Sunday, December 4, 2016

climate deniers

Re: "climate deniers"

A climate scientist, a politician, and a 3rd grader are asked to find the temperature of a glass of water.

The politician asks his largest donors what answer will be most profitable to them, and gives that answer.

The climate scientist takes twenty readings from around and above the cup, averages them together, then adds in an adjustment factor.

The 3rd grader sticks a thermometer into the cup and reads out the number.

This is obviously a joke, but as with most humor, there is an element of truth to it.

It also leads to a point rarely brought up, that maybe measuring the air temperature above the ground (cup) really doesn't tell us much of value to begin with. Perhaps a true measure would be to track the ground temperature a few feet down for a more accurate average instead. But lets set that aside for now and get to what most argue about.


There are two causes, and thus explanations, for shrinking ice packs --the most cited proof of warming-- the 1st is warming. 2nd, is reduced snowfall patterns over winter. Since no month during summer has ever had exactly average rainfall, it can be assumed winters also vary wildly in precipitation too. Simply having more rain in August can decrease ice accumulation over winter. As can precipitation rates changing between night (favoring ice) and day (favoring ice-melting rain). So, for me, studies of icepacks are interesting, perhaps even suggestive... but only proof of 'varying winter humidity cycles', not global warming. That's not to say warming is not real, just that leftover winter ice ain't proof of it.

Stated another way, scientists could trigger another iceage today by building massive humidifiers and pump up the moisture over a continent during winter months (mostly at night or when it's freezing outside) thus burying the entire country under hundreds of feet of snow and ice every winter without altering global temperatures at all (100'=12" perDay over 100 days, mechanically possible at every ski resort in the world). This effect is seen with evaporative cooling towers causing snow during winter. Because it would take until November to melt a hundred feet of snow, you would get a snowball effect adding onto every additional winter... All without actually altering global temperatures directly, just altering global humidity/precipitation, and then only during winter.

In addition, record highs and lows are suggestive, but not proof either. I can have an overcast day that stays at 54 degrees for the entire 24hrs, followed by a day that starts at 75 for 5hrs, then has a storm that pummels it down to 45 for the rest of the day, averaging 51.25 degrees. Just looking at highs or lows does not give you averages and can be highly misleading. "...Record number of highs this year..." means nothing in and of itself.

2nd. We just had an election where pollsters asked 500 people and then used that to guess who would win across +3,000 counties. Wrong!!! It turns out your sample size might have needed to be in the millions to get elections right every time.

The same is true of weather, I just don't buy that we have anywhere near enough 'big data' to predict 50yrs from now with an accuracy of less than +-2 degrees. Sorry. With a planet this size and a data set as relatively tiny as the one climate models are based on, we are essentially asking two aborigines in Australia to predict who our president will be 50yrs from now.

Not really possible.

==side note===
A tale of two climate models.

The first costs $100 trillion dollars and predicts the end of the world in 50yrs because of a 2 degree climate change. With that $100 trillion expenditure, not a single person is lifted out of poverty, no poor person ever gets electricity, indoor plumbing, or air conditioning. GE makes a fortune selling windmills and solar panels and an equal number of gas peaking stations to fill in all the green gaps (when before they would have had to settle for 1/3 the profit by selling only one, far more efficient, coal or nuclear plant) Elon Musk makes another billion dollars every year in taxpayer financed subsides (later called the Musk tax on the poor to fund the hobbies of the filthy rich)

The second climate model cares nothing about 50yrs from now. Its task is modest, just a scientific version of the farmers almanac. This model tries to predict every daily high and low and rainfall for every day of next year, all around the world. If this model succeeds, farmers around the world will ship its creators buckets of cash because, by altering their crops and planting seasons to optimize to the predictions, they'll increase yields enough to end hunger worldwide... while drastically reducing irrigation costs and getting in one or two extra harvests every year, and not waste their time planting a crop doomed to fail. Farmers without access to irrigation will plant with confidence and dependably high yields, even in the most remote parts of the world.

Think of it, if you know you won't get enough rain for corn, you shift that field to something less thirsty. If you know you can count on rains late in the season, and that your first frost won't come until November 30th, that's an extra harvest right there. A harvest no farmer would ever risk today, because such a model does not yet exist.

But you see, climate scientists place all their efforts on the one that can't be tested for 50yrs, instead of the one that can lift staving people out of poverty around the world, but will get tested (debunked) every year.

A farmers almanac model, ironically enough, should be 50 times easier, 50 times less complex, and by reducing the need for irrigation and by making marginal lands farmable and by increasing production around the globe, this modest almanac model will double the carbon sequestration (more harvest = more CO2 removed) by simply sending out a calendar to every state with daily highs, lows, and rainfall clearly marked. It can achieve the goal of its over priced cousin... and make everyone rich in the process. It will lift a billion out of poverty by simply posting its predictions on line.

I can not overstate the irony here.

The makers of the "end of the world" computer model can literally end famine around the world while reducing CO2 and the need for irrigation by shifting their efforts to the farmers almanac model, BUT THEY CHOOSE NOT TOO, most likely because the almanac model will get tested every year, but predictions 50yrs out can never really be tested.

This is madness, but it is also where we find ourselves. Any time these EndOfTheWorld climate model scientists want to save the world, all they have to do is make a better farmers almanac. It's just that simple. But to date, nobody has made anything more reliable than that century old paperback.

==end of side note===

I am skeptical of a model that can predict 50yrs from now with an accuracy of +-0.1degree and zero margin of error.... yet can only predict two months from now with a 60% accuracy and even then, it's +-10 degrees every day. If you said 'it predicts a 2.1degree increase over 50yrs with a margin of error of +- 5 degrees,' I'd believe you, but would have zero motivation to do anything about it. So, for obvious --but credibility killing-- reasons, that 'margin of error' disclaimer is left out.


Models are not proof. Leftover winter ice is not proof. They are both suggestive, but not proof. Record highs and lows are not proof. A decade of "farmers almanac" perfect predictions would be credible, but nobody shouting "the sky is falling" has anything close to that.


3rd. If I wanted to scientifically get an accurate temperature of the room you are in to within two decimal points, it would be nearly impossible. A thermometer on the floor would be colder than one near the ceiling. The east window might be 10 degrees warmer than the one on the west, depending on sunshine and time of day. Near your TV and DVR it might be 17 degrees warmer than by the drafty door. Even inside the average 12x12 room, getting an accurate average of every 1.12 million cubic inches to within two decimal points would be nearly impossible... With a planet? Not a chance. 50 miles of atmosphere, churned by a 150mph jetstream, thunderstorms, mountains and trees as heatsinks and radiators, not to mention flocks of butterfly wings flapping every day. Ironically enough, probably the best way to measure the average temp of a room would be to take the temp of the furniture, not the air, something climate scientists ignore.

How many BTUs does asphalt radiate more than grass? We have asphalted the area of Texas, all solar-panel black... are you sure the warming is all coming from CO2? A tiny change in color of the oceans' (plants, plankton, oil, food coloring, iron, salt, ice, foam) can add up to ten degrees air temp change, are you sure the oceans are exactly the same color they always were? Have you bothered to add up the BTUs of all the powerplants in the world? It's not tiny. Still 100% sure the warming is entirely CO2? Burning 20 million barrels of oil a day is roughly 110 trillion BTUs by itself, if that helps.The ocean has millions of known volcanoes and thermal vents. Are you 100% sure none of the warming is from them? The variables are too many, the available data is infinitesimally small and based largely on human assumptions, the margins of error in the calculations are too high to make the output reliable, and the pricetag is too big for such a wild gamble. And lastly, it's not our money/future we're gambling with, it's the 1.2 billion poor who will shoulder 100% of the burden of the gamble (see attached link)

Maybe it is all CO2, and I'm ok with reducing our CO2 output when and if something cheaper comes along. And it will come along... But until then...

The cure may be far worse than the disease.

-------- pardon the extensive quoting but I'm away from a "real keyboard" right now and I wouldn't have said it any better anyway-------

Some 1.2 billion people do not have access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2016 report. About 2.7 billion still cook and heat their dwellings with wood, crop residues, and dung. In its main scenario for the trajectory of global energy consumption, the IEA projects that in 2040, half a billion people will still lack access to electricity and 1.8 billion will still be cooking and heating by burning biomass.

But what about climate change? Current renewable sources of energy are not technologically capable of lifting hundreds of millions of people out of energy poverty. Consequently, the Breakthrough writers see "no practical path to universal access to modern levels of energy consumption" that keeps the projected increase in global average temperature below the Paris Agreement on climate change goal of 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level. This implies that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide will exceed 450 parts per million. They correctly point out that forcing poor people to forego economic development in order to prevent climate change is a "morally dubious proposition." They additionally observe that the wealth and technology produced by economic growth increases resilience to climatic extremes and other natural disasters. When bad weather encounters poverty , disaster ensues.

It is worth noting that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's shared socioeconomic pathway narratives for the rest of the century include one, dubbed "SSP5," in which fossil fuels remain cheap, greenhouse gas concentrations more than triple, the average global temperature increases by nearly 4 degrees Celsius, and the rate of economic growth is high. Is that future a hell on earth? Not at all.

The "development first" SSP5 agenda results in the eradication of extreme poverty, greater gender equality, and universal access to education, safe drinking water, and modern energy before mid century, along with a strong build-up of developing countries' human and social capacity. "Lower socio-environmental challenges to adaptation result from attainment of human development goals, robust economic growth, highly engineered infrastructure with redundancy to minimize disruptions from extreme events, and highly managed ecosystems," notes the SSP report. In other words, people living in this economically robust scenario have greater incomes (up from the current average of around $10,000 to about $140,000 per capita in current dollars by 2100) and have access to much more advanced technologies with which to address whatever problems man-made climate change may throw at them.

"Lifting all of humanity out of energy poverty does increase the risk of catastrophic climate change impacts to some unknowable degree," concludes the Breakthrough Institute report. "But it is untenable morally and practically to insist that global climate change targets be balanced upon the backs of the poorest people on earth."

End of quoting


Trump saying "China plot" is like "Mexico is paying for the wall" nobody voting for him takes anything he says literally. Mexico may "pay for it" with a tax on remittances, tariffs, NAFTA2.0... But nobody is expecting Mexico to literally write a check or airdrop bundles of cash. His China comment is linguistic shorthand for who is profiting at our dubious benefit. Almost nothing he says can be taken literally, it's almost entirely figurative. Besides, everyone knows global warming is a scam invented by GE to sell windmills and natural gas peaking stations :)

Actually, now that I think about it, decades ago GE was struggling to con people into windmills, since for every megawatt of overpriced wind produced you have to, on average, 'back it up' by selling 3 megawatts of highly profitable natural gas. Wind, in a real world, is best considered 'supplemental' to gas until storage becomes affordable, both of which GE was struggling to sell before buying 1/3 of the US TV networks (NBC) and dedicating it to selling "global warming" for them. After buying NBC as their propaganda arm, GE now enjoys billions in federal subsidies to trick America into a dependency on gas.

To me, windmills are the "free iPhone" scam that locks you into a 5yr plan that costs $3000 more than the same plan if you had your own phone. Free energy windmills are the free iPhone of the energy sector that tricks you into lifetime dependency on their highly profitable gas turbine peaking stations. Plus, to get a megawatt of reliable power out of a gas plant, all you have to do is buy a gas plant. To get the same out of a windmill you have to buy a megawatt of windmill AND a megawatt of gas for backup, that's twice the profit to GE per megawatt of reliable 'capacity'. Win win $$.

I'm also 'confused' on the mechanics of a gas having a 'greenhouse' effect.

The greenhouse effect was best described to me with the following:

Fill a tub with cold water, make a pot of coffee, then pour half into the tub and the other half into a Ziploc bag and put the bag into the tub.

The coffee poured directly in cooled almost immediately because of its massive surface area rubbing against the cold water.

The Ziploc will stay warmer longer because of the greenhouse effect. By limiting the surface area of the two thermal bodies to the area of the bag, instead of the area of a puddle the half a pot of coffee might make if dumped on the ground, it dramatically changes the time it takes to bring both bodies to equilibrium.

This is the same "greenhouse effect" that lets a pound of snow melt in a tub faster than a one-pound block of ice. Each snowflake melts on contact because of its massive surface area, where the block is locked into 6 sides with a billionth the surface area.

Clouds have a clingy structure that can create a layer or barrier and thus do have a physical structure that complies to the greenhouse effect, where humid air does not and has no heat trapping effect. CO2 does not seem to form a layer or pockets that restrict thermal exchanges between air molecules so... It should not have any "blanketing" or trapping effect.

Industrially, CO2 is used as a thermal exchange "fluid", this means it is fantastic at moving heat from one surface to another, the opposite of a greenhouse.

CO2 is never used in Thermoses or between panes of glass in greenhouses to "trap in the heat". In fact, none of the "greenhouse gasses" are used to trap heat in anything that, well, needs heat trapped.

Fiberglass insulation works by slowing the movement of air, but it actually Loses efficiency when that air is replaced with CO2.

If I'm missing something on the mechanics... If CO2 does clump together and mechanically forms cloud-like layers let me know. If there are thermoses out there using CO2 to keep coffee warmer longer, I'll happily eat crow, but it hasn't happened yet.

Industrially, if you want two surfaces to exchange heat rapidly, you put CO2 between them (methane works fantastically too). If you want them to exchange heat slowly, you use nitrogen or krypton. Why would that change in the atmosphere? I could go on with more examples of where CO2 is used for its properties that are exactly opposite to 'trapping heat' but I think I made the point.

I'm skeptical, to put it mildly.

But, all this said, I have yet to meet any fellow skeptic that suggests burning tires are good for you, or pumping mercury into the air is good for your skin. I have never met a skeptic that thinks burning fuels is as good for the air as taking vitamins is for your health. To the contrary, all the skeptics I meet think burning fuels is like smoking, not a healthy choice, but far from the end of the world even if almost everyone did it.

Environmentalist are shocked by hearing this, they actually believe people and businesses are actively trying to destroy the planet and their customers, intentionally. I have met environmentalists that believe forced sterilization and mandatory abortions are legitimate tools for combating climate change, one even considers genocide acceptable in the name of the climate. Every year, an environmentalist group sets fire to a SUV dealership. They do these thing and believe these things because they have lost the ability to be skeptical.

Science used to be the home of the skeptic. Being skeptical of everything used to be the scientific approach. There was a time the outcome of playing a video game wasn't considered 'proof' of anything... and computer climate models are, like it or not, just another computer game we're all supposed to take seriously.