ScienceBlogs upgrade

ScienceBlogs is upgrading to Movable Type 4. During the upgrade process there will be no new posts or comments. Everything is supposed to be back to normal in 36 hours. What could possibly go rong?

Update: And we’re back…


  1. #1 Tim Lambert
    January 11, 2009

    Let’s see if comments work…

  2. #2 dopey
    January 11, 2009

    Nuh doesn’t look like it there’s only the one from you …

  3. #3 paul
    January 11, 2009

    Are comments on previous postings disabled?

    I was going to make a comment on Jon Jenkins curve fitting in the “The Australian’s War on Science 31” post, but commenting on posts made before the upgrade seem to be disabled.

    Anyway the point i was going to make is that the curve fitting should take into account past performance and the nature of the system being observed.

    What strikes me about the graphs on the page is that the sixth degree polynomial curves give a ‘leading’ of false indication of future trend when compared to obvious past trends over an extended period (many years).

    One problem with being keen on accurately representing the data in a ‘pure’ scientific sense is that in this case if the data comes to an abrupt halt, you are going to show a false trend using the curve fitting technique used in the graph.
    The same technique would also show a ridiculously steep upward trend if we had some hot years.

    Basically to give an accurate indication you need to go beyond the actual numbers and take into account what you are actually measuring, its past history and when the data starts or ends.

  4. #4 Tim Curtin
    January 11, 2009

    Dear Tim, I await with great anticipation your response to your invited comment from me on my contribution to the January 2009 issue of Quadrant.



  5. #5 mz
    January 11, 2009

    Tim Curtin, is this list relevant from your site?
    # Without CO2 we would not be here. If it is a pollutant, then so is water (H2O), which is the other main effluent from fossil fuel combustion
    # We do not any of us breathe out black smoke, pace SBS and ABC.
    # The increase in atmospheric concentration from 280 ppm in 1750 to 384 ppm at end 2007 is trivial (growth rate is c0.2% p.a.)
    # CO2 is a fertilizer, without which we would starve.

    I’m sorry, I don’t have the patience to go through them coolly and rationally, they are such bad strawmen. How can a grown up man do something like that unashamed?

    Maybe someone else can respond to it (for the watching audience). It would be an interesting assignment for school children.

    I don’t think anyone is proposing to get rid of all the CO2 in the atmosphere. Certainly not the IPCC Though I guess you could find a crank for any claim.

    Basically, your list boils to this: none of your claims deal with the *increase* of CO2 causing global warming.

  6. #6 Paul
    January 11, 2009

    Re: definition of effluent, pollution etc.

    A pollutant etc. is some agent that is harmful to a species environment and was produced as a result of human activity.

    Basically CO2 can be a pollutant or not. The context is important. In fact just about any agent can be a ‘pollutant’ in specific contexts and quantities. You could say that to much oxygen in a confined space is a pollutant to humans, since it would present a hazard (witness the first Apollo capsule inferno).

    Most medical drugs are ‘pollutants’, they are basically poisons.

    So the idea that something can never be a pollutant or can never be a problem is basically wrong and scientifically naive.

  7. #7 John Mashey
    January 11, 2009

    re: #5 mz
    Apparently Tim Curtin hasn’t changed his mind since similar discussion in RealClimate in October. I killfiled him here long ago, but from your comments, it appears that he still doesn’t understand Liebig’s Law of the Minimum, an idea that farmkids learn by the time they’re 10, if not earlier.

    Deltoid’s readers may be amused by TC’s commentary [killfile doesn’t work there] at ThingsBreak, in reply to my piece on Lomborg & misdirection tactics.

  8. #8 jre
    January 11, 2009

    And, lest we forget, Tim Curtin still owes us a glimpse of his letter to Nature listing all the errors he has found in Domingues et al.
    How about it, Tim? It’s been five months, so that letter must be in pretty good shape by now!

  9. #9 Eli Rabett
    January 11, 2009

    In chemistry and pharmacy the line is that the dose makes the poison You can swallow micrograms of surprisingly dangerous things and live. Tim C otoh prescribes kilos of bull.

  10. #10 Tim Lambert
    January 11, 2009

    Hmm, comments seem to give an error message after a long wait, but they do show up eventually…

  11. #11 Bernard J.
    January 12, 2009


    Tim Curtin is refractory to any rational scientific analysis of the relative merits and negative impacts of CO2. Many here have tried to educate the man, but he is beyond reason in any matter remotely related to this gas.

    I tried this comparison in an effort to explain to Curtin how relatively small changes in very low concentration substances can have profound impacts, but to no avail.

    I am not sure that it matters though – it seems that the best Curtin can come up with in his crusade is an unreviewed opinion piece in Quadrant. If he really was able to dismantle the consensus on CO2 effects in various scientific contexts, he’d be prominently published in a journal of vastly greater repute.

    Except of course that there is a Global Conspiracy to prevent exactly this sort of enlightenment…

  12. #12 Tim Curtin
    January 12, 2009

    I realise this response to Bernard J is doomed because of my banning by TL. But as a matter of fact my Quadrant article was peer reviewed, for another, academic, journal, that could not find space for it before mid-2009. Quadrant offered earlier publication, which with its larger circulation, especially in Australia, I accepted.

  13. #13 Boris
    January 12, 2009

    another, academic, journal

    read: Energy and Environment

  14. #14 Ian Forrester
    January 12, 2009

    “But as a matter of fact”

    Read: I’ve told so many lies in the past so how about another one.

  15. #15 bi -- IJI
    January 12, 2009

    So does this mean that, if any of my future scientific papers are rejected, I can simply send them to Quadrant and they’ll get published?

  16. #16 bi -- IJI
    January 12, 2009

    Or do the papers have to be accepted first by Energy by Environment some academic journal which can’t find space for it in the upcoming issue?

  17. #17 mz
    January 13, 2009

    So what is this Quadrant thing? Some kind of ufo magazine?

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