I poke into Jennifer Marohasy’s blog from time to time, though I am no longer a regular commenter. I gave that up a couple of years ago but still take any special cases as opportunities to chime in again. She’s one of those standard types of sceptics, the “scientist” from another discipline just “honestly” investigating an important issue about which she has no preconceptions.
Well, a recent post prompted Deltoid’s Tim Lambert to shake his head in consternation as Jennifer gives a soapbox to yet another crackpot pseudo-science post where we are told that the concept of radiative equilibrium is “only a rather archaic and untested supposition found in climatology textbooks alone” and in fact you can feed energy into a closed system forever and it will never acheive a temperature higher than X given some input in Watts Y.
Though it left Tim speechless, it has prompted a very long and rather enertaining thread. Let’s take a look and see if we can’t make some lemonade out of Marohasy’s lemons and actually learn something.
The first thing we learn is that Marohasy is not an intellectually honest player in the climate change debate. This is clear from the fact that she is intelligent enough to know this is total bunk yet she lends it her reasonably large soapbox. It is not the first crackpottery she has allowed to be trumpeted from her site. Here is a post claiming humans are not causing the current rise in CO2. The evidence is as overwhelming as it is common sense. This post makes the usual vapid claims that the “religion of global warming”, is convenient to politicians. But global warming is no hoax and the politicians really show all the signs of working for the oil industry. She trumpets a study showing increased erosion in rivers upstream of Bangledesh is adding land area as some kind of refutation of predicted sea level rise. (BTW, I saw that one coming!). She has even posted that the Greenhouse Effect itself is a myth! I guess she has never heard of Venus.
Her bias is also crystal clear in other kinds of posts, like one trying to claim that because this year’s sea ice melt did not surpass last year’s dramatic record breaker that the scientists are again shown to be exagerating alarmists. I suppose she wants her readers to think it is not melting at all. Oh, and by the way, it is not over yet and is already way below the 1979-2000 mean. Bias is clear in posting so many “what evidence” posts that simply deny the existence of years and mountains of scientific work:
there does not appear to be a body of work establishing the basic criteria for a claimed causal relationship between the purported pollutant, anthropogenic carbon dioxide, and the claimed effect, global warming; atleast not outside of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. In particular there does not appear to be a body of work published in reputable scientific journals.
(Wait a minute! The entire IPCC report is based on work published in reputable journals!)
But I think for me the most damning evidence of all is in the fact that she promotes, and even espouses herself, arguments that she has openly admitted are not sound. I am speaking of the standard talking point that global warming stopped in 1998. You see, some time ago, when I was still trying to charitably take Marohasy at her word (you know, the “who me? I’m just asking…” posture) I spent some time presenting reason and data to correct her misinformation and distortions. In the course of one such long exchange, I said:
So how about either a defense of Bob Carter’s “warming stopped” argument, refuting the lengthy rebuttal I gave or an acknowledgment that it is not a reasonable point?
(see the comment “Posted by: coby at April 26, 2006 02:11 PM”)
to which she replies:
I disagree with Bob on the issue of warming. I see a general and continual increase in temperature in the global and Australian data – and I have also noted that James Hansen’s predictions are more-or-less on track.
(see the comment “Posted by: jennifer at April 26, 2006 02:54 PM”)
So, she promotes and speaks on radio and TV ideas that she herself knows are not correct (this would include her attacks on Hansen’s predictions). That is pretty damning evidence that the smell over there really was bull manure and not just poor hygiene.
Some other interesting things in that thread include Chris Crawford’s heroically patient and careful refutations of endless non-sensical arguments from the post’s author and other commenters supporting him against 100 years of well established physics. Here is one of my favorites from “cohenite”
the idiocy is that AGW is built on a similar analogy to your’s; you confuse a shield with storage, and a constant supply of energy with an increasing rate of supply; as a thought experiment there’s no doubt the concept needs some further information, such as; is the surround a non-quantum unit of space; is it in a non-vacuum; if so then it becomes similar to, but not identical with a greenhouse, because the photons cannot escape; heating of the space will be subject to entropy with that forming a balance with the constant rate of energy coming in; since the energy supply is constant, as is the enthropic response, per unit of planck time there cannot be an overall increase in accessible microstates, and therefore temperature.
This line was worth the price of admission!
I just totally disagree with the AGW model of forcing for the absorption which occurs; and I probably disagree with the AGW mechanism of absorption, including the capacity, whatever that is; and I disagree with the EG theory of positive feedbacks, whatever they are. Got it?
Yeah, got it. Whatever they say, you will disagree. Nice chatting with you!
Michael Tobis popped in to demonstrate another fascinating phenomenon, everything can be taken as evidence of anything when you try hard enough! Specifically, he pointed out that NASA has a satellite designed, built and sitting in a box that is meant to empirically test the prediction that more radiation is entering the earth-atmosphere system than is leaving it, which would be Really Convincing(tm) evidence that the globe is in fact gaining energy. This was jumped on as evidence NASA is delibrately covering its own eyes to avoid facing the “fact” that AGW is not real. Sorry, sign error! The Bushies killed that one, and they are trying to cover all of our eyes, not just their own.
Anyway, the fun may be over for now, but thanks to the internets we can relive it whenever we want! [-choke-]