Concise and Clear Climate Theory Theory

Some times I have a lot to do, and things I want to do are ‘let sit’. Sometimes for weeks or months.

In this case it was an article with an interesting title.

The article looks like it is about financial problems, so I let it sit for a while as a ‘read later’ link. I finally got to read it. It is an article with more breadth than that.

At the bottom is a link to a PJTV Video. A remarkable piece. (The lead in article has a link to another PJTV Video that is now archived and by subscription only, so that video in the article might also disappear behind a subscription paywall at some point. Do not wait long to watch it.)

So the article by Verity starts with the financial crisis, connects it to Herschel and his sunspots vs wheat prices work; and moves on to Climate Models. The “punch line” being the “best sentence ever”:

Theres a PJTV video too (Best. Sentence. Ever.) that comments on WM Briggs’ modern aphorism “The love of theory is the root of all evil”.

That being the PJTV Video behind a subscription wall.

Then has another video at the bottom, one with less lead in. “The train set”.

IMHO, it is a “must see” video that very nicely connects things to show: Why do they think as they do?

The article is short, as is the video. So hit the link, read the article, and watch the video.

Then you will understand why it is ‘the best sentence ever’.

The scope of the insight ranges over all significant human endeavors. From war to agriculture to climate science to …

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW Science and Background, Political Current Events, World Economics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Concise and Clear Climate Theory Theory

  1. adolfogiurfa says:

    “The love of theory is the root of all evil”. or perhaps the theory behind the theory….As GW was a scam then theories made to support it were made because of a theory of a higher order.
    Who were the promoters of the carbon exchange market?
    See?. The theory behind the theory was the root of all evil: It was not a matter of well or bad programmed climate models but the theory of how to profit from an unexisting problem. Follow the money kids!

  2. Chuckles says:

    Great line from Matt Briggs, but Bill Whittle is excellent on the videos. He’s written some superb essays over the years as well, several on America and US history, and a huge winner about 40 second Boyd and the OODA loop.

  3. Laurence M. Sheehan, PE says:

    Lack of comprehension of the fundamentals of a good many sciences is at fault. Any 14 year old farm boy or girl knew that carbon dioxide is completely required in order for green plant life to grow, and that more of it would be better to have higher concentrations of carbon dioxide, even 5 times as at present, to have greater amounts of food to eat . . .for all fauna . . . all animals.

    A significant lack of ability to perform simple calculations is another significant widespread problem.

    400 ppm of carbon dioxiode can be simplified to be the same as 40 molecules of CO2 and 99,960 other molecules of mostly N2 (nitrogen) and a lesser amount of O2 (oxygen). The remainder are but trace gasses (carbon dioxide represents the largest amount of the trace gasses).

    Worse yet, of those 40 molecules of carbon dioxide, less than 2 of these molecules are “due” to humankind’s heating and cooling homes, driving, trucking and just living in general.

    2 molecules of carbon dioxide don’t mean much of anything given the other 99,998 molecules within 100,000 molecules in Earth’s atmosphere.

  4. Mark Miller says:

    Really like Whittle’s videos. He speaks with a lot of clarity about a variety of issues re. what we are doing to ourselves through our government.

  5. Pascvaks says:

    “CAGW supporters, and those who prefer to perfect theories and models rather than deal with the complexity of the real world. It is really worth watching.” (VJones)

    To paraphrase Verity – “Popular ________ Supporters: those who prefer to perfect theories and models rather than deal with the complexity of the real world; they’re really worth watching.”

    People are a lot like water, they almost always follow the path of least resistance and rise to the lowest level. Watch Out!

  6. pouncer says:

    I have been known to argue that the commandment regarding making of “images” to be worshiped is, in general applicability, instruction not to love models. Models have great power, and can be very attractive (especially those selling swimsuits and beach vacations. ) But models are what we create in imitation of creation. Loving our own simpler and lesser creation above the reality around us is, if not a sin, at least an inherent tragic flaw of Man. (Mann?)

  7. Mark Miller says:


    Very well said! Science education in schools doesn’t communicate this. It teaches models as “truth,” as in the model *is* synonymous with reality. “It works this way, because the model says so,” not, “Compare this model with your observation.” And if and when they have students conduct experiments, they tend to use them to confirm existing models, not encouraging the creation of new models, so that students can experience what being, and thinking like a scientist is really like.

    The problem in the current environmental sciences regime seems to be that it trains students to match data to models, as if the data confirms them, without testing the models very deeply. We seem to have run into Ptolemy’s conundrum. His model of epicycles seemed to work basically well for centuries, until Copernicus revealed it was completely wrong. Ptolemy was able to make a model that fit the quality of observations of his time, but that didn’t mean the model described reality that well at all.

  8. Jason Calley says:

    @ pouncer “But models are what we create in imitation of creation.”

    Very good point you make. In some cases we even go so far as to pretend that the models are real and even give them legal standing as people. The current custom — custom? No, let me go so far as to use a more descriptive word, one which is not used very often these days. The current blasphemy of saying that “corporations are people” with legal rights based on our human natural rights is exactly such an error.

  9. E.M.Smith says:


    Don’t tempt me like that! As holder of a D.D. I can legitimately found The Church Of Divine Reality and declare that “models” are a sin as they are a Graven Image(!) and then insist that it is a religious duty that no follower use money nor have their tax money used for models!

    I think it would be true, too…

    “Lead us not unto temptation and deliver us…”

    @Jason Calley:

    I’ve often thought we needed a change to the corporations law that said explicitly that they were only a “Legal Person” for purposes of money transactions and commerce, not any political purpose nor any human rights purpose.

  10. Mark Miller says:

    @E.M. Smith:

    I’ve taken on the position that the current attack on the notion that “corporations are people” is a move against free speech, because it’s not specific enough for my comfort. I’ve gotten word from progressives that when they say this, they’re not saying that all groups will be denied free speech rights, but that certain types of corporations (which I take to mean a legally recognized group) should have their speech limited. Well, maybe if they’d talk about that more specifically still I’d be more amenable. Right now I’m ferociously against the idea, because to me its an attack against the right of association, which directly implies grouping, which ties in to the concept of incorporation. My position is, “Dammit! You shouldn’t lose your rights just because you become a member of a group!” In my mind, even something as innocuous as having a discussion on an internet board, sponsored by a corporation, like your local newspaper, is relevant to this, because if the board is moderated, is that considered corporate speech, even though all of the thoughts are authentically expressed by individuals? The corporation has some influence on what’s expressed publicly on its board, so can it be considered corporate speech under a strict interpretation of “corporations are not people”? These are the kinds of questions that haven’t been answered yet by the proponents.

    When I’ve argued with progressives about this, what I find it boils down to is their belief that most people are led like sheep by well-financed speech. They say that people are too busy, and don’t have time to check facts for themselves, which leads me to wonder, “Okay, how is this going to change if we simply say, ‘corporations are not people’?” To me, the answer lies in education and discernment. Just because somebody says something doesn’t mean that you have to believe it, no matter how much money is behind it. Just because your friends and/or the news media believe it, and think you a fool for not doing so, does not mean that you should join them in that. It seems to me what they’re really talking about is societal peer pressure, and they’re trying to lessen it by going after the idea that groups have the same speech rights as individuals. I suspect the people behind this movement have the same motivations as leftist groups on campus did in creating speech codes years ago, which were justified under the banner of lessening peer pressure against “oppressed groups.” You REALLY don’t want that happening on a societal basis! It’s not a stretch to say that today college students have fewer speech rights than individuals do out in society. That is damn scary!

    The caveat in all this is, depending on the size and influence of the corporation, they have different economic rights than individuals and small groups. That’s the rub in all this, and I agree that can present problems in the political realm.

    My main point is there are all sorts of groups that we would look upon as good influences on society that we take for granted. Their ability to have that positive influence is under threat, in my mind, with this concept that “corporations are not people.” To me, the promotion of this idea is based on a simple-minded notion, and that’s dangerous in a free society. It can be easily explained as a legal convenience, that since corporations are made up of people, they should have the same legal rights in court as an individual would. This can be justified in a myriad of ways that I won’t go into now, because I’ve already gone through this a few times in other forums, and I’m rather tired of trying to justify it in detail. Just give it some thought in the abstract about how groups behave, and what they’re capable of doing, and compare that to individuals. I think you’ll find a lot of similarities (beyond the psychology of groups, which is different from individuals without group influence).

  11. omanuel says:

    Today’s science news reports about:

    1. Observations of the Sun [1], and
    2. Theoretical models of the cosmos [2] confirm loss of
    3. Basic principles of science after 1945 and our
    4. Constitutional rights after 1945, for reasons documented here:

    After 1945, “The love of theory became the root of much of today’s evil”.


    1. Anthony Watts, “Another regime change – this time in solar data” (4 July 2012)

    2. CERN’s Large Hadron Collider Announcement, “Its A Boson! ” (4 July 2012)

    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  12. Mark Miller says:

    This is tangential to the topic, but thought I’d share this humorous video. The dynamic I saw in it is reminiscent of the arguments I’d get into with CAGW alarmists. Two wildebeest have two different theories about “what’s in the water.” It’s either a crocodile or a log. One keeps trying to prove its theory that it’s a crocodile by testing it. The other just sits there and insists it’s a log. The one who tries harder, to prove it’s a crocodile gets eaten. The one who didn’t put out any effort changes its mind.

    Well, it doesn’t quite go like this for me. What I found, though, was that alarmists don’t try that hard to test their theory. They insist *you* have to prove there’s no problem (that’s the opposite of this video. The one who tests is the “alarmist”). The people who I consider to be real climate scientists have tried to do this, but then they get “killed” by criticism from the people who don’t test their own theory. What I say is, “You don’t necessarily have to go through all this effort to prove yourselves right. Make *them* test their theory that there’s a problem.”

  13. Verity Jones says:

    Oh I just discovered this – I’d have just gone off on holiday when you linked to my post. Glad you appreciated it as much as I did – it was a good find.

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