Thursday, April 30, 2015

#14 Considering Malicious Falsehoods vs Right to Learn - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate

A virtual debate with Jim Steele, based on his interview at Heartland Institute: 


Heartland Daily Podcast | Jim Steele | January 27, 2015 
Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett (for the National Center for Policy Analysis) interviews Jim Steele, ecologist, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada field campus of San Francisco State University
______________________________________________ 

Steele writes:  "And we trust the scientific theory because its been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate.  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public. ... and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.  ... 
And I think those public debates would help create real climate literacy …"
_____________________________________________________

Well then Mr. Steele, let's have our Great Global Warming Science Debate.  
I will accept these responses from your Heartland Institute podcast as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  I agree to post your thoughtful responses unaltered. (Though it's looking like you're going to do your best to hide and ignore these critiques of your self-certain claims. Your silence will serve to expose your hypocrisy and inability to defend your statements on an even playing field.)

With this fourteen installment I complete my critique of Mr. Landscapesandcycle's interview with Heartland Institute's Sterling Burnett.  

There is one last section, but I reviewed that back at #2 Fear of Debate - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate of this series, since it dealt with Mr. Steele's demand for public debates to establish the truth of climate science and I used his words to justify this virtual debate with him.  Why he continues to hide from my invitation, only he can explain.  

Though I did discover yesterday that he's written some posts about me at his Landscapesandcycles blog, not that he returned my courtesy of emailing him fyi's on what I'm posting (to and) about him.  I only had enough time to skim one before setting it aside for a future project.  Still, I do know, it'll make for an interesting study in contrasting styles.

In this installment Mr. Steele voices an impassioned plea on behalf of the poor people of the world - encouraging us to continue burning fossil fuels as fast as we can get them out of the ground so they can live better lives. 

And me, I wander off point a little and consider concepts like "malicious falsehood" - "slander" - "Intent to deceive" and such.

You know, things like strategic interference with a scientist's duty to report on the science according to the data collected, rather than what the masters of the universe want to hear.  

I wonder out loud whether We The People have a right to demand honesty in the information we receive from scientists, free of malicious interference and tactical crazy making (manufactured doubt).

I'm hoping there are some people over at San Francisco State University who also believe these are questions worth confronting here in the summer of 2015 when we finally need to be spending our time, treasure and energy on constructively dealing with what's coming our way and not pretending that the science isn't solid and conclusive.
___________________________________________________________


"How should society contend with those who knowingly 
disseminate misinformation about climate science."  
__________________________________________________
__________________________________________
_________________________________

Steele:  And then there's sort of, I think the most bizarre paradox by this narrow point of view, is that poor nations where people are increasingly moving vegetation for heating or cooking fuel.  Or they use slash and burn agriculture, those practices create more barren land, and if you understand the effects of landscapes on climate you realize that those barren lands raise the regions temperature many degrees higher than normal. You probably thought this yourself if you ah, simply were in bare feet on a summer day and step from grass to pavement, you remove the vegetation you have pavement, or bare ground, the temperature is many many degree's warmer
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jim, what are you talking about?  What does accepting the recognized physics of greenhouse gases have to do with poor people being left with no alternatives but to increasingly degrade their landscapes?

And what does the difference between the heat gain of grassland vs barren land or pavement have to do with increasing our global atmosphere's insulating ability?                   Please explain.

___________________________________
Steele:  well, and, probably for a broader example you might look at the effects of a dust bowl.  When buffalo grass was removed and barren soil was dominated, the regional climate after the government wheat subsidies collapsed farms were abandoned, and resulting in the greatest droughts and the highest temperatures of the twentieth century in the United States.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

#13 Critical Thinking and "keep the debate alive" - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate


A virtual debate with Jim Steele, based on his interview at Heartland Institute: 

Heartland Daily Podcast | Jim Steele | January 27, 2015 
Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett (for the National Center for Policy Analysis) interviews Jim Steele, ecologist, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada field campus of San Francisco State University
______________________________________________ 

Steele writes:  "And we trust the scientific theory because its been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate.  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public. ... and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.  ... 
And I think those public debates would help create real climate literacy …"
_____________________________________________________

Well then Mr. Steele, let's have our Great Global Warming Science Debate.  
I will accept these responses from your Heartland Institute podcast as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  I agree to post your thoughtful responses unaltered. (Though it's looking like you're going to do your best to hide and ignore these critiques of your self-certain claims. Your silence will serve to expose your hypocrisy and inability to defend your statements on an even playing field.)

In this thirteenth installment I want to look at Jim advocating that we empower our youth to judge the veracity of experts and other such notions in "critical" thinking.
___________________________________________________________


"How should society contend with those who knowingly 
disseminate misinformation about climate science."  
__________________________________________________
__________________________________________
_________________________________

Steele says:  We're only hurting our science education in that way...(see #12)... We can't just spoon feed students science and have them memorize and spit it back like propaganda.  You gotta encourage students to be critical thinkers.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Be serious, students are in school to learn the fundamentals of the world around them.  High school and early college is about teaching skills, such as mathematical, scientific fundamentals, critical thinking, learning and communication skills - you know the tools required for the advanced learning that's required before one can judge experts and seasoned professionals.

Just like with your running skills, first you needed to learn to sit up and crawl, only then could you put weight on those legs and begin first tentative stubbles until you learned the tricks of the trade.  Then, only after many years of learning and development were you finally able to beat your dad in a race.  And only then were you finally poised to take that skill on to further levels of achievement.  Brain development is not so different.

What makes you think students can or should sit in judgmental "debate" on their professors?  Were you a Maoist back in da day and missed the bulletin about what a disaster the Great Leap Forward was?

As for critical thinking, keep an open mind but not so open that your brain falls out, 
or to frame it more constructively I'll rely on an expert Robert Ennis PhD :

The Nature of Critical Thinking: 
Outlines of General Critical Thinking Dispositions and Abilities 


"Critical thinking is "reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do." This definition (or concept) of critical thinking I believe captures the core of the way the term is ordinarily used by supporters of critical thinking. In deciding what to believe or do, one is helped by the employment of a set of critical thinking dispositions and abilities (which is a conception of critical thinking) that I outline in detail below. ..."

"... For the sake of brevity, clarification in the form of examples, qualifications, and more detail, including more criteria, are omitted, but can be found in sources listed below, including "Critical Thinking: A Streamlined Conception" (1991b), "A Taxonomy of Critical Thinking Dispositions and Abilities" (1987a), and "A Conception of Rational Thinking" (1980), but more fully in Critical Thinking (1996a).  See Note 1. ... "

CRITICAL THINKING DISPOSITIONS

Ideal critical thinkers are disposed to 

1. Seek and offer clear statements of the thesis or question
2. Seek and offer clear reasons
3. Try to be well informed
4. Use credible sources and observations, and usually mention them
5. Take into account the total situation
6. Keep in mind the basic concern in the context
7. Be alert for alternatives
8. Be open-minded
    a. Seriously consider otherpoints of view 
    b. Withhold judgment when the evidence and reasons
       are insufficient
9. Take a position and change a position when the evidence
       and reasons are sufficient
10. Seek as much precision as the nature of the subject admits
11. Seek the truth when it makes sense to do so, and more broadly, try to "get it right" to the extent possible or feasible
12. Employ their critical thinking abilities and dispositions

#12 "Pushing this global climate alarmism" - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate


A virtual debate with Jim Steele, based on his interview at Heartland Institute: 

Heartland Daily Podcast | Jim Steele | January 27, 2015 
Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett (for the National Center for Policy Analysis) interviews Jim Steele, ecologist, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada field campus of San Francisco State University
______________________________________________ 

Steele writes:  "And we trust the scientific theory because its been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate.  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public. ... and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.  ... 
And I think those public debates would help create real climate literacy …"
_____________________________________________________

Well then Mr. Steele, let's have our Great Global Warming Science Debate.  
I will accept these responses from your Heartland Institute podcast as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  I agree to post your thoughtful responses unaltered. (Though it's looking like you're going to do your best to hide and ignore these critiques of your self-certain claims. Your silence will serve to expose your hypocrisy and inability to defend your statements on an even playing field.)

In this twelfth installment we return to Mr. Steele's words as he responds to Heartland Burnett's previous question (see #11)  by complaining that people are "alarmed" at what they are witnessing and what scientists are telling them.  Jim also claims climate science education is missing important information, though he never explains what that might be.
___________________________________________________________


"How should society contend with those who knowingly 
disseminate misinformation about climate science."  
__________________________________________________
__________________________________________
_________________________________
Steele:  You know I agree, I think people that are pushing this global climate alarmism it's sort of a mixed bag.  I think some people have become incredibly fearful because they've heard these stories and just kind of amplify it and echo it.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jim, here take a look at what's "pushing this global climate alarmism."  Why do you want people to ignore that reality?
___________________________________

Figure 17.35: Global CO2 emissions are rising rapidly. The industrial revolution began about 1850 and industrialization has been accelerating.
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/High_School_Earth_Science/Climate_Change
___________________________________

Why shouldn't we feel "alarmed" by what the nonstop injection of gigaton's worth of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere is doing to our planet's very basic geophysical processes and our very complex biosphere?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

#11 Questions for Heartland's Burnett, re Dr. Mann and more - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate

{slightly edited at 10:00pm 4/26}


A virtual debate with Jim Steele, based on his interview at Heartland Institute: 

Heartland Daily Podcast | Jim Steele | January 27, 2015 
Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett (for the National Center for Policy Analysis) interviews Jim Steele, ecologist, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada field campus of San Francisco State University
______________________________________________ 

Steele writes:  "And we trust the scientific theory because its been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate.  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public. ... and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.  ... 
And I think those public debates would help create real climate literacy …"
_____________________________________________________

Well then Mr. Steele, let's have our Great Global Warming Science Debate.  
I will accept these responses from your Heartland Institute podcast as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  I agree to post your thoughtful responses unaltered. (Though it's looking like you're going to do your best to hide and ignore these critiques of your self-certain claims. Your silence will serve to expose your hypocrisy and inability to defend your statements on an even playing field.)

In this eleventh installment I'm going to give Jim another pass in order to linger on Heartland Institute's Sterling Burnett's next question and his cheap shot at Dr. Mann which inspired a number of questions I'd like to direct to Mr. Burnett himself.
___________________________________________________________


"How should society contend with those who knowingly 
disseminate misinformation about climate science."  
__________________________________________________
__________________________________________
_________________________________
Heartland's BurnettWhat kind of impact do you believe this scientific misdirection of global warming and you know sort of the single point of view of global warming has had on science in general.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
What 
"scientific misdirection of global warming" ?

You don't explain a thing.
You don't specify what you are talking about.
You don't provide anything constructive to build upon.

Your goal seems to be sewing mistrust and confusion.
What about learning from the information at hand?
_________________________________________
Heartland's Burnett:  You know the media just focuses like a hawk, it seems to me, on whatever horror, horrific climate spin story is sent out.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
What's with this non sequitur?  

Are we discussing climate science, or profit driven sensationalistic media products?  Two very different issues buster brown, stop conflating them!
__________________________________________
Heartland's Burnett:  Just following the old Mann trick, I believe the lead on climate is the same way, if it's disaster it's the headline. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Come on Willie Soon, how about that debate?

I was reflecting on the final paragraph in my recently completed tenth installment of the great CC/Steele Debate, it came from an article by Lindsey Abrams regarding Heartland Institute's defense of Willie Soon's financial exposure, it reads:
"But the real scandal is that Soon, who is not a climate scientist and who has aligned himself with the decidedly unscientific Heartland Institute, is continuing to stand by the integrity of his work, which deviates sharply from the vast majority of climate science. 
If (Dr. Soon) is, as he claimed, “willing to debate the substance of my research and competing views of climate change with anyone, anytime, anywhere,” he might want to start with the climate scientists listed in this exhaustive round-up of all the ways in which the substance of his research has been debated and discredited on its scientific merit alone. …"

I visited that last link and found an overwhelming collection of information detailing the fraudulent nature of "Dr" Willie Soon's game, which seems intimately interwoven with Heartland Institute's malicious focus on misleading and confusing leaders and the public.

With thanks to Connor Gibson and DeSmogBlog I'm happy to mirror this valuable source of information and its many links to yet more detailed and authoritative information regarding Soon's fraud against We The People and our right to learn about climate science and Earth observations in an honest manner.

Willie Soon's Climate Science Denial 
Wasn't Ever Credible: Climate Scientists

By Connor Gibson • Saturday, February 28, 2015

____________________________________________

“The science that Willie Soon does is almost pointless.” - NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt, to the New York Times

Recent revelations regarding Smithsonian scientist Willie Soon's financing and coordination with fossil fuel companies for studies undermining the science of climate change has received quite a bit of attention. Our friends at the Climate Investigations Center have links to source documents, letters to the IRS and Congress, letters to journals that Soon appears to have mislead, and some of the press covering all of this.

The drama has largely outshone the main point among most scientists: Willie Soon's work is vastly discredited. For those who aren't familiar with Willie Soon's fossil fuel company contracting over the last fifteen years, there is probably a legitimate question of whether or not this guy deserves to be in his current pinch.

Frankly, he had it coming.

#10 Heartland in their own words - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate


A virtual debate with Jim Steele, based on his interview at Heartland Institute: 


Heartland Daily Podcast | Jim Steele | January 27, 2015 
Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett (for the National Center for Policy Analysis) interviews Jim Steele, ecologist, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada field campus of San Francisco State University
______________________________________________ 

Steele writes:  "And we trust the scientific theory because its been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate.  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public. ... and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.  ... 
And I think those public debates would help create real climate literacy …"
_____________________________________________________

Well then Mr. Steele, let's have our Great Global Warming Science Debate.  
I will accept these responses from your Heartland Institute podcast as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  I agree to post your thoughtful responses unaltered. (Though it's looking like you're going to do your best to hide and ignore these critiques of your self-certain claims. Your silence will serve to expose your hypocrisy and inability to defend your statements on an even playing field.)

In this tenth installment, we've arrived at Heartland's intermission advert which I've also transcribed because it perfectly demonstrates their infantile thinking as reflected in their dedication to politicizing, misrepresenting and sewing confusion - thus materially interfering with We The People's right to honestly learn about what's going on within our atmosphere and upon our planet.  This in turn, begs the question:

"How should society contend with those who knowingly 
disseminate misinformation about climate science."  
Lawrence Torcello
__________________________________________________
__________________________________________
_________________________________

Heartland's Burnett:  "A brief timeout on behalf of the Heartlander Digital Magazine. 
The Heartlander Digital Magazine is a unique product among right leaning think-tanks, published by the Heartland Institute this daily news site is overseen by managing editors for each of its six sections and produced by a team of writers who cover current events from a Free Market Perspective updated with fresh stories. Every day the Heartlander Magazine provides readers with vital counter-spin to the mainstream medias take on the important domestic policy issues of the day. 
... Get fully informed, get the Free Market angle to today's news, visit us."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"vital counter-spin", "Free Market angle" ?
What about learning from the information at hand ? ?

This dedication to playing games and sanctioning spin over substance and striving to understand the full scope of available information is appalling.

Not a word about assessing and learning from authoritative scientific information.  

Their mission statement reveals a similar level of self absorption and acceptance of self-delusion for power political purposes which in turn forces them into a dogmatic rejection of listening to or learning from the full scope of information at hand: 
https://www.heartland.org/mission
The mission of The Heartland Institute is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Such solutions include parental choice in education, choice and personal responsibility in health care, market-based approaches to environmental protection, privatization of public services, and deregulation in areas where property rights and markets do a better job than government bureaucracies.
__________________________________

No interest in our planet's health.
Not a word about learning about how our planet and it's life sustaining climate operates.
Not a word about nurturing the heath of our global life support system. 

It's all about self-interest and getting their own way.
To such thinkers, the Earth is little more than a commodity to consume as fast as possible. 

Great for today's party but a nightmare for our children's future lives.
__________________________________

I'll close this installment with a few excerpts and links to various articles that look into this Heartland Institution.

Leaked Heartland Institute documents pull back curtain on climate scepticism
Leo Hickman | February 15, 2012
~ ~ ~
An Open Letter (by climate scientists) to the Heartland Institute
(in response to news of HI's document leaks) | February 2012
~ ~ ~
The Alternative Reality of the Heartland Institute’s “NIPCC” Report
Steve Newton | October 28, 2013
~ ~ ~
Good news: Media utterly ignored Heartland Institute/NIPCC at National Press Club
Mike Stark  |  April 11, 2014
~ ~ ~
Climate-denying researcher slams critics with help from climate-denying Heartland Institute
Lindsay Abrams | March 03, 2015

(I've added a couple highlights here and there.)
__________________________________

Thursday, April 23, 2015

University of Queensland in Australia offers online class: Denial101x

I received the following last week because I'm already signed up for this course.  Now it occurs to me that I really should be sharing this information with my audience, so with a little editing, here it is.

I'm hoping some of you will find this educational opportunity worth taking.  

Tell them CC sent you  ;- )
______________________________
University of Queensland in Australia 
offers online class:  
Denial101x


Making Sense of Climate Denial

____________________________________

STARTING APRIL 28, 2015

Denial101x: Making Sense of Climate Science Denial, and we’re getting really excited!

For the past 8 months we’ve been collecting interviews and lectures from climate science experts around the world. 

We’ve visited universities in Australia and England and Canada, participated in the American Geophysical Union Annual Conference in San Francisco and shot footage on location at The University of Queensland and at Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef that includes an interview with Sir David Attenborough.

During the course, we’ll be taking you to each of these places to find out what experts have to say about the ways in which climate change myths are spread and debunked. With each new week of our course, we will respond to myths using science and evidence, and we’ll also help you begin to develop your own responses to myths. We can’t wait to begin this course with you and see what you will contribute.

As we prepare for the beginning of the course, we would encourage you to:
  • Follow the Denial101x team on Twitter at @denial101x or use #denial101x when tweeting and tell us why you are taking the course

  • Like the Denial101x Facebook page - view and share some of the videos and images we’ve posted as we prepare for the course

  • Recommend the course to friends who you might want to take this course with and ask them to register for the course

  • Subscribe to our Denial101x YouTube Channel - watch and share the videos we’ve already posted