What passes for “fact” for President Obama

By Liberal Anthropologist

“But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late. ”

It is not true simplistically that 12 of the hottest years on record have come in the last 15. Which measurement? How does that compare to other measurements? How MUCH hotter? Was it significant or statistically insignificant?

There is no scientist claiming increases in storm events or intensity as fact. Only a – yet unproven – theory. No scientist claiming increases in droughts. Another unproven theory.

There is no emergency. No need to react in a way that hurts the price of fossil fuels.

The lack of science understanding amongst the political class is terrible. No party specific on that complaint. Just Obama is now the latest to trot out anti-science positions that favor his world view.

Science needs to be depoliticized. Climate change is not an urgent issue. We can have all fuel sources. But don’t artificially prop up one or another. I include oil in that as well. Let the market find solutions. Stop treating CO2 as pollution. Is is plant food.

The Democrats have no right to claim a superior scientific rationality. Between foolishness on climate change, GMO, and alternative medicine, they have enough anti-science nonsense of their own to match up with the few creationists.


  • Eric the 1/2 a troll says:

    “Agreed not geological?”

    Again geology 101. Look up the definition of geology sometime. We liked to joke that it is the study of everything everywhere. But be that as it may, usually people think of rock and the processes that effect them. Climatology IS a branch of geology, however. Further the timescales you are discussing are very brief on the full geologic scale. Is that enough for you?

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    Sure. I’ll not focus on the terminology if we agree on the issues. Certainly the climate has cycles that are on the several hundred thousand year range. It also has the very long term cycle that is the same as the Sun of cooling since its first formation.

    Let’s jump into the breaking records issue.

    Putting aside the specific situation, if an event has certain probabilities of occurring on a quantum (like “per day”) then it is called a “time series.” Let’s see if we can agree on the issues around a longer record meaning a greater chance of a given record.

    The math behind record breaking is quite simple when yo are dealing with a random event.

    For now, let’s assume no “signal” in the data. That it is purely random data.

    The chance of breaking a record in a single day is: 1 – 100%

    In examining 2 days: 1.5 records on average will contain a record breaker. 75%

    3 days: 1+.5+.25 ~58%


    So the probability of breaking a new record diminishes over time.

    Let’s say we want to look at breaking records 2 out of 3 days.

    What is the chance of that happening over a 3 day record?
    1-(.75*.75) = ~43 percent chance

    What is the chance of that happening over a 4 day record?
    1-(.75*.75*.75) = ~57% chance

    What is the chance of that happening over a 6 day record?
    1-(.75*.75*.75*.75*.75) = ~76% chance

    What is the chance of that happening over an infinitely long record? It is 100%.

    Would you agree that the chances of finding a particular sequence of record breaking events goes to 100% as the data set goes to infinity?

    Lets just stick with that for now in a purely random set of data.

    When you have a longer record you have a greater chance of finding that record breaking series.

    We can examine the impact of a positive signal on random data next.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    What happens when someone starts doing math on a blog? Surely we are doomed.

    One of my colleagues should post something local quick before the audience falls asleep.

    Delgaudio, School board, BOE, something!

    Or this math will never get driven off the bottom of the front page… 🙂

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    By the way E1/2T,

    I write that stuff originally and out of my own head. I don’t just cut and paste links.

    I reserve the right to be wrong in anything including a calculation or even logic. I consider your review peer review. If I am wrong, I will admit the error without hesitation.

    Don’t jump down my throat if I got a calculation wrong doing it in my head…

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    I just typed up a whole response to you, LA, that I just lost before it could be posted (gggrrrrr!!!). The ending conclusion was this is not a conversation worthy of TC and we should move on. It IS a conversation worthy of a local brew pub (with pencils and paper napkins in hand).

    Where I ended was that we are not going to change your mind nor mine nor Picker’s and I doubt anyone else who wishes to torture themselves by reading any more of it. Instead of posting more to this thread, make a new post …my suggestion Simpson-Bowles 2.0… but really ANYTHING else (except homosexuality or abortion)!!

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    “I reserve the right to be wrong…”

    I like this philosophy, btw, and also subscribe to it.

  • FedUp says:

    The warming trend over the past 30 years could actually be attributed to cleaner air. Lower concentrations of aerosols and other pollutants would allow more sunlight to reach the earth’s surface, thus warming the planet.

    As far as a long-term warming trend over the past 140 years, was there really enough reliable measurement data to accurately determine the earth’s temperature for much of that time? Temperature measurement technology has improved greatly and continues to improve. There were a lot fewer measuring stations back then, especially in undeveloped parts of the world. Comparing the world temperature in 2012 to 1872 requires a lot of corrections and reconstructions.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    “but really ANYTHING else (except homosexuality or abortion)”

    Should I do a post noting the low incidence of abortion amongst homosexuals? 🙂

  • Jay Hughes says:

    Liberal A:

    Actually your range of record breaking probabilities should start with 0 and then progress to 100 versus starting at 1 and progressing to 100. There is always the possibility of zero probability that a record will be broken, i.e. disjoint events. For instance, the probability that homosexuals will miss free vodka and karioke Friday night at the local gay bar is most definitely zero. 🙂

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    You know…. this thread has definitely jumped the shark.

    But for fun, consider the birthday paradox and us as a trick at your next big party.


    With the number of potential values limited to 365 the probability of success in the trick reaches 100% at 366 people.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    fedup, way back hundreds of comments ago (where’d aen go, now that the global warming rally on the coldest day of the year netted zero news coverage other than press releases from 350.org claiming 8x the attendance the police did? They really should check their pre-programmed forcing models, not to mention check who’s funding 350.org is spit of their hurling imprecations about “big oil”–last I looked, Mr. McKibben, that would be Rockefeller money too. “just sayin'”) I referenced Anthony Watts and the Surface Stations Project. over the course of a few years, he went out and documented every data collection point used in the models, photographed them, and noted how many were still counted as “rural” in spite of cities growing up around them over the last 80 years or so, and THEN checked the “adjustment” formulas in relation to the stations. Some of those “rural” collection points–which were now next to massive HVAC units serving the airport terminal now in the field the “rural” station used to monitor in the middle of nowhere–had their data adjusted further upward, in order to equalize the UHI effect they were assumed to NOT be experiencing because of their “rural” location…on cement, surrounded by buildings and industrial machinery…

    The models which have achieved “consensus” of the rent-seekers are pure science fantasy projection in many cases, and unfortunately we fund their continuation and expansion.

  • Alfred E. Newman says:

    Barbara, I didn’t go anywhere. Unlike you, I believe in saying my piece and being done with it. In other words, I’m not boorish, pedantic, and vindicative. And in one respect, I completely agree with LA – this thread spun wildly out of control, although he must share some of the blame. Much like my daughter when she was little, he seems to have an obsessive need to have the last word!

  • ” Much like my daughter when she was little, he seems to have an obsessive need to have the last word!”

    I am rubber. You’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks on you.

  • Alfred E. Newman says:

    OK, LA, that was pretty funny. I like it.

  • What Me Worry, I don’t know that any of these threads are “in control” in the first place. They’re like a soccer ball in a grade school game… wherever the ball goes, so goes the crowd.

  • FedUp says:

    Barbara, do you know if is Dulles Airport considered a rural data collection point for the climate change models? It was certainly rural back when it opened back in the early 60s. There was not much development west of the Beltway and it was probably well outside the DC metro area heat island. Probably not anymore. Today, temps are about 3 degrees lower than Reagen National, just 25 miles away. But the difference was actually about 4 degrees back in the 60s, indicating the outer bands of the heat island may have expanded out to Dulles over the past 50 years.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    fedup, I don’t know. The Surface Stations project is only looking at the collection points included in the United States Historical Climatalogical Network (USHCN) and the Global Historical Climatological Network (GHCN), to see how the modelling and adjustment of hundred+ year data went into the computer modelsfor the professional CAGW set–Dulles is pretty new in relation to that.

    Their focus was on the fact that not all stations have maintained the conditions present when they were established (as you note with the development near Dulles), with the most egregious being stations that used to be situated in an open field, and are now under an airconditioning machine between two other machines under a cellphone tower next to a loading dock on a concrete slab.

    Here is their website, and the linked home page shows examples of well- and poorly-situated stations in photos if you scroll a bit:


    See the Orland CA station, in the same spot for a hundred years, and still in the middle of a farm field, in comparison to the Marysville CA station, the same age but now surrounded by heavy development.

    They do some interesting work to examine first the integrity of the collection points, and then how the data was “adjusted”.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    aen, you certainly aren’t pedantic, and I doubt anyone will ever accuse you of anything remotely related. Have a nice day.

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