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Climate change to be discussed at Christian Scientific Society meet, Pittsburgh, April 7–8, 2017


The Christian Scientific Society Schedule and abstracts here. Note:

10:00 A.M. Kevin Birdwell. “Understanding Climate Change Factors”

What variables affect climate change? Are they natural? Manmade? Both? Do greenhouse gases provide the sole basis for modern climate concerns? Or are their other important factors to consider? How does the need for large sources of energy to power society affect the climate debate? Finally, how do we approach these issues ethically?

Bio: Kevin Birdwell received a PhD in physical geography, with emphasis in meteorology and environmental change, from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2011. He also holds a BS and an MS in geography, with an emphasis in remote sensing and math, from Murray State University, as well as an AA in the Bible from Evangel University. Kevin is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the Nuclear Utilities Meteorological User’s Group (American Nuclear Society). He has 30 years of experience in meteorological operations and research, focusing on areas of complex terrain meteorology, dispersion modeling, air quality, and Quaternary paleoclimate. His dissertation research described the interaction of winds in complex terrain and how to categorize and predict such flows in terms of the underlying atmospheric physics. Kevin currently manages an operational meteorology program in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and also teaches earth and space science part-time for the Department of Adult and Online Learning at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. He has also been a Christian apologist in areas of earth science and meteorology since the mid-90s.More.

But, if that guy expresses any skepticism about the earnest bumf blathered in traditional media, doesn’t Bill Nye, the science guy, think he should be in jail because it might be a trigger warning episode for  Bill Nye?

Actually, a lot of the other talks could be controversial too, which means—these days—it might be worth going to hear them – but only if thinking doesn’t act as a “trigger” for you.

Consider this your trigger warning.

See also: Bill Nye would criminalize dissent from human-caused global warming claims.

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Andrew and Armand: Apologies for jumping into your conversation and at risk of slightly agreeing and disagreeing with both of you, I might offer a couple of observations. 1. What we start with is weather -- the conditions immediately measurable and experienced in some locale. Even with this, we have to make some kind of arbitrary cutoff as to when and where we do the measurements, how big of an area it applies to, etc. Weather can be meaningfully different in two locations very close to each other. Even on my occasional jog I will notice a clear temperature differential between two points just a couple of miles away from each other, depending on elevation, proximity to vegetation or water, etc. But at some point we have to draw the line. So for practical purposes we just say "the weather in Timbuktu is X" when we're really reporting what was measured at, say, the local airport. It isn't perfect. It requires some judgment calls. But for most all purposes of our day-to-day lives, referring to rough geographical proximity is plenty adequate. 2. Climate is essentially an average of weather over time. Yes, we can observe climate. Not all at once, obviously. But just as we can observe a train going down the tracks or a plane flying, we can observe something that occurs over time. Again, some judgment calls are required. What is the start time? What is the stop time? What about changes in instrumentation? And on and on. But in principle, it is possible to observe the weather over a period of time and draw up a profile. Again, it isn't perfect. But it is plenty adequate for our day-to-day purposes and practical realities of life. If I'm trying to decide whether to retire to Palm Springs or to Anchorage, knowing what the expected weather will be is meaningful. And knowing what kinds of weather events have been experienced over a particular timeframe is helpful. If I visit Anchorage on a particularly hot day and Palm Springs on a cold, rainy day, I nevertheless realize that I need to look at a longer term trend to make a meaningful decision, not just the weather those two days. So, yes, we can dispute measurements, and whether the timeframe should be the standard 30-year average used by many scientists or some other period, as well as various other parameters. But the concept of a climate is meaningful, if not perfect. 3. Given that a climate is essentially a makeup of local weather events over time, knowing the climate is helpful in understanding expectations of future weather events in that area. Outliers will always occur, but over some reasonable period of time we can expect past weather events to provide a reasonable expectation of future weather events. 4. Given that weather is local, much of the claimed consequences of global warming (such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, etc.) are essentially local weather events. I might feel bad if there is another cyclone in a far off island, but it does not affect me directly and has no impact on my weather or my climate. It is very important to stay focused on this aspect. Those concerned with global warming need to be much more specific about the claimed consequences and demonstrate why there is a realistic expectation of such consequences. It is too easy to talk in vague and general terms about some unclear future consequence, in some undefined location, at some unknown point in the future. As I have noted before: The concern about global warming's catastrohpic consequences is inversely proportional to the specificity of the discussion. 5. Catastrophic global warming concerns, then, are essentially concerns that particular weather events will occur that will be unfavorable. The claim is that there will be more of bad weather X and less of good weather Y -- resulting, over time, in a less favorable climate. 6. Given that weather is local, although it makes sense to talk about a local climate, where the variable is time, any attempt to extend the issue to a much broader geography is less meaningful. Specifically, the idea of a "global average temperature" is really just a statistical construct. It isn't a real observable. It doesn't have any local meaning or influence. Nor, one could argue, should it give us any great local concern. (Again, this lack of tie to reality is different than a local climate, which is made up of genuine weather events that directly affect that locale over time.) We have to be very careful about taking thousands of local weather events around the globe and thinking that we have come up with some average number that allegedly captures anything meaningful. As one critic quipped, it is kind of like reviewing the Los Angeles phone book and coming up with an average phone number. :) There may be some value in referring to a global temperature as an academic shorthand. One could even take a trend over time and maybe learn something from it. But we must be very clear that such a concept is largely an academic exercise, because it is not tied directly to any weather or climate or particular location. It has no logical tie or direct physical tie to any particular area or country or group of people who might be affected. Thus, one might reasonably argue, it may not be a particularly good concept on which to base political, social, or economic decisions that are geared toward addressing this statistical construct. Eric Anderson
Once you buy into their not-necessarily scientific conceptual framework of terms like "climate" and "global" and "warming" and "forcing", etc., they can fill the empty spaces in your mind with their science-themed products. Andrew asauber
The only truly global temperature measurements are from weather satellites in polar orbits. Dr. Judith Curry, a former AGW believer now turned skeptic, posted an article on her website in Dec. 2015 which includes an interesting graph. https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/christy_dec8.jpg The red line represents what the average of 104 IPCC* computer generated climate models was predicting or forecasting. The blue and green lines represent actual data from actual global measurements. The blue is balloon data. The green is satellite data. The real data does show some global warming (the sceptics DO NOT DENY this) however, it does not show the runaway, catastrophic warming the alarmists are predicting with their models. Who is being more rational here? The alarmists who cling to their predictions even though they have been proven wrong time and time again by real world data? Or those who analyse the real data to reach a tentative conclusion? Here is the full article: https://judithcurry.com/2015/12/17/climate-models-versus-climate-reality/ If the scientific evidence showed that global warming was being caused by human activity I would not be a sceptic. I am a sceptic BECAUSE of what the scientific data presently shows, which is that any human contribution to global warming is being totally masked by a natural climatic cycle. AGW proponents have yet to provide any solid evidence to support their POV. footnote: *The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. john_a_designer
No, it is real, but can’t be perceived in real time."
You're right on the second part. It can't be perceived in real time. Because it doesn't exist anywhere but human imagination.
Tropical plants don’t do very well in boreal climates.
The only place where plants do badly is in the real time weather system. Andrew asauber
Therefore, it exists in your imagination as a number, and nowhere else.
No, it is real, but can't be perceived in real time. For example, plants and animals are adapted to the climate they live in, not the weather. Tropical plants don't do very well in boreal climates. Succulents don't do very well in dessert climates. Armand Jacks
"Climate is the multi-year average of various parameters" Therefore, it exists in your imagination as a number, and nowhere else. Andrew asauber
The earth has a weather system. That’s it.
I don't know enough about the global warming issue to provide a constructive comment other than spewing as little into the atmosphere as we can is probably a good thing. But even I know that the difference between weather and climate is time. Weather is the nasty snow storm that is blowing outside my window right now. Climate is the multi-year average of various parameters (snow or rainfall, temperature, storm events,etc.). Armand Jacks
“Understanding Climate Change Factors” The first thing that should be addressed at this conference is the definition of climate. The earth has a weather system. That's it. Andrew asauber

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