To those who have visited this blog, I want to thank you. It is a new world for me. A new endeavor. And I do not know what it is going to evolve into, or even if it is going to evolve.
I have drawn breath on this planet for over sixty years now. In that time, I’ve done more than a few things. Started working when I was fourteen as cleanup boy on a carpenter crew. I was making full wages when I graduated from high school. With that skill and trade, I paid my way through college. Earned a degree, nothing to be bragging on, but enough to show I have formal education and training in the math and science regions (chemistry in particular) as well as what passed for computers back then. I have worked as an industrial maintenance electrician, instrumentation tech, computer programmer, water treatment plant operator and parts peddler in a hardware store, in addition to construction and on ranches. All of those years until now, one fact remains a constant: I have never stopped learning new things, new skills, and gaining new abilities.
Now, as it happens, I remember when the Cayuga river caught on fire and I spent the first Earth Day, garbage bag in hand picking up litter and garbage along the streets and in the parks in my hometown. I took one of the first ecology classes taught. I have worked with the EPA, back in the day when it was not the farce it is now. I watched Armstrong step onto the moon’s surface, back when Nasa was not the farce it is now.
Before that, I was born on a small ranch in the middle of nowhere, about thirty hard miles from anywhere. I was two before the REA got electricity to the place. No electricity, no indoor plumbing, running water was “run out to the well and get it”, as for the toilet (outhouse) enough said about that, and definitely no phones or TV. I was five when the folks admitted there was no living to be made on that dinky bit of rock hard gumbo, cactus, sagebrush and cheat grass. And so we moved to town, where there were such amenities as indoor plumbing.
I have been around since before Anthropogenic Global Warming ever gained much traction. And I am a skeptic, not because I don’t know better, but because I do.
Anyone that has lived on a ranch or farm knows about sustainability, about what it takes to live with wind, rain, snow, thunderstorms, blizzards and tornadoes. You don’t just plant seeds and harvest the results; you watch the soil, you fertilize, you rotate crops, you irrigate, you do all this and more. You do not wear the soil out and make it for very long in the Ag business. You pay attention. Drought years, you do everything you can to get by with what water you have. Wet years, you make sure the stock ponds and small dams and reservoirs are well maintained. You don’t let invasive weeds take over. In short you work and you better work smart.
It is one of the hardest ways to make a living there is. But you pay attention to the weather. You live with it every day, day in and day out. Some clown says it is getting hotter, it is getting dryer, winters are getting milder, there soon won’t be any snow, believe me the laughter you hear is not the soundtrack from the latest comedy show. It is from knowing that clown doesn’t know is ass from his elbow from a hole in the ground.
That same clown says he knows it is so because the model says so, well, as it happens, I have been wrangling computers for forty years now. I am no genius and don’t claim to be, I don’t hack and I don’t do face book. But I have automated control systems, I have done the programming for process control equipment, and I have done the modeling to put together CBAs (Cost Benefit Analysis) to justify spending the money to automate. Generally speaking, I have done with computers what needed to be done. All that and more. So I knows a bit about computers and a bit about modeling and even a bit about probability and stats and graphing.
Back when personal computers were not much to brag about, I remember reading in a magazine this little ditty:
I hate this computer,
I wish they would sell it.
It never does what I want,
Only what I tell it.
And that is the dirty little secret behind it all. A computer is nothing special. A super fast adding machine. It cannot produce any original thought. It is not and can never be any better than the one(s) that program(s) it. It can never come to any conclusion that the programmer did not allow for. If the programmer programs in bias, the results will be biased. If the programmer does not understand everything about what is being modeled, the computer will never make up the difference. It will do nothing but be wrong. Computers rarely make errors. “Computer error” is far, far more often “programmer” error than anything else. One thing computers are not is the final answer. That comes from the brain of a human. All a computer does is crunch numbers very rapidly. Whether those numbers are right, wrong or indifferent matters absolutely not at all to a computer.
Back in the day, when I was starting out, all the rage in the media was about how we were going to be done in by the oncoming Ice Age. Then someone started asking, “Well the temperature is going up and the CO2 levels are going up. Does increasing CO2 levels cause increasing temperature?”
Now what I don’t know and am not sure of, is exactly when that got changed from a question to a statement: “Increasing CO2 levels cause increasing temperature.” Somewhere along the way, that happened and what amazes me now, people assume that is so. Most everyone, it seems, takes that for granted. To some extent, it might, but how much or how little, has yet to be definitively defined. It still remains only assumptions.
The most common thing that is pointed to as proof is the historical temperature records. Yet a lot of those records are from places where the cities and towns grew up around the monitoring sites. Urban Heat Island is what the effect is called, but some how that always got overlooked. And there are other problems.
Now, I have to ask a question. Are those records good enough to sustain this idea of that humans burning carbon based fuels causes the temperature to go up? There are some that are very complete, that go back to the late 1800’s but there are others that are missing data, that are only for relatively short periods of time and quite frankly are not all that good. (Here I am speaking of American records, I have not looked that deeply into any others.)
Overall, I have to say, no they are not. Especially when NOAA or NASA or whomever say there has to be these adjustments done to make the data “better”. You have to refine. You have to adjust for the Heat Island effect. You have to allow for moves. You have to … you have to … you have to …
Now, I was trained in chemistry. I was trained in math. I had teachers that were teachers. Those courses were brutal.
I was trained how to sample and how to run the tests and how to analyze the results. And I was taught how to do it right. And those teachers expected it done right. Every. Single. Damn. Time.
The bottom line is data remains data. Either it is good enough, or it is not. There is no making it better. Anything you do to data, anything at all, has the potential to introduce bias. There is no way around it. You have to be very, very, very careful of what you do to make sure that any filtering, any removal of outliers, any smoothing that you do does not alter the essential elements the data expresses. Frankly, the more the data is worked, the more likely the data is “cooked” and absolutely worthless for the use it is to be put to.
Basically, the investigations I have done over the years, shows me a reasonable match between the satellite data and the raw data I have found to work with. I do not expect perfect matches and I expect to see a lot of variations. But it lines up reasonably well. So why is it not used more widely?
Well, it makes me wonder if the reason that the only data that seems to ever be presented to show AGW is the old historical data from the USHCN is because it has been so manipulated so many times to “infill” and “offset TOBS” and “homogenize” and all the other excuses that are used simply because the data simply does not show what is wished it would show. I was taught that one of the most common mistakes that caused bias was that of “expectation fulfillment.” You expect to see these particular results, so you remove, as being obvious “errors” anything which does not agree.
And yet it is claimed that this year or last was the “hottest evah”, if only by a few thousandths of a degree with less than likely probability, let alone certainty.
So, here it is, 2015. All these years of media reports and “experts” screaming out about global warming. I still do not see it. I know of no evidence beyond modeling and data manipulations of the USHCN that demonstrate AGW. There are those who speak of the “Pause.” I dislike that term very soundly. If the output of the models are worthless and they are, then where is there any pause? How can the earth being missing any heat that was never there in the first place? How can the temperature be anything other than what it is. Because a computer model says it ought to be higher places no constraint upon the environment to do so.
Stephen Crane has that right. Just because a computer model says it ought to be this way, does not place any obligation upon the world to follow that computer.
You see, the models were originally intended to demonstrate the correlation between rising CO2 levels and rising temperatures. They were expected to demonstrate causation. One of the things pounded into me early on is that “correlation is not causation.” There has to be correlation for there to be causation, but correlation by itself is not causation.
Creating the models was not an effect to model the climate of the world, it was intended to demonstrate that CO2 was a major driving force behind the temperature levels of the earth. Only if, ONLY IF, what the models predicted happened in the real world was the supposition that there was a connection between CO2 and Global temperatures proven. The models themselves do not prove AGW. Pointing to them as proof that global warming is happening is a fool’s gesture. And since they have fared poorly in forecasting the results of rising CO2, that horse is surely dead.
Now is the earth warming? At this point in time, with all that the “believers” have done in an effort to prove that warming is CO2 related and have stirred up so much silty mud in the pond and created so much uncertainty, I am not really sure. I can only say that if it has warmed, it has not warmed much. Certainly it has not warmed any more that what normal ordinary climate variations could account for.
Oh, but all this CO2, all this carbon fuel burning, it surely has to do something.
Yes, man has an effect on his environment. All the city streets that are paved, all the buildings with dark colored roofs and so on, makes a difference. But so do the irrigated parks and green spaces. So do the irrigated fields growing all the various crops. So do the stock ponds and reservoirs and dams which tend to delay run-off. Everyone is so busy blaming the burning of carbon based fuel — which incidentally includes bio-mass, why is it not included in the evils that exist around burning fossil fuels? — that they look not to see what there is that might counter balance the effect to some degree.
Greenhouses, (the real ones not the psuedo-faux constructions built around quantities of gases in the atmosphere) add CO2 to the interior in order to increase plant growth. CO2 is an essential component of the atmosphere for green life, and thereby, human life. It is in no way a pollutant. Never was, never will be.
Perhaps I am an anachronism, a throw back to an earlier time. But, show me me evidence, clear, clean and reproducible evidence that AGW exists and I will change my mind. But until then, I am sticking with what I understand and what I understand is this: the earth has been warmer, it has been cooler. What is going on now is nothing that has not gone on before and will go on again, regardless of whatever man does or does not do.
I have fed cattle in the middle of a blizzard where the temperature was a long way below zero, the wind was around forty miles an hour and the snow was piling up at the rate of over a foot an hour on the level, out of the wind, (assuming you could find such a place) and let me tell you this: that blizzard did not care one hoot about what some well educated scientist someplace claimed to be the absolute truth regarding what the weather was going to do. And what I did, I had to do based on dealing with the consequences of that blizzard, not based on whatever the opinion of that self same scientist might be. And if I did things wrong, that blizzard would have killed me as dead as dead can be and not have been bothered in the least. Blizzards, as a rule, pay no attention to climatologists. Or puny humans struggling to keep their livestock fed, for that matter.
Al Gore and all the rest can prognosticate and predict and holler all the consequences they want. The Earth, she is a gonna do what she is a gonna do, and Heaven help the poor dumb bastards that make the wrong choices.