November 8, 2012

Thursday 121108

Rest Day


Enlarge image

MBS CrossFit.

"Inspiring Others: Tracy Munroe", CrossFit Journal video [wmv] [mov] [HD mov]

"Hurricanes and Human Choice" by Roger Pielke, The Wall Street Journal, and "It's Global Warming, Stupid" by Paul M. Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek.

Posted by Pukie at November 8, 2012 5:00 PM

Articles like these put a bitter taste in my mouth. Why is it necessary to bring political nonsense onto a website which has no relative correlation to the subject matter.

Comment #1 - Posted by: Lincoln at November 7, 2012 5:36 PM

This aught to be fun!

Comment #2 - Posted by: bingo at November 7, 2012 5:59 PM

"You are entitled to your own opinion; you are not entitled to your own facts."

Comment #3 - Posted by: bingo at November 7, 2012 6:00 PM

as rx'd.

Comment #4 - Posted by: Reko at November 7, 2012 6:14 PM

I'd like to see Dr. Glassman weigh in on the climate change/global warming/sky-is-falling issue. His analysis published in the CF Journal of the impact of military extreme conditioning programs was excellent.

Comment #5 - Posted by: kikn pa at November 7, 2012 6:47 PM

I don't come here for politics. I will no longer read the once curious, provoking articles posted. Travel. Visit India, China, the middle east (with a rifle). Then see how we the "evil west" are paying for our destruction of the planet. We're the best thing going on this marble.

Comment #6 - Posted by: Matt L at November 7, 2012 6:57 PM

Both articles can't be true. Only one provides verifiable evidence given by a reputable researcher using facts, and it's not the second one. ;)

Comment #7 - Posted by: JWG at November 7, 2012 7:17 PM

Nice photo, MBS CrossFit! I dropped in with these guys last Saturday. Great crew.

Comment #8 - Posted by: Erik at November 7, 2012 7:34 PM

That's my gym! Represent!

Comment #9 - Posted by: Cole at November 7, 2012 7:39 PM

Man, I could write for a week on the second article.

The bloomberg author is the typically clueless writer however - you can't buy everything you want. Do you want economic growth which might sustain the welfare state that so many folks feel is SO essential to civilization and "democracy"? Or, do you want to sacrifice economic growth and the welfare/entitlement state in order to reduce "carbon emissions", if you can? Keeping in mind that there's little prospect for "green" energy sources to exceed 4% of production in the near term, you can forget that option. And keeping in mind that efficiency increases consumption ( - you could sum up the bloomberg article as:
"I'm really scared."
"I have no actionable ideas."
"I don't think we need scientific proof that the sky is falling before we completely eliminate prosperity to stop it from falling"
"Even if my facts are dead wrong about the number and severity of storms, the Governor of New York agrees that this is really man made climate change."
And, "I'm so scientifically illiterate, people who aren't are really sticks in the mud for my climate change anxiety."

Frankly, the Bloomberg article doesn't seem as though it was intended to be taken seriously. It was nothing more than red meat to throw to the "sky is falling" crowd because they seem to like to fret about such things.

The best I can tell:
-AGW may or may not be true but most scientists studying the issue are no closer to knowing the answer than they were ten years ago
-Folks are so fragmented and compartmentalized in their thinking that they cannot integrate how one part of their Massive State Intervention plans will affect the others (economic growth v. entitlement state v. economic arrest to reduce carbon emissions
-The really obvious fact = that reducing econ activity to reduce emissions will hurt the poor most of all - is not something they discuss openly and is in direct contradiction to what the profess to be concerned with
-If they are still dreaming that politicians will do anything smart to influence carbon emissions, they are delusional
-If they think nations will cooperate on carbon emissions on any basis other than to give some nations an advantage over others, they are delusional
-The likelihood that a nincompoop President is going to influence other nations towards deliberately restricting economic growth when the world is already eye ball to eye ball with not enough growth is delusional

If somehow the government takes control of carbon emissions, we'll wish we could have our economy back and ten Sandys would seem like a bargain.

Al Gore and the Chicken Littles - the fairy tale is almost as amusing now as was the original.

Comment #10 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 074" 200 48 yoa at November 7, 2012 7:51 PM

Thank you for the inspiration Tracy. Don't stop now!

Comment #11 - Posted by: denver sheepdog at November 7, 2012 8:17 PM

A Bloomberg employee candidate quit their candidate pipeline because of the Bloomberg "It's Global Warming, Stupid" article.

The candidate wrote in part:
As I am sure Bloomberg and its various holdings and affiliates hold potential candidates for employment to the highest standards, I also hold potential employers to similarly high standards, especially as – unlike many of the new graduates who will be applying via the BAT – I will be completing my PhD in the Philosophy of Computing having already had many years of gainful employment and a wide ranging skillset that would be attractive to a prospective employer such as Bloomberg. Indeed, I previously worked in the city as a qualified electronic trading systems consultant and have developed skills and experience since in both IT and research roles that would be valuable in city roles, should I choose to return to the finance and investment banking industry.
[End Quote]

Full story here - - expect to see it in the UK IT magazine "The Register" as this letter makes the rounds

Comment #12 - Posted by: RM3 Frisker FTN at November 7, 2012 8:45 PM

Go Tracy... Keep up the great work

Comment #13 - Posted by: Mark at November 7, 2012 9:50 PM

Loved the first article in contrast to the second. That's the second time I've tried reading the second article, the first was when we received the physical copy of BB at work. Both times I threw it down in disgust. This time my computer broke though.

Comment #14 - Posted by: Kyle at November 8, 2012 2:44 AM

Did Yesterdays
Sub Run for Row
Sub 50 lb DB for KBS
Sub 30 pull ups and 30 Dips for Muscle ups
All else RX

Comment #15 - Posted by: james A at November 8, 2012 4:05 AM

Shir-town!!! Nice Pyramid, looking good MBS!

Comment #16 - Posted by: Yo at November 8, 2012 4:22 AM

Spot on Apolloswabbie Thanks!

Comment #17 - Posted by: Ben at November 8, 2012 7:24 AM

Global warming?? Please...

Comment #18 - Posted by: Steve at November 8, 2012 7:52 AM

I don't argue that climate change is affecting us... my understanding is that the Earth goes through cycles periodically. What I don't accept is global warming, which I understand means some kind of human-induced climate change.

Comment #19 - Posted by: chris at November 8, 2012 8:48 AM

Love Tracy! love the video! she reminds me of my aunt! You keep going and never stop!

Comment #20 - Posted by: Adam Furnier at November 8, 2012 9:24 AM

I think the ancients had it right -- human sacrifice to appease the climate gods!!!

Comment #21 - Posted by: Mike at November 8, 2012 9:30 AM

HQ, nice job on choosing two articles that have opposite point of view (for the most part). It is obvious that most people are aware that “Global Worming” is just an agenda being shoved down our throats by people that believe humans are bad for the Earth and in order to save it we all need to die.

Comment #22 - Posted by: Tom at November 8, 2012 9:41 AM

Lincoln, 11/7/12 @ 5:36 PM; Matt L, 11/7/12 @ 6:57 PM:

When asked about the advisability of posting Pielke and Barrett for Rest Day, I said “go for it”, but “[w]e'll get the usual hate mail asking why the blank is this on a fitness site”. Your two knee-jerk functional movements have not disappointed.

CrossFit is not just neck-down. Consider the Rest Day articles to be Intelligence WODs (iWODs).

The iCrossFit Games are held every election day. The need for iWODs is acute.

Comment #23 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at November 8, 2012 9:52 AM

What kind of evidence might support the AGW thesis?
What would it take to convince you of AGW?
If you don't know, does this undermine your belief that AGW is fundamentally a political and not a scientific idea?
Does that belief flow out of your own political convictions than scientific understanding?
Would this make you 'agnostic' about AGW, and if so, would it support a sort of environmental version of 'Pascal's wager'? (suffering from defects analogous to those suffered by the original)?

Comment #24 - Posted by: Prolix at November 8, 2012 10:33 AM

5 rft of:
4 13' rope climbs (supposed to be 3 @ 15')
10 T2B
21 lunge steps (45 lb. plate overhead)
400 m. run

Comment #25 - Posted by: SB at November 8, 2012 11:22 AM

Science, dear Prolix. I'd ask for science. The use of the scientific method in which a hypothesis is fronted and trials or a model constructed to test the hypothesis. Subsequent discourse free of intimidation, free from strong-arming to conform to some sort of ad hoc orthodoxy arrived at by consensus rather than something that feels like, I dunno...

Science, perhaps.

I like the recitation of fact a la article two; I find the recitation of feelings unhelpful.

GW? Maybe. Predominantly AGW? I'd like a strong helping of real science, please.

Comment #26 - Posted by: bingo at November 8, 2012 11:51 AM

I agree with the comment, let us please keep politics outside of our box, and Crossfit community. Please continue with the inspiring articles and videos of ordinary people doing the in ordinary, which is Crossfit.

Comment #27 - Posted by: Mark at November 8, 2012 12:31 PM

Bingo, here's the latest science:

BTW, I always enjoy your Crossfit posts.

Comment #28 - Posted by: Griffin at November 8, 2012 12:37 PM

I know its a rest day, couldn't help myself.

Four rounds of:

Run 800 meters
40 Pull-ups
70 Push-ups

as rx'd 32:00

After finishing, i'm thinking maybe i should have left today a rest day. Nah!

Comment #29 - Posted by: Race Desert at November 8, 2012 1:09 PM


Re-set Deadlift

265 x 3
190 x 20

Working on my consistency.

Comment #30 - Posted by: bingo at November 8, 2012 1:31 PM

Today: 24 hrs, as Rx'd


25 minute AMRAP:

11 straight-leg ring rows
2 deadlifts, 153#
10 straight legged pike push ups off 40" box

10 rounds w/ 3 seconds to spare

Comment #31 - Posted by: Ariel at November 8, 2012 1:46 PM

Bingo, 11/7/12 @ 6:00 PM:

Mark Stein was on TV this morning observing that he came down from Canada to participate in the Land of Opportunity, but since, and especially since Tuesday, has found it changed into the Land of Entitlements.

That’s true enough, but neither in the new or the changed Land do the entitlements include one’s own opinion. In the new Land, that would be too much individualism. Each must be true to his class.

Even in the Land of Opportunity, the old saw was wrong. What is any education system if not denial of the entitlement to one’s own opinion?

It’s true in mandatory public schools right through our remedial universities. It’s true at CrossFit. Certification and affiliation are the circumscription of the right of trusted individuals to their own opinion, and breaches are punishable.

Denial of the right to express one’s own opinion is strictly enforced in most major media outlets. It’s true in academic pursuits. With regularity someone trots out Richard Dawkins to be the spokesperson for biology, preaching atheism while proclaiming the Truth of Darwin’s revered Natural Selection, which in reality is supernatural selection, forbidden by Modern Science, and a quintessential example of Post Modern Science.

Today we have the formerly respectable Bloomberg Businessweek posting an article titled, “It’s Global Warming, Stupid”. At first blush, this seems to be a clever variation on Carville/Clinton’s it’s “The economy, stupid” used against Bush’41. The writer seems to have morphed the original to fit Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement of Obama, “A Vote for a President to Lead on Climate Change”. It’s neither clever nor so simple. On about 11/1, Josh Tyrangiel, Bloomberg Businessweek Editor, wrote, “Our cover story this week may generate controversy, but only among the stupid.”

The Rest Day topic is not a civilized dialog between scientists with differing models. It’s a one-sided propaganda campaign by Post Modern Scientists committed to a failed conjecture, and their political and naive supporters. The objective is to marginalize the skepticism of Modern Scientists and the opinion of a few others who possess a modicum of scientific literacy. It’s the intellectual/economic version of terrorism by a well-placed cabal against soft targets.

Comment #32 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at November 8, 2012 1:53 PM

Both authors agree that humans "affect the climate system," which is why Mr. Pielke says we need to "take action" on our "energy policy."

The main difference is that Mr. Pielke defends a narrow proposition: "human-caused climate change" has not scientifically been shown to increase "the toll" or end-result of major disasters. In his words:

Humans do affect the climate system, and it is indeed important to take action on energy policy—but to connect energy policy and disasters makes little scientific or policy sense. There are no signs that human-caused climate change has increased the toll of recent disasters, as even the most recent extreme-event report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finds. And even under the assumptions of the IPCC, changes to energy policies wouldn't have a discernible impact on future disasters for the better part of a century or more.

Even on this narrow argument, however, Mr. Pielke appears to oversimplifly or misstate the IPCC's conclusion. A "summary" (19 fairly dense pages) can be found here:

After a cursory review, I did not see support for Mr. Pielke's argument. Would be interested in a page citation from the IPCC for the CrossFitter who agrees with Mr. Pielke.

Enjoy your rest day.

Comment #33 - Posted by: Kyle Bisceglie 45/m/5'10"/180 at November 8, 2012 2:28 PM

Day 192
CFWU x1 + Barbell complex + WU sets of Front Squats
As RX'd:

Comment #34 - Posted by: fargingbastige at November 8, 2012 2:35 PM

I'll believe in AGW when SOMEONE can explain how Mother Earth went through no less than 5 glacial periods! How is it possible that Cleveland, Ohio was underneath 1000ft of ice but isn't under any now? Did a bunch of neanderthals use the ice for mixed drinks? It is an absolute certainy that AGW didn't cause the glaciers to recede!

Comment #35 - Posted by: Chris D at November 8, 2012 3:22 PM

Mini "Jared"

3 rounds:
1000 meter run
25 Pull Ups
50 Push Ups



Comment #36 - Posted by: Mazzone, Chantilly at November 8, 2012 4:40 PM

My rest was yesterday.

Today I did a 20 min AMRAP of
95 pound thrusters, 5 reps
95 pound hang power cleans, 7 reps
95 pound sumo dead lift high pull, 10 reps

9 rounds plus 2 thrusters.

Comment #37 - Posted by: Jeremy A. Olive at November 8, 2012 5:07 PM

- My question is whether AGW is a theory that is likely to be proved or disproved by science (testing/modeling/analysis) any time soon? If it isn’t then this is a problem for its proponents and its detractors and anyone who sees a need to ACT or NOT ACT re AGW in the nearish future.
- Should individuals and groups decide to not act upon a supposed danger if the danger cannot be scientifically proved? What if the costs of acting are surely to be harmful, and the potential benefits of acting are uncertain and possibly non-existent? (millions will die from reduce fossil fuel use and the seas may rise and the dessert may multiply etc regardless of anything human beings do).
- With whom does the onus lie, and what is the burden of proof? Beyond a reasonable doubt? balance of probabilities? others? What do you use when making the major decisions in your life? What should you use if you are a policy-maker making decisions that will affect people you don’t and cannot know, people you are responsible to? Does it depend on the context, on cost-benefit analysis? Or does it depend only on what the majority/best/most highly respected scientists/experts advise (today)? What kind of burden of “proof” was appropriate for assessing the annexation of the Sudetenland in ’38?
- For AGW I think the onus is on those who put forward the AGW theory, but I don’t know if the burden is “certainty” or “beyond a reasonable doubt” or “air of reality” or something else. I think there needs to be a balancing of risks and interests.....unless the science is absolutely clear, which I doubt it is.

I am interested in your mention of Darwin’s “supernatural selection”. I have not heard of this. Is this something Darwin proposed or something proposed by one of his readers? (I don’t care which, but I read Darwin years ago and can’t recall it).
Could you recommend, to a soft target like me, where I might go to get some “best available” and “soft-target-appropriate” analysis of the AGW question? There are some among my class who hunger for this kind of instruction (I haven't been reading Marx or Rand lately [outgrew them both in late adolescence] and the bromide "according to his class" makes me a little nostalgic (in an upwardly middle class outgrew that thank god (ironic) sort of way).

Comment #38 - Posted by: Prolix at November 8, 2012 8:41 PM

Prolix, 11/8/12 @ 10:33 AM:

>>[1] What kind of evidence might support the AGW thesis?

Science requires only that a model make validated predictions with an accuracy much better than chance. It places no restrictions whatsoever on the type of model. A climate model might be, for example, thermodynamic, heat (flow), statistical, process equivalent, or process emulation. The answer to your question depends on what kind of model lies behind the AGW thesis.

AGW is based on Global Climate Models, whose name climatologists changed a while ago to Global Circulation Models, but which they might better call Global Catastrophe Models. Regardless, the source for the AGW conjecture is GCMs. Those GCMs use the radiative forcing paradigm. That means that they calculate an equivalent radiative transfer through the atmosphere for a number of emulated thermal phenomena, and sum them. The calculations proceed in small increments from equilibrium state to equilibrium state, beginning with radiation balance in 1750 when man’s influence was reasonably negligible. The climatologists set up the GCMs to produce a catastrophic temperature rise within a century, but not so fast that it might be shown false within a few funding cycles anywhere. They adjusted model parameters to make manmade CO2 emissions the source for that rise. They then reduced the CO2 effect to a climate sensitivity parameter that is the temperature rise for a doubling of CO2 concentration with no feedback effects on any system parameters, such as atmospheric profiles and cloud albedo. That parameter is the essence of today’s AGW model, and IPCC puts it at 3K = 3ºC = 5.4ºF.

Climatologists have collected enough information to begin to assess the climate sensitivity, however it requires a calculation with assumptions to back out any feedback effects. Lindzen and Choi (2011) estimate that the no-feedback climate sensitivity factor is 0.7K, well below even the lower limit of IPCC’s result, and it may be as low as 0.3K. If this result could be confirmed, it would invalid the AGW model under principles of science only accidentally employed by AGW climatologists. L&C (2011) was, of course, rejected by the conforming journals. Regardless, L&C (2011) caused great controversy in the AGW community. Other estimates put the no-feedback climate sensitivity between about 0.5K and 0.9K, also invalidating the AGW model.

However, none of these invalidating estimates is verifiable. The first underlying problem is that between L&C, their references, and IPCC there are six different definitions of feedback, none of which is faithful to the original adopted from control system engineering into climate by J. Hansen, A. Lacis, et al., (1984), citing Bode (1945). Feedback was, and still is, a physical signal (e.g., energy, force, displacement, material), or its representation as information, generated within a system and transported or communicated to alter the system inputs. IPCC approximates that definition in the Glossaries to its Third and Fourth Assessment Reports, but doesn't use it in the main body of either report. Of the six working definitions, L&C’s is closest to the standard, but L&C’s feedback is first order linear, and it is applied it to a heat flow model instead of the GCM radiative feedback model.

The kind of evidence needed to “support the AGW thesis” is not more data, but different data, assuming that correcting the feedback problem doesn’t make the estimated climate sensitivity substantially larger. However, the problem with AGW is not missing evidence. It is contradictions and major errors within AGW as represented in GCMs.

For example, the most powerful feedback in climate is cloud cover. It is the most powerful because it gates the Sun on and off. Cloud cover is perpetually undergoing burn-off on the morning side of the planet and it burns-off in proportion to solar radiation. It is a positive feedback to the Sun. The IPCC knew the Sun was being amplified, but didn’t include it in their modeling, so to place the burden on observed warming not on the Sun but on something else.

On the other hand, cloud cover intensifies as humidity rises, which it does as Earth warms from any cause. This is a negative feedback to Global Average Surface Temperature (GAST) that mitigates warming from any cause. It accounts for the observed low climate sensitivity by L&C and others. In the GCMs, cloud cover is static, even though humidity rises to amplify the desired CO2 effect. Climatologists kept what caused AGW and discarded what contradicted it.

And this is far, far from the end of the story of incompetent and biased modeling.

>>[2] What would it take to convince you of AGW?

An entirely new approach with the validated result that man has any affect whatsoever on climate.

>>[3] If you don't know, does this undermine your belief that AGW is fundamentally a political and not a scientific idea?

No. First, the mystery of climate is solved to the first order. The best model science has is that surface temperature follows the Sun with major time constants of about 1.5 and 0.5 centuries. GAST rises as thermal energy slowly accumulates in the ocean during long term increases in solar radiation. This model may be receiving public recognition with about the same time constants.

Secondly, to have made the AGW model public when it was no more than a conjecture, and a contradicted one at that, was a breach of scientific ethics. The investigators needed to have advanced AGW to a clean theory first. That might have been accomplished by modeling based on whatever data existed up to, say, 1970, and none afterward, and then showing that the model predicted the subsequent observations with reasonable and useful accuracy. Climatologists have never done anything of the sort. Basing their criteria on Popper’s five tenets of falsification, peer-review, publication, consensus, and social consequences, they see no need for Francis Bacon’s Cause and Effect, and its consequences in predictions and validation. This is the perfect dichotomy between Post Modern Science and Modern Science. And PMS with its social consequences tenet is uniquely political.

AGW climatology is born of environmentalism, not of science.

On the 7th, Anthony Watts reported the following:

>>Next IPCC report will ‘scare the wits out of everyone’

>>Former UN Official says climate report will shock nations into action

>>John Gardner writes in with an entry from the “worse than we thought” department:

>>>>The IPCC seems to be pre-empting the growing skeptical science by preparing to issue an ‘its even worse than we thought’ report in 2013, according to a report in the Australian newspaper.

>>“The Brisbane Times’, which quotes Ivo De Boer, the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen talks. He is quoted “That report is going to scare the wits out of everyone,”

>>Mr. De Boer said in the only scheduled interview of his visit to Australia.

>>>>“I’m confident those scientific findings will create new political momentum.”

AGW is a political movement by admission.

>>[4] Does that belief flow out of your own political convictions than scientific understanding?

Not in the slightest.

>>[5] Would this make you 'agnostic' about AGW, and if so, would it support a sort of environmental version of 'Pascal's wager'? (suffering from defects analogous to those suffered by the original)?

No. AGW is not a matter the absence of evidence being evidence of the absence. The model supporting AGW is incompetent, and is refuted by a simple, accurate model for SGW, Solar Global Warming.

On 11/1/12, Michael Bloomberg wrote his Op-ed piece, “A Vote for a President to Lead on Climate Change”, a scientifically illiterate, political piece, in which he said:

>>And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be -- given this week’s devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.

MB confesses that he is agnostic on the changing climate, but regardless urges Pascal’s wager -- immediate action in case AGW, the latest God of the Left, exists. Pascal’s wager is irrational.

Comment #39 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at November 8, 2012 9:08 PM

M/ 38/ 134 lbbs/ 5'-6"
I did Nasty Girls WOD last night.. it was my second time doing it ever and liked it, but my grip was TOTALLY the limiting factor.
This was my 3rd WOD in 3 days, so I also was a bunch slower on my air squats, which I lost a bunch of time on as well... the MUs were pretty easy overall (I broke them down to 5+2 to minimize my grip wear.)

Comment #40 - Posted by: Anton at November 9, 2012 8:10 AM


Thanks for taking the time. What you've said seems (to the extent I understand it) to make sense. If these types of errors and omissions have been made by the AGW crowd then I could see how this would undermine the soundness of their theory suggesting they have not met thier 'burde'. The problem for me is right now I have to basically trust one group of scientists over another. I can more or less follow a popularized version of an argument for validity, but I'll have a heck of a time discerning the 'facts' upon which the soundness or truth of the argument depend. For instance, how am I to assess whether the ipcc has failed to adequately consider feedback, or even whether the consideration of feedback is important?

If anything, it is clear to me I could stand to do a little reading on this (I am currently in the agnostic camp, and unwilling to make the Pascal/enviro wager - very clearly not a 'win/win' type of wager). Could you recommend a book on the topic accessible for non-scientists?

Comment #41 - Posted by: Prolix at November 9, 2012 10:49 AM

One in the hopper. If it doesn't make it, I appreciated your thoughtful response.

Comment #42 - Posted by: Prolix at November 9, 2012 10:50 AM

Keep the politics out of my CrossFit

Comment #43 - Posted by: M/38/5'11"/188 at November 9, 2012 11:59 AM

Apolloswabbie: very nice.

I can accept that the climate changes, it would change with or without us. I reject climate change as a political movement, which is what is preached to me from the political left.

I'll be responsible in my own actions and leave my plot of earth better when I got here. Take personal responsibility and most problems, social and environmental, will be solved.

Comment #44 - Posted by: Daniel at November 9, 2012 12:04 PM

Reading the comments her I'm ashamed to call myself a CrossFitter. When 95% of scientists agree that humans are causing changes to the climate, how do you feel that your opinion is better?

About the economic costs: did you know that research indicates that environmental regulations actually INCREASE economic output?

But then: conservatives don't believe in science. We already knew that.

Comment #45 - Posted by: VinUSA at November 9, 2012 1:49 PM

Interesting. Sometimes the law of unintended consequences turns the screw both ways.

Natural gas expansion has led to lower costs for fuel, higher economic output where applicable, and REDUCED carbon emissions, a rather delicious case of unintended consequence as this has all occurred thus far with minimal environmental regulation.

We now have, of course, calls to drastically hamstring fracking and to slow the gathering of this rather clean fuel. This will cause an INCREASE in carbon emissions as more coal will once again be burned to power society.

Forked tongues speaking out of both sides of a mouth...

Comment #46 - Posted by: bingo at November 9, 2012 2:24 PM

Prolix and Jeff, very nice conversation.

Prolix, you may recall some years ago my position of the use of finite resources to solve the problems of humanity. Do we apply these resources to a problem which may or may not be real, one in which may of may not have the proper technology to address now? Or do we apply those resources to problems which stare us in the face right now, for we know that we will effect positive change for those we help now. This doesn't even begin to take into account the laws of unintended consequences or the negative externalities (negative economic growth and its effect on lower income strata, for example) might have.

Should we spend $Billions on mitigating whatever degree of "A" there is in "GW" now with unclear results but clear economic negative externalities, or should we perhaps channel that money toward something more prosaic but also more pertinent to today like, oh, potable water in Sub-Saharan Africa?

I am not insensitive to the potential plight of polar bears and penguins in the year 2140; I'm just more sensitive to the plight of third world children living in 2012.

Comment #47 - Posted by: bingo at November 9, 2012 2:33 PM

Kyle Bisceglie, 11/8/12 @ 2:28 PM:

Your IPCC citation is to SREX, which stands for “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaption”. No one in power is going to read this muddled 594 page tome beyond the title, which translates to “Exaggerating the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters To Stimulate Government Action Against Free Choice”.

It muddles things by intentionally changing IPCC definitions of the key terms adaptation, mitigation, and climate change from what had used through the Fourth Assessment Report. SREX is about adaptation as opposed to mitigation, but it has expanded adaptation to proportions as scary as Cap and Trade or the EPA at the core of mitigation. Adaptation now includes human intervention in the adaptation of natural systems to cope with a changing climate. And climate change now includes both warming and cooling, and from both natural and anthropogenic causes. IPCC’s Pachauri has included in adaptation moving whole populations away from coastal regions and off of low lying islands.

Perhaps the scariest part is that IPCC addresses its adaptation and mitigation to policymakers, especially the UN and the US, for government regulation of individual human behavior. IPCC’s reassurance that it “does not establish or advocate public policy” is patently false. It threatens central government control as oppressive as any other of the past 100 years. This time it’s not egalitarianism, racial purification, or scripture, but an elaborate, pseudo-scientific, ruse to control economies by regulating energy usage.

SREX bears little resemblance to IPCC’s position through AR4. Could it be a forewarning of AR5?

Both Pielke and Barrett for Bloomberg discuss the threat of global warming. B&B claim Sandy was unprecedented and due to AGW. Pielke argues notwithstanding AGW that Sandy was not so special, and besides extreme events have been in decline, contrary to IPCC predictions. Pielke is the lone scientist here, and he is distinguishable from the infamous IPCC crowd for his honest reputation for straight shooting.

However, it’s not worth weighing in on who’s right about past or projected damage. Both the scientist and the layman are wrong about the transcending problem: AGW is imaginary, and CO2 is a benign, beneficial greening agent that nature stores in the ocean and recycles into oxygen.

Like Katrina, recovery from Sandy is tragic and horrible to watch. But it will always be so because of the sheer impossibility of government, much less anyone else, perpetually at the ready to remedy every possible disaster anywhere before too much harm is done. Imagine all the perishables that would have to be stocked and maintained. Imagine the crews and equipment that would have to be on standby to repair infrastructure and then to rescue, recover, and supply. Think of the logistics in getting diapers to the babies and digitalis to the aged, and not the reverse.

And speaking of adaptation, to the extent the government could be so prepared, a free people would in reliance on their benevolent government assume ever greater risks. It is the problem that arises in imposing socialism: a free people will work around every government regulation and restrictive program. The inevitable solution is for such governments is to place ever greater restrictions on the people, more regulations, fines, imprisonment, and firing squads.

Adaptation is a primary form of feedback. Government risk remediation and socialism work on paper for fuzzy headed professors because they want to model open loop. Once in the real world, Marx’s idealism turned into Lenin’s and Stalin’s enslavement and genocide. IPCC Working Group I, responsible for scientific aspects of the climate system, had to manufacture a novel replacement for feedback to make AGW appear to work on paper. SREX shows that WGI needn’t look to WG II, responsible for socio-economic aspects, for help on understanding feedback.

The inevitable and proven way to prepare for future disasters is to let individuals choose where they live and play, how sturdy to make their property, how much risk to insure, and otherwise prepare to survive. Much of the spectacular damage from Sandy was to luxury items that float: boats and summer cottages, vulnerable, insured, and quite replaceable. SREX's glassy eyed idealism is not the answer. Instead, turn the people loose and get the government out of the way.

Comment #48 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at November 9, 2012 2:55 PM

Is Crossfit HQ getting more liberal? An article posted on the other side of the Global Warming question? Wow!

Comment #49 - Posted by: billcorno at November 9, 2012 9:15 PM

XF Chat Prolix 1211082041

>>I am interested in your mention of Darwin’s “supernatural selection”. I have not heard of this. Is this something Darwin proposed or something proposed by one of his readers? (I don’t care which, but I read Darwin years ago and can’t recall it).

My source is Darwin. Following is a passage from my upcoming paper on Post Modern Science in final edit. The quotations are Darwin’s words, and the numbers in brackets are the number of occurrences.

[Begin quote]


Instead of relying on a feasible, natural cause, Darwin modeled Natural Selection by analogy to human domestication. He compared the purest pigeons bred “within a dozen, or at most a score of generations”, to wild birds that developed their markings over “thousands of generations”, or longer, i.e., regarding evolution of the eye, “natural selection will … go on for millions of years”. Regardless of the pace, Darwin gave Natural Selection knowledge to go beyond “man’s feeble efforts”, and the power, judgment, and intelligence to do all the following:

• to recognize “favourable variations”, “individuals which were born with constitutions best adapted to any country which they inhabited” and which “will have a better chance of surviving”

• to accumulate “profitable variations” or “spontaneous variations in the right direction” gradually, “adding up all that are good”

• to cause any “variation in the least degree injurious” to “be rigidly destroyed”

• to operate for “each creature’s own good”, including to “modify the reproductive system”

• to preserve “variations in the right direction”, and “differences of structure in certain definite directions”

• to modify traits by selection, e.g., natural selection deciding whether to enlarge or to reduce an insect’s wing size, so that the “greater number of individuals were saved”

• “to preserve the most divergent offspring”

• to cause by sexual selection “the most vigorous male” to be those “best fitted for their places in nature” and to “leave most progeny”.

• to “adapt” an organism “to a score of contingencies … through correlation” of multiple simultaneous traits.

In Modern Science, success words – e.g., “The Origin” 6th Ed.: “beauty” [21], “beneficial” [27], “benefit…” [15], “best” [86], “better” [71], “favour…” [123], “fit” [6], “fit…” [95], “good” [115], “improv…” [111], “success…” [24], “suit…” [2], “superior…” [10], “well” [239], and the like, plus their negatives, and their pathways (“accumulating in one direction”) – must be purged unless accompanied by objective, measurable criteria. Common phrases in modeling like “best fit” and “optimum” are acceptable because a standard applies, usually Minimum Mean Square Error, Maximum Likelihood, or some analogous guideline. A few other expressly and implicitly subjective expressions are also objectionable, including “subjective probability”, and “explain” or “describe”. These words are red flags that a scientific treatment, absent success criteria, has reached beyond the realm of Modern Science.

One more caution in testing for science is particularly important in the context of Darwin’s evolution: “correlation” [58 hits in the 6th Ed.]. The warning that correlation is not Cause & Effect has become trite in science, and where correlation is used as a happy coincidence and evidence of a relationship, it is outside science. The absence of correlation almost guarantees no Cause & Effect relationship, but mathematically correlated records suggest a Cause & Effect may be possible between the leading and lagging records, respectively, or that both records have yet a third source, a common cause.

The attributes Darwin gave Natural Selection are the powers of observation, of memory, and of discrimination and prescience of success for each species against the environment or against competitors. And finally, they include the material powers to enhance or destroy life. Those supernatural powers persist today in the biology curricula. [End quote]

A simple alternative to Natural Selection exists.

>>Could you recommend, to a soft target like me, where I might go to get some “best available” and “soft-target-appropriate” analysis of the AGW question?

Try my blog, If the articles are too tough, check the ensuing moderated discussions. You’re welcome to contact me at, but I prefer public dialog, the last known residence of peer review.

>>There are some among my class who hunger for this kind of instruction (I haven't been reading Marx or Rand lately [outgrew them both in late adolescence] and the bromide "according to his class" makes me a little nostalgic (in an upwardly middle class outgrew that thank god (ironic) sort of way).

Having read many definitions of Marxism, I deduced that each definition can be derived from three tenets, mnemonic CIG: (1) Citizenship: citizens have duties to the State, which will confer any rights, (2) Identity: citizens are not individuals, but each is a member of one or more classes, and (3) Governance: the State is an oligarchy, not a self-government. E.g., on the right of citizens to enter contracts, the Obama administration took GM from its owners and gave it to the union. On identity, the Obama administration is to benefit the middle class, and its power derives from groups, especially Blacks, Hispanics, women, and trade union members. On governance, the Obama administration passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by party acclimation in Congress before the bill had even been written.

Ayn Rand? Egad!

Comment #50 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at November 10, 2012 5:15 AM

VinUSA, 11/9/2012, 1:49 PM

>>When 95% of scientists agree that humans are causing changes to the climate, how do you feel that your opinion is better?

You would be correct that there exists a group of people, populated by a large number who have the credentials of scientists, and which claims that perhaps as many as 95% of scientists in all fields, agree with the AGW model. However, a fundamental fact of science is that scientific knowledge is NEVER decided by consensus, notwithstanding the Daubert v. Merrill Dow decision of the US Supreme Court. Scientists do not vote on scientific matters, and of course were not polled on AGW. When a group appeals to a consensus supporting some scientific sounding notion, a layman can be assured that what they claim is propaganda.

Two large counter-propaganda groups exist. One is Senator Inhofe’s list of well-credentialed scientists who disagree with AGW. That list was up to 700 at one time. Another is called the “Petition Project”, available online, that claims over 31,487 “American scientists” with at least a bachelors degrees, including 9,029 PhDs, who have signed the “Global Warming Petition.” Being strictly objective about the matter, the AGWers appear lost the propaganda war.

My opinion is better because it is backed by validated scientific models.

>>About the economic costs: did you know that research indicates that environmental regulations actually INCREASE economic output?

Did the research reckon that the millions of annual deaths from the ban on DDT represented an economic gain? How did the research back out the economic and environmental costs of forest fires resulting from access restrictions to clear deadwood and undergrowth, and for controlled burns? What was the economic gain from sequestration of spotted owl habitat, or delta smelt waters? What was the economic gain from endless environmental impact reports for housing developments, and from impossible licensing requirements for nuclear power stations?

Since economic gain actually comes from the absence of restrictions on capitalism, we have a clear reading of the motivation of your researchers.

>>But then: conservatives don't believe in science. We already knew that.

In law, “conservatives” would mean “some conservatives”. In science, it would mean “all conservatives”. In law, your claim would be true and would be knowledge. But not so in science. And just to complete your thought, scientists are leftists.

Comment #51 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at November 10, 2012 5:56 AM

With all of the intelligent posts on here, you decide to give kudos to an emotional response that is quite lacking in genuine thought, simply because you identify with the political leaning of the poster?
Mr Glasman, as always thanks for taking the time to educate us fools!

Comment #52 - Posted by: CFDAN at November 10, 2012 10:20 AM


I would caution against finding too great a defect in Darwin's use of anthropomorphic metaphor. He was writing in mid 19thc and did not have the benefit of the last 150 years of development in scientific vocabulary (he certainly was an impetus for the improvement of that vocabulary).

I don't think consensus is unimportant for science. Kuhn's 'structure of Scientific Revolutions' points out something valuable. Consensus at least plays a role in identifying what the questions of the day are, how they should be approached and what might count as an acceptable answer.

I agree with your reasoning. But since lack of potable water will likely always be a more certain danger than AGW does this mean no money/sacrifice should be spent on AGW until all have clean drinking water? The question to me seems to be when would the likelihood of AGW being true be high enough to justify sacrifice?

Comment #53 - Posted by: Prolix at November 10, 2012 12:02 PM

Jeff and Bingo,

A brief one in the hopper.

Comment #54 - Posted by: Prolix at November 10, 2012 4:57 PM

Yeah, love that pyramid!

Comment #55 - Posted by: Pat B at November 10, 2012 8:33 PM

Prolix, 11/10/12 @ 12:02 PM:

Darwin’s full title for The Origin of the Species was “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.” If “favoured races” meant just those that survived, then at best the title is poetic and a tautology. At worst, Natural Selection chose which races to extinguish and which not, as the reader will find beneath the title. Science doesn’t permit inanimate phenomena to have favorites, to have success, or in this case, for Natural Selection to favor races. The favoritism implies the scientifically forbidden attributes of a disembodied will and an intelligence.

Darwin wrote, “Natural Selection … is a power incessantly ready for action, and is as immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art.” This is a reference to man’s efforts to duplicate nature by creating new species. Darwin reversed the logic, using man’s domestication as an existence theorem for his model of the real world. This treatment was to overcome the theological belief that species are immutable. It was not a charming metaphor in the sense of being an unrelated parable. It was not like one of Kilmer’s Trees, “whose hungry mouth is prest against the sweet earth’s flowing breast”.

Domestication is a process exercising the same genetic material toward the same ends as Darwin perceived in nature. It was a point of departure for natural evolution stretching over thousands of generations to millions of years. Domestication was the same process as far as it could go on its brief time scale. Unfortunately modeling by analogy caused natural selection to inherit human powers of intelligence – observation, memory, direction, judgment, discrimination, sorting, goal-setting.

A mathematical alternative exists, based on the following observations. (1) Almost all viable species have a positive Population Growth Rate (PGR). (2) Genetic drift will eventually cause non-interbreeding varieties to become species. (3) All niches have a finite carrying capacity. (4) When a niche is below capacity, viable new varieties of populations within the niche will appear at random. (5) At the instant capacity is reached, the species or incipient species with the lowest PGR will sequentially go extinct until only one is left. These are sufficient to account not just for extinction but the rate of extinction, the essential role of sexual selection, and the history of life in a cycle between mass extinction events, including eras of speciation (the “crucible of life”), natural selection, and specialization (loss of robustness in stable geological eras). For more, see

Darwin was indeed writing in the mid 19th Century. He wrote before standardized spelling had reached English. However, Cause & Effect had been around since 1620, introduced by Bacon before English dictionaries were widespread.

>>Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule. Bacon (1620 Novum Organum) §III.

The next passage is the Axiom of Cause & Effect.

>>The human understanding is unquiet … . But this inability interferes more mischievously in the discovery of causes; for although the most general principles in nature ought to be held merely positive, as they are discovered, and cannot with truth be referred to a cause, nevertheless the human understanding being unable to rest still seeks something prior in the order of nature. Bacon (1620 NO) §XLVIII.

Bacon explains that a Cause & Effect relationship is not observable in nature, but that the Cause, like the Effect, must be a natural occurrence, ruling out the supernatural and closing another door to theology.

Darwin’s Natural Selection resembles Aristotle more than Bacon, and in spite of great advances as in microbiology, evolutionary biology still teaches Darwin’s anthropomorphized Natural Selection. That lesson plan is a symptom of the replacement of science in K-12 and beyond with environmentalism, an uncritical, romantic belief system that spawned AGW climatology. As much as one might like to keep Darwin high on his pedestal, Natural Selection needs to be taken down not just for the sake of biology, but for the greater goal of science literacy. Rejoice in the knowledge that corrected, Evolution stands taller than it ever did.

Comment #56 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at November 13, 2012 6:36 AM
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