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AGW Doubter on Global Warming

Updated on November 3, 2016

Introduction

The global warming controversy has been complicated by various groups with other agenda. It does not help when some scientists decides to change the name to "climate change." I prefer to define the problem as precisely as possible. The real controversy is whether human activities are the main cause of global warming-Anthropogenic Global Warming(AGW) . It has been almost 20 years since the Kyoto Protocol was signed. Recently, I came across a book by Guy Dauncey called The Climate Challenge - 101 Solutions to Global Warming. In one chapter, he brought up the topic of dealing with deniers. I like to address this from the point of an AGW doubter. I hope you will keep an open mind and let me know if you agree or disagree.

-Mar. 2015

Background

Currently, I am an AGW doubter. I have been studying this topic for many years and have read various reports and followed the news and various controversies over the years and read numerous books. I have been interested by this topic for over 20 years. I believe in protecting our environment and having clean air and clean water. We only have one habitat and we need to take good care of it for ourselves and our children. The problem I have with global warming proponents is the dire predictions that were made and the fact that they were wrong in their claims. As an engineer, I am pragmatic. I believe in the scientific method and in results. I also believe in practical solutions to real problems. In order to be convinced, I have created a list of what I need to see.

On Expert Predictions

Before I present my list, let me give you my take on experts making predictions. We have always had experts who claims to know a particular subject matter. They will make some predictions about the future and we are expected to take their word for it - no questions asked. When the prediction comes true, they will take credit and say "I told you so." When the prediction fails, they will make all sorts of excuses and never admit their failings. Over the years, I have come up with my own criteria in judging expert predictions.

In order to be credible, I believe there are five components.

  1. The prediction or expert opinion must be specific and not general in nature.
  2. The prediction should apply to a specific time frame.
  3. The prediction should come with a confidence factor (0-100%).
  4. The prediction should be qualified with certain assumptions.
  5. There should be some consequence or "price to pay" if the prediction fail to materialize.

Why should these five components be necessary? In order to gain credibility for any experts, they need to provide some metrics on their accuracy.

Let me give an example of a hypothetical expert prediction.

Suppose an oil exploration expert was asked to predict the price of crude oil.

Here would be a good prediction. I expect the price of crude oil will average $80 per barrel by the end of 2015. My confidence level is 90% assuming the geopolitical status remain the same in the Middle East and no major conflict to disrupt oil production. If I'm wrong, I will not make any future predictions regarding the price of oil or I will donate 20% of my income to the Red Cross...

Why is this important? As a society, we rely on experts in government and industries and Academia to come up with policies and regulations and laws that will benefit all of us. If they get it wrong, there are real consequences that hurt the general public. I rather they tell us they don't know than pretend to know and then say oops.

The recent drop in the price of oil is a prime example. To my knowledge, no one predicted this. In fact, some have even predicted the price going much higher due to the theory of "peak oil." How did they get it so wrong? Could it be that somethings are just too complicated and not predictable?

Here is a final challenge to all experts who is absolutely convinced of AGW. Put your money and reputation on the line. Please sign a pledge that if you are wrong about this, you will do XYZ to make amends. The XYZ could be rescind your grant, resign your post, donate a partial of your net worth to charity...Anything that will provide the assurance that you are fully committed to this cause and that your reputation as a scientist is at stake.

My List of Expectations

The following is my list so far. I have no hidden agenda. Please take this on face value and believe me that I want what is best for the whole world. If I am convinced of the human activities causing global warming, I will do all I can as a citizen to combat it. In the meantime, I am a doubting Thomas. Some in the media have offered the proposition - what is the harm? If it turns out to be wrong, we still have clean environment due to reduced fossil fuel use. What they are missing is that there is a negative impact on all of us resulting from the drastic policies to convert to renewable fuel before it is ready. This will lead to lower quality of life and reduced economic development especially in developing nations.

  1. We need better science in this arena and not rely on consensus.
  2. We need to admit that the problem is extremely complicated and Carbon dioxide is only one of many causes and effects that affect climate.
  3. We don't have all the answers and the science is not settled as some have claimed. Especially when all the climate models have failed to predict the last 17 years.
  4. We need open and transparent access to the raw data so that analysis and conclusions can be independently verified.
  5. We need to assess the natural contributions of volcanos and other events that are out of our control.
  6. We need to separate the AGW problem from environmental protection.
  7. We need to stop with the scare tactics and exaggerate the impact.
  8. We need some in politics and hollywood and the media to stop the hypocracy.
  9. We need to perform a cost benefit analysis on proposed solutions.
  10. Before trying geoengineering, we better make sure it is going to help and not cause more harm.
  11. We need to stop demonizing people who may have genuine concerns about the theory of AGW.

Conclusion

Before moving forward with any global actions to counter AGW, we need to identify all our options. As I said before, some actions might have serious implications and extreme costs attached. There are also unintended consequences that might be worse than the cure.

If global warming is man made, I see four options at this point.

  1. We can change our behavior such as reduce fossil fuel...
  2. We can adapt our living just as our ancestors did by relocating to more hospitable locations.
  3. We can do a combination of both 1 and 2.
  4. We can do nothing.

Comments

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    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Larry, Thanks for the explanation. It is hard to understand how some people can fall for these dire long term projections especially when they are exaggerated by their own admission...

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 2 years ago from Northern California

      Hello, Jack. Sorry, I was not expressing myself very clearly. Anthony's quote was sarcasm directed at Warmies, who keep insisting that we do not understand the fine distinction between climate and weather.

      Of course, they do not define either term when they are communicating with us. Some Warmies glom onto this meme, in the mistaken belief that it is a conversation-stopper, rather than a way of saying: I am an idiot.

      It has absolutely nothing to do with you. Speaking of prediction in the sciences, here's an immortal quote from Baseball's very own Yogi Berra:

      It's tough to make predictions -- especially about the future. :)

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Larry - Thanks for smoothing over with Chris. I hope he re-think some of his comments. Btw, I wasn't implying weather and climate is the same, merely pointing out how difficult it is to predict them. There are so many variables that focusing on Carbon Dioxide emissions is like walking with blinders.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 2 years ago from Northern California

      Hi, Christopher. So we're talking weather vs climate, are we? Here is Anthony Watts' take on this particular red herring, which is frequently raised by Warmies:

      Weather is not climate, unless we say it is.

      I couldn't help but notice that you have not defined either term. Was that an oversight, or are you simply parroting someone else's talking point, which you do not understand?

      Are you really going to leave us alone? If so, please don't go away mad; just go away.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 2 years ago from Northern California

      Christopher, it is not my practice to respond, point-by-point, to all 'shotgun' claims, like the two in your recent comment. Most trolls are not interested in well-reasoned conversation, anyway. They are mainly intolerant people, who want to make others miserable. That said, here's one quote from that comment of yours:

      "Oh, and to address the 'pause' in global warming, The word pause is not being used in the conventional sense. It is not a halt in rising temperature. It is merely a slight slowing down of warming, it is still getting progressively warmer."

      In terms of counterpoint, here's a quote from Warmist pseudo-scientist, Phil Jones, from Email 4195, from the second batch of Climategate emails:

      "Tim, Chris, I hope you’re not right about the lack of warming lasting till about 2020."

      Christopher, what part of the word, "lack" are you failing to comprehend? And why are the leading Warmies so reluctant to share this important piece of information with The Great Unwashed? (That's us.) I could add a similar quote from Kevin Trenberth, but that would be overkill.

      And puhleez, do not play the Out Of Context card. My response would be to ask: What is the true context? You will not answer, because you cannot. There is no 'missing' context. What you see is what you get.

      The satellite data show a very slight decrease in global average temperature since the big El Niño year in 1998. However that decrease is not yet statistically significant. You can view a not-quite-current graph of the satellite data in my hub -- assuming that you are capable of reading graphs.

      If we go back 19 years, there is ZERO trend in average global temperature change. How long did the warming trend last? I'm glad that you asked. Would you believe 19 years? 1979 - 1998. 1979 was a relatively cool year.

      Dr Constance Millar's dendrology study at Whitewing Mountain, in California's Southern Sierra Nevada Range, suggests that the year 1350 was measurably warmer than the 'unprecedented' Gorebull warming that we experienced during the 1980s and 1990s.

      The year 1350 was well before our 'evil' Industrial Revolution, with its attendant 'planet-wreck' carbon emissions. This agrees with clam shell studies near Iceland. Oh, silly me. I keep forgetting that Warmies are Climate History Deniers.

    • Christopher Jay T profile image

      Christopher Jay Thompson 2 years ago from Fort Worth, TX

      this is my point, you don't even Know the difference between weather and climate. Predicting global temperature rise an predicting weather are 2 different fields. you just refuse to acknowledge the facts, and the more you argue the more you prove that you don't know the science behind the subject you are trying to debate. I'm done wasting my time. I have better things to do.

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Christopher - You just proved my point. The prediction does not correlate with actual data. I am not disputing the earth is warming. It has gone through many ups and downs over the last few thousand years. That being said, there is no definitive proof that man is causing the warming in recent years or played a bigger role. As recent as in the 1970's, some scientists were warning about a coming ice ages. Just recently, some other scientists are warning about another mini ice age due to the sun's inactivity. The climate is very complex. Predicting it is even harder over decades when we can't even predict the weather next week accurately. The butterfly effect is just that. Small changes can have large effects and we don't have the resources to monitor all events. We certainly cannot predict what the sun will do. Keep an open mind. Peace.

    • Christopher Jay T profile image

      Christopher Jay Thompson 2 years ago from Fort Worth, TX

      Ok, Fine here goes. In 2001 IPPC predicted that the seal level would rise 2 millimeters per year, yet it's rising 3,1- 3.3 mm a year. even though the numbers may appear small, it is a big deal. Oh, and to address the "pause" in global warming, The word pause is not being used in the conventional sense. It is not a halt in rising temperature. It is merely a slight slowing down of warming, it is still getting progressively warmer.

    • Christopher Jay T profile image

      Christopher Jay Thompson 2 years ago from Fort Worth, TX

      Larry, its because I am on here to write articles, not to waste my time trying to disprove people who think that scientific peer reviewed articles are bullshit and get their information from unqualified sources. I could probably find several. It wouldn't matter anyways, people like you won't listen to facts or reason. Arguing with GW deniers is a waste of time. If you won't believe the smartest scientists in the world, whgy would you believe me

    • Christopher Jay T profile image

      Christopher Jay Thompson 2 years ago from Fort Worth, TX

      yeah, so are you.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 2 years ago from Northern California

      Hey, Christopher! Jack politely played the Name One card: "Please name one thing that they predicted that turned out worse."

      For whatever reason, you chose to change the subject. Is it because of defective reading comprehension skills? Or is it because you cannot produce a shred of evidence to support your sweeping claim? Or both?

      In the physical sciences, successful prediction is the coin of the realm. At the moment, the available RAW data is overwhelmingly against the AGW hypothesis. Warmist pseudo-scientists are behaving like effing lawyers, and they are a stain on the entire scientific profession.

      Jack is an engineer. Engineers do not have much tolerance for lame excuses. The bridge either stands, or it collapses. If it is the latter, someone is responsible. Moreover Jack has shown remarkable restraint in responding to your ignorant comments.

      In contrast, the Warmies do not have the cojones to accept responsibility for their thoroughly falsified hypothesis. Every year, their lies get bigger, and their noses get longer. Why?

      Because they are mostly tenth-rate. They do not have the talent to do good-quality original research, and they have become addicted to grants from the goobermint-funded AGW gravy train.

      Their results are always a foregone conclusion. The example in the back of my mind is Keith Briffa's fraudulent tree ring study from the Yamal Peninsula. Jo Nova's informative blog post on the subject is called Cherry Picking of Epic Proportions, if I remember correctly.

      By the way, my academic background is in analytical chemistry. And I'm an amateur mathematician. For example, I have written an original hub about Benford's Law. It is not the most powerful treatment of the subject, but it is the simplest valid approach And no, you are probably not sufficiently intelligent to grasp the nuances.

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Christopher - I get my news from all areas and I found Fox News to be the most honest, unlike NBC, CNN or The New York Times. The demonization of Fox News is one of Jon Stewart's goal. He and Obama met in the White House on two occasions and his staff receives talking points from the Obama staff on a regular basis. You are being lied to and you don't even know it.

    • Christopher Jay T profile image

      Christopher Jay Thompson 2 years ago from Fort Worth, TX

      just keep watching FOX news, and continue to see your IQ drop. Peer reviewed Journals are the only place you will get scientific fact. If the suppressed stuff from AGW writers it's because their stuff is not scientific, and does not fit the criteria for being published. So, basically, you don't take real science writing seriously, and you get your information from unqualified deniers which are funded mostly by the Koch brothers and Exxon. And know one will take you seriously if you keep using Fox news as a resource. They are a Tabloid in the guise of a news station.

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Christopher - In the past, the sun has played a bigger role in our climate and there is no reason to believe it won't again. It is not the science that is in doubt but the whole assumptions. Did you know our sun is undergoing an inactive period? It is one of the weakest solar cycle and it may repeat the Maunder minimum. Please study your history. Peer review journals only confirm what they know to be true. If you read the emails from climategate, you will find that they suppress papers that have opposing views of AGW.

    • Christopher Jay T profile image

      Christopher Jay Thompson 2 years ago from Fort Worth, TX

      No the sun is a very small component. You call yourself a skeptic, but a good skeptic would know the science. you do not know the science. If you would actually read peer reviewed journals you would get a better understanding. You can find tome on google scholar.

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Christopher - you are not understand me. I don't claim the majority of the scientist are wrong or are lying. They could be perfectly right in there specific field and determine the world is warming. They just don't know what is the cause. They postulate it is man made yet they don't have a good model and their models are very bad at predictions going forward. That is the crux of the problem. My skepticism is that they are ignoring other factors that could also cause warming. The sun is a big component and we have no control over it.

    • Christopher Jay T profile image

      Christopher Jay Thompson 2 years ago from Fort Worth, TX

      They changed it from global warming to climate change because people are idiots who think because it's cold in winter, global warming doesn't exist. It's because people don't understand that it's about overall global temperature.global warming doesn't mean it isn't cold in Alaska or cold in the winter. they changed the name so people wouldn't be confused, but now you can use it as part of your elaborate conspiracy which is necessary to come up with the conclusion that the majority of scientists in the world are lying. How pompous are you to think you know more than some of the d

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Christopher - How so? What have they predicted that turned out to be far worse? Why did they change the "global warming" to "climate change"? Why did the pause in rising temperatures for 17 years - that they could not explain? Please name one thing that they predicted that turned out worse.

    • Christopher Jay T profile image

      Christopher Jay Thompson 2 years ago from Fort Worth, TX

      You are correct that many of the climate scientists claims have been wrong. What you aren't telling your audience is that the results have been far worse.

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Thanks, I am a big fan of WUWT. I'll check out your hub.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 2 years ago from Northern California

      Hello, Jack. You have provided an excellent frame of reference. From this perspective, we can evaluate the dubious claims of the 'Warmies'. Voted up and interesting.

      For whatever it's worth, I have written a long, boring hub on the subject. And that includes a link to an independent field study on AGW, which I posted as a guest article at the most highly rated science blog on the planet. Yes, I'm talking about (gasp!) wattsupwiththat.

      Disclaimer: I write for people of above-average intelligence, who understand the concept of evidence, who understand the classical logical fallacies, and who are capable of independent thought.

      If you are a Satellite Denier, and read my article here at HubPages, or the one at WUWT, and your head explodes, you have not exercised due diligence. I am not legally liable.