Why Global Warming is [b]Probably[/b] Bullshit

Brilliant little article that explains why global warming is anything but certainty. Well worth a read. The math is quite good too: Here are some highlights: Physicists just don't know how to deal with hypercomplex systems like the earth weather. That's why a recent NASA scientist was wildly wrong when he called anthropogenic warming "just basic physics." Basic physics is what you do in the laboratory. If hypercomplex systems were predictable, NASA would have foolproof space shuttles - because they are a lot simpler than the climate. So this is just pseudoscientific twaddle from NASA's vaunted Politically Correct Division. So in the best case, the smartest climatologist in the world will know 100 variables, each one to an accuracy of 99 percent. Want to know what the probability of our spiffiest math model would be, if that perfect world existed? Have you ever multiplied (99/100) by itself 100 times? According to the Google calculator, it equals a little more than 36.6 percent. The Bottom line: our best imaginable model has a total probability of one out of three. How many billions of dollars in Kyoto money are we going to spend on that chance? Funny how the words theory or hypothesis of global warming are always left out. Somebody once said: "Anything, even a lie if repeated often enough becomes accepted as truth". Global warming is one such truth established by repetition. http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/01/why_global_warming_is_probably.html

Re: Why James Lewis is [b]Probably[/b] Bullshit artist

there's a serious flaw in the logic of that article: see, that only works if you want to be 100% percent correct. the same logic says that with the same variable, they have a 60.5% chance of being right half the time, 47% of being right 3/4 of the time, and 77.7% chance of being right a quarter of the time. and when I mean right, I mean exactly right. which means that if they are close to right, that would fall outside those probabilities. if they are completely wrong... well. let's have a look at it, shall we? 100% wrong = 1%^100 = 0% (my calculator doesn't go that small. but practically, NO chance of them being 100% wrong) 75% wrong = 1%^75 = 0% 50% wrong = 1%^50 = 0% 25% wrong = 1%^25 = 0.0000000000000000000000001% obviuosly those figures are complete bullshit. but they use exactly the same logic as the original statement. one problem is that extremely basic probability maths is not suited to a "hypercomplex system". the other is the concept of "right" and "wrong" in a system of probabilities. James Lewis either needs to go back to university (or even highschool), or more probably he's a bullshit artist.

Re: Why James Lewis is <b>Probably</b> a Bullshit artist

sorry. I was going to post a bit of evidence (something the quoted article is extremely short on) for my case. I assume that this James Lewis character is referring to the IPCC and others in his attack. it's interesting to not that the IPCC's third assesment report actually fell a fair way short of the mark: http://tinyurl.com/ywmp3t as you can see, the probability of them being right (it is happening) had little to do with it, and they actually underestimated (using highly complex computer probability models) the real figures. [Edited by: oD Forum Moderator. Shorter links posted.]

Re: Why James Lewis is [b]Probably[/b] a Bullshit artist

IPCC's latest Summary for Policymakers predicts temperature rises in the range of 1.1 - 6.4 degrees by 2100. There is a ~580% difference here. As I said earlier, we are really talking about good solid science here. How are we supposed to deal with this information? 1.1 is barely a problem, 6.4 is we are all dead. Not very useful.

Re: Why James Lewis is [b]Probably[/b] a Bullshit artist

again, ILJAY, I think you're misunderstanding the probability mathematics. the 1.1-6.4 is the far outside range of both the best scenario, and the worst scenario. each of those figures is extremely unlikely, but still possible (I think the IPCC figure is that those figures have between 0 and 5% chance of happening). the closer you get to the middle, the more likely it is to happen. they also have a best estimate for each scenario, the lowest is 1.8, the highest 4.0. you can see how this is more accurate than the 2001 report, which had 1.4 and 5.6 at the extremities of the best-estimates. the close you get to the centre of these margins of error, the more LIKELY (but not definite) something is to happen. so the estimates in the centre of the prediction might be 70% likely, they might be only 40% likely (I'll have to find that out), but they are way more likely than the estimates on the outside of the prediction. I heard a good analogy the other day: would you get in a plane if you knew it had a 30% chance of crashing? what about a 5% (one in 20) chance of crashing?

Re: Why James Lewis is [b]Probably[/b] a Bullshit artist

It obviously works better when probability can be measured (plane crash frequency) rather than one that is based purely on computer models and theory. There has been no catastrophe so far and doubt there will be one in the future. I am willing to take bets. We will be able to test the theory too. No country is going to cut CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050. We shall see.

Re: Why James Lewis is [b]Probably[/b] a Bullshit artist

well, I guess that's where we differ. I'm not into gambling on dodgy odds. I know you're gonna try to blast this, but Monbiot's book Heat is worth a read. he claims that we could, in theory, reduce our emissions by 90% by 2030 with no serious impact on the economy. you should at least have a look at some of his methods, even if you don't agree with his intention.

Re: Why James Lewis is [b]Probably[/b] a Bullshit artist

Monbiot's book Heat is worth a read. he claims that we could, in theory, reduce our emissions by 90% by 2030 with no serious impact on the economy. Wow, man! Did you read it with sunglasses on? Monibot calls for immediate halt to holiday air travel and grounding of all non essential flights. What impact will that have on the tourist economy of say Bali? Or what impact would reduction in foodmiles have on the third world fruit and veg exporters? Look at the bigger picture. Not a single item in your house is made without emitting CO2, even oh-so heavenly bicycles that Monibolt have us all ride are made using CO2 and bike parts are delivered on jets, boats and vans, not rickshaws. It is preposterous to suggest that we could match CO2 emissions of Ephiopia while maintaining the first world living conditions. Sorry, dude, but most of the world's economists that studied the problem at length warn against dramatic cuts in CO2 particularly because of the impact on the world's poor. But I figure, a left-wing Guardian journalists is a greater authority on science and economics.

Re: Why James Lewis is [b]Probably[/b] a Bullshit artist

I think air travel has a fairly big negative impact on the culture of the destination, which is, to some extent, comparable to the economic benefits. the culture becomes homogenised with global (western, generally) culture, and loses the connection to it's roots. economically, the destination society becomes dependant on the tourism, and other, economically comparable, industries start dieing off. I've made 29 flights in my life (although none since I realised how serious they were a couple of years ago), and the majority were not extremely beneficial for me. I doubt any of the ones to third world areas had any good social impact (although probably less so than the average fuck-wit aussie who goes to bali to get pissed and surf, when they could just as easily do it here). "Or what impact would reduction in foodmiles have on the third world fruit and veg exporters? " I can see one benefit: the people in the third world would get to eat the produce. makes sense to me. yeah, bikes have a high embodies energy, but much less than a car. I doubt it's even really comparable. if the bike is made well and treated well, it will easily last 30 years, which is longer than a lot of cars. I should know, I've had two 20-30 year old second hand bikes in the last couple of years (one got stolen), and they've been great. I have more of a problem with economists than I do with scientists. economics seems extremely subjective, and easily twisted. science (peer reviewed) isn't. therefore, my normal take is that the science is at least close to right, and the economics ranges from somewhat right to pretty fucked. besides that, compared the the other 5.5 billion people or so in the world, I'm pretty rich. I don't mind paying a bit more so that I don't help destroy civilisation as it now stands (although I wouldn't mind changing it for the better).

Re: Why James Lewis is [b]Probably[/b] a Bullshit artist

I think air travel has a fairly big negative impact on the culture of the destination, which is, to some extent, comparable to the economic benefits. the culture becomes homogenised with global (western, generally) culture, and loses the connection to it's roots. I see, having culture is more important than having a job. A lot of migrants coming to your country, myself included don't think so. I could stick with my beautiful ethnic bliss but I prefer modernity and progress. The reality of poverty is nothing like the romantic picture you paint. You cannot eat culture for start. economics seems extremely subjective, and easily twisted. Economics is a peer-reviewed science too. Check Nordhaus and Tol in my posts on Stern report. Both these guys are world's leading experts on climate change economics. I'm pretty rich. I don't mind paying a bit more so that I don't help destroy civilisation as it now stands (although I wouldn't mind changing it for the better). Now is precisely the moment when it is better than ever. By every objective measure it is better to be human being right now than at why other time in history and it will only get better. According to UN's own statistics more people were lifted out of poverty in the last 50 years than in the previous 500 while lifestyle indicators improved across the globe. The fact that "green" movement is peddling phantom threats rather than looking at objective data says quite a bit about the underlying ideology.

Re: Why James Lewis is [b]Probably[/b] a Bullshit artist

I wasn't talking about migration. I was talking about holiday travel, sorry if that wasn't clear. I'm happy with tons of migration from poorer areas to richer areas (ie. middle east, africa, asia, south/central america to australia, western europe, north america). emissions aside, I think it's a good thing. if you're not working in the tourism industry, there are other methods of employment, which will benefit the area in question, rather than just the tourists. primary industries, trades, and education spring to mind (and yeah, I would do them, and have done them). the fact that Nicholas Stern and people like Bjorn Lomborg can use the same "science" and get wildly different answers is VERY different to that vast majority of scientists generally agreeing, to various degrees that climate change is happening and that something probably needs to be done about it. it may be better than ever now on average, but I'm yet to be convinced that it's better for everyone. GDP is not a good measure of living standard, and though the average may be rising the difference between the top and the bottom is diverging. what does it say about the underlying ideology to you?

Re: Why James Lewis is [b]Probably[/b] a Bullshit artist

it may be better than ever now on average, but I'm yet to be convinced that it's better for everyone. GDP is not a good measure of living standard, and though the average may be rising the difference between the top and the bottom is diverging. OK, quick check. Life expectancy is up and infant mortality is down everywhere. Calorie consumption is up everywhere. There are less poor people now both relatively (as % of population) and absolutely than ever before. Less children are leaving school to work than ever before. All important lifestyle indicators point to immense improvement. You are correct to say that the benefits are not distributed equally but this does not excuse the wholesale dismissal of the incredible progress that has been made in a very short time. Even according to Stern's gloomy figures the average inhabitant of the world will be eight times richer than they are now by 2100. Why are we so concerned about the folks that are going to be so much better off than we are! Africa is the only continent that is not keeping up with the overall pace but the general trend is still a very slow trend toward improvement. Much of Africa's problems are caused by internal conflict and widespread corruption, something that a fistful of dollars form the West will not easily fix.

Re: Why James Lewis is [b]Probably[/b] a Bullshit artist

"You are correct to say that the benefits are not distributed equally but this does not excuse the wholesale dismissal of the incredible progress that has been made in a very short time." what about the dismissal of the incredible progress on the grounds of the destruction of large parts of the planet we live on? even if we're all wealthier now, is it worth it, since we'll have to spend big fixing the problems we've created through gaining that wealth (which basically amounts to theft/abuse of natural capital?

Re: Why James Lewis is [b]Probably[/b] a Bullshit artist

naughteco1, I will answer this by putting some simple questions to you. Was industrial revolution worth it? Do you enjoy living in the world with long healthy lifespans, low infant mortality, plentiful food, liberation of women and men from daily hand-to-mouth toil, education and prosperity? The world where we can waste away our days typing away on the computers instead of hunting and gathering, toiling in the fields and watching our children die from preventable diseases. Our ancestors destroyed nature not because they were greedy and morally corrupt but because they were cold, hungry, sick and desperate. Most current environmental devastation happens in the third world because they are going through the same process we went through during the industrial revolution. I don't think it is moral for us to stop them because they just want to be like us and have a good future for their kids.

Re: Why Global Warming is [b]Probably[/b] Bullshit

Think of the earth as human body. what you feed your body will reflect how your body will work. It has been proven that even changes in the quantity of bases minerals can affect our behavior. Hence why my local school is trying to get children to consume more omega three. By feeding the earth so much extra carbon dioxide we are essentially living off junk food. The immediate effect of convenience can be noticed at the long term expense of ones health. I argue for a balanced life. And balancing mans effect on the planet. Ok so we have yet to prove that man is responsible for global warming but we cant say with all out polluting that man isn't having an effect on Earth. That does not mean that we aren't responsible it took us hundreds of years to fathom gravity even longer to conquer it and fly. We still have to prove the big bang was responsible for our excistance this doesnt mean it wasn't. Personally I regard close minded rejection of global warming, jest because it can not be proved with out doubt as an excuse. A lie people them themselves because they afraid of giving up their convenient wealthy life. Afraid of change.

Re: Why Global Warming is [b]Probably[/b] Bullshit

Not too much chatter about Paris? Climate change is 'unequivocal' say our scientist around the world. Probably bullshit or unequivocal. Tough choice. http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2007/02/02/paris-climate-070202.html