Monday, December 25, 2017

Pruitt's Red Team Challenge goes into hiding.

Updating Pruitt's Red team Blue team challenge, December 15th, E and E News’ Robin Bravenender reported, EPA air chief Bill Wehrum attended a White House meeting with Trump energy aide Mike Catanzaro, deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn and others to discuss the future of the debate and it has been put on hold.

I’m not at all surprised, after all Republicans have way more to lose.  Republicans are the ones performing the flim flam.  I think it’s a wonderful idea, compose a Blue team of savvy, well spoken, sharp-witted science communicators who have a deep understanding of Republican's war on rational constructive science debate and learning, along with the ability to enunciate today’s climate science understanding under fire.

No, not real climate scientists!  Scientists have had their constructive debates (among competent experts who understand the details such as the math, science, unexpected complexities and such.).  Scientists have published their results.  Scientists' work is On The Record!  Scientists are busy using their talents to continue the research.  Leave the politics to the public arena.

Use the Red team Blue team confrontation to force Republicans to show their cards.  Seems to me a wonderful opportunity to publicly expose their fraud.  That's why I'm working on a few posts related to pursuing the challenge, even if only from a distance.

Trump team puts controversial ‘red team’ challenge to climate science ‘on hold’

By Robin Bravender, E&E News  |  Dec. 15, 2017 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

ATTP: What if ? Earth's Climate Sensitivity Number.

Today at ATTP, an informative blog run by a real scientist that I like visiting, I found a post that’s worth sharing because his topic ‘Climate Sensitivity’ is a prime example of a few items on my "Review of our dysfunction public climate science dialogue" list.  
1) Uncertainties vs. known Physical Certainties --- 2) Map vs. Territory Problem --- 4) “Seepage.”

Here’s a portion of his posting.

I recently wrote a post about the Brown & Caldeira paper which suggests that climate sensitivity may be on the high side of the range. Rather predictably, Nic Lewis has a guest post on Climate Etc in which he looks at the Brown & Caldeira analysis and claims that global warming will not be greater than we thought.

I think this claim is simply wrong. Even if he has found some issue with the analysis in Brown & Caldeira, that still would not justify a claim that global warming will not be greater than we thought. …

The debate, in my view, therefore should not really be about whether climate sensitivity could be high, or low, but what we should do in case it is high (which, to be clear, is not to say that people shouldn’t study this). …

Unless one assumes that climate sensitivity is very low and ocean acidification will have no adverse impacts (and there’s a word for those who think this), I can’t see a scenario under which we shouldn’t be thinking about how reduce our emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. The irony, I think, is that what probably leads people to avoid considering ways to reduce our emissions (big government, too much regulation, interfering in the market,….) is precisely what we will get if climate sensitivity does turn out to be high and we decide, in the future, that we need to rapidly reduce our emissions. This doesn’t seem very sensible.

I agree with him, but think there’s something else about the GOP's obsessive focus on ‘Climate Sensitivity’ that’s worth recognizing.

         This hyper-focus on establishing an exact (unrealistic but its what Republicans demand) climate sensitivity number is that we don’t have the understanding to know what it means. The difference between 1.5 and 2 or 2.5? There are under informed guesses at best, we can point at some rough temperature estimates, but what does that really tell us about how our living environment will be reacting to those temperatures?

All we really know for certain, is the changes we have observed over the past half century!  Along with a promise that those changes will be accelerating. What I don’t understand is, why that hasn’t been enough?

Friday, December 15, 2017

Heartland's James Taylor's shameless deception, some video responses.

Here's some background for better understanding the Red Team's limited mindset, an oldie but goldie.  Heartland’s Institutes’ spokesman James Taylor, also president of the “Spark of Freedom Foundation” and contributor to Forbes magazine wrote a sensationally titled May 30, 2013 article: “Global Warming Alarmists Caught Doctoring '97-Percent Consensus' Claims,” containing melodramatic language such as:

“As is the case with other ‘surveys’ alleging an overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming, the question surveyed had absolutely nothing to do with the issues of contention between global warming alarmists and global warming skeptics. …”

Either through idiocy, ignorance, or both, global warming alarmists and the liberal media have been reporting that the Cook study shows a 97 percent consensus that humans are causing a global warming crisis. However, that was clearly not the question surveyed. …”

“… These biased, misleading, and totally irrelevant “surveys” form the best “evidence” global warming alarmists can muster in the global warming debate. And this truly shows how embarrassingly feeble their alarmist theory really is.

I read Taylor’s 1300 word article shaking my head at the childish, yet malicious, deception he was shamelessly unfurling.  Then in the comments section one ‘Scottar’ stepped up with 13 claims loosely based on Taylor’s disingenuous ramblings.  It struck me as a challenge worth tackling.

The result was “The Forbes conversation continues - 13 points examined” June 16, 2013 at my WUWTW.  For this exercise, rather than my own responses, I responded to each of Scottar’s claims with a short video that clearly addressed said issues with important information that helps clear up the errors.  At least if good-faith constructive learning is your thing. 

Since the videos are 2013 and earlier I figure this will make a good start for CSC’s video collection.  Also worth noting is that Heartland Institute has been instrumental in developing EPA Pruitt’s Red Team, Blue Team concept. Though, now Heartland is frustrated with Pruitt.  Read all about it: 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Rise to the Red Team-Blue Team Challenge, and fight to win.

“Scott Pruitt, the deeply mistrusted head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, confirmed ... his plans to launch a “red team-blue team” exercise on the subject on climate change could reach fruition as early as next month. …”
“Scott Pruitt’s call for a ‘Red Team, Blue Team’ debate on climate change is a farce and a distraction,” said Peter Frumhoff from the UCS after Pruitt’s hearing. “If he has questions about climate science, he should turn to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, not hacks from the Heartland Institute. …”
Scott Pruitt Confirms “Red Team–Blue Team” Climate Exercise Could Launch As Early As January  |  December 11th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill  

The internet is abuzz with handwringing over the prospect of Pruitt's "red team - blue team" competition to "establish" the validity of the scientific understanding of human caused global warming, (see the recent article I’ve reposted below.)

Trump Administration is looking forward to making a theater out of climate science and scientists are rightfully upset.  

Yet, it seems to me this exercise provides a wonderful opportunity for some savvy science and history communicators with the right stuff  to stand up and turn the table on these fraudsters.  

Reject their script and use this opportunity to expose the contrarian mishmash of inconsistent nonsense, lies and slander.

Use the moment to expose their dishonest rotten underbelly!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Exploring the Map vs Territory Problem - via the Brown Ocean Effect and Dr. Trenberth

On November 9th Dr. Trenberth visited our local Fort Lewis College and was the featured speaker at an afternoon climate change symposium.  
A Distinguished Senior Scientist (in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research), he is a cartographer if you will.  His entire being is about getting the science, the models, the map, as close to representing reality as resources and ability allow.  This dedication has made him among the best in his field of climate studies.  

As a self-taught Earth and climate science enthusiast I’ve been familiar with his work for decades and have learned a great deal from his articles and in past years talks on YouTube and I was glad to finally have the chance to see and hear him in person.

He gave an interesting talk reviewing many aspects of our warming climate system including hurricanes, where he touched on the recent Hurricane Harvey (52:30 video 1/3 embedded below) with its extraordinary longevity and rainfall.  Dr. Trenberth went through its vitals, a million people displaced, homes damaged, massive power outage, biblical rainfall.  

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Dysfunctional Climate Science Communication in 14 verses.

November 9th Dr. Trenberth visited our local Fort Lewis College for an afternoon Climate Change Symposium that included four other scientists and a talk on ‘Climate Communication and Engagement” by Heidi Steltzer, along with a panel discussion. 

The event spurred me into another exercise in trying to refine my observations on what’s closing in on a half century of active personal interest and engagement with learning about Earth Sciences and Climate Sciences along with the developing dysfunctional public conversationin a concise manner.  I hope some of it resonates with some of you and that it's of some use.

Originally posted at my What'sUpWithThatWatts.blogspot


I began high school in 1969 where I learned the fundamentals of climate science understanding.  It was straightforward, clear cut, internally consistent and very fascinating plus a bit scary.  Much was understood, even if many details were logical rational assumptions, if based on limited observations.  Those assumptions were rooted in an exquisite understanding of Earth’s fundamentals physics, which haven’t changed.

In the half century since, climate science has blossomed. The details have been filled in by an amazing global community of scientists, technicians, students and their array of instrumentation for Earth Observations along with super computers for processing the flood of data.  

These scientists have been reporting back to We The People and our leaders with overwhelming evidence of manmade warming of our biosphere, and our changing climate with its cascading consequences that are catching those experts by surprise with their speed.  Yet, …  

Over the decades much has been learned, countless refinements, a number of unexpected discoveries and surprises.  Through it all the fundamental story remains identical, only the details got slightly rearranged into better focus.

Then, why are we collectively, as a people, and even worse, our leaders, more deluded about climate science and its implications than back in the '70s?  

Responding to malicious slander with a character reference.

When confronting science contrarians, we are dealing with people who have no serious evidence or honest science on their side, thus they have no interest in actually discussing these questions seriously.  Sowing confusion, divisiveness and inaction are their only goals. 
That's why defenders of science will find that contrarian opponents are constantly diverting the discussion away from the issue at hand using amoral tactics such as attacking, belittling, even maliciously slandering the messenger, while ignoring the message.  Better yet, hit below the belt, frazzle their opponent into descending into the mud pit of insult slinging and losing all sight of the original discussion.   
These tactics are intending to demoralize all who attempt defending serious science.  I've been at the receiving end more times than I care to remember.  Then the notorious Andrew Poptech took it to another level when he wrote up a vile fabricated fantasy about me.  In response I decided that it was time for me to start getting down'n personal too.  Here's that effort:

On building stairs, integrity and malicious slander.

August 15, 2016

Recently over at Center For Inquiry's forum which I visit regularly, I was confronted with another joker repeating Poptech's conjured description of me as a guilt-riddled strung-out druggie and lost soul.  Poptech's slander is his way of responding to my fact checking, critiquing and challenging his claims.  Others of his persuasion have been quick to embrace the malicious trash talk.

It seems that every few weeks some new joker finds Poptech's article and gleefully grabs his ammunition and blasts aways at me in the middle of some other discussion.  That they are dealing with figments of their own imagination matters not one wit to them - it's character assassination they're interested in.

What else is there for someone who consistently misrepresents serious climate science?  They sure don't have solid evidence on their side.  Nor do they have the requisite intellectual curiosity to learn about the things they don't understand.  When something confuses them, assume the worst, with ignorant certitude.

Distraction is their game.  Marginalize the messenger and marginalize the message.

Who says understanding Earth’s Evolution is irrelevant?

Sadly all too many.  

I often hear people, not just the religious with their paper thin understanding, but educated rational people who superficially accept the notion of evolution, - (but who've spent little time absorbing what Earth's pageant of evolution has been all about) - dismissing the need to learn anything about it.  As if learning how to make money and survive in our modern society is all that matters to understanding our place in the world.

This disregard has led to a general apathy that I can't for the life of me comprehend.  Especially considering what an amazingly beautiful, complex, mysterious and absolutely relevant story it is.

Some introductory thoughts

This blog will be a remaking of my What'sUpWithThatWatts Blogspot intended to reach a wider audience.  

I'll be first to admit that many climate science communicators I respect don’t think much of my WUWTW or my gritty button-holing style.  I’m not sure what to make of that except that we can see how disastrously their strategy of sidestepping fundamental issues, appeasement and intellectual seepage has worked (or not) for conveying simple physical reality to our fellow citizens and leaders these past decades.

My speciality has been confronting climate science “skeptics” with fact based constructive debates and it usually follows the same trajectory.  I call out false claims, statements and question their reasoning with explanations, arguments and an assortment of relevant links to further authoritative information so people can learn about these issues for themselves.

If they return it’s with a round of bluster and distractions that morph into ad hominem attacks on people, either me, reporters or scientists.  Never any indication that new information was read and assessed, let alone absorbed.  I respond with more facts and reasoned arguments, they respond with final insults and slammed doors not to be heard from again.  Leaving me with Virtual Debates where I strive to document the dishonesty that too many others seem to pardon.

These are the same talking heads who are astro-turfing media outlets demanding public debate, but who steadfastly run from our debates.