As it happens I’ll bet I’m as familiar with Jim Steele’s LandscapesandCycles fantasy as anyone. Having spent easily a couple hundred hours studying his words and working on nearly fifty posts unraveling and exposing Jim’s many malicious deceptions regarding honest competent wildlife biologists the world over.
My FourCornersFreePress column wasn’t the place for a line by line response, but I did want to write one up to help me gather my thoughts before composing my column. I’m sharing it here, because this version gives me another opportunity to share all sorts of valuable supporting evidence. I’ll be posting the FCFP column itself in a week or so.
Climate Science isn’t Settled, by Mr. GOP
Four Corners Free Press - Letters to the Editor, March, 2018
Mr.GOP takes issue with “We need real dialogue about climate” by Peter Miesler.
- It seems that the "science" is settled.
Damned straight, the fundamentals are as settled as the promise of tomorrow morning's sunrise! I wonder what the scare-quotes are for?
The fundamentals of our global heat and moisture distribution engine and society’s influence are well understood! The explainable known physical certainties far outweigh the remaining uncertainties!
Tragically the well understood certainties are constantly being deliberately ignored or lied about by contrarian types, thus our Mr. GOP winds up profoundly ignorant of down to Earth physical processes. Here’s a sampling of that climate science.
‘Climate models are unproven’ ?
Actually, GCM’s (Global Circulation Models) have many confirmed successes under their belts.
By Coby Beck on Nov 20, 2006
… In 1988, James Hansen of NASA GISS fame predicted [PDF] that temperature would climb over the next 12 years, with a possible brief episode of cooling in the event of a large volcanic eruption. He made this prediction in a landmark paper and before a Senate hearing, which marked the official “coming out” to the general public of anthropogenic global warming.
Twelve years later, he was proven remarkably correct, requiring adjustment only for the timing difference between the simulated future volcanic eruption and the actual eruption of Mount Pinatubo. …
Putting global surface temperatures aside, there are some other significant model predictions made and confirmed:
• models predict that surface warming should be accompanied by cooling of the stratosphere, and this has indeed been observed;
• models have long predicted warming of the lower, mid, and upper troposphere, even while satellite readings seemed to disagree — but it turns out the satellite analysis was full of errors and on correction, this warming has been observed;
• models predict warming of ocean surface waters, as is now observed;
• models predict an energy imbalance between incoming sunlight and outgoing infrared radiation, which has been detected;
• models predict sharp and short-lived cooling of a few tenths of a degree in the event of large volcanic eruptions, and Mount Pinatubo confirmed this;
• models predict an amplification of warming trends in the Arctic region, and this is indeed happening;
• and finally, to get back to where we started, models predict continuing and accelerating warming of the surface, and so far they are correct. … (Read the full article for the details)
For yet more information and links to further authoritative article to real science check out:
JULY 2, 2018
Uncertain about Climate Models? Why? Can you Explain???
JANUARY 1, 2018
Climate Models - Pruitt look at Red team deceptions
2) The author has used one pro-global warming expert.
This is pure political nonsense.
To say Dr. Trenberth’s talk, or my column, is one person’s opinion denies the truth that we are sharing the collective understanding of a global community of experts.
Dr. Trenberth was describing the distillation of the combined work of many generations and tens of thousand of scientists world wide.
“Pro” global warming? Mr. GOP’s unhinged politics is showing. Please GOP, get real! Nobody with any appreciation for this climate monster we have unleashed is “Pro warming.”
Dr. Trenberth and the community of scientists are Pro Science! Science is about Pro Truth and Pro Learning by assessing the data to the best of their understanding and abilities.
Published on Aug 24, 2015
Prof Alley discusses the motivation of scientists.
Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate?
3) Here’s my expert for rebuttal: *Landscape & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism, by Jim Steele.
Amazing, “here’s my expert,” Jim Steele. Seriously? Jim? Expert? Boy would I like to hear GOP’s definition of what an expert is. Anyone who says what one wants to hear is an expert? Is that how it is?
Lets do an experiment, Go ahead and Google Jim Steele and see what comes up, then try Dr. Kevin Trenberth. Ah ha, right at the top, http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/trenbert/
Kevin Trenberth’s education:
Sc.D Atmospheric Science/Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1972
B.Sc HONS First Class Mathematics, University of Canterbury, 1966
Research topics include:
- Interannual variability of climate and El Niño
- Climate change and global warming
- The heat and energy cycles
- The water cycle and atmospheric moisture budget
- The mass of the atmosphere
- Datasets and reanalysis
- The global climate observing system
- Hurricanes and climate change
One area of greatest impact has been in resolving outstanding issues concerning the global heat and energy budget of planet Earth. He has improved estimates of heat, energy and water transports within the atmosphere to a point where, when combined with top-of-atmosphere observed radiation, they now provide estimates of ocean heat transports as a residual that agree well with directly observed values. …
Kevin Trenberth’s Publications:
The total from November 2016 is 62 books or book chapters, 257 journal articles published, 4 submitted, 23 technical notes, 120 proceedings or preprints, and 81 other articles, plus 4 videos, for a total of 543 publications plus 4 videos and many blogs.
On the Web of Science, there are over 29,160 citations and an H index of 78 (78 publications have 78 or more citations). On Google Scholar, there are over 61,255 citations and an H index of 103 ( or 68 since 2012) …
Now try “Jim Steele - scientist", hmmm, nothing. Jim Steele the wrestler, no, the British Officer, no, at Wiki, nothing. Oh wait, here we go.
Jim Steele, the ex-camp director for the San Francisco State College’s Sierra Nevada Field Camp, bingo. A trail guide for college students, a bird watcher of some local repute, a general biology education, nothing of distinction.
Repeated searches at Google Scholar for Jim Steele show nothing, that’s because it seems he’s never done real science, though I know he’s read a bunch, as have I, but than I don’t claim to be smarter than the experts.
If anyone claims Jim has a peer reviewed paper in a real science journal, please do share a citation in the comments.
So my question: By what sort of standard does Mr. GOP equivocate this scientific nothing Steele, with Dr. Trenberth, a man of proven extraordinary intelligence who’s accomplished outstanding pioneering science in an incredibly complex scientific field?
4) Excellent book with ample references to support his arguments.
Hmmm, considering “expert” means nothing to Mr. GOP, it’s no surprise “excellent” is equally misused. Jim does weave many good yarns, I’ll give him that. It’s the disregard for truth and hiding the complete story that I find contemptible.
In a nutshell, Jim Steele proposes that landscapes and natural cycles are more powerful drivers of global warming than our insulating atmosphere and humanity’s profligate fossil fuels burning that continues adding extra GHG insulation at a frightening rate.
Jim’s intellectual underpinning is his self-certain, yet never explained opinion rejecting CO2 science. He maintains it's a hoax with political underpinnings. Something his Republican audiences want to hear, so he never needs to explain his super-natural assertion.
Steele has parlayed his general environmental studies background to travel around the world learning about various wildlife studies with an eye towards finding errors to exploit.
5) Long story short, the science is not settled.
Please think about what a nonsensical sentence that is.
Of course the science is not settled.
Uncertainties definitely exist. Get real GOP, nothing in our lives has ever, or will ever, be “settled” - we do the best we can with what we know. That's why our only smart choice is to HONESTLY learn about the learned expert opinion.
Before his untimely passing, Dr. Stephen Schneider give an excellent talk, it’s quite different from the shrill denunciations of the GOP crowd and as timely today as the day it was given.
Climate Change: Is the Science “Settled”?
(February 4, 2010) Stephen Schneider, professor of biology at Stanford and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, unpacks the political and scientific debates surrounding climate change.
Science is about learning, its about gathering and processing evidence.
Resolving scientific puzzles has always resulted in understanding more details, even as those details also reveal a whole new suite of questions worth asking.
The Relativity of Wrong
By Isaac Asimov,
By Isaac Asimov,
The Skeptical Inquirer, Fall 1989, Vol. 14, No. 1, Pp. 35-44
Incidentally, it turns out, scientists have been very very conservative and restrained, the remaining fringe uncertainties hide spectacular threats to human society and none contain any upside for future humans, or most other living organisms for that matter.
What Are the “Unknown Unknowns” of Global Warming
The 5 Big Climate Unknowns
Joe Romm , October 1, 2011 - Climate State, YouTube Jul 26, 2018
0:04 #1 Ozone Loss
4:00 #2 Rate of Sea Level Rise
7:32 #3 Gulf Stream Slowdown
11:18 #4 Earth's Response (earthquakes and volcanoes)
17:40 #5 Methane Hydrates
For more details visit:
6a) Consensus is a political term
Politicizing is precisely what Mr. GOP is doing when he claims scientific consensus is a political term.
Every branch of our complex society relies on the considered learned expert opinion as the most trustworthy level of understanding, not perfect, not unchanging, just the best we can do with what we have - that’s what “consensus’ is all about.
The Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel wrote an excellent inquiry “What Does 'Scientific Consensus' Mean?” at forbes.com 6/24/16 and I borrow his final sentences:
“If you want to construct an accurate picture of what governs the Universe, you need to build on all that we’ve learned up to this point.
When we say “scientific consensus,” that’s what we’re talking about: things we’ve already learned, and the solid foundation for where we go from here. And if there really is a problem with the consensus, it’s going to be the internal community of experts within that sub-field that’s going to find it.
Believe me: as a scientist, there’s nothing we like more than learning something surprising and new.” (source, forbes.com, 6/24/16)
You see scientists are truly curious and skeptical, always looking for flaws that might hide new revelations. There’s a good a reason these people became scientists, the quest to be the first to understand something new.
Fact is, that scientists simply don’t think like politicians, promotors or evangelicals, even if those people love projecting their own habits onto scientists.
Earlier Ethan explained that when scientists talk about “science being settled", they aren’t talking about “scientific consensus” as the final answer, but rather as the starting point that everyone agrees on.
6b) and to say that global-warming skeptics are driven by religious and political inclinations is disingenuous at best.
Disingenuous? What disingenuous?
How Fossil Fuel Money Made Climate Change Denial the Word of God
By Paul B. Farrell, April 22, 2015, MarketWatch.com
Opinion: Inhofe says God’s in charge on climate, but what if he’s wrong?
By Chris Mooney, March 14, 2012, DeSmogBlog
Is James Inhofe Shilling For God, or Oil? The Correct Answer is “Both”
By Joseph Romm, October 1, 2009, Grist.org
Inhofe on why global warming isn’t real: “God’s still up there.”
Rep. Joe Barton: "You can't regulate God.
Not even the Democratic majority in the U.S. Congress can regulate God.”
By Mahita Gajanan May 31, 2017, TIME
Republican Congressman Says God Will 'Take Care Of' Climate Change
By Chelsea Kiene, April 10, 2013, Huffington Post
Joe Barton Cites Great Flood To Disprove Human Role In Climate Change
By Kate Sheppard, April 20, 2009, GRIST
House Republicans bring strange theories and wacky witnesses to climate hearings
Shimkus cites Genesis on climate
By Darren Samuelsohn , November 10, 2010
Illinois Republican Rep. John Shimkus is standing by a controversial comment that global warming isn't something to worry about because God said he wouldn't destroy the Earth after Noah's flood.
The Illinois Republican running for the powerful perch atop the House Energy and Commerce Committee told POLITICO on Wednesday that his understanding of the Bible reaffirms his belief that government shouldn't be in the business of trying to address rising greenhouse gas emissions.
By Tom Dreisbach, May 1, 2018, All Things Considered
On Fire For God's Work': How Scott Pruitt's Faith Drives His Politics
By Rebecca Leber, Feb 26, 2018, GRIST
Scott Pruitt’s job is to protect the environment. God has other plans for him.
By Emily Atkin, February 27, 2018, The New Republic
Scott Pruitt vs. The Pope
The EPA administrator has become the de facto spokesperson for a fringe version of Christian environmentalism.
Niina Heikkinen, July 14, 2017, E&E News reporter Climatewire
Scott Pruitt, Christ follower
By Phil Plait, July 31, 2017, SYFY.com
REP. LAMAR SMITH THINKS GLOBAL WARMING IS AWESOME
Framing the Environment: The Cornwall Alliance, Laissez-faire Environmentalism, and the Green Dragon
Citation - Journal of the sociology and theory of religion, 2014, N.1, pags.null-null
Abstract - Religious discourse plays an important role in U.S. public debates on environmental policy. In this paper, we examine an aspect of this discourse, focusing on the discursive frame adopted by conservative evangelical elites as they promote religious interpretations of the environment distinct from more pro-environmental factions.
Using qualitative document analysis of the Resisting the Green Dragon lecture series, sponsored by the Cornwall Alliance, we identify four key themes to this frame:
- environmentalism is not science,
- but a religion,
- which threatens Christianity, and
- personal and political freedom.
These interrelated themes focus on denying or neutralizing scientific claims of environmental degradation, but also, and perhaps more importantly, counter moral claims advanced by more pro-environmental factions by linking a religious form of laissez-faire environmentalism to ethical considerations salient among evangelicals.
Bottomline there’s nothing disingenuous about accusing the GOP of mistaking their own EGOs for God. Sad fact is ME FIRST religious "shepherds" and political predators, facilitated by equally predatorial oligarchs are driving climate science stupification.
On its 100th birthday in 1959,
Edward Teller warned the oil industry about global warming
… And so, at its hundredth birthday party, American oil was warned of its civilization-destroying potential. Talk about a buzzkill.”
Let’s talk disingenuous,
Merchants of Doubt
by historians of Science Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway
The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on public health, environmental science, and other issues affecting the quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers.
In their new book, Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose–knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. In seven compelling chapters addressing tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT, Oreskes and Conway roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how the ideology of free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era. ...
The Republican War On Science
by Chris Mooney
Science has never been more crucial to deciding the political issues facing the country. Yet science and scientists have less influence with the federal government than at any time since the Eisenhower administration.
In The Republican War on Science, Chris Mooney tied together the disparate strands of the attack on science into a compelling and frightening account of our government’s increasing unwillingness to distinguish between legitimate research and ideologically driven pseudoscience. ...
DARK MONEY the voter manipulation vehicle of the ultra-rich.
U.S. Treasury moves to protect identities of 'dark money' political donors
REUTERS, POLITICS, JULY 16, 2018
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury said on Monday that it will no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations including politically active nonprofit groups, such as the National Rifle Association and Planned Parenthood, to identify their financial donors to U.S. tax authorities.
… But the move frees labor unions, issue advocacy organizations, veterans groups and other nonprofits that do not receive tax-exempt money from meeting confidential disclosure requirements set in place decades ago. …
GOP wants to flood politics with dark money using hidden “policy riders”
Arn Pearson , MARCH 20, 2018
The rising tide of political spending that has swamped Washington in the wake of Citizens United and other controversial Supreme Court rulings may have lifted Republican fortunes across the country and in Washington, but apparently it isn’t enough. Now they are coming back for more.
Congressional Republicans are expected to hide five “policy riders” in the fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill due for a vote this month that would let churches and charities pour their coffers into partisan pockets, allow parties to spend unlimited funds on ads coordinated with candidates, and make sure the rest of us can’t see what’s going on. …
Shining the Light on Dark Money: Political Spending by Nonprofits
RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 2(7), 51–68 (2016).
Not Just the Koch Brothers: New Drexel Study Reveals Funders Behind the Climate Change Denial Effort
Alex McKechnie, December 20, 2013
A new study conducted by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle, PhD, exposes the organizational underpinnings and funding behind the powerful climate change countermovement. This study marks the first peer-reviewed, comprehensive analysis ever conducted of the sources of funding that maintain the denial effort.
Through an analysis of the financial structure of the organizations that constitute the core of the countermovement and their sources of monetary support, Brulle found that, while the largest and most consistent funders behind the countermovement are a number of well-known conservative foundations, the majority of donations are “dark money,” or concealed funding. …
The rise of dark money is a threat to judicial independence
By Alicia Bannon, July 5, 2018,
It is this conservative ascendancy that Jane Mayer chronicles in “Dark Money.” The book is written in straightforward and largely unemotional prose, but it reads as if conceived in quiet anger. Mayer believes that the Koch brothers and a small number of allied plutocrats have essentially hijacked American democracy, using their money not just to compete with their political adversaries, but to drown them out. …
"Dark Money" Funds Climate Change Denial Effort
By Douglas Fischer, The Daily Climate on December 23, 2013
The largest, most-consistent money fueling the climate denial movement are a number of well-funded conservative foundations built with so-called "dark money," or concealed donations, according to an analysis released Friday afternoon.
The study, by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert Brulle, is the first academic effort to probe the organizational underpinnings and funding behind the climate denial movement.
It found that the amount of money flowing through third-party, pass-through foundations like DonorsTrust and Donors Capital, whose funding cannot be traced, has risen dramatically over the past five years.
By Shannon Hall on October 26, 2015
Exxon Knew about Climate Change almost 40 years ago
A new investigation shows the oil company understood the science before it became a public issue and spent millions to promote misinformation
BY NEELA BANERJEE, LISA SONG AND DAVID HASEMYER,
September 16, 2015, InsideClimateNews,org
Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.
7) Just look up examples of skeptical global-warming articles suppressed from peer reviewed journals and the suppression of emails by skeptics by the global warming elites.
Boy oh boy would I love for Mr. GOP to offer some solid examples of this supposed “suppressed evidence,” always big with the insinuations, but never showing up with objective evidence.
Lets be serious Scientific journals are dedicated to sharing important scientific papers with scientists who are expert and very busy. Peer review is all about ensuring that serious constructive papers make it into professional journals and that sub-par papers get sent back for reworking.
Science isn’t a democracy, it’s fact based, evidence based, quality demanding. Jilted quacks and losers are a dime a dozen, I'll trust the successful experts.
Science is humanity’s recipe for learning about the physical world and its processes as honestly as possible.
*Learning is the goal, fidelity to physical facts is the gold standard.
*Science is a world where Free Speech doesn’t mean it’s okay to misrepresent, lie and slander with malicious intent.
*Informed constructive skepticism is the rule.
*Mistakes are a learning tool.
*Dishonest bluster and bullying is a crime!
Having said that, it’s important to point out that there is no contrarian argument that hasn’t undergone extensive serious discussion, even inspiring some papers within the community of scientists. Go visit RealClimate.com, SkepticalScience.com to find some of those discussions. At the end of this article I reproduce the SkS list of nearly 200 contrarian linked claims so that with a click you can see details for yourself.
8) They don’t want debate!
Oh the irony. Jim Steele has been dodging my efforts to engage him in a serious fact-based constructive debate for years.
The problem is Jim and the others aren’t interested in a serious debate. They are after theater, learning doesn’t even enter into it, winning a PR dog fight for their political agenda is their goal.
I’m a serious kind of guy and I’m pursuing a serious constructive debate.
A debate where both sides honestly represent their opponent’s positions and evidence, where fidelity to the truth is the gold standard; one where learning is the prime objective.
Jim has dodged all my entreaties, but that didn’t stop me from engaging his crazy-making words in many virtual debates, see my July 22nd post for an index.
9) This is the big voluminous argument, no doubt, and you notice I did not use the word “denier.”
What “big voluminous argument”? It’s our Atmospheric Insulation Sweetie!
Everything else flows from that, rather straightforward, if complex.
Everything else flows from that, rather straightforward, if complex.
Incidentally, Unidirectional skepticism equals denial.
Climate science is a big voluminous topic that’s been well studied and explained by experts who have dedicated their lives to serious research and they deserve to be trusted.
The Discovery of Global Warming
Spencer Weart and the American Institute of Physics
A Website created by Spencer Weart supplements his much shorter book, which tells the history of climate change research as a single story. On this Website you will find a more complete history in dozens of essays on separate topics, updated annually.
Learn from what the real experts have learned.
IPCC, CLIMATE CHANGE 2013
The Physical Science Basis
IPCC Working Group I Fact Sheet
Report by Chapters
- Front Matter - 0.8MB
- Summary for Policymakers - 2.3MB
- Technical Summary - 18.1MB
- Introduction - 4.5MB
- Observations: Atmosphere and Surface - 38.3MB
- Observations: Ocean - 48.3MB
- Observations: Cryosphere - 12.8MB
- Information from Paleoclimate Archives - 10.8MB
- Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles - 23.8MB
- Clouds and Aerosols - 19.2MB
- Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing - 18.9MB
- Evaluation of Climate Models - 24.6MB
- Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional - 10.4MB
- Near-term Climate Change: Projections and Predictability - 14.1MB
- Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility - 36.6MB
- Sea Level Change - 32.9MB
- Climate Phenomena and their Relevance for Future Regional Climate Change - 10.6MB
- Atlas of Global and Regional Climate Projections - 44.7MB
- Climate System Scenario Tables - 1.5MB
- Glossary - 0.4MB
- Acronyms - 0.1MB
- Contributors to the WGI Fifth Assessment Report - 0.2MB
- Expert Reviewers of the WGI Fifth Assessment Report - 0.5MB
10) We need to let science be science and get the politics out.
Then get the hell out of the way with your clueless nonsense Mr. GOP! Allow us to listen and learn from real experts!
Why are you recommending a political showman like Jim Steele, a man constantly screaming for debate, but who runs from it when challenged?
11) signed, MR. GOP, Kettering, Ohio
FYI - take a look.
United States National Science Academy report on climate realities.
… Researchers know that human activities including fossil fuel use, agriculture and land use have been the dominant causes of increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the past 250 years. … _______________________________________________________
linkable list - Climate Myths sorted by taxonomy
courtesy of the SkepticalScience.com team
Next week's issue of The New York Times Magazine is an unusual one. It's dedicated to a single long story, by writer-at-large Nathaniel Rich, about the ten-year period from 1979 to 1989, the decisive decade when humanity settled the science of climate change and came surprisingly close to finding a solution. The world was ready to act. But we failed to do what was necessary to avoid a catastrophe. Rich's story is a gripping narrative that reads like a historical whodunit.
Accompanied by a series of stunning photos from around the world by George Steinmetz, “Losing Earth” will forever alter the way you understand the history and the politics of climate change.