the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Questions and Motives – The Pendulum Swings

Posted by Jeff Id on February 11, 2012

We have often discussed the motives of government employed Climate Scientists™ and the biases which sort their views.   The blog is called noconsensus after all.   However, we have not spent time discussing motives of skeptics – which appropriately have little consensus.  One of the main critiques I’ve received is that I have a conservative viewpoint of the world.  I don’t hide it but have been advised at least 50 times behind the scenes that I should.   Apparently, in our screwed up world, it is ok to be a wrong-thinking leftist because that is “intellectual” but not so for conservatives. The very existence of something as politically tone-deaf as Climate Progress is a perfect example.

My conservative viewpoint is based on a simple understanding that competition and reward creates hard work.   Humans are not soft creatures to which everything necessary should be given without consequence.  Nothing can be worse for us as a people than to receive everything necessary with ease and this is a huge danger of expanding technology.  We are motivated biological creatures who by nature,  fight for every advantage we get in life.  We are forced by our existence to look for advantage. From better prices to easier jobs and more pay. Our quality of life has continued to expand with the easy money of union type work, that has led society to this poisonous concept of entitlement.  Everyone must eat, be housed, be medicated, be controlled and cared for in all ways by the government.  This system goes against human nature and leads to economic poverty in all cases in which it has been tried.  There is a balance somewhere as to what government should provide but we are WAY over that line nearly everywhere in the world.

In the face of that cold reality of our nature, a scientist must fight to ignore the personally motivating instincts and focus on the aspect which makes humans special among animals. Our ability to reason.  A scientist must overcome his/her personal needs in exchange for truth.  Again, our nature demands that there will be no consensus of opinion or result on very uncertain things such as the future climate.  And scientifically speaking we are faced with far greater uncertainty as to how (or if) we should react to that uncertain future.  Besides other lines of evidence, Climategate has shown beyond a doubt that the climate consensus coordinates as a group to speak in unison for their cause.   The conflict of interest between personal success vs truth has never been more evident than in Climate Science™.  In an unstable feedback between government programs, personal success and the rejection of their less agreeable colleagues, they have become the puppets of the system they have helped to create.

Email #2009 Keith Briffa – on writing zero’th order draft of paleo IPCC AR4 chapter.

I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present reconstructions, yet sounding like a pro greenhouse zealot here!

The pendulum swings left.

Well, people being people, such a biased and forced structure often creates a polar opposite response.   The tone of the papers, the conclusions from poor data, manipulation of data, hiding of bad data and finally the unconditional support from others in the field to their colleagues who perform obviously fraudulent acts.

I have to say, it turns my stomach to even write the f-bomb.  We don’t do that here.

However, we live in a gray world. The opposite response to these acts can be 100% as bad as the original act itself. Recently, some of us have beaten multiple versions of backradiation to death at tAV with no admission from the ‘skeptics’ that their argument was worthless and backradiation from the atmosphere is a known proven fact. There is a time to admit your failure, change your mind and move forward.  Either that or you push the pendulum of opinion back away from reality and toward something else.  I prefer to live in a real world.

As bad as paleoclimatology is, with their variance smashing regressions, preferential data selection and blatantly false interpretation of their final results, some skeptics are their equals. So here’s the thing that some have read before from me, a point we all should live on. Regarding science, you must be willing to be wrong. If you haven’t ever admitted error in blogging, you either don’t do it much or you are not being an honest broker of reality. The data must drive you to the correct result, or your motivation will crush your credibility.

The pendulum swings right.

If you think my conservative politics influences my science, I disagree. I work very hard to avoid it.  You can of course disagree right back. Politics will influence my diatribe but not my data, not my numbers. It would be so easy to play Mannian games with math here.  Climate Scientists would not like our abilities either if we used them in equal lack of concern to some of their own.  Several times I’ve been less than pleased with the results of hard work but posted it anyway. This isn’t a natural event for humans and it is only by effort that we can avoid the influence of pressures from our past positions. Long time readers appreciate that, and I also think long time readers share those characteristics. They call many here lukewarmers, but despite the reasonableness of the moniker, I don’t accept the title because it fixes a position.

In the recent thread, some skeptics were confronted with absolute proof that long wave infrared is absorbed by cooler bodies. Probably 12 working examples were given and none were successfully rebutted. Those ‘skeptics’ (very loosely defined) didn’t change their story any more than Michael Mann or his colleagues changed theirs when presented with obvious proof that his math was centrally flawed.

It seems that the CS side is the sicker of the two, simply because of their open effort for uniformity of message and political cause. However, this inability to recognize ones error, is not in any way confined to the self-corrupted scientists living in the competition-inverted universe of government paychecks.

My advice which you can take or leave:
Fight your point hard
Lose your point hard
When necessary change your mind
Move on.

Failure to follow this advice in science, means that YOU are the one pushing the pendulum toward something other than reality.   When your argument fails, people are smart enough quickly spot the motivation and react – sometimes too strongly.  The massively widespread Climate Science™ skepticism expressed by scientists in all fields, has proven that.

Anyway, I’m not going to hide my politics to make people comfortable. I’m 43 soon and have been lucky enough to experience more than most.  Three years in to blogging, over 3 million views, nearly 50,000 comments, an Antarctic rebuttal which WILL have an effect on AR5, Climategate, and ton’s of smart people to let me know when I’m wrong.

I’m changing nothing.

People don’t need coddling to get more out of life, they need the opposite.  We need to discuss taxes on those 1% again here before the elections.  We also need to look at more climate data.  In both cases I will try my best to write reality rather than the music video version promoted by traditional media.


43 Responses to “Questions and Motives – The Pendulum Swings”

  1. Titan28 said

    Well and cogently said. Data is the driver, not the agenda. And when data conflicts w/theory, theory goes. Thanks too for the terrific, eye-opening work you did on the Antartic. The ‘films’ were eye-opening. It’s blogs like yours that are forcing the manipulative creeps into the sunshine (where they burn up).

  2. So why for what?

  3. Jeremy said

    “The data must drive you to the correct result, or your motivation will crush your credibility.”

    ^^ Can’t be repeated enough.

    I too have been watching skeptics in the past year become all too sure of themselves with general disgust. The reality is that we do not have all the answers on climate, perhaps we never will, and that’s o.k. Replacing the wrong idea with another wrong idea rather than a clear understanding of our own ignorance has been the doom of humanity since the beginning.

  4. Greg, from Spokane said

    Ok, here’s my 1c worth.

    Jeremy @#3 said, “Replacing the wrong idea with another wrong idea rather than a clear understanding…”

    It reminds me of certain arguments against Evolution (a far too broad term, IMO.) Poking holes in the “theory” means that our version (God, ID, Aliens, Etc.,) must be correct, right? Rather than proving the counter position.

    Some of us naturally gravitated towards the skeptic side when we saw who was promoting the alarmist version of things and that their fix was simply more Gov’t power and control. Global Warming, in the popular sense (We’re All Gonna DIE unless we repent!!!) is very much a political issue and is very much a left/right issue. It’d be nice if it was about the science, but it isn’t. Not really.

    Do the “skeptics” get as nasty and snarky as the other side? Seems so. (Then I read the comments on their side and say, “no.”) Do they get as brainlocked? Yep. Rush Limbaugh doesn’t believe in CAGW, “…because God wouldn’t do that to us.” Much as I respect the man that answer just doesn’t work for me, but it isn’t much different from the fantasies of the other side.

    Then there’s that grey inbetween area. Where the “science types” point fingers and insults at each other.

    A big problem is that many of us don’t have the science or math to really critique the science or math behind the concepts (Do Journalists? Politicians? Laymen?) Some people think they do and a very few really do, but how do those of us with lesser skills differentiate between those who do and those who think they do? The rest of us go with who sounds right and a big part of that might just come from our political leanings. Or we get tired of the insults and ignore the whole thing.

    Take that N&Z flap with WUWT, Tallbloke, and Willis E. About all that some of us can do is sit back, much the popcorn, and watch the spitting match. It’s not like most of these guys have much interest in actually trying to communicate with each other and Willis is one of the few who can speak to the rest of us. (Still, if it was Real-Climate, or some other PC climate blog, I think the “discussion” would have been thoroughly stamped out.)

    These people argue back and forth abut certain equations, certain concepts, and so on and most of us are left to pick a side. Maybe by flipping a coin. Some of us might lean towards Willis because he’s one of the few who can actually write. In English. Doesn’t mean he’s right, just means that we can understand him, and/or that he’s interesting. Maybe we lean towards N&Z because we’re tired of hearing about the runaway greenhouse (Earth to Venus) crap, but we don’t understand it. Maybe we think N&Z is junk because someone who we think knows said it is.

    I think most of the readers of these sites have inadequate background to pick who’s really right. If we shut up and go away and leave the experts, or those who think they’re experts, to fight it out then the readership of those sites will drop to a few a day. The spitting match will be too technical and abstract to be worth eating popcorn over.

    Something that might be useful, not to you guys, but to the rest of us, might be a few pages that explain certain things. For example, Jeff, you’re always talking about backradiation. Do it once. Write a page on your site, in English, and just link to it from appropriate spots in your discussions.

    A few of us will be interested enough to read it (and Google will like the links) and maybe start our educations in the subject.

    Until we read BobFred’s TechBlogWeekly, which rips apart your description while sounding reasonable and including subtle errors which we won’t pick up. Then it’s back to square one…

    As far as learning the math, well, I’m trying. It’s kinda like learning to play ball and then competing with the pros. Gonna be awhile.🙂

    Sorry, that went too long, but I got it off my chest. Thanks.

  5. Genghis said

    “There is a famous poem, by Cui Hao 崔顥 (died 754) called Yellow Crane Pavilion about a place at Wuchang on the Yangzi River said to commemorate where the immortal wang Ziqiao flew up to heaven in the 6th century BC. Cui inscribed his poem on the wall of a new pavilion there: “Long ago an immortal rode away on a yellow crane, leaving merely the empty traces of the Yellow Crane Pavilion. Once departed, the crane never returned, leaving merely a thousand years of white clouds in the emptiness of the skies.”

    That is my understanding of the climate : )

    My understanding of bureaucrats, especially scientific bureaucrats is that they “never tell the truth when a lie will suffice.”

    The first step in understanding the climate is that the energy in equals the energy out. What is done in the system can’t change that at all.

  6. Today Climategate is collapsing and leading capitalists like Donald Trump,

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-16969723

    Abandoning 50 years of deception about Earth’s heat source – the Sun

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Summary_of_Career.pdf

    Western scientific organizations, like the UK RS, the US NAS and the UN’s IPCC, may collapse too if they continue to ignore the reality that has been revealed over the past 50 years by experimental measurements and observations, while these organizations promoted models of reality that were supported by the politicians who gave them control over public grant funds.

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/02/11/week-in-review-21112/

    I am relieved to see the charade end, and sincerely hope society will regain control over world leaders without further sacrifice.

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

  7. anon2nz said

    well said .. and thank you for saying it.

  8. […] Questions and Motives – The Pendulum Swings (noconsensus.wordpress.com) […]

  9. gallopingcamel said

    Greg, from Spokane,

    Your perspective seems to be a very common one which makes perfect sense in relation to most scientific debates. For example, does it matter to Joe Sixpack how the universe was created? From his point of view the big scientific questions have zero impact; there are much more important things going on at ESPN. However in a few cases science poses choices that have consequences for Joe’s pocket book.

    Climate science, environmentalism and their consequences for energy policies affect our economic prosperity for good or ill. This is a “Scientific” debate that impacts the availability and cost of energy. Now that the costs of such policies are becoming significant the general public will increasingly demand to have a say.

    Most of us are ill equipped to make these choices but can we afford to leave them to “experts”?

    It would be comforting to share Rush Limbaugh belief that “…God wouldn’t do that to us.”, or Albert Einstein’s “As I have said so many times, God doesn’t play dice with the world.” Touching, but when a GRB (Gamma Ray Burst) occurs within our galaxy as it surely will, humanity will become extinct in a few seconds. Let’s make sure that we have spread out to other galaxies before the GRB strikes.

  10. I agree, Gallopingcamel. Mankind is designed to explore!

    A GRB (Gamma Ray Burst) may even come from the pulsar at the solar core!

    Before that happens, we will:

    a.) Either remain locked in fear on planet Earth, as we have since ~1971 [1] – and probably perish together from the collapse of society driven by human selfishness.

    b.) Or explore the new frontier, spread out and populate different parts of the solar system and perhaps beyond, as started to happen after President Kennedy announced the Apollo program in 1961 [2].

    Since ~1971, world leaders have been leading us down path [2], although we didn’t know it until Climategate emails and documents were released in Nov 2009.

    1. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Climategate_Roots.pdf

    2. http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/Space-Program.aspx

  11. Hiya Jeff

    As someone who is as proud to be a liberal as you are to be a conservative, let me just say that some of the finest and most courageous people I know have been conservative, as well as some of the brightest and most honest. You keep good company, even if most of the brightest lights have passed on.

    Follow the facts. That is all.

  12. Alan D McIntire said

    #4 Greg said

    “A big problem is that many of us don’t have the science or math to really critique the science or math behind the concepts”

    Richard Feynman, the late Nobel Laureate in physics, was once asked by a Caltech colleague, David Goodstein, to explain why spin one-half particles obey Fermi Dirac statistics. Rising to the challenge, Feynman said, “I’ll prepare a freshman lecture on it.” But a few days later he told Goodstein, “You know, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t reduce it to the freshman level. That means we really don’t understand it.”

    So maybe we don’t understand the paper in detail but whoever is arguing a point should be able to reduce the argument to a college freshman level.

    Trying to understand the basic arguments, I came across these sites, which I think are pretty good

    This one on the late John Daly’s website gives a pretty good explanation of the basics.

    http://www.john-daly.com/miniwarm.htm

    Even a catastrophist should accept the basic math, while arguing that
    water vapor feedback will increase the wattage feedback from an increase in CO2. The whole AGW debate is about the FEEDBACKS, not the immediate effects of a doubling of CO2.

    This next site I enjoyed reading through the papers- I found the site as addicting as eating peanuts- I couldn’t stop after just one paper

    http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/climatology.htm

    This one spells out a multi layer atmosphere greenhouse model.

    http://www.geo.utexas.edu/courses/387H/Lectures/chap2.pdf

    Here’s an online book, “Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry”

    http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/publications/jacobbook/

  13. Brian H said

    As recent articles and postings have indicated, “backradiation” exists, but has a trivial supporting role in the self-balancing cycling of energy out of the system. It also cannot be considered in the absence of the “other tail”, which is heightened OLR from high altitude, which non-GHGs can’t do for themselves. There also may be some “shadowing” (interception of DLR on the way in from Sol).

    All in all, it exists, but doesn’t matter. Venus or Earth, it’s a wash. Density and TSI are all that matter.

  14. kim said

    Well, look at that, will ya’? One of the finest, brightest, most honest and courageous people I know is Tom #11, and he’s a liberal. That’s all facts, folks.
    ===========================

  15. Here is a simple proof in 10 easy steps why the Greenhouse Effect is a physical impossibility.

    (1) The IPCC claim that radiation from a cooler atmosphere slows the rate of cooling of the (warmer) surface, thus leading to a greenhouse effect.

    (2) The “rate of cooling” is a 24 hour worldwide mean, so wherever the Sun is warming the surface (any sunny morning) the rate of warming would have to be increased by whatever process is slowing the rate of cooling.

    (3) Thus extra thermal energy must be added to the surface by such radiation in order to increase the warming rate in the morning and slow the mean rate of cooling calculated from both day and night rates.

    (4) Now the Second Law of Thermodynamics relates to heat transfer which is not the same as energy transfer. Radiated energy can be two-way, but heat transfer between two points is always one way and it is invalid to split such heat transfer into two opposite components and try to apply the Second Law to each. Physics doesn’t work that way.

    (5) Hence, the surface cannot warm faster in the mornings due to such an imaginary heat transfer, because that would be clearly breaking the Second Law no matter what. Nor can it slow the rate of cooling because of (4). And in general you would expect the same process to happen whether the surface is warming or cooling.

    (6) So, those photons from the cooler atmosphere are not being converted to thermal energy in the warmer surface, as Prof Claes Johnson proved in Computational Blackbody Radiation.

    (7) Hence the effect of the photons being either reflected or scattered is that there is no impact on the surface at all.

    (8) It is also clear that there is no significant transfer by diffusion or conduction from the atmosphere to the surface because the surface absorbs more solar insolation than the lower atmosphere, and we observe that the atmosphere is generally cooler and even cools faster at night than the surface.

    (9) So it really does not matter even if extra thermal energy is trapped higher up in the atmosphere because it does not affect what we call climate, and any such energy cannot make its way back to the surface, except possibly an insignificant additional amount in precipitation.

    (10) Hence there is no valid physical way in which backradiation or absorption by carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will cause a significant atmospheric greenhouse effect.

    If I haven’t convinced you, read this paper Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within the Frame of Physics http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

    Doug Cotton
    http://climate-change-theory.com

  16. Niels A Nielsen said

    Well said, Jeff. Admitting error does not make you seem stupid. Making the last 15 comments on Fun stuff does…

  17. M. Simon said

    In engineering if you are any good at solving problems things don’t get easier. You get assigned harder problems.

    Personally I’m not interested in easier work for more pay. I’m interested in more difficult work for more pay. That makes me inherently a conservative.

  18. […] Id at The Air Vent is discussing his politics and how it can contaminate his objectivity. And he waxes philosophical […]

  19. M. Simon said

    Linked:

    http://classicalvalues.com/2012/02/the-conservative-view/

  20. Alan D McIntire said

    How can anyone who has camped out overnight in a desert, and in a more humid climate, or has experienced both clear winter days and nights, and clear winter days and cloudy winter nights, not be aware of a “greenhouse” effect. Of course those experienced effects are due to water droplets and water vapor, not CO2 , but the CONCEPT, not the magnitude, is the same for both water and water vapor, and CO2.

  21. Leonard Weinstein said

    Jeff,
    You make a good point on many issues. I don’t like to call myself liberal or conservative, as I agree with some positions of both camps, and disagree with both on some. I do however agree that the so called modern liberals (who are not liberal in a classical sense) have many positions that are destructive to society in the name of good intentions (i.e., “The road to hell …”).

    #4 Greg,
    ScienceOfDoom’s web site has a very good series of discussions of much of the basic technology for climatology. I disagree with him on the likely level of feedback, and the level of danger of global warming, and a few other issues, but most of these are not resolved, so he might be correct. However, his site is generally very fair and clear.

    Jeff and others,
    Much of the confusion on back radiation is actually confusion between back radiation and back heat transfer. If the atmosphere is either hotter or colder than the ground, there will always be back radiation from greenhouse gases to, and absorbed by, the ground. However, if the ground is hotter than the atmosphere (true on average for our atmosphere and Venus), the radiation heat transfer is always hot to cold. If there is no radiation heat transfer, the atmosphere cannot radiatively heat the ground. What this radiation absorption and re radiation does is slow the rate of net outgoing radiation heat transfer (but the slack is taken up by convection), and this results in raising the altitude of outgoing radiation, with the lapse rate combined with the higher elevation of outgoing radiation resulting in a warmer ground than otherwise.

  22. page488 said

    Nice post, Jeff.

    I’m confused about one comment, however. You said:

    “In the recent thread, some skeptics were confronted with absolute proof that long wave infrared is absorbed by cooler bodies”

    Absortion of infrared radiation (or any radiation, in order of ascending wavelength and descending energy – gamma, X-ray, UV, Visible, IR, microwave, radio) has abolutely nothing to do with the termperature of the absorbing body (whether cooler or warmer than the radiating body). This is a well known fact – and certainly nothing new. Absortion of radiation by molecules such as H2O vapor and gaseous Co2 depends on the molecular structure of the molecules, not the relative temp of the radiating body. (This is an oversiplification – but more or less accurate when talking about the temps we encounter on earth and its atmosphere).

    Radiation, in and of itself, doesn’t have a “temperature.”

    It sounds like you are confusing molecular heat transfer (which is one directional – warmer to cooler – and requires the contact of matter for the transfer) with the radiative transfer of energy, which can cross a vacuum.

    Could you clarify what you meant?

  23. Jeff Condon said

    Page488:

    “It sounds like you are confusing molecular heat transfer”

    Ain’t me. ‘Twas the other guys on the fun stuff thread. You are right.

    You are incorrect about the differentiation between molecular and radiative transfer though. The second law works by probability with no absolute direction. Any individual transaction can violate the directionality. Only probability insures the direction. If you want to discuss this more, lets do it on that thread.

  24. page488 said

    RE: #23 Nope. As I said, I was oversimplfying. I’ll leave the probabilities to you.

  25. Jeff Condon said

    Leonard,

    We probably think alike. I believe the classic liberal is more like today’s conservative. Like entropy, we can only speak of these things en mass with probability dictating reality. Tea party conservatives, mostly want to be left to our own devices. “Mostly” they don’t want to enforce religion on any one else. Today’s liberal centrist is similar to a Muslim “conservative” (don’t understand the root of that nomenclature) in that they want to control your food, energy, discussion, driving, money, success, thoughts on and on. Act like we tell you and we might allow you to succeed. Liberals of today have left behind the liberals of the past embracing powerful “preferred” regulation in exchange for serious freedom. Expenditure of other peoples money for the little guy in direct exchange for the little guy’s opportunity to succeed.

    All I want is truth and a shot to make something that I’m allowed to keep. Force me to hand over everything to a bunch of lazy losers working the system from their couch and we have a problem.

    Help the helpless, not the clueless.

  26. gallopingcamel said

    Oliver K. Manuel,
    Let’s hope that mankind is up to the challenge of developing nuclear powered space flight so we can go to more distant places. The trouble is that better technology involves an element of risk. Will we accept the risks of the unknown as our ancestors did? Or will we retreat back to “safe” and cozy caves as the environmentalists seem to want?

    Brian H said:
    “All in all, it exists, but doesn’t matter. Venus or Earth, it’s a wash. Density and TSI are all that matter.”

    While I agree with you that density and TSI are the major determinants of planetary surface temperatures there is still room for debate about the minor determinants such as CO2 concentrations, cosmic rays and so forth.

    This weekend I met with Nicola Scafetta :
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/scafettas-solar-lunar-cycle-forecast-vs-global-temperature/

    He has published papers that are based on models (a dirty word in some quarters) that say the sun has effects on the Earth’s climate independent of TSI. He contends that these effects are measureable and has made predictions based on them.

    One should always look for physical processes that align mathematically with the models and that is where it gets interesting. Nicola is already well beyond sophisticated curve fitting; he is evaluating processes that modulate the core of the sun and make the effects detectable with a lag of days rather than the hundreds of thousands of years required for radiative processes.

    Look out for some interesting papers in the near future that tie up some loose ends.

  27. A friend requested this one-page summary of 50 years research on “The Sun – The nuclear furnace that made our elements and sustains our lives.”

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/The_Sun.pdf

    If hyperlinks in that document don’t work, try

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/The_Sun.doc

    The experimental observations provide no indication of anything special about the Sun or the existence of life on the stellar debris that remained behind to orbit the pulsar after the Sun exploded five billion years (5 Gyr) ago.

    I.e., the evolution of life may be a natural occurrence on planets throughout the cosmos.

    I asked for comments from members of the Neutron Repulsion Group. Since communications is not my forte, questions/comments would be appreciated.

  28. Anteros said

    Leonard @ 21

    You say you disagree with SoD’s belief about the danger of the level of global warming. I may have missed something, but in my recollection he has never said anything about the dangers of global warming – it’s not a subject on which science has anything to say. Danger is a subjective value judgement and as far as I’m aware, SoD sticks very much to science.

    Jeff. I rarely comment here although I pass by quite frequently. Your comments on the foundation of your conservatism are interesting. I’ve never thought of myself as a conservative, but what you say rings true for me.

    It seems to me that most people who claim that the welfare state (as we have here in the UK) is a bad thing because lazy feckless individuals don’t deserve handouts and freebies and a comfortable life without making any effort. Often this comes from people who don’t actually enjoy the efforts they have to personally make and would imagine that a life on the ‘dole’ would be a bed of roses.

    Your comments get much closer to my experience and my truth, which is that making it easy for people to do eff all for themselves demeans, harms and stultifies them. It’s easy to be jealous of people watching daytime TV their whole lives – don’t be. Pity them.

    This doesn’t apply to everyone in every situation, but I see this more than people ‘benefiting’ from handouts etc. If you see someone wobbly on their feet, the cruelest thing you can give them is some crutches. Pretty soon you’ll think they need a chair, then a chair with wheels, then a motorised chair, then a million dollar life support system. There is a place for all those things, but the person wobbly on their feet needs (or benefits from) none of them.

    I’ve spent a fair bit of my life among the 12 step fraternity. There are almost as many people addicted to ‘helping’ other people as there as drunks and addicts. It’s subtle and difficult to see because these people exist as ‘caretakers’. Care-taking is fine if people genuinely need taking care off. If not, it is more likely that their slight vulnerability will be used by those with a penchant for sucking the spirit out of them. All with the best idealistic veneer.

    What appears on the outside as a caring person (or organisation or political system) may in reality be a means where a particular type of person gets to feel good about themselves, by being a ‘helper’. The killer is that they need people to help – irrespective of whether the people receiving the help actually benefit from it.

    I agree with you Jeff that the human spirit needs challenges and challenging and yet we have a natural instinct [which is understandable] to make things easy for ourselves. I think it is important that we keep the challenging in place.

  29. steveta_uk said

    page488 @ #22 – if you want to see exactly what Jeff is describing, simply read Doug Cotton #15.

    Some individuals in recent weeks/months have taken to posting diatribes against “the mythical greenhouse effect” on nearly all the sites that I frequent, with Mr Cotton posting to this site, WUWT, and others, with an absolute refusal to listen to reason in any form.

    Bishop Hill has recently suffered similar postings from another non-believer, with almost every thread having some comment regarding the impossibility of back radiation.

    Now while I appreciate some of the more eccentric posters who cannot resist mentioning of their favourite hobby horse on every thread (I’m sure you can guess who I mean), others are simply annoying, and so obdurate that no amount of evidence has any impact on them.

    It almost looks like they are in fact trolls who are deliberately trying to destroy the reputation of “skeptic” sites by ensuring that every comment thread will contain some obvious nonsense, and so allow RC and others to say “Air Vent? That’s just Doug Cotton’s outlet; ignore it.”

  30. Ralph B said

    I am quoting a comment here from Rand Simbergs Transterrestrial Musings. George Turner had the best comeback to CAGW politics that I have ever read. http://www.transterrestrial.com/?p=39883#comments. The whole comment is amazing.

    “That all man-induced temperature changes are bad makes no logical sense at all, but it makes perfect ecclesiastical sense. The temperature changes are due to man’s sin, his over-consumption, greed, arrogance, and disregard for the Earth and God’s creation. The consequences of his sin will be punishment, and logically a punishment must be bad. Punishment must involve suffering. Since the punishment is coming in the form of temperature and climate changes, those changes must be bad. The changes must all be bad – everywhere, at all times, for all people.

    Otherwise it would be as crazy as punishing a rotten kid’s misbehavior by giving him an ice-cream cone. It would make no sense. It would be as crazy as getting booming crop yields, longer growing seasons, a thriving economy, and a vibrant ecology as a side-effect of barreling down the road in a gas-guzzling SUV sipping a slurpy. While there’s nothing logically or scientifically wrong about such an outcome, it violates environmentalists’ religious sensibilities.”

  31. hunter said

    Spot on regarding the back radiation issue.

  32. Jeff Condon said

    Anteros,

    I think you have articulated the heart of the tea party movement.

    What is worse is that these societal loads drag down incomes and reduce the middle class, which obviously means more help from the government is needed. Old time liberalism has morphed into a self-destructive disaster that is now manifesting in the US as class warfare. All the while, those who want more are taking it from those who could have given them the path to personal success.

    The one percenters and the 15% tax of popular media are misrepresentations of the American tax system. NOBODY pays 15%. The 15% comes from growth in value due to OWNERSHIP of a C corp which already pays at 35% and up. The C corp files its own taxes so it doesn’t show up on investors like Buffetts return. He owns the C corps which would have gained more value without the 35% tax payment. He only pays the extra 15% on his personal investment. Of course the investment’s 35% payment to the federal government is completely ignored by the leftist media. The real question is why would someone tied so closely with government LIE about his taxes.

    Where it gets more confusing is that the vast majority of the 25million companies in the US are pass-through companies. Any money the company makes, is placed right on the owners tax returns. The company doesn’t pay tax. So the majority of the people who make a million dollars or more are actually reporting business income. Not personal take-home cash. If you have ever owned a business of any size, business income stays almost entirely inside the business.

    All that said, I will personally pay over 5 times my takehome $$ in checks directly to the federal government.

    We are being lied to by the media. Raising tax on the 1 percent means raising tax on business.

    The rest of the noise is flat lies and propaganda to those selling social programs to basically enslave those who don’t really need them. Schools preach the leftist message from early years. Once you are on the program, you sure aren’t going to be voting your own money away. And that is the real goal of helping the poor – enslavement to the system.

    Liberalism is not what it is billed to be anymore. It is too bad that people haven’t figured it out yet because that pendulum can get stuck one way for a long time.

  33. “…competition and reward creates hard work.”

    Masochist.

  34. Jeff Condon said

    #33

    It also creates a better quality of living for those very poor you hope to save.

  35. Leonard Weinstein said

    Anteros 28.,
    I do not remember the exact place where SoD stated his position, but I am fairly sure he believes that rising CO2 plus feedback will likely cause enough increase in temperature to be at least somewhat of a problem for humanity (sea level rising, more storms, drought, flooding, etc.). I know it is at most a position on possibly and not necessarily likely. My position is that it is more likely that cooling will be a problem (natural variation , esp. due to the Sun), and CO2 is basically beneficial in the levels occurring and projected. If I misrepresent him I apologize, as I truly respect him.

  36. HR said

    I think fecklessness and idleness must be infectious because the numbers suffering from it almost doubled over the course of 2008 in the UK and US.

    Of course there may be another explanation as to why these people found themselves surplus to requirements.

  37. Jeff Condon said

    #36, It could be massive regulation and taxation limiting small and midsized business.

    naw

  38. Bill Illis said

    Humans are designed to work 50 to 60 hours per week. 40 hours to 50 hours per week at some job (on a desk, using a shovel or learning) and then 10 to 20 hours per week at home.

    We need at least one day of rest in seven. Every economy that has tried to reduce the work week has just found people cheating the system and working the same hours anyway.

    After the 50 to 60 hours per week at a job and at home, we are sleeping, relaxing or carrying out some personal recreation.

    After that, physical changes occurs such as rising blood pressure or increasing heart rate or being abnormally stressed. There are real physical effects beyond these hours.

    Up to that point, we are willing to work our butts off to get the extras that this workload delivers – a bigger house, two cars, a big-screen 3D TV. We are designed to try to accumulate these goods and we are willing to put in the hours required to get those goods (up to the limits mentioned above).

    If we work less that, we are bored, we gain weight, we suffer from depression.

    If we are not rewarded (with a bigger house, more personal rewarding recreation or more goods), we will chose boredom and depression over the non-rewarding 40 to 50 hours per week of work.

    Hence, the free-enterprise system working and the communist system not working.

  39. Brian H said

    #38, Bill Illis;
    You remind me of the Soviet-era (Polish?) crack:
    “The government pretends to pay us, and we pretend to work.”

  40. Coldish said

    Jeff: “Force me to hand over everything to a bunch of lazy losers working the system from their couch and we have a problem.”
    Yes, that’s how I, as a below-average-income self-employed taxpayer feel about the banksters who make massive losses on speculative gambles and then want the taxpayers to ‘bail them out’.

  41. Anteros said

    Leonard –

    I made the comment about SoD primarily because I am amazed at how he keeps to the science. In the early days at SoD I found it amusing that many people wanted to know what he believed. I noticed the feeling myself and it was instructive – at some level it would have made a difference to how I perceived what he was doing.
    FWIW, I agree with you – warmer/milder = a mishmash of not significant or beneficial. Just a couple of degrees colder = significant suffering.

  42. Coldish said

    Leonard Weinstein said
    February 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm
    “Anteros 28.,
    I do not remember the exact place where SoD stated his position, but I am fairly sure he believes that rising CO2 plus feedback will likely cause enough increase in temperature to be at least somewhat of a problem for humanity (sea level rising, more storms, drought, flooding, etc.)”
    I have found SoD generally clear and compelling on the basic radiative properties of the atmosphere, but woolly and vague as soon as feedbacks enter the picture. I’m not convinced he understands much about the reality of climate (does anybody?), but to his credit he doesn’t claim to have all the answers.

  43. Jeff Condon said

    Coldish,

    The banksters were in bed with the politicians who demanded the ‘gambles’ be made. It is hard for me to see the ‘gamble’ in making a home loan to an individual with no real job.

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