Thursday, April 26, 2018

Is "Weather Whiplash" Increasing In California?

This week a paper was released in Nature Climate Change by Daniel Swain and co-authors that made a bold claim:  that California is experiencing and will increasingly experience "weather whiplash" because of anthropogenic global warming. 

They define "weather whiplash" or "precipitation whiplash" as a transition from a much drier than normal year to a much wetter than normal year, such as the change that occurred between the winters of 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.


As one might expect, with such an explosive claim and graphic metaphor, the media would go wild over it.  They did.  Headlines describing the civilization-testing whiplash were found in media outlets across the world, from the front page of the LA Times to CNN and even made Dan Rather's blog.  Environmental activists website covered this revelation in depth.


But I suspect most reporters did not read the paper, and as I will describe below, this work suffers from substantial problems and claims that are at the best excessive, even using the model simulations they describe.  And the results are entirely based on model results that don't seem to match well with what has happened in the real world.

The Claims

Swain et al.'s claims of a precipitation whiplash is based only on climate model output and so is only as good as the model.  Specifically, they used a 40-member collection of forecasts (an ensemble) using the Community Earth System Model (CESM). This is a global model developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. I am quite familiar with CESM and have used its output in some of my own work.  It is run at approximately 1° horizontal resolution (about 111 km) and thus is unable to simulate the details of western U.S. precipitation and weather systems.

The definition of whiplash used in this paper is a bit arcane and one-sided.
Specifically, they only considered a whiplash from dry to wet conditions.  For some reason they did not think a wet to dry whiplash was important. 

Swain and colleagues looked at the distribution of precipitation in the model during a pre-industrial period (before 1850) and found the top 20% and bottom 20% precipitation years.  With those numbers they examined CESM climate simulations, encompassing most of the 20th and 21st centuries, that was driven by an aggressive (probably too aggressive) increase of greenhouse gases (RCP 8.5 in climate modeler lingo), looking for the frequency  of changes from dry (the bottom 20% before 1850) to wet (top 20% before 1850) years.  And they did this for each ensemble member and thus were able to get the change in frequencies of this one-sided whiplash as the model simulations forced by increasing greenhouse gases.

Their results are found in the figure below for some model grid boxes in southern and northern CA (they don't really specify in the paper exactly where), showing the change in frequency of dry to wet precipitation whiplash events.  A measure of the range of climate model whiplashes are shown by the purple shading (67% of the simulations are within the shaded areas and purple line shows the ensemble mean (which has been smoothed or averaged over time)).


So, what does their analysis of the models show? 

For northern California, not much.  A decline in whiplash in the 1970s, an increase from roughly 2015 to 2025, and not much change for the next 30 years.  According to their own analysis, the changes in northern CA are NOT statistically significant.  And keep in mind that most of California's reservoir capacity is in the north.

For southern CA, there is an abrupt change from reducing whiplash to a very slow steady rise starting around 1985, with the whiplash remaining quite small until mid-century.  Considering that the envelope of uncertainty encompasses zero change until around 2050, I am sure the change would NOT be statistically significant through that time.   As shown later, this evolution in southern CA does NOT compare well with observations through 2018, where there is no trend.  And in any case, southern CA has few large reservoirs and only a small amount of California agriculture.


In general, there paper shows not much change in the number of dry years but increasing wet years for the northern two thirds of the state as we proceed into the second half of the century.

What has Actually Occurred with Precipitation Whiplashes

Here is the average wet-season (November-March) precipitation for California from 1936-2018 from the NOAA/NWS Division data available from the wonderful NOAA ESRL website.   This plot and subsequent plots were made by UW Atmospheric Sciences staff member, Neal Johnson.  Why did we start in 1936?  Because the ESRL website said there were issues before 1935.

Not much trend in CA precipitation, but plenty of ups and downs---now known as whiplash, I guess.


Anyway, since this is science, let's create a WHIPLASH INDEX (WI) that is simply difference between one year's precipitation and that of the year before (shown below).  (Note, the correct pronunciation of WI is "why").   Now this is a bit different than Swain et al. whiplash plot (they showed the frequency of increases of precipitation between very dry years (bottom 20%) and wet years (top 20%).  But my index is much easier to understand and is more informative.  And my index is based on OBSERVATIONS in the REAL WORLD unlike the model-based whiplash guidance in the Swain et al. paper.

What is clearly apparent is that it is hard to find evidence of an increase in amplitude in the whiplash index based on observations.   Now, if we look at the trend of increases in precipitation (above the dashed line)--which is very similar to Swain et al's approach-- there is no evidence of increasing dry to wet years.  In fact, there are LESS of them during the past two decades...and more in the decades before.

Or look at the wet to dry transitions---no evidence of any trend.

But let's take this one step further, Swain et al. divided their whiplashes into southern and northern California.  Let's do better than that (a UW Husky will always try to improve upon a UCLA Bruin)--- let's calculate the whiplash index for southern, central, and northern California (below).

Northern CA


Central CA
Southern CA

These results are very important--they show there is NO increase in precipitation whiplash for any sub-region of California WHEN ONE LOOKS AT WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

In contrast, the model output applied in Swain et al shows that there is an increase in whiplash events starting around 1985 in southern CA and 2005 in northern CA.  The clear conclusion is that something is amiss with the model in predicting California precipitation.   And therefore, the predictions  used in this paper are suspect.

The fact that the model is not getting the year by year variability correct for California precipitation is hardly surprising.  West Coast precipitation is modulated by El Nino/La Nina and teleconnections (remote physical connections) forced by convection in the tropics.  And such low-resolution models do a poor job on tropical convection and thus will mess up the teleconnections.  I know a lot about this because I am actively working in this area.  And there is a way to fix the problem...but it takes huge computer resources.

But even if their model output was correct, I would argue that they and certainly the media are way overhyping these results.     In fact, at face value their predictions are good news for California.  According to their results, the increase of whiplash events in northern California is slight and is not significantly significant at even the low 90% significant level (more studies use 95% significance).  And most of the reservoir capacity in California is in the northern portion of the state.

They also show that there will be an increase in winter precipitation over time across most of California.   Now California (unlike Washington) has huge multi-year storage capacity, so even if their model is right and there was more year to year variability, California would be fine....they simply will store the water from the wet years.



There are a lot of other technical issues with the paper I could bring up, but the bottom line is clear:

(1) observations over the past 80 years do not show an increase in precipitation whiplash in California even though the effects of global warming have begun.
(2)  their model results are inconsistent with observed trends
(3)  even if they are right, the implications are positive, not negative.  California will have more water over time.

Now it is true that temperatures will increase and that will cause more evaporation and drying.  Sierra snowpack will decline (but the water will still be there as rain).  So California will probably want to add more reservoir capacity and waste less water (more drip irrigation, less crazy water loving crops).  They could even push water underground during wet years.  This is a solvable problem and not a existential threat. Weather whiplash will probably be the least of their problems.

This "whiplash" frenzy in the media shows a major failure mode in our conversations about global warming.  Some researchers analyze purely model results.  They don't compare the model output with observations.  They find some modest changes in the model projections and somewhat inflate the importance in their paper.  The media and certain interest groups hype up the results with big headlines.

As a result, the public is exposed to essentially incorrect information and gets turned off by another apocalyptic prediction.  And such poor communication gets in the way of properly dealing with climate change, a serious issue, in a rational, fact-based way.

24 comments:

John K. said...

Sadly, we must learn to ignore the media. Walter Cronkite is no longer the norm. Misinformation is the norm. Just ignore it.

On another subject.. Cliff did you watch the satellite images yesterday? What was up with that strange, gyrating line of cloud that was over us most the day? It was forming and moving both east and west from the same spot. One of the strangest things I've ever watched.

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics) said...

Thank you Professor Mass. I for one appreciate the fact that you continue to take a good hard look at all the climate nonsense that is published these days and then echoed and amplified so many times in hysterical media.

Statistical studies that find slightly positive correlations in what may well be completely random data should never be published. (Completely random data are never perfectly smooth.) And studies using less than perfect models (meaning all of them) have to clearly state that the tiny effects claimed may be artifacts of the model and not real.

Such shortcomings are hardly limited to the paper you discuss or even to climate science. There is a disturbing tendency among researchers to claim significant results when all they have really identified are problems with their own techniques.

Peer-review is obviously failing big time. They should ask you to review more of these papers before they get published. Real researchers want thoughtful criticism, so they can avoid instant embarrassment. Careers may be temporarily propelled forward by uninformed media hype, but that attention quickly fades when people realize that poor quality science was involved.

Bruce Kay said...

We must learn to ignore the media? Do you have any idea of the implications to democracy of such advice?

To put this blog post in perspective one can easily see that such forecasts for increased intensity of extremes ( california or otherwise) has been not at all isolated to a few researchers and my one minute google glance shows the term "whiplash" used to describe it going back to 2013. I'm not surprised to see Cliff or any other professional take issue, as they always do, with this particular methodology or conclusion but rest assured, if you are going to "ignore the media" you are eventually going to have to ignore this media as well, and I'll tell you why.

Cliff and the other researchers can (and obviously do) argue amongst themselves with the skill required. We cannot. Cliff says their methodology stinks....... we have no reliable means to agree or disagree, we can only trust, or not, one or the other. It doesn't matter how much evidence Cliff or the other guys trots out for our viewing, in both cases the layman is not adequately cognizant of what he is not seeing, let alone the adequacy of what he does see, or the skill with which he sees it. This is the precise reason why the consensus opinion of expertise, if robust and confident enough, is the only reliable measure of judgement available to the layman . Cliff, these other guys and all their peers fight it out, using arcane shared language, method and intuitive shortcuts entirely unavailable to us. Until they form a consensus amongst themselves, as has happened for centuries and upon which all modern material success has been built, there is entirely no logical sense in the layman arriving at their own conclusions.

For a layman to blindly believe one individual researcher over the other, I'm sure Cliff will only agree especially on such a feedback less domain as climate change, is only to fall prey to the cult of personality and the persuasion of rhetoric, there being no other reliable metric available.

The "Media" are the time honoured and vitally critical interface between Cliff et al and us and remember that no matter how bad they are at their job, INFOWARS or Wattsupwiththat are a crappier replacement, and crappier still is ourselves. Don't believe one article but don't disbelieve it either. Look to see if behind it is a robust consensus of expertise. Perhaps Cliffs next climate blog can be on exactly what value to society is an expert consensus, or as the cynics like to smuggly claim, if in fact "science is not consensus".

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-midwests-weather-whiplash-threatens-groundwater/

jimijr said...

From my review of "With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points In Climate Change" By Fred Pearce on Amazon July 13, 2008.

"This brings me to my final point. Any meteorologist knows all about models. Our models are vital for our business. Note I said "models" in plural. I consult several synoptic-scale models, a few regional- or meso-scale models as well as different conceptual models every day.

One thing we all learn in this trade is not to "jump on it." If a model has something interesting on Day 6, just note it for now, there is plenty of time to wait and see if it is still there tomorrow for Day 5. When it gets to Day 3 we can start to mention it and adjust our probabilities, slowly at first, just nudge them in the right direction. The climate modelers need to learn this. Every graduate student seemingly has his own model these days and when he tweeks an interesting result, publishes. Soon it is in the news and the public is set up for another whipsaw when it turns out not to be true. This is called "yo-yoing" in our forecasts and we avoid it by being conservative."

Eric Blair said...

The underlying issue in the MSM today is their widespread ignorance about everything - they don't understand economics, they're willfully ignorant about history, they display ineptitude covering the law, and their lack of scientific understanding is breathtaking. Most of their staffs are composed of twenty - somethings that have never held jobs until their graduations from college, and the kind of educations they're receiving are often laughable.

Bruce Kay said...

Eric Blair - to be gracious and agreeable to a fault, I will for the sake of argument go along with the premise of your hyperbolic assumptions.

Fine then. The average person, of which there are many, can now no longer trust anything printed or said by the "MSM" which functionally ranges from Cliff Masses Weather blog to the New York Times.

Do you see any risk in that scenario? A risk perhaps greater than assuming, with great confidence, that your common sense generated judgement of the state of affairs in journalism is perhaps just a bit off?

John K. said...

Bruce - the point is, why give so much attention to those who are trying to fool you? That attention is exactly what they're after. You are free to choose not to do that - it's entirely optional! Many people these days seem to think they are required to absorb and react to misinformation, as though they have no choice. Do your own thinking and find a different way.

Eric - exactly correct. Ignore these people's work and maybe, if we're lucky, they will some day dry up and blow away in the wind.

Eric Blair said...

John - their imminent collapse is already well underway, as evidenced by their miniscule TV ratings and readership. I had multiple conversations back in the mid - aughts with alleged reporters who were finally being held to account for their obvious biases and ignorance. To a person, not one of them (save for Daniel Orkent, the first ombudsman appointed at the NYT) ever admitted to any errors of judgement or misrepresentation, they all blamed those darn kids on the
internet. They dug their own graves, period.

Bruce Kay said...

John K - you would have a point, a very good one, except for one thing. In order to spot "those who are trying to fool you" in a domain where the reader


LACKS THE NECESSARY SKILL TO VALIDATE WHAT IS CORRECT OR WHAT IS NOT


there is only one reliable means of judgement left, which is the opinion of trustworthy skill, most particularly a consensus of trustworthy skill.

"doing your own thinking" is only of use so long as the thinker is fully aware and willing to limit their conclusions by a solid grasp and humble acceptance of the limits of their own skill. Understanding that any layman skill is fundamentally inadequate to judge nearly anything technical and complex ( proven repeatedly and predictably by all proven measurement and understanding of human judgement) it is abundantly obvious why all our past centuries of human advancement have been predicated entirely on trust in institutional knowledge and skill, not just for any citizen but between all fields of expertise.

In short and I will repeat, if we reject as might be tempting, the entire institution of journalism and news reporting - whatever its faults something that is proven to be transparently scrutinized and answerable for error and trained and cultured in a time honoured code of ethics - the alternative is only something that lacks all of the above. In other words, infinitely worse!

This includes any individual confident of their own ability to "do their own thinking" armed only with a smorgasbord of google at their finger tips.

What I just said, which is the very problem of fake news - not that fake news exists, but that we think we can eat it like candy with no effect - is so well grounded as fact by decades of human cognitive psychological research that there is no substantial dispute about it, other than from a certain philosophy of libertarianism that is convinced with no evidence that if only we try hard, we can rationalize anything to a correct conclusion.

Eric Blair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JeffB said...

The actual Whiplash being experienced by Californians and the rest of the world is the Whiplash of fatigue from the constant jerking of real science by a cabal of politically motivated aristocrats, oligarchs, bureaucrats, academics, journalists and junk scientists all processing a constant drone of hysteria with any and all weather or climate information or event. It’s the parable of the boy who cried wolf and the public has rightly tuned out.

Jim Steele said...

Bruce that is a lot of psychobabble and blind assumptions about people's skills and beliefs.

What has been well established in the world of journalism is the paradigm: If it bleed it reads.

Thus everyone should be a skeptic and understand the media is prone to sensationalism.

Likewise scientific consensus has been proven to be unreliable on many occasions. As Dr. Iaonnidis and others have demonstrated repeatedly , many many scientific claims can not be replicated, and much of the published research gets accepted only because it fits the prevailing bias. There is a replication crisis and "scientific" claims need to be much more rigorously vetted, & the more eyes the better.

Instead of all the above psychobabble Bruce, a scientific argument requires that you to produce evidence that supports or refutes Cliff's arguments. Cliff and Swains disagreement show there is much room for debate.

I agree with Cliff that Swain has engaged in hyperbole that was promoted by the media. I agree based on evidence from my own research. In my efforts to restore a watershed in the Sierra Nevada, it was very clear from all the paleodata that California naturally goes through dramatic swings primarily due to El Nino/La Nina and the PDO and its effects on atmospheric rivers. Reconstructions of precipitation using California Blue Oaks shows Swain's so-called whiplash effect is very natural and has been ongoing for centuries without human contribution

https://goo.gl/kuW9fc

Thus I suggest Buyer beware! Much of today's journalism is sensationalism, whether supermarket tabloid or scientific journals, driven by the profit motive. In the digital age of journalism, click bait is key, and it thrives on the "if it bleeds t reads" paradigm, where the more clicks justify more advertising income. I have talked to several researchers who share the same story that their editors try to slant their research towards climate sensationalism.

So Bruce, I hope you avoid the psychobabble and try to present meaningful evidence that would help move the discussion in a more scientifically appropriate debate.

Bruce Kay said...

Jim Steele - I think if you look carefully I never suggested that no one should avoid skepticism, but only that that skepticism should be first applied to yourself, in that do you, in all humility, possess the skill to be reliably skeptical rather than merely cynical.

As an example, do you, being skilled and proven in whatever it is you do professionally, have the skill to dismiss the domain of cognitive psychology as "psycho babble" at any time, let alone this time of Cambridge Analytica or Russian Facebook bots.

For that matter, does an astro physicist, a used car dealer or a TV meteorologist possess the skill required to judge quality or validity of any research in climate. They all have their own expertise domains, some with shared skills, but is it adequate?

I think if that is too abstract, use this analogy: If ever there was a supreme court case or even a "Red Team Blue team" competition into climate change science, would you really in all honesty feel comfortable testifying as an expert witness? How about a similar enquiry into "psycho babble"? You feel confident do you?

Remember, confidence is one axis of the measure of the Dunning Kruger effect, the other being competence. Repeatedly and predictably, confidence reaches its peak when competence has only recently left the starting block.

I wouldn't be too sure, If I were you

Placeholder said...

Always fun to see Bruce Kay bring his unrelated Seattle "progressive" hobby horses into a discussion. Getting even more desperate this days? Oh, and now you're calling Prof. Mass an idiot by extension, because he doesn't bleat your cult?

Bruce, do you save your most ridiculous material for the Internet, or are you this foolish all the time?

Bruce Kay said...

hate to break this to you old fella, but actually he kinda does bleat my cult, if I get your drift right.

Which I'll be first to admit maybe i don't.

But back to the topic at hand, which is arriving at confident conclusions without a full deck....

Where exactly do you get the idea I have anything to do with Seattle?

Bruce Kay said...

OK if you don’t mind Placeholder, let’s stay on topic because it is entirely relevant to the discussion on why a reliable trustworthy institution of knowledge is so important, knowing what the alternative is.


This is highly predictable, knowing the mechanics of human cognition. You concluded, with confidence, that I was a “Seattle Progressive” not because of good reliable data ad skilled process (as Cambridge Analytica uses) but by enlisting your intuition - also known as horse sense, spidey sense, gut hunch or common sense.

In the absence of proven skill and data (both are required for reliable calculation) a human being uses almost exclusively their intuition, conscious analysis only involved peripherally to confirm the intuition ( or bias, same thing). As Simon Herbert once said, “Intuition is recognition, nothing more”. You recognized me as a "Seattle Progressive” , a stereotype stored in your mind a result of your long experience with “Seattle Progressives”.

This is what Cambridge analytics knows about you, empirically by way of their simple but smart algorithms (a computer model, if you like) and because they know you this well, they can play you like a fish, sort of like how I just have without even trying.

I live in British Columbia. Knowing this you imagine I live in Vancouver which is basically another bastion of progressivism. That is also a intuitive judgement, called the “Anchor and adjustment heuristic”. With new information you “adjust” but only a bit, anchored to the firm conviction I am a “progressive” and Vancouver is a good place for one.

Well actually I spent the past thirty years or so living in Squamish, a logging town. Recently I just moved….. to another logging town, Powell River, even further thank god from that progressive latte sucking metropolis of Vancouver.

If it makes you feel better, I have my own “stereotype” image of who you are ( overalls wearing, corncob pipe smoking, etc) which is also an experience generated intuition, not hard data.

Neither of us have a choice - our intuitions generate the stereotype, automatically, instantly and sub consciously. whatever little we rationalize, it is to confirm our intuitions already firmly held.


Here is the punchline: This is common sense applied to a common circumstance - guessing who people are by how they talk. It is in error at least half the time. That is how reliable common sense is (not very) to solve a common problem.

Now just imagine the reliability of common sense for an uncommon problem - such as brain surgery or nuclear physics, or climate science.

This is why even imperfect institutions of knowledge (including the interface disseminators of that knowledge -the MSM) are way better than the alternative.

Humanity has not gotten where we are on horse sense alone, not by a long shot. And to go back to horse sense is exactly what the Russians want us to do.

Jim Steele said...

ROTFLMAO

Bruce, ironically you exemplify the epitome of the Dunning Kruger effect. You suffer from the grand delusion you can accurately evaluate the skills of all skeptics, the arrogance to denigrate those who you are clueless about, and then imply you are a master of cognitive psychology. ROTFLMAO

Please cut the psychobabble. All that you have shown is that you can not discuss the evidence in a meaningful scientific manner

Bruce Kay said...

I imply nothing of the sort. I look to to what the expertise says, I look to see if it is well supported by a strong consensus, then I repeat it to you..... a bit like what the MSM does all the time, most of the time, with the occasional hysterical headline.

The other really wonderful thing about human psychology, specifically for the layman such as you or me, is that you and I and everyone swim in a domain that is rich rich rich in abundant, immediate, unambiguous feedback. You undoubtably know that in order to gain relevant insight and skill, your environment (your lab if your like) needs to provide feedback, the more immediate and directly relevant the better. This provides the difference, over much practice, that separates "good" intuitions from "poor" intuitions.

The other thing Herbert Simon said was "the sure sign of expertise is demonstrably reliable intuitions".

You follow me? Thats right, intuitions can be quite reliable and useful for judgement. even common sense can be, but only for domains that first provide a learning environment of rich appropriate feedback and then continue, because as we all know, learning never stops. This is how skill is efficiently acquired. You know this and you know it is relevant, because you have some sort of skill as a professional. All serious career professionals know this usually as a component of their training and certainly as an element of their code of professional ethics ( thou Shalt Not Misrepresent Thyne Expertise)

Now compare how a layman rubs shoulders with human psychology ( so much feedback you can't hope to manage it all) with a layman looking out the window at climate. Feedback? What feedback? For the most part we see weather, maybe if our memory is sparklingly brilliant, the past few seasons and seldom anything beyond our local piece of the hemisphere. Even if the layman is inclined and possessing some peripheral skill (statistics, say) the "arranging of the numbers" (to quote Mark Twain) that occurs is rewarded with....... not a hell of a lot of feedback that can be called anything but indirect and highly ambiguous.

I'm sure Cliff will agree and it is the main reason that expertise in climate science is both a very long and dedicated path and conducted with great humility, particularly in regard to forecasting the future, where the bulk of the direct and unambiguous feedbacks will be found.

Until then the Layman is like a newborn babe with climate science, no matter how old and supposedly wise as he wets his finger and sticks it out the window. Until then all we have is the humble expert and their humble consensus, which when you think about it is a collaboration of skill.


Bruce Kay said...

But to get back to your important point Jim, about how any layman / buyer can or should make an effort to "accurately evaluate the skills of all skeptics" it would help quite a bit if you for instance provided a bit more in the way of credentials other than the rather vague certification of "environmentalist" or biology teacher, or exactly how much direct experience you have with "Peer Review" beyond some basement lecture to the Life Members of some electrical Engineers society or some carefully selected dust jacket quotes.

In the absence of that, we can only use either our own inexpert intuitions and sub conscious heuristics or better yet as Daniel Kahneman pointed out, use that other axis of the Dunning Kruger effect to put what little we do know about your climate science skills in context.

And for that, there is no better tool than the visual graphing of the Dunning Kruger effect. You can play too! On the graph provided in the below link, position yourself, in all humility, where you would place yourself in terms of competence - not in "environmentalism" or instructing biology, but in terms of conducting and validating climate science. Honestly, of course.

Then take note of where, if you are a typical human being, your confidence in your judgements will be.

You have stated already (just above) that you are aware of and do believe that the Dunning Kruger effect is valid, so I would think in the public interest in establishing your public credibility, you will eagerly jump at this opportunity.



https://confrontingmediocrity.net/2013/08/31/you-probably-dont-know-what-youre-talking-about-you-only-think-you-do/



Jim Steele said...

Quit telling!

Cliff presents definitive evidence of no precipitation whiplash. I likewise produce evidence of no whiplash.

Instead of debating the evidence, the troll, aka Bruce Kay, ignores all evidence and tries to divert any scientific discussion. Instead Bruce engages in endless psychobabble ad nauseam, trying to divert a scientific evidence-based debate, into a journey down the notorious troll farm tactic by suggesting people follow him down the so-called Dunning Kruger rabbit hole.

ROTFLMAO

Bruce Kay said...

I'm not debating that at all. I think its obvious, starting with my first comment, that my criticism was the suggestion from others and you that we the laymen here - that is you, me, Eric Blair, Place slipper and the other guy - most of who suggested that the MSM and damn near every other traditional institution of knowledge be punted only to be replaced by you or some other incompetent.

Bad idea - unless you are Vladamir Putin that is - which I think I have made clear.

Either way, just for another ROTFLMAO if nothing else, answer my damn question Jim. Plot yourself as I asked on the DK graph provided.

Then we, the Layman, might get some idea if a book by you another layman, is worth 5 bucks or more.

All entirely relevant to the topic.

Placeholder said...

So Bruce Kay is a Canuckistanian. I might've guessed as much from the overweening sneering self-righteousness -- all the more delicious coming from a citizen of a country whose economy basically sits on top of mines of one kind or another. But I really hesitate before playing the C card without proof. There are insults, and then there are insults!

Placeholder said...

By the way: Anyone who dares take an honest, factual look at California's climate history, and who (unlike our Canuckistanian know-nothing) isn't captured by the "Dunning Kruger Effect," quickly sees that the state has always had a drought-drench climate cycle. It's in the record for all to see, other than a certain brand of end-of-days cultist who is threatened by reality.

This climate cycle, which existed before industrialization, is why CA needs such an extensive water system to support its population and its economy. Someone ought to fill in the Canuckistanians on the facts of life.

Bruce Kay said...

Where have i ever disputed that? The problem, that only Cliff and his professional peers can and do wrestle with is the forecast, which is a risk problem that requires some skill, if we give two hoots for our kids future that is.

By that, I mean to say you or I or Jim Steele can wrestle with it too, but that would be like watching the Powell River Mud Wrestling Champions annual farm team tryouts. Not quite Olympics material.... know what I mean?

Yes you do know exactly what I mean, exactly as Jim Steele knows what that graph means to his public image as an authority on climate, which is why he, like you, keeps trying to steer our conversation towards incompetents wrestling with other incompetents in the mud. Jim Steele brought the subject up and its a very relevant topic:

How and why any Joe citizen can and should "accurately evaluate the skills of all skeptics". Considering that skepticism is one pillar of scientific professionalism, I'm sure even Jim see's the sense in that but apparently that little gem of common sense stops as soon as the mirror reflects him.

I can place myself on the DK graph, Cliff can do it, and so can Jim Steele. It is a very good little exercise in humility if nothing else and as the actual science behind it is solid, a valuable tool to weed out the useful from the useless. Then just as a matter of peer review, our peers can double check our work for us.

You game Pace Slipper?