Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why Watts Up With That? is where its at

More evidence today on why many consider Anthony Watts' blog Watts Up With That? to be the best blog.

First is his publication and discussion of the resignation from the American Physical Society by long time and prominent member, Hal Lewis.  Reason for his decision? The APS dogmatic stance on AGW and their lack of commitment to the principles of scientific integrity:

  • In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.
As Watts points out, the resignation and its rationale are significant for all scientists and those interested in the implementation of effective policy and should be read in their entirety.

The second example is this wonderful graphic: 

and the accompanying post on the latest peer-reviewed publication which concludes:
  • It is at present impossible to accurately determine climate sensitivity (defined as the equilibrium warming in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations) from past records, partly because carbon dioxide and short-lived species have increased together over the industrial era. Warming over the past 100 years is consistent with high climate sensitivity to atmospheric carbon dioxide combined with a large cooling effect from short-lived aerosol pollutants, but it could equally be attributed to a low climate sensitivity coupled with a small effect from aerosols. These two possibilities lead to very different projections for future climate change.
Taken in conjunction, the two posts confirm both the position of WUWT as one of the best sources of emerging information and perspective on the web, and the rapidly changing status of climate alarmism one year after ClimateGate and the collapse of the Copenhagen conference.

No longer is climate alarmism the default, nor the defining paradigm of accepted science.  It is still a prominent perspective but it is no longer an un-questioned, axiomatic construct.  

Increasingly critics of AGW are described as skeptics, and no longer demonized as "deniers".  The tenor has changed.  The politics has morphed into a wider promotion of a more nebulous and still emerging concern for "energy" -- still embracing the familiar narratives of limits; anti-consumption; anti-capitalism; soft green, warm and fuzzy ecology, and; centralized, elite planning -- but a notable absence of global warming or climate change embedded within its central imperative.  

AGW has become global warming, has become climate change, has become climate disruption, has become the albatross of science.

Friday, October 01, 2010

how not to win friends and influence people...

Well the bar for tasteless, stupid and offensive eco-hype has been set at a new low with the heavily promoted but disastrous release of the 10:10 No Pressure film, excellently dissected by James Delingpole.

Characteristic of the all-time box office failures, No Pressure may be the Ishtar, Gigli or Heaven's Gate of the environmental movement.  Huge hype, major talent, big budget and no one with enough common sense or courage to say "no", this is not satirical, not funny, not good communications strategy. 

Why?  Sadly it appears those involved in the production felt justified that their message was so significant that their ends justified the means.

This attitude characterizes the  Teflon Doomsayers, the professional fear mongers who  direct the eco-myth disinformation program: get them young, keep them dumb and instill them with fear!

As Budiansky summarizes:
  • ...while the entire presumable goal, purpose, and raison d'ĂȘtre of applied environmental science is to solve environmental problems, any environmental scientist who dares to suggest that problems are being solved is asking for trouble... we have arrived at a state where even the most wildly irrational pessimism is treated with reverence, while the most cautiously sober optimism is ridiculed.
  • What I find almost inexplicable in all of this, however, is how the scientific doomsayers get away over and over again with making predictions that are fabulously, ridiculously — and demonstrably — incorrect, without the slightest repercussions upon their credibility or careers. Predictions of impending doom are published based on absurd methodologies and threadbare evidence of a kind that in the normal course of scientific affairs would be sufficient to ruin careers ten times over, and the authors walk away from them without a scratch.
Just another example of how the unbelievable can become the accepted.

Or perhaps this time, this is a Myth Too Far and just as with climategate, the greater mass of public will say enough already.


This insightful conclusion:
  • Rather than an isolated aberration, then, the 10:10 video can be seen as the end result of years of ad hominem attacks meant to marginalize skeptics and make it unnecessary to actually address their concerns about the science.  Perhaps this video will mark a turning point where we can finally start talking about the science rather than attacking motivations.