Sunday, April 27, 2014


The disinformation artistes over at Tony Watts' Salon des Refusés have jumped the scientific tracks entirely. Ignoring CERN's experimental downsizing of the impact of cosmic rays on cloud nucleation, they've turned to art history in an effort to resuscitate the theory that cosmic rays modulate global warming more than man.  After a decade of obsessively recounting the rings of a single tree,  Canadian Tar Patch geographer turned art historian  Tim Ball has come up with a climate proxy that borders on the surreal.

He theorizes that changes in the style of landscape painting mirror cosmic ray induced changes in cloud cover, signifying that blue skies gave way to gray in the baroque era, thus linking cosmic rays to the cloudy skies of the Little Ice Age:

Svensmark’s Cosmic Theory and Cloud Cover Depictions in Little Ice Age Art.

Guest essay by Dr. Tim Ball
Correlation between sunspot numbers and global temperature was known for decades, but with no proven mechanism it was correctly set aside. That changed when Henrik Svensmark proposed his Cosmic Rays hypothesis...There is a basic for landscape artists because they paint what they see before them... Their work provides evidence of conditions such as the snow and cold of the Little Ice Age by Breughel  or Grifier . There was an exhibition of the work of Hendrick Avercamp titled the Little Ice Age at the National Gallery in Washington from March to July 2010... Constable’s works do not, in themselves, provide support for Svensmark, but when put with a 1970 study by Neuberger (republished in Weather on 30 April 2012) it provides independent confirmation. Neuberger’s hypothesis was that,
…a statistically adequate sample of paintings executed by many painters living during a given period in a given region should reveal meteorological features significantly different from those of a similar sample of paintings produced during the same epoch in a climatically different region.

Before you swallow Ball's spin on art history, let alone climate, take a look at the economic history of artists' materials- the Blue Sky laws may not govern climate blogs, but the laws of supply and demand apply to blue skies, and for centuries, blue was the most expensive color on the artist's palette.

At the time of the Little Ice Age, even the low end copper pigment azurite was pricey, but it paled in comparison to a color that was the stuff of legend. Grind the silicate gemstone Lapis Lazuli exceeding fine, and you end up with the best and brightest blue known to man. Seven centuries ago Cennino Cennini wrote of it:
"Ultramarine blue is a color illustrious, beautiful, the most perfect, beyond all other colors; one could not say anything about it, or do anything with it, that its quality would not still surpass."
It was also fabulously expensive and hard to get and process. Lapis lazuli was found only at the end of a serious detour off the Afghan Silk Road, in mines three miles above sea level in the remote mountains of Badakshan. Cennini described how the gem rough had to be pounded harder than a bad lawyer's table, mixed with melted resin, wax and oil, wrapped in fine cloth, and kneaded three times in a lye bath to produce a pigment worth its weight in gold and fit for the painted robes of Christ and the Virgin Mary.

The extraordinary cost of ultramarine often figured in artists contracts, and has made the pigment an objects of intense study-- art historians long ago noted that artists economized on blue skies when prices were high by using azurite. 
"Economic considerations played a decisive role of the artist’s working procedures." notes The Vermeer Newsletter observng that imported azurite became a Venetian monopoly once French deposits were exhausted, making the pigment more costly outside of Italy, and that this inflation continued through the16th and 17th century as Venice's wars with the Ottoman Empire squeezed imported supplies. 

Absent azurite, demand for ultramarine increased too, so how could northern Europe's new school of Big Sky artists prosper as blue pigment prices soared on the eve of the Little Ice Age?  Here's one alternative to Ball's baroque theory:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


4δ 161xeΛ³ Ж 5,6,1,8 Φ-4
= {(Σ Ψ² Њyt3-14๖P9) x 49} / 2β x kxgt

When science speaks, some people refuse to listen,

While Rush Limbaugh and his  fellow stentorian  Willard Watts  are among the the loudest advocates of the 'death of global warming'  meme , both are both scientifically tone deaf, and selectively stone deaf when confronted with inconvenient facts, as with Watts denial that his website is censored, and Limbaugh shutting his ears to his own  "expert climatologist here on staff."  Dr. Roy Spencer. 

Consider what happened in 2007:
Wowed by the sciency goodness of a PR handout invoking the "Miocene, Pliocene and Plasticine eras" and such impressive pseudoequations as:
Where    Q is raw mass    u is area     c is osmotic conductivity   Î¨ is the vertical (neo-Falkian) benthic discontinuity,  
X is  concretised  diachronic  invariance (P-series),  F is trans-dimensional flow structure 
 and  jy is the non-rectilineal harmonic regressivity of the constant Δ )
the gibberish-challenged broadcaster proclaimed  The Journal of Geoclimatic Studies had pulled the plug on man-made climate change with a peer-reviewed paper  on ' Benthic Bacteria ' that proved global warming stemmed not from  fossil fuel burning, but bacteria burping methane in the depths of the sea. 

Rush's account of the earth-shaking discovery  presented only one minor problem: there is no Journal of Geoclimatic Studies, something Spencer strove mightily to communicate, only to find Limbaugh would not read what he could not hear. Here's the memo the long suffering climatologist posted the following day :
Yesterday (11/7/07), a "research study" was circulating on the internet which claimed to have found the "real" reason for global warming. Even though the hoax was quite elaborate, and the paper looked genuine, a little digging revealed that the authors, research center, and even the scientific journal the study was published in, did not exist.
I sent an e-mail to Rush about the issue regarding the hoax, with a copy of the "research study."  Unfortunately...he thought that I was calling global warming a hoax, rather than the study
                                                                  --Roy W. Spencer   

Sunday, April 20, 2014


In paying homage to the father of Shallow Time, the good and great Archbishop Ussher, Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos reminds us that the Millennium ain't over till its over:

Geology's last, best hope of getting Evangelical's to pay attention to the age of the Earth may be to knuckle under and shrink it down to merely Biblical proportions 

I offered the following geological column in celebration of the 6000th anniversary of the world's creation (4004 BC-1996 AD) in Earth, a magazine that, much to the relief of creationists has long since been subducted along with its publisher, leaving the author of this creation thankful that Earth's bank did not go under as well.

                   Usshering In The Millennium 
                          23 October 4004 B.C.
    Hadean Era ends with Lucifer's fall to Earth

    * 4003 B.C.: Earth still largely molten , Adam and Eve cover their shame with asbestos waders
    * 3714 B.C.: The first biotechnologist, Cain, patents cyanobacteria.
    * 3554 B.C.: Komatiitic lava floods earliest crust ; Noah's Ark incinerated.
    * 3264 B.C.: Methuselah begins to notice passage of geological time.
    * 3124 B.C.: Archaean stratiform copper deposits form, kick-starting Bronze Age.
    * 3004 B.C.: Y1K  crisis: Gilgamesh  finds himself unable to count as high as 1000.
    * 2844 B.C.: Tired of reading graphic granite, Imhotep devises hieroglyphs.
    * 2584 B.C.: Earliest sedimentation; discovery of slate leads to stone tablets.
    * 2444 B.C.: Tubal Cain inaugurates banded Iron Age. Sphinx starts to fossilize.
    * 2384 B.C.: Breathable atmosphere develops; first sermon preached.
    * 2004 B.C.: Nimrod the Hunter erects the Geosyncline of Babel.
    * 1914 B.C.: Advent of diapirism; Lot's wife turned into first salt dome.
    * 1794 B.C.: Children of Ham split from Israelites ,insisting that the Burgess Shale fauna are  kosher; chowder invented.
    * 1704 B.C.: Charshumash the Hittite bitten by first vertebrate; lawyers emerge from slime.
    * 1624 B.C.:  Laboratory of the Philistines implodes as Samson attempts first high-pressure geophysics experiment.
    * 1444 B.C.: First environmental catastrophe: Pangea breaks up after Jason sows dragons teeth.
    * 1384 B.C.: China scraps compass research as Asia drifts over south magnetic pole.
   * 1314 B.C.:  On his way home from Troy ,Odysseus makes wrong turn into Tethys Ocean ; Homer writes it up.
    * 1264 B.C.: Moses  perfects hydrofracturing ; Red Sea rift opens

    * 1104 B.C.: Ezekiel see de pterodactyl 'way up in de middle ob de air.
    * 1024 B.C.: Goliath stepped on by irate Barosaurus; David takes credit.
    * 794 B.C.: Jonah swallowed by Carcharas megalodon.  
    * 564 B.C.: Pythagoras publishes Air-Earth-Fire-Water phase diagram.
    * 454 B.C.: Marble deposits form in Greece; Parthenon erected.
    * 338 B.C.: Aristotle declares quartz just another water polymorph , like ice,diamond and pearls.
    * 48 B.C.: All of Gaul is divided into three parts as Corsica collides with the European Plate.
    * The Year Zero: Nothing much happened, there being none.
    * A.D. 31: Miracle of the Loaves and Ichthyosaurs.
    * A.D. 70: Paul, formerly Saul the Tarsier, develops opposable thumb & pens Epistle to the Cephalopods.
    * A.D. 344: Attila the Hun vanquished as Romans breach Gibraltar escarpment, flooding the Mediterranean Desert.
    * A.D. 494: Snakes evolve and are driven out of Ireland.
    * A.D. 974: Leif the Unlucky lost with all hands when his dragon ship is spotted by an amorous Kronosaurus.
    * A.D. 1066: William the Conqueror invades England by riding through northern France.
   * A.D. 1215: Mega Fauna force King John to sign Magna Carta
    * A.D. 1284: Plate armor introduced ; Velociraptor hunted to extinction.
    * A.D. 1306: Dante describes Medieval Warm period in Inferno, his account of a field trip to the core-mantle boundary.
    * A.D. 1324  T.Rex becomes popular Mongol Barbecue  item after Golden Horde discovers gunpowder.
    * A.D. 1444: Flowering plants appear; War of the Roses commences.
    * A.D. 1484: Leonardo da Vinci designs Archaeopteryx.
    * A.D. 1492: Panama's rise from sea thwarts Columbus's discovery of Japan.
A.D. 1522: Sneak asteroid attack by Hernan Cortez smashes Aztec Empire
    * A.D. 1588: Spanish Armada frustrated by continuing absence of English Channel.
    * A.D.1614/1000 A.H.
Y1K panic follows Islamic MIllennium as Arabic numeral copyright expires
    * A.D. 1636: Earliest primates appear; Harvard founded.
    * A.D. 1654: John Milton goes blind shortly after discovery of malt distillation enables him to justify God's ways to man.
    * A.D. 1664: A Primate of Ireland, Archbishop Ussher, successfully deduces last four out of ten digits of the age of the Earth.
    * A.D. 1678: Little Ice Age allows Spanish Inquisition to unexpectedly skate to England to burn Isaac Newton at the stake on suspicion of alchemy
    * A.D. 1754: Gibbons evolve and write The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    * A.D. 1776: Washington routs British with mammoth cavalry chargeMinimammoth
    * A.D. 1835: Charles Darwin devoured while attempting to measure bill of Galapagos giant finch
    * A.D. 1846: First ape  born to Bishop and Lady Wilburforce.
    * A.D. 1894:  Glacial Maximum : Cecil Rhodes proposes Capetown-to-Cairo bobsled run.
    * A.D. 1914: Younger Dryas sea-level rise unleashes U-boats into the Atlantic; Holy Roman Empire wins World War I
    * A.D. 1948: Churchill proposes using ice to contain Stalin; Cold War begins.
    * A.D. 1954: Glaciers retreat from Fulda Gap; de Gaulle invades Russia.
    * A.D. 1957: Civil Rights Movement challenges Jim Cro-Magnon laws.
    * A.D. 1961: Rachel Carson links DDT to Glyptodonts' decline.
    * A.D. 1969: Last sighting of saber-toothed tiger in Central Park; Elizabeth Taylor divorces Proconsul,marries Senator Warner.
    * A.D. 1971: Andy Warhol paints Campbell Soup cans on walls of Lascaux caverns.
   * A.D. 1983: Australopithecus wins the America's Cup.
    * A.D. 1988: Homo habilis declines nomination as Pat Robertson's running mate.
    * A.D. 1990: Last Neanderthals escape siege of Kremlin, cross Bering land bridge to found Discovery institute.
    * A.D. 1991: Saddam Hussein discovers fire; Holocene tar sands form in Kuwait.
    * A.D. 1992  Onset of Holocene Climatic Optimum ruins Al Gore's Presidential bid.
    * A.D. 1996   Y6K crisis fails to materialize
    *  1997 CE   Citing black smoker emissions, the EPA bans continental drift.
    *  2000 CE   Al Gore fills cological niche opened by mass extinction of Y2K consultants  
    *  2001 CE   Tectonic clash of civilizations leads to formation of Ground Zero Gneiss
    *  2002 CE   Thermophilis wins Nobel Prize for sequencing its own DNA while trapped in amber
 N.B.: As all dates are +/- 2.5 billion years, the author strongly advises against using this chronology for purposes of exegesis, carbon-14 dating or celestial navigation.  This exercise was inspired by a remark made at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union by the late Cesare Emiliani. 
Pirated , unattributed, and altered versions of this piece seen on the Web derive from my Earth magazine Parting Shot column, "Usshering In The Millennium"  Beneficiaries of this  geological time-saver, which offers a Biblically Correct  four billion year shortcut around the standard geological column, are invited to use  PayPal:                                                          Copyright 1996-2014 Russell Seitz

Wednesday, April 9, 2014



"...A network of 171 individual blogs is identified, with three blogs in particular found to be the most central: Climate Audit, JoNova and Watts Up With That."

'the climate debate may have entered into the realm... where no amount of scientific information can reconcile the different values held on a certain topic. This is in contrast to the “rational-instrument” approach whereby science is seen as providing ‘verifiable facts about reality on which rational policy decisions can be based’

Tuesday, April 8, 2014



Some of those shouting the loudest for public debate in the Climate Wars seem reluctant to stay on the same page as their opponents. 
None more literally so than Peter Ferrara. Having segued into the orbit of the Heartland Institute fresh from the law offices of disbarred K-Street fixer Jack Abramoff, he now shares the Institute's media feed to Forbes with James Taylor and Larry Bell, and together they have raised the delivery of undiluted disinformation to the level of performance art.  
Peter's latest patter song: The Period Of No Global Warming Will Soon Be Longer Than the Period of Actual Global Warming outdistances his Heartland confreres by using his administrator status to jigger the comments in a manner recalling Johnny Carson's Carmac The Magnificent act.
Allowing only answers to questions he likes to appear on the first web page, Ferrara buries less than sycophantic answers in back page links. Here with emphasis is the result. All fanboi handles guaranteed real: