the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Reflection in Skeptic Stew

Posted by Jeff Id on May 12, 2011

People sometimes ask me how I got interested in climate.  Oddly enough I often answer that I’m not.  I’m more interested in the math and dynamics of the global political situation created by a movement which has been grown well beyond its deserved limits.  Still,  I must find something interesting – got a blog and all- and am a self certified climate skeptic so being a person of reason there must be something behind the fact that I can’t seem to quit reading and blogging on climate.

What keeps me/us going?

1 – I like puzzles and very much enjoy learning.  Doesn’t it drive you nuts when idiots claim you can’t understand or don’t know or it is simply too complicated for a feeble mind to grasp.  Something few realize is that to write even the simplest articles on the science by a non-expert, requires many hours of study.   There is another curse for some of us though in that the need to find an answer sometimes drives to the point of obsession. Fortunately I have an innate laziness which can turn that obsessed behavior into a shoulder shrug when required.  I suppose life is a balance.  It’s too bad that I don’t have time for this because there is so much more entertainment to be found.  I was warned by several infamous bloggers that when I started that I should be careful to not be wrong, my reply was that I would simply admit it.  It’s kind of  funny but for some reason so many people in blogland think you lose credibility when you make mistakes and admit them.  Well I haven’t been chucked to the curb yet for my mistakes but most blogs I read fight tooth and nail to avoid it.  Of course the challenge of this is only one reason for blogging.

2 – The politics of climate science are more certain than the results themselves.  As what most of my European friends consider a borderline anarchist, the mere possibility that Hugo Chavez’s anti-capitalist rants were even attended yet alone applauded at clappinhagen is an absolute insanity to me brought about by decades of state funded propaganda.   It is clear from the writings that the IPCC and UN have goals which reach far beyond climate, they don’t hide their goals in the least either, you just have to read their work.  An effort of attention span and 4 syllable words well beyond American youth and most adults I’ve met (outside of this blog).

3 – The solutions of climate science make no sense from an engineering standpoint.  No potentially workable solutions are promoted whatsoever.  Just another clue that the sophistic result is not directed toward the stated problem.

4 – Papers are accepted which make no sense whatsoever.  Before Steig 09, everyone knew that the Antarctic wasn’t warming across the continent – driving the modelers crazy.  Yet nobody stopped the big stars from publishing otherwise. Cover of Nature if I recall.  Then there are the amazing mashes called paleoclimatology which in great feats of idiocy are even used to ‘verify’ models.  These papers are almost universally hockey checks (smashmatics) rather than hockey sticks.

5 – The potential for natural historic variance is almost constantly downplayed, even evidence of massive trees growing in impossibly cold places only 3000 years ago do nothing to cause concern for ‘the’ cause.

6 – What makes me really crazy is that the CO2 level of the atmosphere is so amazingly low.  How does it stay that low with so many output sources.  Not one 02 consuming and C02 creating animal has died from excessive CO2 concentration in a normal atmosphere (there have been a few very interesting geological events).  The point is that there is no concentration feedback for animals, so why doesn’t the CO2 level sit normally higher?  So little effort has gone into what I suspect are hidden underground geological CO2 sinks.

7 – Bad urban thermometer data ignored to the point that it can only be considered covered up.  Anthony Watts has just published a very significant paper which I believe identifies far more of the global temperature problem than climate guru’s will admit today.  Urban warming bias while in the positive warming direction are almost universally ignored while cooling errors are hunted like sharks in the preschooler pool.

Too much energy in the oceans, too much potential for hidden Co2 sinks, too low of a CO2 level, biased and incomplete measurements trusted implicitly, controversial data eliminated, bad and even stupid solutions proposed.  The result—- Skeptic Stew:

5 fresh hot peppers picked near urban thermometers

1 cup of 1935 ocean water

2 tree sprouts from the Kilimanjaro forest

4 onions picked in a water/co2/competition stable environment

1 shunken undersized heat afflicted potato – diced

4 ice cubes from Himalayan glaciers

20 pounds of paper from one printed copy of IPCC AR5

1 bottle of Talisker single malt scotch for the hearty drinker, Balvenie is an acceptable substitute if you like the softer malts.

Dice hot onions, potatoes, peppers and tree sprouts finely – use only thick onion layers discard the thinner, bitter, and non-conforming ones.   If possible hide the thin layers beneath a stack of IPCC 4 papers (paleo section is preferable).  Do one shot of Talisker quickly – don’t sip.  Roll, don’t crush, sections of AR5 tightly using plenty of muscle power to insure that a high density 4 inch log is achieved – tape with duct tape (what else is there).  You should achieve several 4 inch logs before the document is fully utilized.  Again, one quick shot of Talisker.  Light the end of the biofuel envirologs using a magnifying glass or wind power.  Bring pot of 1935 ocean water to a boil -this should take at least fifteen seconds longer to warm than you (or physics) would expect but the inconvenience is minor.  Add potatoes and onions and do another shot of Talisker.   Wait for potatoes to soften, then add thermometrically proximal peppers and other ingredients.  Mix gently while sipping another shot of Talisker.  Continue process until all constituents blend and soften sipping regularly at the Talisker.  Eventually the broth with thicken, a pinch of black pepper and your stew is ready to serve.   Use Himalayan ice cubes to cool the stew for the children if necessary, otherwise discard the useless and tribble-like abundant things on the hot black pavement beneath the pepper thermometers.  Pour yourself another shot of scotch.

A spicy dish with amazing heat and minimal CO2 footprint.

31 Responses to “Reflection in Skeptic Stew”

  1. Bad Andrew said


    Part of it for me is that the emperor is walking around naked again today. It kind of a morbid curiosity thing now.

    Also, there are people I know whom I am patiently waiting to engage in conversation and I need to kind of still keep up with the hoax so I know the funnest way to argumentatively dismember them in the most embarassing way (for them) when the time is right.


  2. Please allow me to direct readers to developments today that revealed the dark underside of government science and the operation of government inside the beltway of Washington, DC

    Specifically, see how federal research agencies (NASA, DOE, EPA, etc.) used public funds to support the false story of CO2-induced global warming championed by world leaders (Al Gore & Associates), including the UN’s IPCC.

    It is late, I am old and tired, so please read the items posted on Professor Curry’s blog, “NASA Earth Science Advisory Subcommittee”

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  3. Annabelle said

    Thanks Jeff. As someone who was also not really interested in climate (and certainly not weather) but is now fascinated by contemporary climate science and addicted to climate blogs, I appreciated this.

  4. apl said


    From my recollection, the open welcome you received at Open Mind reinforced your interest

  5. Chuckles said

    An interesting and amusing article, thanks Jeff. In point 6. you say –
    ‘Not one 02 creating animal has died from excessive CO2 concentration in a normal atmosphere’

    Did you perhaps mean CO2 creating? If so, Lake Nyos springs to mind.

    Then you say –
    ‘The point is that there is no concentration feedback for animals’

    I’m not sure what you mean by this, but if you are referring to a ‘lack of oxygen’ or ‘asphyxiation’ reflex, then it is indeed triggered by CO2 concentrations. The physiology of the human pulmonary system doesn’t work as most people think –

    Finally, while you have used Talisker or Balvenie to lubricate the chef (and very suitable they are, too) may I suggest that the climate skeptic community might find the ‘Richard Nixon Premium Whisky’ on sale after Watergate, more suitable. It is described as ‘smooth and easy to swallow’, and ‘the proof increases every day.’

  6. TimTheToolMan said

    ‘Richard Nixon Premium Whisky’

    Much better than ‘Ninja Whisky’. You know its there, its just that you cant find it.

  7. stan said


    For a good look at what ails us, and certainly is responsible a large part of the sad, sorry state of contemporary science, read this by Walter Mead today.

    “Many problems troubling America today are rooted in the poor performance of our elite educational institutions, the moral and social collapse of our ‘best’ families and the culture of narcissism and entitlement that has transformed the American elite into a flabby minded, strategically inept and morally confused parody of itself.”

  8. greg2213 said

    Well said, Jeff.

    “Bring pot of 1935 ocean water to a boil -this should take at least fifteen seconds longer to warm than you (or physics) would expect but the inconvenience is minor”

    #7 Stan, gonna steal that quote, thanks for providing it.

  9. steveta_uk said

    “Doesn’t it drive you nuts when idiots claim you can’t understand or don’t know or it is simply too complicated for a feeble mind to grasp.”

    Indeed. I recall screaming at the TV when that moron, Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel prize winner, and President of the Royal Society, tried to explain that as a scientist, he’d see the evidence for global warming with his own eyes, but as it was a graph (the HS, of course) he didn’t expect the layman to understand.

    WTF? Can he seriously believe that most people beyond the age of 12 find a graph confusing?

    What a grade-A a-hole he is.

  10. klem said

    “The point is that there is no concentration feedback for animals, so why doesn’t the CO2 level sit normally higher? So little effort has gone into what I suspect are hidden underground geological CO2 sinks”

    I think the sinks aren’t geological but marine. The earths surface is 70% water, the colder the water the more CO2 it sucks up. In warmer latitudes the water exhales CO2 but down deep it is still cold so it still acts as a carbon sink. The earth is a water planet, the more water the more co2 it holds. That’s why Venus and Mars have high CO2 concentrations, there is little or no cold water to suck it up.

  11. DeWitt Payne said


    Your point 6 on the low CO2 level may be backwards. The interesting point is why the CO2 level hasn’t gone even lower and effectively eliminated plant life. You get the Tibetan Plateau uplift which substantially increases removal by weathering, but the level doesn’t go below 180 ppmv at the glacial maxima. Where’s the feedback mechanism to explain that?


    Miskolczi fans and foes might want to look at the recent series of posts (part Four here) on analyzing Miskolczi theory at Science of Doom. That was an interesting puzzle too.

  12. Jeff id said


    I think plants begin performing poorly at those levels. That is the feedback.

  13. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Jeff id (May 13 12:11),


    We’re talking millions of years here where the geologic cycle dominates. Plants just move carbon back and forth between the atmosphere and the biosphere surface reservoirs. Weathering removes carbon from the surface entirely. The rate of weathering should be somewhat proportional to the partial pressure in the atmosphere, but it doesn’t stop. Evolution of CO2 from the mantle to the atmosphere, OTOH, isn’t affected by the atmosphere. In principle, there’s no reason for the CO2 partial pressure to have a lower bound of ~180 ppmv unless there’s something else going on.

  14. Jeff Id said


    I imagine a series of geological regions in which rainwater carry CO2 through structures that capture. These chemical structures could cover a very small portion of earth and have very large capacity. All that would be required to maintain CO2 at low concentration would be some emission. Critters, decomposition, etc. Because the CO2 doesn’t contact these geological sinks often it will always have some concentration, but because the sinks are large capacity due to the fact that they are high density they just keep working away as rainwater water occasionally carries the dissolved CO2 across the active region. It is all conjecture but seems perfectly feasible to me.

    You have then –
    Man increasing atmospheric concentrations
    Sinks increasing their removal rate but at a ratio of atmospheric CO2 and due to their limited contact area there is no ability to remove it all each year. This isn’t necessarily a sink reaching its limit, but may be the result of the CO2 simply not coming into contact with the sink.
    When high man made emissions stop, the CO2 would return right back to the previous emission levels, sucking a huge chunk of atmospheric CO2 each year – but always sitting at a non-zero yet rarefied level. It takes several years of random chance to come into contact with the geological sink.

    Interestingly when you consider Mars and Venus with higher CO2 concentrations. There is no known plant life but also no rain and far less volcanic activity. Several CO2 capture scenario’s require heat to make the reaction work. Earth could have several regions where the rainwater met heat and the right kinds of chemistry to capture the stuff.

    It all makes sense to me as a possible explanation.

  15. willard said

    Talisker is quite good, but Lagavullin is just better.

  16. -=NikFromNYC=- said

    “I’m more interested in the math and dynamics of the global political situation created by a movement which has been grown well beyond its deserved limits.”

    Ha ha, same here!!! I’ve been following the Climategate story and its aftermath much more as an armchair sociologist and psychologist than as an anti-AGW activist. I’m not analytical about it though. It’s the psychology I’m a bit obsessed with figuring out. So much hatred and cultism which then gets projected onto an imagined conspiratorial enemy funded by oil money. Oh boy does my Charles Manson poster bring them out like rabid rats ( if I post it in news story comments. It really is a cult, based mostly on membership in alarmist blogs that moderate out dissenting views. I have received the most convoluted and self-contradictory flame war level responses to my little temperature and now tide gauge charts ( and One claim is that well, you see, past variation or lack of it doesn’t matter since blah blah blah we don’t know what caused it etc. I’m accused of cherry picking but there’s no effort to supply alternative selections, since well, they don’t exist. But mostly they “link bomb” various primary literature articles which inevitably do not even support their claims.

    Most people are fairly complex, especially in the skeptical community, but the screaming alarmists who would jail me for my views, well, they are very one dimensional. I’m a classic Whole Earth Catalog hippie who has now studied conservative though too, so I know these modern tree huggers are not at all like classic back to nature hippies. I wont report my other suspicions fully since at this stage they are not very politically correct. One way to describe it is to simply see it as a case of psychological projection, so if you want to understand an alarmist, just consider how they view skeptics.

    Do you have particular insight into why alarmists who lack a professional persona are such vile creatures? I think envy combined with fear of being envied (or living in an envied nation) are a large but not complete part of it. There is lots of raw animalistic aggression going on too, in reaction to a viscerally felt threat to their self-image and status, which they inconveniently attached to CAGW caused by death dealing evil corporations. The irony is that Al Gore was a tobacco farmer. They very much remind me of player hating cockblocks who come out of the woodwork when I’m successfully hitting on a cute gal in a bar. I’m now in the product design world and it’s chock full of “sustainable design” enthusiasts and they also have chips on their shoulders, often being Greenpeace kids. When they find out I am against light bulb bans, they don’t debate it, they go into “protest” mode and cause a commotion in an attempt to publicly embarrass me and usually make a fool of themselves in the process.

    BTW, my new tide gauge chart is only a small sample. The experience of digging through hundreds of straight line trends all over the globe made me keep shaking my head. I’m astonished by the fact that I couldn’t find more than one or two century long sea level records that showed any trend change at all, and quite a few that are falling, again linearly. There is much less chunky decadal variation in sea level records than in thermometer records, so it doesn’t take more than a single century to establish the natural trend. I notice that the WUWT and CA crowd are mostly into debunking complex mathematically derived claims so they tend to miss these kind of dirt simple arguments. For that, it takes one of us hands on chemists I guess!

  17. Jeff Id said


    I like the strong flavor like a Laphroaig but MaCallan works fine also. Dahlwhinne or Cragganmore don’t last long in my house. I’ve never figured out how Glenlivet makes the cut as anything other than paint thinner though.

  18. Jeff Id said

    Lagavullin has no chance of survival in my glass either.

  19. Mark T said

    Glenlivet kinda sucks, can’t argue that. Nor much of the other stuff. I recall the first time I heard about “those two Canadians” that were embarking on an investigation of the hockey stick… they started as veritable “believers.” I was intrigued since extracting signals from noise was my bread and butter… the rabbit hole has not stopped deepening.

    Didn’t care aabout the climate per se, before that, still really don’t (record snow at Breck, I’m happy,) but a realization of the machinations of the powers that be angered me to the point of, gasp, concern.

    I had always hoped “it” would all happen after I was dead and gone… I was wrong. Whoda thunk we would be the very folk to bring about biblical prophecy, not God himself (not that I’m a believer, just sayin.)


  20. willard said

    I never really understood why Glenlivet neither. I’d rather drink a blend.

    If I were to drink something with a lady, I’d start with an Aberlour or a Glenmorangie. Anything flowery, fruity and a bit nutty.

  21. Mark T said

    Technically, i’m either a Badardi/Coke or Scoth Ale (Laughing Lab) drinker (the former on the table next to me,) and my forays into whiskey tend towards Maker’s Mark (a true Bourbon.) Whiskey and camping or skiing are soul mates.


  22. Mark T said

    Uh, Scotch Ale.

  23. Jeff Id said

    Camping for sure, Balvine got my wife’s thumbs up, Oban and Talisker for a short sipper. McCallan makes me a happy engineer. Despite all that, I’ve had very little time for scotch lately either.

  24. Mark T said

    Sorry to hear that. Drunker’n hell now, so hard to type on tiny droid2 keyboard… all bacardi.

    My ultimate gripe is the reliance on a least-squares fit to a trend. Such a trend is meaningless without underlying knowledge of the function that created the trend. Tamino knows this, Gavin knows this, yet still they persist that the trend has meaning. Either that or they are idiots, which I cannot imagine to be totally true….

    I posit a random walk or a sinusoid plus noise as proof, daring anyone to demonstrate why I am wrong.

    Maybe a guest post?


  25. Mark T said

    Camping next weekend if global warming finally decides to favor Colorado, btw.


  26. willard said

    Reminds me of Ron Broberg saying:

    > One imagines scotch in a refined and quiet atmosphere.



  27. Sera said

    Double malt.

    What gets me is that the CO2 measurements from Hawaii (Keeling curve) clearly show that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has no effect on the natural carbon dioxide cycle. It’s just right there for everyone to see. If there was a tipping point, then this would be the first place to show it. No matter how much CO2 one adds, the cycle remains the same.

  28. Beth Cooper said

    Doesn’t the recipe also require 2 or 3 bristlecones? Look, I think I’ll just stick to the scotch 🙂
    Jeff,re the arguments, I’m with you and also Freeman Dyson, (Co2, a plant food the planet needs plenty of for life on earth,) and Michael Crighton,(CAGW a convenient ideology for old Marxists and newer recruits to continue their attacks on capitalism.)

  29. Hoi "Bodge" Polloi said

    Jack rulez.

  30. M. Simon said

    Well my stomach doesn’t work the way it used to. So I’m reduced to Heinekens and some other stuff that won’t unduly upset my digestive system.



    I’m a classic Whole Earth Catalog hippie

    Me too.

    I’ve gone all the way to libertarian/conservative though.

  31. Atomic Hairdryer said

    Climate science is bit like whisky. Some people view it as a single blend, ie “Its all about CO2” or “I don’t like whisky” but there’s a vast range of whiskys all with different flavours. Like climate, there’s no single whisky. Climate changes, my whisky tastes change. Sometimes I’ll like a sweet-ish malt, others a more medicinal Islay malt. Sometimes I’ll even drink whiskey. Climate science assuming the disrupted equilbrium model assumes there’s only one true blend of climate whisky and everyone must like it, and buy it. The reality though seems to be it’s an ever changing blend of ingredients where the exact proportions remain a mystery.

    Blogs like this though help me understand how climate whisky is blended, how the ingredients interact and how sometimes the production process can spoil the taste. Some day we may get the perfect recipie with the right combination of natural ingredients as the spiritual base, GHG’s, earth-tones from land-use changes, solar and UHI for warmth and maybe some GCR’s for zing. That might be the perfect mass-market blend, but no doubt the debate will continue over the flavour, or how much duty we should pay for it.

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