Monday, 15 February 2010

There was nearly an Iron-Sun-Gate

On the same BBC blog I had raised the point that even Lindzen and Choi propose about 0.5C warming from doubling co2 and that as 0.5C represents more than half the warming of the 20th century then even by Lindzen's estimate co2 will probably be the primary driver of the temperature trend over the 21st century.

This was not to counter all skeptics as a good number of skeptics accept the above, Lindzen for one. It was to counter a certain fundamentalist kind of psuedoskepticsm that I was observing on the BBC blog and others that seeks to claim co2 has no effect on climate whatsoever. This fundamentalist group are typically the worse of conspiracy theorists too, for co2 having no effect on climate whatsoever is a necessary condition for their conspiracies that it is just an excuse for taxes or a new world order, etc. If there was a genuine basis for the focus on co2 having an important role in climate change these conspiracies would flounder.

Shortly after a skeptic told me that the "science is NOT settled". Science in general is not settled, I don't think there is a theory in science that is settled. I decided to rephrase "settled" so it was clear I was talking about the current state of the science. I replied that in my view the science had settled down on the matter of doubling co2 causing at least 0.5C warming - although never say never.

I also haphazardly threw a passing grenade at psuedoskepticism by pointing out that, in my opinion anyway, the psuedoskeptic movement have opened their minds so much that nothing can be considered be settled. Any idea becomes credible (ernst beck, g&t, even recently "it has not warmed"). As an example I mentioned a global warming skeptic paper that had been published on the internet had argued the core of the sun was made of iron.

This provoked a remarkable response which chastised me for being dishonest:

"And as far as I recall, I disabused you personally of this intellectually dishonest claim some time ago. If you cannot direct me to where a genuine sceptic said this, you should be ashamed of yourself, because it's clear you make things up for political effect

I demand that you direct us -- NOW."

I don't remember being disabused, although perhaps I had posted about the iron sun paper before and not read the replies. I guess this is a little like climategate. With insufficient evidence, conclusions are drawn (meanwhile another skeptic is repeatedly demanding EVIDENCE WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE? from me)

Anyway here we have a skeptic who considers that the publishing of an iron sun paper by a global warming skeptic would reduce the credibility of skeptics sufficiently that it would be a slur to claim such a thing if it wasn't true.

So there should be outrage that such a paper does indeed exist, let alone that, contrary to what I had thought, it was actually published in Energy and Environment not simply on the internet. If we took just 1% of the outrage of climategate and applied it to this travesty, what should we get? Surely this should become Energy-and-Environment-Iron-Sun-Gate should it not?

The paper is "Earth's Heat Source - The Sun" by Oliver K. Manuel

I am no scientist and my technical knowledge on stats, math, climate science, etc is rudimentary. I also know nothing about solar models. So I have no personal technical perspective on Oliver Manuel's "iron sun" idea whatsoever. It could be right. But I have noticed a lot of experts who think the idea is a little on the fringe. And I am willing to go with that.

Although really it matters not what I think, the skeptic in this case has made it clear that they find the idea of an iron sun to be preposterous. I should be ashamed with myself for even claiming a climate skeptic has published such a paper.

But if you thought this would damage the credibility of Energy and Environment in some way, let alone become a fully fledged "Gate", well no.

"I stand corrected -- there is someone crazy enough! I guess I should have known.

But is this a typical "sceptic paper on the web" that infinity just happened to be stumble upon as part of his open-minded research into the case for scepticism, or is it something he (and you) looked up on Google specifically to show that such a paper actually existed?"

So I am still on trial, not for an "intellectually dishonest claim" this time, but for possible cherrypicking from google. For some reason the paper that the skeptic thought was a slur on skeptics if it existed matters no more now that it does - even though it was not in some dusty part of the internet as I originally remembered, but actually published in Energy and Environment.

What now matters is whether I have cherrypicked the paper from a google search. I think that matters not, if I had cherrypicked something crazy - that should be all the more reason to expect a journal wouldn't have published it.

But it gets worse. How I found this paper was not by cherrypicking from a google search, but:

"I wouldn't have heard of the paper but for a certain list of "450 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of Man-Made Global Warming" that was paraded around the internet by skeptics a year or so ago. Featured an article on WUWT etc and was posted on various blogs, etc. If you google the exact phrase "450 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of" you get 97,500 hits.

I bothered to trawl through some of the list to see what the papers were like. So I didn't so much as look for this paper up on google as had shoved in my face at the time.

Notice also the presence of strange contradiction in the title of the list itself. Skeptics tell us that climate scientists act as "gatekeepers" stopping anything skeptical of manmade global warming being published. But here they are claiming nigh on 500 papers have been published. Yet again they want to have it both ways - both claiming being persecuted and supressed, but they also want to claim a large number of skeptical publications exist. As the old adage goes heads we win, tails you lose."

So now the entire deniosphere are implicated. Will there now be an Energy-And-Envrionment-Published-An-Iron-Sun-Gate? Will there be an investigation?

I sure don't care much, this isn't outrageous, it's just part of the usual psuedoskepticism. I wasn't the one uptight about reality though, I was just pointing it out.

1 comment:

  1. I think the same Oliver Manuel is a frequent commenter at WUWT. He fits in the crowd pretty well.