Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Commenter Highlights Error in Thought by Deniers

Sure, I see the problem now. You're experiencing a credibility drain. This is what happens when you yoke yourself to a political movement in its infancy. The movement makes white hat claims, hucks in a hockey stick graph, pumps a couple hundred thousand data points into a model and blammo, you all save the world. But because you don't understand the politics behind the science, you don't get why those of us who have done our homework look at you sideways. To us you look like a schill; all over the talking points, ready to pivot when the predictions fail. You have likely never read the "Limits to Growth" its where we first see the hockey stick graph (PS...its used to describe a pending ice age). You likely go cross-eyed when someone asks you about the Hegelian Dialectic. You think up is down, if I'm not with you I'm against you, you love Rachel Maddow. Does that sum it up? You're a parrot. And you don't want to consider positive feedback or that a year of heat cannot be used to determine climate, or that your hero Am Gore groomed you personally to help him makes billions on cap and trade. You're just a good guy feeling very superior, but you're not a scientist and you never intended to yeild a cash prize. Which if you had would clearly go to Dan Pangburn. You want the moral high ground but you haven't earned it; you are derisive and dismissive when you aught to be listening. Here's what you're not understanding, we all believe that climate changes, we all believe carbon dioxide levels are rising starkly, and we all like green things. We know that humanity is driving atmospheric carbon levels to "scary levels". My worst fear is waking up to a lush garden and juicier fruit trees. Your worst fear is that the ocean levels will rise 20 feet and that we're all doomed because nothing will survive the changes we've inflicted on the planet. And if you weren't talking so stupidly about carbon dioxide, and if you didn't insist on the would have me. But you don't have me, because you're a schill. The oceans are not going to boil and we have real pollution issues to deal with. Plus as a guy who's planted two million trees, I'm certainly not going to imagine that you somehow care more than I do about the science of sustainability or conservation. You cherry pick your data, which you like to believe we do. You are actually intollerent to the diametrical and like I said, your challenge is a fraud. Its click bait. Bravo

Let's start with the only thing said here that has any merit, "You're just a good guy feeling very superior, but you're not a scientist and you never intended to yeild a cash prize. Which if you had would clearly go to Dan Pangburn."

Here is the real meat of this comment, Mr. Genius is stating that, in fact, someone submitted a valid proof that AGW is not real and I reneged on the deal. But, what is missing in Mr. Genius' comment is just how the submission is valid and/or my comments on it were invalid. See how that works? He makes it look as though his claim has validity, but he never provides any kind of proof to support his claim or to invalidate mine. I go through the hard work of showing why the claims are invalid and he does nothing and will pretend his stand is superior.

I have received a few comments like Mr. Genius' and my response is the same: Show me how the submission is valid and my comments are not. I am sure it comes as no surprise to learn that I am still waiting. I am sure Mr. Genius will be no exception. It sounds good to make the claim, but let's see him do the hard work and prove it. The reality is - he wont because he can't.

That is a perfect example of nearly everything said by the denier industry ('Warming has stopped.' 'Warming is good for us.' 'Models don't work.' 'Climate scientists are just alarmists.") They make claims they won't substantiate because they cant' and the expect everyone to simply believe them. Anyone that questions them is somehow an inferior person. Well, if it makes me inferior to demand proof of your statements, then I guess that makes me inferior because I will always demand the proof. It would make it more interesting if any of you guys could ever produce any. This is why I say the only way someone can deny climate change is to deny science. 

Let me complete my comments on these two sentences before moving on.

Yes, I am a scientist (Ph.D. in physics), but that really is irrelevant. I have done the hard work of proving my point in the my book (Undeniable! Dialogues on Global Warming) so the challenge was never about me. What I did would be equally valid if I was not a scientist. It was all about people like Mr. Genius that make claims and can't back them up. I gave them a chance to do just that and no one was able to come even close.

Another important part of his claim is the one where he claims I never intended to yield a cash prize. Just like all of the other deniers that have made this claim, this is not only false, but they can't produce anything to support that claim. That is how they operate - accusations without any evidence. Of course, if they needed evidence to believe something they wouldn't be deniers. Yes, in fact, I fully intended to award the prize to anyone that could prove manmade global warming isn't real. The problem, Mr. Genius, is that no could do it and I knew that going in. Simply said, not a single person provided anything new and original that had anything even resembling science to it (there were a few original claims that made me think the submitter was on drugs - or should be). Everything submitted has already been examined and found to be invalid. I would have loved for someone to prove AGW is not real. I would love to learn that we are not really heading down this path we are on. And, I would have gladly paid if someone could have removed that concern from my mind. But, no one came anywhere even close and the majority of submissions were so bad that even if AGW wasn't real (and it is), they still would not be valid. Yes, they really were just that bad.

As for Dan Pangburn, he did not, to the best of my knowledge, make a submission. I reviewed all submissions and his name was not on any of them (there are several submitted as 'Anonymous' and he could be one of those). Since he didn't make a submission, I don't owe him anything (is that logic really that hard to follow?). I have seen his name on numerous comments and they are all scientifically invalid, so it would be easy to conclude that he would not win, even if he had submitted.

Another comment by Mr. Genius was, "But because you don't understand the politics behind the science, you don't get why those of us who have done our homework look at you sideways." This really demonstrates the lack of understanding by deniers. Science is not politics. It is not an opinion. It is not a 'party' issue. It is not something you believe in (do you believe in gravity?) It is the understanding of how the universe works and the universe will do what it does with, or without, any understanding or action taken on our part. Are politics involved? Certainly. Just look at how the Republican party is making a major issue out of denying any science they don't like. But, no amount of politics will change the way the universe works and you should be pretty ashamed of yourself for suggesting otherwise. As for doing your 'homework,' you clearly have not and your comment shows that. That is why you look at us sideways (and, yes, we know why you do). That sideways look of yours is the look of ignorance and comes from denying science. If you would educate yourself that look would go away.

Most of Mr. Genius' comment is merely a diatribe, such as the comment, "your hero Am (sic) Gore groomed you personally to help him makes billions on cap and trade." For the record, I have never met Al Gore, he is not a hero of mine, I have never quoted him in any of my responses and he has never groomed me for anything. I wish I could take part in making billions (or even thousands) of dollars, but I'm afraid I'm not part of any such gambit. And, there we go with another example of the lack of logic that deniers constantly put on display. Where in the world did Mr. Genius come up with any of this?

He (just like the denier crowd everywhere) goes on to embarrassingly display his lack of knowledge, his ability to do homework, or to even think clearly by using $50 dollar words in an attempt to impress. There is a simple rule, the better you understand something the easier it is to explain it to people that don't understand. Mr. Genius displays his lack of understanding by pulling out terms like Hegelian Dialectic and The Limits to Growth. Why is that Mr. Genius? In case you are not familiar with the terms, a dialectic is a method of resolving arguments and is credited to the Greek philosophers Plato and Socrates. The Hegelian Dialectic is one form of a dialectic. Why didn't you just say so? You merely engaged in an attempt to look intelligent so that it would make you claims look intelligent. It didn't work. What is interesting is that I have actually used the dialectic approach with the challenge. And, Limits to Growth is a book from the early 1970s that basically found if we continue the way we were (in the early 70s) our society would eventually have to collapse under its own excess. This is very strange that Mr. Genius would quote it and makes me think he is the one that hasn't read it because the argument on climate change is practically straight out of the pages of that book. It is a perfect example of how bad things will happen if we don't change our ways.

And, I don't know who 'Rachel Maddow' is. I have never heard of her, so I cannot comment on if I 'love' her or not. Nice job of assuming something without having any evidence to support your belief. But that is what you (and other deniers) do, isn't it, Mr. Genius?

The last part of his comment continues to show the failure in logic on display by the denier crowd. He has gone through and found what he wants, and I don't mean just the comments that lead me to believe he thinks global warming is a good thing ("My worst fear is waking up to a lush garden and juicier fruit trees."), but also to his claims about what I think (or anyone else, for that matter). No, I do not believe the oceans will boil and that nothing will survive. I am not aware of anyone that is making any such claim. Once again, his lack of homework is a demonstration of why he is a denier. Things are going to change and they will not be for the good. But, it will not be the end of humanity. But, let me ask you something, Mr. Genius. What if I said 20% of humanity will die because of climate change? That still leaves 80%, so we are not talking about the end of humanity. But, wouldn't that be a calamity? What if you, or your loved ones, were in that 20%? Would you care then? But don't worry if that happens, because the rest of the 80% will continue, no matter how much their standard of living has been decreased. 

And, that, is why the logic of deniers fails. And, Mr. Genius has done a wonderful job of demonstrating just that.

One more comment, apparently I really do care more about the science of sustainability and conservation than you do. You convinced me of that.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Carbon Dioxide Portrait

In case you haven't seen it, NASA researchers have developed an amazing high-resolution global portrait of carbon dioxide, showing how it travels around the planet over the time span of one year (January 1 - December 30, 2006). It is very fascinating and if you watch it multiple times certain things should stand out. The amount of CO2 decreases tremendously in the summer months and builds up in the winter months, no surprise there. But, the way it builds is stunning. And, to see most of the increase is in the Arctic region is very interesting. This correlates well with the observed disparity where we see the Arctic region warming faster than the rest of world. This brings up all sorts of thoughts, such as the effect this will have on weather in the future. One of the principle drivers in weather is a difference in temperature between one area and another. CO2 is not distributing evenly, meaning the planet is not heating evenly, and that means greater temperature differences. That can only mean we will see an increase in severe weather. And, of course, we already are. Can you say 'Buffalo, NY'?

Monday, November 24, 2014

One Datum Point Does Not Make a Globe

A reader made this comment yesterday:
Where I live last winter and this summer we had record lows. This fall we are having record lows. Same thing for friends south of me oh, also family and friends north of me. Hell even my family on the east coast says the same.
Comments like these, in fact, this kind of thinking, is an example of the false logic deniers employ all too frequently. The problem here is that they want to take their one perception and expand it to cover the entire planet. Yes, Buffalo received lots of snow, but so what? What has been going on in the rest of the world? The United States makes up less than 2% of the surface area of the planet. And, while the eastern part of the country is having a mild summer and autumn, other parts are having record heat. When we say 'global warming,' we mean the entire globe. Take a look here:

Source: Climate Reanalyzer
This is a temperature plot from last week as that cold air mass was moving in - the purple area. But, while you're at it, take a look at the West Coast - it is warmer than average. Then, take a look at Alaska and the Arctic Ocean. That massive bright red blob is where this cold air mass came from (it had to come from somewhere). Take a look at Greenland, Europe and North Africa. All of those regions are warmer than average. Then, take a look at the numbers on the bottom of the image. Those numbers are the average temperatures for the listed regions compared to the long range average. Every single region listed is experiencing above average temperatures.

That is just the land surface temperature. What is happening with the oceans? Well, take a look:

Source: Climate Reanalyzer

Yikes! Not good. And, again, take a look at the numbers on the bottom. Every ocean region listed is hotter than average.

Now, take a look at the hot water region off the west coast of North America. That is what is causing the drought in the west and the cool weather in the east in the U.S. This warm water is causing a high pressure ridge that has caused the jet stream to fold. This is directing precipitation systems to move northward before reaching the coast and is causing cool air to move southward through the middle of the continent.

And, what about those record lows? To keep our data straight, the National Climatic Data Center said October in the United States was three degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th century average and was the fourth warmest October on record.

Based on that, you could conclude that global warming is real, but we don't want to judge the whole planet on just one datum point.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

More Examples of Climate Change Cost

The climate change denial industry has morphed several times over the years and continues to do so. One of the versions that has appeared in recent years is the way they claim climate change is actually good for us. Of course, this is a preposterous claim and the only way they can make it is to, once again, deny any science or evidence they don't like. They will ignore the costs associated with climate change because it doesn't fit with their message.  They won't tell you about how climate change is resulting in higher utility bills, more expensive groceries, higher insurance rates, more damage due to weather extremes, more wildfires and the spread of diseases to new regions, not to mention many other effects that are already occurring. They won't bother to tell you about how the lower your income is, the more you will have to pay as a result of climate change. The only ones that are benefiting are the billionaires that are so busy spending money to convince everyone else that climate change is good. The fact is, it is good - for them. Just not the rest of us.

I have read some articles recently that highlighted these costs. One is a very amazing account of a kayak trip down a portion of the Colorado River recently revealed for the first time in over 30 years due to the ongoing drought in the Southwestern U.S. The writer of the article tells of how the Lake Powell reservoir is at 50% of capacity and this is revealing river channels and landforms that have been flooded since the early-1980s. He also talks of all of the businesses that have disappeared and of the cities that depend on the water from Lake Powell. I'm sure all of the people that lost their jobs due to this water shortage would have a problem with the claim that climate change is good for them. He also discusses the impact to agriculture and how it will mean higher food prices. (Make that check out to the billionaire of your choice.) The scientific evidence that the drought is linked to climate change is mounting almost daily. Even if there is some natural variability involved, it is clear that climate change is, at the least, making it more severe.

This article here is an interesting compilation of the worldwide costs. This is a table they presented, based on IPCC data. Take a look and find your region:
Source: Business Insider
So, next time someone tells you that climate change is good for you, ask them which billionaire they are talking about.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Polar Bear Numbers Decreasing

The polar bear, as we all know by now, has become the symbol of the argument over climate change. The bears were put on the threatened species list in 2008, despite the fact that their population was quite robust. The rationale for that decision is because the Arctic sea ice is decreasing and is at risk of disappearing completely during the summer months within a few decades. Since the bears spend most of their lives on the ice, this would constitute habitat loss for them and that would threaten their population due to their lack of hunting areas. This decision led to a firestorm of comments from the climate change crowd and even lawsuits. The argument has been clouded by the fact that additional counting methods have been introduced that seem to show the population is increasing.

Now, more data is coming in showing there is a lot of stress on the population. Before I continue, I am not going to say the polar bear is at risk of extinction anytime soon. Some of the 19 identified sub-populations are at risk, but not the species. There are approximately 25,000 polar bears in the Arctic, so the species is not at immediate risk.

Having said that, the trend of the polar bear population is becoming pretty clear - it is declining and we can expect even more decline in the future.

A scientific paper published in the Ecological Society of America journal Ecological Applications states the Beaufort Sea sub-population decreased by 40% between 2000 and 2010, from 1500 bears in 2001 to only 900 in 2010. Studies of all 19 sub-populations is not possible due to the remoteness of some of them and a lack of funding, but studies of 10 of the sub-populations has shown the population to be decreasing in four of them, stable in five of them and increasing in one. The population as a whole is decreasing.

The additional pressure on the population is highlighted by the situation this fall in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Churchill is a gathering place for one of the sub-populations in the fall as Hudson Bay begins to freeze over. They use this area as their shoving off point to go out and hunt seals and other high calorie food they need to survive the harsh winter. Except, this year there was no ice. About 800 polar bears gathered and found there was no way for them to get to their food supply. To see what this means, the size of this sub-population was about 1200 just 30 years ago. The population has dropped by one-third in only 30 years, even though there are new laws to protect them from hunting. There is legitimate fear this sub-population may disappear completely within as little as ten years.

As of today, Hudson Bay has still not frozen in the area of Churchill. Take a look at this map of the sea ice extent:
Source: Climate Change Institute

The light blue line shows the average sea ice extent for this date. Churchill is located about one-half of the way up the left side of the bay, right where there is a sharp jut-out and a little below the borderline that is shown. As you can see, this area is supposed to be iced-over by now, but it isn't. That is bad news for the bears waiting to go hunting.

Now, ask yourself, how would you like to be trapped in an area with 800 hungry polar bears? Do you think that if you were, you would come to the conclusion that climate change is not such a good idea?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hottest October Ever Recorded

As we all know, the country is gripped in a unseasonably cold snap, even with record snowfall is some parts of the country. Normally, when something like this happens I see a whole barrage of people making lame comments about how it proves global warming isn't real. 'How can there be global warming when its cold in Buffalo, NY?' We'll ignore all of the seasonal things that are suppose to happen and point out that the U.S. makes up less than 2% of the planet's surface area. When we say 'global warming' we actually mean the whole globe. So, what is going on with the rest of the world?

The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) released its State of the Climate report for October and the fact is the hot trend continues.October was the hottest October ever recorded.

Yes, global warming is real.

Let's update the tally for the year:

October was the hottest October ever recorded;

September was the hottest September ever recorded;

August was the hottest August ever recorded;

July was the fourth hottest July ever recorded;

June 2014 was the hottest June ever recorded;

May was the hottest May ever recorded;

April tied 2010 as the hottest April ever recorded;

March was the fourth hottest March ever recorded;

We got a break in February. It was only the 21st hottest February ever recorded;

But, that break followed the hottest January since 2007 and the fourth hottest January on record.

So, let's see what the score is so far for 2014: one 21st hottest month, three 4th hottest months, and six hottest months ever.

The January through October period was the hottest such period ever. If 2014 continues the way it has, it will be the hottest year ever recorded.

But, the deniers will continue to claim the warming has stopped. Then, they get upset when anyone calls them a denier. They are called deniers because they are denying the facts. Oh, well. Maybe they can get some relief from the heat in Buffalo.

You can read the global and national reports at the NCDC website.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Non-profit is Not Synonymous With Good Health Care-Anti-Consumer Practices at a Federally Subsidized Clinic

Non-profit is Not Synonymous with Good Health Care-Anti-Consumer Practices at a Federally Subsidized Community Health Clinic
On October 31st, I took my teenage son to Peninsula Health Clinic in Bremerton, for evaluation of a clinical intervention for depression. My regular readers will recall the trauma center blog I posted in October 2012, when my son was hit by a pickup truck and sustained a traumatic brain injury. Head injuries can take a long time to heal and depression often follows. As a healthcare advocate I am compelled to share my experience to illustrate the complexity and failings in primary care in the U.S.A.
Teen Denied Care at State and Federally Financed Community Health Clinic
Arriving at the health clinic after a 2 hour commute walking and via public bus in a driving rain storm, I went to the counter to get my son checked-in for his appointment. There was no queue of patients standing in line, and I was informed we were 6 minutes late for our appointment. I explained that we had traveled by bus and we got to the clinic as soon as possible, and we were still within 10 minutes of the scheduled time. After several minutes, the administrative staff informed me that the doctor was unwilling to see my son, even though he was not a new patient and this had been his primary health care location for over 5 years. At this point, I was incredulous that we were being urged to leave and stated my son was there for evaluation for depression, which had been discussed with the school nurse. What happened next will floor you.
Clinic Staffer Encourages Dumping Practice of Referring Patients to the Local Hospital for Non-Emergency Treatment
Peninsula Health Clinic which actually denied care for my son, which was not of an unusual nature, encouraged us to use the emergency room of the local hospital. My son’s health did not merit an emergency intervention, which is why we were at a primary health care clinic or in layman’s parlance, the doctor’s office. This behavior is referred to as “dumping” when patients are unable to get care at appropriate primary care facilities and sent to the ER of hospitals. In Chapter 9, of Unraveling U.S. Healthcare-A Personal Guide, I explain how people in the United States should access health care wisely from an economic and health outcome basis. The emergency department of hospitals is the most expensive place to obtain primary health care and is thus to be avoided. Patients are often derided for over utilization of the “ER”, but there is more to this picture than meets the eye, as the options for obtaining health care are limited in many areas of the country. If the clinics which receive government funding to provide primary health care are insolent and unwilling to serve their community members, what choice do these folks have but to go to the hospital? In my son’s case we elected to defer treatment because he had to get back to school. As a parent I am concerned about his health and we do have a follow-up appointment scheduled at Seattle Children’s Hospital In December.
How Money Impacts Treatment
Peninsula Health is a designated federally qualified health center located in Bremerton and other sites in the county.[1]  In 2014, Peninsula Health received $1,572,083 from our federal government to provide primary health care.[2] This means that the clinic is charged with serving patients who may not have access to other health care options or for which there are obstacles, such as lack of transportation, or clinicians who refuse to treat them.  The community of Bremerton has a disproportionate share of low income residents, in large part due to zoning laws which allowed less restrictive housing per parcel from World War II. Harrison Medical Center is the hospital for nonmilitary personnel in Bremerton and the Franciscan Order, which acquired the publicly financed facility wants to close the hospital. The reimbursement mix just doesn’t work for their bottom line, religion or not.  Consequently, the ability to obtain health care for those who are most in need is becoming more tenuous in this community. As a federally funded facility the clinic must adhere to certain practice standards, which in theory, should provide basic or primary health care more effectively than other options.
As a healthcare insider some of you may wonder why I choose Community Health Plan’s Peninsula Health Clinic and the answer is, we ended up there as a last resort. Briefly, over the course of the past eight years the following circumstances gave us no choice but to use the Sixth Avenue Clinic or take the longer commute into Seattle for health care: 
  1.   In 2006, when my son and I relocated to Bremerton, largely due to the walk-on ferry access to Seattle, we initially sought care with a private practice physician. With each appointment the doctor complained about his reimbursement, the staff wasn’t very nice, and getting there required a 10 mile round trip bike ride and a ferry trip to Port Orchard. Still, we persisted until the clinic was closed, meaning the doctor moved his clinic to a more lucrative location. 
  2. When my son was in middle school we sought family health care in a neighboring community, but found the transportation options unworkable. 
  3. Services to deal with pediatric or youth depression are extremely limited in Kitsap County, yet the State of Washington under Senate Bill 6312, has just approved a new plan to make the entire Olympic Peninsula and Kitsap County one service area.[3]The few services available for mental health are for adults and drug offenders in the area. My son and I have found it more efficacious to spend 2 hours on the ferry and 1 ½ hours busing to appropriate services in Seattle, for which I have paid 100% of the cost out of my pocket, as it is deemed out of our service area. 
  4. Given that my son was in grade-school when we moved here, I felt it was prudent to seek health care that was local, hence the Sixth Avenue Clinic, located less than two miles from our house.
Increasingly Those Providing Primary Health Care Are Getting Squeezed
Firstly, we don’t have enough primary clinicians in the United States, so this creates a problem with patient access. Secondly, there is high employee turnover in health care, which exacerbates the problem. Thirdly, clinics serving a higher proportion of low-income patients are dealing with grittier issues than in more affluent areas. It all comes down to the money, Medicaid doesn’t pay enough for 46% of the doctors to accept Medicaid patients.[4]This means federally qualified clinics, public health departments, and the public emergency room are where patients seek care.  But the fiscal situation of the clinic is not the fault of the patient, nor should patients be refused treatment.
What You Should Do To Advocate for Your Child to Get the Health Care They Deserve
Fast forward, Peninsula Health sent a letter to our house indicating my son was a no-show for his appointment, which of course was not true. As your advocate for patient rights, here is what I did; composed a single page letter with our grievance on patient care, sent it to the local clinic-Peninsula Health, to Community Health Plan of Washington the affiliated insurance provider, and to the State Medicaid office which provides funding for the clinic. Next steps- to date there has been no written response from any of the clinic representatives, because they are demanding a HIPAA form be completed first. If getting refused for health care doesn’t kill you, the paperwork will.
A Little Respect
Having commuted by bicycle and public transportation in multiple locations since 2003, my son and I have learned to be resourceful, which is not always met with appreciation by health care providers. In an era when a third of the nation’s children are overweight, getting regular exercise is the surest way to maintain a healthy weight. And I am happy to say, I do not take any medication, because of my diet and exercise regime. We are doing our part not to add to the burden of the U.S. health care system, so rather than being treated with derision, how about encouragement. Though I am loathe to share personal information, this situation really shows how people are dumped in the health care system and it is even worse for those patients who lack my education and tenacity. As for the clinic admissions representative who refers to me as “the mother,” even Safeway personnel manage to get my name right and add a salutation. Yes, I am “the mother” who will stop at nothing to assure my son and others like him get decent health care because that is the right thing to do. 

This is the healthpolicymaven signing off, encouraging all of you to resource your health care wisely and stick up for yourselves. Don’t think that everyone behind a desk has your best interests at heart. Feel free to share this article virally but please provide appropriate attribution to the author and Praevalere!

For more information on federally qualified health centers and other resources read my book which is found in public libraries throughout the land and of course, on Amazon, ranked #35 for health and medicine books.

[1] *Peninsula Community Health Services is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).

Is The Public Starting To See Through Deniers?

I completed my training in the Texas Master Naturalist program yesterday. We started in August and it included 12 weeks of classwork, four field trips, eight hours of advance training and 40 hours of volunteer work. It was a less than grueling, but very time consuming. It is a fine program coordinated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and has now been duplicated in 23 other states. What it does for me is to allow me to go places I normally wouldn't be able to go to, do things I normally wouldn't be able to do, and participate in programs I normally wouldn't be able to participate in. In return, I promise to do at least 40 hours of volunteer work per year (I cannot use it for any kind of for-profit venture). The program has a very good reputation, so it gives me some nice credentials when I wish to engage in some program.

During the training we had experts come in for our lessons that had very accomplished resumes. It really was quite impressive and a lot of fun. But, yesterday we had a speaker come in for the graduation ceremony that was so bad I had to walk out. Barron Rector is an associate professor in range management at Texas A&M. He may be knowledgeable about range management, but he was saying things on other topics that were just plain stupid. For example, he told the group that there is no difference in vehicles because the engines are all the same and are the same engines we've been using since 1880. We have all been "hoodwinked" by advertisements. Yes, you read that correctly. This university professor really did say the engine in a Ford pick-up truck is no different than the engine in a Cadillac or a Lamborghini, and is the same as the engines we used in 1880. His reasoning? They are all internal combustion engines and you put gasoline into them, therefore, they are all the same. By that line of reasoning I am a mountain lion because we both eat meat.

That is only one sample of his craziness, but it wasn't what prompted me to walk out. It was his discussion of climate change. He got so many things wrong and was so blatant about it I was afraid I would eventually say something if I stayed. It was not my forum and I wasn't there to get into a debate, so I left before I disrupted the event. I needed to run to the post office, so I did that and came back - and he was still going on. I walked in and heard him talking about how bad it is for us to take showers because we are just washing off the good bacteria and I wondered what that had to do with the Mater Naturalist Program. I just turned around a left again and I wasn't the only one. There were quite a few that walked out like me and of the ones that stayed, I heard many complaining about the guy.

One of his claims about climate change was that the Arctic sea ice has been melting but is now recovering, and no one sees any rise in sea level. OK. Stop the presses. First, Arctic sea ice has been melting, but it is not recovering. The downward trend is unmistakable. But, sea ice is, by definition, in the sea. Melting it has no effect on sea level because it is already in the water. But, we are most definitely seeing a rise in sea level, mostly from the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctica Ice Sheet and warming of the oceans.

Another claim was that you can't say there is a drought because the definition of a drought is when rainfall is below average and there is no such thing as an average amount of rainfall. It is constantly changing, so there is no true value you can use as an 'average.' Makes me wonder why all those people in California are complaining. Someone needs to tell them there is no such thing as a drought. Actually, the definition of a drought is when there is an abnormally low amount of rainfall resulting in a shortage of usable water.

He started talking about the CO2 in the atmosphere - I'm sorry, the CO2 that is presumably in the atmosphere - and that's when I left. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut anymore.

I thought it was pretty shameful that a university professor would use his position of authority to talk about things that are not within his area of expertise and he clearly was misinformed on. I was concerned with how much work it was going to take to uneducate the group on what he had said to us, but then I realized that I really didn't need to. Everyone in the group I talked to all agreed he was a nut case. They had all figured it out on their own.

Maybe there is some hope after all.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Open Debate Challenge to John Coleman

I have been thinking about the comments I received in an email the other day concerning me debating John Coleman. A denier emailed me and, among other things, said I would lose if I had the guts to debate him in person. Well, I have to admit that I just haven't been able to stop thinking about debating John Coleman since then. I think it would quite a show. So, I sent him an email, via The Heartland Institute (everything you need to know about him in one, quick statement) challenging him to a public debate:
From: ""
Date:11/06/2014 8:52 AM (GMT-06:00)
Subject: Debate Challenge

I have seen Mr. John Coleman in several interviews and seen some of his videos. What I have seen leads me to conclude Mr. Coleman is a liar and a fraud. I am challenging him to a public debate on the issues of manmade climate change. If he accepts this challenge he can contact me at this email address.

Christopher Keating
What are your thoughts? Do you think he'll respond? Do you think I went too far? Not far enough?

I'll keep you posted on any developments.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

John Coleman - Fraud

I deliberately titled the posting that way in the hope that I will provoke a response from the Grand Fraud John Coleman. He is one of the few deniers that will still go out in public, so there aren't as many people to expose any more. In fact, I have already addressed Mr. Coleman during the Global Warming Skeptic Challenge. One of his films was submitted as a "proof" and I reviewed in in detail. You can read it here.

Let's get the facts straight, Coleman is not a meteorologist. He has a degree in journalism and has been a TV weatherman. That is all. Does this qualify him as a meteorologist? No, it doesn't. Just review his statements and it is evident he demonstrates a fundamental lack of scientific knowledge. So, when he promotes himself as a meteorologist, he is flat out lying.

One thing I do love about him, though, is the way he states, ""there is no significant man-made global warming now. There hasn't been any in the past and there's no reason to expect any in the future." An amazing statement, of course. Coleman is not only claiming to be smarter than all of the climate scientists combined, he can also predict the future. The reason I love this statement so much is because of the number of deniers that repeatedly state that no one has ever claimed global warming is not occurring. Of course, that is a big try at rewriting history, but we only need to point at John Coleman to see how accurate their statement is.
Now, coincidentally, he has surfaced in my life again. He was recently taken down by the Weather Channel for his statements concerning global warming. He was a cofounder of the channel 32 years ago, but left after one year and is no longer affiliated with it, but that hasn't stopped him from making some bizarre statements about them. The Weather Channel recently responded by reaffirming their position on climate change and global warming and pointing out that Coleman is not with them any more.

By the way, one more quick example of Coleman's fraud. He claims we have stopped using the term "global warming" and changed to "climate change" because the warming has stopped and we can't explain it. That, of course, is not true. Climate change refers to all aspects of a changing climate, such as melting ice, ocean acidification, species loss, etc. Global warming, which is a term that is still used, refers to just the change in temperature. And, yes, it most certainly is still continuing.

Now, some denier sent me this email today:
From: Jed Olds
Date:11/04/2014 10:41 AM (GMT-06:00)
Subject: You Lose
You owe meteorologist John Coleman $10,000. He has refuted the highly politicized liberal progressive global warming/man made climate change hoax.
If you had the guts to debate him in person, you would lose.
His irrefutable presentation:
Mr. Olds did a good job of showing just how poorly deniers bother doing their homework. As you can see by following the link to the submission, Coleman didn't submit that claim. It was submitted by someone that said his video proved manmade climate change is not real. Poor job, Mr. Olds.

I did respond to Mr. Olds, and I will post it here for anyone to see.

I would LOVE to debate that fraud.