Apr 15 2010

How To Manufacture The End Of The World

Major Update At The End!

The manufacturing of a non-crisis takes careful consideration and detailed work -and a lot of ignorance or gullibility on the part of the person being targeted with the  faux crisis. The most notorious example of this is of course global warming, where the combination of human ingenuity and cow/pig farts is supposedly converting the world’s climate into an oven, inside which all life will die.

I used to give some miniscule benefit of doubt to the Chicken Littles from the Church of IPCC and Saint Al Gore for being well meaning, but incredibly sloppy mathematically and scientifically. But as more details come out about how well crafted the propaganda is, and how too many scientists were too lazy or greedy to challenge the propaganda, I have lost that miniscule remnant of sympathy and respect. And some recent articles help explain why.

The first article is by Richard Lindzen and was posted at WUWT. It sets the stage with this wonderfully glib, pithy and accurate observation about the core issue surrounding the exaggerated cries from warmists:

In a world where we experience temperature changes of tens of degrees in a single day, we treat changes of a few tenths of a degree in some statistical residue, known as the global mean temperature anomaly (GATA), as portents of disaster.

Earth has had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a 100,000-year cycle for the last 700,000 years, and there have been previous interglacials that appear to have been warmer than the present despite lower carbon-dioxide levels.

I could not have said it better. We are worrying about about some statistical noise. In fact, these statistical ‘signals’ are so weak and noisy that we do not know, with any certainty whatsoever, if the current climate is unique at all.

Moreover, the so-called scientists behind this knew this to be true, and covered it up. This has become clear in the CRU emails and documents made public last fall, as emphasized by the esteemed Steve McIntyre.

I am getting more and more concern about our statement that the Early Holocene was cool in the tropics - this paper shows that it was, actually, warm – ice core evidences+glaciers were smaller than now in the tropical Andes. The glaciers in the Southern Hemisphere (Porter, 2000, review paper) were also smaller than at least in the Neoglacial. We do not cite Porter’s paper for the reason that we actually do not know how to explain this – orbital reason does not work for the SH, but if we do cite it (which is fair) we have to say that during the Early to Mid Holocene glaciers were smaller than later in both Northen, and Southern Hemisphere, including the tropics, which would contradict to our statement in the Holocene chapter and the bullet. It is probably too late to rise these questions, but still just to draw your attention.

In the world of the warmists it is always ‘too late’ for facts.

The CRU just completed a lame white-washing of the entire mess, focusing in on safe and uncontroversial reports and avoiding any claims of skeptics. Thus they have completed CRUs credibility crash. CRU will never be a respected voice in science again. Their silly investigative report does have more than one interesting admission:

Although [1] inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing misleading results have been used by some other groups, presumably by accident rather than design, in [2] the CRU papers that we examined we did not come across any inappropriate usage although [3] the methods they used may not have been the best for the purpose. It is not clear, however, that better methods would have produced significantly different results. [4] The published work also contains many cautions about the limitations of the data and their
interpretation.

Numbering is mine. What this says is important – and damning. Clearly the short time this investigation took (3 weeks by some estimates) was focused solely on damage control and covering up. That is how long it takes to craft this kind of legalese blabber (I know, having to help our government craft similar careful language). Let’s dissect this statement into its elements (as I have noted).

[1] CRU is now admitting Michael Mann’s ‘trick’ of covering up inconvenient tree ring data from 1960 onward (which would have created enormous error bars on the historic temperature record derived from tree rings) was clearly improper. What Mann did was erase CRUs ‘scientific results’ and replace it graphically with incoherent data to create his infamous hockey stick. CRU has clearly distanced itself from Mann’s little ‘trick’.

[2] The investigation discovered the math used was not in error – but, and this is a big ‘but’ …

[3] The math applied was not the right math for the assessment and conclusions. This actually violates the claims in [1], but hey, these people are trying to cover up a major screw up here. Cut them some slack. Anyway, I find it interesting the investigation concluded the statistics applied were not correct for the analyses or the results.

[4] The real kicker here is the claim CRU warned everyone the results and methods used might have produced shoddy results. A good segment of the world is running around measuring carbon footprints because these people made claims they now admit could easily be wrong.

There’s more admissions hidden throughout the report, for example:

[1] With very noisy data sets a great deal of judgement has to be used. [2] Decisions have to be made on whether to omit pieces of data that appear to be aberrant. These are all matters of experience and judgement. [3] The potential for misleading results arising from selection bias is very great in this area. [4] It is regrettable that so few professional statisticians have been involved in this work because it is fundamentally statistical. Under such circumstances there must be an obligation on researchers to document the judgemental decisions they have made so that the work can in principle be replicated by others.

Statement [1] clearly notes that the historical temperature record derived from proxies is mostly guessing, not hard fact. Tree ring data especially has too many other factors driving ring size and density of the rings to confidently claim you can extrapolate a regional temperature (let alone a global one). In addition, temperature is a step function in tree rings – either on or off, either dormant or growing. Above a certain trigger temperature, growth is NOT dependent on temperature at all.

Statements [2] & [3] combined is an admission that CRU filtered out some data in their analysis. They selected data in a manner that changed the result. They selected data in a manner that ensured the result would be in line with global warming theories. Statement [2] admits to the filtering of input data, statement [3] admits this filtering altered the conclusions.

Statement [4] is an admission CRU needed outside help and some skeptical eyes to stop them from creating biased inputs which created biased outputs using improper statistics.

The report really is a fascinating exercise in admitting to wholesale screw ups without not actually doing so. Give credit where credit is due, these people know how to produce finely crafted spin. Sadly for them, there are those of us who know how to decompose this propaganda back into its normal, blunt form.

So how wrong where CRU – and by extension the IPCC? Well that brings us to the smoking gun. Willis Eschenbach posted on WUWT another brilliant tutorial, this time on how to present data for effect. He shows the following graph of that statistical residue Lindzen mentioned (click to enlarge):

Horrifying isn’t it? The eye is drawn to that bold red line (in degrees Fahrenheit in order to increase the upward slop). What the eye misses is that light blue line showing the actual annual variation. When one studies that line we see it is as warm now as in the 1930’s and 1940’s (blowing another hole into the warmists doom and gloom screeds).

When the data is presented this way, that statistical residue looks down right scary. But Willis shows the SAME DATA in another form. He shows the temperature variation by year and by month, and he shows it not as a difference (tenths of a degree) but in the actual temperature value:

Now what we see is a bunch of mild variation around a very stable and regular pattern. Willis does a great job of emphasizing the true context of the Chicken Little cries:

Presented in this fashion, we are reminded that the annual variation in temperature is much, much larger than the ~ 1°F change in US temperatures over the last century. The most recent year, 2009 [the bold red line], is … well … about average.

You can misrepresent data by the way you chose to display it. Michael Mann covered up recent tree ring data by splicing on actual temperature measurement data. He did this to cover up the fact the recent data proved tree rings don’t accurately represent temperature. The CRU and others have exaggerated the recent variation in global temperature. But the reality is these tenth  of a degree variation are beyond the ability of most biological systems to detect, let alone be threatened by.

All living creatures, great and small, can deal with temperature changes on the order of tenths of a degree. We all do it every year as temperatures shift by many tens of degrees. The planet has experienced times warmer and colder than now, all without the benefit of humankind being around to declare how superior it is to nature.

The fact is, the global warming con is an attempt by the left to prey on the good will and concerns of people (our inherent green side) and steal our money and independence. The left want to run the world, and they concocted this myth that the world was about to end to convince people to let them lead in order to save us all.

The only thing we need saving from is con artists with misleading graphs and poor judgement in selecting what data is valid.

Major Update: It seems real scientists and mathematicians are distancing themselves big time from Dr Mann’s little graphical ‘trick':

A key piece of evidence in climate change science was slammed as “exaggerated” on Wednesday by the UK’s leading statistician, in a vindication of claims that global warming sceptics have been making for years.

Professor David Hand, president of the Royal Statistical Society, said that a graph shaped like an ice hockey stick that has been used to represent the recent rise in global temperatures had been compiled using “inappropriate” methods.

It used a particular statistical technique that exaggerated the effect [of recent warming],” he said.

Everyone with a high school grasp of science knows not to mix data and claim they are all the same. Mann should be banned from all computing devices (except his fingers of course) for the crap he pulled with that graph. Hand goes on to deny the false data invalidates the results it purports to show. A sloppy sleight of hand in itself.

14 responses so far

14 Responses to “How To Manufacture The End Of The World”

  1. WWS says:

    It took too long to put this in place for the scheme to work. The plan was to get all the restrictions in place *before* the natural cooling cycle kicked back in, and then when it cooled say “Look! It Worked! You have to keep paying us!!!”

    But it took too long, and now the cooling has begun even though we haven’t done any of the things they’ve demanded. Oops. Maybe if we can fake the numbers some more so no one will notice….

    And I’m sure you’ve seen the headline article at WUWT this morning – Professor Mike Lockwood, a leading warmist, has just published a paper showing that the sun’s activity DOES affect temperature, after all!

    None of the MSM will dare point out that this is a direct contradiction of all AGW theory as it has been stated to this point. In fact, just 3 years ago this same Professor Lockwood publicly claimed the opposite. (link at WUWT)

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJ Strata. AJ Strata said: new: How To Manufacture The End Of The World http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/13233 [...]

  3. David Zincavage says:

    I’d prefer to email you, but as per your request, here is a link to a post of mine which might interest you being left as a Comment.

    http://is.gd/bumBJ

    2 Indian scrap dealer and 5 others seriously ill from Cobalt-60 exposure in Western Dehli. Someone playing with dirty bombs?

  4. Redteam says:

    anyone that has, over the years, did searches for global temps, ice core drilling for CO2, etc has never been fooled by the quackery associated with AGW. All evidence indicates that the earth is about as cool now as it has ever been during what I would call–normal times– yes, the ice ages were cooler but the warming periods were much warmer also. So I have never had any sympathy for the fakes that were sounding the alarms. I’ve always felt like they were doing it for their financial interests.

    If you want to see what i’m referring to, do a search and ignore anything recent by the IPcc and other alarmists, just look at raw historical data.

  5. AJStrata says:

    David,

    Feel free to email me, but I must warn you I only wade into that spam mess every couple days and typically miss emails become so much garbage is getting through the spam filters.

    ajstrata@strata-sphere.com

    I always read comments!

  6. Mike M. says:

    Time for the AGW pushers to face fraud charges. Prison will do them a lot of good.

  7. WWS says:

    For David Z: Cobalt 60 gamma sources are a lot more common than you might think. When I did oilfield testing back in the 80’s we had a couple that went with some of our equipment. They used to be the standard in radiotherapy machines, but in the US they’ve been mostly replaced by accelerators which don’t have the contamination problem.

    However, a whole lot of the old cobalt sourced machines simply got shipped to the third world – and some of them have ended up in scrapyards. So one worry is correct – cobalt 60 is actually pretty easy to get ahold of for anyone who’s dedicated to making mischief with it. But it’s hard to grind up without killing yourself in the process.

    This case sounds a whole lot like the infamous 1984 case in Juarez, Mexico – a scrap dealer got hold of an old x-ray machine and didn’t know what it was since he couldn’t read English. He just knew it was metal, so he melted it down, source and all. Ended up contaminating him, all his employees, all of their families, most of the Juarez neighborhood where the junkyard was located, and half the rebar used in Texas for the next couple of years.

    I knew people who had been hired years later to go through construction projects with geiger counters, looking for that contaminated rebar. Dirty secret – if it had been used in deep supports and other places impossible to get to without tearing the building down, a lot of it was left in place. So yes, there are still some public buildings in Texas with cobalt contaminated rebar buried in them. All thanks to an illiterate junk man in Juarez.

  8. BarbaraS says:

    The truth is that more and more wide-eyed idiots are backing away from the global warming religion. I have no sympathy for any of them whether they lost money or convenience for believing this junk. If they had used common sense, that is, if they had any, they would never have bought this tripe in the first place. All the deniers now have an agenda. Whether it is money or power doesn’t matter. Their kitty is running away from them and the money is stopping or at least slowing down. The Obama administration is seeing that the power is not lost by forcing something on us we know is false. They are still pushing this crap even though it has been completely debunked. The first thing to do in changing a country from a republic to socialism is inflict government health care, then some superhumongous crisis like global warming on the populace. Both these things take away freedom speech and liberty and puts the populace under the heel of the government. The timing of the warmists was off but they are still not deterred. After all, the socialists have spent the last 50 years implementing their agenda and succeeded woderfully.

  9. Jill says:

    As a cab driver from the airport in Knoxville, TN, I get to meet several interesting people who do global warming research. Two weeks ago I met someone from Australia, who was going to Oak Ridge, whose field of research is into carbon sequestration. When I told him that I don’t believe in global warming, he said that too much money has gone into the research and they cannot go back now.

    Just to let you know I go to your website every day.

    Jill

  10. WWS says:

    Jill, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Warmists often ask “why would scientists still support this if it was fake? What’s their incentive to do something like that???”

    Imagine the condition of the man you talked to, and all like him. He’s spent 15 – 20 years, probably his entire working career, getting into a position to be an “expert” on this. He’s probably published papers, gone to conferences, made contacts – his entire professional persona is built around this issue. How can he say that’s all nonsense now??? If this is nonsense, he becomes an expert in – Nothing! His career has been dedicated to – Nothing! His credentials are suddenly *worse* than any 20 something grad student coming on the market, because his general info is now way out of date and his specialty is dead. He *has* to fight to the death to try and salvage this issue, because without this he – a man who considers himself a Scientist! and an international jet setter – is gonna be darn lucky to try and get an entry level job as a small town high school teacher.

    Either that or pursue a rewarding new career in the Food Service industry.

  11. BarbaraS says:

    The food service industry wouldn’t have him either. Since jobs are so scarce, the food industry can afford to hire only experienced workers in this field, such as they are. In looking at his resume, they would find that when he added two and two and got five on numerous occasions they would consider him not qualified for the job.

  12. [...] The Strata-Sphere: How to Manufacture The End of the World [...]

  13. [...] Of course Lindzen is one of those litmus test figures — sensible fellow or nut? HT: AJ Strata [...]