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Interesting reading:

UK Climate and Control Charts

Posted on July 3, 2013
From the Met Office 19 June 2013
The UK Met Office recently held an emergency meeting:
“Weather and climate experts from across the UK came together at the Met Office’s HQ in Exeter today for a workshop to discuss the recent run of unusual seasons in Europe.”

“Today’s included sessions which looked at the weather patterns and their potential causes in three recent seasons – the cold winter of 2010/11, the wet summer of 2012, and this year’s cold spring.”

From personal experience and a casual glance at the Met Office temperature figures it struck me that the variations seemed pretty much what we expect from our UK weather.

As a manufacturing engineer I was introduced to the wonderful world of control charts so I decided to construct these for the cold winter of 2010/11, the wet summer of 2012, and this year’s cold spring.

Read more here: http://oldgifford.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/uk-climate-and-control-chartsposted-on-july-3-2013from/

Antiscience? Not.

Scientific Badger

Scientific Badger

WtD currently (as of 10 AM today) has an article on anti-science and some psychobabble about “stages of denial”. Again, it’s based on the 97% of scientists with the appropriate degree who publish in the proper peer-reviewed journals agreeing AGW is real. As I have noted, the qualifications can be waived if scientists agree with AGW and write an article that will help the cause (as in Cook, Lewendoski and Marcott). This appears to be central to the entire theory—the “in” crowd agrees and so should you.

First, psychology and consensus have NOTHING to do with the truth or falsity of a scientific hypothesis/theory. Psychology and consensus are employed to “sell” something. For example—4 out of 5 dentists recommend “Brand X” toothpaste. Unless the dentists are doing this based on scientific evidence that brand X is best (and can produce the research to prove it), it’s nothing more than a toothpaste popularity contest.

There used to be commercials stating more hospitals used Tylenol than any other pain reliever. There was also a report that Tylenol was cutting the hospitals a great deal on the cost of the Tylenol. Today, Tylenol no longer advertises this way—it turned out the “safe” painkiller used by more hospitals was actually toxic in large doses. The medication was added to narcotic painkillers and combination medications, resulting in unintentional overdosing. It was not the “safe, trusted” painkiller that was endorsed by hospitals. Hospitals agreed—consensus existed. Tylenol was safe….but then it wasn’t.

Had someone actually questioned why there was agreement, perhaps the reality of the lack of safety in Tylenol would have come out sooner. Research and experience had always shown acetaminophen was toxic in large doses, due to liver damage. If there had been inquiries into the research and hospitals were asked to prove the safety and usefulness of the product, perhaps fewer overdoses would have occurred. The manufacturer of Tylenol later had commercials saying it was safe IF used as directed, a much more honest statement. At least safety was conditional.

Scientific truth is not determined by endorsement or consensus. It is determined by data, how well any models used predict and match reality, how much data exists versus how much is modeling (hint: the word “model” is prevalent in most AGW research.) A computer model is not a FACT. It’s not real. It’s at best an hypothesis, at worst, a fantasy. So not believing AGW is actually not putting faith in computer models and statistical probability. It is recognition of the limits of statistics and the use of modeling in trying to predict complex phenomena. It is the recognition of the validity of research based on its actual content and not who wrote. It is not a denial of science, scientific method or actual facts in evidence.

This may explain the shift from science in AGW to psychobabble and non-scientific terms like “extreme weather” (There was a study that tried to quantify this without a lot of success—I do give them credit for at least trying.)  If you can’t prove something with actual data, dazzle ’em with psychobabble and scare ’em with “extreme”.

No, it’s not the money

Today at Think Progress (a misnomer on all accounts) we find:

“Manmade climate change is happening. One would think that with hundreds of climate-related natural disasters declared since 2011, and 97 percent of climate scientists in agreement, elected officials would follow the evidence. But a shocking number — 55 percent — of congressional Republicans refuse to accept it. Most states have at least one representative who denies climate change science. And it’s even more pronounced in Republican leadership, where 90 percent deny climate science.

It’s no coincidence that deniers are funded in large part by the fossil fuel industry, which profits off of the emissions that cause global warming. Combined, the 157 members of the climate denier caucus have taken over $50 million in dirty energy contributions over the course of their careers. The 378 other Members of Congress and Senators have only taken $33 million total.”

Read more here:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/07/11/2289051/new-infographic-the-anti-science-climate-denier-caucus/

Okay, let’s look at this from a different perspective:  Al Gore sold his TV station to an OIL country, one of the evil middle east countries that control the oil the US gets and have caused millions of young men to die in unnecessary wars, according to many environmental activists.  Yet we have not seen Al Gore producing a film “Fossil Fuels Forever” and joining the ranks of the “deniers”.  If half a billion dollars doesn’t buy someone’s allegiance, how could the paltry $242,000 to house members or $699,000 to senate members?  It’s really quite obvious that money does not buy influence, don’t you think?  Only in the imagination of climate change advocates does money determine one’s beliefs about the legitimacy of science.  They just cannot admit it just might be the science that is the problem.

As the science spirals…..

Once upon a time, there was a group of scientists who discovered what they believed to be a warming of the planet, caused by humans burning fossil fuels.  This elite group of scientists spent years studying the subject, had very advanced degrees and numerous published papers.  They were the best of the best–the supreme and infallible authorities on climate change and how humans were destroying the only planet they had.

Then came the skeptics.  Those pesky people asking uncomfortable questions about the science. How dare they????  These were Authorities–one does not question authorities.  Yet skeptics did and the skeptics refused to back down and go away.

The climate scientists supporters started simply saying that NO ONE who did not have a degree in or has worked for years in climate science and published beaucoup papers was a valid authority. This would eliminate most of the skeptics and the others would not amount to a threat.  And for a while, that seemed to work.  People knew the difference between “real science” and those pesky wannabes out there questioning climate change.

All was not well in the kingdom, however.  The skeptics kept hitting on plateauing temperatures.  The climate scientists started using words like “stalling” and assuring everyone the warming would pick up again.  Some went so far as to say nature might temporarily be overwhelming what we humans were adding, though that would not continue indefinitely.

The biggest change, however, was the newly defined “authority” or perhaps “who is okay to listen to” would be a better term.  It began with a psychologist writing a paper about conspiracy theories and skeptics (which is totally irrelevant to the science and basically name-calling) which did apparently finally get published somewhere.  This allowed into the arena “social science” in place of the “hard science” of the past.  No longer did climate change scientists care if it was getting warmer, only how to make people believe it was.  Then there was the graduate student who created a new hockey stick–in his doctoral thesis.  He was hailed as vindication for Mann.  He had no “years of experience” .  His degree was not climate science.  After that, a blogger became the new hero.  This was for his “citizen” science–an internet survey to prove 97% consensus on authorities believing in climate change.  (Is it not interesting that the 97% number remains constant over years and years and whatever the approach to measuring consensus?  Almost unheard of in the world of surveys and polling, yet there it is, over and over and over.)  This blogger that clearly indicated he “was not a scientist” (thought he does have a degree in physics).  This blogger that now is associated with a university in Australia.  His qualifications seem to be “well-known” so people recognize his name and appears to agree with everything climate change tells him.  His “research” was an internet survey.

In the last couple of years, climate science has gone from “expert with advanced degree and years of experience and peer-reviewed journals” to “any guy who agrees with us and we can use to further our cause using internet surveys or whatever it takes”.  This is good news for skeptics.  No longer can the climate change advocates claim that skeptics are not “qualified”.  Many, many skeptics have degrees in science, some write blogs.  Of course they don’t agree with the climate change science, but that is the only qualification they lack.  Since it’s science we are talking about , that agreement is actually considered “unscientific”.  After all, Darwin and Einstein didn’t poll scientists to get consensus before presenting their theories. Nor did they take consensus polls after presenting the theory.  Scientists who disagreed with Einstein were not vilified (probably not so Darwin, but that, like climate change, had more to do with science eliminating God and replacing Him with science).  Only religion forbids disagreement.  So the “agreement” qualification is moot.  Virtually everything advocates objected to in skeptics has become part of the advocate side now.  No years of experience, writing on things outside climate science if they sell your cause, and blogging as a gateway to becoming a bona fide climate science researcher.

When climate change advocates start claiming lack of experience or lack of degree disqualifies skeptics, just say “Lewandowski”, “Marcott” and “Cook”.  When the discussion of the current “pause” in warming comes up, just say “nature overwhelming manmade”.  It seems climate science has become that which they criticized.  Desperate measures for desperate times, I think.

Graph Wars

Scientific Badger

Scientific Badger


A reader alerted me to the current exchanges between WtD (Watching the Deniers) and WUWT (Watts Up With That). Since the exchanges continue, at least at WtD, I may have to update as things develop.

The exchange appears to have started in WtD with a headline “Anthony Watts: it is necessary to use correct sea-ice graphs to avoid misleading the public.” The “misleading” part was the graph does not include the SD (standard deviation) shading. I am uncertain how many people actually understand or even notice the SD shading, but it appears that WtD feels this is essential.

Later the same day, another entry on WtD discussed what the blogger had learned from the WUWT incident. It is interesting that he describes “friendly debate” and couches the remainder of the article in language befitting an army general leading troops to war (science is now war?) He proceeds to analyze what he has learned about leading troops into battle and the only thing to fear from skeptics is “our own fear”. My best guess at the meaning of this is: “if we have no fear, they can’t hurt us”. In the real world, that philosophy has proven to not be true in many cases (Custer come to mind). It does make a great war cry, but that’s about it. One would have hoped more would have been learned in the exchange.

Next, he “outs” the scoundrel who ratted out the blog posting to WUWT. What?!?!? What is it in this climate change discussion that people write a blog on an extremely controversial topic and then complain about the controversy. Better yet, the scoundrel who ratted out WtD would have been allowed to return to commenting, but not anymore. Punishment for “telling on” the blogger was swift and sure. Do these people really have egos that big that forbidding someone to comment on a blog is considered retaliation or punishment? Never mind—that may be self-evident.

Now today, WtD “discovered” an inflammatory comment at WUWT and is demanding an apology (actually more or less whining and hoping that works). The blogger actually said he “occupies the moral high ground”. The only people who write statements like that are people NOT occupying the moral high ground who are hoping their declarations will fool you. He is angry about a comment that implies he is gay. WtD quickly notes that “gay is okay”, yet writes an entire entry on how insulting the comment was meant to be and why it should be removed. Double think? In actuality, I probably would have moderated the comment (removed or modified it) because it is a personal attack and has nothing to with the subject at hand. However, if WUWT allows personal attacks, I see no problem. If “gay is okay”, then it really wasn’t an insult anyway, but a reflection on the commenter.

What was WUWT doing throughout this exchange? There was a post concerning the accusation by WtD and a statement that the graph was not fabricated. The commenter from WtD stated he lodged a formal complaint concerning the matter with the Australian Press Council. I’m not sure how much good that does–there seems to be a large number of such claims from both sides, but perhaps it will help. WUWT also clearly posted links to the graph used—this is one of the “official “ graphs from NSIDC. There is one graph with SD and one without. There was no deception in the first place.

A similar objection was lodged by a commenter on this blog concerning a graph I posted a link to: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/06/global-warming-in-a-few-slides.php The graph does not match data from Rutger’s Climate lab. I have attempted to find the source of the graph, but to date have not been successful.

The objection, however, was to the graph using November to April, leaving out May, June, October and maybe more. Rutgers uses “spring”, “fall”, and “winter”, which I am guessing (and it’s just a guess) is that Rutgers means calendar periods, not the more generic use of the terms. The graph should have been labelled with actual dates for the data range in order to remove all doubt. Both sides truncate data to their advantage and use terms that work for them. We need to educate people to ask questions about the graphs and look at the data instead of fighting over what is and is not a “deliberate misrepresentation”. Another important problem with the graph was overlooked entirely: the Y axis has no label for the units used. The numbers are too large to be square miles or square kilometers based on the Rutgers graph. For now, I am labeling that graph as questionable on the blog entry.

One last note: WtD says “If the NSIDC has elected to present information in one format as their preferred means of communication, it is beholden to all of us to follow their model.” Science is not “Follow the Leader” or “Simon Says”. It is utterly unscientific to lock data into a specific format for graphing. It cripples the ability of scientists and readers to make comparisons in the graphing and to possibly discover new trends in the data . The statement is indicative of how very little science is found on WtD.