Category Archive 'Junk Science'
02 Nov 2020

Politics and Expert Dishonesty are Ruining Science

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Pasha Kamyshev (Pierson 2009) correctly observes that politicization of Science and arguments consisting only of appeals to credentialed authority have widely underminded respect for experts and what purports to be science.

My current view is that large numbers of fields which are considered “scientific” in the West are a complete mess and lack the essential feature of what it means to be a science in the first place. …

Big Tech has fully bought into the frame of “experts” vs “laypeople” as if experts are always “correct” and laypeople are “wrong,” (unless they are repeating a statement by the experts).

If the laypeople are “wrong,” then there has been a massive failure of education to produce correct models for people to use for home reasoning. Obviously, the default answer for many people is to simply pour more money into education. But we lack understanding of what science and science education even are. Science is meant to produce world models, and education is supposed to impart them to everyone else. Neither is doing this, really, and what we have in place of those instructions is one large uncanny valley of ever-changing statement production. …

I have heard stories of professors at Yale in one department being mad about professors in another department teaching p-hacking to students. Inter- and intra-discipline fights are common, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as the overall combined output of the field is correlated with reality. However, the journalistic tendency to signal boost any paper that can have political impact amplifies some fights over others, further screwing up an already shaky system.

So right now science is losing its status among the general population. It is also losing status among those who can actually read statistics. This is both horrifying and encouraging. Without a structured way to sift actual reality into social reality, the social reality will diverge from reality, with further and further breakdown of health and sanity for society.

RTWT

24 Oct 2020

Science!

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18 Aug 2019

Where Do They Put the Thermometer, When They Measure the Temperature of the Earth?

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Fort Morgan, Colorado US Historical Climate Network Station. It is easy to see how urbanization can impact recorded temperature data.

Issues & Insights identifies the key flaw in the Alarmist narrative.

The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is quite certain Earth will be in trouble if the global temperature exceeds pre-industrial levels by 1.5 degrees Celsius or more. But how can anyone know? According to university research, “global temperature” is a meaningless concept.

“Discussions on global warming often refer to ‘global temperature.’ Yet the concept is thermodynamically as well as mathematically an impossibility,” says Science Daily, paraphrasing Bjarne Andresen, a professor at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute, one of three authors of a paper questioning the “validity of a ‘global temperature.’”

Science Daily explains how the “global temperature” is determined.

“The temperature obtained by collecting measurements of air temperatures at a large number of measuring stations around the globe, weighing them according to the area they represent, and then calculating the yearly average according to the usual method of adding all values and dividing by the number of points.”

But a “temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system,” says Andresen. The climate is not regulated by a single temperature. Instead, “differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate”.

While it’s “possible to treat temperature statistically locally,” says Science Daily, “it is meaningless to talk about a global temperature for Earth. The globe consists of a huge number of components which one cannot just add up and average. That would correspond to calculating the average phone number in the phone book. That is meaningless.”

There are two ways to measure temperature: geometrically and mathematically. They can produce a large enough difference to show a four-degree gap, which is sufficient to drive “all the thermodynamic processes which create storms, thunder, sea currents, etc.,” according to Science Daily.

So if global temperature is unknowable, how can the IPCC and the entire industry of alarmists and activists be so sure there exists a threshold we cannot pass? Of course the IPCC says it knows the unknowable. In its latest report, released this month, it yet again maintained that the global temperature must “kept to well below 2ºC, if not 1.5oC” above pre-industrial levels to avoid disaster.

A few years after the University of Copenhagen report was published, University of Guelph economist Ross McKitrick, one of the report’s authors, noted in another paper that “number of weather stations providing data . . . plunged in 1990 and again in 2005. The sample size has fallen by over 75% from its peak in the early 1970s, and is now smaller than at any time since 1919.”

“There are serious quality problems in the surface temperature data sets that call into question whether the global temperature history, especially over land, can be considered both continuous and precise. Users should be aware of these limitations, especially in policy-sensitive applications.”

RTWT

HT: Mark Tapscott.

Statistics! “There are three kinds of falsehoods, lies, damned lies, and statistics.” –Arthur Balfour.

“If I get to select both the data and the methodology of calculation, I can prove anything with statistics.” –David Zincavage.

03 Apr 2019

Taking a Poke at “Settled Science”

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Nobody seriously intelligent, nobody who really understands Science, nobody with common sense or an independent mind swallows the Global Warming Catastrophist nonsense.

Myles Weber, at Quillette, explains that the widely-accepted “greenhouse effect” does not work as Science at all. It’s really just an inaccurate metaphor that appeals to the popular imagination.

As a university professor, I am best positioned to report on the widespread incompetence and malfeasance found specifically in academe. A work colleague once corrected me on a matter concerning the greenhouse effect. With no scientific training, he had recently moderated a panel discussion on climate change in an attempt to convince students to support our university president’s Green Initiative, which as far as I could tell reduced carbon dioxide emissions not at all but placed undue strain on the university’s finances, which in turn put upward pressure on tuition costs. I mentioned to my colleague in passing that, from an educational standpoint, the term greenhouse gas was an unfortunate misnomer since the architectural design of an actual greenhouse is not closely related to the physical properties of tropospheric greenhouse gases.

This has been my go-to analogy to explain how some people have confused the two phenomena: The sentence “Like Placido Domingo, Bob Dylan sings for a living” does not convey the same meaning as “Bob Dylan sings like Placido Domingo for a living.” It’s true that carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and other gases drive the Earth’s average temperature higher than it otherwise would be, just as the design of a greenhouse makes the interior of that structure warmer than the surrounding environment. But the processes by which the warming occurs in these two instances are quite distinct, in the same sense that a troubadour’s vocals in no way resemble an operatic tenor’s. The confusion resulting from the term greenhouse gas, I suggested to my colleague, made it that much harder to explain the general workings of our climate to students, who might end up believing greenhouse gases form a solid barrier to convection or, conversely, that a greenhouse reradiates invisible light energy as heat energy at select frequencies.

My colleague assured me I was misinformed. As a bonus, he did so in front of our department chairwoman just as I was about to go up for tenure. Greenhouses, he explained, are in fact warmed primarily by extra concentrations of carbon dioxide imbedded in the glass plates of the building. Well, I conceded, a small, perhaps even measurable amount of warming might occur in a greenhouse as a result of elevated CO2 levels in the glass panels; indeed, a greenhouse’s temperature also rises when a human being steps inside and exhales warm air. But these are insignificant considerations that have nothing to do with the structure’s basic design. During the day a greenhouse will be warmer than the surrounding environment regardless of whether a human enters it and breathes or whether the clear panels contain extra CO2 or are carbon free.

My colleague—our department’s self-appointed expert on climate matters—was undeterred. “It’s just like my front porch at home,” he insisted. “In the afternoon the porch is much warmer than the rest of the house during the summer—you really bake in there—because of the carbon dioxide in the windows.”

I wasn’t sure how to respond politely to this new assertion. Glass is an insignificant reservoir of CO2—that much was still true. Moreover, as the sun reaches its zenith on a summer day, perpendicular windows serve as fairly ineffectual portals through which visible light energy may pass. Under these conditions an enclosed porch becomes warmer than the rest of the house due largely to a third process, called conduction, owing to the porch’s uninsulated roof and walls, which receive the brunt of the sun’s rays and pass heat into the building. (Björk sings nothing like Bob Dylan or Placido Domingo, in other words.) If you’ve ever lived in an attic apartment in the summer, even if you kept the window shades drawn, you have felt the power of conduction.

I thought I saw signs of sympathy on our chairwoman’s face as she looked on, and a sense of relief passed over me, but it turned out her sympathy was not on my behalf but, rather, my colleague’s. After I reaffirmed that carbon dioxide was an incidental consideration in these cases, the chairwoman asked: “Well, how does a greenhouse work then?”

I first inquired whether she was serious, for I didn’t want to believe that two college professors in succession both lacked a basic understanding of the simple workings of a greenhouse, but that was the reality. I therefore explained, “Visible light energy passes through the transparent panels and gets converted into heat energy when it strikes the plants, tables, and floor. This warms the surrounding air, which rises, but the convection process is impeded by the solid glass panels, trapping the heated air inside.”

My department chairwoman glanced at our colleague, then at me. “Oh,” she said. Then she turned and walked away.

RTWT

14 Sep 2018

“It’s Climate Change!”

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15 Dec 2017

When Should You Doubt a Scientific Consensus?

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Jay Richards has some good answers.

A well-rooted scientific consensus, like a mature oak, needs time to grow. Scientists have to do research, publish articles, read about other research, and repeat experiments (where possible). They need to reveal their data and methods, have open debates, evaluate arguments, look at the trends, and so forth, before they can come to agreement. When scientists rush to declare a consensus — when they claim a consensus that has yet to form — this should give everyone pause.

In 1992, former Vice President Al Gore reassured his listeners, “Only an insignificant fraction of scientists deny the global warming crisis. The time for debate is over. The science is settled.” In the real 1992, however, Gallup “reported that 53% of scientists actively involved in global climate research did not believe global warming had occurred; 30% weren’t sure; and only 17% believed global warming had begun. Even a Greenpeace poll showed 47% of climatologists didn’t think a runaway greenhouse effect was imminent; only 36% thought it possible and a mere 13% thought it probable.”

Seventeen years later, in 2009, Gore revised his own fake history. He claimed that the debate over human-induced climate change had raged until as late as 1999, but now there was true consensus. Of course, 2009 is when Climategate broke, reminding us that what had smelled funny was indeed rotten. …

It makes sense that chemists over time may come to agree about the results of some chemical reaction, since they can repeat the results over and over in their own labs. They’re easy to test. But much of climate science is not like that. The evidence is scattered and hard to track. It’s often indirect, imbedded in history and laden with theory. You can’t rerun past climate to test it. And the headline-grabbing claims of climate scientists are based on complex computer models that don’t match reality. These models get their input, not from the data, but from the scientists who interpret the data. This isn’t the sort of evidence that can provide the basis for a well-founded consensus. In fact, if there really were a consensus on the many claims around climate science, that would be suspicious. Thus, the claim of consensus is a bit suspect as well.

RTWT

27 Nov 2017

Yale Psych Prof Finds Cause (Fear, Of Course) of Conservatism and Discovers Cure

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Professor Bargh tells all in the Washington Post:

Conservatives, it turns out, react more strongly to physical threat than liberals do. In fact, their greater concern with physical safety seems to be determined early in life: In one University of California study, the more fear a 4-year-old showed in a laboratory situation, the more conservative his or her political attitudes were found to be 20 years later. Brain imaging studies have even shown that the fear center of the brain, the amygdala, is actually larger in conservatives than in liberals. And many other laboratory studies have found that when adult liberals experienced physical threat, their political and social attitudes became more conservative (temporarily, of course). But no one had ever turned conservatives into liberals.

Until we did.


John Bargh, the (God help us!) James Rowland Angell Professor of Psychology at Yale.

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Personally, I’d bet if I could get my hands on Professor Bargh for experimental purposes, I could prove empirically that the liberal Professor would react a lot more strongly to the physical threat of getting punched in the nose than I (the extreme conservative) would. We could play Mexican Standoff, and I’d even let the good professor have the first punch.

I had thought that the supposed ability of savants to associate physical features with psychological dispositions or states (Phrenology) was long discredited, but obviously in today’s academic culture ancient heresies and crackpot notions do keep coming back.

When I read this kind of thing, I blush for Yale and I wish once again that Peter Salovey could be immediately replaced by someone genuinely educated and serious: the kind of old-fashioned scholar who would take one look at this Washington Post article and send the onomatopoeic Professor Bargh and his entire preposterous department of “social psychology” packing.

11 Aug 2017

Global Warming Hallelujah

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HT: Vanderleun.

09 Aug 2017

Right!

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NYT:

WASHINGTON — The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration.

The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited.

“Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” a draft of the report states. It was uploaded to a nonprofit internet digital library in January but received little attention until it was published by The New York Times.

RTWT

Is that so? How very, very odd.

All over America, ordinary people think that the weather varies dramatically by region, that we’ve all seen warmer summmers years ago than any recently, and that the weather in recent years has been different from year to year but in no way strikingly unusual.

I guess you have to be a Climate Scientist, a New York Times editor, or a community of fashion member of the Establishment to be equipped with the kinds of privileged insights and hyper-sensitive sensory organs that can detect those effects of climate change, along with extraordinary educational training enabling you to predict dramatic weather effects far off in the misty future. The rest of us, even the ordinary people meteorologists, can only imperfectly predict the weather a week or two in advance.

Myself, I guess I must have been not paying attention at Yale, because I find myself completely at a loss when I attempt to sit down and try to define exactly at what point we find ourselves today along the Interglacial Cycle. I must have slept in the morning when they explained what exactly causes Glaciation and the whole cycle of earth’s warming and cooling and how you can tell just where on the cycle we should be and exactly what proper normal climate conditions would be like.

Isn’t it wonderful that there are all these people so much smarter than the rest of us, who know all these things, and who are able to define precisely what the earth’s normal climate would look like and who can measure accurately the negative impact of mankind’s pernicious productive activities and, on top of all that, predict for us all their terrible, terrible consequences?

Me, I’m a bit uncertain at what point later this afternoon a thunderstorm is likely to arrive, and I’m as likely as not to get rained on when I go out to pick up the mail.

09 Jul 2017

Michael Mann in Contempt of Court

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You won’t be reading about it in the Times or the Post, but Michael Mann has blown his attempt to silence critics with lawsuits for defamation by refusing to release his data to the Canadian Court.

Newscasts.org:

Michael Mann, who chose to file what many consider to be a cynical SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) libel suit in the British Columbia Supreme Court, Vancouver six long years ago, has astonished legal experts by refusing to comply with the court direction to hand over all his disputed graph’s data. Mann’s iconic hockey stick has been relied upon by the UN’s IPCC and western governments as crucial evidence for the science of ‘man-made global warming.’

As first reported in Principia Scientific International (February 1, 2017), the defendant in the case, Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball, had won “concessions” against Mann, but at the time the details were kept confidential, pending Mann’s response.

The negative and unresponsive actions of Dr Mann and his lawyer, Roger McConchie, are expected to infuriate the judge and be the signal for the collapse of Mann’s multi-million dollar libel suit against Dr Ball. It will be music to the ears of so-called ‘climate deniers’ like President Donald Trump and his EPA Chief, Scott Pruitt.

As Dr Ball explains:

    “Michael Mann moved for an adjournment of the trial scheduled for February 20, 2017. We had little choice because Canadian courts always grant adjournments before a trial in their belief that an out of court settlement is preferable. We agreed to an adjournment with conditions. The major one was that he [Mann] produce all documents including computer codes by February 20th, 2017. He failed to meet the deadline.”

Mann’s now proven contempt of court means Ball is entitled to have the court serve upon Mann the fullest punishment. Contempt sanctions could reasonably include the judge ruling that Dr. Ball’s statement that Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn. State’ is a precise and true statement of fact. This is because under Canada’s unique ‘Truth Defense’, Mann is now proven to have wilfully hidden his data, so the court may rule he hid it because it is fake. As such, the court must then dismiss Mann’s entire libel suit with costs awarded to Ball and his team.

The spectacular rise and fall of climate alarmism’s former golden boy is a courtroom battle with even more ramifications than the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. To much fanfare at the time, Mann had sued Ball for daring to publish the damning comment that Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn. State.”

RTWT

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More at American Thinker.

15 May 2017

Dilbert on Climate Change

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18 Apr 2017

Environmental Science

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