Monday, 3 February 2014

99 doctors can't be wrong

"Dr" Bob Tisdale is enjoying so much his retirement that he has worn out three keyboards already tapping out his version of an alternate reality in which the world either isn't warming or it is but it isn't important or something like that.  To Bob goes the prize for the world's worst retirement, previously held by Frank Sinatra until time retired him permanently.

Anyway, Bob's latest drivel (although, of course, in the time it has taken me to type this he has probably written another four pieces for WattsUpWithThat) is an attempt to shoehorn a poor analogy into the sort of shape that might make real people doubt climate models.  I am not sure why he bothered.  Perhaps there is nothing to do in the garden at the moment, all his CDs are in alphabetical order, his stamp collection has been sorted by nation, he's read War And Peace and the box set of The Sopranos has been watched.  So let's bang out another piece of climate change deception.

What Bob said:
Imagine you’re running a persistent slight fever. You visit a new clinic. The nurse takes your vitals and enters them into a computer program. A short time after the computer model completes its simulations, the doctor arrives, advises you of the computer-diagnosed ailment, and prescribes controversial high-cost medications and treatment.
There's a problem here.  There are computer programs available for making diagnoses.  I found a 1988 paper about the problems of them here.  But doctors don't really bother with vitals until they have an idea what they are looking at.  Did this man never see an episode of House?

Everyone lies, especially deniers
Tisdale is upset that the "warmist" analogy is winning this battle.  If you ask 100 doctors for a diagnosis, would you want to go with the 97 who say it is one thing or the three who tell you differently. 

One problem for Tisdale is what the 3 contrarian doctors say.  Once the 97 have told you it is flu, the three tend not to tell you a consistent story.  One will tell you that because your temperature hasn't changed for the last hour there is nothing wrong with you.  One will tell you that your high temperature is actually natural variation.  The other will probably tell you that it has been the result of sitting out in the Sun too long.  You might trust the three a bit more if they were to agree with one another.  Me, I'd go with the 97.

In an effort to put a finger in the dyke to prevent this alarming flood, alarming for the deniers anyway, Tisdale pins his hopes on denying the climate models.  When I used an online automatic diagnostic program, it recommended I see a GP.  I suspect a lot of the pathways end up like that. 

Deniers place an unrealistic expectation on climate models.  Unless they predict exactly what the climate is, what the surface temperature actually is, within a narrow band, they choose to refuse to accept them.  The problem, of course, is that any system as complicated as the climate is going to produce unexpected results.  That the Earth has not cooled, nor has the temperature plateaued, in the last fifteen years has been amply demonstrated.  It should be obvious that it is not the climate models that tell us the Earth is warming but the data from thermometers and satellites.  If one of Roy Spencer's babies fell from the sky and smacked Tisdale with a solar panel on its way to the ground, one wonders if he would deny gravity.

In my rambling way all I have said is that Tisdale is barking up the wrong tree.  As an advert for his forthcoming book, Carbon Dioxide Is A Knob or something like that, his recent output is not promising.  But then we knew it wouldn't be up to much, did we?

No comments:

Post a Comment