14 Reasons Why Silicon Valley Embraced Climate Alarmism

Guest essay by Leo Goldstein

This essay attempts to address a rarely asked question: How did Silicon Valley, one of the greatest centers of wealth and brain power on Earth, embrace climate alarmism? Silicon Valley insiders are smart and successful people. By “Silicon Valley insiders,” I mean the founders, owners, venture capitalists, executives, and software professionals of the so-called tech companies located not only in the Silicon Valley, but elsewhere in the U.S.

Cognitive biases affecting understanding of the sciences

1. Silicon Valley insiders are educated and experienced in the software side of computer sciences but rarely in the kind of sciences that are directly involved with climate topics, such as physics, biology or energy engineering.

2. Software professionals tend to have a habit of not RTFM (and are proud of it). Software and Internet billionaires also might lack the time to RTFM.

3. Hardware design and manufacturing requires knowledge of physics, chemistry, and engineering. However, within the last 25 years most of the hardware manufacturing and even design that put the word “silicon” in Silicon Valley went offshore. In the last ten years, Silicon Valley has been doing very little outside software development (including firmware,) graphic design, marketing, “content,” and finances.

4. In contrast, software-centered computer sciences knowledge is very small in volume compared to the natural sciences, such as physics. One might even say that there is a 80/80/80 rule: 80% of what 80% of software engineers and architects use can be studied in 80 months. And this is the same pool of knowledge, shared by all these intelligent professionals. One cannot even remotely compare that body of knowledge to that of physics. It wouldn’t make sense to try to calculate how many months it would take to study all applied physics, or even one of its many branches (geophysics, atmospheric physics, nuclear physics, etc.) Consequently, smart minds with a software background easily fall into believing misleading “greenhouse” explanations by climate alarmists.

5. Software sciences are also everchanging. Ideas that haven’t been in circulation within the last five years just don’t matter. For example, one can be an excellent software engineer without ever hearing about the Turing machine, proposed and analyzed by Alan Turing in 1936. Can someone become an aerodynamic engineer without ever knowing Newton’s laws?

6. Developers of video games use realistic physical models and work hard to make them produce 60 frames per second. It is hard for them to believe that self-appointed “climate scientists” can cook up alarmist climate models designed to produce a physically incorrect output every 6 years.

7. Success is known to breed hubris and arrogance. Many SV insiders are extremely successful.

Cognitive biases affecting politics of the Silicon Valley businesses

8. It’s possible that some SV insiders (just as many politicians) confuse the “Internet opinion” (comments, tweets, subreddits etc.) as reflection of the US public opinion, when it’s more reflective of the leftist echo-chamber. Much of this content is written by college faculty and students, individuals with extra time on their hand and people living outside of the US. Most Silicon Valley companies are “Internet companies.” The Internet transcends international borders, so SV insiders seem to be blind to the dangers of global governance agendas, and some may even embrace them. A clear example of this is the promotion of the “United Nations Global Goals” on the Google’s U.S. front page. This is offensive to those who do not want to be subjects of the UN or any global governance. Climate alarmism has a very strong global governance component.

9. Silicon Valley is a suburb of San Francisco, a notorious Leftist stronghold, and includes Berkeley. Many SV insiders lived in this atmosphere long enough to imbibe its “values” and do not question its strong agendas, including climate alarmism. Add to this the prejudice that liberals are smarter and more educated than conservatives.

10. I suppose SV insiders find it hard to believe that the speech of climate realists could have been suppressed to such a great degree in this country. I could not believe that, too.

Possible Financial Motives

11. Silicon Valley companies do a lot of business abroad, including content business, from web search to news. Many SV companies derive more than 70% of their revenues from sales abroad. In doing so, they must obey local laws and satisfy demands of foreign governments. These demands may be political or ideological. Foreign laws and political demands seem to influence the thinking and actions of Silicon Valley companies. For example, Germany’s government demanded Facebook remove or filter out “fake news.” Immediately after, Facebook announced an initiative to do similar things (flagging “fake news”) in the U.S. Not surprisingly, all announced fact checkers are left-leaning, and some of them are notorious purveyors of fake news. Most foreign governments and political parties are either enthusiastic supporters or even instigators of climate alarmism, and might have heavily influenced SV insiders.

12. I hope none of these tech companies attempted to acquiesce demands of foreign governments or other foreign (including international) political entities regarding the content they provide in the US.

13. Of course, many tech companies are notoriously linked with the Democratic Party. This might be a consequence of the factors listed above, or it might have been a condition for success under Democratic administrations. For example, Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt was on Obama’s 2009 transition team before he went on to take a position in his science and technology advisory council.

14. Some SV insiders might be, as Richard Lindzen said, “newly minted billionaires who find the issue of ‘saving the planet’ appropriately suitable to their grandiose pretensions.”

California derived its early growth from the oil, soon becoming the national scientific leader. Now, it is comprised of little more than Hollywood, software, Jerry Brown, and collapsing infrastructure. Massachusetts, California and New York, the states that were once leaders in science, technology, and education, are now leaders in climate obscurantism.

This article focuses on the root causes of the climate alarmism conquest of Silicon Valley and its timeframe before 2014. Examples of recent actions by Google and Facebook simply illustrate earlier trends.

Advertisements

415 thoughts on “14 Reasons Why Silicon Valley Embraced Climate Alarmism

    • Retardation runs deep in the California bureaucracy. Had any of them heard, let alone studied, the Johnstown Flood, this would never have happened. BTW, David McCullough wrote a great book about it.

      • Talking about the Johnstown Flood, I was just over at the Museum. They blame it on greedy capitalists, even though the dam had broken before under the Army’s control, and broke again under FDR. Funny how you only hear the one that they could pin on Capitalism. Facts are dams break after extreme storms. Unfortunately Charles Guggenheim felt the need to inject a classic Marxist story. It was really shocking to see how they were able to spin a tragedy into political propaganda.

      • “shocking to see how they were able to spin a tragedy into political propaganda.”

        Incapable and capable of anything.

      • other than a perfect example of what ails Silicon Valley

        It didn’t start out like this, it was mostly the EE and CS’s coming out of US Universities. And it was this group that changed the world.
        It’s gone side ways since then.

    • Silicon Valley has ridden a tsunami of technological development facilitated by infrastructure already existing or paid for by others and based on initial and some ongoing research funded and carried out by others. In contrast to the spirit with which the internet was developed, that of sharing, it has been seduced by the monopolistic, addictive business model in turn based on a rapid growth and growth based high earnings ratios to maximise the capital growth of stock market listed scrip. The notion of actual customer service went out the window decades ago for most of the SV outfits and their philosophy now merges with that of a drug cartel, whatever increases sales is good and screw the world.

      In that context the whole climate change activist luvvie thing is just PR puffery to try and disguise the fact that they make the robber barons of the 19th century look like Mother Theresa by comparison. Add to that a very strong trait of out and out narcissism and the picture is clear.

      • Agreed, completely.

        And I think rather than 14 reasons, I think the main reason they agreed with the Global Warming agenda was they all wanted to keep getting invited to the Cool Kid parties that they threw for each other, and everyone was terrified of being left off the invitation list.

        All except for Peter Thiel, of course, and I think that when it comes to values like independence and being willing to stand up for his convictions, Thiel stands head and shoulders above the rest of them.

      • Silicon Valley is NOT a suburb of San Francisco. It doesn’t have even the remotest connection to San Francisco.
        It’s not even a suburb of San Jose. San Jose is a small bedroom town for people who work in San Francisco; not Silicon Valley.
        Silicon Valley could reasonably be called a suburb of Palo Alto.

        As for the valley being full of all these “smart” people; remember some of these people wrote the code that controls the traffic lights in Silicon Valley.

        A two year old child can make better traffic decisions.

        The ability to write computer code, gives one the ability to write computer code. It is neither necessary nor sufficient, to enable a person to solve problems; that is real problems.

        IBM used to haunt university computer science departments, to hire all of their output of CS graduates, to write code for IBM. This was back when computers were few, and people bought “time” on some big machine perhaps owned by IBM or Control Data.

        IBM found that program to be a dismal failure. CS graduates weren’t any better than anybody else at writing computer code. It was bad enough that IBM hired a consultant to study IBM’s software personnel, and try to discover what separated the good code writers from those who were no good at all.
        What the consultants discovered was startling. Almost without exception, IBM’s best software code writers, were …… MUSICIANS …… They were NOT Computer Science graduates.

        It didn’t even matter much what SORT of musician. Classical, Pop, Jazz, Country whatever.

        Finally it hit them.

        If you are playing a piece of music, and you play the wrong note, at the wrong time, or at the wrong speed, whatever; you got garbage instead of music.

        It’s the exact same discipline required to write computer code. You have to put the right instruction at the right place at the right time; or you get garbage out; just at much higher speed.

        So IBM started hiring music majors; perhaps musicians not quite up to the level for the concert stage, or operatic event; but basically good musicians; people with organized minds.

        So spare us this Si-Valley is full of wizards. Yes there are some, and in its heyday there were some fabulous ones.

        My Organ Teacher is the only member of her very musical family who is NOT a systems analyst of computer programmer of some sort. Both her parents are and are accomplished musicians. Her violinist brother is a computer programmer.

        She is not, because she happens to be the best musician in the family. An excellent Organist, and also an accomplished cellist, and pianist. If she sits at the piano, and you place a piano score in front of her that she has never ever seen before; she will just play the piece as if it is her favorite work. On the other hand, without that score in front of her, she cannot even play “chopsticks.”

        Silicon valley has plenty of warm bodies; but only a few of them would rank as smart.

        Most of them are too busy playing with their finger toys, to actually do anything smart.

        G

        PS Fairchild Semi-Conductor in the EARLY 1960s was really full of VERY smart people.

      • George, I designed a Fairchild 6k cml gate array in the mid 80’s, as well as build the models for the next generation process, it was one of the last they had I think(at least in ecl/cml/i2l). My chip was a scorcher, ran as fast as 450 Mhz, worse case turned out to be ~280Mhz. Not only was 10x the speed of the current cmos chip, you could cook on it.

      • Fairchild Current Mode Logic (CML) was interesting stuff. PNP emitter followers followed by an NPN emitter follower, so the voltage gain was less than one, and needed to be periodically brought back to the correct logic levels. The 2.5 V logic swing rise times were 5-10 times longer than the propagation delays, but it did not generate the huge power supply current switching spikes that plagued TTL. As I recall, their largest chip back then was a 256 bit CML memory chip, with of course 256 real CML flip flops on it.

        I was there from July 67 till April 1970. Designing test instrumentation; not semiconductor devices.
        I worked for Dr. Vic Grinich the only EE among the Fabulous founders of Fairchild Semi. I got laid off on a Friday morning, and simply went home instead of “processing out” the door.
        Came back Monday morning, and got rehired into a totally different group. I finished my new project in three months, and then quit. Went to help start an LED company.

        G

      • Came back Monday morning, and got rehired into a totally different group. I finished my new project in three months, and then quit. Went to help start an LED company.

        I worked out east, in 81 I started at a run of mostly California companies, so I got to see it back in those days.
        I had the task of re-implementing a 32 bit correlator that had to work at 300Mhz, data either frontwards or backwards, or inverted, I guess it saves power and wear. Fortunately this was ground based, so it had a powercord.

      • Analog Computer Systems here! We did back in early 1970s computer board prototypes and we were all musically adept (cello and piano here!). Then the microchip came out. Texas Instruments informed us they wouldn’t need our work much anymore.

      • Analog Computer Systems here! We did back in early 1970s computer board prototypes and we were all musically adept (cello and piano here!). Then the microchip came out. Texas Instruments informed us they wouldn’t need our work much anymore.

        You should bring them back, probably simulate the climate about a billion times faster than digital :)

      • Ooops ! Tilt.

        Got my logic families slightly combobulated there.

        My remarks related to the Fairchild CTL; not to CML.

        CTL was their Complementary Transistor Logic, quite distinct from Current Mode Logic (CML).

        It was like diode logic, with complementary emitter followers, acting as diodes. So the gates, consisting of input PNPs and an output NPN emitter followers had power gain but a voltage gain less than one.

        my only experience with CML in those days was actually all with Motorola MECL. Motorola Emitter Coupled Logic. And I actually first used those MECL gates, as cheap differential high speed amplifiers. in fact I used them as an input differential amplifier in a 20 MHz general purpose counter timer instrument, I designed for Monsanto Corp. The Monsanto Model 1000 , so far as I know was the very first commercial electronics instrument ever designed using almost exclusively integrated circuits. Specifically it used the commercial grade of Fairchild RTL JK flip flops etc to do all the counting, and those MECL gates were used as the two channel input differential signal amplifiers. It used end on Burroughs Nixie tubes for the display. It was followed by a model 1010 instrument which was only 10 MHz .
        It took three months to design from a gleam in my eye to a production instrument demonstrated at the IEEE show in NYC in March 1965. The model 1000 had some problems, which we fixed in the 1010.

        As for CML, I actually used a few (three) MECL-3 type D flip flops, in the front end of a 200 MHz divide by N counter chain, where (N) was programmable from 1 to 200,000, but that was at Fairchild. It was a digital timing unit for a pulse generator for testing high speed logic gates (TTL).

        It is no small trick to build a 200,000 count divide by (N) counter out of mostly SLOW (10 MHz) logic that can clock at 200 MHz, which means that it needed to be able to clock within 5 ns after being reset to the program number. I have never every published the secret counter scheme use in that counter, to achieve that. The count module also included switched delay lines to interpolate the 5 ns clock period down to 100 ps time intervals.

        As I said the entire counter module used three MECL-3 flip flops that could toggle at 350 MHz, plus 4 high speed TTL (50 MHz) JK flip flops, and the rest was 10 MHz Fairchild low power Fairchild MSI circuits.

        I had tried to get a 1,000 MHz divide by (N) counter, but the fastest toggle flip flop I was able to make out of discrete transistors would only toggle at 900 MHz, so I settled for the 200.
        Then they laid me off so the whole thing never saw the light of day as a production logic IC tester.

        I dare say that these days, you should be able to do a divide by N counter to run 10 GHz or more.

        You typically load a number into a register, and count it down to zero, or load the complement, and count it up to the terminal count, and then at terminal count, you reload the number, and start again. The trick being, how do you load and get ready to count in 5 ns or today in 100 ps.

        Yes Fairchild was nutty place in the 1960s.

        G

      • Mine was a serial string of bits, and I had to detect a how close it matched a 32 bit register they clocked in, but it had to work forward or backwards, or inverted, cause apparently it increased the life span of the data recorders. it also had to count the number of errors, to do a qa on the match iirc.
        It had the registers at one end, and the bit adders across the length of the chip. I routed buffer drivers out an equal distant from the drivers so the latches had as little skew as I could figure. I had 3.3 ns, could have done it worse case about 4, had to break in into 9 stages to meet the specs.
        I made 1 mistake, my test vectors didn’t test the carry between the first and last 16 bits, and I used their 4 bit adders, and it was wrong, carry didn’t work, chips failed in the system, fortunately they took the hit, as the model passed the carry vectors I added(so it still would have failed passing vectors, that was a big relief though I gotta say, a prototype run was not cheap). The box we built was meant to handle 300 mb/s Deepspace network upgrade. What we were in competition against was the alternate plan for a cluster of 5 Cyber super computers running in software (it was 85). I don’t think they ever put the box into production, and I read for a 5 years ago them wanting to replace the 20 years system with a 600 mb/s laser system iirc
        But retelling this, is just more evidence at how models can go wrong, they matched what the designer thought was going to happen.

        And, yeah with 4GHz clocks, it could easily be done in software, or one fpga more likely. did you ever think you’d have a cheap pc with a clock up in microwave?

      • I have no earthly idea how these cheap computer PC boards can run at 3-4 GHz clocks; but they must demonstrate in spades why all of the problems of digital electronics, are actually problems of analog electronics. Make the signals go where you want them to. I understand how transmission lines and strip lines work, but as to how you hang gates and other bric-a brac off what is supposed to be a matched transmission line system just blows me away. I know that I used a dremel tool and a through transmission HP sampling oscilloscope to trim the corners of the strip lines to eliminate reflections. Talk about neat; too much metal width so too much shunt C, so lower impedance, so you dremel the edges to get the dip back up to flat again.

        But these guys make these multilayer boards packed with stuff and somehow keep it a sanitary transmission line environment.

        But for all their clock speed, when they are all done with their M$ windows computer virus, they can’t do anything as fast as I could in 1965.

        I know how to count in binary: other than that, I am not a logician

        g

      • Transmission line software :)

        I did an analysis of a microwave switch, and attenuator, and all it did was to use a pin diode to tweak the striplines impedance, create reflections back into a load. Elegant in it’s simplicity.

        But yes, it’s all FM ;)

      • But for all their clock speed, when they are all done with their M$ windows computer virus, they can’t do anything as fast as I could in 1965.

        About 85 I was at Valid Logic, and our hardware was 25 mips or so, I remember the discussion on a full GUI needing 100 mips just to run the gui. And that was an 85 GUI. There was a story that our founders were close to Sun, and that we’d given Sun out mc68020 design, that became the Sun3.
        I do know our founders were Mainframe designers who developed design tools (SCALD), and then went and kicked off the electronic design tool industry.

  1. “Tyranny of the model” is the concept that I believe is at the heart of it. Very few people can separate in their minds that a model is not the real world. They do not understand a model is simply a metaphor.

    • Tyranny IS the model. The goal is for the United Nations to take control of all World economies in the name of “saving the Planet”. See their own words:
      http://green-agenda.com

      Then the rich investors saw the potential Ponzi scheme, aided by the massive transfer of wealth from the poor to these rich investors via State-enforced ‘Green Taxes’.

    • Just a metaphor? It’s a lot more than that, Max. Two questions: What’s does your comment have to do with Leo and Silicon Valley plus? Are you arguing that computer scientists don’t know anything about computer models?

    • ….or the salvation of humanity. What if Adam and Eve had never experienced the apple? What a boring life that would have been.

      • If you’ve got an all-powerful creator God as a friend, I suspect boredom is not a serious problem . . They were tempted with the “promise” of being like that Friend, who they were told was essentially tricking them into not being like Him . . as I read the story;

        And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

        For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

        And I’m pretty sure it was not actual fruit, but the “produce” of their own imaginations, which had been stimulated by the tempter. And they bit, so to speak ; )

      • They ate of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” – What they did was break God’s Laws and were banished to work and eventually die.

      • [blockquote]They ate of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” – What they did was break God’s Laws and were banished to work and eventually die.[/blockquote]
        Because they “want to know good and evil” it was necessary that they get experience of devil!
        Work was still on Eden (verse 15) but it was necessary that it produce “thorns and thistles” to let them KNOW the difference.
        So we need GW theory to know was not science is.

      • Dictionary.com has this explanation.
        In one of the most famous culinary moments ever written down, Eve convinces Adam to share an apple with her in the Garden of Eden. Right? Well, not exactly.
        Adam and Eve did bite into a fruit. But the Book of Genesis does not explicitly say which fruit. It could have been an apple. Or, as early depictions suggest, it could have been a pomegranate.
        Up until the 17th century, the word “apple” meant all fruit other than berries but including nuts.
        In Latin, the words for “apple” and “evil” are similar. Mālum is the word for “apple;” mălum is the word for “an evil or a misfortune.”

      • True that Genesis doesn’t specify the fruit in the Adam and Eve myth.

        In Hebrew, Genesis 1 and Genesis 3 both use the same word (masculine noun pronounced “per-ee'”) translated as “fruit”: פֶּ֫רִי

      • (continuing from “… ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”);

        And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise…

        Saw that the tree was good for food? How could she “see” that? . . and a tree to be desired to make one wise? What kind of seeing is being spoken of?

        … she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened …

        What kind of eyes are being spoken of? . . I’m pretty sure it was not actual fruit or their actual eyes being spoken of . .

      • ““eyes were opened” has for a long time been a literary device to indicate the sudden revelation.”

        Of course, and that would explain how the woman could “see” that the fruit was good for food, and for making one wise, if one merely applies that metaphorical meaning to what was suddenly revealed to the woman, within her own imagination (in her mind’s eye, as we say).

        To “eat” then would mean to believe what appears in that internal sense, as in believe God was tricking them into not believing what was merely imagined . . rather than being skeptical of what was produced in there, as befits a mere human. And the rest, is history, so to speak ; )

        Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

        I don’t think he means have a snack together ; )

      • Here’s the best I know now regarding “the apple” and a bit more.
        I haven’t linked to this often but when I have I always ask that you don’t “reply” on Caleb’s site. He’s been gracious to not delete it and allow me to link to it. I don’t want to abuse the privilege.
        I also would prefer not to have “replies” here send things off topic or go against site policy.
        More for your consideration rather than your comments….
        https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/attention-surplus-disorder-part-two/#comment-456

      • “What they did was break God’s Laws”

        Did they break the First Law of Thermodynamics or the Second? I would have liked to have seen that.

      • “What they did was break God’s Laws”

        Did they break the First Law of Thermodynamics or the Second? I would have liked to have seen that.

        Judging by political debate entropy has been increasing ever since and looks set to go up as per the infamous hockey stick.

      • Michael,
        Atheism, by definition cannot be a religion. Even the word has dubious connotation. We do not have names for “not believing the in the tooth fairy” or Santa Claus, or the Easter bunny.

        However, I am quite dismayed by the entire bent of religion being discussed in this forum.

      • If it requires faith, than it’s a religion. Since you can’t prove that there is no god, then your are taking the core tenet of your religion on faith.

        Wow, you can’t tolerate it when other people talk about religion.
        How amazingly tolerant of you.

      • The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. The opposite of belief in a God is not atheism, but agnosticism.

    • The original Apple Logo (for the APPLE I) was a picture of Newton sitting under a tree reading a book with an apple about to fall on his head. They simplified it to a multi-colored apple with a bite out of it for the APPLE II then later to monochrome apple. I guess the original logo was to complicated for the average consumer (or contained too much science).

      • I believe they were also sued for copyright infringement by Apple Records. That is the reason Apple computer’s logo has a bite out of it.

  2. What’s RTFM?

    Also as a scientist at Stanford, I can testify that science remains rip-roaring here. It just never gets any attention.

      • Aviation exams have the same mnemonic – Read the Freeking Question. (Many very similar questions, with completely different answers.)

        R

      • What if there is no manual. That’s where science comes in. The creations of engineers do require manuals, so to speak, to be used properly. That comes from an old and experienced aviator.

      • My office made the mistake of bringing in the Executive Director (about 4 levels above me) who wanted “honest” discussion. I’m at the age where that filter I had when I was younger is almost worn out.

        I told him that most of our problem, at least that part that wasn’t due to a bloated, top-heavy org chart (see above) was that our clients are clueless and don’t read…the…f…..unny….manual.

        Ever hear the collective sucking of breath from a room full of dull sycophants?

    • Read The F……..g Manual – a well known and often used phrase, particularly apt for males after trying every other solution. Similar to reading a map after being lost for several hours.

    • RTFM = Read The Freaking Manual

      It is usually a condescending response to a question where the responder is questioning the questioner’s intelligence and lack of work ethic, as in did you even bother to Read The Freaking Manual (or Man-pages for the Unix types) before you asked me that question … because it is obvious that had you bothered to RTFM, you would not be asking that question; therefore, go away, and at least RTFM before bothering me again. If you still have questions, then at least ask intelligent ones, and have a six pack of my favorite beverage as payment for the knowledge I am about to impart … etc.

      So if you don’t even bother to RTFM, and you are proud of it, then you are just winging it, and you got good results by accident … which is the genesis of one of my favorite quotes, which goes something like “If engineers built buildings the way software engineers design computer code, then the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.”

      • RTFM…yes, like in this little story about Medieval Helpdesk; the transition from scrolls(sic) to books. In Norwegian, but with English subtitles:

    • RTFM is “Read The F**king Manual!”, as computer customer service personnel are forever keeping their voices from saying out loud. Yes, it’s good that Stanford does many things in science. It’s better that most of their science is of less interest to politicians, whether elected, or appointed activists. Treasure that for succeeding generations who will not have to wade through so much drivel that was politically useful when published.

      • I had to look up RTFM..and confess to being disinclined to read the fkkrs myself unltil it becomes painfully necessary. It becomes a metaphor for thinking “outside the manual”.

        Unfortunately, the Valley boys and girls have acquiesced to thinking entirely INSIDE the manual on climate change. Intriguing comment upstream on the Apple origional sin. A bit of the same hubris that we can quantum spin our way out of this. Possibly, but outsourcing all the rubber meets the road science is not going to help.

        As Gordon Moore and Carver Mead retire, the cutting edge that was Silicon Valley Science goes with them.

      • Yes, a colleague did not RTFM and spent two days trying to program a calculator. Another colleague read it and pointed to the clear switch on the back side!

      • So Gerald,

        Just which “calculator” had a “clear switch” on the back side of it ??

        Do you have any idea how expensive it would be to mount a clear switch on the back side of a calculator and make wire connections to it ??

        G

      • I rarely read the manuals myself. Got curious after reading reviews of a cold smoker I bought two weeks ago, when people said their smoker batteries were catching fire. After checking the manual, it became clear: the manual instructed them to be inserted in such a way that they would short out! I would have thought the little springs would have made it obvious, but no.
        RTFM will not always make it better! Sometimes you have to use a little common sense.

      • These days of course, there isn’t a FM to read. If you are lucky someone may have put some stuff together in a pdf. Or there’s a web service with videos that go too fast to follow. You often hear “intuitive interface” used to describe obscure hieroglyphics. The makers of machinery seem to be giving up using words, which is a shame, as the Chinglish was at least entertaining. Now after the obligatory 10 pages about don’t wash this in the bath, let kids ride on it etc you get an incomprehensible sequence of images. I wondered why a supermarket trolley kept appearing. Used as an acronym for “go and buy this” in relation to a spark plug.

      • All I have to do is touch the group of letters on my tablet then a screen pops up then I select Web search and like magic the answer apears.

    • As a scientist at Stanford, be prepared for the day that the god of federal funding takes an interest in your work and offers you a bite of the apple . The apple will look like funding,freedom and fame. In reality it will cost you your soul!

    • It’s the answer to the ‘Hey Joe’ syndrome:

      Q. “Hey Joe how’d ya do this on that damn f*cking computer board! ”

      A. RTFM!

      • It looked a cheap price for a valentines present: then I realised that “nearly new” meant it was missing the instructions. Fortunately, they were available on the internet, unfortunately, it took me several hours of painstaking work to finally come up with instructions that didn’t look like some miserly husband got a cheap present without the instructions. Learning point: if all else fails: buy the instructions!

      • Just Pat, thanks. :-) Thanks for posting the link to the power hour interview. I enjoyed the conversation with Alex Epstein very much.

        These days, SLAC is into making and using coherent X-rays. Particle physics is no longer front-and-center. The Kavli Institute does astrophysics, but not much about cosmic rays.

        I’ve never met Dr. Svalgaard.

      • Thanks.

        I used to study insects around SLAC with notorious Prophet of Doom Dr. Ehrlich, who never met a putative man-made crisis for which he didn’t fall.

  3. Reason #1:

    They’re a bunch of leftists (like google, facebook, twitter). Global warming .. er .. “climate change” was foisted upon us by the leftists. Proof in their own words:

    “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing.” -leftist Senator Tim Wirth, 1993

    “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse. Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” -ex UNEP Director Maurice Strong

    “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis.” -David Rockefeller, Rich Liberal / Warmist

    “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we [leftists] came up with the idea that the threat of global warming.. would fit the bill… in order to realize world government.” -Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution, pg.75

    • Also a bunch of hypocrites, since the whole tech edifice rests on electrical power, very little of which is generated by wind and solar, so-called “renewables”.

  4. You are absolutely right about this.

    There is an unwillingness to do any thinking about this topic. I have asked many smart people in the Bay Area where I live and they frequently show they haven’t thought for 2 seconds or read anything about the topic. The level of lack of knowledge of the topic is astonishing.

    What’s amazing of course is that they are told that this is threatening the earth. That it’s of incredible importance but they show an utter total disinterest in the topic and won’t spend 2 seconds to read about it.

    Al gore complained nobody wanted to talk about climate change. I think a part of this is that people actually are pretty smart and realize the world hasn’t really changed much. They don’t see it and don’t believe it is a serious problem.

    Frequently I have seen people use climate change as a cudgel in politics. People can use it to justify not building houses or preventing this project or that project. It’s sort of a convenience for political purposes but I’m not anyone actually believes it. More importantly, if it is so important why don’t they spend 2 minutes to understand the issue.

    I think the support for global warming is very weak. Considering the fact that outright skeptics are being put in charge of the agencies that have promulgated the lies and the likely hit on the people who do the research as well as all their support and the response seems muted.

    • I think this in combination with being liberals is the key. To be skeptical of climate change is to accept the Democratic Party is complete wrong and has been dishonest. This would create an identity crisis as well as make them social outcasts. To avoid this they avoid understanding anything about the subject and simply defer to their political leaders.

      • I think we all realize that what we are describing is exactly how the faithful treat religious dogma – to even be seen to question it is a sign that you may be apostate, a heretic. The True Believers constantly reinforce the message that to even think of questioning the Holy Dogma is a sin against the Church.

      • @WWS: That runs completely contrary to everything I’ve known about faith. If anything, doubt strengthens faith, because it inspires the active quest for the truth. Blind faith is highly discouraged.

  5. I’m a software engineer. Software engineers tend to hate uncertainty, we live in a world where risk comes from that which we cannot control. So we tend to be attracted to answers which provide certainty and control.

    Climate alarmism offers a form of certainty. It suggests that we control the climate. We might be struggling to control CO2 emissions, but if only we can master ourselves, we will be in charge, the uncertainty will be eliminated.

    The thought that climate might be chaotic, something we can’t control, contradicts the worldview of most software developers – the thought of something which doesn’t respond to programming is deeply disturbing, frightening even. It must be wrong.

    I’m an unusual software developer.

    • Software developers tend to be quite logical. If they studied the subject at all they would quickly see the logic fail. This is more of a social problem. To accept climate skepticism is to assure your friends will quickly become your former friends.

      • I started programming back in the mid 60’s, and before that I used a slide rule to do all of my scientific calculations. Consequently I have a much better intuitive feel for orders of magnitude than those who have only let a machine keep track of the orders of magnitude. When I first heard of CAGW it took only a few seconds of pondering the vastness and heat capacity of the oceans for me to dismiss CAGW as nonsense..

      • That’s exactly the problem for many developers. Deductive logic starts from rules (premises) and produces models or results (conclusions) — like coding. Inductive logic starts from data and attempts to derive rules — dislike debugging. If your homies feel more at home with closed systems than open ones, they will ban you from their premises.

      • Noaa programmer
        The heat is there, and that is wonderful. However it only re_enters the atmosphere in a reasonably controlled manner, and as it does the atmospheric volume increases and changes the circulation patterns. This is called natural climate variability

    • Eric,.. Thank you for your insight and candor. Your words have shed a great light on numerous topics of interest that I have been researching for my entire life of 66+ years. Your comments often bring contemplation and delight.

    • No Eric, like myself, you are a seasoned software developer. And you can remember a time before software could seemingly solve every problem. The kids at the SV startups have always lived in the software era, and are still firm believers in its infallibility. They have bought into their own “genius” myth which insulates them from the real facts of the world. So of course they accept software models as truth. Eventually they may wise up, but there will always be more cocky punks to replace them.

    • Two states differing by imperceptible amounts may eventually evolve into two considerably different states … If, then, there is any error whatever in observing the present state—and in any real system such errors seem inevitable—an acceptable prediction of an instantaneous state in the distant future may well be impossible. Edward Norton Lorenz, “Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow” Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 1963

      Those of us who’ve study both computer science and Lorenz’s paper will realize that even if we know the states perfectly and understand the model perfectly, that the computer’s imperfect representation of the data internally, will cause the output to slowly spiral toward nonsense; and we certainly don’t know the states perfectly or understand the model perfectly.
      What I find interesting is Lorenz was Kevin Trenberth’s Doctoral advisor!

  6. Who is this “Sili Valley” of whom you speak? Any relation to The Rudie my grandaparents mentioned?

    Really. Before the big die-off that began in the 1980s and continues, the vast majority of computer wranglers I ran across were of a free-thinking libertarian bent. Since then, a combination of forces have pushed to the left. One of those forces has bern left-coast birds-of-a-red-feather hiring along with cross-border bodyshopping. But even that has created a yawning divide between Sili Salley executives and the actual analysts, architects, software engineers, data-base designers and admins, sys admins, network admins…

    While moving about the midwest and southeast, I would often get a “news-letter” from the congresscritter soon after arrival, but in Virginia it was a series of “you are in the z special tax district; pay up”… The locals, however, were mostly congenial. On the left coast, new acquaintances all seemed uneasy that they might not be as extremely leftist as they should be…people at work, in stores & restaurants… law-suits against people for trimming the tree in their own yard, so they could maintain their view if the ocean. Over-crowding and open desert. Multi-million dollar homes built on unstable cliffs, and demands that the government re-inforce the cliffs with bric-brac & pilings. Horrid, inhospitable place, but nice weather.

    • Mib8. Great comment.I especially liked your last words, that is nice weather. They do have very good weather. When I first lived in San Diego I thought that if I had a control knob to change the weather,on most days I wouldn’t have touched the knob. When I left California I told myself, it is nice here but it ain’t that nice.

  7. I suggest the financial motive is prevalent within many companies as they need to satisfy the green-influenced politicians who mandate green energy targets.

    It becomes a vicious circle whereby:
    – the government is advised by and believes the ‘climate scientists’
    – who advise the same government
    – which set targets
    – which are financed by the government (or penalties are imposed – same result)
    – which influences industry (who have to make profits)
    – then those industries are used as examples for the acceptance of the ‘science’ by the ‘climate scientists’
    – which encourages ‘climate scientists’ to make ‘It’s worse than we thought’ claims which requires more funding for further research (into settled science, of course)

    Then there are all the hangers-on who jump on the government funded gravy train using statistics, social science, psychology studies, etc to prove the nay-sayers wrong.

    C. S. Lewis in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics

    My contention is that good men (not bad men) consistently acting upon that position [imposing “the good”] would act as cruelly and unjustly as the greatest tyrants. They might in some respects act even worse. Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under of robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some points be satiated; but those who torment us for their own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to heaven yet at the same time likely to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on the level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

    • Even Hitler believed that he was a messiah, destined by some elder gods or primal forces to be the savior of Germany and the “Aryan race.” I believe that these latter day Climate Hitlers will ultimately be judged by their hideous actions, not their noble intentions, C.S. Lewis notwithstanding.

    • I wish I had been exposed to C.S. Lewis in school. That alone would have saved many years of believing in do-gooder leftist ideals.

      • But you did make your way, eventually – allow me a quote from another writer who is well worth the effort, Charles MacKay. His great work, “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” is just as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1841, which is extraordinary in itself. I would suggest that you will find all the explanations you would want for the current global warming scare in this work by MacKay, it is well worth the read.

        “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” – Charles MacKay

    • C.S. Lewis grew up agnostic. He was converted to Christianity after many long discussions with his good friend J.R.R. Tolkien.
      (Yes, that Tolkien)

  8. An important topic in understanding how things have gotten so out of hand regarding energy policy and climate science. I recall reading many articles about the “next wave” of new technologies that would revolutionize the energy business. Silicon Valley billionaires placed large bets of their own money and that of their companies on this in the late 1990’s and especially after the dot-com bust in 2000. I suspect that many of them were burned out on computer technology or just fell for the messianic preaching of Al Gore. Silicon Valley started as an electronics hub supplying aerospace and defense (same thing actually) Computing developed organically from that root. Their most lucrative customers were always the government labs, Defense Department, Social Security administration, NASA, etc… taxpayer supported entities with big data crunching requirements. How many desktops, laptops, and smartphones do you think the federal government has purchased since the early 1980″s. The answer is allot.

    Another thing that all tech companies have in common is a constantly blinking business dissipation light. They know they are just a fad away from losing it all. How do you solve that problem so that you can sleep at night. Get into a commodity business that meets a basic need and pays well. Energy fits the bill. Having government on your side allows you to penetrate the market against very powerful interests. Fixed price long term contracts on favorable terms let you sell the risk and put your money in government bonds. That you get to claim your saving the world… well that’s kind of like you claimed we’d all have high paying tech jobs some day.

  9. Some good points in the essay. I like the Lindzen quote — that man has a knack for getting straight to the point.

    SV insiders are not the only kind of smart people who have swallowed the deception. As a (non-chemist) inmate of a university chemistry department, I always find it astonishing how little effort — none at all, really — my learned alarmist colleagues spend on looking at the evidence for themselves. (Of course, they were all completely sure that Clinton would win, too. No evidence or hard questions required there either.) As well, if one does accept the alarmist narrative at face value, one can latch on to an important cause, for which there is also funding available; no end of grant money for research on renewables etc. Life is just easier that way.

    The same uncritical attitude can also be observed vis-a-vis other phony causes and exaggerated or wholly imaginary problems, and on the whole it badly cripples academia’s ability to identify and address the real challenges faced by humanity.

    • When everyone of your friends and people you respect have a certain view it makes it almost impossible to have a contrary view and become an outcast. That is the reason they avoid learning anything at all about the subject. Only bad things would happen.

      • And that’s exactly why all of Galileo’s friends told him to shut up and keep his dangerous ideas to himself.

      • On the other hand, straying from the consensus is a good filter — you will realize who among your colleagues and friends is capable and not afraid of thinking for themselves. Those are the ones to actually engage with.

    • My favorite Lindzen quote:

      “Global warming, climate change, all these things are just a dream come true for politicians. The opportunities for taxation, for policies, for control, for crony capitalism are just immense, you can see their eyes bulge,”

  10. “10. I suppose SV insiders find it hard to believe that the speech of climate realists could have been suppressed to such a great degree in this country. I could not believe that, too.”

    Here is the problem: Leftists work hard at suppressing free speech while claiming the opposition is suppressing free speech. ‘No tolerance for intolerance’ they will say. I met someone who moved from California who said the locals are hypocrites about being hypocrites. They accuse others of doing what they do while not realizing that they are doing the very thing they accuse others of doing. They call Trump supporters brownshirts while they spend their time burning and looting while their leaders are busy destroying inconvenient knowledge (i.e. raw data).

  11. Good discussion thus far. As someone who used to live in the Bay Area, I think the support for global warming is rather thin, but widespread. Partly is due to narrow education, and part is the Microsoft example. Gates started out as very non-political and very much focused on business. Due to his lack of political support, he spent much of Clinton’s second term in court for anti-trust. Since then, Gates seems devoted to virtue signalling.

  12. You forgot three more reasons.

    15. They are educated.
    16. They understand what models say what what they don’t say.
    17. Not too many are in bed with the energy industry.

    • “…They understand what models say what what they don’t say…”

      Methinks you should get in bed with someone who is educated.

    • ReallySkeptical

      So give some examples of what [climate] models do & don’t say. This could be very interesting…and educational.

      • In broad brush terms the models say we should be warming. The data confirms we are warming. In case you missed it the last three years were all record warm years. It is not dues to El Nino because without warming there is no reason why this El Nino should have been warmer than the last.

        Maybe that is enough for these clever people.

      • seaice1 at 4:16 am
        In broad brush terms the models say we should be warming. The data confirms we are warming. In case you missed it the last three years were all record warm years. It is not dues to El Nino because without warming there is no reason why this El Nino should have been warmer than the last.

        There’s been a warm-up since 1850 of about a degree or so and just like climbing a mountain, where every step along the way will on average be the highest you’ve been on the journey, every point along the trend line since 1850 will be the warmest ever. In other revelations: The sun rises in the east and 2+2=4

      • We all know the highly adjusted surface data shows warming. However, satellite data shows a trend of only .01 C/decade over the past 20 years when only ENSO neutral months are plotted. Why is it alarmists are in complete denial when it comes to satellite data?

      • seaice, are you really as stupid as your posts make yourself sound?
        Are you actually trying to claim that all El Ninos should be exactly alike, and the only possible reason for one being bigger than a previous one, is CO2.

        Yes models say it should be warming, however the fact that it has warmed is not proof that the models are correct.
        First you have to prove that the warming is not caused by something else. Secondly you have to show that the warming seen matches what the models predict. Most of the warming occurred earlier than the models said it should have. During the time it has warmed, there have been spells of cooling and even 20 years with no warming. This all contradicts what the models predicted.

      • Steve Case: so you agree we are warming?
        MarkW. The question was to give some examples of what climate models do and don’t say, not to prove they are right. They do say we should be warming. We are. they don’t say we should be cooling. We are not. This does not prove them right, but is hardly reason to reject them either.

      • Actually we have cooled quite a bit over the last 6 months or so.
        Regardless, we cooled from the 40’s through the 60’s, despite the fact that CO2 levels were skyrocketing.
        This fact has been explained to you many times. Why do you insist on using invalid arguments?

      • (seaice1)
        In broad brush terms the models say we should be warming. The data confirms we are warming. In case you missed it the last three years were all record warm years.

        – I have proven that I can swim, and
        – I have proven that I can cross the Channel. Therefore,
        – I can swim across the Channel.

      • Yeah, the pause is now 6 months. That is just noise. Check out Burl Henry to see why there was cooling in the 50’s. You say there was cooling 60 years ago and say I am using invalid arguments? That was before the models, so lets keep on the subject.

        Michael Palmer, no need to show your ignorance with invalid logistical contortions. There is no parallel.

      • So pointing out the fact that there was cooling 60 years is an invalid argument.
        I’ve seen the arguments, trying to explain away the cooling. Nothing but pathetic hand waving based on suppositions and wild guesses.
        Pretty typical for the global warming crowd.

      • BTW, I said cooling not pause. Are you incapable of understanding even that simple difference.
        I was referencing the cool down from the heights of the El Nino induced warming.
        The pause will resume sometime in the next year or two.

      • seaice1 at 9:01 am
        so you agree we are warming?

        Not only that, I supplied the numbers – about a degree or so since 1850

      • “The pause will resume sometime in the next year or two.” The pause has a specific definition (at least the Monckton pause does). It is already back and stands at about 6 months.

        If there were no warming since 1998 the pause would quickly go back to before the 1998 El Nino.

        “Actually we have cooled quite a bit over the last 6 months or so.” Your point? Everybody expects some up and down over the short term.

    • 15. Educated, but not in the subject matter. Those who disagree with the alarmism are also educated, and many are educated in subjects that actually impact climate.
      16. They write models, their models work. Therefore they find it impossible to believe that others would rely on models that don’t work.
      17. Nobody is in bed with the energy industry. That lie has worn out it’s usefulness.

    • The models you refer to are Process Models. As such, they are really just experiments. Which means that the output from them is only meaningful to the researchers that wrote them. The do not and can not predict future climate states, or even basic trends, as they are far too incomplete. So why should anybody else care what these models “say”? Maybe someday, with enough work, we may be able to predict basic climatic trends a few years into the future with some accuracy, but right now even a few months is a struggle.

  13. And of course, they may believe in climate change because it is a well-established scientific fact. But this is merely conjecture, as some seemingly intelligent people seem to confuse facts with political and economic agendas….

    • Arvo

      And just how is this “well-established scientific fact” documented? The temperature record gets frequent announced & unannounced revisions (almost always in the same direction, the sum total of which approach the claimed temp rise).

      Other than Relativity (100 years ago) Newton’s F=MA has not required any data revisions.

      • Tony, it’s due to the AMO and it is perfectly natural. Now show us the Antarctic graph. Oh wait, I forgot, CO2 only works in the NH. LOL.

      • I feared for a moment there we’d actually have a thread without the arctic ice graph. Whew, I feel better now.

      • Sheri, the minute arctic ice goes back above average, arctic ice charts will disappear entirely.
        For example, last year arctic ice levels were higher, and Griff had nothing to talk about.

      • There you go Richie

        https://sunshinehours.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/global_sea_ice_extent_zoomed_2017_day_34_1981-2010.png?w=730&h=486

        MarkW
        It really is amazing how weather is not climate, unless it benefits the warmists to pretend that it is.

        80+ above average months in a row is not weather. Sad how Mark loses his cool every time someone disagrees with his rusted on opinions.

        beng135
        Why should anyone give a flying crap about sea ice?

        Instead of sticking your head in the sand about it, why not find out for yourself. Not here but somewhere like https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php

      • Tony,
        Wrong again. 80+ months of any weather statistic is just weather. Climate is much longer term than that. Get back to us after 30 or 40 years. Then we will have enough data to begin talking about “climate”. But just barely.

      • McClod, 80 months is indeed weather, it takes 30 years to become climate.
        At least that’s what your co-conspirators used to claim.
        It hasn’t been anywhere close to 80 months, and it was all due to the El Nino. And now that the El Nino is gone, so is the warmth.

      • 80+ months of above average temperatures “is indeed just weather”. “Get back to us after 30 or 40 years.”

        And therin lies the deep delusion. After 30 or 40 years of above average months the argument would transmogrified into some other talking point from The Nile.

        In other words no evidence is sufficient. Ever.

    • You are right Arvo: it is a well-established fact that the climate changes.

      What is not even close to being well-established, nor well-understood, is what, if any, effect human CO2 emissions are having on the climate.

      By the way, I’m one of those people who accepts the facts and refuses to confuse them with political and economic agendas. Factual distortions and misrepresentations, however, I constantly see others weave into political and economic agendas. I fully support the unravelers of these deceptions.

    • Interesting how you consider your political and economic agenda to be a well established fact.
      It really is sad how warmists fail even the most basic of logic tests.
      Theory says it should warm. It has warmed, therefor the theory is proven. Sheesh.

      • MarkW’s comment is exactly right.

        Climate models don’t make predictions about future climate states. They don’t make predictions at all, in the scientific sense. The warming since 1900 does not confirm the models. Continued warming would not confirm the models.

      • Pat Frank
        Continued warming would not confirm the models.

        And no matter how much warmer it gets that just means its getting cooler.

      • Presently, no matter how much warmer it gets, we won’t know why.

        But be grateful. Warmer is good, colder is bad.

      • MarkW. I will explain the logic to you.
        You say (or imply) that I claim that because it has warmed and the models predict it would warm that the models are proved. I never made that claim. For the avoidance of doubt I said “This does not prove them right, but is hardly reason to reject them either.”

        Therefore you attacked a claim that I had not made in an attempt to demonstrate that I was wrong. That is a straw man fallacy.

  14. I note with interest that not one of those reasons is “Because human CO2 emissions really are warming the atmosphere and moving us toward catastrophic changes in the climate”.

  15. [snip – offensive, off-topic, and multiple violations of site commenting policy – you are banned, and our filter yet again gets new input – Anthony Watts]

      • Tony,
        Define “scientist”. To me, it is anybody that uses the scientific process to study and understand the world around us. No advanced college degree is required, just curiosity and intellectual honesty. So yeah, I’m a scientist. I don’t claim to be an expert in any area, but I have broad knowledge across multiple domains and deep experience in a few. I’m more than qualified to question the “experts”, especially when they step into the software world where I have deep experience.

        So enough with the appeals to authority. We are not going to STFU and obey our “superiors”. Too much evil has been committed by people using the excuse of “just following orders”.

      • Paul, I have a keen interest in a wide range of science disciplines and I have science qualifications but I’m not using them in the field I work in at the moment. Am I a scientist? No.

        Neither are you. Who do you accept health advice from? Your GP? Or the guy online who knows a bit about anatomy? If that is an appeal to a superior authority; then guilty.

        “Following orders”? WTF are you taliking about?
        “We”. SMH. It’s always us vs. them.

      • Tony,
        So you don’t have a good definition of “scientist”. I thought not. But that’s no surprise since you don’t seem to know what science is either. It is not the accumulated knowledge of humankind, nor is it a special invite-only club. It isn’t even a job or vocation. Anybody can practice science and thus anybody can be a scientist. Some are obviously better at it than others, and only a small number can make a living at it (ie. the professional scientist).

        That said, obviously specialists exist and one should consider their advice carefully in the field in which they have specialized in. In the example you brought up, the GP Physician, I generally follow my doctor’s advice. But not unquestioningly. When I was advised to take medications to lower my cholesterol (which was only slightly “high”), I declined because I had done my own research and I was not convinced that cholesterol was a *cause* of any disease. All the available studies were based on correlations, some of them quite weak, with no good biological theory, let alone evidence, on how cholesterol could be the cause of the diseases claimed. It was just as likely that higher cholesterol and the diseases were both being caused by some other unknown factor. So I decided that it made no sense to expose myself to the risks of long term side effects from these relatively new drugs for no proven health benefit. At the time I was in the minority (a cholesterol denier I suppose), but today there are a lot more medical researchers and doctors that doubt the cholesterol cardiovascular disease link. Good thing I followed solid scientific principles instead of the consensus herd.

      • Paul:
        “So you don’t have a good definition of “scientist”. I thought not.”

        Sigh. Bully for you.

        “I declined because I had done my own research”

        And I do the same. But the “research” I do is not in my own lab. It is what other authoritative experts are saying.

        “obviously specialists exist and one should consider their advice carefully in the field in which they have specialized in.”

        Except Climate Science? You sound like a creationist who accepts all the benefits of science except those bits that conflict with their creation myth. Can’t pick and choose.

        But ah yes you’ve already decided they are the ones with a politacal agenda and we can’t trust them so we have to fall back on the guy on the internet who knows a bit about…

        Round and round we go yet the ice keeps shrinking and the flowers keep blooming earlier and etc.

        And in 30 or 40 years time, as those up thread would have us wait, after not 80 above average months in a row but 800, there will be some other excuse for inaction. By then it will probably be down to ” well it’s too late to do anything now…”.

  16. As a former software developer and lifelong computer guy, I see RTFM in a different light.
    In my world, a measure of a software is how soon you need to crack open the manual. In my experience the sooner you have to, the more convoluted the software is, and most likely the more cryptic and incomplete user manual is too.
    I do take to opening manuals and tutorials, if the software does something unique and new to me.
    But a software, just as a tool, should be more or less self explanatory if it trying to solve a well known problem.

    As for the industry going all left-wing. I think it might have something to do with the introverted nature of many developers. They can’t handle the real world. Chaos and social interaction is not their thing. So, grabbing on to more absolute solutions that, as the article suggests, provide neat solutions is one way of simply engaging with the rest of humanity.

    • The need of Manual in software is a must if, and only if, the program is complex or the user is “novice” to the matter.
      Es. Blender, a computer aid for 3D animation modeling, can’t be use at first without a manual, even if it is a graphic expert that use it.
      I’m a 67+ old programmer and the first thing I do when I get something new is read the manual even if I suspect I don’t need it.
      At the same time I can’t speak of something that I don’t understand even if I’ve read a lot of it.
      Socrates teaches.

    • Many years ago, a company called Borland introduced a blindingly fast Pascal compiler for PCs. This grew, with a new issue, with more features, every year or so. In the end, the joke was that Borland were selling the manuals (by then weighing a couple of pounds) and throwing in the compiler environment disks for free!
      The compiler environment wasn’t a pick-up-and-go sort of thing, but the capabilities that Borland ended up with (with its Object Pascal) was years in advance of Micro$erf C++. I miss it!

    • It takes me a while (sometimes) to figure out how the programmer constructed the program, until I do, it’s a real struggle to use, and after a bit, that goes away and I have an instinct on where to go to do what I want. Just a curious note to go with your comment about manuals.
      And yes, the better designs should only need a manual for advanced incantations.

      Anyone else find computer code is like a written incantation? Now extent that into nanotech assemblers, and how you might lock up access to just anyone. Now where is my jar of bat wings?

  17. If you want to see the size of possible profits from being in green energy check out the German electricity market. Renewable generators have governmnent gaurantees that all of the power generated will be paid for at several times the average market price. This has driven the fossil fuel operators business models into bankruptcy. It has also detached the consumers bill from market forces increasing the retail cost of electricity massively. The fossil fuel plants will not go away as renewables cannot be ramped up to high meet demand which is happening during this years cold winter. In the end you will have a much more expensive much less reliable product. To improve reliability you have to have the fossil plants sitting around on standby making it impossible to achieve efficient pricing. You the consumer are left shivering in the dark eating pasty porridge. The Charles Dickens plan.

  18. A pretty good case can be made for human-caused global warming/climate change if one doesn’t dig into the details too much.

    There are hockeystick charts that visually display that the temperatures are getting “hotter and hotter”; there is the authority and prestige of NOAA and NASA and just about every other official scientific body backing the notion that humans are changing the climate.

    If you are just learning about the Climate Change issue, then it looks like to you that the whole official world is on the side of human-caused global warming/climate change.

    If you don’t have a reason to question the consensus opinion, then that’s as far as you take it, and you are a believer. Why wouldn’t you be? The experts say it’s so.

    Humans have an innate desire to conform to the majority opinion. That’s one reason consensus opinions are so powerful as an argument. So if it appears the entire official world is on one side of an issue, and can make a pretty good case for it, then it is not surprising that many people would accept the theory as real, even rich, smart people in Silicon Valley. They have other things to do than delve into the details of climate science. They will leave that up to the “experts”. Unfortunately, the “experts” in this situation cannot prove their claims, but they don’t broadcast that to the world, so most people still think of them as experts.

    The reason, imo, why the average person does not believe in human-caused climate change (a large percentage, anyway) is because they don’t see any evidence of it in their daily lives. I don’t know why Silicon Valley execs don’t have this kind of common sense, but apparently they do not.

    • TA, as is usual, very insightful comment from you… You know, i kind of wonder how much the drought and/or higher temps in CA have to do with it. Down here in Louisiana, i’ve always had part of the basis for my own skepticism the lack of apparent warming down here. (i just don’t feel it!) i seem to remember temps actually being much warmer here in the 90s. Not too long ago anthony ran a post about where the most warming (and cooling) has been in the U.S. Turns out Louisiana is the (relatively) coolest spot in the country! CA, on the other hand, had seen among the highest warming.
      Another issue that you brought up is personal interest. We ALL have different interests. Many people just prefer doing other things with their time. OR when one looks at climate change on the whole it can be rather overwhelming/ intimidating (and frought with nasty politicking). Who wants to bring all that into their lives except us climate change junkies. Remember, too, that not everybody is all that bright out there. They are less likely than someone like yourself to stick with it over time. (i just so happen to be a dummy that stubbornly perseveres… ☺) We live in a world where a majority of the folks can’t even recognize a picture of the vice president. i don’t think we should be surprised that many folks are not well versed in climate change. (most folks are not even aware, as i once was, that there is a skeptical point of view) And liberalism feeds off, takes advantage of, the general public’s ignorance. That’s how politics works. They have a knack for figuring out just what the public can be made to believe. So, i guess there are a myriad of reasons why things are the way they are. And i also guess that it’s each of our personal responsibility to solve the problem of why things are the way they are. That’s how humanity hopefully moves forward. When good men do something (and don’t do nothing)…

      • Turns out Louisiana is the (relatively) coolest spot in the country! CA, on the other hand, had seen among the highest warming.

        No joke here’s a link to a graph I’ve slapped up here a few times. Summer temperatures in The Mississippi River valley have declined for well over 100 years

  19. I actually came from the IT-Software business and I think it has nothing directly to do with one’s belief in AGW. Here is why:

    – Most people are born as “part of the herd”, and they live their entire lives not questioning herd-mentality. This has nothing to do with writing software – its just being human. If you have enough of the herd baying about a topic, it will be accepted as truth by most people – smart and not-smart alike.

    – Science is NOT obvious. It took me many years to get past learning “science” and realize that I wasn’t, in fact, learning science – I was learning someone’s opinion about science. You have to be trained in critical thinking, be logical, and be willing to admit you are wrong, and then you can master science. Most people who have degrees never learned critical thinking, so how can they actually understand science? Over half (in my experience) suffer from an inability to successfully apply logic. Most smart people hate being wrong, so they will not easily change views.

    – Books, articles, and OMG especially visuals have a certain intimidation factor about them – people just accept it must be right if it looks intimidating. As I grew older I have realized if it can’t be explained in a simple way its likely incomplete or wrong. I have learned to question visuals – what are the boundaries, why are those the boundaries, is the scale exaggerated, etc. This comes from experience, it isn’t inborn. It also isn’t taught in any classes I ever took.

    – As a computer geek, I took manuals home with me to read at night. So did many of the other really smart geeks – so it isn’t about not reading manuals. It might be about not learning science.

    – Believe it or not, very few computer geeks ever write a model of anything. Especially in this day and age, they are writing little segments of code that fit into a system of code. The only people capable of understanding the whole are the system/software architects, and even most of those I knew never wrote models. It is so easy to not understand the limitations of a computer model. Most programmers these days do not understand how a simple tiny error-margin can propagate through calculations until they become massive error-margins. The other rather fascinating discovery I made is people will read into models about things that are just not there. I built a game once that employed normal distributions to certain “behaviors” of elements. Within a year people had written a manual explaining the personalities behind the elements – none of which actually existed – but people were certain of I had created elements with personalities..

    My opinion is, smart people are just as vulnerable to BS as anyone. The only advantage they have is they possess the intellect to see past the BS, if they become driven to do so. But why should they? They are in a comfort zone – plenty of money, plenty of work, and all there acquaintances agree… Taking the effort to train yourself to understand AGW takes time and leaves you vulnerable to herd-shunning. There is absolutely no reason to make yourself vulnerable – unless of course you start getting hung up on “what is the truth?”.

    • People may be sometimes believers and sometimes not, depending on the weather, so to say. I lost my faith in Santa Klaus at the age of five but became a believer again on December the fifth when it was dark outside, someone knocked on the door, and left behind a basket with presents. This went on for several years. I definitely lost my faith when I became involved in the fakery and helped with filling the basket for my younger sisters.

  20. There’s a huge number of people all over the world that refuse to believe that either NOAA or NASA could possibly be manipulating temperature or sea level data. I’m frequently encountering them in various blogs. Also they seem to think that if there is some kind of manipulation going on, it must involve thousands of scientists in many countries so there’s no possible way that this could be true etc.

    • I think you are on to something. You know they must have access to AREA 51 and satellite communications, so no emails. Every month a signal goes out from AREA 51 to the satellites to tell them how much to manipulate the climate data. Then they put it thru a model, so they don’t all get the exact same answer. Then publish.

      Seems likely to me.

    • “Also they seem to think that if there is some kind of manipulation going on, it must involve thousands of scientists in many countries so there’s no possible way that this could be true etc.”

      I think that is definitely a factor, Alan. Most people don’t realize that it is only a small number of people who are in charge of the temperature records, and they are all in the “climate science club” and thus associate with each other in the course of carrying out their jobs, which makes it a lot easier for them to get together and decide to adjust the temperatures to make it look like humans are causing the climate to change through the burning of fossil fuels.

      So in reality, it is just a few people who are doing the temperature manipulations, and are then passing this manipulated data on to all the other scientists in the world as legitimate. Unfortunately, the general public is unaware of all this.

  21. The AGW conjecture at first seems to be quite plausable. As Mankind has been using fossil fuels, the level of CO2 in our atmosphere has been increasing and is now over .04% but many do not realize how small that number is. The increase in CO2 is coinsiding with the Modern Warm Period so there seemingly must be some connection even though looking at the paleoclimate record such cool and warm periods have been going on for quite some time without bering a function of CO2. Proponents of AGW have been trying to get rid of the previous Medeival Warm Period which was a warm period that was not caused by Mankind’s use of fossil fuels. Most people these days are not up on paleoclimate issues and the hockey stick chart for them is what they believe in particularily if they had to learn it in school or saw it on some official web site.

    Then there is the idea that CO2 controls H2O so even though H2O has to be the primary greenhouse gas it is controled by CO2 so it just does not matter. That is what made no sense to me but apparently many people buy. I never understood how H2O could provide a positive climate feedback to added CO2 but not provide a similar positive feedback to more H2O making the entire climate system unstable. If one with a science background takes a really critical look at how AGW is suppose to work according to many of the most popular explanations one begins to realize that it is really science fiction because the climate system really does not work that way. But most people have only an 8th grade general science mentality and just beleve what the text book tells them.

    Then there is the idea of “scientific consensus”, so if so many say that AGW is true then it must be true. For many, AGW must be proven fact so to say otherwise is some sort of blastphmy. Then they will claim that your arguements are not valid because they do not come from a peer reviewed paper from an appropriate climate journal or because you yourself are not a qualified climate scientist. With many it has become a religion so sceintific arguements do not really matter any more.

    The idea that a greenhouse stays warm because of IR absorbing materials was shown to be false via experiment early in the last century but most people do not know that. People have to learn that our climate is controled by a radiant greenhouse effect which the AGW conjecture is based upon even though in reality such a radiant green house effect has yet to be observed. According to the AGW conjecture the surface of the Earth is 33 degrees C warmer on average because of the action of heat trapping greenhouse gases and apparently all of the other gases in the atmosphere are thermally inert. We must believe in the AGW explanation because there is no other possible explanation. Of course there is another explanation that totally excludes the existance of a radiant greenhouse effect but most people do not know that and will tell you that you are lying if you try to explain it to them because it is contrary to what they had to memorize in school and their school text books must have been right.

    Then there is the SKS mentality which will tell you that every arguement against the AGW conjecture is just some sort of right wing propoganda and hence must be rejected. I have had so many of my comments deleted over at SKS that I do not even try to post over there but there is one set of by comments that blows away AGW that they left because they did not really understand that is what my comments did.

    I myself really wanted the AGW conjecture to succeed so I could use it as another reason to conserve on the use of fossil fuels but for many the AGW conjecture is too full of holes but you really have to have a critical scientific background to find those holes and to realize that under critical examination the AGW conjecture cannot be successfully defended. I cannot prove anything regarding climate science but the best evidence that I have seen is the the climate sensivity of CO2 is some small number close to or equal to zero but most people just accept what the text books are telling them.

    • Willhaas:

      You wrote:

      Of course there is another system that totally excludes the existence of a radiant greenhouse effect”

      I am not sure what system you are referring to, but I have posted a system which explains all that has happened to the climate over the past 160 years, and is applicable to earlier eras as well.

      It can be found by a Google search for “Climate Change Deciphered”.

      Your comments??.

      • Willhaas “Of course there is another explanation that totally excludes the existance of a radiant greenhouse effect but most people do not know that and will tell you that you are lying if you try to explain it to them”

        Please tell us. Why is the Earth 33K warmer than it would be?

      • Please tell us. Why is the Earth 33K warmer than it would be?

        Why water vapor of course. There’s so much of the stuff it’s the dog.

        Co2 was important before the ice melted.

      • Burl Henry. My objection is that removal of SO2 does not cause temperatures to rise. SO2 results in cooling. Removal of SO2 means less cooling. Less cooling does not equal warming. Something is making the temperature rise and it is not removal of SO2.

      • Seaice1:

        You wrote: “My objection is that the removal of SO2 does not cause temperatures to rise”

        This is nonsense!

        Earth’s climate is extremely sensitive to the amount of dimming SO2 aerosols that are present in the atmosphere. EVERY time that their net global quantity is reduced, average global temperatures will rise (unless offset by a La Nina, or a large volcanic eruption).

        This is proven in my post “Climate Change Deciphered”. Do a Google search.

        (As would be expected, reduced SO2 levels can cause regional temperatures to be even higher than average global temperature increases).

        .

      • micro6500: Your explanation is surely that water vapor is a greenhouse gas. The proposal was that there was ” another explanation that totally excludes the existance of a radiant greenhouse effect”, so your answer is not the one I asked for.

      • seaice1
        Less cooling does not equal warming.

        Wow. Your ability to repeatedly demonstrate your complete lack of understanding of the processes involved is truly remarkable. This time with a single sentence.

      • Burl Henry, several theories of that matter have been floating around for years and for me thay have more substance than the AGW CO2 theory. The problem with climate science is that one cannot really prove anything because there are just too many variables and one cannot run definitive exeriments. One cannot control all climate related variables for several hundred years and then rerun the several hundred years with only one variable changed. There has also been some work that shows that the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans. Climate change has been taking place long before Mankind has had any effect on CO2 or SO2.

      • willhass:

        The “model” that I have posted, which perfectly matches the behavior of the climate 1975-2011, needs only ONE variable: the amount of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere.

        Decrease that amount,and temperatures increase. Increase that amount and temperatures decrease. (This is applicable across the centuries).

        From this data, a “background” temperature.can be calculated, which, when there are no .temporary natural variations, is essentially an exact match (to within .02 deg. C.) to reported J-D average global temperatures.

        Upon this background temperature, temporary natural variations due to recession warming, El Ninos, La Ninas, and volcanic eruptions will alter the observed temperature.

      • A real greenhouse does not stay warm because of the LWIR absorbing properties of so called greenhouse gases. A real greenhouse stays warm because the glass retards cooling by convection. It is a convective greenhouse effect. So too on Earth. As derived from first principals, the surface of the Earth is on average 33 degrees warmer because gravity limits cooling by convection. The convective greenhouse effect is a function of gravity, the heat capacity of the atmosphere and the depth of the atmosphere and has nothing to do with the LWIR absorption properties of so called greenhouse gases. The convective greenhouse effect accounts for all 33 degrees C that has been observed. There is no additional radiant greenhouse effect. The convective greenhouse effect has been observed on all planets in the solar system with thick atmospheres. If CO2 really affected climate then one would expect that the increase in CO2 over the past 30 years would have caused at least a measureable increase in the dry lapse rate in the troposphere but such has not happened.

      • Burl Henry, your observations may provide rational upon which to base a hypothesis but not proof. Short term correlation is no proof of causuality. For a definitive experiment try rerunning the Earth’s climate for the past 160 years without any SO2 in the atmosphere and see what happens. Unfortunately such a definitive experiment cannot be run.

      • Wlihaas:

        What I have presented is NOT a hypothesis, it is a FACT.

        Over the past 160 years, whenever there is a business slow down. there is a temporary increase in average global temperatures., due to reduced SO2 levels.

        Whenever there are reductions in SO2 emissions due to Clean Air efforts, temperatures increase by a predictable amount.

        SO2 aerosols ARE the control knob for Climate Change.(and I have further proof)

      • Burl Henry and Davidmhoffer. I did look at “climate change deciphered”. If you look up-thread I suggested to someone else that they look you up to see about SO2 cooling. My objection is that SO2 results in less solar radiation reaching the surface, so in the presence of the sun shining it results in cooling. Removal of the SO2 does not result in heating, but less cooling. Yes, if the sun shines the same the temperature goes up, but it is the sun that causes the heating. It may seem a pedantic point but it is important.

        Imagine a block with an IR lamp shining on it. We now put a sheet of glass between the lamp and the block. The heating is stopped and the block cools. Now we move the glass: the heating resumes. What cause the heating? I would say it was not the removal of the glass but the IR lamp.

        This is important because if we say removing glass sheets causes heating we will be horribly mis-led and might start removing all our windows. We must put it in context of the IR lamp because removing glass sheets does not cause heating. Similarly we must put the SO2 in the context of the energy budget of the Earth.

      • Seaice:

        Let me give you a better analogy:

        You are outside on a bright, sunny day, with an umbrella to protect you from the heat of the sun.

        If you close the umbrella, you are now exposed to the full force of the sun, and you will feel much warmer.

        For planet earth, the umbrella is the amount of dimming anthropogenic SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere. Reduce that amount, and the earth’s surface WILL get warmer.

        This has been proven over and over with temporary warming occurring during each business recession for the past 160+ years..

        And unfortunate permanent warming as net global SO2 emissions are reduced by Clean Air efforts.

      • Burl Henry, you have not provided any proof. You do not seem to know what proof really is. You cannot prove anything regarding the Earth;s climate with only 160 years of observation. What about climate change before human civilization and Mankind having nothing to do with SO2? If SO2 is the control knob them maybe there was just no climate at all in those days.

      • You say that I haven’t proved anything:

        If an experiment is repeated over and over with the same results, and with no exceptions, then no further proof is necessary.

        With respect to earlier eras when man was not around to influence the climate, then the source of the SO2 would be volcanic, or out-gassing.

        For example, the Little Ice Age has been attributed to the VEI7 eruption of Mount Rinjani in 1258

        Mount Tambora, another VEI7 eruption (1815) lowered global temperatures by about 5 deg. F., giving us “the year without a summer.

        Earth was much more volcanic in the past, and it is knot a stretch to suppose that Ice Ages were preceded by extensive volcanism. Cessation of the volcanism would allow the climate to warm up, and the ice to melt..

      • Well where is the experiment that proves your theroy?. To do so you will have to rerun the Earth’s climate with all variables controled. You will have to run the same years once with SO2 present and another time with no SO2. To perform this experiment you will need both a time machine and God like powers.

        The coldest part of the Little Ice Age occoured at the end of the 1600’s and the beginning of the 1700’s and coincided with a minimum in solar activity and had nothing to do with an erruption in 1258.

      • Willhaas.

        The experiments have already been performed by Nature. Multiple times, temporary warming occurred when SO2 aerosol emissions were decreased, and the temporary warming disappeared when SO2 aerosols emissions increased after the recessions ended.

        In addition, Nature has shown us that volcanic eruptions temporarily cool the earth’s surface, then warm it up again to pre-eruption levels after the SO2 aerosols have settled out.

        And decreases in net global SO2 aerosol emissions due to Clean Air Efforts also cause temperatures to increase.

        .

      • willhaas:

        With respect to your Little Ice Age comments:

        According to Wiipedia, the eruption of Mount Rinjani in 1258 is considered to be the beginning of the Little Ice age, which spanned some 400 years, with warmer periods interspersed.

        They do agree that the coldest portion occurred at the end of the 1600’s (There was a VEI6 eruption in 1660 (Long Island volcano) which probably caused the minimum)

  22. Sorry, don’t buy into this reasoning.

    First if all, the bulk of employees in a SV company have nothing to do with technology. They are in accounting, marketing, sales, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution…. They are no more qualified or interested in climate science than their peers making cars or running cruise ships.

    As for their founders, they have very narrow areas of specialization, and are tasked with running companies which are under intense political scrutiny and it is safer to be politically correct. The skeptics are unlikely to boycott you if you are green, but the alarmists will be picketing your front door if your not. Or at least paying lip service.

    • @davidmhoffer
      A small, practically insignificant comment that, nonetheless, nails the point of the article.
      I could not have put it better, myself.

  23. Based on my experience with Silicon Valley employees, I’d add to the list that Silicon Valley employers tend to fire employees approaching 50 year of age. This strips the companies of management personnel with adult perspectives and leaves the employees largely without adult supervision. In addition, the employees tend to begin being filtered out of the work place as they begin to have children… leaving behind a work force that lacks the tempered perspectives that come with child rearing.

  24. There is just one reason: AGW is politics and nothing else. When things become political smart people are no longer so smart.

  25. IMO your first reason nails it. They are ignorant of the relevant science and unaware of their ignorance. It didn’t help that climate science got off on the wrong foot by not discovering that thermalization explains why CO2 has no significant effect on climate.

    • Really smart people with narrow, in-depth knowledge of a specific field frequently are assumed to be as knowledgeable in fields outside their specialty. They also frequently prove this to be an invalid assumption. Linus Pauling is exhibit #1.

  26. Real reason no. 1:

    Most of the software companies depend on the whims of the public and the whims of the government, so they keep their heads down.

    Remember MySpace ? It was taken to the cleaners in under a month.

  27. Perhaps it is simply that their mindsets correspond more with the mindsets of hunter-gatherers.

    Nature as the basis of survival.

  28. As an SV insider, I’ve seen it first hand and it’s all a matter of guilt for being successful which the political left has leveraged to the hilt. ‘Helping the world’ seems noble until you look at the motivations and few have the time to bother.

  29. In an industry that’s overweight in thirty something millennials who’ve been subjected to an education that was essentially a narrow perspective, ideological brain washing what else would anyone expect? Normally if intelligent young people were subjected to 10-20 years of real life experience in non-group think environments many would eventually realise they’d were conned by their teacher preachers. However, in the hot-house, group-think environment of SV that requires far greater independence of thought – a characteristic actively discouraged and likely to be a career limiting if not career ending offence.

    • Exactly what I was thinking. They were taught climate change, not basic climate (you know, it’s determined by location, etc.) They think it’s all caused by CO2. There have been times I’ve been laughed at for saying that both poles cannot melt at the same time due to the opposing seasons. These people were taught none of what we learned in grade school.

  30. It’s interesting that you bring up physics as something that silicon valley engineers don’t know – half of my team and most of my friends have at least a master’s degree in physics. Granted, though, none of us are alarmists.. so you are not exactly correct in your generalization, but perhaps correct in your correlation. Not sure – I have a small sampling compared to the entirety of population you describe.

    • This is the point – they are not alarmists. And let me guess – their age is about 50, and they have no influence? Majority of SV insiders have either computer sciences or non-scientific education, and know little physics.

  31. Very good article. I first crossed it in system development, but it was “if all else fails, read the frigging manual.” However I understood that to be ironic, as in “Back-ups are for wimps.”

  32. “Software sciences are also everchanging. Ideas that haven’t been in circulation within the last five years just don’t matter.”

    There is a strange dichotomy here, in that software engineers create change -often pointless change- at a willy-nilly pace, yet all of their work is rooted in 40-year-old systems with massive security flaws. The parlous state of IT security is almost entirely a consequence of the flat refusal by programmers to consider using anything other than C and SQL as the two main languages.

    The issues are, specifically, buffer overflows in C, and malicious code injection in SQL. Protecting against these two issues is problematic, because even a momentary oversight in some obscure part of a large program can leave a vulnerability.

    Nowadays, most students aren’t even taught that the security problems of C and SQL didn’t affect earlier languages, and would go away if these languages were ditched. Yet, that fact has been conveniently forgotten, and as a consequence in their professional capacity they continue to turn out software with completely avoidable security flaws.

    Asking programmers why this situation continues, it becomes apparent that a strong element of hubris is involved. Many will claim that they are aware of the high risk of creating accidental security holes, but reckon they’re so good at it, they never make missteaks.

    It has been argued that the software houses don’t want to change this situation, because having builtin security holes in software provides a ready means of expiring older products so as to keep the revenue stream flowing. Once the patch support ends, you as the end user can be told that if you don’t upgrade, you are at risk!! Point of fact you are at risk anyway, because the new product also contains similar vulns.

    • Ian,
      I can’t speak to the SQL security issues, but I agree that buffer overflows in older code is definitely a major cause of security holes today. This is not specifically a problem with the C language though, as you can write bad code in any language. True, some make it more difficult to create buffer overflow type errors, however there are many other types of security holes. And nearly all of the buffer overflow problems could have been avoided with better coding standards and processes. The truth is, much of this code was slapped together and pressed into service with little peer review and testing. So it’s a bit disingenuous to blame the C language.

    • The vast majority of the time the only thing that happens when buffers overflow is that the system crashes. Either that or you get randomly corrupted data that is impossible to track down.
      The idea that every buffer overflow is a security issue waiting to happen is ridiculous.

  33. “80% of what 80% of software engineers and architects use can be studied in 80 months.”

    I believe you mean 80 days. 80 months is 6 years and 8 months.

    (This rule-of-tongue-in-cheek is an almost-accurate description for most technical positions; it’s the last 20% of the knowledge that takes a lot of time to master…)

    • The key is that the knowledge pool is almost the same for all these software engineers. Can you say the same about doctors, for example? A typical doctors studies ~ 7 years (weighting down years of general college and residence). But different doctors learn different things! Each of them learns something like 0.8% of what 80% of doctors know and use. The doctors know their limitations, and consult other specialists when needed. And no doctor would make diagnosis based on a “scientific discovery” that he read in a newspaper. Unfortunately, some of my colleagues in software engineering overestimate their knowledge of sciences and non-computer engineering.

  34. I live in Silicon Valley. It has less to do with politics, in my opinion, than it has to do with seeing “climate change” as a catalyst to creating emerging markets. So — things like solar power at the home creates a market for things like energy management controllers. Energy conservation adds an incentive for things like automotive control systems, software such as self-driving cars that might reduce traffic congestion and conserve energy. They see “climate change” as the “hook” that gets the everyday masses to buy into regulations that raise the level of difficulty to do things and they are ready to provide the software and hardware that meet those stricter standards. So it’s basically greed. They see “climate change” as potentially driving many markets for them so of course they are on board with it.

  35. I didn’t read past the first section, “Cognitive biases affecting understanding of the sciences”, as it was full of crap. I know loads of software engineers, having been one myself for the last 30 years, and the vast majority of the ones I’ve spoken to have not been sucked in by climate alarmism. The primary reason for that is that they are mostly free thinking logical people, who want evidence (e.g. Test results, observations etc) to verify the correctness of their work, clearly an attitude that is anathema to the climate alarmists.

  36. Supporting a political party that you do not is not “notorious”.

    Ironically it’s that kind of narrow-minded partisanship that leads to groupthink in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

  37. Silicon valley are all leftists so despite being brilliant they all believe in climate change??

    Oh my. Oh my ears and whiskers. Oh, stop it, stop it.

    Oh dear.

    The tears are rolling down my face… I laughed till I cried. I actually hurt my sides laughing.

    • Actually, if your sides are so in pain through laughter, I suggest the PlayTex 24hr Girdle, it helps me when I read you infantile posts.

    • I did not find it funny as it was too sad.

      1) – would require that people involved in chemistry and biology reject climate science. This is not so.
      2) Not RTFM suggests an independent way of thought, that is not one to be persuaded by orthodoxy without evidence.
      3) See 1. It assumes that a knowledge of physics and chemistry would lead to rejection of climate science, and then imlies that the converse must also be true, that is a lack of working in these fields will result in acceptance of climate science. The first is just wrong and the second a logical fallacy.
      4) Goodness, 80% if what 80% of any field can be learned in 7 years. That still leaves 34% requiring more than 7 years to study. Meaningless, but if true that physics were somehow different, it still implies that physicists reject climate science. I have seen zero evidence that this is the case, so is a non sequitur.
      5) Comparing the Turing Machine to Newtons laws is not a valid comparison. But even if it were valid, what does that say about why Silicon Valley entrepreneurs believe in climate science? Where is the step that takes us from working in an ever changing field to rejecting climate science?
      6) Assumes the antecedent – the models are not designed to produce physically incorrect output.
      7) Success breeds hubris and arrogance. And just why would arrogance lead to a rejection of climate science? No reason at all. It is arrogant to reject it since that is claiming to know more than the experts.
      8) Assumes business in the USA is better served by pandering to global government than by cheap fuel. Very unlikely.
      9) Oh my, I can’t go on.

      • Exactly. Silicon Valley is not a political party. This article is fundamentally flawed.

        These guys go along with Climate Change scares stories because it pays well. That’s all.
        It’s about money.

        Look Google tried to invest in renewables, realised it wouldn’t work and stopped. If they believed the end of the world was night they would have thrown good money after bad. They would have had to. There’s no profit in a world in the grave.
        But they don’t do that.

        This is not apolitical movement. Not in tech companies anyway.

        It’s about profit.
        If taxpayers are willing to give them lots of money they will take it.

      • I’m a chemist, seaice1, and after investigation have disproved the AGW claim.

        Rejecting AGW does not involve rejecting climate science. It involves a recognition that climate science as currently practiced is not science at all.

      • Finding error in climate models is not disproving the AGW claim. The AGW hypothesis predates climate models.
        ..
        PS, publishing in a blog is not “science”, but as a chemist, you already know that.

      • Martin, do you have any idea how stupid you sound when you proclaim that only those who are recognized as experts in climate have any right to talk about climate.
        Anyone can point out that the data does not support the hypothesis.

      • The science is in the content, Martin, not where it appears. As a chemist, I know that.

        A truely scientific AGW hypothesis must be falsifiable. The current version is not. No scientific AGW hypothesis has ever appeared. AGW is hardly more than a conjecture.

      • Pat Frank:

        You wrote “A truly scientific AGW hypothesis must be falsifiable”

        The model which I have posted on “Climate Change Deciphered” is completely falsifiable (and has been falsified).

        So why is it being ignored?

      • Frank, why don’t you publish your “findings” that AGW is not falsifiable in a reputable peer reviewed journal? While you are at it, you might as well provide an alternative hypothesis that explains the approximately 1 degree C rise in global temps over the past 150 years.

      • You’ve shifted your ground, Martin. If you can’t argue the content, you haven’t a case.

        FYI, I’ve been trying to publish that work for going on four years, over the most incredibly incompetent reviews it has been my misfortune to experience, ever.

        I have yet to encounter a climate modeler who knows the first thing about physical error analysis. Their mistakes are reminiscent of naive college freshman.

      • Frank, please follow your own advice, and stop “shifting ground.” Your blog posts are about climate models, not about your claim of an “unfalsifiable hypothesis. There are plenty of vanity journals that will publish your work, so don’t complain about “incompetent reviews”

      • Your argument has dissolved into mindless and irrelevant complaints, Martin.

        It’s clear you’re just arguing from authority, not from knowledge.

        Climate models deploy the current physical theory of climate. They are for Climate Science as software deploying quantum mechanics is for Chemistry. QM models make predictions that can be, and are, tested. QM stands or falls on the test.

        Climate models use the physical theory of climate to purportedly predict future climate states. Except the errors they make are so large, that they cannot be tested or falsified by any conceivable observation.

        No climate model accuracy, no valid predictions, no test, no knowable AGW. That’s the verdict of science.

      • Burl, I’m unfamiliar with your work. But if your model does not include the correct physics of cloud formation (necessary but not sufficient), it’s not a climate model and it’s not falsifiable by observation because its output is not a prediction.

      • Pat Frank:

        The “model” can be viewed by a Google search for “Climate Change Deciphered”.

        It’s output leads to temperature predictions/projections accurate to .02 deg. C., or less.

      • Frank, again you are “shifting ground.”
        ..
        You are arguing about climate models not the AGW hypothesis.
        ..
        When you begin to argue about (in your words) ” the current physical theory of climate” then you might make some sense.

      • Poor Martin, he can no longer tell the difference between data and models.
        It is the data that has refuted the models.

      • Martin, the model includes the entire physical theory; it consists of all the math, all the physical relationships, everything. When it tests out wrong, the theory is disproved at the level of the test.

        If you don’t understand this, you understand nothing of science or of how science works.

      • Frank, the weather model(s) include the entire physical theory; it consists of all the math, all the physical relationships, everything. When it rains on you picnic, the theory is NOT affected at all. All you can surmise is that the model needs improvement.
        ..
        Have you as a chemist ever run a climate model?

      • Martin, if your weather model predicted no rain where you’re having your picnic, and yet it rains on your picnic, then the physical theory in your weather model is falsified at that level.

        All of science is a model of physical reality. Maxwell’s classical EM equations model the behavior of radiation, Relativistic mechanics is a model of space-time, Molecular Dynamics models the behavior of ions in solution. It’s all models. There is no distinction between theory and model.

        Physical error analysis is model-independent. It’s done the same way for all quantitative physical models … exposing the nonsense of your last question.

        What science do you do, Martin? You don’t seem to know anything at all about how science works.

      • OK Mr. Chemistry, when it rains on the picnic, the weather model has problems. Please tell me which physical theory the model is built on is falsified. The ideal gas law? The physics of the momentum of moving air masses? Thermodynamic relationships with water vapor? It’s becoming plainly obvious you seem to be unable to distinguish the difference between climate models and climate theory. That sort of thing happens when you get outside of your field of experience.

      • Please tell me which physical theory the model is built on is falsified

        it’s the energy conservation parameterization of air/water boundary, where they make sure they get more water vapor out of this zone. The same was done in GISS , in that case they fixed it by allowing a super saturation of water vapor.
        People must have been talking so they changed it in the cmip models.
        The models are just encoded with your opinions of how all of the physics actually combines.
        That’s actually why there’s the big difference between observations and models.

      • Right – I just asked what science you do, Martin, and you punted the question. You know nothing about science, and then presume to diagnose what I don’t know.

        Regarding models, there is no difference between theory and models. All theories are models — another thing that scientists know but you do not.

        It takes detailed work to discover where a physical model goes wrong. Sometimes, often in fact, the source of the problem turns out to be counter-intuitive. Your off-hand, ‘is it this, is it that’ is exactly the wrong way to approach the problem.

      • micro6500 says: “The models are just encoded with your opinions of how all of the physics actually combines”…..which might be correct. However, the failure of the model does not falsify “energy conservation” which just so happens to be a physical theory. Choosing the incorrect parameterization does not falsify the physics. It’s a model building problem, not a physical theory falsification. So, no matter how badly the climate models fail, that has no bearing on the AGW hypothesis.

        Strike one. Please try again.

      • Frank says: “You know nothing about science”

        A perfect example of an assertion without evidence. And you call yourself a scientist? Strike one.
        ..
        Second Frank says: “there is no difference between theory and models.” WRONG Weather forecasting models are based on solid theories. So tell me which theory that the these weather forecasting models are built upon make the model fail at three months into the future? You are correct when you say all theories are models, however the converse part of the equivalence is not true. All models are not theories. Because of this there is a serious difference. Strike two.

      • Martin, you have been wrong about everything, every time. You’re on about strike 50.

        Your arguments are obvious nonsense, your comments display ignorance, and your expressed thoughts don’t rise above the fatuous.

        Your next best step is to declare victory and go away singing your huzzahs. Declamation is all you do anyway, and your word is all you need to prove you’re right.

        So, declare victory and you’ll just know you’ve won the argument. Martin said so, after all, and that’s all the evidence required.

        Be sure and tell all your friends, too.

      • Mr. Pat Frank, I’m sorry to inform you, but Mr. Martin Clark is correct about all models not being theories. I suggest you reconsider what you’ve said about Mr. Clarks position, because he has not been wrong about everything.

      • Ralph Dave Westfall, the first explanation at your reference site uses an engineering model to distinguish model from scientific theory. That is a categorical mistake.

        The second explanation merely says that a model uses physical theory to calculate particular examples of phenomena explained by the general theory. This definition means that the model includes the general physical theory plus the specific information for the problem at hand.

        Read through my comments. My description of a mocel, including a climate model is exactly the second of those two explanations.

        Martin has been wrong throughout, and your comment is misguided.

      • Martin Clark: “The models … are not theories they … [use] physical theories.

        It’s always fine to see an ignorant zealot contradict himself. Congratulations Martin, you refuted yourself in one sentence.

        Let’s see: that’s now about strike 52.

      • Martin Clark, “An automobile uses gasoline, but that does not make an automobile gasoline>

        Argument by equivocation. A classic of ignorance, unless it’s dishonesty.

        English is my first language, Martin, and science is my profession. You don’t know what you’re talking about, but that doesn’t stop you.

        Fortunately, this thread will remain in the WayBack machine, so future generations including, one hopes, your relatives, will be able to see how thoroughly vacuous you were.

      • Pat Frank: “I’m a chemist, seaice1, and after investigation have disproved the AGW claim.” And
        “A truely scientific AGW hypothesis must be falsifiable. The current version is not. No scientific AGW hypothesis has ever appeared. ”

        There seems to be an inconsistency here. How have you disproved the unfalsifiable?

        Regarding your paper, why don’t you go for a statistics journal rather that an climate journal? Journal of Multivariate Analysis or something?

        Burl Henry “The model which I have posted on “Climate Change Deciphered” is completely falsifiable (and has been falsified).

        So why is it being ignored?”

        I would suggest that it is because it has been falsified. Perhaps that is not what you intended to say?

      • Seaice:

        To repeat Karl Popper’s admonition “scientific theories must be falsifiable (that is, empirically testable), and that prediction was the gold standard for their validation”

        Thus, a theory must be falsified to be correct. The greenhouse gas hypothesis fails this test.:

      • seaice1, “There seems to be an inconsistency here. How have you disproved the unfalsifiable?

        Climate models are unfalsifiable because they can not make predictions.

        The AGW hypothesis is not a climate model. It is an assertion that climate models have demonstrated a human imprint on climate. I can show that the uncertainty in air temperature projections is so large as to make the projections meaningless. That falsifies the AGW assertion, that models have demonstrated the effect.

        For models themselves to be falsifiable, they must become able to make low-uncertainty predictions that can be tested against observables.

        Regarding your paper, why don’t you go for a statistics journal rather that an climate journal? Journal of Multivariate Analysis or something?

        I’ve thought about that. Nothing in my paper includes anything new about statistical analysis. It’s a totally straight-forward error analysis, standard in the physical sciences. It has nothing to offer a statistics journal.

    • It really is amazing how hard Griff works in order to miss the point.
      His only functioning mental skill seems to be creating strawmen.

  38. Virtually all science has a shelf life that degrades over time. This is true in computer science, and is true in all earth sciences. For example, the US Geological Survey concluded that the Eel River, CA rocks included the gemstone nephrite. This was determined by 1800’s technology including microscopy and refractive index. However, when I took specimens from that site obtained by miners, infrared spectroscopy on a machine from post 1995 infrared technology, the mineralization is diopside and clinochlore. There is no nephrite at all. All 3 are serpentine group minerals, but only one is generally considered a gemstone. So to say all old technology beyond computer science is as valuable as current technology, is false. The entire study of mineralogy has gone through a revolution in technology use. The same for chemistry. In all fields, the instrumentation technology improves over time, increasing the quality of the data obtained, commonly invalidating old results. Silicon Valley moguls do not object to Trump’s climate direction based on information or differences in engineering or science studies. They object because they are globalists that benefit from the commoditization of labor enhanced by free trade regulations and quick transmittal of currency across borders.. Their opinions are economic, not scientific.

  39. I think what will have affected them most is that they haven’t given CO2 and its effects much thought at all. For a long time many of us assumed that the science was all true. It was only when we paid it enough attention and it jarred with what we already knew that we investigated further. One of the reasons I became concerned by the science was because I actually started thinking about my own CO2 footprint rather than assuming I’d do something about it tomorrow… or next week. I already knew that renewables were rubbish and I though ‘this is going to be almost impossible and very, very expensive’. Silicon Valley high fliers don’t have to worry about expensive. Their salaries isolate them from worrying about their utilities bills, and energy is a relatively small expense for their businesses. They will be less aware of the risk of power cuts, you really can run computers on solar panels and batteries. Why would they bother to consider what happens to a steel mill or something similar when the power goes off or the prices sky rocket. If their raw materials go up, they just add the cost to their products and/or buy from somewhere green is just a colour.

    • Likewise, I started from the assumption that government would never do what was really needed. So, I sat down and started working out what was really required. The answer (before I factored in how much energy is needed to produce the things in the first place) was that we need bird-mincers on every hill in Scotland. And we needed something like 100 pump storage schemes, and we needed to control people’s use of power and we needed to be pretty draconian on driving, heating, etc.

      I then started to tell other people in the Green party about what they were actually proposing – and because I quickly realised they were total brainless morons (I eventually realised that many thought a “wind generator” was a couple of metres across), I thought I ought to do a bit more digging to check out the whole subject…

      In retrospect I’ve realised that there are two types of people who get on: the useful gormless idiot “sidekicks” and the hypocritical amoral ba.stards who get to the top.

      • And yet Scotland is well on the way to getting all its power renewably, and there are few bird deaths… more Eagles killed by trains and more Harriers and kites shot than killed by wind turbines (and thankfully we’re only talking tens of birds from that!)

      • Yeah and if I jump in the air for a brief time I’m flying. It’s the reliability of the thing that’s key.

        All renewables need a well stocked fossil fuelled or Nuclear back up 24/7. In the case of Scotland it’s the UK. Funnily enough those fossil fuel power stations won’t run on the off chance we need them and ask for subsidy for the down times. So we not only pay green subsisides we now pay everyone subsidies. The upshot is very expensive energy or a shortage of power as the South Australians could talk about. And don’t quote pilot studies – they mean nothing. Tell me when something is running full scale and not losing money hand over fist.

        Nobody will take you seriously if you only show half the picture.

      • Scottish Sceptic, I suspect that the wave and tidal renewables will suffer from the same bloody flaw. I think the recent failure of the tidal scheme due to ‘false sonar’ of seals and dolphins was atually the result of them being attracted to the dead fish, much the same way birds of prey were attracted to small bird strikes.

      • Scotland’s environment is being destroyed by so called renewables. And climate scammers sell the idea that massive cluttering of the landscape with kilometers of giant windmills is “green”. And the indoctrinated prefer that to low visibility safe and renewable natural gas or the zero carbon tiny footprint of nuclear. Heavy weather will take out or doldrums will stop the spinning. Will the penny finally drop as the Scots look around and see their formally world class beautiful landscape turned into an industrial park of useless broken giant machines? Not if the Griff’s if the world continue their eyes closed brain off style.

      • Scotland only survives because it is connected to other countries that haven’t gone completely nuts in regards to power generation.

  40. I find the reasons given a bit armchair philosophical, however it is a phenomena that needs explaining. I would suggest:

    1. Groupthink
    2. Fear of non-conformity
    3. Government subsidy & cronyism

  41. It’s the disengagement between the modeling world and the observations in the real world. You must reconcile the difference…….towards the measurements/empirical data and make timely adjustments in your models to dial in what you should be constantly learning from the real world.

    Failure to do that has resulted in an increasing disparity in climate science between groups,who base their belief system on physical laws represented in models and those who give more weight to observations.

    This is why us observational meteorologists have such a great number of skeptics. Those of us that have been objectively analyzing the weather/climate during the past 40 years, can see its featured the best conditions for life in the last 40 years. Other than an increase in heavy rain events from an atmosphere that can hold a bit more water vapor(and slightly warmer oceans) the extreme weather during this period is nothing that stands out as being very unusual………..while models continue to project weather and climate into the land of unprecentended.

  42. “How did Silicon Valley, one of the greatest centers of wealth and brain power on Earth, embrace climate alarmism?”

    The more you earn, the more likely you are to feel guilty about how much you earn and therefore consume, and thus the more likely you are to become a green nutter.

  43. Perhaps their belief in solar is based simply on the fact that it’s silicon based also. The ascendency of the computer in every aspect of American life was based on advances in the electronics and the gigantic reduction in their cost and size. I remember when I was
    working in the programming dept of Westinghouse in the late 1970’s and we were all excited at the prospect of getting an additional 3/4 of a million extra megabytes of memory for our mainframe. Cost : over $500,000. Today a megabyte probably costs a small fraction of a penny and is 1000 times faster and more reliable and is powered by a 100,000 times less juice, and is likely way more than ten thousand times smaller and lighter. Software, on the other hand, is no doubt just as expensive today as it ever was, perhaps more so. It is overwhelmingly the hardware’s advances that mattered, not
    anything occurring in the software side of things. Facebook is hardly a supreme example of human ingenuity. It is a simple-minded, rather silly method of disseminating mostly
    incorrect information, and suppressing ideas not liked by the Facebook operators. It is a step backward in many ways. Zuckerberg, the accidental billionaire who still wears tee shirts to avoid criticism, has not produced any concepts of value in the past 10 years,
    and is a lapdog of the left wing pols.

  44. “A clear example of this is the promotion of the “United Nations Global Goals” on the Google’s U.S. front page. This is offensive to those who do not want to be subjects of the UN or any global governance. Climate alarmism has a very strong global governance component.”

    climate alarmism may actually be the brainchild of the UN just as ozone depletion was. It serves their purpose.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2794991

  45. Global warming fad stared in the 80’s and took off in the following decades.
    Most of the SV entrepreneurs grew up with the idea that the GW is endangering ‘civilization as we know it’, adding the ‘fact’ that the main culprits are huge multinational oil companies and moguls running them, made the idea of saving the world from the ‘ugly, dirty and polluting’ monsters very attractive to the young minds.
    Some grew out of it, but many stuck with the idealism of their youth.

  46. Aside from their philosophical and political roots, as pragmatic business people, their facilities and products have a very small greenhouse gas footprint. So government-imposed GHG controls, renewable energy, or carbon taxes will have little impact on them. It is easy to virtue signal for business/market share gain when you feel none of the pain.

    It’s like food product advertising. A company can print “Gluten Free” on the package of their product that in nature would never have had gluten in the first place, but “gluten free” sells, even to people who have no gluten sensitivities. The same can be said for many products advertised as GMO-free.

  47. I haven’t seen RTFM in print before. I guess it means Read The F’ing Manual. Correct?

    Surveys of ethics in the IT industry have shown disturbing results. The morals that prevail there are markedly different from those in most other industries.

  48. You could ask the Province of Ontario the same question. The “gang green” is still spreading.

    People who consider themselves informed tend to respect the well written voice of authority. Here in Ontario all three political parties along with the majority of the educated class have accepted the academic climate narrative.

    Over ten years ago our current government implemented the Green Energy Act with the intent to control greenhouse gases from fossil fuel emissions and reduce the imagined impact of Anthropogenic Global Warming. The act enabled them to replace coal fired power (one third of base load generation) with wind/solar powered generation. Since then “peak” power rates have tripled. The unnecessary cost of refurbishing old nukes, the investment in wind/solar including the additional cost of gas powered back-up and the “give-away” of excess “alternative” power to competing jurisdictions together have added over $50billion (my guess) of growing debt to the treasury….it’s a train wreck.

    Still, we are OK, both province and country are well run and blessed with an educated population, good infrastructure, good health-care along with abundant energy, mineral and natural resources wealth.

    Eventually the carbon dioxide “climate scare” will find its place alongside all the other doomsday predictions that have come and gone, IMHO of course, only time will tell.

  49. An underlying piece of the intellectual infrastructure was the corrupting impact the lack of critical thinking regarding the environmental movement claims about things like the scope of the proble, nuclear energy, and natural resource depletion. It allowed an apocalyptic mentality to develop that was tailor fit to climate clap trap.

  50. The Universities should be leary of the CAGW scam as well, what if the politicians take some biased poll, start saying “the science is settled” on other topics, and move funding to roads, tax relief, or welfare?

  51. Educators today have set the metric to be scores on a standardized test. Students are rewarded for accepting whatever is presented to them by the teachers, the learned ones. There is little emphasis on encouraging students to challenge that authority, intellectually. After these students graduate, many will continue to believe whatever the learned people say, essentially letting others do their thinking for them.

  52. ‘Thinking Fast & Slow’

    If you are interested in the topic & reading this blog you are probably overcomplicating the issue.
    Were I betting man, I’d bet that all who comment here think about the issue, and devote enough time to it to get beyond their “fast brain” response.

    For dedicated software engineers and fellow travelers….the kind who sometime wake up in the morning asleep at their desk amidst warn wine and cold pizza, it goes like this….

    What do you think of global warming?” “I dunno.” “Computer Models” (magic word in environment) “show we’re doomed”. Yeah? Yeah? “Well, OK”. Cognitive bias. Check. Confirmation bias. Check. Peer approval. Check. Google confirmation. Check. Add to knowledge base and move on. Total time two minutes.

    Since nothing in the engineers personal experience will challenge this view — he/she/??? believes. Like the snowflakes that make up an avalanche, a tiny weight to the imagined 97%.

    If a few of the leaders of this herd change their mind, the sheep will follow. If you live and work in the tech bubble, it’s just not important.

    2 minutes for science, two weeks to design a new emojii. Life in the valley.

  53. I think the core reason why Silicon Valley Embraced Climate Alarmism is political. Being from California mostly they identify with progressive Democrats. They on the average despise conservative Republicans. They hence knee jerk oppose anything Republicans stand for.

    Without actually studying the issue Climate Change sounds like science and proper progressive main line thought. They see Republicans as people who deny man landed on the moon, vaccinations are effective or evolution is a natural process. Most Progressives I have debated know nothing about Climate Change and don’t think there is any reason to learn the particulars because it is proven science and not worthy of mental energy expenditure for something already decided.

    If we are ever to change the Silicon Valley folks way of thinking there will have to be a separation created from some of the other debates that seem reactionary anti-science.

    • Yes, I think if climate scepticism is ever to make progress it needs to stop endorsing any and all viewpoints which are opposed to climate change…

      It can’t both be cooling rapidly towards an ice age and warming, but not enough to make any difference…

      all the whacky made up science ideas about what does produce warming can’t be true at the same time and the allegations of untruth need some real substance…

      The UN is not bent on eliminating anybody.

      Argue on the science, using science and it might just get somewhere?

      Denouncing people who have no argument with the science as leftists… c’mon, really? I don’t believe most of you ever met a real leftist.

      • Argue on the science, using science and it might just get somewhere?

        Okay, great. here is the most pertinent graph of this whole AGW meme, and if you can understand it, which almost no one does, it shows co2 will have a minimal effect on daily minimum temp. And without this, increasing co2 is not an issue.
        It’s all shown in this one graph.

      • You keep posting this graph micro but it is very unclear. You’ve got three variables and only one scale. And irrelevant text plastered all over it – what has Dungog and Nerrigundah got to do with CO2? Rhetorical questions.

        How can it be “pertinent” if , as you say “almost no one” understands it. I know what you’re trying to purvey but if no one understands it what is the point in continuously posting it?

      • Micro6500. To be honest, I never really looked at it before as there was no attempt to explain it. The one axis is because all the three graphs use the same scale, but it could be labelled F/%/W/m2. The X axis could do with a time scale, which would help us orient on night/day.

        The huge daytime positive radiation we presumably ignore as they are off scale. Everyone knows it gets warm in the day, so we are looking at the night time parts.

        As the sun sets the energy balance becomes negative. Radiation is lost to space as IR. OK so far. As the night progresses, the surfaces cool down, so the energy loss rate slows down – becomes more positive.* That is as we would expect, all else being equal.

        We also have the RH and temperature plots. What these seem to be showing is that as the temperature falls, the RH rises, even for the same amount of water in the atmosphere. The RH goes up not because there is more water valor, but because the lower temperature the saturation is at a lower temperature. Hence *relative* humidity increases.

        I see nothing to suggest a connection with CO2 at all. In fact, it is interesting but does not inform us of much except that things cool at night an get hot in the day.

        A more detailed analysis using the numbers may reveal more – for example, is absolute humidity rising or falling? We simply do not know from the diagram.

        *That is another use of the “becomes more acid” type of language. The numbers are becoming more positive even though they are still negative. I used the term naturally and it seems an obvious use of language to me. Maybe it does not seem so to others, and they would assume I was being duplicitous. I can assure them that their suspicions are unfounded. People use this type of language often without any intention to deceive.

      • but it could be labelled F/%/W/m2. The X axis could do with a time scale, which would help us orient on night/day.

        The label is a good idea, and that x axis has been a pain, as there’s data every 6 minutes, and I can’t see to convince excel to put a useful scale on it.

        As the sun sets the energy balance becomes negative. Radiation is lost to space as IR. OK so far. As the night progresses, the surfaces cool down, so the energy loss rate slows down – becomes more positive.* That is as we would expect, all else being equal.

        Yes, I think this is why it wasn’t really examined.
        But these guys did. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003GL019137/pdf
        But I’ve been pointing an IR thermometer up under clear skies for 3 years now, and the optical window isn’t in equilibrium, far from it, it’s still just as cold. As shown here, as an example

        We also have the RH and temperature plots. What these seem to be showing is that as the temperature falls, the RH rises, even for the same amount of water in the atmosphere. The RH goes up not because there is more water valor, but because the lower temperature the saturation is at a lower temperature. Hence *relative* humidity increases.

        Yes, but what also happens at 100% rel humidity, it has to condense water vapor out to cool any more, while at the same time ti sky is 80 to 100F colder.

        I see nothing to suggest a connection with CO2 at all.

        Since the reduction of cooling isn’t from equilibrium, And the net radiation measurement shows it’s actually a switch to a lower cooling rate, a step, a RC discharge would have a near exponential decay, as the paper shows to the the case.

        In fact, it is interesting but does not inform us of much except that things cool at night an get hot in the day.

        What the paper failed to do was find correlation between temp, and either humidity, so passed it by.
        But I’ve worked in electronics my whole life, and was a simulation expert for a living for near 14 years, I know a regulator when I see one, and this is a switching regulator, that is controlled when rel humidity goes from ~70 or 80% to 100%. And it’s input is a temperature function, that make this a (poor quality) temperature regulator. And you can see that here.

        There’s a 98% correlation between min and dew point.
        And I know all of this because transistors have the same nonlinear input to output transfer function, and correlation code has to account for this, or it fails.
        The interesting part is land surface temps follow water vapor, which is set by where the warm water in the oceans are, and it moves around. This El Nino is a perfect example, warm water vapor blows inland, dew points goes up, min temps follow, when cool dry air blows in, it’s cold.

        That is why the NH warmed in 2000, the AMO turned positive, and more warm water vapor blew over NH continents, as soon as the AMO turns negative, the temp is going to drop again, just as it drops after an el nino.

    • Actually we could be cooling towards an ice age while warming, but not enough to make a difference.
      It all depends on which time scale you are looking at.
      For crying out loud Griffie, do you have work over time to prove how simple you are?

  54. [Writing] will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.

    Socrates 450 B.C.

  55. Slightly off topic but on lunchtime news in the U.K. There is a “you couldn’t make it up if you tried” story about Aberdeenshire Council in Scotland planting trees in the middle of a children’s football park pitch “to increase biodiversity”. Bemused residents are receiving an apology as the stupidity of these actions begins to dawn on the council. I wonder what kind of biodiversity they ever thought would be created? The Aberdeenshire area is pretty but bleak and muddy park fields are limited in the range of wildlife they can sustain in the cold most of the year climate of east Scotland.
    Perhaps they envisioned the eventual arrival of, to borrow a famous phrase, herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically over the Aberdeenshire plains.
    I wonder if Anthony would consider creating a MOONBEAM tag we could post absurd eco-loon stories like this on for our collective amusement. But then it would probably get too much material.

  56. SV wants immigration. They seem to value immigrants over Americans. Anyone who can, with a straight face, tell its customers to bug off when it comes to jobs but buy up when it comes to sales can probably be made to believe anything. Once that kind of thinking becomes entrenched, science goes out the window and group think and profits become king.

    There is also the belief (maybe true) that humans simply can no longer exist without tech. Therefore, SV is the grantor of life. Without it, we die. So belief in other ideas that control life, say global warming, becomes very easy. Once you are the arbitrator of continued human existence, one can become convinced of many fallacious arguments.

    Lastly, there is the “protect your own” that is seen in doctors and police and other groups hiding the errors and bad behaviors of their members to save face or whatever. It’s simply forbidden to speak out against any colleague or anyone in a similar field. PhD’s are expected to back all PhD’s or else it might make them look bad. After all, they spent a lot of time and money getting the degree. How dare they question anyone else who did the same?

    • I think it’s all money, they are bringing in H1B visa’s with Masters degrees, and very likely paying them a lot lot less than they would anyone else.

      Worse is we keep training them to take our jobs.

      But I think that is going to change.

      • Another point is that when it comes to software, it doesn’t matter where the programmer lives, he’s still competing with American programmers.
        The only difference is what country is he paying taxes to.

      • Yes employees that will work for a lot less than the locals with the same skills. The prize of moving to America is quite valuable.
        And you better believe it is being used there(SV).

      • So the solution is to hire them and keep them over there where they can work for even less because the cost of living is lower?
        How does that help American programmers?

      • It probably doesn’t help American programmers, except that they are also consumers so can buy software cheaper. But is there any special reason why a company should be set up to help American programmers? That sounds more like a trade union than a company.

    • Let us be honest. A few years ago I became aware of various surveys of US tweens and teens. Their aspirations were for the most part not ones involving STEM. We can’t point the finger at any one entity here. I recall when I was in college. There sure were a lot of people majoring in keggers / The Greek System / getting Mrs degrees. The “hard majors” were not impacted. I never had trouble getting into any classes. There were no waiting lists.

  57. It might be nice to have a rough estimate of how much money these silicon creatures lost by overbelieving in dangerous climate change and the sustainability of so-called ‘renewable’ energy.
    ========

  58. A good pass at a tough topic! Having grown up and lived in the valley for most of my life, I’ve watched first-hand as the region has evolved from a set of mixed views to a set of extreme left views. So that’s the atmosphere that all the new startup types breathe when they land here and get working on their companies. The floods of vc money that’ve washed over the region – first in the dot com days and now with hadoop, social media, big data and green – have created what my friends and I call “the reality distortion field” – where a different reality takes hold. One where economics are powered by wishful thinking. Don’t like your girl/boyfriend? There’s an app for that! Carbon dioxide poisoning the world? There’s an app for that! And so on. So all the young ones arrive here and soak up the unreality, then start to live it. Add to that the older generations who are jaded and about money who see radical green as the path to lots of bankable green (Al Gore manages the largest green vc fund in the valley btw), and we have the perfect brew for sv to embrace radical environmentalism.

      • You can’t blame it entirely on the fluff merchants. I’ve been on many rides with the local Wheelmen (cyclists and Green fit together like a silk glove and a hand) and there are many total geeks among them. Check out the realm of the richest geeks – Woodside. Bikes outnumber cars on any given Saturday. Many of those folks came from a hardware / EE / physics background. And yet, they are deep, deep Green.

    • Add to that 80somethings like my Mom who were in peace marches and other protests during the 60s, contributed untold sums to enviro orgs, and still to this day vote Green.

  59. Hardware design and manufacturing requires knowledge of physics, chemistry, and engineering. However, within the last 25 years most of the hardware manufacturing and even design that put the word “silicon” in Silicon Valley went offshore.

    For the last 32 years, I’ve been selling them design and design management tools, and know a few of those hardware designers, and they are still in the US. Now most of it is build overseas, and IMO what we’ve done with IP is a travesty.

  60. Some additional points:

    15. Inside looking nature of Silicon Valley, somewhat similar to that of Hollywood.
    16. Privileged (in comparison with manufacturing, energy, and other basic industries) political status of the software industry, also similar to that of Hollywood.
    17. Recent influx of “content creators” with hard left views.

  61. Software is infinitely complex compared to hardware. I agree that Silicon Valley is wrong on the issue but reason 4 is self serving nonsense.

    • Nah, the hardware guys are limited by what the programmers can or want to do, the design space for hardware is as large as what is real, I suppose software can extend into the unreal, but other than that.

      • Software can have basically an unlimited set of inter-dependencies, recursion, template meta-programming, etc. It is a symbolic thing like mathematics whereas hardware is constrained to the real world.

    • Yes, many software projects are very complex, but they are built by a large number of individuals from a small number of building blocks using relatively small set of skills. And all these people share almost the same set of skills, which poses an additional problem – a large number of sophisticated persons with similar professional background may create its own echo-chamber, separate from the large leftist echo-chamber. BTW, I am a software engineer myself.

  62. They’re all about opening up new technological frontiers. Placing tougher regulations on the old ones, that actually work, makes SV more competitive. It’s all about the money. People believe what they want to get what they want.

  63. C’mon, most of these people are rich because they spend OPM (other people’s money). And they know they can get an unlimited amount of OPM from taxpayers.

  64. Practical matters:
    If it cools at the claimed rate of 40 W m-2 , then a data centre generating 100 kW (a 500 m2 room, 5400 sq ft) would require 2500 m2 (half an acre) of this radiative cooling surface, 5x larger than the roof of the centre.
    And it would also require that the heat generated by the centre would be pumped (e.g. by water circulation) to just below the large surface of this film.
    To affix such foil on the top of a building would require that this roof would be conducting these 40 W m-2. A rooftop made of a metal sheet may do the job, but this would be quite bad in Winter, when heat losses need to be minimized.
    A better use (?) would be to cover entire glaciers in the Summer, to prevent them to melt further…

  65. These are interesting reasons but I think the article misses the most important one. As we are increasingly seeing, the ideas/products of Silicon Valley are very disruptive to established economic, political and social life and can potentially generate great hostility that can be very bad for marketing and profitability. They need an ethical/social rationale to overcome this hostility by persuading people that they are a force for good, What better way in the conditions of the last decade or two to argue that they are good for the environment, both directly – by substituting digital for physical technologies and activities – and indirectly, by using their influence to support environmental causes. And of course global problems require global solutions, which only multinationals can deliver. Hence, there is a symbiosis between global business and global green. The current opening of mainstream eyes about the arrogance and elitism of Amazon, Facebook, Google etc would probably have happened much sooner without this. The same points also explain why big oil and other corporates espoused environmental and climate causes that were apparently contrary to their interests. I write as someone who has observed this at close hand over thirty years.

  66. There is no such thing as climate science, only climate history, a branch of Geology. It tells us that we are at the end of a brief interglacial within an ice age and in the worst of only two CO2 crashes in earth’s history. Also that there is nothing unusual about our current climate, temperature does not follow CO2 and that plants, animals and people do better in warm periods and poorly in cold ones.

  67. The “need for acceptance” is very much at play, here. Any who might voice an opinion contrary to that held by the majority of his peers, risks being ridiculed and ostracized.

  68. Spent a little down time watching media predictions of the 2016 US presidential race. A very nice correlation emerges of outlets and personalities confidently predicting a Trump loss and pushing AGW alarmism. Running videos on the two topics side by side would make an interesting video.

    So smug in their beliefs and yet so utterly wrong. Bet our friends in the UK had this experience after the Brexit vote.

  69. “newly minted billionaires who find the issue of ‘saving the planet’ appropriately suitable to their grandiose pretensions.”
    The noble and grandiose cause and it wont cost you anything to demand CO2 reduction.
    Was it Apple or Google that tried to do something real in the green electricity, but found out it would hartly work.

  70. Troe if only you could witness the continuing meltdown of liberalism on the BBC – continual spasms of anti- Trump hysteria grasping at any straw to berate Trump closely followed by continuous denigration of the deplorables who voted Brexit. Actually they really believe the narrative that it was sad old gits like me who have read more than than the green book of political right on correctness who are responsible for their serial defeats. They also have no understanding of how many people of All ages no longer believe their narrative and see the utter failure of the EU to do anything except screw the Greeks and Italians and impoverish most of the rest. I am astonished by some of the disdain I hear expresseed by educated, reasonable, people for the uninformed bigoted rubbish we now hear from BBC presenters and inadequate journalists.

  71. Leo,
    I would postulate an additional reason: Silicon Valley software developers are not really engineers in the traditional sense. Many of the software developers and coders aren’t trained in the rigorous foundation of mathematics and logic, they are taking advantage of standing on the shoulders of those computer scientists who came before them. Instead of requiring deep knowledge of advanced mathematics to create the software programs, they now rely on code libraries and templates to provide a head start on new software writing. A lot of the candidates I’ve encountered in the past 15 years are alarmingly dependent on copying samples of code, rather than designing an algorithm and then building it into a functional software module. The lack of mathematical background, even the basic interest in mathematics, could explain how such intelligent people can fall prey to doctored data models posing as precise climate simulation. There is precious little inquisitiveness that would drive any one of them to spend time delving into the details that WUWT publish every day to illuminate the extent of the deception.

    • Right. But the influential ones are exceptionally smart and capable of understanding hard sciences (unlike Al Gore.) I mean people like Gordon Moore of Intel, Vinod Khosla, or Google founders. Just a couple out of hundreds of such people could have exposed climate alarmism as a fraud.

    • Right. But the influential ones are exceptionally smart and capable of understanding hard sciences (unlike Al Gore.) I mean people like Gordon Moore of Intel, Vinod Khosla, or Google founders. Just a couple out of hundreds of such people could have exposed climate alarmism.

      There are also thousands mathematicians and statisticians working for them.

  72. Hey Leo, I’m not sure if you live around here or grew up around here. I did. I can simplify all this. Going way back, to mid last century, the Bay Area especially the Western parts of it have been very, very Green. I’m talking about politics and general environmental policy wise. During my childhood the massive Green Belt we now have got started. Not only did that include State, County and National parkland. A number of Open Space Districts also came into being via various local election votes. Growing up, we had all things Green drilled into us. Not only that, but it seems me and all my friends were absolute cycling nuts. I was peddling up to Skyline even before I had a Driver’s License. There is just a certain zeitgeist around here that fosters everything Green. Back when I was teenager I started reading Callenbach. My Parents were members of Friends of the Earth. The Sierra Club was too conservative for them. I was a dedicated Friend of Earth First! in college. I obviously moderated a bit as I aged. The point I am making about all this is the tech companies are products of this environment. It’s pretty simple.

  73. My take on why Silicon Valley elitists are so All-in on the Climate Hustle.

    They are like Peacocks strutting their feathers : called Virtue Signaling, to get the cute liberal econutter females that run around Berkeley-SF-SanJose in bed.

  74. 7. Success is known to breed hubris and arrogance. Many SV insiders are extremely[…]successful.” Ha!

    So how shall we wake them up and realize, “You know, maybe the globalist program in my head is a buggy piece of garbage causing the target society to run many hundreds of unknown and unwanted programs in the background…”

  75. I have a simpler answer: The education system and its effects on our culture.

    The SJW took over the education system long ago. They have taught their students the insidious shaming techniques used shut out opposition to several strongly held beliefs, one of which is climate alarmism.

    It’s no surprise that highly educated Silicon Valley has bought into the climate alarmist belief system. You get ostracized if you do not. You lose access to jobs, venture capital, and your social group. The shaming mechanism is extremely powerful.

    Peter

  76. One simple point that does not seem to have been touched upon here:

    I suppose SV people are supposed to be smart people, just like academics. Now, because they are supposed to be “smart”, that makes them more afraid to be “dumb” than other people. Which of course also makes them more vulnerable to the “all scientist agree” propaganda style, the argument from “authority”.

    Many members of the so-called elites know little or nothing about global warming theory, judging by the many silly statements I have seen during the last 20+ years. Instead, they are just repeating a few talking points they picked up somewhere from the PR machines. Which seems to confirm my suspicion.

  77. Straw men, slippery slopes, fallacies galore. Clearly Leo does not understand what Silicon Valley engineers do. As such, this essay is a part of the science communications problem, not a part of the solution.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s