And thermological does not mean what they think it means

thermology from Wikipedia

You can’t resolve away climate change
[Via Bad Astronomy]

My stance on climate change is clear: the scientific evidence that we’re getting warmer is overwhelming, and the most likely cause is that it’s human-produced. The first is fact, the second is a conclusion based on a lot of evidence.

Climategate showed us that the noise machine is in full swing; nothing in those emails takes away from the fact that there are multiple and independent lines of evidence that we’re warming up. And the talking heads on Fox and other right-wing media saying that the harsh winter is evidence against global warming shows how dumb of an argument they’re willing to make.

[More]

I love it when legislators get all sciency with their legislation. It really demonstrates the shallowness of their thinking.

So I’m reading this while having some coffee. Pretty normal legislative lunacy. Seen the same sorts of things when evolution and natural selection get slammed by state attempts to redefine what scientists know and have proven. But I did a spit-take with this bit from the South Dakota act:

However, my absolute favorite part of the South Dakota resolution is this next bit. Are you sitting down? Good:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED [...]
(2) That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can affect world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative; and

Wait, what? Did those guys in the South Dakota legislature actually say astrological?

I’ve written before about their inability to read. Now we know another aspect of the problem. They are either totally unable to proofread or unable to tell science from charlatanry.

And is thermological even a word? Google takes me to a definition of thermology indicating it is “the medical science that derives diagnostic indications from highly detailed and sensitive infrared images of the human body.”

What the heck does this have to do with climate change? None of the links from Google I saw indicate anything about the matter under consideration. I’d really like to know how breast scans affect world weather phenomena?

They were just making up works and adding ‘ological’ to them. Thus they reveal their buffoonery.

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13 Responses to “And thermological does not mean what they think it means”

  1. Mike B Says:

    I didn’t know you were so perfect in writing legislation, Richard. You obviously don’t have to correct any of your rough drafts because everything you do is perfect! OH BY THE WAY…THE LANGUAGE IN THE BILL WAS AMENDED. RE-EXAMINE THE BILL. Our Legislators, both Democrat and Republican, are always amending and perfecting their legislation. It’s not as easy as you think. Sometimes they include bulk wording in the bill to encompass a topic of significant value that either needs to be strengthened or diminished in terms of its level of importance. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re better than everyone and are capable of perfecting legislation in one shot. It just makes you look like an ass.

    • Richard Gayle Says:

      Well, my rough drafts do not usually have the chance to become law or even guiding legislation directing how government employees do their job. If they did, I would probably work harder on using spellchecker and at least have my wife copy edit what I wrote.

      But I certainly hope that those people whose choice of words can have huge impacts on citizens would take more responsibility to make sure they are not voting on rough drafts, relying on someone else to fix it later. I would hope they would display some seriousness about what they actually vote on. I would hope that they were better than me.

      They disappointed me here.

      You suggest that this was just a rough draft that was corrected through the normal process of creating legislation or resolutions. But what I discussed was no rough draft of a resolution. It was the final version that the House passed. Thirty-six people voted in the affirmative on this resolution and sent it on to the Senate. Are you saying that the House in South Dakota normally passes incorrect, inaccurate rough drafts for the Senate to fix? If so, that is a really weird legislative process.

      The Senate responded to the inaccuracies of the House by entirely removing everything voted on by the House and inserting its own language. The Senate’s amended and perfected the resolution by making a complete deletion followed by a insertion of completely different language. And even with that much more rational language, it only passed by one vote.

      Precision of language is important, not only when discussing science, but particularly with legislation that can govern us. The words these legislators vote on matter because those words can become law, determining what we can and cannot do.

      As long as legislators show such little seriousness about the very words they were voting on, I’ll continue to demonstrate a lack of seriousness and make fun of them.

    • Brienn A. Rockhill Says:

      Legislation.. especially PASSED legislation is supposed to be grammatically correct prior to it even leaving the clerks desk. Basically they just made the whole state look like a bunch of morons. “amending and perfecting” legislation is for fixing laws that don’t work and closing loop holes.. its is not a POST-PASSING SPELL CHECK OPPORTUNITY!!!!!!!!

      “Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re better than everyone and are capable of perfecting legislation in one shot. It just makes you look like an ass.” – yeah guy.. this makes no sense you realize that not only the other states and the federal government has been doing just this for years…not to mention the county, and city governments. They are all capable of doing actual research and knowing what the hell they are talking about prior to SPONSORING, INTRODUCING, READING, VOTING ON, and then PASSING A BILL!!!

      And bulk wording? so your saying they just make stuff up at leisure to “encompass a topic of significant value” Did u seriously just say that? LOL Ok now you just proved Rachel Maddow’s point and everyone else who has said you guys are a bunch of morons. just… WOW!!!

      Astrological, Thermological lol…peanutbutterlogical, dogological, groundological, skyalogical… all these new words they’ve discovered for us lol

  2. Tamara Jeanne Says:

    Richard. I think that you may have missed one strange word in the bill: “interrelativity” doesn’t seem to be a real word. Its not listed in any dictionary I’ve tried. A Google search only turns up a number of links related to a high tech computer business named Interrelaticity, Inc . based in Seattle, WA and little else.

    As a 3rd generation citizen of South Dakota I’ve been appalled by the very poor language coming from several of the states legislators in just the past few weeks. Two weeks ago state Rep. Manny Steele used the term “Beastiology” (I think he meant Bestiality) while arguing against the inclusion of sexual orientation in HB 1144, a bill to amend the states non-discrimination law which has not been updated in 40 years. Its also interesting to note the Rep. Steele has a gay son.

    Last week during testimony at the committee hearing for HB 1144 state Rep. Roger Hunt repeatedly used the non existent term “sexual identity” rather then the correct term “gender identity” in his arguments against the bill.
    The bill was killed by a vote of 8 to 4 after the rest of the opposition’s testimony. This testimony was so filled with distortions, half truths and out right lies that I don’t even know where to begin describe it Nor is there the time too so here. If you wish to, you can listen to the hearing at this link: http://tinyurl.com/ydbn876 The HB 1144 testimony starts at 1:54:00 on the time line and the opposition testimony starts about 45 – 50 minutes later.

    In closing I have to say that seeing, hearing and reading my states legislators make such poor use of the English language and making such glaring ignorant statements, that it makes it appear that South Dakota is populated and governed by nothing but a bunch of ignorant backwards country hicks with very low IQs. We actually do have some fairly smart folks here, its just that most of them are to smart to want to get involved with politics. I will defenitly be voting against any of those idiots who are from my district in the up coming elections this fall starting with Rep. Steele.

  3. Aaron Says:

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, which I think is a more reliable source than Wikipedia, thermology is “The science of heat; that department of physics which treats of heat; thermotics.”

    • Brienn A. Rockhill Says:

      but the word they used was not Thermology.. its was Thermological.. which is a word that does not exist, but now that it is in a piece of legislation maybe they have to add it now? Thermology does exist.. and its used in the treatment of patients Thermology is a medical imaging technique in which an infrared camera is used to generate an image of the body or an area of interest. This technique is noninvasive, and requires no physical contact with the patient. It can be used as a diagnostic tool for a range of medical conditions and can be performed in a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office, as long as the facility has the necessary equipment.

  4. Richard Gayle Says:

    I don’t know why my replies are out of order. Watch the dates. this is for Aaron.

    Perhaps making up words is a little harsh but I certainly do not think they used that word with any real understanding of how it is really used.

    Before i wrote the post,I tried to find a dictionary definition for thermological. A search at Merriam Webster failed to find any such word.

    A dictionary search for thermological on Google returns only about 600 hits, many of which are actually blog discussions of the word, much like mine.

    Only when I did a full Goggle search on thermological did I get the modern references to its usage, including Wikipedia.

    Simply putting two words together can create another one, so putting thermos and -ology obviously gives a meaning to thermology.

    So I am not surprised that some dictionaries list the word. I bet most Greek prefixes followed by -ology are there, even if no one actually uses those words. But dictionaries I have been able track down online list it as archaic.

    Current usage does not involve a department of physics that treats of heat. Current usage generally refers to a specific method of medical examination.

    As the word is used today, it does not mean what they thought it did. Anyone using it today would be presumed to be talking about medical technology. That is what was so confusing about their use of the word.

    It gets back to their very inexact use of language to write something that can have huge legal impacts.

  5. chris Says:

    south dakota voted overwhelmingly for the Bush. That being said, we are all about ‘stategery’ in this state!

    • Richard Gayle Says:

      I really don’t mind who people elect. I would just like to think that those elected representatives were intelligent enough to write and vote on bills that actually had real words that referred to what they were voting on. Way too much truthiness.

      It is almost as if it was a Democratic plot to make the Republican majority look like idiots ;-)

  6. John M Says:

    It’s worse than that. The text of bill reads:

    that can effect [sic] world weather phenomena and that the significance and

    In the summary above it is stated as “affect” which would be correct.

    http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2010/Bills/HCR1009P.htm

  7. James Says:

    I know this is an old comment string, but I’m sure others will stumble across it like I did. While there is a significant amount of factual data being presented in support of human disruption to the global climate, there is in fact very little evidence as it meets scientific benchmarks to be called such. Because of the very short period of time we have been capable of collecting this data, there cannot be any definitive cause and effect analysis. ALL of the cause and effect arguments made regarding climate change involve making assumptions about the validity of some of the ‘evidence’, which directly contradicts the scientific process. I am not making these statements to promote or challenge the climate change theory, but proclaiming something as scientific fact, sans actual evidence, is dishonest at best. Three generations from now, this climate change theory may seem as ridiculous as a flat Earth. Given the number of dissenting voices in the scientific community, I think exploration of alternate causative factors is ethically prudent.

    As far as the language of the bill is concerned, ask any high school graduate the meaning of these words and see if they do any better. How many states actually require a high school diploma to be elected? I think this is just a prime example of the horrible education system the government has saddled us with. Think back to our ancestors. My great-grandparents didn’t go past the 8th grade, but their vocabulary and historical knowledge was amazing.

    I can’t argue with the inclusion of ‘astrological’, that’s just plain ignorance. The use of ‘thermological’ is, in fact, correct. Thermology is simply the study of heat. Thermological would merely be the use or identification of a thermal process. Making use of heat scans for diagnostic imaging is thermological.

    The use of ‘effect’ is actually correct, whether intentionally or not. While the listed causatives can ‘affect’ the global climate (as it is altering something already there), they can also ‘effect’ weather phenomena (being that it brings about the phenomena).

    • Richard Gayle Says:

      First, I would hope you agree that the world is getting warmer and has been for the last century.

      Second, I would disagree with you regarding the amount of scientific evidence for human causes of climate change. Scientific models that include anthropogenic effects do a better job of explaining what we see around us than any model that does not include them. These AGW models have done a better job of explaining the past and a better job extrapolating into the future. People have looked extensively for alternative factors other than humans for most of the last 30 years. None have been found that can replace the effect of human-generated greenhouse gases. In fact, if anyone wants to come up with a competing model that suggest AGW is not involved, they will also have to show how the huge amount of greenhouse gases we have put in the air do NOT have a large effect.

      As with any other scientific theory, AGW may not be totally correct. But there is no better explanation of the data we have collected. This is in direct contrast to the Flat Earthers as there has been direct and fulsome evidence against their model for more than 2500 years.

      Thirdly, the greatest problem, I believe, is not warming but acidification of the oceans from the added carbon dioxide. This could have huge effects on life, not just by the destruction of oceanic food chains but also in the amount of oxygen released into the atmosphere.

      I would suggest it is more likely that three generations from now, people will be more upset with those who delayed any efforts to remediate these effects than they will with those who used the best data they had to understand the world around them.

      Finally, You and I can argue to no avail about what the legislators were really doing. I believe they were pulling a Humpty-Dumpty and just making a word mean what they wanted it to, even if that made little sense. But our argument means little. What matters is their stupidity, which you seem to agree with.

      When the people who write the laws use language so stupidly or in a way that people argue about its meaning, there are ramifications for us all. I can’t put people in jail by what I write. But those who write the laws can.

      Stupidity in the elected officials of a representative Republic can be fatal.


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