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Author Topic: Global Warming Research Center Hacked
Greg Davidson
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I find the course of this conversation a little frustrating, but it is also somewhat intriguing. My contribution was to quote a few basic principles a little while ago:

quote:
1. There is no doubt that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide make planets warmer.
2. There is no doubt that human activity has been raising the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
3. There is no serious doubt that the Earth's temperature has risen roughly 1.4 degrees f in the past century
4. There is strong evidence that natural cycles are not responsible for the level of warming that has been experienced
5. The remaining uncertainty is in regards the timing and consequences of global warming

No one has argued points 1 and 2, which seem to drive the basic physics of the situation. Assertion 3 about global temperatures has not been countered by global data indicating the that there has been no increase. There is a lot of angry argument asserting that some scientist used a bogus argument and therefore there's no climate change. Many of these can be clearly refuted (I loved Wayward Son's example of the "conspirator" scientist publishing a paper on the very topic that he was alleged to be hiding).

It's interesting that the climate-gate argument is that if scientists who believe in global warming engage in bogus arguments*, that is evidence that the science is wrong, whereas no number of bogus arguments made against climate change seem count against the case for the climate change deniers.

*more realistically in some cases, taking shortcuts which do not invalidate their science - and in once case cited above actually dilute the case for global warming.

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Lloyd
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quote:
No one has argued points 1 and 2, which seem to drive the basic physics of the situation. Assertion 3 about global temperatures has not been countered by global data indicating the that there has been no increase.
Except for G2. go back a page and read what he was saying.

#1 At low concentrations of CO2 small variances make a big difference in temperature, but the correlation between temperature and CO2 is logarithmic. (see this unrelated graph for an example of a logarithmic curve Grinnel University) Where we are now doubling of CO2 will barely raise temperatures half a degree.

#2 The percentage of human released CO2 in the air is minuscule compared to the naturally released CO2. Add this to the logrithmic relationship outlined in #1 and you get gar nichts from human contributions.

#3 This has been argued convincingly. Please go check the surfacestations.org website. Fully 80% of US stations sitings fail by NOAA's own grading outlines. Mr. Mann says that he is adjusting for the poor siting, but when 80% are incorrect you are seeing more adjustments than actual data.

#4 Daily more evidence is coming out about natural cycles. The biggest evidence right off the top of my head is that there has been a noticeable lack of warming, or even cooling since 1998 despite CO2 levels continuing to rise. If you don't like that go take a look at the GCR studies being done that are validating Mr. Svensmarks theories regarding cloud formation.

Someone said above that they think it is only fair that coal not be "subsidized" by making the end users pay extra for its impacts because of the CO2 that it releases. In my opinion we should be subsidizing energy. This is one area where AGW supporters and I can sort of agree. We should be doing everything we can to get off foreign oil. I think that should include coal, home grown oil, shale oil, solar, nuclear, geothermal. Probably the more diversity we have in generating sources the better it is.

One of the most ridiculous notions of the proposed solutions to global warming is the assumption that curtailing America's or even all the current first world nations economies will have an impact world wide on CO2 output. India, South America, and China are not going to slow down, indeed they cannot their populations won't stand for it.

My view on all this is that probably humans can have an impact on climate, but I think it is a pretty small impact. If we want to spend trillions of dollars on environmental causes there are so many more important to spend them on.

The problem with that is that we can't afford to spend trillions of dollars on anything at this time. If you haven't noticed we are about to go bankrupt as a country. We are rapidly headed for a Weimar republic type inflationary period. If interest rates stay at their current levels within 10 years of our current spending rates we will be spending $800 billion a year just on debt service. And if we lose our AAA credit rating which is becoming more likely every day then that amount starts becoming higher than we can even imagine it. We need to wake up and smell the what is coming our way and it isn't coffee or roses.

Probably the most beneficial thing for the earth and our environment in my opinion would be for rampant economic growth to occur worldwide. When there are large surpluses, it is a lot easier to spend money on things like environmental issues then when you are most worried about where your next meal is coming from.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
We are rapidly headed for a Weimar republic type inflationary period.
No we're not. Our production capacity is at historical lows, and we're very explicitly not just printing money to pay down imposed debts that take the money out of the economy. We're only just barely staving off deflation because of all of the money that's been lost in the current crisis, so most possible inflation has already been priced in.

Before we experience that king of inflation we'd need to drive production up to nearly 100% of capacity (The Weimar Republic's other big problem was that their surrender term included pretty much shutting down their industry completely, so there was no way for supply to keep pace with demand) We're currently in no danger of crossing that line any time soon.

This isn't the 70's when demand was rising faster than our industry could expand. Right now it can easily match anything we can pull from it, so every dollar that brings us closer to what was accounted for before the crash brings us closer to stability, and preferably a rate of economic growth that's in line with population growth. (Slightly more, rather, to make up for what we've lost)

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Gaoics79
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quote:
No one has argued points 1 and 2, which seem to drive the basic physics of the situation. Assertion 3 about global temperatures has not been countered by global data indicating the that there has been no increase. There is a lot of angry argument asserting that some scientist used a bogus argument and therefore there's no climate change. Many of these can be clearly refuted (I loved Wayward Son's example of the "conspirator" scientist publishing a paper on the very topic that he was alleged to be hiding).

It's interesting that the climate-gate argument is that if scientists who believe in global warming engage in bogus arguments*, that is evidence that the science is wrong, whereas no number of bogus arguments made against climate change seem count against the case for the climate change deniers.

*more realistically in some cases, taking shortcuts which do not invalidate their science - and in once case cited above actually dilute the case for global warming.

You have to cut us laypeople some slack. Everybody knows that C02 is a greenhouse gas. I learned that one in Grade 7 Ecology class. No one disputes that. Similarly, no one disputes that humans dump vast quantities of C02 into the atmosphere, although already we're forced to clearly define what the word "vast" means on a global scale. If you told me that the temperature will increase 10 degrees over the next 50 years my instinctive reaction would be "super! Time to stock up on sun tan lotion and little umbrellas for my pina collatas!" It isn't a matter of "common sense" that this would mean the end of human civilization as we know it. These things are not self-evidence to us peons on the ground.

The problem is, G2 et al. have addressed every argument you and others have made. No point you are making is being ignored. You don't accept G2's explanation or you think it's bunk. Fair enough, but I can't reasonably evaluate it on the merits; I just have to take your word for it. I can't prove G2 wrong. You think the flaws in his logic are obvious. They aren't. Every argument he makes seems cogent, accepting the premises he asserts, premises that I am not equipped to verify. So it all comes down to trust. Who should we (the laypeople) trust? That's why I find these e-mails disturbing. They erode the underpinnings of that trust, without which I am cast adrift in a sea of scientific gobbledegook.

As to why the deniers can get away with making bogus arguments and the proponents cannot? Well I suppose it's like assymetrical warfare. The proponents have occupied the city and have taken over. The deniers are guerilla fighters in this. When the U.S. kills a random Taliban fighter, that's not news and no one celebrates. When the Taliban bring down a U.S. helicopter, that's news and the Taliban dance in the streets. What can I say, being the 800 lbs gorilla makes you a big target.

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Lloyd
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quote:
Just how much money is the U.S. government printing to meet its debts? Steven Horwitz, professor at St. Lawrence University, and co-author of The Austrian Economists blog, explains that the amount of money printed in the past few months since the October economic crisis, has been absolutely unprecedented in U.S. history. “Since September, the 'monetary base,' which is the measure of currency plus bank reserves, has doubled from about $850 billion to $1.7 trillion, about $600 billion of which is in the form of bank reserves,” he says.
From CNN
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G2
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Alright, a little discussion on "the trick" that some of you seem hung up on. We are fortunate to have someone like Steve McIntyre that can deconstruct it and put it in terms everyone can understand. See it here. G2 encourages everyone to read it, it's quite good and easy to follow. Some of the highlights for those that simply refuse to follow the links:

  • There was pressure to present a “nice tidy story” of “unprecedented warming”
  • There was considerable discussion among Jones, Briffa, Mann, et al on how best to hide the data (i.e. the decline)
  • The Jones trick consists of replacing the tree ring data with temperature data after 1960 – thereby hiding the decline – and then showing the smoothed graph as a proxy reconstruction. In other words, he made two different measurements look like one single measurement.
  • The trick finally settled on was to simply delete data after 1960.
  • Contrary to claims by various climate scientists, the IPCC Third Assessment Report did not disclose the deletion of the post-1960 values. Nor did it discuss the “divergence problem”.

About that disclosure:
quote:
Yes, there had been previous discussion of the problem in the peer-reviewed literature (Briffa et al 1998) – a point made over and over by Gavin Schmidt and others. But it was not made in the IPCC Third Assessment Report. Not only was the deletion of the declining values not reported or disclosed in the IPCC Third Assessment Report, the hiding of the decline was made particularly artful because the potentially dangling 1960 endpoint of the Briffa reconstruction was hidden under other lines in the spaghetti graph ... [see the graph at the link]
If you read the link, you will be fully informed on the "trick" and how to "hide the decline" and able to come to your own conclusions as to what happened and why and if it was appropriate or not.
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Pyrtolin
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And, again, all this show is that on particular data set based on tree rings aren't reliable for historical temperature mappings, even if there were periods where the seemed to correlate. It says nothing about other data sources, like historical records, GISS, current satellite data, and other methods that have provided more reliable records or reconstructions.

This isn't some single sources monolithic data here- this is the agreement of many different records. That one that's long been held to be inaccurate is, in fact, inaccurate isn't news and doesn't speak to the validity of the other records at all.

The problem is not the fact that tree ring data showed a decline, it's that the decline didn't line up with the fact that the actual temperature was rising. Tree rings are invalidated, not the overall warming trend.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
There was considerable discussion among Jones, Briffa, Mann, et al on how best to hide the data (i.e. the decline)
The Jones trick consists of replacing the tree ring data with temperature data after 1960 – thereby hiding the decline...

Once again, the important question here is did the tree-ring data accurately reflect the surrounding temperatures?

The only reason the tree-ring data was used as a temperature indicator is because, for a long period of time, the tree-ring growth correlated well with the measured temperatures in the regions. As long as this is true, the tree-rings are a good "thermometer."

But according to the e-mail you referenced, G2, Mann, et al did not find it to be true after 1960. Before 1960, the correlation between meausured temperatures and the tree-ring data appears good. After 1960, it did not.

Which means the decline in temperatures recorded in the tree rings after 1960 was NOT real. Let that sink in for a moment. It was NOT REAL.

So this comes down to criticizing them for not including known bad data. Why should they include a decline that isn't real?? Does that make any sense??

Once you acknowledge that the tree-ring data after 1960 is not a good indication of temperature, all this criticism falls to pieces.

[ December 11, 2009, 11:10 AM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

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G2
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Once again, you miss the important question; did the tree-ring data *ever* accurately reflect the surrounding temperatures? Was the rise in temperatures recorded in the tree rings prior to 1960 REAL? We're relying on historical temperature reconstructions from these proxies and we know of at least one instance where the proxy is invalidated. Let that sink in for a moment.

quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
So this comes down to criticizing them for not including known bad data. Why should they include a decline that isn't real?? Does that make any sense??

You think it's not big deal but if was no big deal then why all the debate and final attempt to hide it? If it really didn't matter, as you say, why did they have prolonged discussions over the best way to hide it so as to avoid giving "fodder to the skeptics"? Does that make any sense??

What they ended up doing was deleting data that didn't tell the story they wanted and then surreptitiously grafted on data that did and presented it as if it all came from one source in order to present a “nice tidy story” of “unprecedented warming”. That's what happened.

Once you acknowledge what happened, all this criticism becomes signficant.

[ December 11, 2009, 11:23 AM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:
Once again, you miss the important question; did the tree-ring data *ever* accurately reflect the surrounding temperatures? Was the rise in temperatures recorded in the tree rings prior to 1960 REAL? We're relying on historical temperature reconstructions from these proxies and we know of at least one instance where the proxy is invalidated. Let that sink in for a moment.

The tree ring data was inaccurate, you have that much right. Your assumption that the tree ring data was the only source is what's bogus here. The tree ring data does not correlate to all of the other sources of historical data, do the tree ring data is invalid, not the other sources, which all point to a warming trend.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by G2:
Once again, you miss the important question; did the tree-ring data *ever* accurately reflect the surrounding temperatures? Was the rise in temperatures recorded in the tree rings prior to 1960 REAL? We're relying on historical temperature reconstructions from these proxies and we know of at least one instance where the proxy is invalidated. Let that sink in for a moment.

The tree ring data was inaccurate, you have that much right. Your assumption that the tree ring data was the only source is what's bogus here. The tree ring data does not correlate to all of the other sources of historical data, do the tree ring data is invalid, not the other sources, which all point to a warming trend.
How sure are you of that? There is a side effect of the "trick":
quote:
In conclusion, they appear to have truncated the problematic series, and spliced or grafted it in some way to the instrumental series. There is a subtle side effect here, the whole series moves down because the overlap with instrumental temperatures is now different.

This version [a picture of the published IPCC graph is here] seems to have been acceptable to the IPPC, and is now part of history.

I also show below an overlay of the two versions, showing how in a short period of time the expression of our knowledge of historical temperatures has been changed. Since these data are only shown in printed graphs, it is impossible to cleanly reconstruct the comparison – I have had to manually emphasise the green line which represents the modified Biffra series (clearly there has been some re-claibration of this series, it is not even of the same shape.

In a nutshell, the "trick" did not just append temperature data onto proxy data and go on from there but it also reduced the historical temperatures of the proxy data and otherwise rather dramatically changed the shape of the plotted data - in effect, it re-wrote history in a way that made it match more closely what Mann, Jones, et al wanted it to be.

So these scientists undeniably rewrote history in one data series to make it tell a “nice tidy story” of “unprecedented warming”. What makes you so sure it was only this once?

[ December 11, 2009, 11:45 AM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Once again, you miss the important question; did the tree-ring data *ever* accurately reflect the surrounding temperatures? Was the rise in temperatures recorded in the tree rings prior to 1960 REAL?
Good question. As I stated before, apparently before 1960 there was a good correlation between measured temperatures and the tree rings. So there is some confidence in the tree ring data, although obviously not perfect confidence. When it obviously was inaccurate, they threw out the data.

Is there 100 percent confidence? Of course not. We can never know down to the tenth of the degree what the actual historical temperatures were. But these proxies are good within a certain range. Before 1960, the tree rings seemed to be good indicators of the temperature. After 1960, they were shown to be bad.

Now, you agree that the tree-ring data after 1960 should not have been used. Correct? Let's settle that point, at least. Because the measured temperatures (more accurate than tree rings, you must agree) did not correspond with the tree rings.

So the only real question is: should they have used the tree-rings for historic temperatures.

They could have omitted it. But I suspect that it would have left a gap of temperature estimates in certain regions of the world. The tree rings are probably the best they have right now for estimates.

And what was the result of them not omitting the tree-ring data from the historic record? If I read your referenced e-mail corrrectly, the result was a curve that more uncertain. IOW, a record that told the story they "wanted" less well than it could have.

Does this sound like the actions of people trying to manipulate the data to their bias?

quote:
What they ended up doing was deleting data that didn't tell the story they wanted...
This is entirely your spin. Rather, they deleted data they knew was inaccurate.

quote:
If it really didn't matter, as you say, why did they have prolonged discussions over the best way to hide it so as to avoid giving "fodder to the skeptics"?
Gee, I don't know why they'd worry about that. Look how well the skeptics took the news now. [Wink]
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Ron Lambert
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Greg, as for whether there is any correlation between CO2 emission and temperature change, here is a chart which plots both over the past ten years:
http://inlinethumb42.webshots.com/11497/2598948920037686397S600x600Q85.jpg

Note that since 1998, there has been a global temperature drop--which is what the CRU Climategate bad boys were trying to deny or suppress--and at the same time CO2 output has steadily increased. This chart does not show the correlation that AGW proponents need to validate their thesis.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:


And what was the result of them not omitting the tree-ring data from the historic record? If I read your referenced e-mail corrrectly, the result was a curve that more uncertain. IOW, a record that told the story they "wanted" less well than it could have.

Does this sound like the actions of people trying to manipulate the data to their bias?

Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like.
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:

quote:
What they ended up doing was deleting data that didn't tell the story they wanted...
This is entirely your spin. Rather, they deleted data they knew was inaccurate.
No, if they had done just that, they would have deleted all of it. Instead, they deleted *only* the portion that did not tell the story they wanted told. The rest was manipulated to make the story even better. Big difference.

quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
If it really didn't matter, as you say, why did they have prolonged discussions over the best way to hide it so as to avoid giving "fodder to the skeptics"?
Gee, I don't know why they'd worry about that. Look how well the skeptics took the news now. [Wink]
But that's not how science is supposed to be done. Hiding and deleting data to avoid criticism of a theory is not science.

[ December 11, 2009, 01:30 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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DonaldD
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G2, I assume you've read the whole e-mail in question, so why do you continue to misrepresent it? You wrote (and then justified again)
quote:
why did they have prolonged discussions over the best way to hide it so as to avoid giving "fodder to the skeptics"?
Again, the relevant portion of the e-mail in question follows
quote:

So, if we show Keith's series in this plot, we have to comment that "something else" is responsible for the discrepancies in this case. Perhaps Keith can help us out a bit by explaining the processing that went into the series and the potential factors that might lead to it being "warmer" than the Jones et al and Mann et al series?? We would need to put in a few words in this regard. Otherwise, the skeptics have an field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates. I don't think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I'd hate to be the one to have to give it fodder!

So, when talking about "[giving] it fodder" Mann is not talking about hiding anything, but rather explaining, and making sure the explanation is sufficient. It's more than a bit dishonest to conflate Jones' "hiding" e-mail with Mann's "fodder" e-mail and trying to make something out of it. Are you doing this on purpose, or were you not able to follow along?
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G2
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Donald, obviously you did not read the link G2 provided or you would know that there was "a flurry of correspondence between Mann, Briffa, Jones and Folland". Not just one email as you assert. So let G2 ask you ... Are you doing this on purpose, or were you not able to follow along?

[ December 11, 2009, 02:06 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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DonaldD
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Just show the where the "hiding" is suggested as a method to "avoid giving 'fodder to the skeptics'".

It really shouldn't be hard.

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G2
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G2 did. Click on the link.

Seriously, it really shouldn't be hard.

[ December 11, 2009, 02:13 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like.

Huh? So what would you call adding data that would make their curve more certain? Closer to what they "wanted" it to be? Would that be manipulating data, too?

Does this mean that, regardless of whether the data makes their curve closer to what they want or further from what they want, they are trying to "manipulate the data to their bias?" That no matter what data they use, or how it affects their graphs, they are trying to manipulate the data?

Is there any way they can use data without you thinking they are manipulating it? [Confused]

quote:
No, if they had done just that, they would have deleted all of it.
Not if they needed it to make a more complete picture.

quote:
Instead, they deleted *only* the portion that did not tell the story they wanted told. The rest was manipulated to make the story even better.
No, they kept the parts they believed made their story worse, but for which they had more confidence, if I understand the e-mail correctly. They only deleted the parts that they knew did not represent the real temperatures.

quote:
But that's not how science is supposed to be done. Hiding and deleting data to avoid criticism of a theory is not science.
On this we agree. They should have put it all out and weathered any criticism. But I can understand why they would be hesitant to do so, and why they might have tried to avoid the criticism.

Now let me ask again: do you agree that they should not have used the post-1960 tree ring data, and that the decline it shows is untrue?

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DonaldD
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:
G2 did. Click on the link

As usual, you seem unable to support your claims.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Greg, as for whether there is any correlation between CO2 emission and temperature change, here is a chart which plots both over the past ten years:
http://inlinethumb42.webshots.com/11497/2598948920037686397S600x600Q85.jpg

Note that since 1998, there has been a global temperature drop--which is what the CRU Climategate bad boys were trying to deny or suppress--and at the same time CO2 output has steadily increased. This chart does not show the correlation that AGW proponents need to validate their thesis.

That graph shows satellite data that hasn't yet been corrected to account for the fact that the satellites are drifting away from Earth and thus getting gradually cooler readings because of the increased distance.
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Mariner
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Round and round and round we go. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels here, not getting through to anyone what's importantPersonally, I think I'm going to exit this thread after this last post.

Greg:

quote:
1. There is no doubt that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide make planets warmer.
2. There is no doubt that human activity has been raising the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
3. There is no serious doubt that the Earth's temperature has risen roughly 1.4 degrees f in the past century
4. There is strong evidence that natural cycles are not responsible for the level of warming that has been experienced
5. The remaining uncertainty is in regards the timing and consequences of global warming


No one has argued points 1 and 2, which seem to drive the basic physics of the situation. Assertion 3 about global temperatures has not been countered by global data indicating the that there has been no increase. There is a lot of angry argument asserting that some scientist used a bogus argument and therefore there's no climate change. Many of these can be clearly refuted (I loved Wayward Son's example of the "conspirator" scientist publishing a paper on the very topic that he was alleged to be hiding).

Analogy time. Claim: I can ride a bicycle past the sound barrier. Proof? No one disputes that the faster you pedal, the faster your bike goes. Stupid supersonic bicycle deniers, denying the obvious...

I'm sure it doesn't take a climate scientist to realize the absurdity of that analogy. But that is precisely what your astronomer is doing, and precisely what the IPCC and the rest of the AGW crowd does. CO2 causes temperatures to rise, we're increasing CO2, therefore anybody who doesn't trust our models is an idiot.

I've said it before and I'll say it again; hopefully people will get the implication behind it: Human emissions are only a small component of the warming in AGW theory. If we go by the science that is truly (more or less) settled (your #1 and #2 points), then there is no political debate. The Earth will warm, but not by much, so there's no need to curb emissions. Period.

Needless to say, there's an extra component of AGW theory. Part one is that human emissions will cause a slight increase in temperature. Part two is that the slight increase in temperature causes a big increase in temperature. Got it? Conveniently, despite the fact that this is vital to AGW, it's not listed in your bullet points that supposedly so neatly sums things up. And why is it convenient that it's left out. Because this point is not settled. There is a massive amount of uncertainty here. Nobody in good conscience could claim that there's no doubt of massive positive feedback. That's because it practically boils down to a wild guess, since that way it fits their preconceived notions. Or at least it did.

So there you go. Happy? I agree with points 1 and 2. I just don't think they're relevent.

Next stop, point 3. Your statement that an alternative temperature profile showing no increase must be supplied before one can refute point 3. That's absurd. For starters, it involves my bicycle fallacy as well; there is plenty of difference between no temperature change and a 0.8C temperature change. If the temp increase was, say, 0.3C per century, that would be a significant blow to conventional AGW theory, and we can stop having Kyoto protocols and other nonsense. Secondly, that statement basically boils down to a "we have to trust it, there's nothing else out there!" argument, which is also fallacious. A temperature profile should stand on its own two legs, not in comparison to anything else. If I claim the temperature of Michigan is currently 70F based on the thermometer sitting in my apartment, you would rightly call my study stupid, even if you don't have any other thermometers outside to give you a better idea of what the temperature is.

It's all irrelevent though. Here's a little homework assignment for you. Go find MSU data for temperatures. Get the full dataset. Yes, the corrected ones; you can't use the old mistake as an excuse. Now go find one of the surface temperature sets. Subtract one from another. Plot that difference on the y axis, and the date on the x axis. See if there's a trend. See what the trend is. Determine if it's significant. Then consider the implications of this trend.

For those too lazy to do it, you will find that MSU is finding ~1/3 to 1/2 less warming than the surface temperature data. So what does that mean for the global climate models?

Point 4 is bull. The "strong evidence" is basically the GCMs. And I've explained this before. The models were rigged to find huge positive feedback for CO2 based on their assumptions, and because of that there was no need to find any other natural phenomena. So the "strong evidence" is that they can't think of anything else. But we know full well that we don't know everything about the climate.

For example, everyone was caught by surprise by this latest decade of no warming. Sure, the AGW folks say it's within the error, but they still have no idea why it happened. So if we can stall in our temperature increase for a decade, why is that? Do you know? I don't. Nobody does. So clearly there's something out there that we don't know about the climate. So how can there be "strong evidence" that natural variation can't account for it? It certainly did (in the opposite direction) for a decade.

Example #2: the Medeival Warm Period. As much as the AGW crowd tries to deny it, there's a great deal of evidence it existed. And a great deal of evidence of warming in earlier periods as well when there wasn't much CO2 in the atmosphere. We have evidence of rapid temperature rises as well, certainly as rapid as the last century. So clearly, it can happen naturally. So how can there be strong evidence that it can't happen now?

And, of course, if the temperature record overstates warming, then even the known natural factors will have a bigger role in the warming.

Point #5 is missing the most important part, which hopefully this post is helping to drill into people's heads. The uncertainty isn't just in the consequences, but also the magnitude. Global warming may be huge. Or it may be minor. And if it's minor, then it's no big deal. And no, the possibility of only minor global warming has not been eliminated.

Pyrtolin
My apologies, I thought the original problem with the MSU satellites was only on their mid troposphere data; apparantly it was also their lower troposphere as well (which goes down to the surface, hence what I was talking about). And as I pointed out above, that data still diverges with satellite data.

Also, you said "The tree ring data does not correlate to all of the other sources of historical data, do the tree ring data is invalid, not the other sources, which all point to a warming trend." The concern regarding the temperature reconstructions is less about the current warming (which we know is happening anyway), but more about the temperature in the past. There's a difference between a hockey stick and a sine wave. The concern, including the concern about hiding the decline, is that it artificially flattens or cools the past, thus eliminating any warm periods (like the MWP) and thus making the 20th century look more unnatural.

Wayward
One more time. You know the tree ring data after 1960 or so was bad. Now here's the million dollar question:

Was that data bad because of the time period, or because of the temperature?

If it was bad due to the time period (ie, like the Tiljander series, where changes in farming practices in the area changed the growth of sediment for that proxy), then deleting that bit of data is no big deal. If it's do to temperature however (ie, tree rings don't grow with temperature at high temperatures, and temperatures were higher after 1960), then it's a huge deal. Because if that's the case, then you can't possibly use it for temperature reconstructions, because you no longer have a function! Even if the temperature was high in the past, you will never ever be able to see it by looking at tree rings.

Please, do you understand why that's significant, and why splicing historical data without telling anyone about it in order to ignore a potentially serious flaw in their method is incredibly dishonest?

---

If there's one thing I learned from this thread, it's that I really need to write a dissertation on the skeptics guide to global warming. It's clear that there's so many bad arguments out there on both sides that everyone ends up talking past each other. It's most unfortunate, really, as it's one of my favorite topics here. But it's hard to write on the subject (especially if you want to be brief!) when what you think is important is entirely different from what the next person thinks, and is entirely different than what the next person thinks. Makes things scary.

So unless something exciting happens or unless someone asks me a specific question, here's my last post on the thread. My apologies for bowing out, but just think, now you can be assured of getting the last word in [Smile]

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Dave at Work
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How do you know if he is unable to support his claims if you won't even read what he provided?

Everyone has always complained that G2 doesn't provide links to back up his claims. G2 has always complained that when he does provide links no one reads them. He provided a link this time, so why not read it instead of complaining about it? Unless I'm mixing him up with some other poster, but the principle is still the same.

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Pyrtolin
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Here are some better looks at the data from 1998 onward. There's been no attempt to hide a slight cyclical dip that hasn't even remotely reversed the overall rise:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm

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Pyrtolin
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Additionally here's a bit of a sampling of many different lines of evidence of warming:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hockey-stick-without-tree-rings.html

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Everyone has always complained that G2 doesn't provide links to back up his claims. G2 has always complained that when he does provide links no one reads them. He provided a link this time, so why not read it instead of complaining about it? Unless I'm mixing him up with some other poster, but the principle is still the same.
If you are referring to G2's response to Donald--"G2 did. Click on the link."--it is because it is not a response.

Donald was asking how he came to his conclusion. G2 points at the link, but does not specify his reasoning using that information. He makes it sound like anyone reading the e-mails would automatically come to the same conclusion, using the same reasoning.

This may work for a link with a few paragraphs, but not for several pages worth of e-mails. Because two people can read the same link and come to completely different conclusions.

What Donald wanted was a list of the specific e-mails G2 is using to come to his conclusion, preferably in logical order so you can see his reasoning. This would be useful, because then we could point out any areas where his reasoning might be wrong.

Instead, he provides a hand-waving reference to a bunch of e-mails, asking us to find the e-mails he is thinking of and link them together the way he has. Which is basically useless in a discussion.

We are quite happy that he is referencing his material again. It allow us to find little things that he might have missed, like my little discovery of Mann et al. saying that they included the pre-1960 tree-ring data in spite of the fact that it makes their AGW theory less certain--the EXACT opposite of what G2 claims they are doing. (If I understand them correctly.)

But just referencing is not enough. You also have to highlight what parts you are using to come to your conclusion.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
This may work for a link with a few paragraphs, but not for several pages worth of e-mails. Because two people can read the same link and come to completely different conclusions.

What Donald wanted was a list of the specific e-mails G2 is using to come to his conclusion, preferably in logical order so you can see his reasoning. This would be useful, because then we could point out any areas where his reasoning might be wrong.

Instead, he provides a hand-waving reference to a bunch of e-mails, asking us to find the e-mails he is thinking of and link them together the way he has. Which is basically useless in a discussion.

What Donald wanted was a list of the specific e-mails G2 is using to come to his conclusion, preferably in logical order so you can see his reasoning.

[FootInMouth]
Obviously you did not follow the link either because it's clear you're totally clueless about what is there. Before you comment further, maybe you should take a look at it. [Wink]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Additionally here's a bit of a sampling of many different lines of evidence of warming:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hockey-stick-without-tree-rings.html

Notice something about those graphs? The first 3 start only after 1500. Know why? To eliminate the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). That, my friend, is known as cherry picking.

The final image simply eliminates the MWP altogether as if it never occurred - something that has been shown to be invalid.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
This may work for a link with a few paragraphs, but not for several pages worth of e-mails. Because two people can read the same link and come to completely different conclusions.
I seem to remember getting hammered the last time I suggested that it was bad form to answer a substantive and specific question with a link to a mountain of pages of prior posts and being told to "read the link".
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave at Work:
How do you know if he is unable to support his claims if you won't even read what he provided?

Everyone has always complained that G2 doesn't provide links to back up his claims. G2 has always complained that when he does provide links no one reads them. He provided a link this time, so why not read it instead of complaining about it? Unless I'm mixing him up with some other poster, but the principle is still the same.

No, you got it right. Complain there are no links but refuse to go when they are provided (although to be fair, they sometimes do go just to get the author's name for the keyword search at RealClimate). Provide the relevant quotes to support your opinion and you're not making an argument just pasting things that may agree. In all cases, this is an attempt to avoid any actual discussion of the science and instead only squash dissent. This is how the conspiracy is created and maintained among the rank and file true believers.

Anyone not believe that? Just go back through the last page or so of this thread.

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KidB
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G2,

I just read the whole link from your post. I present my summary, below - please tell me if I read it as you do:

As I understand it, there are 5 slopes on the graph. Of these, 4 show a rise in temperature, and 1 shows a decline post 1960 - the one which is drawn exclusively from tree-ring data.

The scientists involved debate whether or not to include the declining graph in their presentation.

Arguments in favor: It would be honest. The "divergence" issue should be explained up front.

Arguments against: It is too complicated to go into an up-front explanation, and it will give ammo to the skeptics.

So, as a result, they decided to not include the post 1960 decline, and buried the cut-off with a graphical trick.

Is that your reading as well?

[ December 11, 2009, 04:46 PM: Message edited by: KidB ]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:

The final image simply eliminates the MWP altogether as if it never occurred - something that has been shown to be invalid.

It occurs to G2 that some of you may not know what the Medieval Warm Period is. G2 provides another link, this time to a graph that was published on page 202 in the first progress report of the IPCC from 1990. Briffa wrote it out of history with ... wait for it ... tree ring data. That's right, the same Briffa that has been discredited for his tree ring studies.

The MWP happened, it was undisputed until the mid 1990's (what a coincidence huh?) and there is ample record for from multiple sources ( see here). It's only when a “nice tidy story” of “unprecedented warming” needed to be told that it magically and inexplicably disappeared.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Obviously you did not follow the link either because it's clear you're totally clueless about what is there. Before you comment further, maybe you should take a look at it.
OK, I'll bite.

There are over four links you've mentioned in the 11 pages (so far) of this thread. Which specific link are you referring to?

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Wayward Son
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quote:
If it's do to temperature however (ie, tree rings don't grow with temperature at high temperatures, and temperatures were higher after 1960), then it's a huge deal. Because if that's the case, then you can't possibly use it for temperature reconstructions, because you no longer have a function! Even if the temperature was high in the past, you will never ever be able to see it by looking at tree rings.
There is one other thing that should be looked at before make a huge deal out of it. How much of an effect did it have on the reconstruction.

If it had a minor effect (made little to no difference in the outcome), then it simply isn't that big a deal. Throw out the data, and you still have practically the same conclusion from the other data.

From the referenced e-mail, the historic tree-ring data appears to have had little effect on the outcome. In fact, if I read it right (would someone please check this? [Smile] ), it appears to have made the conclusion a bit less certain.

If this is the case, then it isn't a huge deal. It fits in with the other data (not changing it significantly), which increases the confidence in the data, and doesn't change the outcome signficantly. It appears to make no difference.

Now if something else comes along that is more reliable for making an estimate that contradicts the tree-ring data, then it should be thrown out. But right now, it appears to make no difference.

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KidB
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Btw, G2, your second link on the MWP isn't very convincing. I've looked at about 20 different graphs on the chart, and the "period" of warming drifts back and forth about 500 years dependin on which graph you look at, and in many the indicated period is not the warmest period.
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KidB
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A little further investigation - the anomalous "Briffa" graph appears to be the narrowest data-set of the 5 curves. Note that it is labelled "tree-ring density only, summer, extra-tropical.

I did a little research on this and found the following:

--Tree-ring density depends on several variables. One variable is summer temperature - not year-round temperature. This can account for anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3rd of the density.

An abstract for a scientific paper referencing the Briffa data set explains the following:

quote:
Résumé / Abstract
[1] We construct an extratropical reduced temperature-depth profile for land areas north of 20°N latitude from the global borehole temperature database compiled for climate reconstruction. The mean reduced temperature profile compares well with a time series constructed from an initial baseline temperature (0.6° ± 0.1°C) and the last 140 years of gridded annual surface air temperature data diffused into the ground. This analysis yields a root-mean-square misfit of only 15 mK and indicates warming of 1.1 °C over the past 500 years. In contrast, a tree ring analysis from the same area (Briffa et al., 2001) indicates considerably less warming over the same time period. The recognition that tree rings correlate most strongly with warm season temperatures (April-September), while boreholes reflect annual temperatures, offers an explanation for the discrepancy in warming estimates. This analysis yields a reconstruction of surface temperature over the past 500 years that is consistent with both the borehole and tree ring analysis and also provides an estimate of long-term cold season temperature. We estimate that continental extratropical Northern Hemisphere annual and cold season (October-March) temperatures have warmed by 0.2° ± 0.1°C and 0.3° ± 0.3°C, respectively, between 1500 and 1856, prior to the start of the instrumental surface air temperature record.

And this research paper explains that measurements of ring-density in northern regions are much harder to correlate to overal climate trends. Because ring-density essentially takes a summer-only snapshot, data from these regions can be misleading because summers are more mild compared to the year-round average, and tree growth can be hampered by increasing forest density, as trees compete for light and nutrients.

It is therefore not at all inconceivable that tree-ring data from "extratropical" zones, taken only during the summer, could show a cooling trend when the opposite is in fact happening.

[ December 11, 2009, 05:36 PM: Message edited by: KidB ]

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DonaldD
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G2 linked to Steve McIntyre's analysis of the e-mails in question on Climate Audit. The analysis spans about 7 screens, touches on numerous subjects, and bizarrely (or conveniently, rather) chooses to redact the e-mails in such a way as to remove the very context that we were discussing above. In this way, McIntyre tries to link the purpose of the "fodder" remark to the "hiding" activity elsewhere. But even by heavily redacting that e-mail, McIntyre isn't exactly successful. McIntyre used the following, redacted version of the e-mail
quote:
So, if we show Keith’s series in this plot, we have to comment that “something else” is responsible for the discrepancies in this case.…Otherwise, the skeptics have an field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates. I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I’d hate to be the one to have to give it fodder!
Compare it with the full paragraph, with the snipped pieces in bold
quote:
So, if we show Keith's series in this plot, we have to comment that "something else" is responsible for the discrepancies in this case. Perhaps Keith can help us out a bit by explaining the processing that went into the series and the potential factors that might lead to it being "warmer" than the Jones et al and Mann et al series?? We would need to put in a few words in this regard. Otherwise, the skeptics have an field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates. I don't think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I'd hate to be the one to have to give it fodder!
So, exactly that part of the e-mail that makes it clear that Mann proposed more explication is the part that McIntyre left out, and he instead used the butchered e-mail to pull the wool over the eyes of the likes of G2.

And as to G2's repeated reluctance to engage in honest debate: this methodology is par for the course for G2. He either regurgitates other people's work without attribution, or he regurgitates other peoples work without clarification (in this case, a link to someone else's argument) and expects his interlocutors to delve into the dark recesses of his mind and figure out which pieces of the usually tepid arguments he feels are relevant to the subject at hand. When challenged on this technique, he hides behind this long suffering persona of "ooh, when I give links, you don't bother to read them", ignoring the fact that links/references are not replacements for one's own arguments; rather, they should provide clarification of an argument actually presented.

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G2
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You know how to tell they're getting desperate? The personal attacks start:
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
And as to G2's repeated reluctance to engage in honest debate: this methodology is par for the course for G2. He either regurgitates other people's work without attribution ... blah blah blah

DonaldD is like these guys:
quote:
Tim Wirth, a former senator and now chairman of the United Nations Foundation, once said: “We’ve got to ride the global-warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” New York Times columnist and prominent warm-monger Thomas Friedman has repeatedly said (most recently this week) that he doesn’t care if global warming is a “hoax” because, even if it is, the fear of it will force us to do what we need to do.
Take a look at G2's efforts here. He has provided links and visited the links of others and routinely encouraged others to do so. He has provided relevant quotes and addressed the issue directly. He has asked questions and encouraged others to find answers.

Contrast that with DonaldD and his little buddies here. They refuse to see anything provided until they're caught out making comments on it that make no sense. They engage in personal attacks and do anything they can to suppress any search for the truth or open discussion. They discourage any questioning and vehemently oppose any answer that does not agree with their ideology.

As anyone reading this tries to evaluate the theory of AGW, keep in mind they are no different than Tim Wirth, Thomas Friedman, Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Keith Briffa. They do not care about the truth. Never lose site of that, evaluate everything they say with that in mind.

[ December 11, 2009, 06:40 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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Greg Davidson
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An author in The Economist spent the time to thoroughly debunk yet another climate change denier (the case is made in this article in The Economist)

But I particularly resonated with this quote:

quote:
So, after hours of research, I can dismiss Mr Eschenbach. But what am I supposed to do the next time I wake up and someone whose name I don't know has produced another plausible-seeming account of bias in the climate-change science? Am I supposed to invest another couple of hours in it? Do I have to waste the time of the readers of this blog with yet another long post on the subject? Why? Why do these people keep bugging us like this? Does the spirit of scientific scepticism really require that I remain forever open-minded to denialist humbug until it's shown to be wrong? At what point am I allowed to simply say, look, I've seen these kind of claims before, they always turns out to be wrong, and it's not worth my time to look into it?
In America today, even a simple (but boarder-line crazy) issue like the President's legal birth-place can infect public discourse for months (the media and Ornery). It's much more challenging to address a complex issue like global climate. And while there never has been a secret conspiracy to insert a foreigner into the Presidency, either in the United States or in any other country in all of history that I have ever heard of (making the anti-birther position consistent with everything that has gone on before), AGW does assert something that has never happened before on as large a scale. So before reviewing any evidence, I can understand the legitimate need for far more skepticism about climate change than about the President's birth certificate.

But the science (at least at the level of public debate, as in: the Earth is warming over the last century) is not in question. The tactics typically employed by anti-AGW people here such as G2 are merely filibustering. These are the tactics that Republicans often criticize in trial attorneys, just throw a bunch of crap up, and force reasonable people to wade through the poop. Even if valid, the whole notion of climate-gate, that some partisans on either side are personally flawed or argue disingenuously, does not determine which side is right. When anti-AGW advocates are shown to be flawed (multiple times just on page 11 of this thread) it never seems to slow down the ardor of the anti-AGW partisans.

And ultimately I end up where the author of the Economist does; it's not worth more precious ticks of time to argue against those who want to believe it's all a conspiracy.

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KidB
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G2,

I did not insult you, have read the full text of the link you provided, have replied to its assertions, and would appreciate a response.

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