Hard Facts & Distortion

Today, I’d like to introduce a sub-section of the AKCenozo Blog: ChainBreaker. The editorial staff had a vote yesterday (I asked my self, then I raised my hand, democracy prevails again!) The royal ‘we’ thought it would be interesting periodically to join in the internet trolling trade.

Ever read an article online and find the most insanely frustrating debates going on in the comment section? I am not talking about all the “f-bomb I’m-going-to-kick-your-ass bitch fag Ron Paul 2012” comments out there either.

What I am talking about are those commentators who post something which on the surface sounds reasonable, perhaps they sound like a high and mighty armchair amateur purveyor of science and reason drinking cognac puffing cubans, hell, they even cite facts and sources and shit, but really their arguments are pretty shoddy.

You probably have better things to do. So, AKCenozo will waste its time periodically highlighting and responding to some of the most rational sounding piles of argumentative commentary junk out there on the tubes. I hope you enjoy!

You can submit a ChainBreaker series post too by sending an email to akcenozo@gmail.com with the word “ChainBreaker” in the subject field, a link to the article with the commentary and your response.

Gyula’s Conflation

Up first on the ChainBreaker series is an AKCenozo response to a comment posted on theenergycolletive.com‘s article “Japan Extracts Natural Gas from Frozen Methane Hydrate.”

A commenter identified as Gyula Huszar something states the following:

@ Bob,

Adopting the conclusions of others whom you deem ‘some of the smartest people alive’ is of little value here. Science has become the tool of the capitalists and the social engineers; exaggerations and ignorance of contrary facts lead people to preordained conclusions, regardless of the disclaimers. Science is to be interpreted, collated, examined and falsified by those people seeking to hold an informed opinion. To adopt someone else’s opinion because of reverence for that person’s intellectual ability misses the mark.

That aside, let’s look at what the Royal Society says about the issue of Global Warming.

“Measurements show that averaged over the globe, the surface has warmed by about 0.8oC (with an uncertainty of about ±0.2oC) since 1850.”

From ‘Climate Change; A Summary of the Science’, 2010. Line 21

http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/policy/publications/2010/4294972962.pdfThe NOAA concurs

So, in the past 160 years the increase in global surface temperatures is .8 of one degree.
I am not alarmed.

The fact that since 1840 the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased from .028 of 1% of the atmosphere to .040 of 1% of the total doesn’t strike me with the horror that it strikes others either.

What hard numbers do you have that would increase my level of alarm?

While AKCenozo doen’t know exactly who Bob is or why exactly Gyula is laying the data smack down, here’s our response:


While your facts are not wrong per se you’ve still done, what I presume you get extraordinarily insane about, that thing that pundits, corporate or politically driven scientists, or just plain people do – pluck and suck from the data bits, positions and pieces that most reliably suit their own understanding or needs of the world. Perhaps, I’m doing the same thing.

I won’t claim that I know better, I don’t, In fact I am almost certain I am more ignorant and moronic than you are – perhaps you’re dedicated particularly to one stream of thought or are some sort of specialist in a field I’m uneducated about – which would be pretty much everything.

Given the tone of your commentary, I’m sure you’ll assume the position of the grand teacher in any response and me the lowly pupil sucking on my dirty toes begging for the apple of enlightenment. And that’s fine.

As a cursory reader of these sorts of things though, what I find particularly interesting about your hard fact analysis is a little bit centered around your lack of clarity – I’ll leave it up to you to inform me of my susceptibility to stupidity.

While you quote from the NOAA approved Royal Society’s statement: “Measurements show that averaged over the globe, the surface has warmed by about 0.8oC (with an uncertainty of about ±0.2oC) since 1850,” you fail to acknowledge what I would assume to be some basic tenants.

First, what does that 0.80C mean for people, the environment and our climate? Nothing?something? Discounted cruise ship tickets round the ice free Arctic ocean? Until you’ve validated or at least attempted to analyze (which you may well already have) what 10 trillion or 0.8 mean, in any context, pretty much means nothing.

Making numbers small or big doesn’t say really anything about their impact respective to their context. Therefore, in the hypothetical and reasonable discussion I’m entering into with you, these sorts of numbers have about as much bering in determining weather or not someone should be alarmed as having two instead of three nipples. Aside from possibly alarming your significant other when you take off your shirt off for the first time, it probably doesn’t mean much.

Secondly, yep, the 0.8C temperature rise since 1850 seems even smaller than my ego or penis, but you’re also providing a global average temperature variation without any analysis or more regional information. While averages are useful, as I recall from my statistics class some years ago, things tend to get pulled down and de-emphasized the wider net that an average calculation casts.

Thirdly, you commit the same omission discussed above in stating the fact that “since 1840 the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased from .028 of 1% of the atmosphere to .040 of 1% of the total doesn’t strike me with the horror that it strikes others.” Again, what does that mean? The number seems small and it should mean as much to me as the rim of foam left in my beer glass – but is it the same? Perhaps it is and I’m an uneducated ass.

Forth, any cursory reading of the material out there on the liberal minded socialist intertubes, seems to indicate a couple of minor points you seem to disregard in your commentary (perhaps you were in a rush off to lunch or dinner). One is that while Co2 concentrations have only risen from .028 to .040 of 1% you fail to acknowledge that 50% of that rise has happened since about 1980. Maybe acknowledging that would influence our ‘alarm’? Perhaps not, but maybe?

Fifth, while you so notably flaunt your giant Chaucers at flaming alarmists, you also seem to neglect basic principals that appear to be widely accepted. Co2 is a green house gas. Along with water vapor, Co2, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone contribute to what is pretty much an indisputable phenomenon of what is called the green house effect.

Principally, in our human/earth hypothetical example, the sun shines on the earth, which heats it, that heat rises, those gasses absorb it and then radiated that heat back to earth. The more gases there are the more heat they trap and radiate back to earth. Your comments suggest that you disregard this simple principal.

Gyula, if you are willing to accept the idea that over a billion cars burning gasoline, around 4,558,273,000 billon short tons of coal burning around the world and an astronomical amount of other activities by human beings that contribute to the total green house gases in the atmosphere, have no demonstrable or potentially detrimental effect on our climate or environment, particularly in relation to climate – you’re carrying around one major sack of two potatoes.

I await humbly for your hard fact beating that is sure to come.

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