Monday, June 07, 2010

Psychological foundations of belief

I think the following rings true:
Preachers of Warmism have more serious psychological problems than most of their followers. "They display all the features of paranoid personality disorder", he says, including anger, intolerance of criticism, and what psychiatrists call a grandiose sense of their own importance. "Ultimately, their belief is a mental health problem.

I have changed the quote around a bit though. It was originally written about "denialism" and, as such, is both an excellent example of projection (seeing your own faults in others) and yet another example of Leftists "psychologizing" opposition to their beliefs. Adorno et al. started that ball rolling way back in 1950 and it has been rolling ever since.

Logically, it is of course just another example of an ad hominem fallacy -- attacking the arguer rather than the argument -- and, as such, has no scholarly worth whatever.

One of the "authorities" quoted in the pro-Warmism article linked above is George Lakoff. You can read more about the laughable Lakoff here

The tactic embodied in projection is a good one polemically. If you get in first and accuse others of your own faults, it does tend to blunt people's recognition of your faults. In the end, however, it is the argument, not the arguer that is of interest and it must stand or fall on the evidence, nothing else.

The article from which I took the quote conflates all sorts of denial of the conventional academic wisdom, which is very sloppy. Some sorts of academic wisdom appear well-founded (such as the link between smoking and various diseases) while others (such as the adverse effects of secondhand smoke) are contrary to some very strong evidence.

Lumping together many disparate sorts of skepticism would seem to me to be an excellent example of the oversimplified thinking that Adorno and his successors have claimed is characteristic of conservatives. More projection!

"ROBUST FINDINGS" about global warming

Greenie activist Jo Abbess has recently set out at length some details and evidence of "robust findings" in an IPCC report about global warming. The first such finding is:
Current atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and CH4, and their associated positive radiative forcing, far exceed those determined from ice core measurements spanning the last 650,000 years

Peter Ridley [] noted that the abbess has a comments facility on her blog so valiantly submitted a comment in reply. Needless to say, however, the abbess has not published the comment. So I thought I would. It follows:
Has that method used for reconstructng past atmospheric compositions using air recovered from ice cores, which Professor Richard Alley refers to as the “Gold Standard”, been subjected to a proper assay showing that it is not in fact fools gold?

Why do I ask this? It is because I have not yet been able to find any worthwhile research providing convincing evidence that air “trapped” for hundreds and hundreds of years within ice retains unchanged the composition that existed at the time of initial capture. As I understand it that air is first “trapped” in snow as it forms and falls and is then retained within the increasingly densified ice as it is compresses beneath more falling snow.

As Jaworowski et al. have pointed out, most recently in 2007 at the time that the non-scientific AR4 SPM was issued – ahead of the finalised report upon which it was supposed to be based was written - there are numerous physical and chemical processes that distort the original composition.

Although scientists who regard those reconstructions as Alley does claim to take account of these processes there is one about which little if any worthwhile research seems to have been undertaken. This is the preferential fractionation of CO2 and CH4 into higher levels during the many years in which firn exists.

This fractionation arising from the smaller relative sizes of these gases compared with the major constituents, N2 and O2. The fractionation has the effect of increasing the concentration at higher levels in the firn at the expense of the lower levels, giving a false impression of lower concentrations levels of these smaller trace gases in earlier ice.

Perhaps you’d like to point to convincing evidence that this effect either does not take place or is properly accounted for in the attempts to reconstruct atmospheric composition in the past, especially pre-industrialisation.

Once we’ve properly covered that “robust finding” we should be able to address Robust Finding (4) quite quickly and move on to the next.

Peter Ridley's blog is here

Climate fraud in the Australian scientific establishment

A very fresh example is a document published in March 2010 as a joint effort between the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology called “State of the Climate”. In the preamble to the document, this statement is made: 

The Bureau of Meteorology has been observing and reporting on weather in Australia for over 100 years, and CSIRO has been conducting atmospheric and marine research for over 60 years

Now the CSIRO might be forgiven for not having a corporate memory more than 60 years long, but why did they and the Bureau of Meteorology only use 50 years of data to produce the following graph when they had more than 100 years of data they could have used? 

Figure 71: Dubious graph from CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology document

Well the reason they did not use a longer time period is that it would not have shown the warming trend that they needed to portray. They started their graph in the 1970s cooling period despite having a data record more than twice as long. 

Evidence of how low these institutions have fallen is on the back page of the State of the Climate document, on which it is stated: 
Australia will be hotter in coming decades

"Australian average temperatures are projected to rise by 0.6 to 1.5 ºC by 2030. If global greenhouse gas emissions continue at current levels, warming is projected to be in the range of 2.2 to 5.0 ºC by 2070. Warming is projected to be lower near the coast and in Tasmania and higher in central and north-western Australia. These changes will be felt through an increase in the number of hot days."

It is very likely that human activities have caused most of the global warming observed since 1950  

"There is greater than 90% certainty that increases in greenhouse gas emissions have caused most of the global warming since the mid-20th century. International research shows that it is extremely unlikely that the observed warming could be explained by natural causes alone. Evidence of human influence has been detected in ocean warming, sea-level rise, continental-average temperatures, temperature extremes and wind patterns. CSIRO research has shown that higher greenhouse gas levels are likely to have caused about half of the winter rainfall reduction in south-west Western Australia."

"Our observations clearly demonstrate that climate change is real. CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology will continue to provide observations and research so that Australia’s responses are underpinned by science of the highest quality."

Consider the claim above that, "CSIRO research has shown that higher greenhouse gas levels are likely to have caused about half of the winter rainfall reduction in south-west Western Australia.” in the light of Figure 8 in this book showing that all the warming in the Perth temperature record in the last 100 years occurred in one year, 1976. These once-worthy institutions are relying upon a credulous public to swallow their absurd claims without question. 

The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology management and research staff will eventually claim that they were relying upon IPCC research. But as one of the Climategate conspirators, Tom Wigley, said in an email dated 25th November, 1997: 

"No scientist who wishes to maintain respect in the community should ever endorse any statement unless they have examined the issue fully themselves."

On the subject of scientists not making statements unless they have examined the issue fully themselves, consider this one quoting Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Penny Sackett on 4th December, 2009: 

The planet has just five years to avoid disastrous global warming, says the Federal Government’s chief scientist. Professor Penny Sackett yesterday urged all Australians to reduce their carbon footprint.

The Chief Scientist’s statement is idiotic and patently false, more worthy of a Chief Shaman. There is no physical evidence anywhere on the planet that “disastrous global warming” will start by 2014, or any time at all. The position of Chief Scientist should be the last line of defence of the Australian public from the depredations of any rent-seekers and carpetbaggers. Instead she has joined the chorus that wants to condemn the Australian nation to penury. The Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO have failed the Australian public dismally. That is putting it mildly. In truth, they have conspired against the Australian nation. 

Professor Sackett’s most credible defence for making that idiotic statement might be that she has never associated with any climate scientists. Someone who did, Professor James Lovelock, is quoted by the Guardian newspaper on 29th March, 2010 as saying: 

"The great climate science centres around the world are more than well aware how weak their science is. If you talk to them privately they’re scared stiff of the fact that they don’t really know what the clouds and the aerosols are doing. They could be absolutely running the show. We haven’t got the physics worked out yet.

I have seen this happen before, of course. We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done."

Figure 72: Global Historical Climate Network raw and adjusted temperatures, Darwin Airport

Back on the subject of alarmist scientists fraudulently concocting data, Figure 72 above shows the manipulation applied to Darwin’s temperature record in order to manufacture a warming trend. The blue line is the original raw data which shows a significant cooling trend of 0.7°C per century. The red line is the adjusted data used to promote global warming alarmism. The black line shows the adjustment applied – a total of 2.2°C in sixty years! We can see that professionals did this job, because they added a little bit of cooling in the 1920s to make the uptrend seem more significant.

Figure 73: Data manipulation applied to the Prague, Czech Republic temperature record

Similar to Darwin, the warming scientists added over 2.2°C to the beginning of the Prague record to change an inconvenient cooling trend into a supportive warming one. 

The corruption of the world’s temperature data sets by this sort of manipulation prompted the UK Met Office to announce on 25th February, 2010 that it is going to re-examine more than 150 years of global temperature records. The Met Office expects to take three years to complete the task, giving an indication of how corrupted the data set has become. 


New Paper With Stunning Admission By Climate Alarmist Scientists: Actual CO2 Emissions Are Unknown; Please Send Money!

Read here. In an AAAS magazine publication, there is an amazing admission that actual CO2 emissions, human and natural, are unknown. Present CO2 emissions quoted as "truth" are nothing more than back-of-envelope guesstimates. Climate alarmist scientists now admit they have no clue about the quantities of CO2 emissions, nor the sources of all CO2 emissions. At this point, everyone should be questioning the sanity of proceeding with the draconian economic solutions proposed by scientists to curb human CO2 emissions.

But true to form, the scientists are demanding more monies to "fix" their ignorance problem.
"How can you control GHG emissions when you cannot accurately identify their sources? And how can you blame the rise in atmospheric CO2 solely on humanity if you cannot reconcile actual emissions with atmospheric measurements? The answer is that you cannot. To try and shore up the case for emissions control—including all those calls for “cap and trade” and a carbon tax—the authors want to establish a global network to provide a “top down” assessment of anthropogenic emission.....

The solution, they say, is to send more money. More money for more instruments, more money for more studies, and more money for more computer models. In the meantime, governments and the public are expected to take concrete actions to curb GHG emissions based on climate science's self-professed inaccurate predictions. They guess and everyone else sacrifices."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

U.S. Climate Data Reveals Past Global Warming Far Exceeds Modern Temperature Change

The U.S. has sponsored much climate research over recent decades, including the study of ice cores from Greenland. The National Climate Data Center (NCDC), a NOAA organization, maintains the Greenland ice core temperature data, which can be downloaded from their web site.

Fortunately, this Greenland ice core temperature data allows for an analysis of temperature change from minimum (trough) temperature to maximum temperature (peak) over extended time spans. Likewise, temperature change from maximum to minimum can also be analyzed. Sooo, what does that NCDC ice core temperature data actually indicate about temperature change?
1. Huge temperature swings have occurred naturally over thousands of years, prior to any human CO2 emissions.

2. The Modern warming increase (see pink arrow/dot on chart) since the bottom of the Little Ice Age (around 1840) has been minuscule versus all previous warming period temperature changes when compared to their respective cooling period trough that preceded.

3. Over the 9,000 years, the average temperature increase from the trough of the preceding cooling period to the next temperature peak has exceeded 2.0°C. In contrast, the Modern warming has barely reached a 0.7°C increase since the Little Ice Age cooling trough.

4. There have been nine significant warming trends leading to temperature peaks over last 9,000 years; and, all exceed the Modern warming trend in terms of absolute degree change (increase).

5. There have been nine significant cooling periods over the same time span. Many cooling periods have seen temperatures decline by over 2.0°C.

6. The average number of years between temperature warming peaks is approximately 990 years. Since the last peak around 1040 A.D., it has now been 970 years, which suggests the current warming period is close to peaking before the next natural cooling period dominates.

7. All scientists agree that all extreme temperature changes prior to the 20th century were of natural origin. In contrast, it's only climate alarmist scientists who believe that the temperature change since the Little Ice Age is all man-made (see pink arrow/dot).

Extreme Natural Temp Changes Greenland

Note: The Greenland ice core data ends in early 20th century; the pink arrow and dot have been added to indicate the "consensus" temperature increase through 2009 since the LIA end mid-19th century.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

A succinct comment on wind power from Terry McCrann

Terry McCrann is a veteran Australian financial analyst

Could any rational person—indeed, even gutless half-rational politician—build our energy supply on the total unreliability of so-called wind power.

This is what our total wind `power’ industry across southeastern Australia—NSW, Victoria and South Australia—delivered in one week in May. To all intents and effective purposes: ZERO power…

When the wind don’t blow the power don’t flow. Further, often the wind don’t blow at the same time, right across southeastern Australia… Further wind can go from very high power deliverability to very little in very short time spans.

So you don’t only need installed back-up power almost equivalent to the wind industry, to pick up the slack when it comes, but you need to keep it running, rendering utterly pointless having the wind power anyway.

Despite all the starry-eyed and empty-headed gazing at the power of the sun, wind is the only `practical’ alternative `renewable’ energy `source’ anytime soon.

Almost all our politicians are committed to 20 per cent alternative/renewable energy by 2020. It means a commitment to blackouts and brownouts—quite apart from unnecessarily higher power charges.


For people who like their comments less succinct, there is a very extensive demolition of wind power here -- from a Greenie! Some Greenies are interested in the facts!


For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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