Thursday, July 31, 2008

An Inconvenient Test

I really, really need to stop doing posts about this.
Kevin Colby (who is hosting the next Carnival Of The Libertarians, see widget to your right) had a link to it.
It was so wonderful that I couldn't leave it alone.

So I've created a test. These sentences are from a 1974 Time magazine article.
Fill in the blanks.
You will be graded, so take this test Oh So Very Seriously.
Try to learn some Inconvenient Truths.

1) In Canada's wheat belt, a particularly _______ and rainy spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest.

2) A series of unusually ______ winters has gripped the American Far West....

3) ....when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually _______ for the past three decades.

4) Telltale signs are everywhere (such as) the unexpected ___________ of pack ice in the waters around Iceland....

5) Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has _______ about 2.7° F.

6) Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once ______ snow in summer; now they are ________ year round.

7) Scientists have found other indications of global ________ .

8) Indeed it is the widening of this cap of ________ air that is the immediate cause of Africa's drought.

9) Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the _______ trend.

10) Whatever the cause of the ________ trend, its effects could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic.

Ok, class, have you filled in all the blanks? Hit the link and check your answers.

If you filled in all ten blanks with the correct word(s), or acceptable synonyms, you have proven that you aren't susceptible to marketing. More than likely, you have never purchased anything over the phone. You have an intense distrust of Saint Albert The Goracle and the get-rich-quick schemes of his partners. You may have been reading this blog for way too long.

If you missed 1 or 2 questions, you still have your wits about you, and perhaps you feel guilty when you purchase fuel that contains ethanol. You may need a refresher course. Please read the Coyote Blog once a week to stay up to speed.

If you missed 3 or 4 questions, you are in danger. Look in the Bible, Revelation 3:16

If you missed 5 or 6 questions, there are some authorities who believe you are already beyond hope. I disagree. Start by asking yourself if this summer seems milder or more severe than others you remember. Pray about it. Then, examine your heart. Open yourself to that still small voice.... Our trained counselors stand at the front, waiting to lead you to the Lord. They'll also give you a free thermometer.

If you missed 7 or 8 questions, well, admitting that you have a problem is the first step toward recovery. But you have to want to change, and you're pretty far down the path to oblivion. No more voting for Democrats who claim they can change the weather. No more voting for weak-kneed Republicans who go along to get along.

If you missed 9 or 10 questions, you are prime bait. Prepare to be fleeced. But don't drag the rest of us down with you, ok? I don't ask the government to mandate that everyone buy Bob Dylan CD's, or Bud Lite, or anything else that I support. You shouldn't ask the government to mandate that everyone has to invest in Saint Albert's alternative energy start-up companies.

Class dismissed. And it's okay to sneak into the school restrooms to smoke. It helps warm the planet.

27 comments:

Cedric Katesby said...

Why do you think this article is important?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,
I can't tell you how proud I am to have you here, since I've followed your comments on other sites for a while.

I think this article from Time magazine is important because it was written about people who stood to gain financially from causing a panic about Global Cooling. Most of those people worked at "Local Universities". More on that in a minute.

Yes, it was written about 30 years ago, but I can't say that Weather Forecasting has made any great strides since then. People who study climate say that it's going to rain, and sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't. It's either going to get warmer next year, or it's going to get cooler. Pick one. The odds are 50/50.

In the interest of saving time and effort, here's the conversation that's likely to take place on this post for the next few days. I've copied it from a site called "Liberally Conservative", but approximations of it can be found elsewhere:

July 26th, 2008 at 3:22 pm
Can’t you just ban this “Cedric Katesby”? He’s a troll poster. Just do a google search on his name. He repeats the same litany, word for word, over and over, and doesn’t give a whit what anyone thinks. He’s made up his mind, he’s arrogant, and he trolls sites that promote open conversation and debate, always looking to cause a ruckus. Just ban him and be done with his nonsense (and I’ve never requested such extreme measures, but if anyone warrants banning, it’s him). I think he’s been suckling at Gore’s teat for too long.

Liberally Conservative Says:
July 26th, 2008 at 4:58 pm

I’m not sure about other sites but I would agree he adds nothing to the conversation and disagrees even if we say the sky is blue.

Mr. Katesby may post as long as it’s clean and we’ll simply ignore him for now. Thanks.

Cedric Katesby Says:
July 26th, 2008 at 11:16 pm
“Can’t you just ban this “Cedric Katesby”?’


Wound’t it be easier to contact your local university science department and ask them what they think about global warming?
Take a chance. Live for the moment.
Contact them.

It’s that easy.

Morckton’s article was peer-reviewed? Fine.
Present the evidence.

The APS has reversed it’s stance on global warming?
Then where do they actually say this?

If you don’t like me and you think I’m a troll then…imagine the satisfaction you’ll get by proving me wrong?

Go ahead. Contact your local university now. Please.


I hope that saves all of us a lot of typing.
Climatologist George J. Kukla, who is referenced in the Time article, worked at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory.
You can no longer get grants to study Global Cooling. Global Warming? Yes. Climate Change? Yes. But Global Cooling is so 1974.
I have as much respect for science as the next person. I also know that ideology trumps objectivity.
That's why I hold back a bit when the guys in white lab coats start running around in the streets claiming that the sky is falling.
We'll see, won't we?
So what do you think? Is this year supposed to be warmer or cooler?

Cedric Katesby said...

"...I've followed your comments on other sites for a while."

I see.
Well, they say there's no such thing as bad publicity.
I disagree very strongly with LC but as I've said before, he doesn't censor.

Kevin Colby, however, just can't help himself but quietly push the ol' "delete" button.

His blog, his rules...but for a guy who talks a lot about freedom of speech he doesn't very well practice what he preaches.

Back to the subject at hand...

"Is this year supposed to be warmer or cooler?"
No idea.

"I think this article from Time magazine is important because it was written about people who stood to gain financially from causing a panic about Global Cooling."

I don't follow your line of reasoning.

What do you think actually happened in the seventies?
What's your viewpoint?

"People who study climate say that it's going to rain, and sometimes it does."

Climatologists say that it's going to rain?
Huh?
Isn't that a meteorologist's job?

Dr Ralph said...

I for one welcome Mr Katesby to this forum. I think he'll fit right in.

Mr Katesby, while I don't always agree with the Whited Sepulchre, I always enjoy seeing the latest thing he's posted. He's a smart, funny person who welcomes a good discussion. I have the added bonus of being acquainted in the off-line world.

I look forward to paying him $10 in the months to come (or maybe collecting $50).

Cedric Katesby said...

Whited, looks like you have fan base.

"He's a smart, funny person who welcomes a good discussion."

Sounds promising.
:)

The Whited Sepulchre said...

CK,
You claim that you have no idea if it's going to get warmer or cooler. I don't either. Neither does Al Gore, or Nancy Pelosi, or any of the charlatans who are about to put a massive wealth transfer into place to either prevent or encourage global warming or cooling, depending on which panic they can peddle at the time.

My line of reasoning is as follows: You can make more money through government mandates than through any other mechanism. If you come up with a device to keep Aliens from the planet Nekthor from invading, and can persuade the government that every home must be provided with one, you'll make a fortune.
Gore is no longer a politician, he is a consultant. He is publicly and privately lobbying for the venture capital firm of Kleiner-Perkins and their alternative energy companies. These firms produce the equivalent of Nekthor Alien Repellent. You can't prove that it's working, you can't prove that it isn't. You can't prove that we're causing the weather to get cooler, and you can't prove that we're causing it to get warmer. I can't even get most Climate Change Chicken Littles to commit to warmer or cooler any more.
But Gore's going to do something about it. With our money. He's going to make it warmer or cooler. Or not.
I think that's a mistake.
But I agree that you should be allowed to give him all you want.
I'd prefer not to.

My viewpoint on what happend to the weather in the 70's? We didn't have an ice age.
My viewpoint on what's going to happen to the weather in the 00's? The oceans aren't going to rise, the seas aren't going to boil, and Al Gore isn't going to bring us Darkness At Noon, or Fill The Moon With Blood, and thirty years from now you'll have the opportunity to go and laugh during midnight showings of "Reefer Madness", "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", and "An Inconvenient Truth".

And yes, I think rainfall amounts and frequency are occasionally looked at by Climatologists.

I do have a fairly loyal fan base, despite plenty of disagreement. A lot of people blog in an echo chamber; I'm fortunate in knowing that every word I type will probably be read by The Loyal Opposition.

Cedric, I was disappointed to see that I agree with you on Evolution and Church vs. State issues. You sure get around.
I don't know if you saw the movie "Unbreakable" by M. Night Shyamalan, but I was hoping you'd turn out to be my exact opposite.

How do you feel about Hillary?

Cedric Katesby said...

"How do you feel about Hillary?"

Well, I'm not a fan. Then again, it not my place to comment to comment on American politics.

"Unbreakable".
Very under-rated movie!

"I agree with you on Evolution and Church vs. State issues."

Glad to hear it.
Actually, the main reason I became interested in global warming denierism was because of the Creationist/Intelligent Designer crowd.
There's a strong overlap on their web-sites (almost all of them echo-chambers sites).
Scratch the surface of a creationist "I-didn't-come-from-no-monkey" type and you'll invariably find a global warming denier.
The opposite is not always true however.

"I think rainfall amounts and frequency are occasionally looked at by Climatologists."

Yet but this is different from what you said before...

"People who study climate say that it's going to rain, and sometimes it does."

You are conflating climatologists with meterologists.

"Atmospheric scientists, commonly called meteorologists, study the atmosphere’s physical characteristics, motions, and processes, and the way in which these factors affect the rest of our environment. The best known application of this knowledge is forecasting the weather. In addition to predicting the weather, atmospheric scientists attempt to identify and interpret climate trends, understand past weather, and analyze today’s weather."

"Climatologists study climactic variations spanning hundreds or even millions of years. They also may collect, analyze, and interpret past records of wind, rainfall, sunshine, and temperature in specific areas or regions."
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos051.htm

Based upon these job descriptions, while it's understood that a climatologist will look at rainfall data, the people who can tell you when it's going to rain are the meteorologists.

"My viewpoint on what happened to the weather in the 70's? We didn't have an ice age."

Well, yes but I'm still not sure what you think actually happened back then.

Do you think that the scientific community believed that there was going to be an Ice Age back in the seventies?

What are the sources you are using?

(I know you've read the Time article but that's just a magazine article.)

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,
Perhaps, instead of refering to Meteorologists or Climatologists, I should've said "The High Priests of The Climate Sciences", which would include both fields.

So your point about exactly which group is saying that it is, or it isn't, going to get warmer (or cooler) is well taken. One group studies the short-term unpredictability of the weather, and another group studies the long-term unpredictability of the weather.

For the academic affiliation of Columbia's Dr. George J. Kukla, you can go here:
http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=%22george+j+kukla%22
Sadly, all that appears online of Dr. Kukla's 1970's Ice Age panic are the Time & Newsweek articles. I suspect his source documents haven't been reviewed in a long, long time.
Perhaps if I get time to go to the TCU library, I can dig that stuff up for the good of the cause.

If you're still confused about what was going on in the 1970's, I think a group of climatologists/ meteorologistss started finding data that they didn't understand. (This is conjecture on my part, but it fits the Saint Albert pattern nicely.) The more they looked at the data, the more it pointed toward another ice age. They started banging pots and pans together in the middle of the street. Then they got to speak at academic conferences. Then they got more grant money. Then, wonder of wonders, they made it into Time and Newsweek.

The only problem is, the environment didn't cooperate. What would've happened if the U.N. had followed their advice and taken immediate action to start warming up the planet? After all, they used the same calls for immediate action, the same statements that it might be too late, and the situation might be irreversible.

Cedric, on another post, you sent me a link to the James Randi website (Randi is one of the world's leading illusionists, and debunks faith-healers, televangelists, and other frauds in his spare time.)
I think if you were to bring some of the same Randi-like skepticism to this issue that you bring to your conversations about evolution/creationism, you might start to question some people's motives.

Let me close by asking this question one more time..... You obviously spend an unbelieveable amount of time trying to discredit Climate Change Skeptics. It's almost a religious crusade with you.
But you aren't willing to say whether you think it's going to get warmer or cooler ??????

C,mon, Cedric, grow a pair. There's only a 50% chance that you'll be wrong. The anti-Global Warming, excuse me, anti-Climate Change movement wants to take billions of dollars from the world's governments and put it in their own pockets. You obviously support them. Is that because you are afraid the temp is going to get warmer or cooler?

Cedric Katesby said...

(Part One of Two)
”Perhaps, instead of refering to Meteorologists or Climatologists, I should've said "The High Priests of The Climate Sciences", which would include both fields.”

No, that would make you sound ignorant.
I’m sure you'll agree with me that you’re NOT so…let’s just stick to English and call meteorologists “meteorologists” and climatologists“climatologists”.
Fair enough?

“So your point about exactly which group is saying that it is, or it isn't, going to get warmer (or cooler) is well taken. One group studies the short-term unpredictability of the weather, and another group studies the long-term unpredictability of the weather.”

If that’s your idea of a point “well taken” then I can only assume that you mean that in jest.
If you’re confused about what a climatologist does or what a meteorologist does then consult a reference source.
Making up your own definition doesn’t work very well.

“Sadly, all that appears online of Dr. Kukla's 1970's Ice Age panic are the Time & Newsweek articles.”

Have you wondered why?

“I think a group of climatologists/ meteorologistss started finding data that they didn't understand. This is conjecture on my part….”

Bingo. The key word there is conjecture.

“They started banging pots and pans together in the middle of the street. Then they got to speak at academic conferences. Then they got more grant money. Then, wonder of wonders, they made it into Time and Newsweek.”

Yep. Conjecture. A deep, rich vein of it.

”What would've happened if the U.N. had followed their advice and taken immediate action to start warming up the planet? After all, they used the same calls for immediate action, the same statements that it might be too late, and the situation might be irreversible.”

Follow through on this line of thought. How come the UN didn’t follow “their advice”?

Cedric Katesby said...

(Part Two of Two.)

”I think if you were to bring some of the same Randi-like skepticism to this issue that you bring to your conversations about evolution/creationism, you might start to question some people's motives.”

I’m a big fan of Randi.
His work got me interested in pseudo-science and flummery.
If you ever get a quiet afternoon, sift through his archives and watch his videos.
Worthy stuff.

“You obviously spend an unbelieveable amount of time trying to discredit Climate Change Skeptics”

Oh no. It’s just a light, temporary past-time.
I usually focus on the Intelligent Designer Tards but they’re slowly disappearing. There’s not much sport in them any more. They’ve circled the wagons and echo-chambered their sites. Their select number of commenters get fewer and fewer each year. The promised research never quite seems to get done and the genuine crazies alienate the moderates who give up and go home.
Uncommon Descent is the prime example of this.
Though it’s an echo chamber, it has inspired a science blog called Pandasthumb.org to chronicle their bannings and intellectual train-wreck arguments.
http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=4896ce3c5e850b9c;act=ST;f=14;t=1274

In fact, it’s so popular that after closing at a thousand pages, they opened up a sequel thread.
http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=4896ce3c5e850b9c;act=ST;f=14;t=5735

Fun and games for all. Scientists hang out there and comment all the time.
The parallels between the way Intelligent Designers and Global Warming Deniers operate is spooky. Same terminology, same anti-intellectualism, and very often the same people.
In fact, that’s why I’ve branched out and made contact with Global Warming Deniers.

”But you aren't willing to say whether you think it's going to get warmer or cooler ?????? “

Let me explain why I honestly can’t answer your question.
I have a strong interest in science. I’ve read many articles on global warming.
I’ve lurked on global warming sites, both pro and anti-science.
I’ve watched the news on global warming. I sometime discuss the issue with my friends.
In short, I know NOTHING about global warming.
Nothing useful or scientific anyway.
My opinion on a scientific question related to global warming is essentially useless.
I am not a climatologist. Not even close.
My official status is Anonymous Guy on the Internet.
And…that’s it.
Is your question even a legitimate scientific question? No idea.
I don’t pretend to understand climatology. Any more than I pretend to understand Quantity Surveying.
However, this frank admission of my ignorance leaves me in a better position that those who merely pretend to understand climatology.

When I want to know something about global warming I just check out a university web-site or a reputable science blog. Global warming deniers can’t do that because they don’t like what they find. Same thing with the Intelligent Designers. They’re both not good dealing with the scientific world.

“Is that because you are afraid the temp is going to get warmer or cooler?”
What temperature? What climate model?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,
Will respond to your points one at a time later today.
But first, I'm not talking about modeling. That's what's muddying the issue.
Pick anything in the real world....Average ocean temp, upper atmosphere, lower atmosphere, the average of the temps displayed outside on a billboard. Pick one. Please.
Then let me know if you think it's going to get warmer or colder.

And in the meantime, enjoy this article about your church:
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24122117-7583,00.html

They do make one error in this article. Gore is not a "supreme pontiff" in your denomination. He is Saint Albert, The Goracle of Music City, Tennessee.

I'll let you get back to prayer and fasting.

Cedric Katesby said...

"Will respond to your points one at a time later today."

No problem.

"Then let me know if you think it's going to get warmer or colder."

Based on what? Are you making a scientific prediction? From what theory?

"But first, I'm not talking about modeling. That's what's muddying the issue.'

I don't understand. How is modelling muddying the issue?

Previously I said..."The parallels between the way Intelligent Designers and Global Warming Deniers operate is spooky. Same terminology,..."

Well...so far so good.
Religious labels misapplied to science and scientists?...Check.

"The High Priests of The Climate Sciences"

"It's almost a religious crusade with you."

"...enjoy this article about your church"

"I'll let you get back to prayer and fasting."

That's four references so far and the party has only just begun!
I especially liked the "High Priests" bit. It sounded very familiar somehow.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4ADBF_enKR273KR273&q=High+priests+of+Darwin

"...Same terminology, same anti-intellectualism..."

Use of puff piece media articles? ...Check.
You're linking to an opinion piece written by a "historian and author"?
Now I'm feeling right at home.
;)
There's a REASON why the pandasthumb.org has noticed the overlap!

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,
If Reverend Pat Robertson were to say "Because of its tolerance of gays and lesbians, God is going to send a hurricane to destroy Pensacola, Florida in August of 2009", I would have an oh-so-slight increase in respect for Rev. Robertson.
Because he would be going out on a limb. He would be giving us something tangible to discuss and laugh at him about in September 2009, when it didn't happen.
He wouldn't be sitting back and claiming that God isn't pleased and just might express his wrath somewhere.

Another guy, in about 20 days, is going to kayak to the North Pole. This is an effort to prove that the North Pole ice is melting. I believe that it's 25 days till the guy has to turn around. Dr. Ralph doesn't. We've placed a bet on it.

What I'm asking of you is a real world prediction.

So I'm going to ask you the same question, once again, that I've been asking since my first comment: Is there anything, anywhere, during any particular time period that you believe will get warmer or cooler if we don't give Al Gore a bunch of money?

Let me give you some examples:

I, Cedric Katesby, believe that the average temperature in ______ will increase by _________ degrees between 2008 and _________.

I, Cedric Katesby, believe that unless we give Al Gore's buddies billions in subsidies, the average temperature of _________ will decrease by __________ between now and ____________.

I, Cedric Katesby, have an emotional reaction to marketing, and therefore I believe that _______ will melt into the seas by _________ unless we present Al Gore with human and animal sacrifices.

Any variation on that will do nicely.

You're the one who is advocating spending a ton o' money on this lunacy. Therefore, the burden of proof is upon you. You should know about burden of proof with your I.D. arguments, right?

That's how science really works. Predict and prove. Prove and predict.
Do you come to this argument with anything at all other than your notorious "I don't understand" or "What's your viewpoint?"

Yes, the article cited above was written by a historian/ journalist. And "An Inconvenient Truth" was written by a guy who flunked 5 out of 8 classes at a seminary. What's your viewpoint?

But anyway... We can continue to assault each other's articles of choice all day. Give me a concrete example of what you, or the great body of climatologist/ meteorologist /atmospheric scientists claim is going to happen to the temperature of the planet. You get to pick.

This should be a slam dunk, right?

Or do you just feel about this the way that Alabama Baptists feel about the book of Genesis? (I have this same argument with those who Pray For Healing.... that's the reason I've pointed out the religious parallels.) Do you just "know" that it's true? That the climate is going to just "change", and the rest of the world is supposed to view that as A Sign From Above?

Give us something, anything.... Hotter or cooler? In the troposphere? Ocean average temp? Waco Texas? Brampton? Ecuador (it's wayyy cold there this year), The North Pole?
Between now and 2009? 2011 ? The end of the Rodham administration? When Jesus returns to begin his 10,000 reign on earth?

What are you afraid will happen? Can't you tell us what climate catastrophe (a la Pat Robertson) we are supposed to be trying to avoid? Which oh-so-slight variation in temperature, and in what place, by what time, do you think we Global Warming Deniers are going to cause?

Anything? Anything at all?

Or are you just willing to say that somewhere, sometime, there's going to be a change in the weather?

Cedric Katesby said...

(Sorry for the wait. Work commitments.)

“What I'm asking of you is a real world prediction”

Ah hah! A prediction.

A prediction is a statement or claim that a particular event will occur in the future.
It is more certain than, say, a forecast.

Let’s talk about the Pat Robertson example of a prediction you gave.
This would be classified as a supernatural prediction or a prophesy.
Everybody knows how useless supernatural predictions are but they are always good for a laugh.

You also gave as an example what you want as a prediction as “I, Cedric Katesby, believe that the average temperature in ______ will increase by _________ degrees between 2008 and _________.”

This would be classified as a scientific prediction.

“In a scientific context, a prediction is a rigorous, (often quantitative), statement forecasting what will happen under specific conditions, typically expressed in the form If A is true, then B will also be true. The scientific method is built on testing assertions which are logical consequences of scientific theories. This is done through repeatable experiments or observational studies.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prediction

Alternatively, we could reclassify your meaning of prediction as…” Outside the rigorous context of science, prediction is often confused with informed guess or opinion. A prediction of this kind might be valid and useful if the predictor is a knowledgeable person in the field and is employing sound reasoning and accurate data.”
(Ibid.)

Either way, I can’t give you a prediction worth a damn.
The scientific prediction is way out of my league. I leave that stuff to the people who know what they are talking about.
Making an “informed guess or opinion” type prediction is also beyond me.

I am not a knowledgeable person in the field of climatology. Not even a little bit.
I admit this freely.

Do I have accurate data? Nope. Not in any field connected with predicting temperatures.

“You're the one who is advocating spending a ton o' money on this lunacy.”
Money? Haven’t mentioned anything about money.

I’m here because of the “back in the seventies, scientists were all saying that there was gonna be an Ice Age” claim. I’m REALLY hoping we can get back to it.
(Hint, hint)

“Therefore, the burden of proof is upon you. You should know about burden of proof…”
And later…
“That's how science really works. Predict and prove. Prove and predict.”

If you want to know how science really works, please don’t just make stuff up as you go along. Consult a reference source. The term “scientific method” would be a useful starting point.

Science doesn’t actually deal in “proof”.
It’s considered to be something of a dirty word in scientific circles.
Evidence. Science deals in evidence. Not “proof”.

The evidence on global warming has been researched and presented by the scientific community for the last fifty years or so.
A long time ago there was no scientific consensus. Over many decades, even MORE research and several large mountains of peer-reviewed papers, the scientific consensus changed. Now every single scientific community on the planet in on board with global warming.

I don’t have to present any evidence. The hard work has already been done for me. I’m just some anonymous guy on the Internet.

“Yes, the article cited above was written by a historian/ journalist. And "An Inconvenient Truth" was written by a guy who flunked 5 out of 8 classes at a seminary.”

The article was written by somebody who didn’t know anything about climatology and is woefully ill-informed.
As I said before, it’s a puff-piece article.
Mentioning Al Gore’s education, his best friend’s school grades or even Al Gore’s father’s shoe size does not change the fact that the historian/journalist doesn’t know anything about climatology and is woefully ill-informed.
It remains a puff-piece article.

You are using the “Tu Quoque” argument. Very naughty.
http://www.fallacyfiles.org/tuquoque.html

“But anyway... We can continue to assault each other's articles of choice all day.”

No. I don’t use articles from newspapers. I don’t need to. I leave that to creationists and global warming deniers.
When I want to support my position on anything scientific, I always use reputable sources. Verifiable sources such as universities, scientific communities etc.
You, on the other hand, don’t seem to have that option so… (shrug).

“Give me a concrete example of what you, or the great body of climatologist/ meteorologist /atmospheric scientists claim is going to happen to the temperature of the planet. You get to pick.”

To be honest, I don’t have a concrete example at hand. So I really can’t pick.
I have never heard a scientist make a scientific prediction about the temperature for next year in a specific place or something like that. I’m not even sure it can be done.

“Or are you just willing to say that somewhere, sometime, there's going to be a change in the weather?”

This thing about the weather again? Umm….
…pause…
Climatologists. Meteorologists. Remember?
We’ve talked about this already.
So let’s get back on topic…

This global cooling 70’s thing.
Did you find out anything solid about it to support or refute your conjecture?
I suspect that you didn’t but if you did, I’d be very keen to hear about it.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,
I really am going to try to find a little more info on Global Cooling and the next ice age.
You asked why, in your first comment, that I thought it was important, and I told you. I'll also try to find out a little more about the guys who made the breathless Gorian predictions about Global Cooling.

In the meantime, we have people advocating putting, a huge burden on the economy, totally changing our lifestyles, and giving a massive subsidy to a group of people that wants to prevent something about the weather.
This group is vague.
We're not sure what they're trying to prevent.
But it's gonna get warmer or cooler.
Just you wait, Mr. Smarty-Pants Whited Sepulchre, you'll see !

Can no one, in the great conglomeration of academia, websites, and general enlightenment not give me a single symptom that I'm supposed to worry about? Not a single measurable thing?

I'm starting to feel like James Randi, who offers a million bucks to anyone who can show him a sign of psychic phenomena.

Cedric, you get to choose the what, when, and where. I'm taking the opposite. # of degrees difference over a reasonable time period in a particular place.

Cedric Katesby said...

"This group is vague."

I can understand you wanting concrete details lined up neatly with a timetable but I would suggest that there are some things in science that don't lend themselves to being quantified into easily digestable "happy meals" of knowledge.

Take Vulcanology and Seismology for example.

These sciences have significant margins of error, yet they are also responsible for saving lives and whole communites.

Can a vulcanologist tell you when a semi-active volcano "X" will erupt and destroy the village?
This week?
This month?
Two years from now?

Imagine a scientist warning of a high risk of eruption. The locals shut down the tourist trade. They lose money.
They evacuate the island.
The volcano fizzes for a while but after two months...nothing.

Should the people tar and feather the scientist?
Or should they chalk it up to the fact that, hey, they are dealing with a volcano...and that volcanos often don't run to schedule.

What if, a month after the villagers return, the volcano finally erupts?
Is the scientist vindicated or do people still get to complain that he/she was off by a month?


(Now drawing an analogy between Vulcanology and Climatology is very, very rough but I'm doing this spontaneously so forgive any errors I may make.)

We have multiple examples of volcanos killing people and we have multiple examples of scientists getting people out of harm's way in time.

Running a well-funded media campaign that volcano warnings were just hoaxes designed to get a little extra grant money would be a hard sell, even to an ignorant public.

Climatology doesn't have the luxury of such a track record. People are naturally suspicious of it.
These suspicions are carefully nurtured and stoked by others.
Yet if the scientists are correct then there are serious consequences for all concerned.

The only thing honest people can do is ask if the scientists are following the scientific method when they investigate global warming.

The scientific method is the only system we have to to find out what we are doing to our environment.
Prayer-wheels and wishful thinking doesn't cut it.
If we find some ugly results, we have to face up to them.

The great thing is that the scientific community is willing to share and explain how it does it's work.
Not just their conclusions but the raw data, the observations and the number crunching.
It's all an open book.
The science is out there in the open. It has has been vetted by the standard process of peer-review in the usual manner.
For decades.

If there's any Enron-style "cooking of the books" then...it's a conspiracy of unimaginably complicated proportions, covering a large chunk of the twentieth century and involving millions of scientists who have never met each other.

"I really am going to try to find a little more info on Global Cooling and the next ice age."

I can respect that.
For what it's worth, I'm sure you'll be interested by what you'll find.

I don't want to spoon-feed you information or anything but there are several science-based web-sites that have taken a fairly good shot at exploding the myth.

If, later on, you'd like to know about them, I'll be happy to share.

Now that I come to think about it, you would be the ONLY person I've met on the Net who actually bothered to take a second look at this particular issue. LC just plugged his ears and abandoned the thread when I tried to tell him that he'd bought damaged goods.

I look forward to your update.
Thanks.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,

You don't get it. I'm not wanting to criticize arguments or theories.

I want someone to give me a specific thing that we're trying to prevent.

Just one little bitty thing.

One.

A small group (similar to the group in the 1970's) is trying to scare the crap out of everyone on the planet by stating that the weather is going to get warmer or cooler. These people claim that if they are given more money and power, they can stop this warming or cooling.
And we're not talking about a small sum of money. We're talking about truly massive transfers of wealth. Huge disruptions to the economy. We've already got food riots over the ethanol scam.

As best I can tell, you seem to support the people who claim it's going to get warmer or cooler, and apparently support the transfer of wealth and control so they can prevent it from getting warmer or cooler.

Right?

I'm sorry, but until you can tell me where and when you (or anyone else) thinks it's going to be warmer or cooler, I'm at a loss.

Maybe I should just give up, throw in the towel, and agree with Cedric Katesby. Yes, Cedric, you're absolutely right. Unless we give money to Al Gore's buddies, the weather will indeed get warmer or cooler. Somewhere. For a little while. Or a long time.

But I see no difference between that mindset and that of someone who tries to please the gods by giving their money to a TV preacher so something bad won't happen.

You know, we could just as easily be discussing whether or not God heals people because of prayer? I would be the skeptic asking for some evidence. You could be the I.D./Creationist who just knows deep down that prayer works.
And the more I keep pressing you to set up a cancer victim to pray for, the more hesitant you are to do so.

O ye of little faith.

But yes, Cedric, you're abolutely right. I've come around to your point of view. It's a very rare commenter who can back me into a corner the way you have.

Yes, I was wrong. You are right.

Sometime, somewhere, the weather is going to be warmer. Or cooler.

Thank God we can stop that from happening. Or not.

Cedric Katesby said...

“A small group (similar to the group in the 1970's)…”

Wrong on both counts.

The global scientific community is not small.
They number in the millions.
When they say there is a scientific consensus on global warming, they mean it.

If you do your research on the 70’s group, you’ll find glaring differences.
It’s wrong to say that what’s happening now is the same as what happened in the seventies. It’s a myth. Please do the promised research.

“And we're not talking about a small sum of money. We're talking about truly massive transfers of wealth. Huge disruptions to the economy. We've already got food riots over the ethanol scam.”

This has nothing to do with the accuracy of the science of global warming. Even if it would be horribly expensive to combat global warming, that doesn’t mean we get to ignore it and it will magically go away.

“I'm sorry, but until you can tell me where and when you (or anyone else) thinks it's going to be warmer or cooler, I'm at a loss.”

So get informed.
What's stopping you? If you have a specific question about global warming, then read up on it.
Is there somebody holding a gun to your head preventing you from contacting your local university?

First step, find out if scientists ask the same questions as you are asking and if they claim to be able to answer them.
If they don’t, then there’s probably a pretty good reason why they can’t.
Get informed.

“But I see no difference between that mindset and that of someone who tries to please the gods by giving their money to a TV preacher so something bad won't happen.”

Then look harder.
Religion is based upon revelation. Science is based upon investigation.
If you don’t know what the scientific method is then…google it.

As I have said, the science behind global warming is out there for all to see.
It has been prodded, sniffed at, examined from every angle by people who know how to sort good science from pseudo-science…and it’s passed.

No scientific community denies global warming. All the communities and research groups of climatologists, physicists, geologists, chemists, glaciologists etc. are part of the consensus.
They didn’t get there because some politician made a movie. Really.

“You could be the I.D./Creationist who just knows deep down that prayer works.”

Except for the fact that this is plainly not true.

“And the more I keep pressing you to set up a cancer victim to pray for, the more hesitant you are to do so.
O ye of little faith.”

Global warming is not religious in nature. There is nothing mystical or hidden about it. It requires no faith. It requires no special pleading. That’s not how science works.

Ever wonder where the global warming denier crowd comes from?
Here’s a potted history on video.
The American Denial of Global Warming. (59 min)
http://kr.youtube.com/watch?v=2T4UF_Rmlio

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Dang it, Cedric, you got me again.
The scientific community that is making statements about global warming or global cooling is HUGE.
I can't throw a stick in my back yard without hitting a member of that group.

And Cedric, I've been looking up these questions in various forums for a long, long time, and have long been looking into your religious beliefs.

There were people who believed that Jesus would return to earth within a short time of his death. There are people who are still waiting for it to happen.

Just a few years ago, we were going to have a massive Global Warming. Then there were predictions of a ten-year period of cooling that would be a symptom of overall warming. Then the herd started referencing Climate Change instead. And they were right to do so. You know why?

Because you are right, Cedric. Nobody has a clue what's going to happen with the weather. Like I said earlier, I now agree with you.

Sometime, somewhere, it's going to get warmer or cooler. It might be just for a little while, or for a long time. I just hope it's not too late for us to change everything we do so we can prevent this from happening, or not.

I don't know why I couldn't see it before. Do you, or any of the Climate Change Priests, have any plans to write a book, or at least go to the mainstream media, with the news that it's going to get warmer or cooler?

Our nation owes you (and all the scientists in my back yard) a huge debt of gratitude, and in the future, when the weather gets warmer or colder, by a lot or a little, I'll always remember when you were brave enough and had the courage of your convictions to tell me that it would happen.

Cedric Katesby said...

”The scientific community that is making statements about global warming or global cooling is HUGE.”

Slight correction there.
The scientific community is making statements on global warming.
The scientific community numbers across all scientific disciplines and all countries.
So, yes. It’s about as huge as you can get.
Yet fifty or sixty years ago, the number of scientists warning about global warming was non-existent. What happened to make it that way?
Are you going to invoke a conspiracy? Please don’t.

”And Cedric, I've been looking up these questions in various forums for a long, long time…”

Well there’s your problem!
Looking up your questions on forums is a very bad way to get your science. Anonymous people talking to other anonymous people about something they probably don’t understand.

The blind leading the blind.

Instead of endlessly trawling the forums, why not just get your science from a science source? There’s plenty of good science blogs out there run by the scientific community. Heaps of university web-sites dedicates to explaining global warming to a largely uninformed pubic.
Go for it. It’s free.

“…and have long been looking into your religious beliefs.”

Religious beliefs? Huh?

“Do you, or any of the Climate Change Priests…”

No, no no.
Labeling science as religion doesn’t help you in any way.
It’s just a silly smear tactic. Please don’t.

If you believe that global warming is actually religious in nature, then point out the part where the scientific consensus on global warming failed to follow the scientific method. It’s that simple.
Put up or shut up.

“Just a few years ago, we were going to have a massive Global Warming. Then there were predictions of a ten-year period of cooling that would be a symptom of overall warming. Then the herd started referencing Climate Change instead.”

No idea what you are talking about. Link?

“…have any plans to write a book, or at least go to the mainstream media,..”

No. Writing a book or going on the mainstream media doesn’t prove a thing. It’s the scientific work that counts.
Global warming deniers and Intelligent Designers love to print books.

Why? No peer-review!

Nobody to check your work before it’s shilled to an unsuspecting public.
Ditto for mainstream media. Couple of sound-bites, few broad generalizations and you get to collect your check at the door.
There’s no quality control in the media or in books.
However, there IS with peer-reviewed research.
That’s why there’s plenty of global warming denier media clips and books but precious few peer-reviewed papers.
On the other hand, while there are indeed global warming media interviews done by working scientists representing their community, there’s several lifetimes worth of peer-reviewed papers to support it.

So…
When do you think you’ll be finished with the update on the 70’s Ice Age material?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,
You don't get it.
I've changed sides.
I'm with you now.

It's going to get warmer. Or colder. Somewhere. Sometime. And when it does or doesn't happen, I'll think of you and say "Cedric told me this would happen. Thank God I listened in time."

Please, please, please, don't tell me you believe anything more precise than that, for that would imply that you had some sort of commitment to your cause, or some clue as to its precise nature. Or vague nature. Whatever you think it's going to be.

For I've grown to like my new unquestioning, gullible worldview, and I don't want to see it disturbed. Any money left over from my subsistence lifestyle, I contribue to Reverend Jimmy Swaggart, Reverend Fred Phelps, and Reverend Al Gore. I've started to believe that a stable global temperature is evidence of Intelligent Design, and any variations in global temp are my fault.

I don't know when I'll get to the 1970's Ice Age material, but I completed step #1 this morning when I looked out my window and saw that the ice age hasn't arrived yet. I promise that I'll keep you posted on future steps.

Cedric Katesby said...

"It's going to get warmer. Or colder. Somewhere. Sometime. And when it does or doesn't happen, I'll think of you and say "Cedric told me this would happen. Thank God I listened in time."

I didn't say this.
I made no claim. Why don’t you understand this?

You have a very special, super duper question? That’s nice.
I can’t help you.

You have a burning desire to find out the temperature of some part of the world? Ok.
So find out for yourself. It’s not my problem.
What’s the big deal?

You want to argue that if some anonymous person on the Internet can’t answer some odd question that you presumably just pulled out of nowhere then…what?
You’ve … somehow exposed the global warming “hoax”?
Is that your logic?

(…shakes head sadly…)

“I don't know when I'll get to the 1970's Ice Age material, but I completed step #1 this morning when I looked out my window and saw that the ice age hasn't arrived yet.”

You’d probably be better of looking out another “window”.
The one that’s done by Microsoft.
(Y'know, search engines...?)

“I promise that I'll keep you posted on future steps.”

Well, let’s hope you keep your word.

Dr Ralph said...

Quick question here: WS -- if (as you suppose) Climate Change [global warming/cooling] is a huge boondoggle, how much of your/our money are you concerned is going to be wasted?

Because we've got a war going on, started for what turned out to utter and complete bullshit, that's going to cost us in excess of $3 Trillion.

Not to mention the cost in human lives and disrupted families.

Save some of your outrage for this rat-hole. I'd say more but I've got to make the crawl up I-35W.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,

Once again, my point is as follows....

I believe this is a scheme to part people from their money.
It used to be because of the danger of another Ice Age. Then it was global warming. Then it was going to be a 10-year period of cooling that was to be interpreted as a sign of warming.

Then the purveyors of panic decided to cover their bets by raising concerns about Climate Change.

I believe that it's a complete and total farce, and that Pat Robertson, Al Gore, the peer- reviewed Journal Of Unrelieved Tedium, and you and I don't have a clue if the weather is going to get warmer or cooler any time, or anywhere.

I'm reminded of Old Testament prophets who came out of their caves yelling "Repent, or _____ will happen." Those prophecies were generally very open-ended, with no timelines or specifics. Sorta like those of Nostradamus.

And you're abolutely right. I have a question. Just what is it that we're trying to prevent? Anything? Something? Nothing?

Dr.,
If my current share of the National Debt is $31K, I would estimate that Iraq is probably going to add another 6 or 7 K (we're talking future costs in the 3 trillion, and I'm going to be dead before all the bills come due.)

I believe that my portion of Rev. Al's program would add another 3 or 4 K to my govt tab and add much much more than that to our total cost of getting anything done per year.
Yeah, I'm probably due for an Iraq post. Sadaam gassed 90,000 kurds, his sons were forcing their losing Olympic athletes to crawl around the racetracks till they bled (and I think some were executed), and on and on and on.
Non-libertarians could make a case for intervention (like in Nazi Germany or Rwanda) based on humanitarian reasons.
The true bummer is that we turned out to be, in the first 5 years anyway, so truly horrible at intervening.
Or creating adventures to keep Haliburton at full employment, depending on your point of view.

Cedric Katesby said...

”I believe this is a scheme to part people from their money.”

What is the foundation for your belief? I don’t understand why you believe this.
I’m not making fun of you. I’m not trying to make you mad.
I just don’t understand why you would jump to this conclusion.

”It used to be because of the danger of another Ice Age. Then it was global warming.”

This. Is. Wrong.
It’s not true.
This is the global warming denier canard in a nut-shell.

WS, I am not asking you to take my word for this.
I’m not asking you to blindly believe me.
PLEASE check this out properly.

If you check out this myth, you will discover that it’s a load of crap.

I’m not calling you crap. This is not a personal attack.
I’m calling the myth crap.
I’m not calling you stupid for believing this myth.
Once again, this is NOT a personal attack.

I’m saying that the 70’s Ice Age thingy is wrong. It’s peddled on all the global-warming denier sites and…it’s wrong.

“I'm reminded of Old Testament prophets who came out of their caves yelling "Repent, or _____ will happen.".
Those prophecies were generally very open-ended, with no timelines or specifics. Sorta like those of Nostradamus.”

It all goes back to separating science from pseudo-science.
How does a reasonable person sort out the “prophets” from the legitimate science?

How would you try to reach an AID’s denier, for example?

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/08/05/2324480.htm

Cedric Katesby said...

Hmm.
The link doesn't work.
Lets' try that again.

South Africans condemned by AIDS denial.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/08/05/2324480.htm?site=science/greatmomentsinscience

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,
Still working on it.
Took my daughter (freshman) to Texas A&M this weekend.
Don't give up on me.

Also, "The Farmer's Almanac" (not peer reviewed) has shown the courage of their convictions, and is going out on a limb and predicting "Colder".

http://news.aol.com/article/brrr-almanac-predicts-cold-winter-ahead/145938