The Rise And Fall Of America

Discussion in 'Economics' started by triggertrader, Jan 17, 2018.

  1. "Florida high school under lockdown after reports of shooter, victims, police say

    Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tsing Tao, Feb 15, 2018"

    " With today's internet and database technologies, how come a single person could buy so many "Additional" guns within a short period of time? "

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
    #231     Feb 15, 2018
    #232     Feb 15, 2018
  3. piezoe


    Sig I have been bothered by this for quite some time now. If we look at society in general, and particularly among Western Political leaders as reported in the mainstream press, there is no question that there is a consensus belief that CO2 is causing global warming. But when one considers only the opinions of climate scientists working and publishing in the area of climate and atmospheric research, mostly meteorologists and physicists, we get an entirely different picture. There, viewpoints show no consensus, but instead wide areas of mild to strong disagreement. This is captured by the results of a rather thorough 2014 survey published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorology Society. I have reproduced the results from that survey twice in these forums (once in great detail), so I don't want to repeat it. It does give me great pause however to realize that there is actually no consensus among those whose opinions should matter most, and if anything the evidence against CO2 being an important determiner of climate seems to be building! You owe it to yourself to check out the survey results (access to the Bulletin is free on the web), and then I would highly recommend to you the You Tube presentations by two of the better known physicists in their respective fields of atmospheric and astro- physics. The first is Murry Salby, now semi-retired and former scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder Colo., and author of the standard text in Atmospheric Physics, and Nir Shaviv, Chair of the Physics Department at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and one of the most respected and widely known Astro physicists in the World. Of course there are hundreds of other related, expert presentations by Ph.D. scientists accessible to the layman on YouTube. There are thousands -- I do not exaggerate one bit -- of scientists around the world that believe the Hansen Hypothesis* that we are going to suffer a catastrophic temperature rise because of the CO2 we are releasing to the atmosphere is wrong.

    Now picture my dilemma if you will. As both a scientist, though not a climate scientist, and a classical libertarian --certainly not an "Anarcho-capitalist" liberatrian who wants to return to a laissez faire business climate**-- I get pummeled from both sides. The crack-pot, Right Wing neo-libertarians call me a "communist," and the Democrat climate-nistas call me a climate denier. I'd be OK with that if they would at least use logical terminology and call me a "Hansen's Hypothesis " denier. No one is a "climate change" denier unless they are living under a Bell Jar in a vacuum. Of course what they really mean is I must be a lunatic because I am convinced Hansen's Hypothesis is wrong. And the right wingers are baffled, because I think it was a bad idea to pull out of the Paris Climate accord. .
    *In fairness to Hansen and those working in his GISS lab in the 1980s, the Hypothesis initially seemed plausible because of the strong correlation (at that time) of CO2 rise over the past century with observed land temperature records. Now, of course, we have more data. And much of it is not compatible with the hypothesis.

    **They don't want to go back to the Nineteenth Century, just to the laissez faire part :D.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
    #233     Feb 15, 2018
    ironchef likes this.
  4. Sig


    This is an intelligent, well thought out post that deserves and intelligent well thought out reply. The issue of those skeptical of human caused climate change being marginalized is a fair one. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that I for one am thrilled when I see an intelligent, supported argument from someone like you. If it appears that we treat climate change deniers (as opposed to those skeptical of current models) as ignorant, anti-intellectuals who communicate like middle schoolers, it’s because the vast majority in fact spew out ignorant, anti-intellectual crap couched in middle school level “insults”. You need look no farther than our own SOES’ post maturely titled “WARNING This might give you global warming goons an embolism” ( where he quoted a Breitbart article titled “Now 400 Scientific Papers in 2017 Say ‘Global Warming’ Is a Myth” The only problem was, the vast majority of the papers either had nothing to do with current climate change models (The first one was "Quantifying climatic variability in monsoonal northern China over the last 2200 years and its role in driving Chinese dynastic changes") or actually stated in the abstract that they supported or extended current climate change models! And when that was pointed out to SOES, he comes back with the ever rational “Basically, you've admitted to being a libtard” (see what he did there, combined “liberal” with “retard”, isn’t he so clever!) And then we had maxpi repeatedly claiming that artic ice extents were “way bigger than a year ago” even when pointed out that that was utterly and demonstrably false and could be verified by his own eyes using satellite photos…..and you see triggertrader’s floundering on this thread. So yes, there are a few people like you who no doubt get unfairly maligned and for that I apologize. But at some level the sheer volume of intellectual dishonesty and outright lies that come from the climate change deniers camp tend to drown you out, and I’d maintain that if they weren’t able to spew that crap with impunity people like you would get a whole lot more respect?

    Now, to you point on the 2014 survey. I’m familiar with the survey but actually went and read the entire article again. I think this is an area where intelligent well meaning people can disagree, so I’ll put my perspective out without necessarily diminishing yours. First, I was a professional pilot in a prior life, so I talked with a lot of meteorologists, sometimes several times a day. They will be the first to tell you they are very good at forecasting weather out 24-48 hours, OK at forecasting it out 7 days, and very poor at anything beyond that. And they’ll also tell you the difference between weather and climate and how they study the former, not the latter. I’m an electrical engineer, and as such I had to take some advanced physics classes and use advanced semiconductor physics as an engineer. That makes me far better informed than the vast majority of Americans about a controversy like say, Verlinde's hypothesis of gravity. However it still makes my opinion on the matter utterly irrelevant when compared to published astrophysicists who study the matter. To me that’s the same thing as asking meteorologists to opine on climate change theory. In the survey we’re discussing, 78% of those whose focus is climate science and who publish in that area stated that global warming is happening and caused by humans, another 10% said happening and equally human and natural caused. Only 3% stated that global warming wasn’t happening or was mostly natural, the rest were unsure or still examining evidence. That to me is enough for me to feel it is a broad consensus. Even when you look at meteorologists who study mostly climate you get similar results. As you look at people in both fields who publish in mostly other areas or don’t publish, unsurprisingly you see a huge jump in “insufficient evidence” and “don’t know”, that’s what any intelligent scientist says when asked about something they haven’t studied closely and is much more an indicator of that fact than some problem with the science. So I can see how you could look at this and say, hey, there are a bunch of people who aren’t fully on board with this thing. I can almost guarantee, however, if you did the same survey on Verlinde’s hypothesis with physicists and electrical engineers, or almost any other emerging scientific topic that doesn’t yield to obvious experiments, you’d see almost identical results.

    Now on to Hansen’s Hypothesis, are you really convinced that there is no chance that dramatically increasing CO2/methane/CFC levels in the atmosphere will cause warming, or are you just not convinced that it’s been shown convincingly that it will? I think there are all kinds of questions in climate science that need to be answered, lots and lots of contradictions and holes, just like every area of science. And I encourage continuing questions, despite the fact that the deniers will crow about every one of them as some kind of fait accompli and start up with the third grade name calling. But I don’t see anyone actively working to show that there will be no impact from global warming gasses, only working to poke holes in the theory that there may be. To me it’s a no brainer, given all the other negative impacts of fossil fuels and the potential consequences of getting it wrong, to do our best to stop the massive experiment of using them even if there’s only a 20% chance that it will cause climate change. I presume your support of Paris is predicated on something similar?
    #234     Feb 16, 2018
  5. ironchef


    As someone who has some backgrounds in science, especially with interests in the history of science, it strike me often that consensus of scientists during many periods in history were often wrong when it came to their understanding of nature. These example came to mind: Copernicus challenged the consensus of flat earth and earth at the center of the universe; the concept of ether prior to modern physics in early 1900; the concept of the velocity of light; gravity waves, black holes....; plus countless example in modern medecines and
    disease concepts.

    What saved science is the principles of testability and repeatability, of using experiments to validate the hypothesis and the ability to change their views with evidence based outcomes.

    In the last two years from you trading experts on ET I learned chart reading: MTFA is very important. Same in climate change. If you look at 100 years of data, there is no doubt that global temperature is trending up, correlated with the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. However, if you go to 1000 years time period, the data is not as certain, by the time you go to million years time frame, you find that the correlation is muddier. There are so many factors, from evolutional changes in living things to other greenhouse gases to the spin axis of the earth to meteor strikes to....

    The earth ecosystem is as complex as trying to predict the direction of the stock price going forward. Be careful, both of those who argue for or against human effects and CO2 are likely to be both wrong.

    That said, like the stock prices, in general there is a directional bias, I do believe the correlation with CO2 and it is prudent to err on the safe side so we should reduce our perturbation of the natural cycle but at the end of the day what we do may not matter that much, just like using intraday charts to predict 10 year out stock price.

    #235     Feb 16, 2018
    volpri likes this.
  6. piezoe


    Wow, what a nice thoughtful response, Sig. Thank you so much. I am delighted that you have studied Electrical Engineering because that's going to allow me to ask your opinion about something later that is closely linked to the Hansen Hypothesis. Your background is ideal when it comes to communicating with you on this subject.

    First let me give you a brief summary of my own training and experience. I earned my Ph.D. in Electrochemistry. I can trace my chemistry lineage through my mentor to the famous Chemist, I.M. Kolthoff , 1894-1993 (for whom I.M. Kolthoff Hall on the Univ. of Minnesota Campus is named.) I had a typical career participating in and directing both basic and contract research. I have worked directly for Ph.D. granting Academic institutions, for private corporations, and two national laboratories at various points in my career. I was a consultant to the NIH and to a specialty, Canadian owned, aluminum extruder, both for quite a few years (this latter business had nothing to do with my main research interests but was a consequence of my training in electrochemistry) I published 27 full papers in the peer reviewed, primary literature, and one book, and of course numerous other publications. I hold two basic patents on biosensors and did most of the other stuff that goes with a career that is rather normal and fairly undistinguished for someone with my training. If I were to list all the details I'm afraid it would mislead by sounding more impressive than it was. I bounced around a lot because I was interested in everything. It made for an interesting scientific life, but probably was not helpful in forging a distinguished career in any one area.

    I got interested in what was then known as Anthropomorphic Global Warming (AGW) once it began to be a common topic of discussion, and I read a couple of Linzer's early papers which took the position that the AGW hypothesis was still just that. Linzer was one of the first to raise the issue of clouds and point out that no one knew whether clouds were net warming or cooling and certainly no one had a clue how to model them. He was rather negative . I also read one of the early Hansen papers. There was a seemingly strong correlation between the measured rise of CO2 and reported mean surface temperature using actual thermometer readings. the correlation seemed particularly good for the period fairly well covered in North America by weather stations from the late 1800s up to 1990 or so. Of course as a scientist I was aware the correlation does not prove cause and that almost any two variables can be made to appear well correlated graphically, depending on the scale chosen for the axes. I new the radiative argument behind CO2 well, or thought I did, having taught elementary physical photochemistry and having published a couple papers in photochemisty with a real photochemist colleague whom I learned from. At that point I lost interest, and just assumed that either Hansen or Linzer, or both, would eventually be shown to be right.

    It wasn't until I retired in 2005 that I got interested in the topic again. It was reading some of the AGW threads in the Politics and Religion section of ET. In particular there was one fellow, jem, who kept questioning everything and turning up these interesting papers that I began to read. I wanted to see what they were really about. And that's what led me down a path I never would have expected to be led down. I had been convinced by trust in the media and popular believe that it was a settled issue, that unless we started drastically reducing our CO2 emissions we were going to warm up and wreck the planet. But the scientific papers I was reading were indicating that the picture was far more clouded than I had realized.

    Among the first things I learned by reading more of Hansen's papers was that Hansen had never questioned or tested his assignment of temperature to the dependent variable. He knew CO2 was what we call a greenhouse gas and he just assumed that more of it would therefore raise the temperature. This was almost childish in its simplicity as I look back on it . So sure enough, when you plot CO2 content against temperature you get quite a nice correlation for at least the period from the late 1800s through what ever year it was when they first did this. But of course the first thing he needed to do was determine which was the independent variable. He didn't do that! This was the first fatal error. In his " Eureka I have found it" moment he apparently had forgot all about Henry's law; understandable as it had probably been 30 years since he studied Freshman Chemistry. But why didn't one of those young fellows in is lab pipe up and say to him,"but Dr. Hansen, what about Henry's law? A corollary of Henry's law is that gases like CO2 have quite a strong temperature dependence for solubility in water. The solubility of CO2 in water drops as the temperature rises. Even if you never set foot in a chemistry or physics class, you only had to open one Coke left in your car on a hot day to discover this corollary of Henry's law. Could it be that CO2 is rising with temperature because it's coming out of solution in the oceans as the temperature rises, and because the rate of bio-matter oxidation is increasing with temperature? Would that amount be large or small compared to the amount of anthro CO2 we dump and could it be that if we looked with greater precision we might be able to see one source of CO2 riding on another with different time dependencies and perhaps even identify seasonal variation in different parts of the atmosphere.

    Now I know what you are thinking. It's the same thing I thought. Naw, a guy like Hansen would never miss this. He'd test to see which was the dependent variable. (Of course he might need some additional information other than what he had available at the time, but surely since CO2 and temperature increased together he wouldn't just assume CO2 was the independent variable with out actually testing this assumption! ) Well, It appears that's what is did. And it was, I think, all due to that "Eureka Moment", CO2 is a greenhouse gas! (See for example Murry Salby's beautiful Talk and nice proof in Hamburg Germany on YouTube. This is where Salby takes up phase shifts and its a technical talk. His later presentations are much easier for the non-expert to follow.) So, Salby's work has convinced me that that business of apparently getting the dependent and independent variables reversed is one great BIG problem. It alone, keeps me from accepting Hansen's hypothesis.

    Now there is another problem. And it is this. CO2's effect is radiative. Its contribution to partial pressure can be ignored,* and of course it is non-condensing so we don't have heat of vaporization or heat of fusion to concern us. But CO2 is an extremely weak absorber. It does not absorb in the visible at all. (It's colorless!!!), and it has only one active IR absorption mode, an asymmetric stretch. (Its symmetric stretch is non-IR-active because there is no change in polarization with that stretch) So its both a very weak absorber, and at trace concentration . In other words, it is a very crappy greenhouse gas. Does it play role. Yah, at least a little according to radiative models.

    But here is another problem. It is rather easy to estimate what the additional effect of adding still more CO2 is. You just have to simulate , and you can do it quite accurately, at what concentration and by what altitude for a given partial pressure, all of the radiated IR from the Earth's surface that CO2 can absorb will be absorbed. It's been done many times, and above about 600 ppm there will be practically no more radiative heating at the surface from rising CO2. In other words long before the present 400 ppm doubles there will be little significant further heating from CO2 rise. Ooops!!

    Now, one more problem. Very early in the modeling process The Hansen devotees' discovered something very disturbing. CO2 was such a weak greenhouse gas that the concentration could climb way on up there and yet the temperature would hardly budge. (see above paragraph) But they had told everyone at those hearings that we were in danger of a runaway thermal excursion if we didn't reduce our CO2 emission . Could the feedback to the effect of a little CO2 rise cause even more warming?

    So all models today assume some amount of positive feedback, otherwise the warming is too little to be concerning. Sure enough, those models incorporating positive feedback indicate we are all on the path to dante's inferno. Now Sig, here is my question for you, since you are an electrical engineer. Lets assume the transfer function for the CO2 model provides amplification. (We don't have to identify the specific mechanism but let's assume it has to do with increasing water vapor and cloud formation.) A little warming from CO2 will lead to a lot more warming. Now if the net feedback is positive, won't the entire system be unstable and be rather quickly, say in a few decades or centuries be driven to its positive limit? (I'm assuming the response time is many orders greater for a climate than for, say, an operational amplifier.) It seems to me that if the feedback is net positive our climate system should be unstable and none of us should be here. We should have burned up centuries ago. So I have concluded there must be enough net negative feedback to maintain some overall, long-term stability in our climate. Lots of both positive and negative feedback elements have been identified. For example circular, vertical convection is supposed to be net negative and possibly the single most important negative feedback mechanism. (Ignored in all the earliest models.) Rising humidity is probably net positive, but cloud formation is probably either positive or negative depending on altitude, aerosol size and density.

    IPCC models get re-adjusted every 6 years, or so, so they can can never be too embarrassingly far off . (See Nir Shaviv's fine talk on You Tube.) Judging by our inability to predict future temperature from these models, How can they tell us what we want to know. We know we are all going to die. We don't need a model for that. But we want to know when! Supposedly the models' universal failure to predict future temperature is due to their inability to model clouds. But I think the failures must go way beyond that. It seems you'd first have to get the dependent and independent variable decided correctly. Up to know the modelers have dealt with these little problems by ignoring them. We can model fairly well the radiative effects, but what about everything else. And I haven't even mentioned many other factors that are of obvious importance, but are nevertheless being ignored by the modelers.

    You hit the nail on the head when you pointed out that we do a great job of weather forecasting for the next 24 hours, and a pretty good job seven days out, but the further we go out the worse it gets. Forecasters know why.. Its the presence of turbulence and non-linearities that lead to chaos and strange attractors. Many of the forecastors are resigned to the futility of doing anything beyond say thirty days. Apparently the climate modelers are either unaware of this chaos induced restriction, or they just want to keep quiet and keep the checks coming.

    Of course there are a million other problems, as I know you must be aware of. There are some great presentations available on YouTube by knowledgeable Ph.D. experts. Try to find the time to listen to a few. It's an eye opener. At least it was for me.

    I have already decided that the Hansen Hypothesis is simply wrong. But I can't rule out the possibility that man may be affecting his climate via some other mechanism. (What about plain old thermal pollution? Though it seems the urban island effects of Mexico City or Tokyo must rather pale in comparison to a good sized volcano.) Our CO2 atmospheric content has been decreasing for 15,000 years now. I'm not worried about 100 years of rise riding on top of fifteen thousand years of decline.

    You said, " I don’t see anyone actively working to show that there will be no impact from global warming gasses, only working to poke holes in the theory that there may be." With regard to CO2, Murry Salby's most recent presentation is addressed exactly to this point you correctly raise . He uses an elegant error bounds argument to show quite convincingly that there will be no significant impact from rising CO2 for the foreseeable future. Methane is a lot stronger greenhouse gas than CO2. I think with all the fracking we ought to at least take a look at what the impact of methane pollution from leaks might be. On the other hand methane is unstable in the upper atmosphere. Perhaps that would ameliorate . It is worth looking at in my opinion. The reason I favor staying active in the Paris accord is we can at least have an influence if we are present at the table. I strongly favor development of alternatives to fossil fuels. At the same time, I'm not blind to the problems created by very rapidly rising demand for energy in the developing world. We must do everything we can to assist developing countries raise their standard of living , because as they do, their birthrates will drop. And lower population is the key to our planet lasting longer. We can't expect them to just take the leap to advanced energy production at great cost compared to their GDPs. We must allow them some leeway when it comes to temporary use of fossil fuels, especially coal. There is no reason not to, because Hansen's hypothesis should be allowed to die a proper death. Then we can move on. We can't stop Entropy from increasing, but we sure can affect the rate at which it increases!

    And finally to those who would say, "well the Hansen Hypothesis may be wrong, but shouldn't we be doing something?" I would say, "it's best to decide what to do before you start doing anything." :D

    *CO2 on Earth is a trace, but critically important, component of the atmosphere. The only variable across the solar system, however, that appears consistent with the different surface temperatures on the planets would seem to be vapor pressure. The sun does work on the atmosphere and the higher the pressure the greater the temperature achieved during the period when the surface is oriented toward the sun. This is perhaps an over simplification by it is at least consistent with thermodynamics, the gas law, statistical mechanics, and the observed temperatures on the planets.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
    #236     Feb 16, 2018
    volpri likes this.
  7. ironchef



    May I suggest you put a damping function in your feedback loop, then there will not be a runaway instability but slowly rising, not unlike the current situation.
    #237     Feb 16, 2018
  8. volpri


    15,000 years of CO2 decline and just 100 years of rise? Basically, just a very SMALL pb in a bear trend!

    What will sig do with that piece of data?

    #238     Feb 16, 2018
  9. Then you totally missed the point of the video. Everyone suffers under democracy. The poorest and the middle class who turn into the poorest. Only the politicians benefit from fulfilling promises to take from one and give to another in return for votes. That's the message of the video. Watch it again.
    #239     Feb 20, 2018
  10. You sound like a typical alarmist. All talk of armageddon but no physical science to actually prove that increased C02 emissions from humans is causing the planet to warm. Despite evidence to the contrary all you do is continue to parrot "green houses gases!" You also politicize it. Typical alarmist clap trap. I don't see any science here. Just more nonsense. I do agree that pollution is very bad for people's health but that's not what the alarmists are talking about. They are talking about human C02 which is causing the planet to warm which is a highly disputed science. Actual pollution coming from vehicles and coal plants is a totally different matter. Perhaps if the global warming alarmists were honest and a lot less political they would change their agenda and talk about air and water pollution instead of this human C02 global warming idea.
    #240     Feb 20, 2018