Friday, December 4, 2009

A great column by John Lott

Here. Apparently, all of the big movers and shakers in climatology are doing something very curious from a scientific point of view; they are fighting efforts to share their data. Now scientifically, this is bad news; it means that they're not allowing others to duplicate their work, and as such, it means that any work where they refuse to share their data are not reproducible.

And hence, not scientific, and certainly no basis for policy. And, given that you don't hesitate to share that which you're confident in, probably....



  1. John Lott is a man in his time. Great points.

  2. Tin hat comment: NASA was established by Isis worshipping pagans in the lineage of the Knights Templar and the Free Masons, and "we" (they) went to the moon to discover lost civilization(s) ;).

    And of course all major academic institutions are obviously tools of the Illuminati.

    You are merely distracting yourselves from the deeper plans, chasing these surface level, "obvious" seeming conspiracy theories--MOO HA HAH!!!!

    Wait. I didn't mean to say that last bit out loud.

    Alright, all joking aside, and not even taking a side in the Global Warming thing (I don't much care, I think destroying less environment is good and justifiable no matter what) ... you do realize that you are complaining about The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy here, right? And that your reactive stances are just as ridiculous or non-ridiculous as when the Clintons complained about the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy?

    Myself, I think both versions of Conspiracy exist pretty openly ... and I'm a bit mystified when people make fun of people who are trying to put the pieces together and see past the propaganda ... but it's not fair to only complain about the one side ...

    The writer is, by the way, not being academically savvy. I forget who it was, I think Shaw (, George Bernard), who said something like, "nowhere is the infighting more vicious than within an academic department--because nowhere else is so little dependent on such huge efforts" ... still true today. I know two studies that are bring held up because one group within a "cooperative" set of researchers has the data and won't let any of it out until they have finished their papers (note the plural--there is always more than one paper to get out of a set of data) ... and these are groups what were theoretically doing the research *together,* not even groups from competing institutions.

    With big money to be made and lost for little squiggly patentable differences, modern "science" is more about territory than increasing the knowledge base of humanity.

    Oh, and: all that Illuminati/NASA/Isis stuff, is taken very very seriously by some Americans; I wasn't making it up. Just in case you wondered.

  3. I take your point, kr, but I'd say this. The academics can fight over their data sets and grant money all they want as long as they stay in that arena. But when they start working with politicians who would like to use their "findings" to take over huge swaths of the economy, it becomes a far different matter.

    And that's why this scandal is so important. There's reason to believe that the data set that we are told makes an ironclad case for massive governmental interventions is crap. People need to know that.

  4. It's reasonable to bring "it may be crap"--it's the "it must be crap or they wouldn't be hiding it" that I really object to.

    And sustainable, non-nasty-to-breathe energy/travel/etc still seems like a good and justifiable thing anyhow. Even if the folks with the podium are all talking through their hats instead of actually supporting their position, it doesn't mean the end idea should be dismissed.

    Many pro-abortion and anti-abortion people (I'm anti) make the same type of judgment: such and so (usually a loudmouth) is presenting thus and such "argument" which is obviously [pick your derogatory adjective], so we are justified in dismissing the entire swath of thinking they have chosen to falsely represent, just because instinctually we would prefer to ...

    Climate has changed since I was a kid. I have no idea if that's part of a worrisome trend geologically or for our species or not at all; the Army Corps of Engineers calculated the Colorado River levels such that we drain it dry (oops) and the flood levels of the creek in my college town such that the 100 year flood came within a 1/2 inch of the top of the concrete conduit but didn't go over (win!) ... the best any of us can do is guess.

    More real data is good. There is a lot of data out there, and most of the scientists who feel secure enough in their careers to speak seem to be Global Warming folks ... question is whether ther others are being repressed or simply are the grand minority.

    But respecting God's creation and that we are also His creatures (each and every one imperfect ;) ), seems like a no brainer, while the scientists hash out their petty feuds ...

  5. kr,
    But respecting God's creation and that we are also His creatures (each and every one imperfect ;) ), seems like a no brainer

    Absolutely it is. And that's one of the reasons that what these scientists is so terrible. They've taken what should be a no-brainer issue and made it hyper-political. Folks who disagree with the agenda are smeared, whether they are good stewards or not. Folks like this undermine civil discourse, science and stewardship.

    I guess you could say that I don't buy that it's just "petty feuds." But that doesn't make it a conspiracy either. It's more along the lines of sinful human behavior that has unfortunate consequences.

  6. Oy, correction.

    And that's one of the reasons that what these scientists DID is so terrible.

  7. More real data is good. There is a lot of data out there, and most of the scientists who feel secure enough in their careers to speak seem to be Global Warming folks ... question is whether ther others are being repressed or simply are the grand minority.

    I think we all agree that more is better. I have my suspicions about AGW because some of the same people who are touting it have touted other things before -- ice age in the 70s, Malthusian population boom in the 1960s, etc., etc. There's always a fresh crisis and there's always the same prescription: massive governmental regulation and intervention BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.

  8. Mr. D.: I actually agree, the overwhelming actual message to the public is FEAR THIS! (but we can save you if you just stop thinking!)

    (and then Americans complain that Catholics are mental sheep. Sheesh.)

    But then, you and WBP are conflating the scientists with the politicos more than the scientists probably deserve. While it's my general impression that starting in maybe the late 60s, a crop of "scientists" started growing that *was* interested in broad politics (and the power)--kind of like by the late 80s computer-savvy people were coming of age who weren't geeks--I don't think they are actually the norm, I think they are the ones we see ... not least because they are in it partly to gain a personal platform.

    YES, "scientists" who are purposefully politicizing their studies, or even actual scientists who are politicizing accidentally because they aren't able to be actually objective but think they are (ah, so much fun to be human), are doing a disgusting and dishonorable thing. I just don't think most scientists deserve to be accused of this.

    Politicians, to my perception, are more or less trained to say whatever will get the end result they want to get ... question is, why do they want it? Merely to scare the populace into brain stultification (power), or are they driving some weirdass corporate agenda (money)? Or, possibly, do they really think they are saving the planet and humanity? I suspect more are doing the latter, and just think they "need" to use intellectual battery to get there.

    (Which, given how many Americans are apparently unwilling or never learned to think for themselves ... there might be a point to that : P. Argh.)

  9. kr,

    You are right that many, probably most, scientists are not caught up in playing politics. The problem, as I see it, is that for the past century or two, science has earned enormous credibility in our society. People "believe" in science. Problem? Not so long as science is operating within its own boundaries. But it sure is a problem when some scientists operate outside those bounds because they are able to manipulate people who thought that skepticism was reserved for religion.

    All that to say, it might seem unfair to conflate scientists and politicians, but science desperately needs to encounter some heavy duty skepticism as a kind of refining fire to burn off the flabbiness and also to remind all of us that it is simply a tool of inquiry, not some kind of universal trump card.

  10. Heya, WPB, sorry I failed to directly address you in the last comment ...

    Whereas I would argue that it hasn't "earned" that credibility, certain proud individuals and then movements consciously set it up as the anti-God and people need a "truth" to believe in ... when people started letting go of a God that wasn't perceptively active in their lives, there was a nice pretty one all set up and waiting for their trust. As far as I am concerned, "science" has been in many ways losing what actual credibility it had for a couple of hundred years--because that was when it set itself up, fairly consciously, as the "oh, but the real truth is over *here*" alternative to God.

    (This also and not surprisingly coincided with a vile recrudescence (??? is that really how that's spelled?? learn something new ...) of Greco-Roman idolization in the form of NeoClassicism ... a very tidy seeming but unpleasantly take over the world, deities are fairly clearly for the weakminded, anti-female basis for early American-nation history, that was : P. )

    But an amazing number of scientists actually still do try to do *science* (honest intellectual inquiry by study and experimentation), and I bring again, that the scientists who feel secure enough to speak out, Global Warming folks seem the majority--and unlike theological Evolution, or homosexuality as a perversion, or warm-blooded dinosaurs, all of which have been culturally repressed within the scientific community within the last 20 years, I don't see a lot of scientists clamoring for the protection of [their church, their nation, their 50 years experience in a related field, their whatever] against the liars/politicos, nor just stepping out and declaring boldly that they disagree ...

    Research funding being dependent on Federal decisions, may be a lot of it. Perhaps "Science" has learned to effectively control its ranks through the aforementioned scandals within its 'church.' Or perhaps there isn't significant dissent.

    I still contend that the person who wrote the article was creating a hulaballoo where there is little reason--unless one pre-believes it--for one to exist. Data sets, especially unique and extensive ones, are the only surefire source of money (through papers, patents, or further research grants) a scientist or a department of science has ... and not sharing data has been coming into fashion for at least 40 years in Western Culture and of course Science (the true kind) was utterly stultified by the wars that accompanied the dawn of the cultural age (many people and cultures were destroyed or impoverished) and the Cold War (the cultures with money and people resources, weren't sharing anything with each other).

    Not sharing data qualifies as a non-news-item that someone is trying to make NEWS! out of, presumably to fire up the people they base their advertising dollars on.

    (I was raised by scientists, who have become increasingly disgusted with "science" over the years. Added to that, I am a mother, and my attempts to discover safe birthing practices lead me to reexamine everything I had ever been taught about the medical "science" establishment, which is pretty clearly the worst of the bunch in terms of cultural prejudices and assumed truths ... so I am the last person who will defend politico "scientists" to the death. But muckraking makes me crazy.)

  11. kr,

    you make your point well. so science is not keeping its secrets because the date is wrong (not necessarily at least), but because of a culture that guards its information to protect its own interests.

  12. But then, you and WBP are conflating the scientists with the politicos more than the scientists probably deserve.

    No, I don't think so. The scientists who have been out front on this are a small subset of all scientists. The problem is that this subset is bidding fair to control all of our lives, based on a highly compromised data set.

    I get that scientists wouldn't want to share their information, basically for the same reasons that corporations have trade secrets. But here's the difference -- I don't need to know the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken, because I don't have to purchase it. The AGW scientists aren't talking about voluntary measures. If someone is telling me that I must radically ater the way I live my life, and that my children must do the same, we do have a right to know why.

  13. Spot on, Mr. D.

    Yes, let's stick to true science. MMGW is not exactly rocket science, or brain surgery for that matter; trust me.

    How many times was the Branch AlGoreans An Inconvient Truth shown to kids in school?

    What, besides the hockey stick graph and the East Anglia CRU "data" was used to substantiate the Branch AlGoreans' An Inconvient Truth?

  14. K-Rod, I don't know about what datasets were used where--I haven't seen the movie in question actually, and was pretty disgusted when it won an Oscar because *that* was so obviously political. But I'd seen a lot of Global Warming stuff for about ten years(?) before that, and a lot of it started off with a "hey, this is weird, do you think this is something really happening?" kind of sense--not least because some folks had blown up the Ice Age warnings in the 1970s! My reading tended toward science magazines instead of newspapers, though ...

    Mr. D, while I agree that it is REALLY not ok, in theory, to force people to make lifestyle changes based on data they don't have access to to examine its veracity ... how exactly does forcing those scientists to give up their property(/work/living) for the public benefit differ from forcing any other person from giving up their property for public benefit (eg., new development, roads, whatever)? It's my pretty sure bet that the majority of contributors here don't think much of the government absconding with private property ... unless it's intellectual property? Is the work and effort these people put in, somehow of inherently less value, that it should not also be protected (for them and their families)?

    If we had a socialist system where scientists were just paid to do science and didn't have to worry about their long-term prospects being based on their accomplishments and intellectual rights, then maybe you could demand those datasets as public property ...

    Do you think it is fundamentally wrong that the government makes some decisions based on classified data? That's essentially the same amount of blind-to-the-public, right?

  15. Who exactly is "forcing those scientists to give up "their" property(/work/living)"?

    If you work for an entity you generally have no right to the Intellectual Property.
    If you are a scientist and you want to make the claim that mankind is destroying mother gaia you MUST to allow others to check and double check ALL of your work.

    Yes, it really is that simple!


    Like I said over on Mr. D's blog,
    The K-Rod Plan:
    "Simply start over, collect all the data again and don't throw it away this time; and create new models, validate those new models... all while keeping transparency and showing EVERYONE your work!!!"


    "Well the other option is to stop any and all legislation/regulation/subsidies related to MMGW and never mention it again and discontinue all future research on the subject.
    Simply say it has been debunked and the science is settled and the debate is over! Ha!"

  16. Nah, that's ridiculous. The entity has a financial interest, and generally with scientists the scientist(s) involved has first rights to assigning who gets to do what research into the dataset (always with an eye to making sure the boss entity gets more money so they happily let you do the work you want to be doing--kind of a shareholder/actual business arrangement, that way). The types of science being done now tend to be very expensive (genome, nanotechnology, specialized robots, ever more regulated medical trials, etc ... ). The more years, the more expensive. The more groundbreaking, the more expensive (efficiency is usually learned of course). The more unique, the more valuable. Basic economics apply to this field of endeavor as well as any other.


    You set me up a system where scientists can work securely without needing to guard their territory, where they can share data as one might wish scientists always would have (but never did of course, particularly not over national boundaries--without risking the label of traitor) ... THEN you can talk to me about these people being somehow evil ... instead of just being people.

    Where I do agree is that noone should be making sweeping decisions based on non-verified work. But there was a lot of work coming from a lot of places in the beginning, and it faced antithetical scrutiny (because a lot of people including many scientists thought it couldn't be right) ... unless Big Industry came in with a bunch of money and shut everyone up of some nefarious plan (I know someone making money off of windmills--he's not in with Big Industry ;) ) ... I'm not entirely worried about it.

    AND AGAIN, lessening or stopping use of fossil fuels (which are stored solar energy and pollute like crazy) for more direct access of the source of all heat-energy on earth (the sun--via solar or wind) or other non-polluting methods (geothermal), seems like a win-win EVEN IF THEY ARE ALL WRONG. And even if they are all in fact the liars you would like to believe they are.

    Seatbelt laws were pretty stupid--but more people wear seatbelts now. Don't build on wetlands laws are a big bugaboo for land rights people--and we have catastrophic floods around the country pretty regularly now, probably (in my city's case definitely) because people thought that was all a bunch of treehugger hogwash.

    The data should be collected again. Call your Senators and tell them to fund [some scientific institution you trust: who?] to data-delve and collect it all again. Hell, forget the scientists, the GAO probably already has all the data in a report somewhere, or knows how to get it. Geek number crunchers, specifically hired to check up on all gov't facts as requested by the Legislature ...

    And in the meantime, I will be riding my bike and public transpo.

  17. Trust me, I have worked for a lot of tech companies, from missile launchers to nerovascular stents, the employee has NO right to the IP.

    ... ... ...

    Why would we want to spend even more on MMGW research?

    ... ... ...

    kr, please tell us your reason for riding a bicycle or pub tran is not to stop global warming.

  18. Yeah, sure, you don't own the rights ... but the more patents (/research projects) your name is on, the higher your price when it comes to negotiating your next job. That kind of work is still of value to the researchers, and excluding others provides economic advantage. As well as social status, within their circles. (Except with those scientists who are cursing them for being selfish dolts, of course ;). )

    And no, it's not Global Warming, which may turn out to be like cold blooded dinosaurs or the Big Bang, just another broadly held theory that gets quietly discreditted in the back rooms but it takes the news a while to trickle out of the science publications and into the MSM. I don't drive because I don't have the financial resources to responsibly own (buy used but in good condition) and maintain (which would minimize environmental impact) a car--but even if I did, I would probably not buy one ... although I might rent from the local carshare fleet more often than I do.

    I moved into a part of town several years ago that had excellent public transpo and local stores, with the aim to stop using the car as the kids outgrew their carseats... so, my less than stellar financial situation when the van died, merely accelerated my overall plan a bit.

    It's just kinda hard to justify--now that I've stopped (that was the hard part of course)--hard to justify routinely adding poison to the air, and it seems particularly questionable to do it around my kids' school and home. There is just no scenario in which adding freefloating poison to the environment is a good idea.

    So, I avoid driving, most of the time. (I have neighbors who constantly offer to let me use their car, because they cannot imagine life without a car. It's really pretty OK, here.)

  19. "but the more patents (/research projects) your name is on, the higher your price when it comes to negotiating your next job."

    Not if the projects you worked on were debunked, proven false, and erred in the methods of science.


    I agree with the financial aspects of your decision and commend you.

    .... .... ....

    "There is just no scenario in which adding freefloating poison to the environment is a good idea."

    Don't hold your breath on that one.

  20. I certainly don't expect folks to stop driving suddenly, don't worry. Although, now that I am walking, I am a lot more aware of how often I do hold my breath when near cars ...

    As for the financial implications for scientists, just about nothing gets debunked easily. Although if you knew your data or conclusions were wrong, then that *would* be a reason to hide them, wanting to keep the economic benefits *would also be* a reason to hide data--particularly legitimate, good quality data.

    How about this? The government offers to buy the data at a price that would reasonably reimburse the institution (and hopefully the workers) for the work they did and the potential work they expect to do ... with the caveat that if the conclusions are demonstrably unjustified, the institution gets only half, and if the data is demonstrably falsified, the institution gets nothing. This would remove the economic self-interest reason for hiding data and make me far more amenable to an assertion that they are conspiring. Plus it has the added benefit of encouraging scientists to collect data that might be in the public interest, and to do it ethically so they can retain any gvt paycheck they might get offered.

    Do I want to figure out how to value that stuff? no. But it could probably be done. And then legit scientists would be rewarded, scientific data might be shared more easily, and conspiracy theory whackoheads (me) would have many fewer "clues" to hang their tin hats on.

    What say you?

  21. *fade to scene*
    G.O.M. have done extensive research (it's our data; we won't show it; just trust us) and claim the use of OUR "special" (nope, can't tell ya that either) toothpicks will save the environment. Now let's pass legislation to mandate everyone by a minimum number of boxes of OUR toothpicks. Cha Ching!!

    *fade back to reality*

    kr, via previous funding of that research, the government already "bought" that data.

    On what grounds can they (East Angelina CRU & NASA) withhold the original data and still claim their unverified "results" demand action?

  22. Well, although you probably have a point about NASA, a lot of the government research grants are merely grants--money given away to drive America's superiority or economic growth or healthcare improvements or something that the government thinks will be of public benefit even though the government won't own it. I'd say a purchase from anything except a Federal Government body (like NASA) would require an additional negotiation.

    NASA has a sordid history of stonewalling and falsifying analysis, which a non-conspiracy theorist would lay at the feet of the extreme stakes for the entire concept of a space program if NASA is perceived as a waste of money or as not succeeding. Which doesn't justify it withholding data that is not reasonably related to national defense/classifiable information ... but, it is part of the culture. As is losing the details somewhere in the organizational structure before they would ever have a chance to be communicated to the public.

    NASA should share their stuff. They might not ever do it (for reasons which may include "the management doesn't actually have a clear picture of what the ground troops are doing," which is why launched one shuttle on a day known (by lower downs) to be too cold for some of its components). They might have lost significant chunks of data in organizational blunders (which they may or may not realize).

    Or they might be conspiring to hide it. I am not averse to the concept of conspiracies really existing. I just think there was enough talk before the politicization of Global Warming, to suggest the proposition came honestly from the science side rather than being a snow job, and implicating, based on one's preferred bias, the greater part of the Western Civ (at least) science establishment in a conspiracy theory is pretty reactionary. It's like saying Evolution is/was a conspiracy ... maybe some politicians made it so, certainly there are a lot of people who find it deeply offensive that this "seems to be" accepted by the majority of working scientists, but neither of those overlays mean the basic set of (continually evolving) theories is invalid.

  23. I have no reason to give validity to the hypothesis of MMGW. None. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

    The government has no reason to enact treaties or legislation due to such an unvalidated hypothesis.

  24. Another reason for NASA to share data; most of the data they took during the sixties has literally fallen off the magnetic tape it was on. Private researchers might have bothered to actually archive it more securely.

    You got it right; all that gamma ferric oxide with the records of moon exploration and such is fit to be....

    ....a new fender for a Chevy pickup when you refine it. Oops.

  25. K-Rod, you can't seriously be saying "I don't see how it makes sense therefore the government shouldn't be acting on it" ???!? Given, it would sure be nice if they only acted on things that they took the time to make clear to the rest of us, but I'm on a board for a school and we just made a "simple" decision that we gave a year of our lives to because we were trying our damndest to make sure "the people" were involved, had their say, knew what was going on ... and there are still people in our (relatively small ... only 300? families) community that claim we were acting in secret, hiding things from them, or they didn't have a chance to say what they thought! We mentioned it in newsletters, emails, postings in the hallways, conversations in the hallways, and at several parent or class meetings--not to mention the many Board meetings at which it came up. Frankly, the decision might have come down the same way it ended up coming down, 8 months ago and without the pain--I don't *like* that the Federal Government doesn't explain itself well, but I certainly don't think "I didn't read the stuff leading up to this concern so it must not be valid" works as a dismissal.

    The most basic validity to the MMGW argument, according to those who have given any validity to longterm climatological studies in the first place, is in fact that in the 1970s we seemed to be headed for an Ice Age (according to the theorists at the time of course) and "Global Warming" has proceeded at such an exorbitant rate that we have not only stopped planetary cooling but our acceleration is carrying us in the opposite direction.

    Myself, I figure that the massive burning of the rainforests in the 1980s (which only, as I recall, began to be stopped in the late 1990s and is probably still occurring), not our increased automobile (etc.) use, was actually the main problem ... it is a major change in carbon distribution, over a short time, concurrent with the surprising (at the time) changing data. Car use and "industry" didn't change significantly/quickly enough (I figure) to suddenly shift whatever climatological trends were occurring since the inception of the Industrial Age. All speculation. But, *if* the data saying we were experiencing global cooling were valid (I don't know, I was too little to read), and there was a sudden change (I am willing to believe this from what I ddi read and have myself observed, plus historical stuff I've read doesn't support the overall heat we are currently experiencing in the Northern Hemisphere at least), that shift ought to be examined, humans can (and do) now make major and far-reaching changes to the biosphere.

    Bike Bubba, NASA's mismanagement of data (including collection choices as well as storage) is one of the major components of the anti-NASA conspiracy theory. Oops indeed. Ugly trends, magnified. If modern scientists want the respect of the public again someday, they had better get a clue or two about data storage and (eventual) data access. I gather NASA/JPL are better about that now ... either because the Cold War ended or (conspiracy theory) the original alien-worshipping Isis-cultists have died out and been replaced by actual scientists ;). Either way, let's hope for some smarts applied to data storage.

    Btw, apparently Jesus was actually an Isis-worshipper, too, and the Last Supper was his way of preserving the "true" sacred feast, and that's why the Eucharist was brought to the moon by one of the astronauts. An interesting thought to carry us into Christmas ...

    And now, I will sign off of this argument at least for a while, because my water heater burst and flooded my basement two days ago, and on top of Christmas (the Christian one), I shouldn't be blogging. But I figured I should followup here instead of inexplicably disappearing.

  26. "...the overall heat we are currently experiencing in the Northern Hemisphere at least), that shift ought to be examined, humans can (and do) now make major and far-reaching changes to the biosphere."

    kr, If you want to make the claim that humans are the cause of globull warming you MUST show all work. Otherwise YOU are just spewing a lot of meaningless hot air.

    Unless you can show me the data, I will outright oppose the statist view that government is the solution to all ills, real or imaginary.

    In your heart you know I am right.

  27. K-Rod, it's not about dry numbers.

    It's about polar ice (both poles) and glaciers mostly receding (and yes, they have numbers for those, but the maps are a lot more telling, and yes, some glaciers are expanding instead).

    It's about powering things by combustion being *in any case* pretty damn stupid in the long term, *even if global warming isn't human made,* and even if it doesn't really exist at all and we are experiencing some glitch in the climate because the magnetic poles are switching or some other geological/cosmic thing.

    It's about the tons of carbon that had been stored in the rainforests and are now in our air and contributing to algal blooms in the oceans which fuck up the food chains, temperature, and chemical composition of the oceans (like we haven't already fished them to death and polluted them like crazy--my God, have you seen historical photos of what even in the early 20th century was considered an easy day's catch?).

    It's about the tundra peat in the north that now thaws deeper in the summer and waits for a lightning strike to start a perma-burn like the coal mines of China (releasing more plant-stored carbon).

    Beyond the carbon, it's about the other deadly stuff tossed into the air by fossil fuels, especially coal. A couple of years ago I ran across an article about the "Killing Fog" of London ... everyone knows in the late 1800's London developed a permanent brown "fog" ... apparently once there was a two or three day atmospheric inversion and a couple hundred people died (the article was written because someone had finally done the research and the death rates in the months prior to and following the Killing Fog were normal--so the higher death rate during that brief period was not 'people who were about to die anyhow,' as their government of course said at the time). We have one major coal-burning plant in Oregon, and the air pollution (acid and poison) has killed many of the plants and animals in the Gorge, which sometimes funnels the wind. And I once saw written up, a chart of which nasty minerals (mercury et al) are found in which crude oil ... puts a whole different spin on which crude they source for your local refinery, and makes "simple" bottom-dollar economics a lot less attractive.

    It's about humans clearing forests/swamps and thereby permanently altering all the surrounding ecosystems (Australia, USA, South America, southern Iraq). For the last 20000 or so years, most extinctions or near-extinctions of large animals can be logically explained by "oh, look, and here the archeological record shows, what a surprise, a new and more killing-efficient group of humans moved into the region."

    Modern humans are efficient and powerful. Do you really doubt that we have changed ecosystems permanently and rapidly? Have you ever seen a map showing what is believed to have been the forest cover in our country before the Europeans arrived? Does the increasing rate of globalization (for example US companies creating really ugly agricultural or industrial 'economies' anywhere they can indenture people) *not* logically lead to globally standardized destruction, *unless people radically reevaluate olde-style destructive assumptions*?

    (continued below)

  28. (continued)

    You are welcome to oppose the government being the answer to all ills (I generally agree)--but you are irrationally conflating "the government is doing something" with "therefore that something is inherently bad or wrong." There is no logic there. That is knee-jerk reactionism.

    Power sources, food habits, and construction that are less OBVIOUSLY DAMAGING are not evils to be fought merely because the government is on their bandwagon now. That just means that as someone who doesn't see the inherent value in those societal changes, you can now pin another couple buttons on your Bogeyman and blame your discomfort on everyone's habits and "thinking" except your own.

    And do not presume to assert anything about my heart. In my heart what I think about you is not that you are right (nor that MMGW is necessarily correct), but that you are a blowhard whom I suspect preferred to read recreational magazines instead of atmospheric science and are now vapidly--but vociferously!--complaining that "data doesn't exist" when the scientific community has been talking about this since the late 80s, finished the pure science stuff some time ago and has no reason to dig it up to shove in your face unless you are going to pay them big bucks. They have moved on to the applied science (where the money is).

    Me, although red sunsets are pretty, I will be happy when pollution stops blowing over here from China, and the agricultural burning in Argentina (for the benefit of richer countries including us) stops messing up the maritime ecosystems and continental climate in Africa.

    In the end, I think pollution goals for Western Civ nations are smoke and mirrors, because (1) we have too much freedom to enforce them and (2) it preserves the illusion that we have control. If the problem exists, and if it can be solved, the third world or developing nations are where the major changes need to occur, and we have even less chance of controlling them than we do our own citizens. But then, the government is a fear-management machine, isn't it? Tell the citizens they will be safer, and you get to keep power for longer.

  29. Ah yes, resort to name-calling when you are so obviously incorrect on MMGW.

    It is almost as if you are channeling Albert Gore Jr.

    You blathered on and on about man changing local ecosystems. Just because you can dig a big hole in your backyard does not mean you can dig a hole to China. Just because the climate is constantly changing does not mean humans are the cause. You give mankind far too much credit over the earth’s climate, talk about blowhard.

    Again, your illogical faith (Branch AlGorean Sect) is not based on science or proven data. You've got nothing.

    I do agree that burning food is illogical; but harnessing the energy of atoms and molecules is common sense. And yes, we should try to do that as clean and efficient as practical.

    BTW, use caution when questioning my scientific knowledge and abilities. It's neither rocket science nor brain surgery, trust me.

    The bottom line is that you have only faith, smoke and mirrors, and a debunked hockey stick graph to support the MMGW religion.

    In God We Trust, all others must bring data.