March 13, 2017

"I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do..."

"... and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, quoted in "Scott Pruitt’s office deluged with angry callers after he questions the science of global warming." That's at WaPo, which counters Pruitt with this quote from Gina McCarthy, the previous EPA Administrator:
"The world of science is about empirical evidence, not beliefs.... When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.”
The McCarthy quote actually doesn't disagree with anything Pruitt said. It just models a different attitude toward the science.

WaPo chooses to forefront the anger against Pruitt. What's the journalistic theory there? I'm headed back out on the road, so I'll just give this my "emotional politics" tag and throw the discussion over to you.

IN THE COMMENTS: Many noticed what I noticed and didn't have time to say: The 2 sentences spoken by McCarthy look ridiculous side by side. They're not necessarily inconsistent. But sentence #2 cannot be taken to be within the "world of science" that's "about empirical evidence, not beliefs." However "robust and overwhelmingly clear" the evidence is, the acceptability of the cost of inaction is a matter for political debate.

Paul Zrimsek made the point first, asking snarkily:
In what units do scientists measure unacceptability?
Lewis Wetzel said:
"... evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.”

These are opinions. Being derived from "empirical evidence" does not make them statements of fact. No one can tell you with certainty what inaction will cost or what action will cost.
Ignorance is Bliss said...
The costs of climate change (and the costs of avoiding climate change) are questions science can attempt to answer.

Whether those costs are acceptable is not.
Drago quotes Paul Zrimsek's question and says:
There are multiple scales. For instance, it appears that Pruitt's comments come in at -57P (Pelosi units) for acceptability which is equivalent to -249WMOMJ (We Miss Obama: MSM "Journolists" Units).
These scales are subject to historical revisionism, altering of baselines, modifications based on public perceptions and political needs of the day, expunging of "inconvenient truths", etc.
Many more comments. Those are just a few of the early ones.

By the way, I thought it was funny that WaPo wanted both to stress the solidity and seriousness of science while making the main news about how terribly angry some people are. WaPo seems to want public emotion to drive policy but still seems to expect us to soberly submit to the pronouncements of scientists because they are scientists (even when they, like McCarthy, show us outright that they blend policy opinion into their science).

200 comments:

traditionalguy said...

It is a Heresy charge. He will have to be broken on the wheel and burned at the stake by Journalists owned and operated by the New World Order Taxation Committee.

Paul Zrimsek said...

In what units do scientists measure unacceptability?

Lewis Wetzel said...

"The world of science is about empirical evidence, not beliefs.... When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.”

" . . . evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.”
These are opinions. Being derived from "empirical evidence" does not make them statements of fact. No one can tell you with certainty what inaction will cost or what action will cost.

Kevin said...

"Scientists believe" is good enough science for some people (believers), but others (non-believers) still hew to the scientific method.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The world of science is about empirical evidence, not beliefs.... When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.

The costs of climate change ( and the costs of avoiding climate change ) are questions science can attempt to answer.

Whether those costs are acceptable is not.

Drago said...

Paul Zrimsek: "In what units do scientists measure unacceptability?"

There are multiple scales. For instance, it appears that Pruitt's comments come in at -57P (Pelosi units) for acceptability which is equivalent to -249WMOMJ (We Miss Obama: MSM "Journolists" Units).

These scales are subject to historical revisionism, altering of baselines, modifications based on public perceptions and political needs of the day, expunging of "inconvenient truths", etc.

exhelodrvr1 said...

And now, the comfy chair!!

David Begley said...

Scott Pruitt may well be the single most important Trump Cabinet member. Saving us from the grief and expense of feeding the CAGW scam is enormous.

Nonapod said...

The world of science is about empirical evidence, not beliefs...

Unfortunately scientists are human beings. And human beings have all sorts of weird irrational proclivities and are susceptible to various failings that deeply compromise their objectivity such as pride, confirmation biases, and professional tribalism.

Michael K said...

The satellite data is wrecking all the models. Now the warmists are discarding ocean buoy data.

As you can see, once they “adjust” the station for their so-called “Estimated Station Mean Bias”, instead of a gradual cooling, there’s no trend in the data at all … shocking, I know.

One other oddity. There is a gap in their records in 1986-7, as well as in 2011 (see above), but they didn’t indicate a “record gap” (green triangle) as they did elsewhere … why not?

To me, all of this indicates a real problem with the Berkeley Earth computer program used to “adjust” the buoy data … which I assume is the same program used to “adjust” the land stations. Perhaps one of the Berkeley Earth folks would be kind enough to explain all of this …


"Adjusting data" is similar to discarding it. Just less honest.

bagoh20 said...

"... the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.”

Unknowable, especially considering the cost of action, of being wrong, mostly wrong, half wrong, or a bit wrong. Those analyses are never offered, and so I suspect never really considered. That's not science, but unchallenged belief.

rehajm said...

The previous administration also claimed storms are increasing in frequency and magnitude despite all the 'science' to the contrary. Yet the absence of anger.

Henry said...

...the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.

This is an economics question, not a physics question. Therein lies the problem.

Bay Area Guy said...

It's funny how a lot of folks boldly proclaim, "the evidence is overwhelming," but then rarely cite to said evidence.

That's a major logical fallacy called "argument by assertion."

Pruitt 1, WaPost/McCarthy 0

PB said...

The fact is that the climate "experts" don't agree on or really know how much of warming is related to CO2 or how much of CO2 is produced by human activity. Given the nature of climate research and it's dependence on funding from sources that believe CO2 is a problem, it's not a surprise that in order to obtain grants, they paint as dire a picture as possible. Those who don't agree don't get the funding and may not even request the funding.

We also know there has been significant fraud in the temperature data sets with many adjustments made to the raw data as well as adjustments downstream in intermediate data sets that differ with reality. For example, well recognized historical temperatures taken by many agencies and published have not been adjusted to better reflect a theoretical position.

ddh said...

Isn't science in part a question of carrots and sticks? The evidence is robust that scientists will believe the most remarkable things if their income depends on having the right belief (Gina McCarthy) or if their life hangs in the balance (any Soviet geneticist while T. D. Lysenko held sway).

Original Mike said...

"When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.”

IF you believe the models, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly that the action she champions will reduce temperatures by only a small fraction of a degree. She's happy to discard the science when it suits her agenda.

Heatshield said...

If it weren't for "emotional politics" there would be no Democrat Party.

Roughcoat said...

How many hurricanes have struck Florida in the past ten years?

Answer: zero.

But, but ... I thought ACC was causing more, and more violent, storms! I was given to understand that the science on this was settled.

Dang. Wrong again.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

the cost of inaction is unacceptably high

wut? I thought Obama already fixed this.

ddh said...

Henry said,

...the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.


This is an economics question, not a physics question.

In fact, this is a political question. Economics could suggest how much inaction might cost, given some assumption, but it can't answer whether the cost is acceptable to the government or society. Henry is right, however, that this is in no way a scientific question.

Amadeus 48 said...

You never want to look too closely at the personal beliefs of men of science. They are a bit detached from reality as we know it.

Ken B said...

It cannot be a scientific fact that a cost is unacceptable.

Virgil Hilts said...

Sorry to repeat earlier comment, but I believed the experts. The experts said years ago and multiple times that if we did not take drastic action by late 2015 or even earlier it would be too late to stop catastrophic global warming. We did not take drastic action. Therefore, it is now too late to do so. The horse is out of the barn and cannot be put back in (think of Wildfire from the song). The experts failed to convince us to change our ways, and it is now too late to stop the collapse. We shouldn't waste money and resources trying to undo what cannot be undone.

Big Mike said...

Pruitt is right, Gina McCarthy, who famously concluded that the Animas River would look better if it was bright yellow and it's water would taste better if laden with toxic heavy metals, is quite simply wrong. The mathematical models led to predictions and those predictions have not happened. The theory is broken and must be rejected.

ddh said...

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said,

...the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.


I thought Obama already fixed this.

When Obama promised to reverse the rise of the seas, he was promising to do what King Canute knew was foolishness. In fact, Obama's achievements in this area rival those of Caligula, who won a famous battle against Neptune and ordered a Roman legion to collect seashells by the seashore.

robother said...

Anger and consensus: the scientific tools of the innumerate.

dreams said...

I think that Scott Pruitt quote came from this interview with Joe Kernen on CNBC last week. I watched that interview.

https://mediamatters.org/video/2017/03/09/cnbc-s-joe-kernen-endorses-epa-head-scott-pruitt-s-claim-co2-not-primary-contributor-global-warming/215607

Michael K said...

" I thought ACC was causing more, and more violent, storms!"

I thought North Carolina won that this week.

Virgil Hilts said...

The tipping point, according to multiple experts, has come and gone.
http://dailycaller.com/2015/05/04/25-years-of-predicting-the-global-warming-tipping-point/
Its time to figure out how we are going to adapt to global warming. I would have liked the Trump administration to take this line if only to see heads explode among the AGW activists (I call them denialists) who must think all of the prior predictions were wrong and that we have more time. It's too late baby!

Birkel said...

@ Michael K

That was Duke.

eric said...

Damn I think I'm really going to end up liking this Pruitt fellow.

Trumpit said...

If we model Global Warming with a right (90 degree) triangle, then we can use the Pythagorean theorem to prove the hypotenuse, and verify the hypothesis of hot, humid weather, and hot curly fries at Wendy's.

To wit, A^2 + B^2 = C^2 where A = animal spirits, arrogance & apathy about climate change, and it's all Althouse's fault anyway; B = Burning of fossil fuel, overuse of Bunsen burners in chemistry class and it's all Barrack's fault anyway; C = unusually hot weather due to Trump's push for a "Comeback of Coal", a Commie Chinese invention, and it's all Clinton's fault anyway.

By entering A=3, B=4, we get that C=5, which is clearly an increase over 3 and 4. Thus we see that the planet is inexorably warming, which is what we wanted to prove.

Professor Irwin Corey

robother said...

And yet Duke is a no. 2 seed, and UNC is a no. 1 seed. Where is the science in that?

dreams said...

It seems that humans have a need to believe in something and given that most people, especially educated people no longer believe in God they have substituted the environment for their religion, their God.

Chuck said...

Yes, exactly. The differences, between the actual words spoken in the Joe Kernan/CNBC interview with Pruitt, and the collective media freakout over the notion of some sort of "scientific...denial" is stark.

I'd like to see this become a much larger meta-story; how the media ran right over Pruitt's exact words, in their haste to brand him a "denier." It won't happen. But I expect that there are going to be many, many more opportunities to expose this issue. Pruitt isn't going to Flynn himself. And the Global Warmist Lobby is so dependent upon media and government largesse. We are going to have a lot of these fights in the course of the Trump era.

dreams said...

"And yet Duke is a no. 2 seed, and UNC is a no. 1 seed. Where is the science in that?"

The science will be settled once the NCAA tournament is completed, at least until next year.

Ambrose said...

The world of science is about empirical evidence, not beliefs.... When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.”

"Unacceptably high" is a textbook example of a subjective belief.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Adjusting data" is similar to discarding it. Just less honest

Adjusting data is like the 250 pound woman who stepping on the bathroom scale decides to "adjust the scale" downward 60 pound so she now weights 190 pounds.

The data/scale says 190 but the reality is that she is still one fat cow.

WisRich said...

From a layman's perspective:

Implicit in the AGW argument is there is an "ideal Temperature" for Earth. Thus, CO2 activity must be reduced to achieve that temperature. But what we if it gets colder than the "Ideal Temperature". What then? Human life suffers more if the planet is colder rather than hotter.

It seems to me that unless AGW proponents endorse increased man made CO2 to offset the possibility of cooler temperatures, it's all political rent seeking BS.


Roughcoat said...

"I thought ACC was causing more, and more violent, storms!"

I thought North Carolina won that this week.


The Atlantic Coast Conference is definitely causing more, and more severe, storms. The science on this is settled, absolutely settled.

n.n said...

There are two overwhelming, irreconcilable differences. McCarthy believes "the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high". The philosophy (e.g. scientific consensus, computer models/hypothesis) of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming agrees with McCarthy, while the science does not support the former and real conditions do not support the latter. The evidence of CAGW is speculative and the conclusions are inferred by scientists and press. The risk is mitigated through innovation and behavioral adaptation, where risk has increased through the artificial green blight (e.g. large-scale, low-density energy production, shifted and obfuscated environmental disruption) and catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform that forces creation of high density population centers.

Bill Peschel said...

I thought there was a problem with the global warming theory back around 2000, when Scientific America banned Bjorn Lomborg from its pages.

"Hold on," I thought, "a magazine based on science banning someone for wrongthink? What's up with that?"

Then the East Anglia emails came out. They had a grunt working there whose job was to gather all of the temperature measurements into a massive database. Over the next several months, he complained that the data was crap, it was impossible to get it straight, etc.

And I thought, "Hold on, they're charting the rise in temperatures based on data that doesn't exist? What's up with that?"

Then came the various nutters sure that the moon landings were faked, and I watched time and again as scientists patiently explained the science, refuted the theories with the facts, and worked to explain to the public how to interpret the science and data. They argued from facts, not authority.

When it came to questions about the data, about how urban heat buildup over the years affected U.S. temperatures, about the influence of cosmic rays on heating, and if the coming end of this warming period (we've had regular swings of 10,000 years between ice ages), I hear from Bill Nye "the [Electrical Engineering] Science Guy" shouting that "deniers" should be put on trial, like the nutters who deny the Holocaust.

"Gee," I wonder, "no discussion of the facts, no explanations, only threats to silence critics? What's up with that?"

Then there are the predictions that have never come to pass about the rise in temperatures, about the end of snowy winters, about more violent storms, all made and shoved down the memory hole.

Now, we know that scientists refuse to release the raw data, or explain why they're massaging the temperatures to indicate warming.

After so many times, all I can say is, "Up that."

Paul Snively said...

In addition to the correct observations that the question is an economic, not scientific one, there's this additional wrinkle: that's just 41 tripe-pendulums with slightly different initial conditions. They go chaotic in a very few seconds. Climate, and any decent model of it, is a much larger "complex non-linear dynamical system," to use the proper mathematical term. Even if you don't touch the data you put into the model at all—and no one has refused to touch the data—tiny changes in the initial inputs will go chaotic very, very quickly. That's why, when you dig into the climate modeling processes actually used, you inevitably encounter two things:

1. "Correcting," "smoothing," or "detrending" the data—a statistical no-no that physicist E.T. Jaynes rightly rails against at length in Probability Theory: The Logic of Science.
2. Use of the models to validate themselves (!) over time-scales of 1-5 years.

Unlike many climate alarmist critics, I'm not at all convinced there's malfeasance here, let alone conspiracy. It's just that the majority of climate scientists are not probabilists or statisticians; they don't have any training, let alone good training, in how to make predictions of planetary-scale complex non-linear dynamical systems. This makes them subject to the same forces of groupthink, selection bias, confirmation bias, and survivor bias (AKA "peer review") as everyone else.

The rational response is to be skeptical: honestly acknowledge the possibility they'e right... but demand further and deeper analysis, including by people with expertise in probability and statistics, experimental design, economics, etc. and not just "climate scientists."

Fabi said...

McCarthy is unable -- or at least unwilling -- to separate politics from science. Her assessment that an external cost from an unproven theory is unacceptable, is impossible to determine; nor is it her determination. She's a hack.

cubanbob said...

While its not a perfect predictor, people putting money where their mouth is is usually pretty accurate. Notice that oceanfront properties in general haven't dropped in price.

heyboom said...

When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.”

The cost of 47 years of "inaction" (since the first Earth Day)? Some absolutely beautiful golf weather this weekend in Long Beach, CA. Gorgeous! Played pretty well, too.

Chuck said...

heyboom said...
When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.”

The cost of 47 years of "inaction" (since the first Earth Day)? Some absolutely beautiful golf weather this weekend in Long Beach, CA. Gorgeous! Played pretty well, too.


Golf weather in Long Beach isn't any great advancement is it? When we can play golf in Michigan in February, then you're talkin'! Wait; I DID play golf in Michigan in February, 2017! Pretty well, too!



CWJ said...

I see this as slightly analogous to the Y2K scare. IT departments throughout the country got funding, new hires, and increased power within the corporate world to slay that dragon. When 2000 came and nothing happened they crowed about how effective they'd been until people noticed that nothing happened in Italy either which compared to the rest of the West had done little to address the "problem."

Unfortunately for those profiuting from Y2K, the year 2000 was immovable. The AGW crowd will just keep adjusting the data and moving the goal posts (e.g. warming becomes change) as long as they can keep the gravy train running.

Aaron Csicseri said...

science doesn't say anything, scientists do.

EDH said...

Former EPA Admin McCarthy: "When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high."

The cost of action is also high, especially if either of your theories of (1) anthropogenic causation or (2) efficacy of abatement solutions are incorrect.

Even assuming crisis-level anthropogenic climate change is happening, resources directed at abatement will have to be duplicated in mitigation (or redundant abatement) if those fail to produce the predicted results.

MikeR said...

"When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.” Don't know where he got that from; it isn't true. AGW is a string of hypotheses, all of which must be true to require action. Some are consensus science (say, according to the IPCC, which is a reasonable proxy) and others are not.
(a) global average temperature has risen about half a degree C in the last century. - very high consensus
(b) This temperature rise is mostly (more than 50%) because of CO2. - good consensus.
(c) If CO2 is allowed to double in the atmosphere, global temperature will rise __? - According to the IPCC, the "likely" answer is between 1.5 and 4.5 C. In other words, we don't know within a factor of three.
(d) How much more CO2 will there be assuming Business as Usual? - no good consensus. Depends on technologies in this century, and how much is adopted by developing countries.
(d) Impacts of temperature rise on climate, ecology, extreme weather, sea level. - poor consensus. See IPCC and SREX special report on extreme weather. Even assuming a large temperature rise (say > 2.5 C), we are doing a lot of guesswork about how it will affect everything, and quoting a lot of "gray literature" - i.e., by political partisans rather than scientists.
(e) Costs. No consensus. Economists have vastly different results, from Richard Tol and Bjorn Lomborg's group (Copenhagen Consensus) on one end to Nordhaus and more on the other.
(f) Costs and value of trying to stop it (mitigation). No consensus. According to Lomborg's group, mitigation returns only pennies on the dollar and has one of the very worst pay-offs of a list of attempted solutions to the world's problems. According to Nordhaus, moderate mitigation is worth doing.
(g) Politics. Absolutely no consensus if mitigation is possible at all. Developing countries are going to need more energy and good alternatives to fossil fuels aren't ready yet. If you take away their fossil fuels, you are condemning literally billions of people to die in poverty who could have been saved. They aren't going to let that happen, and neither should we.

rhhardin said...

It's emotional science, which means on the one hand funding is at stake and on the other that religious certainty is questioned.

Bay Area Guy said...

I took a long dog walk yesterday with my 15-year old, casually chatting, casually checking out the stunning views of the Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz from the East Bay Hills. It had been raining a lot in Norcal, so this was the first sunny day in a while.

15-year old: Man, it's pretty beautiful outside, Dad. It puts everyone in a good mood.

Me: Yep, you're learning, Son.

No talk about global warming nonsense, sorry.......

Chuck said...

Roughcoat said...
"I thought ACC was causing more, and more violent, storms!"

I thought North Carolina won that this week.

The Atlantic Coast Conference is definitely causing more, and more severe, storms. The science on this is settled, absolutely settled.


There is a quantitative explanation for that. The ACC's geographic proximity to Washington DC has resulted in an over-population of ACC grads in the media, such that ACC teams get seeded 2.87 seeds higher than they should otherwise get in the NCAA tournament. And the human factor there is readily understandable; with no good football teams in the ACC (you call Florida State "ACC"? Well, okay...), there is bound to be an intense focus on basketball prejudices.

The scientific term for Michigan as a Number 7 seed is "Lulz."

Gahrie said...

1) The Earth is currently in the middle of an ice age that began 2.5 million years ago, called the Quaternary.

2) The Earth is currently in an interglacial of the Quaternary, called the Holocene. This is a period of global warming that began 10,000 years ago.

3) Modern man first appeared on Earth 200,000 years ago. For about 195,000 years man wandered around n small tribes of hunter-gatherers.

4) Around 6,000 years ago, as the Earth warmed, man discovered agriculture. This lead to surplus, which lead to specialization, which lead to civilization, which lead to History. All of human existence has occurred during an ice age, and all of human history and civilization has occurred during an interval of global warming.

5) There are more humans alive today than ever before, and poverty and hunger are at all time lows.

Hypothesis: Global warming is good for humanity, and human civilization and history happened at least in part because of global warming.

Lewis Wetzel said...

From the article excerpt it is clear that Pruitt is offering his opinion as being his opinion (" there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see")
McCarthy, on the other hand, uses words used to describe absolute states of knowledge (science, empirical, evidence, robust, overwhelming), before she gives us her opinion (". . . the cost of inaction is unacceptably high").
In a way, this is like the "fake news" stories. The MSM accuses Trump supporters of relying on "fake news," and conservatives (not all Trump supporters) turn the tables by pointing out that the MSM is in the "fake news" business itself, especially when it presents biased, opinionated analyses as factual reporting.
Where is the evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians? Where is the evidence that the Russians acted deliberately to help Trump win?

Michael said...

Models! Lord knows I have read and created thousands of financial models over my decades in finance. I can make them say whatever I want them to say. A tweak here and a tweak there and an otherwise lackluster projection becomes a marvel of future profits. And financial models are small things compared to the models that have been created to forecast climate so the susceptibility of the models to the kind of tweaking that can alter outcomes is exponentially greater than in my humble spreadsheets.

traditionalguy said...

The degree and seriousness of this World Wide Scam based entirely on corrupt Science using faked data and an insane theory that never tested as it was said it would, is simply the mother of all BIG LIES.

Michael K said...

"the majority of climate scientists are not probabilists or statisticians"

The guy who blew this whole thing up more than anyone else was a statistician, Steve McIntyre.

Then, of course, Bjorn Lomborg, who isn;t even a skeptic but who has been banned by various alarmists.

robother said...

"Global warming is good for humanity, and human civilization and history happened at least in part because of global warming."

Man stole fire from gods. Man must be punished. The mythology is settled.

JPS said...

Lewi Wetzel,

"These are opinions. Being derived from 'empirical evidence' does not make them statements of fact."

Which reminds me of the confidence levels we come across in the IPCC and related reports. They use widely recognized catch phrases like "Greater than 90% certain" and ">95% confidence", but they're usually not referring to statistical analysis - they're referring to their own SWAG, as experts, as to how likely it is that they are correct. How strongly do you feel that water vapor feedback will multiply CO2-induced warming at least threefold? Oh, I'm greater than 95% certain.

(I think this is originally Judith Curry's point, not mine.)

rhhardin,

"religious certainty is questioned."

Reminds me of a great line by John Keegan describing Churchill's scientific advisor, who insisted that liquid-fueled rockets were impractical right up until V-2's started landing on London:

"Scientists can be as prejudiced as theologians, particularly so if their pet theories are contested."

Scott McGlasson said...

Gina McCarthy could not be reached for comment, but I'm sure she appreciates all the problematic mansplaining, even if it's wrongthink.

M Jordan said...

I wonder how long the Post and media in general will be able to feel good about this assault on the fairly-elected president of the U.S. I know I tired of being anti Obama by about year two. It didn't change my disagreements with him and his policies, but it was exhausting. Will that day come for the Trump haters?

I think so.

Luke Lea said...

Sure, rising CO2 is causing the planet to warm -- but that the effect will be catastrophic, or that if it were catastrophic there is much we could do to stop it, is where the consensus breaks down. Adaptation, not mitigation, is where the money should be spent -- a debate CAGW'ers (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warmists) refuse to let happen.

gadfly said...

Warren Meyer, the resident blogger at Coyote Blog, wrote an article for Forbes in 2012 entitled "Understanding the Global Warming Debate." This past week he responded to a recent critique from someone named Rob Honeycutt at Skeptical Science.

Warren's recent response was just right. "I begin nearly every discussion of climate change by doing what many proponents of climate action fail to do -- I am very precise about the proposition I am going to discuss. It's not just global warming, it's man-made global warming. And since the climate alarmists are urging immediate action, it is not just man-made global warming but it is catastrophic man-made global warming, ie man-made global warming with negative effects so severe it requires urgent and extensive actions to circumvent. I think that is a very fair reading of what folks like James Hansen have in mind. If he does not think it will be catastrophic, why is he getting arrested in front of power plants? The fact that Google searches do not yield these precise terms but rather yield millions of hits for meaningless phrases like "climate denier" just go to support one of the themes of my original piece, that the climate debate is made much muddier by the sloppy framing of the issues in the media."

You can read the whole thing, which, in my mind,separates the emotion from the known and unknown - the imagined from the evidence available.

sunsong said...

GOP is the anti-science backward party

Big Mike said...

GOP is the anti-fake science party.

Fixed it for you! No, don't thank me. It's quite all right. I don't mind helping out the educationally challenged whenever I can.

buwaya said...

"GOP is the anti-science backward party"

The people in the aerospace companies that created and launched the satellites that found the first evidence for "global warming" were Republicans almost to a man. I should know, as I was assisting in manufacturing these rocket and satellite components at the time.

More, if one were to survey the engineers and technicians involved in actual design, construction and deployment of these instruments today you will almost certainly find they are even more Republican than they were back in my day.

You have absolutely no idea of the world you are discussing.

Quayle said...

Scientists tell us that everything we can now see started with an unfathomably large explosion, from which all matter is now hurling outward in a random complex pattern.

They have no explanation except "random chance" to account for our solar system being stable and our earth being held into a position precisely suitable for life and seasons.

Yet into this larger context of unfathomable energy and the smaller local context of unexplained stability, they now act as if they see interactions to the quarter and half degree of a human relative scale temperature, and know what is going to happen and what needs to happen.

I am sorry but I can barely keep from laughing as I type.

The Big Bang is millions of orders of magnitude larger than a degree of temperature, and the mathematical probability that an inhabitant planet would arrive in a random stable orbit around a huge sun is so small, that no other human measurements can overcome the effects of those two factors.

In other words our climate "scientists" have a "significant digit" problem that they can't get around. They know nothing in relation to the larger forces they claim are operative.

roesch/voltaire said...

All these climate deniers are old farts who will be long gone when the full effects of Co2 take place. Side note, Lomborg hasn't been banned by the NYT and was featured in TED talks.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger JPS said...
Lewi Wetzel,

"These are opinions. Being derived from 'empirical evidence' does not make them statements of fact."

Which reminds me of the confidence levels we come across in the IPCC and related reports. They use widely recognized catch phrases like "Greater than 90% certain" and ">95% confidence", but they're usually not referring to statistical analysis - they're referring to their own SWAG, as experts, as to how likely it is that they are correct.


Yes, JPS, this is where the opinion gets disguised as science. How is it possible to tell that the uncertainty measure is accurate? You can't make multiple runs.
From "Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties"
The AR5 will rely on two metrics for communicating the degree of certainty in key findings:
• Confidence in the validity of a finding, based on the type, amount, quality, and consistency of evidence (e.g., mechanistic understanding, theory, data, models, expert judgment) and the degree of agreement. Confidence is expressed qualitatively.
• Quantified measures of uncertainty in a finding expressed probabilistically (based on statistical analysis of observations or model results, or expert judgment).
(my bold face)


Table 1. Likelihood Scale
Term* Likelihood of the Outcome
Virtually certain 99-100% probability
Very likely 90-100% probability
Likely 66-100% probability
About as likely as not 33 to 66% probability
Unlikely 0-33% probability
Very unlikely 0-10% probability
Exceptionally unlikely 0-1% probability

Note that no confidence level is 100% or 0%.
Compare this with the confidence level expressed by politicians and Left pundits about the chances that AGW is real, that it is caused by man, and that it will damage the environment in specific ways, and to a specific degree.
None of the IPCC authors or the politicians and pundits who exaggerate their claims will pay a price if they are wrong.
Here is a gun. I am 99% to 100% sure it is unloaded. Put it to your head and pull the trigger, please.

Lewis Wetzel said...


roesch/voltaire said...
All these climate deniers are old farts who will be long gone when the full effects of Co2 take place. Side note, Lomborg hasn't been banned by the NYT and was featured in TED talks.

3/13/17, 12:19 PM


Not roesch/voltaire's best work.


In May the University of Western Australia pulled out of its deal to create a "consensus centre" run Mr Lomborg and partly funded by the federal government after a backlash from staff.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott's office drove the push to fund the centre, which was to examine how funding for issues such as tackling poverty could best be spent.

Despite the decision, Senator Birmingham said much of the criticism of the centre had been "hysterical" and that its purpose had been "misrepresented" in the public debate.

Flinders University, in Adelaide, had expressed interest in hosting the centre. Senator Birmingham said he had spoken to Dr Lomborg and Flinders University vice-chancellor Colin Stirling on Wednesday to inform them the money was no longer available.

Professor Stirling said he was disappointed by the government's decision.

"I am proud of the principled stance taken by colleagues here at Flinders on the issue of academic freedom," he said.

"Universities should be places for contesting controversial issues without fear or favour - and Flinders has shown itself to be a champion of this nation, displaying fortitude, vision, and independence."

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bjorn-lomborg-climate-centre-dropped-by-turnbull-government-simon-birmingham-20151021-gkek0s.html

JPS said...

sunsong:

"GOP is the anti-science backward party"

You know, I'm no longer GOP but I'm still a scientist and I'm growing weary of "pro-science" and "anti-science" being used in the following ways:

"Global temperatures were hockey-stick handle flat until we started burning fossil fuels on massive scale. CO2 is the main control knob on the earth's temperatures" = Pro-science, according to climate activists

"Climate is amazingly more complex than CO2 levels. Sure, CO2 plays a role, but we don't know how large and there's a lot else about ocean circulation and cloud formation that we don't remotely understand": Anti-science, according to climate activists

Unknown said...

One thing to keep in mind these days is that to many people ANY change is bad. People try to freeze their neighborhoods to keep development out. "Gentrification" is bad. New roads are bad. If even a mosquito goes extinct it is a catastrophe. Countries like France pass laws that you almost can't fire anyone (and of course in US our gov unions do the same--try to fire a cop or teacher).
For climate change, the fear of tiny changes is so great that a sea level rise of 3mm/yr is viewed as scary by extending it out 300 years (seriously, in the social cost of carbon computations) at which point is becomes large (well, sort of large). So the claim that "the science" dictates anything is false. It is also risk and perception of risk and tolerance of risk and the desire for stasis and control.

DanTheMan said...

>>"... the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.”


"Our climate models have repeatedly failed to predict what the actual climate is doing. But our economic models are of course flawless."

Sebastian said...

@PS: "Unlike many climate alarmist critics, I'm not at all convinced there's malfeasance here, let alone conspiracy. It's just that the majority of climate scientists are not probabilists or statisticians; they don't have any training, let alone good training." But to pretend the science is settled and to vilify skeptics, in spite of model, data, and expertise limitations, is at the very least a form of "malfeasance."

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

Richard Feynman explained how science really works, both in that video and in his famous 1974 Cal Tech commencement address. It's worth looking at again.

I'd like to think that Feynman, if he were alive today, would label Anthropogenic Global Warming as an example of "cargo cult science." If you don't look too closely, if you relax your skepticism enough, if you're not bothered by predictions that never come to pass, then AGW resembles real science. But it isn't.

traditionalguy said...

Science? You are kidding of course.

If beneficial trace C02 gas really was a cause of heat waves making 10 foot coastal tidal inundations, then the following would have been all any one did the past 20 years ago (The last date it last got any warmer):

_coastal properties would be unsalable.
_the South would be losing population.
_Patagonia would have a temperate winter climate.
_Atomic Energy plants for power would be all the governments build.
_Polar bears would dead.
_Greenland would have become ice free and growing grapes again.

So far none of that has even been hinted at happening.

Now that's Science.

DanTheMan said...

>> "GOP is the anti-science backward party"

Can you explain to us deplorables how global warming on earth is causing the Martian polar ice caps to shrink?


Sebastian said...

@WisRich: "Implicit in the AGW argument is there is an "ideal Temperature" for Earth." Yes, but no serious alarmist (forgive the oxymoron) has ever spelled out what that ideal temperature is, why it is ideal, what sorts of standards we should use to determine this ideal, and how to judge which (opportunity) costs are legitimate in getting us closer to that ideal. Quite apart from the scientific malfeasance, without thinking through the "ideal" issue the alarmists are engaged in philosophical malfeasance as well.

Michael K said...

"You have absolutely no idea of the world you are discussing."

The political left finds this no hindrance.

Math is hard.

Then there is Feynman on what Science really is.

Bob said...

Dr Judith Curry, climate scientist, rather liked Scott Pruitt's comments.

https://judithcurry.com/2017/03/11/scott-pruitts-statement-on-climate-change/

One hopes she will not be burned at the stake along with Pruitt.

walter said...

"The McCarthy quote actually doesn't disagree with anything Pruitt said. It just models a different attitude toward the science."
--
Hmmm..have no idea how you arrived at that.

Paolo said...

"When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.”

In fact, the contrary is true: the evidence is robust that the cost of action is uselessly high.

Michael K said...

So I wish to you—I have no more time, so I have just one wish for you—the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity.

Sad to read this., So much has changed.

roesch/voltaire said...

As I pointed out Lomborg has written op-ed for the NYT given Ted talks and has numerous books to his name,including one published by Cambridge University Press, and of course he lectures regularly at Copenhagen Business School where he is an adjunct professor. True he is considered more of an opinion maker and not a careful scientist, by some, but I think it bit of alarmism to note one example in Australia as banning from alarmist. In fact centers with outside funding are often debated and fought over, in this case the government funding , was the source and the political nature of the process the problem. And I think Michael you and I will not live long enough to see the growing consequences of the CO2 effect because we are just old farts.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Why it that emissions of CO2 are supposed to be a problem, and emission of H2O not so, when storms are the result of too much H20 in the atmosphere? It's estimated that the level in tha atmosphere is 5% higher than around the year 1900.

And Dihydrogen monoxide is amuch more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

n.n said...

burned at the stake

They don't do that anymore. Today, they abort them by press, consensus, extortion, stigmatization, and, of course, the traditional solution, the final solution, under a veil of privacy in the chambers.

Lewis Wetzel said...

roesch/voltaire, I hardly think that a TED talk and an NYT oped make up for losing the opportunity head a $4 million (AUS)/year think tank.
that much money means Lomborg would have had at least a dozen scientists working for him.

grackle said...

Global Warming: A scam too big to fail. But the fucking global temperatures wouldn't cooperate ... so ... CLIMATE CHANGE! The NEW, IMPROVED scam too big to fail.

MikeR said...

"True [Lomborg] is considered more of an opinion maker and not a careful scientist"
Lomborg organizes the Copenhagen Consensus project: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_Consensus
It has five panel members, four of which have Nobel Prizes in Economics. The usual suspects won't mention that, of course. It gives this group at least as much authority as any of their opponents, if you like authority.

Henry said...

Climate debate is certainly good for record setting:

* "On Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose at a record pace for the second straight year..."

* "The [League of Conservation Voters] launched an appeal Thursday focused on threats to EPA funding and had its second-biggest online fundraising day ever..."

* Willett said. “We’re seeing record-setting response rates to mobile alerts, petitions and funding appeals.”

* * *

Two more points -- The record setting carbon dioxide rises came in the Obama administration. There is, in fact, no correlation between U.S. Political Administrations and CO2 emissions.

The reporter jumbles together various statements about climate change seemingly oblivious to shades of quantitative meaning:

"the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear" is not the same as "[it is] extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause"

And the latter statement does not contradict Pruitt's assertion that "I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact"

grackle said...

I’m a Climate Change Skeptic but I’m open to persuasion. Here's how you can persuade me.

n.n said...

Scientists tell us that everything we can now see started with an unfathomably large explosion... The Big Bang Theory

Spontaneous conception is one belief about creation, but consider the assumptions, assertions, really, that are made to support this article of faith. No to mention the hedging, rationalization, consensus, and even fantasy necessary to defend it.

the mathematical probability that an inhabitant planet would arrive in a random stable orbit...

That's actually not the right way to think about it. A dynamic system can change in small, large, and discontinuous (with respect to current knowledge and perception) steps. Any two or more which are independent or correlated and can produce a confluence of events with unpredictable outcomes or highly constrained (e.g. envelope) outcomes in semi-stable environments.

Consider that probability is actually a model of a distribution function that is an estimate of a process. Consider what it would require to perfectly predict and manage systems and processes. The real world is chaotic. That is to say it is nonlinear, incompletely, and, in fact, insufficiently characterized, and unwieldy. A chaotic system can be estimated through statistical inference in limited frames of reference (e.g. scientific domain), where accuracy is inversely proportional to time and space offsets from the observation frame.

Michael K said...

And I think Michael you and I will not live long enough to see the growing consequences of the CO2 effect because we are just old farts.

I am certain of that because there will be minimal consequences to CO2 effect. Maybe better harvests and some mitigation of the current Maunder Minimum effect that may mean a mini-Ice Age.

Lomborg, as I recall, was teaching courses on statistics when he became embroiled in the AGW scam.

Lomborg lectured in statistics in the Department of Political Science at the University of Aarhus as an assistant professor (1994–1996) and associate professor (1997–2005). He left the university in February 2005 and in May of that year became an adjunct professor in Policy-making, Scientific Knowledge and the Role of Experts at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School.[7]

It's downright dangerous to be a statistician around global warming alarmists.

n.n said...

Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming and Climate Change are not the same things as global warming and climate change, respectively. The proponents and beneficiaries of the former should not be permitted to conflate the concepts and processes to hedge their bets and bolster their credibility.

the evidence is robust that the cost of action is uselessly high

Not entirely. Responses to Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming and Climate Change have been uselessly high, but notably profitable. While responses to climate change through innovation, conservation, and adaption have served human life and welfare remarkably well.

hombre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hombre said...

Originally, the global warming hysteria was based on computer modeling, that is, statistics. Probability is not fact. Scientific conclusions can be based on statistical probability, but they ought not to evolve to something akin to dogma.

Here's why: 'So far, no one has been able to provide a compelling answer to why climate change seems to be taking a break. We're facing a puzzle. Recent CO2 emissions have actually risen even more steeply than we feared. As a result, according to most climate models, we should have seen temperatures rise by around 0.25 degrees Celsius (0.45 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past 10 years. That hasn't happened. In fact, the increase over the last 15 years was just 0.06 degrees Celsius (0.11 degrees Fahrenheit) -- a value very close to zero. This is a serious scientific problem that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will have to confront when it presents its next Assessment Report late next year.... If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.' Hans Von Storch, Climate Scientist, U. Of Hamburg (mainstream warmist), Editor, "Climate Research", interviewed in "Der Spiegel," 6/2013

CR said...

Doubt and critical thinking are the twin engines of modern science. By demonizing doubt, the left today has lost its ability to think critically. In a way, the left has become fundamentalist. Fundamentalists condemn doubt about the inerrancy of the Bible; the political left condemns doubt about the inerrancy of climate models.

Static Ping said...

Y2K was a real thing. I know. I spent a good part of a year fixing a computer system in preparation for it. The thing is I could identify what would happen if we did nothing. On this screen, the date will display wrong. On this report, the data will be incomplete. This program will stop working altogether. This program will be fine. Etc. I still have my binder detailing it out. It was very much black and white of what would happen and what would be necessary to fix it. I could advance the clock a few years and watch the chaos that would ensue.

Now some of the panic that Y2K produced was irrational, but given that programmers can do very weird things in their code, it was actually not out of the question that someone linked the calendar to airplane controls and suddenly planes start falling out the of sky. It was not likely mind you, but I have seen some very poorly written and/or very bizarrely written code so it was not out of the question. The Ghostbusters line "I mean, the architect was either a certified genius or an authentic wacko!" very much applies to computer programming.

None of this certainty can be applied to global warming. The models are insufficient to model their subject, the data is unquestionably compromised, and the science, such as it is, has been highly politicized. If you have no confidence that the model will produce "correct" results without fudging, it's basically useless.

n.n said...

Extrapolation from laboratory experiments, inference from limited circumstantial evidence, assumption of independence and progress (i.e. monotonic change), assertions of quality and character, hypotheses as evidence for hypotheses (e.g. models), are neither robust nor scientific. Unfortunately, they are the status quo of post-normal (e.g. mysticism) science, which has been exacerbated by establishment of a twilight faith and Pro-Choice (i.e. selective, unprincipled, and opportunistic) quasi-religious/moral philosophy.

Achilles said...

roesch/voltaire said...

"And I think Michael you and I will not live long enough to see the growing consequences of the CO2 effect because we are just old farts."

Going from 350 PPM to 400 PPM CO2 will have zero effective impact on anything. Plants will grow imperceptibly faster. That is it. I pushed CO2 to 1500 regularly and the plants just grew faster. CO2 has been at 2000 PPM for extended amounts of time in geologic history. CO2 has been over 400 PPM for almost all of earth's history.

CO2 levels are a small small driver in the overall climate and everyone knows this. But petroleum is the lifeblood of the world economy and that is the real target.

Fernandinande said...

In Trump's America, climate changes you.

n.n said...

Static Ping:

Incompletely, and in fact, insufficiently characterized, and, even with super computers, and low resolution models, still unwieldy.

Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is actually a prophecy that is adopted and promoted by individuals with a god-complex.

n.n said...

petroleum is the lifeblood of the world economy and that is the real target

The organic black blob versus the artificial green blight.

MadisonMan said...

Two more points -- The record setting carbon dioxide rises came in the Obama administration.

CO2 increases most rapidly during economic expansion.

Off to drive in this stuff. I'm glad I'm not going through the Lake Effect bands coming off of Michigan though.

Gretchen said...

I haven't heard a single workable solution for the so-called crisis. I haven't even heard anyone credibly state what the actual impact of human activity is on the climate, just that it is BAD.

The solutions called for by the alarmists never target the actual output sources of most pollution, China, India and the like, the focus is on carbon credits from the developed (rich world). How collecting money from rich countries is supposed to impact anything but Al Gore's pocketbook is beyond common sense. It is a shakedown scheme based on guilt. Climate hustlers.

Recently Bill Nye was on Tucker Carlson. He actually stated we'd be in an ice age if it weren't for human activity. If he's correct then we better keep burning fossil fuels because world-wide starvation is much more likely if it gets colder.

Jupiter said...

sunsong said...
"GOP is the anti-science backward party"

Hey, sunsong. Did you know there is scientific evidence that different races have different mean IQs, and that fact has major real-world consequences? Or are you still in denial about that?

OGWiseman said...

You go to the doctor and he tells you that you have cancer. He says that if you don't start chemotherapy immediately, the cancer will kill you. You ask how long you have, and he replies that it's difficult to say exactly because the human body is incredibly complex and any single theoretical model is limited.

Is your reply: "If you can't tell me the exact date I'm going to die, then I don't really have cancer"?

Do you refuse treatment on that basis?

Been seeing this "no theoretical model is perfect therefore science is unsettled" meme around, notably at Scott Adams' blog. It's nonsense. Theoretical models exist to establish a trend in the aggregate, and the trend when it comes to climate change is clear.

chuck said...

The Washington Post and the New York Times are throwing tantrums and should be ignored until they quiet down.

Paddy O said...

You go to the doctor and he tells you that you have cancer. He then uses all your insurance money to organize a conference and flies in a lot of celebrities to talk about the problem of cancer. He gives money to already very wealthy people to develop homeopathic responses to cancer.

Do you prefer to go to a different doctor and hear a different treatment plan on that basis?

chuck said...

> Theoretical models exist to establish a trend in the aggregate, and the trend when it comes to climate change is clear.

The models aren't theoretical, climate mechanisms are not understood. What they are is effectively curve fits to a period of time for which there is some data, and over fitted at that. Anyone with experience with such things knows that extrapolating curve fits leads to disaster.

Michael K said...

Did you know there is scientific evidence that different races have different mean IQs, and that fact has major real-world consequences?

An interesting theory, that I have no evidence for but is interesting as a topic for research, is that American and western blacks, all former slaves, might have lower IQs than African blacks since they were caught and/or captured by other blacks in Africa and sold into slavery.

All African slaves were captured and sold by other blacks. Except east Africa where Arabs were the slave traders but I think there were fewer sold.

Anyway, what if the losers in these wars and local raids were less intelligent and therefore more likely to be caught and sold ?

Nobody is going to fund that research. Maybe Obama since he has no slave ancestry.

Just a thought experiment.

Henry said...

@OGWiseman -- Yours is actually a really useful analogy. I refer you to Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos, summarized here:

It isn’t just the general public that suffers from innumeracy; Paulos cites a study out of the University of Washington that found most doctors’ risk assessment of various medications, surgeries and treatment methods were wrong, and often “by several orders of magnitude.”

You go to the doctor and he tells you might have lung cancer. The best thing to do is to start chemotherapy immediately. You ask if chemotherapy is necessary. He says, if you have cancer you will die. You ask how he knows you have lung cancer. He says because you smoke and are fat. You say, that doesn't mean I have cancer. He says, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear. It's probably too late. If you don't get chemo now you will die.

You go back a year later and he tells you that now really need chemotherapy because you're smoking two packs a day and even heavier. You say, chemotherapy will make me very sick. He says, it's already too late. It seems extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the cancer you might have.

A year later you're still alive.

tim in vermont said...

Doctors have seen thousands of patients, to compare the state of knowledge about the human body a doctor has to the state of knowledge of a climate scientist of the climate is ridiculous.

All you guys seem to have is rhetoric.

Gahrie said...

Recently Bill Nye was on Tucker Carlson. He actually stated we'd be in an ice age if it weren't for human activity

We ARE in an ice age. The Earth has been in an ice age for the last 2.5 million years. We are just in a interval of global warming that began 10,000 years ago called the Holocene that is temporarily interrupting it.

Drago said...

OGWiseman: "Theoretical models exist to establish a trend in the aggregate, and the trend when it comes to climate change is clear."

And yet these models, when run in reverse, do not come close to reality.

Which is why so many "adjustments" need to be made. And these adjustments are, apparently, super top secret.

And when others ask to see the data and models those requests are rebuffed. And when the "science-y" guys have a lawsuit thrown at them to release their raw data the data, in this day and age, is somehow, magically, "lost".

Because that is the new scientific method: Establish your desired political/economic outcome, identify a cause for which total govt control over all aspects of life can be built, create models and fudge data to create the necessary "crisis" mentality, hide the data and models and then work assiduously with media types to insult/demean any "deniers".

#LeftyScience

It's Lysenkoism all the way down.

Jupiter said...

OGWiseman said...
"You go to the doctor and he tells you that you have cancer. He says that if you don't start chemotherapy immediately, the cancer will kill you. You ask how long you have, and he replies that it's difficult to say exactly because the human body is incredibly complex and any single theoretical model is limited."

Actually, I have a better analogy. A guy walks up to you on the street and says you have zug-bug, and unless you give him your house in return for a magic pill, you will die horribly. You ask him how long you have to live, and he says he doesn't know, because no on has ever died of zug-bug before. Indeed, no one has ever had zug-bug before, it is a theoretical disease that he believes must exist, on the basis of some computer models he developed. He looks sincere, shouldn't you give him your single largest asset?

tim in vermont said...

Computer models prove Hillary is POTUS. It's all about the assumptions.

Michael K said...

"You go to the doctor and he tells you might have lung cancer"

Without a biopsy ?

Change doctors.

Michael K said...

By the way, I agree that lots of doctors have wrong ideas about risk. They mostly do not know enough statistics, especially Bayesian probabilities.

That's what biopsies and tests are for.

n.n said...

tim in vermont:

And despite improved medical knowledge and skill, a human life is still chaotic, where some changes can be moderately predicted, and others may occur without warning and without cause. Incompletely and, in fact, insufficiently characterized, and unwieldy. Individual climate scientists are likely to be as humble as individual medical doctors, but the institutions in political and social lore suffer from a god-complex.

Quayle said...

"Consider that probability is actually a model of a distribution function that is an estimate of a process. Consider what it would require to perfectly predict and manage systems and processes. The real world is chaotic. That is to say it is nonlinear, incompletely, and, in fact, insufficiently characterized, and unwieldy. A chaotic system can be estimated through statistical inference in limited frames of reference (e.g. scientific domain), where accuracy is inversely proportional to time and space offsets from the observation frame.

In other words, no way possible to ever say that 'the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear.'

n.n said...

Climate scientists and medical doctors are limited by the same limitations in natural and enhanced perception and causality. So, we strive, with cause, with reason.

Big Mike said...

And when others ask to see the data and models those requests are rebuffed.

And that is a huge sign that we are dealing with junk science.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Quayle:

no way possible to ever say that 'the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear.'

Robust and overwhelmingly are loaded terms. Given that the system is chaotic (i.e. non-conforming, incompletely characterized, and unwieldy), we can claim levels of confidence, given specific assumptions, within a limited frame of reference, that a cause and effect are correlated, and that an outcome is likely.

I prefer science as a utility, not a faith or religious substitute, with an honest representation of logical domains (i.e. scientific, philosophy, fantasy, and faith).

Jupiter said...

Michael K said...
"By the way, I agree that lots of doctors have wrong ideas about risk."

The problem with OGW's analogy is considerably worse than that. Cancer has been observed and studied for thousands of years, and millions die of it every year. There is no question that cancer exists, the question is whether you have it, and if so what you should do about it. Those questions have been extensively explored by experimental means, but they remain problematic.

AGW has never been observed, and no one claims it has ever occurred. It is a wholly speculative syndrome, based on computer models that are known to be deeply flawed, and have been demonstrated to produce incorrect results. OGW's failure to incorporate these features in his analogy is evidence of his failure to understand the situation he hopes to illuminate. Or perhaps I give him too much credit. He could just be a lying weasel.

Michael K said...

My Surgery professor used to say, "There are more people living off cancer than dying from it."

More true of global warming.

Fernandinande said...

Michael K said...
By the way, I agree that lots of doctors have wrong ideas about risk. They mostly do not know enough statistics, especially Bayesian probabilities.

That's what biopsies and tests are for.


That's where they get into trouble - "Doctors flunk quiz on screening-test math"

I had a doctor give me some paperwork showing that EXPENSIVE NEW DRUG was about 10% better than EXTREMELY CHEAP OLD DRUG and tried to convince me to use the new drug. I said "Look, it's only 10% better", and she said "No, the p value is .005 [or whatever; it was lower than the usual .05], that means it's really, really good!", I said "No, that means it's really, really likely that it's actually 10% better."

My discharge papers were a printout of a Wikipedia article on statistics.


Gerard Grosso said...

"..the McCarthy quote actually doesn't disagree with anything Pruitt said"
Yes, indeed, Ms. McCarthy's statement is Exhibit I from The Bureaucrat's Handy Handbook of Response Modes - Deflect, Deflect, Deflect!

dreams said...

Apparently colonoscopies are a money maker too. The last few years every time I went to the Dr for my six month checkup and blood work, he would mention a colonoscopy which I always refused. After the last visit, I googled colonoscopy and read that there wasn't any benefit for someone in their seventies to get a colonoscopy so I don't have to worry about that anymore and PSAs either though those weren't really a problem.

George said...

"Empirical" - originating in or based on observation or experience

The EPA's climate science is based on computer models which are based on assumptions which empirical data have shown to be false.

It's a religion, not science.

Bruce Hayden said...

Interesting thread. No real pushback from what Pruitt said, and a lot of agreement. Ann typically throws out these CAGW topics as red meat, to get a lively discussion going. We need some of our resident leftists to liven this thread up.

JPS said...

OG Wiseman,

"Theoretical models exist to establish a trend in the aggregate, and the trend when it comes to climate change is clear."

OK, once over lightly:

Water vapor - there's about 40 times more of it in the atmosphere than there is CO2 - is a powerful greenhouse gas.

Water droplets reflect incoming radiation.

OK, so as it gets warmer, do we get more vapor, more trapped heat, and an acceleration of warming? Or do we get more clouds, more cooling, and an offset of that warming (relative to what it would otherwise be)?

In the aggregate, the models don't remotely agree on the answer. They cover a spread from drought to flood depending on the assumptions you use.

And the biggest assumption so far is that atmospheric humidity is an unstable equilibrium that has somehow remained perched precariously all this time until humans started releasing vast quantities of CO2.

Todd Roberson said...

If you really believe in man made global warming then the play is easy: southern Siberia, especially west of the Lena. Area roughly the size of the US Great Plains just slightly too cold for year round agriculture.

I wonder if Ritmo or whatever he/she is going by now has already invested.

Michael K said...

there wasn't any benefit for someone in their seventies to get a colonoscopy so I don't have to worry about that anymore and PSAs either though those weren't really a problem.

That depends on how long you plan to live. I had one done a few years ago and had a polyp removed. Then I had one done a year later and not more polyps. After five years I had another. When I was in practice, I told patients over 50 that I would not do hemorrhoid surgery if they did not have a colonoscopy. I still have a beautiful book from1700 that a grateful patient gave me when the sigmoid cancer was found.

Another, a podiatrist who should have known better, refused the colonoscopy. My associate found his cancer six months later. I almost cancelled the hemorrhoid surgery but did a rigid sigmoid after he refused the colonoscopy. I found and biopsied polyps and warned him again but he did nothing. Then, after the cancer was found, he sued me. I sent his lawyer copies of letters I had written telling him and his referring doctor he should have the colonoscopy. The suit went away.

As far as PSAs are concerned. there is a theory that prostate cancer is less aggressive over the age of 70. I still have one annually.

You choose and live with the consequences.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Physicists who are critics of AGW theory are remarkably consistent: they say that what the climate scientists (let alone the political outfits like the IPCC) are doing isn't science.
Physicists tend to believe that only physics is science. It has to lie under all the other sciences like geology and astronomy. If it can't be reduced to physics, it ain't science.
Rutherford is famous for saying something like "There is only physics -- everything else is stamp collecting" (Rutherford lived at a time when scientists went around the world collecting specimens and using physics as a guide to do a "deep reading" of their features).
If you show a climate scientist a graph showing PPM of atmospheric CO2, from now to one hundred million years in the past, can they look at an arbitrary level of CO2, say 500 PPM, and from that information tell you what the global temperature was at the sample time?
No, they can't.

Todd Roberson said...

I also wonder why Ritmo ... Or whatever ... Hasn't joined this conversation already as he/she seems so fired up over this topic.

Mother hasn't woken him/her up yet?

Bruce Hayden said...

"If you really believe in man made global warming then the play is easy: southern Siberia, especially west of the Lena. Area roughly the size of the US Great Plains just slightly too cold for year round agriculture"

I don't think that it is just Siberia, but also Canada. The interesting thing, looking at a map of the world, is that global warming is very highly likely to open up far more farmland across N. America, Europe, and, esp., Asia, than could possibly be lost due to increases in sea level. Probably by orders of magnitude, and that doesn't even consider the effects on agriculture of higher levels of CO2,in the atmosphere. Moreover, the lead time for moving crops to better climates has dropped from decades, if not centuries, to years. I just don't see AGW causing mass starvation - rather, just the opposite.

Todd Roberson said...

Right ... But Southern Siberia has the advantage of very low population density and also "virgin" status which equates to high productivity without eminent domain issues.

Michael K said...

Siberia may have permafrost issues but I doubt very much there will be significant warming beyond the present recovery from The Little Ice Age and we may be cooling again.

Owen said...

So many awesome comments above. Thanks to you all for providing an instant compendium of useful analyses and references to excellent sources such as Steve McIntyre, Judith Curry, Bjorn Lomborg et al. Extra kudos to Michael K. for citing Feynman's definition of the scientific method.

One of many reasons that I have been unable to buy the CAGW product is that it depends on an absurdity stacked on top of an impossibility. The absurdity is that the doubling of CO2 (which produces a logarithmic increase in T, not a linear one) will result in a large rise in T. The relevant sensitivity has not been established, it is just a SWAG. And each time the IPCC geniuses perform the SWAG, they are forced to lower their estimate. Further, the SWAG is so vague that almost any result will be "correct" --right now anything between 1.5 and 4.5 C will be correct. Hey, by that standard, I can predict the Dow next year will be somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000.

The absurdity is bad enough but the catastrophe requires as well an impossibility: that the rising T that results from higher CO2 will cause runaway heating of the atmosphere because of increased humidity. That's right: a process that is characterized by strong and immediate negative feedback (see: convection, hydrological cycle) will somehow magically be transformed into one that has positive feedback. When this happens, the planet will roast (or something). This is not science but anti-science, hand-waving and wish casting. How it has survived serious review is beyond me.

/rant

Lewis Wetzel said...

When I was a lad, I did as many young people do and looked at a world map and wondered why the Europeans took the long way across the Atlantic to the New World when the Eastern tip of Russia was separated from Alaska by just fifty or one hundred miles of water. Later I learned that Russian Siberia was virtually uninhabited circa 1500, and that travel across the frozen wastes was difficult.
I didn't realize how forbidding travel was through Siberia really was until I read Tent Life in Siberia, a sort of travel memoir written by an American, George Kennan, in the early 1860s.
The far north of Eastern Russia was virtually impassable until a railroad was built through it. In the summer it's one giant bog. Horses and reindeer can't haul wagons or sledges or boats through the mud. In the winter you can travel by a sled hauled by reindeer or dogs, but there is nothing on the land to live off of -- no trees, no ice free rivers.
Circa 1500, it was easier to sail across the Atlantic than it was to cross Siberia.
Tent Life in Siberia is an entertaining and informative read. Kennan may be the first Western writer to note that the people in Eastern Siberia were related, in physical appearance, lifestyle, and culture, to the indigenous people of the far north of North America.

traditionalguy said...

"How it has survived serious review is beyond me"

Our early attempts at doubting the clearly wrong " quasi-Science" was ridiculed on the grounds that I was not a real Climate Scientists and therefore did not know a climate from a weather. But as a trial lawyer I knew a carefully concocted Scientific Discipline offering its testimony to the highest bidder for cash. Those were a dime a dozen since 1990.

The hook for the marks was the snob appeal of the new stuff the Educated knowing all the secrets about and no one else was allowed to comment on. It was Pure Piled Higher and Deeper bullshit! And that was argued by the over educated college professors who comment here as if it settles things.

Now after a tough 5 years of many smart scientists being fired and falsely slandered as liars by the real liars, just for expressing true science, the Great Hoax has finally died.

Windmills are a disaster. Solar arrays are too. All they ever did was enrich thieves in the World Government Conspiracy. And their old Peak Oil backup argument has beenshown to be as far from truth as the east is from the west.

AprilApple said...

Grackle 1:18.

That is an excellent list of questions.

#14 is worthy:

14. "If skeptics make you retreat to Pascal’s Wager as your main argument for aggressively responding the climate change, please understand that you lost the debate. The world is full of risks that might happen. We don’t treat all of them as real. And we can’t rank any of these risks to know how to allocate our capital to the best path. Should we put a trillion dollars into climate remediation or use that money for a missile defense system to better protect us from North Korea?"

Michael K said...

"that the rising T that results from higher CO2 will cause runaway heating of the atmosphere because of increased humidity."

I understand that low T is a crisis facing the male population so bring on the CO2 !

Francisco D said...

Im old enough to remember Global Cooling which became Global Warming which became Climate Change.

97% of objective scientists agree: It's a cult religion and a Marxist plot for government to control more of our lives.

cubanbob said...

unknown said...
One thing to keep in mind these days is that to many people ANY change is bad. People try to freeze their neighborhoods to keep development out. "Gentrification" is bad. New roads are bad. If even a mosquito goes extinct it is a catastrophe. Countries like France pass laws that you almost can't fire anyone (and of course in US our gov unions do the same--try to fire a cop or teacher).
For climate change, the fear of tiny changes is so great that a sea level rise of 3mm/yr is viewed as scary by extending it out 300 years (seriously, in the social cost of carbon computations) at which point is becomes large (well, sort of large). So the claim that "the science" dictates anything is false. It is also risk and perception of risk and tolerance of risk and the desire for stasis and control."

Thank God for climate change. Otherwise we wouldn't be here. Now as for sea levels rising, at the rate of 3mm per year, my house which is on the water and is eight feet above flood (ten feet to the front and rear doors) has several centuries before this becomes a constant problem.

OGwiseman, you have heard the expression "the cure is worse than the disease"? And that is giving the climate alchemist the benefit of the doubt that the planet is warming and it is warming solely due to human activities. No suggest chemotherapy would bankrupt or otherwise severely impoverish most of us for no definable benefit since none of the proffered cures would actually reverse any of the alleged harm. However the plans would greatly enrich and offered excellent job security for those employed by the AGW industrial complex.

bagoh20 said...

This was just posted today at Powerline and it's worth reading no matter which side of this you are on. It refutes the alarmists, while also having that appeal to authority so loved by them, becuase it's the opinion of Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT. A real big shot in the field.

"GLOBAL WARMING IN ONE EASY LESSON"

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/03/global-warming-in-one-easy-lesson.php


bagoh20 said...

I understand that you shouldn't just believe what you want to believe and should follow the science and the data, but what is up with people so hell bent on the world burning up. It's like a love affair with disaster. I'm not at all sure will happen, but I'm definitely not hoping the world turns into Venus. It sure seems like a lot of people will be deeply disappointed if nothing much happens, temperatures level out, or life goes on normally. If that happens and Trump has a successful presidency, we may indeed have that human extinction they warn about, at least on the left... via suicide.

heyboom said...

@Chuck

I spent four years in the Upper Peninsula before I moved here to California. I remember playing in 39 degree weather. As spring approached, a group of us would hop in a car and drive south until we found a course that was open. Sometimes had to go as far as Milwaukee or Green Bay. Fun times!

heyboom said...

Golf weather in Long Beach isn't any great advancement is it?

Well, it's supposed to be GLOBAL warming isn't it? Isn't Long Beach part of the global sphere?

Fritz said...

Apparently colonoscopies are a money maker too. The last few years every time I went to the Dr for my six month checkup and blood work, he would mention a colonoscopy which I always refused. After the last visit, I googled colonoscopy and read that there wasn't any benefit for someone in their seventies to get a colonoscopy so I don't have to worry about that anymore and PSAs either though those weren't really a problem.

Both my parents had colon cancer, found by colonoscopies, in their 80's. My Mom died recently at 94, but it wasn't of colon cancer. Dad is still going.

I've had polyps, including one that caused them to go back for a second look. I'm on the 3 year rotation.

I have a friend who is an engineer who does safety analysis of Navy planes for a living. He's calculated he stands more chance of dying from a colonoscopy than from colon cancer.

Ya pays for yer ticket, and ya takes yer ride.

Todd Roberson said...

No permafrost in Southern Siberia. Especially west the Lena River. Siberia in toto is the size of North America. The southwestern quad needs about 2 to 5 degrees F to allow for an area approximately the size of the US Great Plains to be harvested for grain once per year. It's flat, treeless and receives significantly more rainfall than the western parts of Kansas or the eastern parts of Colorado.

Novosibirsk could be the next Chicago if the globe warmed up just hair.

n.n said...

human extinction they warn about, at least on the left... via suicide

Self-abortion, or in context-sensitive parlance: carbon sequestration.

Mike said...

Data suggests that atmospheric CO2 is a lagging indicator of warming. Wise anthropomorphic beings might want to reconsider their assumptions of cause and effect.

Crimso said...

"You go to the doctor and he tells you that you have cancer. He says that if you don't start chemotherapy immediately, the cancer will kill you. You ask how long you have, and he replies that it's difficult to say exactly because the human body is incredibly complex and any single theoretical model is limited."

"Theoretical models" are not used to project life expectancies for cancers. In effect, "running the experiment" of seeing how long people with those cancers survive after diagnosis is the basis for those projections. "Running the experiment" thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or millions of times. Call me when you have n=2 for CAGW.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The costs of climate change (and the costs of avoiding climate change) are questions science can attempt to answer.

Whether those costs are acceptable is not.


Yep. The costs of an indefinite continuation of the holocene extinction and the reversion to a climate not seen since the agricultural revolution I instead expect "Ignorance is Bliss" to answer.

How do you ignoramuses intend to maintain civilization without a viable climate for maintaining agriculture.

I ask rhetorically, of course. I know that the answer is, "You don't care."

Can't you just get around to admitting that you don't care about future generations? It would spare a lot of decent people who take their progeny's welfare seriously from the wasting time believing that any of you are to be taken seriously.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Call me when you have n=2 for CAGW.

That's the whole point, dummy. We only get one planet to try this with. You don't get to run this experiment over and over again. You fuck it up once, that's it.

It's all well and good that you obviously don't have grandchildren whose welfare matters to you. But you have no right to impose this clear risk on the future generations belonging to everyone else. You'd have to be a sociopath to believe you have that right.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The pathetic comments thread above is a closed-loop bubble of non-physicists convincing other non-physicists that all the physics about this is wrong.

Which has happened precisely zero times in history.

Conservatives are kooks (as identified by Buckley) who hate their descendants, hate nature, and make up nonsense to convince their tiny brains that human beings don't have to rely on nature and can somehow make for themselves an existence where the natural world has been destroyed or at least transformed into something which human beings and 90% of life never evolved to survive.

They are absolute lunatics. Seriously. Show them videos of half the polar ice melting and they'll shrug as if to say, "no big deal."

Science has shown multiple lines of evidence documenting what is happening, its reasons, and why it needs to be taken seriously. But you know America's so-called "conservatives" are dangerous imbeciles because they pick a million reasons to ignore all of it. Since they are the ones who are beyond convincing, it is obvious that they are the ones who are delusional. Show them what the glaciers are doing on earth, they'll talk about satellite measurements. Explain to them that atmospheres are required to have a climate, and they'll talk about sunspots. Ask them why Venus is hotter than Mercury, and they'll dissemble. Ask them what warms the planet and they'll say it doesn't matter. Ask them how civilization is expected to survive conditions not seen since way before the advent of agriculture and they'll say it doesn't matter. Ask them what happens if they're wrong and they'll say at least they'll be rich. (Or Exxon Mobil will be rich. That's the important thing to them).

Ask them why mature industries need support and why we should expect disruptive technologies not to grow as they've always done, and they'll mutter something about economics.

Ask them if it's ok to at least study and look at the evidence and they'll vote in an administration that imposes gag orders on its scientists and quashes all data gathering devoted to this issue.

It is clear which "side" is too evasive to have any claimed stake to being worth taken seriously. The amount of lines of evidence and reason that they deny away is as staggering as the evidence and explanations that the actual scientists and physicists have collected.

The AGW denialists just need to come out and admit that they're anti-science. They have no defense whatsoever. They're anti-science. Their religion is Big Oil and Big Money and they simply place greater value on those things than on figuring out how to the science and nature that sustains the life of our civilization works. They just don't care.

Lewis Wetzel said...

It's all well and good that you obviously don't have grandchildren whose welfare matters to you. But you have no right to impose this clear risk on the future generations belonging to everyone else. You'd have to be a sociopath to believe you have that right.

This was the argument against SSM. R&B, this is pathetic excuse for "reason."
No wonder you lefties shout people down and use the courts rather than elections to change public policy. You couldn't argue your way out of wet paper bag.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

This was the argument against SSM.

No it wasn't.

No wonder you lefties shout people down and use the courts rather than elections to change public policy. You couldn't argue your way out of wet paper bag.

Fuck you. You vote in people who gag and muzzle scientists and shut down their data and experiments. You don't even know what an argument is. You certainly haven't a clue what evidence is. You've never published a peer reviewed article. You've never run an experiment. You've never made a scientific finding of any sort (let alone a breakthrough). You've probably never even set foot in a science class.

You don't know what you're talking about, you feel inferior about it, you want to feel important, and since you're not, you'll shill for Big Oil instead.

No one goes to you for empirical expertise on anything that they consider important and in need of someone to trust.

You have no use to the world and should just admit that you want everyone to die. It would make things simpler as their response would probably not be to your liking.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Tell us again how only planetary bodies with atmospheres have climate, R&B! That almost sounded like science! Only planets with atmospheres have long term weather patterns! Did you think of that yourself? 'Cuz if you did, somebody done hit you with the smart stick, fella!

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Tell us again how only planetary bodies with atmospheres have climate, R&B! That almost sounded like science! Only planets with atmospheres have long term weather patterns! Did you think of that yourself? 'Cuz if you did, somebody done hit you with the smart stick, fella!

What is there to tell? It's a clear illustration of how dumb you are to believe that atmosphere has no link to climate, let alone acts as the major influence on it.

You tell everyone else here how Venus got to be hotter than Mercury. What are their average surface temperatures?

Tell everyone here anything that even proves you ever successfully passed a physics course.

Your problem, and that of the other reactionary kooks and denialists, is clear. And getting clearer. You have inferiority complexes and need to proclaim, as Asimov said, that "your ignorance is as good as anyone else's knowledge."

You have taken over the party that Buckley threw you out of. You wear tinfoil hats, think science is a global Illuminati conspiracy (or somesuch), and put absolute trust in big corporations that don't care whether you live or die.

They help you feel as close as you'll ever feel to power, apparently.

Tell us what you CAN explain.

You don't want to discuss or explain anything. You just want to feel that your ignorance is as important as actual knowledge. And that you are powerful for licking Exxon Mobil's boots.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Remember Folks:

Trump is a vaccine denialist, too.

Just keep that in mind. This guy who's muzzling the EPA, (after unsuccessfully suing it 14 times). The one who's shutting down the science and gagging the scientists. He's also into the whole vaccine-autism thing.

This is the guy you're making common scientific cause with.

I fully anticipate Althouse's next pro-Trump puff piece on how vaccines are dangerous and over-rated any day now.

I guess she's selective on what type of kookery she's confident enough to get on board with.

You are all children of Buckley's rejects. The kooks he had to throw out of the party.

You're baa-aaack!

Wonder what will save your party from you this time.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"What is there to tell? It's a clear illustration of how dumb you are to believe that atmosphere has no link to climate . . ."
Climate is a feature of atmosphere, you dunderhead!
No atmosphere, no weather.
No atmosphere, no weather, no long term weather patterns, no climate.
The primary driver of the earth's weather is sunlight. Go on, ask someone who actually knows something about weather and climate. They will confirm that the primary driver of the earth's weather is sunlight.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Climate is a feature of atmosphere, you dunderhead!
No atmosphere, no weather.
No atmosphere, no weather, no long term weather patterns, no climate.
The primary driver of the earth's weather is sunlight. Go on, ask someone who actually knows something about weather and climate. They will confirm that the primary driver of the earth's weather is sunlight.


What a crock. You just proved how dumb you are.

For what you say to be true there would have to be no such thing as sunlight hitting the moon. Or any other non-atmosphere containing celestial body.

Dumb as a rock. How does sunlight affect "the weather" on the moon? What's its "weather" like?

Hilarious.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

You contradict yourself.

No atmosphere, no weather.

If you say this, then you agree with me.

What is it in the atmosphere that allows the earth's heat to spread throughout the atmosphere and not just deflect off its surface, brainiac?

Lewis Wetzel said...

I suggest, R&B, that you link to your 10:46 in every future comment you make at Althouse. So, you know, people will marvel at your genius and your mastery of the put-down.
I think that your remark that if the weather on earth was driven by sunlight, the moon, which gets much more sunlight, would have more weather, is truly one for the ages. I am, at this moment, attempting to calculate if your particular genius is more like the genius of Mrs. Premise, or more like the genius of Mrs. Conclusion.
https://youtu.be/EyFxXdqtGNk

Lewis Wetzel said...

Uh . . . you do understand that the Earth has more than one source of heat, don't you, R&B? Sunlight plus geothermal, with geothermal being the result of the decay of radioactive material within the Earth's core and mantle?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Also I am not sure what you think that heat is, R&B. You apparently think that it can "deflect off of the Earth's surface."
Do you understand that heat energy can be transported three means, convection, conduction, and radiation?
Have you ever taken (and passed) a basic college course in physics?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Uh . . . you do understand that the Earth has more than one source of heat, don't you, R&B? Sunlight plus geothermal, with geothermal being the result of the decay of radioactive material within the Earth's core and mantle?

With every comment you show just how little you care to know.

Sources of heat are irrelevant. The moon has the same sunlight hitting it that hits the earth.

Whatever the source, an atmosphere is needed to retain and spread that heat around.

It's really not a difficult concept. Different media contain heat differently. Would you roast a dish that calls for boiling? Do you not understand that water contains/retains heat differently from air, and that both those media contain/retain heat differently from the vacuum of space, which doesn't retain/contain it at all?

It's third-grade stuff, but you seem not to get it. But if you did, it wouldn't be hard to teach you that it's possible to determine which of the atmosphere's/air's components retains heat the most and is responsible for the majority of that retention.

Your brain seems to work very slowly. How many more examples/analogies do you need?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Have you ever taken (and passed) a basic college course in physics?

Yes. Have you?

Do you understand that heat energy can be transported three means, convection, conduction, and radiation?

Which of those happens in the vacuum of space? Which of those make anywhere near as much use of oxygen or nitrogen as they do of CO2?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Bueller?

You know, if you're going to re-write the kinetic theory of temperature, I don't have all night.

But that's where you'll find your answer.

I'd explain it, but I'm sure you'll get indignant at not having known it beforehand and just throw out gratuitous, self-defeating insults in response.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Time's up, Bueller. Pencils down.

Infrared radiation is responsible for half of the heating of earth, and does this by creating a vibration in a GHG molecule such as CO2 that allows it to absorb and emit that IR.

Because of the translational freedom of a GHG molecule and its dipole, IR that would continue to the surface, warming it and reflecting back into space, is instead transmitted through the atmosphere horizontally - allowing any IR not propagating through the surface that would ultimately escape back into space, to further propagate through the atmosphere.

It must be fun to not know what you're talking about but to still be bitchy and feisty enough to at least make yourself feel important.

Birkel said...

Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT

-or-

TTR

Tough call.

chickelit said...

Infrared radiation is responsible for half of the heating of earth, and does this by creating a vibration in a GHG molecule such as CO2 that allows it to absorb and emit that IR.

Have you ever considered the gas phase IR spectra of CO2 and water vapor? What does it tell you?

chickelit said...

How does the gas phase spectrum of water vapor differ from the IR spectrum of water?

Explain

chickelit said...

I was asked to explain the Fermi coupling of CO2's principle IR-active mode in my PhD exam. It was tangential to my thesis, but the best illustration.

Birkel said...

TTR quoting somebody else:
Do you understand that heat energy can be transported three means, convection, conduction, and radiation?
TTR responding:
Which of those happens in the vacuum of space?

Me:
Why would heat be transported in space? That question is silly.

Also, space is not a vacuum, per se, even if it is relatively empty. But that's a quibble.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I watched the latest TWD, some show called "Hap and Leonard" (not bad), and then an episode of "iZombie" on Netflix (the wife likes it). Did I miss R&B's explanation about how a planet's surface deflects heat? 'Cuz I'd like to hear it. I am always interested in science!

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Me:
Why would heat be transported in space? That question is silly."

So you've got a planet that is both receiving radiated heat from the star it orbits, and that radiates that heat back into space. Unless the amount of heat it receives is equal to the amount it radiates, the temperature of the planet will either increase or decrease. If it does not increase or decrease, the planet has reached thermal equilibrium. How else is the planet supposed to absorb or emit heat in a vacuum other than radiation? Hello! Elementary physics, anyone?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Someone I knew was asked, "What's the structure of guanosine?" during a thesis defense that had nothing to do with structures.

Professors ask what they know. Some of them, anyway.

As for Birkel, we can assume he doesn't think any of earth's heat is generated by the sun. Interesting idea.

"Silly," as he would say.

Wetzel has no response other than to say that none of the earth's heat (or any EM radiation/energy?) returns to space. Interesting.

I guess we can believe that those images of earth taken from space never occurred.

Lewis, time for you to throw in the towel.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

How else is the planet supposed to absorb or emit heat in a vacuum other than radiation? Hello! Elementary physics, anyone?

Bingo! Finally, a question you were able to answer. If only it didn't take Birkel's ignorant rhetorical restatement of this whole tangent you started us on.

Anyway, getting back to the subject at hand... Apparently you think that that there is no interaction between the molecules of earth's atmosphere and the heat radiated to them by the sun? Is that what you're trying to say? Or do you just not know how that works?

Anything else is basically an admission that you just don't even understand what "greenhouse effect" even means - even on the basic, abstruse physical level that you keep attempting to reduce it to.

Which is ok. I don't expect you to know about things that you take strong positions on. That wouldn't be the Republican way.

I'm going to bed. Maybe you'll "wow" me by what I can look at in the morning. But why start that now?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Okay! G'night R&B! Please try and figure out the meaning of the word 'abstruse' before you comment again!

Bruce Hayden said...

@R&B - from your comments, it is apparent that you really don't understand the issues very well, and didn't read the comments above very thoroughly. No one is questioning that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, or what that means. The problem is that, in the scheme of things, it is a minor one. Methane is more potent as such, as is water, which is also more plentiful. If all that were involved were the 1st order effects of CO2 retaining heat, then the effect on our climate would be negligible. In order to get to catastrophic Anthrogenic Global Warming, the effects of increased CO2 are combined, in models, with the much more powerful greenhouse effects of water vapor. It is hypothesized that the CO2 works with the H2O to make the greenhouse effects significantly greater. This is the positive feedback mentioned above, and is inherent in all of the models that predict noticeable global warming from increased CO2. But it is merely a convenient hypothesis, that we are probably decades away, at least, from validating. And there is recent empirical work (science) that suggests that the feedback may, instead, be negative. The basic problem is that the effects of water vapor, over the entire globe, are extraordinarily complex. For one thing, higher concentrations of H2O result in clouds, which changes the albedo (ability to reflect light, and, therefore energy) of the planet. But different types of clouds act differently in this respect, and the type of clouds depends on a number of factors, including concentration of H2O and its elevation. The equations describing this cannot be solved, and the models trying to simulate it are extremely fragile, compounded with far too little accurate data. And, without the compounding effects of H2O vapor, the primary effect of CO2 buildup is increased plant growth, with, negligible greenhouse gas warming.

@Chickenkit - talking to my kid last week about their PhD work (finishing their 4th year, expects to defend maybe December). We got into a discussion about vibrational states of H2O vs CO2, and I was surprised that H2O was harder to handle than CO2 because of its greater number of vibrational states, apparently a result of the different shapes of the two molecules (CO2 is linear, and H2O is more "V" shaped). Need to ask about the IR spectra of both (I think some of their work is in the IR) and if it ties into your point about absorption there. I suspect that it does. But, then, I was the one who assumed that CO2 had more vibrational states because it was heavier. Or, some such thing.

rhhardin said...

You know, if you're going to re-write the kinetic theory of temperature, I don't have all night.

Actually temperature has to do with entropy vs internal energy, nothing kinetic.

Temperature is the rate at which internal energy increases as you add entropy.

There are substances with negative absolute temperatures, so-called population inversions.

What's constant about temperature is that it's what two systems in contact come to the same of, via two systems in contact arranging to maximize entropy. Even if the absolute temperature is negative.

tim in vermont said...

Anyway, getting back to the subject at hand... Apparently you think that that there is no interaction between the molecules of earth's atmosphere and the heat radiated to them by the sun? Is that what you're trying to say? Or do you just not know how that works?

if you think that's the argument, that people skeptical of catastrophic warming are in denial of the properties of CO2, then you are not listening.

I suppose you think that Newton proved that airplanes can't fly too. Turns out to be more complicated, and the measurements do not back up the elaborate models.

Birkel said...

Heat in the near-vacuum of space? Interesting concept!

False but neat-o. It almost sounds science-y.

The atmosphere absorbs something. And that might translate to heat. But what you wrote was poorly written, at best.

DanTheMan said...

Same question as before: Why are the polar ice caps on Mars shrinking? Coincidence?

Perhaps there is an explanation not involving Exxon and yuppies in SUVs?

chickelit said...

Bruce Hayden wrote: Need to ask about the IR spectra of both (I think some of their work is in the IR) and if it ties into your point about absorption there.

Need to ask about the IR spectra of both (I think some of their work is in the IR) and if it ties into your point about absorption there. I suspect that it does. But, then, I was the one who assumed that CO2 had more vibrational states because it was heavier. Or, some such thing.

The number of vibrational modes a molecule has correlates with the number of atoms. The rule is 3N-6, except for linear molecules which obeys the rule 3N-5. The reason for the 5 vs 6 is interesting in itself, and I can explain it, but not here. Anyways, water has 3 atoms and being bent has 3 vibrations (3x3)-6.
CO2 also has 3 atoms but it is linear so it has 4 modes (3x3-5). Methane has 5 atoms and so has 12 modes. But that's not the whole story. Not all vibrational modes are IR active (will absorb IR radiation). All three of water's vibrations are IR active but only one of CO2's is. This is based on molecular symmetry. So water is a much richer target for IR radiation than CO2 is.

chickelit said...

I erred. Methane has 9 modes.

Rusty said...

chickelit said...
"I erred. Methane has 9 modes."

I was gonna point that out.

chickelit said...

I forget how many of methane's 9 modes are IR active. I could tell at a glance from a character table. Someone could look it up.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The problem is that, in the scheme of things, it is a minor one. Methane is more potent as such, as is water, which is also more plentiful. If all that were involved were the 1st order effects of CO2 retaining heat, then the effect on our climate would be negligible. In order to get to catastrophic Anthrogenic Global Warming, the effects of increased CO2 are combined, in models, with the much more powerful greenhouse effects of water vapor. It is hypothesized that the CO2 works with the H2O to make the greenhouse effects significantly greater. This is the positive feedback mentioned above, and is inherent in all of the models that predict noticeable global warming from increased CO2.

Talk about not understanding the issues well! CO2 is not "minor" when it is being increased to levels where an effect cannot be prevented. No one said methane isn't a problem, or that it isn't anthropogenically produced, either. Mostly through agriculture but fracking sure is doing a great job of reviving it, so that too goes back industrial processes and leaving the extraction industries unregulated. The effects of H20 are not worth measuring because unlike the other two, it can equilibrate on earth back into liquid or frozen water easily. CO2 and methane cannot. The effects of clouds may or may not be complex but to assume that they won't equilibrate easily back into greater frozen and liquid water resources is far-fetched. The primary problem is what's in the atmosphere. I'm assuming that whether our atmosphere is wetter or driver depends more on temperature (as it does everywhere around the globe) than it does on how much was produced and released anthropogenically. You're overthinking this to say that what you can unnecessarily overcomplicate obviates the problems that we've known about for decades and can measure and need to address. No one is saying that industrialization's made the earth cloudier - probably because it isn't and if it were this would have been noticed by now and measured. And don't worry about the plants having enough to eat. They'll do fine and can't eat up all the CO2 we put off anyway. Try preserving habitats instead, esp. in the Amazon and similar places. It's a more credible stance for someone trying to prove that the earth is more than just a chemical reaction tube and depends on biological processes to remain in a stable, viable state.

A "suggestion" that feedback may be negative is not enough to put aside obvious the problem of positively feeding back upon CO2 build-up and temperature rise because of the new stores of frozen CH4 and CO2 released. The latter is a "known known." You don't reject known knowns with hypotheticals. Or with "suggestions."

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

if you think that's the argument, that people skeptical of catastrophic warming are in denial of the properties of CO2, then you are not listening.

I suppose you think that Newton proved that airplanes can't fly too. Turns out to be more complicated, and the measurements do not back up the elaborate models.


You are not finding solid evidence of more "complication" strong enough to junk the AGW problem. You are hoping and praying for it.

What is happening to the glaciers? What is happening to the temperature? Why are there major snowstorms across the eastern U.S. in mid-March? Despite the fact that spring came sooner than any other year already? As it had each year before that? Why is a total disruption of ocean currents and wind patterns something that you assume to not be a major problem?

These are known knowns with major consequences that you are dismissing by wishfully thinking that some theoretical or hypothetical will obviate them. It doesn't work that way. I don't get to assume water won't boil at 100 degrees just because.

Bad Lieutenant said...

See, we don't have to solve CO2. Just give all the cows Beano and end stray methane.