No Worries. Scientists Get Busy. They Have to Take Someone Else’s Word On It.

I really did laf out loud. You’ll have to get about a 3rd-way through to laf too.

Nick says:

Nobody cares what you think of climate change Richard.

Richard Nikoley says:

You do, apparently. Didn’t look at the link, obviously you’re enamored of Argumentum ad populum, and so dunning kruger you don’t even recognize the depth of your own ineptitude.

By the way, fucktard: the post is about AGW, not “climate change,” demonstrating further your fucktarded bias. […]

Newsflash: I’m not a climate scientist. Also, I’m not so busy as to just take science-whores’ word for stuff.

Nick says:

You’re not a climate scientist; neither am I. I’m master’s student in engineering, studying something totally unrelated climatology.

In science, you can’t be an expert in every field. There are times when it’s best to just resign to the scientific consensus. There’s an _overwhelming_ scientific consensus, and it’s laughable when I see dumbass layman like you try to point fingers at the scientists saying, “there all wrong! I’m so smart!”

Btw, read just the first sentence of that Wiki article.

[emphasis added]

He really, really wants me/us to read this FIRST SENTENCE:

The scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth’s climate system is unequivocally warming, and it is extremely likely (at least 95% probability [scientific opinion still]) that humans are causing most of it through activities that increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels.

[emphasis added]

I guess the master’s student in engineering isn’t quite getting that the article’s title is: Scientific opinion on climate change, a contradiction in essential terms: what exactly is a “scientific opinion?“ I suppose that’s when you simply can’t be bothered with contravening data: “[t]here are times when it’s best to just resign to the scientific consensus.” I dunno. Perhaps he has finals. Maybe he’s simply unaware that there are lots of laudable climatologists who’ve taken off their miniskirts and high heels, and come indoors from seedy corners.

“there all wrong! I’m so smart!”

“There” ALL wrong? I suppose it comes down to Googling Bias: List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming.

This is a list of scientists who have made statements that conflict with the mainstream scientific understanding of global warming as summarized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and endorsed by other scientific bodies.

Establishing the mainstream scientific assessment, climate scientists agree that the global average surface temperature has risen over the last century. The scientific consensus and scientific opinion on climate change were summarized in the 2001 Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Wow, 2001. Way to keep ahead of the CURVE!

…For sure people look at a post like this and think various things. Got Under My Skin. Richard’s Just An Asshole. Make Sure to Get Affiliate Links Out Every Day. Whatever.

The truth is, more and more, I’m just a guy who blogs and for whatever reason, I get to have a reasonably substantial audience. I suspect that the most of it is that I’m willing to put out anything, anytime, that’s within my personal sphere of propriety. I have zero fear of repercussions. I simply don’t care what anyone thinks about what I do, the choices I take. I just don’t. I often wonder how caring about what people think affects your own behavior. I mean: it’s not exactly like a gun to your head.

Is it just social conditioning?

…Incidentally, I did write this in a comment in the same thread on the topic at hand:

Richard Nikoley says:

Ha, I was just about to shoot him the same link, Gallier.

It’s confusing because it’s quite complex, mixed with a lot of “scientific” hubris. Just look at obesity and disease. As if human metabolism wasn’t complex enough, now we have the included metabolism of hundreds of species of gut bugs and everyone is a snowflake. I just read an article about how by transplanting microbes in mice, these transplanted mice can eat poison that would normally kill them otherwise…

Moreover, you have the added complexity of antarctica, with both land and sea ice. Normally, all the sea ice melts by the end of summer every year, this year no.

To be clear:

1. I’m neither a catch-all “climate change denier,” nor am I necessarily opposed to the idea that the earth may be warming.

2. If it is actually warming, it’s:

   a. trend prediction I’m skeptical of, especially way out into the future (hockey stick).

   b. the man-made factor (original sin) I’m skeptical of. There is zero doubt that the earth has been both very hot and very cold way back, and it wasn’t caused my human activity.

3. More than anything, I’m deeply skeptical of the CO2 positive feedback PREMISE hockey-stick predictions rely upon. Nature is totally dominated by negative feedbacks.

But, you know, it’s so tough to take on a graduate student in engineering. I’m just hoping that 1) he’s not going to be designing buildings, or 2) sewage treatment plants. I’ll consent to my electronic devises being lowest-common-denominator-lazy-I-Have-A-Big-Fucking-Paycheck consensus.

Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. The cost of two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance the travel to write, photo, and film from interesting places and share the experiences with you.


  1. McSack on September 17, 2014 at 15:01

    I guess I’m just feeling chatty today. I’ve always been somewhat surprised at how many times in life I’ve met very intelligent people regurgitate information without even questioning it (especially NPR stories, which I find more and more pathetic as I get older). The type of answer Nick gave about handing your brain over to people who know better than you, is unfortunately common, but I suspect a general symptom of a someone who been rewarded by “following the rules”. They honestly believe that they’re making an intelligent choice by trusting the system that they’re so comfortable in, but it never seems to dawn on them that they’re just watering their mouth like Pavlov’s dogs. I guess I was lucky that I never fit in growing up and built up a healthy sense of skepticism early on. In some respects I think it’s healthy to allow yourself to trust others enough to go on faith in the short term, but one should always cultivate a healthy bullshit detector to make sure that their perspective is correct.

    • Resurgent on September 17, 2014 at 20:35

      @McSack – Well said.
      The key is that these people just ‘believe’. Belief is generally blind. They have been conditioned to ‘not know’ just ‘believe’. Knowing requires experiencing, and experiencing requires effort and definitely a questioning of the prevailing paradigm.. looking at anything from a contrarian viewpoint.
      I think this has a lot to do with religion. Richard wrote about the power of the Church a few blogposts back. From early childhood, ‘belief’ conditioning begins, which makes it easy for PTB to manufacture consensus on almost any issue.

    • AndrewS on September 18, 2014 at 09:01

      It’s common to see idealistic college students (especially those that think they’re smarter than everyone else) cling to the idea that some knowledge is so gosh darn COMPLEX that only the high priests (read: academics) can understand it.

      As a point of example, take diet and nutrition. Average Joe maybe only barely understands protein vs fat vs sugar; most likely, they fear fat and cholesterol but ignore everything else. To tell Avg Joe that toxins that would otherwise be fatal can be tolerated if his intestinal biome changed skips through all sorts of understanding. That’s Nick’s point.

      I think the main thing Nick fails to understand is that learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from college, and it doesn’t have to happen in a school. (There’s a strong argument that most things you learn in school are catechisms anyway.) Richard has 30 years of living and learning on Nick, but Nick will have none of it.

      Didn’t you see? He’s an ENGINEERING student. /me bows down in praise.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2014 at 09:16

      Andrew, I kinda wince at myself whenever I haul out age/experience; but on the other hand, isn’t that what life largely consists of?

      I thought my dad was pretty awesome when I was a kid. Of course, the contrast is so enormous that virtually all kids do regard their parents as deity even if they have only a modicum of competence.

      But I was fortunate to grow up a stone’s throw from my maternal grandfather’s workshop (artist, hunter, fly fisherman, man of so MANY talents). So, in a sense, he overshadowed my dad. Artist, but by no means artsy-fartsy. He built his own houses, too. And, my dad was in his latter 20s by the time I was cognizant enough to note stuff. But one thing I did notice is my dad’s dad lived only a few miles away, but he spent way more time around his father-in-law.

      There’s really no way to account for all the stuff you observe at that age—a supercomputer can’t, but a young human-brain-sponge can and does. We are programmed to assimilate.

      Some assimilate better, and some of us fortunate ones, have a more excellent database to assimilate.

  2. elmo on September 17, 2014 at 22:50

    their cure is worse than the problem. what is it expected, a few degrees F in 200 years or so? And think about how far mankind has come in the last few hundred years and with the ever increasing pace of new knowledge, new technology there will be no way to mitigate against a few degrees?

  3. Henk on September 18, 2014 at 00:57

    Science is for some people like a religion.

    • LaFrite on September 18, 2014 at 03:35

      Henk, that’s not exactly true:

      Science IS a religion, not only for some people.
      Science is based on a “story” of the world / reality. That story has taken a long time to shape up but it ended up being that the world / reality is an objective set of matter, subject to indifferent forces without much purpose save for survival and reproduction. That’s the basic story that serves as the foundation of science, which seeks to describes the mechanisms of that “world”. Science is therefore a practical guide for “worshipping that world view”.

      There are other stories of the world / reality and some may prevail when the current story collapses.

  4. Chad G on September 18, 2014 at 03:40

    Here are my problems with “Climate Change”

    First and most importantly consensus is NOT science.

    Secondly though even if everything they say about AGW is right (and it is not) then anything we do to combat it will be controlled by the various governments of the world. Which means that the best we can hope for is that it will be totally ineffective, but will most likely cause more harm.

    You already see it in things like the old “Cash for Clunkers”. Seems like a good idea on the surface but the truth is it was merely a money grab by the car industry. By taking functioning cars off the road and forcing people to buy more newer more fuel efficient models. Great except the resources used to create those new cars will create tons more CO2 than if you drove 57 chevy and simply maintained it. Not to mention electric cars which are only viable because of subsidies and use toxic batteries and rare elements to make them work.

  5. Walter on September 18, 2014 at 05:51

    Hi Richard,
    I love the changing photographs and your use of fucktard and doG. I would like be as blunt as you, but it might be too late to learn.

    Nick should know why the school of engineering is separate from the school of arts and sciences.

    I personally benefited from the post World War II lowering (elimination?) of standards for science. I would never have been invited into a chemistry department when my father was studying electrical engineering in the early 1940s.

    Climate science is another example, like nutrition science, of government funded sociology, psychology, political science, theology, economics and philosophy.

    Creation Science is not yet funded by the taxpayer, but I would not be surprised to hear of a member of Congress suggesting that it should be. Now, it is simply slipped into textbooks by theologians behaving badly.

  6. James H. on September 18, 2014 at 07:11

    “Climate change” is a fact of life; just ask any first-year geology student, assuming of course that student is capable of independent thought. AGW on the other hand is opinion, or as Believers say, “consensus.” I wonder how the engineering student would respond to a blueprint of a bridge having the approval of a consensus of reviewers. Would Nick accept the blueprint with a 51% peer approval-rate? 75%?

    I accept the concept of climate change. Geology, archeology, et. al., easily demonstrates the existence, and effects, of climate change but when we start applying consensus to science it becomes a religion and its attendant problems of blind faith, of which AGW is a perfect example.

  7. marcus+volke on September 18, 2014 at 07:16

    im skeptical of climate change too but climate skeptics still need to explain why the ice continues to melt in greenland and the artic and the sea level has continues to rise over the last decade, which if im not mistaken is being argued as a proxy indicator that sea temperatures are rising even if the earth’s crust temperature isnt.
    looking back at that sentence though it does sound a bit dubious becausr i believe it is supposedly the deep sea temperature that has risen over the past decade and not the shallow sea temperature.

    • AndrewS on September 18, 2014 at 09:06

      Note that “skeptics” tend to be AGW skeptics, not necessarily GW skeptics. Of course the earth is warming; there was a little ice age just 300 years ago. And, no, skeptics do NOT need to propose alternate theories. If the AGW theory is full of holes, science doesn’t require a valid replacement before pointing out those holes.

    • Doug on September 20, 2014 at 07:08


      I agree. I want to know why Greenland wasn’t covered in ice and people were farming, then it was covered in ice and now melting again…I think change is a fascination subject.

  8. Boundless on September 18, 2014 at 07:18

    If you haven’t seen Burt Rutan’s take on AGW, it’s worth a read:

    A couple of points I don’t think Burt gets into are:
    1. The high priests of Global Hot Air® also preach that it’s too late to reverse the change. So why destroy our liberty and economies in a doomed symbolic attempt?
    2. The single largest and growing source of pollution is China. What are the odds they’ll pay any more than lip service to taking steps (until the children of high party officials start choking to death in much larger numbers)?

  9. GTR on September 18, 2014 at 12:55

    This whole climate modellig, especially when it comes to the influence of civilizations is much more uncertain than political organizations like the Intergovernmental Panel would like you to believe.
    First of all it’s not about discovering a historical facts, something that happened; just needs uncovering, more data, more excavations etc. It’s about predicting the future – the realm of probability.
    Then it’s completly different from other examples of predicting the future, that are based on thousads of observations of thousands of particular phenomena occuring over and over again – and constructing the model of how things behave. We don’t know other planets with civilizations that emit CO2, so there are no sources to base models on.
    Trying to simulate from the basics – like simulating every air particle – is both out of the reach of contemporary computers, as well as climate being known to be vunerable to chaotic behavior.
    Basically climate modelling looks like a speculation.

  10. Ulfric Douglas on September 18, 2014 at 13:45

    ChadG quote : “Not to mention electric cars which are only viable because of subsidies and use toxic batteries and rare elements to make them work.”
    I say let’s actually mention : Electric cars run on COAL!
    How backward is that?

  11. agatha on September 18, 2014 at 13:55

    Scientific consensus? Hahahaha!

    Phlogiston anyone?

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