Those deniers of the greenhouse gas theory – the Slayers – are under attack on the prominent Bishop Hill blog. But they may wonder – as did Shakespeare’s famous character – that perhaps it’s better to be insulted than ignored. At least – in the melee of jibes and brickbats – there are inquisitive souls made curious to actually read what the Slayers (reincarnate as Principia Scientific International) showed with their assault on the scientific cornerstone of man-made global warming.
In his ‘A new typology for the climate debate,’ Lloyd Robertson, offers a guest post that pulls no punches. “ I suppose the skydragons, whoever they are, are plain ignorant, not trying to learn, but probably honest. I don’t read them, I had never even heard of them until Judy Curry sharpened her lance against them.”
That’s what put me in mind of the Hamlet’s famous soliloquy:
To be or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing, end them
Relentlessly, these “deniers” confront the believers. The “To be or not to be” of the greenhouse gas theory remains the question. And despite all the slings and arrows flung at the four dozen or so scientists that comprise the slayers – not “sky dragons” as per Robertson’s gaffe – these naysayers aren’t going away.
On several levels Robertson reveals he doesn’t actually know what he’s talking about and glorying in his own ignorance and prejudice Robertson proceeds to pigeonhole all and sundry. From the blog owner, Andrew Montford to the likes of Steve McIntyre, Judy Curry, Pielke Jr. etc. the so-called “lukewarmists” – they are made the good guys in the man-made global warming debate. Robertson determines these are noble folk possessed of “Socratic ignorance combined with some knowledge, still learning, and communicating honestly”
In less cuddly and lovable terms does Robertson paint the likes of Kevin Trenberth, James Hansen and other primetime doomsaying alarmists. This clique, Robertson says, suffer from “plain ignorance, lack of knowledge, not trying to learn, still communicating dishonestly.”
Obviously Robertson is honest enough to admit he’s not a man who personally chooses to go in for an in-depth and intellectually challenging analysis on the finer points of physics, atmospheric chemistry, and other imponderables. No, he lets others do that for him and all he has to do to be right is to appeal to their “authority.” The author, in his trite style picks the “middle way” in all things science. As self-appointed representative of the willfully ignorant he chooses the middle because it seems so utterly reasonable and safe to huddle in a mass when you’re someone who either lacks the inclination or ability to think it through for yourself.
But then one of those “plain ignorant, but probably honest” slayers, Ken Coffman, happened to post the first comment on Robertson’s fluff piece. Canny Ken is none other than the U.S. publisher of “Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.” Being the no-nonsense kind of guy he is Ken then poses the kind of tough questions that the Robertsons and other unthinkers would rather not ponder.
First Ken declares: “…The subject is not that complicated…conduction, convection and radiation always act in the same direction: to integrate, dissipate, diffuse, disperse, etc.”
He then poses his questions: “ If object A is going to make object B hotter via radiation, then what is the most fundamental thing you should be able to say about the temperature of object A? Don’t turn off your brain…think this through. Honestly, anyone with any common sense and the barest grasp of physics can recognize the pure nonsense of the human-caused global warming theory.
I’m ignorant, unwilling to learn, but honest? Really? I’m not the one who sees a 33C greenhouse gas effect mentioned in a physics textbook and accepts it without knowing its basis. Where does it come from? How does it work? How can I replicate it in my living room or a lab?”
Ken, of course, is referring to the myth enshrined in certain climatology textbooks since the 1980’s that declare that so-called “greenhouse gases” can trap/delay heat transport sufficiently to make our planet “warmer than it would otherwise be.” But Ken and his colleagues understand that compelling empirical evidence proves carbon dioxide cannot trap or delay the emission of heat energy by any more than 5 milliseconds. Ken then asks, “So, is this meaningful from an average temperature point of view? No, it isn’t. It will decrease the peak temperature immeasurably slightly and it will increase the valley temperature immeasurably slightly. It will have no meaningful effect on the average. Period. It can’t. It won’t. It doesn’t.”
Well said, Ken. Perhaps some will get it. Perhaps others won’t and the insults will still fly. Perhaps another telling verse from Hamlet should waft into that “middle road” of science so that others may glean a little insight from the Bard:
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
What Principia Scientific International has shown – by its publications – is that the hydrological cycle, the Ideal Gas laws, adiabatic pressure and actual physical solar insolation are the fundamental physics that explain Earth’s atmosphere and not the mythical sky dragon of greenhouse gas theory alarmists. By learning these fundamental truths we may conclude that while the physics of the GHE may have been stitched together by a cynical few, it owes its obduracy to the confirmation bias of so many uncritical academics and well-meaning but quiescent folk.
Update (September 17, 2012):
Bishop Hill blog owner, Andrew Montford has now withdrawn the fact-free offensive ad hom by Lloyd Robertson and there is now no reference whatsover to “sky dragons.” If only a reasoned discussion on the science could also ensue!