Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Easy reference guide to University of Queenslands' DENIAL101x videos

I wanted a quick reference to the various Denial101x videos I watched as I took the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) of the University of Queensland in Australia (in their joint effort with John CookBärbel Winkler and the volunteers at SkepticalScience.com).  

I know these videos are listed at YouTube, but it's all so clunky that I decided to put together my own single sheet linkable list of all the videos.  First the course videos for each of the six weekly installments, followed by a listing of the complete interviews with accomplished scientists and other experts.  

Considering the malicious slander many climate scientists must endure, this is a gold mine of insights into who these scientists actually are and how they've arrived at their conclusions.  (Please note I've linked scientist's names to accessible internet bios, for a bit more background.)

It took some time and effort so I figure I may as well share it - as a public service and also my way of saying thank you to John Cook and all the hard working very smart people over at SkepticalScience.com who put in countless hours of effort to make this course such a success.

An excellent antidote for all the disinformation being posted on the internet. 
Feel free to copy and pass along.


Denial101x - Week 1

Asking the questions: 
Why is climate change so controversial among the general public when there’s no controversy among climate scientists?
With all the evidence, resulting in a consensus, what is driving the rejection of climate science

Monday, August 24, 2015

What Motivate$ Scientists?

I've been looking forward to sharing this short video for a while.  Enjoy.

Prof Alley gets passionate about the motivation of scientists. 
Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? 
Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial in Denial101x, a MOOC from UQx and edX.
To register and learn more: http://edx.org/understanding-climate-denial

18:20  Richard Alley:  We scientists do know where our funding comes from. We try to do research, which is responding to the desires of our funding agencies. If the government says, we, as the federal government, would like to know about x, we try to do the research to tell them. Just in terms of total money, if one were to compare, the biggest corporations tend to be fossil fuel things. Often they are not poor. Our impression as scientist is that if we were really, really interested in money, there would probably be other ways to do it.  

The structure of science—think for a minute about Newton and Einstein. Suppose that Einstein had stood up and said, "I have worked very hard. I have discovered that Newton got everything right and I have nothing to add." Would anyone ever know who Einstein was? 

Scientists, at some level, have to have a little bit of ego. The job description is very clear; It is learn what nobody else knows.

If you look at that and say, "All I want to do is cheer for other people," you're probably not going into that field. If you go in that field, there is a little bit of ego to learn what nobody else knows.  We've all got it however well we've tamped it down.  

The idea that we wouldn't want to be Einstein—if we could overturn global warming, if we could prove that CO2 was not a greenhouse gas, if we could prove that we can burn all we want and not worry about it, how exciting would that be? How wonderful? How many prizes? How many people would invite me out to give talks if I could prove that you didn't have to worry about this? 

Is there any possibility that tens of thousands of scientist, there isn't one of them that's got the ego to do that? It's absurd. It's absolutely, unequivocally absurd. We're people. We've got it in us, the way people do.

The fact is that nature pushes us to the reality that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it's real. 

Here's a look at the basic science lesson 
that our profits-obsessed right-wing crowd refuses to understand

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Whatever happened to Dr. Mann's "hockey stick graph"?

{Sorry about the typos, I'm no professional writer.
I did polish it up a bit Tuesday evening.}

Though I don't have enough spare time for working on Ridley's folly, I needed to take the time to share this because it's both a good assessment of the state of understanding and because it underscores What A Scientist Sounds Like.  

I'm talking about Peter Sinclair's recent post featuring an excellent talk by Professor Richard Alley PhD.  
(After this intro, I repost the video along with some time signature notes for the interested student)
The Weekend Wonk: Richard Alley on Climate History and CO2 
Peter Sinclair | Weekend Wonk | August 1, 2015 
At 3:50 a graph caught my eye because it dawned on me that in a way I was basically looking at "Mann's Hockey Stick" 15 years later.  That is, after 15 years of accumulating data from all sorts of teams studying all sorts of proxies.  This graph includes additional important information, such as solar irradiance, volcanic forcing, other 'forcings' among other information.

Recall the story?  Back in the late 1990s a group of researchers lead by Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes were studying tree rings and glacial ice cores and using them as a proxy for establishing a paleo-temperature record for the past couple thousand years.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

#2 - Matt Ridley let's debate your "cheerleaders for alarm"

Matt Ridley this is the second installment of my review of your blogpost What the climate wars did to science where I describe the various failures in your arguments.  Last week I contacted you about the first installment and to offer a formal invitation to debate.  But, you've remained silent.  
(Admittedly Matt, I can appreciate that hiding from my intellectual challenge, like Jim Steele does, makes more sense than joining the debate in a fair and square manner and revealing how bankrupt your arguments are - still the invitation remains.)

Now on to considering your "cheerleading for alarm" section.

Policy-based evidence making is all too frequent in climate science
By Matt Ridley |  The "Rational Optimist.com" |  Published on Sunday, July 05, 2015
Part Two ±450-935 (out of 5950 words)
Matt Ridley:  Cheerleaders for alarm. This is precisely what has happened with the climate debate and it is at risk of damaging the whole reputation of science. 

What precisely?  You define nothing!

"Cheerleaders for alarm" ? - Who, What, Where, When?
"climate debate" -  It's tough to get any more inclusive than that.

Then you pull the dirty trick of jumping from the nebulous "climate debate" to the "whole reputation of science."  Matt, where do you get off pinning what pundits have said onto scientists?  That's pure dishonestly!

By playing this game you allow yourself to smear any scientist with whatever nonsense you like.  Even though that nonsense never came from any real scientist to begin with.  

That's called fraud and has nothing to do with learning about the why and how of the scientific understanding that underpins the current global warming "consensus."
Matt Ridley:  The “bad idea” in this case is not that climate changes, nor that human beings influence climate change; but that the impending change is sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses. 

Matt, I suggest your "bad idea" is to tailor your sentences toward belittling scientists and rejecting their evidence without ever even considering that evidence.

Here you deliberately ignore the severe impacts that past climate changes had on the biological systems that had developed under their previous climate regime.