2011-11-02 00:02:46Is there a case against human caused global warming in the peer-reviewed literature? Part 2
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.107

In this second post, link below, I describe the "takeaways" that I find from reading the papers that appear in the database of peer-reviewed papers by skeptics: see Part 1 elsewhere on this blog list. John has suggested that some or all of these points could be expanded into a separate post.

Do you find these takeaways a) reasonable conclusions and b)worth more than the few sentences I now have for each?

I first had Richard Muller on the list, took him off, and now after reading his remark that "two years ago, anyone should have been a skeptic," have put him back on. He may be a unique species of skeptic but over the last few years, until a few days ago, he has fostered their cause as much as anyone. I finally decided I could not defend leaving him off; it seemed arbitary.   

I am also thinking of a post that would take some of the skeptics who were publishing early and tracing their statements through the years, as I begin to do with Lindzen in this post. I have Michaels and S. Idso and can add Baliunas. Among other things, this would support the claim that they have no "killer argument." 

I also have the impression that if you look at peer-reviewed papers from 2003 on, Oreskes may still be right that none rejects human-caused global warming outright. The best they can do is cast doubt by suggesting that sensitivity is low, climate models don't work, etc. I am still hoping for some comments and suggestions on Part 1 of this series, further down the list.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Powell-projectPart2.html

2011-11-02 13:51:33
skywatcher

andycasely@hotmail...
122.107.164.176

On the first point in your list, I see Watts has 0 publications, yet he's a co-author on Fall et al.  Maybe you discussed this earlier, but I presume that is because Fall et al is not explicitly skeptical in its conclusions.  In which case I'd reword Point 1 slightly, maybe as below:

"70% of those listed have no scientific publications on[skeptical of] global warming."

2011-11-03 00:49:44
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.107

Skywatcher,

Will do. Good point. In Part 1, I point to Fall et al and why I did not include it, anticipating that Watts will object. 

We are posting Part 1 soon. I REALLY NEED COMMENTS on Part 2 and especially whether folks think it is worthwhile to expand at least some of these bullet points into separate posts. I can see my way to doing that on most of them, plus other ways to mine the database as suggested in my first comment above. 

Thanks.

2011-11-03 01:03:27
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.107

Skywatcher,

If I take off Singer and Watts, then I have "70% of those listed have no scientific publications on global warming. This list includes such outspoken and media-promoted skeptics as Joe Bastardi, Freeman Dyson, Bjorn Lomborg, Christopher Monckton, Jo Nova, Ian Plimer, and Matt Ridley." Then I do not need the qualifier you suggested, right?  

2011-11-03 13:50:47
skywatcher

andycasely@hotmail...
122.107.164.176

Hi Jim, that sounds fine by me.  Best not to give Watts undue attention!

Your other points look good.  One comment is that points 2 to 4 are really quite similar.  I cannot offer a better way of listing them as the subtleties of each are important.  But as I would consider 2 to 4 as a really important result, it might bear repeating in your short conclusion.

A suggested addition (italics) to the conclusion would be below, though I'm sure there are better ways of wording it:

"These peer-reviewed papers by global warming skeptics offer no reason to doubt that global warming is real, caused by humans, and dangerous.  Climate skeptics have failed to present any coherent alternative hypothesis to the theory that states that carbon emissions are the primary driver of warming, while explaining existing observations, despite ample opportunity.  That is why 100 national and international scientific organizations ... "

2011-11-03 20:01:11
alan_marshall

alan.from.tas@gmail...
114.73.159.45

The post looks good to me. It might be good to give a number for the total of skeptic papers you have analysed. Because of joint autorship, this will be less than the sum of the numbers in your first post.

2011-11-03 23:31:53
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.107

I agree that 2 and 4 are critically important. 2 says that they have no argument that even comes close to falsifying global warming. Point 4 says they cannot explain the basic facts of global climate: the concomittant rise in fossil fuel emissions, CO2, and temperature. Lindzen's 21 year (at least) claim that sensitivity is low, if correct, would leave the temperature rise unexplained, a fact he never mentions. 

I think John, who seems to be able to code anything any of us can think of, will be able to find a way to keep track of the total number of papers.  

Any thoughts about how long to wait to publish Part 2? I was thinking a few days at least to let people discover Part 1. 

2011-11-04 05:01:55
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Personally I prefer to call them "skeptics" (with quotation marks) to distinguish between real skeptics, especially since you are making the point here (in your #6) that they're not real skeptics.

In your #4 you say they have no alternative hypothesis.  I'd disagree.  Roy Spencer thinks sensitivity is low and the warming is caused by internal variability.  It's not a good alternative, but it is an alternative hypothesis.  I'd suggest changing the text to read:

"The skeptics have no better theory, or indeed any theory, to explain all of the observational evidence of man-made global warming."

I moved your URLs to links in the text and did a little formatting editing, by the way.

I also agree on waiting a few days to publish Part 2.  Maybe Sunday or Monday.

2011-11-07 09:56:22
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.101.55

Are you happy with this Jim, or did you want to expand on the bullet points at the end?  We can publish this one on Tuesday if it's ready.

2011-11-07 10:34:16
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.143.213

Ouch! Nice work Jim. Do you have a link to support this statement?

"100 national and international scientific organizations have issued statements accepting human-caused global warming"

Regardless, a thumbs up from me.

2011-11-07 10:51:06
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12
We have about 80 or so organizations listed at http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm so if there is a link to more, we should update our intermediate rebuttal with the other organizations.
2011-11-07 11:55:24
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
184.75.32.88

Rob: In the appendix to The Inquisition of Climate Science I have listed 33 national academies and 68 other organizations that have issued statements. Almost all of them are listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Academies_of_Science

I also got some from a website whose name I cite in a footnote in the Appendix but which I cannot recall at the moment, while traveling. 

Thanks to Dana too. Let me work on it more tomorrow am and then it should be ready. I have added the journals for each and 
John has coded a page that lists the papers by journal:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/peerreviewedskeptics.php?j=1 

2011-11-07 12:22:33
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
184.75.32.88

I have worked on this some more, trying to incorporate suggestions, so please take another look. I am concerned that I may be tripping up on the use of the word skeptic

2011-11-07 12:24:39
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
184.75.32.88

Hit return by mistake. The above needs a final period.

2011-11-07 15:38:51
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.101.55

Makes sense - I'd suggest separating the answers from the suggestions, to make it a bit clearer (i.e. new paragraph for the responses).  And there's a typo in "citations" in #2.

2011-11-07 19:36:12
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
138.217.125.95

Jim

 

Point 4 can be too easily misconstrued since the 'internal variabilty' or its Solar/ Cosmic Rays type arguments can be used. This perhaps needs to be expanded so that for example the total energy balance is the basis of the point and this should be shown to rule out the alternative arguments. Pre-empt their arguments

2011-11-08 00:01:00
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
184.75.32.88

I have done some editing, so please take another look. I am concerned that I am using the word skeptic in two senses, one honorable and the other not. In The Inquisition of Climate Science I called them deniers and defended that choice.  I could do as Dana suggests and put skeptic in quotation marks, but I am not sure that makes it clear. Is it right to call both Singer and Muller (two years ago) simply skeptics?

Glenn, take a look at #4 now.  

2011-11-08 02:24:11
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.120.187

Jim,

To put Muller and Singer in the same category is outrageous:

- Muller is a somewhat vainglorious but technically excellent physicist, who will go where the data go. He will complain if the data aren't collected as he would like, but he is motivated by wanting to be the first with the best.

- Singer is a gun-for-hire that would, for the proper fee, generate a scientific case that the Koch brothers are offspring of Jesus Christ.

2011-11-08 03:42:21
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Agreed, Singer is a "skeptic" at best.  Muller is a good scientist who makes a lot of incorrect statements before he's researched a subject, but it's fair to call him a real skeptic (with a big mouth).

2011-11-08 06:44:48
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
184.75.32.88

Neal,

Muller says that two years ago, everyone should have been a skeptic. So he did not "

2011-11-08 06:49:28
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
184.75.32.88

Sorry, cut off: did not go where the data go." The data from NASA, NOAA, and Hadley were clear about the global temperature rise, but Muller would not go there. Not until he did it himself. 

2011-11-08 06:56:19Skeptic vs denier vs Misinformer
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
58.170.57.120
We had this issue with the http://sks.to/skeptics resource - how do you lump loudmouth egomaniacs like Muller with "sold my soul to the devil" types like Fred Singer. The solution I went with was to title it "Climate Misinformers". It puts the emphasis on their actions rather than the label of who they are. And Muller has been a Misinformer - he's misinformed re the decline, about hidden data and about polar bears.
2011-11-08 07:16:02
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Good point, changing 'skeptic' to 'misinformer' might work here.

2011-11-08 08:10:16
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.120.187

Jim,

He didn't believe the data were accurate then. Now he does.

Either way, his belief was in accordance with what he thought of the data.

The real point is that he's currently on our side, and giving the deniers a hard time by virtue of his insistence that the data are now trustworthy. This really isn't the time to piss him off; it's a time when we can rope him in. What you're doing is like doing a citizen's arrest of a cop: You can do it, and it's legal; but you might just happen to need that cop someday. It's not wise.

2011-11-08 22:03:11
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
64.134.41.49

Dana,

I believe this in ready to go. One possibility would be to change "skeptic" to "global warming skeptic." I think I like that as it helps to distinguish these skeptics from genuine ones. What say you and others?

Jim.

Neal,

Do we know if Muller accepts that humans are the primary cause of the observed warming? 

2011-11-08 22:56:55
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.122.218

Jim,

- Muller is definitely not a global warming skeptic: The BEST study has just documented global warming.

- Muller has already stated that it is clear that humans are contributing to AGW, that we are in the range of possible catastrophe, and that it would a very good idea to stop with the CO2. Whether he thinks that the human component is over 50% I don't know, since his research doesn't really address this question; but in view of what I said before, I think it is not relevant.

You seem determined to label Muller publicly as a skeptic. This is like a man determined to chop off his leg with an ax: It's awkward to accomplish, in view of the practicalities (the facts), and accomplishes nothing useful. What is your point? Did Muller flunk you out of a class years ago?

2011-11-09 03:25:20
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Muller has said it's "plausible" that humans have caused the majority of the recent warming.