Thursday, April 2, 2015

#2 Fear of Debate - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate

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:  "And we trust the scientific theory because it 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 as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  

Let's see if Mr. Steele lives up to his own boisterous challenge, I agree to share his response without editing any of his words in a stand alone post, one per each installment, should he be game.  

In this second installment I'm going to jump to the end of the interview because Mr. Steele made a grand speech about the need for debate and I think his words establish the legitimacy of taking on Mr. Steel in this public debate.  
Heartland:  Jim, we got a short time left, what would be the most important single point you'd like our listeners to take away from this conversation. 
Steele:  Oh boy, hard to make one.  The first what I would suggest is the public keep the motto of the older scientific institutions of the world, that Isaac Newton once presided over.  The motto was Nullius in verba, "take no one's word for it"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Your translation is too simplistic, here's how some better minds have described it:

... Popper and his fellow author ended their letter by saying. As the founders of the Royal Society of London put it in 1663: Nullius in verba – 
there is nothing in words. It is facts we seek.

That's quite different from your siren call to reject what you can't prove for yourself, or what you don't like.

Mr. Steele, can you explain how someone with a partial homespun understanding convinces themself that they are smarter than actual active experts in an area of study.  Isn't the devil in the details and doesn't more knowledge lead to better understanding and better understanding lead to sounder judgements?

Mr. Steele, what about that other famous scientific motto that fits into this debate: 
Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out."
Steele:  - science is process and scientific theories must be tested and must be debated, 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Must be debated by whom?  
Educated peers and knowledgeable experts?  
Kids, politicians, business leaders and dilettantes who possess a fraction of the knowledge/understanding that experts possess?
Steele:  and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.   So I would want our listeners to demand that Congress sort of reinstate the scientific process and demand that publicly funded climate scientists debate skeptics out in the open so the public can better separate and understand the difference between political fear mongering and the scientific facts.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Well good, we are on the same page Mr. Steele.  

I'm glad that you believe it's right and proper for me to engage in this instructive debate with you.  

After all, learning requires both sides following the same rules.
Steele:  And I think those public debates would help ah, create real climate literacy because it would help people understand natural climate change that has devastating effects, it would force scientists to talk in a language that everybody understands.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
That's funny.  Create real climate literacy.  

Jim, anyone paying attention knows that not just climate science but general science literacy has never been easier for the interested motivated public to attain.  But, it requires individuals to make the effort for themselves.  

Continuing Adult Education courses are available more than ever.  Books and articles right and left.  Even more fun, on YouTube there are now hundreds, nay thousands of college lectures available.  We can, and I have, listened to all sorts of scientists summarizing their work for an interested lay-public.  

We get to virtually meet these scientists with their individual interesting personalities and stories.  We get to listen in on their passion and dedication and the excitement of discovery and "getting it right", up close and face to face as they teach us what they have learned and the challenges of getting there.

Don't believe me, put it to the test for yourself, take a gander:

Simon Fraser University
Public Lectures
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
United States Geologic Service - Online Lectures
Climate Change
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
University of California Television
Jeffrey B. Graham Perspectives on Ocean Science Lecture Series
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Fresh Air. The Scent of Pine.
Educational Lectures
A series of videos covering the fundamentals of the anthropogenic global warming theory
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Stanford University 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
 and many more!  All you need is a desire to learn about it.  But there's the catch.
If we don't care about any of it, 
what good is all this hard won information?
Steele:  And if someone tries to push a bad idea it can be confronted right away.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Thank you Mr. Steele for acknowledging the appropriateness of me challenging your disinformation.
Steele:  If anything what I'm trying to get at with the book and want people to understand is that the science is about how sensitive the environment is to CO2.  It's not settled at all.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ( be sure to check out the videos at the end)
To begin with "Not settled" - no scientist is claiming it's totally settled, but it's plenty resolved to the point that the error margins are very small compared to what is understood.

This is a gross over simplification that ignores the whole guts of our global heat and moisture distribution engine!

Hello Jim.  CO2 acts on the global, as in our whole planet's sky.  It is changing temperatures and weather patterns that drive local environmental change.  

Increasing greenhouse gases holds in more heat and energy on a "global" scale.  That increasing heat is diffuse but it then gets herded up and moved around the planet according to atmospheric pressure systems; atmospheric and oceanic currents; global weather patterns; and yes, local landscapes.  Think global heat engine, with local landscapes dependent on global climatic conditions.
Steele:  There's a great debate.  I can give you tons of examples, more than what I've got printed , where it is landscape changes and natural cycles driving things, if we don't push that people are going to be mislead.  ~ End of the Interview ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Mr. Steele, your expectation for a direct correlation between atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and some local temperature record belongs in a fairytale world, not the biosphere we live within.

Further information and a couple cool videos:

NOAA - Earth System Research Laboratory
Global Monitoring Division



The Greenhouse Effect


NASA | A Year in the Life of Earth's CO2
NASA Goddard

Published on Nov 17, 2014
An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe.

A Year of Weather 2013

Published on Jan 27, 2014
This visualisation, comprised of imagery from the geostationary satellites of EUMETSAT, NOAA and the JMA, shows an entire year of weather across the globe during 2013, with audio commentary from Mark Higgins, Training Officer at EUMETSAT.

No comments: