Thanks for those thoughts. I'll follow your recommendation and learn more from many sources.
Over the years (I graduated in '74) of working, I've found in my industry that just because industry experts agree and follow a similar course of analysis, that doesn't make it correct. With computers, very smart people can analyze very complex situations, but if the model isn't tested against reality, it is only gibberish. The devil is in the detail. If you don't go back to the original data and science, and make sure it is tied to the real world, then you may be in fantasy land. Once it is accepted as fact, the lemmings continue...
I'll look into the ocean temperature issue. I work in the offshore energy industry, have a lot of sources that should have acess to good data.
jhachen: Yes, it can be better to investigate the science directly rather than rely on authority, but authority was the main thrust of the original article, so that is why I linked to the most up to date scientific opinions on this issue. However, I also linked to multiple independent evidence of AGW, which covered the technical basis as well.
Its probably best that I don't give you my opinion of Richard Lindzen. He is one of the high profile denier scientists and most frequently comments in various formats and media outside the published scientific literature.
I could try to list all the things wrong with his article but that would fill this blog. And Lindzen has already moved on to post thre same sort of stuff somewhere else.
Yuo should read the post I put up earlier about ocean warming. Apply your engineering background, basic Conservation of Energy, to what I have written and the conclusion I have drawn and see if you agree with my reasoning. Then ask yourself where was such data and reasoning from Lindzen?
For those such as yourself who aren't deeply immersed in the AGW wars and the science it can be difficult to know where to start and who to rely on. And my personal view (although this is shared by many other people) is that the likes of Lindzen are continually playing on that fact to mislead people and to create the illusion that there is still serious debate within academic circles about AGW when actually there isn't.
But my simply saying that obviously will not convince you.
So, instead of a single article describing the pro's & con's, which is too big a field, rather try this site: www.skepticalscience.com(SkS)
This site was originally established to be skeptical of the climate skeptics - hence its name. So it began by writing rebuttals to skeptic claims. The strength of it is that all the rebuttals are grounded in links to the published science. So starting point for you might be to read through the rebuttals to the skeptic arguments - these are often in Basic, Intermediate & Advanced form. Some of the arguments do at least at face value need to be taken seriously, with a serious explanation of why they are wrong. Others are simply nonsensical. But SkS still takes seriously writing a rebuttal to them. Then start skimming back through the archive of posts. Read things like the 'OA not OK' series on ocean acidification. And there is also a section on the denialists and the identified faults and logical inconsistencies in their positions.For example, this thread began with the 16 in the WSJ talking about how warming has stopped. As I pointed out below, it hasn't. And several of that group are Climatologists/Meteorologists. They should know that ocean heat is the main game. But they feign ignorance in the media.
Let me lay my cards on the table. I am one of the circle of authors who work producing content at SkS. Like you I was looking around for answers. I thought I understood that AGW was real but in on-line forums skeptics would put up some arguments that were hard to answer with the level of knowledge I had. Reading and then commenting at SkS led me to a much deeper understanding of the science and eventually I was asked to join the authors group.
Some of the posts will seem combative, rebutting other skeptic sites such as WUWT. This is because over time one comes to realise how false and mendacious much of the organised skepticism is and thus one becomes less tolerant of the same repeated misleading claims. But many of the others are intentionally informative. The level of mosts of the posts is somewhat technical but if you bring your engineering background in areas such as Thermodynamics, Physics, Chemistry to understanding them you should be OK.
And posts almost universally link back to published scientific papers. So not just a commentary about the science. Direct links to allow you to read the scientific papers for yourelf. Compare that with somewhere like WUWT where the majority of the articles are commentary without links to the science, claims by a few 'experts' such as Willis Eschenbach that they can show some of the science or opinion is wrong with their 'analysis'. WUWT and its ilk try to tell you what to think, SkS offers you arguments, data and analysis but lets you make up your own mind
And the standard of moderation leaves the likes of WUWT looking positively barbaric.
But don't take my word for it. Go read for yourself & make up your own mind
But also, I will read your links to see if they help me understand it. The CO2 argument doesn't seem too conclusive to me. Many feedbacks are ignored, including water vapor. Also, if you use the math, the actual warming is a quarter what is predicted, so what else is missing?
The other thing is the time frame doesn't make sense to me. Data in 50 years is too short in geological time.
I saw you referenced many opinions including surveys of scientists. Those don't mean much to me.
I'm looking for scientific studies which help people understand the pros and cons, what are the arguments for and against. Everyone at one time thought the world was flat, just because 97% of people think so doesn't make it true.
I'm not arguing for or against. I'm just trying to make up my own mind. You need to get into the details to do that. I haven't found many objective articles. Your comments didn't seem objective to me, mostly slinging mud around.
What are your thoughts of Richard Lindzen, here is one of his presentations. His thoughts don't seem to be slanted, but I don't know if they are or aren't.
jhachenIf you click on the links you will find is is all fully referenced. Have you bothered?
It seems strange that you should be critisising my post which fully justifies each point by linking to the sources.
Why not start by pressing on that link describing your own industries scientists views? The Global Climate Coalition disbanded after that since they knew the game was up. Directly confronting the science would simply discredit them. However, the same companies continued funding various astroturf groups which made it difficult to link back to them.
Your response is typical of what I see, vague accusations, meaningless statistics, no data, and not believable. Do you have any real facts that are objective? I read a paper by a MIT professor, don't recall his name, it seemed objective. It actually had facts and theories.
Whilst a Mechanical Engineer by training, I also took a post-graduate degree in Environmental Science back in the early 1980s. Even as far back as that, anthropogenic climate change was taught as factual and non-controversial. Since then there has been even more independent lines of evidence to support the science. Only at this stage did the subject become political when the fossil fuel industry launched a concerted and coordinated campaign starting from the mid 1990s to undermine climate change science and the scientists who work in this field. Their purpose was to create doubt in the public's mind about the reality of global warming, and delay regulations which might limit greenhouse gas emissions to the environment. Even the oil industries own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted although this was later cut from the records.
So only as the evidence of greenhouse gas warming became undeniable did the fossil fuel businesses realise they might have confront the growing pressure to reduce global warming. As a consequence, they employed a host of public relations experts, some who had successfully delayed regulations against the tobacco industry, to weave a web of misinformation using a variety of unscrupulous media and various 'junk science' websites. Their methods were not based on physical science but psychology, targeting both uneducated and low income groups using tried and tested methods of persuasion. These included: peer pressure, misrepresentation, over-simplistic arguments, reiteration of falsehoods, attacks on individuals and groups, and claimed threats on personal liberty and wealth.
The main object was not to win, but provide the impression of an informed 'debate' and to cast 'sufficient doubt' on climate science by spreading confusion and uncertainty. This would allow these businesses to fight a delaying action to avoid regulation, and thereby impose an enormous cost to future society. Anyone who wishes to understand more about this I can highly recommend the book Merchants of Doubt by Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes.
Whilst more than 97% of scientists who are active publishers in the field of climate change accept the reality of AGW (anthropogenic or human induced global warming), a very small number of climate scientists and non-specialists lured by money from the fossil fuel lobby were recruited into the Climate Denial camp. Their names often appear in petitions, mixed with fake identities and even the decreased, to make it appear as if there is a substantial proportion of scientists which oppose the AGW consensus. This figure was confirmed by a more recent study which included an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (a) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the ﬁeld support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (b) the relative climate expertise and scientiﬁc prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.
I am an engineer working in the oil industry, and I also care deeply about our environment. I strive to be objective in my opinions, however reading most articles and blogs it seems that most people are very one sided, looking at one side of the argument only. One of the things that confuses the argument is some people talk about global warming and others talk about man-made global warming. They are two distinctly different arguments.
I think there is a strong argument that we are currently going through a global warming period. Most data shows the earth is very warm, certainly on the warmer side of recent history. The uncertainty is about the cause of this warming.
From what I have read, it is not clear that there is a strong case to demonstrate this is due to man-made activities. This even includes the recent IPCC reports I have read. It is a complex problem, and all potential causes and potential feedback loops need to be discussed.
Who knows of a good objective article that gives an objective view with credible facts? One that doesn't choose only the facts that support their conclusion, but chooses both pros and cons of their conclusion?
It is entirely possible that there are many people in fields outside Climatology who are quite sincere in their views but are inadequately informed about the subject. And even a Professor of Physics can fall prey to this.
But there is another dimension to this and how people react which is the Psychology of Denial. When confronted with extremely difficult news, such as our impending death, one reaction some people have is denial of it. And since this denial is a deep, and needed, psychological reaction, most of it is unconscious. At the conscious level they may not be aware of it. But the deep drive means that this cannot be admitted. And then evidence to the contrary will be rejected since it threatens the defences that denial constitutes.
How does this relate to Climate Change? In several ways. Firstly Climate Change puts forward a quite frightening future and one that s individuals we can do little about. Grounds for a denial reaction. Secondly the actions needed at a society to deal with it involve substantial upheavals to our societies and economies, upheavals that can appear very frightening with uncertainty about whether there is light on the other side. Thirdly the nature of the threat and the changes required to address it can be interpretted by some people as a repudiation and denigration of their lifes work, building the society, economy and system we currently have. All 3 reasons can trigger a denial reaction.
Then consider how different personality types react to being told their rights/entitlements may be curtailed, and that we may have caused harm. Some react by accepting this and seeing a personal duty to act on it. Other personalities react by not wanting to confront the consequences of actions, getting defensive & angry and attacking the messenger.
Lots of fertile ground for folks to reject Climate Change for reasons other than the science then if necesary rationalise this bias post-hoc.
If you Google Happer for example you will find a paper he has written attacking AGW. Yuo will also find some serious rebuttals of what he has written, tearing him apart.
One thing I always find informative when reading the writings of high-profile skeptics is whether their language tends to contain political views or emotive description of proponents of AGW as 'Alarmists'. This word in particular is rather telling. If the predictions of AGW come true, then a word such as 'alarming' is quite appropriate. 'Alarmist' however has a conotation of unjustified alarm. And a presumption that, 'of course it is unjustified'. Rather than a 'on the balance of the evidence it is unjustified'.
How many people who use the word 'Alarmist' have efectively rejected AGW as 'preposterous' based on an unwillingness to countenance it - 'of course the Unsinkable Titanic couldn't sink. That's Preposterous!', rather than as a result of a disassionate enquiry into the matter.
Such a person may seem totally sincere on the subject and will give you chapter & verse on why. But if you challenge their reasons their later reactions can be quite informative.
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