Continuing the "climate change" debate with Yoram Bauman

Nearly two years ago, I had a fun online debate with "Standup Economist" Yoram Bauman about the science and economics of what was then called "global warming" and now (due to the absence of warming) called "climate change."  Dr. Bauman and I have decided to reprise the debate in light of whatever we've learned in recent years.  The Taylor brothers, Jerry and James, also participated in our conversation and I hope they will contribute to round two.

First below is Dr. Bauman's first salvo in round two, as copied from his blog at http://www.standupeconomist.com

Rather than writing one long note in response and posting it after Bauman's note, I will intersperse my comments within his note below, my comments in maroon bold text.

About two years ago I had a back-and-forth on climate change with libertarian blogger Rossputin, the Cato Institute’s Jerry Taylor, and the Heartland Institute’s James Taylor. Rossputin recently emailed me to ask: “After ClimateGate, GlacierGate, etc…. do you give even a little credence yet to my view that [anthropogenic climate change is] essentially a hoax?” So here’s an update.

In my original post I accused libertarians of promoting the “Three No’s”:

  1. No recognition that climate change is a theoretical possibility. I am happy to say that we’ve made progress on this: Rossputin and the Taylor boys all acknowledge that it is at least possible that something like carbon emissions could be a problem. This is terrific.

    First, let's make clear that when Dr. Bauman says "climate change", he means "climate change caused by humans", also called Anthropogenic Global Warming ("AGW").  With that said, I acknowledge that AGW is a theoretical possibility in the same way that it is a theoretical possibility that the sum of all beach-goers who pee in the ocean might raise sea levels.  I do not believe, within the constraints of reality and reasonable possiblity, that CO2 emissions could be a problem.  First, atmospheric CO2 concentrations come AFTER, not before, planetary warming.  Second, even to the extent that CO2 could produce theoretical warming, it is a logarithmic effect, meaning that each further addition of CO2 to the atmosphere creates less warming than the prior addition of (the same amount of) CO2.
  2. No peace with the IPCC. With the possible exception of Cato’s Jerry Taylor, we have made no progress here. Two years ago libertarian folks were writing about the “impending collapse of the global warming paradigm”, and today the “impending collapse of the global warming paradigm” is —guess what?—still impending. Libertarians used to mock environmentalists for making claims of impending collapse (that we’re running out of food, oil, minerals, etc.) that didn’t pan out; Julian Simon was a master of this, and I admire him for it. But now you’re making the same mistake yourselves, and you deserve to be mocked for it, starting with Julian Simon, who wrote “My guess is that global warming is likely to be simply another transient concern, barely worthy of consideration ten years from now.” He wrote that in 1994. Give it up already! You already agree that climate change is a theoretical possibility (see point #1 above), so it’s not that hard to go from there to accepting the scientific evidence. Speaking of the scientific evidence…

    Yoram, have you not been paying attention?  The collapse of the global warming paradigm is no longer "impending". It's happening daily. Which of these major news stories have you missed? And if you've missed all of them then maybe you should do some homework before writing such obviously erroneous statements.

    I could keep going but it's not necessary.  The number of scandals related to AGW and the UN is crushing the alarmist movement day by day.  (This PAGE has a good summary of the above and other scandals.)  Julian Simon was just a few years early, but he's being proven absolutely right...again.  How many news reports and opinion pieces calling AGW a "scam" or "mass panic" or "hoax" do you need to see to admit at least that there are huge cracks in the foundation of the alarmist movement?

  3. No negotiation about climate change science, i.e., no serious scientific engagement. Here I am sorry to say that we’ve made negative progress. My fear—see my questions below—is that ClimateGate and GlacierGate &etc have eliminated the possibility of reaching agreement simply because we can no longer agree on a data set that will tell us, e.g., about global temperatures. I see ClimateGate mostly as an administrative issue—people who ask others to delete emails to avoid FOIA requests should not be in positions of authority—but I cannot stop others from interpreting it as evidence of “a conspiracy to limit population not only in this country but across the globe.”

See above...your desire to rely on "science" which is proven to be more bogus with each passing week hardly makes your claim of "scientific engagement" credible.

Another item which I could have mentioned above is the simmering scandal about the steady reduction in the number of weather stations which are used to quantify global temperature changes.  From the 1970s to now, the number of stations has dropped from about 6,000 to below 1,500 with most of the stations being removed in rural locations and higher latitudes.  The choices of which sensors to keep and which to remove have resulted in a systematic measurement bias toward implying warming.

Furthermore, the quality of stations remaining is horrible.  Here's an image from SurfaceStations.org.  Note that the orange part of the graph, representing 61% of weather stations, have systematic errors of over 2 degrees centigrade. Another 8% have errors of over 5 degrees!


So here are my questions, and I’m going to limit myself to one for each of my libertarian friends (but of course you’re free to opine on whatever you want):

  • For Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute: To what extent (if at all) have you changed your views since you wrote the following during our last go-round two years ago?

    “I actually agree with almost all of [Yoram's original post]… While I don’t pretend to speak for libertarians in general, I think an honest examination of the libertarian community would find that the beliefs Mr. Bauman is attacking are not as widely spread as he thinks. For instance, Prof. Pat Michaels – a senior fellow here at Cato who holds a PhD in climatology and who is widely published in the scientific literature on this matter – agrees that anthropogenic emissions are the main driver behind the warming trend of the past several decades. Moreover, he thinks the IPCC reports are fairly reasonable (albeit not perfect) summaries of the scientific literature (which maybe shouldn’t surprise – he is a member of the IPCC). He believes, however, that future warming will be at the lower end of the IPCC forecasts and that the economic costs will prove modest given the distribution of that warming.”

  • For Rossputin: Is there a data set that we can agree on? Presumably not the Hadley Centre one (although my understanding is that you skeptics were for it before you were against it), but how about NASA (from their graphs page), or NOAA (from their annual State of the Climate report), or… you tell me! The hallmark of science is refutable implications, but we can’t get there unless we can agree on a data set to refute predictions. I’m on board with the IPCC, which predicts global average temperature increases of 0.2 C (0.36 F) for the next few decades. My untrained eye says that they’re doing pretty good so far, so well in fact that IMHO they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt; but if global temperatures rise by less (or more!) than they predicted then I’m going to reconsider. My question for you is whether you believe any of these graphs. If you do then let me know which one and what it tells you and what kind of changes will convince you that you’re wrong about global warming being a “hoax”. And if you don’t believe any of these graphs then then all I can do is encourage you to put a thermometer outside your house and start taking temperature readings :)

There is probably an atmospheric data set we could agree on, and probably not a land-based data set for the reasons described above.  Not to mention the fact that alarmist scientists who were in charge of some of the oldest land-based data now say they've lost it...  The fact that you are so resolutely "on board" with the IPCC when the evidence is so strong that their "science" is utter junk threatens to make you look like a cult member rather than an economist or someone interested in searching for truth.  I don't believe anything from Hadley, NOAA, NASA, or the UN on this issue at this time.

You also make an important error of logic by assuming that if there is warming (which I doubt) that means that humans are making an important contribution to it (which I doubt even more.)  It is not the fact that climates change over time which is a hoax.  It is the claim that we are in a man-made inexorable warming trend.

Also, as far as the science goes, do you know that 95% of the "greenhouse effect" comes from water vapor, 99.999% of which is naturally-occurring?  And, quoting myself in a prior blog note, Carbon Dioxide, which represents less than 0.04% of the atmosphere accounts for less than 4% of the greenhouse effect.  Furthermore, only about 3% of all CO2 is man-made. In fact, combining all greenhouse gases, humans are only responsible for less than half of one percent of the entire greenhouse gas effect!

  • For James Taylor of the Heartland Institute: What changes would you make to this draft PPT of an “introduction to climate science” lecture that I’ll be presenting to my ENVIR 100 students at UW next fall? I’ll take your suggestions seriously, and FYI here’s a smaller PDF version.

PS. Am I still invited for Thanksgiving dinner at the Taylor family compound? I might be on comedy/book tour this fall (promoting my fabulous cartoon economics book; see here for an excerpt on carbon pricing) and Thanksgiving would be fun (especially if your compound is in Hawaii, which is where my girlfriend wants to spend Tgiving this year :).

PPS. Let me repeat something I said 2 years ago:

Listen up, my libertarian friends. You have a lot to contribute to the climate change discussion, in particular by emphasizing the superiority of markets and market mechanisms over the inefficient and often ineffective command-and-control policies that are beloved by lefties. But first you need to take a seat at the table instead of taking pot-shots at something that economists know is theoretically possible and that the scientific consensus says is “very likely”.

There is no such "scientific consensus".  There is an echo chamber of a relatively small number of scientists who have self-serving motives (i.e. getting government and foundation grants) for saying that the end is nigh.  I don't need to "take a seat" at a table of liars and cheats in order to make a legitimate argument against them.

We still need you at the table. Check out this this op-ed calling for a revenue-neutral carbon tax co-authored by Todd Myers of the free-market Washington Policy Center here in Seattle; I’d bet that you think it’s a good idea just on the grounds of national security! Imagine how much more likely this kind of revenue-neutral tax reform would be if you put your weight behind it.

If you believe that a "carbon tax" will be revenue-neutral, I have a bridge to sell you.  And why would you go out of your way to build an entire tax and regulation system to discourage the production of what is in the end simply plant food?  A carbon tax is the government's way to try to control absolutely every physical product in the nation.  It's an idiotic idea, a horrible solution in search of a non-existent problem.

Finally, as an economist it's remarkable how you have never suggested a cost/benefit analysis of these sorts of proposals.  Even supporters of "cap and trade" (as passed in the House) say that it could only lower temperatures by less than a quarter of a degree in a century...less than an annual random variation.  Take a look at the correlation between carbon emissions and GDP, life expectancy, etc.  Carbon emissions can only be substantially cut by destroying economic output.  And the carbon tax is a cynical way to control the economy and redistribute income.  (Here's a good video on the topic: http://www.cato.org/mediahighlights/index.php?highlight_id=288)

Instead we have a GOP “purity test” (”We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap-and-trade legislation”) that demonstrates a complete failure to understand that the way market-based instruments reduce pollution is by making pollution expensive. I half-expect lefties to live in a la-la-land where we get to taste the honey without the sting of the bee (check out this video that manages to talk about cap-and-trade for 6 minutes without mentioning that the price of fossil fuels will go up) , but the right wing is supposed to understand how markets work and right now it’s lost.

Let's get this straight, Yoram: Carbon dioxide is NOT pollution.  And, I repeat, even if you believe that CO2 could theoretically cause warming, humans don't produce enough of it to justify any of these coercive government-based plans or subsidies to "deal with it."

The science does not support your view, and the economics supports it even less.  It's strange for a PhD economist to be so intentionally isolated from facts and basic lines of inquiry.  It's a free country and you are welcome to participate in any religion, including the cult of global warming, but don't expect to be able to get me to drink the Kool-Aid when all it will get us is a lower standard of living for ourselves and our children, and a level of government power and control based on utter junk science which will make us long for days of rationality and liberty.

  • kjdiamond
    Comment from: kjdiamond
    02/18/10 @ 10:10:28 am

    Ross, You efforts are valiant, but your never going to change anyone's mind that is so vehemently opposed to reason. Any data set can be manipulated to provide a predetermined outcome and it is evident that this has occurred. Those that say look at the science deny the reality of what has happened. They say that regardless of the manipulation, the old data is still relevant. They want to believe so much that they are in denial. Data was manipulated, it is not reliable. You cannot make assumptions based on false data. Anyone know this, expect those that are so wedded to their beliefs. The only thing that I ask is that they stop using the term climate change. Climate is always changing, it is not static. There is no baseline for us to determine that today we are worse off than we were 100, 1000, 100,000 or 1 million years ago. To me, comparing 100 years of data is like using 2 days of stock market returns to develop an investment strategy for the next 30 years of your adult life. It makes no sense. You think we are warming artificially, well then peak at this: http://www.foresight.org/nanodot/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/vostok.png. Keith

  • james baker
    Comment from: james baker
    02/18/10 @ 10:26:08 am

    Good response. I have two thoughts. First, you wrote; ... even to the extent that CO2 could produce theoretical warming, it is a logarithmic effect, meaning that each further addition of CO2 to the atmosphere creates less warming than the prior addition of (the same amount of) CO2. What is your source for this assertion? Second, you may find this article of interest. http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/the_agw_smoking_gun.html

  • Comment from: Rossputin
    02/18/10 @ 10:40:11 am

    Thanks for the comment, James. The logarithmic nature of the impact of increasing CO2 concentrations on temperature is well-known and broadly agreed-upon. It's just that the alarmists have a reason to keep it secret. You can find many, many references to it with a basic web search: http://www.google.com/search?q=effect+of+co2+is+logarithmic

  • Steve Roth
    Comment from: Steve Roth
    02/24/10 @ 08:53:51 am

    Ross, your factual arguments (i.e. water vapor) would be more credible if you gave any links to where you got them, and the data supporting them. With the exception of the USHCN data (which challenges only one data set out of dozens that are in use worldwide), I only find links here to other polemics and arguments, not to any supporting scientific evidence. Your response to James, offering a google search (!!) in answer to his logarithmic question, epitomizes this. Most of the links are to an echo chamber that is far more reflective than one you claim the scientists live in. You could at least have pointed to a slightly authoritative source like wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing Where you find that the logarithmic effect refers to radiative forcing (only one aspect of the climate-change models), and where you also find that the logarithmic effects you describe for CO2 are nowhere near the magnitude you suggest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ModtranRadiativeForcingDoubleCO2.png i.e.: At 300ppm CO2, radiative forcing is 260.12 Watts/square meter, While at 600ppm, the value only drops to 256.72. IOW, it's a very *long* logarithmic curve relative to the values we're discussing. Nothing like the magnitude of effects that you suggest. And concentrating on that alone ignores a huge raft of other interrelated factors of positive and negative (mostly nonlinear) feedback loops. I'm nothing like a climate expert, but I do know garbage arguments when I see them. Echo chamber? Any day of the week, I'll choose the one that is inherently self-correcting (albeit--as it should be--slowly) via a mechanism for steeped-in-the-data experts to evaluate (yes, imperfectly, and occasionally dishonestly) constant inputs of new evidence, data, and argument. It's called science, and we've gotten damned good at it in the centuries since it discredited faith-based "belief" systems. This especially compared to one that just echoes opinions based on other (cherry-picked) opinions from google searches.

  • Comment from: Rossputin
    02/24/10 @ 11:05:54 am

    Steve, Thanks for the comment. Allow me to address most of your points in the order you presented them. First, regarding factual arguments, I don't feel the need to give everyone a link/reference for everything. People need to be able to do at least a little of their own homework. I have seen different data in different place regarding water vapor. Wikipedia (which certainly tends left in its overall bias due to its contributors) says "Water vapor accounts for the largest percentage of the greenhouse effect, between 36% and 66% for water vapor alone, and between 66% and 85% when factoring in clouds." From a paper by Patrick Michaels, PhD: "Over 95% of the earth's natural greenhouse effect is from water vapor, and about 3 percent of it is from carbon dioxide." http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/PMichaels_Jun98.pdf Regardless of where in that range the water vapor number lies, the key is that it absolutely dwarfs CO2. Here's one paper for your perusal: http://www.davidarchibald.info/papers/Warming%20or%20Cooling.pdf It includes this: "The first thing to be aware of is that the warming effect of carbon dioxide is strongly logarithmic. Of the 3° C. that carbon dioxide contributes to the greenhouse effect, the first 20 ppm has a greater effect than the following 400 ppm. By the time we get to the current level of 384 ppm, each 100 ppm increment will produce only about 0.1° of warming. With atmospheric carbon dioxide rising at about 2 ppm per annum, temperature will rise at 0.1° every 50 years." Here's a fun little Q&A: http://globalwarminghoax.wordpress.com/2007/05/07/ Q: Could you rank the things that have the most significant impact and where would you put carbon dioxide on the list? A: Well let me give you one fact first. In the first 30 feet of the atmosphere, on the average, outward radiation from the Earth, which is what CO2 is supposed to affect, how much [of the reflected energy] is absorbed by water vapor? In the first 30 feet, 80 percent, okay? Q: Eighty percent of the heat radiated back from the surface is absorbed in the first 30 feet by water vapor… A: And how much is absorbed by carbon dioxide? Eight hundredths of one percent. One one-thousandth as important as water vapor. You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide. Regarding CO2's logarithmic effects, I'm not sure what your point is. Something close to half of the potential warming from doubling CO2 from pre-industrial levels has already occurred with no negative impacts. Furthermore, as this paper (http://www.princeton.edu/~lam/documents/LamAug07bs.pdf) mentions,"Since the industrial revolution, X* has increased by about 30%, and Tsa has risen by about 0.7C. But “natural” Tsa excursions of this magnitude were not uncommon in the centuries before the industrial revolution." This is interesting as well: http://brneurosci.org/co2.html I should note that Steve McIntyre has some questions about logarithmic CO2 forcing: http://climateaudit.org/2008/01/07/more-on-the-logarithmic-formula/ Here's another interesting paper, though I must admit that most of it is above my level of comprehension: http://www.john-daly.com/forcing/forcing.htm Just what about the climate alarmist movement is, as you describe, "inherently self-correcting"? That part of "science" has proven itself to be anything but, such as ClimateGate e-mails showing the leaders of the alarmist movement threatening scientific journals not to publish articles of skeptics. As far as cherry-picked searches, avoiding that criticism was one reason I simply gave a google search as my answer...so that people could read responses from people of a wide range of views, not just mine. You can't have it both ways, saying I should give specific references but then criticizing me for cherry-picking.

  • Steve Roth
    Comment from: Steve Roth
    02/24/10 @ 03:33:07 pm

    And thanks for your reply. Let me start (as I should have started before) by saying that I'm up in the air on this subject. I think: 1. There is historically significant warming. 2. There are anhtropogenetic contributions. 3. It's unclear how large those contributions are, or how great the warming effect will be. 4. It's unclear what the impact of that warming will be. 5. It's unclear what efforts should be made to address the anthropogenetic contributions to that warming. Which is why sober, reasoned, well-considered, well-evidenced discussion is necessary. --- First, regarding factual arguments, I don't feel the need to give everyone a link/reference for everything. People need to be able to do at least a little of their own homework. Agreed. But we have an instance here where your factual statement ("95% of the “greenhouse effect” comes from water vapor") is demonstrated--by your own links--to be pretty shaky--one source supports it, most don't ("between 36% and 66% for water vapor alone, and between 66% and 85% when factoring in clouds.") You can choose the single source and ignore the others, but that's not how accurate and predictive science has been done successfully over the last hundreds of years. --- From a paper by Patrick Michaels, PhD: "Over 95% of the earth's natural greenhouse effect is from water vapor, and about 3 percent of it is from carbon dioxide." http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/PMichaels_Jun98.pdf I'm glad you mentioned Michaels, because his is the kind of voice that Yoram is calling for. He is steeped in the data, modeling, and analysis; he acknowledges that anthropogenetic global warming is a reality, but questions its magnitude, it's positive/negative effects, and the measures that should be taken to address it. That kind of reasoned, evidence-based discussion contributes to sensible decisions. He also says in that paper, by the way, "The coldest air masses are incredibly dry, and so they have very little natural water vapor greenhouse effect. Putting carbon dioxide in these air masses is much the same as putting in water—the absorption of infrared radiation increases rapidly, resulting in a sharp warming." This is no smoking gun which can be cherry-picked to prove one side or the other. But it points out the incredibly complexity of the question, a complexity that it is ignored and obscured by cherry-picked opinion-quotes. --- Here's one paper for your perusal: http://www.davidarchibald.info/papers/Warming%20or%20Cooling.pdf Interesting, but unfortunately I just don't have the wherewithal to evaluate it. I did find this right off (requires access--a university affiliation of any kind will probably get you in): http://www.springerlink.com/content/71r3833574172838/ Suggests wild variation among the many methods and conclusions on solar cycles. This bio from the Heartland climate conference also tends to give me less confidence in his arguments... Archibald is a scientist operating in the fields of cancer research, climate science, and oil exploration. In oil exploration, he is operator of a number of exploration permits in the Canning Basin, Western Australia. --- "The first thing to be aware of is that the warming effect of carbon dioxide is strongly logarithmic. Of the 3° C. that carbon dioxide contributes to the greenhouse effect, the first 20 ppm has a greater effect than the following 400 ppm. By the time we get to the current level of 384 ppm, each 100 ppm increment will produce only about 0.1° of warming. With atmospheric carbon dioxide rising at about 2 ppm per annum, temperature will rise at 0.1° every 50 years." Well we can say at least that Patrick Michaels and T.J. Nelson disagree with his numbers. Nelson, btw, makes some damn good data-based arguments. Two qualms: 1) he's basically doing fairly simplistic climate modeling. Simplicity can reveal truth, but it can also obscure it. 2) He totally pooh-poohs any possibility of threshold effects, based on mostly theoretical and--to me--not terribly convincing grounds. --- Regarding CO2's logarithmic effects, I'm not sure what your point is. Something close to half of the potential warming from doubling CO2 from pre-industrial levels has already occurred with no negative impacts. Furthermore, as this paper (http://www.princeton.edu/~lam/documents/LamAug07bs.pdf) mentions,"Since the industrial revolution, X* has increased by about 30%, and Tsa has risen by about 0.7C. But “natural” Tsa excursions of this magnitude were not uncommon in the centuries before the industrial revolution." Yes, and as it says right up front in the abstract, "The values generated by this formula show deference to the low end of the current “best estimate” values." IOW, it supports the estimates by all those money-grubbing scientists--though at the low end. This is *exactly* the kind of sober, well-reasoned, truly contributory discussion that Yoram is asking for. Just what about the climate alarmist movement is, as you describe, "inherently self-correcting"? To quote T.J. Nelson: "the estimates of global warming made by the IPCC and the predictions of "environmental catastrophe" made by environmental groups have gradually creeping back down as climate models gradually improve" In typical cherry-picking fashion, you ignored my parentheticals about slow self-correction, and occasional deception. --- That part of "science" has proven itself to be anything but, such as ClimateGate e-mails showing the leaders of the alarmist movement threatening scientific journals not to publish articles of skeptics. That kind of thing happens in science--and in every other field--all the time. But the field of science champions and practices a principle of evidentiary self-correction that--however slowly and imperfectly--does eventually grope to sound conclusions. Here's an anecdote from Richard Dawkins that I constantly go back to to renew my belief in humans' ability to fumblingly more toward "truth": "I have previously told the story of a respected elder statesman of the Zoology Department at Oxford when I was an undergraduate. For years he had passionately believed, and taught, that the Golgi Apparatus (a microscopic feature of the interior of cells) was not real: an artifact, an illusion. Every Monday afternoon it was the custom for the whole department to listen to a research talk by a visiting lecturer. One Monday, the visitor was an American cell biologist who presented completely convincing evidence that the Golgi Apparatus was real. At the end of the lecture, the old man strode to the front of the hall, shook the American by the hand and said--with passion--"My dear fellow, I wish to thank you. I have been wrong these fifteen years." We clapped our hands red. No fundamentalist would ever say that. In practice, not all scientists would. But all scientists pay lip service to it as an ideal--unlike, say, politicians who would probably condemn it as flip-flopping. The memory of the incident I have described still brings a lump to my throat." --- As far as cherry-picked searches, avoiding that criticism was one reason I simply gave a google search as my answer...so that people could read responses from people of a wide range of views, not just mine. You can't have it both ways, saying I should give specific references but then criticizing me for cherry-picking. Point well-taken. But my main point is: let's have solid discussions that move us toward better knowledge and good decisions--and that includes, *requires,* acknowledging others' well-argued points and positions--as opposed to throwing cherry-picked brickbats. Find the people who are making reasoned arguments, and make reasonable arguments with them--exactly what Yoram is asking warming skeptics to do.

  • Comment from: Rossputin
    02/24/10 @ 03:46:02 pm

    Steve, I think we've beaten this to death, at least for now. I will leave you with one question: When you say you believe there has been historically-significant warming, on what time scale are you defining history? Ross

  • Steve Roth
    Comment from: Steve Roth
    02/24/10 @ 04:09:08 pm

    -- I think we've beaten this to death, at least for now. Agreed. I appreciate the interaction. -- I will leave you with one question: When you say you believe there has been historically-significant warming, on what time scale are you defining history? Multiple, based on multiple data sets and analyses. (Which leads back to Yoram's question for you.) Ultimately--especially with such complex and necessarily limited data--we're holding up our thumbs and squinting. The key is having well-calibrated thumbs. ;-)