William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Climate Change Alarmists Appear Immunized Against Reality at The Federalist

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Today’s post is at The Federalist: “Climate Change Alarmists Appear Immunized Against Reality“.

So Ars Technica sent a young man who bills himself as an “educator” and hydrologist to the 10th International Conference on Climate Change sponsored by the Heartland Institute, that was held June 11-12 in Washington, DC. This educator, Scott K. Johnson, gazed about himself in wonder and came to believe he had fallen into an “echo chamber of outrage“.

Kids these days.

I’m sure young Scott won’t mind me calling him a kid, he being a novice to the field and because, as the young are apt, he takes criticisms of his cherished beliefs rather too seriously. So worked up was this fellow that he tells us, “On the first night of the conference, one of the presenters actually invaded my dreams.” Dude. We’d rather not know about your nocturnal entrancements.

Go there to read the rest.

Update

28 Comments

  1. The problem “educators” like Johnson have is that they’re playing the game with house money. They don’t have enough personal investment to be rigorous about what they think they know. Find a way to put what they value — cash, career, reputation — on the line and their minds will be more concentrated on separating fact from fantasy. It’s the way many skeptics woke up to reality. It should work even for the addle-brained.

    Typo alert: “that it should be scraped or hidden from view until it was fixed.” I think you meant “scrapped.” Relentless, your enemies.

  2. Briggs

    July 17, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Gary,

    My enemies are everywhere!

  3. Reality waits for no one. That’s what makes it so infuriating to people whose beliefs wander too far from reality. It is like honey badger…not giving a @#$% what anyone believes. Reality just keeps on truckin’. CJ

  4. DOE already has curriculum. Here’s an example:

    http://www1.eere.energy.gov/educatio…gbook_2014.pdf

  5. “How do we reach educators like Johnson? Here is my suggestion: Why not publish the amount of error these climate models have experienced over the last 20 years? Have they been wrong by 2% or 300%? How could any reasonable person “believe or trust” something that is in considerable error?Next, how about running the numbers to determine how many BTUs have been produced by society over the last 100 years? Every kilowatt, every barrel of oil, every MCF of natural gas when consumed produces the byproduct of HEAT. Is it not probable that the minor heating the Earth has experienced over the last 100 years is simply due to humans releasing trillions upon trillions of BTUs into the atmosphere? Lastly, I think we should start calling these people what they appear to be — cultists. Not alarmists. We used to be called “skeptics.” But now we’re called “deniers.” I’m not denying anything. I simply seek fact and proof of global warming, which global warming cultists fail to provide.

    Edward Teller (the father of the hydrogen bomb) was one of the first scientists to warn of global warming caused by CO2. But interestingly, his calculations showed that a concentration of about 100,000 PPM atmospheric CO2 would be necessary to cause global warming. So how do scientists of today conclude that moving from 300 PPM to 400 PPM has changed anything regarding the Earth’s climate?

  6. “Why are people so unhappy when you show them the world’s climate is not as bad as predicted?”

    Because all you’ve done is nit pick about temperature models and predictions, something you yourself should find pointless. Meanwhile, the ice caps and glaciers, the sea and fresh waters, precipitation, plants and animals, tell us we have a problem, and with the sudden rise of the East, pollutant levels are going through the roof. People like you would like us to ignore these facts and keep the status quo for those who make money from it.

    JMJ

  7. Of course, +97% of the REAL climate scientists are all wrong, but only because you make up statistics to “prove” them wrong. Won’t work, dude. “The greatest changes will first be noticed at the poles…” That’s right. Up here at 57 deg. North, our winters are growing milder and short. Right now, about 20-30 days. This is great for us, but when the cities of the southern latitudes start experiencing regular summer temperatures of more than 120 deg. F, and the power goes out, people are going to cook. Better stay on your island.

  8. Kerry: It won’t matter. I have seen commenters mock the idea of error bars, etc. They don’t care about numbers and will call you a liar and an idiot for inserting reality. Note JMJ below your comment. No matter that NOAA says the ice caps are not melting, there are plenty of growing glaciers (they are not a static phenomena, contrary to climate change propaganda), extinctions are not increasing and pollution is down, down, down, he still considers these alarmist “facts” because he wants to believe. Nothing will ever change his mind unless the government sent out a memo and even then, he’s probably say it was faked. This is not rational thought–it’s emotional fervor.

    Wow, Anders, reading the play book, too? Did JMJ send it to you or did you find it on your own? Regular temperatures of 120 + is so far over what even the alarmist IPCC predicted its amazing.

    If any of you read conspiracy sites, you will recognize this behaviour. Rationalization, paranoia, etc. It’s all a lie that this is not happening because the person’s entire identity is tied up in the belief. I have no idea how to change that. The only thing you can do is take back education and teach kids to think. This will not be popular. Stupid and frightened people are so much easier to control than enlightened, thinking ones. Fear is your friend in ruling the planet. Science is your enemy.

  9. Briggs

    July 17, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Anders,

    You’ll want to educate yourself before spouting off, I’m sure: New Paper: Climate Consensus and ‘Misinformation’

    http://wmbriggs.com/post/15576/

  10. JMJ, please give us some facts to back up your assertions about “climate change”, and not fudged data, please.

  11. When I was an undergrad in engineering the education majors were notorious for being the dumbest kids on campus. Obviously things haven’t changed in 50 years.

  12. All I can say is hottest year ever is good for global sea ice.

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

  13. Meanwhile, the ice caps and glaciers, the sea and fresh waters, precipitation, plants and animals, tell us we have a problem,

    And that problem is what exactly? Even if there is a problem what can we do about it? Prohibit rain dancing to fix precipitation? Expressing dismay at model performance is not nit-picking. That the models don’t work is clear evidence that our understanding of climate is rather poor. So, given that poor understanding, how can you say anyone knows how to fix a problematic climate?

    But you already know you are spouting nonsense. Why would be a good question.

  14. Darn! I guess I’m an alarmist. And I guess what I learned in chemistry must be bunk (I want my tuition money back, darnit!). But it oddly still seems to make sense to my lizard brain (and I’m pretty certain it’s one of those silly things they call a “scientific fact”): at the same temperature and pressure, the molecular mass of a substance in its gaseous state occupies an extraordinarily larger volume than the same molecular mass of that substance in its liquid state and even larger than its solid state (water is a special compound). Presuming that is true, it seems logical that the molecular mass of solid and liquid carbon humans have extracted over the past 200+/- years (e.g., petroleum and coal that was formed and sequestered in the earth over many, many millions of years) and turned into its gaseous state through combustion, occupies an extraordinarily large volume in the atmosphere. The plants, trees, and oceans do a fine job of absorbing that gaseous carbon, but I’d bet my net worth (which ain’t much) that we’re producing that gaseous carbon at a rate exponentially greater than the plants, trees, and oceans are absorbing it.

    But since what I learned in chemistry is bunk, I don’t have to worry about any of this…or that nasty stuff they call “carbonic acid”. The oceans should be happy about that too. This “kid” will just believe what his elders tell him and do his part to maintain the status quo – that is “for the best”.

    One of my favorite analogies about climate change that nearly everyone can relate to: not believing that humans have a significant influence on climate change is like going to 30 doctors; 29 of them tell you you’re going to die within a few days, but you choose to believe the only one who says you’re going to live.

  15. joe_avg…from my physics, your physical chemistry is lacking–it’s not the volume, it’s the moles… the number of molecules. So try another tack if you want to be convincing.

  16. Joe_avg…to make the example more concrete, a pound of dry ice (solid CO2) expanded into a cubic mile would not be at all effective in re-radiation.

  17. Joe_avg
    work out the numbers of molecules per cubic meter…and you’ll see what I mean..taint the volume it’s the amount, and not to mention the readsorption by plants… so don’t try to blind us with pseudo-science.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FIMvSp01C8

  18. Hey Bob – oops! Thanks for the correction: replace all instances of “molecular mass” (a.k.a., atomic weight) with “moles” (a.k.a., number of molecules); then the main idea about volume makes sense. I received a 3.9 in chemistry, not a 4.0 đŸ˜‰

  19. JOE_avg: Carbonic acid (H2C03). The hypothetical acid of carbon dioxide and water. Carbonic acid exists only in the form of its salts (carbonates), acid salts (hydrogen carbonates), amines (carbamic acid), and acid chlorides (carbonyl chloride). (From Grant and Hackh’s Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)

    “Blink your eyes and it’s long gone. Carbonic acid exists for only a tiny fraction of a second when carbon dioxide gas dissolves in water before changing into a mix of protons and bicarbonate anions.
    Saykally and his research group have overcome the challenge of carbonic acid’s short lifetime – about 26 milliseconds…..”
    Berkley Labs

    Could be bunk, couldn’t it.

  20. Bob – ha! Love the video reference! I remember roller-skating to that song… True, it is amount, but the volume of equal *amounts* of carbon in solid, liquid, or gas form is easier for me to visualize with respect to the atmosphere. An amount of extracted coal or petroleum doesn’t cause any sort of greenhouse effect. Combustion of that amount of coal or petroleum changes it to the gaseous form (which now occupies a greater volume than it did as solid coal or liquid petroleum) thereby releasing it to the atmosphere where it contributes to a greenhouse effect. I don’t know enough about the process of re-radiation to make an informed comment – I did poorly in thermodynamics 20+ years ago when I wasn’t interested in it… Perhaps I’ll get some taste of it in my future physics classes? Speaking of which, I’d better get back to studying… Way cool to see that you’re a physicist, Bob! I’m currently in a nanotechnology program.

  21. Jersey McJones is your explanation for why we are in this absurd situation. Actual science is dismissed as “nit picking” and the nonsense he has heard third hand from newspapers is gospel. All of which he barely knows about, and does not understand, and makes no effort to do so. Probably because he is lazy, and anyway, it would bore him to become educated.

  22. Sander van der Wal

    July 18, 2015 at 7:36 am

    @Anders Olsen

    Earth has been warmer a lot of times, and each and every time it was the poles getting warmer and the tropics staying the same.

  23. Joe_avg, nice to see you in good humor, and I apologize for being sort of snarky in my comment. Here’s a fact for you to chew on. The “average” person exhales between .5 and 1.0 kg of CO2 per day…let’s call it 880g to make a round number for the number moles (divide by 44), or about 20 moles of CO2 per day. Multiply that by 10 billion, the rough population of the earth and you get about 2×10 ^11 moles of CO2 / day exhaled. The volume of air is given by 4pi R^2 x dR for a spherical shell, and if you take atmospheric thickness as about 5 miles or 8000 m, and the earth’s radius as 4000 miles or 6.4 x 10 ^6 m^3 or 6x 10^9 liters you get a concentration of about 30 moles/ l of CO2/day added to the atmosphere due to exhalation. Since the molar concentration at 1 atm is 1/24 (about), that’s a lot of extra CO2 that’s put in just by exhaling. Should we kill a 8 or 9 billion off to stop global warming?

  24. PS–that calculation was not meant to give a real figure, but to show how rough estimates can be misleading.

  25. mistake: 6.4 x 10^6 x 8000 about 5×10^10 m^3 or 5×10^13 l… which gives a more reasonable concentration of exhaled CO2: 4×10^-3 moles/l 1/24 is about
    4×10 ^-2 moles/ l at STP, so you get about 10% increase due to exhaled CO2….
    The question still is… do we want to kill off some billions to minimize green house gases and stop global warming?

  26. Afternoon, Bob! Thanks for acknowledging the humor – if I allowed myself to succumb to the anger, self-righteousness, fear, and sadness that seems to be all too present in our culture (my *opinion*), I’d have a tough time getting out of bed each day. I love learning. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I (dare I say “we”) know. But that’s what makes life interesting and exciting for me – the pursuit of knowledge…and hopefully I’m picking up some wisdom along the way. I like snarkiness too – and I think it’s a hoot that you consider yourself “cranky” and “old”! I’m really intrigued by your blog as well…when I have a bit more time on my hands, I’d like to check out more of your postings. I definitely want to learn more about St. Augustine…

    Thanks for the calcs (and corrections) too! According to this (http://www.census.gov/popclock/), we’re approaching a global population of 7.3B. But, wow – if you include the number of animals and other organisms that are continuously respiring CO2, your estimate likely skyrockets. (I’m doing my best to leave methane out of this discussion – ha!) The thing I never used to realize is that we (humans and most every other CO2-producing organism) are cycling CO2 that is currently in our atmosphere. This is one of the main “advantages” proponents of biofuels point to: combustion of biofuels releases only the carbon they have accumulated in their relatively short lifetime (relative to the millions of years the carbon in coal and petroleum has been sequestered); in a sense, biofuel proponents see their combustion as a sustainable cycling of carbon (combustion of biofuels, not combustion of their proponents – ha!).

  27. Joe_avg, There’s a point to using biofuels–fossil fuels will not be inexhaustible, and it’s prudent to cultivate other sources. However, there are environmental concerns to using some biofuels–wood, for example–even though they are nominally renewable. The solution is going to be fusion energy. See (although it may be a pipe dream) Lockheed’s projection a small fusion source in 10 years time.http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/compact-fusion.html

  28. and thanks for the nice words about my blog… as Mae West said, “flattery will get you everywhere!” … :>)

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