A bit of everything

First, this: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/26/weather-storms-hurricanes/5575663/
It seems that at least USA Today has realized that “extreme” weather is what we have always and always will (and which only mentioned “climate change”, i.e. global warming once)!

I was sidetracked in my writing by:


This looked like a huntsman spider, though since I unfortunately had to “dispatch” him (for hiding under my husband’s computer monitor!), it’s hard to tell.  The eyes tell all and his really don’t speak anymore!


Size of wolf spider Wolf spider attacking cockroach

This is a wolf spider.  I found him first by my washer and gave mashing him a run, but he was too quick and hiding in a corner.  At that time, I did not know what kind of spider he was. (We generally kill all spiders except at few orb-weavers that we find in the house.  It’s forbidden, however, to kill them outside, except black windows.)  Yesterday, I found him in the middle of the dining room, on the floor.  I snagged him with a jar and took more pictures, deducing he was indeed a wolf spider.  Last night, we tossed in a baby Cuban cockroach and he dined on it.  I probably won’t toss him outside for a while–it’s supposed to snow this weekend and get below zero.  (There’s a video of him wrestling the cockroach at: http://www.shutterfly.com/video/myVideos.sfly?fid=8742d57818ca111dc7e45aad1e0cdff4#D-52c2e2dae4b02ab6b1d800c2-530f593ce4537409d07f5ebf)

Once I had identified the spiders, etc, I decided to check my carbon footprint.  The result of my searches–carbon footprint calculators are as bogus as psychics.  Several wanted to know my income. What does my income have to do with my carbon footprint?  Then there were the sites that insisted my only choices for heating were electric or natural gas.  I filled out the questions on one site, finding out if everyone used what I do, we would need six earths.  However, when I forwarded to the next page, all of the instructions for reducing my carbon footprint I already do:  Car with high mileage for long trips, I get my water from a well, I keep my thermostat lower that apparently half the country does (based on news items about propane costs), compost, garden, grow trees, don’t water my yard (just the trees and garden), use natural bug control when possible, eat wild meat, use CFLs where appropriate, low-flush toilets, etc, etc.  I guess the part where the only way to stop global warming is to live in a hole in the ground and eat dirt may actually be true.  Seems there’s no way to please the carbon people.  I would also note that many sites were trying to sell carbon credits, so this is really about money.

Next, the high cost of propane.  Propane is not regulated as a utility so the dealer  you have can pretty much charge whatever he wants.  You cannot have a dealer fill another dealer’s tank.  Most of the time, you have minimum purchase amounts (mine will cost $800 next time I buy–200 gallon minimum, over $3.75 a gallon plus fees), and often dealers just dump high priced fuel in your tank and bill you without your knowing they were going to fill your tank  (I actually padlocked the tank once to keep them from filling it.)  What does this have to with global warming, you ask?  The alternative to propane is generally a wood stove.  Mine is from 1983, so it probably does not meet EPA standards.  Every morning now the neighborhood smells like a forest fire.  People are burning wood, rather than using propane.  My furnace is 96% efficient–my fireplace is not.  However, the cost of propane and the complete lack of care for customers (propane dealers know they own you and they don’t care if you like their service or not.  There are only two dealer where I live.  If I change, I have to get a new tank and wait for a refund from the old one.  Dealers often won’t quote you prices, so you have no idea if the move is worth it or not.)  So what we have here is a situation that our “Stop Global Warming” President ignores entirely while the amount of smoke in the air goes up and up as people drop the cleaner fuel.   All talk, as usual.  Right now, the option is to go to whatever fuel is cheaper and easier to obtain, no matter how dirty because you have one of two unregulated utilities (the other is fuel oil).

My class:

The first class on climate change was introductory—discussing what will eventually be covered. I was surprised to see a “hockey stick” graph, especially since Michael Mann’s lawsuit again Tim Bell was dismissed allegedly because Mann would not produce his data. (Note:  It appears the report of the lawsuit being dismissed was not true.  It remains true that Mann will not release his data, however.  Unless someone has a link to the data and wants to share?)  One would think a high quality university would shy away from such questionable data. It wasn’t Mann’s graph, which is good. Still, most temperature graphs I see now have a leveling of the gradient, not a hockey stick. More disappointing was how many of the graphs are old (going only to 2006 or before) and have no information on the source of the graph. Perhaps later on there will be more information.

I did find the brief discussion of the Milankovich cycles interesting. I have always been fascinated with the snowball earth period and its transition to today’s earth. Paleo climate is quite interesting.

I am hoping that later on they discuss the pause, the slowing, whatever one wants to refer to the flattening of the “hockey stick” blade. Perhaps when we get to models. I would like to know what is involved in the models. So far, there was one example, with CO2 and volcanoes, aerosols, volcanoes and ozone. A very, very simplistic model. Hopefully, they get better.

Going through the videos, I came up with a lot of questions. In researching, I found several items involving the Medieval Warming period and how warm it was and how global it was. It has always fascinated me that climate change science just wiped out two very important historical events: the Little Ice Age and The Medieval Warming period. I suppose that is not really that surprising in today’s culture. My understanding is that Columbus is now an evil conqueror who never should have disturbed the natives living a utopian existence on the continent. It’s amazing how easy it is to alter history to one’s politics. If history, why not science?

One interesting item was the definition of climate: “the statistics of weather”. Of course, the first thing that popped into my head was the book “How to lie with statistics”. Not what they were hoping for, I would guess……

This week is about the physics of climate change.  Maybe it will be better.

9 comments on “A bit of everything

  1. Thanks Glenn. There’s lot of information to look through there.

    • youkipper says:

      Glenn has kindly pointed out a resource for Manns data. As I stated, it has been available, probably since his original 1998 paper was published – I referred to 1998 because that was when the research was published not a date it was cherry picked from – apology accepted.

      MIT use graphs from published research, again no cherry picking, it is all in the references for checking and is the way science is usually taught rather than adding years to others published work or reconstructing entire data series the peer reviewed science is taught and referenced.

      And your link doesn’t say Mann is getting counter sued. It is just a threat and Mann will be used to them. You really need to fact check your sources.

      Re Hockey stick graphs: if you are seriously studying climate science you better get used to them. Every temperature reconstruction, including those that involved sceptics like Judith Curry, show a hockey stick type graph. The raw data if you do it yourself will also show one.

      Here is about 14 graphs together along with the instrument records;

      You may also come across similar graphs, sometime with a reverse hockey stick, showing CO2 over the last thousand years, sea ice volume, sea level rise – it should become very familiar to a serious student of climatology.

      • I am still unclear then as to why the lawsuit involving Mann and Ball is not going forward. It seems if Mann has everything he needs to exonerate himself, he’d be eager to go to court. (This is difficult to research since even the news media goes to blogs for their information.)

        No, I will never get used to hockey stick graphs. Everything I learned about science and math says they are a statistical manipulation designed to give the answer one seeks. I cannot find evidence that the manipulations are in any way scientifically valid. Had I produced such a graph in college, I would have been required to document and explain a thousand time over how I managed to so grotesquely manipulate data. Then probably flunked anyway. The graph on SkS only goes to 2000 and appears to show an anomaly greater than other graphs. The increase in global mean temperature shown on this NOAA graph:http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/global-land-ocean-mntp-anom/201301-201312.png
        shows the temperature leveling off at .6, not above .8 as shown in the SkS graph.
        The graphs are very familiar. That does not make them correct, just ubiquitous.

        I don’t see where I stated Mann was being countersued by anyone other than Steyn. The link clearly states “risk facing”. Steyn is definately countersuing Mann–he (Steyn) has so stated repeatedly.

        I’m not really sure what your point was with Judith Curry. She is an interesting example–Scientific American called her a heretic (isn’t that a religious term?). Mann is whining that people call him names, yet Scientific American is doing the same. As for my putting any more credence in what she does than what Mann does, no, I evaluate all of it no matter whose name is at the end of the paper.

  2. youkipper says:

    “Michal Mann refuses to release him metadata.”

    I don’t know why you believe this but it isn’t true. The sources of data used in his papers are referenced and available to others.

    “Or are you just hoping this “smoke and mirrors” approach will somehow make me think Mann is really a legitimate scientist?”

    The original “hockey stick” graph has been replicated with and without tree ring proxies, using multiple different statistical methodologies, and by multiple independent teams of researchers. Individuals who continue to believe that the “hockey stick” isn’t sound research can no longer be considered sceptics.

    “He is now being countersued, and chastised for mouthing off on Twitter and trying to add to those who now feel empowered to sue him. ”

    Who by?

    ” I really don’t care about the state of the lawsuit. ”

    Then why mention it when you wrongly believed it was dismissed?

    Far too many more problems with your replies to mention in the in the time I can spare.

  3. Youkipper: Your sourced article mention using 1998 (which I NEVER would do) as the starting point is cherry picking. Yet, when MIT truncates graphs at 2002 and 2006 when data through at least 2012 is available, where’s the cry of “cherry-picking”? That’s the very definition of cherry-picking in climate science–not using all the available data and stopping or starting at an arbitrary point. Why are you not angry at MIT’s obvious cherry-pick? (If I were me stopping at 2002, you’d be baking a pie with all the accusations of cherry-picking.)

  4. youkipper says:

    “I was surprised to see a “hockey stick” graph, especially since Michael Mann’s lawsuit again Tim Bell was dismissed allegedly because Mann would not produce his data.”

    “Another claim alleges that Dr. Mann lost a lawsuit against Dr. Tim Ball in Canada. This case is still ongoing, and Mann’s side says any claims of its conclusion, let alone outcome, are spurious. The following statement by Mann’s attorney, Roger McConchie, was issued in response to what he refers to as “preposterous statements” and “nonsense” about the status of the case:

    “The review of Tim Ball’s new book by Hans Schreuder and John O’Sullivan makes preposterous statements concerning Dr. Michael Mann’s lawsuit in the British Columbia Supreme Court against Tim Ball and other defendants. The Mann lawsuit is currently in the discovery phase, with further examinations for discovery (depositions) of the defendants to be scheduled shortly, following which I will either set the action for trial by jury in the usual manner, or bring a summary trial application on behalf of Dr. Mann for damages and injunctive relief.

    “Dr. Ball has not set the matter for trial and there is no motion by Ball currently before the Court. The allegation by Schreuder and O’Sullivan that Dr. Mann has refused to show his metadata and calculations in open court is not true.

    “Their assertion that Dr. Mann faces possible bankruptcy is nonsense. Dr. Mann’s lawsuit against Dr. Ball and other defendants is proceeding through the normal stages prescribed by the BC Supreme Court Civil Rules and Dr. Mann looks forward to judicial vindication at the conclusion of this process.”

    “I am hoping that later on they discuss the pause, the slowing, whatever one wants to refer to the flattening of the “hockey stick” blade.”

    Apparently it is just appears for some surface temps and isn’t significant to anyone but those who reject the research;


    BTW, does this look like “a hole in the ground”?;

    • Of course you pick the lawsuit and ignore that Michal Mann refuses to release him metadata. No real scientist does that. What part of “science has to be repeatable and verifiable” do you not understand? Or are you just hoping this “smoke and mirrors” approach will somehow make me think Mann is really a legitimate scientist? As for the lawsuit, there are conflicting reports. He is now being countersued, and chastised for mouthing off on Twitter and trying to add to those who now feel empowered to sue him. I really don’t care about the state of the lawsuit. Until Mann releases his data, he is not a scientist and I regard everything he says as probable lies.

      The IPCC verified the pause. Trenbreth and others are coming up with all kinds of “reasons” for it happening: ocean ate the heat, natural factors, etc. For the first time, the “peer-reviewed” cadre of scientists are claiming natural factors are overcoming CO2. That’s a major change.


      (I was curious why in the scienceblogs.com article, the temperature at the poles was not added in originally. It appears this is a “new” technique, meaning it was not in previous data for the past however many years. That would be very unscientific, of course, so I am hoping that I’m reading this incorrectly.)

      Interesting “hole in the ground” that fits “new Government definition of zero carbon”. Is the government definition of zero carbon different than ZERO carbon? It appears the home took a huge amount of carbon to build, probably will take a large amount to maintain. ZERO carbon means no mining, manufacturing, etc can be done by fossil-fuel powered machinery, there can be no power line going into the home and the occupants can only walk (even electric cars take carbon to manufacture and maintain). Did the house run off a well? “Zero” carbon is starting to look like the “poverty level” guidelines–something used by the government to whatever ends they want and no relationship to reality. (I will, however, mark the page and watch for developments. A couple of years back, the “low-energy” homes in England were costing more for utilities than a “regular” home.)

      You seem to find it problematic when I question believers, but very okay when you question skeptics. You post links that back your position and I mine. We do precisely the same things, yet somehow you think you’re “pure” and I’m not. Why is it that believers can’t see their own confimation bias? You do have it–most definitely. When I give you skeptical information, do you look up a dozen websites and try to find out what it means? Do you check the methods and the math? Or do you jump to your favorite sites and copy answers? I use the first method. I took the class to understand the science–I simply stating that thus far, there has been precious little explanation of the science. Plus, if I am not allowed to question the science, then we are talking about religion, not science. So, what is it? Science or religion?

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