The Great Global Warming Debate


Okay, how many hours of sunshine per hectare of growing land will there be in western europe in 2010? And how much rain? And when will it sun/rain? What crops should I plant?

These are basic questions that climate science is unable to answer. Not the track of specific weather events, but the big picture of what sort of weather we’re going to have next year. This year, for example, I’ve noticed that we’ve had more sunny nights than sunny days (i.e. cloudless) in Tullamore. This is just bad luck for us and the west coast of Britain, but it means the east of England had a reasonable summer. Factor that in to a science that is claiming to tell us how we will all be affected. And then tell us how we will be affected? Even on a pan-european level!

The last prediction of doom and gloom I believed was the original one made in the 'seventies or 'eighties. We will have increasingly random patterns of weather and isolated weather events as large localised changes in climate ripple through the system destabilising the existing patterns. The events that cause this can be natural (e.g. a volcano) or man-made (e.g. deforestation on a grand scale).

And remember, when I was a young man (and it was not that long ago) global cooling and the impending next ice age were scientific consensus. Only an evil nutcase doubted them.


I am in my own little club-handed way trying to get you to define what you think constitutes ‘complex’ ?

You say on the Climate:

That frankly is like a red rag to a bull for most Engineers & scientists I’ve ever met.

The fact is that we can’t produce a software model which can give us an accurate weather forecast; 7 days in advance. And yet we populate this model with thousands of data points measured to within a fraction of a degree, with hundreds of data points being created daily. Despite the amount of data having increased exponentially since the 1940’s our forecasting is only incrementally better.

And yet on the strength of the depth of a few tree rings, some ice & some Carbon-14 some people want to spend a Trillion Euros.


Since when is logical argument not applicable to science? What was stated was that CO2 could not be removed from the atmosphere not that it would not disappear naturally due to processes in nature. I made no scientific claim beyond the self-evident fact that burning fuel, releasing CO2 and then somehow seizing the CO2 back again is a scientific non-sequitur. The burden of proof lies with those making the unique claim that plants will suffice to clean the atmosphere.

PS according to Wikipedia:


I dealt with this claim the last time you brought it up only weeks ago, I’m not going to repeat it again. The questions asked by yourself and fishfoodie completely ignore the central point I made concerning the granularity and precision of prediction.

If you think “Haw haw those ‘scientists’ don’t even know how much sunshine we’ll get next year lawls!” is a “gotcha!” question consider the following questions:

-At 8:45:23 this evening what was the exact volume of blood in your heart
-What is the current exact ratio of salt to water in your bloodstream right now
-In three weeks time what will your exact white blood cell count be
-Precisely how many millilitres of blood can you lose tomorrow before your heart stops
-Given a HIV infection right now how many seconds will elapse before develop AIDS

Science doesn’t know the answers to those either so I guess the only thing to do is to go with what crackpot cures someone suggests to you on the internet.


I suggest mixing with better scientists and engineers then because all the ones I know see complexity as something to be tackled decisively, not something to hide behind.

The fact is we can’t produce a software model that gives us an accurate idea of how the human immune system works but they expect us to take a vaccine?


I’m not asking you to tell me the temperature with 0.00001 of a degree, I’ll be happy if you can tell me it with 0.1 degree :angry:

Or are you saying that climate scientists can’t accurately measure temperature within 0.0001% ?

Here; I’ll get you started. Galways temperature range in February is between 4 & 9 Degrees C.


Oh it is, but it doesn’t ‘prove’ anything.

If you can pick holes in an argument, you can then attempt to ‘disprove’ it, but you can’t prove an argument, you can only posit it as a hypothesis.

Eh, what you stated was that it was “irreversible”, excuse me while I go and look up irreversible again. Ah, no, I won’t do that, it is beyond childish. Use words you know the meaning of if you are going to argue.

Read what bungaloid said again:
“Plants remove co2 using an external negative entropy source (sunlight).”

As I am only a poor arts student, I can’t possibly be capable of understanding much (ideally suited to an arty job in the public sector, apparently… I think I’d like to be Chief of Money).

I suppose the whole carbon cycle thing is just a big waste of time too?

Who said that? Who says it is unique? Why should they have to prove more than doomsayers? The 'pin predicted the doom of the property market. And then gave reasons why the hypothesis was correct. And then invited criticism and opposition. That is the scientific method. Saying that “we hold these truths to be self-evident” may be good enough for constitutional and civil rights lawyers, but it is not good enough for science.

Ah yes, revisionism. You’ll be surprised in ten years time if carbon theory turns out to be a bust at all the people saying "I knew it couldn’t last, there was a bubble mentality, it was only mad people who were swept along, we all knew it wasn’t real, I was really busy at the time so I signed lots of cheques, eh, petitions without reading them…


Accurately measuring the current temperature of a city to within 0.1 degree is extremely challenging.

Who defines whether 1 degree 0.1 degree or 0.00001 degree is a reasonable tolerance? You?


This is of no relevance. A geologist cannot predict when the next big one will hit San Fransisco. You’d still be wise to accept his advice that it won’t be far off. The difference between climate and weather hardly needs be explained. Do you doubt Spring follows Winter?


Oh lord yes. Where facts of what was published at the time conflict with your “mature recollection” obviously the facts have been altered.


Well what is the specified margin of error for the IPCC’s predicted temperature increases by 2011 ?


Hey, first of all, just because no-one understands other complex systems, doesn’t mean you get off for not understanding climate ones.

Don’t get me started on how many people medical ‘science’ kills through its incomplete understanding of the immune system.

Now, I’m not saying these systems are unknowable, but what I am saying is that, like the drugs testing experiments that modelled safely and then went on to kill people, climate science has a lot of holes in it. We already know that some of the things we are doing are having an effect on the natural environment and the climate. We have failed to deal with these in any meaningful way despite knowledge of them over the past forty years. Perhaps we should be looking at better ways to fix the problems we are sure of?

Anyway, I wasn’t asking for precise millilitres, I wanted to know what crops should I plant? I want to know roughly how much rainfall we’ll get and when. I betcha medical science could tell me within five minutes of how long it would take me to die if I chopped my arm off. It could probably say with reasonably certainty how much blood is in my body. Even a gym instructor can tell me how much of me is fat. And it can say with reasonably certainty that if I have HIV I will die before my natural term…


The IPCC or climatology in general aren’t interested in the exact temperature in 2011 or any other year. The prediction is for approximately 0.2 degrees of warming per decade and that’s what we’ve seen.



Logical argument can certainly prove something if the initial premise is one of my adversary’s own statements. Do you suggest people can evade the logical implications of their own statements?

The rest is just rhetoric. It is not disputed that plants are failing to remove CO2 at the rate it is now being pumped into the atmosphere (a record rate, in spite of all the politicians’ guff). It is beyond human power to seize the CO2 back again without expending the energy which was the object of its emission in the first place. This is fairly obvious and clear.

That the burden of proof lies with the person making a claim is similarly hard to contest except by sophistry.

The ‘global cooling’ myth has been thoroughly debunked. I personally had never even heard of the alleged theory before this decade. It was less than a fringe theory and never had scientific support. You’re the one bringing it up so I suggest producing some evidence this is not the case. My source is T Peterson, W Connolley and J Fleck The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus. American Meteorological Society 2008.


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.