Ardnassac

This is a book recommendation. Sadly, it’s out of print, and I can find none in any of the used book sites I have used. The good news is it’s cheap on Kindle.

I found out about it here if you want a short opinion second to the one that follows.

I can’t believe I’d never heard of the book, either.

The flying car topic of the title is used to weave a sort of ‘back to the future’ look at at technology, American ingenuity/entrepreneurialism, and government regulation. There is a strong science fiction presence used to ask “Why did, or did not, the predictions of 1930-1960 SF come to pass?” It’s a good summary of my contention that much of that literature should have been required reading.

Appearances, among many others, by H. G. Wells, Issac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke.

The brilliant Dr. Richard Feynman also takes a bow in a discussion of Heinlein’s novellas Waldo and Magic Inc..

I cut my teeth on SF with Tom Swift, and my strong technological optimism arguably started with that series. (I wonder if there is anything comparable now for 10 year olds?)

The author, J Storrs Hall, is a techno-optimist, too, and he suggests that after the 1960’s America became a much less “can do” polity than we had any reason to expect. We went from the Wright brothers to 747s in 50 years, from Goddard (1926) to the moon in 43. Now we’re mired in CAFE standards and cronyism.

Hall does spend a fair bit of time discussing the history of ‘flying cars’ and that alone is fascinating. There’s much more. He also makes very intriguing points about nanotech, nuclear power, AI, cybernetics, economics, city planning, and other topics.

One major consideration is envirostatism (my term), where he contends that the GREEN point isn’t CO2, pollution, or any of the other excuses offered. It is essentially anti-human nihilism.

For example,

“Green ideas have become inextricably intertwined with a perfectly reasonable desire to live in a clean, healthy environment and enjoy the natural world. The difference is of course that in the latter case, the human enjoying the natural world is a good thing, but to the fundamentalist Green he and all his works are a bad thing.”

Lest you think this is hyperbole, he supplies some words from the mouths of the horses-asses:

The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.
-Jeremy Rifkin

Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.
-Paul Ehrlich

It would be little short of disastrous for us for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it.
-Amory Lovins

The title of this piece is Cassandra backwards. I closely paraphrase J Storrs Hall,

“There seems to be a bizarre reverse-Cassandra effect operating in the universe: whereas the mythical Cassandra spoke the awful truth and was not believed, these days “experts” speak awful falsehoods, and they are believed. Repeatedly being wrong actually seems to be an advantage, conferring some sort of puzzling magic glow upon the speaker.”

We hear California wildfires are caused by global warming climate change, when it’s actually envirostatist mismanagement, and the conscious intent to build windmills rather than maintain power lines. The California satraps agree with Rifkin, Ehrlich, and Lovins. In order to cripple the supply of energy, what have their like told us that wasn’t true?

California wildfires are caused by climate change. Gavin Newsom – yesterday
Four billion people will die between 1980 and 1989 from climate change. Paul Ehrlich – 1970
The polar ice cap will disappear by 2014. Al Gore – 2007
The planet will warm by 3 full degrees (0.1, actually). James Hansen – 1988
We will see the ‘end of snow.’ Untrue, no matter how many times it’s been predicted. various – 2000, 2015, 2017, 2020
Air pollution will reduce the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half. – Various – 1970

Amusingly, we also didn’t see an ice age by the year 2000. Kenneth Watt – 1970

Meanwhile, we see the very people who want zero CO2 emissions steadfastly oppose nuclear energy. Which is zero emission, safe, and causes immensely less environmental damage than windmills or solar panels. They are not protecting the environment, they are attacking the very idea of human well-being. This antipathy is in the spirit of Rifkin, Ehrlich, and Lovins. It is about authoritarian power in the way Critical Theorists describe it: There are no objective truths. Human history and culture are merely examples of a struggle in relative political power dynamics.

They don’t mean power as in horsepower, they mean justifying the political power of Antifa and BLM riots.

And don’t get me started on Critical Theorists’ “science” on “individuals with a cervix,” or what 2+2 equals.

Anyway. I recommend the book.

We have always been at war with Thunbergia

For the people who read Orwell as an instruction manual it is not merely a question of whether 2+2=5, or whether “freedom is slavery,” or “silence is violence,” or memory holing contrarian commentary about BLM, or Trans activism, or Feminism, or the CCP virus – climate alarmism must also be made safe from debate.
On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare — Environmental Progress

That article appeared in Forbes for about 24 hours before being taken down.

Shame.

GIGO

A Climate Modeller Spills the Beans

“Proper ocean modelling would require a tenfold improvement in spatial resolution and a vast increase in computing power, probably requiring quantum computers. If or when quantum computers can reproduce the small-scale interactions, the researchers will remain out of their depth because of their traditional simplifying of conditions.”

This is far from the most important part of that article, but I use it to make the following point: If Greta Thunberg and the Green New Deal hysterics have their way we won’t ever see the quantum computers necessary to those calculations, because we’ll be poor and shivering in the dark while the minimally available electricity is used to heat Al Gore’s pool. We will have already spent all the money we could have used for mitigation of any possible climate change.

Related

Properly skeptical?

In a post describing social media propaganda techniques Corey Doctorow says the following:

“We’re not living through a crisis about what is true, we’re living through a crisis about how we know whether something is true. We’re not disagreeing about facts, we’re disagreeing about epistemology. The “establishment” version of epistemology is, “We use evidence to arrive at the truth, vetted by independent verification (but trust us when we tell you that it’s all been independently verified by people who were properly skeptical and not the bosom buddies of the people they were supposed to be fact-checking).”

The “alternative facts” epistemological method goes like this: “The ‘independent’ experts who were supposed to be verifying the ‘evidence-based’ truth were actually in bed with the people they were supposed to be fact-checking. In the end, it’s all a matter of faith, then: you either have faith that ‘their’ experts are being truthful, or you have faith that we are. Ask your gut, what version feels more truthful?””

However unintentionally*, Doctorow has accurately described the ‘argument from authority,’ shut-down-the-debate propaganda of ‘climate change’ activists.
*He’s compared Greta Thunberg to Joan of Arc. I.e., he approves of Thunberg’s propaganda. She can hardly be considered an authority.

We can imagine he accepts the authority of the ‘97% of scientists agree with CAGW theory‘ misdirection (see also here and here).

We can be sure he would not approve my appropriation of his words in support of the links that follow below. But they do speak to the question he asks about what feels truthful:
ClimateGate fallout continues: CRU admits original data deleted – 2009

“SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.”

“The dog ate my temperature data” would be far less suspicious if the scientists involved hadn’t been caught discussing how to avoid FOIA requests for their data; if they hadn’t asked each other to delete emails expressing internal doubts about some of their research assumptions; if the programmers hadn’t complained in their comments about unreliable data custodianship and sloppy organization, or pointed out algorithms where the actual data record was ‘corrected.’ It might be more believable if one of those scientists, Micheal Mann, hadn’t refused to release data and algorithms used in his hokey stick calculations, and if he hadn’t viciously attempted to destroy – professionally and personally – any who voiced the slightest question about that tree ring magnum opus, including interference and intimidation of scientific publishers. Science is falsifiable or it isn’t science.

On the Validity of NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU Global Average Surface Temperature Data & The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding – 2017

“The conclusive findings of this research are that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality. In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.”

GAST is Global Average Surface Temperature.

Canada’s global warming models threw out actual historical data and substituted models of what the temperature should have been – 2019

“Canadians already suspicious of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax are likely be even more suspicious given a report by Ottawa-based Blacklock’s Reporter that Environment Canada omitted a century’s worth of observed weather data in developing its computer models on the impacts of climate change.

The scrapping of all observed weather data from 1850 to 1949 was necessary, a spokesman for Environment Canada told Blacklock’s Reporter, after researchers concluded that historically, there weren’t enough weather stations to create a reliable data set for that 100-year period.

“The historical data is not observed historical data,” the spokesman said. “It is modelled historical data … 24 models from historical simulations spanning 1950 to 2005 were used.””

Maybe the models they used as input to the models were meticulously prepared even though the preparers had a conflict of interest. Maybe it would be better if when they don’t know something, they say so.

Here’s an easily understood critque of how data is manipulated in U.S. National Climate Assessment.
My Gift To Climate Alarmists ~13 min


No way to spin that: So-called scientists feel free to cherry pick their data. The choices strongly imply an agenda. An agenda related to funding.

Finally, here’s a long, insightful, humorous post (That last quality being one possessed neither by Greta Thunberg nor Joan of Arc, though one might suspect Greta does have a martyrdom complex.) touching on arguments from authority and proper skepticism at the website of the invaluable Dr. Judith Curry.
A philospher’s reflections on AGW denial An excerpt:

“…what, if anything, to do about AGW is a political decision, subject to the same forces at play in any other political decision, namely the interplay of conflicting interests. One can hope that someone else’s interests, as she herself sees them, will dovetail with one’s own. But to get in high moral dudgeon when hers don’t betrays the moral maturity of a three year old.”

Ah yes, it is a public policy question about which we’re told we must accept the judgment of some experts (though not experts in public policy) regarding a complete redefinition of our economy.

Ultimately, argument from authority must end in attempts to rank the sincerity, knowledge, methods, and success of predictions from theory of the authorities invoked by each side. The point I want to leave you with is that it’s not the climate change skeptics who are insisting global warming theory is not falsifiable. So, which authorities are practicing science rather than religion?

Related:
Conspiracy of silence -2007
James Robert Cardinal Bellarmine Hansen -2008
Who’s a “denier” now? -2009
What a piece of work is Mann -2015

What a piece of work is Mann

Highly recommended: Mark Steyn’s “A Disgrace to the Profession“, to anyone interested in the genesis of Michael Mann’s Hokey Stick. Steyn’s book is not an attack on the idea of AGW, it’s an exposé of, arguably, the biggest scientific fraud since Piltdown; and, indisputably, the most consequential.

Using the words of scientists who strongly believe AGW is true and of those who are more skeptical, it lays out a convincing case that there are differences of opinion among scientists on AGW, if not so much about Michael Mann.

If you (mistakenly) conflate Mann’s agenda with the discipline of climate science, you will like the book still less than even Mann’s “allies” like him. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it: If you are concerned about erosion of public support for “doing something” about AGW, you should read it so you can help climate science regain a modicum of respectability. As long as Mann is left to hijack the discussion, threaten the careers of distinguished scientists and subvert the peer review process, it is unlikely reasonable people will find any common ground on the topic.

Mann has been able to force the entire discipline of climate science into a corner where failure to defend his work is equated with failure to defend, in Mann’s words, “the cause.” A strange way for a scientist to think. If there is a single principle that distinguishes science from religion it is that scientific theories are falsifiable. Mann is pushing the religion of Mann, not the science of climate study.

The damage to science itself is profound. The damage to freedom of speech is, perhaps, even worse – which is how Steyn got involved in a lawsuit. And came to write this book. The First Amendment is as much subject to Mann’s attack as is the scientific method.

I consider myself well informed on the AGW debate, but I learned quite a bit from this book. You probably will too. This book does not deny AGW, it denies Michael Mann’s devious, unprincipled, ad-hominem attacks on those who dare ask a single question.

We’re being asked to restructure the world economy because of a drawing based on misrepresentation, willful hyperbole and astounding arrogance. You should read “A Disgrace to the Profession” in order to understand what that means, whatever your position on AGW. You should buy “A Disgrace to the Profession” (also at Amazon) because doing so helps defend free speech. Even if Mann were right, it is long past time his bullying lawfare was stopped.