Monday, August 14, 2017

Diary 8/14/17 - Where do we go from here?

Historically science has been about learning stuff and better understanding the functioning reality in front of us.  It has always been a constructive dialogue, and even a contact sport between intellectual adults.  That’s because science demanded dedicated nonstop learning and often new information would conflict with long standing beliefs.  Still scientists adhered to rules of honesty, not just honesty in their own scientific work and reports but representing other’s position and evidence honestly, even when debating contentious issues.

Deviants and demagogues would appear from time to time, but given that they were embedded within a skeptical community of informed all-around skeptical experts, the occasional frauds found themselves exposed, while the wheels of science returned to the solid ground of allowing verifiable facts to dictate what people ‘believed’ (though always provisional, knowing that new information could modify and enhance the more simplistic established understanding.

As it turned out, none of that was ever a problem so long as scientific learning was tied to increasing earnings and profits and riches, all was well.

Then during the course of the twentieth century something fundamental and unavoidable changed.  Our science facilitated human population explosion came face to face with the reality of our finite Earth’s limits on growth which then came face to face human’s avaricious appetites.  

Scientists being at the forefront of understanding our living planet, were the first one’s to appreciate the Faustian Bargain our fast paced fossil fuels driven society had locked all of us humans into.

By the 70s the reality was clear,

Friday, August 11, 2017

Diary 8/11/2017 - Center for Inquiry Forum, Cracking the Contrarians' Code.

Due to obligations and commitments crowding my reading and writing time down to the bottom of my get-it-done list it has remained scattered and lately mostly confined to commenting over at the Center for Inquiry forum.  Recently conversations have gotten a bit livelier and occasionally even constructive since a few more people are getting involved.   

Check it out sometime.  Faith based vs Fact based.  Climate skeptical challenges add some spice, civility and feigned civility, facts and fiction, devious rhetoric and touche's, sometimes genuine learning, insults and ruffled feathers, usually for effect, occasionally heart felt, sturm und drang and all that fun stuff.

Still, at the end of the day we’re left with the same challenge that started long ago with the first strategic attacks on the scientific understanding of tobacco smoke dangers - though at the time no one realized it, too many still don’t.  ( For those details see: http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org It's all been documented, though contrarians prefer to dismiss the book as meaningless ad hominem attacks {on their right to lie I presume}, all the while ignoring all evidence presented.)

The challenge is: How to engage in a constructive intellectual dialogue with characters who are dedicated to disparaging and dismissing serious science with what ever words and tactics are required at the moment, merely because it’s what their jobs depend on?

Good faith learning holds no interest.  Sowing doubt and confusion is the goal and it’s such an easy thing to achieve if one possesses no scruples and limitless chutzpah.

Resentment towards and dismissal of evidence is a given. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Eye popping Global Temperature visualization by Antti Lipponen (1900 - 2016), plus supporting info.

While too many scared scientists* seem to be watering down their reports and pronouncements regarding their findings, (To save themselves confrontations with the ruthless champions of climate science denial and hardball political disinformation, I imagine.), others are striving to bring today's global reality into stark focus.  

Antti Lipponen (from the Finnish Meteorological Institute ) has put together a visualization who's overall impact is astounding.  At least if you have the slightest empathy for people and appreciation of this planet's biosphere, as we've always known her.


Published on YouTube, Aug 2, 2017 by Carbon Brief
How has temperature changed in each country over the last century?
This data visualisation shows temperature anomaly – the departure from the long-term average – by country from 1900 to 2016. 
Visualisation by Antti Lipponen (@anttilip) of the Finnish Meteorological Institute based on GISTEMP data (CC BY 2.0).
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* Why else would everyone at Project Midas continue ignoring my entreaties?
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I'm having a dialogue with some smooth climate science contrarians over at the CFI forum which got me to thinking I should add this other simple video which explains where all that heat is coming from.  I specially liked this one because of its reminder of pioneering papers that turned out to be quite accurate about what was coming our way.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Confronting another failure in scientific communication - Antarctic’s Iceberg A-68

Around July 11th a trillion tonne chunk of Larson C ice shelf broke off and become the roughly 2,200 sq mile Iceberg A-68.  The news was reported by scientists observing the growing crack through the Project Midas website. 

Martin O’Leary a Research Officer at Swansea University and expert in ice flow modeling was quoted and has been re-quoted ad nauseum saying:

Although this is a natural event and we’re not aware of any link to human-induced climate change, this puts the ice shelf in a very vulnerable position.”
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Larsen C Ice Shelf - February 21, 2017
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Huge Antarctic iceberg finally breaks free - Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica 
July 12, 2017
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I understand there’s valid reasons for scientists being ultra-conservative in making connections, but that "no link" suggestion is simply weird, pollyannaish even.  Reads like it was penned by a Trump team member rather than a dedicated researcher.  Or, perhaps it was penned by someone deeply frightened by the Trump Administration and funding concerns.  

Before labeling me a scientist basher understand my years worth of blogging has been all about defending the solid integrity of scientists, and the work they have been sharing with a public that has a right to know the unvarnished truth without constantly being deluged by lies, slander and disingenuous distractions into irrelevance.  

{PS. Check out the latest news, once again exposing how all this 'Seepage' started: 

Utilities Knew: Documenting Electric Utilities’ Early Knowledge and Ongoing Deception on 

Climate Change From 1968-2017  http://www.energyandpolicy.org/utilities-knew-about-climate-change/


It’s true, I’m only a high school grad, class of ’73, but I’ve been actively keeping up on climate science developments and global observations ever since.  Does that give me the right to lecture experienced professionals on communicating science?  

Well if they continue spinning reality into an intellectual parlor game that ignores the existential crisis we have collectively created for ourselves, … if their message sidesteps common sense geophysical interconnections.  You bet !  

So long as I can support my indictment with rational arguments and valid evidence. 

This post will be about the mountain of evidence pointing to this recent calving event being part and parcel of an interconnected global climate engine that is being warmed by society’s fossil fuel burning emissions!  It will also spotlight other examples of gratuitous misleading words injected into reports purely for their soothing value and political cover.

Not having every single detail of every dynamic interconnection mapped out in it’s entirety is no justification for ignoring obvious dynamics and cascading consequences.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Diary 7/22/17 "Chat.Hotwhopper.com" What happened? Where are You?

I want to share something I posted over at the neglected Hotwhopper Chat room.  No it's not Sou who's done any neglecting.  Here's to looking at the person in the mirror.

What happened?

It's really sad that nothing has happened here.  I keep looking in and nothing.  Out of all those hundreds, thousands of participants in the  "Denial101x - Making Sense of Climate Science Denial" MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)  https://www.skepticalscience.com/denial101x-videos-and-references.html.  Weren't these students and concerned citizens interested in communicating the truth and essence of climate science fundamentals to their fellow citizens?

Seems to me chat.hotwhopper.com was a perfect platform for students and other novices to science communication to come together to support and feed and strengthen each other.  People who felt an urge to add their own energy to the struggle of educating a people who don't want to learn.

Where are they?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Diary July 2nd, 2017 personal note and Village at Wolf Creek update


Just dropping by to say hello.  
At first I stopped posting because I needed to STOP.  
Too many train wrecks one on top of the other.  

Important matters with dark irreversible consequences, 
all very tragic and having a deep emotional impact on me.
Trump election; the astounding failure of vision and determination Democrats displayed in never getting Merrick Garland his Supreme Court hearing and vote; Bates’ malicious attack piece; the Fyfe 2016 fiasco paper that amounted to a stamp collection that produced a report that read like a Rorschach test; followed by a bit of related drama I still hope to write about, for the lessons it offers.

Rather than dance with a breakdown, 
it was time to put down the notepad and step away from the keypad, 
refocus on the work I do for pay, 
then after-hours, 
I shutdown my thoughts regarding things I’m absolutely impotent to do anything about.  As much as possible.

It was also time to focus full attention on this young dog who’s decided she owns me (my 1st) and our many (newly undistracted) walks over this forty acres I get to call my home.  Yeah, the universe has a strange sense of humor, but so it goes.

It was a good break for about a month, but with psyche mended or at least new acceptance of the profound failures we children of the intellectual enlightenment are guilty of, my thoughts won’t shut down completely.  I can't be blind to the world and if I can't be anything beyond a lone witness, so be it.  I heard a profound thought recently: "Hope is a survival strategy in hopeless times."  On we go.  (slightly edited 7/3/17 evening)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Monbiot Considers The Problem With Freedom

As I've lamented before, my passion for writing about these issues is at the bottom of my real life duties and expectations priority list.  The spring-time jobs are coming in fast an' furious, three posts laying there waiting for some free time.  I did notice an interesting read worth sharing while I'm out on assignment.  Once again George Monbiot nails it.
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Posted: 07 Apr 2017 01:05 AM PDT
Freedom is used as the excuse for ripping down public protections on behalf of the very rich.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 5th April 2017
http://www.monbiot.com/2017/04/07/the-problem-with-freedom/

Propaganda works by sanctifying a single value, such as faith, or patriotism. Anyone who questions it puts themselves outside the circle of respectable opinion. The sacred value is used to obscure the intentions of those who champion it. Today the value is freedom. Freedom is a word that powerful people use to shut down thought.
When thinktanks and the billionaire press call for freedom, they are careful not to specify whose freedoms they mean. Freedom for some, they suggest, means freedom for all. In certain cases, this is true. You can exercise freedom of thought and expression, for example, without harming other people. In other cases, one person’s freedom is another’s captivity.

When corporations free themselves from trade unions, they curtail the freedoms of their workers. When the very rich free themselves from tax, other people suffer through failing public services. When financiers are free to design exotic financial instruments, the rest of us pay for the crises they cause.

Above all, billionaires and the organisations they run demand freedom from something they call “red tape”. What they mean by red tape is public protection. An article in the Telegraph last week was headlined “Cut the EU red tape choking Britain after Brexit to set the country free from the shackles of Brussels”. Yes, we are choking, but not on red tape. We are choking because the government flouts European rules on air quality. The resulting air pollution frees thousands of souls from their bodies.

Ripping down such public protections means freedom for billionaires and corporations from the constraints of democracy. This is what Brexit – and Trump – are all about. The freedom we were promised is the freedom of the very rich to exploit us.