Heartland Documents: Whose Biases are Being Revealed Here?

I could not resist commenting on the brouhaha around the stolen Heartland Institute documents in my column at Forbes.  The key one that is the “smoking gun” now appears to be fake.  I wrote in part:

One reason I am fairly certain the document is fake is this line from the supposed skeptic strategy document:

His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.

For those of us at least somewhat inside the tent of the skeptic community, particularly the science-based ones Heartland has supported in the past, the goal of “dissuading teachers from teaching science” is a total disconnect.  I have never had any skeptic in even the most private of conversations even hint at such a goal.  The skeptic view is that science education vis a vis climate and other environmental matters tends to be shallow, or one-sided, or politicized — in other words broken in some way and needing repair.  In this way, most every prominent skeptic that works even a bit in the science/data end of things believes him or herself to be supporting, helping, and fixing science.  In fact, many skeptics believe that the continued positive reception of catastrophic global warming theory is a function of the general scientific illiteracy of Americans and points to a need for more and better science education (see here for an overview of the climate debate that does not once use the ad hominem words “myth”, “scam” or “lie”).

The only people who believe skeptics are anti-science per se, and therefore might believe skeptics would scheme to dissuade teachers from teaching science, are the more political alarmists (a good example was posted today right here at Forbes, which you might want to contrast withthis).  For years, I presume partially in an effort to avoid debate, certain alarmists have taken the ad hominem position that skeptics are anti-science.  And many probably well-meaning alarmists believe this about skeptics (since they may have not actually met any skeptics to know differently).  The person who wrote this fake memo almost had to be an alarmist, and probably was of the middling, more junior sort, the type of person who does not craft the talking points but is a recipient of them and true believer.

At the end I make a sort of bet

If the strategy memo turns out to be fake as I believe it to be, I am starting the countdown now for the Dan-Rather-esque “fake but accurate” defense of the memo — ie, “Well, sure, the actual document was faked but we all know it represents what these deniers are really thinking.”  This has become a mainstay of post-modern debate, where facts matter less than having the politically correct position.

But in the first update I note the winner may already be delcared

Is Revkin himself seeking to win my fake-but-accurate race?   When presented with the fact that he may have published a fake memo, Revkin wrote:

looking back, it could well be something that was created as a way to assemble the core points in the batch of related docs.

It sounds like he is saying that while the memo is faked, it may have been someones attempt to summarize real Heartland documents.  Fake but accurate!  By the way, I don’t think he has any basis for this supposition, as no other documents have come to light with stuff like “we need to stop teachers from teaching science.”

  • pauld

    Megan McCardle, who is not a sceptic, has a great post on why she thinks the document is a fake. Her analysis is the best I have seen and as near conclusive as one can get on these things. One additional bit of information she provides is that the Kock brother’s donations to Heartland are designated for Health Care issues, and have nothing to do with climate issues, a point that a staffer would surely know. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/02/leaked-docs-from-heartland-institute-cause-a-stir-but-is-one-a-fake/253165/

  • stan

    Warren,

    The homeless advocate was Mitch Snyder. The number he made up was 3 million. And the media used it all the time despite the obvious fraud it represented. Since Reagan was president at the time, the number of homeless was ‘obviously’ his fault. What brought the truth out was actually the silliness of the homeless advocates. They actually thought that a real count would result in an even higher number! So they decided to get a network together to count every homeless in every city on the same night. The number was so ridiculously small that they gave up, but the cat was out of the bag.

    During the height of the madness, Phil Collins came out with “Another Day in Paradise”. The music video originally claimed that the number of homeless in American was 10 million.

    When Clinton won in 1992, some wag predicted that the NY Times would cease their constant stories about the homeless. They did. When W won in 2000, he predicted that the Times would re-discover the homeless as an important story. Within days of W’s taking office, the stories started again.

  • Waldo

    Well, we won’t know for sure what how or even if this leak will have any effect, of if the “one document” is fake, but I’m sure you all see the irony and poetic justice here–sometimes fate comes back to bite denialists in the ass.

    And what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I think this says it well:

    “Known largely for its work for the tobacco industry and its annual convention of climate change doubters in Washington, Heartland has asked the media to refrain from publishing documents obtained under false pretenses and from jumping to conclusions based on material taken out of context.

    ‘Disagreement over the causes, consequences, and best policy responses to climate change runs deep. We understand that,’ Heartland said on its website. ‘But honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred in the past 24 hours. As a matter of common decency and journalistic ethics, we ask everyone in the climate change debate to sit back and think about what just happened.’

    That’s not quite how Heartland saw things in November 2009, when someone hacked the correspondence of some of the world’s leading climate scientists working with the University of East Anglia in Britain and released thousands of emails, with the intention of suggesting that researchers had massaged data to show that the planet was warming.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-climate-deniers-heartland-institute-documents-leaked-20120216,0,3932985.story

    Payback’s a bitch.

  • pauld

    Waldo:
    If one takes out the obviously fake document, the documents are ho-hum. The only persons who have been bitten on this are all the warmist who jumped to a conclusion that was consistent with their biases based on a document that upon a moments reflection could be recognized obviously faked.

  • Waldo

    This may be true, Pauld. But having read any number of climategate emails, I would say exactly the same thing about them. Please, please do not imply that somehow the denialists were the least bit rational and fair-minded about the E.Anglia emails while the warmists are “biased” and “bitten” by some pretty damning Heartland docs.

    As I posted, good for the goose, good for the gander.

  • stan

    Waldo,

    Probably the most bizarre use of false equivalence I have ever seen.

  • Waldo

    How so, Stan? And why is this particularly “bizarre”? It would seem to me that the two scenarios are pretty much exactly equivalent.

  • klem

    It does not matter really, it’s been about two days now since these documents were leaked and the ‘scandal’ is not garnering any traction with the public. The media has already dropped it. It will have zero effect.

    OTOH, the Climategate scandal was two years ago and people still blog about it.

  • Waldo

    Perhaps klem, but I linked to the L.A. Times above, and yesterday the Washington Post blogged about the Heartland leak as well as the Huffington Post, Slate, the NY Times, MSN, and The Atlantic. And this is just the first Google page. And, of course, the environmental blogs are all over it. Will this have any lasting effect? Unknown. We may be so concerned with the recession that no one will care. But don’t daydream the world the way you want it–that’s the typical denailist tract and I’m sure you would want to be fair and balanced here.

  • Lance

    Waldo,

    Inertia is not on your side.

    The public has climate fatigue due to the constant fusillade of over-hyped pseudo-scientific drivel that passes as climate science. Not to mention that no catastrophe has occurred or is imminent, or is even remotely likely to occur due to human produced CO2.

    The economic downturn has sealed the fate of climate change hystericals like yourself. Nobody cares about these scare stories of the 22nd century when they are looking for a job or about to lose their home.

    With any luck the mainstream media will realize that the shock value of climate change has passed and move on to some other bogeyman to titillate and frighten the masses.

    Climate science can return to being a mildly interesting and wholly irrelevant sub-discipline of geology with colloquium attended only by the nebbishes that were drawn to the subject by a fascination with the weather.

  • Waldo

    Now Lance, if one reads closely, I posted pretty much the same thing you did—although since neither of us have the power of divination, I think we should hold off on the future of climate science in the public eye. And one might notice that there have been some pretty big weather stories in the news lately, so I’d hold off on prognostications for the moment.

    What I find so interesting is the denialist reaction, which is essentially “Climategate is real but Denial Gate is rubbish!” So hypocritical on so many levels. Peeps utterly miss the irony.

    However, I do appreciate your rather florid writing style: “the constant fusillade of over-hyped pseudo-scientific drivel” and “colloquium attended only by the nebbishes” is pure rhetorical sweetness! Pure poetry. Sweet.

  • pauld

    Waldo says ” What I find so interesting is the denialist reaction, which is essentially “Climategate is real but Denial Gate is rubbish!”

    Yes climategate was based on emails that were acknowledged to be authentic. Numerous emails made statements that even alarmists acknowledged were at the very least highly embarassing. Denial gate involved one fake memo that has garnered the overwhelming majority of attention. Without the fake, there is nothing at all of interest. If you disagree point out anything you think remotely scandalous in the authentic documents.

  • Waldo

    There is more than simply one “fake” memo, Paul, and I’m sure you know that. The most damning PDF is possibly—-possibly—-fake, but it has not been proven that the David Wojick doc is, in fact, counterfeit…and, when one thinks about the situation, it is a little suspicious that the single most damning document is immediately labeled “fake” by the institution which allegedly produced it. Since neither of us was there, neither of us should conjecture about its status. However, we both know what Meyer’s Minions are going to believe, which is what I find so intriguing.

    Then there are the payments to Craig Idso, Fred Singer, Robert Carter, and Willie Soon. Science bought and sold. That alone is pretty scandalous, particularly given the repeated charges leveled against climate scientists regarding their own finances. Yet it does not seem to bother anyone in the deniosphere that HI is paying scientists for the very specific purpose of spreading denialism. Hypocrites!

    Actually, Denial Gate shows exactly what warmists have long suspected—big money and rich conservative elitists are the battery of the denialist movement. So I guess there really isn’t anything we didn’t already know about the Tea Party…I mean, HI…that Denial Gate didn’t just confirm.

    And none of this changes the basic inability of the deniosphere to see its own hypocrisy.

  • Lance

    Waldo,

    Meyer’s minions, really?

    Leaving aside the “fake” memo what exactly is the issue with small potato payments to a few scientists?

    Is it your contention that if Fred Singer or Craig Idso got a better deal from GreenPeace that they would sing a different tune?

    Also, I don’t recall you calling out James Hansen for all the dough he gets from left wing groups.

  • pauld

    Waldo: You are behind the curve on the status of the fake memo. Megan McCardle has done a superb job marshalling the evidence and I think has shown it to be fake beyond a reasonable doubt.
    http://theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/leaked-docs-from-heartland-institute-cause-a-stir-but-is-one-a-fake/253165/
    http://theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/heartland-memo-looking-faker-by-the-minute/253276/

    Read her two posts and if you have any reasonable doubts come back and I will be happy to discuss them. Of course, that the most “incriminating” memo is the one proben to be fake is hardly surprising. That is exactly what one would expect.

    If there is something about the remaining documents you find to be irregular, do tell. I don’ find it unusual that a think tank small pays fees to scientists who render services.

  • netdr

    I don’t think it is wrong for the heartland institute to push it’s own beliefs.

    As far as money is concerned any scientist that depends upon CAGW fears for a paycheck isn’t unbiased.

    How could he be ?

  • JP

    The Alarmists have been obessed with the PR angle of AGW from its inception. Whether we’re speaking of techincal journals, cable news, education, print media, and of course online media, the Alarmists essientially have a corner on public relations. They’ve litterally spent tens (if not hundreds) of millions over the years in order to get thier “message” out. Heck, they even have the Nobel Committee in their side. I seriously doubt that the Heartland Institute comes close to the Alarmist Borg in resources. Yet, dissent cannot be tolerated.

    For all of thier global resources, deep pockets, and the backing of almost all government institutions, most people do not believe thier spin.

  • Lance

    Waldo,

    “However, I do appreciate your rather florid writing style…”

    I didn’t think it was “overly ornate” but I should have used the plural (colloquia).

    Waldo, if I may ask, do your honestly worry that civilization faces existential problems from climate change?

  • netdr

    Waldo

    Are you the one that posted using my name ?

    It was childish !

  • Waldo

    ******”Is it your contention that if Fred Singer or Craig Idso got a better deal from GreenPeace that they would sing a different tune?”

    Probably. But I do not know them, so I cannot really conjecture.

    ******”Also, I don’t recall you calling out James Hansen for all the dough he gets from left wing groups.”

    No, but plenty of denialists—even a good many on this blog—have. Yet denialists are not the least bit concerned about Idso et al. That is why the denialists are hypocritical. See pauld’s rational above.

    ******”Waldo, if I may ask, do your honestly worry that civilization faces existential problems from climate change?”

    “Existential”? No—I tend to think of Dostoevsky, Sarte, and Camus, not Idso and Hansen.

    What I do honestly worry about is that, yes, it is very possible that our population and technology are affecting the environment—and given the history of humanity’s alteration of the planet, this is not so far fetched (unless one is a denialist more concerned that the leftist hippies might have been right [at least on this point, not LSD or free-love]).

    I personally do not know if there is such a thing as global climate change or not. I do not have the training, knowledge, or time to really study the problem. And neither do the good peeps here, including Mr. Meyer.

    My contention (and I have a fairly long if itinerant presence on this blog) is that the evaluation of the phenomenon (if it even exists) should be left to the scientists without the highly politicized amateurism of the blogosphere. The peeps here love the “think for yourself” mantra, and then will tow the Meyer Minion line repeatedly.

    ******”Are you the one that posted using my name ?”

    No. I have no idea who that was. I was out having fun this weekend anyway.

  • Waldo

    And, by the way, since we are comparing media sources, this was interesting:

    The institute singled out one of the six documents — claiming to be a summary of efforts on the issue of global warming — as a fake.

    Because Heartland was not specific about what was fake and what was real, the Associated Press attempted to verify independently key parts of separate budget and fundraising documents that were leaked. The federal consultant working on the classroom curriculum, the former TV weatherman, a Chicago elected official who campaigns against hidden local debt and two corporate donors all confirmed to the AP that the sections in the document that pertained to them were accurate. No one the AP contacted said the budget or fundraising documents mentioning them were incorrect.

    David Wojick, a federal database contractor, said in an e-mail that the document was accurate about his project to put into schools curriculum materials that promote climate skepticism.

    “My goal is to help them teach one of the greatest scientific debates in history,” Wojick said. “This means teaching both sides of the science, more science, not less.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/USCP/PNI/Nation/World/2012-02-18-PNI0218wir-think-tankPNIBrd_ST_U.htm

  • netdr

    The person who used my name and warren Meyer’s did so many months ago.

    It was pretty childish.

    I always thought it was you but who knows ?

  • netdr

    Because the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) depends on a feedback mechanism between increase in CO2 and an increase in atmospheric water – a mechanism about which there is considerable, scientifically justified doubt – it is possible that CO2 has effectively no influence on global climate.

    Since water vapor has gone down since 1950 I don’t see how this feedback thingy could possibly have worked so far.

    In an interesting admission the (British) Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit have now admitted that the climate has ceased rising for the last 15 years.

    Here I ask this. Suppose it turns out that CO2 has essentially nothing to do with the earth’s climate. How will the history of this colossal mistake be written?

  • Waldo

    Peer review, netdr. Do it. No more excuses. Prove the “thingy” wrong.

  • pauld

    Waldo:

    Compare this from a reliable source: “David Wojick, a federal database contractor, said in an e-mail that the document was accurate about his project to put into schools curriculum materials that promote climate skepticism.
    “My goal is to help them teach one of the greatest scientific debates in history,” Wojick said. “This means teaching both sides of the science, more science, not less.”

    With this from the fake memo: “His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.”

    I think both are intended to describe the same project so they each contain at least an element of truth. There does seem to be a ever so slight difference in the description. Wojick claims he wants teachers to teach “more science, not less”. The fake memo suggest that the point of the project is “dissuading teachers from teaching science.” Hmm.

    As to debates on who is being hypocritical regarding the funding of climate research, such a debate strikes me as a waste of time. Research should be judged on its merits, period. The funding source for the research by itself does not affirm or discredit the merits of research. If one is able to demonstrate that a particular research project is flawed on its merits, one might then reasonably look to the funding source as an explanation for why flawed research was done and presented to the public.

  • Waldo

    ****”Research should be judged on its merits, period.”

    Yes Paul, I agree. This is one of those things—like agreeing that no one should abuse puppies—that virtually no one argues about. But is that what Warren Meyer is doing here? Are you saying there is not character assassination and unfounded allegation here and elsewhere in the denialosphere that cloud the scientific discussion to the point that it is virtually impossible for some people to look at the climate straight? You are very quick to point out this sort of tactic in a “fake” Denialgate document, but have you ever called out those people who misunderstand or take out of context CRU emails?

    And are you really qualified to judge the science? Do you know enough?

  • netdr

    Waldo

    Logic proves it wrong. If you are incapable of logic and need a peer reviewed study you will wait forever.

    The warming of a doubling of CO2 is only 1 ° C.

    The catastrophe in CAGW depends upon water vapor increasing to amplify this puny warming by 3 to 6.

    The water vapor isn’t acting like they predicted it would and has actually went down since 1950.

    http://climate4you.com/images/NOAA%20ESRL%20AtmospericRelativeHumidity%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1948%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

    That is as simple as I can make it.

    Sorry about the lack of a peer review !

    Anyone writing a paper containing the arguments I made better have tenure or he will be unemployed.

    Do you need a peer reviewed paper to prove 2 +2 =4 ?

  • netdr

    Waldo

    Yes I do understand the science well enough to see that the “C” in CAGW is pure balderdash !

    I have taken university level physics, thermodynamics, calculus etc and have read enough of the science to see that there is o catastrophe now and there won’t be one if we fail to throw away tens of trillions of dollars.

  • Waldo

    Quit prevaricating. Put your money where your mouth is, son. Peer review your “research”(by the way, I know you won’t, and probably can’t, actually do any serious scientific work—this is just your way of rationalizing why. You know perfectly well what would happen if you submitted your “balderdash” theory to a panel of real scientists. Some people make bold statements. Some people actually back them up.)

    Ah, the deniosphere…

  • pauld

    WALDO: I am glad to read that you think research should be judged on its merits. In fact, you think “this is one of those things—like agreeing that no one should abuse puppies—that virtually no one argues about. ”

    My experience is significantly different from yours. Usually when I cite an article, one thing I can usually expect is that someone will run to Source Watch and try to make some type of connection, howevr attenuated, between the author and big oil funds.

    “Are you saying there is not character assassination and unfounded allegation here .”

    Give me an example from Warrens posts so I can understand what you are talking about.

    “You are very quick to point out this sort of tactic in a “fake” Denialgate document.”

    I do not make it my cause to correct every mistake posted on the internet. I am not aware that any of the CRU documemts were fake. If you read steve mcintyres comments on the emails you will learn that many of then are far worse when put in context. Of course I am not going to defend everything that anyone said about the emails.

    But is that what Warren Meyer is doing here? Are you saying there is not character assassination and unfounded allegation here and elsewhere in the d

  • netdr

    Waldo

    Please tell me what part of the following you dispute if anything.

    Waldo

    Logic proves it wrong. If you are incapable of logic and need a peer reviewed study you will wait forever.

    The warming of a doubling of CO2 is only 1 ° C.

    The catastrophe in CAGW depends upon water vapor increasing to amplify this puny warming by 3 to 6.

    The water vapor isn’t acting like they predicted it would and has actually went down since 1950.

    http://climate4you.com/images/NOAA%20ESRL%20AtmospericRelativeHumidity%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1948%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

    That is as simple as I can make it.

    Sorry about the lack of a peer review !

    Anyone writing a paper containing the arguments I made better have tenure or he will be unemployed.

    Do you need a peer reviewed paper to prove 2 +2 =4 ?

  • Ted Rado

    Waldo is back! Let the fun begin! Unless I get “pee-r review”, I can’t visit the men’s room!

    The CAGW argument is based mainly on computer programs, which are full of fudge factors. Thus it is legitimate to wonder how good they are, particularly as they have not tracked the actual data for a dozen years. That question would occur to anyone experienced in computer simulation. You don’t need to be a climate scientists to have that occur to you.

    As I have pointed out ad nauseaum, unless there is a viable large scale alternative to fossil fuels, there is nothing we can do about it but move north. Electricity can be generated via nuclear, but that option is coming into question. The Germans are shutting down nuclear power plants as a consequence of the Japanese disaster. They will have to build coal fired plants to replace them.

    The Europeans are beginning to realize the problems with wind/solar and have reduced their subsidies. A study in the Netherlands showed that there was no reduction in fuel consumption from use of wind energy, as the ups and downs of the power plants to keep up with the wind changes reduced efficiency, offsetting wind savings. If subsidies and free standby are removed, the alternative energy shemes collapse. The Poles have stopped importing German wind energy as the ups and downs cause chaos in their power grid.

    One MUST have a COMPLETE scheme, not just part of one. Standby power enables one to reduce thermal power demand when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining (assuming an economical standby power source can be found). That is from 10 to 30% of the time depending on location. To save more than that, energy storage is necessary so that we can overproduce and store when the wind blows/the sun shines. None of this has been worked out. In fact, all of the proposed schemes can easily be shown to be nonsense.

    Thus, we have the AGW proposals to shut down fosil fuels (at least 80% by 2050) without a proven alternative. If the guys proposing this were engineers, they would be fired immediately.

    The “peer review” thing is tainted by the fact that all the profs are corrupted by USG grants. The USG has bought into the AGW thing. What are the chances of a prof getting a grant to study the possibility that it is all bogus?

    The argument about CAGW will go on for decades. There is no way to resolve the issue without the passage of much time. The idea that in the meantime we should screw everything up by blindly accepting the 80% reduction in CO2 output is absurd.

  • John Hatchett

    Here’s an interesting link to unraveling climate change hype in Germany:http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,813814,00.html

  • Waldo to pauld

    *****”Usually when I cite an article, one thing I can usually expect is that someone will run to Source Watch and try to make some type of connection”

    This is a very good point, Paul, and simply one more reason why we—the non-scientists—really shouldn’t be gauging scientific work. Should the science stand on its own? Yes. But how do we know that the science stands on its own unless we can thoroughly understand the science? How do we know that the science is not politically motivated pseudo-science? The postings of Andrew Watts and the implications of tree ring variations, for instance, have both been pretty thoroughly examined by climate scientists—and in the one instance, the science stands up; in the other, it doesn’t. So sure, let the science stand on its own.

    And McArdle’s investigation is provocative, but is it conclusive? No. She has a lot of good circumstantial reasoning—PDF made from a scanner, poorly written, perhaps too incriminating—but is any of that a smoking gun? Absolutely not. Having worked in business I guarantee you that a great many if not most writers in the corporate world are comparatively poor wordsmiths and will write a lousy memo if given the chance. Does the fact that it was a Word doc scanned into a PDF mean it didn’t come from HI—again, who is to say it didn’t arrive as a doc attached alongside the other PDFs? Certainly not impossible; someone was dumb enough to send the other documents, why not a memo with poor and incriminating word choices? And so on. Do my conjectures prove the document legitimate? Again, of course not. Should we be dubious of the “2012 Heartland Climate Strategy” doc? Yes, absolutely. Should we be suspicious of the Heartland Institute itself? Yes, absolutely.

    But again, Paul, you’ve very definitely leaped to the Heartland’s defense, or at least been very willing to disbelieve in its mendacity. Remind me: Were you so quick in your thorough evaluation of Climategate? Were you so critical?

  • Waldo to Ted

    Hi Ted! Glad to be back. And glad your still on the ‘it’s-difficult-so-let’s-give-up’ tract. Many of our greatest discoveries and achievements were the result of people giving up when the going got tough. I look forward to more defeatism in the future!

  • Waldo to netdr

    ****”Please tell me what part of the following you dispute if anything.”

    I absolutely dispute none of it. I’m sure you’re right and I think it’s brilliant! You’ve looked at a chart and unraveled the secrets of the Earth’s climate; you are a regular Galileo. Now sally forth and publish it lest you be mistaken for someone afraid of being revealed as a pretender pretending to be something he is not.

  • pauld

    Waldo: If you can read mccardles posts and come away thinking the fake memo might be authentic, you should definately avoid anything that requires you think for yourself. Evaluating evidence would not be your strong suit. I agree you should avoid it.

    I havent leaped to any conclusions regarding fakegate or climategate.

  • Ted Rado

    Waldo:

    I love the way you feel that anyone who questions whether water can be made to spontaneously run up hill is a defeatist who is ready to give up. If screening out impossible schemes is a bad idea, why do ALL corporations have large staffs to do just that? If I (and every other engineer) can quickly calculate the size and efficiency of a hydro storage system, why in the world would you want to continue pouring money into hydro storage schemes?

    You remind me of the French generals of yesteryear who believed that attacking with great valor would conquer all. All that happened was a huge loss of life. I guess a huge loss of money with no return is just as good?

    You don’t give up when it is difficult. You give up when it is impossible. Huge difference.

  • Waldo to a self-deluding, self-congratulating pauld

    ****”you should definately avoid anything that requires you think for yourself.”

    Oh please. Paul, do you really think you’ve “thought for yourself” after swallowing whole one journalist’s conjecture? Have you really done a lot of honest scientific “evaluation” here on Mr. Meyer’s site?

    So my friend, spare us the moral outrage.

  • Waldo to Ted the Engineer

    I’d forgotten, Ted, about the exulted place of engineers. Of course, an engineer would see the energy snake-oil immediately. Wonder if there are any engineers working on wind energy right now?

    Why look, Ted! I found some engineers who might disagree with you.

    http://www.bgbinnovation.com/information/53/BGB_Engineering_Wind_Turbines.htm

    Obviously you need to explain the way the world works. Or are you going to pull a netdr on us and bravely continue to post here?

  • Ted Rado

    Waldo:

    Your link shows the wonderful engineering that goes into the design of wind turbines. I am proud of the engineers that do such sophisticated work. Howeve, it is only done because it is subsidized.

    Marvelous engineering design of wind turbines, power control, energy storage sysems, etc. does not make it practical. A few simple calcs illustrate the problem.

    If the wind blows 30% of the time, to generate all the power we need requires that the wind farm be 3.33 times as large as the final power demand, if there are no further losses. The excess (2.33 out of the 3.33) must be stored. Max efficiency of large water pumps is 90% at optimal load. Water turbine max efficiency is 95%. Thus the pumping and recovery of energy has a mechanical efficiency of 85.5%. Then there is the pressure drop in the pipelines to and from hydro storage. This depends on the length and size of the pipelines. The overall efficiency (hydraulic) of the storage system will be somewhere south of 70%. There are also transformers before and after the windmills, pumps, and turbines, which each have an efficiency of 98% plus. The electric motors and generators also have an inefficiency.

    The net result is that the wind farm capacity must be about five times the final power load to allow for inefficiency and no wind. Also, over a third of the energy going through storage is lost. The total electrical equipment (wind farm, pumps, generators) is about ten times the final power demand. In other words, ten times as much electrical gear is needed as the power plant it replaces. Bear in mind that we now have about 1000 5MW wind turbines vs one 1000MW power plant turbine, with attendent huge cost, plus all the storage gear. Huge lakes must be built in the mountains for storage. I have not presented the water flow calcs and lake volumes, but they are huge.

    Since the Rocky Mountains are near the great plains where the wind blows the most, we are ideally suited to a hydro storage scheme. The problem is that the cost would be astronomical (see above).

    Similar calcs can be made for ethanol, comressed air energy storage, etc. ALL the schemes suggested are monumentally impractical. If you don’t like my calcs, run your own or ask another engineer.

    Waldo, a pretty picture of the innards of a wind turbine does NOT demonstrate the feasibilty of wind energy on a large scale. The reason it is going forward at all is subsidies plus “free” standby for the small amount of power produced. If dedicated standby becomes needed and/or subsidies are stopped, the whole idea collapses. If large scale wind power is attempted, we run into the problems explained above.

    You might want to read up on what is going on in Europe with wind power. They are beginning to recognize the economic and engineering problems thay have got themselveds into.

    I’m glad you are enjoying looking at pictures of turbines. It’s more enlightening than whatever else you do.

  • pauld

    Waldo: After reading your comments here the best explanation for them is you are not very bright or perhaps not honest about actually reading the evidence. A reasonably bright person who examined the evidence would not continue to defend the fake memo.

    I find it curious that you think have I exhibited moral outrage. I have thought my posts have been ather matter of fact.

  • pauld

    Waldo: The only conjecture regarding the fake memo has been who wrote it with many speculating that is was Peter Glieck. See for exaple the posts and comments on http://rankexploits.com/musings/ which identified Gleick as a likely suspect last week. Now we have the confession that he was the source of the stolen documents, but not of the fake memo that came to him from sources other than Heartland. The most charitable reading of the evidence now is that the fake memo has an unknown provenance. Waldo, do you still want to defend its authentcity?

  • pauld

    Climateaudit.org has a lengthy discussion of the fake heartland memo that is worth reading in its entirety. He deals summarily with those auch Waldo who are attempting to assert a false equivalency between fakegate and climategate:

    ”However, the fact that the most damaging Heartland quotes were fabricated and contained only in the fake memo inevitably limits the parallels and raises a host of legal issues that did not arise in Climategate.

  • Waldo to still-deluded pauld

    I’m glad to see, Paul, that you have done more “thinking for yourself” by agreeing with anyone who is convinced the said memo is a fake. Way to be an independent thinker. (Lance, does this answer your query about why I called the posters here “Meyers Minions”?)

    I am also glad that you have not leaped to any conclusions.

    And you know I am not “defending” anything, simply being cautious in my estimation. Now, if I say, ‘I’m only waiting to make sure it’s a fake,’ I realize that you think this means I am defending it because you have already made up your mind and so you only see one possibility.

    What you want to do is argue a strawman—in the end I suspect the memo is a fake; I am simply waiting to see if this is the case and am not necessarily convinced by mere circumstantial evidence.

  • pauld

    Waldo says to netdr: “Now sally forth and publish it lest you be mistaken for someone afraid of being revealed as a pretender pretending to be something he is not.”

    The challenge to publish in peer-review literature is tiresome. Nothing that Netdr has said constitutes new research and therfefore would not be accepted for publication in the vast majority of science journals.

    Netdr makes the following assertions:

    1) “The warming of a doubling of CO2 is only 1 ° C.”

    This assertion is not controversial. The IPCC has repeatedly affirmed this observation.

    2) “The catastrophe in CAGW depends upon water vapor increasing to amplify this puny warming by 3 to 6.”

    This assertion is perhaps an oversimplification, but it is essentially correct and again nothing that would warrant publication in a science journal. Science journals do not publish what amounts to common knowledge and it is common knowledge that the alarming predictions of climate models depend on a strongly positive water vapor feedback.

    3) The water vapor isn’t acting like they predicted it would and has actually went down since 1950.

    This assertion is likely controversial within the climate community. Most climate scientists think that there are good reasons to hypothesize that increasing temperatures will increase water vapor, but there are also good reasons to doubt this and little empirical evidence that would confirm or disconfirm the hypothesis. see article cited by Netdr, as well as the articles discussed by Roger Pielke, Sr. here: http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/new-paper-that-further-documents-a-muted-atmospheric-water-vapor-trend-surface-water-vapor-pressure-and-temperature-trends-in-north-america-during-1948-2010-by-isaac-and-van-wijngaarden-2012/

    Positive “Water Vapor” feedback is a key “assumption” incorporated in all the climate models and is an area that cries out for more research. Right now it is nothing more than an hypothesis that has not been confirmed by empirical evidence. Any new research in this area would likely be published, but that is not what Netdr is offering.

    The basic points that Netdr have been made by prominent climate scientists such as Dr. Richard Lindzen and Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr. . The arguments are well understood in the climate science community. Netdr’s points are reasonable, but they are not new or noteworthy and therefore no climate journal is likely to publish a paper by a layman on these topics.

  • Waldo to Ted the Engineer

    Ted, why are you telling me all this stuff? Go tell the other engineers working on wind energy.

  • Waldo to Ted the Engineer

    *****”The challenge to publish in peer-review literature is tiresome.”

    Yes, it is tiresome. It is also daunting. And it is also a way to test one’s theories. It is also scary for those who would rather retreat to the denialosphere rather than have their ideas vetted by the people who actually know. I suspect netdr and Ted have a pretty good idea what would happen to them if they took their ideas outside Meyerspace; that is why they stay here. And, of course, surprise! again we have Lindzen and Pielke. Do they disagree with any other prominent scientists? How does the “layman” know who to believe here if he isn’t up to the standard of actually doing the research?

  • pauld

    Waldo: What I am not willing to do is concede that the proposition that “the Memo is authentic” is one that reasonable people can affirm based on evidence.

    I would feel confident I could present the case to an impartial jury and persuade them to reach a unanimous agreement that the memo was fake beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the most demanding standard of proof required by our legal system. I am not jumping to any conclusions.

    You can pretend to be “open minded” on the issue. In reality, the old adage “open mind, empty mind” applies to your position on the fake Heartland memo.

    The interesting question at this point is whether Peter Glieck created the fake document. At this point I would say that the weight of the evidence points in that direction, but I would not say that his authorship has been established beyond a reasonable doubt. In the next few weeks, I think evidence will be developed that will prove to be decisive in one direction or the other.

  • pauld

    “How does the “layman” know who to believe here if he isn’t up to the standard of actually doing the research?”

    The answer is self-evident. A layman isn’t willing to do the research is in no position to form a judgment regarding disputes between experts.