We Are What We Think


We are what we think. With our thoughts we create the world.

- Buddha

OK, first, let me hasten to say that I find myself, as most any physical scientist would, irritated by the ancient quote above.

I expect a modern person to know, though the Buddha may or may not have known, that the logic of the physical universe is so intricate and so precise that mere human thoughts are grotesquely insufficient to create it, that some objective reality must exist. [more]

Journalism of Climate Change per Yulsman

Apparently, Tom Yulsman has been on the “climate beat” for quite some time.

Anyway, he has a collection of interesting observations about communicating climate science from various participants. Unfortunately, no compelling position emerges from it. Sometimes I suspect that it is exactly the purpose of conventional journalism, to avoid influencing the reader’s position at all. [more]

Slicin’ and Dicin’ with Dyson and Bryson

The mantle of lovable old coot of liberal persuasion who thinks global warming is hooey has been passed to a new old generation.

I tried to avoid saying anything nasty about Reid Bryson while he was around. Reid was, no doubt about it, a very nice man. He was also the founder of the department that gave me my doctorate, at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. [more]

How the “Climate Debate” Works


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Note, to make matters clear, the horizontal axis above refers to an unconstrained emissions (“business as usual”) scenario. The vertical axis is roughly proportional to the probability of finding that an expert’s opinion is matched at that point on the horizontal axis. [more]

It’s the Food, Stupid

It’s time we faced the facts:

The world is overpopulated, near or beyond its long-term carrying capacity for modern humans
Resources are being depleted and environmental supports weakened
Energy usage is getting tangled in supplies of water and fair weather
Economic systems designed for none of the above are misfiring for various reasons including but not limited to the above

We are going to have to think carefully and learn how to decide to make difficult decisions together. [more]

The Dance of Qualification

The following is what I call Mamet’s Principle:

“Law, politics and commerce are based on lies. That is, the premises giving rise to opposition are real, but the debate occurs not between these premises but between their proxy, substitute positions. The two parties to a legal dispute (as the opponents in an election) each select an essentially absurd position. [more]

For the Second Day in a Row

For the second day in a row Mark Morano has issued a press release from Senator Inhofe’s office essentially reporting that I make an equivalence between criticizing Al Gore and responsibility for 1000 deaths. Unfortunately for me I said something vaguely like that, but it’s being oversimplified.

How did Morano make a second press release out of it? [more]

Roger makes his point

Prometheus:

Tobis asks later in the exchange:

I’d sure like to know how I “gave ammunition to my enemies”.

Anyone care to give him an answer? (And please focus on the arguments being made not the people making them. Thanks!)

I reply:

Well, Roger, you certainly successfully demonstrated how my words could be used against me. [more]

Oh Great

I am selectively quoted in an article on Prometheus to make me look like a maniac.

Oh, well. Welcome to the big leagues I guess.

My Prometheus login is stubbornly not working and I am late for something… Will try to effect some repairs later.

For what it’s worth I have already withdrawn my attaching Pielke to Revkin and stated that my ethical concern in the present matter attaches to Revkin only. [more]

More on George Will

Much, much, much more… All tolled, (and not yet all told) this is the first major league blogstorm emerging from the non-denialist climo-blogosphere and is thus a historical event regardless of your position on it.

If there’s one thing you should understand about this event it is this one: Jonathan Schwarz tells an old Noam Chomsky story about George Will in an article entitled “So Much Nicer To Be George Will Before The Internet”. [more]

Shale energy and water constraints in Colorado

The Colorado Independent asserts:

The Bush administration and the Bureau of Land Management are pushing relentlessly ahead with plans to fast-track Colorado’s long-dormant oil shale industry, but a study released this fall exposes one factor that could put a big damper on the boom: a serious lack of water.

The report, prepared for key government and private water stakeholders in the area, says that northwest Colorado rivers can supply enough water to meet the growing demands of the natural gas, coal and uranium industries, but unproven oil shale production technology would “require tremendous amounts of water” that might not be available. [more]

Ludicrous Article on Slate

Andy Revkin is taking bait set by Ron Rosenbaum in a ludicrous article on Slate.

Here is my response.

Well, I’ve been advocating you cover dissent too, but from a sociological perspective. You should report on Naomi Oreskes’ work uncovering the roots of the pseudoscientific footdragging that bypasses the scientific community entirely and goes directly to the press. [more]