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Can people change their mind about global warming?

Can people change their mind about global warming?21-02-2018 23:50
I think this article by Livia Albeck-Ripka of the New York Times ( provides some really important insight to the larger conversation around climate change and what people believe. It is obviously a very controversial subject that creates a lot of polarization. This post does a good job of reminding people that there is room for evolution on opinion. One doesn't have to be liberal to believe in climate change or conservative to deny it. The truth is somewhere in between.
22-02-2018 03:23
still learning
bmandel93 wrote:
I think this article ....

The article referred to six people. They changed views. All in the same direction.
22-02-2018 09:56
Tim the plumber
bmandel93 wrote:
I think this article by Livia Albeck-Ripka of the New York Times ( provides some really important insight to the larger conversation around climate change and what people believe. It is obviously a very controversial subject that creates a lot of polarization. This post does a good job of reminding people that there is room for evolution on opinion. One doesn't have to be liberal to believe in climate change or conservative to deny it. The truth is somewhere in between.

1, The article is propaganda from the Alarmist side. The talk of denier is instantly a biased start point. Nobody sane denies that the climate changes or that it has warmed a bit since 1979.

2, The people used as examples are fake. The Meteorologist would never use the term denier to talk about respected colegues who disagree.

3, If you are at all informed and have any physics training then it is very difficult to argue that there is anything of any danger about a slightly warmer world.
22-02-2018 09:59
Into the Night
The truth is best compared to existing theories of science, not religious viewpoints such as the Church of Global Warming.

Raising the temperature of the Earth requires energy. That energy comes from the Sun. The Sun puts out a wide spectrum of light, ranging from X-rays all the way down to radio waves. The higher frequency (and damaging) frequencies are filtered out by our atmosphere. This even extends somewhat into the blue visible light, causing the scattering of the blue light we see as the blue sky. This is also why our Sun appears slightly yellow even at high noon (it's actually brilliant white) and why it turns redder when near the horizon.

Infrared light from the Sun is what primarily heats the surface. The largest portion of energy from the Sun is infrared light.

From there, the surface can heat the atmosphere. Heat is the flow of thermal energy. It can heat the atmosphere by conduction or radiance. The atmosphere itself is heat, since hot air rises and helps to dissipate the energy over a larger area. This is heating by convection.

Every substance above absolute zero emits light. The frequency of that light is undetermined, but the total energy converted into light of all frequencies combined is related by the Stefan-Boltzmann law (a derivative of Planck's law), which states that radiance = Bolztmann constant (a value to convert the equation to our units of measure) * emissivity (a measured constant from 0 to 100%) * temperature (in kelvins) ^ 4.

This means that every bit of matter that is above absolute zero is radiating light from it's surface, including the land, the sea, the trees, the people, the animals, the grass, and even the air (yes...air has a 'surface area' for this purpose).

For the temperatures found on Earth, those frequencies emitted can be anything, but will have a peak that can be found by the Wien's Displacement law (a derivative AGAIN of Planck's law). For the temperatures typically found on the Earth's surface, this peak will vary a fair bit (like temperature does), but generally fall into the infrared range.

CO2 and other gases in the atmosphere are capable of absorbing some of these frequencies. When they do, they convert the incoming light to thermal energy. That molecule becomes a bit warmer. If the molecule happens to be CO2, the rarity of this gas in the atmosphere means that the CO2 molecule will dissipate it's energy again by conduction to surrounding molecules.

CO2, along with the rest of the gases of the atmosphere, are above absolute zero, so they too emit according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law. For gases, the effective surface area of this light is quite small compared to solid or liquid objects. The light they emit is dim and lower in frequency (and correspondingly lower in energy) than the surface that warmed it. The atmosphere is cooler than the surface that warmed it.

According to the 2nd law of thermodynamics, entropy never decreases in any system. It can stay the same or increase, but it never decreases. The 'system' boundaries are your own choice, but they must remain consistent for calculating entropy changes.

Entropy can best be described as the 'randomness' of a system. This includes the randomness of the energy in that system.

This gives us a direction of heat (the flow of thermal energy). It also gives us a direction for ANY form of energy (the flow of ANY energy). In terms of thermal energy, heat can only flow from hot to cold. In the more general case, energy can only be dissipated. It cannot be concentrated without using energy from outside the system (which changes the system!).

This means the colder air cannot in turn heat the surface that heated it in the first place. Air is made up of matter, just as the surface and the ocean are. It takes time to heat it and time to cool it. That time varies depending on the material, but water is particularly difficult to heat and cool. This is why the oceans water temperature changes much slower than the land does, and why the ocean water doesn't change much at all much once you get more than a few dozen feet deep into the water. Water has convection, just like the air. Warm water rises, so that's where the warm currents are. Cold currents are deep ones.

Earth rotates once every 24 hours. This constant flashing of energy arriving from the Sun against the cold of night creates an average temperature between the two that is in a comfortable range. The Moon, on the other hand, has no thermal ballast of ocean water or even much of an atmosphere. The Moon also rotates quite slowly, baking the daytime side for a half a month, the cooling off for half a month. The mass of the Moon is the only thermal ballast there is. The Moon's surface heats quickly, and cools quickly at nightfall.

The Church of Global generally makes two arguments to explain 'greenhouse effect'. One I call the Magick Blanket argument, and the other is the Magick Bouncing Photon argument. Often these arguments are combined in the same post from a member of this church.

(I'll explain why I call it a religion in another post.)

The Magick Blanket argument assumes that some gas, such as CO2 prevents thermal energy from escaping the Earth, acting rather like a blanket in one direction (letting energy in, but not letting it out). Often magickal effects are ascribed to CO2 in this regard. It is often used to describe why the upper atmosphere is cold. It is also used as comparison argument to how an actual greenhouse works.

The problem with the Magick Blanket argument is that CO2 is not a thermal insulator. It actually conducts thermal energy slightly better than most other gases in the atmosphere. It is also part of the atmosphere. It can radiate light like the rest of the atmosphere, it can participate in convective heat, which cools the surface and the lower atmosphere, and like any other mass takes time to heat and cool.

Real greenhouses work by reducing heat. That is to say, the let light (including infrared light) in to heat the interior of the greenhouse, but they almost completely eliminate convection to the outside air. A car on a hot day with the windows up is the same thing. The open atmosphere does not behave like a greenhouse since convection is available, and it is this convection that carries thermal energy upwards to be dissipated over a larger area for radiance into space before the cooled air sinks again (and warms somewhat, though not as much as before).

The atmosphere acts like a radiator. It helps dissipate energy over a larger area for radiance into space.

The other argument I call the Magick Bouncing Photon argument. Here the Church of Global Warming completely ignores the nature of photons, which are not equal in power and intensity (rate of emission), the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which prevents heat flowing from cold to hot, and the Stefan-Boltzmann law, which states that as temperature increases, total radiance increases.

The argument goes like this: Visible light comes in, heats the surface, and infrared light comes out. That infrared photon is absorbed by CO2 and re-emitted, with some of them heading back to the surface and in turn heating the surface by absorption.

According to quantum physics, a molecule or an atom, once having absorbed a photon, will not absorb another photon that is equal to or lower in frequency (and power) until that molecule or atom dissipates the energy it gained from absorbing the first photon.

The 2nd photon will either be reflected, or it may just pass right on by as if the molecule or atom was transparent. In most cases it's reflected.

This model conforms to the 2nd law of thermodynamics. It is not possible to heat a warmer substance such as the surface by using a colder one such as CO2.

Another law that's affected is the Stefan-Boltzmann law.

The Magick Bouncing Photon argument depends on essentially 'trapping' infrared light between CO2 and the surface. This would of course reduce the radiance of the Earth. At the same time, the temperature of the Earth would be increasing.

The Stefan-Boltzmann law is radiance = SBconstant * emissivity constant * temperature ^ 4.

Radiance is proportional to temperature. That means if radiance is reduced, the temperature must be falling. According to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, raising the temperature by reducing radiance is not possible. The Magick Bouncing Photon argument doesn't work.

I consider the Church of Global Warming a fundamentalist style religion. They deny science, specifically the laws of thermodynamics, and the Stefan-Boltzmann law. They deny the properties of gases like CO2 and even water (either vapor, liquid, or solid). These laws are built from falsifiable theories that have been tested against the null hypothesis of those theories. They remain theories of science to this day.

Often the Church of Global Warming will point to 'data' of some kind as supporting evidence.

Unfortunately for them, science doesn't use supporting evidence. It is only interested in conflicting evidence.

The Church of Global Warming will point to vague lists of scientists, organizations, or university statements.
Unfortunately for them, science is a credential, organization, or university. It isn't people at all.

Science is just a set of falsifiable theories.

One big problem the Church of Global Warming tends to have is defining what 'global warming' or 'climate change' even mean. These terms must be defined as something other than themselves or they are just meaningless buzzwords.

The Church of Global Warming is built on buzzwords. Others are thrown around a lot as well, including words like 'fact' or 'reality'. They have no meaning they way they are used by these people.

The 'data' they present (typically from such places as NOAA or NASA, both government agencies), has problems as well.

Statistical mathematics is a branch of mathematics useful for building summaries of large amounts of data (such as temperature data). Like any branch of mathematics, it has its rules.

Among these rules is that data to be included in the calculations must be selected at random without allowing influencing factors (such as location, location grouping, or time; in the case of temperature) to affect the selection.

This means data can be selected from the population only ONCE. Once selected, you can't select it again. This type of random selection is like pulling cards from a deck and is known as a randN number (non-repeatable random number).

Another rule of statistical mathematics is that the resulting summary must include the margin of error. This is a calculation based on looking at possible population values, not from the data itself. In the case of temperature, that would mean the value is calculated from the possible temperature gradient (differences of temperature per mile possible). For something like temperature this has to be an assumed number, but I have personally observed gradients as steep as 20 degF per mile more than once.

To even begin a sensible calculation, one must first know the population size (or in the case of a census, the density of population value, which for statistical purposes is the 'population'. Thus, for actual census type summaries, the 'population size' is the geographical area of the census.)

But we are looking at a statistical summary of temperature.

To begin, we must first locate thermometers uniformly. Location grouping affects the result.
We must use the raw data. Weighting data because of where a thermometer is located is the same as picking that element more once. It's picking it maybe TWICE or 1.5 times. Selection is by randN. You can only pick an element once and only once.

To generate the margin of error, we must know how many thermometers there are and how close they are to other when they are uniformly spaced. Only then can we apply the temperature gradient properly to the margin of error calculation.

We can assume the tolerance of the instruments themselves are within a degree of accuracy, probably much less in most cases. Instrument tolerance is not margin of error, which is a calculated value.

Mathematics inherently has the power of prediction within it. A formula will always produce the same result given the same inputs. It is a close system, based on a few axioms and formal proofs. Normally nothing comes in from outside this system

Random numbers are an exception. They come from another Domain of mathematics (a different set of founding axioms, but similar to the ones you were taught in school). One of the functions available in this Domain is modulus, a one way function. Random numbers themselves stem from the use of modulus and are imported into the Real Math Domain (the one you were taught in school).

Because of the imported nature of random numbers and their source stemming from a one-way trapdoor function, their use in a branch of mathematics destroys that inherent power of prediction. The most obvious one affected is the branch of Probability Mathematics. It can calculate odds, but it cannot predict the next die roll or the next card pulled.

Statistics is also affected, since it stems from probability math. Statistics also has no power of prediction, unlike usual in mathematics. It is a useful summarization tool, but it cannot predict anything. Any such prediction is no more than a guess.

Since no one knows how many official thermometers are in the world, no one has placed them uniformly across the surface of the Earth, and no one has run any kind of margin of error calculation, any statement of the temperature of the Earth is essentially a lie, based on bad math. It is not possible to determine the temperature of the Earth. However many thermometers we DO have, they are not anywhere near enough to even begin a sensible statistical analysis, even if they WERE uniformly placed.

We have never been able to measure the temperature of the Earth. We still can't.

Satellite systems DO cover wide swaths of the Earth's surface, but they measure light, not temperature. The only way to get temperature is AGAIN to use that pesky Stefan-Boltzmann law. The trouble is, the light being read could be from ANY source. It could be REFLECTED light from the surface. It could be from other stars and even the Sun in space. Even the moonlight can affect it.

How can you separate the other junk from what is emitted due to temperature? To do that you have to know the emissivity of the surface you are measuring. This is sometimes called albedo, which is just the inverse of emissivity (and absorptivity).

Emissivity is a measured constant. It is a value from 0 to 100% of the ideal black body (with no reflectivity...eveything is absorbed and emitted). Zero is an ideal white body (with perfect reflectivity...nothing is absorbed or emitted). There are no real ideal white or black bodies in nature. Everything behaves at some value in between and are sometimes called 'gray' bodies.

If the Earth's temperature is difficult to determine, that's nothing compared to it's total emissivity. Emissivity can vary dramatically along the surface of the Earth in the space of just fractions of an inch. To measure emissivity, you must first accurately know the temperature of the surface your measuring and eliminate all source of scattering, reflections, or transparency except for the surface itself.
With this, you can compare what you are reading against an ideal black and ideal white body and come up with a 'gray' value in between somewhere.

Since we don't know the temperature of the Earth, we can't calculate it's total emissivity.

This means the 'temperature' measuring satellites are decent at looking at relative differences of temperature, but they cannot measure the absolute (actual) temperature of anything. All 'temperature measuring' satellites have the same problem, including weather satellites, ocean temperature variance satellites (used to identify things like warm currents), and atmospheric temperature satellites (used to identify warmer or colder air masses). Measuring relative difference is quite good. None of them can measure the actual temperature of the Earth or it's surface.

So here we are. On one side is the Church of Global Warming, the theories of science denied by them, math denied by them, the inability to define even what 'global warming' or 'climate change' means without using circular definitions, and a fundamentalist type attitude that won't quit.

On the other is the math, and the theories of science. These are learnable and understandable if one takes the time to study them. They are fixed in place long enough for books to be written for those that choose to learn them. Several websites can help. I find to be pretty decent on the physics. I find Wikipedia to be biased and many times badly written articles appear concerning these subjects. The references they use are also biased many times. I tend to dismiss them on sight.

Learning statistical mathematics is a bit tedious, but it helps if you first learn about probability mathematics, which statistics is based upon. Random number mathematics operates in a different Domain of mathematics. You need not learn that part, but it's a fascinating subject nevertheless. It in this Domain that cryptography resides.
22-02-2018 14:11
"AGW denier liar whiiner tipped the leakey plunger" plugged:... article is....
Heat, heat & still a heatin":
(2) has extended for almost 200 straight days. AGW is neither gay or bisexual. However, FAB
(2) is hot. Its heat, heat & still a heatin'.
Edited on 22-02-2018 14:16
23-02-2018 23:05
litesong wrote:
"AGW denier liar whiiner tipped the leakey plunger" plugged:... article is....
Heat, heat & still a heatin":
(2) has extended for almost 200 straight days. AGW is neither gay or bisexual. However, FAB
(2) is hot. Its heat, heat & still a heatin'.
Oh, yousa it is. FAB
(2) has stepped up to the plate & mashed the thermometer to 17degC OVER the average temperature on 4million square kilometers. Points are headed for 50degF over average.
27-02-2018 13:47
litesong wrote:
litesong wrote:
"AGW denier liar whiiner tipped the leakey plunger" plugged:... article is....
Heat, heat & still a heatin":
(2) has extended for almost 200 straight days. AGW is neither gay or bisexual. However, FAB
(2) is hot. Its heat, heat & still a heatin'.
Oh, yousa it is. FAB
(2) has stepped up to the plate & mashed the thermometer to 17degC OVER the average temperature on 4million square kilometers. Points are headed for 50degF over average.
After this post, the AGW driven access heat, powering into the High Arctic went ever higher, even setting a new record on the 4 million square kiilometers region. Present High Arctic Berserker(2) or FAB
(2) powered up to 21degC., bustin' up the old record,(FAB
(1) set in 2016. FAB
(1) record busted the old record by 4-5degC.?). The even more remarkable thing about FAB
(2), was it was set at the usually coldest period of the High Arctic, in latter February, after the High Arctic was in darkness for as long as 5+months. Yes, FAB
(2), at the time of its record heat, may have busted the record (at the coldest time of the High Arctic) by 6-7degC ?.
Edited on 27-02-2018 13:53

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