ToDaZeD Prog Definitions

cuz “It’s All About YOU!”

On to Anthropogenic Global Warming. Yes, I got the memo; the phrase has been changed to simple Climate Change.

But if it is simply Climate Change — a natural process that has been happening for billions of years and in no way caused by the actions [or very existence] of Humans — why are individuals, nations and all Humans being called on to Do Something about it?

It’s not simple hubris; the idea that we Humans are sooooooo big, powerful and important than we can change the climate of an entire planet. Otherwise, why make the PR move to change the term?

Now there’s another term — equally silly.

This writer is talking about reasons for optimism and pessimism. She found this optimistic:

…Obama [said] at his inauguration, “We’ll respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

No mention of how a debt of $16,442,780,289,737.84 [20% of the World's GDP] is a betrayal of our children and future generations.


Earlier this month, a Federal Advisory Committee of 13 collaborating agencies released a Draft Climate Assessment Report for public review.

Paid for by US.

“Thirteen Agencies, One Vision: Empower the Nation with Global Change Science”*

Depts of: Commerce, Defense, Energy Interior State, Transportation, HHS, NASA, NSF, Smithsonian, USAID, Agriculture and EPA.

Their Charter is here.

More optimism from the writer:

One overlooked aspect of the data, however, can also give us reason for optimism. Although credit for the report is given to 240+ scientists and engineers who compiled the evidence about global climate change, the backbone of the knowledge presented arises from efforts of unsung (and unwitting) heroes: people who collect weather data. The coordinated, cross-generational, collective nature of the public data-collection efforts reveals an unexploited strength in our society that should give us hope.


It’s often unclear where climate change data come from; like many others, I had assumed it’s all generated by satellites circling the earth and buoys floating in the ocean.

Yanno, soul-less scientific instruments calibrated to within a gnat’s eyelash.

While those technologies play a role, data on the key variables of temperature and precipitation have been, and still are, collected by otherwise ordinary people.

Many of those “collective” information collectors might even be be weather geeks dedicated to accuracy in both instrumentation and reportage. Others are “regular people” who get busy, forget things, do half-fast work from time to time, and may be as conversant with the Principles of Science as I am in Sanskrit.

Yanno, Low-Information Voters.

But this writer — and Teh Narrative — are prepared to draw meaningful conclusions from this method of data gathering.

Thus, evidence for climate change is not because “scientists say so”, but rather because the collective observations of people show …

See? Your neighbors — just like you, they are — say so. So go fight your neighbors and their “collective observations” and leave us the hell alone. Nevermind those East Anglia emails.

…because the collective observations of people showwe have shorter, warmer winters, and longer, hotter summers, periods of extreme heat lasting longer than any living American can recall,

See? Living Memory is now a n indicator of Extreme Change. Nevermind that “100 year flood” was a common term in weather not a decade ago. 80 years is now an indication of Something is Worng!!!!

…and rain in extremes: either heavier downpours or droughts. Separately, people across the country have noted these observations in their backyards.

Nevermind that most “backyards” are surrounded by buildings and roads and parking lots — ie Heat Sinks — which do not accurately measure anything but local variations, and variations of local conditions.

Nevermind that only about 3%* of the world’s land mass is covered with “urban areas”: “*I* live in an urban area so that must be Earth’s Normal!!”

Scientists have pooled the observations to reveal widespread patterns.

*cough*East Anglia emails*cough*

Each study that involved rain, snow, and temperature measurements drew those data from the U.S. Cooperative Weather Observer Program: a citizen science network.

The Program is not often referred to as citizen science, probably in part because it started generations before the term was coined, but that’s what it is.

And there’s your new Prog Term of Teh Week: Citizen Scientist.
gloogle it! * * *

Let’s hear it for the Collective Action — the Skin In The Game — of the Common Man!

Finish your assignment! »

The writer is coooomforted:

It would be nearly impossible for me to accept the burden of the report’s conclusions – climate change is not only real, but accelerating – if it weren’t for the one glimmer of hope that I see in all knowledge coproduced via citizen science: the power of the coordinated, collective efforts of curious, dedicated people. The discovery and understanding of global climate change, which has been so hotly debated, was possible because we are not a country of bystanders. We are participators. When the weather service asked for help, people helped. Because of participation, we have an inkling of the threats that we face.

I don’t know the solutions to global climate change. You probably don’t either. But any solutions will certainly involve collective action. It was our uncoordinated collective action, in the form of burning fossil fuels, that has made the climate change problem. And it was our coordinated collected action that informed us of the problem. We all will be forced to deal with climate change, so the question is: which type of collective action do we prefer? The coordinated, dedicated, collective efforts embedded in family traditions and daily practices as seen in citizen science illustrate the attributes and possibilities we need to find the best path forward. As President Obama said, we won’t let down our children or future generations—indeed, we’ll teach them to participate.

And who could possibly coordinate — and teach — all that collective action?!?

And how will they go about it?

I have no freakin idea since that lightbulb that used to appear over my head has now — thru coordinated action — been made illegal.


  1. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted January 27, 2013 at 9:29 am |

    I sincerely hope she lives near the next Krakatoa. Boy will she be excited about her microclimate change then. She’ll have lots to gush about, if she writes fast.

  2. DougM (Progophobe)
    Posted January 27, 2013 at 10:21 am |

    Citizen science => Peoples’ Science
    You know … Lysenkoism.

    Empower the Nation with Global Change Science

    Empower centralized government authority over every frikkin’ thing in the world with a pseudo-scientific myth that serves to justify totalitarianism.
    You know … state worship.
    (see also: Ahnenerbe and Sorelian myth)

  3. mojo
    Posted January 27, 2013 at 11:59 am |

    Yeah, you’re being bullshitted. But you knew that.

  4. DougM (Progophobe)
    Posted January 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm |

    Wait …

    uncoordinated collective action,
    in the form of burning fossil fuels

    i.e. independent, individual action in enlightened self-interest
    [rubs temples]

    Okay, I”m gonna start referrin’ to CCH as “uncoordinated collective action for defense.”

  5. Posted January 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm |

    Eye yam a weather hobbyist. I post to wunderground and CWOP. It is a constant hassle to keep my instruments reading properly, and calibration is a constant challenge. Just because it agrees with nearby stations (consensus — ha!) doesn’t mean it’s right!

    Most weather observing stations are poorly sited. That may have to do with convenience, accessibility, and just plain ignorance. Most rural and wilderness areas are not covered at all. The coverage is very spotty, and is weighted toward urban areas.

    As the post points out, urban heating causes formerly rural sites to read higher now than they did when originally installed, providing misleading data. The site is warmer, not the planet. The best overall planetary data comes from satellites, which can integrate over the entire planet’s surface. Of course we only have about 30 years of satellite data, so that doesn’t give us much history. Neither do thermometers, which have only been available for about 200 years. That’s nothing on planetary terms.

    I used to be chief engineer at a radio station, which happened to be a NOAA observing station. I was in charge of “administering” the nasty thing. We had a little white weather box out back with min and max thermometers inside, and a rain gauge next to it. Twice a day (morning and evening), the deejays were supposed to go out and record the readings, and reset the instruments. I can’t tell you how many times they got busy, and forgot to take the readings. More often than not, they filled out the charts from their memory of what they had read off the (completely unofficial) little indoor/outdoor thermometer we had in the control room where they did their weather reports. It didn’t even come from the NOAA instruments. Further, I was convinced that the max-reading thermometer was off by about ten degrees (too high). I contacted NOAA on several occasions about it. They’d send someone out to look at it, or they’d send us a replacement, but they all seemed to read higher than the observed high temperature for the day. Finally, that weather station started out on a field of grass, but by the time I got there, it was surrounded by the blacktop of a new car dealership. I’m sure it got a lot hotter as a result. Did anybody make any corrections based on that? (What sort of corrections? I don’t know.)

  6. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted January 27, 2013 at 10:14 pm |

    ^Karl (5) What sort of corrections?
    I’ll wager they conveniently changed from the 1970′s “Second Ice Age will starve us all” model to the “Global Warming will starve us all” model.

  7. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted January 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm |

    Chicago is forecasting an ice storm in a coupla daze!