Healthy Debate vs Paranoid Denialism

On the ABC tonight, Joanne Nova and her husband David Evans appeared on a program, I Can Change Your Mind About Climate, to put forward their argument, that supposedly the planet has not warmed, despite multiple lines of evidence that show it is.

We glimpsed a little of what drives Nova’s political blog, paranoia of all things government-like. Afraid that the ABC would edit and twist her words, Joanne hired her own cameraman to record the interview. Hmmm. Oh well, let’s skip that for now and discuss their “arguments”.

Luckily it won’t take long because we’ve been over them previously.

Urban Heat Island Effect

Nova throws down some photos of some poorly located weather stations and declares that the entire planet’s temperature record is wrong, because of a few examples.

Unfortunately for her, this argument has been done to death, and in the very same program an ex-“skeptic” scientist spoke about the Berkley Earth Surface Temperature study they performed. After a massive amount of reanalysis they found that despite a few poorly sited weather stations, the temperature record, as already reported, was accurate.

Argo Data

As discussed before (cherry picker ahoy), Nova chooses to only use a few years worth of data, not the full amount and she ignores ALL Argo data below 700m because, in her words, “This creates a sudden uptick at the end of the graph”.

Getting rid of data from your chart because you simply don’t like the end result is not good scientific practice.

Paranoid Denialism vs Real Debate

We should be spending our time debating how best to tackle global warming on a global scale. How to transition from polluting sources of energy to cleaner sources; ones that don’t cause long term damage.

Instead Nova jumps at the shadow of ABC debate and thinks it’s completely reasonable to continue repeating old myths.


14 Responses to “Healthy Debate vs Paranoid Denialism”

  1. Neil Harris Says:

    It was good to have Jo and Dave on the show. In a few minutes they did more damage to Minchin’s denialist position than the rest of the program combined.

  2. Georgia L Says:

    I watched the program too. Nova and Evans looked like they really believed the stuff they were saying, even though the evidence, a really large amount of evidence, says they are incorrect. The planet is warming – get over it Nova and move on a more productive discussion. What I worry about is that some people really take them seriously – her forums are a haven for those wishing climate change away rather than dealing with reality.

  3. Chris W Says:

    Have to agree with Neil Harris … they did more damage to their own cause than mainstream climate science. Codling came across as a complete dope and Evans arrogantly clueless. They even spouted the same old denier-drivel that gets so easily debunked year after year. Utterly pathetic but disappointingly predictable.

    Minchin accepts what they say without question of course … critical thought would seem to be an alien proposition to him.

  4. Scarface Says:

    Having fun in the echo chamber?

    Skeptics are winning the case. Just start listening to their arguments.

  5. Chris W Says:

    Sure Scarface,

    I’ll listen. But … which of the skeptic arguments should I be listening to? There are so many contradictatory skeptic opinions out there I wouldn’t know where to start. Things like:

    It’s not warming.
    It’s cooling.
    It’s the sun.
    It’s cosmic rays and clouds.
    Sea levels aren’t rising.
    Sea levels are rising but not as much as expected.
    If sea levels are rising it’s because the land is subsiding.
    Global warming ended in 1998.
    It’s a socialist plot to deindustrialise the Western world.
    Global warming ended in 2006.
    CO2 cannot drive temperature rises.
    All the CO2 comes from volcanoes not human acticity.

    etc … etc … just too confusing for a simple old sod like me.

    Tell you what, I’ll give the skeptics the benefit of the doubt and have a good look at their argument and try to assess how they stack up against what mainstream climate science says. You know, be a *real* skeptic and let my opinion be guided by the evidence rather than some echo chamber. You aren’t caught in an echo chamber of your own are you Scarface?

    So, how about you point me to the argument that has convinced you they’re winning the case – or are even worth listening to.

    BTW How do we know when they’ve won whatever you allege they’re winning. And what is that anyway. Will the planet stop warming, or something.

  6. Scarface Says:

    Ok Chris, I’l give it a try:

    The main reason I stopped trusting the AGW-science is when I found out that CO2 makes up only 0,039% of our atmosphere.
    Then I started to look myself on the internet for information and views on global warming. When I found out that CO2 follows temperature, I was no longer buying the regular AGW-meme.

    When Climategate 1 broke, it made clear that the scientists involved in promoting the AGW-story where, to say the least, not open en not cooperative. They have decided that their view is correct and will defend it in every possible way and will silence everyone who disagrees.

    Skeptics are united in their believe that the regular IPCC/AGW climate science is corrupt. However, they differ in the things they believe are causing chanches. But the main point of skeptics is: The Debat Is Not Over.

    Since I found out that man only produces 5% of the annual CO2 every little believe in AGW vanished forever.

    I think that the climate is ruled by cosmic rays, the sun, the oceans, the clouds and watervapor.

    Cosmic rays and the sun: See Svensmark.
    Clouds and watervapor: H2O is the main greenhouse gas
    The oceans: water warms the atmosphere, not the other way around.

    I truly believe that CO2 is a trace gas that has only possitive effects, as long as it stays under 5000 ppm. (We will never reach that.) Then it starts to interfere with human respiratoty.

    More CO2 fronm levels we currently have (390 ppm) is benificial to life on earth. Plants grow better and need less water to do so.

    I truly believe that the attemt to get global governance on climate is a power grab of unseen proportions. People have always been able to addept to chanches.

    And finally, since the sun seems to get in a rather silent stage, I think we will get cooling, since less magnetic field from the sun, means more cosmic rays entering our atmosphere and creating more clouds, with leads to less sunshine on our planet, which causes is to get cooler. That’s all I need to know.

  7. Marco Says:

    Scarface, thank you for showing that you are seriously misinformed and apparently incapable of seeing how flawed your reasoning is.

    Let’s start with your “CO2 is just 0.039% of the atmosphere”. Why indeed it is! So? Apparently you argue that such small amounts cannot do anything. And yet plain physics shows that it does. You can even measure using satellites that this ‘tiny’ amount of CO2 means that an enormous amount of energy is absorbed by this ‘tiny amount’.
    But if you want to follow this “too little to matter” analogy, I recommend you eat 80 mg of selenium. As you are probably a mature man, I guess you are about 80 kg. That makes this amount of added selenium a mere 0.0001% of your body weight. Guess what: that amount of selenium may kill you. Yes, 0.0001% of selenium of your body weight, and you may die.
    See also this graph to see how problematic small amounts of selenium are (and that it is an essential element also!)

    Then there’s the “CO2 follows temperature” meme. Slight problem is that this not only was predicted, you also cannot explain the cointegration of temperature and CO2 without invoking the physical nature of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. That is, temperatures should not go up for such a long period of time if CO2 had no or little effect on temperature.

    The “man only produces 5% of all CO2” shows more of the argument from incredulity, although it is more of an argument of ignorance. Let me use a simple example of a simple small pond: suppose that due to evaporation, uptake by soil/plants, and animals drinking it loses about 1000 liter of water a day. Rain and runoff adds about 1000 liter of water a day. What happens? The level remains the same. Now a local inhabitant decides he will live next to the lake and uses the lake as his sewer. He’s a sensible guy and only puts about 50 liters of water a day into his ‘sewer’. What will happen to the level of the pond, Scarface? Of course, I know you just did not take into account the proper analogues of “evaporation, uptake and drinking” into your views of how that 5% of extra CO2 from anthropogenic sources matters for the increase in CO2. Which begs the question of whether you were just poorly informed or just too ignorant of thinking about the difference between gross and net emissions. Which is it?

    Because of the ignorance already shown in these first examples, there’s no reason to discuss further, unless you show an ability to learn. So, let’s take on these three issues first, upon which we can go on to the next.

    Are you game?

  8. Neil Harris Says:

    Good on you Scarface. Almost a perfect Gish Gallop. Take a look at Skeptical Science to find out why each of your contrarian memes is wrong. Then start looking on the web for genuine climate science. You could do worse than starting with the NASA website, even jump in the deep end and read the IPCC.reports.
    If your response to this is that NASA and the IPCC are just a part of an elaborate hoax, then you have crossed the line into being a climate science denier. Just like Jo Nova and David Evans, who just deny the results of the BEST analysis and still insist that the UHI proves global warming is not happening.
    More likely, you will continue to believe that your side is winning. Politically I guess this may be so and we will end up doing nothing about the problem.. It will prove a rather hollow victory.

  9. Chris W Says:

    “That’s all I need to know” pretty much says to me you’re happy to know jack about anthropogenic global warming Scarface.

    I don’t doubt you have some strongly held beliefs and opinions but they’re no substitute for actually looking at the scientific evidence in an objective way – and speaking purely for myself here, this failure to look at the whole picture rather than just cherry pick something that suits a world view is the thing that just sh!ts me to tears about the so called “skeptics”.

    When the fools, liars, and irredeemable dickheads you seem more than happy to listen to assert that “CO2 follows temperature” you think that’s all you need to know. If you fancy yourself as a skeptic shouldn’t the thought occur to you to ask “well if CO2 follows temperature what are these other people going on about CO2 being a driver of temperature?” … then go look for an answer? It would take you probably 5 seconds on a site like Skeptical Science to find a link like which points to the primary research done by a professional climate scientist.

    But lets put that aside for a second and read what Marco writes above … doesn’t his response say something to you about how superficial, shallow, dumb, and incomplete that bald assertion about CO2 actually is? There is *always* more to the story and *always* more nuance to the scientific evidence than amateurs like Codling and Evans, for example, would have you believe. They talk a good fight but are at best just ranters on some blog somwhere.

    You’re being suckered by loons Scarface … don’t believe them for a nano-second.

  10. Scarface Says:

    Hi Chris,

    The reference to poison is debunked easily. Since H2O is the main greenhouse gas, adding a little CO2 is like adding a little poison to an already lethal drink. So, that wont change my mind.

    Since CO2 is a life GIVER I would like it to be higher, not lower.
    Below 200ppm plants die. Up to 5000ppm man has no problem with it. CO2 is plantfood, not poison or pollution.

    Hi Neal,
    You say: “More likely, you will continue to believe that your side is winning. Politically I guess this may be so and we will end up doing nothing about the problem.. It will prove a rather hollow victory.”

    It’s not a victory of people over other people. It’s a victory of science.
    AGW needs models with baked in dramatic results. Science needs observations, which show up to now no such dramatic outcomes.

    The problem is that AGW-scientists can’t accept that one experiment can prove them wrong. Every time the theory gets twisted to cover the things that should not happen. Like snow: thing of the past, now consistent with warming. Like drought: Australia was going to be dry, but it turns out it is getting more rain than it can handle and now that is also consistent with warming.

    Every weather event is proof of AGW nowadays. While weather is shown to be just as nasty as it was 50 to 100 years ago. There is no proof of a manmade component in weather, let alone in climate.

    So, Chris and Neal,

    I think we will not come to an agreement.
    But instead of name-calling, I say friendly: have a nice day and live long and prosper 🙂


  11. john byatt Says:

    Scarface “Since CO2 is a life GIVER I would like it to be higher, not lower.
    Below 200ppm plants die. Up to 5000ppm man has no problem with it. CO2 is plantfood, not poison or pollution.”

    so what then has devastated the oyster seed production in the US northwest pacific,

    well scarface it just happens to be due to the drop in ocean pH caused by CO2, that is known as pollution,

  12. john byatt Says:

    Recently Peter Sinclair had a video up talking about a connection between sea ice and jet stream patterns. In essence, polar amplification effects caused by climate change is reducing Arctic ice cover, which in turn causes a weakening of the jet stream, leading to a meandering jet stream, that in turn is more susceptible to stalling into a blocking pattern.

    Hoerling states the blocking event in Russia (heatwave) was the longest summer block in the records for that region. Since then, it seems we have had several severe blocking events in Europe, a blocking event last summer in the US, and the March blocking event this year.. So in only 4+ years since the 2007 ice pack melt, we have had at least five severe, regional blocking events in the NH.

    so scarface it appears that you just need to do a bit more research

  13. Chris W Says:

    Huh … poison? I didn’t mention it mate. That was Marco talking about selenium. Bit of a comprehension fail there bucko.

    Now is it just me or are you wanting to avoid discussion of that “CO2 follows temperature” blunder of yours. Here I was thinking you were going to show us how the so-called skeptics were winning something or other but all I see is you wandering off somewhere so you don’t have to face up to the glaring lack of substance in one of your key beliefs about the falsity of AGW.

    Let me give you a tip Scarface. What you’re showing here is almost textbook denier behaviour. When faced with the facts deniers avoid discussing the issue, or they shift the goal-posts, or they pretend they didn’t ever say something in the first place, and then like the arrogant bunch of numpties they are they never admit they were wrong. Dishonest, delusional, and pretty pathetic don’t you think.

    Give my regards to good old Codling/Nova when you’re next in her echo chamber.

    Live long and prosper indeed Scarface … but best not try it with your eyes and your mind firmly shut.

  14. Marco Says:

    Ah, Scarface tries the moving goalposts. Sadly, and unexpectedly, he fails, since he is not at a blog where anything not-the-IPCC is cheered, regardless of whether it is right or wrong.

    And thus he runs away. Brave Sir Robin!

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