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It is an unfortunate coincidence that untruths can be expressed by otherwise unsupported "sound bites", but the truth often requires more than 140 characters. 

Many apparently complex matters can be simplified to manageable truths, but please be sure spend at least a little time scratching the surface.

Put differently, for every complicated problem there is always a simple solution, but often it is wrong.

The following are Notes on various aspects of climate science, (the necessary impossibility of) climate modelling, (the necessary impossibility of) climate policy, what science is and is not, and related themes.  A down-to-earth approach (lots of pictures etc.) permits anyone to make sensible decisions that are right for "you", not somebody else.

The goal is NOT to change your mind, only to help ensure you have "made up your own mind" based on fact rather than tricked into some political agenda.

At the moment there are four Notes finished or coming:

The (Necessary) Impossibility of Climate Predictions and Climate Policy
Climate Science: Telephone Poles, Bank Accounts, and Coffee
Science vs. Slience ("Slimy Science"): The Antithesis of Democracy, and the "What it is"
Coming Soon: Note 4:  Science vs. Ideology: Why the Left/Right Split


Note 1: Last updated Dec, 2014 - v2

Update - v2 (Dec 2014): Have added a down-to-earth Appendix in response to those who say volcanoes are a "transient" effects, and thus imply this hugely important factor can be ignored. In fact, it is easy to show with a "bank balance" metaphor of the basic physics of energy balances that while any one volcanic event is short-lived, its effects are very much long-term and cumulative.  There is also some information form the yet unready Note 6 which deals with some very serious problems with the AR5.  There is additional data demonstrating "cherry picking".

The (Necessary) Impossibility of Climate Predictions and Climate Policy (PDF)

This 4-page pedestrian note (mostly pictures, almost no equations) demonstrates that the IPCC climate predictions must necessarily fail.  Though there are deep mathematical reasons for this (some included), it is an ASTONISHING coincidence that you (yes, you) can prove this without knowing any mathematics whatsoever with just one word:  Volcanoes. 

Once predictions are impossible, (climate) policy is also impossible.

Some additional background material is provided in the Appendices for those new to the "climate controversy", and for those interested in a "lots of pictures, almost no equations" explanation of the uses and limits of mathematical models.

The IPCC Fig 8.1 AR4 (Fig 9.8 is equivalent in AR5), and the adjusted for "no volcano cheating" charts are (click to enlarge):

and removing the cheating

Included also is a simple spreadsheet for those who wish to explore simple aperiodic (chaotic/fractal) calculations further demonstrating the key points (Logistic.xls).

Table of Contents

The Impossibility and Lies of (IPCC) Climate Models 1
The Impossibility of Climate Policy 4
A Appendix A: Preamble, Climate Controversy Background 7
B Appendix B: A few (easy) mathematical ideas (Don't Panic) 10
C Appendix C: Modelling vs. Predictability/Forecasting 20
D Appendix D: Volcanic Effects are Cumulative
C.1 Data Modelling and Curve Fitting 20
C.1.1 Statistical Data Models 22
C.2 Static vs. Dynamic (Prediction vs. Forecasting) 23
C.3 Process (Dynamical) Modelling 24
C.4 Combining Data and Process Modelling 26
C.5 Is Everything Predictable: NO! (Fundamentally Stable vs. Fundamentally Unstable Phenomenon) 27
C.6 (Partial) Verification: Curve Fitting vs. Back-Testing & "Hindecasting" 27
C.7 Perturbation Analysis - Where is the Stability? 31
C.8 Ensemble Averages: Two Wrongs Make a Right & The Variance Trick 32
C.8.1 Two Wrongs Make A Right 32
C.8.2 The Variance Trick 33
C.9 Climate Models: What Use Are They & Context (Again)? 34

D Appendix D: Volcanic Effects are Cumulative, and Some "Cheery Picking".


Note 2:  Draft Oct 2013

Climate Science: Bank Accounts, Telephone Poles, and Coffee (PDF)

A Note illustrating key elements of how/why climate models are created, including their many deep limitations.  If you understand bank accounts, and telephone poles, you should understand this.

This document uses easy language and lots of pictures to show that climate models are based on methods identical to those you use for your bank balance.  The material then provides an overview of the basic science to show how the science is represented in those "bank balance" equivalents of the planet's "heat balance", temperature, etc. 

The document also demonstrates that the big picture is always the back-stop.  Thus, the reliance by some to distract you with minutia can be obviated with a bit of physics sanity, and it is not complicated.

Similes and metaphors, such as those relating to "telephone poles" and the assessment of the health implications of coffee, easily demonstrate abuses of scientific methods.

Table of Contents

1 ClimateGames Series Overview 4
2 Energy Balances and Bank Accounts 7
2.1 Bank Accounts, Waterfalls, and The Need for Speed (aka Fluid Mechanics for 7-year Olds) 9
2.1.1 Total Flows: Tall Waterfalls vs. Short Waterfalls 9
2.1.2 Waterfalls, and Why the Need for Speed 10
2.1.3 The Big Picture: Macro vs. Micro 13
2.2 The Curious Case of (Electromagnetic) Radiation (Heat by Light) 14
2.3 The "Planet's Bank Balance": Simplicity vs. Ignorance 15
2.4 Greenhouse Warming "Blobs" and the Planet 16
2.5 Transitions, Steady States, and The Need for Speed 18
2.6 No Free Lunches, No Perpetual Motion 20
2.7 Thermodynamics for 7-year Olds 20
2.8 Power vs. Energy and the "Currencies of Physics" 21
2.8.1 Force vs. Work vs. Energy 21
2.8.2 Work/Energy vs. Power 23
2.8.3 "The Flow of Energy": Garden Hoses and Climate Models 24
3 Absorption Spectroscopy, Screen Doors, and Telephone Polls 27
3.1 Rainbows, and What is a Greenhouse Gas Anyway? 28
3.1.1 What is Light/Electromagnet Radiation? 28
3.1.2 How Does Radiation Interact with Molecules, and What in Blazes is a "Quantum" (Don't Panic, It's Easy)? 29
3.1.3 Radiation and Screen Doors 31
3.1.4 What is Temperature 31
3.1.5 Radiation, Temperature, and Non-linear Cooling/Warming 31
3.1.6 Composition of the Atmosphere, and "(Sort of) One-Way Glass" 32
3.1.7 How the Planet "Glows" 35
3.1.8 Radiative Forcing: Convenience vs. Accuracy, Macro vs. Micro 37
3.1.9 Bank Accounts, Heat Balance, and "Internals Complications" 41
3.2 Absorption Spectra, Screen Doors, and Telephone Poles 41
3.2.1 Just One Type of Telephone Pole 43
3.2.2 Telephone Poles and Saturation 43
3.2.3 Two Types of Telephone Poles 44
3.2.4 The Need for Speed (Again) 45
3.3 Is There Real Evidence of Greenhouse Warming? Yes, BUT! 46
3.3.1 Evidence of Greenhouse Warming: Yes, but very small. 46
3.3.2 Evidence of Man-Made Greenhouse Warming: Very tricky to say, but probably very small. 49
3.3.3 What is the Total Greenhouse Effect: Is There a Limit, and Does "Doubling" Matter? No! 50
3.3.4 The Story So Far: Real Evidence Reality Check 50
3.4 Some Fallacies of Circulation, "Altitude Slicing", "Concentration Tricks", and Perpetual Motion 51
3.4.1 The Forest for the Trees, and the Truth in 140 Characters 51
3.4.2 Altitude Slicing: the Micro vs. the Macro, and Tapered Poles 52
3.4.3 Greenhouse Gasses: Absolute vs. Relative Mass and Altitude 54
3.4.4 Doubling CO2 and Perpetual Motion 57
3.4.5 Decadal Ocean Oscillations and "You Can't Have it Both Ways" 58
4 Will Water Vapour Drown Us All, Does Coffee Kill You? 60
4.1 Causality, Correlation, and (Where is the) Water Vapour 60
4.2 Causality, The Curse of Dimension, and Coffee (well, Water) 62
4.3 Causality, Coffee, and Hockey Sticks 64
5 Summary: Bank Accounts, Telephone Poles, and Coffer 67
6 References 69



Note 3:  Draft Nov/2013

Science vs. Slience ("Slimy Science"): The Antithesis of Democracy, and the "What it is" (PDF)

An easy to follow Note intended mostly for non-scientists (and especially journalists) who have not been educated in what science is, and crucially, what science is not.  The recent epidemic of slience (slimy science) is an effort to hijack large political matters under the (false) guise of science, primarily to trick you into the false acceptance of (scientific) credibility, when such does not exist, and in any case the matter is primarily of a political/ideological nature.

The discussions illustrate that scientific truths may NOT be arrived by voting.  Science has different "contexts"; science of the "fun of it" vs. the very different science when human needs is the context, and in which case the science may be intractable.

Scientists are human's too, and as "lunacy is an equal opportunity employer", there are many examples of "naughty" scientist failing to live up to the stereotype of cartoonish "lab coat guys".

The document demonstrates easy methods to use to distinguish between science and slience.  For example, any "truth" arrived at by consensus is slience, not science.  Scientific truths are proven by data, nothing else.  Similarly, the repeated insistence that theory/models are correct when data continues to contradict the theory/models, is decidedly a slientific approach.

Many real examples are provided to help you determine who is a scientist, and who is a slientist ("slimy scientist").

Table of Contents

1 ClimateGames Series Overview 4
2 Science vs. Slience: Is Science the Antithesis of Democracy? 7
2.1 Science and Context: Is Science for Humans? 9
2.2 The Human Condition: Causality, Correlation, and the Spurious 11
2.3 Blasphemy, Models vs. Data (yet, again), and Anecdotes 12
2.4 Modelling vs. Predictability vs. Forecasting 13
2.5 The Rarity of (Proper) Scientific Certainty: At the Bleeding Edge 14
2.6 Scientists are Humans Too (Lunacy is an Equal Opportunity Employer) 15
2.7 Are Environmentalists Scientists or Politicos, and Why? 17
2.8 (Proper) Peer Review: The (Desirable) Shoot Holes in My Theory Process 18
2.9 Slimy Peer Review 18
2.10 The World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, et al 19
2.11 Conesus "Slience" (Slimy Science), the Antithesis of Democracy, and the "Survey and 97.4% and 95% Certainty Lies" 20
2.11.1 Voting on Volcanoes 24
2.12 Higher Confidence Probability Actually MEANS LESS CERTAINTY, and Dartboards 24
2.13 Science Is Not A Court Room, Phrenology, or Leeches 26
2.14 Al Gore Slience: Shut the F-up, Do as your Told, or You Are a Racist 27
2.15 There are Nobel Prizes, and then there are Nobel (Peace) Prizes 28
2.15.1 (Proper) Nobel Prizes: The What It Is (sort of) 29
2.15.2 The Nobel Prize in Economics and the Antithesis of Truth 30
2.15.3 The Nobel Peace Prize: The What We (or some Norwegians) Wish It Would Be 31
2.15.4 Einstein's (Surprising?) Nobel Prize 32
2.15.5 Relativity, Dark Matter, and Fudge Factors 33
3 True Lies 34
3.1 When Black is White: Cherry Picking and the "Whole Truth" 34
3.2 Units, Percentages, and Beheadings 35
3.3 Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics 37
4 Selected Examples of Slience and Science 38
4.1 The (In)Famous Hockey Stick Graph Data/Model Abuses 38
4.1.1 In Two Place at Once, Damn Lies, and Statistics 44
4.1.2 Hockey Stick Summary 45
4.2 Polar Ice Caps Slience 46
4.2.1 The Arctic Ice Cap 46
4.2.2 The Antarctic Ice Cap 47
4.3 The More It is Wrong, the More it is Right Slience 48
4.4 A Cookbook Recipe for Modern Slientific Political Campaigns 48
4.4.1 The Ghost of Maurice Strong 49
4.4.2 The Urgency Trick: A Recent Necessity 50
4.4.3 The Austrian anti-nuke campaign: The Law of Unintended Consequences 51
5 Abridged Summary of Slience 54
6 References 55



Coming Soon: Note 4:  Science vs. Ideology

The climate controversy is the debate between the "alarmist" and "sceptics" on the question of both the existence of man-made climate change, and also on the question of what to do about it, if anything.  This highly charged polarisation is almost exclusively along ideological lines:  The alarmists are mostly on the "Left", while the sceptics are mostly on the "Right" on the ideological spectrum. 

This Note considers deeper psychological and sociological themes, such as Maslow's Hierarch, territoriality, and some possible modern developments in developed countries, such as "Maslovian Perversity", as explanations of the "human condition" driving these controversies.  Indeed, it is suggested that these controversies may have nothing to do with climate issues, and in a sense could care less about the climate as such, since the actual explanation may be a desperation by humans to "feed" certain psychological needs.

The Note also demonstrates various other realities in connection with the objectives of the UN et al.  For example, if one wished to get the rich countries to contribute even more money to the poor countries, then having a story that "blames" the rich for the "plight of the poor" and destruction of the planet is a "convenient stick".





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Last modified: Friday April 15, 2011