’Global Warming Misconceptions - View the table of contents!

Governments this year have ramped up their global warming propaganda, but in truth, just how certain is global warming. In the process of preparing a consulting report, we undertook some research and were startled by government policy. We will show that the propaganda being financed by government is shamelessly creating hysteria for the sake of political expediency.

Global Warming Misconceptions - Download the table of contents or buy this report at our online store for just $US9.95.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The dangers of systematic and consensus-based global warming science

I am well and truly outside of the debate on global warming; and remain highly suspicious of the findings of scientists in this arena. There are a number of reasons:
1. The reliance on computer modelling of complex systems like the climate. There has for the last decade been dire projections of climate change which simply have not occurred as modelled. The only certainty on this issue is that these scientists cannot make accurate predictions. We can be assured that they will get closer because 'short terming' data will allow them to do that; but then they miss the long term factors.
2. The political loadings or 'biases' associated with such issues, i.e. The spectre of human action as reflective of uncontrollable, non-compliant, treacherous egotists who need to renounce or be regulated. Of course the flipside is that I can be biased in my alternate thesis. The 'middle ground' rationalisation or 'repressive state' does not hold, i.e. The argument that one is 'unbiased' by these considerations is not an argument. No more satisfactory than a paedophile saying he will abuse no more. Scientists are not self-aware people. They renounce moral imperatives because they think they are a betrayal of evidence. This is a false dichotomy because it means they ignore any evidence that betrays their legitimacy, i.e. They will not entertain value judgements about their own bias. They will simply not have the appreciation of ethics to make valid conclusions. 
3. Interpretation of data - There is a great deal of scope for people to misuse or misinterpret data; even to manipulate data sets knowing that no one is going to both confirming these interpretations. Scientists don't like to go over what has already been done; particularly because they don't want to take the position of a critic. 
4. The blatant lack of certainty implied in data and their interpretation of it. If you listen to these scientists they do not project a great deal of confidence in their understanding. There are simply earthly and astronomical processes that they are still coming to terms with. i.e. The processes by which methane hydrates, immense deposits of carbon-containing methane on the sea floor are formed. There is uncertainty about how these are created and how stable they are. The sensitivity of this data is huge, so there is a huge importance placed upon knowing these systems. 
5. The conflict of interest - These people are paid to create 'stigma'. We do not appreciate climatologists when we have no reason to fear climate change; just as for the same reason, we more highly value police in periods of high crime. The same for firemen in the 9/11 period. This creates a strong incentive for climatologists to seek validation; and to take measures to achieve it. Conceding that the evidence is not there is a hard step to take because it invalidates their credibility as a scientist. Have you seen what happened to the exponents of 'cold fusion'. Can you imagine what will happen to science budgets/funding when global warming is discredited - if it is? 
6. The decline in the quality of science - In the past science was a low-status field of endeavour. No one wanted to be a scientist - unless you went into space - and too few people can do that. There was always greater appeal in making money, and that meant smart people tended to enter law, finance, economics, or become an entrepreneur or programmer. Universities around the world lowered school scores in order to attract graduates. This is only part of the problem. The education system does a poor job at teaching students how to think. I studied science. No one teaches logic in science; but they do teach statistics. This entrenched empiricism in the university curriculum means that scientists are 'strongly empirical'. The problem with this is three-fold:
      (a) There is a lack of recognition of what 'causation' actually is. These scientists think that if you pass 5% statistical confidence you have causation.
      (b) These scientists don't realise that empiricism rests on analytical arguments. What is a 'valid sample' to test a hypothesis. The implication is that they are making assumptions that they cannot prove.
    (c) Given their inherent non-analytical position, you will find that they make rationalisations which invalidate their argument. i.e. In this video, this Harvard scientist says that there is 'no resolution problem' in his data. He thus need not be concerned with the fact that his data rests on 400-year sample points. His argument is that he is not concerned because CO2 levels don't rise and fall so quickly, so he does not need to worry about issue. The problem with that argument is that he is using his hypothesis as an argument for its validity. That is a circular argument - a contradiction. You can't use your conclusion as the basis of your evidence. The conversation about resolution starts at 2:15 minute mark. What is interesting is that, probably having heard the criticism already, he makes a psychological 'gesture' that would probably convey apprehension to a psychologist. That 'evidence' occurs at 2:38 when he touches his ear. Note that the video identifies a scientist with the counter-argument (Robert Rohde) has struggled to get his research peer reviewed. The implication is that there is a strong 'values laden' bias in the scientific community against alternative arguments to the global warming hypothesis. The world has a rich case history of 'human error' where people simply stopped taking critical positions and accepted the status quo. This guy's apprehension is well-appreciated. Unfortunately he is going to be validated despite his apprehensions. He will accept this 'unearned validation', the cornerstone of this 'academic ponzi scheme'. In this interview, the scientist treats the raw data 'context' in his thesis derisively as 'chitter chatter'. This is not science; its presumption (evidenced at 4:30 minute mark). This is where scientists 'don't know what they don't know' and arrogantly assume that there is no case to answer. What is conveyed is a lack of respect for facts, or a lack of procedural discipline to establish them. i.e. Its all about the money and applause; being validated rather than alienated for a counter-position. Ask yourself how many times you have seen any of these 'truth seekers' defend or spurn the lack of peer view of their counterparts. It should remind people of the lack of objectivity or defence of critics in times of political tyranny. Aside from a governor of Nagano, few publicly criticised Emperor Hirohito, when he sanctioned empire building. The same is true for Hitler and 'modern systematically-wrong science'. The problem is the education system.
       (d) There is the problem of there not being equal access for scientists who are more objective than others. The problem is that there is a 'consensus bias'. Politicians listen to people because people decide their fate. This is true for scientists as well. For the reasons I have made above, only 5% of scientists are critical thinkers able to substantively understand the validity of sciences. Yes, I grab this number out of the air. Its not been empirically tested, and that's not to say 'non-science' is an argument, but rather than there is a plausible hypothesis that has not been tested. I say plausible because non of my contemporaries who are 'so sure', or who conclude that 'the cost of being wrong is too high', are destined to ignore the prospect of this argument being true, because its not within their capacity to know whether its true. That is the 'disempowerment bias' that is destined to invalidate a great deal of science when dealing with these complex systems. Critcal thinking scientists - let's call them 'the 5%' are not being listened to by the media because they don't have the consensus. They are denounced as 'qwacks' as if this was a witch-hunt.
          (e) One has to ask how much does this scientist actually understand about the nature of how the data is actually collected, i.e. What is the data measuring in terms of its relationship to other data. i.e. Is the data measuring maximum, minimum values, or average values? Is there data contamination within the sample record, i.e. contamination by surrounding data. this will of course depend upon the nature of the data, and it comes from different sources. We might wonder if these scientists are stitching together data that suits their rationalisation; ignoring any counter-evidence. i.e. Selective interpretation of data. We need to remember that recognised scientists can't get peer reviewed. There is bias among scientists. Strangely, great scientists have historically often encountered this problem because smart people are not commonplace; that's why they call it mediocrity. When the standards for university science entry were lowered, we opened up science to mediocrity. That process took 15-20 years. It happened in the 1980s; so in the 2000s, we saw the full impact of this 'correlation'.  

It is interesting to read some of the support for this research
Michael E. Mann, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University, an expert in the relevant techniques but was not involved in the new research, said the authors "had made conservative data choices in their analysis".
What a curious thing to say. What is a 'conservative data choice'? It makes you wonder. I simply want them to identify trends based on facts. Such statements tend to convey; that we are not certain; but we are going out on a limb and saying the world only has our research, and you'll just have to live with our inaccuracy or uncertainty. But in fact - there is a choice - not doing anything until we know. The argument is that doing nothing is not a choice. This is nonsense. There is a cost to doing the wrong thing. The 'high pressure' 'must act' notion is popular; its called 'high pressure sales' - create urgency. 
Dr. Marcott said: Scientists say that if natural factors were still governing the climate, the Northern Hemisphere would probably be destined to freeze over again in several thousand years. “We were on this downward slope, presumably going back toward another ice age".
The implication is that global warming is allowing humanity to stabilise the average global temperature before we go into a freeze. We need to remember that we are currently using coal because its the cheapest fuel. If we artificially make it expensive, then we are actually sabotaging our wealth creation capacity, and thus our capacity to finance change in the future, to offer technological solutions in the future, if indeed those 'interventions' are required. We need to remember that the concern for energy consumption efficiency is a pretty new concern. It was never the focus of corporate leaders. You can ask yourself why. Many of you will conclude its the 'failings of capitalism', but I would argue that government intervention has added costs (i.e. cynical tax impositions, little of which has gone into solar/renewable, little of it efficient expenditure on research). I would also argue that government intervention is wholly compatible with the moral relativism that allows the current system of economic reward to discourage CEOs from making cost savings in energy. It is far more 'remuneratively beneficial' for CEOs to simply consolidate global capacity rather than organic growth. 
The problem with these researchers is that, even if they make no other statement, their conclusions in the hands of journalists results in some damaging conclusions. But scientists too are destined to 'reach outside their page grade'; and by that I mean that are free to speculate outside of their narrow field of expertise, and in doing so rely on others thinking - or rationalisations.
Dr. Marcott: "The modern rise that has recreated the temperatures of 5,000 years ago is occurring at an exceedingly rapid clip on a geological time scale, appearing in graphs in the new paper as a sharp vertical spike. If the rise continues apace, early Holocene temperatures are likely to be surpassed within this century".
Now, this makes me recall the old days of the Club of Rome and the 1980s projection that coal prices were going to $100/tonne. Instead, we found more resources and coal collapsed to $25/tonne....and only in more recent times have reached $180/tonnes due to completely unrelated phenomenon; a commodities bubble and inflation. So what do they need to consider:
1. The prospects for nuclear fuel to take more market share
2. The prospects for prosperity to reduce the energy-intensity of people
3. The prospects for rebalancing of labour from 'cheap' to 'quality' in about 20 years to change attitudes to buyers/consumers
4. The prospects for technology to reduce energy intensity of consumption, renewables and innovation in other ways.
5. The prospects for lifestyles to change when we can make our own food at home; live in cities, which are better designed
6. The prospect that a complete revolution in decision-making, say by political reform, could and should change our capacity to be efficient and judicious in our actions. How much is our political paradigm holding us back now. 
7. The prospects of global population growth reversing in 70 years. Might this however be offset by longer lives? Possible? But maybe by then, we will be so advanced we will be engineering our bodies or lives to consume 240% less energy and products. Maybe we will realise that we already over-eat, and we can already achieve a 50% reduction in calorie intake simply by addressing issues like anxiety. That is a 'political problem'. 
When you consider these issues; you realise that society does not project a realisation that they have any inkling of what the problems really are. 
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Australia's mining tax will not reduce global warming

I am not a believer in the argument that we are facing anthropogenic climate change. I am due to run another review through the material to see if I'm going to change my mind because I'm prone to forget all the detail of the debate, and new facts and assertions arise which can have some bearing. The politics however are taking over the science, as the following broadcast shows.

So what is wrong with this promotion. I have several problems:
1. Appeal to authority - The guy has a lot of credentials, but none is at all related to the issue, aside from the fact that he is related to the mining industry. You cannot disregard what he says because he's from the mining industry, but don't let all those letters intimidate you, it just means he belongs to a lot of mining industry associations.
2. Appeal to exaggeration - The guy cites the cost of the tax as $A72 billion over 5 years. Why not one year? Well that would mean just $A15 billion per annum, and that would be less impressive. But again the size of the tax is not really the issue....its the science. So why does he make the issue?
3. Alternative - I have a problem with a critique of the tax which does not offer alternative science, if not a different form for the tax. Preferably no tax for me.
4. Proportions - There are 33 CO2 molecules in an atmosphere of 85,800 molecules in the atmosphere. He argues that 32 of the CO2 molecules are from nature, and just 1 CO2 molecule is from nature. i.e. 3% of Earth's CO2 comes from humans.
5. Co2 is beneficial (akin to fertiliser) - Not the issue - as ammonia is a fertiliser too; but its also an explosive. Its not a helpful argument; it depends on the context.
6. Short latency - This idea that any CO2 is in the atmosphere for as little as 4-5 years. Where does he get that from? Does it matter? The amount of Co2 is increasing. This argument needs clarification to me.
7. Australia's contribution - He makes the argument that Australia makes 1.5% of world's CO2. Fair enough; but we are the world's biggest coal exporter, which means we export about half as much coal as China produces in one year. Now, if we tax that, then obviously its significant imposition on consumers worldwide, though I would argue that its not going to do anything to the dynamics of global warming, i.e. Its just an excuse for a tax. Koreans are not going to close coal-fired power stations; they are not going to stop using coal; its simply going to raise a lot more money for Gillard to waste. I personally would rather see billionaires get the billions than see the government get it....at least so long as governments are in the business of breaching rights rather than upholding them.
8. Misdirection - He says its going to cost the community $72 billion in the next 5 years. No it won't; it will cost mostly the mining companies and their shareholders; so it will cost super fund holders to some extent; say to $20 billion; but then some of that money will benefit some in the community. At the end of the day its a moral issue for me; its extortion.
9. Perspective: My friend keeps reminding me that CO2 accounts for just 390 parts per million in the atmosphere, while water is anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 parts per million. CO2 is only slightly more worrisome as a greenhouse gas than water, so why aren't we worried about water? Well, the argument is that water is bad because CO2 is bad. i.e. The more CO2 in the atmosphere means more heat, which will result in more water; at least until the point of air saturation. You'd think that this would mean more plants in the tropics, which means more absorption of CO2 and a nice little balance. We also need to consider that the earth's population is destined to flatten out in 30 years, however energy intensity will continue; however nuclear and solar might be more popular then. I don't think we need worry even if the science is correct.
If you want some even better perspective; being worried about coal, its worth considering the fact that there is still plenty of coal in the ground, and that most of that coal was deposited in 2 periods - the Carboniferous Period in the Northern Hemisphere and the Permian Period in the Southern Hemisphere. If these were periods of very high coal deposition; it goes without saying that our climate today must be similar to the climate when all that coal was deposited right? As its mostly still in the ground. Ok, let's be more sceptical. Let's look at the Earth at the start of the Carboniferous Period. Well, its clear it was higher, but perfectly within the natural range. Looking at his chart temperatures were typical (25degC average), commensurate with times, which correlates with CO2 levels of 3000ppm at that time, 8.5x more than than the 380ppm. You also get the impression that CO2 does not correlate at all with global temperatures in the long haul. The context is being dropped. Perhaps we should be more worried about the plague or asteroids which caused the mass extinction in the Triassic Period, given that the average global temperature was 25degC for most of the last 300Myrs and have been mostly around 25degC for most of the Tertary Period (i.e. the last 65Myrs). Having fallen to 10degC; the current average global temperature is currently14degC, which strikes me as 'just right' +/- 5degrees.

It saddens me that the mining industry has not raised the fact that the entire globe of governments is now raises mining taxes because of Gillard. Products will get more expensive because of Gillard. i.e. Gillard and Rudd have singularly undermined freedom around the world; well maybe in the West only, as you could argue that some of those undeveloped countries need to spend more on justice and infrastructure....or are they corrupt??

Polar sea ice levels are another controversial arena to debate climate change. The exponents of global warming here are a geophysicist (i.e. glorified geologist) and a US Navy Oceanographer (i.e. a bureaucrat). There arguments are really not compelling. i.e. The evidence the geophysicists is the 'melting ice doesn't lie'; true, it is what is it is; but it does not make an argument for climate change, which is an abstract value judgement. Is this what behaviourism has done to science? This science from a denier strikes me as more useful; as it looks dispassionately at the whole 'modern period', not selectively at 'convenient' facts. I must however acknowledge that I'd like to do more research of this topic. Here though is another study which suggests that the extent of Arctic ice coverage was lower in the 11-14th century, prior to the Industrial Revolution. Look at the chart - it tends to convey a pretty natural trend.
Here is another website to take a look at.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Saturday, November 12, 2011

ClimateGate will not be researched further

Here is an update on the "climategate" issue. One could argue that they are not wrong though; that they simply derive no credibility from being associated with the discrediting process. And of course democracy is not exactly the recourse for rational argument, so I guess we will never know. Though every piece of science I'm looked at tends to fold like a pack of cards. The problem is the poor use of the scientific method; the lack of critical review of research, the prospect of manipulating or selectively using data, and of course politicians selectively citing research or exponents of research favourable to the positions of their constituents, i.e. We are talking of a political system which advances what people want to believe as opposed to what is actually the case. The resources to investigate the 'realness' of the science are not there; and neither is the objectivity. Why? Because majoritism (i.e. representative democracy) is the standard of value - not rationality. And that is not the same as the scientific method which is merely correlation detached from context.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

IPCC under attack for pseudo-membership

We love climate sceptics - here is a good one. Most special because she is a journalist...she appears not to be in a hurry to get home.

------------------------------------Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The fundamental climate change problem

So what has greenhouse gas policies delivered the American people - take a look - a 0.6% reduction in greenhouse gas levels; but at the expense of causing a shortage of corn/grains worldwide which will have a more lasting impact on those countries experiencing famine. Oh, and since Asia has no interest in farming because the returns have traditionally been less lucrative than industry, we will see a rise in farm output in Western nations, but that will entail clearing more forests. Yep, market economics was never a strong point for greenies.
The implication of policies are often far-reaching. The solution is actually to deal with the core issue - which drives human decision making, and that is values or philosophy. People are investing a great deal of energy in restructuring society, and failing to identify what really ales society, and that is a crisis of values - a lack of a coherent philosophy.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Monday, September 12, 2011

Electricity consumption is falling in NZ

This is an interesting article from NZ. NZ has apparently recorded a fall in power consumption. This article posits a number of reasons why this has occurred, and I am adding my own below.
1. NZ has static population growth - there are roughly the same number of people going to Australia and other countries as there are going in as Asian or European immigrants.
3. They use 70% hydro here
4. They use a lot of open fire places in NZ using wood logs or pellets, which will offset the demand for electricity.
5. NZ electricity and gas prices are very high because of the small, uncompetitive nature of the market. High prices are likely convincing a lot of people to shift from central electricity and gas heating to open fire places, i.e. Wood in rural areas is cheap, and its renewable.
6. NZ experienced the Christchurch earthquake in 2010; and its plausible that that event destroyed a lot of electricity consumption, which has not been made up by greater home use, as people run their businesses from home.
7. All new generating capacity added in NZ is likely to be expensive wind or geothermal based capacity; simply because of the opposition to coal plants, the lack of current gas reserves, and the small increments of power required.

This story does however give you a clue as to what is happening when you strip out population growth. The question is whether these trends are evident in other countries, concealed by actual population growth.
I frankly think there would be less energy consumption if business was allowed to make money, and if scientists were able to think conceptually, as opposed to relying on the correlation-based 'scientific method'.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

IPCC under attack for dubious claims

If politicians want a sense of the quality of scientific research; most particularly that funded by the WWF - read this:
"The IPCC is under scrutiny for various data inaccuracies, including its claim -- based on a flawed World Wildlife Fund study -- that up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically and be replaced by savannas from even a slight reduction in rainfall".
Source: Science Daily, website, 12th March 2010.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

’Global Warming Misconceptions - View the table of contents!

Governments this year have ramped up their global warming propaganda, but in truth, just how certain is global warming. In the process of preparing a consulting report, we undertook some research and were startled by government policy. We will show that the propaganda being financed by government is shamelessly creating hysteria for the sake of political expediency.

Global Warming Misconceptions - Download the table of contents or buy this report at our online store for just $US9.95.