John Oliver hosts a mathematically representative climate change debate, with the help of special guest Bill Nye the Science Guy, of course.

Category: UnScience, Weekend

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

10 Responses to “Statistically Appropriate Climate Change Debate”

  1. DeDude says:

    And just to preempt it: yes sometimes the minority turns out to be right. However, that only happens if they can point out where the majority is making a mistake, and they themselves have a coherent argument and evidence in favor of their minority opinion.

    • ilsm says:

      Koches (a few get to profit by pillaging the common) are always right.

      Of course, unlike the ordinary person a Koch makes money now so they can endure climate disaster later. Koches love type II error when it means they keep their dividends and can sell destroying the climate as “energy security”.

      Way to go Senate not voting for oil/shale slurry piped through the US heartland!

  2. DrSandman says:

    “If I were wrong, then one would be enough.” — Albert Einstein (1931), response to the published book “100 Authors Against Einstein.”

    This mental STD is politics wrapped in the veneer of science, masquerading as a religion.

    Of the 4 “facts” he mentioned, exactly zero were true. I stopped watching at that point as it offends me as a scientist.

    * Global temperatures are NOT increasing. Even the “massaged” and manipulated temperature record has shown exactly zero warming since 1998, while CO2 has increased greatly in the time-frame. When raw GHCN temperatures are used (rural thermometers are systematically dropped from the records and UHI-affected ones remain), global temperatures have fallen slightly. The chart Oliver shows is the well-known and oft-debunked GISS chart that erased the 1930′s heat wave. The original data “no longer exists” so it cannot be verified, meaning that it has to be taken on faith (i.e., religion), not independently verified (i.e., science).

    * Heat waves are no more frequent since the late 1890′s, and have a long way to go to surpass the 1930′s heat waves. http://www.epa.gov/climate/climatechange/pdfs/print_heat-waves.pdf

    * The global sea surface temperature is unchanged from 2000: (multiple data sources, but concatenated nicely here:) http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c01a3fd04693d970b-pi

    * And glaciers are recovering, on average, and may be fully recovered in some areas by 2050 owing to increased precipitation. The antarctic sea-ice anomaly is near the largest ever recorded: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/iphone/images/iphone.anomaly.antarctic.png

    Yeah, bla bla bla, 97% (also debunked). They never asked my opinion in that faulty, self-selected (hence, biased) survey, and I would be a fully credentialed PhD in physics (specializing in fluid dynamics, chaos, & nonlinear/complex systems). I fully expect this post to be moderated to kingdom-come and/or be met with ad hominem attacks; I will not respond nor debate, as Oliver astutely points out, you can’t debate facts.

    • DeDude says:

      I can fully understand why you would not want to debate your “facts”, your sources, and the conclusions you are drawing from the limited and cherry-picked data you are linking to. I too would move on if the ice float was melting from under my feet.

      http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/22186/melting-ice-polar-bear

    • Joe_T. says:

      1. “Global temperatures are NOT increasing.”

      Slowing of warming in the short term is not to say global temperatures are not increasing:
      - 1998 was an unusually warm year, not unexpected following a strong El Nino (which, by the way, we’re likely to get in 2014, and if history repeats, will warm up the following year(s)). Deniers/skeptics always start their non-warming argument from that 1998 peak. That is a statistical bias that should not be presented in any objective analysis.
      - the 2000s were warmer than the 1990s.
      - 13 of the 14 warmest years on record occurred in the 21st century.

      2. “Heat waves are no more frequent since the late 1890′s [IN THE U.S.], and have a long way to go to surpass the 1930′s heat waves.”

      –1) Reference provides information for 2% of the surface area of the globe (the U.S.).
      –2) Extremely short term weather events, with little climate significance.
      –3) There exists information on recent extreme record heat waves in other countries (e.g., Russia, Australia). But again, these are short term weather events.

      3. “The global sea surface temperature is unchanged from 2000″
      - Again, cherry picking the starting point of data to make a predetermined point. Why not go to the source and do a regression over a longer time period?
      https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ersst/
      The bias in that chart you provided is practically undeniable, since they start from May, 2001, but the graph they use has an X-axis starting at May, 1996. Presenting the data starting from May, 1996 would have disproved their point. They were too lazy to change the axis when they removed data!

      4. “And glaciers are recovering, on average, and may be fully recovered in some areas by 2050 owing to increased precipitation. The antarctic sea-ice anomaly is near the largest ever recorded”

      - Glaciers: “Since the early twentieth century, with few exceptions, glaciers around the world have been retreating at unprecedented rates. ” http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/glaciers/questions/climate.html

      - Sea ice: “Data suggest that since then [1972], Arctic ice has been decreasing at an average rate of about 3 percent per decade, while Antarctic ice has increased by about 0.8 percent per decade.” http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/environment/trends.html

      In order to investigate claim 3, I went to c3headlines to get more information on that referenced chart. I saw this as the first article, which I feel needs to be mentioned due to its obvious bias and attempt to misinform:
      http://www.c3headlines.com/2014/05/seven-scary-facts-global-left-greens-chris-mooney-mother-jones-scorching-truth-climate-change-global-warming.html
      They’re basically dismissing the warm period of 2014 by looking only at the U.S., by concentrating on criticizing (don’t go there if you don’t like ad hominem attacks) another publication’s presentation. Yes, the U.S. (again, 2% of the surface area of the globe) experienced cold temperatures due to the Polar Vortex. But the entire planet Earth experienced warming, having the fourth warmest January on record, and ditto for March, i.e., the fourth warmest March on record. But reading this piece, you’d think warming wasn’t happening in 2014. Easy to trick their readers. This is a very biased website, which shows its bias in the first paragraph by coining an acronym “Catastrophic Global Warming Derangement Syndrome (CGWDS)”. Clearly not an adult, objective source of information.

      Your positions/sources show bias (statistical term, not ad hominem), that need to be corrected.

    • Joe_T. says:

      1. “Global temperatures are NOT increasing.”

      Slowing of warming in the short term is not to say global temperatures are not increasing:
      - 1998 was an unusually warm year, not unexpected following a strong El Nino (which, by the way, we’re likely to get in 2014, and if history repeats, will warm up the following year(s)). Deniers/skeptics always start their non-warming argument from that 1998 peak. That is a statistical bias that should not be presented in any objective analysis.
      - the 2000s were warmer than the 1990s.
      - 13 of the 14 warmest years on record occurred in the 21st century.

      2. “Heat waves are no more frequent since the late 1890′s [IN THE U.S.], and have a long way to go to surpass the 1930′s heat waves.”

      –1) Reference provides information for 2% of the surface area of the globe (the U.S.).
      –2) Extremely short term weather events, with little climate significance.
      –3) There exists information on recent extreme record heat waves in other countries (e.g., Russia, Australia). But again, these are short term weather events.

      3. “The global sea surface temperature is unchanged from 2000″
      - Again, cherry picking the starting point of data to make a predetermined point. Why not go to the source and do a regression over a longer time period?
      https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ersst/
      The bias in that chart you provided is practically undeniable, since they start from May, 2001, but the graph they use has an X-axis starting at May, 1996. Presenting the data starting from May, 1996 would have disproved their point. They were too lazy to change the axis when they removed data!

      4. “And glaciers are recovering, on average, and may be fully recovered in some areas by 2050 owing to increased precipitation. The antarctic sea-ice anomaly is near the largest ever recorded”

      - Glaciers: “Since the early twentieth century, with few exceptions, glaciers around the world have been retreating at unprecedented rates. ” http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/glaciers/questions/climate.html

      - Sea ice: “Data suggest that since then, Arctic ice has been decreasing at an average rate of about 3 percent per decade, while Antarctic ice has increased by about 0.8 percent per decade.” http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/environment/trends.html

      In order to investigate claim 3, I went to c3headlines to get more information on that referenced chart. I saw this as the first article, and thought I should point out this site’s obvious bias and intention to mislead:
      http://www.c3headlines.com/2014/05/seven-scary-facts-global-left-greens-chris-mooney-mother-jones-scorching-truth-climate-change-global-warming.html
      They’re basically dismissing the warm of 2014 by looking only at the U.S., by concentrating on criticizing (don’t go there if you don’t like ad hominem attacks) another publication’s presentation. Yes, the U.S. (again, 2% of the surface area of the globe) experienced cold temperatures due to the Polar Vortex. But the entire planet Earth experienced warming, having the fourth warmest January on record, and ditto for March, i.e., the fourth warmest March on record. But reading this piece, you’d think warming wasn’t happening in 2014. Easy to trick their readers. This is a very biased website, which shows its bias in the first paragraph by coining an acronym “Catastrophic Global Warming Derangement Syndrome (CGWDS)”. Clearly not an adult, objective source of information.

      Your positions/sources show bias (statistical term, not ad hominem), that need to be corrected.

    • Biffah Bacon says:

      Why debate anything since you’re a scientist? Hubris. Because the attempted argument from authority contains so many played out notions here is the link that debunks drsuperdude’s narrative point by point: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/

      The real scientists who do actual research in the field have a very nice, accessible blog. Some hits:
      UHI http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=43
      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/global-warming-since-1997-underestimated-by-half/

      They even respond to climate denialists, industry funded or no.

  3. cr says:

    Yes. And that is how science changes with a small minority having to prove they are right against a larger consensus. Anecdotally, I have heard of grants being denied scientists at the highest caliber science/tech institutions because their research could refute the global warming thesis, but haven’t been able to verify it.

    Climate change from a policy perspective is troubling. First, you have to buy into the argument that they can model such a complex system over long periods. Second, emerging market industrialization poses seemingly large obstacles. Third, higher taxes seem to be the first choice of policy makers, which calls into question true motives.

    Why not go after air pollution that will have the secondary benefit of reducing CO2 production.

    BTW John Oliver is far and away the best political show on television.

    • DeDude says:

      Actually there are huge sums of money available for anybody who would have a research project that could refute global warming. Not just from oil industry and private sources but during the Cheney/Bush administration they were canvasing the field to find such projects for public funding. The best they could come up with were people who cherry-picked specific regions (to show lack of warming in those regions) for their “proving” points about global warming. Except for a few Foxes there are nobody out there referring to that type of obviously flawed “evidence”.

  4. couragesd says:

    Yes! Love it!!!
    I am going to include this now in my basic lesson on statistics and how to represent data. It is a thankless task in the face of cognitive bias.

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