Sunday, September 21, 2014

Why bother to vote in USA's Nov 4th election ?

Recently I received a call from a local Democratic Party worker that went something like this: Hey Pete, how’s it going? Haven’t seen you around this campaign, we could really use some help at the office, any chance we can count on you coming down to lend a hand?
You see I’d been a slightly active Democrat, particularly the past decade, even attending the State Assembly and Convention thrice, twice as a delegate representing Hermosa, La Plata County, but this year nothing.
My friend was curious why the depression and lack of interest, what happened to me?
Well, Obama happened, yet another crushing disappointment for those who believed in his campaign talk. The man made assurances to We The People, but seldom fought for them once in office.
Admittedly, I believe that had we the people - I’m talking about regular educated citizens who possess humanist and rationalist instincts - been busy putting pressure on the President, he’d have acted more valiantly.
After all, it’s the votes and vocal grassroot voters who put The Backbone into our representatives but it seems we the people abandon our newly elected leaders as fast as our government abandons it’s peaceful commitments. Reminds me of the saying, “we get the government we deserve.”
Of course there’s also the Republican Party to consider, our one time loyal opposition which has morphed into some malicious hulk possessed by the single-minded desire to wreck Democratic Presidencies and to heck with our nation’s problems.
Think I’m exaggerating? For an introduction to the GOP’s disregard for our nation’s best interests you’ll find Robert Draper’s “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives” an interesting read.
Well then… having written all this, why am I not marching down to the Democratic Office to lend a hand and some cash?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Forget about the 97% consensus, focus on the 99.999% scientific certainty !

{edited 9/20/14}
In "the beat goes on" department.

Another study, this time, reevaluating data, incorporating information from multiple studies, using refined modeling approaches to crunch the numbers from all that extra data.  These authors make clear that humanity is having an ever greater impact on our global climate engine.  

And what is the reaction of our Republican/libertarian friends and fellow citizens?  Dig in deeper and allow their level of disconnect from understanding our life sustaining biosphere to drive them to down right crazy levels of claims. 

Think I'm exaggerating, spend some time reviewing the increasingly bizarre posts by our Mr. Anthony Watts, {which are then spread like astro-turf throughout the blogosphere in order to confuse an apathetic public}.  Sou at has been doing an excellent job of documenting Anthony's on-going war on rational learning. For instance,  Or consider Anthony's recent disingenuous claims against the National Geographic Magazine's reporting

But this post is about a new study that once again reconfirms what everyone who's been paying any sort of attention knows, we are seriously impacting our climate system.

I'll let the report speak for itself,  followed by the thoughts of some others:

Volume 3, 2014, Pages 1–12

A probabilistic analysis of human influence on recent record global mean temperature changes
Philip Kokic, Steven Crimp, Mark Howden

Monday, September 8, 2014

Disruption Climate Change film

I received an email this morning worth sharing, if you can help please do:

Jamie Henn -

Disruption is a short film about how we can change the world -- before the fossil fuel industry irreversibly changes the climate. It looks at how social movements of the past mobilized at decisive moments to shift the course of history, and applies those lessons to the decisive fight of this generation.

It features author and filmmaker Naomi Klein, CNN host and movement leader Van Jones, MSNBC's Chris Hayes, plus many more, including some of the key scientific voices sounding the alarm.

The film just went live -- click here to watch it online now:
Here’s the most exciting part of this story: it’s not finished yet. The next act will be written in the streets on September 21st, when the People's Climate March takes over New York (and cities across the globe).

This is the history we'll tell the next generation -- about the end of fossil fuels, about how the world was in crisis, about how we started to turn it around together.
Click here to see the first act … and get ready to write the next.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

97 hours of climate scientists courtesy of SkepticalScience - the rational folks

I look at plenty of folks who love telling us what the scientists have been saying, unfortunately too many of those folks are telling you what they think, or what they want you to believe scientists are saying.  How can anyone be sure what's what?

Why not listen to the actual scientists?

Here's a chance to learn about what actual scientists are saying about the consensus surrounding manmade global warming?  

Check it out:

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97 hours of consensus: caricatures and quotes from 97 scientists

Posted on 7 September 2014 by John Cook

Climate scientists from across the globe feature in our 97 Hours of Consensus campaign addressing one of the most significant and harmful myths about climate change. Each hour, beginning at 9am Sunday EST, September 7th, we'll publish a statement and playful, hand-drawn caricature of a leading climate scientist. Each caricature lists the scientists’ name, title, expertise and academic institution.
97 Hours of Consensus communicates the fact that 97% of climate scientists have concluded that humans are causing global warming. The research, conducted by scientists at The University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute, University of Reading, Michigan Technological University and Memorial University of Newfoundland found that 97% of relevant climate papers endorsed human-caused global warming. The paper was published in the academic journal Environmental Research Letters in May 2013.
In contrast, less than 10% of Americans are aware of the 97% consensus on climate change. This ‘consensus gap’ matters. When the public aren’t aware of the overwhelming scientific agreement on global warming, they’re less likely to support action to mitigateclimate change97 Hours of Consensus seeks to close the consensus gap.
The campaign begins on 9/7 (the date itself reinforcing the 97% consensus). An interactive webpage featuring the quotes and caricatures is available at

How You Can Help

  • Retweet our tweets, sent out via @skepticscience every hour for the next 97 hours. Tweet excerpts from your favourite quotes, using the #97Hours hashtag, or retweet your favourite caricatures (Raymond Pierrehumbert is a personal fave)
  • Share our Facebook posts, also published on the hour every hour.
  • Share our images posted on
  • Blog about #97Hours and embed our quotes/caricatures (which are all creative commons licenced and free to be republished)


97 Hours of Consensus began as a whim when I thought it might be cool to caricature 97climate scientists. I fast learnt what a big task I was taking on. This project was made possible by a dedicated collaborative effort by the Skeptical Science team. Tracking down short, pithy, stand-alone quotes from climate scientists is not as easy as it sounds and required digging through interviews, articles and long YouTube talks. Many thanks to Dana, Things Break, Rob Painting, Bob Lacatena, Sarah, John Hartz, Baerbel and Kevin C for helping track down the quotes. The task of posting a new cartoon every hour for 97 consecutive hours was made substantially more manageable by Doug Bostrom who automated much of the process. The amazing interactive webpage at was coded by Bob Lacatena. And this whole project wouldn't have been possible without the tireless collection and organizing of information by Baerbel.
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Since Anthony Watts took up a bunch of my time recently, I figured it would only be right to add this glimpse into who the man's brain operates.
Talk a look, you'll understand why I include the link here:

Conspiracy theorist Anthony Watts counting down to "sue the pants off"

Sou - September 6, 2014 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Anthony Watts attacks National Geographic Magazine

Or, Anthony Watts steps through the looking glass. 
National Geographic’s Warming Warning – 10 Years Later 
Anthony Watts / August 31, 2014 
Geoff Sherrington writes: National Geographic Magazine had a Global Warming issue in September 2004. New instruments have given new data. By planning now, NatGeo can make a revised issue 10 years later, in September 2014. 
The 2014 edition should aim to correct what is now known to be wrong or questionable in the 2004 edition. We can help. Here are some quotes that need attention. The first three have some commentary, as is suggested for the remainder.
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I find it ironic that Mr. Watts gets super offended when rationalists use the term "denier" to describe him, yet he shamelessly attacks the National Geographic magazine implying they made tons of mistakes in their 2004 feature issue on the coming dangers of climate change, or more accurately the global warming that is triggering significant climate changes.

As the informative links I share prove, an objective investigation reveals that he's plain wrong with his vague insinuation about how the National Geographic got it wrong.  I've already looked at the first three items of his list (here, here and here) - the only ones he managed to comment on, leaving it up to his troops to fill in the rest.  

Please notice the tactic being employed here - Anthony doesn't actually say or explain anything, except to imply most everything scientists have learned about our climate is wrong.  

Worse he does it with a malicious sales pitch that sends his Wattzers off into all corners of the blogosphere to spread this craziness with a disconnected certainty that's truly frightful, since it underscores the seeming hopelessness of reasoning with the Republican/libertarian mind.

I don't comment on most items, (I don't have forever to squander on the man), I've simply added links that will lead the curious student to up to date authoritative information regarding said items.

Also see: 
Deluded deniers: Will WUWT correct all its errors about National Geographic?
September 1, 2014

4. “But the recent rate of global sea level rise has departed from the average rate of the past two to three thousand years and is rising much more rapidly – a continuation or acceleration of that trend has the potential to cause striking changes…” P.19

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Anthony Watts about that Sea Level Rise

I had a chance to look at Anthony's next item sea level rise (SLR).  It appears Watts thinks because new satellite data is giving the closest look ever at the complexities of sea level rise, including unexpected surprises, that it somehow negates the measurements of the past century's documented sea level rise.  It doesn't make any sense to me, but I've learned that the creative science skeptic is an intellectual acrobat.

Consider the absolutism of their tactic: Expect perfection and impossible standards, reject everything that falls short of those expectations, then disregard everything that was learned.

That's the nut to crack.

National Geographic’s Warming Warning – 10 Years Later
Anthony Watts / August 31, 2014
Geoff Sherrington writes: National Geographic Magazine had a Global Warming issue in September 2004. New instruments have given new data. By planning now, NatGeo can make a revised issue 10 years later, in September 2014.
The 2014 edition should aim to correct what is now known to be wrong or questionable in the 2004 edition. We can help. Here are some quotes that need attention. The first three have some commentary, as is suggested for the remainder.
~ ~ ~
August 31, 2014 - 3. “… raising average global sea level between four and eight inches in the past hundred years.” P.19  
This estimate was conventional wisdom until the specialist satellite era, when measurement technology improved. 
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Measurement technology improved and now we have real time information down to minute day by day variations, but none of that changed our basic understanding of the past century's sea level rise.
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Anthony Watts / As the NOAA figure shows, Jason 1 (data from 2002) and Jason 2 (2009) have complicated the story, with data showing ocean levels falling at times. The Jason instruments were specifically designed for ocean level measurement. More time is needed before the modern estimate of ocean change can be calculated. 
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For your contrarian types no measurement will ever be accurate enough.  Still a rational evaluation of the graph does indicate continued rising sea levels, which isn't surprising considering the cryosphere keeps melting and ocean keeps warming.

Anthony Watts about those Glaciers on Kilimanjaro

This is the second installment in what might be a new series looking at Anthony Watts latest cynical lashing out at the National Geographic magazine in his continuing campaign of creating divisiveness and confusion in order to derail all attempts at a rational learning process aimed at confronting anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.  

Anthony always goes for the sensational, the polarizing, the fabricated scandals, misrepresenting clear evidence and facts, displaying a certitude about his opinions that indicates a faith-based attitude towards this planet and humanity's place in it - 

a mentality not in keeping with good faith learning, which is what the practice of science is all about.

Now Anthony's picking on Al Gore, with that Mt. Kilimanjaro canard, but I'll let Anthony speak for himself.  I'll follow him with a few links and quotes from informative articles that will help the interested student understand what kind of game is being played by the Wattzers.

National Geographic’s Warming Warning – 10 Years Later
Anthony Watts / August 31, 2014
Geoff Sherrington writes: National Geographic Magazine had a Global Warming issue in September 2004. New instruments have given new data. By planning now, NatGeo can make a revised issue 10 years later, in September 2014.

The 2014 edition should aim to correct what is now known to be wrong or questionable in the 2004 edition. We can help. Here are some quotes that need attention. The first three have some commentary, as is suggested for the remainder.
1. “The famed snows of Kilimanjaro have melted more than 80% since 1912.” P.14 
This might have been correct at the time of writing pre-2004, but by 2008 Ms Shamsa Mwangunga, the minister for Natural Resources and Tourism in Tanzania wrote ”contrary to reports that the ice caps were decreasing owing to effects of global warming, indications were that the snow cover on Africa’s highest mountain were now increasing”." 
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That is still correct.  80% of the glaciers have melted - no glacial mass has been added !