A Win For The Scientific Method

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A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Garm » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

Interesting article on the failure of recent efforts of Climate Change Denialism.

http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/10/climate-skepticism-takes-another-hit

TL;DR version: A prominent Cal Berkeley physicist decides that all those Climate Scientists can't do math properly. Sets up an institute called BEST and takes money from people like the Koch Brothers. Looks at all the numbers for global warming, finds the models being used are very accurate.
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:59 pm UTC

I think the title should be changed to "Yet Another Win for the Scientific Method." Just "a win for the scientific method" is hardly news :)
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Dauric » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:05 pm UTC

Everybody, on the count of three:

1

2

3

"Science! It works Bitches!"
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Jahoclave » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:33 pm UTC

What this also shows is that you can get free monies from jackasses like the Koch brothers to do science if you claim you're looking into why science is wrong.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Triangle_Man » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

More than the fact that this guy accepted money to try and prove Climate Change Skepticism, I love how he eventually came out and said "Nope, it turns out they're using some damn good models".

This is in accordance with one of the things I consider to be important to intellectual thought; if you see something that challenges your worldview, at least give it consideration before you decide whether or not to dismiss it. If you see something that outright contradicts your worldview, then maybe your worldview is more than a bit 'incorrect'.
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Tirian » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:34 pm UTC

I wish this would lead to the sorts of things that winning would indicate. But, as the article points out, in the Republican party you look like a measured statesman for saying "Well, science says that, but there is no evidence that the warming is caused by humans or that any action we could take would change the effects." As long as they have some excuse to keep on digging the hole we're in, we're no better than we were and they'll probably want a cookie for "meeting us halfway".

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:42 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:"Well, science says that, but there is no evidence that the warming is caused by humans or that any action we could take would change the effects."


This is one of the most contradictory statements I've ever read.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Adam H » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:45 pm UTC

For your reading pleasure...

Here is muller's original piece.

Here is a rebuttal.

Here is an email chain between Muller, a colleague, and a climate change skeptic

sourmìlk wrote:
Tirian wrote:"Well, science says that, but there is no evidence that the warming is caused by humans or that any action we could take would change the effects."


This is one of the most contradictory statements I've ever read.
He's saying that science says the earth is getting warmer, but science does not say exactly why or how. That may be wrong, but it's not contradictory.
-Adam

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:52 pm UTC

Oh, I thought it was saying that "Science says that Global Warming is man made, but there's no evidence for it."
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:55 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:More than the fact that this guy accepted money to try and prove Climate Change Skepticism, I love how he eventually came out and said "Nope, it turns out they're using some damn good models".

This is in accordance with one of the things I consider to be important to intellectual thought; if you see something that challenges your worldview, at least give it consideration before you decide whether or not to dismiss it. If you see something that outright contradicts your worldview, then maybe your worldview is more than a bit 'incorrect'.


Yeah, I give the guy major kudos for intellectual honesty.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Tirian » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:05 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Oh, I thought it was saying that "Science says that Global Warming is man made, but there's no evidence for it."


Humans didn't cause the Ice Age. The Earth gets warmer and cooler in a cyclical pattern. Even if you declared that the Earth is currently getting warmer at a rate that we cannot find precedent for, that still doesn't rule out that we're in the middle of a Perfect Storm of terrestrial and solar forces that's larger than human influence for ill or good.

At least that's what we'll hear, and are hearing now. Hell, if Muller can't find evidence that the current global depression isn't having an impact on temperatures, it's almost an argument that supports that fucking up the world economy on purpose for environmental justice would have to do even more social harm to reap any chance of a benefit.

(To be clear, I'm not supporting any of these arguments, just that I expect to have to face them.)

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:14 pm UTC

But haven't we shown that solar cycles haven't changed sufficiently in the past ~30 years, and that natural CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions have remained constant, and thus that the only changing variable is human greenhouse gas production?
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Garm » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:But haven't we shown that solar cycles haven't changed sufficiently in the past ~30 years, and that natural CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions have remained constant, and thus that the only changing variable is human greenhouse gas production?


LALALALA I can't hear you!!!
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Dauric » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:10 pm UTC

Garm wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:But haven't we shown that solar cycles haven't changed sufficiently in the past ~30 years, and that natural CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions have remained constant, and thus that the only changing variable is human greenhouse gas production?


LALALALA I can't hear you!!!



Well, as the article mentioned, the up-and-coming argument (which I've heard a few times on News Hour by now) is that the economic disruption of additional regulation would be worse -for people-* than the impact from global warming.

*'Cause y'know God says people are the only things that count...
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Jessica » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Garm wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:But haven't we shown that solar cycles haven't changed sufficiently in the past ~30 years, and that natural CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions have remained constant, and thus that the only changing variable is human greenhouse gas production?
LALALALA I can't hear you!!!
Well, as the article mentioned, the up-and-coming argument (which I've heard a few times on News Hour by now) is that the economic disruption of additional regulation would be worse -for people-* than the impact from global warming.

*'Cause y'know God says people are the only things that count...
Really? But... there have been studies which have shown the opposite of that! Why don't people try and listen to studies :(
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Dauric » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:26 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:]Really? But... there have been studies which have shown the opposite of that! Why don't people try and listen to studies :(


'Cause your studies come from commie-pinko socialist terrorists bent on destroying the Magnificent Wonders of Capitalism. </snark>
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby mmmcannibalism » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:26 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Garm wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:But haven't we shown that solar cycles haven't changed sufficiently in the past ~30 years, and that natural CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions have remained constant, and thus that the only changing variable is human greenhouse gas production?


LALALALA I can't hear you!!!



Well, as the article mentioned, the up-and-coming argument (which I've heard a few times on News Hour by now) is that the economic disruption of additional regulation would be worse -for people-* than the impact from global warming.

*'Cause y'know God says people are the only things that count...


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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:38 pm UTC

Well I mean even if we do discount every creature other than humans, who can honestly say that fewer jobs (if that were actually to happen) would be less preferable than starving as plants can no longer survive in a toxic planet?
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Slpee » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:02 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Yeah, I give the guy major kudos for intellectual honesty.


Yeah pretty much this 100% i was reading the article and I had to just stop and think "Wow, here's a guy who set out in no uncertain terms to proof that he was right, came back with results showing that he was, in fact, wrong, and then had the balls to admit it and own up to it. I really respect that." Seriously though, I hope those who have been saying that climate change was real don't treat him too horribly about it. he was man enough to admit the flaws in his view, don't rub it in his face. (Not implying anyone here is doing that/would do that, just want to make the general statement because I know that people exist in the world that would do that.)

Also: Science! It works bitches!
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Wodashin » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:34 pm UTC

Remember that time Spain decided to go full throttle on Green jobs and then became an economic powerhouse?

No?

Wait, they are going through some of the worst economic turmoil in Europe right now?

Oh, okay.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:43 pm UTC

Wodashin wrote:Remember that time Spain decided to go full throttle on Green jobs and then became an economic powerhouse?

No?

Wait, they are going through some of the worst economic turmoil in Europe right now?

Oh, okay.


Remember that one xkcd comic?

Their program failed. That does not mean that the factor causing it to fail was that it was green.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Wodashin » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:04 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Wodashin wrote:Remember that time Spain decided to go full throttle on Green jobs and then became an economic powerhouse?

No?

Wait, they are going through some of the worst economic turmoil in Europe right now?

Oh, okay.


Remember that one xkcd comic?

Their program failed. That does not mean that the factor causing it to fail was that it was green.


Global Warming isn't man-made. Correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation. It could be any number of things.

:roll:

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:06 am UTC

Except that we've isolated the variables. We have found a causal link. I'd like you to show me a direct causal link between Spain's program being green and its failing.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Wodashin » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:21 am UTC

mfw the sun exists.

Also, mfw Spain admitted that they needed to forgo their Green Economy stunt in order to stop from becoming another Greece, and that the jobs lost per Green job created ratio was actually worse than the estimated 2.2.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:24 am UTC

Wodashin wrote:mfw the sun exists.

Data has been gathered: the sun has been providing a consistent amount of radiation for the past 30 years. Do you really think that 98% of climatologists are so stupid that they wouldn't even isolate the necessary variables?

Also, mfw Spain admitted that they needed to forgo their Green Economy stunt in order to stop from becoming another Greece, and that the jobs lost per Green job created ratio was actually worse than the estimated 2.2.

Doesn't prove your point.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby yurell » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:29 am UTC

Sorry, what does MFW abbreviate?
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Wodashin » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:46 am UTC

Regardless, Global Warming is a lie propagated in order to create a New World Order by destroying the economies of the first world and spreading the wealth to the third world. The liberal socialist agenda is so obviously clear that I can't imagine how all of you are not seeing it.

Obviously somebody isn't keeping up on their Glenn Beck. :roll:

I usually like to argue from "the other side" for fun, but I'm finding it hard right now. :|

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Greyarcher » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:11 am UTC

Wodashin wrote:I usually like to argue from "the other side" for fun, but I'm finding it hard right now. :|
...because it involves acting bloody retarded and wrong-headed? I would hope doing that for any period of time would be mentally uncomfortable.
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Nordic Einar » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:17 am UTC

yurell wrote:Sorry, what does MFW abbreviate?


"My Face When". It's a douchebaggey meme from 4chan, unsurprisingly.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Wodashin » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:32 am UTC

Greyarcher wrote:
Wodashin wrote:I usually like to argue from "the other side" for fun, but I'm finding it hard right now. :|
...because it involves acting bloody retarded and wrong-headed? I would hope doing that for any period of time would be mentally uncomfortable.


It is.

Personally, I really have no stake in this Climate Change stuff either way. I'm just foregoing the bickering and waiting another 5 years, when everything will most likely be settled definitively. Even if it is right now. I'm still pushing for space colonization, and at that point I'm fine with the "destroy world, move on" policy. Probably've seen too many bad sci-fi movies, but I think that's a decent way to operate.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Greyarcher » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:00 am UTC

Yeah, I generally don't bicker over the issue either. :D I don't have the scientific background to really argue about it, so I'm thankfully never tempted.

I just figure--if there's surprisingly widespread and international agreement on the issue, and it's been checked multiple times, then it's probably legit--that's really enough for me. The alternatives tend to be weird conspiracy theories or isolated individuals who could more plausibly be considered crackpots or someone pursuing an agenda by disagreeing.
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby yurell » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:32 am UTC

Nordic Einar wrote:"My Face When". It's a douchebaggey meme from 4chan, unsurprisingly.


Okay ... I had looked it up and that was all I could find, but it made absolutely no sense in context so I had to ask.
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:52 am UTC

Wodashin, taking a point just to start an argument is called trolling. Don't do that.

And god damn it should be difficult to argue against man-made global warming. The evidence is absurdly plain.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby yurell » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:55 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Wodashin, taking a point just to start an argument is called trolling. Don't do that.


It's also called 'Devil's advocate' if it's to start a discussion, which can be a useful thing to have.
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:02 am UTC

yurell wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Wodashin, taking a point just to start an argument is called trolling. Don't do that.


It's also called 'Devil's advocate' if it's to start a discussion, which can be a useful thing to have.


Devil's advocate is different: the point of playing devil's advocate is to strengthen a person's argument and point out flaws. Wodashin was not responding to perceived errors in my argument: he started an argument with no evidence and no intent to debate rationally.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Greyarcher » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:12 am UTC

Indeed. Devil's advocacy that isn't focused on working out actual problems in a position just gives the phrase a bad name. Employing sophistry or engaging in tomfool contrariness can give the other party practice in rhetoric and argumentation, but I wouldn't properly call it devil's advocacy.
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:52 am UTC

And really, I've had plenty of practice in rhetoric and argumentation. If I'm not good at it by now, all hope is lost. (And I'm not saying I'm good at it ;))
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Arancaytar » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:30 am UTC

I suppose the Kochs now want their money back?
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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Vash » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:52 pm UTC

One could also just be insulting the opposing argument by demonstrating its worst form. First post was a troll post, though.

Also, I think this is great, but I still don't think it will convince skeptics. Surely, it will be somewhat useful for doing so, however.

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Re: A Win For The Scientific Method

Postby Arrian » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:29 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:Really? But... there have been studies which have shown the opposite of that! Why don't people try and listen to studies :(


Like the Stern Report? There are serious issues with that, they made major, nonstandard assumptions and their results reflected that. Other economic research is all over the board on whether and how much global warming will affect the economy. (Some even find net positive effects.)

But, most importantly, remember that all these studies use the same methodology, the same data, even a lot of the same assumptions that the ratings agencies used when they rated all those asset backed securities AAA. They used the same methods, even the same models as the people who predicted back in 2006 and 2007 that the US would see 3-4% GDP growth. The only difference is that the people predicting the effects of climate change have a whole lot less data and are forecasting a couple orders of magnitude farther into the future. (The CBO, for example, doesn't forecast more than 10 years into the future unless ordered to do so by Congress. And when they do that, they spend more time on disclaimers than on actual numbers, it's just too unpredictable. Climate studies are forecasting out 50-100 years.)

So, yes there have been studies that have shown the opposite, but they're nowhere near conclusive, and if you don't trust the predictions Wall Street makes, you really, really should be leery of these predictions as well.


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