Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Climate Change Mania

It never looks like hysteria when you are in the middle of it. It never feels like a mania when you are being consumed by righteous zealotry. It never looks or  feels like a cult when you believe it to the depths of your soul.

True believers are never swayed by the evidence. They believe the absence of empirical data is a test of their faith. They might skew the data in order to lure in those who still hold to an outmoded view of empirical science, but they themselves have given their lives to the narrative, not to the facts.

If you can still be a true believer when the facts tell another story, your status within the cult will be enhanced. If you really want to take it a step further into delirium, you should propose punishing and persecuting those who do not believe.

Up with climate change! Down with the marketplace of ideas!

Those who worship at the altar of the goddess of nature will severely punish anyone who denies their beliefs.

Eminent scientists like Richard Lindzen of MIT and Nobel Prize winner Ivar Giaever have stated forcefully that the climate change hysteria is based on bad science-- if it is based on science at all.

Now a group of French mathematicians has weighed in on the side of those who, while accepting that the climate does change, find no real evidence to suggest that human activity is causing the change. They suspect a more nefarious purpose: climate change fanatics want to shut down Western economies. That would get us back to the state of nature, n’est-ce pas?

The CNS news service reports the story (via Maggie's Farm):

As the United Nations gears up for its next international conference on climate change in Paris next month (COP 21), a scathing white paper released by a society of French mathematicians calls its fight against global warming “absurd” and “a costly and pointless crusade”.

“You would probably have to go quite a long way back in human…history to find [such a] mad obsession,” according to a translated summary of the document released in September by the Paris-based Société de Calcul Mathématique SA.

The mathematicians harshly criticized a “crusade [that] has invaded every area of activity and everyone’s thinking," noting that "the battle [against] CO2 has become a national priority.

"How have we reached this point in a country that claims to be rational?” they ask, adding that mathematicians “do not believe in crusades. They look at facts, figures, comments and arguments.”

“There is not a single fact, figure…[or] observation that leads us to conclude the world’s climate is in any way ‘disturbed,” the paper states. “It is variable, as it has always been. … Modern methods are far from being able to accurately measure the planet’s overall temperature even today, so measurements made 50 or 100 years ago are even less reliable.”

Noting that concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) have “always” varied, the French mathematicians also said that after processing the raw data on hurricanes themselves, they verified that “they are no more frequent now than they have been in the past.”

“We are being told that a temperature increase of more than 2 degrees C[elsius] by comparison with the beginning of the industrial age would have dramatic consequences and absolutely has to be prevented.

"When they hear this, people worry. Has there not already been an increase of 1.9 degrees C?

“Actually, no. The figures for the period 1995-2015 show an upward trend of about 1 degree C every hundred years! Of course, these figures, [which] contradict public policies, are never brought to public attention,” the white paper stated.

Obviously, many things can cause climate change. Human activity and cow farts are not at the top of the list… if they even make the list:

The French mathematicians also said that the UN’s climate models have failed to take into account natural phenomena that affects climate far more than human activity.

Human impact on the climate is “tiny, quite negligible in comparison with natural causes,” they point out. “Human beings can do nothing about solar activity, the state of the oceans, the temperature of the Earth’s magna, or the composition of the atmosphere.”

Furthermore, the work done by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) does not meet the basic standards set by reputable scientific journals because its “conclusions go [contrary] to observed facts; the figures used are deliberately chosen to support its conclusions (with no regard for the most basic scientific honesty); and the variability of natural phenomena is passed over without comment.”

As we know, true believers neglect to measure what happens to real human beings when the climate change mania is allowed to define government policy. The French mathematicians are especially concerned with the effect on France:

“French policy [on] CO2 is particularly stupid, since we are one of the countries with the cleanest industrial sector,” the white paper pointed out, slamming “virtuous” policies that have resulted in a significant loss of industrial activity and the resultant loss of jobs that has left three million French unemployed even as global CO2 emissions continue to rise.

“If we were in France to stop all industrial activity (let’s not talk about our intellectual activity, [which] ceased long ago), if we were to eradicate all traces of animal life, the composition of the atmosphere would not alter in any measurable, noticeable way,” they said.

These policies should never be judged by the outcomes they produce. They succeed when they allow their adherents to feel virtuous.

One empathizes with those who are in the throes of an apocalyptic visions, those who are standing on the street corner with signs reading “The End Is Near.” One also understands that when you base policy on apocalyptic visions you will never allow the data to shake your conviction.

True believers believe that the threat is so grave and that they are so right about it that no dissent should be allowed. Remember when leftist politicians and intellectuals said that dissent was the highest form of patriotism? No longer.

CNS News continues to quote the French mathematicians:

“People who do not believe in global warming have been told to shut up. No public debate, no contradictory discourse. No articles in scientific journals. They simply have been told that the case is proven and it is time to take action… We are simply required to keep quiet and do what we are told. No second opinion is permitted.”

At considerable risk to life and limb I would suggest that you might for a mere moment look at the way climate change is being used politically. Consider the possibility that it is being presented as an irrefutable fact, used to persuade people to vote one way or the other.

And you might also consider the fact that the world’s greatest polluters, China and India will never sign on to a treaty limiting their ability to feed their people. Keep in mind, nations and cultures are engaged economic, social, political and even military competition. When China and India are building power plants as fast as they can, America is shutting its own down.

You might say that we are occupying the moral high ground and that our people will breathe cleaner air a few centuries from now. But you might also say that our civilization is committing cultural suicide.

When it comes to how their policies might harm human beings, the climate change zealots don't really care. They believe that human beings are at fault and deserve to be punished. The natural world is being destroyed by their sinful consumerist ways, their love of nourishment and luxury. They deserve to be punished, to be reduced to subsistence living. If a few or a few million of them starve to death it’s that much less carbon dioxide emissions.

Didn’t Max Weber famously argue that capitalism arose when Protestant Europeans decided that subsistence was not enough?

In truth, following a dictum of Ludwig Wittgenstein there is no such thing as a scientific fact about tomorrow. There are hypotheses and prophecies, but there are no facts about what is going to happen tomorrow or next year or a century from now.

In a strange way the climate change hysteria is like what others have called the madness of crowds. It is like selling your house and your business in order to buy a tulip bulb. How did that one work out?

[Addendum: From the comments, David Foster provides us with this link to the remarks of physicist Freeman Dyson on this topic. Link here.]


Anonymous said...

Today the local paper says nations are organizing a Coast Guard for increased shipping activity in the North Pole. When was the last time on record that we expected the ice to melt at the North Pole? How would biased mathematicians incorporate that into their model? Answer: they won't.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

They all agree that the climate is changing. They dispute the notion that the change is being caused by human activity. It's not the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Math can't determine whether humans are causing climate change or not because a human must impose a causal model when applying the math. It does not sound like those mathematicians were doing any analysis that could validate or invalidate causal models. They appear to be questioning the effort to calculate a rise in global temperature while admitting that there must be climate change? Symptoms of climate change include melting ice, rising sea levels, dying coral reefs, and other signs of warming. So one should ignore the signs and symptoms of warming because some mathematicians question the ability to accurately measure a rise in temperature? What credentials do they have that scientists and engineers and biologists who process other evidence are lacking? Answer: none!

Leo G said...

Anon, please keep up with the latest science. In 10 to 20 years, most of the fear based outcry from the old climate science will be gone. But surely to be replaced by some other world ending fear I am sure.

Dying corals, more likely from a component in sunscreen -

Also, the acidification of the ocean's may not be as toxic to basic sea life as first hypothesised -


Scientists find some thrive in acid seas

Researchers from James Cook University have found that ocean acidification may not be all bad news for one important sea-dwelling plant.

A JCU team led by Dr Catherine Collier studied seagrass growing near underwater volcanic vents in PNG. Carbon dioxide from the vents increases the acidity of nearby water.

The researchers found that the more acidic the water was, the more the plant grew.

“The increased growth has nothing to do with the acidified water as such, but increased acidification means more carbon, which means the seagrass photosynthesises quicker,” said Dr Collier.

Seagrass provides food and habitat to many species and is a significant carbon sink – soaking up 15 percent of the carbon stored in the ocean every year. But pollution and development mean the plants are declining at a rate of seven per cent a year.

Dr Collier said every one of the ten varieties of seagrass so far tested had done better in acidified water."

I can site other studies from consensus scientists that are opposite of your views, but I find that if people are really open minded and want ALL of the truth, they learn better by doing the research themselves.

Leo G said...

And to emphasize the point of how shitty science reports are reported in the MSM, picking only what they want to message, ignoring contrary other rigorous science, here is a beaut, though the Times did put out a correction later, it shows their bias clearly.

Leo G said...

Anon, a gift. Antarctica is actually gaining ice mass. Hmmm.

David Foster said...

Renowned physicist Freeman Dyson has some things to say...not only about the "climate change" hypothesis, but also about the psychology behind much of this movement:

Ares Olympus said...

A funny news source, CNSNews, originally named Conservative News Service, now pretending neutrality as Cybercast News Service.

So they vet their creditials as a subset (at least 2 people maybe?) of the world's mathematicians, obviously neutral by the virtue of their occupation.
---> "How have we reached this point in a country that claims to be rational?” they ask, adding that mathematicians “do not believe in crusades. They look at facts, figures, comments and arguments.”

Yes, nothing to see here, we looked, so stop looking at this. It's changing, we know that, don't worry about it:

---> There is not a single fact, figure…[or] observation that leads us to conclude the world’s climate is in any way ‘disturbed,” the paper states. “It is variable, as it has always been.

---> “Actually, no. The figures for the period 1995-2015 show an upward trend of about 1 degree C every hundred years! Of course, these figures, [which] contradict public policies, are never brought to public attention,” the white paper stated.

Why are they cherry picking 1995-2015? My equally unbiased extraplation from the increase from 1975 to 2015 comes out about 0.64C, or 1.66C per century, but these brilliant one or two French Mathematicians prefer to start their dating right around the last record warmth El Nino event, and now we're just before a new El Nino event that is likely to break all the records by a long shot.

And its true this rate is significantly below the rates many models project, expecting an acceleration as the number of people on earth increase, and the number of people on earth with access to fossil fuels increases.

And followed by a non sequitur below, because we can't control all the natural variations, therefore we can't possibly be responsible for the latest warming?!?!?! This is intentiona propaganda, and wishful thinking of people who have decides what they need to be true, and make it true by assertion. Donald Trump might even be capable of such logic, and look how rich he is!

--> Human impact on the climate is “tiny, quite negligible in comparison with natural causes,” ...“Human beings can do nothing about solar activity, the state of the oceans, the temperature of the Earth’s magna, or the composition of the atmosphere.”

And if life gives you lemons, no matter, just make lemon ade, and keep doing what you're doing. These are the unbiased words shared by every addict the world as ever made. If your wife is trying to max out all your credit cards, gently tell her you'll add a second mortgage on the house, and get a third job, and then finally she'll be happy and be able to control herself without any lecturing. She is very pretty, that's why you married her after all...

--> Even if there were such a thing as global warming, “then we should celebrate,” ... And if it does not exist, then we simply shall have to carry on switching on the central heating.”

OH MY! We're not just rational mathematians, but victims, being told to shut up because we don't want to believe the evidence provided.

--> “People who do not believe in global warming have been told to shut up. No public debate, no contradictory discourse. No articles in scientific journals. ...”

So yes, there is surely mania, but I don't think it is from the boring scientists who have been patiently collecting data from the last 50 years.

Just keep saying "the climate is always changing" and that'll make someone feel better. Let the echo chamber continue.

There are conservative websites everywhere hungry for this opinion piece.

Ares Olympus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ares Olympus said...

I see the Mathematicians at SCMSA wrote a paper in 2014, or one Bernard Beauzamy at least, so we can be sure there is at least one person there. Its clearly very important since its linked from their home page:
Just look at this company motto:
•if it is really difficult,
•if you really need it,
•if you really want to be the only one to know,
Société de Calcul Mathématique SA

True, the paper is very small, simply titled "According to NOAA's data, the 'global warming' has stopped", and follows by date:
Year: 2001 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
temp °C 14.41 .46 .46 .44 .48 .44 .45 .39 .46 .52 .41 .47 .52

With a conclusion:
The tendency line (regression line) has a slope of 0.0036°C per year, which means a 3.6°C increase in 1,000 years.

Its amazing people need PhDs to do such detailed cherry-picking before coming up to a desired conclusion. What would ordinary people do without such expertise?

So probably this April 2014 analysis was the first time Bernard Beauzamy looked into it, and he was very proud of his results, so he put it on his website.

We can appreciate pride. And in a mere 18 months of hard study it has grown now into a white paper to represent all mathematicians of France, or the rational ones we presume.

I wonder if any other French Mathematicians will disagree? But of course since its only reported by desperate American conservative media, and will be ignored by everyone else as just some dude or two with a website, no one will bother countering it, and conservative can be sure it is being suppressed by nefarious liberal forces in the media and universities.

Jocker said...

Conflict between your neoliberal ideology, and climate reality? Change climate reality.

Anonymous said...

Regarding polar sea ice here are two links:

Regarding the potential impact for climate change here is a simplified story which is obviously a simplification of complex systems (consistent with basic scientific principles:

Obviously when a complex system, such as the human body, or the global climate pattern, is in a stable homeostasis, the human observer has a difficult time determining cause and effect. For example one can sustain homeostasis (life) if the ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide in the local atmosphere is sufficiently high, but one dies if the amount of carbon dioxide rises to a toxic level. Humans add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in trace amounts that are expected to contribute to the complex causes of global climate change. The Hebrew prophets intuitively warned people that the natural environment responds to our collective activity, and the climate scientists intuitively fear that we may be a cause of potentially destructive climate change via increasing the concentrations of green house gases in the atmosphere. The people stoned the prophets in turn, so we know how those stories play out.

Mogumbo Gono said...

Ares Olympus,

First, and very important: no one has ever produced a verifiable, testable, empirical measurement, quantifying what is called Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). In other words: out of global warming from all causes (such as the planet's natural recovery from the Little Ice Age), what is the percentage of 'man-made global warming'?

There are no such measurements. In science, data is essential. Measurements are data. But there are no measurements of AGW. So it is no more than an assertion.

Next, there has been no global warming at all for close to twenty years now, despite the steady rise in (harmless, beneficial) CO2.

CO2 is a tiny trace gas that has risen from 3 parts in 10,000, to only 4 parts in 10,000 — over a century and a half. CO2 has been up to 18X higher in the past without ever causing runanway global warming (or any global warming, for that matter).

Finally, it is now apparent that the climate alarmist crowd got its original premise, and thus its causation, completely backward: the rise in CO2 is caused by the rise in global temperatures, just like a warming Coke will outgas CO2 ('carbonation'). On all time scales, changes in CO2 always FOLLOW changes in global temperature. Thus, rising temperature is the cause of rising CO2. The climate alarmists got their premise backward, so naturally their conclusion is wrong.

The basic reason for the entire "carbon" scare, with its related "carbon footprint" and all the rest of that nonsense, is the government's fixation on passing a "carbon" tax.

A carbon tax would sharply increase the cost of all goods and services, without a concomitant rise in incomes. The difference would be an immense flood of money into government coffers. And we're talking about a LOT of money!

A carbon tax would give the government what every government from time immemorial has craved: a way to tax the air we breathe. That is every government's ultimate wet dream. And notice that the UN is pushing the same narrative, for the same self-serving reasons.

Money is the motive behind all the "carbon" hoopla. Because if something as completely evidence-free as the "dangerous AGW" conjecture had been proposed in any other area of science, those scientists would be laughed out of their labs and their .edu departments. "Man-made global warming" is more akin to a religion than to any of the hard sciences. It is a belief system, not a science supported by any verifiable measurements.

The only thing that still keeps the 'carbon' scare alive is all the grant loot being spread around. And there is a lot of that: more than $1 billion in federal grants are handed out every year, to "study climate change". And you can be certain that any scientists who tell the truth, and say that what is being observed is just natural climate variability, will not share in that loot.

With that much easy money in play every year, it's no wonder this ridiculous scare is still chugging along. It's the only reason. The fact that the 'dangerous man-made global warming' narrative is a complete false alarm means nothing; there's big money being passed out, and even if a scientist won't violate his own ethics by lying about the climate scare, his fellow scientists will make it clear to him that he'd better not rock the boat.

This "dangerous AGW" scam is the biggest HOAX in scientific history. That's why those promoting it refuse to engage in any fair, moderated debates. Instead, they hide out in their Ivory Towers and let unscientific parrots run interference for them (they did debate at one time, but the alarmist scientists lost every debate. So they refuse to debate any more).

Anonymous said...

The federal government in the United States has done the opposite of taxing the rich since the 1960s. It generally spends more money than it collects in taxes and covers the deficit by selling Treasury securities. This increases the national debt held as risk-free savings in the float of Treasury securities. A Treasury security has a lower interest rate than and FDIC insured bank account while both savings instruments are cash flow insurance provided by the federal government. The government does not need to tax carbon to fund its operations so such argument is not very compelling to a person who observes how the government actually operates.

Ares Olympus said...

Mogumbo Gono, I'm glad your mind is made up. It makes it a lot easier to ignore dialoguing with your talking memes that protect you from doubt.

And while weather is not climate, under my personal data, its interesting to see the suburban Twin Cities haven't had a hard frost yet. I still might get a few more cherry tomatoes from my backyard garden, and there are new blossoms that will surely not ripen, or who knows these days.

I've been gardening for 20+ years, and the only year we had a hard frost after mid-October was 2005, where I also had cherry tomatoes and blossoms on November 1.

Of course it could be the urban heat dome that has extended my growing seasons, or maybe El Nino. We'll see if a mid November frost isn't the new normal for my garden, and it'll make our late autumn Thanksgiving make more sense.

Maybe with the increased CO2 our gardens will blossom, and Minnesota will get shorter winters, and keep enough rain fall to benefit. And I'll be grateful for not only our fossil fuels that keep our homes warm, and our computers humming, but that make Minnesota a more attractive place to live, but hopefully not quite attractive to the killer bees or cockroaches. They can stay south.

I can live a good life, and let the future take care of itself. Thank goodness for conservatives that help keep the government off my back. And I'm all for scientists to keep quiet and do their diligent work out of the public eye or worry, until we can be absolutely sure which shit creek we're up.

So the climatologists can continue 50 more year of careful data collection and when they're ready they can say "I told you so." in their mémoires which can pay for their luxury retirement assisted living apartments, or alternatively they'll eat their premature words and say "We're sorry we were overly worried about those scary positive feedback loops, so we're glad you no-worries conservatives put us in our place."

There can only be one future after all, and its going to happen no matter what we do.

Mogumbo Gono said...

Ares Olympus,

I'm glad your mind is made up. It makes it a lot easier to ignore dialoguing with your talking memes that protect you from doubt. (See what I did there?)

Your entire argument is based on cherry-picked nonsense. By carefully pre-selecting various localities, you attempt to argue that 'global warming is gonna getcha!' Then you project into the future by "50 or more years". As if.

But I suppose that's the best you've got. Now can we expect the usual 'Appeal to Authority' logical fallacies? Or maybe some more measurement-free assertions?

"To measure is to know." -- Lord Kelvin, physicist, 1883.

But there are still NO valid measurements quantifying AGW. Not a single one! So you don't know, do you? All you've got are your cherry-picked locations, your baseless assertions, and most of all: your beliefs.

If your mind was not made up and closed tighter than a submarine hatch, I would point out that today's climate parameters (temperature, precipitation, humidity, severe storms, etc.) are neither unusual, nor unprecedented. Instead, I'll mention for the benefit of other readers that what we are now observing has happened in the past, repeatedly, and to a much greater degree.

In fact, the past 150 years have been a truly "Goldilocks" global climate, however Ares Olympus wishes it wasn't. Truth be told, he wishes runaway global warming and climate catastrophe on everyone — just so he could claim he was right. But he's simply wrong, as Planet Earth is demonstrating: there has been no global warming for close to twenty years now. The Real World is debunking the climate alarmist contingent.

I've posted verifiable facts here. They trump your discredited climate alarmism. But since your belief is religious, and not scientific, nothing can convince you that the "dangerous AGW" scam is just a carbon tax-based hoax that gov't bureaucrats are drooling over.

Ares Olympus said...

p.s. Curious about expert statistician, Nate Silver, I wonder if he had anything to say about climate change, and apparently so, from his 2012 book "The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't", it had a chapter about it, summarized here
Silver's climate chapter also makes many good points for which he deserves credit.
•It debunks the myth that most climate scientists were predicting global cooling and/or an impending ice age in the 1970s, noting that this was primarily a media construct.
•As noted above, Silver discusses the cooling effect of human aerosol emissions over the past decade and the fact that correlation is not causation.
•Silver points out that climate models simply cannot replicate the current climate without accounting for greenhouse gas increases.
•The chapter contains a graphic similar to The Escalator to show that there are often short-term changes in the opposite direction of the long-term trend, but that this just represents noise in the system.
•Silver references William Nordhaus in noting that uncertainty is actually a reason to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because the worst climate scenarios cannot be ruled out.
•The chapter debunks myths associated with Climategate.

The chapter ends on a bit of a discouraging note, with Silver suggesting that climate scientists should not try to directly influence climate policy:
"It is precisely because the debate may continue for decades that climate scientists might do better to withdraw from the street fight and avoid crossing the Rubicon from science into politics."

So he thinks advocates like James Hansen and Michael Mann should get out of the political debate, or perhaps hang up their "scientist frock"?

He also apparently compared past models to preductions, and contrarian Richard Lindzen wins the lottery as the worst predictor, while geologist Don Easterbrook is the modern lottery winner, always predicting we're on a cusp new cooling off our "plateau", which I guess is a good bet if you want to be famous for having a 1% chance of being right, and all we need is a good year of volcanic activity, and he can stand tall, at least until the dust settles.

Silver also notes that Hansen's 1988 estimates were high, predicting a a 4.2°C increase for douling CO2, while modern models say we're in store for a 3°C increase, which is a lot more than the current 0.8°C increase.

So anyway, it looks like Silver probably isn't a good source for the skeptics to quotes.

Anonymous said...

I'd like someone to take that Coast Guard escort they're planning to the North Pole. What a great case in government waste and blind ideological insanity. Send a postcard. Absolute nonsense. If you believe that, you'll probably invest in a bridge across the Grabd Canyon, and build a Coast Guard base at the top. -$$$

Mogumbo Gono said...

All I see in the A. Olympus comment above is the ad hominem logical fallacy. Of course, that's the only kind of argument the climate alarmist crowd has, since Planet Earth herself is busy debunking their scare.

I especially liked the lame ad-hom attempt to discredit Prof Richard Lindzen, who ran M.I.T.'s atmospheric sciences department for many years. There isn't a more prestigious engineering school than MIT.

Dr. Lindzen just retired, but before that he authored twenty dozen peer reviewed papers on the Earth's climate system. No alarmist comes close to that, and no alarmist scientist has anywhere near Lindzen's international esteem or credibility.

All the wild-eyed arm waving over the global warming scare is over a 0.7ºC wiggle. Over a century and a half! You cannot find a century-long time frame in the geologic record with such a flat global temperature. What do you want? A 0.00ºC flatline?

The global warming scare is such a bogus hoax that thinking people are now rejecting it in droves. You can see it in comments in the general media: a few years ago, there were still some people concerned about 'dangerous man-made global warming'.

But no more. Now, most media comments ridicule that baseless scare. It's on its last legs, and even $1 billion+ in annual grants won't keep that nonsense alive much longer.

Anonymous said...

The better question is: Why do people want to believe in climate change? This madness seems to require blind faith in many dimensions, based on so many assumptions. I thought Democrats thought people of faith were stupid. AGW is a simplistic belief, designed by and for ideologues, one that willfully ignores the complexity of ecological systems: believing in the constants they want to believe in, while creating prophecies of self immolation using other dynamic figures. It's like government math from the CBO: when was the last time you saw the economy operate according to such rational analysis? Same thing with the weather: who believes yesterday's weather will be the same today? Same with climate, though it is far slower and incremental. Like plate tectonics. The man who's head of the space agency that sent a man to the moon now says we're all going to die a hot, painful death by carbon dioxide, which he off-gases himself. Our present view of man is one where his very existence makes him an evil polluter in the eyes of the EPA. No wonder we're told abortion is an important "right." Thanks Gono: I'm glad to hear someone else is tiring of Mr. Olympia's verbose gullibility and his personal reflections that lead to nowhere. -$$$