Category Archives: Technology and Society

Lesson For Trump From Media Attacks

Yes, continue to focus on the flawed climate science:

The CNN video ridicules Trump for saying that global warming is “an expensive hoax.” We should respond by outlining the costs involved. Over one billion dollars a day worldwide is now spent on “climate finance,” according to the San Francisco-based Climate Policy Initiative, yet we see no impact on climate. In 2017, Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, explained that if the UN Paris Agreement targets for 2030 were met and sustained through the rest of the century, there would be 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit less warming in 2100, if the models relied upon by the UN were correct. He explains that the cost of the Paris pact would be $1 – 2 trillion every year. So clearly, CNN’s criticism tells Trump that he should continue calling it “an expensive hoax,” and cite the cost estimates and forecast results to illustrate his point.

Yup.

Those “Impossible” Burgers

It may be a surprise to some, but not to me, that they are neither healthier for the eater or for the environment.

I’d like to eat actual lab-grown meat, but it has to be cost effective, and nutritionally equivalent to the stuff on the hoof (or claw).

[Update a couple minutes later]

In reading, as is often the case, part of the health claim derives from the false notion that eating “red meat,” and particularly saturated fat, is unhealthy. There is zero scientific evidence for either. So they’re basically proposing to replace something humans have been eating since the dawn of humanity with some lab-produced glop about which we are completely ignorant of its nutritional effects.

The “Republican” Brain

A refutation of a stupid thesis (including a dumb book by Chris Mooney). If I had time, I’d write a book called “The Democrats’ War On Science.” It would have a more solid basis than Mooney’s.

Oh, and this once again puts paid to the notion of “peer review” as having any value.

[Update a few minutes later]

“Consensus,” and politics disguised as science.

Climate “Scientists”

Thoughts from Judith Curry on motivated reasoning:

…how did I end up taking a different path and ending up in a different place than say Michael Mann, Katherine Hayhoe, or whoever?

First, as a female scientist of my generation, I wasn’t really entrained into the ‘power’ community surrounding climate science, although in the 2000’s I was named to some National Academy and other advisory committees. So my career path wasn’t invested in this kind of ‘power’ climb to influence climate science or public policy. I wasn’t editor of any journals, a lead author for the IPCC, etc. I was more interested in doing my own research. When I went to Georgia Tech in 2002, my main objective was in building a faculty and mentoring them and developing a good educational, professional and personal environment for students. So my career objectives were not really tied up in the ‘AGW enterprise.’

My generation of scientists (60+) have mostly identified as atmospheric scientists (meteorologists), oceanographers, geologists, geographers. By contrast, younger scientists (particularly those receiving Ph.D. since 2000) studying any topic related to climate pretty much have their careers defined by the AGW enterprise. As a percentage, I suspect that a far lower number of 60+ climate scientists are activists (and are more ‘skeptical’), relative to a large percentage of under 50’s (who don’t seem skeptical at all). Somebody outa do a survey.

Second, politically I’m an independent with libertarian leanings, and I have never been particularly aligned with environmental movement (while I highly value clean air and water and species diversity, the environmental movement seems motivated by other issues). I simply don’t have the soul of an ‘activist.’

Third, since my days as a graduate student I have had an abiding interest in philosophy and the social sciences, particularly as related to science.

Fourth, I care more about whether my publications will stand the test of time and contribute to deep understanding, than I care about the ‘wow’ factor, which I regard as transient and leading to nothing but trouble (e.g. Webster et al. 2005).

Fifth, at this stage of my life I can afford to buck the ‘system.’ 20 years ago, when I had a mortgage payment and college tuition to pay, there is no way I would have put myself out on such a controversial limb. There is only so much personal and professional integrity that you can afford, if your job might be at stake.

So that summarizes my personal journey, over the past 14 years, to fight against my own personal biases. Through Climate Etc. I provide resources that I hope others can use to think about, understand and challenge their own biases. Apparently trying to fight against bias in climate science gets you labeled as a ‘denier’, ‘anti-science,’ ‘serial climate disinformer.’ There seems to be no end to the perversions of ‘motivated’ climate science.

Tell me about it.