@220 Stephen W Says:
:”So do you agree or not with the first point that “CO2 heats atmosphere”?”
Actually, I don’t think anyone disagrees that CO2 heats the atmosphere. Or rather, that CO2 traps shortwave solar radiation which causes the atmosphere to heat, to be accurate. Where the disagreement lies is how much warming can CO2 cause. AGW contends that the CO2/water vapor forcing can account for the majority of the current warming trend. In fact their figures are about opposite of what Taylor posits. The IPCC summaries say that CO2 accounts for ~80% of the warming trend and the remaining ~20% could be due to natural variation.
:”As in claiming I called climate change “settled science”. I’ve never made that claim, nor as far as I know has any climate scientist.”
I’ve looked back in the thread and I do apologize. You didn’t say that it’s settled science. It was Steve in Dublin @ 163. “The reality of it is that the science of AGW has been settled for over a decade.” I’ve heard the term settled science bandied around by the AGW camp a lot. You are correct, however, that you specifically didn’t say it.
:”Do you understand what the word “absolute” means? And how can a theory have confidence in itself?”
The AGW camp likes to call their belief in their interpretation of the science the “truth”, much like someone calls what they know about their religion. If that’s not an absolute statement, what is? Increasing and absolute don’t seem to go together, sure. How else can you term it when you start with the “truth” and then whenever a study comes out that supports AGW interpretation the confidence level goes up? Still, I guess I could have made my point without the additional adjective. Still, I’m not seeing a straw man.
:”Doom can mean lots of things. If you’re implying it means the end of the world that would be a straw man. If you just mean bad things are going to happen, I’d have to agree with that. I’m not sure of a definition of doom that allows “Not all dooms are bad.”, except possibly in the sense that a Christian might say the end of the world was a good thing.”
I’m not entirely certain implying the end of the world is a straw man considering some of the predictions being thrown about. But honestly, we could split hairs even about that. Extinction of man doesn’t actually end the world, etc, etc. Can we agree that it may not have been the best example of a straw man and move on? If you think I’m overstating something, please say so. I very well may be. Calling something a straw man just causes a defense of the statement rather than an examination of it’s merit, human nature being what it is. I’ll endeavor to do the same. It’s more conducive to the ongoing dialog.
:”Well this is complicated because on one hand I disagree that science doesn’t work on the idea that some theories are right and some wrong.”
Definitely a solid point. This is where I think the politics come in and start to blur the lines between science and belief in a point of view. There’s an unhelpful focus on what is “right” and “wrong”. Earlier it was stated that because Taylor had cited Monckton it called his science into question. That’s not necessarily the case. Taylor’s conclusions don’t hinge on Monckton’s paper. They may be used to support a theory and that support can be proven questionable without disproving the theory. It would be a different matter entirely if Taylor based his conclusions on Monckton’s paper. That’s not evident, however. If ultimately his conclusions about solar activity are inaccurate, it still doesn’t mean his conclusions about oceanic cycles or cloud feedback. It doesn’t even necessarily mean he’s entirely wrong about the solar cycles or that the theory can’t be adapted to take into account the new and more accurate data.
Shiva’s Rainbow, or rather, the review thereof has also been used to try to discredit Taylor. Having never read Shiva’s Rainbow, I’m not prepared to argue the merits of that book, obviously. I can say, however, that if Taylor does hold any beliefs in the preternatural, it’s not evident in Chill. Indeed if he does hold such beliefs, as long as he doesn’t base his scientific conclusions on them, who gives a damn? I don’t mean to sound like a broken record but at least a few of the scientists in the IPCC most likely believe in a god, wouldn’t you agree? There’s no more or less evidence for a god than there is for any of the other mysticism that one could believe. As long as that scientist doesn’t come to his conclusions because “god told me so”, we’ll accept the hypothesis and debate it’s scientific merits. I say the same holds true for Taylor should the review of Shiva’s Rainbow be accurate.
:”I just don’t have this absolute faith in the theory you keep saying I have. I would say that AGW is currently the best understanding we have.”
I do apologize for the fact that my comments aren’t aimed at just you even when I’ve addressed you specifically. I’m not so sure AGW is the best understanding we have but it’s certainly the theory we’ve put the most resources into. I’m reasonably certain it’s not an entire waste. Even if AGW is proven to overstate the case for CO2’s ability to drive climate change, there’s a lot of valuable data that will have been collected. For me, there seems to be a bit of tunnel vision. Climate science is complicated. There’s not a lot of people who can look at the entirety of it and understand what’s going on. Atmospheric scientists don’t really understand the oceanic science. Oceanic scientist don’t really understand solar science. Each discipline relies on the other for data and has to take the other’s word for it as to it’s accuracy. The IPCC is an attempt to bridge the disciplines but it is a political body before it is a scientific one and suffers from the pre-commitments and biases of it’s politics.
:”The very obvious problem is that whilst there are uncertainties, we need to decide how to deal with the potential problem now. And to me it makes no sense to gamble on an optimistic belief that it’s possible the theory is wrong. The fact that we don’t know how this experiment will end seems a good reason to try to stop it.”
This is why I think the suggestion to build resiliency into our food supply is the better option. It covers more than just one possible outcome and has value that reaches beyond the perceived ‘danger’ posed by AGW. Pushing forward with most of the suggested ‘fixes’ for AGW seems to put us in a position where the ‘cure’ is worse than the sickness. Cap and Trade is a scheme that seems solely engineered to make certain people rich. Biomass threatens to take over valuable farmland needed to meet our food needs and from what I understand, would need more growing area to achieve it’s goal than we have on the entire planet. Others want windmills dotting the countryside until you can’t turn around without seeing them. In the meantime, enforcing strict energy policy on 3rd world nations that can least afford it. Kyoto grandfathered in most industrial nations and sought to impose the harshest restrictions on the developing nations. If we’re going to risk our crops and essentially hobble nations whose people die because they don’t have the modern luxuries we take for granted we’d better be a lot more certain our course of action is the correct one. Otherwise, in my opinion, it’s tantamount to the murder of those people who die waiting for clean water, safe ways to cook and heat their ‘homes’, access to modern care and medicines, etc.
:”I don’t like you talking about what I believe in because, you don’t know what I believe in and are putting your own ideas about what you think I should believe in. A tactic ironically reminiscent of creationist arguments.”
I really don’t think I’ve been telling you what I think you should believe. Perhaps I’ve been incorrectly surmised what you seem to espouse. Or I’ve incorrectly attributed to you the claims of others. I may have painted too broadly at times in our discussion in an attempt to answer other voices than just yours. Still, I reject the comparison to Creationists as my goal has always been the continuation of discourse and further study of the rational merits of the issue. You won’t find a creationist with those goals.
Source : http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/05/20/climate-change-followup/