Friday, August 31, 2018

Diary 8/31/2018 - reset

It’s been an interesting, satisfying month for me.  Feels like I’ve cracked a riddle I’ve been circling around for decades.  When I think of some of the posts that lead to this breakthrough I’m reminded of a complain I once received about sometimes repeating myself and being boring.  

I giggle because yes, I’ve been working with variations on a theme that to disinterested eyes probably are boring as hell.  Oh well, I have no time for them, I’m interested in the eyes with genuine substance and curiosity behind them.

Besides, these blog posts are my self-study homework, they force me to think, do some research, to double-check myself, and then to share finished projects, some better, some not, still each adds a little more to my appreciation for this magnificent Earth I’m part of.  

I’ll add that though outreach is secondary, I do hope this resonates with some and that they find value in these efforts and I’d love to have a discussion about it, make a comment.

Now my warning, I will be doing a bit of repeat of some posts in order to start September from the top so to speak.  As for the labels I attached to this post: defending reason, engaging in constructive debate, reasserting need for honesty, celebrate learning, Earth Appreciationthat's sort of a declaration of what my blogs are all about.

Thanks for dropping in and best wishes, cc

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Magisteria of Physical Reality vs. the Magisteria of our Human Mindscape.

“… missing was a much more fundamental division crying out for recognition.  
Specifically, the magisteria of Physical Reality 
vs. the magisteria of our Human Mindscape. …”

© Peter Miesler, August 21, 2018

The increasingly shrill and disconnected from physical reality attacks on science by faith-based organizations and individuals has me thinking about an essay evolutionary biologist and historian of science Stephen Gould wrote some twenty years ago in an attempt to address the tension between scientific truths and religious truths.

His solution was the notion of “Nonoverlapping Magisteria” which delineated two teaching “authorities” (magisterium), the “magisteria of science” and the “magisteria of religion.” It wasn’t his original idea, rather a continuation of a centuries old dialogue between scientists and the Catholic Church that I don’t have the space to get into.

In any event, Gould concluded there should be no conflict because each realm has its’ own domain of “teaching authority.” Since these “magisteria” do not overlap, they cannot contradict each other and should be able to exist in mutual respect.

When it first came out I loved the idea because of my own struggling intellectual spiritual journey which was embedded within gathering and learning from sober scientific knowledge about this Earth, while also dealing with the spiritual aspect of ‘touching Earth’ and having experienced ‘God’s breath’ against my back, so to speak.

Gould’s idea was interesting and it gained a lot of attention and lively discussion, but in the end seems to have offered little to either side. For myself, the critics made sense and my enthusiasm diminished. Still, the conflict kept echoing like an unresolved challenge as I increasingly engaged faith-shackled contrarians towards science.

In the years since I’ve kept learning more about Earth’s amazing evolution and geophysics and also the scientific process itself. A process that’s basically a set of rules for gathering and assessing our observations in an honest, open and disciplined manner that all who understand science can trust.

Recently it occurred to me that what Stephen Gould was missing was a much more fundamental divide that is crying out for recognition. 

Specifically, the Magisteria of Physical Reality vs the Magisteria of our Human Mindscape.

In this perspective we acknowledge that Earth and her physical processes and the pageant of evolution are the fundamental timeless touchstones of reality.

Part of Earth’s physical reality is that we humans were created by Earth out of her processes.  Science shows us that we belong to the mammalian branch of Earth’s animal kingdom.  

Yet, it’s undeniable that something quite unique happened about six million years ago when certain apes took a wild improbable evolutionary turn.

By and by besides the marvel of our two hands, we developed two feet and legs that could stand tall or run for hours and a brain that learned rapidly. During that evolutionary process something extraordinary fantastical was born, the Human Mindscape.

On the outside hominids learned to make tools, hunt, fish, and select plants, plus they mastered fire for cooking and better living.

On the inside our brains were benefiting from the new super nourishment while human curiosity and adventures started filling and stretching our mindscapes with experiences and knowledge beyond anything the "natural" physical Earth ever knew.

While the human mind and spirit are ineffable mysteries, they are also of tremendous consequence and real-world physical power. They drove our growing ability to study and manipulate our world, to communicate and record our experiences and to formulate explanations for a world full of mysteries, threats and wonders.

People learned to think and gossip and paint pictures upon the canvas of cave walls, or even better, upon the canvas of each other’s imaginations. We’ve been adding to our brain’s awareness and complexity ever since.

Of course, while all this was going on the human mind was also wondering about the ‘Why’ of the world it observed and the difficult, fragile, short lives we were allotted. In seeking answers to unknowable questions it seems inevitable that Gods would inhabit our mindscape. I suspect inspired by buried memories of being coddled within mom’s protective loving bosom those first couple years of life.

No doubt these “Gods” enabled further successes, though not through super-natural interventions, but rather through their ability to form, conform, reform and transform the mindscapes of the masses of people beginning to congregate. Thus, combining pragmatic civil societal needs with universally felt, but keenly personal questions, fears, and dreams.

After the middle ages tribal stories, accepted ancient doctrines and religious “truths” were no longer enough to satisfy our mindscape’s growing desire for ever more understanding and power over the Earth. The human brain took another tremendous leap forward in awareness with the Intellectual Enlightenment and the birth of serious disciplined scientific study.

Science’s success was dazzling in its ability to learn about, control and manipulate Earth’s physical resources and to transform entire environments.

Science was so successful that today most people believe we are the masters of our world and most have fallen into the hubristic trap of believing our ever fertile mindscape is “reality.” 

Which brings me back to Gould’s magisterium and his missing key. The missing key is appreciating the fundamental “Magisteria of Physical Reality,” and recognizing both science and religion are products of the “Magisteria of Our Mindscape.”

Science seeks to objectively learn about our physical world, but we should still recognize all our understanding is embedded within and constrained by our mindscape. 

Religion is all about the human mindscape itself, with its wonderful struggles, fears, spiritual undercurrents, needs and stories we create to give our live’s meaning and make it worth living, or at least bearable. 

What’s the point? Religions, God, heaven, hell, political beliefs, even science, they are all products of the human mindscape, generations of imaginings built upon previous generations of imaginings, all the way down.

Here we are, 2018, sober assessment of physical facts is out of fashion and fantasy thinking in the service of ruthless avarice is in.

Now it literally threatening to topple USA’s government For The People, By The People, in favor of a Me First, profits are more important than people, oligarch run machine. Well, unless an awful lot of sideliners start getting engaged in democratic politics.

All the while the actual physical creation outside of our conceited little minds keeps on unfolding, following well understood geophysical rules regardless. Ignore at our own peril

Slated to appear in the Four Corners Free Press, October issue - 
though I retain © and am hoping others will want to share and republish this essay.
citizenschallenge at

I need help  to network with others who understand what I’m trying to say with these essays and blog posts.
Any feedback, encouragement, networking, or support would be much appreciated.  
Peter Miesler aka citizenschallenge @ gmail com 
P.O. Box 56, Durango, Colorado 81302

Further explorations into defining the communication problems and what we stand for.

Exploring the Map vs Territory Problem - via the Brown Ocean Effect and Dr. Trenberth

2018, now what? Considering the Republican Dialogue Problem in 14 VERSES.

CO2 Science - Blue team: "Pruitt, it's certain as certain gets! It's the physics! Don't you know?

CO2 Science - Pruitt, proof is in the pudding! Impossible Modern Marvels

(Sd7) Abuse of Our Free Speech Rights (LandscapesandCycles - Jim Steele) (FCFP)

(Sd1) Revisiting Jim Steele's LandscapesAndCycles Fraud - 
An index of past research - Steele debate #1

Fruits of Ignoring Deliberate Deception

I am an Earth Centrist.

Earth Centrist ponders, polite or honest?

Saying No To Reality (Four Corners Free Press)

Regarding - Stephen Gould, who with Niles Eldredge
introduced the world to evolutionary Punctuated Equilibrium in 1972

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Exploring the Map vs Territory Problem - via the Brown Ocean Effect and Dr. Trenberth (revisited)

Time for something a little more thoughtful than jousting with Steele's LandscapesAndCycles snow job.  Since Trenberth's talk at Fort Lewis College inspired my previously posted FCFP column; which in turn inspired Mr GOP to share Jim Steele's complain about the lack of debate; which in turn lead to the forgoing series examining Mr. Steele's base disingenuousness and which isn't quite finished yet.    

Still, for now I figure it's only fitting that I share the other article I wrote regarding Dr Trenberth's talk.  The Four Corners Free Press column was intended for the uninitiated, this essay is intend for climate science communicators and wannabe communicators regarding the under appreciated Map v Territory Problem.  Food for thought.  Originally written December 10, 2017, revised August 22, 2018.

On November 9th, 2017 Dr. Trenberth visited our local Fort Lewis College and was the featured speaker at an afternoon climate change symposium.  

A Distinguished Senior Scientist (in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research), he is a cartographer if you will.  His entire being is about getting the science, the models, the map, as close to representing reality as resources and ability allow.  This dedication has made him among the best in his field of climate studies.  

As a self-taught Earth and climate science enthusiast I’ve been familiar with his work for decades and have learned a great deal from his articles and in past years talks on YouTube and I was glad to finally have the chance to see and hear him in person.

He gave an interesting talk reviewing many aspects of our warming climate system including hurricanes, where he touched on the recent Hurricane Harvey with its extraordinary longevity and rainfall.  Dr. Trenberth went through its vitals, a million people displaced, homes damaged, massive power outage, biblical rainfall.  

He pointed out that normally hurricanes ‘peter out’ within on average 27 hours, whereas Harvey went for 70 hours on land making a loop and returning to the Gulf with it’s record warm waters, which fed the cyclone before it made another incursion onto land.  Then he discussed the many human factors around Houston that ensure floods will reek maximum havoc, pointing out that, “with climate change you either adapt to it or you suffer the consequences.”

What struck me was that Trenberth didn’t mention the “Brown Ocean Effect” which is a fairly new, but fascinating and important observation based realization.  Also, it’s another sure indicator of a warming world.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

(Sd8) Heartland Podcast, LandscapesAndCycles Steele (1/27/15) the overview

This is important because the Republican's malicious power-political game of nonstop attack on serious science continues unabated.  I've discovered Jim Steele's bullshit factory continues bigger and better than ever.  Doing his best to stupefy and confuse people.  This stuff needs to receive more of a spot light, not to convert anyone, but simply to help our own community and rational citizens better understand what's going on!  Plus to offer some suggestions for confronting it with a dose of down to Earth honesty. 

A short overview of my 14 part series: "A virtual debate with Jim Steele" based on his Heartland Daily Podcast interview.

When I informed Jim Steele that I was writing a column about him and would also be posting about it at my blogs he responded with the following comment (his spelling, not mine):

"Meisler tells so many lies and creates so many distortions, I have indeed refused to discuss anything with him again. I once corrected he lies on his website and he deleted my posts. Meisler is also part of Slandering Sou's troll factory. I made one post regards Meisler's disinformation and one regards Slandering Sou's, that demonstrates their dishonest tactics. Nether is worth wasting any more time on despite their numerous sniping attacks. 

Responding to my (Sd5) Correcting Jim Steele’s poop on Peter Miesler, aka citizenschallenge.  Steele offered a succinct, "tl;dr" (too long; didn't read).  When I offered a 230 word summary, Steele's response was: 

To citizenschallenge, only see more lies and more Miesler fabrications regards what I write as well as total ignorance of your scientific understanding. Further discourse with a liar and fool is a total wast of time.  I will now block your email as dishonest spam. {So says the big man behind the huffy climate debate challenge - but take Mr. Steele up on it and he runs and hides like a rat.  And folks wonder why I'm not more polite with him, look no further than his words - not towards me, no, - I'm talking about his malicious slander towards the solid honorable scientists who have helped him gather information. 

It's rather interesting how directly quoting Jim Steele is seen as a lie by Jim Steele.  

It's the lesson right out of Trump's alt-right playbook and the reason I'm taking the time to put all this together in order to highlight the base dishonesty and disingenuousness of our Republican opponents.

They have dedicated themselves to a strategy of absolutely refusing to even consider what their "opponents" are trying to explain.  Talk about blinded by the faith.  It's a terrifying level of absolutism that I never imagined seeing Americans stoop to.  What's even more terrifying is how many liberal, progressive, pluralist, science loving folks seem to have turned off and simply don't want to know about it or get involved.

Jim Steele and Sterling Burnett | Jan. 27, 2015 | Heartland Institute 

April 2, 2015
#1 Mtn warming? - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate

Jim 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. …"

Well than OK 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 along with evidence and questions.  

Let's see if you live up to your own challenge, I agree to share your response without editing any of your words in a stand alone post.  This first installment looks at your introduction and your pet theory about rising CO2 not impacting Sierra Nevada temperatures.

Steele:  "theoretical arguments that CO2 was accumulating heat”

Friday, August 10, 2018

(Sd7) Abuse of Our Free Speech Rights (LandscapesandCycles-Steele)

August 2018, Four Corners Free Press, Cortez, Colorado 
Back in January, my Four Corner Free Press column was built around a talk by climate scientist Dr. Trenberth, an authority on our planet’s global heat and moisture distribution engine. In March there was a Letter to the FCFP Editor offering an alternative. 

The writer offhandedly dismissed the scientific “consensus” as though it were just another opinion, while lamenting the politicization of science (Apparently oblivious to the reality that his letter was nothing but a gross politicization). 

Ironically to underscore his legitimacy the writer encouraged us to read Jim Steele’s “LandscapesAndCycles” collection for a second opinion. As it happens, I’ll bet there are few who have studied Steels’s collection more than I have and I welcome this challenge to write about it.

You see, from my first introduction it seemed to me that what Steele was doing was a perfect example of “malicious abuse of our free speech rights,” though I didn’t have the words for it then. 

That started me on his trail.  I did a detailed review of Steele’s 2014 talk to the International Electrical and Electronic Engineers, I also transcribed his January 27, 2015 interview with Heartland’s Sterling Burnett in order to dissect his method. That one required fourteen topic-specific posts to do his torrent of misinformation justice. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

(Sd6) Steele: "tl;dr." Okay, in 230 words. (Landscapesandcycles net)

Jim Steele responds:  “tl;dr"

Okay, lets cut to the chase:

In a nutshell, Jim Steele proposes that landscapes and natural cycles are more powerful drivers of global warming than our insulating atmosphere. 

His intellectual underpinning is a self-certain, but never explained, rejection of CO2 science. He maintains it's a hoax with political underpinnings. Something his Republican audiences want to hear so he’s never asked to justify his super-natural assertion.

Once I got into researching Steele's claims and contacting most of the scientists he singled out for derision I was shocked at how shabbily Steele treated their hospitality and the collegial support he was given for whatever research project he claimed to be doing. 

I have put much effort into documenting Jim Steele's words and claims. I specify his errors, I point out his misrepresentations and then I provide the information he hides from his audience to support my claims and I invited Steele to debate many times. 

In closing, the letter’s complaint that “they don’t want debate” begs the question what kind of debate shall we have? Steele prefers the melodramatic political debate, where winning is everything while truth and learning becomes irrelevant.

I myself prefer the curiosity driven constructive debate. A scientific style debate where each side honestly represents their opponents position and the facts. Where both sides agree that a better understanding is the goal. I’d love to have that debate, but where’s Jim Steele?

Can you hear me now Jim?

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

(Sd5) Correcting Jim Steele’s poop on Peter Miesler, aka citizenschallenge.

Since I have Jim Steele’s attention (among others) it’s time to respond to his 2015 LandscapesAndCycles’s blog article: “Clarifying Peter Miesler’s (aka CitizenChallenged) Dishonest Internet Sniping: Emperor Penguins” before moving on to my recent FCFP column.

My investigation into Jim Steele and his LandscapesAndCycles nonsense was/is also intended for students of the climate science disinformation campaign, as a dissection of arguments and strategies.  Along with a close up look at their amoral bare-knuckles approach to winning arguments, while dispensing with truth and honesty as their free speech right. 

Thus the concept of malicious abuse of our free speech rights - along with an example of what I call direct constructive intellectual confrontation.  Sure “engagement” is better, but sometimes one must confront before serious engagement is possible.  

Jim Steele’s blog post:

Clarifying Peter Miesler’s (aka CitizenChallenged) 
Dishonest Internet Sniping: Emperor Penguins
has the highlighted background - Complete as he wrote it, I added only some red highlights, I have not done any courtesy spell corrections, thus allowing Jim to shine through.

Jim Steele's introduction: Miesler is not a scientist nor does he understand biology. He is simply obsessed withe discrediting any skeptical interpretation. 
I never claimed to be a scientist.

Jim Steele is not a scientist either. 

Monday, August 6, 2018


I had a serious formatting malfunction that I couldn't fix and had to rebuild this page, I posted it at a new location.  Please visit:

(Sd5) Correcting Jim Steele’s poop on Peter Miesler, aka citizenschallenge.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

(Sd4) Jim Steele Responds to Citizenschallenge - LandscapesandCycles fraud

Preferring to ignore the email I sent him, which read:

Dear Jim Steele,

Some know-nothing from Kettering, Ohio wrote a Letter to the Four Corners Free Press complaining about my "one-sided" description of climate science, and the guy waved you around as some alternative expert to counter Dr. Kevin Trenberth's words.  You can imagine that got my goat, so you're back in play buddy .  

I once again invite you to a written debate - a honest constructive debate where lying about objective facts is prohibited.  You know where to find me.

Oh and if you instead choose to take your complaints to the shelter of Anthony Watts, or poptech, or such, please at least show me the courtesy of sending me a link.  I'd love to hear what you have to say this time around.

Thank you,

Peter Miesler
aka citizenschallenge
(PS. Gail is editor of the Four Corners Free Press
Included your pal Paul for the hell of it.)
{plus a few bcc’s to select scientists.}

JULY 22, 2018
Revisiting Jim Steele's LandscapesAndCycles Fraud - first an index of past research - Steele debate #1

JULY 28, 2018
Need a Real Dialogue About Climate - FCFP, January 2018 - Steele debate #2

JULY 29, 2018
Mr.GOP don't buy Jim Steele's Fraud - Steele debate #3

With two more in the pipeline, though the last one will deal with real science and not your nonsense.
Jim Steele responded to my email by posting a comment at CSC. It talked right past me, so it won't get out of moderation, not that I mind sharing its steaming content, kooky spellings and all.  I've already told him my blog wasn't going to be billboard for him.  Comments at my blogs need to be serious comments or challenges to me, not self-promotional garbage.

Jim Steele's offered comment:  "Meisler tells so many lies and creates so many distortions, I have indeed refused to discuss anything with him again. I once corrected he lies on his website and he deleted my posts. Meisler is also part of Slandering Sou's troll factory. I made one post regards Meisler's disinformation and one regards Slandering Sou's, that demonstrates their dishonest tactics. Nether is worth wasting any more time on despite their numerous sniping attacks.