Sunday, September 2, 2018

Confronting Republican Deception - Science, Activism, Networking, Engaging in debate.

Selections from the previous list of key blog posts.

The Situation:  The disconnected-from-physical-reality GOP attacks on climate science (a.i.) have reached horrifying levels with the Trump Administration.  Yet science loving rationalists, pluralists, progressives, liberals, Democrats still haven’t developed effective messaging for directly confronting the most childish of Republican arguments.  

Why?  Seems to me, mainly because rationalists rather sidestep that Me First driven willful ignorance.  This acquiescence to malicious nonsense has been a fatal error for the national dialogue.

Engaging and arguing with contrarians should not be seen as an exercise in futility, since those are teaching opportunity for explaining the simple logical geophysical reasons behind some of the disingenuous arguments to onlookers from our own side, who probably don’t understand the science very well themselves.  Making teaching opportunities out of false claims.

Even on this fateful US election eve, little effort seems expended to help geographically dispersed individual activists, of diverse talents, network with like-minded for sharing information, developing ideas, raising enthusiasm for debate.  Such efforts would facilitate better appreciation for what we are all about, while encouraging a sense of community and pro-active cooperation.

Why write that essay:

I’m hoping it might resonate with some of you and that you’ll be in a position to do more with it than I ever can here in my Colorado hinterlands.  It has my copyright, but that’s about establishing my authorship, I invite its copying and sharing. 

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

“… During the Q&A I had a chance to ask Dr.Trenberth, (58:00 video 3/3) 

“I’d like to bring it back to Hurricane Harvey, can you explain what the Brown Ocean Effect is and how it impacts landfall hurricanes such as Harvey?”

Dr. Trenberth responded,  “What, what is this?” and stopped.  He caught me by surprise, after a couple beats I collected my thoughts and responded, 

“The ‘Brown Ocean Effect is about land surface areas getting so saturated with hot water that when a hurricane comes over the land it starts sucking up the heat and moisture.” 

I was startled at Dr. Trenberth’s halting response.  Rather than reviewing what’s been written in the literature, he went back to the a,b,c’s of hurricanes.  Thing is, none of that was being questioned.  It was this ominous new environmental factor that I wanted to learn more about, but that Dr. Trenberth seemed to not want to talk about.  

Then his 450 word two part response thankfully ended with:  . . .  

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

… I reject and confront the GOP’s assumption that deliberate malicious lying is an appropriate political strategy when it comes to something as serious and consequential as understanding Anthropogenic Global Warming.
14 observations on our dysfunctional public dialogue.
1)  Uncertainties vs. known Physical Certainties …
2)  Map vs. Territory Problem …
3)  Sloppy usage of “Natural Variability” …
4)  “Seepage” …
5) “Global Warming” vs “Climate Change” …  
6)  Responsibilities of Scientists vs Responsibilities of Citizens and Students …
7)  Define the Debate, A to Z
A Constructive Argument based on real facts, 
Z Lawyerly Debate, …
8)  Intellectual Confrontation …
9)  Call out False Claims & Lies …
10)  Better than Skepticism ===> Critical Thinking Skills …
11)  Confront Trash Talk with Rhetorical Jujutsu …
12)  Faith-based Thinking - God or EGO? …
13)  The pain of our brave new world …
have the right to demand honesty when hearing what real experts are trying to convey, without being flooded with constant deceptive and fraudulent cross-screaming by a propaganda machine dedicated to the ruthless, unhinged from reality, and self-obsessed masters of industry and fortune, with their political puppets and astro-turfing thugs.  

Colorado experienced its most extreme weather event in memory between September 9th to the 15th. Golden, Boulder and Larimer counties received the worst of it with rain accumulations of sixteen/seventeen inches and more, some areas receiving nine inches on Thursday alone, resulting in massive flooding compounded by destructive run-off from mountainsides of burned-out forests that could no longer hold water.

Predictably folks are asking: Is this related to manmade Global Warming? It's an easy and tough question to answer.

Consider please, our climate system is a global heat distribution engine and our land, atmosphere, and the oceans have indisputably warmed, not only that, our atmosphere's moisture content has been measurably increasing. Given such geophysical realities, it is self-evident that all extreme weather events contain elements of this newly energized climate system.  And that much more of the same must be expected.

On the other hand, it's an exceedingly difficult question to answer if the demand is to know precisely every attribution down to fine detail. Fortunately for interested citizens, scientists have been trying harder to convey their knowledge of those details.

For example, less than two weeks after the flooding, the Western Water Assessment (WWA) together with Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) released a preliminary report during an hour and a half long videoed web news conference
… All this information was explained in wonderful detail. 

And then, disturbingly, when a reporter asked pointedly about the Jet Stream global warming connection, these geophysical facts suddenly became "speculation" subject to further study.

Using a freak, but similar, Colorado event back in September 1938 as justification, Dr. Hoerling rejected making any firm connection to global warming. We need further study. As I understood him, he also felt we needed a more accurate understanding of past extreme weather events.

I was left wondering, what good is a time consuming perfect understanding of past events, when that atmosphere's composition was radically different from today's? It's nice to know, but it is background information and not that relevant to our contemporary climate which has been and continues to be supercharged.

Beyond that I found it odd Dr. Hoerling used one 1938 freak event to warn against making premature assertions.  While not acknowledging the recent drum beat of "Jet Stream blocking pattern" driven extreme events such as the record shattering European killer heat waves of 2003, 2006, 2011 and the Russian heat wave of 2010, and the floods in Russia and Pakistan in 2010, and the recent Calgary floods and the extreme winters on the East Coast three and four years ago.  In fact, I did write Professor Hoerling and asked …

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

Considering that ridicule is a mainstay of the Republican approach to denying climate science, and since CO2 understanding has come under the most unhinged attacks that are based on misrepresenting what scientists have learned, along with paranoia laced arguments from incredulity, it's important to clearly explain where our understanding comes from.

That's why after a review of climate science history, I believe the first points the Blue Team should make clear is that "Atmospheric CO2 Science" is as certain as certain gets !

To accomplish that, explain where our greenhouse gas understanding comes from.  Namely intensive atmospheric studies made by no nonsense Air Force atmospheric scientists.  

Nature doesn't play tricks like people do, through careful study scientists have revealed one natural secret after another.  Why in the world would atmospheric radiative transfer physics be any different? 

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

After explaining that the USAF scientists and technicians who established our "CO2 science" possessed impeccable credentials, we should also point out that if those scientists had been wrong, they would have been exposed in short order.  

Why you ask?  Because of the increasing variety of modern marvels that would have been impossible had those studies not produced exquisitely accurate facts and figures.

The following was written to supplement the previous review of USA atmospheric research and to explain why a layperson can feel very comfortable trusting, heck believing, scientists, their atmospheric studies, and overall understanding.   

This post is an interesting sort of one way collaborative effort.  You see, over the years I've communicated with a number of scientists and grads.  Asking straight forward questions and often receiving informative replies.  I try not to overdo my welcome, after all these are very busy professionals with more important things to do. Still, for this post I sent a grand shout out to a number of my correspondence pals and received more responses than I expected including some informative surprises for me. I have taken great liberty slicing and dicing their contributions. Rewriting some, leaving other quotes untouched and giving all of it some order.

I mention this because I want to be clear the following List of "  CO2 science dependent" modern marvels is not my own cleverness and I send a big Thank You! out to my informed anonymous heroes!  …

{Incidentally, there is not one contrarian "theory" or challenge to climate science or the geophysics that hasn't been looked at by informed individuals.  You'll find that contrarian errors, omissions, and falsifications have been clearly explained.  

Don't believe me, look at this outline for yourself: 

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

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 to Mr. Steele it seemed to me that what he 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.  …  All told, I have some fifty posts unraveling Jim Steele’s deceitfulness over at my ConfrontingScienceContrarians.blogspot. 

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. . . .

(Sd3) Mr.GOP don't buy Jim Steele's Fraud - Steele debate #3

My upcoming column at the Four Corners Free Press is a response to a Letter to the Editor that complained about my "one-sided" approach to telling the climate science story.  The writer, whom I’ll refer to as Mr. GOP, then steps into a steaming pile when his suggested alternative expert turned out to be my old pal Jim Steele.  

As it happens I’ll bet I’m as familiar with Jim Steele’s LandscapesandCycles fantasy as anyone.  Having spent easily a couple hundred hours studying his words and working on nearly fifty posts unraveling and exposing Jim’s many malicious deceptions regarding honest competent wildlife biologists the world over.   

My FourCornersFreePress column wasn’t the place for a line by line response, but I did want to write one up to help me gather my thoughts before composing my column.  I’m sharing it here, because this version gives me another opportunity to share all sorts of valuable supporting evidence.  . . .

Climate Science isn’t Settled, by Mr. GOP 
Four Corners Free Press - Letters to the Editor, March, 2018 
Mr.GOP takes issue with my “We need real dialogue about climate

It seems that the "science" is settled. The author has used one pro-global warming expert.  Here’s my expert for rebuttal: *Landscape & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism, by Jim Steele.  Excellent book with ample references to support his arguments.  Long story short, the science is not settled. …”  . . . 

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

. . .  Ironically, I know all about Jim Steele’s LandscapesandCycles scam and welcome the challenge to resurrect this bit of unfinished business.  That’s why I’m posting this index of my extensive research into Jim Steele’s dubious thesis as supporting evidence for the related posts that follow. …

Earth Centrist ponders, polite or honest?

… John, it got me reflecting on your lament: "I just don't understand (citizenschallenge). I start out with a polite greeting ..."     Okay my sweet nice John, let me spell it out …  

…  Your velvety insinuations, your down right false assertions regarding the state of climate science disgust me because of their base dishonesty and the destruction they are guaranteeing. 

…  Reading your words, it's obvious you've never truly considered the down to Earth physical reality, nor the consequences to our collective economic choices.  You can't fool me, your talking points have been cut'n pastes, without original thoughts of your own. 

What's my bias?  I come at all this from an Earth Centrist's position, meaning that Earth and her physical processes and the Pageant of Evolution are my touchstones, the foundation of all reality.

After decades of study I've learned that contrarian games are invariably dedicated to stupefying people through faux science by rhetoric, ridicule, and slander.  Relying on arguments that disregard facts and truth with alacrity.  Confusion and doubt mongering are its goals.  Honest curiosity?  There's none.  Not a bit of awe and wonder at our Earth, her atmosphere and oceans and all we've learned and visualized these years - all that is treated with cynicism if not down right derision and contempt.  No appreciate at all for how much our weather impacts every aspect of our lives.   . . .

… Then there's the God v Science question.

Knowledge of God is the ultimate in personal intimate relationship, your experience can not be transferred to, or replicated for, others.  

Religions are human constructs for enabling people to reconcile themselves with the seasons and hardships of their lives and to enable human societies to function in a civil manner. 
A God if there be one is All Things to All People, well beyond all human understanding as the Holy Books warn us individuals.  
If you are fortunate enough to be touched by God, that is your gift alone, something for you in your unique life.  It is not a recipe for your neighbors or the world.
Science on the other hand is humanity’s recipe for learning about the physical world and its processes as honestly as possible.
Science Is:

Learning is the goal.

Fidelity to physical facts is the gold standard.  

Free Speech doesn’t mean it’s okay to lie and slander with malicious intent.  

Informed constructive skepticism is the rule.

Mistakes are for learning.   

Dishonest bluster and bullying are crimes.

Saying No To Reality (Four Corners Free Press)
   Explaining the Geologic Column to the Faith Blinded Psalm1Tree

Recently, I was minding my own business listening to a fascinating talk on YouTube titled, “Rooted in Earth History: the Devonian transition to a forested planet.”  It was about strategies that Earth’s first ground-hugging plants adapted to escape the confines of Earth’s surface.  …  But my pleasant reverie was shattered by a YouTube comment that blind-sided me.  One ‘Psalm1Tree’ wrote in all seriousness: 

“There never was a Devonian period, just as there never was a Cambrian, Jurassic, Triassic etc. period. That's because there never was a Geologic Column. That is a 19th century construct that has no data whatsoever to support it.”

Besides avoiding the topic of the video, the comment is such an ignorant statement on so many levels that most who know anything about geology and evolution would simply clamp on the head-vise and back away. 

Unfortunately, decades of ignoring such belligerent ignorance about important aspects of our life and planet have led to its becoming so insidious and commonplace that our government is controlled by Republicans who disregard obvious physical realities on personal whim.   Justified only by a hubristic conceit that they are doing “God’s duty,” they are in fact all about pursuing their own EGO’s bidding.

… No data for the Geologic Column?  Seriously?  Has Psalm ever looked?  It’s easy to track down when our understanding started, in the late 1700s….

… Getting back to the Geologic Column, think about Smith’s geologic map.  It only reflects what’s on the surface, but obviously there’s a great deal more underneath, as countless drill core samples attest.  Compiling that data inevitably leads to a geologic column, basically a vertical map of what’s under our feet. 

How can that be a fiction when it IS totally data-driven from inception to finish?

In our few exchanges Psalm wasn’t interested in details and even less in doing any good-faith research on his own.  All he wanted was short answers to empty gotcha questions. …

Colorado Basin geologic column - 


cc's Hall of Shame

My "speciality" has been confronting climate science “skeptics” with fact based constructive debates and it usually follows the same trajectory.  I call out false claims, statements and question their reasoning with explanations, arguments and an assortment of relevant links to further authoritative information so people can learn about these issues for themselves. 

If they return it’s with a round of bluster and distractions that morph into ad hominem attacks on people, either me, reporters or scientists.  Never any indication that new information was read and assessed, let alone absorbed.  I respond with more facts and reasoned arguments, they respond with final insults and slammed doors not to be heard from again.  Leaving me with Virtual Debates where I strive to document the dishonesty that too many others seem to pardon.

These are the same talking heads who are astro-turfing media outlets demanding public debate, but who steadfastly run from our debates. Tragically for our country and future these self interested folks only seek theatrical lawyerly debates dedicated to confusing and obscuring.

When it comes to Serious Constructive Debates - that is, dialogues that respect the confines of truth and honestly representing others and the evidence - these showmen are nowhere to be found.

I’m talking about intellectual cowards such as AnthonyWatts Dr. Dick Lindzen Dr. Roy Spencer PascalBruckner; “LordChristopher Monckton; Stephen McIntyre;  Jim Steele and his Landscapes and Cycles fraud Heartland’s James Taylor Marc Morano Dan Pangburn Martin Hertzberg David Rose Cornwall Alliance’s Beisner Nasif Nahle;  Pete Ridley JohnO’Sullivan Piers Corbyn Willie Soon H. Sterling BurnettHoward Hayden;  1000frolly Poptech ScottishSceptic;  Judith Curry;  Donna Laframboise Henrik Svensmark Dave(NC20) Burton Investors Business Daily.

Any feedback, encouragement, networking, or support would be much appreciated.  
Peter Miesler aka citizenschallenge @ 

P.O.Box 56, Durango, Colorado 81302


citizenschallenge said...

Dear Thomas Mazanec at 11:03 AM,
I have no space for spam. If you have something to say about the topic at hand please be direct and to the point.

Thanks for looking in.

Tom Mazanec said...

Excuse me, I thought it would highlight how much extra energy has been put into the Earth's atmosphere that your graphic is running out of room to show it.

citizenschallenge said...

Please explain. Do you have a link?
Have you seen the SkepticalScience widget?

Although I think I figured out what you're asking about.

That 'graph', that's a geologic column - has nothing to do with atmosphere or CO2 - check out the link, its truly fascinating.
That last article is about evolution and the "Geologic Column" and faith based denial of geologic understanding.

Sorry for misunderstanding your previous comment, thanks for trying again.