Thursday, 2 May 2019

Today's so-called "Skeptics" are our Witch-finder Generals

First let me say that I agree with the underlying premise. It is not a logical fallacy (argument from authority) to defer to a strong consensus of legitimate expert opinion if you yourself lack appropriate expertise. Deference should be the default position
-- Steven Novella

Today, the so-called Skeptical Science community turn their backs on skepticism. They deny 'argument from authority' is a logical fallacy. By redefining its meaning so they can do it without thinking ill of themselves.

They are not true critical thinkers. Novella's basic argument is when in doubt: guess. The safest guess is the majority one. Side with the majority of 'experts'. This is both anti-critical and anti-skeptic idea. It is a betrayal of Western Philosophy, Science and the Enlightenment tradition. Immanuel Kant said that 'Enlightenment is thinking for yourself'. Dare to be open-minded ; to work it out for yourself. Socrates said that it made no sense to accept an argument on the authority of another person - because unless one is able to articulate why you think as you do - you are not actually thinking; you are echoing other people's words. Accepting argument from authority is to: to echo another person's thoughts without understanding much about the issue.

This is anti-skeptical. It legitimises self-lobotomy. Don't think for yourself. Don't do due diligence. Just side with the majority, burn the witches.

There are many reasons why we should reject the authority of self-styled experts in the climate debate:

  1. Many experts are not experts. These experts had a paper retracted because they were too lazy to check their primary school-level arithmetic. Some experts!
  2. Causes of climate change aren't really that hard to figure out for oneself. I managed it, and I'm no Einstein.
  3. Self-styled experts in climate science of the 97% persuasion refuse to debate their critics. Even were I to consider accepting their argument from authority on climate change, the fact they are too cowardly to debate is a certain sign they know they're wrong. It is a massive red flag. I notice Steven Novella did not publish my reply to his blog. He obviously does not believe in debate. He is a fake skeptic.
  4. Accepting argument from authority as a legitimate stance bows one's head to authoritarianism. It is anti-intellectual, tribal, and nothing good will come of it. It is profoundly anti-democratic.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Why the basic greenhouse gas model is wrong

What is this?

I will look at a paper published by James Hansen, et al., in 2011. In this, he gives a simple, concise, explanation for the greenhouse gas effect, GHGE. He discusses how it could be validated (AKA tested, and passed using falsification criteria). He does not actually use such a phrase. Hansen talks of testing his model; but a failed test should amount to model falsification in any scientific discussion.

What do I mean by 'model'

I do not mean IPCC computer model. Not the kind of models which must be run on supercomputers. I (and James Hansen) refer to a much simpler, basic model which calculates the greenhouse gas effect. This basic model is modified in many different ways. By selecting different feedbacks, etc. It is then built into those computer models. It's important to know that every climate alarmist modeler is using the same basic model. They all employ the same basic calculations to find the GHGE (expected climate warming). Any significantly different model is deemed climate denial. Funds will be cut off to anyone using such a model and they will be driven out of employment. As happened, for example to, Ferenc Miskolczi. Climate alarmists do not tolerate dissent. Ooops. Must not rant. The fact they're all using the same basic model is good because we can refute this basic GHGE model in the same way. Thereby refuting every alarmist computer model.

After explaining it, Hansen draws upon his GHGE model; as if the model is 'real'. I.e. As if the model represents reality. This is a massive fallacy; essentially a reversion to a kind of idealism. Like Plato's world: but where the 'ideals' are scientific models and theories.

Falsification Criteria

Hansen is clear, in his paper, that heat energy, leaving earth, measured from space, will validate his model. This heat energy is electromagnetic radiation known as infrared. It is also called outgoing longwave radiation, OLR.

The model only 'works' to warm the climate because, it describes an 'energy imbalance' caused when there is less energy emitted to space (as OLR) than arrives on earth (as insolation; AKA sunlight).

Hansen's GHGE model is what he believes happens in the real world. That GHGE is due to less OLR emitted to space. It is not just a mathematical trick. He believes it is a simulation of reality. As such reality behaves as his model describes. If reality did not behave that way his simulation must be wrong. So his model must be wrong.

What does the Satellite data Show?

Hansen believes there are 2 ways to measure the climate warming he models. One way is by measuring heat energy emitted to space, but satellites. The diagram below is not Hansen's work. It was published last year.

Actual satellite data of radiated heat (OLR) shows it increased since 1985. The satellite data clearly shows the impact of the 2nd-largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century: Mount Pinatubo, in 1991, which killed 847 people at the time, and led to considerable climate cooling.

The OLR data diametrically oppose Hansen's GHGE simulation/model. So the data falsify the climate consensus GHGE model. In interpreting the Satellite data - an increase in OLR reflects previous warming and a decrease shows cooling (e.g. 1991-1992, due to Mount Pinatubo). This is, the complete opposite of what Hansen says warming represents.

Perhaps you believe that the warming is happening but is obscured by other variable factors? The 'climate consensus' are clear that 90%, or more, of modern climate change is man-made. Meaning 90% is the GHGE. Therefore the effects predicted by James Hansen's GHGE model should dominate.

PS: Hansen's paper is open access: You can download the pdf or read the paper online. Search for it using the doi:

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Why I became a climate change skeptic.

Originally I was a believer. I swallowed the myth that there was a consensus of scientists who believed man-made climate change was a civilization threatening issue and caused by greenhouse gases.

But there were always some large circles which could not be squared.

Climate sensitivity. Estimates variety over an order of magnitude range: from 1.1 to 11. Yet they say they're doing 'simple physics'! Everywhere else in physics numbers are given to several places of decimals; at most within the same ball-park (like the age of the universe from 3 decades ago). How can one claim to be so certain when one is so uncertain?

That go me hooked; even though the science seemed cryptic and unfathomable. That's where I began looking. Right away it was skeptics providing the most interesting discussion of this greenhouse effect. Skeptics actually discussing, rather than closing down conversations with accusations of: shill, denier, and flat-earther.

Renewable Energy. It doesn't take one long to discover that renewable energy is a load of crap. Who are the people most supporting renewables? Those most alarmed by the climate. Who most opposes nuclear power. The same people! The single most important non-CO2 emitting tool we have - nuclear fission power - is ruled too dangerous. One or two climate alarmists told me they've rather see the 'planet burn' than support nuclear power.

After that, I realized the climate debate, and energy debate were not about climate or energy. They were proxies for something else. Then I began actually studying the climate system.

Friday, 12 April 2019

One to try.

Reblog: Guan

One of the most significant findings related to human development is the discovery of neuro-plasticity by brain scientists. Whenever we receive new information the brain makes new connections to process that information. If the information is useful or provides a better way of doing things it will become the dominant pathway and old patterns will fade away due to non-use.

“A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest” is the biggest impediment to using the unlimited growth the brain is capable of. Confirmation bias is a natural function of the primitive brain which seeks understanding of the world through it’s infinitesimal range of personal experience. The correlations it makes to create this understanding become the foundation for circular reasoning . Reality then becomes a projection based on limited experience rather than an objective witnessing of how cause and effect brings everything into being. Most people accept what they hear without critical thought so can have their realities programmed by others easily. Alarmists scientists don’t understand that they are stuck in a closed loop of circular reasoning.

Byron Katie has developed a methodology for questioning assumptions and getting past the projections of mind to clearer states of consciousness. A key component of “The Work” is the turnaround. After questioning beliefs to see if they can be proven true you try believing the opposite to get a different perspective. thework.com

Most commenter’s here already posses critical thinking skills and have trained their brains to question assumptions. That is what separates fantasy from reality.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Overdetermination - whatever you want it to be!

"Overdetermination" : means there are multiple causes affecting each other so it's hard to attribute precise cause. The Left use overdetermination in Marxism, and Psychoanalysis to keep their metatheories by saying -

"we must know everything to understand, but we can't, so we can rely on metatheory to fill in the gaps. Because our metatheories drive history, economy, the relationship between men and women, the relationship between the individual and state"
But how exactly do you know that? Show me your proof. -
"I can't explain right now; it's all too complex. It's overdetermined. Here: read these books, then you will understand the essence: the metatheories."

Yes. thankyou. But how do I know the metatheories are true, when you cannot conclusively prove them because it's all overdetermined?

The "heartbeat" of the Sun

Yet when it suits them they completely ignore overdetermination. For example in climate - everything is blamed on man, on greenhouse gases like CO2. No dearies. It's the Sun, and the relationship between the Sun and Earth which, drives almost everything in climate.

Now we're finally discovering deep engines driving effects in the Sun:

Pseudoscience, myth and Skepticism. Firsthand snapshots.

I've experienced, believed, disbelieved a lot of pseudoscience in my time. My journey is similar to many others. We're all taken in by tall stories. We sometimes react quite forcefully when we find we've been lied to.

  • Chariots of the Gods. Seriously: I took it out of the library and read it. What a pile of cobblers. I never took any of it seriously but,..
  • Hippy nonsense. Macrobiotics, and other gibberish. I believed some of this junk. So I understand how and why, people believe things which are clearly not happening. You take it on trust from people you have faith in. Because none of us have the time to research everything for ourselves.
  • Linear No-threshold dose-response, LNT. Was explained to me in biology or physics class as an undergraduate. I sat at the front of the class and questioned the lecturer immediately (I remember he had red hair, a beard, and gentle Scottish accent; but only my general argument and his response. Not the actual words exchanged). Because a linear dose-response is not something I expect from biological organisms! He said "We know this. We're certain". I took that to mean - we've done the experiments and can show it. No. They never did low dose experiments to show LNT.
  • Tomatoes cause cancer?!%$. A conversation with my eldest sister about tomatoes. She asked me whether I though "tomatoes cause cancer"? Right through my entire life I've been told X, or Y cause cancer. For example: coffee causes cancer (Don't worry. It really does not).
  • Cancer. At sometime, or other, almost everything under the sun, especially man-made things have been accused of causing cancer. By scientists - not by eco-loonies.
  • New Scientist, Scientific American and sensationalist science. Popular science was taken over by sensationalism, novelty, and speculation. Round about the early 1970s. Magazines which used to publish actual science (some of which you could do for yourself!) became mouth-pieces for sensation, novelty, and speculative stories with some tendentious scientific connection.
  • I studied continental philosophy (French and German, part-time) for 3 years in the early 1980s under Peter Dews. He really was an excellent teacher. Once you believe any philosophical system you can believe any old nonsense. This taught me that even people who see through the nonsense of everyday thinking, and common sense can be easy victims to a system of thought, like:
  • Marxism, Psychoanalysis and Postmodernism. At first glance none of these are science. But Marxism did claim to be Scientific Socialism, and Psychoanalysis said it was a science.
  • Skepticism. I can't remember which Michael Shermer book I read, he's written so many. But I remember being disappointed by it because he took on lots of easy targets.
  • Drugs. So much nonsense is written about illegal drugs. The one I remember most was the Ricaurte 1986 study on MDMA published in leading journal Science showing fried brains caused by MDMA. Published just as new anti-MDMA legislation went through. The study (not the law) was later retracted because they accidentally, used methamphetamine in the study instead of MDMA!!.
  • Russian science. Talking to chemists (I have a chemistry education), about published Russian research. A lot of which is apparently junk.
  • Looked into Scientific racism a bit. Read Stephen Jay Gould's "Mismeasure of Man" and Elazar Barkan's excellent: "Retreat of Scientific Racism".
  • Biofuels. First noticed a big discussion of this in chemistry forums in mid-1990s. Conservative chemists convinced me it was junk science with a few back-of-the-envelope calculations. Even though it is junk, many scientists made their careers from it.
  • Ozone and CFCs. I actually taught this pseudoscience: The ozone layer is destroyed by CFCs to high school students in the late 1980s; to illustrate free-radical chain reactions by example. It's nonsense. CFCs have no great effect. E.g. read: Holes in the Ozone
  • String Theory. Anyone who hasn't read "Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, ..." by Lee Smolin really should read it. For about 10 years every 2nd physics doctorate candidate was funneled into studying string theory because the world's leading physicists got it into their head that it held the secret of Grand Unification Theory In a sense string theory is not even wrong. I can neither be shown nor refuted because there is not test one can make for it's validity. This taught me the importance of the null hypothesis, and the falsifiable hypothesis
  • At first, I believed the AGW radiative forcing argument against carbon dioxide without even looking into it in detail. Like the anti-CFC and many cancer arguments it seemed plausible.
  • Anti-fossil fuels. This stretches back a long way. Fossil fuels are running out, they pollute, cause global warming, ... Anti-fossil fuel thinking was insinuated into my bones by a lifetime of anti-fossil fuel propaganda, taken in unconsciously. Initially I accepted the fossil fuel kills upto 5 million people argument. This is based on assumption made against PM2.5 EPA spent over ½ $billion funding PM2.5 toxicology research. They got nothing conclusive against it and their main hypothesis was never even close to being proved. That did not stop them believing in the hypothesis! Steve Milloy explains this pseudoscience in Scare Pollution,
  • The blank slate argument in education. This has been viciously fought throughout my entire lifetime, as well. From genes largely determine to development and education largely determine to the present time: where it's slightly biased in favour of genes. Left Scientists always wore their heart (and anti-capitalism) on their selves. But the politics was always far better then any science they did.
  • My time promoting nuclear power on the internet. Taught me that nuclear power is safe (relatively, when well-regulated, as it is, in fact: over-regulated), anti-nukes have 1001-arguments. I discovered that experts believe junk. Here is a junk 2016 study I helped retract.
  • LNT. Return. I discovered that LNT was junk science about 2014.
  • Statistics, damned lies, and statistics. Statisticians became a lot more responsible in the last 10 years. The kind of hoodoo which once sailed through science publication with a couple of statistical tricks in no longer as acceptable. Andrew Gelman | Matt Briggs | Philip B. Stark and Andrea Saltelli

There's more pseudoscience around today than at any time in history. Nearly all of it is written by scientists. This the the big change I've seen during my life. Back when I was young, the pseudoscience was written by pseudoscientists with little science education. Now it's written by pseudoscientists with doctorates! And there's a lot more of them, they publish far more frequently. The one saving grace is today's pseudoscience is more sciency. Not so outrageously nutty. But this is making it far harder to detect. It easily slips under the radar of most scientists.

Climate change is a myth

I think the best argument, distilled to its essence, explaining the myth of climate change, caused by small changes in carbon dioxide, is this:

The self-styled “climate consensus” define themselves as the only legitimate voice in climate science. They say:

  • Climate change means man-made change, because 90% of modern climate change is man-made.
  • This climate change is overwhelmingly due to increasing emissions of greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. Made by burning fossil fuel.
  • This greenhouse gas warms earth because it causes less outgoing longwave radiation, OLR, to be emitted to space, so warming earth due to the consequent energy imbalance; because incoming solar warming is near constant.
  • There is only one basic model used by them to calculate radiative forcing due to greenhouse gases. This model defines them as the climate consensus.

In the real world, satellites show:

  • More OLR (outgoing longwave radiation) leaving our planet, over time, in the last 33 years. By a big margin too, an extra 2W/m² compared to 1985.
  • Satellite data diametrically contradicts the “climate consensus” greenhouse gas model; which explains how greenhouse gases warm the climate.

It follows that either the satellites are wrong, or the self-styled “climate consensus” are wrong.

References (both open access):

1. The basic greenhouse gas warming explanation: Hansen, J., M. Sato, P. Kharecha, and K. von Schuckmann, 2011: Earth’s energy imbalance and implications. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 13421-13449, doi:10.5194/acp-11-13421-2011.

2. Satellite data: Steven Dewitte and Nicolas Clerbaux, Decadal Changes of Earth’s Outgoing Longwave Radiation; Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1539; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101539