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Scot Rafkin's Avatar Joined almost 6 years ago
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Go to: Climate Change editorial

Scot Rafkin's Avatar Jump to comment 424 by Scot Rafkin

One more quick thing. Let me define what I mean by an expert.

An expert is someone that possesses at least the following abilities or knowledge:

1) Familiarity with the relevant peer reviewed literature;

2) Ability to understand the literature, including the hypothesis, data, methodologies, and conclusions of the relevant papers;

3)The ability to critique the peer reviewed literature using original thoughts and ideas at a level that would pass muster in a peer review process.

In my case, I'm only partially familiar with the literature. I have the background and expertise to critique some aspects of the literature in an original way, but since I lack the knowledge of the existing literature it makes it difficult to do adequately. Given this, I would not consider myself capable of writing a critique of a given paper at a level that is appropriate for peer review.

Hope this helps.

Thu, 14 Jan 2010 01:55:00 UTC | #431655

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Scot Rafkin's Avatar Jump to comment 423 by Scot Rafkin

Sorry guys and gals. I'd like to write up an extensive comment, but I'm on extended business travel and I've got several projects going, all with deadlines on very short fuses. I'll try to post in a week or so, but it may take longer than that depending on how things go at work. Better to busy than idle!

Thu, 14 Jan 2010 01:43:00 UTC | #431653

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Scot Rafkin's Avatar Jump to comment 410 by Scot Rafkin


Sorry. Really busy at work. I'll make this short, as I don't have anything more to add beyond what is in this thread and what I've posted previously on my blog. Here's a synopsis:

1) For a non-expert to make any determination about the veracity of a complex scientific hypothesis such as AGW is irrational and illogical. And the corollary: making statements about things on which you clearly have no knowledge only succeeds in making you look stupid.

2) There is a consensus. You don't have to like it, but that's just the way it is.

3) Just because you don't like the politics or the policies doesn't mean AGW isn't true. Stop conflating the science with the policies.

4) The science and the scientific method isn't conducted in the papers or on weblogs. It's done by scientists and presented in the scientific literature. Links to newspapers, weblogs, and various websites may make for interesting discussion, but they provide zero evidence in support of a position on either side. If you want to discuss the veracity of AGW, you're going to need to discuss the peer reviewed literature.

5) Arguments from personal incredulity are epic fail.

6) I probably left out some other salient points, but I've said it all before anyway.


I bicycle isn't practical. I live on a 40 acre ranch with a steep, 1/4 mile long dirt driveway off of a 1.5 mile dirt road in the foothills. The nearest town of 500 is 2 miles away, and the nearest modern conveniences like a decent grocery store is 12 miles. When I was in grad school, I sold my car and went by nothing by bike for three years in sun, rain, sleet, snow and wind. You can do that when you have fewer responsibilities and lots of time. I've got a family to support, kids that need to get places, including school, and not much time. A car is a necessity--a bike won't cut it. I walk and bike when I can, for example to the park on weekends, but I need a vehicle that can handle the terrain and weather. I don't have an SUV. I have a Subaru wagon plus a 17 year old small, 4 cyl, 30 mpg beater that I use to get me to and from the bus when the weather permits.

Fri, 08 Jan 2010 18:23:00 UTC | #430181

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Scot Rafkin's Avatar Jump to comment 387 by Scot Rafkin


Why not just tax the gas rather than the SUV? I don't care if you have an SUV if you don't drive it!

I need a four wheel drive where I live, but I only use it to get up and down my driveway when it snows. And even then, it's often only to get me to and from the nearest bus stop two miles away. I use less gas than most of those driving hybrids.

Fri, 08 Jan 2010 07:49:00 UTC | #429949

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Scot Rafkin's Avatar Jump to comment 384 by Scot Rafkin

Comment #448710 by Sciros

Those that understand (to an extent) the science and actually read up on it instead of fucking pretending to, will confirm that no realistic (that's the key word; guess what it means) reduction in greenhouse emissions is going to prevent the extrapolated warming trend. It is predicted to slow it down, but by what I submit is a negligible amount.

Ding, ding, ding!!!

Couldn't agree with you more. Even if we cap emissions where they are, it isn't going to do squat. We're better off planning for climate change and working to shift to a non-carbon or reduced-carbon energy source. Reducing carbon emissions has benefits that go way beyond reductions in AGW. Carbon is dirty. It's dirty at the extraction. It's dirty at the transport. It's dirty at the refining. It's dirty at the consumption. It kills people, animals, and plants. It pollutes the water and the air. There's plenty of good reasons to do away with fossil fuels regardless of AGW, not the least of which is the funding of terrorism and religious fanaticism by petrodollars.

Drastic reductions in CO2 emissions are realistic, but not on the timescales that matter for AGW. The world could conceivably be off carbon in a century or so, but that doesn't help us or the next two or three generations. Stop wasting time, money and energy on trying to limit CO2 and start spending resources on smarter energy solutions. Copenhagen should have been about a global solution to alternative energy; that's something that will ultimately have an impact. Putzing around with CO2 caps is nothing more than Nero fiddling.

Fri, 08 Jan 2010 07:37:00 UTC | #429944

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