Logic and Reason Debunking Climate Pseudoscience
Written by Joseph E Postma
Boundary Condition Thought Envelope
The following diagram and math is what is taught at ivy-league universities in climate science and general physics programs. In the many discussions I’ve had with advocates of climate alarm and its version of a greenhouse effect in the open atmosphere, it is always claimed to be a “toy model which nevertheless tells us important things about basic features of the atmosphere and climate“.
I hope people can understand that if the basic features which are believed in are incorrect, then it follows that the rest of the science done based upon the context of those false features will likewise be incorrect. The problem would propagate. The supposed ‘basic features’ one interprets or believes in establishes the paradigm, or the boundary condition envelope, within which subsequent interpretation and analysis will take place and be directed by. Case in point is the Ptolemaic, Earth-centred conception of the system of planets, moon, and Sun: if you think that the Earth is the centre of the universe, are you subsequently going to have realistic ideas about the Earth and universe?
Math of the Boundary Condition
The reasoning of the greenhouse effect diagram from above goes quite simply, as follows:
The temperature on the surface of the Earth is proportional to the energy received from sunlight plus the energy received from the atmosphere.
The energy received from the Sun is the Fs(1-A)/4 term, where Fs is the energy flux density from Sunlight, and A is the reflectivity of the Earth surface and so (1-A) is the portion of sunlight which gets absorbed and thus contributes to surface heating.
Typo alert: The energy received from the atmosphere is the σT14 term; in the diagram, there should not be an ‘f’ in front of that term. The typo is not mine, this diagram comes from Harvard University. The temperature of the atmosphere, T1, is due to a fraction of the energy from the surface being absorbed into the atmosphere on that radiation’s way out to space.
And the energy at the surface, which is a result of the addition of the two above fluxes, is σT04.
As it is the surface temperature which is sought-after in this thought envelope, then the first two terms are added together so that:
1] σTo4 = Fs(1-A)/4 + σT14
Again, what this says is that the temperature on the Earth’s surface, T0, is proportional to the sum of the energy from sunlight, and from the atmosphere.
Physics of the Boundary Condition
The first problem with the paradigm being established here is that it treats the atmosphere as a source of energy. Is it? The sun and its sunlight is surely a source of energy, but is the atmosphere an actual source of energy, or is it actually just a store-house of energy in as much as something that has a temperature holds internal thermal energy?
It is the latter. The atmosphere is not a source of energy. It has no chemical or nuclear or other processes going on inside it which produces heat, and it simply passively holds a temperature…a cooler temperature, typically, than the ground surface.
A second problem is that if sunlight is averaged over the surface of the Earth, then the power density of sunlight is this Fs(1-A)/4 term which has a temperature forcing value of -18°C.
Does that make sense to you? If you think of sunlight, in your paradigm, as only being so strong so as to heat things up to -18 then how are you going to melt ice into water, create clouds and water vapor, get a sunburn, or scald your feet on hot sand at the beach? Isn’t sunlight responsible for all those things? It is. But if your paradigm treats the strength of sunlight as only -18°C, then you need to invent something else to make up the deficit, and that is why the atmosphere is conjectured to be an additional source of energy.
So those are two problems which obviously have everything to do with each other.
Is this “toy model” telling us anything truthful about the atmosphere and climate? Is it a simplification which nevertheless tells us something useful? Or has it actually completely destroyed any connection to reality that our thought processes have developed thinking within the bounds of this paradigm?
It’s obviously the latter. If this isn’t obvious to you, if it isn’t obvious to you that sunlight is not -18°C, and that the atmosphere is not a source of energy to make up for the cold sunshine, then I don’t know what to tell you.
This is not a starting point that has established some basic features of the atmosphere and climate. This is a starting point that is divorced from reality in the most important and fundamental aspects of the physics of the atmosphere and climate. We’re nowhere near reality. The atmosphere as a source of energy? Sunlight which is-18°C in power? Sunlight averaged over the entire Earth’s surface at once so that there is no day & night? Where the heck are we? Where have we gone? What is this place? And now from here, we’re going to convince people of extrapolations from these foundations? What? Huh? Why?
Why are people so taken in by this insanity? I’ve talked to so many people about this, so many alarmists and their lukewarm supporters of bad science, and they just go insane, crazy, nuts, when you ask them to reconsider these foundations. I just don’t understand what’s wrong with them. How is it possible? How can they believe these things? How can they be so irrational, so incapable of examining their beliefs? It’s mind-boggling.
They have not established a useful starting point in understanding reality. They have established a fiction, from which only fiction can result.
Bad Physics = Bad Maths
Let’s go back to equation 1] and rearrange it so that it looks more like a standard conservation of energy equation, with external inputs all on one side (left) and outputs all on the other (right):
2] Fs(1-A)/4 = σT04 – σT14
Is that correct? Is it good physics? It says that the conservation of radiant energy from the Sun with the Earth is established by the difference between the temperature of Earth’s surface and Earth’s atmosphere.
Why would conservation of the energy from sunlight be determined by the difference between the Earth’s atmosphere and surface temperature? I mean maybe a lay person has no clue what’s going on here, but I’ve talked to PhD’s in physics who think this is entirely reasonable. It’s not! It physically makes no sense at all. Conservation of energy to outside the system is not established by an internal difference inside the system, but but by a sum of external outputs.
But then they ignore that and always go on to say that, if the temperature of the atmosphere increases, then the temperature of the surface must increase in order to maintain the same difference between terms on the right hand side. And since the atmosphere is colder, then this proves that colder things can heat up hotter things.
What in the heck? There are people with PhD’s in physics saying this. WTF? To increase a temperature requires an input of heat, an inflow of heat, but heat only flows from hot to cold and so something cold can not heat up something hot! Have these people lost their minds? What insanity is at work here?
Let’s at least try to make their model and math make sense, and so we’ll add together the energy that makes it out to space from the surface, plus the energy from the atmosphere. The energy flux from the atmosphere is σT14, but the source of this energy is the fraction absorbed by the atmosphere from the surface. Their math in their textbook then says that the atmosphere emits the energy is gained from the surface in two directions, and so
3] fσT04 = 2σT14
where f is the fraction of energy from the surface absorbed by the atmosphere. Therefore the energy making it to the outside of the system is the fraction which makes it outside directly from the surface, plus the fraction from the atmosphere which is directed outside, and so:
4] Fs(1-A)/4 = (1-f)σT04 + (f/2)σT04
This equation is actually identical to the one they had already at 1] if you do the necessary rearrangement, so is it going to be any better? It says that a fraction ‘f’ of the energy flux from the surface doesn’t make it out to space, because some of it is absorbed by the atmosphere. But then, only half of that energy makes it out of the atmosphere to outer space. So, where did the other half disappear to?
If some radiation from the surface gets absorbed by the atmosphere on its way out, then that portion of energy needs to itself be fully emitted by the atmosphere to outerspace in order to account for all of the energy in question. Their equation violates the law of conservation of energy because it only emits half of the energy absorbed by the atmosphere from the surface to outerspace. That’s the worst violation you can make in physics.
Of course, their answer would be that the missing half of the energy goes back into the surface to increase its temperature. This is the cold heating up hot thing again. Sure, let’s say that. Then what happens? Then, once again, at a higher surface temperature, a fraction of the energy which is emitted from the surface to outerspace gets absorbed by the atmosphere, but only half of that energy makes it out. So, what happens to the new missing half? Again, following the logic, they would have to say that it goes back to the surface to heat it up some more. And then the whole scheme would have to repeat itself once again. It’s the classic runaway self-amplification problem, a geometric series, that had been exposed in this conception of a radiative greenhouse effect as non-physical and impossible ages ago. High school students can identify geometric series such as this. Why can’t scientists interested in the climate?
This is the most basic exercise in a recursive process and logic that you can possible get. Why don’t they understand it? How is it possible that they create this runaway, non-physical, recursive self-amplification process, but then in the next blink ignore the fatal logical conclusion of the process they invented? How can people be so irrational? How can they be so insane? How can they create something that requires a certain intelligence level to understand, but then refuse to acknowledge the consequences of their creation which requires the same level of understanding to comprehend the error? What is wrong with these people?
Escape from the Paradigm
Obviously, to avoid the infinite recursion problem, and to obey conservation of energy, then the energy absorbed by the atmosphere from the surface needs to be fully emitted to outerspace by the atmosphere. There is no splitting by two of the radiation emitted by the atmosphere, for the atmosphere doesn’t lose energy in the downward direction: it’s an insulated boundary, there is no energy loss there. Does the atmosphere emit energy toward the surface? Sure, but it doesn’t leave, because the surface stops it. It goes right back in to the atmosphere. Does this mean that the cool atmosphere heats up the warmer ground, or heats up itself? No, why would anyone even say something like that? What is lost downward is instantly regained and so it causes no change. To cause heating, increase in temperature, requires heat flow input, and heat flow only occurs from hot to cool, not the reverse, or between identical temperatures. The only direction the atmosphere loses energy is towards outerspace, and it loses the exact amount of energy that it picks up from the surface.
5] Fs(1-A)/4 = (1-f)σT04 + fσT04
where σT14 = fσT04 (the temperature of the atmosphere is given by the fraction f of energy flux it absorbs from the surface), and equation 5] simply reduces to
6] Fs(1-A)/4 = σT04
This would normally mark a correction out of the false paradigm as we’ll see, however, again, none of these radiative greenhouse effect adherents are actually thinking about what they’re doing along the way. Not the alarmists certainly, and not the lukewarm skeptics for the most part either. They haven’t cared about any of the steps along the way…they’ve cherished every single error. They’re in love with this false paradigm with its insane cognitive boundary conditions of a flat Earth with freezing cold sunshine too feeble to heat anything on its own above -180C and with the inert atmosphere as some magical source of energy it doesn’t actually produce.
Instead of feeling uncomfortable with cognitive dissonance, these pseudoscientific climate alarmists and their lukewarm supporters have made an absolute religion out of it. And they seek to institute that religion into politics. Get aware of the game they’re playing!
What is wrong with these people, and scientists? On the one hand they say that math is just a tool of science and that observation and empiricism and the laws of science are what make up reality, but then immediately on the other hand as soon as they invent an equation that they’ve interpreted out of some pet model they like, they go absolutely insane insisting that math is infallible and that if math says that cool heats up hot, then be damned with the laws of physics and thermodynamics!
What is wrong with them…what is wrong with these people’s minds? We should be putting these people on trial, and protecting society and our children from them. We should be determining if these people are smart and putting us on, in which case they are morally culpable for the damage they’ve done to knowledge and logic, or if they’re stupid and they just don’t know what in the heck they’re doing, in which case they’re totally incompetent. Either way, society needs to be protected from them.
The root of the problem is that scientists have become protected by specialization. Society trusts what the specialists say they’re doing, but the truth is that that whole system can be compromised and hijacked either by intent or by stupidity because almost nobody checks on them, and almost nobody can check on them. And then when the specialists are checked on, the entire specialist edifice moves in to protect them with claims of peer-review and “expertise” because all of their jobs depend upon not being closely inspected. A system like this can never produce a meritocratic society, and merit can be entirely hijacked in just this way, all too easily. The interesting question is whether it’s being done with intent, or out of incompetence. The truth, I can tell you, is that it is being done with intent, although it does use a lot of incompetent stupid people for support, who go along with it for ideological and neo-religious reasons.
So why did equation 6], coming from the correct equation 5], reduce to such a simple equation? It is because the equation is all about the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, and the S-B Law used in the context of non-solid surfaces (i.e. the atmosphere) can only be related to what is called an effective temperature. This is 1st-year astronomy and physics. A star for example doesn’t have a solid surface, so there’s no place to stick a theoretical temperature probe and take its temperature. How far down into the stellar atmosphere do you go? At what optical depth for which specific frequency do you denote as a surface? You can’t do that objectively, and there isn’t any. All you can do, is look at the total energy output from the star, giving a value for the flux F coming out of it, and so then, given the S-B Law, you derive what would effectively be the stars temperature if it was a solid hard surface. But the truth is that the temperature of the star changes continuously with depth inside it, increasing as you go down inside its atmosphere, just like with Earth’s atmosphere.
The only thing that the S-B Equation can tell us about the Earth as an averaged-out system, is the Earth’s effective temperature. Considering energy balance with the Sun, then the effective temperature of the Earth, if you add up all of its radiation when looking from outerspace, is effectively equivalent to-18°C. And that’s what the Earth is! That temperature has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the physical input of solar energy into the Earth and on the Earth’s surface. Yet for climate pseudoscience, it establishes the basis of their entire paradigm for thinking about the Earth, with their attendant radiative greenhouse effect invented to correct the error. But it isn’t a correction to an error, it is an error to correct an error. You don’t correct an error by inventing something to fix it, you correct the original error by discarding the mental phase space which created it.
The diagram at the top of this post isn’t just from Harvard. In my paper here in Appendix H, I list a random sample from a dozen institutions which use this same model for establishing the foundational principles for their idea of an atmospheric greenhouse effect. How can they all be so stupid? How can so many people not think about basic logic and reason? How can so many climate scientists not understand basic physics and mathematics? Why do they promote what is plainly false?
Ontological Heat Flow
The mathematical nature of heat flow was discovered by Joseph Fourier.
“There cannot be a language more universal and more simple, more free from errors and obscurities… more worthy to express the invariable relations of all natural things [than mathematics]. [It interprets ] all phenomena by the same language, as if to attest the unity and simplicity of the plan of the universe, and to make still more evident that unchangeable order which presides over all natural causes.” – Joseph Fourier, The Analytical Theory of Heat
“Primary causes are unknown to us; but are subject to simple and constant laws, which may be discovered by observation, the study of them being the object of natural philosophy.
“Heat, like gravity, penetrates every substance of the universe, its rays occupy all parts of space. The object of our work is to set forth the mathematical laws which this element obeys. The theory of heat will hereafter form one of the most important branches of general physics.” – Joseph Fourier, The Analytical Theory of Heat
(sourced from: Hockney, Mike (2014-11-03). Causation and the Principle of Sufficient Reason (The God Series Book 21) (Kindle Locations 608-616). Hyperreality Books. Kindle Edition.)
Fourier mathematics is the true basis of heat flow. The simple model that is used to establish the boundary condition of thought for climate alarm pseudoscience has nothing to do with Fourier mathematics or how heat flow actually works in reality. Never mind using the correct mathematics, it doesn’t even use 16th Century knowledge of reality. No one, in any time or age previous to these times, would have thought that a starting point for a conception of reality with sunlight being -18°C could be a rational position to take.
The correct, Fourier-based equation for heat flow in a column of atmosphere would look like this:
So can you see why the specialists can lie about the importance of their field, just so that they can keep a job, and additionally if they really desire it, scare the heck out of an unaware public and co-opt governmental infrastructure for their own nefarious ends? Because few people can tell what the heck is going on with that equation let alone being able to solve or numerically compute it. It is a radiative-convection-diffusion equation that accounts for the conductive, convective, and radiative flow of heat in a column of atmosphere…plus subsurface if you include that too in the numerical computation.
Within this equation 7] is couched the fundamental thermodynamic principles of the directionality of heat flow, and the related limitations of which way temperature can change and due to what physical effects that are present to affect it. There is no radiative greenhouse effect produced or allowed with this ontological equation of heat flow. It is as simple as that. The colder atmosphere does not cause the warmer ground to become warmer still. It is mathematical fact. Not that we need something as absolute as mathematical fact to debunk the silly climate science greenhouse effect in any case!
One other really great example of the stupidity of climate pseudoscience. Did you know that what they call the surface temperature isn’t even the temperature of the surface? What they call the surface temperature is actually an average of temperature measurement stations with thermometers that are about 4.5 feet (1.5m) above the surface, in the air. This is an air temperature, not a surface temperature…they don’t even use English and basic definitions within language correctly! How can you be so insane so as to call an air temperature the temperature of the surface of the Earth? Those aren’t the same thing at all.
Just take a look at this video sequence of temperature data here:
Do you see the facts? The surface temperature at 0m altitude goes way higher than the air temperature at 1.5m! If the incompetent climate pseudoscientists actually used thesurface temperature, since that’s what they call it, they would need a radiative greenhouse effect several times stronger that what they think they need now! How can the temperature of the surface pulse to over 700C when sunlight is only -18°C !? Of course, if they actually made sense at any point in their idiotic narrative, it would expose them, and so, they make sure to never do or use anything that ever makes any sense.
Read more by Joe Postma at climateofsophistry.com