Friday, May 29, 2015

"Seepage" - Mann's "Hockey Stick" and Santer's sentence

Not so random thoughts recalling seepage in action - gotta run today, so it's rough notes, 
I hope someone can do something with it..  (edited 3:15, May 29th}
(I've added a couple interviews with Dr Santer and Dr. Mann - from the UQxDenial101 MOOC May 30th)

Considering the process of learning.

Learning is a cumulative process.

For example in the late 1990s a team of scientists led by Michael Mann pioneered paleo-climate studies.

They produced a graph that told a story that Republican/libertarian interests did NOT want to hear.
… I don't need to repeat the history.

The take away point is that nowhere have R/l individuals been interested in learning from incoming evidence.  It's all about stonewalling with their God-given self-certitude and disinterest in evaluating any information that might threaten their perceived interests.

But learning is about taking in all the information you can, objectively evaluated all of it.
In the real world mistakes are teaching tools that we learn from and that constructively inform future actions.

But Republican/libertarian interests only seek bludgeons for battering down all they don't want to hear or think about.

So we have this scientific graph, "Mann's Hockey Stick" paleo-temperature record.
It's a pioneering effort, the "flaws" it has are all extremely minor and part of the learning process.  Similar exist in most studies, and any short comings were actively investigated to learn what happened and why.  That's the scientific process -  study and understand mistakes, and learn your lessons, then move on to doing more accurate work in succeeding studies.

Subsequent studies repeatedly have shown that the Mc/Mc alleged errors were small and when plotted out on a graph indiscernible to the unschooled eye.  They did nothing to change the factual integrity of the work.

But look at what we've allowed to happen.
Even today I can't count the times I read "broken hockey stick", etc.

Yet, in the real world one study after another repeats, the "hockey stick" shape.
The personal experience of our own lives over the past half century support the impression of sky-rocking changes like none our planet has experienced since deep time.


Another seepage incident, the Ben Santer diversion.

A carefully penned generally agreed to sentence: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate."  IPCC, Madrid, November 1995  (see his video interview 20:50)

Then very crafty Republican/libertarian political word factories twisted the story and dictated the story,  making an enemy out of Ben Santer who was doing his duty as lead author
the last step, physically inserting said sentence into the final IPCC report.

And the public discourse runs right off the rails.

Republican/libertarian spin masters dictated the entire discuss.

I have to wonder, why was there never a huge scientific outcry -
loud enough to force the "talk of a nation" back on track.
"Well the human influence is discernible stupid"
let us count the ways . . .
and so on and so forth.

Or my latest favorite beer glass inspiration:
"It's atmospheric insulation stupid, it holds in heat" 
now can we get on with dealing with what we know we have done and continue doing to our life sustain planet Earth ….

UQx DENIAL101x Interview with Michael Mann

Published on Apr 27, 2015

UQx DENIAL101x Interview with Ben Santer

Published on Apr 27, 2015
UQx Denial101x Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial in Denial101x, a MOOC from UQx and edX.

Denial101x isn’t just a climate MOOC; it’s a MOOC about how people think about climate change.

Join us in the edX discussion forum at


Earth is more than a pretty postcard

It's deeply heartbreaking realizing how uncaring and disconnected people have become from the planet that sustains all of us.  It seems that the Republican/libertarian crowd despise our Earth and everyone who cares about her in the bargain.  I don't get it, though I keep struggling with understanding it and failing to find the words to describe both the resentful attitude Republicans have adopted towards our life giving Earth and to convey a sense of the wonder that people like me feel for our home planet.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, but when it comes to something as grand as our dynamic living planet it takes thousands of pictures to begin to touch on it's complex magnificence.

That's why I want to share three standout documentaries that are available on YouTube.  They are standouts because of how well they convey a realistic impression of this global organism we are all dependent on, and how it operates, along with a glimpse at how we are changing her.  Sure, there are some flaws and certain items I could take issue with, but learning is a cumulative process so minor flaws don't detract from the overall quality of these rich fact-based stories about our planet and it's ways.  All worth watching by those who are interested in learning about our mother Earth.

Our Global Heat and Moisture Distribution Engine

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Considering examples of Lewandowsky's "Seepage" at the MET Office.

A spectator's perspective

Recently a team of researchers published a paper titled "Seepage: Climate change denial and its effect on the scientific community" - it looks at examples of how the fabricated contrarian talking points are impacting the way scientists describe their work and even what they study. 

It caught my attention because I've long been interested in better understanding, why that increasing disconnect between what most people believe about global warming and the reality unfolding upon this planet?

It's like the more information is gathered and the deeper the details we focus on, the less we're accepting what's happening.

It has been obvious to me that the cause of much misunderstanding has been decades worth of deliberate effort.  Fabricated confusion by a plethora of politically motivated groups such as the Marshall Institute, CATO, Heartland Institute - organizations who make no bones about their "mission," which was/is a ruthless dedication to winning and holding on to their "free" market political/economic agenda.  

Read their literature nowhere does learning how our planet operates appear among their stated priorities.  Yet, they are calling the shots of what's supposed to be a public education dialogue about climate science.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Why Protecting Rio Grande Source Waters Trumps Destructive Development

Changing the subject for a moment.  Because this is down home and personal and since the struggle to save Wolf Creek's Alberta Park has reignited and I want to broadcast this information far and wide as possible.  Never know were help might come from. 

{Could say this was a work in progress, it's finished now.  Final edit 5/24/15 mid-day}
{For more information visit}

Up in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, below Wolf Creek Pass, an epic wetlands-preservation struggle has been going on.

The smoldering mess was reignited in May when the Rio Grande National Forest released its final decision regarding the Village at Wolf Creek Access Project. This decision allows the exchange of 205 acres of prime Rio Grande National Forest, including some 1500 feet of highway frontage, for 177 acres of difficult-to-develop and landlocked property owned by the Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture. Talk about a smooth poker play.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Exhibit 3c: HotWhooper's "Seeps and SCAMS" a closer look at Lewandowsky et al 2015

Sou at HotWhooper has written three insightful posts regarding Lewandosky et al 2015 that belong in this WUWTW collection of exhibits for my eventual complaint/presentation to the SFSU administration...  

The following was copied verbatim from  Then I starting deleting it down to it's core points, my "cliffnotes" so to speak.  A couple long sections are complete, but most have been reduced.  Please read the full versions.

On Seeps and SCAMS Part I: Lessons for Climate Scientists
On Seeps and SCAMS Part II: Pat'n Chip'n David Fake a Debate
Seeps and SCAMS Part III: Richard Betts misunderstands (and misrepresents) a paper

I have added some paragraph breaks and highlights.  
I thank Sou for her excellent research and getting this information out there and tip my hat to HotWhopper's CC policy.

Highlights: HotWhopper's "Seeps and SCAMS" 

On Seeps and SCAMS Part I: 
Lessons for Climate Scientists
HotWhopper  |  Sou |  May 14, 2015

If you thought that dispassionate scientists, when doing scientific research, are immune from denialist propaganda you'd be wrong. It's not just when scientists talk about climate that they can demonstrate they've been influenced by denialists' campaigns. Even their scientific publications can be so influenced.

"About seepage - of denialist memes and framing - into the scientific community"

The paper is all about seepage. How denialists' talking points have "seeped" into the scientific community. The authors define seepage using two criteria. To be considered seepage the following two criteria must be met:
  1. the scientific community has adopted assumptions or language from discourse that originated outside the scientific community or from a small set of dissenting scientific voices. 
  2. those assumptions depart from those commonly held by the scientific community. 

Exhibit 3b: Lewandowsky responds to Betts critique re "Seepage" study.

For this exhibit #3b I'm reposting Prof Lewandowsky's response to Prof Betts (bio) prefaced by a comment and question I have for any takers.

What mystifies me to no end, is that although scientists thoroughly understand the physics of atmospheric greenhouses, the impression experts such as Professor Betts project is that until we achieve totally complete and absolutely correct measurements of every component of our Global Heat and Moisture Distribution Engine - we can somehow pretend greenhouse gases aren't doing their job 24/7/365 - specifically relentlessly increasing the heat and energy within our climate system.

What happened to our appreciation that the map is not the territory?

Can anyone explain how that rationale works?


Voices from the climate community on "seepage"

Professor, School of Experimental Psychology and Cabot Institute, University of Bristol
Posted on 14 May 2015
Our recent article “Seepage: Climate change denial and its effect on the scientific community” in Global Environmental Change, authored by me and Naomi Oreskes, James S. Risbey, Ben R. Newell, and Michael Smithson, has attracted a bit of attention over the last few days. I sample a few comments here and reply to a lengthy post by Richard Betts, Head of the Climate Impacts strategic area at the UK Met Office, that critiqued our paper.

A Critical Voice: Richard Betts on “seepage”

However, not unexpectedly, there are also some critical voices. We expected that our paper would evoke some spirited disagreement, and so Richard Betts’ critique of our paper is most welcome as it provides us with an opportunity to restate our argument and address some of the objections raised by Professor Betts. 

To facilitate discussion, I begin by noting that there is much in Betts’s post that we can agree with—for example, the increased role of social media, the increased focus by governments on the need for adaptation and hence decadal predictions. No disagreement there. But then again, none of those points pertain to the issue of seepage.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Invitation to debate Piers Corbyn's claims (… another example of hoaxer's fear of honest debate)

My recent blogpost regarding Piers Corbyn offended the gent who's 700 word comment I mirrored, he accuses me of ignoring his facts and it's true my post focused on my discovering why Piers Corbyn is anything but a serious scientist, in fact, arguably from an objective legal standpoint he's a malicious fraud.

For those seriously curious about Mikeyp's talking points, or "facts" as he calls them, check out this wonderful resource geared to the layperson.

Global Warming & Climate Change Myths  
Here is a summary of global warming and climate change myths, sorted by recent popularity vs what science says. Click the response for a more detailed response. You can also view them sorted by taxonomy, by popularity, in a print-friendly version, with short URLs or with fixed numbers you can use for permanent references.

Given this morning's exchange with Mikeyp, I sense there's a genuine learning opportunity in all of this.  

That is why I'm formalizing my invitation to Mikeyp for a debate regarding my characterization of Piers Corbyn*, by mirroring our YouTube comments exchange where I invite him to send me a Guest Post which I'll publish unaltered in a standalone WUWTW post.  
(*Or the state of climate understanding for that matter.)   

I'm certainly no expert, but I dare say I know the basics pretty well.  Plus I have a leg up on climate science skeptical types, in that it's not my ego I'm defending.  I'm defending my understanding of the science as it is.  I fully appreciate that my understanding doesn't always agree with the reality.  I embrace being proven wrong as learning opportunities, even if it bruises my ego.

Meaning, my learning continues and is not confined to defending what an echo-chamber feeds me.  Mr. Landscapesandcycles runs and hides from a straight up debate, let's see if Mikeyp has more intellectual fortitude.

This exchange was inspired by my blogpost 
"A digression, the Piers Corbyn Story"

Then this morning at YouTube, and I quote:

(5/14/2015 - 4:30pm) citizenschallenge wrote:
I looked into your "realist" Piers Corbyn, you won't believe what I found.
(5/15/2015 - 8:23 am) Mikeyp wrote: 
As expected you switch off if you see something that you cannot comprehend. Your inability to consider the very real counter arguments to your chosen set of truths does weaken your case. I find your comments to be extremely dismissive without due cause. The Piers Corbyn presentation was obviously dumbed down so it could be understood by a wide audience (yes you), Have you ever considered that the jetstream is affected by a number of different things including magnetic forces,  sunspot activity etc?  {I took the liberty of linking those to some information regarding said claims.}

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A digression, the Piers Corbyn Story

I'm active on the internet, commenting and responding to responses.  Once in a while a dialogue comes along I feel needs to be shared over here because of it's text book quality example of disconnect and climate science denial.

Although I didn't have time for this, especially not today, I'm a sucker for chasing such bones and since the name Piers Corbyn rang a bell but I couldn't place him.  I found myself googling him.  Oh yeah, that guy, Mr. the CO2 story is over Corbyn and his mini ice age machinations.  Eventually, I found myself listening to his YouTube "Weather Action Meeting 27/2/12" video which turned out to be an epic example of Dunning-Kruger effect in action.

Since I wasted so much precious time on this joker I'm going to get something constructive out of it by posting my findings over here.  I'll begin with P.M.'s phenomenal 700 word gish gallop dodge of the Earth observation sources I was sharing, such as NASA's summation of the evidence.  Following that I look at Piers' "Weather Action Meeting 27/2/12." 

Then I share a most excellent documentary that looks at our global heat and moisture distribution engine's various components and how they interact, followed by a couple video shorts from a real expert on greenhouse gases Professor Richard Alley as he explains the reality of CO2.

This in turn is followed by a score of links spanning 2005 to a couple months ago - for those who are interested in learning more about this example of Unidirectional Skepticism Piers Corbyn.
M.P. wrote:

Exhibit Three: Lewandowsky et al. 'Seepage' paper and fabricated bias.

I've come to realize that my idea of getting San Francisco State University administration to take some action in response to Landscapesandcycles' Mr. Jim Steele's malicious slander and equally execrable misrepresentation of wildlife studies was naive and is dead in the water.  However, that doesn't mean I can't send SFSU Administration a well formulated complaint along with a learning experience regarding the ways of the con artist and how university administrations have an ethical obligation to proactively reject the active fabrication and dissemination of deliberate, and with malicious intent, lies and misrepresentations regarding the work of scientists.

Thus, my effort to collect, organize and support my argument will continue.  Serendipitously, yesterday the Hotwhopper blog alerted me to a new study by Lewandowsky, Oreskes, Risbey, Newell, and Smithson. It details something I've noticed for a long time, but haven't been able to enunciate.  

For my Exhibit #3 let me present 
Climate change denial and its effect on the scientific community 
Stephan Lewandowsky , Naomi Oreskes, James S. Risbey, Ben R. Newell, Michael Smithson  -  Global Environmental Change  -  Elsevier Ltd 2015 
Appeals to scientific uncertainty are often used to forestall action on climate change:
 *We examine the seepage of this contrarian discourse into the scientific community.   *We highlight psychological reasons for scientists’ susceptibility to seepage.  *We use the global warming ‘‘hiatus’’ as an example of the consequences of  seepage.   *We offer ways in which the scientific community can detect and avoid such seepage. 
From the abstract
 We show that although scientists are trained in dealing with uncertainty, there are several psychological reasons why scientists may nevertheless be susceptible to uncertainty-based argumentation, even when scientists recognize those arguments as false and are actively rebutting them.   
Specifically, we show that prolonged stereotype threat, pluralistic ignorance, and a form of projection (the third-person effect) may cause scientists to take positions that they would be less likely to take in the absence of outspoken public opposition.  
We illustrate the consequences of seepage from public debate into the scientific process…"
FYI, in the internet this is shaping up to be quite a kerfluffle that I intend to report on after I get caught up on all the action.  But, first it would be good to allow Professor Lewankowsky's to speak for himself, so with a tip of my hat to Professor Lewandowsky I'm reposting his description of the study - followed by links to HotWhopper's triple play, and AndThenThere'sPhysics' guest post by Prof. Richard Betts, who's the Head of Climate Impacts at the Met Office and disagrees.

Voices from the climate community on "seepage"

Professor, School of Experimental Psychology and Cabot Institute, University of Bristol
Posted on 14 May 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

Question: Best liar wins? re CC/Steele Debate

I'll admit, regarding my little SFSU/Steele project, recently I've spent a lot of time spinning my wheels.  Seems no one wants to get close to the touchy question of professors/instructors having a duty to honestly represent the scientific work of others.  

Apparently outright lying about the work of scientists is considered a sacred part of the academic process.  I still can't get my mind around that logic.  Admittedly I'm on the outside of academia looking in, so if anyone within the process would care to correct me or enlighten my interpretation please (If not here at WUWTW, how about an independent venue).  After all, constructive learning is what this is supposed to be all about.

What I find even less comprehensible: 
How is it that maliciously slandering honest professional scientists falls under the same acceptance?  Or is it a blind eye?

So I've gone back to reviewing and learning some more while pondering the fundamental requirements for a constructive* rational debate - as opposed to the politicians lawyerly debate to win at all costs regardless of fidelity to the truth.

I have to wonder what the hell, has all of modern society accepted the myth that the best liar deserves to win?  

In any event, this morning I saw that Victor Venema (at his consistently thoughtful blog Variable Variability) wrote something that I believe fits right into this series of foundation laying "exhibits" in my continuing "Great CC/Steele Climate Science Debate."  

That's why, with a tip of my hat, I share his thoughts in this post.  But first, as learning goes, looking at related links led to other things and I was reminded of the following helpful chart by "Communicating the Science of Climate Change" and their effort to teach climate science communication skills. 

Communicating the science of climate change

It is urgent that climate scientists 
improve the ways they convey their findings 
to a poorly informed and often indifferent public.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Exhibit Two: The Fundamentals of Critical Thinking. re CC/Steele Debate

Exhibit Two is a quick review of the Critical Thinking skills that are required for honestly evaluating the difference between serious science and tactical misinformation created within a politically motivated echo-chamber.  First I repost Professor Robert Ennis' outline, followed by a short and simple video from YouTube's QualiaSoup which does a wonderful job of summarizing key components of critical thinking.

Then I share a couple videos that introduce an interesting recent study:

"The Polarizing Impact of Science Literacy and Numeracy on Perceived Climate Change Risks" - 2012

A study that finds political social associations are often more powerful than scientific knowledge when it comes to rationally evaluating climate and other scientific information.

I close out with links to Craig Rusbult's "Critical Thinking Skills in Education and Life." 

The Nature of Critical Thinking: 
Outlines of General Critical Thinking Dispositions and Abilities 

Exhibit One: Is misinformation about the climate criminally negligent? re CC/Steele Debate

INDEX-The Great landscapesandcycle's Climate Science Debate

On January 27, 2015 Jim Steele creator of the Landscapesandcycles blog, which advocates for the bizarre notion that landscapes and natural cycles are more important than our planet's atmosphere in regulating conditions on Earth, was interviewed by Sterling Bennett of the Heartland Institute.  The interview was a case study in the manipulation of information with intent to mislead.

To me his sneaky tactical misrepresentations and outlandish claims are unconscionable in this day and age, given not only our scientific knowledge, but down to Earth observations of the past century.

That is why I've gone through the trouble of transcribing and highlighting his many deceptions.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A high school student explains global warming for the curious.

I've watched a lot of climate videos, some are good, many are mediocre and too many are awful.  A month ago I came across this video which does a nice clean job of describing the scientific understanding regarding global warming.  When I noticed it was put together by a couple high school juniors, the unfortunates who will inherit this monstrosity our complacent self-centered society is creatingI was impressed enough to ask Emily permission to mirror her video.  It took a month, but a few days ago I received her permission, so here it is.  


The Science Behind Global Warming (Documentary)

my notes of highlights followed by her citations: