A few first impressions of the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting

A photo essay. What follows are a series of photos and comments that catalog my impressions of today.

As you may know, I’m attending the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting. After some hassle a couple of months ago, I was able to finally get a press pass:

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It took me three weeks, but I persevered.

First, my video gear case and tripod:

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During registration while waiting in line, some people recognized “WUWT” and I got a couple of dirty looks.

On my way to my first exhibit hall, I encountered this fellow:

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I suppose his method works just as well as some of the geoengineering ideas to stop climate change being floated here.

This was the first sign I saw walking into Moscone West:

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Sometimes climate scientist Richard Alley and an Open Mic at a Bar? I’d call that an Alley Ooops.

Photo of Richard Alley

Photo of Richard Alley Image: NASA

I assume he’ll be studying tipping points with James Hansen there? Maybe there will be dancing too.

Signs are big at this show, so is blogging apparently, though I’ve never heard of any of these.

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Apparently they need sign ups.

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My first session was the Ethics Workshop.

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It addressed the lack of ethics in several hypothetical situations. But addressing the lack of people interested in ethical issues of science research might have been a better topic:wpid-wp-1386622674755.jpg

WUWT regular John Whitman was there and reports:

I was at this ethics session. The audience was divided into 4 groups. Each group was given Mickey Mouse (in my view) ethicaly hypothetical scenarios to evaluate and present to the other groups. My group had a plagiarism case.

Overall, it did give me the opportunity to see that the audience was not generally subjective in ethics.

If there is another ethics workshop like this one, I would decline attending on the basis that it did not deal with actual critique of ethic controversies in climate science.

Right after the ethics session, I ran into Kevin Trenberth in the hall, but he was too busy to talk, he ran off to the authors prep room to prep for his presentation. No chance for an interview.

Both Hansen and Trenberth are big this year:

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Trenberth gets an award for climate communications? Nobody can explain this and it is a travesty that we can’t.

I hear plain English works best for communicating science.

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This looks like a billboard that you’d see for ambulance chasing attorneys along the highway:

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Some people protest against fossil fuels with their electric fossil fuel powered laptops. Irony impaired I suppose.

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The thing that struck me most was the sheer size of this convention and the number of people attending…and almost everyone of them is doing it on the taxpayer’s dime.

Up next, the descent into poster normal science.

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137 thoughts on “A few first impressions of the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting

  1. Nazi extremist-tippers movement hijacked the AGU I’d say. Only difference in the fellow with the “Repent” sign outside and the President on the sign inside is … location. Ha!

  2. Oh, man (no pun intended).

    Gas sucks…ride a bus.

    Nothing sums up the low-knowledge acolyte’s evangelical data-free belief.

    Maybe some twisted version of this applies to Al Gores private jet usage: commercial airline CO2 sucks, use private jets.

  3. Oh, and note the wall mounted video surveillance camera aimed directly at “gas sucks” lady’s laptop. I wonder which three-letter organization is monitoring her online activities. Come to think of it, there must have been many such cameras scattered throughout the convention centre, eh?

  4. Kumbaya, Esalen lives on in preparation of the fossil hippie Eucharist. You need a big phat gold chain, Tony. Lord knows, you deserve it.

  5. Anthony: It sounds like many of the usual culprits are there. Borenstein put this cold record article out on the AP. I guess if it is not measured next to a heat exhaust it cannot be an oficial record.

    http://news.yahoo.com/cold-dis-comfort-antarctica-set-record-135-8-231816344–politics.html

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Feeling chilly? Here’s cold comfort: You could be in East Antarctica which new data says set a record for “soul-crushing” cold.

    Try 135.8 degrees Fahrenheit below zero; that’s 93.2 degrees below zero Celsius, which sounds only slightly toastier. Better yet, don’t try it. That’s so cold scientists say it hurts to breathe. A new look at NASA satellite data revealed that Earth set a new record for coldest temperature recorded. It happened in August 2010 when it hit -135.8 degrees. Then on July 31 of this year, it came close again: -135.3 degrees. The old record had been -128.6 degrees, which is -89.2 degrees Celsius.
    Ice scientist Ted Scambos at the National Snow and Ice Data Center said the new record is “50 degrees colder than anything that has ever been seen in Alaska or Siberia or certainly North Dakota.”
    “It’s more like you’d see on Mars on a nice summer day in the poles,” Scambos said, from the American Geophysical Union scientific meeting in San Francisco Monday, where he announced the data. “I’m confident that these pockets are the coldest places on Earth.” However, it won’t be in the Guinness Book of World Records because these were satellite measured, not from thermometers, Scambos said.
    “Thank God, I don’t know how exactly it feels,” Scambos said. But he said scientists do routinely make naked 100 degree below zero dashes outside in the South Pole, so people can survive that temperature for about three minutes.
    Most of the time researchers need to breathe through a snorkel that brings air into the coat through a sleeve and warms it up “so you don’t inhale by accident” the cold air, Scambos said.
    On Monday, the coldest U.S. temperature was a relatively balmy 27 degrees below zero Fahrenheit in Yellowstone, Wyo., said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private firm Weather Underground.

    “If you want soul-crushing cold, you really have to go overseas,” Scambos said in a phone interview. “It’s just a whole other level of cold because on that cold plateau, conditions are perfect.”
    Scambos said the air is dry, the ground chilly, the skies cloudless and cold air swoops down off a dome and gets trapped in a chilly lower spot “hugging the surface and sliding around.”

    Just because one spot on Earth has set records for cold that has little to do with global warming because it is one spot in one place, said Waleed Abdalati, an ice scientist at the University of Colorado and NASA’s former chief scientist. Both Abdalati, who wasn’t part of the measurement team, and Scambos said this is likely an unusual random reading in a place that hasn’t been measured much before and could have been colder or hotter in the past and we wouldn’t know.
    “It does speak to the range of conditions on this Earth, some of which we haven’t been able to observe,” Abdalati said.

  6. Next time, don’t persevere. Your presence is not helpful.

    [Reply: Actually, it was very helpful, "Ralph". ~ mod.]

  7. I am surprised you did not get a red strobe light ID in addtion to the “GISS map red” badge. I am certain some folks would have lobbied for that to more easily avoid you. LOL

    Have fun Anthony !

  8. Good for Anthony! He wasn’t afraid to step into the lion’s den.

    I had to laugh at the pitiful appeal for eyeballs for their blogs [pic #6]. I’ve been following this debate since the 1990’s, and I didn’t recognize a single one of them.

    They could add all those blogs together, and even if they doubled and squared their traffic, they wouldn’t reach nearly as many readers as WUWT.

    Cut off the attendees’ taxpayer funding, and Anthony & John Whitman might be the only ones there! Those other folks need real jobs.

  9. “Some people protest against fossil fuels with their electric fossil fuel powered laptops. Irony impaired I suppose.”

    The student had a sign that promoted alternative transportation. “gas sucks; ride a bike”.

    If you bike to school or work 5 miles on way, which is about what most people would think is not overdoing it, you would save 2/5 of a gallon of gas (assuming your normal car gets 25 mpg in the city). Converting gas to kwatt-h (x 34) and assuming your computer uses about 50 watts when its on, I figured that biking one day is worth 34 days of using your computer 8 h/day.

    My macBook air uses about half of that, so I’m good for about 2 months…

    By the way, do you have to get the permission of people when you take pictures and post that way? I’m just wondering.

    REPLY: This woman was sitting in a commons area in the basement of Moscone south with a bunch of other people using laptops. This is a public place, no permission needed. Besides, she’s flaunting, she WANTS to be noticed. Besides, she’s already being photographed by the camera in the background.- Anthony

  10. Those who are doing God’s work (of damning or saving) are beyond ethics.

    We need to save the planet even if it means a religious war.

    (My tongue is starting to spasm from being in my cheek)

  11. Well I guess I am covered then, in my 20’s I rode 10miles one way to work and back each day for 2.5 years.

  12. Pippen Kool says:
    December 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    But you missed out on her fossil fuel fridge and fossil fuel lighting and fossil fuel hot water system and fossil fuel washing machine, TV, oven,cooktop.central heating etc etc. I bet she doesn’t bike on a freezing cold day either.

  13. Gas Sucks Ride a bike??

    R U 4 Real?

    I have run across idiots like that before. Ride a bike all week then drive a car to go skiing for one day in the mountains west of Denver….

  14. with respect to the permissions issue. I’m a professional photog and although laws differ across borders the basic rule is that if you are in a public place, on public land than you are fair game. but if the photog is on public land and you are not, say in the privacy of your garden? You are still fair game.

    The blurred lines come if you are both on private property, whoever owns it, then the individual being photographed, has the right to withhold their image providing that they are recognisable in the photograph.

    I don’t know this Moscone place but I’m guessing that it’s a private place of business even if it has public areas. As such an individual could expect to be afforded certain privacy rights. I’d hate to give any crackpot greenie ideas but I’d think that they have a legal right to ask for an image which identifies them to be removed. ( that does not extend to an image of images which identify individuals ). There is no legal recourse unless there is a refusal to remove images which may or may not infringe someone’s rights.

    REPLY: Moscone Center is the city’s convention center. It is a public facility. Thus, photos of anyone on the public city owned property is fair game. – Anthony

  15. I bet that many of them think you are “just a child” while they are “emperors”….
    (:<))
    We might agree! Because you have clear vision…

  16. “Gas sucks, ride a bike”

    One wonders how the out-of-towners arrived at the convention. I don’t think James Hansen and Kevin Trenberth came in on a flying unicorn and fairy dust.

  17. @ Pippen — not ONE of those people in Anth-ny’s photos has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the locations they were in when photographed. You only reveal your ignorance by asking that question.

    ***************************
    Anthony! YOU ARE MY HERO. What a guy. When I saw that case with “WUWT” boldly proclaimed on the side, I felt SO PROUD OF YOU.

    Re: Alley — LAUGH — OUT — LOUD. His “dance” reminds me of Dickens’ description of that ultra-scumbag Uriah Heep’s slimy twisting and gyrating in David Copperfield. Heh, I think he was attempting a weird combination of The Hustle and The Macarena… . He should just sit down and shut up. His voice doesn’t sound like he’s a vocalist, either…. “Open mike… .” I think you’d better stay far away from that place, sounds veeerrry creepy.

    And, ho, ho, ho, union man Hansen is going to promote, like, what — the Teamsters? A.F.C.I.O.?

    Widdo Trenberth (Mr. Liar of the Year Award — “Climate Communication Prize” my eye) — wan awaaaaay. Hiding out. COWARD (that is, btw, what ALL liars are, at bottom).

    Anthony, YOU ARE SO COOL to walk in there so manfully, head held high, making NO apologies for standing up for the truth.

    (at the risk of people equating me with the man with the sign, head shake, Imprayingforyou.)

    Take care, O Hero for Science Truth,

    Janice

    P.S. @ Bike Girl — and on your metal rims, no doubt? Wearing a steel helmet, too, hm? Your hat looks like it’s made out of polyester… .

  18. addendum to my previous post. if you simply ask someone politely if you may take their photo and they give permission? That image is your in perpetuity.

  19. And sorry Anthony ( this is where WordPress’ lack of edit shows up ) I didn’t mean to suggest any impropriety as I have no idea of the ownership / public land situation here. I just wanted to offer my observation to the issue as it was brought up.

    Give ‘em hell fella, even your presence must be ruffling feathers and personally I’m all for that.

  20. The problem I always had with riding my bike to work was there was nowhere to shower when I got there. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to share an office with me if I rode 5 miles on a typical Georgia summer day. PU!

  21. The money quote for me …

    “Trenberth gets an award for climate communications? Nobody can explain this and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

    (you may want to fix the “am” in the question).

  22. It should be called American Rentseekers Union.

    Perhaps Anthony can teach them how to speak in proper English instead of metaphors for deception.

    The correct scientific language is Carbon Dioxide as in Tax, Carbon Tax is something completely different than what they actually want.

  23. Box of Rocks says:
    December 9, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    “Ride a bike all week then drive a car to go skiing for one day in the mountains west of Denver….”

    Not much riding in Denver over the last week with temps below zero at night & highs in single digits & teens.

    … on the other hand I did ride my bike one warm day in the spring from Denver to A-basin to go skiing :)) That’s Colorado living !

    Anthony, love the humor ! Looking forward to more …

  24. Pippen Kool says December 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    assuming your computer uses about 50 watts when its on,

    Mining for primes (for bitcoins)? Not everybody is into that in which case the ‘draw’ by most laptops will be on a par with yours (still an Intel-based CPU and chipset right?)

    .

  25. Box of Rocks says: ” a bike all week then drive a car to go skiing for one day in the mountains west of Denver….”
    Box of Rocks says: “bike all week then drive a car to go skiing for one day in the mountains west of Denver….”

    I don’t get your problem. The whole point of biking routinely is to save gasoline, not give it up entirely.

    When I was a student (in Oregon; the mts were east not west) we biked all week and rode up with friends to the mts to ski and back, on the weekend like you say.

    Using three students biking 2 miles to school and back, thats 6 (days) x 2 (miles to school) x 2 (and back) x 3 (students) = 72 miles of city driving avoided.
    The trip up the mountain was about 35 or 40 miles, so 70 or 80 miles total of highway driving.

    So the students used half of the gas they would have had they been driving cars. And, in general, we didn’t go up to the mts every week anyway.
    But we did use the car to get the beer and groceries…

  26. Repent!
    Go down the list of what the global warming enthusiasts claim is going to happen in the near future.
    Then, go read about the seven bowls of God’s wrath, in Revelation, Ch 16
    Diseases from sun exposure, the death of all se life, unbearable heat, rivers drying up, etc.

    I trust the author who jotted this down via divine revelation 2,000 years ago versus the God Complex scientists – they are so unoriginal when trying to make up their own apocalypse.

  27. Truthseeker: The record temperature was reported as -135.8F which is -93.2C. Just being a pendant.

    Hang in there, Truthseeker. : > )

  28. REPLY: This woman was sitting in a commons area in the basement of Moscone south with a bunch of other people using laptops. This is a public place, no permission needed. Besides, she’s flaunting, she WANTS to be noticed. Besides, she’s already being photographed by the camera in the background.- Anthony

    Anthony: I pride myself in being “near Sherlok” when it comes to misc. observations. Thus I went back to see what you meant. THE LOCAL SURVEILANCE CAMERA ALMOST JUMPED OUT AND BIT ME the second time I looked at the Photo. A lesson in “directed observation” (i.e., the directions were to look at the gal and the posting on the PC, DANG I fell for it, and SAW but did not “precieve” the totality of the image. OK, I pledge, in the future…I will be more observant. GOOD CATCH ON YOUR PART! Primo…

  29. In my college days I used the ski lodge to stay out of the cold weather. The undergrads thought that skiing was sexy. After the third hot toddy, I thought their skiing was funny!

  30. Who knew that a blog would replace a proper use for a high intensity spotlight.
    Or burning torches, pitchforks and angry peasants.
    Now that is eco-friendly.
    Thank you for your courage and great reporting.
    Donation to follow.

  31. Ask many people one question.

    If there is no warming for years to come when should the global warming theory be terminated?

  32. As long as you are in San Francisco, you might as well walk or ride over to Ghirardelli Square near Fisherman’s Warf and “sequester” some carbon (H8N4C7O2 + C8H11N) fresh from the bubbling chocolate fountain. (^_^)

  33. Pippen Kool says:
    December 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm
    +++++++++++
    As is typical you missed the point. The girl said gas sucks, but then she can not live without it. If gas sucks so badly why not just plug her laptop into her bike and pedal to keep it charged? She’s not using wood chips or natural wood to keep warm unless she’s breaking the law (spare the air day again today prevents that). Why not get the hell out of the developed country which gave her the freedom to loathe the wonders of what have been afforded to her by that miraculous fossil based resource. Do you get it now?

  34. The commute from Broomfield to Downtown Denver is roughly 45 min.
    On my bike through Westminster and Arvada it take me 1hr 15 and I have a shower at work.
    I take the long way to get the extra miles plus going down hill is fun.

    Going home and uphill, well that is another story.

    I would not burn any less gas on the weeks I rode a few days to work. I merely moved my miles around.

    Personally I find the people like her and a lot of the folks in Boulder to be intellectual frauds.
    Look at me – I ride my bike. Just don’t watch blow my savings in gas on other stuff.

    Just look at 36 going into Boulder on a given day.

    Too many cars because the Boulder has too many jobs. (Gotta luv the tax money though…)

  35. Chris4692 says:
    December 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm
    But we did use the car to get the beer

    It’s good you had your priorities in the proper order.

    Ha – I use my pick up truck to get the ingredients to make beer.

    At $35.00/ 5gallons and the beer taste better why drive to get beer?

  36. At least Pippen can enjoy beer. Maybe we all just need to sit around, split a case and hash all this fussin’ and a-feudin’ out once and for all, slappin’ each other on the back and all. And just as an observation, Mr. Kool, I had to laugh when I heard you were in Oregon for school (Eugene, I assume?), the very state I ran screaming from at 18. Just goes to prove that it takes all kinds. :)

    As for Ralph, you taking the time to come on here to grace us with your open-mindedness and scientific curiosity, thank you. You exactly have shown how desperately you want us out and how much just might be hiding around the door. May you wake up with a throbbing hangover and have a vulgar word written across your wrinkly, surely-aging, Pachauri-olied hippie brow.

  37. Box of Rocks:
    “It’s good you had your priorities in the proper order.
    Ha – I use my pick up truck to get the ingredients to make beer.”

    Wow, me too. Have some IPA carbonating right now should be ready for Xmas. I may give up some of my fossil carbon but I’m all for that made with yeast.

  38. I think I will get a bumper sticker that says: “Hold your bladder…prevent sea level rise!” I imagine that holding your bladder has about as big an impact on sea level rise as riding your bike to work has on atmospheric temperatures.

  39. ” Steve Oregon says:
    December 9, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Ask many people one question.

    If there is no warming for years to come when should the global warming theory be terminated?”

    Dude, didn’t you get the MEMO?

    “TO, ALL: Due to the ongoing failure of the ‘CO2 Will Cause Catastrophic Planet-Wide Atmospheric Warming’ Hoax, all Hoax operations will now be conducted under the ‘CO2 Will Cause Catastrophic Planet-Wide Climate CHANGE’ Brand. For all practical purposes, operations will be unchanged and adhere to standing S.O.P.”

    Bureau Unrelentingly Losing Logical Stature, Highest Intervention Tier
    1 Despot Plaza
    Elitist Tower
    Desperation Way
    Here, Now 54321

  40. First, I just want to say “fantastic photo essay!”

    Now I can’t help but comment on Richard Alley. Alright, I get that he’s a ham. He impresses me as one of the least offensive of the CAGW proponents. To me he makes an entertaining and lucid case for his science. Of course, some of you may know something that I don’t.

  41. Ed,

    Yes I got the memo but the question must be simple.

    And at some point there will be no climate warming or disruption.

    So I’d ask them “When the music stops how long before your dancing stops?”

    One of them must have an answer. People look really stupid dancing with no music.

  42. Gas Sucks Ride a Bike… Sticking that on a laptop:

    a) made in all likelihood in some China sweatshop;
    b) containing all sorts of rare chemicals and materials;
    c) said chemicals resulting in all sorts of pollution events in China, and
    d) which got transported half way around the world,
    e) all using fossil fuel…

    must be some kind of strange inverse self insult..

    She should get herself a pencil and hide her new iPad behind it…

  43. Steve Oregon — you also make a good point. If they were rational, honest, thinkers, you might save a few from the cult… . They dance to the music they hear echoing in their minds.

    Cult of Climatology Hymn 97

    “Everybody’s talkin’ at me, I don’t hear a word they’re sayin…” Sounds like EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE TROLLS ON THIS SITE.

    “… skipping over the ocean… .”

    Of course.

  44. Anthony, I admire your bravery and resilience. To put yourself in that den of sychophants and troughers took huge courage.

  45. Anthony – when are you going to start reporting on the contents of the AGU sessions/meetings? That is what the blog sponsors who have paid for you to attend expect (rather than just posting some snaps).

    REPLY: I’ll point out that you didn’t help (nor would you ever, since your past comments have demonstrated your disdain for me and this blog) and therefore you don’t have any say in the matter. That said, I’ll have session reports tonight. This was just my getting a lay of the land. – Anthony

  46. Re the picture of agu blogs
    I recognize several of these. Typically, they are graduate students or lecturers with a particular interest in geology, Earth or Space sciences, Natural Hazards etc.
    While I haven’t looked at all of them, the subject matter rarely (if ever) seems to cover climate science so it is not surprising that readers here (including Anthony) would have met them. If you have an interest in Earth and Space things that are outside the climate science field then have a look.

    http://blogs.agu.org/

  47. Anthony, you were an infidel amongst the true believers. It must have been scary. At any time you could have been burned at the stake. I hope you were careful with what you ate and drank.

  48. The audience (if you can call it that) doesn’t seem to be overly interested in what the presenter has to say…

  49. sherlock1 doesn’t live up to his name and doesn’t deduce from the actual words given that “The audience was divided into 4 groups. Each group was given Mickey Mouse (in my view) ethicaly [sic]hypothetical scenarios to evaluate and present to the other groups “

  50. The “Gas Sucks” lady is a hypocritical idiot of course. She might as well say that “money sucks”, or “houses suck”. What a maroon. And, as far as her bike-riding saving gas, so what? The money saved is a paltry amount – maybe about 13 cents per mile at first glance. Add in the bicycle and other gear, plus the other fuel these morons never think of which is food, and there are hardly any savings to speak of. Yes, Pippen, riding a bike does require energy.
    Now, having said all that, I am in no way against walking and biking as alternative transportation, as they can provide healthful and enjoyable exercise.

  51. “Trenberth gets an award for climate communications? Nobody can explain this and it is a travesty that we can’t.” Bloody hell, Anthony! That’s another keyboard you owe me!

  52. “Trenberth gets an award for climate communications? Nobody can explain this and it is a travesty that we can’t.” Chuckle.

  53. It takes courage to be there. Getting more and more like an IPCC meeting. I suggest you put a sticker WIND BLOWS on the back of your laptop and sit across from our GAS SUCKS enviro.

  54. “Sharing science in plain English” sounds great except for the implied agenda of convincing people of something, or propagandizing. For climate “science” at least, they seem to have this notion that the reason the idea that we are responsible for the warming, which supposedly is only going to get worse unless we do something isn’t wildly popular with people is because they haven’t dumbed the message down enough. The funny thing about BS though, is that dumbing it down actually just makes it easier to spot and to fact-check.

  55. Does riding a bike not emit CO2s (and even more potent dihydrogen monoxide)? What does the human body metabolise food into while generating mechanical energy and heat while cycling? Have the filthy hippies hit on some kind of perpetual motion carbon neutral system?

  56. I’m so proud to be part of this community that WUWT constitutes!
    Here, I can read up on real analysis, made by real researchers, without the bias of AGW politics that is so widespread in some corners of academia. Touting their PhDs, BSc and etcs. To me, such a title only indicates that you have been fooled into “science”.
    I’m proud to say that I learn much more from analysis here at WUWT. And now we have our man within the Lion’s den. I’m feeling like I’m taking part in something big here!

  57. Ralph Cramden says:
    December 9, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Next time, don’t persevere. Your presence is not helpful.

    [Reply: Actually, it was very helpful, "Ralph". ~ mod.]
    **********************************************************
    if the science is settled why do you need help?

  58. Pippen Kool (December 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm) My macBook air uses about half of that, so I’m good for about 2 months…

    Did you build your macBook yourself out of sand and metal ores? Mine has some plastic which is presumably not recycled. If not, did you at least row across the Pacific to China to pick it up? If you did none of those things, have you at least amortized the fossil fuels into your calculation?

    Here’s a start: 0.86 kg of CO2 per dollar of GDP in China times $500 (the likely amount China gets after building your MacBook. Divide by 9 kg of CO2 per gallon of gas, which means 48 gallons of gas for the laptop itself, plus shipping.

  59. @Andrew,
    Their argument would probably be that food is “carbon-neutral”, since it absorbs CO2 when it grows, and the CO2 is merely released when we metabolize it, but they “forget” that farming and transporting food are fairly fuel-intensive activities.

  60. Additionally, most food is processed, so there is a manufacturing component further adding to the fuel use.

  61. Ethics courses and academic resources allocated to it mushroomed in business schools in recent decades. I don’t think certain other academic colleges got the memo, like science, political science, journalism, and public administration.

  62. Also, the meeting design choice known as table discussant groups or breakout sessions are partly symptomatic of conference organizers that really don’t take the subject seriously and want to manipulate the program anyway. I’m sure Dilbert would have several years worth of material to cover on this one, except engineers like Scott Adams are not exposed to such backwater conference wasting methods.

  63. Was once confronted at a rest stop after parking my full sized 12 passenger van. The other person complained that I was miss-using resources. My response was:

    I get over 170 passenger mpg. What do you get?

    They had not seen the other 9 people get out of the van.

  64. Louise whines:
    December 10, 2013 at 3:58 am

    Anthony – when are you going to start reporting on the contents of the AGU sessions/meetings? That is what the blog sponsors who have paid for you to attend expect (rather than just posting some snaps).

    When is YOUR side going to start telling the truth instead of all the lies?
    Besides ‘what content’? Do they address and answer this: Where’s the heat?

  65. I assume he’ll be studying tipping points with James Hansen there [bar]?

    Or tippling points perhaps?

  66. Pippen Kool says:

    “If you bike to school or work 5 miles one way, which is about what most people would think is not overdoing it, you would save 2/5 of a gallon of gas (assuming your normal car gets 25 mpg in the city). Converting gas to kwatt-h (x 34) and assuming your computer uses about 50 watts when its on, I figured that biking one day is worth 34 days of using your computer 8 h/day.”

    So, biking the ten mile roundtrip requires 600 – 1000 calories that must be replaced with food. That food costs way more than 2/5 gallons of gasoline. The food requires more energy for production and handling getting it to the eaters stomach than is saved by biking. There is no free lunch, moving a human body from point A to point B requires energy.

    Just say that biking is more fun or that it makes you healthier, forget the energy argument – it’s bogus.

  67. Louise says:
    December 10, 2013 at 3:58 am
    “Anthony – when are you going to start reporting on the contents of the AGU sessions/meetings? That is what the blog sponsors who have paid for you to attend expect (rather than just posting some snaps).”

    This particular article is titled “A few first impressions of the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting”.
    Do you fail to comprehend the meaning of “a few first impressions”?

  68. So much face-palm and cringeworthy material here but at least I got a chuckle with this:

    “First, my video gear case and tripod:”

    That just sums up so much of the climate debate. Hundreds of tax payer funded attendees in contrast to the modest WUWT resources. Luckily truth doesn’t care. Thanks for bringing us your observations Anthony.

  69. Murphy just added a fourth law:

    “In a world subjected to the vagaries of nature, CAGW conferences will invariably precipitate the angst of Old Man Winter.”

  70. On the irony of the “gas sucks” woman using her computer, I feel obligated to point out for those non-Californian types that San Francisco is served by Pacific Gas & Electric, which has one of the greenest (and most expensive) grid mixes in the country for the supply of electric power. Thanks to geography and a myriad of state regulations, over half of PG&E’s electricity comes from nuclear, large hydro, and renewables.

    I frequently lament that California is on the ridiculous part of the cost/effectiveness curve. If one accepts that carbon dioxide is a pollutant (which I don’t, with all due respect to SCOTUS) then the economically sound response is to focus energy efficiency and alternative energy efforts in those parts of the country where the grid is coal-fired – i.e., people in California should be paying for the installation of solar panels in Virginia. Of course, that’s when politics rears its head, since a lot of these green energy measures have been touted as job creators in a state where lots of jobs are already leaving.

    More info on PG&E’s grid mix here: http://www.pge.com/myhome/edusafety/systemworks/electric/energymix/

  71. The conference wraps up on Thursday. A major snow event from Ohio through New England is forecasted for Friday.

    In other news; the high and low temps in San Francisco will be below the norm for all four days of the conference.

  72. Regarding the sign “Facing Legal Attack? Concerned You Might Be?”, it’s for an event on Thursday, at 12:30. The rundown is below. Their “stories” are sure to be whoppers. Hope they have plenty of fire extinguishers handy…

    “Event Title:Facing Legal Attack: Scientists Tell Their Stories
    Event Notes: Join us for a brown-bag lunch with a panel of scientists who have experienced legal repercussions for their scientific work. Andy Dessler, Katherine Hayhoe, Michael Mann, Naomi Oreskes, Ben Santer, and Kevin Trenberth will all share their stories regarding legal issues and answer your questions. An attorney from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) will moderate the discussion and offer insight from a legal perspective. This event is part of an ongoing Legal Education for Scientists program, which AGU and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund have put together to help educate the scientific community on legal issues. The goal is to both give a primer on the legal issues facing scientists and update them on legal situations currently making their way through the courts.”

  73. Has anyone checked to see who is trying to tamper with the thermostat? Perhaps a video monitor is needed for this.

  74. “Nobody can explain this and it is a travesty that we can’t.” That is classic.

    I’m not attending this year, but am a coauthor on some posters. I have to admit that after having attended a few of the “climate policy” oriented sessions in the past, it can get pretty depressing to see how politicized that part of the AGU is. Having said that, there is a lot of very good science at the meeting (i.e. areas where nobody cares about the politics). Anthony, if you get tired of hypocrisy and pomposity, I suggest you check out some of the Mars (Curiosity) sessions. It looks like there are some pretty cool results coming in.

  75. Anthony said in the main post,

    The thing that struck me most was the sheer size of this convention and the number of people attending…and almost everyone of them is doing it on the taxpayer’s dime.

    and

    dbstealey on December 9, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Cut off the attendees’ taxpayer funding, and Anthony & John Whitman might be the only ones there! Those other folks need real jobs.

    – – – – – – – –

    Anthony & dbstealey,

    I would characterize differently than you did the way some of the AGU meeting attendees were probably reimbursed to attend.

    I think attendees from government labs, institutes, organizations and agencies had their trip costs funded by taxpayers.

    The attendees from universities were students and staff (professors). The Profs are subject to pressure to publish research and it is predominantly by government grants, but private research funding though infrequent does still exist. Part of the research grant funds, if allowed by the grant policies, could fund the trip to AGU meeting.

    Also, for the Profs I think university endowment plays a part in science conference trip funding. In the case of private universities endowment is predominantly private. For public universities endowment is largely taxpayer funded but significant private endowments also support public universities.

    For the many student (undergrad and grad) attendees I saw, I cannot see that taxpayers necessarily funded them.

    NOTE: on a similar topic, I attended a talk yesterday here at the AGU meeting given by Marcia McNutt of the AAAS (Editor-in-Chief of Science Magazine) that was on her perception of a significant barrier to science advancement caused by the deep government cutbacks and new stringent government rules for conference travel by government employees. She gave an example of how to it is hard but possible to sometimes overcome the stringent travel restrictions, but said in general other ways for scientists to network and collaborate must be used in the future.

    John

  76. “Some people protest against fossil fuels with their electric fossil fuel powered laptops. Irony impaired I suppose.” ~WUWT

    That’s the College Liberal.

    You can collect them all. (:

  77. John Whitman says:

    “Marcia McNutt of the AAAS… gave an example of how to it is hard but possible to sometimes overcome the stringent travel restrictions, but said in general other ways for scientists to network and collaborate must be used in the future.”

    Hasn’t she heard of email? Teleconferencing? Einstein discovered General and Special Relativity without government help, and with only the voluntary input of some colleagues.

    McNutt seems all too eager to dig deeper into the taxpayers’ pockets. She should remember that a lot of great science was done without riding the public gravy train. She should try it. Better yet, she should suggest it.

    Message to Ms McNutt: You are not ‘entitled’.

  78. I am pleased by the “extended” report on the “Ethics Workshop.” Thanks to Anthony Watts and John Whitman.

    The Ethics Workshop is a good example of what you find at academic meetings. Most of the activities are of this sort. The content is bland and attendance is low. Things like the Ethics Workshop exist so that someone can have an additional item on his/her resume. Yeah, I know it is sad. There will be some good events. But in each specialty there will be only a handful and they will be packed. The remaining reason for attending is networking. Some journal editor who likes articles on ethics might show up at the Ethics Workshop and you might eventually get a publication out of it. Such are the buttons that you push for success at academic meetings.

  79. This one is sure to be standing room only:

    Event Title: Dodging FOIA Requests: Scientists Tell Their Stories
    Event Notes: Join us for a brown-bag lunch with a panel of scientists who are experts at keeping their secret scientific work secret. Keynote speakers including Michael Mann and Phil Jones will discuss the best methods of dodging, hiding, destroying, slow walking and filing frivolous lawsuits. An attorney from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) will moderate the discussion and offer insight on legal tactics to bankrupt those pesky truth seekers from a legal perspective.

  80. Re: Enonym (at 7:31am today) — me, too!

    There are so many fine, super-informed, minds, here. Brainwashed fools like Bicycle Girl or smirking little punks like Pippen (nor Poppen, heh — got into a hurry typing your name that day, huh) or sneering dunderheads like Louise don’t have a chance. LOL. “Smash!” — over the net comes the ball, fired by one,… then another,… then another, … whoosh! — whoosh! — whoosh! ……… and soon the AGW brownshirt’s side of the tennis court is COVERED in tennis balls while they stand there, hands on hips, smashed racket at their feet, frrrroooowwwnnnning.

    You WUWT guys are the BEST!

    *******************************************************
    btw: Louise — WUWT contributors to A-th-y’s trip to the AGU conference did not do it to get something for themselves. They did it SIMPLY BECAUSE WE LOVE A-TH-Y WATTS and wanted to him to get to go. AND WE ARE SO PROUD OF HIM — no matter what he manages to “accomplish”. We love him UNCONDITIONALLY. Meh, what am I talking to you about “love” for? Your coldhearted post above shows my words will be utterly incomprehensible to you. Well, I hope A-th-y sees this and is encouraged!

  81. @ Reg Nelson (11:18am today) — LOL.

    Nice one, heh. One minor change, that event is going to be called: “Positive Communication Strategies”

  82. dbstealey on December 10, 2013 at 10:34 am said,

    John Whitman on December 10, 2013 at 9:43 am said,

    “Marcia McNutt of the AAAS… gave an example of how to it is hard but possible to sometimes overcome the stringent travel restrictions, but said in general other ways for scientists to network and collaborate must be used in the future.

    Hasn’t she heard of email? Teleconferencing? Einstein discovered General and Special Relativity without government help, and with only the voluntary input of some colleagues.

    – – – – – – – –

    dbstealey,

    Thanks for your response.

    In my bold emphasized statement above I imply McNutt said other ways than traveling to attend conferences will need to be used more.

    Indeed, McNutt listed the same kinds of resources you listed that scientists will need to use more of instead of conference attendance.

    John

  83. Reg Nelson@11:00am:

    … Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) …

    LO-freakn-L!!!

    Janice Moore, you need to show more enthusiasm. ;-)

  84. UPDATE => Featured AGU talk by James Hansen

    After the audience was assembled and it came time for James Hansen to take the podium, the leader of the AGU announced that Hansen was indisposed (her word) and could not speak. No other info was given as to why he could not speak. I sincerely hope he well.

    John

  85. When the leader of the AGU announced that James Hansen could not make a speech she went on to ask of there were any IPCC representative who would speak instead. There were no takers as I exited the room with a very large portion of the audience.

    As I went out the door I heard her say, “well I tried ” or something like that.

    Again I express my sincere hope that James Hansen is well.

    John

  86. What? Really? Why did Hanson not speak? It would have been VERY interesting to hear him try to out do himself!

  87. Louise says:
    December 10, 2013 at 3:58 am

    Anthony – when are you going to start reporting on the contents of the AGU sessions/meetings? That is what the blog sponsors who have paid for you to attend expect (rather than just posting some snaps).

    I’m wondering if “Louise” is one in the same as “Chandra” who infests Bishop Hill?

    The resemblance is uncanny.

  88. Follow up.

    I’m back at my hotel now after being given the boot at one of the sessions where I was recording it because they had no ADA hearing assistance. I find when I can record the session and play back later on headphones, I can understand what is being said. Ironically the session I was booted from was on”communicating science to the public in plain English”.

    Right as the Hansen meeting was clearing out I went up to an AGU official, identified myself as member of the press, and asked if Hansen was ill. She said no. I asked if it was a travel or weather delay, again she said no, saying only it was a “last minute scheduling conflict” and would not elaborate.

  89. I’m back at my hotel now after being given the boot at one of the sessions where I was recording it because they had no ADA hearing assistance
    —-
    What sad lot these people are. I don’t think I’ve ever run across more despicable group of people in my life.

    And aren’t these sessions being streamed for free anyway?

  90. dbstealey says:
    December 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm
    Mario Lento says:

    “What? Really? Why did Hanson not speak?”

    It was probably too cold for him to go out.
    +++++++++++
    Always an honor to have you respond to me! So far you answer could be true. Hanson must be disappointed that the weather is not following his mandate!

  91. Louise says:
    December 10, 2013 at 3:58 am
    Anthony – when are you going to start reporting on the contents of the AGU sessions/meetings? That is what the blog sponsors who have paid for you to attend expect (rather than just posting some snaps).
    +++++++
    Louise: You’re not representing those of us who did help with fees. Anthony is incredibly adroit with communications – and we always get way more than we expect, hence WUWT is the best most visited science blog site in the world. I know it’s asking a lot, but please have a modicum of respect.

  92. Perhaps they refused Hansen’s request to turn the thermostat up to 85F prior to him making his grand entrance.

  93. John Whitman says:
    December 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    My guess is that she is concerned about increasing costs of travel. Maybe the government has begun to restrict tax deductions for travel to conferences or lectures and for accommodations at the conference or lecture. Maybe they have begun to restrict use of government grants for travel and accommodations.

  94. Darn: I got moderated presumably by responding to Louise… ?

    [Ask not from whom the mods toll, lest they mod for you. .. Mod]

  95. @ Can Man — THANKS!!! #(;))

    **************************
    Re: Refusing a hearing impaired member use of A.D.A. aids or reasonable substitutes

    [AGU], what a class act that outfit is. Oh, I would really want to be a member of THAT group — NOT!

    Disgusting.

    ********************

    My dear A-th-y,

    We are, indeed, so proud of you. Way to hang in there. A lot of people would have just gotten out of that cesspool and gone home. Here are some other guys who were treated like crap — and just look what they accomplished!

    In the end, TRUTH WINS!

    AGW is so over.

    You go, A-th-y Watts!

    Your devoted fan,

    Janice

  96. @ Mario — you probably used one of the magic words. And, yeah, maybe Looowheeze has become one of them. Looking forward to reading your scathing post, heh!

  97. Hi Janice: I wrote (minus looeez’ name): You’re not representing those of us who did help with fees. Anthony is incredibly adroit with communications – and we always get way more than we expect, hence WUWT is the best most visited science blog site in the world. I know it’s asking a lot, but please have a modicum of respect.

  98. And I do not CARE if James Hansen (or any of those other l1ars) are on that AGW train when it crashes into the ravine. They have b1ood on their hands.

  99. I got moderated again. Perhaps is was using the word “adroit” when referencing Anthony?

    [Nope. 8<) mod]

  100. Janice: The common word that is getting me moderated is using the “owner of WUWT’s”. I posted in response to Loo-eeze:

    Louise says:
    December 10, 2013 at 3:58 am
    [Owner of WUWT's site] – when are you going to start reporting on the contents of the AGU sessions/meetings? That is what the blog sponsors who have paid for you to attend expect (rather than just posting some snaps).
    +++++++
    You’re not representing those of us who did help with fees. [Owner of WUWT's site] is incredibly adroit with communications – and we always get way more than we expect, hence WUWT is the best most visited science blog site in the world. I know it’s asking a lot, but please have a modicum of respect.

  101. I bet that many of them think you are “just a child” while they are “emperors”….
    (:<))
    We might agree! Because you have clear vision…

    ============================================================

    … and they have no clothes!

  102. Dear Mario,

    Just a little note to tell you that the word you used was… (A-th-y).

    #(:))

    Thank you, I enjoyed reading your post every time. Right on!

    Your WUWT pal,

    Janice

  103. Just re-read yours at 4:54pm, Mario. I misread the “owner of …site” part. Forgive me for telling you what you had already figured out. Heh, I was just about to correct my mistake about the time of your post (actually at 4:52pm), but, I’m leaving it in. Now, given that my family are BIG Chevy fans, where do you suppose that number came from, heh, heh.

  104. @ Anthony, first thanks for the preview looking forward to the rest of the week. I noticed your Press Card had a distinct “red” addition at the bottom of it, that might have added to the dirty looks , anyway and @ Andre van Delft , me too, but I left in 1971.

  105. Janice: 454 Chevy big block of course. By the end of my annoying re tries to post, I realized there was a reason behind your hyphons replacing letters on Anthony. At first for a split second I thought it was for the same reason people leave the “o” out of G-d… but then I thought – no – it for the M-d’s :)

    Sorry for the nonsense… Thanks for looking out for me Janice.

    PS – I am a an anomaly when it comes to race cars that I like “to drive on track”. Some people say, “I’m a Ford man” Or I’m and all wheel drive guy” Or – “I’m a front wheel drive guy” – or “BMW is the only car for me” When asked, my answer is always “I like the car I’m driving right now.” My friend’s 500plus hp awd EVO that I ran in one of the Global Time Attack series was my favorite car, then it was a 430 Ferrari Scuderia, then it was a Ferrari 458 Challenge car (that’s the factory race Z06’s, and late model vettes, and then the track prepped M3’s, or fully race prepped Integra, and right now I am missing my 390hp Miata with race suspension… But – now we can both agree, the last car I drove on track was the tube framed “2012” Camaro from Life’s Good Racing…

  106. @Louise

    I know this may sound like I am stating the obvious, but you do know that you are permitted to speak your mind here at WUWT without fear of being banned/modded for it(within reason)?

    Many of us here, scientist and layman alike, are not even allowed to discuss science at sites like SkS, Tamino, RC, ect, much less verbally attack them.

    Next time you want to attack anyone here, you might want to consider thanking Anthony for allowing you to get any of your comments through.

  107. ClimateForAll says:
    December 10, 2013 at 9:21 pm
    @Louise
    +++++++++++
    Bingo! Thank you for letting the troll know she should / could speak her mind. Please Louise, speak up. I learn more from reasoned debate then hearing what I agree with. Now your chance to set the record straight.

  108. Heh, Mario — don’t feel bad. I have triggered that moderation “idiot light”, lol, waaay more than you have, I’m sure. Usually it was something like H1tl-er or l1ar. LOL, oh, yes, like observant Jews, I don’t spell out in full my patron saint, A-th-y. (smile — no, I’m not Catholic, just a plain ol’ boring WASP)

    Yeah, I’ll bet that Miata was terrific on corners. The 4th gen and 5th gen ‘vettes do mighty fine, though, I think… . ;)

    Well, your hail-fellow-well-met, welcoming, attitude toward all cars (good ones, that is) is part of your lovely personality which once again shone out above in your kindheartedness toward that vile little serpent, Louise (yup, that’s how I feel about her until she says she’s sorry — you’ll be in a much finer mansion in heaven than I, no doubt!).

    You go, (and on the track GO!), Mario Lento!

    Janice

  109. Richard Alley was one of three or four bigshot AGU concurrent interviewees on NPR Tues. night. Not much exciting was said. The interviewer pushed Alley repeatedly to say what the worst case scenario was for a century or two ahead. (I suspect he’d heard Alley sounding off on these possibilities somewhere.) Alley responded that the tropics might get too hot for human habitation and that the Amazon rain forest, with a little nudge from a heat wave, might convert to a savannah.

  110. The gold standard in climate science – 2007 IPCC AR4 – also deemed “the settled science” and “incontrovertible” has been rendered obsolete by Mother Nature.

    Why?

    AR4 was all about those rising temperature trends based on various rising CO2 emissions scenarios. There is no dispute about that.

    The reality?

    In a period of record CO2 emissions in the last 17 years, global average temperature remained flat. AR4 did not even dare consider this scenario of no warming, let alone the possibility of a global cooling scenario, despite rising CO2 emissions.

    It means that Mother Nature has cast AR4 into the dustbin of scientific history … exposing the IPCC hypothesis for what it has always been – invalid.

  111. Chip Javert introduces a couple of new concepts for me on December 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    ” … data-free belief.<
    : commercial airline CO2 sucks, use private jets.

  112. Re gas sucks ride a bike girl; one barrel of oil contains approx 2000 kWh or 2000 days worth of the energy a bicyclist on a generator bike could produce, in other words, 100 paper Dollars buys you 7 years worth of slave labor; not that bad a deal.

  113. dmacleo says:
    December 10, 2013 at 7:03 am
    “Ralph Cramden says:
    December 9, 2013 at 6:05 pm
    Next time, don’t persevere. Your presence is not helpful.
    [Reply: Actually, it was very helpful, "Ralph". ~ mod.]
    **********************************************************
    if the science is settled why do you need help?”

    If the science is settled why do they need a climate shindig at the AGU meeting?

Comments are closed.