Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Follow up: Anthro-centric global scare-mongering, XXIa

My original post garnered a few (international) comments. I thought that they contributed enough to the issue to be worth highlighting here. I hope that the discussion continues.

carlp said...

These links might help you understand how scientists measure sea level to the millimeter. It's a long process taking a few years and they take an average. They use tool called a tide gauge. Because tides are included in this average your question on why the high tide doesn't submerge the island has no bearing, of course it would as the sea level rises.

It might also be interesting for you to know that Lohachara has not disappeared over night, here the article is misleading and a bit sensational. It has been a slow process over 30 years and everyone has since left the island long before. The news is that the island is now officially submerged, which is a historical milestone - it's not everyday this happens. Additionally scientists have found that a dozen other islands will await the same fate due to the rising sea levels. This doesn't really have much bearing on you, but residents of those islands have to deal with this sobering fact.

You should really contact Dr Sugata Hazra at Jadavpur University
( with your findings and questions. I'm sure you're insight that it's all caused by erosion and not a rise in sea level would be very helpful and may present a new direction to his research. Also, the 2 million inhabitants of the Sandabaran islands would also be very grateful.

Of course, you should be careful that Dr Hazra might just be another one of the many crazy liberal Indian scientists who are pretending Islands are sinking for their own political and monetary gain and will ignore your expert oceanographic advice.

Please, get a clue. You're not doing anyone a favor by showing your ignorance. This is a widely reported incident, a simple yahoo search shows articles from newspapers all over the world. Frankly, it doesn't matter if you don't believe the seas are rising, it's not a question of belief but one of reality as those refugees who have left the islands can attest.

This is not an isolated event. Many of the pacific islands are facing the same dangers and are scrambling to figure out what to do.


Mon Dec 25, 07:12:00 PM CST

Steve Erbach said...

Dear Carl,

I am very happy that you took the time to comment on my post. I'm actually flattered that you took the time. Thank you.

I read the links you sent on the determination of sea level. Thank you again. Nothing in those articles, however, persuades me that my questions were nonsensical.

For example, the Wikipedia article and your comment both talked about measuring seal level "to the millimeter". My post scoffed at the measurement to the hundredth of a millimeter. If it is difficult to make measurements in the millimeter range, then how can an average in the hundredth of a millimeter range make any sense scientifically?

That's the small stuff. Lets assume that the sea level changed three inches over the period of, say, twenty years. My surprise that the island disappeared entirely is based on a speculation: how far above sea level was the high point on this island in the first place? Seems to me that it couldn't have been much more than three inches if it is now completely submerged. If we go back historically and examine the island's area versus its height above sea level, would we not find that the size of the island varied widely over the years? The people living on it would have found their homes swept away on a regular basis if they were built on an island only a few inches above sea level.

As to your assertion that it is a widely reported incident, I've seen a number of the newspaper articles from "all over the world" that you mentioned. Most of those articles repeat the same information. Exactly none of them raise any questions at all about the assertion that the sea level rise is, essentially, man-made. That is, that it's a function of anthropogenic global warming. The articles simply repeat the mantra of the tragic evacuations that have taken place over the last couple of decades.

I am puzzled as to why you would say that my questions are based in ignorance. I would say that any intelligent person would ask themselves if a three inch sea level rise (I have to assume that since anthropogenic global warming has only been a factor in the past few decades that we should only talk about a sea level rise in that period of time) on an island formed by the effluent of the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers might not have been more affected by the forces of erosion in the delta than by sea level rise. Ockham's Razor.

I'm not questioning the "reality" you describe that the island has disappeared. I question the assertion that it's because of global warming. Dr. Sugata Hazra may have done a bang-up job of measuring sea level rise over a period of decades, but how does that support the conclusion?

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank
Tue Dec 26, 06:03:00 AM CST

GuS said...

believe it or not it's happening, and if ppl continue thinking like you do, i mean, if ppl do not realize global warming is dangerous and may cause some weird shit around the globe it will get even worse, maybe to do an irreversible point.

here in my area we been experiencing some crazy weather over the past years, you see, 40 years ago we used to have a cold weather for today's standards, during winter time we used to get down to 0°C or 32ºF, nowadays, we hardly get below 12ºC or 50ºF + on summer time we now get twice as much rain as we used to and the floods are becomingo worse every year.

this current month we had in 2 days, the rain we would normally have in the whole month of december.

in july, our winter, we had temperatures over 40ºC or over 90ºF , when the normal should be around 5ºC!

when i graduated from the university 4 years ago, i did my research project in the southernmost city of the world, ushuaia, in argentina, there i was able to see how the weather is actually changing, because differently from where i live the region is almost unhabitated and its right under the ozon layer hole. it was pretty sad seeing pictures of an area where the glaciers once existed everywhere down to only one left (glaciar luiz martial) which was reduced to less than a 10th than what it was some 80 years ago...

so believe it or not, it's happening!

it's time for ppl like you to wake up, things are changing and it's just the beggining.. who knows when or where the next change will take place...

it could be your area, or island, or country. it doesn't really take too much to vannish with a whole state or city, deppending on where you live, it's just a matter of months without rain, snow, or with plenty of them.

good luck to you guys,

GuS - São Paulo - Brazil
Tue Dec 26, 06:20:00 AM CST

Steve Erbach said...


I am doubly flattered that someone from São Paulo would leave a comment on my humble (yet deadly accurate) blog. Thank you!

When you refer to "it's happening" what is it you're talking about? You mention the ozone hole, glaciers melting, floods, weather changes...

Lets take melting glaciers, for example. Some are melting and some are increasing in size. What are we to make of that? For every scientific paper that chronicles the retreat of glaciers in one place, there's another that chronicles the increase of glaciers in another place. This is not in dispute.

What is in dispute is the level of damage being visited upon the environment from anthropogenic causes as well as actually determining which causes are anthropogenic and which are not.

» it's time for ppl like you to wake up «

Since you raised the issue, I feel no qualms about saying that that sort of approach proves that those that claim the moral high ground in the environmental / global warming debates are mainly interested in shutting up "ppl" like me and satisfying their own desire for power.

I will defer to Lord Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley, who reminds us in America of what scientific dissent actually means: "Sceptics and those who have the courage to support them are actually helpful in getting the science right. They do not ... 'obfuscate' the issue: they assist in clarifying it by challenging weaknesses in the 'consensus' argument, and they compel necessary corrections."

No matter what anyone says, concensus about anthropogenic global warming is not science.

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank
Tue Dec 26, 09:32:00 AM CST

Anonymous said...

Strange how climate-change alarmists always look at the glass as half empty instead of half full, assuming their theory of man-induced climate change is correct. I mean is it really a good idea to live mere inches above sea level? Particularly when you live in an area subject to hurricanes or typhoons? Do rising temperatures necessarily mean doom and gloom? Wooly Mammoths were wiped out 10,000 years ago by rising temperatures which made North America the inhabitable region it is today. Was that a bad thing?

Check out the following link for a great set of videos made by scientists who don’t buy the current theory touted as fact.

Tue Dec 26, 11:18:00 AM CST

Anonymous said...

That should read "which made North America the habitable region it is today." instead of inhabitable.


Tue Dec 26, 11:22:00 AM CST

Steve Erbach said...


I appreciate the links very much. Thank you.

Also, I'll let you get away with substituting inhabitable for habitable. Not much difference in the dictionary definitions...

Habitable: capable of being lived in; suitable for habitation

Inhabitable, adjective form of the verb, inhabit: to occupy as a place of settled residence or habitat; live in

Thanks for your comments.

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank
Tue Dec 26, 01:43:00 PM CST

RobC said...

Neither did I when I read it! Found your article while digging up the dirt on Geoffry Dimwitt.

I really hate it when journalists do not get the facts right just to get a sensational headline, thank goodness we now have the WWW to howl our disgust at junk journalim and junk science.

And Carl, where is Steve being ignorant? The journalist that wrote the original article was ignorant and lazy to boot for not doing a ounce of fact checking. Steve did way more digging than he ever did.

Wed Dec 27, 02:26:00 AM CST


carlp said...

Steve, thanks for keeping the dialogue alive and responding to my previous post.

You state the following:

I'm not questioning the "reality" you describe that the island has disappeared. I question the assertion that it's because of global warming. Dr. Sugata Hazra may have done a bang-up job of measuring sea level rise over a period of decades, but how does that support the conclusion?

Steve, if all you wanted to do was say that this is not caused by global warming, then please say it. Don’t write three pages of nonsense about a topic in which you are not an expert and don’t understand, when you don’t need to. You distract everyone from your point, and it hurts your argument, actually it’s a straw man. Because even if you prove that all this research reported about this island is bogus, it still doesn’t disprove the anthropogenic global warming theory. I mean you can’t say, this island did not sink because of global warming, therefore there is no global warming. It’s a logical fallacy.

On the same token, the fact this island is submerged by no means proves anthropogenic global warming exists. I think the major point to gain from this is: the seas are rising at a faster rate than usual and this is a danger to millions of people. Do a search on sinking islands, you’ll find quite a few articles and some that surprise you. Galveston, TX only needs the sea to rise by 2 feet to be mostly submerged. Galveston also has an erosion issue, combined with the rising sea level it’s a big issue. Hawaii also has problems, as do many the islands in the Pacific.

The bottom line: I’m sorry but the consensus in the scientific community is that anthropogenic global warming is fact not fiction. The seas rising globally are due to glaciers melting, and glaciers melting are due to anthropogenic global warming. Based on the argument you have presented me, I am not convinced that the scientists are wrong. Give me something better, because I’m going to trust someone out in the field who knows how to take measurements over an armchair blogger who is grasping for straws to get everything to line up to his view of the world.

I was going to try and go back into the science stuff; measurements taken, sinking islands, and how to make sense of your doubts. I had a whole page written out. But then I realized it does not matter. It doesn’t matter if you understand it or not, it’s a waste of time. Because if I do convince you , I only beat your straw man and no matter what you’ll stick to your ideals. But for fun, I recommend that you do more research on islands sinking, measuring seas, and oceanography – it’s interesting and there are answers if you search hard enough.



Steve Erbach said...


» The bottom line: I’m sorry but the consensus in the scientific community is that anthropogenic global warming is fact not fiction. «

We are in essential disagreement: you place a lot of weight on "consensus" in the scientific community. I do not. As I said, consensus is not science. Consensus is for politicians and that is what drives the entire anthropogenic global warming debate.

I may not be able to prove that the disappearance of those islands was not caused by global warming; however, saying so does not excuse the researchers nor the newspaper writers for claiming that it was global warming that caused the sea level rise that submerged those islands.

» Steve, if all you wanted to do was say that this is not caused by global warming, then please say it. «

Obviously, that wasn't all I wanted to say!

» an armchair blogger who is grasping for straws to get everything to line up to his view of the world. «

My view of the world is that science has turned more and more into a tool for "progressive" political ends. In other words, Lysenkoism. You are free to disagree.

I don't have time right now, but I'll take your advice to follow up on sinking islands. What you describe may very well be happening. What I will continue to resist is the conclusion that sea level rise can be laid at the doorstep of anthropogenic global warming. My view, for what it's worth, is that since the end of the Little Ice Age, the glaciers that are melting are doing so largely because of natural temperature variations. On the other hand, I don't know why the glaciers that are increasing are doing so.

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank