Reply to post: Re: Skepticism

Climate-change skeptic lined up to run NASA in this Trump timeline


Re: Skepticism

@JLV That's one of the most mature and reasonable posts I've seen on this topic. Have an up-vote on me.

This is a bit tardy, but I'll try to answer some of your questions:

"What I am curious about, in your version of the "big sell" is why other people, including people who do not share the green viewpoint, are suckered in and go along? Why are they buying into the sell? Especially if the findings are inconvenient and annoying, such as limiting their air travel? These are rational people, able to look at data just as well as yourself."

- My impression (from working as a Democratic organizer) was that white collar party activists weren't afraid of that, likely because they didn't expect it to happen.

"Some folks insist on perfect climate science models. Guess what - not gonna happen."

- Correct, and it's easy to understand why there are gaps in calibration data before 1970 (nobody was thinking about climate modeling) and why the surface stations didn't get updated immediately (budgets). What's harder to understand is why it took three decades after the consensus formed to get hard numbers about things like shelter and location biases. We're now forty years into this and there are still missing calibration records.

"But, why is it that very little serious, peer-reviewed science has debunked the AGW alarmists? There would be no lack of funding for someone with solid science to back up that humans are not causing a problem."

- You've already answered that. See above. As you summed it:

"It won't be perfect first time and it might never be perfect at all. It'll be fuzzy, open to interpretation and based on consensus rather than certainties."

That also makes it hard to disprove (which is why I'd rather focus on whether particular mitigation proposals make sense).

"Any oil company would love to throw money at them (and probably do). Yes, riding the AGW is a gravy train, but credible science against it would make any scientist into a top earner in that field."

- I think you've giving them too much credit. Look at the Equifax fiasco - wouldn't it have been in their interest to hire the best infosec people and give them the support needed to avoid this? They obviously didn't.

Also, possibly because the people disputing AGW didn't know where to look. They spent decades trying to find mistakes in the math and the theory even though people in academia tend to be very good at both. While they were distracted by that, they missed problems with the instrumentation and test design.

"What I am wondering about, if people like yourself and Bombastic Bob, are reasoning in good faith, is what would it take to change your mind?"

This wasn't directed at me, but I'll offer my answer:

1: Fix the data. I Having problems in a first analysis is normal, but leaving them unfixed indefinitely isn't.

2: Publish the metadata. Right now a lot of it is on password-protected servers. If it's good, there's no reason to hide it. Even if there are gaps, it might still be possible to fill them in as long as the equipment hasn't been thrown away.

3: I'd be willing to act on the Precautionary Principle, but some of the proposed mitigations aren't precautionary. Anything that requires building new supply chains and factories for a small reduction in lifecycle CO2 doesn't make sense at this point.

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