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Climate Hustle

2012 SkS Weekly Digest #36

Posted on 10 September 2012 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

John Cook stirred up a virtual hornet's nest with the posting of A vivid demonstration of knee-jerk science rejection. Many biases are being confirmed on the comment thread. You have to read it to believe it. Speaking of comment threads, the topic of the week is the word "warmist." See the What say you? section for details.   

Toon of the Week


An original cartoon by SkS author Ari Jokimäki. Way to go Ari! 

What say you?

How do you react when somebody labels you or a prominent climate scientist such as James Hansen an "alarmist"?

Paul Revere is perhaps the most famous alarmist in the history of America. Is there a comparable figure in your country's history?

Quote of the Week    

“And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet—because climate change is not a hoax, More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They’re a threat to our children’s future. And in this election, you can do something about it,”  - President Barack Obama

Source: Part of remarks delivered by President Obama when accepting the nomination of the Democratic Party for the Office of President, Charlotte, North Carolina, Sep 6, 2012.

New Tool

The World Resouces Institute has created a timeline of extreme climate and weather events in 2012. It include some of the most significant occurrences this year and will be periodically updated.


Must Read

The Week in Review

Coming Soon

  • New research from last week 36/2012 (Ari Jokimäki)
  • Obama, Romney, and Various National Climate Policies Around the Globe (Dana)
  • Climate Change and the Weightier Matters: a Christian view on global warming (John Cook)
  • How to Solve the Climate Problem: a Step-by-Step Guide (Dana)
  • Skeptic Magazine vs. Heartland and Monckton Cherrypicked Denialism (AlexC and Dana)
  • Doffing the cryosphere cap: a new source of Arctic methane? (Andy S)
  • Fred Singer - not an American Thinker (John Abraham and Dana)
  • Arctic Sea-ice minimum 2012 declared - it's the Silly Season! (John Mason)

SkS in the News 

Dana's Record Arctic Sea Ice Melt to Levels Unseen in Millennia was re-posted on Climate Progress and Tweeted by The New York Times' Andrew Revkin and The Sunday Times' Jonathan Leake.

Rob Painting's Sea Level Isn't Level was also re-posted on Climate Progress.

SkS Spotlights

The Open Climate Network (OCN) brings together independent research institutes and civil society groups from key countries to track and report on their countries’ progress toward addressing climate change. OCN operates with a view toward identifying and removing barriers to effective policy implementation, and we are committed to developing a robust analytical framework that can be applied consistently across countries, while respecting unique national circumstances.

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Comments 1 to 50 out of 114:

  1. Great cartoon.
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  2. OK. I will prime the pump.

    Winston Churchill

    For context, see the What say you? section of the OP.

    Your feedback is welcomed and desired.
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  3. Awesome cartoon.

    Except he forgot "Light bulbs violate the second law of thermodynamics."
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  4. Heh. "If God had wanted us to live in the Light, than He would have made some well-lit Garden for us, um, ah, somewhere..."
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  5. Another missing balloon in the toon:

    "Are you crazy? We will not replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs or LEDs!"
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  6. Two more balloons: "Do you really want to spend trillions of dollars on a lightbulb?" and "There is only one true light, but you'll have to wait for his Second Coming to see it."
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  7. Re: cartoon.

    Thermodynamics, schmermodynamics. You've got the physics entirely wrong. They're not even "light" bulbs, they're dark bulbs. They don't give off light, they suck out dark. Haven't you ever heard of blackbody radiation?

    The natural state of the world is to be filled with dark. A dark bulb lets us see by removing the dark, so it doesn't block the view any more. Proof? What does a bulb look like when it stops working? It's black - because it's full of dark. There's no more room for it to suck more dark.
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  8. Bob, that makes perfect sense. An entirely self consistent argument. It is in fact very close to the stuff we can find on the thermodynamics thread. Sigh...
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  9. Bob Loblaw - And we cannot make any predictions until the models of the 'speed of dark' are sufficiently robust, which won't be for decades...
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  10. Laugh it up, fuzzballs....>;-D
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  11. A couple of additional analyses of lighting alternatives:

    Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs – A Tale From Dust to Dust


    LED life-cycle assessment

    HT to Hot Topic for pointers to those.
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  12. Some more balloons to consider:

    "No can do. Changing a light bulb is part of the UN secret agenda to create a world government."

    "Light a candle! If candles were good enough for the Founding Fathers, they're good enough for us."

    "Burn some clean coal instead!"

    "Increae the wattage. It will make plants grow faster and bigger."
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  13. Another balloon:

    "Just follow Anthony's instructions!"
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  14. I don't need to change a lightbulb (often). One of my "early model" CFL bulbs gave up recently after 24 years of use, the other one (purchased at the same time) is still working ...
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  15. Most skeptics agree in principle on the need for a new light bulb, but believe that the modeled light output of most light bulbs is exaggerated by a factor of two.
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  16. You speaketh volumes beyond words alone...
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  17. Perhaps we should start a pool on when the Wattsonians will rise up in self-righteous indignation over Ari's toon and this comment thread.
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  18. John Hartz: Increase the wattage. It will make plants grow faster and bigger.

    Corollary to "Global warming will expand the surface of the planet, a good thing!"
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  19. Yet another:

    "Put on your Galileo T-shirt before you screw it in."
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  20. "Switching on my lightbulb* won't make any difference, and it will blow out my power bill."

    [*Sadly, there is evidence that illumination doesn't work for some - it's the King Arnulf Effect.]
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  21. Sorry, but the ideas just keep coming:

    "Say 'Ad hominem attack' three times before you start."
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  22. "The bulb is just poorly sited - see my pretty pictures??!!"

    "The bulb will change itself"
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  23. Eric wrote: "Most skeptics agree in principle on the need for a new light bulb, but believe that the modeled light output of most light bulbs is exaggerated by a factor of two."

    Sounds about right... given that the modeled output of the light bulbs would (like climate models) have been refined until it matched actual observed output. So, restated; 'Most 'skeptics' believe that observed reality is exaggerated by a factor of two.'
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  24. "How many Wattsians does it take to install a CFL? NONE! They all deny they work!"

    John Hartz, you are on a roll...I canna resist!
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  25. 'Living rooms have been brighter in the past!'

    I'm rather disappointed LA21 hasn't been mentioned yet. And, of course, the Illuminati (boom boom!)
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  26. But it was much darker during the MWP!
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  27. It's hard to stop a moving object...

    "Wipe off those fingerprints on the bulb before you screw it it. We don't want people to learn who made it and where it came from."
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  28. I trust that the following will not offend...

    "Man may have made the bulb, but only God has the power to turn on the electricity."
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  29. "Rapid rebound in bulb luminosity confirms theory that low amount was because of storm causing abnormal min"
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  30. "Al Gore and IPCC have blinded us!"
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  31. "Back then in MWP there was no need to ever change a bulb!"
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  32. Oneiota at #26:

    But it was much darker during the MWP!

    That's why it was referred to as the Dark Ages...
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  33. 35. A new dawn, a new beginning...

    "Stop! If you replace the lightbulbs, people will be able to see the multiple lines of evidence hanging from the ceiling."
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  34. "Al Gore just wants us to think it's dark, so he can make billions selling us light bulbs!"
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  35. "Dark is the Emperor's New Light"
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  36. The balloons just keep coming...

    "Stop! You're standing in six inches of seawater."
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  37. Oh, and of course it was darker in the mediæval period. If one takes a dendrochronological core, there's less light in the centre of the tree.

    Ergot, those crazy darkists are cereal liars, liars, pants-on-St-Anthony's-fires.

    Quod erratic demonstrandum.
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  38. A theme with much potential...

    "Don't worry, the strawman will rescue us."
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  39. Blame it on my morning coffee...

    "Just throw the bulbs at the ceiling. One of them is bound to stick."
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  40. More coffee please...

    "Don't worry. Gish is galloping to our rescue."

    "If no one else can do it, we'll let Ad Hominem take over."
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  41. John Hartz, enquiring minds wanna know: is it *really* the coffee, or the ~additives~ IN the coffee?? In either case, this entire thread is a thing of beauty, to watch....methinks a poster could be made from this, and the thought occurs that it would be WAY more an effective tool to battle denialists with than our "reasoned" scientific data.

    My vote for the best, so far?

    "Al Gore just wants us to think it's dark, so he can make billions selling us light bulbs!"

    Sphaerica, +10...;)
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  42. What are you fraudsters talking about? It's light where I'm at!

    And I've done my own research on this. Where I'm at, the light cycles on and off (with occasional variations when one of my twins pulls the lamp down); therefore, this darkness is just part of a natural cycle.

    It was darker during the Dark Ages.
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  43. DSL,

    Are you referring to the Medieval Dark Period?
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  44. Oh, and "You can't prove that my taking a baseball bat to the fixture has anything to do with the sudden darkness. (and funding to study the connection between my bat and the darkness should be given as subsidies to baseball bat producers)"
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  45. Yes, Sph - you know, and I don't care what you and your studies say about the Great Darkness being just in a few places on one side of the room. The author of those studies uses "tricks" to "hide the light." Yep. I know. A Low Watt Bulb told me that I'm right, and I believe him.
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  46. While walking the dogs, this one popped into my head:

    "It's hard to screw in a lightbulb that's been sprayed with Obfuscation oil."
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  47. H/T to DSL:

    "Arrest that guy with the hockey stick! He smashed all of our antique lightbulbs."
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  48. This may be the most creative interactive thread in SkS history.

    We now have enough material for a number of follow-up toons in what will become the "Lightbulb" series.

    Keep those creative juices flowing and we will have enough material for the first-ever SkS comic book.

    PS - I find actively particpating in this thread to be very therapeutic. Try it, you'll like it!
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  49. "Darkness is not the absence of visible light, its the presence of galactic cosmic rays!"
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  50. "I don't know why you all are so concerned about a little light bulb. There is a loose tile on the floor, and the wallpaper is peeling, I spilled ketchup on the table, and the oven really needs cleaning. Shouldn't our limited resources be focused on more important issues?"

    "Nobody has checked the fuse, or called the power company, or looked to see if the lamp is plugged in, or called our cousin in Toledo to see if his light bulb is working. There's no proof that the light bulb is the problem."

    "You just want all the light bulbs to come from the One World Light Bulb Supremacy"

    "Your light bulb may be white on the outside, but it's red on the inside."

    "You've got a right-hand-thread light bulb there. We need to bring in a left-hand-thread light bulb for balance."

    "This is all just a plot to take control of the electricity grid."

    "I've analyzed the voltage applied to the bulb, and identified a 60Hz cycle in both the current and the light, so I've proved that the output from the light does not depend on long-term supply of power from the electric company. In fact, the lags show that the light generates power, not the other way around."
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