Friday, October 28, 2016

Climate Gets Woefully Little Time in the Presidential Debates

Over the course of the four debates (three presidential and one vice presidential) environmental and climate issues have been all but ignored. The first debate spent the most time on climate change, although that was less than a minute and a half and unsurprisingly, Hilary Clinton did most of the talking.  Donald Trump has avoided the topic altogether.

According to Grist the conversation on climate in the first presidential debate amounted to just 82 seconds! By the fourth debate it declined to around 2 seconds.

Another Grist article by Emma Foehringer Merchant says that there was a total of five minutes and twenty five seconds spent talking about climate change and other environmental issues in the first two presidential debates.

She breaks it down as follows, 1 minute, 22 seconds in the first presidential debate, and 4 minutes, 3 seconds in the second. Climate got just a split-second in the vice presidential debate. In the final debate Hilary very briefly mentioned climate change.

Some say the reason that so little time was attributed to climate change is the fact that the debate moderators did not ask related questions.

Climate and environment were ignored by moderators despite a public attempt to push moderators to ask the questions.

In September, the League of Conservation voters, Daily Kos, Fiends of the Earth, and Media Matters circulated a petition calling for more  climate questions in the debate.

Joe Romm from Climate Progress’, called the lack of interest by moderators “criminally irresponsible’ and the New York Times referred to the "failure of journalism."

However, as climate denier Anthony Watts points out, the reality is that the absence of questions reflect the general lack of interest in climate change.

"in the real world, few people care anymore," Watts said. He then cites polls that corroborate his thesis. According to Watt, in a survey of U.S. Voters, climate change came in last.  Watt cites a worldwide poll conducted by the U.N. suggesting that climate ranks "dead last" in 2016 with almost 10 million votes cast. Finally he points to a September 2016 poll from the Associated Press that indicates 42 percent would not want to pay even a dollar more for electricity to combat climate change.

This begs the question "what are a journalists responsibilities?"  Is a journalist meant to pander to popular ignorance? According to Watt the answer is yes.

1 comment:

Nick Schroeder said...

The Great Climate Change Bamboozle

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
H. L. Mencken

Earth’s carbon cycle contains 46,713 Gt (E15 gr) +/- 850 Gt (+/- 1.8%) of stores and reservoirs with a couple hundred fluxes Gt/y (+/- ??) flowing among those reservoirs. Mankind’s gross contribution over 260 years was 555 Gt or 1.2%. (IPCC AR5 Fig 6.1) Mankind’s net contribution, 240 Gt or 0.53%, (dry labbed by IPCC to make the numbers work) to this bubbling, churning caldron of carbon/carbon dioxide is 4 Gt/y +/- 96%. (IPCC AR5 Table 6.1) Seems relatively trivial to me. IPCC et. al. says natural variations can’t explain the increase in CO2. With these tiny percentages and high levels of uncertainty how would anybody even know?

Mankind’s modelled additional atmospheric CO2 power flux (W/m^2, watt is power, energy over time) between 1750 and 2011, 261 years, is 2 W/m^2 of radiative forcing. (IPCC AR5 Fig SPM.5) Incoming solar RF is 340 W/m^2, albedo reflects 100 W/m^2 (+/- 30 & can’t be part of the 333), 160 W/m^2 reaches the surface (can’t be part of the 333), latent heat from the water cycle’s evaporation is 88 W/m2 (+/- 8). Mankind’s 2 W/m^2 contribution is obviously trivial, lost in the natural fluctuations.

One popular GHE theory power flux balance (“Atmospheric Moisture…. Trenberth et al 2011jcli24 Figure 10) has a spontaneous perpetual loop (333 W/m^2) flowing from cold to hot violating three fundamental thermodynamic laws. (1. Spontaneous energy out of nowhere, 2. perpetual loop w/o work, 3. cold to hot w/o work, 4. doesn’t matter because what’s in the system stays in the system) Physics must be optional for “climate” science. What really counts is the net W/m^2 balance at ToA which 7 out of 8 re-analyses included in the above cited paper concluded the atmosphere was cooling, not warming (+/- 12.3 W/m^2). Of course Dr. Trenberth says they are wrong because their cooling results are not confirmed by his predicted warming, which hasn’t happened for twenty years. (“All of the net TOA imbalances are not tenable and all except CFSR imply a cooling of the planet that clearly has not occurred.”)

Every year the pause/hiatus/lull/stasis continues (IPCC AR5 Box TS.3) IPCC’s atmospheric and ocean general circulation models diverge further from reality.

As Carl Sagan observed, we have been bamboozled, hustled, conned by those wishing to steal our money and rob us of our liberties. Hardly a new agenda.

BTW I have a BSME same as Bill Nye so I’m as much a scientist as he is.

“The term Lysenkoism is also used metaphorically to describe the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process (e.g. CAGW) as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives.”