Friday, April 29, 2011

More Rejectionism at the Las Vegas Review Journal

The Las Vegas Review-Journal continues to sneer at global warming. Its most recent editorial outburst, "Global Warming's Awful Fortune Tellers", largely cribbed from an April 13 editorial ("The Climate Refugee Hoax") in Investors Business Daily, claims that a 2005 article in the Guardian predicted 50 million refugees from rising sea levels by 2010.

If the Guardian had actually said that, it would be premature (or prescient). But the actual 2005 article in the Guardian included rising sea levels, desertification, and shrinking freshwater supplies, not just rising sea levels. This makes it at least debatable whether or not there are currently 50 million refugees from environmental causes.

The Review-Journal, again cribbing from Investors Business Daily, quotes a Swedish researcher, Nils-Axel Morner of Stockholm University, who proclaimed that there has been no rise in sea level in the 35 years that he has been studying the topic.

The R-J editorial writers ought to take a look at the data (see above right).

The guru, Dr. Morner, has a serious problem with the scientific method. He is a believer in dousing, finding water using a dowsing rod. This topic is closely related to witchcraft. The International Union for Quaternary Research has publicly disavowed Morner's research. (The Quaternary period is the last two million years of Earth's history). It makes sense that the sea level would rise: the Greenland ice sheet is melting and the sea is warming up. Both contribute to the sea level rise, currently estimated at 3 mm/year by satellite measurements.

There are all sorts of skeptics out there. For example, consider the Danish researcher
Uffe Ravnskov, who wrote a book, "Cholesterol Myths", claiming that cholesterol and other saturated fat has no effect on heart disease. There are enough "cholesterol skeptics" that they formed their own rejectionist organization, the International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics. When I first discovered Ravnskov, I emailed a relative with an M. D., asking "is this guy nuts?". The reply was "yes".

Which pretty well sums up Dr. Ravnskov, Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rejection is fungable

Much popcorn is being consumed across the land as birther heads explode with the release of Obama's "long form" birth certificate. Lucia thought she was being cute by posting a copy, but ran into Kim, her house all arounder who is entertaining the masses. Matt Honan at Mother Jones made a flow chart so everyone can understand the game, and Eli made a few changes, very few changes, which tells this bunny that rejectionism is the same no matter what the subject, climate change, evolution, vaccines, birthers, tobacco and more.

with additions and deletions by Rabett Labs

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Strange Choices

So Eli has been Nisbiting here and there, when who should appear at the bird feeder in the window than Ethon. No decent liver out there anymore in Boulder he says, but spotted some good bird feed up at AU, and then Eli's pal began to talk about the grift.

Curious he said, but this Nathan Cummings Foundation that fronted the $$ to Matt Nisbet, why they are the dollars behind the Breakthrough bunch, which funnily enough has this Sr. Fellow, with whom Ethon assumes you, Eli, are well acquainted. It's a strange thing Ethon pointed out, but the author picked the reviewers and paid them the proverbial pittance to do something, though it is not clear what, because one of them jumped ship, and on the way out mentioned that he was only shown a small part of the report. And you know what, this is not something submitted to a journal for publication, but a report for some faculty guys with a web site of which the fellow who took the payments is the director. Makes you think of an S. Fred Special, you know the environmental tobacco smoke is good for you if, as Fred did, you use the wrong statistic, or maybe that NIPCC report that the old boy wrote for a 100K or so. Seems to be the going price this decade.

Anyhow, Ethon was a very hungry bird and he took the bait. Read the thing, and he pointed out something very interesting, not that interesting things had not been pointed out, and oh, did that make the usual suspects berry, berry cross, but this is supposedly a report on who spent what for influencing public opinion, and in that there are three things to look at: lobbying, advertising and political contributions.

On political contributions

A clear financial advantage still held by the conservative movement and industry allies exists in the arena of election spending, as a recent analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics indicates. In 2010, following the Citizens United court ruling, conservative and allied industry organizations engaged in unprecedented independent campaign spending. The Chamber of Commerce ($33 million), American Crossroads ($22 million) and Crossroads GPS ($17 million) combined for $73 million in independent expenditures. In comparison, the League of Conservation Voters ($5.5 million), Defenders of Wildlife ($1 million) and the Sierra Club ($700,000) combined to spend $7.2 million.
and you know, even the good Matt proves that money talks in politics, because there was one case where the shoe was on the other foot
In total, supporters of the proposition raised approximately $10.6 million. In comparison, the “No on Proposition 23” coalition raised at least $25 million, resulting in a more-than 2-to-1 financial advantage over their opponents.
which enabled the opponents of the proposition to run more ads, contact more people, etc. So on political contributions, advantage climate change rejectionists

On advertising:
the Alliance (for Climate Progress) spent $34 million on advertising, short of the widely publicized $100 million-a-year goal.53 Similarly, by the end of 2009, the Alliance had signed up 2.5 million “members” to receive news and alerts, short of the 10 million target.54 In terms of advertising by other environmental organizations, according to their 2009 tax records, EDF spent $9.6 million; NRDC, $2.3 million; and Sierra Club, $1.8 million. In all, the Alliance and these groups spent $47.7 million on advertising. . . .

In comparison, according to their respective tax returns, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $71 million on advertising in 2009, the American Petroleum Institute spent $57 million, the American Coalition for Clean Coal spent $31 million, the National Association of Manufacturers spent $4.5 million, and the Heritage Foundation spent $3.7 million, for a combined total of $167 million. Not all of this ad spending was on climate change. For example, as discussed earlier, much of the spending by the U.S. Chamber was aimed at health care legislation.

but, of course, not all of the environmental groups' advertising was on the Cap and Trade bill either. IOKIYAACCR. And, of course, the oil and coal companies had their own advertising,
Image advertising by the major oil companies is also relevant, as this advertising may influence the perceived need among lawmakers and the public for cap and trade legislation, even if the ads did not directly address the debate, and even as some of the companies supported the bills. . . .

Figures on advertising spending by oil companies in 2009 are not available, but an analysis by the firm Kantar Media CMAG for the Alliance for Climate Protection provides some insight on the scale of spending by these companies. During the first 10 months of 2010, Exxon Mobil spent $29 million, Shell spent $9.7 million and Chevron spent $7.2 million. In responding to the oil spill, BP spent $126 million.
So on advertising, advantage climate change rejectionists

On lobbying, as Joe Romm has pointed out, Nisbet has to use a bizarre method to get the numbers for pros and cons to come out even. His argument is based on the idea that
With the exception of the figures for the environmental groups, this comparison of lobbying expenditures across coalitions should not be interpreted as reflecting the actual amounts spent on cap and trade legislation. Instead, in the aggregate, these totals are representative of the capacity for power and influence that each side could apply in 2009.
But he then trawls into the pro cap and trade lobbying totals the total lobbying for all of the companies who were members of the US Climate Action Partnership. Somehow, the author forgot to include the total lobbying budgets for all of the members of the American Petroleum Institute or the US Chamber of Commerce on the other side. Unfortunate yet EVEN with that lack of manipulation**,
Through their work building coalitions and alliances, the environmental groups were able to forge a network of organizations that spent a combined $229 million on lobbying across all issues. In comparison, the network of prominent opponents of cap and trade legislation spent $272 million lobbying across all issues.
In spite of putting his big toe on the scale, in all three rubber meets the road categories, political contributions, advertising and lobbying the climate change rejectionists had significantly more resources (and if you think 43M$ is not a lot, Eli would like to talk with you about buying carrot and bird seed futures).

And then, of course, we have to (NO WE DON'T!!!!!) talk about the full Wegman, Nisbet's learned dissertation on how the AAAS is full of socialists who were born in Kenya. Science birtherism as it were. Was there a point there? Yes, Michael Mann published with a lot of people since 1998 and Obama's father came from Kenya.

** Nisbet's accounting puts Eli in mind of the three candidates for a CFO job who, at the interview were asked what 2 + 2 was. Three said the first, and was asked to leave. Four said the second and was told to take a seat in the waiting room. What would you like it to be said the third, and was hired.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Awake, thou wintry earth -

Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!

-Thomas Blackburn

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Science of Denying Science

Chris Mooney explains denialism: on Obama's birth certificate, climate change, and the vaccine-autism link. Modern neuroscience explains it all.

Mooney also explains why logic and reason often don't convince anybody to change their position.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Worm Turning Time

Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor of the Washington Post, has a well deserved reputation for favoring neo-cons, refugees from the American Enterprise Institute and world class tone trolls. Thus, this being spring, perhaps a sign of the worms turning?

The Republican self-deception that draws the most attention is the refusal to believe that Barack Obama is American-born.

But there are Republican doctrinal fantasies that may be more dangerous: the conviction that taxes can always go down, but never up, for example, and the gathering consensus among Republican leaders that human-caused climate change does not exist.

I’m not saying that Democrats’ answers to the budget or climate challenges are necessarily right. You can make a case for smaller government or argue that there’s no point in America curbing greenhouse gases if China won’t.

But it’s hard to debate blind faith. . .
The closer is even tougher, talking about one of the Republican would be candidates, but really talking about all of them
Climate science is complex, and much remains to be learned. But if you asked 1,000 scientists, 998 of them would say that climate change is real and that human activity — the burning of oil, gas and coal — is a significant contributor. But Pawlenty’s supposed uncertainty is convenient, because if we don’t know the cause, then there’s little point in looking for a cure. And any cure is going to cost money, or votes, or both.

To say that Republican irresponsibility makes it more difficult for Democrats to speak honestly is not an excuse. But it is a partial explanation. And while Obama may wish the climate change conversation would go away between now and 2012, he at least is not pretending the phenomenon is fiction.

and in the Joe Romm memorial last paragraph Hiatt asks

Which leads to another question: Should we feel better if a possible future president is not ignorant about the preeminent environmental danger facing our planet, but only calculating or cowardly?

Things are not always what Randy Olson thinks they are.

Eli Literates

Bart plays Newton propounding the Harry Potter theory of boating

Consider a boat at sea. It has both a sail (being dependent on the wind – i.e. natural variation) and an engine (i.e. radiative forcing).

The skipper puts the engine on full blast and steers the boat from, say, Holland to England.

Would anyone wonder whether it’s just the wind that’s pushing the boat over the Canal?

That would be the Harry Potter theory of boating.

and sharper becomes Einstein

Would anyone wonder whether it’s just the wind that’s pushing the boat over the Canal?

Ahh but what speed is it going at? How good is the data? What are the uncertainty bars? What about the drag from movement through the water? Can models reproduce that? How good or how fraudulent are they?

What about the radiation pressure exerted by the sun and cosmic rays? Were they measured in that location at that time? How good is that data? What’s the uncertainty? Where can I download the last 20 years worth in Excel format?

This is obviously a very wicked problem to solve. There are so many factors and so many complexities that it doesn’t seem like we can say with certainty there’s even enough speed to need your “catastrophic anthropogenic acceleration theory”.

Besides how you attribute a cause to speed anyway? The motion of the boat at any particular instant might be purely natural so you can’t say there was any non-natural acceleration overall.

Plus boats have always been accelerating long before there were engines. The Romans got around just fine!

And that’s why I don’t have to pay my share of the fuel cost to get us here. You can’t prove it got us here.

this is a thread so good that even Roddy Campbell has the bunnies ROTFLOAO

For the more serious minded Brian Schmidt solves the US budget crisis

Friday, April 15, 2011

The blank check strategy

Bubbling about in the blogs are various threads about FOIA requests, mostly at this time to the University of Virginia which is pursuing a different strategy to clear our the underbrush, specifically they are going to charge full costs for dealing with any of the vexatious FOIA requests that they get.

Rick Piltz has a post on Climate Science Watch about a letter to UVA from the American Association of University Professors, the Virginia ACLU, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and a bunch of others, including Rick. Judy Curry is tsking about Tim Ball being sued by Michael Mann, and the subject came up, came up, came up. . . featuring a request from Greenpeace for Pat Michaels correspondence and various requests for the letters of Michael Mann (he should auction them on Ebay).

For filling out the check, you get their word that they will look at all the Emails they have to or from Pat Michaels, Michael Mann or your faculty member of the month. Of course, they have an interesting couple of paragraphs in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act to rely on

In any case where a public body determines in advance that charges for producing the requested records are likely to exceed $200, the public body may, before continuing to process the request, require the requester to agree to payment of a deposit not to exceed the amount of the advance determination. The deposit shall be credited toward the final cost of supplying the requested records.
and even if they find something, there is lots that they do not have to turn over, including everything associated with research

The following records are excluded from the provisions of this chapter but may be disclosed by the custodian in his discretion, except where such disclosure is prohibited by law: . . . .

4. Data, records or information of a proprietary nature produced or collected by or for faculty or staff of public institutions of higher education, other than the institutions’ financial or administrative records, in the conduct of or as a result of study or research on medical, scientific, technical or scholarly issues, whether sponsored by the institution alone or in conjunction with a governmental body or a private concern, where such data, records or information has not been publicly released, published, copyrighted or patented.

and any information related to grants (which are business operations)

5. All records of the University of Virginia or the University of Virginia Medical Center or Eastern Virginia Medical School, as the case may be, that contain proprietary, business-related information pertaining to the operations of the University of Virginia Medical Center or Eastern Virginia Medical School, as the case may be, including business development or marketing strategies and activities with existing or future joint venturers, partners, or other parties with whom the University of Virginia Medical Center or Eastern Virginia Medical School, as the case may be, has formed, or forms, any arrangement for the delivery of health care, if disclosure of such information would be harmful to the competitive position of the Medical Center or Eastern Virginia Medical School, as the case may be.

UVa's timeline is full of splendid deadpan
Kert Davies and James Trowbridge, Greenpeace, Washington, D.C., request a list of grants and all correspondence from or to Patrick Michaels and S. Fred Singer on global climate change and a wide range of subjects.

U.Va. responds to Greenpeace request and estimates the costs to provide these records would be at least $3,500.

Greenpeace narrows its request and suggests U.Va. provide "unfiltered" emails.

U.Va. responds to Greenpeace request with detailed explanation of costs, attaches requested Michaels CV and list of grants. U.Va. also responds that "unfiltered" e-mails could contain information exempt from disclosure under state or federal law.
and on the other side
Christopher C. Horner, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C., requests extensive records concerning U.Va.'s FOIA procedures;
After confirming his Virginia residency, the University responds to Horners request and estimates that a substantive response to his request would take a lot of time and estimates the cost for these records would be at least $35,000.
UVa's letter contains this treasure
We note that CEI’s request for documents from professor Keene expressly includes “e-mail” while CEI’s request for documents from professors Galloway and Wiberg does not. We presume this is a typographical error and our estimate in this letter includes a search for responsive and non-exempt e-mail of professors Galloway and Wiberg. Please let us know, however, if CEI’s omission of “e-mail” from these two requests was intentional.

For your information, the most effective means to reduce costs generally is to reduce the number of University custodians from whom you seek records. The next most helpful cost-reduction method is the reduction or elimination of more generic key-word criteria.
The UVa legal office may be enjoying this.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Beyond Churnalism

Sometimes the press office puts out a good release,

Natural gas is mostly methane, which is a much more potent greenhouse gas, especially in the short term, with 105 times more warming impact, pound for pound, than carbon dioxide (CO2), Howarth said, adding that even small leaks make a big difference. He estimated that as much as 8 percent of the methane in shale gas leaks into the air during the lifetime of a hydraulic shale gas well -- up to twice what escapes from conventional gas production. . . .

He noted that the hydraulic fracturing process lends itself to more leakage because it takes more time to drill the well, requires more venting and produces more flowback waste, he said.

"A lot of the data we used are really low quality, but I'm confident they are the best available," Howarth said. "We want to go out into the Marcellus Shale and do micrometeorological fluxes of methane at the time of venting and get a real number on this, which has never been done. We're optimistic we can get funding and do that over the next year."

"We've tried to be conservative all along; we're not trying to be hyperbolic in our statements," Ingraffea said.

"We do not intend for you to accept what we've reported on today as the definitive scientific study in regards to this question. It's clearly not," he added. "What we're hoping to do with this study is to stimulate the science that should have been done before. In my opinion, corporate business plans superseded national energy strategy."

and then the churnalists get to it. On the other side of the sausage grinder here is a lovely example of the perversity argument from Eve Troeh on Marketplace (NPR)
On TV, natural gas gets sold as pristine energy.

Robert Howarth: But that of course is only part of the greenhouse gas footprint.

Cornell University professor Robert Howarth. His new study is the first to quantify the whole carbon footprint for natural gas. He found it's more Bigfoot than Bambi. Because when you crack shale to get to the clean-burning fuel, out comes "methane" -- another greenhouse gas. He says that's worse than burning coal.

And, of course, not to be caught in the rush, Friend Kloor jumps in at his new day job
Maybe, but that natural gas bridge might not be as sturdy as previously thought, according to a Cornell University study in the upcoming May issue of Climatic Change Letters. Cornell ecologist Robert Howarth, a lead author of the study, says in a university release that methane ( a potent global warming gas) leakage from a controversial drilling method (known as fracking) offsets the lesser carbon emissions that makes makes natural gas more attractive in comparison other fossil fuels:
You know, who would have guessed that natural gas is mostly methane. Eli told the bunnies that you just have to taste the blather to spot the rejectionists. Time for the Coven to call another blogger ethics panel.

Oh yeah, in case anyone cares, leakage from natural gas pipelines contributes strongly to methane emissions and atmospheric methane is degraded to CO2 in ~10 years. Let us not talk about the cows. This is a family blog.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Rhetoric of Rejection: Part II

Eli would add a fourth horseman to the rhetoric of rejection, beyond perversity, futility, and jeopardy: hypocrisy

  • hypocrisy: the claim that anyone who cares about, for example, climate change, must live in an unheated shack without air conditioning to be taken seriously, and certainly cannot drive a car.
This red herring has been deployed most strongly against Al Gore. Brian Schmidt has a strong answer:

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to fear hypocrisy

. . . .We're no angels, and hypocrisy is a good argument to make if we claim to be angels, but it's not an argument for inaction.

I often see its counterpart argument, btw: someone says they should be allowed to do something wrong because other people have done something wrong previously. Land developers make this argument constantly, "people ten years ago built their homes right into the streamside habitat, therefore I should be able to as well." No.
but Eli has a slightly different take (maybe because Eli is older)

No free riders. Which means we act together or not at all

The key to all these problems is that people are willing to stand a considerable amount of sacrifice, but only if they see that everyone is sharing the same. So Eli

1. is willing to share a considerable amount of sacrifice but
2. is unwilling to do it if others don’t.

This is a fairly general rule . . .

A good example of this is bottle return laws or plastic bag laws. People have no problem with them and they benefit the community, but only a few will bring their own bags or return bottles without some sort of regulation.
The nastiest version is folks who don't give a damn about anyone else, especially anyone else in a poor country, especially a poor African country, berating anyone who wants to take action against climate change for wanting to hurt the poor Africans. See also perversity, futility and jeopardy. That one is a real keeper.

Examples folks, Eli wants examples

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Rhetoric of Rejection

Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy

About 20 years ago Albert Hirschman wrote a small, but since well known, book "The Rhetoric of Reaction" about how conservatives think and argue. The bunnies will discover that this perfectly describes how are blogging compatriots and politicians reject science. Hirschman's concern was that democracy requires opposing views, but also interchange among those holding those views. "How did they get to be that way?" is a sure sign that an honest dialogue has vanished.

The Rhetoric of Reaction is structured about rejection of progress in politics, progress in the sense of a widening citizenship and active participation, particularly in the American and French Revolution and the development of democratic nation states since. While political progress is arbitrary the increased understanding provided by science is definitionally progress unless there are some fans of ignorance out there. Thus, it is not surprising that Hirschman's taxonomy fits the arguments made by those who reject science, specifically climate science, modern biology, modern medicine and more.

The bunnies can look forward to examples, indeed, Eli would encourage them to provide their own, but here he only wants to paraphrase Hirschman's theses

  • Perversity is claiming that any purposive action to improve something only exacerbates the condition one wishes to remedy
  • Futility is holding that attempts at transformation will be unavailing and will simply fail to make a dent
  • Jeopardy argues that the cost of the proposed change is too high and endangers some previous valued accomplishment.
As everybunny knows these are the standard operating procedures of rejection, but as Hirschman himself writes, fans of progress have to be vigilant not to fall into symmetric traps. What is amazing is how these three theses clearly identify rejection.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Beyond Denial


Now it's not that Eli thinks denialist is a bad description, or that he has much use for the crocodile tears pouring down some cherub like cheeks, but as some put it (thanks Bart), it pays to listen to what your opponents are talking about.

Truth is that the Watt's Up With That, Climate Audit, Judith Curry crowd are not denialists, they are rejectionists, and this extends, as Ethon will show, to the Roger P Jr. and Sr., Shellenberger, Tol and Lucia bunch with able assistance from the Heartland, GMI, Fred Singers and beyond.

Frequently, actually most often, the rejection of climate science emerges from political views. It takes a certain maturity to decouple belief from observation, the kind of maturity that a Kerry Emmanuel has, and maybe to an extent Richard Muller (jury is out on the latter).

It's not that these other folks don't believe science, they reject science, sometimes with lip service, sometimes hillariously. We only have to look at the Gerlichs, the Chillingers, the Manuels and more for the funny page side, but even folk who should know better fall into the trap of rejectionism. And, of course, we have the rejectionist for the sake of controversy which sells papers crowd, the Kloors and their pals. In the coming days Eli will be discussing the three sure signs of a rejectionist argument and how to get beyond it.

Added: Denial is passive, rejection is active. Willard would appreciate the difference.

Oh yeah, maybe some science. The Bunny may have a nasty puzzler.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Eli Is Old

Michael Tobis continues to lament that many years of USENET and blogging has been for naught, but Eli has a different take, which was brought home when he recently read Kate's Climate Sight post on ozone depletion. Remember MT, opposition to the Montreal Protocols was furious and involved many of our still favorite characters, S. Fred Singer, the GMI trio and more, but this ship has sailed so far into the sunset that even Kate, let alone her readers make the simplest of mistakes.

They make these mistakes, because outside of a few true dead enders, ozone depletion is history except for the folks involved in monitoring the recovery and the newspaper article in September which tells us about the depth of this year's hole. Of course, the article has moved well back into the depths of most newspapers.

We, the people of the world, have met the challenge and the younger folks think of it as sort of Science War II, before they were born stuff. Eli has good news though, there finally is a worthy successor to Robert Parson's Ozone FAQ (which still ain't bad) with snazzy figures and all: Twenty Questions and Answers About the Ozone Layer. It is accessible to all, for example, this is the answer to the old saw about how can those heavy CFCs make it up to the stratosphere

Heavier-Than-Air CFCs
CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances reach the stratosphere despite the fact that they are “heavier than air.” For example, molecules of CFC-11 (CCl3F) and CFC-12 (CCl2F2) are approximately 4–5 times heavier than the average molecule of air, since air is composed primarily of oxygen and nitrogen. The emissions of long-lived gases accumulate in the lower atmosphere (troposphere). The distribution of these gases in the troposphere and stratosphere is not controlled by the molecular weight of each gas because air is in continual motion in these regions as a result of winds and convection. Continual air motions ensure that new emissions of long-lived gases are horizontally and vertically well mixed throughout the troposphere within a few months. It is this well-mixed air that enters the lower stratosphere from upward air motions in tropical regions, bringing with it ozone-depleting substances emitted from any location on Earth’s surface.

Atmospheric measurements confirm that ozone-depleting substances with long atmospheric lifetimes are well mixed in the troposphere and are present in the stratosphere (see Figure Q8-2). The amounts found in these regions are generally consistent with the emission estimates reported by industries and governments. Measurements also show that gases that are “lighter than air,” such as hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4), are also well mixed in the troposphere, as expected, and not found only in the upper atmosphere. Noble gases from very light helium to very heavy xenon, which all have very long atmospheric lifetimes, are also uniformly distributed throughout the troposphere and stratosphere. Only at altitudes well above the troposphere and stratosphere (above 85 kilometers (53 miles)), where much less air is present, does the influence of winds and convection diminish to the point where heavy gases begin to separate from lighter gases as a result of gravity.
Notice how the sum of chlorine source gases (the CFCs, methyl chloride, etc), photochemical intermediates and end products (HCl) stays the same with altitude.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Blog Pimping

Eli, of course, just like the next bunny, is well capable of blog whoring, but here, dear reader, he would like to engage in some blog pimping for Backseat Driving, the blog of Brian Schmidt, an elected member of the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board (out west, whiskey is for drinking and water is for politiking). How, how, dear readers could you NOT read a blog which Tim Ball called Cheap Tawdry and Useless.

Brian is on fire, raising mature issues in an adult way without any acting out. Among the the recent posts are

Wish I didn't have Shellenberger on my (partly) pro-nuke side Nuclear proliferation issues are probably the second-biggest problem with nuclear power after economics. Michael Shellenberger spent much of this Forum discussion pretending it wasn't a problem at all. "You don't build nuclear power to get a nuclear weapon." Oh yes, you do. There's a huge amount of overlap in the technology.
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to fear hypocrisy Came up with the quote above myself. I really hate the argument that you're not allowed to do something good unless you always do that good thing. We're no angels, and hypocrisy is a good argument to make if we claim to be angels, but it's not an argument for inaction.
Nuke power: still too safe, still too expensive, and no one's changed their mind So I'll stand by what I wrote in 2005, that nuclear power is too safe relative to fossil fuel competitors. I suppose you could argue it's worthwhile to make the worst 10% safer while making new plants less safe than otherwise planned, but that wouldn't change the analysis. I also suppose it's less safe than the industrial accidents from renewable power (don't really know the answer to that), but that's not the binary choice we have in our current system.
Go read an intelligent blog and discuss real ideas not journalistic blow. Oh yes, he has a snazzy new color scheme, much nicer than JEB

Exposing Herself to Art

Lucia has been conducting an odd little seance touched off by Keith Kloor, drama queen, and Michael Tobis, in the role of Hamlet. Nuts and bolts, is that MT speculated

It's pretty much inevitable that the Heartland gang has their own list or lists wherein they collate their nonsense and try to hush up its bizarre contradictions. I suspect they also have some political list which dreams up and coordinates their random ambushes on innocents and serious researchers.
After Eli wrote that there is a well known ClimateSkeptics Yahoo group that has some of these characteristics and others pointed out that Morano sends out daily hit lists, la Belle Dame demanded Eli sojourn there and find
a list matching the characteristics suggested by Michael Tobis existed. Based on MT’s comment, these are:
  1. The list belongs to the “Heartland gang” and/or
  2. the function of the list is to “they collate their nonsense and try to hush up its bizarre contradictions.” and ,
  3. they also have some political list which “dreams up and coordinates their random ambushes on innocents and serious researchers.”.
Arthur Smith, in an Email to Eli, summed it up perfectly
"Oh, what a mind-bending thread of discussion. Lucia is as usual trying
to persuade all and sundry to believe her and not their lying eyes or
brains which just happened to read something that seems to directly
contradict what she is claiming. How do you manage to engage there and
stay sane?"
Those bunnies who remember the recent political campaign (wherever you are) recognize Lucia's trick. Define something your opponent has said, awkwardly enough that you can say anything you want about it. It's not what is said, but figuring out where the twist is that tells the story. In this case, the take away is from what is not said and how it is not said
  • Lucia was a member or is aware of a list or network of correspondents that more or less matches what Michael was talking about
  • That the list members discuss and polish various and sundry stuff related to some of the climate nonsense they are pushing
  • That many of the members have participated in the Heartland Conferences, but the list was not necessarily organized by Heartland
Now Eli, Eli of course, believes no such thing although he has lately received some interesting, but confidential Emails, but this interaction between Steve Mosher and Lucia is, well you can smell the carrots on their breath.

Shortly after confirming the authenticity of the Climategate files, Mosher says he saw the link to the file on the Air Vent. “My first reaction to the link was relief,” he said. “I didn’t want to be the only person who had these files and the task of plowing through all the mails was overwhelming.”

Mosher understood the power of the peer-to-peer review network. The task of mining the emails for relevant data could only be undertaken by the group that had been closely monitoring the workings of the global warming establishment. Once the link was on the Air Vent, Mosher hit the ground running. He simultaneously informed Jeff Id and Lucia Liljegren of the existence of the link on the blog.

and willard has been following tracks in the snow from Roman M and digging Lucia a fun Air Vent
Here’s the question:
> Is this the mailing list [] that Andrew Montford mentioned in his book?
Here’s the first answer I got:
> That’s the group []. I just got admitted.
Here’s another answer I got:
> I meant that the link you provide is the one Eli provided.
Here’s now the answer I get:
> I interpreted your question asking whether the link Eli provided and Montfords book as raising the possibility that it was.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

No One Asked for It

Eli needs the relief after reading Michael Mann's notice of Civil Claim against Tim Ball and the Frontier Center for Public Policy by way of DeSmogBlog. Among the requested relief is

(f) an Order requiring the denendants FCPP and John Doe to permanently remove the Ball Interview from any electronic database where it is accessible, including without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the FCPP Website.
Here, let Eli google that for you

Saturday, April 02, 2011

NASA scientist Richard Hoover wins Pigasus Award

This is one award no scientist really wants to win: the Pigasus Award, awarded by the James Randi Educational Foundation to someone who promotes nonsense. NASA scientist Richard Hoover, who claimed to find sign of life in a rock from Mars, received the honor. Um...I mean dishonor.

Randi gave five awards, including one to Dr. Oz, a doctor trained in medical science who now promotes all sorts of silly notions. A past Pigasus winner, televangelist Peter Popoff, took home another Pigasus award.

Many decades ago, the Harvard Lampoon gave out the "Natalie Wood Worst Actress of the Year Award." Natalie Wood surprised everyone by showing up to collect it.

Friday, April 01, 2011

A Contest

The Auditors have a new post up at Denial Depot presaging the response of Tony Watts and his Svengali, Roger Pielke Sr. to the testimony yesterday of Richard Muller, the Svengali of the BEST project.

1) Any errors, however inconsequential, will be taken Very Seriously and accusations of fraud will be made.

2) If you adjust the raw data we will accuse you of fraudulently fiddling the figures whilst cooking the books.

3) If you don't adjust the raw data we will accuse you of fraudulently failing to account for station biases and UHI.

4) Homogenization is what Enron did.

5) If you rely on CLIMAT messages for the monthly updates this will cause a sharp station count drop after the first month. If that happens we will accuse you of fraudulently deleting stations to produce warming.

6) If you ever modify your algorithm and rerun it over the data so that some past monthly values change, we will accuse you of fraudulently rewriting written history.

7) By all means publish all your source code, but we will still accuse you of hiding the methodology for your adjustments. . . . .

24) In the event that you comply with all of the above, we will point out that a mere hundred-odd years of data is irrelevant next to the 4.5 billion year history of Earth. So why do you even bother?
and here is Tony doing # 1
He fails to distinguish CRUTEM (the land-only temperature record produced by the Climategate folks) from HadCRU (a land-ocean record produced jointly by the Hadley folks and the Climategate folks). A minor point to be sure, but one indicating his unfamiliarity with the underlying datasets he is discussing.

Now these are excellent Auditors over at Denial Depot, and they expect you to do their work for them, else they will be very cross, so your job bunnies is to go over to WUWT and match the responses to Anthony and Roger Sr. posts. For extra credit, troll the comments.