'The environmentalism of my daughter’s preschool is a force-fed potpourri of myth, superstition, and ritual that has much in common with the least reputable varieties of religious Fundamentalism.'
Steven Landsberg, quoted in https://www.aei.org/publication/why-naive-environmentalism-is-like-religious-fundamentalism/
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
'...during 2011 as a result of being awarded funding from the Beacons Programme (an engagement fund supported by Cardiff University, University of Glamorgan, BBC Wales and Techniquest).'
Here is the front cover of their materials:
Notice the central pictures, enlarged below:
What were they thinking? 'This should get their attention'? 'This should scare them witless'? 'This should help get us even more funding'?
The above document can be downloaded from here.
I want to find time to go through this document in detail. In the meantime, I note this nonsense from page 7:
The sun shines down on the surface
of the earth. About half the heat
naturally reflects back out into space.
When greenhouse gases such as
carbon dioxide and methane are
released into our atmosphere, they
trap heat and stop it reflecting back
out into space. This causes additional
warming of the earth surface,
ocean and atmosphere… just like a
Now of course it has long been established that this not how a greenhouse works - so the grand conclusion is nonsense.
Furthermore, the gases do not 'trap' heat and stop it getting back to space, nor is the infra-red radiation involved reflected from the Earth so much as generated by it - so the third sentence is also wrong. The second sentence is also wrong, if by 'heat' they mean the solar input - the Earth's albedo is more like 0.3 and of course all the energy received from the sun and absorbed by the earth is in fact re-emitted. Only the first sentence survives:
'The sun shines down on the surface of the earth.'
Even that is a bit of an over-simplification since at any time half of the earth does not have the sun shining down on it.
My preliminary study of this document is not at all encouraging. It does seem intended to produce alarm. Alarm that is not, in my view, justified. If this initital impression is confirmed further, then I will be sure to accuse the authors of gross irresponsibility, of dereliction of their basic duty as adults to protect the young from scaremongering.
Note added 26 October 2011. Mostlharmless has more criticisms of the Cardiff Concoction here: http://mostlyharmless-room-101.blogspot.com/2011/09/education-or-muddled-disinformation-and.html#more
I am still hoping to find time to work through the materials, but so much else is going on just now.
Friday, 16 September 2011
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An' foolish notion
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us
An' ev'n Devotion
Here is an extract from the interview:
'But satellites don’t directly measure temperature. Isn’t it so that they measure radiation and through a physical-statistical algorithm estimate temperature?
This is natural, yes.
This implies that there is uncertainty in that estimate: another plus and minus. Do you account for that in your estimates?
These satellites are calibrated by very complicated computers, a very expensive process. We are confident in the data they produce.
Taken in all, we are as sure as we are about anything that the temperature has increased a few tenths of a degree and that most of this increase is due to the activity of mankind.
How do we know that?
We build very beautiful, extraordinarily complex computer models which prove this. Although they are difficult to fully comprehend, at base they are very simple.
We know that carbon dioxide captures heat in the lower reaches of the atmosphere. The more CO2 there is, the more heat captured. We also know that a doubling of pre-industrial levels of CO2 will only raise the temperature an insignificant amount. Yes?
So we build into these models a feedback mechanism that says as more CO2 is added, the temperature increases non-linearly. We then run these models and we find exactly what we expected to see: increasing CO2 leads to a positive feedback in temperature!
But aren’t you just seeing what you put into the model? It’s not quite an independent verification of the theory.
You forget that we also have evidence that these models have produced simulations that look, after some processing, like actual observations. That should be enough proof that our theory is correct.
Perhaps. But aren’t there literally hundreds of knobs and dials that you need to tweak to “tune” the models so that they first produce those simulations? Do you have independent evidence that these models predicted new data better than predictions based on the assumption that your theory is wrong?
Look here, young man. I hope you are not going to take the denialist position. If we don’t do something now, by the time we confirm everything, it may be too late.
You can’t argue with that. Thank you for talking to us, Dr Calor.'
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
But amidst all this gloom and the ongoing tawdry schemings of 'environmentalists' such as Gore, we have some sparks of humour to help cheer us up. Please visit Bishop Hill's site to see more of Josh's cartoon series to mark this day: