Home > AGW, Omniclimate, Policy, Science, Skepticism, Sun > Climate Debate (4): Laypeople vs AGW Clergy

Climate Debate (4): Laypeople vs AGW Clergy

(fourth and likely final entry in my series of exchanges “On Climate Debate and Debate Climate” with a person genuinely convinced AGW is a settled argument)

This is a list of previous blogs on the topic:

On Climate Debate and Debate Climate (1)

Consensus, Actions and the Sun (2)

The Church of AGW (3)

(again on plausible mechanisms causally linking solar *wind* and terrestrial weather)

I have already specified I don’t particularly subscribe to the “it’s the solar wind” hypothesis. But heaven forbid we discover effects before knowing the “plausible mechanisms” about them.

For a speculation on a direct path for an effect, look at figure 7 (page 5) in the Ørsted satellite results paper (“The Ørsted Satellite Project“, by Peter Stauning, Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), 22.1.2008/PSt-DMI), to see the areas where high-energy radiation is capable to penetrate lower in the atmosphere, to around 700km.

It’s still quite a way to the troposphere, of course.

(on why I do not believe in qualified climatologists)

Because I am free to make out my own opinion.

Boy have some people a problem with that or what? Even if 95% of people agree with AGW, they’re still trying to stamp out the remaining 5%…

(on “lay opinion” vs. “qualified scientists’ opinion”)

In non-scientific matters (such as public health policymaking: the stuff also called “action“…), a “lay opinion” is no better or worse than a “qualified scientist’s”.

It’s called “democracy“.

That’s why people can choose between different economic policies, for example, voting this or that candidate: otherwise it’d all be done behind close doors by a bunch of Professors in Economics.

In scientific matters, any given “lay opinion” is expected to be generally less authoritative than any given “qualified scientist”‘s. Obviously it depends on the “qualification”. A geologist’s take on climate is not necessarily any more or less informed than a biologist’s.

In any case: what about the opinion of John Christy, a very qualified scientist, and of others like him, members of the IPCC that do not subscribe to the AGW panic?

What’s wrong with them, or with the IPCC that still gives them credit?

(on my alleged arguing that “lay people” can challenge scientists because science was wrong in the past)

That would be a mistaken mixing up of my arguments.

I have said that lay people can challenge any scientific opinion, and the scientists should not be afraid of accepting the challenge.

This also because a “lay person”, say, in climatology, could very well be an “authority”, say, in systems engineering. And there are obvious similarities between modeling the “climate system” and modeling other kinds of complex system, either natural or man-made.

This applies also to software, as climate models are ultimately bunches of computer codes. Etc etc.

The IPCC itself has recognized this point, and is not limited to climatologists.

Anyway: everybody’s contribution to a topic should always be welcome, and especially so if it potentially has far-fetching policy and lifestyle consequences.

The point about helicobacter and cholesterol is different.

It is about the vast majority of scientists still being capable of being wrong. Other scientists found a way to make progress: but they would not have been able to do so, had they subscribed to the “follow the consensus” strategy.

Now…if anybody keeps refusing to acknowledge the very existence of at least two IPCC Lead Authors, it is not my problem.

  1. 2008/02/17 at 20:55

    I will be reading either way.

  2. globalcooler
    2008/02/17 at 18:10

    The point you make about “Solar Wind” sent me to do a little checking. Apparently, solar wind modulates the effects of cosmic rays. Historically, cosmic ray flux has been measured through the use of proxies and there is good correlation between cosmic ray flux density, solar cycles and temperature. Using satellites, there is a strong correlation between cosmic ray flux and cloud cover. As absolutely nothing is known absolutely about climate and it’s causes, I always chuckle at the certainty espoused by those that say it is our fault. Since solar cycle 23 is likely to continue through till June or July or even to the summer of 2009 by some estimates, this minimum could tell us a lot and likely end our warm period, unless the AGW crowd is correct…..

  3. 2008/02/15 at 18:54

    thank you yojoe. I’ll try to contain myself!!!

    But I do like to italicize the quotes

  4. 2008/02/15 at 18:51

    I read your blog often, and have it on my blogroll. The only problem I have with your posts is that they tend to be a bit confusing when you switch back and forth on bold, italics, and quotes. The information is great and I learn from most, if not all of your posts, just a suggestion on the format. But remember, as this advise is free, it may also be worthless.


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