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July 17, 2008

Cool Beans -- I Just Found Out I'm Six Foot Tall!

I'm 5'8", supposedly, according to conventional direct measurements which I no longer believe can be trusted. I've always felt like I was six feet tall (or at least thought I should be), and was always both disappointed in, and somewhat skeptical of, direct empirical testing that put my height well below that.

Well, I just found out that I am no longer shackled by petty empiricism. I am liberated from such old-fashioned and dodgy shibboleths, and can use other indirect measurements, supplemented by some sketchy assumptions and guestimates, to arrive at a value for my height that better suits my intuitive belief about it.

I will use a height proxy to determine my height. I will toss away the direct measurements as biased, incomplete, or hopelessly inaccurate, and instead interpolate/estimate my height based upon my weight.

My weight is 170 or so. Assuming my frame is "large," and assuming I'm not terribly overweight, then this chart of height and weight correlations puts me right smack in the middle of the range for men 6'0" tall.

Awesome. I always wanted to be tall (or at least tall-ish). With this terrific new technique, I now am. Woot! Out of my way, you small-minded, short-statured fools.

Does this sound ridiculous? Eff you, buddy. It's Science. The New Science, which means it's the best science.

I learned this technique from the very scientific global warming alarmists. In Gabriel's must-read link below, I found out the following.

The greenhouse signature is missing. We have been looking and measuring for years, and cannot find it.

Each possible cause of global warming has a different pattern of where in the planet the warming occurs first and the most. The signature of an increased greenhouse effect is a hot spot about 10km up in the atmosphere over the tropics. We have been measuring the atmosphere for decades using radiosondes: weather balloons with thermometers that radio back the temperature as the balloon ascends through the atmosphere. They show no hot spot. Whatsoever.

If there is no hot spot then an increased greenhouse effect is not the cause of global warming. So we know for sure that carbon emissions are not a significant cause of the global warming. If we had found the greenhouse signature then I would be an alarmist again.

When the signature was found to be missing in 2007 (after the latest IPCC report), alarmists objected that maybe the readings of the radiosonde thermometers might not be accurate and maybe the hot spot was there but had gone undetected. Yet hundreds of radiosondes have given the same answer, so statistically it is not possible that they missed the hot spot.

Recently the alarmists have suggested we ignore the radiosonde thermometers, but instead take the radiosonde wind measurements, apply a theory about wind shear, and run the results through their computers to estimate the temperatures. They then say that the results show that we cannot rule out the presence of a hot spot. If you believe that you'd believe anything.

They are tossing out direct empirical measurements (which undermine their theory) and replacing facts with estimates of those temperatures based on indirect proxies supplemented with sketchy theories about the interrelation between proxy and actual measurement.

Is there anything more anti-scientific than that? Simply ignoring good, thorough data because it does not accord with your theory, and then attempting to estimate the "true" measurement based on measuring something else entirely and multiplying it by the Finageler's Constant (as my old chemistry teacher used to term his student's habit of, um, subtly adjusting their lab results to better accord with the answers in the book).

This is not science. Science is and must be a prisoner of empirical measurement. Wild-eyed global warming alarmists cannot simply liberate themselves from the shackles of empiricism simply because they find it too constraining.

Theories must be adjusted to fit observed facts; observed facts must not be adjusted to suit theories.

This is at the very heart of science. This is what separates science from non-science. It's what separates science from, say, alchemy, or perhaps more relevantly, theology.

Global warming "scientists" have long relied on alleged proxies and dubious assumptions about their correlations to temperatures to indirectly estimate measures that simply do not exist. Their assumptions and guesses about such unobtainable data might be open to critique, but no one could fault them for trying to determine data they otherwise simply could not have.

They seem to have become far too comfortable with such guestimation, though. They've now crossed the line.

For they're now "estimating" data which they actually have in hand, and which is incontrovertible.

Trouble is, it's data that undermines their theory/religion. It is data which could be called An Inconvenient Truth.

Inconvenient, perhaps, but not insurmountable. One just needs to pretend it isn't so and seek out estimated numbers one finds more pleasing.


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posted by Ace at 03:03 PM

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