Follow the Science, Really?

 

What follows is about an encounter on Facebook, or Meta. I don’t know which for sure, as it happened in the transition so I can’t say where it landed. So far, all my FB icons remain the same, untouched by the mind of Zuckerberg.

I have been reading a couple of books of apostasy, they being Apocalypse Never, by Michael Shellenberger, and Unsettled? What Climate Science Tells Us, What it Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, by Steven E. Koonin. I have been drawn to them in part to test my own skepticism, and to learn why they had jumped ship.

Briefly, both are still convinced that there is indeed climate change characterized by a small increase in global temperature. What they both reject is the proposition that this increase will be catastrophic in the near future and is an existential threat. They differ on possible resolutions of this “crisis”.

Because I have not finished the Koonin book, I will concentrate on Shellenberger as he is most germane to my confrontation. His book is wide-ranging, touching on much of the environmental movement and his participation in it over the last thirty years.

The encounter began when a post1 from SciTech Daily appeared in my FB feed. I do not even recall the specifics of the post, other than to say it had to do with some environmental issue. In passing, the author of the post mentioned the ongoing “sixth extinction” underway. Among the many topics Shellenberger discussed, this extinction event was one of them. I responded per Shellenberger that this had been long ago discredited and left it at that.

Posts like this are widely seen and can draw a lot of comments, so I expected that my comment would be quickly buried. That was not to be. Shortly thereafter, a response came in which the poster stated that I was obviously not up to speed on the subject and should cite my source, insisting that it should be from a peer-reviewed journal. I responded by stating that it was so stated in Michael Shellenberger’s book and suggested that he(?) should do likewise. He responded with a reference to an article in a journal2 from the National Academy of Sciences that makes the case for the sixth extinction. He also dismissed Shellenberger with the observation that Shellenberger is a journalist, not a scientist.

I left the argument at that. Online arguments can be tedious, and I did not want to spend much effort on it. But it did raise a few questions as to how one should consider the paper offered and just who is entitled to comment. After all, if one must be a scientist, then there is no discussion as the pronouncements contained in the article must be treated as dogma and not questioned. Even then, the question as to who is a scientist is undetermined. Does any scientist count? Or is the commentary limited only to those from the specific field. If having  “scientist” attached to one’s resume suffices, are political scientists acceptable? Obviously, the argument descends into silliness essentially because there is no rigid definition for “scientist” and the objection to Shellenberger is about what he said and not what he is. Shellenberger could have a Climate Science Ph.D. and the same objections would be raised against his claims.

The essence of Schellenberger’s argument, in this case, is that the rate of extinction claimed in support of the sixth extinction hypothesis is not abnormal, and further, it has been grossly exaggerated based on — you guessed it — a model, not observation. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, some 0.8 percent of the 112, 432 species, plant and animal in their catalog, have gone extinct since the year 1500. This is an annual rate of two per year. This clearly supports the argument against a sixth extinction. Shellenberger went to some length to dissect this issue as part of his general contention that the hysteria/emergency/crisis is largely manufactured.

But what of the paper my protagonist offered in evidence? Consider that the title states that the sixth extinction is underway, and the paper is an examination of the evidence. While it is properly peer-reviewed and referenced to a fare thee well, it is unlikely to offer an evaluation or critique of the merits of the claim. I think Shellenberger would say that it is too narrow in scope and timeframe to make such a broad claim.

Finally, no paper submitted can authoritatively answer the question as to what constitutes a mass extinction. The very idea is not science but is instead science highjacked for political purposes. Science properly considered is a statement of facts. Conclusions may be drawn from said facts, but qualitative conclusions are a statement of opinion and not fact. Thus, one can say that the number of reindeer was X in 1960 and is now some value less than X. One cannot conclude that an extinction is underway, only that the known population of reindeer has decreased during the observed timeframe. Thus, no paper, however rigorous or thoroughly peer-reviewed, can state that an extinction is in progress.

My protagonist made one last attempt, slipping in a reference to a criticism of Shellenberger’s book. The title was, as you might guess, How Shellenberger Got It All Wrong. Whatever errors he may have made, isn’t this how it always ends? No matter the issue, he who deviates from the dogma will be thoroughly flagellated and cast out into the darkness. So it is with Michael Shellenberger. I, for one, think his book is worth your time and his proposition that nuclear power may be the way out of the “climate crisis” one to be reckoned with.

  1. https://scitechdaily.com/uncovering-the-surprising-secrets-behind-earths-first-major-mass-extinction/?fbclid=IwAR3qDSo0j-vnIHEBI7GlwbzXQP2-Rx5-awLoanOW8JixdSpGMYiRR4nf14k
  2. https://www.pnas.org/content/117/24/13596? fbclid=IwAR0ziq54brgDrHYdii6z2B_u8FGUDxdadD3Uj6D8B1eYyyBA65bj1QTv0kY
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  1. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    What was the first mass extinction?  And if you don’t mind, what caused it, and where are we on the comparable extinction timeline today?

    • #1
  2. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Not a scientist (engineering background), but whenever someone approaches any “scientific” topic with “the science is settled” attitude, I know they don’t get science. 

    So much of climate modeling is howling into the wind hoping that no one notices their silo just blew over. Climate science has become so politicized, any statements of confidence immediately set off my skeptical meter. You know it’s fake because all the proposed policy solutions give more power to government to control our lives. It’s not “science.” It’s socialism. 

    • #2
  3. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Environmentalists often refer to “climate change,” but they often leave out the modifier “manmade.”  Of course the climate is changing – it always is.  The real question is what impact, if any, do mankind’s activities have on it?  My guess is very close to none.  Sure, we can have severe impacts locally (LA smog, the Cuyahoga River fire, etc.), but not globally.  Even after a total nuclear war, things would grow back after a while, and humanity might actually survive – even without smartphones!

    • #3
  4. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    GeezerBob: nuclear power may be the way out of the “climate crisis” one to be reckoned with.

    Nuclear power generation is the only feasible alternative that also addresses the pollution problem. The fact that environmentalists oppose it so strongly shows how unserious they are or else that their true agenda isn’t really pollution or ‘climate change’. To demand spending billions on unworkable ‘solutions’ while fighting NP is the height of  being unscientific.  I suspect the real goal is what they are getting: control over how we live our lives.

     

    • #4
  5. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Not a scientist (engineering background), but whenever someone approaches any “scientific” topic with “the science is settled” attitude, I know they don’t get science. 

    I walked past a lefty corner one time, they were dancing around with their “I Believe In Science” sign. I feigned a friendly and stupid look, my best Retriever, and said to one as I passed, “Yeah, science is the thing that doesn’t care what you believe.”

    She took it positively, and couldn’t wait to run to her leader with her new bon mot. Leader was less thrilled.

    • #5
  6. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    Flicker (View Comment):

    What was the first mass extinction? And if you don’t mind, what caused it, and where are we on the comparable extinction timeline today?

    The first one was 440 million years ago, apparently. Most of the mass extinction causes, first of all, are only speculated upon. Where most of that speculation leads is a catastrophic event that triggers changes in climate. Asteroid strikes are a culprit and, indeed, evidence for the most recent mass extinction 65 million years ago is fairly recent (aka the rock that killed the dinosaurs). There is also strong evidence of an asteroid impact causing a lesser extinction (megafauna, mastadons, other large mammals) in North America during the Younger Dryas period of the Ice Age, around 12,000 years ago.

     

    • #6
  7. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Stad (View Comment):The real question is what impact, if any, do mankind’s activities have on it?  My guess is very close to none. 

    And you would be correct. 

    • #7
  8. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    I think oxygenation was the first mass extinction. Before photosynthesis, all the life was of a very different chemistry, very stinky.

    • #8
  9. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    There has never been any unimpeached measurement that indicates any influence of man on the global, or even regional climate.

    • #9
  10. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Shellenberger’s Apocalypse Never is a good one. The author is knowledgeable, the book well referenced. As the bio blurb notes, Shellenberger was one of the invited reviewers of the IPCC’s next Assessment Report. His problem is that he was once highly regarded in the environmental movement, and such people are singled out for special opprobrium when they wander off the reservation.

    A similar book, one that acknowledges that the planet is warming (thank goodness) and that we’re almost certainly contributing to it, but that warming isn’t the crisis it’s made out to be and we should be focusing our attention elsewhere, is Bjorn Lomborg’s False Alarm. A former Greenpeace member, Lomborg burned his bridges with the environmental movement years ago with his terrific The Skeptical Environmentalist. It’s 20 years old, but still top of my list for sane assessments of the global environment.

    But when it comes to breaking faith with the apocalyptic true believers, no one does it better than Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore in his new book, Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom. This is apostasy on steroids from a fellow with impeccable environmentalist credentials, and I tip my hat to the man for penning such a blunt and heterodox book.


    The response you encountered, the “show me your peer-reviewed ‘evidence,'” is absolutely typical among the new technocrats. I encountered it just a couple of weeks ago on a wide-ranging call with a couple of Google employees. I mentioned the Great Barrington Declaration and was immediately challenged to provide peer-reviewed supporting evidence for the Declaration’s position. (The two smart, nice, young technocrats had never heard of it. Their primary interest is environment, but they’re the ones who brought up COVID, and I figured they’d be at least aware of the fact that there are alternative viewpoints. But no.)

    It’s probably worth pointing out to those who demand peer-reviewed results that the repeatability crisis in peer reviewed publication is not confined to the social “sciences.” The real sciences are struggling with it as well (and one can find peer-reviewed papers making that point). There are some interesting attempts in the scientific publishing community to fix this, in particular by increasing the likelihood that experiments that don’t confirm previous research will nonetheless get published. (Currently there is a strong positive-outcome bias that makes it easier to publish papers showing a positive experimental outcome than papers that contradict those results.)

    Great post, GB. I think the tide is gradually turning on climate alarmism.

    • #10
  11. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    I want to echo a several of the comments in this thread. Apocalypse Never is a very well written book that not only gives the reader a lot of reasons to think about alternatives to the current statist strategies to combat climate change, it also does a reasonable– but not the most in depth–  job of explaining why/how some of climate studies are discussed in unnecessarily alarmist ways.

     I’ve sort of given up on the climate change debate. I don’t really believe people will change their minds. I’ve tried to read about it and stay up to date because I’ve done some work in that area but it isn’t my actual area and I don’t believe too many people are willing to change their minds. 

    And, as said by others, it is amusing that people who wrap themselves up in the banner of “respecting the science” tend to often take the most dilettante approach to not only the methods but the published work. It’s often approached as a game where someone finds the paper they like and that determines whether the methods were sound. That’s a generic critique but with climate change (and to a lesser extent gender/sex studies) people take the criticisms too personally. 

    • #11
  12. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Stad (View Comment):

    Environmentalists often refer to “climate change,” but they often leave out the modifier “manmade.” Of course the climate is changing – it always is. The real question is what impact, if any, do mankind’s activities have on it? My guess is very close to none. Sure, we can have severe impacts locally (LA smog, the Cuyahoga River fire, etc.), but not globally. Even after a total nuclear war, things would grow back after a while, and humanity might actually survive – even without smartphones!

    My reply is always “Oh, you think we can make it stay the same all the time? Okay.”

    • #12
  13. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    GeezerBob: his proposition that nuclear power may be the way out of the “climate crisis” one to be reckoned with.

    My problem with this phrasing is twofold: 1) I don’t believe we are in a climate crisis (I understand your use of sneer quotes, but what does Shellenberger say?) and 2) CO2 is NOT a pollutant and we should never have allowed Obama’s EPA to promote that lie. If you want to green the planet, produce more plant food!

    • #13
  14. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Environmentalists often refer to “climate change,” but they often leave out the modifier “manmade.” Of course the climate is changing – it always is. The real question is what impact, if any, do mankind’s activities have on it? My guess is very close to none. Sure, we can have severe impacts locally (LA smog, the Cuyahoga River fire, etc.), but not globally. Even after a total nuclear war, things would grow back after a while, and humanity might actually survive – even without smartphones!

    My reply is always “Oh, you think we can make it stay the same all the time? Okay.”

    Another good one is, “Okay, what should the average temperature be?”

    • #14
  15. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    I read the Shellenberger book maybe a year ago.  I’m out of my house because of the fire, so I can’t readily reference it.  I remember clearly that I didn’t agree with everything he said, but he certainly was on the right track, and was well – documented, which we are not accustomed to seeing, among those who cry, “follow the science!” Um, exactly what science?  

    And I can’t cite the source, but I learned these figures long ago.  I have them posted above my desk – at home: The pre-industrial revolution atmospheric carbon dioxide was approximately 0.029%.  The current atmospheric carbon dioxide is approximately 0.039%.  This change, is insignificant as it relates to climate.  

    I think Shellenberger does make reference to this:  The chief atmospheric gas that affects insolation, the chief driver of earth climate, is water vapor.  It is responsible for approximately 90% of what would amount to the “greenhouse effect.”  CO2 is estimated to contribute approximately 10% to that effect.  Since the main player is water vapor, and increased water vapor produces increased cloud cover, and clouds are very effective solar reflectors, the entire system is amazingly well – buffered.

    I think Shellenberger also addresses the concept of the “greenhouse effect.”  The phenomenon is that of a closed system, where energy, once introduced, is trapped, and doesn’t leave.  The Earth is no such body.  The majority of sun energy that hits the Earth is reflected and radiated right back into space.  

    All this is from memory, so feel free to correct me.  None of this stuff, though, is new. We studied it a lot when I was in college, oh, half a century ago.  It was part of my science major.  Funny (in a not laughing sort of way) – at the time the environmentalists were screaming about the coming ice age.  I did notice that nearly all those screaming loudest were psych majors.

    • #15
  16. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    I really think there are a lot of people, stuck in their humdrum, boring lives, who are susceptible to latching onto most any “crisis” that comes along as a means, consciously or unconsciously, to escape to something more meaningful and exciting. Dealing with a major earth-shaking crisis, for example.

    • #16
  17. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    I just can’t wait for Gates to finish salting the atmosphere with aluminium powder (or alternatively, calcium carbonate) to block the sun.  Who needs all that photosynthesis and conversion of CO2 to O2?

    • #17
  18. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Chris O (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    What was the first mass extinction? And if you don’t mind, what caused it, and where are we on the comparable extinction timeline today?

    The first one was 440 million years ago, apparently. Most of the mass extinction causes, first of all, are only speculated upon. Where most of that speculation leads is a catastrophic event that triggers changes in climate. Asteroid strikes are a culprit and, indeed, evidence for the most recent mass extinction 65 million years ago is fairly recent (aka the rock that killed the dinosaurs). There is also strong evidence of an asteroid impact causing a lesser extinction (megafauna, mastadons, other large mammals) in North America during the Younger Dryas period of the Ice Age, around 12,000 years ago.

    I thought the 65 million-year-ago extinction took 2 million years, or so.  Lately it looks like the carbon dating has been revised to at the most a few thousand years.  How could scientists have gotten it so wrong?

    • #18
  19. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I just can’t wait for Gates to finish salting the atmosphere with aluminium powder (or alternatively, calcium carbonate) to block the sun. Who needs all that photosynthesis and conversion of CO2 to O2?

     

    • #19
  20. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    I got into the Climate controversy sideways.  I am an Engineer and was trying to learn the computer language ‘R’.  I came across the site https://climateaudit.org  Its author, Steve McIntyre was basically doing an audit on the various climate models.  The good news for me was that he published his algorithms (in ‘R’) and data, so it was a good platform for me to learn.

    In his work, he kept bumping against climate ‘scientists’ who wouldn’t share either data or algorithms so he could verify them.  At least one of them replied to his request with : “Why would I do that?  You will just try to find something wrong with it!”  So much for Science.

    He eventually showed that the “hockey Stick” of Michael Mann was due to statistical mistakes in addition to other mistakes and cherry picking of data.

    From climateaudit, I found out about https://wattsupwiththat.com/ which is a continuing collection of climate stories and a skeptical view of the data with a solid belief that real data trumps a model any day.  In many cases, the catastrophic prediction is based on a model based on model data.  It is often debunked by actual data.

    One of the tabs on this site shows the ‘ClimateGate’ emails.  One thing that is clear is that the ‘in-crowd’ of climate experts works together to ensure that only friendly peer review is done.

    One thing that Watt did was to help organize a survey of all of the surface stations used for temperature measurements in the US.  In many cases, the temperatures are increasing due to encroachment of urban development – such as an airport growing from a grass field to a paved runway. 

    In addition to the difficulty in trusting the measured data, the government agencies have made a habit of periodically ‘adjusting’ the data without either an explanation or archiving of the original data.  I may have shown this plot before, but below is an important “Hockey Stick” to keep in mind.  This shows the adjustments made to the recorded surface temperature data since the 1920’s or so

    It is all an example of Eisenhower’s accuracy in his “Military Industrial Complex” speech”

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.

    • #20
  21. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    A good source on climate is Dr Judith Curry…formerly a professor at Georgia Tech, felt she had to leave academia because the political ‘climate’ made good research almost impossible. Her very active blog is here:

    https://judithcurry.com

     

    • #21
  22. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    I got into the Climate controversy sideways. I am an Engineer and was trying to learn the computer language ‘R’. I came across the site https://climateaudit.org Its author, Steve McIntyre was basically doing an audit on the various climate models. The good news for me was that he published his algorithms (in ‘R’) and data, so it was a good platform for me to learn.

    In his work, he kept bumping against climate ‘scientists’ who wouldn’t share either data or algorithms so he could verify them. At least one of them replied to his request with : “Why would I do that? You will just try to find something wrong with it!” So much for Science.

    He eventually showed that the “hockey Stick” of Michael Mann was due to statistical mistakes in addition to other mistakes and cherry picking of data.

    From climateaudit, I found out about https://wattsupwiththat.com/ which is a continuing collection of climate stories and a skeptical view of the data with a solid belief that real data trumps a model any day. In many cases, the catastrophic prediction is based on a model based on model data. It is often debunked by actual data.

    One of the tabs on this site shows the ‘ClimateGate’ emails. One thing that is clear is that the ‘in-crowd’ of climate experts works together to ensure that only friendly peer review is done.

    One thing that Watt did was to help organize a survey of all of the surface stations used for temperature measurements in the US. In many cases, the temperatures are increasing due to encroachment of urban development – such as an airport growing from a grass field to a paved runway.

    In addition to the difficulty in trusting the measured data, the government agencies have made a habit of periodically ‘adjusting’ the data without either an explanation or archiving of the original data. I may have shown this plot before, but below is an important “Hockey Stick” to keep in mind. This shows the adjustments made to the recorded surface temperature data since the 1920’s or so

    It is all an example of Eisenhower’s accuracy in his “Military Industrial Complex” speech”

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.

    Doesn’t this graph show that the earth was actually cooling until 1970?  Doesn’t this sort of undercut the idea that there is one table temp for the earth?

    • #22
  23. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I thought the 65 million-year-ago extinction took 2 million years, or so.  Lately it looks like the carbon dating has been revised to at the most a few thousand years.  How could scientists have gotten it so wrong?

    Nit-picking, perhaps, but I often hear such numbers.  Carbon dating is only valid going back 40K years, or recent research may have pushed it back to 50K years.  Earlier than that, it has to be done with potassium – argon dating, or I understand a new, argon-argon method.  

    A small book worth reading on the subject of climate change, particularly re: the effect of CO2, is, Raymond, California Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide Unjustly Villified.  https://www.amazon.com/California-Climate-Change-Unjustly-Vilified-ebook/dp/B0838QJN5P#customerReviews

    Raymond presents his data, and provides a detailed account of how he obtained and verified it.  

    • #23
  24. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Chris O (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    What was the first mass extinction? And if you don’t mind, what caused it, and where are we on the comparable extinction timeline today?

    The first one was 440 million years ago, apparently. Most of the mass extinction causes, first of all, are only speculated upon. Where most of that speculation leads is a catastrophic event that triggers changes in climate. Asteroid strikes are a culprit and, indeed, evidence for the most recent mass extinction 65 million years ago is fairly recent (aka the rock that killed the dinosaurs). There is also strong evidence of an asteroid impact causing a lesser extinction (megafauna, mastadons, other large mammals) in North America during the Younger Dryas period of the Ice Age, around 12,000 years ago.

     

    There is a whole book called “The Sixth Extinction”. I read it, while climate change gets a lot of the blame, the main reason that the book indicates is that humans have increased the transmission rates of invasive species and animal diseases around the globe.

    • #24
  25. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    I got into the Climate controversy sideways. I am an Engineer and was trying to learn the computer language ‘R’. I came across the site https://climateaudit.org Its author, Steve McIntyre was basically doing an audit on the various climate models. The good news for me was that he published his algorithms (in ‘R’) and data, so it was a good platform for me to learn.

    In his work, he kept bumping against climate ‘scientists’ who wouldn’t share either data or algorithms so he could verify them. At least one of them replied to his request with : “Why would I do that? You will just try to find something wrong with it!” So much for Science.

    He eventually showed that the “hockey Stick” of Michael Mann was due to statistical mistakes in addition to other mistakes and cherry picking of data.

    From climateaudit, I found out about https://wattsupwiththat.com/ which is a continuing collection of climate stories and a skeptical view of the data with a solid belief that real data trumps a model any day. In many cases, the catastrophic prediction is based on a model based on model data. It is often debunked by actual data.

    One of the tabs on this site shows the ‘ClimateGate’ emails. One thing that is clear is that the ‘in-crowd’ of climate experts works together to ensure that only friendly peer review is done.

    One thing that Watt did was to help organize a survey of all of the surface stations used for temperature measurements in the US. In many cases, the temperatures are increasing due to encroachment of urban development – such as an airport growing from a grass field to a paved runway.

    In addition to the difficulty in trusting the measured data, the government agencies have made a habit of periodically ‘adjusting’ the data without either an explanation or archiving of the original data. I may have shown this plot before, but below is an important “Hockey Stick” to keep in mind. This shows the adjustments made to the recorded surface temperature data since the 1920’s or so

    It is all an example of Eisenhower’s accuracy in his “Military Industrial Complex” speech”

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.

    No one ever talks about Eisenhower’s warning about the “scientific technological elite.” This serves the purposes of the Left, since they’d much rather go after the military and make it less effective (see woke generals) and just use the “science” to promote socialism. 

    WUWT is a fantastic site and Michael Crichton was good on the corruption of science, too.

    • #25
  26. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Flicker (View Comment):

    In his work, he kept bumping against climate ‘scientists’ who wouldn’t share either data or algorithms so he could verify them. At least one of them replied to his request with : “Why would I do that? You will just try to find something wrong with it!” So much for Science.

    No model…of any kind…should be taken seriously unless there is public release of:

    –the source code, with documentation
    –a high-level description, in readable English (or other appropriate human language) of the model’s assumptions and algorithms
    –the data, together with any assumptions and code used to ‘process’ it

     

     

    • #26
  27. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I thought the 65 million-year-ago extinction took 2 million years, or so. Lately it looks like the carbon dating has been revised to at the most a few thousand years. How could scientists have gotten it so wrong?

    Nit-picking, perhaps, but I often hear such numbers. Carbon dating is only valid going back 40K years, or recent research may have pushed it back to 50K years. Earlier than that, it has to be done with potassium – argon dating, or I understand a new, argon-argon method.

    A small book worth reading on the subject of climate change, particularly re: the effect of CO2, is, Raymond, California Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide Unjustly Villified. https://www.amazon.com/California-Climate-Change-Unjustly-Vilified-ebook/dp/B0838QJN5P#customerReviews

    Raymond presents his data, and provides a detailed account of how he obtained and verified it.

    Yes, I should have said radiometric dating.

    • #27
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    In his work, he kept bumping against climate ‘scientists’ who wouldn’t share either data or algorithms so he could verify them. At least one of them replied to his request with : “Why would I do that? You will just try to find something wrong with it!” So much for Science.

    No model…of any kind…should be taken seriously unless there is public release of:

    –the source code, with documentation
    –a high-level description, in readable English (or other appropriate human language) of the model’s assumptions and algorithms
    –the data, together with any assumptions and code used to ‘process’ it

    I know this happens a lot, but JFTR (just for the record) I did not say this.

    • #28
  29. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

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    Willow

    Yeah, the quote was actually from Willow Spring….looks like the the selected-quote part of the Reply feature picks up the identify of the top-level person in the quote chain.

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  30. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

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    Chris O (View Comment):

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    What was the first mass extinction? And if you don’t mind, what caused it, and where are we on the comparable extinction timeline today?

    The first one was 440 million years ago, apparently. Most of the mass extinction causes, first of all, are only speculated upon. Where most of that speculation leads is a catastrophic event that triggers changes in climate. Asteroid strikes are a culprit and, indeed, evidence for the most recent mass extinction 65 million years ago is fairly recent (aka the rock that killed the dinosaurs). There is also strong evidence of an asteroid impact causing a lesser extinction (megafauna, mastadons, other large mammals) in North America during the Younger Dryas period of the Ice Age, around 12,000 years ago.

    I thought the 65 million-year-ago extinction took 2 million years, or so. Lately it looks like the carbon dating has been revised to at the most a few thousand years. How could scientists have gotten it so wrong?

    I’m not sure, but my understanding with geology is that they compare processes as they happen today and apply them to explain phenomena in the past. This probably causes some bad assumptions and certainly caused them to resist the idea of an asteroid causing the last mass extinction until the crater was found.

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