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February 24, 2005

Abiotic Oil

Whether abiotic oil be certainty or insanity, the arguments this link presents are of low viscosity.  In his comments on how the theory would have no effect whether true or not, he puts for some dicey arguments like this one:

Secondly, petroleum geology is an empirical field which has evolved largely by trial and error. Petroleum geologists have learned the hard way where to drill (and where not to drill); in the process they have developed a theoretical model that WORKS. It is somewhat difficult to believe that generations of smart petroleum geologists missed huge amounts of oil.

He somehow ignores the fact that petroleum geologists are still making huge new finds, in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and all over the place.  By his logic those finds shouldn't exist because it means they were missed by the previous generation of smart petroleum geologists.

Put another way, a Keynsian and a perfect-market economist are at an economic summit meeting in Manhattan, and when lunch rolls around they head out to find a deli.  As they're walking along they both spy a $100 bill lying on the sidewalk.  The perfect-market economist doesn't even break stride as he steps past it, and the Keynesian asks, "Aren't you going to pick that up?"  "Of course not; it's fake," replied the perfect-market man, "If it was a real one hundred dollar bill someone would've already grabbed it."

On top of that, only about 0.25% of the earth's crust down to 10km is limestone, and about 0.75% sandstone.  Petroleum geologists have rarely, if ever, sunk a hole down deep into the bedrock, because as my textbook of petroleum geology makes plain, there's no oil down there.  Unless a geologist was drilling for somekind of malpractice lawsuit instead of oil, he would stop the bit shortly after grinding on the granite.  That means our drilling has been limited to the places where the data shows oil is a good possibility, leaving the vast, vast majority of the crust unprobed.

February 24, 2005 in Science | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

February 18, 2005

The Funding Comes Rolling

I decided to write a sing-a-long for global warming conferences, so here it is.

Ever shrill, never fail, as we pass the trusty pail
And the funding comes rolling on in
In and out, hear them shout, protest slogans we all spout
And the funding comes rolling on in

Then it's hi, hi, hee, in the global warming game
Shout out your warnings loud and strong
Where'er winds blow, you can always crow
So the funding comes rolling on in
So the funding comes rolling on in

Blame the storm, blame the right, action left for climate fight
See the funding come rolling on in

Whether storm, whether clear, prepare to say the end is near
So the funding comes rolling on in

Was it high, was it low, where the hell did records go?
As the funding comes rolling on in

Will we melt, will we die, no we won't get cool tonight
And the funding comes rolling on in

In the press, day and night, where the modelers graph a fright
And the funding comes rolling on in

Our new plots instill fears, predicted heating everywhere
And the funding comes rolling on in

February 18, 2005 in Other Songs | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

The First Evidence

Scripps says they just found new and dramatic evidence of global warming by looking at ocean temperature records.  If the evidence was really clear and dramatic you think they'd have noticed it before now.

Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and their colleagues have produced the first clear evidence of human-produced warming in the world's oceans, a finding they say removes much of the uncertainty associated with debates about global warming.

What's funny about this is that they said they have "the first clear evidence", thus directly saying that the evidence was not clear up till this point, despite the breathless weekly global warming updates on the BBC and CNN..

At a news briefing (Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. EST) and symposium presentation (Feb. 18 at 1:45-4:45 p.m. EST) during the 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Barnett will discuss the details of the study and explain why the results hold implications for millions of people in the near future.

Yep. Just one day after Kyoto goes into effect scientists step forward with their clear and dramatic evidence, based again on computer models that always show global warming.

In the new study, Barnett and his colleagues used computer models of climate to calculate human-produced warming over the last 40 years in the world's oceans. In all of the ocean basins, the warming signal found in the upper 700 meters predicted by the models corresponded to the measurements obtained at sea with confidence exceeding 95 percent. The correspondence was especially strong in the upper 500 meters of the water column.

Both global warming and natural temperature variations say there will be a bit of extra heat, which is going to act like heat does, so the fact that extra heat looks like extra heat is now claimed to be proof of the cause and mechanism of global warming. Hrmm.... There thermometer must be way smarter than the average thermometer, because the average thermometer isn't calibrated in units of blame.

It is this high degree of visual agreement and statistical significance that leads Barnett to conclude that the warming is the product of human influence. Efforts to explain the ocean changes through naturally occurring variations in the climate or external forces- such as solar or volcanic factors--did not come close to reproducing the observed warming.

So let me get this straight. If you punch in a tiny value of heating you get a small effect, but if you punch in a big value of heating you get a big effect. And if you punch up those volcanic factors you'd get cooling. And for this they hold a press conference, just one day after Kyoto. What are the odds... Apparently climatologists are far more predictable than the climate.

February 18, 2005 in Science | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack