Open Thread 61

Time for a new open thread.

Comments

  1. #1 adelady
    April 20, 2011

    Geoff Beacon “Peer reviewed if possible.”

    There’s the rub. A quick Scholar look gives lots and lots of references to Mollison and Holmgren and very few others. afaik, agricultural scientists have been very dismissive of the approaches of organic and permaculture proponents. (I don’t blame them when it comes to biodynamics), but the notion that soil was merely a passive structure allowing the passage of air, water and NPK has been very strong until very recently.

    I know there’s some good work being done by various NGOs and charities. As for scholarly work, I expect searching for work on soil structures, water retention, “multiple use” strategies and other creative word-smithing might bring up some references. My expectation is that anyone wanting to produce publishable work in the agricultural science area would avoid words like permaculture like the plague. Career suicide is no way to get further grants.

  2. #2 Chris S.
    April 20, 2011

    Geoff, there’s this:

    Evaluation of permaculture in Malawi. Moses et al. (2008) Annual Report – Soil and Agricultural Engineering Commodity Group, 2007/08 pp 40-53

    Abstract: “The current cropping systems such as monocultures have led into many environmental problems such as pollution, soil infertility, low crop production and lack of food diversification. There is a need to design systems that will help to reverse the current problems. One of such a system is Pamercaulture which mimics nature and involves a multi-approach in addressing environmental issues. Hence, the purpose of this research was to design and evaluate the effect of the designed permaculture cropping system on soil fertility, crop production and food diversification per unit area under Malawis conditions. The research was conducted at Chitedze. There were 13 different treatments (Maize, Soybean, Common beans, Ground nuts, Sunflower, Cassava grown in different combinations) in a RCBD replicated 3 times. In general there was more increase in soil reaction and OM values in permaculture plots over the conventional system ranging from 2.5% to 8% and 100 to 200% respectively. The results of individual grain crop yields were significantly different at P=0.05 among the treatments. There were also significant differences of the overall crop yield per unit area in terms of monitory values at P=0.05. Permaculture cropping system with water harvesting technologies gave the highest overall grain yield that was valued at an equivalent of MK514,395/ha followed by permaculture on flat beds with income of MK447,180/ha while the lowest was soybean at a value of MK131,681/ha. Permaculture is better than the conventional cropping system in soil fertility management and farmers are likely to benefit more per unit area with crop and food diversification.”

    But I’m not sure if it’s peer-reviewed. The lack of citation is potentially problematic…

  3. #3 Geoff Beacon
    April 20, 2011

    FrankD, adelady, Chris S.

    Thank you all. That is all very helpful. I’ll post something on this open thread when I have had time to consider – a few days probably.

    Hope you can look back later to comment.

  4. #4 Betula
    April 20, 2011

    Peterd @93…”You continue to play on the word “uncertainty” as if you have made some Great Discovery that undermines the entire argument about AGW.”

    Sorry Peterd, but it is you and others who play on the word while pushing aside the “poorly understood”, the “remains unclear”, the “limited knowledge” the classic “no consensus on the causes of these changes” and the apparently hard to remember “Knowledge of these feedbacks does not give us predictive capability for the coming decades or centuries”

    Peterd again @93… “You have tried to quote- rather selectively in my view- from an ELEVEN-year-old paper”.

    And @68…”why all this fuss about an ELEVEN-year-old paper?”

    Your emphasis on the “ELEVEN” to imply insignificance contradicts your comment @74 which implies significance. At 74 you stated, “In Google Scholar, when I checked yesterday, there were 400+ citations listed to this paper”

    When you figure out what it is you are trying to imply, let me know.

  5. #5 Betula
    April 20, 2011

    Peterd @68….”why all this fuss about an ELEVEN-year-old paper?”

    Now, check out Peterd’s extemeley long fuss about an eleven year old paper @93.

    Priceless.

  6. #6 Betula
    April 20, 2011

    Chris @89…
    “Betula – do you have any proof of the existence of these “eliminate poverty” brochures? Aside of course from a draft document produced last year. Any evidence ofany brochures or similar in existence at the time the paper was published?

    Chris, the brochures were added for emphasis, though I didn’t expect you to pick up on that, just as there wasn’t really a person in front of you asking you to pass them out to your friends. But are you denying that reducing poverty was one of the main objectives of the International Geoshpere-Biosphere Program back in 2000?

  7. #7 Betula
    April 20, 2011

    Chris @89…”Ask a scientist whether the sun will rise in the morning & she’ll say “almost certainly”

    Chris,let’s see how this sentence works with other words and phrases in the paper:

    1.Ask a scientist whether the sun will rise in the morning & she’ll say “it remains unclear”.

    2.Ask a scientist whether the sun will rise in the morning & she’ll say it’s “poorly understood”.

    3.Ask a scientist whether the sun will rise in the morning & she’ll say “we have limited knowledge”.

    4.Ask a scientist whether the sun will rise in the morning & she’ll say “Knowledge of these feedbacks does not give us predictive capability for the coming decades or centuries”

    Are you beginning to see how ridiculous you sound?

  8. #8 dfmab
    April 20, 2011

    pz needs his medication

    CRISS ANGEL MINDPHOQUE

    forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/criss-angel-mindphoque.79363

  9. #9 Zibethicus
    April 20, 2011

    “105 (snip) Are you beginning to see how ridiculous you sound?”

    Try looking at it this way. Ask, not a scientist, but any lucid person whether you are positively guaranteed to kill yourself by playing one round of russian roulette.

    The answer must be “not certainly”.

    Ask any lucid person whether you are /likely/ to kill yourself by doing that.

    The answer must be “extremely”.

    Ask any lucid person whether it is an intelligent recreation for the person who wishes to remain alive and healthy.

    The answer must be “no”.

    Then ask the same lucid person whether it makes any sense to take the same chance with the planet, rather than just a single individual.

    Are you beginning to see how ridiculous you sound?

  10. #10 DaveMcRae
    April 20, 2011

    Penny Sackett’s replacement is Ian Chubb

    I think Prof. Sackett left because she could not get through to the pollies here. By all accounts, she was well received by Gov Schwarzenegger and could talk to that mob. But our mob shunned her.

    The Australian anon editorial thinks the appointment is great and hope to “lift the debate”. This worries me. Does Chubb entertain the idea of scientific progress can be made via debates between evidence and made up stuff?

  11. #11 David Horton
    April 20, 2011

    Yes, I was disturbed by Ian Chubb’s comments about encouraging “debate” in order to resolve the issue (can’t remember his exact wording). Certainly his view seemed to be that this is a genuine debate, of the kind that scientists have at conferences, trying o resolve disagreements about, say, the Higgs Boson, or some issue in embryology or genetics, where there are some conflicting hypotheses which can be resolved by a careful consideration of the data. My feeling was that here was someone who has paid little attention to what has been going on in the last ten years of science versus denialism.

    The proposition that the deniers can be swayed by facts when their approach has been formed not by conflicting data but by ideology, religion, and money from big business, is extremely naive if that is what he actually thinks. I would hope that as a scientist he would stand up to the denialism in parliament and speak loudly to both Gillard and Abbott. Whether they will listen is another matter, but as chief scientist his role seems to me to be that of a QC brought in to speak on behalf of a client in a high profile case. And we are all clients now.

  12. #12 Lotharsson
    April 20, 2011

    For all Betula’s recent sniping, I note that Betula continues to avoid addressing the level of uncertainty associated with the policy “emit as much as you like”, despite having a number of people point out in different ways that it’s rather trenchant.

    Betula still doesn’t seem to have twigged that if Betula’s own argument from that single paper has any validity then it must also apply to this scenario as much as it does to any other.

    And I’ve been waiting with some amusement to see whether Betula cottons on to the fact that the uncertainty Betula cites provides clear justification for emissions reductions in order to keep the climate system and ecosystems within recent norms rather than rapidly driving them away. Zibethicus’ recent comment provides yet another way of putting this. If you claim that scientific uncertainty means that we can’t predict well enough how our actions will change the climate, then you must argue that we shouldn’t engage in actions that change the climate.

    …unless you’re Betula.

    One wonders who wins when Betula argues against Betula, especially since at least one Betula doesn’t seem to understand science much, and neither seems to be able to follow an argument to logical conclusion, let alone detect mutually exclusive propositions…

  13. #13 adelady
    April 20, 2011

    David, I don’t know whether Chubb is across all the issues here, let alone the passionate negativity of the denier machine.

    If he’s in the role of a QC science advocate, I fancy he’s a much tougher proposition than our passionate drones are accustomed to. He just might take them on in unexpected ways. And I very much doubt he’ll allow himself to be brushed ff by the govt – they’d be afraid of repeating the Sackett experience.

  14. #14 Vince whirlwind
    April 20, 2011

    Chubb’s a passenger, and has been for 25 years.

  15. #15 peterd
    April 20, 2011

    Betula, #102-104: I responded at some length to you because you seemed like a resonably intelligent person, but you still don’t seem to “get it”, do you? Your response to Chris at #104 makes it appear to me that you really believe a scientist (or any other intelligent person, for that matter) would not say “almost certain”. Bet, how can you be sure that the Sun will rise tomorrow? We cannot be certain. We can be pretty certain, though, with very a high degree of probability. (That said, I think that science is something more than a collection of probability statements.) As to your #102 and #103, my too-long response (too long, because I wasted time responding to you), being an attempt to get you to justify your basing an argument on what you take to be the summary of the state of the science in an eleven-year-old (no capitals!) paper, was also pointless. You still have not justified your implicit claim that the knowledge of the science now is no better than it was 11 years ago. BTW, # of citations of a paper is not necessarily an indication of its validity.

    They called you a troll and- to my regret- I ignored the advice. Now I realise: you are a time-waster. It’s time for you to go and play with the trucks on your nearest roadway.

  16. #16 connor
    April 20, 2011

    Zibethicus – I don’t think lucidity is one of Betula’s strong points.

  17. #17 Gaz
    April 21, 2011

    Tim Lambert,

    Maybe we should have a thread where all the time-wasters and boneheads can be confined.

    Not one each. They’re not worth it.

  18. #18 MFS
    April 21, 2011

    Why do you guys keep biting? Can’t you see Betula it’s just a lure to waste your time and content, and eventually get you to stop making the effort when a person with genuine questions wanders in?

    >To Troll: To disrupt the operation of an online community, particularly by luring others into combative argument.

  19. #19 Donald Oats
    April 21, 2011

    When trolls appear, ‘t’is a wise head who keeps his own counsel; and with that, I shall.

    I saw Ian Chubb’s interview by the ABC and he sounded reasonable with regards to his answers. As others here have wondered, I too wonder whether he thinks that the profesional AGW-rejectionists can be persuaded by appeal to the scientific facts and reasoned argument based on those facts. If that is what he thinks then he’ll be in for a quite nasty surprise. I’m hoping he is a bit more politically aware than that. We’ll see.

  20. #20 David Horton
    April 21, 2011

    Donald, I’m hoping it was just a politician’s answer, not wanting to stir up confrontation too early. But we shall see.

  21. #21 Betula
    April 21, 2011

    Zibethicus @107.

    This to prove how ridiculous I sound…

    You compare playing one round of russian roulette to the effort of implementing global policies designed to eradicate poverty by taking from the government of rich nations and giving to the government of poor nations. Policies that are based on the uncertainties and unknowns surrounding the complexities of the earth’s systems and topped off with hypothetical future scenarios to create fear and urgency under the guise of climate change.

    Nice, I like that!

  22. #22 luminous beauty
    April 21, 2011

    >You compare playing one round of russian roulette to the effort of implementing global policies designed to eradicate poverty by taking from the government of rich nations and giving to the government of poor nations.

    Betula is irrationally reversing the intended analogy of Zibethicus comparing russian roulette to the policy of business as usual to that of devising policies aimed at mitigating the consequences of business as usual while still allowing the for the continuing development of poor nations. Betula also leaps to the irrational conclusion that policies that allow for the development of poor nations is a zero sum game that will of necessity impoverish wealthy nations. Betula does not seem to understand that investment in the egalitarian economic development of poor nations will ultimately result in the overall increase of commerce between and enrichment of all nations.

    This kind of dis-affective intellectuallization is symptomatic of DARVO; Deny, Attack, Reverse order of Victim and Offender. It isn’t simple denial of fact or consequence, but a vicious form of pathological behavior exhibited most often by rapists, drug addicts and career criminals.

    Betula undoubtedly believes this nonsensical mental ju jitsu is clever and witty, but he is really behaving like a dullard and a fool. At root, Betula is in denial of Betula’s own affective response to the threat represented by disruptive climate change. Wishing to exorcise Betula’s natural emotional discomfort from contemplating the threat represented by disruptive climate change, Betula projects Betula’s own affective response to the threat represented by disruptive climate change as the fault of those who do recognize and accept the emotional component of the threat represented by disruptive climate change. Betula is apparently such a delicate flower who believes recognizing and accepting Betula’s own fears and desires will throw Betula into a pit of unreason, ironically throwing Betula into a pit of unreason by repressing Betula’s own fears and desires.

    It is plain Betula can likely never be convinced of his error by rational argument due to Betula’s deep emotional commitment to Betula’s ideological beliefs. It may well be Betula feels justified in clinging to those ideological beliefs because Betula’s perceived standing and status within Betula’s social environment is dependent on not disrupting the groupthink power structure among Betula’s peers and superiors who share Betula’s ideological beliefs.

    Betula is more to be pitied than despised, but Betula does serve as an example of how denial can distort human reason.

  23. #23 Robert Murphy
    April 21, 2011

    Would someone please give PZ his meds and get rid of the spam at 106 and 119?
    :)

  24. #24 Betula
    April 21, 2011

    Robert Murphey @122…

    “Would someone please give PZ his meds”

    LB, I just read your comment @121. Please give PZ his meds back.

  25. #25 Zibethicus
    April 21, 2011

    …umm…at the risk of continuing a troll-feeding…

    Betula @ 107: “You compare playing one round of russian roulette to the effort of implementing global policies designed to eradicate poverty by taking from the government of rich nations and giving to the government of poor nations. Policies that are based on the uncertainties and unknowns surrounding the complexities of the earth’s systems and topped off with hypothetical future scenarios to create fear and urgency under the guise of climate change.”

    As far as I can tell, you seem to conflate action to mitigate climate change with some seemingly-imagined effort to “eradicate poverty” to which you object on some sort of ideological grounds.

    You then object to action on the basis of what you admit to be “unknowns” which, for reasons you have never clearly explained, you assume must necessarily be in favour of your preferred laissez-faire ideology (as Lotharsson said).

    Your discourse has thus advanced from an advocacy of the ‘safety’ of playing Russian roulette, since the outcome of any individual trigger-pull is ‘unknown’ before the event, to an angry insistence that if you were on one of the lifeboats on the /Titanic/, you would pull the plug out if you had checked all the occupants against the passenger list and found one or more of them to have been travelling third class.

    I don’t find either argument convincing. At least, not in the sense which I imagine you intend…

  26. #26 Lotharsson
    April 21, 2011

    MIT Professor of Atmospheric Science – and Republican – had a few trenchant words in his testimony [PDF](http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/hearings/Emanuel%20testimony.pdf) to the US House of Representatives hearings on “Climate Change: Examining the Processes Used to Create Science and Policy”.

    > I am here today to affirm my profession’s conclusion that human beings are influencing climate and that this
    entails certain risks. If we have any regard for the welfare of our descendents, it is incumbent on us to
    take seriously the risks that climate change poses to their future and to confront them openly and
    honestly.

    After discussing the long history of climate science and the evidence that validates conclusions derived from much less data many decades ago:

    > We are undertaking an enormous experiment, and so far the response of the planet has been pretty much along the lines predicted more than a century ago.

    > And yet our understanding of the climate system is far from perfect. We do not fully understand such issues as the feedback effects of clouds and the cooling effect that manmade aerosols have on climate. These uncertainties are reflected in climate projections, which at present range from benign to catastrophic.

    Note carefully that uncertainty does not mean “everything will be fine” – or even “everything will probably be fine”. It means not being even close to ruling out very very bad outcomes from continuing as we have.

    > These risks have been well catalogued … but let me here focus on just one: the changing distribution of the supply of water. One of the more robust consequences of a
    warming climate is the progressive concentration of rainfall into less frequent but more intense events.
    Dry areas of the world, such as the Middle East, are expected to become drier, while flash floods should
    become more frequent. We are already seeing evidence of these changes in rainfall data. Reductions in
    rainfall in semi-arid regions lead to decreasing agricultural production, which in turn leads to food
    shortages. The potential for political destabilization of these regions is large and is matter of great
    concern to our Department of Defense…

    …who are well-known hippy ideologues focused on drumming up political support for “poverty elimination and wealth redistribution” by any means including unjustified scare campaigns?

    > …Among the recommendations of this [Department of Defense] report is one that states that “The U.S. should commit to a stronger national and international role to help stabilize climate change at levels that will avoid significant disruption to global security and stability.”

    One should also note:

    > In assessing risk, scientists have historically been notably conservative. It is part of the culture of science
    to avoid going out on limbs, preferring to underestimate risk to provoking the charge of alarmism from
    our colleagues. A good example is the recent tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Examination of
    seismic risk maps prepared before that earthquake show that the seismologists had estimated that the
    magnitude of the largest earthquake that one could reasonably expect to encounter in the region was
    about 8.2, substantially weaker than what actually occurred. … Far from being alarmist, scientists have historically erred on the side of underestimating risk.

    And almost as if it was written for some of the commenters on this thread:

    > In soliciting advice, we should be highly skeptical of any expert who claims to be certain of the outcome. I include especially those scientists who express great confidence that the outcome will be benign; the evidence before us simply does not warrant such confidence. Likewise, beware those who deride predictive science in its entirety, for they are also making a prediction: that we have nothing to worry about.

    …although it seems more likely it was intended to illuminate some of the highly-confident non-scientist witnesses the Republicans called on to testify that there is nothing to worry about…

  27. #27 Betula
    April 22, 2011

    @123
    “As far as I can tell, you seem to conflate action to mitigate climate change with some seemingly-imagined effort to “eradicate poverty” to which you object on some sort of ideological grounds.”

    Zibethicus…Is it really all just my imagination? Really?

    So, according to you, action to mitigate climate change has nothing to do with an effort to eradicate poverty? Please confirm this for me if you will, before I waste my time with a response to prove how ill informed you really are.

    You might want to do some research before you embarrass yourself with a response.

  28. #28 Betula
    April 22, 2011

    Lotharsson @124..

    That was great. I particularly like the beginning where you gave his entire testimony merit by pointing out he’s a Republican. That did it for me.

    Some people would say some of his statements were untrue, but given the fact he’s a Republican, we know that can’t be the case, especially since the person making the claim is a non scientist who was praised during testimony by a scientist from liberal Berkeley, who must be a Democrat….because we like to assume.

    I also appreciate that you didn’t include the non scientist John Christy’s testimony, because he’s probably a Republican, so he has no merit.

  29. #29 Betula
    April 22, 2011

    Lotharsson @124..

    That was great. I particularly like the beginning where you gave his entire testimony merit by pointing out he’s a Republican. That did it for me.

    Some people would say some of his statements were untrue, but given the fact he’s a Republican, we know that can’t he case, especially since the person making the claim is a non scientist who was praised during testimony by a scientist from liberal Berkeley, who must be a Democrat….because we like to assume.

    I also appreciate that you didn’t include the non scientist John Christy’s testimony, because he’s probably a Republican, so he has no merit.

  30. #30 Zibethicus
    April 22, 2011

    (yawning) 125: “Zibethicus…Is it really all just my imagination? Really?”

    Probably. It’s your claim. Now substantiate it, for instance by addressing the points at #28, like “Betula’s assertion is completely backward – the IGBP are not using AGW to promote societal change, they’ve studied AGW & now see the need for societal change to adapt to global change and that scientific leadership is needed”.

    You were called there, and as far as I can you ducked and ran; in precisely the usual dully predictable manner of your kind. Now I challenge you to substantiate your claim – which in any case is the usual deniosaur cherry-picking of /one/ target out of thousands. Either way, prove it.

    Otherwise, no more feedy-troll from me…

    “You might want to do some research before you embarrass yourself with a response.”

    (mutely holds up mirror)

  31. #31 Andrew Strang
    April 22, 2011

    Zibethicus,

    I feel there is a metaphysical eggdom to Betula whereby the possibility of hatching out of constraining mental shells like fear and politics into a more fundamental realm like world standard humanness is an inconceivable nonsense – in the way a monkey doesn’t know the gamut of intelligence. So I suggest see the monkey but don’t feed it, just love the science of our 6 trillion, trillion tonne planet.

  32. #32 Betula
    April 22, 2011

    Zibethicus @123…”you seem to conflate action to mitigate climate change with some seemingly-imagined effort to “eradicate poverty”

    This is too easy. A simple search of some key words would give me days of material, but we’ll stick with just a few.

    Let’s start with this…
    “As the United Nations climate conference approaches, world leaders from both developed and developing nations must work together to address these intertwined challenges of mitigating climate change and lifting populations out of poverty.”
    http://repoweramerica.org/blog/india-and-the-climate-crisis/

    The intertwined what? Ok, that doesn’t count because it’s from Al Gores web site and he’s not a scientist.

    Now,let’s address your diversionary question (that wasn’t yours)about the IGBP. By the way, it’s funny how you used the “duck and run” cover to duck and run from your statement @123. Classy.

    We know that currently, part of the IGBP vision states…
    “A sustainable future for the planet and an end to poverty are the overarching challenges for society” and that “IGBP’s sponsor, the International Council for Science (ICSU), recognises that the international research
    community needs to fundamentally transform the way it defines and carries out global‐environmentalchange
    research. This transformation is an essential part of a much wider societal transformation towards global sustainability and poverty eradication.”
    http://www.igbp.net/documents/IGBPDraftvision27September.pdf

    This alone puts to bed your comment @123.

    But again, the IGBP paper we were talking about is from 11 years ago, you know, the paper that emphasizes implementing policies based on, well, a lack of “predictive capability for the coming decades or centuries”

    So what was the IGBP doing 12 years ago? Are you familair with The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)? Their most recent “vision” is as follows: “To reduce poverty and hunger, improve human health and nutrition, and enhance ecosystem resilience through high-quality international agricultural research, partnership and leadership.”

    http://cgiar.org/who/index.html

    That’s all well and good. Now here’s one of their progress reports from 1999 titled “REDUCING POVERTY THROUGH CUTTING EDGE SCIENCE”:
    http://www.worldbank.org/html/cgiar/publications/icw99/icw9910.pdf

    Here is an interesting statement in the report…
    “the CGIAR priorities should be a shared responsibility in adaptation research and the lead responsibility on mitigation research in developing countries, both done in collaboration with the International Geosphere-Biosphere
    Program (IGBP), particularly its core programme GCTE (Global Change in Terrestrial Ecosystems)”

    What was that? Reducing poverty through cutting edge science done in collaboration with who? What? 12 years ago?Really?

    Imagination is a wonderful thing.

  33. #33 Betula
    April 22, 2011

    Lotharsson @124..

    That was great. I particularly like the beginning where you establish the merit of his testimony by pointing out he’s a Republican. That did it for me.

    Some people would say some of his statements were untrue, but given the fact he’s a Republican, we know that can’t he case, especially since the person making the claim is a non scientist who was praised during testimony by a scientist from liberal Berkeley, who must be a Democrat….because we like to assume.

    I also appreciate that you didn’t include the non scientist John Christy’s testimony, because he’s probably a Republican, and, um, therefore has no merit.

  34. #34 Betula
    April 22, 2011

    Lotharsson @124..

    That was great. I particularly like the beginning where you established the merit of his testimony by pointing out he’s a Republican. That did it for me.

    Some people would say some of his statements were untrue, but given the fact he’s a Republican, we know that can’t he case, especially since the person making the claim is a non scientist who was praised during testimony by a scientist from liberal Berkeley, who must be a Democrat….because we like to assume.

    I also appreciate that you didn’t include the non scientist John Christy’s testimony, because he’s probably a Republican, and, um, therefore has no merit.

  35. #35 Zibethicus
    April 22, 2011

    (sighs wearily)

    128: “This is too easy. A simple search of some key words would give me days of material, but we’ll stick with just a few.”

    Remember, you were the one who linked the two in order, as far as I can tell, to attempt to smear climate science with the ancient Red-scaring. This all started when you dismissed a paper for sinfully containing ‘uncertainties’ AND its authors for, according to you (at #8), being “either co-chairs or members of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme”.

    It’s only your claim that that invalidates their paper, as, according again to you (same post) “the IGBP’s purpose is to implement their vision of global “societal tranformation”, part of which is to “eradicate poverty”". Then you claim, without any evidence being offered by you, that the IGBP is using ‘AGW’ as leverage for that political goal.

    You have never offered any proof of any of these claims. Plenty of cyberverbiage, but no proof. Other than your own desire that this be true, that is…

    *

    “What was that? Reducing poverty through cutting edge science done in collaboration with who? What? 12 years ago?Really?”

    So after all your sounding off, this is the best ‘smoking gun’ you have to offer in the end? The CGIAR working with the IGBP? Ooo-wee! That’s sure some smoking gun, isn’t it? More like a nuke, I’d say…

    By the same ‘logic’, I guess the fact that Anthony Watts is “involved with the Butte County Republican Party, providing technical assistance and maintaining the website and domain registration” (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Anthony_Watts) means that his ‘contributions’ to climate science are equally hopelessly ‘corrupt’ or whatever it is you’re trying to allege?

    Or doesn’t it work both ways? Only to the Right?

    *

    “Imagination is a wonderful thing.”

    Not necessarily. Not when unfettered by considerations of reality. Look where it’s gotten you…

    *

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, the spare time I have for feeding trolls is necessarily very limited. Particularly conspiracy-trollers who are reduced to filling in dots in imaginary spaces between committees…

  36. #36 Lotharsson
    April 22, 2011

    > So after all your sounding off, this is the best ‘smoking gun’ you have to offer in the end? The CGIAR working with the IGBP?

    And if you read the quote that Betula provided, it did not say that the two were or had been working together – only that one thought they should. Barely a puff there.

    Speaking of Betula, I continue marvel that he appears to be arguing simultaneously – and quite blithely – that:

    a) The paper in question must be invalid or suspect because of some (nebulous or solid) link to poverty eradication goals.

    But:

    b) The paper is valid when it says there are uncertainties and shortcomings in predictive capacity.

    Why, it’s almost like Betula is suffering from extreme confirmation bias coupled with piss-poor logic. And unaware of it…

    I haven’t even bothered to point out that if the authors of that paper were keen on producing dodgy science to support some ideological goal…wouldn’t they have done a much better job rather than litter their work with statements about areas that needed improvement, and levels of uncertainty?

    I also note that Betula seems to be implying that all climate research is tainted by some (imagined or real) goal of eradicating poverty. Ignoring some of the blatant fallacies in that claim, I wonder at what point in the long history of climate research Betula thinks the entire field became invalid? When did all of the thousands of research groups and researchers decide that poverty eradication was so important that they were going to traduce their own reputations and that of their entire field by producing dodgy pseudo-science? Early on? In the ’50′s? Just recently? Was there a secret world-wide gathering where they all decided to turn? I’m pretty sure these questions have not even occurred to Betula…

    There’s really no point arguing with a conspiracy theorist with a heavy case of confirmation bias and a near-complete filter on any evidence that undermines their beliefs. But it is instructive to watch one in action from time to time…

  37. #37 Chris S.
    April 23, 2011

    “We know that currently, part of the IGBP vision states… ‘A sustainable future for the planet and an end to poverty are the overarching challenges for society’”

    As Betula’s own link proves (it even says it in the link itself) this is a draft so, to say that “currently the IGBP states” is a barefaced lie – one that Betula has been warned against on several occasions. Why does Betula need to misrepresent the IGBP by claiming a draft of their future vision is their current one? Lets see if the current one holds any scraps for Betula to feast on:

    “The vision of IGBP is to provide scientific knowledge to improve the sustainability of the living Earth. IGBP studies the interactions between biological, chemical and physical processes and interactions with human systems and collaborates with other programmes to develop and impart the understanding necessary to respond to global change.”

    No? How about their goals:

    “IGBP´s research goals are to:
    • Analyze the interactive physical, chemical and biological processes that define Earth System dynamics
    • The changes that are occurring in these dynamics
    • The role of human activities on these changes”

    I see no mention of poverty in there – or its eradication.

    As Lotharsson says, this is a very interesting case study – I don’t think we’re feeding the troll here, just poking it and noting what it reveals of itself. Currently it has demonstrated plenty of misrepresentation (par for the course) a few bait ans switches and strawmen (again, par for the course) and absolutely refused to focus on the science. Nothing original then, but a classic case that can be referred to in future as an excellent specimen of denialist trolling at work – not a holotype perhaps, but definitely a paratype.

  38. #38 Andrew Strang
    April 23, 2011

    correction re self @ 127
    … 6 billion, trillion tonne planet

  39. #39 Zibethicus
    April 23, 2011

    131: “And if you read the quote that Betula provided, it did not say that the two were or had been working together – only that one thought they should. Barely a puff there.”

    The sort of ‘evidence’ that was ‘good’ enough to whip up a Climategate non-event. Or to burn a witch with…

    132: “a classic case that can be referred to in future as an excellent specimen of denialist trolling at work – not a holotype perhaps, but definitely a paratype.”

    Quite so. Paranoid; paratypical.

  40. #40 Geoff Beacon
    April 23, 2011

    FrankD, adelady, Chris S.

    I said I would post something here having looked up the references and trails of thought you kindly passed on to me.

    I’m trying to condense these into useful pieces to use in my lobbying amateur (but occasionally successful) lobbying. I have not yet been able to do that effectively. The first thing I would like to do is to contrast the official science approach [Forsight - future of food and farming](http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/bispartners/foresight/docs/food-and-farming/11-546-future-of-food-and-farming-report.pdf) with the permaculture approach as shown by [
    World Food Programme Malawi](http://home.comcast.net/~billgile/LowInput/Low%20Input%20Food%20Nutrition%20Model%202005%20December.pdf)

    The World Food Programme document talks of a ‘Cycle of Dependency’ brought about by maize monoculture and trade.

    Although there are the expected on “one hand or the other” arguments in the Forsight Report they recommend:
    “Physical infrastructure must be improved in middle- and low-income countries to facilitate access
    to markets and investment in rural economies. Such infrastructure includes roads, ports, irrigation
    projects, storage facilities and information and communication technology (ICT) systems.”

    Sounds a bit like a ‘Cycle of Dependency’ to me.

    More later … I hope!

  41. #41 Ri chard Simons
    April 23, 2011

    When I first realized that Betula was a guy posting under a Latin feminine name, I decided that he was probably someone who skimped on his thinking and fact-checking. Nothing since then has suggested that I was mistaken.

  42. #42 Betula
    April 23, 2011

    Climate Change and Poverty – where does the imagination lead…

    I’m sure we all know the IPCC was established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), both organizations of the United Nations.

    Clearly, one of the main noble objectives of the U.N. is to eradicate poverty. No dispute there.
    http://www.un.org/rights/poverty/poverty1.htm

    But what of the WMO, the United Nations’ “authoritative voice on weather, climate and water”, what do they have to say?

    “Mainstreaming climate change in decision-making processes will therefore be central to all development and poverty alleviation efforts”, emphasized the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)”
    http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/press_releases/pr_827_en.html

    Then we have the UNEP. What’s this “PEI” thing they have?:

    “the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI), a global UN-led programme that supports country-led efforts to mainstream poverty-environment linkages into national development planning”
    http://climate-l.iisd.org/news/undp-unep-poverty-environment-initiative-releases-2009-report/

    A coincidence I’m sure, yet very noble, and all to help the UN try to meet part of their “Millennium Developement Goals” by 2015. “Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and ensuring environmental sustainability are two of the MDGs”.
    http://www.wmo.int/pages/themes/weather/developmentgoals.html

    I can only assume there must be some urgency, as 2015 is enclosing fast…
    http://www.un.org/climatechange/pdfs/bali/millennium-bali07-21.pdf

    So how does the IPCC fit in to all this? Other than being riddled with references to meeting the Millennium Developement Goals:
    “Climate change policy aspects can also be linked to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) that were adopted as major policy targets”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/ch2s2-1-6.html

    Let’s ask our resident expert, Saleemul Huq – “lead author of the chapter on adaptation and sustainable development in the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and lead author of the chapter on adaptation and mitigation in the IPCC’s most recent assessment report”
    http://www.scidev.net/en/features/science-what-has-it-done-for-the-millennium-development-goals–1.html

    Hey Saleemul, how do you feel about all this?

    Well Betula, “when affected countries demand assistance from the rich countries of the world in helping address climate-related disasters such as floods, it will not be for a request for charity but for compensation — appealing to their moral responsibility, if not their legal liability — to make good the damage and destruction for which their activities have, directly or indirectly, been partially responsible.”
    http://mg.co.za/article/2004-08-11-floods-rich-nations-must-share-the-blame

    Ok Saleemul, we get it… demand the wealth, but how much money should we demand?

    Not to worry Betula, the UN spelled this out years ago…

    “Over the past 35 years, the members of the UN have repeatedly made a “commit[ment] 0.7% of rich-countries’ gross national product (GNI) to Official Development Assistance.”[35] The commitment was first made in 1970 by the UN General Assembly.”

    The text of the commitment:

    “Each economically advanced country will progressively increase its official development assistance to the developing countries and will exert its best efforts to reach a minimum net amount of 0.7 percent of its gross national product at market prices by the middle of the decade.”

    “The UN “believe[s] that donors should commit to reaching the long-standing target of 0.7 percent of GNI by 2015″.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Development_Goals

    Wow, a commitment to demand money was first made in 1970, shocking! (not really)

    Of course there are some who find problems with all of this…

    “Many development experts question the MDGs model of transferring billions of dollars directly from the wealthy nation governments to the often bureaucratic or corrupt governments in developing countries. This form of aid has led to extensive cynicism by the general public in the wealthy nations, and hurts support for expanding badly needed aid.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Development_Goals

    Deniers!

    Hey Lotharsson, what was that comment @123? Oh, now I remember…
    “you seem to conflate action to mitigate climate change with some seemingly-imagined effort to “eradicate poverty”

    Imagine that…

  43. #43 Lotharsson
    April 23, 2011

    That latest comment appears to be Turkish and likely link-propagating spam from a bot. Google Translate reveals a mashup of various phrases from earlier comments on this thread.

    I would refrain from clicking on the link with the commenter’s name, just in case.

    Looks like the bot had no idea how to translate my name though ;-)

    Oh and Betula appears to have another parade of misrepresentation and illogic in an earlier comment that was likely held up for moderation, should anyone be interested.

  44. #44 Lotharsson
    April 23, 2011

    Wow, looks like Betula really is another UN paranoid conspiracy theorist who struggles to distinguish cause and effect.

    Hopefully he keeps a good supply of tin foil hats … and one eye out for the UN’s black helicopters ;-)

  45. #45 Lotharsson
    April 23, 2011

    > …who struggles to distinguish cause and effect.

    I forgot to add:

    …and doesn’t know what “conflate” means.

  46. #46 jerryg
    April 23, 2011

    “conflate” – isn’t that the opposite of proflate ? So that would be removing the air, since the [Proflate](http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Innovations-2440-16g-Proflate/dp/B000OYFUI4) adds air?

    Hmm, A metaphor for taking the wind out of his sails perhaps?

  47. #47 Zibethicus
    April 23, 2011

    (yawns) …’tis to plonk…

  48. #48 ScaredAmoeba
    April 24, 2011

    Tim,

    Is it not time for a Betula Thread?

  49. #49 Billy Bob Hall
    April 24, 2011

    Sounds perfectly reasonable to me SLotharson #129

  50. #50 Mike
    April 24, 2011

    Uh huh. It’s the grand ol’ global government UN conspiracy and socialist transfer of wealth meme again.

    What better, more logical, and precise way to explain scientific observations of warming temps, increasing greenhouse gases, and what to do about them?

  51. #51 John
    April 25, 2011

    Betula is your typical alarmist.

  52. #52 Bruce Sharp
    April 25, 2011

    For what it’s worth, if it were put to a vote, I’d favor [Gaz's suggestion at 115](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/04/open_thread_61.php#comment-3682312): All trolls to a generic troll thread, where they can cavort beneath one big bridge. Anyone who wants to pay a troll to cross the Troll Bridge, have at it. The rest of us can stick to roads that actually go somewhere.

  53. #53 Dan L.
    April 25, 2011

    Scratch an ACC denier, find a right wing paranoiac underneath. Surprise, surprise.

    It is pointless to argue science with deniers of any sort. They don’t care how well the evidence supports what science says: it must be wrong because it threatens their world view.

    There is literally no imaginable evidence Betula would accept as showing a need for world action to mitigate climate change. It…it would mean communist hippie homosexuals moving into his house and making him eat granola! Aaagh!

  54. #54 Chris S.
    April 26, 2011

    Geoff Beacon @135.

    You may want to have a look at [this document](http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/kremer/files/Encouraging_Technical_Progress.pdf) from Harvard & Berkeley economists Kremer & Zwane.

    Also [this](http://www.push-pull.net/PDF%20files/manuscript-India%20Conf%202003.pdf) on push-pull strategies may be of interest. Though the authors state that uptake has been goo in Kenya apparently it’s not been as good as it could be. The reason? ICIPE don’t give away freebies (e.g. t-shirts, caps, tractors) with their technology whilst the agribusinesses do.

  55. #55 sam
    April 26, 2011

    Man Made Global Warming (AGW)

    There was five-times increase in human fossil fuel use from about 30 to 170M-ton of carbon in the recent warming phase from1970 to 2000 compared to the previous one from 1910 to 1940. However, their global warming rate of about 0.15 deg C per decade is nearly identical as shown in the following graph.

    http://bit.ly/eUXTX2

    In the intermediate period between the two global warming phases from 1940 to 1970, there was global cooling with increase fossil fuel use of about 70M-ton as shown in the following graph.

    http://bit.ly/g2Z3NV

    And since about 2000, there was little increase in the global temperature with further increase in fossil fuel use of about 70M-ton as shown in the following chart.

    http://bit.ly/h86k1W

    Either change the data or dismiss AGW!

  56. #56 Bernard J.
    April 29, 2011

    [A loss to Australian Federal politics, and to rational decision-making in our country](http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2011/04/28/3202864.htm).

  57. #57 MikeH
    May 3, 2011

    Latest newspoll indicates that 78% accept that climate change is happening and of those, 92% accept that it is caused by human activity. The 78% is down from 84% in July 2008. Of the 6% drop, 4% are now saying “not happening” and 2% have moved to uncommitted.

    Given “climategate”, the failure of Copenhagen, La Nina and the end of the drought, Abbott and his “great big new tax”, and the policy confusion in Labor, only a 4% drop is amazing.

    If I was running a fossil fuel company I would be asking for my money back.

    Deniers – crap at science, crap at selling crap science.

  58. #58 Nathan
    May 8, 2011

    I think you should run a book on how long “The Bole Repore” will last. I think it will struggle to about 6 weeks then whammo, GONE

  59. #59 Anthony David
    May 9, 2011

    Expect to see a flurry on the denialists’ blogs soon as surfacestations.org has had their paper accepted. I assume the paper has been accepted to a scientific publication and not a trade journal. 29.4% of the 82.5% of stations that were inspected were found to be “fair” or better. Congratulations to their team on the work, however the BEST project’s preliminary work seems to confirm that the station quality issues do not give the bias trend in the way they think it does. That’s science.

  60. #60 Lotharsson
    May 9, 2011

    > …however the BEST project’s preliminary work seems to confirm that the station quality issues do not give the bias trend in the way they think it does.

    Didn’t Menne et al publish essentially the same conclusion from an earlier surfacestations data set?

  61. #61 Anthony David
    May 9, 2011

    Correct. I was making an obtuse reference to the BEST-WUWT-surfacestation connection.

  62. #62 lord_sidcup
    May 10, 2011

    Via Bishop Hill/Montford’s blog (only becuase I can’t find any information on it anywhere else) – it seems there is a conference taking place in Cambridge today that looks like one of those reconciliation attempts between “sceptics” and scientists. Speakers include Phil Jones, Andrew Watson, Mike Lockwood, but also Ian Plimer, Nigel Lawson, Nils Axel Morner, and Henrik Svensmark. Attendees include Montford but also Monckton (I say this because Montford reports Monckton asked a question – a stupid one at that).

    Has anyone come across any information on this anywhere else? If not the Bishop Hill blog seems to be the only place to go at the moment.

  63. #63 Lotharsson
    May 10, 2011

    Surely the queen Judith “if only we’d all be honest about uncertainty like my side I am then we’d all get along” Curry would have to be there?

    I’m almost certain the get-together would be a total waste of time for the real scientists, although the hangers-on might think it worth it. I’d be happy to be surprised though.

  64. #64 Bernard J.
    May 10, 2011

    Expect to see a flurry on the denialists’ blogs soon as surfacestations.org has had their paper accepted.

    I predict that there will be little or nothing said in the Denialati chatter, than touches on the redundancy of over-sampling or on the difference between a weather station and a station that is specifically utilised to discern trends in climate.

    Or on the fact that [Menne et al last year crucified the whole premise of surfacestations](http://www.skepticalscience.com/On-the-reliability-of-the-US-Surface-Temperature-Record.html).

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but it’s all a big game of Soggy SAO.

  65. #65 lord_sidcup
    May 10, 2011

    I’m still following Montford’s account of the “reconciliation” conference. Plimer has got the platform – if Montford’s account is accurate and he is conveying the tone correctly this is really extraordinary stuff from Plimer. Starts off with the usual assertions about giant submarine volcanoes, CO2 is good, warmth is good. Then – meltdown! – Plimer seems to descend into public ranting. Climate change is a cash cow, those persuaded it are similar to creationists, ignore data, etc. I wish I could witness this first hand.

  66. #66 lord_sidcup
    May 11, 2011

    Dumb-down Delingpole was also at the “reconciliation” conference and has blogged on it – usual rubbish from him. It seems Morner was even crazier than Plimer. The consensus from the faux-sceptics was that it was a waste of time. From the point of view of science it was always going to be a waste of time.

  67. #67 Robert Murphy
    May 12, 2011

    Another denialist love-fest, with the usual idiotic talking points and out-and-out lies, brought to us by Fox News:

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/05/11/green-smoke-mirrors-vatican-weighs-climate-change/

    The Vatican gets pummeled for telling the truth, and those illustrious beacons of scientific objectivity and truthiness, Don Easterbrook and Pat Michaels become the heroes of doublespeak. Get a load of Easterbrook (of fake graph fame):

    “The [U.N.]-predicted warming of 1 degree between 2000 and the present has not happened — instead it’s gotten cooler!” he told FoxNews.com. “As a result, some glaciers in the Himalayas have begun advancing, and glaciers in Alaska, Norway, and South America have also begun to re-advance.”

    These people really have no shame.

    It’s not even worth trying to post rebuttals there; your brain will curse you for exposing it to so much stupidity.

  68. #68 John
    May 12, 2011

    Anthony Watts has admitted what would change his mind on global warming – an apology from the scientific community for labelling him a denier.

  69. #69 Lotharsson
    May 13, 2011

    > Anthony Watts has admitted what would change his mind on global warming – an apology from the scientific community for labelling him a denier.

    The way I read it, this wouldn’t change his mind – it is just the initial prerequisite for considering it.

    Which says a lot about his commitment to scientific principles: if you hurt his feelings he’ll refuse to believe your evidence.

    Didn’t most of us grow out of that in primary school?

  70. #70 rhwombat
    May 13, 2011

    Did Watts ever get beyond primary school?

  71. #71 Lotharsson
    May 17, 2011

    Naomi Oreskes appeared on The Drum today (March 17, starting at 26:10) to talk about Merchants of Doubt.

    Other guests included Waleed Aly (Monash), Chris Berg (IPA), and [Tom Switzer](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Switzer), introduced as “from the US Studies Centre”, quietly omitting his Adjunct Fellow status at the IPA. Wikipedia also says he is a former American Enterprise Institute editor, former AFR editorial writer, opinion editor at The Australian (hired Janet Albrechtsen), former senior adviser to former Liberal leader Brendan Nelson, currently editor of Spectator Australia.

    The interview talks about tobacco denialism and the same playbook and some of the same players being used in climate science denial today; credible scientists recruited in a campaign to target the media; conscious strategy to exploit journalists’ idea of “balance”.

    Interviewer contrasted SMH & The Australian coverage of Pauchari’s remarks today (climate change contributing to disasters vs “not climate change”).

    Oreskes: “The mantra of “there’s no proof” invented by the tobacco industry…” … which, without actually lying, gives public very distorted view of science.

    Tom Switzer says he tries “not to get too bogged on the science” but describes himself as “an agnostic on the science”. Concedes some warming over last 20 or so years, but also cites a lot of uncertainty. Claims rate of warming has not increased according to IPCC suggestions from 1990s. “There has been some tapering off” thus believes there is “more uncertainty”.

    Then claims media is one-sided: “day-in day-out” coverage of media debate, but “news of Canadian election has hardly been mentioned” – notes seats gained by party opposing ETS. Claims Oreskes’ argument “goes both ways” and that ’07-’09 in Australia was a “heretic-hunting anti-intellectual environment where skeptics were hardly heard” and it was “impermissible to question the science” as well as the response. (Funny, I don’t remember it quite that way.)

    At 33:15 Oreskes responds:

    Can’t understand what you mean by agnostic about the science. That only makes sense if you haven’t been paying attention or don’t understand it. Evidence is now overwhelming; predicted from GHGs & deforestation in the ’50s, built models & always uncertainty about the details, but overall picture exactly as predicted; have studied IPCC forecasts and in most cases underestimated;

    Switzer: does book focus on any scandals affiliated with IPCC such as GlacierGate? (I guess he *really* doesn’t want to discuss the science…)

    Oreskes: happened after book finished but so-called GlacierGate was typographical error; thousands of pages; any human activity – including Switzer’s work – will have mistakes; but Switzer hasn’t had teams of people scouring it. In thousands of pages the worst was…

    Switzer: wasn’t typographic, dodgy research, travel document…

    Oreskes: No, typographic.

    Switzer: IPCC chairman nearly resigned…

    Oreskes: was appointed by Bush administration.

    Interviewer redirects to Waleed, asking if non-scientists are more inclined to believe one side or the other.

    Waleed: you can often match climate science attitudes with social issue attitudes – so for most people it’s not about science at all. They cherrypick to match their existing attitudes (etc)

    Chris Berg: Hasn’t read the book but isn’t convinced by apparent almost-conspiracy theory mindset. Argues 60% of Australians think something needs to be done, but government stuck because people don’t want to pay what it would cost. (!)

    Oreskes: people attacking the messenger because they don’t like the message.

  72. #72 Lotharsson
    May 18, 2011

    British plans [makes Australia look backward](http://www.smh.com.au/national/carbon-price-set-to-be-poisoned-chalice-for-politics-20110518-1et8e.html).

    > The British government announced it would reduce emissions by 50 per cent on 1990 levels by 2025.

    > The target puts Britain on a pathway for an 80 per cent cut to emissions by the mid-century, the most ambitious targets of any country.

    > “By making this commitment, we will position the UK [as] a leading player on the global low-carbon economy, creating significant new industries and jobs,” the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/carbon-price-set-to-be-poisoned-chalice-for-politics-20110518-1et8e.html#ixzz1Mif3EtCK

  73. #73 SteveC
    May 18, 2011

    John @ 162:

    Anthony Watts has admitted what would change his mind on global warming – an apology from the scientific community for labelling him a denier

    Given the (ahem) Inconvenient Truth revealed by Watts et al, :

    1. will Watts demand an apology from Watts et al;
    OR
    2. will Watts et al issue an apology to Watts?

  74. #74 Lotharsson
    May 19, 2011

    SteveC, I suspect Watts will demand an apology from Watts, which will – in typical Watts style – not be forthcoming.

  75. #75 Vince whirlwind
    May 20, 2011

    And over at Jo Nova, a lengthy post about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, that Law so beloved of cranks.

    The first thing that stands out is the americanism in the header. Is this a tacit admission as to who is pulling her strings?

    The second thing is that Joanne Codling, world-famous “science communicator and journalist” doesn’t know how to use apostrophes. Even Sarah Palin has figured out how to use Apostrophes, and *she* is so ignorant she thinks cavemen and dinosaurs were rubbing shoulders at some point in the 7,000 years the Creation.

    The third thing that strikes me is that it is pretty well incomprehensible. The Law just says there is no such thing as free energy and predicts how energy behaves in a closed system. At least that’s what I thought. At Codling’s site, it seems to be something different. Actually, the thing that’s different is probably the underlying problem that Codling and her horde of zombies get their understanding of science from spending 40 hours a week glued to “Biggest Loser” and Channel 9 infotainment masquerading as news and current affairs.

  76. #76 Bernard J.
    May 20, 2011

    I’m not sure if Tim Curtin and his band of CO2-is-plant-food brothers have been keeping up with the literature, but [empirical evidence stops their claims in their tracks](http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/05/04/science.1204531.abstract), once and for all.

  77. #77 SteveC
    May 20, 2011

    @170 Bernard, while we’re compiling bookmarks for TC, I submit this concise yet thorough debunking of the “CO2 is plant food so it’s good for us” BS regularly trotted out by TC and his ilk, posted at Skeptical Science.

    CO2 is plant food? If only it were so simple

    (via Pete Dunkelberg at RealClimate)

  78. #78 jakerman
    May 23, 2011

    [DENNIS JENSEN](http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2011/s3225000.htm): *”There are a lot of scientists that say that the medieval warm period was warmer than now. Certainly, the Minoan and Roman periods were warmer than now, and I don’t think that we were belching out too much carbon dioxide at the time.”*

    I wonder what evidence Mr Jensen has which shows *”Certainly, the Minoan and Roman periods were warmer than now”*?

    Perhaps Jensen wishes to belive Plimar, who is contradicted by the [paper which he cites](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm.php):

    >*sea level in Roman times was similar to that at the start of the 20th century, suggesting that temperatures were also similar to those at the start of the 20th century, and hence cooler than curent temperatures nad certainly not “considerably warmer”.*

  79. #79 P. Lewis
    May 24, 2011

    Re SteveC’s link to Skeptical Science. It is indeed a wonderful piece to read.

    This snippet did make me laugh though:

    So while it is true that the plant may retain water better under enhanced CO2, doing so may cause it to retain more heat. This can potentially carry a plant to less optimal temperature ranges (Ball et al. 1988 and Idso et al. 1993).

    If you can’t work out why, then never mind, but go read the whole article anyway.

  80. #80 Lotharsson
    June 1, 2011

    Alan Jones interviews David Karoly, with [predictable attitude](http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3230989.htm).

  81. #81 Lotharsson
    June 1, 2011

    NSW Liberal Party upper house whip “[has been accused of likening scientists to Nazis](http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/upper-house-whip-under-fire-for-nazi-slur-on-scientists-20110601-1fgq0.html)” in an anti-climate science speech.

    > “Now, through the great global warming swindle, [scientists] can influence policy, they can set agendas, they can reach into everyone’s lives; they can, like Lenin, proclaim what must be done.”

  82. #82 Chris O'Neill
    June 1, 2011

    NSW Liberal Party upper house whip “has been accused of likening scientists to Nazis” in an anti-climate science speech.

    Demonstrating Godwin’s Law seems to be one of Phelps’s favourite activities.

  83. #83 Chris S.
    June 2, 2011

    Lenin was a Nazi? You learn something new every day.

  84. #84 adelady
    June 2, 2011

    The whole Phelps car crash is here –
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2742686.html

    And I thought Nick Minchin and Cory Bernardi were bad. At least they usually keep their totalitarian arguments a bit better separated than this classic paragraph.

  85. #85 Lotharsson
    June 2, 2011

    Alan Jones and the Galileo Movement cop [a well-deserved serve](http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/you-are-just-plain-wrong-about-climate-change-mr-jones-20110601-1ffhd.html) in the SMH. (With 721 comments at the moment, I’m sure you can find plenty of crazy.)

    Meanwhile religious leaders [expressed support for climate change action](http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/religious-leaders-back-carbon-tax-20110602-1fie4.html) to PM Gillard today – and were unable to explain why Abbott has a position out of line with the Pope.

  86. #86 lord_sidcup
    June 2, 2011

    That Phelps article is one of the most bat poop crazy and confused things I have ever read. He copies and pastes Hayek and sticks his own crazy commentary around it, misquotes Lenin (“What is to be Done?”), uses the term ‘political correctness’ thereby instantly sending himself half way up the f*** wit scale. Is he seriously a Dr?

  87. #87 rhwombat
    June 2, 2011

    Biography
    Political Party Activity – State Executive, NSW Liberal Party 2003-2006 and 2008-2011. State Council, NSW Liberal Party 1996-1998 and 2003-2011. Various positions, NSW Liberal Party 1984-2011. Life member, Sydney University Liberal Club. Life member, NSW Young Liberals. Previous Parliamentary seats contested: 1999 Legislative Assembly seat of Drummoyne.

    Community Activity – Member, Greenleigh C.F.U, 2009-2011. Member, Friends of the Australian War Memorial, 2005-2011. Member, Sporting Shooters Association, 2008-2011. Member, Sydney Jewish Museum 2006-2011. Executive, A.C.T Judo Inc., 2008-2011. Member, RSPCA, 2005-2011. Life member, Sydney University Union. Life member, Sydney University Sports. Life member, Fortians Union. Life member, St Paul’s College Union. Member, ACT Baseball Umpires Association, 2007-2011.

    Personal – Dr Phelps enjoys reading and writing about history. His sporting interests include to rugby union, judo, baseball and target rifle shooting. He has a private pilot’s licence. Dr Phelps is a libertarian with social conservative tendencies, placing him within the ‘fusionist’ school of conservative political philosophy. His political hero is Ronald Reagan.

    Publications – Americans are from Pluto, I.P.A Review, 2006; Of Bridges and Blue-eyed Babies, Quadrant, 2000; Anxious Nation – Review, International History Review, 2000; Amnesty Infomercial, I.P.A. Review, 1999; Keen as Mustard – Review, International History Review, 1999.

    Qualifications, Occupations and Interests – Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Sydney University, 1990. Doctor of Philosophy, Sydney University, 1997.
    Advisor, Hon. Bronwyn Bishop MP, October 2010-January 2011. Advisor, Sen. Michael Ronaldson, February 2009-October 2010. Chief of staff, Hon. Gary Nairn MP, January 2006-November 2007. Chief of staff, Sen. the Hon. Eric Abetz, January 2001-January 2006. Chief of staff, Sen. the Hon. Chris Ellison, May 2000-January 2001. Advisor, Sen. the Hon. Chris Ellison, August 1999-May 2000. Assistant Advisor, Hon. John Moore MP, October 1998-August 1999. Assistant Advisor, Hon. Ian McLachlan, February 1998-October 1998

    That Peter Phelps.

    Fuck. If he has a USyd PhD, it’s time to think of giving mine back.

  88. #88 Bernard J.
    June 2, 2011

    Bob Beale says:

    >First, he rightly notes that the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere is roughly 0.04 per cent.

    >Next, he claims that out of all the carbon dioxide emitted annually into the air, 97 per cent comes from natural sources. Therefore that leaves humans responsible for only 3 per cent, and Australians for a mere 1.5 per cent of that.

    >So, let’s see: that’s 1.5 per cent times 3 per cent times 0.04 per cent – voila! Australians are responsible for an incredibly tiny 0.000018 per cent of global carbon dioxide.

    >[Bold emphases mine]

    In doing so, Beale has let several slip to the back of the net.

    By incorporating the 0.04% figure Jones is no longer calculating in terms of atmospheric CO2, he is talking about total planetary atmospheric gas.

    Further, the 3% figure is an annual figure, which accumulates over time at approximately half that proportion. Three percent compound interest might not seem like much, and 1.35% even less, but anyone who has done Economics 101 should know that at that rate it’s easy to see why the current atmospheric concentration has increased by 40% since pre-Industrial Revolution times.

    Then there’s the fact that

    0.04% x 3% x 1.5% = 0.0004 x 0.03 x 0.015

    = 0.00000018, and not 0.000018 as Jones kept saying. Of course, this might seem to benefit Jones, but it really just goes to show how silly his arithmetic is.

    Now, if Jones wanted to properly determine as a percentage Australia’s annual contribution to total atmospheric CO2, he would need to calculate 3% (the overall human component) x 1.5% (Australia’s share). The answer is 0.045%. That is, every year Australia contributes 0.045% of total global atmospheric CO2 emissions.

    Accounting for the 55% that is currently sequestered by land and ocean sinks, that means that Australia’s net contribution to total global atmospheric CO2 concentration is 0.0203%.

    It might not seem like much, but it’s our share.

    A similar calculation can be done to determine our overall contribution to the increase in total global atmospheric CO2. If our share over the whole time of emission is 1.5% (which, of course, it may well not be), then we put 1.5% x 40% = 0.6% of the current total global atmospheric CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Again, it might not seem like much, but it’s our share, and pricing carbon is all about dealing with our share.

    I cannot fathom why the denialists think that it’s alright to play fancy with the numbers, simply to avoid paying their share.

    On the matter of the ‘Galileo Movement’, I note that on their ["Scientific facts" page](http://backupurl.com/4pl6ui) they make many blatant untrue statements. On the same page they solicit for money. Thus, it would appear that under [common law](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraud#Elements_of_fraud) the Galileo Movement is committing fraud:

    >Common law fraud has nine elements:
    >

      >
    1. a representation of an existing fact;
    2. >

    3. its materiality;
    4. >

    5. its falsity;
    6. >

    7. the speaker’s knowledge of its falsity;
    8. >

    9. the speaker’s intent that it shall be acted upon by the plaintiff;
    10. >

    11. plaintiff’s ignorance of its falsity;
    12. >

    13. plaintiff’s reliance on the truth of the representation;
    14. >

    15. plaintiff’s right to rely upon it; and
    16. >

    17. consequent damages suffered by plaintiff.
    18. >

    All it would take would be for someone who has donated to the group to take it to court and have it demonstrated that GM’s so-called “scientific facts” are placed on the page with full prior warning to the Movement that the claims are not true, and surely the plaintiff would win damages…

  89. #89 SteveC
    June 2, 2011

    @ Lotharsson

    Meanwhile religious leaders expressed support for climate change action to PM Gillard today – and were unable to explain why Abbott has a position out of line with the Pope.

    Makes you wonder if they’ve sent a “Please explain” note to Cardinal Pell and, if so, what response they got.

  90. #90 Vince whirlwind
    June 2, 2011

    You know, there is a simple basic truth in the childish aphorism, “Whoever smelt it, dealt it”.

    Phelps’ obsession with Nazis is revealing about his personal beliefs.

  91. #91 Bernard J.
    June 5, 2011

    Woo-hoo!

    Climate Progress has had a facelift, and the top billing at the moment is [Australian climate scientists face death threats, cyberbullying](http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/06/04/236591/australian-climate-scientists-face-death-threats-cyberbullying/).

  92. #92 Bernard J.
    June 6, 2011

    Tony Abbott [pwns Tony Abbott](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckcH0Wrmy74).

  93. #93 Lotharsson
    June 8, 2011

    The Tony Abbott video really needs to be seen far and wide…time for GetUp to do an ad?

  94. #94 Dave R
    June 10, 2011

    Looks like Lindzen is allowing himself to slide even further into the mire:

    >This time the event is being held in Los Angeles and has been organised by a [creationist / extreme-right] group called the American Freedom Alliance

    >On Sunday, it will host “Big Footprint: Is Green the New Tyranny” at the UCLA Faculty Center. Speakers on the programme include Lord Monckton, Benny Peiser, James Delingpole, Phelim McAleer, Steven Milloy, Christopher Horner, and Richard Lindzen

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/jun/10/climate-sceptics-intelligent-design-multiculturalism

  95. #95 lord_sidcup
    June 10, 2011

    Glabal warming since 1995 now statistically significant, says Prof Phil Jones:

    [Global warming since 1995 'now significant'](http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13719510)

    Will [David Rose](http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/05/david-rose-climate-science-checked) be issuing a correction?

  96. #96 John
    June 12, 2011

    Key deniers (including Lindzen, Milloy and Monckton) have joined up with anti-evolutionists and Islamophobes for an ultra-right wing convention in the US. Sorry I can’t make it, sounds like a hoot.

  97. #97 Gaz
    June 14, 2011

    Rupert!!

    [Now you just listen to Mummy, young man!!!](http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/sheep-in-wolves-clothing–while-it-suits-them-20110614-1g1th.html)

    (Scroll down to “Leadership is needed to build low-carbon future”)

  98. #98 Vince whirlwind
    June 14, 2011

    Another idiot journalist gets taken in by some unresearched contrarian assertions:

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/lifestyle/style/food-and-wine/cold-climes-for-sceptics/2194576.aspx

    Someboy – please – write to the Canberra Times and set this idiot straight…?

  99. #100 Vince whirlwind
    June 21, 2011

    AMEC Conference: Monckton scheduled to talk at 9am on Day3.

    His topic is “How many beans make five?
    Math lessons for climate-crazed lawmakers”

    Interestingly, in one programme,
    http://amec.org.au/events/convention/convention-industry-forum#Day%20Three
    he is scheduled to be followed-up by:

    9:45am Looking beyond ‘Is It Real?’ Dr Katrina O’Mara, Sustainability and Climate Change Team Leader, AECOM

    But in this programme, the slot is vacant.
    http://amec.org.au/wp-content/uploads/AMEC0031_WEB.pdf

    I wonder if Dr O’Mara has sensibly decided to pull out of being associated with Monckton, or, more worryingly, if she has been added late and may not be aware of what she is stepping into.

    Perhaps Tim can assist Dr O’Mara with a Pinker-style knockdown of the looneylord?