Category Archives: General Science

Science On The Hill

The hearing has started, with Judith Curry, Roger Pielke, John Christy, and Michael Mann.

[Update about 10:32 EDT]

Mann uses the BS 97% number, and complains that he’s the only one on the panel “in the mainstream.”

[Update early afternoon]

Here is Judith Curry’s written testimony.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Here is all the written testimony. I’ll refrain from comment.

[Update a while later]

Here’s the story from Seth Borenstein:

At first Mann said he didn’t call Curry a denier. But in his written not oral testimony he called Curry “a climate science denier.” Mann said there’s a difference between denying climate change and “denying established science” on how much humans cause climate change, which he said Curry did.

But there’s this:

Former Georgia Tech climate scientist Judith Curry, who often clashes with mainstream science…

I don’t think she ever clashes with science, but I’m not sure what the hell “mainstream” is in this context.

For Deluded Warmists

A handy primer:

CO2 levels were steady during these wild swings and throughout the Holocene at roughly 280 parts per million (ppm) until 130 years ago when a stuttering increase to 400 ppm today began. In other words, Holocene temperature changes, and the wild variations that preceded them, were not linked to CO2 changes. This prompts the question: if CO2 changes did not drive these temperature shifts, why all the fuss about CO2 emissions?

The answer owes much to the complexity of the climate system and the wish for simple explanations to explain its variability and with which to make predictions. But climate is not simple. There are many interacting parts that make it a ‘coupled non-linear chaotic system’ in which small variations of any part can create big, unpredictable changes. In the search for something simple to blame, like increasing CO2 levels, this ‘coupled non-linear, chaotic’ nature of climate is often played-down, overlooked or ignored. Things like solar variations, ocean heat transfers, cloud cover and the like – things that may well be the main drivers of climate – seldom get the respect they deserve.

The effect of the sun, the sea and clouds on climate is known and accepted – the Gulf Stream being a well known example – but more precise knowledge suitable for computer models is a different thing altogether. But what can be said for sure, is that the sun, the sea and the clouds are all very important and CO2 is only one player in a big game, not the control knob on the Earth’s thermostat. It is true that CO2 contributes to the greenhouse effect, but its heating effect is small (when compared with water vapour, the main contributor) and drops off logarithmically as its concentration increases. The more there is, the less additional heating effect it has.

It’s almost as though there’s some sort of political agenda that has nothing to do with science or reality.

[Update a while later]

This is interesting: Pruitt doesn’t want to attempt to overturn the endangerment finding:

Pruitt, with the backing of several White House aides, argued in closed-door meetings that the legal hurdles to overturning the finding were massive, and the administration would be setting itself up for a lengthy court battle.

A cadre of conservative climate skeptics are fuming about the decision — expressing their concern to Trump administration officials and arguing Pruitt is setting himself up to run for governor or the Senate. They hope the White House, perhaps senior adviser Stephen Bannon, will intervene and encourage the president to overturn the endangerment finding.

Trump administration officials have not totally ruled out eventually targeting the endangerment finding. Conservative groups have petitioned the EPA to look at reopening it, one source said, and the agency may eventually be compelled to respond to the petition. Axios first reported the news of the petition.

“Getting rid of the Clean Power Plan is just not enough,” said Myron Ebell, the director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the former leader of Trump’s EPA transition team.

I agree. It was based on junk science. In fact, they should be trying to get a rehearing of Massachusetts versus EPA when they get Gorsuch on the court.

Scott Pruitt On Climate

I agree with Professor Curry that the media has distorted his statement beyond recognition (and I basically agree with his position, as does she). I also agree that this statement is nonsense:

The right’s refusal to accept the authority of climate science is of a piece with its rejection of mainstream media, academia, and government, the shared institutions and norms that bind us together and contain our political disputes.

The “authority of climate science.” Sorry, but “climate science” has no “authority” (no science does). It and its ignorant defenders have beclowned themselves.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related: A new paper says that only five out of thirty climate models can capture the Asia Pacific Oscillation. But sure, let’s use them as a basis to pauperize much of the world.

[Update a while later]

Oh, look, here’s some insanity from NBC News:

Pruitt’s view is at odds with 99.99 percent of climate scientists, according to peer-reviewed studies.

At least it’s precise, if not accurate.

Bill Nye On Tucker Carlson

Bill Nye the Pseudo-Psychology Guy was amazing to behold last night.

Scott Adams has a good take on it:

Tucker then asked Nye a simple question about climate science. He asked how much of the warming is caused by human activity. Nye’s entire ego depended on knowing whether human activity is contributing to climate change in a big way, a medium way, or a small way. Tucker wanted some details. How much difference do humans make? After all, Nye had said this was settled science. Tucker just wanted to know what that settled science said.

Nye didn’t know. And by not knowing that simple answer about the percentage of human contribution to warming – the only issue that really mattered to the topic – he proved in public that his opinions on science are not based on facts or knowledge. Nye tried and tried to dodge the question, but Tucker was relentless. That was the trigger. Nye could plainly see, thanks to Tucker’s simple question, that his belief in science was just a belief, because he didn’t actually know the science. When your self-image and ego get annihilated on live television, you can’t simply admit you have been ridiculous all along. Your brain can’t let you do that to yourself. So instead, it concocts weird hallucinations to force-glue your observations into some sort of semi-coherent movie in which you are not totally and thoroughly wrong. That semi-coherent movie will look like a form of insanity to observers.

Look for Nye to go totally mental in the last minute of the clip, changing the topic to political leaks for no apparent reason. That’s your tell. His brain just sort of broke right in front of you.

If I’d been debating him, when he started ranting about being able to grow grapes in England, I’d have asked, “Bill, have you ever heard of Hadrian’s wall? Because the Romans were growing grapes that far north 2000 years ago. Do you know why Greenland was called that, and why North America was called “Vinland” by the Vikings? Are you blaming their SUVs?”

[Wednesday-afternoon update]

Nine reasons you shouldn’t listen to Bill Nye about science. Or anything else. And only nine?