Sunday, July 8, 2018

Earth Centrist ponders, polite or honest?

I've been too busy to do much with my project to dissect JohnSmith's crazy-making, but our exchange at YouTube continues and I believe this particular response is worth sharing with like-minded 'Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment' and rational fact-based thinkers and humanists.
{ More than ever we need to step up and engage with the childish tenets of faith-blinded delusionals, not to mention we need some serious networking between each other.  Alone we are impotent, together we have potential.}
You see I've hurt JohnSmith's feelings again, guess I'm too busy pointing out the fallacies he's perpetrating, rather than dancing with him.  Since I seem to have a reputation as a rough kinda guy, although I prefer "up front'n honest", it's worth discussing in more detail.  

For instance in my defense, instead of responding to my thoughts and queries, the guy reaches for the Whack-A-Mole gambit, which I'm not happy about, though I (and others) am willing to use the opportunities for sharing valid information on any angle of AGW that contrarians care to toss at us.

After sleeping on it, I've decided to share my improved and expanded response.  For the original and more of our exchange, check out: 

Kristin Mink on GOP's Civility Double Standard

Given the Trump Administration Fire Hose of atrocities, this is already old news, still it belongs in this collection dedicated to provoking some deeper thought about what we are doing to ourselves and how we Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment will confront the attack on Democracy, our way of governing and rational thinking that is currently underway.

The Beat With Ari Melber
Published by MSNBC on Jul 3, 2018
Teacher Kristin Mink, who confronted Trump EPA Chief Scott Pruitt in a restaurant over his mounting scandals and asked him to resign, joins The Beat. Ari asks Mink to defends her actions,
At 6:00 Kristin Mink responds:  

Let me say this first is that I think that this whole debate about civility is a waste of time.  I wish that that the left would stop talking about it because civility is not the issue here!  

You have people who are speaking up there's no violence involved you know this is literally people voicing what it is they care about, to the people whose salaries they pay.  

Right, so if they want to then turn that conversation away from the issues and to, oh it's not the right time, it's not the right place, you're not doing your job.  If you're doing your job properly as a civil servant you want to hear from the people who are paying your taxes.  You want to hear from the people who you're supposed to be supporting and taking care of.

( note - Keep in mind Pruitt’s many secret meetings with powerful industry leaders, all the while evading and stonewalling the public; and our press (USA’s Fourth Estate); and science, as much as possible.  Then there’s Pruitt’s Kremlin level passion for secrecy.  Why did he need all that secrecy? We know, so that he could vandalize the E.P.A. out of sight.  

Our environment is more than an externality!

This ME FIRST cult  proudly despises environmental protections because it cuts into profits.  Collectively they are so myopic as to believe our society lives by profits alone - never appreciating that it’s a healthy environment that provides our life support systems along with all we hold near and dear. 

E.P.A. was created to protect the common health - but now it’s been given over to a gang for whom profits are more important that people or honesty or ethics. )

Kristin Mink continues:  So the issue here is not civility and the whole idea obviously this shouldn't even need to be said but the whole idea of talking about civility is ridiculous considering who we have as our president who has done so many things that are outside the box of civility and kindness and goodness.

It's ridiculous to even spend time on this, you know and I know thatRepresentative Maxine Waters you know made some comments about this and that some people on the Left have not been supportive of her.  I think that’s ridiculous.

We should not be spending time nitpicking people who want to criticize others for simply speaking out about what they believe in and I thinkthat it's my it's my right (and duty) as a citizen, it’s my responsibility as a mother and the same thing goes for everybody else in America. …

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Saying No To Reality

The following appears in the July issue of the Four Corners Free Press
Working title was: Explaining the Geologic Column to the Faith Blinded Psalm1Tree. 

Colorado's Grand Staircase's Geologic Column - Wayne Ranney
(click on image for a better view)

Recently, I was minding my own business listening to a fascinating talk on YouTube titled, “Rooted in Earth History: the Devonian transition to a forested planet.”  It was about strategies that Earth’s first ground-hugging plants adapted to escape the confines of Earth’s surface.  They did this in order to reach closer to our sun and further away from plant-eaters. 

This led to Earth’s first forests, which in turn led to an explosion of new environmental niches for life to radiate into. 

I learned some fascinating details regarding questions I’d been wondering about for a long time.  The lecture increased my understanding of evolution on this fantastic planet of ours, which has been a lifelong passion for me.

But my pleasant reverie was shattered by a YouTube comment that blind-sided me.  One ‘Psalm1Tree’ wrote in all seriousness: 

“There never was a Devonian period, just as there never was a Cambrian, Jurassic, Triassic etc. period. That's because there never was a Geologic Column. That is a 19th century construct that has no data whatsoever to support it.”

Besides avoiding the topic of the video, the comment is such an ignorant statement on so many levels that most who know anything about geology and evolution would simply clamp on the head-vise and back away. 

Unfortunately, decades of ignoring such belligerent ignorance about important aspects of our life and planet have led to its becoming so insidious and commonplace that our government is controlled by Republicans who disregard obvious physical realities on personal whim.   Justified only by a hubristic conceit that they are doing “God’s duty,” they are in fact all about pursuing their own EGO’s bidding.

I decided to engage Psalm with a short video that rationally explains what the geologic column is all about.  Then came my second shock.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

John Hyndman and the handy dandy character assassination strategy

I’ve been in a dialogue with one John Smith under an old YouTube video about aspects of the CO2 cycle understanding ca. 2001.  I have some posts about highlights almost, but not quite, ready to put up.  However there was this odd tidbit that occurred which I believe is worth quickly posting because it gets to the heart of GOP’s ruthless ME FIRST mentality in action and how it needs to stifle constructive learning dialogue.  The very thing I’m trying to expose and hopefully to help force into the public discourse this election season.
John Hyndman, July 2, 2018 writes: citizenschallengeYT LOL! I never even watched the video, it just appeared on my playlist one day. YT's algos sometimes offers totally irrelevant videos. Example: Teenage make-up application tips or how to braid hair. WTF does a 60 year old man give a shi_ about that stuff for?
Notice the tactic, focus on the messenger, study, invade, look for anything, not finding, make it up, who cares.  Trashing is the goal.  Winning is all that matters in this new GOP world of ME FIRST.

Hyndman’s actions/words underscore the punk nature of his myopic worldview.  Avoid the real issues and questions, trash all messengers, stifle, or out scream every attempt at constructive educational dialogue.  

Create a storyline out of one’s own filthy imagination, give it wings.  John Hyndman and pals this is supposed to be about understanding our living planet and the biosphere all of us depend on.

Science is about studying and learning, but all you want is a mud fight in order to ignore reality.  { I’m told I’m rude, okay Smith, talk about rude, what about Hyndman here and his thuggish attempt to derail the discussion??? }

This is the sort of stuff that serious science communication has been dealing with for decades.

Think Seitz, Singer, Lindzen god-fathers of science by slander and rhetorical misdirection who started all this

Monday, July 2, 2018

Uncertain about Climate Models? Why? Can you Explain???

I'd like to start with this short reality check, "How temperature has changed in each country since 1900"
notice nation names listed on the outside ring.

Published by Carbon Brief on, Aug 2, 2017

I've started a short engagement with one John Smith a YouTube Climate Science "Skeptic" of the glade hand persuasion.  In preparing an examination of his game, I got to thinking a review of Climate Model success stories would make a good preamble.  Not to mention perhaps encourage him to unload some anti-climate-model nuggets to look at in detail.

If John or anyone else out there disputes the veracity of the following information - please do share your thoughts - focused on real world details, specifics, concise explanations, supporting evidence.  I'm always up for a Constructive Debate.

Analysis: How well have climate models projected global warming?


{  The following screen shots are of CarbonBrief’s fascinating ‘interactive’ graphs that were created with  "Highcharts 6.1.1" - I recommend linking to their webpage if you want a closer look. }

Scientists have been making projections of future global warming using climate models of increasing complexity for the past four decades.

These models, driven by atmospheric physics and biogeochemistry, play an important role in our understanding of the Earth’s climate and how it will likely change in the future.

Carbon Brief has collected prominent climate model projections since 1973 to see how well they project both past and future global temperatures,

Sunday, June 24, 2018

What is Deep Time? Why does it matter?

The universe is ancient - 50,000 times older than our species. On a cosmic time scale, human history is as brief as the blink of an eye.
In discussing my upcoming column in the FCFP with a few people, it seems that Deep Time is still a new and challenging concept for many.  

It's something I've been contemplating on for decades, and it seem to me if one wants to defend Reality Thinking, that is defend Earth's geophysical facts against the GOP's God of ME FIRST ad hoc PR reality, an appreciating Deep Time is an indispensable tool.  For one its key to making sense of Evolution, that is Earth's four and half thousand million years of Creation unfolding one day at a time.*  And evolution is the only way we can hope to put today's radical geophysical transitions into a realistic perspective

I'll share my most fun interaction, 
"Whoa, Peter! You’re blowing my mind!  
Are you a geologist?  
DEEP TIME!?!?!  
I haven’t read through or watched all the links, but I will definitely have to come back to the one about “Deep Time!”  
I don’t, not believe it, but it does frustrate me because I want to grasp the whole picture!  
How did it all come to be & why?   
Is there a reason & will I ever know it ?????          HA! 
After this, how could I not try a little harder to find worthy YouTube video.  One that better conveys our current understanding in as humanly accessible  a way as possible.  The folks at Melodysheep have taken it one leap beyond what's been produced up to now.  Watched more than once, it gets better.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Fruits of Ignoring Deliberate Deception

Psalm1Tree, a YouTube drive-by shooter, inspired me to write a column for the FourCornersFreePress which in turn caused me to compose the previous three 'footnote' posts, "meeting" James Hutton, William Smith, Blakey and Ranney.  I won't be posting the column until after the first of month, {the complete column has been posted } still the previous three footnotes demand some sort of follow up, so I'm sharing a key portion of what I'm trying to get across in this month's column. 
... Unfortunately, after decades of ignoring such belligerent denial of reality about important aspects of our life and planet, in the service of GOP political war strategies, it has become so insidious and commonplace that we find our government increasingly controlled by Republicans who feel empowered to blatantly disregard obvious down to Earth physical realities on personal whim. 
Justified only by a hubristic conceit that they are doing “God’s duty,” when in honesty they are all about pursuing their own EGO’s bidding. 
Since it matters to me,

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Psalm1Tree, no Geologic Column??? Blakey & Ranney

 Have you met Blakey or Ranney?

This post is my 3rd and final 'footnote' for an upcoming essay inspired by Psalm1Tree on YouTube, who possesses a fervent rejection of evolution and who preaches that the "Geologic Column" doesn't exist.  Previously we looked at the legacy of geology pioneers James Hutton and William Smith.
Psalm1Tree: "Fossils are jumbled, in no pattern whatsoever!"
Colorado's Grand Staircase's Geologic Column - Wayne Ranney
(click on image for a better view)

Using Ron Blakey’s amazing geological maps over time, Wayne Ranney explains life on the Colorado Plateau over the last 500 million years and how those environments lead to today’s formations.  He also explains (23:20) how the data gathered by thousands of field surveys are distilled into this new breed of useful geologic maps of the surface of our planet.  

Which brings us to the Geologic Column, in essence it’s a vertical geologic map, a cross-section of Earth’s crust.  Wayne’s talk is filled with insightful information that brings alive our planet’s deep history while underscoring the makeup and validity of Geologic Column.

Psalm1Tree, no Geologic Column??? William Smith

Psalm1Tree: "Fossils are jumbled, in no pattern whatsoever.

 Have you met William Smith?

William Smith's Map, completed 1815, decades in the making.


This post is my 2nd 'footnote' for an upcoming essay inspired by Psalm1Tree on YouTube, who possesses a fervent rejection of evolution and who preaches that the "Geologic Column" doesn't exist.  But who won't stick around to hear the answers to his challenges.  The first post was about James Hutton.
“There never was a Devonian period, just as there never was a Cambrian, Jurassic, Triassic etc. period.  That's because there never was a Geologic Column.  That is a 19th century construct that has no data whatsoever to support it."
No data?  Seriously?  Has Psalm ever looked?  I ask because it’s easy to track down when our understanding started in the late 1700s. That’s when a handful of curious observant individuals struggled to make sense of what they saw laid out across their country.  In my previous post I shared James Hutton's legacy.  Here I introduce another leading pioneer, William Smith a colorful mapper of coal mines, a canal, railway and road surveyor, a man who spent a life time dedicated to comprehending the landscape and creating the first modern geologic map that visually distilled hundreds (soon to be thousands) of land surveys into a form all could learn to read and comprehend at a glance.
From all I've read, William Smith was a might saltier than this nice gent. Still a good summation.

Psalm1Tree, no Geologic Column??? James Hutton

Have you met James Hutton?

James Hutton: 1726-1797 - Discovery of Deep-Time 
Theory of the Earth (1785)

This post is my 1st 'footnote' for an upcoming essay inspired by Psalm1Tree on YouTube, who possesses a fervent rejection of evolution and who foolishly preaches that the "Geologic Column" doesn't exist.
“There never was a Devonian period, just as there never was a Cambrian, Jurassic, Triassic etc. period.  That's because there never was a Geologic Column.  That is a 19th century construct that has no data whatsoever to support it. ... Fossils are jumbled, in no pattern whatsoever.
No data?  Seriously?  Has Psalm ever looked?  I ask because it’s easy to track down when our understanding started in the late 1700s. That’s when a handful of curious observant individuals struggled to make sense of what they saw laid out across their country.  In particular there was James Hutton the geologist, physician, farmer, canal builder who spent decades trying to understand the varied, sometimes downright bizarre rock exposures and landscapes throughout England and beyond.  

Open University BBC S236 Ep 1 of 16 James Hutton

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Cascading consequences: Atmosphere - Jetstream - Cyclones - Hydrological cycle

There’s a new study that comes as no surprise, still since it's such an excellent example of Cascading Consequences, to say nothing of fascinating for the added dimension in understanding it offers, I want to share it over here.
The evidence is in and since about the 1950s the speed at which hurricanes travel across oceans and land has been slowing down appreciably.  It’s no surprise because as the Arctic warms the air column above it increases in height relative to the slower warming tropical atmospheric column.  This decreasing gradient of course impacts all natural vectors and oscillations that flow through it. 

Rossby waves and cascading consequences.   It’s the same phenomena that’s causing our jet stream to become more sluggish and erratic these past decades.  Jennifer Francis is an expert and I want to share what she has to explain since it offers an introduction to the concepts at work here.  

Jennifer Francis - Understanding the Jetstream

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Religious Right’s True Colors - A Threat to America

Which is worse, Trump under Russian and Oligarch thumbs, or the amoral Evangelicals who want to turn America into their spite filled theocracy?

The Humanist Report with Mike Figueredo
Published on Jun 10, 2018

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For more on this story:

Trump signs order seeking to allow churches to engage in more political activity

By John Wagner and Sarah Pulliam Bailey  May 4, 2017

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

PEER wins lawsuit - Pruitt must produce his bogus science by July 11th.

For Immediate Release: Jun 04, 2018
Contact: Kirsten Stade 


EPA Must Look for Any Scientific Study Supporting Pruitt’s Doubts on Human Role

Washington, DC — A federal court has rejected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s refusal to search for scientific information Administrator Scott Pruitt relied upon in claiming that human activity is not a “primary contributor” to climate change, according to a ruling upholding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The agency must also produce any studies EPA possesses that support Pruitt’s stated skepticism of anthropogenic climate change by July 11.

Judge Howell rules: Pruitt must justify his climate science denial. (Complete Ruling Text)

With a tip of my hat to Arstechnica, I reproduce a verbatim copy of Chief Judge Beryl's ruling in PEER's Freedom Of Information Act case against Scott Pruitt, the GOP's Environmental Protection Agency vandal 
I have only added some bold highlights a few extra paragraph breaks to help with clarity and one link to background regarding Pruitt.


Civil Action No. 17-652 (BAH)
v. Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell
June 1, 2018


On March 9, 2017, Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), appeared on the CNBC program “Squawk Box” and stated, regarding carbon dioxide created by human activity, that “I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” and “there’s a tremendous disagreement about of [sic] the impact” of “human activity on the climate.” Compl., ¶ 18–19, ECF No. 1. 

Noting that these public statements by the EPA Administrator “stand in contrast to published research and conclusions of the EPA,” id. ¶ 20, the plaintiff, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (“PEER”), a “non-profit organization dedicated to research and public education concerning the activities and operation of [the] federal . . . government[],” id. ¶ 2, submitted a request to EPA, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552, for agency records “relied upon by Administrator Pruitt in making these statements and any EPA documents that support the conclusions that human activity is not the largest factor driving global climate change,”