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Global Warmmongers Fail The White Swan Hypothesis

There was an absolutely excellent caller on Rush Limbaugh today, who took the time to explain how the Athropogenic Global Warming hoaxers are not participating in science at all. She took the time to explain the White Swan Hypothesis to Rush and his audience. Very enlightening. We need more and more people speaking out about this and exposing these hoaxers.

RUSH: To the phones. Knoxville, Tennessee, another geologist. Betsy, you’re on the EIB Network. Hello.

[ … ]

CALLER: I’m a geologist.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: A great day for geologists on your show.

RUSH: Add to it.

CALLER: Yes. I just wanted to talk to you a little bit about scientific method and how it works, and how it is that in science, hypotheses are formulated based on data, advanced and tested, and nothing is ever proven in science. Things are ruled out. Science operates by ruling possibilities out. And that which has not been ruled out by experiment remains possible. This is something that these guys have never bothered to do. They have never bothered to formulate any hypothesis at all and test it with a view toward ruling it out. And that’s what they need to do, and that is one of the basic reasons why what they’re trying to do is not scientific.

RUSH: Pure politics. In other words, what you’re saying is we know that warming and cooling cycles happen.

CALLER: That’s correct.

RUSH: We have to first find out which are natural, and then, by finding that out, then we might be able to find out if we’re contributing to it in addition to whatever is natural, right?

CALLER: Well, we might be able to find out whether we’re not contributing to it.

RUSH: Yeah, either way.

CALLER: Well, it’s not the same thing. My favorite example of what it is I’m driving at was advanced by the historian and philosopher of science Karl Popper some number of years ago, and he formulated a thought experiment which he described as the white swan hypothesis. And what you do is you look around and you see a lot of white swans everywhere, and you come up with a notion that all swans are white. Now, how do you go about testing this hypothesis? You don’t go around counting white swans. Because no matter how many white swans you count, there may be somewhere lurking a black swan that you didn’t encounter. And so what you have to do is mount a search for the single black swan and try to disprove your hypothesis based upon evidence.

RUSH: And so these guys are not doing that at all.

CALLER: No! No. They’ve come up with the idea that CO2 causes global warming and you can read the press releases and you can read the news stories, and they go around counting, “Well, look, CO2 predicts this, and CO2 predicts that, and CO2 predict this other over there, and so it must be true.” And so what they’re doing is mounting a search for white swans. They’re not trying to rule their own hypothesis out. And that’s the only way science ever advances.

RUSH: Well, at this point, I think these e-mails indicate they know their hypotheses are already ruled out because they’re making things up.

CALLER: Exactly. Absolutely. And I have been saying that for some time ever since the data began to come in and we began to see that the last decade has shown cooling. Every hypothesis they have ever advanced has been ruled out by that finding.

RUSH: Right. And of course the sun has nothing to do with it. They also do not factor the sun at all. And they don’t factor —

CALLER: No.

RUSH: — they don’t factor precipitation.

CALLER: No. And there are glacial cycles and Milankovitch cycles, there are lots of other possibilities, none of which they have ever attempted to address and try to rule out, which is what they have to do in order for it to be called science.

RUSH: Well, here we have another scientist, in the opinion of Robert Gibbs and the White House, you’re nothing more than a Macaca.

CALLER: (laughing) Well, we have words for him, too.

RUSH: (laughing) So how about that consensus of science? Am I right when I say there can be no science if all you have is a consensus of scientists?

CALLER: Well, actually I have to take a little bit of issue with you over that.

RUSH: No! No, no!

CALLER: It’s true, science is not about consensus, and we don’t take a vote to figure out what is correct.

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: Our natural world —

RUSH: I’m right, then. We have to go to a break.

CALLER: However, what we do have in many different areas of science is a consensus of scientists that is based upon elimination of all known competing hypotheses. For example, the theory of relativity. Now, we don’t regard it as proven but we know that there is no longer a serious competitor which has not been ruled out by evidence. So to the extent that we can have a consequences in science. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s not open to challenge and it doesn’t mean that it’s final, but there are agreements among scientists which, for example, another example is the theory of global plate tectonics. Now, you won’t find a great deal of serious disagreement amongst reputable geologists that that is the mechanism by which we see continents form and seabed disappearance and so forth. But that’s not because we regard that hypothesis as proven. We have ruled out the competition.

RUSH: Got it.

CALLER: Somebody may yet come forward someday.

RUSH: This has been enlightening. I can’t tell you how glad I am you called, Betsy. I’m out of time. I wish I had a couple more segments, but I don’t. Snerdley, see if she will give us her phone number so that we may consult her in the future should we have need to.

END TRANSCRIPT

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November 30, 2009 , 10:56PM Posted by | Communism, Fascism, Global Warming, Liberalism, Rush Limbaugh, Socialism | 1 Comment

What Scientists, Baseball Players and Muslims Have in Common

Upon reading this from ace at Ace of Spades HQ, I became angry:

I think that most scientists have stayed on the sidelines on this. If you’re in a different field than “climate modeling” (whatever the hell that “field” is — it seems to be nothing but sloppy coding and using off-the-shelf statistical software) you have little incentive to get involved or speak out.

Let’s face it — your spouses and friends want to believe this, and they consider it something of a holy duty to promote the “green” agenda. Even if you know that there is something rotten and filthy going on here, what’s it to you? Who can fight city hall? Or worse than city hall — the strong sentiments of your peers and friends and wives and children. Vox populi, vox dei, the voice of the people is the voice of God.

Sure, science is being corrupted, but not your corner of it, and climate “science” isn’t really even science in the first place, and their end goals are (supposedly) laudable, so….

People have very big incentives to keep out of this — and very big disincentives to involve themselves. People always find it easier to ignore a problem and pretend it away than to confront it. And given the choice, they’ll do that 99% of the time. It takes a fearless and determined individual to go against groupthink — and even a bit of a prick, too, because, let’s face it, careers can (and should!) be ruined here.

But that sort of individual is rare, unfortunately, even in science, where supposedly only the truth counts and individual relationships and colleagues’ careers don’t matter.

I’m so sick of this cowardly mentality. It brings to mind the quote from Boondock Saints I have up on my sidebar:

“Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.”

In the case of the whole hoax of Anthropogenic Global Warming, the scientists who are too cowardly to speak up and call the AGW promoters on their bullshit… they are evil. They are the “another kind of evil”: “the indifference of good men”.

In that way, they are the same as the baseball players who knew a lot of players were doing steroids, but did not speak up.

In that way, they are the same as the so-called moderate Muslims, who do not speak up and denounce the Muslims committing jihad across the world.

As ace mentions, these people sit back and think “ah, this doesn’t affect me at all, so I’ll just not do anything”.

Oh really? Won’t affect you? Well, guess what? It does affect you. All of you.

Baseball players kept quiet about steroids and refused to turn in their fellow players who were known to be on steroids, and now ALL baseball players are suspected of being on steroids.

Muslims keep quiet and refuse to denounce jihad or turn in their fellow Muslims who are known to be jihadists, and now ALL Muslims are under suspicion of being a threat to be jihadists.

And here, scientists kept quiet and failed to call out their fellow scientists on the biggest, most obvious scam in human history, and now ALL scientists are to be questioned. Not just in the area of climate change, but every.single.area. of science. All of you. All scientists.

The AGW promoters are evil. Those of you who stood by and did nothing, you are all now considered “another kind of evil”. Your indifference has now put all of you in question.

From the comments at the link above.  Sad but true…

What’s stands out to me is what many of these scientists give as a reason for entering their field. It’s always “To save the planet!” or some variant thereof. In other words, they began by assuming the problem and then spent their careers trying to prove it. I find it striking how little actual inquiry is on display here, how little intellectual curiosity — even as contrarian thought-experiment.

It’s no accident that most of these doom-mongers are academics and public servants. The mindset on display in the filched emails is on daily display at nearly every university and publicly-funded institution in the land. “Consensus” and “peer review” are simply different words for “conformism”, and it’s led to the usual problems associated with inbreeding.

Posted by: Monty at November 30, 2009 06:43 PM

Another great comment by Monty, focusing on the idea that AGW is moreso a religion than science and hitting on the White Swan Hypothesis idea discussed here.

I was having a discussion with a non-religious friend of mine not long ago, and he asked me how I could be both a believing Christian and an empiricist at the same time. Our conversation tended towards what we consider to be a “scientific fact”.

My friend told me that lots of scientific “facts” aren’t amenable to physical experimentation — some because technology is not advanced enough, and some (like string-theory) possibly not provable even in principle. I told him that “science” without experiment is not science at all, but metaphysics. The Rutherford-Bohr model of the atom existed as theory for quite a while before it was confirmed experimentally; you cannot therefore call it a “fact” until it was confirmed by experiment (and even then it is more an approximation than an actual description). The ancient Greeks postulated the existence of ‘atoms’ long before there was any empirical support for their existence.

My point is that science does not depend on positive proof, but rather on negative proof. A truly scientific theory is one that is falsifiable — if it makes empirical claims, those claims can be invalidated through certain experiments and thus disprove the theory. Global-warming doomcriers offer no falsifiable claims (or simply wave off experiments that conflict with their theory.)

Is there really such a thing as AGW? Possibly, but the warmists have not yet remotely made the case for it, even before evidence of their shoddy methodology was leaked. This whole bromide of AGW being “settled science” is hogwash, and will remain so until it makes testable assertions, and those tests can be reliably repeated. Until then, AGW lies in the same realm as other religious beliefs: something you take on faith alone.

Posted by: Monty at November 30, 2009 07:03 PM

Great point here about keeping the government out of the energy business and just letting the creative spirit of Americans drive the future of technology.

As far as it goes, I’ve never believed the notion that we as humans are warming the globe. If anything, I would be more likely to believe in cooling, due to smoke, and other particulate matter reflecting more of the suns energy.

Now, for what it’s worth, I am all for some form of so-called “green” energy, or many forms of it. As long as it works. I would love nothing more than to have a good solar panel and effective battery system to power my home or business 24/7 reliably, and never have a light bill. I would absolutely love to install some kind of magic crystal on my dashboard and drive ten thousand miles without paying for fuel.

However, none of those things exist. When they do, and the tech has advanced enough to be mass produced and sold (relatively) cheaply, I’ll be happy to buy it. And that’s the key; some schmoe has to invent it, patent it, test it, and bring it to market. No amount of guvmint bribery is going to speed that process up, in fact, it will probably slow it down.

In 1978, a dude invented a hydraulic transmission and installed it on a large Ford car. The principle was the engine turned a hydraulic pump, sending fluid to a hydraulic motor on the rear axle, moving the car. When one applied the brakes, the engine cut off, the forward motion of the car turned the axle motor into a pump, filling a high pressure hydraulic accumulator. When you let off the brake when the light turned green, the accumulator dumped fluid pressure back to axle, starting the car moving, and refiring the engine. (Does this whole process sound familiar?) It effectively doubled the gas milage of that old Ford from 20 to 40.

The gentleman applied for a patent (not sure how that worked out) and was trying to get it tested for large-scale application. The Carter Energy Department declined to proceed with testing, instead funding and promoting some form of wieghted flywheel or some such stuff, effectively killing one of the first successful “hybrid” cars, at a time when fuel costs were high and people were worried about the environment.

Anyway, the point is, the government has no business getting involved in these things. The potential for personal profit is a wonderful motivator, both to the inventer themselves, as well as investors if the inventor can show a promising product will come from it. When the government simply subsidizes the research, all they get is more and more research with little in the way of reliable results.

Posted by: JamesLee at November 30, 2009 07:08 PM

Heh, here Monty bitch-slaps a troll with facts and reality, which is akin to exposing a vampire to sunlight (yes, except in the wussified, emo-version of ‘vampires’ in Twilight):

environmental damage from dioxibns or DDT

Well, Rachel Carson got her wish and DDT was banned. The millions of people who later died of malaria bred by mosquitoes would no doubt thank her. Except they were dead. Of malaria. Which could have been prevented by…spraying DDT. (Which in any case was nowhere near as toxic as Carson and other alarmists asserted, but by the time the evidence was in the damage was done.)

You and your ilk belong to a Gaia cult, nothing more and nothing less. If what you do is science, then so is the shaking of chicken-bones at the sun to bring the rain. Sure, it may rain the next day and vindicate the witch-doctor…or the drought might continue and the witch-doctor gets stoned to death for lying. If you’re so sure of your science, then offer up some testable hypotheses.

1. What is an “unacceptable” amount of CO2? If you don’t know, then how do you know that we have too much?

2. If “global warming” is unacceptable, you must have some “proper” global climate in mind. What is it? If you don’t know, how will we know when we get there?

3. Assuming the first two questions, are there any reliable, cost-effective ways of removing CO2 from the atmosphere in the amounts necessary to reverse AGW? Are any such developments realistically expected in the next decade? If not, then what’s the point of the entire exercise?

4. How do you plan to reduce global emissions without getting China and India on board? How will enlisting America into whatever carbon-reducing scheme you choose influence China or India to do the same? Doesn’t this lead to a “prisoner’s dilemma” that ends up crippling the US’s economy while doing almost nothing to solve the (purported) problem?

As The Goracle might put it: inconvenient truths.

Posted by: Monty at November 30, 2009 07:32 PM

This echoes my point perfectly. And is stated better.

I think most scientists looked at global warming like they do… uh, certain other areas of science, in which they presume the people involved know what they’re talking about and are doing their job properly. They see any disagreement or doubt signs of doubt for the entire profession and a negative statement about themselves, not just “climate science.” They are part of the team, and you’re attacking the team when you doubt the word of an accredited scientist, especially one with peer review.

So they stick up for their guys without even knowing the data or information. Yet, as Ace says later above: they’re starting to read that information. The legacy media doesn’t care about this but scientists do and when they see this stuff, it pisses them off more than it does you or I.

This makes them look like asses. This makes the entire profession look bad. It smears them, not just the ones involved. Their professional credibility and even funding is on the line.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at November 30, 2009 07:39 PM

Another good comment from a chemist:

I don’t know if scientists have the choice anymore of ignoring the problem.

Speaking as one, with a PhD that I got not because I could not get a job after my BS (I got one and worked at it a while before going back to school) but so that I could be an industrial scientist, I think the time is as good as any to weigh in.

I’m a chemist by training. In my real job, I do a little wet chemistry, but mainly I program computers (in LabVIEW and C++, not FORTRAN, thank God) to control instrumentation to do all sorts of weird experiments, and spend about as much time trying to make sense of the data. All my stuff is secret, but of course, it is privately funded. I went through the peer-review process, though, and have a dozen or so academic papers with my name somewhere on the author list. I hated the process, because it was like having someone inspect your privates and make critical remarks, but I feel like it kept our science sharp. I got crazy, incoherent responses from some reviewers, and a lot of nit-picky stuff that made me be go back and make sure I was right. We bitched to editors when the refs were incoherent, but generally, we just tried to satisfy them. It did make things better, overall.

I am a little biased, I suppose, in that I tend to not think of much outside the physical sciences, and some of the more molecule-based biology, as ‘real’ science. I don’t think that something like climate science is unimportant, but rather, that it is always likely to be kind of uncertain, hand-wavy, and kind of, ah, full of shit. It is just too damned complicated to understand in the same way you do a gyroscope or a Diels-Alder reaction. And those are pretty hard, really, when you dig into the details.

So, if it were not being used to bludgeon everyone, I would probably ignore all of the AGW stuff. If they were just yelling “The sky is falling”, I’d keep on doing what I was doing, and might think “Whatever. How’d that “population bomb” work out. Now hush, I’m concentrating.”

Since it looks like the various governments are going to use this to make me make a lot of changes, I’d inquire thusly:

1. We are coming out of an ice age, and more recently, a ‘little ice age”. So I need to be convinced that the warming observed is unusual. With good, checkable data.
2. Projections are not data. So they do not count as evidence. They are an attempt to prove you understand something, at first, then a tool to predict stuff, knowing that your output is no better, and very much worse, than input.
3. Are there temperature records independent of the Hadley and Nasa sets? Are there copies of the real, ugly data, not the massaged, ‘corrected’ data? In the absence of these, I think we are hard-pressed to double check the work, and while I have no reason to distrust climatologists in general, I don’t have any reason to trust them, either. Nullius in Verba, or something like that.
4. Where is the overwhelming evidence that the earth is warming, if the temp record is hosed? I just looked at satellite data of the ice caps. There’s a lot more now than at the same time 10 years ago. My eyes are naive, and I’m not an expert, but if you want my money, you’ll have to convince me that I can’t trust what looks obvious.
5. Some smart computer science type make us a graph that links the strands of evidence, and show me that the data doesn’t all link back to the same few groups, and to the same funky data sets.

Finally, I’d say this: I am not qualified to check their work. Generally, I rely on trusting experts outside my field. But after looking at the Hadley code a bit, I am not going to be more than agnostic until some stuff gets sorted out.

Posted by: Dave Eaton at November 30, 2009 07:43 PM

Alright, someone else who noticed the parallel to Muslims:

Interesting take on the idea of scientists not wanting to rock the boat (so that they fall out of it). It seems like a good parallel to Islamists–the “moderate Muslims” have no good reason to criticise the radicals, because A) they become targets themselves and B) hey, if the radicals win and impose Islam on the world, everyone wins.

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at November 30, 2009 08:50 PM

November 30, 2009 , 10:45PM Posted by | Communism, Fascism, Global Warming, Liberalism, Socialism | 1 Comment

Peanuts Comic Dealt with a Universe That, When Not Uncaring, Was Often Explicitly Hostile

Great discussion of Charles Shultz’s Peanuts comic strip, and its meaning, in the comments to this post: Obama’s Ego Stroking Will Preempt “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

That sort of overt Christianity would never pass muster with the networks nowadays. Santa Claus*, reindeer, elves? Okey dokey. Jesus Christ, son of God, Messiah and Savior? Nope, too controversial. It might offend the Jews, Hindus, or Muslims. (And let’s not call it Christmas, because some pedants will remember that it means “Christ’s Mass”; let us simply say “the holidays”.)

That being said… I don’t much lament the fact that Christmas may be passing from the pop-culture vernacular. It is, like Easter, primarily a religious holiday and ought to be recognized as such. It celebrates the birth of the Son of God, and it has always seemed rather sacrilegious for unbelievers to celebrate the day as Christmas. (Yeah, yeah, I know: “Merry Christmas to you, too, Mister Grinch!”)

*Who is, let us remember, is historically the (Christian) Saint Nicholas.

Posted by: Monty at November 30, 2009 02:40 PM

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Charles Shultz was a miserable, bitter, dessicated little asshole of a man.

Which, oddly, is not unusual for humorists and comedians. Bill Watterson (creator of Calvin and Hobbes) was almost a recluse, and remains a resolute contrarian. It wouldn’t surprise me if Watterson actually didn’t like kids all that much; C&H wasn’t an especially kid-friendly strip. “Humorists” like Letterman and Garrison Keillor are reputed jerks in their private lives. (Keillor in particular wants to project the air of a curmudgeon, but is in reality just a self-righteous and holier-than-thou asshole.)

Schulz’s Peanuts strip was never really all that “funny” in the sense that other comics of the time were (think Beetle Bailey or Blondie or Dennis the Menace or Family Circus). His themes in the strip were pretty depressing: hopelessness, loss, failure, futility, and alienation. Think about Snoopy. Ostensibly a boy’s dog is his best friend, but Snoopy was distant and rather cold towards his owner — sometimes cruel, often capricious and self-serving. He, like everyone else in the Peanuts world, treated Charlie Brown like a chump. I’ve often wondered if Schulz wasn’t simply updating the old Testament story of Job, with Charlie Brown playing the upright man beset on all sides by the cruelty and perfidy of others. But in Schulz’s world, even God cannot comfort Charlie Brown — he is alienated from everyone and everything, including himself.

Posted by: Monty at November 30, 2009 02:50 PM

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The kite-eating tree was my favorite: What child has not at some point seen his joy (like a favorite toy) devoured by his uncaring surroundings?

Each character in Peanuts always seemed to embody some specific character trait — they’re almost like Greek gods in that way. Schroeder was the god of music; Linus the god of poetry and philosophy; Lucy the god of deceit and tricks, though not explicitly evil (like Loki); Snoopy a god of epicureanism and pure feeling (like Pan); Sally the god of love and beauty (like Aphrodite).

But what does Charlie Brown embody in this universe of assertive egos and pure talents? Failure. Futility. Misplaced hopes and hopeless dreams. He is one of the saddest and most bereft characters in literature.

Posted by: Monty at November 30, 2009 03:09 PM

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But what does Charlie Brown embody in this universe of assertive egos and pure talents? Failure. Futility. Misplaced hopes and hopeless dreams. He is one of the saddest and most bereft characters in literature.

Posted by: Monty at November 30, 2009 03:09 PM

Charlie Brown is a thoroughly ordinary kid who is painfully aware of his own limitations. In a nation that feeds its children the mantra, “You can do anything you set your mind to,” and its corollary, “Anyone can grow up to be President,” Charlie Brown was pretty firmly grounded in reality — and surrounded by peers who made sure he stayed that way.

And yet, every once in a while, reality gave him something good on which to pin his hopes for the future. Linus helped the other kids see that Charlie’s choice of Christmas tree wasn’t bad at all; the Little Red-Haired Girl gave him the rare smile or kind word; he caught the fly ball and for once, it didn’t fall out of his glove.

And throughout it all, he had at least a couple of loyal friends, chiefly Snoopy and Linus, who took him as he was. I don’t see him in nearly as bleak terms as you do.

Posted by: stuiec at November 30, 2009 03:21 PM

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As for the Platonic goddess of beauty and happiness: Schultz had one, but it wasn’t Sally. That’s the Little Red-Haired Girl.

Well, I think Sally was more the epitome of Female Vanity, in the Classical sense: an empty-headed blonde with a gold-digger’s heart. Her love for Linus is shallow and easily swayed; her appreciation for beauty is likewise shallow and based only on surfaces. Which makes her attraction to the stout and kind Linus a Classical conundrum as well.

The Little Red-Haired Girl, early on, had the same purpose as the Golden Fleece in Greek myth: an unattainable, beautiful, perfect object which exists to drive the protagonist onward in both a physical and moral sense. It was only later that she became a “person”. The Peanuts strips of later years became less symbolic because Schulz had to deal with backstories, love triangles, and a bit of topicality (Snoopy’s “Joe Cool” phase).

But Peanuts never lost that existential despair that was Charlie Brown’s life. When he succeeded (rarely), it was by chance or the capricious kindness of Fate; it was never by his own agency. Linus’ role was to act as the Chorus (as in a Greek tragedy): to explicate and illuminate the tragedy of Charlie Brown, and to drive home the moral of the story.

Posted by: Monty at November 30, 2009 03:43 PM

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Posted by: Monty at November 30, 2009 02:40 PM

Actually, the network (I think it was ABC) tried very hard to cut the monologue. Schultz (a committed Christian) told them that Linus’ speech was the crux of the whole cartoon and either it stayed or he was going to kill the entire thing. The network had already sunk a lot of money (for the era) and so backed down. I always admired him for that.

The other thing I read is that even as he got older, he refused to farm out tasks like lettering or inking to someone else (which is a pretty common practice). He did not want anyone else to touch his creation. Even as he knew he was going down, each strip was entirely his own creation.

Posted by: oLD gUY at November 30, 2009 04:19 PM

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Umberto Eco (of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum fame) wrote a really great preface to one of the Peanuts volumes a number of years ago, and raised most of the points I brought up here. One of the most trenchant things he pointed out was that the very first Peanuts strip was an existential attack on Charlie Brown. Two children, a boy and a girl, are sitting on a curb when they see Charlie Brown coming along. The boy says something like, “Here comes Charlie Brown. Good ol’ Charlie Brown.” Then, when Charlie Brown has passed by, the boy says (apropos of nothing), “How I hate him!”

The very first emotion attributed to poor Charlie is inchoate hatred. Heavy stuff for the very first strip. How many protagonists are introduced this way?

I think this is what elevated Peanuts beyond any other strips of the time, and gives it a surprising depth. It’s “humor” was basically existential despair cloaked in the social lives of children and anthropomorphic animals. It dealt with a universe that, when not uncaring, was often explicitly hostile.

Posted by: Monty at November 30, 2009 05:14 PM

November 30, 2009 , 6:24PM Posted by | Hollywood | Comments Off on Peanuts Comic Dealt with a Universe That, When Not Uncaring, Was Often Explicitly Hostile