I don’t know much about science, and even less about climate science. So as a practical matter, I like to side with the majority of scientists until they change their collective minds. They might be wrong, but their guess is probably better than mine.
That said, it is mind-boggling to me that the scientific community can’t make a case for climate science that sounds convincing, even to some of the people on their side, such as me. In other words, I think scientists are right (because I play the odds), but I am puzzled by why they can’t put together a convincing argument, whereas the skeptics can, and easily do. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
As a public service, and to save the planet, obviously, I will tell you what it would take to convince skeptics that climate science is a problem that we must fix. Please avoid the following persuasion mistakes.
1. Stop telling me the “models” (plural) are good. If you told me one specific model was good, that might sound convincing. But if climate scientists have multiple models, and they all point in the same general direction, something sounds fishy. If climate science is relatively “settled,” wouldn’t we all use the same models and assumptions?
And why can’t science tell me which one of the different models is the good one, so we can ignore the less-good ones? What’s up with that? If you can’t tell me which model is better than the others, why would I believe anything about them?
A very quick breakdown of the lies, sophistry & misrepresentation surrounding the almost ubiquitous 97% ‘climate consensus’ claim.
** This is pretty old now, but I’ve moved it here so that I can reference it **
I’ve quickly broken down the the details of what is and is not demonstrated in skepticalscience.com’s representation of the level of endorsement found among peer reviewed papers, of the belief that global warming is being primarily driven by man – along with what skepticalscience.com explicitly and implicitly claims that the paper demonstrates, and how trusted sources cite the paper as proof of something which it either makes no claim to prove, or incorrectly (dishonestly?) misrepresents.
This is the primary source among Nasa’s referenced sources here:
“Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals1 show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.”
I’ll be ignoring the absurdity of consensus driven ‘science’ for the time being. There is no need to argue the science denial of such a position when the consensus claim is a clear fabrication to begin with.
Scarcely a day goes by without us being warned of coastal inundation by rising seas due to global warming.
Why on earth do we attribute any heating of the oceans to carbon dioxide, when there is a far more obvious culprit, and when such a straightforward examination of the thermodynamics render it impossible.
Carbon dioxide, we are told, traps heat that has been irradiated by the oceans, and this warms the oceans and melts the polar ice caps. While this seems a plausible proposition at first glance, when one actually examines it closely a major flaw emerges.
In a nutshell, water takes a lot of energy to heat up, and air doesn’t contain much. In fact, on a volume/volume basis, the ratio of heat capacities is about 3300 to 1. This means that to heat 1 litre of water by 1˚C it would take 3300 litres of air that was 2˚C hotter, or 1 litre of air that was about 3300˚C hotter!
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. If you ran a cold bath and then tried to heat it by putting a dozen heaters in the room, does anyone believe that the water would ever get hot?
Stuck vessel needs electricity supply from shore after getting gridlocked for rest of winter on Northern Sea Route.
Kapitan Dranitsyn icebraker in the port of Pevek.
The Kapitan Dranitsyn icebreaker has been marooned for around a month due to freezing sea off the coast of Chukotka in the extreme east of Russia.
This week the vessel had to be connected by cable to a shore electricity supply in the port of Pevek so the crew can survive on board until May or even June, when they can set sail back to Arkhangelsk.
The icebreaker and two cargo vessels it was escorting had earlier made a successful voyage in the Arctic waters of the Northern Sea Route over the New Year period.
Kapitan Dranitsyn icebreaker and cargo carrier Sinegorsk have received a power boost. Pictures: Yury KapasyovThey delivered building materials for the Academic Lomonosov floating nuclear power station, currently under construction, the first in the world. But on the return voyage, they became stuck.
The fourth vessel in the convoy – the Admiral Makarov – has been dispatched to undertake other icebreaking duties in the region.
The failure of the return voyage is not surprising given the time of year. But it shows that while Arctic ice is in retreat, the reliability of the Northern Sea Route – which Russia is actively promoting and developing – cannot always be relied upon.
NOAA shows the Earth red hot in December, with record heat in central Africa.
The map above is fake. NOAA has almost no temperature data from Africa, and none from central Africa. They simply made up the record temperatures.
The Mail on Sunday today reveals astonishing evidence that the organisation that is the world’s leading source of climate data rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.
A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.
The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers.
But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.
It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr Bates devised.
I keep hearing people say that 97% of climate scientists are on the same side of the issue. Critics point out that the number is inflated, but we don’t know by how much. Persuasion-wise, the “first offer” of 97% is so close to 100% that our minds assume the real number is very high even if not exactly 97%.
That’s good persuasion. Trump uses this method all the time. The 97% anchor is so strong that it is hard to hear anything else after that. Even the people who think the number is bogus probably think the real figure is north of 90%.
But is it? I have no idea.
So today’s challenge is to find a working scientist or PhD in some climate-related field who will agree with the idea that the climate science models do a good job of predicting the future.
Notice I am avoiding the question of the measurements. That’s a separate question. For this challenge, don’t let your scientist conflate the measurements or the basic science of CO2 with the projections. Just ask the scientist to offer an opinion on the credibility of the models only.
Remind your scientist that as far as you know there has never been a multi-year, multi-variable, complicated model of any type that predicted anything with useful accuracy. Case in point: The experts and their models said Trump had no realistic chance of winning.
Your scientist will fight like a cornered animal to conflate the credibility of the measurements and the basic science of CO2 with the credibility of the projection models. Don’t let that happen. Make your scientist tell you that complicated multi-variable projections models that span years are credible. Or not.
Then report back to me in the comments here or on Twitter at @ScottAdamsSays.
This question is a subset of the more interesting question of how non-scientists can judge the credibility of scientists or their critics. My best guess is that professional scientists will say that complicated prediction models with lots of variables are not credible. Ever. So my prediction is that the number of scientists who ***fully*** buy into climate science predictions is closer to zero than 97%.