Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Quote of the week: U.W. Madison Prof. Emeritus Reid Bryson, speaking about global warming, or as it’s cheerleaders have renamed it to coincide better with ongoing evidence, “climate change.”
Reporters will often call the meteorology building seeking the opinion of a scientist and some beginning graduate student will pick up the phone and say he or she is a meteorologist, Bryson said. “And that goes in the paper as ‘scientists say.’”
The 87-year-old, who founded the department of meteorology at the U.W. Madison, as well as the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, concedes that it is indeed getting warmer.
There is no question the earth has been warming. It is coming out of the “Little Ice Age,” he said in an interview this week.
“However, there is no credible evidence that it is due to mankind and carbon dioxide. We’ve been coming out of a Little Ice Age for 300 years. We have not been making very much carbon dioxide for 300 years. It’s been warming up for a long time,” Bryson said.
The Little Ice Age was driven by volcanic activity. That settled down so it is getting warmer, he said.
Humans are polluting the air and adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but the effect is tiny, Bryson said.
“It’s like there is an elephant charging in and you worry about the fact that there is a fly sitting on its head. It’s just a total misplacement of emphasis,” he said. “It really isn’t science because there’s no really good scientific evidence.”
Interestingly, a lot of scientists are coming out of the woodwork to bluster away about this unqualified yokel — until they figure out that whoever taught those scientists what they know about weather phenomena, were themselves Prof. Bryson’s students. The guy is the freakin’ Yoda of scientific climatology…and he ain’t buyin’ it.
Well, it gets even more interesting than that. Because some climate change skeptics raise some intringuing questions about the recent warming trend itself:
The salient facts are these. First, the accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998. Oddly, this eight-year-long temperature stasis has occurred despite an increase over the same period of 15 parts per million (or 4 per cent) in atmospheric CO2.
Second, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements, if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, show little if any global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 per cent).
Third, there are strong indications from solar studies that Earth’s current temperature stasis will be followed by climatic cooling over the next few decades.
So says Bob Carter, professor of Marine Geology at James Cook university in Australia. Interestingly, the pro-global-warming tattletale website SourceWatch is mum in Prof. Carter’s case, on what has become an obligatory smear against all climate change skeptics: that he would have been bought-off by the energy industry. There’s no such slur on Carter’s page there. Instead, the onslaught is limited to a quote from the Sydney Morning Herald that Carter “appears to have little, if any, standing in the Australian climate science community.”
If you know SourceWatch, you know this is virtually a compliment. “He got such-and-such a grant from Exxon” would be the attack of choice; “the whitecoats haven’t let him into their club so we shouldn’t listen to him” is decidedly second-rate, used only when the first-tier smear has been thoroughly evaluated for use, and found not to apply.
Okay, so it seems both of these gentlemen are relatively “clean” and can’t be slandered into irrelevance with gossip about industry-funded research. And they’re both saying we really need to look before we leap onto the whole curtail-carbon-emissions bandwagon, in whatever form we’re propositioned to do so.
But amongst the two of them, it seems there is disagreement about whether it’s getting warmer. How do you explain that?
Well, as Dr. Carter himself pointed out, the disagreement is likely illusory because the two authorities are speaking about different timeframes. But I would like to inspect, also, the definition of “it” we are using when we say “it’s getting warmer.” What it? Seems to me, since the Earth is a three-dimensional object, if it is to be considered as a closed ecosystem and we’re going to start hyperventilating with worry and angst because that three-dimensional ecosystem’s “mean temperature” has been ticking upward, we should be measuring all of it. Which means, you pull up an enormous blender, big enough to accomodate the entire planet. Without adding anything or taking anything away, you grind up the entire planet into a liquid puree — once the temperature has been fully stabilized and distributed throughout the contents, you measure it.
By which time, of course, you’ve destroyed the SUV’s and the factories that are supposed to be causing global warming so you can’t test the theory anymore…besides of which, you probably can’t find a blender that big. But you find a way to do the equivalent. Which would yield a “mean temperature” of nine or ten thousand degrees Fahrenheit.
You know what?
That’s probably not what scientists are talking about when they say “mean temperature.”
But that’s about the only definition of it that can be produced, with real scientific merit. Nothing else takes into account all of the matter that contributes to the ecosystem. And if you aren’t going to do that, what you’re then going to do is disregard distribution, convection, wakes, currents…all the stuff that climatology is. You would be doing what I suspect our climate eggheads really are doing: Measuring “local” temperature, wherever the instrumentation happens to be, and calling it gobal temperature.
Averaging it out not according to heat density of the surrounding matter, but according to where the readings may be taken.
How far down? Well, you can stop wherever you want, to give the final result an alarming twist that will end up getting your name in the paper. Sea level…a hundred feet above…fifty feet below…if nobody’s calling you on it, you can measure it however you want. So I guess I’m calling the whole notion of a “mean temperature” into serious question here.
And that seems fair, from where I sit. The agent whose readings are going to be most drastically affected by the questions I’m raising, it seems, is sea water. Ya know what? I’m not a scientist myself, but I know water weighs a lot. And every pound of it, can absorb a lot of energy without much temperature variance. If you switch to the metric system it gets really easy: Just a gram of water will tick upward by one degree Celcius, for every calorie absorbed. One degree, in that situation, is a whole lot less than the temperature differential you’ll measure in a gram of — let’s say — sand. Or asphalt, or dirt.
The issue is heat density. Your satellite measures a heat differential over a square kilometer; you have to ask, a square kilometer of what? Peat bog? An empty lot? Water? If water, then how far down does it go? There are a lot of ways you could settle this; most of those methods, the least expensive ones, are going to be utterly invalid, contaminating your entire “model” or experiment. And I don’t see anyone speaking to that anywhere.
But they’ve “proven” an increase of 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit over a hundred years. There. That might be why there’s disagreement about why it’s getting warmer. Meanwhile, the “proof” is there, so I’m supposed to join everybody else, fling spittle around, and panic. Pardon me if I’m a little slow to climb on board.
But anyway. These are just some of the questions I have, assuming that we’re all settled on the notion that global warming is really taking place. Our skeptics aren’t settled on that…and the cheerleader-chicken-littles aren’t settled on it either, for if they were they wouldn’t have renamed it to “climate change.”
Oh, and one other little thing from Bob Carter’s column that bears some emphasis:
As leading economist David Henderson has pointed out, it is extremely dangerous for an unelected and unaccountable body like the IPCC to have a monopoly on climate policy advice to governments. And even more so because, at heart, the IPCC is a political and not a scientific agency.
Um, yeah. High time someone raised that as an issue. But I doubt we’re ready for it, because we’re still stuck in the mold of watching movies made by former presidential candidates and calling them “documentaries.”
And, might I add…driving monster vehicles that get about eight-miles-a-gallon to the theaters to see those movies.
See, we like to think we’re treating this “scentifically,” or that if we’re not, at least the “scientists” who are trying to get us all scared and riled up, are doing that. We like to think that. But that isn’t what’s really going on, and deep down I think just about everyone understands that. It’s a fairy tale, and it’s getting more and more popular because the line between “scientist” and “politician” is quickly eroding. That is a climate change that should be capturing more of our attention.
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