The audience strikes back

Emptiness of AGW theory

Dan Satterfield is an experienced TV meteorologist in Huntsville, Alabama—the town which is also home to the world-famous team led by Dr Roy Spencer that tracks the Earth’s temperature with satellites.

Despite his credentials, despite the fact that he deals with climate information every day and despite the fact that he parrots warmist dogma and calls it “climate science”, Dan evinces no actual knowledge of climate facts. And confronted with that fact, Dan finally confesses (by retreat) that he cannot debate the issues on which he claims to be passionate. In withdrawing, he demonstrates the emptiness of the AGW hypothesis.

When the audience strikes back, he cannot mount a defence. His incompetence is great, though he had poor material to work with. Still, alas, he doesn’t make a notable opponent; he is only today’s. One down, thousands yet to go.

Dreary and detailed

Dan’s post tries to describe the imagined “psychology” of “the deniers of climate change”, rather than accepting that there do actually exist real-world observations which fail to support the AGW hypothesis. Everybody believes the evidence of their own senses, and it has nothing to do with having a particular psychology.

What follows is dreary and detailed; I write it because I can, not because I imagine anyone will hasten to read it. Oh—and because I care about the truth. Observing Mr Satterfield squeezing and pinching the truth of global warming out of shape inspires me to pen this lone refutation, dreary and uninspiring though it may be, whose only reward might be a faint righteousness.

Dan Satterfield posted on his blog recently an article titled Psycho Analysis of A Climate Skeptic.

He begins: “One of the reasons I started writing this journal is the incredible amount of misinformation online and on-air about Science.” He then goes on to ignore science, unless we count his reference to “the nearly unanimous opinion of climate scientists that we are heading for a catastrophe”. Apart from that unscientific argument by authority, he gives us no reason to believe his assertion that we are “heading for a catastrophe”.

Loose grip on climate facts

To replace the science, he proceeds with an amateur “psycho analysis” of the “deniers of climate change”, as though that kind of abuse might change their minds. He persists on that course even after announcing “nothing I can possibly say will change their minds”.

This is unskilful, but the telling evidence of Dan’s loose grip on climate facts (and debating skill) comes when he responds to my critique of his article.

I commented on his blog to the effect that, though I believe in looking after the Earth and that we should not despoil it, I don’t subscribe to any conspiracy theory, either big oil cajoling us that AGW is false when it’s true, or mad scientists running amok yelling that it’s true when it’s false; I believe in observations. One of the most compelling is the global lower troposphere temperature data from the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH).

The UAH data show no warming since about 2002 and only mild warming before that, back to 1979. That’s 30 years of satellite temperature records that are unalarming. No conspiracy needs to be invoked, only a confidence in science, which Dan says he encourages.

A spirit of confused bluster

I went on to say that observation has discovered many facts that throw strong doubt on the theory of dangerous anthropogenic global warming (AGW). There’s no conspiracy, as he hints; anyone can join in: just search sincerely.

Dan responds to these comments in a spirit of confused bluster.

Have not seen the graph you linked to in a published paper. As far as the satellite temp. record, I refer you to this post:
http://wildwildweather.com/forecastblog/2009/06/another-climate-myth-long-dead-is-finally-buried/ That pretty much explains that the Satellite and Surface temp. records match.

Well, so they agree: I never said they didn’t.

Your claim that the satellite data does not show warming is not born [sic] out by the science.

That was not my claim. I said the UAH record showed no warming since 2002. That claim is “borne out by the science”, and I just provided a reference to the very data that bear it out. But, actually, no other temperature series shows warming since then, either, so he himself has no basis “in science” to deny it.

The report I linked to previously concluded that the satellite data and the surface data ARE in agreement.

Yes, it did, but I hadn’t said they were not and that’s not the issue.

AGW hypothesis unsatisfactory

In the UAH data we have a series of scientific observations, so the fact of the matter is that no unprecedented warming is evident in a reliable dataset over 30 years. In addition, the important matter of causation lies in disarray, supported only by computer models and unjustified assumptions about the greenhouse effect and the “sensitivity” of the climate system to warming. The AGW hypothesis is unsatisfactory. A small negative cloud feedback of about 3% would be sufficient to undo it.

My next comment on Dan’s blog gave a reference to the UAH data, then added:

These data, of course, are derived from satellite observations. Please note that none of the data based on near-surface observations have been independently audited and that outright resistance to such audits has been expressed by the “gatekeepers” of those data, in striking contravention to normal scientific practice in other fields.

In marked contrast to that situation, the UAH data from Spencer et al. have come under comprehensive scrutiny many times from many angles, with UAH data made freely available to all researchers, and their integrity has survived. Though errors have been found, subsequent corrections hardly affect the record. Note that there has been considerable activity aimed at refuting data that undermine the AGW hypothesis but only a minuscule effort at refuting data that support a human influence in warming.

For some reason there are more funds available in support of AGW than of Nature.

So now to your article here. I can do no better than to repeat the conclusions I came to earlier: The fact of the matter is that no unprecedented warming is evident in a reliable dataset over 30 years. In addition, the important matter of causation lies in disarray, supported only by computer models and unjustified assumptions. The AGW hypothesis is unsatisfactory. A small negative cloud feedback of about 3% would be sufficient to undo it.

Perhaps now you might feel free to respond to the substance of my comments?

Those are the comments that Dan deleted, claiming they contained “disinformation”, demanding to know if I had read the “follow-ups” to the cited paper and indulging in some crude sarcasm. He gave no sign of having looked at the UAH graph and made no attempt to refute anything I had said, resorting only to obfuscation and abuse.

Previously, I had the impression that Dan was “capable of proper reasoning” but his performance here dashed my hopes. So I thought perhaps a more strongly-worded message might shock or shame him into a scientific mode:

(The last post)

Thank you for clearly marking your comments.

You say:

As for the cite- did you bother to read the follow ups to that paper? Or are you just cherry picking the rare article that seems to disagree with AGW theory.

No, you seem to have lost the thread, Dan, it’s simpler than that. The paper’s not important except for the fact that it’s published and it refers to the UAH data, as you asked for, remember? I referred to a temperature graph. You asked for a published paper that cites those same data. I did so. Now you rudely demand I read the so-called “follow-ups”? But have you actually looked at the graph or the data? It’s a bit pointless requiring a citation to validate my reference if you don’t look at what I’m referring to. As I said: “The fact of the matter is that no unprecedented warming is evident in a reliable dataset over 30 years.”

This is the evidence I refer to. The paper is not relevant to our discussion; the data is. The data stands undiscredited. Describing its choice as cherry-picking does not refute it. Note that finding the fact of warming is not the same as identifying its cause.

Incidentally, you use “cite” (the verb) instead of “citation” (the noun).

You say:

Funny how they always have Lindzen or Spencer at the top. Tell you anything?

They are highly regarded scientists; but you sound more sarcastic than objective.

You say:

Gavin Schmidt at NASA has a decent summary.

I’ll accept your word that it’s decent, but it’s just a sarcastic description of how to present data in a misleading way — so what’s your point? You insist I cite a paper, claim my citing of Spencer has some unspecified flaw, yet you yourself don’t cite a paper, you cite a mere blog. And the Real Climate blog at that — a group of scientists so strongly biased towards AGW they openly admit their advocacy, just like Jim Hansen; they’re famous for just deleting comments that question the AGW theory. Also, that blog posting is irrelevant to the standing of the UAH dataset; that you present it is contemptible, because I’m talking about the data, not deceptive graphs. If you wish to denigrate the data, then cite a paper.

Otherwise my assertion must stand; you know, about the 30 years of no unprecedented warming. What we’re actually talking about. It’s a scientific conclusion; refute it with science, not sarcasm and bluster.

After deleting my comments you say:

Comment Edited (You made several claims that have no basis in fact. The comments section is not a forum to spread disinformation. If you have a claim, back it up.)

I would say the same to you: please be specific with your allegations of disinformation. What exactly did I say? And I add that so far you’re not very credible.

Just a word of warning: if you’re seriously thinking of challenging the validity of the UAH data, get some good advice and do a little research, because there’s nothing wrong with it. I have a considerable number of papers (challenging and defending it) to list in rebuttal.

Cheers,
Richard Treadgold.

(end of the last post)

Mr Satterfield could not refute any of this, for he used the Real Climate crowd control technique of deleting without explanation. That’s right: he published not a single word of the last post. My assertions therefore stand unblemished, Dan’s reputation in debate stands tarnished and the AGW theory needs more help than he could give.

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