Thursday, May 26, 2016

HOTWHOPPER does Dave Burton's sea level claims


As promised earlier here is a reposting of a recent article written by Sou over at HotWhopper.com.  In it she takes a closer look Dave Burton's statements and then clearly explains how he's manipulated facts to fabricate his lying talking points. 
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Dave Burton wants to level the seas at WUWT
http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2016/04/dave-burton-wants-to-level-seas-at-wuwt.html

Over at WUWT, deniers are clutching at straws to continue to reject science in the face of all the "hottest evers". They really, really liked the last big El Nino in 1997-98, but they really, really dislike this current El Nino of 2015-16. It means they'll have to wait a while before they can start pointing to a drop in the surface temperature although Anthony Watts keeps jumping the gun and is excitedly telling his readers that a La Nina is just about here.

Here is some of what they got up to today, with a moan and lots of misdirection from a WUWT regular commenter called Dave Burton about another bane of deniers' existence - rising seas (archived here). But first, what's been happening...

TOPEX/JASON Sees 22-year Sea Level Rise


Published on Mar 9, 2016

This visualization shows total sea level change between 1992 and 2014, based on data collected from the TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, and Jason-2 satellites. Blue regions are where sea level has gone down, and orange/red regions are where sea level has gone up. Since 1992, seas around the world have risen an average of nearly 3 inches. 
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It's not a trick - sea level rise is accelerating

Dave Burton is complaining about a NASA web page on sea level. The chart at the top on the right hand side is from satellite readings. Remember, deniers love satellites in areas where the readings are difficult and have wide error margins, like lower tropospheric temperature. They don't like satellite readings when the error margins are smaller and the results don't suit their purpose, like sea level change. Here is the chart Dave didn't like:


NASA also showed a chart of sea level derived from tide gauge analysis from John Church and Neil White of the CSIRO, and didn't put up a big sign saying what the trend was. What Dave Burton didn't point out and maybe didn't even see, was that the chart only showed data to 2000. (I don't know why there isn't a plot using the most recent data.) Anyway, Dave probably missed seeing that because he didn't read the label in big letters, and didn't look at the x axis which was from 1870 to 2000:



So there's an entire article at WUWT all complaining that there wasn't a little sign up the top of the tide gauge data (to 2000) when there was a little sign about the satellite record (to 2016). Dave Burton's whiny WUWT article starts off with this piece of conspiracy theorising:

NASA’s tricky sea level newsletter
Anthony Watts / 6 hours ago April 7, 2016
Dave Burton writes:

Those NASA guys are tricky.

Click the “Update: Sea level change / Ocean rising at 3.42 mm per year” link in their latest Newsletter and you’ll see the big, bold “3.42 mm/yr” near the top of the web page, and two very similar-looking graphs of sea-level: one from satellites, and one from tide stations.

Since only one rate of sea-level rise is shown, the casual observer is likely to think that the same 3.42 mm/yr rate applies to both graphs. Here’s a screenshot:

Under the chart, Dave Burton says to "Look closer at the scales, and do the arithmetic". Pity he didn't take his own advice. The rate of change of the top chart is the rate of change for the period from 1993 to 2016. The rate of change of the bottom chart, or what Dave said he estimated, was for the period from "the late 1920s" to 2000. Those are different periods. Dave wrote:

Since the late 1920s it shows a slope of about 1.8 mm/yr, with no evidence of acceleration. But those tricky NASA guys scaled it to look like the slope is about the same as the first graph. It’s pretty obvious why they didn’t show a rate of sea-level rise for that graph.

Dave Burton's tricks

Dave Burton ranks highly on the conspiracy theory meter thinking NASA is out to trick deniers who don't know how to read a chart. What about the data? What tricks is Dave Burton trying to pull? :D

From the late 1920s to 2000 or so, the slope is 1.8 mm/year. From 1993 to 2016 the rise has been 3.42 mm/year. That means Dave is wrong. There is evidence of acceleration.

While deniers like to claim that the rate of sea level rise hasn't increased, if you go by what Dave Burton is saying, he's accepting there has been an acceleration of sea level rise. It used to be less than 2 mm a year and now it's up to 3.42 mm a year.

The paper by Church and White (2006) used tide gauge data through to 2001, with the data downloadable from the CSIRO website. In that paper the authors look at the data in different ways. For example, because there is a slope change, they wrote that you could: "do linear regressions on the two halves (1870– 1935 and 1936 –2001) of the record. The slopes are 0.71 ± 0.40 and 1.84 ± 0.19 mm yr 1 respectively". That 1.84 mm / year is close enough to Dave's estimate though the periods are slightly different.

The other thing is that Dave complains about adjustments to the tide gauge data. He wrote:

What’s more, the second graph is not really just from tide gauge data; it’s from tide gauge data inflated by a +0.3 mm/yr GIA “adjustment,” to subtract off the rate by which the sinking ocean floor is hypothesized to reduce sea-level rise. 

He reckons that this is wrong and that "The real rate of coastal sea-level rise from averaged tide gauge measurements is only about 1.4-1.5 mm/yr (under six inches per century), and that rate hasn’t increased since the late 1920s." He quoted from the website of some denier who referred to a NOAA tide gauge website, which reported "the absolute global sea level rise is believed to be 1.7-1.8 millimeters/year". That looks to be in need of an update. But more importantly, Dave saw fit to subtract the GIA adjustment from the NOAA data when it wasn't applied in the first place. He's a double adjuster.

There's sea level rise and there's sea level rise

There are at least two main reasons for people wanting to know about sea level rise:
  • Coastal planning and management
  • Monitoring global climate change
The thing is that for coastal planning, what people want to know is how much and how fast the sea will encroach on the coastline. They need to know the sea level relative to the local land. That will vary depending on where you are. The NASA website Dave was moaning about is for global climate change. (In case you missed it there's a big clue on the top left of the web page.) In that case the information needed is how fast are the oceans filling up? How quickly is ice melting. How quickly is the warmer water expanding? That's a different purpose and scientists need to have an indication of the change in the total volume of water in the world's oceans. That's why they allow for glacial isostatic adjustment.

Dave doesn't want to adjust the global tide or other sea level data to allow for glacial isostatic changes? What about barometric adjustments - does he approve of that? What about slippage where the tide gauge sinks or rises relative to the land surface? Does he want that adjusted for? Why doesn't he just pull a number out of the air and claim that the seas are falling? I think that probably what is happening, apart from Dave wanting to reject any and all climate science, is that he is mixing up the data and the purpose for which the data are used.

If he's concerned about the coast where he lives, then he'll need local information more than global. Different coastlines have markedly different rates of rising and sinking relative to the sea level. There's been a lot of research into what happens around the world.

On the other hand, John Church and Neil White were researching global change in their more recent 2011 paper (as in previous papers). In the introduction they explain:

Correctly estimating historical sea-level rise and representing global ocean heat uptake in climate models are both critical to projecting future climate change and its consequences. The largest uncertainty in projections of sea-level rise up to 2100 is the uncertainty in global mean sea level (GMSL) and thus improving estimates of GMSL rise (as well as regional variations in sea level) remains a high priority.

The fact that they were looking at global change, not local change, is why they allowed for glacial isostatic adjustment, and wrote:

Here, the ongoing response of the Earth to changes in surface loading following the last glacial maximum were removed from the tide-gauge records using the same estimate of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA; Davis and Mitrovica 1996; Milne et al. 2001) as in our earlier study (Church et al. 2004). 

John Church and Neil White know what they are doing. They tested for all sorts of things and added that they even tested for the impact of the changes in dam storage, writing:

We tested the impact of correcting the tide-gauge measurements for terrestrial loading and gravitational changes resulting from dam storage (Fiedler and Conrad 2010). For the large number of tide gauges used in the period of major dam building after 1950 (mostly over 200), the impact on global mean sea level is only about 0.05 mm year−1 (smaller than the 0.2 mm year−1 quoted by Fiedler and Conrad, which is for a different less globally-distributed set of gauges). Tests of similar corrections for changes in the mass stored in glaciers and ice caps, and the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets show that these effects have an even smaller impact on GMSL.

Glacial isostatic adjustment

If you're wondering about glacial isostatic adjustments, there's some information on the U Colorado sea level page. What it is is the mantle is still responding to the reduction in ice cover from around 20,000 years ago. Ice is heavy. When it melts, it means that some land surfaces pop up higher and the bottom of some oceans are falling relative to the Earth's centre. In other words, the oceans are getting bigger. If it wasn't for global warming, the sea level would be falling if there were no change in the actual volume of sea water. The CU Sea Level Research Group said in 2011 that "Including the GIA correction has the effect of increasing previous estimates of the global mean sea level rate by 0.3 mm/yr."

Meg Rosenburg submitted a video to the 2013 AGU student contest on the subject of glacial isostatic adjustment, which will give you some idea of the cause and effects:

AGU Student Video Contest: Rebound: An Earth Story 




Published on Jul 8, 2013
Submitted By: Margaret Rosenburg

Description: My submission is an education video about glacial isostatic adjustment, why we have glacial and interglacial periods, how we can reconstruct climate history, and how the Earth is responding to the retreat of the continental glaciers. I found that this topic brings together a lot of different areas of study relevant to AGU, from geophysics, to orbital mechanics, to geochemistry.

If you have the time, there are 17 videos from the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level 80th Anniversary Workshop on Sea-Level Science, including one specifically on glacial isostatic adjustment, by Giorgio Spada.

How much has the volume of ocean water changed?

You can see the chart in Figure 1 up top to see how much the volume of water in the ocean has changed in recent years. On the CSIRO website there's a data update of Church and White (2011), which goes up to 2013 for tide gauges and 2014 for satellite (altimeter), and is plotted below. The data are available at different levels of detail. I've just plotted the annual data. The faint grey lines are the upper and lower error margins for the tide gauge data. I've added linear trend lines for different periods as shown in the legend and on the chart. (Hover over the chart to see more detail):


It's obvious from the above that the rate of sea level rise has been increasing. However the CSIRO website has a caution and a reference to a workshop. I'm not sure what it means, but I'll copy it below:

We are currently attempting to more thoroughly evaluate the methodology and to improve the reconstruction so that it better represents the variability (Legresy et al., Workshop on Global and Regional Sea Level variability and change, Mallorca, Spain, June 2015).

Here is a video of an interview with John Church, at that workshop in Spain

SLR2015 Interviews: Dr. John Church

Published on Nov 12, 2014

Dr John Church’s record in sea-level rise research, with CSIRO colleagues, the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, and international climate science agencies, has helped generate a new benchmark in understanding the science and issues of sea-level rise.

Dr Church is coordinating lead author of the Sea Level Change chapter of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. As the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation, Michel Jarraud, highlights in his foreword: 'The findings in this book will help set priorities for research and for observational activities over the next decade that will contribute to future assessments of the IPCC. In turn, improvements in these assessments will better inform governments, industry and society in their efforts to formulate sound mitigation an adaptation responses to rising greenhouse gas concentrations and sea level, and their economic and social consequences.'

More about sea level changes


As well as the videos I talked about earlier, there's the 2011 video with Jerry X. Mitrovica of Harvard, in which he addresses some of the false claims by fake sceptics. (He also says what many of us have found, that by investigating denier's claims, you can learn much.)

I recommend these two Mitrovica talks, fascinating and eye opening.


Postmodern Geophysics and Ice Age Climate
Published on May 14, 2014
Lecture given at Oregon State University on May 9, 2014 by Jerry X. Mitrovica


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In Search of Lost Time: Ancient Eclipses, Roman Fish Tanks and the Enigma of Global Sea Level Rise

Distinctive Voices


Uploaded on Aug 17, 2010

What do ancient eclipse records kept by Babylonian, Chinese, Arabic and Greek
scholars, and fish tanks, built by wealthy Romans during100BC-100AD, contribute to our understanding of modern climate change? Dr. Jerry X. Mitrovica will describe the important role these archaeological treasures have played in the understanding of sea-level rise and how they help scientists both "fingerprint" sources of recent sea level changes and make more accurate projections of future sea levels.


Jerry X. Mitrovica, Ph.D., is a Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University, a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and the Director of the Earth Systems Evolution Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Seamonster does Dave Burton's sea level claims.

It's only by luck of being rained out that I've had a couple days to work on investigating and responding to Dave Burton's challenge.  In the process I've found that he's gotten around and that others have put effort into pointing out Dave's many calculated deceptions.  Since I don't know when I'll be able to finish working on Dave's comments, I figure I might share this from June of 2012.  It demonstrates quite clearly what kind of disingenuous character we are dealing with here.  (hopefully tomorrow I'll have time to repost http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2016/04/dave-burton-wants-to-level-seas-at-wuwt.html
another eye opener.)


The NC sea level rise saga: reply to Dave Burton
Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2012 

Dave Burton of NC 20 published a reply here to recent post I did about natural and human-caused sea level rise, “Sea Level Rise 101“. This is a reply to his post and a clarification of some of his many misconceptions about sea level rise science.

I want to start by saying that my interests in the NC sea level rise issue are not at all political. I am neutral on what coastal communities should do as adaptation measures to sea level rise and other impacts of climate change. I also have mixed opinions about what role the state and federal government should play in such social adaptation (i.e., I am not condoning any changes in coastal regulatory policy). My only interest in this issue is science and truth. The people of North Carolina – indeed the members of NC 20 – should know about the real science of sea level rise. Not the junk science being created and promoted by climate change deniers like Dave Burton and John Droz, Jr.

Now, on to Dave’s response. First up, this graphic:

ncdave4life IPCC "Expert" Reviewer and battle of the Lists

Looking at ncdave's next comments over at CC, he confides, "Disclosure: I was an Expert Reviewer on the IPCC's AR5 Report." and we come to find out we're dealing with Dave Burton creator of the faux-science "sealevel.info" blog.  The guy believes Heartland is the scientific gold standard.  Come on, look at their mission statement, it has nothing to do with understanding our planet.  Policy advocacy is all they are concerned with.  That's not science, that's power-politics PR games.  

Dave's big on conspiracy ideation against established science and he believes Heartland's incestuous little NIPCC is more reliable than the thousands of reports and studies that have gone into the IPCC reports.  And he's got the list to prove it, that's why I've included AGW Observer's 'Anti-AGW papers debunked' list after our excursion into Mr. Burton's expert comment.

You may ask what qualifies Dave to be an IPCC "Expert Reviewer"?  Turns out, he doesn't need any qualification, just enough interest to sign up with the IPCC.  As Tim Lambert explained “Expert reviewer for the IPCC” doesn't mean that they asked him to review material – all it means is that he asked to see the draft report. The only real requirement to be a reviewer is to sign an agreement not to publicly comment on the draft.” (see http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/05/09/you-too-can-be-a-leading-clima/) - or to be formal:
1. First Order Draft: Expert Review 
… Experts who have not received an invitation but would like to review the draft are able to advise the Working Group Technical Support Units of this. Expert reviewers are issued with a username and password to access the first order drafts online.- See more at: https://www.nzclimatechangecentre.org/ipcc/expert_review#sthash.lMdGC94d.dpuf
A little investigation at https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/drafts/Ch00_WG1AR5FOD_RevCommResponses_Final.pdf revealed that Dave Burton is credited with one comment, the IPCC's response is must reading.  (Actually two, but the first was an error message.)

IPCC Review - Comment number 0-12
(Mr. Burton writes)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

#1 considering malicious mischief in action: ncdave4life

I have a three year old post over at my CC site, "Jerry Mitrovica: The Fingerprints of Sea Level Change... the video" and in the past few days it's received a half dozen comments from one ncdave4life, who disputes Dr. Mitrovica's conclusions with echo-chamber science.  Ncdave's comments are tricky-dick affairs loaded with coding that blossoms when approved and posted.  Since I'm not into those sorts of devious games, and WUWTW is not a billboard for contrarian lies I've kept the rest of his onslaught in moderation until I have the time to review them.  Since today is an unexpected day off I'm going to look at his first comment.

To me his work seems another excellent example of devious rhetoric intent on dumbing down readers, that goes beyond the realm of healthy constructive dialogue and "free speech' and into the realm of malicious mischief that ought to be legally actionable.  I believe this ncdave4life has provided me with excellent examples of "criminal negligent" in action, as argued by Professor Lawrence Torcelloand written about at "Is misinformation about climate science criminally negligent?" - I want to be clear - though I often bring up Professor Torcello's work, this is my independent reading and my arguing his case is totally unaffiliated with the professor's own work.

Among ncdave's dishonest tricks in this first comment, are dismissing AGW's hand in damaging and threatening global agricultural productivity with a chart of six US states and their agricultural productivity that ends at 2004.  As if the past dozen years can be ignored, or that six US states are a proxy for the global situation.

Furthermore, he fantasizes a struggle going on between plants and animals for available oxygen and CO2 and that society increasing atmospheric CO2 level is a good thing.  Conveniently ignoring the heat issue; and the resultant biosphere disruption; and ocean acidification damaging and disrupting our ocean's food web.  That's the short version, now on to DB's own words:
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ncdave4life said…
Your complaint that I “don’t allow for comments” on my critique is misplaced. I first posted my comments on YouTube, on Prof. Mitrovica’s video. The reason you can’t see them there, and respond to them, is that the NAS won’t let you. If the NAS hadn’t “ghosted” my comments on Prof. Mitrovica’s video, you could have responded there. But they don’t allow critical comments there, so I posted my comments on my own web site.
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 which does not allow critical comments either.  

Why do I already sense you are an adept at the art rationalizing?
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ncdave:  My sealevel.info web site is not a blog. It doesn’t run Wordpress or any other CM or blogging software, so there’s no provision for reader comments. But if you (or anyone else) find any errors, please let me know, and I will correct them. (highlight added)
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I'm finding all sorts of mistakes, we'll see if DB's word is worth anything.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Crisis of Life, considering what AGW means. Stephen Schneider


I'm ever amazed at how little has changed so far as human thinking and the public discourse is concerned.  Most of us continue to have no conception of, nor interest in, this thing we live on, planet Earth, nor for the biosphere we depend on for everything, nor for how all that is intimately tied to the state of our climate system.
  
The Republican/libertarian crowd has staked their existence on digging ever deeper into their Faith-Based reason-hating alternate reality.  A place where the state of our planet's health shrinks to irrelevance, while their self-pity and self-interest inflates to consume their entire world outlook.  As for those who see our Earth differently, who appreciate it's interwoven folds within folds of complexity and dynamic balance, well we're seen as their enemies.  

It all seems stupid and counterproductive, hopeless even.  I can't understand why so few are speaking out and complaining about that general acceptance of lies, slander and irrelevant emotion charged distractions in a discussion of such profound consequences. 

Lately work commitments have really piled up so my engagement with the AGW dialogue is pretty much shrunk down to quickie responds to those depressingly childish YouTube comments and my CFI 'hangout' - it bothers me that I can't focus on writing more, but hey, it's nice to still be in demand, and the jobs have been interesting, so I'm not complaining,… not too much.  That's why I want to compensate by sharing some deep thoughts on the topic from someone who Presidents took advice from. 

You see a couple days ago I came upon one of Stephen Schneider's last talks.  Sad to think he's been gone nearly six years already.  It was also sad to see how few people had viewed the video, because here's another example of what a scientist sounds like, and this scientist was among the most knowledgeable of the old timers.  He was also unfettered by professional constraints, since he knew this was among his last opportunities to share and he's as worth listening to today as he was back then.  Even more so, considering how little among human thinking and attitude has actually changed these years and how important some of his insights are.

Stephen Schneider interview (1/2): 
Crisis of Life. Biodiversity Climate Change Tipping Points

Uploaded on Mar 23, 2011, by Crisis Of Life

One of Stephen Schneider's last interviews. He was one of the world's leading climatologists and an outspoken advocate of global treaties to reduce greenhouse gases.

Sadly, he died on 19 July 2010, exactly one month after this interview was recorded on 19 June in Taipei, Taiwan. We interviewed Stephen Schneider as part of our Crisis of Life interview series in which we get relevant scientists to talk about the biodiversity crisis in plain terms.

For more information, visit http://www.crisisoflife.net and follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter.

In part ONE of the interview, Stephen Schneider answered the following questions:
- Would you describe how you imagine the world will change within the next few decades? (0:40)
- We know that systems, such as the climate system, can be pushed for a while, and it seems like not much is happening. But once a threshold is crossed, the system tips to another state. Could you elaborate on this? (4:00) 
- One of the potential tipping points could be the effect of ocean acidification on ocean ecosystems, for example, coral reefs. Would you elaborate on this secondary effect of atmospheric greenhouse gases? (6:20) 
- Because the risks of global change are so large, is it not immoral to base our decisions on purely economic cost-benefit analyses? (10:40)
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Stephen Schneider interview (2/2): 
Crisis of Life. Biodiversity Climate Change Tipping Points


Uploaded on Mar 23, 2011, by Crisis Of Life

In part TWO of the interview, Stephen Schneider answered the following questions:
- Should we focus more on quality of life than on continuous economic growth, which on this limited planet starts to look more and more like cancerous growth? (0:40) 
- Climate and biodiversity researchers have suggested that protecting rainforests is a win-win-win strategy. Could you elaborate on this? (3:40) 
- How can people be convinced that we need some global rules, some global agreements, without being accused of wanting to establish an all-powerful world government? (7:00) 
- Talking about global governance, what would be your priorities, especially concerning biodiversity? (10:25)
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For more information on the man and his work:


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For something with a little more scientific meat on it, might I suggest the following where he get's into assessing rise and systems science.

Stephen H. Schneider,
Is the Science of Global Warming Settled Enough for Policy? October 2008

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y93aNFOLIg
UCSB Bren School


Dr. Schneider is the Inaugural Visitor in the Zurich Financial Services Distinguished Visitors Program on Climate Change. He is the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor of Biological Sciences, and a Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. From 1973-1996 he served as a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, where he co-founded the Climate Project. His research focuses on climate-change science, integrated assessment of ecological and economic impacts of human-induced climate change, and identifying viable climate policies and technological solutions. He has consulted for federal agencies and White House staff in six administrations.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Is CO2Science.org 'criminally negligent'? Why not consider it?


Is misinformation about climate science criminally negligent?  I'm reminded of Professor Lawrence Torcello's question by the dialogue I'm having with some characters at an interesting YouTube video of Professor Stephen Schneider directly communicating with climate science contrarian types.  

In any event, this comments thread keeps getting dragged back to CO2Science.org as though it were some gold standard, rather than the personal gold mine of the Idso clan, selling a deceptive and harmful fiction to a gullible public.  

All the while these commenters ignore the many huge differences between the internal variability driven "Medieval Warm Period" and today's atmosphere with it's vastly enriched (thanks to us) insulation medium which is holding more heat within our planet's global climate system, yes that would include the oceans.  They also insist that there's been no warming in the past 18 years, go figure.  

While researching my response to a comment I came upon "More for the annals of climate misinformation" where Alicia Newton does a good job of describing the dishonest manipulation of data that website is guilty of.  It makes me wonder why this sort of deliberate deception with far reaching political and societal consequences is so casually accepted.  

I've taken the liberty of reposting the text as a public service and hopefully an invitation to consider saying enough of the crafty lies, time to come to terms with the real world.  

I follow Newton's article with long tracts of another educational write up by Höskuldur Búi Jónsson who continues this exploration into the ways in which CO2Science.org artfully reweaves and repackages serious scientific information in a way that totally distorts the actual truth within that information.  This I follow with various bits of biographical information regarding CO2Science.org.
___________________________

19 Aug 2008 | written by Alicia Newton


I’m all for a website that distills climate science papers into something easily understood by the general public, especially if it avoids the hype and hysteria all too often employed by headline news.

Such is the claim of CO2 Science, a weekly newsletter published by the not for profit Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, with issues that include editorials, book and media reviews, and mini-reviews of the recent peer-reviewed literature.

But rather than its promise of “separating reality from rhetoric in the emotionally-charged debate that swirls around the subject of carbon dioxide and global change”, on the contrary CO2 Science twists the most recent science, ever so subtly, to suggest that there is no link between carbon dioxide levels and climate change.

For a case in point, check out the feature entitled “Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week”. This showcases records of temperature or environmental changes during the Medieval Warm Period (aka the Medieval Climate Anomaly). The conclusion is that if the MWP was warmer than present – still debated – obviously CO2 isn’t driving current warming. There is even a list of 576 scientists who have found evidence for the MWP – the thinly veiled conclusion being that they agree that an increase in CO2 isn’t behind the recent climate change.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Judge rules: Drs. Spencer, Lindzen, Happer are not credible expert witnesses!


So reports John Abraham (Professor of thermal and fluid sciences at the University of St. Thomas, Minn) in a recent UK Guardian story about this important milestone.  It's no great shock to anyone who's spent any time examining the claims of these Godfather's of 'science by echo-chamber, slander and misrepresentation'

To me it represents a small victory in the struggle to expose the fundamentally dishonest nature of these central luminaries of the Republican/libertarian PR machine.  The one dedicated to confusing the public and leaders about serious climate science among other important issues.

Lately, real life has kept me too busy for serious blogging, but this news is worth sharing.  Particularly after the past week and my depression caused by realizing that Mr. Trump actually will become the GOP standard bearer.  It was a nice reminder that some rationality still exists out there.  

Though that rationality seems tougher and tougher to find, watching supposedly "principled" Republican Party leaders eat all their grand principled words as they scurry to fall in line under Herrn Trump.  Principled Right-wing, indeed.  You aren't kidding us.

Following are quotes from Dr. Abraham's story, that I hope encourage you to link to the full story.  There you'll find all sorts of further links to various related stories and information.

Following that I tag on a report from Greenpeace: Exposed: Academics-for-hire agree not to disclose fossil fuel funding (It's no wonder the Republican crowd hate Greenpeace, but someone has to get the facts and evidence out there.).  Take a look at what drives this Dr. Happer.  

I wonder how my Republican pals would compare Happer's misdeeds with Dr. Mann's?  Then explain to me why Happer isn't being dragged out to be tarred and feathered, like they used to do in them good ol' days.

For the main story, I'll hand it off to Dr. Abraham:


Peabody coal's contrarian scientist witnesses lose their court case
Peabody Energy brought contrarians Spencer, Happer, and Lindzen to testify on their behalf, but the judge wasn’t convinced by their case


John Abraham | May 2, 2016

In Minnesota, an administrative hearing resulted in a judicial recommendation that will have impacts across the country. It was a case argued mainly between environmental groups (such as Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, and their clients Fresh Energy and the Sierra Club) and energy producers (such as the now-bankrupt coal company Peabody Energy) regarding what a reasonable social cost of carbon should be.

I was called as an expert witness in the case along with respected climate scientist Dr. Andrew Dessler. We were opposed by the well-known contrarians Drs. Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, and William Happer (who has recently received attention related to his charged fees in the case). (bold added) In full disclosure, Dr. Dessler and I were not paid for our work in the case. I recently wrote about the testimony and provided links to the testimonies submitted for the case. The judge’s recommendations and how they will impact energy decisions in the USA were the keys to this trial.

... A summary of the ruling can be found here and the full report is available here.