Tuesday, May 23, 2017

When Deregulation of Coal Isn't Deregulation

Our favorite fossil fuel paid shill, Tom Harris, who is very active in promoting the failing coal industry, has stated, in a response to Dave James,
James demonstrates one of the ways that the climate debate is being poisoned: attack the messenger with logical fallacies (James seems to like the straw man fallacy as he often says that I favor de-regulation of coal, for example, when I have repeatedly explained that I do not (there is a big difference between promoting deregulation and promoting the cancellation of stupid regulations such as regulating carbon dioxide emissions)).

For the record:
deregulation
dēˌreɡyəˈlāSH(ə)n/
noun
noun: deregulation; plural noun: deregulations
the removal of regulations or restrictions, especially in a particular industry.
So, Tom Harris has stated he is not advocating for deregulation of the coal industry, he merely wants to remove the regulations. I wonder if that statement actually makes sense to even him?

The part of this that is distasteful is that Harris never discusses why we have regulations on coal in the first place. And, he apparently doesn't care. He only wants to promote his employers and help them make even more obscene profits, no matter what the cost. And, the cost is considerable.

Take a look at this article in Science News, When coal replaces a cleaner energy source, health is on the line. The article is a discussion of the paper Impacts of nuclear plant shutdown on coal-fired power generation and infant health in the Tennessee Valley in the 1980s, which appeared in the journal Nature Energy. The paper concerns a study of a period in the 1980s when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) shut down a couple of nuclear power plants and replaced them with coal-fired plants. This was done as a result of the nuclear accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear facility. One plant, Paradise Fossil Plant, increased it's electrical production by about 27%. An increase in air pollution was a natural consequence. A study found that babies born near the plant 18 months after the increase had about 5% lower birth rate compared to babies born in the same area 18 months before the increase. There was no discernible change in other areas that did not experience an increase in fossil fuel emissions. As the article points out, lower birth weight is linked to trouble later in life, including a lower IQ, lower earnings and health problems, particularly heart disease. To put it in context, the extra emissions can be compared to a pregnant woman smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. 

Harris and his friends in the fossil fuel industry don't seem to care. But don't worry. They aren't advocating for deregulation. They only want to remove the government regulations. You know, those "stupid regulation" that limit the particulate pollution, the sulfur-dioxide pollution, the mercury emissions, the arsenic discharges, etc.


  







Monday, May 22, 2017

My Mistakes Identified By Tom Harris

I made an extensive review of a ridiculous interview Tom Harris made on Skype. You can read it here: Tom Harris Fraudulent Scientist. Harris has made a couple of interesting remarks, including stating that I made numerous mistakes.
Mr. Keating has made attacking me into a bit of a cottage industry - see http://tomharrisicsc.blogspot.ca/2016/12/tom-harris-paid-shill.html. Much of what he says is so wrong (or irrelevant) that it is not worth my time to correct. Nevertheless, the fact he spends so much time attacked me tells me I am over the target: the hopelessly flawed science backing the climate scare.

I have offered Harris the chance to point out any mistakes and stated I would gladly correct the post and even give him credit for the correction.

You haven't given us any specifics, Tom. I'll tell you what, show us where I'm wrong and I'll correct anything you can demonstrate isn't correct. To sweeten the pot for you, I'll even acknowledge that you were the one who corrected me. I would think this would be easy, considering you just stated that "Much of what he says is so wrong..." We're anxiously waiting to hear from you.
Here's a screen shot of the exchange:


Here is the list of all of my mistakes identified by Tom Harris:

1.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Tom Harris the Fraudulent Scientist




fraud·u·lent
/ˈfrôjələnt/
adjective
unjustifiably claiming or being credited with particular accomplishments or qualities.
Synonyms: dishonest, cheating, swindling, corrupt, criminal, illegal, unlawful, illicit

Now we can say for absolute certainty - Tom Harris is a fraud. The subtitle on this posting should be "How many lies can one man tell in 30 minutes?"

Take a look at this remarkable Skype interview he did on May 19, 2017. It's remarkable in the number of false statements he makes. It is also remarkable in that he allows himself to be called a scientist and a climate expert. He is neither. Harris is a mechanical engineer and a lobbyist. He does not have credentials as a scientist, has never performed as a scientist, and is not currently working as a scientist. In short, Harris is allowing himself to be unjustifiably credited with qualities he does not possess. That is the definition of fraud and it is not the first time he has done this. He is a repeat offender, so we have a pattern of behavior.

If you are not fully aware of Harris' resume, you can read a lot more about him at the clearing house web page: Tom Harris Paid Shill

There are so many false and misleading statements in this video that it's hard to list them all, but I'll comment on some. I apologize for the length of this post, but there are just too many lies in this interview to let them go unmentioned.

At the 2:00 mark, Harris states, "Even if you believe we are causing an enormous problem, which I don't, ..." 
Response: This is from a man who has stated he has never denied climate change. 


At the 2:50 mark, "We don't actually know we are causing significant climate change anyway. We have not seen a significant increase, or decrease for that matter, in the global average temperature, which they calculate, it's not a real thing, it's just a statistic. We don't actually see any change since about 2000."
Response: Once again, Harris is denying the existence of global warming and climate change. But, why doesn't Harris tell you that 16 of the 17 hottest years ever recorded have happened since 2000? And, why is Harris trying to cherry-pick the data and not discuss the whole temperature record? You can make any point you want, if you limit the discussion to only the data you want to discuss and eliminate the rest.  

And, don't forget, Harris just stated that temperature is not a real thing. Maybe he needs to tell the oceans, the ice, the birds, the fish, plants, the... well, you get the picture. Everything in nature thinks temperature is a real thing and that it's changing.

At 3:15 "The models are not working."
Response: Really? This is one of the most often quoted lies in the denier-sphere, and one of the most easily debunked. Read about climate models here. You can read my posting on this topic at: Let's discuss climate models. Meanwhile, take a look at this graphic:

Source: Benestad and Schmidt

This is figure 2 from the paper Solar Trends and Global Warming, by Benestad and Schmidt. The blue line is the model output and the red line is the observed global average temperature (<T>). As you can see, the model and measured values are in very good agreement.


At 3:25. Harris goes off a diatribe that addressing climate change is costing $1 billion per day. He says this doesn't make sense when there are many problems that could use a $1 billion per day. 
Response: Take note, he doesn't say anything about where this $1 billion figure comes from and where any the money is going. Not to mention that this is an irrelevant discussion. How does the cost of addressing climate change affect the science? It doesn't. So, why is Harris raising this issue if not to create an emotional response in the listener?

The $1 billion per day figure is actually outdated and probably comes from a 2013 report you can read about here. Interestingly, this same report discusses how in that same year, the subsidies to the fossil fuel industry amounted to $523 billion - more than $1.4 billion per day. Wow! We could address a lot of problems simply by cutting subsidies for the fossil fuel industry! (In case you were wondering, the total amount of subsidies for the renewable energy industry was only $88 billion - about one-sixth as much.)

According to the GAO, the US federal government spent $24 billion on climate change in 2014 - much less than what Harris wants you to believe. When he talks about this $1 billion dollars, that includes things like crop damage (which we can't do anything about), damage due to rising sea level and storms (which we are stuck with), spreading disease (which we are stuck with), etc. In other words, there is no decision to be made regarding spending money on climate change. When a storm wipes out your house or business or crops, you don't get to decide if you're going to spend that money. It already disappeared. So, why doesn't Harris talk about this, unless he wants to deceive?

And, he fails to ever address the coming cost of climate change that we will be stuck with if we don't do something now. After all, the reason we have to address climate change today is because people like Tom Harris worked so hard to prevent us from addressing it in the past.


At 3:50 the host asks Harris about the risk that the US will lose as much as 25% of its sovereignty due to the Paris Agreement. Harris never actually confirms, or denies, this figure. But, after stating the Paris Agreement is not a legally enforced treaty, he goes on about how environmentalists can use agreements like this to engage in legal actions in an attempt to force the government to conform to environmental laws. 
Response: Well, the reason we have to go to court is because people like Harris work so hard to help people break the law. If Harris, and people like him, wouldn't work so hard to block actions to address the problem there wouldn't be a need for legal actions. Having our own courts is not a threat to our sovereignty. This is a false, strawman argument.


At 8:10, Harris goes on about how helping people in the future is "immoral". 
Response: This is a simply mind-boggling statement. If nothing else, remember those people in the future are us. We're not only talking about people 100 years from now, we're talking about helping people tomorrow. Tomorrow is the also in the future. Let's not even get started on the issue of taking care of our own children. According to Harris, helping anyone beyond today is immoral. That's because the only thing that matters to Harris are the profits of his employers - the fossil fuel industry, especially the coal industry.


At 13:20, the host goes on about how 'global warming, or is it climate change this week...It seems like it changes every single week.' 
Response: That's because this guy is more interested in denying science than trying to understand it. Climate change is not another name for global warming - it's a different issue. They are both what they sound like - global warming is about the rising temperature while climate change addresses all of the changes in the climate, including, but not limited to, global warming. For instance, acidification of the oceans is not global warming, but it is climate change. This was shortly after this same host said Trump has 'been excellent' in regards to environmental laws. How is allowing coal companies to dump their poisonous waste in our drinking water 'excellent'? When you meet people who say things like what this guy said it merely shows they are truly anti-science and not the least bit interested in the facts or the science. They've made their minds up and no amount of logic or scientific evidence will ever change it. It is a mental illness.


At 15:20, the host, after making all sorts of bizarre statements, says to Harris, "I'm not the scientist here, you are." Harris does nothing to correct him. 
Response: As I said earlier, Harris is not a scientist and never has been. By allowing himself to be addressed as a scientist, he is committing fraud by allowing himself to be credited with accomplishments and qualities he doesn't possess.


At 15:40, Harris makes a mind-numbing statement, "Actually, warming is beneficial." 
Response: I'm not going to go into all of the damage that is resulting from global warming and climate change. I'm merely going to point you to Harris' comment about how we're spending $1 billion per day on climate change and there are other problems that could benefit from that money. Amazingly hypocritical!

Immediately after this statement, Harris produces the report from the Nonscientific Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). The NIPCC is a completely debunked pseudoscience organization. I like to compare them to the horoscope in the daily paper - they are both equally scientifically valid. If you are using the NIPCC as your reference, you might as well use your daily horoscope as one. Notice how Harris always refers to this organization and it's publication, but he never produces any science. That's because there is no valid science to support the NIPCC, or Harris, either.


18:40 - 'The fear of warming is a bit silly."
Response: Harris' logic is that if one guy doesn't have to shovel snow from his driveway, global warming must be good. He's wrong. Take a look:


17:10 "Climatologist Dr. Tim Ball, our science advisor..." 
and
17: 15 "Dr. Tim Ball, he's a well renowned climatologist..."
Response: Tim Ball is not a climatologist, he's a geographer. Harris is committing fraud again by giving unearned attributes to someone else. Ball has never worked in climate science, was never a member of a climate science department and has never earned any credentials as a climatologist.


According to the courts, where Ball was able to present all of his evidence, Ball "never held a reputation in the scientific community as a noted climatologist and authority on global warming." 

And, referring to Ball as 'The Plaintiff", the court said: 

"The Plaintiff's credentials and credibility as an expert on the
issue of global warming have been repeatedly disparaged in the media;

and

"The Plaintiff is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist."






17:30 Harris states the entire Arctic archipelago is covered by only one weather station.
Response: This is an outright lie.  This web page listed below lists FIVE stations in CANADA ALONE that are either permanently manned or remotely operated. 

And, Harris makes no mention whatsoever of the satellites that orbit and take measurements on a continuous basis. This statement, and his claim about rising Arctic temperature is a grotesque lie on his part.


I could stop there because I have made my point - Harris is a fraud and an anti-science propagandist. But, this is too much fun, so let's keep going.


Starting at about 18:00 he goes on about historical climate change and tries to make the analogy with today's climate change. The climate has always changed, therefore any change we might be experiencing is merely natural.
Response
Observe the false logic. What Harris says is like saying "Pneumonia kills people. Bullets kill people. Pneumonia is a naturally occurring disease. Therefore, bullets are a naturally occurring disease." 
See that the real experts have to say about the natural versus manmade climate change.


1830: The temperature record is "only a few decades."
Response: This is another one of his self-defeating statements because he was just talking about the temperature over the centuries. How can he discuss temperature and climate change over centuries, millennia, and even millions of years, if the temperature record is only 'a few decades'? 

Actually, our current instrument record goes back to around 1850. But, the scientific record (using temperature proxies), goes back even further. Using ice cores, we have a good record going back about 800,000 years. Geologic records give us data going back millions of years.


18:50 Harris discusses the standard deviation of the temperature record and states that it could have gotten colder in 2016 instead of setting a record high.
Response: This is one of those truly deceptive statements Harris loves to make because he thinks everyone is too stupid to check his claims. The only possible way for Harris' claims about the temperature record could occur is if you accept that the actual temperature is at the lower two standard deviations (or more) point. Two standard deviations is about 95%. In other words, there is a 95% chance, in this case, that the temperature is higher than the two standard deviation mark. Harris would require every year to hit the two standard deviation mark. Over a mere 16 years (since 2000), the chances of hitting the lower bound is about 1 in 4.4 x 1031. The odds are impossible.

Oh, even if you're interested in only one year, the odds of the higher standard deviations is equally valid. In other words, Harris is making a point that the amount of error in the measurements could be negative without including that the error might be positive. It is equally possible that the temperature was actually higher. Strange how he left that bit out.


19:10 The host states that global warming is merely hot air coming from liberal's mouths. Then he goes into a diatribe that global warming is a grand conspiracy for people to have control over others.
Response: I always find statements like this to be almost hilarious in their stupidity. This guy just made a blanket statement about billions of people and every climate scientist on the planet without knowing a single thing about them. In case you didn't know, that is called bigotry. If you ever had any doubt at all that people like this have no interest in the evidence, this should clear it up for you. According to this guy's reasoning, science changes depending on your political views. And, for the record, I am FAR from being a liberal. 


19:40 Harris states carbon emissions from fossil fuel are not pollution.
Response: Lots has been said on this topic. Here's my comments:

Of course, Harris refers to the pseudoscience NIPCC at this point. See my comments above about that. In short, the only reason Harris would refer to them is because he has no valid science to support his claims. But, that has never even slowed him down. Don't let the science or the facts get in the way. He also refers to the Idsos, another debunked group of fraudulent pseudoscientists who are on the payroll of the Heartland Institute. The reality is, global warming is leading to reduced crop yields and even the crops that we are getting have less nutritional value. Oh, don't forget that CO2 is not selective. If it is food for plants we like, it is also food for plants we don't like, such as weeds in the farm fields and invasive species. Again, Harris never mentions any of that.


21:40 Most of that billion dollars a day goes to alternative energy to try and stop climate change. This is all part of the claim that climate change is just a great conspiracy to control the world because if you control energy, you control the world.
Response: As we've already seen, alternative energy got about $88 billion in 2014 while the FFI got $523 billion  And, Harris doesn't address the fact that energy is already controlled and that list of people includes his employers (Hmmm. Maybe that's why he didn't want to mention it.) Energy is controlled by a few corporations and organizations - such as OPEC, ExxonMobil, Shell, etc. And, who is funding all of the denier activities, such as Harris? The fossil fuel industry. The same ones who already control the world's energy supplies. 


21:50 Harris once again denies the existence of climate change.



22: 10 Harris goes on a lecture about coal.
Response: Harris never mentions all of the damage from burning coal. He never discusses acid rain, arsenic in the water supplies, mercury emissions, particulate air pollution, health hazards, poisonous ash from the power plants, or any of the other issues associated with mining and burning coal. He never mentions something like the study discussed here:


Harris wants you to believe Obama is the only reason coal is struggling. The reality is that coal is struggling for economic reasons. It's simply too expensive.



22:45 The host states, "It is very refreshing I guess is the word I'm looking for, to talk to someone that is a scientist, that is a professional, that knows a lot about you know global, uh, global climate and climate change and things like that..." Harris only smiles.
Response: Just like when the host called Harris a scientist at the  15:20 mark, this statement is not true and Harris did nothing to correct him. Again, Harris has engaged in fraud.

This host the goes on a mindless diatribe about how he wants clean air, but he doesn't want to do it at the "barrel of a gun." His prior statements show this claim is false. Remember, he already said Trump's action on the environment were 'excellent.' He is not interested in clean air, he only wants his own clean air and the rest of the world is expendable. And, by making statement about having to do it at gun point is nothing more than the rantings of a lunatic. Where, and when, has anyone pushed environmental laws on the public at gunpoint? No instances of this actually happening are provided. 

And, while he states he doesn't want any of this done with the government's 'heavy hand', he never mentions how it is market forces, not the government, that is changing the energy industry. No government 'heavy hand,' just the heavy hand of the market.


24:00 Harris goes into a discussion of a great conspiracy to make developed nations, "especially the United States," pay for damages in the developing countries caused by extreme weather, citing an example of the Philippines suing for damage caused by a tsunami.
Response. Tsunamis are caused by earthquakes, not climate change. Once again, Harris doesn't let the science get in the way of lies and deception.

Instead of making conspiracy claims, maybe Harris should simply discuss how this mechanism allows for a civilized and orderly way for grievances to be addressed. According to Harris, that's a bad thing.


25:20 Harris discusses Micronesia suing a coal company and states, "because they're having dangerous sea level rise."
Response: The longer you let this guy talk, the more he hangs himself. He has already stated there is no climate change and its 'silly' to be concerned about rising temperatures. How can there be 'dangerous sea level rise' if there's nothing to worry about and a little warming is "good for us?"


So, there you have it. This was a lot of fun and I hope you've learned something about Harris in particular and climate change deniers in general.































Friday, May 19, 2017

Lead in the Atmosphere and Lessons for Fossil Fuels

The wonderfully well-written book Merchants of Doubt (also a very good documentary) details the anti-science activities of a number of industries - the tobacco industry, manufacturers of CFCs, and fossil fuel corporations, to name a few. I was recently reminded of another one which is not included in their list, one which did an enormous amount of damage and might have been the corporation that made the blueprint for the others - the Ethyl Corporation.

When automobiles started becoming popular in the early part of the twentieth century, one of the problems that manifested itself was how engines would begin to make a noise known as 'knocking' that could make the entire car shudder. An engineer named Thomas Midgley, Jr., working for General Motors, found the compound tetraethyl lead, when added to gasoline, would stop the knocking. In 1923, General Motors, Du Pont, and Standard Oil of New Jersey formed the corporation Ethyl Gasoline Corporation, now known as Ethyl Corporation, to make and distribute tetraethyl lead. The introduction of lead to automobile emissions led to widespread lead contamination, a neurotoxic condition. The following quote comes from the book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson. You may find that the story line sounds familiar.

     "Almost at once production workers began to exhibit the staggered gait and confused faculties that mark the recently poisoned. Also almost at once, the Ethyl Corporation embarked on a policy of calm but unyielding denial that would serve it well for decades. As Sharon Bertsch McGrayne notes in her absorbing history of industrial chemistry, Prometheans in the Lab, when employees at one plant developed irreversible delusions, a spokesman blandly informed reporters: "These men probably went insane because they worked too hard." Altogether at least fifteen workers died in the early days of production of leaded gasoline, and untold numbers of others became ill, often violently so; the exact numbers are unknown because the company nearly always managed to hush up news of embarrassing leakages, spills, and poisonings. At times, however, suppressing the news became impossible, most notably in 1924 when in a matter of days five production workers died and thirty-five more were turned into permanent wrecks at a single ill-ventilated facility.
     "As rumors circulated about the dangers of the new product, ethyl's ebullient inventor, Thomas Midgley, decided to hold a demonstration for reporters to allay their concerns. As he chatted away about the company's commitment to safety, he poured tetraethyl lead over his hands, then held a beaker of it to his nose for sixty seconds, claiming all the while that he could repeat the procedure daily without harm. In fact, Midgley knew only too well the perils of lead poisoning; he had himself been made seriously ill from overexposure a few months earlier and now, except when reassuring journalists, never went near the stuff if he could help it."
Source: A Brief History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson, 2003, pg 150-151

Amazingly, Thomas Midgley also invented chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that are responsible for the destruction of the ozone layer, which is discussed in The Merchants of Doubt.

A geologist by the name of Clair Patterson used the ratio of lead to uranium in rocks to determine the age of the planet - about 4.5 billion years. During his work, Patterson realized there was considerable lead contamination in his samples and wound up using meteorites to reach his final figure. In the process, he established the first sterile lab. Wanting to determine the source of the contamination, he invented the process of using ice cores for atmospheric science. He obtained ice cores and tested the different layers, finding out there was almost no lead at all in the atmosphere before 1923. Patterson made it his life work to address the problem after that. In this he was successful. The Clean Air Act of 1970 came about because of his work and leaded gasoline was banned in the US as of 1986. Lead levels in the blood of Americans dropped nearly 80 percent immediately after that. Unfortunately, lead does not leave the system once it's inside the body, so those of us alive today have as much as 625 times as much lead in our bodies as our ancestors.


But, Patterson paid a price. Ethyl Corporation had powerful friends, including a US Supreme Court Justice. Patterson lost research funding and he was not invited to scientific conferences. Ethyl Corporation offered to endow a chair at Caltech if they would fire Patterson. Ethyl still contends "that research has failed to show that leaded gasoline poses a threat to human health or the environment."

The similarities to the anti-science climate change deniers of today is unmistakable. And, the lesson appears to be that we will need to enact some kind of legislation in order to address the problem.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Harris is Wrong. Manmade CO2 Is Pollution


Another Harris series of lies and deceptions was published under the title Misleading Clean Power Plan fueled climate deception.


Harris espouses a number of false arguments and deceitful statements in his attempt to make the Clean Power Plan appear as invalid. He fails. His first failure (other than how he can't seem to write 'CO2' correctly) is to cite the NIPCC. This is a pseudoscience group that has been completely debunked on numerous occasions (Here is a good place to start: Not the IPCC (“NIPCC”) Report). Citing the NIPCC is like citing your horoscope in the daily paper. They're equally scientific and equally valid. 

He also uses another one of his false arguments, stating that the Paris Agreement will do nothing to address climate change, implying it is of no value. This is false because we are locked into a great deal of climate change simply because of the emissions already in the atmosphere. You know, the same emissions Harris' bosses made a mountain of money selling. There is nothing we can do about those emissions and there is nothing we can do about the climate change they will cause. We're stuck. However, we can address future emissions and future amounts of change and that is what the Paris Agreement was designed to address. So, why didn't Harris mention all of that?

Stunningly, he then uses Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte as a leader to follow. For the record, Duerte has been implicated in the deaths of thousands, has compared himself to Hitler, stated he regrets he did not participate in the rape and murder of a lay minister and said he has thrown people out of a helicopter. Harris has a strange choice in role models. He has even had his articles reprinted in North Korea and Uzbekistan. Meaning, he has been endorsed by two of the most despotic regimes in the world and thinks we should follow Duterte's lead. Ask yourself, is this really someone you want to be taking advice from?

Harris basic claim is that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant because it is produced naturally and plants consume it. This, of course, is as misleading and deceptive as you can get. No one is discussing naturally produced carbon dioxide, so why is Harris? What we are discussing is the CO2 coming from factories and automobiles and that is most certainly not naturally produced. And, the amount of CO2 produced by manmade activities is more than what the natural environment can absorb, meaning the CO2 level keeps going up every year.

The greatest deception Harris makes is the claim that we shouldn't worry about CO2 because it is plant food. Well, raw sewage is also plant food. It has been used as fertilizer in some countries for thousands of years. And yet, I don't know anyone who would want it in their yard or water. If someone came and dumped a bunch of raw sewage in Harris' front yard, I'm sure he would, quite correctly, call it pollution. Saying CO2 is not pollution because plants absorb it is lie. But, that is what Harris does. 

Here is another review of Harris' deceptions:

Simply plant food? Simply not true

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Guest Post: Harris' article reveals the underhanded lies he utilizes to mislead the public

The following submission from Terry is a review of a recent article by Tom Harris, the paid shill of the fossil fuel industry. Additionally, the submitter also shared a letter to the editor he submitted concerning Harris' campaign of deceit and the response from that editor.




TOM HARRIS MISLEADS AND LIES TO THE PUBLIC IN HIS ARTICLE when he falsifies findings from the site "My World global survey". (http://data.myworld2015.org/)

EVIDENCE: 
Tom writes...
"For most of the world, and especially those in developing nations, the message is clear: in comparison with access to reliable energy and clean water, better health care, government honesty, a good education, and protecting forests, rivers and oceans, climate change is not important." Note Harris asserts that in comparison with other issues, climate change is not important for "ESPECIALLY THOSE IN DEVELOPING NATIONS".

Let's head to the site Harris is making reference to. Here we find the "Segments Map". It reveals the group with the highest level of priority for "action on climate change" is revealed to be, low and behold, those with very high HDI, i.e. THE DEVELOPING NATIONS...the exact opposite of Harris' claim that "climate change is not important" for developing nations.

Look further and you will see this site lists "action on climate change" IS of more importance in developing nations than reliable energy at home which is the exact opposite of Harris' claim that this site reveals climate change is NOT of more importance in developing nations than reliable energy. 

This site also reveals developing nations consider "action on climate change" is more important than better job opportunities, political freedom, support for people who can't work, phone and internet access and better transport and roads. This is quite the opposite of Tom's claim that "climate change is not important", especially in developing countries.

NOTE: 
This site reveals developing nations who have the highest level of priority for "action on climate change" also have the highest level of education. This proves once again, the more educated individuals are, the more they understand the importance of controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

CONCLUSIONS: 
Harris lied and falsified UN findings from a site regarding the importance of action on climate change in developing nations, in order to promote his AGW denier convictions.

Terry




The article "Letter-writer’s group has dubious backers" by Austin Irish, regarding climate change denier has spurred Tom Harris to posts that he plans to contact you about it being "misleading and insulting".  

Sometimes the truth hurts.  The article contains only a small bit of disturbing truth about Tom Harris and his ties to the fossil fuel energy, so I hope this article will remain rather than be removed due to Tom's objections.

In one of his videos he tells the crowd to contact all newspapers he has published articles in to contact the editors and give fake reviews about how much they like articles by Tom Harris. He says this is to counteract the many complaints by those who know and understand the real science proving global warming is caused by human activity which is supported by 97% of climate scientists globally. He also censors others by flagging their comments to his articles when they contain truthful information he dislikes. 

Tom Harris is paid to contact the international media with his pseudoscience ridden articles about global warming. His intention is to influence the public and politicians, with the goal of putting a stop to attempts at controlling green house emissions, stating it is too expensive. This is terrifyingly dangerous since the subject matter involves the future of our planet.

The news is supposed to share the truth to the public. Each time Tom Harris is published, the newspaper involved is sharing dangerous lies and pseudoscience, flying against their policies of only sharing the truth to its readers.

Sincerely,

Terry


Please don't worry about me taking down any stories.  I believe in climate change and could care less what Tom Harris thinks of me.  The letter to the editor stands as do the comments.

Thanks for writing.  I would be happy to talk with you if you would like more discussion.

With respect,

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Arctic Unraveling?

One more indicator that things may have hit a milestone:

Major Report Prompts Warnings That the Arctic Is Unraveling

Lakes Around The World Are Heating Up

Not surprisingly, measurements show the world's lakes are warming as the climate changes. Interestingly, they are not warming at the same rate. I would expect small ones to warm faster than big ones simply due to thermal dynamics of a large body of water versus a small one. But, that isn't always true. Sometimes, the larger lakes, such as Lake Superior, are warming the fastest. And, some lakes are even cooling.

There was an interesting article (Lakes worldwide feel the heat from climate change, Vol. 191 No. 9, May 13, 2017, p. 18) in Science News about the subject. Here is a graphic showing the trends for 235 lakes worldwide.


https://www.sciencenews.org/sites/default/files/2017/04/main/articles/051317_warming_lake_map.png
Source: Science News  A recent survey of 235 lakes worldwide found that from 1985 to 2009 most warmed (red dots) while several cooled (blue).



Saturday, May 13, 2017

O2 and Methane Trends

A couple of recently published papers detail disturbing trends in methane and O2 levels.

A paper published in Geophysical Research Letters discusses the trend of dissolved O2 in the upper-ocean. The authors studied dissolved O2 levels in the world's oceans for the period of 1955 to 2015 and stated,

After careful examination of the data, we found that a statistically significant, widespread O2 decline is emerging beyond the envelope of natural fluctuations. Our study also reveals a tight relationship between O2 inventories and the ocean heat content.
This, of course should disturb anyone reading it. They did not indicate that the oxygen levels are becoming dangerous. But, if there is a trend of decreasing dissolved O2 in the world's oceans, there will be areas were the O2 level is, in fact, depleted to dangerous levels. There are already hypoxic areas - known as 'dead zones' - in the oceans where the O2 level is so low most marine life either dies or leaves the area. These areas are principally caused by excessive nutrient pollution coupled with other factors. If the O2 level is depleted by additional, other means, then these dead zones will increase in both number and extent. Since all life on the planet is dependent on marine life, this is something we need to be paying attention to.

By the way, the authors found "The spatial pattern and magnitude of this relationship are consistent with expectations derived from mechanistic ocean climate models forced under climate warming scenarios" That would be the same climate change the anti-science people claim isn't happening.

Another paper, published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (published by the AGU) discussed the levels of methane in the air. The authors examined the atmospheric methane levels since the early-1980s with an emphasis on the period since the year 2000. What they found is that there has been a large increase in atmospheric methane since 2007. Interestingly, the isotopic ratios indicate this increase is not due to fossil fuels. Rather, their analysis indicates it comes from wetlands and agriculture. What is disturbing is their conclusion:


The scale and pace of the present methane rise (roughly 60 ppb in 9 years since the start of 2007), and the concurrent isotopic shift showing that the increase is dominantly from biogenic sources, imply that methane emission (both from natural wetlands and agriculture) is responding to sustained changes in precipitation and temperature in the tropics. If so, is this merely a decadal-length weather oscillation, or is it a troubling harbinger of more severe climatic change? Is the current sustained event in the normal range of meteorological fluctuation? Or is a shift occurring that is becoming comparable in scale to events recorded in ice cores [Wolff and Spahni, 2007; Möller et al., 2013; Sperlich et al., 2015]? In the past millennium between 1000 and 1700 C.E., methane mole fraction varied by no more than about 55 ppb [Feretti et al., 2005]. Methane in past global climate events has been both a “first indicator” and a “first responder” to climatic change [Severinghaus and Brook, 1999; Möller et al., 2013; Etheridge et al., 1998]. Comparison with these historic events suggests that if methane growth continues, and is indeed driven by biogenic emissions, the present increase is already becoming exceptional, beyond the largest events in the last millennium.

Methane, they state, has been both a first indicator and a first responder and the current increase is already beyond the largest events of the last millennium. Wow.

The science is indeed settled. Manmade emissions and activities are changing the climate. What is not settled is just what that means to us and how much damage is being done. These two papers show us some of the damage that is being done right now and the news is not good.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Guest Post: Scientists Didn't Invent Global Warming



Hello Opinion Page Editor,

I noticed the many letters you published on today's opinion page which realistically examined the problems posed by our unregulated use of fossil fuels-many more like them should be posted there in the future.

Once again, this is not for publication. I just hope you will read this short letter whenever you have the time.

The following paragraph is from this source:

Wigley, T. M. L., and P. D. Jones (1981). "Detecting CO2-Induced Climatic Change." Nature 292: 205-08.

And the following specific quote from the work of its authors was taken from this website:
http://history.aip.org/climate/index.htm


"The effects of CO2 may not be detectible until around the turn of the century. By this time, atmospheric CO2 concentrations will probably have become sufficiently high (and we will be committed to further increases) that a climatic change significantly larger than any which has occurred in the past century could be unavoidable. To avert such a change it is possible that decisions will have to be made (for example, to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions) some time before unequivocal observational proof of the effects of CO2 on climate is available."


Since this quote comes from 1981 and shows that much of what's happening now has been predicted more than three decades ago, that means that if those who wrote it were in their 30s or 40s at the time, they would now be approximately 66-76 years old. That's a long time for a group of misguided and dishonest climate scientists to plan a clever and insidious takeover of the world's economy, since even their children might not benefit from such a nefarious scheme.

But the serious investigation into what is now known as global warming has been happening as far back as the 1950s and was never intended to fool anyone. The fact is, that scientists who keep us informed about this phenomenon did not invent it for any kind of personal gain-to the contrary-they have been dedicated to uncovering data for the purpose of warning ourselves and our government's authorities about the very serious problems increased warming is likely to cause.

It was actually the fossil fuel industry that made this into a political issue once they realized that being required to significantly reduce their Co2 emissions would cut into the profits they were making-a much more logical reason to suspect the existence of deceit and dishonesty on the part of the fossil fuel industry than any of the absurd charges about a supposed scientific conspiracy that is supposed to be taking place today. And even though Exxon Mobile's scientists researched this issue as far back as the 1970's, and predicted exactly the same type of climate problems that we are now experiencing today (due to our continued and potentially unlimited use of fossil fuels), still, not nearly enough significant reductions in our levels of atmospheric Co2 have happened.

So, is it any wonder that because our scientists are being used as scapegoats by deniers working for the fossil fuel industry in order to distort the facts about global warming (merely to hold on to their immense profits), that scientists today have become frustrated and angry about the wall of misinformation and denial that global warming deniers are continually raising---merely in order to keep the public from knowing the truth?

Please understand that the press today truly has no idea about how much they are contributing to the perpetuation of ignorance concerning this issue. Many of the things deniers write in letters to our editors, are simply patently false and could be easily fact checked if American news outlets would simply consult with real climate scientists before publishing them. I only hope you will come to realize just how outrageous all these forms of obstruction and proliferations of misinformation via the use of false facts and clever semantics really are.

If medical science warns us that the nicotine in cigarettes can cause cancer, or that the ingestion of fatty products can lead to heart disease, are they doing this just because they want to scare us? No-obviously they want to provide as much information as possible so that the public will have sufficient awareness about what the dangers of using these products potentially involves. Likewise, warning us about global warming is done by scientists out of their professional sense of responsibility for making sure we are informed enough to make intelligent decisions in the future. That's all.

Sincerely,

Peter W. Johnson


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Did Spencer and/or Christy Stage the UAH Shooting?

Over the weekend, someone shot several times into a building on the University of Alabama - Huntsville campus sometime between Friday evening and Monday morning. The exact time of the shooting is unknown and no one was injured. The damage was discovered when staff returned to work on Monday morning (April 24) and found the damage. The National Weather Service has offices in the building which are manned 24/7, but one heard any gunfire. Seven 5.7 millimeter bullet casings were found by the street next to the building. Three rounds hit windows while the other four hit the side of the building. After investigating it, the local police declared it was a 'random, isolated act.'

The building was the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) building and two of the people with offices in the building are Roy Spencer and John Christy, both noted anti-science, climate change deniers. As it turned out, the March for Science was also conducted over the weekend and started on campus. So, Spencer and Christy have made the claim that the shooting targeted them because a peaceful march opposed to their fake science marched a few blocks away earlier in the weekend. I laughed when I heard that. 'With the evidence they have, they could just have easily concluded Spencer or Christy shot the building themselves,' I thought.

Then, the bells went off.

In fact, the evidence does support the conclusion that Spencer and/or Christy staged the shooting themselves. They are the two people who stand  to gain the most from this incident. Let's look.

Spencer and Christy are suspected to falsify their data in order to reach the conclusion they want. An example is their papers in the 1990s that were so bad they even admitted it themselves. But, they only admitted it AFTER other people pointed out the mistakes and, as it turned out, each of those mistakes were in favor of proving the anti-AGW point they wished to reach. Let's put that in context. Spencer and Christy are acknowledged world-class experts in their field and yet, their papers had so many errors the authors themselves admitted their conclusions were invalid. And, these errors had to be found by other people. And, each of these errors supported their anti-AGW claims and none of them worked against those claims. By simple random probability, you would expect at least one of those errors to work against their conclusions. The likelihood this was anything but intentional is not, in my opinion, realistically possible.  I must conclude that Spencer and Christy intentionally falsified their paper in order to promote their agenda. At the very least, you have a pattern where acknowledged experts failed to keep their facts in order.

They are even changing the facts on the shooting. Take a look at Spencer's blog post on the incident, the one where he calls it the "christy/spencer building" (it isn't, there are a lot of other people in that building). He states, " All bullets hit the 4th floor, which is where John Christy’s office is..." Oops! UAH Chief of Staff Ray Garner said some shots hit the third floor. Also, police stated the presence of bushes and trees between the hall and the street make it likely someone wanting to shoot from the street into the building would aim at the top two floors. Makes sense. If I wanted to shoot the building, I wouldn't shoot into the trees. (NOTE: I have captured a screen shot of his posting in case he tries to change his statements.)

Again, going back to Spencer's blog, he states, "Given that this was Earth Day weekend, with a March for Science passing right past our building on Saturday afternoon..." Another oops! Again, UAH Chief of Staff Ray Garner said the science march did not pass Cramer Hall (the NSSTC building), but started farther south at Shelbie King Hall.

Here is the route of the march from their Facebook page:

Image may contain: 1 person

You can see a copy of the campus map here. Cramer Hall (number 22 on the legend) is the building located by itself at the lower center. Shelbie King Hall (number 35 on the legend) is located in the small complex on the lower right. As you can see, if the march started at Shelbie King Hall, it never passed Cramer Hall at all.


Amazing! Spencer still cannot get his facts straight! Did he do that on purpose, or because he simply doesn't care about reporting facts correctly? 

And, Spencer and Christy are well know for promoting their agenda (see here and here). Both have been active in the denier-sphere, have made appearances before Congress testifying against actions to address greenhouse gas emissions, and both have been active in public appearances and opinion pieces.  Spencer signed a letter encouraging President Trump to withdraw from the UN international convention on climate change and signed an open letter supporting Scott Pruitt for administrator of the EPA. So, their credentials as anti-science climate change deniers is also well documented.

But, it is also important to note that Spencer is a supporter of intelligent design (aka, creationism) and is a signer of the An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, which states that "Earth and its ecosystems – created by God's intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence – are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting".  This means Spencer has an established history of rejecting science in favor of his religious beliefs and predetermined world views.

Yes, Spencer has an agenda and is very active promoting it. There is much more on Spencer, none of it good, and you can read my posting about him here.

If Spencer and Christy are able to make people believe they were targeted by the March for Science, it would lend credibility to their claims. And, that's important because both men have been soundly rejected by the scientific community. They are left with having to find a way to get themselves in the news and appear relevant again. At the same time, this presented an opportunity to discredit the March for Science.

So, we have motive. 

Take another look at Spencer's blog post.  He states, "Despite my personal defense training, I probably would have struggled to get that tight a “random” cluster with a semi-automatic pistol." Spencer is telling us he owns firearms and has training with them. Also, one of the bullets did indeed pass close to Christy's office, passing through the window of the office next to his and Spencer states the bullets "hit windows and bricks around John Christy’s office." If Christy's office was really targeted, the shooter would need to know where it was. This information is available, but is not general public knowledge. Certainly, Spencer knows where Christy's office is. And, the university police stated they did not find any images from campus security cameras or the cameras at a nearby defense contractor that could help in the investigation. This raises the possibility that the person who did the shooting knew where to go to avoid surveillance cameras.

We have a means.

The shooting occurred some time between Friday evening when people left work and some time Monday morning when workers started to return. Spencer and Christy would be well aware of the fact the building and the surrounding area would be deserted over the weekend. It would be simple for them to go out during the night, make sure the area was empty of witnesses, and commit the crime.

We have opportunity.

Means, motive, and opportunity.

These three things must be proven in order to convict someone of a crime. It is important that establishing these three elements is not, in and of itself, sufficient to convict someone. So, I cannot say here, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Spencer and/or Christy staged this crime.

But, it should be enough to investigate them.