Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Intertel's Kort Patterson Conjures Wacko Conspiracy Theory On Global Warming 'Alarmists'

"Many people continue to believe the lies and demand that Western Industrial Civilization commit cultural suicide by adopting the crippling constraints sought by the global warming conspirators."

- Kort Patterson, 'Editor's Reply', Port of Call, June/July 2016, p. 6

Okay, look, it's known that one of my pet peeves is entitled members of high IQ societies (e.g. Mensa, Intertel) who feel they can spout off about anything they want - whether on global warming, economic inequality, socialism or whatever ....merely because they are members. There is something about these upper-mid-level IQ societies (I never detect any of it from those in the Triple Nine Society) that brings this flawed trait out in the open.

As I wrote in my post on public misperceptions of Mensa:

"there is such a phenomenon as mistaken expertise or inflated expertise which is very typical of Mensa, as well as Intertel members. Thus, because a person merely belongs to Mensa or Intertel he or she may believe they are qualified to expound on any subject, whether global warming, the financial crash of 2008, or the JFK assassination - without doing the heavy lifting (in research) before opinionating."

The yap before you research syndrome certainly applied to  Kort Patterson - a computer techie and Editor of Intertel's Region 7 NL 'Port Of Call'  in his recent "Editor's Reply" lambasting the entire climate science (real) research community. One is forced to hypothesize that those like Patterson, when they opinionate on topics for which they're unqualified to render a burp,  are themselves failed astrophysicists or even failed climate scientists. Unable to make the cut in those disciplines they content themselves with shooting down the letters, replies, articles of expert members (who actually do have physics or climate science degrees) and act like tinhorn tyrants because they have control of the content of their media.

Such was the case recently after I corrected Kort on one of his ridiculous "Editor's notes"  (May, Port of Call)- but rather than allow its publication, he punked out. He allowed the first three paragraphs then abruptly terminated it and  wrote: "1800 more characters plus propaganda" - before unleashing his own two page "Editor's Reply". This was basically a long-winded, half baked conspiracy theory based on a farrago of already exposed  climate canards combined with his own woeful scientific ignorance. In his screed, which is really all it was, he conjectured that the IPCC along with "disreputable pseudo-scientists" ("the Alarmists") have sought to impede the work of the "real scientists' (mainly the deniers).

Some aspects of Kort's conspiracy theory hatched in his (June/July) Editor's Reply:

1- The Journal Nature "has degenerated into a corrupt promoter of alarmist propaganda".

Interesting, given it was exactly the Nature article by Noel Keenlyside et al that the deniers originally latched on to try to prove global warming had "paused" the past 16 (now 17) years!  For over 8 years they invoked it to attempt to prove global warming was a "hoax". It was only AFTER the deniers' misinterpretations were exposed, see e.g.

that they began to castigate the same journal as an organ of "propaganda".

2- The head of IPCC (Richard Tol) "reluctantly admitted" there'd been no "significant warming" for ten years.

But Tol  (when he made that "admission") wasn't privy to the latest research that had found no pause in warming after all.  Tol's "reluctant admission" thus was based on an erroneous interpretation resulting from a disproportionate use of buoys the past several decades. As is now known, these buoys tend to give cooler readings than measurements taken from ships. This was noted by Thomas Karl, Director of the National Centers for Environmental Information of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (NOAA) and lead author of the groundbreaking paper which appeared in the journal Science back in August, 2015.

As Karl noted, quoted in Eos Transactions - Earth & Space Science (July 1, 2015):

"The biggest takeaway is there is no slowdown in global warming".

Indeed, he added that warming the past fifteen years is the "strongest it's been since the latter half of the 20th century". Putting an exclamation point on that, April this year has been the hottest since records were initiated.

A good summary of the paper may be accessed at:

3- The Alarmists try to restrict participation to just those who can be trusted to parrot the officially approved story line

Seriously, if I hadn't seen this in an Intertel publication, I'd have been convinced it was written by a high grade moron.  Restrict participation? Uh yeah, Kort, to those who actually have specialized in climate science as opposed to computer techies like you, along with engineers, chemists and economists who fancy themselves climate experts. Jeezus Peace.

In many of my blog posts I've also repeatedly cited the actual results from REAL climate scientists, as opposed to the many pretenders! Specifically, I've referenced the scientific consensus on global warming reported in Eos Transactions, Vol. 90, No. 3, p. 22, by P. T. Doran and M. Kendall-Zimmerman which found that (p. 24) :

the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely non-existent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.”

In their analytic survey for which 3146 climate and Earth scientists responded, a full 96.2% of specialists concurred temperatures have steadily risen and there is no evidence for cooling. Meanwhile, 97.4% concur there is a definite role of humans in global climate change.

The authors concluded (p. 24) :

The challenge appears to be how to effectively communicate this fact (non-existent debate among real climate specialists) to policy makers and a public that continues to mistakenly perceive debate exists among scientists

4- Global warming advocates launched an aggressive preemptive campaign to suppress any questioning of their unfounded appeals to authority.

What "aggressive campaign"? Kort's perceptions appear here to be more amiss than my brother Jerry's, venturing from the implausible to the paranoid. In fact, it has been the fossil fuel corporations and allied think tanks (like The Heritage Foundation) that launched all the aggressive campaigns to undermine the genuine science - and brainwash those without much physics background - like Kort- into thinking there was some kind of nefarious plot.

I refer readers to the Union of Concerned Scientists which exposed the sundry propaganda ploys in their recent journals. Those who want to access all 340 pages of the 'Climate Deception Dossiers' can go here:

Over and over in his two thousand word global warming conspiracy tract, Kort asserts the "Alarmists"  are resorting to the fallacy of "appeal to authority". But I guess he might think that because virtually no denier  papers are published in peer-reviewed professional journals. They are generally dismissed precisely because they lack the basics of scientific authority - including: proper data selection,  analysis, consistent interpretation of data, and appropriate mathematical techniques. Hence, their papers are tagged as the opposite of  authoritative science which is in fact  pseudo-science, such as Kort Patterson is peddling.

Only a totally unscientific fool would write the following claptrap as Patterson does (p. 5):

"Changes in the Earth's celestial mechanics and variations in solar radiation are the primary sources of changes in the Earth's climate"

Which is an assertion I'd expect from a semi-knowledgeable first year computer science student, but not an astrophysicist or astronomer.

His reference to "celestial mechanics" is complete bollocks. It is in fact a reference to the Milankovitch hypothesis that has never found acceptance in standard celestial mechanics texts.
It was developed by a Serbian civil engineer (& later meteorologist) who acquired the avocation of astronomy – as a personal abiding interest. This is admirable, but puts him basically in the same class as Immanuel Velikovsky – who was a Russian psychologist – trying to do astronomy but arriving at bunkum like 'Worlds in Collision'. As I noted concerning that work in my July 20, 2011 post:

 " 'Worlds in Collision’ postulated the dynamical idiocy that Jupiter belched out a "comet" with the mass the size of Venus, which then blasted off toward the Sun, passing so near the Earth en route that it caused it’s rotation to halt (coinciding with Joshua’s famous trumpet blare) and in the process triggered the precipitation of carbohydrates (from hydrocarbons?!) – manifesting in the manna for the Israelites. "

Baloney like non-astronomer  Velikovsky's is also perhaps why Milankovitch's "cycles"  appear in no standard astrometric or celestial mechanics monographs. It is the bastard offspring of a non-astronomer and doesn’t follow at all from any standard celestial mechanics principles, equations or theories. (I explained this for Kort's benefit in my original PoC piece that he published, but it seemingly went over his head.)

This marginalization can also be rationally justified (within the astronomically- affected community) on the basis that the Milankovitch hypothesis hasn’t yet been adequately tested (e.g. beyond finding geological correlations - which of course is not causation) to prove itself worthy to compare to rigorous astronomical theories – say like the one for the lunar libration.

For example, when conditions are favorable for an ice age in the northern hemisphere, they’re not favorable for one in the southern hemisphere. How could the Milankovitch Cycles cause a global change in climate then? Also, Milankovitch cycles can only account for a temperature difference of 1° to 2°. How is it possible then that sediment records show temperature differences of 7° to 10°? The 100,000 yr. Milankovitch cycle is dominant in the record, yet it has the weakest astronomical effect  

Moreover, in the record, it doesn’t always occur at 100,000 years – rather it ranges from 80,000 to 125,000 yrs.. How can these variances be explained? Until they are – most astronomers won’t embrace the hypothesis, especially if is bound up with geological correlations as opposed to a consistent model for the changing orbital elements of the planet. .

But it's Kort's invocation of solar variations that truly exposes his profound ignorance. I went through all the reasons in a post from just over a year ago.  As I noted, e.g.

"On average, with violent inputs (from solar flares)  smoothed out, the Earth's temperature changes by about +0.07 K (kelvin) over a solar cycle. Compare this to the 1.6 K change (current est. increase) arising from global warming over the past 100 years mostly traced to human use of fossil fuels. Thus, the greenhouse component is nearly 23 times greater.

Even if the solar forcing on climate is enhanced by positive feedbacks the amplification is usually no more than a factor 2. So that 0.07 K increases become  0.14 K increases. The human component is still more important by a factor 11.4, a point made by T. Woods when he emphasized( in his paper 'Solar Irradiance: Recent Results and Future Research Plans')  that the recent results support the hypothesis that "anthropogenic greenhouse gases are the primary contributor to global warming."

Another ludicrous canard compliments of Kort:

"Water vapor is far more effective as a greenhouse gas than CO2"

Actually, no. Kort is a bit behind the times in his physics research! We now know that water vapor is not a factor in the initial positive feedback phase and it certainly doesn’t trump CO2. This was pointed out by Spencer Weart in his excellent article: 'The Discovery of the Risk of Global Warming’, in Physics Today, Jan. 1997, p. 34). Weart pointed out that even a tiny, minuscule amount of CO2 is vastly more efficient at blocking the re-radiation of energy than any amount of water vapor- at those bands. Part of the misconception arose because early researchers, lacking the current technology of infrared spectroscopy, assumed that water vapor bands already blocked out most of what would (ordinarily) be taken by CO2.  They were wrong, as in WAAAAY wrong.

Another Kortian miscue:

"The global warming currently occurring on Mars casts serious doubts on the Alarmists' claim that global warming is caused by human activity."

No it does not.  But let's not tell Kort that, his mind is already made up and he's on the lookout for anything that reinforces his confirmation bias.
But Skeptic Science’s take is direct and to the point:

It is hard to understand how anyone could claim global warming is happening on Mars when we can’t even agree what’s happening on the planet we live on. Yet they do, and the alleged reasoning is this; if other planets are warming up, then there is some solar system-wide phenomena at work – and therefore that it isn’t human activity causing climate change here on Earth.

The broadest counter argument depends on a simple premise: we know so little about Mars that it's impossible to say what trends in climate the planet is experiencing, or why changes occur.”

SO how was the conclusion arrived at? Skeptic Science again to the rescue:
NASA scientist Lori Fenton, who observed that changes in albedo – the property of light surfaces to reflect sunlight e.g. ice and snow – were shown when comparing 1977pictures of the Martian surface taken by the Viking spacecraft, to a 1999 image compiled by the Mars Global Surveyor. The pictures revealed that in 1977 the surface was brighter than in 1999, and from this Fenton used a general circulation model to suggest that between 1977 and 1999 the planet had experienced a warming trend of 0.65 degrees C. Fenton attributed the warming to surface dust causing a change in the planet's albedo.

Unfortunately, Fenton’s conclusions were undermined by the failure to distinguish between climate (trends) and weather (single events). Taking two end points – pictures from 1977 and 1999 – did not reveal any kind of trend, merely the weather on two specific Martian days. Without the intervening data – which was not available – it is impossible to say whether there was a trend in albedo reduction

Reduction of albedo (surface reflectivity), of course, would have implied a basis for Martian global warming.  The ambiguous results here show Kort is jumping the gun on his Martian global warming claims. But truth be told a lot of Patterson's delusionary thinking may be on account of his own straw man fallacy that "global warming conspirators believe Earth must have some kind of 'normal' temperature". No, not true! Rather climate scientists point to only a narrow band of temperatures for which the biosphere is adaptable. Once a runaway greenhouse sets in and the oceans literally boil away, no life can adapt.  And only a moron would insist 212F is a "normal" temperature.

 In the end, Kort Patterson has revealed himself not only as a global warming conspiracy alarmist  (and irrational hysteric) but a committed agnotologist.  To refresh people's memories -  agnotology, derived from the Greek 'agnosis' i.e.  the study of culturally constructed ignorance- is achieved primarily by sowing the teeniest nugget of doubt in whatever claim is made (and as we know NO scientific theory is free of uncertainty).

Stanford historian of science Robert Proctor has correctly tied it to the trend of skeptic science sown deliberately and for political or economic ends . In other words, the supporters of agnotology - whoever they may be- are all committed to one end: destroying the science to enable economic profit and hence planetary biosphere ruin.  Of course, libertarian drama queen that he is,  Kort doesn't phrase it that way but as "Western Industrial civilization committing cultural suicide".
Kort then - as exemplified by his ridiculous quote (top), and paranoia about some giant scientific  "swindle" -   is a perfect example of what one gets when intelligence runs amuck without guidelines or specialty disciplinary critical thinking to ground it. In effect, his recent "reply" shows that high I.Q. , superior intellect, can't be a standard for dispensing objective scientific facts if left to its own impulses to criticize without also examining the scientific basis (and inherent biases)  of its critiques.

See also:

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