Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Article: The Settled Science of Ignoring Facts

An Australian take-down of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. It showcases how leadership of various science and technology societies have experienced pushback by society members when the leadership has taken an extremist global warming position.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Article: Meet the ‘Know-Betters,’ America’s Not-So-Secret Political Party Squeezing the Life Out of You
Some people believe they are simply entitled to rule over you.

Most politicians, bureaucrats and pundits (except for explicitly libertarian ones). Almost all "-ists" and "-isms."

Prohibition, school food Nazis, college anti-sex crusaders, global warming activists, "Greens," some and others.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Pope's Atheist

Article: The Scientific Pantheist Who Advises Pope Francis

The "scientific pantheist" is Hans Schellnhuber. He is actually an atheist (which raises questions about either his integrity, advising a Pope or the Pope's gullibility in chosing a sworn enemy as an advisor). His beliefs are sometimes called, "scientific pantheism," however.

The article mentions the Gaia Principle, or Gaia Hypothesis. The orginal Gaia Hypothesis held that, because earth's climate has been stable (swinging from cool to warm) over billions of year, it must have feedback loops maintaining the climate, just like a living organism has feedback loops maintaining a stable internal environment.

In other words, it was an analogy.

However, over time, the Gaia Principle, or "theory," became less of a scientific analogy and more of a mystic, "Gaia, the Mother Earth is a living thing" crackpot idea.

Schellnhuber is of the latter variety.

Read the article: the earth has a "geophysiology." The earth is "cognizant."

Twenty years ago, having a crackpot like Schellnhuber advise you would immediately revoke any and all credibility.

If you read his wikipedia page, he sounds legitimate.

It is as if a prominent Presidential candidate announces that he has Immanuel Velikovsky advising him on astronomy.
Article: Britain faces freezing winters as slump in solar activity threatens 'little Ice Age'
Climate experts warn the amount of light and warmth released by the sun is nosediving to levels "not seen for centuries". 
They fear a repeat of the so-called 'Maunder Minimum' which triggered Arctic winter whiteouts and led to the River Thames freezing 300 years ago. 
The Met Office-led study warns although the effect will be offset by recent global warming, Britain faces years of unusually cold winters. 
A spokesman said: "A return to low solar activity not seen for centuries could increase the chances of cold winters in Europe and eastern parts of the United States but wouldn't halt global warming. 
"Return of 'grand solar minimum' could affect European and eastern US winters."
Long episodes of low solar activity were seen during the Maunder Minimum between 1645 and 1715 and the 'Dalton Minimum' from 1790 to 1830.
Bonus reference to the Maunder Minimum!

The Astronomy of the Bible by E. Walter Maunder

Maunder was both a prominent astronomer a believing Christian who took the astronomy of the Bible seriously. I have read most of the book. It is will written and easy to read.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Article: Meteorologists Dismantle Bill Nye’s Alarmist Global Warming Claims

Twitter skirmish. 

Bill Nye's scientifically illiterate twit-tweets - 0.

Actual meteorologists - 1.

Lies, D**n lies, and Global Warming

Article: NOAA Fiddles With Climate Data To Erase The 15-Year Global Warming ‘Hiatus’

So a scientist has a hypothesis. He loves his hypothesis. He has spent years of his career perfecting computer models that reflect his hypothesis. He and his co-workers repeatedly get large grants to keep working on the models and his hypothesis. He has repeatedly made big splashes in the media promoting his hypothesis. He has testified before Congress (or Parliment or where ever) about his hypothesis. Politicians, reporters, and pundits have heaped praises and prizes on him because of his hypothesis.

People, however, begin to notice that for years, almost 20 year in fact, his models do not reflect the real world data that everyone has access to. People can compare what he has said with reality and the reality is disagreeing with his beloved model.

What to do?

Admit he might be wrong, and lose all of his grant money, public acclaim, and self-respect?

Of course not. He changes the actual, real-world data to reflect his hypothesis!

Orginal article [summary only]: Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus

The pathetic loser part of this is that the "readjustments" contradict the satellite data that show no warming over the oceans. It is obvious that it is a desperate and transparent lie to keep global warming, warming.

Long-term trend in US tempertures: Cooling?

NOAA, in response to criticism about the placement of weather stations, and the resulting "need" to "adjust" the data to compensate, installed over 100 new weather stations throughout the US. These sites were established in sites that were not only described as pristine, but also would not see any development for the next 50-100 years.

Article: America’s Most Advanced Climate Station Data Shows US In A 10-Year Cooling Trend

NOAA'S online publication: National Temperature Index

Over a 10+ year period, a very slight cooling trend is in evidence. This contradicts other NOAA data sets for the US (ie, the ones that are being "adjusted".)

The "adjusted" data shows that 2014 was one of the hottest years, overall. I know is an "apple and oranges" comparision. Or maybe a "Red Delicious" and "Fuji" apple comparision. But if you go to a store and find all the Fuji apples are mislabeled and are actually Granny Smith's, you have a right to be suspicious of the Red Delicious apples.

Science Links: The Pope and the Climate

Article: What Pope Francis should do to really help the poor: Bjorn Lomborg

Takeaway: Global warming will effect the poor most. However, the advocated policies to stop global warming will further impoverish the poor "first and foremost."

Article: Leaked Laudato Lamented

Catholic magazine discussing the Pope's stance on global warming.

Takeaway: The encyclical is great on the theology. Lousy on the science.

Article: Who Pays For Climate Regulation?

Hat tip to Wattsupwiththat: Stanford research finds climate change regulation burden heaviest on poor

Takeaway: the two titles say it all.

Article:  Thoughts on the papal encyclical on environment

Takeaway: Well balanced looked at the Encyclical, based on the actual document, rather than "reports." The encyclical still invokes the long-discredited "consensus."

However, it places the enviroment in a moral context that both skeptics and believers in global warming would do well to ponder.

Article: Is The Catholic Church Burned By The Sun Again?

Takeaway: a point-by-point rebuttal of the "climate science" of the Pope's encyclical.

My take on all of this. When the Pope speaks on moral and theological issues, he speaks clearly. And what he says should challenge everyone. However, he muddies the waters of that clarity with the "mud" of bad science.

It is also not as "anti-business" and "anti-capitalist" as some "reports" have made it out to be. However, it is obvious that the Pope is more knowledgable about Marxist and Fascist critiques of free-market economies than he is about free-market economies.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Article: The Unrealized Horrors of Population Explosion

The original New York Times article ripping Paul Ehrlich to shreds (with video!)

Hat tip: Paul Ehrlich: Even Worse than the New York Times Says He Is

Yet another moral panic [overpopulation is going to kill us all!].

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Great Campus Rape Hoax [Updated]

Article: The great campus rape hoax
Americans have been living through an enormously sensationalized college rape hoax, but as the evidence accumulates it's becoming clear that the entire thing was just a bunch of media hype and political opportunism.
Claimed: A female college student runs a 1 in 5 chance, or 20% of being raped during her 4 years at college. (And even the researchers who came up with that number say it should not be used as it has been.)

Reality #1: the rate of rape and sexual assault for college students is 6.1 per 1,000, or 0.6%.

Reality #2: the rate of rape and sexual assault for non-students is 7.6 per 1,000.

Reality #3: the rate of rape and sexual assault has been dropping, both on campus and off, for decades.

While the Left, with its SJW allies, are using this bogus statistic, it needs to be mentioned that America is subject to periodic moral panics: demon rum, cocaine (in the early 1900's and again in the 1970's), dope fiends (1930's and 1960's), satanism at day care centers, the Catholic Church pedophile scandals (overlooking the public school pedophile scandals), and now "rape culture."

This does not even include such panics as DDT, alar, the uninsured, GMOs (and other organic food related panics), the anti-vaxxers, and the Christian Proctor and Gamble hysteria of the 1980's.

Update: More College Rape Hype — This Time from the Washington Post

Article: Against Tulip Subsidies

Not about tulips, but rather uses tulips, subsidies, and the Dutch tulip mania of the 1600's as an extended metaphor about the pernicious effects of subsidizing post-secondary education.

The author discusses his own medical education.

He notes that we use a college degree as a credential, costing thousands of dollars, to get a job or get an advance degree, that does not require an actual college education.  (His bachelor's degree was in philosophy, then he earned a medical degree in Ireland, a country that does require an undergraduate degree to begin a medical education.)

He notes that is unfair to the poor who cannot afford the education to do a job that they might otherwise be qualified for.
Article: Fears, Not Facts, Support G.M.O.-Free Food
Despite myriad assurances from scientists that foods containing genetically modified ingredients are safe to eat, consumers are likely to see more and more products labeled “G.M.O.-free” in the not-too-distant future. As happened with the explosion of gluten-free products, food companies are quick to cash in on what they believe consumers want regardless of whether it is scientifically justified.
The entire article is worth reading for the take-down of the anti-GMO hysteria.

One reads a lot about how the Right is "anti-science:" Christians because of evolution and conservatives because of skepticism about catastrophic, anthropenic global warming.

However, the Left has its areas of "anti-science" as well, and the blind fear of GMOs is certainly one of them.
[A] review of the pros and cons of G.M.O.s strongly suggests that the issue reflects a poor public understanding of the science behind them... 
Let’s start with the facts. Humans have been genetically modifying food and feed plants and animals for millenniums, until recently only by repeatedly crossing existing ones with relatives that have more desirable characteristics. It can take many years, even decades, to achieve a commercially viable product this way...
The techniques of making a GMO are actually imitations of nature's own show-cuts. Viruses can move genes from one bacteria to another or from one higher organism (plants, animals, etc.) to another. The human genome is full of DNA from viruses. Some of the DNA is active, some is "junk DNA."

As the ariticle points out, we share a lot of genes with dogs (about 84%). We also share many genes with plants, fungi, and bacteria.