Sunday, April 26, 2015

#11 Questions for Heartland's Burnett, re Dr. Mann and more - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate

{slightly edited at 10:00pm 4/26}

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 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 eleventh installment I'm going to give Jim another pass in order to linger on Heartland Institute's Sterling Burnett's next question and his cheap shot at Dr. Mann which inspired a number of questions I'd like to direct to Mr. Burnett himself.

"How should society contend with those who knowingly 
disseminate misinformation about climate science."  
Heartland's BurnettWhat kind of impact do you believe this scientific misdirection of global warming and you know sort of the single point of view of global warming has had on science in general.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
"scientific misdirection of global warming" ?

You don't explain a thing.
You don't specify what you are talking about.
You don't provide anything constructive to build upon.

Your goal seems to be sewing mistrust and confusion.
What about learning from the information at hand?
Heartland's Burnett:  You know the media just focuses like a hawk, it seems to me, on whatever horror, horrific climate spin story is sent out.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
What's with this non sequitur?  

Are we discussing climate science, or profit driven sensationalistic media products?  Two very different issues buster brown, stop conflating them!
Heartland's Burnett:  Just following the old Mann trick, I believe the lead on climate is the same way, if it's disaster it's the headline. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Oh dear, more of that obligatory Gish Gallop.  Why always with the phony rhetorical tactics and never any slowing down enough to actually think about the stuff you're rattling off?
Mr. Burnett, I challenge you to explain what the "Mann trick" was.  Can you explain what bearing it has on the full spectrum of climate science?

Are you aware of how many different scientific fields touch on various aspects of the collective understanding of our 'global heat and moisture distribution engine' ?

Can you acknowledge the differences between what news and public media sources tell us and what the scientists themselves are telling us?

Why never acknowledge the many investigations that have found the Mann et al. work is solid?  Likewise, you ignore that it's not just "Mann's" hockey stick, there is a hockey league worth of data being resolved by a full spectrum of paleo temperature studies.

How do you justify taking very minor imperfections in a pioneering scientific study and using it as a bludgeon for attacking and defaming the entire field of climatology?  

What's your justification for continuing to ignore that the Mann et al. "hockey stick graph" has withstood the test the time?

Seems to me, you folks have dedicated yourselves to never ever learning a damned thing from the many detailed explanations and legitimate information sources you're offered.  

As though your need to guard your own convictions and tender egos is more desperately important than your curiosity to understand the world as it is.  What's up with that?    
~ ~ ~

Next, can you explain how you get from that proxy paleo temperature record to your "disaster in headlines" spiel?  

Incidentally, which "disaster headlines" are you referring to?  You know, I'd love to look at some of those events within the context of todays weather patterns with you, pick the event and make your claim.
~ ~ ~

Instead of proxy data, I'm curious what do you think about the actual changing composition of our planet's atmosphere?  For instance, when you look at the Mona Loa CO2 record, does the concept of accumulating compounding interest (trends) having massive 'down stream' impacts mean anything to you?
Heartland's Burnett:  And you got some concerns about the effect of sort of mass media science on science in general?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Mr. Burnett, can you explain specifically what this "mass media science" of yours is?

Throughout this entire interview you two are busy mixing and confusing issues. Rather than clarifying issues your busy fanning up a smokescreen of enemy fabrication.  It's all such a useless squandering of precious, irreplaceable time, shame on you!

Where's your curiosity and desire to clearly understand what's happening within our atmosphere and how that impacts our climate and biosphere... and landscapes?

Why your seething contempt and disregard for this Earth that we and our children depend on for everything?

Where does honesty, curiosity and dedication to good faith learning about our life sustaining planet Earth, fit into your world view?

Here's some food for thought: 

"Is misinformation about the climate criminally negligent?" 
by Lawrence Torcello at The Conversation, on March 13, 2014.
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Monday, November 17, 2014
Considering the demarcation between valid science and pseudo-science
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Friday, December 5, 2014
How to Debate Every Time
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Saturday, February 7, 2015
Defamation and lies are unacceptable part of the AGW 'debate' !

For those interested in Dr. Mann's side of the story:

Six Things Michael Mann Wants You to Know About the Science of Global Warming

by Joshua Holland | June 12, 2014
There is nothing controversial about the work of climatologist Michael Mann, director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center. His innovative research helped recreate the Earth’s historical temperature record and separate the noise of natural weather fluctuations from the steady signal of real climate change. As such, Mann has played a significant role in the development of the overwhelming scientific consensus — the planet is warming and human activities are responsible. 
It’s another story in the realm of politics, where Mann, an affable scientist, has been dragged into the fray by diehard climate change deniers. ... 
1.  Climate Scientists are the Real Skeptics . . . 
2.  The Science of Climate Change is Based on Many Sources of Data and Many Different Methodologies . . . 
3.  The Models Have Proven Accurate . . . 
4.  If Anything, Global Warming is Probably Worse Than Scientists Say . . . 
5.  A Scientific Consensus Isn’t Like a Popularity Contest . . .  
6.  Climatologists are Beginning to Recognize That They Have to Speak Up . . . 
Stuff worth learning:

Climate Contrarians Cook Up New 'Controversy'

Michael E. Mann | 05/18/2014

Misplaced cries of McCarthyism: an attempt to muddy the climate change waters. 
Recently, a somewhat obscure scientific journal rejected a paper. Somehow, that made the front page of the London Times and spawned a number of articles in the right-wing press. How in the world does a rejected manuscript warrant front-page media coverage? Here's how. 
A number of recent developments -- widely covered reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. National Climate Assessment, a popular new cable television series The Years of Living Dangerously produced by James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger and featuring prominent figures like Harrison Ford, Leslie Stahl, Matt Damon and Jessica Alba, a report by a blue-ribbon panel of National Security experts, and record drought and a catastrophic, early California fire season -- have dominated the climate change media narrative for months, raising public awareness about the reality and threat of human-caused climate change. 
Without the facts on their side or an objective case to be made, the usual suspects behind the climate change denial campaign -- industry front groups and their hired hands -- have once again resorted to their preferred means of distraction: invent a fake scandal, get help trumping it up from sympathetic right-wing media outlets (e.g. The Murdoch-owned London Times and the infamous Drudge Report), and hope to once again dupe the mainstream media into covering the matter as if it had actual merit or significance. 
In the latest such instance,   . . .  
Continue at: 

How we know global warming is true, succinctly explained in twelve minutes.

The video opens by listing the many groups that endorse the consensus that humans are causing global warming:
  • 33 national science academies
  • 68 national and international science organisations believe 
  • 97% of climate scientists
However, Dr Powell recommends you look at data and decide for yourself. At this point, he presents a whole bevy of climate indicators. Being a big fan of graphs, I'm going to have to delve into all his sources and publish some of these on Skeptical Science. Here's a taste of some of the evidence he presents:
  • The rise in temperature, along side CO2 concentrations and human CO2 emissions (a veritable cluster of hockey sticks)
  • Many different proxy records showing the unusual warming over the past century compared to previous centuries
  • The increase in the number of record high temperatures compared to record lows, both in the USA and Australia (but why hasn't this analysis been done in other countries?)
  • The growing season is lengthening
  • Nights have warmed more than days, ruling out the sun as the cause of recent global warming
  • The oceans have warmed steadily according to a number of independent ocean heat reconstructions
  • More wildfires
  • Snows are melting earlier in the year, sometimes as much as 20 days earlier in the spring
  • Fire seasons are starting earlier, last longer and are harder to control
  • The Northern Hemisphere is losing snow cover and permafrost
  • The world's glaciers are losing ice each year
  • Arctic sea ice extent and volume have both declined
  • Greenland is losing ice and the ice loss is steadily spreading north
  • Antarctica is losing ice
  • Sea levels are rising
  • Ocean acidity is increasing across the world's oceans
  • Northern Hemisphere plant species are moving up slopes
  • U.S. bird species are migrating further north to cooler temperatures
  • Biological events like timing of breeding, emerging of flowers and butterfly emergence are happening earlier in the year
  • Regions where climate is more favourable to plants are steadily migrating north

NOAA - Ten Signs of a Warming World
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National Climate Data Center - Global Climate Change Indicators
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Climate change: How do we know?

Published by Thin Ice on May 13, 2014
Ray Pierrehumbert explains in terms of the physics of what happens high up in the atmosphere, how rising levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide result in warming of the Earth's surface. 
For more information see
Here's a nice easy watching introduction to what our "global heat and moisture distribution engine" is all about:

The groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth.

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