Smile-a-while: The Man from Neutrino!

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012

Overbye goes there again: We’re on a semi-reduced schedule this week, in service to a mission of national import.

That said, why not read the New York Times’ latest report from Neutrino?

Dennis Overbye (no relation) is that paper’s man from Neutrino. “Neutrinos come in three varieties,” he noted in yesterday’s Science Times section.

Why must they always create these divisions? We recommend yesterday's work.

21 comments:

  1. When the first experiment was reported, the science community was willing to entertain the possibility that Einstein's theory of relativity might be incorrect. OTOH, some proponents claim that the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is incontrovertible.

    Is the science of global warming more certain than the theory of relativity? I don't think so.

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    1. Willing to entertain, but then realized what was probable. When will you get to the second part, David?

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. D in C
    You have paraphrased and left out important qualifiers (again)!
    "OTOH, some proponents claim that the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is incontrovertible."
    I doubt any climatologists have used the word incontrovertible in that context.

    I doubt any physicist, astronomer, or mathematician believed that neutrinos traveled faster the light.

    This is why: "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong." - 
 Arthur C. Clarke (Note the qualifiers)

    Einstein's theories have been tested thousands of times.
    Most experiments were set up so the result was a yes/no answer. (Quantum mechanics aside).

    There are too many variables to set up climate experiments as simple yes/no tests.

    So CLIMATOLOGISTS, not proponents, say that anthropogenic global warming is 95% probable, which in English, means "very likely".
    Very likely means it would be the wise thing to do to change our policies before it is too late.

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  5. So CLIMATOLOGISTS, not proponents, say that anthropogenic global warming is 95% probable, which in English, means "very likely".
    Very likely means it would be the wise thing to do to change our policies before it is too late.


    Not quite. A policy change is only called for if

    1. We're facing catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, AND

    2. That particular policy change will save us from catastrophe, AND

    3. The cost of that policy change is less than the cost of the climate catastrophe.

    Also, the term "95% probable" means less than it sounds like. It's not like a spinner with 10 numbers. To say a certain outcome 95% probable may mean that within a certain model and given all its assumptions, that outcome is 95% probable. However, the model itself may be flawed.

    In general, once one assumes a model, risk can be calculated. However, there's no way to calculate the risk that the model itself doesn't fit reality sufficiently well.

    I don't have full confidence in climate models, because

    1. The model predictions made during the 1990's have all failed to come true.

    2. Many of the warmist modelers have been unduly secretive about their data and methods. That attitude suggests to me that they feel that if critics had full access to all the work, they would find problems with the models.

    3. The Hockey Stick model was based on a bad statistical formula and probably on cherry-picked data.

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    1. DinC,

      Does your skepticism extend to the debt "crisis?"

      Do the austeritists' models reach your needed level of confidence?

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    2. The Real AnonymousMarch 28, 2012 at 7:06 PM

      "I don't have full confidence in climate models, because..."

      Who cares.

      You're not a climate scientist, you just play one on the internet.

      97% of them have examined the data and have come to the conclusion the planet is warming and mankind is responsible.

      You can cast your lot with the 3% but you must admit its an extreme position, an outlier.

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  6. BTW gravymeister, the American Physical Society used the word "incontrovertible" in their official statement (which was wrongheaded IMHO). The APS adopted a position that

    "Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes. The evidence is incontrovertible: global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now."

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    1. The Real AnonymousMarch 28, 2012 at 8:17 PM

      What's it going to cost if 97% of climate scientists are right and you're wrong?

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  7. C'mon guys, keep it up. I've almost got a whole column on my Global Warming Skeptic Bingo card!

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/04/gwsbingo.php

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    1. The Real AnonymousMarch 28, 2012 at 9:27 PM

      Yeah its all a game until somebody get hurt.

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  8. TRA, you're right. What I think doesn't matter.

    However, for the record, I'm pretty much in the 97%. I have no doubt that the planet has been warming. Although there's been no warming for the last 15 years or so, I think it's likely that warming will resume. I think CO2 probably plays a role in the warming.

    However, here are my problems:

    1. I'm not sure how much of the earth's warming is due to man's activity. It's clear that there are other causes, because the earth warmed considerably from 1800 to 1940 before man's activity mattered. Furthermore, CO2 alone has a relatively weak greenhouse effect. Water vapor is the key. The only way to claim that CO2 causes catastrophic warming is to assume that a rise in CO2 impacts water vapor. IMHO that link is not proved.

    2. There are no practical plans to stop atmospheric CO2 from continuing to rise. TRA, you throw out the 97% statistic. However, AFAIK 0% of scientists have studies showing that Kyoto, Cap & Trade, carbon taxes, etc. would do enough to reverse the growth in atmospheric CO2.

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    1. The Real AnonymousMarch 28, 2012 at 9:33 PM

      You've often justified your extreme stance by asking how much its going to cost if the 97% is wrong.

      Just answer the question:

      What happens if you're wrong?

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    2. The Real AnonymousMarch 28, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      "I'm pretty much in the 97%. "

      No you're not no matter how much you spin it.

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    3. If I'm wrong, and if we continue to do nothing effective, disastrous global warming will come. Unfortunately, Al Gore and other warmists propose to do nothing effective.

      Plans like a carbon exchange might make Mr. Gore a billion dollars, but won't stop atmospheric CO2 from continuing to rise. And, they won't help at all if the main cause of the earth's warming is something other than CO2

      One reason brilliant physicist Freeman Dyson called climate change a "secular religion" is that in religion, unlike science, magnitudes don't matter. Symbolism matters. Lots of "greens" are happy with symbolic acts. They feel pleased with themselves because they're doing something. Most "greens" support carbon schemes without noticing how negligible their effect would be.

      Bailing out a sinking ocean liner with a tea spoon may make one feel better, but it won't save the ship.

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    4. The Real AnonymousMarch 28, 2012 at 10:30 PM

      " And, they won't help at all if the main cause of the earth's warming is something other than CO2"

      But that would mean your extreme position is correct which doesn't answer the question.

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  9. David in Cal.

    "If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now."

    So CLIMATOLOGISTS, not proponents, say that anthropogenic global warming is 95% probable, which in English, means "very likely".
    Very likely means it would be the wise thing to do to change our policies before it is too late.

    I see the difference now.
    Thanks.

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    1. The Real AnonymousMarch 28, 2012 at 10:32 PM

      You see the difference but aren't sure, non-scientist you are, that 97% of climate scientists who have examined the data agree.

      You float freely between the political and the scientific, whichever you feel supports your extreme position.

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    2. gravymeister -- I said science cares about magnitudes; religion cares about symbolism. Consider the statement, "We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now." No magnitudes. There's no information about how big a reduction is needed or how soon. There's no guidance to actual policy. That statement isn't science.

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    3. The statement wasn't made as a scientific peer-reviewed paper. It was simply a policy statement based on the consensus of scientists in a formal organization, not the laying out a detailed plan for emission reduction.

      Does everyone supporting the Affordable Healthcare Act have to defend all 1990 pages every time they mention it?

      Your are engaging in sophistry and you know it.

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