Tuesday, 26 July 2016

How I became a global warming 'denier'.

When I write a blog in nukespp or greenfallacies, it's often because I've reached a certainty within my mind over something or other.

Terminology: ignore this section unless you find something you don't understand in my explanation following it. Then lookup the term here:

  • model: a simplification of some process, or thing, designed to elucidate something vital to how it works. Often described by formulae. Often used to predict the future based on current data. Predictions are made by running the model (often using a computer). These predictions are called model projections. The term model is also ambiguous. Sometimes it is used to describe a hypothesis or scientific theory. This is a relatively simple model as models come. Other times it's used to describe a set of formulae way more complex than a single scientific model. These complex models are compounds made up from simple models and assumptions. So a complex model, such as a climate model, can never be scientific model. Nor is it just a simple hypothesis. It's an agglomerate of simpler validated models (theory) plus assumptions. The problem is: as soon as one makes an assumption one has entered the realms of hypotheses building. Worse: even if the basic models and assumptions going into the complex model are all 'true' it's still possible for the complex model projection to be wrong! You may have left something important out of your complex model!
  • Projection: the result of running a model. Generally regarded with much skepticism by scientists, especially when models are complex. Except w.r.t. climate models because scientists dare not be skeptical in case they get the sack for the 'crime' of climate denial.
  • Scientific law: a relationship in nature, often described by formulae, which was often discovered by observation. Accepted by scientists as 'true'.
  • Scientific theory: an explanation accepted by just about all working scientists because the model has been validated against real world data.
  • Scientific hypothesis: an explanation for something in science. Not yet validated well against real world data. Mostly likely false, because there are far more possible hypotheses for something than there can be validated models (theories)
  • CAGW : Catastrophic, Anthropic, Global Warming. A hypothesis that climate change is leading to planet-wide warming, caused by people releasing carbon dioxide into earth's atmosphere. That these releases will lead to catastrophic warming leading to economic and environmental disasters. Also: that the warming is already causing catastrophes, experienced as weather anomalies.
  • CC: climate change
  • CO2: carbon dioxide
  • GHG: Greenhouse gas: a gas found in earth's atmosphere that causes global warming.
  • radiative forcing: The proposed mechanism by which CO2, and GHG, cause CC. High frequency radiation (sunlight) is absorbed by a molecule, and emitted as lower frequency radiation (heat). Whereas the high frequency radiation could be reflected back into space (e.g. by the ground), the resultant lower frequency radiation is trapped in earth's atmosphere as heat. So the earth gets warmer. So the 'theory' does. Except the effect is very small, and climate models ignore other effects which might be more important. So as explained above. A complex model may be entirely composed of correct assumptions and models yet still end up giving wrong projections.
  • NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. UN sponsored and controlled committee of experts promoting CAGW
  • denier: A term used to describe people who deny the holocaust or CAGW. Bizarre really. The two things are completely different. One, the holocaust, obviously happened in the past. The other CAGW: is a model of climate change. AKA a scientific hypothesis. A scientific hypothesis can only be declared 'true' when it is validated by data. The entire hypothesis then becomes known as theory and becomes an accepted model to predict the future. If CAGW were 'true' there would be one accepted model (like there is for relativity). There are, in fact, dozens of CAGW models many contradicting the others. They cannot all be correct models. It's a strange world we live in where climate scientists tell us the science is settled, yet they rely on dozens of contradictory models (AKA hypotheses).
  • alarmist: a believer in one of many CAGW scenarios or hypotheses.
  • believer: a derogatory term for an alarmist.

I'm officially a climate skeptic now

, or rather a CAGW skeptic. That's the 2nd change in my position on climate change within a few years. About 2 years ago I was a bit of an alarmist; I accepted mainstream IPCC projections on climate. Then I became a luke warmer - accepting carbon dioxide, CO2, radiative forcing. Now I'm a CAGW skeptic. I changed my position because the science is very far from settled. The climate alarmist position rests on a number of premises:

  • Greenhouse gases are responsible for 80% of climate change
  • The main greenhouse gas in the atmosphere: carbon dioxide, CO2, causes most of this warming
  • CC due to more CO2 is caused by radiative forcing.
  • There will be an amplification effect due to more water vapour dissolving in the atmosphere as CO2 increases.
  • This can all be validated by current temperature, and climate, readings
  • Other explanations of climate change are fraudulent. e.g. Ideas which derive CC from solar effects are funded by "CC deniers" such as the Koch brothers.

I no longer believe any of the above premises. I actually disbelieve some of them. It's up to climate scientists (as they refer to themselves) to prove their theories of CAGW.

I became a denier as I disbelieved more and more premises of CAGW. One by one.

  1. Data does not show greenhouse gases responsible for 80% of climate change. Data does not convincingly show any warming due to increased greenhouse gases.
  2. In the past, there is a rough correspondence between CO2 and temperature but Ice Age data shows temperature changes happen before CO2 increases. [CAGW theory requires it to be the other way around] The best explanation for this is that a rising temperature forces CO2 out of the oceans. The amount of CO2 dissolved in earth's oceans is vastly more than in the atmosphere.
  3. The premise of radiative forcing is a crude model assumption. A very small effect found to be experimentally 'true' under very limited artificial conditions where variables were limited. It can't be experimentally demonstrated for the earth's atmosphere. Even if happening, the effect could be overwhelmed by other effects which models might ignore.
  4. The warming amplification effect due to more water vapour in the atmosphere is not seen. The projected extra water is not seen. The projected clouds made by the extra water are in the wrong place.
  5. Currently temperature data is notoriously badly sampled with numerous irregularities and corrections. Actual data collection points situated in towns and cities are in the wrong place. They should all be put in the countryside and should be regularly checked. There should be no data collection points in towns and cities because such places are warmer than elsewhere; often by up to 10 degrees more. The complete disregard shown by mainstream climate 'scientists' for the actual science of data collection is shocking in this regard.
  6. In many cases temperature readings do not show warming since 1998 (which was itself an El Nino year!). The temperature series most often quoted by media: NOAA looks to be increasingly curated and at variance with uncurated temperature series.
  7. There's no real discussion about the problems with CAGW theory. Anyone who raises any kind of objection to it is demonized as "denier", with all its associations of genocide. Climate scientists specialise in ignoring the public except to preach to them.
  8. Other explanations for climate change have not been disproven. Instead we see political campaigns by CAGW protagonists to demonize, sack, or criminally prosecute anyone who questions or disagrees with them. This stopped being science a long time ago.
  9. A lot of researchers funded from climate science budgets seem to be neither scientists nor researchers. These people don't get the sack for doing science. They don't do science.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Return to the Source

PS: CAGW means : Catastrophic, anthropic, global warming

Once upon a time environmentalism was cute, popular in its own way, but too austere for most people. Still, far more US citizens identified as environmentalists 30 years ago than today. It has more influence today but is less popular with people. Why is that? Environmentalist campaigns of yesteryear were intellectually popular: saving whales, polar bears, seal pups, gorillas. Getting back to nature (if only in theory). Jill public can identify with that. It appeared to cost us nothing to support such environmentalism.

Today environmentalism has never been more influential in the corridors of power. At the same time, less people will identify themselves as environmentalist supporters. How did that happen? Environmentalism discovered two complementary arguments: man-made global warming and sustainability. The devil and our promised land. Environmentalists sold themselves out to these two strategies. Literally. Man-made global warming (CAGW) is the 21st century bogey man. The devil to fear which will wipe species out, destroy lives, ..., blah blah, you've read the disaster scenarios. The important points are: man-made global warming can not be questioned, it will be catastrophic unless ...

This strategy aimed to take control of global energy by dictating only non-Carbon dioxide emitting technologies are allowed. First it had to capture politician's minds which it does by moral blackmail. Which brings us to the second modern environmentalist strategy: sustainability. Sustainability is the promised land to deliver humanity from evil CAGW. We are told to cover the actual environment with solar panels, wind mills and all sorts to low power density machines (solar, wind, wave, tidal, hydro, geothermal, biomass, biofuel) to harvest minimal energy from the environment. The collateral cost will be destruction of much of the environment that the modern environmental movement was founded to protect. All that while 'sustaining' us with a thin gruel of energy for a barely modern lifestyle. Count me out please.

Even rebel deep greens who opposed the new sustainability have a hard time explaining how it came about:

I think the best explanation is "follow the money". The modern environmentalist movement is funded by many billion and multi-million dollar foundations. E.g. Rockefeller, Ford, Hewlett and Packard derived, Intel derived. Funds have been flowing into environmental activism since, at least, the 1970s. Since the Club of Rome, 1968. They fund pro-sustainability environmentalist groups. The CAGW/sustainability argument is intellectually compelling for many left, liberals, and conservatives. It has that simple harmony to it, the harmony our minds crave: black and white, good versus evil.

The twin arguments of CAGW/sustainability will impose huge economic and developmental taxes upon humanity. Taxes in more than just a financial sense. This is why many real progressives oppose modern environmentalism. Why conservatives despise it. Why Jill Public is far less at ease with it than she once was. Modern environmentalism is also a vote killer. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas. We are the turkeys who are being blackmailed into poverty by the twin arguments of CAGW/sustainability.

Recent opposition to the Green status quo also comes from environmentally minded people. It doesn't oppose sustainability. It simply adds nuclear power to sustainable energy technologies, and distances itself ethically and philosophically. This Ecomodernism describes itself in opposition to current environmentalism (both mainstream and rebel). Ecomodernists accuse environmentalist ideas of being in thrall to 'harmony with nature'. The ecomodernist alternative is to understand humanity as in nature but also outside. Read the manifesto in this link.

Eco-modernists also see nuclear power as sustainable energy. It is not. Nuclear power is entirely different in quality to so-called sustainable energies. Traditional sustainable energies have low energy densities, and are intermittent. At the mercy of seasons, weather, tides, and time of day. This is why they can never economically sustain the lifestyles we need. Nuclear power has the highest possible energy density and is the most independent of seasons and weather. In this way, nuclear power and sustainable technologies are entirely different in quality. This ploy works for ecomodernists. Yet it means ecomodernists accept the basic premise of sustainability, and with that, the notion that traditional renewable energies are good (despite obliterating the environment).

I'm happy to support nuclear power as

  • the most environmentally friendly,
  • plentiful,
  • safe,
  • least polluting,
  • reliable electricity,
  • which can cost-effectively
  • mitigate energy security issues.

My pro-nuclear arguments are much like those of 1960s Sierra Club enviros such as Ansel Adams, environmentalism before the Club of Rome!