in. Political arguments on philosophies and psychology is a waste of time and effort. pg

  25. tallbloke says:

    P.G.
    I’m interested in both, so sit back and enjoy the show, and see if anything Werner and I discuss starts to point up any relevance to the core business of extending our knowledge and understanding of the causes and effects in the physical world.

  26. tallbloke says:

    Hi Werner

    You said:
    My argument is that the combatants on both sides are no longer interested in ‘climate’ anymore;

    I totally reject this. I am intensely interested in how the Earth’s climates are affected by both terrestrial and local space environ phenomena. So are many people on all ‘sides’ of the debate, scientists and laypeople alike. For me personally, correctly solving the scientific puzzle of understanding climate is the exciting challenge, no matter what the outcome of that understanding is in terms of policy implications. Let the chips fall where they may.

    Climate change turned into a contested symbol for group identities. From this perspective, the climate debate is as much a topic for the social / cultural sciences as it is for natural sciences.

    I agree that climate change is a topic which is of as much interest to social scientists as it is to natural scientists. However, this does not invalidate the idea that the best way of resolving the climate debate is to do the science properly, and assess its outputs properly. Sociologists may well have some valuable insights to bring to the debate in terms of illuminating the reasons why some of the natural science hasn’t been done properly in the past, and how it can be better administrated in the future. However, I reject the idea that the political and social domain has a right to resolve the scientific issues by ‘Force Majeure’. The science is the science, and its correctness or otherwise is not a matter to be decided by a vote.

    we should try to get under control our strong feelings that are necessarily involved as long as the discussion indeed resembles a (cartoon) tribal war

    Agreed.

    We are only humans, and as such we have never become modern, as the sociologist Bruno Latour once wrote. Just like them, we are still afraid that the skies fall in on us.

    Bruno Latour is an interesting thinker. In his paper: ‘A relativistic account of Einstein’s Relativity’, he posits the idea that Einstein was as much a product of the social and political milieu he grew up and developed in as he was an objective scientist. Although the thesis is strained too far in some aspects of the paper, I think he hit on an important point in his analysis of ‘Shifted out and shifted in frames of reference’. He demonstrated that there is an apposite analogy between Einstein’s method of escaping relativism, (by postulating the power of the Lorenz Transformation to reduce the observations made by a person in another frame of reference to Einstein’s viewpoint from the priviledged ‘mollusc of reference’ where Einstein resides), and the way in which power is weilded by the strong in assuming the right to define the frames of reference, and set the method by which the less strong’s point of view will be ‘translated’ and subsumed into its own.

    It seems to me that the ‘mollusc of reference’ should be the scientific method itself. Not the personalities who control the institutions of mainstream science at any arbitrary point in history; No matter how stridently they might proclaim the imminence of the falling of the sky.

  27. Werner says:

    Thanks for your reply, tallbloke. Oh, ‘mollusc of reference’, had to look it up in the dictionary. Mollusc? Ah, I get it, yes, sure, interesting! Latour is really inspiring (as long as I can follow). Didn’t know this article. So many things to read – permanent pleasures!

    1) “I totally reject this. I am intensely interested in how the Earth’s climates are affected by both terrestrial and local space environ phenomena.”

    No doubt you do. You have other interests, too:

    2) “I can understand the alarmists being tired of the same old questions coming from the sceptical side. We are very tired of not getting scientific answers to them as well.”

    Is there a link between those interests? 1) and 2)? Maybe a stupid question. But to suggest that climate science is a social / political activity, too, is legitimate, I guess. Especially when science claims to be Pure Science while making politics all the time. Capital letters Science hijacks politics. Sounds like Latour has said that before.

    “However, I reject the idea that the political and social domain has a right to resolve the scientific issues by ‘Force Majeure’. ”

    Who suggested this? Not me! Science is about right or wrong. Seriously.

    “The science is the science, and its correctness or otherwise is not a matter to be decided by a vote.”

    No vote, for sure. But you will learn to live in climate science with other sciences from the social and cultural field, side by side. At least, I guess so. I think the climate case will not be solved in a race among pure bred natural scientists alone. This does not mean that you cannot do only natural science anymore, such as P.G. Sharrow stated above. Of course, you can, absolutely legitimate, but not relevant in the context of all that stuff we are talking about here. Science guides politics – it’s just a dream. Politics cannot wait forever! On the other hand, I don’t mind to wake up one day and read in the newspaper: “Tallbloke solved climate problem! Sun will be arrested until temperatures cool down!” -:)

  28. tallbloke says:

    Hi Werner, and thanks for your reply.

    1) and 2) are not equivalent ‘interests’. The degree to which I am able to separate 2) from 1) when I am ‘doing science’ is a function of my ability to follow the scientific method to do my own science. Getting the alarmists to provide scientific answers to the scientific questions I have for them is another matter, because they brushed the Sun under the carpet with the other ‘unimportant’ climate forcings long ago. As I said in my intro at Lisbon, this was a serious error.

    I think the climate case will not be solved in a race among pure bred natural scientists alone.

    Well, this depends on what you mean by ‘the climate case’. The truth of ‘the climate case’ will eventually be solved by objective-as-we-can-make-it science. The short term judgment of ‘the climate case’ will, in the absence of completed science, depend on the assessment of the quality and uncertainty of the science we have so far, and all the political and social issues surrounding energy use etc. This is where the argument is currently, with the alarmists saying the science is already good enough to make big changes to individual freedom and the administration of society through government, and the sceptics saying it is not.

    Science guides politics – it’s just a dream. – Sure.

    Politics guides science – that’s a nightmare.

    Politics cannot wait forever!

    The Earth’s temperature has been stable for over a decade and is currently falling very quickly. Politics would be wise to wait a little longer while we re-assess the science in the light of the CRU emails and the IPCC ‘mistakes’. Which side is causing the delay on these matters? The ‘inquiries’ conducted in Britain were inadequate to the task set for them, and their outcome has further damaged public confidence in the way institutionally based science is conducted and governed.

    The Sun will be arrested until temperatures cool down!

    Take a look at the graph Verner, the Sun started going into cardiac arrest six years ago while the mainstream climate scientists were paying no attention to it. http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/sidc-ssn/from:1970

    The rate of sea level rise has fallen by 30% since. https://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/msl-2010.jpg

  29. Tenuc says:

    Love the sound bite ‘mollusc of reference’… 🙂

    It is clear that current mainstream science is very confused in this area and this is a great hindrance to progress…

    30 years is the chosen reference frame for climate change, despite having the knowledge of much longer term natural climate cycles.

    They pretend certainty about various climate metrics, despite knowing that few meet the Nyquist minimum sampling rate necessary to avoid aliasing.

    Global mean temperature is used as the main climate KPI, but this transient measure is meaningless to how climate operates (regional / long time scales / chaotic). It is also a very poor proxy for the amount of energy in the climate system at any delta-t and it is the amount of energy and its regional distribution that really determines climate.

    Deterministic spatio-temporal chaos has been known about since the 60’s, but they still use linear statistics and trens when looking for the climate signal, when these techniques provide zero information about climate. It becomes a happy hunting ground for ‘cherry picking’ the best data to support preconceived ideas.

    Finally, climate ‘science’ has decreed that computer climate models can be used to produce better predictions of likely global climate outcomes at centennial time-scales than they can at shorter time-scales. As they fail to even hind-cast well, relying on them for future probable outcomes, which get worse for longer time periods due to spatio-temporal chaos, is risible and adds nothing to our knowledge.

    Our ‘mollusc of reference’ needs to be rapidly changed before we can start making progress on the hard problem of climate change. Until we have this knowledge, it is a filp of the coin whether climate will warm or cool. The precautionary principle in these situations is that politicians must prepare for adaptation and not be spooked by the IPCC brand of post-normal science into spending trillions tilting at windmills.

  30. Werner says:

    Tenuc, I like your meandering argument, but I don’t agree with this part of your conclusion:
    “The precautionary principle in these situations is that politicians must prepare for adaptation and not be spooked by the IPCC brand of post-normal science into spending trillions tilting at windmills.”
    Adaptation, sure. I struggle with the other part: At least in Germany, the mushrooming wind turbines are the result of many causes, with the IPCC recommendations only one of them. Origins of the wind farms were the oil crisis, anti-nuclear protests, a burgeoning environmental movement (long before climate!), etc. Reasons that still count a lot! Today, the turbines are more or less well established in the (energy) market. It’s a new industry, with all its risks and possibilites.

    Tallbloke, you make good points, as usual. But you won’t be surprised – I don’t trust in your personality split – here pure science, there politics. You make it obvious in each line: your pure science will proof that THEY are wrong, which means that climate politics will have to change etc.. Your science is always in relation to THEM, and in relation to the IPCC, and to politics. Each new ‘discovery’ in climate science might have political consequences. That’s all I say; that’s why everybody in science builds networks, collects allies, makes politics – while at the same time pretending only practicing pure science. Why play those games? Why negate this science-technological-political network instead of accepting it? It does not necessarily affect the quality of science once you admit that there is always a political axis. You still will work correct, sober and precise. The only thing you lose is a myth; the white coat myth.
    Know what I mean? I never will doubt the quality of science, quite the contrary. I just struggle with the fairy tale image of the scientist – in reality, this white coat image creates the permanent danger of climategates (alarmist or sceptic – both wear this magic coat and are in permanent danger of causing these scandals).

  31. tallbloke says:

    Werner says:
    March 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm
    I don’t trust in your personality split – here pure science, there politics. You make it obvious in each line: your pure science will proof that THEY are wrong, which means that climate politics will have to change etc.. Your science is always in relation to THEM,

    Well, that’s the way it goes with science. If something new is found, then it proves some of the earlier science wrong. If it proves the IPCC and the politicians wrong too, that is an additional effect I have no control over. It is simple really. As you said, there is no immediate prospect of any ‘side’ proving the scientific case. But I am making quantitative predictions to test my hypotheses, and quite soon reality will have something to say on the subject, and everyone will be forced to face the truth of what is happening to climate. As you said, we all live under the same sky. I’ll add another old saying: there is nothing new under the Sun.

    that’s why everybody in science builds networks, collects allies, makes politics

    I’m very short of allies at the moment, apart from some of the people who have arrived at some of the same conclusions. The alarmists don’t like my solar system dynamics research because it threatens their co2 paradigm. The skeptics don’t like my interaction with Jerome Ravetz, who they mistrust because of Stephen Schneiders perception and cherrypick of Jerome’s philosophy, or my interaction with you and Hans who they believe are trying to obscure the scientific argument with sociology.

    So I am floating free.

    My own life is a contradiction of a ‘green’ lifestyle and a libertarian and humanist outlook on politics and society. I don’t like command economy and the loss of personal freedom which goes with it. So I am an independent thinker, with no debt to any political structure or tribe. If you look around this website, you won’t find much overt politics. We are interested in how the solar system affects the Earth. That’s what we primarily discuss here.

  32. Jerry Ravetz says:

    I’ve just now come on board here. This discussion is the sort of thing that makes me believe in the blogosphere. Yes, there are real differences as well as misinterpretations, but there is a dialogue and a common effort to achieve a greater understanding. Of course people in the past had such discussions by letters sent through the post; but now they are so much easier, and so much more accessible, that their effect is transformed. More of substance later.

  33. Werner says:

    Thanks for this statement, Roger! Really appreciate your openness and (self-) analysis; it’s a great insight into how science works. As far as I can see, your topic – how the solar system affects the earth – doesn’t have a big lobby right now. Maybe that makes you sensitive for the sociological and political dimension of science.
    In my understanding, anthropologists have a kind of ‘natural’ interest in climate. Climate doesn’t ‘belong’ to a specific discipline; instead, it will create something new. A new understanding of science and of how we relate to the material world.
    Thanks for having me over at tallbloke’s talkshop; it’s interesting to have a chat on neighbor’s blog! You’re welcome to have a visit over at klimazwiebel, of course, whenever you feel like doing so!

  34. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Werner,
    Now that Jerry has joined us, please stay around and continue the discussion. Thank you also for the invitation to visit the ‘climate onion’, I will contribute if I find something to say which will add to discussion there.

  35. Tenuc says:

    Hi Werner, just to let you know that tilting at windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies or fighting battles that cannot be won. The comment was aimed at the IPCC climate change mitigation ideas in general, not just wind power.

    However, at about twice the price per kWh of nuclear produced electricity, I don’t think wind power is a good alternative energy source. The erratic wind means it cannot easily be used for base-load generation and windmills tend to stop during cold spell, just when the demand for energy is greatest.

    The world depends on having lots of cheap energy to maintain its successful burgeoning population of humans – without having access to this into the future we will not thrive.

  36. Werner says:

    Hi Tenuc, I hope my literal windmill translation / association was not too embarrassing.

    Concerning wind power: it is not only about numerical effectiveness. Power has a double meaning, energy and political power. Wind power was politically effective, which makes up a lot of its other deficiencies. You can only implement mitigation and adaptation measures which will be accepted by the people. Otherwise they won’t work.

  37. tallbloke says:

    The windmill industry is embarassed by its performance figures, which they don’t show to the people. The powerful political symbol they create is as vulnerable to damage as the windmills themselves. They rely on mild winters for their operation, because de-freezing the ice from the blades uses more elctricity than they generate. If climate gets colder instead of warmer, the rationale for installing the windmills and the political forces which commissioned them will disappear.

    Interesting times indeed.

  38. Werner says:

    Right, it’s a mess with wind energy. Especially off-shore has a lot of problems. Anyway, at least in Northern Germany, it’s still good business for many wind farmers. Nuclear energy? I am German -:) I remember well the days when Chernobyl happened; anxious days afterwards. Hysterical? Not sure. There was a possibility that everything was radioactive, and there was no one you could trust in. The government? Science? NGOs? Ha!
    I remember well mainstream nuclear science, which resembled in so many aspects today’s climate science! They were the kings of the world, way back when, and they acted accordingly. They were in bed with power and with industry; they were hiding information; they were lying; they were not used to talk to the public and felt completely humiliated when they were forced to! I bet there were as many scandals and ‘nucleargates’ as we have today ‘climategates’! And everywhere conspiracy theories, police, secret service, demonstrations, and hot debates: and this in a world without blogs!
    Strange comparison – wind energy – nuclear energy; nuclear science and climate science, but good to think with. Again, be it nuclear or wind: the scientific / rational merges with the political and the public. There are no ‘clean’ solutions, because the world is messy; that’s why we need messy solutions.

  39. Tenuc says:

    Werner says:
    March 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm
    “Strange comparison – wind energy – nuclear energy; nuclear science and climate science, but good to think with. Again, be it nuclear or wind: the scientific / rational merges with the political and the public. There are no ‘clean’ solutions, because the world is messy; that’s why we need messy solutions.”

    Hi again Werner – no need to feel embarrassed and I suspect even some native English speakers would have interpreted it the same as you did, and miss the double entendre!

    Regarding your last post, I heartily agree. Mankind has a tenancy to walk before he can run and the nuclear ‘accidents’ and the monstrous, inefficient wind farms now being built are an example of this.

    My fears of nuclear power have diminished over time as the technology has become better understood through much operational experience. Safety is now a priority in nuclear reactor design and systems are in place to make operation simpler and less prone to human error.

    The world is indeed a messy place, and living with mess is a fact of life. However, we need to make sure that whatever route we take to eventually replace coal and oil it is efficient and cheap. It is also worth remembering that the speed of technological innovation is dependant upon consumer need and finance available for development.

  40. tallbloke says:

    The new thorium reactor designs look a lot better than the older nuclear systems. Those were designed more to produce weapons grade materials than for peaceful and clean-as-possible civil energy anyway.

    Must be a better idea than using fossil fuel (liquified natural gas) which has a good density for automotive use (and is quite clean)

    Werner, here’s a simple way to solve the political situation; put the engineers in charge. 😉

  41. Tenuc says:

    tallbloke says:
    March 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm
    “Werner, here’s a simple way to solve the political situation; put the engineers in charge.” 😉

    I think our current style of democracy, with the state trying to provide everything for its electorate, is on its way out in the medium term. Power needs to be devolved down to local level where those in charge are closer to the grass roots. The current style of western democracy has had its day and is fast becoming a just a monolithic bureaucracy. I think it is too cumbersome, slow and expensive to survive much longer.

    However, not still sure engineers are the right way to go!

  42. Zeke the Sneak says:

    “Werner, here’s a simple way to solve the political situation; put the engineers in charge.” 😉

    Now he would say that, wouldn’t he?