Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nexus demands answers...

...but will probably get nowhere.

Tonight's Q&A features the Minister for Climate Change and Water, Penny Wong, Shadow Treasurer, Malcolm Turnbull, scientist and global warming activist, Tim Flannery, businesswoman, Catherine Harris and the Director of the IP and Free Trade Unit at the Institute of Public Affairs, Tim Wilson.

Ah, Yes...the IPA., how they besmirch the good name of my favourite variety of beer.

Anyways, I fired off this question (though it's got stuff all chance of actually being asked, it'll sure give Tim Wilson the conniptions if it comes up).
As a scientist, it is clear that the scientific basis behind dangerous climate change is compelling, yet many media organisations give disproportionate weight to the so-called sceptics, though their arguments have generally been long debunked within the scientific community. Why?
OK, I could of phrased it a little better, but with only 40 words to work with, what can you do?

Live blogging on the iPod: most of the panel are impressive, ESP. Malcolm Turnball and Tim Flannery. Penny Wong is strong on policy, as expected. IPA guy not doing so well.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Is Steve McIntyre trying to have a NASA scientist silenced?

Or is he just whining?

From Jennifer Marohasy via Benny Peiser:

We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.
--John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859
On the same day, Climate Audit's Steve McIntyre concerning the propriety of a NASA scientist voicing a public opinion:
Although NASA employees are not permitted to do private work for their bosses off-hours (a currying favor prohibition, I suppose) - for example, secretaries are not supposed to do typing, over at realclimate, Gavin Schmidt, in his “private time”, which flexibly includes 9 to 5, has provided bulldog services on behalf of his boss, James Hansen, on a number of occasions.
It makes you wonder.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Andrew Bolt: Dumb-arse Pt. XVCIICXI

Or should I rename this post: Why I should not cut and paste false data from other people’s sites, among other mindless errors.

OK, last post on Bolty for a little while.

Bolt posted some crapolla a while back that was supposed to, along with other equally senseless rants, make the (far) right wing of the Liberal party sit up and take notice. That, they did. The Libs are now split down the middle, with a slide into irrelevance seemingly inevitable as the denialists slowly gain ascendancy.

No surprises there.

Bolt’s schlock was torn to bits. It ain’t exactly rocket denialism.

Bolty fought back, posting yet more graphs.

And here’s where our lessons begin today, folks.

Lesson 1: Don’t cut and paste a graph based on what is well known to be false data. You tend to look like an idiot.

Bolty’s graph:

A graph based on the real data:

Not only were Hansen’s scenarios plotted incorrectly, the old incorrect version of RSS satellite temperature data was used. Eli has the details of this sorry episode. That graph’ll probably catch many a denialist yet, I’d wager.

Lesson 2: Don’t plot silly graphs that used two massaged Y axes to prove or disprove whatever it is you’re on about.

Like this:

Isn't it amazing how the slope of the [CO2] increase almost exactly lines up with the temperature!

Oh, hang on. That’s a graph I plotted with real data. It’s meaningless. It proves or disproves nothing.

Just like Bolt’s:

The relationship between [CO2] and temperature over time is a little too complex (and a little too easy to misrepresent) for our dim friend. I’m not even going to bother going on about natural variation masking rising temperatures over short periods. Or cherry picking start years. You all know what the go is.

Then there’s the posting of a 2001 IPCC graph as this year’s. Or Solar graphs and PDO graphs that show virtually no correlation with temperatures ever the past 60 years (if you actually bother to look). I could go on and on...but nah, I ain't going to bother with that either.

All I can say is, thank the FSM that the people Bolty has some influence over are no longer in power. Australia's certainly a better place for it.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Strange little man

Australia's most well-informed skeptic fighting the good fight.

Utterly tragic, but in some ways a grim metaphor:

Homicide Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles said: “Sadly, about 5.30, a gentleman living on a rural property went out to put out his rubbish bins, went to a bus shelter and found a green shopping bag, looked in the bag and found the body of an infant or a baby, aged somewhere between one or two weeks and three months old.”
In the hysteria to “save” Earth from a warming that’s actually halted, we ignore a true and growing threat to children.

FDOTM's take:

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Toon of the week

New section - stuff I like. Today's from here.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Joker Supremacy

Click on the images to enlarge, as usual.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

They call it life. Bah...old news!!

I was disgusted to see these two advertisements on television last night. What about the silent majority I say!!! Won't somebody think of the children!!

The second of the two (with some discussion from the responsible ad man is here if you can't be bothered clicking on the link)

I voted for the second one BTW. Vote early and often.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Deliberately deceptive or just stupid?

Little timee Blair loves posting this pic of current environment minister Peter Garrett having a yell some 10 years ago.

According to timee: Garrett's being nice to a policeman (that's sarcasm, that is)

In an earlier post, timee wonders whether Garett has apologised to said policeman.

Problem is, Garett clearly isn't yelling at the policeman in the foreground. Or maybe he is, and our copper's head is twice the size of Garett's and has a special super ability to avoid accurate camera focusing attempts.

Maybe, just maybe, Pete is having a go at whoever is behind the wall of coppers.

Just a thought. If only that photo was of an Iranian rocket launch - timee would have picked it straight away.

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Is there anything more unedifying than…..

....denialists who take advantage of the severe psychosis of a juvenile to smear the reputations of scientists and economists who accurately report the implications of their research.

According to correspondence in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry:
Clinicians caring for psychotic patients have long noted that delusional systems are determined by ideas and beliefs to which the individual has been exposed. We describe a patient with ‘climate change delusion’, a previously unreported phenomenon.

A 17-year-old man was referred to the inpatient psychiatric unit at Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne with an 8 month history of depressed mood, social withdrawal, school avoidance, social anxiety, amotivation, poor concentration, anhedonia, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, insomnia, suicidal ideation and self-harm. He also described hearing his own voice making derogatory and command statements, and had visions of apocalyptic events.

Admission was precipitated by acute deterioration in his condition consisting of increased emotional distress and suicidal behaviour. Prior to admission he
was treated with fluoxetine (40 mg day 1) and olanzapine (5 mg day 1). The patient had also developed the belief that, due to climate change, his own water consumption could lead within days to the deaths of ‘millions of people’ through exhaustion of water supplies. He quoted ‘internet research’ to substantiate this. The patient described that ‘I feel guilty about it’, had attempted to stop drinking and had been checking for leaking taps in his home to prevent the catastrophe. He was unable to acknowledge that the belief was unreasonable when challenged. There was no history of substance abuse. Physical examination was normal except for psychomotor retardation and superficial forearm lacerations.

The final diagnosis was major depressive disorder with psychotic features. He was treated with oral fluoxetine (60 mg day 1), clonazepam (1.5 mg day 1) and olanzapine (10 mg day 1). After several days his mood improved considerably and he denied persisting delusional beliefs. The experience of hearing his own voice persisted, but he no longer found it as distressing.

There have been numerous reports of incorporation of contemporary phenomena, such as the internet, into delusional systems, but a search of Medline and Psychlit did not identify reports of delusions related to global warming. Climate change has rapidly become a dominant issue in Australian society. A 2007 poll found that 85% of Australians were ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ concerned about climate change, significantly more than the proportion concerned about terrorism. This case provides another fascinating illustration of the cultural and environmental specificity of manifestations of psychosis.

I hope the young chap concerned is still on the road to recovery or, even better, is already there.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

No climate change here. Move along.

Clearly the melting of the Arctic ended in 2007. The following graph indicates rapid cooling and a high probability of imminent ice age.

1934. 2008. Al Gore fat.

Woh....this heavy liftin' in the analysis stakes is gettin' a little much - better hand over to Jennifer Marohasy:

We have become familiar with this representation of global temperatures but it is contrived to emphasis difference and in particular the extent to which temperatures have increased from 1850 to the present. When the same data is plotted just showing the actual global mean temperature for the same time period, the trend is no longer evident, Figure 3.

Figure 3. Global Mean Temperature from 1850 - 2007

Climate changes constantly but in reality it changes not at all. So said Galileo. Never forget that.

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

The oztrayan hates teh science. part xixixviii

What can I say?

Today's Oz....alert to all the facts.

Both now and for decades to come, what is needed is a rational, economically sound approach -- not emotive moral arguments or exaggerated claims. Nor should sceptics be silenced or sidelined. In proceeding with caution, governments need to be alert to all the facts, including arguments such as those noted by the Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens reprinted in Inquirer today. NASA,he points out, confirms that the hottest year on record was not 1998, as previously believed, but 1934, and that six of the 10 hottest years since 1880 antedate 1954.

Jebsus!!!!!...our national rag!

Could 1934 be worse than Godzilla? It's a question only the Oz could answer.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

What I has been doing

Time constraints due to thoroughly changed personal circumstances have prevented any updating of this blog for a while now.

But fear not – I’ll be back in action in the nearness.

Just a little note on what I’ve been up to for the past week or two. For the fist time I’ve had an up-close look at the pointy end of global warming: the disappearing equatorial glaciers.

Now let me be the first to say that to do so I flew on an aeroplane. Accordingly, as CO2 was released during said flight, AGW is disproved. One cannot fault right-wing bloggers for this piece of watertight logic.

Secondly, as the guides in the area explained to my good self, all the local glaciers were either receding or gone altogether. Excess glacier melt was causing damage to roads in the area, with many bridges no longer usable and some interesting 4wd-ing required to get to the mountains where the glaciers are having their drawn out last stands.

Again, I should note, the impoverished locals, whose families have existed in the area for untold generations, who were relaying these stories of the previous magnificence of the glaciers were clearly mistaken as free-market think tanks have already proven though meticulous research that all glaciers are actually increasing in size. If ever there were a case of well organised green radicals trying to thrust their communist ideology upon an unsuspecting world this was it. Of course I was disgusted and loudly explained, accepting no interruption, that these green mafia should stay out of affairs in which their opinion was clearly biased and learn to respect the opinion of expert denialist bloggers.

I imagine I achieved great success with my persuasive argument.

Anyways, here are a few snaps from my little high altitude climbing expedition (click to enlarge).

Anyone guess which mountain/glacier I climbed? Ultimate kudos to the winner.

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