Posts filed under “UnScience”

Climate Skeptic Pat Michaels: 40% of My Funding is From Big Oil

I have been rather dismissive of the agnatology from global warming deniers and hacks like Pat Michaels.

The notorious climate skeptic of the CATO Institute has admitted on CNN this weekend that 40 percent of his funding comes from Big Oil. Note that is what he admits to; his disinformation campaigns might be funded in considerably greater amounts than that.

When the media quotes him, they should disclose where the funding for his “skepticism” came from. As the ExxonSecrets profile of Pat Michaels sums up well, he is “possibly the most prolific and widely-quoted climate change skeptic scientist.”

Fareed Zakaria deserves a round of applause for challenging Michaels directly to cough up a figure for how much oil money he receives to defend the status quo:

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you what people wonder about, advocates like you. They say —

MICHAELS: I’m advocating for efficiency.

ZAKARIA: Right. But people say that you’re advocating also for the current petroleum-based industry to stand pat, to stay as it is, and that a lot of your research is funded by these industries.

MICHAELS: Oh, no, no. First of all, what I’m saying is —

ZAKARIA: Well, is your research funded by these industries?

MICHAELS: Not largely. The fact of the matter is —

ZAKARIA: Can I ask you what percentage of your work is funded by the petroleum industry?

MICHAELS: I don’t know. 40 percent? I don’t know.

Not a bad investment by the oil industry: Put up 40% of the funds, but use 100% of the junk science . . .

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DISCLOSURE: We are long Arch Coal (ACI) and Suncor (SU)   As I have said, you can burn fossil fuels and own V12 cars, or even invest in the energy sector, but please don’t be hypocritical by pretending that you are not impacting the climate.

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Category: Energy, UnScience, Video

Keynes = Passé

Apropos of our earlier Volcker discussion, consider this classic an indictment of the Business Schools Tall Paul referenced: > Via Amptoons Hat tip Jay H

Category: Economy, Humor, UnScience

Whatever Happened to that Apple iPhone Recall?

“If the current betting trends are to be believed, it now seems certain that a recall is in the cards” -Paddy Power, Irelands Biggest Bookmaker July 14, 2010 press release > Speaking of dumb bets: Its time to revisit a recent prediction market “winner,” and review the strengths and weaknesses of these markets: Recall this…Read More

Category: Mathematics, Really, really bad calls, UnScience

CrowdQuery: What of Keynes?

“If you were going to turn to only one economist to understand the problems facing the economy, there is little doubt that the economist would be John Maynard Keynes. Although Keynes died more than a half-century ago, his diagnosis of recessions and depressions remains the foundation of modern macroeconomics.” -N. GREGORY MANKIW > In today’s…Read More

Category: Economy, Politics, UnScience

More Poverty = More Religion

Religion has a surprisingly high correlation with poverty, according to a Gallup survey conducted in more than 100 countries. The more poverty a nation has, the higher the “religiosity” in that nation.  In general, richer countries are less religious than poorer  ones. The biggest exception? The United States, which has the highest religiosity relative to…Read More

Category: Digital Media, Psychology, UnScience

The Scientific Debate on Climate Change: Part 9, 10

9. Climate Change – Meet the Scientists

In response to several requests, I’ll put references in the video description rather than the body of the video:

In response to several requests, I’ll put references in the video description rather than the body of the video:

John Coleman listed as media graduate in 1957
University of Illinois Alumni Association
http://www.uiaa.org/illinois/honors/c…

Coleman claiming to be a meteorologist in Weather Channel founder suing Gore? Glenn Beck interview with John Coleman, March 5, 2008
Transcript at:
http://www.glennbeck.com/content/arti…

Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Program
http://www.ametsoc.org/amscert/index….
list of Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM)
http://www.ametsoc.org/memdir/seallis…

Christopher Moncktons resume:
Whos Who 2010

Oregon Petition found at:
http://www.oism.org/pproject/

Steven C. Zylkowski credentials found at:
http://www.forestprod.org/durability0…
http://www.forestprod.org/durability0…

Earl Aaagard web page:
http://www.theseventhday.tv/Experts/a…

John Stossel clip from Global Warming? Really Bad? on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUlGoa…

Bob Carter listed as palaeoclimatologist in US Senate Minority Report,
http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cf…

Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh
Phil Chapman
The Australian, April 23, 2008

Chapman bio on NASA website:
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios…

Tim Ball 28 Years Professor of Climatology at the University of Winnipeg
Letter to Paul Martin
http://www.john-daly.com/guests/marti…

Tim Ball: for 32 years I was a Professor of Climatology at the University of Winnipeg.
Deniers vs Alarmists in the Eco-Argument
Orato website, May 28th, 2006
http://www.orato.com/health-science/g…

Tim Ball lettrt to Royal Society, listed as professor of climatology
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/moyersoname…
and
http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/pro…

University of Winnipeg website:
http://www.uwinnipeg.ca/

Geography course units at the University of Winnipeg
http://www.uwinnipeg.ca/index/cms-fil…

Tim Ball described as professor of geography
Fraser Institute Website
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/author…

Tim Ball letter to Royal Society, listed as retired professor of geography:
http://www.nhinsider.com/nhigb/2006/9…

Global Warming, Two Points of View
Bio of Tim Ball showing time spent at University of Winnipeg
http://www.stam.mb.ca/Global_Warming_…

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10. Climate Change – An imminent ice age debunked

In 2005 the media told us we were on the brink of another ice age. What happened?

SOURCES:
(in chronological order)

Movie clip at the beginning from “The Day After Tomorrow”

Broeker’s hypothesis that melting ice will interrupt thermohaline circulation:
“Thermohaline Circulation, the Achilles Heel of Our Climate System; Will Man-Made CO2 Upset the Current Balance?” — Wallace S. Broeker, Science (Nov 28 1997)

Linkage of glaciation to shut down of AMOC:
“A model for Northern Hemisphere continental ice sheet variation”
– R. G. Johnson and B. T. McClure, Quaternary Research (Sep 1976)

See also “Was the Younger Dryas Triggered by a Flood?”
Wallace S. Broecker, Science (May 26, 2006)

“Slowing of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation at 25° N”
– Harry L. Bryden et al, Nature (Dec 1, 2005)

NEWSPAPER HEADLINES SHOWN:

“Britain faces Big Freeze as Gulf Stream Loses Strength”
– The Times (Dec 1, 2005)

“New Gulf Stream fears bring UK Ice Age warning”
– The Evening Standard (Sep 6, 2001)

“Scientists probing a dying current bring worst climate fears to the surface.”
– The Australian, (Dec 5, 2005)

“Fears of Big Freeze as Scientists Detect Slower Gulf Stream”
– The Independent (Dec 1, 2005)

RealClimate quote “while continued monitoring of this key climatic area is clearly warranted, the imminent chilling of the (sic) Europe is a ways off yet” at
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/…

Richard Wood saying Britain and Scandinavia should cool if Gulf Stream slowdown was real:
“Failing ocean current raises fears of mini ice age”
– New Scientist, (Nov 30, 2005)
http://www.newscientist.com/article/d…

Gavin Schmidt saying surface temps should have dipped:
“Scientists Say Slower Atlantic Currents Could Mean a Colder Europe”
– New York Times (Dec 1, 2005)

Robert Dickson saying much more data was needed to determine whether a slowdown was underway:
Ibid.

Harry Bryden saying not sure if change was temporary or signals a long-term trend:
“Failing ocean current raises fears of mini ice age”
– New Scientist, (Nov 30, 2005)
http://www.newscientist.com/article/d…

Bryden says a variable signal, but too early to detect any trends:
“No new ice age for western Europe.”
– New Scientist, (Nov 7, 2006)
http://www.newscientist.com/article/m…

Wunch saying it’s a complicated story reduced to a fairytale:
Ibid.

“Sea change: why global warming could leave Britain feeling the cold”
– The Guardian (Oct 27, 2006)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment…

“Can in situ floats and satellite altimeters detect long-term changes in Atlantic Ocean overturning?”
– Josh K. Willis, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS (Mar 25, 2010)

“New climate change myth: Gulf Stream is NOT slowing down”
– Daily Mail (Mar 30, 2010)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetec…

“IS BRITAIN ON THE BRINK OF A NEW ICE AGE?”
– Daily Mail (Dec 2, 2005)
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/IS+BRIT…

“Global warming ‘will bring cooler climate for UK’”
– Daily Telegraph (Dec 1, 2005)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknew…

“Gulf Stream is not slowing down, scientists claim.”
– Daily Telegraph (Mar 30, 2010)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/sc…

Category: Science, UnScience, Video

The Scientific Debate on Climate Change: Part 7, 8, 8a

7. Climate Change – “Those” e-mails and science censorship

Are climatologists censoring scientific journals and silencing alternative hypotheses on climate change? This is the second part of my look at the hacked/stolen e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit in the UK. I welcome intelligent opinions in the forum, but please refrain from posting the same inane comment a dozen times. Debates in science aren’t settled by those who argue the longest or the loudest, but by the accuracy of facts and the consistency of hypotheses with the facts.

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8. Climate Change — Has the Earth been cooling?

This video also looks at whether other planets are also warming, and an Internet myth that NASA is now attributing warming to the sun. In this video I examine the importance of sources — tracking information back to a source and making sure the source is credible. My sources are cited in the video, but I’ll also post them here. Sources are also cited throughout my climate change series. These videos are not a personal opinion or a theory of my own; I’m not a climate scientist or a researcher and I have no qualifications to do anything other than report on what real climate scientists have discovered through their research. So there’s no point in disagreeing with me. If you dislike their conclusions, take it up with the researchers I cite. If I’ve made a mistake in reporting their conclusions, please point out the mistake and I will happily correct it. If you think you know better than the experts, write a paper and have it published in a respected, peer-reviewed scientific journal.

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8a. Climate Change – supplement

The perfect example of what I was saying in my last video appeared soon after it was uploaded. The Internet was abuzz with a quote from Professor Phil Jones that there has been no global warming since 1995.
But is that what he actually said? Once again, we need to go to the source — Jones’s own words — rather than Internet gossip based on an interpretation of what he said. If we check the primary source, it’s a very different story. In fact, Jones and his team did detect warming since 1995. In this video I go to the source, and find out why the tabloid press got things so wrong. I have to correct part of the video where I gave an example of what an 80% statistical significance would mean (for the statisticians out there, this is a p-value of 20%). I said this would mean 80% confidence that global warming was a real, underlying trend, and not the result of background fluctuations.
While some statisticians accepted this as a broad explanation for the layperson, others felt it deviated too far from the precise meaning, which is this: =If global warming was not happening, there is only a 20% chance we would see this result.= A 90% statistical significance (if that’s what Jones achieved) of the 1995-2009 temperature data would mean If global warming was not happening, there is only a 10% chance we would see this result.

Coming soon: Parts 9, 10

Category: Science, UnScience, Video

The Scientific Debate on Climate Change: Part 4, 5, 6

Here is the follow up to Climate Change: The Scientific Debate:

4. Climate Change — Gore vs. Durkin

This video, the fourth in my Climate Change series, looks at urban myths spawned by two iconic films — An Inconvenient Truth and The Great Global Warming Swindle. Whatever you “believe” about climate change, there is no excuse for the kind of exaggerations, fallacies and fabrications we see in films like these. My aim is to cut through the junk science designed to evangelize this issue, and show what the actual scientific research shows us.

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(The video cuts short at the end, and the final sentence should read: “As I look at more of the urban myths they’ve spawned.”)
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5. Climate Change — isn’t it natural?

More urban myths about climate change are busted as I look at the Earth’s climate over the last 500 million years. What causes it to change? Since carbon dioxide was much higher in the past, why do climatologists say higher CO2 now poses a problem? And of course there’s the familiar myth that CO2 can’t influence temperatures because the climate was much colder in the past when carbon dioxide levels were much higher.

REFERENCES

“CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic” — D.L. Royer, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Dec 2006

“Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate?” — N. Shaviv and J. Veizer, GSA Today, 2003

“Bathymetric and isotopic evidence for a short-lived late Ordovician glaciation in a greenhouse period” — Brenchley et al, Geology; April 1994

“Reconciling Late Ordovician (440 Ma) glaciation with very
high (14X) CO2 levels” — CROWLEY T. J. ; BAUM S. K., Journal of Geophysical Research 1995

“An atmospheric pCO2 threshold for glaciation in the Late Ordovician”
– M. T. Gibbs et. al, Geology; May 1997

“A weathering hypothesis for glaciation at high atmospheric
pCO2 during the Late Ordovician.” — L.R. Kump et al, Palaeoclimatology alaeogeography
Palaeoecology 1999

“Long-lived glaciation in the Late Ordovician? Isotopic and se-
quence-stratigraphic evidence from western Laurentia” — M. R. Saltzman,S. A. Young, Geology; February 2005

“Solar Activity Over the Last 1150 Years: Does it Correlate with Climate?” — I. Usoskin et.al, Proceedings of The 13th Cool Stars Workshop, 2004

If you have a problem with any of the research that has been done into climate change, please do not waste your time discussing it on YouTube. Write a paper and have it published in a respected, peer-reviewed journal. And no use complaining to me if you think you have found flaws in the work of a particular researcher, write to them and let them know. They will be absolutely delighted to hear from you.

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6. Climate Change — Those hacked e-mails

Now that the conspiracy theorists have blown off steam, it’s time for a more sober analysis of those e-mails and what they mean. I can’t go through all of them, there are far too many, and . So I’ve taken the two that seem to be getting conspiracy theorists most worked up — Phil Jones’s e-mail about “Mike’s Nature trick” and Kevin Trenberth’s e-mail about a “travesty.” I’m glad to see that skeptic websites that cover the science understand what these e-mails actually mean. As you’ll see, very few commentators who jumped on the conspiracy bandwagon even before reading the e-mails managed to get it right.

The Trenberth paper can be found at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products…

Coming soon: Parts 7, 8, 8a

Category: UnScience, Video

Climate Change: The Scientific Debate

Quite interesting, even handed, and intelligent:

Part 1 Climate Change — the scientific debate

A basic look at how climate scientists infer that man-made carbon gases are changing the climate, and how this view is contradicted by other climate scientists who are skeptics.
I am a former science correspondent with an interest in reporting the facts, not the media hype. My thanks to 9thgate for checking my script for errors.

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Part 2: Climate Change — the objections

This video, the second in the series, looks at alternative hypotheses explaining global warming. I am only looking at alternative hypotheses put forward by real, professional climate researchers, and the findings of real, professional climate researchers who disagree with them. Yes, I’ve left a lot of the detail out. This is a 10-minute video summarizing the arguments and counter-arguments, not a PhD thesis. The comments forum will be free and open, as always, but if you disagree with what real, professional climate scientists say, please take it up with them and dont expect me to defend their point of view. If you have a stunning piece of scientific evidence that disproves one side or the other, dont waste time on my channel, write a paper, and get it peer-reviewed and published in a reputable journal.

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Part 3 – Climate Change — Anatomy of a myth

I had planned to put several myths in this video, but discovered such an appalling web of deceit and fabrication in this first one that I felt I had no choice but to thoroughly debunk it. Like many ingrained myths, this one is so ubiquitous that it takes an awful lot of hard evidence to convince true believers that it’s been fabricated.

Coming soon: Parts 4 5 & 6

Category: Science, UnScience, Video

Jeremy Grantham, who has long had investments in Timber and Natural Resources, puts a surprising smackdown on the Global Warming denialist crowd.

In the updated version of Bailout Nation, I specifically mention the same think tanks slavish devotion to ideology and disproven ideas (EMH, etc.). I find it encouraging Grantham calls them out as well.

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Everything You Need to Know About Global Warming in 5 Minutes

1) The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, after at least several hundred thousand years of remaining within a constant range, started to rise with the advent of the Industrial Revolution.  It has increased by almost 40% and is rising each year.  This is certain and straightforward.

2) One of the properties of CO2 is that it creates a greenhouse effect and, all other things being equal, an increase in its concentration in the atmosphere causes the Earth’s temperature to rise.  This is just physics.  (The amount of other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as methane, has also risen steeply since industrialization, which has added to the impact of higher CO2 levels.)

3) Several other factors, like changes in solar output, have major influences on climate over millennia, but these effects have been observed and measured.  They alone cannot explain the rise in the global temperature over the past 50 years.

4) The uncertainties arise when it comes to the interaction between greenhouse gases and other factors in the complicated climate system.  It is impossible to be sure exactly how quickly or how much the temperature will rise.  But, the past can be measured.  The temperature has indeed steadily risen over the past century while greenhouse gas levels have increased.  But the forecasts still range very widely for what will happen in the future, ranging from a small but still potentially harmful rise of 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit to a potentially disastrous level of +6 to +10 degrees Fahrenheit within this century.  A warmer atmosphere melts glaciers and ice sheets, and causes global sea levels to rise. A warmer atmosphere also contains more energy and holds more water, changing the global occurrences of storms, fl oods, and other extreme weather events.

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Category: Energy, UnScience