“50 shades of raised eyebrow” – Stefan Molyneux
An excellent tribute to Spock and the philosophy of Spock and Star Trek and how it relates to our real lives.
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Posted by pwl on March 9, 2015
“50 shades of raised eyebrow” – Stefan Molyneux
An excellent tribute to Spock and the philosophy of Spock and Star Trek and how it relates to our real lives.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Biology, Complex Systems, Ethics in Science, Fun, Get some perspective people, Good science attitude, Ontology of Being, People|Reason, Philosophy, Rational Thinking, Science Education, Science Ficition, Science Shows, Scientific Method, Space Travel, Spock, Video | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on March 29, 2014
The unseen world of science that some computer scientists have an advantage seeing the objective reality of Nature through the Matrix of Design.
“Two important characteristics of maps should be noticed. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.” – Alfred Korzybski
It must be noted that Information Science is at the very heart of the objective reality of Nature, the fabric of spacetime itself distinguishes information into discrete quantum packets of particles and components of energy at the smallest level of Plank time and length (Plank Spacetime). Existence would not exist without distinction of information, this from that, that from this, here from there, there from here, now from then, etc… in a (seemingly) never ending continuum and volume.
In a very real way information science is more fundamental than even physics. Without information existence would not exist. Is it even possible to have existence without information? Only in a singularity of the pre-big bang instant when there is nothing, I’d assert.
“There is a considerable difference between a mathematician’s view of the world and a computer scientist’s. To a mathematician all structures are static: they have always been and will always be; the only time dependence is that we just have not discovered them all yet. The computer scientist is concerned with (and fascinated by) the continuous creation, combination, separation and destruction of structures: time is of the essence.
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Posted in A New Kind of Science [NKS], Awesome, Awesome beyond awesome, Complex Systems, Definition of Terms, Ignorance to Knowledge, Philosophy, Rational Thinking, Science Education, Science over Propaganada, Scientific Method, Something to think about | 1 Comment »
Posted by pwl on November 3, 2012
The Paradox Of Self-Government
By Alan Lovejoy
The state hypothesis argues that granting the state certain powers and authorities that no other entity has is the optimal solution to the problem of peaceful human interaction, cooperation and collaboration. Of course, there are many variations on the theme: Absolute monarchs, direct democracies, and modernly Constitutional republics, to name just the most common.
The principle argument for the state hypothesis is that human beings tend to mistreat each other, and so the state is necessary in order to protect the rights of all from the deprivations and abuses of the few.
But who will guard the guards themselves? Humans do not cease to have a tendency to mistreat others simply because they become employees (or leaders) of the state. That is the central paradox of establishing a state with a monopoly on the authority to operate as a government.
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” ~ James Madison
The United States was founded by those who believed that a Constitutional republic might be the optimal form of a state, and that a Constitutional republic with limited powers might be a good solution to the problem of how to keep the state from becoming the very thing that it is intended to prevent from coming into existence, namely, a tyrannical violator of individual rights that no one has sufficient power to oppose:
“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.” -Thomas Jefferson
But the state hypothesis has a fundamental flaw that categorically prevents it from being true: It’s based on multiple logical contradictions.
Posted in Adult Supervision Required, Big Brother Planetary Control System, Exercise For the Reader, Get some perspective people, History, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Ignorance to Knowledge, Making a REAL Positive Difference in the World, Ontology of Being, Paradigm Shift, Philosophy, Police State Insanity, Politics, Quotations, Rational Thinking, Science Ficition, Something to think about | 129 Comments »
Posted by pwl on May 15, 2012
When Same-Sex Marriage Was A Christian Rite [What Was Still IS]
Written by Thos Payne, Colfax Record.
A Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai in Israel. It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman ‘pronubus’ (a best man), overseeing a wedding. The pronubus is Christ. The married couple are both men.
Is the icon suggesting that a gay “wedding” is being sanctified by Christ himself? The idea seems shocking. But the full answer comes from other early Christian sources about the two men featured in the icon, St. Sergius and St. Bacchus,2 two Roman soldiers who were Christian martyrs. These two officers in the Roman army incurred the anger of Emperor Maximian when they were exposed as ‘secret Christians’ by refusing to enter a pagan temple. Both were sent to Syria circa 303 CE where Bacchus is thought to have died while being flogged. Sergius survived torture but was later beheaded. Legend says that Bacchus appeared to the dying Sergius as an angel, telling him to be brave because they would soon be reunited in heaven.
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Posted in Adult Supervision Required, Awesome, Get some perspective people, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Ontology of Being, Philosophy, Politics, Proofs, Rational Thinking, Religion, WOW!!! | 11 Comments »
Posted by Strategesis on May 13, 2012
There are two extremes of governmental structure: One is where there is but one universal government, and the other is where each sentient being is a sovereign government unto himself. In the former case, the universal government has full control over the environment on a world-wide basis. In the latter case, each individual makes his own policy decisions regarding whatever part of the planet he owns and rules over as the sovereign (if he does–he may not own any land.)
With one world government, there is a single point of failure. All risk resides with that one policy maker, who could decide on any policy. Worse, the monopoly policy maker can change its policy at any time. If it chooses a really bad policy, and applies it worldwide for a sufficiently long period of time, the results could be extremely disastrous for the human race, perhaps even for all life on Earth.
Consequently, entrusting the environment to the care of a universal government is equivalent to risking everything on the outcome of a single event: all of one’s trading capital on a single trade, or all of one’s gambling stake on a single roll of the dice. Traders and gamblers who do that repeatedly will eventually lose all their capital. You will not win every roll of the dice without limit.
Trusting to the policy decisions of a single government is to repeatedly roll the dice again and again, hoping that you win each time the government reevaluates its policy, for whatever reason.
It is commonly alleged that the failure to protect innocent bystanders from the collateral damage caused by big corporate/industrial polluters is a failure of the free market. But that assertion is contrary to fact:
We don’t live in a society where the free market has the primary authority or responsibility for protecting rights, property or otherwise. We live in a society where the primary authority and responsibility for that has been socialized and politicized. It is the state and its public (not private or free-market) system of law making, law enforcement and judicial services that our society gives the authority and responsibility to protect lives, health and property. So any failure to do that function effectively and/or satisfactorily cannot possibly be rightly placed anywhere else than on the state, and not on the free market. The state prohibits the existence of a free market in law and/or judicial services. It claims to be the monopoly provider of such services, and enforces that claim with overwhelming force.
The state makes the rules that define what activities will be allowed and which will be prohibited, makes the rules that determine whether, when and to what extent polluters will or will not be forced to pay for damages, and makes the rules that may or may not prohibit pollution-causing activities. The state enforces those rules, judges whether its rules have or have not been followed, and grants immunity from suit or prosecution as it sees fit. And environmentalists are positively furious with the results–but inexplicably blame the free market for this failure of the state.
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Posted by Strategesis on May 13, 2012
There is nothing magical about democracy that prevents it from violating rights, or from enslaving people–even those whom it grants the privilege of voting. The majority can vote to enslave whomever it pleases–without denying them the privilege of voting. Nor is there any limit to the degree of slavery that a democracy may impose.
That falsifies any assertion that slavery or serdom cease to exist once the slave or serf is allowed to vote. For the same reason that it would falsify an assertion that a majority vote to have someone killed wasn’t murder, simply because it was done by majority vote.
You own yourself. I can fully justify that assertion, but since most people accept it, and since that point isn’t the topic, I’ll just assume that the reader accepts the assertion, and proceed:
Ownership, by definition, defines as rightful whatever actions you decide to take with respect to what you own, with the sole exception of whatever interferes with the property rights of others–including their symmetrical and reciprocal ownership of themselves. That’s why the concepts of property and rights exist. Their purpose is to define and disambiguate whose will rightfully prevails, when there is a conflict of wills.
Consequently, your neighbor has no right to enslave you. He has no rightful title to you as his property. Whether it could ever be possible that one person could rightfully own another via transfer of title using some unspecified procedure is non-sequitur to this discussion. What is sequitur is whether or not your neighbor can rightfully acquire title to you as his property–his slave–simply by asserting it sua sponte.
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Posted by pwl on September 24, 2011
Debate between renowned journalist and author Christopher Hitchens and Dr. Barry Brummett (Chair, Department of Communication Studies, University of Texas at Austin) on the resolution “Religion has been a positive force in culture,” June 4, 2011. Organized by the Department of English Language and Literature, University of Waterloo (http://www.english.uwaterloo.ca/), as part of the Literature, Rhetoric, and Values Conference, 3-5 June 2011.
Moderated by Jian Ghomeshi, an award-winning broadcaster, writer, musician and producer. He is the host and co-creator of the national daily talk program, Q, on CBC Radio One and CBC TV (http://www.cbc.ca/q/). Since its inception in 2007, Q has garnered the largest audience of any cultural affairs program in Canada and has become the highest-rated show in its morning time slot in CBC history.
In Part 1, Jian Ghomeshi introduces the two debaters.
Preliminary video-editing by Ken Cooper. Final edits by MetaMedia Productions, Waterloo, Ontario.
The Department gratefully acknowledges the support of a Social Sciences and Humanities Council Aid to Conferences Grant for the Conference on Literature, Rhetoric, and Values.
Posted by pwl on June 6, 2011
“Wonders of the Universe is a 2011 television series produced by the BBC, Discovery Channel, and Science Channel, hosted by physicist Brian Cox. Wonders of the Universe was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 6 March 2011. The series comprises four episodes, each of which focuses on an aspect of the universe and features a ‘wonder’ relevant to the theme. It follows on from Cox’s previous series for the BBC, Wonders of the Solar System, which was first broadcast in 2010.” 
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Posted in Awesome, Awesome beyond awesome, Complex Systems, Energy, Ethics in Science, Exercise For the Reader, Get some perspective people, Good science attitude, Gravity, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, History, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Intelligent Designer - Yeah Right, Philosophy, Proofs, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science Education, Science Shows | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on May 26, 2011
Sorry Sir Paul Maxime Nurse, PRS (President of the Royal Society), in science funded by the public purse you’ve got to show your work when asked for it. If there are any scientists who refuse to show their work they can expect to get Freedom Of Information Requests. All they have to do is put their work with all the full details fully documented so that their entire paper including all data and details of experiments can be replicated step by step up on their research lab’s web site so that their work can be verified, corrected or refuted in part or in whole. It’s all very easy if they have already done their science carefully!
“Show and justify your work”: If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen, and if you can’t stand skepticism about your methodology, assumptions, and analyses get out of science — go into religion. – Indur M. Goklany, Science and technology policy analyst, United States Department of the Interior, Represented the United States at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and during the negotiations that led to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
But no Sir Paul Maxime Nurse, the all mighty and all powerful President of the Royal Society wants scientists to abandon and give up the scientific method. If you hide data or details of your papers that are required to replicate the alleged claims then expect to be challenged on it especially when the alleged claims have a significant impact upon the public purse or policy.
“Freedom of information laws are being misused to harass scientists and should be re-examined by the government, according to the president of the Royal Society.” – Guardian
Woops, can’t do that as it’s in violation of the rules of the scientific method and you should know better than that Sir Paul Maxime Nurse. Heck your own Royal Society says:
Posted in Bad Science Attitude, bashing ingorant shit over the head with a shovel, Believe it or your a denier!, Big Brother Planetary Control System, Caustic Scientists, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Double Yikes!!, Ethics in Science, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Get some perspective people, Hard Science Required, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Insanity beyond Insanity, Philosophy, Proofs Needed, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science over Propaganada, Science Smackdown, To Hell With You Buddy, Total Control Over Our Lives, Yeah Right, Yikes! The sky is NOT falling! | 5 Comments »
Posted by pwl on May 11, 2011
The comic continues:
Posted by pwl on May 10, 2011
In the 60 minutes interview Obama states his notion of “revenge justice”. What was more disturbing though is his self justifying attitude that anyone who disagrees with his style of “revenge eye for an eye justice” has to “have their heads examined”. Using the methods of Osama bin Laden doesn’t make you a better man Obama, it just makes you another terrorist and murderer. That’s the problem with the revenge notion of justice, you become what your enemy is.
Justice: “Theory of the morally appropriate way of resolving social differences. There is no one theory of justice.
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Posted by pwl on May 10, 2011
“Nullis in verba. Take no one’s word for it.” – Motto of the Royal Society
In a FREE society people are free to “believe” or “not believe” any claim of science, however BOTH are making a mistake!!!
Belief: taking as true (or false) that which you have no evidence for; basing your belief upon faith or trust (another form of faith).
Belief has NOTHING to do with science, belief is a process of the mind that takes things on faith rather than evidence that can be verified, preferably by each person or in a basic science class room.
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Posted in Adventure, Awesome beyond awesome, Climate Science, Complex Systems, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Doomsday Claim Falsified, Ethics in Science, Hard Science Required, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ideas Crazy Enough to Have a Chance, Ignorance to Knowledge, Ontology of Being, Philosophy, Politics, Proofs Needed, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science over Propaganada | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on April 23, 2011
Christopher Hitchens writes:
Nothing would have kept me from joining you except the loss of my voice (at least my speaking voice) which in turn is due to a long argument I am currently having with the specter of death. Nobody ever wins this argument, though there are some solid points to be made while the discussion goes on. I have found, as the enemy becomes more familiar, that all the special pleading for salvation, redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before. I hope to help defend and pass on the lessons of this for many years to come, but for now I have found my trust better placed in two things: the skill and principle of advanced medical science, and the comradeship of innumerable friends and family, all of them immune to the false consolations of religion. It is these forces among others which will speed the day when humanity emancipates itself from the mind-forged manacles of servility and superstitition. It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.
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Posted in Christopher Hitchens, Damn it!, Get some perspective people, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Philosophy, Quotations, Rational Thinking, Science over Propaganada, Something to think about, The End is Nigh, Wait for it!, Yikes!, Yikes! The sky really is falling! | 3 Comments »
Posted by pwl on December 17, 2010
The Pioneer Spacecraft: Pioneer 10 now soars toward the constellation Taurus, and 11 aims for Aquila
Thirty years ago, NASA scientists noticed that two of their spacecraft, Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, were veering off course slightly, as if subject to a mysterious, unknown force. In 1998, the wider scientific community got wind of that veering—termed the Pioneer anomaly—and took aim at it with incessant, mind-blowingly detailed scrutiny that has since raised it to the physics equivalent of cult status. Now, though, after spawning close to 1000 academic papers, numerous international conferences, and many entire scientific careers, this beloved cosmic mystery may be on its way out.
Slava Turyshev, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., and Viktor Toth, a Canada-based software developer, plan to publish the results of their strikingly comprehensive new analysis of the Pioneer anomaly in the next few months. Their work is likely to bring a conclusion to one of the longest and most tumultuous detective stories of modern astrophysics.
NASA launched Pioneer 10 in the spring of 1972 and Pioneer 11 one year later. The spacecraft’s joint mission was to gather information about the asteroid belt, Jupiter, Saturn (in the case of Pioneer 11), and their moons. As they hurtled past those various celestial objects, the probes measured previously unknown properties of their atmospheres and surfaces; they also photographed Jupiter’s Red Spot and Saturn’s rings up close for the first time. Then, after completing their “flyby” missions in the mid-1970s, the Pioneers kept going. Carrying identical plaques depicting a man and a woman, the atomic transition of hydrogen, and the location of our planet within the galaxy—a message to aliens—the probes became the first manmade objects ever to plunge beyond the solar system into the inconceivable cold and dark of interstellar space. 
This is a fascinating story for many reasons: (1) it has parallels to the entire climate debate, (2) complex computer models of various forces of Nature such as gravity and heat, (3) 1,000s of scientific papers peer reviewed none-the-less attempting to find the cause of the anomaly, (4) destruction of the data (almost), (5) refutation upon refutation leading nowhere, (6) a mystery of great complexity, (7) models that are just to inefficient or full of errors, (8) mistaken idea after mistaken idea, (9) complexity, (10) tenacious independent non-official scientific oriented people dedicated to solving the problem on their own time, (11) …, (N) the list of valuable comparisons goes on and on.
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Posted in Adult Supervision Required, Awesome beyond awesome, Climate Science, Complex Systems, Ethics in Science, Exercise For the Reader, Get some perspective people, Good science attitude, Gravity, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Humbled by Nature, Ideas Crazy Enough to Have a Chance, Ignorance to Knowledge, Majestic Universe, Philosophy, Rational Thinking, Science Education, Science Missions, Science over Propaganada, Science Smackdown, Something to think about, Space Travel, They got the math wrong!, Vehicles, Wait for it! | Tagged: Philosophy Of Science, Scientific Method | 6 Comments »
Posted by pwl on November 29, 2010
The legal right of the government to lie to the people has always bothered me as it smacks of a lack of integrity by the very people allegedly empowered to have the highest levels of integrity and honesty by the people. The members of the government, in whatever capacity or role they are filling, have a special trust to uphold and when they use deception why are they allowed to get away with it and yet a different standard is applied to the people when they lie? If a defendant in a court case lies at any point while being investigated it’s treated with such great importance that it’s as if the world came to an end… but when the cult members of the cult of government lie it’s for the benefit of the people and lifted up as somehow an honorable trick that was played to get at the truth when in fact it’s no different for it was a lie, a deception, a non-truth, falsified information, a fabrication designed to give false impressions. It’s ironic that some of the best liars are likely working within the government and get rewarded for it.
Posted in A New Kind of Science [NKS], Big Brother Planetary Control System, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Get some perspective people, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Philosophy, Politics, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science Education, Science over Propaganada, Stephen Wolfram, Total Control Over Our Lives, Watching the Watchers | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on November 18, 2010
Posted in Adult Supervision Required, Awesome beyond awesome, bashing ingorant shit over the head with a shovel, Get some perspective people, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Humbled by Nature, It's a good thing that your god(s) die with you, My Invisible Friend Needs Me For His-Her-Its Existence, Paradigm Shift, Philosophy, Rational Thinking, Really Funny, Religion, To Hell With You Buddy, Video, WOW!!! | 2 Comments »
Posted by pwl on October 17, 2010
“The purpose of language is to communicate and as long as you’ve communicated getting the nouns and verbs in the right order, grammar, spelling, pronunciation, or any of that correct is irrelevant.” ~ Powell Janulus, Master of Language, Speaker of 80+ Languages, Language Teacher, Court Translator, (paraphrased).
Posted by pwl on October 9, 2010
Posted in Awesome, Awesome beyond awesome, Bill Maher, Biology, Charles Darwin, Hard Science, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Philosophy, Rational Thinking, Richard Dawkins, Science Education, Science over Propaganada, Video | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on September 22, 2010
“It is only those who claim to know things like the mind of god and the origins and destination and intention of the universe, it is they, and only they who owe the explanation, and so far this evening haven’t cared to furnish it.” – Christopher Hitchens.
Posted in 1984, Adult Supervision Required, Christopher Hitchens, Eeek!, Ethics in Science, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Philosophy, Rational Thinking, Science over Propaganada, Video | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on September 3, 2010
Where do the laws of Nature come from?
Let’s explore this by way of two very interesting conversations, one from philosopher and physicist Paul Davies and the other from Stephen Wolfram.
Philosopher and physicist Paul Davies give a fascinating and thought-provoking talk on the possibility of an ultimate explanation for our universe. Dismissing the multiverse and God, he outlines an idea for finding an explanation for the universe and physical laws within the universe itself.
Posted in A New Kind of Science [NKS], Adult Supervision Required, Awesome, Awesome beyond awesome, Complex Systems, Definition of Terms, Energy, Get some perspective people, Gravity, Hard Science Required, Humbled by Nature, Ideas Crazy Enough to Have a Chance, Ignorance to Knowledge, Majestic Universe, Paradigm Shift, Philosophy, Proofs, Proofs Needed, Rational Thinking, Science over Propaganada, Science Shows, Something to think about, Spooky Action at a Distance, Stephen Wolfram, Video | 1 Comment »
Posted by pwl on August 27, 2010
By DAN BARKER – FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION
Added: Tuesday, 24 August 2010 at 7:26 AM
Rev. Marion “Pat” Robertson August 23, 2010 The Christian Broadcasting Network 977 Centerville Turnpike Virginia Beach VA 23463
Dear Rev. Robertson,
On behalf of our organization’s more than 16,000 members nationwide, and representing millions of atheists and agnostics, I am writing to protest your inflammatory and slanderous hate speech against nonbelievers, specifically your advice that no Christian should marry an atheist. During a program aired last year on the Christian Broadcast Network that has been recently rebroadcast, a woman with an atheist fiancé asked, “How do you think we can interact with each other peacefully when it comes to spiritual matters?” You responded unpeaceably:
I’m sure this is a nice guy, and you like him a lot, but the bible says, “What fellowship hath Christ with Belial?” There is no fellowship between an atheist and somebody who is a believer in God. . . . I hate to tell you, you’ve got to go find somebody else. . . . I mean, he’s gonna be serving the Devil and you’re gonna be serving God. It’s just that simple.
That remark is a blanket prejudicial smear against the character of all nonbelievers. If you had said the same thing about other minority groups — such as the recent controversy caused by Laura Schlessinger’s thoughtless use of the N-word on her show, suggesting to a caller that she should not have married “outside your race” — the country would be demanding your resignation, asking affiliates to cancel your show and calling on viewers to boycott your extremist, intolerant program. If you had told the woman to break up with a Jewish fiancé because Jews are “reprobate, dissolute and uncouth” (which is what “Belial” means), you would be properly branded an anti-Semite. If you had told her to dump her African-American fiancé because blacks are “worthless and useless” (which is also what “Belial” means), you would be quickly exposed as a racist. Likewise, labeling the entire class of nonbelievers as “demonic and evil,” and as the Devil itself (the meaning of “Belial” in the verse you misquoted), is equally abhorrent.
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Posted in Adult Supervision Required, atheophobic, Double Yikes!!, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Get some perspective people, Intelligent Designer - Yeah Right, It's a good thing that your god(s) die with you, Making a REAL Positive Difference in the World, Philosophy, Religion, Science over Propaganada, Some Intelligent Designer, Something to think about, To Hell With You Buddy, Zombie Jesus | 2 Comments »
Posted by pwl on August 2, 2010
”Faith is belief in the absence of evidence, science is belief in the presence of evidence.” ‘When the evidence disagrees with a scientific proposition, the proposition is discarded. When the evidence disagrees with a religious proposition, the evidence is thrown out’. – Victor J. Stenger
I work to eliminate belief and faith from my life, now I’m not talking about the “belief” that I left my car parked in it’s spot and whether or not it’s still there, I know I left it there but it’s possible that it is no longer there for a variety of reasons all possible within the known limits of objective reality. I’m talking about the kind of belief and faith that asserts “truths” or “facts” or “aspects” of the objective reality of Nature, about the very nature of Nature itself without any evidence to stand on. That is the kind of belief and faith that is the most pernicious and dangerous. I prefer knowledge that can be verified or proven with hard evidence or even better, proven with experiment done by yourself.
The problem is that the word “belief” has SO many meanings and people often don’t mean the same thing by the word. In addition when talking with “believers” it’s a huge pile of dogma that you’re taking about when you use the word “belief”, it’s not just one belief.
The point Stegner is making is which determines what you accept as real, the faith based beliefs and dogma, or the hard evidence? If the beliefs and dogma determine what is real, that is religion, that is highly dangerous, that is what leads to delusions. If the evidence determines what is real that is science, that is rationality, that is being connected with the objective reality of Nature where we actually exist.
Of course it all hinges on what the evidence is. There is good evidence and then there is bad evidence and faulty proofs.
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Posted in Adult Supervision Required, Complex Systems, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Ethics in Science, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Good science attitude, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Majestic Universe, Philosophy, Proofs, Proofs Needed, Quotations, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science Education, Science over Propaganada, Science Smackdown, Something to think about, Victor J Stenger | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on March 28, 2010
The real climate “deniers” are the ones denying access to the data.
The real climate “deniers” are those that say the science is settled when it’s notl
The real climate “deniers” are those that deny the problems with the wild claims alleged.
The real climate deniers are those that allege the AGW hypothesis based upon flawed statistical pseudo-science.
The real climate deniers are those that deny that at the heart of the scientific method is criticism that can falsify the alleged hypotheses put forward by supporters of a hypothesis.
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Posted in Caustic Scientists, Climate Science, Climategate, Complex Systems, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, It's a good thing that your god(s) die with you, Making a REAL Positive Difference in the World, Philosophy, Real Climate Deniers, Reality Based Economics, Reality Based Environmentalism | 5 Comments »
Posted by pwl on February 19, 2010
CARGO CULT SCIENCE by Richard Feynman
Adapted from the Caltech commencement address given in 1974.
During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas–which was to try one to see if it worked, and if it didn’t work, to eliminate it. This method became organized, of course, into science. And it developed very well, so that we are now in the scientific age. It is such a scientific age, in fact that we have difficulty in understanding how witch doctors could ever have existed, when nothing that they proposed ever really worked–or very little of it did.
But even today I meet lots of people who sooner or later get me into a conversation about UFOS, or astrology, or some form of mysticism, expanded consciousness, new types of awareness, ESP, and so forth. And I’ve concluded that it’s not a scientific world.
Posted in Awesome, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Ethics in Science, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Good science attitude, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Philosophy, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Environmentalism, Richard Feynman, Science Education, Science over Propaganada | 17 Comments »
Posted by pwl on December 30, 2009
Seasons Greetings. Happy New Year – Drink and Drive Responsibly OR NOT AT ALL.
Posted in Climate Science, Complex Systems, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Philosophy, Politics, Proofs Needed, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Economics, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science over Propaganada, Video, Wait for it! | 2 Comments »
Posted by pwl on December 15, 2009
In 2004 the BBC aired this series of three one hour long documentaries on how the political class has seized upon the Power of Nightmares to control the population through fear and intimidation.
The Power of Nightmares, subtitled The Rise of the Politics of Fear, is a BBC documentary film series, written and produced by Adam Curtis. Its three one-hour parts consist mostly of a montage of archive footage with Curtis’s narration. The series was first broadcast in the United Kingdom in late 2004 and has subsequently been broadcast in multiple countries and shown in several film festivals, including the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
The films compare the rise of the Neo-Conservative movement in the United States and the radical Islamist movement, making comparisons on their origins and claiming similarities between the two. More controversially, it argues that the threat of radical Islamism as a massive, sinister organised force of destruction, specifically in the form of al-Qaeda, is a myth perpetrated by politicians in many countries—and particularly American Neo-Conservatives—in an attempt to unite and inspire their people following the failure of earlier, more utopian ideologies.
The Power of Nightmares has been praised by film critics in both Britain and the United States. Its message and content have also been the subject of various critiques and criticisms from conservatives and progressives.
[Alan] Curtis has a remarkable feel for the serendipity of such moments, and an obsessive skill in locating them. “That kind of footage shows just how dull I can be,” he admits, a little glumly. “The BBC has an archive of all these tapes where they have just dumped all the news items they have ever shown. One tape for every three months. So what you get is this odd collage, an accidental treasure trove. You sit in a darkened room, watch all these little news moments, and look for connections.”
I wonder how the Climate Scares(tm) fit into the theorized Power of Nightmares Control System that we see taking hold in every country around the world? For the Climate Scares of yelling fire and doom in An Inconvenient Truth sure seem to have worked their scary magic. Al Gore fits into this in so many scary ways.
Politics – The Power of Nightmares, (Part 1/3), “Baby it’s Cold Outside“ – by Adam Curtis, BBC
The first part of the series explains the origin of Islamism and Neo-Conservatism. It shows Egyptian civil servant Sayyid Qutb, depicted as the founder of modern Islamist thought, visiting the U.S. to learn about the education system, but becoming disgusted with what he saw as a corruption of morals and virtues in western society through individualism. When he returns to Egypt, he is disturbed by westernisation under Gamal Abdel Nasser and becomes convinced that in order to save society it must be completely restructured along the lines of Islamic law while still using western technology. He also becomes convinced that this can only be accomplished through the use of an elite “vanguard” to lead a revolution against the established order. Qutb becomes a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and, after being tortured in one of Nasser’s jails, comes to believe that western-influenced leaders can justly be killed for the sake of removing their corruption. Qutb is executed in 1966, but he inspires the future mentor of Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to start his own secret Islamist group. Inspired by the 1979 Iranian revolution, Zawahiri and his allies assassinate Egyptian president Anwar Al Sadat, in 1981, in hopes of starting their own revolution. The revolution does not materialise, and Zawahiri comes to believe that the majority of Muslims have been corrupted by their western-inspired leaders and thus may be legitimate targets of violence if they do not join him.
Posted in Conspiracy Theory, Ethics in Science, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Film, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Human|Ape, Ideas Crazy Enough to Have a Chance, Ignorance to Knowledge, Philosophy, Police State Insanity, Politics, Rational Thinking, TerrorForming Earth, The End is Nigh, The Sky Is Falling, Total Control Over Our Lives, Video, Violent, Yikes!, Zombies | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on December 13, 2009
“So there is no need to invoke a complicated explanation for global warming involving disputed data on sunspots, cosmic rays and clouds, as some sceptics continue to do. The answer lies not in elaborate suppositions, but in the science and the data we can trust.” – Sun sets on sceptics’ case against climate change, Steve Connor,
The question is what is the science? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? What happens when the data can’t be trusted due to the games that the alleged scientists involved played with it?
The climate debate seems to be less and less about the science than it does to be about people’s internal mental representation of their “beliefs” about the science that they “trust”.
Christopher Monckton proves to be an amazing interviewer.
“I’m most grateful to you for having giving me so much of your time. I do beg you not to believe either me or anyone else on this but do exactly what you just said and check for yourself and when you do I think you’ll find you’re addressing a non-problem. Thank you very much.” – Christopher Monckton
In the ideals of science “belief” and “trust” have no place as anyone would be able to “replicate” the science claims of any hypothesis on their own at any time.
For some hard sciences this is possible, for example with Newton’s gravity hypothesis just about anyone can do the experiments to confirm or refute the claims. Of course to test Einstein’s claims takes a bit more work and a lot more understanding as to grasp Relativity takes deeper comprehension.
What I wonder about is how can someone grasp what is going on in the global warming climate change debates without bring trust and belief into it? Is it even possible?
Many people I talk to find it difficult to accept that the raw temperature data from the scientists that collect it could be untrustworthy due to sloppy science or due to deliberate manipulation. They think that one couldn’t get away with it. Again it comes down to trust.
What is trust?
# have confidence or faith in; “We can trust in God”; “Rely on your friends”; “bank on your good education”; “I swear by my grandmother’s recipes”
# something (as property) held by one party (the trustee) for the benefit of another (the beneficiary); “he is the beneficiary of a generous trust …
# allow without fear
# reliance: certainty based on past experience; “he wrote the paper with considerable reliance on the work of other scientists”; “he put more trust in his own two legs than in the gun”
# believe: be confident about something; “I believe that he will come back from the war”
# the trait of believing in the honesty and reliability of others; “the experience destroyed his trust and personal dignity”
# hope: expect and wish; “I trust you will behave better from now on”; “I hope she understands that she cannot expect a raise”
# a consortium of independent organizations formed to limit competition by controlling the production and distribution of a product or service; “they set up the trust in the hope of gaining a monopoly”
# entrust: confer a trust upon; “The messenger was entrusted with the general’s secret”; “I commit my soul to God”
# faith: complete confidence in a person or plan etc; “he cherished the faith of a good woman”; “the doctor-patient relationship is based on trust”
# extend credit to; “don’t trust my ex-wife; I won’t pay her debts anymore”
# confidence: a trustful relationship; “he took me into his confidence”; “he betrayed their trust”
It seems that “trust” is replete with “belief and confidence being placed in” others. Here in lies the problem with such a complex discussion about climate science. It is complex and most people tune out when the math gets mentioned. As a result of eyes glazing over they revert to the basic human feeling of trusting another, often trusting the “experts with authority”. I suspect that in the global warming climate debates most people suffer from the belief stricken false argument of appealing to authority since they can’t deal with or won’t deal with the science involved.
Part of the reason is that people often want to simplify by distilling the options down to a simple decision. They don’t want to have to evaluate the thousands of details involved as it takes a considerable amount of time to comprehend each new detail.
I started this blog after a year or so following the debate. What happened was enlightening to me that the facade of “the truth as known by the consensus popular view of science” on many topics was shattered when I asked a couple of questions. It turned out that I simply wanted to comprehend the basic science behind the claims of man made global warming climate change. As someone dedicated to life long learning and a deep interest in science, I work as a systems scientist and with complex software and hardware systems, I thought it would be good to learn the basics by asking a few questions. So I was at a science blog and posted a couple of questions about an article that I’d seen come up in a Google search. The article was from a weather man in South America commenting on Darwin’s notes during his long voyage, the comments were about the climate. The article was suggesting that the climate hasn’t really changed all that much since then. Well not knowing the “veracity” of such claims I thought I’d ask a few questions of people who seemed to be knowledgeable about science and climate science.
The response was shocking indeed. Very quickly I was vilified for asking questions that hit at the assumption of man made global warming climate change. As I pointed out that they weren’t answering the questions but were simply engaging in ad hominem personal attacks and being unscientific in doing so it escalated to the point where I wasn’t just booted off their forums but was banned and all my comments were deleted in the process. Censorship was at work, and alive and well. At some point I might post the copies of the portions of the conversations from those postings that I had the fortitude to save. In any event the specific details aren’t the main point I’m making with this story of what happened.
What occurs to me is that each person makes a mental representation, a map if you will, of what they think is objective reality. Portions of this map are highly accurate. Other portions of the map aren’t so accurate. The key thing that people forget is that “The Map Isn’t the Territory.”
“Two important characteristics of maps should be noticed. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.” – Alfred Korzybski
This applies in science as scientists need – as a result of human biology and in particular as a result of human brain biology – to make a mental map of objective reality. By necessity this map will have its accurate portions and its inaccurate portions and parts everywhere in between. A main challenge in science, other than the complexities of technology and technical or theoretical knowledge, is ensuring that one’s map is accurate in as many places that matter and importantly in as many places as is necessary to support one’s science. The challenge rests is determining what is real in objective reality and what is just (as in only perceived to be) real in one’s map of objective reality. If it’s only real in ones map of objective reality and not actually real in objective reality then what we are dealing with is a belief and not objective reality.
In science the resolution of belief verses what is really real is supposed to be what can be proven to be real via tools such as the scientific method which uses experiment and observations to confirm or refute science claims from our maps of reality. Of course even when our maps of objective reality are confirmed to the Nth digit of precision they are still maps, although possibly highly accurate maps, and not objective reality itself.
Nature, the mother not the journal, is the final judge in all matters of science – not human judgments, not peer review consensus, not peer review refutations, not our opinions. Nature is the final judge, jury and executioner of all scientific knowledge and for what is real in objective reality. We only need adjust our maps to be as accurate as possible with Nature. This is of course harder said than done. Climate science is one such place where that is particularly difficult due to the high complexity of the many Natural Systems involved.
The deep challenge comes in when there are many differing views on what is being observed, theorized and concluded by human scientists. As humans scientists are also fallible. The scientific method and process is supposed to mitigate against this human bias towards our favorite maps of objective reality.
As the Climategate emails, documents and programs have confirmed the so called consensus and peer review process and even the very heart of the climate science itself has been deeply compromised. Humans it seems, yes even the previously trusted and venerated Climategate alleged scientists have fallen into the ancient patterns of our ancestors – belief stricken group think, thought control or thought management tactics, and politics.
One of the possible outcomes of the Climategate affair is that scientists involved in climate science might start speaking out about how their science research refutes the mainstream group think consensus views.
Any scientific hypothesis is supposed to rise or fail based upon the evidence. It’s coming on a year since I started this blog, Paths To Knowledge dot net, and I’ve yet to even begin to scratch the surface of comprehending the many thousands of issues and detailed points in climate science. No wonder the typical person gives up and takes up “trust in authorities”, as it’s a massive challenge just learning the issues let alone the much more difficult challenge in being able to evaluate these issues and make a determination that has anything to actually do with objective reality. Sure it’s easy to make choices and build up a map of the world that one thinks is reality, it’s quite another to be able to build up a map that can withstand the hard objective tests of the scientific method.
The more that I learn about the science of climate science the less and less the promoted map of man made global warming climate change makes any sense.
Some say there is a mountain of evidence. That may well be, and if so please bring it to me for I can’t see the mountain from where I currently stand.
Nature is the final judge of all science. It is not in the minds of men but in Nature where we test the mettle of any scientific claims.
In my journey to find out for myself what the actual science says and what the criticisms of that science say I’m not only learning about the climate science and other sciences but I’m learning a lot about human nature and the nature of “belief” and “trust” and “faith” and how these can be seriously dark forces when the masses of humanity take up a mental map of reality that doesn’t correspond to the objective reality of Nature itself.
One thing that constantly amazes me when talking to people about the climate is that most people cut off the discussion when it gets too detailed or when a point challenges a “belief” they have about it. For example, many people state that they north polar cap is melting and that that is serious evidence of man made global warming climate change. Ok, I say, what about the observed fact that the amount of ice on Earth is about constant with the southern hemisphere growing in ice about as much as the northern hemisphere loses ice? At this point many people loose their grasp on the conversation when they invoke appeals to authority. This is part of the challenge of science education but even deeper is the problem of how do you teach or educate people about a science that is in flux or that has so much controversy particularly when it’s denied that there is any controversy within the community of authorities on climate science?
How do people of reason comprehend the complexities of climate science let alone determine what is real and what is belief stricken dogma or bad science?
The interesting thing about belief stricken maps of objective reality is that they die with you while the objective reality of Nature keeps on going regardless of us or how we view it.
A real profound question is how are we being in the face of a global pandemic of belief stricken humans who have maps of objective reality that are so far from Nature that it has a serious impact upon society? How does one effectively communicate empowering people to actually grasp and most importantly test the notions of climate science themselves? Is it even possible? Will there always need to be trust and belief involved? How many does it take to shift the paradigm?
The climategate documents demonstrate that one or a few people dedicated to finding out the scientific truths can make a significant difference to the conversation as well as to the actual science involved. As the political shock waves of Climategate reverberate across the world and in the minds of key decision makers what are the next steps?
As I end this first year studying climate science and posting over 400 articles do I have any definitive answers on man made global warming climate science? No, what I’ve seen deeply and profoundly has shaken my own mental maps in the confidence of “science” especially that of what one reads in the popular media and online but even more so of “peer reviewed” articles. I’m much more skeptical of scientific claims in the sense that I’m continuing to ask basic questions of any science that I come across. The spirit of science is to ask questions and is to question all the basic assumptions. The spirit of science education is to allow those questions and to engage with those asking to spread scientific knowledge but also to vet the science. Anything less isn’t science but is something best left to our ancestors in the dark caves of history.
The enlightenment faces its greatest challenge, the power of belief, faith, trust and confidence to distort the best mental maps we have of objective reality into political propaganda tools.
What ever you do find out the science for yourself from a direct as possible a source. Never believe what science writers or science journalists say as their opinions are very often biased due to their own belief stricken conclusions already made. Be INDEPENDENT! Find out for yourself.
The other probably better caution is to not make a decision on man made global warming climate change unless you’ve done extensive research from direct sources and have learned the science and counter science. This point of view is based upon the reality that climate change is a very complex field of science and it’s not easily reducible to platitudes or simplistic beliefs. There are also many social and economic policies now being intertwined with the science mixing up the clarity with their political propaganda messages. Use extreme caution with anyone who says the science is settled or that consensus is science for as we know from basic science philosophy these are never the case as science is always the pursuit of the nature of objective reality.
Posted in Charles Darwin, Climate Science, Climategate, Complex Systems, Ethics in Science, Get some perspective people, Gravity, Green Religion, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ideas Crazy Enough to Have a Chance, Ignorance to Knowledge, It's a good thing that your god(s) die with you, Ontology of Being, Paradigm Shift, Philosophy, Politics, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Economics, Reality Based Environmentalism, Scams, Science Education, Science over Propaganada, Science Smackdown | 8 Comments »
Posted by pwl on December 7, 2009
Posted in Awesome, Awesome beyond awesome, Climate Science, Climategate, Complex Systems, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Dupenhagen aka Copenhagen 2009, Energy, Ethics in Science, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Green Religion, Hard Science Required, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Paradigm Shift, Philosophy, Proofs, Proofs Needed, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Economics, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science Missions, Science over Propaganada, The End is Nigh, The Sky Is Falling, Video, WOW!!!, Yikes! The sky is NOT falling! | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on December 5, 2009
“Bad explanations are easy to vary while good explanations are hard to vary.” – David Deutsch
The key issue with an theory whether it’s a myth or a scientific theory is that not only must it have testable predictions but more importantly it’s “explanation” of objective reality must be hard to vary; in other words, there can’t be many or any variations of the explanation. The narrower the explanation that has success making predictions the closer that hypothesis (theory) is to objective reality. The more variants to the hypothesis (theory) that have as accurate (or inaccurate as the case may be) predictive power the less likely those hypotheses (or theories) have to do with objective reality.
For example, Newton’s Gravitation Theory is very accurate and has tremendous success with predictions however it was long known that it failed in some cases. Einstein came along and filled in that gap with a more accurate theory, General and Special Relativity.
Slice and dice, Occam’s Razor now has a corollary in “bad explanations are easy to vary while good explanations are hard to vary”.
One of the four strands of reality in The Fabric of Reality is the strand of “Karl Popper’s epistemology, especially its anti-inductivism and its requiring a realist (non-instrumental) interpretation of scientific theories, and its emphasis on taking seriously those bold conjectures that resist falsification.“
Posted in Definition of Terms, Ethics in Science, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Hard Science, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Philosophy, Proofs, Proofs Needed, Rational Thinking, Science over Propaganada, Video, WOW!!! | 6 Comments »
Posted by pwl on December 4, 2009
An amazing editorial by the CBC’s Rex Murphy. Stunning in it’s clarity. Absolutely stunning. Breathtaking in it’s scope. A video that everyone interested in their planet must see.
Here is the Rex Murphy transcript interspersed with memorable quotes including an expanded quote from Clive Crook.
“When Jon Stewart the bantum rooster of conventional wisdom makes jokes about it you know Climategate has reached critical mass. Said Stewart: ‘Poor Al Gore, Global Warming completely debunked via the very internet
Posted in Bad Science, Big Brother Planetary Control System, Caustic Scientists, Climate Science, Climategate, Complex Systems, Conspiracy Theory, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Definition of Terms, Double Yikes!!, Ethics in Science, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Hard Science Required, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Majestic Universe, Paradigm Shift, Philosophy, Politics, Proofs Needed, Quotations, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Economics, Reality Based Environmentalism, Really Funny, Scams, Science Education, Science over Propaganada, Science Smackdown, The End is Nigh, Video, Yikes! | 2 Comments »
Posted by pwl on November 14, 2009
Conversation with Richard Dawkins and Steven Weinberg.
Part 1 of 8.
“The whole history of the last thousands of years has been a history of religious persecutions and wars, pogroms, jihads, crusades. I find it all very regrettable, to say the least.”
“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
“I can hope that this long sad story, this progression of priests and ministers and rabbis and ulamas and imams and bonzes and bodhisattvas, will come to an end. I hope this is something to which science can contribute … it may be the most important contribution that we can make.”
“This is one of the great social functions of science — to free people from superstition.”
– Steven Weinberg, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin, 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics
Part 2 of 8.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Adult Supervision Required, Awesome beyond awesome, Biology, Climate Science, Complex Systems, Ethics in Science, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Gravity, Hard Science, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Intelligent Designer - Yeah Right, Invisible Friend Crowd, It's a good thing that your god(s) die with you, Majestic Universe, Philosophy, Proof God Can NOT Exist, Rational Thinking, Religion, Science Education, Science Info Educational Videos, Science over Propaganada, Video | 7 Comments »
Posted by pwl on November 7, 2009
Now is the only moment of time that actually exists in reality. The past is but a memory. The future an illusion. Tomorrow never comes for when it does it is today and there is always another tomorrow. Now is the Time! This moment, now! Now. Now. Now. The Time is Now and never any other!
That time is NOW! Save us from Mann Caused Global Warming Climate Change Alarmists and their Soothsaying Hysteria! Save US NOW and bring Justice to Science so that Science can Prevail over Soothsaying Alarmist Propaganda!
So it’s fine for the endangered human caused global warming climate change alarmists to yell “look it’s Ida, extreme weather” caused by human caused global warming climate change yet when it’s pointed out that October 2009 is the 3rd coldest in 115 years on record it’s just weather and not climate? Double standards on the “it’s weather no it’s climate vs. it’s climate no it’s just weather”?
Climate extremes cause weather extremes! Is that a fair statement? Or is it that weather extremes cause climate extremes?
Climate is weather averaged over decade long times scales… extreme climate depends on your time window and your statistical prowess poker face.
Climate is weather. Without weather there would be no climate. Two sides of the same coin flipping about with randomness generated internally within the system. (See Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science, chapter 2 for how this newly discovered form of randomness operates for even very simple systems to show highly complex and extremely unpredictable behaviors).
Climate is weather. Extremes in weather are just the planet going about it’s business. As such extremes in weather mathematically show up in the decade long time scales to varying amounts.
How do we really know where each change in climate really comes from? Assigning this fraction of a degree to that cause and that fraction of a degree to this other cause ad infinitum makes no sense as that isn’t how Nature plans it out not that Nature plans it out.
Now it seems that it’s a heat budget thing with heat into a system (the planet) and heat out (of the planet) by various means. We have various forms of light and electromagnetic radiation touching and being absorbed by the planet with some reflecting off or changing and reflecting off. We have movement of the planet in it’s ever changing always unique orbit of Sol, not to mention other gravitational influences such as the moon and even other planetary bodies. We have cosmic rays and other high energy particle streams impacting the planet or going right on through. Cosmic rays from near and distant stars as we orbit the galaxy so close. We have chemical reactions and volcanoes and oceans mixing and moving and we have the hot and molten inner layers plus the rotating core providing our magnetic fields fluctuating always churning and interacting. Not to mention the bizarre lumpy gravity fields that distort the seemingly squashed spheroid of the planet into what can best be described as a total gravity mess beaten up all bent out of it’s idealized shape we can see from space. We’ve got so many processes and forces at work that we think we can apportion a fraction of a degree to this or that.
It would be really funny if it wasn’t so serious a conversation about doom and gloom. The climate change soothsayers have taking a bite out of sanity and are running a con game that has at it’s core irrational correlations that are weak at best and fraudulent at worse and outright lies in the extreme.
I would love to see an article by one of the major scientists on ALL the elements impacting the climate summarized, glossarized and indexed by the various “fractions of degrees” that they allegedly contribute and how to the climate and to the all important weather.
Climate is a mathematical abstraction. Weather is real and is happening now, the only moment in time that actually exists. The past gone. The future is an illusion and never exists. Tomorrow never comes as there is always another tomorrow when today shows up now. It’s an important aspect of comprehending time that now is all that is real. All there ever is is now and that means weather rules the climate not the other way around.
This is what we really need to be protecting against: The Real Threat to Humanity – other than ourselves – are Asteroid Impacts! We missed being hit two days ago and a month ago our atmosphere protected us from an asteroid with enough punch to product an 50 Kiloton detonation high up in the atmosphere. Ouch!
Actually it would be more like this but the above video has a better sound track!
This one is the bomb, literally an Extinction Level Event (ELE)!
Posted in Climate Science, Complex Systems, Definition of Terms, Ethics in Science, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Humbled by Nature, Philosophy, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science over Propaganada, Something to think about | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on November 6, 2009
The Ontology of Being
“It’s to give people an opportunity to think for themselves… what happens is that most of us think that our very strongly held beliefs, you know those things we hold, our opinions, that are very strong, we think that that is thinking for ourselves but it isn’t really. The ability to think for yourself really means the ability to think something that you haven’t thought before. To think outside the allowable range of thoughts rather than just inside the allowable range of thoughts.” – Werner Erhard, TV Interview
Learn to think for yourself out side of your allowable range of thoughts and especially outside the cage of your beliefs and opinions.
The Known Knowns.
The Known Unknowns.
The Unknown Knowns.
The Unknown Unknowns.
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we don’t know.” – quote popularized globally by Donald Rumsfeld in justification of mass murder; quote popularized by Werner Erhard in the 1970’s and 80’s to make the world a better place one person at a time.
During the 1970’s and 1980’s Werner Ehard’s est Training Program used this quote (or a variant thereof that covers all four possibilities, known knowns, known unknowns, unknown knowns, unknown unknowns) as a part of the course material. Landmark Education’s The Landmark Forum course also uses it. One point of using it is to help people see the limits of their knowledge and the edges of the metaphorical box they live in. Where are our blind spots when it comes to our knowledge or lack there of? What are the risks of ignorance? The exploration of these four domains would be extensive and take many hours of these courses.
Posted in Adult Supervision Required, Awesome, Awesome beyond awesome, Ethics in Science, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Hard Science Required, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ideas Crazy Enough to Have a Chance, Ignorance to Knowledge, It's a good thing that your god(s) die with you, Live Brains!, Ontology of Being, Philosophy, Rational Thinking, Science over Propaganada, Something to think about, Video, Werner Erhard, WOW!!! | 8 Comments »
Posted by pwl on November 5, 2009
All belief is religion as belief isn’t based upon verifiable knowledge.
“A United Kingdom court has ruled that a man can take his employer to court on the grounds that he was discriminated against because of his views on climate change. …
Mr Nicholson successfully argued that his moral values about the environment should be recognised under the same laws that protect religious beliefs.
In the landmark ruling, Justice Michael Burton said that a belief in man-made climate change is capable, if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the religion and belief regulations.” Beliefs on climate like Religion, court rules
The word “belief” is a problematic word with so many definitions that you have to pretty much define what you mean either by the context or by direction definition.
Generally when I’m down on the word belief I specifically mean “religious belief” or “supernatural belief” and not a belief that my car is still parked where it is.
I don’t think it’s responsible to say that “I believe in Newton’s Gravity Theory” as to use the word belief to talk about facts mis-communicates to the masses of people out there without scientific training. It’s better to use other words. Your “belief” that letting go of a stone has nothing to do with whether or not the stone falls.
Common uses of belief basically mean that you don’t know or don’t have evidence and that you assume it is true anyway. Since you do have evidence that dropping a stone on earth will have it fall (unless it’s otherwise supported or blocked) using the word belief is a mistake. One instead should say “I know that when I let go of a stone at chest level, it will fall (assuming that it’s not supported or blocked in some other manner).” This has clarity.
It is a big mistake for Richard Dawkins to be using the word belief the way he does with regards to scientific knowledge. He should be more careful and define his terms more precisely when talking about scientific knowledge and what is know and what isn’t since the religious masses use the word belief differently.
Sure people have a “belief” that X person will be a good political leader, but that is an entirely different category and meaning of belief than “belief that god exists” which is a statement that has no evidence and will never have any evidence in all probability not even mentioning all the evidence against the possibility of any gods existing.
As for climate change caused by man the science isn’t settled and if you think it is that is your “belief” and not a valid scientific statement. The more I learn the more I learn that we don’t yet have conclusive answers and that politics of extreme environmentalism started it and now that mainstream politicians have gotten into the act it’s now even more highly suspect. So I’d say show the evidence in a context where it can be audited by anyone which means showing all the data, raw and manipulated, detailed and comprehensive explanations for the manipulations, the statistics methods involved and why they were chosen, the software and the data used to create the graphs, all the scientists notes, photographs, and other materials used in the preparation of all the science papers. It’s clear that climate scientists (and others) have not been up to the standards of other fields and that all publically funded science needs to have it’s standards of openness and auditability raised.
I’m a very strong show me the hard evidence guy. Belief has no place in science nor in the communication of science nor in the science education process unless it specifically means “we think it could be true or false but we don’t just know yet”.
Believing that murder is wrong is a statement of one’s moral values and the word belief is often used although I’d question it’s use there. I’d not say it that way. I’d rather be more specific and say that “Murder is wrong because human life is valuable.”
Is saying “gravity sucks” a statement of “belief” or is it a succinct statement of the known laws of Gravity? I pick the latter.
“The relationship between belief and knowledge is that a belief is knowledge if the belief is true, and if the believer has a justification (reasonable and necessarily plausible assertions/evidence/guidance) for believing it is true. … Later epistemologists have questioned the “justified true belief” definition, and some philosophers have questioned whether “belief” is a useful notion at all.” – wikipedia
So “belief” is shaky ground at best, and as such it’s best to avoid using it when speaking generally about science or anything that is a statement of objective reality or it’s nature. I also use it carefully. My main use is in talking about the belief and faith stricken members of society.
Is that my belief? No, it’s a precautionary guidance principle based on knowledge gained from far too many conversations with the belief stricken who set well placed linguistic and philosophical traps.
Posted in Bad Ideas, Bad Science, Bad Science Attitude, Belief Stricken, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Get some perspective people, Gravity, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Invisible Friend Crowd, It's a good thing that your god(s) die with you, Philosophy, Politics, Proof God Can NOT Exist, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science Education, Science over Propaganada | 1 Comment »
Posted by pwl on September 3, 2009
“Religion puts your mind in a straight jacket.” – Dr Death aka Doctor Jack Kevorkian
“Creeds are a weakness of the will. All religions are to make you conform to a different way of thinking than you feel naturally.” – Doctor Death aka Doctor Jack Kevorkian in part quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“America fits all Fourteen Principles of fascism.” – Doctor Jack Kevorkian
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause.
4. Supremacy of the Military..
5. Rampant Sexism.
6. Controlled Mass Media.
7. Obsession with National Security.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined.
9. Corporate Power is Protected.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed.
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption.
14. Fraudulent Elections.
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Posted by pwl on August 17, 2009
Posted in Awesome beyond awesome, Big Brother Planetary Control System, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Intelligent Designer - Yeah Right, It's a good thing that your god(s) die with you, My Invisible Friend Needs Me For His-Her-Its Existence, Philosophy, Proof God Can NOT Exist, Rational Thinking, Really Funny, Religion, Scams, The End is Nigh, Zombie Jesus | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on August 16, 2009
This time the Math of Zombies tells us like it is: basically were all doomed to either be eaten alive for our brains (highly nutritious component of the Zombie Diet not to mention very addictive) or be converted into a zombie and eat the brains of the rest of us. Take your pick: be the food or the eater of the food.
“A zombie outbreak is likely to lead to the collapse of civilisation, unless it is dealt with quickly. While aggressive quarantine may contain the epidemic, or a cure may lead to coexistence of humans and zombies, the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often. ”
“Zombies are … usually … brought about through an outbreak or epidemic. Consequently, we model a zombie attack, using biological assumptions …. We introduce a basic model for zombie infection, determine equilibria and their stability, and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions. We then refine the model to introduce a latent period of zombification, whereby humans are infected, but not infectious, before becoming undead. We then modify the model to include the effects of possible quarantine or a cure. Finally, we examine the impact of regular, impulsive reductions in the number of zombies and derive conditions under which eradication can occur. We show that only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the doomsday scenario: the collapse of society as zombies overtake us all.” – Math of Zombies (pdf paper)!
First off you should note that there is a fundamental flaw in the paper: it assumes that Zombie Attacks are not real but just in the movies! This is a way of keeping the secret while discussing this serious problem in academic papers! Zombies are as real as Jesus Christ! The more real you think Jesus Christ to be the more real Zombies are! Fantasies come alive in our brains and that is why Zombies of all kinds including Sweet Zombie Jesus want your brain! Don’t let them have it, remain belief and faith free by embracing Nature and Rational Thought and Science. May your brains survive the Zombie Attacks of religion, faith and belief in the supernatural and may you avoid having the delusion of an invisible friend in the sky who will save you from death with the false promise of an everlasting life! Obliterate faith and belief in delusions that can’t be proven since that is how they get your live brains and then control you sucking the independence and life out of you! Face it, the only way to exist is to not have your brains eaten by the Zombie Virus and other mind eaters!
An outbreak of zombies infecting humans is likely to be disastrous, unless extremely aggressive tactics are employed against the undead. While aggressive quarantine may eradicate the infection, this is unlikely to happen in practice. A cure would only result in some humans surviving the outbreak, although they will still coexist with zombies. Only sufficiently frequent attacks, with increasing force, will result in eradication, assuming the available resources can be mustered in time.
Furthermore, these results assumed that the timescale of the outbreak was short, so that the natural birth and death rates could be ignored. If the timescale of the outbreak increases, then the result is the doomsday scenario: an outbreak of zombies will result in the collapse of civilisation, with every human infected, or dead. This is because human births and deaths will provide the undead with a limitless supply of new bodies to infect, resurrect and convert. Thus,
if[WHEN] zombies arrive, we must act quickly and decisively to eradicate them before they eradicate us.
The key difference between the models presented here and other models of infectious disease is that the dead can come back to life.
In summary, a zombie outbreak is likely to lead to the collapse of civilisation, unless it is dealt with quickly. While aggressive quarantine may contain the epidemic, or a cure may lead to coexistence of humans and zombies, the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often.
Posted in Awesome, Awesome beyond awesome, Baby that became Zombie Jesus, Conspiracy Theory, Double Yikes!!, Eaten Alive, Eeek!, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Hard Science Required, Health, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Live Brains!, Philosophy, Science Education, Something to think about, TerrorForming Earth, The End is Nigh, WOW!!!, Yikes!, Zombie Jesus, Zombies | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on July 27, 2009
The articles linked here raise some very disturbing problems with the manner in which climate science is being conducted. This is especially important due to the HUGE public costs about to be undertaken over the next decades.
“The UK’s Met Office Hadley Centre and University of East Anglia have been refusing access to the data used for their global climate averages and scientific studies.” – slashdot
Opening Science is the way forward, the path through the darkness, the endarkenment of closed source science.
If’s it’s paid by the public purse it must be OPEN data that anyone can see and audit.
Yes, you feel certain that you are right about your science but lets see the actual data and the methods used by that science to prove that your certainty is justified.
Science is based upon the notion of being able to validate or invalidate in whole or in part the “claims” made by various “hypotheses” put forward.
When you “BELIEVE” science you’re just another religion.
When you can’t audit the work of scientists whose work is the basis of public policy then you and the public are being endarkened and kept excluded. But why? For what or whose agenda?
As long as the data, the methods, the algorithms, the statical analysis, the step by step procedures are kept secret the work is suspect to scientific fraud.
Have the guts to open your science to the light of day, it will in the end be better for it once it’s vetted by more eyes and brains and math nuts and others poking holes in it.
ANY AND ALL CLAIMS MADE BY PEOPLE WHO KEEP THEIR SCIENCE CLOSED AND SECRET is suspect of FRAUD. What are they hiding? Are they simply embarrassed to admit that they might be wrong? That they’ve made mistakes? That they are afraid that others might gain an edge in the grant process and shut them out of funding?
Open Source Science is the way forward through the darkness into the light that empower verification and falsification and thus progress EITHER way!!!
When you “BELIEVE” science you’re just another religion. In fact, open source science is the BEST and ONLY WAY to avoid science from becoming the new religion as it has, for example, in the climate debates.
The scientific method is the tool for vetting the works of science and if the work of science is closed and secret and kept close to the scientists chests by refusals to share their data, methods, source codes, procedures, etc… then their work can’t be verified and might as well be works of fiction just like those of any religious cleric or priest or nutter.
If you can’t take others vetting your scientific work then maybe you don’t belong in science?
Open Source Science raises the bar and will in the long run improve the quality of the science that is done. Some progress is being made, much more needs to be done.
Climate science makes extraordinary claims about Anthropogenic Global Warming and Global Warming.
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” – Carl Sagan
Yet when asked for the data that is claimed to provide some of the evidence the data is refused on POLITICAL grounds. Very disturbing.
Regardless of the reasons that the data is not provided the bad science attitude by the MET office hinders actual science from proceeding. Very disturbing.
When you can’t test a scientific hypothesis or read all of the supporting evidence for it you must then rely on “taking their word for it” which is also known as “accepting based upon belief alone”. This is the end of science bit by bit and leads to the path of the dark side, to an age endarkenment.
When people find science open to validate themselves with experiments that they can do themselves or by reading all the evidence and vetting the work of others belief is eliminated and tested knowledge is obtained by that person bolstering the accuracy of their representation of the universe.
Belief is the enemy of science. Open Source science is the path forward that helps to eliminate belief and lay the ground work for a new scientific enlightenment accessible to the masses.
Terminate belief. Grow your knowledge based upon the scientific method. Stop being a science geek who takes it up the ass from authorities just like the religious nut jobs who take it up the ass from The Pope and his ilk.
Posted in A New Kind of Science [NKS], Awesome beyond awesome, Bad Science Attitude, Believe it or your a denier!, Big Brother Planetary Control System, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Energy, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ideas Crazy Enough to Have a Chance, Ignorance to Knowledge, Philosophy, Politics, Proofs, Proofs Needed, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science Education, Science Smackdown, Something to think about | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on July 22, 2009
Mars Direct is a proposal for a relatively low-cost manned mission to Mars with current rocket technology. The plan was originally detailed in a research paper by Robert Zubrin and David Baker in 1990. The mission was expanded upon in Zubrin’s 1996 book The Case for Mars.
The plan involves launching an unmanned “Earth Return Vehicle” (ERV) directly from Earth’s surface to Mars using a heavy-lift booster derived from Space Shuttle components. The booster is no bigger than the Saturn V used for the Apollo missions. Several launches are made in preparation for the manned mission.
The first of these launches the ERV, a supply of hydrogen, a chemical plant and a small nuclear reactor. Once there, a relatively simple set of chemical reactions (the Sabatier reaction coupled with electrolysis) would combine a small amount of hydrogen carried by the ERV with the carbon dioxide of the Martian atmosphere to create up to 112 tonnes of methane and oxygen propellants, 96 tonnes of which would be needed to return the ERV to Earth at the end of the mission. This process would take approximately ten months to complete.
Some 26 months after the ERV is originally launched from Earth, a second vehicle, the “Mars Habitat Unit” (MHU), would be launched on a high-energy transfer to Mars carrying a crew of four. This vehicle would take some six months to reach Mars. During the trip, artificial gravity would be generated by tying the spent upper stage of the booster to the Habitat Unit, and setting them both rotating about a common axis.
On reaching Mars, the spent upper stage would be jettisoned, with the Habitat Unit aerobraking into Mars orbit before soft-landing in proximity to the ERV. Once on Mars, the crew would spend 18 months on the surface, carrying out a range of scientific research, aided by a small rover vehicle carried aboard their MHU, and powered by excess methane produced by the ERV. To return, they would use the ERV, leaving the MHU for the possible use of subsequent explorers. The propulsion stage of the ERV would be used as a counterweight to generate artificial gravity for the trip back.
The initial cost estimate for Mars Direct was put at $55 billion, to be paid over ten years.
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Posted by pwl on July 10, 2009
The Guardian has obtained this police footage of Emily Apple and Val Swain being arrested by surveillance officers after asking for their badge numbers at the Kingsnorth climate camp last year. The two women speak to Paul Lewis about their arrest, imprisonment and official complaint
Clearly the British Police are now on par with the likes of the Iranian State Control freaks.
Maybe the officers, er if they can be called that, the thugs names will come out into the public view. Put the officers in jail and toss away the key.
Posted by pwl on June 24, 2009
Hats off to Jesus And Mo dot Net.
Posted in Belief Stricken, Get some perspective people, Hard Science, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Philosophy, Proof God Can NOT Exist, Rational Thinking, Really Funny, Religion, Science Education, Science over Propaganada, Something to think about | Leave a Comment »
Posted by pwl on June 21, 2009
Posted in Awesome, Christopher Hitchens, Fun, Hard Science, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Intelligent Designer - Yeah Right, Philosophy, Politics, Proof God Can NOT Exist, Rational Thinking, Religion, Video | 1 Comment »
Posted by pwl on June 17, 2009
On August 7, 1974, shortly after 7:15 a.m., Petit stepped off the South Tower and onto his 3/4″ 6×19 IWRC (independent wire rope core ) steel cable. The 24-year-old Petit made eight crossings between the mostly finished towers, a quarter mile above the sidewalks of Manhattan, in an event that lasted about 45 minutes. During that time, in addition to walking, he sat on the wire, gave knee salute and, while lying on the wire, spoke with a gull circling above his head.
Port Authority Police Department Sgt. Charles Daniels, who was dispatched to the roof to bring Petit down, later reported his experience:
I observed the tightrope ‘dancer’—because you couldn’t call him a ‘walker’—approximately halfway between the two towers. And upon seeing us he started to smile and laugh and he started going into a dancing routine on the high wire….And when he got to the building we asked him to get off the high wire but instead he turned around and ran back out into the middle….He was bouncing up and down. His feet were actually leaving the wire and then he would resettle back on the wire again….Unbelievable really….[E]verybody was spellbound in the watching of it.
Petit was warned by his friend on the South Tower that a police helicopter would come to pick him off the wire unless he got off. Rain had begun to fall, and Petit decided he had taken enough risks, so he decided to give himself up to the police waiting for him on the South Tower. He was arrested once he stepped off the wire. Provoked by his taunting behaviour while on the wire, police handcuffed him behind his back and roughly pushed him down a flight of stairs. This he later described as the most dangerous part of the stunt.
His audacious high wire performance made headlines around the world. When asked why he did the stunt, Petit would say “When I see three oranges, I juggle; when I see two towers, I walk.”
He crossed EIGHT TIMES and danced while doing it!!! You’re kidding right? Nope…
Very amazing. Beyond words amazing. Indelible WOW!
A true tribute.
Man on Wire is an Academy Award-winning 2008 documentary film directed by James Marsh. The film chronicles Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center. It is based on Philippe Petit’s book, To Reach the Clouds, recently released in paperback with the new title Man on Wire. The title of the movie is taken from the police report that led to the arrest (and later release) of Petit, whose performance had lasted for almost one hour. The film is crafted like a heist film, presenting rare footage of the preparations for the event and still photographs of the walk, alongside reenactments (with Paul McGill as the young Petit) and present-day interviews with the participants.
What in your life gets you to take risks and get to your edge of peak performance?
Philippe Petit (born August 13, 1949) is a French high wire artist who gained fame for his high-wire walk between the Twin Towers (WTC) in New York City on August 7, 1974. For his feat (that he referred to as “le coup” ), he used a 450-pound (200 kg) cable and a custom-made 26-foot (7.9 m) long, 55-pound (25 kg) balancing pole.
Tight-rope walker, unicyclist, magician and pantomime artist, Petit was also one of the earliest modern day street jugglers in Paris, having begun his career in 1968. He juggled and worked on a slack rope with regularity in Washington Square Park in New York City in the early 1970s. Other famous structures he has used for tightrope walks include Notre Dame de Paris, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Louisiana Superdome, the Hennepin County Government Center, and between the Palais de Chaillot and the Eiffel Tower.
The documentary film Man on Wire by UK director James Marsh, about Petit’s 1974 WTC performance, won both the World Cinema Jury and Audience awards at the Sundance Film Festival 2008. The film also won awards at the 2008 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, N.C. and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
Petit is one of the Artists-in-Residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He currently lives in Woodstock, New York.
Learning to tight rope walk. Not as easy as Petit makes it look.
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Posted by pwl on June 3, 2009
What I find most interesting about the NIPCC 2009 Report is the vast quantity of references to scientific papers and journal articles. Clearly this report raises the bar and for the better. I also appreciate this impressive collection of the materials in one place that seek to educate people about the actual challenges to the “consensus” of AGW.
Science isn’t about consensus, that’s what “agreement realities”, “cult belief systems” and “politics” are about. Science is about asking questions over and over again occasionally coming up with potential answers that make some rational sense and that fit into a framework of knowledge that represents objective reality in a way that can actually be tested or falsified.
Remember that Richard Feynman insisted that we be curious and ask questions as an essential prerequisite of science. His way of being with science is an exemplar for us to follow. It certainly is for me.
“Curiosity demands that we ask questions. If we are standing on the shore, look at the sea, the waves, the foam, the sand, the rocks of different types, listen to sounds. Is the sand other than the rocks? Perhaps it is a multitude of very small stones? Is the moon a great rock? How many sounds are there? … There may be situations where nature has arranged, or we arrange nature, to be simple and to have only few building blocks, so that we can predict exactly what will happen. And thus we can verify the validity of our rules (there might be only few chess pieces in one corner of the chess board, and we can predict the “best move” exactly). … Imagine that the world is a great game of chess played by the “gods”, and we are the observer. We do not know what the rules of the game are, and we are not allowed to ask questions. At first we will learn to distinguish the basic figures (“King”, “Queen”, “Bishop”, …). If we observe long enough, we may catch on to a few of the rules. It is not easy to learn all the rules (every once in a while something like castling is going on that we still do not understand). Even if we know all rules, however, we might not be able to understand why a particular move is made in the game. One problem that we might have is, “How do we tell whether the rules that we guessed are really right if we can not analyze the game very well”? – Richard Feynman. Quotes and fragments in no particular order.
What Richard Feynman was saying is that we need to keep asking the basic fundamental questions, otherwise what’s the point of doing science in the first place? At least that’s a key point I take home and to work.
The scientific method is the heart of this process and others have defined it better than I. The key is that intelligent people are motivated to follow the methods of science as a guide to understanding the scientific claims that are put forward as the way of Nature and in the process set aside their “politics”, their “bias”, their “opinions” and seek a means of verifying the scientific claims of all parties who propose various claims and counter claims and counter counter claims ad infinitum… eventually objective reality might reveal itself as we seek it.
However the dark side of the force, to steal a phrase, is prevalent in many discussions that are “considered sacred” or “considered settled”. Those that have made up their minds to various degrees have solidified their beliefs about what is real and what is not real. Unfortunately there always is a measure of distance between ones beliefs about what is real and the actual objective reality that we all find ourselves actually existing within. I call that distance how “belief stricken” a person’s notions are. Obviously the ideal goal is to eliminate all forms of belief about objective reality with as accurate a model or representation of the actual objective reality as we can.
Raising the bar: As such and in the best traditions of science and the scientific method I urge those reading and engaging in discussion to remove all “ad hominem” personal attacks from their fingers and minds. Please be on your best behavior. Strictly stick to the science please. Thanks so much in advance.
Now let’s get into it. I’ll say from the start that I’ve not yet had a chance to read this voluminous report nor study in depth yet the portions that I have read so far. It looks to be a tome that will take some time to digest. As time goes on I’ll add some updates and comments in this posting or in another on this site.
I think this is fantastic since it brings into one volume much (but not all) of the challenges to the AGW theory.
May the best hypothesis (where best means most highly representative of objective reality) pass the tests of time or be adapted to do so or be falsified and a new hypothesis rise to take it’s place in the best grand tradition of advancing human knowledge of objective reality, aka Nature – our true home. – pwl
In “Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC),” (PDFs of entire report available for download) coauthors Dr. S. Fred Singer and Dr. Craig Idso and 35 contributors and reviewers present an authoritative and detailed rebuttal of the findings of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on which the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress rely for their regulatory proposals.
The scholarship in this book demonstrates overwhelming scientific support for the position that the warming of the twentieth century was moderate and not unprecedented, that its impact on human health and wildlife was positive, and that carbon dioxide probably is not the driving factor behind climate change.
The authors cite thousands of peer-reviewed research papers and books that were ignored by the IPCC, plus additional scientific research that became available after the IPCC’s self-imposed deadline of May 2006.
Dr. Craig D. Idso is founder and former president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. He received his Ph.D. in geography from Arizona State University, where he studied as one of a small group of University Graduate Scholars. He was a faculty researcher in the Office of Climatology at Arizona State University and has lectured in Meteorology at Arizona State University. Dr. Idso has published scientific articles on issues related to data quality, the growing season, the seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2, world food supplies, coral reefs, and urban CO2 concentrations.
Dr. S. Fred Singer is one of the most distinguished scientists in the U.S. In the 1960s, he established and served as the first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, now part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and earned a U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award for his technical leadership. In the 1980s, Singer served for five years as vice chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Oceans and Atmosphere (NACOA) and became more directly involved in global environmental issues. Since retiring from the University of Virginia and from his last federal position as chief scientist of the Department of Transportation, Singer founded and directed the nonprofit Science and Environmental Policy Project.
Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC),” (PDFs of entire report available for download) coauthors Dr. S. Fred Singer and Dr. Craig Idso.
Executive Summary (PDF available)
The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group-1 (Science) (IPCC-AR4 2007), released in 2007, is a major research effort by a group of dedicated specialists in many topics related to climate change. It forms a valuable compendium of the current state of the science, enhanced by having an index which had been lacking in previous IPCC reports. AR4 also permits access to the numerous critical comments submitted by expert reviewers, another first for the IPCC.
While AR4 is an impressive document, it is far from being a reliable reference work on some of the most important aspects of climate change science and policy. It is marred by errors and misstatements, ignores scientific data that were available but were inconsistent with the authors’ pre-conceived conclusions, and has already been contradicted in important parts by research published since May 2006, the IPCC’s cut-off date.
In general, the IPCC fails to consider important scientific issues, several of which would upset its major conclusion—that “most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid- 20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations [emphasis in the original].” The IPCC defines “very likely” as at least 90 percent certain. They do not explain how they derive this number. The IPCC also does not define the word “most,” nor do they provide any explanation.
The IPCC does not apply generally accepted methodologies to determine what fraction of current warming is natural, or how much is caused by the rise in greenhouse gases (GHG). A comparison of “fingerprints” from best available observations with the results of state-of-the-art GHG models leads to the conclusion that the (human-caused) GHG contribution is minor. This fingerprint evidence, though available, was ignored by the IPCC.
The IPCC continues to undervalue the overwhelming evidence that, on decadal and centurylong time scales, the Sun and associated atmospheric cloud effects are responsible for much of past climate change. It is therefore highly likely that the Sun is also a major cause of twentieth-century warming, with anthropogenic GHG making only a minor contribution. In addition, the IPCC ignores, or addresses imperfectly, other science issues that call for discussion and explanation.
These errors and omissions are documented in the present report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). The report is divided into nine chapters that are briefly summarized here, and then more fully described in the remainder of this summary.
Chapter 1 (pdf) describes the limitations of the IPCC’s attempt to forecast future climate conditions by using computer climate models. The IPCC violates many of the rules and procedures required for scientific forecasting, making its “projections” of little use to policymakers. As sophisticated as today’s state-ofthe- art models are, they suffer deficiencies and shortcomings that could alter even the very sign (plus or minus, warming or cooling) of earth’s projected temperature response to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. If the global climate models on which the IPCC relies are not validated or reliable, most of the rest of the AR4, while it makes for fascinating reading, is irrelevant to the public policy debate over what should be done to stop or slow the arrival of global warming.
Chapter 2 (pdf) describes feedback factors that reduce the earth’s temperature sensitivity to changes in atmospheric CO2. Scientific studies suggest the model-derived temperature sensitivity of the earth for a doubling of the pre-industrial CO2 level is much lower than the IPCC’s estimate. Corrected feedbacks in the climate system reduce climate sensitivity to values that are an order of magnitude smaller than what the IPCC employs.
Chapter 3 (pdf) reviews empirical data on past temperatures. We find no support for the IPCC’s claim that climate observations during the twentieth century are either unprecedented or provide evidence of an anthropogenic effect on climate. We reveal the methodological errors of the “hockey stick” diagram of Mann et al., evidence for the existence of a global Medieval Warm Period, flaws in the surface-based temperature record of more modern times, evidence from highly accurate satellite data that there has been no net warming over the past 29 years, and evidence that the distribution of modern warming does not bear the “fingerprint” of an anthropogenic effect.
Chapter 4 (pdf) reviews observational data on glacier melting, sea ice area, variation in precipitation, and sea level rise. We find no evidence of trends that could be attributed to the supposedly anthropogenic global warming of the twentieth century.
Chapter 5 (pdf) summarizes the research of a growing number of scientists who say variations in solar activity, not greenhouse gases, are the true driver of climate change. We describe the evidence of a solarclimate link and how these scientists have grappled with the problem of finding a specific mechanism that translates small changes in solar activity into larger climate effects. We summarize how they may have found the answer in the relationships between the sun, cosmic rays and reflecting clouds.
Chapter 6 (pdf) investigates and debunks the widespread fears that global warming might cause more extreme weather. The IPCC claims global warming will cause (or already is causing) more droughts, floods, hurricanes, storms, storm surges, heat waves, and wildfires. We find little or no support in the peer-reviewed literature for these predictions and considerable evidence to support an opposite prediction: That weather would be less extreme in a warmer world.
Chapter 7 (pdf) examines the biological effects of rising CO2 concentrations and warmer temperatures. This is the largely unreported side of the global warming debate, perhaps because it is unequivocally good news. Rising CO2 levels increase plant growth and make plants more resistant to drought and pests. It is a boon to the world’s forests and prairies, as well as to farmers and ranchers and the growing populations of the developing world.
Chapter 8 (pdf) examines the IPCC’s claim that CO2- induced increases in air temperature will cause unprecedented plant and animal extinctions, both on land and in the world’s oceans. We find there little real-world evidence in support of such claims and an abundance of counter evidence that suggests ecosystem biodiversity will increase in a warmer and CO2-enriched world.
Chapter 9 (pdf) challenges the IPCC’s claim that CO2-induced global warming is harmful to human health. The IPCC blames high-temperature events for increasing the number of cardiovascular-related deaths, enhancing respiratory problems, and fueling a more rapid and widespread distribution of deadly infectious diseases, such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever. However, a thorough examination of the peer-reviewed scientific literature reveals that further global warming would likely do just the opposite and actually reduce the number of lives lost to extreme thermal conditions. We also explain how CO2- induced global warming would help feed a growing global population without major encroachment on natural ecosystems, and how increasing production of biofuels (a strategy recommended by the IPCC) damages the environment and raises the price of food. The research summarized in this report is only a small portion of what is available in the peer reviewed scientific literature. To assist readers who want to explore information not contained between the covers of this volume, we have included Internet hyperlinks to the large and continuously updated databases maintained by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change at co2science.org.
Key Findings by Chapter
Chapter 1 (pdf). Global Climate Models and Their Limitations
• The IPCC places great confidence in the ability of general circulation models (GCMs) to simulate future climate and attribute observed climate change to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.
• The forecasts in the Fourth Assessment Report were not the outcome of validated scientific procedures. In effect, they are the opinions of scientists transformed by mathematics and obscured by complex writing. The IPCC’s claim that it is making “projections” rather than “forecasts” is not a plausible defense.
• Today’s state-of-the-art climate models fail to accurately simulate the physics of earth’s radiative energy balance, resulting in uncertainties “as large as, or larger than, the doubled CO2 forcing.”
• A long list of major model imperfections prevents models from properly modeling cloud formation and cloud-radiation interactions, resulting in large differences between model predictions and observations.
• Computer models have failed to simulate even the correct sign of observed precipitation anomalies, such as the summer monsoon rainfall over the Indian region. Yet it is understood that precipitation plays a major role in climate change.
Chapter 2 (pdf). Feedback Factors and Radiative Forcing
• Scientific research suggests the model-derived temperature sensitivity of the earth accepted by the IPCC is too large. Corrected feedbacks in the climate system could reduce climate sensitivity to values that are an order of magnitude smaller.
• Scientists may have discovered a connection between cloud creation and sea surface temperature in the tropics that creates a “thermostat-like control” that automatically vents excess heat into space. If confirmed, this could totally compensate for the warming influence of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions experienced to date, as well as all those that are anticipated to occur in the future.
• The IPCC dramatically underestimates the total cooling effect of aerosols. Studies have found their radiative effect is comparable to or larger than the temperature forcing caused by all the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations recorded since pre-industrial times.
• Higher temperatures are known to increase emissions of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) from the world’s oceans, which increases the albedo of marine stratus clouds, which has a cooling effect.
• Iodocompounds—created by marine algae— function as cloud condensation nuclei, which help create new clouds that reflect more incoming solar radiation back to space and thereby cool the planet.
• As the air’s CO2 content—and possibly its temperature—continues to rise, plants emit greater amounts of carbonyl sulfide gas, which eventually makes it way into the stratosphere, where it is transformed into solar-radiationreflecting sulfate aerosol particles, which have a cooling effect.
• As CO2 enrichment enhances biological growth, atmospheric levels of biosols rise, many of which function as cloud condensation nuclei. Increased cloudiness diffuses light, which stimulates plant growth and transfers more fixed carbon into plant and soil storage reservoirs.
• Since agriculture accounts for almost half of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in some countries, there is concern that enhanced plant growth due to CO2 enrichment might increase the amount and warming effect of this greenhouse gas. But field research shows that N2O emissions fall as CO2 concentrations and temperatures rise, indicating this is actually another negative climate feedback.
• Methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas. An enhanced CO2 environment has been shown to have “neither positive nor negative consequences” on atmospheric methane concentrations. Higher temperatures have been shown to result in reduced methane release from peatbeds. Methane emissions from cattle have been reduced considerably by altering diet, immunization, and genetic selection.
Chapter 3 (pdf). Observations: Temperature Records
• The IPCC claims to find evidence in temperature records that the warming of the twentieth century was “unprecedented” and more rapid than during any previous period in the past 1,300 years. But the evidence it cites, including the “hockey-stick” representation of earth’s temperature record by Mann et al., has been discredited and contradicted by many independent scholars.
• A corrected temperature record shows temperatures around the world were warmer during the Medieval Warm Period of approximately 1,000 years ago than they are today, and have averaged 2-3ºF warmer than today’s temperatures over the past 10,000 years.
• Evidence of a global Medieval Warm Period is extensive and irrefutable. Scientists working with a variety of independent methodologies have found it in proxy records from Africa, Antarctica, the Arctic, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.
• The IPCC cites as evidence of modern global warming data from surface-based recording stations yielding a 1905-2005 temperature increase of 0.74ºC +/- 0.18ºC. But this temperature record is known to be positively biased by insufficient corrections for the nongreenhouse- gas-induced urban heat island (UHI) effect. It may be impossible to make proper corrections for this deficiency, as the UHI of even small towns dwarfs any concomitant augmented greenhouse effect that may be present.
• Highly accurate satellite data, adjusted for orbit drift and other factors, show a much more modest warming trend in the last two decades of the twentieth century and a dramatic decline in the warming trend in the first decade of the twentyfirst century.
• The “fingerprint” or pattern of warming observed in the twentieth century differs from the pattern predicted by global climate models designed to simulate CO2-induced global warming. Evidence reported by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) is unequivocal: All greenhouse models show an increasing warming trend with altitude in the tropics, peaking around 10 km at roughly twice the surface value. However, the temperature data from balloons give the opposite result: no increasing warming, but rather a slight cooling with altitude.
• Temperature records in Greenland and other Arctic areas reveal that temperatures reached a maximum around 1930 and have decreased in recent decades. Longer-term studies depict oscillatory cooling since the Climatic Optimum of the mid-Holocene (~9000-5000 years BP), when it was perhaps 2.5º C warmer than it is now.
• The average temperature history of Antarctica provides no evidence of twentieth century warming. While the Antarctic peninsula shows recent warming, several research teams have documented a cooling trend for the interior of the continent since the 1970s.
Chapter 4 (pdf). Observations: Glaciers, Sea Ice, Precipitation, and Sea Level
• Glaciers around the world are continuously advancing and retreating, with a general pattern of retreat since the end of the Little Ice Age. There is no evidence of a increased rate of melting overall since CO2 levels rose above their pre-industrial levels, suggesting CO2 is not responsible for glaciers melting.
• Sea ice area and extent have continued to increase around Antarctica over the past few decades. Evidence shows that much of the reported thinning of Arctic sea ice that occurred in the 1990s was a natural consequence of changes in ice dynamics caused by an atmospheric regime shift, of which there have been several in decades past and will likely be several in the decades to come, totally irrespective of past or future changes in the air’s CO2 content. The Arctic appears to have recovered from its 2007 decline.
• Global studies of precipitation trends show no net increase and no consistent trend with CO2, contradicting climate model predictions that warming should cause increased precipitation. Research on Africa, the Arctic, Asia, Europe, and North and South America all find no evidence of a significant impact on precipitation that could be attributed to anthropogenic global warming.
• The cumulative discharge of the world’s rivers remained statistically unchanged between 1951 and 2000, a finding that contradicts computer forecasts that a warmer world would cause large changes in global streamflow characteristics. Droughts and floods have been found to be less frequent and severe during the Current Warm Period than during past periods when temperatures were even higher than they are today.
• The results of several research studies argue strongly against claims that CO2-induced global warming would cause catastrophic disintegration of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. In fact, in the case of Antarctica, they suggest just the opposite—i.e., that CO2-induced global warming would tend to buffer the world against such an outcome.
• The mean rate of global sea level rise has not accelerated over the recent past. The determinants of sea level are poorly understood due to considerable uncertainty associated with a number of basic parameters that are related to the water balance of the world’s oceans and the meltwater contribution of Greenland and Antarctica. Until these uncertainties are satisfactorily resolved, we cannot be confident that short-lived changes in global temperature produce corresponding changes in sea level.
Chapter 5 (pdf). Solar Variability and Climate Cycles
• The IPCC claims the radiative forcing due to changes in the solar output since 1750 is +0.12 Wm-2, an order of magnitude smaller than its estimated net anthropogenic forcing of +1.66 Wm-2. A large body of research suggests that the IPCC has got it backwards, that it is the sun’s influence that is responsible for the lion’s share of climate change during the past century and beyond.
• The total energy output of the sun changes by only 0.1 percent during the course of the solar cycle, although larger changes may be possible over periods of centuries. On the other hand, the ultraviolet radiation from the sun can change by several percent over the solar cycle – as indeed noted by observing changes in stratospheric ozone. The largest changes, however, occur in the intensity of the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field.
• Reconstructions of ancient climates reveal a close correlation between solar magnetic activity and solar irradiance (or brightness), on the one hand, and temperatures on earth, on the other. Those correlations are much closer than the relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature.
• Cosmic rays could provide the mechanism by which changes in solar activity affect climate. During periods of greater solar magnetic activity, greater shielding of the earth occurs, resulting in less cosmic rays penetrating to the lower atmosphere, resulting in fewer cloud condensation nuclei being produced, resulting in fewer and less reflective low-level clouds occurring, which leads to more solar radiation being absorbed by the surface of the earth, resulting (finally) in increasing near-surface air temperatures and global warming.
• Strong correlations between solar variability and precipitation, droughts, floods, and monsoons have all been documented in locations around the world. Once again, these correlations are much stronger than any relationship between these weather phenomena and CO2.
• The role of solar activity in causing climate change is so complex that most theories of solar forcing must be considered to be as yet unproven. But it would also be appropriate for climate scientists to admit the same about the role of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations in driving recent global warming.
Chapter 6 (pdf). Observations: Extreme Weather
• The IPCC predicts that a warmer planet will lead to more extreme weather, characterized by more frequent and severe episodes of drought, flooding, cyclones, precipitation variability, storms, snow, storm surges, temperature variability, and wildfires. But has the last century – during which the IPCC claims the world experienced more rapid warming than any time in the past two millennia – experienced significant trends in any of these extreme weather events?
• Droughts have not become more extreme or erratic in response to global warming. Real-world evidence from Africa, Asia, and other continents find no trend toward more frequent or more severe droughts. In most cases, the worst droughts in recorded meteorological history were much milder than droughts that occurred periodically during much colder times.
• Floods were more frequent and more severe during the Little Ice Age than they have been during the Current Warm Period. Flooding in Asia, Europe, and North America has tended to be less frequent and less severe during the twentieth century.
• The IPCC says “it is likely that future tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes) will become more intense, with larger peak wind speeds and more heavy precipitation associated with ongoing increase of tropical sea surface temperatures.” But despite the supposedly “unprecedented” warming of the twentieth century, there has been no increase in the intensity or frequency of tropical cyclones globally or in any of the specific oceans.
• A number of real-world observations demonstrate that El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions during the latter part of the twentieth century were not unprecedented in terms of their frequency or magnitude. Long-term records suggest that when the earth was significantly warmer than it is currently, ENSO events were substantially reduced or perhaps even absent.
• There is no support for the model-based projection that precipitation in a warming world becomes more variable and intense. In fact, some observational data suggest just the opposite, and provide support for the proposition that precipitation responds more to cyclical variations in solar activity.
• As the earth has warmed over the past 150 years, during its recovery from the global chill of the Little Ice Age, there has been no significant increase in either the frequency or intensity of stormy weather.
• Between 1950 and 2002, during which time the air’s CO2 concentration rose by 20 percent, there was no net change in either the mean onset date or duration of snow cover for the continent of North America. There appears to have been a downward trend in blizzards.
• Storm surges have not increased in either frequency or magnitude as CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have risen. In the majority of cases investigated, they have tended to decrease.
• Air temperature variability almost always decreases when mean air temperature rises, be it in cases of temperature change over tens of thousands of years or over mere decades, or even between individual cooler and warmer years when different ENSO states are considered. The claim that global warming will lead to more extremes of climate and weather, including more extremes of temperature itself, is not supported by real-world data.
• Although one can readily identify specific parts of the planet that have experienced both significant increases and decreases in land area burned by wildfires over the last two to three decades of the twentieth century, for the globe as a whole there was no relationship between global warming and total area burned over this period.
Chapter 7 (pdf). Biological Effects of Carbon Dioxide Enhancement
• A 300-ppm increase in the air’s CO2 content typically raises the productivity of most herbaceous plants by about one-third; and this positive response occurs in plants that utilize all three of the major biochemical pathways (C3, C4, CAM) of photosynthesis. For woody plants, the response is even greater. The productivity benefits of CO2 enrichment are also experienced by aquatic plants, including freshwater algae and macrophytes, and marine microalgae and macroalgae.
• The amount of carbon plants gain per unit of water lost—or water-use efficiency—typically rises as the CO2 content of the air rises, greatly increasing their ability to withstand drought. In addition, the CO2-induced percentage increase in plant biomass production is often greater under water-stressed conditions than it is when plants are well watered.
• Atmospheric CO2 enrichment helps ameliorate the detrimental effects of several environmental stresses on plant growth and development, including high soil salinity, high air temperature, low light intensity and low levels of soil fertility. Elevated levels of CO2 have additionally been demonstrated to reduce the severity of low temperature stress, oxidative stress, and the stress of herbivory. In fact, the percentage growth enhancement produced by an increase in the air’s CO2 concentration is often even greater under stressful and resource-limited conditions than it is when growing conditions are ideal.
• As the air’s CO2 content continues to rise, plants will likely exhibit enhanced rates of photosynthesis and biomass production that will not be diminished by any global warming that might occur concurrently. In fact, if the ambient air temperature rises, the growth-promoting effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment will likely also rise, becoming more and more robust.
• The ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content likely will not favor the growth of weedy species over that of crops and native plants.
• The growth of plants is generally not only enhanced by CO2-induced increases in net photosynthesis during the light period of the day, it is also enhanced by CO2-induced decreases in respiration during the dark period.
• The ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content, as well as any degree of warming that might possibly accompany it, will not materially alter the rate of decomposition of the world’s soil organic matter and will probably enhance biological carbon sequestration. Continued increases in the air’s CO2 concentration and temperature will not result in massive losses of carbon from earth’s peatlands. To the contrary, these environmental changes—if they persist—would likely work together to enhance carbon capture.
• Other biological effects of CO2 enhancement include enhanced plant nitrogen-use efficiency, longer residence time of carbon in the soil, and increased populations of earthworms and soil nematodes.
• The aerial fertilization effect of the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 concentration (which greatly enhances vegetative productivity) and its antitranspiration effect (which enhances plant wateruse efficiency and enables plants to grow in areas that were once too dry for them) are stimulating plant growth across the globe in places that previously were too dry or otherwise unfavorable for plant growth, leading to a significant greening of the Earth.
• Elevated CO2 reduces, and nearly always overrides, the negative effects of ozone pollution on plant photosynthesis, growth and yield. It also reduces atmospheric concentrations of isoprene, a highly reactive non-methane hydrocarbon that is emitted in copious quantities by vegetation and is responsible for the production of vast amounts of tropospheric ozone.
Chapter 8 (pdf). Species Extinction
• The IPCC claims “new evidence suggests that climate-driven extinctions and range retractions are already widespread” and the “projected impacts on biodiversity are significant and of key relevance, since global losses in biodiversity are irreversible (very high confidence).” These claims are not supported by scientific research.
• The world’s species have proven to be remarkably resilient to climate change. Most wild species are at least one million years old, which means they have all been through hundreds of climate cycles involving temperature changes on par with or greater than those experienced in the twentieth century.
• The four known causes of extinctions are huge asteroids striking the planet, human hunting, human agriculture, and the introduction of alien species (e.g., lamprey eels in the Great Lakes and pigs in Hawaii). None of these causes are connected with either global temperatures or atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
• Real-world data collected by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) show the rate of extinctions at the end of the twentieth century was the lowest since the sixteenth century—despite 150 years of rising world temperatures, growing populations, and industrialization. Many, and probably most, of the world’s species benefited from rising temperatures in the twentieth century.
• As long as the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration rises in tandem with its temperature, most plants will not need to migrate toward cooler conditions, as their physiology will change in ways that make them better adapted to warmer conditions. Plants will likely spread poleward in latitude and upward in elevation at the cold-limited boundaries of their ranges, thanks to longer growing seasons and less frost, while their heatlimited boundaries will probably remain pretty much as they are now or shift only slightly.
• Land animals also tend to migrate poleward and upward, to areas where cold temperatures prevented them from going in the past. They follow earth’s plants, while the heat-limited boundaries of their ranges are often little affected, allowing them to also expand their ranges.
• The persistence of coral reefs through geologic time—when temperatures were as much as 10°- 15°C warmer than at present, and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were two to seven times higher than they are currently—provides substantive evidence that these marine entities can successfully adapt to a dramatically changing global environment.
• The 18- to 59-cm warming-induced sea-level rise that is predicted for the coming century by the IPCC falls well within the range (2 to 6 mm per year) of typical coral vertical extension rates, which exhibited a modal value of 7 to 8 mm per year during the Holocene and can be more than double that value in certain branching corals. Rising sea levels should therefore present no difficulties for coral reefs.
• The rising CO2 content of the atmosphere may induce very small changes in the well-buffered ocean chemistry (pH) that could slightly reduce coral calcification rates; but potential positive effects of hydrospheric CO2 enrichment may more than compensate for this modest negative phenomenon. Real-world observations indicate that elevated CO2 and elevated temperatures are having a positive effect on most corals.
• Polar bears have survived changes in climate that exceed those that occurred during the twentieth century or are forecast by the IPCC’s computer models.
• Most populations of polar bears are growing, not shrinking, and the biggest influence on polar bear populations is not temperature but hunting by humans, which historically has taken a large toll on polar bear populations.
• Forecasts of dwindling polar bear populations assume trends in sea ice and temperature that are counterfactual, rely on unvalidated computer climate models that are known to be unreliable, and violate most of the principles of scientific forecasting.
Chapter 9 (pdf). Human Health Effects
• The IPCC alleges that “climate change currently contributes to the global burden of disease and premature deaths” and will “increase malnutrition and consequent disorders.” In fact, the overwhelming weight of evidence shows that higher temperatures and rising CO2 levels have played an indispensible role in making it possible to feed a growing global population without encroaching on natural ecosystems.
• Global warming reduces the incidence of cardiovascular disease related to low temperatures and wintry weather by a much greater degree than it increases the incidence of cardiovascular disease associated with high temperatures and summer heat waves.
• Mortality due to respiratory diseases decrease as temperatures rise and as temperature variability declines.
• Claims that malaria and tick-borne diseases are spreading or will spread across the globe as a result of CO2-induced warming are not supported in the scientific literature.
• Total heat-related mortality rates have been shown to be lower in warmer climates and to be unaffected by rising temperatures during the twentieth century.
• The historical increase in the air’s CO2 content has improved human nutrition by raising crop yields during the past 150 years on the order of 70 percent for wheat, 28 percent for cereals, 33 percent for fruits and melons, 62 percent for legumes, 67 percent for root and tuber crops, and 51 percent for vegetables.
• The quality of plant food in the CO2-enriched world of the future, in terms of its protein and antioxidant (vitamin) contents, will be no lower and probably will be higher than in the past.
• There is evidence that some medicinal substances in plants will be present in significantly greater concentrations, and certainly in greater absolute amounts, than they are currently.
• The historical increase of the air’s CO2 content has probably helped lengthen human lifespans since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, and its continued upward trend will likely provide more of the same benefit.
• Higher levels of CO2 in the air help to advance all three parts of a strategy to resolve the tension between the need to feed a growing population and the desire to preserve natural ecosystems: increasing crop yield per unit of land area, increasing crop yield per unit of nutrients applied, and increasing crop yield per unit of water used.
• Biofuels for transportation (chiefly ethanol, biodiesel, and methanol) are being used in growing quantities in the belief that they provide environmental benefits. In fact, those benefits are very dubious. By some measures, “the net effect of biofuels production … is to increase CO2 emissions for decades or centuries relative to the emissions caused by fossil fuel use.”
• Biofuels compete with livestock growers and food processors for corn, soybeans, and other feedstocks, leading to higher food prices. Rising food prices in 2008 led to food riots in several developing countries. The production of biofuels also consumes enormous quantities of water compared with the production of gasoline.
• There can be little doubt that ethanol mandates and subsidies have made both food and energy more, not less, expensive and therefore less available to a growing population. The extensive damage to natural ecosystems already caused by this poor policy decision, and the much greater destruction yet to come, are a high price to pay for refusing to understand and utilize the true science of climate change.
Oh, found this interesting site, PolesApart.com which has discussions and counter discussions related to the above plus potent counters to those counters. Very interesting indeed. Most certainly “poles apart” in the scientific community.
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