Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Horizon: Science Under Attack.

I'm watching this at the moment.

I've never seen such a poor science program and such a blatant piece of propaganda.

For instance showing two screens showing actual weather data and modelled weather data. On its own very compelling: the real and modelled weather tracked almost exactly.

But:

(Lets ignore the warmist's argument that weather isn't climate and look at what we're being shown). Okay, the screen at the top is showing historical data. The lower screen is showing modelled data (also it can be assumed, historical as it runs at the same time as the top screen). Whats not clarified (as its key to the AGW argument) is how well the modelled data showed future weather patterns. It only shows the correctly modelled historical data, without any mention of the number of data runs, tweaks to data or how far ahead of what really happened the data was modelled. Anyone can get it right with hindsight; the clever thing is to get it right and model weather several hours, days and months ahead of the fact.

Without the  information behind the computer model, we can't make an objective decision. Instead we are asked blindly to accept the program's supposition that the weather model accurately predicts weather in real-time hours, days and even years into the future. Because that's what warmists want you to believe: that they can accurately predict the climate many years into the future.

Lets get down to the facts about global warming: yes, climate is changing BUT it has changed in the past and will continue to change in the future. It has been far cooler in the past, which we call Ice Ages. It has also been warmer in the past. Its been significantly warmer before the industrial revolution. So if the huge amounts of CO2 humans are producing is to blame, then how is warming without CO2 explained?

The science of man made global warming is one of observation: climate has been observed to warm up and CO2 levels are rising. But there is no link between the two: only because the two happen at the same time are we asked to believe there is a link. And you'd believe it, if you weren't in possession of the facts that climate has warmed without CO2 in the past.

The tone of the program is pure propaganda. When covering climategate, we're told Freedom of Information requests are "harrassment", when all thats being asked for is the raw data the scientists used to come to their conclusions. FOI requests aren't harrassment, they're perfectly legal and just means of requesting scientific data in order to corroborate findings. There is no scientific reason why the data wasn't released: in fact the only reason appears to be that the scientist in charge has a huge ego and didn't like oiks asking for his precious data.

There are so many apparent flaws in the program it can only be classed as propaganda. There was no debate, no balanced views from either side, instead all that was proffered is the usual warmist line that the science is settled, there is no dissent, man made global warming is real, we can predict future weather and climate accurately because our computer models are so good, despite failing to predict successive cold winters, we understand fully what is happening, the mechanism causing global warming is identified, man made CO2 is causing global warming, despite it having been far warmer before the industrial revolution..

I used to enjoy BBC scientific documentaries when I was a kid. Sadly tonight I was reminded why I don't watch them any more.

13 comments:

  1. Here's an antidote to help get you through the day:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO63oWe6XXo

    Top comment:

    "This is a video that every blog should share with their readers to underline the outrageous bias at the heart of the BBC, and the propaganda it thrusts upon its viewers, listeners and readers."

    AutonomousMind 1 week ago 31

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  2. I gather that James Dellingpole was interviewed for three hours and the shown bits had to be stuff about 'So what if you had cancer?'.
    Statements by warmist OK, Contrary views Not accepted.
    All in all a gloss over with white paint.

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  3. What I thought was particular deceitful was the part where Singer was interviewed for his views - he says that whilst the TSI has remained pretty much constant over time, the solar wind hasn't - and it is the changes in solar wind which have an effect on climate. the program then cuts to NASA, whereby the scientist, in response to Nurse point that 'some sceptics believe the sun is involved' chimes in with 'TSI is constant, so we know its not the sun'. Debunking Singer's view by making the same statement about TSI, and then ignoring the solar wind theory. This is indicative of the AGW movement - arguing points that have not been made by the sceptic commmunity.

    Rob

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  4. You can see the shock on Dellinpole's face as the cancer question was put to him out of the blue, as if to say "what's this got to do with global warming?"

    Of course the cancer question although initially sounding like global warming isn't anything of the sort. If you have cancer, the doctor will tel you the result of historical clinical trials. He will outline the probability of a recovery. Its then up to you to decide whether the chances of a recovery outweigh the effects of the treatment. Maybe after up to a 30 percent survival rate over the next 5 years, you may not choose to go through a harsh chemo regime, 30-70 you may decide its worth a punt, 70+ its definately worth the chemotherapy. Of course you may see that 30 percent chance as a lifeline and still take the treatment. You may be one of that slim minority that survives to live the next 5 years.
    Above all, the 5 year survival rate has been established historically through the outcomes of numerous trials, so the probability is known.

    With global warming, we are asked to make a decision based on no historical evidence. If anything historical data appears ambiguous. We are still in the middle of the trial gathering data. The efficacy of the treatment and the outcome is not certain, yet we are asked to devote billions of pounds to it.

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  5. Anonymous: I was dumbfounded by the statements disregarding the effect of the sun on climate.

    Its THE most energetic object in our solar system, we are "only" 93 million miles away from it, yet the suns effects range a number of times as far as the orbit of Pluto, it heats up our planet, driving weather systems and global currents, the particles it radiates into space interact in our upper atmosphere not only to give us the Northern and Southern lights, but also generate a cocktail of gases and provide high-altitude seed particles, yet the warmists would have you believe any cyclical changes it undergoes have absolutely no effect on the terrestrial climate.

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  6. Just saw the program and was thinking to post a commentary about it on the Facebook wall of my Better Globe page. I found this blog searching for a useful link to attach to the link. But reading here I see we have quite different views on global warming. GMO I am against, although open to the possibility of some benefits that I do not know of yet or that may appear in the future, but how to tell the beneficial results from the negative results (not an easy task with Monsanto at the table)?
    Anyway, I am not claiming to hold the truth; I don't believe anyone is in the full possession of it. Nor am I a scientist in any shape, way or form. But I am curious how you can all be so sure of your opinions concerning global warming....? Well to be honest I am not really looking for an answer on my account. I am more curious if you know in detail why you have such strong opinions in this matter and what has actually shaped them.

    If you guys are right, the consequences are quite pleasant, might cost us a few bucks, but we do get cleaner air to breathe (and we survive), something I don't even think you would mind. However, if you are wrong the consequences might be extremely harsh for future generations. Not something to take lightly if you care about what you leave behind.

    And by the way, the day global warming is proven in such a way that even you guys believe it (from what I can read into what is being stated here); it is probably already too late (from what most scientists are claiming). History has a tendency of repeating itself and countless civilisations have gone under due to overexploitation of natural resources, and I am pretty sure all these civilisations took notice at some point, which obviously was too late. But hey; I guess we might be the very special chosen exception...

    I’m not saying all this just to blow gas at you, more out of concern. I read about these things daily, am involved with tree planting, see documentaries and try as best I can to stay on top of things. But it does not make me an expert, nor do I know where we are heading. But to me it seems we are sliding in the wrong direction, hopefully I am mistaken.

    Just an opinion, have a great week and a healthy future! :-)

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  7. "I've never seen such a poor science program and such a blatant piece of propaganda".

    I have - it was called Climate Wars..

    For my money, the most interesting segment was that about HIV/AIDS. It can only be interpreted as a triumph of scepticism towards the consensus view.

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  8. Adun: My opinion has been formed in part by personal experience, in part by assessing the evidence provided by both sides of the argument.

    I know from personal experience that climate changes as part of a natural process. I've lived through bitterly cold winters and droughts. I have been told by scientists that the climate in the past has been vastly different: from ice ages to tropical heat: both without the aid of man made CO2.
    I have yet to be shown conclusive proof that there is a link between current climate change and man made CO2. It could just be part of that natural process we have historical data for.

    The warmist scientists have shown us various graphs and charts that purport to prove a link, but when you start to look at the detail, even the charts they show don't exactly match their own temperature records. Also the data they use hasn't been created using an exact science. There are cludges and fudges and best guesstimates in generating data that "may" show that CO2 "almost" tracks climate change. My opinion is that using tree rings and other 2nd or 3rd hand ways of generating a historical record shouldn't be regarded as accurate as actually sampling CO2 and temperature levels in real time.

    What hasn't been fully explained is where the temperature record and CO2 levels diverge. If CO2 was the only causal factor there would be an exact match, but there isn't.

    So, at best I personally describe AGW as a loose theory, based on 3rd hand evidence which only shows a loose statistical link between climate and CO2. It is yet to be proven that there is a direct link or that one causes the other (it may well be that warming causes the release of CO2, not that the release of CO2 causes warming).

    Without a definitive link you're actually into the realm of statistical probability: in effect gambling with future outcomes.

    The problem with that is the data: the historical data has to be as exact as possible in order to accurately predict outcomes. Also the model to predict future outcomes has to take into account every conceivable influencing factor.
    Applying this sort of science to (say) the stockmarket is fine, because there is accurate historical data and the models can take incorporate almost every influencing factor. I say almost, because the flaw in the system is man, who may not yet have thought of every influencing factor. That's why we still get problems in the stock market systems. Every time a problem happens a new influencing factor is added to the list, but its by no means foolproof.

    Where applying this sort of statistical probability to nature falls short is the systems involved are so massive, so complex, that there will be an infinate array of influencing factors. Some scientists will say they fully understand the systems involved, but its arrogant to presume so. Without incorporating all the influencing factors into the data models, its just as arrogant to say that you can accurately model future outcomes.

    So with global warming, the historical data is suspect and the predictive models are suspect, but the warmists insist they can accurately predict future climate outcomes. Pull the other one.

    I'm quite rightly sceptical of a branch of science that is as scientific as playing poker.

    On this basis should we devote trillions of pounds to climate change, on this basis should we curtail our life style and the future prosperity of our children?

    I don't think so.

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  9. Er, its all gone quiet. No warmists out there want to have a bash at fisking my perception of the issue?

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  10. This very blog just proves the point of the programme. In this day and age, everyone is an expert.

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  11. Anonymous: I've not purported to be an expert. I have never falsely claimed to be a climate scientist and I would never put my views forward as gospel.

    All I've done is outline why the climate scientists have failed to convince me that man made global warming exists and that a biased programme like the Horizon one fails to convince me because it is outright propaganda.

    No-one has successfully convinced me of the veracity of the temperature records. If there was an overwhelming majority of scientists confirming the same data using independant means, then I wouldn't have a problem, but to say a small clique of scientists who just all happen to agree with each other is a majority concensus is just a bald lie.

    The same goes for the computer models: to say they are 100 percent accurate and determine with a good degree of probability what future climate outcomes will be without incorporating even something as fundamental as solar data again is a lie. If you don't include all the influencing factors, you don't get accurate models nor outcomes.
    If the models were open to scrutiny by the wider scientific community it would be another matter, but what is blatantly apparent is climate science is a closed shop and only selected members will be accepted.

    Its not just climate science I have a problem with: quite a lot of science has been corrupted in its quest for cash. With government funding less and less research, science has gone corporate, with less openness and less accountability. Vested interests set up cliques to further their own ends and promote a limited scientific viewpoint.

    This breeds scepticism in the public and the wider scientific community. After all, if there's nothing to hide, there should be nothing to fear from being open. So why not release data and computer models to the wider world? One can only surmise that there is something to hide.

    By the way, that one liner is a pretty poor attempt at fisking. Hows about showing me some data and some science?

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  12. Hello Delphius,

    I'm a graduate student working at a well-known institution on a climate model. Of course, there's no way you're going to be able to check my identity, but humor me ;)

    I'm not going to try to convince you here. Instead, I'll describe how the world looks from my perspective, hopefully allowing you to 'walk in my shoes' and understand how the world looks from my point of view.

    Having a basic understanding of atmospheric physics, I can develop small models of global average climate temperatures which broadly match current observational databases. I also work on one of the major models and know the specifics of how certain sectors operate, and how they correspond to physical laws.

    Using the science, I can make rough investigations of 'Snowball Earths', Waterworlds, Extra-solar planets... all of which I find fascinating, and all of which are explained by the same body of science operating under these different conditions.

    Now imagine you're in my position, and you develop a simple model of the Earth's climate and inject carbon dioxide increases in line with estimations of manmade emissions, and compare to one without (solar factors, cloud formation etc. included in both). Imagine only the model including manmade carbon dioxide agrees roughly with the temperature record observed in real life, whilst the other differs only over the past ~130 years.

    Now imagine the more sophisticated model, more complicated yet far more accurate and inclusive, giving the same answers and also concluding that warming is due to human emissions.

    Now imagine that, also, your project supervisor says humans are responsible. Imagine the entire atmospheric research group stating that. Imagine all your lecturers in other subjects as diverse as differential mathematics to quantum field theory saying the same when asked.

    Imagine the overwhelming majority of the research literature saying the same thing.

    You then do a Google search for "Global Warming", and find it not just under attack in the public & political sphere, but talked about in the same illogical fashion as anti-vaccine spiel, no-HIV spiel, creationist spiel...

    Even if you don't agree on the climate science with me, I hope you can understand the sense of dull dread amongst scientists, and the motivations for Horizon and the Royal Society to tackle the issue of the rift between science and society.

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  13. But... how sure are you that all the influencing factors are taken into account in your computer model and that their behaviour within the model accurately reflects real life?

    Also how can you be sure that the long-term temperature record is accurate, given the fact it isn't generated as a result of direct temperature records, but itself modelled and approximated from 3rd-hand data like tree rings?

    You can't even generate an accurate historical record of man made CO2 produced during the industrial revolution because no observations were made at the time.

    Without solid data and solid models, the predicted future outcomes cannot be guaranteed with the accuracy that climate modellers bandy about. Using accurate observational data collected recently you could make a fairly good stab at short-term future climate, but the further out you get, the fuzzier it gets. Use fuzzy historical data and the fuzziness gets extra-fuzzy with an increasingly infinate number of possible outcomes available to cherry-pick from.

    They may be plausible outcomes, but without anything near the certainty that is being pushed on us and nowhere near the certainty that demands trillions of pounds worth of tax and spend.

    I've lived through climate scares before including a prophesy of an impending ice age. Scientists live in a climate of doom, dread and alarmism, because without alarmism, there is no publicity, without publicity there is little funding. Its a self-fulfilling system which can all too easily be corrupted in the quest for funding.

    I have yet to see someone prove a true, definate scientifically proven link between CO2 and warming.

    All I've seen is statistical data which in no way is a proven link, I've seen computer models that show what might happen IF CO2 does cause warming, again without that link being proven.

    But then again I regularly use computer models that show me flying a plane, or fighting aliens and a whole host of other impossible things. A computer model is only as good as the data fed into it and the programming of parameters used to manipulate the data.

    I'd like someone to explain to me how a rough model that very roughly approximates a rough temperature record suddenly becomes an accurate predictor of climate decades into the future.

    One last question: Given the fact that all your peers promote AGW, how hard do you think it would be to speak out against it? Do you think that like the meporers clothes, its much easier for scientists to avoid ridicule and go against the consensus?

    How do you think Warren and Marshall felt when their theory that bacteria caused peptic ulcers was received with scepticism from the consensus? We know know they were right, but initially they had a hard time convincing the scientific community. Only by others duplicating their research and verifying their findings did their theory eventually become accepted science.

    The same should happen for AGW, but what has happened is that there is little or no independent duplication of data or models. Instead a small clique has used the same data in similar models in order to come to similar outcomes and then they all review each other's findings.

    It is not good science.

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