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Author Topic: What does Iain Stewart's "CO2 experiment" Demonstrate  (Read 17565 times)

Pete Ridley

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I am bringing this question over from my "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? post (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38675.new#new) in order to minimise clutter from that much more important issue, which remains there unanswered by The Naked Scientists.

The BBC’s BBC science presenter Iain Stewart offered an experiment (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeYfl45X1wo) attempting to show us that CO2 traps a lot of IR energy. I do not challenge the fact that CO2 absorbs rather a small part of the IR band compared with the other greenhouse gases, particularly H2O but I puzzled over the manner in which Stewart chose to demonstrate it.

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermographic_camera ) advises that the colour picture from an infrared camera is not true but pseudo colour, where the colours represent intensity. So, when Stewart shows us that candle turning more and more blue my question was what is he really demonstrating. Is he simply verifying that the candle gets colder and colder as the CO2 that he is pouring into the tube replaces the O2 upon which the candle depends to keep burning brightly (highest intensity). My argument was that, as most of us would expect, the O2 in the tube is depleted and the candle glows less and less brightly (getting cooler) until it goes out. Stewart’s presentation was cut short to ensure that we didn’t see it go out. Well, that was my theory and I wondered what would be seen if the experiment was repeated but using N2 instead of CO2.

The answer given by BenV, as a member of that “ .. media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University .. ” is, in my lay opinion, misleading in some important aspects but it did make me look more closely at the details of the experiment. First, I now have no disagreement with Ben that I was “ .. wrong about replicating the experiment with nitrogen .. I doubt there would be any colour change .. ”. I also agree that  “ .. It being a false colour image is irrelevant unless someone is changing the colours throughout the experiment, or is set up to give automatically changing contrast.  It may make a small change look large, or vice versa - we can't know without the details .. ”.

What is important is how those false images are interpreted and if we try hard enough even lay people like me can, witht the help of Google, find out those details that Ben appeared not to know about. (Here’s a hint “I built the apparatus for the program”. I leave that as an exercise for Ben and others but if you can’t manage to track it down by tomorrow I can give you the URL, as well as one much closer to home.)

Ben was wrong to assume that I envisaged  “ .. the candle inside the tube .. ” because it was quite clearly placed outside, albeit very close to what I mistook for an open end of it. If you look carefully at both 6s and 1m 1s into the demonstration the end next to the camera is clearly sealed by a very thin sheet of plastic (cling-film perhaps). Moving on to 20s it is unclear whether the other end is sealed or not, however, if you look closely at 1m 3s it appears from the distorted view that the end where the candle is held is also sealed and the pressure inside the tube is causing the thin plastic seal to bulge. My original impression that the candle was “ .. exposed to the CO2 he's releasing .. ” was clearly mistaken. Like Ben “ .. I don't know where the air is venting out .. ” either.  

Iain Stewart is indeed “.. showing radiation from a candle traveling through a sealed and separated tube of CO2 .. ” but he claims from 50s – 1m 8s that “ .. What is happening is that the carbon dioxide in the tube is effectively trapping the heat. The candle’s warmth no longer reaches the camera. Instead it is absorbed by the carbon dioxide inside the tube .. ”. This is misleading and he should have made absolutely clear that it is only a small proportion of the IR energy from the candle that is absorbed by the CO2. I’m not nit-picking here because it is the extent and impact of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere (from whatever cause) that is debated so vigorously between deniers and disciples of the CACC doctrine.

As Ben said “ .. there's every chance that this still doesn't really show us anything useful .. ” but he demonstrated my point perfectly with his “ .. but it does seem to be a good demonstration of CO2 being opaque to IR radiation .. ”. Stewart claims in his introduction before describing his apparatus “I can show you how carbon dioxide affects the earth’s climate using this .. ”. His experiment does nothing to show what he claims that it does, because CO2 is only opaque to a small portion of the IR band, as clearly shown in “Absorption Spectra .. ” (http://www.iitap.iastate.edu/gccourse/forcing/images/image7.gif). Stewart’s set-up and explanation of what is happening gives the false impression that a significant amount of IR from the candle is absorbed. This is not the case and the pretty pictures of the sky from 1m 10s onwards do nothing to improve the credibility of his original claim.

The point that I am really making behind this question and my  other about “Another Hockey Stick Illusion?” is that The Naked Scientists and others who use the media in order to present their own interpretation of the science to a lay audience can give the unwary a totally incorrect understanding, whether deliberately or accidentally, of how Mother Nature controls the different global climates.

There are those who support the view which Professor Steven Schneider expressed in 1989 about the manner in which climate science should be presented. He said "To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest" (http://www.john-daly.com/schneidr.htm). My interpretation of that statement is that it is up to each of us to decide whether to lie or not. This is expected of politicians and those who earn their living through the media but not of those in a position of trust like physicians and researchers.

As for Ben’s QUOTE: .. I don't think you should worry about bias at the BBC, it's a huge organisation and not everyone involved cares about pensions .. UNQUOTE – perhaps not everyone but I suspect that the vast majority do indeed care as much as a senior manager with whom I recently discussed this. I suspect that Ben hasen’t looked at the amount the BBC Pension Fund has invested in renewable. Although The Naked Scientists and similar teams may not have QUOTE: .. had any editorial instruction from above, .. UNQUOTE I, being a sceptic, suspect that this is probably due to the fact that nothing that they have produced to date conflicts with the BBC’s objectives.

Best regards, Pete Ridley

peppercorn

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What does Iain Stewart's "CO2 experiment" Demonstrate
« Reply #1 on: 15/04/2011 16:32:52 »
I am bringing this question over from my "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? post (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38675.new#new) in order to minimise clutter from that much more important issue, which remains there unanswered by The Naked Scientists.

Why do you think you should 'bring it over'?
Unless it's a completely separate question (which it appears not to be) it should stay in the original thread.  Reiterating is not likely to get an answer any quicker & flies in the face of the site's AUP.
I think you can expect to find the two merged quite quickly unless you can justify your need to start a new thread on the same subject.

Bored chemist

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« Reply #2 on: 15/04/2011 17:03:12 »
" Is he simply verifying that the candle gets colder and colder as the CO2 that he is pouring into the tube replaces the O2 upon which the candle depends to keep burning brightly (highest intensity). My argument was that, as most of us would expect, the O2 in the tube is depleted and the candle glows less and less brightly (getting cooler) until it goes out. Stewart’s presentation was cut short to ensure that we didn’t see it go out. Well, that was my theory and I wondered what would be seen if the experiment was repeated but using N2 instead of CO2."

Since the candle is not in the tube, but in that air outside it you have completely missed the point of the experiment.

rosy

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« Reply #3 on: 15/04/2011 17:04:31 »
Firstly, if you're going to quote other people's posts it would be good if you could do so using the quote tags, it would make your giant blocks of text much easier to read.   

Secondly... the set up of the experiment (well, demonstration) you link to seems to me to be sufficiently obvious that I'm astonished that someone who claims to have been taking an interest in this subject for an extended period should have made a public post (especially to a forum on which you had not previously been active) without even having noticed that the candle was still alight in the presenter's hand as the image on the thermal imaging camera went from white to blue. It doesn't make me inclined to take you seriously.   

A lot of energy reaches the earth from the sun. Much of it is re-radiated into space. Some of it isn't, because once it's been absorbed and re-radiated by the earth's surface it's absorbed by the atmosphere. That's the "greenhouse effect" and the earth is only habitable because it.. otherwise it would be far too cold here for human habitation. The existence of the greenhouse effect is simply not subject to debate by any serious scientists I've ever heard of (want to cite any?)

So far as I can see, this experiment is intended, simply and solely, to illustrate how the greenhouse effect works. Infra-red radiation is absorbed by CO2. So far, so uncontroversial.   It uses a (false-colour) thermal imaging camera... well, er, yes. You can't see IR with a standard camera. I would have thought that thermal imaging technology was well understood by most "lay" TV viewers, after all they are extensively used by (for example) nature documentaries, we all know what they are and (roughly) how they work, don't we? Or do you not? Do I overestimate the tech-savviness of the average TV viewer, or are you being disingenuous? It's hard to tell.  The camera is set up to illustrate the effect, of course it looks at a wavelength range where this is pronounced. You know that CO2 doesn't absorb significantly in the visible range, right? So clearly there's a band at which the absorption happens, and a range of wavelengths at which it doesn't (if all the radiation reaching the earth from the sun were absorbed we'd be in real trouble...).

There are perhaps still open questions about global warming/climate change, and about how much of it is anthropogenic, although the weight of opinion amongst those who actually research the subject is not encouraging to those hoping it's all going to turn out to be a false alarm. I certainly am not an expert (tho' I think the potential harm of carrying on as if nothing were wrong is much, much worse than the potential harm of acting to mitigate what might if we're really lucky turn out to be a nonexistent problem). But your thrashing about in response to this video makes you look like a zealot and damages what appears to be your cause, certainly in my eyes and I suspect in those of undecided observers.

BenV

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What does Iain Stewart's "CO2 experiment" Demonstrate
« Reply #4 on: 15/04/2011 17:38:13 »
The Naked Scientists also rarely give a personal opinion on anything - we report on published papers and interview scientists about their work, be it climate science, medicine etc. We don't have any agenda to push.

imatfaal

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« Reply #5 on: 15/04/2011 17:56:52 »
Just to set the thread straight; Iain Stewart is a Professor of Geosciences Communication at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science of the University of Plymouth.  Whilst he might present TV programmes, to miss out his academic credentials and describe him as a TV presenter might give the wrong idea.

Pete Ridley

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« Reply #6 on: 15/04/2011 20:23:04 »
Thanks to all of you for responding.

Hi peppercorn, if you’d bothered to look at my "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? post you’d have seen straight away that “ .. it's a completely separate question .. “ and the other is much more important.

Hi Bored chemist, if you had read my sixth paragraph you’d have seen that I acknowledge QUOTE: My original impression that the candle was “ .. exposed to the CO2 he's releasing .. ” was clearly mistaken UNQUOTE. That would have saved you the trouble of responding.

Hi rosy, I prepare comments using Word so if you can advise me how I embed quotes from here into my word document so that when I copy it all into these blog pages they appear in the way you’d like than I’ll try to accommodate you. It appears from your comment that you haven’t bothered to read mine very carefully so I won’t bother responding yours further, especially as there is nothing noteworthy in it.

If you’d like to make a useful contribution to the debate about CACC then please have a read of the comments on my "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? post. The question there will stretch you I’m sure.

Hi imatfaal, thanks for setting the thread sraight about Professor Iain Stewart. Now, if you can set the "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? thread straight about the relevance of kinetic v collision diameter when considering the movement of gas molecules in compressed firn that would be a worthwhile contribution. I look forward to reading your comments over there.

Hi BenV, that’s an interesting comment of yours because that isn’t the impression I had from a set of comments you made a couple of years ago. I thought that I’d give you and the other Naked Scientists a little time to do that search for the details behind Professor Iain Stewart’s demonstration set-up but as you haven’t responded I have to assume that you failed again. If you had remembered those exchanges two years ago you would have been able to provide those details straight away. Try Googling “I built the apparatus for the program so let me share what I learnt about this experiment” and it should take you to “THE CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE” and Dr Jonathan Hare, The University of Sussex, Brighton detailing the experiment (http://www.creative-science.org.uk/hollywood15.html).

Even closer to home, you would also have been taken to Page 12 of the question “Why do we blame carbon dioxide for global warming?” (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=22612.55;wap2) asked of The Naked Scientists by Henry Pool in April 2009.

If you spend time looking at the responses you will see evidence of the same kind of misleading information being offered by Naked Scientists to Henry Pool as you offered me. For example, on Page 2 there is one Ophiolite saying emphatically on 27/04/2009 @ 21:20:01 (and repeating the same message later) “ .. Guess what, you have it half right. The incoming radiation, principally short wave (to which CO2 is transparent) but the outgoing radiation transmitted from the surface in long wave (i.e. infra-red) is absorbed by the CO2. Let me repeat that, so that you are clear. The incoming radiation that heats the Earth's surface is of a frequency that readily passes through carbon dioxide. The outgoing radiation, of longer wavelength, is trapped by carbon dioxide (and water vapour, and methane) for precisely the reason you have stated. .. ”.

Henry Pool made some good points when responding to those who were trying to concert him to the CACC religion without providing him any evidence that it has a sound scientific basis. You were among those Ben, e.g. from Page 4 to Page 7) and I am not surprised that Henry started getting somewhat irritated by the dogma (see Page 9, 29/04/2009 @ 21:26:10).

But guess what happened on Page 12 – We have Karsten advising “I tried something rather simple. I went to Google and typed in "CO2 Absorb Infrared". I found an interesting article in the image search (http://www.creative-science.org.uk/hollywood15.html). This guy shows experimentally that CO2 absorbs infrared”. Well, what a coincidence, but Ben, it would seem that by that stage in the exchanges you were guilty of what you accused sgweightloss of in your comment on Page 14 “ .. I don't think you've read any of this thread! .. ”. If you had you would not have needed me to now point out to you that The Naked Scientists had already been made aware of the details you claimed ignorance of when responding to my question about Professor Stewart’s experiment.

Going back to Karsten’s comment linking to those details, the next sentence from someone who had been pontificating at poor old Henry says much more than Karsten intended “Absorption is the OPPOSITE of reflection, just to clarify”. I think that the next sentence would have been more accurate if it had said “At this point I really don't know what I’m talking about”.

I see that friend Madidus_Scientia was involved in those exchanges (see Page 16 onwards) but didn’t make much of a contribution to answering the specific question asked of “Why do we blame carbon dioxide for global warming?”. What’s new pussycat.

I love the final statement on Page 21 “It'd be good if we could agree to just run one thread & stop all this duplicity!” I certainly agree with the duplicity bit, although I suspect that it wasn’t intended they way it comes across.

Best regards, Pete Ridley
« Last Edit: 15/04/2011 20:26:49 by Pete Ridley »

BenV

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« Reply #7 on: 15/04/2011 21:45:47 »
My apologies for not recalling the details of a two year old discussion.

I thought that I’d give you and the other Naked Scientists a little time to do that search for the details behind Professor Iain Stewart’s demonstration set-up but as you haven’t responded I have to assume that you failed again.

I'll be honest, I haven't tried as I haven't had time - I gave you a perfectly good response in the other thread based on simply watching the video and making initial comments.  I don't see this as a failure, more a prioritisation.

If you spend time looking at the responses you will see evidence of the same kind of misleading information being offered by Naked Scientists to Henry Pool as you offered me.

I haven't offered you any misleasing information.

Quote
For example, on Page 2 there is one Ophiolite...

Ophiolite is not a member of Naked Scientists staff, but a contributor to the forum.

Quote
Well, what a coincidence, but Ben, it would seem that by that stage in the exchanges you were guilty of what you accused sgweightloss of in your comment on Page 14 “ .. I don't think you've read any of this thread! .. ”. If you had you would not have needed me to now point out to you that The Naked Scientists had already been made aware of the details you claimed ignorance of when responding to my question about Professor Stewart’s experiment.

Again, I apologise for forgetting one of the many thousands of threads I have read or participated in here over the last few years.

You are correct in assuming that I have not looked into the details of the BBC pension scheme, but I would point out that investment in renewable energy sources does not neccessarily suggest an investment in anthropogenic climate change. Non-renewable energy sources are just that - non-renewable.  We would be fool not to invest in energy sources that we may one day need to rely upon, regardless of any climatic influence, would we not?

As in the other thread, I question your methods and motivations.  Please cut down on the personal attacks towards any member of this forum, Naked Scientist or otherwise.

Now, what else was it you wanted to ask about Ian's television demonstration?
« Last Edit: 15/04/2011 22:02:28 by BenV »

Bored chemist

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« Reply #8 on: 16/04/2011 13:18:07 »
Pete,
If you hadn't written it, that too would have saved me the trouble of responding.
The fact is that this site attracts a lot of nonsensical posts. I generally scan through them until I find the first major failure to tally with the real world.
I point out that error (and possibly a few others) and leave  it for the OP to sort out.

Anyway, I think the point you are trying to make is summed up  when you say
"This is misleading and he should have made absolutely clear that it is only a small proportion of the IR energy from the candle that is absorbed by the CO2. "
Actually, quite a lot of the energy radiated from a candle is emitted by the hot CO2 produced by the flame and this is resonantly absorbed by the CO2 in the tube.
Also, even a small change in an small absorption can have a big effect because there's a lot of IR involved.

So the answer to the question you pose in the title of this thread is that it demonstrates that CO2 absorbs (at least some) IR very well indeed.


Pete Ridley

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« Reply #9 on: 16/04/2011 16:44:45 »
Hi BenV, I apologise for showing my irritation that I cannot get a straight answer from people who claim a level of competence in the relevant topic. When I first started blogging about climate change several years ago I was astounded by the level of insults being exchanged between deniers and disciples/believers of the CACC doctrine. Unfortunately most of us fall into the trap of being uncivil at times and I’m no exception (but I can fall back on the excuse of befuddled old age). I have a habit of telling it the way I see it, which does rub some people up the wrong way, however, I can take it as well as give it.

I had originally asked this trivial question about Professor Stewart’s demonstration in order to highlight what I see as The Naked Scientists pretence at communicating science about climate change to the general public in a competent manner. Please note that I am talking only about climate science.

You made several comments on my "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? post (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38675.new#new) in response to this trivial question about Professor Stewart’s demonstration which I’d like to follow up on so I’ll repeat them here for completeness as and when the time arises.

My opening question on The Naked Scientists blog regarding the validity of attempts to reconstruct past atmospheric CO2 content from air “trapped” in ice is a fundamental one for climate science and should have been resolved almost two decades ago after being raised by Professor Zbiniew Jaworowski. I have had responses to that fundamental question here from BenV, Wiybit, CliffordK and Madidus_Scientia,

I only recognise one of those, yourself, as being one of The Naked Scientists, who claim to be “ .. a media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University .. ” (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/about-us/). Your latest response to that fundamental climate science question was
Quote
BenV 15/04/2011 22:32:12: .. I appreciate that you may have not received an adequate answer to a question you have put to many scientists, and am pleased and honoured that you would come here to discuss it.  I'm also very sorry if no-one here can answer the question to your satisfaction either.  Perhaps if you were to email it in to the show we would have an opportunity to put it to an expert in our next climate themed show?
From that response I have to make the assumption at this stage that no Naked Scientist can answer this fundamental question, which to me reflects on not only the competence of The Naked Scientists as far as climate science is concerned. It could be interpreted as bringing into question the quality of climate science offered by Cambridge University, which as you should know is very much involved in the subject in close association with the IPCC.

The answers given to my trivial question here raises similar important questions about competence and I will make some time to detail what I mean, but I ask you to be patient, because for me at the moment the most important question is "Another Hockey Stick Illusion?".

Hi Bored Chemist, you have picked up on the important point in my question but you choose to ignore what Professor Stewart claimed that the demonstration was intended to show. His opening claim was misleading and I, being a sceptic who rejects Schneider’s opinion about the manner in which climate science should be presented (see my comment of 15/04/2011 @ 15:15:56) believe it was not an oversight. In my opinion the demonstration set-up was specifically designed to emphasise the extent of absorption by CO2 but no mention was made by Stewart of that extra IR filter placed in front of the camera.

As the designer of the set up Dr Jonathan Hare said
Quote
.. You would think .. that when you view the candle through the tube using the camera, and you introduce CO2 the bright flame would 'disappear' due to the IR absorption. However, when you try this it doesn't work, the candle doesn't disappear!

The reason is that the CO2 absorptions observable by the IR camera are quite weak and are only in a relatively small part of the spectrum. The only way to get the demonstration to work is to have a 'CO2 filter' on the camera. This only lets through IR at around 4 µm, close to one of the CO2 absorption's (which are broadened a bit at atmospheric pressure). The filter blocks out much of the IR energy so that the CO2 absorption is not so swamped anymore and this allows us to now observe our vanishing candle effect. ..

I suspect that Schneider would have argued that it was necessary for Stewart to hide that fact from the lay audience because it would improve any scare-value of the presentation.

Best regards, Pete Ridley

« Last Edit: 16/04/2011 17:12:14 by Pete Ridley »

BenV

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« Reply #10 on: 17/04/2011 01:08:18 »

I had originally asked this trivial question about Professor Stewart’s demonstration in order to highlight what I see as The Naked Scientists pretence at communicating science about climate change to the general public in a competent manner. Please note that I am talking only about climate science.

You made several comments on my "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? post (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38675.new#new) in response to this trivial question about Professor Stewart’s demonstration which I’d like to follow up on so I’ll repeat them here for completeness as and when the time arises.

You have stated the vast majority of them above, why repeat them?

Quote
My opening question on The Naked Scientists blog regarding the validity of attempts to reconstruct past atmospheric CO2 content from air “trapped” in ice is a fundamental one for climate science and should have been resolved almost two decades ago after being raised by Professor Zbiniew Jaworowski. I have had responses to that fundamental question here from BenV, Wiybit, CliffordK and Madidus_Scientia,

I only recognise one of those, yourself, as being one of The Naked Scientists, who claim to be “ .. a media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University .. ” (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/about-us/). Your latest response to that fundamental climate science question was
Quote
BenV 15/04/2011 22:32:12: .. I appreciate that you may have not received an adequate answer to a question you have put to many scientists, and am pleased and honoured that you would come here to discuss it.  I'm also very sorry if no-one here can answer the question to your satisfaction either.  Perhaps if you were to email it in to the show we would have an opportunity to put it to an expert in our next climate themed show?
From that response I have to make the assumption at this stage that no Naked Scientist can answer this fundamental question, which to me reflects on not only the competence of The Naked Scientists as far as climate science is concerned. It could be interpreted as bringing into question the quality of climate science offered by Cambridge University, which as you should know is very much involved in the subject in close association with the IPCC.
Firstly, I didn't actually make any comment on that question, except to declare my lack of expertise in the area. As far as I'm aware, I am the only member of Naked scientists staff to have looked at the question to date.

Secondly, to assume that a small group based at the university represents the sum of knowledge in the entire institution is illogical and a rather extreme jump. As I have mentioned, we may be able do put this question to someone more qualified in the next relevant show.
« Last Edit: 17/04/2011 01:10:33 by BenV »

Bored chemist

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« Reply #11 on: 21/04/2011 18:03:23 »
Pete,
Did you really put all that effort into complaining that a show used some showmanship?


TV science isn't real science- its dummed down for an audience who are not experts in the field.

Pete Ridley

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« Reply #12 on: 22/04/2011 10:52:13 »
Hi Bored chemist your comment (21st April @ 19:03:23) leads very nicely into the point that I was intending to focus on after I had elicited an answer to the first question that I put to The Naked Scientists,  "Another Hockey Stick Illusion?" (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38675.50). As far as I can tell none of the scientists identified on the “Who are we?” page (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/about-us/who-are-we/ ) have made any attempt to answer my question.

You put in a brief appearance there (16th April Page 2) to discus why part of an ice berg sticks out of the water but offered nothing else. If you are a qualified chemist I am surprised that you have had nothing scientific to contribute to the question of how the individual molecules of the different atmospheric gases react within nanoporous media like firn. My question specifically relates to size-dependent fractionation in deep firn but other air fractionation processes take place, right from the beginning of the process of ice-sheet development, i.e. formation of snow.  Which particular aspect of chemistry do you specialise in, or is that asking for too much information? (I see that you are reluctant to disclose much about yourself http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=5729).

As a source of scientific information for the general public across a wide range of subjects, including climate change, TNS has established quite a reputation, enhanced not a little by its association with Cambridge University. The question that CACC sceptics like me always ask is how dependable is that information? I came to TNS blog with high hopes of getting an answer to a fundamental question about CACC. Not only have I had no worthwhile response from any of the named Naked Scientists I have had my fundamental question locked to both to responses and to my own updates as and when I get further information from specialists from other UK and US universities.

It appears to me that, excluding TNS BBC Show Producer Ben Valsler, others who have commented on the  "Another Hockey Stick Illusion?" thread are simply bloggers like me. TNSs are unable to answer that question but despite that it enjoyed the status of “hot topic” and continues to attract views at a high rate (1120 at the latest count, in only 8 days).  Now the thread has been locked by someone who uses the false name Yor_on (I would have put paragreaph 2 there instead of here if that lock had been removed as I requested yesterday.) Yor_on is not one identified as one of TNSs so I have another question to raise about that but am not sure where to air it. I’ll try it here in the hopes that one of the named TNSs or blog moderators (who are they?) will respond.

Question: How does someone who is not identified as one of TNSs enjoy the authority to bar others from responding to a question properly raised on the appropriate forum”?

This question reminds me of my exchanges with William Connolley, who was given authority to alter the Wikipedia contributions of other specialists in climate change. His activities caused sceptics to rebel and his powers were removed, as described in “Global warming “propagandist” purged from the pages of Wikipedia” (http://www.ihatethemedia.com/global-warming-william-connelley-purged-from-wikipedia-pages). You may be interested in reading my comments on that thread.

You ask
Quote
Did you really put all that effort into complaining that a show used some showmanship?
and the answer is “No”. What I complain about is deliberate distortion of facts in order to promote a different agenda, AKA propaganda. In my opinion the manner in which opinions on CACC are present in the mainstream media (which included the Internet, with its numerous blogs like TNS) is viewed very differently by disciples/supporters and sceptics of  the doctrine. Sceptics recognise much of it as propaganda in support of agenda far removed from taking over Nature’s job of controlling the different global climates.

You say
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TV science isn't real science- its dummed down for an audience who are not experts in the field
Being a sceptic, I (and I’m sure many others) would have expressed it differently, changing “TV science” to “MSM climate science” and “dummed down” with “propaganda”.

The “I Hate the Media” blog (http://www.ihatethemedia.com/) is worth a visit, especially its articles on CACC propaganda.

Best regards, Pete Ridley
« Last Edit: 22/04/2011 12:08:57 by Pete Ridley »

JP

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« Reply #13 on: 22/04/2011 13:25:10 »
Question: How does someone who is not identified as one of TNSs enjoy the authority to bar others from responding to a question properly raised on the appropriate forum”?

I can answer that one!  yor_on is a valued member of the community and has been asked to be a moderator on this forum.  He has the authority to lock your post because he's a moderator (see point 10):

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=8535.0

If you think it should be unlocked, your first recourse is to send yor_on (or another moderator) a PM.  Your second recourse is to contact an administrator, like BenV.  But unless you have something new to add to your original question, aside from editorial comments, it probably won't happen.

Speaking of which, in this thread please stick to the question at hand, which is about the youtube video you posted.  I will lock this thread if you keep using it to complain about BenV's inability to answer your question or to editorialize about other topics.  We've been fairly lenient in allowing you to freely post content so far, but this is primarily a science Q&A site, not your personal blog.
« Last Edit: 22/04/2011 13:33:12 by JP »

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« Reply #14 on: 22/04/2011 14:59:00 »
Hi JP thanks for the clarification. I suppose that I am classed as one of those
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old fuddy duddies
mentioned in Section 3 “Keep it Friendly”.

Since The Naked Scientists are unable to answer my question about “Another Hockey Stick Illusion” (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38675.50) is it possible to readily transfer the entire set of comments to the “New Theories section” and unlock it. That way it remains available for any who have an interest in learning about or contributing to what certainly appears to be a “New Theory” as far as The Naked Scientists are concerned.

I do not see that I am breaking any of the rules laid down in the “Forum acceptable usage policy” (although I may flirt on the boundaries of Section 2 on occasions) so if the moderators spot anything that is in their opinion I am sure that they will tell me, as you do. But those same rules should apply to moderators and suggesting that someone who raises a fundamental science question might be a troll or saying
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.. I'm starting to wonder what your real agenda is? ..
might not be considered by some as “keeping it friendly”.  I’ll correct anything that I’m challenged about if I agree that I have overstepped the mark, but please be specific about what rule has been breached and how. As I’ve said before, I tell it as I see it – it’s a North Country thing - but some people don’t like straight talk or criticism. Any criticism that I make is intended to be constructive without being insulting but, like everyone else here, I am only human – and even older that those “Grumpy Old Men” (http://www.ontvnow.co.uk/info/1971796/Grumpy-Old-Men/).

The features made available on this blog are the best that I have come across and I haven’t stopped learning since I joined in here only 8 days ago. That even applies to the “Another Hockey Stick Illusion?” question of mine, despite getting no direct help from The Naked Scientists or the bloggers. The points raised on that thread have forced me to look elsewhere and I hope that I can continue in that vein, but having my thread locked does not help in any way.

As you say
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.. this is primarily a science Q&A site ..
which is why I had such high hopes when I posted my question, but I’m still struggling for an answer. Surely you agree that this fact reflects not only upon The Naked Scientists but also on whatever academy they learned their science from? I understand that all of The Naked Scientists listed on the “Who are we” page studied at Cambridge University but I also notice that there is no JP listed there. You, like Yor_on, give nothing away in your profile (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=5726) so in what discipline do you have scientific expertise and how did you qualify to become a moderator?

Best regards, Pete Ridley

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« Reply #15 on: 22/04/2011 15:20:22 »
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Surely you agree that this fact reflects not only upon The Naked Scientists but also on whatever academy they learned their science from?

Of course it doesn't!  And your continued insistence that it does and that we are somehow "incapable" of communicating science because we don't know the answer to your very specific question is becoming very insulting.  You have been told, repeatedly, that we will put your question to someone with relevant expertise when the opportunity arises.  Do not continue to insult myself and my colleagues, this is your final warning.


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I understand that all of The Naked Scientists listed on the “Who are we” page studied at Cambridge University

Then you understand incorrectly.

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...but I also notice that there is no JP listed there. You, like Yor_on, give nothing away in your profile (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=5726) so in what discipline do you have scientific expertise and how did you qualify to become a moderator?

Again, I can answer this one - JP was invited to become a moderator as he was a valued member of the site.  It's not up to you to question who the moderators are - they have earned their privileges.

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« Reply #16 on: 22/04/2011 15:34:10 »
Thanks BenV

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« Reply #17 on: 22/04/2011 16:04:00 »
I don't make personal information public on my profile because as a moderator we sometimes have to moderate unstable folks who might harass us via email or worse for our moderation decisions.  It's rare, but it's worrying enough that I not to make personal information publicly available on here.

By the way, Pete, my expertise is in physics and I have nothing to say about the science of your post.

My issue is with your editorial commenting, which seems to happen daily, and which include (among other topics) complaints about The Naked Scientists and other experts being unable to answer your question, accusations of climate scientists deliberately misleading the public, and comments about other forums you've participated in.  A few editorial comments wouldn't be noticed, but the fact that most of what you post is editorial comments, with very little discussion on the central question you asked in the original post makes this evangelism, which is not allowed.  Plus, as BenV noted, your tone is rather insulting, which violates "keep it friendly."

At any rate, perhaps it's best if your future comments focus on just the question at hand without editorial asides, at least on this site.
« Last Edit: 22/04/2011 19:06:02 by JP »

Bored chemist

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« Reply #18 on: 22/04/2011 16:35:55 »
"If you are a qualified chemist I am surprised that you have had nothing scientific to contribute to the question of how the individual molecules of the different atmospheric gases react within nanoporous media like firn. My question specifically relates to size-dependent fractionation in deep firn but other air fractionation processes take place, right from the beginning of the process of ice-sheet development, i.e. formation of snow. "

Did it occur to you that the fact that no chemical reaction takes place might have some importance there.

So the answer to "Which particular aspect of chemistry do you specialise in, or is that asking for too much information? " is, the sort with chemistry in it.
Actually I'm an analytical chemist but, as I have pointed out, what you are asking about is physics.

"What I complain about is deliberate distortion of facts "
It is not distorting facts to show that CO2 absorbs IR.

"In my opinion the manner in which opinions on CACC are present in the mainstream media (which included the Internet, with its numerous blogs like TNS) is viewed very differently by disciples/supporters and sceptics of  the doctrine. Sceptics recognise much of it as propaganda in support of agenda far removed from taking over Nature’s job of controlling the different global climates."
Other opinions are available, including those which note that CO2 really does absorb IR no matter how much this upsets Pete.

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« Reply #19 on: 22/04/2011 23:39:03 »
Hi Bored_chemist, thanks for the background information. I’d be very very upset if CO2 and other gases, most importantly H2O, didn’t absorb IR. What I get upset about is when people get misled into thinking that CO2 absorbs much more than it really does.

Best regard, Pete Ridley

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« Reply #20 on: 23/04/2011 06:40:47 »
Pete,

Are you sure you are a skeptic? Scientists are skeptics. They have to be. They want to see the evidence.

However, scientists don't start off with a preconceived notion that there is a grand conspiracy determined to undermine their opinions. They evaluate the available evidence, and if it confirms their theory, they view that as confirmation. If it doesn't, they reconsider their position, even if it means they have to go back to the drawing board.

There are a lot of very knowledgeable posters on TNS, but you have successfully insulted all of them. You could actually learn a lot here if you choose to, but you seem to be more interested in raging against the machine than anything else.

Frankly, this a bit surprising. I've been checking up on your bio, and it says you are a compliance engineer. Compliance engineers are usually pretty good at understanding the rules.

Oh! BTW, at your behest, I did Google you, but it seems you've been kicked off a great many web sites already.

It's your call. Do you want to learn anything here, or are you just using TNS as your soapbox?

(It's a binary question.)

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« Reply #21 on: 23/04/2011 08:49:10 »
Hi Geezer ,
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Do you want to learn anything here, or are you just using TNS as your soapbox?
Answer = YES & NO.

As for the earlier bit, others may may well
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.. start off with a preconceived notion that there is a grand conspiracy determined to undermine their opinions
but not this old geezer. I, like all true sceptics, started off with an open mind (in fact unconcerned about the effects of our use of fossil fuels) until in April 2007 I read Mark Lynas’s booklet “Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet”. After that I was a very concerned father and grandfather, but, like a true sceptic I decided to do my own research. So far I have found no convincing evidence that our use of fossil fuels is leading to CACC but plenty convincing evidence of other agenda.

As for Googling me and deciding that I am a compliance engineer, a good scientist does not jump to conclusions from scant evidence. Try adding EMC to your search.

Hi JP & BenV I hope that because I responded to Geezer and did not
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.. stick to the question at hand, which is about the youtube video ..
I haven’t used up my last chance of commenting on this blog. It's about the best blog that I have had the pleasure of contributing to. Once again I commend the efforts of the designers.

Best regards, Pete Ridley
« Last Edit: 23/04/2011 09:41:31 by Pete Ridley »

Bored chemist

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« Reply #22 on: 23/04/2011 10:15:40 »
" So far I have found no convincing evidence that our use of fossil fuels is leading to CACC"
I can't understand this point of view.
There isn't any sensible doubt that the temperature is rising. There's no sensible doubt that the CO2 levels are rising. We know it's down to fossil fuel use for two reasons- first it can be "carbon dated" and it's ancient so it must have been buried somewhere for millennia. Secondly and probably more obviously, we know how much tax has been paid on it, so we know how much fuel we have burned. There's no doubt that CO2 traps heat because it absorbs IR (no matter, to what extent).
So what you end up with is, in effect, saying
"I know we are warmer in bed, and I know we have put another blanket on the bed, but I refuse to accept that there is a causal relationship between those facts."

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« Reply #23 on: 23/04/2011 14:12:08 »
Hi Bored_chemist , methinks that you may not fully appreciate what CACC means – Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change – note that first word Catastrophic. I recommend that you pay a visit to Professor Judith Curry’s “Physics of the atmospheric greenhouse(?) effect” (http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/30/physics-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect/#comment-62506) and pay particular attention to the analyses offered by Roger Taguchi. If after that you’d like to see the latest version of Roger’s article “Net Feedback in Global Warming Calculations” please let me know and I’ll send you a copy of his 12th April 2011 issue. It’s a heavy read but well worth the effort for anyone who really wants to learn about the science. After all, isn’t that what this blog is all about?

Best regards, Pete Ridley

Bored chemist

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« Reply #24 on: 23/04/2011 14:44:32 »
I think you need to ask the people in places like Bangladesh about the meaning of the word "catastrophic".

 

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