Inside Chris Mooney's Brain

By Keith Kloor | March 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Several weeks ago, in a post at the Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media, I said that Chris Mooney’s “new book argues that Republicans are genetically wired to be anti-science.”

In an email to me, Chris asserted that this characterization “misrepresented” his book, which is called “The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science–and Reality.” I disagreed and suggested he leave a comment at the post, making his case. He declined.

Now that Chris’s book is available, let’s have a look and see if I got it right. To be fair to Chris, I’m going to quote extensively from his introduction, where he lays out his approach and methodology.  He writes:

I want to emphasize that this argument is not a form of what is called reductionism. Complex phenomena like human political behavior always have many causes, not one. This book fully recognizes that and does not embrace a position that could fairly be called determinism. Human brains are flexible and change daily; people have choices, and those choices alter who they are. Nevertheless, there are broad tendencies in the population that really matter, and cannot be ignored.

We don’t understand everything there is to know yet about the underlying reasons why conservatives and liberals are different. We don’t know how all the puzzle pieces–cognitive styles, personality traits, psychological needs, moral intuitions, brain structures, and genes–fit together. This means that what I’m saying applies at the level of large groups, but may founder in the case of any particular individual.

Still, we know enough to begin pooling together all the scientific evidence. And when you do–even if you provide all the caveats, and I’ve just exhausted them–there’s a lot of consistency.

So, from this excerpt which is in his introduction, we can assume that Chris doesn’t want readers to think his argument is based on genetics, which would be as reductionistic as it gets,  But at the same time, he says, neural studies are telling us something about the Republican brain.

A few pages later, Chris gets to what he believes all the social science and cognitive research suggests (my emphasis):

I’ll synthesize a body of psychological evidence suggesting conservatives may be more rigid, less flexible in their style of thinking. But I’ll also show the counterpoint–perhaps it is tougher to detect this left-right bias differential than we may think, and the cause of the present reality gap between liberals and conservatives lies elsewhere. And I’ll examine what is in some ways the most revolutionary idea at all–the increasingly powerful notion that, while the environment assuredly matters, much of the left-right difference may ultimately be influenced by genetics, and even detectable in structures in the brains.

Based on these excerpted passages, it looks to me like Chris’s brain is at war with itself. The result is that he ends up talking out of both sides of his mouth.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Chris Mooney, science
  • Bobito

    For someone that has done as much research on cognitive dissonance as Chris, it’s amazing how he misses it in himself.  Some people just can’t point the microscope inward…

  • kdk33

    I think this is even more evidence that liberalism is just a scam to seperate the public from their money (think green energy, department of educations, other such silliness).  At Chris reaps his rewards form voluntary contributers.All that aside… what a crock a shit.

  • Roger Pielke Jr.

    “opinion perfumed with the odor of science without that science really supporting it”Jerry Coyne, University of Chicagohttp://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/chris-mooney-evolution-and-politics/

  • Keith Kloor

    The unfortunate byproduct of Chris’s book is that by stretching research findings to fit his own conclusions he likely will end up tarring some very legitimate and compelling studies.

    There is much to be learned from social and cognitive science about what makes us tick, but Chris poisons that well with his partisan slant on this research. 

     

  • kdk33

    Chris’s idea here is mildly dangerous.  **-**  He is arguing (and it is not new) that Republicans disagree because they are genetically incapable.  Following that rationale, there is no point in debate, their opinions are flow from a biological defect, hence are illegitimate.  Where have we heard this before?  **-**  Genectically pre-programed and illegitimate arguments need have no force, hence these people should have no say.  Where have we heard this before?  **-** Voila, we arrive at Michael-Tobis-Land:  democracy is not up to the challenge of our times.  **-** Where do we go from here?  Sad.

  • SamuelJ

    Agree with #1 Bobito. I saw him on a C-Span 3 panel talking about this book. The one thing that continually occurred to me was that this guy must not own a mirror; if he would look in one, he would see he was often describing himself when talking about how conservatives think.

  • Keith Kloor

    kdk33 (5): Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck show no inclination to engage in reasoned debate. (Quite the opposite, in fact.) Wouldn’t you say that makes them equally dangerous?

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    I recommend people read Roger’s link @3. There are some things I agree with Mooney about, and plenty I disagree with Roger about, but in this case I’m with Roger in siding with Jerry Coyne.

  • Keith Kloor

    Here’s the link to that Jerry Coyne post on Mooney.

  • harrywr2

    I’ll synthesize a body of psychological evidence suggesting conservatives may be more rigid, less flexible in their style of thinking.I’m a Republican…I can buy that portion of the statement. There has never been and never will be a shortage of  ‘new ideas’ that have turned out to be  nonsense or  dangerous.For humanity to survive and progress we need people willing to ‘try new things’…and we also people who are ‘slow to adopt new ideas’.Some berries are poisonous…some are not. I’m all for someone who ‘adopts new ideas quickly’ to try out the berries from a bush I don’t recognize. Maybe I’m missing out on some ‘good eats’…maybe I’m missing out on a ‘quick death’.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    @harrywr2Beyond whether or not the idea that conservatives/liberals behave in a certain way is the point that there are inferences being made that heritability/genetics is responsible for these behaviors without it actually being demonstrated. Do people behave a certain way because of some genetic ideological predisposition or does a non-genetically driven adopted set of ideas lead to such responses is a serious question. Moreover, even if we eventually demonstrate that the attributes being claimed as genetic turn out to be demonstrated in part to be so, genetics is not wholly responsible by Mooney’s own admission. So why fixate on it? If evolution denial is some day determined to be ~40% related to an inherited conservative suite of traits, why not focus on the percentage that is environmental in order to effectively correct misconceptions about science?

  • Jarmo

    OK, when do we get gene therapy? 

  • Dean

    I’m not even going to get into Mooney’s book on a subject like this without reading it all the way. I’m just going to make the point that if you want to figure out why some people are liberal and others conservative, equating those with political parties adds a rather huge confounding factor to the challenge. Best to just refer to liberals and conservatives and leave identification with the old parties to another debate.And if the goal is to be “scholarly” about it, probably best to leave the word “liberal” out altogether since it’s meaning in US politics is mostly unique to the US. Maybe right and left would be better, as “conservative” has been a moving goalpost in recent years, when you consider that both Cap and Trade and the individual health insurance mandate were both invented by what was then considered conservatives not all that long ago.

  • Jarmo

    #11 So evolution denial could be genetic? Shouldn’t it be preserved in order to maintain genetic diversity?

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    So evolution denial could be genetic?The argument is that conservative traits that give rise to evolution denial might be in part genetic. I don’t think that this is a well-supported argument at this time. Shouldn’t it be preserved in order to maintain genetic diversity?Sorry, that didn’t elicit any chuckles from me.

  • kdk33

    kdk33 (5): Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck show no inclination to engage in reasoned debate. (Quite the opposite, in fact.) Wouldn’t you say that makes them equally dangerous?**-** Funnily, you are probably more familiar with these two than me.  Do Rush and Glenn argue that liberals are genetically defective?**-** The point is that once you argue the other side is ‘genetically defective’, then you grant yourselves all kind of nasty priveledges.  Conservatism becomes a disease.  To be treated.  By means not always pleasant.  Cause it’s good for us.**-**  Not that I would be immune to the other argument:  that liberalism is a mental disorder  :-) **-** (hmmm, that last was tongue in check, so as not to confuse the genetic/mental defects in the reading audience).

  • kdk33

    I’m not even going to get into Mooney’s book on a subject like this without reading it all the way.   **-** My god.  Have you no life.  I’ve some paint you could watch dry.

  • harrywr2

    #11Do people behave a certain way because of some genetic ideological
    predisposition or does a non-genetically driven adopted set of ideas
    lead to such responses is a serious question
    I have 4 children(I know bad me). They were ‘born’ with predispositions. Yes…nurturing probably had an effect as well…but they were all different from day 1.One was a ‘runner’…take your eye off him for 10 seconds and he would be off ‘exploring the world’ at 3 years old…one would burst into tears if mommy or daddy wasn’t within eyesight.They are different..so what? They all bring ‘something’ to this thing we call humanity.  We need ‘sure footed’ people and we need ‘risk takers’.If everyone was ‘surefooted’ we would never experience something called ‘progress’. If everyone was ‘risk takers’ we probably would all be dead by now.The problem with Mooney’s book from what I can gather is the implication that ‘one’ set of personality traits is somehow superior to others. We need them all.

  • Matt Skaggs

    “Based on these excerpted passages, it looks to me like Chris’s brain is at war with itself.”That is harsh and I do not see the justification for making the claim.  He says that it does not all add up to a coherent whole, then describes the bits and pieces we do understand.  What is wrong with that?  Separating left and right is easy with a simple questionnaire.  The right will always show pro-self tendencies, while the left will show pro-social tendencies.  There is strong countervailing evidence for the hypothesis that it is genetic, but little evidence that it is.  But if it were genetic, the difference could be maintained in the face of natural selection if pro-social behavior is adaptive under some circumstances and pro-self behavior is adaptive under other circumstances.  Much of this has been well demonstrated.  See for example the studies by Sheldon and Kasser.  These studies show that if there is a “commons” left unguarded, the pro-self individuals will exploit it until it is gone, whereas pro-socials will attempt to manage it whether it is guarded or not.  Free of pro-selfers, the pro-socials will do better in the long run than any other configuration, but with pro-selfers present, the pro-socials lose out as the commons are exploited.  So in effect the selfishness of the pro-selfers creates a milieu in which they can outperform others.  The point of this diversion is that while a genetic basis for political differences is not well-supported, it is also not refuted by the rules of natural selection as Coyne seems to think.

  • kdk33

    The right will always show pro-self tendencies, while the left will show pro-social tendencies. **-**I don’t think so.  The right realizes that one can exploit the “pro-self” tendencies that reside in everyone to further the common good.  Free markest and competition for example.  **-**The lesson of the last century was to demonstrate that “pro-social” is always interpreted through a selfish lens. **-**Of course much of the left is decidedly “pro-self”, they just find government a convenient tool for realizing their goals.  They are really pro-government and pro-control-of-other-people.  Not “pro-social”.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    @18 I don’t agree with Mooney’s argument, but I don’t think that’s a fair representation of it at all. He’s not saying conservatives are unnecessary, just perhaps predisposed to reject some scientific conclusions.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Over a period of a couple of years I argued this one out with Chris Mooney again and again. It always seemed to me a case of trying to fit the evidence into his preconceptions; and while he was fairly good about dropping one approach to the fit if the evidence didn’t work, he just switched to a different approach to doing the same.

    It started I think with Chris taking the usual liberal position that right-wingers were ‘anti-science’ because they were ignorant or stupid or deceived by their thought-leaders. But then he had people like me showing up at his blog, and that theory became untenable. Clearly we weren’t stupid, or ignorant of science.

    I tried explaining that what he was describing as ‘anti-scientific’ was a misleading description. Most people are not scientists, and form their opinions by non-scientific means, such as cultural transfer, authority, education, personal interest, and so on. As a rule, right-wingers were as in favour of science and technology, believed in science, and those technically-inclined few understood and thought scientifically as much left-wingers. That what he was picking up were a small number of cultural shibboleth beliefs about science that had got correlated with the politics, and then blown up as “pro-science” and “anti-science”. Conservatives are “pro-science” on belief in electrons, gravity, surface tension, transistors, space flight, chemical engineering, Newtonian mechanics, optics, materials science, and so on. It was only when you asked them about very specific topics like evolution, nuclear radiation, chemicals in the environment that they differed.

    It seemed clear that most people didn’t actually understand the science, and they believed what they were told unless it conflicted with their politics. Where there’s no politics, there’s no difference. Left-wingers are as generally ignorant about science as the right. On a couple of topics the politics takes over – on evolution for right-wingers, on nuclear radiation, global warming, and environmental chemicals for the left – and these became test-cases for ‘belief in science’ as a whole.

    So all his attempts to link left/right modes of intelligence to the ability to do science were for naught. It’s not that right-wingers are less capable of thinking, or that they are less capable of thinking in a specifically scientific mode; it’s that the left has managed to define it’s own particular shibboleths about science as representative of science itself.

    Separate from that, there is an interesting question as to whether left-wingers and right-wingers actually do think differently, and if so, which way the causal arrow goes. I’m sceptical. Most of the studies cited used simplistic criteria and definitions, had confounding factors, severe selection bias problems, weak statistics, and were frequently done by liberals with obvious agendas. It was quite fun whenever he triumphantly cited yet another study and I’d spend a pleasant hour or so picking it apart and explaining why the conclusions didn’t follow.

    I don’t find the idea that psychological differences might be (weakly) related to political views to be inherently implausible. But people are complicated and inconsistent, and I didn’t believe the simple tests being done could capture such a complex mental construction as political belief. Political beliefs split along many different dimensions, and there’s no telling which of them might be affected by what mental tendencies. It’s like the Behaviourist school, who in the early scientific study of psychology thought they’d be able to give a simple mechanistic explanation for thought, and built grand edifices of theory out of experimental randomness and their own preconceptions. Eugenics researchers trying to connect race to intelligence did much the same.

    Much of the science is junk, and the rest inconclusive; and the thesis that right-wingers don’t believe in science because they are mentally inferior (or to put it more charitably, think differently) is partisan nonsense. Chris Mooney was always an honest believer, and I quite liked him personally, but he always did let his political preconceptions influence his approach to science.

  • harrywr2

    #21I definitely don’t agree with this as quoted by “Desmog Blog’Bestselling author Chris Mooney uses cutting-edge research to explain the psychology behind why today’s Republicans reject realityThat’s absolute nonsense. One of my  daughters has a degree in cognitive science. I got to be a part of a few ‘experiments’.We all definitely ‘perceive’ reality differently. Give a group of 10 people a drawing of a tic-tac-toe board and ask them if it is distorted vertically or horizontally there will be a ‘difference’ of ‘perception’. There is a heavy gender bias on vertical/horizontal perception.Then her study on trying to prove whether whites had a more difficult time differentiating between members of different races seemed to reveal that that the bias was a nurturing issue.If you grew up in  a single race environment then you probably do have a poor ability distinguishing between members of a different race. For example 99% of Asians have black hair and brown eyes. They generally
    don’t use eye color or hair color to distinguish between different
    people…since it’s useless in their everyday lives.If you grow up in an environment with many races you probably don’t have a problem. When my 2nd wife(asian) first moved to the US I would say ‘look at that blonde person’ and she would say ‘what blonde person?’The mind is very efficient at filtering out whatever it considers to be ‘useless’ information.It would only be logical that people who share ‘similar’ filters would group themselves into political parties.

  • KingOchaos

      Fascinating stuff… So, with me being from New Zealand… and our right wing party, being a hell of a lot further left than the democrats, i would be more scientifically minded than the average democrat, but less than my further left socialist brethren.. and the russians during communism…  Yah got to laugh. What he should have probably done, was look at the main ideological differences between left and right. Right wingers, dont like centralized control of society, they are more cynical as far as the powers that be(conservative government control). Left wingers believe in centralized control of society(liberal governmental control) and have greater faith in human nature. So, yea, left and right is divided by cynicism, vrs naivety. As to the likes of evolution, id assume, the vast majority of people who oppose it, is for religious reasons.. nurture. As for AGW, i could believe that a conservative, would be less likely, to take on faith something they don’t personally understand, than a liberal. But this is painting with a pretty broad brush, and left vrs right is actually relative to where in the world you live.

  • steven mosher

     Chris’ confused thinking is clearly not rigid   like conservative’s thinking is.

  • Lewis Deane

    This is starting to make me panic. What with articles advocating human engineering and this, Chris Mooney’s, yes, fascistic book, I need re-assurance, re-assurance from you, Keith, for I trust you, that this is no way representative of US environmental or so called ‘liberal’ thought. For, in the UK we would still have sufficient awareness to make us ashamed if we published such drivel and outraged at anyone who did (here it would be “Conservatives are genetically programmed to be wrong and stupid.”!) and, whether we were on the ‘left’ or ‘right, equally so.For this is ad hominen taken to it’s ultimate extreme and, as such, by dispossessing a large proportion of human beings of the right to respect for their intelligence and opinion, it is fascism in essence and akin, in terms of theory and, yes, why not ultimately ‘practice’, to Eugenics. There, I’ve said it, my ad hom., for it is only fair that one ad hom. deserves another, Chris Mooney is a fascist ideologue. And all (‘right’ or ‘left’ brain!) people of good will should be disgusted and oppose his pseudo-science, as profound as phrenology and as dangerous as eugenics, with all their will. 

  • kdk33

    On a couple of topics the politics takes over ““ on evolution for right-wingers.**-**I think, NiV, you paint with too broad a brush.  The claim that right-wingers ‘don’t believe in evolution’ is one I find dubious.  Like the climate sciences, it’s much more nuanced than the left would make it seem.  You first have to take some time to understand exactly what one means by “evolution” and exactly what part of that definition any particular individual disagrees with. **-** Simple version: belief in evolution is too often a proxy for belief in God and both sides reacto accordingly.  A more thoughtful conversation would reveal something different than is generally presented.  The left beats this drum as an opportunity to label the right anti-science.  **-** I object whenever it comes up.**-** I’ve covered this with NiV before.  He seems to have some vexing paradigms of his own.  For a good libertarian, that is. :-)  

  • Lewis Deane

    I mean, what makes me ‘panic’, disgusts me and makes me shake with anger, is not this book, itself, but the fact that, apparently, it is being ‘entertained’ and given a ‘serious’ run among so-called ‘intellectuals’. Having gone through the last century and it’s horrors, that seems to me vicious.And, by the way, neuro-science is reductionist, absurd and passe by 2000 years. As such, it is an oxymoron. With it’s Pavlovian, mechanistic obtuseness, it’s ‘just so’ stories, it’s ‘this gene pushed, that nerve twitched and, hey presto, Shakespeare!’, it’s more than passe, it’s a libel on mankind!For the ‘spirit’, the ‘soul’ (yes, there is no ‘soul’ but it does not mean one has to be so stupid as to get rid of the ‘soul’!) to be handled by these hole-in-the-corner, work-a-day, 9-5 job-men called specialists or, worse, ‘scientists’, is nauseating, and, it is hardly surprising that they end up ‘seeing’ in ‘us’ the stupidity they are. If only there were scientists with the souls of poets –  perhaps, a philosopher! – thinkers.

  • jeffn

    #27- this is an important point. I’m conservative and I’ve literally never seen evolution come up in any discussion among conservatives – other than an occasional grunt of disagreement with “intelligent design.”
    The way it usually works is the left declares: “evolution! You can’t go to church anymore! Ha ha!” Well, we still go to church so assumptions are made. Fine with me, obvious stupidity on the other side always benefits me.
    We see the same thing with AGW- if you “believe” then you simply must support a giant global tax hike. If you don’t support a giant global tax hike then we must assume you don’t believe. Luckily less than a third of America is dumb enough to buy that argument.

  • Keith Kloor

    Lewis Deane,

    Your panic is unwarranted. So is your claim that the book (and Chris) are fascistic.

    On my list of things to worry about, Chris’s book would…well not make the list.

    Kdk33 (27)

    It’s amusing that you favor nuanced discussions on religion and evolution but have no problem with sweeping statements of your own, such as this one in #2:

    I think this is even more evidence that liberalism is just a scam to seperate the public from their money (think green energy, department of educations, other such silliness).

  • Lewis Deane

    And, finally, how absurd to talk about the ‘left’ and the ‘right’, Republican and Democrat, when it comes to ‘environmentalism’ and the ‘Green Movement’. Only last week, the so called ‘Left Greens’ were feinting in ecstasy over a speech made by our Prince Charles about so called ‘food security’. In this country, ‘AGW’ is absolutely synonymous with the ‘Establishment’ and our ‘Republicans’, the Conservatives, have stated there ambition to be the ‘greenest government in history’. How would Mr Mooney put that in his pavlovian nonsense? It sometimes seems to me, in my own reductive moments, in this country, at least, that the so called ‘green movement’ is an unholy alliance, once again, between the petite bourgeois and what’s left of the landed aristocracy (both old and parvenu) against the productive, creative middle – progressive capitalism. But, of course, that is almost as simplistic and absurd.

  • Lewis Deane

    Keith, thanks for the re-assurance, though you are wrong about my characterisation of this book – for one must follow thoughts to their ultimate, logical result and the ‘thoughts’ expressed by this cretin lead to my characterisation. If one does not do so and is not vigilant to do so, all kinds of horrible things happen. That by the bye.What Chris Mooney is too obtuse to understand is that the Republicans’ stance on this issue is purely contingent and purely States side, ie, like all things in history, specific to a time and place. Hence, my damning counter-example, to Mooney, of the Tories here. It’s just absurd. And ironically, many of the so called neo-cons began as far left, Trotskyites! And Erlich on the right. It’s just absurd.

  • kdk33

    This :I think this is even more evidence that liberalism is just a scam to seperate the public from their money (think green energy, department of educations, other such silliness).is a “sweeping generalization”?  Really?  **-**I know we speak a slightly different english down here in the south, but I didn’t know it was that different.  The subject of the sentence, “this”, refers to Chris Mooney’s latest profanity that is  the subject of your post.  I can’t imagine how I could be more specific.  And I catagorize it as “more evidence”.  I don’t even draw a conclusion.**-**Oh well.  Communication is difficult.  I do, however, stand by my assertions that it is evidence of… well, what I said above.**-**As I also said:  “pro-social” is always interpreted through a selfish lens. 

  • Lewis Deane

    Keith, you might wish to read Ben piles’ Climate Resistance on this ridiculous obfuscation of a reductive ‘left’, ‘right’ dichotomy when it comes to ‘Green’ issues. It does not exist! It is childish.

  • Roddy Campbell

    Is it well established that people get more conservative as they age?  As in ‘no-one with a heart isn’t a socialist when young, no-one with a brain ….’Does Mooney offer any genetic explanation of this, or would he put it down to simple protection of their position, rather than, say, experience/induction?

  • Lewis Deane

    OK, I’ll calm down, grab hold of my heart and put it back in my breast. It is only that here in Europe everywhere one walks one cracks beneath ones feet the bones of history and it makes us  especially sensitive to even the whiff of a regression. In your ‘new’, ‘young’ country (not so young for the natives – but that is your charm and curse, that you are always young and naive!) you sometimes seem so distant from these things and history. But I look at my beautiful son and I always worry and must sometimes ‘panic’.

  • harrywr2

    #35
    Is it well established that people get more conservative as
    they age?  As in “˜no-one with a heart isn’t a socialist when young,
    no-one with a brain
    I don’t know how well that is established. I think I’m getting more ‘centrist’ as I age. Or at least have a better understanding of the other sides position. I don’t think you will find many ‘elderly’ that oppose ‘social security’.A world where ‘greed’ is the only driver is pretty ugly. Unfortunately,  if ‘greed’ is completely removed then ‘sloth’ takes over and that’s pretty ugly as well.

  • Roddy Campbell

    harrywr2 – I meant conservative in a traditional sense, which isn’t the same as opposing social security.  Mooney suggests that the ‘right’ (conservatives) are less willing to embrace/accept ‘new’ ideas:from the blog post linked by RPJr:‘As the new research suggests, conservatism is largely a defensive
    ideology “” and therefore, much more appealing to people who go through
    life sensitive and highly attuned to aversive or threatening aspects of
    their environments. By contrast, liberalism can be thought of as an
    exploratory ideology “” much more appealing to people who go through life
    trying things out and seeking the new.’
    It’s possible I suppose that the older are too exhausted to try new things, too cynical to believe them, too devoted to protecting their position and property to allow change.  It’s also possible that they’ve tried them and seen others try them and have learned not to, become more conservative by learning/induction.  Put bluntly, they’ve learned it’s bollocks  (as in we’re not all going to grow breasts because of animal growth hormones, and the fish in the Irish Sea aren’t mutating because of Sellafield’s nuclear leaks).But if my premise, that we grow more conservative, is false then I’m talking bollocks, which is fine too. I have no overall data, but plenty of anecdotal evidence.Hitchens writes in Hitch-22 of the slow slouch to the right that occurs in middle-age, and worries that he is a victim to this, he says, well-known phenomenon.  He would be an example I’d cite in anecdotal evidence.

  • Roddy Campbell

    tricky formatting isn’t itharrywr2 ““ I meant conservative in a traditional sense, which isn’t the
    same as opposing social security.  Mooney suggests that the “˜right’
    (conservatives) are less willing to embrace/accept “˜new’ ideas:from the
    blog post linked by RPJr:“˜As the new research suggests, conservatism is largely a defensive ideology “” and therefore, much more appealing to people who go through life sensitive and highly attuned to aversive or threatening aspects of their environments. By contrast, liberalism can be thought of as an exploratory ideology “” much more appealing to people who go through life
    trying things out and seeking the new.’
    It’s possible I suppose that
    the older are too exhausted to try new things, too cynical to believe
    them, too devoted to protecting their position and property to allow
    change.  It’s also possible that they’ve tried them and seen others try
    them and have learned not to, become more conservative by
    learning/induction.  Put bluntly, they’ve learned it’s bollocks  (as in
    we’re not all going to grow breasts because of animal growth hormones,
    and the fish in the Irish Sea aren’t mutating because of Sellafield’s
    nuclear leaks).But if my premise, that we grow more conservative, is
    false then I’m talking bollocks, which is fine too. I have no overall
    data, but plenty of anecdotal evidence.Hitchens writes in Hitch-22 of
    the slow slouch to the right that occurs in middle-age, and worries that
    he is a victim to this, he says, well-known phenomenon.  He would be an
    example I’d cite in anecdotal evidence.

  • Lewis Deane

    Yes, Roddy, but Hitch was, first, stopped in his tracks and, second, he was really never on anybodies ‘side’ but always a rebel! I like this old ditty : ” I live on my own, Have copied nobody even half; And to those who are afraid To laugh at themselves – I laugh!”

  • hr

    There is nothing more conservative than the modern day environmentalist whose whole outlook is centered around fear of the future. It sounds like that even in trying to identify political grouping he’s totally incorrect.The two quotes suggest to me that 1) He understands the dislike for deterministic arguments2)He can see the determinism in his arguments3)He’s preempting his critics by denying this.”The lady doth protest to much, methinks”

  • harrywr2

    #39But if my premise, that we grow more conservativeI know that I have grown more ‘centrist’ as I age. In hindsight some of the ‘new ideas’ were necessary and prudent’. Some were complete nonsense.I was really unhappy when the EPA took away my ability to adjust the carburetor on my car. Adjusting the fuel mixture ‘rich’ until black smoke came out the tailpipe then turning the ‘mixture screw’ 1/4 turn back worked for me. Now I have an EFI car…it starts up without having to mess with the choke in cold or hot weather, gets better fuel economy(save my wallet works for me) and doesn’t need adjusting at all.If I wipe my nose with a white handkerchief the handkerchief doesn’t turn black anymore as well.If I look at the last 100 years of history the most ‘egregious excesses’ of a ‘free market economy’ have been addressed.No one argues that we should go back to the days when no social safety net existed and we just let people starve or no environmental laws existed and the air was un-breathable and the water was undrinkable.We argue about the shape and size of the social safety net and how much environmental protection is enough.Compared to 80 years ago conservatives have moved left and liberals/socialists/communists have moved to the right.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I had a chance to speak with someone in the Obama administration who worked for Energy Secretary Steven Chu. She was quite peeved that I had the opportunity to work on the book about Climategate with my co-author Steven Mosher. ”How could you? Whose side are you on? You’re supposed to be a Democrat!” Pretty close to exact quotes, I think. She also said that several high level people read the book, which tickled my vanity no end.Any ways, she was wrong. I’m far too far to the left to really be a Democrat–I’m probably closer to a Fabian. But what I told her was that this is the only country where climate change is a partisan issue and I didn’t want to play.

  • MarkB

    What we have here is 21st century phrenology – a profoundly anti-scientific mindset. Science is far more than experiments and statistical analyses. In fact, the experiments and the analysis are just the necessary but trivial parts of science. The heart of science is found in the shaping of questions based on a rational understanding of observations. So before we do experiments to determine whether ideology can be biologically based, we need to convince ourselves that such a possibility makes sense, based on what we know for sure. And what do we know? We know that the United States has moved markedly to the left in current terms over the last few decades. Example – it’s not so long ago that gay Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank(!) was being sarcastically insulting to someone who had suggested that any movement towards gay acceptance would lead to gay marriage. Please note here that George Wallace won a plurality of votes in Presidential primary within the city of Boston not so long before the now-married Congressman Frank made the statement cited above. Now, ask yourself the essential scientific question: is it plausible that genetics can explain the changes in Massachusetts, from a George Wallace victory, to a gay Congressman, to a married gay Congressman, in a single lifetime? C’mon folks, this isn’t difficult. A fundamental of proper scientific practice holds that if you can’t make a rational argument for plausibility based on what you know without dispute, then testing a ‘hypothesis’ is a waste of time.

  • kdk33

    I’m far too far to the left to really be a Democrat”“I’m probably closer to a Fabian**-**Tom, I just want you to know that, when you are ready, I am here to help.

  • Matt Skaggs

    kdk33 wrote:

    “The lesson of the last century was to demonstrate that “pro-social” is always interpreted through a selfish lens.”

    Awesome! This perfectly captures how the right views the left. To admit that others are more compassionate and cooperative than yourself would be to admit that perhaps you are inferior in one respect, and of course that cannot be made to fit into your self image. So you project your own selfishness onto others, and make utterly ridiculous statements about what the left wants. In fact, you pepper lots of threads with embarrassing statements about how the left thinks. Your authority on how the left views the world is quite similar to someone who has been blind their entire life trying to describe colors.

  • Tom Scharf

    I agree with Mooney.  I most definitely live in a totally different reality than he does.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #27,

    “The claim that right-wingers “˜don’t believe in evolution’ is one I find dubious.”

    I agree. It’s only in the USA, and is only a subset, and is often in the form of scepticism rather than outright disbelief. I’ve come across plenty of conservatives who don’t care or who are atheist, and who are annoyed whenever the issue comes up, and I’ve come across a few left-wingers who have expressed doubts. There are plenty of religious lefties.

    I think American right-wingers often feel the same way about it that left-wingers do when Communism is brought up. The vast majority on the left are certainly no fans of Stalin’s Gulag, and pretty lukewarm about the people seizing the means of production from the Capitalist running dogs and redistributing it. Stuff like raising taxes on the rich to fund welfare and the international climate fund are a long way short of Marx’s revolution. They find the genuine Marxists annoying.

    But still, my main point stands – people only quibble about the science of evolution because it has become a proxy for politics, not because they are fundamentally unscientific, or mentally incapable.

    “Simple version: belief in evolution is too often a proxy for belief in God and both sides reacto accordingly.”

    Yes, that was my point. It’s more than belief in God, though, it’s a protest against the seccularisation of society’s values, particularly in school. The Vatican has affirmed Darwin, so it’s clearly not a God thing.

    On the few occasions I’ve been given a reason why, it is often because they believe religion is the foundation of morality, and it undermines their efforts to instil morality in their children for them to be required in school to express disbelief in tenets of their religion. Their concern is not primarily for ‘scientific truth’, but for freedom of belief and preventing the drift in society’s moral values.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #46,

    “To admit that others are more compassionate and cooperative than yourself…”

    Awesome! This perfectly captures how the left think about the right…

    The right don’t believe in ‘selfishness’ in the sense the left mean it. The right are concerned for the deserving poor of society – but they believe that the way to reduce poverty is to produce more wealth, and to enable the poor to produce wealth for themselves; it’s not to take wealth from those who produce it and give it for free to the poor who do not. That produces less in total to go round, and wastes a portion in the redistribution. Pushed to the extreme, you end up with nothing to go round and all of it wasted, and everybody being poor.

    People are motivated and guided to help others through trading reciprocal interests. People’s ‘selfishness’ tells you what they want, so you can help them the best way you can, so that in return they will help you. Trade amongst agents each looking for the best deal for themselves most efficiently matches people’s needs with other people’s skills and activities. The market is the most fantastic cooperative enterprise, and the one that has fed the starving, cured the sick, cleaned the environment, and built a world of science and technology and peaceful civilisation.

    But you can always go and see the alternative to this rampant uncooperative selfishness in North Korea.

  • Matt Skaggs

    NiV wrote:”But you can always go and see the alternative to this rampant uncooperative selfishness in North Korea.”If that is really what you think I must admit that I am incredulous.  North Korea is a totalitarian society that has nothing to do with this discussion.  Are you trying to bait me into invoking Somalia as a paradise of small government?Presumably you would rather not admit that Sweden and Germany would be better examples, since the working class is far better off in those countries than they are in the US.  There are plenty of would-be defectors in those countries just like you and kdk33, but the extent to which they can exploit others is mitigated by government policy.  The undeniable fact is that if the right were really concerned for the “deserving poor of society,” you would be pointing out that the US should benchmark against the countries that do better for their working poor.  Instead the right likes to ridicule the left for admiring the successes of the socialist democracies.”The market..has…cleaned the environment…”The environment has indeed been cleaned of resources, although I doubt that is what you meant.  Where I live,  unregulated market decisions have resulted in every single big old growth tree that can be reached without a helicopter being cut.  Every acre of verdant grassland that can be grazed for profit has been overgrazed down to cheat grass.  Every stream that can be dammed for profit has been dammed.  The free market is specifically designed to reward exploitation and penalize stewardship.   You want a free market because you are a defector in the game theory sense, and because I am a cooperator, I would prefer a regulated market that creates a rising tide that lifts all boats, instead of a society of big winners and big losers.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > I don’t think you will find many “˜elderly’ that oppose “˜social security’.

    Charles Koch did not seem to oppose much, if we’re to believe what he wrote to Friedrich Hayek:

    neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/19687551292

    Must be the age.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    If there are line feeds in this comment,
    the parser might be parsing
    XHTML only and thus ignores HTML’s BR code.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #50,North Korea was just the most extreme example of what happens if you let the left take control and exclude ‘selfish’ self-interest. There are plenty more. People being people, the only way to stop them acting in their own selfish interests is to force them – hence the Totalitarianism.You’re welcome to invoke Somalia, it doesn’t contradict the point. A free market is about people contracting to perform reciprocal services. Somalis cannot enforce contracts without law and order, and the strong take from the weak without returning anything in exchange. That’s not capitalism. Conservatives don’t support it.Sweden and Germany are strongly capitalist with strong GDPs, hence their success. Yes, they have strong welfare systems, but they pay the price for them, and take care to live within their means. Greece is a better example of the effects of European socialism – I hear the US is following them down the same road.Being concerned for the poor means wanting to give the poor the opportunity to become rich, by providing things other people want. Everybody producing means there’s more to go round for everyone.“Every acre of verdant grassland that can be grazed for profit has been overgrazed down to cheat grass.”Ah, yes. The famous tragedy of the commons. Which was historically solved by fencing the commons off and taking ownership of it.The commons was historically an early form of welfare – it allowed poor people with no land to graze animals on it for free. But because there was no reciprocity, because those on welfare could always take more without paying any price for it, they took more than the producers could produce, destroying the means of production. It was only when the land was owned that the owner was motivated to protect their source of income, and only lease it out to the optimal number of animals to maximise production, and hence profit.The selfishness of the landowner balances the selfishness of the grazers to maximise production and protect the land. Only when people can profit without producing do they allow productive land to be destroyed.

  • Keith Kloor

    @53 “Greece is a better example of the effects of European socialism.”

    Really, now? You either don’t know much about Greece, or willfully ignore why Greece is in the position it is today. For those less ideological, here is a pretty good recent analysis.

     

  • harrywr2

    #43But what I told her was that this is the only country where climate change is a partisan issue and I didn’t want to play.I think you will find climate change a partisan issue anywhere coal is  cheap. I.E. Less then $3.00/MMBtu.

  • Lewis Deane

    Willard, you amuse me. Who is Charles Koch? I know not him and care even less. What people are really interested in is what John Lennon called the truth – not ‘truth’, not your pseudo bullshit but what we Liverpudlians call the truth. No Kochs and robbers – just give us the truth?

  • Lewis Deane

    Keith, you are right, as usual, about Greece – nothing to do with ‘socialism’, whatever that is. More akin to Argentina’s financial disaster when they tried to peg the peso to the dollar?

  • Lewis Deane

    Keith, your ‘moderation policy’ is quite amusing – you tend to catch the second butterfly after the first one has already flown. Get a better net, my friend.

  • Lewis Deane

    And, indeed, what happened in Argentina, then, seems a kind of anticipation of what is happening to poor, old Greece. What I remember was that all the gold and valuables of Argentina were ‘evacuated’ to Monte Video. Now, the SNIP are calling the SNIP ‘lazy’ and, at the same time, robbing them blind, sorry, ‘repossessing’ their goods. Quelle irony!

  • Keith Kloor

    Lewis (59)

    No derogatory terms when referring to a people/ethnic group/etc. Keep it clean or go on moderation.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Lewis,

    Glad that you don’t know who is Charles Koch. Do you know Ayn Rand, then? I suppose you do.

    Some say that Ayn Rand received social security.

    Trying to find a source for this information, I stumbled upon this:

    Social Security is Immoral, an op-ed by Alex Epstein, on a site that commemorates Ayn Rand’s memory..

    You have to admit, Lewis, that harrywr2 had a point:

    < I don’t think you will find many “˜elderly’ that oppose “˜social security’.

    Thank you for your kind words,

  • stan

    Keith,There was nothing in the article from the Times that contradicted the claim about Greece being in the toilet because of politicians buying votes with social programs that are unsustainable.  Greece is a classic case of “works great until you run out of other people’s money.” The fact that the country is falling apart because no one wants to pay the piper is no refutation of the claim that the party cost way more than they could afford.  The politicians made promises of rich benefits for social programs that they couldn’t possibly keep.

  • stan

    61,There is absolutely nothing immoral or hypocritical about being against the adoption of a government program and then participating in the program after you lose the political contest.  I oppose the monstrosity of Obamacare, but if the country is stuck with it I do not intend to do without medical care.Let’s try a simple sports example.  As owner of a football team you are against a proposed rule change to add a fifth down.  You lose the vote and the 5th down is part of the game.  I don’t think you are going to punt on 4th down because you think the rule is stupid.  You’ll play by the current existing rules, even as you work diligently to get the rule change repealed.Or let’s use Warren Buffett who keeps lobbying for a change in the tax laws that would make him pay higher taxes.  Yet, he doesn’t voluntarily pay more.  He takes every deduction, exemption, expense and depreciation available.  In fact, he has been fighting with the IRS over a tax bill for years!  He wants everyone to pay more in taxes, but he is trying to avoid paying the taxes the IRS says are due.  Not hypocritical (as long as he has a valid defense against the IRS).

  • kdk33

    Poor Matt,Where I live,  unregulated market decisions have resulted in every single big old growth tree that can be reached without a helicopter being cut.  Every acre of verdant grassland that can be grazed for profit has been overgrazed down to cheat grass.  Every stream that can be dammed for profit has been dammed.  **-**I’m curious to know what government mandated perversion of the free market led to the abuses you describe.  How horrible.  My sympathies. **-**Of course, the free market is here to correct the real crimes.  The overgrazing rancher and over-harvesting forester are now out of business.  They will be replaced.  The ranchers and foresters who stay will have better practices – the free market demands it.Now, “old growth” trees implies a value judgement as does daming streams.  Trees are a resource to be harvested.  Water a resource to be managed.  The noble wilds are a romantic but impractical notion.The free market is specifically designed to reward exploitation and penalize stewardship.   **-**On the contrary, the free market demands stewardship.  The penalty for exploitation is (business) death. **-** I hear the national parks in Europe put Yosemite and Yellostone to shame.

  • jeffn

    #54- KK, I’m just dying to know what you think the problem identified in that analysis analysis was if not European Socialism. Where do you think that unsustainable debt came from? Thatcher was right, the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples’ money. Greece just did and, oddly enough, Germans don’t want to work 10-hour days to let Greeks work four hour days at a government job that allows them to retire at age 50.
    Greece’s problem is two-fold: first, they didn’t have enough kids to cover the pension plans they gave themselves and, secondly, like all good socialists they just assumed that somebody would pick up the tab for anything the felt like ordering at the free-lunch cafe. Well, here’s the bill. Explain why you think Germany should pay it.

  • Keith Kloor

     jeffn,

    There a plenty of other countries in Europe with governments that have aspects of socialism. Greece is only one. Others are doing just fine, even thriving. 

    So why would the problems of one country on the verge of collapse be attributed to “European socialism”? Anyone with any familiarity of Greece knows that it has longstanding institutional and governance problems that have little to do with socialism. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > There is absolutely nothing immoral or hypocritical about being against the adoption of a government program and then participating in the program after you lose the political contest.

    If participating in something one finds immoral is not immoral, one is left to wonder what kind of morality one has, and why he appeals to morality in the first place.

  • Lewis Deane

    Absurd, Keith, how did I use derogatory terms – you obviously don’t know what are polite terms. Which exactly are the terms I used. They were not ‘derogatory’ but exact and for you not to know that and bleep my post is more shame on your ignorance, not mine. Get an education.

  • Lewis Deane

    Sorry, Keith, I meant not to know that! Doh!

  • Lewis Deane

    Greece’s problems have nothing to do with any ideology but rather a very, very long history. Does one think the ‘bail out’, the ‘rescue’ has anything to do with ‘ideology’? But, no, you think the reason for it is because of a ‘socialist’ profligacy? How absurd when it was obviously about the flood of credit dictated by the ECB. To whose benefit was this bankrupting ‘flood of credit’? What do you think it bought? German goods. They robbed and bankrupted the southern states of Europe for the benefit of the North and especially Germany. That has nothing to do with ‘socialism’. If you don’t understand Political Economy and history then you have little to say!

  • Sashka

    Keith, Greece is one. Spain, Italy and Portugal are others. Striving is Norway which doesn’t count because it’s due to oil, not socialism. But I think that when people are cursing European socialism they don’t really mean safety net or affordable health care. They mean uncontrollable bureaucracies and systems that encourages laziness. 

  • steven mosher

     Let’s see. I oppose the government taking my money for my retirement. I lose that fight politically and the government takes my money. Now I retire. How is it immoral to participate in social security when I opposed it? Simple, willard. It’s utterly consistent to oppose the act of taking what isnt yours and then accepting it back when its offered.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Watch the pea under the thimble:

    > I oppose the government taking my money for my retirement.

    This rewording hides the reason. One possible reason would be to claim, Alex Epstein does, that social security is immoral. It would be interesting to see if Ayn Rand said something regarding the morality of social security.

    > I oppose the government taking my money for my retirement.

    One way this opposition can be done is through a rational discussion. In such a discussion, one would have to provide reasons to oppose to social security. One possible reason, as Alex Epstein tries to argue, is that it’s immoral.

    > I lose that fight politically and the government takes my money.

    > How is it immoral to participate in social security when I opposed it?

    By claiming that social security is immoral to fight politically, for instance.

    If one only abides by logical consistency, one ought not appeal to morality in one’s political fight.

    Simples.

    To “fight politically” is an expression that deserves due diligence.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Let’s rewrite that end:

    > How is it immoral to participate in social security when I opposed it?

    By claiming, in one’s political fights, that social security is immoral, for instance.

    If one only abides by logical consistency, one ought not appeal to morality in one’s political fight.

    Simples.

    To “fight politically” is an expression that deserves due diligence.

  • Lewis Deane

    Keith, am I still in moderation? I can’t really see anything too embarrassing I might have written and my last disappeared (what a weighted word!) comment I wrote is, more or less, in agreement with you. Which said, Greece’s ‘tragedy’ has absolutely nothing to do with the particular hue of Greece’s government. (I think, ever since I had the cheek to upbraid you on your article on Megan McArdale, you’ve become a bit worried about me. But you’ll notice, not since, what I like to call, ‘the Tobis affair’, when I talked about Pot and all that, have I really misbehaved. Perhaps I’m just irritating to you, which I understand, since I feel the same.)

  • Lewis Deane

    Willard, Ayn Rand (what a name!) – isn’t she some kind of tedious writer who thinks there are ‘supermen’ (ubermensch) and ‘little men’ (untermensch) – some ‘friend’ once gave me a book of hers and, before I gave it up, I thought how much it reminds me of the ‘venerable’ Marquis de Sade’s 101 Days of Sodomy! Tedious, in extremis! (Or is it 1001 days?)

  • Roddy Campbell

    Lewis, you’re confusing sodomy and dalmatians I think.  Easily done.

  • Lewis Deane

    Easily done, Roddy, easily done!

  • Lewis Deane

    Roddy, I just realise you already stole my fire – I should read better  - what happened to being the ‘straight man’ to ones incredible wit! The young today.

  • Lewis Deane

    However, I bet you haven’t tried to actually read de Sade? I did, in my young days, for in the middle of his book is about 70 pages of pretty tendentious, if weired, political philosophy, just prior to that awful aristo-cide (the first real ‘-cide’ in history, in the modern sense of that term, and the anticipation of all the rest). If I’d had any lingering ‘romanticism” about that dire escapade, which I didn’t, it certainly cured me!

  • Lewis Deane

    Sorry, Keith, you were right – the word I used for Germans is, strictly speaking, derogatory, though the term I used for Greeks is not. We, in England, use the K word so often it becomes second nature – but we have history. So, I apologise for the offence and for taking umbrage at your reprimand – lesson learnt.

  • BBD

    Lewis Deane: We, in England, use the K word so often it becomes second nature ““ but we have history. I’d say you are bordering on being offensive again. Approximate  total US military deaths during WWII: 416,000; total UK military deaths 383,800. So about an equal number of young lives terminated then – I don’t like to play around with numbers like these. And while the US was late to join the European conflict, there is no doubt the Allies would have lost if it had not done so.

  • Roddy Campbell

    Lewis – yes, I re-read Justine every now and then, it’s not so bad.

  • Roddy Campbell

    OK – FABULOUSLY relevant-to-this-post book review of Jonathan Haidt’s book here http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2012/03/haidt-weird-liberals-righteous-mind-america/Couple of money quotes:One of my most politically liberal friends read this book and declared
    his world view to be transformed. Not that he was no longer a liberal
    but now “he couldn’t be so rude about the other side, because I
    understand where they’re coming from.”As Haidt puts it: “It’s as though conservatives can hear five octaves of
    music, but liberals respond to just two, within which they have become
    particularly discerning.” This does not mean that liberals are
    necessarily wrong but it does mean that they have more trouble
    understanding conservatives than vice versa.

  • Roddy Campbell

    If someone could explain how to insert line break or new para that would be kind.

  • Roddy Campbell
  • Lewis Deane

    BBD, I think offence might be taken more with you – who is comparing numbers? – I was talking about feelings, that reflexive response to history that is there. The only distinction I was making – and I, in no way, wanted anyone to understand me as claiming some kind of ‘privileged’ suffering - was the UK’s proximity to the continent and all it’s terrible weight of history. That proximity means something, doesn’t it? Or is that mere sentiment and if it is wence the sentiment? I live, for now, in an old seaside sleepy town, amongst the ‘aged’ and I listen, constantly listen. But this is all by the bye and ‘history’. The question I ask myself, and I think you ask, too, is do I want the Chris Mooneys of the world to command that future that for our children will also be history?

  • Lewis Deane

    Btw, BBD, did you ‘sum’ the Sub Continent (India etc), Canada, Autralia etc to your rote?

  • stan

    John Podhoretz writes something that applies in spades to the climate debate:The panicked reception in the mainstream media of the three-day Supreme Court health-care marathon is a delightful reminder of the nearly impenetrable parochialism of American liberals. They’re so convinced of their own correctness “” and so determined to believe conservatives are either a) corrupt, b) stupid or c) deluded “” that they find themselves repeatedly astonished to discover conservatives are in fact capable of a) advancing and defending their own powerful arguments,  b) effectively countering weak liberal arguments and c) exposing the soft underbelly of liberal self-satisfaction as they do so. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/supreme_shock_for_la_la_libs_LkWBvHWTzeCs4gvA3hdHKJ#ixzz1qV8qEJlE  

  • Lewis Deane

    Roddy, there is some problem with Keith’s blog and the code for the commentary – Keith is trying to sort it out. But para and formatting won’t work properly, for now.

  • Lewis Deane

    I don’t know if this matters, BBD, but my wife and child are Czech and we used to live just next to Schindlers biggest factory, in Brnenec. That is what I mean by ‘walking on bones’. It reminds me of what Nietzsche said, when he was going mad: “You merely observe the coach from your window – I am the coach”

  • Lewis Deane

    #83 Lo’ a’ laughs, as the lumpen swine say around here (we shoot peasants - yes, you read that right – for dinner).

  • Lewis Deane

    And, BBD, I understand your wish to be fair but the per capita count? And what did the US make us pay for ‘winning the war’, which white G.I.Joe did all by himself, as far as your country commonly understands? Where are the Sikhs, the Hindus, the, yes, Muslims and the ‘Afro-Caribbeans’ and, finally, your ‘Afro-Americans’, if that’s still the correct term (?) in your ‘Private Ryan’ nonsense, where is their calculus? No, I don’t think I’m, at least intentionally, being insulting but if I am, it’s only because I’m trying to remember what everyone else seems to want to forget.

  • Lewis Deane

    Roddy Campbell (is that a Scot I detect? You know you are our terrifying enemies – I tell my kid every night “Avoid those barbarian Scots” but the silly moo, he likes his friends to much – will they ever learn!), yes, Justine is not that weird, though weird enough. I prefer a different ‘Justine’, by Durrel, and part of his ‘Alexandria Quartet’. The latter, after the former, is pure, clean mountain streams!

  • BBD

    Lewis: enough bluster. YOU used the K-word. Then YOU said the US lacked ‘history’ compared to the UK wrt WWII. I stand by my comment. Perhaps you should reconsider yours.

  • BBD

    And re your equally unjustifiable # 93, I had a long look at this before making my original response. Wind your neck in, Lewis.

  • Lewis Deane

    Fallen down – and last night, bashed about:To forgive, is what you meant: a step on a boneAnd that is ‘history. To forget is what you meantFor nothing can unwrite what is written andToo much has been written – let us examine ourselves, Let us go forward and walk in the ragged streetsWith our ragged trousers and our ragged smilesLet us say “hello”, “Thankyou” and “Please”.

  • Lewis Deane

    BBD, I did not say ‘ the US lacks history’ – perhaps I’m a bit cavalier with my prose – if you thought that, then I apologise. I was thinking of that ‘youngness’ that is Whitman’s country, that for ever vibrancy that makes it a ‘western light’, a lantern held by Madame Liberty. It means, that one must forget as much as one must remember – this the US’s great virtue, this is why millions and millions of people have sought refuge there and found it and continue to. America is our poem of hope and we will always write her (if the US didn’t exist, we would have to invent it). BBD, forgive my callous ‘poetry’, it is not meant.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > If someone could explain how to insert line break or new para that would be kind.

    Here it is again:

    In the editor, click on the blue brackets, next to the red X
    Write your post.
    At the end of each line, add the XHTML code for linebreak: <br />

    I believe one can add all the XHTML gamut, but I have not tested it.

    Best of luck!

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    One can’t add all the XHTML gamut: I’ve tried an ordered list above, and have no numbers.

  • Sashka

    Trying the br recipe. Expect line break here.

    Let’s see if it worked.

  • Sashka

    Great! Thanks willard!

  • jorge c.

    Mr.Lewis Deane (#59) Monte Video don’t exist! The correct name is Montevideo… Yes, I know, it is pedantic and O/T, but it is the name of my own city! sorry…

  • Lewis Deane

    Sorry, Jorge, my ignorance. As Homer in the Simpsons says (my lad loves this) doh!

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Lewis,

    Yes, Ayn Rand is that, and more. See for instance:

    Mr. Greenspan met Rand when he was 25 and working as an economic forecaster. She was already renowned as the author of “The Fountainhead,” a novel about an architect true to his principles. Mr. Greenspan had married a member of Rand’s inner circle, known as the Collective, that met every Saturday night in her New York apartment. Rand did not pay much attention to Mr. Greenspan until he began praising drafts of “Atlas,” which she read aloud to her disciples, according to Jeff Britting, the archivist of Ayn Rand’s papers. He was attracted, Mr. Britting said, to “her moral defense of capitalism.”

    Harriet Rubin, Ayn Rand’s Literature of Capitalism

    Aside the beautifully crafted band name The Collective, I believe the operative word in that extract is “moral”.

    Alan Greenspan recently came to realize that might have put a little too much faith in invisible hands.

  • hunter

    Chris Mooney and Peter Gleick share much in common: corruption, a lack of ethics, historical illiteracy, extremist excuses to abandon rational and reasonable discourse.Perhaps Chris can co-author a book with Keith Farnish and outline a final solution to deal with the genetically deficient?http://www.farnish.plus.com/amatterofscale/timesup.htmwillard,The only that went wrong in the mid-2000′s is that the government simultaneously stopped enforcing laws and imposed demands on the private sector to make loans that should not have been made.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Hunter,

    Frontline made an interesting video about the Greenspan years:

    The Warning

    The storyline is about:

    Brooksley Born, who speaks for the first time on television about her failed campaign to regulate the secretive, multitrillion-dollar derivatives market whose crash helped trigger the financial collapse in the fall of 2008.

    This should show that some audits matter more than others.

    It might not be the best of time to sell invisible hands.

  • kdk33

    So government failed to intervene in the derivatives market it created in the first place by forcing banks to make bad loans.**-**A sound argument for more regulation.  To save us from the greedy bankers – too greedy to make bad loans until forced too, and then too greedy to stop, or something like that.  It’s hard to keep up.

  • BBD

    kdk33: A sound argument for more regulation. I thought you were agin’ regulation :-)

  • harrywr2

    #107 Willard,

    This should show that some audits matter more than others.It might not be the best of time to sell invisible handsThe most politically powerful group in the US is the Realtors. They have a lot of help in that a ‘healthy’ real estate market makes for a ‘healthy’ economy. Politicians don’t vote to slow down the real estate market…ever. Every bank in the US has been regulated as to the quality of their loan portfolio ever since the ‘Great Depression’.The regulators and the over-site committees in the US Senate and Congress could have easily put the breaks on the derivative market.A banking ‘magical hand’ that would allow people to buy homes at ‘reduced interest’ rates with ‘no money’ down was just too good for politicians to pass up.As is always the case when politicians ‘take a gamble’ that doesn’t work out they claim ‘ignorance’ or ‘deception’. I.E. Bush Lied…I.E. We didn’t know what the banks were doing.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #106,

    You might find this interesting.

    http://www.rossmckitrick.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/us_financial_crisis.rm.pdf

    Your brief description has merit, but I would have described it somewhat differently. The politicians for political reasons forced the banks into making unsafe loans, and backed them with government guarantees and exemptions from regulation to quiet the banks’ objections. The banks complied and then off-loaded the loans as fast as they could, wrapping them in complex derivatives and insurance schemes to disguise the risks. The infusion of new money these loans represented into the housing market fuelled a bubble, the profits from which kept the whole scheme going. And a few idiots in the financial industry took advantage of the government guarantees and lax oversight to take advantage and boost it far beyond what government stupidity had demanded, in what would be counted as obvious scams and frauds if the politicians hadn’t relaxed the rules to make the realisation of their political dreams possible.

    Regulation of one sort caused the crisis, and lack of regulation of another sort made it worse.

    #107,

    The invisible hand works fine if it’s left alone; but if it’s nudged by government’s elbow, the ultimate effects are uncontrollable.

    Ayn Rand’s philosophy was primarily informed by what happened in her native Russia, and she was warning of the consequences if the same sentiments of welfare entitlement were allowed to spread elsewhere, as they were doing. Those same sentiments she warned of were at the root of the financial crash; the same blindness to the balance between means and needs. She’d probably feel sadly vindicated to see the consequences coming out so close to the way she predicted.

  • BBD

    Anyone interested in Rand’s ‘philosophy’ may find this recent piece by George Monbiot of interest. It begins:It has a fair claim to be the ugliest philosophy the post-war world has
    produced. Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and
    compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the
    rich deserve unmediated power. It has already been tested, and has
    failed spectacularly and catastrophically. Yet the belief system
    constructed by Ayn Rand, who died 30 years ago today, has never been
    more popular or influential.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #112,Monbiot? Co-founder of RESPECT? Well known advocate for socialist causes of precisely the sort Rand was warning against?Well, to paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies, he would say that, wouldn’t he? :-)

  • BBD

    And he would be correct… :-)

  • BBD

    American readers may find this interesting (from the Monbiot piece; emphasis added): Rand’s is the philosophy of the psychopath, a misanthropic fantasy of
    cruelty, revenge and greed. Yet, as Gary Weiss shows in his new book
    Ayn Rand Nation, she has become to the new right what Karl Marx once was
    to the left: a demi-god at the head of a chiliastic cult. Almost
    one-third of Americans, according to a recent poll, have read Atlas
    Shrugged, and it now sells hundreds of thousands of copies every
    year.

    Ignoring Rand’s evangelical atheism, the Tea Party movement has taken
    her to its heart. No rally of theirs is complete without placards
    reading “Who is John Galt?” and “Rand was right”. Ayn Rand, Weiss
    argues, provides the unifying ideology which has “distilled vague anger
    and unhappiness into a sense of purpose.” She is energetically promoted
    by the broadcasters Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santelli. She is
    the guiding spirit of the Republicans in Congress.

  • hunter

    BBD,Comparing Ayn Rand to Marx is fun but a farcical excercise.Where are the millions killed in her name?

  • hunter

    BBD,Moonbat’s lack of comprehension of Rand is no reason to condemn Ayn Rand. He is no more right about Rand than he is about climate.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #117,

    Monbiot comprehends Rand well enough to be scared of what might happen if enough people read her books, and therefore to write hyperbolic screeds declaring her a psychopath in favour of cruelty, revenge, and greed. Guardian readers like BBD are duly warned: do not read Rand’s books at peril of your soul. Flee the soulless cultists who do, for lo, they are members of the Tea Party. The end of the world is nigh; a third of Americans are already secret members of her zombie army, and her disembodied spirit floats above the Republican party like the burning Eye of Sauron.

    On the whole, I find BBD’s reaction heartening. When people go off the deep end like that about something, it makes other people curious to know what all the fuss is about.

    Right or wrong, the book is clearly significant, and intelligent people will therefore want to know what is in it and why it is important – if only to be able to argue convincingly against it. And maybe some small fraction of those new readers will go “hmmm…”. I don’t think any recommendation I could give could be as powerful as BBD’s desperate, passionate opposition.

  • kdk33

    Tea party derangement syndrome.  It’s rather common.

  • hunter

    NiV,It is disturbing to think that someone who is so easily deceived could be correct regarding nuke power. But I am re-reading some excellent SF by Scottish writer Ken Macleod who is at once openly communist, an active biologist, and manages to make sympathetic characters out of Trotskyists. Wonders never cease.

  • BBD

    The usual suspects console each other with empty words. Oh, and NIV – I’m not a Guardian reader. I read GM’s blog though. One finds interesting things there, like his spot-on excoriation of Rand.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #121,

    OK, let’s test that. Give me in your own words a quick summary of Rand’s philosophy, as a believer in that philosophy might explain it, to show that you actually understand what you’re criticising.

    So far all I’ve seen is a load of nonsense about altruism being evil and the poor deserving to die. You can’t seriously believe that’s going to get any sort of popular approval from a third of America – unless you’ve got some odder ideas about Americans than I think you have. So do you know what the philosophy is, to be capable of judging Monbiot “spot on”?

  • BBD

    Rand believes that ‘every man is an end in himself’. No masters, no slaves. Rational self-interest at an individual level; free-market capitalism at the macroeconomic level. Government regulation of enterprise is wrong. The market will decide what is best and all will benefit accordingly. Utter, utter bollocks. The market creates oligarchies which are self-serving and exploitative.  ‘Objectivism’ claims morality for capitalism, which couldn’t be further from the objective, demonstrable facts Rand claims as the foundation for her reasoning. Capitalism is intrinsically amoral and self-serving and destructively unrestrained unless regulated. Arguing that markets correct themselves while conveniently ignoring the damage they do in the process is hideously partial. As Monbiot correctly observes, only the extreme right finds this sort of thing appealing. Everybody else recoils in horror. Disagree? Explain why only the right wingers take Rand to their bosom and everyone else is derisive.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #123,

    Good start.

    Why do believers in free markets think the market can decide what is best and all benefit accordingly?

  • BBD

    NIV: Do I look like a performing monkey? Set out your own exposition.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #125,

    Thank you. As I suspected.

  • BBD

    Set out your own exposition. I will not allow you to direct this exchange because I understand how you operate. If you want to defend Rand, get on and do it.

  • kdk33

    Explain why only the right wingers take Rand to their bosom and everyone else is derisive.  **-**  Because everyone else is wrong.  Was that a serious question? 8*-**Capitalism is intrinsically amoral and self-serving **-** No, but ‘wealth redistribution’, taking from those that earned and giving to those that didn’t is.**-** unless regulated**-** Yes, of course, by the ever steady, atlruistic hand of government.  Please.**-**The market creates oligarchies which are self-serving and exploitative.  **-** Yes, that explains all those Russian fellows.  I always wondered.**-**Government regulation of enterprise is wrong. **-**  And you started out so well.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #127,

    I just did defend Rand. I did it by demonstrating that the main
    critic here doesn’t understand the theory they’re criticising. Fairly
    obviously, I wanted you to duck out at the earliest opportunity;
    that’s how I was going to make my point. Considering some of the recent
    debates that you’ve cheerfully pursued ad nauseam, it surely shows some
    insight into your thinking to have chosen a tactic here that would work
    so quickly, eh?

    Actually, Rand is not a particularly good example for explaining free market principles. I’d have chosen Bastiat’s Sophisms for that, to start with.

    #128,

    In case you missed it on the other threads. To get separate paragraphs: type your comment, switch to html view (the blue < > button) and then insert two linefeeds at the end of every paragraph (marked with a </p> tag).

  • BBD

    NIV: All defence of free-market capitalism is selective and partial and favours the interests of those advancing it. Which is why they do it. As for ‘ducking out’, I’m unwilling to revisit a topic done to death when I was an undergraduate 25 years ago. The conclusion remains the same: see #123.

  • BBD

    NIV: I just did defend Rand. I did it by demonstrating that the main critic here doesn’t understand the theory they’re criticising. Fairly obviously, I wanted you to duck out at the earliest opportunity; that’s how I was going to make my point. One has to smile. Perhaps you are a politician in real life. If the summary of Objectivism I provided at # 123 demonstrated that I didn’t understand it, why did you call it a ‘good start’? You claim to have defended Rand, but you have not. Despite being asked to do so twice.

  • BBD

    I do enjoy watching you work: Considering some of the recent debates that you’ve cheerfully pursued ad nauseam, it surely shows some insight into your thinking to have chosen a tactic here that would work so quickly, eh? What I was pursuing ad nauseam was your coherent, robust and referenced scientific argument in support of your scepticism. You would not provide one, which resulted in a farcically elongated exchange. Your ability to misrepresent is impressive, but this can only go one way. You are a very sharp operator, so I know you know this.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #131,

    “If the summary of Objectivism I provided at # 123 demonstrated that I didn’t understand it, why did you call it a “˜good start’?”

    Because it was like offering the ‘contents’ page of a book as a summary of the book. What I was trying to check was whether you understood the arguments made in favour of the philosophy sufficiently to be able to identify their flaws, addressing the actual arguments being made rather than the many strawman distortions that opponents make. Instead, you offer a handful of conclusions, and then make various assertions against them that don’t address or refute any of the arguments made in favour, but simply repeat the dogma of the left. As I suspected, you know only the strawmen.

    Rand’s philosophy has a number of peculiar elements that make it quite complex to analyse – but the one you seemed to be primarily disagreeing with was that the free market could be generally beneficial, which is pretty standard. That’s from a far older school of economics, and more easily dealt with in pure economic terms than mixing in Rand’s Romanticism. That’s why I suggested Bastiat as a basis for discussion – the arguments are much more accessible there.

    But it’s up to you. I wasn’t really expecting you to debate the point – I just wanted to demonstrate that the objections were not based on any firm understanding of the arguments being objected to. Please, feel free to say I’m being unreasonable and drop it.

  • BBD

    If you actually set out why you believe the free market to be universally beneficial, we might be on to something. I have explained why I believe it is not at # 123.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #134,

    Have you ever read Bastiat?

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20161

  • BBD

    Actually NIV, I owe you a certain debt of gratitude. You have become the inspiration for a bedtime story I tell my little boy. It’s called The Waffleosaurus. This is a dangerous animal that became the top Cretaceous predator by confusing its prey. As it advanced for the kill, it distracted its victim by asking questions like ‘is indigo more blue than purple?’ and ‘why does smelly cheese taste nice?’ etc. He loves it.

  • BBD

    No, I haven’t read Bastiat. Just tell me why you believe free-market capitalism to be universally beneficial. Or if it isn’t, say so.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #136,

    Delighted to be of service.
    :-)

  • Nullius in Verba

    #137,

    Because it’s based on the collective reciprocity of people’s respective needs and means. People’s desires for the aid of others are expressed in what they’re willing to pay, and the costs to them of giving that aid in the price they demand. People trade when both parties benefit, each receiving something more valuable to them than they give. And in a free market, they are each free to seek out the set of trades of greatest benefit, and even to offer such optimisation as a service where gathering the information has a cost.

    If anyone seeks to take more, somebody can always profit by undercutting them. And each person benefits from every trade they partake in, or else they would not trade. Everyone is motivated to contribute to society as best they can by the greater returns they receive.

    Any alternative means trades being forced that would not otherwise be made, and trades being prevented that would otherwise profit both parties, which thereby involve a net loss to society. Restrictions of trade always enforce scarcity over abundance. Scarcity always hurts society, and the poor in society the most.

    And free marketeers are equally opposed to protectionism by the rich producers and employers, restrictions designed to maintain their grip on the markets, and exclude superior competition. Marx was a fan of Bastiat for that reason, although he misunderstood other elements. The theory is not inherently right-wing.

  • BBD

    Understood at (139) but I have been speed-reading on Bastiat (I extend you this courtesy ;-)   ) and it is illuminating. B. – who died in 1850 – argues that the free market requires perfect knowledge to operate efficiently: “what is seen and what is not seen”. Of course. But in reality consumers do not have perfect knowledge. We cannot claim to separate self-interest from selfishness. We do not know (or perhaps refuse to acknowledge) the full, eventual, impact of our consumer demand on ourselves* (those externalities again). The market exists on this basis and is similarly myopic in its perception of self-interest and selfishness. It does not acknowledge the true consequences of its actions. If B. were alive today, based on his own reasoning, he would be a strong advocate for decarbonising the global economy. Pertinently, I didn’t know that it was B. who introduced the concept of opportunity cost. Thank you for the nudge. *Our our descendants – it’s unclear how self-interest parses this.

  • BBD

    Interestingly, I tried the blue brackets again with the double </p> rather than willard’s suggested xhtml and it didn’t work.

  • BBD

    I should have said: The market exists on this basis and is similarly myopic in its
    perception of self-interest and selfishness. It does not acknowledge the
    true consequences of its actions *because it is us writ large*.

  • BBD

    If anyone seeks to take more, somebody can always profit by undercutting them. So I reduce the price of my product by underpaying my workforce (I know, wild hypothesising). So do my competitors. The workers cannot switch to another employer because underpayment is endemic. I benefit. They do not. Enlightened self-interest, or selfishness?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #140,

    “B. ““ who died in 1850 ““ argues that the free market requires perfect knowledge to operate efficiently”

    Yes. He was wrong about that. But Hayek only corrected that fairly recently.

    Hayek says that the ‘perfect information’ argument only applies to a static market, in equilibrium. The point about a dynamic market is the way it adjusts, which is by price signalling. Prices convey precisely the information needed to make the optimal adjustment without perfect knowledge. You don’t need to know the market, you only need to know the current price, and whether you can make a profit at it.

    But a good catch.

    #141,

    “I tried the blue brackets again with the double </p>”

    Not double </p>, you have to press ‘Enter’ twice, to leave a blank line, after the </p>.

    #143,

    If there are fewer trained workmen than the market will bear, competitors can profit by paying more and getting the best staff. Those that don’t will go out of business. Or the workforce can set up in business for themselves. If there are too many workers for the market, the low pay forces them to switch trades and produce something that people want more, which benefits society as a whole more. Underpaying in an industry can only be sustained if there is an over-supply of labour, to which the right answer is not to keep people producing goods nobody wants, but to restructure.

    But that was a good answer that actually addressed the arguments made. Well done.

  • BBD

    If there are fewer trained workmen than the market will bear, competitors can profit by paying more and getting the best staff. Encouraging news for ‘knowledge workers’ but of little use to the globalised workforce on the production line endemically underpaid and without any escape route from the exploitation. You have leapt away from the point at # 143. As ever, those who argue for the ‘free market’ do so to defend their own advantage. To wit: Prices convey precisely the information needed to make the optimal adjustment without perfect knowledge. You don’t need to know the market, you only need to know the current price, and whether *you* can make a profit at it. And sod the exploited workforce and the externalised cost to the environment. Why you cannot see the gaps in your argument mystifies me.

  • harrywr2

    #143So I reduce the price of my product by underpaying my workforce
    (I know, wild hypothesising). So do my competitors. The workers cannot
    switch to another employer because underpayment is endemic. I benefit.
    They do not.
    By reducing the price of your product that gives your customers(some of whom may be your employees)  excess money to spend on additional products which will create additional demand for workers.If you chose to spend your profits that also causes additional demand for workers. If you chose to put your profit in the bank that reduces the cost of capital to other potential competitors.The system breaks if you put your profits under your mattress..because that reduces the supply of money.

  • BBD

    You are doing an NIV By reducing the price of your product that gives your
    customers(some of whom may be your employees)  excess money to spend on
    additional products which will create additional demand for workers
    . A cheaper bed in Nevada improves the lot of the underpaid production line worker in China how, exactly?

  • harrywr2

    #147,A cheaper bed in Nevada improves the lot of the underpaid production line worker in China how, exactly?It means I have money left over to buy a souvenir,also made in China.At some point the demand for labor outstrips supply.Yesterdays news from Chinahttp://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2012-03/05/content_14752886.htm

    BEIJING – China’s working population is expected to stop growing next year……Average labor costs in China rose by more than 20 percent in 2011. “Its increase rate is likely to continue shooting up this year because the economy is expected to expand at a relatively high pace,”

  • BBD

    harrywr2: It means I have money left over to buy a souvenir, also made in China. *You* have money left over to buy more stuff. Cheaply, 'competitively' produced by someone underpaying their workforce in China. Your increased discretionary spend depends on someone else being screwed. Thought experiment: if free markets are universally beneficial, why not swap places with a factory worker in China?

  • kdk33

    of little use to the globalised workforce on the production line endemically underpaid and without any escape route from the exploitation.

    Leftest drivel. The enslaved worker. Here in the world of grown ups, if you don’t like your job you can get another. If you cannot get another, then you need to upgrade your skills. If you are not willing to upgrade your skills or look for a better job, but want to bitch and moan about markets: tough.

    Wages signal to the workforce which skills and jobs society values. You have to provide value to earn a wage. Isn’t it romantic to think workers are entitled to a wage regardless of their contribution and that we can legislate such a thing with no regard to the delitorious effects on society as a whole – kind of taking away from the earners and giving to the non-contributers, but that is where I started in this discussion.

    Yes, it is nice to dream. California dreaming.

  • kdk33

    Paragraphs.

    Wow.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #145,

    I’d first like to say I’m impressed. I had thought you would continue to dodge discussing the real arguments at all, but you haven’t. I was wrong about that.

    “but of little use to the globalised workforce on the production line
    endemically underpaid and without any escape route from the
    exploitation.”

    Actually, they’re mostly not underpaid for the skills they have, this is their escape route from the alternative, which was worse, and better routes of escape will appear as they gain the education, skills and organisation they need.

    If the workforce was not profiting by the arrangement, they wouldn’t work. Before the cities and factories came along, they didn’t – they were subsistence farmers, which is a difficult and risky life. In the cities they lived as beggars and trash-pickers and prostitutes, which was a step up from subsistence farming. And then the workshops and factories came along, providing a reliable income, at jobs that require no education, and far more money than everybody in the neighbourhood has got. You can feed a family on a factory-worker’s wage. You can buy an education.

    For trends, see Hans Rosling here: http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html This is what the factories and sweatshops have brought them. In fifty years time, they will be where we are. Not on our charity, but through their own efforts and capabilities.

    People always want it to happen instantly, but an industrial society is a complicated thing to build. It relies on having the right legal framework, the right infrastructure, communication, education. It relies on cheap energy – a big issue in our discussions about climate policy. No one person knows how it all fits together, so you not only have to have people who understand all the pieces, but they have to be linked together in the right way. Such a complex system is not designed, and cannot be transplanted – it has to grow, organically. And that takes time.

    If I swapped places today with a factory worker in China (and spoke Chinese) it would be less than a week before they said “Wow! We’ve got a guy here who can read and write, add up, has advanced qualifications in maths, physics, chemistry, knows how accounts and spreadsheets work, can program computers, can negotiate, manage, sell, knows the rudiments of contract law and economics. And is strong and healthy.” They’d recruit me into a top-line job in a jiffy. I earn more because my labour is worth more – not so much for any special merit on my part, but because our society has been accumulating the capital to make it possible for several centuries.

    We want that for the poor of the world, that they should be rich too. Not only for their sakes, but because it makes everybody richer. We want to build a prosperous world by the only method that works. We want well-meaning idiots to stop getting in the way by tinkering with it, trying to push it or replace it, restrict or exclude it, to force it into their own design.

    The market works because it motivates people to find the easiest way of satisfying everybody else’s needs; it guides the growth of the organisation needed to achieve it. The free market does it best, because it can do so by the most direct means; no effort being wasted on circumventing the artificial restrictions.

    I don’t know if I can convince you it will work, but I’d hope to convince you that the philosophy isn’t about thinking ‘the poor deserve to die’. It was our horror at what happened to the poor in Russia and China, and parts of Africa, and today in North Korea, that motivates our opposition. The thinking is based on the idea that the best way to get out of poverty is by making lots of stuff people want; creating wealth. Redistributing wealth only pulls apart the bits that produced it, draining their productive capability, and prevents the parts that don’t produce anything from ever doing so. It’s undoubtedly well-meaning and with the best intentions, but ultimately destructive.

  • BrianJay

    Now can someone give me a lesson. Abe Lincoln now what party he. Or were republicans OK at that time and then become mentally corrupted. Sort of like what happens to rtree rings, or data records.

  • Martha

    I can understand your criticism, Keith.
     
    However, I think Chris probably assumes those with some basic interest or understanding of the social sciences already recognize that the plasticity of the brain includes the influence of the socio-cultural context.  You can see this from  his introductory comments.  Combine this approach with curiousity about the brain and you do not get reductionism – either biophysical, or social deterministic.   Instead, you get really fascinating questions about the complexity of the two-way interaction between a person and their environment.  Break it down further, and you get questions about different influences at different developmental stages, along with questions about lifelong learning, along with possible constraints.  Or take it up to the level of questions about society, and you are then talking about the social institutions created to support socializatiion.
     
    For me, here’s the thing:  since liberal ideology in the United States has almost become as authoritarian as conservative ideology, we need to ask the social and cultural questions.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    <Comparing Ayn Rand to Marx is fun but a farcical excercise

    Alan Greenspan’s quote “I was wrong 30% of the time” attracted this comment from David J. Lynch

    The former Federal Reserve chairman probably didn’t mean it this way, but that score “” depending upon your point of view “” is worth either a C- or a seat alongside an economic thinker who is almost no one’s idea of a sage. That 70/30 formula, after all, is precisely the grade the Chinese Communist Party has always applied to Chairman Mao Zedong’s tumultuous rule.

    Source: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/2010-04-07-financial-crisis-commission_N.htm

    The article follows up with some network analysis that merits more due diligence than any attribution of causal responsibility in percents.

  • harrywr2

    #149,
    Thought experiment: if free markets are universally beneficial, why not swap places with a factory worker in China? .Why would I swap places with someone who lives in a  country that has not yet reached economic market equilibrium?  There weren’t any ‘free markets’ in China 40 years ago. That’s why they are ‘poor’.As far as I am aware the majority of Chinese workers are not required to work in factories. They can just stay ‘on the farm’ if they so chose.140 million Chinese chose to ‘leave the farm’ in the last 10 years alone. If Chinese factory life is so bad why are people giving up their ‘rural-agrarian’ lifestyle.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #155,

    Interesting article.

    “The former central bank chief kicked off the session by arguing that the Fed was not to blame for the financial crisis that is now in its third year. The Fed’s decision to hold short-term rates at unusually low levels in the early years of this decade had no effect on mortgage rates, which were driven instead by a global surplus of savings, he said. And, he said, any aggressive Fed move to restrict so-called subprime lending would have been quashed by Congress, which saw such loans to individuals with poor credit histories as an important tool in boosting homeownership rates.”

    In other words, the root cause was the CRA – the deliberate intention of which was to encourage subprime lending.

    And also:

    “But Greenspan, 84, hit back, blaming the government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
    for distorting the market for subprime loans. Until about 2003, subprime lending worked well, according to Greenspan. Around 70% of the
    loans were made at fixed rates to individuals who could afford the monthly payments but lacked the upfront deposit required for regular mortgages.

    From then on, he said, Fannie and Freddie piled into the subprime market to meet congressional pressure from both parties aimed at boosting homeownership among low-income groups. That drove mortgage yields down and encouraged the growth of the housing bubble, Greenspan said. Demand from the government-backed entities and foreign investors was met by large U.S. banks, who packaged the loans into securities.”

    The politicians got Fannie and Freddie to back the banks in their CRA-inspired lending, the extra money this dumped into the housing market fueled the bubble, and enabled the banks to offload the dangerous loans packaged up in derivatives.

    So, pretty much what I said at #111.

  • BBD

    kdk33Leftest drivel. The enslaved worker. Here in the world of grown ups, if you don’t like your job you can get another. If you cannot get another, then you need to upgrade your skills. If you are not willing to upgrade your skills or look for a better job, but want to bitch and moan about markets: tough.You assume a free and equitable labour market. If you troubled to read this thread, you would know that in many countries this does not exist. You would also understand why. As usual, you dive in with loud-mouthed tripe instead of reading and thinking. With predictable results.

  • BBD

    NIV: I think I said enough last night. I close at # 145. You remain partial, selective and self-serving in your arguments.

  • BBD

    harrywr2: If Chinese factory life is so bad why are people giving up their “˜rural-agrarian’ lifestyle. Because they are desperate, which makes them doubly easy to exploit. You have dodged the point too. Predictably.

  • BBD

    Keith - are your web guys *ever* going to fix this bliddy comment editor? This is getting tedious.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #158,

    “You assume a free and equitable labour market. If you troubled to read
    this thread, you would know that in many countries this does not exist.”

    Lamentably. But I thought advocacy for free markets was what we were talking about?

    Do you agree with us that free and equitable labour markets should exist?

    #159,

    As do you.

    But the aim wasn’t agreement, but understanding. The left talk a lot of nonsense about what the right supposedly believes (and why), because they don’t know or understand. They make up various distortions of their own, and then criticise them. They come up with theories, conduct experiments, scan their brains, and still manage to get it laughably wrong – primarily because they so rarely think to simply ask.

    Chris Mooney has been coming out with this nonsense for years. George Monbiot and George Galloway and people like them live in a world of their own. And it so easily turns into this Manichaean struggle, where you can never give an inch, never accept a word, because they’re all mad or bad. “Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power.” That’s really what you think we believe?! From merely disagreeing with people on certain point of economics, they are first dehumanised as monsters, as mentally defective, as cunning deceivers. And against such, all means are justified. We’ve seen that before from socialists.

    The original point was whether Monbiot’s characterisation was accurate – whether you understood the Randians well enough to be able to judge that. That’s somehow morphed into whether Chinese factory workers are exploited.

    And yet, according to you, it’s me that’s being partial and selective. Well, I can hardly claim to have expected any better.

  • BBD

    Your analysis requires a free labour market. I merely point out that in many cases it doesn’t exist, and therefore an important aspect of the mechanism supposedly ensuring free market self-regulation is missing. All the price-signalling in the world does not get around this. 

    The ‘somehow morphed’ should not surprise you. Rand and others argue that the free market is ultimately beneficently self-regulating. It clearly is not, and this is the core of contention. China provides a useful illustration.

  • BBD

    NIV

    Thanks for the comment editing tip, which works as you explained, and I misread the first time around.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #163,

    The analysis says a free market would be best, whether it exists or not. You seek to refute it by offering an example that is not a free market. How does a non-free market being bad mean that free markets couldn’t work? Even on your own terms, I don’t follow your logic.

    And as we’ve also discussed, the Chinese labour market is an improvement over the alternatives, and what went before. What you’re asking for is the impossible. You’re trying to compare Chinese worker conditions with Western ones rather than the actual alternative, while ignoring the fact that the West has a vastly more powerful infrastructure and skill base to support it. You can’t just magic up all that wealth-generating capability, you have to build it, and that exactly what the markets are doing and have done.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > So, pretty much what I said at #111.

    Indeed. Restating Alan Greenspan’s own line of defense should not come to any surprise to Mandy Rice-Davies’ fans.

    In the previously cited article, there was a link under the name of “Robert Rubin”. Clicking on this name gives a list of resources regarding that fellow. Among them, on can find a review of All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis, by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera. This book might be of interest to Keith, for I believe these are respected reporters.

    Here is how they describe Rubin when presenting a mug shot:

    Robert Rubin, who spent twenty-six years at Goldman Sachs before becoming the secretary of the Treasury in 1995, knew first hand the problems derivatives could cause. But he refused to do anything about them.

    Source: usatoday.com/money/books/reviews/2010-12-02-all-the-devils–are-here-hidden-history_N.htm.

    So yes but government indeed. Besides “a few idiots in the financial industry”, of course. Speaking of which, the reviewer notes a cast of 100 characters at the front of the book.

  • harrywr2

    #160,Because they are desperate, which makes them doubly easy to exploit. You have dodged the point tooYeah…my parents were desperate when they left their employment as ‘potato pickers’ and moved to the big city where my father managed to get a job working with toxic chemicals is a factory.Six of us lived in an 80 sq meter house, which works out to be about 14 sq meters per person. That is half the current per capita residential space in urban China.I used to sell  ‘cow flops’(organic fertilizer) to affluent gardeners. ‘Bull’ manure sold best…but I had to be careful not to upset the bull.My more ‘affluent’ customers would pay extra is I would spread the  ‘organic fertilizer’ for them.  They didn’t want to get their ‘hands dirty’.Maybe they were exploiting me…but I was making more then my father by the time I was 16. I had figured out the secret of how to help myself to rich peoples money.  ‘Specialized services’ is where the ‘real money’ is. The same ‘rich people’ who were  underpaying their factory workers  would pay double to have ‘premium organic fertilizer’ spread in their gardens.My father came from rural Maine..he had never been exposed to ‘Affluent’ people in the big city…so he didn’t know how to ‘help himself’ to their money other then to go work in their stinking factories. I do. My children do. Rich people don’t exploit  my children or myself…we exploit them.

  • BBD

    NIV

    The analysis says a free market would be best, whether it exists or not.

    It does not, which is why its more enthusiastic advocates are forced into denial. Much has been made on this thread of the magical self-regulatory properties of the free market. But the false assumptions and partial information underpinning this supposed self-regulation have been ignored.

    As I said yesterday: in reality consumers do not have perfect knowledge. We cannot claim to separate enlightened self-interest from selfishness because we do not know (or refuse to acknowledge) the true impact of our consumerism on ourselves (externalities are not fully accounted; eg emissions, depletion of finite resources, ecological damage etc). The market operates on this incomplete information and is necessarily equally myopic in its perception of self-interest versus selfishness. It does not acknowledge the consequences of its actions because *it is us writ large*. And we are mainly refusing to accept the environmental impacts of human activity objectively and fully. We are being selfish, not objectively self-interested, as market theory requires. The fundamental argument for a beneficently self-regulating free market is broken. The gap between the actual and the desired is why a degree of regulation is necessary.

    I repeat: if Bastiat were alive today, based on his own reasoning, he would be a strong advocate for decarbonising the global economy.

  • BBD

    harrywr2

    Rich people don’t exploit 

    Did you really mean to say this?

  • kdk33

    You assume a free and equitable labour market. **-**I assume a free market.  That is the point, free markets work.  I take it you agree.If you troubled to read this thread, you would know that in many countries this does not exist. **-**I never said otherwise.  If these other countries had free markets, then their workers would be much better off, I’m sure you’ll agree **-**As usual, you dive in with loud-mouthed tripe instead of reading and thinking. With predictable results. **-**Yes, BBD, the usual name calling.  Do you imagine this is effective, or does it just make you feel better.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Yes, BBD, the usual name calling.  Do you imagine this is effective, or does it just make you feel better.

    No, just weary. See # 168.

  • kdk33

    NiV called your argument earlier – citing not-free markets as examples of why free markets don’t work.  Very odd.  **-**You now seem to have shifted to externalities.  That is a somewhat different story, though I do think you have some traction here in that these are handled external (imagine that) to the market.  **-**Some points to keep in mind.  The wealth created by effecient free markets is what makes possible societal action to treat externalities.  Environmentalism is a luxury item.  Just something to keep in mind.  **-**As regards that most dear to our hearts – the CO2 externality is the subject of, shall we say, some debate.  Though I think in your politics we find that the cure for CO2 is the kind of thing that appeals to you regardless.

  • BBD

    Environmentalism is a luxury item.

    The core argument. Objectively it is central. Subjectively – in the free market analysis – it is marginalised.

    The wealth created by effecient free
    markets is what makes possible societal action to treat externalities. 

    First, the reality and consequence of the externalities has to be acknowledged.

  • BBD

    Though I think in your politics we find that the cure for CO2 is the kind of thing that appeals to you regardless.

    What are my politics? I argue for rationality and responsibility. Not left or right. Your BBD-is-a-lefty leitmotif is a strawman you use in an attempt to make me look ‘wrong’. It’s baseless.

  • harrywr2

    #169,harrywr2
    Rich people don’t exploit 
    Did you really mean to say this?Rich people don’t exploit me…or my children. In my family we ‘exploit’ market opportunity’s. The ‘market’ in developed countries is for ‘specialized services’.The average Chinese factory worker isn’t marginally any worse off then my family was 50 years ago. Same challenge…learning how to ‘exploit’ market opportunities in a changing environment.I’ve got one brother in law who is a plumber. Another who builds power plants. I bounced around a lot and opened my own computer software firm in 1986. It’s the great thing about living in a ‘free market’ economy. No matter how humble your family beginnings you can make a life yourself.I lived in the UK for a while and worked for one of your ‘Knights’….I was absolutely appalled how the average employee in your country was treated even though ‘on paper’ employees in the UK have substantially more rights then US employees.  I never understood the concept of ‘class’ until I lived in the UK.

  • BBD

    Rich people don’t exploit me”¦or my children. In my family we “˜exploit’ market opportunity’s.

    You are missing (avoiding?) the point.

    I never understood the concept of “˜class’ until I lived in the UK

    It’s a proxy for inherited money and privilege. Think Kennedys and Bushes; William Gates the Third etc.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #168,

    And once again the goalposts shift.

    I don’t know what you mean by the magical self-regulatory properties of the free market. It has some self-regulatory properties that achieve certain results, but it doesn’t guarantee instant utopia, as you seem to require it to.

    “As I said yesterday: in reality consumers do not have perfect knowledge.”

    And as I said, we know this, and the assumption was removed later by Hayek, though reading Hayek is not a good place to start for a beginner at free market thinking. Do you want more information on that point? Or is it simply a matter of finding any chink?

    “We cannot claim to separate enlightened self-interest from selfishness because we do not know (or refuse to acknowledge) the true impact of our consumerism on ourselves (externalities are not fully accounted;”

    This is goal-shifting, but I’m interested to understand the distinction you’re making. You appear to be distinguishing enlightened self-interest from self-interest – what we think we want is not what we should want. And because the market only acts on what we think we want, not what we should want, it comes to the wrong solution.

    In a sense, yes. None of us is omniscient. We cannot predict the future, or project the consequences of every action. To the extent that we do know and are convinced of impacts, we can take it into account. But what I suspect you are objecting to is the fact that people, through the market, do not value things as you think they should be valued, which is why we need an enlightened elite with the power to correct and guide the market, to fix its “mistakes” for it. And you no doubt have some very personal ideas about who is enlightened.

    That is, if you’ll excuse me, very leftist thinking. The people are selfish, and cannot be trusted to make their own decisions, so the enlightened ones must make decisions in their own best interests. And the Nanny State is only the start of it.

  • kdk33

    Your BBD-is-a-lefty leitmotif is a strawman you use in an attempt to make me look “˜wrong’. It’s baseless.

    Too funny.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    It seems a bit funny that BBD for quite some time now has criticized a free market economy for the deficiencies that the lack of such inevitably imposes on the workers where the economy is and was run/dicated in other ways .. </p></p>Equally funny is that he turns to George Monbiot when he wants to ‘understand’ Rand. Or at least is looking for fodder to feed his instinctive disliking …

  • BBD

    NIV

    You have misinterpreted what I said quite badly. Not sure how, as it was very clear:

    This is goal-shifting, but I’m interested to understand the distinction you’re making. You appear to be distinguishing enlightened self-interest from self-interest ““ what we think we want is not what we should want. And because the market only acts on what we think we want, not what we should want, it comes to the wrong solution.

    No, what I was talking about was unacknowledged negative effects which, if accounted for, would provide the enlightened self-interest that would act as a corrective to the market:

    We cannot claim to separate enlightened self-interest from selfishness because we do not know (or refuse to acknowledge) the true impact of our consumerism on ourselves (externalities are not fully accounted; eg emissions, depletion of finite resources, ecological damage etc).

    Twisting that into this is to create an egregious strawman:

    That is, if you’ll excuse me, very leftist thinking. The people are selfish, and cannot be trusted to make their own decisions, so the enlightened ones must make decisions in their own best interests. And the Nanny State is only the start of it.

    The facts are simple: free market capitalism is destructive and exploitative and does not fully acknowledge or account for the damage it causes. In fact it goes to great lengths to avoid having to do so. Apologists for free market capitalism are thus obliged to rely on a heavily edited version of reality to advance their case  – you have provided a sustained demonstration here. 

    I think you really need to read what I actually said at 168. I’ll repeat that advocates of FMC can only operate by *denial*. You deny the unaccounted externalities and their array of negative consequences. You deny that this breaks the supposedly self-regulating free-market paradigm. But it does. If you actually admitted the whole truth, you would be forced to admit the obvious: FMC does not deliver the optimum benefit for everyone. Very far from it. It just makes that claim. Falsely. Again, I repeat – the gap between the desired and the actual is where government regulation needs to operate. The people actually require protection from the self-serving rapacity of the market. Or hadn’t you noticed? The proponents of FMC will never rein themselves in because it runs counter to their perceived benefit. They have to be held in check.

    And all this is why people like you are ‘sceptical’ about CC – it’s *political*. You refuse to accept that your not-so-effectively-self-regulating free market is becoming an increasingly serious problem. But denying the science was a terrible, final mistake. You have lost the scientific argument and so all credibility. Had the Right simply opposed the *policies* without denying the science, things might have been different. Bad call. Too late to back-track now though.

  • BBD

    kdk33Your BBD-is-a-lefty leitmotif is a strawman you use in an attempt to make me look “˜wrong’. It’s baseless.
    “Too funny.”No. Just a statement of fact. You have nothing, so you are forced to resort to crude strawmen, which makes you look weaker and dafter every time you do it. That said, even NIV has sunk to this now. Must be a sign of increasing desperation.

  • kdk33

    You’re right BBD.  All I have is this:  The facts are simple: free market capitalism is destructive and exploitative

    You were saying something about not being a leftist, but I suddenly can’t remember what it was.

  • BBD

    Objectivity about the shortcomings of free-market capitalism doesn’t make me a leftie. It just means I’m not living in a parallel universe like you.

  • BBD

    And let’s have the full quote eh? I’ve emboldened the important bit that you clipped off:

    The facts are simple: free market capitalism is destructive and exploitative and does not fully acknowledge or account for the damage it causes. In fact it goes to great lengths to avoid having to do so. Apologists for free market capitalism are thus obliged to rely on a heavily edited version of reality to advance their case

  • Nullius in Verba

    #180,

    “You have misinterpreted what I said quite badly. Not sure how, as it was very clear”

    Possibly. I thought it was clear too. But we have somewhat different worldviews. I’m not sure whether it’s because I don’t understand what you’re saying, or because you don’t.

    “No, what I was talking about was unacknowledged negative effects”

    So far as I can see, we’ve acknowledged all the effects you’ve mentioned. Negative effects are impossible to avoid; the point of the market is to balance them against one another, to minimise the cost.

    “The facts are simple: free market capitalism is destructive and
    exploitative and does not fully acknowledge or account for the damage it
    causes.”

    So far, your best example of destruction/exploitation by the free market was an example that you yourself agreed was not an example of a free market. The fact that not having a free market had led to destruction/exploitation implied (according to you) that free markets are not beneficently self-regulating.

    That doesn’t make sense even on your terms, and is in any case wrong – not because free market capitalism fails to account for all the damage it causes, but because it accounts for damage elsewhere in the economy that your analysis does not. It accounts for not just the damage to Chinese workers, but also damage to the Chinese unemployed, damage to workers for rival manufacturers or in other industries, damage to the people who buy their goods, damage to the workers for manufacturers of goods that would have been bought otherwise had prices been higher, and so on. The prices shift according to everyone’s preferences – each seeking to minimise damage locally – and balance to thereby minimise the total cost. If anyone can think of a better solution, they are free to go ahead and do it. ‘Best’ does not mean the same as ‘good’ – although compared to the alternatives, factory conditions are good too. And in absolute terms, factories have enabled the accumulation of capital that has propelled the developing world far up the ladder towards prosperity. You have carefully not acknowledged either point.

    Free market capitalism is creative – it is the reason you’re not a farm labourer living in a wattle hut, starving or dying of horrible diseases in the dark. It constantly amazes me how people can deny the effects of the past four hundred years of technological progress, and the economic force that brought it about. But people do. If you give starving people a crust they’ll complain it’s not a loaf. If you give them a loaf they’ll complain there’s no meat. If you give them flat screen TVs and washing machines and mobile phones and beer and cigarettes and designer trainers, they’ll complain they can only afford one foreign holiday a year on the dole money you pay them. But they don’t understand that for there to be goods in the shops for those factory workers to buy, somebody has to work in factories to create them.

    In a free market, if you think you can do better, you can always have a go yourself. Nobody does, because of course it doesn’t work. But that doesn’t stop them trying to make other people do what they can’t do themselves.

    “And all this is why people like you are “˜sceptical’ about CC ““ it’s *political*.”

    No. This is why people like me care. I am sceptical because there is no solid evidence to justify belief; because scientific principles are not followed and the scientific record has been corrupted. But there are lots of things people believe and that are wrong, and for most of them I don’t really care. We only care about this because of the enormous destruction it is doing. It puts our energy supply at risk, it distorts trade, it leads us down the path to illiberal government, and worst of all, it puts at risk the developing world’s rise out of poverty. It’s dangerous and grossly immoral.

    Unfortunately, sceptics have little to no power to stop it. Fortunately, other economic and political drivers have already killed prospects for any further progress.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD .. you have been arguing leftie viewpoints since the day, you stopped pretending to engage in civil rational debate. You even spent days arguing various totalitarian restrictions to free speech and aright to assembly when (and only when) such didn’t cater to your view of what debate furthers a desired outcome. You even endorsed criminal activities to sabotage dissenting views and/or that they were brought up in public. If you want to argue that you are not heavily slanted towards the left, you have some steep hills to climb … hills you so far gladly have been sliding down further .. 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    NiV: “But that doesn’t stop them trying to make other people do what they can’t do themselves” That’s a very good point. It’s what it boils down to in the end every single time: Somebody else should accomplish what they dream about. And pay for it, and carry the risk for their ‘visions’ not being feasible or sustainable. Or that customers aren’t willing to pay the actual costs. It’s ‘Other People’s Money’ every time and all over again. Endlessly! 

  • BBD

    NIV

    So far, your best example of destruction/exploitation by the free market was an example that you yourself agreed was not an example of a free market.

    Misrepresentation. I did no such thing. I *wish* you would stop doing this. It is irritating. It is dishonest.

    The way in which capital has used globalisation to access and exploit unfree labour markets to boost profits is an excellent example of the free market operating true to form. 

    That doesn’t make sense even on your terms, and is in any case wrong ““ not because free market capitalism fails to account for all the damage it causes, but because it accounts for damage elsewhere in the economy that your analysis does not. It accounts for not just the damage to Chinese workers, but also damage to the Chinese unemployed, damage to workers for rival manufacturers or in other industries, damage to the people who buy their goods, damage to the workers for manufacturers of goods that would have been bought otherwise had prices been higher, and so on.

    This is myopic and diversionary rabbit-holing in furtherance of your *denial* of the facts. Emissions. Ocean acidification. Chemical pollution. Distortion of the nitrogen cycle. Agricultural footprint. And on and on and on. Don’t bother denying all this; let’s just take it as read that in the alternative universe where free market apologists live none of these things are real.

    No. This is why people like me care. I am sceptical because there
    is no solid evidence to justify belief; because scientific principles are not followed and the scientific record has been corrupted.

    This is just tripe, NIV.  

    worst of all, it puts at risk the developing world’s rise out of poverty. It’s dangerous and grossly immoral.

    This is a particularly unpleasant, self-serving ‘sceptic’ lie. Funny how you lot flip from howling about wealth transfer to the developing world to claiming that we’re conspiring to keep it impoverished. Do make you mind up. 

    No matter how much benefit industrialisation brings to developing economies, the consequences of climate change will offset the economic benefits in the end. You are obliged to deny this, but most people are not obliged to pay attention and of course they do not. Because nobody listens to climate change deniers now.

    As I said earlier, denying the science was a terrible mistake by the Right. All credibility gone at a stroke, and things will only get worse as time goes by. You should have kept to a policy debate. Things could have been very different had you not let the wingnuts drag you into climate change denial. But it’s too late now.

  • harrywr2

    No matter how much benefit industrialisation brings to developing
    economies, the consequences of climate change will offset the economic
    benefits in the end. 
    India – Rural fertility rate 2.9, Urban 2.0http://censusindia.gov.in/vital_statistics/SRS_Bulletins/MMR_release_070711.pdfHow do you plan on feeding all those extra mouths in Rural India with your romanticized world without fertilizers and industry? Are you going to rely on the old fashioned method of population control….famine?

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @harry-coal-botI realize that you’re a ‘true-believer’ in the ‘free market’, but forgive me for saying that i’d take your concerns about the poor in india a little more seriously than an itch on my ass if you spent more time prognosticating on the distortionary effects of n.america/europe  agricultural trade policies first rather than the implied effect of carbon pricing under a ‘common but differentiated’ framework.otherwise it looks to me like you’re being a wee bit opportunistic and disingenuous.

  • BBD

    harrwr2What ‘romanticised world without fertilisers’ would that be? Did I ever argue for such nonsense? No, I did not. Do I suggest we let people starve? No, I do not. Do I recognise that the next green revolution will be driven by GMOs? Yes, I do. Will this reduce fertiliser use and run-off? Yes. Pesticide use and run-off? Yes.

  • kdk33

    The way in which capital has used globalisation to access and exploit unfree labour markets to boost profits is an excellent example of the free market operating true to form. 

    Fantastics, capital is now a demon acting upon the poor of the world. Money is evil; it undermines democracy. The rich exploit. Entrenched interests.

    And isn’t it funny how we’ve now transitioned to where anyone who opposes your political believes is in ‘denial’. Or in prallel universe. Or editing reality. Soon there will be government funded science proving leftists politics correct and free marketeers will then be anti-science. And various magazine articles will say so.

    Fascinating

  • kdk33

    As I said earlier, denying the science was a terrible mistake by the Right.

    Please, we’ve circled back to this? Exactly what science does the right deny. Be specific. Amazing you would try to stand this worn out strawman.

    All credibility gone at a stroke, and things will only get worse as time goes by.

    That explains the prevelance of climate change in the recent US presidential campaign.

    You should have kept to a policy debate.

    One wonders if you are actually paying attention.

    Things could have been very different had you not let the wingnuts drag you into climate change denial. But it’s too late now.

    Time will tell.

  • kdk33

    By the way, BBD, if the other side is ‘right’.  Doesn’t that make ‘your side’ left.  It’s hard to keep up[.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Fantastics, capital is now a demon acting upon the poor of the world.

    ‘Is now’? You mean capital has only just recently learned how to exploit the workforce to its own advantage? There’s no end to your delusions, is there?

    I’ve pointed out that your leftie strawman is baseless – nothing’s changed – so crap about my ‘political beliefs’ is redundant noise. Being pragmatic about the supposed boundless benefits of FMC doesn’t make me a Trot. Just a realist.

    You indulge in anti-science denial on a daily basis here (PRL = ‘magazine articles’). You also deny the actual nature of free market capitalism despite abundant evidence showing you to be wrong. So you must be editing reality and/or living in a parallel universe. As wingnuts do.

    What is really fascinating is watching you deny even this when it is pointed out to you. Again and again and again.

    Denial really is a nasty pathology.

  • BBD

    Please, we’ve circled back to this? Exactly what science does the right deny.

    I cannot believe my eyes. I really just can’t. It’s too much. You are so lost in your haze of falsehoods that you can say this? With a straight face? In comments here? Which I have read for several months?

    Where is your sense of honesty? Of shame? Where is your integrity? 

    What an utterly repellent spectacle this all is. And how pointless. I give up on you.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > [T]here is an interesting question as to whether left-wingers and right-wingers actually do think differently, and if so, which way the causal arrow goes.

    The first part of that question is indeed quite interesting. Jonathan Haidt presents some evidence that left and right thinking patterns might be related to the five foundations of morality:/p>

    http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind.html

    In a nutshell, everyone relate, in one way or another, to issues framed with concepts associated to:

    harm/care,

    fairness/reciprocity,

    in-group/loyalty,

    authority/respect, and

    purity/sanctity.

    To test the robustness of this framework, we could read back the arguments at Keith’s and find that those who generate the most discussions show that people take antagonistic stances on one of these five dimensions.

    In fact, we could surmise that these moral stances could act as predictors of what kind of political framing they are related. This might not help solve the causal arrow part of the problem, but it would still be interesting.

    Scientific debates are never what we think they should be. Auditors should wonder why.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD is using the term ‘capital’ and what it supposedly is doing in an equally careless (and generally wrong) way as he uses terms like ‘the science’ and what it supposedly says … I don’t think this is coincidence, and neither that lefties regularily have a problem grasping that there is not only one entity acting with one motive, purpose plan or explained by one narrative … when trying to understand more complex questions.                                                                                                                                                                                                             The mere idea that BBD shouldn’t be associated with leftist views is laughable … at best

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > [L]efties regularily have a problem grasping that there is not only one entity acting with one motive, purpose plan or explained by one narrative

    Looks like a self-defeating sentence to me.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    If you say so, I am sure it looks that way to you, Willard. And it kinda reinforces my point …

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    I’m not sure how condemning a stereotype with another stereotype reinforces any point one might wish to convey, Jonas N.

  • BBD

    Jonas N

    BBD is using the term “˜capital’ and what it supposedly is doing in an equally careless (and generally wrong) way

    No, I am not. As usual, you are wrong. ‘Capital’ in the terminology of finance simply means wealth – generally that used to set up and maintain a business enterprise. You are thinking of the various definitions within classical economics.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    That’s OK, Willard. I’ll explain:

    The leftleaning position is usually one of collectivism, of various collective interests that are facing and standing against each other. And it usually describes these interests in macro-descriptive terms

    Here it is ‘the capital’ which does this or that to ‘the workers’. And it also favors various collective (macro-) sollutions to those perceived porblems, of the one-size-fits-all variety.

    I have no problem with this view, or that perspective, or its existence. But it is very simplistic, and essentially does not at all capture what is going on or why in a complex and interwoven world or field therein. Here I was pointing this out wrt ‘the science’ (what it supposedly said) or ‘the market’ (what it’s supposedly does). I am fully ware of that these are generalizations wrt to left leaning individuals, and that’s why I wrote ‘regularly’.

    I don’t think it was that much ‘condemning’, but yes: It implied criticism of the view and what conclusions can be drawn from it. Particularly I was criticising one frequent commenter here who seems incapable of understanding that his narrow understanding is not also the only and on top of that, the correct understanding of things .. And I said that these (observed!) shortcomings probably nor are a coincidence. I based my comment and tentative conclusions on observable and presented facts for everybody to see.

    That you instead noted (correctly) that I thereby also was making a generalization, and hoped to counter my description thereby, was what I meant by ‘reinforces’: If you argued that my generalization, of other’s generalization therefor should not be valid ….

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD, I have read the discussion above several times. And you are very careless when you describe what ‘the capital’ supposedly does. I stand by my description of your arguments. If you want to argue your case better, feel free to do so (but don’t expect to get away with such sloppiness as eg in #188).

    Using your (latest) definition of ‘capital’ = the existence of resources, does not imply anything at all of what you have argued. Further, the existence of such is (at a given snapshot in time) completely independent of how free or not any market is or how functions. (*)

    You used the term together with emotive descriptions such as ‘exploit’, ‘underpaying’, ‘the self-serving rapacity of the market’ and many more. Exactly as I criticised. So no, BBD, I wasn’t wrong. I was right again. And you were sloppy …

    (*) However, it is of course true that resources (~capital) will become less with time if they are handled carelessly by bureaucrats rather than on a working market place

  • BBD

    Yawn. Suit yourself. I can’t be bothered to argue with you.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD .. you haven’t had any arguments really .. just repetition of your feelings, and even those poorly argued. If you’d just shut the f*ck up, nothing at all would be lost. Possibly you’d even find the time to learn something, but I doubt that (it seems far too late). 

    But in all I’ve seen since you tried to do away with the UHI-effect, you’ve had absolute zilch to contribute. But revealed quite some gaping holes and misdirected wishful and even desperate hoping in your (lack of) understanding. 

    You are just like the rest of the lot, ignorantly hoping for a climate catastrophy, getting cranky every time it turns out to the better .. 

    Such types will be around for ever. And never contribute or accomplish anything … 

  • BBD

    Jonas N
    :-)

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > I am fully ware of that these are generalizations wrt to left leaning individuals, and that’s why I wrote “˜regularly’.

    Glad to hear that, Jonas N, but you must still consider that using a stererotype in the very same sentence you use to argue against stereotypes does not look right.

    Perhaps those left leaning individuals you regularly observe have a more complex position than your generalization portrays, perhaps even BDD’s, however careless you claim it to be.

  • BBD

    Ooh look! It’s not the PDO!Ooh look! It’s not the sun!Ooh… ?

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Willard .. I didn’t argue against stereotypes. I noted that BBD, and his arguing fits the stereotype. And I expect those having a “a more complex position” to display this when engaging with others, especially after repeatedly having been reminded that the world is not as simple as said stereotypes. 

    But just look at his latest links. That is the level he is capable of arguing. If you explain to him that science is a something more than drawing lines and fitting curves (and I really mean: Explain, involving physics, and in some detail) he usually derails pretty quickly, starts rambling about deniers etc …

  • kdk33

    Holy crap!  The temperature has increased 1F since 1900.  1 entire degree.  Winter is surely a thing of the past.

    /sarcoff

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > I didn’t argue against stereotypes. I noted that BBD, and his arguing fits the stereotype.

    This note has been expressed with a stereotype:

    [L]efties regularily have a problem grasping [...].

    This note takes objection against a stereotype:

    [T]here is not only one entity acting with one motive, purpose plan or explained by one narrative.

    No physics envy here is needed to show that the very same sentence contains both an objection to a stereotype and a stereotype. And if that’s not enough, we could return to the mention of “collectivism” a bit later.

    The next step is to appeal to special pleading, Jonas N. Please tell us that your stereotype is more “robust”. Perhaps you already did, but you must insist.

  • BBD

    @ 210 Explanations involving physics, in ‘some detail’? From you? Do me a favour. You don’t even understand that an oscillating ocean-to-atmosphere energy exchange of roughly stable amplitude (like, oh, the PDO for example) cannot *physically* be the simultaneous driver of increased trends in GAT (SAT + SST) and OHC. In short: you ain’t got a clue, matey. Which is why you sh*t a lobster every time I say ‘energetically sufficient explanation’. Because there’s only one, and you don’t like it, do you? So you… deny it, don’t you? Because you’re a…? ;-)

    And to think I used to find you irritating. This is pure comedy gold.

  • BBD

    Oops! Nearly forgot: while you’re pondering the above, you also need to ask yourself how SSTs in the N Pacific can warm up the *whole planet* – oceans and all. We need an energetically sufficient mechanism for that too! Go at it, science whizz; let’s see that giant brain in action. Surely you can do more than snipe and mutter? I certainly hope so because I’m relying on you to overturn the scientific consensus on AGW so we can all pack up and go and play with the kids and/or have sordid extramarital affairs to use up the sudden abundance of spare time.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Willard – I am fully aware of what I wrote. And I meant it, stereotyping and all .. Let me repeat it for you:

    1. My stereotyping about how lefties (regularly) view the opposing macro-entities on the marketplace is (generally) correct. 

    2. Therefore, the way these lefties ‘understand’ the function, purpose and motives of these entities will (generally) mislead them wrt to why things happen (and don’t) the way they do. And hence generally make them draw the wrong conclusions.

    Your sole objection seems to be that I use a stereotype (roughly correct) about a (generally misleading) stereotype used by those not understanding how and why a market works. And who are complaining that markets aren’t first fulfilling the needs they identify as most important (to them).

    I don’t even see any contradiction there.. You may claim that my stereotype is wrong, ie not descriptive of many lefties. And/or that those stereotypes I criticize (among lefties) are not wrong, but generally correct. 

    But then, this is what you must challenge. Not just (correctly) pointing out that I indeed use a stereotype when identifying somebody else’s. 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD … I already knew that these things were far over your head. And the favor is already done. Go back and read what it actually was about, it’s still there. (And do yourself the favor of not blindly guessing when you simply have no clue. Every scientifically literate person notices these things almost immediately)

    There is no need to overturn any ‘scientific consensus’, BBD, because there never was any. Stupid claims about such, yes indeed. But only really stupid claims. (Again, anybody knowing the least thing about how real science works, realized this long ago. At the latest when the hockeystick was presented as the best available science, representing the so called consensus. But activists and bureaucrats, especially of the lefty variety, of course may need some more decades, that’s true. Many are still in denial)

    PS Must I really remind you that you (for some time) thought that the winter-to-summer difference in H2O content somehow confirmed the (by you and your claimed ‘consensus’ needed) high positive feedbacks of CO2!?  

  • BBD

    Yup, empty noise from JN. Who has now confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue. You can’t even begin to mount a counter argument to the above because you’ve totally screwed up, haven’t you? Because you don’t know what you are talking about, do you?

    As for your PS, matey, you’ve forgotten the important bit. We were talking about *water vapour feedback*. Which increases with tropospheric T. What does CO2 forcing do to TT? What does Evans & Puckrin provide empirical proof of – yes! eureka! That when TT rises, DLW from WV rises sharply.

    You were crapping on about there being no proof for WV feedbacks. You were flat-out wrong. As ever. Now take your clueless claptrap somewhere else, eh? Before I really embarrass you.

    Bye.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    As I said, even quite simple things are far over your head BBD. Your blustering won’t change a thing about that. And it’s quite funny, now you are back at claiming that you had a point wrt to large feedbacks for CO2!? You know this three-fold amplification, that you claim is both ‘the consensus’ and ‘the science’! 

    No, kid. What Evans and Puckrin showed was that there was more water in the air when in the summer than in the winter, and that they could measure the resulting LWR. No sh*t Sherlock! And I had to read it out to you, explain in detail what they did, repeatedly! And that their observations had zilch to do with CO2. I also explained why their actual measurements did not support any large CO2 feedbacks, but rather the opposite. They could even be read to imply a cooling effect of more CO2.  

    As I said, kid. You need a knowledgeable grown-up to hold your hand when reading even simpler science. The whole kerfuffle can be found here. It is a very entertaining re-read, and every one of my points still stands. 

    And you even repeat here, what you misunderstood back then. And the SkSc Al Gore/kindergarten version of AGW. Priceless. 

    No kid, as I said, this is far far over your head. You should stick with drawing some lines and fitting curves at WoodForTrees. 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    By the way BBD, why are you so hostile? Why would you, who are untrained in real science, who knows very little about any physics, who cannot correctly read even simpler papers reporting (essentially only) measurements, think you can intimidate me with nonsense like “he doesn’t have a clue”, “you’ve totally screwed up … you don’t know what you are talking about”, “You were flat-out wrong”, “Now take your clueless claptrap somewhere else” or with threats of embarrassing me!?

    Seriously!?  Me who knows, can read and understand what you cannot!?

    I just provided a link where you were totally undressed and stripped of any remaining dignity using your own provided link! But above you wanted to repeat both your false claims about what was discussed, and what it showed. 

    Is this just ignorant denial, revision of history, is it dishonesty, taking a chance claiming the counter factual, hoping that nobody will check? Or is it simply stupidity?

    And regardless of which, do you think it will score you some points? Other than among those even less informed than you? 

  • BBD

    So even when it’s pointed out to you *again*, you still cannot understand the central import of E&P? Fine, but anyone re-reading the BH link will easily see that you missed the point back then too. The failure of comprehension is entirely yours, Jonas.As for ‘cooling’ by CO2 – oh dear, you are making things even worse. E&P simply state that they increased DLR from CO2 makes it impossible to measure the DLR from CO2 with the equipment used. But *energy doesn’t disappear*, you buffoon. This is, in essence, the problem with your failure to understand the non-role of the PDO – you can’t seem to deal with consistency in energy accounting. You have utterly discredited yourself on this blog. The more you say, the worse it gets.

  • BBD

    |But in order to extract maximum comic gain, do let’s here your giant brain, science whizz explanation for how the PDO heat the entire planet, including the oceans.

    For some odd reason you are so fixated on your long-ago misunderstanding of E&P on another blog that you omitted your paradigm-overturning revelation about the PDO.

    Come on Jonas – legions of fans await your genius!

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > I indeed use a stereotype when identifying somebody else’s.

    Perhaps we should reach an agreement by replacing “identifying” with “criticizing”, if we take this other concession:

    I don’t think it was that much “˜condemning’, but yes: It implied criticism of the view and what conclusions can be drawn from it.

    I agree that criticizing a stereotype by indulging oneself in a stereotype does not entail a contradiction. But I did not said it did. Here’s my first comment:

    Looks like a self-defeating sentence to me.

    Self-defeat pertains to what is done during a speech act, not what is said. That’s the only thing I wanted to point out. Auditors will wonder why all this resistance to concede this single point.

    I certainly do not need to challenge your caricatures, JonasN. As Keith once said to me:

    Sometimes it’s best to let people’s words speak for themselves.

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/20409410035

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Willard, if you had a point, I’m sure you would have made it by now. You say “self-defeating”, I don’t agree! 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Hilarious! 

    “But *energy doesn’t disappear*, you buffoon”

    You actually thought that this is the level an which can score points? That you can beat me over the head with some highschool level physics quiz!? Gawd, what a joke, BBD. Did you really believe and hope that!? You of all wafflers!?  

    And read this sentence out loud to yourself:

    “E&P simply state that the[y?] increased DLR from CO2 makes it impossible to measure the DLR from CO2 with the equipment used”

    The increased DLR from CO2 makes it impossible to measure the DLR from it? Really!? 

    And also try to reconcile that with your claims now that E&P show that CO2 not only has some warming effect, but indeed shows (or at least supports) the large (and desperately needed) high positive feedbacks from CO2 level changes

    Gawd, what a joke!

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Hilarious BBD. Still in ignorant denial! 

    I’ll repeat a summary (@Nov 25, 2011 at 7:23 AM)   for you here. This is a very good example of how you patiently are being helped to understand the (simpler aspects of the) science:

    “Easily backed up, BBD

    Here is the quote that shows you have absolutely no clue at all:

    Empirical evidence of RF from CO2 causing atmospheric fraction WV to increase with measured proportional increase in DLR:

    “our measurements show that the downward surface flux from H2O has doubled to 200 W/m2. The water increase causes a reduction of the fluxes from the other greenhouse gases. These measurements show that the greenhouse effect from trace gases in the atmosphere is real and adds significantly to the radiative burden of the atmosphere. The greenhouse radiation has increased by approximately 3.52 W/m2 since pre-industrial times.”

    Evans & Puckrin (2006)Note that so great in the increase in RF from WV that it over-prints the fluxes from other GHGs. Unequivocal evidence of positive WV feedback.Nov 23, 2011 at 1:32 PM | BBD

    And here is the link to Evans and Puckrin 2006

    Your two sentences are nonsense on three counts:

    1) The large difference of H20 between summer and winter is due to the temperature difference (between summer & winter), nothing else.

    2) CO2-levels hardly changed at all during those six months. There is no change in any CO2-forcing during that time span. And of course, then there can’t be any positive feedbacks detected either

    3) You notice that H2O ‘overprints’ the CO2 signature, but (later) said they were additive.

    Point 2) is the killer! Where you absolutely give it away, that you where just waffling with your:

    “Empirical evidence of RF from CO2 causing atmospheric fraction WV to increase with measured proportional increase in DLR”

    And mind you: I pointed this out before, several times, but you were unable to take it in. Probably still are!

    There are more points I could make, but they probably fly over your head too:4) Even if there had been a difference in CO2 during the observed timespan, you can still not deduct that any changes in H2O were caused thereby! Which is easily noted by the fact that in the data H2O differs a lot from year to year (all by it self).

    5) They give three-figure numbers for the increase in downward flux of 3.52 W/m2 compared to preindustrial levels (which nowhere have been measured with that precision)

    6) To arrive at a positive increase in GHG downward flux (of 3.52) they explicitly have to remove the most potent and important GHG, water vapor itself. Compared to their own data H20 flux was much more in preindustrial times. Summing up their total contributions (averaging of the year), their data says that today, there are about ~7 W/m2 less downwelling flux.

    7) And if that were taken seriously, and compared to what actually has changed (the CO2-level) it would not even imply a negative feedback from CO2 (less warming than pure radiative properties in a controlled lab). It would mean that CO2 causes a net cooling!

    Point 7) is of course gibberish, but taking your logic, the paper you linked shows exactly that: When CO2 levels are increased (over decades) the downward flux from H2O decreases far more than any increas CO2 it self can contribute. But as you (might?) know: Correlation is not causation.

    But all this shows, that there is not much beef in the claim that any increase in GHG flux has occured since then. (Their data shows the opposite actually)”

    It is true that you (then) stepped back from your idiotic pt 2), but needed to lie about that this error was only due to “hasty posting”. But here, at KKs, you once again try with similar nonsense (that E&P somehow confirm the effects of CO2).

    Do also notice that  I nowhere claim that CO2 causes cooling. I merely pointed out that their data showed that with more CO2, the DLR decreased with ~7W/m2. That’s what it showed BBD, and let me remind you that it is you who usually ‘understand’ science in this rudimentary way: Plotting one set of data against another (@ eg WoodForTrees) and exclaiming: ‘Look, this proves I was right!’

  • BBD

    Until you stop insisting that a mistake – which I immediately acknowledged – somehow invalidates everything I have ever said or will say, you are going to get nowhere.

    The reason you do this is because *you* have nothing. You are thus reduced to an endless yammer about an old argument – which was about the observed fact that the warm troposphere holds more WV, which results in increased DLW. Empirical support for the universally accepted view that RF from CO2 – which warms the troposphere – will be amplified by WV.

    This has been done to death, Jonas. At the time I asked you to produce references for your nutty beliefs and got *nothing* – except excitable verbiage, that is.

    Nothing has changed.

    And the world still awaits your explanation for how the PDO warms the climate system – including the global ocean. Why so coy?

    Why do we keep going back to a pointless digression about E&P? Which shows you up in a very poor light, btw. For all your claims to the contrary. I *very much hope* others follow the link. 

    In the meantime, many will notice a characteristic of your commentary: it is devoid of substance and reference. It is your (scientifically illiterate, contrarian, politicised) opinion. Nothing more. In other words, you have nothing. 

  • BBD

     TYPO:

    “E&P simply state that the[y?] increased DLR from CO2 makes it impossible to measure the DLR from CO2 with the equipment used”

    Should -obviously – read:

    “E&P simply state that the increased DLR from H2O makes it impossible to measure the DLR from CO2 with the equipment used”

  • Nullius in Verba

    Jonas,

    Are you really still trying to pound a rudimentary understanding of the physics into BBD’s head? You’ll never do it!

    I had a quick look at the E&P paper, I’m mildly surprised (not) that BBD would bring it up, since it posits backradiation as the mechanism of the greenhouse effect, which I’ve already explained numerous times to BBD isn’t the actual mechanism for the GHE in a convective atmosphere. (BBD may remember the example of a sunlit pond of water – SW enters and is absorbed at the bottom, LW cannot escape, but is absorbed and back-radiated by the water. Lots of backradiation, no greenhouse warming.) Why would he cite a paper he knew was wrong? Because he can’t understand the physics.

  • BBD

    Oh NIV, just behave. The ‘discussion’ of E&P has nothing to do with your deliberate obfuscations over back radiation. Which you only introduce as spoilers to divert from the teeny little problem that GHGs warm the troposphere. It was a good trick – but one-use only. Now back in your box ;-)

  • BBD

    Lots of backradiation, no greenhouse warming.)Sure, NIV. Does the upper layer of the pond warm up? :-) And is that *solely* attributable to DSW absorption? Oh… And does the surface of the water radiate LW? Oh… You are full of sh*t, matey.

  • BBD

    And again, this time with formatting (Keith, how much longer????)

    Lots of backradiation, no greenhouse warming.

    Sure, NIV. Does the upper layer of the pond warm up? And is that *solely* attributable to DSW absorption? Oh”¦

    And does the surface of the water radiate LW? Oh”¦

    You are full of sh*t, matey.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD … I don’t need to get anywhere. Because I am where I ought to be already. Because I don’t make false assertions or invent things as I ‘need’ them. And because I know what I am talking about.

    It is true that you backed away from one utterly incomprehensible assertion about what E&P showed. You claimed it to be a ‘mistake‘ due to ‘hasty posting‘. But  I find that extremely hard to believe (although I don’t claim to know where your ignorance bottoms out). The statement you made (repeated above in #225) was very clear. It included both 1) the claim itself, 2) a supposedly ‘supporting’ quote from the 3) linked reference, and 4) a repetition of the claimed WV feedback.

    How you managed to bungle that by merely ‘posting too hastily‘ is truly beyond me. I will hypothesize that you realized (but first after I pointed this out) how wrong you were. And came up with your half-baked excuse. And still, both then and here again, you maintained that E&P somehow supported your beliefs of large positive CO2-feedbacks. 

    Even after I then (and here again) pointed out that if anything, their measurements pointed in the exact opposite direction. Another indication was/is that you after having been caught out again aggressively started attacking me personally instead and tried switching to completely different issues, once again topping off with false assertions, claims and accusations. (As you do here, see further down)

    Wrt to the real issue (large hypothesized positive feedbacks from CO2-level increases), it is the same shortcoming you exhibit all over again:

    You just make the claims (found at eg SkSc?), and repeat them. And take the repetition of that (or similar) hypotheses as a confirmation of them also being correct. You just repeat it (“CO2 warms the atmosphere and so increases the WV content, which in turn increases downwelling RF from WV. This is called a ‘positive feedback’”) and  then state: “This is core climate science”.

    Although you’ve repeatedly been informed that repeating it, or modelling it nowhere (in science) is equated to ‘confirmation’. Again you miss the core aspect of what real science is. 

    Yes it “is core climate science” meaning it’s its ‘core hypothesis‘, on which everything hinges (esp its large unconfirmed positive feedbacks) and which needs far firmer support and empirical (and consistent) confirmation, than just repetition and simulations built on the very same hypothesis. Simulations that perform exceedingly poorly, on top of that. And which is contradicted (falsified) by more and more observations. 

    Why is it that you activists always want to skip the core issues, brush past them with some sweeping assertions? And start cussing when reminded that cheating is not allowed in science? 

    Back at BH you tried countering with:

    “If you were less arrogant and over-sure of yourself, you would recognise this.

    ..

    By the way, what body of published work do you base your ludicrous ideas on? I’d love to know, so be sure and provide links.

    While your at it, you can rustle up some published studies that support your crap about UHI as well. Since you keep bringing that up.”

    Which is wrong on every single account:I recognize what the core (C)AGW hypothesis is, and merely tell you that it lacks empirical confirmation and support. Pointing out that you cannot cheat, nor make up your own facts, or bypass crucial steps in science is nowhere ludicrous (the opposite is). And not one single word I said about UHI was crap. (Quite a few of yours were though).

    Here you accuse me of arguing: “a mistake ““ which I immediately acknowledged ““ somehow invalidates everything I have ever said“, which is nothing I’ve ever come even close to. Everyone of your ‘mistakes’ is wrong on its own account. What I argue is that the long sequence of such and similar ‘mistakes’ indicates that you know little (nothing?) about physics, science and how it is conducted, and that you (often) don’t understand or even read the arguments and references you believe are on your side. 

    And as I’ve told you before: This is a MO I observe almost all the  time with AGW-activists. Over at Deltoid, they kept at it for six+ months. And left many of them in utter disgrace .. 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    NiV, I don’t expect BBD to really learn something. But I think it is instructive to display how awfully poor his ‘arguments’ are. And that the moment his errors are revealed, or he only is asked to explain and clarify what he means or how he can assert things with certainty … 

    … he starts cussing and cursing and attacking those who actually know the topic and quite often accusing them of ‘lying’. 

    You may have noticed that he (to start with) often wants to pretend to be well informed, and to hold some moral high ground in the debate. But since his stance often is so extremely shallow (rarely more than repetition of SkSc-talking-points) he derails almost immediately when challenged, when his errors are pointed out to him (~when SkSc doesn’t have a prepared ‘rebuttal’ for him to copy-paste). 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    NiV, I am not aware of any sunlit pond discussion. I think I understand what you are getting at. And (if so) also that BBD responds to something very different. But honestly, I think that this is way over BBD cognitive capacities. And not really necessary to dissect where he so often goes wrong wrt to the simplest things. For the purpose of BBD (and the benefit of other like minded souls), lets stick to that the GHE is a mechanism that too can lower the cooling rate by means of what ‘climate science’ labels as ‘back radiation’. 

    I think that was also what E&P were addressing. And their results are funny (peculiar) in other ways (outlined by me before/above). Particularly because their estimates showed that increasing CO2-levels decreased their (estimated) H2O DLR-’forcing’ (for lack of a more appropriate word). 

    It furthermore confirmed my suspicion that the CO2 ‘forcing’ is most prevalent for cold, dry and dark conditions, and that it  thus is not a linearly additive (wrt to its net over-the year-and-latitude) effect.

    And thus is a good rationale for the lack of those (never observed, but alleged) ‘large positive feedbacks’ – 

     (Again, way over BBDs head. But if he can do simple sums, he might find the implied ‘cooling effect’ of CO2 ;-)   

  • BBD

    BBD “¦ I don’t need to get anywhere. Because I am where I ought to be already. Because I don’t make false assertions or invent things as I
    “˜need’ them. And because I know what I am talking about.

    Yes Jonas. Sure you do. So your explanation for the PDO heating the climate system is…

    Actually, you never really say *anything*. As I have pointed out on numerous occasions. You snipe, but are content-free. You are very, very careful not to advance anything that might get shot down. Although you slipped a bit on the PDO. Still, your opportunity to blow us all away is not time-limited. I shall come back to this again, and again, and again.

    Even after I then (and here again) pointed out that if anything, their measurements pointed in the exact opposite direction.

    Only because you didn’t understand the paper. Or chose to misrepresent it deliberately:

    Table 4 shows the contribution of greenhouse gases to the increase in the downward greenhouse flux since the preindustrial period. Simulations using FASCOD3 were performed to estimate the greenhouse flux from the various gases using their respective tropospheric concentrations from two centuries ago (IPCC, 1995; Dickinson and Cicerone, 1986). Most of these simulated fluxes have been verified with the experimental measurements in Table 4, so that there is some confidence that these modelled flux increases are representative of northern middle latitudes. In these calculations, the amount of atmospheric water vapour has been assumed to be invariant. The pre-industrial and current concentrations of gases used in the flux calculations were taken from IPCC, 1990. The current tropospheric ozone amount of 60 ppbv over the first two kilometers of the atmosphere is typical of a moderately polluted environment. From Table 4 it is apparent that the increase in the carbon dioxide concentration since pre-industrial times has resulted in the largest increase in the radiative forcing at the surface. After CO2, the chlorofluorocarbons contribute the second largest amount to the flux (20.8%); however, carbon dioxide has increased about 100,000 times more than the combined concentrations of the chlorofluorocarbons since the pre-industrial period.

    In Table 4, the contribution of greenhouse gases to the downward greenhouse flux is shown since the pre-industrial period. The increase in radiative forcing at the tropopause as taken from IPCC, 1995 is also shown in brackets for comparison in Table 4; the total increase in the modelled radiative trapping was 3.1±0.5 W/m2. The contribution of water vapour to the increase in greenhouse radiation has not been included since it is a part of the natural climate feedback. There is some argument to suggest that tropospheric water vapour has already increased by several percent; hence, the corresponding flux contribution may need to be included, but this effect is beyond the scope of current models. From Table 4 it is evident that the actual greenhouse radiation has increased by over 3.5 W/m2 since pre-industrial times, or by about 2.3% of the total greenhouse radiation. Of this 3.5 W/m2, about 0.5 W/m2 has been measured due to the chlorofluorocarbons.

    Let’s give old E&P a rest now eh? We can move on to your claims about water vapour feedback

    Which is wrong on every single account:I recognize what the core (C)AGW hypothesis is, and merely tell you that it lacks empirical confirmation and support. Pointing out that you cannot cheat, nor make up your own facts, or bypass crucial steps in science is nowhere ludicrous (the opposite is).

    Which proves once again that you are either a denier or ill-informed and over-confident. Or perhaps both. And you miss out *everything*. You refuse to reference your claims. You assert superior knowledge continuously and you deny the published science but *never* put anything forward in its place. Back to water vapour. Goodness knows how much there is in the literature on the empirical evidence for a moistening atmosphere but there’s lots. You should have a look sometime:

    Soden BJ et al. (2005) The radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening Science 310, 841-844.

    Abstract: Climate models predict that the concentration of water vapor in the upper troposphere could double by the end of the century as a result of increases in greenhouse gases. Such moistening plays a key role in amplifying the rate at which the climate warms in response to anthropogenic activities, but has been difficult to detect because of deficiencies in conventional observing systems. We use satellite measurements to highlight a distinct radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening over the period 1982 to 2004. The observed moistening is accurately captured by climate model simulations and lends further credence to model projections of future global warming.

    Santer BD et al (2007) Identification of human-induced changes in atmospheric moisture content Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104 15248-15253. 

    Abstract: Data from the satellite-based Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) show that the total atmospheric moisture content over oceans has increased by 0.41 kg/m(2) per decade since 1988. Results from current climate models indicate that water vapor increases of this magnitude cannot be explained by climate noise alone. In a formal detection and attribution analysis using the pooled results from 22 different climate models, the simulated “fingerprint” pattern of anthropogenically caused changes in water vapor is identifiable with high statistical confidence in the SSM/I data. Experiments in which forcing factors are varied individually suggest that this fingerprint “match” is primarily due to human caused increases in greenhouse gases and not to solar forcing or recovery from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Our findings provide preliminary evidence of an emerging anthropogenic signal in the moisture content of earth’s atmosphere.

    Rind D et al (1991) Positive Water-Vapor Feedback In Climate Models Confirmed By Satellite Data Nature 349, 500-503. 

    Abstract: Chief among the mechanisms thought to amplify the global climate response to increased concentrations of trace gases is the atmospheric water vapour feedback. As the oceans and atmosphere warm, there is increased evaporation, and it has been generally thought that the additional moisture then adds to the greenhouse effect by trapping more infrared radiation. Recently, it has been suggested that general circulation models used for evaluating climate change overestimate this response, and that increased convection in a warmer climate would actually dry the middle and upper troposphere by means of associated compensatory subsidence1. We use some new satellite-generated water vapour data to investigate this question. From a comparison of summer and winter moisture values in regions of the middle and upper troposphere that have previously been difficult to observe with confidence, we find that, as the hemispheres warm, increased convection leads to increased water vapour above 500 mbar in approximate quantitative agreement with the results from current climate models. The same conclusion is reached by comparing the tropical western and eastern Pacific regions. Thus, we conclude that the water vapour feedback is not overestimated in models and should amplify the climate response to increased trace-gas concentrations.

    Zhang XB (2007) Detection of human influence on twentieth-century precipitation trends Nature 448, 461-465.

    Abstract: Human influence on climate has been detected in surface air temperature(1-5), sea level pressure(6), free atmospheric temperature(7), tropopause height(8) and ocean heat content(9). Human-induced changes have not, however, previously been detected in precipitation at the global scale(10-12), partly because changes in precipitation in different regions cancel each other out and thereby reduce the strength of the global average signal(13-19). Models suggest that anthropogenic forcing should have caused a small increase in global mean precipitation and a latitudinal redistribution of precipitation, increasing precipitation at high latitudes, decreasing precipitation at sub-tropical latitudes(15,18,19), and possibly changing the distribution of precipitation within the tropics by shifting the position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone(20). Here we compare observed changes in land precipitation during the twentieth century averaged over latitudinal bands with changes simulated by fourteen climate models. We show that anthropogenic forcing has had a detectable influence on observed changes in average precipitation within latitudinal bands, and that these changes cannot be explained by internal climate variability or natural forcing. We estimate that anthropogenic forcing contributed significantly to observed increases in precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, drying in the Northern Hemisphere subtropics and tropics, and moistening in the Southern Hemisphere subtropics and deep tropics. The observed changes, which are larger than estimated from model simulations, may have already had significant effects on ecosystems, agriculture and human health in regions that are sensitive to changes in precipitation, such as the Sahel.

    Allan, R P & Soden, B J (2008) Atmospheric warming and the amplification of precipitation extremes Science 321, 1481-1484.

    Abstract: Climate models suggest that extreme precipitation events will become more common in an anthropogenically warmed climate. However, observational limitations have hindered a direct evaluation of model- projected changes in extreme precipitation. We used satellite observations and model simulations to examine the response of tropical precipitation events to naturally driven changes in surface temperature and atmospheric moisture content. These observations reveal a distinct link between rainfall extremes and temperature, with heavy rain events increasing during warm periods and decreasing during cold periods. Furthermore, the observed amplification of rainfall extremes is found to be larger than that predicted by models, implying that projections of future changes in rainfall extremes in response to anthropogenic global warming may be underestimated.

    Gettelman A and Fu Q (2008) Observed and simulated upper-tropospheric water vapor feedback J. Climate 21, 3282-3289. 

    Abstract: Satellite measurements from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) in the upper troposphere over 4.5 yr are used to assess the covariation of upper-tropospheric humidity and temperature with surface temperatures, which can be used to constrain the upper-tropospheric moistening due to the water vapor feedback. Results are compared to simulations from a general circulation model, the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM), to see if the model can reproduce the variations. Results indicate that the upper troposphere maintains nearly constant relative humidity for observed perturbations to ocean surface temperatures over the observed period, with increases in temperature similar to 1.5 times the changes at the surface, and corresponding increases in water vapor (specific humidity) of 10% -25% degrees C-1. Increases in water vapor are largest at pressures below 400 hPa, but they have a double peak structure. Simulations reproduce these changes quantitatively and qualitatively. Agreement is best when the model is sorted for satellite sampling thresholds. This indicates that the model reproduces the moistening associated with the observed upper-tropospheric water vapor feedback. The results are not qualitatively sensitive to model resolution or model physics.

    Brogniez H and Pierrehumbert RT (2007) Intercomparison of tropical tropospheric humidity in GCMs with AMSU-B water vapor data Geophys. Res. Lett. 34, Article Number: L17812 

    Abstract: We make use of microwave measurements of the tropical free tropospheric relative humidity (FTH) to evaluate the extent to which the water vapor distribution in four general circulation models is faithful to reality. The comparison is performed in the tropics by sorting the FTH in dynamical regimes defined upon the 500 hPa vertical velocity. Because microwave radiation penetrates non-rainy and warm clouds, we are able to estimate the FTH over most of the dynamical regimes that characterize the tropics. The comparisons reveal that two models simulate a free troposphere drier than observed (< 10%), while the others agree with the observations. Despite some differences, the level of agreement is good enough to lend confidence in the representation of atmospheric moistening processes. A climate change scenario, tested on two models, shows a tendency to maintain the FTH to an almost fixed value be it an ascending or a subsiding regime

  • BBD

    And thus is a good rationale for the lack of those (never observed, but alleged) “˜large positive feedbacks’ ““

    Tell me Jonas, with your super science whizz brain, why is GAT about 15C if there are no significant positive feedbacks to RF from GHGs? The world needs to know…

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD, you needed to misrepresent what I said about PDO too. This is the kind of practice you often label and condemn as ‘lying’. So: Stop lying! 

    But you are quite correct in that I am careful not to put forward anything that is easily shot down. That’s what I mean by knowing what I am talking about. And no, it is very much full of content. It’s just you having no method to comprehend or extract it (presumably because you are a SkSc-proxy-keybord-warrior without any knowledge or training when it comes to real science)

    And you need to remember, that it was I who read the E&P paper to you, pointing out both what it didn’t do, and what it actually shows. And that it was you who totally (and I really mean TOTALLY) f*cked up about what it did. So your:”because you didn’t understand the paper. Or chose to misrepresent it deliberately”

    .. is more than just a little bit rich coming from someone (initally) believed that winter-to-summer temperature differences somehow confirmed the alleged high and positive CO2-feebacks (but of course, that’s what I expect from your kind)

    And again, you copy what the captions and text etc in E&P say, but cannot extract what it actually means. Once again you’re nothing more than a copy-paste keyboard warrior. NiV is correct that you can’t learn anything about science, not even when the simplest things are spelled out for you. (I’m still fascinated by your UHI being ‘energetically insignificant’ objection, and that you even now, four+ months later believe/pretend? that you had a point)However, the sniping, the invectives, the name calling and alike is (almost) always initiated by you. 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    #236

    “Tell me Jonas, with your super science whizz brain, why is GAT about 15C if there are no significant positive feedbacks to RF from GHGs? The world needs to know”¦”

    Are you still not aware of that the discussion/debate is about the alleged, claimed positive feedbacks due to the change in one minor trace GH gas as CO2?

    Still not? I have outlined what the discussion really is about, I don’t know, how many times. Are you still in denial of that too?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #234,

    You can find the core argument at Judith Curry’s blog – look for “Best of the Greenhouse”. The sunlit pond is a further development of that – the discussion with BBD wasn’t very enlightening; his only argument appeared to be that water could not possibly act analogously to greenhouse gases because it was a very strong absorber of IR. The one I had with Lucia was a lot more fun. There are a few others around the internet.

    Much of the argument over the physics – from both sides – seems to be driven by preconceptions and an inability to switch to a different viewpoint once one particular argument has been learnt. Anything that doesn’t fit the script ‘must be wrong’, but nobody seems to feel any curiosity to know how or why. BBD is an extreme case of a common phenomenon.

    Perhaps people are just jaded by the endless bickering, and no longer interested in understanding new insights and viewpoints.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    #235

    I notice that you copied in an awful lot of abstracts from various references. I haven’t looked through all of them, but I would be very (VERY!) surprised if you had read all these papers, and read them so well that you were capable of  correctly summarizing them, their results and how they went about at arriving at them. (We have seen in the last months how extremely poor you were at doing that with other papers)

    But I have also noticed that you (and quite some more AGW-activists) use this tactic (because this is what it is if you haven’t read them properly and can’t argue their details) when trying to get ahead in a debate, by just throwing out more and more. 

    I have not read them, I’ll admit. And unless you specifically claim the opposite I will assume that you haven’t either and that (if you have) you will do equally poorly as with the E&P paper or a Hansen paper you linked some time ago. 

    Anyway, somebody as ill-versed in physics and science is most likely a total waste of time reading papers to. And most certainly you have been, in the few occasions I have so far … 

  • BBD

    Jonas

    Not a SINGLE answer. Nothing. It’s all you’ve got. You are a troll, Jonas.

  • BBD

    NIV

    Lucia nails your bullshit exactly as I did. The upper layer warms. The bottom of shallow ponds warms (depth is vital, as you know but have denied – and we are talking *shallow* here for best analogy with atmospheres – a few mm). The upper layer warms. LW is trapped, re-radiated and eventually radiates at the surface. As Lucia said: you are being vague (to create a ‘mystery’ where none exists) and you are talking nonsense.

    It’s the classic hallmark of the crank. The other is that when the facts are pointed out, the crank refuses to accept the explanation.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD .. It is really really difficult for you. I understand, being as inept as you are in physics and science, of course makes it extremely difficult to pretend you are discussing or debating something. 

    But yes, I answered the one questions you actually did pose. But of course you missed that. Because you were not aware of what you actually asked. As has happened before many times.Further, you are hardly in the position to complain about not having questions answered . You consistently fail to answer even simpler ones (of the kind: What did you mean? How did you establish that? Are you aware of …? Have you at all read that? Etc). And you did not answer my questions! 

    I would not even dream of asking you to explain more physical issues. About those I simply point out what you seem to be completely oblivious about, what you have missed. Why your ‘explanation’ can’t be right, or the only one, why the results point in the opposite direction of your beliefs did etc. As we’ve just seen here again …

    You are still a kid, BBD, who wants to impress the others in the playground with words and things you’ve picked at home (~SkSc) but who is at a complete loss when you encounter some grown ups.

    According to your own account, you still haven’t grasped why your ‘energetically insufficient’ was a complete give away wrt to the UHI effect. And this in spite of things being explained to you in detail. It’s just hilarious how little you comprehend .. 

    I too read the discussion between Lucia and NiV (*). And as usual you are blindly taking sides about physics you understand absolute zip about. (Well, that I already knew). In this case you even missed what phenomenon NiV was illustrating using a pond as an analogy. You missed the entire thing BBD! 

    Let me properly rub this in: You read the exchange, decided that Lucia ‘won’ hoping that she pointed out some (alleged) BS by NiV. And you didn’t have the first clue about what was discussed. None BBD! None at all! 

    Let me inform you: They didn’t disagree on any physics (at least not after having any possible initial misconceptions cleared up). They were arguing about what ‘perspective’, what terminology was the proper one to describe the same physical phenomena. And this too was noted by several others present … 

    Let me also point out that I even before I had read that exchange, had a good (and as it turned out correct) picture of what the issue was, and noted that you did not get it (in #234).  

    You are (and will remain) a kid in every such discussion, BBD. An incompetent activist with internet access, who can search a database for keywords. But doesn’t understand them.  And what baffles me (a bit more) is that you are in denial of it. That you really want to pretend to know and understand things (about physics and science) which any grown up directly sees that you don’t. I wonder whom you are hoping to convince with such tripe (as I’ve asked you before). To me you seem like both the troll and the immature activist probably too ignorant to realize how far out of his league he is … You are and remain a joke BBD. And you will hear this again … :-)

    (*) It also was really funny to see Eric Adler again there, who is equally inept when it comes to physics, trying exactly the same empty rumbling .. 

  • Nullius in Verba

    #242,

    So why is is that when people point the facts out to you, you refuse to accept the explanation?

    The greenhouse argument is that sunlight passes through some transparent medium, is absorbed at the surface, but re-radiates in the infrared to which the medium is opaque. The IR is absorbed and re-radiated in all directions, including down. This “back radiation” acts as another source of heat, warming the surface. A thermal gradient is set up.

    The argument was first applied to real greenhouses made out of glass. Sunlight shines in, but glass is opaque to IR and the heat is trapped. The glass radiates part of the heat back, slowing its escape.

    The analogy was extended to the atmosphere. Sunlight shines in, but greenhouse gases are opaque to IR and the heat is trapped. The atmosphere radiates part of the heat back, slowing its escape.

    I’ve just extended the analogy to a shallow pond of water. Sunlight shines in, but water is opaque to IR and the heat is trapped. The water radiates part of the heat back, slowing its escape.

    It’s exactly the same argument. There’s no doubt pond water absorbs IR, they’ve known that for over a century. You can measure it in laboratories. There’s no doubt it’s transparent to sunlight, because you can see it. There’s no doubt that the water emits thermal IR, and that it must emit it in all directions. There’s no doubt that the bottom of the pond receives thermal IR back radiation from the water at a much greater power than it would from the open sky. All the elements and requirements of your greenhouse argument are in place – the only thing missing is the greenhouse warming!

    The bottom of the pond is at the same temperature as the top, with no thermal gradient. All the back radiation has absolutely no effect on the temperature.

    Now, there’s also no doubt the back radiation exists, gets absorbed, contributes heat, etc. although some have tried to argue otherwise. But the example demonstrates that back radiation does not generally result in increased temperature. Not in a pond. Not in the atmosphere. Not in a greenhouse. That argument has been known to be bogus for over 100 years.

    The correct explanation was first understood around the 1960s, which is that the mechanism is different in a convective atmosphere. With convection, heat cannot be trapped radiatively because it would immediately escape convectively. You get warming in a greenhouse because convection is blocked. You can get warming in the atmosphere because convection is limited by the compressibility of gases, leading to the adiabatic lapse rate. You get no warming in ponds because the water is incompressible and the lapse rate is close to zero.

    The atmospheric greenhouse effect in a convective atmosphere is the product of the average altitude of emission to space, which for Earth is about 5 km, and the (moist) adiabatic lapse rate, which for Earth is about 6.5 C/km. The middle atmosphere settles at a temperature to radiate all the energy absorbed, and the surface is warmer than that because of the lapse rate: 5 x 6.5 = 33. And adding greenhouse gases raises the altitude of emission to space.

    And yet even today, 50 years after it was discovered, we still have ‘cranks’ measuring the radiation from the sky, thinking it’s the mechanism of global warming, and ‘cranks’ citing their papers, and ‘cranks’ endlessly arguing and misunderstanding on blogs, incapable of understanding even their own arguments, let alone those of their critics. Seriously, you had might as well stand in a greenhouse and measure the IR coming down off the glass! The scientific ignorance is astounding.

    But hey, it’s only been the issue of our generation, the justification for major shifts in our global economy and governance, the impending end-of-the-world, for the past 30 years. It’s not reasonable to expect the people saying so to actually understand it already…

    People will only know about it if they’re told. I can see that. But what about you? You have been told, you’ve had it patiently explained to you, step by step, and all you can muster is empty bluster, bile and denial. You seem incapable of understanding anything for yourself – all you’ve got are your approved authorities to quote. What can we do?

  • BBD

    Still saying *nothing* Jonas. Just trolling. You are a waste of time. Byee.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    NiV .. it looks as if you after all are hoping to ‘teach’ BBD some tiny bit of understanding. At least about the arguments he and his side are using … 
    ;-)

    But as I said before, I am quite certain that this is still far higher above his head than just adding up the ‘back radiation forcing’ from his own links, and comparing ‘present’ and ‘past’ … 

  • BBD

    NIV

    the only thing missing is the greenhouse warming!

    The bottom of the pond is at the same temperature as the top, with no thermal gradient. All the back radiation has absolutely no effect on
    the temperature.

    I dispute this. Every word of it. Multiple assertions without a single piece of supporting evidence. Where are your temperature measurements of a surface covered by a layer of water (not a pond) a few microns deep? It needs to be microns even for a poor analogy with the troposphere. That’s where the problem is. Your analogy is misleading, as previously stated.

  • BBD

    If you’ve got something referenced and concrete to say Jonas, then say it by all means. Otherwise it’s just noise.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD .. you have still not answered by question: 

    Have you yet realized why ‘energetically insufficient‘ is totally misdirected when arguing about the UHI-effect? 

    It’s a simple Yes/No question! 

    And even simpler: Have you found the ‘answer’ to the only question you posed earlier? (Or is *nothing* really all you ever understand?)

    But yes, you are definitely wasting your time. My question has been: Why? And whom are you hoping to convince with your demonstrated ignorance? 

  • BBD

    If you’ve got something referenced and concrete to say Jonas, then say it by all means. Otherwise it’s just noise.

  • BBD

    Have you yet realized why “˜energetically insufficient“˜ is totally misdirected when arguing about the UHI-effect?

    Can you explain why the TLT satellite reconstructed temperature is in excellent agreement for monthly, annual and decadal variation with GAT (surface air temperature) if the latter is being distorted by UHI? Nope, you can’t. That’s what I was driving at, but you never understood that did you?

    Just as you are incapable of understanding that N Pacific SSTs cannot warm the climate system (including the global ocean), which is proof that the PDO is energetically insufficient as an explanation for modern warming.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD, I don’t need to reference basic textbooks about basic physics. And I have plenty of references showing my main point here, that you are nothing but an ill informed kid … This thread for starters will suffice. And others are linked here. 

    PS You still haven’t understood the first thing about what NiV is showing. The key word is ‘convection’. And your kiddie-objection (most likely) refers to water being opaque to UV, hence the few micron layer. But psssst: This is not and never was the issue. You are still clueless! Quel surprise! 

  • BBD

    More noise, Jonas.

  • BBD

    Remind me Jonas, what was your coherent, robust and referenced argument for your ‘scepticism’? For some reason you refused to provide one when I asked you a dozen or so times for it recently. Let’s try again.

  • BBD

    See Jonas, the N Pacific SST (positive phase PDO) isn’t doing all this. Energy moving out of one region of the global ocean doesn’t cause the rest of it to heat up. That’s what’s meant by an energetically insufficient explanation. And look at the 0 – 2000m trend. What might be an energetically sufficient explanation for that, I wonder? You can provide a referenced, coherent and robust explanation if you have one. Or you can concede that you are just making a noise.

  • BBD

    How does UHI heat the TLT Jonas?

  • BBD

    Is water *really* more transparent to LW than UV?

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Priceless, BBD, absolutely marvelous … 

    You noted (quite correctly) that any UHI-effect is ‘energetically insufficient’ (*) to have any notable impact on the entire lower troposphere heat content . 

    Why would you bring up such banalities? I don’t know, but I surmise it’s because you don’t have the first clue about what the issue is about any UHI effect. 

    That is why I asked you what you meant back then BBD, why brought that up!? . Because nobody ever has claimed anything else, anything opposing (what you believe is) that issue, stated above (*).

    The issue with the UHI effect is a completely (and I mean completely!) different one. And your answers then, and also now clearly show that you still don’t know what it is. Have no clue! None! 

    You counter-question once more emphasizes that. And BTW it was answered back then, put in proper context. And your underlying misconceptions were pointed out and addressed. Repeatedly! You just didn’t understand those answers either. Still don’t. As we’ve noticed so many times. 

    The whole quibble can be read here. I was even more polite to you back then, and carefully repeated and rephrased my questions, in order to facilitate your ‘understanding’, trying to help you forward … 

    And it too is a good laugh .. ;-) 

  • BBD

    More unreferenced noise Jonas.

  • BBD

    254? 255? 256 (fail – noise only) 257?

  • BBD

    The issue with the UHI effect is a completely (and I mean completely!) different one.

    So, why does TLT match GAT for monthly, annual and decadal variability like this? Where’s the UHI Jonas?

  • BBD

    I want to see some evidence for it. Please provide some evidence for me.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD … a pond is transparent to visible light … which was the topic. Did you miss that too?(*) 

    Or are you a tiny bit smarter than your stupid mouthing off indicated, and thus tried to redirect from your previous misunderstanding? (*)

    (*) Again: A Yes/No question. Two of them actually … 

  • BBD

    Does UHI increase OHC Jonas?

  • BBD

    Noise, Jonas. We can carry on until you start making substantive responses. Or not. The point is getting made with every failure on your part to respond substantively. Isn’t it Jonas?

  • BBD

    And your kiddie-objection (most likely) refers to water being opaque to UV, hence the few micron layer.

    The transparency of water – greater to UV, or LW? Answer please, Jonas.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD #261 .. why don’t you follow the link in #258. It is all explained in detail. Really, repeatedly! It’s all there, in painstaking detail .. 

    Your failure to comprehend even the simplest arguments or physics is not my fault BBD. 

  • BBD

    Noise, Jonas. 254? 255? 256 (fail ““ noise only) 257? 261? 262? 264? 266?

  • BBD

    All noise, Jonas. We can carry on until you start making substantive
    responses. Or not. The point is getting made with every failure on your
    part to respond substantively. Isn’t it Jonas?

  • BBD

    So, why does TLT match GAT for monthly, annual and decadal variability like this? Where’s the UHI Jonas? I want to see some evidence for it.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Quel surprise!

    Please show your feminine side, JonasN. Beware French genders.

  • BBD

    Then you can explain the little matter of OHC. With or without reference to the PDO. Perhaps you’d prefer to drop that now?

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD many of your questions are answered. You just don’t understand the answers. Presumably because SkSc doesn’t provide any guidance for you  .. 

    But that’s the problem you have when being both completely ignorant wrt physics and science, and relying on simple activist websites for support … 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Willard … that was at least an objection with some substance .. :-)

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD, have you or have you not understood why ‘energetically insufficient’ is irrelevant to the issue of any UHI effect?

    It is a Yes/No question! Well BBD:  Have you!?

    And BTW, the answer is completely irrespective of whether or not satellite and station data agree, or how well they agree. 

  • BBD

    BBD many of your questions are answered.

    Umm – no they aren’t, Jonas. You’ve answered nothing. Here’s a list of recent evasions: 254? 255? 256? 257? 261? 262? 264? 266? 270? 272? This is farcical btw.

  • BBD

    More noise Jonas. Let’s have some evidence for UHI.

  • BBD

    Why is OHC increasing Jonas?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > That was at least an objection with some substance.

    That was not even an objection, but an illustration of a behavior you despise when BDD shows it.

    And this last response illustrates how well you identify speech acts, JonasN.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Willard .. you identified one instance of poor spelling (there are more, believe me).

    Do you think that this somehow helps BBD to overcome his shallow understanding of essentially everything that is discussed wrt any climate and related perceived problems? Or do you think my objections with what he tries and says are based on poor spelling or ‘speech acts’?

    If so, you are mistaken

  • BBD

    254? 255? 256? 257? 261? 262? 264? 266? 270? 272?

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD … It is truly astonishing that you still haven’t gotten there.

    Take your (now oft) repeated question #256:

    “How does UHI heat the TLT Jonas?”

    The answer is, and has been the entire time: It doesn’t! 

    The UHI is nowhere about something heating the (lower) troposphere. And this answer has been given to you many times. Here just moments after you asked is my reply in #258:

    “You noted (quite correctly) that any UHI-effect is “˜energetically insufficient’ (*) to have any notable impact on the entire lower troposphere heat content”

    Was that too difficult to understand, BBD? Because I had said the exact same thing before. In the very link (also provided in #258). There one can find:

    “As far as I know, nobody argues that UHI is about heat content or urbanized land percentage”

    and

    “Is that ‘agreement’ the core of the debunking?Because, if so, why did you bring up “energetically insignificant (climatologically negligible)” when you first addressed this? Because, that would be a wholly different line of argument, and pertaining to a quite different question”

    and

    “Heat, energy and temperature are indeed equivalent in this (broader) discussion. But we are talking about something else”

    You even asked back then the exact same thing:

    “Okay, I’m clueless. How does UHI heat up the entire troposphere?”

    To which I responded (already then):

    “BBD, nobody claims that the UHI effects heats the entire troposphere. Did you really think that this was the argument?”

    One might think this would have been sufficient to answer his repeated question #256. But no! Although I have told him that his questions often are being answered, in detail, and repeatedly: Giving him the link, repeatedly pointing him there to find what it was about, he still goes on puffing: 

    “no they aren’t, Jonas. You’ve answered nothing”

    Just marvelous, isn’t it? Now, the reason all this came up was exactly because BBD seemed to think (thinks?) that a UHI effect must somehow heat the lower troposphere, and argued that it couldn’t because it is ‘energetically insufficient’ to do that. That therefore the UHI-issue must be a weak objection. But this never was the issue with UHI. 

    Also this had been pointed out to him. Many times. Here too in #258:

    “The issue with the UHI effect is a completely (and I mean completely!) different one”

    and the same thing had of course been mentioned many times before (in the link in #258). But if he had missed the answers to the simpler questions that many times, it is of course to expected that he never noticed, nor understood any of the explanations of what it really was and is about. 

    However, regardless of whether or not BBD really couldn’t find any answers at all, or explanations even when followed right after his ‘question’ or when directed at them repeatedly, he has still not answered my question in #275 directly prompted by his claim, and regurgitated by the five fold repetition of the associated question.

    It’s a Yes/No-question, and I am still waiting.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD I take it that the answer to my question in #275 is “No”

    I am not the least surprised. It was the first time I took you up on anything slightly technical. Not even difficult to comprehend, even for a layman. That was many months ago, link in #258. The pertinent answers you requested are still fully visible there. 

    If you think that my assertion is wrong, and that you indeed have understood it by now, I would ask you to specify and explain why your ‘energetically insufficient’ is completely irrelevant to the issue. And I would also ask you to, for the record, explain what the issue about any UHI effect really is about. 

    I don’t expect anything of that happening in the near future. But I’d suggest that if you want to move forward, you have to start with the simple things. Understand those properly first. 

    Some of the subsequent issues I’ve helped you with have been quite simple too, but others have been on a higher level, and some are, I’m quite sure, advanced even for educated knowledgeable people and would take time and effort to straighten out the details and just define what is meant by the various terms, and what arguments are being made, based on what etc. I will not bother you with those …

    Your many counter questions, demanding I provide answers to other things I never claimed or brought up are just ridiculous and stupid. They are farcical strawmen at best, diverting attempts, and  completely idiotic if intended as relevant for what  is on the table .. or total bogus as just shown. 

  • BBD

    You are still missing the point.

    BBD, have you or have you not understood why “˜energetically insufficient’ is irrelevant to the issue of any UHI effect?

    Can you explain why the top lower troposphere (TLT) satellite reconstructed temperature is in excellent agreement for monthly, annual and decadal variation with GAT (surface air temperature and sea surface temperature) if the SAT component of the latter is being distorted by UHI?

    Where is the evidence for any significant effect of UHI on GAT?And how does this somewhat elusive UHI ‘effect’ not only explain the upward trend in SSTs but also increased OHC?

    Increasing the temperature of the TLT and increasing SSTs *and* OHC requires a large amount of energy. A surface air temperature measurement issue (which we cannot seem to quantify) is *in no sense* energetically sufficient to account for the observations. Which is why I originally asked you to think about this.

  • BBD

    Part of your response *must* include clear and undisputed and quantified evidence for an effect of UHI on surface air temperature (SAT).

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    JonasN,
    One might say that I “identifed” one instance of poor spelling. One might also say that I did not, since a reader that has no clue about French could not correct the mistake. One must say, though, that this instance shows that you are using French without knowing much about it, and that this is a behavior about which you do seem to excoriate BDD.
    I believe this has some relevance to what you’re doing in this blog so far. I also believe it has nothing to do with “helping” BDD “overcome” the “shallow understanding” you keep hammering. That you are trying to bring your whipping boy into our conversation shows how much you care about relevance.
    So you can consider that I “identified” another instance of you poorly “spelling” out something.
    ***
    You have stated yourself the motivation behind your objections:

    I don’t expect BBD to really learn something. But I think it is instructive to display how awfully poor his “˜arguments’ are.

    The word “instructive” is interesting here, considering all the editorializing that surrounds that discussion.
    Please tell us why you find this “instructive.

  • BBD

    Good luck, Willard.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #286,

    It appears to be some sort of a law of nature that any statement pointing out the spelling or grammatical errors in some opponent’s statement is always itself full of spelling and grammatical errors.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    …more so when done to show that pointing out a grammatical error can be more than that.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Willard, your ‘logic’ is poor and lopsided … If you feel you want to say something pertaining to the topic, why don’t you do so? Your cheering for ignorance is not the smartest strategy in the long run, I’d say .. But then, I don’t know your goals, so I can’t really judge your ‘strategy’ either ..

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Jonas N,

    You did not answer the question in #286.

    If you answer it, we’ll return to what you call “logic”.

    PS: The topic of this thread relates to Chris Mooney’s book, so I have no idea what you mean by “the topic”.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #291,

    There is no question in #286, grammatically speaking.

    Like Jonas, I also didn’t follow what #286 was supposed to be about. You seemed to be suggesting that a spelling error had some deeper meaning, but apparently didn’t know what. Are you expecting Jonas to tell you?

  • BBD

    In the mean time chaps, how about:

    254? 255? 256? 257? 261? 262? 264? 266? 270? 272? 284? 285?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Nullius,

    I expect Jonas N to answer this question:

    Please tell us why you find this “instructive”.

    I expect you to understand that the spelling error I underlined indicates that Jonas N is using a language about which he knows very little. Try to portray this as something very deep. Be my guest.

    I don’t expect readers to recall that he said he knew what he was talking about, but I do expect them to see that Jonas N does react in a very “interesting” way when the “script” does not revolve around bullying or promoting stereotypes.

    Making people look awful with Gedankenexperimenten is not that difficult when they just can’t dance.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #293,

    Gish-gallopin’ numbers, BBD! It’s a nice technique.But quite a few of them have already been answered, and you just ignored it. Or failed to understand.

    Nobody has to play your game, and if you’re not going to acknowledge any answers you do get, I don’t see why anyone would want to. If you don’t mind, I think we’ll just pick out the ones we think are instructive to comment on. :-)

  • BBD

    NIV – nothing of substance.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #294,

    Or it might just have been a spelling error. You can know a fair amount about French and not remember the gender of every word. And English borrows widely.

    The quoted text is a request, not a question. I wouldn’t normally bring that sort of point up, but you seemed to be trying to suggest that errors of any sort are an indication of a culpable lack of expertise. Should I deduce that you don’t know much about the English language, or should I put it down as a minor and unimportant slip?

    If BBD simply said that he doesn’t follow the physics himself but he trusts the experts, and while knowing that it is argument from authority he finds that sufficient for himself, that would be fine. Anybody can believe anything they want for any reason they like. But he doesn’t – he keeps trying to give the impression that everybody who disagrees with him must be ignorant, or perverse. That it’s not reasonable or intellectually legitimate to believe anything else.

    But surely you see that if we are to do BBD the courtesy of allowing him to believe what he does without the deep knowledge of physics to back it up, he needs to allow others the same courtesy? He doesn’t look awful because he can’t dance – he looks awful because he insists he’s the only one of us who can.

  • BBD

    All I await is an alternative, energetically sufficient explanation for the observations (see # 284 and # 285). Is that so much to ask? :-)

  • BBD

    I know I’m a simpleton. Just humour me.

  • BBD

    With references…. :-)

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    >The quoted text is a request, not a question.

    A request is not the same kind of entity as a question, Nullius, so you are posing a false alternative:

    When a question constitutes a polite request, it is usually not followed by a question mark.

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/question.htm

    There seems to be an instructive resemblance between your response and the formulation just quoted. Again, this is not a grammatical point.

    Since Jonas N does not seem shy about his proficiencies, I believe we could expect that he would have already said that he knew some French. Perhaps he’s just reverse bluffing, so I’m prepared to be surprised. That would be instructive.

    BDD is not making you do it, you know.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #299,

    TLT and GAT are physically different quantities – there is no reason to think the values or the trends should be identical. You may have compensating errors.

    UHI is large and easily measurable – kids have done it for school projects. But the long term effects on the record are complicated. It’s not a simple linear increase, rises (and indeed falls) can occur at different times and over different timescales, affect minima and maxima differently, and depend on other weather effects, like wind and cloud.

    And that’s all confounded with site moves and instrumentation changes and bucket adjustments and so on.

    The overall effect it has on the record is not known. It might be small, or then again it might not be, but at the moment nobody knows, because we don’t have the data or the studies with which to tell. Up until Anthony Watts did his survey in the US, they didn’t even know how many of the supposedly ‘high quality’ stations they had were potentially contaminated. And before you say it, their study did find major effects, and partial cancellation of one component of the error over one interval in one part of the world does not mean that all is well.

    And your attempt to reverse the burden of proof is tiresome. Those defending the hypothesis have to provide the evidence. All the opposition has to do is show if the evidence is not solid. Show me the global survey of temperature measurement sites – sufacestations-style, dating back over the period for which you want to claim trends, and the measurement of the UHI contribution to them to demonstrate it is not significant. If you don’t have a rock-solid demonstration that it has no effect – and given that in some cities it can be up to 8 C I’d like to know the explanation as to how that could possibly be! – then we can maybe accept the science as tentatively settled.

    But until then, we don’t know, and claims that we do are contrary to the science.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #301,

    Good reference! :-)

    It is true that questions do not always end with question marks. Had you said “Would you please tell us why you find this “instructive”.”, that would grammatically have been a question, as you are technically asking whether Jonas would be willing to answer or not, although the real meaning is clearly intended as a request/instruction to answer. But the phrase “tell us why you find this “instructive”” is imperative, not interrogative. It is giving an instruction. And while putting a “please” on the front makes it voluntary; it doesn’t turn it into a question.

    But interesting as it is, the English grammar wasn’t the point I intended. I knew what you meant. I knew you understood what a question was; the distinction is purely pedantic. But I understood Jonas in the same way. On being challenged, Jonas conceded the error gracefully. Shouldn’t we all?

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD still hasn’t understood the first thing about any issues with the UHI effect. He keeps asking questions (of ignorance) answered in absurdum already. He demands ‘evidence‘ for claims nobody has made, claims that even explicitly were stated as not being made! While it was he who made specific claims repeatedly (about the UHI effect) that he could not support anyhow. Here is his initial claim:

    “What UHI problem? It has been clearly established that UHI is an energetically insignificant (climatologically negligible), localised surface boundary layer effect.In short, it is a non-argument. What is the purpose of pursuing non-arguments if you seek to maintain credibility?”"”Why are we even talking about this after BEST has debunked this always-weak argument?”

    (My emphases throughout). And to mine, and several others’ questions (and repeated pointing out that ‘energetically insignificant’ is not the issue) he replied:

    “Do you suggest that UHI was a problem before the satellite era? And that the climate scientists are, either through carelessness or malpractice failing to account for this properly?”

    To which I replied (many times) that he hasn’t made the case for his initial claim. He still hasn’t and (judging from ‘energetically insufficient’ hang-up) still can’t. The strongest supporting statement he could muster was:

    “UHI past and present is not considered to be a significant factor in distorting surface temperature reconstructions”" Why devote all your time and energy to chasing imaginary (or barely significant) UHI contamination in the pre-1979 data?”"The majority view – ably confirmed by BEST – is that UHI is and was and ever-more shall be a NON-ISSUE”

    ie, still his beliefs and opinions. And after more than once having explained what the UHI issue is about, and asked how he arrived at his assertions, BBD responded:

    “What it shows is that you are a conspiracy theorist and I am not.”

    As he has made abundantly clear, the guy waffles a lot about various things he does not comprehend. He does not understand what others say or write. And he doesn’t even recognize that/if they were answers to his ‘questions’. Not even if repeated many times. And linked again. And copied for him, pasted again right there, under his nose.And he still hasn’t answered the simple Yes/No-question pertaining to his initial claim (see top of this comment). I asked:

    “BBD, have you or have you not understood why “˜energetically insufficient’ is irrelevant to the issue of any UHI effect?It is a Yes/No question! Well BBD:  Have you!?”

    How can one (BBD) claim that an issue is weak, is debunked, is a non-argument, is insignificant, is imaginary, always was weak .. etc, without even understanding what the issue is about? Not even after it having been explained many times, not even many months later?

    PS That last one was rhetorical question. I have pretty good picture of what the answer is … 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    (some paragraph-separations are missing in some of the quotes above, ie they contain several quotes)

  • BBD

    Jonas

    Yet more noise. Please respond directly to the actual questions I asked (repeatedly) above. So far you have failed to provide a single scrap of evidence for UHI. Nor do you appear to understand the way in which I am asking you to think about revealing and so constraining any such effect:

    BBD, have you or have you not understood why “˜energetically insufficient’ is irrelevant to the issue of any UHI effect?

    Can you explain why the top lower troposphere (TLT) satellite reconstructed temperature is in excellent agreement for monthly, annual
    and decadal variation with GAT (surface air temperature and sea surface temperature) if the SAT component of the latter is being distorted by UHI?

    Where is the evidence for any significant effect of UHI on GAT? And how does this somewhat elusive UHI “˜effect’ not only explain the upward trend in SSTs but also increased OHC?

    Increasing the temperature of the TLT and increasing SSTs *and* OHC requires a large amount of energy. A surface air temperature measurement
    issue (which we cannot seem to quantify) is *in no sense* energetically sufficient to account for the observations. Which is why I originally asked you to think about this.

    Part of your response *must* include clear and undisputed and quantified evidence for an effect of UHI on surface air temperature (SAT).

  • BBD

    NIV

    TLT and GAT are physically different quantities ““ there is no reason to think the values or the trends should be identical. You may have compensating errors.

    Different but closely related. You are mistaken right from the off. And here is a demonstration.

    Neither you nor Jonas has provided what I requested repeatedly:

    Clear, undisputed and quantified evidence for a significant effect of UHI on surface air temperature (SAT).

    This is because none exists. The GAT reconstructions and the satellite TLT reconstructions tell essentially the same tale. Only the pseudo-sceptics deny this, frequently citing the oddly elusive UHI effect – while failing to understand that the near-match between TLT and GAT rules out any significant ‘contamination’ of the SAT record by UHI. It’s desperately unimpressive.

    The rest of the world has moved on from denying the temperature record. Both of you have been left behind.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    on behalf of BBD, this one’s for you NiV and Jonas.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    bah. the insert image button doesn’t work.

  • BBD

    NOTE: Jonas has repeatedly claimed to have ‘answered’ various questions on this thread. So let’s have a re-cap, shall we?

    In addition to 284 and 285, which I have been obliged to restate above, we have an impressive collection of still-unanswered questions:

    254? 255? 256? 257? 261? 262? 264? 266? 270? 272? 277? 278? 281? 285? 293? 298?

    Let’s go through them in order:

    254: Remind me Jonas, what was your coherent, robust and referenced argument for your “˜scepticism’? For some reason you refused to provide one when I asked you a dozen or so times for it recently. Let’s try again.

    255: See Jonas, the N Pacific SST (positive phase PDO) isn’t doing all this. Energy moving out of one region of the global ocean doesn’t cause the rest of it to heat up. That’s what’s meant by an energetically insufficient explanation. And look at the 0 ““ 2000m trend. What might be an energetically sufficient explanation for that, I wonder? You can provide a referenced, coherent and robust explanation if you have one. Or you can concede that you are just making a noise.

    256: How does UHI heat the TLT Jonas?

    257: Is water *really* more transparent to LW than UV?

    261: “The issue with the UHI effect is a completely (and I mean completely!) different one.”
    So, why does TLT match GAT for monthly, annual and decadal variability like this? Where’s the UHI Jonas?

    262: I want to see some evidence for it. Please provide some evidence for me.

    264: Does UHI increase OHC Jonas?

    266: “And your kiddie-objection (most likely) refers to water being opaque to UV, hence the few micron layer.”
    The transparency of water ““ greater to UV, or LW? Answer please, Jonas.

    270: So, why does TLT match GAT for monthly, annual and decadal variability like this? Where’s the UHI Jonas? I want to see some evidence for it.

    272: Then you can explain the little matter of OHC. With or without reference to the PDO. Perhaps you’d prefer to drop that now?

    277: More noise Jonas. Let’s have some evidence for UHI.

    278: Why is OHC increasing Jonas?

    281: 254? 255? 256? 257? 261? 262? 264? 266? 270? 272?

    285: Part of your response *must* include clear and undisputed and quantified evidence for an effect of UHI on surface air temperature (SAT).

    293: In the mean time chaps, how about: 254? 255? 256? 257? 261? 262? 264? 266? 270? 272? 284? 285?

    298: All I await is an alternative, energetically sufficient explanation for the observations (see # 284 and # 285). Is that so much to ask? :-)

    (please see original comments for links – I’m trying to avoid the spam filter.) 

    Come on Jonas. Let’s see some evidence that:

    - you have the remotest clue

    - you are not just an abusive troll

  • Nullius in Verba

    #307,

    You see? We answer a question, and you refuse to accept it or misunderstand. Or as in this case, admit the point and then misunderstand.

    You agreed they are different quantities. Then you use correlation to claim they are nevertheless the same. And then you use this identity to claim that because one is not subject to a particular source of error, neither is the other.

    I’ll try it in maths, in case it helps.

    Your graph shows for a particular short interval:

    A + eA1 + eA2 + eA3 + … = B + eB1 + eB2 + eB3 + …

    The nature of B is such that:

    eB3 = 0

    Therefore (says you) eA3 = 0.

    Do you seriously believe your logic is sound?

    And that’s the way it goes all the time. You issue grand challenges and ridiculous demands. If somebody takes the time and effort to answer, you creatively misunderstand, bury it in paper, or change the subject, and we’re off down another rabbit hole. If nobody bothers, that’s a sign we’ve “got nothing”, or some similarly grandiose attempt at a put-down, and poor Marlowe will think you’ve scored a point.

    You still haven’t understood the basic point: it’s not up to our side to prove UHI affects the record, it’s up to your side to prove that it does not. And this is impossible, because you don’t have the documentation or the data or the detailed understanding of its effects to be able to do so.

    It’s been attempted. The IPCC AR4 cites Jones 1990, Peterson 1999, and Parker 2004, 2006 in its support – except that we know from Pielke 2007 that Parker used too high a threshold wind speed, and in fact the effect he claimed didn’t exist does, and Jones 1990 was of course the one where they used made-up claims about Chinese weather stations not having moved, that later were shown to be unsupportable (1188557698.txt, 1241415427.txt, and Keenan 2007). Jones later backed off from the claim.

    Peterson 1999 compared urban to rural trends in the US, but used night lights rather than a ground survey to distinguish them. Watts showed the folly of that approach. And of course rural stations are affected by urbanisation and land use change too. The data Peterson used in 2003 for a similar purpose was homogenised first. The US is not the whole world, and has no long-term upward trend anyway, prior to adjustments.

    They also mention McKitrick and Michaels 2004 and De Laat and Maurellis 2006 who showed that the pattern of warming was correlated with increased urbanisation, but dismissed it out of hand with an unreferenced and spurious claim that this was due to coincidental circulation changes.

    There are a variety of other results, dating back to before the consensus. Landsberg 1956, Cayan and Douglas 1984, Kukla 1986, Karl 1988, Portman 1993, Todhunter 1996, Camilloni and Barros 1997, Bohm 1998, Magee 1999, Gallo and Owen 1999, Comrie 2000, Morris 2001, Kim and Baik 2002, Calnay and Cai 2003, and more. Pielke senior has about half a dozen papers, with various co-authors, on the subject. All agree that it is a complicated subject, that the effects of UHI are of potentially significant magnitude and not easily isolated, and a full understanding has not yet been achieved.

    If the IPCC had thought they could get away with highlighting the UAH TLT-HadCRUT correlation as proof that the UHI had no effect, I’m sure they would have. But not even they are that daft.

    I’m bored now. I’ll hand over to Jonas for a bit, if he can be bothered.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Willard, people with some elementary training in physics and understanding of natural sciences, who additionally are curious about the facts, wanting to understand the various arguments, and are not participating solely to vent their emotive cheering for one particular side .. 

    .. those people can easily learn more, quite a lot actually, by reading/following the discussions. Both about the physics, the debate and the various arguments. I’d even surmise that you don’t need that much foundation in physics/science and still can benefit substantially. But of course, it requires genuine curiosity.  

    And I would even go one step further by saying that following the debates here (and other places where such is allowed unimpaired) you can also learn about the methods/tactics used on particularly the activist side. Both in general, and by the individuals.

    Those two things were what I meant by ‘instructive’. And I’d say that NiV’s comments have been very instructive too, about sometimes other aspects of the debate. Explaining various aspects of what science is (and is not)

    In regard to BBD, somebody following his ‘efforts’ will pretty quickly notice his MO. And I tell you, it is very repetitive! He will usually start out trying to state his belief or position about or ‘understanding’ of a topic as fact. He will try to make it sound as indisputable, and to pretend to possess such knowledge and understanding. (So far, this is nothing uncommon in any debate or discussion). But notable is what happens if his proclamations are questioned, challenged, found erroneous or incomplete, are not accepted as the only viewpoint, or just are very rudimentary descriptions of something far more complicated. In short, when somebody engages with him … 

    You will see that he first just repeats his initial claim. Trying to bolster it by referring to how convinced he is (or wants to appear), saying that ‘this is it’, ‘it is the science’, ‘known to all’, ‘accepted and shown .. ‘ etc. 

    This of course will not convince anybody who didn’t share his belief to start with, and people will generally explain in some more detail what they oppose to, what part is not as firm or undisputed as he claims. Or point out that he is proffering a hypothesis, while believing it is confirmed science. People will generally try to explain not only what but also why, and based on what principles and observations, his words are not accepted as gospel or the only interpretation. 

    Usually he will start to lose it gradually somewhere around here. First making bolder and angrier claims, sometimes linking to various sites, or graphs claiming that his stance is proven (yes, he often uses that word) there, or by that curve/line/trend etc. 

    Where after he starts insulting those who still tell him that he is nowhere near having made a firm case for his stance. 

    Sometimes it gets utterly ridiculous, when he starts demanding this and that, swamping the comments with copied links and abstracts he hasn’t read and questions on topics and he hasn’t understood. While at the same time putting his fingers in both ears, closing his eyes, and exclaiming ‘I can’t hear you  .. it’s just noise …  I am still right‘. He even tried the ‘I am not talking to you anymore .. ‘ quite a few times.

    Seriously, can you make yourself more stupid? Even kids in the playground abandon this behavior around the age of ~10 or so. 

    After a while this gets utterly ridiculous as you can see here. And I mean really, even you, and even if you’d rather hope for a true climate scare … you can see what an embarrassing fool he makes himself. 

    And yes, I think it is quite instructive for others to see what happens to BBDs ‘arguments’ once you point out that he merely has stated his belief, sometimes linking some publication in which the same belief is hypthesized … 

  • BBD

    That’s right Nullius – there’s no connection between SAT/SST and the TLT. None at all. 14,000ft absolutely relationship. It’s a different world up there :-) That’s why the two curves are in excellent agreement for monthly, annual and decadal variability! Watching you attempt to obfuscate your way out of the bleedin’ obvious is painful.

    Then you use correlation to claim they are nevertheless the same. And then you use this identity to claim that because one is not subject to a particular source of error, neither is the other.

    All you need is to switch denial for the facts and suddenly the ‘problem’ goes away. But ‘sceptics’ will argue any contrarian nonsense, to the detriment of their credibility. As I say, painful to behold. Here’s a fact: nobody has convincingly demonstrated that UHI has a significant effect on SAT reconstructions. Ever. The scientific consensus among actual, real experts who know whereof they speak is that it is at most, a minor factor. Pielke Snr, Watts, Keenan, McKitrick and Michaels have not come close to overturning the mainstream view. Let’s keep that in mind, shall we. It helps maintain a balanced perspective about what matters, and what doesn’t.

    Then there’s the little issue of accounting for the rise in TLT temperature, SSTs and OHC. It’s clear that UHI can play no role in an energetically sufficient explanation for the observations. It’s clear that UHI is – at most – a minor issue with an insignificant effect on SAT reconstructions. It’s clear that talking about it is a diversionary tactic beloved of ‘sceptics’ who would dearly love to avoid the big picture and its implications. 

  • BBD

    Jonas

    Yet more noise. You don’t really do specifics, do you?

  • BBD

    @ 313

    14,000ft absolutely relationship.

    14,000ft absolutely breaks the relationship.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Willard (contd.)

    We can pretty much forget BBD as a source of understanding anything about how the physics or natural sciences or the scientific method. I am tempted to use stronger words than ‘does not understand‘ and ‘is clueless‘ (and I will, but not in this comment).

    The MO I described in the previous comment repeated itself for quite a range of simple to moderately basic physics and principles:1. BBD does not have the faintest clue what the issue is with  UHI-contamination (believes and argues for months, still does, that it has to do with ‘energetically insufficient’)

    2. Does not know what/where the debate is/stands between the climate scare- and the skeptical side. Believes that the climate sensitivity must be (very close to, or higher than) 3°C/CO2-doubling. Believes that no observations point in other directions.

    3. Believes (now merely believed) that large and positive feedbacks to CO2 manifest  themselves in the winter-to-summer temperature- and H2O-content changes. 

    4. Argued (thereafter and repeatedly!) that the same measurements still confirm high CO2-feedbacks (via water vapor) even when those measurements showed less WV-backradiation than compared to the past (with less CO2)

    (points 3&4 required me reading to and explaining the contents of BBDs linked paper (Evans&Puckrin), and interpreting the results for him)

    5. Claims that whatever happens below the sea surface cannot be ‘energetically sufficient’ to affect atmospheric global mean temperatures (in recent decades). Even strengthens that claim to ‘must have zero contribution’.

    6. Thinks he can look at a data-set, and decide what part of the data is signal (~true), and what can be ignored as ‘noise’. Even does this for something that is measured very accurately: GAT (as he has stated and is ‘argument’ here repeatedly, as he said ‘excellent agreement’ among several different  measurements)

    6b. Then redefines ‘noise’ to mean ‘not showing what should be seen, if it only could be seen clearly’. Meaning: He already knows the answer, whatever deviates from that should be labelled error, noise, weather, variability etc to be done away with. (Again under the presumption of it having zero mean value)

    7. Not understanding the concept of ‘convection’, claiming that an example where ‘convection’ totally dominates over ‘backradiation’ is wrong, and even believing that somebody agreeing on the physics, but questioning if it is  semantically the best argument has identified this as bullsh*t. 

    8. There are many more minor examples of BBD being poorly versed in physics and science, the most egregious possibly being his repeated demands that others should disprove his exclamations of faith, or prove this or that which has never been claimed. 

    But I’ll leave it at those. And Willard, I am not asking you to rule or decide which stance you’d rather believe in in any of those cases. Instead I am pointing you to an MO, a systematic failure to address any issue, and to instead retreat to what is best called the ‘Creationist Gambit’:

    We already have a perfect ‘explanation’ for everything we see. It just takes some ‘acceptance’ of the word and taking in ‘the faith’. And we have both the scripture, and the priests translating it for us and who can  interpret the signs of the Almighty. Who are you to read the scripture differently? Who are you to challenge those lofty clerics, they’ve studied these matters so deeply? And who are you to point out that the proffered explanations don’t hold water or are mutually contradicting? We already know that: ‘The Lord works in mysterious ways’ and who are you to think that he doesn’t, how can you prove that he doesn’t .. You can’t!

    The religious analogy is far stronger than that. But the repeated demand: ‘Prove that it ain’t so … ‘ is sufficient to identify what it is about. 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD, no I don’t pull specifics out of my hat just because I wan’t them to be that. That’s for the religious faithers … 

    I check and see what can be supported by the data, the observations and the measurements. And what conclusions and assertions can be made or hypothesized based on those. And if the real data doesn’t support specified and quantified claims, it just doesn’t, and the question remains open. Regardless of how intensely or even desperately some want it to be otherwise .. 

    That’s the difference between science and religion, which I am sure has been explained to you before. It just seems that it is far too complicated for you to take in … 

    You’ll just have to accept my explanation of the distinction and have faith in me not lying to you, I’m afraid .. 

    But you can be quite confident here, I have not lied to you in any instance, not even felt the slightest need to or only an inclination .. 

    It is the faithers that need to construct more and more elaborate ‘explanation-schemes’ about both those not sharing their faith, and why none of their objections matter … 

  • BBD

    Jonas

    It’s interesting the lengths you will go to to avoid answering *any* specific questions.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    I’ve been very specific about the things I know with certainty:

    As long as you keep arguing ‘energetically insufficient’ about any issue with the UHI effect, you are nowhere near even the least understanding of what it is about. 

    That is as definite a statement if there ever was any. And I have asked you repeatedly if you realize why this is so. And you have been almost equally specific about that .. 

    This issue is settled, BBD. You look like fool! And it is essentially as settled are the others where I have taken you up on various technicalities. You just haven’t proven  your ignorance quite as succinctly as wrt to the UHI vs ‘energetically insufficient’ .. (well, in some cases you have ..)

    And I have also asked you why on earth you thought you could get away with empty waffling about physics, about science, and with WoodForTrees-plots in the presence of far more educated individuals than you!? 

    This I find even more intriguing than that you lack basic understanding of simple physics. The latter, after all is true for the majority of people, and an even larger majority of the ‘environmentally concerned’ … 

  • BBD

    As long as you keep arguing “˜energetically insufficient’ about any issue with the UHI effect, you are nowhere near even the least understanding
    of what it is about.

    In other words, you have still not understood what I am saying. Which does rather undermine your endless assertion that you are ‘far more educated’ than I am. Perhaps you are, but you have not demonstrated it here.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    I understood what you said the first time,  I even spelled it out for you many times, and what you said was stupid wrt to that issue, and it still is .. And I spelled that out for you too … 

  • BBD

    Fine. Let’s leave comprehension issues aside. All you need is a robust body of (published) evidence that UHI is significantly distorting the gridded SAT temperature reconstructions and you are away. Have you got any? 

  • RickA

    Jonas N and BBD (321 and 322).I find your back and forth rather boring.Could you just make your point without referring to each other?I am sure all the other lurkers would welcome this as much as I would.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    RickA .. it is rather boring. The points have been made .. The links are there for everyone to see, I have even repeated (copied) some of the core statements. 

  • BBD

    RickA

    This is hard work for me too ;-)

  • BBD

    RickA

    NIV and Jonas cannot provide a coherent, referenced scientific argument that counters the standard position on AGW. Hence the endless back and forth.

    We know energy is accumulating in the climate system because it is warming:

    Sea surface temperature

    Ocean heat content 0 – 700m (red) and 0 – 2000m (black – note higher trend)

    Global average surface temperature (land/ocean) and satellite-based estimate of tropospheric temperature (at 14,000ft; purple and blue)

    Radiosonde (balloon) mid-troposphere temperature ~1955 – 2010 (5,000ft – 30,000ft; red)

    Energy comes from the sun:

    Sunspot number; trend 1930 – present; five year mean (SIDC; standard proxy for solar output) and GAT; five year mean (red).

    Satellite measurement of solar output (PMOD) and GAT 

    Why is energy accumulating in the climate system? It’s not the sun, so what is the energetically sufficient explanation?

    IPCC AR4: radiative forcing from greenhouse gasses 

    IPCC AR4: major anthropogenic radiative forcings quantified

    IPCC AR4: multi-model simulation anthropogenic forcings vs natural-only

    What we need from Jonas is an alternative energetically sufficient explanation for the observations. With references.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > While putting a “please” on the front makes it voluntary; it doesn’t turn it into a question.

    Here’s how the Wikipedia entry for Questionbegins:

    A question may be either a linguistic expression used to make a request for information, or else the request itself made by such an expression. This information may be provided with an answer.

    Questions are normally put forward or asked using interrogative sentences. However they can also be formed by imperative sentences, which normally express commands [...]

    A question should not be conflated with the interrogative sentence which conveys it. What people do with words matters: without the speech act of questioning, the grammatical entity loses its point.

    The gracefulness of Jonas N’s concession would deserve due diligence. But so would the concept of burden of proof. So much to do, so little time.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    >We can pretty much forget BBD as a source of understanding anything about how the physics or natural sciences or the scientific method.

    I’m not sure what you mean by a “source of understanding”, Jonas N, and I think you have a very strange way to “forget” about it.

    In fact, I do believe that the following induction tells us why you just could not “forget” BDD:

    This I find even more intriguing than that you [BDD] lack basic understanding of simple physics. The latter, after all is true for the majority of people, and an even larger majority of the “˜environmentally concerned’ “¦

    Three instructive dots you got there, Jonas N.

    On a more general note, I am not sure on what basis you can infer anything about BDD’s understanding of the scientific method. A commented quote would be needed for that one. In any case, I do have some quotes showing that the scientific method might not be the best understood conceptual apparatus in this thread.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Yes Willard … it indeed looks like you are not sure … thanks for sharing ..

  • BBD

    Here, again, is # 322:

    Fine. Let’s leave comprehension issues aside. All you need is a robust body of (published) evidence that UHI is significantly distorting the
    gridded SAT temperature reconstructions and you are away. Have you got any?

  • BBD

    Then you can bring your towering intellect to bear on #326. That I really have to see.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Fail again … I don’t need any such thing. It is the claimant who needs to provide   “a robust body of (published) evidence that UHI …”“ ..  has been clearly established that UHI is an energetically insignificant (climatologically negligible), localised surface boundary layer effect.In short, it is a non-argument. What is the purpose of pursuing non-arguments if you seek to maintain credibility?””"Why are we even talking about this after BEST has debunked this always-weak argument?”And since your claims were essentially nonsense, and had nothing to do with either science or the actual issues with the phenomenon, you can’t do any of that. In the same way you couldn’t support many of the other nonsensical claims I’ve taken you up on. All you can do is waffle more nonsense .. And I can sit here comfortably and watch you make an even bigger fool out of your self.

  • BBD

    And since your claims were essentially nonsense, and had nothing to do with either science or the actual issues with the phenomenon, you can’t do any of that.

    When are you going to realise/admit that this is a strawman, Jonas?

    I’m frankly astonished at your inability to follow a simple argument. You seem so absolutely fixated on the term ‘energetically sufficient’ that you are unable to comprehend what I am *actually saying*. It’s truly odd to watch. And very frustrating. Perhaps that is intentional.

    Let’s try again, one more time. Clear your mind. Take a few deep breaths. Forget what you *think* I said and just read the words in front of you.

    Fact: satellite TLT tropospheric temperature is in excellent agreement for monthly, annual and decadal variation with GAT.

    GAT has two components: surface air temperature (SAT) and sea surface temperature (SST).

    Now, can you explain why the lower troposphere is in such excellent agreement for monthly, annual and decadal variation with GAT (surface air temperature and sea surface temperature) if SAT is being distorted by UHI?

    If UHI was significantly distorting SAT, it would also distort GAT. Agreement between GAT and TLT would break down.

    We don’t see this. We see excellent agreement. So UHI is not significantly distorting SAT (and GAT). QED.

    All I ever said back at BH was that UHI was a localised, surface boundary layer measurement issue. It wasn’t energetically sufficient to warm the troposphere at 14,000ft. There was no other mechanism by which UHI could cause SAT (GAT) and TLT to be in such close agreement.

    However, there is a bigger picture in which UHI plays no part, but is much more relevant to discussions of climate change. See # 326.

    Increasing the temperature of the surface, the sea surface, the TLT *and* raising OHC requires a large amount of energy. An energetically sufficient explanation is required, and one exists. It is principally radiative forcing from GHGs, mainly CO2. Again, see # 326.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > it indeed looks like you are not sure

    Is this an instance of a graceful concession? Whatever this is, I can be a bit more direct: the idea that BDD is a “source of understanding” makes little sense. More so if we assume that he’s only a mindless messenger. And you do seem to imply that he is, and in fact you did insist on this implication, while “forgetting” about it.

    And what we can “forget” only confirms what you knew all along. And of course confirmations are seldom surprising. Nevertheless, confirmations are often instructive.

    PS: Where is that quote about BDD’s conception of the scientific method, again?

  • BBD

    willard

    This was good: And you do seem to imply that he is, and in fact you did insist on this implication, while “forgetting” about it.

    It’s ‘BBD’, by the way.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    As I said, you can restate your beliefs about both what the UHI issue is about, and that it has been debunked, that it always was weak etc as many times as you wish ..                                                                                                                                                 But they remain your beliefs, your unsupported stance, and in some aspects nonsensical bordering to stupid …                                                                                                                                                 As NiV pointed out: Not even the IPCC is so daft as to use your ‘simple argument’ to deal with it. And I’ll tell you, they are very keen on using arguments of the kind ‘Look, we managed to get our curve to agree with the data … thus the curve must be the true explanation’                                                                                                                                                And indeed, you did (several times) bring up: “energetically insignificant (climatologically negligible)” in your arguments for your yet unsupported stance. If you are finally moving away from that nonsense argument, maybe you are getting closer to addressing my (N.B.) pertinent question (in #275):                                                                                                                                                “have you or have you not understood why “˜energetically insufficient’ is irrelevant to the issue of any UHI effect?
                                                                                                                                                    It is a Yes/No question! Well BBD:  Have you!?”                                                                                                                                                If you still feel insecure about this, I’ll accept your implied ‘No’ for the time being, and recommend you go back to the BH-thread to read it “one more time. Clear your mind. Take a few deep breaths. Forget what you *think* I said and just read the words“!  Read it again. It’s all there. And several others told you exactly the same thing.                                                                                                                                                 And BBD, the problem is not (almost never) that I don’t understand what you are saying. What ‘simple arguments’ you try. You are hardly the first AGW-faither I’ve come across, or whose ‘understanding’ of the science I have had to hear/read. As I’ve told you many times, most often it is me who needs to help them getting the arguments on their side properly formulated. Same here, as you may have noticed.                                                                                                                                                 Even if they (as they often do) get their arguments completely wrong (eg ‘energetically insufficient’) I often understand what they are trying to get at or what they have misunderstood, where they went wrong or why. Because I know science and physics far better than the average activist. I know this is annoying to you, but it can’t be helped.                                                                                                                                                 You’ve seen it here again above, when you were hoping to ‘debunk’ NiV’s example of the role of convection. Even before you confirmed it, I understood where you completely missed what that analogy was about, and what you confused it with, when you started talking about few micron layers .. It prompted you to derail once more, asking stupid questions about opacity for LW vs UV radiation ..  only to  again emphasize how completely you had missed what the discussion was about, not understood any of it. I know this is annoying to you, but it can’t be helped.                                                                                                                                                         Before you understand what is actually the issue, what is being discussed, you simply don’t! And you’ve proven that time and again. Often with those completely moronic counter-questions. We are still at the same point: Where you had made (and confirmed you made) definite statements about the UHI issue being debunked ..                                                                                                                                             &n
    bsp;            .. and before you either have delivered very good (robust, actual and empirical) support for such a claim (which requires far more information and data), or changed your stance to that it was only a statement about your beliefs (ie admitting that you were waffling) you are still just waffling! I know this is annoying to you, but it can’t be helped.                                                                                                                                                          You need to get the simplest things right before you can move on to combining two (or more) of them to form more complex arguments, or even understanding and knowledge. You still need to accept the fact that in science you cannot only wish, or want things to be in a certain way. Or appealing to your ignorance about them, as an argument for that it cannot be any other way. It just doesn’t work that way! And in #326 you linked a buch of IPCC claims. And everybody knows that they make all kinds of claims. But you seem once again to confuse the existence of such a claim, with it also being true, and it beeing correctly understood and explained too. Again: It just doesn’t work that way! (And before you can get the simplest things right, or at least understand what they are about, there is no reason to engage with you on any higher level …  Your long list of ‘demands and questions’ only show how badly this gets … I made a list for Willard about simple things you couldn’t understand, but caused you to derail. You will need to come to terms with those too. But at the present rate, we might have departed towards the newxt ice age … who knows)                                                                                                                                  

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Willard … you can either read BBD’s many attempts to construct information, confirmation, affirmation for this or that hypothesis, by just stating that it indeed is so, and/or providing an argument/link/curve which may show that this not disproves his hypthesis.                                                                                                                                         And (or) you can read the many instances where I or others have tried to explain what you can infer from said observations, data, logical argument etc.                                                                                                                                         If your own understanding of the scientific method is weak too, this method migh be a bit scetchy, and you will not get the full picture. But just keeping your eyes open should instruct you to a number of things you cannot do while doing science. And an open, honest, and inquisitive mind should even help you to realize why it can’t be any other way …                                                                                                                                        

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Sorry to mistake your name with binary decision diagrams, BBD…

  • BBD

    Wow. # 336 is as fine an example of evasion, self-serving bombast and prolixity as I have ever seen from you Jonas.

    One small point: I understood NIV’s intention with his obfuscations about ponds perfect well.

    I *also* know that water absorbs LW more rapidly than it absorbs UV:

    It prompted you to derail once more, asking stupid questions about opacity for LW vs UV radiation

    Apparently, you don’t. I have repeatedly – and unsuccessfully – asked you to admit this after your initial mistake:

    257: Is water *really* more transparent to LW than UV?

    266: “And your kiddie-objection (most likely) refers to water being opaque to UV, hence the few micron layer.”
    The transparency of water ““ greater to UV, or LW? Answer please, Jonas.

    And yet you have the gall to bring it up again. It beggars belief, really.

    I have yet to see *any* evidence of your much-trumpeted superior knowledge and reasoning ability on this (or any other) thread. Far from being learned or informative, your discourse is characterised by bad faith, evasiveness, arrogance, myopia, abusiveness and tactical misrepresentation. You also go on a bit :-)

  • BBD

    willard

    Sorry to mistake your name with binary decision diagrams, BBD”¦

    I should hope so too. Especially with this wealth of inspiration to choose from :-)

  • BBD

    I made a list for Willard about simple things you couldn’t understand, but caused you to derail.

    I think the kindest thing I can say about that comment (316) was that it represents your personal best in terms of misrepresenting what I have actually argued here and elsewhere. This is what I mean by ‘self-serving’, and ‘tactical misrepresentation’.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD, you are still the one who claimed it has been ‘debunked’ and was an ‘always weak’ argument. Those are your beliefs (if you have been honest). Your beliefs are not in question, they are readily identifiable. What is questioned is the existence of actual and real support on which to base your beliefs, and if this also suffices to support the quite strong statements you’ve made. 

    So far the answer is no. And initially (and partly still), you revealed that you didn’t have a clue what the issue was (‘energetically insufficient’). Your argument about ‘agreement’ is better, but does neither resolve the issue, neither does it address the core issue, nor does it hold so much water as you seem to believe (for those years of observations). But the last point is a finer issue. The elephant in the room is still your initial claim that the UHI-issue is debunked .. 

    If you want to bring up ‘bombastic’ claims, there is one for you. And my comments, and subsequent questions pertaining to your claims are still valid spot on. I know this is annoying to you, but it can’t be helped.                 

    And Yes, I have the gal to bring up your kiddie objection. Because  you still don’t know what NiV*s analogy was intended to demonstrate. You just confirmed that once more, BBD: 

    You don’t understand the things you argue. But still try, and it makes you look stupid! I know this is annoying to you, but there is only one person responsible for what you deliver.                 

    Let me also point out that you now indeed try to argue an error in my understanding of a question you don’t understand to begin with, one where you even thought that Lucia had ‘debunked his BS’ when they were arguing something completely different. And agreed on the physics! 

    Tell me, how is it BBD: Is vastly overstating your your knowledge and understanding of almost anything in the realm of physics some compulsive deficiency you have? Because it seems you just can’t help yourself … 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Well BBD #341, if you think I misrepresent your position, you are indeed in full denial of quite a lot here … 

    But I’ll leave you to play with yourself for a while now. You are not only ignorant, but quite boring too … and instead of making even the slightest progress, you venture further into denial every time you someone doesn’t let you get away with your plentiful but empty blustering and waffling … 

    PS I’m not saying that everything you copy is wrong. Only that you yourself don’t know if it is or what … 

  • BBD

    Let me also point out that you now indeed try to argue an error in my understanding of a question you don’t understand to begin with, one where you even thought that Lucia had “˜debunked his BS’ when they were arguing something completely different. And agreed on the physics!

    Oops. A self-serving misrepresentation too far, Jonas. Here’s Lucia, at the end of that thread (to help you with your reading comprehension, I have emboldened some words):

    NiV”“

    What you mean involves some distinction in your mind which makes no substantive difference to the answer “Does back radiation cause the surface to warm”. The answer is yes back radiation causes the surface to warm.

    Once could also say “Changes in Optical Density result in back radiation, which causes the surface to warm. The surface warming changes the boundary condition at the surface and integrating up, we find the CEA rises to result in a emission balance at the top of the atmosphere.”

    Your claim is warped rubbish, as per usual. You have said in comments above that you don’t lie to me. If this is true, then you have just proved – definitively – that you cannot understand the content of this thread. Either that, or this was a self-serving lie. 

  • BBD

    And Jonas – you were *wrong* about the absorption of UV vs LW by water. And you are *still pretending* that your little slip – the result of a less-than-perfect grasp of simple physics – did not happen. Oops again!

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Thinking about the British Bull-Dogs will remind me of the correct spelling, BBD!

  • BBD

    willard
    :-)

    I’m allergic to bullies.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD … We already know that you didn’t get the message about NiV’s example about convection. Or the contents of what Lucia and NiV were debating. As I said, there was a disagreement of proper perspective to use explaining the physics, not the actual physics involved. Your kiddie-attempt talking about micron layers showed that. And still does .. 

    I know the understanding of the physics are way over your head. You’ll just have to trust me on this too! 

    As you needed me to read your linked papers, and explain to you what they actually showed … You are still just a kid in the playground BBD, and you so much want to be the bully there. But are only getting laughed at .. 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    #345 – One more dishonest attempt?

    “And Jonas ““ you were *wrong* about the absorption of UV vs LW by water”

    How can I be wrong about anything I never even commented upon!? 

    What I said was that your ‘understanding’ of micron layers, and UV absorption was irrelevant to the topic being discussed. Which was ‘convection’ in a pond. That you bringing it up showed that you didn’t even know what it was about. That you believed it to be something completely different. Because it never was about the top few microns layer .. 

    Did you not even get that BBD? Are you really that stupid?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > The religious analogy is far stronger than [the Creationist Gambit]. But the repeated demand: “˜Prove that it ain’t so “¦ “˜ is sufficient to identify what it is about.

    An instructive comment for many reasons:

    This repeated demand would not suffice to identify the Creationist Gambit.

    This comment can be related to the Coulter gambit that caricatures science and beliefs.

    This does not correspond to what BBD said.

    But the most instructive aspect is that we might soon have to pay due diligence to a dubious conception of the burden of proof.

  • BBD

    348; 349

    Blatant dishonesty, Jonas. We’re getting down to bedrock now, aren’t we?

  • BBD

    Let’s review Jonas’ latest self-serving distortions in detail. For the record:

    Jonas:

    Let me also point out that you now indeed try to argue an error in my understanding of a question you don’t understand to begin with, one where you even thought that Lucia had “˜debunked his BS’ when they were arguing something completely different. And agreed on the physics!

    Lucia:

    Sashka”“

    “think Nullius is trying to teach us a lesson about back radiation by setting up the solar pond example. If we understand why there is not a temperature explosion towards the bottom we’ll see what we misunderstand about the atmosphere.”

    I think he is trying to teach us that. But all he is doing is misapplying physics for a solar pond, misapplying physics for climate and claiming that we would learn something by examining what would happen if his wrong physics were true.

    I could ponder what would happen to the economy if people captured a millions leprechauns and took their gold. But this would tell me nothing about the economy. Similarly, Nullius’s solar pond example tells us nothing because he’s applying Leprechaun physics.

    “NiV writes with a tone that puts Lucia off”

    I don’t haven’t noticed anything bad about NiV’s tone. I’m saying his physics and claim about back radiation’s effect on surface temperature is wrong.

    You’re a *liar*, Jonas. Either that, or you are out of your depth. Probably both. And you are most definitely a bully.

    We are getting down to the bedrock now, Jonas.

  • kdk33

    I can’t keep up with it all but….Jonas is right on the Lucia, NiV exchange.  Two different perspectives, but same physics.  Kind of.  NiV’s take captures the nuance more correctly.NiV’s point is this (he can correct, if I am wrong), backradiation is an insufficient explanation.  It is insufficient because, in a  convecting system, convection will cancel the effect of back radiation.  Warming only occurs in a compressible systems due to the lapse rate.Lucia’s understanding is a bit less sophsticated, but not necessarily wrong.Oh well.  Carry on.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    You’ve been, or gone into full denial many times now BBD, whenever somebody points out some of your many misconceptions ..

    Were you not even aware of that Lucia was describing the atmosphere, and not the pond example? Had you not read the preceding comments? Or just not understood them either?

    I often have pondered where exactly your dishonest debating tactics end, and where it is replaced by sheer stupidity … It’s hard to tell in every individual case .. 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD … I don’t need to lie about anything. I’ve noticed that you quite regularly call other peole ‘Liar’. And often do so in the same manner as kids do in the sandbox or playground … when they were quarreling but didn’t have anything left but their heartfelt conviction .. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    BBD,

    Please go read that thread at Judith’s:

    http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/30/physics-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect/

    Speaking of dance, I believe Ron Broberg said it best:

    Ballroom. Shmallroom. Dance woman! And damn all convention! Its not about the points. Its never been about the points.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    The source for the last quote is here:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/7803496090

  • BBD

    No Jonas. No. You are not going to get away with this.

    [Jonas:]

    Were you not even aware of that Lucia was describing the atmosphere, and not the pond example? Had you not read the preceding comments? Or just not understood them either?

    I often have pondered where exactly your dishonest debating tactics end, and where it is replaced by sheer stupidity “¦ It’s hard to tell in
    every individual case ..

    Yes I read the preceding comments. I particularly had this one in mind. Read it.

    Now, let’s re-visit what I quoted for you very recently above:

    [Lucia:]

    But all he [NIV] is doing is misapplying physics for a solar pond, misapplying physics for climate and claiming that we would learn something by examining what would happen if his wrong physics were true.

    It couldn’t be plainer. I repeat: you are lying, confused or most likely both. And – incredibly – despite me providing emboldened quotes to prove it at # 344 and again at #352, you are *still doing it*.

  • BBD

    willard

    If you had something like this in mind, rest assured that I do understand the argument. As – very obviously – does Lucia. Be equally certain that I know that NIV’s aim is not to bring greater clarity. It is to create the *appearance* of error or poor understanding in others. And it is most effective, as we can see.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Still an idiot BBD, as I said: “They didn’t disagree on any physics (at least not after having any possible initial misconceptions cleared up).
    And you are still 1) trying to argue physics way out of your depth, 2) you still ignorantly brought up the ‘few microns layer’, and 3) are still using the kiddie-style arguments likee: ‘Look I found those words … therefor I must be right’, just as you do with various IPCC-claims: ‘Look, but they say so!´
    Thing is kiddie, you don’t have the slightest idea what they were discussing, what were disagreeing about, or eventually agreed on. Not the physics, and not the debate either. And how could you, with your depth of understanding? That’s why you tried both ‘Lucia debunked NiV’s BS’ and ‘few microns layer’. Twice revealing your cluelessness.
    And when you neither understand what the better informed tell you, nor the contents of your own mantras, you start yapping ‘Liar, liar!’ … just as small kids used to do.

  • BBD

    Jonas

    “They didn’t disagree on any physics”.

    Yeah, right. That’s why Lucia said – and did not retract – this:

    But all he [NIV] is doing is misapplying physics for a solar pond, misapplying physics for climate and claiming that we would learn something by examining what would happen if his wrong physics were true.

    That is unequivocal. So, either you are a fool or a liar. Or both.

    You say this:

    Thing is kiddie, you don’t have the slightest idea what they were discussing, what were disagreeing about, or eventually agreed on.

    But I do. Nor do I see any agreement. I saw Lucia get fed up and walk away. You have been caught in a self-serving lie. Over and over again. Why keep on? It’s pathological. And it was you, not me, who didn’t know that water was more opaque to LW than UV. God knows why you keep bringing that bit of basic ignorance up either. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    BBD,

    Well, I did have in mind something like that. What I wanted to convey is the many ways people can react to thought experiments. There are many kinds of thought experiments, but they all serve a main function: to pump intuition. But in a debate, they can also serve as a way to pinpoint a discussion.

    In the quote above, Ron Broberg was associating discussing with dancing. And I believe he’s right. And I believe this applies to the ability to pump intuitions.

    My favorite post at Judith’s is the one that tries to make sense of the thread I just tried to make you read:

    http://judithcurry.com/2010/12/02/best-of-the-greenhouse/

    Nobody won that thread. Everybody had some fun. It was a good dance.

    Please consider what you feel when you write. Then consider your reader. Nevermind Jonas N, BBD. Nevermind the points. It’s not about the points anyway. Just feel the music and move your feet.

  • BBD

    willard

    Well, I did have in mind something like that. What I wanted to convey is the many ways people can react to thought experiments.

    While I do take your point, I’m not reacting to a thought experiment. I’m reacting to an abusive troll who has pursued his vendetta dating back months from another blog. This – clearly pathological – behaviour is tedious and unpleasant. I’m obliged by inclination and common sense to stand up to bullying and will do so. Neither you nor anyone else is obliged to watch.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD … What a joke you are! And nope, you didn’t … you both brought up ‘few micron layer’ and ‘Lucia debunked his BS’ …

    Both are still wrong. And the disagreement was more about labelling, especially in the end. The things Lucia (wrongfully) accused NiV to claim (your cherished repeated quote) he never claimed, and also stated so. And both here and there, others commented (correctly) on what the disagreement was about. You are still the joke BBD. And you still made nonsensical claims (see #247), probably still unaware of the role of convection.

    What a joke you are …

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    BBD,

    I hear you, but please observe how that responding to Jonas N that way makes him “forget” about more instructive issues.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD … your labelling is quite poor too:

    Trolling is what you do with your idiotic questions and demands. With your incessantly shifting goalposts. With your long sequence of untruthful claims. With your inability to argue even your own claims. (The scolarly  incompetence however is just that, and your denial or bluffing attempts are just stupid)

    Asking you how you established your claims, or pointing out that opinions don’t count as evidence or even support is not trolling. Neither is pointing out some of your many misconceptions.

    But it seems you just can’t handle the fact that others know more than you. You quickly go into denial and revert to abuse. Happnes all the time … And now you even whine about not being treated nicely enough …

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Willard, you have plenty of room to make this a more instructive discussion. I sometimes wonder why you participate with what you do … But as I said, I don’t really know your goals, so I can’t judge your strategy either

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Please tell us how your Creationist Gambit relates to anything BBD said, Jonas N.

  • BBD

    willard

    Take a look at # 364 and # 366. How can one have a good dance with someone who behaves like this? I am simply unable to make any headway because Jonas doesn’t play by the same rules you and I do. Show Jonas that he is wrong and he *does not accept it* so as far as he is concerned, he is right. This is a pathology. Blog debate isn’t going to cure it.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    As usual BBD, your ‘concerns’ were addressed already before you brought them up. See #243 (repeated in  #360).
    Again, you have not shown anything. Instead you show that Lucia started out, saying NiV’s physics were wrong. Because she did not fully understand what he was arguing. After that was cleared, she didn’t repeat those claims, instead they argued how those physics should be viewd and labelled.
    And still, you both claimed that Lucia debunked his BS, and argued few micron layers … You were wrong both times, and seemingly still don’t understand that it was about convection.
    And no, I don’t play by the rules you apply. If I did, I would endlessly be sputtering nonsense, and demanding that you prove that what I say is wrong, but only allowing other’s to do this. Through links I would allow. And that I don’t do, because I don’t need to do ..
    And BBD, to make any headway, you first need something of substance to contribute. And you need to understand it too, and be able to comunicate it, preferably even understand the strengths and weaknesses, and the objections raised ..
    As so often, you fail even before you started ..

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Willard #368, every instance fitting its description: ‘I already know what to believe, prove that I’m wrong, but only with sources I approve …

  • BBD

    More posts from fantasy-land Jonas. I have read Lucia’s comments. In this universe.

  • BBD

    Now, instead of dodging willard’s question, answer it properly.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Yes BBD, you’ve read Lucia’s comments. Even copied some of them. And thereafter you said that she debunked NiV’s BS, and brought up ‘few micron layers’, presumably in support of whatever you believed. And yes, this was in this universe! 

    That’s what I have been commenting on, and quite some more stuff too. Also in this universe. 

    Your problem still seems to be that you cannot grasp that there is more knowledge and understanding than whatever you’ve managed to find/copy/memorize. And even less, to realize that whatever you think to have learnt or understood, not necessarily is correct or sufficient or relevant, or the whole picture. You seem to be in denial that there is, or only might be, more than you managed to grasp. Which is truly amazing given how shallow your understanding often is about so many things … and how you even manage to bungle your own versions of your beliefs, and contradict your own (previous) claims. 

    And that’s what you display here (and elsewhere), in this universe. And what people respond to. Over at Bishop Hill, people where saying the same things to and about you before I noticed them. And they were right. You need to grow up and accept that your blustering will not remain unchallenged every time. That statements of faith ar just that and nothing more. And that you won’t get away with checkable untruths! Just grow up and deal with it. 

    And while you grow up, start debating as a grown-up too. For starters, you can start dealing with that belief and faith may be stated, but are not arguments by themselves, and distinguish such from factual statements. And to try to reciprocate, to answer questions politely and honestly, before demanding that everybody else follows you whim. People don’t disagree with you to spite you. People who question or disagree with what you believe to be the ‘consensus position’ and/or just question the various policy-propositions are generally far more capable, mature and educated than those on the other side, and have more experience from the real world. That is why they don’t just accept the proposed orthodoxy on faith alone in the first place. And also why they are better at distinguishing waffle from real arguments. Just deal with it! 

    As long as you chose to blindly hoping for the opposite, you will run into the same trouble time and again. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Every instance fitting its description[...]

    That set could very well be empty, Jonas N, and this claim would still be correct.

    Quotation is still needed, unless some burden is being shifted.

    Shifting the burden of proof when instructing about this very concept. How instructive.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Willard, that set is not empty .. but If you have not seen any single instance, your either haven’t tried, or haven’t looked, or don’t want to look or are uninterested in the answer. I don’t know which, and I’m not particularly interested to find out either .. 

    BBD, I notice that you spout your beliefs in what you think should be accepted as ‘the combined expertise of atmospheric physicists’ in another thread and again entirely miss the point. Trying to defy ‘scientific gravity’ .. And what once more is a good example of what I just described. I chose to respond here, since you again had absolutely nothing of value to contribute there. And probably best should be ignored. Here however, your personal problems have become kind of the issue. And I would like to highlight that same very issue once more: You telling us what ‘the combined wisdom and consensus really should be and also accepted to be ..

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > If you have not seen any single instance, your either haven’t tried, or haven’t looked, or don’t want to look or are uninterested in the answer.

    A theist could very well say that if you have not seen any single instance of God’s magnificience, Jonas N, that’s because you haven’t tried, or haven’t looked, or don’t want to look or are uninterested in the answer…

    Quite instructive!

    What were you saying again about wafle?

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Yes Willard … and you would be wrong. I have listened at length to various theist’s arguments … trying to pinpoint where they actually are making claims of substance .. Intelligent people, mind you, and very well educated ones at that. 

    And I have been listening at length to various climate scare faithers to identify where the root of their faith actually lies … and how they rationalize it .

    What I was saying about waffle is that BBD essentially has nothing else. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > [A]nd you would be wrong

    You mean: the theist would.

    The theist would use the very same argument as you just did and he would be wrong. How instructive

    And so a quote is still missing. Perhaps you could try to find an instance where BBD uses the word “explanation”?

    You already have a really bad position, Jonas N. But if you continue to play like that, you’ll have to find some desperados soon.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    No, I mean you would be wrong … and btw all quotes are still there. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    I’m sure the truth is out there, Jonas N…

    While you muster the energy to find the quotes back, we could look at this other instructive comment:

    If your own understanding of the scientific method is weak too, this method migh be a bit scetchy, and you will not get the full picture.

    Please tell us more about which “understanding of the scientific method” helps you get the “full picture”, JonasN.

    Awaiting for this instructive explanation, we will recall Ann Coulter’s argument purporting to show athat liberalism is a religion:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godless:_The_Church_of_Liberalism#Central_thesis

    Analogies like that all have in common that they break down quite early. This should not matter much to the perpetrators, since they are “generally” (as JonasN would say, no doubt) used for their smearing effect. That’s not always the case, of course: sometimes, it can be used for moralistic effect, when addressing students that commence their scientific education…

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Yes Willard, you (plural?) could do a lot of things .. So why don’t you? 

  • BBD

    all quotes are still there. 

    Evasion and misrepresentations *all over again* Jonas? I’m shocked to the core. Be a nice fellow and answer willard’s questions.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    I am already a nice fellow, and I do answer questions, sometimes repeatedly, sometimes even copying and/or linking the answers again … remember? Or possibly: Forgot already? Again?

  • BBD

    Answer willard’s question.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Indeed, Jonas N, we can say that you “generally” answer questions. At least if we consider that an answer is only a grammatical construct.

    BBD,

    Have you noticed that saying in 237:

    [T]he sniping, the invectives, the name calling and alike is (almost) always initiated by you.

    Jonas N is using the famous “yes, but you started it!”? Do you recall which segment of the population “generally” uses that excuse, by any chance?

  • BBD

    willard
    :-)

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    the interesting (even instructive) thing, willard, is that wordplay will get you absolutely nowhere in real science …

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Must I take this latest minimization as a graceful concession, Jonas N?

    You now introduce an “(almost)” interesting concept: real science. I suppose there is science, and next to it real science. Would you mind telling us about that concept and how it relates to this discussion?

    Oh, and speaking of scientific wordplay:

    http://rabett.blogspot.ca/2012/04/over-in-comments-at-rabett-run-andrew.html

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    willard .. you are correct .. more things are labelled as ‘science’ than are real and hard sciences .. sorry if you weren’t aware of that either …

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    JonasN,

    Thank you for your concerns about my awareness, but your sorriness is misplaced. What should burden you right now, among other burdens for which you have yet to assume responsibilities, is not my awareness, but the demonstration that this real science jab as (almost) some relevance in our discussion.

    Your replies are already lacking invetiveness, Jonas N. Perhaps you just need to focus on the topic might help you regain your spirit, Jonas N. For instance, clarifying what you meant by the “scientific method” might help you with your Creationist Gambit.

    If you don’t play some useful moves, you’ll get stuck into Zugzwang. “Generally”, of course.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    With an (almost) fixed formatting and (some) typos corrected:

    JonasN,

    Thank you for your concerns about my awareness, but your sorriness is misplaced. What should burden you right now, among other burdens for which you have yet to assume responsibilities, is not my awareness, but the demonstration that this real science jab as (almost) some relevance in our discussion.

    Your replies are already lacking inventiveness, Jonas N. Perhaps you just need to focus on the topic to you regain your spirit. For instance, clarifying what you meant by the “scientific method” might help you with your Creationist Gambit.

    If you don’t play some useful moves, you’ll get stuck into Zugzwang. “Generally”, of course.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    I like these phrases:

    “Your replies are already lacking inventiveness, Jonas N”

    “You already have a really bad position, Jonas N”"

    and also this:”

    “What should burden you right now, among other burdens for which you have yet to assume responsibilities”

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    I’m glad you like these phrases, Jonas N:

    The first one underlines that you are supposed to dance.

    The second one underlines that you played many dubious moves and that “generally”, one gets a bad position after playing dubious moves.

    The third one underlines that you have yet to provide reasons for some of these moves, while recalling that one of these moves relates to the concept of burden of proof.

    Dancing is easy, Jonas N. Just feel the music.

  • BBD

    Answer willard’s questions, Jonas.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    BBD,

    I really don’t mind that Jonas N does not answer any of my questions. Perhaps it’s better for everyone that he does not. It’s “generally” tougher to get into editorials starting with “generally” when one does not answer questions. Just do a search for “generally” on this page to see what kind of editorials I have in mind.

    That does not mean Jonas N won’t get into editorial mode. For you certainly can notice how Jonas N is “generally” either into an editorial mode or a more “personal” mode. As soon as he returns to his editorial mode, you should see that his claims are less factual than any of his “real science” claims, if he made any. Could you find one example of such claim he made therein?

    So please bear in mind that this is a dance. As soon as you repeat yourself too blatantly, your feet stops. And what matters is the dance, not the dancer.

    Speaking of which, I don’t understand why you’d claim not to read the Guardian. Nobody cares for your reading habitus. In fact, people “generally” care less about people that refrain to talk about themselves.

    Both you and Jonas N succeeded in making this thread about yourself. By trying to defend yourself when he attacked your credibility, you allowed him to talk about his pet topic. And by replying tit for tat, you just helped him frame the debate.

    If you stick your self out of the discussion, you’ll stop feel the need to be on the defensive. And people will “generally” stop being offensive.

    If you have to remember one thing, it would be to feel the music,

    Best of luck,

    w

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    well willard … many of your so called questions have been addressed, even repeatedly, perhaps not exactly as you wished for. But then again, you never seemed that clear about what you wished for yourself .. But generally yes, they received at least some initial attempt at an answer, But as you correctly say: It’s more about the dancing for you. And wordplay. And as you just stated, and which has been obvious the entire time: you aren’t really interested in any answers or increasing any understanding of the science or just about the debate ..

  • BBD

    Again, point taken, willard, but I’m not really persuaded in full. Certain types of commenter require moderation or they poison threads and ultimately whole blogs. No matter how artful and impersonal the respondents.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Yes, BBD, we who have followed you for a while know pretty well what you would wish for, if only you could, and also get the government to enforce .. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    BDD,

    I agree with you with the need for moderation. Empirical evidence shows that cooperation “generally” derails when retribution is not possible, and this mundane episode shows it quite well. If that is true, we have to admit that the concept of freedom is quite empty when we “forget” about “(almost)” reciprocal share of power. Thus Edmund Bruke might have a point:

    The restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights.

    What matters then is how to reciprocate. Jonas N might very well have a point in asking you to back up your position. What he fails to appreciate is that editorializing against a caricature by using another caricature can only gets him a caricatural editorial. I believe that this act self-defeats his point, unless of course his point was to caricature, and of course he disagrees, while agreeing with everything else. The laws of inference works in strange ways…

    (If Jonas N had a modicum of scientific experience, he might very well see that scientists, being interest-oriented creatures, “generally” stop from interacting with people that show poor understanding, at the very least, as far as their scientific interest is concerned. His own behavior in this thread does not show that he can speak from any authority about the scientific method.)

    ***

    Interestingly, this question has some implication for Ayn Rand’s philosophy. Earlier, in #73, I was wondering if it had a moral dimension. It now seems (tipping my hat to J Bowers), that it does:

    Q: Why don’t you approve of the Libertarians, thousands of whom are loyal readers of your works? [FHF: "The Age of Mediocrity," 1981]

    AR: Because Libertarians are a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people: they plagiarize my ideas when that fits their purpose, and they denounce me in a more vicious manner than any communist publication, when that fits their purpose. They are lower than any pragmatists, and what they hold against Objectivism is morality. They’d like to have an amoral political program.

    Source: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_campus_libertarians

    This would deserve due diligence, more so considering Jonas N’s latest editorial inquiry into your wishes.

  • BBD

    willard

    I am reminded of the finest stiletto blade. A sharp point, and double-edged to the hilt.

    Thanks for the eyebrow-raising Rand quote. And generally, for invigilating this and other squabbles.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    willard, there are many flaws with your last attempt at ‘editorializing’, (which you’ve BTW tried for a while). As for the scientific method, the shortcomings I’ve pointed out are of the very coarse variety. Ones that even a clever high school student would understand. If you claim, that I don’t know what I am talking about, you would be very very wrong. But of course, you have not really challenged what I said .. only asked that I say it once more … 

    I guess that’s your version of ‘dancing’ … 

    I’d say that BBD would be a better partner, or Eli Rabbet .. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Jonas N,

    You said enough about the scientific method to insinuate quite common misconceptions. So the clarification I was seeking should ideally help you. But I’m afraid it’s a bit late right now to restrict the discussion to scientific method.

    If you insist on staying on the dance floor, move your hips to the sound of the music instead of karate chopping in slow-motion. If the dance analogy does not inspire you to act like a gentleman, you could try this other one:

    Some communication principles for an e-salon

    Don’t you feel the beat?

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    I see it the other way around, willard. If you had had anything of value or substance to add to the topic, about the science, the physics, or the methods, I’m sure we would have heard some of it. Your general siding here with the troll indicates (at least to me) that my contention isn’t too bad. I don’t know if you meant to imply that your behavior is that of a gentleman. It too is a strange comment, and the term is extremely misplaced when encouraging our troll here. 

  • BBD

    Jonas, read #400 again. I don’t think willard is ‘siding’ with me at all. He also suggested at #396 that I brush up on my dance moves too :-)

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    BBD,

    Perhaps if Jonas N took the time to follow the source where the “dance” metaphor has been borrowed, he might have needed to revise his “siding” comment. In fact, this last comment certainly shows that his reading skills might not be up to speed. It would be instructive to evaluate this mishap with the help of the colorful language he used when he witnessed the very same kind of mishap therein.

    His “logic” is also still instructive. I should be “siding with” or “encouraging” you because I’m being critical of what he’s been doing in this thread. Sounds like tribalism, don’t you think?

    Please also note his new interpretation of trolling. Not so long ago, he provided this negative definition:

    Asking you how you established your claims, or pointing out that opinions don’t count as evidence or even support is not trolling.

    Notwithstanding the instructive dichotomy between opinion and evidence, and the false claim that an opinion does not count as support (of course it can), and the many instance where he refused to answer my questions, we can smell the whiff of a double standard.

    As a final note for your dance style, I’d appreciate if you could “make shorter shifts” and try not to monopolize conversations. That alone can very well be considered trolling in certain communities, even if you’re sincerely and constructively exchanging with others. Exchanging means that others get to have their say in a somewhat turn-based manner.

    Goodbye,

    w

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Goodbye willard, I can smell whiffs too, quite a few .. But personally, I prefer to state what I mean as straight forwardly as possible. Because even then, it is still quite easily misunderstood, even in good faith. But with interested debaters such things can be straightened out and one can both mover forward and learn more. Both about the subject, and why others would rather lean toward a different position. 

    There is plenty of posturing, and similar games, going on in various internet fora .. and I understand that this may be the primary objective and pastime for quite a few. For me however, it ain’t … 

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    JonasN, yes. He is a troll.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    It is with sadness that I hear you leave, Jonas N.

    Perhaps it is time generalize Nullius’ generalization:

    Much of the arguments in the climate blogosphere seem to be driven by preconceptions and an inability to switch to a different viewpoint once one particular argument has been learnt. Anything that doesn’t fit the script “˜must be wrong’, but nobody seems to feel any curiosity to know how or why. Jonas N is an extreme case of a common phenomenon.

    If you wish to come back, please rest assured that I still have some notes that would deserve due diligence.

    Better luck in your future attempts to bully a commenter, Jonas N.

    Hoping you’ll learn to dance,

    w

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    willard … I would rather describe that as one bully not getting away with his tactics and nonsense, and when challenged to it not being able to handling that  .. 

    Your generalization is utter BS; nothing else! If you ask me, it fits another character better. But even then, I’d say it is overstated and a bit harsh. 

    Your main interests here seem to be along the line between french spelling (or grammar?) and something you refer to as ‘dancing’. And in between that, an awful lot of ‘italicalized’ and ‘citation-marked’ words .. 

    But thanks for the BS, it kinda confirms and emphasizes what I have surmised before … 

    PS I will be in other threads, already am, talking about things I know about. Probably not as easily distracted by posturing about french spelling, and what can be ‘derived’ from such ..

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Of course you’d use that “mirror” trick, Jonas N, and of course you’d simply state your opinion without backing it up, as you did to every claims I asked you to back up, and of course you’d see all this as confirming everything you knew all along…

    And speaking of French while being on the topic of being confirmed in one’s own bias, do you speak French, Jonas N? Have you read back my comment to this quote? Have you yet to develop any feminine side, Jonas N?

    You talk a lot about talking about science, Jonas N. Since you know a great deal about scientific stuff, perhaps you should stick to that. And by “scientific stuff”, I mean the stuff, not the concept of science. The last quote from you I just criticized, one myth and one false claim, attests of it. Let’s not wonder why you just can’t help yourself but to rely on ad hominem.

    Now, was it better said that way?

  • BBD

    Tom

    JonasN, yes. He is a troll.

    Let’s do the delegitimisation tango!
    :-)

    willard

    ‘Yes, but provocation’

    But you are right, of course, about the hogging of the dance floor.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #409,

    Willard,

    Jonas N isn’t an example of what I was thinking of, let alone an extreme one.

    Nor was he ‘bullying’. BBD’s usual tactic is to assert, make demands, creatively misunderstand, and change the subject until the other person gives up, and then declare victory. Jonas simply refused to give up.

    Your tactic seemed to be to mystify with surreal nonsense until the other person gave up trying to make sense of it, and now to claim victory? What was that about?

    #406,

    Which quote do you mean? “Making people look awful with Gedankenexperimenten is not that difficult when they just can’t dance”? Or Ron Broburg’s at Lucia’s?

    I sort of see the parallel but I don’t see the point. Tobis had complained about a funny satire on AGW-alarmist logic, claiming that they were better than that. Lucia called him on it, pointing out some prime examples. Ron tried to call her on that, pointing out that Lucia had posted some ‘Josh’ cartoons, Lucia demonstrated that his point was empty, as she had been careful and selective, and Ron came back with a really weird, but oddly poetic comment, to the effect that he was satisfied to have made them ‘pause and reflect’, and there has to be give and take to communicate. It made no sense because I don’t think either had paused to reflect, and mutually respectful communication was never the intention here. MT’s aim was to win sympathy points while scoring them, Lucia’s to point out that it was a dishonest tactic and he deserved no sympathy.

    I see the parallel – Tobis with BBD, Lucia with Jonas, yourself with Ron – but the point eludes me.

  • BBD

    Tobis would be horrified to be paralleled with a scientifically illiterate, pro-nuke nutter like me.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Nullius,

    I could not care less about what you were thinking of when you tried yet again to sell your usual crap about how moderate you and your kind are.

    I could not care less about your opinion about Jonas N, for I believe that his own behavior speaks for itself. That you rely on “yes, but BBD” does not speak well for your sense of moderation regarding the use of fallacies. Incidentally, your ad hominem against George Monbiot did not went unnoticed, by the way.

    I also could not care less about your opinion that “Ron Broberg’s point was empty”. The outcome of that point is utterly irrelevant to the point I quoted, and you are providing a very strict reading of his “point”. That Lucia went for litteralism, i.e. what Eli aptly calls her “parsomatic”, only proves that Ron’s claim was not that “empty”.

    Of course Ron had a point, which is what was explained away by Lucia’s parsomatic and now yours. If you can’t get what Ron Broberg was telling Lucia, which is related to almost everything I said so far, my generalization of your generalization might have some bearings on reality. And speaking of litteralism, you still have to acknowledge having read that Wikipedia entry for the concept of question…

    LuciaNick Stokes did not got any answer back, except perhaps some fluff by NASA web editors, by the way, which did not answer his question.

    Tapdance all you want around the fact that Jonas N is using a caricature to whine about a caricature. You can try to sell that his caricature is more plausible. Be my guest.

    PS: One learns objectivity at chess by losing game. Unless you are very, very strong, not learning to be objective means losing games. You do put good efforts to be objective, more than most commenters, Nullius. But sometimes that’s not good enough. That you condone Jonas N’s behavior is beyond me. Of course Jonas N was bullying. You even participated.

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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