Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Great Harold Lewis Resignation Non-Event.

I followed the global warming discussions, back when it was a true controversy among climatologists, probably from about 1980 to some time in the 90s -- casually, not being invested one way or the other -- picking up Scientific American in the doctor's office or when I was in a library.  Like other scientific debates it went from "Hey, some people think this and have this evidence" to "Looks rather convincing" to Yeah, but ..." to "Yeah, it's probably true" to "Everybody who can read the literature is convinced". It was a normal scientific debate, it went from speculations to apparent solidity much the same way the continental drift debate went a couple of decades earlier. Now I did, just the other day, see a guy in a ballcap that "Stop Plate Tectonics", but I suspect he was being ironic. Climate change didn't seem particularly political back then. When did it turn into the supposed giant conspiracy?

Hal Lewis may be quite competent for an ex-physics professor of no great distinction who's been retired probably 20 years, or he may be losing his marbles. It's not uncommon at that age for even truly brilliant people to get somewhat obsessed with how bizarrely different the world looks from when they were young and think it's all going to Hell in a hand-basket. Hell it's hard for me to think about "hooking up", and it pains me to hear someone say "one of the only" -- an expression people didn't use 15-20 years ago (It is tending to replace "One of the few").

Prof. Lewis's resignation, over what he regards as the "AGW Hoax" just strikes me as hardly newsworthy.  So when people declaim "The MSM is suppressing this very important event", because they aren't making a big deal of it, while Rush Limbaugh mentions it several times a day, it makes me wonder "What's up with that" to coin a phrase.

Over the years, I've examined several stories that went viral on anti-liberal blogs, that supposedly put the "final nail in the coffin of AGW". And each one seemed to depend on weak arguments, or misunderstanding what some scientist said, or the old standby, beating up on Al Gore.

The "Cap and Trade" idea, which has been operating in the northeastern states based on state laws for some years now, is a sort of artificial market. The right to emit X tons of carbon into the atmosphere is no more nor less of an artificial market than all the various forms of "Intellectual Property". It's an idea thought up by people who long ago bought into the idea that markets can make things happen that central planning would make a mess of.

Waste disposal is and always has been problematic for the most simple and obvious sort of market system. If my local government wants to charge me $10 to pick up the TV I want to put on the curb, I'll be tempted to put it in somebody else's dumpster or something. People used to use any old spot in the woods, and probably still do in parts of WV, where I grew up.

Political parties usually lie to get voted into office, not to get voted out. So why are most liberals holding on to the need to do something about global warming? My theory is it's because they believe in it and can't in conscience claim not to. The alternative sounds to me like cartoon logic, like Crabby Appleseed ("rotten to the core") wants to steal all the snow in the world or some such, as happened in cartoons I watched decades ago, which for some people must have served as lessons in how the world works.


  1. It is newsworthy if it's part of a trend.

    There's a response from APS deconstructed at WUWT check it out! (10/13)

    The MSM will try to keep this quiet just like the previous global warming scandal.

    If you aren't familiar with the 10:10 dust up, see the videos below.

    While watching the first one, ask yourself if it's sincere or if 10:10 is being pranked on by skeptics.

    Keep watching until you're sure, and then watch more.

    CONTENT WARNING: a lot of fake gore, also the interview of Richard Curtis includes a shocking juxtaposition of real violence.

    Note: the resignations of Chris Landsea and Roger A Pielke SR. both hint at conspiracy.

    Landsea resigned because of an unethical press conference that was likely used by Al Gore as a green light to build his movie around Hurricane Katrina.

    Pielke resigned because while lead author for a major climate report, scientists worked behind his back to undermine him. These incidents are well known and not hard to research.
    Even if you are familiar with the 10:10 thing, there's a variety of over the top eco stuff in the playlist.

  2. I have not written or done anything on this blog for weeks. Well, I read this comment, tried work out what it was talking about, and sighed and groaned a lot.

    "It's newsworthy if it's part of a trend?" Try a little harder; e.g. every person who attends a Tea Party meeting is part of a trend, but if Joe Blow went to a meeting in Canterbury, PA that isn't necessarily newsworthy. It's not that easy to decide what's newsworthy, let alone, to determine that the SSM (Somewhat Sane Media), by not reporting on something, is being unethical, doing a coverup, or whatever.

    All I can say in general re this comment is I've done a preliminary job of following up on it, and so far am not impressed.

    You may call something "well known" while from my point of view all that is going on is that claims are being made all over the blogs that you read.

    From the sound of it, somebody in the UK trying to promote the need to respond to global warming made a stupid and repulsive ad. People on the right make scores of stupid and repulsive ads, blog posts, etc., etc., and the MSM pays very little attention. But is that a liberal conspiracy? And despite all the stupid and repulsive right wing blogs, if I want to refute Milton Friedman or Ludwig Von Mises, I have to did into what they said and/or what has happenned in the world as a result of following their policies (some of it good, but far too much of it bad IMHO).

  3. Global warming "science" is a shameful fraud.
    For the definitive summary of the corrupt "science" behind global warming, see Lord Christopher Monkton's report, "Climategate: Caught Greenhanded!" -- available in pdf format at this location:

    Also, you can see/hear Lord Monkton speak on the subject with these videos:
    part 1 of five on Youtube:

    He is one of my heroes.

  4. Response to Loretta (who happens to be my wife -- we have a sort of James Carville - Mary Matilin marriage as far as politics go).

    Well, I think the shameful fraud is on the other side. I've examined various versions of "Climategate" though am far from an expert on it.

    We should all take an interest in true skepticism, but I've watched the global warming argument over the last couple of decades, and my impression is it followed the normal course of scientific debates, much like the idea of continental plate tectonics from "pretty far out but important if true", to controversial thesis with opinion about equally divided to "studies look conclusive but it has such important consequences it needs to be demonstrated in as many ways as possible" to finally, scientists talking about a consensus. Probably you can always find somebody with a degree who disagrees with the most widely accepted scientific thesis, but I think those who've really followed scientific debates would tell you, scientists take a lot of persuading to start using the C-word (consensus).

    On the other hand, when I look at the conservative blogosphere, I see time and time again things that make no sense and turn out to be easily disproven showing up in 10s of thousands of hits (though you often see those with something to lose, like Rush Limbaugh maintaining their silence on the most easily debunked rumours). Often, I think, nobody in the MSM (Mostly Sane Media) is even aware of these claims, or they just don't take them seriously because they are so silly (like the $200 million per day figure, on Obama's India trip), and so millions of people may still believe them years later.

    Anyway, so far my examination of Climategate seems to show a handful of emails singled out from about 2000 where somebody said something suggestive, but subject to more than one interpretation.

    Also, I find the "power grab" not at all convincing. What I see is those on the center-left generally (1) thinking the scientific community is more trustworthy than the remarkably "message disciplined" right, and (2) despite it costing them loads of votes, they are sticking with it and the only plausible explanation I see is they mostly see it as the right and responsible thing to do.