Learning from Dogs

Dogs are integrous animals. We have much to learn from them.

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A plea to those who understand climate science so much better than I do!

Background to this Post.

Among my friends, two go way back.  One of them, Dan Gomez, a lively, ebullient Californian, was indirectly responsible for me and Jean meeting in Mexico back on December 17th, 2007.  I first met Dan at a dealers’ conference in Boston way back in the early days of Commodore Computers.  That was the Spring of 1979 and I had flown to Boston as the owner of the 8th Commodore Computer dealership to be appointed in the UK, based in Colchester, Essex.  Later, I became the global distributor of an English word processing program known as Wordcraft, written by Pete Dowson in the UK, and appointed Dan as my US West Coast Wordcraft distributor.  It gave me a wonderful reason to come out to Southern California several times a year; on business, of course!

Dan and I therefore go back 33 years!  Dan’s sister Suzann has a house down in San Carlos, Mexico.  Suzann invited me out to Mexico for Christmas 2007 which is where I first met Jean and, bingo, Jean and I then fell in love with each other!  How life flows!  (Two years ago yesterday, Jean and I moved into our house in Payson with our, then, 13 dogs and 6 cats!)

Paul & Dan Jan. 15th 2008

OK, to the Post!

Dan has been a climate change skeptic, as in caused by man, for many years.  Regular readers of Learning from Dogs will know I see things very differently.  But Dan and I agree fundamentally on getting to the truth.  This Blog proudly claims to seek “The underlying theme of Learning from Dogs is about truth, integrity, honesty and trust in every way.”

So when the other day Dan sent me a number of links supporting his view that “My point remains that climate change is an enormous, complex process that no computer model is going to predict and no human activity modify significantly. Big money is now at stake here and as the article shows, even trusted scientists will produce fraudulent information to further their goals as well as fill politician’s coffers.” I found my faith in my own views slighted dented.  Dan is a smart guy, a good thinker and not beholden to any firm or organisation with a vested interest in denying anthropogenic global warming.

Here are some of the items that Dan referred to,

From Newsbusters,

IPCC Scientist Admits Fake Data Used To Pressure World Leaders

A scientist responsible for a key 2007 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warning Himalayan glaciers would be completely melted by 2035 has admitted that the claim was made to put political pressure on world leaders.

Such was revealed by the British Daily Mail Sunday in an article destined to further reduce the credibility of the world’s so-called leading authority on manmade global warming.

As NewsBusters reported Saturday, the IPCC acknowledged earlier this week that its claim concerning these glaciers was based on junk science.

Read it in full here.

Then there was this,

Oregon Chapter American Meteorological Society

Anthropogenic (Human Caused) Global Warming – Is This The Greatest Scientific Myth of our Generation?”
January 25th, 2012, Portland, Oregon

First Speaker – Gordon Fulks, PhD Physics, University of Chicago

[Extract]

Dr. Fulks said: “My thesis tonight is simple: virtually ALL of what climate alarmists put forth as science is not. Some is half correct, some is incorrect, and too much is just plain nonsense or worse.”

This led him into what he called “one of the central problems with Anthropogenic Global Warming,” “the integrity of the data.” He discussed a variety of temperature data from land surface data that shows various manipulations and biases to the best global data from NASA satellites to the excellent ice core temperature proxies going back 450,000 years.

Second Speaker – Chuck Wiese, Meteorologist – Oregon State University

[Extract]

Mr. Wiese finished his presentation with the following conclusions:

1. There is nothing in the REAL atmospheric record that supports the recent temperature rise of the last century to carbon dioxide induced anthropogenic warming.

2. The tropospheric water vapor optical depth is remarkably stable but has declined recently over the last 70 years of record as carbon dioxide rose substantially in the atmosphere during the same period. This is a consistent outcome as expected by the first principle founding physics and inconsistent with atmospheric climate models.

3. Without water vapor acting as a positive feedback ( growth pattern ) to increasing carbon dioxide concentrations, the projected radiative forcing on the earth’s surface is but a grossly exaggerated calculation of what the earth’s temperature will actually do in response to carbon dioxide.

4. The earth’s “greenhouse effect” is NOT controlled by atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is modulated and governed by atmospheric water vapor and clouds, where the warming modulation is controlled by the amount of vapor and optical depth. Clouds with the hydrological cycle act to trim out water vapor into a hydrostatic, convective equilibrium. The stable atmospheric optical depth likes the earth mean temperature of 59 deg F without further solar or planetary modulation.

5. The Anthropogenic warming hypothesis by atmospheric CO2 is falsified by the real record and radiation physics.

Third Speaker – George Taylor, former Oregon State Climatologist

[Extract]

His presentation finished with his conclusions:

1. Human activities DO affect climate, in a variety of ways. Greenhouse gases are just one parameter.

2. Natural variations affect climate. I believe that they have been more significant influences on climate because they do a much better job of explaining observed variations.

3. Effects of future changes in CO2 are likely to be modest and manageable.

4. Many aspects of climate remain poorly understood.

The full transcripts and supporting materials may be seen here.

Then, in stark contrast, this week’s edition of The Economist has a leader about the problem of overfishing. “Of all the sea’s many problems, overfishing should be the most fixable. ”  What jumped off the page at me was how that leader article started,

ACIDIFICATION, warming, the destruction of coral reefs: the biggest problems facing the sea are as vast, deep and seemingly intractable as the oceans themselves. So long as the world fails to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, cause of the global warming behind these troubles, they will grow.

So a newspaper of the standing of The Economist is clear, “So long as the world fails to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, cause of the global warming behind these troubles

So if, dear reader, you can offer good supporting evidence as to why the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society seems to contradict what so many now believe, that mankind is changing the Earth’s climate, please comment or, better still, consider writing a guest post.

Thank you!

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16 Responses

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  1. Unfortunately I am not sufficiently scientifically qualified to make any valid comment in merit of either argument but, as a father wishing for a safe and secure future for his children in an ever more troubled world, I sincerely hope that Dan’s point of view is the correct one.

    Edward Scalpello

    February 27, 2012 at 02:47

    • Ed, did you mean to say ‘correct’ about Dan’s view? And big thanks for leaving a comment, Paul

      Paul Handover

      February 27, 2012 at 08:25

      • Hi Paul, I was trying to say that I don’t really know if it’s man that’s screwing up our climate or simply a question of nature doing its thing as I believe Dan is suggesting. My view is that I would prefer it to be a question of nature since that is beyond our control and probably an integral part of the delicate balancing act that planet Earth has been juggling with for eons and is very good at. If however, it is man’s fault, it would be a great shame and cause for great concern because history has proved that whenever man gets involved in things of this scale, destruction follows!

        Is that a bit clearer?
        Edward

        Edward Scalpello

        February 27, 2012 at 08:37

      • Ed, OK now I understand. Hopefully, over the coming days there will be presented on the Blog expert views that show, without doubt, that global warming is caused by man, ergo the only hope for all our children is that man comes up with the solution. Thanks for the clarification, Paul

        Paul Handover

        February 27, 2012 at 08:42

  2. There are two answers: encourage zero population growth and the Solar Hydrogen Economy. Please help us build the 3-R’s Park, so that we may be a living example to show the answer to climate change.

    Marcia Greenshields

    February 27, 2012 at 08:11

  3. Anyone who gets their science from the >Daily Mail is clearly not thinking straight.

    The Economist, however, is reliable. The clue is in the name – it is not part of some grand alarmist scam to send the world back to the Dark Ages; it is just staffed by realists who do not indulge in conspiracy theories to magic away a genuine scientific consensus regarding what is quite possibly the best understood – and certainly the most dangerous – Limits to Growth phenomenon we have encountered so far.

    However, over-exploitation of natural resources (e.g. fish) is another – as predicted by Garrett Hardin’s ‘Tragedy of the Commns’… Unless privatised, all common resources will be over-exploited (and/or common sinks will be over-polluted). This is becuase any individual that exercises restraint will lose out in a competitive marketplace.

    Unfortunately, the privatisation of all resources (and/or sinks) is not the answer: The answer is collective agreement to enforce restraint, conservation, preservation, and/or sustainable use. This is what is so insane about the continuing collective refusal of humanity to acknowledge what is happening; acknowledge the inevitable; and agree to move away from fossil fuels ASAP.

    Martin Lack

    February 27, 2012 at 09:14

  4. We are not just poisoning the air with CO2. We are poisoning the entire biosphere with CO2. I have addressed the problem long ago. See:

    http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/biosphere-collapse-not-climate-change/

    In light of this sort of evidence, the so called “skeptics” are prima donnas craving attention, fools, senile sinkers confusing thinking and sinking, or they are paid by the fossil fuel mafia (2 top notch French geologists being an example of that, as the geophysics institute they direct(ed) in Paris was, and is, fed by the oil majors).

    When not outright idiots, the skeptics are actually extremely dishonest people. First, indeed, why do they care that much about poisoning us with never seen before levels of various terrible gases (only one of them being CO2)? What’s their trip? Are they traitors to the main values of the West? That would be reason and evidence.

    The latest issue of “The Economist” warns us about the incoming coal disaster in Asia. That is why I used the word: ‘traitors”. These people are betraying the West, and the biosphere.

    If Asia poisons us all, and traitors are saying:”Oh that’s very good, you are imagining stuff, with your gas obsession, and you are lying about science!”, they are reminiscent of their psychological ancestors who had no problems with the Nazis poisoning with gas those they viewed as mental retards.

    (That’s how the Nazis started, and they had plenty of friends, then, among Anglo-Saxon plutocrats!) To go back on the Himalayan glaciers thing is beyond idiotic: melt lakes in the Himalayas are growing, they are immensely dangerous, and, in the Andes, the disappearance of countless glaciers threatens human inhabitation. (Making artificial glaciers is a growing science, though!)

    One could waste all of one’s life talking to idiots, or chimps. At some point, real thinkers have to move away from bottomless sinkholes… Forgive my evocative language…

    http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/

    Patrice Ayme

    February 27, 2012 at 15:07

    • Thanks for sharing all of that, Patrice. Three weeks ago I got Jared Diamond’s Collapse out of the library but I have not got very far with it. Despite knowing its overall message from having seen the TV Documentary Doomsday 2210?, the book is much more harrowing. I posted 2 items about the Introduction when I started reading it but, only really got beyond this on a 3-hour train journey to London last week. The first big chapter of the book is all about the beautiful SW corner of Montana and – by the end of it – you are left feeling, well, if it’s in trouble we are all in trouble…

      Also, when you mention “talking to idiots”… I went to London to hear Professor Richard Lindzen give a highly misleading talk (i.e. “there is no need for alarm about climate change” being the overall message). Having tried and failed to get some sense out of him, I have spent much of the last 3 days arguing with people who just think everything Lindzen says is Gospel – the very same people who in the next breath will be telling you we cannot trust “experts”. The real travesty is that amongst the real experts Lindzen is seen as one of a half dozen or so bad apples who is dismissed as a “nutjob”. Why is it then that he can still get to testify before US Congress? Our politicians are being misled every day; and yet they seem oblivious to it – or complicit in it – I am no longer sure which it is.

      Martin Lack

      February 29, 2012 at 13:27

  5. Hi there;

    The World Bank — not usually the most trusted name in environmental issues — has stepped in to help work on issues with the ocean, including overfishing and pollution.

    To ignore that human activity affects the environment is rather silly. To blame it all on human activity is just as silly. Both sides make valid points, both sides have fanatics and reasonable people. And the thing is, we just don’t know. So in the absence of knowing, what do we know?

    Prediction is a tough business, specially about the future ;-). Today’s weather forecasters are in agreement that the best they can do is forecast out three days, beyond that it becomes less certain. What we know is that if things remain the same, with more extreme weather events, life on the planet is going to get a whole lot more interesting, dangerous and expensive. Catastrophic? No-one knows that. In nature, there is a saturation point, a point of diminishing returns, where a population is no longer sustained by its environment.

    There’s a piece in the NYT review of books that might be of interest to you.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/mar/22/why-global-warming-skeptics-are-wrong/?

    FS

    February 28, 2012 at 15:26

    • Dear FS,

      Really appreciate the long and thoughtful comment. Also took a look at your own Blog and that came over as most interesting.

      However, where we part company is over you saying, “we just don’t know.” I think that the science of anthropogenic climate change is pretty well established. In other words we do know. With the inertia in the planetary processes being what it is, then mankind could be extremely close to the point where the planet takes over, if you get my drift, and then, as you say, life is going to get a whole lot more interesting.

      I hope to write more about these aspects over the coming few weeks.

      But even if there is still uncertainty then there’s an aviation expression that comes to mind, ‘If there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt!’

      Thank you so much for calling by the Blog, please stay close! Paul

      Paul Handover

      February 29, 2012 at 09:22

      • Hi Paul —

        My comment about ‘we just don’t know’ was about the public ‘we’ because in the public mind, all it sees is that it’s standing between two sides who are yelling at each other. In that scenario, the truth, or reality of projected futures for huge numbers of people is hard to fathom, hard to know which side is right in a debate in which emotion is battling reason even amongst scientists.

        Scientists are typically not that good at research and knowledge transfer of their scientific findings, and sadly, this issues has fallen along lines of blame and fault. I say sadly because the minute there’s blame, you can guarantee that there will be an offensive to deflect blame.

        Sadly there needs to be agreement because agreement determines policy and a course of action.

        So far, it seems that the Australian government is about the only government that admits to being affected by climate change. Let’s hope that it does not take long for other governments to come to their senses.

        I’m giving you a link to a site that’s solid and scientific and is all about being sceptical about climate sceptics. It’s international in scope and is very, very good.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/

        “Explaining climate change science & rebutting global warming misinformation”

        Scientific skepticism is healthy. Scientists should always challenge themselves to improve their understanding. Yet this isn’t what happens with climate change denial. Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet embrace any argument, op-ed, blog or study that refutes global warming. This website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?”

        I’ll keep popping in. :-)

        FS

        February 29, 2012 at 14:29

      • FS, wow, another long and thoughtful reply; fabulous!

        I had a technical query with my relatively new computer, purchased locally from The Computer Guys here in Payson, AZ. Just come back from the store. I asked the three young guys working there, all the right side of 30, whether they thought mankind had a sustainable relationship with the planet. All three of them, without any fuss or excitable attitudes said ‘no’. Plus they expressed a total lack of confidence in governments and politicians of all so-called democratic nations. One could applaud their sense of the reality of today’s world or be worried about what could be perceived as an air of resignation about the future.

        Paul Handover

        February 29, 2012 at 16:02

  6. Let’s hope that there is a third or fourth way that has yet to hit any of the consciousness or headlines or alt news sources for people to read about that is an active balance between resignation, helplessness and denial. Governments and politicians are easy to blame, but they are us: we put them there. Government and politicians get elected. However, let’s NOT talk about the electoral process in your country or in mine.

    We are a civilization in transition. Tis ever so.

    FS

    February 29, 2012 at 20:45

    • You make a very good point! Thank you. P.

      Paul Handover

      February 29, 2012 at 21:02

    • My sentiments exactly FS – I didn’t explain myself too well in my first post replying to Paul’s initial comment re Dan but mine was a prayer rather than an opinion. What I really want is for it all to go away with the least pain possible for the sake of the children (mine and yours) that will inherit the planet when we have all reached the stage where it will make no difference to us. Unfortunately, the only quick solution I can think of to save our planet is if I tuck my blue shirt into my red underpants and blow it all away with my super breath! Unfortunately, my father’s name was not Kal-El and I wasn’t born on the planet Krypton so it is going to require super efforts from someone else…..but who?

      Edward Scalpello

      February 29, 2012 at 21:12

      • Thanks Ed. Guess we are all hoping for the power of prayer to make a difference! ;-) P.

        Paul Handover

        March 1, 2012 at 09:00


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