The Great Global Warming Debate


Given my age and family history of early onset Alzheimer’s you may have a fair point there young, eh, whatsyername.

Anyway, there was no outcry against global cooling. Same as there is no outcry against global warming. Most scientists consider themselves outside the debate. Therefore most scientists do not have a position either way, in public at least. Making it possible for Mr. Lenihan to say that since only 46 economists signed the letter, the other 200 must agree with him.

Whichever clique is in vogue likes to claim the unquestioning support of the silent majority. I don’t know why you are even arguing this.


Of course climate science has a lot of holes in it! That’s the point myself and dduff442 are making but neither you nor fishfoodie are listening. Science is the stud of **things we don’t understand very well ** and every branch of science falls over at a given degree of precision. What you both refuse to accept or even consider is you can predict the approximate temperature trend of the next decade and be completely wrong about the global temperature in each of those years, nevermind the regional temperatures in those years.

David McWilliams was consistently wrong about when the property bubble would burst. You can say decisively it will definitely do so without knowing the exact number of transactions that will occur on January 8th of next year. What would you say to a guy who refuted your claims of a credit bubble with minutia about exact construction levels on particular days? You’d probably think that guy was reflexively rejecting the conclusion and appealing to the complexity of the property market to try and hide from it.

Within 5 minutes? Medical science would likely get that wrong. 10 doctors would give you 10 different answers. However they could all tell you that you would die without serious medical intervention because all the complexity of the human body, all the massive organisational capacity of the neural nets in your brain, all the quantum fluctuations in every particle in your body won’t change the fact that you’re pumping blood out of your body at a rate hundreds of times at that which it can be replaced. All the other complexity needs to be understood to give accurate predictions down to within 20 minutes, within 5 minutes, within 1 minute, within 1 second, within a fraction of a second but not to predict the outcome.


Interestingly the IPCC say the planet has warmed by 0.6c … change.htm

I have a problem with this level of error because its not a projection. This is what happened while we were observing and recording it. Its not from proxies yet the margin of error is a large fraction of the estimate. How can we predict with any accuracy the future if we cant get the past within a reasonable level. Now I do think the planet has warmed the trend is there but weather models are notoriously unpredictable hence why we cant give long range forecasts. You may argue that its the trend thats important but natural variability plays a huge role in the feedbacks. This is why the IPCC predictions are useless


This is not correct.

Scientists overwhelmingly support the above statement. “Skeptics” give wildly disproportionate attention to the small number of scientists who disagree.


The IPCC projections are for between 2 and 5 degrees of warming this century. So far they’re on track. The uncertainty concerning feedbacks is why it’s between 2 and 5 and not either 2 or 5.


Um, yeah, in politics or the debating society, but not in science… (which is where economics largely fails as a science!).

Well I’m happy that despite your ignorance you managed to look at the references in the wikipedia article that sharper put up.

Since you don’t provide a link, I will: … 9-1325.pdf

No shit, orthodoxy squashed new correct theory. Orthodoxy wrong again.

Jeepers. By the mid-1970s the long-term trend accepted by science was accepted to be towards extensive northern hemisphere glaciation.

This is a long fucking way from ‘fringe theory’ and ‘not accepted’. I suggest you read the article before you pick it out of the wikipedia references because it has a nice title that suits your aims. The article supports everything I’ve said. Global cooling was widely accepted. Widely accepted and wrong.


Ah, sorry, trick question. Likelihood is that I wouldn’t die from blood loss, but from shock… specially when I see the doctor’s bill. I reckon within five minutes of that…


Actually the article I posted before was in reference to this report

“Global cooling” was a minority view at the time with many thinking warming was a possibility and others deciding more study was needed. There was certainly no consensus behind cooling and the idea that “they predicted cooling in the 70s” is completely unsupportable.


That’s just plain wrong. I am not talking about the scientists who disagree. I am talking about the scientists who haven’t looked at it and who don’t express an opinion one way or another.

Anyway, who said anything about “a warming world”???

We are talking about whether carbon is responsible, remember? Do try and stay on topic with the argument, otherwise I’ll go to bed.


The “most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.” means primarily carbon emissions. They’re certainly not talking about everyone running their hair dryers at once.


Yeah, and on average in 1969 all the published articles supported cooling. For fucks sake, I am not supporting cooling. What I am saying is that global cooling was sold, yes, in the media, as scientific consensus. The same as carbon is being sold, yes, in the media, as scientific consensus. Scratch beneath the surface and you see some suggesting that methane from food animals is a bigger threat and that if we all became veggies or controlled methane at point of production the problem would be solved.

The whole idea of consensus is not just mythical, it is dangerous. It always has been and it always will be.


No it flippin’ doesn’t.

  • agriculture
  • humanity (just existing)
  • deforestation
  • desertification
  • pollution (of the seas)
    and so on.

Honestly, I don’t know where the one track-mind environmentalists came from?


Just to weigh in here. In my view the only way to properly study weather and climate systems is through a holistic approach. The reductionist approach being talked about on this thread just doesn’t make sense. The reasons are:

  1. Complexity - we are not just talking about very complex systems. We are talking about systems so complex that it is in their very nature to be absolutely unknowable. Think of the movement of a thunderhead for example.

  2. Self-organisation - It is in the nature of this kind of complexity to be self-organising. It is the WHOLE system that adjusts itself to maintain its equilibrium.

  3. Probabilistic - In the same way that when you hold a bone in front of a dog, what he will do is not definite, so, every reaction within weather and climate systems is probalistic. Not deterministic.

Yes, there are ways of understanding the system. But, what needs to be understood is that the idea of cause and effect goes out the window.

BTW the economic system is very similar.


Let me get this right. You want me to demonstrate that the IPCC report which has dominated climate change discourse for nearly a decade identifies carbon emissions as the culprit as opposed to what you can name off the top of your head?


Can you give me a link that shows they are on track?
Here are the predictions:

The uncertainty concerning feedbacks is not why its between 2 and 5c. The different scenarios are based on CO2 outputs i.e the highest temps are the continue as we are and the lower estimates are with cutbacks on emissions.
The margin of error is again a large fraction of the estimate. Most of the heating in their models is based on feedbacks, lets have a closer look at feedbacks: … Budget.pdf … 9698.shtml

Now if cloud formation and humidity plays a such role in the greenhouse effect, and it does, then essentially to model climate accurately we need to be able to model natural variability i.e weather!

There is no way on earth this science is settled. The whole thing stinks of politics.


Define “most”!!! What % of the 0.6c plus or minus 0.2c increase is attributable to humans?

#551 … ichler.pdf

From the same paper

So, if this paper is to believed, we are responsible for 0.3c of warming plus or minus 0.2c.
Ok now we are not responsible to ALL co2 emissions so we can cut that 0.3c down more.

Anyone know what % of TOTAL co2 emissions are anthropogenic?


I’m getting a very bad feeling I’m the only one whose read the report. Are you guys asking me to record a book on tape or what?



Yeah, you’re the only smart one. Everyone else is dumb.