Friday, March 29, 2019

Steele, what’s unnatural about the Glacier Girl? Pacifica Tribune 3/20/2019


Here I want to focus on the first couple paragraphs in March 20th, Pacifica Tribune’s What’s Natural? column.  It contains a melodramatic lead in with a curious narrative built around the P-38 dug out of a Greenland glacier.  Since this back story turned into such a fascinating fun, if oh so time consuming story, I figure it’s worth posting all this stuff on it’s own stage.  

(click on images for clearer image)
My question to Jim, what’s unnatural about the location of the Glacier Girl?

The P-38 is up the east coast, though somewhat inland.

It starts with the Lost Squadron and the P-38 that was discovered some 264 feet, not the 300+ Steele claims, a typical example of his easy disregard for accuracy, found under the surface and some three miles down stream in a glacier.  Here Steele continues:

Steele writes:  ". . .  Southeastern Greenland had been gaining ice at a rate of 4 feet per year.
In contrast, climate scientists project Greenland will increasingly loss ice at CO2 concentrations increase.  …”

To begin with, can't we even keep the simplest basics straight?  Rate and depth of ice formation varies on such a huge varied island.  Also, please be clear it’s snow that falls on Greenland, with years, that snow gets compressed into glacial ice.

Second, there is no secret that the southeast coast of Greenland is subject to extreme maritime snows.  

Third, even in a warming world Greenland will remain below freezing most the time for quite a while.  Plus there is more moisture in today’s atmosphere.  Snow fall will happen.  

Acting as though that’s supposed to be a surprise is goofy.

Fourth, Steele still can’t wrap his head around the simple fundamental reality driving all this - it’s the atmospheric insulation - you could very accurately say that our Atmospheric Insulation Regulator was set around 285 ppm when the steam engine was invented, now we have cranked it past 410 ppm and rising fast.  

That has geophysical consequences no matter how well anyone keeps their eyes, ears, and minds shut down. 

Melting Greenland glaciers is one of the resultant* down stream cascading geophysical consequences, yes it will continue following natural cycles.  But, realize those cycles exist within an energizing global heat and moisture distribution engine.

Now we get to the story of the Glacier Girl and what she can tell us about Greenland.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

ClimateFeedback.org Fact Check - dancing to the contrarian's flute.


This morning I came across another example of dancing to the contrarian script -  this time it was ClimateFeedback.org Fact Checkers.

Rather than dog-chasing-tail words, we need to strive to clarify what’s unfolding upon our planet on a realistic gut level.

Moral of the story stop focusing on tiny uncertainties - redirect the dialogue back to the known certainties - because they certainly tell us enough.
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This is what appeared (click image for better view):
Edited by Scott Johnson, Climate Feedback, Mar 8, 2019     {hat tip to skepticalscience.com} 
CLAIM
"The science is clear, climate change is making extreme weather events, including tornadoes, worse.”        SOURCE: Bernie Sanders, Facebook, 4 March 2019   
ClimateFeedback.org's fact checking verdict was misleading 
Overstates scientific confidence: Research clearly shows that certain types of weather extremes are increasing as a result of climate change, but it is not clear how tornadoes are responding to a warming climate.
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ClimateFeedback misses the point. 

It’s not about tornadoes and score keeping, it’s about learning to appreciate how our climate engine operates.

Take back the narrative !

Research clearly shows us that our global heat and moisture distribution engine has accumulated a degree Centigrade worth of extra heat since the advent of the steam engine.

Weather's job is to circulate this heat (and moisture) from the broiling equator to the poles.

This warming also increases the moisture holding capacity of air.

Physics tells us this added energy gets circulated throughout the global weather system. 

This extra heat is now available to be released through various destructive forms, not limited to tornadoes, consider destructive macrobursts, microbursts, downbursts, derechos, bomb cyclones, hurricanes and others.  

It doesn’t much matter which particular meteorological conditions come together, the point is when they do, they now have increasingly more energy, heat and moisture available, meaning more intense events must to be expected.  

It’s elementary.  It's physics.  It's certain as people can be about anything.

It’s about establishing an appreciation for what’s happening within our global heat and moisture distribution engine.  Well that and learning to appreciate the fragility of the biosphere upon who's health we all depend on for everything.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

What's natural about Steele's scary stories? Why Pacifica Tribune? (3/6/2019)


My previous post gave a summary of March 6th’s What’s Natural? column in the ‘libertarian’ Pacifica Tribune.   So I’ll dive straight into this, the “too long, didn’t read” part 2 intended for the student of libertarian deception.  Here I dissect the words and offer links to serious sources for the other side of Steele assertions. 

Glib misrepresentations, insulting experts and weaving transparently deceptive tales is easy - learning the facts and understanding our biosphere and climate engine that’s what requires some serious self-starter effort.  Like the difference between a vandal and a builder. 

Jim Steele’s, What’s Natural? Pacifica Tribune | March 6, 2019

(click on the image for better reading)
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{Since this is a Virtual Debate I drift back and forth between addressing Steele and addressing my readers}

First paragraph,  Steele gets into the Heaven’s Gate Suicide Cult.  Guess, to fluff up his audience.   When Steele tossed in:
Steele:  “the Heaven's Gate Cult. Highlv educated members …” 
I though I’d investigate, turns out People magazine printed a little bio of the unfortunates.  Not to disparage, but educationally they were actually a decidedly middling crowd: https://people.com/archive/cover-story-who-they-were-vol-47-no-14/ Reading it, lonely people looking for simple answers is what came to my mind.

Odious sensationalistic smoke and mirrors, reckon it’s all one's left with when one doesn’t have any facts on their side?

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Second paragraph,  launches into some heavy handed self promotion.  

Steele:  “I’ve pointed out how over-hunting and invasive organisms endanger species.  I’ve noted island extinctions occurred when humans imported rats, cats and mosquitos that attacked ill-prepared native species.”

Come on Jim, who’s kidding whom, that’s been text book stuff since I was in school, why do you spin it into sounding like original work or something? 

Steele:  “My research in the Sierra Nevada restored a watershed …”
I think the Sierra Valley Resource Conservation District (sierravalleyrcd.com) might not agree with Jim’s self-serving assessment.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Editor Frederick, Regarding Steele's Scary Campfire Stories. March 6, 2019

Letter to Editor Frederick, 
Regarding Jim Steele’s "What’s Natural?" Scary Campfire Stories.
March 6, 2019 - Pacifica Tribune - sent March 11, 2019

Dear Editor Fredrick,

What’s Natural? Indeed, that is the question.  It took a couple days to steel myself to tackle the Scary Campfire Stories column but I’ve been working on it much of the day and hopefully it’ll be posted soon.  I’m pretty sure my point by point review wouldn’t be of much interest around here, so I’m posting it at my ConfrontingScienceContrarians.blogspot.com - I’d much appreciate it if you could share that with your readers. Instead of details I’d like to share general impressions. 

Lets start with a summary of the column’s ten paragraphs: introduces topic with the Heaven’s Gate Suicide Cult (no crass politicization happening here); dismisses the seriousness of a 1°Centigrade rise within our global climate engine; misrepresents the facts in order to disparage a respected butterfly expert; quibbles about Polar Bear counts, while ignoring that the Arctic Ice Cap is melting away; ridicules penguin researchers for revolutionizing census gathering abilities and keeping up to date with their available data; heaps scorn on the entire climate science community because some scientist at some low point once said snow was going to disappear from England in the next decades; oh and we're to forget about “atmospheric insulation” because CO2 is plant food; he tells us there’s far more important problems to address than our planet’s atmospheric insulation regulator going from 280 ppm when the steam engine was invented to over 410 ppm and rising fast today.

Then Steele’s coup de grâce: ”For several decades, bogus catastrophic climate-change claims have come and gone.” -“If we truly care about nature … the real problem is overhunting, invasive species and loss of habitat.”

So this is libertarian entertainment?  Is that it?  It sure isn’t serious education!  What’s natural about this contemptuous disregard for our physical Earth and it’s biosphere?  How on Earth can one hold the notion that raising the temperature of our global biosphere won’t profoundly alter its components?  

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Considering Sagan's actual Baloney Detection Kit


A couple weeks back when I reviewed Steele's What’s Natural? column regarding Carl Sagan’s advice, I took Steele’s quotes at face value, though I had some doubts.  Since then I've done some checking and the differences are striking and worth sharing.

One thing worth pointing out is that Jim ignores that the Baloney Detection Kit was about how scientists view problems and that laypeople could learn from that.  One thing that bothers me about Steele's take, is that he's always implying spectators and dilettantes are as smart as actual trained experienced experts. 

Here I simply want to allow Carl Sagan's own words to speak for him, though with an introduction from Maria Popova:

Through their training, scientists are equipped with what Sagan calls a “baloney detection kit” — a set of cognitive tools and techniques that fortify the mind against penetration by falsehoods:
The kit is brought out as a matter of course whenever new ideas are offered for consideration. If the new idea survives examination by the tools in our kit, we grant it warm, although tentative, acceptance. …

BY MARIA POPOVA


But the kit, Sagan argues, isn’t merely a tool of science — rather, it contains invaluable tools of healthy skepticism that apply just as elegantly, and just as necessarily, to everyday life. By adopting the kit, we can all shield ourselves against clueless guile and deliberate manipulation. Sagan shares nine of these tools:
  1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”