Correction

In a previous post I wrote that the “leading climate scientists” in the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition only contained one actual climate scientist, Chris de Freitas. I was wrong. They have prominent links to papers by de Freitas, but he’s not on their list of members.

So the Climate Science Coalition doesn’t contain any actual climate scientists.

And Gareth found this example (PDF) of the top-notch climate science that NZCSC promotes, from long range weather forecaster Ken Ring:

CO2 is also nearly twice as heavy as air (molecular weight 44, that of air 29) so it cannot rise anywhere beyond haze level of a couple of hundred feet. The Greenhouse cover is 20 miles up, at the top of the atmosphere, and is formed by water vapour. Any CO2 at higher levels is ejected there from volcanoes and kept aloft by upper level turbulence. Nevertheless, it is continually FALLING, not rising, which is how and why vegetation receives it, enabling plant life to grow. …

None of this is too hard to understand and any schoolchild can confirm it, as it is all taught as
part of the science curriculum in our schools.

So how does plant life grow on hills higher than a couple of hundred feet then? Someone find a schoolchild and get an explanation.

Comments

  1. #1 Mark Paris
    May 18, 2006

    Gee, do you suppose he’s never heard of the uniformly-mixed gases? Does he think that the atmospheric constituents always sort themselves out by molecular weight? So O2 sinks and all the N2 is higher? Oh! He thinks there is a molecule of “air”! I wonder what its atomic constituents are? Or are “air” molecules made up of “air” atoms?

  2. #2 Brian J
    May 18, 2006

    An absolute stunner of an article from Ken Ring there. I especially enjoyed the image of airliners exploding in mid-air after flying into a “methane cloud.” An explanation for the Bermuda triangle, perhaps?

  3. #3 Ben M
    May 18, 2006

    Let’s see, so there’s the 2.8-meter thick CO2 layer near the ground, then the 3000m O2 layer, then it’s mostly pure nitrogen until you get to the water vapor layer and the helium and hydrogen. This is, of course, why the early hominids had to learn to walk upright—to get their heads up into the oxygen. Thanks to their efforts, Homo sapiens are all 3.5 meters tall today and breathing comfortably. If you put your head very near the ground, you can get a lungful of krypton/xenon and talk in a funny low voice, but don’t go too low and inhale the radon or ozone layers.

    The man’s “predictweather dot com” web page is completely nuts; he claims to be able to predict the weather using lunar cycles, or something, and volunteers to help you pick a rain-free wedding date years in advance.

  4. #4 Greco
    May 18, 2006

    Oh! He thinks there is a molecule of “air”! I wonder what its atomic constituents are? Or are “air” molecules made up of “air” atoms?

    Maybe he’s trying to ressurect the four-elements theory. I wonder if “water” atoms become “air” atoms when you boil some to make tea.

  5. #5 llewelly
    May 18, 2006

    So how does plant life grow on hills higher than a couple of hundred feet then? Someone find a schoolchild and get an explanation.

    If this were occurring in America (where I live), it would be easy to find an explanation. Angels fly little buckets of CO2 up hills, making regular deliveries to faithful plants.

  6. #6 Mark [Section 15]
    May 19, 2006

    For goodness sake, don’t you all know that the CO2, being heavy, pools at the bottom of the world over the South Pole? That’s why there’s that ozone hole down there. The heavy CO2 keeps pushing through the ozone layer as it falls off the earth.

    I imagine that the ice sheet down there is made of heavy water.

    By the way, that means that any free hydrogen is floating over the North Pole. Perhaps we can build a pipeline to there and get the hydrogen economy going?

  7. #7 Lurker
    May 19, 2006

    Better be careful on a visit to Death Valley – the Xenon is sumthin’ else!

  8. #8 William Connolley
    May 19, 2006

    But why *isn’t* CdF on their list? Is there something wrong with them/him?

  9. #9 Hans Erren
    May 19, 2006

    Ken Ring doesn’t know the difference between rising as in “increasing concentration” and rising as in “going aloft” . A classic contrarian.

    Why do you associate Ken Ring in this thread with scientists Gray, van der Lingen, Carter and Auer? (Guilt by association fallacy)

  10. #10 Tim Lambert
    May 19, 2006

    Hans, it’s the Climate Science Coalition who has done the associating, not me.

    And good catch or Ring’s confusion on “rising”. I didn’t notice it because I boggled on the notion that it was continually falling but somehow still up there.

    William, they’ve some of CdF’s work up, and I can’t imagine them not asking him, so presumably he said “no”.

  11. #11 mark
    May 19, 2006

    Oh, I love this stuff! I love the tone, too, the “any schoolchild can confirm it”, which is nothing other than a rhetorical device to silence counter-arguments. But when someone is so wrong that even a schoolchild would be arguing back, it shows how genuinely nuts these people are.

  12. #12 Geoff Olynyk
    May 19, 2006

    They posted my response to the letter! I say much the same thing as Mr. Lambert here but also attack some of the other bad science in the letter.

    Unfortunately the link they have appears to be not working… can anyone find the name of the PDF. I badly want to send this link to my friends.

    (it’s filed as “Olynyk v Ring” on the ClimateScience site.

  13. #13 z
    May 19, 2006

    Of course! This explains why I can’t go downstairs without passing out!

  14. #14 z
    May 19, 2006

    “For goodness sake, don’t you all know that the CO2, being heavy, pools at the bottom of the world over the South Pole? That’s why there’s that ozone hole down there. The heavy CO2 keeps pushing through the ozone layer as it falls off the earth.
    I imagine that the ice sheet down there is made of heavy water.
    By the way, that means that any free hydrogen is floating over the North Pole. Perhaps we can build a pipeline to there and get the hydrogen economy going?”

    Post of the month nominee. I stand in awe.

  15. #15 z
    May 19, 2006

    We are nearing an era of explicitly rightwing science. Evolution is a flawed theory, average temperature is meaningless, mathematical models are legitimately invalidated by skeptics’ ability to say “I’m not convinced”, random alterations in the climate are likely to improve living conditions for the ecology, the atmosphere is stratified by molecular weight, pesticide resistance is not inherited, condoms do not prevent HIV transmission, life expectancy and mortality rates are not indicators of the quality of medical care, and of course our enemies travel around in flimsy trailers brewing up anthrax.
    It would be comical if we were not already deeply into an era of explicitly rightwing economics.

  16. #16 justawriter
    May 19, 2006

    A local yokel creationist used this arguement in a local paper (apparently he was diversifying into climate skepticism) a while back so I crafted a letter that said by this reasoning lemonade was impossible because the difference between the molecular weight of sugar and the molecular weight of water is many times greater than the difference between CO2 and oxygen-nitrogen. All that sugar just can’t maintain itself in solution against the force of gravity, can it?

  17. #17 Gareth
    May 19, 2006

    Geoff: The link that worked for me is this one.

    Here’s a choice quote from his reply…

    “During the period 1940-1980, a time of great postwar industrialization, CO2 levels dropped, proving that emission levels from industrialization then did not correlate with the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.”

    Better not poke him too hard. He might explode.

  18. #18 Hans Erren
    May 20, 2006

    They have prominent links to papers by de Freitas, but he’s not on their list of members.

    They have prominent links to papers by Ken Ring, but he’s not on their list of members.

  19. #19 Tim Lambert
    May 21, 2006

    Hans, the Ken Ring stuff doesn’t reflect on de Freitas because he’s not one of their members. But it does reflect on the folks who are members. Either they can’t tell that it is nonsense or they don’t care.

  20. #20 J F Beck
    May 21, 2006

    Tim Lambert describes his bogging mission:

    I don’t blog about computer science very much but rather about areas of science with political implications such as global warming, the relationship between guns and crime and the use of DDT against malaria. Usually I’m inspired by reading an article and noticing something that doesn’t seem to be correct. I then do a little bit of research and before you know it I have a blog post explaining what is wrong and why it is wrong.

    Oddly, Lambert is unable to see what is wrong with many of his own posts. Either that or he intentends to misinform his readers. This post is a classic example of intentional distortion.

    The NZCSC does not promote, endorse, recommend or even comment on Ken Ring’s letter, it simply links to it so that readers can judge the letter on its merits. The NZCSC site, which TL fails to link to, prominently displays the following disclaimer regarding linked items:

    The Coalition encourages the reading of a wide variety of opinion and information on climate change, from many differing viewpoints. We provide links to a range of such material, including some older writings that have historic significance in the public or scientific debate. For some items, we also provide an editorial comment or correction. Responsibility for the accuracy of the pieces that we link to rests with their authors and the publication in which they appear.

    Further, Rings letter appears in the category “Papers by related commentators, including economic and socio-political views” and not as a climate science listing. It seems safe to assume that Ring’s letter is included as a contrarian view.

    When Hans Erren points out in comments that Lambert is manufacturing an association between the NZCSC and Ring, Lambert evades the issue:

    Hans, it’s the Climate Science Coalition who has done the associating, not me.

    This is another of Lambert’s lies: the NZCSC disclaimer is there to prevent any such association being drawn. But TL’s readers will only be aware of the disclaimer if they go to the trouble of finding the NZCSC site on thier own.

  21. #21 Gareth
    May 21, 2006

    JF: “The NZCSC does not promote, endorse, recommend or even comment on Ken Ring’s letter, it simply links to it so that readers can judge the letter on its merits.”

    Well, that’s simply not true. They don’t just “link” to Ring’s effluvia, they’ve taken the trouble to convert his “article” to a PDF document which they host on their site. To read the piece, you must first download the document from their site.

    Since Ring’s piece is rubbish from any scientific standpoint, why bother including it? Only because he doesn’t believe in global warming? If so, then it shows how desperate they are for stuff to support their position.

    The NZCSC’s “disclaimer” is a recent addition to their site. It was not there when Ring’s article was first posted. To claim that its presence somehow absolves the “coalition” from any editorial responsibility is completely fatuous, and wouldn’t work in any court of law.

    By their words shall ye know them, even if they are written by somebody else…

  22. #22 Ian Gould
    May 21, 2006

    So Jeff, I don’t have time at the moment to check the NZCSC site, so perhaps you would be so kind as to tell me how many of the articles they link to (or host) as part of their mission to “encourage the reading of a wide variety of opinion and information on climate change, from many differing viewpoints” support the consensus view of AGW?

    If the answer is “none” or “very few” isn’t it rather like a site that claims ot be simply “encouraging the reading of a wide variety of opinion and information” on The Holocaust and linking exclusively to the works of David Irving and his ilk?

  23. #23 J F Beck
    May 21, 2006

    Gareth,

    You’re right to point out that the NZCSC does more than link to Ring’s letter, when in fact the letter is available through NZCSC. If you’ve been to the NZCSC site you will be aware that the NZCSC also makes available a rebuttal of Ring from Geoff Olynyk. By your way of thinking the NZCSC endorses both Ring and Olynyk.

    As you are probably aware, Ken Ring produces long range weather forecasts based on lunar gravity. For all I know, NZCSC staff included Ring’s letter as a bit of light entertainment.

    I had not visited the NZCSC site before going there to research Lambert’s post and have no idea when the disclaimer was placed. No matter, the disclaimer is there now; its purpose is to advise readers to be wary when reading listed items.

  24. #24 Gareth
    May 21, 2006

    Somebody gave Ken Ring a spade, because he’s still digging.

    “The very fact that plants exist on hills above the haze indicates CO2 must be falling from somewhere higher.”

    And on the subject of the NZCSC’s “disclaimer”, this is what it has to stay about peer-reviewed work:

    “Refereed scientific papers are widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on climate change. Note, however, that refereeing, even by the most prestigious of journals, is no guarantee of ultimate correctness. Rather, it represents an editorial quality control process that affirms an article to be free of obvious errors and a worthy scientific contribution. Many, and probably most, refereed scientific papers contain at least small errors, ambiguities or faulty logic. Therefore, they should – almost as much as opinion editorials – be perused as if they bore the label: “reader beware”.”

    Ignoring the obvious irony that “reader beware” should be plastered all over the stuff at the NZCSC site, the chutzpah involved in making this assertion leaves me flabbergasted. Truthiness is the only standard…

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