Saturday, 13 February 2010
posted comment to BBC Richard Black's blog
I shouldn't bother reading the comments on BBC blogs anymore, they are mostly filled with stuff that winds me up rather than anything interesting. I can almost guarantee that if I read anything in such places I will lose at least the next hour as I cannot go without ranting out a reply. For some reason I can't let absolute garbage accusations go unchallenged. If someone else challenges them for me my blood pressure goes down. If not...
Is it even constructive to reply though? Will I just harden the people I reply to? Possibly. What about fence sitters who read what I say? In fact I don't really care, it's just something I have to do. I feel better if I reply than if I don't. If there is such a thing as karma though this behavior cannot be good for it. Part of me thinks just to sell my computer, pretend the Internet doesn't exist and live a relaxed life in blissful ignorance of denialist nonsense.
Anyway below is a comment I just posted expressing utter exasperation.
"So little of what "skeptics" are arguing makes sense. I don't know where to begin. There are layers upon layers of utter rubbish being said.
I have to somehow put into words the errors and tangle of contradictions I am reading from skeptics. A whole bundle of stuff that doesn't make sense. Internal contradictions. How can I do this concisely? I'll just make a davblo style list I think. We'll see how it goes.
1) My overriding point here is that there is something rotten in the "skeptic" community. There are growling contradictions in the background and glaring mistakes on top.
2) What Joe says about (20-1) co2 is a common fallacy. But nevermind, lets just write off an entire field of science over our own misunderstanding of the carbon cycle.
3) It is claimed above that AGW is merely an extrapolation of data. This is outlandishly false. AGW is based on explanation of how the climate works, not data extrapolation.
4) The claim about AGW being a hypothesis of Callendar and Keeling is just historically false.
5) The claim that the IPCC have ignored 150 years of data is bizarre, slightly comical and at the same time slightly unnerving to imagine the poster might actually believe it.
6) I see comments by skeptics claiming that the early 20th century warming is an argument against AGW. Yet think about it - "skeptics" are keen to accuse the climate scientists that produce the temperature records of willingness to commit fraud to further AGW. Why then would such scientists leave an early 20th century warming in the temperature records? That's right, "skeptics" want to both claim scientists willingly modify the surface record to support AGW and that also they've put in something that falsifies in it. The skeptics want to have their cake and eat it too. It just doesn't make sense. I submit that the "skeptics" often don't even realize their own contradictions, for their position is born of little more than downright contrarianism that requires little thought than to simply oppose ideas and generate conspiracy theories.
7) The climate models that are widely known to show AGW also show much of the early 20th century warming due to natural causes. How then can "skeptics" even begin to claim that warming in the early 20th century contradicts AGW when the very models that show AGW also show early 20th century warming?
3) "Skeptics" are trying to pour doubt on the early 20th century temperature record. That's right - they are trying to claim the early 20th century temperature record is inaccurate, but at the same time they want to use it for an argument! It's sheer ridiculous. Yet stranger-than-fiction - it's happening all over the internet.
The problem here is that "skeptics" only engage one single simple concept at a time and they seemingly lose track of the big picture, of how the different concepts tie together and how things make sense overall.
This is what science does - it makes sense of the world by trying to explain it. This is not what the skeptics are doing, they are playing a contrarian game wherein they try to knock down single concepts, one at a time. That's why they so often knock down concepts they later try to rely on to knock down others. Internal inconsistency.
If "skeptics" are making this many mistakes can we really trust they have their conclusions in order? How about instead of doubting the science because some skeptics make wild claims (20-1 co2! extrapolations!), we start doubting the "skeptics" have anything useful to bring to the subject?
I went back in hindsight and put the word skeptics in double quotes. I may have missed some."