Thursday, March 25, 2010

...AND Climate Change

With climate change hysteria unwinding, you would think there would be a memo to physical scientists to cut the crap. But alas, it appears funding trumps common sense and nearly every study concludes that "XXXX AND CLIMATE CHANGE are responsible for YYYYYYYY."

Take this sub-headline from

Climate change and damming the Nile threaten Egypt's agricultural oasis.

Hmmmm. Didn't I read a scientific study about a year ago that the Aswan High Dam and reservoir were rapidly filling up with sediment? I did.

The reduction of silt is causing serious downstream erosion (lack of seasonal deposition) and massive changes in the sediment chemistry. The dam is preventing the annual deposition of 12 million tons of silt on land.

NOTE TO HEADLINE WRITING GUY AT SCIENCE.COM - 12 million tons is a really big number. Forty years of that really big number has an incredible impact. No qualitative climate changey science needed.

So why add ...and climate change... to every science article? Easy. It's about funding. I am reminded of a famous (infamous) Mississippi lawyer who claims, "have a wreck, get a check!" For disaster chasing scientists its, "have a climate change, get a check!"

John Bohannon's article about the sinking delta also proves one of my favorite maxims about modern science philosophy. I call it the Allen Irwin Blind Spot Trap. To quote myself...

When we scientists observe and report something for the first time, like the ozone hole, there is a natural tendency to believe it must not have existed for long before we observed it. The other problem is that we are developing the ability to observe things at an amazing rate. Therefore we end up with some really good data over a very short periods of time...the Blind Spot.

The last part. Any good scientific study must have a disaster at the end. Just as Irwin Allen brought us Earthquake, the Towering Inferno - scientists seem compelled to run models that predict disaster. Otherwise, who would read that drudge.

Bohannon hauls out the old bogey-man global warming...

The dam, however, now blocks the sediments far upstream of Cairo. As a result, the delta is sinking. At the same time, the Mediterranean Sea is expected to rise as a result of global warming.

...when the simple answer is staring at him like the GEICO googly eyed money thing.

A quick review of some recent stories at found several other references:

Food Security: The Challenge of Feeding 9 Billion People: Lots of people, overfishing, AND GLOBAL WARMING.

Radically Rethinking Agriculture for the 21st Century: Loss of arable land and increasing development of farming systems that use saline water and integrate nutrient flows, bla bla bla, AND GLOBAL WARMING!!!

The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change: Talking about global warming PROVES global warming is real.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the old Oolitic Silurian period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their sidewalks and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. ---Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi.