Climate Craziness AND Quote of the Week – Bill McKibben suggests we can 'change physics'

I’ve never done a double feature before where our Climate Craziness of the Week and Quote of the Week are one and the same. 350.org’s Bill McKibben gets this unique honor.

From the what universe does Bill McKibben live in department? While going on about heat waves, he comes up with the ultimate “I don’t understand science” zinger. How long before people stop listening to this guy? I would not have believed he’d be disturbed enough to write this if I hadn’t read it as a direct quote written by his own hand.

Hat tip to Tom Nelson.

Here’s the quote, its “Big Oil” irrationality on steroids: 

this industry, and this industry alone, holds the power to change the physics and chemistry of our planet , and they’re planning to use it. – 350.org’s Bill McKibben

I’m reminded of this:

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708473/quotes?qt=qt0198370

Here’s some excerpts from McKibben’s Rolling Stone article:

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math | Politics News | Rolling Stone

warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees. (“Reasonable,” in this case, means four chances in five, or somewhat worse odds than playing Russian roulette with a six-shooter.)

…”The new data provide further evidence that the door to a two-degree trajectory is about to close,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist. In fact, he continued, “When I look at this data, the trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of about six degrees.” That’s almost 11 degrees Fahrenheit, which would create a planet straight out of science fiction.

We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn. We’d have to keep 80 percent of those reserves locked away underground to avoid that fate…Most of us are fundamentally ambivalent about going green: We like cheap flights to warm places, and we’re certainly not going to give them up if everyone else is still taking them. Since all of us are in some way the beneficiaries of cheap fossil fuel, tackling climate change has been like trying to build a movement against yourself – it’s as if the gay-rights movement had to be constructed entirely from evangelical preachers, or the abolition movement from slaveholders.

…Given this hard math, we need to view the fossil-fuel industry in a new light. It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on Earth. It is Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization. “Lots of companies do rotten things in the course of their business – pay terrible wages, make people work in sweatshops – and we pressure them to change those practices,” says veteran anti-corporate leader Naomi Klein, who is at work on a book about the climate crisis. “But these numbers make clear that with the fossil-fuel industry, wrecking the planet is their business model. It’s what they do.”…this industry, and this industry alone, holds the power to change the physics and chemistry of our planet, and they’re planning to use it.

There’s not a more reckless man on the planet than Tillerson…In December, BP finally closed its solar division. Shell shut down its solar and wind efforts in 2009. The five biggest oil companies have made more than $1 trillion in profits since the millennium – there’s simply too much money to be made on oil and gas and coal to go chasing after zephyrs and sunbeams.

…Until a quarter-century ago, almost no one knew that CO2 was dangerous…if their college’s endowment portfolio has fossil-fuel stock, then their educations are being subsidized by investments that guarantee they won’t have much of a planet on which to make use of their degree. …we have met the enemy and they is Shell.

No, Bill, its you, and you may very well be insane. Get help.

Bill McKibben, an American environmentalist an...

Bill McKibben, an American environmentalist and writer, attending the 2006 Stanford Singularity Summit via an HDTV telepresence system. . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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charles nelson

Nutty as squirrel sh*t.

Pull My Finger

So is Rolling Stone peer reviewed now?
My son get this POS and it is a far-left propoganda tool, nothing more, nothing less. There is a minimum of music and cultural articles, just enough to get the propoganda into the hands of malliable minds.
Even when i was a kid RS was a rag, and you knew Bob Dylan could fart in a can and get 4 starts but no prog rock band would EVER get a good review. They even trashed Led Zeppelin for years before they went back and started to rewrite history and take down the scathing rewviews they gave to them. Prententious drivel doesn’t even begin to describe RS.

TRM

and they call us crazy ? 🙂

Harold Ambler

Wow. Just wow.

The level of hysteria is disturbing.

Temperatures have been flat for a decade. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that in the past the periods of rapidly warming temperature coincided with a rising AMO index and periods of flat or cooling temperature with a falling index. We are now in a falling period and temperatures could well be flat for another two or three decades. How long will it take the Bill McKibben’s of this world to wake up to the fact?

gator69

Harold Camping has a lot of competition on the left…

George E. Smith;

So just how did they get Vostok station up to 59 deg F for the last 327 months; that’s more coal than I ever gave anyone for Christmas.

rw

Hmmm
These people are working themselves up to something.
The amazing thing is that they can’t see that the roof is going to fall on their heads if they bring it down.
….
It’s interesting to see how well Shell’s bending over backwards for years to accomodate these clowns has paid off. It not really the same, but it reminds me of Chamberlin and Daladier’s attempts to placate Hitler.

Follow the Money

The McKibbenites are nuts. They don’t realize Royal Dutch Shell is one of the biggest players in the climate games. Or they do, and that drives them crazier. Maybe that’s what happened–McKibben, previously ridiculed for not knowing where his org’s money comes from, investigated and discovered 350.org is a tacit front for the fossil fuel industry. I had thought he probably was getting money from the government under the guise of “education” grants about “climate change.”

Darrylb

Why do I read this?? If I start to get too happy I can count on the human nature of Bill M and others to sadden the day. However, I am very thankful for sites like this one, Climate Audit, Climate Etc
and more. Illumination is always good.

Steve C

To acknowledge Rolling Stone’s roots … far out, man.
AND Naomi Klein “at work on a book about the climate crisis”.
Can’t wait!

Pull My Finger

I’ll give him credit for acknowledging what a raging hypocrite he is.
—–
“it’s as if the gay-rights movement had to be constructed entirely from evangelical preachers, or the abolition movement from slaveholders.”

David Davidovics

If he knows the number of stars that are in the universe, than he must be right! /sarc

more soylent green!

I recall in Vonnegut’s novel Cat’s Cradle, Dr. Felix Hoenikker invented a crystal called “Ice Nine” which changed the physical properties of water so that it had a melting point of 114.4 degrees F. (Presumably, there were 8 previous attempts to make this crystal.)
I didn’t really enjoy this novel very much, but it’s interesting to Google “ice nine” and read the theoretical basis for how something can change the physical properties of every molecule of water it comes in contact with.
And McKibben? He’s a freakin’ idiot. We’re in more danger from him and his fifth-columnist Red buddies than we are from the bogey man of AGW.
Imaginary things can’t hurt you, Bill.

Bill McKibben suggests we can ‘change physics’

B.K. == 3rd degree crazy …
.

Urederra

Remove friction, heat and entropy and you will have Sustainable Physics, the foundations of post-modern science.

Pull My Finger

I hope that doesn’t conflict with the release of my book, “How a History Major Builds A Intergalactic Rocket Ship In Ten Easy Steps”.

rw says:
July 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm
Hmmm
These people are working themselves up to something. …

Beyond placement into orbit (i.e. ‘going into orbit’) around the 3rd rock from the sun?
PPV (and popcorn-time!) material for sure …
.

Babsy

You can violate the laws of man. You can violate the laws of God. You cannot violate the laws of Physics (and we don’t know yet what they all are).

Fred Allen

“the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99”
By my calculations (might not be correct), temperatures for the entire globe for 600 of the 1200 months in the 20th century exceeded the 20th century average. The odds of that occurring must be horrendous!

Jay

Not only does he not “understand science” but math neither.
” the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.”
Ten to the MINUS 99 power is much less than one, which is indeed far fewer than the number of stars in the universe.
I think there is one star, and I am confident there is at least one star, close to our planet, that has more to do with the actual climate than Bill or CO2.

DirkH

Bill McKibben:

“warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.”

As always with the kitchen statistics of warmists, this assumes that events are independent of each other like in a lottery. The global average temperature does not fullfill this requirement. It would be white noise if that were so, but it is brown noise. Bill McKibben has not understood the null hypothesis.
Bill, if you’re reading this, I know you can’t make sense of it. Please ask some sciency guy to explain the terms I used. I’m too lazy.

Gunga Din

If Mann can change the past I suppose Man can change physics.

Jimbo

…we have met the enemy and they is Shell.

The Climate Research Unit (CRU) has received Shell big oil money. Did I forget to mention British Petroleum and the Sultanate of Oman (Liquid Petroleum Gas)?
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/
These people only seem mad but they certainly are not. They are desperate not to lose face and to keep the funds rolling in. It’s a scam.

DirkH

Jay says:
July 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm

“Not only does he not “understand science” but math neither.
” the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.”
Ten to the MINUS 99 power is much less than one, which is indeed far fewer than the number of stars in the universe.”

LOL! I missed that, thanks! That’s why they teach journalists at school to never ever use numbers.

Pull My Finger

McKibbles and Bits statistical background is evidently limited to coin-flipping probability.

Jay

DirkH
Bill obviously meant the chance/probability of the consecutive hot months was 10 to the minus 99 (very small), but due to his lack of mathematical training (or foaming at the mouth) , he mistakenly conflates that with the number of stars.
His lack of understanding of correlated data aside, what he meant to say is there is one chance in 10 to the +99, which is greater than the number of stars.

Using McKibben mathematics every graduate of the government-education industry’s public-funded dropout factories will lower the average IQ and per capita GDP.

Doug Huffman

The number of stars in the universe as 10E80 is from Eddington’s Large Number Hypothesis, itself an expansive version of Dirac’s LNH. See perhaps Barrow and Tipler’s The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (1998 Oxford)

clipe

What Scotty actually said.
“Ye canny birl the lozzafiziks.”

DJ

I get all my physics from the Rolling Stone, and all my music from the Geophysical Research Letters.

Gail Combs

“…we have met the enemy and they is Shell.”

Well at least ole’ Bill got that one correct (GRIN)
The Climate Research Unit (CRU) in the UK was set up in 1971 with funding from Shell and BP. As of 2008 it was still funded by Shell, and BP… from James Delingpole link
Muller & Associates has as an advisor “Marlan Downey, ” who is the former President of the international subsidiary of Shell Oil…..” http://www.mullerandassociates.com/marlandowney.php (Muller is part of the BEST fiasco.)
Even more interesting is a VP of Shell, Ged Davis, is evident in a Climategate e-mail. He wrote Sustainable Development Scenerio (B1) and was connected to the IPCC and the United Nations. see my old comment on the connections.
Here is some more info on Ged that I just found.

Ged Davis: Head, Scenario Processes and Applications, Shell International Ltd.
Having worked in various countries and units within the Royal Dutch/Shell Group since 1972, Ged Davis is now Shell’s Head of Scenario Processes and Applications. In this capacity Davis recently headed the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Scenario Project team responsible for producing work on sustainable development from the international business community’s perspective.
WBSCD’s work challenges traditional short-sighted notions of First Raise Our Growth (FROG); it advocates a shared commitment from society to overcoming the threats we face in the future. By stimulating debate between non-governmental organisations, government and business on economic development, environmental protection and social responsibility, the work of Davis and his colleagues contributes to an on-going international policy dialogue.
http://worldforum98.percepticon.com/speakers/g-davis.html

And another bio

Ged Davis is co-president of the Global Energy Assessment. Previously he was managing director of the World Economic Forum, responsible for global research, scenario projects, and the design of the annual Forum meeting at Davos, which brings together 2,400 corporate, government, and non-profit leaders to shape the global agenda….
Ged is a member of the InterAcademy Council Panel on Transitions to Sustainable Energy,… Ged has led a large number of scenario projects during his career, including the multi-year, multi-stakeholder scenarios on the future of sustainability for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and was facilitator of the last IPCC emissions scenarios. Ged first graduated with a degree in Mining Engineering from Imperial, College London. He holds postgraduate degrees in Economics and Engineering from the London School of Economics and Stanford University.

GEE there is good old LSE and Stanford University again busy rearranging our lives for us.
So it certainly looks like Bill McKibben got one thing correct but I doubt that he had this particular set of information in mind. (snicker)

John F. Hultquist

Just to throw a spanner into the discussion, say I was trying to grow blueberries and planted them in 75% peat and they thrived. The following year, say, I worked a few pounds of powered chalk into the soil at the base of each plant. That would change the pH of the soil and the blueberries would not like that. One might say I or the chalk changed the chemistry of the soil. I’ll let you work out your own physics example.
Nevertheless, I do think Bill Mc. is beyond help and would do his cause the most good by simply shutting up.

Berényi Péter

Arrgh. You don’t pay attention. Bill McKibben never suggested we could ‘change physics’. Of course we can’t.
“the fossil-fuel industry […], and this industry alone, holds the power to change the physics […] of our planet”
That much power, you see, is only held by them, and them alone.
REPLY: Oh, please. Us/we/them whoever, nobody can change the physics.

David L. Hagen

Bill McKibben
The real 1970 Pogo quote was:

We have met the enemy and he is us.

Werner Brozek

…this industry, and this industry alone, holds the power to change the physics and chemistry of our planet , and they’re planning to use it. –
Is he talking about the chemical make up of the atmosphere, or the laws of nature? If the latter, well they were fixed before he arrived on the scene.
Jeremiah 33
New International Version (NIV)
25 This is what the Lord says: ‘If I have not made my covenant with day and night and established the laws of heaven and earth,

I see that McKibben is now affiliated with the renamed Schumacher Society–http://neweconomicsinstitute.org/organizations
The initiative to reorganize society and the economy around sustainability has these people redefining science as a social process among scientists instead of a body of knowledge. That was supposed to quietly become a practice that would change how future voters thought. Not become a topic of conversation on internationally accessible blogs by people also wondering why IPCC cooked the books and the models reject reality.
Nobody was supposed to actually read those Planet under Pressure policy briefs and then start looking up the unknown acronyms. Plus Corporations are groups of people not doing business in their own name. It’s not hard to find out who is involved once you know the names. I get they made the Beverly Forum an informal lobby of funders for a reason. Then don’t issue a Challenge announcing your transformative intentions.
Print literacy may be an area of deliberate deemphasis now in education but we are not a nation or world of illiterates yet. We can still follow a trail of evidence and recognize a first rate political power grab and rent seeking scheme when we see it. Hopefully in time although Big Business still believes it can push this agenda alone according to the advocacy book Capitalism at the Crossroads.
What concerns me is the number of college campuses this man speaks at. Where the students feel and believe what this man says and his very presence on campus adds legitimacy to what he says.
What if he teams up with the Capitalism at the Crossroads author? Who there will recognize the nonsense being spun into gold speaking fees.

leftinbrooklyn

Yes, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Worse still, is that he wastes it in our general direction.

clipe
Kaboom

I know I shouldn’t laugh at the mentally infirm but in this case I couldn’t help it, My apologies.

Re: 3.7 x 10-99, it could be that someone was using the “-” symbol in place of the more conventional “^” [“to the power of”]. I wouldn’t crucify the user for using the minus sign…..
IanM

MarkW

Temperatures have been rising steadily since the end of the little ice age with the exception of the last 15 years in which they have been essentially flat.
And this genius actually finds it surprising that the current temperatures are above the average for the 20th century.
Man, these guys can’t even do simple, grade school level statistics.

Ally E.

Argh! Someone put a blanket over his cage, he’s giving me a headache…

JJ

” – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99″
Whenever someone refers to the odds of an event occurring “randomly” or “by simple chance” without specifying the assumptions and parameters of the stochastic model they are comparing against you can simply ignore them for the rambling idiot that they are demonstrating themselves to be.
Here, McKibben repeats the errors of last week’s NCDC/Jeff Masters affair: Assuming that temps have no autocorrelation, comparing against the ‘no climate change whatsoever’ strawman, falsely claiming that refuting the strawman proves the CAGW claim, etc, etc, etc.
Given the repetition, it would appear that this ‘new math’ meme is the new warmist propaganda strategy. It is terrifying, but not for anything climatological. The scary part is the abject innumeracy of the activists and the sheople they are influencing with these lies.

McKibben writes science fiction so the cartoon from the 1960’s Star Trek over the top appropriate. Even discredited religious leaders have followers. His major short coming is a very poor plot line.

Danimal

I went all the way WUWT for some substantial counter-analysis of McKibben’s piece in Rolling Stone and all I got was a partial quote, excerpts and zero meaningful commentary from Watts beyond, “Jeesh, that McKibben – what a bozo!”
Later in the article McKibben writes, “If people come to understand the cold, mathematical truth – that the fossil-fuel industry is systematically undermining the planet’s physical systems – it might weaken it enough to matter politically.”
See that part about “physical systems?” I suspect that was the tree he was barking up because, well, if you look up the definition of “physics” you’ll find it can include gems like “The behavior of a given physical system, especially as understood by a physical theory.” That’s from the American heritage dictionary. You can find similar elements of the definition elsewhere too.
So, Anthony, his use of the word “physics” is applicable. Now get off your duff and do some real work debunking his spiel!

Chuck Nolan

Steve C says:
July 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm
To acknowledge Rolling Stone’s roots … far out, man.
AND Naomi Klein “at work on a book about the climate crisis”.
Can’t wait!
—————-
Yeah Naomi. Another climate expert chimes in.
/sarc

I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. I thought I was beyond laughing about Climate Silliness… Thank you Bill McKibben!
What can we do to help the guy continue to produce this priceless material for now and future comedians?

Richard Day

Wow, what a loony tune. If BIG OIL can change the laws of physics and chemistry then I suggest they start more fundamentally with mathematics. I would like them to change mortgage amortization so that the bank pays me.