On Saturday the Australian published an article by Jennifer Marohasy. It’s the usual cherry-picked global-warming-ended-in-1998 nonsense, and Barry Brook has written a detailed refutation.

But I felt I should post this graph from Marohasy’s piece where she tries to make global warming go away by changing the scale on the graph:

i-cadae31039505792445e01e04442f428-marohasy.png

Comments

  1. #1 Jeff Fecke
    August 25, 2008

    And the sad thing is, even with the scale adjusted, without even reading the post (the image was the first thing that caught my eye), I saw the significant upward trend immediately.

    They think we’re morons, don’t they?

  2. #2 Robert Grumbine
    August 25, 2008

    I haven’t, yet, but maybe it would be a good idea to start a list of illustrations of points that Darrell Huff made in his classic How to Lie With Statistics. The change of axes to suppress (or magnify) trends in data was one.

  3. #3 Bob O'H
    August 25, 2008

    Wow, what a coincidence. I thought of Huff as well, the moment I saw this. That’s hilarious.

    I would check which chapter it is, only I have a cat sat on me.

  4. #4 donth
    August 25, 2008

    Amateur. She should have started the y-axis at absolute zero.

  5. #5 donth
    August 25, 2008

    Wait, I don’t see the graph in her article at all.

  6. #6 Zeno
    August 25, 2008

    Look here for an example of an oscillating function whose periodic component is completely damped (to the eye, anyway) by a judicious choice of scale on the vertical axis. (Scroll down to the end of the post to see the graph.)

  7. #7 Stu
    August 25, 2008

    If you look at the latest on her blog you’ll find that there is warming after all but it’s caused by the moon. It’s OK though because the moon has started to cool the climate again.

  8. #8 OzDoc
    August 25, 2008

    And over at Barry Brook’s refutation, some “Drongo” says the UK HadCrut3v has got it wrong too. As far as I can make out, the ‘deny and delay brigade’ seem to be saying they (HadCrut, GISS, UAH, RSS, etc) have all got it wrong. Methinks they complain too much.

  9. #9 Robert P.
    August 25, 2008

    Sallie Baliunas pulled this sort of stunt during her etestimony at the 1995 Congressional hearings on Stratospheric Ozone Depletion. She took the TOMS satellite measurements which display an unambiguous 4% per decade decline in global ozone, and replotted them on a scale starting with 0 Dobson units.

  10. #10 WotWot
    August 25, 2008

    Marohasy has used exactly this sleight-of-statistical-hand before in posts on her blog, only in a more extreme form so that the data line did actually look virtually flat. (IIRC, and I ain’t going back to check, she not only took the y-axis to zero, but below that well into minus temps. Looks like she has learned to temper the more egregious graphical manipulations, at least when it comes to mainstream publication.)

    As far as I can make out, the ‘deny and delay brigade’ seem to be saying they (HadCrut, GISS, UAH, RSS, etc) have all got it wrong. Methinks they complain too much.

    OzDoc, the self-defeating wonder of that approach is that they cannot then also invoke those same data sets in support of their claims about a ‘cooling trend since 1998′, etc. So what data are they left with? Head out the window on a cold winters day?

  11. #11 Steve
    August 25, 2008

    I think that the only reason you can still see warming in the graph is because the plot is in red. As we all know and has been proven in quantum physics and obviated by the fact that red cars go faster and redheads are wilder, red is a “hot” colour.

    If the plot had been in blue or green, or – even better – transparent, then the warming trend would be even more apparently bogus.

  12. #12 Steve
    August 25, 2008

    The choice of scale could use further work too – if you put zero up the top and had increasing temperatures going downwards, then the actual cooling trend (instead of the imagined warming trend) would be clear.

  13. #13 Bernard J.
    August 25, 2008

    Stu.

    You needed to put up a warning about your link, although this time not for aggressive insults but for looney-tunes pseudoscience!

  14. #14 ben
    August 25, 2008

    You know, among other things, one reason some of us are ‘against’ global warming is that we’re against what the government might do as a result. For example, this sort of crap freaks us out. For us, the government has an excellent track-record of abusing its authority at the expense of ordinary citizens. The left is always scared of boogy-man corporations, but their power is nothing compared to that of the government.

    And you want to hand all sorts of power to the government to “regulate” global warming. Thanks, but no thanks. Until you can do something to reign in this sort of B.S. I’ll look for another solution.

  15. #15 OzDoc
    August 25, 2008

    You got that right Wot!

  16. #16 bi -- IJI
    August 25, 2008

    > You know, among other things, one reason some of us are ‘against’ global warming is that we’re against what the government might do as a result.

    It’s not about science, it’s about FREEDUM!!!

  17. #17 bi -- IJI
    August 25, 2008

    Ah… I know! It’s Socratic Irony!

    And while we’re at it, Brian D informed me of another piece of Socratic Irony.

    Truly, Socratic Irony is in the air.

  18. #18 Sam-Hec
    August 25, 2008

    Ben,
    If you wish to avoid bad government responses, then you should promote good responses that governments can take, ones which aren’t dumb, and don’t shave away our freedoms.

    Low/no government contributions to controlling the climate are possible, but aren’t arrived at by ignoring or deriding climate science.

    One good idea is to simply stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industries.

  19. #19 Ian Gould
    August 25, 2008

    “And you want to hand all sorts of power to the government to “regulate” global warming. Thanks, but no thanks. Until you can do something to reign in this sort of B.S. I’ll look for another solution.”

    But are you actively looking for aq solution or just using this as an excuse to do nothing?

    As has been explained ot you repeatedly emissions trading is favored because it involves the least government intervention and provides the maximum degree of soep for market forces of any realistic solution proposed to date.

    Come up with a better idea and i’ll gladly listen to it.

  20. #20 Sam-Hec
    August 25, 2008

    again, even if the science is bunk, creating a climate control infrastructure for the planet is a really awesome idea for improving the worlds economy.

    The only way to keep the communistic side from creating and running that infrastructure, is for pro-capitalist side to stop whining and do a better job faster.

  21. #21 bi -- IJI
    August 26, 2008

    But Sam-Hec, if the science is bunk, then it’s obvious that the pro-capitalist side will do their job by means of things that go ka-boom. Nuclear power! Bomb Iran!

    That is why AGW is a scam unless the solution to it involves heaps of nuclear reactors.

  22. #22 Sam-Hec
    August 26, 2008

    bi, your response makes no sense to me…especially since (conventional) Nuclear can’t survive in the free market without government handouts. Pro-Nuke is not necessarily Pro-capitalist.

  23. #23 WotWot
    August 26, 2008

    #14
    You know, among other things, one reason some of us are ‘against’ global warming is that we’re against what the government might do as a result.

    So that concern (legit or otherwise) somehow invalidates the reality of AGW and justifies ignoring it completely?

    You’re joking, right? It is either that, or it is one of the dumbest statements about global warming I have heard.

    Governments are inevitably imperfect, as is big business, and individuals. But they all have their place. The trick is how to maximise their benefits, and minimise their costs, to society overall.

  24. #24 ben
    August 26, 2008

    So that concern (legit or otherwise) somehow invalidates the reality of AGW and justifies ignoring it completely?

    In fact it does, if the government response would make life worse than will AGW. In the end it doesn’t matter what I think anyway, I have no power.

  25. #25 bi -- IJI
    August 26, 2008

    Sam-Hec:

    > bi, your response makes no sense to me…

    Well, not really my response, but you already know that. :)

    The real capitalists, well, are actually pushing for climate regulation.

    ben:

    > In fact it does, if the government response would make life worse than will AGW.

    Um yes, the worth of any government measure should be measured by how much it improves the lives of Angry White Males Who Happen Not To Live At Coastal Areas! Thanks for clarifying.

    Ah… I remember… you suggested that you weren’t racist, because you don’t actively hate Inuits, you just want to belittle them.

    > In the end it doesn’t matter what I think anyway, I have no power.

    If so, then why not shut the heck up and do something more useful?

  26. #26 Ian Gould
    August 26, 2008

    I wonder if Ben opposes vaccination becauee of the possible risk of giving government mroe control over people’s lives?

    Maybe we’d be better off with polio and smallpox?

  27. #27 Jeff Harvey
    August 26, 2008

    Ben, with usual comic alacrity, writes, “The left is always scared of boogy-man corporations, but their power is nothing compared to that of the government”.

    Listen, Ben, in the U.S. government and corporate agendas are ONE AND THE SAME. No longer do corporations have to worry so much about lobbying the government because they are part of it. Under Bush, the government has managed to ebcome a big corporate welfare payout source, conjuring up just about every boogeyman (war on terror, now Russia) to justify taxpayer money being diverted to support a range of arms manufacturers and the like. This is the ‘disaster capitalism’ that Naomi Klein writes quite elegantly about in her recent book.

    To suggest that corporations and governments have divergent political agendas is therefore a joke. Even over here in Europe, the EU constitution was largely written by right wing/libertarian beaurocrats and ex-government ministers, many of whom are allied with anti-democratic bodies like the WTO, who were pushing for an agenda that drives regulations to the bottom.

  28. #28 Chris O'Neill
    August 26, 2008

    one reason some of us are ‘against’ global warming is that we’re against what the government might do as a result

    Look out laws of physics. If you become politically inconvenient your days are numbered.

  29. #29 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 26, 2008

    ben writes:

    So that concern (legit or otherwise) somehow invalidates the reality of AGW and justifies ignoring it completely?

    In fact it does, if the government response would make life worse than will AGW.

    Ben, you’re saying that if the political consequences would be bad, the natural phenomenon doesn’t exist. Do you really want to say that? You seem to be saying that if something is unpleasant, it isn’t real. That’s insane. Period.

  30. #30 ben
    August 26, 2008

    Ben, you’re saying that if the political consequences would be bad, the natural phenomenon doesn’t exist.

    Nope, never did say that. I’m saying that if the political consequences make things worse than would have the natural phenomenon had it been left alone, then the political action should not be undertaken. (I was responding to the “justifies ignoring” it part, not the “reality” part, for the record).

    …the U.S. government and corporate agendas are ONE AND THE SAME.

    Did you even read the article to which I linked? Did anyone? Nobody is outraged? Nobody has even one comment such as “oh yeah, that was really bad, those government folks are idiots and should be strung up by their toes for abusing their power.”? See, I’d be more trusting of government legislation if more folks like you had a healthy fear of out-of-control government power.

    Heck, Harvey, you seem to both trust the government to regulate the piss out of us ordinary folks while simultaneously claim government acts at the whim of the evil corporations. Can’t be both you know, so which is it? Government will save us from the evil corporations, or they are their bitches?

  31. #31 Rob
    August 26, 2008

    Another look at the case Ben is complaining about:

    http://www.pridedepot.com/modules/wordpress/?p=737836

  32. #32 Patrick Caldon
    August 26, 2008

    Ben,

    I followed the link, and found a snippet about a man who’d apparently run afoul of planning laws; it’s not at all clear what he was charged with or what it’s claimed he did from the excerpt. I then tried to follow the link at the top of the article for more information, and got “Not Found” at “stiffrightjab.com”.

    So not really outraged yet. Perhaps you could give a linky that works?

  33. #33 dhogaza
    August 26, 2008

    Ben, if the case were really anything like the description you linked to, he would not have been convicted nor sentenced to prison.

    So, for instance, the site you link claims that he met with the feds and they told him they had no jurisdiction, and he was only doing what the county required.

    However, the Judge says:

    to ignore all demands by the EPA and the Corps that he comply with the Clean Water Act . . . And while his sang-froid (or even contempt) in the face of agency demands may show either courage or foolhardiness, it does not save him from the consequences of his actions.

    Which makes it clear the feds didn’t walk away and tell him “we have no jurisdiction”.

    Unless you want to claim that the judge is lying about the facts of the case, facts which could easily be verified by reading the trial transcript. Something tells me that it’s more likely that the site you link to is lying, rather than the Judge. Just a hunch.

    I’ve followed, and at times have been involved in, a variety of natural resources abuse cases such as the one above, and the “unlimited rights” people *always* misrepresent the factual and legal points of a situation when trying to whip up the fury of the ignorant (such as yourself, Ben) who swallow their misrepresentations hook, line, and sinker.

  34. #34 QrazyQat
    August 26, 2008

    Here’s another source regarding the “savior” of Driggs Idaho:

    An eastern Idaho developer who ignored federal government warnings to stop bulldozing a streambed will serve an 18-month prison sentence after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by his lawyers. Charles Lynn Moses was found guilty by a U.S. District Court of violating the Federal Clean Water Act after he reshaped a section of Teton Creek that ran through his Aspens subdivision on the outskirts of Driggs. The EPA accused Moses of knowingly disrupting a spawning area for Yellowstone cutthroat trout and increasing flood danger by turning Teton Creek into a drainage ditch. It was the first time in Idaho that a person was convicted of criminal charges under the 1972 Clean Water Act.

    So the account offered by ben and his sources was wrong; about 100% wrong, which is kinda close to being as wrong as you can get. I mean getting “Protecting Driggs, Idaho from flooding” from the reality of “increasing flood danger by turning Teton Creek into a drainage ditch” is pretty pathetic.

  35. #35 dhogaza
    August 26, 2008

    Yellowstone cutthroat are a Montana Fish of Special Concern.

    Oh my, Moses has been a very very bad boy from a variety of perspectives.

    Ben, you really need to ignore the more trashy right-wing nutcase sites.

    Because even Conservapedia proclaims that reality is known to have a liberal bias.

  36. #36 bi -- IJI
    August 26, 2008

    > Heck, Harvey, you seem to both trust the government to regulate the piss out of us ordinary folks

    Yeah, yeah, the “us ordinary folks” canard, for the umpteenth time.

    It’s only those darn latte-sipping (or latte-slurping) librul elitists who want climate regulation! The voices of “us ordinary folks” — whom in the US constitute less than 30% of the population — are being ignored!

    ben, maybe you’ll be more convincing if you can draft a document on parchment starting with the big words “We the People” in Fraktur-esque script.

    We, the People!

  37. #37 We The People [sock]
    August 26, 2008

    We, the People!

  38. #38 QrazyQat
    August 26, 2008

    And another source. The upshot seems to be that he was trying to make more land to build 4 more homes and that he was violating the law for some 7 years before they finally said “enough”: beginning in 1997, federal officials issued the first of several notices of violations against Moses for manipulating the stream channel without proper permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He failed to submit applications for permits to excavate the creek bed in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and violated a 2004 EPA cease-and-desist order by dumping dredged material into the creek, court records show.

    For those who aren’t aware, the western USA has long kept an eagle eye on their water; it’s a valuable commodity and has been since ranching started up out west. This guy was messing that up and that’s why a jury of his peers found him guilty.

  39. #39 QrazyQat
    August 26, 2008

    One more apropos quote from the Casper Star-Tribune:

    Werntz said EPA officials are meeting with Teton County, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and homeowners in the Driggs subdivision whose residences may be in danger of flooding because of the illegal stream alteration work done by Moses.

    That’s the guy who was “saving Driggs, Idaho from flooding”; what a selfless fellow.

  40. #40 bi -- IJI
    August 26, 2008

    But QrazyQat… ben says he’s “We, the People”, so whatever he says is obviously 100% true.

  41. #41 ben
    August 26, 2008

    Caveat: I don’t have any documentation in front of me and am only going off third party information. Rob, thanks for that link, it balances things. However, the poster does not seem to stand up well to the comments on his post, which are mostly in defense of Moses.

    Here’s the rub:

    …Before the jury was dismissed to enter into deliberations at the conclusion of his trial, Judge Lynn Winmill instructed the jury, believe it or not, to disregard every bit of information from 1980 to 2002, including the Corps’ denial of jurisdiction and the mandate from local government for Mr. Moses to maintain the flood channel.

    If that is true, then the Judge is a complete ass-crack. If it is false, then it is possible that Moses is the ass-crack.

    …and the “unlimited rights” people always misrepresent the factual and legal points of a situation when trying to whip up the fury of the ignorant

    The problem here is that someone gets the shaft eventually. Suppose I own a really choice piece of property worth a gazillion dollars because of its development value. I then sell off to another person who buys it as an investment. Then comes along the King County (for example) and tells the new owner that the site cannot be developed. The new owner is, in my opinion, unfairly shafted out of his or her investment.

    I think that if the government is going to restrict development in this way, then the property owners ought to be compensated to some degree. The government, not surprisingly, doesn’t see it that way.

  42. #42 bi -- IJI
    August 26, 2008

    ben:

    > I think that if the government is going to restrict development in this way, then the property owners ought to be compensated to some degree.

    I can see why that might be a problem for “We, the People”.

    So what do “We, the People” think?

  43. #43 ben
    August 26, 2008

    …beginning in 1997, federal officials issued the first of several notices of violations against Moses for manipulating the stream channel without proper permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    Right, because every time he applied for a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, they said it wasn’t part of federal jurisdiction so that they couldn’t issue permits.

    SCOTUS decided a case the day Moses was sentenced that “waterways” such as he was convicted of “polluting” are not under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act, nor the Army Corps of Engineers. He did what he did under the lawful instruction of state and local governments, and was convicted in Federal court, improperly.

    So, given that, what the fuck!?!

  44. #44 Dano
    August 26, 2008

    You boys have it all wrong.

    Moses, a True Patriot, was using his land as he saw fit – he was exercisin’ his prrrrrahvat prop’ty riiiiights, like a good patriot-Murrican (sound of spitting chewing tobacco). The negotiations with the neighbors went swimmingly (they wanted more houses, grrrreat!!!!). The Patriot used his prop’ty as only a PatriotMan could – he wuz makin muhney.

    And it worked out just like the Libertarian Private Property Rightists wanted: Moses did what he wanted, and it was left up to the courts. This is just how the Private Property Rightists want it: destroy stuff now, and if you get caught then some lawyers get their kids’ dental work done. Awww, shucks some fish have to go swim somewhere else and some houses may git all a-flooded (there’s no proof – NO PROOOOOF!) that they will get all a-flooded, anyways.

    And this gets back to the war on science: Private Property Rightists claim that prop’ty owners know what’s best for their land and should be able to do as they choose with it. This case is an excellent case study why this Private Property Owners First! view is full of sh*t.

    Best,

    D

  45. #45 ben
    August 26, 2008

    Sorry Dano, but you fail to make your case because you do nothing to show that the government was right and that Moses was wrong. You’re simply taking sides without any justification.

  46. #46 bi -- IJI
    August 26, 2008

    Is this still about “We, the People”?

    Or has the discussion just morphed to the rights of “We, the Rich People”?

  47. #47 Hank Roberts
    August 26, 2008

    Ah, Ben’s sounding like a Royal Libertarian:
    Long live the King who gave us our property grants and our right to collect rents, eh?

  48. #48 dhogaza
    August 26, 2008

    SCOTUS decided a case the day Moses was sentenced that “waterways” such as he was convicted of “polluting” are not under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act, nor the Army Corps of Engineers. He did what he did under the lawful instruction of state and local governments, and was convicted in Federal court, improperly.
    So, given that, what the fuck!?!

    That very same SCOTUS also refused to hear his case on appeal.

    This gives me cause to believe that you are once again being misled.

    Suppose I own a really choice piece of property worth a gazillion dollars because of its development value. I then sell off to another person who buys it as an investment. Then comes along the King County (for example) and tells the new owner that the site cannot be developed. The new owner is, in my opinion, unfairly shafted out of his or her investment.

    This could well be a takings case if the actual land value has decreased after the second owner bought it, and people win takings judgements all the time (compensation for the loss of value).

    However, more *typically*, takings claims arise in situations where the supposed sky-high value is based on speculation, with government zoning and other development regulations being part of the normal risk of doing business. We see cases where people buy land in the belief that they’ll successfully challenge zoning or other development regulations, get a waiver, etc, and then file a takings case when they fail.

    I don’t call that “getting screwed”. I call that “gambling with your money and losing”. Real estate speculation that fails shouldn’t be bailed out at taxpayer expense.

  49. #49 Lance
    August 26, 2008

    Hank Roberts,

    “Ah, Ben’s sounding like a Royal Libertarian: Long live the King who gave us our property grants and our right to collect rents, eh?”

    I don’t now about Ben but I’m totally cool with the whole geo-libertarian idea. How ’bout you Hank?

    Or are you just a Socialist hiding under a geo-libertarian fig leaf?

  50. #50 Mark Schaffer
    August 26, 2008

    Lance and Ben have successfully hijacked the conversation. Other than these two idiots, is there anyone who can make a legitimate argument in favor of Jennifer Marohasy? When the full effects of Global Warming become apparent even to the cognitive dissonance crowd, what penalties should the dishonest hacks like Ms. Marohasy be subject to?

  51. #51 ben
    August 26, 2008

    I don’t call that “getting screwed”. I call that “gambling with your money and losing”. Real estate speculation that fails shouldn’t be bailed out at taxpayer expense.

    True. The buyer better be aware of what they are getting into and the risks.

    That very same SCOTUS also refused to hear his case on appeal.This gives me cause to believe that you are once again being misled.

    Possibly, I’m curious about why cert was denied in this case.

  52. #52 ben
    August 26, 2008

    …is there anyone who can make a legitimate argument in favor of Jennifer Marohasy

    That’d be ‘no’ which is why I changed the subject.

    …what penalties should the dishonest hacks like Ms. Marohasy be subject to?

    Ridicule from this blog. There’s no law against lying about climate change when you are not under oath. Sorry, freedom of speech and all that.

    Lance, I’m not entirely sure what the ‘geo-libertarian idea’ is, but it’s probably better than what we have now.

  53. #53 Rattus Norvegicus
    August 26, 2008

    Here are the two questions which were presented to the Supreme Court:

    1. Whether the creek segment at issue in this case is part of “the waters of the United States” within the meaning of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, Pub. L. No. 92-500, 86 Stat. 886, as amended by Pub. L. No. 95-217, 91 Stat. 1566 (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) (Clean Water Act or CWA); 33 U.S.C. 1362(7).

    2. Whether petitioner’s activities, which involved the use of heavy equipment to move and redeposit thou sands of cubic yards of dredged materials within the creek bed and to deposit log structures into the creek bed, constituted a “discharge of a pollutant” within the meaning of the CWA, 33 U.S.C. 1362(12)(A).

    Ben, you decide whether you were being told the truth.

  54. #54 Ian Gould
    August 26, 2008

    “The problem here is that someone gets the shaft eventually. Suppose I own a really choice piece of property worth a gazillion dollars because of its development value. I then sell off to another person who buys it as an investment. Then comes along the King County (for example) and tells the new owner that the site cannot be developed. The new owner is, in my opinion, unfairly shafted out of his or her investment.”

    Bulldozing a creek-bed (including one that’s usually dry) to remove sandbars and other obstacles increases the velocity of water travelling down the creek durign flood events – which increases the flooding risk downstream and also increases the rate of erosion. One of the big problems in semi-arid areas is when you get a yeaer’s worth of rain dumped in 24 hours (usually preceded by dry spell), the result is flash-flooding. (Guess who spent a LOT of time in the Queensland EPA arguing with miners over dam levels and the like?)

    The ban on clearing the creek-bed was in place before he started the project and perobably before he bought the land.

    So he was either incompetent in checking the restrcitions before startign the porejct or was out to make a few extra bucks by breakign the law.

    Either way, screw him.

  55. #55 Ian Gould
    August 26, 2008

    The blog Ben linked to rather gives the game away in their opening mission statement: To make white people MAD.

    Not to inform, not to promote smaller government; not to produce better social and economic outcoems but to “MAKE WHITE PEOPLE MAD”.

    It appears in Ban and Lane’s case, they succeeded.

    Jennifer Marohasy is playing the exact same game only she’s targetting slightly smarter white people and is more careful in her use of language.

    Unfortunately for Jennifer, Australian voting laws make this tactic much less effective here.

  56. #56 Ian Gould
    August 26, 2008

    Oh and Ben, a belief that a law in unconstitutional – even if that belief is upheld 20 years later – doesn’t give you the right to break the law.

    Unless, you know, you think everyone arrested under Washington DC’s gun laws should now be pardoned and paid compensation.

    What Moses should have done was comply with the law then sue the Federal government for compensation citing the nonconstitutionality of the law in question.

  57. #57 ChrisC
    August 26, 2008

    “It was the first time in Idaho that a person was convicted of criminal charges under the 1972 Clean Water Act.”

    Damn that big government… seems so proactive in violating people’s liberties.

  58. #58 Dano
    August 26, 2008

    Oh, Jeebus. I hit [show comment] for one of Ben’s comments. Gaaah, how stupid can I be?

    But let us heed Shaffer’s point and note that the two geniuses have hijacked the thread, and let us save Tim’s bandwidth & return to the point: Marohasy is a shill.

    Best,

    D

  59. #59 Rattus Norvegicus
    August 26, 2008

    Ben, I forgot to mention, that generally cert is denied if no “interesting”, that is unsettled question of law, are presented. If cert was denied, I think you can figure out what the reason was…

  60. #60 ben
    August 26, 2008

    What Moses should have done was comply with the law then sue the Federal government for compensation citing the nonconstitutionality of the law in question.

    That’s the problem (I’m not arguing constitutionality, btw), that it appears to me that he did a good job of complying with all sorts of laws, and local, regional, and federal governments. Then they stuck it to him anyway.

  61. #61 dhogaza
    August 26, 2008

    That’s the problem (I’m not arguing constitutionality, btw), that it appears to me that he did a good job of complying with all sorts of laws, and local, regional, and federal governments. Then they stuck it to him anyway

    No, the rightwingnut site you’re referencing CLAIMS that. The judgement – I quoted some interesting bits above – make it clear that he did NOT comply with the feds.

    If he’d complied with federal law he wouldn’t be imprisoned for having failed to comply with federal law. And if it had been ignorance rather than arrogance, the judge wouldn’t’ve said such harsh things about him in his judgement.

  62. #62 Sam-Hec
    August 26, 2008

    ben wrote “Heck, Harvey, you seem to both trust the government to regulate the piss out of us ordinary folks while simultaneously claim government acts at the whim of the evil corporations. Can’t be both you know, so which is it? Government will save us from the evil corporations, or they are their bitches?”

    I assume that by ‘Heck’, you meant me. I don’t trust the government to regulate society. But I do think we need -some- government regulation to cover externalities and other issues of the Commons. The less the government is anyones’ ‘bitch’ (but for the Voters), the better it will be. Please do not persist in holding to the fantasy which equates all who are concerned with the Climate, with those who want big government. It’s just plain wrong.

  63. #63 dhogaza
    August 26, 2008

    Heck, Harvey, you seem to both trust the government to regulate the piss out of us ordinary folks while simultaneously claim government acts at the whim of the evil corporations. Can’t be both you know, so which is it?

    Why not? The Clinton administration, for all its faults, fought hard to protect endangered species. Against the whim of “evil corporations”, except to the extent that he recognized the limit Presidents have when fighting a hostile Congress. W, on the other hand, has worked as well as he can to act at the whim of evil (or at least, profit-motivated) corporations, as best he can within his vision of the law.

    Both views are supportable by history, and your ignorant simplistic views – such as the “fact” that some asshole in Idaho who destroyed a streambed has been unfairly convicted of breaking a law that – imagine! – he broke, are just … pathetic.

  64. #64 anthony
    August 27, 2008

    “But officer, I do a good job of complying with all sorts of laws, and local, regional, and federal governments”

    AND is it just me or is that whole chart tilted gently downwards? Was it like that in the original? If so, how gauche.

  65. #65 ben
    August 27, 2008

    “I assume that by ‘Heck’…”,

    nope, by “heck,” I meant “oh hey” or something to that effect.

    The less the government is anyones’ ‘bitch’ (but for the Voters), the better it will be.

    True! Except for when the voters start to demand and expect bread and circuses. Then we’re all screwed, even those who demanded the bread.

    Why not? The Clinton administration, for all its faults, fought hard to protect endangered species.

    And endangered species matter because…? Species come and go you know, they always have, and they always will.

    Anthony, no offense, but I have no idea what it is that is your point. And for the record, I strive to be gauche. I had to look that word up, but it suites.

  66. #66 Chris O'Neill
    August 27, 2008

    Species come and go

    These days a lot more of the latter than the former.

  67. #67 Ian Gould
    August 27, 2008

    “And endangered species matter because…? Species come and go you know, they always have, and they always will.”

    The current rate of species extinction is hundreds of times (literally) the background rate.

    Jeff Harvey will probably give you a lengthy explanation of ecosystem services and species diversity but here’s the short version.

    Ecosystem productivity – in terms of organic matter production, water filtration and carbon dioxide fixation to name just three services – is directly correlated with species density.

    Ecosystems with lots of highly specialised species operate more efficiently than impoverished ecosystems with a small number of generalist species. (This is also why the spread of introduced species is undesirable, they tend to be generalists and ot crowd out more productive endemic species.)

    Humans currently use something like 30% of the total global supply of solar energy fixed in biomass every year (mostly indirectly via food crops); we also depend on functioning natural ecosystems to soak up at least a substantial part of the additional carbon dioxide we pump out every year.

    Ecosystem biologists have known this for 30 or 40 years (although admittedly AGW wasn’t a big concern back then), none of it is controversial and it is about as well proven as anything in the biological sciences.

  68. #68 ben
    August 27, 2008

    “Ecosystem productivity – in terms of organic matter production, water filtration and carbon dioxide fixation to name just three services -is directly correlated with species density.”

    Interesting, I did not know that. But then, what if the human race died out? Everybody dies. Does it really matter if some day there are no humans left on earth? There is no spoon anyway.

  69. #69 Ian Gould
    August 27, 2008

    So we shouldn’t take action to minimise the effect of AGW because the human race will probably be extinct in a few million years regardless?

    Wow, really puts the 9-11 attacks into perspective too.

  70. #70 ben
    August 27, 2008

    There is no spoon.

  71. #71 Patrick Caldon
    August 27, 2008

    “There is no spoon.”

    It is really interesting to note how when you scratch the “AGW skeptic” surface you very quickly get a kind of nihilism which denies the existence of concrete categories of objects and knowledge in a quite post-modern way.

  72. #72 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 27, 2008

    ben posts:

    And endangered species matter because…? Species come and go you know, they always have, and they always will.

    And serial killers murdering people matter because…? People come and go you know, they always have, and they always will.

    We are presently in the middle of the sixth great mass extinction in Earth history. Endangered species matter because a less complex ecosystem is a more vulnerable ecosystem. With ecosystems, the more species, the better.

    We also don’t know why species are key species that a whole regional ecosystem might depend on. Kill off a species and you kill off the predators and parasites that eat it. You also let whatever it eats reproduce out of control. You can’t just arbitrarily pluck out a species.

    “The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts.”

  73. #73 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 27, 2008

    That should have read “We don’t know WHICH species are key species…” Preview is your friend.

  74. #74 Jennifer Marohasy
    August 27, 2008

    Hi, More analysis, beginning with the first chart here: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003363.html . I will get to your issue – how to graph temperature data – soon.

  75. #75 ChrisC
    August 27, 2008

    Ben…

    You live in a country where the government has illegally wiretapped thousands of individuals. A country that has kept people in incarceration on a remote island for years without charge, let along trial. A country that reserves the right to execute children and the mentally handicapped. A country where Cat Stevens gets booted out of the country because his new funny name sounds like some other guy’s funny name.

    And the best evidence aganist the government you can come up with is some guy in Idaho breaking a law and going to gaol for it?

    JM:

    Please stop embarrassing yourself.

  76. #76 Sam-Hec
    August 27, 2008

    Fer us yanks:

    Gaol==Irish for Jail

  77. #77 bi -- IJI
    August 27, 2008

    Very off-topic: Is it just me, or has right-wing logic just crossed the threshold of incomprehensibility?

    > There is no spoon.

    I guess that explains why “We, the People” keep looking so much like identical copies of a few select wingnuts. It’s that darn Uri Geller trick again.

  78. #78 Hugh
    August 27, 2008

    Wiki: “A ‘wooden spoon‘ is a mock or real award, usually given to an individual or team which has come last in a competition, but sometimes also to runners-up.”

    I assume

  79. #79 Lance
    August 27, 2008

    Yo Schaffer,

    “Lance and Ben have successfully hijacked the conversation.”

    I have made exactly one post in this thread and it was a direct response to a comment made by Hank Roberts.

    As far as Marohasy’s graph is concerned the scale is less important than the fact that the temperature has increased about one degree in 150 years.

    Hardly a disastrous increase, especially considering that the time period before that is called the “little ice age”.

  80. #80 Boris
    August 27, 2008

    Hardly a disastrous increase

    Anyone claiming that it is a disastrous increase?

  81. #81 dhogaza
    August 27, 2008

    Interesting, I did not know that. But then, what if the human race died out? Everybody dies. Does it really matter if some day there are no humans left on earth? There is no spoon anyway.

    Well, Ben, since it doesn’t matter, can we count on you to volunteer to hasten the process by ending your life today? Or are you going to try to preserve it as long as you can?

    On the one hand, you argue vehemently in favor of a political philosophy that you feel favors the creation of a better world for humans, then turn around and shrug and say, “well, if we degrade the biosphere and humans disappear, who cares?”.

    Hardly a disastrous increase, especially considering that the time period before that is called the “little ice age”.

    Things are getting more and more interesting …

  82. #82 Phila
    August 27, 2008

    The left is always scared of boogy-man corporations, but their power is nothing compared to that of the government.

    A false dilemma if I ever saw one. Corporate and government power are not quite as distinct as you make them sound, I’m afraid.

  83. #83 ben
    August 27, 2008

    Well, Ben, since it doesn’t matter, can we count on you to volunteer to hasten the process by ending your life today?

    How would that hasten the process?

    “As far as Marohasy’s graph is concerned the scale is less important than the fact that the temperature has increased about one degree in 150 years.”

    Right. The global warming scare mongers show the graph on as tight a set of axes as possible in order to enhance the perception of an effect. Tit for tat, I say.

  84. #84 dhogaza
    August 27, 2008

    Tit for tat, I say.

    So, at best, Ben claims that lying with graphs is OK as long as he believes the other side is doing it, too.

    Nice way to encourage honest, objective, scientific discussion of the issue, Ben.

    How about Marahosy’s other numerous lies. You going to defend them on the same grounds?

  85. #85 bi -- IJI
    August 27, 2008

    > Tit for tat, I say.

    A new kind of science suitable for “We, the People”: Tit-For-Tat Science!

    In other news, “We, the People” continue to become more and more incomprehensible. We elitist elites will need some sort of way to objectively measure incomprehensibility real soon now…

  86. #86 sod
    August 27, 2008

    Right. The global warming scare mongers show the graph on as tight a set of axes as possible in order to enhance the perception of an effect. Tit for tat, I say.

    i am pretty sure that all those AGW peer reviewed publications are using a “scare mongering” scale.

    and not simply one, that actually allows us to SEE, how temperature developted over that time span…

    and for people like ben and Lance, who don t understand the basics:

    the problem is NOT the “average” place, that saw an increase by 1°C from 14°C.

    the problem is with places with more extreme starting temperatures. and an world wide average increase by 1°C can translate into a SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER local increase.

    but i guess that this will go over your heads. again.

  87. #87 bi -- IJI
    August 27, 2008

    Remember, sod, ben is “We, the People”. You’re not supposed to talk down at “We, the People”.

    Also, ben knows about Uri Geller tricks.

  88. #88 Sean Egan
    August 27, 2008

    I have to say the claimed 1C rise over 150 years went rather well. Food production is up. Population is up. Life expectancy is up. Apart from war related famine, mass starvation seems to have largely disppeared or at least is very much down.

    Kind of gives you hope that the next 150 years will go rather well too. There may be winners and losers, but any effects are likely much less important than the occurrance or absence of war.

    Can SOD give country which lost more lifes to the warming in the last 150 years than it did to war. I can not think of any.

  89. #89 ben
    August 27, 2008

    So, at best, Ben claims that lying with graphs is OK as long as he believes the other side is doing it, too.

    Er, where’s the lie? The graph is accurate so far as I can tell. If you show it with tight axes, then it looks dramatic and is good for newsprint to get folks fired up about AGW. If you print it with wide axes then it doesn’t look so dramatic and is less valuable for scaring people. Either way, it’s the same data, and an educated person can read the graph on either scale.

  90. #90 sod
    August 27, 2008

    Can SOD give country which lost more lifes to the warming in the last 150 years than it did to war. I can not think of any.

    how do you think warming kills people? running out of sun oil? too much tanning?

    climate change and WAR are, of course, connected!

    it looks like the US military is pretty much worried by climate change.

    http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/events/details.cfm?q=82

    —————-

    Either way, it’s the same data, and an educated person can read the graph on either scale.

    educated or not, the line (and at least it is red…) is about 0.2°C thick. good luck getting details from that graph.

  91. #91 ben
    August 27, 2008

    educated or not, the line (and at least it is red…) is about 0.2°C thick. good luck getting details from that graph.

    Dude, different plots for different reasons. That plot shows the trend since 1850 quite clearly, more so I’d say than a tight-axis plot. If you want to see the details, tighten up the axes. Sheesh!

  92. #92 Sean Egan
    August 27, 2008

    Thats the point SOD. The graph says got 1C warmer. The key point to note is we barely noticed. No major losers identified. However, mankind deliberately killed large numbers of people on numerous occasions. Warming did not.

    Conclusion, if you want to help future warming losers, pick an easier issue which will make a real difference. Warming should be a minor concern compared to the many issues which kill and injure large numbers of people. Take your pick from, access to health care, unfair trade, corruption used by the first world to access resources in poor countries, drugs, cars, vaccination, dangerous dogs, faulty gas applicanies …

    If you want to help humanity, I would start by stopping the cigarette trade.

  93. #93 mgr
    August 27, 2008

    Sean Egan @ 92:

    Better reconsider your presumption of independance between warfare and warming. The key consideration of global warming is that it will lead to greater international strife.

    Mike

  94. #94 John Mashey
    August 27, 2008

    re: #92 sean

    Do you have any direct experience with farming?

    Having grown up on a farm long post here, I’d say you might want to get some.

    1) As seen in Chart at Climate Progress the entire history of human agriculture lies within a narrow temperature band.

    2) We are about to depart that temperature band, very rapidly, going up, into a temperature range and set of conditions to which our agriculture is not currently adapted, and if you think the Canadian Shield will replace the US cornbelt, you will be disappointed. Also, you might want to study the Himalaya glaciers and monsoons on which most of South Asia depends. Liebig’s Law of the Minimum wins.

    As a “minor” other problem, what do you know about fertilizer? is N-P-K familiar?Do you know how they make nitrogen fertilizer, and whether or not any of the needed ingredients are likely to get much more expensive?
    [Hint: natural gas = 90% of the cost of producing ammonia. Peak Gas. Haber-Bosch] Also, know anything about Phosphorus supplies and where they come from? [Hint: 50% of it is in Arab countries, good resource after Peak Oil].

    3) In that long post above, I suggest reading RUD2005 and maybe your namesake, Brian Fagan’s books, or one that wasn’t on the list, but should have been, Jared Diamond’s Collapse. In particular, it’s nice to have water. In CA, 20% of our electricity is already used to pump it around, and higher temperatures already cause us problems with snowmelt distribution. If you live in OZ (or S CA, or AZ, or NM), life will get “interesting.”

    4) In addition, many people live in metropolitan areas [San Francisco Bay Area in my case], each of which has many $B’s of sea-level infrastructure that built with the help of $30/bbl oil, i.e., a one-shot use of the best EROI-resource on the planet.

    Likewise, we’re heading out of the sea level band we’ve been in for thousands of years, long before we built our current civilization. We’re heading out the high side there, and by the way, going high is far worse in most cases than going the other way. if you think not, then you haven’t participated in urban planning for sea level rise exercises, which are very ugly. [Do you build dikes, or move uphill? *Where* do you build dikes? How about the sewage plants? Do you pay off the people now outside the dikes, or do you just condemn their property?]

    5) I do agree with you on tobacco. There’s a lot of prime farmland that will be needed for food, given the amount that will be ruined via salt-water incursion or drought.

    6) Now, there are a lot of very smart people working very hard on the various issues, of which these are just a few. But sitting around saying “everything is fine” isn’t what they’re doing.

  95. #95 pough
    August 27, 2008

    Scientist: If this continues, it will get bad in the future.

    Denialist: No, it hasn’t!

  96. #96 WotWot
    August 27, 2008

    #95

    He he he.

  97. #97 Steve
    August 27, 2008

    Ben, displaying a plot of data on as tight an axis as possible isn’t being misleading. It is the common sense convention for graphing data, so you can most clearly see variations in the data. You then actually look at the numbers on the scale to work out how big the variations are.

    That’s why when you produce a plot in a spreadsheet program like, say, excel, it automatically adjusts the scale to make it as tight as possible, that way you aren’t plotting empty space.

    Its not misleading, its common sense. You don’t design a graph to hide trends, you design it to show them. Everybody in every discipline does this, or should. Not just alleged alarmist climate scientists. Can’t you see this? really?

    Its not tit-for-tat – its plotting a graph in a sensible way (tight axes) versus plotting it in a silly way (Marohasy’s plot).

  98. #98 ben
    August 28, 2008

    On the other hand, Steve, I find that plotting on axes that are too tight often simply shows noise that I’m not interested in. Often I want to see the overall trend, and I think Marohasy’s plot shows that well. I don’t find it even remotely misleading except possibly to complete ignoramuses.

    Unfortunately, it seems to be the ignoramuses who are fickle and can be swayed by fancy pictures. That, and there are so many of them who can vote.

  99. #99 Dr Dave
    August 28, 2008

    Ben,

    So what you are saying is that when Jennifer writes “But when global temperatures are presented just as a simple average with a vertical axis that spans the range of temperatures experienced in a place such as Ipswich (west of Brisbane) during a single year, the global rise in average temperatures is not that obvious because the mean temperature since 1850 has increased by less than 1C” she actually means that she is suppressing the noise in the data?

  100. #100 ben
    August 28, 2008

    No, I never did read that. My point is that different views of the same graph can have different drawbacks or benefits.

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