Monday, May 19, 2014

The Climate Skeptic and I

I may have mentioned that a local group of climate skeptics, including a number of my former colleagues, invited me to their meetings. I resisted for a bit, but their leader insisted, so I attended a few meetings and got in their email lists. The first meeting didn't seem promising - the leader was out of town, and the restaurant proposed for the meeting had gone out of business, and one member suggested that Michael Mann should be murdered. Nonetheless, I did go to a later meeting when they had found another restaurant, had an excellent breakfast of Huevos Rancheros, and learned a lot about the currently popular reasons why AGW could not be right.

Of course a relationship begun under such promising circumstance could hardly have been expected not to run into some headwinds eventually. The leader was a big fan of Bond cycles, for reasons that were not to become clear to me for a long time. He kept urging me to read a paper by Bond, for reasons that it took me a long time to figure out.

After I had casually remarked that the obvious alternatives to Greenhouse gasses as a driver of current climate change, like changes in the insolation, were refuted by the evidence, he threw a bit of an email tantrum, accusing me of never having read the Bond paper (true), or responding to it (also true), as well as implying that I was a stuck up PhD and a rotten person.

At that point, I decided that (1)I was spending way too much time dealing with these people, (2)that I would read the damned Bond paper and (3)that I didn't deal well with cognitive dissonance. To briefly summarize the Bond et. al., correlations were found between cosmic nuclide abundances in sediments and evidence of ice rafting events in the North Atlantic, suggesting that the so-called Bond events in the Holocene were caused by insolation decreases.

Anyway, I emailed a short reply, which was returned as undeliverable. I tried again, a couple of times (slow learner), with the same result. Eventually I got another testy email, with the same complaints, plus a few more, like wasting his time, so I tried my reply again. Still undeliverable.

More adventures in what probably ought to be called abnormal psychology.