Monday, March 12, 2018

Greenman, Rahmstorf - "Red Team" Kelly killed it. Opportunities missed, it's a shame.

From a scientist's perspective Dr. Rahmstorf is correct and I completely agree with him.  What everyone seems to be overlooking is what a fantastic public education opportunity a Red Team Blue Team showdown could be.

Blue team, not of scientists, but a team of savvy climate science communicators with thorough understanding of GOP contrarian arguments and tactics along with their scientific understanding.  Why not set it up to provide the public with a close-up examination of the evidence and arguments on both sides?  My thoughts on the opportunity it would provide after Dr. Rahmstorf explains the scientist's perspective.

greenmanbucket  -  Published on Mar 12, 2018
Interview with Stefan Rahmstorf 
There will be no "red team" debate about the settled science of climate change. 
Even supporters of the fossil fuel agenda were too embarrassed to participate.

John Kelly killed Pruitt’s climate science debate
By Timothy Cama  - 03/09/18 

2:15 exactly "it's just a public show" - that's the point.  

Think about this a little - could be golden opportunity - but rather than climate scientists, make the Blue Team savvy climate science communicators - and then turn the tables on the contrarians!

Demand evidence and facts - when they produce their tainted manipulated evidence and juvenile arguments - call them on it!  Bring it back to the basics - "Just the facts Ma'am."
Intellectual Confrontation, expose and describe the game they're playing as they play it.  Of course, it would require very sharp, well spoken individuals with cojones to go with their smarts.  Individuals ready and wanting to dissect and expose the details of how the contrarians' dishonesty and siren song unfolds.

Tear apart their juvenile arguments one after the other, it would be a golden opportunity, the smarter folks at the WH realize it better than we, so it's not happening.   What a lost opportunity, I myself believe taking their bluff in this election season could be a shrewd move.  

Why not put together our own R-B team - either with actual contrarians, or with videos of their words, since they never seem ready to debate on an even playing field.  Put contrarian arguments, and their reason on trial.

It might also offer a great platform to proclaim that, a sane society requires that we honestly represent our opponents' positions - yes, also to listen to corrects - life is a learning process.  Mistakes are learning opportunities and should not get frozen into bludgeons.  

Repeatedly and willfully ignoring corrections (object facts and data) to one’s own mistakes is a whole other story that needs to be exposed when it happens.

We have a duty to honestly represent known physical facts and evidence.

Repeating factual lies, should be called out, and dogged, dogged, dogged until the errors get acknowledged.  Not attacking people, attacking the idiotic lies!  That would be so much better and more productive than the silent acquiesce that extends a free pass for malicious lies to flourish.  

Seriously, think about what's happening in public media and the news, we've allowed the Alt-right to own and dominate the narrative so completely that in politics lying about the most important of facts and using malicious dirty tricks have become standard operating procedure, enjoyed with a ghoulish joy.   

Start with a simply factual review of our global heat and moisture distribution engine and the atmospheric insulation that makes our Earth habitable.  A quick review of our complex biosphere (of a sense of its folds within folds of cumulative harmonic complexity) and how all within it is a product of the available energy and the resulting climatic regime.  

How changing the mean temperature of the Earth impacts this biosphere and its inhabitants.  It can be done in a fairly short period of time.  Perhaps touch on uncertainty vs. certainty issues; map vs. territory problem; "How exact does our data need to be to know enough?"; and such.

Then turn the discussion over to the competing arguments, logic and evidence.  

Turn the klieg lights on the GOP's dishonest maliciously fraudulent debate tactics. 

2018 is a frightening election season with more at stake than in any time in America's history (suggest a rival if you can) my nightmare is that too many people still don't appreciate what's at stake, or even the game being played  - what we don't know, will hurt us.

If we don't all start engaging, and networking, and learning, and informing, and engaging more friends, and doing it now, things could get very dark indeed.  Check out this info kiosk

Dr. Schneider 2008 - Do we know enough to warrant action?

Stanford  |  Published on Sep 15, 2008  |  Stephen Schneider
July 24, 2008 presentation by Stephen Schneider for the Stanford University Office of Science Outreach's Summer Science Lecture Series.  
Professor Schneider discusses the local, regional, and international actions that are already beginning to address global warming and describe other actions that could be taken, if there were political will to substantially reduce the magnitude of the risks. 
The Stanford Summer Science Lecture Series is a set of informal lectures about cutting edge research from four of Stanford's most esteemed professors.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

White House quietly issues OMB report vindicating Obama regulations

More facts to help expose the lie behind Libertarians Deregulation Siren’s Song.  Here's another example of Enlightened Self-Interest showing itself to be the more rational constructive way to approach our problems.  I’ll leave the rest of this story to someone who can explain it better than I can.  
These are the facts we need to learn about and share with others. 

Contradicting Trump, OMB report highlights rule benefits
Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter
Published: February 26, 2018 

The White House Office of Management and Budget on Friday evening released its annual report on the costs and benefits of federal regulations, showing that the benefits of major Obama-era rules far exceeded the costs.

E&E News broke the story, but it’s only available to subscribers so I’ll relate David Roberts report from

Trump White House quietly issues report vindicating Obama regulations
It was easy to miss, but OMB demolishes the GOP’s deregulatory claims.
By David Roberts  |  |  Mar 6, 2018, 9:30am EST

For a copy of the Report itself, this has been posted by E&E
2017 Draft Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations and Agency Compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

President Donald Trump’s administration has been on a deregulatory bender, particularly when it comes to environmental regulations. As of January, the New York Times counted 67 environmental rules on the chopping block under Trump.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

This Is What Democracy Looks Like - Breen LandUseCode Community Meeting

After a short intro with a big digression, here's the follow up to my previous post, which looked at the connections between "SaveLaPlata" and the Koch octopus.  Here's a report on a very informative local meeting and example of genuine democracy in action.

I appreciate this concerns but one obscure county, still change the names and the contrived local "issue" - and this is playing out throughout the USA in the run up to the Nov. election.  
By Jonathan Easley - 01/27/18 - The

Why am I sharing this?  Guess, I still dream of a genuine grassroots uprising, and yes perhaps even networking with some people of passion, ethics and being part of it. (citizenschallenge at gmail.)    

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

“O the irony!” says "Save"LaPlata's front man, Peters. The irony indeed.

This is an updated version of  "SaveLaPlataCounty's "Facts" Tainted by Koch's DarkMoney Tentacles" (2/16), this expanded version was inspired by SaveLaPlataCounty's Dave Peters' bile filled PR release of 2/22.  I submit another study in Intellectual Confrontation, you could also call it simply speaking up for honesty, and trying to rationally describe the process.  In any event, it's something we need more of.
Durango Herald's February 22“O the irony!” said Dave Peters, another (Lachelt) recall organizer, in the news release. “It turns out the queen of outside dark money is actually Commissioner Lachelt herself.” Recall supporters created a website, Save La Plata County, which explains why they are seeking her removal from office.”  
Oh the irony indeed!
What about The Rest Of This Story? 

What about’s many ties to unabashedly oil loving, environmentalist hating outfits with their vast amounts of Koch DarkMoney ready to be lavished on any go-getters ready to join their fabricated war on rationality and raise hell in their communities?

A network that Ken Francis alluded to in his thoughtful November 17th, 2017 Durango Herald opinion piece,” “Big oil and gas behind county commissioner attacks.” (at the end of this I share his insightful final paragraphs.)

Where is getting their funding from?  No hint at their blog.  I’ve sent Mr Peters an email requesting that information, we’ll see if I get a response. I will keep you updated. (still no word 2/27)

Here we look at the brain-trust three locals depended on to fabricate their malicious effort to do an end-run around the democratic voters' will. 

(click on images for clearer view)

To begin with, isn’t their summary title a bit hysterical? 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Confronting the Koch machine’s hostile take-over bid

Hello, stopping by to say I haven't forgotten about CSC, WUWTW or global warming issues but that's been effectively derailed for at least another month.  Then again, what I'm working on now isn't so far removed from my core mission, callout and confront political liars with factual evidence, and constructive debates.  Which is why I want to share this example.  You see some Koch front groups have invaded my town and have started a malicious recall petition based on the usual mix of hate-mongering and lies.  I don't see why we the people should take it laying down.  Thus, I share this example of what I'm talking about when I say intellectual confrontation.  

¶ SaveLaPlataCounty's Recall Petition Examined - dirty tricks in action.
February 16, 2018

Save La Plata County’s Petition Language - Take a closer look at what’s being circulated by  See if you don't agree it's a bunch of deceptive handwaving?  Please help discuss this malicious political deception aimed at robbing us of our duly elected County Commissioner!  Here I make a study out of the complete text of the Recall Petition, have not altered any words from their Recall Petition, but I do address their claims and deceptions.

      Save La Plata County (from what?)

Recall Petition full text

We need commissioners who represent our interests above their own, and who govern with accountability and transparency.  (Of course!  Don't we all)  Commissioner Lachelt has not done that.  (False, look at the support rallying around her. She has repeatedly leveraged our public office for her private gain by appearing before the U.S. Congress and other federal government entities to advocate and advance her and her employer’s political and policy agendas under the guise of her role as our commissioner.  (False, she has been advocating for issues that we elected her to advocate for.  Those interests include protecting this environment that is our life support system!  Whether oil interests like it or not.)  Her county commissioner meeting attendance record further demonstrates where her allegiance lies. Her 2017 attendance record was much lower than any other commissioner.  (False, 91% v 95%.) 

We can and should expect our commissioners to act ethically (We should be able to demand the same of their opponents!) and not to take actions that undermine the public’s trust in our local government.  (Lachelt has never done such a thing.  No evidence of wrong doing presented - beyond advocating for a healthy environment*, that is. Why has that become an impeachable offense?).  As a result of Commissioner Lachelt’s actions,  (Nowhere is specific misconduct presented.)  the county has been required to investigate ethics complaints filed against her and to seek out ethics advice from at least one other county.  (Malicious misrepresentation of the facts.  This same group filed and pushed that frivolous complaint which was dismissed at every level it was looked at.  Now they resurrect it yet again.  Pure dirty politics in action!)  

For all these reasons, and more, we believe Commissioner Lachelt has acted in ways that have undermined the public’s trust  

(This perspective leaves  >2/3s of crowd out of frame, taken Feb 15, 2018 at Eno, Durango.)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

AFP and Koch's libertarianism - Why It Matters To Set Them Straight. [INDEX 2/17/18]

February 2, 2018
Five Myths About the Koch Brothers - Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Theda Skocpol* - 2016

... and Why It Matters To Set Them Straight.

I've had a few more days to continue my crash course into Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers and "Libertarian" ideology in general.  The convoluted logic and the ruthless efforts I'm learning about get overwhelming.  Thankfully I have my Maddy dog who makes sure I get out for good long walks regularly, which helps clear my head and allows me to breath some fresh air and regroup.  

Why do I think this is so important to discuss and share?  Because liberalism, or more accurately, enlightened-self-interest, our democratic process of learning from and considering each other, and compromise - understanding critical thinking skills and the scientific process for assessing the world around us - all this is under existential threat.  

We have this group of faithful people who genuinely believe they have a personal reciprocal relationship with God (a Being billions of years old and encompassing the universe) and who now want to totally crush the Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment and our pluralistic society .

When all the layers are scraped away that's what I'm coming down to, this huge group of people who have convinced themselves that their own goals are God's own goals.  Think about this.

To believe that your personal goals are those of the God of Light and Time, Life and Love!  That  really is what's going on here!  Yet, the Bible warns us, God is beyond human understanding.  Still, we have leaders marching around proclaiming they are doing God's Will and all who oppose them are damnable enemies deserving no quarter.

Self-certitude and absolutism, that leads right into totalitarianism and I understand too much history to delude myself into presuming it could never happen here.  It's happened in plenty of equally unlikely places before.  Particularly when few care to, or dare to, think about it, let alone talk about it.  A healthy Democracy demands an informed and engaged electorate.    

Well, that intro went way longer than expected, but than, this exercise is about wrestling with this information and ideas and seeing where they take me.

Okay, for the main feature, this addition to my Americans for Koch's Prosperity Collection is the product of two scholars who's investigations enabled them to share some important background information most have overlooked, important details worth thinking about if you're trying to understand what's happening today.  It does have a long history.  (link)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Americans for (Koch's) Prosperity - a closer look

Americans for (Koch's) Prosperity.blogspot

They say life is what happens while you're busy making plans.  This past Thursday I was waylaid by the fact that Americans for Prosperity has invaded our little eastern slope Colorado town with the intention of removing a much liked County Commissioner because she shows concern for the local environment and believes the Oil Industry should take responsible for their own messes, though she's never voted against a well permit.  She is simply too green for Koch's agenda.  Next they want to kill a long overdue and much worked on county land-use code.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

"12) Faith-based Thinking: God or EGO?" - GOP's hate-on for Pluralism

I've reached out to some internet acquaintances, some scientists and communicators, telling them about my new blogging effort ConfrontingScienceContrarians, trying to get a little feedback.  Nothing much by way of response, these are busy people with bigger concerns filling their days, plus they come from a more establishment background.  And me, what am I, a terrified spectator, low on anyone's priority list.  Plus most simply don't understand what I'm trying do, which I shouldn't be surprised at.  In many ways they can't understand me any better than I can understand them.  Still, I try, so along with a couple other posts, I shared my list of 14 Observations regarding communication failures

One response I did receive:
"Your section 12 Faith-Based Thinking makes absolutely no sense to me."
On reread the text it seemed straightforward enough, so I figured the main problem was with my convoluted title and I made it more concise; 

12)  Faith-based Thinking - God or EGO?

Possessing the hubris to fancy that we petty, jealous, fearful, prideful humans can access and understand the real God of Light and Time, Life and Love, leads to a profound disconnect from our planet’s physical reality, and an immoral absolutism.  

It's one thing to believe in an unknowable god, quite another to mistake one’s own hyper-inflated EGO for God. 

Unhinged from reality is not too harsh a descriptive.

I shared my change and added some explanation.

The right-wing and evangelical faithful tell us to our faces that they are in direct communication with God Almighty of Time and Light, Creation and Life.  They tell us they are doing God's duty.  For instance, it's God demanding that Government interfer with a woman's right to self-determination and to self-defense when it comes to having a child, or not - though it matters not one bit to the State what any woman does with herself.  

It's God telling people that Evolution is Satan's plan and that liberals are enemies who are going to hell.  They really and truly believe and broadcast it.  It's God telling them scientists are liars.

That is something Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment really ought to start facing up front - it demands a new sort of language and questions and open rejection of such nonsense.  

Monday, January 15, 2018

"Blue team v Pruitt" update

Here's an update on my Blue Team teaches Pruitt project.

A reminder, this is an outline for exploring the learning opportunities Pruitt's Red Team Blue Team challenge offers for exposing GOP's intellectual dishonesty.  With time I hope to add posts and links to sources explaining all of the listed items.

"Blue team v Pruitt"

 Pruitt, questioning the unquestionable is fine. 

 Now, will you pay attention to the answers you receive? 

Science’s Blue team educates 
Pruitt’s GOP Red team  -  A Rough Outline.

I appreciate this is only an amateur’s exercise, I dare you to do better.  
Heck, I implore you to do better.  Please.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Schooling Pruitt's Red Team about our planet and its climate

I wrote the following column mid December for the Four Corners Free Press out of Cortez, Colorado.  Since then it seems that the GOP doesn’t think much of Pruitt’s Red team Blue team idea and his challenge appears dead.  Still as I explained at Confronting Science Contrarians I believe Pruitt’s challenge is worth exploring, if only in outline.  Beginning with an observation and a pointed question:
Pruitt, questioning the unquestionable is fine. 
Now, will you, can you, pay attention to the answers you receive? 

Science’s Blue team educates Pruitt’s GOP Red team

A rough outline for exploring the learning opportunities Pruitt's Red Team Blue Team challenge offers for exposing GOP's intellectual dishonesty.

The following column was inspired by a lecture that Kevin Trenberth  gave at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado on November 9th, 2017.  Pruitt's "challenge" happened to jump into the headlines giving this story the hook that had been alluding me for weeks.  Worth noting is that most of what I write here at WUWT and at CSC is intended for readers up to speed on the science and the public dialogue - these columns for the FCFP force me to write for an audience preoccupied with other concerns, which produces a different sort of piece.

January 2018 - Four Corners Free Press, Cortez, Colorado

Early in December U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers he intended to organize a “Red team v Blue team” exercise to debate climate change science.

Pruitt is being willfully blind to the fact that the scientific aspects of global warming have already been thoroughly debated by experts. It’s expected that Pruitt will orchestrate a lawyerly winner-take-all debate. One that’s based on rhetorical trickery and a ruthless disregard for facts.

It’s a shame, since we Americans needs a constructive educational dialogue. A debate where honestly representing your opponent’s arguments and data is as important as honestly representing your own data. One where objective learning is the goal, and where truth matters.

Speaking of honestly representing the science, November 9th Dr. Kevin Trenberth (the distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder and a lead author for IPCC’s Scientific Assessment in 1995, 2001, and 2007, a giant in the field of climate assessment), gave a talk at the Fort Lewis College Climate Symposium explaining what scientists have learned about our planet. It sounded to me like a potential Blue team opening statement.

Since, today climate scientists and the science itself is under attack like never before it’s critical for more citizens to become aware and engaged. That’s why I want to share what Trenberth explained to us, along with some additional science. Information that makes clear what an internally consistent understanding scientists have achieved.

Trenberth underscored that pretty much all scientists agree. As for the few outliers, they are driven by other causes, such as religious and political inclinations. He explained that: “… as a whole the data are of mixed quality and length. If you were to look at one little piece of it you might be able to be skeptical that climate change is happening, but when you put it all together there's no doubt whatsoever that this is happening.”