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You know, there are actually folks out here in the world that want to understand what the heck we actually know and don’t know. And it’s not particularly helpful when the alarmosphere and denial-osphere can’t have a reasonable discussion.

Not only have we talked here about the lack of consensus on what, exactly, is the problem of global warming, there is a shockingly limited conversation about:

(1) What has actually been going on in the data

(2) What the limits to modeling complex systems are

(3) Whether any scientific wrongdoing has ever been perpetrated and why


It seems that just asking about each of these has you labeled an ignoramus, knuckle-dragging Republican denier. But the crickets speak louder than words to me. Can you find ANY thoughtful person in the scientific community who will not outright dismiss the following two pieces on the grounds that “Watts and his ilk are a bunch of idiots” or “we don’t have to dignify any questions about these sorts of things?”


Here is what I am talking about. First, here is what we seem to be seeing in the temperature and storm record.

Second, here is what sorts of games seem to be being played with the data.

And if you wish to tell me that since I am not a climate science I have no right to even ask these questions, then by what ethical system are you operating that suggests you should tell us how to respond with economic policy?

2 Responses to “It’s Quiet in the Church of Climate Change”

  1. jb says:

    Regarding the limits of modeling complex systems, I strongly recommend a book by Steve Decanio: Economic Models of Climate Change: A Critique . Although the climate models have been met with skepticism (not unjustifiably), many of the economic models that try to estimate the cost of mitigation are equally flawed. The book was published in 2003, but I think the premise holds.

  2. Harry says:

    Looking at the NASA data that John Daly (not the golf pro) preserved, there are temperature figures going back to 1880 expressed in hundredths of a degree.

    Now, I would expect there would be some thermometers that could have been read with that degree of precision, but I doubt there is
    anywhere near enough data available to draw any reasonable conclusion about the average sea temperature of Boston Harbor for 1970 , let alone globally, to the hundredths of a degree. Just think back to chem lab technique, where you had to read the thermometer calibrated in tenths.

    I bet one is lucky if a fraction of the data are precise to a tenth of a degree, and maybe a lot of it is plus or minus one degree, good enough for aviation or distilling ethanol.

    This is not to affirm or deny any assertion that things are getting warmer or colder, but rather to question whether figures presented with such precision are intended to create an illusion of veracity. That is another way of saying that you would flunk your lab if you did not round to the least significant integer. All scientists, including climate scientists from the UN, should appreciate their limitations.

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