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Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 1) 718

by geekpowa (#48637669) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

That would be all well and good if people were to scrupulously stick to a reasonable definition of 'denier' vs 'skeptic'. But this doesn't happen, denier is mud to be flung around and it is flung far and wide and all that is happening here is to try and legitimise this practice of use de-legitimising snarling at people that one disagrees with.

Consider this wiki: "Steve McIntyre is a former statistician and minerals prospector and currently a prominent global warming denier.". Just a hateful little snarl directed at someone who most certainly doesn't merit it. McIntyre has never made his view on AGW public, he has gone to great pains to emphasize this. I personally suspect he is somewhere between 'jury is out' and a lukewarmer; but who knows. His focus is mainly on peleoclimate statistics. By your definition he is in no way a denier.

But it is so typical of this whole AGW issue, people play fast and loose with definitions, data, evidence. A massive lack of imprecision, anyone who comes along want precision is also a denier apparently. Amongst climate skeptics community they self identify with two broad camps, lukewarmers and sky dragons. The two terms are well defined, it is quite clear what is what. Consensus community could co-opt these definitions too, but that would risk legitimising the lukewarmers, better and easier to tar them all as deniers.

Comment: Re:LOL. 'Climate change' indeed. (Score 1) 228

by geekpowa (#48138215) Attached to: Pentagon Unveils Plan For Military's Response To Climate Change

"catastrophic" is an apt adjective because the fear around AGW is palpable and relentless.

The public narrative is a steady stream of messages of things getting much getting worse, its accelerating, worse than we thought, all the terrible things it will cause, dangerous tipping points, all sorts of calamities, all this sort of language is the language of impending catastrophe, it is a fair and reasonable description of the nature of the broader discussion.

I find this quite recent strategy of trying to distance oneself from the enduring narrative, which has a rich and documented public record quite amusing actually.

Merely sneering at the usage of the word catastrophe is not really a compelling argument, is there actually a point being made beyond the sneering? Or is this typical climate change argumentation where one pounds the table and sneers at their detractors? I your concern that you feel the word is in some way pejorative? In the same way 'denier' is pejorative perhaps?

Comment: Quant Suff the scientific people roared. (Score 2) 207

by geekpowa (#47978375) Attached to: Study Links Pacific Coastal Warming To Changing Winds
Surely they know better than to not yield before the awesome explanatory power of AGW; which succinctly explains every possible and conceivable observation. I am relieved that more learned people than them are quick to point out that those causes have in turn their own causes and those causes are almost certainly where AGW manifests.

Comment: Re:fast forward 5 years.... (Score 1) 143

by geekpowa (#47675517) Attached to: NASA's Greenhouse Gas Observatory Captures 'First Light'

Speaking of fallacies, the use of CAGW is generally associated with a strawman, goalpost moving or loaded language fallacies, depending on context.

Nice try, but no. CAGW = Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming and it describes the point of view of alarmism on climate quite well. When public narrative out there uses terms like 'greatest moral challenge of our time', and slogans like 'no jobs on a dead planet', the inference is quite clear : the proponents of such points of view are clearly advocating that a global catastrophe is looming. There is an appalling barefaced hypocrisy in an article that takes um-bridge with the term CAGW, which I assert is not emotive, but factual : AGW that is bad enough to be catastrophic which is a valid hypothesis and a point of view held by many, yet willy-nilly throws the term 'denier' around. Some real class and intellectually meticulous conduct on display there.

My comment was about the cyclical nature of some "skeptic" arguments.

Maybe you can actually reference skeptics how have done this, flip-flopped on data sets, doesn't change the fact that warming is not as much as projected. And you yourself keep changing your argument without explaining why you are abandoning your prior argument, first it was all statistical quackery, then it's not a big deal this slowdown, and now you are trying the 'a good defence is an offence' strategy by asserting skeptics are cyclical and selective in their datasets, when this is exactly what alarmists are doing by abandoning discussion of trends in favour of discussing instances where Tmax records are being set.

It is interesting and has been done.

Yeah that is interesting, the NASA link though is more about how the histogram of anomalies is trending decade to decade, I assume it is yearly or seasonally adjusted anomalies here, not daily Tmin Tmax records, but it shows a growing fat tail anomaly which does support overall higher likelyhood of max temps. SKS link is as trustworthy as SKS always is (as in not at all). My original point is that record counts in a period of a pause after a period of warming is normal outcome for variable highly autocorrelated data. It does not invalidate the observation of a pause. It is actually consistent with it. The concluding point is that counting record events simply isn't a robust mechanism for qualitative analysis. When some skeptics make a big deal out of record winter lows, they are shouted down, and rightly so and they are shouted down by skeptics too. But presumably reporting on Tmax records and saying to paraphrase : "on-noes is the global warming!", is perfectly fine. Presumably. Actually... no.... it isn't okay.

Comment: Re:fast forward 5 years.... (Score 1) 143

by geekpowa (#47674977) Attached to: NASA's Greenhouse Gas Observatory Captures 'First Light'

Yes, plenty of whacky ideas out there and including some skeptics that think co2 cannot warm the planet, i.e. Sky dragon's. We are united in our belief that such views are almost certainly incorrect.

I guess it is easier to focus on the the fringe argument and try and represent all skeptics as being one and the same than confront lukewarmer arguments, which are becoming increasingly uncomfortable in light of actual observational data.

CAGW predicted rapid and accelerating warming. But the data fails to bear it out, so post-hoc rationalisations are put forth and the capacity of the hypothesis to yield falsifiability tests is shrinking : which urges the question is the development of this hypothesis robust?

Your comment " Every time we hit a new high temperature", is with respect absurd particularly given admonishments about dodgy statistics in this thread and the OP. Temp data is highly variable and auto-correlated. New high records is not special with such data and it cannot be meaningfully interpreted. Previously the message was focus on the trend, but the trend is failing to provide the correct narrative so the focus now is on 'records'. I bet you cannot even meaningfully say how many records would be considered normal and how many would be alarming. An interesting null would be to compare # high temp records against # of low temp records. I actually did that with a subset of data (Australia), last summer. There was only marginally more hi temp records than low temp, and depending on how I processed the data I could actually yield counts of low temp data that was higher, yet headlines were along lines of: OMG! So many hi temperature records! Counting records are meaningless in any sort of objective qualitative analysis, and only counting one type of record with such data is just all sorts of wrong.

Comment: Re:fast forward 5 years.... (Score 1) 143

by geekpowa (#47673781) Attached to: NASA's Greenhouse Gas Observatory Captures 'First Light'

The pause is a real physical phenomena which the climatology community is now trying to explain, this is now broadly accepted and is not a fringe skeptic position as you seem to insist on trying to frame it. Even in IPCC AR5 Report deals with it. WG1 Chapter 9 for example: "Box 9.2: Climate Models and the Hiatus in Global Mean Surface Warming of the past 15 years". Download it and read it for yourself. This section in the report posits a number of broad explanations, statistical artefact is not one of them.

Let me elaborate further on why the SKS graph is a strawman, I assumed my initial comment would be obvious and sufficient. Anyway it is because most cogent skeptics do not dispute that the world was warmed in the 20th century, that warming post 1970 was quite pronounced and that co2 does have a warming effect; these observations are not controversial. The SKS graph implies that skeptics wilfully ignore the observed warming. It is a stupid lie vigorously repudiated, and by virtue of this that SKS continue to publish it makes them wilful liars, wilfully misrepresenting the point of view of their detractors.

Comment: Re:fast forward 5 years.... (Score 0) 143

by geekpowa (#47667879) Attached to: NASA's Greenhouse Gas Observatory Captures 'First Light'

Move your endpoint forward a few years beyond the 1998 el-nino, and the OLS fit is still flat or at best trending much much less than anticipated, depending on what data set you use. Fact is, even with most generous pro-warming interpretation of the data, you must concede that the data clearly indicates that it is, at best, not warming nearly as much as predicted.

The conversation has largely moved on. There is now lots of conversation on explaining why the pause, as opposed to previous conversation which was along the lines of that there is no pause. The pause is real and merits an explanation.

Getting back to the SKS escalator infographic. Although it is quite a clever piece of polemic, it is at heart just a dumb strawman argument and infers a point of view which is not, nor ever was articulated by any CAGW skeptic that I am aware of.

Comment: Gulf between their means and claimed ambitions (Score 1) 35

by geekpowa (#45656293) Attached to: Private Mars One Mission Contracts Lockheed For Exploratory Mission provides more useful info. Some interesting quotes regarding costs lifted from the article:

The contracts are for designs studies only and, at a combined value of only about $340,000, are a long way from a commitment to purchase space hardware.

Through merchandise sales and donations, Mars One had raised $183,870 as of Oct. 31, according to the company’s website.

Finally, more than 200,000 people applied to the company’s astronaut program, each of whom paid an application fee ranging from $5 to $75, depending on country of origin.

The Phoenix craft on which Mars One’s lander will be based cost NASA about $475 million to build.

The cost of the first crewed launch to Mars will be about $6 billion, Mars One estimates, with subsequent crew launches estimated at about $4 billion each, according to the company’s website.

If anything this press release reinforces my conviction that these guys lack the right stuff and won't even come remotely close. They raise 180k in merchandising, something in the vicinity of 10mil max in their 409 become a reality TV astronaut scam, and they need $6bill to deliver. This whole thing will fizzle out over a few years without any real or serious progress to their stated goal and the founders of it will put their hand on their hearts and insist that their endeavour was fair dinkum and could of succeeded all along.

Comment: Electricity reliability in Leyte is rubbish (Score 3, Insightful) 78

by geekpowa (#45497097) Attached to: Another Casualty of Typhoon Haiyan: Geothermal Power

"renewable energy success story" : ha! Power reliability has always been a significant problem in Leyte. All businesses in Tacloban CBD have backup generators which they fire up at least a couple of times a week, sometimes daily. The city is often accompanied by the hum of diesel generators.

I recall articles in National newspapers talking about constant power shortages across Visaya's region, with rolling blackouts where Northern Luzon region (where Manila is) has plenty of supply.

Maybe it is mostly a transmission problem, not a generation problem, but constant rolling blackouts suggests an enduring generation to me. Hardly a success story

Comment: Re:Of course the application wasn't free (Score 3, Informative) 176

by geekpowa (#44805323) Attached to: Final Mars One Numbers Are In, Over 200,000 People Applied

Nice strawman.

Successful commercial launch systems already exist. And soon, in a few years probably, commercial man rated launch systems will exist too. No one here is refuting this.

Mars One is an out and out scam. That is the claim. Anyone who thinks Mars One is legit needs to familiarise themselves with what a real manned space mission looks like and what is really involved, the time, cost, and expertise, of a manned space mission. I suggest start here. And save yourself the bother of arguing that Apollo was 40 years old and with todays methods make it easier. Here are some mind boggling facts to get your head around and hopefully instil some badly needed incredulity:

1. We have not returned to the moon or even left orbit of the planet since 1972

2. Apollo cost $170b in todays rough figures. 30 times more expensive than Mars One

3. Apollo at its peak employed over 400 thousand people. Mars One - today is a dozen or so and most of them are Marketing/PR types who know fuck all about problem domain they are working in

4. Apollo mission profile is significantly simpler than Mars One. Although the return journey complicated the mission profile,the mission profile of Mars One incurs its own complications : extended stay in deep space and the necessity to provide life support and supplies for extended period of time

5. Apollo delivered in about 8 years along the way they had real and incremental work outputs to show for it. Mars one have been going from about 2011 and they have no tangible outputs to show for it other than martketing/PR spin

Comment: Mars One almost certainly a scam (Score 2) 130

by geekpowa (#44482691) Attached to: Meet a Group of Aspiring Mars Colonists

Right on. The idea that a private, non profit enterprise can get people to Mars in ten years using privately sourced technology on a shoe string of a few billion $ is so ridiculous it is tedious to enumerate all the reasons why it is ridiculous. The gullibility of some people who self identify as intelligent nerds...

Apollo succeeded from going from one sub orbital human flight to a moon walk in about 8 years. An stupefyingly extraordinary project expeditated right on the edge of technological capability at the time, at enormous expense and involvement of hundreds of thousands of people. They were so way ahead of the curve that the endeavour has, 40 years on, yet to be replicated.

Mars one will not repeat this achievement. It lacks the money, the people and the technology by an enormous margin.

Comment: Re:the scientists are right, but... (Score 0) 476

That you were downmodded as a troll for a post that is clearly the most on-topic, considered relevant and insightful criticism of Oppenheimer/Trenberth reply here so far highlights the sorry state of public discussion around AGW. Why bother going through the tedium of constructing a counter argument when you can just be modded into oblivion?

Comment: Re:Not the same SA that I grew up with (Score 1) 93

by geekpowa (#42128343) Attached to: Scientific American's Fred Guterl Explores the Threats Posed By Technology

You seem to be arguing more-so about Accelerating change than Moore's law.

Back to Moore's law: I am not arguing against limits of Moore's law. I take issue with Michio Kaku's interpretation what it means when the limits of Moore's law begin to realise itself. In his rhetoric, a collapse in Moore's law will precipitate a collapse in society.

Maybe I've been watching a different Michio Kaku than you. Your's sounds like an optimistic futurist. The one I've watched peddles end-of-times by clinging to an narrow-mindedness that your Michio Kaku presumably rails against.

Anyway what is there for the average citizen to be beware of? We are already essentially dealing with our appetite for expanding compute power beyond Moore's law already; i.e. steady increase in parallel computing, on die and across networks, and steady efficiency improvements, i.e. joules per flop.

Comment: Re:Not the same SA that I grew up with (Score 1) 93

by geekpowa (#42126255) Attached to: Scientific American's Fred Guterl Explores the Threats Posed By Technology

Not just limited to SA. Seems like most science journalism and popularization is focused on Malthusian pessimism.

Something more relevant to slashdot that makes my blood boil is every time Michio Kaku opens his mouth bangs on about how the end of Moore's law is imminent and this is going to have destructive repercussions for civilization. Give. It. A. Rest.

These folk are utterly unimaginative. Completely underestimate our combined ingenuity and overestimate the hurdles infront of us. Fortunately there are some popularisers out there who buck this trend, inspire both wonder and optimism just like the figures of my childhood did (e.g. Carl Sagan). i.e. Brian Cox

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming