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21 January 2010


Mikey McD

I have been in a better mood since Tuesday night... enjoy the clip: "Democrats stuck on Escalator"



Good call to be gracious to Anna. Her NCVoices will drive more traffic to your blog than The Union. LOL.

Dixon Cruickshank

Mikey thats funny too - your on a roll


It is easy enough to validate Pelline's claim, as typepad lists the referring site in the stats. I reviewed ten days of stats on NC Media Watch and only found three NCVoices referals, all by a single person, with in 10 minutes time frame. One person in ten days is not a lot of traffic. I get two to three referrals per hour from Watts Up With That. I am currently averaging about 300 unique visitors per day, one referral out of 3,000 visitor is not a lot of traffic.

I am going to try Chart Beat for a month and see if the stats hold up.


You really out to change the name of your blog.

Steven Frisch

I am not sure what it gains us to compare the genocide and mass murder of Adolph Hitler, and millions of collaborating Germans who knew what was going on, with the equally despicable mass murder of Joseph Stalin, and others in Hungary, Spain, Romania, the Ukraine, Yugoslavia, Armenia or Poland.

Americans should read history, and I agree we know too little about the history of Europe and the consequences of the battles of ideology between fascism, and communism. Most Americans have turned their backs on Europe because the American experiment is all about creating a post European world. It is why we are populated by immigrants from Europe.

But too often the comparison of the evil's of fascism and the evils of communism appear to be framed as an apologists argument for one over the other, instead of framing the evils as equal.

Murder is murder, by anyone, in anyones name, in the service of any ideology, regardless of the perceived threat from opposing views.

I guess I wonder why someone would contend that Hitler was a third rate killer? Why would it matter to you to point out that Stalin or Mao killed more? Does it diminish in some way the evil of Hitler? Why compare? I am not sure that a moral economy of scale exists in murder.

George Rebane

Steve, you frame and ask the important questions on the issue of death by government. These questions need to be answered, and I want to give you my answer in a more comprehensive way that will be in a future post. Thanks for the comment.

[24jan10 update] The more comprehensive reply is posted

Anna Haynes

> we concluded another encounter that was pretty much like the two previous ones we have had – civil and colorless.

What, you mean you didn't feel bullied? even once? I must be losing my touch...

(fyi, the writeup is here)

George Rebane

No Anna, in spite of your persistent questions whenever we meet, you have always been a lady.

Reading your write-up, and presuming you are talking about me, I do take exception to your pigeon-holing me as a "Russian mathematician type" (a native of Estonia no less, listed in the compendium of Estonian mathematicians!!).

Re climate change, I am blessed by an education that has been kept current as a lifelong professional practitioner and pedagogue in several fields of technology, all of which have contributed to my keeping up with the political and technical aspects of the climate change debate. BTW, my doctorate in complex dynamic systems and machine intelligence was awarded in 1990. And as a systems scientist I have completed an extensive study on the bounds of bullshit - it comes with the territory.

Anna Haynes

> PhD...awarded in 1990.

Thx for the correction. This was at UCLA, and Judea Pearl was your advisor (if I have either of these wrong, please set me straight)

Anna Haynes

George, I'm curious, how many of these 7 views do you share?

1: that Anthropogenic CO2 can't be changing climate, because CO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere and the amount produced by humans is dwarfed by the amount from volcanoes and other natural sources. Water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, so changes in CO2 are irrelevant.

2. that The alleged "hockey stick" graph of temperatures over the past 1,600 years has been disproved. It doesn't even acknowledge the existence of a "medieval warm period" around 1000 A.D. that was hotter than today is. Therefore, global warming is a myth.

3. that Global warming stopped a decade ago; Earth has been cooling since then.

4. that The sun or cosmic rays are much more likely to be the real causes of global warming. After all, Mars is warming up, too.

5. that Climatologists conspire to hide the truth about global warming by locking away their data. (and that) Their so-called "consensus" on global warming is scientifically irrelevant because science isn't settled by popularity.

6. that Climatologists have a vested interest in raising the alarm because it brings them money and prestige.

7. that Technological fixes, such as inventing energy sources that don't produce CO2 or geoengineering the climate, would be more affordable, prudent ways to address climate change than reducing our carbon footprint.

And if there are any that you *don't* agree with, could you tell us which ones?

(cribbed from http://bit.ly/sciam7answers )

RL Crabb

You're both wrong. The real problem is global flattening. Without a suffient infusion of hot air, the planet will deflate by 2050.Please continue your argument...

Steven Frisch

I have to admit that if I was an Estonian I would take great exception to being described as a Russian.

George Rebane

Global flattening, hmmm. There's merit in your observation Bob. Let's see, both sides start with fatuously inflationary arguments which lead to a case of massive global flatulence, thus revealing the true merit of the arguments that leads to global flattening - a disaster averted only by the ongoing and tireless efforts of the fatuous. I think you've got it.

George Rebane

Anna, the seven “views” that you present are internally disjoint and logically inconsistent, therefore to answer each with a yes/no is not possible.

For example, the very first one confounds a proposition about the causes of AGW and something called the relative “importance” and relevancy of greenhouse gases, presumably as they perform in current general circulation models used to predict climate change. Two propositions that semantically almost orthogonal.

These “views” represent the kinds of pernicious questions asked by trial lawyers or people ignorant of which they speak. That Scientific American takes this tack to defend AGW underlines their having become politicized.

Responding to their answers requires more space/time than available here. However, two claims stand out. First, in the prediction of global temperature a few decades in the future, they seem to have missed its progress over the last decade or so. This is a huge percentage of the prediction interval and thus contributes to the doubt cast on the computer models.

Second, they cite the work of “statisticians” in attempting to discover the recent cooling trend from the temperature time series. To interpret process time series in this manner requires the efforts of people expert in control and estimation theory using techniques not usually found in a statistician’s tool bag.

Anna Haynes

George, do you really feel that it's "too complicated" to say whether you believe that [changes in] the sun or cosmic rays are much more likely to be the real causes of the last 100 yrs of global warming?

Is it "too complicated" to say whether you believe that the fact that water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, means that changes in CO2 are irrelevant?

(when we're trying to make progress in understanding, in science, it often helps to break a problem down into smaller, bite-sized parts)

Anna Haynes

p.s. as a general rule, to be a cynic is to support the status quo.

George Rebane

Those are different questions from the seven "views" Anna, I'm sorry that you (and many others) do not see that. To answer YOUR questions -

Yes, I believe that the sun's direct influences and its mediation of extra-terrestrial influences have a much higher likelihood of causing synoptic changes in earth's climate than the current arguments for AGW.

No, water vapor's predominance in the atmosphere does not mean that changes in CO2 are irrelevant. Complex systems don't necessarily respond to 'majority rule'.

Supporting the status quo is not to be uniformly denigrated. It all depends in what quo the status rests. For example, some casual observers hereabouts decry the status quo of our elderly demographic component. They see it as dying out and therefore not worthy of support. What they miss is that as death takes the older ones, new retirees are moving in, being drawn by what drew the dear departed. The population dynamic of that 'status quo' is missed, and therefore its benefit to the community is dismissed.

Anna Haynes

> Yes, I believe that the sun's direct influences and its mediation of extra-terrestrial influences have a much higher likelihood of causing synoptic changes in earth's climate than the current arguments for AGW

Yowza. Got any peer-reviewed studies in reputable journals that indicate this?
("reputable" == not Climate Research, and not Energy and Environment)

George Rebane

Anna, there's little point to all this. We credit neither each other's beliefs, citations, nor logic. The only thing on which we have broken new ground is demonstrating that somewhat tenuous communications are possible between two separate universes - a prospect still denied in mainstream physics. One of us should publish.

Anna Haynes

> We credit neither each other's beliefs, citations, nor logic.

George, I would like to know what scientific support exists for your contrarian climate science views (I don't think there is any, but perhaps I'm mistaken.) I've chosen one of the contrarian opinions you hold and am asking whether you can cite peer-reviewed, published evidence, from a reputable journal, in support of it.

Please don't be like the loud and opinionated contrarian who showed up in the coffeehouse a while back and commenced a verbal "it's the sun" harangue that was presumably intended to convince me, but when I asked to see a published paper backing up his claims, reverted to "there's no point, your mind is closed" evasion.

If you're free with contrarian opinions but turn tail when asked for the scientific evidence to support them, it doesn't look good.

Anna Haynes

To summarize: George, you say discussion is pointless because "We credit neither each other's beliefs, citations, nor logic"; but right now, I'd just like to know what your citations *are*.
(I can't say whether they're credible if I don't know what they are.)

Presumably you formed your "it's the sun (causing our 100+ years of warming)" view from some sort of input; what was it?

One Citation

John Coleman Debunks the Myth of Global Warming

Anna Haynes

Read more about weatherman John Coleman in Columbia Journalism Review's Hot Air: Why don’t TV weathermen believe in climate change? - it's fascinating. In short, weathercasters think they're experts in climate science even when they have no education in that field.
(everybody, repeat after me, "weather is not climate"...)

If we accord experts legitimacy outside their field of expertise, where they hold views contrary to the experts *in* that field, we are asking to be misled.

I'm still looking forward to getting those scientific literature references from Dr. Rebane.

Anna Haynes

...or *any* indication of the source of Dr. Rebane's "it's the sun" opinion; peer reviewed or no.
I'm quite curious.


Anna, since I have worked with George on solar impacts on our climate I have selected some paper I have shared with George on the sun-cosmic_ray-cloud connection.

Published in Geophysical Research Letters a study by Henrik Svensmark, there is a connection between cosmic rays and cloud cover. Details here.

Publisnhed in Physics Report. In his paper, Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, shows how CFCs – compounds once widely used as refrigerants – and cosmic rays – energy particles originating in outer space – are mostly to blame for climate change, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. His paper, derived from observations of satellite, ground-based and balloon measurements as well as an innovative use of an established mechanism, was published online in the prestigious journal Physics Reports. Details here.

The study published in the scientific journal New Phytologist.
The growth of British trees appears to follow a cosmic pattern, with trees growing faster when high levels of cosmic radiation arrive from space. Details here.

Researchers made the discovery studying how growth rings of spruce trees have varied over the past half a century.

As yet, they cannot explain the pattern, but variation in cosmic rays impacted tree growth more than changes in temperature or precipitation.

The study is published in the scientific journal New Phytologist.

However, during a number of years, the trees' growth also particularly slowed. These years correlated with periods when a relatively low level of cosmic rays reached the Earth's surface.

When the intensity of cosmic rays reaching the Earth's surface was higher, the rate of tree growth was faster.


"We found them. And the relation of the rings to the solar cycle was much stronger than it was to any of the climatological factors we had looked at.

The first idea is that cosmic rays ionise gases in the atmosphere, creating molecules around which clouds condense, therefore increasing cloud over.

This is getting a little long and I will post the next tranch of papers on the solar-cosmic ray climate connection in another post.

Another Citation

Seen this yet?


Another Citation


George Rebane

Thanks AC, here's the link to the 28jan09 RR post. http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2009/01/do-nothing-sooner.html

Anna Haynes

George, when you'd said above that (in short) "it's the sun", had you already read any of the papers that Russ and your anonymous helper reference above?

And if you didn't form your "it's the sun" view from reading these papers, what information source(s) *did* you use? (it's quite an unusual view, among climate scientists)

Also, of the above papers, if you have read them could you tell me which one(s) you consider most convincing?
(please just name the top one or two)

(Again, in scientific and other inquiry it helps to cut a problem down to bite sized chunks; and if the *top* papers supporting your hypothesis have holes we can drive a truck through, that's pretty good evidence against the hypothesis.)

p.s. I hope you've had a chance to watch one of the talks by Richard Alley ("The biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History", his AGU plenary lecture, synopsis&link at easterbrook.ca/steve/?p=1121 - or the NSF outreach video, at bit.ly/AlleyNSF )


George, I'm getting an error msg trying to submit a comment here, so I've added it over at Chez Pelline -

George Rebane

Anna, other commenters (including me) have encountered the same problem on TypePad. Encountering that error message, I can usually post my comment after I refresh the URL.

BTW, I have not done anything to block your comments. However, seeing the direction you are now taking your inquisition, I do believe that JeffP's blog is a better venue for what you are trying to accomplish.


> "other commenters (including me) have encountered the same problem on TypePad"

First time for me; I'm relieved that it wasn't deliberate.

> seeing the direction you are now taking your inquisition

George, my interest is in how you have come to form your unusual climate views, and in what published scientific evidence you think is strongest for them.

Would you prefer not to disclose these things? If so, please say so directly. Clear communication is good...

George Rebane

"unusual climate views"?? Anna, you should really seek your quarry elsewhere. I stand by my 25jan10 6:57pm comment.

Anna Haynes

(George's my 25jan10 6:57pm comment is up here)

Bummer. I was hoping I could learn something new (namely, what evidence led George to adopt his (contrarian) climate views); instead, he informs me there's no point in explaining.

This fits the pattern I've noticed with other contrarians: they don't seem comfortable with substantive dialogue. (When we had Tom Fuller and the AEI's Ken Green over at In It for the Gold, both left in a Huff, the vehicle favored by contrarians.)

I wish it were otherwise, and George, I wish I were mistaken.

Scientists don't just express an opinion, then get evasive when asked what evidence they feel most powerfully supports it.

(Especially not a contrarian opinion, since extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)

p.s. Apologies, when I was unable to comment here, for having inferred intent; I should have googled the error msg phrase first, which would have cleared up my confusion.

Anna Haynes

FWIW, I've posted a boiled-down account of this exchange here on NCFocus.

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