the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Archive for July, 2010

Some of The Edited Part from the Guardian Panel

Posted by Jeff Id on July 16, 2010

As always they only clip the fun stuff.  Doug Keenan’s opening remarks in pdf . h/t Barry Woods and Bishop Hill.  Warning, straight talk.

b100714[1]

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Barry Woods on Guardian Panel

Posted by Jeff Id on July 16, 2010

Comment left by Barry Woods on the last thread regarding the Guardian Panel.  He attended the meeting and this was some of his quick comments.

Before anybody criticise me, I put a $100 into Climate audits Tip Jar, to help pay for Steve Mcintyres trip to LOndon… (so put up everybody, donate at watts up, Bishop Hill, or climate audit)

The Guardian did not invite Steve as such (they all ready had Doug Keenan) it was the climate audit commentors, that invited him over by offering donations to pay for the trip… and the Guardian were pleased to have him, and surprised about the donations. Over 200, Steve Mcintyre told me on Wednesday in London.

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I Apologize

Posted by Jeff Id on July 16, 2010

This morning, I listened to the whole 98 minute ‘thing’ from the guardian.  I’ve read several takes on the ‘thing’ and my impression is that my opinions were horribly underrepresented –again.  On the whole I was quite disappointed with the endless efforts to portray climategate as some reasonable ‘thing’ which, being reasonable itself, has the ability to be disputed and discussed by reasonable people with different points of view.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/audio/2010/jul/15/guardian-climategate-hacked-emails-debate

Fortunately,  I have a blog with smart readers who don’t require ‘committees’ to think for themselves.

The whole process of listening to the ‘thing’ was a torturous nightmare.  It was a combination of agreement on ‘doing something’ for climate change, and claims of climate panels having exonerated UEA or innuendo of perhaps not completing the job satisfactorily.

Of course there were a few bright spots provided by Steve McIntyre who was the only one to get to the heart of the problem but he only carried a fraction of the time so in all, it was not enough information and therefore not fun..  Perhaps, I just prefer to read, rather than listen to the limited information that can be presented by talking in a forum like this.

In the end, some dumbass said that skeptics who said CRU did something wrong owe  a huge apology to the world for OUR  misleading of THEM.

I have SEEN the LIGHT!!!

I see now what they mean.

Clipping data points is important to the message, Kelly not presenting the recent disagreeing one’s is part of public education.

Systematically clipping proxy data which disagrees IS a valid method and hiding results which disagree with CO2 is as important as discrediting those who are skeptical.

I was wrong, I have been wrong all along.

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A Letter from London

Posted by Jeff Id on July 15, 2010

This is a guest post from Roddy Campbell who coincidentally shares many of my views on energy. It’s an empassioned essay on where the best use of energy dollars, or pounds rather, would be. The post is written in the context of UK events, but applies  equally to the US.  What’s more, I think that if properly understood, the concepts expressed below make sense even without climate change.

Enjoy, It’s a good one

——————————-

The Conservatives have offered the Liberals a ‘low-carbon economy’ as part of their coalition deal.  This probably means more subsidies for solar, wind, biomass, feed-in tariffs, ground-source, and higher electricity prices.  Success or failure will be measured either as absolute CO2 emissions, or as the carbon intensity of the economy, with unintended consequences unaccounted for.  Is this a good idea, what CO2-emission bang for the buck does it provide, and does it make a difference to our environment and the planet?

Since Copenhagen hopes have receded for a consensus between existing greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters, and the fast growing emitters like China and India.  A global policy framework to control CO2 emissions looks impossible, any unilateral carbon tax or cap-and-trade policy futile.  So what should the UK and EU policy be now, in an environment where the subsidies essential for promoting renewables energy are harder to justify in our impoverished state, and growth has faltered?

This is a map of China; 102 new airports in the first twenty years of this century will be built.  This is on top of expansion of existing airports in main cities as traffic grows. (There are equivalent maps for power stations, for factories, for new towns and cities.)  It puts the CO2 argument against one extra runway at Heathrow into perspective, ditto the global benefit of a wind-farm off the Scilly Isles.

Subsidies for alternative energy are expensive.  These have to be paid by consumers and businesses, or government.  If paid by the former, jobs are exported (with their associated CO2 emissions).  If paid by government they displace an alternative use for those funds.  And the effect the UK, or Europe as a whole, can have on global CO2, even if we accept lower GDP and choose a dramatic policy of wind, solar, biofuels and carbon capture, is tiny by comparison with what we emit now and irrelevant when you include the new emissions coming from the teeming billions who would quite like a bit of what we’ve got.  Even George Monbiot in The Guardian despairs at the futile waste of money spent propping up green electricity generation.

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Mann 07 — Proxy Models Part 1

Posted by Jeff Id on July 15, 2010

I’ve been playing around with Mann07 which to my way of thinking is an important paper in Paleoclimatology.  This is a very first step in the process as I only have a few hours into the analysis.  The reason it’s important is that M07 is a demonstration of a lack of signal amplification I show in the hockey stick links above and many others have discussed.  VonStorch and Zorita, who are treated like skeptics for their work on the topic.

I learned more from the SI and code than from the paper.  Before we begin, those of us on the outside owe Mann a thanks for archiving everything for this work.  Of all the climate work you can dig into, Mann is currently setting the standard and his colleagues should follow.  There are people genuinely interested in the methods and data and in this case, he’s done another great job.   Unfortunately for Mike Mann, Steve McIntyre gets points again because he’s the one who forced the situation, we must give credit where due.

All information for this paper, including pdf’s, data and code can be accessed without the paywall at this link:

http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/research/jgr06/jgr06.html

Figure 5 of the supplimentary info is shown below.  Mann is showing in this paper that  RegEM, an obscure form of what is basically MV regression, does not create signal amplification of his proxy information.  His contention is that this proves that his (and by proxy – some pun intended – paleoclimate) methods are extracting a consistent amplitude signal from the proxy data.

It’s an intriguing problem for me, in particular because the first time I realized what CPS is and later what these regressions are doing, I nearly blew a blood vessel.    It cost me hundreds of hours of my life blogging and reading.   Everything I found confirmed my initial belief that these methods de-amplify historic signal in relation to the modern one.

historic-hockey-stick-pt-2

So, when I see Mann’s graph above, I ask – What the heck is going on?   How come his results are so different from my own.

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Gridded Global Temperature

Posted by Jeff Id on July 14, 2010

This is a reposted work by Zeke and  Mosh from WUWT and linked by Lucia.  It compiles the many hours of work from a number of bloggers on recreating gridded global temperature.   The interest in global temperature for myself came because of my interest in whether the processing code was adding in any unusual trends by its method.   It sounds a bit strange, but paleoclimatology is very good at doing just that.  In this case however, everyone got about the same answer, and there are a number of open source solutions to gridded global temperature here and on the web.  Now we just wonder about the data. –Jeff

——————————————————–

Calculating global temperature

I’m happy to present this essay created from both sides of the aisle, courtesy of the two gentlemen below. Be sure to see the conclusion. I present their essay below with only a few small edits for spelling, format, and readability. Plus an image, a snapshot of global temperatures.  – Anthony

https://i1.wp.com/veimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/16467/temperature_airs_200304.jpg
Image: NASA The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite senses temperature using infrared wavelengths. This image shows temperature of the Earth’s surface or clouds covering it for the month of April 2003.

By Zeke Hausfather and Steven Mosher

There are a variety of questions that people have about the calculation of a global temperature index. Questions that range from the selection of data and the adjustments made to data, to the actual calculation of the average. For some there is even a question about whether the measure makes any sense or not. It’s not possible to address all these questions in one short piece, but some of them can be addressed and reasonably settled. In particular we are in a position to answer the question about potential biases in the selection of data and biases in how that data is averaged.

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On the blogroll

Posted by Jeff Id on July 14, 2010

Bart Verheggen and I have had a few discussions on our views of climate politics.

Or maybe:

I dunno, but it’s been interesting.

Our blogging relationship started when I was directed to one of his posts which turned into the now famous unit root discussion.  Lucia covered it very well also.  Bart had no idea who I was, so when I linked to his post from the first Roman hammer gridded temperature post, he left this beautiful thing.

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Ten reasons why we cant trust the committees on climategate

Posted by Jeff Id on July 13, 2010

10 – No effort was made to examine the true issues and avoid the non-issues.

9 – Committee members were often insiders with direct benefit from AGW global warming policy.

8 – Government had too much to lose by a truthful finding.

7 – No comprehensive effort was made to put ‘hide the decline’ or other emails in context.

6 – Openness and transparency of the review process was blocked.

5 – Efforts to question scientists were minimal at best and completely undocumented in most cases.

4 – The accused UEA was allowed behind the scenes to establish which papers and issues were in question.

3 – None of the critics who understood the problem were questioned.

2 – No forensic efforts were made to determine whether emails were in fact deleted.

1 – They got the wrong answer.

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Hasenpfeffer for Bart

Posted by Jeff Id on July 12, 2010

So I’ve been battling a bit with Bart Verheggen. I realize that it’s not that uncommon of  a situation around here, Eli Rabbet  showed up to join against my reasonable points.

Bart said:

Energy saving is probably the archetypical no-regret measure. McKinsey has a graph similar to the one I pointed you too with much more detail of where the different options fall on that curve. No time to look up the ref now, sorry (the final will resume in a few minutes…)

We were discussing my point that it is a flat fact, that energy saving cannot achieve the goals that greenies want. I repeatedly and endlessly point out to the leftist environmentalists here that industry is already very efficient.  This time I made the mistake of saying I’m an engineer and have studied these issues so I got this happy mocking return from Eli.

There are endless efficiencies to be found in industrial processes and consumer products. In the usual case one has to consider the up front costs and balance it against the payback time.

On the industrial side there are associated investment costs to change the processes which are paid back in savings, often in a very short time. Here is another example from a petrochemical plant where the substantial savings were so high that the payback took less than two months.

Some places have efficiency calculators on line to help. As a matter of fact, motor replacement is one of the simplest and most effective ways of saving energy, which Jeff should know if he works with motors.

The same sort of calculation goes for consumer goods. At some point, due to the price of repairs and energy, replacing any appliance or vehicle makes sense because the gains from increased efficiency quickly account cover the cost.

Jeff is an engineer and he is here to help us.

Endless returns eh? Eli linked to Dow, which of course is a huge energy consuming chemical company.  A company that is critical to our global lifestyle.  Well Dow, which is a big enough corporation to be in on and supportive of the global warming agenda, has worked with government on energy saving programs.  They have set aggressive goals for energy savings which is excellent for a company that requires dramatic energy consumption to operate its business.  Unfortunately, their goals are not achievable but that doesn’t matter, they can reset the bar later.

Eli sent this link 42009[1] which shows that Dow St. Charles plant, in joining the federal government, made a total annual energy savings of 272,000 MMBtu and $1.9 million, respectively.  This is great stuff, and there is nothing wrong with energy savings, which I think was Bart’s original point.  My point of course has been that if industry had a cost effective way for savings, in NEARLY ALL cases, they have already done it, are trying to do it, or will do it in the near future.  It’s the nature of capitalism, which climatologists don’t seem to understand at all.

Now Eli is of course willing to accept any document from the government about energy savings without question.  Fortunately for him, I am an engineer and in the spirit of his his fun mocking, am here to help.

First I tried to establish just how these massive savings were achieved.  It turned out that the document described a steam leak/leaks and a few other items for improvements.  In all the government determined there was $5 million to be saved, but after implementation Dow St. Charles was able to save 1.9 million- their own numbers with 1.1 million from steam leaks.   Now you have to be an idiot to accept these numbers unquestioned because there is large incentive for  both the government and Dow to inflate them, but I am an idiot — it’s in the name — so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Being an engineer comes with the knowledge that bulk chemical processing and purification typically comes with heavy energy consumption.   I wanted to see how much energy this little 3000 person plant consumes.

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Incredible Libertarians and the Skeptics Creed

Posted by Jeff Id on July 11, 2010

While reading around the internet I was directed to an article by Bart Verheggen who makes some observations about different sorts of climate skeptics.

Climate skepticism comes in many shades of grey

It might make you giggle a bit but here’s his reasoning:

  • Ideology can be a strong driver of how people view the science: Mitigation of climate change is seen as threatening by many libertarians, because they associate mitigation with government intervention, which they oppose.
  • Psychology can also be very powerful: To some it feels good to be the underdog and get celebrated by anonymous fans on the internet and phoned up routinely by newspapers, TV and other media (that counts for the ‘spokespeople’ only). Many people have a psychological predisposition to side with the underdog (that counts for their fans). The mitigation challenge is very great indeed, which means that it is psychologically favorable to downplay the problem (so as not to get depressed or feeling guilty about everything you do and don’t do). Recently I hear more often that people side with skeptics because they are ‘nicer’. A little odd, but if that plays a major role with presidential elections, than it’s only to be expected that it also plays a role in trusting scientists (or not).
  • Still others suffer from what I call professional deformation: Some well educated people from other disciplines view the science through the lenses of their own specialty, which, if they’re unable to take a bit of a helicopter-view of the situation, could skew their vision.
  • And of course some are just confused. With not a little help from the media, who, in an effort to provide ‘balance’, bias the coverage towards the “skeptical” compared to the mainstream view.
  • Then there are organized efforts at muddying the waters, which bear a resemblance to tactics used by e.g. the tobacco lobby. It is based on manufacturing doubt amongst the public regarding science that produces “inconvenient” results. This mainly applies to certain thinktanks and a few handfuls of individuals, but they exert a disproportionate influence on the media and public perception of the issues. The ‘tactics’ used are in more widespread use, whether consciously or not.

Well I’m a conservative who is often labeled Libertarian, who doesn’t care about being an underdog,  I’m an engineer who works in optics , I do spend a lot of time being confused about climate science and besides showing up at the Chicago ICCC conference am unassociated with any organization for climate.

Bart ends his post with this:

The more contempt they show for science, the more they argue the big picture of what’s known, the more they rage against emission reductions and talk about ‘world communist governments’ and other paranoid ideas like that, the less serious I take their criticism. Because to me, these are not characteristics of sincere skepticism; to the contrary.

So I read the comment as, the more that we recognize the socialistic aspects of the climate science community, the less the climate science community will take us seriously.  My conservative viewpoint of their politician puppetmaster’s goals, their widespread and willing compliance to accept those goals makes my views less credible to ….um…. the socialists.

hehehehe.  Ouch!

What’s going on here is that the environmental activists of the world, ignore the signs on the walls, because they like them.  They don’t pay attention when Hugo Chavez gives a speech blasting capitalism in favor of his brand of socialism at Copenhagen and ends with the room in standing ovation.  They were the ones clapping.

Us conservatives weren’t, because we remember our history better than that.  We understand what ‘wealth redistribution’, and help the poor really means.  We’ve seen where that path leads, over and over across the whole globe and it’s a bad bad idea.  Evil in fact, but we’re the ones with no credibility on climate science because of our political views.

But wait, isn’t science separate from political views?  Doesn’t the data determine the theory and outcome?  Why would a conservative view make one unable to read data?

And if a conservative view of the governmental environmental solutions proposed, makes one less credible, doesn’t it follow that the leftist view which is so pervasive in the environmental climate science movement, makes climate science less credible???

I must be confused again.

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Experts Ignore Record High June Antarctic Ice

Posted by Jeff Id on July 10, 2010

An update on the state of the sea ice is in order.  After beginning my usual boring sea ice post, I ran across the NSIDC news story on sea ice.   You know the unbiased scientific review of the conditions of sea ice globally. I’m pissed off now that they would post this kind of rubbish.  Previously, I’ve been complimentary of the NSIDC, but this story is way over the top.   It reads like a Joe Romm post more than a scientific one.   It’s a prayer to the gods of AGW, a worship at the altar of funding and a blatant attempt to leave layman’s heads full of global warming cobwebs.

I’ll leave the Jaxa graph up  below and the first three graphs including the original wording here.  This was written before I read the NSIDC article so think of it as a reminder of how unexciting sea ice updates usually are.

Jaxa has the Arctic ice anomaly over the last several months lower than the last 8 years.

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Greenthink

Posted by Jeff Id on July 9, 2010

First there is no such thing as renewable energy, it’s kind of fitting that the very word greenies have coined is itself a lie. I say that because there are so many lies and exaggerations in the world of green energy that it makes ‘renewable’ a perfectly fitting term.  The second law of thermodynamics makes sure that the energy we convert is extremely difficult to recover, in a perfectly efficient system you could convert your CO2 back into gasoline but of course it would take as much ‘work’ as you just got out of it.  In reality, the energy you used to drive your car is already turned completely into heat within a two minutes of being turned into velocity (think how long it would take to coast to a stop if you shut off the engine).

Alright, renewable is an intentional misnomer, so what.

Well it makes people think of energy as recyclable creating beautiful symbols like this:

The symbol itself is a lie, the engineer in me cringes at green energy being diagrammed like this.

Green energies such as wind, wave, solar electric, hydroelectric, and solar thermal, biofuel, etc. all have one thing in common.  They are all forms of solar power.  It takes energy from the sun to drive wind, wave and create plant fuels.  Another form of solar power is oil and coal, they are a form of very inefficiently stored solar energy from millions of years ago. Nuclear fission is also a form of solar if you take it back to the stars believed to have created the heavy elements used in the fission process.  However, both fossil fuels and Nuclear used energy from stars which has been stored in relatively convenient packages for release by the right equipment at a moments notice.  I call the other forms of energy stored solar, whereas instant solar, which is now being incorrectly called renewable energy, trickles in at a low density per unit area which requires the construction of massive area consuming collection zones.

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Decline of the Review

Posted by Jeff Id on July 7, 2010

Well as you are probably all aware, the Muir Russell  report came out today.  This happened despite the fact that they somehow managed to conclude that ‘hide the decline’ was no big deal, again seeming to ignore the frank discussions in the climategate emails of the intent to make the IPCC’s final story consistent.   This post covers not just the email but some of what should have been considered the evidentiary discussion in other emails, giving context to ‘hide the decline’.  Just to make it clear, here’s the famous email again.

From: Phil Jones <p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>

To: ray bradley <rbradley@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>,mann@xxxxxxxxx.xxx, mhughes@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Cc: k.briffa@xxxxxxxxx.xxx,t.osborn@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or
first thing tomorrow.
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from
1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.
Mike’s series got the annual
land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land
N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999
for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with
data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
Thanks for the comments, Ray.

Cheers
Phil

Now we know the issue is more complex than this but the bottom line of  “hide the decline” is an attempt to make reconstructions all tell the same story despite data to the contrary as the following email conversations will make clear.

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Pielke Jr. on Russell

Posted by Jeff Id on July 7, 2010

Roger Pielke Jr. has a nice post which summarizes the beginning of the misconceptions from the Russell review.  Click the title below for the full article.

——————–

The Muir Russell Review

The Muir Russell Review is out (here in PDF), and it has plenty in it for everyone on all sides of the debate over the East Anglia emails to crow about and to complain about. It has some strong rebukes of the scientists involved in the emails and dismisses many, but accepts some, of the criticisms raised by their strongest critics.

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Shoot yourself — or not (Poll)

Posted by Jeff Id on July 6, 2010

The true colors of the progressive movement have come out yet again.  I’m an Aero engineer as most here know. As a young boy I loved the idea of space travel.  As a middle age man, not much has changed.  Why travel to space when we have problems here, you ask?  The reasons are endless but there isn’t space to make all of the points today.  First, it is absolutely and unequivocally our end goal as a race to travel to the stars.  Travel over interstellar scale distance is fundamental to our survival, the cosmos is cold and flatly doesn’t care if a quasar in the soon to collide Andromeda galaxy gets upset by our own galaxy’s influence and projects massive life sterilizing X-ray beams at an entire 1000 X 1000 light year section of our galactic disk for half a million years. —Yes that does happen.  Imagine spinning on a disk, telescopes trained to the sky as we pass through hell.

Stars end, planetary bodies race between them undetected in the pinball game which is our galaxy to randomly collide with whatever.  This is absolutely real.

Imagine being hit by an earth size planetary core hurled from a star system which exploded eight billion years ago.  Fortunately statistics, gravity, space and time have conspired to form the illusion of a relatively safe environment…while some of the most extreme events imaginable happen every day.

It’s real, and we must travel, and we will.  Maybe too late.

Today, we learned of a slight and unnecessary 20 year delay in those plans.  Of course, had I chosen to work toward government space flight, my life ambition would be basically ruined today.  Because today, our leader has determined that the primary goal of NASA, the world leading, human race leading, spacefaring hope of humanity, has the primary goal of reaching out to the Muslim nations.  Of course, after the media noticed, the administration lackey’s have been assigned backtracking duty from the top dog’s extensive comments, but we have heard the truth.  It’s like ‘hide the decline’,  the reality has escaped Pandora’s box and sophistry cannot shove it back in.

Never mind that Muslims don’t have any new technology because they are ruled by immeasurably oppressive governments.  We need them! We cannot continue without.

Bolden created a firestorm after telling Al Jazeera last month that President Obama told him before he took the job that he wanted him to do three things: inspire children to learn math and science, expand international relationships and “perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering.”

Now Bolden is a great man, if you look up his history,  he has done more with his life than most we will ever meet.  Still, he’s the messenger of this drivel, he repeated the nonsense, and he’s lost a ton of respect from me.

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