Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Columbia Journalism Review - open letter to Trump - Jan 17, 2017

I'm working on EM Debate #14, unfortunately now he attacks Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth with clear-cut nonsense - exposing himself as either very gullible or not the serious student he projects.  Since I'm sick of all the stupidity I've come across regarding Gore's IT errors, I'm reviewing the endlessly repeated and mimicked Contrarian Lord's "35 Scientific Errors (or Intentional Lies) in An Inconvenient Truth" - and it's eating up precious hours I don't have near enough of.  But, I'll get er done, yet.

In the mean time I came across an excellent letter to Mr. Trump written by "The Press Corp" that’s worth sharing over here - It seems that along with many other America's they have woken up, taken stock of what happened this past year and are now ready to go forward into our self-inflicted frightening new political reality with a renewed sense of purpose and mission.

Welcome back America's once grand Fourth Estate, we certainly need you more than ever, I hope it's not too late.

Columbia Journalism Review

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT ELECT:
In these final days before your inauguration, we thought it might be helpful to clarify how we see the relationship between your administration and the American press corps.

It will come as no surprise to you that we see the relationship as strained. Reports over the last few days that your press secretary is considering pulling news media offices out of the White House are the latest in a pattern of behavior that has persisted throughout the campaign: 
You’ve banned news organizations from covering you. 
You’ve taken to Twitter to taunt and threaten individual reporters and encouraged your supporters to do the same. You’ve advocated for looser libel laws 
and threatened numerous lawsuits of your own, 
none of which has materialized. 

You’ve avoided the press when you could and flouted the norms of pool reporting and regular press conferences. You’ve ridiculed a reporter who wrote something you didn’t like because he has a disability.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

#13 Debating GOP Disconnect AGW - self-interest vs. objective learning?

Here I respond to EM's points #14 to #17, no fireworks, still I found it interesting in that it nudges the dialogue towards the question of 'motivated learning.'  For instance, my life long pursuit of Earth and climate learning is driven by my need to understand this wondrous planet I was born into as well as possible. Whereas EM, and I dare say, the entire Republican pursuit of climate science is driven by its threat to their short-term economic/political "interests".

It helps explain why they can so easily ignore the overwhelming evidence in favor of the established scientific "consensus."  We are fools not to recognize this.  We are but at the beginning of the human fossil fuels burning warming trajectory and unless we rearrange our priorities in a hurry, or there will be hell to pay.  

To finish this installment I provide some sources that make plain that infrastructure and life destroying extreme weather events are being driven by an increasingly warming global climate engine and that Republicans minimize the threat at all of our own peril.  (Some touch up edits Monday morning)

National Summary Information - December 2016
Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Table of Events

National Climate Assessment - 2014

The National Academy of Sciences
ATTRIBUTION OF Extreme Weather Events
IN THE CONTEXT OF Climate Change

American Meteorological Society
State of the Climate in 2015

NOT JUST THE KOCH BROTHERS: 
NEW DREXEL STUDY REVEALS FUNDERS BEHIND THE CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL EFFORT
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  1. EM’s point #14, quoting me:  If you look at this blog you’ll see plenty of very specific critiques, were I offer objective supporting evidence for my claims.  I know what I’m talking about and ignoring my critiques doesn’t make their substance go away.
    1. EM responds:  I have neither the time nor the desire to read all of your blog posts, as this site is not easy to navigate and I have other things to do than read through all of your (all pretty much the same) posts. 
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With all due respect, then you haven’t looked very far.  As for quality of presentation, I agree it leaves much to be desired.  But I’m no professional blogger, doing the best I can with what I have, in the limited moments I can spare from the rest of my day to days.  
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    1. EM responds:  I don’t argue with the evidence you present; because I’m not arguing AGW’s existence or the fact that rising global temperature is a net-negative for the planet. 
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Actually you are, in that you are dismissing AGW’s already clear and present impacts on our global society and biosphere.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Senator Gardner - Democratic decency requires NO VOTE on Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

Since Colorado’s own Senator Gardner is on the Committee of Foreign Relations and is hearing Rex Tillerson’s nomination I decided to send his staff this open letter that I hope they’ll pass along.  I've sent it to our Durango Telegraph as 'letter to the editor' and I want to share it over here.  It might help some gather their own thoughts for sending messages to their own senators.  It's all we have right now, so everyone that cares needs to make an effort. http://civilrights.org/action_center/resources/calling-congress.html 
{Sorry about that early posting screw up}    It's been noted that mine is not the most diplomatic of opening paragraphs.  So be it.  It's not like Republicans have been anything but ruthlessly hostile to anyone on the other side of their world outlook divide.  Maybe, it's time they stop being so absolutist and progressive types stop being so accommodating !

Honorable Senator Gardner and staff,

Please take the time to think about the many objections to Rex Tillerson becoming our country’s Secretary of State. 

You’ll note right away that I can be categorized (and discarded) as a “tree hugger” type.  Indeed, I have hugged a few in my day.  I know too well how my kind is easily vilified and dismissed by Republicans.  Still I would beg you to consider the reality that we very much depend on a healthy climate and biosphere for everything we have and love.  

No matter what your personal religion tells you about your God, the basic inescapable reality is that we were born of this Earth and shall die back into it.  It is a beautiful reality, once you grow to appreciate evolution and understand what a fantastical pageant you are part of.

But, I digress.  What I really want to beg of you and your staff to consider is all the reasons Rex Tillerson, great oil-businessman though he may be, he should never be allowed to become USA’s Secretary of State.  A position demanding respect for our Constitution and a much broader understanding than a dedicated oil man(42+years), someone who knows nothing but drilling for profits is capable of acquiring.  No insult, fundamental reality.  Secretary of State requires immensely broad and deep understanding of governmental matters and a different sphere of relevant matter than a pure cold blooded businessman like Rex can acquire.

No matter now many big shot deals he may have closed, he’s unfit for the State Department!  Why can’t America at least get an experienced individual?  As for ‘outsider’ that just means he doesn’t know what’s going on.  That may work in the movies, but this is real life and there’s no going back.

Reject Rex Tillerson, EXXON's Russian Obligate Oil Guy - Here's why.

A collection of informative articles about Rex Tillerson and why we should never allow such a single-minded corporate machine to become USA’s Secretary of State.  A position demanding respect for our Constitution and a much broader understanding than a dedicated oil man(42+years) who knows nothing but drilling for profits is capable of acquiring.  No matter now many big shot deals he may have closed! 

Why are supposedly patriotic Republicans so accepting of Tillerson’s oh so cozy, nay intimate, ties to Russia’s Putin, which he is disingenuously back peddling?  More importantly Tillerson is a corporate guy who despises our government for interfering with his business dreams.  Given the powers of the Secretary of State you can be sure that his objective will not be to uphold his oath and USA's constitution but to rearrange USA from a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, into the Corporation of Amerika, a government fully owned and dedicated to the interests of today’s corporate oligarchs.  People who have utter disregard and contempt for anything beyond their own oh so myopic self-interests. 

Also consider, Tillerson still deludes himself about the scientific understanding regarding manmade global warming.  Yet another issue that should have disqualified him outright - but than what can we do when most Republican politicians are so beholden to corporate money that they themselves remain steadfastly willfully ignorant on an issue that is already inflicting substantial damages to our global economy, infrastructure and its vulnerable citizens.  With the guarantee of worse on the way, while we sleep.

I share the following full text of “Tillerson Called Out for 'Lying About Climate' During Confirmation Hearing  thanks to Common Dreams generous “Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License” ~ I also include quotes and links to a variety of articles, listed below:


** United States 115 Senate Committee on Foreign Relations list
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Tillerson Called Out for 'Lying About Climate' During Confirmation Hearing

Published on 
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

'Listening to his hearing, it would be easier to conclude Tillerson is under criminal investigation than under consideration for secretary of state'


At his senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, U.S. secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson on Wednesday dodged questions about ExxonMobil's long history of denying climate science, lending credence to claims his tenure would be a disaster for the planet.

When pressed by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) about the major charges unearthed by the ongoing ExxonKnew investigation—namely, that the oil company hid evidence going back to the 1970s of how the burning of fossil fuels impacts the climate, and funded misinformation campaigns to spread skepticism about growing scientific consensus—former Exxon CEO Tillerson "essentially pled the fifth," said Oil Change International executive director Stephen Kretzmann.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

#12 Debating GOP Disconnect AGW - Science Economy Should Compromise. Say What?!


This one starts slow, but then gets to the heart of the matter, EM fancies he is
"pointing out the hypocrisies of both sides of our system" and he "would simply like both sides to be less quick to the trigger" he also resents that there's "no concessions from market intervention thinkers" and seems to defend  "special interest groups" to "protect their(s)."

Unfortunately he loses sight of the difference between building your case on objective verifiable science and building your case on fabricated story telling and misrepresenting the truth.   

Oh and Yes.  There are objective truths out there we had better heed or expect to be bit.  Not many links in this installment, though at the end I have added a 'Tillerson EXXON collection' of links to informative articles.
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EM’s point #6, quoting me:  “I’m curious have you listened to any climate scientist lectures, such as UCTV Perspectives on Ocean Sciences?” 
EM responds:  again, not denying any of this.
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I’m afraid your easy dismissal indicates you don’t know the half of it.

Worse your other words project an attitude that you think climate scientists don’t either. 

#11 Debating GOP Disconnect From AGW - Difference of Opinion. Not Even!

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  1. (EM’s #3)CC wrote:  “Nonsense!  The right wing media machine is saturated with people denying the fundamentals of AGW.  Just need to google it, or try YouTube for hundreds of real zingers.  {This deception is the first “tell” that we are dealing with a disingenuous individual.}
    1. EM Responds:  Disingenuous? Okay, but even still, MOST (not all) rational individuals, whether they believe that we should dramatically reduce emissions or not at all, believe that the Earth is warming and that this warming can be contributed to human carbon emissions. 
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Wrong answer.  Lip service won’t do. 

To be clear - all of today’s warming can be attributed to human influences.  Were our natural cycles unfolding without humanity’s interference, Earth would be in a slow cooling period.

Furthermore, to be clear continued unrestrained greenhouse gas emissions will go well beyond destroying our global economy, it will destroy today’s biosphere, the one that was tailor made for humanity.  Deny all you want, it’s still unavoidable physics.
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    1. EM Responds:  Yeah, some people tell themselves that AGW doesn’t exist, and they often have loud mouths  {Yeah, like entire Republican Party power structure!}. This doesn’t mean, however, that everyone (Republicans, Libertarians, the fucking Whig party; it doesn’t really matter what label you attach), who doesn’t believe that government market intervention is the way to solve the issue is a liar, a schemer, or a societal-parasite.
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Why not?
Liar is as liar does.

If you must deliberately suppress important down to Earth facts, because it interferes with your immediate self-interested goals, that would make you a liar.

If you are “scheming” to hide and misrepresent the seriousness of climate science and its implications you will find yourself a social parasite soon enough.  Just wait and see.

Republicans’ Climate Change Denial Denial
Paul Krugman | December 4, 2015 | New York Times

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Why Republicans Still Reject the Science of Global Warming
Only one major political party in the world denies climate change, and it's in charge of the most important political body in the world
By Andy Kroll | November 3, 2016

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    1. EM Responds:  It means they have a different opinion on how to deal with the issue. 
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It’s got nothing to do with “difference of opinion!” - It’s about climbing into a delusional state of mind.  It’s about growing up and honestly facing a reality that touches all of us and our children and our economy.

How pray tell can we deal with critically important situations, when half the team refuses to even acknowledge that we have a legitimate problem?  

That’s not an ‘opinion’ challenge, that’s a basic ‘honestly’ challenge.  Or more accurately and ethical, character challenge.  Tragically, most faith-based fail the challenge.
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    1. EM Responds:  Or maybe they don’t want to address the issue, but that doesn’t make supply-side social and economic theorists “climate-deniers”. 
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Why doesn't it ! ?

EM, I dare you to please explain how your logic works.  The global warming “issue” is going to rearrange every aspect of our lives and economy.  You just need to pay attention to the incoming weather news to recognize that transformation has begun. 

Unidirectional skepticisms equals denial - lip service without any follow through equals worthless prattle.
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  1. (EM’s #4)CC wrote:  “You say you don't want to argue about the existence of the human-contribution to climate change and then proceed to do just that in a wishy-washy way.  What gives?”
    1. EM Responds:  Because it does exist. As I’ve said many times at this point. The wishy-washiness of my post can be attributed to a lack of articulation, not deception.
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EM, I would suggest the wishy-washiness comes from your cognitive dissonance between, “knowing” about global warming, but emotionally being convinced that the economy is more important. 

Reflecting on our failure to appreciate the weather, our weather.

Unfortunately the truth you turn your back on is that the economy is dependent on moderate and predictable weather patterns, which unfortunately increasing GHGs with accompanying cascading consequences are transforming into unpredictable monsters.  Just consider California’s extended drought being quenched with destructive torrential downpours and floods.  That is the face of the world we are inviting into our lives.

How is any of that good for our economy pray tell ?

Thing is, our gluttonous drive for endless economic growth and ever increasing fossil fuels burning is destroying the climate regime that was so nurturing for our flamboyant society.

The snake that eats itself, so to speak.  
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  1. (EM’s #5)CC wrote:  “Why do you think the scientific community has been self-serving?  Please offer some examples.”
    1. EM Responds:  I never said the scientific community is self-serving or disingenuous. However, if you think that all climate lobbyists are doing what they do only in order to “save the planet”, you are being extremely na├»ve in your world view. 
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Your first comment to me back in December included: “Honestly, I think both sides of the AWG debate are self-interested and self-serving.”  Upon rereading seems here you also shift from scientist to the public debate, while I’m steadfastly about defending serious scientists and the scientific understanding they have arrived at, nothing beyond that.  Plenty of ill informed people on both sides.  But that is because of a deliberate and massive effort of confusing and dumbing down, spearheaded by Republicans. 

I want to focus this debate on the need to collectively accept what the community of serious climate scientists has to say.
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    1. EM Responds:  When there is money to be made, as with any issue, it becomes highly publicized. 
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So why are you ignoring the one’s with the most money at stake?  The people who might most be interested in politicizing the issue.  Namely fossil fuels interests such as Exxon?  What never cast your gaze that way?

"Dark Money" Funds Climate Change Denial Effort

Research Confirms ExxonMobil, Koch-funded Climate Denial Echo Chamber Polluted Mainstream Media

Exxon’s decades of deceit - A Timeline

CMD Submits Evidence of Exxon Mobil Funding ALEC’s AGW Denial to New York Attorney General

ExxonMobil Report: Smoke and Mirrors; Hot Air (2007)
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    1. EM Responds:  This is my biggest critique of the the entire AGW debate (debate in regards to response, NOT existence).  It’s truly a travesty that our two-party system turned this issue into a political one instead of a humanitarian one. 
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Political issue, … humanitarian issue?  

How about calling it an education issue?  Or, an honesty issue?  And, once again you are ignoring exactly who's been injecting and nurturing the polarizing!
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    1. EM Responds:  Climate sciences would benefit greatly if AGW was viewed outside of the political spectrum. And here we agree: republicans/conservative and all of these AGW deniers have played a huge role in the polarization of the issue. 
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Again such ambiguous wording.  If "who" was doing the viewing?  Viewing what?  Scientists explaining their finds? or for profit media outlets peddling controversy and copy sales?

Beyond that, sure granted.  Though you seem to forget that the halls of science conferences are outside the political and media frenzy, you would do good to pay more attention to what serious scientists have to share.

IPCC Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis

Report by Chapters
Click to on the link to download the chapter, graphics, authors etc.
1 Front Matter - 0.8MB
2 Summary for Policymakers - 2.3MB
3 Technical Summary - 18.1MB
Chapters
1 Introduction - 4.5MB
2 Observations: Atmosphere and Surface - 38.3MB
3 Observations: Ocean - 48.3MB
4 Observations: Cryosphere - 12.8MB
5 Information from Paleoclimate Archives - 10.8MB
6 Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles - 23.8MB
7 Clouds and Aerosols - 19.2MB
8 Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing - 18.9MB
9 Evaluation of Climate Models - 24.6MB
10 Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional - 10.4MB
11 Near-term Climate Change: Projections and Predictability - 14.1MB
12 Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility - 36.6MB
13 Sea Level Change - 32.9MB
14 Climate Phenomena and their Relevance for Future Regional Climate Change - 10.6MB

Annexes
I Atlas of Global and Regional Climate Projections - 44.7MB
II Climate System Scenario Tables - 1.5MB
III Glossary - 0.4MB
IV Acronyms - 0.1MB
V Contributors to the WGI Fifth Assessment Report - 0.2MB
VI Expert Reviewers of the WGI Fifth Assessment Report - 0.5MB 
VII
1 Index 0.2MB
2 Errata 5.4MB (Updated 11/12/2015)
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    1. EM Responds:  But, so has the other-side. Both sides have chosen their “response” to AGW inside a political vacuum, with no room for negation or concessions on either-side. 
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Why are you ignoring that one side has spent decades dedicated to deliberately misinforming people?  Their mission has been misinform, confuse and politicize.  When what we need is honest curiosity and a constructive learning process.


Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming is a 2010 non-fiction book by American historians of science Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. It identifies parallels between the global warming controversy and earlier controversies over tobacco smoking, acid rain, DDT, and the hole in the ozone layer

Oreskes and Conway write that in each case "keeping the controversy alive" by spreading doubt and confusion after a scientific consensus had been reached, was the basic strategy of those opposing action.[1] In particular, they say that Fred Seitz, Fred Singer, and a few other contrarian scientists joined forces with conservative think tanks and private corporations to challenge the scientific consensus on many contemporary issues.[2]
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Not Just the Koch Brothers: New Drexel Study Reveals Funders Behind the Climate Change Denial Effort
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In The Republican War on Science, Chris Mooney tied together the disparate strands of the attack on science into a compelling and frightening account of our government’s increasing unwillingness to distinguish between legitimate research and ideologically driven pseudoscience. Mooney brings us up to date on the war on science, relates the phenomenon to the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina—and ends with a call to arms to scientists and their allies.
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    1. EM Responds:  This isn’t only problematic for science, it’s also problematic for creating any real change. If we have a progressive agenda that has no regard for the concerns (economic, not causal) of the other side like we have seen from the current administration, there should be no surprise that the agenda of the incoming administration aims to undo what they see as a slight from the other side. 
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Now what’s all that about?  “progressive agenda that has no regard for the concerns (economic, not causal)”  Man, that sounds like pure partisan political blather.  “Economic, not causal” what are you talking about?  We’re all worried about the economy. 

Before you bemoan perceived slights, what about the Republican dedication from day one to oppose everything Obama wanted to do?  What is with that Republican absolutist self-interest and disregard for all others?  

Hell right now Republicans are trying to ram through Trump's cabinet nominations without background and ethics checks because they know many of Trump's nominees have huge conflict of interest issues, to the point of being tremendous National Security Threats - as in the case of Putin's darling Exxon CEO Tillerson, whom Mitch McConnell wants to rush to appointment without allowing anyone a breath or a moment's consideration. At the end of this I'll share a list of background links to that lurid story.

Although to our discussion EM, the bottom line I hear you saying is: “economy is more important than honesty learning about what climate scientists have to teach us.”  You’ll have to excuse me, but that is an infantile way to move into the future.
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I thought it wouldn’t hurt to include this list for any new onlookers.


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Global Warming & Climate Change Myths

Here is a summary of global warming and climate change myths, sorted by recent popularity vs what science says. Click the response for a more detailed response. You can also view them sorted by taxonomy, by popularity, in a print-friendly version, with short URLs or with fixed numbers you can use for permanent references.
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1 Introduction - 4.5MB
2 Observations: Atmosphere and Surface - 38.3MB
3 Observations: Ocean - 48.3MB
4 Observations: Cryosphere - 12.8MB
5 Information from Paleoclimate Archives - 10.8MB
6 Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles - 23.8MB
7 Clouds and Aerosols - 19.2MB
8 Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing - 18.9MB
9 Evaluation of Climate Models - 24.6MB
10 Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional - 10.4MB
11 Near-term Climate Change: Projections and Predictability - 14.1MB
12 Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility - 36.6MB
13 Sea Level Change - 32.9MB

14 Climate Phenomena and their Relevance for Future Regional Climate Change - 10.6MB
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10 most damning findings from report on Russian election interference


By Eugene Scott, CNN | January 7, 2017


(CNN)The US intelligence community concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an "influence campaign" to harm Hillary Clinton's chances of winning the 2016 election.

The declassified reported, released Friday, determined with "high confidence" that Russia's interference -- consisting of hacking Democratic groups and individuals and releasing that information via third-party websites, including WikiLeaks -- helped President-elect Donald Trump win the election.
Here are some of the highlights from the report. Link for the details

1. Goal was to undermine US faith in democratic process

2. Effort was ordered by Putin

3. Putin's grudge

4. A 'significant escalation'

5. Paid social media trolls

6. #DemocracyRIP

7. Russian media involvement

8. Beyond the US

9. Other US targets

10. Putin and WikiLeaks

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Exxon’s decades of deceit
A timeline of what Exxon knew about climate science, and what they’ve done to deny, hide, and muddy the truth.
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"Dark Money" Funds Climate Change Denial Effort
A Drexel University study finds that a large slice of donations to organizations that deny global warming are funneled through third-party pass-through organizations that conceal the original funder
By Douglas Fischer, The Daily Climate on December 23, 2013

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Research Confirms ExxonMobil, Koch-funded Climate Denial Echo Chamber Polluted Mainstream Media
By Brendan DeMelle • Monday, November 23, 2015

“The contrarian efforts have been so effective for the fact that they have made it difficult for ordinary Americans to even know who to trust,” Dr. Farrell told the Washington Post
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CMD Submits Evidence of Exxon Mobil Funding ALEC’s Climate Change Denial to New York Attorney General
By PRWatch Editors on November 17, 2015
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ExxonMobil Report: Smoke Mirrors & Hot Air (2007)
February 2007
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EXXONSECRETS' INTERACTIVE MAP TO EXPLORE THE CONNECTIONS.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
An overwhelming majority of scientists agree — global warming is happening and human activity is the primary cause. Yet several prominent global warming skeptic organizations are actively working to sow doubt about the facts of global warming.

These organizations play a key role in the fossil fuel industry's "disinformation playbook," a strategy designed to confuse the public about global warming and delay action on climate change. Why? Because the fossil fuel industry wants to sell more coal, oil, and gas — even though the science clearly shows that the resulting carbon emissions threaten our planet.
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For the phone list of US Representatives
link to http://www.house.gov/representatives/

For the phone and address list of US Senators link