Saturday, February 12, 2011

Maybe Paul Krugman is not such a great weather guy after all

As I pointed out in a recent post, Paul Krugman that anyone who might disagree with the Theology of Algore really does not know science and should not be permitted to be on a college faculty:
It’s particularly troubling to apply some test of equal representation when you’re looking at academics who do research on the very subjects that define the political divide. Biologists, physicists, and chemists are all predominantly liberal; does this reflect discrimination, or the tendency of people who actually know science to reject a political tendency that denies climate change and is broadly hostile to the theory of evolution. (Emphasis mine)
Well, it turns out that some people who actually know science have found out that one of the claims made by the people who meet Krugman's approval simply is not true. According to some U.S. scientists (who almost surely will be ostracized for their heresy), a study of weather patterns for more than a century have dispelled that the weather has become more extreme:
The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project is the latest attempt to find out, using super-computers to generate a dataset of global atmospheric circulation from 1871 to the present.

As it happens, the project's initial findings, published last month, show no evidence of an intensifying weather trend. "In the climate models, the extremes get more extreme as we move into a doubled CO2 world in 100 years," atmospheric scientist Gilbert Compo, one of the researchers on the project, tells me from his office at the University of Colorado, Boulder. "So we were surprised that none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871."

In other words, researchers have yet to find evidence of more-extreme weather patterns over the period, contrary to what the models predict. "There's no data-driven answer yet to the question of how human activity has affected extreme weather," adds Roger Pielke Jr., another University of Colorado climate researcher.
A decade ago, British scientists were claiming that snow was to be a thing of the past in Great Britain, and the authorities planned accordingly. Thus, snowfalls that not long ago would have been mere bumps in the way have become major problems, as the government has not had the equipment or the de-icing material needed to get rid of the snow.

Mainstream economists -- including Krugman -- pretty much hold to Milton Friedman's contention (from the paper "The Methodology of Positive Economics") that the gold standard for good theory is its ability to predict events or actions. In fact, Austrian Economists are vilified (see the recent attacks on Tom DiLorenzo) for holding to deductive logic as a central methodology instead of the Friedmanite view.

If Krugman is to be consistent in his thinking, then climate modeling (or climate modeling that is acceptable to Krugman and the Environmental Protection Agency) holds that an increase in carbon dioxide will increase warming, since the gas is known to hold heat. Furthermore, this model should an effective predictor of future weather patters, given that the Algoreans hold that with the inevitable warming comes other weather-related patterns. However, the models have not predicted well, despite Algore's claim that both no snow and lots of snow both are predicated by global warming. Still, the government of this country as well as other governments are using these models to lay down all sorts of economic restrictions, not to mention outlays of vast subsidies to produce "green energy" that economically speaking is an attempt to turn back the clock (something that is supposed to be anathema to people like Krugman).

We shall see if Krugman attacks these scientists as he has others, or if he simply will ignore their inconvenient studies. Most likely, it will be the latter. Out of sight, out of mind.


Henry Walden said...

If you read back through this post carefully, I think you'll see that it falls short of coherence. You should not let your dislike of Krugman lead you into irrational criticisms of atmospheric models.

Sauros said...

"In the climate models, the extremes get more extreme as we move into a doubled CO2 world in 100 years,"

If co2 doubles from .0038% to .0019%, the oceans will flood the continents, glaciers and icecaps will melt (adding to the flooding), and mass extinction will occur. Cannibalism and chaos would reign supreme. Just do as you are told by the state's scientific experts. This crisis calls for a radical reengineering of the human animal and its modes of living. Global problems require global solutions.

I've got a lot invested in climate related social engineering.

Sauros said...

A doubling to .0076 would be disastrous. We need to shrink our carbon footprint. We need to innovate to zero. Achieving zero carbon emissions will require embracing transhumanism. The meatbags will have to go as they are too carbon intensive. A halving to .0019% is imperative in the short run.

AP Lerner said...

Speaking of out of sight, out of mind. Maybe we could get back to economics.

Here’s an idea for your next post.

Prof. Anderson, educate us and tell us that the money multiplier is not a myth. Why not explain why this Fed paper is incorrect. Here is an opportunity to not only educate your audience, but support to your ideology all in one post.

Why not?

Or, maybe you could explain where Vijay Boyapati is wrong about the banking system not being reserve constrained.

Anonymous said...

AP Lerner, I actually think you'll have a better chance with Robert Murphy. He's actually a pretty cool guy. You seem to have a gotten a different impression from him than what I have. Although he's also creepily obsessed with Krugman, he seems more sincere of wanting to understand the other side more than other Austrians I've seen. I'm not sure why you keep on wasting your time with Anderson. I saw that you posted in that Murphy blog link I gave you, but I doubt he saw it because it was an old post.

Bala said...

"Speaking of out of sight, out of mind. Maybe we could get back to economics."

Nope. Can't. "We" implies Prof. Anderson AND you. Even if Prof. Anderson tries, you can't. You never have and probably never will.

How's the hut tax coming along?

Jones said...

There is no debate to the fact that the earth is warming. I think scientists are less worried about isolated incidents of extreme weather and more worried about the affects of rising sea levels and permanent weather changes that create drought conditions in some parts of the world.

Being a scientist you should know that there are no certainties only probabilities. What people like Krugman argue is that even if you only assign say a 10 percent probability to additional warming created by man...the potential downside is so great that it is worth taking preventative action.

Prof Anderson obviously has a political axe to grind by calling the studies of several serious climate scientists "algorism". Another sign he is not a serious academic and is just another talking head....sound like someone that he likes to criticize?

Anonymous said...

Do we really care what a failed climate model predicts? We may as well discuss the ramifications of the Steelers victory in this year's SuperBowl.

Anonymous said...

This blog has truly entered crazyland.

William L. Anderson said...

Gee, I must have bothered some of the Holy Priests of Algore.

When I was in my senior year of college in 1975, Newsweek had a cover story about the coming ice age that was to be caused by, you guess it, "burning fossil fuels." Warming, cooling, whatever. It seems that certain people are wanting to drive us back to a Dark Age (literally) and they always can find "worried scientists" to provide the details.

Bob Roddis said...

As Newsweek warned back in 1975 with an eye to getting those pesky government planners to start planning already:

There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now.


The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually.


The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic.


Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth’s average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras – and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average. Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the “little ice age” conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 – years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City. [stories we somehow never hear today]


Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.

How could we survive without government planners?

Anonymous said...

Professor Anderson, you are punching above your weight class with climate talk. This is not your area of expertise.

Consider this. A scientist who knows nothing about economics starts talking about monetarism as bad economics. Even if you as an economist feel monetarism is bad, you'd feel uneasy if he starts criticising monetarism on completely irrelevant grounds not even related to economics.

You get the idea. Whether you are right or wrong about climate has no bearing on whether an economist should be speaking authoritatively on climatology, ever.

Mike M said...

We should all be discussing this topic regardless of background. If left unchecked the “global warming/climate change/tbd” crowd’s policies will surely affect economics.
The problem with this group is their refusal /failure to address/admit the following:
Climate change is a Trojan horse for more central planning and control
They commit the classic fallacy of confusing correlation with causation
Do increased CO2 cause warming or do natural warming cycles increase the level of CO2?
The Sun has more effect on the planet’s climate than anything we do
Another name for CO2 is “plant food”
And here is the fun one; How was it possible for this planet to emerge from the ice age without all of us bad humans emitting carbon?

Bob Roddis said...

The entire crowd of CO2 hysterics is thoroughly interventionist and statist regarding private property, money and personal freedom. These people seek nothing less than forcing everyone on the planet to seek the state's permission to breathe, travel or turn up the thermostat.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Mike. You just debunked all the literature of climate science in a single paragraph. Next up Quantum Mechanics.

Bob Roddis said...

Just like the Keynesians and all statists, the CO2 hysterics have the burden of proof to demonstrate why their oppressive, invasive and poverty-inducing "solutions" are necessary. This, of course, they always refuse to do because they can't. All they know is name-calling.

I thought that this global warming snake had been killed. I've kinda lost track of my anti-hysteric links. Here's one I found. Just as the hysterics fail to mention the "little ice age" (in order to confuse the rabble about how climate variation is historically "normal") they fail to mention things such the horrible multi-decade drought in the Yellowstone region in the late 1500s occurred during a long COLD spell.

Bob Roddis said...

Or, maybe you could explain where Vijay Boyapati is wrong about the banking system not being reserve constrained.

Professor Anderson is busy saving innocent people from lying, vicious prosecutors:

I’ve already posted a link to a post by Pater Tenebrarum who examined Vijay Boyapati contentions. Here it is again:

Pater Tenebrarum accepts comments. Why don’t you go torment him? Or respond to his contentions here?

Also, when are you going to answer the voluminous questions I’ve been asking you since July?

Bala said...

"Congrats Mike. You just debunked all the literature of climate science in a single paragraph. Next up Quantum Mechanics"

Oh!! That's just too easy. How about addressing the questions he has raised instead of showing us how smart you are?

Anonymous said...

I am the Anonymous who wrote the 8:13 AM post.

Mike M, I speak as a skeptic of cap-and-trade, cap-and-dividend, and other crackbrained policies myself - an economist should never ever speak on the sciences of climate change.

I do think there are statesmen who understand neither climatology nor economics who wish to impose insane, unfeasible measures on industry and consumption. But criticise them. Leave the scientists alone.

Mike M said...

You said: “an economist should never ever speak on the sciences of climate change.”

In an ideal world I would agree with you. But that is not the world we find ourselves in. Every element of our life is used by those whose seek to expand their power and influence politically. Just because you don’t have an interest in politics (because one is a scientist) doesn’t mean politics doesn’t have an interest in you.

If the Statists are going to use climate as a tool to attempt to control more aspects of our lives, then it is your duty as a citizen, regardless of background, to challenge boldly the assertions.

I will take a critical thinking economist asking questions about climate over a “scientist” with a political agenda any day.

Anonymous said...

Scientist with political agenda? Those people work 75 hours a week, including teaching students, doing difficult research that may not yield results at all, keeping up with latest discoveries in journals, and having some more of their time occupied in university administration issues. These people barely have time for their personal life, and a good scientist tends to have a bad family life.

And you think these people have the time for politics? I have serious doubts as to whether any young astronomer hoping to get anywhere high in his field will have the time or interest to open up Keith Olbermann or Glenn Beck after coming back home. More likely, he will sleep!

Bala said...

"Those people work 75 hours a week, including teaching students, doing difficult research...."

funded by whom? Try answering that question and you will get at what Mike M is saying.

Sauros said...

Anonymous is correct. You all need to stop conversing about subjects outside your own limited areas of expertise. Leave dialoguing to consensus for the state's experts, as you can be sure they always get it right.

Anonymous said...

Krugman and getting it right is a contradiction. Al Gore and getting it right is a contradiction. If Krugman or Al Gore forecast anything, and you can place a bet against it, do so - they are wrong almost 100% of the time.

Anonymous said...

Actually, in the scientific community, global cooling was never as much a consensus as global warming.

This playlist is a pretty good look at the subject.

I'll put my thoughts on the subject like this-

Global warming? Global average temperatures have been on the rise.
Anthropogenic global warming? We might have some influence if carbon output has an effect on temperature and we have an effect on carbon output. Just how much is debatable, and how to deal with it is a different matter entirely.
Global warming apocalypse? Dangerous cult. Al Gore ranks up there with Kent Hovind when it comes to their approach to science, neither of which have the decency to use KY or buy it dinner first.

Bob Roddis said...

Didn't Krugman cause global warming? Didn't he insist upon [artificially] low interest rates back in 2001 to [artificially] stimulate the housing market? Didn't all that artificially induced sprawl cause global warming?

For shame.

What are the effects of global warming? said...

Al gore movie caught my attention too. I think regardless of what we think of his campaign, we all must put our efforst into making our enviroment more clean and green, for a better tomorrow! ;)