A Philosopher's Blog

Picking between Experts

Posted in Philosophy, Reasoning/Logic by Michael LaBossiere on January 29, 2014
A logic diagram proposed for WP OR to handle a...

A logic diagram proposed for WP OR to handle a situation where two equal experts disagree. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One fairly common way to argue is the argument from authority. While people rarely follow the “strict” form of the argument, the basic idea is to infer that a claim is true based on the allegation that the person making the claim is an expert. For example, someone might claim that second hand smoke does not cause cancer because Michael Crichton claimed that it does not. As another example, someone might claim that astral projection/travel is real because Michael Crichton claims it does occur. Given that people often disagree, it is also quite common to find that alleged experts disagree with each other. For example, there are medical experts who claim that second hand smoke does cause cancer.

If you are an expert in the field in question, you can endeavor to pick between the other experts by using your own expertise. For example, a medical doctor who is trying to decide whether to believe that second hand smoke causes cancer can examine the literature and perhaps even conduct her own studies. Being an expert, a person is presumably qualified to make an informed pick. The obvious problem is, of course, that experts themselves pick different experts to accept as being correct.

The problem is even greater when it comes to non-experts who are trying to pick between experts. Being non-experts, they lack the expertise to make authoritative picks between the actual experts based on their own knowledge of the fields. This raises the rather important concern of how to pick between experts when you are not an expert.

Not surprisingly, people tend to pick based on fallacious reasoning. One common approach is to pick an expert based on the fact that she agrees with what you already believe. That is, to infer that the expert is right because you believe what she says. This is rather obviously not good reasoning: to infer that something is true simply because I believe it gets things backwards. It should be first established that a claim is probably true, then it should be believed (with appropriate reservations).

Another common approach is to believe an expert because he makes a claim that you really want to be true. For example, a smoker might elect to believe an expert who claims second hand smoke does not cause cancer because he does not want to believe that he might be increasing the risk that his children will get cancer by his smoking around them. This sort of “reasoning” is the classic fallacy of wishful thinking. Obviously enough, wishing that something is true (or false) does not prove that the claim is true (or false).

People also pick their expert based on qualities they perceive as positive but that are, in fact, irrelevant to the person’s actually credibility. Factors such as height, gender, appearance, age, personality, religion, political party, wealth, friendliness, backstory, courage, and so on can influence people emotionally, but are not actually relevant to assessing a person’s expertise.  For example, a person might be very likeable, but not know a thing about what they are talking about.

Fortunately, there are some straightforward standards for picking and believing an expert. They are as follows.

 

1. The person has sufficient expertise in the subject matter in question.

Claims made by a person who lacks the needed degree of expertise to make a reliable claim will, obviously, not be well supported. In contrast, claims made by a person with the needed degree of expertise will be supported by the person’s reliability in the area. One rather obvious challenge here is being able to judge that a person has sufficient expertise. In general, the question is whether or not a person has the relevant qualities and these are assessed in terms of such factors as education, experience, reputation, accomplishments and positions.

 

2. The claim being made by the person is within her area(s) of expertise.

If a person makes a claim about some subject outside of his area(s) of expertise, then the person is not an expert in that context. Hence, the claim in question is not backed by the required degree of expertise and is not reliable. People often mistake expertise in one area (acting, for example) for expertise in another area (politics, for example).

 

3. The claims made by the expert are consistent with the views of the majority of qualified experts in the field.

This is perhaps the most important factor. As a general rule, a claim that is held as correct by the majority of qualified experts in the field is the most plausible claim. The basic idea is that the majority of experts are more likely to be right than those who disagree with the majority.

It is important to keep in mind that no field has complete agreement, so some degree of dispute is acceptable. How much is acceptable is, of course, a matter of serious debate.

It is also important to be aware that the majority could turn out to be wrong. That said, the reason it is still reasonable for non-experts to go with the majority opinion is that non-experts are, by definition, not experts. After all, if I am not an expert in a field, I would be hard pressed to justify picking the expert I happen to like or agree with against the view of the majority of experts.

 

4. The person in question is not significantly biased.

This is also a rather important standard. Experts, being people, are vulnerable to biases and prejudices. If there is evidence that a person is biased in some manner that would affect the reliability of her claims, then the person’s credibility as an authority is reduced. This is because there would be reason to believe that the expert might not be making a claim because he has carefully considered it using his expertise. Rather, there would be reason to believe that the claim is being made because of the expert’s bias or prejudice. A biased expert can still be making claims that are true—however, the person’s bias lowers her credibility.

It is important to remember that no person is completely objective. At the very least, a person will be favorable towards her own views (otherwise she would probably not hold them). Because of this, some degree of bias must be accepted, provided that the bias is not significant. What counts as a significant degree of bias is open to dispute and can vary a great deal from case to case. For example, many people would probably suspect that researchers who receive funding from pharmaceutical companies might be biased while others might claim that the money would not sway them if the drugs proved to be ineffective or harmful.

Disagreement over bias can itself be a very significant dispute. For example, those who doubt that climate change is real often assert that the experts in question are biased in some manner that causes them to say untrue things about the climate. Questioning an expert based on potential bias is a legitimate approach—provided that there is adequate evidence of bias that would be strong enough to unduly influence the expert. One way to look for bias is to consider whether the expert is interested or disinterested. Or, more metaphorically, to consider whether they have “skin in the game” and stand to gain (or suffer a loss) from a claim being accepted as true. Merely disagreeing with an expert is, obviously, not proof that an expert is biased. Vague accusations that the expert has “liberal” or “conservative” views also do not count as adequate evidence. What is needed is actual evidence of bias. Anything else is most likely a mere ad homimen attack.

These standards are clearly not infallible. However, they do provide a good general guide to logically picking an expert. Certainly more logical than just picking the one who says things one likes.

 

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118 Responses

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  1. ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 29, 2014 at 9:19 am

    According to Kuhn, all scientific experts are — and must be — biased, because they can only do normal science within a particular — community approved of — paradigm, which, eventually, will be subject to overthrow and revolution due to the paradigm’s inability to solve anomalies inherent to the paradigm.

    There is very little today in the way of science that is done within good paradigms…. most science today is total crap, due to crap theories and junk paradigms, except for medicine, technology and engineering, because these deliver the goods, whereas junk paradigms, such as climate change and biological evolution do not, because they are apriori assumptions (heavy laden with political and anti-religious biases) loudly asserting “proofs” that don’t exist while failing to address and deal with numerous anomalies and contradictory data.

  2. T. J. Babson said, on January 29, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I am perfectly willing to believe that chronic exposure to second-hand smoke can cause cancer, but when people claim that a whiff of smoke at a bus stop is endangering their health it redlines my BS meter.

    Mike, let’s pick a concrete example to test your approach.

    Here is the question: does Keynesian economics work?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 29, 2014 at 11:56 am

      No one knows. Economics is voodoo in suits. No offense to voodoo. Philosophy is voodoo in sandals. No offense to sandals.

      • WTP said, on January 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm

        So Mike admits philosophy is voodoo. So what’s the point of all this? Or is Mike saying anything at all here? If not, what’s the point of his reply?

      • apollonian said, on January 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm

        Do Economics and Philosophy “Work”?–Of Course They Do, Ho Ho Ho

        Economics isn’t entirely all voodoo, though one easily gets lost in complexities, and one must be careful to be clear for beginning principles–that’s why I like the Austrian school (Mises.org). Ludwig von Mises was careful to beginning w. limited, clearly understood premises. As Mises understood it (see his “Human Action”), economics is properly understood as essentially an a priori science, not subject to empirical-type experimentation.

        One must remember and note economics is a subject-matter wherein one strives to understanding, for one thing, what wealth is and how it’s made. So criminal enterprises and scams like the US Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) COUNTERFEITING (literally) has an economic foundation and condition necessarily attached which people MUST understand simply to protecting themselves. Whether the Fed is a fraud or not is NOT “voodoo.”

        Philosophy is the art and method of placing things in perspective, seeing items within sub-sets, the sets, and the larger sets, etc. Philosophy seeks to grasp all of reality, by definition, and as this easily gets complex, one easily can get lost. Ayn Rand, for example, rightly observed that the ones who best understand philosophy are the mystics and anti-rationalists who deliberately work to make it in-comprehensible to most folks, using it against people.

        Thus one comes to Keynesianism–does it work?–ho ho ho–sure, for the criminals who successfully impose it upon the masses of poor suckers. Keynesianism (or more accurately, neo-Keynesianism) sure works for Paul Krugman who spouts it and makes good money at it, evidently–he actually got a Nobel Prize. Of course, so did Obongo.

        Does Keynesianism present accurate picture and understanding of actual economics?–no, but it wasn’t designed for that–it was designed to con people, and it was/is brilliant for that purpose–so far, ho ho ho ho. Time may well come–and soon–when we see Keynesians strung-up on the lamp-posts, ho ho ho ho.

    • magus71 said, on January 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      But again, the 50,000 deaths from second hand smoke number….how do “they” get that? What is the scientific way of measuring these people’s exposure to smoke? Michael Crichton’s videos state all my views> I’m not appealing to authority, just letting someone else do my talking.

      • apollonian said, on January 29, 2014 at 7:07 pm

        They probably use statistical methods to constructing an inductive argument, magus–(a) here’s people who died of lung cancer who never smoked. (b) Of those who got cancer though not smoking themselves, here’s number who were around smokers and hence breathed second-hand, (c) compared to number who WEREN’T around smokers. If number of (b) is larger than (c) that’s presumptive, INDUCTIVE evidence, though certainly not conclusive. And u’re right, there’s still problem for conclusive, definitive proof.

        • magus71 said, on January 29, 2014 at 8:52 pm

          Crichton talks about the 95% confidence intervals required by the EPA to find that something is carcinogenic. The EPA found this to not be the case with second hand smoke. Recent studies confirm this to be the case. Crichton is very concrete. Mike is not.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 31, 2014 at 9:37 am

            95% confidence is the standard for studies/experiments. Still, why pick Crichton over the other experts? Why pick the studies your mention? That is, can you provide the reasons why these studies are superior studies to those that conclude second hand smoke is a causal factor for cancer?

            • magus71 said, on January 31, 2014 at 5:55 pm

              Crichton says a federal judge told the EPA to cease from stating that second hand smoke causes cancer. The experts themselves did not follow their own rules. They tried over and over to get the results they wanted and could not do it.

      • WTP said, on January 29, 2014 at 8:33 pm

        Ironically (or not?) it was Mike who originally appealed to authority with this statement
        Go to the CDC site and check their sources. The CDC might be in error or…for the conspiracy folks…engaged in an anti-smoking plot to fabricate data.

        And I called him on it by stating exactly that he was appealing to authority. The alternative implied conspiracy. But you see fallacies don’t apply to Mike when he actually makes them. When someone else argues against his point he goes running to the first fallacy he can find and does a whole whining post about the foolishness of others.

        Don’t you tire of this? I sure do.

        • apollonian said, on January 29, 2014 at 8:46 pm

          Mike probably meant CDC site as source for studies, evidence, etc.

  3. T. J. Babson said, on January 29, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Here is another test question.

    Does living near power lines endanger your health?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 29, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Only if a live wire falls on you. That would totally endanger your health.

    • apollonian said, on January 29, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      TJB: there actually seems to be solid evidence as to this proposition of urs. Absolutely yes, electro-magnetic forces can do serious damage. Cell-phones, for example, seem to be well-proven sources of cancer, and this was known by the corp.s long before they began mass-marketing, but they didn’t care. I’m sure one can get lots of info fm I-net on this subject.

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      Just an example where you can find competing “experts” on both sides.

      Physicists say that the electric and magnetic fields from power lines are so small compared to the fields inside the cell, it is impossible to imagine they would have an effect.

      However, many studies have found a small effect.

      Mike would argue that the physicists should be ignored because they are operating outside of their field.

      However, in this case I believe the physicists and do not believe the studies.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 31, 2014 at 9:54 am

        Why would I say to ignore physicists? If they are experts on electromagnetism, then they are exactly the folks to ask about this. Naturally, you’d also want to involve some medical experts and biologists because of the interaction of the fields and living creatures.

        It is not crazy to think that such fields could impact living creatures, but it is also not crazy to think that the fields are so weak that they would have no significant impact on people. So, I’d go with the best studies. If these studies are properly conducted and they show a statistically significant impact, that that would be what would be rational to believe. This would not be ignoring the physicists who deny the impact, it would be going with the best evidence.

        • wtp said, on January 31, 2014 at 10:19 am

          What total BS. How’s that meter of yours working, TJ? Again Mike plays the same game he accuses others of playing. He just hides his prejudices behind “best studies”, “properly conducted”, yadda yadda yadda. Mike lacks the critical thinking skills of a teenager, demonstrated time and again by his posts and his refusal to admit that he is wrong about certain things. In fact, in Mike’s discussion of experts and studies, he leaves out the most important human factor involved. Are those experts or those conducting the studies willing to admit when they are wrong? Or will they fudge the data, obfuscate their point, or engage in other forms of sophistry to protect their fragile egos. He either ignores or dismisses the motivating factor of academics and such for fabricating data and misrepresenting facts yet will put under a microscope any facts, studies, or experts with whom he disagrees. Is it a lack of self awareness or is it intentional? Does it matter?

  4. WTP said, on January 29, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Here’s an expert opinion:
    Carole Lieberman, MD, a Beverly Hills-based media psychiatrist, says, “There is no question that reality TV is dangerous to our nation’s psyche.

    http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/truman-show-delusion-real-imagined?page=2

    No question….Heh…hehheh…hahahahahahaha

    • apollonian said, on January 29, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Well WTP, she got u to thinking, eh?–and that’s not bad, is it? So now, at this pt., it only depends upon quality of exposition to be found at the citation u give us.

  5. apollonian said, on January 29, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    What’s A Good “Expert”?–Well, What’s A Good Teacher, Or Professor?

    Mike writes neat stuff to getting us all stirred-up and thinking about things. So let’s think about experts and arg.-fm-authority fallacy. Note it has to do w. the logical proof of a proposition and whether the conclusion is valid, given true premises–“experts” tell us all about all of these factors (if they’re really any good).

    So someone says, and makes an assertion; obviously this doesn’t prove anything unless the assertion can be verified. So we see a good “expert” is good for relevant info. Someone walks into the room and says, “by golly, but it sure is cold outside”–all we need here is precision (for the exact temp.), unless we know the guy is a liar, or a nut, or a practical joker.

    Often, the “expert” is one who is good for the facts at hand, say in economics, who can give-out w. details by which to present an argument, facts and details which we ourselves just don’t have in our mental grasp. The expert then is one who rather refreshes our memory for basic and relevant principles and reminding us then of details pertaining therewith.

    So the expert then is actually offering (or should be offering) an INDUCTIVE argument, presenting facts, premises, and details, and then a conclusion, all for our consideration in the usual inductive manner, particulars leading to a recommended or presumptive generalization–like a scout who reports to the general for the prospective battlefield conditions in effect at the moment.

    Often “experts” are actually simply observers bringing their information to the fore in way of consultation.

    A classroom teacher, for example, is nothing but a good (we hope) “expert” who demonstrates the proposed conclusions according to the premises and the verification thereof.

    What’s a good “expert”?–same as what’s a good teacher. How can u tell for quality of “experts”?–same as u tell quality of teachers. One has to be a good student to judge teachers, like “experts,” and the better one gets at judging teachers and experts, the more one gets to being a teacher or expert oneself.

  6. magus71 said, on January 29, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Mike,

    You once gave me an excellent way to test the validity of our own beliefs. I think we were talking about evolution. You stated you were highly skeptical of any belief or theory which has been set up in such a way as to be immune to disproof. I stole this idea, by the way, in my Competing Hypothesis class, in which I told the guys that they should ask themselves: “What could happen that would make me change my mind?”

    Do you see evidence that people whom believe the whole global warming theory as now proposed (Increased CO2 is responsible for warming, man is responsible for CO2 increase, CO2 increase results in catastrophic environmental changes) are trying to set up a theory that cannot be disproved? ie, it’s now “climate change” and even bad snow storms are because of “global warming”.

    • apollonian said, on January 29, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      Psychopaths Are Now PAST Arguments, Logic

      Well magus: just go to the u-tube vid for Obongo’s SOTU speech last night whence he told us,

      “”The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way,” said President Obama last night in his State of the Union Address.”But the debate is settled,” he added emphatically. “Climate change is a fact.””

      (http://io9.com/but-then-only-climatologists-will-be-allowed-to-be-ric-1511587349/@ManchuCandidate)

      Magus: u gotta face-up to fact, these scum (Obong & co.) are INSANE, absolute psychopaths. Is there “evidence” these puke are insane?–yes, a little bit.

      Hubris is defined as believing u’re God, creating reality w. perfectly “free” will, and they’re determined to enforce this insanity and pretended reality of “climate change.”

      And u gotta observe their modus-operandi: at this pt., they’re FINISHED even arguing. All these climate-change psychopaths do is (a) lie, (b) REPEAT the lies, and (c) then ignore u if u try to present any counter-argument–they’re past arguing or reasoning.

      And yet, observe Republicans are still quite cool to idea of impeachment–how is this? Well, u gotta realize what the Federal Reserve Bank does–literally just printing-up and digitalizing funds out of nothing (COUNTERFEITING, literally, just legalized). Hence Fed powers own and control everything. All the politicians and judges, w. only very few exceptions, are already bribed, bought, and paid-for, kept in line w. extortion and the knowledge they can easily be assassinated. That’s where we are now.

      And people don’t care either long as there’s football games on–like, hey, the stupor bowl coming up this weekend, by golly–isn’t it wonderful? Such is “Decline of the West,” by Oswald Spengler–nothing is going to happen until things get lots worse–which is coming-up, soon.

      • apollonian said, on January 29, 2014 at 6:59 pm

        Here’s the u-tube vid; fast-forward to 3:30 mark on this one. The psychopath-in-chief speakeths

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 31, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Yes, any claim that is set up to be immune to disproof (that is, is made untestable) is flawed.

      Human caused climate change can be disproven-one way would be to show that the climate change is within established natural variation. Another would be to show that the human impact is not enough to have an impact on the climate. A third way would be to find other causes of the change. Naturally, these can all be combined.

      • wtp said, on January 31, 2014 at 10:25 am

        Notice how he ignores what he even stated in the post on studies. There is no reasonable control group for such studies. Not to mention the wishy-washy standard of “established natural variation”. So far as anyone can reasonably tell, and there is much to question in the science of the history of the climate, the planet has been significantly warmer and significantly colder. At some point there was a “change” from one state to another. How does one tell if we’re in one of those transitions or not? Or within a mini-transition between major transitions?

      • magus71 said, on January 31, 2014 at 7:05 pm

        “one way would be to show that the climate change is within established natural variation.”

        It’s well within natural variation, seeing that it has been warmer and colder than now, before the industrial age. that’s one of the major arguments of skeptics. In fact, all of what you stated are arguments of the skeptics.

        A tertiary argument is that global warming is not harmful. A recent study showed fewer cases of extreme weather during the Earth’s warmest period. You’ve not been exposed to skeptical arguments and data. Only the “consensus”, however that is measured.

        http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/search?q=warming+storm+activity

  7. magus71 said, on January 29, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Mark Steyn is being sued for saying the “Hockey Stick” is wrong. I’m telling you guys, “science” is being used in the exactly the same way as was religion in 1490. Dogma. Do not question. Do not think. If you put science behind an idea you can burn heretics.

    One problem is that I think Mike does not actually look at this stuff himself. He hears about consensus.

    I’m standing by it, global warming is bad science. Mike needs to look at the arguments from the other side and not assume they are the lunatic fringe.

    • apollonian said, on January 29, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      Magus: the psychopaths pushing “climate-change” are not “using science”–they’re just lying, saying they use science, and then continue REPEATING, pushing their idiot lies–that’s all that’s going on. These liars own the mass-media, etc., so they think continuing to repeat, repeat, repeat will persuade the dummies of the population.

      Note proof means: (a) u got a criterion for a proposition. So they have a presumable conclusion. Now then, what’s the criterion, the PREMISE?–which would then prove their conclusion/presumption?–they ain’t got it–if they do have it, what is it?

      Here’s best site for climate evidence and facts I know of: http://weatheraction.com/

      • apollonian said, on January 29, 2014 at 7:36 pm

        Doggone it: I wanted and should have said this for above text,

        “Note proof means: (a) u got a criterion for a proposition. So they have a presumable conclusion. Now then, what’s the criterion, the PREMISE?–which would then prove their conclusion/presumption?–(b) they ain’t got it–if they do have it, what is it?”

        So there’s NO science, no logic, just assertion un-substantiated, but repeated, repeated….

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 31, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Who is suing him and on what grounds?

      Scientists do suffer from the same flaws as everyone else, but the scientific method (when followed) is the rational way to approach problems. If views are pushed on political grounds or for mere gain, then that is not proper science.

      I’m not a climate scientist, so my assessment of the data has no authority. However, the consensus of the experts is that climate change is occurring and that human activity has a role in it. Given the scale of our activities, that does not seem implausible. Also, vaguely accusing scientists of being dogmatic or fanatics does not refute their claims. How are they wrong? What is the motivation to lie?

      I don’t assume that the skeptics are lunatics-the skeptic plays a very important role in science and philosophy. However, the skepticism must also be rational-that is, the doubts must have some foundation.

      • wtp said, on January 31, 2014 at 10:32 am

        At one time the consensus of the experts was opposed to germ theory. Men even before Louis Pasture argued otherwise.

        “vaguely accusing scientists of being dogmatic or fanatics does not refute their claims. ” Are you speaking of defenders or deniers?

        “What is the motivation to lie?” Funding, fame, attention? All three? Academia is a publish or perish environment. I would think you would know that. If this hasn’t occurred to you your reasoning skills are rather weak.

      • apollonian said, on January 31, 2014 at 2:50 pm

        “[C]onsensus of experts” is artificial creation of hype-meisters of the mass-corp. news-media, and others, like in public edjumacation, consisting practically ENTIRELY of lies, lying, propaganda, etc. “Climate-change” is mere buzz-phrase and happens all the time, the weather changing fm spring to summer to fall, to winter, etc. Human activity causing significant climate-change hasn’t been proven, and if it has, then what’s the proof?–u need to give ref.s and citations.

        The motivation of “scientists” to lie is patent and obvious, money, salaries, funding, grants, etc. all depend upon politically-correct lies, lying, and agenda-pushing. The state intrusion upon “education” has been EPIC over the last 100 yrs, and steadily accelerating–this is actually quite well-known.

        Criticism of Israeli terrorism and genocide of Palestinians is systematically CRUSHED by state institutions, private too.

        The entire world dictatorship of AGENDA-21 is built upon the “climate-change” lies and propaganda.

        CONCLUSION: “climate-change” is PROVEN lies, pure and simple–they’re GROSS lies, period, the excuse of genocidal dictators and dictatorship. Here’s neat little compendium of climate-change lies: https://s7-us4.startpage.com/do/search?cmd=process_search&pid=2f5d7b4c4375bb67fa6955da7d1a484a

      • magus71 said, on January 31, 2014 at 6:08 pm

        The inventor of the “hockey stick”, Mann, is suing Steyn and the National Review. The suit is severe enough to possible destroy the NR.

        Mann fabricated his numbers, Mike. He was caught. Others have fabricated numbers.

        Have you heard the scientific reasons for global warming skepticism? Those also seem plausible. Without going into those, let’s just touch on the fact that the world was warmer during the Middle Ages. Why? In other ages,too.

        “What is the motivation to lie?”

        As you’ve noted, people are more apt to respond to reports of disaster than normalcy. Thus, the looming disaster became a way to get money and fame. Al Gore Once a person vehemently supports a position, they many times must try to make this position seem correct at all costs. Ego and money become involved. Others are convinced we are destroying the environment, and think that the ends (lies) justify the means. Others are not lying; they are just wrong in my opinion. I don’t take this view because some conservatives do. There are major holes in the logic, which you should be concerned with.

        • WTP said, on January 31, 2014 at 6:13 pm

          Once a person vehemently supports a position, they many times must try to make this position seem correct at all costs.

          This also applies to someone a little closer to home than Al Gore.

        • magus71 said, on January 31, 2014 at 6:18 pm

          *Al Gore started the “money and fame for global warming” game.

          Michael Mann is suing Steyn for defamation, because Steyn, writing for NR, stated that Mann fabricated data. Several others stated the same thing.

        • apollonian said, on January 31, 2014 at 6:27 pm

          Absolutely Magus: “climate-change” is gross, miserable LYING, pure and simple–PROVEN LIES–a “consensus of experts” is just part of it.

          Note the satanists behind CFR, Trilateralists, and Bilderbergers want to exterminate humanity, pure and simple, and the “climate-change” lies are simply part of the general campaign.

          • apollonian said, on January 31, 2014 at 7:17 pm

            The “Big-Lie”: How It Works–Suckers Fool Themselves

            It’s really good thing this “climate-change” balderdash comes-up and gets discussed as we do here.

            So, to recapitulate, there’s no evidence for the “climate-change” thesis, which turns out to be fraud and lies. And now we’re confronted w. interesting conclusion–the BIG-LIE technique.

            Thus “climate-change” is just another of the BIG LIEs being pushed by the satanists who rule our culture. 9/11 is another huge BIG LIE, done by the same people pushing “climate-change” lies. Sandy Hook fraud/hoax is a huge BIG LIE.

            Note then how the BIG LIE works/operates–it’s just huge, gross, in-ur-face lie, u see, and there’s minimal “evidence” offered for existence, but the lie operates by means of the suckers THEMSELVES refusing to face-up to the lie, the suckers working against themselves–the suckers just saying to themselves (and one-another) “oh, it’s inconceivable the powers would lie to us so massively, so grossly.”

            The US Federal Reserve Bank COUNTERFEIT scam operates same way–it’s such huge, massive fraud, so totally in-ur-face, that the suckers actually FOOL THEMSELVES by saying, as above, “oh it COULDN’T be mere COUNTERFEITING, simple as that–there’s got to be more to it.”

  8. magus71 said, on January 29, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    ” For example, someone might claim that second hand smoke does not cause cancer because Michael Crichton claimed that it does not. As another example, someone might claim that astral projection/travel is real because Michael Crichton claims it does occur.”

    Facepalm.

    Do you understand why Crichton said that?

    Here is the list of all the people known to have died from the Chernobyl accident. Does this mean radiation is not dangerous? no. It means it’s not the instant death people think it is.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deaths_due_to_the_Chernobyl_disaster

    People are gonna have to help me out here because Mike is resorting to ignoring the obvious inferences of statements made by Crichton and myself. Crichton says smoking is bad. He infers that people are rarely exposed to enough second hand smoke to have a carcinogenic effect.

    I had 7 X-ray shots taken of my upper spine a few months back. I incurred more cancer-causing phenomena during that time than all the second hand smoke I’ve been exposed to in my life.

    Bottom line: not enough evidence to pass more laws that waste more money, harass more people and and create more agencies and bureaucrats.

    • WTP said, on January 29, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      See my post @ 8:33 above. Mike will resort to whatever means necessary to ignore that he is wrong. Notice how quick the clown nose comes out once TJ tries to get him to commit to a concrete position. It’s all rather pointless.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 31, 2014 at 9:43 am

      To be clear, all you are claiming is that second hand smoke does not cause instant death? If so, I agree with you completely.

      I also agree that most people exposed to it will not get cancer. However, second hand smoke certainly still seems to be bad for people. That alone would seem to suffice being concerned about exposure. As you say about radiation: it won’t always kill you instantly, but avoiding it is generally a good idea.

      The cancer claim is not the only reason people advocate smoking bans. Even if it did not cause cancer, there certainly seem to be enough other health issues to warrant protecting people from smoke.

      Is the ban creating more agencies and bureaucrats? I might be wrong about this, but presumably the smoking ban at FSU is just enforced by the existing bureaucracy. But, I’ll keep an eye out for new Smoking Police cruisers.

      • wtp said, on January 31, 2014 at 10:38 am

        “However, second hand smoke certainly still seems to be bad for people. ” This statement is miserably weak.

        ” presumably the smoking ban at FSU is just enforced by the existing bureaucracy.” Spoken like a true philosopher. No understanding what is involved in creating and enforcing new laws. Don’t you find it VERY odd that Mike can see the harm in an insignificant amount of second hand smoke, yet is impervious to the very real, tangible burden that additional laws place on society and on those who have to do the WORK to enforce those laws?

  9. magus71 said, on January 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Fighting dogma. Some scientists still do. A legendary scientist prides himself as a heretic.

  10. WTP said, on January 30, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Mike’s cousins are experts on advising Jews on where they might feel safer.

    • apollonian said, on January 31, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      It’s not just France and French–EVERYONE hates Jews–I wonder why? Jews have been kicked out of every nation on earth, several times. Could it be the Talmud teaches hatred of gentiles?–and gentiles hating Jews is just natural response?

  11. magus71 said, on January 31, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Mike,

    Do you see a problem with the global warming theory when the Earth has not warmed for 16 years?

    Any problems at all?

    Does this fact at least lead you to believe that there are possibly many other factors involved? And if there are, how does one calculate the impact of CO2 when one cannot measure the impact of everything else?

    If the earth does not warm in total, for the next 20 years, would you doubt at all?

        • apollonian said, on January 31, 2014 at 8:21 pm

          Crux issue is whether temps really are rising–THEY’RE NOT: http://www.weatheraction.com/pages/pv.asp?p=wact48

          “3. Whatever may have seemed plausible 10 years ago Global Warming is over and there is no evidence that CO2 ever was, is or will be a driver of world temperatures or Climate Change – indeed evidence is the relationship is more the other way around:-

          “a) Temperatures drive CO2 levels in a number of circumstances (eg when the world exits ice-ages). CO2 has no observed net driving effect on temperatures. This fact is established from thousands of years of data which the ‘Global Warmers’ refuse to properly consider.

          “b) World temperatures have been generally declining for about 10 years while CO2 is rising rapidly.

          “c) Furthermore the period from the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago to about 1,000 years ago was warmer than present (indeed Greenland is so named because it was warmer in Viking times), there was LESS ice in the Arctic and there was notably LESS CO2 than now.

          “The UN Climate Committee – the IPCC – is deliberately ignoring or covering-up these facts which show in official data.”

        • magus71 said, on January 31, 2014 at 8:28 pm

          These are some of the most misleading, spinning articles I’ve read in a while. Ive been to skeptical science before. For instance:

          “Starting with its first report in 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projected that the planet would warm by about 0.15 to 0.3°C per decade, if greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere continued at their current pace.

          That projection held true for years until about 1998, one of the planet’s hottest years on record. Since then, despite ever-increasing emissions, global temperatures have risen by only about 0.05°C per decade.

          Why this is happening is something climate scientists still are trying to figure out. ”

          Held true “for years”? 8 whole years? Then they admit they don’t know why the earth stopped warming. They’re not in the least bit skeptical. Even I’m skeptical about my own conclusions, but when I hear the absolute certainty of these people, I’m even more skeptical of their science.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 1, 2014 at 7:14 am

            Can you provide evidence of the spin, bias and errors? What reasons are there to think that these scientists are all wrong, lying or biased? What reasons are there to think that the studies you believe are conducted by those who are honest, right and unbiased?

        • magus71 said, on January 31, 2014 at 8:36 pm

          “Still, it’s undeniable that a long-term warming trend remains in place, as this temperature trend map from 1960 to 2013 shows:”

          53 years is “long-term?!

          Shit, I give up.

          There’s always beer. Even if it’s warmer beer.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 1, 2014 at 7:19 am

            53 years would seem to show a trend-not in geological time, of course. But if x is increasing consistently for 53 years, that would seem to indicate a trend.

            It is reasonable, of course, to contend that we need to look at the matter in geological terms-that is, trends across thousands or millions of years. Perhaps the current change is just a blip in a thousand or million year trend. In which case, we won’t need to worry about it in another thousand or million years.

            • WTP said, on February 1, 2014 at 7:49 am

              . Perhaps the current change is just a blip in a thousand or million year trend. In which case, we won’t need to worry about it in another thousand or million years.

              The overwhelming majority of scientists accept that climate change is real-even the folks on Fox seem to admit that.

              Not to play gotcha, but which is it? Also looking forward to one day reading this variation of Mikes oft repeated phrase, “even the folks at MSNBC seem to admit that”.

  12. magus71 said, on January 31, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    ok–too many arguments.

    Mike: Does sunlight “cause” cancer?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 31, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Yes, excessive sun exposure is causally linked to skin cancer. That is why it is a good idea to limit exposure by using sunscreen, hats, clothing and so on when spending time in direct sunlight. This is, of course, inductive reasoning based on statistical evidence. Some folks bake in the sun for decades without a problem while other folks avoid the sun, yet still get skin cancer. That is because it increases the risk-it is neither a sufficient nor necessary causal factor.

      http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/skin_cancer.html

      http://www.webmd.com/beauty/sun/sun-exposure-skin-cancer

      http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/sunanduvexposure/

      • magus71 said, on January 31, 2014 at 8:16 pm

        Can you apply the same logic to second hand smoke.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 1, 2014 at 7:12 am

          Of course. Second hand smoke is neither a sufficient nor necessary causal factor since people can be exposed without getting the diseases/conditions and people not exposed can still get them. However, exposure is a causal factor: being exposed increases the risk.

          People could protect themselves by wearing filter masks, but the burden should be on the smoker to not smoke around people who do not consent to being exposed. In the case of sunlight, we actually need that.

  13. magus71 said, on January 31, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    I’ve said many times, years ago in my blogs that I found it nearly impossible to find this “consensus” Mike speaks of. I could never find even if the Earth were actually warming, let alone the cause for it.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Mike thinks the world is a much simpler place than I do. Which is why he finds socialism attractive.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 1, 2014 at 7:15 am

      The overwhelming majority of scientists accept that climate change is real-even the folks on Fox seem to admit that.

      • apollonian said, on February 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm

        Subjectivism: Horrific Dead End

        Good Lord, Mike: FOX is nothing but controlled opposition, owned by Zionist Murdoch, for goodness sakes, in w. Bilderbergers, Trilateralists, Council on Foreign Relations–all these criminal conspirators behind the Fed COUNTERFEIT fraud, world dictatorship, etc., including then AGENDA-21 genocide.

        “[O]verwhelming majority of scientists”?–NO, just those prostitutes and flunkies who are paid by and get their money fm gov. which gets its funds fm the Fed COUNTERFEITERS, that’s all.

        Mike: u gotta realize these Fed COUNTERFEITERS have literally OCEANS of “funds” which they just print-up and digitalize into pretended existence–thus they simply BUY all these prostitutes now calling themselves “scientists,” whom u imagine are sooooo numerous as to make up some kind of a “consensus.”

        See Mike: u, evidently, cannot bring urself to facing-up to the Fed as the criminal enterprise it is–u don’t seem to have any confidence in ur knowledge of money and banking, what they really are and must be. So u just go along w. what the establishment, who are PROVEN LIARS, tell u.

        I surely wouldn’t say u’re stupid or that u’re satanistically in w. these arch-criminals–if u were, or thought u were, u’d be in at very low-level. So what is it w. u?–I suspect u genuinely worship what u say is “ethical.” But ethics is a MEANS, not an end.

        Note, there are only two basic ways to go, objectivity (Aristotle) or subjectivism (Plato, Kant, et al.). Subjectivism however is horrific dead-end–anything goes, and there is no truth (or lies)–anything is whatever u want, u being God within ur own mental, subjectivist universe–HUBRIS, which seems to me to be the ultimate reduction-ad-absurdum.

        • WTP said, on February 1, 2014 at 12:47 pm

          apoultrania, you’re forgetting that Mike has to play the game so that his Jew overlords won’t crush him like a bug.

          • apollonian said, on February 1, 2014 at 12:51 pm

            Yes, u’re actually quite right, indubitably.

  14. T. J. Babson said, on February 1, 2014 at 5:28 am

    I think what bothers me most about the whole debate is that acceptance of climate change science seems to imply an acceptance of the need for a radical change in our way of life.

    I accept that the earth is warming and that we may be partially responsible. However, I don’t think we will be able to stop climate change and we should put our efforts into adapting to it rather than stopping it.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 1, 2014 at 7:26 am

      But is that the rational choice? That is, is the general cost of adapting higher than resisting the change?

      Some of the proposals to turn things back do seem costly, even potentially harmful such as the plan to seed the ocean and the plans to block sunlight.

      But, it would seem cheaper to reduce emissions than to have to build massive sea walls, abandon land to flooding, and deal with shifts in agricultural. We’ll survive-but the general cost could be unreasonably high relative to fighting the problem.

      If terrorists were attacking our cities, flooding the land and scorching crops rather than climate change, there would be a massive cry for spending billions and for fighting endlessly. Anyone who talked about just adapting to terrorism would be branded a coward, fool or traitor. I wonder why the difference?

      Interestingly, companies are already gearing up to profit from climate change-those who sell the sea walls and can best predict the changes and profit from them can make fortunes. Time to review your portfolios.

      • WTP said, on February 1, 2014 at 7:39 am

        No sooner do I post and Mike demonstrates hhis inability to grasp costs and benefits.

        “Time to review your portfolios”. The day I start taking investment advice from Mike … He knows nothing about business risk but tries to look all grown-uppy by implying “look at what even the capitalists are doing”. As someone who pays close attention to such things, I can assure you that unless these businesses have a hand deep in the pockets of state or federal governments, there are much better places to put your money.

      • T. J. Babson said, on February 2, 2014 at 2:55 pm

        It is too late, Mike. Better to learn to live with a warmer world rather than deceiving ourselves into thinking we can stop it. This is known as “facing reality,” and it is the opposite of irrationality.

        Even if the world’s 7 billion people magically stop burning fossil fuels and chopping down forests today, the greenhouse gases already emitted to the atmosphere will warm the planet by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century, according to scientists who are urging a focused scientific effort to help humanity adapt to the changing climate.

        And reality shows no sign of such a magic reduction in emissions. The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached another new high in 2012, the World Meteorological Association announced Wednesday. In fact, concentrations of carbon dioxide, the most abundant planet warming gas, grew faster last year than its average growth rate of the past decade.

        “The fact is, we are not making a lot of progress in reducing emissions,” Richard Moss, a senior scientist with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland, told NBC News. “So it seems like we really do need to face up to the fact that there is change that we can no longer avoid and we have to figure out how to manage.”

        Moss is the lead author of an article in Thursday’s issue of Science calling for the development of a field of climate science that provides relevant, tangible information to decision makers who are tasked to protect people and cities increasingly battered by extreme weather, flooded by rising seas, and nourished with food grown on drought-prone lands.

        Science which focuses on adapting to climate change — rather than just preventing it — is nothing new. It’s the need for more information that field of science can yield that’s increasingly vital. Superstorm Sandy and the onslaught of similar catastrophic events bear the fingerprint of climate change. Growing evidence that more of the same is on the way brings a new urgency for information that people can actually use to prepare, survive, and even thrive on a changing planet, Moss explained.

        http://www.nbcnews.com/science/its-time-adapt-unstoppable-global-warming-scientists-say-8C11554338

        • magus71 said, on February 2, 2014 at 4:00 pm

          TJ, There’s a lot of dogma in this article. What is the scientific evidence that Sandy occurred because of global warming? Mike made this assertion in the past, too. Such assertions are giving laymen a skewed view of what science is and what it is capable of.

          The Christian Science Monitor:

          “So global warming is causing stronger, more frequent storms right? Wrong. At least, as far as anyone can make out, there’s no evidence of that yet.”

          http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/Backchannels/2013/1112/Is-global-warming-generating-storms-like-Typhoon-Haiyan-video

          So, the world did not warm at the rate predicted, has been warmer before the industrial age, looks warm now because the previous age is referred to as the “little ice age”, and there is no evidence for the primary complaint of the alarmists: That extreme weather will become more extreme and occur more often.

          At what point does a reasonable person doubt? Is it just me, or does the scientific community have tendency to want to avoid saying: “we don’t really know”? I think so, because those who say such things don’t look like they deserve grant money.

          If anyone has answers or rebuts for my specifics noted above, I’d like to hear.

          • apollonian said, on February 2, 2014 at 4:20 pm

            Magus: “climate-change” or “global-warming” NEVER was anything but idiot big-lies put-out by the top conspirators, CFR, Trilateralists, and Bilderbergers who now push AGENDA-21 pop.-reduction genocide and carbon-tax “credits”–get it?–it’s just another huge power-grab by oligarchs and criminals.

            And all u’re doing is giving it any dignity by continuing to argue in ur way. They (these frauds and scum) cannot prove there’s been any actual rise in temperatures. The only thing they seem to have by way of facts is there’s been increase in CO2 which is a mere trace element in the first place. And now they (aforementioned scum) want to make something out of this increase in CO2–which u only help them to doing by dignifying their lies in all the other areas.

          • T. J. Babson said, on February 2, 2014 at 4:49 pm

            Magus, that remark about Sandy was just an offhand comment by an ignorant reporter.

            The point of the article is that there is already so much extra CO2 in the atmosphere it is impossible to do much about it at this point.

            The best source I have found for a serious critique of climate science is this website:

            http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2007/07/table-of-conten.html

            The author is an economist who writes for Forbes Magazine. He is very critical of much of AGW science– see this post as a recent example:

            http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2014/01/global-warming-the-unfalsifiable-hypothesis.html

            That said, there appears to be essentially zero doubt that CO2 warms the earth. The only question is how much it will warm the earth, and whether extreme measures are justified to deal with it.

            Here is a brief video explaining the uncertainties in “climate sensitivity.” This is the rug where climate scientists sweep all of their uncertainties:

            • apollonian said, on February 2, 2014 at 5:16 pm

              TJB: u’re just playing their game–there’s no conclusive evidence CO2 causes rise in temps. See http://www.weatheraction.com/pages/pv.asp?p=wact48

              “For the record I concur fully with Christopher Monckton and his conclusions.

              “3. Whatever may have seemed plausible 10 years ago Global Warming is over and there is no evidence that CO2 ever was, is or will be a driver of world temperatures or Climate Change – indeed evidence is the relationship is more the other way around:-

              “a) Temperatures drive CO2 levels in a number of circumstances (eg when the world exits ice-ages). CO2 has no observed net driving effect on temperatures. This fact is established from thousands of years of data which the ‘Global Warmers’ refuse to properly consider.

              “b) World temperatures have been generally declining for about 10 years while CO2 is rising rapidly.

              “c) Furthermore the period from the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago to about 1,000 years ago was warmer than present (indeed Greenland is so named because it was warmer in Viking times), there was LESS ice in the Arctic and there was notably LESS CO2 than now.

              “The UN Climate Committee – the IPCC – is deliberately ignoring or covering-up these facts which show in official data.

              “However rather than investigating the accountability of the UN and our elected representatives the BBC seems to want independent scientists and the public to be accountable to the UN and governments. See links below for more information and the letter from 13 world scientists and environmentalists to Ban-Ki moon UN Secretary General and Tim Yeo MP”

          • T. J. Babson said, on February 2, 2014 at 6:04 pm

            C’mon, guys. There is a lot to criticize about climate science, but the idea that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will warm the earth is simple physics. It is just the greenhouse effect.

            • apollonian said, on February 2, 2014 at 6:26 pm

              u need proverbial “leg” to standing upon w. ur balderdash, comrade–like u know anything about “simple physics,” ho ho hoho ho

            • T. J. Babson said, on February 2, 2014 at 7:22 pm

              Here is a little historical perspective:

            • T. J. Babson said, on February 2, 2014 at 7:25 pm

              Here is a radio interview with Isaac A. from 1977:

            • magus71 said, on February 2, 2014 at 7:30 pm

              “Magus, that remark about Sandy was just an offhand comment by an ignorant reporter.”

              I agree, but the problem is, so many people believe it. Mike has repeated this.

              I have never said that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. However, we know from the math presented us that scientists don’t know exactly what CO2 does, because the models did not work. This debate popped up because of Mike’s article on smoke, and how legislation should be used to stop second hand smoke. this without regard to the fact that second-hand smoke has never been found to be causative of lung cancer. Smoking a pack a day is causative.

              Then there are all the things that follow. The extreme legislation proposed after statements are made about the catastrophic effects of CO2 added to the atmosphere.

              There are limits to what we can test scientifically. Even the “spookiness” of quantum physics is testable; we know this because we can make fiber optics work. The complexity of the climate simply does not allow one to assert that the “debate is over.” I’ve stated from the first article about global warming: “So what?” The whole thing is swamped with lies, distortions, misinformation, out of context data and outright fraud. And of course the answer for them is…..GOVERNMENT. I couldn’t care less what people think for themselves, until they start saying they should use the government to hammer people. Then I get concerned. Certainly there should be a much higher standard of proof if we are to base legislation on still-debated science.

              All of this reminds me of people whom avoid all sun, use germ-X every 10 minutes, cover their mouths while passing by people smoking on a side walk, and fear vaccines.

            • T. J. Babson said, on February 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

              This one is especially for you, apollonian. Enjoy!

            • magus71 said, on February 3, 2014 at 8:38 am

              Asimov ignores the effects of uncontrolled forest fires. Entire swaths of the planet used to burn, uncontrolled. Now, we put out these fires.

              “She estimated that the fires emitted 7.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from Oct. 19 through Oct. 26, the equivalent of about 25 percent of the average monthly emissions from all fossil fuel burning in the entire state of California.”

              By the way, this is essentially a climate alarmist site.

              http://www.livescience.com/1981-wildfires-release-cars.html

            • apollonian said, on February 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm

              Didn’t waste the time to watch ur vid as I’m sure there was nothing in it worthwhile, eh? Ho ho ho oho

            • apollonian said, on February 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm

              I was talking to TJB, of course.

    • WTP said, on February 1, 2014 at 7:29 am

      Yes, even from such an accepting position, the deeper problem lies in that the cures are worse than the disease. If those concerned about climate change would spend as much time criticizing the extremists like Algore and those who made that stupid The Day After Tomorrow movie as they do those with legitimate concerns about the so-called deniers, they would gain some credibility. Theses people want to make radical economic changes without understanding the impacts. Some warmist actions actually result in more greenhouse gasses being released, the Opposition to the Keystone Pipeline being one.

      Similar to what I said above @10:38 yesterday, you will note how Mike is all about picking the “right” experts on this subject, yet when it comes to other subjects, like economics and Labor Value Theory, he goes all King Canute to the sea of experts.

      Also, speaking of The Day After Tomorrow, do you recall the 1983 movie, The Day After?

      • magus71 said, on February 1, 2014 at 9:19 am

        Yes I do remember that movie.

        One of my NCOs, an intelligence analyst, said something to me yesterday. We were talking about how people had been getting sick with colds/flu etc and he recommended a product called “Emergen -C” which has a high dose of vitamin C that the company insinuates will fight the common cold. I told the sergeant that he should look at the studies on the effects of vitamin C on colds in humans. I told him he’d find it did nothing. I’d heard him talk about the supplement for over a year, but did not say anything; I don’t go around trying to pop people’s bubbles. But finally I decided to save him some money. There’s zero evidence ascorbic acid does anything for colds. He said: “That’s what I like about our office, someone will say something stupid and SSG Moore give the actual facts.”

        I consider my transformation to skeptic as the fundamental transformation of my adult intellectual life. I used to jump on the train when I heard rumors, too. Fish oil, vitamins, etc. I think the transformation occurred when I changed jobs and became an intel analyst. I saw how difficult it was to predict *anything.* As the system increases in complexity, it becomes even more difficult. I feel my mind works 100% better now that I’m skeptical. This does not mean that I cannot be made to believe in anything, but you have to give me something. If,as with Vitamin C, there’s zero evidence for claims, I don’t go with it. As a skeptic, when someone makes a strong claim, I investigate it if I think it will impact me. I also do not allow skepticism to manifest as indecisiveness.

        I think that liberals are by nature, unskeptical. Thus they believe a lot of BS. The think they have more control over the universe than they really do, more control over the “big picture.” And is this not the root of Marxism? Predetermined courses for communities via control of very narrow economic structures?

        And thus, liberals jump on the global warming catastrophe train, too. They do not think of the climate as an incredibly complex system, but as a simple linear system with a few levers they can cranked to get results. Same with the economy. Same with poverty. The Kyoto Protocol is the most expensive endeavor in human history. And it accomplished nothing. Why? Because the fundamental aspect of liberalism is arrogance. That they have control, and if they don’t then they must try to get control.

        I know I’ve posted a lot of videos and people’s time is precious, but the one that I posted at Jan 29 at 711 says it the best: People assume that global warming theorists have a lot of evidence to fall back on if one aspect of their theory is shown false. This is not the case. All these graphs you see floating around? They all emanated from “The Hockey Stick” by Michael Mann, which is why it’s so important. As the man in the video states, Mann resisted releasing his data until finally he was ordered to do so by a court. Professional statisticians looked at the data and found it did not support Mann’s thesis. Now Mann is running about suing people who disagree with him. the NR makes no profit to speak of but must hire lawyers to defend itself.

        And why are we not even talking about the falsified data? If the argument is so rock solid, why lie? Funny, Mike asked me why they would lie, and yet he’s written articles acknowledging that scientists falsified warming data. Why’d they lie, Mike?

        There’s a lot of articles by respected outlets that say the Earth is not warming right now. Other planets in the solar system have warmed considerably without industry. To think the sun has nothing to do with temp changes seems absurd to me.

        1) I do not believe unequivocally that the Earth is now warming beyond what has occurred in our recorded past. Even the folks at MSNBC admit it was warmer in Medieval Times. Why? Is this the question of an insane person? . There’s evidence on both sides, but the falsified data ways heavy on my mind. These scientists saw that the warming was not what their models predicted, so removed data recordings that did not support their ideas. I am not convinced man is responsible for warming.

        2) Mike has already provided a list things that could disprove the warming alarmists. In fact, almost all of those things are central to skeptics’ arguments.

        3) There are many, many subtle facts and arguments that are involved. Liberals, as usual, oversimplify it into, “we use cars”, so CO2 increases. Actually, plowing soil increases CO2 also. it exposes carbon which oxidizes and moves up into the atmosphere. Do liberals propose we stop going crops? Increasing temperatures also results in a feedback loop of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere via a phenomena known as outgassing.

        4) There is zero evidence that warming, if it’s happening, will be catastrophic.

        5) Mike has already decided the debate is over. I have not. He thinks the consensus is stronger than it is.

        6) Where is the open debate, face to face, in public forums between experts on both sides?

        7) More CO2 may be a good thing.

        Stossel, one of the few voices of reason remaining in our world:

  15. magus71 said, on February 1, 2014 at 9:33 am

    No consensus.

  16. magus71 said, on February 1, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    “It is becoming clear that not only do many scientists dispute the asserted global warming crisis, but these skeptical scientists may indeed form a scientific consensus.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/02/13/peer-reviewed-survey-finds-majority-of-scientists-skeptical-of-global-warming-crisis/

    • WTP said, on February 1, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Liked this part

      One interesting aspect of this new survey is the unmistakably alarmist bent of the survey takers. They frequently use terms such as “denier” to describe scientists who are skeptical of an asserted global warming crisis, and they refer to skeptical scientists as “speaking against climate science” rather than “speaking against asserted climate projections.” Accordingly, alarmists will have a hard time arguing the survey is biased or somehow connected to the ‘vast right-wing climate denial machine.’

      Prepare for Mike to say
      1) Forbes is a tool of the evil corporations, who of course reside on another planet and don’t have to care about global warming…ok, made that last part up.
      2) the survey included engineers. Mike doesn’t trust engineers but he’ll put it differently.
      3) these aren’t the experts he’s looking for. Again, he’ll say it different, but wth
      4) You are cherry picking data.

      Of course, more than likely, he’ll just ignore this and put up a post about robot sex…mmm…robots…

      • apollonian said, on February 1, 2014 at 4:47 pm

        Mike’s taken terrible beating on this “climate-change” subject. U gotta give him credit for sticking-in and continuing to dutifully swing for these disgusting, lying-through their teeth frauds–such is Kantian “duty,” u know, ho ho ho ho ho

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on February 2, 2014 at 7:15 am

      You need to look at the details of the study. The people surveyed are petroleum engineers and geoscientists, not climate scientists. They are also apparently employed by the petroleum industry.

      This does not mean they are wrong, but they are being surveyed outside their areas of expertise and their connection to the petroleum industry provides a potential bias.

    • wtp said, on February 2, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Gotta eat some crow on this one Magus. Myself included. Was distracted by the inclusion of engineers in the survey. You know, the guys who really put science to the test. But Mike is right, this survey is cherry picking itself. I’d put this James Taylor guy (didn’t he use to do heroine in the early 70’s?) on the non-trustworthy list. I’ve been uneasy at times about Forbes in the past, mostly in regard to economic issues but still I really should have known better myself.

      • magus71 said, on February 2, 2014 at 11:58 am

        Wait, are we ignoring the next portion of the paragraph?

        “Two recent surveys of meteorologists (summarized here and here) revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.”

        Are meteorologists on the banned opinion list, too? I guess only scientist that agree with Mike are on the good list. IPCC scientists like Al Gore.

        No, I’m not eating crow because I could go on all day posting links. maybe I will. I was fully aware of who was involved in this poll. mike should look at the 2000 or so people who make up the IPCC. Do you think they’re all climate scientists? James Taylor didn’t make up this poll, he merely talks about it.

        Is John Coleman, the founder of The weather Channel, non-trustworthy? He got 30,000 signatures of scientists that are skeptics, 9000 phds. Coleman keeps trying to set up debates, but the IPCC refuses. Anyone so sure of themselves should be willing to do battle in public against people of different opinions. What about Richard Lindzen, lead climatologist at MIT? He recently conducted a ground-breaking and clever experiment over 20 years. Instead of only measuring the heat on Earth, he measured the escaping heat radiation; greenhouse gases trap heat radiation, so there should have been a measurable difference from space, compared to times past. There wasn’t.

        I’m not eating crow. Mike refuses to address the specifics that I publish.

        • magus71 said, on February 2, 2014 at 1:09 pm

          Post the wrong video here. It was supposed to be one by John Coleman.

  17. magus71 said, on February 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

  18. magus71 said, on February 2, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Data points from global measuring statements are skewed, as most of them are in urban areas. Most of the non-urban collection sites are no longer used. Satellites are more reliable as they give complete coverage. Almost all the hub-bub us based on land-based collection data. But satellites tell us something different.

    The debate is not over.

  19. magus71 said, on February 2, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Debate is good. The exact relation, in the Earth’s complex system, of CO2 to the earth’s temp is still in question.

    Ice core tests show that in many cases, CO2 rises precede temp increases. This assertion is either a lie, or a serious problem that we must sift.

    • magus71 said, on February 3, 2014 at 7:53 am

      Ice core tests show that in many cases, CO2 rises *follow temp increases

  20. T. J. Babson said, on February 3, 2014 at 12:23 am

    I’m curious where everybody stands. Which best describes your view?

    1) CO2 produced from burning fossil fuels poses a serious danger to our environment and extraordinary measures are needed to tackle this issue

    2) CO2 produced from burning fossil fuels tends to warm the earth, but it is unclear by how much

    3) The atmosphere is so complex that we do not have the faintest idea about how the climate will respond to extra CO2

    4) Raising CO2 levels from 250 to 500 ppm leads to tiny effects that are much smaller than natural variations in the climate

    5) Concern about CO2 is a plot devised by the Puppet Masters to make the rest of us dance to their tune

    • magus71 said, on February 3, 2014 at 7:44 am

      Me: 3

      I had to think about this one. I do not doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas because we can conduct very controlled experiments in a literal greenhouse and see that introducing methane or CO2 will cause the temps to go above those of the control.

      But now I must rectify this with some scientists assertion that CO2 increases in the atmosphere usually follow, not precede, temp increases. They say that this is due to rising ocean temps which results in outgassing. I must also rectify that in the distant past, CO2 has been much higher, while temps were much lower, with 8000 ft thick ice caps. Thus, I lean toward the idea that we do not understand the system. We can go back to the diet debate. Obviously it is more complex than people realized many years ago. Even Taubes has admitted that he believes the uber-processed foods with white sugar and flour are likely the culprits for our health woes as opposed to carbohydrates in their normally low-glycemic form. To further illustrate that this is a complex issue in which one cannot absolutely state that avoiding all carbs is the best way, there is evidence that carbs can increase power and endurance and testosterone as well as help people function in harsher climates. Some scientists advocate cycling carbohydrate intake based on athletic needs and bodyfat.

      “Earth’s atmosphere today contains about 380 ppm CO2 (0.038%). Compared to former geologic times, our present atmosphere, like the Late Carboniferous atmosphere, is CO2- impoverished! In the last 600 million years of Earth’s history only the Carboniferous Period and our present age, the Quaternary Period, have witnessed CO2 levels less than 400 ppm.”

      http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

      Please look at the graph in the above link. It shows CO2 and temps over several million years, not 5 decades like every graph Al Gore posts. I do not believe this site is a global warming/denier site. I cannot see a correlation to CO2 content and temp. Can you? I’m willing to believe that CO2 did not follow temp increases, that perhaps the scientists in the video are wrong. But to look at only data so recent as even thousands of years is like studying the eating habits of a person in a 2 months block.

      CO2 concentrations were 7000 ppm in the Cambrian age. Yet the Cambrian age was colder than now. Does anyone dispute these two statements? If the graph that Al Gore always shows is predictive, the temperatures should have been near boiling on Earth 500,000,000 years ago.

      • T. J. Babson said, on February 3, 2014 at 9:10 am

        I actually think (3) is a perfectly reasonable answer–the atmosphere is so complex that we don’t have a clue how it will respond.

        So, if you believe (3), what sort of policy response should follow from that?

        1) since we are ignorant, we should not take any action until we know better what is happening

        2) since we are ignorant, we should be cautious and reduce carbon emissions just to be on the safe side

        3) since we are ignorant, we should panic and ruin our economies to deal with a threat that may (or may not) exist

        • magus71 said, on February 3, 2014 at 9:49 am

          I would have to say, 1. Since “ignorant” implies that reducing CO2 could in fact have negative effects on he environment; we’re not sure. It also implies we know very little about the dose/effects curve for CO2 in the atmosphere. I would not be against caution, (2) if this implies merely communicating to people to conserve and encouraging the pursuit of alternative energy that we can live with. I’m very much against throwing the baby out with the bath water.

          • T. J. Babson said, on February 3, 2014 at 10:34 am

            I guess I fall into the #2 camp: without endangering economic growth we should not do the experiment of increasing CO2 levels as it *could* turn out to be a disaster. We just don’t know, so why take the chance?

            We should therefore transition to cleaner sources of energy: natural gas and nuclear over the next 50 years, and solar after we figure out how to generate and store the energy cheaply.

            We should also plan for a warmer world by researching adaptation strategies. This is especially important for poorer countries as they will have a harder time adapting.

            I think wind power is a very unattractive form of renewable energy that spoils the landscape, kills birds, and produces sound pollution.

        • WTP said, on February 3, 2014 at 10:25 am

          Exactly 1.4

    • WTP said, on February 3, 2014 at 10:24 am

      I’m thinking of a graph between 2.8 and 3.5 with a mean of 3.1, a standard deviation of .13, skewed slightly left, obviously.

      • T. J. Babson said, on February 3, 2014 at 10:36 am

        Who knew you skewed left, wtp? Have you been holding out on us?

        • WTP said, on February 3, 2014 at 10:40 am

          Hey, I have no problem with the fact that in her day, Barbara Striesand had a fantastic voice. Make of it what you will.

          • TJB said, on February 3, 2014 at 11:25 am

            Just as I have no problem with Susan Sarandon. Have you seen her in Rocky Horror?

            • WTP said, on February 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm

              Of course. In my day it was like a law or something. Thought SS was much better in Bull Durham, but she’s become one of those actors/actresses where her personality and the character she plays are intertwined such that I find her hard to watch anymore. Same with Alec Baldwin and similar types. Now OTOH, a guy like Sean Penn, no matter what I think of him personally, is such an excellent actor that I just can’t connect the guy he is with the characters he plays. Not that I watch many movies any more. Certainly not many of the ones from the last 15 years or so. I do like the theater, however. Partly because the actors are for the most part unknown to me, thus who they are does not get in the way of seeing the character.

            • T. J. Babson said, on February 3, 2014 at 12:56 pm

              Agree with everything you wrote, even the remarks about Sean Penn.

              I liked SS when she was a bimbo. Not so much when she started taking herself seriously :-)

            • WTP said, on February 3, 2014 at 1:03 pm

              And I might say in Penn’s defense, I don’t see him as antagonistic per se. I find him terribly naive but his heart is in the right place. He just doesn’t get it. Hanging with Chavez is a litmus test for stupid. But he seems to try to do some good. I don’t know if you saw the “let’s all get along” video he did with Kid Rock before the election, if not, google it. I blame Madonna.

            • WTP said, on February 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm

              Meant to add, I’ll take Michelle Pfieffer over SS any day.

            • T. J. Babson said, on February 3, 2014 at 9:04 pm

              Why not go the whole Basinger?

            • WTP said, on February 3, 2014 at 10:56 pm

              Well, she had the sense to dump Alec Baldwin, but then she lacked the sense by marrying him in the first place. Plus, AFAIK she can’t sing.

              Pfieffer has a sense of class about her. Did you see her sing “Making Whoopee” and “My Valentine” in The Fabulous Baker Boys? She sang those parts.

              Not many Hollywwod people I like anymore. Too many are way overrated plus the films mostly suck. Perhaps it’s the films themselves that’s the problem.

    • apollonian said, on February 3, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      “Climate-Change”: Just Another BIG-LIE For Fools, Suckers

      Only proper overview for this topic, of “climate-change,” is it’s OBVIOUS prop. & lies, this for oligarchal/criminal conspiratorial purpose of dictatorship for AGENDA-21 genocide (“pop.-reduction), consistent w. present destruction of American health-care and ObongoCare death-panels–culture of death in empire of lies.

      There’s no science, just lies: (a) there’s no temp. increase proven, (b) there’s no proven thesis that CO2 causes temp. rises. (c) And there’s no “consensus” of genuine scientists, only the usual “consensus” of criminals and conspirators, paid edjumacation prostitutes to lie, this w. the nearly endless funds printed-up and digitalized by US Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) COUNTERFEIT instrument/weapon at the head of all conspiracies and organized crime.

      All anyone has to grasp is the Fed fraud, the CFR, Trilateralist, Bilderberg “world-gov.” conspiracy, and such item as AGENDA-21 genocide. “Climate-change” is just the typical BIG-LIE, now repeated, repeated, repeated for fools.

      • T. J. Babson said, on February 3, 2014 at 9:08 pm

        Maybe you are a Fortean instead of a Flat-Earther?

  21. magus71 said, on February 4, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Mike,

    You once told me that you believed quantum theory would be overturned in a couple of decades. Do you still believe this? if you do, you’re against the consensus. Stephen Hawking says there’s no such thing as black holes (I’m paraphrasing; he’s a little more specific).

    Since few people care if black holes exist or Schrodinger’s Cat dies from poison gas, the deniers in these realms aren’t labeled whackos. When Schrodinger’s Cat’s survival enters the political realm, expect the labels to fly.

    • WTP said, on February 4, 2014 at 10:40 am

      You once told me that you believed quantum theory would be overturned in a couple of decades

      I find this rather curious. Mike demonstrates very little knowledge or experience in the physics (or physical) realm. I’m curious on what this was based? Just some sort of metaphysical feeling? A shaman’s dream? Or did he run the matrix algebra, hyperbolic functions, differential equations, and vector/scalar/cross-product calculus to get there?

      • magus71 said, on February 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm

        Mike is actually knowledgable about science. But I suspect quantum theory makes him uncomfortable, as it does with thers, because it makes the universe appear somewhat confusing.

  22. T. J. Babson said, on February 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Mike, can you put up a new “Democrats at Work” thread?

    The Dems have been busy lately…

  23. magus71 said, on February 23, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    “I repeat: I’m not a global warming believer. I’m not a global warming denier. I’ve long believed that it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I also believe that those scientists who pretend to know exactly what this will cause in 20, 30 or 50 years are white-coated propagandists.

    “The debate is settled,” asserted propagandist in chief Barack Obama in his latest State of the Union address. “Climate change is a fact.” Really? There is nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science is settled, static, impervious to challenge. Take a non-climate example. It was long assumed that mammograms help reduce breast cancer deaths. This fact was so settled that Obamacare requires every insurance plan to offer mammograms (for free, no less) or be subject to termination.

    Now we learn from a massive randomized study — 90,000 women followed for 25 years — that mammograms may have no effect on breast cancer deaths. Indeed, one out of five of those diagnosed by mammogram receives unnecessary radiation, chemo or surgery.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-the-myth-of-settled-science/2014/02/20/c1f8d994-9a75-11e3-b931-0204122c514b_story.html


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