Thursday, April 23, 2015

University of Queensland in Australia offers online class: Denial101x

I received the following last week because I'm already signed up for this course.  Now it occurs to me that I really should be sharing this information with my audience, so with a little editing, here it is.

I'm hoping some of you will find this educational opportunity worth taking.  

Tell them CC sent you  ;- )
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University of Queensland in Australia 
offers online class:  
Denial101x


Making Sense of Climate Denial

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STARTING APRIL 28, 2015

Denial101x: Making Sense of Climate Science Denial, and we’re getting really excited!

For the past 8 months we’ve been collecting interviews and lectures from climate science experts around the world. 

We’ve visited universities in Australia and England and Canada, participated in the American Geophysical Union Annual Conference in San Francisco and shot footage on location at The University of Queensland and at Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef that includes an interview with Sir David Attenborough.

During the course, we’ll be taking you to each of these places to find out what experts have to say about the ways in which climate change myths are spread and debunked. With each new week of our course, we will respond to myths using science and evidence, and we’ll also help you begin to develop your own responses to myths. We can’t wait to begin this course with you and see what you will contribute.

As we prepare for the beginning of the course, we would encourage you to:
  • Follow the Denial101x team on Twitter at @denial101x or use #denial101x when tweeting and tell us why you are taking the course

  • Like the Denial101x Facebook page - view and share some of the videos and images we’ve posted as we prepare for the course

  • Recommend the course to friends who you might want to take this course with and ask them to register for the course

  • Subscribe to our Denial101x YouTube Channel - watch and share the videos we’ve already posted

Thursday, April 16, 2015

#9 Steele's heat waves and the AGW fallacy - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate


{fyi.  My next weeks are very crowded with other happenings, 
so it may be May before I pick up and continue my debate with Mr. Landscapesandcycles.} 
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A virtual debate with Jim Steele, based on his interview at Heartland Institute: 


Heartland Daily Podcast | Jim Steele | January 27, 2015 
Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett (for the National Center for Policy Analysis) interviews Jim Steele, ecologist, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada field campus of San Francisco State University
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Steele writes:  "And we trust the scientific theory because its been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate.  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public. ... and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.  ... And I think those public debates would help create real climate literacy …"
_____________________________________________________

Well then Mr. Steele, let's have our Great Global Warming Science Debate.  
I will accept these responses from your Heartland Institute podcast as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  I agree to post your thoughtful responses unaltered. (Though it's looking like you're going to do your best to hide and ignore these critiques of your self-certain claims. Your silence will serve to expose your hypocrisy and inability to defend your statements on an even playing field.)
In this ninth installment we'll look at one of your "biggest pet peeves that every heat wave get's trumpeted as evidence of global warming" ...oh my.
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"How should society contend with those who knowingly disseminate misinformation about climate science."  Lawrence Torcello
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Steele:  You mentioned there was the sort of the high temperatures, you know one of my biggest pet peeves is that every heat wave get's trumpeted as evidence of global warming  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
To begin with you don't specify who's doing the "trumpeting", so it's a meaningless complaint.

Your consistent use of such deliberate vagueness underscores your deceptive intensions.

More important, why are you rejecting what scientists and researchers are observing?

NASA | 2014 Continues Long-Term Global Warming 



Published on Jan 16, 2015
The year 2014 now ranks as the warmest on record since 1880, 
according to an analysis by NASA scientists.
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Steele:  but the heat waves usually occur under very dry conditions. Dry conditions allow the earth and air to heat up much more quickly.  And when you get this high pressure settle in, it allows for greater solar insolation, that heats the land more quickly and that high pressure dome prevents convection that would carry away that heat, much like rolling up the windows in your car, watching your car heat up.  And because water vapor makes up 80% of the greenhouse gases or even more, the heat waves are actually happening when there's a drop in the concentration of greenhouse gases.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Jim, your myopic focus on the local seems to have blinded you to the global.  That was a horrendous description of what a heat wave is all about.  

Since you won't allow yourself to trust me, how about learning from the venerable Farmers Almanac?

"A heat wave occurs when a system of high atmospheric pressure moves into an area. In such a high-pressure system, air from upper levels of our atmosphere is pulled toward the ground, where it becomes compressed and increases in temperature.

"This high concentration of pressure makes it difficult for other weather systems to move into the area, which is why a heat wave can last for several days or weeks. The longer the system stays in an area, the hotter the area becomes. The high-pressure inhibits winds, making them faint to nonexistent. Because the high-pressure system also prevents clouds from entering the region, sunlight can become punishing, heating up the system even more. The combination of all of these factors come together to create the exceptionally hot temperatures we call a heat wave."
_________________________________________
Steele:  But people are blaming heat wave increase on greenhouse gases.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Mr. Jim Steele, here again is an example of you crossing the line into the realm of perhaps legally actionable offenses.  
I'm no authority on the law, but I do know a thing or two about upholding morals and ethics and the learning process.  

For a person who claims to be educated and enlightened in the ways and accomplishments of science, to stand in front of an audience and ridicule the overwhelming scientific and technical understanding regarding CO2 and other greenhouse gases holding in more heat within our global climate system is unconscionable.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

#8 Mangroves, Dr. Cavanaugh, NPR's Joyce - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles debate



A virtual debate with Jim Steele, based on his interview at Heartland Institute: 


Heartland Daily Podcast | Jim Steele | January 27, 2015 
Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett (for the National Center for Policy Analysis) interviews Jim Steele, ecologist, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada field campus of San Francisco State University
______________________________________________ 

Steele:  "And we trust the scientific theory because its been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate.  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public. ... and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.  ... And I think those public debates would help create real climate literacy …"
_____________________________________________________

Well then Mr. Steele, let's have our Great Global Warming Science Debate.  
I will accept these responses from your Heartland Institute podcast as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  I agree to post your thoughtful responses unaltered. (Though it's looking like you're going to do your best to hide and ignore these critiques of your self-certain claims. Your silence will serve to expose your hypocrisy and inability to defend your statements on an even playing field.)

In this eighth installment I'm debating your denigration of a biology study led by Dr.Kyle Cavanaugh about Mangrove response to freezing temperatures.

Since I do check first sources I've exchanged a few emails with Dr. Cavanaugh.  I will share some quotes, so he can speak for himself.  

It makes another wonderful case study for 'THIS IS WHAT A SCIENTIST SOUNDS LIKE."  Dr. Cavanaugh offered a straight-forward learning experience that I could build on with further research.  Quite the contrast to your constant trickery and contrived gotcha's.

I thank Dr. Cavanaugh for permission to share from our correspondence, 
(Although it's worth pointing out all of this is already part of the public record, 
for those interested enough to seek it out.).
___________________________________________________________

"How should society contend with those who knowingly 
disseminate misinformation about climate science?"  Lawrence Torcello
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________

Steele:  Another example, last year NPR and a few media was hyping that Florida's mangroves were marching north because of global warming.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
I've listen to that NPR story numerous times, there is nothing "hyped" about it - it was a crisp concise report of the known science and a pretty good description of a couple recent studies of mangrove biology.

Mr. Steele, I challenge you to attempt a critique.  Take the time to listen to NPR's three minute report.  
Detail what you believe is misleading about Christopher Joyce's reporting.

If you can't accomplish that simple challenge, it'll speak volumes.  
:- |
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Steele:  The red mangroves that declined earlier was because Floridians removed or trimming trees that blocked their water front views. There were black mangroves that suffered because to control mosquitoes they were artificially flooding swamps to greater depths that would drown out the mangroves.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I thought there were three major species and asked Dr. Cavanaugh about it, indeed there are.  Curious Jim why only discuss two?  

More important, he pointed out that you are correct about what you say, but that it doesn't relate to their study.  A non sequitur so to speak.

Dr. Cavanaugh: "Yes, there are three main species of mangroves in Florida: red (R. mangle), black (A. germinans), and white (L. racemosa). I agree with Mr. Steele that coastal development and mosquito impoundments (http://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/Impoundments.htm) have historically had a big impact on mangroves in Florida. 

However, most of those buildings and impoundments are still there, and I don't think these things are responsible for the recent mangrove expansion that we have seen. 

We are seeing mangroves move into areas that have been salt marsh for at least 50 years. In some of these locations no one remembers mangroves ever being there. We have linked this expansion to a decrease in the frequency of extreme cold events. Again, I can't conclusively attribute those temperature changes to anthropogenic climate change, but our results suggest that future warming due to climate change will cause further northward expansion of mangroves in Florida."  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

#7 Penguins, butterflies and consensus - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate


A virtual debate with Jim Steele, based on his interview at Heartland Institute:  

Heartland Daily Podcast | Jim Steele | January 27, 2015 
Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett (for the National Center for Policy Analysis) interviews Jim Steele, ecologist, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada field campus of San Francisco State University
______________________________________________ 

Steele:  "And we trust the scientific theory because its been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate.  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public. ... and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.  ... And I think those public debates would help create real climate literacy …"

Well then Mr. Steele, let's have our Great Global Warming Science Debate.  I will accept these responses from your Heartland Institute podcast as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  I agree to post your thoughtful responses unaltered. (Though it's looking like you're going to do your best to hide and ignore these critiques of your self-certain claims. Your silence will serve to expose your hypocrisy and inability to defend your statements on an even playing field.)

In this seventh installment I'll debate your Antarctic penguin story, your misrepresentation of Dr. Camille Parmesan and your revulsion towards scientific "consensus".
______________________________________

"How should society contend with those who knowingly disseminate misinformation about climate science?"  Lawrence Torcello
_________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________

Heartland Burnett: In earlier conversations you mentioned a couple other examples - you've already mentioned the butterfly, but you also mentioned the case of the Emperor Penguin.  Could you describe that case a little bit?
Steele:  Sure. There have been a few stories about the emperor penguin marching to extinction, 
~ ~ ~
Who wrote the stories?  Was it an opinion piece of a political type, causal newspaper, right-wing think-tank, left-wing think-tank, letters to the editor, serious science reporting, a retired PhD in an unrelated field but who possesses strong political motivations, a scientist who's active in the field, an actual peer reviewed study, a university press release?  

Mr. Steele, how do you weigh the relative reliability of those competing sources of information? 

You like dramatizing the extinction schtick, but you never mention that all this science you are picking on is about population dynamics.  The scientists are counting and observing populations and reporting trends they are witnessing.  
The few studies that touch on potential penguin extinction have it out on the century horizon.
__________________________________________
Steele:  it's sort of based on one colony 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
What is sort of based on one colony?   

Some studies from Dumont d'Urville, which at nearly 60 is the longest running penguin research lab in Antarctica?

Census and environment studies from throughout the continent that uniformly paint a grim picture for penguins' long term prospects?

After all, there are at least 22 active research programs dedicated to Antarctic penguins, all of them churning out studies painting a consistent image.

Australians – 3French – 1 on continent;  Crozet – 1New Zealand – 2 in Ross Sea;  USA – 4 in Ross Sea;  Bellingshausen – 1;  South Shetlands – 2UK – 2 at South Georgia;  UK – 1 at S Orkney;  Germany – 1Argentina – 1;  Japan – 1Italy – 2


______________________________________________
Steele:  that suffered a large decline between about 1960 and 1980 and it was the same colony that was used for the documentary March of Penguins.  But if you look at the British Antarctic Survey data, there was absolutely no warming trend. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jim, why are you ignoring the warming period in the late 1970s and early 80s when average temp rose nearly three degrees centigrade and ice conditions went to pot for penguins and the population lost around 3,000 penguins?  That's what the study you keep picking on was about.  So why are you trying to compare that study then to today?  

In the mid 80s temperatures did return to "normal" - but with a twist.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

#6 Moose and the NWF - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate

A virtual debate with Jim Steele based on his interview at Heartland Institute:  
Heartland Daily Podcast | Jim Steele | January 27, 2015 
Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett (for the National Center for Policy Analysis) interviews Jim Steele, ecologist, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada field campus of San Francisco State University
______________________________________________ 

Mr. Jim Steele:  "And we trust the scientific theory because its been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate.  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public. ... and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.  ... And I think those public debates would help create real climate literacy …"

Well then Mr. Steele, let's have our Great Global Warming Science Debate.  I will accept these responses from your Heartland Institute podcast as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  I agree to post your thoughtful responses unaltered. (Though it is looking like you're going to do your best to hide and ignore these critiques of your self-certain claims. Your silence will serve to expose your hypocrisy and inability to defend your statements on an even playing field.)

In this sixth installment I'll debate your 'moose' claims which offers some insights into how you jump around to select and censor the information you share with your public.  Along with that I'll look at your unfounded hostility towards the National Wildlife Federation and how you misrepresent what they say.
______________________________________
"How should society contend with those who knowingly disseminate misinformation about climate science?"  Lawrence Torcello
______________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________

Heartland Burnett: Let me ask you this: What first brought you to my attention was your discussion of the Moose decline.  Marketing material by the National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society were linking global warming to declining moose populations particularly in Northern Minnesota - What did you find that undermined those claims?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Notice not for a moment is Burnett curious about how global warming might be linked to declining moose.  The issue is nothing more than another word game to win, couldn't care less about what's actually happening out there in the backcountry.

The National Wildlife Federation are not bad guys.  They are not wild eyed hippies or commies, but that's all you want to believe. l'll let them speak for themselves:

The Deepening Mystery of Moose Decline
Biologists are having a hard time pinning down the cause of a moose decline that imperils the species’ survival in several states
09-29-2014 // By John Carey

"To some researchers, however, one cause looms largest—Parelaphostrongylus tenuis, or brain worm. "

Historically, deep winter snow kept deer out of moose country, so the animals didn’t mix much. But a series of warm winters, like those the Northeast and Midwest have experienced recently, can allow deer—and brain worms—to move north into the boreal forest. It has happened before, Lankester believes, causing moose populations to crash in the 1940s and 1950s in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Minnesota ...

The leading threat in New Hampshire, where the moose population has declined as much as 40 percent in some areas during the past three years, seems to be the winter tick. ...

It could get even sadder. Both the brain worm and the tick problems are expected to get worse as global climate continues to warm. Milder winters with less snow cover enable more deer to move into moose habitat. And little or no snow in spring, when engorged adult ticks fall off moose to lay eggs, boosts tick survival. ...

Giving Moose a Boost

Wildlife managers also have other levers to pull to give moose a boost. They can reduce the white-tailed deer population in some areas or create more browse and prime moose habitat by cutting openings in the forest. In the late 1970s, for instance, the spruce budworm, a native species that experiences periodic outbreaks as part of a natural cycle, cut a devastating swath through Maine’s forest, and timber companies stepped up logging to salvage the timber. “That created moose nirvana,” Pekins says. “A population explosion of moose swept out of Maine into New Hampshire, Vermont and even a little bit of Massachusetts.” It could happen again. Another spruce budworm infestation is knocking on Maine’s northern door. “Maybe this is how we will grow more moose again.”

And so the mystery of the disappearing moose will not come to a simple conclusion. The moose’s prospects depend on complex and interacting ecological factors and relationships, and the animal’s numbers will rise and fall as those factors evolve. With climate change bringing increasingly mild winters, the species could disappear in some regions, wiped out by a triple whammy of parasites, pests and predators. But this massive symbol of the North Woods likely will continue to survive, even thrive, in other regions—and the new research will lay the groundwork for making that happen.
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Steele:  Well every ecologist,

Is misinformation about climate science criminally negligent? Lawrence Torcello

#5 Prof Trenberth stifling "sceptics"?? - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate

A virtual debate with Jim Steele based on his interview at Heartland Institute:  

Heartland Daily Podcast | Jim Steele | January 27, 2015
Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett (for the National Center for Policy Analysis) interviews Jim Steele, ecologist, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada field campus of San Francisco State University
______________________________________________ 
Mr. Jim Steele:  "And we trust the scientific theory because it been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate.  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public. ... and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.  ... And I think those public debates would help create real climate literacy "
Well then Mr. Steele, let's have our Great Global Warming Science Debate.  I will accept these responses from your Heartland Institute podcast as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  I agree to post your thoughtful responses unaltered. (Though it is looking like you're going to do your best to hide and ignore these critiques of your self-certain claims. Your silence will serve to expose your hypocrisy and inability to defend your statements on an even playing field.)

In this fifth installment I'll be debating your take on Dr. Trenberth and confront you with the ethical question raised by Lawrence Torcello: "How should society contend with those who knowingly disseminate misinformation about climate science?" 
____________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________

Steele:  So you know, I've always advocated the need to be good environmental stewards and to be a good steward we need good science that we can trust.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Yeah?  So what happened?

It's one thing to preach about stewardship and needing science we can trust.
It's quite another to practice what you preach.

Mr. Steele, may I ask you, do people have a right to expect our educators to be honest about the science they are presenting to students and public?
___________________________________________________
Steele:  And we trust the scientific theory because it's been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Mr. Steele, what kind of "lively debate" are you talking about?  
Have you given any thought to the two basic types of debate?

You know, the political style debate where winning your argument is all that matters.  This sort of debate invites rhetorical and emotional 'devices' and since the goal doesn't reach beyond winning the argument at hand, they tend to be won by the slickest speakers who are best at mesmerizing their audience.  More the stuff of theater than substance.

On the other hand, consider the academic debate, where the goal of the debate is getting to the right answer and achieving a better understanding.  This debate also requires ego and rhetorical skills and striving to win one's argument.  But, the goal of debating is better understanding of the issues at hand.  I'm fearing you, Mr. Steele and your Republican/libertarian pals, simply can not fathom such a concept.  Am I correct?

Winning the debate is fun, great, but it's the getting it right that's the most important.  Being caught in a mistake and "losing" or sustaining bruised feelings is chump change.  Learning from the added knowledge and lessons and then striving towards greater achievements in light of the newly gained knowledge, now that's pure gold.   

Consider the constructive debate.

Is it OK to ignore key evidence?
Is it OK to repeat known lies?
Is it OK to ignore the statements and evidence presented by a debate 'opponent' ?
Is it OK to employ emotional and rhetorical distractions that have nothing to do with the substance of the questions?

Is a debate an argument to win?
Or is a debate an opportunity for mutual learning?
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Steele:  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public.