Sunday, March 31, 2019

Considering the Criminal Dimension of Climate Science Denial.

I believe vandals should be stood up to and that We The People have a right to learn about the expert understanding of critically important down to Earth matters, such as climate change understanding - without the constant cross screaming from the GOP's manufactured denial machine and it's PR bullies.  Thus, this little collection of relevant reading.

We The People of the United States have a moral, ethical right - along with a pragmatic need - to learn what scientists have learned about this planet's biosphere and climate engine without constant dishonest crossfire. 
We should not tolerate serious scientists always being drown out by amoral, ruthless and frankly ignorant arguments - that an astoundingly ruthless GOP PR factory repeats over and over again, without ever learning a damned thing from the evidence in front of us. 


The Criminal Dimension of Climate Change
by Andrew Glikson  Mar 01, 2019

Peter D. Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth, Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2017), 270 pages, $27.95, paperback.

Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival, a book by Peter Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth, with a foreword by leading climate scientist James Hansen, outlines the criminality of those who actively promote the continuing emission of carbon gases into the atmosphere despite having full knowledge of the consequences. These consequences include the breakdown of large ice sheets, rising sea levels, and the intensification of extreme weather events around the world, such as hurricanes, floods, and fires.
The book highlights the collusion of large parts of the mainstream media with climate change denial and its cover up, stating that,

There is no benign explanation for a full media blackout of a significant global development that was heralded by the United Nations Secretary-General. This blackout goes far beyond ignorance or negligence. 
It is a willful obstruction of public knowledge of the extraordinary extent of global efforts to combat the greatest existential threat of all time by changing business-as-usual. We define this willful, methodical blocking of vital survival information as an unprecedented crime against life on the planet. 

Is there criminal liability for climate change denial?
December 11, 2018 By Bill Adams

… In the scientific community, there is no debate about the existence of man made climate change, whether it is dangerous for the planet, and most importantly, whether humans must take immediate and large scale corrective action.
Nevertheless, there are important actors in government, in the media, and in fossil fuel funded “think tanks” who continue to pump out misinformation about climate change in order to to convince the public it doesn’t exist and poses no threat.  A must read for anyone seeking a full understanding of the history of climate change politics is Nathaniel Rich’s excellent NY Times narrative, Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change.  In it, he details the decade between 1979 and 1989 when scientists raised the alarms about climate change spurring an honest bipartisan effort, ultimately to be buried in a campaign of deceit and cover-up.
However, many of these purveyors of  misinformation are not merely exhibiting a genuine disbelief in the science of climate change.  Rather, they intentionally deceive the public.  The evidence of intent? There is no reasonable basis for the assertions they make.  

What’s natural about Steele's confusion? Pacifica Tribune 3/20/2019

Here I want to focus on the first couple paragraphs in March 20th, Pacifica Tribune’s What’s Natural? column.  It contains a melodramatic lead in with a curious narrative built around the P-38 dug out of a Greenland glacier.  Since this back story turned into such a fascinating fun, if oh so time consuming story, I figure it’s worth posting all this stuff on it’s own stage.  

(click on images for clearer image)
My question to Jim, what’s unnatural about the location of the Glacier Girl?

The P-38 is up the east coast, though somewhat inland.

It starts with the Lost Squadron and the P-38 that was discovered some 264 feet, not the 300+ Steele claims, a typical example of his easy disregard for accuracy, found under the surface and some three miles down stream in a glacier.  Here Steele continues:

Steele writes:  ". . .  Southeastern Greenland had been gaining ice at a rate of 4 feet per year.
In contrast, climate scientists project Greenland will increasingly loss ice at CO2 concentrations increase.  …”

To begin with, can't we even keep the simplest basics straight?  Rate and depth of ice formation varies on such a huge varied island.  Also, please be clear it’s snow that falls on Greenland, with years, that snow gets compressed into glacial ice.

Second, there is no secret that the southeast coast of Greenland is subject to extreme maritime snows.  

Third, even in a warming world Greenland will remain below freezing most the time for quite a while.  Plus there is more moisture in today’s atmosphere.  Snow fall will happen.  

Acting as though that’s supposed to be a surprise is goofy.

Fourth, Steele still can’t wrap his head around the simple fundamental reality driving all this - it’s the atmospheric insulation - you could very accurately say that our Atmospheric Insulation Regulator was set around 285 ppm when the steam engine was invented, now we have cranked it past 410 ppm and rising fast.  

That has geophysical consequences no matter how well anyone keeps their eyes, ears, and minds shut down. 

Melting Greenland glaciers is one of the resultant* down stream cascading geophysical consequences, yes it will continue following natural cycles.  But, realize those cycles exist within an energizing global heat and moisture distribution engine.

Now we get to the story of the Glacier Girl and what she can tell us about Greenland.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Adam Schiff Responds to Trump's Enforcers

I often share my disappointment with the limp Democratic Party and how easily they wither in the face of GOP's ruthless macho bullying.  Still, once in awhile I get impressed and realize there is some hope left.  Now if only these few courageous politicians can start getting more of We The People to better support them by actively getting behind these individuals and letting our representatives know we expect them to follow through on their efforts.  
Act as if our democracy depends on it, because it does!  A healthy democracy requires an informed and engaged electorate!
Yeah, yeah, an imperfect democracy is better than this ME FIRST theocracy the oligarch owned GOP is pushing our country towards.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff fired back at Republicans on his committee, including disgraced former chair Devin Nunes, calling for his resignation during a hearing about Russia interference in the 2016 election. Lawrence: "You're going to want to see every word of the controlled, targeted, and building anger of the honorable Adam Schiff.”
MSNBC | Published on Mar 28, 2019

2:42   Honorable Adam Schiff Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee:    

       “My colleagues may think it's okay that the Russians offered dirt on a Democratic candidate for president as part of what was described as the Russian government's effort to help the Trump campaign.  You might think that's okay.  (transcript continues)

Sunday, March 17, 2019 FactCheck Fail

This morning I came across another example of dancing to the contrarian script -  this time it was Fact Checkers.

Rather than dog-chasing-tail words, we need to strive to clarify what’s unfolding upon our planet on a realistic gut level.

Moral of the story stop focusing on tiny uncertainties - redirect the dialogue back to the known certainties - because they certainly tell us enough.
This is what appeared (click image for better view):
Edited by Scott Johnson, Climate Feedback, Mar 8, 2019     {hat tip to} 
"The science is clear, climate change is making extreme weather events, including tornadoes, worse.”        SOURCE: Bernie Sanders, Facebook, 4 March 2019's fact checking verdict was misleading 
Overstates scientific confidence: Research clearly shows that certain types of weather extremes are increasing as a result of climate change, but it is not clear how tornadoes are responding to a warming climate.
ClimateFeedback misses the point. 

It’s not about tornadoes and score keeping, it’s about learning to appreciate how our climate engine operates.

Take back the narrative !

Research clearly shows us that our global heat and moisture distribution engine has accumulated a degree Centigrade worth of extra heat since the advent of the steam engine.

Weather's job is to circulate this heat (and moisture) from the broiling equator to the poles.

This warming also increases the moisture holding capacity of air.

Physics tells us this added energy gets circulated throughout the global weather system. 

This extra heat is now available to be released through various destructive forms, not limited to tornadoes, consider destructive macrobursts, microbursts, downbursts, derechos, bomb cyclones, hurricanes and others.  

It doesn’t much matter which particular meteorological conditions come together, the point is when they do, they now have increasingly more energy, heat and moisture available, meaning more intense events must to be expected.  

It’s elementary.  It's physics.  It's certain as people can be about anything.

It’s about establishing an appreciation for what’s happening within our global heat and moisture distribution engine.  Well that and learning to appreciate the fragility of the biosphere upon who's health we all depend on for everything.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

What's natural about Steele's scary stories? Why Pacifica Tribune? (3/6/2019)

My previous post gave a summary of March 6th’s What’s Natural? column in the ‘libertarian’ Pacifica Tribune.   So I’ll dive straight into this, the “too long, didn’t read” part 2 intended for the student of libertarian deception.  Here I dissect the words and offer links to serious sources for the other side of Steele assertions. 

Glib misrepresentations, insulting experts and weaving transparently deceptive tales is easy - learning the facts and understanding our biosphere and climate engine that’s what requires some serious self-starter effort.  Like the difference between a vandal and a builder. 

Jim Steele’s, What’s Natural? Pacifica Tribune | March 6, 2019

(click on the image for better reading)
{Since this is a Virtual Debate I drift back and forth between addressing Steele and addressing my readers}

First paragraph,  Steele gets into the Heaven’s Gate Suicide Cult.  Guess, to fluff up his audience.   When Steele tossed in:
Steele:  “the Heaven's Gate Cult. Highlv educated members …” 
I though I’d investigate, turns out People magazine printed a little bio of the unfortunates.  Not to disparage, but educationally they were actually a decidedly middling crowd: Reading it, lonely people looking for simple answers is what came to my mind.

Odious sensationalistic smoke and mirrors, reckon it’s all one's left with when one doesn’t have any facts on their side?

Second paragraph,  launches into some heavy handed self promotion.  

Steele:  “I’ve pointed out how over-hunting and invasive organisms endanger species.  I’ve noted island extinctions occurred when humans imported rats, cats and mosquitos that attacked ill-prepared native species.”

Come on Jim, who’s kidding whom, that’s been text book stuff since I was in school, why do you spin it into sounding like original work or something? 

Steele:  “My research in the Sierra Nevada restored a watershed …”
I think the Sierra Valley Resource Conservation District ( might not agree with Jim’s self-serving assessment.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Editor Frederick, Regarding Steele's Scary Campfire Stories. March 6, 2019

Letter to Editor Frederick, 
Regarding Jim Steele’s "What’s Natural?" Scary Campfire Stories.
March 6, 2019 - Pacifica Tribune - sent March 11, 2019

Dear Editor Fredrick,

What’s Natural? Indeed, that is the question.  It took a couple days to steel myself to tackle the Scary Campfire Stories column but I’ve been working on it much of the day and hopefully it’ll be posted soon.  I’m pretty sure my point by point review wouldn’t be of much interest around here, so I’m posting it at my - I’d much appreciate it if you could share that with your readers. Instead of details I’d like to share general impressions. 

Lets start with a summary of the column’s ten paragraphs: introduces topic with the Heaven’s Gate Suicide Cult (no crass politicization happening here); dismisses the seriousness of a 1°Centigrade rise within our global climate engine; misrepresents the facts in order to disparage a respected butterfly expert; quibbles about Polar Bear counts, while ignoring that the Arctic Ice Cap is melting away; ridicules penguin researchers for revolutionizing census gathering abilities and keeping up to date with their available data; heaps scorn on the entire climate science community because some scientist at some low point once said snow was going to disappear from England in the next decades; oh and we're to forget about “atmospheric insulation” because CO2 is plant food; he tells us there’s far more important problems to address than our planet’s atmospheric insulation regulator going from 280 ppm when the steam engine was invented to over 410 ppm and rising fast today.

Then Steele’s coup de grâce: ”For several decades, bogus catastrophic climate-change claims have come and gone.” -“If we truly care about nature … the real problem is overhunting, invasive species and loss of habitat.”

So this is libertarian entertainment?  Is that it?  It sure isn’t serious education!  What’s natural about this contemptuous disregard for our physical Earth and it’s biosphere?  How on Earth can one hold the notion that raising the temperature of our global biosphere won’t profoundly alter its components?  

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Considering Sagan's actual Baloney Detection Kit

A couple weeks back when I reviewed Steele's What’s Natural? column regarding Carl Sagan’s advice, I took Steele’s quotes at face value, though I had some doubts.  Since then I've done some checking and the differences are striking and worth sharing.

One thing worth pointing out is that Jim ignores that the Baloney Detection Kit was about how scientists view problems and that laypeople could learn from that.  One thing that bothers me about Steele's take, is that he's always implying spectators and dilettantes are as smart as actual trained experienced experts. 

Here I simply want to allow Carl Sagan's own words to speak for him, though with an introduction from Maria Popova:

Through their training, scientists are equipped with what Sagan calls a “baloney detection kit” — a set of cognitive tools and techniques that fortify the mind against penetration by falsehoods:
The kit is brought out as a matter of course whenever new ideas are offered for consideration. If the new idea survives examination by the tools in our kit, we grant it warm, although tentative, acceptance. …


But the kit, Sagan argues, isn’t merely a tool of science — rather, it contains invaluable tools of healthy skepticism that apply just as elegantly, and just as necessarily, to everyday life. By adopting the kit, we can all shield ourselves against clueless guile and deliberate manipulation. Sagan shares nine of these tools:
  1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”