Reasoned dissent is the theme here
In the face of consensus, atrophy and fear
Reasoned implication, reasoned deconstruction
Common sense, nothing more
Posted by Jeff Id on October 31, 2014
Reasoned dissent is the theme here
In the face of consensus, atrophy and fear
Reasoned implication, reasoned deconstruction
Common sense, nothing more
Posted by Jeff Id on October 28, 2014
Glenn Tamblyn left a reasonable sounding comment on the previous thread in reply to my comment that I find oceans to be very dangerous to human life in general. My point is that oceans are very cold and very large heat sinks and that makes them powerful moderators of temperature. Earth normally exists in an ice age, and we are lucky to be born in this particular time of warmth and comfort. Of all natural disasters that WILL befall Earth, the coming ice age is the one I worry about most. As I wrote, Glenn’s reply sounds like it is reasonable and I think it represents how much of the AGW concerned population thinks.
I’ve copied his comment below and will attempt to present my side of the argument after that. Hopefully, some will find it interesting.
“the real monster we should be worried about is that giant body of extremely cold water that dominates our planet”
Let me put some context to that comment.
Human energy consumption is at a rate of around 17 trillion watts.
Total geothermal energy flows from within the earth at around 44 trillion watts.
Total energy accumulation in the oceans, measured by the ARGO system, is currently at around 250 trillion watts.
Total energy arriving from the Sun, after allowing for albedo is around 121,826 trillion watts.
If the energy from the sun could not be radiated out to space and all instead remained and accumulated here then result would be enough to:
– Boil Sydney Harbour dry in 12 seconds.
– Boil the oceans away in around 900 years
– Melt the entire Earth’s crust in 5,000 to 10,000 years.
Obviously that energy can escape to space. But there is still a restriction on that flow in the form of the GH effect. So I would have though that anything that involves adjusting the control valve regulating that outflow is something we would want to be very conservative about.
That 250 trillion watts accumulating in the oceans, obviously isn’t coming from anywhere here on earth; there is no energy source big enough to supply it.
And the world hasn’t stopped warming. There is still at least 250 trillion watts worth of warming. And if all that energy that is currently going into the oceans had all gone into the air instead, air temperatures would be rising at 15 C/decade. If the Earth were a desert world, with only very, very shallow seas and not huge oceans there would be absolutely no question mark about the impact of CO2 – its effect would be blatant and immediate.
Are you really that confident that the oceans are the thing we should be so worried about?
Glenn, science is all about magnitudes as you know, so I need to restate the point that CO2 in the amounts we humans can release can only slow radiation to space by some finite amount, and heat still radiates from Earth at the same rate it comes in at no matter how much CO2 you add. My point is that the oceans are such a large sink of heat that even all those trillions of watts alleged to be received by global warming they are barely detectable with our best instrumentation. We can discuss what would happen to air if the ocean were not there, but the oceans are there, and they are not going anywhere.
Someone left a comment here a couple of weeks ago about the oceans collecting the heat and then releasing it in the future with a vengeance. While Glenn is not making that claim, I want to make the point that once the relatively small amount of heat is distributed into the ocean heat basin, it is functionally permanently lost with respect to atmospheric warming per thermodynamic laws. The only caveat being that the ocean surface has less heat content so so it can warm measurably and is returned to the atmosphere. In thermodynamics, we know that heat only flows from hot to cold and entropy doesn’t allow us to pick only the hot molecules from the ocean so there is no hot water in the oceans waiting to cook us by surprise in the future.
There is no giant ball of heat waiting for us below the surface, in fact, we have the opposite problem. –A giant ball of cold.
I wrote a post on this a long time ago. I did a quick calculation and plot of ocean heat content and atmospheric heat content. I found the ocean had approximately 1000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere. If we mixed 1 degree of atmospheric warming into the whole of the ocean, it would result in 0.001 degrees of ocean temperature rise.
The only reason we have seen any temperature change on Earth is because the ocean surface warmed a little. In fact, the measured ocean surface makes up most of the measurement in global average temperature. I found this cool plot of ocean temperatures on line:
I’m not sure where the reference is for it but it gives a very nice visual of a typical slice through the ocean. Note the large area of blue-purple indicating the majority of the worlds oceans consist of waters below 5 degrees Celcius. That is really cold water folks and it is a LOT of it. If it were to come to the surface at a faster rate than we have seen, even by a little, the changes to global temperature would be extreme.
This body of water is a huge moderator of our climate and all of the global warming we can imagine isn’t going to warm it up much, because despite Glenn’s scary language, the magnitude of CO2 based warming simply isn’t sufficient. Glenn uses the number 250 trillion watts for total energy accumulation rate. I found the same number at climate progress, a widely known extremist left-wing propaganda outlet that should not be trusted by any thinking person, but we will use it uncritically here. Two hundred fifty trillion is 2.5 x10^14 J/second. If we have a heat capacity of 5.6×10^24 J/K we get 2.24×10^11 seconds until the ocean were warmed one degree. That corresponds to 710 years of heating to increase the ocean volumetric temperature by one degree which is still somewhere around zero C average temperature. In other words, climate progresses unrealistic worst possible case doom scenario’s are not sufficient to significantly affect oceanic heat content.
No I am not claiming the ocean is well mixed but that reservoir is definitely there and only a small change in circulation can bring that monstrous body of energy sinking power those few hundred meters to the surface and eliminate even a thousand years of worst case global warming imagination.
I am claiming though that the oceanic driven cold spell — will happen. We call them ice ages, they are coming again and currently we do not have the power to stop them. The cold is sitting right there off our shores, for anyone to see and measure. It’s not an imagined monster or a projected monster like global warming, it is a real monster, as real as the next big asteroid impact or supervolcano that we all know must come again.
Glenn also writes a hypothetical situation as to what would happen if the Sun’s energy could not be radiated into space. While this leads to some amusing alarmist style talking points, the bottom line is that we would die. That’s it. Nice and simple. Fortunately, our planet remains in a general energy balance that shifts very little over even millions of years of time. This is due to the laws of physics so there is no danger whatsoever that it will suddenly or gradually stop radiating to space – so I hope Glenn and other readers won’t worry about that anymore. :D
To finalize my comments, I would point out to Glenn that climate models have beyond scientific question statistically failed in their projections of temperatures. The sensitivity atmospheric temperature to CO2 from measured data, is therefore much lower than was predicted and that includes the argo data. Alternatively rather than a CO2 sensitivity misjudgement, all that heat that Dr. Trenberth is famously looking for, very well could be sitting in the deep ocean making too little impact over 100 years to actually measure and all it would take is a tiny bit more (or less) oceanic intermixing than models predict for that huge heatsink to be the true source of measured climate change. It could potentiall have overwhelmed the CO2 effect without our knowing. If it were intermixing less on a short term scale, the extra wattage the Argo floats picked up would mean even less of the energy from CO2 than the best observationally based sensitivity calculations indicate. One should not assume uncritically that the energy all came from CO2 based warming. The best evidence we have however shows about the atmosphere increases 1.3 C per doubling of CO2 concentration, and that is very low.
So yes Glenn, I am very sure that with respect to climate, oceans are what we should be concerned about. They are very cold and too large for us to heat up to livable levels by CO2 emissions. So in the future, I hope you won’t concern yourself anymore about harbors boiling, sheep shrinking, extra hurricanes etc.. None of that is real, it is just propaganda which exists in the minds of alarmists.
Ice ages however….are real.
Whether you are liberal or conservative, the economy IS real too and we can all agree that from many examples around the globe, economies have shown a great deal of sensitivity to human meddling. Costs of doing business include taxation, and a wide variety of barriers to operations. It is also really obvious that shutting down coal plants and preventing replacement with functional energy generation is more than a little stupid. We must be more careful in these times of high governmental economic load not commit economic suicide simply out of fear of CO2, which appears to be somewhere between a complete non-issue and an overall benefit to life on Earth. Yet that is exactly what the anti-industrial environmental movement is trying to do.
Posted by Jeff Id on October 26, 2014
In the middle of climate model failure, the socialist party of the UN is getting close to a global agreement for cap and trade emissions costs. A pure mechanism to assign value to something with no inherent cost. The dollars per unit they will assign will be related to popular politics rather than anything physical, the failed climate models will be ignored, the damage to industry that was their actual goal can be carried out at will.
Imagine futures trading and how it can be gamed by a politician with the right clout. Hey buddy, we are going to announce X this spring, buy/sell. There is no “performance” metric that controls the result and no insider trading law preventing the comment. Imagine the amount of money which can be stolen from the production centers (industry) that feed the globe. Huge new costs resisting their output of product in favor of the multinational corporations who can influence policy. The same multi-national companies the socialists claim to hate, they empower willingly. For the same ends, as money and power drive them, although the unwitting population seems to follow without notice. Why is it that these companies are so willing to join? Are they stupid or are they interested in improving profits? Why are so many voters unable to think logically?
Subjugation, starvation and poverty will be the future of the human race, for they are as blind to the dangers as a mouse stepping into a mousetrap.
And the scientific predictions of global doom failed…but this wasn’t really about science.
Posted by Jeff Id on October 25, 2014
Doug Cotton has been dropping comments here for a couple of years now. Like many skeptic blogs, the threads become polluted with his unusual brand of CO2 based climate change denial. His argument has changed dramatically over the years but in fairness (or perhaps unfairness) to him, he says it has not. Now I think I have been more patient here than any other blog with his unusual proclamations but have been forced to snip many of his recent comment. Doug has even surpassed me as the most snipped commenter here and while I was well ahead of other readers he leaves me running a distant second.
I have spent a few days this week asking and Doug has spent time answering questions about his theory. Currently, he has talked himself into a very tight corner with respect to his CO2 doesn’t cause warming theory. In fact, it seems pretty clear to me that he has disproven his own theory but we are awaiting an answer. I decided to put it here because the old thread was way too long.
We are considering two planets with equal albedo. Both planets are dry and one has a non-absorbing Nitrogen (N2) atmosphere, the other has an absorbing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) atmosphere. They experience the same solar input and all other features are the same. Doug has proclaimed the truth of Loschmidt’s temperature gradient which matches the dry adiabatic lapse rate so we agree in the existence of the gradient, he has agreed that the planets each emit at the same temperature when viewed from space, and he admits that the average emission altitude of the CO2 planet is higher than the ground level emission of our Nitrogen planet.
If the atmosphere is cooler as we go higher in altitude, and the emission temperatures of both are the same yet the average emission altitude of the CO2 planet is non-zero, then the ground temperature of the CO2 planet must be warmer than the N2 planet – global warming theory is proven. Doug doesn’t seem to yet realize just how much of a pickle he has gotten himself into and at the time of writing this post he has gone offline for the night (in his area) but when he comes back, I anticipate he will explain how his theory can correct these statements such that his theory is not proven wrong.
I did not expect his admission of the above points as they completely disprove his conclusion that CO2 does not cause warming. He must rectify the conflict in his reasoning or concede the point.
We shall see.
Posted by Jeff Id on September 24, 2014
So much of the IPCC argument is based on uncertainty. Nic Lewis has been working rather tirelessly on improving climate science’s understanding of the observation based magnitude of warming from CO2. This time he teamed up with Judith Curry and published a new paper establishing a far tighter uncertainty range for climate sensitivity to CO2 based warming. The answers they show are substantially lower than the IPCC model based estimates and in my opinion substantially more credible. See Nic’s article describing their results at climate audit here.
Posted by Jeff Id on September 22, 2014
I just want to post a link to an excellent summary of hide the decline by Jean S at Climate Audit.
Posted by Jeff Id on September 7, 2014
Two things have my attention today, one is not climate related. CIA contractors in immediate proximity of the American embassy in Benghazi were specifically told to stand down rather than protect the lives of the Ambassador. The head of the CIA in the region repeated the order multiple times and it was after a half hour and against that order (repeated on 3 separate occasions) that the security team overrode the command. The security team was so close to the fighting that they could hear the gunfire and it was only after muslims lit fires around the buildings that our ambassador was safely hidden in, that the team went in – against orders. It was a half a day later before military support was sent. The claim has been made that multiple bases in the region normally react with air support, none of them reacted indicating that a large scale stand down order was given.
Remember, this was the point where the “terrorist” aka muslim story line from the president was that they were no longer a threat. The most likely fit to this data is that the US government, just prior to election, chose to sacrifice the ambassador rather than generate a negative news article. Whether the most likely scenario is true or not, the decision to stand down when our people were in trouble was quite obviously a political calculation of some form. They were left to be killed.
Fox news broke the story last night in an interview with the contractors, like climategate the left-wing media will be very slow to pick up the story, if ever, so I am posting a link here:
The second item which has my attention is Michael Mann’s lawsuit. As you may know conservative commentator Mark Steyn referred to Mann’s work as fraud and bogus and is now embroiled in a lawsuit where Mann claims he was slandered/libeled by Steyn. The problem is that Mann’s suit is being funded by left-wing groups who have a vested interest in the policies brought about with the alleged but only loosely related goal of addressing climate change. Mann has little to lose by the suit but the rulings on this case have the potential long term negative consequences to free speech with respect to critique of government.
It sounds extreme, but it is, and my favorite climate scientologist Michael Mann is right at the center of it. His suit uses the various totally fake climategate inquiries as evidence that his work is somehow exonerated, in addition it uses the EPA endangerment finding on CO2 which foundationally gives power to regulate combustion in the US. Claims of exoneration by the fake inquires into climategate and the even worse EPA findings, were false, because in all cases Mann’s various hockey stick works are not what was being examined, but the line of truth is hardly a barrier to lawyers.
A recent brief to the courts from Mann’s lawyers holds much of the relevant detail.
The way this works is that “Fraud” is being presented as per-se defamatory, Mann’s lawyers are trying to attach the word “bogus” as equally defamatory in their argument. The use of either of these words in describing scientific work, is deemed automatically libelous, unless of course it is proven true. In this case, Mann’s defense that his work is not fraudulent, is based on various government inquiries of climategate, EPA findings, use of other equally tweaked, twisted, impeached, methods in journals to “verify” his findings. Any pro-government science, especially a science with massive government support levels such as climate change, where more than one kid has his hand in the cookie jar, could become unimpeachable in press simply by other politicians/scientists agreeing. Economics, medicine, and political science, are strong examples of other government corrupted fields. Therefore, someone like myself who understands what Mann does for a living, will not be able to safely tell the truth on the subject. I write this with some fear right now because I have examined several of his papers carefully and have repeatedly articulated obvious errors in the methodology Mann has made. With the 501C laundered money of government behind him, a faux-suit from Mann is a scary possibility. Mistakes are not fraud, but the odds of mistakes always falling the same way dozens of times by ACCIDENT are astronomically low. After enough failures, the statistics exceed reasonable certainty that someone is committing fraud with the very slim possibility that they are in fact INCOMPETENT. It is this tenth of a percent chance of incompetence which has prevented me from referring to Mann’s work as fraud.
Considering that it is this vanishingly small chance in my mind that is the only thing left between fraud and incompetence, others could quite reasonably be expected to fail to differentiate the possibility. It is a thin line which many people will, and have, intellectually crossed in the case of Michael Mann. Such opinions are hardly unreasonable at this point and I have no doubt that in a just world, Steyn should win outright based on this alone.
But that is not the only problem. EPA findings, which so many disagree with, are being used as evidence of TRUTH, rather than the political document they are. My understanding is that in this courts decision, it is possible that by accepting this document as truth, such truth being evidence that no fraud existed, future court cases could also be compelled to accept the government’s version as truth. This is certainly an unfortunate consequence of the over-politicized world of climate science. I’m not a lawyer, and not studied enough on the matters of libel cases to understand how this will play out in use as precedent, but if my understanding is correct, it could be substantially bad for free expression.
The case is being tried in DC, which is widely known to be saturated with the most activist left-wing judicial system in the US. Only California and New York providing any apparent competition in that dubious matter whatsoever. With so much corruption visible from the US government in the recent decade, we can be reasonably certain that in a highly politicized case like this, neither truth nor justice will be the deciding factor.
Today is still a sunny day though so I’m not going to let a corrupt over-powerful government stop me from going to do something else with it. Hopefully you will to.
Posted by Jeff Id on August 31, 2014
You can make a whole blog (a boring one) simply for the purposes of showing false claims by political activist climate scientists. The claim below is quoted from a Daily Mail article I ran into surfing the internet.
Dr Hawkins said: ‘There is undoubtedly some natural variability on top of the long-term downwards trend caused by the overall warming. This variability has probably contributed somewhat to the post-2000 steep declining trend, although the human-caused component still dominates
The error in his statement is that the human-caused component still dominates.
Anyone with any background in climate change science knows full well (or should) that the human component of observed warming is completely 100% unknown. Currently, it is statistically and mathematically inseparable from natural warming. The only thing we can do to separate human and natural warming is model the contributions mathematically and subtract. Today, climate models have failed by over-predicting warming. Since models have over-predicted warming by so much, all modeled differences between CO2 and natural warming effects are now nonsensical. We don’t have a value.
Dr. Hawkins, who I have no immediate knowledge of, isn’t changing his scientific opinion based on facts though. Unfortunately for science, the non-factual opinion is hardly unique. Bart Verheggan, who’s blog is linked on the right, did a study which I found interesting in that it is similar to John Cook’s recent 97% debacle in that it polled climate scientists to ask their opinion on various global warming questions.
One question was:
What fraction of global warming since the mid-20th century can be attributed to human induced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations?
– More than 100% (i.e. GHG warming has been partly offset by aerosolcooling)
– Between 76% and 100%
– Between 51% and 76%
– Between 26% and 50%
– Between 0 and 25%
– Less than 0% (i.e. anthropogenic GHG emissions have caused cooling)
– There has been no warming
– Unknown due to lack of knowledge
– I do not know
– Other (please specify)
From Bart’s post:
Consistent with other research, we found that the consensus is strongest for scientists with more relevant expertise and for scientists with more peer-reviewed publications. 90% of respondents with more than 10 climate-related peer-reviewed publications (about half of all respondents), agreed that anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) are the dominant driver of recent global warming.
This seems to agree with what we would expect, however there is a problem. The conclusion that human created GHG is THE dominant factor in global warming has absolutely no numerical foundation in the science. One wonders just what makes these scientists so certain! Yes there are papers on the matter of attribution, but those I have read are universally model based. There is nothing wrong with the concept of climate models, except that the ones relied on are now known to be non-functional. They have failed by overestimating global warming….dramatically.
As the models are known to have failed, the scientists in the survey who still claim humans are the primary cause for the very minimal warming we have observed, are acting as activists rather than scientists. The real answer is that we just don’t know. It is possible that these people have committed themselves in the past so strongly to the cause that a change in position is personally something they cannot handle. Being wrong isn’t much fun after all. Being publicly wrong on your field of expertise is worse I suppose. However, I believe that their political activism is more to blame than personal embarrassment over the failure of a climate model likely created by someone else.
Basically, because the question asked here can only be based on subjective opinion and not scientific fact, the questions of this survey are more interesting as a social study of the people involved. I see it as a referendum on the objectivity of the scientists in the field.
In addition, Bart reports that those more published in the field are more likely to claim that warming is primarily human induced. Were it simply a matter of personal embarrassment, wouldn’t a person with 10 publications have as much invested as one with 40? Perhaps not, but we also have knowledge that the field prefers those who advocate for political change and those are the scientists who receive the funding and cushy jobs with lots of research assistants to allow them the time to publish lots of papers. Claims sometimes made that are contrary to this fact are nonsense.
My reading of this aspect of his paper is therefore different. Bart Verheggen shows that the more popular individuals, that he claims have “more relevant expertise”, are more likely to make the claim that humans contribute more than 50% of warming is caused by GHG. A claim that is objectively unscientific.
We have a very big problem in our science when such a large fraction of the group is willing to claim an unscientific position in their field of study for unexplained reasons.
Since their belief is decidedly not evidence based, or they would certainly publish the proof, we can only conclude that it must be a faith. In this case, the group has expressed a non-factual faith that somehow humans must be the primary cause of warming. What drives this faith is not discussed in faith terms, and therefore must be a personal matter for each of them, driven by a wide variety of unseen truths believed but not discussed. Perhaps a group of fuzzy math papers or perhaps some other un-vetted statement they have heard from colleagues has seeded the thought. It is a faith, an unbreakable truth under which physical laws of reality must bend to comply. It is the only explanation for the fact that we regularly see climate observations fly in the face of the conclusions, yet the conclusions stand unaffected.
It is interesting to me that these same people don’t understand capitalism. My wild guess estimate is that 95% of climate scientist experts believe in evolution, yet generally don’t support free market capitalism, when they are actually the same thing. Each one representing a system reacting to conditions of the environment for maximum benefit. There is no such thing as truly free market and the value being optimized in both cases is different. Capitalism optimizing money and evolution optimizes survival but I don’t really understand how people hold polar opposite views on both matters. It seems to me that socialists shouldn’t believe in evolution, and capitalists should. The matter isn’t black and white and people are funny things so the evidence on which people make decisions regarding their core beliefs is beyond my understanding. I’m off topic a bit bit it leaves me wondering.
A link between politics and faith
Still, IPCC scientists in general regularly express the most powerful central government solutions imaginable. Discussions of limitations on environmental property rights, energy generation, transportation, speech of skeptics and even limiting reproduction are common themes in their world. The horrific outcomes of history do not seem to moderate the general beliefs of the community that more central government control of the population, is somehow a solution to human climate problems.
The belief in extraordinarily powerful governmental solutions to environmental concerns is also a faith they hold. It flies in the face of any rational observation of the performance of government, but for some reason it goes hand-in-hand with the same individuals who promote the faith-based form of climate science. It is clear from climategate emails and observations of universities across the country that socialists are the preferred employee for government organizations. The reinforcing effects of the governmental money source on political beliefs in these institutions creates a significant political imbalance in the population of scientists.
This self-sorting of people (climate scientists in this case) who hold generally extreme views of economics and government may lead to a general tendency for faith-based science. A claim could reasonably be made against what are often derogatorily termed religious conservatives, which in general, the climate science group openly despises. There is no governmental incentivized mechanism which funds religious conservatives into a multi-billion dollar global climate change sized industry speaking on a single topic. We could imagine a similar conservative faith-based science being forced upon us in that case as well, but that problem isn’t government funded and therefore is not a serious threat.
Other demonstrably false faith-based claims regularly made by main stream climate scientists:
Skeptics are oil funded;Hurricanes and storms increasing;Polar bears dying out;Economic disaster;Food supply shortages;Drought or excess rain;various green energy solutions;sea ice vanishing; — the list is quite a bit longer than this but you get the idea. These claims are all false.
The problem extends beyond that though. It pervades the field with false papers on historic temperatures taken from proxies, Antarctic warming, sea ice futures, shrinking fish, drought and hurricanes on and on and on… Literally false papers.
The evidence of their unstated faith is extensive. What is also in evidence is that you cannot argue a faith on a rational level. Like a religious argument, you are slamming into their personal defense mechanism which places walls between rational consideration and belief.
The petri dish
While it may seem unreasonable or even derrogatory for me to write the words above, this is not some ad-hominem attack on climate science but is rather my objective view of their bulk behaviors as an outsider. We have discussed before the fact that engineers and scientists in other fields get reasonably quick feedback when their ideas don’t live up to expectations. In climate science, the feedback is over decades of time, and often well exceeds the skyrocketing careers of the individuals making their projections. There is no feedback to the individuals for their product, so the product which looks the best for its purpose, is the product deemed best. It is only after decades that we realize that favored climate models who’s output predicted extreme warming, failed to match observation. Climate scientists aren’t used to being wrong. They don’t have a history of strong negative feedback on which to alter their understanding. Their reaction to this major failure of models has been a combination reticent correction and confused belief in future observations magically (unscientifically) coming into line.
The combination of pressures seems to have bred a generally narcissistic and overconfident group of people who fail to observe that the rest of the technical world is not buying into their global warming doom scenarios. Our failure to buy in is not due to lack of explanation, or technical expertise, or the implied fact that everyone but them has a self-organized but opposite political belief, but is rather due to the lack of scientific foundation these governmental organizations present in their argument. There is simply no evidence that global warming is severe, dangerous or anything but beneficial.
Despite the wide consensus on global warming disaster in climate science, I believe a polling of the technically literate world would result in discovery that the vast majority of the scientifically literate public are highly skeptical of global warming doom.
Posted by Jeff Id on August 30, 2014
José Duarte has a post up that Carrick called my attention to at the Blackboard. The article is basically a chastisement of the false externally motivated science in the context of Cook’s recent publication on the 97% consensus. I call it externally motivated as a way to describe the numerous papers across so many fields of science that have pre-ordained conclusions designed into their methodology, such that they support the authors undisclosed personal interests in some manner. Climate science is the current poster child for today’s particularly grotesque post-modern form of motivated science, it is hardly unique in either this century or by field. We have seen much of the same in medicine, drug testing, economics, political science and psychology across history. It is a sad fact that publications across many fields are rife with the nonsense.
The following quote is probably a little unfair to Jose’s article because his content is well considered, and this paragraph is a bit off from the central point, but since the Lewandowsky incident I’ve come to believe this same thing about certain people.
I honestly think at least part of the issue here is intelligence and knowledge. It think this is a pervasive issue in the climate debate, but is rarely called out, and it’s easy for it to be lazy ad hominem. Intelligence can be a real, functional constraint. For example, I think some climate science skeptics simply aren’t smart enough — they’re not smart enough to understand climate science or its methods. They’ll never understand what these “computer models” are doing, or why calling something a computer model doesn’t invalidate it. I think if the Higgs boson had political implications of the sort that AGW is presumed to have, some of those same people would express similar arguments against the existence of the Higgs or the validity of its detection, saying that it’s all “computer models”, or that we can’t really “see” it. In such a case, I think it would come down to them not being smart enough to understand the methods, or the nature of that particular reality. Reality isn’t structured such that any scientific field will be understandable to any outsider with an IQ of 100 or better — it would be arbitrary to assume that it was. The people who conducted the Cook study don’t understand rudimentary epistemology, or what counts as evidence of anthropogenic climate change. Cook’s e-mailed response to my call for retraction also struck me as that of someone who just isn’t equipped to deal with these sorts of issues. Nuccitelli’s comments in the forum about the white males study is more evidence that these people aren’t equipped for this.
In an only peripherally related incident, I was truly shocked when Eric Eich, the then editor of Psychological Science, told me the following in reference to one of Lewandowsky’s published misrepresentations of my opinion:
Dr. Lewandowsky has agreed to remove your citation not because it was misleading–he does not believe it was–but because I think it is best replaced by a source other than a blog post.
So in order to protect a clear political piece disguised as science, Lewandowsky took the position that my opinion was not what I thought it was (silly me), in fact my opinion was what THEY thought it was and therefore the otherwise fraudulent accusations were accurate. BUT!!! the problem was that I had represented my position on a blog. For his purpose in this single specific case, scholarly articles on psychology could only use data from non-blog sources. Talking, interviews, tape, newspaper, journals, songs, musings, etc… etc.. and so on ….. as long as it isn’t blogs.
Teasing aside, the political or personal pressures that Lewandowsky and Eric Eich felt must have exceeded the restrictions of publishing rationally defensible statements. This does not prove a lack of intelligence, as inaccurate thoughts are often motivated by unspoken factors. Lewandowsky, on the other hand, seemed unable (also perhaps unwilling, I’m not a mind reader) to grasp that my position on temperature data was based on reason, and is basically mainstream in the climate science field. Although I did write it in my normal excitable fashion, rational readers had no trouble working out the truth. It has been since that time that my general opinion of his scientific ability has formed, and it is separate from any personal feelings based on his actions. I have read several of Lewandowsky’s papers on other topics as well and I truly believe Lewandowsky is incapable of understanding the nuances of a more serious science than he pretends to practice.
He is far from alone as I also believe Phil Jones suffers from the same numeric limitations. It’s not his fault, it is just what I believe from his work and what I have read from the CG emails, particularly on curve fits.
From the evidence, Nuccitelli is a good candidate for the low-grok club but I’m even less familiar with any other work he may have done. There certainly is a lot of illogical nonsense in his writing which is a poor sign for him. The Cook paper being eviscerated in the link above by Jose can stand alone though as it is such a horribly incompetent example of “work” that it isn’t hard to imagine the Cook et cetera team had any skill, background (or moderate weekend training) in the methodology they employed. It’s unfortunate really, because I think the general conclusion that there is a belief of anthropogenic climate change amongst climate scientists, is hardly controversial. Were the paper correctly done, they would have likely discovered a different and somewhat lower number that would hold the same sort of political weight. In other words, the flawed methodology was unnecessarily biased for the political messaging purposes they conceived. Basically Low-grok all around.
Unfortunately, and it is unfortunate, these thoughts I hold lead to an easy dismissal anything these people come up with. I find myself laughing at their work when I run across it rather than taking it seriously. It’s also unfortunate, because the press is non-believably poor at differentiating the relentless advocacy papers from actual science, and has an even worse time differentiating blatantly flawed science such as Mann’s proxy-sorting algorithms. The public has no chance to understand reality with that sort of motivated filter between them and the articles being published. Dismissive thinking is a trap nobody should fall into, but the battle against it is hard to win when the subject of the dismissal is such a willing volunteer as Cook.
Anyway, Jose’s article is much better written and conceived than these musings and is worth the time. His article gives me hope that some form of self-reflection of motivated authors can be brought about which would limit some of the nonsensical political papers disguised as “science”. Just a little hope though as the laws of incentivization will likely always pressure some people to report scientific truths outside of the boundaries of the rationally observed universe.
Posted by Jeff Id on August 27, 2014
I have finally completed a huge and mathematically difficult design project that has been on my plate for the last couple of months and have a little time for blogging. I’m thoroughly excited about the project and like so many things I do, I dug in hard and worked until I was fully burned out on it. Seems to be my style.
Anyway, the multi-billion dollar international global warming industry is continuing on despite the major shots the science has taken in recent years. The denial of reality by the activist scientists has already reached astounding proportions and seems to be growing with the realization that their predictions of the future are no more valid than Mrs Cleo’s prediction of bankruptcy. Predicting the future seems a rough business.
There have been a few notable posts on the matter, Anthony Watts carried one which featured climate change advocate Richard Betts quoted as writing “Bish, as always I am slightly bemused over why you think GCMs are so central to climate policy.”. I’m literally gobsmacked by the insanity of a claimed scientific position that climate models might not be THE central evidence for a position of climate policy. It leaves one wondering what a lead author of the IPCC might consider in lieu of a model for prediction of future climate.
In short, the industry’s failure is in full view and nobody, scientist, advocate or homeless person can claim that the earth is warming to disaster, because there is now quite literally zero evidence to support the position. There are plenty of scientists holding on for the “big warmup” that will somehow save the models. There are even a couple of “scientific” publications digging very deep into the data mash to tweak parameters in line. I won’t reference them, particularly the one by Gavin Schmidt, because they are trash and tripe and not worth reading. What they do represent though is yet another symptom of government funded research gone awry with advocacy, a sick industry with little hope for salvation from the wrath of the god of physics.
Climate science meets engineering reality, finally.
And it is the climate models that failed. They overpredicted warming by CO2 so dramatically that we were able to statistically detect the failure decades before anyone really expected to. Despite Betts ridiculous and untenable position on climate models, there is no other mechanism by which we can predict climate than models. Now before people jump on the concept that climate models can’t work, that is a flatly false position to hold. They absolutely can work. They can even work reasonably well for predicting global temperature trends at their current sophistication level. Unfortunately, the sensitivity to CO2 warming is incorrect and even when it is corrected we won’t know how far current models will accurately predict into the future. Like local weather models which predict rain reasonably well two days out, observation and comparison is the only way to know if it worked.
And that comparison of observed temperature to today’s models — failed. All dead.
I’ve got bad news for you though folks. You cannot kill an industry that easily. There is simply too much money at stake for these people to lose their jobs – as they well should. There is a politically ironic comparison which seems to me fits the context. The tobacco industry, in its heyday, tried to publish “science” showing that tobacco didn’t cause cancer. It took years to beat the truth out of that little issue, and in the end the truth did come out. Yet the industry still lives on. There is simply too much money and too many people relying on that money to shut down an industry like that overnight.
It will be interesting to see how far it goes, but the quotes rolling out of climate science are consistent with a socialist left wing political agenda based on top-down control and completely inconsistent with the science. A duck is a duck in my world.
One wonders just how far they can go with this broken message before the unthinking public recognizes that there aren’t any climate disasters to talk about. The feedback between government funded fake science, and reality is tremendously slow. We may actually achieve all of the expense and government regulatory control with literally zero societal benefit. In fact, a new book has been released which highlights the clear fact that CO2 is a highly beneficial gas and its warming effects do nothing but good for life on Earth. A position I have grown to hold over the years. If my reasonable and previously mainstream scientific view is correct, these energy regulations and costs will create negative impacts both on the economy and the biosphere when compared to a world without them.
There is nothing inherently wrong with wind, solar and biofuel energy, when unsubsidized by government, the subsidized form is a story for another day. However it seems clear that the highly scrubbed CO2 and water emissions from an old fashion coal plant are quite likely a net positive for life on this planet. The mild warming and additional building blocks CO2 provides for plant life both appear to be very positive developments from everything I have studied. The extremist left-wing political resistance to healthy economic growth and individual wealth and power stand starkly unsupported at this time.
Of course I could be wrong and climate models are actually not needed to see the climate future, and tobacco doesn’t cause cancer.
Cathartic as always!
Posted by Jeff Id on July 20, 2014
I received a notice of new publications today, and along with it a graphic linking to yet another Antarctic doom paper. In it, the link uses the flawed Steig 09 temperature plot of the Antarctic taken from the cover of Nature. A particularly interesting choice considering that GRL published the corrected version (our paper), and Nature carried the flawed version proudly displayed right on its cover.
For those of us who care about little things like accuracy in science, this is a realistic appearance of Antarctic temperature trends over that same timeframe. Of course the actual measured temperatures in the West Antarctic (lower left in particular) don’t appear quite as doom-worthy.
Posted by Jeff Id on July 2, 2014
So how about something different. I learned R programming here for climate software. Plotting, fitting curves, calculating stats and all kinds of linear algebra. Prior to that I had programmed in various forms of C, Basic, a few other arcane languages, assembly/machine, etc… I had written my own matrix multipliers and inverters multiple times. It was all low level engineering style languages for equipment integration, calculation and a literal ton of other applications. R turns out to be very flexible for most of what I had done in other languages, and could have handled a large portion of the problems with a much reduced development time.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve expanded my use of R to some unique applications. I have used the R algorithms to calculate some fairly sophisticated lenses, but interestingly have adopted the software to perform material requirement planning to a level difficult to find in commercial software. The ability to work with large matrices makes R well suited to the task. Lean manufacturing requires just in time delivery of components. Inventory is a significant cost to a company and is paid for in after-tax dollars so it must be controlled to a high degree for a company to succeed. In a mid-sized company as ours has become, we have over two thousand part numbers which turn into about 600 finished goods of various types. In our business case, these finished goods need to be stocked at appropriate levels to service our customers within a fixed range of part numbers.
So what we have is:
Forecast usage based on history and customer provided expectations
Target inventory levels for components
Manufacturing time for various processes
Shipment time for components
From those basic numbers and a variety of other information including bills of material (list of subcomponents in an assembly), lead times and manufacturing location, we use R software to calculate our manufacturing schedule, component ordering, required delivery dates and note any problems in the delivery time. Just in case you think this might be simple, our supply chain is quite long, sometimes as much as 13 weeks with various steps happening at planned points along the process.
A common example for us is where electronic components are ordered in the US, shipped overseas in 1 week, 1 week allowed for assembly to circuit boards, ship back to US by air 1 week, final assembly in us 1 week. In the meantime, other components for the same finished product, might be built to arrive at the same time as the circuit boards from another facility with a longer 3 week production time and those might be intended to ship by sea over 5 weeks to arrive simultaneously with the stock requirement of the circuit boards such that a production build happens on the correct date. Now even that isn’t terribly complicated but we utilize the same components in multiple part numbers. Each one forecast and stocked on independent schedules such that economic quantities of components must be delivered in time for the first of what sometimes is multiple builds. Expand that problem over two thousand active part numbers and that is our situation.
The software calculates its recommended orders and writes a huge 20,000 plus line file into excel, highlighting orders to be placed and even writes live equations into the cells such that if the buyer decides that the order needs to be altered, projected inventory is recalculated on the fly. Warning symbols are also generated by live equations in excel such that inventory overstock or under stock situations are highlighted.
It’s pretty interesting to me and a commercial version, which we have purchased but not yet implemented, is surprisingly expensive. While many people will tell you that their software can handle it, there are only a few on the market which perform these calculations to the level that our company has been able to implement and operate with for two years now.
And it was done in R.
The ability to program and plan like this gives us the ability to take our projected stock level as a matrix, multiplied by a vector of the true component costs to achieve our projected inventory value for the next 3.5 months with two lines like this:
totalinventorycost = sweep(projectedinventory,2,cost,”*”)
Slide that information into your cash flow planning and you have closed the loop between future inventory levels and expected cash needs for the next 3 months.
We have R software that calculates sales commissions for outside reps, checks delivery status and manufacturing status, recommends orders, designs lenses, calculates component usage, and a few tax related routines as well. In addition to that, I use it for all kinds of math driven electrical and mechanical engineering related tasks.
I’m pretty certain that the creators of R didn’t expect their statistical software to be abused in such a capitalistic manner. However, I do consider it a positive impact of the climate change nonsense the boys at Real Climate exposed all of us to. I also must give credit to Mr. McIntyre as it was his continued promotion of the language that got me started down this path.
Posted by Jeff Id on June 29, 2014
Antarctic sea ice established a pretty dramatic spike in ice area anomaly apparently continuing its recent upward trend in rather pointed fashion.
Global sea ice continues above average for the year:
Arctic ice is still holding in its lower level since 2007:
Please refrain from asserting nefarious intent for posting the data. It is interesting to all of us after all.
Posted by Jeff Id on June 26, 2014
Antarctic sea ice posting 2nd highest anomaly since satellite records began. In the Antarctic continent on the bottom of the planet where apparently hot is cold and cold is hot. :D
Is anyone else surprised at the nearly monotonic increase in the past several years. Don’t worry alarmists, the trend will change someday.
Posted by Jeff Id on June 18, 2014
I still regularly read climate blogs and occasionally drop a comment but a surprising thing has happened to me lately. I am almost completely disengaged from climate science. The mystery is gone for me. I don’t care much which model said what, the latest Antarctic doom nonsense barely raises an eyebrow, sea ice melting not a drip of interest. Stats are still fun at CA when they come up and I did mine a bunch of data from the government website. Did you know we spent nearly 200 million dollars on climate education for minorities – which means anyone not white male. Well funded skeptics — Bah!! The political nonsense drives me crazy but when people cannot parse what is happening to Iraq, taxes or windmills, how can we truly be serious about climate discussions. Even Steve McIntyre’s latest expose on yet another hockey Schtick paper isn’t enough to give me blog energy. So the Air Vent languishes nearly unused.
Climate wars continue on but where is the fun in discovering yet another exaggerated conclusion in the latest, soon to be forgotten, climate publication. I hope readers recognize that this era will go down in history as a dark time for climate science, rather than the progressive awakening that the populist text-messaging public perceives. Bunch of morons IMHO. A dark and ugly anti-scientific time, not that dissimilar from our ancestors whom we mock for believing in a flat Earth. The vocal skeptics will not be seen in high regard either, for those who look deep enough in history to even find us. Not because we aren’t already proven right but rather because we don’t have a big enough footprint on history to make an impact. Mabye we could make a dent with a few billion $$ though.
I just wonder how people see the world sometimes. Blank minds with full shopping carts is a terrible way to travel life. In the end, the lack of understanding makes no difference to the climate. Fortunately the populist masses, so intent on painted faux-images of a perfect green world, won’t be overheating their neurons to make decisions that actually change the weather and can rather waste their time burning their brains on the latest fads politicians and media dream up like corn powered cars, sex scandals and diet pills.