A question for deniers

Dear denialatus / denialata,

Have you read the latest IPCC report?

I have. I’ve seen the science. And it’s not good.

Species stress. Ocean neutralization. Deep-ocean warming as rapid as ever since measurements began.

Increased risk of drought and/or precipitation. Human-caused wildfires in Australia. Glaciers continuing to melt, causing major river systems. Weather predicted to become less and less predictable. Armed conflict in Africa. A century of gender equality at risk in the Middle East. Diseases once safely confined to Africa now threatening developed populations to the North.

I’m not a climate scientist. So I don’t pretend to be competent to interpret the evidence. All I can do is interpret the interpretation given to it by the world’s leading policy, government, political, economic and scientific minds, who’ve painstakingly filtered and vetted every sentence in what is probably the thickest, densest collaboration in modern science.

You might prefer to latch on to isolated mistakes in a thousand-page-plus document—as if false predictions somehow, magically, falsify an entire theory. I’m pretty sure that’s not how science works, but hey, you clearly know better.

You might focus disproportionately on the growing uncertainties, as if what we don’t know can’t hurt us. But uncertainty is not your friend! Far from it—if the scientists are absolutely confident of anything, it’s that the unknowns will turn out to be even worse than the knowns. To make things worse, climate scientists say they know less and less about what nature is going to throw at us. (Which is just science doing what science does: incrementally chipping away at human knowledge.)

As the science gets worse and worse, my question to everyone who’s in denial is:

How bad does the science have to get before we do something to stop it?

At what point do you finally join the rest of us in demanding urgent, significant cuts?

14 thoughts on “A question for deniers

    1. Brad Keyes Post author

      “There – you can stop hyperventilating now.”

      I think you’ll find that, if anything, the vast majority of legitimate climate physicians would say I’m hypoventilating. I’m virtually flirting with respiratory acidosis here, if you really want to know the virtual truth.

      You are, I suppose, free to argue the toss with me on this—since, if you’ll excuse yet another bloody haematological joke, DEBATE IS THE VERY LIFEBLOOD OF SCIENCE! *LOL* ;-D !, haha—and I’ll merely ask that you accompany your “arguments” with substantiating information such as: for how many years have you been employed as a full Professor, and at which recognized institution? Have you ever failed a course or unit of study? Have you ever been refused insurance, and on what grounds? Finally (it should go without saying) please provide a complete list of the peer-reviewed scientific papers, in reputable journals, that you’ve read. Just the standard data necessary for establishing the plausibility of statements about the natural world. (As you may have gathered, we’re not particularly formal here at Climate Nuremberg.)

      [And yes, to save you the bother of requesting it: I do plan to diversify the color palette as soon as I have the time. A more playful aesthetic is at the top of my todo list, OK, you vultures? Sheesh. Fans.]

      Reply
  1. geronimo

    Well it’s as bad as it can get already, but we can’t stop it because it is a manifestation of a religious fervour that’s gripped the lesser intellects on the planet. We’ll just have to ride it out until they have done their worst to us and hope the “world government” they want to impose doesn’t make arguing with a scientist a capital offence.

    Reply
    1. Brad Keyes Post author

      Oh, I see what you’ve done there. Har har. “[I]t’s … it … it … it … it.”

      You’re having a clever little joke at the expense of the semantic non-closure of the impersonal pronouns I left dangling inadvertently.

      Well, I hope you feel clever.

      Perhaps you’ll excuse me for not laughing along at the cleverness. You see, there’s nothing clever about global warming science or about the hundreds of reputable researchers who are telling us that we are, literally, in humanity’s eleventh hour before midnight. The only question is, how many years in a row do they have to tell you before you’ll believe them?

      Reply
  2. qsac

    Well, the quality of the science is shocking, unbelievably shocking. Anyone who has looked carefully at the data & analyses realizes that the conclusions and hype cannot be believed.

    Reply
  3. plazaeme

    Ther is a number which summarizes the question. What they call climate sensitivity. The begun with a huge uncertainty. 34 years later, and a lot of data later, and a lot of more computing power later, they have exactly the same uncertainty.

    NAS 1979: 1,5 – 4,5ºC
    IPCC 1990: 1,5 – 4,5ºC
    IPCC 1995: 1,5 – 4,5ºC
    IPCC 2001: 1,5 – 4,5ºC
    IPCC 2007: 2,.0 – 4,5ºC
    IPCC 2013: 1,5 – 4,5ºC

    The usual way with a theory which works is: more data equals less uncertainty.

    Do you trust economists and their marvelous models when they talk about the future? Why not? Because their predictions are usually wrong, and they explain things “after the fact”. Do you have any reason to act otherwise with climate scientists?

    I second Veliko. Don’t feel lonely. There are millions with you.

    Reply
    1. Brad Keyes Post author

      Do you trust economists and their marvelous models when they talk about the future?

      That depends. Do 97% of other economists agree with them, and are their models grounded in almost two centuries of solid economics? Would disagreeing with them basically require traveling back in time to ancient China and undoing the invention of paper money? Because I’m not a time-traveling assassin. I may be many things, but I am not a time-traveling assassin thank you very much. I’ll pay you to take such insinuations elsewhere, sir.

      (NB If I seem either too slow/quick to take offense, I hope you will be kind enough to blame it on the notoriously intractable “Bavarian barrier,” which has senselessly averted/caused many an intoxicated brawl in human history.)

      Reply
    2. Brad Keyes Post author

      I second Veliko. Don’t feel lonely. There are millions with you.

      Very true.

      We are many.

      And the deniers are few.

      We know where they live. We know where they work. We know where their children go to school. And we will win, because knowledge is power.

      Reply
      1. Ken

        I’m assuming that was a joke rather than an actual threat. Because, you know, using the internet to threaten people’s children is funny…

        If I may chip in here. Your comments are quite intriguing to me. Some examples.

        “Have you read the latest IPCC report? I have. I’ve seen the science. And it’s not good.”

        Quite so. I have read the report, and like you was very concerned. What I was concerned with was that after all these years, and all this money, there is still no evidence that CO2 affects temperature in the manner claimed by the IPCC. There is no evidence of this in ice core samples (which seem to indicate the reverse – that temp influences CO2), there is no evidence in the current temp vs CO2 data. The actual temp increase (what little there are), remains stubbonly below even the IPCC’s very generous uncertainties. In every case, the models are shown to be quite flawed.

        “Increased risk of drought and/or precipitation. Human-caused wildfires in Australia. Glaciers continuing to melt, causing major river systems. Weather predicted to become less and less predictable. Armed conflict in Africa. A century of gender equality at risk in the Middle East. Diseases once safely confined to Africa now threatening developed populations to the North.”

        This is just silliness. There will be an increase in drought and rain? Together? Glaciers melting? Glacial advance and retreat has happened for millenia – much longer than human produced CO2. Weather predicted to be less predictable – seems to be a problem with our predictions. As for armed conflict in Africa, that’s been going on since the dawn of time. The continent is a basketcase because of human societal problems – religion, race, overpopulation – not excess CO2. Middle Eastern gender equality at risk? You have got to be kidding. There has never been gender equality there – ever. Honour killings are not exactly new. As for the spread of diseases… maybe it’s got something to do with more Africans moving outside of Africa? I mean, the bubonic plague that wracked Europe a few hundred years ago wasn’t exactly borne by CO2.

        “the world’s leading policy, government, political, economic and scientific minds, who’ve painstakingly filtered and vetted every sentence in what is probably the thickest, densest collaboration in modern science”

        Clearly you aren’t describing the IPCC here. The list of people involved in this project is rife with activists rather than scientists, and the vested interests involved is staggering. The fact that there are so many blatant errors speaks to how painstakingly filtered it all is.

        “as if false predictions somehow, magically, falsify an entire theory. I’m pretty sure that’s not how science works”

        Actually, that’s exactly how science works. You predict the result of an event happening based on your theory, and if the real result turns out differently, you junk the theory and start again. Real world data trumps all.

        “climate scientists say they know less and less about what nature is going to throw at us”

        Quite. This is not a reason to think their computer models are accurate, especially when real world data differs from that expected.

        “As the science gets worse and worse, my question to everyone who’s in denial is: How bad does the science have to get before we do something to stop it? At what point do you finally join the rest of us in demanding urgent, significant cuts?”

        I agree, the science is shocking. There’s so very little substance actually there. We have reached the level where something needs to stop – the rediculous amount of money, time and energy being wasted on a half baked theory that has yet to offer up a single example of it’s correctness. We should demand significant cuts – to their funding.

        Look, the world can warm or cool all it likes, that’s not the issue. The issue is that the theory of AGW states that human produced CO2 is changing the global climate – and there is simply not enough real world evidence to support that conclusion. The computer models are inaccurate – we know this because the temp does not match that predicted. If the models are wrong, why do we trust their results?

        Be wary of blindly following the words of the “experts”. Was a time they’d tell you not to sail too far out or you’d fall of the edge of the world…

  4. Peter Yates

    Quote: “All I can do is interpret the interpretation…”
    Be wary of any interpretations, and/or interpretations of interpretations.
    Nobody knows if the interpretations are correct without having some evidence that proves them beyond reasonable doubt.

    Reply

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