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The Trouble with AGW

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The IPPC GCMs (Global Climate Models) are based on a scientific error committed back in 1906.

Here is the abstract of an article that explains why the so called "Greenhouse Effect" has no thermodynamic basis:

This article explores the "Greenhouse Effect" in contemporary literature and in the frame of physics,
finding a conspicuous lack of clear thermodynamic definition. The "Greenhouse Effect" is defined by
Arrhenius' (1896) modification of Pouillet's backradiation idea so that instead of being an
explanation of how a thermal gradient is maintained at thermal equilibrium, Arrhenius' incarnation
of the backradiation hypothesis offered an extra source of power in addition to the thermally
conducted heat which produces the thermal gradient in the material. The general idea as expressed
in contemporary literature, though seemingly chaotic in its diversity of emphasis, shows little
change since its revision by Svante Arrhenius in 1896, and subsequent refutation by Robert Wood in
1909. The "Greenhouse Effect" is presented as a radiation trap whereby changes in atmospheric
composition resulting in increased absorption lead to increased surface temperatures. However,
since the composition of a body, isolated from thermal contact by a vacuum, cannot affect mean
body temperature, the "Greenhouse Effect" has, in fact, no material foundation. Compositional
variation can change the distribution of heat within a body in accordance with Fourier's Law, but it
cannot change the overall temperature of the body. Arrhenius' Backradiation mechanism did, in
fact, duplicate the radiative heat transfer component by adding this component to the conductive
heat flow between the earth's surface and the atmosphere, when thermal conduction includes both
contact and radiative modes of heat transfer between bodies in thermal contact. Moreover, the
temperature of the earth's surface and the temperature in a greenhouse are adequately explained
by elementary physics. Consequently, the dubious explanation presented by the "Greenhouse Effect"
hypothesis is an unnecessary complication. Furthermore, this hypothesis has neither direct
experimental confirmation nor direct empirical evidence of a material nature. Thus the notion of
"Anthropogenic Global Warming", which rests on the "Greenhouse Effect", also has no real
foundation.
For the entire article see: http://greenhouse.geologist-1011.net
Some math is necessary to fully grasp the nature of the error. But the analogy between the CO2 absorbtion of long wave IR light in a certain frequency range the warming of a glass house (or your car parked in the sun) is analyzed. In effect a causeless heat source is implied by the error which violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Make out what you can. I thought the article was rather interesting and it explains why the IPCC doom and gloom prediction never quite come out the way there presumed to.
If you recall that t.v. commercial "Where are all the flying cars????"" then I asked "Where is all the ocean flooding??? And why hasn't Earth turned into the Planet Venus????"
The above article is based on G. Gehrlich's paper
Which has a complete bibliography at the end including journal articles.
This paper is clearly of a technical nature and was not intended for those without the mathematical and physics background.
The bottom line is that a heat source is being counted twice which is the moral and mathematical of heat from nothing which is a violation of thermodynamic law.
Yes, the CO2, water vapor and methane -is- slowing down the radiative dissipation of heat somewhat, so there will be some temperature increase. But the atmospheric convection which is not stopped by the CO2 is moving that heat up to the outer bounds of the atmosphere where it will radiate out into cold space according to the Stephan-Boltzmann law. The rate at which a body of Kelvin temperature T radiates to a cold sink is proportional to T^4, the fourth power of the temperature. So the earth is not going to turn into Venus anytime soon.

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Which journal was this published in, Bob? And what have subsequent publications had to say about it?

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Which journal was this published in, Bob? And what have subsequent publications had to say about it?

Check out the math. I didn't find any mistakes. The analogy between atmospheric temperature dispersion and a solid glass window is flawed. That is the problem. That is why none of the IPCC disasters have come about. Where are the flying cars? Where is the oceanic flooding???? Why has the temperature not risen to the extent predicted by the IPCC GCMs???

Errors in theories are nothing new in science. This error goes back over 100 years.

In addition to the mistaken analogy between the action of CO2 and a glass window there is the effect of clouds which are not taken into account in the IPCC models. The IPCC has reduced everything to CO2 loading in the atmosphere. It has not dealt with temperature dispersion and feedback correctly. The bottom line is that the IPCC predictions are hotter than the actual temperature rises. In science the only figure of merit is the correctness of the predictions..

None of this should be taken as disproof that human activity has some effect on climate. There is no doubt that humans have affected climate. The only question is how much and by what mechanisms. So far the IPCC work has not answered this question particularly well.

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Which journal was this published in, Bob? And what have subsequent publications had to say about it?

See the bibliography in the G. Gehrlich paper which I have edited into my original posting. It is extensive. It includes treatises and journal articles....

Some of the reactions to Gehrlich's paper was ummm... contentious which is not unusual. Recall that Wegman a meteorologist postulated the tectonic plate theory in the early part of the 20'th century. The Geologists dumped on Wegman saying what can a weatherman know of earth geology? It turned out that in the 1960s we found out that Wegman was right on the money. So sometimes hot and contentious debates and exchanges can erupt even in the Halls of Science.

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In effect a causeless heat source is implied by the error which violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

What, you mean, the sun?

no. The so called "greenhouse effect" is an artifact of double counting the heat radiated back to the earth by CO2 which absorbs long wave radiation from the earth which is warmed by the Sun. FAPP the Sun is the only heat source Geothermal heat emission from volcanic eruptions accounts for very little of the heat output from the eartth. The sun sends in electromagnetic radiation mostly in the green to ultraviolet range which is radiated back as long wave IR radiation which is absorbed by the CO2 and re-emitted. half goes out and half presumably goes back. In fact the convection of the atmosphere carries most of the heat up to the top of the atmosphere where it is radiated out into cold space. This is according to the Stephan-Boltzmann law. Very little of the heat is fed back down. The IPCC models overestimate this which is why they predict much larger temperature increases than actually occur.

The term greenhouse effect is based on a false analogy between atmospheric CO2 and the plate glass windows of a hot house or green house. The hothouse is hot because the solid glass windows prevents the warmed up air from undergoing convection which would let cooler air from above enter the glass house. This is way your car get very hot when you leave it parked in the sun with all the windows shut.

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Have some pity on the G man...remember he went to one of the best schools...

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When you leave an egg out in the sun, it gets hotter and hotter (fires even), despite all the air around it.

The shell is blocking convection. Peel the egg and see how hot it gets.

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The shell is blocking convection. Peel the egg and see how hot it gets.

Like I said, it gets hotter and hotter until it fries.

Then what?

--Brant

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The shell is blocking convection. Peel the egg and see how hot it gets.

Like I said, it gets hotter and hotter until it fries.

Not if it is a white or shiny egg. Good reflectors make bad absorbers. Of course if you break your egg on a black piece of metal that has been under a hot sun it will free. The black body temperature of the metal is high.

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Which journal was this published in, Bob? And what have subsequent publications had to say about it?

Check out the math. I didn't find any mistakes. The analogy between atmospheric temperature dispersion and a solid glass window is flawed. That is the problem.

I am not competent to 'check' the mathematics. That is why I wanted to know where Timothy Casey had published this work (besides his website). I wanted to know what impact Casey's article has had in the context of climatology -- where and by whom it was analyzed, supported, argued against. I wanted to know what other competent folks have subsequently written about it, and in which journals ...

What I found since I began looking was that no one has published a response to the Casey article. Not even in the climate-skeptic blogosphere. Nowhere. Nothing. A few cryptic comments in three places (SkepticalScience among them).

In other words, Casey has not had his article subject to peer review or the sturm und drang of scientific attention subsequent to publication. It has exactly zero citations in the scientific literature, as far as I can tell. Casey's article has had zero impact on substantive debate and discussion.

Does that mean it is completely crank physics? Of course not. But I am suspicious of the work of someone who sits out the actual hard game played in the big leagues. Even if every dang thing is the article is true, warranted, well-supported, Casey has evaded the attention of scientific process ...

To my layperson mind, Casey's supreme refutation of the 'greenhouse effect' exists in a bubble. Since he hasn't published, his work moulders in a drawer (I have written to him asking him a couple of questions about publication -- trying to gauge his attitude toward publishing in peer-reviewed journals, to see if he submitted and was rejected. I haven't yet received a reply).

None of this should be taken as disproof that human activity has some effect on climate. There is no doubt that humans have affected climate. The only question is how much and by what mechanisms. So far the IPCC work has not answered this question particularly well.

What would you suggest Casey do to contribute to the dis-assembly of the IPCC consensus? What could he do to make a bigger 'splash' in the world of climatology and related fields?

To my eyes -- given what I know right now -- Casey's does not assess a value in submitting his article to a scientific journal (though he had earlier in his career published at least three co-written peer-reviewed articles in his sub-speciality in geology, of which he sports a BSc with honours).

Which journal was this published in, Bob? And what have subsequent publications had to say about it?

See the bibliography in the G. Gehrlich paper which I have edited into my original posting. It is extensive. It includes treatises and journal articles....

Perhaps you misunderstand my questions -- or the direction I am looking at. Sure enough Casey cites Gehrlich's article(s) (which appeared in two versions, 2007/2009). Casey's full 'bibliography' in footnote below. And certainly Gehrlich and co-author published their own references for the two versions (abstracts below).

What I wanted to read and review were subsequent articles (in journals or not) which discussed the Casey article. You know, what did other competent folks think about it, its strengths, weaknesses, possible errors ... as became apparent, Casey's article is essentially locked in a cupboard (in a similar but not exact sense that Petr Beckmann's work was self-published in several 'in-house' organs under his complete control).

Some of the reactions to Gehrlich's paper was ummm... contentious which is not unusual.

Sure, normal, expected, as things should be -- critical attention and attempts to refute papers and conjectures are essential components of scientific blood, so to speak, without which the enterprise stalls. I shall do some more days' digging, and see what were the attempts to repudiate the Gehrlich paper(s) -- and then post them here with commentary.

Recall that Wegman a meteorologist postulated the tectonic plate theory in the early part of the 20'th century. The Geologists dumped on Wegman saying what can a weatherman know of earth geology? It turned out that in the 1960s we found out that Wegman was right on the money. So sometimes hot and contentious debates and exchanges can erupt even in the Halls of Science.

Wegman was the statistician who presented the Wegman report (and a subsequently retracted journal article).

You are thinking of Alfred Wegener. To call Wegerner a mere meterologist (weatherman) is to simplify beyond reason -- it forgets his training in physics and astronomy and makes him sound like he could be mistaken for a crank like Beckmann. I quote from the excellent Wikipedia article linked in the last sentence:

His brother Kurt remarked that Alfred Wegener’s motivation was to “reestablish the connection between geophysics on the one hand and geography and geology on the other, which had become completely ruptured because of the specialized development of these branches of science.”

Now, one of my central interests is in bias, psychological concepts and findings that help explain bias, motivated reasoning, and other cognitive obstructions to rational thinking. I strive to examine my own biases and correct for them.

Here is another question for you, Bob. If you have read and digested the Gehrlich papers, and followed the subsequent 'contentiousness,' do you have any extant doubts about the 'falsification'? To winnow that further, which rebuttals or criticisms of the papers would you consider worthy of attention (even if they haven't altered your position on the 'greenhouse effect)? Can you direct us to cogent criticism of the papers?

Gehrlich's "Falsification" papers ...

arXiv:0707.1161v1 [2007) http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Falsification_of_CO2.pdf

Abstract

The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier 1824, Tyndall 1861 and Arrhenius 1896 and is still supported in global climatology essentially describes a fictitious mechanism in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation. In this paper the popular conjecture is analyzed and the underlying physical principles are clarified. By showing that (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, © the frequently mentioned difference of 33 ?C is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified.

arXiv:0707.1161v4 (2009) http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S021797920904984X

Abstract:

The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that many authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier (1824), Tyndall (1861), and Arrhenius (1896), and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics, such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature, it is taken for granted that such a mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation. In this paper, the popular conjecture is analyzed and the underlying physical principles are clarified. By showing that (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, © the frequently mentioned difference of 33° is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified.

____________________

** (Casey's 'bibliography')

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Archer, D., 2009, The Long Thaw, ISBN13: 978-0-9611-3654-7

Arrhenius S., 1896, "On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air Upon the Temperature of the Ground", The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Series 5, Vol. 41, pp. 237-279.

Arrhenius, S., 1906a, "Die vermutliche Ursache der Klimaschwankungen" [The possible cause for climate variability], Meddelanden fran K.Vetenskapsakademiens Nobelinstitut Band 1, No. 2.

Arrhenius, S., 1906b, Världarnas utveckling (Worlds in the Making: The Evolution of the Universe), H. Borns [Translation in English Published 1908], Harper & Brs, New York.

Bohr, N., 1913, "I. On the constitution of atoms and molecules", The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Series 6, Vol. 26, pp. 1-25.

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Fourier, J. B. J., 1827, "MEMOIRE sur les temperatures du globe terrestre et des espaces planetaires", Memoires de l'Acadeémie Royale des Sciences, Vol. 7, pp. 569-604, source: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k32227.image.f808.tableDesMatieres.langEN.

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Gerlich, G., & Tscheuschner, R. D., 2009, "Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics", International Journal of Modern Physics, Vol. B23, pp.275-364, arXiv:0707.1161v4 [physics.ao-ph], DOI: 10.1142/S021797920904984X

Guthrie, F., 1860, "Kirchhoff G. On the relation between the radiating and the absorbing powers of different bodies for light and heat", The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Series 4, Vol. 20, pp. 1–21. Translation from Kirchhoff, G. U., 1860, "ber das Verhaltnis zwischen dem Emissionsvermogen und dem Absorptionsvermogen der K¨orper fur Warme und Licht", Poggendorfs Annalen der Physik und Chemie,Vol. 109, pp. 275–30.

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Edited by william.scherk

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Funny story, I was listening to an audiobook a while back, to be specific this one:

http://www.audible.com/pd/Science-Technology/From-Eternity-to-Here-Audiobook/B00375CTPE

And at one point he attributes a quote to someone, and name sounds like Petr Beckmann. Of course I've heard of him from O-land, so my ears pricked up. I zapped back to make sure, and no, it wasn't Petr Beckmann, but Peter Venkman. As in:

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What's wrong with "being a crank like Beckman"(sic)?

--Brant

Beckman was dead wrong about relativity. Both relativity theories are solidly supported by empirical evidence and neither has ever been falsified empirically or because of a mathematical inconsistency. In short, so far they are solid science. Use your GPS to see just how solid.

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What's wrong with "being a crank like Beckman"(sic)?

--Brant

Beckman [sic] was dead wrong about relativity. Both relativity theories are solidly supported by empirical evidence and neither has ever been falsified empirically or because of a mathematical inconsistency. In short, so far they are solid science. Use your GPS to see just how solid.

You certainly know how to repeat yourself. However, I don't think you're much more qualified than I am to tell a mathematical physicist what he's wrong about in any first-hand way. Oh, and you didn't answer the question I asked William.

Yes, Petr said Einstein was wrong about Relativity, and wrote a book about it and founded a journal to carry on the discussion. Why he said what he said is obviously irrelevant to you, only that he said Einstein was wrong and you go all Pavlovian Dog. There's another matter when you say "neither has ever been falsified empirically or because of a mathematical inconsistency." If you're an Einsteinian physicist--I'll call you one--and have been one ardently for decades, and it was falsified, will you change your position or ignore the falsification and take your position on Relativity with you to your grave? Supposedly such a falsification happened and was reported 22 years ago. It was then Petr BECKMANN said: "Einstein is dead, but it will take decades to bury him.'" Hell, they still haven't even buried Lenin.

The odds still seem right to me that Einstein will prevail for Petr did not propose a better, new, replacement theory only that it was Newtonian physics all along.

Yes, Petr was a crank. What's wrong with being a crank? Einstein was a crank. Archimedes was a crank. I'm a crank and you're a crank. It's fun being a crank.

--Brant

crank it up

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What's wrong with "being a crank like Beckman"(sic)?

--Brant

Beckman [sic] was dead wrong about relativity. Both relativity theories are solidly supported by empirical evidence and neither has ever been falsified empirically or because of a mathematical inconsistency. In short, so far they are solid science. Use your GPS to see just how solid.

You certainly know how to repeat yourself. However, I don't think you're much more qualified than I am to tell a mathematical physicist what he's wrong about in any first-hand way. Oh, and you didn't answer the question I asked William.

Yes, Petr said Einstein was wrong about Relativity, and wrote a book about it and founded a journal to carry on the discussion. Why he said what he said is obviously irrelevant to you, only that he said Einstein was wrong and you go all Pavlovian Dog. There's another matter when you say "neither has ever been falsified empirically or because of a mathematical inconsistency." If you're an Einsteinian physicist--I'll call you one--and have been one ardently for decades, and it was falsified, will you change your position or ignore the falsification and take your position on Relativity with you to your grave? Supposedly such a falsification happened and was reported 22 years ago. It was then Petr BECKMANN said: "Einstein is dead, but it will take decades to bury him.'" Hell, they still haven't even buried Lenin.

The odds still seem right to me that Einstein will prevail for Petr did not propose a better, new, replacement theory only that it was Newtonian physics all along.

Yes, Petr was a crank. What's wrong with being a crank? Einstein was a crank. Archimedes was a crank. I'm a crank and you're a crank. It's fun being a crank.

--Brant

crank it up

The minute a corroborated scientific experiment falsifies the theory of relativity I will demote the theory to a heuristic. Just as I regard Newtons theory of gravitation as a heuristic. It does not predict the motion of Mercury correctly (this has been known since 1865) and it does not account for the gravitational red shift. But it is perfectly good for plotting the trajectories of our space craft in the (relatively weak) gravitational field of our sun. The theory put the our landers to withing a km of their landing spots on the moon. A theory can be falsified (no longer valid in full generality) but be quite useful in restricted circumstances. For example, Newton's law of gravitation and Maxwell's electrodynamics.

I suspect the General Theory will not hold in the immediate vicinity of a black hole and I also suspect that the current theories of gravitation are not dealing with stellar motion correctly in the peripherals of galaxies. That is why we are provisionally postulating "dark matter", a gravitating substance which emits no electromagnetic radiation and accounts for the anomalous motion of stars at the edges of their galaxies. It could be a provisional ad hoc assumption until we get a better theory of gravitation which we could surely use.

Ba'al Chtatzaf

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What about the data that says the oceans are heating up? After all, water holds many orders of magnitude more heat than air and so is a much better indicator of global warming than air temperatures. See http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/what-ocean-heating-reveals-about-global-warming/

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My sentiments exactly!

Nice to see you.

The website you used has Michael Mann as one of its main contributors.

That activates my fact antenna to start to power up...

In today’s post, I’ll look closely at the Oxburgh panel, one of the investigations cited in Mann’s pleadings. However, contrary to the claims in Mann’s litigation, not only did the Oxburgh panel not exonerate Mann, at their press conference, Oxburgh panelist David Hand, then President of the Royal Statistical Society, made very disparaging and critical comments about Mann’s work, describing it as based on “inappropriate” statistics that led to “exaggerated” results. These comments were widely reported in international media, later covered in a CEI article that, in turn, was reported by National Review. Moreover, information obtained from FOI in the UK a couple of years ago shows that Mann objected vehemently to criticism from Oxburgh panelist, which he characterized as a “rogue opinion” and unsuccessfully sought a public apology.

http://climateaudit.org/2014/02/17/mann-and-the-oxburgh-panel/

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What's wrong with "being a crank like Beckman"(sic)?

The full sentence was meant to add some context to Bob's notion: "To call Wegerner a mere meterologist (weatherman) is to simplify beyond reason -- it forgets his training in physics and astronomy and makes him sound like he could be mistaken for a crank like Beckmann."

So, what is wrong with being a crank like Beckmann?

It depends on your point of view, I guess. Let's say you wanted to dig a new water well on your property. Whose expertise would you grant value to when selecting your contractor -- let's say, among a water-witch/diviner, a hydrologist, a geologist, or my old Aunt Fanny, who uses tarot cards?

None of these can be called cranks without understanding the term in its widest play. For almost every scientific (and humanities) discipline, there are what we might call 'fringe' actors or claimers to knowledge. My Aunt Fanny insists that she is among the only persons in the county who really knows where water can be found, and she dismisses all the other noted contractors and specialists as fools. She also publishes her, er, findings in a mimeographed monthly newsletter called Your Cards Are Telling You The Truth. When challenged on any claims in her, er, publications, she cries, plugs her ears, and orders you off her property. She also considers those who do not follow her, um, publications as in bed with THEM ...

That makes Aunt Fanny a crank -- to me, anyway. As always, your mileage may vary. What is wrong with calling her a crank, I will leave for you to explain at your leisure (in the meantime, have some fun reading the fifteen year-old Salon article which I excerpt below**).

What's wrong with "being a crank like Beckman"(sic)?

--Brant

Beckman [sic] was dead wrong about relativity. Both relativity theories are solidly supported by empirical evidence and neither has ever been falsified empirically or because of a mathematical inconsistency. In short, so far they are solid science. Use your GPS to see just how solid.

Yes, Petr said Einstein was wrong about Relativity, and wrote a book about it and founded a journal to carry on the discussion. Why he said what he said is obviously irrelevant to you, only that he said Einstein was wrong and you go all Pavlovian Dog. [...] Supposedly such a falsification happened and was reported 22 years ago.

Beckmann's journal was not only self-published but also self-edited. He stepped aside from the various scientific mainstreams onto a hermetic path, and did not attempt to submit his 'I falsified relativity' papers to the gladiatoral arena of scientific publication outside his path, outside his walled garden. He did not, for some reason or another, subject his work to contemporaneous peer-review in the disciplines which he had 'falsified.'

I will borrow some paragraphs from Rational Wiki that cover the term 'crank.' The editors are rather snarky, but hey -- if one can relish Ayn Rand's robust critical snideness, one can relish a few indicative paragraphs on crankery (I've removed the hyperlinks). The standard is Reason.

Crank is a pejorative term applied to someone who holds extremely unorthodox views on a subject and is often very vocal about these opinions. A crank will usually maintain their viewpoint despite, or perhaps because of, evidence to the contrary. The crank is usually an amateur in the field they are arguing against, but sometimes individuals with expertise in that field will become a 'crank' (which can lead directly to pathological science); sometimes for personal gain, which is ironic because cranks often accuse rational people of being driven by personal gain.

Cranks emerge in all fields of study and hold a wide variety of inaccurate or unorthodox views, from being able to square the circle with a straightedge and a compass, to Biblical literalists in the creationism movement.

Synonyms include kook, contrarian, and crackpot (the latter of which has led to the creation of the term "psychoceramics" as the name for the study of such people). Cranks who believe a lot of nutty things at once are sometimes said to suffer from crank magnetism.

-- Now, I have been a regular reader and poster at Objectivish venues for enough time to realize that my earliest estimations of crankery in Objectivism were wrong and biased and prejudiced. I have a lot of respect for the rationality and open-mindedness of Objectivish folks with whom I disagree profoundly. I am glad to have spent ten year here sharpening my own reasoning abilities in hard argument with folks of great intelligence and diligence. Even an argument with J Neil Schulman about his crankish insistence that he 'became God' gave me good results ... even idiots like 'Seymour' supplied me intellectual fuel.

Yes, Petr was a crank. What's wrong with being a crank? Einstein was a crank. Archimedes was a crank. I'm a crank and you're a crank. It's fun being a crank.

Do you really believe Einstein was a crank? -- that he worked only in a walled-garden without submitting his ideas to the scientific arena? I don't think you do believe that.

Two of my favourite cranks/kooks are Immanuel Velikofsky and Wilhelm Reich, and among the fields of crankery-kookery that have attracted my attention since my mid-teens are many publications of the Satanic Panic era in North America and the UK. Cranks abound in almost every conceivable angle of science-cum-pseudoscience, as well noted in Martin Gardner's classic book Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, which I am sure you have read. (if not, there is a brief article on the book's legacy from Scientific American in 2010 which you will enjoy. Excerpted at bottom)

-- all of this longwinded ramble to explain why I thought Bob was wrong to characterize Wegener's work being dismissed by colleagues via "what can a weatherman know of earth geology?" Wegener was not a crank. He played in the big leagues. His theories became accepted because of evidence amassed from convergent directions. Wegener was a scientist of great distinction. It is foolish to consider him as a crank against orthodox numpties.

What about the data that says the oceans are heating up? After all, water holds many orders of magnitude more heat than air and so is a much better indicator of global warming than air temperatures. See http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/what-ocean-heating-reveals-about-global-warming/

I am sad to say that RealClimate is probably viewed as a formal outlet of THEM -- the bad guys. If anyone (Bob, for example) was willing to engage with debate outside the sterile fields of climate conformity, we would have seen a thoughtful consideration of and reply to my second comment above.

One can always hope, though. I haven't finished my foray into the scientific reaction to the Gehrlich paper touted by the crank Casey ...

___________________

From the article "Hermits and Cranks: Lessons from Martin Gardner on Recognizing Pseudoscientists"

The "hermit scientist," a youthful Gardner wrote, works alone and is ignored by mainstream scientists. "Such neglect, of course, only strengthens the convictions of the self-declared genius." But Gardner was wrong by half in his prognostications: "The current flurry of discussion about Velikovsky and Hubbard will soon subside, and their books will begin to gather dust on library shelves." Adherents to Immanuel Velikovsky's views on how celestially caused global catastrophes shaped the beliefs of ancient humans are a quaint few surviving in the interstices of fringe culture. L. Ron Hubbard, however, has been canonized by the Church of Scientology as the founding saint of a world religion.

In 1952 Gardner could not have known that the nascent flying saucer craze would turn into an alien industry: "Since flying saucers were first reported in 1947, countless individuals have been convinced that the Earth is under observation by visitors from another planet." Absence of evidence then was no more a barrier to belief than it is today, and ufologists proffered the same conspiratorial explanations for the dearth of proof: "I have heard many readers of the saucer books upbraid the government in no uncertain terms for its stubborn refusal to release the ‘truth' about the elusive platters. The administration's ‘hush hush policy' is angrily cited as proof that our military and political leaders have lost all faith in the wisdom of the American people."

** from Did Einstein Cheat?

If you’re tired of hearing about creationists and the war against Darwinism, you might be surprised to learn that another pillar of modern science, Einstein and his theory of relativity, is under attack.

An underground of “dissident” scientists and self-described experts publish their theories in newsletters and on the Web, exchanging ideas in a great battle against “the temple of relativity.” According to these critics, relativity is not only wrong, it’s an affront to common sense, and its creator, Albert Einstein, was a cheat.

A review of anti-relativity proponents and their publications reveals a plethora of alternative theories about how the universe really works. In spite of their many differences, common themes do emerge: resentment of academic “elites,” suspicion and resentment of the entire peer-review process in the mainstream scientific journals and a deep strain of paranoia about government involvement in scientific projects.

One Web site, How Much of Modern Physics Is a Fraud, displays essays attacking everything from relativity to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Another page cites the work of Stefan Marinov, a self-described iconoclast, who apparently threatened to immolate himself in front of the British Embassy in Vienna, Austria, because he was so angered by the refusal of the respected journal Nature to publish his “proofs” against relativity. An Aethro-Kinematics Web site claims to refute relativity by resurrecting Rene Descartes’ theory that the Earth and all the planets are carried around the sun by an “Aether vortex.”

Some, like Ruggero Santilli, an Italian physicist, have published hysterical attacks on mainstream science. Santilli maintained in his book “Il Grande Grido: Ethical Probe on Einstein’s Followers in the U.S.A.” that physicists Sidney Coleman, Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg (the latter two are Nobel laureates) conspired to frustrate his attempts to conduct research on his theories to disprove relativity while he was at Harvard. The late Petr Beckmann, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Colorado, self-published his theory about why relativity is wrong and started a newsletter called Galilean Electrodynamics, which has been carried on by his followers (although it isn’t clear from recent issues that they still believe in their founder’s theory).

The list goes on. Is this a new front in the war on science? Does the Kansas State Board of Education now need to take a vote on relativity?

Edited by william.scherk

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