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Dutch Agency Admits Mistakes In UN Climate Report

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the would-you-sign-my-hockey-stick dept.

Earth 447

Hugh Pickens writes "The AP reports that the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency has taken the blame for one of the glaring errors that undermined the credibility of a seminal, 3,000-page UN report last year on climate change, and disclosed that it had discovered more small mistakes. However, the review by the agency also claims that none of the errors affected the fundamental conclusion by a UN panel of scientists: that global warming caused by humans already is happening and is threatening the lives and well-being of millions of people. The Dutch agency reported in 2005 that 55 percent of the Netherlands is below sea level, when only 26 percent is. The second previously reported error claimed the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035, which the Dutch agency partly traced to a report on the likely shrinking of glaciers by the year 2350. The original report also said global warming will put 75 million to 250 million Africans at risk of severe water shortages in the next 10 years, but a recalculation showed that range should be 90 million to 220 million. The analysis said future IPCC reports should have a more robust review process, and should look more closely at where information comes from."

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Before People Scream Conspiracy... (5, Insightful)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803448)

All this means is that scientists are in fact humans and make small errors just like everyone else. I'm just glad that scientific academies and agencies have the integrity to publicly admit when they're wrong in spite of the obvious fear-mongering and finger-pointing that will result from the anti-AGW camp.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803494)

No, it means that the dutch are a bunch of stupid cunts who wear wooden shoes and worship windmills..

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (3, Funny)

frank249 (100528) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803534)

Saying that Africa is going to have water shortages in 10 years and then say it might be 220 million years is more than a small error.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803580)

Read that sentence again

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (5, Insightful)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803586)

Read?! Are you crazy? Somebody told me that it SNOWED last week! Why would I read something!?

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803590)

I don't know if you were just jesting at the poorly formed sentence, or completely missed that the range changed from 75 million to 250 million Africans at risk of severe water shortages to 90 million to 220 Africans at risk of severe water shortages - the 10 years thing is constant.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803594)

220 million people, not years.

Damn Americans (2, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803620)

>>>Saying that Africa is going to have water shortages in 10 years and then say it might be 220 million years is more than a small error.

Always frakking everything up.

Oh.

Wait.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803546)

I'm just glad the Dutch don't have a space program.

Sure, Americans get confused about the whole "metric-imperial conversion" thing, but these are some serious typos~

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32804082)

ESA - The European Space Agency...
Remember the ariane rockets?

Saying the Dutch haven't got a space program is pretty much the same as saying that Pennsylvania doesn't have a space program.
We do however actively participate in the ESA. e.g. we've got a part in the Herschel telescope [wikipedia.org] , have a couple of astronauts [wikipedia.org] , and LOFAR [wikipedia.org] , the new long wavelength telescope has just been switched on. Can't be bothered to look up all our projects, but for a little country like us, we're doing allright.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32804112)

So you are admitting that the EU has made you its bitch, much like the Fed has made the States its bitches?

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803654)

If it were just a matter of a mistake, or a typo, it would be one thing, but this is not a case of a typo. It's a case of using unreliable sources of information. They didn't rely solely on scientific journals to compile their report, they used non-scientific and non-peer-reviewed sources to compile the report. This is serious, and some of the ones responsible said they knew it was bad practice at the time.

For analogous purposes, it is like writing a college research report using wikipedia as a primary source (or as any source really). Any good professor is going to mock you for it, and for good reasons.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (1, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803772)

Wow, I already got troll mods, why? The post was 100% factual, I can even point you to places in the WGII where non-scientific sources were used as references (but really I don't need to, there are so many of them they are easy to find yourself). Are the mods so rabidly partisan today that they can't accept fact? This doesn't even have anything to do with whether global warming is 'real' or not, it just has to do with one group who was reporting on global warming that acted poorly.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803870)

Too many slashdotters who should know better have drunk the AGW Kool-Aid, that's where your troll mods are coming from.

Insult (-1, Troll)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803892)

Isn't it obvious what you did? You insulted the priests of the Global Warming religion.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (4, Informative)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804074)

The troll mods I would guess are because you are implying that the report in question (the one which used the 2035 number for the glacier melt) was supposedly to use only scientific sources. In fact that working group paper by definition was to use all sorts of sources, and specifically states that as the case. I would not call the 2035 error a mere typo, but I would also not try to use it as a means to discredit the science behind the WGI (the one which deals with the actual science) report. In my mind, your post (perhaps purposefully) obfuscates this difference.

Your analogy fails, to fix it there would be two sections to the college research paper, one that deals with scientific sources and the other that includes other sources such as the media reports and public opinion. Wikipedia turns out to be a pretty good jumping off point for the second section, though any good professor would still likely mock you for stopping at Wikipedia.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (5, Insightful)

IICV (652597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803916)

Do you know how long the IPCC report is? It's effing huge. If the worst things the denialists can find after going through it with a fine toothed comb are what amounts to a typo, a misstatement, and a bad calculation, that is amazing.

Further, the physical sciences basis [global-gre...arming.com] for global warming remains unchanged and completely unchallenged. The only thing we are quibbling about (indeed, what you're so concerned about in your post) are what the actual effects of global warming will be, not whether or not it is happening.

It's like that old apocryphal story about Winston Churchill - we've already agreed that global warming is happening, now we're just haggling over how painful it will be. For some reason, people seem to think that if they haggle the pain down a little, the "already agreed" part will go away.

Before people scream consistency... (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803676)

All this means is that scientists are in fact humans and make small errors just like everyone else.

Well actually, overstating by 200% the amount of land underwater in a small country is not really a "small" error.

Some of the other errors are small, true. But it's hard to put a lot of faith the conclusion is correct when so many other little things are wrong. If the report is not consistent in accuracy throughout, trusting the result because they claim to have found "none of the errors actually matter" is not reassuring. It comes off more as sounding like, they already know what the conclusion should be, so the science was just there as window dressing to scare you good and proper.

It would be nice if other scientists could examine the data themselves to see in fact if there are not any errors that actually matter...

Re:Before people scream consistency... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32804018)

Below sea level... not under water.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803700)

If a scientist made such errors in one of his "proofs", then his theory would probably have been falsified, and he would have to either go back and fix it, or drop it. Since this is a political theory and not a scientific one, errors don't seem to matter.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803752)

the obvious fear-mongering and finger-pointing that will result from the anti-AGW camp.

Yeah, we wouldn't want anything to interfere with the obvious fear-mongering and finger pointing from the pro-AGW camp.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803756)

it's unacceptable when your asking countries to spend trillions based on teh data.

that's the issue. sure people make mistakes, but a paper written and reviewed by supposed "thousands" of the top scientists in the world (as AGW people like to tout the IPC's paper)????!!!!

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (0, Offtopic)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803804)

If a scientist wrote a theory that required that ten things must be true for his theory to be valid, and three of them are proven wrong, should we still consider his theory to be valid? How much of this report must be proven wrong before the results are allowed to be questioned? The large number of errors in this report shows a serious lack of quality in the authors research. It sounds more and more like a religious tract than a scientific paper. It's a case of "believe in me" instead of "trust but verify".

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803904)

This is nothing like a mathematical proof, and none of the fundamental statements made by the report are affecting by this new information.

This is more similar to somebody writing a book on calculus that contained errors in some examples. The calculus is still good.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803812)

All this means is that scientists are in fact humans and make small errors just like everyone else.

How 'bout "no," you crazy Dutch bastard?

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (2, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803852)

All this means is that scientists are in fact humans and make small errors just like everyone else.

Hey, I believe in AGW, but this is much more than just a "small error". It indicates that papers supportive of the conclusion had a much lower threshold for inclusion than papers contradictory to it. As in, there was no threshold for pro-GW papers. You could make up stuff and if it sounded good it could be included, without any fact-checking.

The issue isn't whether there were a few factual errors. It's whether the report is credible. Your credibility is golden, and once you lose it in the eyes of the public, it's really, really hard to get back. Ideally, in science, the proponent of a theory should also be its harshest critic.

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803868)

not that i'm screaming conspiracy, but knowing it's a dutch agency, at least someone should have called bs before reporting that the netherlands are 55% under sea-level.
it's not like that's anything new: http://avn.geog.uu.nl/15water/40/40.html

Re:Before People Scream Conspiracy... (1)

jopsen (885607) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804084)

Agree... It's not possible to write a 3,000-page report without making errors...

"Redefine what peer review means" (1, Insightful)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803450)

I suppose they will redefine the word robust as well now.

Keep hiding that decline, boys. Wouldn't want anybody to realize that we are in a global cooling snap and have been for a decade now.

Re:"Redefine what peer review means" (3, Informative)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803476)

What decade long decline? You mean since 2005 when it was really warm?

Re:"Redefine what peer review means" (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803638)

What decade long decline? You mean since 2005 when it was really warm?

Yeah! You tell him. That's right: Global Warming is a MYTH! It will never happen!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a bunch of real estate deals to attend to regarding some temporary inland property that's going to pay off HUGE one day! Can't say why..

Re:"Redefine what peer review means" (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803704)

This exchange has confused me regarding what you're position is and what you think mine is.

I was just pointing out (as someone else did) that people who don't believe in AGW warming often point out 1998 and say that we have been cooling since then. I was just bringing up 2005, which by some records was warmer than 1998. (and 2009 as well, but some people don't trust data that recent). Not to mention all the other years in the 2000s that were warmer than years in the 90s. And 90s > 80s. And so on.

Re:"Redefine what peer review means" (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803798)

I will reflect a popular warmest meme back at you: "weather is not climate!"

Besides, with the revelations about the cherry picked tree ring data acquisition process contained in the CRU leak, we don't know who to trust.

How about Her Majesty's Navy? Their records show a different trend han the IPCC's do.

Re:"Redefine what peer review means" (0)

aal (114501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803584)

That is why it is called CLIMATE CHANGE

not global warming......dumby

New Campaign! Stop cretinous fools! (4, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803614)

"Keep hiding that decline, boys. Wouldn't want anybody to realize that we are in a global cooling snap and have been for a decade now."

Really. Such fools as you should be put against the wall and shot. Then buried with the stake through heart, just to be sure.

The garbage you're spewing is based on a simple fact of 1998 being a statistical fluke. However, the last year is the _hottest_ year on records and beats 1998. So no, there's just no global cooling. There are just stupid fools who don't understand the basics.

Re:New Campaign! Stop cretinous fools! (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803828)

The data from the IPCC and other climate centers can not be trusted, and the CRU leaks show why.

All that gridding and normalization has destroyed the integrity of the original data, which has been "lost" somehow.

Faking science in order to alarm everybody into a panic with tales of doom is what should be punished by death here. Your apparatchiks in the CRu and IPCC and Nasa and many other formerly prestigious climatological centers are fucking busted.

Re:New Campaign! Stop cretinous fools! (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804008)

"The data from the IPCC and other climate centers can not be trusted, and the CRU leaks show why."

OK. Now show me the data which proves that Earth is cooling. Of course, without using ANY official weather data - they are all parts of the global conspiracy.

Go on, make my day.

Re:New Campaign! Stop cretinous fools! (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804032)

If you are placing your monitoring stations under A/C exhaust vents and in the middle of asphalt parking lots, you can make any year the warmest on record.

This kind of shady business is par for the course. Can't keep those grants rolling in if there is nothing to panic over. Plus these climate prostitutes got their first taste of real power and liked it.

It is clear you never read the CRU leak's actual contents, or are you one of the fucking tools that would have us believe that plain English terms like "hide the decline" are being misinterpreted? Because you fucks aren't fooling anybody with that kind of talk.

It will be decades before the climatology circle is trusted again, if ever. You already lost the entire third world, and Australia, and believe it or not most of the USA. That mindshare in your little fairy tale will never come back.

This is a real, measurable "runaway train" effect for you.

Re:New Campaign! Stop cretinous fools! (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804108)

"If you are placing your monitoring stations under A/C exhaust vents and in the middle of asphalt parking lots, you can make any year the warmest on record."

Yeah, yeah. I know, we in our Global Conspiracy try hard.

But I'm still waiting on data proving that the Earth is cooling.

Where is it?

"It is clear you never read the CRU leak's actual contents, or are you one of the fucking tools that would have us believe that plain English terms like "hide the decline" are being misinterpreted? Because you fucks aren't fooling anybody with that kind of talk."

No need to fool a fool.

Re:"Redefine what peer review means" (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803662)

Warming or cooling we're negatively affecting the environment - at least that much has been proven. The only thing that seems to unclear is how bad it is yet.

We may not have caused global warming on a massive scale yet, but if we keep it up, we will. Better to change our habits now, it's not like we've got much else to worry about. Once the scientists have figured out the whole interstellar space travel thing, we can take off and nuke the planet from orbit, and then we'll be sure.

Redefine what selection bias means (5, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803708)

If you pick 1998 as the year to start, then yes, temperatures have declined from that extraordinary El Nino weather pattern.

Similarly, I can say that the economy has been roaring since late 2008 - the stock market is up over 30%! Or I can say the economy has been suffering since early 2008 - the market is down over 40%! Both cases are a little misleading, and not only because the Dow Jones has little to do with the real economy.

Global air and sea temperatures are on average going up, and have been doing so for decades. The US military is planning for the defense of the northwest passage. The USA, Russia, and Canada have already started bickering over the ownership of resources under the ice pack in the Arctic Ocean.

Something tells me that all of these things are not just coincidence.

Re:Redefine what selection bias means (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803862)

Not coincidence? So you're saying the stock market is causing global warming? I knew somehow Goldman Sachs was to blame!!! It all makes sense now.

Re:Redefine what selection bias means (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804030)

Not coincidence? So you're saying the stock market is causing global warming? I knew somehow Goldman Sachs was to blame!!! It all makes sense now.

Sarcasm as edgy as a rotted wooden spoon.

But if there's a way to make a dollar from misery, you can be sure all of Wall St has people looking into it. To get you started, here's a helpful article from 2003 [msn.com] about what defense stocks to buy, now that investors are bullish on a long war in Iraq.

And though the Journal has been bearish on climate change so far, as soon as they find a way to profit from it, I expect them to change their tune as quickly as they discard their values for a new, more profitable set of values in the future.

And if you go back... (2, Insightful)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803986)

If you pick 1998 as the year to start, then yes, temperatures have declined from that extraordinary El Nino weather pattern.

And, if you go back to the end of the last ice age, you'll also see a warming trend. Long before the industrial age and man-made CO2 emissions.

And again, if you go back to the beginning of the Pliocene Epoch, you'll find that the Earth has cooled since then.

What's your point?

Re:And if you go back... (2, Interesting)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804116)

What's your point?

That the earth is warming? I think it's a pretty simple premise to start from, given the data. Then we can move on to things like, will there be enough water in the new climate? If no, can we take steps to reduce it's effects? Should we begin slowly migrating away from the coast instead of waiting until it's too late to rebuild the infrastructure?

Or to translate it into American political terms, how can I take away your god-given right to limitless natural resources and destroy your dignity by making you pay the true costs for what you consume?

Seriously (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803516)

Does ANYBODY still buy the Global Warming scam? Are people really that naive? God gave us brains for a reason.

Re:Seriously (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803566)

Nobody buys the idea that it's a scam anymore...

Re:Seriously (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803628)

None of us fucking ignorant idiots who are incapable of thinking for ourselves buy the idea that it's a scam anymore...

FTFY

Re:Seriously (0, Troll)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803734)

None of us fucking ignorant idiots who are incapable of thinking for ourselves buy the idea that it's a scam anymore...

FTFY

Why so many adjectives on 'idiots'? Did think that 'ignorant idiots' or 'fucking idiots' wasn't far enough considering how little citation or evidence or you know, just words outside of an acronym, you seem to want to provide ... ?

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32804026)

"You're a fucking idiot because you disagree with me" == "Insightful"

Awesome.

31C is too fucking hot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803518)

When calculating using humidex, it's fucking 42 celsius and I'm way up north in Canada.

Americans don't know what "hot weather" means, their humidity levels are too low.

Think again (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803728)

Americans don't know what "hot weather" means, their humidity levels are too low.

I lived in Houston for a few years. They know plenty about heat AND humidity, thank you very much... as does most of the south and much of the east.

Alpha Centauri (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803524)

When I think about the year 2350 I think about Fireaxis and SMAC.

Re:Alpha Centauri (1)

SMACX guy (1003684) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803680)

You and me both, dude.

And FWIW, we can solve all the global warming problems merely by launching a solar shade. The hardest part is ramming it through the council (fucking Santiago is a total denier!). Once you have the votes, implementation is trivial.

Please Just Let This Go... Just... Let It Go... (2, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803538)

Global Warming: The Y2K Scare for the New Century.

Re:Please Just Let This Go... Just... Let It Go... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803640)

How the hell did this get modded Insightful!?

Pollution is real. CFCs are real. The ozone hole is real.

The only people who are anti-global warming tend to be trailer trash with no higher education that fear "dem terrorists" and demand to see Obama's birth certificate.

In other words, morons.

Re:Please Just Let This Go... Just... Let It Go... (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803764)

It's a good analogy in that Y2K was more than just a scare, required a lot of people working on it to prepare, and even though there WERE issues, we managed to evade the catastrophy due to hard work and determination.

The only issue we have right now is that Global Warming doesn't have the same commitment the Y2K scare had, and Global Warming is not something that can be fixed by computer scientists alone.

Re:Please Just Let This Go... Just... Let It Go... (2, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803838)

The reason it's like Y2K is because the public perception is way out of proportion with what scientists are saying.

With Y2K, if you talked to computer scientists, it was problems with dates, maybe spreadsheets, maybe welfare checks would have trouble getting sent. But to the general public, it was about power plants exploding, planes falling out of the sky, and general chaos. People were literally stocking food and ammo. If the worst case computer-scientist scenario had happened, it would have seemed like a small thing to the average civilian.

Same thing with Y2K....we are talking about a meter of ocean rise in a hundred years, or moving climate zones maybe.....but the average person thinks of ocean levels rising and covering New York (think Waterworld). There's a vast mismatch between what is really going on and what is communicated to the public. Which is part of the reason why, I believe, a good portion of the public is so opposed to doing something about it.

Re:Please Just Let This Go... Just... Let It Go... (1)

internettoughguy (1478741) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804106)

The perception of New York being flooded may be fanciful, but the effects on agriculture could be anything but. We could be talking real problems like droughts leading to world food shortages and in turn famine, perhaps that doesn't have the impact in peoples mind of a "Waterworld" type scenario, but the effects could be just as devastating.

I've been judicious and used the word "could' liberally, because no one knows for certain what changes will occur, or what those changes will entail for humanity, but they're definitely more serious than a few undelivered welfare checks.

Re:Please Just Let This Go... Just... Let It Go... (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804042)

The only issue we have right now is that Global Warming doesn't have the same commitment the Y2K scare had, and Global Warming is not something that can be fixed by computer scientists alone.

There is also the pesky problem that there is no consensus on global warming. For some reason, proponents of the theory like to assume that the science is settled, perhaps so they can conveniently call anyone who might disagree a loony denier.

I think that's at least one other point where GW differs drastically from Y2K.

Re:Please Just Let This Go... Just... Let It Go... (5, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804012)

Global Warming: The Y2K Scare for the New Century.

Absolutely. People realised well before the crisis occurred that remedial action was necessary to address shortcomings in human-designed systems whose effects, while difficult to quantify (and the subject of wild speculation), were known to be adverse.

While some efforts began well in advance of the crisis itself, consensus concerning action didn't arise immediately. The result was a late push toward a technical fix that ended up costing businesses and governments more, because once-plentiful resources were now in high demand.

The difference between Y2K and Climate Change, of course, is that one only required that a date field be fixed, and the systems we were modeling were entirely of human creation. Our sense of the scope of the problem, and therefore our predictive capability, was much better. This didn't stop an ill-informed media from announcing the Apocalypse and helping drive a millennial fervour among many, but those in this know were nonetheless able to concentrate on the task at hand and, for the most part, remedy it before it became a problem.

Our understanding of the scope and nature of Climate Change, on the other hand, is based on observation of a nearly infinitely more complex natural system. Achieving a clear understanding of the scope and exact nature of the problem is therefore exceedingly difficult. Scientific speculation about possible effects has led to an ill-informed media announcing the Apocalypse and helped drive a (Mayan) millennial fervour among many.

Those in the know are thwarted by competing economic interests who see mere acceptance of the concept of global climate change as a threat to their profitability. They have therefore recruited numerous 'public relations' companies to subvert the credibility of said researchers and to use any means necessary to cast doubt on the research itself. This has hampered efforts to win public support for action, which in turn has made it politically difficult to commit to anything but often meaningless half measures (e.g. cap-and-trade).

... But aside from the differences, yeah, they're exactly alike. 8^)

Hey, Butt-head (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803540)

Check it out, it's a seminal report.

Huh huh huh, shut up, Beavis.

truth still getting it's boots on (5, Insightful)

wwwrench (464274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803544)

In reports of this size, there will always be small errors. The problem is that right wing bloggers trumpet these up to raise doubts about the basic science, and then fox news et. al. broadcast this even further. The result is a complete disaster: people will not make the sacrifices needed to stop climate change if they have doubts about whether it is happening. A great example is leakegate, where the Sunday Telegraph used a tiny citation error to suggest a conspiracy of scientists to falsify evidence of global warming (the UN report cited another report which contained the peer reviewed work, rather than directly citing the peer reviewed work). Eventually, the Telegraph retracted their article, but not before the damage was done. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/06/leakegate-a-retraction/ [realclimate.org] As Mark Twain said, lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on...

Re:truth still getting it's boots on (2, Insightful)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803648)

Ok, for a report this size, that is being used to massively change the living conditions of many millions of people downwards, how many errors need to be found before the results become questionable? At what point will you stop and say, I think we need to look deeper into this before we subject all these people to miserable living conditions based on these questionable results? There are so many "small errors" in this report that, if you wrote it as a school assignment, you'd probably get a failing grade.

Re:truth still getting it's boots on (1, Insightful)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803774)

Ok, for a report this size, that is being used to massively change the living conditions of many millions of people downwards, how many errors need to be found before the results become questionable? At what point will you stop and say, I think we need to look deeper into this before we subject all these people to miserable living conditions based on these questionable results? There are so many "small errors" in this report that, if you wrote it as a school assignment, you'd probably get a failing grade.

Why do people have the notion that implementing strategies for energy diversity, combating climate change, etc. will put us into some kind of dark age?

I mean, unless you are Iraqi and your job is to set oil fields on fire or pump it into the Persian gulf when the Americans show up, or you get serious kicks out of being wasteful; how bad do you think living more sustainably or paying *slightly-somewhat* more for products and services would be? I'm genuinely curious as to what creature comforts or lifestyles would be so affected that living would noticeably go from (presumably) alright to "miserable".

Re:truth still getting it's boots on (1, Flamebait)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803872)

Erm I kinda like having my computer with its internet connection.

Oh wait. Wind and solar power cant produce enough power to keep them going?
Bye bye internet. Do you realise how much power Google uses alone?

Remember that these idiots are wanting to ditch coal power, refuse to use nuclear (wtf?) and if everyone cant power their lives off a small pinwheel then your being wasteful.

Re:truth still getting it's boots on (4, Informative)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804048)

Erm I kinda like having my computer with its internet connection.

Ok, so you like your computer to be on all the time. Try to make allowances in other places in your life.

Oh wait. Wind and solar power cant produce enough power to keep them going? Bye bye internet. Do you realise how much power Google uses alone?

Google likely uses a lot of power. However, wind and solar do have lots of power capacity. Wind has 5x the current world capacity (theoretically). 20 seconds, Wikipedia. In a directed study, like the UK, they predicted about 50x their power demands. This doesn't even count solar, tidal, geothermal. Also, why you do think that a transition to renewable energy and improving efficiencies and standards (such as CCS) would suddenly cause existing power generation and infrastructure to blow up?

Remember that these idiots are wanting to ditch coal power, refuse to use nuclear (wtf?) and if everyone cant power their lives off a small pinwheel then your being wasteful.

Sounds like a bit of a hyperbole. From my experiences, nuclear has more proponents among environmentalists who see it as an appropriate measure to move towards renewables and away from coal than among the anti-AGW crowd.

If you want to make more legitimate criticisms, look towards energy density of storage and transportation mediums, as an example. Also, invest in companies that do battery research.

Re:truth still getting it's boots on (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803824)

Ok, for a report this size, that is being used to massively change the living conditions of many millions of people downwards, how many errors need to be found before the results become questionable? At what point will you stop and say, I think we need to look deeper into this before we subject all these people to miserable living conditions based on these questionable results?

The implied assertion in such questions is that the only points of the report that were reviewed are the ones which have been reported as inaccurate. I do wonder, if you look at the total count of issues reviewed, and the percentage of those that has been proven accurate after review, how large will that be? That is the only metric under which you can truly judge the quality of the report.

The greater problem (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803698)

The problem is that right wing bloggers trumpet these up to raise doubts about the basic science

Oh there's a far greater problem, it's people like you willing to whitewash inaccuracies and the inability for people to review the data used to reach the conclusion they claim is accurate. To just blow past that and still claim there's even science going on, much less that it is sound, is pretty incredible to me on a site where people are otherwise very level-headed about technical matters.

If you can't peer review, it's not science. If you're theory cannot actually predict anything but the past, that's not a good theory and you need to go back to the drawing board.

Twilight of the Goulds (-1, Offtopic)

Concern Is A Faggot (859837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803588)

Jewish Lies about Race Are Crumbling

Liberals are clear-eyed, cool-headed rationalists, implacably opposed to dogma and superstition. That’s why they reject the fairy-tales of the creationists. Like this one: The Universe was created in six days and is now only 6,000 years old. Laughable. Or this one: Noah’s ark rode out a world-wide flood for forty days and nights with a huge collection of animals on board. Ludicrous. Or this one: Mass immigration by non-whites into White societies will produce peace, prosperity, and happiness for all. Ridic– Whoops, sorry, my mistake. I’m mixing my fairy-tales up. That last one belongs to the liberals, not the creationists.

Yes, the truth is that liberals don’t really object to dogma, superstition, and fairy-tales at all, they just object to the wrong kind: the old Christian kind. They’re perfectly happy with the new kind – their kind – and they hate science just as much as creationists when it threatens to contradict their irrational dogmas. Race does not exist. IQ tests measure nothing but the prejudices of IQ testers. Differences in the psychology and behavior of men and women are solely the product of social conditioning. Those are three of the biggest liberal dogmas, and for the past forty years, led by pseudo-scientists like Stephen Jay Gould (Jew), Richard Lewontin (Jew), Leon Kamin (Jew), Steven Rose (Jew), and Jared Diamond (guess), they’ve fought tooth-and-nail against the ever-growing scientific evidence that all three are completely wrong. Race does exist, IQ tests do measure something real, and men and women are innately different in psychology and behavior.

More evidence of how liberals can’t tolerate true science comes from their ignorance about one of the most important of all scientific tools: the controlled experiment. When you have an idea or invention to test, use a small space to start with and compare what happens with a control where you don’t do anything. One of the advantages of this method is that if something goes wrong, you can easily contain the problem. Suppose you have a new chemical that might help crops grow faster and feed more people, but might have unwelcome side-effects too. You need to test it to make sure it’s safe, so the obvious thing to do is manufacture huge amounts of the stuff and use it on every farm in the country. That way, if every plant turns yellow and dies after two weeks, shortly before farmers and their families start developing strange and deadly new cancers, you’re up shit creek without a paddle. But you can at least say that your heart was in the right place.

If you think that sounds wrong, you’re obviously not a liberal, because that is actually a good description of how liberals have been testing the effects of race mixing. Mass immigration by non-whites is an experiment on a huge scale with no controls whatsoever, and if it all goes horribly wrong the ordinary Whites of Europe and America, who never asked for or wanted the experiment to take place, will be left up shit creek without a paddle. It will be no consolation that many liberals will be sharing the canoe with them. Other liberals, with the money to buy their way out of a self-created disaster, may be able to flee somewhere still safe like Iceland or the far north of Canada. If so, then maybe after a few years, when the memories of massacre and rape by non-whites have begun to fade, their crazy liberal religion will re-assert itself and they’ll begin agitating for more “diversity” in the hideously White societies that surround them.

That’s why the native Whites of Iceland and northern Canada, if they have any sense, will arrest those fleeing liberals as soon as they step off the plane and deport them straight back where they came from: the racially mixed hell-holes their criminal ideas and actions helped create. After all, there’s no way the refugees could plead innocence or ignorance. The disastrous effects of mass immigration are already obvious now in the experiment that took place in the Pacific on the tiny island of Fiji. Europe and America are big places with many millions of White inhabitants. It will take a long time to destroy them completely with mass immigration, and the process has only just started. Fiji isn’t a big place and that’s why it’s already been destroyed. The old Fiji is now gone for ever, because the native Fijians are outnumbered by the offspring of Indian laborers imported under the British Empire. There’s huge racial trouble there and for once the old liberal whine is right: The disaster in Fiji is Whitey’s fault.

Or rather, it’s the fault of the ignorant, short-sighted White colonial politicians who ran Fiji and imported Hindu Indians without the consent of the island’s rightful owners. The same kind of politician imported Hindus from mainland India into Buddhist Sri Lanka and created another intractable racial conflict. Sri Lanka is where suicide bombing was invented before it was picked up by the Palestinians in their racial conflict with the Jews and then sent on to the London subway and the racial conflict between Whites and non-whites in Britain. In each case – Fiji, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Britain – a small group of politicians have ignored common sense and the lessons of history by allowing different races and religions to mix. In the case of Britain, their task was made easier by the lies of Jew-corrupted science and psychology about the realities of race and racial differences.

But there is some good news: Those lies are starting to crumble fast. Many of my readers will have heard about the new research into gene-variants underlying brain development. There are highly significant genetic differences between Whites and sub-Saharan blacks, for example, and those differences support race realism about differences between White and black intelligence. I’ve been reading liberal papers and watching liberal websites and very little has been said about this research, which is a sure sign of its significance. Liberals can’t attack the researcher as a racist because he’s Chinese, and though they may be able to delay the even more significant findings he’s said to have made, it really is only a matter of time before the religion of modern liberalism becomes extinct.

That’s because its cherished dogmas about race are being destroyed one by one. Science is on our side, not theirs, and even the most deluded of white liberals are starting to realize it. Those Jewish pseudo-scientists like Gould and Diamond, who knew the truth all along, are being exposed as the liars and charlatans they always were. They should thank their lucky stars that this scientific war won’t end in a trial for war crimes, because they’re guilty as hell and share a heavy responsibility for all the Whites raped, murdered, and beaten by non-whites in Europe and America since the crazy and criminal experiment of race mixing and mass immigration started back in the last century.

“Whatever advantage these genes give, some groups have it and some don’t. This has to be the worst nightmare for people who believe strongly there are no differences in brain function between groups,” says anthropologist John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, US.
A summary of research into brain evolution [newscientist.com] by the Chinese scientist Bruce Lahn.

Re:Twilight of the Goulds (0, Troll)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803650)

How do people like this figure out to use computers? Also, you've misspelled 'modded' in your sig.

It's not one small error (2, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803604)

It's not one small error, it's a massive, brain-dead (or malicious) methodological error. Go to the IPCC report, check out WGII, and look at the citations page. It is so full of non-scientific, non-peer-reviewed references that as a scientific document it is practically worthless. A lot of them to WWF which however admirable the work it does may be (hey, who's not in favor of saving pandas really?), is still an advocacy group not a research group. It is really pathetic how horribly put together WGII was, just shameful.

Fortunately WGI was put together significantly more reliably, and each section is typically written by the top scientists in their respective fields, and includes both scientists who are smeared as 'believers' and 'deniers.' I say it is fortunate because WGI is such a convenient way to educate yourself on the scientific issues surrounding global warming, it would be bad if it were similarly corrupted.

"Research groups" versus "advocacy groups". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803810)

Research groups are merely advocacy groups who do a better job of keeping their funding sources secret.

Re:It's not one small error (2, Insightful)

Krahar (1655029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803998)

I haven't read anything of these reports, but I'm going to but in and say that the presence of a reference in a scientific manuscript says nothing on its own about how that reference was used. E.g. if you are going to say that the there has been a large amount of worry about something in the media, then it is entirely appropriate to reference articles in the media that show that worry, and it's entirely appropriate to reference 20 of them just to really make your point. So it depends on how those references were used. In this case they were used poorly - the question is how any other references to non-peer reviewed sources were used.

Phew thats ok then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803616)

it's only 15 million more on the lower end and possble 15 million less on the top end. Whats 15 million between friends.

Ep?8! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803644)

Small errors? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803652)

55% to 26% is a small error? Sounds like double to me. I'm not going to deny that climate change is happening, its happened for millions of years. I've seen layers of sandstone with sea shells it them, in the next foot of rock above there was petrified wood. From sea to forest in a short geological time span and back then humans weren't around. We may see climate change on such scales, that doesn't frighten me, we can adapt. The thing that does frighten me is politicians who use climate change as a platform to push whatever agenda they please.

Re:Small errors? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803808)

55% to 26% is a small error? Sounds like double to me.

Let me give you an analogy: previously, they said that the guy who is going to anally rape you will have a 20 inch cock. Now, it turns out it's mere 15 inches. That totally makes the difference, right?

Re:Small errors? (1)

PBoyUK (1591865) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803970)

I would far prefer the 20 inch cock.

My money is on him passing out from the ridiculous amount of blood required for him to get an erection.

Re:Small errors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803860)

> we can adapt

Wait..what?

Our species hasn't been around for much more than 2 millions years - about 0.4% of geological history. Who says we're so eminently adaptable that'd we survive as a species all climates the Earth's biosphere has been exposed to? It's the top predators that suffer the most, when major shifts happen. Ask any polar bear.

Dollars to donuts homo sapiens didn't see the laying down of that seabed and petrified wood you describe.

And the rate of change we're seeing today - temperature shifts in the hundreds rather than thousands of years - is unprecedented.

Re:Small errors? (2, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803906)

From sea to forest in a short geological time span and back then humans weren't around.

Are you actually suggesting there are people out there who believe only human activity could possibly lead to significant climate change? Why must climate change be explained either exclusively in terms of human influence or exclusively in terms of non-human factors? It doesn't make sense.

lol (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803656)

"none of the errors affected the fundamental conclusion by a UN panel of scientists" but it did affect the fundamental conclusion of the public as a whole. If you want the entire planet to shift the way it lives, to spend more money and get less for it, then "small errors" likes these are anything but small and completely unacceptable. Measure twice, cut once.

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803922)

Don't even try to blame public confidence on a few errors in the report. Fact is, people jumped on these tiny, insignificant and completely irrelevant mistakes so that they could tell themselves that global warming is not happening. Global warming is being ignored because the problem is too great, too slow and too incomprehensible to the public which would much rather be told that everything is fine by the people who have everything to lose from things not being fine.

Re:lol (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803952)

You have to make those same changes sooner or later. Coal and oil will not last forever, and they're already getting more expensive to source. You just have the option of stopping NOW and having a minimal risk of cataclysmic climate change, or wait until it runs out and have the risk of losing land. Tell me why we should wait and risk the worst so that you can drive your SUV cheaply for 10 more years.

No mention of... (4, Insightful)

Orp (6583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803666)

No mention of the 6,475,248 correct statements in the report.

Re:No mention of... (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803796)

They would, but that overflows the register the used many times over.

Meh! Meh, I say! (2, Insightful)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803678)

If the climate miraculously stops changing and steadies at current levels, and even if it is so predictable that we can evacuate places before storms hit, there will still be millions of people starving because the population keeps growing and the planet and its resources doesn't.
So meh to climate change. A few thousand people can live in a desert or tundra, 20 billion cannot.

26% below sea level (0)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803690)

The Netherlands is 26% below sea level?

It's interesting how this fact is not disastrous to the Dutch. Why do we expect it to be disastrous to other people? I guess the Dutch must be some sort of super-men. Either that, or people adapt to difficulties and humanity is resilient.

Re:26% below sea level (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804016)

AAAARGH why is it that sometimes people are so incredibly ignorant?! Yes, we got the whole below-sea-level-thing to work. We had a lot of time to do so. We invested a lot of effort and money. Hey, it all worked out, yay.

That does NOT mean that it's feasible everywhere else, and to suggest is is, well, REALLY REALLY WRONG.

And (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803706)

It's not going to change the fundamental fact that no one is currently nor will so in the future do anything about global warming.

Not unlike the evolution "debate" (5, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803724)

The current debate over global warming is not unlike the debate over evolution, which is to say, there really isn't any rational debate, only people whose vested interests are threatened by the conclusions of science who are desperately grasping at straws to deny settled facts. In the case of evolution, the vested interest is an emotional attachment to long-discredited Bronze Age superstitions, while climate change deniers feel their (unsustainable) wealth and convenience are threatened by the growing recognition that those things cannot go on unchanged without risking our continued existence. As a result, each new fact added to the edifice of evolutionary theory, as with climate theory, leads to a perverse demand that science fill in the ever shrinking gaps. In the case of evolution-deniers, the gaps are now so small that they have been reduced to all but demanding a running video record of speciation. Climate change deniers have a little more wiggle room, the risk of global warming having been recognized for only sixty or so years now, but even they have been reduced to positing the existence of a global conspiracy of climatologists to rule the world.

It would be funny if the threats we faced were not both urgent and existential.

So true! (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803934)

The current debate over global warming is not unlike the debate over evolution, which is to say, there really isn't any rational debate.

Exactly what many of us have been saying, how is it rational to believe in a conclusion based on data they will not let you see? Or to present a "scientific" paper laden with non-scientific articles from advocacy groups meant to make you envision a world without glaciers and the like... that's not a report, that's a movie script.

In the end scientific fact will win through, and we'll figure out how much of the warming trend is indeed caused by humans. Sadly these setbacks have cost years and a lot of credibility with the public, which they will have to win back carefully if they truly care about the environment.

Re:Not unlike the evolution "debate" (2, Interesting)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804010)

Yup, definitely the AGW people are stupid. One side insists that the facts need backing data to prove them correct, and the other side took a poll and claimed a consensus. Doesn't everybody learn in grade school that the scientific method is done by taking polls? Don't you remember taking a vote on the value of pi in junior high?

Re:Not unlike the evolution "debate" (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804138)

For a moment, let us accept that the only way to actually force change upon the climate-change deniers is to take radical, violent action. Without this, they will not believe, they will not change and everything on the planet will die.

So, what have you done to further the goal of knocking these deniers off their pedastle of wealth and convenience? Burned any cars? After all, they are a symbol of 20th Century Western progress, right? How about destroying an airliner on the ground? They spew millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year and you're not likely to hear of anyone dying because they couldn't go on vacation, right?

Maybe destroying a powerplant would be a good step? Or maybe a automobile bridge? Any of these is likely to have a positive effect on the balance of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Sadly, I have to report that the totals for 2010 so far are: 0 automobiles destroyed in the name of climate change, 0 airliners destroyed and 0 bridges destroyed. Due to massive opposition, no hydroelectric dams have been built. No nuclear plants are under construction and those that are planned have years and years of environmental impact studies to go before the first hole is dug.

Overall, I'd say the climate-change deniers are winning the game. If everyone is so convinced that these deniers are not rational, why is nothing happening?

Science is iterative (4, Funny)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803740)

So once again we see that science is iterative. Scientist are always reviewing other scientists work trying to show that they in some way invalid. Hypothesis get revised and revisted, leading to better formulations of how the world appears to work.

But, if we are honest, most of this is not about the science buy about the policy decisions. We are still reeling from the bad science that meant we could no longer increase yields by spraying crops with DDT just because a few radical scientists created massive birds deaths, like liberals caused the gulf oil spill to stop oil drilling. Or overstating the effects of lead on children, or asbestos, to destroy those industries and destroy capitalism. We all know that scientist don't really do science, but spend all their time trying to destroy democracy and all that is good.

Re:Science is iterative (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32803830)

But, if we are honest, most of this is not about the science buy about the policy decisions. We are still reeling from the bad science that meant we could no longer increase yields by spraying crops with DDT just because a few radical scientists created massive birds deaths, like liberals caused the gulf oil spill to stop oil drilling. Or overstating the effects of lead on children, or asbestos, to destroy those industries and destroy capitalism. We all know that scientist don't really do science, but spend all their time trying to destroy democracy and all that is good.

What's scary is that I can't be 100% sure you're shooting for satire here...

Re:Science is iterative (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32804050)

actually the real issue with stopping the use of DDT was it's use as a mosquito control - 100,000's of people have died from malaria because it was stopped. the environmental movement will only gain credibility when they start looking outside of their own narrow special interest focus and see how their demands effect others.

DOLL (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803896)

windows, SUN or BSD fanatics? I've anybody's guees and building is

Give me a break. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32803940)

I mean, come 'on.
The do ate the homework is more believable than this.
If there were not billions of dollars at stake - maybe I would just ignore it (not believe it), but no way this was a mistake. :)

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