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....

3 comments:

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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