Friday, December 09, 2016
Meteorologist tries to debunk Breitbart
The point she made is an old one and already well answered. The fall in temperature was NOT found only in the satellite record. There were similar falls in other measures. See here. And the land-based record is important precisely because it shows changes first, before the ocean does. There is more thermal inertia in the oceans but the ocean surface moves in the same direction as the land surface. So the land record is predictive of overall cooling, which was the point. The lady is just a pretty face
AN ATMOSPHERIC scientist has delivered a scathing response to alt-right website Breitbart for trying to use a video “with my face on it” to back its misleading views on climate change.
Kait Parker, from the US cable show The Weather Channel, recorded a video debunking Breitbart’s claims saying: “Here’s the thing — science doesn’t care about your opinion”.
“Cherry picking and twisting the facts will not change the future, nor the fact ... that the Earth is warming,” Ms Parker says in the video published on Tuesday.
Ms Parker’s response was prompted by a Breitbart article that suggested global warming was nothing but a scare and that global temperatures were actually falling.
“Problem is they used a completely unrelated video of la nina with my face in it to attempt to back their point,” she said.
“What’s worse is that the US committee on space, science and technology actually tweeted it out.”
The climatologist then proceeded to completely dismantle Breitbart’s article, debunking the conclusions it makes.
She said one claim that global land temperatures had plummeted by one degree since the beginning of this year was based on one satellite estimate, and when land temperatures were combined with sea surface temperatures, you actually get a record high temperature.
“Land temperatures aren’t an appropriate measure, the Earth is 70 per cent water and water is where we store most of our heat energy,” she said.
Record Ice Growth In Greenland Continues
Greenland is the only part of the Arctic where ice-cover matters. The rest of the Arctic is floating ice -- which does not raise the water level if it melts
Greenland’s surface has been gaining about three billion tons of ice every day since September 1, blowing away all prior records for ice gain.
Meanwhile, fake news sites like the Guardian continue to lie about Greenland (and everything else.)
EPA pick finalized
And the Green/Left are wailing. See below:
It’s official: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, the person who has wrote this year that “debate is far from settled” about climate change, has been selected by President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team as the future administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Folks who care about the future of the planet may spew out a sigh of relief; famed climate change denier Myron Ebell, who’s heading the EPA transition team and was rumored to head the EPA, won’t take the helm.
They shouldn’t. Ebell may be paid by fossil fuel companies to spread lies about the science of global warming, but Pruitt does something objectively worse: He is paid by fossil fuel companies to wage an all-out war on environmental regulation with American tax dollars.
As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt has sued the EPA several times over incoming regulations dealing with air quality and pollution. His challenges deal not only with rules limiting the greenhouse gas emissions that cause the planet to warm up, but also more local public health concerns like soot and particulate emissions that lead to smog pollution. He’s lost every time.
What will happen when EPA’s most powerful enemy is in the captain’s seat? We’re about to find out.
UK slashes number of Foreign Office climate change staff
The UK has cut the number of Foreign Office staff working on climate change, despite ministers arguing the issue should be a top foreign policy priority.
The Liberal Democrats said it was “appalling” and sent “the wrong signals” to the world, after a minister revealed the figures in a recent parliamentary answer.
Experts said that with Donald Trump promising to roll back international climate efforts and with 2016 set to be the hottest on record, it was a bad time to cut back.
In London, the number of staff working full time on climate change is down by more than two thirds, from 26 in July 2013 to eight now. Overseas, the figure is down from 177 in March 2013 to 149 today.
The UK’s climate change diplomacy is respected internationally, and was seen as playing an important role in the run-up to the Paris agreement, which was agreed in France last year and recently came into force.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns, minister of state for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), said last year: “Climate change is not only a threat to the environment but to global security and economic prosperity. That therefore makes it a top priority not only for environment ministers but foreign ministers too.”
Questions were raised by former ministers about the UK’s commitment to leadership on climate change when the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) was abolished and merged into the business department in the summer, a move former Labour leader Ed Miliband branded “plain stupid”.
Lynne Featherstone, the Lib Dem environment spokesperson, said: “It’s appalling that the number of people working on climate change in the Foreign Office has been substantially reduced, especially now that the Decc has been disbanded.
“It sends all the wrong signals about this government’s commitment to tackling our biggest global threat, and undermines the work being done to encourage other nations to take action.”
British diplomatic efforts on climate change have in the past included trying to influence macro economic policy in China to encourage its economy to cut carbon, and pressing the US intelligence community on the risk global warming poses to security. But the Foreign Office’s prioritisation of climate change has been “chipped away” in recent years, say observers.
“This is not a good time to be cutting back on Foreign Office staff working on climate change,” said Tom Burke of thinktank E3G, who was adviser to the FCO’s top climate envoy until 2012.
“At a recent private meeting in the state department, the US climate envoy again emphasised how important Britain’s climate diplomacy was in driving forward ambition on climate change. As Trump turns the US back into a climate laggard, rather than the leader it has become, our role in building on Paris becomes essential.”
He said the UK’s leverage in international climate negotiations was a result of the Foreign Office’s capability to shape conversations on climate change in capitalcities around the world.
A government spokeswoman said: “The UK’s commitment and leadership on climate action, internationally and domestically, is as strong as ever and we are recognised as the second best country in the world for tackling climate change.
“We take a whole of government approach to our climate change ambitions so that we can benefit from the low carbon transition in our industrial strategy as we deliver an economy that works for all.”
The Non-Expert Problem and Climate Change Science
By Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert
Before I start, let me say as clearly as possible that I agree with the scientific consensus on climate change. If science says something is true – according to most scientists, and consistent with the scientific method – I accept their verdict.
I realize that science can change its mind, of course. Saying something is “true” in a scientific sense always leaves open the option of later reassessing that view if new evidence comes to light. Something can be “true” according to science while simultaneously being completely wrong. Science allows that odd situation to exist, at least temporarily, while we crawl toward truth.
So when I say I agree with the scientific consensus on climate change, I’m endorsing the scientific consensus for the same reason I endorsed Hillary Clinton for the first part of the election – as a strategy to protect myself. I endorse the scientific consensus on climate change to protect my career and reputation. To do otherwise would be dumb, at least in my situation.
As regular readers of this blog already know, human brains did not evolve to understand reality in any deep way. If some of us survive and procreate, that’s good enough for evolution. It doesn’t matter that you live in a movie that says you will reincarnate after you die, while I live in a movie that says reality is a software simulation, and perhaps our mutual friend lives in a movie in which his prophet flew to heaven on a winged horse. Those are very different realities, but it doesn’t stop any of us from procreating. This lesson about the subjective nature of reality is one we learned from watching Trump’s march to the election. As the world looked on, everything they thought they understood about Trump’s chances dissolved in front of them. And yet the world still worked fine.
This perceptual change in humanity is happening as I predicted it would a year before Trump won. I told you he would change more than politics. I said he would open a crack in reality so you could view it through a new filter. That transformation is well underway. I’ll widen the crack a bit more today.
If you have been involved in any climate change debates online or in person, you know they always take the following trajectory: Climate science believers state that all the evidence, and 98% of scientists, are on the same side. Then skeptics provide links to credible-sounding articles that say the science is bunk, and why. How the heck can you – a non-expert – judge who is right?
You probably are not a scientist, and that means you can’t independently evaluate any of the climate science claims. You didn’t do the data collection or the experiments yourself. You could try to assess the credibility of the scientists using your common sense and experience, but let’s face it – you aren’t good at that. So what do you do?
You probably default to trusting whatever the majority of scientists tell you. And the majority says climate science is real and we need to do something about it. But how reliable are experts, even when they are mostly on the same side?
Ask the majority of polling experts who said Trump had only a 2% chance of becoming president. Ask the experts who said the government’s historical “food pyramid” was good science. Ask the experts who used to say marijuana was a gateway drug. Ask the experts who used to say sexual orientation is just a choice. Ask the experts who said alcoholism is a moral failure and not a matter of genetics.
There are plenty of examples where the majority of experts were wrong. What you really want to know is whether climate change looks more like the sort of thing that turns out to be right or the sort of thing that turns out to be wrong. Let’s dig into that question.
It seems to me that a majority of experts could be wrong whenever you have a pattern that looks like this:
1. A theory has been “adjusted” in the past to maintain the conclusion even though the data has changed. For example, “Global warming” evolved to “climate change” because the models didn’t show universal warming.
2. Prediction models are complicated. When things are complicated you have more room for error. Climate science models are complicated.
3. The models require human judgement to decide how variables should be treated. This allows humans to “tune” the output to a desired end. This is the case with climate science models.
4. There is a severe social or economic penalty for having the “wrong” opinion in the field. As I already said, I agree with the consensus of climate scientists because saying otherwise in public would be social and career suicide for me even as a cartoonist. Imagine how much worse the pressure would be if science was my career.
5. There are so many variables that can be measured – and so many that can be ignored – that you can produce any result you want by choosing what to measure and what to ignore. Our measurement sensors do not cover all locations on earth, from the upper atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean, so we have the option to use the measurements that fit our predictions while discounting the rest.
6. The argument from the other side looks disturbingly credible.
One of the things that always fascinated me about jury trials is that attorneys from both sides can sound so convincing even though the evidence points in only one direction. A defendant is either guilty or innocent, but good lawyers can make you see it either way. Climate science is similar. I’ve seen airtight arguments that say climate science is solid and true, and I’ve seen equally credible-looking arguments that say it is bunk. From my non-scientist perspective, I can’t tell the difference. Both sides look convincing to me.
As I have described in this blog before, I’m a trained hypnotist and I have studied the methods of persuasion for years. That gives me a bit of context that is different from the norm. In my experience, and based on my training, it is normal and routine for the “majority of experts” to be completely wrong about important stuff. But in the two-dimensional world where persuasion isn’t much of a thing, it probably looks to most of you that experts are usually right, especially when they are overwhelmingly on the same side and there is a mountain of confirming evidence.
We like to think we arrived at our decisions about climate science by using our common sense and good judgement to evaluate the credibility of experts. Some of you think you have superior sources of information as well. But both sides are wrong. No one is using reason, facts, or common sense to arrive at a decision about climate science. Here’s what you are using to arrive at your decision:
2. Unwarranted trust in experts
3. Pattern recognition
On the question of fear, if you believe that experts are good at predicting future doom, you are probably scared to death by climate change. But in my experience, any danger we humans see coming far in the future we always find a way to fix. We didn’t run out of food because of population growth. We didn’t run out of oil as predicted. We didn’t have a problem with the Year 2000 bug, and so on. I refer to this phenomenon as the Adams Law of Slow-Moving Disasters. When we see a disaster coming – as we do with climate science – we have an unbroken track record of avoiding doom. In the case of climate change danger, there are a number of technologies under development that can directly scrub the atmosphere if needed.
On the question of trusting experts, my frame of reference is the field of influence and persuasion. From my point of view – and given the examples of mass delusion that I have personally witnessed (including Trump’s election), I see experts as far less credible than most people assume.
And when it comes to pattern recognition, I see the climate science skeptics within the scientific community as being similar to Shy Trump Supporters. The fact that a majority of scientists agree with climate science either means the evidence is one-sided or the social/economic pressures are high. And as we can plainly see, the cost of disagreeing with climate science is unreasonably high if you are a scientist.
While it is true that a scientist can become famous and make a big difference by bucking conventional wisdom and proving a new theory, anything short of total certainty would make that a suicide mission. And climate science doesn’t provide the option of total certainty.
To put it another way, it would be easy for a physicist to buck the majority by showing that her math worked. Math is math. But if your science depends on human judgement to decide which measurements to include and which ones to “tune,” you don’t have that option. Being a rebel theoretical physicist is relatively easy if your numbers add up. But being a rebel climate scientist is just plain stupid. So don’t expect to see many of the latter. Scientists can often be wrong, but rarely are they stupid.
To strengthen my point today, and in celebration of my reopening of the blog commenting section, please provide your links to pro and con arguments about climate science. This might be the only place in the world you will see links to both sides. If you want to be amazed, see how persuasive BOTH sides of this debate are.
As I said above, I accept the consensus of climate science experts when they say that climate science is real and accurate. But I do that to protect my reputation and my income. I have no way to evaluate the work of scientists.
If you ask me how scared I am of climate changes ruining the planet, I have to say it is near the bottom of my worries. If science is right, and the danger is real, we’ll find ways to scrub the atmosphere as needed. We always find ways to avoid slow-moving dangers. And if the risk of climate change isn’t real, I will say I knew it all along because climate science matches all of the criteria for a mass hallucination by experts.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here
Posted by JR at 1:29 AM