Skydragons were right on the physics, but appallingly wrong on the PR. What they are describing is the greenhouse effect by another name. But by denying the (Noddy) “greenhouse effect”, on climate alarmist sites, they have done untold damage to themselves and caused all skeptics to be labelled as “deniers”.
For details of “Advanced Greenhouse Theory” see: Reconciling skydragons and mainstream skeptics?
Note: I suspect “skydragon” may be derogatory. Unfortunately, I don’t know another term and I need to refer to this group by some name so apologies to all “skydragons”.
I first encountered a skydragon, when doing the “sceptic view“. Their view was a big headache for me when trying to pull together a “consensus” view, because it was only one or two people within the group nebulously called “skeptics” that were presenting what appeared to be a very different view rejecting “greenhouse warming”.
I had to find out why they were presenting this view and whether there was any validity in what they were saying. I read what I could find and eventually came to a very good paper by an East European who seemed to have a good argument showing that all the supposed “greenhouse warming” could be explained by adiabatic (and similar) cooling through the atmosphere.
This was a paradox. I could not fault the physics, nor was the basic idea of greenhouse warming wrong (even if I felt there were problems). Eventually all I could do was to say “and there is also a group of skeptics who have other views on greenhouse warming”.
I knew this was an issue, that if I had the time (and money) I should have investigated. My hunch was that somewhere in the thermodynamics there was a mis-assumption, but I knew this would take an in depth analysis taking several months. However, it was also quite possible they were right. That was my dilemma: two different groups had what appeared to be strong physics based to support what appeared to be diametrically opposed views.
Where two well supported views exist. There appears to be two main possibilities:
- That one or other has made a serious mistake in the physics or has poor data.
- That they are both right – but just describing the same thing in very different ways.
To give some examples of describing the same thing in different ways both of which are correct (so long as not taken out of context):
- centripetal versus centrifugal descriptions of what happens on a turning surface
- Sucking up a drink versus “the drink is blow up by air pressure”.
- An aircraft flies because of pressure beneath the wing versus vacuum above
- A glass is half empty versus half full
- An electron is a wave versus particle
(There had to be one daft example! See future post)
The greenhouse theory as normally stated is SHIT.
Neither I nor the skydragons, disagree that the standard way the greenhouse is described is a load of non-science (aka Scientifically Horrendous Inaccurate Theory).
Fundamentally, the way it is normally presented breaks the most basic law that anything that emits IR radiation can absorb it.
So, the assertion that “CO2 heats the atmosphere because it absorbs radiation”, also means “CO2 cools the atmosphere because it emits radiation”.
Skydragons have come across as rejecting known physical effects
The “Noddy GreenHouse Warming theory” (Noddy – GHWT), is nothing much more than a PR tool to promote global warming alarmism. As such, we all dislike it and so I can understand why it is so vehemently rejected by the skydragons. However, whilst it is SHIT, I think the skydragons have done themselves a huge disfavour by vehemently rejecting any “greenhouse warming”. As such, because it is obvious that the planet is warmer than it should be, they come across as denying actual scientific evidence. Their reasons may be good, but the way they have put their case has been to shoot themselves in the foot. The result is that they have been marginalised and failed to gain support from other skeptics.
Indeed, by “denying the greenhouse effect”, many ignorant people (aka science denying conservatives?) have taken up that theme to reject the whole scientific basis of atmospheric physics.
And because these people look, sound, and are denying physics, the skydragons have allowed the warmist zealots to portray all skeptics as denying real skeptic science.
The result is that good scientists have lost jobs and the public have had these carbon taxes foisted on us because skydragons have allowed all skeptics to be portrayed as “deniers” thus undermining everything we say.
The advanced greenhouse warming theory
Whilst I have not had the chance to do the detailed gas and spectroscopic measurements needed to “prove” that there is a greenhouse effect, I know that people such as Hermann Harde who is an expert as gas analysis (not climate) has looked at it and agrees that there is a greenhouse effect. (at least in the sense it is generally understood to mean heating of the planet as radiation from the surface is “trapped” in the atmosphere).
And Hermann Harde is hardly a warmist zealot, because he very clearly disagrees with the IPCC as to the scale of the greenhouse effect. He says it is about 30% lower than the IPCC (mostly down to using more up to date HITRAN data). Likewise Judith Curry is going to make it up. The greenhouse effect is real, even if the Noddy-GHWT way it is portrayed is SHIT.
A message to skydragons
Therefore, may I suggest in the strongest possible terms, that whilst I now believe you (skydragons) were right about the physics, and what they were describing is real and that the Noddy-GHWT is SHIT, whilst you skydragons might know the physics, you clealry know nothing about PR.
Please stop telling people, or allow your views to be portrayed as saying that “there is no greenhouse effect”.
After careful reflection, I will now admit you skydragons were right in what you were saying, but you were very wrong in the way you said it. That is not physics, it is PR.
The only substantial difference, between you and me, is that we both agree on the physics, and I am saying this is “the greenhouse effect”, and you are saying it is not.
This is not helping you have your ideas taken seriously!
What you skydragons are really doing is describing what should be called an “advanced GreenHouse Warming Theory”. And yes, this contrasts very sharply with the “Noddy-greenhouse warming” model that is so enthusiastically stuck on so many ignorant catastrophic climate alarmist websites.
You were right that the Noddy theory is SHIT. You were wrong to let yourselves be portrayed as denying the “greenhouse theory”.
Should it be called “greenhouse”
Indeed, perhaps this whole thing really stems from the fact that the (noddy)”greenhouse effect” is not how a real greenhouse works. So, yes, it’s not the ideal name. But hang on guys!! When people say “greenhouse”, do they really mean some kind of radiative warming system or are they meaning a place to grow plants which is warmer?
Likewise, when we talk of light arriving in “waves” are we referring to those things we paddle in at the seaside? Is the light wave the movement of a surface between a liquid and gas? Or does “wave” mean something that “looks like” a wave?
In common parlance, a “wave” is something we see at the seaside which has almost nothing to do with the way “wave” is now used in physics. Likewise in common parlance, a “greenhouse” is only a space exposed to sunshine which by some mechanism (unknown to most people) it becomes warmer. Now “the greenhouse effect” means the planetary warming caused by the atmosphere, it does not mean the mechanism by which a greenhouse gets warmer (in Scotland in winter we call that a fan heater).
A message to mainstream skeptics
When skeptics criticise the academics for not listening to us, is this the kettle calling the pot black?
I have largely kept out of the skydragon debate. I haven’t liked the way their assertions have been used against us and I can see why this group was unwelcome and how the term “skydragon” might be intended to be derogatory.
But perhaps the real laugh is on them!
Because, it seems to me a lot of people who didn’t really understand what the skydragons were saying whilst at the same time demanding to be “listened to”, have been wrongly condemning or even perhaps laughing at “skydragons”. Indeed, it appears to me that those who have been laughing have been laughing at better physics (albeit appallingly presented).
So, it seems to me that skydragons were right on the physics all along. Where they made a huge mistake was in dogmatic way they presented this which came across as rejecting “greenhouse warming”. That was and still is a PR nightmare!
What they were actually rejecting was the Noddy-greenhouse warming model as presented on the Catastrophic Climate Alarmist sites, not the greenhouse effect as understood by the better informed skeptics and academics such as Hermann Harde or Judith Curry.
Now I look at it, what the skydragons present is just the Greenhouse theory in disguise.
So, if the Skydragons, could just stop coming across as “denying” the greenhouse effect and instead start calling their undoubtedly better physics: the “Advanced Greenhouse Theory”, they should start to be taken seriously.