Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dissonance on the Wall Street Jounal Editorial Page

I normally avoid the WSJ Editorial Page, for reasons I'm about to provide an example of. But, I followed a front page article inside, and there it was.

You know how everyone that agrees with you is at the very least a good listener, and everyone who disagrees with you is unfit to participate in discussions of public policy?

The feeling I get from absorbing all these facts about the state of labor comes close to the nauseated dread that washes over me when I stay up late to read one of those what-if stories in which Hitler wins World War II. Could this really have happened to my country?

It has not merely "happened"; it has been done to us. The distinction is an important one to keep in mind as we survey the ruins of the affluent society. What has overtaken America's working people is not a natural disaster like "globalization," and not even some kind of societal atavism in which countries regress mysteriously to their 19th-century selves. This is a man-made catastrophe, a result that proceeded directly from the deliberate beatdown of organized labor and the wrecking of the liberal state.

It is, in other words, a political disaster, with tax cuts, trade agreements, deregulatory measures, and enforcement decisions all finely crafted to benefit one part of society and leave the rest behind.
[H]onor, the value that underlined Mr. McCain's stand, is no use on an issue like global warming.
The push toward warming that CO2 provides in theory is no reason to presume in confidence that CO2 is actually responsible for any observed warming in a system as complex and chaotic as our atmosphere.

[W]hat, as a practical matter, would be the aim of global warming policy? Our political system permits only one answer: to please the special interests that even now are gathering at the trough for subsidies in the name of climate change.

And yet every journalistic tendril senses that the fuss over warming is about to cool. Global mean temperatures have been flat for a decade.
What? Really? Anyone living in North America can notice the ice caps melting* and shoving enormous amounts of cool, wet air on us, but I'd have to look that up. I think he might be referring to the fact that while 2007 was warm as part of a trend, 1998 was a crazy warm outlier, and they're both tied for second place to 2005, ie, they were as warm, shown on this plot from Science Daily.

So, if you draw a line from 1998 to 2007
  1. Global mean temperature looks flat
  2. You're an idiot
But, anyway, a lot of sound and fury in the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page. I always think of Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin at the begining of Anna Karenina, reading the op-eds in the morning to have repeatable opinions, so things like this make me worry. And give me a little metaphoric whiplash**.

* -- Remember middle school? Heat can go into a phase change (ice -> water) as well as into a temperature rise. So, melting would tend to slow heating.

** -- Which, having had both, I far prefer to physical whiplash.


sbvor said...

There is a great deal more I can and will (later) post on this topic. For now, you may find these two posts (and associated sub-links) of interest:
CO2 is Not a Problem
The Current Cooling Trend

sbvor said...

Responding to the quote “1998 was a crazy warm outlier”:

If today were 1934, you would say the same thing (about 1934):

But, by 1979, you would have a different perspective (and, you might be among the alarmists warning of an imminent Ice Age).

All of nature runs in perfectly natural cycles (as is well documented in the links offered in my first comment). Is it not possible that 1998 was the new 1934? Peer reviewed science says it is quite possible.

Note: Click here to recreate the charts I linked to yourself. Select 1895 to 1934 and 1934 to 1979. On each chart, be sure to select “Annual” as the period.

Rionn Fears Malechem said...

Thanks for coming by the blog, sbvor! And thanks for providing those links, although, as we say in New York, if I wanted to read garbage I'd subscribe to the Post.

Actually, I don't think those are fair predictions of what I'd say. Really, if it were 1934, I'd probably have my panties all in a bunch about the Depression and the Nazis, and moaning the loss of our tow path canals.

I did read your latest blog post, and it seems like a roundup of carefully constructed data sets. Right? It's like you're saying, "Yes, the globe is warming, and everyone I know will be dead in 30 years, but I can cleverly construct plots with selective data because my mother showed me how to use a protractor." It's not helpful, and it's unclear what your motivations for such behavior would be.

We did have a phase where particulate pollution masked the warming on our planet, an overlaid phase where the Southern Ocean absorbed as much carbon dioxide as it could and, as I mentioned, I think we're now in a phase where the latent heat of the ice caps is slowing warming because they're melting.

But, once the glaciers and ice caps are gone, they're gone. And they've been there for a very long time. This isn't a cycle.

nephos said...

I haven't heard this theory about melting ice caps acting as a thermal buffer for heating. Probably true, but maybe insignificant compared to the pre-melted ocean buffer?

Garbage indeed from Sbvor. If CO2 isn't a potent greenhouse gas, producing, in combination with the water vapor feedback, something like the observed warming, then every major technological advance of the previous century (except perhaps the airplane), is bunk too.

And anyway, as far as natural cycles go, aren't we ourselves natural? Species have been altering the planet to their advantage and disadvantage for pretty much ever. That happens to be our turn doesn't now hardly makes it irrelevant.

sbvor said...

1) Quoting this source:

"During most of the last 1 billion years the earth had no permanent ice [as it cycled (NATURALLY) in and out of multi-million year Ice Ages]"

We’re a long way from emerging from the current Ice Age. Yes, Virginia, for millions of years, we’ve been in one of the 3 most severe Ice Ages in the last 600 million years. But, when we do emerge from the current Ice Age (and we will), the planet will be restored to it’s more typical state of having no year round ice anywhere. And, then will come another Ice Age, complete with year round Ice Caps and advancing glaciers. Of course, long before any of that happens, we’ll see the next glacial period within the larger context of the current Ice Age. That glacial period will probably slowly scrape New York City off the map.

2) The latest peer reviewed science demonstrates that continuing on our present course is unlikely to raise global temperatures by much more than 0.4C in the next 100 years. Click the first image in this post and read all about it.

3) The water vapor feedback myth is the single biggest fallacy in the computer climate models. Dr. Lindzen’s Iris Theory is already being corroborated in the peer reviewed literature:

Dr. Lindzen's "Iris Effect" theory:

A recent corroboration of the Iris Effect Theory:

A) The media account

Sorry for the Fox News Reference, but the Old York Times seemed to have missed the story.

B) The summary from the University

C) The peer reviewed, published study

4) Click the link and learn what peer reviewed science and IPCC scientists have to say:
CO2 is Not a Problem

Or, if your ideology is too weak to withstand the challenge, go hide inside The Old York Times (they’ll protect your fragile ideology).

Rionn Fears Malechem said...

Stephen Jay Gould, in the last years of his life, was on my enemies list. I launched the list for him, and he was the only person ever on it. I got the idea for an enemies list from Slaughterhouse Five, not from Richard Nixon -- I'm not denying taking ideas from Nixon as much as I am declaring my affinity with Paul Lazzaro, and I did get the name from President Nixon.

So, Dr. Gould held a Q&A after a lecture, and I asked if the ability to transform your environment to suit your needs weren't a perfect general adaptation, and couldn't we then imagine ourselves to have arrived at the end of evolution. He was quite short with me in his response.

The problem was that as he was a popular evolutionary biologist, Dr. Gould's S&A sessions were dominated by crackpot creationists, He responded to them with ridicule, and was forced into this pugilistic mode after his lectures. Responding to me in this mode got him on the list. It was unfortunate, but such is life.

My ideology is in fine fettle.

The climate change deniers are in the same mode as the creationists. This blog takes global anthropogenic climate change as given, because I'm living through it. It's gone from 30 years ago being probably a clear and present danger that we should do something about to currently being a real and current systemic catastrophe.

I'm not trying to convince anyone of the truth of global anthropogenic climate change. If you want to argue with someone, try the guys at RealClimate. The facts are pretty clear, and anyone who is still wondering about it is working through an emotional state that argument won't help. I'm waiting on the other side. All we can really do is invest in full nutrient chemosynthetic organisms now, anyway, so I feel like I can be patient.

For some reason, you've attached yourself to an obviously wrong view. We wouldn't have Republicans if people didn't do this, so that's fine. But, if I know my readers, you're not going to befuddle them, because
(a) they don't follow links, and
(b) they're not stupid.

If I have any stupid readers, of course, I don't mean to make you feel unwelcome. I don't value you less because you're stupid, I just don't know about you. If you've been enjoying the blog to date, you're welcome to keep reading. You can even comment, and post links to fallacious arguments all over the web.

And, Nephos, we famously have the example of the bacteria oxygenating the atmosphere and wiping themselves out. Who else has altered the planet to their disadvantage?

Thanks for coming by the blog!

sbvor said...


I substantiate my position with loads of directly cited peer reviewed science. And, your best response is to simply label me as a “climate denier”.

I am reminded of a quote from Dr. David Legates, Delaware’s State Climatologist (and, as you might say, a “Climate Denier”):

“Those who have the science on their side, argue the science. Those who do not have the science on their side, attack the messenger”

I guess we know where that leaves you.

P.S.) Contrary to your mythology, oxygen producing Cyanobacteria are still very much with us. In fact:

“Cyanobacteria are found in almost every conceivable habitat, from oceans to fresh water to bare rock to soil.”

Any other myths I can bust for you? Start your education here:
CO2 is Not a Problem

Rionn Fears Malechem said...

My education is pretty far along.

It is typical! It should be typical! There's nothing to be gained from engaging you on the facts, and certainly nothing to be gained from rebutting your specious arguments point by point!

Thanks for coming by the blog!

sbvor said...

Is this what the Religious Cult of Man Made Global Warming has been reduced to?

Do all in your cult now regard any peer reviewed science which contradicts your orthodoxy as “specious”?


Rionn Fears Malechem said...

It feels good to be feared! Maybe I should buy that gun, after all.