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

  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. 
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.  
    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. 
Actually you are, in that you are dismissing AGW’s already clear and present impacts on our global society and biosphere.  

You also seem to deny that left untreated (that is radical reduction in CO2 emissions) these extreme weather events and impacts will rapidly evolve into an actual existential threat to humanity itself.  That's not models, it is simple physics multiplied by the amazing quantities we continue injecting into our atmosphere and compounded by our society's complexities.
    1. EM responds:  I will give it to you, you seem relatively well versed in the realm of climate science. Kudos to you, but don’t misrepresent my concerns over necessary action-steps as an attempt on my part to run away from objective realities.
Hmmm, the way I’ve read you so far, it seems you have little concerns, beyond casual lip service and "lets study this yet more."  This attitude however ignores that we are already being seriously impacted by destructive weather events.  EM, why do you turn a blind eye to that?
  1. EM’s point #15, quoting me:  Oh and no immediate about it!  I’ve been studying Anthropogenic Global Warming and the public dialogue since the early 1970s.  I’ve been trying to have a serious debate with a AGW contrarian since the 90s and Roger Cohen’s dishonest lectures at our local college.  What I get instead is big up front claims.  When I respond and watch my responses sidestepped with a descent into silliness that totally avoids the points I’ve presented, then with parting insults they disappear back into their self-certain echo-chamber. That’s by way of explaining why I’m not coddling and all nicie-nicie anymore.  Sorry if it hurts your feelings.”
    1. EM responds:  Don’t worry about hurting my feelings, I’m not as easily triggered as many in our society are nowadays. I love having conversations like this one, as you are challenging me to present my thoughts in a coherent manner and to defend my beliefs. I hope you feel the same way through this and don’t see it as a personal attack on you. This is the discussion that should be happening more, but isn’t.
I appreciate that and likewise I hope you feel that my review hasn’t been unhinged or hostile, heck I hope you find it informative, provocative and useful.
  1. EM’s point #16, quoting me:  “Bull shit, have you even read through any of my critiques?  Why not start with Mr. Landscapes and Cycles, the infamous lying Jim Steele and my documented dismantling of his nonsense.  You’ll find the specifics upon which I base my “generalizations.” Why avoidance?  I’ve issued a bold invitation for a rational substance based constructive debate regarding climate science and the way the Republicans have maliciously misrepresented and lied about the facts. We don’t need to like each other to have a constructive honest debate.”
    1. EM responds:  Read through a couple, again, well thought out and I have no objection to your disdain for the spread of false information. 
Then please learn more about climate science from the scientists dedicated to studying and understanding our planet.  Stop giving so much weight to people who are obviously only interested in climate science because its implications threaten their myopic financial/political self-interest.  How can you trust the objectivity of such vested interests?
    1. EM responds:  I never said I don’t like you; I don’t base who I like and don’t like on someone’s personal political beliefs. That is no way to go through life or to achieve anything that can be considered productive in society. 
Agreed.  Nor do I have any dislike for you, in fact, I’ve developed some genuine respect for you and hope that some of my points have connected with your intellectual integrity.  

Re my comment, I wasn't insinuating anything, I simply meant in general people should be able to have rational constructive dialogues even with people they don’t like.
  1. EM’s point #17, quoting me:  “I’ve never claimed to be an expert, but I have been paying attention since the early 70s.  I’m a spectator, an enthusiast, which is why I add so many links back to original sources, so folks can learn for themselves. Dude, It’s not about “dismissing the opposition” it’s about exposing base deception and malicious lies.”
    1. EM responds:  But, you are dismissing my views. However, I chalk that up to my own comments short-comings in its articulation rather than your method of debate.
I’m dismissing deceptive views you are parroting because I’ve been at this BBQ for a while and I recognize the many misrepresentations you appear to have fallen for. 

You’re biggest fail, other than poor Critical Thinking Skills, is that you deliberately ignore the malicious tactical attack serious science has been under for decades.  You seem to accept the slander, without much due diligence.  That’s why I’ve decided to spend all this time responding to the various memes you're presented here.

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

A historical table of U.S. Billion-dollar disaster events, summaries, report links and statistics for the 1980–2016 period of record. In 2016, there were 15 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included a drought event, 4 flooding events, 8 severe storm events, a tropical cyclone event, and a wildfire event.

National Overview — a summary of national and regional temperatures and precipitation, placing the data into a historical perspective
National Snow and Ice — snow and ice in the U.S.
Synoptic Discussion — a summary of synoptic activity in the U.S.
Tornadoes — a summary of tornadic activity in the U.S.
Hurricanes and Tropical Storms — hurricanes and tropical storms that affect the U.S. and its territories
Drought — drought in the U.S.
Wildfires — a summary of wildland fires in the U.S. and related weather and climate conditions

Global Analysis — a summary of global temperatures and precipitation, placing the data into a historical perspective
Regional Analysis — a summary of global regional temperature anomalies, placing the data into a historical perspective
Global Hazards — weather-related hazards and disasters around the world
Global Snow and Ice — a global view of snow and ice, placing the data into a historical perspective
Upper Air — tropospheric and stratospheric temperatures, with data placed into historical perspective
El Niño/Southern Oscillation — atmospheric and oceanic conditions related to ENSO

National Climate Assessment

The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

As the world has warmed, that warming has triggered many other changes to the Earth’s climate. Changes in extreme weather and climate events, such as heat waves and droughts, are the primary way that most people experience climate change. Human-induced climate change has already increased the number and strength of some of these extreme events. Over the last 50 years, much of the U.S. has seen increases in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, heavy downpours, and in some regions, severe floods and droughts.

ATTRIBUTION OF Extreme Weather Events
IN THE CONTEXT OF Climate Change

Committee on Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change Attribution
Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
Division on Earth and Life Studies

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at



State of the Climate in 2015

This is the 26th edition of the annual assessment now known as State of the Climate. The year 2015 saw the toppling of several symbolic mileposts: notably, it was 1.0°C warmer than preindustrial times, and the Mauna Loa observatory recorded its first annual mean carbon dioxide concentration greater than 400 ppm. Beyond these more recognizable markers, trends seen in recent decades continued.

Download by Chapter:

Past Reports

By: Alex McKechnie | December 20, 2013

Key findings include: 

Conservative foundations have bank-rolled denial. The largest and most consistent funders of organizations orchestrating climate change denial are a number of well-known conservative foundations, such as the Searle Freedom Trust, the John William Pope Foundation, the Howard Charitable Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation. These foundations promote ultra-free-market ideas in many realms. 

Koch and ExxonMobil have recently pulled back from publicly visible funding. From 2003 to 2007, the Koch Affiliated Foundations and the ExxonMobil Foundation were heavily involved in funding climate-change denial organizations. But since 2008, they are no longer making publicly traceable contributions. 

Funding has shifted to pass through untraceable sources. Coinciding with the decline in traceable funding, the amount of funding given to denial organizations by the Donors Trust has risen dramatically. Donors Trust is a donor-directed foundation whose funders cannot be traced. This one foundation now provides about 25% of all traceable foundation funding used by organizations engaged in promoting systematic denial of climate change. 

Most funding for denial efforts is untraceable. Despite extensive data compilation and analyses, only a fraction of the hundreds of millions in contributions to climate change denying organizations can be specifically accounted for from public records. Approximately 75% of the income of these organizations comes from unidentifiable sources.

No comments: