Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Idiocy from Ed Berry, PhD

What can you even do when climate deniers won't agree to the basic rules of arithmetic??

Ed Berry is a physicist who earned his PhD back in the Mesozoic era. From Caltech, no less. He now lives in Montana as a mountain man, battling long-horned sheep for food, coming into town once a year for saltpeter and a ballot.

Ed is a hard core climate denier. (And, naturally, a hard core Trump supporter.) So hard core he doesn't care when he makes basic, boneheaded mistakes -- because, you know, one never admit error when a bear is charging at you, or someone who understands the science.

Q: How much has atmospheric CO2 increased since the pre-industrial era?

A: That's an easy calculation, right?

pct chg = change/initial_amount = (408 ppm - 280 ppm)/280 ppm = 46%.

That's simple, clearly.... But not in Ed's denier-land. This is from Ed's blog:

30%?? Whoa.... That's just a dumb arithmetic error. It comes from calculating

change/final_amount = (408 ppm - 280 ppm)/408 ppm = 31%

which is obviously NOT how to calculate a percentage change. You and I learned this in 5th or 6th grade. So did Ed. It's a trivial, arithmetic error.

But one that mountain men will not admit to. Ed is so much of an uber denier that he can't even admit to a simple arithmetic error, can't say, Oops!, you're right, let me fix this and go on.

Now, what can you do when a denier won't accept arithmetic?? I have no idea.

It's all part of Ed's Big Misunderstanding -- he writes, "Why human CO2 does not change climate." He's so sure of this, of course, just as he's sure that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is 30%, even though every 6th grader knows better. He's submitted a paper somewhere (he won't say where), and is proud that after 4 months it hasn't yet been rejected. Remarkable!

Sorry, but I don't accept PhDs in physics misunderstanding the basic science behind global warming -- the Earth emits infrared radiation, and the atmospheric GHGs absorb it. Rejecting that is bad enough. But claiming that our HUGE emissions of CO2 aren't piling up in the atmosphere -- somewhere -- that's is just, I'm sorry, pure stupidity. Dumb. Ignorant. Idiotic.

But what can you do when deniers won't accept the basic rules of arithmetic? Where do you even start?? Beats me....


David in Cal said...

Berry's argument appears even stronger when one makes the correction. He would say that man's 4% contribution of annual CO2 emissions couldn't cause the CO2 balance to grow by 46%. However, his whole argument is flawed IMHO. I believe a small increase in annual CO2 emissions could cause a large increase in the CO2 balance in the atmosphere. The key is the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere.

Berry says nature emits 98 ppm/year of CO2 and man emits only 4.5 ppm/year. Suppose that nature removes exactly 98 ppm/year of CO2. Then if man emitted no CO2, there would be perfect balance of input and outgo. The atmospheric CO2 would remain fixed. Now, man actually emits 4.5 ppm/year. If nature still removes only 98 ppm/year, then atmospheric CO2 will grow at a rate of 4.5 ppm/year. Over time, man's relatively small annual contributions will add up and could raise atmospheric CO2 by 46%.


David Appell said...

Yes David, thanks. In fact, Nature has been absorbing *more* CO2 than it emits, so that about 1/2 of man's emissions are also absorbed by nature. Atmo CO2 is growing at about 2 ppm/yr.

This isn't guaranteed to continue, but it is the case now and has been for awhile.

And it still proves that Ed Berry is an idiot.