## 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%.

Cheers

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.

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His PhD is not from Caltech and his work has been contributed to textbooks. Amazing how someone's education and career doesn't make their politics just like yours. If you are really about debunking lies, start by being credible yourself. Did you scour the internet looking for the slightest shred of information that you could twist into oil shillery? Surely you can create it if you can't find it anywhere.

Unknown said...

It seems to me you are misinterpreting what Ed Berry is saying. The percentage change may be 46% but the amount of CO2 increase post 1850 is only 31% of the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. To claim that Ed Berry made a fundamental mistake in arithmetic is incorrect. His calculations are correct. total amount is 408 ppm. Increase is 408 - 280 ppm = 128 ppm. The percentage therefore is 128/408 x 100 = 31%. That is the percentage of CO2 increase in the atmosphere today.

David Appell said...

Unknown: No, the percentage increase is 128/280 = 46%.

Goober said...

The quibble here is whether we are identifying how much in percent the atmospheric CO2 has increased from the starting baseline of 280ppm, or what percentage the increased amount is relative to the current amount of CO2. This is not a big deal, when looking at the three numbers:
starting amount: 280,
current amount, 408,
increase: 128.

OK now, everyone go calculate percentages from this.
The word problem used an incorrect arrangement of the three input numbers, and misidentified what the 30% result represented. Fine. Easy to spot. Let’s move on.
Have you spoken to Dr. Berry about this to get him to fix the error you discovered? I would think that would be a gentleman's approach, instead of flaming him on your public blog.
When a friend makes a mistake, it is common to tell them directly, and have a discussion about it in an attempt to achieve a mutual understanding of what's wrong and what's right. I hope you can discuss this with Dr. Berry directly.

I do not believe the political desire to tax us out of fossil fuel energy production will cause the planet's temperature to be measurably reduced, increase the northern ice cap, and make us all happy. We are in a time when politics is clearly polarized, and the parties are tending to divide into opposing camps on other things, which all involve power and control. The left appears to want to reduce the temperature of the planet by preventing people from creating the amount of atmospheric CO2 we are making. The right typically appears to want free market solutions rather than lifestyle-hobbling taxation and regulation.

Governments seldom do things as efficiently as the private sector, and their taxation and restriction of goods and services will almost certainly fail to solve any of the problems they claim they will . It will primarily result in hardships imposed on the non-connected populace and benefiting the "money changers" - the political bodies that redistribute those confiscated dollars for their own pet projects. We are seeing that in the TRILLIONS of dollars Congress is throwing around, funding everything they want to, including paying people to stay unemployed longer, when there are huge numbers of job vacancies going unfilled.

No-one waving their “AGW is real, and bad” flag talks about water vapor which is about 90% of all "greenhouse" effect. It is the elephant in the room, yet CO2 alarmists are preoccupied with a mouse.

Al Gore's predictions have turned out to be a scare-tactic fiction.

AOC says we have what, 12 years? SMH… She is more suited to her previous job. The Peter Principle has landed in her lap.

Greta Thunberg is not experienced, educated or wise, but is emotional in her pleas for saving the earth, admonishing the public, claiming people have somehow stolen her childhood. Her public persona is pure theatrics, emotion instead of reason.

I just find the CO2 scare as being a means to separate us from our liberty, lifestyle and wallets.
I love the planet, recycle, and try not to be wasteful, but I reject the notion that taxing the most prosperous nations out of their money will do a darned thing to cool the planet.

People may not agree with me, as I will not agree with them, but I really do try to step back and see the bigger picture without the false tint of rose glasses or the gray pallor of considering myself a perpetually polluting parasite.

I think the anti-CO2 movement is being used by FAR too many as a means of gaining power and wealth, and those who "merely" believe CO2 is a problem are being used as their cheerleaders, whether they know and accept that role or not.

It reminds me of the socialist movement in the US today, where those "on the ground" want it, but don't really understand the end game, while those in politics or close to politicians want to be members of the elite, in power, and above the suffering and government-capped lifestyles it will surely, always bring to the masses.

OK, now sling your mud at me.
Peace out, Goober.

David Appell said...

Goober: Ed Berry blocks me from commenting at his blog. I don't remember if I was able to post this before his blocked me there or after. He's not interested in the truth.

No-one waving their “AGW is real, and bad” flag talks about water vapor which is about 90% of all "greenhouse" effect.

This tells me you don't understand climate science.

Because water vapor is a feedback, not a forcing. That is, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere doesn't change, on average (globally), unless the temperature changes first. That initial temperature change is accomplished, in our case, by CO2 and CH4 and N2O and the other anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

If you're going to insult those concerned about AGW, you ought to understand what you're talking about. You clearly don't.