Black body thermopiles with platinum RTD's or thermocouples were far more common in labs 100 years ago than they are today. They were carefully calibrated and read with nulling bridges and galvanometers with great precision and repeatability. These very broad band detectors were used for all kinds of radiant energy measurement including monitoring solar activity. True, scientists of the time did not have the advantage of space based equipment, but their records are sufficiently precise and accurate and the equipment of the time can be tested against modern methods and compensating algorithms applied, if needed.
I was fortunate enough to have some professors who had used devices like those and learned to make and use them myself along with devices like ballistic galvanometers - basically pulse integrators for the age before op-amps. Don't sell them short. Students and researchers of today can have a heck of a time reproducing measurements made over 100 years ago.
I am also one of those physicists who knows a bunch of atmopheric scientists and physicists who are in the skeptic camp (show me the data, not the "consensus") and prefer to stay out of the public and political fray. I know more skeptics than true believers. They read Al Gore state that just below the surface, the interior of the Earth is millions of degrees, and simply turn away from the subject. Who wants to debate people like that? Or the new generation of Carl Sagans where a nicely turned phrase and a wry smile win the day? You will be into the weeds of UFOs, Bigfoot, and shadow people in the blink of an eye. They leave that fun to Michio Kaku.
The "Method of selected data" is routinely used to prove all kinds of points. Just show the data that backs up your claim and ignore that which does not. The best example of it that I ever saw, which was presented as an entertainment, was a very nice proof, beyond any argument, that the earth is flat. It was great, and afterwards we all laughed for a long time.
Nice straw man work, WilliamK. It's a lot easier to win an argument when you fabricate the opposing view.
None of your remarks have scientific basis.
Did you know that water, like CO2, is actually an essential life substance? That doesn't mean you can't have too much of it, as any flood victim knows. If water were odorless, colorless, and invisible, like CO2 is, how would you know you're in a flood or a drought? You'd be forced to look at real evidence instead of relying on jokes, political demagoguery, and "thinking" with your gut.
Mankind has produced a continual CO2 flood with real and deadly implications for the planet. This is not a hypothetical guess about the future, maybe yes or maybe no. The effects of AGW are already happening almost exactly as predicted decades ago. Ignore, lie, and joke about it at your own peril as much as mine.
William thanks for your posts. One of the questions the article asks is why all the ridicule and personal abuse from the proponents of believe-global-warming towards those who disagree. In my almost forty years of engineering such unprofessional behavior is unacceptable, like the unacceptable behavior shown in lots of the believe-global-warming posts here. One reason for such egregious behavior is the fear of loss. Politicians fear loss of votes from special interest groups and loss of power. Researchers fear loss of taxpayer funded grants for studies. Groups and individuals who have taken up a cause because it feels good to them have made the issue an integral part of their being and fear loss of self-esteem. Then in online discussions like this there are what one might call hired seminar posters and trolls who post for personal gain or just to cause a fuss.
This is an old article, it was interesting looking back at some of the posts from February 2012.
No matter what the basis of a disagreement in a technical field is, there is no legitimacy in that kind of behavior. Though I expect the behavior to continue in the posts here unless there is strict enforcement of professional behavior by moderators. I get involved in the emotions of the moment as well, so I know anyone can get a little over enthusiastic...
Quite a few years ago, after watching a debate teams competition, I asked a judge about the criteria for winning the debate, particularly abouthow winning related to the validity of the side taken. The judge explained that winning a debate was not about the correctness of the side's point of view, but that winning the debate was dependant on the debaing skill of the team, and, then the judge added, "which , of course, the team with the best skills should win". So with debates and with "scientific" arguments, so very frequently the most elequant speaker is the one believed.
As in any fight or battle, the winner is not determined by who is right, but by who is the better fighter, and the most determined fighter.
So, you think that the researchers have an agenda behind their data. Where's your evidence? More importantly, if they are cooking the numbers, then you should be able to show that as the numbers wouldn't stand scrutiny as they would be fabricated and not from the real world.
Do us a favor and stop this nonsense unless you can support your disbelief with your own evidence that refutes their data.
A persons personal agenda affects everything that they say and do, much like their religion. So there is no way that a individuals motivations and wants can help but color the way they utilize data and science in general. In short, one is what one believes. Not what they believe in, that is different, but the personal agenda is the motivation for most of what most people do.
You really need to read the existing climate change literature as the scientists discuss the CO2 driver/driven issue.
As for misrepresentation of data, that is exposed in the greater discussion as a letter to the editor, new research refuting previous research, etc. Bad science can't hide.
As for the accuracy of the data, your belief isn't good enough. You must support your position, which questioning doesn't do. Where's your data that refutes the data you can't accept?
Cap and Trade is an economic issue and has nothing to do with the global warming science. But I'm glad that you brought it up as it illustrates where the real problem lies with regards to the global warming science, in economics andeconomic ideology.
A person's agenda is irrelevant as an agenda cannot support bad or contrived data. So, if you're "cynical", then support your cynicism with data that refutes that which you don't accept or believe in. There's absolutely no other path than supporting your hypothesis or theory with evidence. Science is about evidence, not belief.
It is also quite probable that global warming causes increased carbon dioxide levels. In fact it is quite probable.
It is possible that you have never seen data misrepresented to back an in-valid supposition, while I have seen data mistreated that way on a number of occasions. The Chrysler Corp Elecronic fuel metering project was one of them. The "method of selected data points" is another way that data is used to seemingly validate assertions that are incorrect.
And the answer is NO, I don't believe that older solar energy data is as accurate as the current data, and probably the solar energy data from a hundred years ago is probably less accurate than that. How could it be as accurate?
One other thing is that I forgot to mention how incredibly much profit a few individuals would reap if "cap and trade" ever gets into law.
Of course I am quite cynical about the whole thing, and I almost always consider a persons personal agenda when I listen to them making claims about almost anything. What I do trust most people to do is to cheat when they can and lie when they need to, in order to get what they want. Of course some have higher standards and some have lower standards, and just because somebody is a very elequant and persuasive speaker does not mean that they have a clue as to what they are talking about.
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