Friday, February 27, 2015

Will This Float Your Boat - 5

The New NOAA
I. Introduction

In today's post let's take some data from recent science, then try to determine, using percentages, a projection of sea level rise (SLR).

The difficulty with calculating and then projecting the future dynamics of the ongoing SLR, all around this globe, is complicated by the nature of water.

Ocean water expands when it is warmed, as well as when it is frozen into ice, but, in addition to those thermal factors, the capacity and rate of expansion of ocean water is also determined by content, such its salinity levels, which is how much salt there is in a particular region of ocean's water.

What, then, are the most important factors that contribute to global SLR?

II. The Ratio and the Relation

First off, a recent paper indicates that in some senses it is a 50/50 scenario:
"Sea level rise is half due to melting ice and half due to ocean warming, including 13% from the deepest oceans, a new paper has found
...
The researchers recognised that changes to sea levels are mainly caused by thermal expansion of ocean waters as they heat, changes to the saltiness of water, and an increase in ocean waters as ice melts and flows into the sea."
(New Research Reveals What's Causing Sea Level To Rise, emphasis added). That science writer's take on it is corroborated with this post:
"[SLR] reveals a lot about our changing climate. A rise in the mean sea level can be caused by decreases in ocean density, mostly reflecting an increase in ocean temperature — this is steric sea level rise. It can also be caused by an increase in ocean mass, reflecting a gain of fresh water from land. A third, and smaller, contribution to mean sea level is from glacial isostatic adjustment. The contribution of glacial isostatic adjustment, while small, has a range of possible values and can be a significant source of uncertainty in sea level budgets. Over recent decades, very roughly half of the observed mean sea level rise is owing to changes in ocean density with the other half owing to the increased in ocean mass, mostly from melting glaciers and polar ice sheets. The exact proportion has been difficult to pin down with great
It is a roller coaster ride
certainty.

Knowing the proportion of sea level rise (SLR) owing to mass addition versus thermal expansion is not only important for quantifying total SLR. Each component also imparts information about the effects of climate change. First, the ocean absorbs over 90% of the excess heat from greenhouse gas forcing. In order to monitor and model global warming accurately, we need to know where and how much heat is entering the ocean, and which is directly (although nonlinearly) related to steric SLR. Sea level rise is an important consequence of climate change, and quantifying rates of melting of land ice, including contributions from the massive Greenland and West Antarctica ice sheets is vital to understanding sea level rise. Knowing local rates of past SLR and what is driving those rates will help to improve global and local projections of SLR that are essential for informing adaptation strategies in coastal communities.
(Diagnosing Causes of Sea Level Rise, emphasis added). The mix is driven by global warming induced climate change, including changing rates of warming.

III. Quantifying the Maximum Potential SLR

The following table, prepared using USGS data, shows the maximum SLR possible from ice melt alone, and the locations of those potentials:

Table 1. Estimated potential maximum sea-level rise from the total melting of present-day glaciers and polar ice caps. Source: USGS
Location Volume
(km3)
Potential sea-level rise,
(feet)
Percent of total
East Antarctic ice sheet
26,039,200
212.58
80.676
West Antarctic ice sheet
3,262,000
26.44
10.034
Antarctic Peninsula
227,100
1.51
.57306
Greenland
2,620,000
21.49
8.1556
All other (ice caps, ice fields, glaciers)
180,000
1.48
.56167
Total
32,328,300
263.5
100.00

NOTE: thermal sea level rise (caused when this ice melt water becomes ocean water, then heats up & expands) is not included in Table 1.

One thing occurred to me immediately: if the two factors, 1) the quantity of SLR caused by water melt from all sources entering the oceans, and 2) the thermal expansion thereafter, are added together would increase the SLR above the 263.5 feet figure.

IV. Quantifying and Timing the Rates of SLR

Another thing that occurred to me is that this 50/50 ratio is historical, i.e. "over recent decades," according to the articles quoted, which begs the question, how long will the 50/50 ratio hold?

I think that has been answered in principle in an earlier post of this series, quoting the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Sea level is rising — and at an accelerating rate — especially along the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico

  • Global average sea level rose roughly eight inches from 1880 - 2009.
  • The average annual rate of global sea level rise accelerated from 1993 - 2008, increasing 65 - 90 percent above the twentieth century average.
  • The U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico experienced some of the world's fastest rates of sea level rise in the twentieth century due to local and regional factors.
  • From 1880 - 2009, Miami faced 12 inches of local sea level rise; Boston, New York, and Charleston, SC, 13 to 16 inches; Virginia Beach, 30 inches; and Galveston, TX, nearly three feet.
Human activities, such as burning coal and oil and cutting down tropical forests, have increased atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping gases and caused the planet to warm by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880.
  • Rising temperatures are warming ocean waters, which expand as the temperature increases. This thermal expansion was the main driver of global sea level rise for 75 - 100 years after the start of the Industrial Revolution, though its relative contribution has declined as the shrinking of land ice has accelerated.
  • Land ice—glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets—is shrinking at a faster rate in response to rising temperatures, adding water to the world's oceans.
  • As the rate of ice loss has accelerated, its contribution to global sea level rise has increased from a little more than half of the total increase from 1993 - 2008 to 75 - 80 percent of the total increase between 2003 - 2007 [recent papers: it is evening out]
(Union of Concerned Scientists). Thus, it is like the race between the tortoise and the hare, or any NASCAR race for that matter, which is to say that the lead changes from time to time.

That dynamic is easy to envision if we follow the flow of water from melt in Greenland or Antarctica to the point it has concluded its 100% melt contribution.

When it first enters the ocean it is ice cold melt, but when ocean currents later move that ice cold water into areas of more sunlight, as well as into already warmer waters, that ice cold water is going to go through thermal expansion as it warms up.

The delay between contribution to sea level rise by merely entering the ocean (the first part of the total) and contribution due to thermal expansion (the second part of the total) will vary depending on location of entry, then the eventual destination determined by the ocean currents in that area.

Another complication is that surges will take place from time to time, as was pointed out recently:
Why wouldn't they when this, among a hundred other climate changes, is happening:
Coastal sea levels along continental margins often show significant year-to-year upward and downward fluctuations. These fluctuations are superimposed on a longer term upward trend associated with the rise in global mean sea level, with global mean sea level rising at roughly 3 mm per year during the recent 20 years of accurate satellite measures. For society, it is the regional changes along any particular coastal zone that are most important. Our analysis of multi-decadal tide gauge records along the North American east coast identified an extreme sea-level rise event during 2009–2010. Within this relatively brief two-year period, coastal sea level north of New York City jumped by up to 128 mm. This magnitude of inter-annual sea level rise is unprecedented in the tide gauge records, with statistical methods suggesting that it was a 1-in-850 year event.
(NOAA, An Extreme Event of Sea-level Rise, emphasis added). In other words, in the language of the warrior congress, "a surge."

The rate of sea level rise has been consistently underestimated by conservative scientists who don't want any surge of fear in the sheeple (cf. here and here).

That recent study shows how large the underestimations have been, because they incessantly fail to consider acceleration in ice sheet melts, along with other cumulative events in a damaged climate system.

The 128mm (5.04 inches) sea level rise in only two years is 2.52 inches per year, or 25.2 inches (2 ft. 1.2 in.) over ten years.

It is 85 years until 2100, by which time conservative scientists have said that a six foot sea level rise could take place (3 ft. says IPCC).

But, if there is a global 2.52 inch surge in only half (42.5) of those 85 years, the sea levels could rise about nine feet (2,52 * 42.5 = 107.1 in. / 12 = 8.93 ft.) --instead of only about six feet (the high estimate; 3ft. is the lower IPCC estimate).

Conservative as 3 ft.  is, still that is a serious rate of sea level rise, which could accelerate, because among other things even  the underlying non-surge rate is accelerating (Water, Water, Everywhere: Sea Level Rise in Miami).
(Agnotology: The Surge - 16). This 2.52 inch a year surge was a local phenomenon, however, we also have evidence that it can happen on a broader scale:
On May 22nd, 2014, global sea surface temperature anomalies spiked to an amazing +1.25 degrees Celsius above the, already warmer than normal, 1979 to 2000 average. This departure is about 1.7 degrees C above 1880 levels — an extraordinary reading that signals the world may well be entering a rapid warming phase.
...
It is very rare that land or ocean surface temperatures spike to values above a +1 C anomaly in NOAA’s Global Forecast System model summary. Historically, both measures have slowly risen to about +.35 C above the 1979 to 2000 average and about +.8 C above 1880s values (land +1 C, ocean +.6 C). But since late April, sea surface temperatures have remained in a range of +1 C above 1979 to 2000 values — likely contributing to NOAA and NASA’s temperature indexes hitting first and second hottest in the climate record for the month. During May, ocean surface heating entrenched and expanded, progressing to a new high of +1.17 C last week. As of this week, values had exceeded +1.2 C and then rocketed on to a new extreme of +1.25 C (See Deep Ocean Warming is Coming Back to Haunt Us).
(Global Sea Surface Temperatures Increase). The acceleration can be periodic over a longer span of time as well:
"Since the beginning of the 20th century, the seas have continued to rise at an average rate of 1.7 ± 0.5 mm per year, according to the IPCC  ... first noted increase ... 1963 ... 1.8 ± 0.5 mm per year ... 1993 to 2003 ... 3.1 ± 0.7 mm yr ..."
(Wunderground). The surge and acceleration factors, whether atmospheric, land, or oceans, are serious complications in terms of trying to be exact at predictions of future SLR.

But one thing is sure, the past attempts at predictions have all resulted in underestimations.

V. Attempts Based On Percentages

The rate of loss of ice is currently:
Measurements from ESA’s CryoSat mission have been used to map the height of the huge ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica and show how they are changing. New results reveal combined ice volume loss at an unprecedented rate of 500 cubic kilometres a year.
...
The resulting maps reveal that Greenland alone is reducing in volume by about 375 cubic kilometres a year.
...
The researchers say the ice sheets’ annual contribution to sea-level rise has doubled since 2009. [Table 1 type contribution - i.e. thermal sea level rise (additional) is not included in that doubling]

Glaciologist Angelika Humbert, another of the study’s authors, added, “Since 2009, the volume loss in Greenland has increased by a factor of about two and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet by a factor of three."
(ESA Cryosat, emphasis added). What if we take that current ice melt rate (500 km3), based on volume of ice melt in Greenland (375 km3) and Antarctica (125 km3), then build an estimate based on that acceleration (e.g. doubling during the period from Jan 2009 to Dec 2013)?

VI. Ice Loss Volume Percentages

Let's use a formula L = [ (f / s)(1 / y) ] - 1 to calculate the annual-loss growth-rate percentage over multiple years:
Where:
L = ice-volume-loss per year
f = final volume of loss-per-yr (~500 km3)
s = starting volume of loss-per-yr (~250 km3), i.e. half
y = number of years (~5)
L = [(500/250)(1/5)] - 1
L = (2.2) - 1
L = 1.148698355 - 1
L = .148698355
L = 14.87% annual ice loss increase Jan. 2009 thru Dec. 2013

Test (2009-2013):
2009) 250 x 1.148698355 = 287.17458875
2010) 287.17458875. x 1.148698355 = 329.876977695
2011) 329.876977695 x 1.148698355 = 378.929141631
2012) 378.929141631 x 1.148698355 = 435.275281653
2013) 435.275281653 x 1.148698355 = 500.000000006
Ok, that checks out.

So, let's try it on the current IPCC projection of a 3 ft. sea level rise by 2100:
Where:
L = SLR per year
f = final level (3 ft.)
s = starting level (1ft. since circa 1900)
y = number of years (85) (Jan. 2015 - Dec. 2099)
L = [(3/1)(1/85)] - 1
L = (3.011764706) - 1
L = 1.0130087374844319 - 1
L = .0130087374844319
L = 1.30% annual SLR from Jan. 2015 thru Dec. 2099
The IPCC estimate of 3 ft. rise by 2100 looks like a significant underestimation.

Ok, let's use the 3.1 mm year sea level rise mentioned above in the quote from Wunderground, and apply it to a 3 ft (914.4 mm) rise:
Where:
L = SLR per year
f = final level (914.4 mm)
s = starting level (304.8 mm since circa 1900)
y = number of years (85) (Jan. 2015 - Dec. 2099)
L = [(914.4/304.8)(1/85)] - 1
L = (3.011764706) - 1
L = 1.0130087374844319 - 1
L = .0130087374844319
L = 1.30% annual SLR from Jan. 2015 thru Dec. 2099
That matches the 3ft. rise, so the mm / ft. conversions are correct.

So, let's try it on a projection of a 30 ft. sea level rise by 2100:
Where:
L = SLR per year
f = final level (30 ft.)
s = starting level (1ft. since circa 1900)
y = number of years (85) (Jan. 2015 - Dec. 2099)
L = [(30/1)(1/85)] - 1
L = (30.011764706) - 1
L = 1.0408254364501908 - 1
L = .0408254364501908
L = 4.08% annual SLR from Jan. 2015 thru Dec. 2099
The estimate of a 30 ft. rise by 2100 looks like an underestimation too.

So, let's try it on a batshit crazy projection of a 300 ft. sea level rise by 2100:
Where:
L = SLR per year
f = final level (300 ft.)
s = starting level (1ft. since circa 1900)
y = number of years (85) (Jan. 2015 - Dec. 2099)
L = [(300/1)(1/85)] - 1
L = (300.011764706) - 1
L = 1.0408254364501908 - 1
L = .0408254364501908
L = 4.08% annual SLR from Jan. 2015 thru Dec. 2099
The estimate of a 300 ft. rise by 2100 looks like a percentage underestimation too.

It seems, then, that the doubling of the melt of polar ice from Jan. 2009 thru Dec. 2013 (calculates to 14.87% annually to 2100) is a rare surge rather than a trend.

So, here is a computer printout of a calculation program I wrote which is incremental and designed to mimic the 4.08% increase to a 3ft rise @2100 to show the IPCC calc is an underestimate.

A final observation using Table 1 figures:
32,328,300 km3 (total ice volume)
32,328,300 km3 − 180,000 km3 = 32,148,300 km3 (polar ice only)
500 km3 (loss per yr. now) ÷ 321,48,300 km3 = 0.000015553

263.5 ft. (total SLR potential)
263.5 ft. − 1.48 ft. = 262.02 (total polar SLR potential)
262.02 ft. * 0.000015553 = 0.004075197 ft.yr. now SLR (polar only)

The 4.08% per year IPCC acceleration calculation applied to the 0.004075197 ft. yr. SLR now results in:
Year 2014: SLR to date = 0.00831666
Year 2015: SLR to date = 0.0127312
Year 2016: SLR to date = 0.0173258
Year 2017: SLR to date = 0.0221079
Year 2018: SLR to date = 0.0270851
Year 2019: SLR to date = 0.0322654
Year 2020: SLR to date = 0.037657
Year 2021: SLR to date = 0.0432686
Year 2022: SLR to date = 0.0491091
Year 2023: SLR to date = 0.055188
Year 2024: SLR to date = 0.0615149
Year 2025: SLR to date = 0.0680999
Year 2026: SLR to date = 0.0749535
Year 2027: SLR to date = 0.0820868
Year 2028: SLR to date = 0.0895112
Year 2029: SLR to date = 0.0972384
Year 2030: SLR to date = 0.105281
Year 2031: SLR to date = 0.113652
Year 2032: SLR to date = 0.122364
Year 2033: SLR to date = 0.131431
Year 2034: SLR to date = 0.140869
Year 2035: SLR to date = 0.150692
Year 2036: SLR to date = 0.160915
Year 2037: SLR to date = 0.171556
Year 2038: SLR to date = 0.18263
Year 2039: SLR to date = 0.194157
Year 2040: SLR to date = 0.206154
Year 2041: SLR to date = 0.21864
Year 2042: SLR to date = 0.231636
Year 2043: SLR to date = 0.245162
Year 2044: SLR to date = 0.259239
Year 2045: SLR to date = 0.273891
Year 2046: SLR to date = 0.289141
Year 2047: SLR to date = 0.305014
Year 2048: SLR to date = 0.321533
Year 2049: SLR to date = 0.338727
Year 2050: SLR to date = 0.356622
Year 2051: SLR to date = 0.375248
Year 2052: SLR to date = 0.394633
Year 2053: SLR to date = 0.414809
Year 2054: SLR to date = 0.435809
Year 2055: SLR to date = 0.457665
Year 2056: SLR to date = 0.480413
Year 2057: SLR to date = 0.504089
Year 2058: SLR to date = 0.528731
Year 2059: SLR to date = 0.554378
Year 2060: SLR to date = 0.581072
Year 2061: SLR to date = 0.608855
Year 2062: SLR to date = 0.637772
Year 2063: SLR to date = 0.667868
Year 2064: SLR to date = 0.699192
Year 2065: SLR to date = 0.731794
Year 2066: SLR to date = 0.765727
Year 2067: SLR to date = 0.801044
Year 2068: SLR to date = 0.837801
Year 2069: SLR to date = 0.876059
Year 2070: SLR to date = 0.915877
Year 2071: SLR to date = 0.95732
Year 2072: SLR to date = 1.00045
Year 2073: SLR to date = 1.04535
Year 2074: SLR to date = 1.09207
Year 2075: SLR to date = 1.1407
Year 2076: SLR to date = 1.19132
Year 2077: SLR to date = 1.244
Year 2078: SLR to date = 1.29883
Year 2079: SLR to date = 1.3559
Year 2080: SLR to date = 1.4153
Year 2081: SLR to date = 1.47712
Year 2082: SLR to date = 1.54146
Year 2083: SLR to date = 1.60842
Year 2084: SLR to date = 1.67812
Year 2085: SLR to date = 1.75066
Year 2086: SLR to date = 1.82617
Year 2087: SLR to date = 1.90475
Year 2088: SLR to date = 1.98654
Year 2089: SLR to date = 2.07166
Year 2090: SLR to date = 2.16026
Year 2091: SLR to date = 2.25248
Year 2092: SLR to date = 2.34845
Year 2093: SLR to date = 2.44835
Year 2094: SLR to date = 2.55231
Year 2095: SLR to date = 2.66052
Year 2096: SLR to date = 2.77315
Year 2097: SLR to date = 2.89037
Year 2098: SLR to date = 3.01237
Year 2099: SLR to date = 3.13935
The IPCC calculations seem to be obvious underestimates, so, in the next post of this series I am going to show print outs of various accelerations, with some surges injected to make it more real.

VII. Conclusion

We need to focus on the rate of increase of ice cap melt (including Eastern Antarctica) as an initial source of SLR, but remember that once that ice cold water enters the ocean that is not the end of its impact on SLR.

When it is eventually warmed, it will add more SLR via thermal expansion.

Further, as the much more vast ocean warms deeper and deeper, it too will add to SLR, even without additional water from ice melt.

Cities and countries all around the world are now, have been in the past, and will continue to be, victims of the fossil fuel empire called Oil-Qaeda.

The previous post in this series is here.

A snowball's chance in hell argument ...



And an adult argument in response ...



Thursday, February 26, 2015

You Are Here - 3

Click on photo to see little men in big crystals



Here

by Ed Roberson

There is nothing concrete to grasp in
looking into the morning sky

The evidence of red-eye
flights east a plane drawn line presents

is not a wheelbarrow solid enough
dependency as day and night

carry in coming and going
You don’t see the poem

saying anything you can’t see in it
White dashes of contrails’

seemingly unmoving streak towards sunrise
disquiet the pale otherwise

unpunctuated blue of dawn
breaks it off

Here is that silence




February is African American History month



The previous post in this series is here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Agnotology: The Surge - 16

Sen. Inhofe's Sea Level Rise Researchers
Today let's look at unexpected as well as expected surges that are taking place in a civilization that thinks of itself as the most advanced ever (don't they all?).

Obviously, there is not very much awareness in the United States concerning the power of ignorance in our so-called most modern, enlightened, advanced, exceptional, and most evolved society.

For example, in the congress a substantial portion of the elected members are climate change deniers.

A factor that causes a large number of the observers of the members of our governing bodies and institutions to literally ask American citizens travelling abroad, if our country is going crazy (Petroleum Civilization: The Final Chapter (Confusing Life with Death) - 3).

Why wouldn't they when this, among a hundred other climate changes, is happening:
Coastal sea levels along continental margins often show significant year-to-year upward and downward fluctuations. These fluctuations are superimposed on a longer term upward trend associated with the rise in global mean sea level, with global mean sea level rising at roughly 3 mm per year during the recent 20 years of accurate satellite measures. For society, it is the regional changes along any particular coastal zone that are most important. Our analysis of multi-decadal tide gauge records along the North American east coast identified an extreme sea-level rise event during 2009–2010. Within this relatively brief two-year period, coastal sea level north of New York City jumped by up to 128 mm. This magnitude of inter-annual sea level rise is unprecedented in the tide gauge records, with statistical methods suggesting that it was a 1-in-850 year event.
(NOAA, An Extreme Event of Sea-level Rise, emphasis added). In other words, in the language of the warrior congress, "a surge."

The rate of sea level rise has been consistently underestimated by conservative scientists who don't want any surge of fear in the sheeple (cf. here and here).

That recent study shows how large the underestimations have been, because they incessantly fail to consider acceleration in ice sheet melts, along with other cumulative events in a damaged climate system.

The 128mm (5.04 inches) sea level rise in only two years is 2.52 inches per year, or 25.2 inches (2 ft. 1.2 in.) over ten years.

It is 85 years until 2100, by which time conservative scientists have said that a six foot sea level rise could take place.

But, if there is a global 2.52 inch surge in only half (42.5) of those 85 years, the sea levels could rise about nine feet (2,52 * 42.5 = 107.1 in. / 12 = 8.93 ft.) --instead of only about six feet (the high estimate - 3ft. is lower IPCC estimate).

Conservative as 3 ft. is, still that is a serious rate of sea level rise, which could accelerate, because among other things even  the underlying non-surge rate is accelerating (Water, Water, Everywhere: Sea Level Rise in Miami).

No wonder Miami Beach property, and other coastal property, is going to become cheap (Will This Float Your Boat - 3).

Another place where Agnotology shows up is in U.S. law enforcement where military doctrine has replaced traditional peace officer doctrine (Will The Military Become The Police?, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).

Even dark military practices are showing up in places like Chicago, where Chicago police detain Americans at an abuse-laden CIA-type 'black site':
“I’ve never known any kind of organized, secret place where they go and just hold somebody before booking for hours and hours and hours. That scares the hell out of me that that even exists or might exist,” said Trainum, who now studies national policing issues, to include interrogations, for the Innocence Project and the Constitution Project.

Regardless of departmental regulations, police frequently deny or elide access to lawyers even at regular police precincts, said Solowiej of First Defense Legal Aid. But she said the outright denial was exacerbated at Chicago’s secretive interrogation and holding facility: “It’s very, very rare for anyone to experience their constitutional rights in Chicago police custody, and even more so at Homan Square,” Solowiej said.
...
“The real danger in allowing practices like Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,” Siska said.

“They creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices. That’s how we ended up with a black site in Chicago.”
(The disappeared, cf. The AtlanticRawStory). Other government officials are also practising the ignorance of junk science and using it to put people in jail for life.

In Texas they go even further and execute them based on junk science:
Most famous among wrongful arson convictions is the Texas case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was convicted of killing his three young daughters in a fire and put to death in 2004. In The New Yorker, investigative journalist David Grann described in dramatic detail how, days before Willingham’s execution, a renowned fire scientist named Gerald Hurst rushed to show the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles that the fire in his case had almost certainly been an accident. With evidence of prosecutorial misconduct emerging after Willingham’s death, today it is perhaps the most widely accepted example of a wrongful execution in the modern death penalty era.
...
Recent experiments have yielded troubling results. In one 2005 test, ATF researchers asked 53 professional fire investigators to pinpoint the origin of a series of post-flashover fires. Only three [5.7%] were able to do so accurately — most drew false conclusions based on burn patterns. In 2011, a test conducted by the California-based Arson Research Project asked professional fire investigators to assess 12 post-flashover burn patterns and distinguish between those that involved a liquid accelerant and those that did not. In reality, there is no way to tell the difference based on visual evidence alone. Yet out of 33 investigators, only three [9%] responded that such a conclusion could not be determined based on this evidence.

In a subsequent report, the Arson Research Project warned that between their subjective methodology and close identification with law enforcement, fire investigators are “uniquely positioned” to be susceptible to the affects of cognitive bias — in which one’s perception is colored by preexisting knowledge or assumptions. In a criminal investigation, the more contextual details a forensic analyst is given by law enforcement, the more likely he or she is to unconsciously reach conclusions that support the state’s theory. To mitigate this, the NAS report argued that forensic analysts should operate as independently from law enforcement as possible. But fire investigations involve the opposite approach, the Arson Research Project report said, instead embracing arson task forces in which “the lines between fire scene examiner and criminal investigator are not just blurred but are obliterated.”
(Playing With Fire, Junk Science). It is as if there is a surge of voodoo ignorance trances going around undetected (Choose Your Trances Carefully, 2, 3).

Why is this not generally known or reported by McTell News?

One serious study of Agnotology points out that:
"Philosophers love to talk about knowledge. A whole field is devoted to reflection on the topic, with product tie-ins to professorships and weighty conferences. Epistemology is serious business, taught in academies the world over: there is “moral” and “social” epistemology, epistemology of the sacred, the closet, and the family. There is a Computational Epistemology Laboratory at the University of Waterloo, and a Center for Epistemology at the Free University in Amsterdam. A Google search turns up separate websites for “constructivist,” “feminist,” and “evolutionary” epistemology, of course, but also “libidinal,” “android,” “Quaker,” “Internet,” and (my favorite) “erotometaphysical” epistemology. Harvard offers a course in the field (without the erotometaphysical part), which (if we are to believe its website) explores the epistemic status of weighty claims like “the standard meter is 1 meter long” and “I am not a brain in a vat.”1 We seem to know a lot about knowledge.

What is remarkable, though, is how little we know about ignorance. There is not even a well-known word for its study (though our hope is to change that—see Box 1), no fancy conferences or polished websites [take that Dredd Blog!]. This is particularly remarkable, given (a) how much ignorance there is, (b) how many kinds there are, and (c) how consequential ignorance is in our lives.

The point of this volume is to argue that there is much, in fact, to know. Ignorance has many friends and enemies, and figures big in everything from trade association propaganda to military operations to slogans chanted at children. Lawyers think a lot about it, since it often surfaces in consumer product liability and tort litigation, where the question is often “Who knew what, and when?” Ignorance has many interesting surrogates and overlaps in myriad ways with—as it is generated by—secrecy, stupidity, apathy, censorship, disinformation, faith, and forgetfulness, all of which are science-twitched. Ignorance hides in the shadows of philosophy and is frowned upon in sociology, but it also pops up in a great deal of popular rhetoric: it’s no excuse, it’s what can’t hurt you, it’s bliss. Ignorance has a history and a complex political and sexual geography, and does a lot of other odd and arresting work that bears exploring.
...
Military-sponsored research in the 1940s led to early predictions of global warming and the melting of the polar ice caps; the guardians of military secrecy kept this quiet, however, and the topic was not widely and openly discussed. Climate science has suffered new kinds of agnotology in recent years, as Bush administration strategists have tried to keep the question of anthropogenic global warming “open.” As with tobacco industry apologetics, calls for “more research” on climate change have served as an effective stalling tactic: the strong evidence of warming is denied, using the pretence of a quest for rigor as a trick to delay action. Calls for precision can play out as prevarication.

Military research has more often generated ignorance by passive agnogenesis: we have many examples where military funding has pushed certain areas, leaving others to languish.
"
(Agnotology, by Robert N. Proctor, emphasis added, PDF). Dr. Proctor is a serious authority on Agnotology (he and another fellow came up with the word circa 1992. ibid).

The military excuse for their denial tactics, which Dr. Proctor mentions in the quote above, reminds me of what one fellow from Texas noticed:
"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
(Butch Hancock, cf. MOMCOM: A Mean Welfare Queen). That is enough about Agnotology for one post.

See you next time.

The previous post in this series is here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

MOMCOM and The Sins of Libya - 3

"Thanks for all that freedom Obomber"
The faux snooze went all glittery and gold when whatever IS IS went nutso on some 25 Christians at the beach recently.

As a result, people also lost their heads at the keyboard guillotine of McTell News.

It was a regular psychotic reaction.

But, not as many noticed when the sovereign nation of Libya was beheaded as millions lost the lives they had been living there, even though it was an example of what Arnold J. Toynbee called the murder of a society:
"In other words, a society does not ever die 'from natural causes', but always dies from suicide or murder --- and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown."
(Choose Your Trances Carefully - 3). Not many at McTell News have reported that:
Libya provides a complete education to all students free of cost to them, from the kindergarten level up through the university level.

At least it did before it was invaded.

Libyans can purchase gasoline for their automobiles at a cost of 14 cents a litre.

At least they could before their nation was invaded.

Libya provides complete health care coverage to all of its citizens free of cost to them whatever their age.

At least it did before it was invaded.

Libya provides good labor laws "for workers’ compensation, pension rights, minimum rest periods, and maximum working hours."

At least it did before it was invaded.

["Yo Fed X me some bushie freedom Yo"]
That means women in that Islamic nation get a complete education for free, are cared for at no cost when their health is an issue, and can work in humane conditions, and wonder of wonders, women can drive automobiles in Libya.

At least it was that way before Libya was invaded.

Libya was categorized by the United Nations as a "High human development" country.

In that U.N. ranking, Libya even ranked above Saudi Arabia, for example (Saudi Arabian women cannot drive automobiles, or vote).

At least it was that way before Libya was invaded.

Libya provided $50,000 to newlyweds, and zero interest home loans to the citizens of that nation.

At least it did before it was invaded.
(MOMCOM And The Sins of Libya). What the war whores do remember in their play-pretend newspapers and plastic punditry is likely to be:
In the immediate wake of the military victory, U.S. officials were triumphant.
Writing in these pages in 2012, Ivo Daalder, then the U.S. permanent representative to NATO, and James Stavridis, then supreme allied commander of Europe, declared, “NATO’s operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention.” In the Rose Garden after Qaddafi’s death, Obama himself crowed, “Without putting a single U.S. service member on the ground, we achieved our objectives.”
(Foreign Affairs). Now, the bands of believers are asking what "the meaning of IS IS" again, but in a more news-sexy context:
Marched on to a Libyan beach in now gruesomely familiar orange jumpsuits, the last moments of 21 Coptic Christians carried the vicious jolt of previous Isis
"A head in every pot, a rubble mobile in every garage"
snuff videos, but with an added charge of fear.

The setting, in Libya, suggested that the group was spreading further and faster than even their dramatic early advances seem possible, and it came after vows of allegiance to Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by militants from Afghanistan to Yemen ... In Libya, where Isis now controls three towns, its roots are less clear, with some fighters signing up from a homegrown militia based in Benghazi city, and others returning from Syria. The group has advanced quickly though across a country rocked by civil war, highlighting its progress with regular displays of extreme violence.
(Guardian). Yep, Libya was freed up for some real hoots and hollers of freedom fries, while being burned at the proverbial stake:
Sekou Balde is living testimony to the increasing chaos and brutality that is sweeping Libya, as fears grow that the Islamic State terrorist group is seeking
Never let our oil get under your lands
to establish a caliphate on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Lifting up his sweatshirt, he reveals the six stab wounds he received when he was attacked by a gang of four Libyan soldiers who demanded money after they raided the house near Tripoli where he was living rough with other African immigrants.

"They said 'where is your money?'. I said that I didn't have any. Then they attacked me. It was four of them against me. They came to where we were living at one in the morning. My brother was shot dead in front of me – boom, boom – as well as two of my friends," he said.
(Migrants Tell of Deepening Chaos in Libya). The McTell News is reporting that every nation in the mid-east is on edge with excitement, and quite anxious to find out who will be so blessed to next be freed.

The previous post in this series is here.