Gleick on Cherrypicked Climate Trends

Not to beat a dead horse, but here’s a nice piece from Peter Gleick in Forbes about how deniers cherrypick data in their effort to show that the climate isn’t warming: “Global Warming Has Stopped”? How to Fool People Using “Cherry-Picked” Climate Data.

The current favorite argument of those who argue that climate changes isn’t happening, or a problem, or worth dealing with, is that global warming has stopped. Therefore (they conclude) scientists must be wrong when they say that climate change is caused by humans, worsening, and ultimately a serious environmental problem that must be addressed by policy makers.

The problem with this argument is that it is false: global warming has not stopped and those who repeat this claim over and over are either lying, ignorant, or exhibiting a blatant disregard for the truth.

So, deniers, which is it: Are you lying, ignorant, or exhibiting a blatant disregard for the truth? There really aren’t any other options.

32 Responses to “Gleick on Cherrypicked Climate Trends”

  1. Craig Says:

    Here is the english translation of the interview with the person I mentioned above. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,813814,00.html

    In the intro, a warmist representative who has seen an advance copy of the book, says a “number” of the issues brought up have been “refuted”. The exact number is not specified. The interview itself is pretty good. The Spiegel interviewer doesn’t throw softball questions at him and actually challenges him on some points.

    Apparently, there are going to be additional parts to this whole story published shortly, so it will be interesting to see what else comes of it. Its an intriging idea to consider the effect of other natural elements more seriously than they may have been, up to this point.

  2. enkidu Says:

    So I’ll put you down for a “3″ right Craig?
    Please correct me if I’m wrong on my assessment of your level
    http://www.lies.com/wp/2011/12/07/moran-on-the-stages-of-climate-change-denialism/

    So what is driving the temps up? I find it fascinating that Fire Fritz (his nickname in Germany for supporting the construction of a controversial incinerator iirc?) became famous/elected for exposing chemical pollution and fighting against it. But now he and his geologist co-author have decided ACC is a hoax (etc). Perhaps we should let the climate experts debate the merits of his book. And the papers he has authored to refute ACC (etc). Convincing wwnj is a done deal: anything that agrees with his wwnj bias has, by definition, got to be true. It’s right wing, it says right right on the label! sheesh!

    Again I’ll ask: so what is driving temps up? What are the expected impacts of this warming? What can we do about it? Should we do anything? If it is volcanos as knarly suggests (citation pls? links?) well what is to be done? Is mankind doing anything to change the environment? Or is it just business as usual? Are we reaching some sort of carrying capacity limit for technic civs based on fossil fuels? I am asking you to tell us what you think is driving temps up. Sunspots? Volcanos? Cycles?

    Let us say, just for the purposes of discussion, that we are at level 4: climate change is happening, humans are part of it, but it’s just too darned expensive to do anteing about it. Done. Well there are a great many experts who say we are the primary drivers of climate change and CO2 is a part of it. How do you (and expert ACC deniers/skeptics) present your case? So far it is nibbling about the edges: you guys didn’t do this or that right or are deliberately misinterpreting the data for the filthy lucre (etc, ignoring the even stronger possibility that the obverse is true: deniers are often in the pocket of ‘the industry’)

    I disagree (mildly) with jbc: there are steps we can take *now* that will have a big impact down the road. I’ll have to look it up, but there was a discussion on another site about ‘what to do now’ and the suggestions were pretty tame: drain rice patties more often, cook stoves, simple stuff. Not gene-engineering plants w a lower albedo. Not using nukes to blow up volcanos to spew more particulate to block the sun’s energies. No gene-engineering miracles or marvels. No imposed limits to growth. Just using plain old human ingenuity and drive to fix the problems bequeathed upon us by the last set of technologies. Start now. It’s cheaper. Much cheaper. Just like the SO2 exchange.

  3. shcb Says:

    Here is how the game is played:

    “So basically wwnj opinion is whatever we do will further screw things up”

    is what Enky heard and will repeat forever

    “So basically wwnj opinion is whatever we do might further screw things up” is a more realistic restating of what I actually said, but Enky will never say.

  4. shcb Says:

    I had never heard of that site, it looks like it is mostly gambling so I doubt I will mess with it. You were wondering why there is no research being done in thermal vents as it applies to global warming, well the answer is obvious, there is no need to do research, we already know the cause of global warming, man. This goes back to the comment Spencer made above. There is an old joke in the scientific community, if you want to get grant money to study some critter, good luck, if you want to study the effects of global warming, manmade global warming, there is all kinds of money available. Unless you are trying to disprove manmade global warming, then the till dries up real fast. And it’s not just Democrats, a bill to eliminate Colorado’s carbon tax was killed in committee this week, a Republican dominated committee.

  5. shcb Says:

    Ha, Ha, you went to a lot of work for that, I’m famous!

  6. knarlyknight Says:

    So when push comes to shove, shcb backs off and basically admits he is not correct enough to make predictions, using the semantic dance that these predictions are gambling.

    Therein lies the problem, shcb thinks predicting global warming is like gambling. He is willing to stake his opinions on that but clearly does not really comprehend how knowledge and science changes the odds. How else can one explain his position against the consensus scientific AGW conclusions except that he is a very, very bad gambler. His position on AGW is effectively a bet with both a good chance of some short term moderate economic rewards and a near certainty, based on our knowledge and science, of increasing and permanent catastrophic outcomes in the medium to long term.

    Come to think of it, that is characteristic of wwnj thinking on most issues: a likely short term gain for a few people with a high probability of extraordinarily bad outcomes for most people as time goes on.

  7. shcb Says:

    No, you don’t understand the difference between critical thinking and gambling, we can pay your game if you wish but it won’t prove any point because intrade is simply gambling, it is learning to play the game and learning to play the odds. To some extent that seems to be a little of what JBC is wanting me to do with AGW, pay the odds, but that isn’t critical thinking. I understand gambling, I’m not much of a gambler myself but my family is, my sister’s family has always made their living off the horses, starting into the fourth generation now. My cousin has been making a 6 figure income doing nothing but gambling for almost a decade now.

    To win in this type of gambling there are basically two strategies (in simplest terms of course) volume or obscurity. Volume is the way my cousin wins. He only plays computer poker, he knows the odds for the game or type of machine and only plays the games that have a positive payback. Now you have to play nearly perfect to maximize that payback because it is only few percentage points, then it is just a matter of volume, he runs 8 to 12 million dollars through the machines a year, the rest is just math. The other is obscurity, this is where a lot of people make money on the horses, they bet on the underdog, usually not straight up, but bracketed some way.

    The way this is going to work is if you take an issue, say Obama being reelected, take the unconventional thinking now while it is a ways out, whether you believe he is going to be reelected or not, then hedge that bet later taking the conventional thinking, again no matter what you actually believe. Couple that with some side bets on who will be the primaries using the same bracketing, in the end you may lose the straight up bets but you will make it up with a few trifectas.

    Then you pick a few subjects you know more about than the people betting and cherry pick an obscure something you can make a killing on to offset the basic 50-50 shot of Obama. It’s all in the game.

  8. knarlyknight Says:

    So you’re sure you’ve got the strategy that’ll win. Typical. Seems JBC already covered that mentality, no need for me to repeat that here. But I’m sure if you tried your hedging & side betting strategy you would be humbled by intrade soon.
    Also that strategy does not serve the purpose of determining whether you know what’s going to happen more than anyone else,based on yoursupposed critical thinking. So stake out some intrade positions and hold them.

  9. shcb Says:

    That is correct, it is a pointless exercise for this discussion. JBC and you have asked why I don’t use my super powers to make a killing in the stock market or Vegas, it is because I understand the gambling aspect of both enough to not get involved in either too deeply. That is critical thinking.

    Most situations in life aren’t black and white, true and false, that is what your game is, by definition, now you guys tend to try and point me into giving a black and white answer, and seem to see things in that regard, but that isn’t critical thinking.

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