"There's really only about 25 of us doing this," Steve Milloy says, shortly after sitting down at Morton's, a Washington, D.C., steakhouse favored by lawyers and lobbyists. "A core group of skeptics. It's a ragtag bunch, very Continental Army." Milloy, a Fox News commentator and former tobacco-industry advocate, runs a website called JunkScience.com that is an outlet for attacks on those he calls "global-warming alarmists." Many of those who question mainstream climate science resent being called deniers; they say it unfairly equates them with Holocaust deniers. They prefer doubters, skeptics or realists. "Me, I just stick with denier," Milloy says. "I'm happy to be a denier."
Milloy is dressed in a striped pink button-down shirt and khaki pants, classic Potomac prep. He moved into climate denial in the 1990s as funding from the tobacco lobby began to dry up. At the time, conservative and libertarian think tanks were just starting to take aim at climate science. Milloy, who has received funding from entities controlled by oil billionaires Charles and David Koch, helps them get their message to the masses.
Milloy and other aggressive deniers practice a form of asymmetric warfare that is decentralized and largely immune to reasoned response. They launch what Aaron Huertas, a press secretary at the Union of Concerned Scientists, calls "information missiles," anti-climate-change memes that get passed around on listservs, amplified in the blogosphere, and picked up by radio talk-show hosts or politicians. "Even if they don't have much money, they are operating in a structure that allows them to punch above their weight," Huertas says.
Scientists who speak up quickly become targets. Both Milloy and his counterpart Marc Morano, who runs the site ClimateDepot.com and once declared that climate scientists "deserve to be publicly flogged," occasionally publish the e-mail addresses of climate researchers, a stunt that can result in scientists receiving a flood of vitriolic messages. A few weeks before our meeting, Milloy had offered a $500 bounty for a video of anyone who would heckle Mann with "an alarmism-debunking" question during the California leg of his book tour. The hecklers never materialized but, as with the white powder in Mann's letter (which the FBI determined to be cornstarch), the threat made an impact.
Mann calls Milloy "a valueless, all-purpose denier for notorious industries who need a hired gun." But Milloy, like others in the movement, says that he's fighting an existential war with forces that would, without his intervention, steal the American way of life. "This whole green thing, the whole environmental scare industry, is really just an ingenious plan to exert government control over everything we do," Milloy says. "I have yet to see an environmental scare that is remotely true when it comes to human health. Secondhand smoke, air quality, ozone depletion, pesticides, superfund sites—you name it."
The evidence to support the theory of anthropogenic, or human-caused, climate change has been mounting since the mid-1950s, when atmospheric models predicted that growing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere would add to the natural "greenhouse effect" and lead to warming. The data was crude at first, and opinions vacillated (skeptics like to recall a 1974 Time cover story that predicted an impending ice age). But by the mid-1990s, thousands of lines of independent inquiry supported the conclusion summarized in the 1995 IPCC report: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate."
Since then, the case for anthropogenic climate change has only strengthened; 98 percent of actively publishing climate scientists now say that it is undeniable. But several finer points remain unsettled. For instance, researchers still don't completely understand the role of aerosols in the atmosphere, the variable effects of clouds at different heights, and the influence of feedback mechanisms such as the changing reflectivity of the Earth's surface and the release of gases from permafrost or deep seabeds. Climate-change skeptics have been keen to capitalize on those gaps in knowledge. "They play up smaller debates," says Francesca Grifo at the Union of Concerned Scientists, "and divert the dialogue by attacking particular aspects. They represent climate science as a house of cards, where you pull out one and it all falls apart."
In 1998, following the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, the American Petroleum Institute convened a task force to spend more than $5.9 million to discredit climate science and quash growing public support of curbing emissions. The group borrowed many of the methods and people, including Milloy, that had been used to mislead Congress and the public about the connection between smoking and cancer and heart disease. In a leaked memo titled the "Global Climate Science Communications Plan," the task force laid out a strategy to "build a case against precipitous action on climate change based on the scientific uncertainty." The memo details a plan to recruit, train and pay willing scientists to sow doubt about climate science among the media and the public. "Victory will be achieved," the memo states, when "recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the 'conventional wisdom' " and when "those promoting the Kyoto treaty on the basis of the extant science appear to be out of touch with reality."
In March 2001, George W. Bush's administration declared that climate science was "too uncertain" to justify action (such as ratifying the Kyoto treaty) that might put the brakes on economic growth. That refrain would be echoed again and again, weakening or derailing successive international agreements and domestic policy. How had a small band of non-scientists managed to so quickly and thoroughly pursuade the nation's leaders to reject an ever more coherent and definitive body of scientific evidence?
It's fairly certain there are extremists on both sides of the issue who are willing to resort to violence (state sanctioned or otherwise). This neither proves nor disproves anything.
Which brings us full circle. The price is your money and your freedom, with no guarantees. Totalitarianism, here we come.
There's certainly proof of extremists who threaten violence on the denial side of the debate (which this article describes in detail) but I haven't seen extremism among those who agree with the scientific consensus. From what I can see, the people who want to respond to the problem consistently promote non-violence. The extremism appears to be quite one-sided.
Just exactly what do you think "laying down the law" means?
You are not going to eliminate mankind's carbon footprint, short of dominating mankind and crushing anyone who gets in your way. What will you do with those (individuals, companies, nations) who refuse to comply? At what point will you bring out the guns?
First, let me say that the people that are making personal threats of violence are despicable human beings.
However, even a cursory reading of this article shows that it is incredibly biased.
Stop trying to pretend that members of the scientific community are apolitical and driven solely by the love of discovery. Research is funded and pursued by people with big pockets and even bigger agendas.
When scientists are disingenuous with their biases and motivations, it unfortunately hurts people's perceptions of the reliability of scientific knowledge as a whole.
Want to help the public's perception of Science? Don't make the standard of true science any belief to which you agree, and be honest about your biases. Be willing to engage others in the world of ideas.
It is no wonder that the public distrust you when you point to abnormally warm weather as intuitive evidence for your beliefs, but then ignore abnormally cold weather, or worse, claim that it supports your position as well. You can't have it both ways. Then, when people begin to ask questions, you resort to name-calling and adopt a condescending tone the laments that the poor unintelligent rabble simply can't see what is obvious to all the educated people.
I guess there is a reason ''ignore'' begins the word ignorant -- as many of these posts have proven. They simply ignore science that conflicts with their ''beliefs''. Beliefs have no place in science. Science is based upon questioning belief until it can be sufficiently proven. So now I find that I am repeating myself.
Frankly, most of the skeptics/naysayers either have a vested interest due to their financiers; or worse, are in denial about climate change and are unable to educate/unwilling to educate themselves out of their own ignorance. The most despicable thing is that they seem to fling this ''scientists have a vested interest'' and ''green is a way to totalitarianism''. Totalitarianism is already here, that's why you pay interest on the issuance of your own currency. This coupled with the paid shills on most mainstream science/news sites, the TPP trade agreement, and the sheer power of century old oil interests do not bode well for our planet.
The fact is, phytoplankton populations have decreased 40% since 1950. There is only one reason one of the most prevalent and well adapted staples of the food chain is rapidly declining -- they cannot adapt to the temperature changes that are occurring so rapidly. Outside of major extinction events (Permian/Cretaceous/etc) phytoplankton have successfully withstood catastrophic environmental changes -- including all the Ice Ages and former Warming Periods. Why does this concern us?
They provide 50% of Earth's oxygen, and if temperatures continue to increase (which more than 90% of marine biologists believe will occur if nothing changes soon), we will lose a vital organ of Earth's current ecosystem.
Speak to anyone with a degree in marine biology about the state of phytoplankton -- there is an overwhelming consensus that global warming is causing the mass die-offs. One of my closest friends has a doctorate in marine biology (specifically microorganisms) and he regularly loses sleep thinking about the near future.
Ask all the questions you'd like -- but being so closely linked to marine biologists I've seen first hand the effects of a climate warming far too fast. So where is 100 years of exhaust/CO2 going then if not remaining as a greenhouse gas? Oh yea, space is a vacuum and sucks it all away derp derp
In any case, my original point that Briffa's raw data has been lost and his reconstructions can no longer be reproduced is valid. There is pre-processed data, just not original.
The raw data that Briffa collected can be downloaded for free from the ITRDB data repository (Google is your friend).
As for other raw data (i.e. data collected by his Russian collaborators), well, if you want that data, you will have to contact the Russians! It's their data, not Briffa's -- so if you want it, contact them.
Briffa has also been attacked by McIntyre for not releasing the original ring-width measurement records from which the various chronologies discussed in Briffa (2000) and Briffa et al. (2008) were made. We would like to reiterate that these data were never "owned" by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and we have never had the right to distribute them. These data were acquired in the context of collaborative research with colleagues who developed them. Requests for these data have been redirected towards the appropriate institutions and individuals. When the Briffa (2000) paper was published, release of these data was specifically embargoed by our colleagues who were still working towards further publications using them. Following publication of the 2008 paper, at the request of the Royal Society, Briffa approached colleagues in Sweden, Ekaterinburg and Krasnoyarsk and their permission was given to release the data. This was done in 2008 and 2009. Incidentally, we understand that Rashit Hantemirov sent McIntyre the Yamal data used in the papers cited above at his request as early as 2nd February, 2004.
The Climatic Research Unit has never been a prolific producer of tree-ring records, focussing mainly on the collaborative analysis of data generously provided by other institutions. We will continue to respect restrictions placed upon the dissemination of data by those colleagues who provide them. All of the data produced at CRU (sampled from living oaks or pines at various sites around the UK and Scandinavia) have been provided on request. (All of the data used or produced in the analysis described here are provided on the Data page.)
Any claims that Briffa somehow "lost" the raw data needed to confirm his work are just plain dishonest (par for the course for global-warming "skeptics").
I glossed over your comments in pursuit of two other bloggers up thread and didn't acknowledge your points as I should have. I apologize.
Last things first:
Your description of two types of climate models does not address what I hoped to make clear: all models are wrong. Models can and have be used to assess assumptions about input parameters. Realizations, projections, whatever are outputs that might have some semblance of reality; however, the lack of verification and validation of these models precludes making statements about certainty of the output. If equilibrium climate sensitivity is altered in the models from 3 C per doubling of CO2 to 1 C, there may be warming, just not anything to write home about. If ECS is in a minus category, i.e., CO2 forcing is a trivial matter compared to let's say ocean currents, atmospheric pressures, polar vortices etc, as may have happened for the Younger Dryas, then we really do not know earth's thermostat and why earth's temperature range has been between 10 and 25 C for a very long time.
So my take on the climate models, they have no predictive validity as they are not verified nor validated. I am not disputing physics, I am disputing relevance. We simply, in my opinion, do not have a sufficient understanding what natural internal variability is, its extent, how it changes, etc for us to have any confidence in any predictive device.
Re: HadCRUT 4 I have said that I am suspicious of data that has been adjusted. I prefer transparency in all adjustment justifications. I prefer others, myself included, having a opportunity to work through the author's data set. There are smart people and methodical people who want to figure things out for themselves. Which brings us to the integrity of some climate scientists which at this junction has put everybody on razor's edge. Dialogue and engagement I hope will eventually win out and a better understanding of natural, internal influences of climate change will emerge. I believe we are far from discussing solutions to an as yet an uncertain issue.
Re: HadCRUT 4 I have said that I am suspicious of data that has been adjusted. I prefer transparency in all adjustment justifications. I prefer others, myself included, having a opportunity to work through the author's data set. There are smart people and methodical people who want to figure things out for themselves.
Well, I just happened to have crunched the HadCRUT4 data myself recently, with a C++ program that I wrote from scratch and ran on my laptop.
In addition to the HadCRUT4 data, I also processed the raw HadCRUT3 data, the raw GHCN V2 data, *and* the raw GHCN V3 data. Here's a plot of my results (with the official NASA/GHCN results included as a comparison): img834.imageshack.us/img834/1282/myghcnmycrunasaghcn.jpg
As you can see, the HadCRUT4 data produces results that are *very* similar to the three *raw* data-sets (HadCRUT3, GHCN2/3). The results match the official NASA results very closely. So it's pretty clear that the "adjustments" that you are so suspicious of basically cancel each other out when you compute global-average temperatures.
Now mind you, the algorithm that I coded up is quite straightforward -- it implements a "vanilla" temperature anomaly gridding/averaging procedure that involves no data adjustments or modifications of any kind. Just straightforward gridding/averaging of raw data.
All the data and documentation I needed to tackle this project are freely available on-line.
Now my question to you guys is -- why, in all the years you've been questioning the validitity of global temperature data, haven't you ever bothered to roll up your sleeves and try crunching that data yourselves? For a competent programmer, knocking together a crude program to get some initial results out is just a few days' worth of work.
If you ever *do* get serious about analyzing the temperature data, you will find out what I found out:
1) Rural and urban station data produces nearly identical results (i.e. the UHI effect is minimal).
2) Raw and adjusted/homogenized data produces very similar results (i.e. the adjustments pretty much cancel each other out).
3) You need to process data from only a few dozen stations scattered around the world to get results that look very similar to the results that NASA gets by processing *thousands* of stations.
IOW, you would find that the global-warming signal just "jumps right out at you" no matter how you process the data (providing that you do it right).
So RiHo08 -- here's what I don't understand about you guys. You seem to have endless amounts of time to complain about the temperature data and take pot-shots at the hard-working scientists who analyze it, but you never seem to have the time to crunch the data yourselves and produce your own global-average results.
The basic gridding/averaging algorithm isn't that difficult -- I could teach first-year programming students how to code it up.
The equilibrium climate sensitivity of ~ 3 C per doubling of CO2 is not an input to or a setting that’s specified for a GCM run. It is an emergent property of a model run determined ultimately by the rules of physics and nonlinearities that follow from those rules.
As I said, models of any type are not perfect but they are useful. They are a simplification of reality that allows us to understand the major factors affecting climate. If models of completely different types by independent modelers all produce similar results, then that tells us that at least the major factors are being modeled correctly. Minor factors will make a minor difference and don’t change the big picture. We know that CO2 and H2O are major warming factors. Clouds not so much. Changing insolation, ice coverage and cosmic rays almost not at all over the time frames under discussion here.
You are making perfection the enemy of good enough. Models are now dominant tools in all branches of hard science. If you reject models as evidence, you reject a good deal of science. This just increases our uncertainty about the future and means we need take even more precautions, like reducing CO2 emissions sooner and faster.
Thank you for your efforts to /Users/honicky/Desktop/6a010536b58035970c0167619adf70970b.png
"Totalitarianism is already here, that's why you pay interest on the issuance of your own currency. This coupled with the paid shills on most mainstream science/news sites, the TPP trade agreement, and the sheer power of century old oil interests do not bode well for our planet."
Pointing out that others are "bad guys" doesn't make you a "good guy". I am not partial to either brand of totalitarianism, yours or theirs.
I copied and pasted your graph and am pleased that you chose the time from 1880 to @ 2008. In the past, March 2010 on Bart Vehenggen's blog a statistician calling themselves VS went through that very temperature sequence (1880 to 2008) and identified that all points fall within a natural variance. As I view your graph, unless I am mistaken, then all point in your graph fall within natural variation as well.
I am having a little computer brain lapse and posted just up thread what I hope is a graph with temperature record superimposed upon the scenarios from IPCC WG1. As is evident at least via the graph, the projections for various CO2 scenarios from business as usual to cessation of further CO2 emissions. I realize the title is a bit flamboyant, nevertheless, the idea is that as global atmospheric CO2 rises, their projections so far are not anyway near what the real world temperatures are.
I believe if you superimposed your graph upon the graph I have provided, you would come up with the same picture. Meaning of course, that IPCC projections as they embody their Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity values, are way too high and the current GMT corresponds to a ECS of @ 1.
Try it and let me know what you find.
Greystone, to me "laying down the law" refers to legislating the elimination of carbon-based fuels. My motive in this is driven by a personal interest in keeping my children safe. I like the idea of a feebate that incentivizes markets to try new ideas and that benefits the public, but doesn't bloat energy companies or add layers of government. Kind of like what James Hansen recommends in a speech at the TED conference, "Why I must speak out about climate change." I've heard arguments about funding revenue to poor countries who are suffering the brunt of the problem but who didn't create the problem, and I'd go along with that. I strongly advocate for removing politicians like senator Inhofe and rep Joe Barton-- I believe they pose a threat to everything I hold dear.
Fossil carbon-based fuels to be more exact.
I concur that models can be useful particularly when questions are asked and a run then "sees what happens." What models don;t substitute for is observational data. Is the model true or false. Predictions are the hallmark of science in general and climate science in particular. When there are predictions, then we see if in the observational world, if the predictions come true. Models in no way are "data", they are virtual world runs. Models would have to be verified and validated something in the engineering world becomes paramount before committing resources to an endeavor.
We need to have models that have time frames which allow us to see observationally that the questioned asked has validity. Currently years, like 30+ years may be needed to determine if a particular question has an answer.
If there is a persistent plateau or decline in GMT for 17+ years, there is a likelihood that the model of rising CO2 causing rising temperatures is wrong. So 30 years is not magic, just that there needs to be some predictions and observations that concur and for us to make sense of the climate debate.
The failure to predict correctly has been why I am suspicious of models being tuned to hind cast and then claimed they hind cast very well and so they can predict some aspect of the future. Doesn't make sense to me.
RiHo08 - check out the video regarding global cooling at http://blogs.redding.com/dcraig/archives/2012/06/global-warming-11.html -- it has your answer regarding decline of GMT, and is quite humorous too.
There is a difference between being a productive member of society and a parasitic profiteer. They will get theirs eventually, as will we all unless something is done to curb the phytoplankton die-offs.
My point in posting here seems to be ignored for some reason. Hmm. So we are ignoring the most important and relevant piece of evidence of global warming. Even Scientific American and National Geographic printed sourced articles on the catastrophe that is occurring with phytoplankton -- and what their extinction would mean. 50% less oxygen, the death of the ocean, and a 50% decrease in the amount of CO2 able to be absorbed.
How old are you 15? Good guys and bad guys? Why would you insinuate that something of that nature even matters? I doubt Earth will care either way, it's been around long before us and will be around long after....albeit it might look like Arrakis in a few hundred years but it'll be here.
OK folks, I showed that the data adjustments don't change the results, and that it's easy to reproduce the NASA/CRU global-surface temperature results with raw data that hasn't been "adjusted".
And what happens? The subject gets changed -- now, it's claimed that the warming showed by the surface temperature record simply "falls within a natural variance".
But the results I showed are the same results that skeptics have long claimed contained a fake warming trend due to "data adjustments". But when I show how you get the same warming trend without any "data adjustments", the warming trend gets redefined as "within a natural variance".
To summarize: First, it's "the warming trend is due to data adjustments". Now it's "the warming is within a natural variance".
There's really no point in continuing this.
Anyway, I hope that some "on the fence" lurkers have taken a look at my global-temperature results and are now convinced that the global warming shown by the surface temperature record is the "real deal".
It was very hard to force myself to read the climate articles in this issue. Although I may fall somewhat on the disbelieving side I always try to keep an open mind. The name of this magazine is Popular SCIENCE! I still can't tell if any of this is real science or not.
When you have heros like Al Gore and Michael Moore I think you lose credibility. Convince me with SCIENCE not by saying "It's Settled global warming is real!" Convince me that is worth while for the U.S. to pay for global warming remediation (Kyoto Treaty?) while China and other countries pollute unhindered and pay next to nothing.
Now it's climate change and not so much global warming any more. I've watched the climate CHANGE for over 50 years. Prove to me scientifically that our climate is in danger... or not in danger for that matter.
It might be in danger.
As astrophysicist Dr. Abdussamatov, head of the Russian segment of the International Space Station, discusses, there is reason to suspect potentially onset of "the 19th Little Ice Age in the past 7500 years in 2055 [A.D.] ± 11 [years]":
Don't expect CO2 variation to stop that if it gets started.
In the Modern Warm Period, like prior ones in the Holocene, most temperature change has occurred is in the arctic, with lower latitudes having had much less. As the following nasa.gov graph shows (copy and paste link into a browser tab), temperatures were as high in the arctic in the 1930s as in the late 20th century:
Both temperature peaks are near peaks in the 60-year ocean cycle, although there are other influences too including what figure 7 of Makarov et al. highlights for trends in the aa index meanwhile.*
Regarding the arctic having the most temperature change, in the following for MSU satellite data by zone for 1979->2012, the tropics from 20N to 20S had not more than 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius at most of meaningful temperature rise (unlike how a 5-year average of arctic temperature went up by 0.7 degrees 1979->2000):
Sea level rise rates, in recovery from the last LIA, declined in the second half of 20th century compared to the first half or to rise in the late 19th century:
"The first half of the century (1904-1953) had a slightly higher rate (1.91 ± 0.14 mm/yr) in comparison with the second half of the century (1.42±0.14 mm/yr 1954-2003)."
Jevrejeva et al. 2006 noted "it is apparent that rates in the 1920-1945 period are likely to be as large as today's."
Jevrejeva, S., Grinsted, A., Moore, J.C. and Holgate, S. 2006. Nonlinear trends and multiyear cycles in sea level records. Journal of Geophysical Research 111: 10.1029/2005JC003229.
Also see CO2 versus temperature in the following for the past 200-11000 years, different from the ice age graphs people are used to seeing because it is not so zoomed out to million-year scale (which means the lag time of centuries for oceans thousands of meters deep to warm to their depths, for warming to cause CO2 increase afterwards, is not a mere pixel or overlapping line on a graph):
The above is for official NOAA data, at:
The best bet in event of a 19th LIA starting in the middle of this century could be high-yield greenhouses, reducing land areas needed for farming and resistant to climate change. Based on http://settlement.arc.nasa.gov/75SummerStudy/5appendC.html adjusted for not 24 hour sunlight, around a factor of 20 times yield increase per unit area per year could be obtained over conventional outdoor agriculture, from increase to several seasons per year and also the vast benefits of CO2 increase on plant growth (discussed at http://www.co2science.org/data/plant_growth/plantgrowth.php ). Potentially do that, and mass-produce, say, nuclear thorium reactors for power and heat to them if getting motivated, with fuel not a problem:
There is around 120 trillion tons of thorium in Earth's 3*10^19 crust. "Even common granite rock with 13 ppm thorium concentration (just twice the crustal average, along with 4 ppm uranium) contains potential nuclear energy equivalent to 50 times the entire rock's mass in coal, although there is no incentive to resort to such very low-grade deposits as long as much higher-grade deposits remain available and cheaper to extract."
Some posting to this board will find the EPA's appellate judgment instructive:
"Industry groups had argued that the science of global warming was not well supported and that the agency had based its judgment on studies that were a compilation and synthesis of thousands of other studies, which made the conclusions unreliable.
But the three-judge panel, led by conservative Chief Judge David Sentelle, seemed to bristle at that contention.
'This is how science works. EPA is not required to re-prove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question.'"
RiHo08 says “What models don’t substitute for is observational data”
What you fail to understand is that there is no ‘observational data’ without models, at least not globally. It’s model against model in the climate world. The goal is to see all the various types of models agree (synthetic and ’observational’) and they do agree quite well. That gives us confidence they are correct.
30 years is not magic but it is when the climate system’s internal variability cancels out sufficiently to see the underlying signal, which is a warming one. Measure less than 30 years and you measuring something other than climate. AGW-supportive climate models produce runs that show 20-year periods without any warming in the middle of this century yet still end the century with the same warming as other runs. Internal variability is very high in the climate system.
Again, it seems to me that you reject model projections because you don’t like the outcome, not because they are wrong.
Nature Climate Change has a new paper by some big names in the field of oceanography. One of the main conclusions of that study is ...
We now know that the models never simulated the "observed and significantly large decadal variability" because it was mostly caused by the systematic errors in the XBTs, not known at that time.
Synthetic models 1
Observational models 0
"When you have heros like Al Gore and Michael Moore I think you lose credibility."
Why do you keep calling those guys *our* heros? You guys are the ones who keep bringing them up.
It's really amusing to see you "skeptics" accusing us pro-science folks of obsessing over Al Gore when it's you "skeptics" who always trot him out.
meerkat, you seem to have missed my point. You would like to believe that your side is non-threatening, but implicit in "laying down the law" is the threat of punishment, backed up by the full force of government... up to and including the use of violence. It is not an idle threat, but very real and credible.
The greatest danger to your children and my grandchildren is not from the climate, but from government micromanagement of every tiny facet of their lives. I would very much like my grandchildren to live in a free society, but I see freedom fading fast. The science/politics coalition has the very real potential of destroying the American dream. You are dancing with the devil. Environmental politics poses a very real threat to everything I hold dear.
Thank you for the video clip, I agree its funny. Not stated by the Penn State scientist but is evident, choosing one's start point can give an impression of plateau, warming, cooling.
If we go back to caerbannog's temperature graph, it started in 1880 and ended in 2008, a period I do know something about and the temperatures all fall within natural variation. That is, we have been warming up from the Little Ice Age (LIA) (which seems to have ended @ 1850 or so) at 0.8 C per century.
If we borrow from another Penn State researcher, Michael Mann, in manufacturing his infamous Hockey Stick, he disappears both the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warming Period (MWP), that is, he makes the handle of the Hockey Stick straight and then states that the modern warming period is "unprecedented". I'm afraid not. The Medieval Warming Period was at least as warm as present Modern Day Warming if not warmer. So the only unprecedented item present is Mann's science is, chutzpah. Subsequent reconstructions have restored MWP and LIA, whew!
If we go back seven thousand years ago, during the so called Climate Optimum, then we appear to be in a cooling phase of the Holocene.
My point, choose your start point for temperature reconstruction to show what ultimately is one's bias. I don't think the good scientists from Penn State: Mann, Craig, and Forest are doing anything but, to use a sheep metaphor, pull the wool over the public's eye whom they call "deniers".
I am no ostrich. I see clearly when faced with con men who try to bamboozle me. Lincoln's message about fooling all the people some of the time... comes to mind.
I think you make my point. All models are wrong, even big expensive government models are wrong. Observational models in of themselves are not the Holy Grail. What science does say: predictions, and this is where models come in in helping make predictions, are the hallmark of science. Observation can help validate a prediction. However, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, so it is important that skepticism remains even when the observation seems to confirm the prediction.
All models need validation and verification. All GCM have neither been validated nor verified. Until such time GCM have had V&V, no cigar.
Greystone -- a paid shill.
Likewise, models mean nothing when the actual evidence is there and present -- the MASS PHYTOPLANKTON DIE-OFFS AS A RESULT OF TEMPERATURES RISING. But, as critical reading is not a strong point of the ignorant and financially empowered ''stupid'', I guess i can understand.
Neo... I'm confused. Are you confessing that you are a paid shill?... or are you accusing me of being one?
I am opposed to government micromanagement. If you can find someone willing to pay me for saying so, please let me know. I could sure use the money.