Saturday, July 28, 2007


I’ve done some serious work in climatology. No, I’m not a climatologist. I’ve depended on the researches of others for this aspect of my overall ubertheory. I’ve made original contributions in interpretation, but anything I would have written might be considered a secondary source. That’s fine. I have striven to be meticulous with my data. I was tempted only once to suppress something -- just couldn’t understand how it fit. But I kept playing at it, and it proved to be the basis for a pivotal insight. Lesson learned.

Would you like me to post some really cool stuff? Beg me prettily enough and I might.

Now we have this Global Warming thing. I’ve had a bit of fun with it, but it is a serious controversy. We decide our positions not by the degree of passion we might feel, but by the evidence. That’s much harder than you’d think. Because we all start with our biases. Once upon a time I was an Evolutionist. I’ve gone over this ground before. Upshot is, I looked in-depth at the evidence and changed my position. I’m capable of doing that, is what I mean.

Do you have a GW position? Conservatives tend to go one way, liberals tend to go the other. How odd. Science shouldn’t be political. (I really would recommend Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” -- it has its flaws, but its effect is seminal.) But of course, all systems of belief are political. Science, that ‘organized body of observations,’ is certainly ideological. So it is with Global Warming.

You’ll have noticed the tone I take here. Usually manically nasty, covered over with Mad Hatter sarcasm. Sometime maudlin, dark or pathetic. But sometimes I’m serious. My serious points generally have to do with integrity. Let’s take care to be right, in all things -- and let’s be gracious in the effort. Because maybe, despite our best efforts, we’re wrong. Apologies generally come too late to do any good. So tread lightly. I would hope that anyone who knows me would stand up for me, in this regard. I’m far from what I would wish to be, but I’m nowhere near as mad and offensive as I could be. I count that as a success. My point -- aside from congratulating myself on my wonderfulness -- is that I claim not to be a hypocrite.

Let’s consider, then, Global Warming. Martin Durkin has made a documentary that answers the one Al Gore made. Anyone can make a documentary. Here are some of the issues Durkin brings up.

“To the utter dismay of the global warming lobby, the world does not appear to be getting warmer. According to their own figures (from the UN-linked Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the temperature has been static or slightly declining since 1998. The satellite data confirms this. This is clearly awkward...

“Then there's the ice-core data, the jewel in the crown of global warming theory. It shows there's a connection between carbon dioxide and temperature: see Al Gore's movie. But what Gore forgets to mention is that the connection is the wrong way around; temperature leads, CO2 follows.

“Then there's the precious ‘hockey stick’. This was the famous graph that purported to show global temperature flat-lining for 1000 years, then rising during the 19th and 20th centuries. It magicked away the Medieval warm period and made the recent warming look alarming, instead of just part of the general toing and froing of the Earth's climate.

“But then researchers took the computer program that produced the hockey stick graph and fed it random data. Bingo, out popped hockey stick shapes every time. (See the report by Edward Wegman of George Mason University in Virginia [eg, here for his primary report] and others [eg, here].)

“In a humiliating climb down, the IPCC has had to drop the hockey stick from its reports, though it can still be seen in Gore's movie.

“And finally, there are those pesky satellites. If greenhouse gases were the cause of warming, then the rate of warming should have been greater, higher up in the Earth's atmosphere (the bit known as the troposphere). But all the satellite and balloon data says the exact opposite. In other words, the best observational data we have flatly contradicts the whole bally idea of man-made climate change.

“They concede that CO2 cannot have caused the warming at the beginning of the 20th century, which was greater and steeper than the recent warming. They can't explain the cooling from 1940 to the mid-'70s. What are they left with? Some mild warming in the '80s and '90s that does not appear to have been caused by greenhouse gases.”

Durkin could be wrong. He could be lying. He could be mishandling data. He could be ignoring powerful confounding evidence, as he suggests Gore has done. But facts are easily checked. When they seem to contradict, well, we know that facts cannot contradict. Something is being misunderstood. Thus, for all that I love paradoxes, I understand that there really aren’t any. As I said in one of the earliest things I wrote here:

“Imponderables are easy. It's that sophomore stuff, of, if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears does it make a sound. No -- if you define "sound" as something that is heard. Does it make sound waves? Certainly -- we live in a phenomenological universe, but subject to the laws of phenomenon. Or Zeno's paradoxes: Before it hits its target, an arrow must travel half the distance, but first half of the half, and before that half of the half of the half ... so it can never reach its target, busy as it is infinitely halving its distances. Yet it does reach its goal. The fallacy, of course, is that space, like time, is not infinitely divisible. At a certain infinitesimally small place, a thing must be either here, or there, but cannot be in between -- the quantum leap of quantum mechanics. A thing must be either now, or then, but not in between. As I say, imponderables are easy, once you clarify the terms.

“The universe is both discrete and a continuum, digital and analogue, particle and wave, virtual and actual. It is yes/no, and it is maybe.”

My word, I do go on, don’t I. I must really be in love with myself. In the past hour I’ve written two other pieces just like this. Won’t anything shut me the hell up? Well, I’ve gotta do something with my creative urges and my imagination and all this energy. It’s either this, or masturbate.


The point is, there are no paradoxes. Facts cannot contradict. Yes, this is one of those either/or, not maybe, propositions. The Globe is either Warming, or it is not. If it is Warming, it is doing so either as a whole, or locally -- so that would be hemiglobal warming. If it is Warming, the primary cause would be either mankind, or nature. If the cause is nature, there’s not much we can do. You can’t stop a volcano. [Oh please. Don't. If you want to argue I suppose I can be goaded into it. Let's do it over something worth the effort, eh?] If it is mankind, it’s time for a revolution unlike anything since farming was invented.

Which is it? The question won’t be settled here. This is only one side of the issue. But you can see that the matter is not as decided as some would pretend -- as most of the media establishment would pretend. I’m all for pretending. That’s what masturbation is all about. Let’s not do it in public.

That's where I would have left it ... on my typically immature note of insanity. But Wegman's report -- the one that invalidates Mann's hockey stick graph -- is just devastating. It's not long, and starting on page six it is utterly eviscerating, in the very politest of ways. I can't figure out how to copy his "figure 4" -- if I could, I'd have written a whole post on the subject. Enough to say that there is no hockey stick. It's a pool cue. A long pool cue, so straight, so hard, so easily grasped in eager hands. Huh. I need some privacy.


1 comment:

Jack H said...

I know. I'm awful. I am so sorry. I have to follow my muse, though. And it's nothing as bad as what I have stored away in the crypt.