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Topic: Pathological Science (Read 205307 times)
A Retraction w/ the Damage Done
Reply #350 on:
June 27, 2010, 12:16:51 PM »
Newspapers Retract 'Climategate' Claims, but Damage Still Done
by Sharon BegleyJune 25, 2010
Greg Rico / AP
Vindicated too late? Penn State climatologist Michael Mann
A lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on, as Mark Twain said (or “before the truth gets a chance to put its pants on,” in Winston Churchill’s version), and nowhere has that been more true than in "climategate." In that highly orchestrated, manufactured scandal, e-mails hacked from computers at the University of East Anglia’s climate-research group were spread around the Web by activists who deny that human activity is altering the world’s climate in a dangerous way, and spun so as to suggest that the scientists had been lying, cheating, and generally cooking the books.
But not only did British investigators clear the East Anglia scientist at the center of it all, Phil Jones, of scientific impropriety and dishonesty in April, an investigation at Penn State cleared PSU climatologist Michael Mann of “falsifying or suppressing data, intending to delete or conceal e-mails and information, and misusing privileged or confidential information” in February. In perhaps the biggest backpedaling, The Sunday Times of London, which led the media pack in charging that IPCC reports were full of egregious (and probably intentional) errors, retracted its central claim—namely, that the IPCC statement that up to 40 percent of the Amazonian rainforest could be vulnerable to climate change was “unsubstantiated.” The Times also admitted that it had totally twisted the remarks of one forest expert to make it sound as if he agreed that the IPCC had screwed up, when he said no such thing.
It’s worth quoting the retraction at some length:
The article "UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim" (News, Jan 31) stated that the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report had included an “unsubstantiated claim” that up to 40% of the Amazon rainforest could be sensitive to future changes in rainfall. The IPCC had referenced the claim to a report prepared for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) by Andrew Rowell and Peter Moore, whom the article described as “green campaigners” with “little scientific expertise.” The article also stated that the authors’ research had been based on a scientific paper that dealt with the impact of human activity rather than climate change.
In fact, the IPCC’s Amazon statement is supported by peer-reviewed scientific evidence. In the case of the WWF report, the figure . . . was based on research by the respected Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) which did relate to the impact of climate change. We also understand and accept that . . . Dr Moore is an expert in forest management, and apologise for any suggestion to the contrary.
The article also quoted criticism of the IPCC’s use of the WWF report by Dr Simon Lewis, a Royal Society research fellow at the University of Leeds and leading specialist in tropical forest ecology. We accept that, in his quoted remarks, Dr Lewis was making the general point that both the IPCC and WWF should have cited the appropriate peer-reviewed scientific research literature. As he made clear to us at the time, including by sending us some of the research literature, Dr Lewis does not dispute the scientific basis for both the IPCC and the WWF reports’ statements on the potential vulnerability of the Amazon rainforest to droughts caused by climate change. . . . A version of our article that had been checked with Dr Lewis underwent significant late editing and so did not give a fair or accurate account of his views on these points. We apologise for this.
In another retraction you never heard of, a paper in Frankfurt took back (apologies; the article is available only in German) its reporting that the IPCC had erred in its assessment of climate impacts in Africa.
The Times's criticism of the IPCC—look, its reports are full of mistakes and shoddy scholarship!—was widely picked up at the time it ran, and has been an important factor in turning British public opinion sharply against the established science of climate change. Don’t expect the recent retractions and exonerations to change that. One of the strongest, most-repeated findings in the psychology of belief is that once people have been told X, especially if X is shocking, if they are later told, “No, we were wrong about X,” most people still believe X. As Twain and Churchill knew, sometimes the truth never catches up with the lie, let alone overtakes it. As I wrote last summer in a story about why people believe lies even when they’re later told the truth, sometimes people’s mental processes simply go off the rails.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #351 on:
June 27, 2010, 07:24:42 PM »
What do you make of this BBG?
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #352 on:
June 28, 2010, 07:20:42 AM »
Mostly too little too late, though it it gonna make it harder for the more strident amongst the warmists to claim the sort of unanimity that use to be one of their major talking points.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #353 on:
July 01, 2010, 04:34:45 AM »
June 30 1908, record low temperature in Nevada of 50 degrees (looking at weather channel website). Wondering why, I goggled. Tunguska happened the same day (24 hours earlier because of date line?). I would not be surprised if this data point got massaged smooth in some models since the downward spike would pull thing cooler? Something else to look at in data sets that would indicate manipulation? The data point (and several cool years after it while Tunguska particulates filtered?) could be used in isolation too "look at these 5 years in nevada, when has there ever been similar in the last century? We ARE warming!"
Maybe the Sky Isn't Falling Afterall
Reply #354 on:
July 04, 2010, 11:06:17 AM »
Lawrence Solomon July 2, 2010 – 6:43 pm
G20 leaders in Toronto tried to avoid the fate of colleagues felled by warming advocacy
Last week’s G8 and G20 meetings in Toronto and its environs confirmed that the world’s leaders accept the demise of global-warming alarmism.
One year ago, the G8 talked tough about cutting global temperatures by two degrees. In Toronto, they neutered that tough talk, replacing it with a nebulous commitment to do their best on climate change — and not to try to outdo each other. The global-warming commitments of the G20 — which now carries more clout than the G8 — went from nebulous to non-existent: The G20’s draft promise going into the meetings of investing in green technologies faded into a mere commitment to “a green economy and to sustainable global growth.”
These leaders’ collective decisions in Toronto reflect their individual experiences at home, and a desire to avoid the fate that met their true-believing colleagues, all of whom have been hurt by the economic and political consequences of their global-warming advocacy.
Kevin Rudd, Australia’s gung-ho global-warming prime minister, lost his job the day before he was set to fly to the G20 meetings; just months earlier Australia’s conservative opposition leader, also gung-go on global warming, lost his job in an anti-global-warming backbencher revolt. The U.K.’s gung-ho global-warming leader during last year’s G8 and G20 meetings, Gordon Brown, likewise lost his job.
France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, who had vowed to “save the human race” from climate change by introducing a carbon tax by the time of the G8 and G20, was a changed man by the time the meetings occurred. He cancelled his carbon tax in March, two days after a crushing defeat in regional elections that saw his Gaullist party lose just about every region of France. He got the message: Two-thirds of the French public opposed carbon taxes.
Spain? Days before the G20 meetings, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, his popularity and that of global warming in tatters, decided to gut his country’s renewables industry by unilaterally rescinding the government guarantees enshrined in legislation, knowing the rescinding would put most of his country’s 600 photovoltaic manufacturers out of business. Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi similarly scrapped government guarantees for its solar and wind companies prior to the G8 and G20, putting them into default, too.
The U.K may be making the biggest global-warming cuts of all, with an emergency budget that came down the week of the G20 meetings. The two government departments responsible for climate-change policies — previously immune to cuts — must now contract by an extraordinary 25%. Other U.K. departments are also ditching climate-change programs — the casualties include manufacturers of electric cars, the Low Carbon Buildings Program, and, as the minister in charge put it, “every commitment made by the last government on renewables is under review.“ Some areas of the economy not only survived but expanded, though: The government announced record offshore oil development in the North Sea — the U.K. granted a record 356 exploration licences in its most recent round.
Support for global-warming programs is also in tatters in the U.S., where polls show — as in Europe — that the great majority rejects global-warming catastrophism. The public resents repeated attempts to pass cap and trade legislation over their objections, contributing to the fall in popularity of President Barack Obama and Congress. Public opinion surveys now predict that this November’s elections will see sweeping change in the United States, with legislators who have signed on to the global-warming hypothesis being replaced by those who don’t buy it.
In the lead-up to the Toronto meetings and throughout them, one country — Canada — and one leader — Prime Minister Stephen Harper — have stood out for avoiding the worst excesses associated with climate change. Dubbed the Colossal Fossil three years running by some 500 environmental groups around the world, Canada — and especially Harper — are reviled among climate-change campaigners for failing to fall into line.
Not coincidentally, Canada has also stood out for having best withstood the financial crisis that beset the world. Fittingly, Canada and its leader played host to the meetings.
The Economist - IPCC systematic tendencies to accentuate the negative
Reply #355 on:
July 07, 2010, 12:44:26 PM »
Accentuate the negative
Jul 5th 2010, 10:11 by The Economist online
FOR everyone else it was the glaciers: for the Dutch it was the flooding. Last January errors in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) hit the headlines. The chapter on Asia in the report by the IPCC’s second working group, charged with looking at the impact of climate change and adapting to it, mistakenly claimed that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035. This contradicted some reasonably basic physics, had not been predicted by the glacier specialists in the first working group (which deals with the natural science of past and future climate change) and was unsupported by any evidence. There was a report from the 1990s which said something similar about all the world’s non-polar glaciers, but it gave the date as 2350. Then there was a crucial typo and some shoddy referencing. Nevertheless the IPCC’s chair, Rajendra Pachauri, had lashed out at people bringing the criticism up, accusing them of “voodoo science”. He then had to eat his words, and set up, with Ban Ki-moon, a panel to look into ways the IPCC might be improved.
Inspired by this to look for other errors, a journalist for a Dutch newspaper spotted that the chapter on Europe gave a figure for the area of the Netherlands below sea level that was much too large. The area at risk of flooding by the sea had been conflated with that at risk of flooding by the Rhine and the Meuse rivers. That the careful Dutch should have provided faulty information and not spotted it in the review process was an embarrassment to the then environment minister, Jacqueline Cramer; following a debate in parliament she called on the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), an independent body, to look at all the regional chapters in the working group II report and make sure they were up to snuff. This the PBL has now done; its report was published on July 5th.
The authors try hard to make clear that their findings do not undermine the IPCC's conclusions on climate change. And there is nothing in their report as egregious as the glaciers or as embarrassing as the Dutch sea level. But they did find a number of things to take issue with, most of which they thought minor but eight of which they classed as major; and their work seems to bring out a systemic tendency to stress negative effects over positive ones. This tendency can be defended. But a reading of the report suggests there may also be broader and potentialy more misleading bias. The PBL report chose as its main focus a table in the “Summary for Policy Makers” of the IPCC’s 2007 “Synthesis Report”, which brings together the results of working groups one, two and three (which deals with responses to climate change). Where did these bullet points actually come from, the PBL team asked, and how well supported were they?
The auditors found one new error which they deemed major: a statement about the frequency of turbulence in South African fishing waters which had been translated directly into a statement about the productivity of the fisheries. The IPCC has indicated it will produce an erratum for this, and for a number of other errors all concerned deemed minor. But the PBL also identified seven statements, which, while not errors, it thought were deserving of comment (for which read criticism).
Perhaps the most striking relates to Africa. The table in the summary for policy makers reads: “By 2020, in some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50%.” The evidence on which this is based says only that yields during years in which there are droughts could be reduced by 50%. Furthermore, the relevant reference applies only for Morocco—and it cites as its source an earlier paper that the PBL says no one, including the IPCC authors, now seems able to find.
Other criticisms turn on a tendency to generalise. Research showing decreased yields of millet, groundnuts and cowpeas in Niger becomes a claim that crop yields are decreasing in the Sahel, the strip that separates the Sahara from the savannah in Africa, rather than that the yields of some crops are decreasing in some parts of the Sahel. The results of research on cattle in Argentina are applied to livestock (which would include pigs, chickens, llamas and the rest) throughout South America. The expert authors do not provide a compelling reason for their claim that fresh water availability will decline overall in south, east and southeast Asia, or that the balance of climate-related effects on the health of Europeans will be negative.
With the exception of the South African fisheries it is not clear that any of this is wrong, which is why, on these matters, the PBL does not speak of error. Martin Parry, a specialist in agriculture who was the co-chair of the second working group's report, defends his colleagues’ work. Agriculture in other parts of North Africa is very like that in Morocco, and during droughts the crop yields there already drop by more than 50%. To say that yields decline in the Sahel does not mean all crop yields in all of the Sahel. Cattle make up most of Latin America’s livestock, and much of the rest of it can be expected to do worse. The IPCC does not just assemble evidence, Parry stresses: it assesses it. When its expert authors weigh their words on things like water in Asia and health effects in Europe they do so in the context of a wide range of knowledge. And they do so in ways that cannot be reduced to ticks in the boxes of Dutch assessors going through things line by line four years later.
The authors might better document the extra insight brought to bear, and be more transparent about the application of their judgment. But at 1000 pages the Working Group II report alone is already a challenge to the book-binder’s art. Does it really need to be longer?
Another problem identified by the PBL analysis is that, in general, negative impacts are stressed over positive ones. The table in the summary for policymakers is almost unremittingly bad news; the conclusions in the chapters that fed into it, while far from cheery, were more mixed. In a similar way, when there is a range of possible impacts, the top end of the range tends to get more play in the summaries for policy makers than the bottom end does. The PBL says that this is a reasonable way to proceed in a document that is explicitly aimed at policy makers thinking about adaptation, but it is not clear how transparent this approach is to readers.
This may reflect a larger issue. Work on the impacts of climate change—the literature Working Group II assesses—tends to focus on vulnerabilities and damage for much the same reason the IPCC authors do. They seem more important, more urgent and quite possibly more fundable. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change requires countries to assess their vulnerabilities, and these assessments are fodder for Working Group II (one of them was the source for the 50% drop in rain fed agriculture yields). Thus the evidence base from which an assessment of impacts has to start is to some extent skewed.
Perhaps the most worrying thing about the PBL report, though, is a rather obvious one about which its authors say little. In all ten of the issues that the PBL categorised as major (the original errors on glaciers and Dutch sea level, and the eight others identified in the report), the impression that the reader gets from the IPCC is more strikingly negative than the impression which would have been received if the underlying evidence base had been reflected as the PBL would have wished, with more precise referencing, more narrow interpretation and less authorial judgment. A large rise in heat related deaths in Australia is mentioned without noting that most of the effect is due to population rather than climate change. A claim about forest fires in northern Asia seems to go further than the evidence referred to—in this case a speech by a politician—would warrant.
The Netherlands look more floodable, Asian glaciers more fragile. A suspicion thus gains ground that the way in which the IPCC sythesises, generalises snd checks its findings may systematically favour adverse outcomes in a way that goes beyond just serving the needs of policy makers. Anecdotally, authors bemoan fights to keep caveats in place as chapters are edited, refined and summarised. The PBL report does not prove or indeed suggest systematic bias, and it stresses that it has found nothing that should lead the parliament of the Netherlands, or anyone else, to reject the IPCC’s findings. But the panel set up to look at the IPCC’s workings by Dr Pachauri and Mr Ban should ask some hard questions about systematic tendencies to accentuate the negative.
Reply #356 on:
July 18, 2010, 04:30:50 PM »
DOE Funding For CRU Placed On Hold
Posted on July 18, 2010 by Anthony Watts
Jonathan Leake, The Sunday Times
The American government has suspended its funding of the University of East Anglia’s climate research unit (CRU), citing the scientific doubts raised by last November’s leak of hundreds of stolen emails.
The US Department of Energy (DoE) was one of the unit’s main sources of funding for its work assembling a database of global temperatures.
It has supported the CRU financially since 1990 and gives the unit about £131,000 ($200,000 USD) a year on a rolling three-year contract.
This should have been renewed automatically in April, but the department has suspended all payments since May pending a scientific peer review of the unit’s work.
The leaked emails caused a global furore. They appeared to suggest that CRU scientists were using “tricks” to strengthen the case for man-made climate change and suppressing dissent.
A spokesman for the DoE said: “The renewal application was placed on hold pending the conclusion of the inquiry into scientific misconduct by Sir Alastair Muir Russell.”
Muir Russell published his report earlier this month. It said that the rigour and honesty of the CRU scientists were not in doubt but criticised them for “a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness”.
The DoE peer review panel will now sift through the report and decide if American taxpayers should continue to fund the unit.
A spokesman for the university said: “We are still waiting to hear if the latest bid for funding to the US Department of Energy has been successful and would not comment or speculate in the meantime.”
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #357 on:
July 20, 2010, 07:25:33 AM »
I did not see that one coming!
It will be very interesting to see if DOE will get slapped down by the White House for this , , ,
Quatenary Oligarchy Phase Topology Archetypes
Reply #358 on:
July 24, 2010, 01:11:47 PM »
Postmodernism and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
Published by Briggs at 10:37 am under Climatology,Philosophy,Statistics
Since I am, by nature, a compassionate individual, I had been thinking of how we might Sokal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). It is for their own good.
Alan Sokal: remember him? He’s the physicist who submitted the scam article “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” to the oh-so-prestigious postmodern journal Social Text.
Postmodernists are intellectuals who are so jealous of the success of real scientists, that they pretend that scientists’ accomplishments are nothing special. They are the sort of people who authoritatively state, “There is no truth,” or “‘Truth’ is a social construction.” You may find postmodernists in any university English or Sociology department, the New York Times editorial desk, and in the current administration.
Anyway, Sokal typed up an article of complete gibberish larded with science words, such as:
As Althusser rightly commented, “Lacan finally gives Freud’s thinking the scientific concepts that it requires”. More recently, Lacan’s topologie du sujet has been applied fruitfully to cinema criticism and to the psychoanalysis of AIDS. In mathematical terms, Lacan is here pointing out that the first homology group of the sphere is trivial, while those of the other surfaces are profound; and this homology is linked with the connectedness or disconnectedness of the surface after one or more cuts.
Painful, right? Stuff no serious person would ever read, and only the insane would take seriously. That Sokal was able to slip this rot though Social Text‘s five-hole demonstrated unequivocally that postmodernists are Aesopian foxes, people whose college physics classes left sour tastes in their mouths.
Humanities scholars here in the States started down their slippery slope and became postmodernists only after they opened the doors to a rabble of French and German philosophers. Men such as Heidegger, Hegel, and De Man; all of whom were mighty big fans of 1940′s-style National Socialism.
As long as postmodernists kept to themselves, churning out “literary theory” by the bucketful, they were thought to be harmless.
But some warned us that postmodernism can spread like a disease; that the chance of catching it increases as a function of the proximity of the uninfected to the carrier. And since most postmodernists reside inside universities, their hives exposed to scientists, it was only a matter of time before the infection spread.
And that is what happened. For example (thanks to reader John Moore), at the 11th Statistical Climatology Meeting, Demetris Koutsoyannis asked another scientist whether, as a rule, “original data should be available to the interested scientists or not?” That is, should raw data be shared so that people could independently verify extraordinary claims?
The answer—the only answer to this prior to the postmodernist infection—must be “Yes.” But the infected person answered, “No”, the data should not be available “because some could misuse them….[to] demonstrate a specific behaviour that they want to advocate.”
See what I mean? People cannot be trusted to come to their own judgments because those judgments might fall afoul of the party line, a line which, by definition, is socially constructed. Those in power decide “truth.” The disease rampages.
It’s always sad to witness the progression of morbidity, and worse when it happens to someone you love. Take PNAS, a journal which, prior the postmodernist pandemic, was lovely and pure. But the infection is now so strong that it has published an Enemies of Science list!
Anderegg et al., “Expert credibility in climate change.” Not one word in this article attempts to refute the theories its enemies; instead, it is one long, suppurating logical fallacy. I weep.
And then this: “Irrelevant events affect voters’ evaluations of government performance“, a piece by Healy et al. which would have been excised mercilessly by blarney-detecting white blood cells before the disease struck.
The American voters, says Healy, is irrational. Little things, like his favorite football team winning, will influence his vote. Via a goofy statistical model, they claim “that voting decisions are influenced by irrelevant events that have nothing to do with the competence or effectiveness of the incumbent government.”
This isn’t just bad statistics—a symptom common to many diseases, not just postmodernism—but bad reasoning. They emphasize their findings “have implications for understanding elite incentives and strategies to manipulate voters’ perceptions of their own well-being.” If the voter cannot decide rationally, perhaps he should not be allowed to decide at all. Keep the raw data from him!
Postmodern infections are best killed by inoculation using a dead virus, i.e. a Sokal-like spoof masquerading as genuine. I therefore say that we, dear readers, compose a scam article that, when exposed, will restore the critical senses of the editors of PNAS.
Suggestions for a topic?
Liberal Environmentalist says Manmade GW case is Tenuous, no evidence
Reply #359 on:
July 27, 2010, 11:58:43 AM »
Very persuasive IMO.
The Death of AGW
Reply #360 on:
July 29, 2010, 12:00:03 PM »
The Death Of The Global Warming Movement
Shikha Dalmia, 07.28.10, 4:00 PM ET
Future historians will pinpoint Democratic Sen. Harry Reid's energy legislation, released Tuesday, as the moment that the political movement of global warming entered an irreversible death spiral. It is kaput! Finito! Done!
This is not just my read of the situation; it is also that of Paul Krugman, the Nobel laureate-turned-Democratic-apparatchik. In his latest column for The New York Times, Krugman laments that “all hope for action to limit climate change died” in 2010. Democrats had a brief window of opportunity before the politics of global warming changed forever in November to ram something through Congress. But the Reid bill chose not to do so for the excellent reason that Democrats want to avoid an even bigger beating than the one they already face at the polls.
Not only does the bill avoid all mention of an economy-wide emission cap through a cap-and-tax--oops, cap-and-trade--scheme, it even avoids capping emissions or imposing renewable electricity standards on utility companies, the minimum that enviros had hoped for. Beyond stricter regulations on off-shore drilling, it offers subsidies to both homeowners to encourage them to make their homes more energy efficient and the nation's fleet of trucks to use cleaner burning natural gas. This is not costless, but it is a bargain compared with the “comprehensive” action on energy and climate change that President Barack Obama had been threatening.
Krugman blames this outcome on--you'll never guess this!--greedy energy companies and cowardly Republicans who sold out. But the fault, Dear Paul, lies not in them, but in your own weakling theories.
The truth is that there never has been an environmental issue that has enjoyed greater corporate support. Early in the global warming crusade, a coalition of corporations called United States Climate Action Partnership was formed with the express purpose of lobbying Congress to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It included major utilities (Duke Energy) and gas companies (BP) that stood to gain by hobbling the coal industry through a cap-and-trade scheme. Meanwhile, the Breakthrough Institute, a highly respected liberal outfit whose mission is to rejuvenate the progressive movement in this country, points out that environmental groups spent at least $100 million over the past two years executing what was arguably the best mobilization campaign in history. Despite all of this, notes Breakthrough, there is little evidence to suggest that cap-and-trade would have mustered more than 43 votes in the Senate.
This means that lucre is not the only motivating force in politics. Indeed, lobbyists are effective generally when they represent causes that coincide with the will of constituents, which is far from the case here. Voters are reluctant to accept economic pain to address remote causes with an uncertain upside. Heck, they are dubious even when the cause is not so remote and has a demonstrable upside. Take Social Security and Medicare. It is a mathematical certainty that, without reform, these programs will go bankrupt, jeopardizing the health care and retirement benefits of tens of millions Americans. Even though the cost of action is far smaller compared with the cost of inaction, persuading voters to do something is an uphill battle.
Yet even in the heyday of the consensus on global warming there was never this kind of certainty. The ClimateGate scandal--in which prominent climatologists were caught manipulating data to exaggerate the observed warming--has significantly weakened this consensus. But even if it hadn't, climate change is too complex an issue to ever be established with anything approaching iron-clad certainty. Hence, it was inevitable that it would run into a political dead-end.
This is exactly what the Reid bill represents. Indeed, if Democrats backed-off from their grand designs to cut carbon emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 with sizable majorities in Congress and a “celestial healer” in the White House there is little chance that they will ever be able to accomplish anything better at a later date. And if America--the richest country in the world and the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases--won't act, there is a snowball's chance in Mumbai that India or China will.
Of course, authoritarian countries have a little bit more leeway than democracies to push unpalatable remedies. But it is not within the power of even China's autocrats to shove an energy diet down the throat of their people on the theory that the pain from it will be short-lived because it will trigger a search for better and cleaner energy alternatives--the totality of the green pitch for action.
This doesn't mean that there aren't a few more whimpers left in the global warming movement before it finally passes. On the international front, the buzz is that the Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change currently in the works will be even more alarmist than the previous one. However, thanks to ClimateGate, it will give greater play to alternative voices. “Going forward, the general perception won't be one of consensus,” notes Cato Institute Senior Fellow Jerry Taylor, an expert on energy issues, “but one of increasing appreciation of disagreement on the issue.”
Domestically, green groups will prod the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions more aggressively. But this will be harder to do when Republicans inevitably make gains in Congress in November. Indeed, they will likely revive a Senate resolution floated by Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, banning the EPA from regulating emissions from stationary sources, which lost by just four votes last month. Global warming warriors are also talking about fighting the battle for emission cuts state-by-state. But they will lose on that front too. California, which embraced such cuts four years ago, is already facing a ballot initiative in November to scrap the law, as it loses business and jobs to other states. Indeed, the same collective action problems that prevent global action on climate change will inevitably bedevil state-level action too.
The global warming warriors will likely have to go through the five stages of grief before accepting that their moment has passed and the movement is dead. Thinkers more sophisticated than Krugman will no doubt point to many proximate causes for its demise beyond evil Republicans such as lack of engagement by President Obama, bad economic timing, filibuster rules, what have you.
The reality is, however, that the crusade was doomed from the start because of its own inherent weaknesses. RIP.
Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation and a biweekly Forbes columnist. Robert Soave of University of Michigan provided valuable research assistance for this column.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #361 on:
August 03, 2010, 07:01:25 AM »
It isn't dead yet, there are to many true believers out there..... Enlightened Self Interest and plain old ego involvement guarantee that. There is money to be madefor wealth. A crusade for the need to feel good. A good basic drek und drang roller coaster as well, which seems to satisfy a human need too.
Reply #362 on:
August 06, 2010, 09:08:32 PM »
This is inside baseball stuff, but it had me giggling. Real Climate is a warmist website run by NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt who appears to do a lot of that running on company time. Mann is Michael man who Gavin reflexively carries water for. The other players are various warmist/skeptic personalities. I've made the mistake of trying to engage folks on RealClimate, resulting conversations do indeed unfold as follows:
Mosher on Gavin’s “Frustration”
Mosher writes in:
Gavin explained his frustration stemmed from people asking the same question over and over when it was already answered. He then reveals something new and closes the thread. We carry on here with one unknown guy trying to defend mann.
That’s the PROBLEM.
McIntyre No, 2+2=4
Mann; thats bizarre
Mc: 2+2=4, just say it Mike
Mann: it doesnt matter, look over here we say 3+3=6
Mann: it doesnt matter, ask gavin
Amac: ya 2+2=4
Mann: it doesnt matter
Mosher: Can anybody besides steve just say that 2+2=4
Dehog: You said Piltdown Mann once.
Gavin: it doesnt matter:
Arthur Smith: I”ll look into it.
Gavin: Can we change the subject, we said it doesnt matter.
Mosher: can you say 2+2=4
Lambert: Fuller is full of it.
Bishop: Mike said 2+2=5, but 2+2=4
Tamino: Bishop said 2+2=5
Mc: Bishop was explaining Mann.
Kloor: why can’t we reason together?
Gavin: we try, but they wont read our answers.
Gavin: There he goes again, please shut him up.
RC commenter: Do your own science Mcintyre
Mc: 2+2=4 is not publishable. Mann needs to correct this.
Mann: its all in the SI
Amac: hey mann website now says 2+2=4
Gavin: The exact value of 2+2 is uninteresting. move along
RC commenter: Hey McIntyre said 2+2=5
Mc: no I didnt
RC commenter: oops, my bad, but I’m right in spirit
Gavin: discussion over, lets talk about the black list.
Kloor: all you people who think 2+2=4, can discuss this further.
Scientist: Tiljander’s paper wasn’t perfect, lets pressure test her.
Amac: but 2+2=4
Scientist: Can you give me a reading list?
BbG Note: Many of the comments on this post are pretty funny and well worth checking out:
Reply #363 on:
August 06, 2010, 09:21:11 PM »
A dense piece that helps illustrate the post above. Warmists toss a lot of sand in the air:
Reply #364 on:
August 07, 2010, 12:11:55 PM »
Global Warming, R.I.P
By Claude Sandroff
In a remarkable monograph, Roy W. Spencer presents hard evidence that 75% of the observed warming since the start of the 20th century is due to natural processes. He offers a detailed model describing how one of these processes, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), operates in the real world. Most importantly, he demonstrates that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a minor contributor to a global climate largely insensitive to man-made CO2.
Thanks to this highly skilled climatologist and his The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled The World's Top Climate Scientists, we can now taunt the often corrupt and overtly political planetary high priests with this: PDO means AGW is DOA.
Written in a style that should be attractive to both warming newcomers and scientists from other fields, the volume's appearance is not a welcome event for the world's strident purveyors of global warming orthodoxy. For in the gentlest language possible, Spencer is telling the AGW clingers that they are scientifically incompetent lemmings.
The "blunder" Dr. Spencer (a leading analyst of satellite-derived atmospheric data) refers to is a basic one: confusing cause and effect. Most would-be scientists who make this mistake once, let alone repeatedly, often go into another kind of work. It's the equivalent of the graduate student who forgets to plug in his detector and then reports a successful negative check experiment.
The effect Spencer seeks to explain is the 1.8ºC warming of the earth since 1900. He argues effectively that accepted global warming dogma and funding agency prejudices had discouraged potential heretics from seriously entertaining the idea that long-term, natural variations, rather than man-made CO2 "pollution," could be operating over the timescale of a century to warm and cool our planet.
And as the recent Climategate scandal has confirmed, the AGW church fathers will discredit, shun, and excommunicate any deviant member of the warming consensus congregation.
Indeed, it is frustration with the controlling climate hierarchy that led Spencer to communicate his findings directly with the public in book form rather than in the peer-reviewed literature. He guides the reader through the fundamental blunder that has led almost every scientist astray.
Observing increasing CO2 levels and increasing temperatures, scientists assumed that the former must have caused the latter. How did the warmers know that it wasn't the other way around, and that higher temperatures caused higher CO2 concentrations? Or how did the warmers know that there wasn't another process, a naturally occurring one, that caused the temperature rise, with increasing CO2 just along for the ride? Answer: They didn't, because they never bothered to look.
They never felt that they had to look, since emitting CO2 for the true believer is a kind of original sin, a crime committed by affluent societies that requires no corroborating evidence, let alone a scientific trial to determine guilt. But Spencer decided to look, peering into the CERES (Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System) satellite data more deeply than anyone else in the field.
And ultimately, with just four parameters, keen insight into the behavior of the PDA and clouds, a simple program, and a few thousand Monte Carlo simulations, he was able to produce a model that explains our current climate system and man's role in it with unprecedented clarity.
Spencer devotes several chapters to the important role of feedback in understanding climate and the need to carefully separate it from existing forces (causes) to avoid overestimating the sensitivity of climate to external changes.
At the end of Spencer's careful analysis, a simple picture emerges. The PDO is a long-lived ocean-to-atmosphere heat transfer process (similar to the better-known El Niño and La Niña) but of much longer duration. Cloud cover decreases significantly during the positive PDO phase, allowing more sunlight to reach the earth's surface. In the ocean, this extra energy is stored as heat. In its negative phase, the PDO acts in reverse and cools the atmosphere. And all of this occurs in roughly thirty-year cycles. While this mechanism is operating, mankind is dumping a small, vanishing amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. Big deal.
The most prominent frauds active in promoting AGW have always tried to bury evidence of natural warming and cooling cycles. Truly, the Medieval Warming Period and Little Ice Age are threats to their very CO2-obsessed existence. But these eras occurred centuries ago, with only proxies (like tree rings) to indicate the actual prevailing temperatures. Hence, data from these eras are easily brushed aside and forgotten. Not so with recent thermometer measurements, and temperatures from two periods in particular that have always plagued the theory of AGW.
The first is the period from 1900-1940. A full 60% of the temperature increase measured in the last century occurred during these forty years, when less industrialization existed worldwide and therefore less CO2 had been spewed into our atmosphere. The mild cooling period that ended in the mid-1970s is also baffling. But like any good theory, Spencer's PDO-focused model fits the temperature data during these decades amazingly well. Natural processes -- cloud formation and heat transfer -- dominated the temperatures during these decades, as in every other decade in the modern era.
There is no greater pleasure in a scientist's life than being able to explain phenomena more simply and comprehensively than anyone else did before him. This sense permeates Spencer's book, along with something else: moral outrage.
Some wealthy, spoiled, self-hating Westerners might in their affluence be able to afford expensive energy alternatives to power -- things like wind and solar that don't directly involve the emission of CO2. But the rest of the world cannot. Cheap, affordable energy, the kind that comes from coal, natural gas and oil, is a prerequisite for any society to rise economically. Spencer seems thrilled to be able to tell the developing world that they have a free pass to burn hydrocarbons and prosper.
Claude can be reached at
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at August 07, 2010 - 12:09:39 PM CDT
Link to more info about the book:
Higher CO2 Levels, Same Temps 460 MYA
Reply #365 on:
August 10, 2010, 05:08:54 PM »
Study: Climate 460 MYA was like today, but thought to have CO2 levels 5-20 times as high
Posted on August 10, 2010 by Anthony Watts
This image provided for timeline reference and is not from the study cited below
From the University of Leicester: An ancient Earth like ours
Geologists reconstruct the Earth’s climate belts between 460 and 445 million years ago
An international team of scientists including Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz of the Geology Department of the University of Leicester, and led by Dr. Thijs Vandenbroucke, formerly of Leicester and now at the University of Lille 1 (France), has reconstructed the Earth’s climate belts of the late Ordovician Period, between 460 and 445 million years ago.
The findings have been published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA – and show that these ancient climate belts were surprisingly like those of the present.
The researchers state: “The world of the ancient past had been thought by scientists to differ from ours in many respects, including having carbon dioxide levels much higher – over twenty times as high – than those of the present. However, it is very hard to deduce carbon dioxide levels with any accuracy from such ancient rocks, and it was known that there was a paradox, for the late Ordovician was known to include a brief, intense glaciation – something difficult to envisage in a world with high levels of greenhouse gases. “
A specimen of the chitinozoan species Armoricochitina nigerica (length = c. 0.3mm). Chitinozoans are microfossils of marine zooplankton in the Ordovician. Their distribution allows to track climate belts in deep time, much in a way that zooplankton has been used for climate modeling in the Cenozoic. A. nigerica is an important component of the Polar Fauna during the late Ordovician Hirnantian glaciation.
The team of scientists looked at the global distribution of common, but mysterious fossils called chitinozoans – probably the egg-cases of extinct planktonic animals – before and during this Ordovician glaciation. They found a pattern that revealed the position of ancient climate belts, including such features as the polar front, which separates cold polar waters from more temperate ones at lower latitudes. The position of these climate belts changed as the Earth entered the Ordovician glaciation – but in a pattern very similar to that which happened in oceans much more recently, as they adjusted to the glacial and interglacial phases of our current (and ongoing) Ice Age.
This ‘modern-looking’ pattern suggests that those ancient carbon dioxide levels could not have been as high as previously thought, but were more modest, at about five times current levels (they would have had to be somewhat higher than today’s, because the sun in those far-off times shone less brightly).
“These ancient, but modern-looking oceans emphasise the stability of Earth’s atmosphere and climate through deep time – and show the current man-made rise in greenhouse gas levels to be an even more striking phenomenon than was thought,” the researchers conclude.
Reference: Vandenbroucke, T.R.A., Armstrong, H.A., Williams, M., Paris, F., Zalasiewicz, J.A., Sabbe, K., Nolvak, J., Challands, T.J., Verniers, J. & Servais, T. 2010. Polar front shift and atmospheric CO2 during the glacial maximum of the Early Paleozoic Icehouse. PNAS doi/10.1073/pnas.1003220107.
Contacts: (Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz at the Department of Geology, University of Leicester: Respectively tel. 0116 252 3642 and 0116 2523928, and e-mails
Accuracy in Sharp Disagreement
Reply #366 on:
August 15, 2010, 04:35:40 PM »
New paper out in a well regarded statistics journal that analyzes the proxy recreations that were then converted into Mann's infamous hockey stick graph. The conclusion is reprinted below:
Research on multi-proxy temperature reconstructions of the earth’s temperature is now entering its second decade. While the literature is large, there has been very little collaboration with universitylevel, professional statisticians (Wegman et al., 2006; Wegman, 2006). Our paper is an effort to apply some modern statistical methods to these problems. While our results agree with the climate scientists findings in some
respects, our methods of estimating model uncertainty and accuracy are in sharp disagreement.
On the one hand, we conclude unequivocally that the evidence for a ”long-handled” hockey stick (where the shaft of the hockey stick extends to the year 1000 AD) is lacking in the data. The fundamental problem is that there is a limited amount of proxy data which dates back to 1000 AD; what is available is weakly predictive of global annual temperature. Our backcasting methods, which track quite closely the methods applied most recently in Mann (2008) to the same data, are unable to catch the sharp run up in temperatures recorded in the 1990s, even in-sample.
As can be seen in Figure 15, our estimate of the run up in temperature in the 1990s has
a much smaller slope than the actual temperature series. Furthermore, the lower frame of Figure 18 clearly reveals that the proxy model is not at all able to track the high gradient segment. Consequently, the long flat handle of the hockey stick is best understood to be a feature of regression and less a reflection of our knowledge of the truth. Nevertheless, the temperatures of the last few decades have been relatively warm compared to many of the thousand year temperature curves sampled from the posterior distribution of our model.
Our main contribution is our efforts to seriously grapple with the uncertainty involved in paleoclimatological reconstructions. Regression of high dimensional time series is always a complex problem with many traps. In our case, the particular challenges include (i) a short sequence of training data, (ii) more predictors than observations, (iii) a very weak signal, and (iv) response and predictor variables which are both strongly autocorrelated.
The final point is particularly troublesome: since the data is not easily modeled by a simple autoregressive process it follows that the number of truly independent observations (i.e., the effective sample size) may be just too small for accurate reconstruction.
Climate scientists have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxy based reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models. We have shown that time dependence in the temperature series is sufficiently strong to permit complex sequences of random numbers to forecast out-of-sample reasonably well fairly frequently (see, for example, Figure 9). Furthermore, even proxy based models with approximately the same amount of reconstructive skill (Figures 11,12, and 13), produce strikingly dissimilar historical backcasts: some of these look like hockey sticks but most do not (Figure 14).
Natural climate variability is not well understood and is probably quite large. It is not clear that the proxies currently used to predict temperature are even predictive of it at the scale of several decades let alone over many centuries. Nonetheless, paleoclimatoligical reconstructions constitute only one source of evidence in the AGW debate. Our work stands entirely on the shoulders of those environmental scientists who labored untold years to assemble the vast network of natural proxies. Although we assume the reliability of their data for our purposes here, there still remains a considerable number of outstanding questions that can only be answered with a free and open inquiry and a great deal of replication.
More info here:
Reply #367 on:
August 23, 2010, 12:49:18 PM »
From King of the World to Chicken of the Sea: Director James Cameron challenges climate skeptics to debate and then bails out at last minute
Hide the Debate: Cameron ducks Climate Debate with Breitbart, Morano, & McElhinney
Monday, August 23, 2010By Marc Morano – Climate Depot
ASPEN COLORADO: Hollywood director James Cameron challenged three high profile global warming skeptics to a public debate at a global warming and energy conference. But Cameron backed out of the debate at the last minute after environmentalists "came out of the woodwork" to warn him not to engage in a debate with skeptics because it was not in his best interest.
Cameron challenged Andrew Breitbart, Climate Depot's Marc Morano and filmmaker Ann McElhinney of 'Not Evil Just Wrong.' The debate was already in the program for the Aspen American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) summit. The website program described the agreed to debate as “AREDAY Climate Change Debate: Reality or Fiction?"
After setting up the public global warming debate, Cameron and his negotiator then changed formats multiple times and initially said it would be open to the media and then said he would only participate if it was private with no recording devices. The skeptics agreed to all the changes. According to AREDAY organizers, activist Joseph Romm of Climate Progress urged Cameron not to go ahead with the debate as well.
Cameron's cancellation of the agreed to debate did not happen until one debate participant (Morano) was already in mid-air, flying from DC to Aspen on Saturday August 21 to attend the debate. (AREDAY did grant Morano a 90 minute slot to speak at the summit. See: Climate Depot's Presentation at Warmists' Summit Met By Hostile Interrupting Moderator and Crowd; Call for Morano to Kill Himself!)
(Morano Note: After ducking debate, James Cameron boldly slammed global warming skeptics as "swine" on the day he was supposed to be debating them. "I think they're swine" Cameron told a friendly audience at the AREDAY summit. Also see: Cameron Morphs Into Gore, Quits AGW Debate: 'Chickened out–even after he won Gore-like concessions that there would be no media and no audio or video record kept' -- How does Cameron square ducking a climate debate he set up when just a few months ago he seemed so confident? See: Director James Cameron Unleashed: Calls for gun fight with global warming skeptics: 'I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads')
Below is detailed report from Ann McElhinney of
on how Cameron ducked out of debate he set up.
James Cameron—King of Hypocrites
Written by Ann McElhinney
Sunday, 22 August 2010 17:49
Last March James Cameron sounded defiant.
The Avatar director was determined to expose journalists, such as myself, who thought it was important to ask questions about climate change orthodoxy and the radical "solutions" being proposed.
Cameron said was itching to debate the issue and show skeptical journalists and scientists that they were wrong.
“I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads," he said in an interview.
Well, a few weeks ago Mr. Cameron seemed to honor his word.
His representatives contacted myself and two other well known skeptics, Marc Morano of the Climate Depot website and Andrew Breitbart, the new media entrepreneur.
Mr. Cameron was attending the AREDAY environmental conference in Aspen Colorado 19-22 August. He wanted the conference to end with a debate on climate change. Cameron would be flanked with two scientists. It would be 90 minutes long. It would be streamed live on the internet.
They hoped the debate would attract a lot of media coverage.
"We are delighted to have Fox News, Newsmax, The Washington Times and anyone else you'd like. The more the better," one of James Cameron's organizers said in an email.
It looked like James Cameron really was a man of his word who would get to take on the skeptics he felt were so endangering humanity.
Everyone on our side agreed with their conditions. The debate was even listed on the AREDAY agenda.
But then as the debate approached James Cameron's side started changing the rules.
They wanted to change their team. We agreed.
They wanted to change the format to less of a debate—to "a roundtable". We agreed.
Then they wanted to ban our cameras from the debate. We could have access to their footage. We agreed.
Bizarrely, for a brief while, the worlds most successful film maker suggested that no cameras should be allowed-that sound only should be recorded. We agreed
Then finally James Cameron, who so publicly announced that he "wanted to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out," decided to ban the media from the shoot out.
He even wanted to ban the public. The debate/roundtable would only be open to those who attended the conference.
No media would be allowed and there would be no streaming on the internet. No one would be allowed to record it in any way.
We all agreed to that.
And then, yesterday, just one day before the debate, his representatives sent an email that Mr. "shoot it out " Cameron no longer wanted to take part. The debate was cancelled.
James Cameron's behavior raises some very important questions.
Does he genuinely believe in man made climate change? If he believes it is a danger to humanity surely he should be debating the issue every chance he gets ?
Or is it just a pose?
The man who called for an open and public debate at "high noon" suddenly doesn't want his policies open to serious scrutiny.
I was looking forward to debating with the film maker. I was looking forward to finding out where we agreed and disagreed and finding a way forward that would help the poorest people in the developing and developed world.
But that is not going to happen because somewhere along the way James Cameron, a great film maker, has moved from King of the World to being King of the Hypocrites.
James Cameron's key climate quotes:
Director James Cameron Unleashed: Calls for gun fight with global warming skeptics: 'I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads'
Cameron: 'If we don't do something, we're all going to die! What's it going to take, a big f#cking disaster with all kinds of people dying?' March 1, 2010 – Grist Mag.
Cameron: 'Anybody that is a global-warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their ass I'm not sure they could hear me.' March 24, 2010
Director James Cameron: Climate Deniers Using 'Talk-Show Host Puppets' for 'Disinformation Campaign'
James Cameron: Climate Change 'As Great As The Threat' U.S. Faced in World War II
James Cameron boldly slammed global warming skeptics as "swine" on the day he was supposed to be debating them. "I think they're swine"
Reply #368 on:
August 28, 2010, 10:25:12 PM »
Piece w/ a lot of tables I'm too lazy to reproduce showing how poorly solar irradiance and reflection are understood where planetary hearing and cooling are concerned.
Pathological Science: Banning lead in bullets
Reply #369 on:
August 29, 2010, 11:43:39 PM »
EPA rejects attempt to regulate lead in bullets after NRA protests
What? A health hazard to be shot with a lead bullet? Absolutely. I wonder if they would also require the guy who stabbed me to sterilize his knife between uses. Really, it's in everyone's best interest. We don't want anyone to get hurt.
Same/similar movement as those who want to ban all light bulbs that DON'T contain Mercury.
IPCC Ignores Nuance and Dismisses Contrary Views
Reply #370 on:
August 31, 2010, 01:06:44 PM »
Climate Panel Faces Heat
Investigation Calls for 'Fundamental Reform' at U.N. Group on Global Warming
By JEFFREY BALL
An independent investigation called for "fundamental reform" at the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, saying the organization's 2007 report played down uncertainty about some aspects of global warming.
The probe of the IPCC, a preeminent climate-science body that won the Nobel Peace Price three years ago, was conducted by the InterAcademy Council, a consortium of national scientific academies. Leaders of the IPCC asked the council to conduct the probe following the disclosure of a few errors in its 2007 climate-science report, which concluded, among other things, that climate change is "unequivocal" and is "very likely" caused by human activity.
The investigation comes at a precarious time for the IPCC and for advocates of tough measures to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. For months, critics of such steps have cited the errors in the IPCC's 2007 report as reason to question the group's basic conclusion about climate change. As the InterAcademy Council's report notes, recent polls suggest the controversy over IPCC errors has caused public confidence in climate science to fall. Meanwhile, the recession has dimmed the enthusiasm of some politicians to push for major changes in energy production and consumption.
Some critics, in the wake of the disclosure of the errors, called for IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri to resign. But Mr. Pachauri, who has said those errors were minor, said Monday that he hopes to serve until his term ends after the publication of the panel's next major climate-science study in 2014. "I was instrumental in requesting this review, and now that we've got it, I believe my responsibility is to take it forward," he said.
Partisans on both sides of the climate debate saw Monday's report as significant. Advocates of deep emission cuts said the investigation, and the reforms it suggested, should boost public confidence in the IPCC's assertions about the dangers of allowing greenhouse-gas emissions to increase. Critics said the investigation underscored problems with the way the IPCC assesses climate science. They said the agency ignored scientific nuances and dismissed minority viewpoints in its 2007 report.
The investigation will likely factor into the next U.N. climate conference in Cancún, Mexico, in December, when governments will try to come up with a global agreement to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. A similar conference last year in Copenhagen failed to come up with a major agreement.
Harold Shapiro, the economist and former Princeton University president who led the InterAcademy Council's review, said in a press conference announcing the report that the IPCC "has been a success and has served society well."
In addition to raising questions about the procedures the IPCC used in coming up with its conclusions, the report was critical of the organization's management. It recommended that the IPCC chairman and other top leaders each serve only one six-year term, and that the IPCC institute a conflict-of-interest policy for its top leaders. This was partly a response to criticism that during his tenure, Mr. Pachauri has served as an adviser to energy and financial companies. These companies, said critics, could be affected by energy policies that rested in part on the IPCC's scientific pronouncements.
Mr. Pachauri, in an interview, said he supports the investigation's call for a conflict-of-interest policy and for clearer explanations about areas in which climate science is uncertain. He said the IPCC already has begun work on some of those changes and would consider further action when it holds a major meeting in October in Korea. Mr. Pachauri said his work on corporate boards doesn't interfere with his position as IPCC chair, adding that he has given all proceeds from that work to an energy think tank he heads and to charity.
Mr. Pachauri stressed that neither the InterAcademy Council report nor several other climate-science investigations that have been conducted in recent months have questioned the IPCC's conclusion about the existence of climate change or its likely human cause. Claims to the contrary amount to "gross distortions and ideologically driven posturing," he said. Taken together, the investigations should "strengthen public trust so that we can move forward," Mr. Pachauri said. "Science has confirmed that climate change is real."
Critics of the IPCC said the report validated many of their concerns.
"If these recommendations are followed to the letter and spirit, I think the IPCC could indeed be improved," said John Christy, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville who was consulted by the InterAcademy Council for its review. Mr. Christy participated in the writing of two IPCC reports and said his doubts about evidence of man-made global warming were largely pushed aside both times.
One U.S. company played down the investigative report's importance, saying the political debate over climate change had moved beyond the question of what's causing it to the question of what to do about it.
"We're kind of beyond the science," said Tom Williams, a spokesman for Duke Energy Corp., a Charlotte, N.C.-based power company that is one of the country's major greenhouse-gas emitters. "What we're after are the rules of the road," he said, explaining that Duke believes U.S. limits on greenhouse-gas emissions are inevitable and wants to shape the rules to the advantage of its customers.
The IPCC, created by the United Nations in 1988, is a sprawling organization. Thousands of scientists and other experts around the world volunteer their time to help write its massive reports approximately every six years that assess what's known and what isn't about the causes and effects of climate change. Its reports influence government policies on energy and the environment around the world.
The InterAcademy Council investigation, like several other investigations into climate science in recent months, didn't question whether human activity is causing global warming. Instead, it focused on the IPCC's process for forming conclusions, including one that projected Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. The investigation noted that some scientists invited by the IPCC to review the 2007 report before it was published questioned the Himalayan claim. But those challenges "were not adequately considered," the InterAcademy Council's investigation said, and the projection was included in the final report.
Mr. Shapiro said the IPCC needs to tighten many of its procedures and its enforcement of the rules already on its books, given that climate change is such a hotly debated topic and that the IPCC's reports influence environmental policy world-wide.
A particular problem in the 2007 report was that it didn't consistently reflect uncertainty in some aspects of climate change, the investigation found.
Although the IPCC has guidelines in place for measuring uncertainty, those rules were "not consistently followed" in the 2007 report, "leading to unnecessary errors," the investigation said.
For instance, the investigation noted, the 2007 IPCC report said it had "high confidence" that climate change could halve the output of rain-fed agriculture in Africa by 2020.
But a fuller explanation about how the IPCC came up with that "high confidence," the investigation said, "would have made clear the weak evidentiary basis" for that statement. The InterAcademy Council panel recommended that IPCC reports assign specific probabilities to projections "only when there is sufficient evidence" to justify them.
The InterAcademy Council also faulted the IPCC for failing to stress in its 2007 report when some claims were based on literature that hadn't undergone the scientific process of peer-review. The IPCC should impose tougher guidelines to make sure non-peer-reviewed information is clearly "flagged," it said.
The investigation also said the IPCC sometimes failed to adequately reflect "properly documented" views of scientists who disagreed with the consensus conclusions.
IPCC leaders say they have already begun discussing how to better characterize uncertainty and to be more transparent about whether information has been peer-reviewed.
Write to Jeffrey Ball at
Evaluating AGW Science
Reply #371 on:
September 02, 2010, 12:14:04 PM »
First reference I've heard of the "gigaton gap," which strikes me as a facile ripoff of the Kennedy "missile gap" foolishness of the early '60s.
Cracks in Climate Change Onslaught Appear
For those of us who view the concept of man-made global warming as one of the greatest hoaxes in history, two events this week give some hope that the international "climate change" juggernaut may eventually be halted.
The UK Daily Express and the New York Times report that the InterAcademy Council (IAC), a multinational organization of science academies assembled to produce independent analyses on major scientific, technological, and health issues, has released a 113-page critical assessment of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Serious criticisms of the IPCC's 2007 Fourth Assessment Report forced the panel and its UN overseers to request an evaluation by the IAC. The criticisms centered on numerous highly suspect IPCC conclusions including an exaggerated and false claim of Himalayan glacier melting and faulty sea level change data affecting the Netherlands. Claims of faulty peer review of technical papers printed or referenced in the Report (which became known as Climategate) also added to an urgent IAC review.
The IAC report does not evaluate the merits of the science in the IPCC assessment but says the panel's management and methods for doing its work need serious overhaul. One major recommendation is that the panel should become a more professional organization with a paid top management limited to eight-year terms coinciding with publication of each new assessment report. This was viewed as a hint that Rajendra K. Pachauri, the current IPCC chairman should step down;
Other recommendations offer hope that skeptics will have a greater say in what passes for science in the global warming controversy. As the Times reports:
The committee noted that some climate panel leaders had been criticized for public statements perceived as advocating specific policies. "Straying into advocacy can only hurt I.P.C.C.'s credibility," the report said.
It also suggested that the panel revise the way it rates doubts about some of the science, that the process of choosing the scientists who write the report be more open and that the panel require that any possible conflicts of interest be revealed.
The initial reaction from skeptics has been positive. For example:
Hans von Storch, a climate researcher at the Institute of Meteorology at the University of Hamburg and a frequent critic of the climate panel who has called on Mr. Pachauri to resign, said past mistakes tended to dramatize the effects of climate change.
Carrying out the recommendations would make the climate panel much less aloof and help the climate change debate, Dr. von Storch said. He added, "I am pretty optimistic that all this will lead to a much more rational and cooled-down exchange."
If growing ranks of skeptics can have a greater say in the underlying science of climate change, that can only be beneficial to tamp down the hysteria which seeks to control debate.
In anther important development, Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor of the UK Independent attempts to spread alarm over the possibility that the upcoming international conference in Cancun this winter will be no more productive than the admitted failure of last December's climate change "summit" in Copenhagen
It is hard to exaggerate the dire effect which the failure at Copenhagen has had both on the climate change negotiating process itself, and on the belief of those involved that an effective climate deal might be possible.
A year ago, many environmentalists, scientists and politicians genuinely thought that the meeting in Denmark might produce a binding agreement to cut global CO2 by the 25-40 per cent, by 2020, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has calculated is necessary to keep the warming to below C [sic].
Today that optimism has vanished.
McCarthy holds out little hope of any real progress in spite of the latest bogeyman gripping global warming activists: the "gigaton gap."
Cancun, or "COP 16" as it is officially known, will again see ministers and officials from nearly 200 nations grapple with the politics of global warming, but no one thinks they will be able to close a widening breach in the world's defences against dangerously rising temperatures - the "gigatonne gap".
McCarthy claims without attribution that the world is currently emitting annually about 45 gigatons -- or 45 billion tons -- of CO2 which could grow to 51-55 gigatons by 2020 implying a potential gigaton gap catastrophe. This hyper rhetoric sounds very ominous until you consider, as Dr. Roy Spencer points out in his book Climate Confusion, that the total weight of the atmosphere is 5 quadrillion tons. In other words, 50 gigatons added to 5 million gigatons represents a mere 10 parts per million -- relatively speaking, a trivial change each year.
All of this scare-tactic hysteria comes without any credible and repeatable scientific tests showing how trivial amounts of CO2 can have any major impact on global warming and without any believable mathematical model showing minimal climate change in over 1000 years except for the last 70 years of technological progress.
For those of us wishing for a return to rigorous science in the climate change debate, failure at Cancun can only help stall progress until greater transparency of IPCC assessments makes the whole process moot.
Page Printed from:
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #372 on:
September 09, 2010, 07:14:11 PM »
"They were fallible human beings with mortgages to pay and funds to raise"
So says GW of the climate change croud:
****The environmental movement in retreat
By George Will
| The collapsing crusade for legislation to combat climate change raises a question: Has ever a political movement made so little of so many advantages? Its implosion has continued since "the Cluster of Copenhagen, when world leaders assembled for the single most unproductive and chaotic global gathering ever held." So says Walter Russell Mead, who has an explanation: Bambi became Godzilla.
That is, a small band of skeptics became the dogmatic establishment. In his Via Meadia blog, Mead, a professor of politics at Bard College and Yale, notes that "the greenest president in American history had the largest congressional majority of any president since Lyndon Johnson," but the environmentalists' legislation foundered because they got "on the wrong side of doubt."
Environmentalists, Mead argues, have forgotten their origins, which were in skeptical "reaction against Big Science, Big Government and Experts." Environmentalists once were intellectual cousins of economic libertarians who heed the arguments of Friedrich Hayek and other students of spontaneous order -- in society or nature. Such libertarians caution against trying to impose big, simple plans on complex systems. They warn that governmental interventions in such systems inevitably have large unintended, because unforeseeable, consequences.
In the middle of the 20th century, Americans, impressed by the government's mobilization of society for victory in World War II, were, Mead says, "intoxicated with social and environmental engineering of all kinds." They had, for example, serene confidence that "urban renewal" would produce "model cities." Back then, environmentalism was skepticism.
It was akin to the dissent of Jane Jacobs, author of the 1961 book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities." She argued that ambitious social engineers such as New York's Robert Moses were, by their ten-thumbed interventions in complex organisms such as cities, disrupting social ecosystems. The apotheosis of technocratic experts such as McGeorge Bundy and Robert McNamara gave us "nation-building" in conjunction with a war of attrition -- the crucial metric supposedly was body counts -- in a Southeast Asian peasant society. Over time, Mead says, "experts lost their mystique":
Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.
"An increasingly skeptical public started to notice that 'experts' weren't angels descending immaculately from heaven bearing infallible revelations from G0d. They were fallible human beings with mortgages to pay and funds to raise. They disagreed with one another and they colluded with their friends and supporters like everyone else."
And expertise was annoyingly changeable. Experts said margarine was the healthy alternative to butter -- until they said its trans fats made it harmful.
Environmentalism began as Bambi doing battle with Godzillas, such as the Army Corps of Engineers. Then, says Mead, environmentalism became Godzilla, an advocate of "a big and simple fix for all that ails us: a global carbon cap. One big problem, one big fix." Mead continues:
"Never mind that the leading green political strategy (to stop global warming by a treaty that gains unanimous consent among 190-plus countries and is then ratified by 67 votes in a Senate that rejected Kyoto 95 to 0) is and always has been so cluelessly unrealistic as to be clinically insane. The experts decree and we rubes are not to think but to honor and obey."
The essence of progressivism, of which environmentalism has become an appendage, is the faith that all will be well once we have concentrated enough power in Washington and have concentrated enough Washington power in the executive branch and have concentrated enough "experts" in that branch. Hence the Environmental Protection Agency proposes to do what the elected representatives of the rubes refuse to do in limiting greenhouse gases. Mead says of today's environmental movement:
"It proposes big economic and social interventions and denies that unintended consequences and new information could vitiate the power of its recommendations. It knows what is good for us, and its knowledge is backed up by the awesome power and majesty of the peer review process. The political, cultural, business and scientific establishments stand firmly behind global warming today -- just as they once stood firmly behind Robert Moses, urban renewal and big dams. They tell us it's a sin to question the consensus, the sign of bad moral character to doubt. Bambi, look in the mirror. You will see Godzilla looking back."
Mead, who says that he is a skeptic about climate policy rather than climate science, says that the environmental movement has "become the voice of the establishment, of the tenured, of the technocrats." This is the wrong thing to be in "Recovery Summer" while the nation wonders about the whereabouts of the robust recovery the experts forecast.****
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #373 on:
September 09, 2010, 08:49:28 PM »
Mark me down as vindictive but the people that perpetrated this fraud on the public and on our policy making should have a price to pay for their role in it. Science has been set back 50 years and so has our economy.
Reply #374 on:
September 09, 2010, 09:43:08 PM »
How reliable is science?
It is not difficult find instances of fraud in science:
Ranjit Chandra faked medical research results. He pocketed the money meant for running the experiments.
Woo-suk Hwang faked human cloning, among other terrible things.
Jan Hendrik Schön faked a transistor at the molecular level.
How did these people fare after being caught?
Ranjit Chandra still holds the Order of Canada, as far as I can tell. According to Scopus, his 272 research papers were cited over 3000 times. As for his University? Let me quote wikipedia: University officials claimed that the university was unable to make a case for research fraud because the raw data on which a proper evaluation could be made had gone missing. Because the accusation was that the data did not exist, this was a puzzling rationale.
According to Scopus, Woo-suk Hwang has been cited over 2000 times. Despite having faked research results and having committed major ethics violations, he has kept his job and… he is still publishing.
Despite all the retracted papers, Jan Hendrik Schön has still 1,200 citations according to Scopus. He lost his research job, but found an engineering position in Germany.
Conclusion: Scientific fraud is a low-risk, high-reward activity.
What is more critical is that we still equate peer review with correctness. The argument usually goes as follows: if it is important work, work that people rely upon, and it has been peer reviewed, then it must be correct. In sum, we think that conventional peer review + citations means validation. I think we are wrong:
Conventional peer review is shallow. Chandra, Hwang and Schön published faked results for many years in the most prestigious venues. The truth is that reviewers do not reproduce results. They usually do not have access to the raw data and software. And even if they did, they are unlikely to be motivated to redo all of the work to verify it.
Citations are not validations. Chandra, Hwang and Schön were generously cited. It is hardly surprising: impressive results are more likely to be cited. And doctored results are usually more impressive. Yet, scientists do not reproduce earlier work. Even if you do try to reproduce someone’s result, and fail, you probably won’t publish it. Indeed, publishing negative results is hard: journals are not interested. Moreover, there is a risk that it may backfire: the authors could go on the offensive. They could question your own competence.
There are many small frauds. Even without making up data, you can cheat by misleading the reader, by omission. You can present the data in creative ways, e.g. turn meaningless averages into hard facts by omitting the variance (see the fallacy of absolute numbers). These small frauds increase the likelihood that your paper will be accepted and then generously cited.
How do we solve the problem? (1) By trusting unimpressive results more than impressive ones. (2) By being suspicious of popular trends. (3) By running our own experiments.
Scientifically Ignorant Chemical Witchhunt
Reply #375 on:
September 16, 2010, 06:14:56 PM »
SEPTEMBER 15, 2010 4:00 A.M.
The Deadly War against DDT
In its two decades of widespread use, DDT saved more lives than any other man-made chemical.
A remarkable new documentary tells the story of how political and ideological forces combined to ban a widely and safely used chemical, DDT, leading to a surge of malaria deaths in developing countries like Kenya, Indonesia, and India.
3 Billion and Counting, which premieres this Friday in Manhattan, was produced by Dr. Rutledge Taylor, a California physician who specializes in preventive medicine. His film will both shock and anger you.
DDT was first synthesized in 1877, but it was not until 1940 that a Swiss chemist demonstrated that it could kill insects without any harm to humans. It was introduced into widespread use during World War II and became the single most important pesticide in maintaining human health for the next two decades. The scientist who discovered the insecticidal properties of DDT, Dr. Paul Müller, was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on DDT. (In the 1940s and 1950s the chemical was the “secret” ingredient in a popular new cocktail, the Mickey Slim: gin, with a pinch of DDT.)
In 1962, Rachel Carson’s lyrical but scientifically flawed book, Silent Spring, argued eloquently, but erroneously, that pesticides, especially DDT, were poisoning both wildlife and the environment – and also endangering human health. The National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, and the U.S. surgeon general were among those who dismissed these charges and came out in support of continuing to use DDT to fight disease and protect crops. A federal hearing was held on the safety of DDT, and in April 1972 Judge Edmund Sweeney concluded that not only was DDT safe, but it was an essential chemical. Two months later, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, William Ruckelshaus – who had never attended a single day’s session of the EPA’s hearings and admitted that he had not read the transcripts — overturned the judge’s decision, declaring, without evidence, that DDT was “a potential human carcinogen” and banned it for virtually all uses. The ban on DDT was considered to be the first major victory for the environmentalist movement in the United States, and countries around the world followed America’s lead.
In Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), DDT spraying had reduced malaria cases from 2.8 million in 1948 to 17 in 1963. After spraying stopped, malaria cases rose sharply, reaching 2.5 million over the next decade.
Scientists have never found an effective substitute for DDT — and so the malaria death rate has kept on soaring.
In his dissection of the rise of the environmental movement and the fall of science, Dr. Taylor not only educates us, but he also sparks outrage about the unforeseen consequences of a scientifically ignorant chemical witchhunt, one that has caused untold human suffering and billions of deaths, primarily among children. While any man-on-the-street interview will yield an overwhelming majority of negative comments about DDT — a “highly toxic, killer chemical” – the reality is that DDT has saved more lives than any other man-made chemical.
– Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan is president of the American Council on Science and Health.
A Remarkable Streak
Reply #376 on:
September 30, 2010, 11:01:53 PM »
Jeepers, I could have swore I heard somewhere that
climate change was gonna cause more catastrophic hurricanes. . . .
A New Hurricane Record?
Gary Padgett, writing to a tropical storm list-serv I am on, provides an interesting factoid, which I reproduce here with his permission (emphasis added):
We’re now at the first of October, and there’ve been no Category 3 or higher hurricanes (IH) to make landfall in the U. S. so far this season. The chances of a U. S. landfalling IH decrease significantly after 1 October. Over the past half-century, the only IHs to make landfall in the U. S. after 1 October were Hilda (1964), Opal (1995), and Wilma (2005). Hilda and Opal were already named tropical storms on the map as September ended—the only case forming in the month of October was Wilma.
If an IH does not make landfall in the U. S. during the remainder of this season, this will make five consecutive seasons without an IH landfall in the U. S. The last such instance of this (based upon the current HURDAT file) was 1910 – 1914. However, that being said, some caveats are in order.
(1) The current Saffir/Simpson classification of historical U. S. hurricanes was made by Hebert and Taylor in 1975. The parameter used to classify most of these was central pressure (CP), based on the older nominal CP ranges associated with each category. Nowadays, the S/S classification is based strictly upon the MSW at landfall.
(2) There are several cases, especially in the late 1930s, 1940s, and early 1950s, for which the assigned S/S category does not match the Best Track winds, so when they are eventually re-analyzed, the landfalling category could be adjusted up or down.
(3) Hurricanes Gustav and Ike of 2008 both made their U. S. landfall with an estimated MSW of 95 kts, and with CPs of 957 and 952 mb, respectively. Had these storms occurred in the early 20th century, they would have been classified as Category 3 hurricanes, and barring any reliable wind measurements (which would have been unlikely) would have probably remained classified as such during the re-analysis. Similarly, though not within the past five years, Hurricanes Floyd and Isabel, which made landfall with an estimated MSW of 90 kts and CP around 956 mb, would have been classified as Category 3 hurricanes based on the CP.
Even with the caveats, the US has had a remarkable streak of luck with respect to hurricanes -- or maybe, it's climate change!
Pathological Science: Calif. Law based on 340% error
Reply #377 on:
October 09, 2010, 08:45:40 AM »
Overestimate fueled state's landmark diesel law
Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
San Francisco Chronicle October 8, 2010
(10-08) 04:00 PDT Sacramento - --
California grossly miscalculated pollution levels in a scientific analysis used to toughen the state's clean-air standards, and scientists have spent the past several months revising data and planning a significant weakening of the landmark regulation, The Chronicle has found.
The pollution estimate in question was too high - by 340 percent, according to the California Air Resources Board, the state agency charged with researching and adopting air quality standards. The estimate was a key part in the creation of a regulation adopted by the Air Resources Board in 2007, a rule that forces businesses to cut diesel emissions by replacing or making costly upgrades to heavy-duty, diesel-fueled off-road vehicles used in construction and other industries.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #378 on:
October 09, 2010, 10:22:47 AM »
I don't know much about global warming (it was a pretty cool summer here in LA, we don't have hurricanes, and I'm pretty sure that while global warming is suppose to cause almost any
calamity, I don't think the list includes earthquakes. And if it warms the Pacific Ocean, well I like warm water
so I am not too worried) but as far as pollution
is concerned I am very grateful for the stricter laws.
I'm old enough to remember literally crying from the burning of the smog in summer here in LA. There would be constant "smog alerts" when you were not suppose to go outside.
We would all joke and call it "haze" because you couldn't see very far, but it was smog (pollution).
CA cracked down on pollution. Lot's of people objected, I'm sure it did cost money, and maybe some jobs, but I think if you took a poll and said do you like the
air quality now better than 30 years ago nearly everyone would say yes. And if you asked, "Was it worth it" again I think most would say yes. I barely remember "smog alerts" and
the air quality is no longer an excuse not to exercise outside during the day.
And if CA had not cracked down, well, I don't want to imagine how poor the air quality would be today.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #379 on:
October 09, 2010, 12:57:02 PM »
Can you remember when California was a place people wanted to move to rather than escape from?
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #380 on:
October 09, 2010, 02:07:50 PM »
JDN, I also favor fewer poisons in the environment to a choking smog and toxic water supply. Do you then favor zero emissions - no driving, no flying, no roadbuilding, no farming etc. to some emissions? Back to the point of the story, do you favor honest, informed consent or perhaps getting a stricter standard passed with false data that exaggerates emissions by 4-fold? The latter may be cleaner and healthier...
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #381 on:
October 09, 2010, 06:21:15 PM »
No you are right absolute clean air is not practical. Yet with honest
facts I think the default vote should be on the side of protecting our health.
I'm not a scientist but when even I can tell something is terribly wrong it's time to do sonething.
However I'll repeat "honest" facts. Not falsified data. That's my whole problem with global warming.
A Treatise Nailed to the Door
Reply #382 on:
October 11, 2010, 09:20:35 AM »
Resignation letter addressed to the American Physical Society:
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence-it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?
How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d'être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford's book organizes the facts very well.) I don't believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.
So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:
1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate
2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer "explanatory" screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.
3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.
4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind-simply to bring the subject into the open.<
5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members' interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.
6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.
APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?
I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people's motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don't think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I'm not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.
I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.
Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President's Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety
Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)
More info here:
Pathological Science:New Zealand actual warming: 0.06°C /100yrs
Reply #383 on:
October 11, 2010, 11:22:06 AM »
0.006 warming per decade is the total warming, not the man-made component much less the man made portion that could be eliminated with severe new laws. 100 years and well within the margin of error, all I can conclude is how stable and resilient the nature of our planet is.
New Zealand is interesting to me. I can judge warming (or lack thereof) here with my own eyes and exposed skin, but an update from the far corner of the earth gives another perspective. I think NZ was a subject within warming scare movies (please be ready to evacuate!). Also interesting that the 'adjusted', wildly exaggerated figure is still less than one degree per century during this brief period of relying on fossil fuels. It might be more accurate to say we don't know how to measure the temperature of New Zealand now, much less the globe, or to pretend we have 100 year accuracy in any of that, and if we did that would still be too small a sample of time to conclude very much of anything.
"There’s a litany of excuses. The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) claims New Zealand has been warming at 0.92°C per 100 years. But when some independent minded chaps in New Zealand graphed the raw NZ data, they found that the thermometers show NZ has only warmed by a statistically non-significant 0.06°C. They asked for answers and got nowhere, until they managed to get the light of legal pressure onto NIWA to force it to reply honestly. Reading between the lines, it’s obvious NIWA can’t explain or defend the adjustments."
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #384 on:
October 11, 2010, 11:33:47 AM »
NZ was one of the sites where gross amounts of data was extrapolated from very few measuring stations. IIRC, several "poorly performing" stations, i.e. ones that weren't showing a warming trend, were dropped. More here:
It's the Catastrophic Claims, Stupid
Reply #385 on:
October 17, 2010, 12:37:43 PM »
Denying the Catastrophe: The Science of the Climate Skeptic’s Position
Oct. 15 2010 - 12:19 am | 19,771 views | 1 recommendation | 64 comments
In last week’s column, I lamented the devolution of the climate debate into dueling ad hominem attacks, which has led in almost a straight line to the incredible totalitarian vision of the 10:10 climate group’s recent film showing school kids getting blown up for not adhering to the global warming alarmists’ position.
In writing that column, it struck me that it was not surprising that many average folks may be unfamiliar with the science behind the climate skeptic’s position, since it almost never appears anywhere in the press. This week I want to give a necessarily brief summary of the skeptic’s case. There is not space here to include all the charts and numbers; for those interested, this video and slide presentation provides much of the analytical backup.
It is important to begin by emphasizing that few skeptics doubt or deny that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas or that it and other greenhouse gasses (water vapor being the most important) help to warm the surface of the Earth. Further, few skeptics deny that man is probably contributing to higher CO2 levels through his burning of fossil fuels, though remember we are talking about a maximum total change in atmospheric CO2 concentration due to man of about 0.01% over the last 100 years.
What skeptics deny is the catastrophe, the notion that man’s incremental contributions to CO2 levels will create catastrophic warming and wildly adverse climate changes. To understand the skeptic’s position requires understanding something about the alarmists’ case that is seldom discussed in the press: the theory of catastrophic man-made global warming is actually comprised of two separate, linked theories, of which only the first is frequently discussed in the media.
The first theory is that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 levels (approximately what we might see under the more extreme emission assumptions for the next century) will lead to about a degree Celsius of warming. Though some quibble over the number – it might be a half degree, it might be a degree and a half – most skeptics, alarmists and even the UN’s IPCC are roughly in agreement on this fact.
But one degree due to the all the CO2 emissions we might see over the next century is hardly a catastrophe. The catastrophe, then, comes from the second theory, that the climate is dominated by positive feedbacks (basically acceleration factors) that multiply the warming from CO2 many fold. Thus one degree of warming from the greenhouse gas effect of CO2 might be multiplied to five or eight or even more degrees.
This second theory is the source of most of the predicted warming – not greenhouse gas theory per se but the notion that the Earth’s climate (unlike nearly every other natural system) is dominated by positive feedbacks. This is the main proposition that skeptics doubt, and it is by far the weakest part of the alarmist case. One can argue whether the one degree of warming from CO2 is “settled science” (I think that is a crazy term to apply to any science this young), but the three, five, eight degrees from feedback are not at all settled. In fact, they are not even very well supported.
Of course, in the scientific method, even an incorrect hypothesis is useful, as it gives the scientific community a starting point in organizing observational data to confirm or disprove the hypothesis. This, however, turns out to be wickedly difficult in climate science, given the outrageously complex nature of the Earth’s weather systems.
Our global temperature measurements over the last one hundred years show about 0.7C of warming since the early 1900s, though this increase has been anything but linear. Skeptics argue that, like a police department that locks on a single suspect early in a crime investigation and fails to adequately investigate any other suspects, many climate scientists locked in early on to CO2 as the primary culprit for this warming, to the exclusion of many other possible causes.
When the UN IPCC published its fourth climate report several years ago, it focused its main attention on the Earth’s warming after 1950 and in particular on the 20-year period between 1978 and 1998. The UN IPCC concluded that the warming in this 20-year period was too rapid to be due to natural causes, and almost certainly had to be due to man’s CO2. They reached this conclusion by running computer models that seemed to show that the warming in this period would have been far less without increased CO2 levels.
Skeptics, however, point out that the computer models were built by scientists who have only a fragmented, immature understanding of complex climate systems. Moreover, these scientists approached the models with the pre-conceived notion that CO2 is the main driver of temperatures, and so it is unsurprising that their models would show CO2 as the dominant factor.
In fact, the period 1978 to 1998 featured a number of other suspects that should have been considered as potentially contributing to warming. For example, the warm phase of several critical ocean cycles that have a big effect on surface temperatures, including the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, coincided with this period. Further, the second half of the 20th century saw far greater solar activity, as measured by sunspot numbers, than the first half of the century. Neither ocean cycles nor solar effects, nor a myriad of other factors we probably don’t even know enough to name, were built into the models. Even man’s changing land use has an effect on measured temperatures, as survey efforts have shown urban areas, which have higher temperatures than surrounding rural locations, expanding around our temperature measurement points and biasing measured temperatures upwards.
If CO2 is but one of several causes of warming over the past decades, then current climate models almost certainly have to be exaggerating future warming. Only by attributing all of the past warming to CO2 can catastrophic future warming forecasts be justified. In fact, even the 0.7C of measured historic warming is well under what the climate models should have predicted for warming based on past CO2 increases and their assumed high sensitivity of temperature to CO2 levels. In other words, to believe a forecast of, say, 5C of warming over the next 100 years, we should have seen 2C or more of warming over the past century.
This is why the IPCC actually had to make the assumption that global temperatures would have fallen naturally and due to other manmade pollutants over the past several decades. By arguing that without man’s CO2 the climate would have cooled by, for example, 0.5C, then they can claim past warming from CO2 as 1.2C (the measured 0.7C plus the imaginary 0.5C). Anyone familiar with how the Obama administration has claimed large stimulus-related jobs creation despite falling employment levels will recognize this approach immediately.
Despite these heroic efforts to try to find observational validation for their catastrophic warming forecasts, the evidence continues to accumulate that these forecasts are wildly overstated. The most famous forecast of all is perhaps NASA’s James Hansen’s forecast to Congress in 1988, a landmark in the history of global warming alarmism in this country. Despite the fact that 2010 may well turn out to be one of the couple warmest years in the past century (along with 1998, both of which are strong El Nino years), the overall trend in global temperatures has been generally flat for the last 10-15 years, and have remained well below Hansen’s forecasts. In fact, Hansen’s forecasts continue to diverge from reality more and more with each passing year.
Of course, as we all know, global warming has been rebranded by alarmist groups as “climate change” and then more recently as “climate disruption.” This is in some sense inherently disingenuous, implying to lay people that somehow climate change can result directly from CO2. In fact, no mechanism has ever been suggested wherein CO2 can cause climate change in any way except through the intermediate step of warming. CO2 causes warming, and then warming causes climate changes. So the question of warming and its degree still matters, no matter what branding is applied.
In fact, it is in the area of the knock-on effects of warming, from sea level increases to hurricanes, that some of the worst science is being pursued. Nowhere can we better see the effect of money on science than in climate change studies, as academics studying whatever natural phenomenon that interests them increasingly have the incentive to link that phenomenon to climate change to improve their chances at getting funding.
The craziness of climate scare stories is too broad and deep to deal with adequately here, as nearly every 3-sigma weather anomaly suddenly gets attributed to climate change. But let’s look at a couple of the more well-worn examples. In an Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore warned of the world being battered by more and more Katrina style category 5 storms; in fact, 2009 and 2010 have seen record low levels of global cyclonic activity, despite relatively elevated temperatures. Or take the melting ice cap: on the same exact day in 2007 when newspapers screamed that the Arctic had hit a 30-year low in sea ice extent, the Antarctic hit a 30-year high. The truth of the matter is that ice is indeed melting and sea levels are rising today – as they were in 1950, and 1900, and even 1850 (long before much man-made CO2). The world has warmed continuously since the end of the little ice age around 1820 (a worldwide cold spell generally linked to a very inactive period in the sun) and sea levels can be seen to follow an almost unbroken linear trend since that time.
Alarmists like to call climate skeptics “deniers,” usually in an attempt to equate climate skeptics with holocaust deniers. But skeptics do not deny that temperatures have warmed over the last century, or even that man (through CO2 as well as land use and other factors) has played some part in that warming. What skeptics deny, though, is the catastrophe. And even more, what skeptics deny is the need to drastically reduce fossil fuel use – a step that will likely be an expensive exercise in the developed west but an unmitigated disaster for the poor of Asia and Africa. These developing nations, who are just recently emerging from millennia of poverty, need to burn every hydrocarbon they can find to develop their economies.
Postscript: You will notice that I wrote this entire article without once mentioning either the words “hockey stick” or “Climategate.” I have never thought Michael Mann’s hockey stick to be a particularly compelling piece of evidence, even if it were correct. The analysis purports to show a rapid increase in world temperatures after centuries of stability, implying that man is likely the cause of current warming because, on Mann’s chart, recent temperature trends look so unusual. In the world of scientific proof, this is the weakest of circumstantial evidence.
As it turns out, however, there are a myriad of problems great and small with the hockey stick, from cherry-picking data to highly questionable statistical methods, which probably make the results incorrect. Studies that have avoided Mann’s mistakes have all tended to find the same thing – whether looking over a scale of a century, or millennia, or millions of years, climate changes absolutely naturally. Nothing about our current temperatures or CO2 levels is either unusual or unprecedented.
The best evidence that the problems identified with Mann’s analysis are probably real is how hard Mann and a small climate community fought to avoid releasing data and computer code that would allow outsiders to check and replicate their work. The “Climategate” emails include no smoking gun about the science, but do show how far the climate community has strayed from what is considered normal and open scientific process. No science should have to rely on an in-group saying “just trust us,” particularly one with trillions of dollars of public policy decisions on the line.
re. It's the Catastrophic Claims, Stupid
Reply #386 on:
October 19, 2010, 11:48:28 AM »
BBG, This is a great post. We have miniscule warming. We have no idea what part of that is attributable to humans, but roughly within the margin of error of our ability to measure global temperatures. We have no data we can trust. And so we publicize the wildest claims and decide to shut down our economies and declare war on each other.
Instead we should use our resources wisely and cleanly while we re-create the conditions of economic freedom that we know unleash human creativity.
Reply #387 on:
October 20, 2010, 11:29:39 AM »
Climatism: That Climate Change Chameleon
By Steve Goreham
Climatism, the belief that man-made greenhouse gases are destroying Earth's climate, is a remarkably flexible ideology. Calling it "global warming" for many years, advocates then renamed the crisis "climate change" after the unexpected cooling of global surface temperatures from 2002-2009. Last month, John Holdren, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, urged everyone to start using the term "global climate disruption." What's next -- "catastrophic climate calamity"?
Decreasing snowfall was once claimed as an indication of man-made climate change. After years of declining snowfall in England, Dr. David Viner, senior scientist at the Climate Research Unit of East Anglia, predicted that winter snowfall would become "a very rare and exciting event." Others predicted that snow cover in the United Kingdom would disappear by 2020. But last winter, at the same time that much of the eastern U.S. received record snowfalls, the U.K. was entirely blanketed by snow, as shown in the following NASA satellite photograph -- a rare occurrence.
The heavy snow in England was very embarrassing for the U.K. Meteorological Office, which had predicted a mild winter.
So what have the alarmists done? Attend almost any lecture today by an advocate of man-made global warming and you'll find that "heavy snowfall" is now included on the list of impacts from climate change. Now both heavy snow and lack of snow are evidence of man-made warming.
To anyone who studies geologic history, the 1.3oF rise in global surface temperatures over the last century is unremarkable. Yet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations calls this rise "unprecedented" and labels it evidence of man-made climate change. This recent temperature rise is well within the +/-2.5oF range of Earth's average surface temperature over the last ten thousand years. It's a remarkably small change, given the titanic forces exerted on our world by the sun, the planets, and Earth's own terrestrial forces of weather and ocean cycles. Even though the average surface temperature of Earth has stayed in a narrow range, local temperatures vary widely. In Chicago, for example, the average annual range is from about -5oF to +95oF. Such wide local variation means that a "hundred-year weather event" is occurring somewhere on our planet at any given time.
Climatism uses these local weather variations, and increasingly the term "climate volatility," to raise alarm. A recent example is the August report from the World Bank warning that "climate volatility" is expected to "worsen poverty vulnerability in developing countries." This year, we've had drought in Russia and record floods in Pakistan. Both occurrences were seized upon by climate alarmists as evidence of increasing man-made climate volatility. Record cold temperatures in July in Bolivia, which killed millions of fish in South American rivers, were ignored. Natural local weather events, selectively amplified, provide an endless source of fodder for promoting the coercive governmental policies of Climatism.
Yet, scientific evidence shows that weather would be less extreme in a warmer world. Peer-reviewed studies on droughts, floods, hurricanes and storms show that 20th Century occurrences have been of equal or lesser severity than similar events in past centuries, when Earth's climate was in the cooler period of the Little Ice Age. The bulk of science shows that today's climate is not more volatile as alarmists claim.
The latest initiative from the climate change chameleon is to frame global warming as detrimental to the health of U.S. citizens. On September 28, a joint letter from 120 of America's health organizations was delivered to President Obama, supporting efforts by the Environmental Regulatory Agency to regulate greenhouse gases. The letter claims that man-made global warming is now a U.S. public health issue especially for "older adults." Yet senior citizens continue to retire to Florida, Texas, and Arizona rather than North Dakota and Minnesota. Don't they know that warmer temperatures are a serious health risk?
Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of Climatism! Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century's Hottest Topic.
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Pathological Science: Chevy Volt Fraud
Reply #388 on:
October 23, 2010, 07:06:37 PM »
"Advertised as an all-electric car" - turns out it has a gas engine.
"GM addressed concerns about where you plug the thing in en route to grandma's house by adding a small gasoline engine to help maintain the charge on the battery as it starts to run down. It was still an electric car, we were told, and not a hybrid on steroids.
That's not quite true. The gasoline engine has been found to be more than a range-extender for the battery. Volt engineers are now admitting that when the vehicle's lithium-ion battery pack runs down and at speeds near or above 70 mph, the Volt's gasoline engine will directly drive the front wheels along with the electric motors. That's not charging the battery — that's driving the car.
So it's not an all-electric car, but rather a pricey $41,000 hybrid that requires a taxpayer-funded $7,500 subsidy to get car shoppers to look at it. But gee, even despite the false advertising about the powertrain, isn't a car that gets 230 miles per gallon of gas worth it?
We heard GM's then-CEO Fritz Henderson claim the Volt would get 230 miles per gallon in city conditions. Popular Mechanics found the Volt to get about 37.5 mpg in city driving, and Motor Trend reports: "Without any plugging in, (a weeklong trip to Grandma's house) should return fuel economy in the high 30s to low 40s."
I have an 18 year old Honda that does better than that.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #389 on:
October 24, 2010, 01:55:48 PM »
So, when it doesn't run on gas, it runs on coal. Wonderful.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #390 on:
October 24, 2010, 06:34:51 PM »
Yeah, let's cut off one end of a blanket, sew it to the other end, and then congratulate ourselves for making the blanket longer.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #391 on:
October 25, 2010, 08:24:01 AM »
And, if I am not mistaken, also entering the calculus should be the enviro consequences of making the battery, generating the electiricity that charges it, etc. Yes?
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #392 on:
October 25, 2010, 08:42:18 AM »
"the enviro consequences of making the battery, generating the electricity that charges it, etc."
Also the transmission losses in the lines.
I like the CNG concept (compressed natural gas). Uses American or North American sources and burns cleaner, but requires large tank for a shorter range, depending on compression pressures.
A gallon of gas is still the most safe, stable and transportable for the energy content that you need.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #393 on:
October 25, 2010, 09:01:49 AM »
And, if I am not mistaken, also entering the calculus should be the enviro consequences of making the battery, generating the electiricity that charges it, etc. Yes?
No fooling. I understand there are zinc mining areas in Canada--zinc is critical to battery production--that NASA uses to train Mars rover missions because that denuded, red landscape most resembles that of the fourth planet. Leaves me thinking it's more about exerting control over people than making environmentally sensible decisions.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #394 on:
October 25, 2010, 09:49:12 PM »
Don't forget the environmental costs of rare earth elements for all the "green tech". As well the geo-political aspects, like what our Chinese friends are doing with their domination of REE exports.
BPA v. Botulism
Reply #395 on:
October 28, 2010, 12:21:31 PM »
Plastic Water Bottles Won't Hurt You
Ignore the junk science and follow the facts.
John Stossel | October 28, 2010
Canada has announced it will ban the chemical bisphenol A—known as BPA—which is used to make plastic water and baby bottles.
The head of the Canadian environmental group Environmental Defence is thrilled:
"Kudos to the federal government. ... We look forward to seeing BPA legally designated as 'toxic' as soon as possible."
But the evidence doesn't actually show that BPA is toxic. Europe's equivalent of the FDA concluded: "(T)he data currently available do not provide convincing evidence of neurobehavioral toxicity."
Richard Sharpe of the University of Edinburgh explained:
"Some early animal studies produced results suggesting the possibility of adverse effects relevant to human health, but much larger, carefully designed studies in several laboratories have failed to confirm these initial studies."
The initial studies injected BPA into animals, rather than giving it by mouth, which is how we humans are exposed. Since BPA degrades in the gut when we consume it, very little gets to our cells.
Yet many people are sure BPA causes not only breast and prostate cancer but also obesity, diabetes, attention deficit hyperactivity, autism, liver disease, ovarian disease, disease of the uterus, low sperm count, and heart disease. When a chemical is said to cause so many disorders, that's a sure sign of unscientific hysteria. But a documentary called Tapped says it's true. It quotes experts claiming "BPA may be one of the most potent toxic chemicals known to man."
Nonsense. Not only is there no good evidence that BPA locked into plastic can hurt people, it actually saves lives by stopping botulism.
"Since BPA became commonplace in the lining of canned goods, food-borne illness from canned foods—including botulism—has virtually disappeared," says the American Council of Science and Health.
You never hear the good news about BPA in the mainstream media. Fear-mongering gets better ratings.
Tapped also asserts that other dangerous chemicals poison bottled water. In the film, toxicologist Dr. Stephen King says that we should be "horrified" at all those chemicals. But when we called King, he sent us a study saying "testing" reveals a surprising array of chemical contaminants in every bottled water brand analyzed—at levels no different from those routinely found in tap water.
Tapped claims cancer rates are up because of these chemicals, but that's another myth. Cancer incidence rates are flat. They would have declined if not for new screening methods. Life spans are up, too.
Not every mom has fallen for the BPA scare. "Truth or Scare," the blog of a woman who calls herself "Junk Science Mom," recently called out one of the people behind the anti-BPA campaign: scaremonger/hustler David Fenton:
"If you believe what you see and hear in the media, those fighting an unnecessary battle against bisphenol-A (BPA) are altruistic individuals concerned about health and safety. ... But there is an ugly truth behind the scenes that you will never hear about in the media. Greed, propaganda, political agendas, profits, lies and scams. And it all can be tied to one person and one powerful PR firm. David Fenton and Fenton Communications. ...
"He is the puppet master, and we moms are his puppets. He orchestrates the scare, and we, being fearful for our children, unknowingly carry out his plan for him. He comes out a winner, and we are duped into wasting our time, money and energy fighting a battle that never needed to be fought."
Good for you, Junk Science Mom, whoever you are. "Truth or Scare" is a wonderful addition to the debate.
But if BPA isn't toxic, why will Canada ban it? And why have Connecticut and Minnesota already done so? Because scientifically illiterate legislators are quick to panic. When the media sensationalize, legislators respond. Two FDA scientists—Ronald J. Lorentzen and David G. Hattan—note the bias toward sensationalism: "The disquieting public invocations made by some ... about the perils of exposure (to BPA) ... galvanize the public debate."
When even notoriously risk-averse FDA scientists speak out against the BPA panic, the scaremongers must have gone absurdly far.
John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.
The Earth is cooling! The Earth is cooling!
Reply #396 on:
October 29, 2010, 05:17:30 PM »
Note the date:
The Cooling World
Newsweek, April 28, 1975
Here is the text of Newsweek’s 1975 story on the trend toward global cooling. It may look foolish today, but in fact world temperatures had been falling since about 1940. It was around 1979 that they reversed direction and resumed the general rise that had begun in the 1880s, bringing us today back to around 1940 levels. A PDF of the original is available here. A fine short history of warming and cooling scares has recently been produced. It is available here.
We invite readers interested in finding out about both sides of the debate over global warming to visit our website: Climate Debate Daily — Denis Dutton
There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas – parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia – where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.
The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars’ worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.
To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”
A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.
To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and sunshine can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth’s average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras – and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average. Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the “little ice age” conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 – years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City.
Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains a mystery. “Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data,” concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. “Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions.”
Meteorologists think that they can forecast the short-term results of the return to the norm of the last century. They begin by noting the slight drop in overall temperature that produces large numbers of pressure centers in the upper atmosphere. These break up the smooth flow of westerly winds over temperate areas. The stagnant air produced in this way causes an increase in extremes of local weather such as droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons and even local temperature increases – all of which have a direct impact on food supplies.
“The world’s food-producing system,” warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAA’s Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, “is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago.” Furthermore, the growth of world population and creation of new national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate from their devastated fields, as they did during past famines.
Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.
—PETER GWYNNE with bureau reports
Last Edit: October 29, 2010, 11:44:18 PM by Crafty_Dog
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #397 on:
October 29, 2010, 08:46:08 PM »
And a happy Climate's Fools Day to you, too.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #398 on:
October 29, 2010, 11:44:55 PM »
The body of the article is now there BBG.
3rd Annual CFD
Reply #399 on:
October 30, 2010, 08:47:39 AM »
It's Climate Fools Day Today
Hey, I wasn't foolin':
Today marks the third annual observation of Climate Fools Day, which was named by protestors outside the British House of Commons on 27th October 2008 when the House was debating a Climate Bill.
In the UK this year, those marking the event plan to inaugurate an annual "Ernst-Georg Beck Award for Scientific Integrity and Competence" (BASIC). It is proposed to name this 'BASIC' award after Ernst-Georg Beck to honor a man of great scientific integrity and to bring attention to the fact that some 80,000 accurate carbon dioxide measurements were conveniently left out of the UN IPCC documentation. The presentation of the prize is timed to also celebrate that noble achievement of the CRU whistleblower who one year ago altered the course of modern climate science (and possibly of history) by bravely risking his career to leak the 'Climategate' emails to the world.
It is time for this event to spread to America.
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at October 30, 2010 - 08:45:17 AM CDT
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