## Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Amazing Orwell: Have you recently tried to search for a white couple on Google Images? Hat tip: Mark Collett, Pavel Ryska. Update: more amazing queries here.
Most of you remember the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It has killed almost 4,000 people (Katrina was the main contributor), caused almost $160 billion in damages, and led climate fearmongers to say that every single year would bring the same or increasing number of hurricanes to America. Well, it just turned out that the following 11 seasons saw mostly below-the average storm activity. Even more strikingly, the United States of America have experienced a record-breaking 11.8 years without a major hurricane landfall – since Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. Those predictions about the strengthening hurricanes haven't worked at all, have they? Has someone been arrested or at least fired because of these bogus forecasts? I don't think so. Now, a regular and average major hurricane, Category 4 Hurricane Harvey, has visited the U.S. again. The casualties are around 20 so far – negligible relatively to Katrina – and the losses are estimated between$10 billion and \$50 billion dollars which are significantly smaller than those in 2005, too. Condolences to those who have been affected – and I wish good luck to those who are making decisions.

I don't think that Harvey is a globally important event and I am not really following it. A hurricane like that is expected to materialize a few times a year and arrive to the U.S. every other year or so.

Nevertheless, the hurricane has invited some dishonest and deluded people who are obsessed with lies about science and the political abuse of science. Thankfully, probably because the embarrassing (for them) absence of hurricanes in the U.S. since 2005, there were not too many folks like that but two examples of would-be science popularizers are troublesome.

One of them is Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Well, I am not surprised by this jerk – this fake scientist has been spreading some stunning lies for many years. As Chron.com and Inverse.com have discussed, Tyson tweeted:

While thousands of Tyson's brain-dead followers upvoted it, scientists weren't happy. Meteorologist SRHelicity pointed out the obvious:

SRHelicity spent several more tweets with explanations that the weather isn't the climate and they're two different disciplines. Ricky Bobby tried to defend Tyson with a bogus argument but the defense doesn't work:

SRHelicity had to add several obvious – but not for everybody – clarifications of the same point:

Or:

The defense of Tyson is just insane. As you should check again, Tyson has explicitly stated that the path of Harvey was predicted by climate scientists which is simply false. Well, it's a kind of a lie that is deliberately spread because when this lie gets more widespread, it's convenient for dishonest jerks such as Tyson. Meteorology works and has been successfully tested many times. Man-made climate change predictions have never passed any nontrivial test but they can be "useful" for strengthening the big governments and the left-wing ideology. Why don't we create a "hybrid" discipline that has been tested and that may be abused politically, the likes of Tyson ask themselves? Well, you may do that but it proves that from a moral viewpoint, you're trash.

Thankfully, climate scientist Tamsin Edwards has objected as well:

Some viewers of a program featuring Tyson were "confused" about the weather and the climate as well, e.g. Paul Mosher.

OK, Tyson is just filth. It was much more disappointing to see a similar Tweet written by string theorist Brian Greene:

As you can see, Greene doesn't explicitly write the lie that the climate change scientists were calculating Harvey's trajectory. But he clearly says it implicitly. In other words, he obviously wants the ill-informed gullible readers to arrive at this utterly false conclusion.

In some sense, this strategy – writing implicit lies that can't be "sharply" shown to be untrue – is even creepier. It's a more sophisticated version of propaganda than outright lies.

Needless to say, Tyson and Greene are just two among many far left-wing activists who don't consider this kind of dishonesty to be a hurdle. An Oliver Milman at the Guardian wrote a manipulative text
Conservative groups shrug off link between tropical storm Harvey and climate change
What's terrible is the suggestion that it's "conservative groups" that "shrug off" this link because this suggests – totally indefensibly – that it's a "political trick" to shrug off the link. But it's not (just or primarily) the conservative groups that are shrugging off the link and the link isn't being shrugged off for political reasons.

It's primarily the people who have at least the basic scientific literacy and who are honest who have to denounce the attempts to link the individual hurricanes to the topic of "climate change". Everyone who is both honest and who has the basic scientific literacy knows that these two things belong to two separate scientific disciplines and the usefulness of one of them – meteorology and the predictions of hurricanes' trajectories – cannot be used to justify the other – long-term predictions of the climate let alone the attribution of the trends.

On one hand, it's good to see that similar self-evident lies – such as "science shows that hurricanes are caused by CO2 emissions" – have faded away dramatically in the recent 10 years or so. On the other hand, it's annoying to see Brian Greene as one of the hardcore champions of this indefensible statement.