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Richard Alley's Air Force Ostrich

Posted on 26 May 2012 by dana1981

Via Climate Crocks, another entry from Richard Alley's YouTube series of short videos on 'how to talk to an ostrich', based on “Earth: the Operator’s Manual”.  This entry discusses how some of the basic atmospheric physics and behind the climate science of human-caused global warming was discovered by the United States Air Force in the 1950s.  This piece of climate science history was also mentioned in John Mason's Two Centuries of Climate Science: part two - Hulburt to Keeling, 1931- 1965.

At the end of the video, there are links which can be clicked to see Alley's other Ostrich videos.

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Comments 1 to 17:

  1. You can find the full list of the "How to talk to an ostrich" videos here: It is only one of the resources associated with Richard Alley's book, Earth the Operator's Manual, and associated PBS series. Other interesting resources are the ETOM "heroes"; and a series of articles about the issues related to global warming.
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  2. Is he being serious? Is Richard Alley asking us to believe in stuff because the Pentagon says its true? The Pentagon? Since when has the Pentagon or any other military organisations in the world, given us the truth? Have he forgotten about Iraq's WMD? How can anyone write a book or a blog based on this type of infantile story-telling? A lot of people believe in UFOs, including the US military. It doesn't mean it has any sound basis in science. We deniers will continue to dismiss the claims put forward by people like Richard Alley because there is something very child-like about the way Climate Scientists believe almost anything they are told - so longs as it's scary enough!
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  3. Justin, Perhaps you should actually listen to the video and comment on what it says, rather than what you'd like to rant about. When you're done doing that, actually go study the science and understand the sound basis for it. Deniers will continue to dismiss the claims put forward by anyone not because of how they are put forward, but because they cannot overcome the core (child-like) reflex that causes their brains to malfunction and to reject evidence and logic in favor of conspiracy theories and any bizarre idea that points somewhere else, anywhere but towards real climate science.
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  4. Justin, Alley is asking us to believe the basic atmospheric physics behind anthropogenic global warming because it's long-established science. He's just giving the history behind that science because it might make climate ostriches more able to pull their heads out of the sand to know that these scientific principles were discovered by the military during defense research. Your rejection of the science based on a rather silly attack on the Pentagon demonstrates that it will take a lot to get some ostriches to pull their heads out.
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  5. Justin: Accept it [climate science] because the Pentagon thinks it is true? No. Reject it [climate science] because is a socialist plot? Well, is the Pentagon normally considered a source of socialist thinking? It the Pentagon in on "the hoax"? Do we assume that climate science is wrong because the Pentagon thinks it is right? You may think so, but I accept the science on climate and human-induced warming, and if I agreed with that because I agreed with the commo/pinko/anti-capitalist "agenda", then I would certainly be surprised to hear that the Pentagon agreed with me.... perhaps the fact that the Pentagon shares some of my views is because we share some connection to reality, rather than we've been drinking the same Kool-aid... Please wait while I remove my tin-foil hat...
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  6. Justin, I suspect you're just passing through and won't actually respond to any of the comments here. If so, too bad. Nevertheless, you give us a good chance to do follow-up on the video for the sake of the general public stopping by SkS. Thank you. Essentially, the video is saying that the basic science of so-called "greenhouse gases" has been independently tested by organizations that have no reason to take a side in the climate "debate." Indeed, they were testing the science when there was no debate. Why should we believe the Pentagon? Because their air-to-air missiles are pretty effective pieces of engineering, engineering that had to overcome interference from atmospheric CO2. Of course, in general, if you don't have the time, energy, means, or training to come to an understanding of the science yourself, it's not a terrible idea to trust large, successful institutions that are preparing for events decades from now. Insurance companies and the US armed services, without much fanfare, are both gearing up for a warmer Earth.
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  7. Perhaps Justin has a point. 'Heat-seeking missiles' could just a means for 'scientists' at 'the Pentagon' to get rich at public expense. As if this is really the 'heat signature' of an engine that such technology exploits: -- source Or this could be a necessary counter-measure: -- source And it's not just the Pentagon. Even the Australian Air Force is in on it.
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  8. Justin You state. "...something very child-like about the way Climate Scientists believe almost anything they are told - so longs as it's scary enough!" This makes no sense on the face of it. If the level of "scary" was all the climate scientists pay attention to, why do they discount runaway greenhouse to venus conditions, or 25m sea-level rise before 2100? Why do they put an upper limit on effects of a doubling of CO2 at all? Why do they still discuss contentious issues like the effect of warming on hurricane and tornado frequency and intensity? Or the effect of clouds as feedbacks? The irony is that the scenario you are implicitly promoting is far scarier to me than any scenario proposed by mainstream climate science. It presupposes that we as a society (that you and I belong to) cannot assess and respond rationally to future threats. Such cynicism dooms us to suffer the consequences of such threats, no matter what they be. It presumes, since no one can be trusted, the world will be fine no matter what anyone tells you. You also brought up the WMD debacle. You could not have chosen a more different case to climate science. The WMD issues was one that, by it's very nature, involved very little hard evidence, a lot of conjecture based on past events and a short time line set in part by political contingencies. Climate science, by contrast, has accumulated a ocean of direct measurements and theoretical understanding over 150 years, and contues to do so on a daily basis. Ignoring that evidence on the principle that noone can be trusted and all will be fine is just as childlike, in my view, as believing that everything that is scary is true.
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  9. "there is something very child-like about the way Climate Scientists believe almost anything they are told - so longs as it's scary enough!"
    Actually, there is something very child-like about the way deniers like Justin disbelieve almost anything they are told (told, because they refuse to do the hard work and learn about things for themselves) - because it's "too scary" and therefore cannot be true!
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    Moderator Response: TC: We now have seven responses to Justin's comments. Any further responses prior to his responding to these comments will be deleted based on the "no dogpiling" clause of the comments policy. I request that those who have already responded to Justin not respond to remarks by Justin directed specifically at other people, should he respond, on the same basis. Thank you.
  10. Moving right along.... These EOM clips starring Richard Alley are real gems. This is the "state of the art" for climate communication. Nobody says it better. Bloggers: Upon request, this week EOM enabled copying of the embed codes from their YouTube page. So now you can copy the embed code for any of EOM's 67 short clips from EOM's YoutTube channel, and simply paste the code directly into your blog post.
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  11. No, I am not just passing through. I read everything and take all your arguments very seriously and give them a great deal of thought - hence the delay in replying. Nothing I say is 'off pat' or a stock riposte to any claim made by AGW advocates. I will, in due course, try to present a cogent argument why I believe you, and all those who believe that the climate of the Earth is being affected by the burning of fossil fuel, are mistaken. (-Snip-)
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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Off-topic snipped.

    Note: To be considered a cogent argument you must present evidence (based on the peer-reviewed, published literature) to support your assertions. Which you have not done.

  12. IMO phrases such as: claim made by AGW advocates shows the degree to which climate pseudoskeptics are prepared to misinterpret or misrepresent the science and those who support it. While doubtless there are some limited exceptions (people who seriously believe the Earth as a whole is a living entity bent on destroying humans as payback for ontological misdeeds), no person accepting the science behind global warming or the imperative for action the science reveals actually wants global warming to happen. Given that, calling a supporter of climate science an "AGW advocate", as if such a person found the unwelcome changes brought on by climate change to be desireable, is IMO simply ridiculous. As a final note, I would like to wish Justin the best of luck with: I will, in due course, try to present a cogent argument why I believe you, and all those who believe that the climate of the Earth is being affected by the burning of fossil fuel, are mistaken. Many have tried, and none have succeeded.
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  13. Dear muoncounter, That Heat Signature on the Chinook; tell me, what was the CO2 content of the air at the time when that locked-on? Was it 0.03954% or 0.03953%? Does it matter? Well, here's a tip: You might get a very large grant from the Government to find this out. Lockheed itself might have once paid you a lot of money to find this out. Problem is; they know already. CO2 has no effect on missile performance whatsoever. But you would have known that.
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  14. I'm sorry; that last post was unnecessary but muoncounter made himself an easy target. The objective is to remain 'on-topic' and answer the question as to whether or not burning fossil fuel effects the future of the Earth as we know it. Does anyone have a problem with this? I mean, will I be 'snipped' if I try to address some of the issues by asking a few questions such as, where does the free oxygen we breath come from?
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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] "that last post was unnecessary but"

    Yes, very unnecessary (no "buts" about it). As unnecessary as your posting privileges will be if you continue to ignore this site's Comments Policy; adherence to which you shall receive no more warnings nor admonitions...

  15. Justin @14 below is a chart of the aborptivity of the most common green house gases in the atmosphere at different wavelengths: (Source) You will notice at about X 3 & 11 micrometers X some "windows" in which the absorptivity of all gases is very low. It was USAF research that mapped the absorptivity functions of the various GHG. It was, consequently, USAF research that enabled them to design heat seaking missiles and IR imaging equipment that exploited the window they discovered to give them maximum range and clarity. Consequently, it was also USAF research that shows the "windows" in the absorptivity function of the various GHG narrow with increased concentrations, thereby proving that the greenhouse effect was not saturated. It appears that your post was necessary, not because muoncounter left him self an easy target, but to reveal the depth of your ignorance of the relevant science. Edited to provide clearer examples.
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  16. Justin, In reviewing your posts on this thread I see that you have not made or referred to a single cogent argument in support of your position. You just make assertions of what you think is correct. Since Skeptical Science is a data based web site you need to support arguments with data, not rhetoric. Note how Tom and Muoncounter supplied data to support their positions. If you want to score points on people who are "easy targets" go back to WUWT where they like that type of ignorant word play. If you want to learn more you will find that you come across better if you ask questions instead of making rude comments. If you had said "I do not understand how the picture of the helicopter relates to Global Warming research" Tom could have made the same points and you would look reasonable. There are currently several posters who ask these questions. In post 11 you said you would present a cogent argument in support of your position. Now is the time. Please support it with data and not just empty hand waving. If you cannot support your claims with data I suggest you go to the home page and read the "Start Here" button. Ask questions on the relevant thread.
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  17. Excuse the dog piling but it's January 2014

    Justin has had plenty of time to think about and list his "cogent arguments."

    But, he has posted nothing.

    I would suggest that indicates that after some serious thought he realized he had no argument and rather than admitting to it, he silently exits the discussion.  Typical of the behavior of your committed climate science denialist type.

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