Democrats & Liberals Archives

Carbongate?

Nobody asked him to write the report. It’s his hobby. He’s an economist, not a climate scientist. I know some think of letting somebody outside the field as being a Democratic move, but nothing about Democracy demands that we lend credit to the theories and opinions of those who aren’t qualified to render an opinion. The only thing that gains amateurs that kind of credibility is being right. Unfortunately, we’re not talking top flight science here.

Their main points are nicely summarised thus: a) the science is so rapidly evolving that IPCC (2007) and CCSP (2009) reports are already out of date, b) the globe is cooling!, c) the consensus on hurricane/global warming connections has moved from uncertain to ambiguous, d) Greenland is not losing mass, no sirree…, e) the recession will save us!, f) water vapour feedback is negative!, and g) Scafetta and West’s statistical fit of temperature to an obsolete solar forcing curve means that all other detection and attribution work is wrong. From this “evidence”, they then claim that all variations in climate are internal variability, except for the warming trend which is caused by the sun, oh and by the way the globe is cooling.

Some will point out that the co-author of the paper in question, Alan Carlin, has a Bachelor of Science Physics degree. Some others, in turn will point out that with the complexity of atmospheric and climate sciences means that specialization is critical, and for most of his career, Alan Carlin has been an economist.

Many of those who claim themselves Climate Skeptics find it convenient to cite people as authorities on climate change by virtue of the fact that they are scientists. Scientists, though, are not necessarily interchangeable. To do their research and do it well, they have to keep themselves apprised of other's research. Even if Carlin had essentially spent his career as a physicist, it would be a critical question as to whether he was familiar with other folk's science.

It would also be important, if we are to honor those amateurs who might have some kind of native genius that allows them to overturn the scientific order, that they base their theories on sound information, and that they present data to back themselves up. And even if they do, it does not mean that everything is overturned. Their theories must be checked and cross checked.

Some might find this unfair. They are used to systems of argument where the person who others come to believe might have a point is not questioned or scrutinized any further.

But science is not science when it is preserved from questioning, from true scientific skepticism, which in this case could be defined as such: the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics.

Suspended judgment, and systematic doubt. These are often some of the most neglected aspects of science in the popular imagination, yet they define what makes science itself a compelling alternative to the old folk wisdom. Suspended judgment, the tentative reaching of conclusions means that while scientists might come to close approximations of what is true, they're never permanently there. However, that's where many folks stop, because for them, this is their opportunity to offer what their belief on the matter is.

Neither does systematic doubt escape abuse. All you really have to do is doubt anything that endangers your conclusion. That can get systematic.

The Critical elements of scientific skepticism is that the suspended judgment counts for everybody's theory, not just that of your opponents. All too often, the folks who call themselves Climate Skeptics become quite irate at the notion that their challenges must undergo the full gauntlet of peer review, testing of their conclusions or whatever else. They want credibility now, and to cast down global warming to the dustbin of history.

It doesn't work lilke that. The systematic doubt of science, and the suspended judgment means that the claims and the implications of a theory have to be falsifiable. And no, I'm not talking forgery here. What I mean, is that any theory or hypothesis which cannot be proved false, isn't scientific. If you aren't allowed to ask who or what's behind the curtain, you're still in Oz.

Who might be behind that curtain? One source is Theodor Landscheidt. Like with Carlin, climatology was his hobby. Unlike Carlin, his day job isn't as an economist, but rather as an Astrologer. The late diviner literally thought that cycles like those he described helped bring about Hitler's rise. Some people see more patterns in the world than there are real phenomena to correspond to.

Then you get into problems with models. Now, this gets a lot of complaint from those claiming to be climate skeptics, because they define experimental precision and proof as the defining standard of what is science.

Well, we'd better tell the biologists and and the geologists and the astronomers and all the climate scientists to pactk their things up and leave room for the real scientists. The real problem is, the subjects of many sciences don't fit neatly in the confines of a laboratory, where precise, exacting and perfectly repeatable experiments can be carried out. Also, in sciences and disciplines where the real world is involved, there are often difficult to understand variables that get tossed into the mix, making it difficult to extract perfect laws.

Add to that the sort of first and second order complexity issues from which chaos theory and emergent behavior theories spring, and science has to unclench its approximations somewhat. Some cite the inexact ranges given by scientists and the uncertain predictions as being a product of a lack of competence or understanding, but the truth is, nature operates at a scale and complexity where small changes early on make big differences later on.

So we have to consider the reasons that models are necessary. If we can't drag Mother Earth into the lab, we can create a simpler model, and by observation and application of the natural laws shape that model into good enough approximation of the real thing that we can make predictions that have a reasonable chance of being correct.

But why can't we be exact about climate predictions?

One thing to keep in mind is that iterative equations are used to model both weather and climate. Iterative equations take your last result, and plug them right back into your equations. As such, the variations created by changes in heat, humidity and other factors are looped right back into the equations that determine how those factors are going to develop next. We end up dealing with things like the Butterfly Effect, as time goes on, because as we plug things back in, what were originally small, undetectable differences in the initial conditions end up creating much more profound differences between the direction the system was predicted to go, and the direction it actually does end up heading.

Climate's no different. Any number of variations we can't observe or predict might throw an expediently precise prediction off. But how, then, do we get any kind of decent predictions at all?

Well, weather can be likened to students walking around a campus. Students are complex, and they might go just about any where, disregarding the sidewalks, the shrubbery, even scaling the buildings if they are so inclined. But the environment is not random, nor are the motivating factors for students. Even where the students wear their own paths, the students find themselves taking much the same shortcuts. Though you can't necessarily tell predict the path of any one student, you can begin to form a model of where they may most likely walk.

Climate, in part, is all about where the weather tends to walk. Now sometimes it might cut across the lawn, but most of the time, because of the effects of geographic features, currents, and prevailing winds, a certain pattern dominates the observed behavior of local and global climates, and certain paths remain well worn.

That is, until you introduce another element. Or in this case, a compound: CO2.

In a critique of one critic by Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, we get a sense of why so many Scientists hold CO2 responsible for the warming:

Continuing his display of ignorance of the modelling enterprise, Allègre wonders why modellers put CO2 in their models, and concludes that it is only because they happen to know how it has varied over the centuries. Could a century of meticulous laboratory and field work documenting the radiative effect of CO2 perhaps have something to do with modellers’ preoccupation with this gas? Evidently not in Allègre’s universe. But there’s more: "Because one doesn’t well understand how clouds form, one neglects them! Because one has not mastered the role of aerosols and dust, one neglects them!" (p.104) This is not at all true. Clouds, aerosols and dust (as well as solar irradiance variations and volcanic eruptions) are all included in modern models. Models that leave out the influence of the CO2 rise fail to reproduce the warming of the past 30 years, and it is precisely for this reason that CO2 is confirmed as the prime culprit in global warming.

When a model that excludes an certain factor fails to account for changes, and one that does include it succeeds in properly modelling the results as they happened, that is a prime indicator of which model is more likely right. Now, the possibility might be that your models are leaving things out that might turn the tables, but I doubt whether Allegre (the target of the critique) got his model right. How can I be so certain?

Well, when your model requires absurd assumptions to be correct, that tends to be a huge waving red flag. This time, in the form of a large flat black surface.

This flub is nothing compared to the trouble Courtillot’s collaborator Le Mouël got into during the debates, when he was trying to show that the 1 Watt per square meter variation in the Solar irradiance over the solar cycle is fully half the greenhouse gas forcing. Well, there is the little matter that Le Mouël forgot to take into account the sphericity of the Earth (which means divide the solar irradiance by 4) or its reflectivity (which means take 70% of the result). As the Le Monde reporter archly noted, Le Mouël’s calculation assumes a black flat Earth, but, "Hélas! La Terre est ronde" (zut alors!). Le Mouël seems eager to follow in Allègre’s geometrically-challenged footsteps: In a 1988 book (12 clés pour la géologie, Belin:Paris), Allègre confidently stated that the pole to equator temperature gradient was due to snow albedo and atmospheric absorption, making no mention of the role of the Earth’s spherical geometry, which is far and away the dominant factor (and the reason there’s ice at the poles to make a high albedo). Messieurs, here’s a little hint: What does the "G" stand for in "IPGP?"

The round Earth having robbed him of his 1 Watt per square meter –which in any event is mostly averaged out over the relatively short solar cycle leaving a miniscule tenth of a Watt variation between cycles — Courtillot grasps at the possibility some unknown and unquantified nonlinear mechanism for turning the very high frequency solar variability into a century scale trend.

Another source of Carlin models the atmosphere as if it was in orbit around the planet, rather than sitting right on its surface, rotating with it. That's just one of his errors.

While models inevitably fudge some things in order to have a computable output (a model this complex that you can't push through a computer won't do you much good) certain assumptions, such as a non-spherical Earth, or an atmosphere in orbit kind of obliterate whatever connection to physical reality might exist. The approximations in the model should be summarizations of something real, not the use of assumptions that are anything but for the sake of getting a desired response.

That the EPA disregards this unsolicited product of Carlin's research is considered scandalous in Barton's eyes, and in the eyes of many hyperventilating on the airwaves about Climate Change fanatics surpressing the truth. But as we unfold and unpack all the underlying theory and though, the truth seems to be the furthest thing from consideration. The politics of sowing doubt and encouraging disbelief certainly qualifies as a systematic kind of doubt, but it's systematic in the service of a strongly, stubbornly held belief or position that Global Warming is all a hoax, and the policy questions surrounding it are just so much conspiratorial efforts aimed at turning the economy towards socialism, or simply, maliciously toward failure.

Funny how a whole bunch of melodrama gets stuffed into that space. The evidence to support it is thin, but you are supposed to presuppose a gigantic conspiracy involving half the country without the benefit of things like internal documentation or whistleblowing that actually has scientific back up. Why is it that Bush and not Clinton ends up doctoring the EPA and NASA reports?

This whole claim of a Global Warming Hoax is all about framing the costs of the program to remedy it in negative economic philosophy terms before you even find out what the remedies are, or what they could do for you.

When I was younger, before my more political days, I went on a couple of trips with my family in a Ford Focus. It wasn't the biggest vehicle, and this was sometimes a problem, but what it lacked in space, it made up for in range. Having gone on trips in a station wagon that got maybe 11 or 12 MPG many times, the marvel of how long the car went without fillups still remains with me when I think of the benefits of fuel efficiency. If you're getting 50 to 100 miles per gallon, a cross country trip (like one from Houston to DC or Philadelphia) becomes possible with a few full tanks of gas.

A friend of mine who recently bought a home, a guy who I can't accuse of being a raving greenie, nonetheless does his best to make his house efficient. Reason? Even he enjoys a small electric bill. He just recently put window film over an upstairs room in order to get the thermostat to trip less.

But somehow, getting things on a more sustainable footing or being environmentally sound is seen by some on the right as being a wussy or self-righteous thing to do, or that government intervention to bring about more efficiency is seen as the first waves of totalitarian socialism.

Since when, though, have sustainability and efficiency ceased to be capitalist virtues? Investors should prefer the company that manages its finances better, that produces goods and services with less waste and expense. And of course investors would likely be searching for the exit, if confronted with a company whose business model would make it difficult for it to be profitable in the long term.

Why are we waiting to make this transition? Even if cost rise somewhat, the real question is, could we keep things cheap forever, the way we're going? Would we be able to avoid the rise in fuel prices or the consequences of the rise in heat trapped?

Only if Anthropogenic Global Warming was a figment of a dark conspiracy's imagination. Otherwise, the crisis is real, and so are the consequences of the scandalous dishonesty of the politicians pushing the talking points and the pseudoscience.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 2, 2009 7:51 PM
Comments
Comment #283913

Stephen,

The issue that bugs me, is how are Americans going to get compliance from China and India? We can sequester CO2 all day long, and not affect the global output of these two.

I know we’ve got to start somewhere, and we are a big source, but it seems to me that we aren’t seeing much real interest from developing nations.

Posted by: gergle at July 3, 2009 12:29 AM
Comment #283915

Gergle-
Actually, both countries are looking to increase mileage and research into more efficient vehicles.

We can’t wait for them to get their act together, to get ours together. Why should the industrialized advanced country we are be waiting for these people to take the initiative?

If we somehow manage to make the efficient car that sells like hotcakes, we benefit the strongest. If we let the other countries do it, we become the also rans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 3, 2009 12:45 AM
Comment #283919

Gergle,
from what I’ve seen China and India are going to be two of the first large areas that are effected by global warming. When the Himalayas run out of ice they’ll be in very bad shape. And some of them know that. China now makes 18% of all the solar cells in the world http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_China . But don’t listen to me, I’m a pessimist. I think we’re going to burn fossil fuel till we’re all dead.

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at July 3, 2009 8:29 AM
Comment #283926

China and India have been playing ‘catch-up’ for two or more centuries…why would we think they should be at par with us on this? We asked to lead the world, and now we want the world to lead us? The industrial revolution happened mostly in the West, i.e., Western Europe and North America. Eastern Europe and Northern Asia trailed a little, and the rest followed later. In other words WE led the way in…WE must lead the way out.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 3, 2009 10:12 AM
Comment #283927

a waste of human flesh — WOW!

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at July 3, 2009 10:12 AM
Comment #283928

sam,

Huh? Who ate YOUR porridge this morning?

Posted by: Marysdude at July 3, 2009 10:14 AM
Comment #283932

Sam where have you been the past 30 years? We have been South Americanizing since Reagan. It is called free market economics. The news media is in bed with Corporate America, after all they are large corporations themselves. But that is what we get when we changed laws to allow the press/media to conglomerate, was that ok with you then?

“Yes, liberals are a waste of human flesh and so is anyone else who places money and power above the rights of a free people and a free nation.”

Sam do not you realize that you have been mislead by the conservative movement leadership? What does it take for you to look back and see what they have told you and then realize what they have done instead. They are the money and power you speak of and they have manipulated you. Instead of spending your time listening to talk radio conservatives and then calling liberals names perhaps you should do some fact checking first. It is easy to make the argument that conservatives are a waste of human brains because they all seem to spout the crap you have yet stood silent while money and power mislead them.

This carbongate example Stephen has written about is one of many examples. Did you fall for the conspiracy line being spouted by the talk radio conservatives on this issue?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 3, 2009 11:37 AM
Comment #283933

Sam-
This discussion is no joke. Neither is treating everything like a political apocalypse in the making. Folks like you have been scaring yourselves silly about liberals for so long you don’t even know how to stop.

If you stopped for a second and looked at the actual legislation, you’d figure out that things are not altogether worse, in terms of government and everything else, than they were under Reagan.

The difference is we have an overheated right-wing that is so jealous about keeping power in Washington that it’s not willing to concede a damn thing. Thus the rhetoric that makes it seem like everythings going to hell.

You are not watching the nation go to hell. You’re watching it go a different direction than you’d like. It’s like Truman’s old saying when folks told him to give ‘em hell. He said “I’ll give them the truth, and they’ll think it’s hell!”

Apparently, that’s where the Right is, right now. Hurts to see people not taking your side, doesn’t it. Get used to it. It’s not as bad as you think. If America wants balance, nothing will stop them from getting it.

At the end of the day, mister, you’re going to have to learn to live with the rest of us, and what we want. Seems like all the Right wants these days is to overturn the results of a free election that didn’t go as they wanted it to. Y’all have been whipped up into such a frenzy by the losers of that election, that you can’t see straight.

Clear your heads a little.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 3, 2009 1:25 PM
Comment #283934

Soylent Green……..It’s people!

Posted by: gergle at July 3, 2009 1:38 PM
Comment #283936

So is Soylent Cow Patties.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 3, 2009 1:48 PM
Comment #283938

Sam has not complied with our rules for participation. Sam’s comments will be removed when they appear.

Posted by: WatchBlog Manager at July 3, 2009 2:18 PM
Comment #283952

Whether or not we/they think it is just, China, India and other developing countries have to cut their CO2. At the rate their emissions are growing, even if the U.S. and European emissions dropped to zero, the Chinese and others would pump enough into the air to create the conditions we fear.

The problem with Kyoto and many other similar schemes is that they are attempts to redistribute income more than serious environmental efforts.

Greenhouse gases don’t care about equality and physics isn’t impressed by political arguments of past guilt.

Posted by: Christine at July 3, 2009 10:15 PM
Comment #283955

Yes, they do. The question is, do we hide behind their hesitance, or ask them to follow an example we’ve set in our leadership?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 3, 2009 10:35 PM
Comment #283964

Guilt has little to do with it, and past guilt is, indeed, in the past. I’m saying that we talked them into industrializing, so we cannot expect them to drop everything we asked of them without showing the way. WE must begin emission control whether THEY do or not. If we show the right results and the right attitude THEY will follow US out of the mess, just like THEY followed US into it.

The only way you seem to want to do it is to lay the blame and the onus on them, because they are increasing pollutions. Adjusting for size and population they are still polluting less than we are. Lead and they will follow…demand and they will rebel. Leaders LEAD, they don’t cry foul, then weep in their beer…

Posted by: Marysdude at July 4, 2009 9:36 AM
Comment #283977

Ok, and this has what exactly to do with politics?

I mean, after all Watchblog is a (and I use the term advisedly) political blog, not a science blog. I can’t help but think that had I as a mere participant posted something so completely off-topic as this in response to something a “contributor” had posted, that my post would have been stricken from the record, so to speak. Oh well.

Be that as it may, I’m not even going to dignify your references of Calin, Allegre and Landscheidt with a response other than to say they clearly are not all-stars and approach being strawmen for legitimate objections to the rush to judgement and action called for by you and those who think like you, Stephen.

If you really want to discuss this, let’s talk about the admittedly somewhat sparse group of non-nutjobs who haven’t climbed on your bandwagon, rather than the nutjobs you’ve rolled out.

But I will say this about what you’ve posted:

1) There are all kinds of problems with the climate models used to “prove” the CO2/NH4/NOx/etc. cause -> global warming effect, as you know. No wonder you sort of laugh it off with the

“Now, this gets a lot of complaint from those claiming to be climate skeptics, because they define experimental precision and proof as the defining standard of what is science.”

The complaints are legitimate because the models that reasonably closely back-test to history do not predict continued serious warming; the models that DO predict serious continuing warming DON’T back-test very well. Shoot, we can’t even model local weather over more than a few days. Yet you’re fine with big errors in climatic models that need to test over thousands of years to have any validity. Which brings me to my second point.

2) Your analogy of weather being people walking around a campus with climate being the campus sidewalks is charming, but completely false. For short time periods, it’s an OK analogy, but not when you’re talking about modeling climate over thousands of years. It is a well-known fact that climate has been as variable as the weather over thousands of years, over the face of the earth.

3) Your snark about the model which showed the atmosphere being “in orbit” over the earth shows your bias and lack of understanding. In fact, doesn’t the atmosphere above 750-1000 ft. AGL move fairly independently of the ground underneath? Ever heard of a little thing called the jet stream? OK, you’re right about the atmosphere not being in orbit - it’s not moving at orbital speed and it’s not entirely de-coupled from the rotations of the earth. On the other hand, neither is it like a layer cake or a fixed structure laying on top of the earth, so maybe the notion of it orbiting the earth is a reasonable simplification for the purpose of a model.

4. You say “Models that leave out the influence of the CO2 rise fail to reproduce the warming of the past 30 years, and it is precisely for this reason that CO2 is confirmed as the prime culprit in global warming”, but it is also true that models that do include CO2 rise fail to back-test prior to 30 years ago. Adjusting the models to more closely match temps prior to 30 years ago, fail then to match the last 30 years.

5. You and others constantly harp about all the research that has been done with greenhouse gases proving the cause retention of heat. Correct me if I wrong but my understanding is that all the experiments invariably assume a solid-walled container like a glass, plastic or rubber bottle with air and greater or lesser amounts of greenhouse gases added to them, being exposed to sunlight. Of course this neatly sidesteps the fact that the earth’s atmosphere is not enclosed in any kind of gas-tight container. Furthermore, it would seem to be impossible to accurately model the earth’s atmosphere as far as it having a fairly solid core in the center surrounded by gas kept by gravitational attraction from escaping into space. Let me know the results when that experiment has been done.

In short, there are a lot of possible explanations for global warming that is going on now that do not infer human causes.

Posted by: Greg House at July 4, 2009 2:58 PM
Comment #283980

And the sun revolves around the earth, and the earth is flat, and, and, and…of course there are many reasons for global warming other than man-caused…and the point is? There are significant reasons to believe that man has a hand in it as well. It would be unreasonable to assume that we industrialize and over populate without a significant impact…hell this many squirrels would overheat the earth. The question is, do we wait until it is too late to modify our actions, then panic, or modify our actions so we don’t have to panic…a no-brainer.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 4, 2009 3:18 PM
Comment #283981

PS:

When the effects of scientific study and behavior modification are called for at this level, it IS politics. Do you honestly believe that scientists can accomplish anything without politics?

Posted by: Marysdude at July 4, 2009 3:22 PM
Comment #283986

Marysdude, your points in your posts are mostly wrong, let me cover them point by point:

“And the sun revolves around the earth, and the earth is flat,”

You know these statements are completely false as well as I do, of course, so I’m taking it as sarcasm.

“and, and, and…of course there are many reasons for global warming other than man-caused…and the point is?”

The point is that many, including Stephen, phx8 and apparently you, think that by the bare correlation (not proof of cause and effect) of increased CO2 concentration and global warming, we as a nation should spend vast amounts of money remediating the release of CO2, with no proof it will have enough of an effect to matter much less that it will have any effect at all. Given the data we have and the understanding we have of the global climate, we would be mistaken to commit vast resources to an effort such as this without much more further study. Correlation is not proof of cause and effect.

“There are significant reasons to believe that man has a hand in it as well.”

Believe, yes. Know, no. Belief is no basis for scientific decisions, as the Bush/Cheney administration has demonstrated to our obvious detriment.

There are also significant reasons to believe that man has a hand in it but is not a major cause, or perhaps that man is causing it but not necessarily by release of CO2. Nothing in any of the data or models rules out the possibility that CO2 concentration is merely an indicator of some other activity man is doing to cause global warming. In other words, if that is the case, we could lower CO2 concentration to zero without having any effect on man-caused global warming. It would be like trying to slow down your car by bending the speedometer pointer down to a lower speed.

“It would be unreasonable to assume that we industrialize and over populate without a significant impact…hell this many squirrels would overheat the earth.”

Exactly. We do agree on this one point. But would this many squirrels add as much CO2 to the atmosphere as we have? Not unless they miraculously acquired the same ability to industrialize as humans have.

“The question is, do we wait until it is too late to modify our actions, then panic, or modify our actions so we don’t have to panic…a no-brainer.”

I have no problem taking action. I have a problem with jumping to conclusions about the cause and taking the wrong action, especially at large expense.

“When the effects of scientific study and behavior modification are called for at this level, it IS politics.”

No, it should not be politics. If there is politics involved, then we’re not really talking about science, we’re talking about politics. Show me where the politics are in E=MC^2 . What about PV =nrT ? There are no politics in there. Show me the politics in the works or Dr. Stephen Hawking…

“Do you honestly believe that scientists can accomplish anything without politics?”

Yes, they can and should. If and when they take any political position, they aren’t doing science anymore, they are doing politics. In any case, I was referring to Stephen’s scientific essay, not anything done by real scientists.

Posted by: Greg House at July 4, 2009 4:19 PM
Comment #283991

Greg House-

Ok, and this has what exactly to do with politics?

Read the articles.

Be that as it may, I’m not even going to dignify your references of Calin, Allegre and Landscheidt with a response other than to say they clearly are not all-stars and approach being strawmen for legitimate objections to the rush to judgement and action called for by you and those who think like you, Stephen.

I’m sorry to tell you this, but these people ARE your all-stars for claiming this is all a rush to judgment. Carlin’s case is a cause celebre, despite who he bases his work on. So, you do have to dignify my issues with his science as something else than a strawman.

Going on:

1) You don’t need a climate model. Quantum physics and observed spectra will do for that. As for experimental precision? Experimental precision would be nice, but only if you could make an experiment the center of your scientific efforts. Laboratory conditions, though, do not exist in the wild, and you have to allow for that in your science.

As far as backtesting goes, no model that’s been constructed with out CO2 as a warming factor has been able to explain the warming of the past few decades. If you can’t even do that good without CO2 being responsible, it’s premature to declare that serious warming doesn’t backtest well.

We also don’t need tests over a thousand years. Nature has results from thousands of years of climatic events imprinted on it, if we know where to look.

2) The analogy doesn’t deal in time, it deals in order emerging from chaos, nature’s tendencies producing consistency, even when it doesn’t offer predictability. Nobody has to tell these students which path to wear, ultimately. They do it on there own, and it’s often an optimal path they choose.

These kinds of emergent order show up all over the place, in ant hills and cityscapes, traffic jams and bird flocks, the way grass and trees grow, and yes, even the way climate operates. Things are not utterly unpredictable, as long as you keep your expectations modest.

3) You say it shows my “bias and lack of understanding” when I say the atmosphere’s not in orbit, yet you’re forced to concede that most of it really isn’t in orbit. And what parts might be are little different from the hard vacuum, as far as we’re concerned.

It’s interesting how you try to salvage the argument by saying that for purposes of a model, you might want to presuppose that it is in orbit. Bull. The motion of that air is not driven by orbital momentum. Warm Air rises, cool air descends. Pressure differentials drive air towards the poles, and it’s deflected off course as the Earth rotates beneath the moving air, giving it a relative change in velocity, an acceleration. Losing its heat, the air sinks to the ground, and is drug along by the pressure differential back to where it started, and it experiences the same deflection from the Earth’s rotation. Up in the polar latitudes, The air is constantly sinking, due to the cold, the edges rising. It goes something like This.

That circulation is nothing like an orbit, neither in the height nor in the dynamics. Don’t make excuses for a fundamentally flawed model.

4) I would have to venture to say that on the order of flaws, being able to only reliably backtest the last thirty years is considerably lower on the severity scale than not being able to predict anything at all.

I did a little research, and what I came up with is this. You said something about thirty years, which reminded me of something- the transition to Microwave Sounding Units about 1979 from Radiosondes.

So, there’s a real question here: is the problem with the model, or with the data?

5) I harp on them? No, I typically use the banjo.

But seriously, determining the properties of gases means keeping control over the composition. It would be unscientific to let air intermix. That’s why they keep it airtight: to remove unnecessary variables.

But what if you can’t do that? Well, you combine results like the above with well calibrated data gathering out in the field, and try to build a suitable model with what you got.

We create the models BECAUSE we can’t drop the whole world in a lab. What strikes me about your claim is that for all you’re claiming you’re a skeptic, you’re rather sure about what is and isn’t possible- not a skeptical view.

In short, there are a lot of possible explanations for global warming that is going on now that do not infer human causes.
Of course there are. Question is, how many of them have turned out to be supportable on the evidence? Has there been a change in the solar irradiance, the planet’s reflectance, it’s orbit or anything else sufficient to explain the warming? What side of what cycles are we in?

Too often, folks like yourself throw alternatives into the ring that have already lost their matches, already been ruled out. Don’t you think solar irradiance, for one thing, has already been examined?

They’ve looked at the climate record, checked to see whether warming periods like this are just a matter of course. Well, nothing like this has happened for about eight or ten thousand years, not on a global scale. And when these things do happen, they don’t take their time or say please and thank you. The change is typically violent, and the system overturns fairly quickly.

In short, the evidence shows us a world that behaves nothing like what the contrarians think it ought to act like.

You’re arguing this disparity should not be considered when we measure their credibility. I argue otherwise.

Science is not perfect. It never is perfect. But if you’re not following the best available advice, you’re only asking for trouble. We do plenty of things in politics without demanding perfect evidence an predictions before we move forward. This insistence on absolute proof is nothing better than a stalling tactic.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 4, 2009 7:27 PM
Comment #283993


Over the next twenty years, the U.S. will make the transition from oil/coal to nuclear/electric.

The Senate version of the house bill will including provisions to build AT LEAST 100 new nuclear power plants over the next 20 years.

Posted by: jlw at July 4, 2009 9:42 PM
Comment #283999
Over the next twenty years, the U.S. will make the transition from oil/coal to nuclear/electric.

Which will happen no matter what the government does. Because that has been the trend over the past few years. In fact, the government has done much to block this trend through thickheaded good intentions.

It doesn’t help when each new forced ‘green job’ costs 1.5x a ‘non-green job’, if it would be allowed to happen naturally it would be easier on our wallets with better products. But where’s the powergrab potential in that?

Tesla, Konarka, etc. These companies have been in the works and will be competing head to head with propped up companies like GM and General Electric. When government gets involved, the same thing happens every time, but we never seem to learn…

The only good news is that it will happen one way or another, so at least that is something to look forward to.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 5, 2009 1:48 AM
Comment #284000
Well, nothing like this has happened for about eight or ten thousand years, not on a global scale.

? Well, except it has, but you reject it because it would counter your arguments…

The MWE is real, the hockey stick was debunked and removed from subsequent UN documents since, Kilamonjaro is not melting from Global Warming, etc.

We should, and are, moving towards more green energy because it makes sense and will be cheaper in the long run. Until it is economically viable, we muck along with what we have while making it so. It is the only reasonable and rational way, and it is what is going to happen whether you like it or not because too many people still have common sense left.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 5, 2009 1:56 AM
Comment #284006

Rhinehold-
What’s the problem with a green job “costing” 1.5 times a non green job? A lot of people would be much better off if their jobs “cost” a little more. They would be less reliant on credit to carry out their financial affairs.

You talk about things happening naturally. Do you understand that to really happen naturally, oil would have to become, on its own, much more expensive. In other words, we have to wait for a freaking energy crisis!

Good idea!

The hockey stick has not been debunked. The IPCC reports still shows a hockey stick shaped change in the temperature record. Even if the Mann Study that was the center of this controversy was done wrong (And that’s not necessarily the case) or the IPCC is no longer using that particular study (which may be done for other reasons), they’re still showing the same results in other studies.

Do you think climate scientists had this entire enterprise balanced like circus acrobat on that one study, and that knocking that out would mean that it would all fall down? Scientists are more thorough than you’re giving them credit for. They did their own studies, their own checking, their own calibrations. Other people did studies, and other people found hockey sticks. McIntyre and McKitrick, though, saw their “debunking” itself debunked. They got their numbers wrong.

I don’t have much of a problem with conceding that Kilimanjaro’s melting may be due to local microclimate. But what about that helps to explain the worldwide melting, the global retreat of ice and glaciers? Does that explain the melting of ice sheets and ice shelfs that have been stable for the last few millenia. Does it explain why the line of permafrost is moving North in Arctic or near-Arctic terrains?

The main reason that Kilimanjaro is being leapt on is that it was featured in the movie An Inconvenient Truth, before this alternative explanation for this one phenomenon was known.

This is rhetoric that tries to make one example stand for everything, even if the situation is not generalizable. Science is tentative by its nature, but you can’t just use one local discrepancy of explanation to invalidate all of them, at least not if you want to call what you’re talking about actual science, and not merely rhetorical device.

The Hockey Stick graph from that Mann study is one example of this overheated, hasty generalization, where everybody leaps to declare the point invalid, despite the fact that other models have come to the same conclusion, verifying the conclusion even if they don’t verify the inference that lead to the conclusion.

Mann and the others could have screwed up how they came to their conclusion, but that didn’t mean they got the conclusion wrong, and since that report, absence of their study or not, comes to the same conclusion, we can’t say that this allows us to debunk the sharp upturn of temperatures.

And since nobody’s been able to properly model what’s been happening without including the increase in CO2’s infrared scattering effect due to its higher concentration, and there isn’t another natural explanation, from the sun, or from the earth, that explains where we are now, the theory stands.

And yet the so-called skeptics insist that it can’t be anything like that. They insist despite plenty of evidence to answer the doubts concerning CO2’s role, and hold on to their own explanations of why the globe is warming. They talk about cycles, about solar irradiance, even though nobody can find the evidence that one or the other is responsible.

Let me explain what skeptic means: it means that you don’t just assert a claim, and stick to it. You have to be willing to put that claim to the test, to figure out how you could be wrong, and test specifically to probe that potential weakness. The folks calling themselves skeptics refuse to acknowledge, or don’t even take the time to educate themselves about the theories that scientists have already ruled out. They just stick to their guns, throwing the same, debunked or poorly supported theories (like generation of clouds from cosmic rays, a process they don’t even have a decent mechanism for describing), and then assert paradigm shift, that is, the philosophical proposition that another major discovery is always around the corner to supersede the current theory as if it were a valid reason for their argument to triumph in the end. If you’re a true skeptic, though, you have to concede that just because a theory might supersede the current one, doesn’t mean it has to be yours!

As a person familiar with science and scientific methods, it is the intellectual equivalent of fingernails on the chalkboard for people to abuse the principles and philosophies of science to such an end. This is not science that’s being used to dispute the AGW theory, it’s rhetoric with artificial science flavors added.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 5, 2009 9:24 AM
Comment #284007


“What’s the problem with a green job “costing” 1.5 times a non green job?”

Stephen, that is the question you should be asking you corporate owned Democratic Senators.

Posted by: jlw at July 5, 2009 10:41 AM
Comment #284010

jlw-
I keep on telling you folks that this is exactly what Democrats are doing. Just look on many sites of ours. We organize, we make calls, we make each other aware of what our people are doing and not doing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 5, 2009 3:52 PM
Comment #284032
You talk about things happening naturally. Do you understand that to really happen naturally, oil would have to become, on its own, much more expensive. In other words, we have to wait for a freaking energy crisis!

No, Stephen, the technology just has to advance in the manufacturing and delivery of the alternative energy solution to make it even cheaper. Which is happening and will happen. No government needed.

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 9:45 AM
Comment #284033
“What’s the problem with a green job “costing” 1.5 times a non green job?”

Wow.

In a time of recession when we are promised a million new jobs, we are also implementing a program that will remove 3 jobs for every 2 new ones created by the government’s pushing of immature green technologies.

And we are supposed to accept when a president says ‘Pass this huge stimulus package so we can keep our unemployment rate below 8%’ to see it skyrocket to 10, and no one is to question the actions of the president at that point? Even when his supporters see no issue with unemployment skyrocketing because there’s ‘no problem with that’.

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 9:48 AM
Comment #284045

Rhinehold-
It will always be cheaper to burn something to get energy, right up to the point that it gets scarce. It’s the capital startup costs that are the issue.

Let me ask you my previous question more plainly: what’s the problem with alternative energy jobs making more money? These will often be technologically and scientifically advanced jobs we’re talking about here, something that market forces would tend to reward with better pay.

And would it remove three jobs for every two? There’s a problematic assumption there. Why do you think credit and debt came to dominate the economy? Because wages did not, and companies still needed to turn a profit.

The truth is, though, if you pay people one and half times more, the money doesn’t disappear. Those people pay other people.

By your logic, we should pay everybody what they do in China, and expect the consumer economy to sustain itself despite the hit on demand that would create. You expect people to spend what they don’t have.

In fact, your whole economic outlook would therefore require it.

Economic stimulus is a necessity in a time when nobody else is ready or willing to fund new projects. The market is not functioning correctly, yet you want us to rely on it for everything.

Maybe you think we can get by with rigid ideology, but whatever you think, it’s not going to work. The fact remains, Obama undershot, to get votes from conservatives and conservative Democrats, the numbers that economists thought would be necessary. Ultimately, we cannot pretend the economy’s self-sufficient at this point for growth. Artificial measures must be taken.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2009 1:19 PM
Comment #284056
It will always be cheaper to burn something to get energy, right up to the point that it gets scarce. It’s the capital startup costs that are the issue.

No, getting energy from the sun is much cheaper than burning gas. So is from the wind. The problem so far has been technology (ie, how to collect it, how to store it, how to utilize it). We are making huge strides in those areas, as I have pointed out before. People like Konarka are making it much much much cheaper (10x cheaper at present) to produce and implement solar power. Advances in wind collection are astonishing. We are on the brink of really taming this beast by companies that have envested a lot of R&D into solving these issues so that they can make a profit once implmemented. Now the government wants to come along and ‘change the playing field’, bringing politics and earmarks into place, resulting in retarding the advancements and giving us solutions that are not made off of the soundest technology at the cheapest cost but have politics at their core.

what’s the problem with alternative energy jobs making more money?

Woah, I never said that a person who obtained one of these jobs would be making more money (and I doubt that they would), I just stated that they will cost 1.5 existing jobs for each one created. If you are ok with a lower employment rate, that’s your decision I suppose.

Why do you think credit and debt came to dominate the economy? Because wages did not, and companies still needed to turn a profit.

No, GOVERNMENT needed bad companies to turn a profit, companies that should have failed because they couldn’t turn a profit, to be replaced by those who could. That is why we artificially kept interest rates so low, when they SHOULDN’T have been and what cause this whole mess to begin with.

Economic stimulus is a necessity in a time when nobody else is ready or willing to fund new projects. The market is not functioning correctly, yet you want us to rely on it for everything.

The economy is functioning ‘correctly’. It is correcting itself. And it would do so more effectively and in a shorter time causing much less strife if we allowed it to correct. Instead of trying, again, to keep it artificially propped up by spending more money we don’t have to do so. The bills will come due, our children will have a much worse time than we are, all because we didn’t want to suffer for a few months out of our own complacency.

Ultimately, we cannot pretend the economy’s self-sufficient at this point for growth. Artificial measures must be taken.

If the growth is based on artificial measures, we will have ARTIFICIAL GROWTH, the very same things we had to put up with for the past 4 years, or so, and what put is where we are! How do you expect to get out of a mess when you propose do the exact same things that got you there as a solution?

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 3:12 PM
Comment #284057

Sorry, missed a ‘/blockquote’

Ultimately, we cannot pretend the economy’s self-sufficient at this point for growth. Artificial measures must be taken.

If the growth is based on artificial measures, we will have ARTIFICIAL GROWTH, the very same things we had to put up with for the past 4 years, or so, and what put is where we are! How do you expect to get out of a mess when you propose do the exact same things that got you there as a solution?

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 3:15 PM
Comment #284083

Rhinehold-
You have to gain the land, get past any NIMBYism in the area, Construct the Windmills, manufacture the solarpanels, and the electronics to make them work. And then you’ve got to get the grid connected to them. The grid especially is a problem.

Add to this the problems that come in dealing with storage of this energy, and government stimulus does have a role to play.

Especially since the market is NOT functioning properly. If it were, we wouldn’t still be in the middle of credit crunch. The money is still tight on those loans, and as long as that is the case, the startups aren’t going to get the money.

What’s really at work here is not a market correction any longer. The market correction’s already occured, with a scorched-earth ferocity. Problem is, this created a lot of collateral casualties, and those in turn are creating collateral casualties.

This is quite literally a financial industrial accident, and now, not only are the companies at fault for it suffering, but also every other business and individual who depended on the economic activity and financing that came of that.

The problem was not that lenders were lending, but that they did it so irresponsibly as to compromise the very solvency of their enterprises, crippling their ability to perform the function they were created for. Because this was allowed to become an industry wide problem, it’s become a pervasive condition of the market. Or put another way, there are no big winners left to take advantage of the loser’s failure.

The Government is literally a financier of last result. The consumers, who long depended on credit to fuel the economy have been straitjacketed by the banks. The banks aren’t lending. Let me ask: who else lifts us out of this hole?

Alternative energy projects were hard hit by this failure of the financial system. We got a choice here: accept a pathological state in both the economy and the energy markets, letting the necessary change for both drag on, while the clock ticks towards deeper trouble for both…

Or we bite the bullet and get to work now.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2009 8:38 PM
Comment #284092
You have to gain the land, get past any NIMBYism in the area, Construct the Windmills, manufacture the solarpanels, and the electronics to make them work. And then you’ve got to get the grid connected to them. The grid especially is a problem.

You obviously are not paying attention to what is going on in these areas. We now have solar cells that can be not only sun solar but ambient solar and can be printed onto fabric (www.konarka.com). They are already selling things like umbrellas that capture solar so that people eating outside can plug in their laptops/cellphones, etc and charge up.

We have wind technology that is no longer big windmills but low profile tunnel capture that does not have to change diretion with the wind, it can be pushed from any direction equally. They are already being deployed on rooftops in Chicago buildings.

The technology is advancing, greatly, in these areas without government involvement already.

Add to this the problems that come in dealing with storage of this energy, and government stimulus does have a role to play.

Again, pay attention to what is going on instead of trying to push an agenda. We are deloping supercapacitance technology that can recharge in seconds, not hours. And if I remember right, wasn’t McCain laughed out of the race because he suggested we needed new battery technology.

Seriously, Stephen, you keep SAYING we need stimulus to make this happen but it is ALREADY happening without it, why on earth are you refusing to see what is going on around you?

Especially since the market is NOT functioning properly. If it were, we wouldn’t still be in the middle of credit crunch. The money is still tight on those loans, and as long as that is the case, the startups aren’t going to get the money.

Except they are. People still want to loan money and startups are occuring, just not one without any way to prove a ROI.

And, when the stimulus is STILL TRICKLING OUT, how on earth is it supposed to help?

What’s really at work here is not a market correction any longer

Yes, now everyone is scared to do anything because they don’t know what is going to happen to CEO pay, healthcare, cap and trade, etc. It’s all up in the air so many people are staying pat until something is known…

This is quite literally a financial industrial accident

BS, you keep peddling this but it just isn’t the whole truth.

And, if you REALLY want to keep suggesting this, how do you explain the 300 page amendment to the cap and trade bill, added at 3:09am on the day of voting, that include the removeal of all regulation of derivatives related to carbon credits?

The problem was not that lenders were lending, but that they did it so irresponsibly as to compromise the very solvency of their enterprises, crippling their ability to perform the function they were created for. Because this was allowed to become an industry wide problem, it’s become a pervasive condition of the market. Or put another way, there are no big winners left to take advantage of the loser’s failure.

Most banks and credit unions did not do this. There were companies who did and insurance companies who backed it, but for example, my credit union loaned me a mortgage for a second home in November of last year. These should have been rewarded and their customers increased by moving of people from the failed instutitions to the good ones. Unfortunately we didn’t allow that to happen, instead we had our children prop those companies up so that they could continue their failed managment styles.

Nevermind that the FED was artificially lowering interest rates to keep it appear we were ‘growing’, much like what you are suggesting now…

The Government is literally a financier of last result

I’m sorry, I must have missed the section of the constitution that states that, can you point it out to me?

Let me ask: who else lifts us out of this hole?

We do, naturally, and we will be better off for it. Perhaps people have now learned their lessons on living off of credit, perhaps we will build real wealth and not paper wealth, from now on.

Or, we could go back to the ‘artificial’ growth that dictated we get where we are now and repeat the actual failures of the Bush administration, manufactured good times, so that we can have another bubble burst on us…?

Alternative energy projects were hard hit by this failure of the financial system.

BS.

Or we bite the bullet and get to work now.

I proposed biting the bullet last November. And ‘we’ aren’t biting anything, we forcing bullets into the mouths of our kids.

I’ll pass and let the economy heal itself naturally and not use any governmental jackbooted thuggery to force the outcome the Democrats want it to be.

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 11:16 PM
Comment #284096
If the growth is based on artificial measures, we will have ARTIFICIAL GROWTH, the very same things we had to put up with for the past 4 years, or so, and what put is where we are! How do you expect to get out of a mess when you propose do the exact same things that got you there as a solution?

We expect to get out by doing things that make sense, not by doing the exact same things. I find it funny you find laissez faire the “real thing” and Keynes “artificial”. It sort of reminds me of the “organic” labels on food. I’ve yet to see any currency that isn’t “artificial”. Also some settling may have occurred during shipping.

While that certainly sounds good, it is virtually meaningless. Letting a fire burn down a building may certainly be authentic, but somehow I still think standing by and saying that using your firehose would be “artificial” to be laughable.

Austrian economic aficionados continue to believe in the fantasy that “natural” economies are much better for you and exist in some idealized utopia free of boom and bust cycles. They have no evidence for it, but continue to believe it’s completely true. Macro economies are a psychological phenomenon, in part, and unless someone finds a way to eliminate the human element, the business cycle will continue to chug along.

Posted by: gergle at July 7, 2009 12:29 AM
Comment #284097

Rhinehold-
Konarka’s problem is that the further you get from expensive single-crystal photovoltaics, the further you tend to get from efficiency that means real power for the area covered. They’re trying a new Tandem design that might do better, but the real question is can you essentially maintain the integrity of the stuff on a high-speed production line.

People tend to jump on new technology bandwagons, saying this is it, this is how it will be, when the reality is, designing and manufacturing something like this in the real world is a lot more difficult at the start than folks take for granted. Technology progresses, but there’s often far more problem solving at work than people give credit for.

I keep up with this stuff, rhinehold, I really do. And although there is one hell of a lot more out there to be optimistic about than some of the naysayers believe, not even Obama’s stimulus by itself will bring the desired results.

But you know what? It’s better than letting everything languish, just to be politically free-market correct.

That’s all for tonight.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 7, 2009 12:53 AM
Comment #284525

http://news.google.com/news/more?pz=1&topic=t&ncl=d_Fy6uOgFzY5j7MRi9Bt2cNcLEQpM

Usually when you start flinging ad hominems and making these “oh, you just don’t understand because you’re not as smart as me” statements, I know it’s time to leave watchblog alone for a while, maybe even admit failure to persuade.

But then the above news items hit yahoo news and I couldn’t resist posting a link.

That’s all I’ll say on the subject from now on.

Posted by: Greg House at July 15, 2009 6:15 PM
Comment #284560

Greg House-
Lets work these things out a little as to why this isn’t a silver bullet for our current theory, and why the reporter might have been well advised to ask around a little bit more than he did.

First, 55 million years ago, The world looked like this.

Geography is not a neutral player in Climate. Rain shadows, ocean currents, prevailing winds, continental highs and lows literally depend upon the shape of the world. The world of 55 million years ago, while not Pangaea or anything close to it, is an apples and orange comparison to our own. Sea Currents, local climates, and global climate itself were significantly different.

India’s crash into the Asian coast was much earlier in its progress, and Panama was a strait and not an isthmus. We also see big stretches of water over and inbetween landmasses we see now are quite high and dry.

But still, people could be missing something.

One of those ideas, though, is not the Methane Clathrate threat, nor the hypothesis that when disturbed, the beds of this frozen methane saturated ice could erupt in catastrophic bursts of Methane, which is a very strong greenhouse gas.

This “megafart” as some have gracefully taken to calling it, is not unknown to the scientific community. Nor is it’s possible involvement as a part of a larger feedback cycle.

Climate scientists such as James Hansen expect that methane clathrates in the permafrost regions will be released as a result of global warming, unleashing powerful feedback forces which may cause runaway climate change that cannot be controlled.

James Hansen, by the way is one of the leading scientists moving the Global Warming theory along.

One mistake the reporters are making is believing that the scientists think they’ve got their model perfect. They think nothing of the kind. But what you do, is you base your science on what you know best at the time.

The idea seems to be that any uncertainty works against Global Warming being caused by humans spewing too much CO2 into the atmosphere. The study isn’t likely saying that.

The Global Warming Model’s I’ve read about include such feedbacks, include elements in the model meant to take into account the secondary effects of both the increase in CO2 concentrations, and the increase in warmth in bringing additional greenhouse gases to the fore, and in some cases locking them back up out of the atmosphere.

To sum up, then, the reporting on this seems to be flawed.

First, CO2 is still a greenhouse gas, and the study doesn’t disprove its roles.

Second, the feedbacks that contributed to this situation 55 million years ago, in part depended on geological and oceanic bodies that are no longer the same. Which is to say, part of what explains the discrepancy could be a geological element that no longer applies to the current earth, like say, having the Panama Isthmust being a strait instead.

Third, feedbacks involving Methane and Methane Clathrates are nothing new, and leading Climate scientists already include them in the mix of elements in their models. The results of this study might lead them to change how they model the feedbacks. Or it might not. The guy who made this study could have gotten something wrong. Climate Scientists will almost certainly put his findings to the test.

Fourth, Uncertainty about a scientific theory does not lend credibility to other theories. Those theories have to past muster themselves, before they can be presented as a legitimate alternative.

In other words, science isn’t like the legal system, with theories innocent until proven guilty. Theories are suspect until they are cleared, and Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) has faired much better and is fairing much better than many of the countertheories contrarians are offering. That doesn’t mean the models are perfect. It just means that the models are more reliable than their alternatives.

In the real world, we don’t get to act according to perfect information, with perfect reliable and perfect unchanging truthfulness. We have to deal with doing climate science in the real world, with all the mess that implies.

Unfortunately, some people expect science to be laser sharp precise on things, where that isn’t always true, and in fact, can’t always be true. Anybody offering you a precise forecast for a precise spot fourteen days ahead is screwing with you. There are ways in which nature doesn’t allow clear, unambiguous answers.

So don’t get your hopes up. Be more skeptical. After all, you are commenting about science, which is essentially built on people voluntarily killing their hypothetical darlings.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 16, 2009 1:56 AM
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