Monday, October 30, 2017

Is this guy joking or is he just one of history's most incompetent philosophers?

Milan Bharadwaj writes below.  He is a Tamil, a historic  Indian race. He correctly says that climate science has become non-Popperian in that it concentrates on abusing its critics rather than making its own case.  He deplores that.  But he also appears to be a warming believer, in that he refers to an "irrefutable greenhouse effect".

Yet it is a central point of Popper's teachings that something that is irrefutable or unfalsifiable is not an empirical statement.  So Bharadwaj is saying that the greenhouse effect is a faith statement, not an empirical one. So he is rejecting global warming claims as unscientific.  He is right about that but it makes him a very confused warmist!  Warmism really rots the brain. Perhaps it makes sense in Tamil

According to Karl Popper, one of the most influential philosophers of science in the past millennium, “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”

In the wake of the recent slew of hurricanes which have barraged the American Southeast, numerous scientists and reporters have wasted no time in attributing these disasters to climate change. In fact, it seems like nowadays just about every meteorological phenomenon is a result of global warming. Whether it be increased temperatures, decreased temperatures, tornadoes, earthquakes or even volcanic eruptions, climate change is always the answer, and the majority of these conclusions are drawn with sparing evidence, if any.

Meanwhile, any skepticism or dissenting opinion regarding these countless studies is dismissed as unscientific, when in reality, it is quite the opposite. What started as simply a relationship between carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere and the temperature of our planet, via the irrefutable greenhouse effect, has morphed into non-Popperian pseudoscience, primarily because it is no longer falsifiable. However, an examination of this fundamental flaw in climate research first requires an analysis of what exactly science is.

In its simplest sense, science is the formulation of hypotheses and the evaluation of said hypotheses through observation, experimentation or a mixture of both. What distinguishes science from pseudoscience, though, is whether or not these hypotheses can be disproven as well as proven, a trait known as falsifiability. According to Karl Popper, one of the most influential philosophers of science in the past millennium, “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”

In context, the field of astrology — the study of the divine effect of the positions of celestial bodies on our lives — is pseudoscience because it violates this rule. No matter what patterns the stars and planets might be exhibiting on any given day, those movements are interpreted to be influencing what is happening in our lives. There is no course of events that could transpire that would lead astrologists to believe that their horoscope predictions were incorrect. As a result, astrology, numerology and other pseudo-scientific fields are considered to be non-Popperian.

Similarly, it seems like any and all atmospheric occurrences are attributed to climate change — in part because its definition has become so broad. There is no combination of weather patterns that would cause climate change devotees to doubt their gospel. By contrast, even theories that are deeply ingrained in the fabric of our society, such as gravitation or evolution, are still capable of being disproven with counterexamples. It is for this reason that they are regarded as theories and not axioms. Climate change, on the other hand, has no counterexamples since every weather pattern is seen as a byproduct, therefore making it essentially pseudoscience.   

Returning to the topic of tropical hurricanes, the rate of these aquatic twisters has not significantly increased over time, and similar data can be found for other natural disasters supposedly caused by climate change. This raises the question — why are articles and scientific studies constantly being churned out that suggest correlations between climate change and these natural phenomena, even when none exist? I believe the reason lies in the politicization of global warming over the past decades, as climate change has become a focal point of certain political parties.

Climate change fear mongering and sensationalism following natural disasters has proven to be lucrative in terms of political capital, and is thus being done more and more by politicians. A concomitant of this politicization is the increased popularity of climate science in the public, which causes a surge in the monetary incentives for scientists to create these studies. As a result, modern day climate science has incredible amounts of data tampering, as referenced by a variety of recent examples. Naturally, when financial benefit or political gain becomes the goal of research, as opposed to the expansion of science, the field becomes bastardized, with the politicization of science in the Soviet Union serving as a historical precedent.

That being said, there is still an irrefutable connection between the level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and the temperature of our planet, and I believe this should be made the focus of the environmentalist movement once again. Instead of deriding and silencing skeptics, we should all have a healthy bit of skepticism whenever we read an inane “scientific” justification for some natural phenomenon. Questioning widely-held beliefs is the very foundation of science as we know it, and the dismissal of skepticism is counter to this ideology. If we want the progression of actual climate science, we must learn to discern the distinction between the science and the politics, and reject non-Popperian fear mongering.


Many factors influence the extent of sea-ice in the Arctic

Any increase the extent of sea-ice in the Arctic seems to give Warmists orgasms.  But an increase may in fact not be due to temperature change at all

Responsiveness of Polar Sea Ice Extent to Air Temperature 1979-2016

Jamal Munshi


Detrended correlation analysis of mean monthly sea ice extent with air temperature at an annual time scale in both Polar Oceans shows the expected negative correlation in 14 out of 36 cases studied. The other 22 cases, including the high profile case of September sea ice extent in the Arctic, show no evidence that temperature alone explains sea ice extent. We conclude that other factors such as wind, clouds, solar irradiance, and ocean circulation may be relevant in the study of differences in mean monthly sea ice extent for the same calendar month from year to year.

Munshi, Jamal, Responsiveness of Polar Sea Ice Extent to Air Temperature 1979-2016 (SSRN. November 15, 2016)

Uncoupled: CO2 And Sea Ice

According to climate models, anthropogenic CO2 emissions drive trends in polar sea ice.   The sea ice extent in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres should therefore gradually decline (linearly) as human emissions rise.

However, neither the Arctic nor Antarctic sea ice trends appear to be cooperating with these modeled expectations.

In newly published papers, scientists have reported that Arctic sea ice extent grew during the decades from the 1940s to the 1980s before declining after the 1980s.   The Arctic sea ice trend has thus undergone an oscillation rather than a linear recession, contradicting the models.

Furthermore, the instrumental record indicates that  Arctic temperatures have stopped rising since about 2005.

On the other side of the planet, the sea ice surrounding Antarctica has been growing since the 1970s, or for nearly 40 years now.  This sea ice expansion coincides with an overall Southern Ocean cooling trend of about -0.3°C per decade since 1979.

Again, the climate models that stipulate changes in CO2 concentrations are what drive polar sea ice trends have been contradicted by observational evidence.

More HERE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Agitators, regulators and predators on the prowl

They’re going for a knockout and jackpot on a farm chemical, a corporation – and science

Paul Driessen

Legal and scientific ethics seem to have become irrelevant, as anti-chemical agitators, regulators and trial lawyers team up on numerous lawsuits against Monsanto. They’re seeking tens of billions of dollars in jackpot justice, by claiming a chemical in the company’s popular weed killer RoundUp causes cancer.

A key basis for the legal actions is a March 2015 International Agency for Research on Cancer ruling that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.” A previously little known agency in the World Health Organization (WHO), IARC has gained infamy in recent years – as critics slammed it for manipulating data and altering or deleting scientific conclusions to advance extreme anti-chemical policy agendas.

Although it is funded by US and European taxpayers – and is at the forefront of controversial policy, legal and regulatory actions – IARC insists that its deliberations, emails, draft reports and all other materials are its private property. Therefore, the agency claims, they are exempt from FOIA requests and even US congressional inquiries. IARC stonewalls all inquiries and advises its staff to talk to no one.

Its 2015 ruling became the primary justification for California listing glyphosate as carcinogenic under Proposition 65, a European Parliament vote to ban the chemical, and a European Commission committee proposal to give it only a five-year extension for further use in the EU. These actions, in turn, have given trial lawyers the ammo they need for their lawsuits – and other legal actions they are already preparing.

Glyphosate is an herbicide. It kills weeds. Used in conjunction with genetically modified RoundUp-Ready crops, it enables farmers to practice no-till farming – wherein a couple of soil spray treatments eliminate the need to till cropland to control weeds. That preserves soil structure and organisms, moisture, organic matter and nutrients; improves drainage and soil biodiversity; reduces erosion; and permits the high-yield farming humanity must practice if we are to feed Earth’s growing populations without having to plow under millions more acres of wildlife habitat. It also reduces labor and tractor fuel consumption.

Banning it just in Britain would cost the UK $1.2 billion a year in reduced crop yields and farm incomes.

Moreover, as UK science writer Matt Ridley points out, coffee is more carcinogenic than glyphosate. So are numerous other foods and beverages that we consume every day, adds cancer expert Bruce Ames. Of all dietary pesticides that humans ingest, 99.99% are natural, Ames notes; they are chemicals that plants produce to defend themselves against fungi, viruses, insects and other predators.

Indeed, every other regulatory agency and reputable scientific body, going back some 40 years, have universally found that this RoundUp chemical does not cause cancer! The European Food Safety Authority, European Chemicals Agency, German Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), US Environmental Protection Agency and even other WHO experts have all studied glyphosate carefully. They have all said it is safe, non-carcinogenic or “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.”

And yet IARC villainizes glyphosate. In a way, that’s not surprising. Out of 900 chemicals the agency reviewed since it was formed, it found only one was not carcinogenic. Many other chemicals, and even GMO foods, may soon be branded the same way, especially now that America’s tort industry senses more jackpots from “cooperating closely” with IARC and putting more agency advisors on its payroll.

The latest tactic is to claim the chemical is being detected in some foods and in people’s urine. We can detect parts per trillion! (1 ppt is two teaspoons in 660 million gallons.) But where does actual risk begin?

And how did IARC reach conclusions so completely different from nearly every other expert worldwide, whose studies confirmed glyphosate poses no cancer risk? That’s where this story gets really interesting.

IARC is linked inextricably to Linda Birnbaum’s National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, which gets millions in US taxpayer money. The NIEHS funds and works with Italy’s junk-science factory, the Ramazzini Institute, and is allied with radical elements in US and EU government agencies. One of the most prominent and recurrent names on the list is Dr. Christopher Portier.

According to investigative journalists David Zaruk (Risk-Monger) and Kate Kelland (Reuters), Portier worked for years with Birnbaum at the NIEHS. He has also been a principal US government liaison to IARC, was paid as its only “consulting expert” on the working group that demonized glyphosate as carcinogenic, and did so while also being paid by the US National Institutes for Health – and while simultaneously being paid by the rabidly anti-pesticide group Environmental Defense. Portier has also received over $160,000 as a consultant to law firms that are suing Monsanto and other companies!

Equally outrageous, Portier admitted that, before he was hired as an “expert” on IARC’s glyphosate panel, he “had not looked at” any of the scientific evidence and had no experience with the chemical. He signed his lucrative deal with the lawyers within a week of finishing his work on the panel – but later admitted that he had been working with them for two months: while he was consulting for IARC!

Portier, IARC and the predatory lawyers all worked diligently to keep these arrangements – and major conflicts of interest – a secret. As Ms. Kelland explained in another article, IARC was equally diligent in securing a “guilty verdict” on glyphosate – by ignoring or altering multiple studies and conclusions that exonerated the chemical. That scientific and prosecutorial misconduct was revealed when Kelland compared IARC’s draft and final report, and found numerous indefensible changes and deletions.

In multiple instances, she  discovered, the IARC panel simply removed scientists’ conclusions that their studies had found no link between glyphosate and cancer in laboratory animals. In others, the panel inserted a brand new statistical analysis, “effectively reversing” a study’s original finding. Other times, it surreptitiously changed critical language after scientists had agreed to earlier language that made precisely the opposite point from what appeared in the final Monograph 112 report on glyphosate.

One animal pathology report relied on by the US EPA clearly and unequivocally stated that its authors “firmly” and “unanimously” agreed that glyphosate had not caused abnormal growths in mice they had studied. The published IARC monograph simply deleted the sentence.

Overall, Reuters found ten significant changes between the critical draft chapter on animal studies and IARC’s final published monograph. Every one of them either deleted key statements that the Monsanto chemical did not cause tumors, replaced them with assertions that it did cause tumors, or (six times) claimed IARC “was not able to evaluate” a study because of “limited experimental data” included in it.

In addition, IARC panelist Charles Jameson said another study was excluded because “the amount of data in the tables was overwhelming,” and possibly because it may have been submitted an hour late. Dr. Jameson also claimed he didn’t know when, why or by whom any of the changes had been made.

Zaruk’s meticulous and eye-opening analysis of IARC’s swampy, shoddy, deceptive practices, collusion with anti-chemical zealots, blatant conflicts of interest – and six reasons why agency director Christopher Wild should be fired – is must reading for anyone concerned about cancer research and scientific integrity. His discussion of “hazard” versus “risk” assessment is particularly enlightening and valuable.

Many would call this saga blatant corruption, manipulation and fraud. All funded by our tax dollars! It is uncomfortably similar to what we have seen over the years with IPCC and other work on climate change.

The lawyers hope that years of anti-chemical activism, carefully stoked public fears, doctored studies and silencing or marginalizing of contrary voices will bring them a huge jury jackpot – akin to what their brethren recently received in an absurd talcum-powder-causes-cancer case (which was also based on IARC pseudo-science), before the suspect evidence, verdict and award were tossed out on appeal.

It’s likely that the EU and WHO will do little or nothing about this cesspool. Thankfully, the US Congress, particularly Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Lamar Smith (R-TX), is digging into it. We can only hope that they and their committees will issue and, more importantly, enforce subpoenas. If Portier and other IARC staffers, panelists and hired guns refuse to comply, Chaffetz and Smith (and judges in the Monsanto cases) should arrest and jail them, until they open their mouths, books and deliberations.

Via email

Science is NOT on the side of global warming

Maybe the biggest of all the lies put out by the global warming scaremongers is that the science is on their side. No it isn’t. And if you’re in any doubt at all you should read this interview with the brilliant scientist István Markó. It tells you all you need to know about the science of global warming.

Dr. Markó, who sadly died earlier this year aged only 61, was a professor and researcher in organic chemistry at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium’s largest French-speaking university. More importantly for the purposes of this interview, he was one of the world’s most outspoken and well-informed climate skeptics, who contributed to several articles on the subject for Breitbart News.

Before he died, he gave an extensive interview to the French journalist Grégoire Canlorbe. Here are highlights of the English translation. As you’ll see, he doesn’t pull his punches.

CO2 is not – and has never been a poison

Each of our exhalations, each of our breaths, emits an astronomical quantity of CO2 proportionate to that in the atmosphere (some >40,000 ppm); and it is very clear that the air we expire does not kill anyone standing in front of us. What must be understood, besides, is that CO2 is the elementary food of plants. Without CO2 there would be no plants, and without plants there would be no oxygen and therefore no humans.

Plants love CO2. That’s why the planet is greening

Plants need CO2, water, and daylight. These are the mechanisms of photosynthesis, to generate the sugars that will provide them with staple food and building blocks. That fundamental fact of botany is one of the primary reasons why anyone who is sincerely committed to the preservation of the “natural world” should abstain from demonizing CO2. Over the last 30 years, there has been a gradual increase in the CO2 level. But what is also observed is that despite deforestation, the planet’s vegetation has grown by about 20 percent. This expansion of vegetation on the planet, nature lovers largely owe it to the increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

There have been periods where the CO2 concentration was many times higher than now. Life thrived.

During the Jurassic, Triassic, and so on, the CO2 level rose to values sometimes ​​of the order of 7000, 8000, 9000 ppm, which considerably exceeds the paltry 400 ppm that we have today. Not only did life exist in those far-off times when CO2 was so present in large concentration in the atmosphere, but plants such as ferns commonly attained heights of 25 meters. Reciprocally, far from benefiting the current vegetation, the reduction of the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere would be likely to compromise the health, and even the survival, of numerous plants. To fall below the threshold of 280 or 240 ppm would plainly lead to the extinction of a large variety of our vegetal species.

Animals need CO2 too. And by the way – forests are not the ‘lungs of the earth’…

In addition, our relentless crusade to reduce CO2 could be more harmful to nature as plants are not the only organisms to base their nutrition on CO2. Phytoplankton species also feed on CO2, using carbon from CO2 as a building unit and releasing oxygen. By the way, it is worth remembering that ~70 percent of the oxygen present today in the atmosphere comes from phytoplankton, not trees. Contrary to common belief, it is not the forests, but the oceans, that constitute the “lungs” of the earth.

It is not true that CO2 has a major greenhouse effect. Reports of its influence have been exaggerated

It is worth remembering here too that CO2 is a minor gas. Today it represents only 0.04 percent of the composition of the air; and its greenhouse effect is attributed the value of 1. The major greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is water vapor which is ten times more potent than CO2 in its greenhouse effect. Water vapor is present in a proportion of 2 percent in the atmosphere. Those facts are, in principle, taught at school and at university, but one still manages to incriminate CO2 alongside this learning, in using a dirty trick that presents the warming effect of CO2 as minor but exacerbated, through feedback loops, by the other greenhouse effects.

Climate change is natural

Over the last 12,000 years, what we have witnessed is an oscillation between warm and cold periods, thus periods with rising and declining sea levels. Incontestably, sea and ocean levels have been on the rise since the end of the Little Ice Age that took place approximately from the beginning of the 14th century until the end of the 19th century. At the end of that period, global temperatures started to rise. That being said, the recorded rise is 0.8 degrees Celsius and is, therefore, nothing extraordinary. If the temperature goes up, ocean water obviously dilates and some glaciers recede. This is something glaciers have always done, and not a specificity of our time.

Don’t worry about shrinking glaciers. We’ve been here before…

In Ancient Roman times, glaciers were much smaller than the ones we know nowadays. I invite the reader to look at the documents dating back to the days of Hannibal, who managed to cross the Alps with his elephants because he did not encounter ice on his way to Rome (except during a snow storm just before arriving on the Italian plain). Today, you could no longer make Hannibal’s journey. He proved to be capable of such an exploit precisely because it was warmer in Roman times.

Sea level rise is normal

Sea levels are currently on the rise; but this is an overestimated phenomenon. The recorded rise is 1.5 millimeters per year, namely 1.5 cm every ten years, and is, therefore, not dramatic at all. Indeed, it does happen that entire islands do get engulfed; but in 99 percent of the cases, that is due to a classic erosion phenomenon[1] and not to rising sea levels. As far as the Italian city of Venice is concerned, the fact it has been faced with water challenges is not due to any rise of the lagoon level and is just the manifestation of the sad reality that “the City of the Doges” is sinking under its weight on the marshland. Once again, the global sea and ocean levels are rising; but the threat effectively represented by that phenomenon is far from being tangible. I note that the Tuvalu islands, whose engulfment was previously announced as imminent, not only have not been engulfed, but have seen their own land level rise with respect to that of waters around them.

[1] The island shores are eroded by the persistent pounding of the ocean waves. This is perceived as ‘sinking’ or as ‘sea level rise,’ but the upward creep of the waters is due to island soil being washed away.

The polar ice caps are fine too

Still another phenomenon we tend to exaggerate is the melting of the polar caps. The quantity of ice in the Arctic has not gone down for 10 years. One may well witness, from one year to the other, ice level fluctuations, but, on average, that level has remained constant. Right after the Little Ice Age, since the temperature went up, the Arctic started to melt; but the ice level in the Arctic finally settled down. Besides, ice has been expanding in Antarctica over the last 30 years and, similarly, we observe in Greenland that the quantity of ice increased by 112 million cubic kilometers last year. On a global scale, glaciers account for peanuts, with most of the ice being located in Antarctica and so on.

Extreme weather events are actually decreasing

From storms to tornados, extreme events are going down all around the world and, when they occur, their level is much lower, too. As explained by MIT physicist Richard Lindzen, the reduction of the temperature differential between the north hemisphere and the equatorial part of our planet makes cyclonic energy much smaller: the importance and frequency of extreme events thus tend to decrease.

Recent warming is modest – much smaller than the alarmists’ various computer models predicted

If you look at satellite data and weather balloon measurements, you then note that the temperature rise around the world is relatively modest, that it is much lower than the rise that is predicted for us by authorities, and that these predictions rely on calculations that are highly uncertain. This is because the simulation inputs cannot take into account past temperatures, for which there is no precision data[1], except by subjectively adjusting x, y, z data that are not always known. The recent temperature spikes measured by satellites and balloons are part of a classic natural phenomenon which is called El Niño. This short-term phenomenon consists of a return of the very warm waters at the surface of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The heat thus liberated in the atmosphere pushes up the global temperature and CO2 plays no role in that process.

Claims by alarmist ‘experts’ that 2016 was that ‘hottest year ever’ are pure balderdash

The World Meteorological Organization – another emanation of the United Nations and which is also, like the IPCC, an intergovernmental forum – declares 2016 the year the warmest of history. Knowing that 2016 is supposedly hotter by 0.02°C than 2015 and that the margin of error on this value is 0.1°C, we see the absurdity of this statement. For those who don’t understand, this means that the variation in temperature can be of + 0.12°C (global warming) or -0.08°C (global cooling). In short, we can’t say anything and WMO has simply lost its mind.

No, ‘climate change’ hasn’t led to an increase in tropical diseases

Climate-related diseases are relatively rare; and even malaria does not directly depend on the climate, but rather on the way we enable the parasite to reproduce and the mosquito to flourish in the place where we are located. If you find yourself in a swampy area, the odds you will get malaria are high; if you have drained the system and you no longer have that wetland, the odds you will catch the disease are very low. In the end, automatically blaming the resurgence of some disease on climate change comes down to removing the personal responsibility from the people involved: such as denying that their refusal of vaccinations, for instance, or their lack of hygiene, may be part of the problem.

Again, CO2 is greening the planet. And that’s a good thing. So stop demonizing it!

Present deserts, far from expanding, are receding; and they are receding due to the higher quantity of CO2 available in the air. It turns out that greenhouse operators voluntarily inject three times as much CO2 in the commercial greenhouse as it is present in the atmosphere. The result we can observe is that plants grow faster and are bigger, that they are more resistant to diseases and to destructive insects, and that their photosynthesis is way more efficient and that they, therefore, consume less water. Similarly, the rise of CO2 level in the atmosphere makes plants need less water so they can afford to colonize arid regions.




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


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