Tuesday, May 17, 2016

#1 considering malicious mischief in action: ncdave4life

I have a three year old post over at my CC site, "Jerry Mitrovica: The Fingerprints of Sea Level Change... the video" and in the past few days it's received a half dozen comments from one ncdave4life, who disputes Dr. Mitrovica's conclusions with echo-chamber science.  Ncdave's comments are tricky-dick affairs loaded with coding that blossoms when approved and posted.  Since I'm not into those sorts of devious games, and WUWTW is not a billboard for contrarian lies I've kept the rest of his onslaught in moderation until I have the time to review them.  Since today is an unexpected day off I'm going to look at his first comment.

To me his work seems another excellent example of devious rhetoric intent on dumbing down readers, that goes beyond the realm of healthy constructive dialogue and "free speech' and into the realm of malicious mischief that ought to be legally actionable.  I believe this ncdave4life has provided me with excellent examples of "criminal negligent" in action, as argued by Professor Lawrence Torcelloand written about at "Is misinformation about climate science criminally negligent?" - I want to be clear - though I often bring up Professor Torcello's work, this is my independent reading and my arguing his case is totally unaffiliated with the professor's own work.

Among ncdave's dishonest tricks in this first comment, are dismissing AGW's hand in damaging and threatening global agricultural productivity with a chart of six US states and their agricultural productivity that ends at 2004.  As if the past dozen years can be ignored, or that six US states are a proxy for the global situation.

Furthermore, he fantasizes a struggle going on between plants and animals for available oxygen and CO2 and that society increasing atmospheric CO2 level is a good thing.  Conveniently ignoring the heat issue; and the resultant biosphere disruption; and ocean acidification damaging and disrupting our ocean's food web.  That's the short version, now on to DB's own words:
ncdave4life said…
Your complaint that I “don’t allow for comments” on my critique is misplaced. I first posted my comments on YouTube, on Prof. Mitrovica’s video. The reason you can’t see them there, and respond to them, is that the NAS won’t let you. If the NAS hadn’t “ghosted” my comments on Prof. Mitrovica’s video, you could have responded there. But they don’t allow critical comments there, so I posted my comments on my own web site.
 which does not allow critical comments either.  

Why do I already sense you are an adept at the art rationalizing?
ncdave:  My sealevel.info web site is not a blog. It doesn’t run Wordpress or any other CM or blogging software, so there’s no provision for reader comments. But if you (or anyone else) find any errors, please let me know, and I will correct them. (highlight added)
I'm finding all sorts of mistakes, we'll see if DB's word is worth anything.
ncdave:  You asked, “what about predictable weather patterns and their role in producing bumper crops” and the disruption caused by anthropogenic climate change?
The answer is in the data. Thus far there’s no evidence that anthropogenic climate change is causing extreme weather events, or adversely affecting weather patterns in any other way. It certainly hasn’t adversely affected agricultural productivity:

(The red line is CO2.)
a)  Why are you doing something so devious?  Why a twelve year old graph?  
b)  It's also dishonest to imply that a few US states can represent the global situation.

Ncdave4life will you please correct your website and update the information you offer your public?  Following is a more realistic overview of today's situation and please remember we are concerned with the future, not the successes of the past.

For a brief overview of the scope of the situation:

Agriculture and Food Supply
  • Impacts on Crops
  • Impacts on Livestock
  • Impacts on Fisheries
  • International Impacts
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Economic Analysis of the 2015 Drought For California Agriculture
UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences ERA Economics
UC Agricultural Issues Center
August 17, 2015
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
World food supply at growing risk from severe weather
By Erik Stokstad | Aug. 13, 2015

"... Such weather-related crop disasters will become more likely with climate change, warns a detailed report released today by the Global Food Security (GFS) program, a network of public research funding agencies in the United Kingdom. “The risks are serious and should be a cause for concern,” writes David King, the U.K. Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change, in a foreword to the report. ..."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Drought and Heat Took a Heavy Toll on Crops, Study Finds
By NICHOLAS ST. FLEUR  |  JAN. 6, 2016

Droughts and heat waves wiped out nearly a tenth of the rice, wheat, corn and other cereal crops in countries hit by extreme weather disasters between 1964 and 2007, according to a new study.

The paper, published Wednesday in Nature, examined data on the effects, over five decades, of extreme temperatures, floods and droughts on national crop harvests.
“People already knew that these extreme weather events had impacts on crop production,” said Navin Ramankutty, a geographer from the University of British Columbia and an author of the report. “But we didn’t know by how much, and we didn’t have a basis for how that might change in the future.”

Dr. Ramankutty and his team combined data from a disaster database with food production information from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. They looked at about 2,800 weather disasters, such as the 1983-1984 drought in Ethiopia and the 2003 European heat wave, along with data on 16 different cereals, including oats, barley, rye and maize, grown in 177 countries. ...
ncdave:  You wrote, “It’s utter malicious nonsense trying to conflate what CO2 does in our atmosphere with it’s biological role.” That’s wrong in two different ways:
1. The fact that you’re unfamiliar with something does not make it “malicious nonsense.” Every word I wrote is true. If you learn more about the climate issue, what you’ll discover is verification of what I wrote.
I have been learning about climate issues since the early 70s, more recently for easily two decades I have devoted a good deal of energy listening to skeptical arguments and contrarian fancy talk.  Many times I have suspended my disbelief long enough to understand your(et al.) claims.  But contrarian arguments have consistently fallen short and are easily dismissed based on a rational reading of the full spectrum of available information.

DB, I have already found a number of lies in your story, so please, self-adulation stinks.  

I use "malicious" very deliberately to describe a calculated attempt to misrepresent the facts and deliberately misinform the public and leaders about critically important evidence and information.  

In this exercise I will attempt to flag examples of your artful rhetorical fraud, on the people's right to honestly learn about climate science, in action.
ncdave:  Environmentalist David Siegel has already trod that path. Here he shares What I Learned about Climate Change:
He learned a lot, and so can you.
No doubt I still have lots to learn, but David Siegel is certainly not the one to learn from.  For those interested in what rational minds think of David 'goodie vegan' Siegel's "study" and conclusions, please link to:

Posted by Greg Laden on October 29, 2015

"... Have you ever been poking around on the Intertoobs, when somebody comes along and says, “Hey, I never really thought about global warming/vaccination/evolution before, but suddenly and unexplainably I am now. And as I think about global warming/vaccination/evolution these innocent and valid questions arise and imma ask you about them.”

Then the conversation proceeds to go down hill. The individual was really an anti-vaxer, a creationist, or a climate change denier all along, but was just pretending to be a thoughtful person who never thought about this issue before and just has some innocent question.

But every single one of these questions is framed in terms of the anti or denial perspective, every “fact” noted and eventually adhered to is a discredited anti or denial meme, and even more amusingly, every statement made by this “innocent, curious” individual is the same exact statement made the last time a similar individual came along.

David Siegel is one of those individuals, only instead of showing up on a Facebook thread or in the comments section of a blog post, he went to medium.com where anybody can post their thoughts. ..."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Another conspiracy theorist "comes out" at WUWT: David Siegel 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Climate Change is Real, and Important
By Josh Halpern, Greg Laden, Collin Maessen, Miriam O’Brien, Ken Rice and Michael Tobis 

"Human caused climate change is real, and it is important. It has such monumental implications that governments around the world have been coming together since the 1980s to work out how best to address it. Yet the scientific consensus that we are changing the climate is constantly being challenged by those who have financial or other interests in the continued use of fossil fuels. This has resulted in a “consensus gap” whereby a measurable, though shrinking, proportion of the general public is not sure that anthropogenic climate change is real or important. Unfortunately, this consensus gap allows for those who do not respect the science to parachute in now and then to help maintain a beachhead of denial.

David Siegel recently penned an article at Medium.com in which he tells us he has spent several hours studying the climate change problem, and he has determined that there really isn’t one. The most cursory inspection of his thesis suggests that Siegel has spent most of those hours studying and re-phrasing the anti-science “denialist” rhetoric, readily available on line. Not one of his points, and he has, conveniently, ten of them, is novel, insightful, or in any way different from what we have seen developed by the other fossil-fuel defending organizations and individuals.

There is a strong argument that David Siegel’s article should be ignored as yet another science denier’s screed, and that may be true. Nevertheless a group of us, including scientists in climate and cognate areas, science communicators, and others, have decided to take a few moments to examine David Siegel’s article and respond do it. ..." link
ncdave:  2. It is a fundamental error to try to separate what CO2 does in our atmosphere with its biological role. They’re intimately connected.
Have you ever wondered about the high level of free oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere?

On Venus and Mars nearly all the oxygen in the atmosphere is in the form of CO2. O2 is nearly non-existent, because it is highly reactive, and combines with other elements to make less-reactive, more stable molecules, like CO2, H2O, SO2, etc.
But on Earth, other than some water vapor, >99% of the oxygen in the atmosphere is in the form of O2. Only 0.2% is in CO2, despite fires and animal respiration which constantly produce CO2 from O2.

Have you ever wondered why?
This is crazy-making.

For starters life on Earth has being produced oxygen for billions of years.  Life has created vast quantities of oxygen, which originally combined with many elements, then when that chore was finished, oxygen started to build up in the atmosphere, and all sorts of fun things started happening for Earth.  For that story you need to learn a little about deep-time and evolution.  For a serious review of the process, might I suggest this talk by Professor Robert Hazen, Co-evolution of Minerals and Life.
ncdave:  The correct answer is that it’s because CO2-hungry living things have stripped nearly all the CO2 from the atmosphere, to get the carbon, releasing the O2 as a waste product. That’s why, although 21% of the Earth’s atmosphere is oxygen, carbon dioxide levels are measured in parts-per-million.
That was a good thing!  Buried by succeeding generations of plant and animal life, thereby sequestering vast quantities away from the biosphere.

You ignore that the sun was cooler back then and has been warming up since the early days.  Had CO2 levels remained that high, the development of complex life would have gone a completely different directions. 
ncdave:  The CO2/O2 balance is determined by a race between plants and animals. Animals use O2 and produce CO2; plants use CO2 and produce O2. But there are a lot more plants than animals, and in the tug-o-war between plants and animals the plants have won. They’ve tugged the CO2-O2 tug-of-war rope all the way to the end. Animals are relatively scarce, compared to photosynthetic plants, and the plants have used up nearly all the CO2. The animals just can’t produce enough CO2 to keep up.
Fantastical nonsense.  There is no race, or competition, between plants and animals for the gases they need.

There's is plenty of oxygen in circulation, and there is no 'contest' between oxygen and carbon dioxide.  For a less melodramatic and far more accurate description of how all this works, might I suggest:

Source of Half Earth's Oxygen Gets Little Credit
John Roach | National Geographic News | June 7, 2004
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
How much do oceans add to world’s oxygen?

"Most of Earth’s oxygen comes from tiny ocean plants – called phytoplankton – that live near the water’s surface and drift with the currents."
ncdave:  The plants would use much more CO2, but they ran out of it. 
Nonsense, lies even.  Today's plants have had millions of years to evolve optimal mechanisms for handing the conditions they live in.  

Increasing CO2 levels will force plants to evolve new compensation mechanism for not just the higher CO2, but also for other changing environmental factors such as heat and intensified rain/drought patterns.

Will the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration affect the success of invasive species?  Jeffrey S. Dukes

"Most plants maintain a constant concentration of CO2 in their stomata, the pores through which O2 and CO2 are exchanged and water vapor is lost to the atmosphere. Plants react to increased CO2 availability by partially shutting their stomata, which increases the efficiency with which they use water. In some ecosystems, the increase in water-use efficiency leads to wetter soils (Bremer et al. 1996, Field et al. 1997, Fredeen et al. 1997). In plant communities such as these, alien species that are poised to take advantage of water availability increases could become more abundant. "

Keep increasing CO2 a significant amount and current plants will need to put energy into adapting while a different variety of plants slowly evolve to take advantage of the new conditions, winners and loser, evolution in action and all that.

The biosphere we grew up in was perfectly suited to the condition in existence, pretending otherwise reveals a profound disconnect from comprehending our planet and its processes.

Increased carbon dioxide levels in air restrict plants' ability to absorb nutrients
June 12, 2015
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
More Carbon Dioxide is not necessarily good for plants.
April 18, 2011 by villabolo
ncdave:  The chronic shortage of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is the primary limit on plant growth. That’s why anthropogenic CO2 emissions, which have increased atmospheric CO2 from about 0.03% in the 1940s to about 0.04% today, are directly responsible for 15%-20% of current agricultural productivity.
"Chronic shortage" - that's the stuff of Madison Avenue Advertisers, pure rhetorical poppy cock.  CO2 the primary limit?  Are you kidding?  What about desertification, heat and drought stress, soil types, heck even humans developing prime crop lands into suburban sprawl and industrial wastelands and so on?

15-20% of net productivity?  That is one wild claim.  Curiously (or not) no references or explanation are offered.  Simply a wild self-certain statement we are supposed to swallow.
ncdave:  If CO2 were still at 0.03% instead of the current 0.04% of the atmosphere, we’d need 18-25% more land under cultivation, just to maintain current agricultural output. If all the world’s rain forests were put under cultivation, that would almost, but not quite, make up the deficit. The rain forests can thank their continued existence to anthropogenic CO2!
This is another wild claim.  Heck his numbers don't even mesh, 18-25% increase in acreage only producing 15-20% increase in food productivity.  I'd want to learn more about how that's figured before giving it any weight.

Ditto: Curiously no references or explanation are offered.  Simply a wild self-certain statement we are supposed to swallow.

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