Superstorms coming?

Are we entering the next ice age?

One of the foundations of scientific inquiry is skepticism. Contrary to what some believe, science is not about consensus but about leaving all doors of inquiry open to all possibilities. It takes only one point of evidence to disprove an entire theory. Progress in science has occurred largely because of breakthrough insights made by individuals, not committees. Another aspect of science is that it is the study of realities much bigger than ourselves: to think otherwise is hubris. We use science to understand the world around us, we use technology to try and manipulate such knowledge to our benefit. However, not all things are within our control. Third, scientific progress depends upon skepticism. Skepticism is good, because it constantly puts conventional wisdom to the test. Conformity to conventional wisdom doesn’t equate with progress.

This is why I present the link below (h/t, http://qando.net/). It provides a different perspective on our future and explanations for many of the weather and climate phenomena we have been witnessing. It provides a very dark and troubling alternative vision of our future. The points it raises are ones of which scientists were already well aware during my university days many years ago. Thus do I know that it contains at least a kernel of truth.

The thrust of this linked article is that we are about to lose the earth’s magnetic shield, resulting in massive and destructive climate disruption that could be civilization altering and plunge us into the next ice age.

http://salem-news.com/articles/february042011/global-superstorms-ta.php

Scared yet?

Well, this article just appeared in an MSM publication published for people who are likely to be only vaguely aware of its scientific merits. Many of the points made in the article appear logically presented and certainly square with information of which I am already aware. However, the article lacks the rigorous detail needed for me to make any judgment of its merits. It is sensational and manipulative. The citations include publications that I consider of highly dubious quality (Scientific American, National Geographic). It does not cite countervailing points of view (which I can be sure exist).

Do I believe the conclusions implied in this article? Nope. Do I disbelieve them? Nope.

I will thus file away the information as evidence of an alternate hypothesis to explain the weather and climate changes that we have observed in our world. A third hypothesis to anthropogenic climate change is solar cycle theory, which also predicts a period of protracted global cooling). It’s a hypothesis that demands a healthy skepticism rather than a frantic reaction. However, it does broaden the terrain of debate on climate change.

I shall file it under “interesting, possibly true”.

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Comments

  1. Mrs Whatsit says

    “Not an argument” : neither are yours.

    If “we” meant to refer to anthropomorphic climate change, perhaps “we” should have said so and stopped there, instead of stamping “our” feet and insisting that “our”mischaracterization of what I said was accurate.  ”May or may not have stopped” does not mean “stopped.” 

  2. says

    So I take it, Zach, that you believe WMDs exist, just that it wasn’t the case in Iraq in 2001-3.
     
    So, given that, what makes you think Global Warming is different? Why does it only need to exist if certain scientists say so. If GLobal Warming exists, like WMDs, then it doesn’t matter if some scientists are faking it. You should be broadcasting to the world which scientists are faking it or not.
     
    So why are you protecting them and keeping such unscientific methods in the darkness?

  3. Gringo says

    Getcher popcorn ready. There are a lot  arguments here which remind me of the Second Law, i.e., the one dealing with entropy. Delta S and all those good things. It is one matter to state “scientists say,” and another matter entirely   to actually argue in the manner of a scientist.

  4. says

    jj: Everybody in the world knew you couldn’t burn salt water in your car, too -  until John Kanzius proved you can.

    If you mean electromagnetic radiation can cause water to dissociate, then yes, but it doesn’t produce net energy.
     
    Mrs Whatsit: ”May or may not have stopped” does not mean “stopped.” 

    We apologize if we didn’t clearly represent your position.
     
    jj: The IPCC is a political body – not a scientific one, Zach{riel}.  Most of the world’s scientists (a consensus?) recognize this.

    That is not correct. Like all committees, it has elements of politics, but it’s still a scientific body. 
     

  5. says

    jj: It is one matter to state “scientists say,” and another matter entirely   to actually argue in the manner of a scientist.

    Which brings us to the gist of the thread. We are not making a scientific argument. We are making an appeal to authority.
     

    An appeal to authority is valid when
    * The cited authority has sufficient expertise.
    * The authority is making a statement within their area of expertise.
    * The area of expertise is a valid field of study.
    * There is adequate agreement among authorities in the field.
    * There is no evidence of undue bias.
     
    The proper argument to a valid appeal to authority is to the evidence.

     
    Everyone relies on valid appeals to authority. When you want a medical opinion, you don’t ask a car mechanic. When you want a mechanical opinion, you don’t ask a medical doctor. If you have doubts about a medical opinion, you ask other doctors, or research medical resources. Even scientists rely on authority. Most citations in the literature are to previous results that the individual researcher has more than likely never verified. Questioning authority is reasonable. Rejecting uncomfortable findings without cause is not. (Nor is it conservative to reject and undermine long-established institutions without sufficient justification.)

    There is a consensus within the scientific community that the climate is changing and that human technology is a significant factor. Unfortunately, unlike Newtonian Mechanics or evolutionary theory, the evidence requires complex mathematical and computer models. Consequently, a direct scientific argument requires being able to examine and test these models, something not available to general readers. Hence, reliance on the appeal to authority. These are the objections raised on this thread:

    * There is no consensus. In fact, nearly every major scientific organization accepts anthropogenic climate change. 

    * Scientists have overlooked several relevant factors with regards to climate change. In fact, scientists have investigated and continue to investigate these mechanisms. 

    * Scientific disagreement. Consensus does not require unanimity. Significant contrary opinions are published, but they have yet to undermine the fundamental findings, and tend to just nip at tangential issues. Indeed, when one objection doesn’t seem to convince anyone, the contrarians just move on to another ad hoc objection. Most of what you see in the popular press just rehashes arguments made many times before.

    * Ad hominem.

    Contrary to common opinion, ad hominem is not a fallacious attack on an appeal to authority. If it turns out the medical doctor has had his license suspended, then our reliance on his expert opinion is undermined — even if he has made the correct diagnosis. We simply won’t trust it without confirmation from an independent expert.
     
    Charles Martel (quoting): Not surprisingly, the blatant corruption exposed at Britain’s premiere climate institute was not contained within the nation’s borders.

    Except that several independent investigations have concluded that there was no evidence of corruption or fraud or any such thing.
    http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2010/07/east-anglia-climate-scientists-l.html

    Furthermore, any claim of corruption would have to include the national academies of many different nations, with entirely different and independent systems, many of whose governments, such as China’s, have no interest in another serious environmental problem to confront as they continue to industrialize.
     
    “Climate change is real… It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001).”
    http://www.nationalacademies.org/onpi/06072005.pdf
     
    Which brings up another point. When the original environmental movement in the U.S. gained momentum in the last century, many people thought that trying to control pollution was an unfair intrusion on the private sphere (even though they were dumping into public water and air), and that pollution controls would ruin the economy, that it was being pushed by a bunch of socialist hippies. Instead, as history showed, those nations with strong non-governmental sectors controlled population, leading to cleaner air and water; and very importantly, those nations that did not press forward with environmental controls, such as within the Soviet sphere, are now saddled with an inefficient and polluting infrastructure that are no longer competitive. They now import more efficient and non-polluting technology.

    Similarly, green technology is efficient technology, using less oil, fewer mineral resources, and avoiding environmental degradation. Those nations that implement the next wave of industry will lead. Others will follow.

  6. says

    Gringo: There are a lot  arguments here which remind me of the Second Law, i.e., the one dealing with entropy.

    As the Second Law of Thermodynamics is not in doubt for ordinary phenomena, not sure your point.

  7. Charles Martel says

    I’ll translate:

    —Yes, I will continue to parrot other people’s words. When you call me on it, I will continue to tediously publish canned explanations of an appeal to authority until you dolts get it!

    —Yes, I run this room. I will continue to reject anything I do not consider an argument and define words as I choose to define them. Despite the fact that I have yet to get the definition for ad hominem right, I will continue to push mine and you will accept it.

    —No, I am not as hung up on style as you people are. I realize that while I can never be as engaging or original (or even use English as properly) as a Danny, jj, Mike, SADIE, Oldflyer, and so many more, I will continue pounding at you with my dead prose until repetition wears you knuckledraggers down.

    —So, yes, I will continue scrupulously avoiding offering an original essay or observation on this site because that would force me to show you that I cannot think on my feet and have no real convictions of my own.

  8. suek says

    >>those nations that did not press forward with environmental controls, such as within the Soviet sphere, are now saddled with an inefficient and polluting infrastructure that are no longer competitive. They now import more efficient and non-polluting technology.>>
     
    You mean … like China??

  9. Gringo says


    Gringo: There are a lot  arguments here which remind me of the Second Law, i.e., the one dealing with entropy.
    Zachriel: As the Second Law of Thermodynamics is not in doubt for ordinary phenomena, not sure your point.
     
    Translation: The Second Law states in most general terms that the entropy of the universe is always increasing. My opinion is that many of the arguments here increase entropy , increase disorder.

  10. jj says

    No, Zach, I mean precisely what I said.
     
    John Kanzius made salt water burn, producing a flame, that can drive a piston.  It can also be used to boil water, just like a nuclear reactor in a power plant does.  We call that flame “energy.”  I’m sorry you never heard of it.
     
    The IPCC is absolutely a political body.  That in fact is correct.  Perfectly so.  A majority of scientists in the world do not belong to it.  They don’t because they see it as an overt politicization of science.  You have a couple of thousand who do contribute to it – and a couple of million who have no interest.  As I said, consensus, anyone?  According to a preponderance of the world’s supply of scientists, the IPCC “reports” have about the approximate value of any other piece of toilet paper.
     
    Where the hell did I say what you quote me as saying in #57?
     
    I don’t know what you know, Zach – it doesn’t seem to be history; it certainly isn’t economics; and your concept of science goes no deeper than anyone with a computer and a mouse that points to google can do.
     
    As all True Believers, you are iron-clad.   You can be faced with emails from your heroes at East Anglia that say: “Let’s fake this temperature data and lie to everybody on the planet about it” – and conclude that this not evidence of fraud.  Which says some things about you – all of them interesting, few of them good.
     
    I don’t have time to help you, and you aren’t interesting enough to compel my further attention.

  11. Danny Lemieux says

    Zachriel explains the proper orthodox approach to scientific inquiry:

    Which brings us to the gist of the thread. We are not making a scientific argument. We are making an appeal to authority.
    An appeal to authority is valid when
    * The cited authority has sufficient expertise.
    * The authority is making a statement within their area of expertise.
    * The area of expertise is a valid field of study.
    * There is adequate agreement among authorities in the field.
    * There is no evidence of undue bias.
     
    Then, they cite the IPCC Report as “authority”.
     
    OK…I get it: our chains are being yanked. We’ve been pranked! I have to admit though, this really has been too funny. I do have to doff my hat to you, Zach. Good show. We fell for it.

     

  12. says

    When you want a mechanical opinion, you don’t ask a medical doctor.

    Zach’s obviously never heard of a second opinion. I guess under Zach’s and Obama’s federal healthcare, you only get the government’s “opinion” on what you need for your health. That should be enough for you, right.

  13. says

    So to continue on that vein, it’s like Zach is saying there is only one doctor and his opinion is the only one that matters. These other people that call themselves doctors that say the surgery isn’t necessary? Oh those, aren’t “real doctors”. The only “real doctor” is the doctor Zach is using as an authority to decide that the surgery is “necessary”.
     
    That’s basically how Zach set it up. The question isn’t who uses authority. The question is, why is there only one authority Zach believes is valid.
     
     

  14. says

    jj: John Kanzius made salt water burn, producing a flame, that can drive a piston. 

    There is no available combustion energy in salt water. Kanzius used electromagnetic radiation to dissociate the water into hydrogen and oxygen, which then burned. All the energy came from the electromagnetic radiation. 
     
    jj: Where the hell did I say what you quote me as saying in #57?

    That would have been Gringo.
     
    jj: You can be faced with emails from your heroes at East Anglia that say: “Let’s fake this temperature data and lie to everybody on the planet about it” – and conclude that this not evidence of fraud. 

    And yet four independent investigations found no evidence of fraud. That’s the problem with the conspiracy theory. It not only requires the cooperation of every major scientific organization, but investigative bodies, as well.
     
    Danny Lemieux: Then, they cite the IPCC Report as “authority”.

    The national academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan and Russia “recognise the international scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”
     
    Zachriel: When you want a medical opinion, you don’t ask a car mechanic. When you want a mechanical opinion, you don’t ask a medical doctor. If you have doubts about a medical opinion, you ask other doctors, or research medical resources. 

    Ymarsakar: Zach{riel}’s obviously never heard of a second opinion.

    Try reading it again. 
     

  15. Danny Lemieux says

    YM, Zach has become very boring.
     
    It’s the same fatuous MO. They can’t think for themselves.
     
    No point in continuing this thread…it’s like trying to explain colors to the color blind.
     
    We move on.

  16. Gringo says

    Danny Lemieux: Then, they cite the IPCC Report as “authority”.
    Zachriel: The national academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan and Russia “recognise the international scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”
     
    Was this this the “authoritative” IPCC Report which stated that the glaciers in the Himalayas were going to melt in 30 years, a prediction which has since been definitively refuted? Does “international scientific consensus” believe that a report which contains utter nonsense like the melting of Himalayan glaciers is “authoritative?” Does “international scientific consensus” believe that the revealing of  fudged data means that there is no need to revisit conclusions based on fudged data?
     
    At least Zachriel is consistent here with the call to authority. Doesn’t want to treat the issue of fudged data emanating from the IPCC, perhaps because he has little or no  experience with culling conclusions from arrays of  data and thus has no independent perspective on the issue of fudged data.
     
    Also note that said call to authority has no documentation regarding at what time those “national academies” had allegedly vetted the IPCC- before or after fudged data et al?
     
    IMHO, if “international scientific consensus” were as large as Zachriel claims, such 90-100% of such national academies would have gotten on board.
     
    In any event, “consensus” is not how  scientific arguments are resolved. They are resolved by deciding which models best fit the facts, not by a popularity vote.
     

  17. Charles Martel says

    We are the Borg. Based on the latest information from our infallible Consensus Horde, the home base of the Federation, San Francisco, is located just west of Malibu Beach on Oregon’s”Sun Coast.” 

  18. says

    Gringo: Was this this the “authoritative” IPCC Report which stated that the glaciers in the Himalayas were going to melt in 30 years, a prediction which has since been definitively refuted?

    The IPCC is not infallible. Yes, the paragraph in question incorrectly represented the scientific findings, and they have corrected the mistake. There are undoubtedly other errors in such a huge undertaking. Why would you think otherwise?
     
    Gringo: Does “international scientific consensus” believe that a report which contains utter nonsense like the melting of Himalayan glaciers is “authoritative?”

    Himalayan glaciers have melted significantly, and this process is expected to accelerate. This could affect water supply for one-sixth of the world’s population.
     
    Gringo: Does “international scientific consensus” believe that the revealing of  fudged data means that there is no need to revisit conclusions based on fudged data?

    There is no evidence of fudged data. 
     
    Gringo: Also note that said call to authority has no documentation regarding at what time those “national academies” had allegedly vetted the IPCC- before or after fudged data et al?

    There is no evidence of fudged data. The IPCC merely created a comprehensive review. Do you have evidence that the national academies have retracted their recognition of the consensus? 
     
    Gringo: IMHO, if “international scientific consensus” were as large as Zachriel claims, such 90-100% of such national academies would have gotten on board.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Statements_by_organizations

    Gringo: In any event, “consensus” is not how  scientific arguments are resolved.

    That’s right. It’s the evidence that decides. All the evidence points to humans having a large effect on the world’s climate. No contrary claims have held up under scientific scrutiny.
     

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