William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Live From Heartland Climate Conference, Wrap Up

heartland

Profound thanks

I cannot say enough about the generosity of my benefactor, who not only footed the bill for my trip, but wined and dined and rummed our Secret Society most luxuriously. I had a small taste of how (dead broke) Hillary Clinton must regularly feel. A forty-eight hour prince. I am deeply grateful.

I am also still recovering. Hence the tardiness of this post.

Weather weenie

Ever hear that term before? Describes—most lovingly, of course—the kind of guy who has memorized storms in the same way a baseball fanatic can name the batting averages, number of home runs, and ERAs of the lineup of the 1957 Detroit Tigers. And the 1956, and 1955, and, well, you get it.

Joe Bastardi, growing up, used to have posters of hurricanes on his walls. He still knows their names, 500 mb thicknesses, minimum pressures, wind speeds, landfalls, and everything else you would never think anybody could remember. And he can rattle them off faster than the EPA can create new regulations.

Does it really matter to the public, dear reader, that the USA is suffering a paucity of these tropical storms? And that this scarcity repeats itself over just about any climatological or oceanographic characteristic of importance? Tornadoes are down. Sea level isn’t doing squat. Ice is icier. Droughts, especially considering those had before rampaging global warming took over, are down and less severe. The maximum maximum temperatures were seen long ago (#2 was in Death Valley, good old USA, back in the 20s or 30s). Even polar bears are back full blast eating cute seals—and each other (nasty animals, really).

But what does everybody who doesn’t bother to think think? That we are spiraling down, down, down to the gloomy depths.

Who says advertising does’t work? You denier.

This just in

One of my favorite sessions was with everybody’s favorite villain Marc Morano, Steve Goddard (going by his real name), and Russell Cook. How blogs can help; that sort of thing. Shout out to machinist and Cajun musician Greg Olsen, who very wisely read a certain statistics book.

Goddard has newspaper clippings from all over the world from as far back as the mid nineteenth century showing that hysteria is an old and ever-present acquaintance. First the world was going to end in ice, then in fire, then back to ice, and sometimes both at once. Something always had to be done.

The lesson is that lessons are never learned; therefore, we can expect that when this scare ends it will rapidly be replaced by another.

Sustainability

Sam Karnick’s opinion (he’s from Heartland) is that the environmentalists have learned at least one lesson. Global Warming was too specific. It made definite predictions: the world will hot up. And when it didn’t, as it hasn’t, it became obvious that the scare must die.

Thus the trick is not to be specific. Thus sustainability.

What a wonderful word! Beautifully unspecific and utterly without content. Don’t do that, that’s not sustainable. Our manufacturing process is based on sustainability principles. Sustainable Pittsburgh’s Green Workplace Challenge.

Everything is at once sustainable and unsustainable. You will never know when you are guilty of unsustainability. Just think of the layers and layers of bureaucracy that will be required to inform you!

We had here a contest for the next environmental scare, but I hereby cancel that and award the banner to Karnick. Sustainability is bound to be a winner.

Am I blue?

Saw a trailer for a new film called Blue by Jeff King. Proof complete that Reagan was right was he said the eight scariest words in the English language are “I’m an environmentalist and I’m here to help.” Or something.

Do just a little harm

Best story was how Lord Monckton punked one of the UN climate conferences. He slipped into an empty seat (Burma’s/Myanmar’s) just as the chairman asked if anybody representing a group had any comments. So his Lordship pushed the button for his mike and said he represented the Asian Coastal Cooperative Institute (or something; made up on the spot) and told the audience that seeing there had been no global warming for over sixteen years and that all the predictions had been a bust, and that it would be cheaper and more efficient to adapt to any warming rather than try to prevent it, shouldn’t we reexamine our priorities? Response from the chair? Not a valid participant. Brave, brave.

And speaking of his Lordship, here he is speaking. Quite a performance—as usual. (The entire video is worth watching, but if you’re in a hurry, LM starts at around 32 minutes in.) Careful watchers will recognize some of the names.

His best line? The Greens are too Yellow to admit they’re Red. Or maybe the joke starting at around 33 minutes. Or maybe the joke starting at 38 minutes. Or the curious picture at 1:01:00.

Conference surprises

How good Willis Eschenbach looks in a suit. Ouch! How three Craigs ended up in one session (Craig Loehle, Craig Idso, Craig Rucker). What are the chances of that? (Regular readers had better be able to answer, or else.) How many people forget or skip over Dwight Eisenhower’s equation (which Cato’s Pat Michael’s recalled for us) Science + Big government money = Bad news. How coincidences are everywhere. Roy Spencer and his wife grew up in “The Soo”, which is Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where I was stationed as a weather forecaster for the NWS back in ’93.

Pony up

If you do like these conferences, and wish them to continue, and you are deep of pockets, do as Joe Bast suggested and slide them a few.

More to come

This has only been a precis. Here’s a link to all the talks, which were recorded.

I haven’t been blogging on global warming as much as I did four or five years ago, but that’s because it takes a lot of time, and it was my idea that people were caring less. And people are caring less. But the power hungry are not. Our dear leader is but one example of many (though the poor soul’s intellectual capabilities do not allow him to rise above the level of sarcastic cliché).

But circumstances might soon allow me to return to this line of query. Stay tuned.

Update

Total amount gambled: $0.00.

23 Comments

  1. Everything is sustainable until it’s not.

  2. …boy, did you drink the kool-aid.

  3. Briggs

    10 July 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Shecky,

    Penetrating comment. After reading it, intellectual honesty compels me to believe that climate chaos is right around the corner.

  4. Briggs, so was that you at a table up front on the left for Monckton’s keynote? I noticed a light colored suit. I think Monckton’s best bit was the Monty Python dead parrot sketch parody. He does a good Pachuri.

    The good guys must learn how to make the latest buzzwords their own. It’s the only way to de-fang the serpents when they control the means of thought control.

  5. Briggs

    10 July 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Gary,

    Nope. As you stand in front of the stage, I was sitting to the table to the left of the guests of honors. My back was to the camera.

  6. I sometimes throw a quarter in a slot in the airport on my way out of town. Total gambled in 25+ years of occasional trips to Vegas probably under $2. What I’m really investing in is the possibility of having a really annoying story to tell my brothers, about how I spent 25 cents in Vegas and won a $100. Soon, I’m sure.

    Because you can’t win if you don’t play.

  7. Total amount gambled: $0.00.

    Yeah, OK but how much did you invest? ;)

  8. “Total amount gambled: $0.00.”

    Do I detect some disingenuity here, after all if you know you’ll win it isn’t gambling…..

  9. [URL=http://s73.photobucket.com/user/gtb1/media/ICCC9keynote.jpg.html][IMG]http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i231/gtb1/ICCC9keynote.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

    Briggs, that’s what I said.

  10. LOL! The Heartland Institute! You gotta love the names these groups call themselves! LOL! Well, I hope you enjoyed a good smoke with the gang there, Briggs. After all, smoking is harmless too. Just like pollution! LOL!

    JMJ

  11. Briggs

    11 July 2014 at 11:39 am

    Gary,

    That’s it!

  12. JMJ: How long did it take you to stuff that straw man?

  13. “Ice is icier” is blatantly false. The world is now losing about a trillon tonnes of ice a year; I added it up here:
    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2014/05/how-fast-is-planet-losing-ice.html

  14. Briggs

    11 July 2014 at 5:09 pm

    David A,

    Global warming computer models confounded as Antarctic sea ice hits new record high with 2.1million square miles more than is usual for time of year

    http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/07/05/global-warming-computer-models-confounded-as-antarctic-sea-ice-hits-new-record-high-with-2-1million-square-miles-more-than-is-usual-for-time-of-year/

    http://polarbearscience.com/2014/06/24/springsummer-sea-ice-bonanza-for-polar-bears-conditions-excellent-again-for-2014/

    Etc., etc.

    And how about how all those climate models after decades still can’t release skillful forecasts? Interesting, no?

  15. Antarctic SIE is increasing by about 26 Gt/yr. Meanwhile, Antarctic land is losing about 159 Gt/yr; across the planet the ice loss is over a trillion tonnes a year. And you’re focusing on 3% of that.

    Balanced?

  16. Briggs

    11 July 2014 at 5:37 pm

    DA,

    Got get ‘em, Tiger!

  17. It was great meeting you Matt – conference was a ton of fun, informative, great people. Gambled $1.50. Lost it all. Oh well!

    Question: How much ice is there supposed to be?

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/iphone/images/iphone.anomaly.global.png

  18. So where is the evidence that “ice is icier?” Doesn’t seem you have it….

  19. “http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/iphone/images/iphone.anomaly.global.png”

    When you buy ice at the store, is it by the pound or by the square foot?

  20. “Total amount gambled: $0.00″ Good for you Briggs!!

  21. David Appell: Am I buying a bag of ice or a block of ice?

  22. Briggs wrote: “DA, Got get ‘em, Tiger!”

    This is exactly why people dismiss the Heartland crowd — you say anything you want, as long as it sounds good. Then, when you’re asked for the evidence to support your claims, you flit away and say, ‘but look over there!’

    It’s about ideology, not science.

  23. David: From what I can find, the Artic ice has decreased by 1.32 million miles. This is 2.8% of the entire amount of Arctic ice.
    Antarctica is adding 1.1% more per decade on average. Since Antarctica has only 7.5 million square miles of ice, yes, it’s not making up for the artic.
    Since what we are talking about here is sea ice, it has minimal change on sea level. What we are looking at is changes in albedo, if I understand correctly. Dark water absorbs heat, ice reflects it. So we would need to calculate what a 2.8% decrease in Arctic ice does to the albedo in the region, and then do the same for Antarctica to find how much the extra ice increases the albedo. Once we have this, we would need to calculate the effect on the entire global system to know just how much effect there is. I really don’t know what that calculation comes out to. And I don’t know if other forces are at work that would decrease the effects of the melt, which may in the end change my final calculation concerning the effect on the global mean temperature and said anomalies.

    While I wouldn’t say the “ice is icer”, I would say I need a lot more numbers and calculations before I start worrying about melting ice. Even then, there may not be enough computer to actually do the calculation. If only we could do this with 3rd grade arithmetic, it would be so much simpler and clearer. But we can’t.

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