"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My Representative

Not content with his sponsorship of the notorious pernicious anti-free-internet SOPA legislation, the representative for Downtown and near South Austin, Lamar Smith, is now doing a full Cuccinelli paranoid attack on Thomas Karl, a very apolitical and diligent curator of America's meteorological data.

Why? Well, there's been a new correction to the National Climate Data Center's observational record, which had already been somewhat corrected in the early years. The older correction actually reduced the estimated overall global warming over the observational record, and the new correction did, um, nothing much worth noting, but you wouldn't know it to hear people like Smith talk.

The corrections look like this.

Smith's response to this obvious bit of subversive chicanery looks like this:
NOAA needs to come clean about why they altered the data to get the results they needed to advance this administration’s extreme climate change agenda,” Smith said. “The Committee intends to use all tools at its disposal to undertake its Constitutionally-mandated oversight responsibilities.”
I am losing my mind - I'm really upset that such a person even exists, never mind that he supposedly represents me.


For Rob, from the letter to Smith written by ranking committee minority member Eddie Bernice Johnson:


Rob Ryan said...

Not that I in any way condone Smith's actions (these and others - he's a lot like my so-called representative Mimi Walters except more strident and with more power on a more crucial committee), but what would Thomas Karl (or someone else who knows the answer) say if he were to be politely asked why the corrections were made? Not to sound like a tone troll and I perceive no chicanery or conspiracy but I am curious and such folk as Tony Heller a.k.a. Steven Goddard make and have been making for years a huge to do over it. Is/are the answer/answers available online somewhere?

Michael Tobis said...

As I understand it, there have been several rounds of polite and thorough answers and increasingly belligerent questions. I'll to to find a link.

Steve Bloom said...

To all appearances this kerfuffle was triggered by those very answers, in the form of the peer-reviewed study mentioned in Johnson's letter (public copy). So to all appearances the detailed explanation was there from the outset.

The whole thing was major denier-bait as it stood, but the Science editor's summary kind of rubbed salt in the wound:

"Walking back talk of the end of warming

"Previous analyses of global temperature trends during the first decade of the 21st century seemed to indicate that warming had stalled. This allowed critics of the idea of global warming to claim that concern about climate change was misplaced. Karl et al. now show that temperatures did not plateau as thought and that the supposed warming “hiatus” is just an artifact of earlier analyses. Warming has continued at a pace similar to that of the last half of the 20th century, and the slowdown was just an illusion."

Mal Adapted said...

I wanted to let Rep. Smith know I was outraged by his actions, but his contact page rejects anyone without a zip code within his district. Then I tried contacting Rep. Johnson to thank her for her letter of complaint, but her contact page has the same restriction. Apparently that's a common practice, and it made sense when I thought about it. So I contacted my own Congressman. I figured it couldn't hurt.

I also donated $100 to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund.