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Comment: Confusing Weather and Climate (Score 1) 143

by ideonexus (#47665327) Attached to: NASA's Greenhouse Gas Observatory Captures 'First Light'

You might be misunderstanding the difference between short-term forecasts and longterm projections. I know I failed to understand the scientific nuance until recently.

You see, "global average temperatures are going to rise X by 2100" is a projection. It's based on pretty basic thermodynamics (ie. this much carbon increases the greenhouse effect by such-and-such). This science, because it's so basic, is pretty solid.

At the same time "global average temperatures are going to rise by Y by 2025" is a forecast. It's based on computer models that are perpetually being refined to more accurately predict the short-term trend. Most recently, these models were found to be missing el-nino/la-nina cycles which is why they have lagged over the last decade.

This is why people get confused when I tell them the science of global warming is actually extremely basic. It's just thermodynamics, but then they confuse projections with forecasts and wonder why the models haven't accurately predicted the last 10 years. It's the "weather versus climate" debate all over again.

Why do scientists even publish forecasts when they know they are still very much a work in progress? Politics. You see, your local representative couldn't give a damn if your children's children suffer from today's lack of leadership a century from now. So scientists are tasked to find out what the short-term effect will be on the constituency to inform politicians whether or not they might suffer some voter backlash on the issue.

In other words, our children's children are doomed to shell out billions to fix this mess.

Comment: Re:Hmm? (Score 1) 84

by ideonexus (#47662671) Attached to: Twitter Reports 23 Million Users Are Actually Bots

I was wondering the same thing. I've never been that interested in engaging twitter, but everyone else was, so I wrote a bot to post random daily science quotes to my account for the next several years. I put a lot of effort into this bot (content-wise, the programming is elementary), and I think I should count as a real user because of that. I'm up-front about the fact that I am a bot, and it's mostly bots that follow me. All the meat-space people should just leave us alone. Don't let some bad bots ruin it for the rest of us.

Comment: Re:Are You Kidding? (Score 2) 541

by ideonexus (#47647937) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

You might want to take some time to actually read the criticisms. Jerry Coyne has a good write-up on his blog that delves deeper. You see, the researchers aren't saying the conclusions in the book are wrong they are saying, as the originators of said research, you cannot draw these conclusions from their work.

But please, don't let the nuanced comments of 140 published researchers dissuade you from shrieking "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS" like a poop-flinging howler monkey.

Comment: Re:And what they did not publish (Score 4, Insightful) 227

by ideonexus (#47647897) Attached to: About Half of Kids' Learning Ability Is In Their DNA

That omission has wasted millions of dollars for higher education for those that can't learn. Not to mention the money wasted on "equal opportunity" and "head start" programs.

What a mind-boggling conclusion to draw from the article. If a human-being's intelligence is only 50% influenced by their environment, you think we should deny them the environment to develop that 50%? If that's you're reasoning, I suspect you would be one of the people being denied these social benefits.

Comment: Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (Score 1, Interesting) 497

by ideonexus (#47414489) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann
That's a fair argument, and that's also why I used the word "faith" to describe my opinion. I would love to continue having a constructive dialog on this... but unfortunately, we can't move the conversation on Climate Change to a discussion of what, if anything, we should do about it until we get the public to accept the scientific consensus on it. This is how the Skeptics are winning, by preventing the dialog from moving forward.

Comment: Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (Score 5, Interesting) 497

by ideonexus (#47414391) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

It seems to me that the Climate Skeptics are making the same mistake the anti-eugenics movement made in 1925 with the Scopes Monkey Trial, which fought the teaching of evolution in schools. Most people don't know this, but the anti-evolution activists were horrified by the textbook's use of Evolution to justify Eugenics, but instead of attacking the public policy proposals of the Eugenics Movement, they attacked the science of Evolution, and history remembers them as buffoons for combating the scientific consensus.

Today, Climate Skeptics are fighting the scientific consensus instead of debating the policies being proposed from that consensus. I myself am an adaptationist, I don't care if we do anything about Global Warming for another 20-30 years and at that point I have faith that civilization will start to engineer its way out of the problem... however, I find myself on the side of the environmentalists with their oftentimes draconian public-policy initiatives because I believe in scientific literacy, and the anti-science positions of today's Climate Skeptics threaten to undo the scientific progress on which our civilization depends for its survival.

+ - Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages to UVA, Michael Mann->

Submitted by ideonexus
ideonexus (1257332) writes "In January of 2014, the American Traditions Institute (ATI) sought Climate Scientist Micheal Mann's emails from his time at the University of Virginia (UVA), a request that was denied in the courts. Now the Virginia Supreme court has upheld a lower court ruling that ATI must pay damages for filing a frivolous lawsuit."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:IF.. (Score 1) 561

by ideonexus (#47325309) Attached to:, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

If they were that smart they would know that the IQ test is neither a valid no reliable test for comparisons between groups, only within groups.

In all fairness, Mensa accepts scores on a variety of tests to become a member, including SAT, ACT, and Military tests. Mensa has even created their own test to eliminate the verbal-bias inherent in so many other IQ tests.

That being said, I joined Mensa because I liked being part of the same club as Isaac Asimov and Buckminster Fuller, but, like my heroes, I also found that just because somebody has a high-IQ, doesn't mean they aren't an idiot. I am shocked in many Mensa publications to find many members believe in alien abductions, are anti-vaccers, and are suckers for many other pseudoscience scams and conspiracy theories. Like Asimov and other Mensa-members, I find I get much more intellectual stimulation from my membership in the American Humanist Association of free-thinkers and rationalists.

Comment: Re:Queue the deniers (Score 1) 387

by ideonexus (#47221079) Attached to: Geothermal Heat Contributing To West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting

I'm glad you mentioned the eugenics movement, proponents of which used the theory of evolution to support their policy proposals. As a result, an anti-evolution movement rose up in the United States. Many people don't know this, but the Biology textbook at the heart of the Scopes Monkey Trial advocated for eugenics, but instead of attacking the policy recommendations, the anti-eugenics movement attacked evolutionary science.

The anti-AGW movement is making the exact same mistake today. By attacking the science instead of the policy, they are setting themselves up to be remembered as fools, just like the anti-evolutionists of the 1920s.

Comment: Re:Your self-righteousness turns me off (Score 1) 387

by ideonexus (#47218327) Attached to: Geothermal Heat Contributing To West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting
To be clear, as I was on the other thread, I did not make any statements about severity, or propose any solutions, or even suggest anything needed to be done about Global Warming. All I did was state the scientific consensus, and that was all I needed to send you into a frothing, irrational rage.

Comment: Re:Queue the deniers (Score 1) 387

by ideonexus (#47217535) Attached to: Geothermal Heat Contributing To West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting

And yet nowhere in any of my posts have I made any mention of a need to act on Global Warming, proposed any solutions to it, or even suggested that solutions are needed. All I did was state the science, and that is what you and so many others react to. You are against the science because you fear that to concede even that much will somehow render you powerless to have a reasonable discussion about public policy.

There is the science dimension to this and there is the public policy dimension. If the skeptics would simply accept the science, they might have me as an ally when it comes to debating public policy, but when they even reject the science, I can't take anything else they say seriously.

Comment: Re:Queue the deniers (Score 1) 387

by ideonexus (#47213647) Attached to: Geothermal Heat Contributing To West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting

That's not how this works. You propose your problem then you suggest a solution.

Everyone makes their own evaluation as to the relevance of the problem and the cost of your solution and then either accepts your offer or makes counter proposals.

I disagree. First we have to agree on the science. If any solution I propose can be vetoed by someone because they reject the science, then we aren't having a discussion. If I propose eliminating oil subsidies and increasing alternative energy incentives and the response I get every single time is the accusation that I am pushing a political agenda based on pseudoscience, then I have to take step back to the science and fight for that.

The reality is that I don't care if we do anything about Global Warming for the next 20-30 years. What I care about is science, and the skeptics are calling science into question, which leads to pseudoscience taking hold in other public policy issues. To me, Global Warming is about science education. The public policy dimensions are for other people to dispute. There is no balance between skeptics and scientists. The science is overwhelming.

Comment: Re:Queue the deniers (Score 2) 387

by ideonexus (#47212049) Attached to: Geothermal Heat Contributing To West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting

I agree, we should stick to the science. Here you go:

  • The peer-reviewed Journal "Nature Climate Change" includes and references thousands of scientific papers on the subject.
  • The IPCC's 1,500-page "Physical Science Basis" report cites hundreds of references and is authored by hundreds of experts. It clearly states what we know, don't know, and how we know it. It reviews its past predictions, notes where its models have errored, and takes into account an incredible wealth and scope of scientific observations over 150 years.
  • The IPCC also makes all of its data and models available for review. So you can see for yourself.
  • The US Government also recently updated its regularly scheduled report written by over 300 experts.
  • The USGS has a Climate Model Browser that lets you try out all the different simulated predictions for Global Warming. You'll notice the specifics vary widely, but they all predict dramatic temperature rises.
  • The NOAA has a National Climate Data Center where you can watch the temperature trends. Here's a visualization based on the data.
  • The United States Defense department has several reports on the risks posed by Global Warming (see here, here, here, and here).
  • The Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) has produced some excellent reports on sea level rise due to Climate Change to inform local communities like Norfolk VA, where flooding is already a major issue, what to expect in the near future due to Global Warming.
  • You can also watch the sea levels rise at the NOAA's Sea-Level Trends website.
  • If you don't trust the government, then I recommend The Berkely Earth Project. It was funded by the liberal's favorite bad guys, the Koch Brothers, but its results were so compelling that the lead Climatologist, Richard A. Muller, wrote a piece for the New York Times announcing he was no longer a skeptic.
  • Of course, it's always good to have a contrarian viewpoint in the mix, and for that, I recommend AGW skeptic Judith Curry, who presents valid challenges to the consensus with her strong scientific background. I don't find her convincing, but her challenges make for good food for thought.

If you dispute this science, then I recommend publishing your own peer-reviewed papers, your own models, and your own alternative hypotheses in the scientific journals. I see a lot of skeptics nit-picking the science, but not many actually taking the effort to publish in the scientific forums.

I eagerly await one of the skeptics out there to please post an equally substantive list of references to "balance" my citations, so everyone can review and compare them.

Comment: Re:I'm more worried about pollution than climate (Score 1) 136

by ideonexus (#47075023) Attached to: Trillions of Plastic Pieces May Be Trapped In Arctic Ice

"...we've stalled for the past 6 years, actually cooled the last couple of years..."

I realize there's a legitimate debate over how many years constitutes which, but I think you fall in the category of people confusing weather and climate. I remember back in 2008 when AGW-skeptics said there had been a decade of global cooling by using 1998, the warmest year on record, as their baseline. Then increasingly warmer years eliminated that talking point. Now you are saying it's cooled the past couple of years, so you must be using 2010 as your baseline, which is the current warmest year on record.

If the predicted El Nino manifests this summer and fall, it might make 2015 an unusually warm year. So I guess in 2016 or 2017 I should expect to hear again about how the Earth has actually been cooling the past few years. A more intellectually honest way to look at climate is to observe the decade by decade warming trend.

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