Sunday, June 21, 2015

In the shadow of "Seepage" considering our climate system

(final edit 12:30pm, June 21)
To appreciate "Seepage" within the climate science community we must first understand the fundamental scientific reality that the Republican / libertarian's strategic attack on science keeps drawing us further away from (while actively striving to replace honest curiosity and learning with ideological absolutism and rank tribal hostility towards serious climate scientists).

Goal of this article: A) To convey a recognition and appreciation of the fundamental components of our planet's climate system.  B)  To explain the difference between "Global Surface Temperature" and the "Global Temperature" (Something everyone conflates way the heck too often!).

Our Earth's climate is a global heat and moisture distribution engine consisting of three major components.

There's the atmosphere with it's distinctive layers, the lowest one is called the troposphere, it's where our weather lives.  The troposphere varies in height from around five miles at the poles up to around twelve miles at the equator.  

The troposphere is held in place and insulated from space by the stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and finally the exosphere topping out in the neighborhood of three hundred miles - actually, on the leeward side of Earth it goes way beyond, but that's a different story.

Fortunately for life, our atmosphere contains certain greenhouse gases that act to slow down the heat escaping from the surface thus acting as insulation that keeps our planet livable.  The troposphere holds pretty much all the water in the atmosphere, scientists calculate it adds up to a little over 3,000 cubic miles of liquid water.  If spread over the Earth's surface it would amount to an inch

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Considering the two species of debate.

          This was inspired by another comment over at Emily Blegvad's global warming documentary "The Science Behind Global Warming" a very nice effort by a high school student to explain our understanding of manmade global warming. 

Unfortunately the YouTube comments thread has been haunted by a few nasty characters who aren't at all interested in the video, or climate science, they just want to throw insults at us the "brainwashed", "=ucking gullible", and such lovely stuff.  As you can image, it's been a lively and weird comments thread and all sadly distracting from what Emily's documentary was all about.  

But, it does offer learning opportunities, here's a comment that makes for a perfect introduction into describing the anatomy of the two types of public debate.
  Emily, the ingredients to a good debate includes not joining in with herd mentality and siding with bullies that see it ok to attack people personally, that is actually "hate mongering", or are you still in kindergarten?  
And you never thought it was worth defending yourself from my original comments...which are now gone.*  
You see, in this world if you buy into things like this you have to be prepared to defend what you are promoting and not put your fingers in your ears and sing lalalalalala, you belong more to a cult than anything else sweetheart

As it happens I've given 'debate' lots of thought so let me share what I've learned.  (* Incidentally, I don't think anything was deleted.)

A debate is supposed to be about the information each side presents, it's examination and rebuttal - it has nothing to do herds or anything like that.  Also very important to understand is that there are two distinct kinds of debate.  

There's the Political/Lawyerly Debate where winning is everything.  Truth and understanding play second fiddle to winning.  In fact, quite often understanding is the enemy and much effort goes into confusing issues, rather than clarifying.

Then there's the Scientific/Learning Debate where each side argues their understanding using the evidence they have amassed.  You listen to your opponent,  you weigh their evidence according to your own understanding - then the 'other side' has their go at it.  There is an expectation to honestly relay ones evidence and yes, egos and good rhetoric play their part, but in the end it's all about the evidence and understanding the question as well as possible that matters.  

What that means is that if I am shown to be mistaken by the strength of the evidence, I accept it, bruised ego and all.  Because, learning from my mistakes give depth to my understanding of why things are as they are.    

The scientific community is all about a learning experience and always striving for better understanding our reality.  That's where the victory is.

It's not about ruthless defense of ego and ideology, it's about learning!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

and now the ugly side of the AGW dialogue.

{updated with comments June 18 evening.}
Here we have Lee Stamper, he's been commenting at YouTube on a video I featured over here on May 4th, he doesn't pretend to be interested in understanding climate science. He's just pissed off and likes verbally attacking "alarmists".   

Since there's no substance to discuss, the only reason I'm devoting a blog post to him is because his verbal abuse has just crossed over the line into the threat territory. Thus, I'll document it over here.

Lee Stamper you are welcome to comment over here, please explain why are you so over the top upset with me?
The Science Behind Global Warming (Documentary) 

Lee Stamper  3:30 PM | June 17, 2015  -  Writes: 
+citizenschallengeYT    now since you think you know everything about me I can see you have never been in the military bozo..if you know everything about me tell me how many Viet Cong I have notches on my knife for ? better look over your sholder you may piss the wrong person off next time

Hello Pascal Bruckner, two years and still waiting . . .

I was looking at WUWTW stats this morning and noticed that within the past day my review of Pascal Bruckner's "Fanaticism and the Apocalypse" received another 7 views (I never claimed to being a hugely visited site.) still in the two years since I wrote it, its received 2,165 views and all of one comment and that was a pathetic one-line drive-by. ( I don't call WUWTW a virtual dialogue for nothing ;- ).  

Still I'm constantly amazed that one of my most visited reviews involves the work of a "philosopher" who's bread and butter is weaving together fantastical head-trips that never need to touch on the actual physical realities of living on this planet.  Well, not beyond book sales, that is.

By coincidence, tomorrow is the second anniversary of that article so I figure I may as well give it a mention and remind Pascal I'm still waiting.  Who knows eventually maybe I can get a response.  Although I doubt it.  I imagine Pascal isn't the least bit interested in a critical review of his writing, or in actual constructive learning, nor in acknowledging the physical evidence.  Monsieur Pascal Brucker I invite you to show me where you believe I'm mistaken and that you are about more than selling books.

But, I won't be holding my breath.  If nothing else, this will serve as another reminder of the phoniness of his writings.

Pascal Bruckner's "Fanaticism of the Apocalypse" - A Citizen's Response
AGW denial industry, AGW educational links, carbon footprint as original sin, Pascal Bruckner, The Gallic Gadfly, WUWT

Pascal Bruckner a professional thinker who's been described as the "Gallic Gadfly" and "a goad, a self-declared man of the left who considers the influence of leftist ideology on contemporary France to have been, by and large, disastrous..." {see The Gallic Gadfly }.  

Thus it was odd to see Anthony WUWT embracing him, but who knows what's going on at WUWT these days.  In any event, I'm tired of stuff like this going unopposed so here's another critical review together with a few selected educational videos and links to sources that help describe some of the scientific aspects of climatology that Bruckner seems unaware of.  (link)

As for that comment:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Odin2 lets debate Fuhai Hong and Xiaojian Zhao "Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements"

At I read a good article yesterday explaining the reasons why the so called "Global warming hiatus never happened."

Going though the comments section one "odin2" made numerous posts.  Superficially many sounded sciencie and "proper" for example at one point scolding another commenter:  

"Your post is not responsive to the peer reviewed article that I cited or my post. There is a vast difference between making adjustments and corrections and manipulation fabrication of data. But, if you define the climate models as "reality' then manipulating the observed data to fit the observations is OK in the minds of Believers. Isn't it?"

But, look at the wording of that.  Who's being the "believer" of what?  No intelligent person has ever claimed that climate models are "reality" - they are tools to help teach us about our climate.  Also in real life, adjustments and corrections are justified and documented in the literature.

But OK, I'm a sucker for chasing such tossed bones and couldn't resist looking up the article in question.  Turned out to be by a couple economics professors; and it's printed in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics; and it turns out to start with a gish gallop of Republican/libertarian soundbites attacking Al Gore's AIT that liberally misrepresents AIT in the bargain.  

Then it goes on to model a hypothetical asymmetric information game: "Moreover, we introduce a new player in the game..." - "There are N+2 risk-neutral players in the game: N ex ante identical countries, a message sender, and an IEA(International Environmental Agreement). Each country faces a binary decision: whether or not to make one unit of abatement." 
It turned out to be a "What if?" exercise, nothing more.1

The article had nothing to do with climate science, let alone fluctuations in the surface temperature record.

After getting my belly full of odin2's game, I decided to write him a note.  Now I'm posting a reworked version over here as an invitation to him (or any like minded) for a constructive debate.  

Friday, June 12, 2015

Denialists Dodging Debate, (the landscapesandcyles saga)

It'll probably be another few weeks before I can file the final installment(s) of my Landscapesandcycles project, namely, a "document of complaint," regarding Mr. Jim Steele's mis-representation of modern climate science understanding and worse his many slanders of honorable professional scientists.

I thought I'd try one last shout out to Mr. Steele, for that Climate Science Debate he keeps demanding of others.

Considering that my emails remain ignored, I've decided to share the 'update email' I sent to Mr. Steele and various Administrators of San Francisco State University a couple days ago. 

I appreciate many serious scientists don't like my seemingly belligerent approach, sorry, seems to me sometimes it takes a little table thumping for people to take notice of rapidly approaching situations they want to ignore.  I'm no scientist, I'm no scholar, I'm a witness trying to draw attention to a serious situation that's being ignored.  Namely, the acceptance and entertaining of the Big Lie, slander, misrepresentation of established facts, etc..

In any event, this blogpost will serve as my summation of my Landscapesandcycles-CC/Steele Debate Project, along with another invitation to Mr. Jim Steele to step up to a honorable debate of the specifics.  It is also an invitation for the Administrators of the San Francisco State University to start considering the nonsense that is being presented as science under their flag.

{Mr. Steele, you are invited to respond, I assure you I welcome and will post any complaints, corrects or thoughts you care to share over here at WUWTW.}

sent Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 10:52 AM - open email

Jim Steele, honorable individuals of the San Francisco State University, others,

Since Jim and SFSU folks ignored my earlier emails I haven't bothered sharing new installments as they've developed.  But, we're at a point I owe you an update.

It does concern the reputation of San Francisco State University insofar as the public perception of your commitment to 'fidelity to the ethic of truthfully teaching current scientific understanding'... and, matters such as not lying about the facts; not engaging in character assassination to argue science, and such.

I'm no scholar so I don't have experience organizing this sort of document thus I'm doing a bit of flailing but trust I'll figure it out. -  What you should know is that after much time and effort I have gathered extensive evidence and I hope to be able to put together a coherent persuasive 'complaint' before too long.
Major issues I want to focus on?  
Slander of honorable professional scientists - is unacceptable ... 
Dismissal of the scientific understanding of greenhouse gas geophysics - is unacceptable given contemporary understanding ... 
Misrepresenting scientific studies - is unacceptable … 
The notion that "landscapes and natural cycles" dominate the global climate system within which they exist - is science fantasy, more deception than science ...
With that, and the following list of pertinent background blog posts, I wish you all good days till we meet again.

Sincerely, PM/CC

Jim has ignored my detailed critiques of his claims, he's ignored my evidence.  But he has posted about me within the protective confines of his echo-chamber.  

Here's a comparison of two different styles and attitudes toward learning - Mr. Steele's complete unaltered words along with my responses.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Clarifying Landscapesandcycles Dishonest Internet Sniping #1
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Clarifying Landscapesandcycles Smears and Internet Snipers #2
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

This is when I put my Steele/SFSU project aside and I went into a few weeks of letting it simmer, taking in new information and thinking about how best to explain myself, it's a work in progress for sure, but I'm getting closer.

Monday, May 11, 2015
Question: Best liar wins? re CC/Steele Debate
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

If Mr. Steele were sincerely into a Scientific Debate (the constructive type) here's a good place to start, it would establish a baseline upon which we could build.

Friday, January 30, 2015
Mr. Jim Steele, Can you clarify your argument?

A) That wildlife biologists working in extreme conditions and over continental landscapes make mistakes ?

B) Disputing that Anthropogenic Global Warming with it's profound changing climate driven landscapes alterations causes adverse cascading consequences for wildlife and eco-systems (read our biosphere) ?  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
I admit I've played hardball and have written some harsh words, but please consider the difference of insults/sins of exasperation compared to the tactical use of insults/sins to negate your opponent's information.  

Jim seems all venom and anger.  Then the extrapolations begin, as he frantically paints me with all the hideous suspicion he can muster.  Watts up with that?  Where's the humor, where's an acknowledgement of our fellow humanity, where's a little self-skepticism and dare I say touch of self-deprecation?

Saturday, February 7, 2015
Jim Steele watt's up with your venomous self-indignation?

Sunday, January 25, 2015
Dear Mr. Steele, regarding your 1/7/15 WUWT post - an open letter...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What's the scientist's ethic? What motivates scientists? Professor Alley

Gonna take a break from the dark side.  The University at Queensland and along with others put together a MOOC (massive open online course) called Denial101x.  It was a six week course that's wrapping up, but their excellent videos will remain available at YouTube.  They include many extended interviews with leading scientists explaining their work.  

I'm back here because I just finished listening to an interview with Richard Alley where he explained something very important, something that's rarely enunciated.  While Mr. Steele, for whatever motives, is building a career based on slandering scientists, deriding their motives, while implying they're incompetent  - Professor Alley explains what drives today's scientists.  This is what the real world looks like Jim.

18:20  Richard Alley:  We scientists do know where our funding comes from. We try to do research, which is responding to the desires of our funding agencies. If the government says, we, as the federal government, would like to know about x, we try to do the research to tell them. Just in terms of total money, if one were to compare, the biggest corporations tend to be fossil fuel things. Often they are not poor. Our impression as scientist is that if we were really, really interested in money, there would probably be other ways to do it.  

The structure of science—think for a minute about Newton and Einstein. Suppose that Einstein had stood up and said, "I have worked very hard. I have discovered that Newton got everything right and I have nothing to add." Would anyone ever know who Einstein was? 

Scientists, at some level, have to have a little bit of ego. The job description is very clear; It is learn what nobody else knows.

If you look at that and say, "All I want to do is cheer for other people," you're probably not going into that field. If you go in that field, there is a little bit of ego to learn what nobody else knows.  We've all got it however well we've amped it down.  

The idea that we wouldn't want to be Einstein—if we could overturn global warming, if we could prove that CO2 was not a greenhouse gas, if we could prove that we can burn all we want and not worry about it, how exciting would that be? How wonderful? How many prizes? How many people would invite me out to give talks if I could prove that you didn't have to worry about this? 

Is there any possibility that tens of thousands of scientist, there isn't one of them that's got the ego to do that? It's absurd. It's absolutely, unequivocally absurd. We're people. We've got it in us, the way people do.

The fact is that nature pushes us to the reality that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it's real. 

Here's the entire interview: