Open Thread 60

Time for a new thread.

Comments

  1. #1 Shinsko
    March 16, 2011

    If I may I’ll repost my comment I just put on the last open thread …

    Here is Jo 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.

  2. It’s quiet in here—too quiet.

    Meanwhile, the Arctic Ocean is losing its ice pack, something you can’t explain away as putting your measurements too near a parking lot…

  3. #3 Vince whirlwind
    March 16, 2011

    Markita, have you come across the denialist argument that NASA are deliberately crashing their satellites to avoid collecting data that proves that the oceans aren’t warming/ice isn’t melting/etc…?

    It’s not just a lone nutter argument, it’s all over kook sites like Jo Nova’s.

    In fact a recent thread at Jo Nova’s got massively side-tracked by a very lively argument over whether the moon landings were faked.

    And on the rare occasions they venture away from “Piltdown Mann!11!1 Fr@ud!! Warmist communist greenies!” into actual science, every reference given is to one of the 6-or-so well-known fringe-dwellers who provides them with their material.

    You can’t satirise the denilaists – they are auto-satiric.

  4. #4 Sou
    March 17, 2011

    75.6% of Julie Bishop’s website visitors strongly support a carbon tax, 80.2% support in total. Julie folded, removing her survey and all previous surveys in denial :)

    But not before I got this screenshot:

    http://bundanga.blogspot.com/2011/03/julie-bishops-followers-support-carbon.html

    (For international readers, Julie Bishop is the deputy leader of the Liberal Party opposition in Australia, which is doing whatever it can to make sure we get more and worse weather disasters.)

  5. #5 adelady
    March 17, 2011

    And who said the dirt encrusted filth you have to pick up with gardening gloves won’t come in handy one day.

    Nice work, sou.

  6. #6 Shinsko
    March 17, 2011

    Sou – how funny that she removed the survey (and past surveys) (I’m going to file your screenshot if I may!)

  7. #7 James Haughton
    March 17, 2011

    A google search inadvertently led me to wander into Jennifer “Sokwatic Iwony” Marohasy’s bog today – yes, she’s at it again!

    Among the highlights: A 3 part special denying the Big Bang; a couple of posts denying the applicability of the Stefan-Boltzmann law; several posts upholding the “Slaying the Sky Dragon” idea that the greenhouse effect violates the second law of thermodynamics; Some posts upholding Ken Ring’s theory that the Japanese quake was caused by the gravity of the moon; a post complaining that teh gays are threatening her freedom of speech by refusing to read her blog and pay her advertising money (yes, I’m not making this up); and, in a truly magnificent example of Iwony, Dunning-Kruger, or both, a post complaining about how unfair it is to question the sanity of conspiracy theorists. After all, as a former pest control ecologist, Marohasy is perfectly qualified to opine on cosmology and thermodynamic physics, and any suggestion that she’s got a few crocodiles loose in the roof (thank you Mr Katter) is pure jackbooted stalinism!

    Chez Marohasy – the bog that keeps on smelling! Such a shame that the IPA cut off her funding when they realised what a fruitcake they had hired, she was a great club to hit them with.

  8. #8 jakerman
    March 18, 2011

    >*complaining that teh gays are threatening her freedom of speech by refusing to read her blog and pay her advertising money (yes, I’m not making this up);*

    Please do expand on this one? I’d check that out for my self but I don’t want to add to her readership count.

  9. #9 foram
    March 18, 2011

    Please do expand on this one? I’d check that out for my self but I don’t want to add to her readership count.

    Can’t say I’ve ever visited Marahosy’s blog, and can’t say I’m ever likely to again, but here you go:

    Gay & Lesbian Lobby Attacking Freedom of Speech

    Posted by jennifer, February 5th, 2011 – under News, Opinion. Comments: 20

    Two corporations, IBM and the ANZ Bank, are part of a boycott of this blog and my advertising revenue has plummeted. It was never a lot of money, but it had helped pay the bills.

    The boycott is a consequence of an article attacking gay marriage published at On Line Opinion. I have never published anything on gay marriage, and I am not against the concept, but because advertising for this blog is sold as a block with advertising for On Line Opinion, and because the gay lobby is apparently intolerant of alternative views, I am suffering.

    And it is not as though On Line Opinion is running a campaign against gays, lesbians or their right to marry – quite the contrary. On Line Opinion publishes a diversity of opinions with the aim of promoting Socratic dialogue.

    As Christopher Pearson writes in The Australian today, issues of principles are at stake here concerning freedom of political debate in this country and the character of our civilization.

    **************

    The Offending Article [link]

    Skeptical Lawyer on the Boycott [link]

    Christopher Pearson explains the situation in today’s The Weekend Australian [link]

    There is a donate button at the top right-hand corner of this blog.

  10. #10 Bernard J.
    March 18, 2011

    [Jakerman](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/open_thread_60.php#comment-3483715).

    One way to avoid adding to her hit tally would be for the brave folk who venture there in the first place (I admire your daring, James Haughton!) to use [backupURL.com](www.backupURL.com) to archive the page, and either use the direct backupURL link, or to link to a continuously updating page that uses the original backupURL link.

    In this way little tricks like [Julie Bishop’s disappearing survey](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/open_thread_60.php#comment-3480123) are forever captured in glass as well.

    Two birds for the price of one stone – permanent recording, and avoidance of traffic for the offenders. With some judicious updating on an intermediate web page, the freezing aspect of archiving can be circumvented, and the fun will never die.

  11. #11 foram
    March 18, 2011

    Thanks for the tip, Bernard.

    I think this was the link you meant.

  12. #12 Wow
    March 18, 2011

    > but because advertising for this blog is sold as a block with advertising for On Line Opinion, and because the gay lobby is apparently intolerant of alternative views, I am suffering.

    a) Aren’t anti-gays also apparently intolerant of alternative views?

    b) She can always get different sponsors. After all, she cannot FORCE people to sponsor her just because she needs it.

    c) I’m reminded of David Bellamy claiming that it was his stance against AGW that caused him to be blackballed.

    d) Beck is seeing sponsor money plummet because he’s just too obviously a dangerous nutcase.

  13. #13 Mike
    March 18, 2011

    @3. Do you have a reference for the Jo Nova “moon landing” thread hijack Vince? I’d just be interested.

    I mean, she praises herself an awful lot on her pro-science attitudes, but she sure allows some of the whackiest loopiest commentary on her blog.

    I just had a skim through her latest posts and one could quite confidently say she is 100% pure right-wing paranoia.

  14. #14 Lotharsson
    March 18, 2011

    > …she praises herself an awful lot on her pro-science attitudes…

    Saying it does not make it so.

    She also praises herself a lot for avoiding – and accuses certain critics of engaging in – ad hominem attacks, and (at least in cases where I’ve engaged her on The Drum) has been demonstrably wrong on both counts.

  15. #15 chek
    March 20, 2011

    I’d like to say a big thank you >THANK YOU< to Vince W. and Bruce S. for the help they offered when Sciencblog’s site was unavailable to UK IP numbers over the past couple of weeks.

    As we now know it was due to factors outside anybody but Rackspace’s DDOS control, but nevertheless gentlemen, you have my thanks for your freely given and well-meant assistance.

    It’s good to see SB (and particularly Tim L. and William C.and others) back again!

  16. #16 Vince whirlwind
    March 20, 2011

    @13, Mike,

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/03/unthreaded/
    starting at comment #90, but really taking off at #100

    They get quite confused over who to insult and in what terms.

    Only CRETINS believe that the Moon Landings were faked!

    This is the menatlity of these Gaia Worshippers!

    Not the sharpest tools in the shed!

  17. #17 Anthony David
    March 21, 2011

    Shock. Horror. Climate Depot (Exclusive!) have rolled out 1,000 (count them) scientists who say AGW is bunk.

    And so it begins. Again.

  18. #18 Lotharsson
    March 21, 2011

    > And so it begins. Again.

    Maybe this time it will be the final “final nail in the coffin of AGW”? ;-)

  19. #19 chek
    March 21, 2011

    “Climate Depot (Exclusive!) have rolled out 1,000 (count them) scientists who say AGW is bunk”.

    Now all they gotta do is write up the papers explaining why and get’em published.
    I’m sure they all know the drill by now.

  20. #20 Marco
    March 21, 2011

    Oi, chek, several got stuff published in E&E! Now, rebut THAT!

    Good thing about those lists is that I’ve been able to put a few more on my list of suspicious authors. If they allow their political ideology to cloud their judgment so easily, I’m putting severe doubt that their articles do not suffer from the same confirmation bias.

  21. #21 chek
    March 21, 2011

    Marco said: “Oi, chek, several got stuff published in E&E!
    Now, rebut THAT”!

    Isn’t being published in E&E pretty much self-rebutting? :)

    As the late’n’great Bill Hicks might have said:
    “Here’s the deal, folks. You do Poptart’s rag – you’re off the scientific roll call, forever.
    End of story.
    Okay?
    You’re another whore at the captialist gang bang and if you appear in Poptart’s rag, there’s a price on your head.
    Everything you say is suspect and every word that comes out of your mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink.”

  22. #22 Marion Delgado
    March 21, 2011

    So, when the DDOS was in full swing, I wrote Al Jazeera that they should cover it, given it was out of Turkey and Qatar. Just today (weeks later!) I get the mail returned, mailbox full. Something fishy?

  23. #23 Lotharsson
    March 22, 2011

    [Abbott to address anti-carbon tax rally](http://www.theage.com.au/national/labor-tries-to-tie-abbott-to-deniers-20110322-1c56l.html).

    > …with the government homing in on the opposition ”deniers”, there is some risk in Mr Abbott being associated with today’s rally, which sceptics and deniers will be prominent.

    And:

    > Bob Brown released a Galaxy poll of 1036 people commissioned by the Greens saying 58 per cent supported ”tax[ing] the big polluters” as the best way to cut emissions.

    > Ms Gillard said in Parliament Mr Abbott should admit he was “a climate change denier” – to which Christopher Pyne objected, claiming it had overtones of Holocaust denial.

    > Climate Change Minister Greg Combet hit back. “When you stop denying the climate science, we’ll stop calling you a denier.”

    That’s the way you do it.

    > In a Liberal Party meeting Mr Abbott, anxious to avoid the opposition being dragged into public arguments about the science, again stressed that the Coalition’s position was that climate change was real, mankind contributed to it and the Coalition had a strong alternative policy to combat it. Emphasising the need to market the opposition’s alternative policy, he said the question was how to deal with climate change, not whether it existed.

    So, Tony, how come you keep dog-whistling to the “skeptics” and “deniers” then? Are you dishonest or merely confused?

  24. #24 Jimmy Nightingale
    March 23, 2011

    This little effort in the SMH today shows that stupidity and double-speak are not the sole preserve of the Opposition Leader:

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/the-bishops-gambit/what-the-government-doesnt-want-you-to-say-on-climate-change/20110323-1c5o2.html

    So many errors and contradictions in this little effort that it is hard to know where to start.

  25. #25 Lotharsson
    March 23, 2011

    Jimmy Nightingale, hadn’t seen that. Bishop proclaims that the government should stop attacking the Coalition over a carbon tax and its denialism pandering – because the Coalition actually has a climate change policy. She then runs through a veritable dog-whistling gamut of denialist memes, admittedly leaving out some of the more blatantly stupid ones, and tries hard to don the mantle of suppressed free speech because they are called “deniers” – whilst publishing her views in the press.

    I would be more than happy to vote against NSW Labor on Saturday – but with Barry O’Farrell linking his campaign to fighting the carbon tax and thus by extension this sort of bullcrap it’s difficult to go that far.

  26. #26 Lotharsson
    March 23, 2011

    Coverage of the [anti-carbon tax rally](http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/pinocchio-gillard-strong-antigillard-emissions-at-canberra-carbon-tax-protest-20110323-1c5w7.html).

    > Among the anti-tax protesters in Canberra are the Young Liberals, DLP, Climate Skeptics, the National Civic Council and the Conservative Action Network.

    Funny how the protesters in the picture claim that “Australian families can’t afford it” when no details have been released yet. If they can see into the future, perhaps they can tell us how bad climate change is going to get?

    Angry Anderson reportedly telling the protesters “they were a religious minority group” probably didn’t help the protest’s credibility either.

    Meanwhile frequent denier Alan Moran apparently proffered a false dichotomy:

    > Institute of Public Affairs deregulation spokesman Alan Moran, who is due to address the Melbourne rally, said research conducted by the think tank has revealed only about 6 per cent of consumers would be prepared to pay an annual $1000 tax in 2020.

    > “The only alternative is to do nothing,” Mr Moran said.

    But he leaves himself an out by saying that if the whole world agrees on a tax then Australia should follow. Classic denialist tactic.

    This story seems to cover [Abbott’s remarks](http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/abbott-calls-for-new-election-on-carbon-tax-20110323-1c5yl.html).

    Apparently the tax – whose details have not been announced yet – will cost the average household $2000/yr. Apparently Abbott also can see into the future ;-) Perhaps he can tell us what his own government-managed proposal will cost, and how effective it will be in reducing carbon compared to a tax that transitions to a market-based mechanism?

    > Mr Abbott said it was important that the government made an “intelligent response” to climate change “not a stupid one”.

    Yes, Mr. Abbott – and that applies in even greater measure to your party.

  27. #27 foram
    March 23, 2011

    Wow, the wingnuts were really out in force at that anti-carbon tax rally. Just saw footage on ABC news of Tony Abbott speaking in front of a placard reading:

    “Say no to carbon tax 4 UN/IMF Global Gov = Agenda 21 Genocide”

    I kid you not. Mr Abbott should be careful of the company he keeps.

  28. #28 Dave R
    March 23, 2011

    >Mr Abbott should be careful of the company he keeps.

    There’s a video of it [here](http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/201103/r739116_6029592.asx) and a screenshot of Abbott [here](http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/9314/abbottconspiracynut.jpg).

  29. #29 Lotharsson
    March 23, 2011

    [“Abbott forced to prove he’s revolting too”](http://www.smh.com.au/national/abbott-forced-to-prove-that-hes-revolting-too-20110323-1c6uk.html).

    I wonder if he’ll ultimately regret trying to dog whistle to the “deniers” and “skeptics”. That story seems to make it clear that it certainly wasn’t a good look to be associated with some of those viewpoints (and placards).

  30. #30 Lotharsson
    March 23, 2011

    Whilst Abbott is out calling Gillard a liar – an accusation that can be fraught with difficulty in politics – [she has an article in the SMH](http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/extreme-views-must-not-decide-carbon-tax-20110323-1c6ky.html) where she calls him out for being two-faced:

    > He doesn’t really believe in climate change. He doesn’t really agree with the science. He gives a nod to the denialists when the audience is with him, then returns and gives another story to the Canberra press gallery.

    and says:

    > I’ll be taking my science from the CSIRO, not the radio shock jocks.

  31. #31 Lotharsson
    March 23, 2011

    Barnaby Joyce was apparently [quite the hit at the anti-carbon tax rally](http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/who-needs-elvis-barnaby-rabble-goes-crazy-with-delight-20110323-1c6uo.html) where (idiotically):

    > He told those gathered that cheap power was their birthright…

    Not sure what reasons some of the protesters had for being there when one reportedly said:

    > “We are better than this, Australia. We are better than a nation of table servants for other people’s nations.”

    I can’t for the life of me figure out the connection to a carbon tax that transitions to a trading scheme.

  32. #32 foram
    March 23, 2011

    I wonder if he’ll ultimately regret trying to dog whistle to the “deniers” and “skeptics”. That story seems to make it clear that it certainly wasn’t a good look to be associated with some of those viewpoints (and placards).

    Where are the pro-science conservatives in this country anyway?

    I wonder how long Malcolm Turnbull and the other scientifically literate Coalition MPs will stay quiet on this issue. At the moment Abbott (with help from the likes of Minchin, Abetz, Brandis and Joyce) is doing very well at embarrassing himself, but there must come a point when that does some real damage to the Liberal Party brand. I’m curious as to what the numbers are really like behind the scenes – and whether Nick Minchin’s departure at the end of the current Senate term could just maybe prove a decisive blow to Abbott’s leadership. Here’s hoping, anyway.

    The best case is surely a return to bipartisan agreement on the validity of the science – and hence the need for decisive action to reduce emissions. The ‘skeptics’, the radio shock jocks, the right wing think tanks and the Murdoch commentariat seem happy for the political debate to be framed as “increasingly polarised between an anti-development, zero-emissions push on one side, and an economic growth, climate-sceptic view on the other” but that, of course, is an utterly false dichotomy.

  33. #33 Vince whirlwind
    March 23, 2011

    Being curious about the

    UN/IMF Global Gov = Agenda 21 Genocide

    I did a google and found out what “Agenda 21″ is:
    http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_00.shtml
    http://www.environment.gov.au/about/international/uncsd/publications/agenda21.html

    Apparently, the UN, in 1992, came up with an action plan for sustainable development which, among other nefarious aims, promotes evil purposes such as:

    “Combating Poverty”
    “Protection of the Atmosphere”
    “Safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive wastes”
    “Promoting workers and trade unions”
    “Promoting education, public awareness, and training”

    Obviously this is nothing more than a plot for a take-over by a communist world government. Or maybe a fascist one.

    To get to the truth of “Agenda 21″, why trust the UN when we can nistead rely on intelligent websites such as:

    http://ausiwakeup.webs.com/agenda21.htm

    Where you can read about:

    Read how the State of Queensland is now removed from the protections of the Australian Constitution. A privately owned state corporation now owns and controls all land-use activity in Queensland. This horrific experience is destroying the life and culture of those living there and provides a prototype example of what public/private partnership really means.

    Or
    http://www.green-agenda.com/agenda21.html

    Agenda 21 spreads it tentacles from Governments, to federal and local authorities, and right down to community groups.

    Interestingly, in April 1991, fourteen months before Earth Summit, Prince Charles held a private two day international conference aboard the royal yacht Britannia, moored off the coast of Brazil. His goal was to bring together key international figures in an attempt to achieve a degree of harmony between the various countries that would gather at the Summit. Al Gore was present, along with senior officials from the United Nations and the World Bank.

    Agenda 21 is not an environmental management policy, but an attempt to impose a global centrally planned quasi-government administered by the United Nations. Under Agenda 21 all central government and local authority signatories are required to conform strictly to a common prescribed standard and hence this is just communism ….

    Tony Abbott is in bed with Teh cRaZy.

  34. #34 Lars Karlsson
    March 24, 2011

    This magnificent blunder by our friend Willis Eschenbach over at WUWT hasn’t got enough attention.

  35. #35 Lotharsson
    March 25, 2011

    Response to comments from Iain Hall [including this one](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/02/carbon_tax_back_flips.php#comment-3516002) on the Carbon Tax backflip thread, where it was getting seriously off topic.

    > I did not say that it has NO place in a forum discussing this topic only, that it is a fundamentally weak way to argue…

    Fair enough.

    But it’s weaker still is to make completely unsupported assertions, as you tend to. Argument by reference to authority whose conclusions are appropriately rooted in evidence and logic trumps unsupported claims of “well, it might not be as they say” any day.

    > Lets agree that there being a “consensus” may lend some weight to an argument but it is never wise (as my earlier referencing Copernicus shows) to suggest , as you do, that it is in any way definitive or substantial when it comes to making a scientific argument.

    Er, no, that’s not a fair representation of my position.

    Try reading what I wrote again.

    > Would any scientist worth their salt make the argument that their ideas are consistent with the consensus therefore they are scientifically correct?

    Er, dude, are you deliberately misconstruing what I wrote, such as the fairly plain statement that:

    > And none of this applies to those competent to assess the science,…

    …or did you merely fail to comprehend? Wait:

    > Its funny that you should say this now because earlier you were suggesting that the consensus is of great import and that we should accept it as a proof of the AGW theory.

    Yes, you did indeed fail to comprehend the nuance.

    > Being consistent with some broad consensus proves nothing.

    Yes, I agreed on that point.

    But the onus is on those who claim that the consensus of the competent is wrong to robustly demonstrate reasonable likelihood of their claim being true. I have yet to see you or any “skeptic” do so. The best attempts have been published by professional climate scientists – and they look the most plausible at first glance – but none of them have stood up to extended scrutiny by peers.

    > …for an admission that I know nothing about science…

    So, is you or ain’t you competent to assess the science, or parts of it? ‘Fess up now.

    > No I am suggesting that You are en the thrall of those high priests…

    LOL! Which high priests specifically? Come on, name names. Or do you prefer to make vague accusations and insinuations?

    > …not the “national science bodies” which I did not invoke at all.

    So you failed to comprehend for all this time that you were responding to [a comment invoking those kinds of official science bodies](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/02/carbon_tax_back_flips.php#comment-3509241):

    > “…expert professional advice on this matter from the properly qualified Australian scientific research organisations”

    although admittedly not called “national science bodies” there, when [you falsely accused Vince of](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/02/carbon_tax_back_flips.php#comment-3509241)

    > “Just accepting any argument from authority as you are suggesting…”

    ?

    Wow, that level of confusion must be difficult to handle. Do you seriously not understand the difference between invoking the authority of appropriate professional organisations and “any argument from authority”, or were you merely clutching at straws to make your argument?

    > …and if I was going to allege a conspiracy then I would just come straight out and say so,

    Feel free to clarify what you meant by:

    > …those who are suitably anointed by the priests of the green faith

    noting that you were incorrectly characterising my statement:

    > …national scientific bodies reporting on an overwhelming professional consensus complete with masses of evidence and documentation of the procedures used to reach it

    Feel free to explain how you decided that my invocation of evidence and procedures assessed by national professional bodies in relevant disciplines relies on “high priests” or most particularly “green faith”, or admit that your characterisation of my position is false.

    > My comment actually addresses your excessive zeal for suggesting that all we need to see is the qualifications of someone talking about AGW to know how true their claims are. That is fundamentally unscientific.

    My, my, you really don’t comprehend nuance at all, do you? Sheesh, that must suck. If you want to be taken seriously, please enumerate the ways in which that quote mischaracterises what I wrote.

    > …as for the scientific method I under stand it well enough to appreciate that there is no way of testing the AGW theory that would validate it by way of a repeatable experiment.

    And you’ve thereby definitively demonstrated your complete scientific incompetence, at least in this field of science. Heck, you’re apparently not even smart enough to use Google to find out what scientific tests and data could invalidate “AGW theory”.

    You appear have a basic but incomplete notion of what constitutes science and you’re running around proudly asserting that all those scientists aren’t actually doing science because you don’t see how what they do fits into your limited model. Your self-assessment of your capabilities appears to exceed your understanding and abilities by a significant margin.

    > You made the assertion so you have the onus of proof, this is just a cop out.

    Ooooh, thank you for responding as I expected :-) Now please apply that standard to just about every assertion you have made about the science and see what’s left.

    And specifically apply it to your assertion that led me to suggest that satellites which we want to deploy regardless of AGW chew up most of the funding.

    And maybe you should wonder in idle moments whether maybe you’ve missed something important about funding and the cost of satellites that is quite easy to find out if you dare to seek the facts…

    > But your analogy does not really work as it makes a faulty assumption that in terms of the future climate we are heading over a cliff and there is no great certainty tah thais will actaully be where we are heading.

    Way to miss the point of an analogy, and deny the climate science at the very same time! It takes real skill to pull off 2-for-1 moves like that ;-)

    > Would those “working scientists ” be working without the funding from government to consider the future of the climate?

    They say they would. Science doesn’t simply cease because answers are obtained in one speciality, or a particular field comes to be considered less immediately important to public policy than it previously was. Strangely enough the scientific community and their funders have developed the ability to shift resources as priorities change – whodathunk it?

    > Well I would argue that the higher the stakes are the higher standard of proof we should require before we act…

    You’ve got it almost exactly backwards. Waiting for extremely high proof on matters of great risk is a fantastic way to walk straight into an otherwise avoidable disaster, whilst looking deeply stupid (or at least careless) to boot.

    > So how precisely do you decide who to turn to is such circumstances? On what basis do you respect an authority?

    Good questions – now you’re starting to think!

    How about you answer them first? So far you appear to only respect your own on issues of climate science, and I wonder why you think anyone else should take that position seriously. How do you form your beliefs about aspects of climate science that are beyond your own personal competence?

    > If a scientific argument is so dense and obscure that the gist of it can not be understood by a layman then it is open to the reasonable suspicion that it contains too much bovine excrement.

    The funny thing is…the (a) core of the scientific argument can be and is frequently understood by laymen other than yourself, and (b) the position that “I think it might be bulldust because I can’t understand much of it” is self-evidently stupid. But at least it demonstrates where you’re coming from.

    > If my suggestion that AGW is unproven is wrong then kindly show me where it has been definitively demonstrated to be correct , heck I’ll even be happy with the civil litigation standard of proof here.

    Then I refer you (once more) to the IPCC reports, which the qualified scientists say demonstrate quite satisfactorily to the civil litigation standards of proof, and which dissenting qualified scientists cannot demonstrate fails to that standard of proof.

    If those are too detailed or dense there are any number of simplified summaries for laymen on the web. Many of them have references for those who’d like to drill deeper into the science.

    > But by the way It is you who keeps making appeals to authority here, not I.

    No, you still miscomprehend. I’m only appealing to authority in the case where one is personally not competent to assess the science, and that authority is not embodied in individuals or bodies because of who they are or their qualifications, but because they can demonstrate that when the best possible effort is made by the most competent people in the field, they will generally conclude that the weight of the evidence lies with what has become the consensus position – by virtue of careful and competent consideration of that evidence.

    Do you truly not understand the distinction between the authority of the best assessment by the most competent people who argue about it in great detail for a living versus some sort of “faith” in an ideology or priesthood? If not, you should stop now because each repetition further entrenches the perception of your lack of comprehension.

    > Hmm shall we start with the paucity of the data for the planets climate the further into the past that we go? How about the weakness of climate proxies for the reconstruction of paleo climates?

    That’s the basis for your skepticism? Sheesh.

    > Like a lot of god-bothers that I used to argue with in days gone by you insist on trying to make the argument all about the tenants of your faith, and cite your prophets pronouncements, go instead to the fundamentals, of accurate data and sound reasoning.

    ROLFMAO! That’s precisely where I start – the weight of scientific evidence and reasoning by those competent to assess it. And that leads these days to the overwhelming conclusions that anthropogenic influences are playing and will continue to play a significant role in warming the climate more than it would otherwise have warmed.

    Furthermore, I can go a certain way in following the scientific debate – and most of the time when I do I can see where almost all of the “skeptics” go wrong in their claims to be coming from a scientific position (especially when they resort to claims that have been repeatedly debunked). But I also know I don’t have the skills to tackle the science once it gets deep enough, and I’m not stupid enough to kid myself that I can.

    (Hmmmm, looking at the length of this comment I’d say I should probably heed DNFTT, unless Iain cares to post an actual substantive argument in future…)

  36. #36 adelady
    March 25, 2011

    An actual substantive argument?

    Not gunna happen. Well, not for at least a fortnight. Takes a while to read all that stuff and relate some of the arcane physics and statistical equations into something you think you can understand well enough to talk about it yourself.

    Or Iain could just watch Richard Alley.
    http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/richard-alley-the-biggest-control-knob-carbon-dioxide-in-earths-climate-history/ Bear in mind that he is one of the greatest scientists in the world on paleo climate.

    (I’m not as enamoured with Alley’s style as most others seem to be. As a public speaker I find him too fidgety and his voice makes me think he’ll finish up with nasty thingummies on his vocal chords, but many people just love him.)

  37. #37 Lotharsson
    March 25, 2011

    > Not gunna happen.

    I had no idea who Iain Hall was, but Googling him gives that impression too…as does his almost content-free high-assertion posting on the Carbon Tax backflip thread.

  38. #38 zoot
    March 25, 2011

    Around the traps Iain is well known as a fine example of a D-Khead.

  39. #39 Iain Hall
    March 25, 2011

    Lothorsson

     

     

    But it’s weaker still is to make completely unsupported assertions, as you tend to. Argument by reference to authority whose conclusions are appropriately rooted in evidence and logic trumps unsupported claims of “well, it might not be as they say” any day.

    Hmm maybe but only if the evidence and logic actually stacks up and proves your point, but really it is still rather weak because you keep deferring to some mythical authority rather than going to first principles to show how what is being cited makes your argument.

     

    Er, no, that’s not a fair representation of my position.

    Try reading what I wrote again.

    I would if you cite the passage that you think I am misunderstanding

     

    Er, dude, are you deliberately misconstruing what I wrote, such as the fairly plain statement that:

    And none of this applies to those competent to assess the science,…

    define what makes someone ” competent to assess the science” ?

    …or did you merely fail to comprehend? Wait:

    Its funny that you should say this now because earlier you were suggesting that the consensus is of great import and that we should accept it as a proof of the AGW theory.

    Yes, you did indeed fail to comprehend the nuance.

    Being consistent with some broad consensus proves nothing.

    Yes, I agreed on that point.

    You agree on my point above yet you still keep touting “consensus” (of the competent) as if that in itself has meaning as you do below:

    But the onus is on those who claim that the consensus of the competent is wrong to robustly demonstrate reasonable likelihood of their claim being true. I have yet to see you or any “skeptic” do so. The best attempts have been published by professional climate scientists – and they look the most plausible at first glance – but none of them have stood up to extended scrutiny by peers.

    No the onus of proof always lies with those who make the original claim, no matter how much support they get form the like minded.

    …for an admission that I know nothing about science…

    So, is you or ain’t you competent to assess the science, or parts of it? ‘Fess up now.

    Define your terms please (as I asked above) what, in your opinion makes anyone “competent to assess the science”?

     

     

    …those who are suitably anointed by the priests of the green faith

    noting that you were incorrectly characterising my statement:

    …national scientific bodies reporting on an overwhelming professional consensus complete with masses of evidence and documentation of the procedures used to reach it

    Feel free to explain how you decided that my invocation of evidence and procedures assessed by national professional bodies in relevant disciplines relies on “high priests” or most particularly “green faith”, or admit that your characterisation of my position is false.

    Despite agreeing earlier in your latest comment that “Being consistent with some broad consensus proves nothing.(moi) Yes, I agreed on that point.(you)” what do we find above but you contradicting yourself by appealing to the authoruity of “professional bodies” rather than any individual argument.

    My comment actually addresses your excessive zeal for suggesting that all we need to see is the qualifications of someone talking about AGW to know how true their claims are. That is fundamentally unscientific.

    My, my, you really don’t comprehend nuance at all, do you? Sheesh, that must suck. If you want to be taken seriously, please enumerate the ways in which that quote mischaracterises what I wrote.

    Actually I’m not that shabby at appreciating nuance at all and if my quote above “mischaracterises” what you wrote then it is a failure of your ability to write a clear argument especially given the number of times that you make appeals to authority, or “consensus”

    …as for the scientific method I under stand it well enough to appreciate that there is no way of testing the AGW theory that would validate it by way of a repeatable experiment.

    And you’ve thereby definitively demonstrated your complete scientific incompetence, at least in this field of science. Heck, you’re apparently not even smart enough to use Google to find out what scientific tests and data could invalidate “AGW theory”.

    But under any understanding of science you have to validate the theory that you are espousing efforts like the one directly above just shows that you are struggling here.

    You appear have a basic but incomplete notion of what constitutes science and you’re running around proudly asserting that all those scientists aren’t actually doing science because you don’t see how what they do fits into your limited model. Your self-assessment of your capabilities appears to exceed your understanding and abilities by a significant margin.

    What is truly limited is the amount of hard evidence to back up the AGW hypothesis.

    Just as a thought exercise what don’t you explain just what led you to believe in AGW and what was the “light bulb ” moment that made you sure that the theory is correct.

     

     

    You made the assertion so you have the onus of proof, this is just a cop out.

    Ooooh, thank you for responding as I expected :-) Now please apply that standard to just about every assertion you have made about the science and see what’s left.

    But I’m not the one prone to making innumerable appeals to authority to back up their argument , you are. Show us the evidence not those who you think believe in the evidence.

    And specifically apply it to your assertion that led me to suggest that satellites which we want to deploy regardless of AGW chew up most of the funding.

    Do they really? I’m still waiting for you to back that claim up But then perhaps you had better define precisely what you understand to be “agw funding” because I’m beginning to think that you have a a really narrow definition for it.

    And maybe you should wonder in idle moments whether maybe you’ve missed something important about funding and the cost of satellites that is quite easy to find out if you dare to seek the facts…

    Its still up to you to make your argument

    But your analogy does not really work as it makes a faulty assumption that in terms of the future climate we are heading over a cliff and there is no great certainty that this will actaully be where we are heading.

    Way to miss the point of an analogy, and deny the climate science at the very same time! It takes real skill to pull off 2-for-1 moves like that ;-)

    So why do you think that we are heading off a “climate cliff?” my guess is that you are going to tell me that it is because of the AGW theory. which would make your argument both very circular and definitively millenarian

    Would those “working scientists ” be working without the funding from government to consider the future of the climate?

    They say they would. Science doesn’t simply cease because answers are obtained in one speciality, or a particular field comes to be considered less immediately important to public policy than it previously was. Strangely enough the scientific community and their funders have developed the ability to shift resources as priorities change – whodathunk it?

    But them working at Macca’s or some other menial job doesn’t count

    Well I would argue that the higher the stakes are the higher standard of proof we should require before we act…

    You’ve got it almost exactly backwards. Waiting for extremely high proof on matters of great risk is a fantastic way to walk straight into an otherwise avoidable disaster, whilst looking deeply stupid (or at least careless) to boot.

    The old adage of act in haste and repent at leisure is appropriate here and one thing that is certain is that all of the panic merchants seem to be exhibiting unseemly haste to act , perhaps its because they are so keen to do “something” instead of thinking a bit more carefully so that they can do something that will be both effective and efficacious. the proposed remedies to the “AGW problem” all seem to be pretty useless and ineffective from the proposals that I have seen offered so far (like the CPRS and JuLIAR’s carbon tax) even a true believer like you has to agree that doing something that will have no effect on the problem (assuming for the sake of argument that you are right about AGW) is a great waste of effort and treasure.

    So how precisely do you decide who to turn to is such circumstances? On what basis do you respect an authority?

    Good questions – now you’re starting to think!

    How about you answer them first? So far you appear to only respect your own on issues of climate science, and I wonder why you think anyone else should take that position seriously. How do you form your beliefs about aspects of climate science that are beyond your own personal competence?

    A nice attempt to do a bait and switch but I asked you first so you should answer first.

    If a scientific argument is so dense and obscure that the gist of it can not be understood by a layman then it is open to the reasonable suspicion that it contains too much bovine excrement.

    The funny thing is…the (a) core of the scientific argument can be and is frequently understood by laymen other than yourself, and (b) the position that “I think it might be bulldust because I can’t understand much of it” is self-evidently stupid. But at least it demonstrates where you’re coming from.

    I think that you confuse understanding an argument (scientific or otherwise) with agreeing with that argument and my point is to suggest that there is an obligation to those arguing of any theory to do so in a clear and cogent manner that avoids excessive jargon and other efforts to obsusre the central argument.

    If my suggestion that AGW is unproven is wrong then kindly show me where it has been definitively demonstrated to be correct , heck I’ll even be happy with the civil litigation standard of proof here.

    Then I refer you (once more) to the IPCC reports, which the qualified scientists say demonstrate quite satisfactorily to the civil litigation standards of proof, and which dissenting qualified scientists cannot demonstrate fails to that standard of proof.

    The IPCC reports are political documents and they prove nothing but the consensus of group think

    If those are too detailed or dense there are any number of simplified summaries for laymen on the web. Many of them have references for those who’d like to drill deeper into the science.

    I’ve read more than a few of these sort of pages and they are not as convincing as you want to suggest here

    But by the way It is you who keeps making appeals to authority here, not I.

    No, you still miscomprehend. I’m only appealing to authority in the case where one is personally not competent to assess the science, and that authority is not embodied in individuals or bodies because of who they are or their qualifications, but because they can demonstrate that when the best possible effort is made by the most competent people in the field, they will generally conclude that the weight of the evidence lies with what has become the consensus position – by virtue of careful and competent consideration of that evidence.

    Now you are making me laugh, you respond to a charge that you make too many appeals to authority with, wait for it, an appeal to authority and the consensus! Don’t you see how ironic that is ?

    Do you truly not understand the distinction between the authority of the best assessment by the most competent people who argue about it in great detail for a living versus some sort of “faith” in an ideology or priesthood? If not, you should stop now because each repetition further entrenches the perception of your lack of comprehension.

    There is no substantial distinction here it is still in essence just an appeal to authority that requires you to have faith in those being cited as experts.

    Hmm shall we start with the paucity of the data for the planets climate the further into the past that we go? How about the weakness of climate proxies for the reconstruction of paleo climates?

    That’s the basis for your skepticism? Sheesh.

    So do you really think that there is enough data of sufficient quality for us to really understand the climate? do you really think that proxy data gives us a picture of paleo climates that are realistically comparable to the climate data that we can collect now?

     

     

    ROLFMAO! That’s precisely where I start – the weight of scientific evidence and reasoning by those competent to assess it. And that leads these days to the overwhelming conclusions that anthropogenic influences are playing and will continue to play a significant role in warming the climate more than it would otherwise have warmed.

    You know you almost earned a modicum of respect from me here until you spoiled your copy book with yet another appeal to authority

     

    Furthermore, I can go a certain way in following the scientific debate – and most of the time when I do I can see where almost all of the “skeptics” go wrong in their claims to be coming from a scientific position (especially when they resort to claims that have been repeatedly debunked). But I also know I don’t have the skills to tackle the science once it gets deep enough, and I’m not stupid enough to kid myself that I can.

    Gee is that so? well please explain just what makes you qualified to do this.

     

    (Hmmmm, looking at the length of this comment I’d say I should probably heed DNFTT, unless Iain cares to post an actual substantive argument in future…)

    Pardon me but what does your acronym stand for ?

  40. #40 foram
    March 25, 2011

    Pardon me but what does your acronym stand for ?

    Do Not Feed The Troll.

    Please.

  41. #41 Wow
    March 25, 2011

    > define what makes someone ” competent to assess the science” ?

    Someone who can look at the evidence and the arguments without letting ideology make them deny both to further their own goals.

    What makes someone competent to assess your health?

    > Its still up to you to make your argument

    Excuse us, you were the one asserting that there was pots of money and that it was a money hunt to support AGW.

    That’s YOUR argument.

    But you can’t support it, so you pretend you’re not making statements.

    Pathetic.

    And you seem to think that just because an appeal to an authority can be a fallacy, that you have to, instead, appeal to an idiot.

    Happily, being the idiot, you then appeal to your own self.

  42. #42 Wow
    March 25, 2011

    > So do you really think that there is enough data of sufficient quality for us to really understand the climate?

    Yes.

    Do you think there’s no understanding of climate at all?

    > do you really think that proxy data gives us a picture of paleo climates that are realistically comparable to the climate data that we can collect now?

    Why does it have to be realistically comparable to the data we collect now?

    And paleoclimate doesn’t disprove AGW if you throw it all away. If you just look at current measurements you can see that 86% of the variation in global temperature trends can be explained by the increasing levels of CO2 over that time and that increase can be explained by human activities.

    Athropogenic.

    Global warming.

  43. #43 Lotharsson
    March 25, 2011

    > Do Not Feed The Troll.

    Especially when [this](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/02/carbon_tax_back_flips.php#comment-3516494) one [brings to mind](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/02/carbon_tax_back_flips.php#comment-3516723) the classic request for “smarter trolls, please”.

  44. #44 Bernard J.
    March 25, 2011
  45. #45 Bernard J.
    March 28, 2011

    There’s been a lot of chatter in the media today about how Tim Flannery said that even if CO2 emissions were capped today, cooling below current temperatures would not be observed for centuries.

    Various current and former Coalition politicians have taken this as meaning that halting emissions will have no effect on future temperatures.

    Seriously. Honestly. Really, and truly.

    What hope is there for this country if our conservative poilticians and tabloid hacks/jocks are so scientifically illiterate that they do not understand the difference between committed inertia, and further warming?

    I lost count of how many times this canard was paraded on the radio and on television today, but where I had grave doubts in the past that humans might not act until it’s too late, I am now firmly convinced. With the rabidly right-wing, fundamentalist science-denier Tony Abbott leading conservative politics there is no hope that the average lap person will have the opportunity for their misapprehension to be corrected.

    For the sake of their own blinkered superstitions, for their own political ambitions, and for the fat profits of their lobbyist mates, half of Australia’s politicians are prepared to sell the future of our country, and of our planet, for the gains that they might make in the coming few years and decades, by delaying action on anthropogenic global warming.

    I suspect that there will come a time when the Coalition fails at both state and at federal levels, right across Australia, just as the mess that was the NSW Labor Party failed on the weekend. Unfortunately, by the time that such a Coalition route occurs, the damage will have been long done, and the security and prosperity of our country (and the rest of the world) will have long been lost, effectively forever.

  46. #46 foram
    March 28, 2011

    One vote.

    That’s how close we were here in Aus to having an (admittedly flawed) ETS pass through parliament with bipartisan support (Read: bipartisan ownership of the concept of reducing emissions via a carbon-pricing mechanism). Abbott’s denialist line would have been rendered politically untenable. Possibly for good.

    And instead, the Liberal Party is reduced to echoing Andrew Bolt.

    “Of course we must protect the planet. Of course we must take insurance where there is doubt. But Tim Flannery says that immediate global emission cuts will take up to 1000 years to make a difference!” ~Helen Kroger, Liberal Party Senator

    No, Helen, he didn’t. He said – in the best possible scenario – it would take up to 1000 years for us to return to the temperatures we have now. You still have a choice: noting that the last decade was again the hottest on record, how much hotter would you like it to be in 30 years time? 50? 100? What sort of world would you like your grandchildren to grow old in?

  47. #47 Lotharsson
    March 28, 2011

    > He said – in the best possible scenario – it would take up to 1000 years for us to return to the temperatures we have now.

    This type of clarification really needs much wider coverage. Labor should be pounding the Liberals on getting this badly wrong, using a nice simple analogy that everyone can understand.

  48. #48 foram
    March 28, 2011

    Bolt: Everyone understands that that is the argument But we’re just trying to get basic facts, without worrying about the consequences – about what those facts may lead people to think. On our own, by cutting our emissions, because it’s a heavy price to pay, by 5 per cent by 2020, what will the world’s temperatures fall by as a consequence?

    Flannery: Look, it will be a very, very small increment.

    Bolt: Have you got a number? I mean, there must be some numbers.

    Flannery: I just need to clarfy in terms of the climate context for you. If we cut emissions today, global temperatures are not likely to drop for about a thousand years.

    Bolt: Right, but I just want to get to this very basic fact, because I’m finding it really curious that no one has got (this) fact. If I buy a car … I want to know how much it costs and whether it is going to do the job.

    Flannery: Sure.

    Bolt: In this case I want to know the cost of cutting our emissions by 5 per cent by 2020 and will it do the job: how much will the world’s temperatures fall by if Australia cuts its emissions by this much.

    Flannery: Look, as I said it will be a very, very small increment.

    Bolt: Can you give us a rough figure? A rough figure.

    Flannery: Sorry, I can’t because it’s a very complex system and we’re dealing with probabilities here.

    Bolt: …I’m just trying to get the facts in front of the public so we know what we’re doing. Just unbiased. Is it about, I don’t know, are you talking about a thousandth of a degree? A hundredth of a degree? What sort of rough figure?

    Flannery: Just let me finish and say this. If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years because the system is overburdened with CO2 that has to be absorbed and that only happens slowly.

    Shorter Andrew Bolt: “You’re driving down the freeway at 100km/h. You begin to apply the brakes. How many metres backwards will you travel?”

    Flannery: “Some context Andrew: even if you slam your foot down on the brakes you are not going to stop for a considerable distance…”

    Boltites: AHA!!! QUOTE OF THE CENTURY! FLANNERY ADMITS TO GREAT BRAKE FRAUD!!

  49. #49 Chris O'Neill
    March 28, 2011

    One vote.
    That’s how close we were here in Aus to having an (admittedly flawed) ETS pass through parliament with bipartisan support

    AFAIK, we can’t find out who voted for who but those who did vote for Turnbull need all the support they can get and those who voted for Abbott need all the condemnation they can get.

  50. #50 stephenk
    March 28, 2011

    Often read but rarely comment.

    BernardJ. You are wrong (sorry). There will be no collapse of any political party, here or elsewhere. When it gets absolutely, positively undeniable that the world is (has) gone to hell, those politicians will simply say “but the science wasn’t clear, the scientists didn’t speak up loud enough and we were only acting in good faith” and all the blame will be shunted to those who tried to prevent the problem. Science will then continue to be scapegoated for not being able to fix the problem and the politicians will keep promising that things will get better (if you just let them run things for a little bit longer)…
    They are politicians after all.

  51. #51 jakerman
    March 28, 2011

    Chris O’Neill

    [Good point](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/open_thread_60.php#comment-3537849). And what does representative democracy mean if people don’t know how their represenatives vote on key issues like that one?

  52. #52 Bernard J.
    March 29, 2011

    Stephenk.

    Heh, as cynical as I am I haven’t yet ascribed that much stupidity to the Australian public.

    However, if you are right, then our species is so ill-adapted to balancing intellectual capacity with wisdom that it deserves extinction.

    It’s almost enough to drive one toward nihilism.

  53. #53 MikeH
    March 29, 2011

    Cheer up Bernard

    The shock jocks with all their resources had to dredge the cesspool of One Nation and League of Rights to get 1000 to their carbon tax rally in Canberra.

    In a little over a week, Getup using email organised a rally in Melbourne of around 8000 people. I was there and they were overwhelmingly young. Lots of community based groups. These are the people you do not hear on talk back radio or in the comments sections of the Murdoch press or the ABC – they are too busy with facebook and twitter.

    When these young people are running society, most of the current crop of climate denier fossils will be sequestering the own private piece of carbon.

  54. #54 bluegrue
    March 29, 2011

    The Daily Telegraph is at it again. Headline:

    >___EU to ban cars from cities by 2050___
    >Cars will be banned from London and all other cities across Europe under a draconian EU masterplan to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent over the next 40 years.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/8411336/EU-to-ban-cars-from-cities-by-2050.html

    If you take a look at the whitepaper (which is trivially easy to google)
    < http://ec.europa.eu/transport/strategies/2011_white_paper_en.htm>
    it reads:
    >Halve the use of ‘conventionally-fuelled’ cars in urban transport by 2030; phase them out in cities by 2050; achieve essentially CO2-free city logistics in major urban
    centres by 2030.

    and clarifies in a footnote

    >The term ‘conventionally fuelled’ refers to vehicles using non-hybrid, internal combustion engines (ICE).

    So hybrids and electro cars would still be fine. Not that you could tell from the rest of Bruno Waterfield’s article. The _Association of British Drivers_ spokesman is quoted as
    >”I suggest that [Siim Kallas (the EU transport commission)] goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum,” said Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the BDA [_sic_].
    >
    >”If [Kallas] wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker.”

    Not that one would know from the article, but the ABD has of the order of [only 3000 members](http://www.abd.org.uk/brunstrom.htm) and of course they are AGW “skeptics” (see their Environment section on < http://www.abd.org.uk/>).

    And of course, Monckton – as _”Ukip’s transport spokesman”_ – chimes in once again.
    >”The EU must be living in an alternate reality, where they can spend trillions and ban people from their cars. “

  55. #55 chek
    March 29, 2011

    The Daily Telegraph – by fringe loonies, for fringe loonies.
    Luckily, most of their geriatric following will be dead sooner rather than later.

  56. #56 Dave H
    March 29, 2011

    [Bolt & Monckton – what a winning combination that is](http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_answer_flannery_refused_to_give_just_000005_degrees/)

    Monckton’s math makes me want to hold my head underwater until the pan goes away.

  57. #57 Dave H
    March 29, 2011

    I did of course mean “pain”. I don’t have some crippling fear of Lordly cookware.

  58. #58 Wow
    March 29, 2011

    I thought the pan was to throw up in, Dave…

  59. #59 chek
    March 29, 2011

    In the context of climate change, at the risk of an outbreak of Godwin, whenever I hear the word ‘trillions’, I’d reach for my revolver.
    If I had one.

  60. #60 Lotharsson
    March 30, 2011

    Looks like there’s a spammer called “Deltron” posting to many old threads. The comment bodies look semi-plausible at first glance (although some contain … odd … claims/statements), but the link at the end presumably is advertising for something.

  61. #61 Bernard J.
    March 30, 2011

    Lotharsson.

    It’s a spambot that excises a paragraph from a post higher up the thread, posts it again, and that attaches it’s product link to the post.

    I guess this gives the post sufficient chance at vague relevance-soundingness, enough to get a small proportion of readers to take the next step and follow the link.

    These sort of advertisers make me so livid that I could [use some famous expletives](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWBUl7oT9sA)…

    The incidence of such pseudopostings is increasing around the tubes. It might be time for recaptcha here also…

  62. #62 Watching the Deniers
    March 30, 2011

    I’ve been thinking how to deal with Bolt and the like, given they are significant channels of disinformation.

    Perhaps one response is to start boycotting his blog: it’s the number of hits to his blog and the advertising revenue that generates that makes him relevant.

    Perhaps the only way to restore balance to the likes of papers such as the HUN and talk back is some “cyber” civil disobedience.

    Some thoughts here:

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/power-without-glory-why-we-should-begin-to-boycott-andrew-bolts-blog/

  63. #63 jakerman
    March 31, 2011

    Anyone with the time to read [this report](http://www.strahlentelex.de/Yablokov%20Chernobyl%20book.pdf)

    Its the report they are [discussing here](http://richardbrenneman.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/the-chernobyl-death-toll-1000000-not-4000/) on the impact of Chernobyl.

  64. #64 SteveC
    April 7, 2011

    One for Tim L and his next episode of TAWOS:

    Green Party leader Bob Brown tells the Oz to “grow up”.

    A simmering conflict between The Australian newspaper and the Greens has become open warfare, with Greens leader Bob Brown accusing the national broadsheet of a vendetta against his party and telling it to “grow up”.

  65. #65 Vince whirlwind
    April 8, 2011

    wow, go Bob!

  66. #66 Lotharsson
    April 9, 2011

    Tony Abbot is currently pedalling around, visiting butchers and [implying porkies…](http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/abbotts-beef-on-carbon-price-doesnt-add-up-20110408-1d7fw.html).

    Abbott:

    > “I was just at Russell’s butchery talking about the impact that the carbon tax will have on everyone’s cost of living. Russell’s electricity bill is something like $22,000 a year. Julia Gillard’s carbon tax will put four or five thousand dollars on that, and that’s just for starters. That means that your meat, your sausages, your lamb, your beef, your pork, it all goes up in price,” he told reporters, , leaving the actual price rises on the lamb, beef, sausages and pork unquantified.

    The article continues:

    > [The business owner] …told us his rough annual turnover, which allowed us to calculate that in order to pass on all that extra cost to his consumers, he would have to raise his prices by about 0.187 per cent.

    > …that would mean T-bone steak at $22 a kilo would now cost … $22.04.

    > The indicative Treasury modelling released last week under freedom of information shows the average cost of a household weekly shop would rise by somewhere between 80 cents and $1.70, depending on whether the carbon price was set at the upper or lower end of expectations and whether it was allowed to flow through to the cost of petrol.

    > If Greenwood’s customers can afford to pay the extra two to four cents a kilo – and they will surely be able to do so, given all of them on low to middling wages will get full compensation for the effect of the new tax – then his business should be able to continue with its bottom line unaffected.

    Maybe this line even merits a new category at Deltoid:

    > Coalition strategists are absolutely blunt about it. “We are going to blame the carbon price for absolutely everything,” they say.

  67. #67 chek
    April 9, 2011

    “We are going to blame the carbon price for absolutely everything”.

    This is already an article of faith amongst the denialati.
    Remember Brent last year gullibly attributing every petroleum price hike since 2002 to “green taxes”?

  68. #68 Chris O'Neill
    April 10, 2011

    So who are the denialists in the Labor government cabinet?

  69. #69 Vince whirlwind
    April 10, 2011

    Weekend before last, my brother in law told me, “The Greens introduced a carbon tax in Ireland, the Irish economy went tits up and at the recent election the Greens were all thrown out of office”.

    Despite having no recent knowledge of Irish politics, I said “That sounds like bullshit, where did you hear about that – talkback radio?”.

    He replied, “No, it was in The Australian”.

    As far as I can make out, prior to the last election, the Greens in Ireland had 5 seats, they didn’t introduce any new tax, and the current state of the Irish economy is down to irresponsible banking.

    The Australian is just getting sillier and sillier.

  70. #70 Bernard J.
    April 10, 2011

    Now that it’s the northern hemisphere melt season, I wonder what the [current sea ice volume](http://i56.tinypic.com/2mm74us.jpg) will do?

  71. #71 adelady
    April 11, 2011

    One thing to notice about that graph for sea ice volume. The baseline and 2 st deviations cover the whole period from 1979 to the most recent year. The common graphs for area and extent are set against a baseline of 1979-2000.

    Any comfort I feel at seeing that the volume line, unlike the area and extent graphics, is within 2 st.dev. evaporates instantly. (I seem to fall for it every time – then the reality hits.)

  72. #72 foram
    April 11, 2011

    Vince@69: “The Australian is just getting sillier and sillier.”

    Anyone with a copy of The Weekend Australian feel like a quick game of Skeptic Bingo with the lead article in The Inquirer, entitled “The Carbon Price Freeze”?

    It’s largely this article from Quadrant, with a few of the loonier bits cut out – accompanied by an ~A4 sized satellite image of the UK blanketed in snow.

    And I’m guessing their motivations in publishing this as a retort weren’t exactly pure.

  73. #73 foram
    April 11, 2011

    BTW, perhaps I should have been more precise: The version published in The Oz is largely the Intro and Part II of the Quadrant article (‘The Economics and Politics’). By “the loonier bits” I was referring to the section entitled ‘The Science’.

  74. #74 Bernard J.
    April 11, 2011

    Tonight’s [Q and A episode on the ABC](http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/) featured the following question by one Karly Abrahams:

    I am a scientist who is not part of any political group, but I think I represent a growing portion of the average scientific community. When you include carbon dioxide emissions from the oceans and from animal respirations, burning of fossil fuels accounts for a total of four per cent of global emissions. That’s according to the latest IPCC report and Australians make up one per cent of that. So, overall that means we release 0.04 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions. If this is the case, where is the evidence that spending billions of dollars on a carbon tax will make any significant difference to the environment? And why isn’t the Australian public being allowed to vote on this important issue?

    The question is being discussed [here](http://www2b.abc.net.au/tmb/Client/Message.aspx?b=114&m=128114&ps=50&dm=2), but sadly it seems that the Denialati’s attack dogs are all over there yapping and howling in support. Frustratingly I didn’t notice that the board has a character limit, and a huge swathe of my reply disappeared.

    It’s sad that such a question is aired on national television, giving an impression that the “average scientist” disagrees with the IPCC description of the impact of humans on carbon emissions and thus on global temperature. Such a question should have been given the opportunity for immediate on-air correction (the panel’s focus was not on any explanantion of the numbers), or at the least have a subsequent on-air correction so that people understand that the questioner started with a false premise.

    And Karly Abraham – if you’re reading this, I would suggest that you are either not a real scientist; or if you are, that your education and training are sorely deficient in the fundamentals that would make a basic entry-level scientist.

  75. #75 FrankD
    April 11, 2011

    Save me Jeebus, that’s a formidable level of teh stupid they’ve got there Bernard.

    The question from Karly “I can do science, me” Abrahams was just laughably captious. As you say, if Karly is actually a scientist, she’s an embarrassment to her alma mater.

    But the cheersquad of buffoons who type in ALLCAPS and think it stopped warming in 1989? I had to wash my eyeballs in case some of it stuck to me….

    Quite creepy, really.

  76. #76 Lotharsson
    April 11, 2011

    It’s astonishing how bad the ABC forums can get.

  77. #77 Lotharsson
    April 11, 2011

    I made a few comments at the ABC, FWIW.

    Seems like it’s mostly a very small number of commenters who are making most of the ill-informed comments though.

  78. #78 Chris O'Neill
    April 11, 2011

    one Karly Abrahams:

    I am a scientist

    I think just about any fool can get a science degree these days. They never were difficult.

  79. #79 Lotharsson
    April 11, 2011

    > I am a scientist…

    I suspect the full description should have been either “I am a scientist in a different discipline, and I didn’t bother to do my homework in this one” or “I am an engineer, but I studied some science in my Bachelors degree so I can call myself a scientist, and I didn’t do my homework on this subject”.

    There is a Karly Abrahams on Facebook who studied neuroscience, but it could easily be someone else on the ABC.

  80. #80 rhwombat
    April 11, 2011

    There are also quite a lot of psychology graduates who describe themselves as neuroscientists (or “behavioural neuroscientists”) when they go and work for the big “media research” companies, mainly to avoid the more apposite label of PR sellout. Wolves (or jackals) and sheep’s clothing etc..Slainte

  81. #81 Bernard J.
    April 12, 2011

    My comment on the ABC board last night was that if she was a scientists at all, she was likely a life scientist. And I say this as a person who has worked in several “life science” disciplines – many biomedical folk are notoriously incompetent in even basic statistical process, and frustratingly some even border on innumeracy.

    Young Karly would be firmly in the incompetent camp if she doesn’t understand the difference between an annual human proprotional contribution to emissions, and the total human contribution to absolute atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    If I had a facebook account I’d just go and ask her directly if she is the same Karly, and then I’d ask her to explain herself. I’m not about to sign up just to pick on a silly girl though, but if someone has her ear perhaps they might suggest that she stump up here with her scientific bona fides and justify the ridiculously misrepresentative question that she asked on national television.

  82. #82 Lotharsson
    April 12, 2011

    Bernard, was Karly’s question asked in person? If so, I guess viewers could see the open part of [this](http://www.facebook.com/people/Karly-Abrahams/547824498) Facebook page and see if it looks like the same person – at least to the extent that anything on Facebook is accurate and representative.

    I do wonder if she will read the comments section for her question on the ABC website at some stage…

  83. #83 Bernard J.
    April 12, 2011

    [Lotharsson](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/open_thread_60.php#comment-3621773).

    Yes, she asked in person, and yes, that’s her.

    It’s quite revealing that she has Notre Dame in her background. It’s a synonym for “rabidly conservative”. Climate scientist George Pell must be very proud of her…

  84. #84 Bernard J.
    April 12, 2011

    So, Fukushima’s a Category 7 now. No surprises there, and it’s made me a tidy redback thank you very much, from a (perhaps brave) bet I made on the day of the original earthquake.

    Personally, I think that it’s a bit dodgey to equate it with Chernobyl, but nevertheless I’m sure that Fukushima will have its own unique trail of consequence over the coming years.

    One further prediction I will hazard is that marine species occurring off some of the Japanese coast will see a resurgence after decades of depletion, although they might ‘glow in the dark’ a bit more than usual bioluminescence dictates…

  85. #85 Betula
    April 12, 2011

    Cue the music please:

    Memories, may be beautiful and yet

    What’s too painful to remember

    We simply choose to forget

    So it’s the laughter

    We will remember

    Whenever we remember…
    the way we were…
    the way we were…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2005/oct/12/naturaldisasters.climatechange1

  86. #86 Stephenk
    April 12, 2011

    Re Bernard at 83

    [Who would have thought it](http://www.nd.edu.au/news/sydney/blessingof_hands10_final.shtml)

  87. #87 Vince whirlwind
    April 12, 2011

    Bernard, the point that strikes me as that Fukushima is Cat7 *on account of the radiation leak that occurred in the hours immediately after the accident*.

    I still have in my minds eye that lying weasel of a Japanese PM 6 hours after the accident saying “There has been no radiation leak.

    They’ve been lying from the word go.

  88. #88 Stephenk
    April 12, 2011

    And a general PS

    If it was the third cohort in 2010 (and they didn’t skip any years), first cohort was in 2008. Which, for a four year degree, means that cohort (including Karly?) will graduate at the end of this year.

  89. #89 DaveMcRae
    April 12, 2011

    Thanks Bernard J and Lotharsson and any others for posting on the board of crazy that is their ABC in an attempt to correct yet another repeated but already already denier meme.

    Will the ABC do a show on the carbon cycle? I don’t think so – but expect more already debunked denier memes.

  90. #90 DaveMcRae
    April 12, 2011

    Damn – I’m still at the QandA click bait denier meme

    Karla’s assertion is 2ppm/year increase is almost all natural. Thus it follows that this increase was happening before industrial times, before humans for it is natural. Given Earth is 6,000 years old (yes, I know) then CO2 would be 1.2% of the atmosphere assuming a zero start. Let’s say the Earth is older than 500,000 years then the atmosphere is 100% CO2.

    A more pertinent question is are deniers capable of thinking, of ever acknowledging they’re not just incorrect?
    The next is why the ABC feels it needs to put this rubbish up.

  91. #91 Bernard J.
    April 13, 2011

    For some reason a number of my posts on the Q and A thread have been removed. I suspect also that at least one of Lotharsson’s has disappeared too, because he had one time-stamped 12:22 pm, and it’s no longer there.

    Now as much as I can be acerbic on other fora, I was careful not to be too caustic on the ABC thread. That the ABC felt it necessary to moderate my comments away (after first permitting them past moderation) surprises me. Mightily.

    The only explanation I can come up with is that one or more of the denialists “alerted” the moderator to posts that plainly drew attention to their inadequate arguments, and that the moderator did not actually scan what s/he was removing.

  92. #92 jakerman
    April 13, 2011

    BJ the Q&A thread is a terrible format that impedes readability. I skimmed it, made a few comments then gave it up on it as appropriate venue for discussing complex facts.

  93. #93 Lotharsson
    April 13, 2011

    > I suspect also that at least one of Lotharsson’s has disappeared too, because he had one time-stamped 12:22 pm, and it’s no longer there.

    I suspect some I made in the first round never got published at all, but I didn’t keep records so I can’t be sure.

    I seem to recall people complaining that the “Alert Moderator” function had been used at The Drum to get comments with inconvenient facts to denialist arguments removed as well.

    > BJ the Q&A thread is a terrible format that impedes readability.

    It is quite unusable. I don’t know who is responsible for their user experience, but they need to lift their game – a lot.

  94. #94 Bernard J.
    April 13, 2011

    I seem to recall people complaining that the “Alert Moderator” function had been used at The Drum to get comments with inconvenient facts to denialist arguments removed as well.

    I’m certain of it. I had two comments dated 12 April 2011, after Jon Riley’s post at 11:54:12am. Both of mine are gone, as is another posted after by Lotharson, that was stamped 12 Apr 2011 12:22:??pm.

    Both of my comments were purely scientific in nature, and the only reason I can fathom that explains their removal is that it is an attempt by denialists to expunge inconvenient truths. I really do wonder at the ABC’s moderation process though, that they either automatically or with passive intention allow science to be removed, whilst some of the bigotted, sexually vilifying rubbish put up is allowed to remain…

    Author Tom Foolery

    Date/Time 13 Apr 2011 4:06:23pm

    Subject >>>>>Re: 11.04.11 Q8 – CLIMATE – WHY TAX?

    Then I see no way that the duration until initial or peak benefit can be of any relevance.”

    WHAT ???????

    Can be of no relevance..You MUST be joking. I thought that you tree huggers and gay marriage buggers wanted something done URGENTLY but now it seems, could care less if and when it has any effect.

    Proves without a doubt that the whole thing is a scam!

    Nice boy, that Tom… Let’s see how long that one stays up.

  95. #95 Chris S.
    April 13, 2011

    Anyone come across [this graph](http://www.sciencemag.org/content/290/5490/291/F2.expansion.html) before? Strikes me as a great illustration of the anthropogenic effect. (From Falkowski et al. (2000) The Global Carbon Cycle: A Test of Our Knowledge of Earth as a System. Science 290, 291-296. DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5490.291)

  96. #96 Lotharsson
    April 13, 2011

    > Let’s see how long that one stays up.

    I suspect they stay up by default unless someone complains about them.

  97. #97 Bernard J.
    April 14, 2011

    [I suspect they stay up by default unless someone complains about them](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/open_thread_60.php#comment-3635511).

    ;-)

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