[Vision2020] Realclimate.org 4-13-15: Ruddiman's Early Anthropogenic Climate Impact Theory

Paul Rumelhart paul.rumelhart at gmail.com
Sat Apr 18 19:30:21 PDT 2015

I'm not sure why I'm bothering, but for me it comes down to a desire not to
be manipulated by fear as well as the desire not to be demonized for it.
According to Wikipedia, we have had a temperature increase since about 1900
of 0.74 +- 0.18C.  CO2 levels back then were about 280ppm, we're currently
at about 400ppm.  Calculate that out, and it would appear that we should
expect an increase of around 1.7C for a doubling of CO2.  OK, great.  I'll
keep that in mind over the next 80 years or so.  Not nearly as high as what
they are trying to scare us with.  I keep an eye on sea level data at
http://sealevel.colorado.edu.  That first graph has been pegged at 3.2 +-
0.4 mm/yr for the last couple or more years now.  Not even a hint that it
will start erupting upward anytime soon.  We're talking a little over a
foot a century.  Nothing to piss our pants about.  Sea ice in the arctic
continues to frustrate those who keep expecting an ice free summer.  No
idea what it will do this year.

Almost everything else is speculation and over-exaggeration as far as I can
tell.  I don't buy into the "man is killing the planet" morality play.  I
don't see any need to put any brakes on the economy in order to force us
off of oil.  If anything, we need the economy as strong as possible so we
can be effective when we need to be.  I don't think we should be messing
with geoengineering schemes quite yet.

If things take a sudden turn for the worse, I'll rethink my position.

That's my basic take on it.  I'm not interested in yet another
back-and-forth exchange.


P.S.  As for the possibility of religion trumping my common sense on this
topic, I have no idea what spiritists / occultists think about climate
change; as far as I can tell there is no position on it.  Maybe all 12 of
us should sit down and discuss it sometime.

On Sat, Apr 18, 2015 at 6:15 PM, Ted Moffett <starbliss at gmail.com> wrote:

> Seriously, Scott?  I think Debi was serious... Was she joking and I did
> not get it?
> Perhaps I misunderstood, or you were engaging in hyperbole for amusement...
> You can't really mean to suggest that *everyone *who has a view on
> anthropogenic global warming is merely "clinging tightly to their own blind
> biases."
> Or just the people you "hang with?"
> Scott Dredge wrote:
> "The motley crew that I out hang with just clings tightly to their own
> blind biases  on this issue."
> --------------------------------
> There will always be some who take extreme unreasoned views on most any
> important issue, on one side or another.  Thus Deb makes a good
> point about some who "melt-down," who are denying the validity of the
> thousands of peer reviewed scientific studies indicating significant
> anthropogenic climate change is occurring, when confronted with this body
> of science.
> But as I recently told a local climate change activist, if you want to
> find peer reviewed published scientific studies that question the consensus
> scientific view on anthropogenic climate change, they can be found.  I have
> made a deliberate effort to study the scientific theories that indicate
> anthropogenic climate change is not a problem to the extent most competent
> scientists indicate it is...
> Below are a few that have generated considerable discussion in recent
> years.  I'll not present the scientific refutations of these published
> scientific papers, but refuted they were.
> Note the first paper below is authored by the famous Richard Lindzen from
> MIT, who former NASA climate scientist James Hansen described as "the dean
> of anthropogenic climate change skeptics" in Hansen's book "Storms of My
> Grandchildren:"
> Published in "Geophysical Research Letters:" 26 August 2009
> <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009GL039628/abstract#publication-history>
> http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009GL039628/abstract
> On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data
> Richard S. Lindzen, Yong-Sang ChoiNote this comment from the Abstract:"...the
> inconsistency of climate feedbacks constitutes a very fundamental problem
> in climate prediction."
> -------------------------------------------
> Published in "Remote Sensing" July 2011:
> http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603
> *Roy W. Spencer* <http://www.mdpi.com/search?authors=Roy%20W.%20Spencer>*
> * * <roy.spencer at nsstc.uah.edu>* and **William D. Braswell*
> <http://www.mdpi.com/search?authors=William%20D.%20Braswell>
> On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in
> Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance†
> Claiming a "misdiagnosis" indicates the "skeptical" analysis here...
> -----------------------
> Regarding your statement "The sad reality is that throughout history
> science has been routinely trumped by politics and religion until it can be
> proven beyond all doubt." demonstrates a misunderstanding, according to my
> study of epistemology, theory of knowledge, and the scientific method, of
> the nature of scientific inquiry.  Nothing can be "proven beyond all doubt"
> technically speaking.  New data or theory can always alter a given
> scientific consensus, though some scientists would argue this is
> philosophical nit-picking on some very well established theories.
> But consider the millions of people who insist that the theory or
> evolution, insofar as it indicates homo sapiens evolved over millions of
> years from other species, is not a "proven" scientific theory, despite the
> overwhelming scientific evidence.  *Science is still "trumped" by
> religion on this issue.*
> *Given the bias of some people, it does not matter how well "proven" a
> scientific theory may be... it will still be denied!*
> ---------------------------------------
> Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
> On Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 9:04 PM, Scott Dredge <scooterd408 at hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Seriously Debi?  The motley crew that I out hang with just clings tightly
>> to their own blind biases on this issue.  They just reject any report and /
>> or attack the source that doesn't align with their own unalterable belief.
>> The sad reality is that throughout history science has been routinely
>> trumped by politics and religion until it can be proven beyond all doubt.
>> And personally, I'm OK with that to some extent because the effect is that
>> it forces very comprehensive and far reaching studies to unearth all the
>> facts and impeach all of the fiction.
>> This short video is a good parallel of what happens whenever the topic of
>> climate change comes up with either my 'global warming is a myth' friends
>> or with my 'we are going to die because of global warming' friends:
>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvSjiq1pLVY
>> ------------------------------
>> From: debismith at moscow.com
>> To: starbliss at gmail.com; vision2020 at moscow.com
>> Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 19:32:23 -0700
>> Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Realclimate.org 4-13-15: Ruddiman's Early
>> Anthropogenic Climate Impact Theory
>> Thanks, Ted. this is good info, and assists me when i talk to folks with
>> little science background and a denier agenda---you are always on top of
>> it!  I have watched climate denier folks melt-down when confronted with
>> facts that refute their disbelief---even they can only suspend disbelief
>> until their arms hurt a bunch....and most of them don't have the muscle
>> mass....
>> debi R-S
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> *From:* Ted Moffett <starbliss at gmail.com>
>> *To:* Moscow Vision 2020 <vision2020 at moscow.com>
>> *Sent:* Friday, April 17, 2015 6:44 PM
>> *Subject:* [Vision2020] Realclimate.org 4-13-15: Ruddiman's Early
>> Anthropogenic Climate Impact Theory
>>  I was surprised to just today read on Realclimate.org a piece dated 13
>> April 2015, by climate scientist William Ruddiman, discussing how the
>> scientific community has received his controversial theory regarding early
>> (before major fossil fuel powered industrial civilization) human climate
>> impacts.
>> His Realclimate.org piece argues, and I quote, against the alleged
>> "censure from a nearly monolithic community intent on imposing a mainstream
>> view" that is sometimes claimed to exist by those critical of the science
>> demonstrating major human impacts on climate change.
>> I was particularly interested in this Realclimate.org piece because I
>> referenced his theory in a 2007 op-ed in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News,
>> which now has a Google News webpage of an actual scan of the actual op-ed
>> page in the Moscow-Pullman DN.  How or why this scan happened I do not
>> know, but it can be read at the webpage below:
>> https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2026&dat=20070223&id=x14zAAAAIBAJ&sjid=MvAFAAAAIBAJ&pg=3113,2791746&hl=en
>> ---------------------------------
>> Ruddiman's Realclimate.org article mentioned above is pasted in below,
>> and comments generated by his article are also available at the website
>> below:
>> http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/04/a-scientific-debate/
>> A Scientific Debate Filed under: Climate Science — mike @ 13 April 2015
>> Bill Ruddiman, University of Virginia
>> Recently I’ve read claims that some scientists are opposed to AGW but
>> won’t speak out because they fear censure from a nearly monolithic
>> community intent on imposing a mainstream view. Yet my last 10 years of
>> personal experience refute this claim. This story began late in 2003 when I
>> introduced a new idea (the ‘early anthropogenic hypothesis’) that went
>> completely against a prevailing climatic paradigm of the time. I claimed
>> that detectable human influences on Earth’s surface and its climate began
>> thousands of years ago because of agriculture. Here I describe how this
>> radically different idea was received by the mainstream scientific
>> community.
>> Was my initial attempt to present this new idea suppressed? No. I
>> submitted a paper to Climatic Change, then edited by Steve Schneider, a
>> well-known climate scientist and AGW spokesman. From what I could tell,
>> Steve was agnostic about my idea but published it because he found it an
>> interesting challenge to the conventional wisdom. I also gave the Emiliani
>> lecture at the 2003 December American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference to
>> some 800 people. I feel certain that very few of those scientists came to
>> my talk believing what my abstract claimed. They attended because they were
>> interested in a really new idea from someone with a decent career
>> reputation. The talk was covered by many prominent media sources, including
>> the New York Times and The Economist. This experience told me that
>> provocative new ideas draw interest because they are provocative and new,
>> provided that they pass the key ‘sniff test’ by presenting evidence in
>> support of their claims.
>> Did this radical new idea have difficulty receiving research funding? No.
>> Proposals submitted to the highly competitive National Science Foundation
>> (NSF) with John Kutzbach and Steve Vavrus have been fully funded since 2004
>> by 3-year grants. Even though the hypothesis of early anthropogenic effects
>> on climate has been controversial (and still is for some), we crafted
>> proposals that were carefully written, tightly reasoned, and focused on
>> testing the new idea. As a result, we succeeded against negative funding
>> odds of 4-1 or 5-1. One program manager told me he planned to put our grant
>> on a short list of ‘transformational’ proposals/grants that NSF had
>> requested. That didn’t mean he accepted our hypothesis. It meant that he
>> felt that our hypothesis had the potential to transform that particular
>> field of paleoclimatic research, if proven correct.
>> Were we able to get papers published? Yes. As any scientist will tell
>> you, this process is rarely easy. Even reviewers who basically support what
>> you have to say will rarely hand out ‘easy-pass’ reviews. They add their
>> own perspective, and they often point out useful improvements. A few
>> reviews of the 30-some papers we have published during the last 11 years
>> have come back with extremely negative reviews, seemingly from scientists
>> who seem deeply opposed to anything that even hints at large early
>> anthropogenic effects. While these uber-critical reviews are discouraging,
>> I have learned to put them aside for a few days, give my spirits time to
>> rebound, and then address the criticisms that are fair (that is,
>> evidence-based), explain to the journal editor why other criticisms are
>> unfair, and submit a revised (and inevitably improved) paper. Eventually,
>> our views have always gotten published, although sometimes only after
>> considerable effort.
>> The decade-long argument over large early anthropogenic effects
>> continues, although recent syntheses of archeological and paleoecological
>> data have been increasingly supportive. In any case, I continue to trust
>> the scientific process to sort this debate out. I suggest that my
>> experience is a good index of the way the system actually operates when new
>> and controversial ideas emerge. I see no evidence that the system is
>> muffling good new ideas.
>> ---------------------------------------
>> Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
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