Climate Reporting

It’s a hot mess.

[Late-morning update]

A media round up, and some thoughts, from Judith Curry, on the State of the Union:

what is wrong with President Obama’s statements as cited above?

  • His statement about humans having exacerbated extreme weather events is not supported by the IPCC

  • The Pentagon is confusing climate change with extreme weather (see above)
  • ‘Climate change is real’ is almost a tautology; climate has always changed and always will, independently of anything humans do.
  • His tweet about ‘97%’ is based on an erroneous and discredited paper [link]

As for ‘Denial from Congress is dangerous’, I doubt that anyone in Congress denies that climate changes. The issue of ‘dangerous’ is a hypothetical, and relates to values (not science).

And speaking of the ‘deniers’ in Congress, did anyone spot any errors in the actual science from Senator Inhofe’s rebuttal?

The apparent ‘contract’ between Obama and his administrators to play politics with climate science seems to be a recipe for anti science and premature policies with negative economic consequences that have little to no impact on the climate.

BUt the important thing is that they line the pockets of his campaign contributors.

Maybe some day, in a future administration, we can have a grown up conversation about climate change (natural and human caused), the potential risks, and a broad range of policy responses.

Let’s hope.

Matt Ridley

“My life as a climate luke warmer“:

This view annoys some sceptics who think all climate change is natural or imaginary, but it is even more infuriating to most publicly funded scientists and politicians, who insist climate change is a big risk. My middle-of-the-road position is considered not just wrong, but disgraceful, shameful, verging on scandalous. I am subjected to torrents of online abuse for holding it, very little of it from sceptics.
I was even kept off the shortlist for a part-time, unpaid public-sector appointment in a field unrelated to climate because of having this view, or so the headhunter thought. In the climate debate, paying obeisance to climate scaremongering is about as mandatory for a public appointment, or public funding, as being a Protestant was in 18th-century England.

Heh.

We did the space seder a few years ago with some friends, who had invited some other people that we didn’t know. They were interested in science, but not trained in it. They audibly gasped when I said that I didn’t think that climate was necessarily much of a problem.

“This Is A Liberal Campus”

“We can’t have free speech in a place like this.”

OK, that’s not the exact quote, but I think I captured the idea:

Swain’s speech must be curtailed, Yamin said: “What I’m really trying to show her is that she can’t continue to say these kinds of things on a campus that’s so liberal and diverse and tolerant” or “say bigoted things about her own students.”

It reminds me of the line from Dr. Strangelove. “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the War Room.”

The Left keeps using that word “liberal.” I don’t think it means what they think it means.

ISIS’s Plans

I have no problem believing that they plan to kill hundreds of millions of people in the name of Islam. It’s what totalitarians do. As Glenn says, “There are quite a few people in the world who are happy to join a movement that lets them do unspeakable things while being praised for it. The traditional response to such people was to kill them as soon as possible.”

But the Obama administration prefers non-traditional responses.

Full Employment

No, we’re nowhere close to it:

Measured against where these people expected the economy to be at this point seven years ago, the economy is indeed awful. Millions of people who should have jobs don’t, and those who do have jobs are working for much lower wages than would be the case in a healthy economy.

This is the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. For most of the same reasons.

Note, I don’t agree with Baker’s recommendations, though.

[Update a few minutes later]

Of 3000 counties, only 65 have recovered from the recession.

American Sniper

Kyle Smith liked it.

Its success will really piss off the Hollywood Left, after all their box-office bombs, after which they said Americans “just don’t like movies about the war.” No, they just don’t like anti-American movies.

Parental “Neglect”

You know what we called “free range” kids when I was a kid? Kids. I walked to and from school, half a mile away, every day, from the age of seven or so.

[Saturday-morning update]

The overprotected kid:

Sandseter began observing and interviewing children on playgrounds in Norway. In 2011, she published her results in a paper called “Children’s Risky Play From an Evolutionary Perspective: The Anti-Phobic Effects of Thrilling Experiences.” Children, she concluded, have a sensory need to taste danger and excitement; this doesn’t mean that what they do has to actually be dangerous, only that they feel they are taking a great risk. That scares them, but then they overcome the fear. In the paper, Sandseter identifies six kinds of risky play: (1) Exploring heights, or getting the “bird’s perspective,” as she calls it—“high enough to evoke the sensation of fear.” (2) Handling dangerous tools—using sharp scissors or knives, or heavy hammers that at first seem unmanageable but that kids learn to master. (3) Being near dangerous elements—playing near vast bodies of water, or near a fire, so kids are aware that there is danger nearby. (4) Rough-and-tumble play—wrestling, play-fighting—so kids learn to negotiate aggression and cooperation. (5) Speed—cycling or skiing at a pace that feels too fast. (6) Exploring on one’s own.

This last one Sandseter describes as “the most important for the children.” She told me, “When they are left alone and can take full responsibility for their actions, and the consequences of their decisions, it’s a thrilling experience.”

To gauge the effects of losing these experiences, Sandseter turns to evolutionary psychology. Children are born with the instinct to take risks in play, because historically, learning to negotiate risk has been crucial to survival; in another era, they would have had to learn to run from some danger, defend themselves from others, be independent. Even today, growing up is a process of managing fears and learning to arrive at sound decisions. By engaging in risky play, children are effectively subjecting themselves to a form of exposure therapy, in which they force themselves to do the thing they’re afraid of in order to overcome their fear. But if they never go through that process, the fear can turn into a phobia. Paradoxically, Sandseter writes, “our fear of children being harmed,” mostly in minor ways, “may result in more fearful children and increased levels of psychopathology.” She cites a study showing that children who injured themselves falling from heights when they were between 5 and 9 years old are less likely to be afraid of heights at age 18. “Risky play with great heights will provide a desensitizing or habituating experience,” she writes.

Instead, we’re infantilizing them into what should be adulthood (the “keep your ‘child’ on your health insurance until age 26″ is part of this). Another aspect of this is all the allergies that people are having as adults, due to being overprotected from germs as children. And the worst thing about all this, as she notes, is that it hasn’t even reduced risk (gee, where have we heard that before?). Anyway, it’s long, but read the whole thing.

[Bumped]

[Sunday-morning update]

“I let my nine-year-old son ride the subway alone, and got called the ‘worlds worst mom.’

[Bumped again]