Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fear Not

Normal service resuming from tomorrow.

In the mean time, ponder this little gem from "climatologist" William Kininmonth:
Investment in geosequestration and other forms of 'clean coal' are increasing the amount of resource needed to produce each unit of energy by up to 30 percent (according to one IPCC report). That is, we are contemplating using the non-renewable resource 30 percent faster (and bringing the effective lifetime forward by 30 percent) in order to achieve the chimera of CO2 emission reduction.
Increasing price by 30% = increasing rate of usage by 30 % = William's understanding of basic economics is not so good

Increasing rate of usage by 30 % = bringing forward the effective lifetime by 30 % = William's understanding of basic mathematics is not so good.

William's grasp of climate science isn't great either, but we already knew that.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The blind man and the elephant

I like the analogy. I really do.

Hsu Huang-hsiung, a climatologist at the National Taiwan University, writes:
The upcoming arrival of former US vice president Al Gore is certain to set off a new wave of discussion about global warming in Taiwan. The topic is like an elephant with a fever being cared for by a group of blind people.

Some say the elephant doesn't have a fever and that only the room temperature has increased, while some touch the elephant's tusks and say the temperature hasn't risen at all. Global warming is a multi-faceted issue. Each person has his own observations and attitude, and sometimes it's like the famous Indian legend of the blind men and the elephant -- each man touches the elephant and all three come to different conclusions as to what it is.
Huang-hsiung, perhaps through the courteousness so often present in the Orient, chooses not to mention the forth man.

The forth man, he’s wearing his big ‘ol Stetson, “Yee-hawing!!” away, while he tries to amputate the other recalcitrant tusk with an oxy-acetylene torch, not overly concerned that the poor old elephant has caught fire in the process.

The irony is: he’s not even blind. He knows what he’s doing. He knows the consequences of his actions, but that smooth, white, lustrous ivory; carve it a little, and it’ll make a fine handle for his blade. He believes, in his deepest, deepest heart, that one charred elephant is worth it.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Screechy strikes back

I post on Wednesday.

On Thursday, *Australia’s finest news-source,, feels a wider audience is justified.

Screechy posts on Saturday, dissing the finest of filums: Bladerunner.


IMO Bolta has completely misread the theme of the book and movie, but hey, it’s art; each to their own, interpret as you will, blah blah (and that even goes for simple Tory boys)

He’s even nicely posted the image that I’ve cut down for a little decoration for my title as well. Good on ya, screechy!

Both Bolt and I run a terrible risk for using that. We could end up like this guy.

He posted someone else’s intellectual property on the intertubes. Naughty, naughty…but no money or profit involved.

So what’s our government do? Why, they lock him up for three years, and then extradite him to the US to face 10 years in the Big House. A bit rough, I would have thought, for someone who has never set foot there, and whose crime would have elicited a far lesser punishment in the country it was actually committed in. Unsurprisingly, other nationals who did the same naughty were tried in their own countries.

It’s yet another example of the malaise striking our longstanding conservative government that our system of justice is outsourced in this way: “It’s not something we can deal with; best our older siblings who wield a bigger stick sought it out.”

Funnily enough, it’s the neo-cons like our Screechy who demand, over and over again, that we submit in this way.

Perhaps it’s better to be careful what you ask for?

* I want a free sub for that.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Holy train wreck Batman!!!!!!!!!!

David Archibald has updated the worst climate science paper ever of all time anywhere. This guy’s utter ineptness amazes me. I am in awe.

Check this out, for example:

According to Archibald this paper is now in press with that finest of all journals: Energy & Environment. You can see they gave it a real going over during the peer-review process.

I’ll leave the final word to David:
If it doesn’t feel hotter than it was in 1980, it is because it isn't hotter than it was in 1980.


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Ronnie retains PhD.

In sad news for expert right-wing science bloggers such as Tim Blair, a new paper has put pay to the theory that green plants produce significant amounts of the strong greenhouse gas methane.

Last year Frank Keppler and group published a paper in Nature that implied green plants play a similarly significant role to microbes in the global methane cycle. Keppler's group opined that up to 40% of yearly global methane emissions come from plants.

And didn’t the wing-nuts love it. They thought they had the perfect wedge. Forests are significantly adding to GHGs and, therefore, climate change! Those Green-Leftists will have to choose whether to save forests or prevent climate change. Watch ‘em squirm!!!

Only there was a little problem. The metabolic mechanism whereby plants produce methane was unknown. It didn’t really seem to fit anywhere into the extensive maze of biochemical pathways that make up metabolism in a healthy plant.

So what happens when a potentially landmark paper such as Keppler et al.’s comes out? Why, others try to reproduce the results of course. And the most solid way to reinforce the original results is to arrive at the same conclusions with different methodology.

This is what a new paper by Duek et al. has attempted. According to Nature (sub only):
One reason that the matter has not already been settled is that the amount of methane produced by each plant is low relative to the ambient methane concentration. To tackle this problem, Dueck and his team grew plants in an atmosphere of 'heavy' carbon dioxide enriched in the isotope carbon-13 to give any methane produced a recognizable isotopic signature. But their studies detected no significant methane emissions (New Phytol. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2007.02103.x; 2007)
Of course, the usual scientific barney erupted between the two groups:
Both groups have criticized the other's choice of experimental method. Dueck says that Keppler's group kept plants in sealed plastic containers instead of flow chambers, and exposed them to sources of stress such as bright sunlight and high temperature, which could have produced methane as an artefact. Keppler retorts that the use of 13C is an artificial piece of chemical trickery with unknown effects on plant metabolism, and also argues that methane production can vary by up to three orders of magnitude between species.
Scores are even. However:
Meanwhile, another plant scientist, David Beerling of the University of Sheffield, UK, says that he has not seen any methane using a method that is similar to Dueck's, but without relying on 13C. His research has not yet been published, but Beerling thinks that if it joins Dueck's in the peer-reviewed literature, "the two together could kill off the theory".
Looks like game to Dueck and team.

Which isn’t good for Blair. Or Ronald Reagan for that matter.

According to Blair commenter Dave S.
At my university, 20 years ago, some lefty moron took a glass cutter and scribed in huge letters into a large restroom mirror:

"Trees cause pollution” - Ronald Reagan, PhD in idiocy

When I went back ten years later, it was still there. I was pissed.

Now I hope it’s still there, as a monument to the intellectual jackasses who thought they were smarter than Ronnie.
Poor Ronnie. Not redeemed after all.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What………it’s 2007? Surely not!

Andrew Bolt (AKA the screechin’ weasel) must be a Green plant. No, not that sort of plant; he’s a setup. Now, your average denialist isn’t exactly Mensa material, but most of them are clever and tricky. They know how to pick around the edges of a solid theory and sow the seeds of doubt within the mind of the unsuspecting public. They amplify uncertainty.

But our friend Screechy is sadly not even capable of that. He posts graphs of falling stratospheric temperatures, which are predicted to occur when [CO2] increases, and claims this somehow indicates anthropogenic global warming is a fraud, when it actually occurs exactly as theorised.

According to Bolt:
In the stratosphere, of course, the problem is global cooling.
Note that he's now removed the graph from his post.

Today, however, Screechy really came a cropper. Here’s his post entitled ‘April shivers’, which oh so smartly implies that warming ain’t a happenin’:

A little strange that title, I thought, as it’s actually been one of the warmest autumns on record down here in the southern bits of Oz.

Then, if you are in possession of working eyes, you’ll note that the graph ends in 2006 (the tabulated values prove this). Here’s the thing; the April we have just ‘shivered’ through occurred in the year 2007. Surprised?

I detect someone has just made an idiot of themselves.

But, hang on, could it be that Victoria, where Screechy lives, has had a cold April?

Nope, it’s actually been a warmer than average April there too.

So you see why I’ve come to the conclusion that Screechy is a Green-Leftist in disguise, planted in Rupert’s media empire to destroy denialism from the inside through sheer incompetency.

Cunning. Very cunning.

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