Free Markets, Free People

Science


Damn global warming!

This … this … this just can’t be!

Antarctica has broken the record for the greatest sea ice extent ever measured at either pole. If current trends continue, the Earth will be completely covered with ice much faster than the climate models predicted.

It has to be nonsense, right?  Is it the Onion?  We all know ice is melting and sea levels are rising … the media tells us so.  And then there’s Al Gore, the voice of reason.  We all know this can’t be true.  Just ask us:

OK, so the floating Arctic ice cap appears to be shrinking. Catastrophe if it goes on, right? As white ice reflects heat into space, past a certain point more and more heat will not be reflected, more and more ice will melt. Past such a “tipping point”, the ice cap would never recover – it would vanish completely, taking with it the ice cover of Greenland which would cause huge rises in sea levels and Biblical flooding worldwide. Not so much, according to the latest research by German climate scientists.

Really?  You mean, the ice isn’t melting?  The world won’t flood?  It’s not getting warmer?

What’s that you say?  You have actual science to back that up?

Real world measurements are the best tools we have at our disposal to monitor what impacts, if any, our use of fossil fuels is having on earth’s climate. Measured temperature increase has stopped for over a decade despite large increases in carbon dioxide. Loss and gain of sea ice in the Arctic is directly tied to cycles of warming and cooling ocean temperatures. Antarctic sea ice is increasing. Antarctic temperature is not increasing. The number of hurricanes around the world is not increasing and the strength of hurricanes worldwide is decreasing.

Antarctica’s temperature is not increasing?  You’ll probably claim sea temperatures haven’t risen either:

Using data from the Climatic Research Unit of the UEA, it appears sea surface temperatures may explain Antarctic Sea Ice at record levels. SST in the southern hemisphere have a cooling trend of -0.068C per decade over the last 15 years.

Oh, my.  The sea has been cooling for all these years?  But what evidence do you have that there’s more ice?

Global average sea levels fell by 5mm last year, presenting an inconvenient fact in a climate change narrative that warns of severe long-term threats to coastal settlements. The 5mm decline was almost twice the rate of the 3mm-a-year average increase recorded over the past 20 years and three times the 130-year average rise rate of 1.7mm a year.

Wow … so how do we hide that decline?

Just askin’

~McQ
Twitter: McQandO
Facebook: QandO


Oxygen isotope ratio cycles support skeptical climate change view

Anthony Watts publishes the following chart over at Watts Up With That:

O18

It has nothing at all to do with CO2 but instead with Oxygen isotopes (O18).  Why is that significant in the climate debate?

Oxygen isotope ratio cycles are cyclical variations in the ratio of the abundance of oxygen with an atomic mass of 18 to the abundance of oxygen with an atomic mass of 16 present in some substances, such as polar ice or calcite in ocean core samples. The ratio is linked to water temperature of ancient oceans, which in turn reflects ancient climates. Cycles in the ratio mirror climate changes in geologic history.

Connection between temperature and climate

The 18O/16O ratio provides a record of ancient water temperature. Water 10 to 15 °C (18 to 27 °F) cooler than present represents glaciation. As colder temperatures spread toward the equator, water vapor rich in 18O preferentially rains out at lower latitudes. The remaining water vapor that condenses over higher latitudes is subsequently rich in 16O.[2]Precipitation and therefore glacial ice contain water with a low 18O content. Since large amounts of 16O water are being stored as glacial ice, the 18O content of oceanic water is high. Water up to 5 °C (9 °F) warmer than today represents an interglacial, when the 18O content of oceanic water is lower. A plot of ancient water temperature over time indicates that climate has varied cyclically, with large cycles and harmonics, or smaller cycles, superimposed on the large ones. This technique has been especially valuable for identifying glacial maxima and minima in the Pleistocene.

Steve McIntyre notes:

Oxygen isotope series are the backbone of deep-time paleoclimate. The canonical 800,000 year comparison of CO2 and temperature uses O18 values from Vostok, Antarctica to estimate temperature. In deep time, O18 values are a real success story: they clearly show changes from the LGM to the Holocene that cohere with glacial moraines.

[…]

Given the high reliance on O18 series in deep time, one would think that paleoclimatologists would be extremely interested in a publication of the Law Dome O18 data and be pressuring Tas van Ommen on this point.

[…]

But despite the apparent opportunity offered by Law Dome, there has been virtually no technical publication of a high-resolution O18 or delD isotope series.

That’s not to say, however, it wasn’t offered:

On its face, Law Dome, which was screened out by Gergis and Karoly, is an extraordinarily important Holocene site as it is, to my knowledge, the highest-accumulation Holocene site yet known, with accumulation almost 10 times greater than the canonical Vostok site. (Accumulation is directly related to resolution: high accumulation enables high resolution.) The graphic below compares glacier thickness for some prominent sites for three periods: 1500-2000, 1000-1500 and 0-1000. its resolution in the past two millennia is nearly double the resolution of the Greenland GRIP and NGRIP sites that have been the topic of intensive study and publication.

[…]

A Climategate email shows that Phil Jones asked about the omission of the Law Dome series from the IPCC illustration in the AR4 First Draft. I asked the same question about the AR4 Second Draft. They realized that the Law Dome graphic had an elevated medieval period and thus, including it in the graphic would – to borrow a phrase from the preparation of AR3 – would “dilute the message” and perhaps provide “fodder to skeptics”.

Why would it “dilute the message” and provide “fodder to skeptics”?  Well look at the chart.  A clearly defined Medieval Warm Period and no hockey stick.

Speaking of “inconvenient truths”.

Much more on the subject here.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Coal powered, er electric cars, not as efficient as EPA claims?

Why I’d be shocked, shocked I tell you if that was the case.

The tease:

The Green Machine is now exposing how the US Government can choose to create data that disobey the laws of thermodynamics so that the worthless government policy of favoring plug in vehicles over gas or diesel powered vehicles can be supported by the public. Yes the US EPA chooses to make 34.4% equal to 100%.

Hmmm … I’m hooked, let’s see why:

The EPA allows plug in vehicle makers to claim an equivalent miles per gallon (MPG) based on the electricity powering the cars motors being 100% efficient. This implies the electric power is generated at the power station with 100% efficiency, is transmitted and distributed through thousands of miles of lines without any loss, is converted from AC to DC without any loss, and the charge discharge efficiency of the batteries on the vehicle is also 100%. Of course the second law of thermodynamics tells us all of these claims are poppycock and that losses of real energy will occur in each step of the supply chain of getting power to the wheels of a vehicle powered with an electric motor.

So the 118 mpg equivalent that the EPA allows the Honda Fit is nonsense?  Tell me it ain’t so!

Well it is simple the US EPA uses a conversion factor of 33.7 kilowatt hours per gallon of gasoline to calculate the equivalent MPG of an electric vehicle.

Dr. Chu Chu of the Department of Entropy is instructing the EPA on thermodynamics in coming up with the 33.7 kwh per gallon. On a heating value of the fuel 33.7 kwh equals 114,984 BTUS which is indeed the lower heating value of gasoline. The fit needs 286 watt hours to travel a mile and the Green Machine agrees with this for the 2 cycle US EPA test with no heating, cooling or fast acceleration. Using this amount of energy per mile and the 33.7 kwh “contained” in a gallon of gas, the EPA calculates the Fit gets 118 MPG equivalent.

All of these calculations are in fact flawed as the generation of electricity, the transmission and distribution of electricity, the conversion of the AC electricity into DC electricity, and the charging and discharging of the vehicle batteries all have energy losses associated with these activities. The average efficiency of power generation is perhaps 42.5%, the transmission and distribution efficiency is perhaps 90%, the AC to DC conversion and the battery charge discharge efficiency is about 90%. Multiplying all these efficiencies one can calculate that the overall efficiency is 34.4% to get electric power from fuels at the power station into stored electrons within the plug in vehicle’s batteries.

On this basis the 118 MPG equivalent is 40.6 MPG actual for the Honda Fit which is not much of an improvement to the gasoline version of this vehicle that has an EPA rating of 35 MPG combined for city and highway driving.

Uh, that’s quite a little downgrade in performance, isn’t it?  Nothing like being 190% off, EPA.

However, I am glad to see the administration has finally taken the politics out of science and has “real” science again serving the public’s best interest.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Climate change skeptics have “the highest degrees of science literacy and technical reasoning capacity”

Shocking I know.  In fact the findings are exactly the opposite of what those doing the study expected to find (via Nature.com):

As respondents’ science-literacy scores increased, concern with climate change decreased (r=−0.05, P=0.05). There was also a negative correlation between numeracy and climate change risk (r=−0.09, P<0.01). The differences were small, but nevertheless inconsistent with SCT, which predicts effects with the opposite signs.

[…]

Contrary to SCT predictions, higher degrees of science literacy and numeracy are associated with a small decrease in the perceived seriousness of climate change risks.

Or to simplify, the difference between the believing herd and thinking individualists. 

Speaking of the herd vs individualists, that takes us to the second claim:

If cultural cognition is merely a heuristic substitute for scientific knowledge and system 2 reasoning, reliance on it should be lowest among those individuals whose scientific knowledge and system 2 reasoning capacity are highest. SCT thus implies that as science literacy and numeracy increase, the scepticism over climate change associated with a hierarchical individualistic world-view should lessen and the gap between people with hierarchical individualistic world-views and those with egalitarian communitarian ones should diminish.

Not valid:

Among egalitarian communitarians, science literacy and numeracy (as reflected in the composite scale Science literacy/numeracy) showed a small positive correlation with concern about climate change risks (r=0.08, P=0.03). In contrast, among hierarchical individualists, Science literacy/numeracy is negatively correlated with concern (r=−0.12, P=0.03). Hence, polarization actually becomes larger, not smaller, as science literacy and numeracy increase.

Contrary to SCT’s predictions, highly science-literate and numerate hierarchical individualists are more sceptical, not less, of climate change risks.

These results won’t slow down the alarmists or stop them from calling skeptics scientifically illiterate.  But it will allow skeptics to laugh in their face when they do.

Another in a long line of alarmist myths about AGW put to death by …. science.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


New UN IPCC report drops AGW as the cause of climate change

Roger Pielke Jr notes that the new IPCC report covering climate change seems to take the skeptical argument to heart and stick much more closely to actual facts and what is really known  empirically.  Says Pielke:

The full IPCC Special Report on Extremes is out today, and I have just gone through the sections in Chapter 4 that deal with disasters and climate change. Kudos to the IPCC — they have gotten the issue just about right, where "right" means that the report accurately reflects the academic literature on this topic. Over time good science will win out over the rest — sometimes it just takes a little while.

His examples from the report:

A few quotable quotes from the report (from Chapter 4):

-"There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change"

-"The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic climate change holds for tropical and extratropical storms and tornados"

-"The absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses"

The report even takes care of tying up a loose end that has allowed some commentators to avoid the scientific literature:

-"Some authors suggest that a (natural or anthropogenic) climate change signal can be found in the records of disaster losses (e.g., Mills, 2005; Höppe and Grimm, 2009), but their work is in the nature of reviews and commentary rather than empirical research.

Maybe he’s right.  Maybe, finally, science will “win out”.  And I also hope that the administration that has said it will use science in its policy making process will now actually do so. 

Hello, EPA?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Fraudulent attack on Heartland Institute exposes Alarmist desperation

Sometimes it is interesting to let a story play out for a couple of day to see what’s what.  A couple of days ago I noticed a story on a blog which supports the Goresqe AGW nonsense with a story headlined “Heartland Insider Exposes Institutes Budget and Strategy”.

Listed under the story are a number of documents which Desmog Blog claims to be from an email package sent to contributing members of the Heartland Institute.

I sent the link to Jim Lakely, an old friend and communications director at Heartland.  I’ve known Jim for years and wondered if he’d seen the story at the link.

He wrote back quickly saying “yes” he’d seen it and it appears that one of the documents is a fake. 

That’s about the time I decided to sit back and watch while taking the time to read the documents for myself.  For most of them, nothing was particularly surprising and certainly there was nothing particularly damning.  If you’re familiar with the Institute, everything mentioned in the documents was pretty well known except perhaps some of the donor information Desmog chose to expose.  Obviously it was too important in their opinion to release the information quickly (apparently they released it within hours of getting  it) and to heck with privacy concerns.  These are the “bad guys” for heaven sake.  They don’t deserve the same rights or respect Desmog would most likely demand for themselves.  After all, they take money from the Koch brothers.

But to the fake document.  You can see it here.

What was missing from this collection of documents was something really damning.  Something Desmog and their ilk could point too and condemn the Heartland Institute.

Well, conveniently, there was this “confidential memo” which fit the bill perfectly.  It made statements like this:

Development of our "Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms" project [emphasis original].
Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science. [emphasis mine]

After reading that, you’re supposed to believe that the dastardly Heartland Institute is against teaching science and, of course the further implication is that AGW is “science” while the skeptical side is anti-science.  Of course that belies the fact that the Heartland sponsored climate conference this year, open to everyone, was billed as “returning the scientific method” to climate science, not abandoning it.

And can you imagine pitching “dissuading teachers from teaching science” to donors who have previously sponsored your effort to get the complete science out there?

Warren Meyer comments at Forbes:

For those of us at least somewhat inside the tent of the skeptic community, particularly the science-based ones Heartland has supported in the past, the goal of “dissuading teachers from teaching science” is a total disconnect.  I have never had any skeptic in even the most private of conversations even hint at such a goal.  The skeptic view is that science education vis a vis climate and other environmental matters tends to be shallow, or one-sided, or politicized — in other words broken in some way and needing repair.  In this way, most every prominent skeptic that works even a bit in the science/data end of things believes him or herself to be supporting, helping, and fixing science.  In fact, many skeptics believe that the continued positive reception of catastrophic global warming theory is a function of the general scientific illiteracy of Americans and points to a need for more and better science education.

Is the Heartland Institute developing such a curriculum?  Yes.  Is it designed to point out that the topic is “controversial and uncertain” and therefor be used to dissuade teachers from teaching “science”.  Hardly … what’s the point in developing the curriculum then?

In fact the curriculum is designed to present those parts of the science of climate change that don’t fit or contradict the faith based nonsense being taught and pushed by the alarmist side.   You know, the “inconvenient truths”.  Controversy and uncertainty have and always will be a part of science, but certainly nothing which would stop it from being taught.  This Rather-gateish attempt is the left trying to discredit an institution which has mounted a threat and is actually taking action against its alarmist creed.

Why do I compare it to Rather-gate?  Two reasons.  One, the fake doc.  Heartland acknowledged the authenticity of all the documents but one.  That document, it unequivocally stated, was a fake:

One document, titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy,” is a total fake apparently intended to defame and discredit The Heartland Institute. It was not written by anyone associated with The Heartland Institute. It does not express Heartland’s goals, plans, or tactics. It contains several obvious and gross misstatements of fact. [emphasis original]

Check out Anthony Watt’s analysis here.  You’ll see some Rather-gate like problems with the document.   Then read Megan McArdle’s (who, btw, is not a skeptic) total destruction of the memo

Finally, again to compare it to Rather-gate, at least one journalist has decided to cool it for the moment, given the document that is the most damning is said to be fake.  Heartland is pleased with that, however Warren Meyer made a little bet at the end of his Forbes piece:

If the strategy memo turns out to be fake as I believe it to be, I am starting the countdown now for the Dan-Rather-esque “fake but accurate” defense of the memo — ie, “Well, sure, the actual document was faked but we all know it represents what these deniers are really thinking.”  This has become a mainstay of post-modern debate, where facts matter less than having the politically correct position.

Andrew Revkin, the journalist in question, has indeed backed off for the moment, but:

Is Revkin himself seeking to win my fake-but-accurate race?   When presented with the fact that he may have published a fake memo, Revkin wrote:

looking back, it could well be something that was created as a way to assemble the core points in the batch of related docs.

It sounds like he is saying that while the memo is faked, it may have been someones attempt to summarize real Heartland documents.  Fake but accurate!  By the way, I don’t think he has any basis for this supposition, as no other documents have come to light with stuff like “we need to stop teachers from teaching science.”

Expect to see the argument that the document does indeed expose “the core points” when, in fact, it does nothing of the sort, but instead implies things not in evidence in order to discredit the Heartland Institute and characterize it as an activist organization instead of a think tank.  What this attack essentially says to me is that Heartland has finally achieved the level of “threat” to the AGW crowd.

Some things never change.

Well, except the climate.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


The call to control sugar sure sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

I’ve been writing about attempts like this for over 20 years.  Each time I do I remind people that much of the road to totalitarianism is paved with good intentions – well, at least sometimes.  This would be one of those times.

In this case I’m talking about a study claiming sugar is toxic and should be controlled by government.

I thought immediately of the climate debate (complete with modeling).  This is just a variation of the same sort of argument and solution.

More importantly, I thought of the saying above and reminded myself that since I began writing about these sorts of attempts 20 years ago a lot more paving stones have been laid in that road. 

Like ObamaCare. 

20 years ago an attempt such as this would have, for the most part, been laughed away.  Oh sure, some people have been pushing to have government control many things over the years.  But for the most part, the structure to justify and/or facilitate such grabs really wasn’t in place.  Much more of a totalitarian infrastructure now exists than did back then.

In the case of things like this, ObamaCare changed that game.  Because government has now passed a law which puts it in charge of controlling health care costs and requiring insurance of all Americans, it also is in the position to act to do what this law allows it to do legally – exert more control over our everyday lives.

What would have essentially been laughed away 20 years ago now has to be taken seriously.  We have to remind ourselves that the game has changed to the point that it isn’t at all inconceivable that something like controlling sugar and its intake through government aren’t at all as far-fetched as it once was.

To the details:

Lustig has written and talked extensively about the role he believes sugar has played in driving up rates of chronic illness such as heart disease and diabetes. Excessive sugar, he argues, alters people’s biochemistry, making them more vulnerable to metabolic conditions that lead to illness, while at the same time making people crave sweets even more.

It’s sugar, not obesity, that is the real health threat, Lustig and his co-authors – public health experts Laura Schmidt and Claire Brindis – say in their paper. They note that studies show 20 percent of obese people have normal metabolism and no ill health effects resulting from their weight, while 40 percent of normal-weight people have metabolic problems that can lead to diabetes and heart disease. They contend that sugar consumption is the cause.

In other words, not everyone gains a lot of weight from over-indulging in sugar, but a large proportion of the U.S. population is eating enough of it that it’s having devastating health effects, they say.

"The gestalt shift is maybe obesity is just a marker for the rise in chronic disease worldwide, and in fact metabolic syndrome, caused by excessive sugar consumption, is the real culprit," said Schmidt, a health policy professor who focuses on alcohol and addiction research.

Obesity is bad.  Sugar causes obesity.  Control sugar. (Global warming is bad.  CO2 causes global warming.  Control CO2)

Think through that formulation.  Does anyone actually believe that if we “control sugar like alcohol and tobacco” that we’ll suddenly solve the obesity problem?

Is it really obesity or is it more of a rich, indulgent and sedentary lifestyle where many eat well beyond the recommended daily calorie intake each and every day?

The solution?  Well, back again casting a glance at global warming, the same:

But while individuals certainly can make small changes to their diets to eat more nutritiously, that alone is not going to effect major public health improvements, Lustig and his co-authors said.

In their paper, they argue for taxes on heavily sweetened foods and beverages, restricting advertising to children and teenagers, and removing sugar-ladened products from schools, or even from being sold near schools. They suggest banning the sale of sugary beverages to children.

Since these “scientists” are sure you can’t manage your own health or that of your children and since they’re convinced that you have to be controlled, they’ll just use the tax system for what it should never be used for – to control behavior, force change, and penalize you if you don’t comply.  Sound familiar?

Who gets to decide what is “sugar-laden”?  Why?  Who the hell are they to make such a decision for you?

By the way, banning junk food at school simply has no effect on obesity per one study.

Now obviously this is in the beginning stages, the stage where this would have mostly been waved away 20 years ago.  But no more.  You have to take all of these attempts at removing choice, freedom and liberty seriously.   There are forever do-gooders out there who see no problem whatsoever in using the power of government to control your life for your own good (a variation of “for the children”) or at least their definition of “good”.

Laura Schmidt, one of the authors of the study which recommends controlling sugar uses those battles of 20 years ago, and the losses to good effect in her plea to us to voluntarily give up more choice and freedom:

We need to remember that many of our most basic public health protections once stood on the same battleground of American politics as sugar policy does today.

Simple things like requiring a seat belt and having an airbag in your car to save you in a crash were once huge political battles. Now, we take these things for granted as simple ways to protect the health and well-being of our communities.

Pretty straight forward plea, no?  And she has precedent with which to justify it.  While you may agree that seatbelts and airbags are good things, you may not agree that a government mandate for each is.

That’s where we are on this.  Her solutions seem benign and certainly a product of good intentions:

First, we think that the public needs to be better informed about the science of how sugar impacts our health.

Second, we need to take what we know about protecting societies from the health harms of alcohol and apply it to sugar.

What doesn’t work is all-out prohibition — that’s very old-school and often creates more problems than it solves.

What does work are gentle "supply side" controls, such as taxing products, setting age limits and promoting healthier versions of the product — like making it cheaper for a person to drink light beer rather than schnapps.

After the “light beer rather than schnapps” remark she says:

The reality is that unfettered corporate marketing actually limits our choices about the products we consume. If what’s mostly available is junk food and soda, then we actually have to go out of our way to find an apple or a drinking fountain. What we want is to actually increase people’s choices by making a wider range of healthy foods easier and cheaper to get.

Corporate marketing “limits our choices”?   Really?  I must have missed it then.  When I enter the local Kroger, the first section I walk into is produce – apples abound.  Its not hidden away somewhere with very few choices.  It’s a cornucopia of good stuff. 

In reality, there’s no limiting of choice by corporate marketing.  This is a false assertion.  But she knows the language of freedom and tries very hard to spin this attempt to limit yours.

And after that she gets to what she really wants.  “Gentle supply side controls?”

– Contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Congress to encourage them to take sugar off the Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) list. This is what allows food producers to add as much sugar as they want to the products we eat.

– Support our local, state and federal officials in placing a substantial tax on products that are loaded with sugar. Ask them to use the proceeds to support a wider range of food options in supermarkets and farmer’s markets.

– Help protect our kids by getting sports drinks and junk food out of our schools. Ask our school boards to replace those vending machines with good old-fashioned drinking fountains. Ask local officials to control the opening hours and marketing tactics of the junk food outlets surrounding our schools. That way, kids can walk to school without being barraged by advertising for sugary products that taste good but harm their health.

Again, follow the pattern set by the global warming crowd.  Get a normal respiratory gas which is naturally occurring declared a pollutant and then tax the crap out of it while mandating all sorts of controls on its emission.  Some pattern here.

Rick Moran wonders:

Why do liberals insist they are the only ones smart enough to not run out and buy everything being advertised on TV and the rest of us are just sheep being led to the slaughter by evil corporate marketers?

It is the premise under which much of this attempt to control founds itself.  There seems to be an innate belief that government must do much more than it does in order to protect the poor, dumb proles from themselves and their urges.

If you listen to the liberal side of the house, the Puritan ethic of self-discipline, delayed-gratification and hard work seem to have somehow died in the early 20th century to be replace by a self-indulgent, live-for-today bunch of slackers who need a controlling hand from above (it occurs to me that this study will probably be used to justify the sugar tariff).

Unfortunately there are always those ready to oblige. 

The real answer is the same as it has always been.  Again, Moran:

The answer is better parenting. Don’t indulge your children’s natural desire for everything to be sweet. The answer is balance – giving your kids healthy food while recognizing that kids adore sweets and, in moderation, are actually good for them. Keep an eye on processed foods and the sugar content. If you don’t know how to read a list of ingredients, learn.

People taking responsibility for their own health and the health of their families is what is needed. Not some draconian regimen that puts sugar in the same class as whiskey.

Unlike 20 years ago, you’d better take this seriously.  Again, it’s a fairly simple formula – freedom equals choice.  Limiting choice means limiting your freedom. As odd as this may sound, it’s an important principle:  Freedom means the right to make stupid mistakes or do stupid things of which other may disapprove.  Freedom means the right to fail.  As long as your stupidity and failure don’t violate the rights of others, then it is really none of their business.

This and all other attempts like it are designed to make this the business of others.  And, as usual, their solution is to limit freedom.

Fight it with everything you have.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Global cooling?

But, but, polar bears, rising oceans, melting ice, oh my:

The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years. The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century. Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

For those alarmists still stuck in the alarmist convenient “science” of the 20th century, this is the inconvenient scientific truth of this century … no warming despite the fact that man-made CO2 levels have gone up.  As David Rose remarks, “the ‘supposed’ consensus” is apparently wrong.article-2093264-1180A4F1000005DC-28_468x286

 

I’m sure you understand why this temperature data was released last week with little “fanfare”.  Had it been the opposite finding, we’d have been treated to a parade of alarmists again claiming that we need to tax ourselves back to the stone age in order to save the planet.

Oh, and remember that big, hot, yellow thing that hangs in the sky that I have mentioned repeatedly should be factored in to the “science” of global warming vs. being ignored? Henrik Svensmark, Denmark’s National Space Institute seems to feel the same way:

World temperatures may end up a lot cooler than now for 50 years or more. It will take a long battle to convince some climate scientists that the sun is important. It may well be that the sun is going to demonstrate this on its own, without the need for their help.

So alarmists can’t ignore this anymore.  They can’t fall back on consensus, because consensus isn’t science.  In fact, right now, given the new data, it is their reputations on the line, not that of the skeptics:

If temperatures continue to stay flat or start to cool again, the divergence between the models and recorded data will eventually become so great that the whole scientific community will question the current theories. The real issue is whether the model itself is accurate.

And, of course, indications are (many indications are) that they’re not.  For instance:

The responsible thing to do would be to accept the fact that the models may have severe shortcomings when it comes to the influence of the sun,’ said Professor Curry. As for the warming pause, she said that many scientists ‘are not surprised’.

he argued it is becoming evident that factors other than CO2 play an important role in rising or falling warmth, such as the 60-year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

‘They have insufficiently been appreciated in terms of global climate,’ said Prof Curry. When both oceans were cold in the past, such as from 1940 to 1970, the climate cooled. The Pacific cycle ‘flipped’ back from warm to cold mode in 2008 and the Atlantic is also thought likely to flip in the next few years .

Pal Brekke, senior adviser at the Norwegian Space Centre, said some scientists found the importance of water cycles difficult to accept, because doing so means admitting that the oceans – not CO2 – caused much of the global warming between 1970 and 1997.

One of the other indicators was to be found in the Lysenkoish conformity that was imposed on this branch of science by alarmists.

Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.

This is not the way science is supposed to work, but we have seen it before—for example, in the frightening period when Trofim Lysenko hijacked biology in the Soviet Union. Soviet biologists who revealed that they believed in genes, which Lysenko maintained were a bourgeois fiction, were fired from their jobs. Many were sent to the gulag and some were condemned to death.

Certainly dissenting scientists weren’t sent to actual gulags but attempts were to made banish them to academic gulags with their credentials in tatters.

16 scientists wrote the above two paragraphs and then reveal what drove this breech of the scientific method was, as we’ve mentioned before, pretty mundane and fairly obvious if you just took the time to look:

Why is there so much passion about global warming, and why has the issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society, from which Dr. Giaever resigned a few months ago, refused the seemingly reasonable request by many of its members to remove the word "incontrovertible" from its description of a scientific issue? There are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question "cui bono?" Or the modern update, "Follow the money."

Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow. Alarmism also offers an excuse for governments to raise taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that understand how to work the political system, and a lure for big donations to charitable foundations promising to save the planet. Lysenko and his team lived very well, and they fiercely defended their dogma and the privileges it brought them.

These 16 scientists also give a little political advice that should be heeded:

Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world’s economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically.

No compelling scientific argument? 

See above.

For 15 years the earth has not been warming even while man-made CO2 levels have risen. 

That’s scientific fact and it is time the alarmist crowd began dealing straight with the public using facts.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Obama’s Climate Change Plan: Barter away your Grandchildren’s money, legislate away yours

Todd Stern, the Obama administration’s “Special Envoy for Climate Change”,  held a quick press conference in Durban, South Africa where a UN conference on climate change is being held.  He first made it a point to deny that the US was taking a “time out” until 2020.  He then said a couple of things which should make clear the administration’s agenda.

First, without a viable alternative for fossil fuel to this point, the intent of the administration is to increase prices on those fuels that will ensure they’re “priced the way they ought to be”. Stern:

You need to use less energy through efficiency and to develop renewable energy sources more and more to the point that they get to what’s called grid parity, so that standing on their own they actually become sources of energy that can compete with sources like coal and so forth, fossil fuels.

And it is a very good thing to have those fossil fuel sources priced the way they ought to be, to have a price on carbon. That’s what we were trying to do with our legislation, it didn’t pass, but that kind of legislation obviously is in place in Europe, and hopefully it will come into place more and more.’

Now remember, this is from the administration that has claimed the mantle of champion of the middle class.  Yet its plan is to price much of the middle class into energy poverty if it can ever get its legislation passed.  And for those that will try to argue that it’s a plan for the future when there are, arguendo, viable alternatives, that’s nonsense.  “It didn’t pass” tells you all you need to know about that claim.

Secondly, this administration has bought into the 100 billion (a year) dollar fund that the “rich countries” are supposed to fund to help the “poor countries” (like China and India).  Stern:

We will also be working hard to ramp up the funding that is supposed to reach a 100 billion dollars a year by 2020. There’s a ton of work to be done in the years. We have been doing a lot of work on this, this year, and we will be continuing to do that as are many other countries. And all at the same time, if we get the kind of roadmap that countries have called for — the EU has called for, that the U.S. supports — for preparing for and negotiating a future regime, whether it ends up being legally binding or not, we don’t know yet, but we are strongly committed to a promptly starting process to move forward on that.

Tell your grandkids to start saving up, because the Obama administration is getting ready to shackle them and their future earnings to a global redistribution scheme based in fraudulent science (regardless of what Sen. Barbara “Ma’am” Boxer claims).

As with health care reform, there is no popular support in the US for this sort of nonsense, yet your enlightened rulers certainly believe they know better – just ask them.  And they intend to push their ideological agenda instead of doing the will of the people.  As for you little people, just suck it up and learn to appreciate (and pay for) their enlightened rule, OK?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Arab science? "Study" links women, cars, virginity, pornography and homosexuality

Here we go, a perfect example of the state of science (and higher education) among certain of the Arab Muslim states:

Repealing a ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia would result in ‘no more virgins’, the country’s religious council has warned.

A ‘scientific’ report claims relaxing the ban would also see more Saudis – both men and women – turn to homosexuality and pornography.

The startling conclusions were drawn by Muslim scholars at the Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, working in conjunction with Kamal Subhi, a former professor at the King Fahd University.

“Scientific”?  Sounds like the global warming alarmists.

This is the perversion of science and academia.  Not that we don’t see our share of it here.  I mean in some places you can take seminars on “The Simpsons” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and get college credits.  But that’s just the usual absurdity to be found in US universities, where useless degrees cost an arm and a leg and those who produce them brag about what they do.

This is the coupling of a religion with “science” and finding exactly what the religion – or their flavor of it – demands they find.  It is used as a tool of oppression.

Science?  This is about as scientific as applying leaches for a cure, and rooted in about the same century.

Their report assessed the possible impact of repealing the ban in Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world where women are not allowed behind the wheel.

It was delivered to all 150 members of the Shura Council, the country’s legislative body.

Who, I’m sure, all nodded to each other sagely and were just thrilled to have “science” on their side as the all male body decided women should remain in their place – in the cave, er, tent, er, well, out of sight.  Because it is clear they can’t control themselves if they drive:

In the report Professor Subhi described sitting in a coffee shop in an unnamed Arab state.

‘All the women were looking at me,’ he wrote. ‘One made a gesture that made it clear she was available… this is what happens when women are allowed to drive.’

And, of course, the repercussions of allowing that would be horrible:

The report warns that allowing women to drive would ‘provoke a surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce’.

Within ten years of the ban being lifted, the report’s authors claim, there would be ‘no more virgins’ in the Islamic kingdom.

By the way, my bet is the “gesture” the old goat got had nothing to do with “availability”.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO