Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Hot Times

It has been hot, very hot in the US, and the bunnies have noticed Richard Alley's guy in the corner shouting bloody murder.  In weather like the US has been having, it is no longer a discussion between the guy on the blue side and the guy on the green side

This is certainly not both sides. If you want both sides, we would have to have somebody in here screaming a conniption fit on the red end, because you are hearing a very optimistic side

A few weeks ago, Eli pointed out that the question is not whether similar heat waves can be found in the meteorological records but how frequent such heat waves were in the past and are now.  Here one finds a significantly higher percentage of extreme (three sigma) events and assigns the recurrence of such events and the events themselves as markers of climate change. Kevin Trenberth on the PBS news hour pointed out that an excellent marker is the balance between heat and cold records, which in the 1950s ran 1:1, in the last decade 2:1 and this year over 10:1.  Something is happening out there folks.

To end the interchange Judy brings the churnalism
JUDY WOODRUFF: Something for scientists like you and others who study the climate to keep you busy, it sounds like.
Trenberth is having no part of this minimalism
KEVIN TRENBERTH: Well, this is a view of the future. So, watch out.
There is, dear bunnies, a push back acomin, because record high tempertures and tornadoes open minds.  Bill Nye put it well

 “I appreciate that we want to show two sides of the stories — there’s a tradition in journalism that goes back quite a ways, I guess — but the two sides aren’t equal here. You have tens of thousands of scientists who are very concerned and you have a few people who are in business of equating or drawing attention to the idea that uncertainty is the same as doubt. When you have a plus or minus percentage, that’s not the same thing as not believing the whole thing at all.”
 Nothing that has not been said, and this quote was picked up at Lawyers, Guns and Money.  What really was interesting was the comments (more at the link).  The folks over there know how to do the dozens on denial

Quail Runner says:
The problem with the climate change crowd is the deliberate conflating two separate issues.
1) Is the climate changing?
2) If so, is this caused by processes that can be controlled.
The first is easier to sell since the earth is always changing. It’s been warmer, it’s been cooler.
The second is much more problematic. We’re told it’s ‘Science’, but it’s not. There is no scientific process involved. It’s really opinions of scientists.
And maybe they have the edge on this who knows? But just know that it’s opinion, non the less and not science.
Just stop trying to fool the public, tell the truth and make your case honestly.
  • wengler says:
    1) Yes. Above and beyond any historical trend.
    2) Somewhat, though there are differing projections about the effects. They run the gamut from bad to really bad to fuck that is horrible. These can be somewhat mitigated by stopping the illusion that the atmosphere is a free dumping ground.

  • Furious Jorge says:
    Just stop trying to fool the public, tell the truth and make your case honestly.
    Oh, fuck you. That’s exactly what they’re doing. They’re making observations, seeing how they compare to expectations, and drawing conclusions – but often only after collecting a shit ton more observational data.
    And guess what? That is the very definition of science. Science isn’t limited to experiments done under controlled conditions in a state-of-the-art lab. Science is pretty much any knowledge gleaned through the scientific method.
    You may not like the conclusions, but you can’t refute them – and neither can the denialists who rely on deception, shoddy science and an incomplete understanding of how the natural world works. You may not like the fact that the effects are often indirect – but nature often works that way. So please, take your “but it’s just their opinions” false equivalency bullshit and cram it up your ass.

    • wengler says:
      Muddying the waters is an effective tactic for the denial crowd. Denial is a powerful force that says that nothing has to change.

  • Murc says:
    … climate science isn’t science?
    What the hell is it then? Spending years studying the climate as closely as possible and making hypotheses based on your observations is the very definition of science, it seems to me. And yes, if you’ve done the aforementioned years of studying, and submitted your findings to peer review, and conferred with others who have independently verified your results, your ‘opinion’ matters a lot more than people who haven’t done any of that.

    • Quail Runner says:
      … climate science isn’t science?
      Please tell us what scientific process was completed that showed that global warming is arthopogenic.
      Maybe you could link to it.

      • DrDick says:
        Here you go. This ought to keep you busy for the next decade or until your lips get tired. You know there is this thing called “Google” that can help you answer those kinds of questions. You might try it somnetime. I also highly recommend “Google Scholar”, as that weeds out the conservatard horseshit you have been reading and only presents the real scientific and scholarly publications.

        • JMP says:
          No, you see, he can’t research that himself; the onus is on us supporting proven facts to prove those facts every single time, will they can always scream, “No, I say the sky may be hot pink; now prove to me it isn’t!” without ever having to provide reasoning evening though all the evidence proves that they are wrong.
          The same rules apply to creationists and the “vaccines cause autism” crowd.

        • This site is a pretty awesome point of reference.

        • Hamstur says:
          DrDick – please have that answer bronzed. It should be immortalized.
          Still laughing about “until your lips get tired.”

      • JMP says:
        Guess what? No matter how many times you useful idiots claim that we still don’t know if the world is flat or round, that doesn’t change the fact that it is round and that is proven scientific fact.

        • firefall says:
          lol my thought too – it’s all caused by a plot of the evil spider queen

        • elm says:
          Quail Runner is right. I am unaware of any scientific process demonstrating that global warming is arthopogenic. Also, no science has demonstrated that it is entomogenic (or, even, etymogenic.)

Go read the rest over there.


Anonymous said...

On this topic, there was a piece in the Economist about the melting of the Arctic. Some of the comments were mind-blowing. It goes pretty much like this:

Article: The Arctic has warmed so much, commercial shipping is now viable.

Commenter: Global warming doesn't exist.

There were a fair number of other commenters who took these idiots to task. It led me to think, though, what evidence do these deniers actually need? Is there really nothing that will make them think - hey, maybe this is real...?

Danger Mouse

Steve said...

Watching Anthony Watts and his crew complaining and trying to find convincing reasons as to why people should not take seriously the idea that hotter weather happening more frequently indicates climate change is also very amusing:


dbostrom said...

If you want "interesting" comments, go read what happens when Nielsen-Gammon takes apart a "misinterpretation" of new findings concerning ice shelf loss published in the schizophrenic "Register:

Why The Public Is Confused About Climate Science, Part 1,327,570

After Nielsen-Gammon leads readers through a painstaking comparison of various observations of ice shelf behavior and regional ice loss, the very first comment is:

This is all well and good, and interesting, but not surprising that models developed by computer-based, non-observational scientists without real observational data for the most critical parameters in their computer games are wrong.

No visible trace of the information conveyed by Nielsen-Gammon.

Sometimes I think a lot of our problems come down to simple inability to read and comprehend.

Anonymous said...

Danger Mouse said:
"Commenter: Global warming doesn't exist.
There were a fair number of other commenters who took these idiots to task. It led me to think, though, what evidence do these deniers actually need? Is there really nothing that will make them think - hey, maybe this is real...?"

Complete fantasyland comments show up everywhere (including here).

I'm not talking about the comments where people argue specific points or raise questions about things they read (these comments are handled brilliantly at realclimate, and people can actually learn from them if they are accompanied by a substantive inline response). The one sentence comments where cranks simply declare "CO2 doesn't cause GW" or "GW doesn't exist" are utterly worthless. I don't know why anyone should even bother responding; what are we supposed to do, start from first principles every time? It's simply not worth acknowledging these comments.

Proposed methods for dealing with them:

1. Deleted by Moderators. Seriously, why not?

2. Ignore them completely. Moderators delete all direct responses, because, hey, why not?

3. Boilerplate response.
All comments of the "GW doesn't exist" variety are answered exclusively with a boilerplate response (preferably inline) such as "Please read the following references [...]. You may ask specific questions about the material in the listed references. Any further nonsense comments from you will be deleted however."

It may sound draconian, but I think one of the above needs to happen in order to make online discussion worthwhile. Out in the real world we marginalize crackpots so that everyone else can actually get things done. Do you try to convince the crazy people on street corners that the government isn't a reptoid conspiracy?

The quality of an online discussion seems to be directly proportional to the diligence of the moderators weeding out trolls and keeping discussion on topic.

Also: good on Trenberth for getting the last word and countering Ms. Woodruff's bullshit high-mindedness.


Anonymous said...

May I point out that even Fox had a story that made sense?

Note in particular that John Christy gets one line to claim "it's all natural!", but this is followed by a mainstream opinion as the last word.


Steve Bloom said...

That was an AP story, Marco, not Fox's own product. But they did run it, at least.

OTOH probably the written stories on their site get little traffic compared to the talking heads, so it would be interesting to know how the latter responded.

cRR Kampen said...

What heat? It was cold in the States, really really cold!!


(Tags: climate revisionism, ...)

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

dbostrom quotes a denialist and then opines: "Sometimes I think a lot of our problems come down to simple inability to read and comprehend."

Well, based on your denialist's quote, he certainly cannot write a simple sentence in English.

dbostrom said...

a_r_i_d_s: Well, based on your denialist's quote, he certainly cannot write a simple sentence in English.

I think it's possible that for some of these people the very act of writing makes them angry; their difficulty with squeezing out something resembling a sentence is deeply frustrating. It's no fun being incoherent.

Lousy grammar is positively correlated with climate revisionism.

Jeffrey Davis said...

What's needed is something equivalent to the Nuremberg Trials for denialists. The Nuremberg Trials were trying to bring justice to bear on those responsible for around 20 million dead. (Not even addressing the deaths involved in military actions).

Denialists are going to bring about many many multiples of that.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Jeffrey Davis,
How about, NO. I have a big problem with making speech--even dishonest, reprehensible speech--a crime.

I have no problem holding Exx-Mob and others responsible for damages in civil court. And certainly, I believe that any damage that could have been avoided had we started mitigation in the mid '90s could be subject to litiation (since that is when the scientists at the oil companies started advising their masters to back off denial).

When possible, err on the side of democracy.

Jeffrey Davis said...

Well, all speech is not permitted now. Libel and slander. Shouting "fire" in a theater. Fighting words. Incitement to commit a crime.

With AGW, if we wait until events drown out denialists, we will be faced with the task of trying to stop a landslide. What exactly would be the point of that?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd.

" Kevin Trenberth on the PBS news hour pointed out that an excellent marker is the balance between heat and cold records, which in the 1950s ran 1:1, in the last decade 2:1 and this year over 10:1. Something is happening out there folks."

what is the source for this claim? I want to do my own analysis to see if they actually compared past weather events.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd.

and now, let the ownage begin.

these statistics come from "A Chronological Listing of Early Weather Events"

these are the temperature highs in the United States for 1894

Tucson, Arizona (106° F, 41.1° C)
Yuma, Arizona (113° F, 45.0° C)
Little Rock, Arkansas (103° F, 39.4° C)
Fort Smith, Arkansas (105° F, 40.6° C)

New Haven, Connecticut ( 94° F, 34.4° C)
New London, Connecticut ( 90° F, 32.2° C)
Wilmington, Delaware (101° F, 38.3° C)
Washington, D.C. ( 97° F, 36.1° C)
Pensacola, Florida ( 93° F, 33.9° C)
Key West, Florida ( 90° F, 32.2° C)
Augusta, Georgia ( 92° F, 33.3° C)
Savannah, Georgia ( 94° F, 34.4° C)
Payette, Idaho (107° F, 41.7° C)
Lewiston, Idaho (105° F, 40.6° C)
Chicago, Illinois ( 96° F, 35.6° C)
Cairo, Illinois ( 95° F, 35.0° C)
Indianapolis, Indiana ( 97° F, 36.1° C)
Lafayette, Indiana (100° F, 37.8° C)
Dubuque, Iowa (102° F, 38.9° C)
Keokuk, Iowa (102° F, 38.9° C)
Logan, Iowa (110° F, 43.3° C)
Topeka, Kansas (101° F, 38.3° C)
Elk City, Kansas (115° F, 46.1° C)
Dodge City, Kansas (106° F, 41.1° C)
Louisville, Kentucky ( 96° F, 35.6° C)
Lexington, Kentucky ( 93° F, 33.9° C)
New Orleans, Louisiana ( 99° F, 37.2° C)
Shreveport, Louisiana (101° F, 38.3° C)
Eastport, Maine ( 91° F, 32.8° C)
Portland, Maine ( 97° F, 36.1° C)
Baltimore, Maryland ( 97° F, 36.1° C)
Boston, Massachusetts ( 97° F, 36.1° C)
Nantucket, Massachusetts ( 85° F, 29.4° C)
Marquette, Michigan (100° F, 37.8° C)
Detroit, Michigan ( 96° F, 35.6° C)
Saint Vincent, Minnesota (100° F, 37.8° C)
Saint Paul, Minnesota (100° F, 37.8° C)
Vicksburg, Mississippi (100° F, 37.8° C)
Saint Louis, Missouri ( 98° F, 36.7° C)
Billings, Montana (103° F, 39.4° C)
Helena, Montana ( 94° F, 34.4° C)
North Platte, Nebraska (103° F, 39.4° C)
Omaha, Nebraska (106° F, 41.1° C)
Winnemucca, Nevada ( 94° F, 34.4° C)
Carson City, Nevada ( 90° F, 32.2° C)
West Milan, New Hampshire ( 90° F, 32.2° C)
New Brunswick, New Jersey (100° F, 37.8° C)
Cape May, New Jersey ( 90° F, 32.2° C)
Santa Fe, New Mexico ( 84° F, 28.9° C)
Albany, New York ( 97° F, 36.1° C)
New York City, New York ( 96° F, 35.6° C)
Charlotte, North Carolina ( 93° F, 33.9° C)
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina ( 90° F, 32.2° C)
Bismarck, North Dakota (101° F, 38.3° C)
Williston, North Dakota (100° F, 37.8° C)
Cincinnati, Ohio ( 95° F, 35.0° C)
Columbus, Ohio ( 97° F, 36.1° C)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (104° F, 40.0° C)
Fort Sill, Oklahoma (108° F, 42.2° C)