Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Conservative Vs. Science, or: Yes Kate, Ice IS Geography!

Kate at SDA attempts a fisking of the CTV story concerning that giant ice-shelf that has broken away from Ellesmere Island up in the Canadian Arctic. She's concerned that the scientist quoted in the piece (Warwik Vincent) is claiming that the event might be an indication of the onset of anthropogenic Global Warming. So she's interested in showing both that he's incompetent as a scientist and a media craving "climate cultist".

Needless to say, this doesn't go well for Kate. After all, she's just a dumb girl. And there's a particularly juicy example of her scientific illiteracy at the very beginning of the post:

Laval University's Warwick Vincent, who studies Arctic conditions, traveled to the new ice island and couldn't believe what he saw. 'It was extraordinary,' Vincent said Thursday. 'This is a piece of Canadian geography that no longer exists.'

To which Kate responds (and you can almost hear the the sound of eyes being rolled):

Ice is geography now?

Whoa! Has Kate caught a "so called" climate scientist in a falsehood?

Well, not really, because large ice structures such as ice-shelves have standardly been considered geographical featurers (by, for example, Natural Resources Canada), and the study of ice-shelves has standardly been considered part of the study of geography. You don't study the geography of Antartica, for example, without mentioning the Ross Ice Shelf.

And this is what I find so appalling. Kate knows squat about geography, squat about ice-shelves, and yet she's got the gall to trash a real expert (who in this case has spent 15 years tramping around the arctic getting the lay of the land) with an argument that she would not have dared put forward if she had spent two minutes doing google searches!

This is what we're up against, when arguing with Conservatives over the environment. They are not ashamed of their own ignorance. In fact they feel entitled to it!

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

And what PHD do you hold sir, that relates to this issue.

bigcitylib said...

Don't need a PHD to run a few lines through google. You think Natural Resources Canada is lying about what they consider to be geographical features?

Anonymous said...

BCL:

They are proud of their ignorance. One moron (ex-NDIP) is even trolling around comment boxes around the blogosphere trying to get people to visit this site, which promotes the benefits of CO2 on the atmosphere...their ignorance

Ti-Guy said...

After all, she's just a dumb girl.

Where's the science on that? (the 'girl' part, not the 'dumb' part).

bigcitylib said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Deno said...

Hey Devin

Here is a little secrete that you obviously don't know

CO2 IS PLANT FOOD! Without it we would all die.

The ignorance of the left on global change is astounding. One moron like devin doesn't know that CO2 is plant food.


Deno

Anonymous said...

After all, she's just a dumb girl.
************************************

No wonder liberals are such big supporters of SCW....they have to combat "gasp" liberal pigs that like to demean women.

Or did you actually mean dumb "conservative" girls as that is acceptable in the "so called" progressive world?

Ti-Guy said...

Right on cue, anonymous. There's nothing more predictable than seeing faux conservatives jump on a piece of non-PC sentiment to avoid facing the fact that, girl or boy, most conservatives are anti-science, innumerate retards.

...oops! I should have said "mentally challenged." Now I've done it. Harper's going to cut funding for people with developmental disabilities because of that. Darn!

Anonymous said...

BRAVO - good post!

Kate and her fellow science denyers are fighting a losing battle. All that she has left in her quiver on this story is her usual character assassination ploy.

There is something very sick about that crew over at SDA.

Ti-Guy said...

Deno, C02 isn't "plant food." C02 is essential in photosynthesis, which produces the sugars the plant uses as fuel for biological processes. These sugars, along with water and nutrients from the soil, are the plant's food.

Do conservatives go to school anymore?

Deno said...

Ti-guy

The point is that withour CO2 we woulod all die.

Do leftist go to school anymore?

Deno

Ti-Guy said...

The point is that withour CO2 we woulod all die.

No, your point was that you claimed C02 is plant food and you were wrong because you don't understand science and have a big mouth and are a troll. No point lying about that.

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bigcitylib said...

I knew I'd take shit for the "dumb girl" thing, but in context it just felt right. I'm sure most girls will forgive me.

Anonymous said...

Ti-Guy said...
Right on cue, anonymous. There's nothing more predictable than seeing faux conservatives jump on a piece of non-PC sentiment to avoid facing the fact that, girl or boy, most conservatives are anti-science, innumerate retards.

...oops! I should have said "mentally challenged." Now I've done it. Harper's going to cut funding for people with developmental disabilities because of that. Darn!
************************************

So is there any other groups that you would enjoy insulting?

Ti-Guy said...

I knew I'd take shit for the "dumb girl" thing, but in context it just felt right. I'm sure most girls will forgive me.

If the worst thing that racist liar gets called this year is "dumb girl" she should consider herself lucky.

Jay said...

A greater percentage CO2 in the atmosphere will be represented in the same proportions in your blood. This means with more CO2 there will be less O2 in the blood. Not a good thing.

Just because CO2 is used by plants does not mean we want a lot more of it. The C in CO2 has to bind with O2, removing breathable oxygen and lowering blood concentrations.

If you can't see it from any other view than why should I care maybe your health will motivate you.

Zog said...

Hey big city lib,

Too bad you left sda so early. We've been having a really interesting discussion about ice islands, pack movement, global warming and such. No ranting - just thoughtful observations. It was especially satisfying because there were no drooling knuckle draggers like your friend Ti-Guy there.

Anonymous said...

Methane is a far more potent GHG than CO2 will ever be. A recent UN report identifies cow flatulence (methane)as a greater threat to climate than man made CO2. The climate cultists have of course ignored the report. I guess they might find it difficult to justify jet setting around the globe on tax dollars to hand wring over growing levels of cow farts.

Anonymous said...

BSL's Kate fetish just rolls on and on. Will some one find him a Liberal dominatrix. How 'bout Sheila Copps?

bigcitylib said...

Those cows aren't just wandering around farting. They are part of the internationl agro-industrial complex.

Nor has the issue been ignored. For many years, there has been research into cutting cow-based methane emissions by adjusting the animals' diet.

Something isn't being ignored just because climate change Deniers have ignored it. This is just another example of Conservatives cherishing their own ignorance.

Ti-Guy said...

It was especially satisfying because there were no drooling knuckle draggers like your friend Ti-Guy there.

Stop lying. I've never seen an SDA discussion which isn't chock-a-block with lunatic mouth-breathers.

Jay said...

As expected, an "anonymous" person has dropped and run.

Methane, CH4, is more potent than CO2 for just about 10 years. It then breaks down into CO2 and remains in the atmosphere for a further 100 years.

Its worst than CO2 for 10 years and then the same as CO2 for 100 years.

So what was the point about methane supposed to mean?

Jay said...

You nay sayers are just wallowing in self ignorance and bragging about it! What fools.

bigcitylib said...

Zog,

Looks like Kate's banned me again. Otherwise I would be there answering all your questions. Take it up with her.

Zog said...

I tried; no luck. Do I detect a lovers' quarrel between you two? The level of your invective sometimes sounds like that of a spurned lover addressing his ex.

Anyway, to give you last word in our exchange, here again is the last post that I directed at you over at sda.

bcl "...is caused by the activities of men and all of the evidence says it is..."

Great Scot! Give us just ONE piece of scientifically acceptable evidence to back that up - just one. Even dedicated global warmers like Hanson and Weaver readily admit that their projections are just that - projections, and by their very nature, unproveable. Just what is your scientific background anyway? Your confusion of reasoned conjecture with evidence suggests to me that you're a lawyer.

Posted by: Zog at December 31, 2006 02:42 PM

Zog said...

devin re C02 buildup "..their ignorance..."

On what do you base that snide comment?

I just checked the link you gave. I'd want to read some of the references before expressing a firm opinion, but at first blush, it makes as much sense as some of the AGW papers that I've read, and a lot more than most of the stuff blaming global warming for the natural disaster of your choice. Hurricanes anyone?

At least, the premise that CO2 enrichment benefits plant growth can be, and has been, tested in greenhouses (no pun intended). Beyond that, there's a lot of conjectural computer work involved - just like global warming projections.

bigcitylib said...

Zog,

For twenty years scientists have been been making empirical predictions re. what we are likely to see as a result of Global Warming. Like:

-- species creeping north.
-- diseases like West Nile spreading from their tropical homes.
--big ice shelves breaking up into large pieces.

All these things have been noted in recent years. I consider each one "evidence".

Ti-Guy said...

Even dedicated global warmers like Hanson and Weaver readily admit that their projections are just that - projections, and by their very nature, unproveable.

Is that supposed to sound brilliant? Of course projections are unprovable because they refer to events that haven't occurred yet. That you feel the need to *show off* by pounding home such an obvious point suggests an intellect that's probably not worth engaging (being a fan of SDA clinches it).

Zog said...

bcl

Your "evidence" indicates (but doesn't prove) that North American climate is slowly changing. Concurrence doesn't mean causation.
I've lost most of my hair in the last 20 years; must be those danged newfangled jet planes flyin' over all the time.

Anyway, your answer doesn't address the question of AGW, which is the heart of the dispute. Most scientists accept the premise that we are within a warming cycle right now. I'll even accept the idea that average global temperature has increased by 0.4 degrees C in the last hundred years although, as you are no doubt aware, that is based on data that is, to put it mildly, sketchy.

I don't know much about "species creep" or west Nile, but I know a hell of a lot about the Ellesmere ice shelf and the behavior of drifting ice islands. That's why I got involved in this discussion over at sda.

The shelf was formed during a period from 4,000 to 3,500 years ago. We know that from carbon dating of driftwood in the ice. Why wasn't it there more than 4,000 years ago? Probably because, for whatever reason, the Arctic climate was warmer then than it is now.

The shelf went through periods of growth and decline, including a major growth spurt during the Little Ice Age and has been shrinking for about 300 years until, at present, it consists of a series of disconnected smaller shelves.

Several ice islands have been calved and tracked since people started paying attention in the late 1940s. The one now getting all the publicity broke off of the Ayles shelf in 2005. The last previous one from that same location was in 1974. There is indirect evidence of a big one being in the Arctic pack in 1906. Robert Peary reported an "island" that he saw in the distance and identified as Crocker Land. Since there is no such thing, either Peary was completely screwed up or he saw a big ice island.

Interesting that a small seismic event was recorded at the birth of the latest ice island. There's no rason why the separation of the ice, with no gravity force behind it, would have caused much of a "shake". However, 50 years ago, the leading Arctic geologist of the day, Hattersley-Smith theorized that one birth that he was studying had been triggered by a combination of wave action and a minor earthquake. Seems reasonable.

Hell, this is getting too pedantic for a blog!

I'm still wondering if you have a thing for Kate. I've heard that liberal guys are really turned on by bright, dominant women.

bigcitylib said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bigcitylib said...

"Evidence" for a scientific theory gets that status because the theory makes a prediction. GW theorists have said certain things are likely to happen if their theory is true (increased CO2 concentrations are bringing about planetary warming). Many of these predicted things have occurred, such as the retreat of the arctic ice pack and the breaking up of the arctic ice shelves. Therefore they count as evidence for the truth of the theory.

So, no, concurrence doesn't necessarily mean causation. If I smoke a cigarette and drop dead from Cancer, it doesn't mean the one caused the other. But if a thousand people smoke and then a certain higher than normal percentage of them develop cancer, then that becomes evidence that smoking causes cancer. That's how science works. And here we are seeing more and more of the predictions made by scientists who believe in the theory of anthropogenic global warming coming true.

As for pedantry, on this blog we can do Science, or we can do boobies, depending on the day.

No, I don't have a thing for Kate. She may have a thing for me. Many Conservative Women secretly long for a slick talking city boy.

Zog said...

bcl

Either I don't communicate very well, or you don't want to hear anything that doesn't fit your preconceptions. What I was trying to explain was that the drifting away of large pieces of the shelf ice isn't unprecedented or even unusual.

I think that CanWest did a number on biologist Dr. W. F. Vincent with the "terrible loss"
tone of Ms Munro's article. I have read a paper on ice shelf collapse that he co-authored in 2000, and it is pretty straightforward. He presented temperature data from Alert weather station purporting to prove correlation of moderately rising temperatures with ice loss. Records are available from 1951 onward but, for whatever reason, his graphics begin in 1967. Much more ice went adrift during the omitted period than during the more recent and much longer period shown. (No, I didn't remember that detail for the 5 or 6 years since I first saw the work! I googled it and re-read it tonight.) I didn't think to note the URL, but if you're interested, it was pretty easy to find.

bigcitylib said...

So you are saying that the "largest event in 30 years" statement is false?