September 18th, 2011

Rick Perry, Galileo, and the AGW true believers

I’ve got an article at PJ about all of the above.

49 Responses to “Rick Perry, Galileo, and the AGW true believers”

  1. Paul_In_Houston Says:

    I put this same comment there …

    EIN (Exercise In Narcissism) Warning!!! 🙂

    I’m gonna link to my post, A Perspective on Man-Made Global Warming (Excuse me: “Climate Change”)

    I’ve long felt (and argue here) that we simply don’t have enough data time-wise to make flat out statements like “incontrovertible” and “The science is settled!”

  2. George Pal Says:

    “For all the talk about the vaunted Afghan fighters, this was a war between the Jetsons and the Flintstones – and the Jetsons won and the Flintstones know it” (fall of 2001).” Thomas Friedman

    Every opinion Friedman has ever had has been couched, swaddled, or packaged in fables, parables, anecdotes, and ultimately, hubris. Only in his envy of China’s authoritarianism was he ever apparent. I doubt it will weigh heavy on Perry or anyone else to be thought crazy by an importunate idiot.

    The Galileo brouhaha seems to have been inverted to serve a purpose with an agenda behind it. Skeptics and doubters are presently in the dock, ridiculed and mocked, not the scientists espousing AGW/CC, many of whom ought to be. That Galileo’s postulations were first met with skepticism, religious and scientific, would suggest both common sense and the scientific method were at work. That AGW/CC postulations are met with skepticism seems to have irked some scientists and have given the unscientific conniptions – surely a sign the jig is about up.

    Ad hominems are the first resort of those without an argument to press the agenda.

  3. SteveH Says:

    The givaway of the fraud is all solutions proposed look mysteriously like central planned communismn run by an elite class. Which ironically is a system noted mostly for its filth and pollution. But i’m forgeting they do have awesome words and statements they freely express to show their concern about the environment.

  4. texexec Says:

    Great article, Neo. Well researched and very thoughtful.

    I get very very tired of arrogant idiots like Friedman.

    Then I remember that the USA has always had to contend with that sort of person and somehow, we have muddled through it.

  5. Curtis Says:

    I am ignorant and anti-science. And I want to kill you. My name is Mohammad. Thanks for the respect and honorary degrees you give me on college campuses.

  6. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Well, I left two comments at the PJ site, but neither has been accepted.

    Let me first say that the article is very well written and I agree with it completely.

    There is a commenter at PJ who calls himself “A physicist.” He is the typical AGW believer who keeps using strawman arguments and relying on consensus or arguments from authority.

    For such people I have always tried to get them to
    explain why we must give up our freedoms and reduce our standards of living to that of the 19th century because of an unproven theory. They then fall back on the precautionnary principle. The idea that it is better to do something – just in case.

    For these people I then recommend they read Bjorn Lomborg’s book, “COOL IT.” Because Bjorn Lomborg believes that CO2 is causing gradual warming, but has taken a look at what can be done and his ideas are quite different then what we hear from the Greens. Here’s a bit from Michael Crichton’s review of the book:
    “Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming will further enhance Lomborg’s reputation for global analysis and thoughtful response. For anyone who wants an overview of the global warming debate from an objective source, this brief text is a perfect place to start. Lomborg is only interested in real problems, and he has no patience with media fear-mongering; he begins by dispatching the myth of the endangered polar bears, showing that this Disneyesque cartoon has no relevance to the real world where polar bear populations are in fact increasing. Lomborg considers the issue in detail, citing sources from Al Gore to the World Wildlife Fund, then demonstrating that polar bear populations have actually increased five fold since the 1960s.

    Lomborg then works his way through the concerns we hear so much about: higher temperatures, heat deaths, species extinctions, the cost of cutting carbon, the technology to do it. Lomborg believes firmly in climate change–despite his critics, he’s no denier–but his fact-based approach, grounded in economic analyses, leads him again and again to a different view. He reviews published estimates of the cost of climate change, and the cost of addressing it, and concludes that “we actually end up paying more for a partial solution than the cost of the entire problem. That is a bad deal.”

    In some of the most disturbing chapters, Lomborg recounts what leading climate figures have said about anyone who questions the orthodoxy, thus demonstrating the illiberal, antidemocratic tone of the current debate. Lomborg himself takes the larger view, explaining in detail why the tone of hysteria is inappropriate to addressing the problems we face.”

    Any reasonable person would find Lomborg’s arguments worth considering. The reaction of the AGW community to Lomborg’s ideas says more about this as a religous movement than anything I can think of.

    Adapt and prosper!

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    J.J.: Comments at Pajamas are moderated, so there’s a time lag between posting them and the time they appear. That’s probably what’s going on with your comments there.

  8. NotSoHeavyD Says:

    Geez, next you’ll tell us the RCC actually accepted 3 out of 4 of the things Galileo said. Or that the 4th, which was the only one that absolutely required a moving earth, was Galileo’s hypothesis on the tides. Then you’d tell us that they couldn’t accept it because it happens to predict 1 tide a day, it’s at the same time every day and it’s the same height every day. Or maybe you’d tell us even Einstein pointed out Galileo’s hypothesis was basically wrong and he was being biased since he really wanted the earth to be moving and ignored evidence against his point of view even though in this case it was clear his explaination was wrong. Maybe you’d even tell us something like Galileo and the Pope were old college buddies.

    Oh wait, all of that’s actually true. Oops. never mind.

  9. Harold Says:

    goto the global warming petition project; 31,000 scientists who don’t think there is global warming. I think it qualifies as scientists daily are coming to view it as a fraud.

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    Harold: actually, not so much. I researched that. It began in the 90s, and a lot of the signatures are from then rather than new ones. Also, a lot of the people on there really don’t qualify as bona fide scientists, although a substantial number do.

  11. Parker Says:

    Nicely written and well thought out.

    AGW, ACC, call it what you will it is a ‘new age’ religion. Our present day (actual) understanding of the interplay of the sun, oceans, and atmosphere is woefully inadequate to make long term (forget about short term — <1,000 years) predictions about climate. We have so little real, raw data. Reliable records go back no more than 200 years. Its all based on computer models and the problem with making these sensationalistic predictions is a matter of garage in, garbage out.

  12. SteveH Says:

    The fact that over half of climate scientist aren’t standing up in protest of how AGW is being marketed by fear merchants and over the top hype speaks volumes. We’re talking tenths of degrees over decades or centuries and fear is an acceptable tool?

    Their credibility as scientist is shot over that single issue whether AGW is “incontrovertible” or not. Hell their credibility as functional adults is shot over that issue.

  13. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Couple of decades back, some multiple of a bazillion scientists signed a petition against SDI.
    I checked some of them with the primitive research mechanisms of the day. Few had any professional connection with the issues facing SDI. My favorite was an oceanographer at Woods Hole.
    So if you want to say that we have a large number of folks terrifyingly competent in one field weighing in on another, fine. But you don’t need to restrict that to scientists. Lots of people know a heck of a lot about something and aren’t afraid to post an opinion on something else. So?

  14. rickl Says:

    That’s quite a troll you attracted there, Neo. I hope he doesn’t find his way over here.

  15. bon homme richard Says:

    Anyone who uses the term “incontrovertible” about a model, theory, experiment, or measurement, doesn’t, literally, know the first thing about science.

    As to anyone who thinks scientific matters are decided by vote, I say one word: Phlogiston.

  16. Sergey Says:

    Richard, the same can be said about members of “consensus” view on climate change: overwhelming majority of them have no idea about most of the issues involved. Some are meteorologists, some are statisticians, and almost nobody has any qualification in majority of crucial fields needed to judge the validity of claims in all its important ramifications. That is, such thing as climate science just does not exist, except as a political and ideological movement. And the most important part of his all, that is, non-linear dynamics and chaos theory, is beyond comprehension of 99% of these “scientists”, being too mathematically advanced for them to understand.

  17. Sergey Says:

    When truly complex self-organizing systems of real world are concerned, like climate, economics, evolution of life or human psyche, the scientific method as we know it just does not apply. These fields are philosophies at best, no comprehensive theory with predictive capabilities is really possible. There can be opinions, but that is all.

  18. Sergey Says:

    The belief that everything in universe can be reliably understood by science is not a science, it is a pagan religion of naturalism. It is high time to call this bluff.

  19. expat Says:

    Whether or not AGW is real has always bothered me far less than the idiotic political solutions offered to control CO2. Anyone with a grain of sense could see the possibilities for massive corruption in cap and trade schemes, especially when they go global. And that says nothing about the effects on the blood pressure of folks like me who have little tolerance for the constant nannying. If I have a stroke, all of you are hereby authorized to file a class action suit against Gore et al for depriving you of my comments.

    For a real heartwarmer about improving the environment, check out the Richard Fernandez post on Solyndra at PJM.

  20. physicsguy Says:

    Good article Neo… well done. As far as other scientists weighing in on climate science, my view is that climate involves mainly physics, with some interesting chemistry thrown in. Therefore, if one is familiar with basic physics, and chemistry, then one is qualified to comment.

    As I read some of the papers by climate scientists it often amazes me how many of them actually do not understand much of the physics and chemistry which underlies their assumptions. And that criticism doesn’t even take into account the historic climate data which easily refutes their basic hypothesis.

    The latest is an attempt to explain the current leveling of global temperatures by saying the “heat” is buried in the oceans and will come roaring out soon. Never mind the ocean temperatures show no evidence of this “heat”; their “models’ say it should be there! I’ve never seen such attempts to make nature conform to a hypothesis when it clearly is not doing so. Talk about denying reality… and they call us “deniers”.

  21. kolnai Says:

    Sergey –

    You are vastly more knowledgeable than me in probably all areas of science and math, but I have dabbled enough in complexity/chaos theory to agree with your assessment. I think you smacked the nail right on the head.

    It is insane that the point you made is not at the forefront of the discussion about climate science. It isn’t like understanding a chemical reaction in a petrie dish, which is typically how it’s presented.

    (Quick story: I was in a seminar in grad school a few years ago and the teacher was making some claims about inaccuracies in An Inconvenient Truth – while still covering his a** by saying he ultimately thought Gore was right – and a woman student piped up and said, “You can’t be saying global warming isn’t real.” To which the teacher replied, “I’m not saying that. But how much of the science have you read? How much can you understand?” And she replied, rather smugly: “I can’t understand it. But I don’t need to, because I can understand the greenhouse in my backyard.”)

    Something similar, fwiw, goes on in public discourse on genetics. Epigenetics has begun to take emergence and gene-culture interaction seriously, but all we get in the public square are these “You have gene X; thus you are X”-type discussions.

  22. Brad Says:

    I’m sure “physicsguy” will be busy collecting his Nobel Prize any day. Seriously, this level of discourse on Climate Change is laughable. At least Neo’s done a decent job, quite a few of the commenters here should hole up with inventors of perpetual motion machines. But..but the maths is hard!!! That’s basically the argument, that and assuming that whole fields of science are either filled with corrupt people or dumbasses or both.


    In any case, if you are truly the open minded “skeptics” you claim to be , I’m sure you have an idea of what we should do as a species should your skepticism of climate change be misfounded, right?

  23. Don Says:


    If AGW is a true threat, the best solution moving forward is nuke power plants. We should get rid of the Carter era restrictions on breeder reactors, and otherwise reduce the red tape and restrictions facing new reactors.

    Wind and solar are simply not gonna cut it anytimes soon. Nukes are simply the best option for base power. Reprocessing nukes like breeder reactors will largely eliminate the waste problem.

    I don’t have such a solution for transportation, although we could also step back on EPA polution rules that prevent us from importing the most efficient diesel engines. We can cut back on CO2 creation by going to very efficient diesels that will produce more traditional pollution.

    Also, natural gas cars might reduce CO2. This means we will use fracking to obtain natural gas, and therby reduce CO2 output by using NG for cars and trucks.

    Environmentalists don’t want nukes, they don’t want fracking, and they don’t want pollutin diesels. They also are not serious about real solutions, if we assume AGW is a real threat.

    Frankly, I see no reason to impliment the AGW CO2 tax schemes at this point, the science just isn’t sound enough. But if we were going to deal with it in a serious manner, it means pushing nukes and other similar tech., not putting up fantasy energy solutions.

  24. Scott Says:

    More dissenters with impressive credentials jump on the skeptical bandwagon:

  25. Don Says:

    My understanding of AGW is that the thesis (it isn’t even really a theory):

    1) Increased levels of CO2 will increase the temp.

    2) The increased temp will result in positive feedback mechinisms that will further increase the temps with catastrophic results.

    But what we have seen over the past decade has been a leveling of temps. Until recently, Phil Jones was saying that there was no statistically significant warming since about ’98. So we are clearly not seeing this positive feedback loop. We should have been seeing more warming in the last decade then the previous decades, but we haven’t.

    furthermore, the graphs of CO2 and temps have shown a faster increase in CO2 then temps. This doesn’t suggest positive feedback. It suggests negative feedback. Which suggests AGW isn’t something we should bankrupt ourselves trying to prevent.

  26. Artfldgr Says:

    The Galileo Affair

    What John Paul II wanted was a better understanding of the whole affair by both scientists and theologians. It has been said that while politicians think in terms of weeks and statesmen in years, the Pope thinks in centuries.

    [do note that this was the pope the soviets tried to assasinate, but then again, what was he doing to some of their favorite measures of gaming people?]

    “the Galileo case has been a sort of ‘myth,’ in which the image fabricated out of the events was quite far removed from the reality. In this perspective, the Galileo case was the symbol of the Church’s supposed rejection of scientific progress.” Pope John Paul II

    It was a conflict that ought never to have occurred, because faith and science, properly understood, can never be at odds.

    Since the Galileo case is one of the historical bludgeons that are used to beat on the Church — the other two being the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition — it is important that Catholics understand exactly what happened between the Church and that very great scientist. A close look at the facts puts to rout almost every aspect of the reigning Galileo legend.

    a close look puts the OTHER two also out. ie, what we think we know, and what people like maher helps is almost all false…

    in reality Copernicus’s book marked a sea change in human thought, one that caught the universities even more off guard than the Church.

    and THATs where i take issue with your article… you did NOT do anything much to correct the story to history. you did not bring in that the dominicans were threatening to remove monies they were to send to the church…

    ie… even in your ‘fixed’ version, you got it wrong as to who the players were!!! the church itself didnt care, it didnt even want to bother… (i have pointed this out before, and even named the names!)

    “It took place when Copernicus (probably — it cannot be regarded as certain) began to think, and others, like Kepler and Galileo, began to affirm that the heliocentric hypothesis not only saved the appearances, but was physically true…It was not simply a new theory of the nature of celestial movements that was feared, but a new theory of the nature of theory; namely, that, if a hypothesis saves all the appearances, it is identical with truth.”


    take a look at the years…

    waht copernicus, gallileo, newton and others were doing were aligning reality and christian thought.

    ie… they were revealing that science was not against religion and that not only was it saving appearances… but that it wasnt appearance!!!!

    ie… EMPIRICISM was created then… and what happened were the PHILOSOPHERS were sidelined from their seat of power in defining reality!!!!

    Copernicus had delayed the publication of his book for years because he feared, not the censure of the Church, but the mockery of academics. It was the hide-bound Aristotelians in the schools who offered the fiercest resistance to the new science. Aristotle was the Master of Those Who Know; perusal of his texts was regarded as almost superior to the study of nature itself. The Aristotelian universe comprised two worlds, the superlunary and the sublunary. The former consisted of the moon and everything beyond; it was perfect and imperishable. The latter was the terrestrial globe and its atmosphere, subject to generation and decay, the slag heap of the cosmos.

    you see… PRIOR to empiricism or todays abuse of it… PHILOSOPHERS could be kings… as long as someone believed their complicated sophistry and bull puckies, they had power. they could not only tell people how the world worked, but what god wanted, what he wanted you to do, how you should live. kings would ask them advise…

    but then… the empiricisms came… and the reality of thye philosphers was revealed to be more in mind.

    seen through this eye, Marx and such philosophies was the philosphers attempts at defining reality for the people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ie… prior to gallileo and others, we believed the religious philosophers who rounded out our ideas of gods, and told us what the rules were. whiel people were starving they were fat with the bounty that they said god wanted starving people to give them. they were the highly respected people who could dictate reality and all would follow them…

    but after that, then what? well, the same thing as the social sciences… you make up stuff and play gams to make appearances of proof. and all that kind of clever crapola is philosophical bs… ie, if you imagine there is no evil, you can do anything, etc…

    all of it, is the attack of the romantic philosophers and kings attempting to take back their rulership over many by telling man what reality really is!!!

    as it is today, was then
    the ACADEMICS and GUILDS did not want to actually hasve to learn and earn and all that, they wanted to wander around, eat well, and have their arses kissed by plebs.

    ie… they wanted what hippy philosopher teachers getting laid on the public dole wanted…

    it was the global warming academics of the time who sought to do the same then and halt discussion. and by doing so, halt the progress that would sweep them from the hill top and let others take their place empirically.

    the dominicans threatened to deny money to the church… among other things… and it was this political gaming that forced the church to “do something”, just as a bunch of whiny academics can get a school to

    The response to these discoveries ranged from enthusiastic to downright hostile. The leading Jesuit astronomer of the day, Christopher Clavius, was skeptical; but once the Roman college acquired an improved telescope, he saw for himself that Galileo was right about Jupiter’s moons, and the Jesuits subsequently confirmed the phases of Venus. These men were not ready to jump on the Copernican bandwagon, however; they adopted as a half-way measure the system of Tycho Brahe, which had all the planets except the earth orbiting the sun. This accounted quite satisfactorily for Galileo’s discoveries. Still, Galileo was the man of the hour; in 1611 he made a triumphant visit to Rome, where he was feted by cardinals and granted a private audience by Pope Paul V, who assured him of his support and good will.

    ultimately as with almost all administrators, its easier to wrongly go after the one, than rightly go after the many

    but on top of it, gallileo gave up science and went on an al gore type ranting as to copernicus… which put him in the way of the inquisition… (of which only 300 people were victims.. not hundreds of thousands or millions)

    Galileo was intent on ramming Copernicus down the throat of Christendom. The irony is that when he started his campaign, he enjoyed almost universal good will among the Catholic hierarchy. But he managed to alienate almost everybody with his caustic manner and aggressive tactics. His position gave the Church authorities no room to maneuver: they either had to accept Copernicanism as a fact (even though it had not been proved) and reinterpret Scripture accordingly; or they had to condemn it. He refused the reasonable third position which the Church offered him: that Copernicanism might be considered a hypothesis, one even superior to the Ptolemaic system, until further proof could be adduced.


    Galileo’s other problem was that he insisted, despite the discoveries of Kepler, that the planets orbit the sun in perfect circles. The Jesuit astronomers could plainly see that this was untenable. Galileo nonetheless launched his campaign with a series of pamphlets and letters which were circulated all over Europe. Along the way, he picked fights with a number of Churchmen on peripheral issues which helped to stack the deck against him. And, despite the warnings of his friends in Rome, he insisted on moving the debate onto theological grounds.

    and we forget that his bs came right after the reformation..

    The Church had just been through the bruising battles of the Reformation. One of the chief quarrels with the Protestants was over the private interpretation of Scripture. Catholic theologians were in no mood to entertain hermeneutical injunctions from a layman like Galileo. His friend Archbishop Piero Dini warned him that he could write freely so long as he “kept out of the sacristy.” But Galileo threw caution to the winds, and it was on this point — his apparent trespassing on the theologians’ turf — that his enemies were finally able to nail him.

    notice that it was his enemies in the church, not the church itself. in fact, most who comment actually know very little of church history!!! its an incredible history that would rival a soap opera today in some of the unbelievable things

    here is the KEY to it all:
    and its a BEAUTY

    In December, 1614, a meddlesome and ambitious Dominican priest, Thomas Caccini, preached a fiery sermon in Florence denouncing Copernicanism and science in general as contrary to Christian faith. The attack was clearly aimed at Galileo, and a written apology from a Preacher-General of the Dominicans did not take the edge off Galileo’s displeasure at having been the target of a Sunday homily. About a month later, another Dominican, Father Niccolo Lorini, read a copy of Galileo’s Letter to Castelli and was disturbed to find that Galileo had taken it upon himself to interpret Scripture according to his private lights. He sent a copy to the Inquisition in Rome — one, moreover, which had been tampered with to make Galileo’s words more alarming than they actually were. The Consultor of the Holy Office (or Inquisition) nevertheless found no serious objections to the letter and the case was dismissed.

    so a philosopher with an agenda saw fit to use the pulpit to do what from it? not very christian, is it? but also notice that what the problem was, that would make the left quake, is the idea of a PERSONAL VERSION of some doctrine… ie. as long as you have a personal version you can be part of something your not part of… but reversal in perspective of the leaders is that you can choose not to follow them on things too

    knives never cut one way

    the left operates with the idea that THEIR version of communism is not going to kill millions… like other versions… and all have personal beliefs that declare that with no basis other than the same religiositious faith

    so this story, while expedient in its deconstructd revisouned form, is poison in its real form if you focus.

    as the people who are the crushers of gallileo are people who were living within another structure abusing it for power. ie. the left model of progress and success… to enter some edifice and wear its clothing so as to use it to your own end.

    THIS is what the dominican was tryiung to do, and in essence, the church leadership was being caught between a rock and a hard place. not the least of which the words of gallileo handling things himself rather than whining to them, wasnt too helpful either

    ultimately… even after doctoring the letter… not very honest for catholic leaders… perfectly ok with philosophers and people using their offices… the inquisition was not interested..

    the trumping up of a nothing was not trumped up enough despite forgery

    A month later, Caccini appeared in Rome uninvited, begging the Holy Office to testify against Galileo. Arthur Koestler writes that “Caccini beautifully fits the satirist’s image of an ignorant, officious, and intriguing monk of the Renaissance. His testimony before the Inquisition was a web of hearsay, innuendo, and deliberate falsehood.” The judges of the Inquisition did not buy his story, and the case against Galileo was again dropped. But the Letter to Castelli and Caccini’s testimony were on the files of the Inquisition, and Rome was buzzing with rumors that the Church was going to condemn both Galileo and Copernicanism. Galileo’s friends in the hierarchy, including Cardinal Barberini, the future Urban VIII, warned him not to force the issue. But Galileo only intensified his campaign to get the Church to accept Copernicanism as an irrefutable truth.

    so again… they wanted to drop the whole thing and shut the idiot up… but rather than let it cool, galleleo got on the soap box…

    having his neck in the noose twice and not having it stretched made him bold…

    Bellarmine, in effect, challenged Galileo to prove his theory or stop pestering the Church. Galileo’s response was to produce his theory of the tides, which purported to show that the tides are caused by the rotation of the earth. Even some of Galileo’s supporters could see that this was patent nonsense. Determined to have a showdown, however, Galileo came to Rome to confront Pope Paul V. The Pope exasperated by all this fuss about the planets, referred the matter to the Holy Office. The Qualifiers (i.e. theological experts) of the Holy Office soon issued an opinion that the Copernican doctrine is “foolish and absurd, philosophically and formally heretical inasmuch as it expressly contradicts the doctrine of Holy Scripture in many passages…”

    he gets one of the top theologians of the day to give him and the church the out upon the coming of more facts, and what does he do?

    keeps pressing.. he is now trying to use the church as the dominican did, to make his mark by declaring him. and the point was the church didnt want to bother with the whole thing!!!!!!!!!!!

    poke a dog with a stick enoughu times and dont be surprised the dog will bite

    (such comments made all the more apt by the cannis part of domincan)

    This verdict was fortunately overruled under pressure of more cautious Cardinals and was not published until 1633, when Galileo forced a second showdown. A milder decree, which did not include the word “heresy”, was issued and Galileo was summoned before the Holy Office. For that day, February 26, 1616, a report was put into the files of the Holy Office which states that Galileo was told to relinquish Copernicanism and commanded “to abstain altogether from teaching or defending this opinion and doctrine, and even from discussing it.”

    note that they just wanted HIM to shut the hell up and leave them alone… ie… he was not a heretic, many sided with him. others sided with the idea there was a question…

    and finally when push came to shove, they basically told him go work on something else… (note that if he spent as much time pressing the church over quite a long long time in proving his work, he would have had the thing the church leaders would have needed to shut the other side up! their faith was with god, not gallileo… but if galileo gave them proof which tecnically comes from god as its empirical, they would be free to oppose the many)

    There is a still unresolved controversy over whether this document is genuine, or was forged and slipped into the files by some unscrupulous curial official. At Galileo’s request, Bellarmine gave him a certificate which simply forbade him to “hold or defend” the theory. When, sixteen years later, Galileo wrote his famous Dialogue on the Two Great World Systems, he technically did not violate Bellarmine’s injunction. But he did violate the command recorded in the controversial minute, of which he was completely unaware and which was used against him at the second trial in 1633.

    20 years later he is still a burr on the butt

    and sooooo when a friend becomes pope, rather than leave it alone, he tries to basically get a pardon..

    and to do so, he opens up the whole case the wounds, the games and everything and puts it all into play again!!!!

    This second trial was again the result of Galileo’s tactless importunity. When, in the 1623, Galileo’s friend and supporter Cardinal Barberini was elected Pope Urban VIII, Galileo naturally thought that he could get the decree of 1616 lifted. Urban gave several private audiences to Galileo, during which they discussed the Copernican theory. Urban was a vain, irascible man who, in the manner of a late prince of the Renaissance, thought he was qualified to make pronouncements in all areas of human knowledge. At one audience, he told Galileo that the Church did not define Copernicanism as heretical and would never do so. But at the same time, he opined that all this quibbling about the planets did not touch on reality: only God could know how the solar system is really disposed.

    since it wasnt heresy to investigate, and such, he was free to do so… but he wanted more… he wanted the church to validate him

    in a way… the first man of science was also much like a demon of science named lysenko… who succeeded in getting the ruling class to accept his theories and declar him right… but in lysenko case he was wrong

    but in gallileos case, if the church was actually more like the politburo and wanted to dictate, he failed in getting them to declare consensus by force!

    rather, his constant harping on power to afix his point rather than let time and god do it himself, brought power down on HIM as the easiest way to solve THEIR problem., which was him and he was his own worst enemy

    the rest of the article at the link summarizes it quite well… he was now old. there was near 40 years of his gaming the church… and they finally had enough of it…

    Galileo’s condemnation was certainly unjust, but in no way impugns the infallibility of Catholic dogma. Heliocentricism was never declared a heresy by either ex cathedra pronouncement or an ecumenical council. And as the Pontifical Commission points out, the sentence of 1633 was not irreformable. Galileo’s works were eventually removed from the Index and in 1822, at the behest of Pius VII, the Holy Office granted an imprimatur to the work of Canon Settele, in which Copernicanism was presented as a physical fact and no longer as an hypothesis.

    The Catholic Church really has little to apologize for in its relations with science. Indeed, Stanley Jaki and others have argued that it was the metaphysical framework of medieval Catholicism which made modern science possible in the first place. In Jaki’s vivid phrase, science was “still-born” in every major culture — Greek, Hindu, Chinese — except the Christian West. It was the insistence on the rationality of God and His creation by St. Thomas Aquinas and other Catholic thinkers that paved the way for Galileo and Newton.

    So far as the teaching authority of the Church is concerned, it is striking how modern physics is playing catch-up with Catholic dogma. In 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council taught that the universe had a beginning in time — an idea which would have scandalized both an ancient Greek and a 19th century positivist, but which is now a commonplace of modern cosmology. Indeed, the more we learn about the universe, the closer we come to the ontological mysteries of Christian faith.

  27. Scott Says:


    David Friedman, Milton’s son, has a provocative response to your second “conclusion” that is presented as settled science by the climate alarmists.

    Friedman makes a fairly convincing case that even if we take for granted that human activity is causing climate change — given what we currently know — there’s no reason to believe that humankind as a whole will be adversely harmed. He argues that even the most ardent “alarmists” concede the changes are so gradual and will over such a prolonged period of time that mankind will adapt and adjust. It the theory is legit, there will be individual winners and loser, for sure, but on net there’s no evidence that AGW will be a net negative for global humanity.

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr: In my essay, limited to about a thousand words, on the topics of Rick Perry, AGW, pundits, and Galileo, I couldn’t very well go into the details of the Galileo case (many of which, however, I read in preparation for the essay). However, these are the parts of my essay that were meant to refer back to some of the points you are making [emphasis mine]:

    The Church had initially become upset with Galileo for two main reasons, neither of them the conventional “church vs. science” objection of legend. His first offense was committing theological overreach in their eyes when he stated that heliocentrism did not contradict the Bible because scripture should not be interpreted literally. The second was a kind of scientific hubris: Galileo’s assertion that heliocentrism had been proven (incontrovertibly, as it were) rather than being a tentative working theory.

    I realize that the parallax problem and the fact that Galileo believed the sun was unmoving were only two flaws in his theory. The perfect circle idea, of course, was another—that’s one of the reasons Kepler became famous for fixing it.

    I did not realize, though, that John Paul II had tried to address the issue of the false legend of what was going on between the Church and Galileo. Interesting.

  29. neo-neocon Says:

    Brad: “the math is hard” is not the argument.

    The argument is:

    (1) computer modeling of complex systems is inherently flawed

    (2) there is a “garbage-in-garbage-out” problem with much of the data that is the input

    (3) the entire field has become so highly politicized that some of the science has become suspect for political reasons

    (4) even if the science “proving” AGW is correct, we have no idea what a good intervention to fix it would be, nor to we know if the remedy wouldn’t be worse than the disease

  30. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Scott. I guess we should ask the AGW folks what caused the Roman Warm Perriod and the Medieval Warm Period, and what was so bad about them. Compared to the Dark Ages Cold Period and The Little Ice Age.
    Particularly, what was so bad about the warmer periods.

  31. Artfldgr Says:

    to add a bit more credence to your number 4 neo:

    if we would have listened to some of these people, specifically james hansen, we would have been completing projects to stop global cooling while he was changing sides to global warming. ie, we would have been trying to make it warmer in anticipation of an ice age, but the weather got hotter. now we are going to make it colder, in anticipation, and its getting colder (since 1998)

    most of the knowing is socialist knowing…

    ie… prophecy masquerading as science..
    and its the in thing since science has endeavored more to prove the prophet marx correct even erroneously, than they hasve tried to prove the bible or any other book wrong!

    problem is that marx was wrong in statistically significant amounts. that is, you would have done well in life to pick the opposite answers of that loser!

    however, your point of not knowing is not stopping people from experimenting… (no, i am not kidding)

    meanwhile… we are evil as we try to scrub pollutants and so on and so forth to nt degree

    but the chinese are good because they dont scrub pollutants, dump anywhere, have more polluted places on the planet than everyone else but russia, have poisons in their products intended for children in the west, and think its fine to put chemicals in the clouds to make good weather for the ruling politburos whims…

    want to know other great ideas similar academics have had without regard to other thigns?

    Wired Science News for Your Neurons
    7 (Crazy) Civilian Uses for Nuclear Bombs

    Creating a New Panama Canal was one of them

    ie… you dig holes and put the nukes in a line, and blow them in a chain… voila…

    want to see how far they go?

    The Myth ofof the 1970s Global cooling consensus

    There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an imminent ice age. Indeed, the possibility of anthropogenic warming dominated the peer-reviewed literature even then.

    so to erase the fact that hansen was for global cooling before the 1980s and warming later, never really happened. (care to read his articles on global cooling?)

    the paper is a farce to someone like me with a memory to die for..

    its interesting but they start off talking about Reid

    When climate researcher Reid
    Bryson stood before the members of the
    American Association for the Advancement of Science in December 1972, his description of the state of scientists’understanding of climate change sounded very much like the old story about the group of blind men trying to describe an elephant.
    Meanwhile, newly created global temperature series showed cooling since the 1940s, and other scientists were looking to aerosols to explain the change. The mystery of waxing and waning ice ages had long entranced geologists, and a cohesive explanation in terms of orbital solar forcing was beginning to emerge.

    the whole thing is written as if the ideas were brand new, no one realized and so on..

    but their using Bryson to start their talk off is interesting… why? well here is brysons wiki

    Bryson was an opponent of the theory of global warming and a previous supporter of the claim that humans were causing global cooling.[2] While he argued that climate change and a global increase in temperature are real, he did not believe that they are caused by human activity. Rather, he argued that they are part of natural global climate cycles, particularly the end of the Little Ice Age:

    “All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd,” Bryson continues. “Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.” Bryson

    they dont mention hansen till the middle of the document…

    It was James Hansen and his colleagues who found what seemed to be the right balance between the two competing forces by modeling the aerosols from Mount Agung, a volcano that erupted in Bali in 1963.

    Hansen and his colleagues fed data from the Agung eruption into their model, which got the size and timing of the resulting pulse of global cooling correct.

    By 1978, the question of the relative role of aerosol cooling and greenhouse warming had been sorted out.

    Greenhouse warming, the researchers concluded, had become the dominant forcing (Hansen et al. 1978; Weart 2003).

    ok class..
    whats wrong with the above?

    Hansen marveled at the power of these airborne particles, known as aerosols. If aerosols can reflect and absorb incoming sunlight, what effect could events like Agung’s eruption have on Earth’s surface temperature? To find out, he plugged what was known at the time about aerosols, greenhouse gases, and how Earth absorbs and radiates energy into some physics equations. His results suggested that the aerosols should slightly cool the planet.

    do the two descriptions jive?

    does the first one which seeks to erase the ‘myth’ implying things that are not possible?

    for instance… you read model, and such and you think that hansen had been writing models and such and running them on computer.

    what computer? i had access to a mainframe in the late 70s… there were no desktops then…

    so where did he run his model? he didnt…

    just read the false thing rewriting history and the nasa thing…

    fake myth buster:
    Hansen and his colleagues fed data from the Agung eruption into their model, which got the size and timing of the resulting pulse of global cooling correct.

    he plugged what was known at the time about aerosols, greenhouse gases, and how Earth absorbs and radiates energy into some physics equations. His results suggested that the aerosols should slightly cool the planet.

    It was one thing to estimate the impact of volcanic eruptions on global temperature using math and physics. It was quite another thing to compare such estimates to real-world data. The problem was that there were no real-world, global-scale data sets of temperature in the late 1960s to which he could compare his estimates.

    so how did he get this information correct?

    the fakery:
    By 1978, the question of the relative role of aerosol cooling and greenhouse warming had been sorted out. Greenhouse warming, the researchers concluded, had become the dominant forcing (Hansen et al. 1978; Weart 2003).

    Publications by James E. Hansen

    Hansen, J.E., W.-C. Wang, and A.A. Lacis, 1978: Mount Agung eruption provides test of a global climatic perturbation. Science, 199, 1065-1068, doi:10.1126/science.199.4333.1065.

    Hansen et al. 1978

    Hansen, J.E., W.-C. Wang, and A.A. Lacis, 1978: Mount Agung eruption provides test of a global climatic perturbation. Science, 199, 1065-1068, doi:10.1126/science.199.4333.1065.

    The Mount Agung eruption volcanic eruption in 1963 provides the best-documented global radiative perturbation to the earth’s atmosphere currently available.

    Data on stratospheric aerosols produced by this eruption have been used as input to a model for the atmospheric thermal structure.

    The computed magnitude, sign, and phase lag of the temperature changes in both the stratosphere and the troposphere are in good agreement with observation, providing evidence that the climatic response to a global radiative perturbation is significant, as well as support for the use of theoretical models to predict climatic effects.

    if i write a formulea, and it gives the same answer as something, is that proof?

    the paper is free and here

    go to the end and notice that hansen points out that his formula may not be right, the results may be nothing, and that the effects may be complete noise.

    is this what sorted out means?
    that in hindsight noise is fact?

    by the way… the papers preceding it, and after it are mostly about VENUS… (which today we know the temperature has to do with PRESSURE…. at the same pressure level venus has the same temperature as earth at that pressure)

    Venus is only slightly smaller than Earth (95% of Earth’s diameter, 80% of Earth’s mass).

    The pressure of Venus’ atmosphere at the surface is 90 atmospheres (about the same as the pressure at a depth of 1 km in Earth’s oceans). It is composed mostly of carbon dioxide. There are several layers of clouds many kilometers thick composed of sulfuric acid. These clouds completely obscure our view of the surface.

    This dense atmosphere produces a run-away greenhouse effect that raises Venus’ surface temperature by about 400 degrees to over 740 K (hot enough to melt lead). Venus’ surface is actually hotter than Mercury’s despite being nearly twice as far from the Sun.

    Venus Atmosphere Temperature and Pressure Profiles

    notice how temperature and pressure are intimately related (And if not, your refrigerator wouldnt work)

    [hansen tries to explain why its cold during hotest years here, but note that his graphs start at convenisnet locations… ie, start them in a random place and his effect disappears – the definition of illusion

    the earth is not the temperature it is because its in a nice spot in space. its the temperature it is because of its size, chemistry, and locations in space…

    a larger planet could be farther out and pressure owuld make a hotter surface (venus)… or it could be closer and be cooler…

    the point is that pressure is an intimate thing with temperature, and the basis of a lot of the theory is false.

    however, on another side of the coin..
    why is it that every socialist group wants this? if it was real, it would not fall so neatly on that line

    why did gorbachev tell the politburo that the collapse was theater and climate was the coordinating idea that would bring out conversion?

    why is the only solution the enslavement of man under a dictatorship of communism? almost like, if X is true, we have to become communist to save us. but then again, this is the group that came up with the idea of destroying a village to save it…

  32. Artfldgr Says:

    Particularly, what was so bad about the warmer periods.

    ruling elites lost power as the weak power of the colder periods once ended led to more independence and capital in the hands of common people.

    the periods you talk about brought about the optimism and knowlege that then resulted in the enlightenment and so on.

    people dont invent in ethiopia much as most are near starving.. people invented in padua italy, as they had leisure time

    ie… all that is the bane of the ruling class…
    which if they were not so despotic would not matter

    The idea of a medieval warm period was formulated for the first time in 1965 by the English climatologist Hubert H. Lamb [1]. Lamb, who founded the UK Climate Research Unit (CRU) in 1971, saw the peak of the warming period from 1000 to 1300, i.e. in the High Middle Ages.

    The key historical trend of the High Middle Ages was the rapidly increasing population of Europe, which brought about great social and political change from the preceding era. By 1250 the robust population increase greatly benefited the economy, reaching levels it would not see again in some areas until the 19th century.

    to the left this was the periodo where the common man population grew much faster than the aristocracy and so the aristocracy started to lose power as men decided hiring clerks was better than living under kings… (they would find out middle of 20th century that clerks who are not watched become kings of a sort)

    From about the year 1000 onwards, Western Europe saw the last of the Barbarian invasions and became more politically organized. The Vikings had settled in the British Isles, France and elsewhere, whilst Norse Christian kingdoms were developing in their Scandinavian homelands. The Magyars had ceased their expansion in the 10th century, and by the year 1000, a Christian Kingdom of Hungary was recognized in central Europe. With the brief exception of the Mongol invasions, major incursions ceased.

    In the 11th century, populations north of the Alps began to settle new lands, some of which had reverted to wilderness after the end of the Roman Empire. In what is known as the “great clearances”, vast forests and marshes of Europe were cleared and cultivated. At the same time settlements moved beyond the traditional boundaries of the Frankish Empire to new frontiers in eastern Europe, beyond the Elbe River, tripling the size of Germany in the process. The still-powerful Catholic Church called armies from across Europe to a series of Crusades against the Seljuk Turks, who occupied the Holy Land, thereby founding the Crusader States in the Levant. Other wars led to the colonization of the Baltic, while Christian kingdoms conquered the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors, and the Normans colonized southern Italy, all part of the major population increase and resettlement pattern.

    The High Middle Ages produced many different forms of intellectual, spiritual and artistic works. This age saw the rise of modern nation-states in Western Europe and the ascent of the great Italian city-states. The rediscovery of the works of Aristotle led Thomas Aquinas and other thinkers to develop the philosophy of Scholasticism. In architecture, many of the most notable Gothic cathedrals were built or completed during this era.

    they dont have the crusades facts right, but the bigger point i am making is not detracted…

    man the commoner became a modern society in which rulers and such were cro magnon throwbacks.

    today they are trying to re aquire their place..

    which is why so much extermination… and in classes
    to reverse the progress, you much promote regression (progressive)…

    way too much to go over..

    but you might see that if such a warming was going tohappen again, they would not want people free to benefit and upset the families that rule..

    it was at this time that feudal life was allowing movement between classes as serfs and such started earning freedom. merchants became a big force… and modern ideas of banking started…

    i would say that the rule of kings has its death warrant made then, but it woudl take nearly another 1000 years before the ideas would finish their direction

    near the end of that… the birth of the US.. there came the need to reverse it… change it back…

    which is why progress is being dictated by neo luddites

  33. Brad Says:

    I actually agree with most of what you say. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

    Regardless of peak oil, global warming, or any of that, I am not a fan of oil and we should be moving our economy from it at full speed. Nuclear fusion or thorium reactors are my preferred solution for baseline power generation with some solar and geothermal or tidal as backups. Cars should be electric or we could alternatively, move to hydrogen.

    Again, thanks.

  34. Brad Says:

    Yes, one Nobel Prize winner, probably around 90 years old and starting to go a little daft in the head (or maybe he’s just cantankerous). If you want to play the Nobel Prize game in both relevant and irrelevant fields I’m up for it.

  35. Brad Says:

    (1) computer modeling of complex systems is inherently flawed

    If you restated that in terms of it being harder to model complex systems on computers than simple ones than you would have agreement. As it is, it’s a laugher because it implies that all computer models of “complex systems” (using the mathematical definition of that term, I suppose) are giving incorrect results.

    2) there is a “garbage-in-garbage-out” problem with much of the data that is the input

    Of course, because in order to believe this you have to be “skeptical” of :
    A. Ice core readings
    B. readings from temperature stations
    C. Satellite readings
    D. The old temperature data we do have. Explorers at the poles for instance, kept diaries of temperatures.

    just to name the most common sources of temperature data. Ur all doing it wrong or it’s all pseudoscience seem to be the most popular “skeptical” arguments.

    (3) the entire field has become so highly politicized that some of the science has become suspect for political reasons

    Well, let’s not argue the reasons why the field has become “politicized” because I think fully half here would end up sputtering and frothing as words such as “ALGORE!” and “COMMUNISM!” came from their lips. Regardless, I refuse to hold mainstream scientists to standards that people from the Heartland Institute aren’t held to in terms of affiliations. I don’t think the science itself is political, I think how its been presented and interpreted very much is.

    As to what we should do? Switching away from fossil fuels as fast as possible is probably the best solution, though if we needed to, we could try some of the more radical proposals such as creating a “shade” over the earth. No one believes the Earth will get as hot as Venus or anything like that even under the worse case scenerios but there is a possibility (whose magnitude no one can measure) that most of the food web will collapse leading to mass starvation and other bad effects to humanity and the extinction of many if not most animal species. If this “worse case” scenerio takes effect it should be noticeable in the next 50 to 100 years.

  36. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Brad, It seems to me we’ve met some where else. Oh yeah, I think you called yourslf, A physicist.

    You’re very good at what you do, which is pure Alinsky. Belittle anyone who dares to question the “truth,” which you aver can only be pronounced by the real authorities like James, Gavin, Kevin, Phil, and all the rest. You know, the “real climate” scientists. People like Roy Spencer, Edward Wegman, Richard Tol, Christopher Landsea, Duncan Wingham, Robert M. Carter, Richard Lindzen, Vincent R. Gray, Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Tom Segalstad, Nir Shaviv, Zbigniew Jaworowski, Hendrik Tennekes, Freeman Dyson, Antonino Zichichi, David Bromwich, Eigil Friis-Christensen, Henrik Svensmark, Sami Solanki, Jasper Kirkby, Habibullo Abdussamatov, George Kukla, Steve McIntyre, John Christy, and Fred Singer, to name a few, are dismissed as cranks, no-nothings, and worse.

    Arguments from authority work only if you are willing to put your work out there so others can see if they can replicate the results. The fact that it took freedom of information requests to get the Hockey Team’s data and computer modeling indicated that they were hiding something. “Climategate” proved that they were hiding something.

    So Brad, or A physicist, or whatever your name is, your condescending argument that no one can know the truth except those who really understand the science is pure crap. AGW is a theory. But it has been pushed by its proponents as a scientific law, and that the end of the planet is assured unless we allow the government to take over planning everything. What is really telling is when Bjorn Lomborg, a man who believes in AGW but opines that the best way to deal with it is adaptation not mitigation, is attacked more viciously than those who are skeptics of AGW. It certainly makes it highly likey that the real goal is to take control of energy policy worldwide. You wouldn’t call it that because you are one of the TRUE BELIEVERS, but in my book such an effort is an attempt to move toward tyranny.

  37. Richard Saunders Says:


    Not being a scientist, I have a few questions. Could you please answer them for me?

    1. Have any experiments been done to validate or falsify any parts of the AGW hypotheses? Forex, does raising the CO2 concentration in a measurable atmosphere raise the temperature by the amounts predicted? Do increases or decreases in solar activity have the same effect? Etc.

    2. What are the margins of error and confidence levels for converting tree ring, ice core, and similar other data into temperatures?

    3. What are the margins of error and confidence levels for converting valid temperature readings at a few spots into global temperatures?

    4. How does the 40-year period of actual measurement of global temperatures translate into climate as opposed to weather?

    5. What has been the result of running the climate models with actual data to check their predicative ability?

    I look forward to your response. Links would be helpful.

  38. rickl Says:

    Hell, I have a simpler question: Has any “crisis” ever been used to advocate for more capitalism and less socialism?

  39. Gary Rosen Says:

    “one Nobel Prize winner, probably around 90 years old and starting to go a little daft in the head”

    Terrific argument, Brad, now I’m convinced of global warming. The point of course is that the science is not “settled” or “incontrovertible” and should be open to skepticism – like every other scientific theory. Brad maintains his perfect record of providing tendentious, mendacious content-free drivel.

  40. Sergey Says:

    kolnai, chaos theory and complexity are not on the front of the discussion because these conceptions are hard to understand even to scientists, even more so to general public, and most people are completely unaware of them. They are counter-intuitive and go against the grain of deterministic world view prevailing in our time. And they really put rather strict limitations on usefulness of science for prediction and understanding of nature. This is the truth we can not cope with. In a very deep sense these concepts are anti-scientific, while being incontrovertible theorems of advanced math. Science itself is the most formidable anti-scientific force, since it puts limits on our ability to know causes and consequences of natural phenomena. And it always was so. The most important scientific results historically were no-go theorems: impossibility to find common measure to the side and diagonal of a square (irrationality of square root of 2), impossibility to construct a circle with area equal to given square, impossibility of perpetuum mobile (The first principle of thermodynamics), Georg Cantor’s theorem on nondenumerability of continuum and so on. Turing’s seminal work on incomputability of some classes of recursively defined functions is the cornerstone of complexity theory. Atop of this, Kurt Goedel theorem on incompleteness of arithmetics and all of axiomatic systems that include arithmetic is well known. Then came Shroedinger’s principle of quantum mechanical indeterminism, which was so radical deviation from deterministic world view that even Einstein refused to accept it. Chaos theory is even more radical deviation, because it deals not with arcane realm of micro-scale events, but with phenomena of everyday life: tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, heat waves and, of course, climate change. People hate to hear that some mysteries of universe are completely hidden from their understanding, forever, so these rare warnings fall on deaf ears.

  41. Sergey Says:

    The problem with computer model of complex system behavior is that such models often are not robust, that is, very sensitive to small disturbances and details of underlying assumptions. They can show you everything you want to see, but do not restrict the range of uncertainties in any meaningful sense. That is why IPCC reports do not call these models output “predictions”, but only “projections”, with very wide range of uncertainty. This range is going from trivial to catastrophic, with no indication what result is most probable. And such assessments are virtually impossible, since different model runs with the same inputs give quite different outputs. Rounding errors in inputs produce qualitatively different results. So, all these models are useless as predictive tools, they can be used only to hone our modeling skills. They fail completely when their projections are compared with real world data, and the only response of modeling community is tinkering with models to make them compatible by hindsight with reality, which is no guaranty that next time they will not fail just spectacularly. All this is no wonder to chaos theory specialists, who know this property of partial differential equations solutions since 1963, when meteorologist Lorentz discovered such behavior in weather models (see Lorentz attractor).

  42. Sergey Says:

    I want to highlight another gap in climate change theory which is rarely, if ever, mentioned. Arbitrary huge amounts of heat can be pumped out of ocean to atmosphere without any measurable effect on ocean temperature. Water is around 600 times more dense than air, so heat capacity of the ocean is roughly 1000 times higher than that of the atmosphere. To warm atmosphere by 1 degree of Celsius you need to cool the ocean by 0.001 degree – hardly measurable quantity. And this heat pump really works and keeps the ocean by 13 degrees colder than lower atmosphere for million years. It is called thermohaline, or overturn ocean circulation. Gulf Stream, El Nino and La Nina are manifestations of it. We have no idea about details and flow rate of this tremendous rivers of ocean water, but its ability to explain all observable cooling and warming of low atmosphere is clear to me. Against popular belief, Earth is not in thermodynamic equilibrium with space, at least not in century or decadal time scale. It can save and hide the heat in ocean depth and release it as it please her.

  43. kolnai Says:

    Sergey – Each of your three posts above mine are fascinating.

    I had never thought about the “no-go” proof as a central thread in science before. I have studied many of them (particularly Godel and Cantor – not that I can do the math; I can, however, read books that simplify it for me 🙂 – but other than that, I hadn’t put the pieces together as far as history of science goes.

    I would only extend the thought and add that, now that I consider it, no-go results have been the most impressive and durable results of political science – e.g., Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, Olson’s Logic of Collective Action, and to some extent Parkinson’s Law. Some people might add Michels’ Iron Law of Oligarchy to that list. Indeed, now that my brain is working along these lines, I recall a book I read a few years ago, “Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy,” by S.M. Amadae, that essentially made the case that these no-go “proofs” (I use quotes because, as you know, dealing with humans they are not as solid as scientific proofs) were a signal contribution in discrediting Soviet communism.

    Secondly, your point about “rounding errors in initial conditions leading to qualitatively different results” is just what I recall as being so shocking about complexity/chaos theory. The “sensitivity to initial conditions” is crucial – and it’s a point Freeman Dyson has been keen to make in his objection to climate models.

    Finally, your observation that “Earth is not in thermodynamic equilibrium with space” is also crucial. If I recall correctly, much of chaos theory has to do with statistical dynamics – in particular, the Second Law of Thermodynamics (or 2LT, as I’ve seen it labeled) – and certain out-of-equilibrium behavior that, on the one hand, seems to conform in principle to deterministic equations, but on the other hand, is impossible to actually model with deterministic equations.

    This is perhaps the main result of chaos theory, again if I recall correctly, that really throws a monkey wrench into our brains. We are asked to imagine a deterministic system that it is impossible to actually demonstrate is deterministic via prediction. And not just “impossible” in practice, but impossible in principle. We simply cannot get the view of Laplace’s Demon, which is what would be required to input the initial conditions needed to model with deterministic accuracy a chaotic system.

    Lastly – sorry if I got anything badly wrong in the foregoing. I’m going off of what I remember studying around seven years ago, and lord knows I’m rusty.

  44. Brad Says:

    JJ doesn’t have a very good memory. I think Neo can confirm I’m the same Brad that has appeared here over the past year or so from time to time. I’m also not a physicist.

  45. Brad Says:

    If you understood that the argument was that “One Nobel Prize winning Physicist can’t be wrong!”, then you might understand drivel. The deniers rarely get Nobel winners, even in fields only partly related to climatology like Physics. At least this man actually has some credibility as something other than an oil industry shill. I can probably count on both hands and have some fingers remaining the number of skeptics who seem to be truly skeptical in the scientific sense.

  46. Brad Says:

    Those were very nice posts, but it really isn’t news that there are fundamental mathematical and physical limits as to how much of an approximation to reality most of our computer models can have. I note that earlier in this thread you tried to sneak mysticism in via an argument to ignorance. Simply because humans can’t possibly fully understand the Universe doesn’t mean that God exists or anything of the sort. The current climate models all point in one direction regardless of how much or how little the magnitude of this change might be. There seems to be evidence matching at least some of the predictions of the models. Hence the “consensus”. I am glad you, at least, are taking this seriously. Your points are true, but I think you can over apply them.

  47. Brad Says:

    Richard Saunders:
    I’ll refer you to a good website if you want your questions answered. I’m not going to save you the research and waste my own time doing so.

  48. bon homme richard Says:

    Thanks for the reference Brad, but unfortunately, none of my questions were directly answered, or they referred me to papers at sites I couldn’t access.

    Obliquely, however, there were some interesting suggestions of answers.

    For example, the author of the response to Scientific Myth #19 points out that the variables involved in predicting the behavior of a simple electronic circuit are too many and too complex to enable to achieve exactitude, but what we do know is enough to make the thing work. And then he goes on to say that, while there are even more variables and we know even less about them than we do about the circuit, what we do know is close enough (for government work, I guess he means). When we’re talking about substantially dampening the world’s economy to prevent a .1 to 1.3 degree temperature rise, that ain’t good enough!

    Or take the response to Layperson’s Myth #20, which comes about the closest to answering one of my questions (although, again, not intentionally: (talking about ice cores)

    “However, there are numerous problems with relying on the relative deuterium content as a “palaeothermometer”. To mention just one, if changes in air circulation bring water from a different source region to the Antarctic, there may be a change in the deuterium content of snow even though there was no change in the local temperature.

    “Comparing this temperature record with the CO2 level in trapped bubbles brings another problem: the air in the bubbles can be hundreds or even thousands of years younger than the ice in which it is trapped. Air is trapped in a layer only after the snow above it has built up to a thickness of 70 metres or more, and the time this takes can vary greatly as the climate changes.
    . . .

    “On a much bigger timescale, looking back 600 million years or more – when CO2 levels may have been as high as 5000 parts per million at times – there are substantial questions about whether the CO2-temperature correlation holds up. Some studies suggest that there are major discrepancies during at least two periods. Others claim the relationship holds up fairly well, including this recent study.

    “The jury is still out because the reliability of estimates of temperature and CO2 levels so long ago is extremely questionable. For instance, estimates of past CO2 levels based on isotopic ratios in carbonates in fossil soils can differ substantially from those based on the density of pores in fossil leaves. These pores, called stomata, let in CO2, so fewer are needed when CO2 levels are high.”

    Snarkily enough, on the same page you sent me to was a story from the New Scientist reporting how the Times of London Atlas “grossly exaggerates Greenland ice loss.” Which is par for the course: the Russians already reported that the famous Siberian tree-ring study was bogus, a survey of weather stations showed substantial numbers of them (IIRC, 25%) to be non-functional or no longer located where they could give proper readings, the IPCC “Oops” about the Himalayan glaciers melting in 35 years, and of course, the “dog ate my data” and “smoothing of the curve” done at East Anglia.

    I’m not a world-class scientist, but I am a world-class expert on bullshitters, phonies, promoters, and con men, and I can tell you this: if Anthrogenic Global Warming were a pubic company, the SEC would have thrown its proponents into the slammer long ago.

  49. Sergey Says:

    “Ignorance” applicable only to situation when something can or should be known, but it is not. Knowledge on principal limitations on knowledge is not argument to ignorance, but just knowledge. And it does not “sneaks” mysticism, but introduces it openly and proudly as a logical consequence of the science itself.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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