How the IPCC becomes a climate change denial tool

About once a day, someone tells me that human caused climate change is not real because this or that thing in the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contradicts something I, or some other scientists or science writer, has said.

I’ve noticed an uptick in references to the IPCC report by those intent on denying the reality of climate change. This even happened at recent congressional hearings, where “expert witnesses” made similar claims.

How can that be? How can the flagship scientific report on climate change, the objective source of information about the science of climate change, be used so frequently to argue that scientists have climate change all wrong?

Obviously, one way this can happen is if the information is cherry picked or misrepresented. That, certainly, happens and is almost always part of the recipe. But there is another only barely less obvious reason, and this is a reason that becomes more and more relevant every passing year. What is it? Hold on a sec, first a bit of context.

As a scientists and writer-about-science I often have access to temporarily secret information. Also, I make it a point to keep track of opinions held by trusted experts in the field, as they change and adapt to new findings. This secret information is, of course, peer reviewed research that isn’t published yet, and is under embargo.

To be embargoed means to be held in secret, but distributed to a small number of trusted individuals or agencies (often news outlets and science writers), with an “embargo date and time” after which the information is no longer secret. There are a few reasons this is done. One is that many scientific outlets rely on the splash factor to get readership, and having a paper that changes how we think about the world be released at a particular planned moment helps with that. Related is the idea that publishers, research institutions, and the scientists themselves want the paper published alongside other products to help the press and the public understand the material better, such as a press release, selected graphics, maybe a nice video. This all requires production time and effort, and it is pretty much wasted effort if it does not become publicly available at the same exact moment the paper becomes available.

A few papers exist as early drafts long before publication, and those are passed around for the purpose of getting some preliminary feedback, and to get the conversation about the topic going among experts. That is less common because many journals don’t like it, and how often this happens depends on the field of study. Indeed, there are entire “journals” that started as and still serve as semi-formalized outlets for early drafts of appers, academic theses, or reports are routinely published, sometimes years before a final peer reviewed product comes out, representing for example that year’s output from a long term grant. (NBER and BAR come to mind as examples of this.)

Authors and publishers send me embargoed papers they think I might want, or more commonly, ask me if I’d like to have a copy of an embargoed paper, giving me a chance to say yes. Often, I know of a subset of scientists who also have the paper (typically, the co-authors) and I can ask them questions about the paper before hand. Most outlets will provide a science writer with this sort of contact information. This is how all those fully formed news reports come out in the media the moment a paper is released. Days or even weeks of work has already happened, quietly and in secret, before the paper’s release.

Other research is available in other ways. I have colleagues who are always working on certain things, and they’ll say things like, “well, we don’t have it finalized yet, but this thing you said is probably wrong because X turns out to be larger than Y, even though we previously thought the opposite … we’ve got a paper coming out probably next summer on this…” or words to that effect.

All this is, of course, why I write the blog posts and you read them. You could do this too; You could have foreknowledge of the developments on the leading edge of a particular scientific field as well. You just have to become a credible quasi-journalistic outlet (I am not now nor have I ever been a journalist) and develop a pertinent Rolodex, and gain the trust of everybody. Takes a few years.

I mention all this because it makes this happen now and then: I have a concept of some aspect of climate change research that is not yet generally understood outside a limited range of experts. Then, of course, the dissemination of information catches up and everybody knows the same thing, and the revised, updated view of that bit of science is now added to general knowledge. Close behind, perhaps, follows a shift in, or refinement of, consensus. This is how science works large scale.

The scientific understanding of an active area of research is dynamic and requires currency. Six months old is old. A year or two old is ancient.

I’ll give you three examples.

A while back the generally understood consensus of sea level rise was that sea levels were going up at a certain relatively low rate, on average. However, that estimate was faulty because of a lack of integration of a full understanding of how water moves between fresh water reservoirs and the sea, and certain really cool research on ocean warming, gravitational effects, etc. had not yet been published. Also, some time was missing; there had been a couple of strange quirky sea level related events that turned out to be outliers, so data sets needed to be full updated, and a couple of years added over the passage of time. For this reason, what was generally known at one point in time was different from what came to be understood a few years later. People in my position saw it coming, people who were not tracking the literature held the old and incorrect view.

Second and related example: There was a set of estimates for how fast glaciers in polar regions (Greenland and Antarctica) would melt with global warming, and how much this process would contribute to sea level rise. However, there was some new research coming to bear on the issue that was starting to change that. Glaciers don’t just melt, but they also structurally fall apart, big chunks ending up in the sea and melting there. Some increase in understanding how that happens emerged. The upper limit of how fast that could probably happen, in the general publicly available knowledge base, was modest. But over a fairly short period of time, a previously highly speculative and closely held thought that the upper limit on how much ice could deteriorate was higher, and a similarly unexpressed thought that the lower limit on how soon that might start to happen, began to make its way into the more public discussion. This is still very much an area of uncertainty and very active research. Look for big changes and many surprises over the next 24 months. But today, the best informed experts have a very different view of what might happen, and what is likely to happen, than widely held a few years ago, because of this shift. Polar glaciers will likely fall apart and contribute to sea level rise more and sooner than the best guesses would have suggested five years ago.

A third example just went through a major change. A few years ago it was generally thought, and often repeated, that it was difficult to attribute human caused climate change as a reason behind any particular bad weather event. That has shifted dramatically over time. A set of studies a few years back failed to find any clear association in a majority of weather events. A year later, a similar number of studies, of new weather events, either attributed the events to climate change or resulted in “we can’t say one way or another.” The most recent papers are generally showing a likely connection. Meanwhile, certain research linking certain climate phenomena to a large set of bad weather events was developing. Note that the previous studies were conducted mainly ignoring this new and emerging research. I was a little like saying “We don’t know why so many more people are falling on the subway tracks these days” while ignoring a growing set of observations of bad people showing up at the subway stations and pushing people off the tracks on purpose. In the absence of consideration of this nefarious and willful behavior, one could not say that the increase in untoward events was anything other than a random uptick in numbers. Seeing and acknowledging an actual cause makes it impossible to not link the cause and effect.

This happened, as noted, slowly and in the background in the literature, and suddenly, just a few days ago, a crowing paper took that likely cause of severe weather, ran it in highly sophisticated and reliable models, and demonstrated that this is a thing. Humans release fossil carbon in greenhouse gasses (and do some other bad things), certain things about our climate system change unambiguously because of this, this causes an important but heretofore not fully understand change, which then causes additional droughts and floods across the globe.

Five years ago, that would have been regarded as speculation, worthy of consideration but nothing that could nail down our understanding of the greenhouse gas – severe weather link. Today, the link is sufficiently established to regard it as scientific fact rapidly becoming consensus, though there will certainly be a bit more fighting about it, and much refinement of the theory and data.

All of these examples can be rephrased in relation to the last IPCC report.

The most recent IPCC report was published nominally in 2014. It was restricted to existing peer reviewed literature, thus not including the pre-embargoed material (though there was an effort by many scientists to get stuff out in time to be employed in that process). The report took time to produce. The physical science basis part of the report, on which the rest is based, actually dates to 2013 nominally, though it includes some 2014 material.

It is now April 2017. A claim that “The IPCC Report said bla bla bla therefore you are wrong” is the same as “in or before 2013, at least 4 years ago, the best we knew was bla bla bla therefore your are wrong.

Let’s return to the sea level rise example and consider the thinking of how fast and how much glacial melting, and other factors, would cause sea levels to rise in the future.

There were several studies used in the IPCC report, mostly dating to or before 2011. I would regard the science in the IPCC report to reflect the thinking primarily of the first decade of the 21st century on this subject. The last 2 years, or even one year, of research on sea level rise contrasts remarkably with that early work, suggesting a faster rise and more of it. That is just what is published. I don’t happen to know of any new work coming out shortly, but I can promise you that the summaries, the estimates, and the graphics that would be produced by an IPCC-like agency working on a summary of the physical science of sea level rise as it stands right now would be significantly different than what the last such report by the actual IPCC provided in 2014.

Two IPCC reports back, it was estimated that global sea level could rise between 18 and 59 cm by 2100. The subsequent report, the most current one, estimated that sea levels can rise between 29 and 82 cm by 2100. A recent and well regarded paper, dating to early in 2016, and using the best available information and methodology, estimates that the global sea level could rise by more than a meter by 2100 from just the melting of Antarctic, not counting Greenland.

Longer term sea level rise estimates have also risen, with a key paper published in 2013 suggesting that we may be in for as much as two meters over the next few centuries, and the aforementioned most recent report suggesting “more than 15 metres by 2500.”

(I hasten to add that an estimate of between 8 and 15 meters has been on the table for a long time, coming from palaeoclimatologists, who have always seen higher levels because in the past, similar conditions today produced such high levels, indicating that current levels are actually unusually low.)

Climate science is progressing very rapidly, especially in some areas. There are things we know now, or that we feel fairly comfortable asserting as pretty likely, that one year ago, and certainly four years ago, were fairly uncertain or in some cases inconceivable.

Citing the most recent IPCC report about a climate change relate issues tells me two things:

1) You don’t read the literature or talk to climate scientists; and

2) You are not especially interested in an honest conversation about this important scientific and policy issue.


The recent work on sea level mentioned above is here, the IPCC report is here, and a summary of the IPCC and other sources is here.

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116 thoughts on “How the IPCC becomes a climate change denial tool

  1. It would be fun to bet on the sea level rise for the USA.

    I would say 12 inches (about 30.5 cm) for this century.

    I would say about 3 inches for each quarter century (about 7.62 cm per 25 years).

    I think we are at about 2.3 ish inches so far from 2000 – 2017 (so far).

    We could bet quatloos, like over at The Blackboard (fun).

  2. good post

    I think the chief takeaway is the that science moves relentlessly forward (& denial stays still)

    I heard a great piece on the radio the other day how the Moon rocks, brought back nearly 40 years ago are still being analysed

    better technology, better techniques, better analysis, better science – greater knowledge

    (and actually I have thought for a while now, – totally unscientifically I might add – that we are going to “gear up” in terms of what climate science now predicts and understands about the earths climate)

  3. “denial stays still”

    Actually, it never has to compete, as rickA and the others of his ilk demonstrate every time they post.

    They can simply say: I don’t believe it because I can’t see it happening, then assert that their ignorant statements are as valid, or more valid, than the research done by thousands of scientists.

    Facts, data, honesty, integrity – none of those matter to today’s denialist culture.

  4. Even for a member of the public, without access to pre-publication data, it has become apparent that the stability of the great ice sheets is not as had been imagined a few years back. So in some sense, those who aren’t “connected”, but seek out the latest stuff in places like sciencedaily can be aware of many of these changes. Its obvious that something like the IPCC is backwards looking, and will lag consensus by several years.

  5. Is RickA a bot? (that’s a rhetorical question, BTW). An actual live, breathing human would have to agree to at least 1% of what Greg posts.

  6. And lest I give RickA any weasel room (because, he would take it sooner than selling his granny), I meant “to the substance of 1% of Greg’s posts”. Not 1% of each post 🙂

  7. “It would be fun to bet on the sea level rise for the USA.”

    Rather pointless.

    You will ignore reality anyway and you will refuse to acknowledge defeat unless in 100 years the level is THEN higher than your predicted limit.

    Because you’re a moron and a denier, “Dick”.

  8. “Well than you shouldn’t play.”

    A game you decide the rules for and will never pay out on? Sure as shit I shouldn’t play.

    Nobody else should.

    Nobody should bother taking you up on it and treat your post “bet” there with the utter contempt and disdain it deserves as the vapid and pointless post from a braindead denier that it is.

    You risk nothing and you won’t pay out anything when you lose. So it’s an empty rhetorical trick to pretend that you have “valid” opinion rather than denial.

  9. BBD: “The unfortunate timing of a couple of EBM sensitivity studies didn’t help matters wrt lukewarm abuse of AR5.”

    Indeed. I considered covering ECS but it got to complicated in my head before it went to paper.

  10. “I would say about 3 inches for each quarter century (about 7.62 cm per 25 years).”

    Current trend since 2000 gives 8.4 cm (3.3 inches) for start of 2025.

  11. It don’t matter what science PREDICTS, the political mind and the commercial mind will DENY it all! Because it will disrupt their capitalist bottom line!! They may fully know it is true but their profit margins are more important. In their hearts they probably admit it is true but will not admit it until their beach front property is sold!

  12. Apart from being unavoidably out of date, other issue(s) with IPCC assessment reports and summaries is that they are densely written texts written by large groups of authors with a careful eye to the ultraconservative mandate and oversight of the IPCC itself.

    I wouldn’t say they are unreadable, but they can come pretty close. I’d rather read through a dozen new papers in Nature or JGR than one AR chapter. The ARs serve as useful comprehensive/authoritative reviews, though.

  13. They also have to get past the inherent conservativism of what can be reliably provably proved to a high degree before claiming it (a problem that deniers never bother themselves with,they like any old claim as long as it’s Anything But Carbon), AND it has to get past the political appointees, many of whom are immune to reality because their country or their own lives depend on fossil fuel funding. E.g Saudi Arabia, Australia or the USA.

    All of which means that the position will be massively underplayed so as not to be in any conceivable way alarmist (though again deniers don’t bother with rationality and screech the accusation out anyway).

    And lastly science is more about being honest about how you can be wrong (unlike religion, whether theistic or secular), so you make your claim then bring up every single way you could be wrong in your conclusion so that others can test your claims *if they are wrong*.

  14. As climate change threatens the functioning of communities and ecosystems across the biosphere, unraveling food webs and precipitating the approach of tipping points beyond which ecosystems will break down and collapse, RickA makes a pedantic vacuous remark about sea level rise as if that is the only or at least major symptom of AGW.

    As a population ecologist, I continually cringe at the sandbox-level discourse that characterises discussion in denier circles. This includes alleged ‘luminaries’ like Richard Tol. This lot can’t tell a mole cricket from a giraffe. Therein lies the rub,.

  15. Jeff #18:

    Sea level rise figured prominently in the post, which is why I selected it to comment on.

    What is your opinion about the population ecology work on polar bears? Maybe we can bet on polar bear population numbers at 2025, 2050, 2075 and 2100?

    What is your opinion on the Great Barrier Reef – will it survive? Maybe we can bet on that instead?

    Since polar bears and the GBR have both been through a few climate changes over the years, I suspect they will both survive till 2100 and even 3100 – but we will see (I guess).

  16. What is your opinion on the Great Barrier Reef – will it survive? Maybe we can bet on that instead?

    How can it survive? It’s being badly damaged now by water temperatures, and water temperatures are going to continue to rise for the foreseeable future, so the GBR (and much of the rest of the global coral ecosystem) is finished.

    And we are causing it.

  17. BBD #20:

    Why is the GBR still alive today?

    Hasn’t the ocean been warmer in the past?

    Portions of the GBR has bleached two years in a row (hello el nino anyone?).

    I suspect the GBR will adapt and survive, even if ocean temperatures increase from here.

    After all, it must have done so in the past.

    Right?

  18. “Maybe we can bet on that instead?”

    Again, why? You’ll just post some far future and then skip off and ignore the fact you lost.

    Look at how bad predictions of deniers went:

    http://skepticalscience.com/comparing-global-temperature-predictions.html

    and then wonder why none of you fucking liars have changed your mind over whether the science is as you claim it to be.

    FFS, you think that you have to have a full square meter of area to measure pressure in SI units, but only a full square inch if you measure it in imperial units.

    The very simplest of maths bypasses you completely because you don’t want to accept proof you are wrong when you have been proved wrong.

    Which makes “a bet” with you a sucker deal.

    Not to mention, the risk that you are wrong is not being ponied up against by you if you’re right. So it’s not even a sane thing to bet on.

    If you’re wrong, you’ll pay for all the disasters that result while we wait to find out you’re wrong?

  19. “Why is the GBR still alive today?”

    Uh, most of it is dead.

    Why is it dead?

    Ocean acidification from CO2 excess in the atmosphere we put there.

    Why is it not all dead? It takes a lot to kill that large an organism. Not that you’re not doing your best to lay waste to their existence, “Dick”.

    “Hasn’t the ocean been warmer in the past?”

    Was it the same organism? Hell no.

    “I suspect the GBR will adapt ”

    It is: by dying.

    You would adapt to a life held underwater the same way. By doing away with lividity and reducing the need for oxygen respiration. Go try it. I bet I’m right.

    “After all, it must have done so in the past.”

    No, it wasn’t alive in the past. Then it was alive, and now it’s dying.

  20. “Since polar bears ”

    Were Grizzly bears, and now they’re having to survive on the land without a season-long ice cap and brown ground, are reverting to just another grizzly.

    And in their adaption to the changed climate, you fucking morons are shooting them dead for daring to.

  21. Oh, and don’t just give me “a” barrier reef. Give me it was the SAME set of organisms making it that survived then as they are now, with the same genetics and tolerances, so that they will survive without having to evolve over thousands of generations to a gradually changing climate and ocean chemistry.

    Because just pointing to the are with some limestone using polyp structures is about as valid as me pointing to the death of the Mastodon in the USA by people living on the continent that you reside on as being proof you white assholes in the USA killed off the megafauna in the USA thousands of years ago.

  22. RickA

    Why is the GBR still alive today?

    Hasn’t the ocean been warmer in the past?

    Rapidity of change and the perfect storm of kill mechanisms are key to understanding why the GBR is more likely than not going to die. See eg. Veron et al. (2009) The coral reef crisis: The critical importance of <350 ppm CO2:

    Temperature-induced mass coral bleaching causing mortality on a wide geographic scale started when atmospheric CO2 levels exceeded ~320 ppm. When CO2 levels reached ~340 ppm, sporadic but highly destructive mass bleaching occurred in most reefs world-wide, often associated with El Niño events. Recovery was dependent on the vulnerability of individual reef areas and on the reef’s previous history and resilience. At today’s level of ~387 ppm, allowing a lag-time of 10 years for sea temperatures to respond, most reefs world-wide are committed to an irreversible decline. Mass bleaching will in future become annual, departing from the 4 to 7 years return-time of El Niño events. Bleaching will be exacerbated by the effects of degraded water-quality and increased severe weather events. In addition, the progressive onset of ocean acidification will cause reduction of coral growth and retardation of the growth of high magnesium calcite-secreting coralline algae. If CO2 levels are allowed to reach 450 ppm (due to occur by 2030–2040 at the current rates), reefs will be in rapid and terminal decline world-wide from multiple synergies arising from mass bleaching, ocean acidification, and other environmental impacts. Damage to shallow reef communities will become extensive with consequent reduction of biodiversity followed by extinctions. Reefs will cease to be large-scale nursery grounds for fish and will cease to have most of their current value to humanity. There will be knock-on effects to ecosystems associated with reefs, and to other pelagic and benthic ecosystems. Should CO2 levels reach 600 ppm reefs will be eroding geological structures with populations of surviving biota restricted to refuges. Domino effects will follow, affecting many other marine ecosystems. This is likely to have been the path of great mass extinctions of the past, adding to the case that anthropogenic CO2 emissions could trigger the Earth’s sixth mass extinction.

  23. After all, it must have done so in the past.

    Right?

    Wrong.

    See Veron (2008) Mass extinctions and ocean acidification: biological constraints on geological dilemmas:

    The five mass extinction events that the earth has so far experienced have impacted coral reefs as much or more than any other major ecosystem. Each has left the Earth without living reefs for at least four million years, intervals so great that they are commonly referred to as ‘reef gaps’ (geological intervals where there are no remnants of what might have been living reefs). The causes attributed to each mass extinction are reviewed and summarised. When these causes and the reef gaps that follow them are examined in the light of the biology of extant corals and their Pleistocene history, most can be discarded. Causes are divided into (1) those which are independent of the carbon cycle: direct physical destruction from bolides, ‘nuclear winters’ induced by dust clouds, sea-level changes, loss of area during sea-level regressions, loss of biodiversity, low and high temperatures, salinity, diseases and toxins and extraterrestrial events and (2) those linked to the carbon cycle: acid rain, hydrogen sulphide, oxygen and anoxia, methane, carbon dioxide, changes in ocean chemistry and pH. By process of elimination, primary causes of mass extinctions are linked in various ways to the carbon cycle in general and ocean chemistry in particular with clear association with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The prospect of ocean acidification is potentially the most serious of all predicted outcomes of anthropogenic carbon dioxide increase. This study concludes that acidification has the potential to trigger a sixth mass extinction event and to do so independently of anthropogenic extinctions that are currently taking place.

    Enough denialist shit about the GBR. It’s too sad. Just shut up about it, please.

  24. It will be interesting to see how those predictions pan out.

    I will be checking at 2025, 2050, 2075 and 2100 (if I live that long).

  25. Well, it’s going to hinge on how much more CO2 we emit. So yes, interesting, if Godlike detachment is your thing. As opposed to horror, shame and futile rage.

  26. All the while denying that there’s any evidence you’re wrong, even when there is, right “dick”?

    Hence this “bet” rhetoric of yours is just empty bullshit claims.

    When you say “if I live that long” that, however, IS an enticing image.

  27. I wonder if dick is ever in a car and watches a kid run across and thinking “I could brake but I predict he’ll survive, so it will be interesting to see whether my prediction is right”.

  28. BBD #30 says “As opposed to horror, shame and futile rage.”

    I certainly do not feel any of those emotions.

    I feel proud of humanity.

    Look how far we have come and what obstacles we have dealt with.

    I am sure we will adapt and mitigate our way out of this, should it turn out to be as bad as the consensus predicts.

    Perhaps we will move our industry into space, where baseload solar power is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    Perhaps we will treat Earth more gently in the future (moving our industry into space would certainly help).

    People are inventing new things every day and we have more brains than ever.

    So I am optimistic.

    The standard of living and life expectancy is rising worldwide, and I certainly applaud that.

    If we can use renewable energy to provide enough power – great.

    But if not – we have the nuclear technology waiting in the wings to generate enough power, if necessary.

    It is a great time to be alive.

  29. “I feel proud of humanity.”

    Just like you feel proud of the road accident to see if your prediction turns out right, when the question of it could have been avoided if you’d changed your actions instead of keep going straight ahead.

    No you feel selfish and careless of others. Pride only in yourself.

    You may believe your BS, you’re most highly motivated to, but we don’t have your rose tints on and we see through your self-aggrandizement.

  30. BBD #30 says “As opposed to horror, shame and futile rage.”

    I certainly do not feel any of those emotions.

    That’s because you are in denial.

    I feel proud of humanity.

    Look how far we have come and what obstacles we have dealt with.

    Me too, but we are now fucking up big style on multiple fronts.

    I am sure we will adapt and mitigate our way out of this, should it turn out to be as bad as the consensus predicts.

    I’m happy for you.

    It is a great time to be alive.

    Depends on where and who you are, but for lucky us, generally true. The point is that this will not continue indefinitely if we continue on our current course.

    Moving industry to LEO is a staple of SF, not of the mainstream discussion of decarbonisation. So perhaps your optimism is misplaced.

  31. My own analyses of colleagues’ data convinced me four or five years ago that the Great Barrier Reef was even then irretrievably doomed. Around the same time I also said as much for the east Tasmanian kelp forests and the south-west Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area cool temperate rainforest.

    In each case my colleagues were were still publicly optimistic, but I suspect this was largely to minimise any defeatist refusal by governments, vested interests, and deniers to engage at all with the predicaments. A lot of that optimism is in the final stages of being shed though, as was very evident in a recent broadcast on the subject of the GBR:

    http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2016/s4624562.htm

    The east coast Macrocystis pyrifera forests are already effectively extinct:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-21/tasmanian-kelp-forests-dying-as-water-warms-dive-operator-says/8289300

    so there’s no optimism left at all on that front. Watch the literature in the near future for some peer-reviewed assessments.

    The Tasmanian SW World Heritage area will take decades yet to be fully impacted, but the modelled (and already manifesting) change in precipitation from summer to winter will effectively lock in these forests’ loss to a more open woodland in the face of increased summer dessication and wildfire. Even I was caught off guard though when the summer before last saw a forewarning of this likelihood:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Tasmanian_bushfires

    It’s interesting to note that the Tasmanian premier attempted to vilify those who warned that this was a serious issue, in almost exactly the same way as Queensland tourism operators tried to deny the effects of the third GBR bleaching, again the summer before last.

    Latitudinally intermediate between Queensland and Tasmania, the Australian alpine ecosystems of New South Wales and Victoria are locked into extinction in their current manifestation, probably on a time-scale intermediate between the GBR and the TWWHA rainforest. And all along the eastern Australian seaboard the Nothofagus remnants dispersed atop the highest parts of the Great Dividing Range are also largely committed to exturpation.

    One could continue the litany, but one would weep even more.

    On the issue of the IPCC and its assessment reports, I’ve made the comments before that all future reviews will have little point beyond simply cataloguing our decent into climatological and ecological Armageddon:

    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/oh-shit/#comment-71021

    https://skepticalscience.com/climate-scientists-esld.html#90149

    And RickA, you’re just an ignorant prat with a financial interest in keeping the carbon combusting, and an apparent sociopathic refusal to understand depth of your science denialism. I truly, truly hope that you live another four or five decades so that you can witness the inexorable unravelling of the biosphere that sustains you and (possibly) your decendants. I suspect though that you are constitutionally incapable of ever manifesting the good grace to confront your facilitation of the destruction, and especially of ever even considering making reparations for it.

  32. Bernard J bears witness to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s report that in 1990, UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute found the number of self-identified liberals and leftists in academe roughly equal to the number of moderates.

    By 2010 there were twice as many liberals as moderates, and almost six times as many liberals as conservatives. Looking at the social sciences and the humanities whence most journalists come, these ratios are even more biased in favor of the left.

  33. And that means what?

    The number of legs per person is less than 2. You won’t find anyone with the average number of legs.

    Does this mean something is odd with every two-legged person?

  34. So the right isn’t terribly bright, Russell?

    Not an unreasonable inference, given all the astonishingly stupid things it has been doing recently.

  35. Remember, Bernard, “dick” here, despite protestations to the public otherwise, is a shithole of a human being. They won’t care if they see disasters all around, they’d be going “Oh, well, too late now. Pass the scones!”.

  36. There’s a real possibility that the lopsided representation of women in STEM is due to the lopsided desire of people of either gender to be in STEM.

    Similarly, the right don’t WANT to be academics. You have to question yourself to be an academic. You have to learn things and support your claims. And it frankly gets in the way of amassing money and influence and personal privilege, the academic being fairly poorly paid compared to what they’d be able to get in “private industry”.

    Meanwhile if they get a job in industry or politics, they get to boss people around and their misanthropy seems more normal and accepted. Even if they get stuck in a shit job with no pay.

  37. There is also the fact that in many disciplines political affiliation doesn’t mean squat in the classroom: teaching physics, biology, mathematics, statistics, … doesn’t require any particular political ideology. In fact, the only institutions I know of where there are requirements put on the teaching of topics are some religious “colleges and universities”. You can find several locations where mathematics has to be taught “from a Biblical perspective” or “with emphasis on its Biblical origins”.

    I find that odd — I don’t remember any discussion of Banach spaces or Hadamard differentiability in either the old or new testament.

  38. I don’t remember any discussion of Banach spaces or Hadamard differentiability in either the old or new testament.

    The treatment of a mass extinction event in the OT is problematic on many levels. And unreferenced. You’d expect better from the unmediated word of God, really. I recon any decent journal would reject.

  39. Russell, in a world orbiting a star in a galaxy far, far away, where technological beings have released fossilised carbon in pursuit of its embodied chemical energy, and where the scientists of that society have repeatedly warned of the dangers of an enhanced greenhouse effect but the fossil carbon miners don’t want to give up their profits and so continue their mining and the society continues its emissions, there will be a point between the initial scientific descriptions of that greenhouse effect and the consequences thereof, where change is occurring but is difficult to discern.

    That point, where a whole planetary climate begins to shift but the miners and their uneducated enablers have not yet acknowledged the truth, where things are beginning to change but only the intelligent and alert and intellectually-honest are aware of the changes, would look exactly as our Earth does now.

    Here on Earth, thirty to forty years ago, we were still at the tail end of millennia of a stable Holocene climate. Science predicted that with a doubling of the Holocene atmospheric carbon dioxide there’d be serious ecological and hydrological changes, and most scientists anticipated that it would take close to reaching that doubling before the much worst* began to manifest. Between the Holocene baseline and full manifestation there will of course be a phase where the incipient changes begin, but are not fully obvious to many who are not in that aforementioned alert cohort. The mildly surprising thing is that those changes are occurring earlier than even a lot of the scientists themselves expected, and the bottom line is that your personal inability to grasp the problem does not diminish its reality and that it is in fact at least as bad as was described by more serious end of the projected cluster of sequelæ.

    Put your political biases aside and step out into the world, put your ignorance aside and learn some physics and biology, put your your blinkers aside and look at the empirical data and what they imply for the future. You’ll see something very different to what is depicted in the desperate and intensely marketed coal propaganda advertisements and alt-news currently swamping Australian television and internet media.

    We’re all either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. I don’t see you trying even in the slightest to solve anything, so it’s blatantly obvious on which side of the equation you are located. Please let your response to human-caused global warming be known to your grandchildren and to those of all of your acquaintances, so they’ll know to piss on your grave in half a century or so when their plights, resulting from of your type of response to the whole issue, are undeniably evident to all – even the idiots like you.

    *As examples, until the last few years summer Arctic sea ice disappearance and Great barrier Reef destruction were not expected until the end of the century…

  40. Bernard #36 says “My own analyses of colleagues’ data convinced me four or five years ago that the Great Barrier Reef was even then irretrievably doomed.”

    So there is no point in trying to save the GBR, is there?

  41. So there is no point in trying to save the GBR, is there?

    Logical fallacy: false dilemma.

    The Great Barrier Reef is a huge and complex ecosystem. As an entity of this size and complicated structure (+ function) it certainly is now doomed*, but this does not mean that component species and communities within it cannot be saved or, to be more accurate, salvaged.

    It continually astonishes me that the extremely high level of ongoing wilful ignorance and refusal to face scientific understanding that you exhibit, along with the significant propensity for fallacious thinking, appears to be no bar to employment in the legal profession.

    It just goes to show…

    *It also staggers me that you capitulate in nihilistic apathy and with not even the merest whimper of protest that we’ve set in train the destruction of the largest living structure on the planet, nor with the slightest hint that we should stop progressing along that path lest we destroy even more of the biosphere that sustains us. It takes true sociopathy to be so recklessly careless.

  42. >There’s a real possibility that the lopsided representation of women in STEM is due to the lopsided desire of people of either gender to be in STEM.

    A statement that can get you fired in a university.

  43. Bernard #48:

    I am just trying to help you with your advertising pitch – which needs a lot of work.

    Don’t tell people the GBR is “irretrievably doomed” if you want to try to save it, or “component species and communities within it”.

    You are welcome.

  44. “A statement that can get you fired in a university.”

    Good god you are an idiot – no, that can’t get you fired.

    What can cause problems is misrepresenting the science in these situation and reinforcing the notion that it is a done deal. That statement does nothing of the sort.

    Bernard – never expect a science based, or honest, answer from rickA.

  45. “So there is no point in trying to save the GBR, is there?”

    So unless it saves the GBR, you will do nothing to stop any other extinction, “dick”?

  46. “A statement that can get you fired in a university.”

    What? One of those religiotard universities in the USA? Probably so.

  47. It is a great time to be alive.

    For the select few, such as you it would appear RickA and not only the war and drought ridden peoples of Africa and the Middle East.

    From the Human Development Report 2016 page 30:

    Poverty is no longer a problem of developing regions only; it is also on the rise in developed countries

    Now as for the GBR I am aghast that you could be so flippant about such an important structure and ecosystem.

    Bernard J has written the important points but I would add that you could try cutting down on your ignorance and read some well written books which will appraise you of the multiple problems we are causing to ecosystems, the ecosystems that support the food webs upon which we depend.

    One such book, written some time ago describes not only the problems on coral reefs but also along both coasts of the USA is Song for the Blue Ocean: Encounters Along the World’s Coasts and Beneath the Seas by Carl Safina. This title being just one of a number of worthy books from that author and researcher.

  48. Wow, Larry Summer at Harvard got in trouble for saying women may be less interested in STEM fields. ” whether he wanted some questions asked and some attempts at provocation,”

  49. >Now as for the GBR I am aghast that you could be so flippant about such an important structure and ecosystem.

    One person said it is beyond saving. If that is the case, then it is beyond saving.
    Too often, people make statements like, ‘We have ten years to save the planet.’ If nothing was done in those ten years, then the planet is doomed and there is no action to be taken that can save the planet, or the original statement was false.

  50. “Larry Summer at Harvard got in trouble”

    Yeah, you can get in trouble. YOU said fired. Moron.

    “If that is the case, then it is beyond saving”

    And therefore you do nothing to stop it happening again???? Dumbass.

  51. “‘We have ten years to save the planet.’”

    Where?

    And where does the great barrier reef == the planet?

    “If nothing was done in those ten years, then the planet is doomed and there is no action to be taken that can save the planet”

    Therefore stop doing fucking nothing you lazy arsehole!!!!

  52. And you are now agreeing that there’s only 10 years to save the planet YET STILL REFUSE TO DO SO!

    Or you don’t believe it’s 10 years and you have a little longer before it’s all fucked.

    Which still means you have to do something to stop the destruction of the planet.

    Yet you STILL REFUSE TO DO SO.

    So, tell us all, HOW THE HELL do you sort that out in your own pin-sized head?

  53. MikeN #56:

    Thank you for clarifying.

    I hadn’t thought it would be necessary, given my #50 – but based on Lionel #54 I guess it was.

    Thanks again.

    As I said earlier in the thread, I think the GBR will be just fine. But if it truly is beyond hope, well that is that. Any monies would be better directed towards something else.

    Of course, my comment was based on Bernard’s statement – which in my opinion is grossly in error – but we will see.

  54. “I think the GBR will be just fine”

    It’s dying off quicker and quicker, idiot. There’s absolutely no thought in your claim AT ALL.

    “Any monies would be better directed towards something else.”

    Bullshit.

  55. “But if it truly is beyond hope, well that is that.”

    So your claims that it would be fine would be wrong, wouldn’t it.

    And then what would that do? Spell it out. If the barrier reef dies and that’s that, despite your claim it’s only pining for the fjords, what does losing the prediction DO to you?

    ANYTHING?

  56. As I said earlier in the thread, I think the GBR will be just fine. But if it truly is beyond hope, well that is that. Any monies would be better directed towards something else.

    And there we have it, your ethos, based upon ignorance, advertised for all to see and recognise.

    If you had a sick child where treatment was expensive and may not be successful, would you carry on as normal and ignore the situation because to do anything which costs money could be a waste?

  57. Lionel #63:

    As Spock said “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”.

    People can do with their own money what they want.

    But people shouldn’t waste public monies.

    I wouldn’t recommend wasting money on anything which the consensus says is “irretrievably doomed”.

    The consensus says that Earth will be engulfed by the sun when our sun turns into a Red Giant. We are irretrievably doomed.

    Hmmmmm.

  58. “Lionel #63:

    As Spock said “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”.”

    OK, lots need you to FOAD. Kindly hop to it.

    I take it that wasn’t yet another empty phrase you trotted out without any meaning or reality behind it like the other posts you’ve made.

    “I wouldn’t recommend wasting money on anything which the consensus says is “irretrievably doomed”.”

    You’re going to die. Inevitably.

    Therefore get on with it, right now. Stop wasting time and money.

  59. A speech in which he massively misrepresented the research he was “quoting”. That is, a speech in which he lied.

    I know it is difficult for the right to understand, but lying is not acceptable behavior.

  60. What was the lie? If he believed he was properly representing the research then it’s not a lie. Even if he he knew he was a little off, the purpose of his speech was to provoke the audience. Not a firing offense.

  61. ” If he believed he was properly representing the research”

    It would still be a lie.

    If you knew he believed he was properly representing the research, then you would use the word “SINCE”. Since you are making this shit up because you PREFER the lie, you use the word “If”.

    “Even if he he knew he was a little off”

    That would be you wrong and him a liar.

    “the purpose of his speech was to provoke the audience. ”

    The purpose of a lecture is not trolling. Ergo this would be professional incompetence.

    Or are you against “At Will” employement for rightwingers?

  62. I wouldn’t recommend wasting money on anything which the consensus says is “irretrievably doomed”.

    So by your logic, seeing as we all die sometime, remedial or palliative care for a sick child is not worth the candle.

    Hum! Your humanity, or lack thereof, is on display at every turn, faulty logic also.

  63. Lionel #71:

    Money is fungible.

    So every time “we” spend money on the doomed GBR, we are taking it away from a sick child.

  64. I am just trying to help you with your advertising pitch – which needs a lot of work.

    You seem to have missed my previous point, which was that in the past scientists tried the euphemistic and optimistic approach, together with careful and extensve explanation of the issue, and that this resulted in exactly no response at all. If telling people the truth in an unguilded fashion is also not going to stir any inclination to act to salvage something of the ecosphere, given that we’ve already tried the kid-glove approach, then quite simply there’s nothing that could stir humans from their selfishness and apathy.

    Unless you’re inclined to benevolent dictatorship…?

    As I said earlier in the thread, I think the GBR will be just fine.

    It’s irrelevant what you think, as you are an obdurate science-denying lay person with no clue about ecophysiology. You’re an unreliable witness, and a very non-expert one.

    Listen to what the actual experts say:

    http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2016/s4624562.htm

    But if it truly is beyond hope, well that is that.

    Logical fallacy: false dilemma.

    Just because the integrity of the Great Barrier Reef as a whole is beyond saving, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t act to salvage the parts of it, and of the rest of ecopsphere, that are not yet pushed beyond the point of no return.

    Any monies would be better directed towards something else.

    Again, the logical fallacy of a false dilemma. You really are highly prone to that.

    Besides the fact that component parts of the reef’s biodiversity can be salvaged and retained for a future where the worst of humanity’s impact has past, there’s also the fundamental fact that the “monies” spent on protecting the reef from human-caused climate change will also concurrently protect many other threatened ecosystems – and many of these ecosystems are still not past their points of no return. The Reef was an ‘indicator’ ecosystem, and had we as a global society attended to its health we would likely have saved most of the rest of the biosphere from human-caused global warming for the same total cost, but even though we failed at that there’s plenty of benefit to be had by continued trying.

    Of course, my comment was based on Bernard’s statement – which in my opinion is grossly in error – but we will see.

    Your opinion, as I have noted before, is nothing more than uninformed lay impression tainted by the fact that you are an investor* in fossil fuels. Your opinon is contradicted by the work of thousands of professional ecologists generally, and by the world’s best reef ecologists specifically. See the link above.

    As Spock said “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”.

    Yes, and the needs of the many include a habitable biosphere, and a Holocene-type climate that permits optimal ecosystem functions ammenable to the provisdion of the biological services that sustain human life.

    Contrast that with the needs of the few to parasitise the wealth of the planet, and to hoard that wealth to a point where it is obscenely in excess of any requirement for a satisfactory standard of living, and at which they cannot possibly spend it all. It is the need of the already-privileged rich to rob from the poor and to increase the wealth and power disparity that is already unjustifiable in any ethical sense of the concept.

    And it is the need of these same rich to believe that this is a situation that can be retained indefinitely. It cannot, though: the laws of thermodynamics will see to that.

    People can do with their own money what they want.

    It’s not that simple (unless one’s ideology is based on egocentric libertarianism).

    *Much investment – as it manifests in in the capitalist model – is, from an ecological perspective, nothing more than the very same parasitism that I mentioned a few paragraphs ago. The ethics of that aside for the moment, unrestained parasitism will damage the host to the extent that it becomes suicidal to the parasite.

    And guess what…

  65. Money is fungible.

    So every time “we” spend money on the doomed GBR, we are taking it away from a sick child.

    Spare us your crocodile tears. The money that should be spent to mitigate the impacts of human emissions does not need to come from the pot of “essential services”. The are plenty of ways to make the polluters pay, and to make non-fossil fuel technologies more profitable than coal, oil and gas. It’s simply that those who make money from fossil fuels (yourself included) do not want to be the ones who suffer.

    If money is fungible in this context, it is simply because the oil barons and their sundry hangers-on and rent-seeking investors insist that their profits not be diminished, and that any cost to them be transfered externally to the poor of society. That’s sociopathy, which I have indicated previously.

    Further, there is a more fundamental issue:if we don’t spend the money and effort now to completely disconnect ourselves from fossil carbon, in the future the cost to the poor, to the “sick child[ren]”, and to the ecology and biodiversity of planet will be greater by many orders of magnitude than even any falsely-applied concept of fungibility in the current context.

    You can make your fallacious assertions all you want, but you’re fooling no one here. Except yourself.

  66. Money is fungible.

    So every time “we” spend money on the doomed GBR, we are taking it away from a sick child.

    Spare us your crocodile tears. The money that should be spent to mitigate the impacts of human emissions does not need to come from the pot of “essential services”. The are plenty of ways to make the polluters pay, and to make non-fossil fuel technologies more profitable than coal, oil and gas. It’s simply that those who make money from fossil fuels (yourself included) do not want to be the ones who suffer.

    If money is fungible in this context, it is simply because the oil barons and their sundry hangers-on and rent-seeking investors insist that their profits not be diminished, and that any cost to them be transfered externally to the poor of society. That’s sociopathy, which I have indicated previously.

    Further, there is a more fundamental issue: if we don’t spend the money and effort now to completely disconnect ourselves from fossil carbon, in the future the cost to the poor, to the “sick child[ren]”, and to the ecology and biodiversity of planet will be greater by many orders of magnitude than even any falsely-applied concept of fungibility in the current context.

    You can make your fallacious assertions all you want, but you’re fooling no one here. Except yourself.

  67. “Lionel #71:

    Money is fungible.”

    Which you insist must not be spent on “lost causes”, and, since you and everyone alive today or in the future will die, any spending of money is pointless. Fungible is irrelevant.

    ” we are taking it away from a sick child.”

    Who will die one day anyway. And that money could be spent on something that will actually be “useful” (by your metric): renewable energy build out, for example.

    Or, indeed, since the fossil fuel industry is doomed, just cut the legs out from under it and stop letting them have money, it’s wasted.

  68. Lionel #71:

    Money is fungible.

    Shame that reef organisms are not. But then what would you know about that.

    Beware the Midas touch for you may finish up with the ears of a donkey, which I hazard would match your braying demonstrated here.

  69. You can make your fallacious assertions all you want, but you’re fooling no one here. Except yourself.

    He’s doing more than that – he is simply lying about what he would support. Since he gave up his integrity to become a libertarian he would no more support spending money on sick children than he does spending it on the GBR. After all, they aren’t his children who are sick, so if they die it would not matter.

  70. Look at my quote, he started the speech with I am trying to provoke you. I can’t find the transcript, the link at Harvard is broken, but it looks like he said the same thing you did. Dean says it’s a lie. I don’t think you are lying in saying it. So dean would have to explain why it’s a lie, that he knew it was wrong.
    I think he said it similar to how you are saying it, as a possibility, but he described some research as well.

  71. “Look at my quote, he started the speech with I am trying to provoke you.”

    Your quote was this:

    ” whether he wanted some questions asked and some attempts at provocation,”

    So either that’s someone else or he’s talking about someone else. And nowhere would it say what you claim in #79, making that post, yet again, a load of lying bullshit.

    “I am trying to provoke you.” is also just some trolling moron saying they’re trolling. Again, still not what you’re doing in university (except maybe the religiotard or scam artist locations like Trump “university” [sic]).

  72. ” I can’t find the transcript” “but it looks like he said”.

    since you could not find the transcript YOU CANNOT CLAIM what it “looks like”, because what it looks like is nothing.

    You’re a frigging idiot, “mike”.

  73. “So dean would have to explain why it’s a lie, that he knew it was wrong.”

    He claimed he had read the relevant work. What he said it showed was nowhere near what it showed.
    To the habitually dishonest libertarians out there that is simply expressing an opinion. To folks who take things seriously, it’s lying. We know which side mikeN (and others like him) are on.

  74. “So dean would have to explain why it’s a lie, that he knew it was wrong.”

    So why don’t you explain why it is not a lie, that he knew it was right? Or did you say dean was wrong without knowing if he was? SURELY you SHOULD have told him it was “a correct statement”.

  75. I was asking dean to explain. He has made an assertion that he read it ad described it wrong. Not a lie, and also no detail given, though I think we covered it in another thread.
    Transcript would be helpful.

  76. “I was asking dean to explain.”

    And I was asking YOU to explain.

    “He has made an assertion that he read it”

    So are you saying your dude lied about having read it?

    “and described it wrong”

    Because the words were not as he claimed. It is a fact, observable, not opinion.

    So you remain still completely wrong in your assertions both about what was said, what you did AND what dean needs to do.

    Spiffing.

    “Not a lie,”

    What dean said was not a lie?

    Or are you saying that saying something you knew was wrong is not a lie? In which case,how can you query what dean said? It’s either the truth or “not a lie”.

    “Transcript would be helpful.”

    But you said it looked like he’d said the same I did. You cannot go complaining about not having read the transcript to prove you wrong when you’ve already used not reading the transcript and proclaimed you were right.

  77. Bernard J. writes (#36): “Latitudinally intermediate between Queensland and Tasmania, the Australian alpine ecosystems of New South Wales and Victoria are locked into extinction in their current manifestation, probably on a time-scale intermediate between the GBR and the TWWHA rainforest. And all along the eastern Australian seaboard the Nothofagus remnants dispersed atop the highest parts of the Great Dividing Range are also largely committed to exturpation.

    I am very sorry to read this. Last week I watched a 2005 video called Wild Australia: The Edge. It is mostly a travelogue showing incredibly brave young people rappeling down a cliff in the middle of a waterfall, and swimming through dark, water-filled underground caves. But the substance of it is that the Mobelli Pine (sp?), which dates from the time of the dinosaurs and exists nowhere today but in forests an hour’s drive from Sydney, is now threatened.

    I have tended to think of Australia as largely unspoiled. Obviously I’ll have to revise that viewpoint. Africa lost the Western Black Rhino a few years back; the Northern White Rhino is on the brink, with only one living male known. It’s sad to watch the extirpation of a charismatic species, but sadder still to realize that so many species are apparently destined for extinction without even a headline to mark their passing.

    1. My response to Roger, over at his post back-linked here:

      Interesting post.

      A clarification, where you say “Apparently if you cite the IPCC itself you may be … a climate denier. It’s nuts, I know, but the incantation of “97% … 97% … 97%” has apparently eliminated need for the IPCC or understanding what it actually says.”

      That is a reference and link to my post (thanks for the link) but not correctly characterized.

      The problem is, in a nutshell, that the IPCC report, while a great thing for many reasons, is when it comes out anywhere from months to about a year behind the absolute cutting edge lit.

      In some cases that does not matter, but in areas where there is current very active research it can matter a lot. As I recall, the IPCC solidified (for the time) its position on sea level rise right in the middle of a bunch of research coming out suggesting a shift in how we think about sea level rise, and that never really got picked up in the process.

      Then, the IPCC gets a year older very years, so some item or conclusion in that report becomes potentially even more out of date every year.

      And, yes, folks often say “… the IPCC says this therefore my argument is correct” even when all the literature since that report says the argument is less correct, ore simply out of date.

      So, the IPCC lends a level of authority to a statement that becomes potentially more and more bogus as time passes, until the next report comes out.

      This is why I’ve argued for a second project, a sort of dynamic IPCC-Now wiki or something along those lines, which may be less authoritative and less considered or deliberative, but more current.

  78. That’s the Wollemi pine. It’s been widely propagated and distributed throughout Australian gardens so it’s secure in the short term, although I didn’t see any campaign to mix the clones up when the stock was sent to nurseries. In fact, I have never seen any clonal information on the tags which, considering that there were (AFAIK) only a few score used for propagation, seems to be a bit of an oversight. My own trees are not self-fertile, and appear to be the same clone even though they come from different nurseries.

    The valley from which the Wollemi pine came is not alpine, but surrounded by extensive eucalypt forest. From what I’ve seen it would be difficult for even a wildfire to get in and damage the wollemis, which is why they survived there for millions of years in the first place, but with the rapid pace of climate change to come over the next few centuries I suspect that all bets are off…

    There are many species, charismatic and otherwise, in Australia and around the rest of the world, that are now effectively committed to extinction. Talk to ecologists and one can go away extremely depressed…

  79. Greg #90:

    The problem isn’t that the IPCC report is out of date.

    The problem is name calling!

    Nobody likes being called names and Roger is merely pushing back saying he is in line with the consensus (as defined by the last IPCC report).

    Of course, Roger is totally in the consensus – but gets called names anyway.

    Name calling is very very counterproductive.

    I recommend you stop calling people denier or climate denier or climate science denier, etc.

  80. “Nobody likes being called names”

    Ah, so you dislike calling others “alarmist”? No? Well tough shit.

    ” and Roger is merely pushing back saying he is in line with the consensus ”

    He isn’t, though. He’s far outside it. And “The UPCC reeport” is a bullshit claim, since he’s extremely happy to deny the content of the IPCC report’s conclusions and even the content, being only minorly able to claim he is the same as it in some tiny temporary corner of the vast work.

    If he was within the consensus, he’d agree with 90% of the IPCC, tentatively accept 5% and disagree with 5%.

    Instead he deniers 90% of it, disagrees with 5% and is low-balling 5%.

  81. The problem is evidence denial.

    And, judging from #91, denial of evidence denial. Soon it will be iterated to denial of denial of evidence denial.

    It’s like those Russian nesting dolls — which is funny yet eerily appropriate in today’s world.

  82. Rick: “The problem isn’t that the IPCC report is out of date.

    The problem is name calling!

    Nobody likes being called names and Roger is merely pushing back saying he is in line with the consensus (as defined by the last IPCC report).”

    In his post, Roger completely and willfully misrepresented what I said. This is similar to what he did two weeks ago when he willfully and dishonestly accused me of making a rape joke when I did not make a rape joke. Meanwhile, Roger really and truly does deny the science that tells us that storms are getting worse, will get even worser worse, and so on.

    He could actually be making a contribution here. He has done thinking and research in a very important area, of adaptation and mitigation. He could be using non-cherry picked data, paying attention to the actual climate scientists, etc.

    Instead he does something entirely different, and it is enough like denial of the science that he gets picked by a science denying member of the US House to be a climate change denier right there in public testimony.

    So, he misrepresents other people’s statements, in a way that in some case is truly libelous, and he denies established science.

    Under the circumstances there are things he should be called. Named. He should indeed be identified as someone who denies mainstream climate science and he should be identified as someone who is dangerous to tangle with on the internet because he’ll go to great lengths to damage you if you don’t agree with him. If he does not want these labels than he should not be these things.

    And, the point stands. If you don’t extend your argument to include research not represented in the IPCC because it is more recent, and that research shows a likely different with what the IPCC says, then you are cherry picking. That is a standard denier tactic.

  83. If he does not want these labels than he should not be these things.

    Same goes for you, RickA. And you’ve been told so often enough, so stop tone-trolling.

    Always the same though, isn’t it? Deniers behave like shits and then, when the audience is provoked beyond endurance and bites back, they whine and play the victim. It’s almost as though they do it on purpose.

  84. Greg said “Roger completely and willfully misrepresented what I said”.

    Roger said if “Apparently if you cite the IPCC itself you may be … a climate denier. ”

    Greg – you said “I’ve noticed an uptick in references to the IPCC report by those intent on denying the reality of climate change. This even happened at recent congressional hearings, where “expert witnesses” made similar claims.”

    Don’t you not agree that saying that Roger had intent on denying the reality of climate change that you are calling Roger a climate denier?

    How did he “completely and willfully misrepresented what [you] said”?

    Seems pretty accurate to me.

    Of course your statement isn’t accurate at all.

    Roger does not deny the reality of climate change – just the opposite. It is almost as if you have “completely and willfully misrepresented what [Roger] said”.

    How ironic.

  85. “Roger said if “Apparently if you cite the IPCC itself you may be … a climate denier. ””

    did he? So why all the pauses there you had to put in as an ellipsis? Or were you mangling his words. Again.

    “Don’t you not agree that saying that Roger had intent on denying the reality of climate change that you are calling Roger a climate denier?”

    Don’t you not agree that you didn’t fail to avoid accepting that there is denial in Roger?

    “Seems pretty accurate to me.”

    But you didn’t seem capable of writing out what Roger said…

    How ironic…

  86. “Why don’t you go to Roger’s ”

    I don’t have to. Unless he put a pause in that you “thought” needed writing out as an ellipsis, your quote was wrong, dick.

  87. Wow. As so often is the case – wrong again.

    And what is really great is you won’t even go and check out why you are so wrong.

    Very funny!

  88. Wow: “Unless he put a pause in that you “thought” needed writing out as an ellipsis, your quote was wrong, dick.”
    In fact, it is as Rick quoted, complete with ellipsis in the original. But my reading of it is that his implied claim, that he was being called a denier on the basis of what he quoted from the IPCC, is wrong. It was because he ignored other evidence. To be more certain, I’d need to go back to the transcript of the hearing, but for Rick it’s too much effort.

  89. “In fact, it is as Rick quoted, complete with ellipsis in the original.”

    Ah, so the original was the moron, then. Oh well, not really that surprised that the one getting it wrong was RP. So I was wrong about dick misrepresenting things, and instead all he was doing was letting RP misrepresent it for him.

    So, dick, you’re being lied to, rather than being the liar.

    You were also being an idiot because without anything in that ellipsis, there’s no actual support for the accusation, only the accusation, which isn’t even one saying he’s a denier. Just that he wants to BELIEVE he’s being called a denier.

  90. “but for Rick it’s too much effort.”

    Yeah, pretty much me too. Dick is too idiotic a munge-bungler to be worth the effort of going to another site to see what his latest insane burblings are about. Doubly so when he wants others to do his work for him, since he clearly did not know WHY it was “Apparently…”.

    Very gullible is “dick”.

  91. “I’ve noticed an uptick in references to the IPCC report by those intent on denying the reality of climate change. This even happened at recent congressional hearings, where “expert witnesses” made similar claims.”

    How could Pielke think this was Greg Laden calling him a denier?

  92. Pielke was one of the expert witnesses who was at the recent congressional hearing, and who referenced the IPCC report.

    Greg is saying Pielke (and Curry and Trenberth) are intent on denying the reality of climate change, i.e. are climate change deniers.

    Seems pretty clear to me.

  93. “How could Pielke think this was Greg Laden calling him a denier?”

    Because he’s a loon?

    Or was this a trick question?

    Because it’s calling someone an incorrectly labelled “expert witness”, i.e. not an expert.

    But unless he was the only witness they ever produced (ir wasn’t), then the only thing making the connection is his own assessment of himself.

    Because, perhaps, it meant Mad Lord Monckfish who was trotted out as an “expert witness” but is a useless potty peer.

  94. Saying you cited/referenced a credible source is a poor defense, unless you can show that the source in question indeed fully supports what you say.

    And then there’s the selective quotation…to take a not-completely-madeup example: If a paper says “There is no statistically significant trend in global drought, but there are significant trends in several parts of the world”, and you claim “There is no statistically significant trend in global drought [ref paper]” and leave out the second part, you *correctly* referenced your claim, but by leaving out the rest you are also potentially deceptive.

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