Tag Archives: Global Warming

Dana Milbank speaks to Experts

A few weeks ago Dana Milbank wrote a column for the  Post where he had some suggestions on how to combat global warming.

I’m glad he has used the access to experts afforded to Post staffers to learn:

 “To remove carbon from the atmosphere, we could bury wood and agricultural waste…”.

 This is called land filling, it’s where most trash goes.

I’m not an expert, but perhaps he could use the vast resources at the Post to learn if paper is made from wood. (And paper products, too?) Next, find another expert to learn if most paper is made from 1000 year old redwoods or 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation trees grown on tree farms. (Yes, I am aware that the Post does buy its paper from unsustainably managed virgin tropical and boreal forests, but most paper is more locally produced). Then, find another expert to explain about the energy inputs (all of the inputs) required to recycle paper. Another expert will be needed to explain land fill capacity. (Hint: landfills aren’t forever, Hint 2: What’s with all that space in “flyover country”? ) Finally, find yet one more expert to put it all together.

Here are some potential outcomes from the final expert’s analysis.

  1. Recommends that landfills be re-named “carbon capture facilities”.
  2. Tells you that if you’re the sort of person who believes a trace gas like carbon dioxide is in any way a significant climate driver, you should stop recycling paper and wood based products.
  3. Mr. Milbank may learn that a large portion of the trash in the DC area is burned, so stopping paper recycling would have fewer benefits there.

Mr. Milbank will need to be careful to ask only experts. If one does this oneself, one may stumble on to sites like epa.gov, where information can be misleading and contrary evidence is omitted. Make sure to ask the right experts though. Don’t ask the ones who made predictions about the swine flu. Or hurricane activity. Or Arctic ice extent. Or the ARRA keeping employment under 8%. Or President Obama’s health care reform reducing premiums 

Oval Office Address

The President’s first Oval Office Address was criticized from all sides. Most critics agreed that his performance (if not his substance) improved towards the end where he spoke about his plans to transition to clean energy. Unfortunately, he used the “if we can send a man to the Moon…” trope. Now I can’t stop thinking about President Obama sending a man to the Moon to find Green Energy. Except of course, he killed the return to the Moon project at NASA.  Maybe Nobel Award Winning Physicist Secretary Chu has worked out a plan?

What Science Tells Us About Thomas Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman is a man of widely recognized talents, however his ability to synthesize a large body of woefully inadequate knowledge to make pronouncements as to what “science tells us” is not one of them. In Mr. Friedman’s June 30, 2009 NYT column he does just that with regard to climate change.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/01/opinion/01friedman.html

He is accurate when he claims that “science tells us” that climate changes, but that’s about the limit of what science knows. Climate changes on a much larger scale than the history of human scientific observation. What our limited observations have revealed is far from fully understood. Despite billions and billions of dollars spent on “global warming science” simple mechanisms such as the ‘greenhouse effect’ are not understood beyond a theoretical level. Basic laboratory research remains to confirm the theory.

In this article I put forth the scientific theory that a thorough cataloging of Mr. Friedman’s knowledge of global warming will reveal a vast store of anecdotal evidence typified by An Inconvenient Truth and very little understanding of the data and mechanisms of climate change.

Like any other scientist, I am seeking grant money to further my research into this important aspect of global warming. Please contact me through this blog to send money.

Light Bulbs, Windmills, Electric Cars… What’s the Point?

This story had a little factoid that caught my eye. It’s a window into the whole man-made global warming phenomena.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/29/AR2009062902499_pf.html

166,000,000 to 14.

Or

11,857,142 to 1.

 That’s the ration of car emissions to one 500MW coal fired power plant. For the money spent on saving GM we could have built 7GW of nuclear power and then some.

Experts and the Media

How does the media evaluate which experts know what they’re  talking about? Does Columbia offer a seminar on “Evaluating Experts”?

My fear is that the typical news media employee would not know why a Phd in Women’s Studies would not be qualified to provide expert commentary on gynecology.  This ignorance allows  them to report uncritically of President Obama taking over the financial and auto industries without the slightest hint of knowledge because he’s got “experts” helping him. As well as promote similar government intervention in healthcare and energy.

Who is watching the watchdogs?

Expert Fallacy

It is inappropriate to make light of someones misfortune, but did Bob Woodruff get the the ok from his doctors before agreeing to host the news media travesty Earth 2100: Is this the Final Century of our Civilization? 

 I only watched a few seconds of it somewhere in the middle of the program, but it presented the widely discredited “warmer and drier” theory as fact.

Does anyone at ABC News have the expertise to evaluate the claims of self proclaimed climate experts? If not, why would they present the claims as fact? Because they’re “experts”? Hasn’t it occurred to anyone in the news media that these “experts” have financial motivations just like the news media does? Or is ABC hyping a false crisis in order to generate ratings and advertising dollars?

Climate Reporting – Getting Colder

Climate reporting is getting colder with respect to accuracy. On April 7 the Washington Post published a woefully reported article on Arctic ice, claiming that it was in rapid decline and misrepresenting George Will while they were at it. Yesterday on May 18, only a month from the solar maximum at the North Pole, Arctic ice remains at an extent greater than any measured by the IARC satellite (which went online in 2002)’

 Last year, uninformed press release rewriters posing as “journalists” ran story after story predicting Arctic catastrophe because of the fragile “first year ice”. This year the articles bemoan the lack of “multi-year ice” as the Post’s article typifies.

 Next year, will the crisis be the dearth of Arctic ice older than three years?

 The ongoing crisis is the surplus of credulity within the news media.