Friday, January 10, 2014 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere wants AGW health warning on gas pumps

We got used to health warning on cigarettes but led by Bill McKibben (and named after a nonsensical number in a crackpot preprint by James Hansen et al.) wants allegedly analogous warnings on gas pumps

San Francisco environmentalist group wants global warming warning on gas pumps (Fox News, competition)
The content of the proposal warning isn't too simple.

It's written white on black and says:
Warning (orange background)

The state of California has determined that global warming caused by greenhouse gases poses a serious threat to the economic well-being, public health, natural resources and the environment of California.
If the Terminator is equal to the state of California, he has determined it a long time ago, but you should better not buy science from the Terminator and similar "states" because the extra biceps mass was borrowed from the interior of the skull.

They may later add all the other things caused by global warming to the warning, too. ;-)

This proposal is sort of amusing because it has no direct implications. If they promised that they would abandon all attempts to regulate carbon dioxide and add caps and taxes, I would probably agree with this comical thing. (My or your opinion isn't too important; the owners of the gas stations would probably fight such a new rule.)

But the proposal has indirect harmful consequences. Many people are scientifically illiterate and they cannot see that and why similar labels are partly nonsensical and partly untrue. They wouldn't understand that such slogans were masterminded by manipulative activists who have no clue about most of science and when they have a clue, they are lying about what they know. Many people just believe what they read – if they can read – and such an untrue sign would lead to a further deterioration of the scientific literacy of the public.

It could lead some poor people – fathers in poor families, so to say – who can't verify the science and who want to help the world to harm themselves and their relatives by abandoning or suppressing cars even though they need them.

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snail feedback (16) :

reader HenryBowman419 said...

I'm sure if a devout religious group wished to post the 10 Commandments on gasoline pumps, there would be a public outcry as the action would constitute a religious preference by the government of Kalifornia. I don't see this as very different: it's a proposal from a group of devout religious folks who like to justify their religion of "scientific" grounds. Plainly it is laughable, but there are many wackos running that state now.

I recall during the days of the USSR there would almost always be someone advocating its policies because such policies were deemed "scientific", usualy be reference to the oxymoron "scientific communism". It was rubbish then, just as this crazy stuff is.

reader Isla Edouard said...

I remember during the times of the USSR there would almost always be someone suggesting its guidelines because such guidelines were considered "scientific", usualy by referrals to the oxymoron "scientific communism". It was junk then, just as this insane things is.

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reader Uncle Al said...

Every sack and can of beans must carry a hind gut fermenter warning on environmental methane emissions, ditto every package of beef ("second hand" methane). All kitchen gas ranges must be immediately confiscated and publicly destroyed before cheering mobs (who must attend or be fined). Home furnaces will be continuously monitored for the Carbon Tax on Everything. Federal HVAC is exempt.

Must MacDonald's products carry said beef warning? US FDA rules say at low concentrations, an Officially recognized component does not Officially exist within the product (SOP rat hairs, insect parts).

There will be special exemptions for Brussels sprouts, wheat germ, broccoli, and brown rice . They will be trucked in by gangs of Middle Class unemployed donating their labor to the State by pulling sledges.

reader sean2829 said...

I think this is a great idea. Half the population is skeptical about climate change and the only US state with cap and trade, California, would likely be one of the earliest adopters of the warning labels. Politicians think people aren't very bright but Californians, who already pay about 10% more for gasoline than the rest of the US will soon see that differential increase to 20% with the carbon charges. The warning labels will be an explicit reminder of who is responsible for the higher prices.

reader Werdna said...

The stupidest thing about this is:

"The state of California has determined that"

California puts these kinds of stupid labels on freaking everything. The words that follow the above 7 vary, but those are always the beginning of it. What's stupid about this is that:

1. A state can't "determine" facts, first because a state is not a person, and

2.Because, even if you phrased that as "the governor of California" or something, they confuse *determination of truth* with *belief*.

These are mere statements of faith, not truth. Not facts.

reader Dilaton said...

Interesting ideas, maybe it is just too early to see how these models work in detail ...

reader Peter F. said...

I have very few rational reasons for getting happily energized by reading this, but I am! %-)

reader John Moore said...

"Global Warming?" - how retro! I thought the term had been official consigned to the memory hole, to be replaced by "Climate Change." "Climate Chaos" was a candidate for a while, but it didn't stick.

reader NumCracker said...

OFF-TOPIC: dear Lubos, are you aware of this ? Would you please write a post on the subject? Thanks

reader Luboš Motl said...

Hi, it looks like a serious paper on Navier

(in Russian). I am not sure whether I would understand it. It seems plausible to me that someone like that would solve the problem in a similar environment, with a similar writing style etc. It's really an old-fashioned classical math problem of a sort.

On the other hand, many people like that have failed, too.

reader anony said...

The problem with these sorts of claims is that typically the authors have a fundamental misconception about the problem, it isn't about finding a particular solution, it's about proving there always exists a smooth solution for any set of initial conditions. It's more of a convergence problem. In a lot of ways it is similar to the three body problem.

reader Smoking Frog said...

There's also the signs on businesses that go something like this: These premises contain chemicals which are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, ...

It's not just on gas stations etc. It's on supermarkets, hardware stores, barber shops - you name it.

reader Eugene S said...

A profile on climate scientist Richard Lindzen:

If Lindzen is right about this and global warming is nothing to worry about, why do so many climate scientists, many with résumés just as impressive as his, preach imminent doom? He says it mostly comes down to the money—to the incentive structure of academic research funded by government grants. Almost all funding for climate research comes from the government, which, he says, makes scientists essentially vassals of the state. And generating fear, Lindzen contends, is now the best way to ensure that policymakers keep the spigot open.

Lindzen contrasts this with the immediate aftermath of World War II, when American science was at something of a peak. “Science
had established its relevance with the A-bomb, with radar, for that matter the proximity fuse,” he notes. Americans and their political leadership were profoundly grateful to the science community; scientists, unlike today, didn’t have to abase themselves by approaching the government hat in hand. Science funding was all but assured.

But with the cuts to basic science funding that occurred around the time of the Vietnam war, taxpayer support for research was no longer a political no-brainer. “It was recognized that gratitude only went so far,” Lindzen says, “and fear was going to be a much greater motivator. And so that’s when people began thinking about .  .  . how to perpetuate fear that would motivate the support of science.”

reader Luboš Motl said...

Yup, I saw it a week ago, pretty good, isn't it?

reader anna v said...

it is climate disruption recently.

reader lucretius said...

He is certainly proving the right theorem and the proof does make sense. This is not some sort of unknown freak, this guy has been working on this problem for 30 years and has done some well regarded work.
Experts in this field at Warsaw and Wroclaw universities have been looking for the mistake (which they expect to find) for several days now. Apparently there are some doubts.

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