We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, April 20. 2010
I had to laugh.
Obviously someone didn't get the memo.
So I started collecting headlines on my daily rounds.
All of these are since ClimateGate:
Panel Will Review U.N. Climate Work
Despite Climategate, IPCC Mostly Underestimates Climate Change
Climate Scientists Plan To Hit Back At Skeptics
Study: Human Impact On Climate Now Clearer
EPA, Countering Critics Of Greenhouse Gas Findings, Says 'Science Is Settled'
World Warming Unhindered By Cold Spells: Scientists
Meteorologists: Last Month Warmest January On Record by Far
Peru Glacier Breaks Up, Causes Tsunami
Study: Stronger Hurricanes Loom
Earthquakes And Tsunamis Just The Tip Of The Iceberg, Say Experts
Undersea Arctic Methane Could Wreak Havoc on Climate
Climate Change Will Impact Infectious Diseases Worldwide
Climate Change May Extend Allergy Season
Darwin Foes Add Warming To Targets
Coast Guard Sees Increasing Need For Icebreakers
Report: March Was Earth's Warmest On Record
Winter Was Fifth Warmest On Record
On Global Warming, The Science Is Solid
US Senate Climate Bill To Be Unveiled April 26
To quote Samuel Clemens,
The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
After aeons of huge changes and cycles, the earth has suddenly developed an instability, and at the precise moment in time when the means of cheap computation to issue urgent warnings about that same instability became available.
An incredible stroke of luck that these two improbable things not only happened, but happened at the same time.
Discount entirely the suggestion that computations that don't issue warnings don't get funded and so go into the punched card recycle bin, leaving behind computions that issue warnings to take over the field.
That natural and very probable evolutionary fact should defer to incredible stroke of luck scenerio, because of hope and change.
RH - Nicely put. If you wanted to break the entire problem down into two big parts, I'd put that on one side and the confusion over man-made and natural global warming on the other. From what I can tell, the globe is, indeed, heading back to another Medieval Warm Period and, a thousand years from today, Greenland will be green again.
The problem, of course, is that when an article says "due to global warming", there's an assumption that it's man-made. I honestly see this as the biggest problem of all, because as the earth naturally continues to warm, it's going to be claimed it "backs up the science."
"In particular, they do not alter the conclusions that humans have taken over from nature as the dominant influence on our climate. (Houston Chronicle)"
The vanity of man is unsurpassed.
There's an unfortunate mathematical fact, that you can't distinguish a cycle from a trend with an amount of data that's short compared to the cycle.
A cycle can't be man-caused.
So it's bad news for man-caused alarmists if the temperature rises (or for that matter falls). They can't prove it's not natural.
What the hockey stick did was prove it wasn't a cycle.
Unfortunately the hockey stick was bogus, and the warmenists were back where they started.
The presumption would then be against them again, namely that anything that happens is natural.
Time to tough it out. The media needs alarm, the politicians need alarm, a perfect symbiosis.
"The media needs alarm...a perfect symbiosis."
Oh, pshaw! Surely you know our media outlets only provide the news in a calm and intelligent manner, focusing on the true, real events of the day, not some hyped-up "latest fear" scandal as you imply.
Why, here's an example now:
Are School Lunches Weapons of Mass Destruction?
See? Rest assured, friend, we're in good hands.
An even better quote is
"A lie can go around the world, before the truth can put it's pants on" Mark Twain
Although, presumably, he'd spell "its" correctly. :)
Didn't someone noteworthy (Palin?) paraphrase that to good effect a few years ago?
For any who are seriously interested in climate science criticism, the WattsUpWithThat blog is as respected by both warmists and skeptics as any is likely to get (warning to trolls: most posters should be addresed as "Professor" or "Doctor"). In the past few days, both of the following stories have appeared. It seems global Warming can do almost anything except confer intelligence. NOTE: be sure to browse through the comments section.
Why cleaner air could speed global warming
You're likely to hear a chorus of dire warnings as we approach Earth Day, but there's a serious shortage few pundits are talking about: air pollution. That's right, the world is running short on air pollution, and if we continue to cut back on smoke pouring forth from industrial smokestacks, the increase in global warming could be profound.
The case against AGW: Pluto's atmosphere
Excerpt: "The data reveal an icy molasses-colored world with a surprising amount of activity. Buie compared Hubble images taken in 1994 vs. 2003 and discovered that Pluto's northern hemisphere has brightened while the southern hemisphere has dimmed. Ground-based observations suggest that Pluto's atmosphere doubled in mass during approximately the same time period. And no one is certain what's causing the molasses-colored splotches on Pluto's surface." Now, why would the Plutonian atmosphere double? Solar driven global warming. (A month or three ago, I sent you links to observed warming on Pluto, Jupiter, Mars, Triton (a moon of Neptune), and Luna (our Moon). In every case, some unique-to-that-body reason was postulated as being responsible for the warming. William of Occum said, in most cases, the simplest answer is the right one. Too bad he died centuries ago; we could use him in today's universities. Ron P.)
I work for an env training group within the US Gov and believe me, they are full speed ahead on the global warming issue. All the controversy hasn't slowed them down one bit. In fact, they are all the more frantic to move forward to justify their beliefs.
"Climate is one thing you can actually measure." (Scientific American)
I was totally unaware there was a climate meter. What are the units of measurement for climate?
"Climate is one thing you can actually measure ... " Well, that one choked hard going down.
Global average temperature? We don't have one.
Crop production? Too many other variables, especially improvement in the art.
Trends at certain points on the earth? There are upward trending locations and downward trending locations. Different equipment, different procedures, different locations for equipment and surroundings for equipment.
Oceanic heat? Atmospheric heat? Limited amounts of data, short time scales, limited areas of data collection.
If we can measure climate, I haven't heard who has done it.
Ray - That was actually my favorite line of the bunch. As to your question, the current climate meter increments as recognized by the IPCC range from "You're Totally To Blame" on one end to "You're Totally To Blame And Your Bank Account Has Just Been Debited Your Daily Carbon Tax" on the other. It's a pretty stiff scale, but that's what good science is all about.
How come the two (maybe more?) sides in the climate change debate act so much like members of the two major political parties? Each condemn the other as liars and idiots. Isn't the truth usually somewhere in between the extremes? I think we need to begin examining how we relate to each other in this uncivilized debate. Is the ultimate object to find the truthful answer, or is it to prove that we damn well won the argument, despite the lying sonsabitches that tried to obscure the real issues? Sobering.
How many sides? Let me count the ways....
1. Alarmists---"The sky is burning, the sky is burning! It's all YOUR fault! FIX IT, YOU ROTTEN PERSON!!!!!"
2. Warmers appear to think the globe is definitely warming, it is definitely because of human activity, and we can fix it.
3. Lukewarmers appear to think the globe is warming, it might be humanity's fault, and we might be able to fix it.
4. Natural Cyclists (I used to be one of these) think "yes, there may be some warming as there has been before, but it's causes are natural and it'll go away on its own."
5. Skeptics think there may be or have been warming, but it is due to causes humans have little or no control of, and we cannot fix it because we cannot control the mechanism.
6. Heretics (currently this is my category) think there may have been some warming until 1997 or 1998, but it has largely stopped or reversed; the cause is probably a combination of factors that are largely out of human control (like the sun); and another 4 degrees C would probably do humanity more good than harm, so bring it on!
Truthfully, there may be another three or four categories I've overlooked, and some people are combinations of those enumerated above.
I find it very difficult to believe people who can't tell you whether or not there will be precipitation tomorrow (without having to quote you odds on how many times they'll be right) can inspire any confidence in their temperature forecasts for 20 to 50 years from now. And, what are we supposed to do if they're wrong? Chances are good that finding and peeing on their graves would be the worst penalty we could assess. Please bear in mind EVERY facet of life involves energy use, even simple storage. Healthcare was "only" one sixth of our economy; energy is ALL of it. If we err on the side of too warm, it will be easier to grow crops on currently marginal land. But, if we wreck our whole way of life--perhaps you prefer the word "change"--it will be two generations or more before we know we've done the right thing. Or not.
The science IS NOT settled by a long shot, and it isn't likely to be anytime soon. Not that this will stop do-gooders.
Cooling or warming have little to do with this administration's choices. The Leftist position in this does not involve cooling or warming of our planet; it involves who does what and how with regard to the belief about the cooling or warming. As long as the Progressives get to decide, what they're deciding really doesn't matter.
Feel the boot against your neck yet?
Check out the May-June 2010 issue of Audubon Magazine . It's a special global warming issue. Ditto for Science News, which tells us, in an article titled Operation Ice Watch 2010 Gears Up that "...there’s no denying the remarkable overall decline of Arctic ice cover since satellite observations began in 1979." Science News, normally a good source of information on science, has been totally gaga on global warming practically forever. Ditto for the March/April 2010 issue of Skeptical Inquirer whose "Disinformation on Global Warming" is par for their course.
So no, the war isn't won, and yes, we must continue to fight the - dare one say? - desinformatsiya coming from these entrenched interests.
MJK - Excellent additions to the narrative. I'd say Audubon Magazine has to be one of the biggest dissapointments. You can see how a (delicate cough) "science" site could misread the actual science out there, but a group based on the natural sciences? That's just twisted and sick.