Open Thread 59

Way past time for another open thread

Comments

  1. #1 FrankD
    March 7, 2011

    Yes, FB, audits are common in government and business. I’ve provided info to ANAO through a succession of occupations over fifteen years.

    But audits are also time-consuming and expensive, so – apart from superficial random sampling – tend only to be done where there is a reasonable basis for considering the data to be suspect. Since the ANAO are not experts in the data they examine in determining the scope of an audit they look for weak systems that are vulnerable to error or fraud. And despite the hand-waving accusations, there is little (no) evidence that BOM’s quality assurance or data management systems are weak.

    You don’t just do an audit because you can or because its “common” – to do so would be a waste of government resources, and may prompt a demand for an audit as to whether ANAO are choosing the targets for their audits appropriately….

  2. #2 Chris O'Neill
    March 7, 2011

    Lying dingbat:

    there would be no objection to a full and proper audit

    Where was this dingbat when various governments wanted to believe “intelligence” that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Not much interest in detecting those lies.

  3. #3 jakerman
    March 7, 2011

    FB, we need to audit those calling for delays in carbon mitigation, if they are not hiding anything they should have no complaints.

    Can we audit you FB?

  4. #4 Vince whirlwind
    March 7, 2011

    Actually, you’ll find the BoM, like any government department, participates in a rolling program of audits throughout the year, covering a range of aspects of its business processes.

    The idea that the ANAO needs to (or even can) audit processes which are fully documented by a long-standing body of work that continually accumulates in the academic literature is the idea of fools, cranks, maleducates, and otherwise mischievous individuals.

  5. #6 MFS
    March 10, 2011

    Professor Ross Garnaut delivered 2011 [Update Paper 5](http://www.garnautreview.org.au/update-2011/update-papers/up5-key-points.html), an update to his 2008 report on climate change, at the University of Tasmania in Hobart tonight.

    The main message was quite interesting: His 2008 report concluded that “on the balance of probability”, the mainstream science was correct and climate change was a serious issue. Tonight he said (and his update states) that it is now highly probable that the mainstream science is correct. Based on the theory and modelling as known in 2007, real-world observations have invariably underestimated the extent and impact of climate change, to the point where there is nearly no reasonable doubt that we are causing the climate to change. He made an interesting comparison with civil versus criminal law cases. A a civil court has to judge a case based on the balance of probability, and this is how things were in 2008. Now the evidence is akin to what is needed for a conviction in a criminal case: beyond reasonable doubt.

    The presenatation and questions were recorded, so with a bit of luck they may become available. They were well worth watching, and it gave a fascinating insight of a world-renowned economist’s view on why action needs to be taken. He was a perfect showcase that you don’t have to be a scientist to understand what is happening and why the case against AGW does not stand up to scrutiny.

  6. #7 Flying Binghi
    March 10, 2011

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    via Chris O’Neill #98; “…Where was this dingbat when various governments wanted to believe “intelligence” that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Not much interest in detecting those lies…”

    Chris O’Neill have a look, i’ve been involved in those discussions over at the pprune forum over the years.

    On a sorta related subject, recently i were fairly involved in discussions about the inevitable terrorist miss-use of GPS – seems pprune panicked about something and removed many of the threads.

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  7. #8 Flying Binghi
    March 10, 2011

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    via Vince whirlwind #101; “…The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, according to a new NASA-funded satellite study…..”

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    Vince whirlwind, them lot are a little slow to pick things up. Why, way back in 1926 scientists were writing things like – “glaciers and ice sheets have been in rapid retreat in all parts of the world…”

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    Our ever changing Climate through the Ages…

    “…Traffic across the Alpine passes, as shown by the transmission of culture, became important about 1800 B.C. when (due to global warming) the Brenner Pass first became traversable, and reached a maximum at the end of the Bronze Age and in the early Hallstatt period, or about 1200-900 B.C. The valley settlements of the late Hallstatt period developed independently apparently in complete isolation, and traffic across the passes was at a minimum ( due to global cooling ) There was a slight revival at the end of the La Tene period and in the early Roman Empire (200 B.C. to A.D. 0 ) but it was not until between A.D. 700 and 1000 that this traffic again developed on a considerable scale (due to global warming) There was a re-advance of the glaciers in the western Alps about A.D. 1300, followed by a retreat to a minimum extent in the fifteenth century ( due to global cooling ) Near the end of the sixteenth century the glaciers advanced rapidly and about 1605 they overran settlements which had been occupied since the beginning of history. About the same time the glaciers advanced in the Eastern Alps, Iceland, where they almost reached the moraines of the late glacial stages, and probably in other parts of the world and the period from 1600 to 1850 has been termed the “little ice age.” There were minor maxima of glaciations about 1820 and 1850 since then the glaciers and ice sheets have been in rapid retreat in all parts of the world…”

    via Climate through the Ages, C. E. P. Brooks. First published 1926. Comments in brackets are mine.

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  8. #9 Flying Binghi
    March 10, 2011

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    via MFS #102; “…Professor Ross Garnaut…view on why action needs to be taken. He was a perfect showcase that you don’t have to be a scientist to understand what is happening and why the case against AGW does not stand up to scrutiny…”

    Oh, what case? First yer need a case for before yer can entertain a case agianst.

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    by the by, a little ‘scrutiny’ is probably the last thing Garnaut would want…

    via James Delingpole –

    Aussie sceptics destroy EU carbon commissioner

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100079237/aussie-sceptics-destroy-eu-carbon-commissioner/

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    Bolt talking to Garnaut next ? …Heh

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  9. #10 MFS
    March 10, 2011

    FB:
    >”Oh, what case? First yer need a case for before yer can entertain a case agianst.”

    Why don’t you read [the paper](http://www.garnautreview.org.au/update-2011/update-papers/up5-the-science-of-climate-change.pdf), which covers precisely this topic, and come up with some insight, instead of spouting nonsensical half-arguments?

    You own particular brand of sarcasm consisting of a few words such as:

    >”Bolt talking to Garnaut next ? …Heh”

    You might think it’s witty and it might make perfect sense in your mind but doesn’t exactly state your case clearly… For example, I quite liked [Bolt](http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bolt/), and don’t see why one would ever contemplate a cartoon character talking to an economics professor… Do you get my point?

  10. #11 jakerman
    March 10, 2011

    >Why don’t you read the paper, which covers precisely this topic, and come up with some insight, instead of spouting nonsensical half-arguments?

    Come now MFS, as much as I try I can’t see anything even approaching half and argument in FB’s drivel.

    He’s just posting random extracts from his ideological Commissars.

  11. #12 DaveMcRae
    March 10, 2011

    Sorry for the intrusion – I’ve lost the link to the excellent diagram that had sceince method in four frames on the top, and denier method going backwards on the bottom from policy conclusion to denier.

    I think it was frankbi’s but can’t find it – much obliged if one has it at hand

  12. #13 DaveMcRae
    March 10, 2011

    ah-ah – Google got me it – was was indeed Frank’s work – I need to flog a few deniers with it :)
    http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/6603/30006774.png

  13. #14 Bernard J.
    March 11, 2011

    [DaveMcRae](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/02/open_thread_59.php#comment-3450296)

    Your link to Frank’s link to that image is apposite.

    [Nich Minchin had a brain vomit yesterday](http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/11/3161489.htm?section=business), where he said:

    It’s clear that the models, and we’re dealing with models, have grossly overestimated the sensitivity of temperature to increases in CO2.

    I think what’s occurred is that there was a warming period from about ’75 to the year 2000. It was part of a natural cycle of warming that comes in 25, 30-year cycles. The world has basically stabilised in terms of temperature since about 2000.

    There are many, many scientists who actually think we could be entering a cooling phase, and I for one think that is more than likely.

    We have stabilised in terms of world temperatures. There is a very powerful natural cycle at work, and if anything we’re more likely to see a tendency down in global temperatures, rather than up.

    I think that it’s time that the upper echelons of science in Australia took up the task of a very public, organised, and coherent rebuttal of the scientific fantasies that permeate much of our politicians’ understanding.

    Minchin needs a slap-down of humiliating proportions. There is simply no room on a Federal politician’s list of responsbilities for the promotion of climatological woo: he might as well say that neurosurgery is hokum and that homeopaths have a better understanding of the appropriate medical treatment…

  14. #15 kfr
    March 11, 2011

    How seriously the daily fail take their science reporting:

    http://bengoldacre.posterous.com/supermoon-caused-earthquake-total-utter-stupi

  15. #16 chek
    March 11, 2011

    Hi y’all.

    Scienceblogs has been unavailable much of this week to me in the UK, so it’s good to be reconnected to an outpost of sanity again.

    After a couple of days, I used [this tool](http://just-ping.com/index.php?vh=scienceblogs.com&c=don_ab_just-ping&s=ping%21&vtt=1299808309&vhost=_&c=don_ab_just-ping) and could see it was a regional problem, usually getting results like [this](http://s1109.photobucket.com/albums/h425/chek17/)

    I must admit that despite putting in a couple of years on ISP support back in some previous dim and distant interglacial, I had no idea that a site could be only partially available before – suffering under the obviously mistaken Yorkian view that it was either up or down.

    But for the status to be OK in Belgium, Norway and even Lithuania (fercryinoutloud!) but not so in the UK, France, Ireland, Italy and parts of Holland seems somewhat mystifying to my already feeble comprehension of how the world works.

    If anybody has any enlightenment to spare with a reply, please do. But please don’t take offence if it takes another week for me to see it.

  16. #17 MFS
    March 11, 2011

    Bernard,

    Given the magnitude of Nick Minchin’s brain fart, I was surprised the majority of MSM simply reporting it with no further commentary. I expect this of some sections of the media, but to see even the ABC come up with the sort of headlines and articles they did and not ‘balance’ his nonsense with an eminent scientists such as Kurt Lambeck saying precisely that he seems to be living in some sort of scientific faery land, was a bit surprising.

    It’s not as if his nonsense has not been disproved again and again in the last few years.

  17. #19 Vince Whirlwind
    March 12, 2011

    MFS, I disagree – each version of the article I saw on Minchin’s nonsense definitely included a “balancing” component.
    From memory they had something like:
    – Garnaut has not commented on Minchin
    – Garnaut has previously said….etc…

    But as you say, actually referring to one of the experts would be better, especially considering Minchin’s criticism was that Garnaut is not one of the relevant experts himself.

  18. #20 Vince Whirlwind
    March 12, 2011

    Chek, it could be a problem with DNS on the internet if it isn’t the people at the Scienceblogs end blocking chunks of IP address space.

    Next time it happens (hopefully it won’t), use a command-line window to “ping scienceblogs.com” and see what it resolves to.

    If it does resolve, you can then use a site like http://visualroute.visualware.com/
    to see what the path to Scienceblogs is like from various sources including your own.

  19. #21 J Bowers
    March 12, 2011

    @ 114 Chris O’Neill

    That’s yellow journalism for you.

  20. #22 Bruce Sharp
    March 12, 2011

    Chek, sometimes you’ll see problems like this because of BGP or routing errors at some point between you and your destination. Similarly, peering issues can mess things up pretty badly; a couple years ago, Sprint and Cogent got into a spat over peering, and refused to let traffic pass directly between their networks. The [Wikipedia article on peering is pretty interesting](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peering), and it gives you a glimpse of how the system functions.

    Vince, thanks for the link to Visualware. Pretty cool… never saw that before. Another interesting site along those lines is the [Internet Health Report](http://www.internetpulse.net/). It shows a constantly-updated table of latency between different Tier 1 networks.

  21. #23 foram
    March 12, 2011

    The Australian sees fit to publish this nonsense from Alan Moran, Director, Deregulation Unit, Institute of Public Affairs:

    It’s astonishing that Ross Garnaut takes himself so seriously in the face of collapsing support in Australia and elsewhere for a carbon tax and other abatement measures (“Regrettably, I was right about climate change”, Commentary, 11/3). He says his odyssey around climate change has led him to believe global warming is now occurring on “a balance of probabilities” rather than “beyond reasonable doubt”. And yet, it is clear that there has been no atmospheric warming for the past 15 years.

    Can Moran even read?

    Garnaut:

    My personal intellectual journey over these past four years has moved me from acceptance of the mainstream science’s main propositions with the degree of certainty required by the civil law—“a balance of probabilities”—closer to the criminal law requirements of ”beyond reasonable doubt”.

    The question “is there a warming trend?” can be answered by statistical analysis of time series data, of a kind that is familiar to economists. I asked two leading econometricians (Trevor Breusch1 and Farshid Vahid2) respected authorities on the analysis of time series, to examine the temperature record from the three authoritative global sources. They concluded that “the temperatures recorded in most of the past decade lie above the confidence level that is produced by any model that does not allow for a warming trend” (Garnaut, 2008, ppxvii-xviii and Box 4.1). I asked them to repeat for the Garnaut Climate Change Review Update – 2011 (the Update) the analysis for a period that included data since the Review up to the present, and they have confirmed the earlier conclusion (Breusch and Vahid, 2011 – see also Box 5).

    Garnaut again:

    The statistical evidence did not stop assertions in the public debate that the earth was cooling, but it does seem to have discouraged at least the numerate and rational from repetition of errors into which they had carelessly fallen.

    Wonder if Moran will publish a retraction?

  22. #24 foram
    March 12, 2011

    Moran cont’d:

    Whether or not that will continue is uncertain but Garnaut shuts out all evidence that contradicts his preconceived view.

    Garnaut:

    My early exposure to sceptical and dissenting views identified a number of propositions that seemed to be worthy of exploration. It also identified some that discredited themselves with internal inconsistencies or contradiction of well-established facts.

    As I absorbed more of the complexity of the science—both mainstream and sceptical—I began to recognise a number of recurring criticisms of the mainstream for which there were rounded and effective responses in the science.

    The end point was an increase in personal confidence in the mainstream science. ”On a balance of probabilities” would understate my current view of the likelihood that the mainstream science is correct.

  23. #25 foram
    March 12, 2011

    While we’re on the Oz, how’s this from regular columnist Christopher Pearson.

    I’m expecting the debate over anthropogenic global warming will collapse within the course of the next decade under the weight of its own internal contradictions, to borrow a phrase that so-called scientific Marxism once used in reference to capitalism. It’s probable that quite soon the recent mild warming trend will come to be seen as par for the course and in no way a threat to the planet or mankind. The manufacture of statistical artefacts such as the hockey stick, with which a couple of ingenious climatologists hoped to erase from popular and scientific consciousness the whole medieval warm period, will come to be seen for the astonishing confidence tricks they are.

    Anyone want to make a bet?

  24. #26 adelady
    March 12, 2011

    Retrograde amnesia will be the general approach.

    When challenged? Oh, I didn’t really mean thaa-aat.

  25. #27 Chris O'Neill
    March 12, 2011

    Moran cont’d:

    Whether or not that will continue is uncertain but Garnaut shuts out all evidence that contradicts his preconceived view.

    Showing that if someone shuts out all evidence that contradicts their preconceived view then the best argument is to accuse opponents of shutting out all evidence that contradicts their preconceived view.

  26. #28 Bernard J.
    March 12, 2011

    So, [as foram notes](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/02/open_thread_59.php#comment-3459811), Alan Moran says:

    And yet, it is clear that there has been no atmospheric warming for the past 15 years.

    I presume that Moran dabbles in the stock market, being the good deregulation-inclined capitalist that he is. I wonder if he would say that there has been no increase in [the price of this commodity](http://i54.tinypic.com/wrfbsi.jpg) over the last 15 years?

    If someone has Moran’s ear I would dearly love to have him visit this thread so that he can explain any changes in the price over time for this commodity, because I am keen to understand exactly what ability he has in financial trend analysis. If he is able to do so before the end of the month I am even willing to pay him a reasonable fee for his time, if his competence in advice warrants it.

  27. #29 Flying Binghi
    March 13, 2011

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    via Bernard J #110; “…I think that it’s time that the upper echelons of science in Australia took up the task of a very public, organised, and coherent rebuttal of the scientific fantasies that permeate much of our politicians’ understanding. Minchin needs a slap-down of humiliating proportions…”

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    Bernard J, …so are there ‘scientists’ offering up a rebuttal to the points Minchin raised ?

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  28. #30 Flying Binghi
    March 13, 2011

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    via Vince Whirlwind #115; “…Garnaut is not one of the relevant experts himself…”

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    Hmmm, seems to me that those getting paid to push the agenda are the biggest supporters of the AGW hysteria …a few questions keep going through my mind –

    How much is garnaut paid for the reports?

    Would Garnaut have gotten the job if he expressed doubts of AGW before he did the ‘research’ for the reports?

    What, if any, carbon trading/banking related financial interests do Garnaut have ?

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  29. #31 Bernard J.
    March 13, 2011

    Did anyone hear an annoying buzzing noise?

  30. #32 Flying Binghi
    March 13, 2011

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    via foram #119; “…The question “is there a warming trend?” can be answered by statistical analysis of time series data…”

    Hmmm, …so Trevor Breusch and Farshid Vahid interpreted the data that were given to them. Looks to me that Garnaut is using some innocent ‘scientists’ in an attempt to put some credibility to the discredited recent temperature records.

    It would be interesting to have Breusch and Vahid have a further statistical look-see at the records though with urban heat island and recording equipment site changes taken into account.

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  31. #33 Lotharsson
    March 13, 2011

    > Did anyone hear an annoying buzzing noise?

    Yep. It almost sounded like words full of nonsense, but that was probably just pareidolia at work.

  32. #34 Lotharsson
    March 13, 2011

    > Can Moran even read?

    I’m sure he can read.

    I suspect he can’t mount a decent rebuttal to his opponent’s arguments when they are presented with integrity, so he may find it preferable to corrupt them, even if it makes him look rather stupid to the minority in the know.

  33. #35 Flying Binghi
    March 13, 2011

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    via foram #120; “…inconsistencies or contradiction of well-established facts…”

    Heh, sorta like the way that the climate clowns attempted to remove the warmer then today medieval warm period from their ‘hockey stick’ graph…

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  34. #36 Flying Binghi
    March 13, 2011

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    via foram #121; “… how’s this from regular columnist Christopher Pearson – The manufacture of statistical artefacts such as the hockey stick, with which a couple of ingenious climatologists hoped to erase from popular and scientific consciousness the whole medieval warm period, will come to be seen for the astonishing confidence tricks they are Anyone want to make a bet?…”

    Hmmm, from what i see more people are becoming more aware of the reality of the hysterical AGW claims. IMO, most people will not ruin the future of Australia just to pander to some neo-religious hysteria.

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  35. #37 foram
    March 13, 2011

    Lotharsson,

    Can Moran even read?

    I’m sure he can read.

    You’re being too kind. Too paraphrase:

    Garnaut: My confidence in the science has increased.

    Moran: Garnaut says his confidence in the science has decreased.

    That’s either a lack of reading comprehension, or a deliberate misrepresentation.

  36. #38 Lotharsson
    March 13, 2011

    > That’s either a lack of reading comprehension, or a deliberate misrepresentation.

    Yes, that’s precisely what I was saying, with emphasis on the latter option.

  37. #39 foram
    March 13, 2011

    Sorry, should be Lotharsson

    … and “to paraphrase”

    Maybe, like me, he just doesn’t check what he writes, eh?

  38. #40 foram
    March 13, 2011
    That’s either a lack of reading comprehension, or a deliberate misrepresentation.

    Yes, that’s precisely what I was saying, with emphasis on the latter option.

    Does a newspaper have any obligation to fact check its opinion pages? I mean, seriously. The fact bits, not the opinion bits. This is a genuine question.

  39. #41 Shinsko
    March 14, 2011

    Here is Nova’s other half, David Evans, [attempting some maths.](http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/source/evans-david/aust-carbon-temps.pdf)

    I love how he divides everything by 10 because,

    >Skeptics say:… The temperature increase due to increased carbon dioxide levels is about one tenth of what the IPCC say.

    Which of course means Evans’s equation doesn’t work for the temperature rise we’ve already observed.

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