Talk:Global warming denialism/Archive2

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This is an archive page, last updated 3 May 2016. Please do not make edits to this page.
Archives for this talk page: <1>, <3>, <4>, <5>, <6>, <7>, <8>, <10>, <9>, <11>, (new)(back)

Full of Crap?[edit]

"You guys", if I may refer to RationalWiki users as such, are crazy. Let's use your "rational" logic to lay this out

"Conservapedia is crap and evil" <- I totally agree with this sentiment (refer to - I'm Mark033, I've been banned from editing CP for 5 years for not agreeing with them, and not sigining my talk page edit, wow...)

"We need to prevent and deter this crap" <- Couldn't care less myself but I suppose it needs to be done

"Let's present just as biased views and tell it completely from our POV" <- Really guys? Really?

e.g. "Here's a list of smart sounding organisations that agree with us. We know, of course (we are better than everyone else because we're "rational"), that this in itself doesn't prove anything. But we're going to put this in anyway....

Get rationalizing fellas :) — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

If science is indeed a meritocracy, should not the meritorious be given...merit? — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 16:55, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
I think the deal is that RW will take whatever side it collectively wants, as long as it cites things for serious articles. And besides, reading this along with CP makes things almost neutral.
As for the "your citations suck" part, you're welcome to explain why none of them prove anything or have any authority on the subject.
P.S. - This article only mentions Conservapedia once, and (most of) RW doesn't exist just to contradict CP. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 18:04, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Maybe I'm missing something here, but is our BoN actually talking about this article?--BobNot Jim 18:38, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
It seems scatter-shot, yes, but I think most of it deals with this section. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:42, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Ah . The part which starts of by saying: While a consensus, of itself, proves nothing, - that part?--BobNot Jim 18:52, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm almost sure that the "e.g. "Here's a list of smart sounding organisations that agree with us. We know, of course (we are better than everyone else because we're "rational"), that this in itself doesn't prove anything. But we're going to put this in anyway..." stuff refers directly to that. I kind of see the rest of it building up to that point. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:54, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, but the initial disclaimer seems to acknowledge that we are aware of the problems with Argument from authority. Hopefully our BoN will tell us more.--BobNot Jim 19:12, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
True, but as our article says, that should really be labeled most accurately as "argument or appeal to misleading authority". Appealing to the authority of published scientists who are out there doing real work is considerably more acceptable that appealing to the authority of bloggers or politicians on the subject, for instance. So we should be perfectly at ease citing the authority of some worthwhile "smart sounding" organizations. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 20:03, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

When I saw this article I had a sigh of relief in that many supposed rationalists are climate change deniers, and I wondered if this might be a factor here. Whereas fortunately there is just this BoN who barely even redfers to the topic - hardly surprising, as there is very little for them to say. PardreObe (talk) 07:10, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

RE:Nature generates more CO2 than man[edit]

The line "Fossil fuel burning outputs CO2 that has more C14 and C13 than do natural sources." is incorrect, fossil fuels are very old and given the half life of C14 around 5k years they are C14 depleted. The dropping concentration of C14 in the atmosphere is what is pointing the finger at a fossil fuel origin. They are also C12 rich becasue they were once plants so burning them will show an increase of C12 to C13 which is exactly what we are seeing.

  • This unattributed contribution seems to be correct. Shouldn't the relevant paragraph be rewritten, or, alternatively deleted? JHM (talk) 18:07, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes. You are right. I've looked at the NS link and it seems to corroborate the statement above. But my brain isn't up to a rewrite at the moment. If you delete the offending text while we get our brains straight then I'm sure nobody will object.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:20, 4 September 2010 (UTC)


There is varying capitalization of earth within the article. As it is not a proper name, I suggest a consistent "earth", however I'm willing to be schooled otherwise. – Nick Heer 21:30, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

I was always taught that "Earth" was the planet while "earth" was dirt. Seems a reasonable standard unless someone else knows better. --Kels (talk) 21:42, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I lerned here that "Earth" was a propper nown. Run with it. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:19, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

The Role of the Weather[edit]

I recently read a book called "Climate Confusion," by Roy W. Spencer (who, for the record, is a conservative, but that is beside the point). I'm going to try to sum up his arguments by giving these example scenarios:

First imagine that there was no greenhouse effect at all. The planet would be far too cold to live on.

Next, imagine that there was a pre-Industrial Revolution greenhouse effect, but no weather, which Spencer claims acts to balance out the greenhouse effect. This would supposedly make the planet way too hot to live on.

So, his claim is that the processes that make weather work (which supposedly interact with each other too complexly for us to understand completely) will counter the warming caused by humans.

And on a related note, here's a quote from his book: "While I have given talks to organizations which are partly funded by "Big Oil," I have also given similar talks to state environmental organizations. Left-leaning websites like mention only the former in their attempts to make it look like we global warming optimists are simply shills for big business. This guilt-by-association tactic helps them avoid having to address our arguments based on science."

Also, he said that research programs at NASA, the Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the EPA pretty much depend on global warming being a huge threat, so they proport it to protect their funding.

I realize that much of what he is saying sounds too Conservapedia-ish, but I'm willing to consider his argument about the weather, as that makes some sense to me. I mean, I'm not going to disregard what he's saying just because he's a conservative- he has a pretty good background as a scientist. I would like to get a second opinion on his argument though. Thank you. Stilldeciding (talk) 16:18, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, the atmosphere does a good job of both keeping us warm, stopping us getting too hot and redistributing heat. For instance (from memory) the moon varies from over 100C in the sunshine to less then minus 100 in the shade.
Weather moves energy around within the atmosphere and it is driven (again from memory) by differential heating at the equator and the poles and by the spin of the earth interacting with the atmosphere.
The whole system is gaining thermal energy at the moment because of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect.
If the whole system is gaining energy then simply moving it around using weather won't get rid it - it will ...simply move it around.
OK, so he wrote a whole book on the subject and I suppose there must be more to the argument, but as it's presented It's not convincing.

--BobSpring is sprung! 17:21, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

I see that WP has an article on the author which notes that his views are views are not exactly mainstream. He is also not exactly mainstream in his support of intelligent design.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:26, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
The redistribution of heat is probably carried more by the oceans than the atmosphere as it has the higher heat capacity - drastic changes in temperature are usually more dependent on the gulf stream changing than any other factor. However, the rest of that drivel sounds like wishful thinking. Despite his qualifications as a climatologist I'm really not convinced by any of his arguments. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 18:52, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Correlation Implies Causation?[edit]

I am a highly rational person, so I'm disappointed that this Wiki is bizarrely using methods of inference which it will undoubtedly (and correctly) criticise as being flawed when they are used by crackpots, yet here are ignored.

I'm referring to the first section, at the end. I've got three main complaints:

1. The article talks about sceptics 'resorting to attacking the last leg of the argument' as if an argument is basically complete if pretty much all of the steps are correct; this is a relatively minor complaint but I still found it jarring and at odds with the language which should be used in this Wiki.

2. The citations don't seem very good. The first is using an IPCC report's statement which only claims the link is valid with high probability, and the second is just an assertion on a webpage of a site which doesn't seem to be related to any actual scientific bodies.

3. The main problem is that it is implied that correlation implying causation is obvious. This in my view is very bad. Correlation is of course not sufficient to prove causation. The fact that what I think is the only step involving inference in the global warming argument (really the crucial step that the entire hypothesis hinges upon), and probably the most contentious objection among 'sceptics', is glossed over with what I can only call a logical fallacy, is really not acceptable.

The whole 'anthropic GW' hypothesis is basically this single statement! How can it be relegated like this? There is no discussion at all for the logical basis behind this argument.

In truth, the only way that I am aware of of establishing the causation is via complex mathematical models.

Please say if any of this is wrong. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

 ❝ The whole 'anthropic GW' hypothesis is basically this single statement! ❞  It's not. But I'm inclined to think the article is incomplete—there are other factors involved, like deforestation and aerosols. Blue Talk 02:06, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Why not? 'Anthropic global warming' takes as fact the existence of an upwards trend in global temperatures and CO2 (which is well justified by the evidence), and proposes that the former is caused by the latter. Surely this is exactly equivalent of the final statement?
With respects to incompleteness: it is not necessarily true that exhaustion of variables with the assumption of linear relationships is valid when discussing the climate, which is modelled by chaotic equations (in the mathematical sense) and so changes may not have a clear 'cause' in the traditional sense; certainly not one which can be amended by human intent (we have been consistent in large failures when trying to intervene with chaotic natural systems - biological populations being a well documented case - instead of leaving them alone). — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 10:15, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
And the fact that we can demonstrate the fact in a test-tube that Carbon dioxide acts as a greenhouse gas. And the CO2 concentration is going up.
Also, while the weather may be chaotic, I'm not sure the climate is.--BobSpring is sprung! 14:35, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Not being sure is not really grounds for assuming the converse on this Wiki, though it was my understanding that climate was chaotic. The temperature record seems to imply this, there's no clear pattern and it has the visual characteristics of a chaotic system, and I don't think there is any consensus as to why large changes such as ice ages occur.
Carbon dioxide being a greenhouse gas is a fact. Anthropic global warming is a *hypothesis* that this greenhouse gas is causing (most of) the recent warming.
Qualitative statements can never justify this hypothesis. What is required are quantitative data and climate models. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
If we accept that Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and we accept that the concentration of that gas is increasing then these two facts alone - without any other evidence - would lead us to expect an increase in temperature. --BobSpring is sprung! 06:40, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Which is not the hypothesis. The hypothesis is that anthropic greenhouse gases lead to a *significant* rise in temperature, and in particular are the main causal factor behind recent warming. I'd've hoped RationalWiki editors would understand the distinction. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 10:32, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
So we accept (a) that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, (b) that the quantity of this gas is increasing. You also seem to implicitly accept (c) that the temperature of the planet is increasing.
Do you have an alternative hypothesis which explains. (a) why the temperature is increasing and (b) why carbon dioxide does not play a part in the increase? Your Nobel Prize awaits! --BobSpring is sprung! 10:44, 11 September 2010 (UTC)