A Few Things Ill Considered

The Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak, has resigned, finally relenting to weeks of massive protests. Is he the latest casualty of climate change?


This is a provacative question, but I believe one worth discussing. Obviously, there are always many factors in a people’s uprising, the precise balance of which will always be subjective and varied from protestor to protestor. But that doesn’t mean said factors can not be isolated and examined each on their own.

Like any extreme hot weather event, it is not possible to attribute this directly to a change in global climate, but like said weather event it is possible to identify contributing global factors, increases in probabilities, consistency with expectations. Political unrest is in fact an expectation of a rapidly changing climate, at least according to the US pentagon, and the chain of circumstances is not implausible or hard to follow. Erratic local climates lead to difficulties in food production, global or otherwise, which drive up the cost of living, which causes unrest in populations. When these populations are already restless due to poor economic conditions and inadequate human rights, this can trigger violent and non-violent popular uprisings.

Joe Romm brought this connection up in relation to Egypt, and though Serious People dismissively scoff at the very idea, I think he has a legitimate point. This is not a laughable notion in the least, it is a very legitimate topic for conversation. The thread at Collide-a-scape is revealing in the lack of serious rebuttal, there is little aside from argument by ridicule.

Where is the flaw in this chain of connections: climate change -> crop failures -> rising food prices -> political upheaval?

Comments

  1. #1 kermit
    February 11, 2011

    Of course there are other causal factors at work. One is the US converting some of our corn to ethanol. Another is peak oil, which makes oil more expensive, which is used to power tractors, make fertilizers and pesticides, and transport the food. But – I am not an expert here – I would guess that months of record droughts followed by record floods might reduce crop yields somewhat.

    World wide grain prices have nearly doubled in five years. When half of a families income is pent on food, and that is mostly whole grain in burlap bags, this is a Big Deal®.

    Rising ocean levels, devastating heat waves (55,000+ Russians died this past summer from the heat), floods, ocean storms, extinctions of important species, deforestation (two hundred year droughts in five years in the Amazon basin) will produce hundreds of millions of desperate climate refugees.

    But humans are calm and generous under pressure, right? Otherwise we might reasonably expect more widespread and frequent unrest (for sufficiently high values of “unrest”).

  2. #2 anon
    February 11, 2011

    “Where is the flaw in this chain of connections: climate change -> crop failures -> rising food prices -> political upheaval?”

    Is this a global warming revolution, a wikileaks/tunisia revolution, a dictator at the end of his lifespan revolution, a people power revolution, a moore’s law/facebook/twitter revolution, an internet age equality revolution, …

    Come on, who here really actually certainly thinks that if there was no global warming, this revolution would not be taking place?

    Isn’t that what you’re saying? No global warming and Mubarak would still be in control.

    There’s a certain element of privilege, blinders, ethnocentrism, and more than a whiff of racism to suggest the bloody wogs would not be in revolt after 30 years of a dictatorship were it not for global warming.

  3. #3 Tom Curtis
    February 11, 2011

    There may well be a connection, but …

    There is certainly a significant probability that global warming made the Russian Heatwave, and the recent floods in Australia worse, both of which have contributed to rising food prices. And there is a significant probability that rising food prices have contributed to the unrest that has led to the toppling of Mubarak. But as this is a causal chain, to determine the probability that global warming contributed to the toppling of Mubarak, we need to multiply the two preceding probabilities. In all likelihood, the result will not be significant.

  4. #4 Miles Taylor
    February 11, 2011

    Fascinating hypothesis – and one that doesn’t give itself easily to a hard science/maths-rich examination. History is a better tool. Look at how many civilisations have been transformed or eradicated by climate changes. Now, I happen to agree with climate change = societal instability. There are plenty who will disagree and point out – rightly – that the statistics are too weak to make the claim. But that plea is one that can be often silence by inviting its makers to bet their own money on the proposition ” Climate change will not cause political instability”.

  5. #5 Anne Nonymous
    February 11, 2011

    Anon, the “bloody wogs” didn’t revolt like this any time in the previous thirty years of Mubarak’s rule. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that there might be some particular reason it’s happening right now as opposed to ten years ago, or twenty years ago, or thirty years ago. Historians argue all the time about economic and ecological and other factors which drove events in European and American history without this implying that the heros of those events are any less heroic or the associated cultural achievements any less impressive. What’s racist about the assumption that this same type of reasoning should be applicable to everybody and not just “white” people?

  6. #6 blf
    February 12, 2011

    It seems safe the causes are varied, some independent and some related, and teasing apart the influences and importances will employ another generation of grad students. As to the broad hypothesis suggested, food shortages → revolutions seems attested to in history; and climate change → agricultural changes is also (probably) attested to historically (and also supported by other evidence and lines of argument).

    The potentially dubious point is agricultural changes → food shortages. It seems obvious that that can happen, but not so clear that it will or must happen.

    I myself suspect that it is happening, in some locales, and is (often?) aggravated by (not necessarily local) policies. Those “(local?) policies” vary considerably, and probably include things like the EU’s CAP (Common Agricultural Policy).

    (And there’s essentially no reasonable doubt about the human activity → climate change part.)

  7. #7 WarEagle01
    February 12, 2011

    You can’t be serious.

  8. #8 J Bowers
    February 12, 2011

    There may be a simpler rephrasing of the question: If the meteorogical conditions had not been as they were, and food supply had been unhindered and sufficient to maintain affordability, would Mubarak still be in power?

  9. #9 D robinson
    February 12, 2011

    Ridiculous. Global and per acre grain production of wheat, corn and rice have been rising steadily through the entire period of global warming including the last ten hottest years. Google it. Even the heat waves and droughts in Russia last year didn’t amount to any more than a few percent variance in production. The problem is more likely to be per capita consumption increases combined with a worldwide population that keeps going up.

    This entire line of thought proposed by Krugman and others doesn’t start from any type of analysis or one single piece of data. Attributing everything scary in the world to AGW is the very definition of unjustified alarmism. Look up the darned food production statistics and think before you write.

  10. #10 J Bowers
    February 12, 2011

    “The problem is more likely to be per capita consumption increases combined with a worldwide population that keeps going up.”

    Still the same problem in the end. IPCC does not assume a static population count, and population increase adds to the CO2 mix regardless, especially with increased industrialisation and agricultural removing carbon sinks.

  11. #11 Michael Tobis
    February 12, 2011

    D Robinson: “Even the heat waves and droughts in Russia last year didn’t amount to any more than a few percent variance in production. ”

    Stipulated. But as demand increases (due to increased population and increased meat consumption) the supply is constrained. A bad year resulting in a small relative global decline in production results in a very large proportional increase in prices which societies with very limited resources cannot absorb.

    There is reason to believe that all of these stresses will continue. Consequently climate change is causing direct impacts on the food security of the poor given the present economic system.

    If poor people were fed first and THEN the price floated among other uses including animal feed, then the problem could be solved unless/until climate variability gets much worse than it was in 2010. That would require a major globally coordinated response to climate change, or at least to climate resilience. I for one am in favor of such an approach.

    But the fact that a solution exists doesn’t mean there is no problem. Sadder still, the existence of such a solution doesn’t imply that it will be implemented.

  12. #12 anon
    February 12, 2011

    MT: ” It is perfectly reasonable to raise the Egyptian story in the context of climate change even if it is unreasonable to raise climate change in the context of the Egyptian story.”

    Coby: “Is he the latest casualty of climate change?”

    MT, I think you’re missing what Coby and Romm, et. al., are saying.

    But how would you make that operational?

    “Is he the latest casualty of climate change?”

    Is that a question which can be studied, or answered, and if so, how would you go about it?

    Bayes Rule?

    Probability Distribution?

    Fault Tree Analysis?

    At this stage, does it provide useful information, or is it just a scare factor?

    Do political scientists and the military and foggy bottom and game makers and everyone in the entire freakin world already acknowledge that wars and revolutions are started over resources?

    Are Joe Romm and Coby historians? Are there Ph.Ds and research in these areas? Is yours?

    Question: 20 points: Give a Pareto sort to the following factors in importance of causing the Egyptian Revolution:

    A) 30 years suppression of human rights
    B) Internet
    C) Twitter/Facebook/Google
    D) America paying off Egypt not only with $2B a year but with a large cooperation (and intellectual cooption) over 30 years between Egyptian Military and American Military leading to a fairly pro-Western, pro-democracy, well educated Military class.
    E) Mubarak’s age
    F) Crop Failures most likely (null hypothesis) unassociated with global warming
    G) Crop Failures (< 5%) associated with global warming
    H) Boeing and Airbus
    I) Large population of young citizens educated abroad
    J) Satellites and TV
    K) Al Jazeera

    Please give your pareto ordering and defend them, and please describe which of these factors were necessary, sufficient, necessary and sufficient, or neither necessary nor sufficient.

  13. #13 anon
    February 12, 2011

    In the above, G was eaten with a less than tag, and should be:

    G) Crop failures due to global warming (p .lt. 5%)

  14. #14 Eli Rabett
    February 12, 2011

    Go look at a map of Egypt. This one has very particular and climate change links. Google can be a big help if you know how to use it. Food shortages in Egypt are linked only secondarily to the global situation.

  15. #15 Jack Savage
    February 13, 2011

    I did not think there were any more sharks left for the alarmist catastrophists to jump. But I was wrong. I am embarrassed for you.

  16. #16 Michael of Brisbane
    February 13, 2011

    Coby,
    You can not be serious!
    Can you?

  17. #17 skip
    February 13, 2011

    I would need to see trends in winter RevolutionMax data from Southern Egyptian stations.

  18. #18 Chris
    February 13, 2011

    I dont think we should ever underestimate the effect of not being able to meet one’s basic needs in fueling revolution. High food prices further aggravated an already tense situation. Those high food prices can most likely be linked to climate change (as Romm points out – drought and heat waves in Russia curbing supply). Climate change is not the only reason, but a contributing factor? I think so. At least something good has come out of it this one time (for a change)!…

  19. #19 D Robinson
    February 13, 2011

    What is it with doom and gloomers?

    M Tobis #11
    “A bad year resulting in a small relative global decline in production results in a very large proportional increase in prices which societies with very limited resources cannot absorb.”

    There has not been a small decline in global production, or at least not more than normal variance. Different countries have a bad year but overall the trend is up. The problem is that population growth has outpaced production. The only way to tie in AGW is to make the assumption that global production would have increased even more were it not for AGW.

    Specifically regarding Egypt, they import HALF of their grains, MOSTLY from the USA where ethanol blender incentives remain in place still driving corn prices up. How much do you think Ethanol production has helped Egypt?

    AGW to blame? No.
    AGW activism to blame? Somewhat yes.

  20. #20 crakar24
    February 13, 2011

    Coby,

    I think you are scraping the bottom of the barrell on this one in an effort to keep the faith alive, in fact i would say it is desperation on the cusp of madness to suggest the Mubarak resignation is linked to AGW.

    The truth is Mubarak is/was a thug propped up by the US government so the US had somewhere to send detainees to be tortured in secret renditions. I am sure the US are feverishly working behind the scenes to find another thug willing to do there bidding. Watch out for the return of a “prodigal Egyptian son” to return from exile to lead the country out of this mess.

    Also watch out for the US to defend the election victory of said prodigal son in the face of accusations of electoral fraud and vote rigging.

    AGW caused Mubarak to resign, what a fucking joke.

  21. #21 skip
    February 13, 2011

    Crakar:

    I always like you better when you post things with which I can thoroughly disagree.

    Kindly go back to being a clown so I can revile you properly, and give our administrator the credit of bringing up the point for the sake of argument.

  22. #22 Watching the deniers
    February 13, 2011

    I love how the “deniers” make a straw man of the argument.

    Of course Jo is not saying “Climate change did it ahhhhh!”

    However, could it have been a factor? Of course.

    In the same way the Black Death shaped European politics and culture.

    There are multiple agents of causation – AGW is but one extra, a social and cultural “forcing”.

  23. #23 mandas
    February 13, 2011

    This is an interesting question, and of course there are the predictable cries of ‘bullshit’ coming from the usual suspects.

    Coby was rather prescient in the original post, when he wrote this:

    “….The thread at Collide-a-scape is revealing in the lack of serious rebuttal, there is little aside from argument by ridicule…..”

    To which crakar gave the predictable response at post #20:

    “…..AGW caused Mubarak to resign, what a fucking joke…..”

    Perhaps we could try to do a little more serious analysis.

    The first thing we would need to determine is what has caused the unrest that has swept, not only Egypt, but other countries in the region. There can be little doubt that crakar is right in part of his assessment; that Mubarack was just a thug propped up by US foreign policy. However, that has been the case for 30 years. Why is this happening now?

    IF it could be established that rising inflation (which is true) and the inability of wages to keep pace (which is also true) – especially in regard to food prices – has caused resentment, then we might be able to establish the first causal link in a chain leading to insurection.

    However, to establish the second causal link, we would then need to know what has caused those prices to rise. There can be no doubt that there is an element of the recent extreme weather events in an increase in the price of wheat especially, so there is a tentative indication there. But can we specifically attribute recent extreme weather to climate change? Probably – but not certainly.

    So there is a prima facie case for suggesting that climate change may have played a role in the current situation in the Middle East. But I think it is drawing a pretty long bow to suggest that it was a dominant factor.

    Like most things of this nature, there is usually no single thing that we can point to and say “that is the cause”. Rather, it is a long chain of events and issues which compound until people say enough is enough.

    Since we are talking about Egypt here, I think the analogy about the straw breaking the camel’s back is probably a pretty good one. I suggest that rising food prices as a result of extreme weather events which were probably caused by climate change would be one of the straws. But I would also suggest that it is not the most important one, and that if it were not for all the other straws, many of which are fair more critical, the camel’s back would never have been broken.

  24. #24 crakar24
    February 13, 2011

    Mandas since you painted me in such a good light i will respond in kind.

    So to sum up your post you are saying that there were many factors that led to the Egyptian uprising, of those the price of food was one, minor but still a factor.

    So now not only can CO2 change a planetary climate system beyond recognition it can also bring down governments, my oh my your God is powerful.

    Lets look at the chain of assumptions you have made:

    1) Egypt has experienced skyrocketting food prices.
    2) CO2 is causing extreme weather
    3) Extreme weather is driving up food prices

    Response

    1) BULLSHIT
    2) Seeaper i linked to in “the other beck” thread
    3) BULLSHIT, greedy corporations and stupid green policies are driving up food prices.

  25. #25 anon
    February 13, 2011

    Very nice mandas, you posted an argument for AGW being the culprit that requires us to be right back in the world of 1981 with NCP/IP, a 3 month old IBM PC, and no such thing as a Macintosh, much less an iPad. (Or TCP/IP, or wifi, or iPhone’s, …)

    What a brilliant to eliminate Moore’s law as a predominating factor than AGW.

    Straw that broke the camel’s back?

    So postulate with me everything we know about Egypt in 2011 as I put it above: 30 years of oppression, aging dictator, satellite 24×7 tv, Al Jazeera, tunisia, Internet, facebook, twitter, Google, Boeing, relatively well educated youth population, crop failures not associated with *A*gw,

    You’re telling me that without the A in AGW, there would have been no revolution?

  26. #26 crakar24
    February 13, 2011

    I got this one Mandas,

    As WOW said earlier the record breaking bitter winters in the NH would have been worse without AGW.

    So Anon there still would have been a revolution but AGW made it worse.

  27. #27 mandas
    February 13, 2011

    crakar / anon

    Are you guys so completely clueless that you are unable to read a VERY simple post? Please show me anywhere where I said – as anon so moronically wrote – “….You’re telling me that without the A in AGW, there would have been no revolution?….”

    I will say it again so you simpletons get it.

    Rising food prices MIGHT have been a cause of some resentment. And ONE of the contributing factors to those rising food prices was the recent spate of extreme weather. And climate change PROBABLY was a factor driving some of those extreme weather events.

    If you think that means that I – in any way – am suggesting that climate change caused the revolution in Egypt, then you are so fucking deluded that it beggars the imagination.

    No wonder you guys are deniers. You can’t even read.

  28. #28 anon
    February 13, 2011

    A small interesting data point:

    http://www.facebook.com/notes/klna-khald-syd/lqa-alshbab-m-qadt-mn-almjls-alaly-llqwat-almslht/203172733029888

    Nowhere in here is there any mention of food or food prices.

    Regardless,

    mandas do you think the A in AGW was a necessary, or sufficient, or necessary and sufficient factor?

    If it wasn’t a necessary factor, WHO CARES!?

    Humanity has known that wars are fought over scarce resources since at least 500 BC. Economics is around to tell us how to avoid wars over scarce resources.

    Of what value is it to SPECULATE that at the end of a long string of probabilities and distributions of basically unmeasurable wild ass guesses, that the A of AGW might have made this revolution worse?

    And how will you quantify that?

    Coby asks, Is there a climate change connection?

    I respond: What is your null hypothesis?

    So mandas, what IS your null hypothesis?

    And now, what is your evidence based argument to reject the null hypothesis?

    For another take, Lucia:

    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/02/12/the-upside-to-global-warming/#comment-45501

  29. #29 mandas
    February 13, 2011

    anon

    Obviously you ARE illiterate, as I suggested.

    I said IF, MAYBE, POSSIBLY, and in the end I concluded that it probably WASN’T a critical factor. You know, as in:

    “..it is not the most important one, and that if it were not for all the other straws, many of which are fair more critical, the camel’s back would never have been broken….”

    In other words – and read this VERY carefully – PERHAPS climate change played a very minor role, but other factors were far more important and without their influence the revolution would not have occurred.

    How can you possibly turn that into the gibberish you posted above?

    And really? You deniers are linking to Facebook as a reference now? You have lost the plot.

  30. #30 anon
    February 13, 2011

    Instead of just insulting me, and making actual IRL wrong assumptions about me, why don’t you show us what you self-proclaimed reality based super sciencey types are good for and answer my questions and help enlighten me?

    Of what value is it to SPECULATE that at the end of a long string of probabilities and distributions of basically unmeasurable wild ass guesses, that the A of AGW might have made this revolution worse?

    And how will you quantify that?

    What is your null hypothesis and what is your evidence based argument for rejecting the null hypothesis and how will you collect your evidence?

    Also are you serious about the facebook jab? Do you know who Wael Ghonim is, and how he organized this revolution?

    With respect to this one very specific revolution, how can you knock facebook while at the same time pushing your valueless speculation about how the A in AGW was responsible for the revolution?

    And I’m the ignorant, illiterate, denier?

  31. #31 Chris S.
    February 13, 2011

    With apologies to mandas – peer review isn’t quick enough for recent events…

    “crop productivity had dropped by almost 70 percent this year due to rising temperatures”

    IRIN October 2010
    http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportID=90794

    “Even though the summer price hikes have eased for the time being, the situation is still desperate,” Hamdi Abdelazim, an economist and former president of the Cairo-based Sadat Academy for Administrative Sciences said. “If the rise in food costs persists, there will be an explosion of popular anger against the government.”

    Africa Review, November 2010
    http://www.africareview.com/News/-/979180/1057212/-/i8natuz/-/index.html

    There’s more, but I think these two links are sufficient to make the point.

    Of course this is only A factor among others but I’m curious that Ghonim didn’t mention it given Abdelazim’s statement. Nothing to do with his political activist priorities I’m sure…

  32. #32 skip
    February 13, 2011

    Qualified yap.

    This one’s a loser, Mandas. I say drop it.

  33. #33 Wow
    February 14, 2011

    “Of what value is it to SPECULATE that at the end of a long string of probabilities and distributions of basically unmeasurable wild ass guesses, that the A of AGW might have made this revolution worse?

    And how will you quantify that?”

    Given even YOU have understood it’s SPECULATION, there’s no need to quantify.

    PS please quantify how it’s “basically unmeasurable guesses”. AGW is very measurable as is the warming as well as the paleoclimate data that shows that CO2 sensitivity has to be something between 2C and 4.5C per doubling.

    All very measurable.

  34. #34 Wow
    February 14, 2011

    “1) Egypt has experienced skyrocketting food prices.
    2) CO2 is causing extreme weather
    3) Extreme weather is driving up food prices

    Response

    1) BULLSHIT
    2) Seeaper i linked to in “the other beck” thread
    3) BULLSHIT, greedy corporations and stupid green policies are driving up food prices.”

    My response:

    1) Egypt HAS seen rising food prices. In what way is “BULLSHIT” a response except for one in denial of the facts?

    2) CO2 has caused 0.8C warming to the trend. Therefore, absent proof in a specific event, that event would be 0.8C cooler without Anthropogenic interference

    3) Again with the denial. So are you saying that the ONLY cause for food price rises is corporate greed? That food shortage CANNOT EVER cause food price rises? That the failure of the Russian Wheat harvest in 2010 happened is fact, but according to you, the shortage of wheat cannot cause food prices to rise. Does the food market not obey the laws of supply and demand?

    In one way you’re right: corporate greed and bullshit scared politicians wanting corporate backing is denying the need to act against AGW and therefore helping continue the warming trend. A trend you are busily trying to help. Except that being a teabagger you have to lay the blame at the teaparty bogeymen, not at the real reason, since that requires politician interference in corporate business (and for a teaparty, politicians are worse than corporations).

  35. #35 Knightly
    February 14, 2011

    This is a real stretch. Worse than that, it LOOKS like a real stretch.

    Don’t get me wrong. Climate change is a real thing and while I have no solid figures, I wouldn’t be surprised if it has lead to reduced crop yields (and generally unpleasant weather), which in turn makes people less satisfied and patient.

    That said, I think it’s a bit absurd to claim a direct causal effect here. There was more at play than tension over food prices. Far more. For instance, they kind of needed a dictator to overthrow, and people dislike dictators for some pretty good reasons.

    The idea is interesting even as just a mental exercise. However, if a denier (or skeptic) should come across this article, you’ve just blown your credibility with them and given them a new “can you believe that the granola heads are saying climate change caused a revolution?” story to tell.

    You may think that’s their problem, and refuse to be silenced by their ignorance. That’s your call to make. All I ask is that you be aware you’re making it.

  36. #36 anon
    February 14, 2011

    I am really disappointed in Wow, mandas, and coby, none of you are willing to explain the value in engaging in this speculation. I’ve even made it simple for you by declaring the speculation completely worthless, setting a very low bar, and still you cannot come up with any value in this discussion.

    And wow, “PS please quantify how it’s “basically unmeasurable guesses”. AGW is very measurable as is the warming as well as the paleoclimate data that shows that CO2 sensitivity has to be something between 2C and 4.5C per doubling.

    All very measurable.”

    Thank you for missing the point (intentionally?). How are you going to identify all of the various probabilities, distributions, in each step of your silly chain?

    As I’ve asked Wow, what is your null hypothesis, what is your evidence based argument to reject the null hypothesis, and how will you collect your evidence?

    I thought this was a science blog.

    My mistake, apparently.

  37. #37 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    Hey Mandas,

    When was the last time you went to “Lizbiff” to do your food shopping?

    Food prices have gone through the roof here as you know so based on your theory the Australian people are on the verge of revolt.

    I think it is pathetic that you have to defend every little aspect of AGW to the very end. Some things aint worth dying in a ditch for and this stupid thread is one of them. Cut your loses and be a gracious loser for once. This advice is for BOW WOW (another yapper, get it?) as well.

  38. #38 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    anon,

    You seem confused, this is not a science blog this is the last bastion of the church of AGW. Pretty soon AGW will be replaced by the next scare campaign and will be all but forgotten.

    However these clowns will still be here fumbling around in the dark praying to their false CO2 God whilst the rest will have moved on to the God of *insert latest ELE here*.

  39. #39 mandas
    February 14, 2011

    anon

    From post #30
    “……And I’m the ignorant, illiterate, denier?….”

    That would be a yes. First thing you got right in this whole debate.

  40. #40 mandas
    February 14, 2011

    crakar

    “…..When was the last time you went to “Lizbiff” to do your food shopping?…”

    Never. I leave that to bogans like you.

  41. #41 mandas
    February 14, 2011

    Skip

    At post #32, you suggested that I let this one go because “this one’s a loser”. However, this one is not about whether or not climate change played any role in the insurrection in Egypt. It is about the hysteria and inability of deniers like crakar to appreciate subtleties, how they try to turn everything into black and white and how they construct huge flaming strawmen. It is no wonder they are completely incapable of understanding science and how it works.

    At post #23, I made a number of nuanced comments about this issue. I said – VERY clearly that even your average 5 year old could understand – that IF a number of things were true, then we MIGHT be able to establish the FIRST link in a long chain of causality. However, we would still need to establish that a number of other things were true – and these were by no means certain.

    And IF all these assumptions and links were true, EVEN THEN the role of climate change in this issue would only be a very minor one. There would STILL be many more FAR MORE IMPORTANT factors that drove the events (you know – where I agreed with crakar about Mubarack and US foreign policy).

    There is absolutely no doubt that crakar largely understood what I was saying, because he summed my post up (not perfectly, but it will do for crakar) at post #24, where he said:

    “….So to sum up your post you are saying that there were many factors that led to the Egyptian uprising, of those the price of food was one, minor but still a factor…..”

    Yes crakar. MANY factors, and food prices was a minor one.

    How the fuck he can then say in his next sentence:

    “….So now not only can CO2 change a planetary climate system beyond recognition it can also bring down governments, my oh my your God is powerful….”

    That just beggars belief! How could anyone draw that conclusion from the previous remarks? It could only happen if you based all your conclusions and opinions on ideology, rather than a rational assessment of the facts.

    But wait! It gets worse. Apparently, even though crakar summed up my view that food prices played only a minor role in the insurrection in a country dominated by a hated dictator, he now wants to build the greatest strawman of all:

    “…..Food prices have gone through the roof here (Adelaide) as you know so based on your theory the Australian people are on the verge of revolt…..”

    WTF crakar!!?? How can anyone extrapolate increasing food prices playing a minor role in Egypt, to causing Australia to be on the verge of revolt?

    I think this thread speaks volumes for both crakar and anon’s minds. No wonder I say you are a complete moron crakar. You keep proving it over and over again.

  42. #42 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    Post 40,

    Watch out everyone the “big dog” has just dropped another steaming pile of shit be carefull not to stand in it.

    In your post 23 dribble you said:

    “IF it could be established that rising inflation (which is true) and the inability of wages to keep pace (which is also true) – especially in regard to food prices – has caused resentment, then we might be able to establish the first causal link in a chain leading to insurection.”

    We are experiencing rising inflation, rising food prices and the inability of wages to keep pace here in Australia which is causing resentment towards the Government as the latest polls show Liberals lead 54 to 46% (an election winning lead).

    You then said:

    “However, to establish the second causal link, we would then need to know what has caused those prices to rise. There can be no doubt that there is an element of the recent extreme weather events in an increase in the price of wheat especially, so there is a tentative indication there. But can we specifically attribute recent extreme weather to climate change? Probably – but not certainly.”

    Probably – but not certainly…is Mandas speak for fucked if i know but by god i sound important.

    You then take a leap of faith by proclaiming AGW played a role in the revolt but not a dominant one.

    You then claim there were many many straws that contributed to this revolt and without them there would be no revolt at all.

    So did AGW contribute to the revolt or not? I suggest you are just clutching at straws Mandas in a vain, hopeless and pathetic attempt to attribute all the worlds ills on AGW.

    I never thought i would see the day when believers would link global warming to local weather and political events but that day has arrive.

  43. #43 Tom Curtis
    February 14, 2011

    Anon: “I am really disapointed …”

    Might I suggest your disappointment is not premised on the comments of Wow, Mandas, and Coby; but rather on a determination to be disappointed regardless of their response. You give yourself away with your constant emphasis is the “A in AGW”. As everyone realizes (or should realize if they are capable of rational thought) global warming will have the same causal consequences whether it it Anthropogenic global warming, or non-anthropogenic global warming. As a result, nobody here has speculated as to how the A in AGW has made any differences to the consequences of GW in Egypt. They have merely noted that the GW happens to have been AGW, so any consequences of GW in Egypt are necessarily consequences of AGW.

    As to the advantages of speculation (in addition to just being an enjoyable activity), they have always been two fold.

    First, and most importantly, speculation is the first step in the exploration of a hypothesis. If you don’t speculate about hypothesis before you have the facts to support them, you will never understand where you must look to support the hypothesis; and never know if the hypothesis can be more than just speculation.

    By speculating, if you have paid attention we have learnt that prices of staple foods in Egypt have soared by between 25 and 100% (and 600% for tomatoes) in recent months; leading to a series of demonstrations in October. (See the links by Chris S above.) We also learnt that a major reason for the price rises has been a loss of crops and livestock due to a heat wave in Egypt. We learnt, further, that the food price rises were sufficient to impact not just the poor but the middle class, with even engineers complaining that their monthly salary “… only covers food enough for ten days”.

    Given that we now know that rising food prices has led directly to demonstrations in Egypt in recent years and recent months, the notion that they were a factor in the willingness of Egyptians to demonstrate over the last month becomes very plausible. In fact, the recent demonstrations over food prices has probably had a secondary effect of bringing a far wider variety of people into direct confrontation with the abuses of the Egyptian police force, feeding directly into political discontent.

    And if rising food prices is a factor, then global warming is also a factor. Global warming is almost certainly the major cause of the 2010 heat waves in Russia and North Africa, both of which have lead to widespread crop losses, and one of which (Russia) led directly to an increase in food prices as a result of the Russians holding back wheat from export. It probably indirectly led to further rises by encouraging the Chinese of horde food against similar contingencies in China. Global Warming has probably also been a factor in recent flooding in Australia’s grain producing regions (Western Victoria and the Darling Downs), and is almost certainly a factor in the ongoing drought in Australia’s third productive grain growing region (Western Australia around Perth). These events have lead directly to price rises, which undoubtedly has impacted Egypt who typically source between 14 and 25% of their wheat from Australia.

    So, is there any value in speculating about this … or is it better to keep these facts from plain view?

    A second reason for speculating is because even if AGW is not a major, or even a significant factor; the effects of AGW on crop yields is expected to increase in time, and that will certainly lead to political unrest in the future. Like Russia 2010, and Queensland 2011; Egypt 2011 is a look into our future, and it is not always guaranteed a soft landing (if that will in fact be an outcome). Food shortages in the future may, in fact probably will again lead to people using their heads to chock the treads of tanks – and when you do that, sometimes the tanks roll forward.

    So the question is not, why is their any point about speculating about the impact of AGW on Egypt 2011; but why is it so important to you that the potential impacts of AGW be kept firmly out of mind?

  44. #44 anon
    February 14, 2011

    Mandas,

    I think it’s apparent to all that I have won this debate, and relatively politely too, until you can state your null hypothesis and your evidence based argument against that null hypothesis and your reasoning why we should reject the null hypothesis.

    With much apologies,

    anon

  45. #45 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    Post 41,

    Mandas,

    Do you not see the stupidity of what you write?

    You make one assumption based upon another, upon another and upon another to come to the conclusion that AGW played a minor role in the revolt however without the *other straws* there would be no revolt.

    Now from a scientific/economic POV this may be a wonderful thought experiment if you have 5 minutes of your life to waste.

    But this is not why you do it, you are so hung up on AGW that you search for links that do not exist which is why you made sooooooo many assumptions to connect the two. Your behaviour here is no different to Bob Brown claiming the QLD floods where directly caused by AGW and his 2IC to claim the cyclone to be caused by AGW also.

    Having realised the error of your ways you now argue that even if you are wrong your approach to finding the wrong conclusion was correct, whilst myself and anon are just simply deniers.

    You explain this when you said:

    “At post #32, you suggested that I let this one go because “this one’s a loser”. However, this one is not about whether or not climate change played any role in the insurrection in Egypt. It is about the hysteria and inability of deniers like crakar to appreciate subtleties, how they try to turn everything into black and white and how they construct huge flaming strawmen. It is no wonder they are completely incapable of understanding science and how it works.”

    You are pathetic Mandas and even Skip can see how pathetic you are but as you are a “brother in arms” he is too polite to say so in public.

  46. #46 Tom Curtis
    February 14, 2011

    Crakar continues to reveal himself a fool at every turn. He is now suggesting that because Australia is currently experiencing 3% per annum inflation, which is expected to continue for about 6 months before dropping back again; and that because Banana’s are almost of the market; therefore Australian’s should be reacting in the same way that Egyptians have reacted to price rises for basic foods of between 25 and 100% leading even the middle classes to need to skip meals if they need medicine for a sick child.

    He is also suggesting disaffection with the government will have the same results in a democratic nation as in a dictatorship.

    This adds a third value to speculation – it can reveal the absolute fools deniers are willing to make of themselves.

  47. #47 Chris S.
    February 14, 2011

    I do find it interesting that the mindset and comments seem so familiar.

    The original post and those that agree have all been careful to make it clear that “there are always many factors in a people’s uprising, the precise balance of which will always be subjective and varied” or similar phrasing.

    What do we get from those who disagree with Coby’s premise? Variations of “it’s overthrowing a dictator, it’s corn ethanol, it’s the domino effect after Tunisia, it’s the internet, it’s the sun, it’s cosmic rays, it’s definitely NOT CO2″ or even AGW.

    Is it possible that those who accept that climate change is a real issue are capable of nuanced thought and that those who oppose it view things in more black and white terms.

    Is it possible that accepting climate change may have had an effect, however small, on what is occuring in the nations north of the Sahara means that one’s cosy view of climate change (it isn’t happening, but if it is we’ll be fine) will be shaken so badly by anyone having the temerity to come up with even the suggestion?

    I note no-one has commented on Abdelazim’s prediction given in #31. Colour me unsurprised.

  48. #48 anon
    February 14, 2011

    ” They have merely noted that the GW happens to have been AGW, so any consequences of GW in Egypt are necessarily consequences of AGW.

    Well, Tom, that is an enormous leap of faith, and a non-scientific leap of faith that you are making isn’t it?

    And it certainly true that in the posts I’ve read, Romm, Coby, … the link to the revolution is made to GW, not AGW,

    But to quote Fletcher, from the Outlaw Josey Wales, “Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining”. Romm, Coby, Mandas, et. al., have their panties in a knot because they want the public to make the connection that the revolution is A as in AGW related. That’s the raison d’etre.

    We can’t just merely note and gloss that the GW is AGW, that’s a scientific question, please treat it as such.

    So with your claim, is not just was GW a factor but AGW a factor, speculation is fun, but if you want anyone to take any action on your claim, you better show that’s it’s not just beer talk, but a scientifically proven likely fact.

    So all I’ve asked is for you to quantify the various steps, or explain how you would, and give us your evidence data based reason to reject the null hypothesis.

    Otherwise, your claim stands on a par with the guy in the bar telling us the story about Marge.

    Just because you are at a self-claimed science blog doesn’t mean you should feel free to poot stuff out your butt and call it science.

    If you can’t give us a reason to reject the null hypothesis, I’ll stand on my claims: we’ve long known that scarce resources causes war, we accept there is global climate change constantly, and we’ll note that almost no one except for Romm, coby, mandas, (and sadly Krugman) and you ever mentions global warming as a cause for this revolution, not when we know we have:

    Dictatorship
    Repression
    Torture
    Aging Dictator
    Rising Internet
    Rising Education Young Populace
    Google
    Facebook
    Education abroad
    Boeing/Airbus
    AGW

    Pareto order those please.

  49. #49 anon
    February 14, 2011

    Chris S.,

    Accept for the sake of argument that it is either A) natural extreme weather patterns OR Global Climate Change, but not B) Anthropogenic Global Climate Change.

    For both cases, please explain what you would do with a $10 trillion dollars and how you might raise that $10 trillion dollars. (Choosing $10 trillion because the quickest of googles shows that’s within an order of magnitude of google’s first links as to the cost of AGW.)

  50. #50 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    Tom in 43,

    Nice post….no i mean it, it really was. I have a couple of questions for you based on your post.

    You begin by speculating several things in an effort to show anon how speculation is a good thing however you have not addressed his problem (well mine aswell).

    You see to me your whole post was speculation, its OK to speculate that food prices triggered the revolt, its OK to speculate that a flood here or a drought there led to higher food prices and i suppose it is also OK to speculate that the whole thing was caused by the “A” in AGW.

    What anon has asked for is the evidence to support that speculation and so far not one shred has been offered. So feel free to speculate as much as you want in fact i will speculate right now.

    The droughts and now floods in Australia are not caused by the “A” in AGW but by changes in the pacific decadal oscillation, currently it is in its negative phase which means we get stronger La Nina’s and there fore more rain and cyclones. This causes other parts of the world to experience droughts. When the PDO switches to its positive we will get stronger El Nino’s and droughts and less cyclones whilst other parts of the world will experience more rain.

    If you do it its called speculation, if i do it i am a filthy denier.

  51. #51 mandas
    February 14, 2011

    crakar

    Are you really as stupid as you seem, or is it just woo to try and make you think you are stupid?

    Ok, since you don’t get nuance, let me spell it out for you.

    Coby posted a number of comments and links to start a discussion about whether or not climate change played a role in the events in Egypt.

    I provided a response which essentially concluded that IF climate change played ANY part, it was a VERY minor one and there were other far more important factors. I was doing what you proved completely incapable of doing with your irrational and abusive post #20.

    In effect, I was saying in response to the topic question by coby: Q – Is there a climate change connection? A – Not really (possibly minor at best).

    GET IT NOW?

  52. #52 anon
    February 14, 2011

    Is that what you were doing mandas? Perhaps it was.

    Perhaps you shouldn’t be so quick to call everyone who disagrees with you a denier or illiterate or any of the other abusive insults you slung around.

    I am glad to see we are in complete agreement.

    My apologies, douchebag.

  53. #53 mandas
    February 14, 2011

    crakar

    You keep getting worse and worse don’t you?

    “…..The droughts and now floods in Australia are not caused by the “A” in AGW but by changes in the pacific decadal oscillation, currently it is in its negative phase which means we get stronger La Nina’s and there fore more rain and cyclones….”

    So – based on your argument, every time the PDO enters a La Nina phase, we will get flood, bushfires and cyclones like we just experienced this year?

    How about we test your theory shall we? Let’s look at the most recent La Nina year – 1998/99. Apart from 1998 being one of the hottest on record (as a denialist you would know this because it is always the start date for denialist cherry picking of temperature changes), as you can see from the following map, most of Queensland experienced average rainfall, with a few isolated locations experiencing above average or well above average rainfall. Parts of NSW even experience LESS than average rainfall. And it was wetter in WA than it was in the east – exactly the opposite to what is happening now:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/d3a199899.shtml

    So lets go back to the previous La Nina year, 1988/89:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/d3a198889.shtml

    No joy there either!

    In fact, you can check up on all of the years at the BOM website here:

    bom.gov.au/climate/enso/ninacomp.shtml

    So how about you try to do some science here crakar. Obviously La Nina events do not necessarily lead to the sort of weather patterns we are experiencing in Australia at the moment. In fact, we have experienced record setting flood, cyclone, bushfire and heatwave events, and the number of 1 in a hundred year events far exceed what could reasonably be expected to occur based on their statistical probability alone.

    What is YOUR explanation please?

  54. #54 Tom Curtis
    February 14, 2011

    Crakar, apparently, cannot recognize the difference between a speculation and a report:

    “”This year, Egypt had its hottest summer in years,” said Mohamed Eissa, chairman of the Egyptian Meteorological Authority, adding the trend was set to continue.

    Rising temperatures and poor harvests are driving up prices. According to the government’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), vegetable prices soared 51 percent and meat and poultry by 28.6 percent in September.

    A recent report by the Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) cited in the local media said crop productivity had dropped by almost 70 percent this year due to rising temperatures. The report – sent to the Agriculture Minister Amin Abaza – said most crops could not tolerate such a sharp increase.”
    http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportID=90794

    “Prices for most basic food commodities in Egypt have finally returned to earth – more or less – after soaring to unprecedented levels in the recent months. But steadily rising food costs in recent years, along with the government’s reluctance to take effective steps to regulate the market, continue to be the source of mounting public anger.

    “Even though the summer price hikes have eased for the time being, the situation is still desperate,” Hamdi Abdelazim, an economist and former president of the Cairo-based Sadat Academy for Administrative Sciences said. “If the rise in food costs persists, there will be an explosion of popular anger against the government.”

    In late summer, consumer prices for several basic food staples – including sugar, rice, cooking oil and wheat – skyrocketed suddenly. The hikes came on the back of already soaring beef and poultry prices, which, according to official figures, had risen by 40 and 25 per cent respectively since the beginning of the year.

    Fruit and vegetables saw the most radical price jumps. Prices for cucumbers, potatoes and beans doubled overnight, while those for green beans and apples tripled in some areas.

    Tomatoes, an irreplaceable staple of Egyptian cuisine, surged by more than 600 per cent in some provinces, with prices rising from 26 US centsper kilo to a whopping $ 2.2.

    “At these prices, my monthly salary only covers food enough for ten days,” complained Mohamed Moustafa, a 40-year-old government engineer from Cairo and father of three.

    September and October saw increasingly frequent public demonstrations in protest against soaring prices. In several cases, angry demonstrators called on President Hosni Mubarak to intervene.”
    http://www.africareview.com/News/-/979180/1057212/-/i8natuz/-/index.html

    “The most immediate challenge for the military regime, though, is the unleashing of years of pent-up frustration and anger among workers about rising prices.

    More than half of Egypt’s population lives on less than £1 a day. They are heavily reliant on subsidised foods, particularly bread, after sharp increases in the price of staples such as rice and pasta in recent years.

    Egypt’s military rulers declared Monday a bank holiday after bank employees went out on strike along with workers in the state-run oil and gas industries, ambulance drivers, textile- and steelworkers and post office employees. Police officers and employees of the culture and health ministries joined the strikes.

    Hundreds of Bank of Alexandria workers demonstrated outside its branch in central Cairo urging their bosses to “leave, leave” – the same slogan used in mass protests against Mubarak.

    Striking workers in the state-owned Cairo transport authority took to the streets to demand a pay increase and benefits such as free hospital care.

    Among them was Ahmed Said, who has worked as a driver for the company for 18 years. His take-home pay is about £60 a month, of which more than half goes on rent. He feeds a family of five on the rest.

    “There is just enough money for food. We have meat once a week but not all weeks. Some days we do not eat dinner. If a child goes to the hospital and we have to pay for that, then me and my wife do not have a meal,” he said. “This is wrong. How can Mubarak be worth so much and we have so little?”

    He said that after years of staying silent out of fear of the pervasive secret police under Mubarak’s rule, he would not now be intimidated. “Before, we had to be careful. We would be arrested. But now we can talk. We need food. We have been on strike four days. The army cannot stop us,” he said.

    Another transport worker, Hatem Saleh, waved a wage slip that showed he earned E£238 (£25) in basic pay last month, with E£225 (£24) in overtime and bonuses. Again, more than half goes on rent.

    Saleh entered the flat he shares with his wife and two teenage daughters, and opened the fridge.

    “We have a big fridge, but look, it is empty. What is there? Some vegetables. Not enough vegetables for more than two days. We have some bread. We have not had meat in two weeks because we had to pay some money for my daughter’s school. If we buy clothes, we eat less. How can this be when I have worked for nearly 20 years?” he said.

    The food crisis stalked the Mubarak regime for years. Egypt’s attempts to reform its system of subsidised food for the poor, which ate up more of the national budget than health and education, and the government’s decision to encourage the growth of crops for export in place of wheat, contributed to a surge in food prices in recent years.

    It came just as demand for subsidised foods increased because people were less able to afford such staples as rice and pasta owing to surging oil and crop prices.

    Three years ago, activists organised a series of food protests that in some ways presaged this year’s uprising.

    A strike and protests were partly organised by emails, text messaging and the internet, but the government was able to outmanoeuvre them with a 30% pay rise for state workers, and by rounding up some of the organisers and through intimidation.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/14/egypt-army-strikes-workers

    This inability by Crakar probably explains much.

  55. #55 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    Tom i just read post 46, you will now be treated with disdain like the rest.

    So my opening statement is that you are a fuckwit.

    I will call you a fuckwit because i never said we are on the verge of a revolt but yet you “speculated” that is what i said.

    Among Mandas’s many speculations was the one in which he speculated the people of Egypt revolted due to higher inflation and food prices, in an effort to show how stupid that speculation was i informed Mandas that Australia has one of the highest interest rates in the developed world, certainly much higher than the US and Europe and this is due to a HIGH INFLATION RATE. Also we are experiencing a RAPID RISE IN FOOD PRICES, these two factors combined mean the lower and middle classes of Australia are stuggling to make ends meet.

    A direct result of this is a voter back lash towards the government and the latest opinion poll shows if there was a election held today the Liberal party would win government in a landslide.

    Not at anytime did i say Australia is on the verge of revolt even if Tom the fuckwit speculates i did.

    But what can we speculate from this well we can speculate that if the cost of living in a country increases to a point where the people struggle to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads there will be a resentment towards the government BUT IT WILL NOT LEAD TO A REVOLT not matter how much fuckwits and morons speculate.

  56. #56 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    Post 51,

    Fuck off Mandas dont respond to any of my posts again.

  57. #57 mandas
    February 14, 2011

    anon

    “….Is that what you were doing mandas? Perhaps it was….
    Perhaps you shouldn’t be so quick to call everyone who disagrees with you a denier or illiterate or any of the other abusive insults you slung around….”

    Perhaps? And ‘perhaps’ if people actually read what others write, rather than embarking on a campaign of ‘null hypothesis’ and of constructing strawmen arguments then we would not have these problems in the first place, and I would not suggest that people are illiterate (however, I stand by that claim with reference to crakar).

    I though I was VERY clear in my original post:

    “…. I suggest that rising food prices as a result of extreme weather events which were probably caused by climate change would be one of the straws. But I would also suggest that it is not the most important one, and that if it were not for all the other straws, many of which are fair more critical, the camel’s back would never have been broken….”

    Apology accepted.

  58. #58 Tom Curtis
    February 14, 2011

    Oh dear, I’ve gone and upset the poor little denier zombie.

    “How sad. So sorry. Never mind.”

    For the logically challenged, including Crakar, Crakar clearly indicated that Australia was in similar circumstances to Egypt as regards food prices and costs of living. He used this alleged similarity as a counter example to the claim that increased food prices in Egypt could have been a causal factor in Egypt’s revolt.

    Clearly, however, there are very important differences between Egypt and Australia. In Egypt accomodation and food each consume close to 50% of typical earnings, leaving around 10% for clothing, medical and education expenses, etc. In Australia, they typically consume around 50% total, leaving around 50% of a much larger income for things like (government subsidized) medical bills, (government subsidized) education, and entertainment.

    In Egypt food prices have risen by many 25% or more. In Australia, most food prices have remained constant, risen be a few percent, or in some cases (bread and milk) fallen.

    In Egypt financial stress means you go without food for a day or so of each week. In Australia, financial stress means you may have to cancel this years holiday to the Gold Coast. (There are of course Australian’s in much worse financial straights than that, but that is the typical case. Of course, in Egypt there are people in much worse financial straights than the typical case I have described as well.)

    Clearly the cases are not similar. It is not rebuttal to an argument to show that unlike causes have lead to unlike consequences, which is all that Crakar has done – though he insists it is a rebuttal.

    His inability to recognize the difference between the consequences of poverty in Australia and those of poverty in Egypt shows a curious insularity of mind. He seems unable to recognize the vast differences in per capita wealth between western nations and third world nations, and the consequences that has on the lives of people in the third world. It is evidently not just climate change about which he is in denial.

  59. #59 anon
    February 14, 2011

    Mandas,

    Compare and contrast and consider the differences between:

    Prima facie: “It is used in modern legal English to signify that on first examination, a matter appears to be self-evident from the facts. In common law jurisdictions, prima facie denotes evidence which – unless rebutted – would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact. The term is used similarly in academic philosophy.”

    Face validity: “Face validity is a property of a test intended to measure something. It is the validity of a test at face value. In other words, a test can be said to have face validity if it “looks like” it is going to measure what it is supposed to measure.[1] For instance, if you prepare a test to measure whether students can perform multiplication, and the people you show it to all agree that it looks like a good test of multiplication ability, you have shown the face validity of your test.”

    In response to a statement that there is prima facie case that global warming was a factor, I’d say that’s speculation, prove it, you are assuming the conclusion.

    In response to a statement that there is face validity to consider the hypothesis that global warming was a factor, I’d say, go on, that sounds about right.

    In response to a statement that if I disagree with you I am an illiterate, moron, denier, I’d say your mom is a good fuck, almost as good as your wife.

  60. #60 mandas
    February 14, 2011

    anon

    “….In response to a statement that there is prima facie case that global warming was a factor, I’d say that’s speculation…”

    Yes it is. It always was speculation and never meant to be anything else. But I made that obvious to anyone who can read. Because I said “….there is a prima facie case for SUGGESTING that climate change MAY have played a part….”. If you want to argue the semantics of the English language then go ahead. But you better be perfect in your use of language yourself, and you should also avoid being a hypocrite and attack everyone who you think has used a word incorrectly.

    “…..In response to a statement that if I disagree with you I am an illiterate, moron, denier, I’d say your mom is a good fuck, almost as good as your wife…..”

    Then you would just be proving the hypothesis in the original statement. Firstly, because you have no basis for making that statement. It is purely speculation unsupported by any evidence that you would have available. Whereas the suggestion that you are illiterate has some support given your inability to read and comprehend my original post. And second, my mom is NOWHERE near is good a fuck as my wife (but still better than you).

  61. #61 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    I want to clear up a few things because speculation is becoming the new science around here.

    The latest speculation is

    “So – based on your argument, every time the PDO enters a La Nina phase, we will get flood, bushfires and cyclones like we just experienced this year?”

    Now just to clear something up a PDO does not enter a La Nina phase as the speculation suggests, i know i know its speculation so it must be true but i implore you to look beyond the speculation and look at the facts. The PDO switches between a +ve and -ve phase roughly every 30 years and essentially the SST changes from warm to cool and back again and as yet scientists have no idea why this happens. By the way they also have no idea about El Nino and La Nina regardless of any speculation.

    The following is classic speculation upon speculation and what happens is you fuck the first speculation up so as a consequence the subsequent speculation is also fucked up, but thats the way they do science around here….sigh.

    “How about we test your theory shall we? Let’s look at the most recent La Nina year – 1998/99. Apart from 1998 being one of the hottest on record (as a denialist you would know this because it is always the start date for denialist cherry picking of temperature changes), as you can see from the following map, most of Queensland experienced average rainfall, with a few isolated locations experiencing above average or well above average rainfall. Parts of NSW even experience LESS than average rainfall. And it was wetter in WA than it was in the east – exactly the opposite to what is happening now:”

    We then have to endure various links cherry picked to fit the long chain of fucked up speculation and in the end we are faced with this.

    “What is YOUR explanation please?”

    So now the onus is on ME to proved how fucked up the speculation is, how the fuck do i do that? How do i show a moron how fucked up he is when he thinks he is not fucked up? and therein lies our problem.

    I suppose one could start with education, this particular fucked up speculator claims 98/99 was a La Nina year and we never got the rain we got in this La Nina year so therefore La Nina does not cause droughts or floods so it must be caused by something else which he speculates is CO2 as it cannot be anything else.

    The education begins by telling him that in the year 98/99 it was a +ve PDO, a +ve pdo will give you strong El Nino’s and weak La Nina’s which is why the 1990′s were dominated by strong El Nino’s which brings drought and warmer temps. The pdo is now in its -ve phase which means La Nina’s are dominant which is why we are experiencing more rain and cooler temps (coldest year in Aust since 2001).

    So once the first fucked up speculation has been corrected the student should then go back and look at his second fucked up speculation and thereby educating himself on the basic principles of the climate.

    When the student does this he will find that this is the strongest La Nina since 1974 in conjunction with a -ve PDO, which coincidentally was the last time QLD had a very large flood which was made worse by a cyclone.

    I would strongly suggest the student go back beyond the 1970′s even though his speculation does not allow him to, to look at history because he may be shocked by what he finds.

    There endeth the lesson

  62. #62 mandas
    February 14, 2011

    anon

    I guess you know a favourite tactic of deniers is to ‘cherry pick’ the data they want, while excluding everything else that runs counter to their preconceived views. Your definition of “prima facie” falls perfectly in the cherry picking category, or are you just proving my case once again?

    Of course, you do know that “prima facie” is Latin for:

    …..at first sight; as it seems at first…..

    Maybe you would like to explain how my use of prima facie was inappropriate again?

  63. #63 mandas
    February 14, 2011

    crakar

    I can see why you don’t want me to respond to any of your posts any more.

    “……The purpose of this article is to describe the average impact of La Niña events on Australian rainfall patterns. To do this, the twelve strongest La Niña years which had the “classic” autumn to autumn pattern of evolution and decay were used. Three-month composites of Australian rainfall data were calculated for each and every period from autumn (March to May) of the onset year, to autumn of the decay year for these particular events. A discussion of the winter-spring (June to November) and summer (December to February) periods, precedes the display of the overlapping three-month rainfall patterns.

    The onset years for the 12 strongest “classic” or “canonical” La Niña events are 1910, 1916, 1917, 1938, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1988 and 1998. Maps of rainfall amounts and rainfall deciles for these and any other year are freely available from our archives…..”

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/ninacomp.shtml

    (Same link as I provided above by the way. Is there any reason you didn’t follow it?)

  64. #64 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    Tom,

    Please dont be upset that you have upset the denier zombies, i assume by your post you are an expert on Australian and Egyptian economies our are you merely speculating again.

    I think it is time for you and MAndas to admit your omni potent CO2 God is not as powerful as your faith is.

  65. #65 coby
    February 14, 2011

    I would appreciate a little less of the gratuitous foul language please. Despite how good it may feel, it does not bolster anyone’s argument.

  66. #66 Tom Curtis
    February 14, 2011

    Anon @48:

    Point 1: “We can’t just merely note and gloss that the GW is AGW, that’s a scientific question, please treat it as such.

    So with your claim, is not just was GW a factor but AGW a factor, speculation is fun, but if you want anyone to take any action on your claim, you better show that’s it’s not just beer talk, but a scientifically proven likely fact.”

    Scientific proof is as follows:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html

    You can read it into the record as you feel fit. (I can reference you to an easier source if you need it, and to some more recent sources for some parts of the proof.

    This, by the way, is more proof than is required in this topic. The topic of this thread is the possible impact of GW (A or otherwise) on events in Egypt. Given that, the scientific proof that GW is AGW is not on topic. What is more, as the consensus of the experts is that GW is AGW, a non-expert is entitled to simply accept that in related discussions. If you disagree, it is your task to give reasons why. I am not required to provide the scientific proof that the world is round every time I discuss travel plans. The presumption that I should is unreasonable. Nor am I required to provide scientific proof that the late 20th century warming has anthropogenic causes every time I discuss a climate related matter (including the possible effects of climate on Egyptian politics). Expecting anybody to build every argument from the ground up is a form of intellectual obscurantism. You can expect the ground work to be done (and it has been). You cannot reasonably expect it to be done every single time a related issue is discussed. (As if every single blog post should contain at minimum a summary of the IPCC WG1 complete with rebuttals of the denier argument of the week.)

    The demand is so transparently absurd that its use is a sign the user is not arguing in good faith.

    You don’t accept the science of AGW – fine, good for you. But it is also irrelevant to this post. So, discuss the impact of global warming on Egyptian politics here, and we can discuss the science elsewhere. Or, by insisting always that every discussion of the effects of GW contain proof that the GW is AGW, prove that you are not interested in rational thought, but only in obscuring issues with your monomania.

    Point 2: “If you can’t give us a reason to reject the null hypothesis, I’ll stand on my claims: we’ve long known that scarce resources causes war, we accept there is global climate change constantly, and we’ll note that almost no one except for Romm, coby, mandas, (and sadly Krugman) and you ever mentions global warming as a cause for this revolution …”

    The appeal to the null hypothesis is the refuge of the scoundrel. It is always an intellectual sleight of hand that tries to set up the appellants favored hypothesis as being the default hypothesis which alone amongst all others requires no proof to be accepted.

    If you want to make an honest appeal, ask for a reason to reject the contrary claim. In this context, the claim is that food price rises brought about by GW (A or otherwise) had a significant impact on events in Egypt. The contrary hypothesis is that food price rises had no significant impact. Well, the fact that food price rises in Egypt has led even middle classes to being periodically hungry; that it has led to protests about food prices three years ago, and again as recently as four months ago; and that these protests where put down by repressive means, thus bringing a larger proportion of the Egyptian populace into personal contact with the brutal means of the Egyptian police; these facts pretty much lay the contrary hypothesis to rest.

    Does this prove that GW was necessary or sufficient for the revolt? The question is nonsensical. Necessary and sufficient conditions can only be delineated in classically deterministic cases. In the real world, probabilities reign supreme. We can sensibly ask if GW made the revolt more, or less probable; but it is foolish to ask if it made it possible (was a necessary condition) or certain (was a sufficient condition). Revolt is always a possibility, however, improbable; and revolt is never a certainty, however probable.

    Point 3: I am not amongst those who mention GW as a cause for this revolt. My considered opinion was stated in the third comment of this thread, ie, there is a connection in probability, but the chain of connection makes the direct connection between GW and revolution to tenuous.

    On the other hand, I have a serious problem with people objecting to even discussing the connection. Suggesting that there is no value in speculating on this topic is a suggestion that we should pass by any such possible connection in silence. It attempts to shut down potentially useful discussion.

    The speculation (and hence discussion) is valuable, and is interesting even though I doubt anyone here can show more than a tenuous connection. It has certainly been interesting as yet another example of the fervour with which deniers will reject any such connection, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

    I find it very interesting that there is a standard denier response to any impact of natural disaster. It goes:

    1) Deny any connection between GW and the disaster;
    2) Deny any connection between the weather events and the resulting suffering (ie, blame the victims); and
    3) Demand detailed scientific proof that there was an A in the GW.

    It looks like an orchestrated campaign of obscuration to me (without accusing you of being an orchestrator). It is certainly not a recipe for rational thought.

  67. #67 Tom Curtis
    February 14, 2011

    Crakar asks if I am an expert on the Australian and Egyptian economies (I am not) and whether the values I cited are just speculation. The values for Egypt where taken from reports from previously linked (by Chris S) articles. For a more accurate value, in a 2008 survey it was found that “…the rural household expenditure share of
    48.7% in the non-food category is lower than the 55.2% share of urban households.” That is, in 2008 rural households spent 51.7% of income on food, while urban households spent 44.8%. Food prices have risen since then.
    http://www.card.iastate.edu/publications/dbs/pdffiles/08wp475.pdf

    My figures for Australia were based on an, as it turns out, misremembered statistic combined with my experience while unemployed in Australia (which it accurately reflects). At it turns out, across all households in Australia, ” households spent 17% of total goods and services expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages ($153 a week), 16% of the total on transport ($139) and 15% on current housing costs, including rent, rates and interest payments on mortgages ($135).” In other words, I significantly over estimated Australian expenditure on food and accommodation. My argument was stronger than I thought it was, not weaker as Crakar so fervently hoped.
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mediareleasesbytitle/97E70263E0B479CFCA257059007E19B6?OpenDocument

  68. #68 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    Mandas your posts are sooooo easy to pull apart i cant help but respond. Lets look at 61 for example.

    Coby tried to claim AGW has taken another scalp and his bullshit was shown to be exactly that, you heard the rattling of the sabres and strode into town acting like a hired gun to keep the zombies in line.

    Of course the only way you could do that was to continue with the Coby bullshit and in 61 you lay it all bare. You spent 3 minutes surveying the landscape and came up with the biggest bit of bullshit i have ever seen from you.

    Skip who must be given credit here saw through the bullshit at first glance (…..at first sight; as it seems at first…..) and suggested you drop it. But not the great Mandas, no way Jose, you need to win this argument because thats who you are. You cant back down because that would shatter the fragile ego. So instead you try to shift the argument to

    “At post #32, you suggested that I let this one go because “this one’s a loser”. However, this one is not about whether or not climate change played any role in the insurrection in Egypt. It is about the hysteria and inability of deniers like crakar to appreciate subtleties, how they try to turn everything into black and white and how they construct huge flaming strawmen. It is no wonder they are completely incapable of understanding science and how it works.”

    Now that has not worked so now you are trying to belittle anon by speculating (i love this word)

    “I guess you know a favourite tactic of deniers is to ‘cherry pick’ the data they want, while excluding everything else that runs counter to their preconceived views. Your definition of “prima facie” falls perfectly in the cherry picking category, or are you just proving my case once again?

    Of course, you do know that “prima facie” is Latin for:

    …..at first sight; as it seems at first…..”

    Inferring that you did not really mean the revolt was triggered by AGW but at first glance it appeared so and that is how science works you stupid deniers.

    So here you are as Skip would put it thrashing around like Mike Tyson with little Tom by your side.

    In regards to post 62,

    I did follow you down the rabbit hole Mandas unfortunately due to your “…..at first sight; as it seems at first…..” approach to everything you saw what you wanted to see. Your link does not refute what i said simply because it does not compare the 12 La Nina years to the phase change of the PDO. I suggest you cast your net further and tell me if there is anything the 12 years have in common. Then see if you can tell how they differ.

  69. #69 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    Tom in 65,

    Point one is a moot point even though it contains an appeal to authority because COby clearly tries to make a connection between climate change and the toppling of a dictator.

    Point 2,

    Is simply gibberish for what purpose i know not, you can claim food prices toppled the regime all you want for all i care. However if you want to claim it was triggered by AGW then you need to show how AGW did it just like anon has asked. Instead of providing the evidence you simply prattle on about speculation and we the skeptics are the ones being ridiculed. So if your position is that food prices triggered the revolt brought on by climate change then you need to show how it did it.

    Point 3

    “I am not amongst those who mention GW as a cause for this revolt. My considered opinion was stated in the third comment of this thread, ie, there is a connection in probability, but the chain of connection makes the direct connection between GW and revolution to tenuous.”

    No not tenuous, there is no connection at all unless you can provide the evidence to make a tenuous connection?

    “The speculation (and hence discussion) is valuable, and is interesting even though I doubt anyone here can show more than a tenuous connection. It has certainly been interesting as yet another example of the fervour with which deniers will reject any such connection, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.”

    What evidence to the contrary?

    You lambast the skeptics about there position on speculation and this is a classic example of why we do so.

    Heres the standard believer response to any natural disaster

    1) Make a connection between AGW and disaster no matter how speculative and never i repeat never say you will provide evidence in support.

    2) Claim the only way to stop said disaster is to apply a tax to cool the planet.

    3) Force governments to implement stupid green policies that financially ruin them, then blame someone else

    4) Move on to next crusade

  70. #70 Tom Curtis
    February 14, 2011

    Point 1: Coby mentions the possible connection between climate change, and says “This is not a laughable notion in the least, it is a very legitimate topic for conversation.”

    He does not mention the anthropogenic causes of climate change; and certainly does not assert the consequences of climate change would have been somehow different if it were not anthropogenic. Therefore my point stands. It is the deniers who have introduced that into the discussion as a mechanism to derail it.

    Further, the appeal to authority is quite legitimate. No person can be an expert on everything (and very few are expert on anything). Therefore it is appropriate where the an issue is a side issue to the main point of discussion to appeal to recognized experts; and incumbent on those who would challenge the experts if they think it necessary to the discussion to give grounds for their dissent.

    The alternative is to require everybody to prove every fact they wish to rely on in discussion every time they wish to rely on it. It would require me, for example, to not just appeal to the Australian Bureau of Statistics to show that average Australian expenditure on accommodation and food amounts to about 15% of their budget for each (not 25% as I earlier claimed) I should in fact not rely on an authority (the ABS) but conduct the survey myself. And post the survey results every time I wish to appeal to that fact.

    Point 2:

    “”This year, Egypt had its hottest summer in years,” said Mohamed Eissa, chairman of the Egyptian Meteorological Authority, adding the trend was set to continue.

    Rising temperatures and poor harvests are driving up prices. According to the government’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), vegetable prices soared 51 percent and meat and poultry by 28.6 percent in September.

    A recent report by the Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) cited in the local media said crop productivity had dropped by almost 70 percent this year due to rising temperatures. The report – sent to the Agriculture Minister Amin Abaza – said most crops could not tolerate such a sharp increase. ”

    Quoted from the article linked by John S above, my emphasis.

    Egypt normally supplies about 50% of its own food needs. That food production dropped by almost 70% over the last calendar year because of a record breaking heatwave. That means a shortfall of 35% of basic food needs that needed to be supplied from an already constrained market. That market was constrained in large part because of crop failures in Russia due to a notionally “1 in 1000″ year heat wave. Notionally because there is in fact no record of any heatwave in Russia in the past being as severe.

    Are you seeing any connection between climate and rising food prices yet?

    The pretense that there is no connection between extreme weather events in 2010 and rising food prices in 2010 is absurd. It is on an intellectual par with flat Earthism.

    The notion that there is no connection between Earth’s in fact warming climate, and heat related extreme weather events in 2010 is equally absurd.

    The idea that the in fact warming climate is warming because of CO2 emissions (amongst other reasons) is well established in science, but has been brought up in this topic only by deniers and that to derail the discussion.

    Point 3: The evidence linked to by Chris S, and by Joe Romm at his site, linked to by Coby, and by me in a post that has yet to clear moderation. The evidence that I have referred to many times, and each time been accused of “speculating”.

    The accusation, of course, is not leveled that I am speculating when I comment about Egyptian food expenditures, or price increases, in some cases over 100%, or about preceding food riots in Egypt 3 years ago, and again 4 months ago, because the accuser has contrary evidence. It is made because it is a cheap means to dismiss contrary evidence that might make the denier think. The accusation of “speculation” is even make when I cite the links to the original information.

    Which brings us to the standard rational response to natural disasters.

    1) Consider a priori probabilities;
    2) Seek out relevant evidence;
    3) Draw a tentative conclusion.

    No supporter of climate science here has done anything other than these three. The deniers on the other hand have mounted an campaign of disinformation, absurd evidentiary demands, and dismissal of relevant information as “speculation” without in fact having checked in anyway as to the validity of the information.

    The conclusion as to which side is on the side of rationality is straightforward.

  71. #71 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    Thanks for padding out more boring day Tom.

    Let me re state my opinion and my i suggest anon’s opinion aswell.

    Feel free to speculate the weather effects on Egyptian food prices, your one sided approach to this has been duly noted in that you have failed to mention crop failure from around the world due to severe cold, although i suspect this bears the fingerprint of AGW as well.

    However your assertion that AGW is the cause of these crop failures is unfounded but you claim that is not up for discussion and if so then i will leave you to it Tom.

    Please continue to pontificate, postulate and speculate about everything AGW could be linked to in my absence.

  72. #72 Tom Curtis
    February 14, 2011

    So glad that crakar has decided to improve the standard of this conversation, by leaving.

  73. #73 crakar24
    February 14, 2011

    Yes Tom thats true two people back slapping each other in agreement is a higher standard than two people who disagree.

    Cheers

  74. #74 skip
    February 15, 2011

    Jesus this thread is too much to take in with more than a skim.

    I did catch Anon’s allegations about the sexual appeal of Mandas’s various female family members . . . .did I miss much of substance beyond that?

  75. #75 anon
    February 15, 2011

    Mandas,

    I am not a lawyer. I know of the latin, prima facie, not because it is scientific jargon, but because it is legal jargon used on TV.

    I believe that that is probably the layman’s understanding of prima facie, HOWEVER, I actually would welcome a lawyer explaining exactly what prima facie means in legal terminology. My sense is that it means a pretty conclusive case.

    Here is one google, chosen at random:

    “Prima facie is usually used when referring to a type of case of an investigation. When something is prima facie, it means that there is direct evidence or there is what is known as “the smoking gun” showing that something did or did not happen. No preliminary investigation or in depth investigation is needed in order to determine how a situation happened.”

    So when you above claim there is “So there is a prima facie case for suggesting that climate change may have played a role in the current situation in the Middle East.”

    Then I say you are wrong, and you are assuming your conclusion. There is not a prima facie case, if there was, not even coby would think it was worthy of discussion. The whole point of the thread is because there is NO prima facie case, coby/romm are trying to establish the case.

    That’s not cherry picking, that’s showing you that if you want to understand why people misconstrue what you say, you may wish to explore just what the hell you are saying.

    I would welcome a lawyer explaining just what the hell prima facie means to a lawyer. That way I could better understand Law and Order, Special Environmental Crimes Unit.

  76. #76 anon
    February 15, 2011

    Here is nolo:

    “(pree-mah-fey-shah) Latin for “at first look” or “on its face.” A prima facie case is one that at first glance presents sufficient evidence for the plaintiff to win. The defendant must refute the case in some way to have a chance of prevailing at trial. For example, if you can show that someone intentionally touched you in a harmful or offensive way and caused some injury to you, you have established a prima facie case of battery. However, this does not mean that you automatically win your case. The defendant would win if he could show that you consented to the harmful or offensive touching”

    This sense of prima facie is completely counter to the scientific method.

    As I’ve asked several times Mandas, and no one sees fit to answer, what is the null hypothesis? What is your argument for rejecting the null hypothesis.

    Your statement that there is a prima facie case directly rejects the null hypothesis.

    So if you’re going to accuse people of being illiterate, moron, or cherry picking details, you may wish to think about the power of your own amazing vocabulary.

    What behavior do I see you engaging in? You are a denier.

  77. #77 anon
    February 15, 2011

    “Feel free to speculate the weather effects on Egyptian food prices, your one sided approach to this has been duly noted in that you have failed to mention crop failure from around the world due to severe cold, although i suspect this bears the fingerprint of AGW as well.”

    Or as Lucia points out, the many places crop failures occurred that did not have revolutions or even protests.

  78. #78 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    anon @76, I explicitly responded to your demand for a “null hypothesis” is point 2 of 66. You may not have liked the answer, but don’t pretend it does not exist.

    @78 Lucia says a lot of things that don’t amount to anything substantive. But, pray tell, how many of these other locations with crop failures were locations in which:

    1) the food budget represents more than 40% of the average household income;

    2) the vast majority of the remainder of average household income goes for accommodation;

    3) the increase in food prices excedes 25% for basic staples, so that even the middle class must make choices between eating, or providing medicine for sick children; and

    4) no government action on food prices occurred.

    Then we can compare like with like. Of course, I suspect Lucia will have no such list of like events, and that nor do you.

    With regard to crop failure due to severe cold in 2010, I am not aware of any. As you are jumping on to Crakar’s speculative bandwagon here, perhaps you can point out an example of crop failure due to cold in that period.

    I am aware of low harvests in North Africa (including Egypt) due to a record breaking heat wave; of the near complete failure of the Russian Wheat Crop due to the Russian heat wave and associated drought; of rice crop failures due to flooding in Pakistan and South East Asian (including China). All of these have a very direct connection to global warming, with the flooding being brought about by the same weather event that caused the heatwave in Russia, along with record high sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean.

    I am also, of course, also aware of the wheat crop failures in Australia – a direct supplier of Egypt – brought about a record breaking flooding as a result of a strong La Nina coupled with record sea surface temperatures around Australia, which provides a direct link to global warming.

    You and Crakar have been having a fine time suggesting no evidence has been presented against you (whilst ignoring, or labeling as speculation any evidence that was in fact presented). Well it’s time for you to put up or shut up. You’ve gone beyond vague generalizations now and actually appealed to two purported “facts”(cold weather crop failures, and crop failures not leading to demonstrations). Show us the list, and show us that they are relevant.

  79. #79 Wow
    February 15, 2011

    “Or as Lucia points out, the many places crop failures occurred that did not have revolutions or even protests.”

    So, there’s a spectrum of discontent from mumbling middle-classes right up to widescale civilian revolt.

    Care to show that prices have no effect on discontent?

  80. #80 Chris S.
    February 15, 2011

    “With regard to crop failure due to severe cold in 2010, I am not aware of any. As you are jumping on to Crakar’s speculative bandwagon here, perhaps you can point out an example of crop failure due to cold in that period.”

    I can help with an example there – the British sugar beet crop was severely compromised by the snow before Christmas, thoug it should be noted that the problem was made worse by the immediate thaw that occured the next week – if the ground had stayed frozen the crop would have been more salvagable.

    Of course sugar beet isn’t a staple food.

  81. #81 mandas
    February 15, 2011

    anon

    I don’t give a rat’s arse what a lawyer might interpret ‘prima facie’ to mean. I am not a lawyer, and neither are you, so stop playing idiotic semantic games.

    It is really really simple.

    At first glance (from the Latin – prima facie), there appears to be a case for suggesting that climate change may have played a role in the current situation in the Middle East. A minor one for sure, and certainly there are far more important considerations.

    Everyone here understands that apart from you (and your moronic mate)

  82. #82 mandas
    February 15, 2011

    Damn!!!! I just realised something.

    Anon is Dick using a sockpuppet!

    There couldn’t possibly be two people in the world so totally clueless as to what ‘null hypothesis’ means or the context in which is should be used.

    Damn!!!

  83. #83 Chris S.
    February 15, 2011

    mandas, I don’t think so – anon can spell. As Tom Curtis has pointed out “The appeal to the null hypothesis is the refuge of the scoundrel*. It is always an intellectual sleight of hand that tries to set up the appellants favored hypothesis as being the default hypothesis which alone amongst all others requires no proof to be accepted.”

    Unfortunately, what could have been an interesting discussion about the role of climate in current (and future?) political upheavals has quickly been derailed by those unable to define nuance. If we could trim away the crud that begins at or around post #20 then perhaps we could get back on track.

    *As, of course, is deliberate obfuscation by playing semantics and dredging up definitions of words that have no bearing on the conversation.

  84. #84 Heraclitus
    February 15, 2011

    It’s depressing to see the same deluge of (deliberate) misunderstanding here as everywhere else I’ve seen this discussion being played out. I am coming to believe this may be an intentional, though perhaps subconscious, effort to drive any sane person off the threads and so avoid the idea that we may be facing serious repercussions from instability in global food supplies gaining any traction.

    It is the potential conflicts over food, and possibly water as well, that scare me more than anything about the future we are very likely facing. This is what puts the catastrophic into anthropogenic climate change for me and I suspect we are begining to see the emergence of this future as the most stressed societies are tipped over the edge by this extra pressure. Hopefully Egypt will show that there are positives as well as negatives to this, but there is no reason to think this will always be the case, particularly as the impacts pile up.

  85. #85 Wow
    February 15, 2011

    Chris, it could be a co-worker or someone who is close to Dick and taking on the same memes because of the “old boy” network making him see the world in the same (broken) way as Dick does.

  86. #86 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    Heraclitus, I am uncertain about the intentionality, but the standard denialist obfustication can be no accident.

    I twigged this just recently. After the Pakistan floods I noticed who quickly deniers and “warmists” jumped onto the idea that the devestating impact of the floods was because:

    1) the Pakistani’s built on a flood plain; and
    2) the flood mitigation had been allowed to degrade.

    In other words, it was the victim’s fault, and certainly nothing to do with record breaking rain falling in normally dry areas of Pakistan (with correspondingly shallow river beds), where (coincidently) during the Holocene Climactic Optimum, ie, a period of unusual warmth, frequent and very heavy rains used to fall. I was amazed at the speed this meme was jumped onto.

    On the 11th of January, however, I blogged on the then current South East Queensland floods. Immediately a sceptic responded as follows:

    “The records show that the FLOOD PLAINS that people built on have had worse floods every few centuries or so, and lesser floods every few decades. In addition, dams were not built or built but not properly used by the government. There is no evidence to relate either the droughts or floods to other than normal variation. You seem to be sure that CAGW is happening, and I do not. You can claim anything you want, but without sufficient support, you are purely speculating.

    I am very sorry for the deaths and misery, but the basic problem is people building on known FLOOD PLAINS without any defensive infrastructure being included.”

    As you can see, its exactly the same meme trotted out without thought, local knowledge or any indication on the web to support it. It is also incorrect on every detail except that people did build on a flood plain.

    In Pakistan, which is geographically just the flood plain of the Indus, it is of course virtually impossible not to build on a flood plain. In a similar manner, in Brisbane, around 50% of the land area is flood plain (though not all of the Brisbane River). Inland, everything from about the latitude of Townsville down to the Grampians in Victoria, and from the range across to Alice Springs is just one giant flood plain. The suggestion that people should not dwell on flood plains is equivalent to the suggestion that Australia (and Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and the majority of China, and the US, not to mention the Netherlands and Belgium and so on and on) simply not be inhabited. It is a nonsense argument.

    This meme of blame the victims got picked up by deniers across Australia until it was realized it didn’t play to well with the actual victims (who weren’t conveniently located in the third world). Almost seamlessly the meme got transformed to blame the engineers who operate the dam that in fact saved Brisbane from an approximately 7 to 9 meter flood.

    Coupled with the instant ridicule of anybody who suggests the obvious (ie, a climate change connection), this is clearly a process of denying people the chance to think about the consequences of global warming.

    The only question is really, is it all done on a parrot principle, or is it a deliberate strategy?

  87. #87 Heraclitus
    February 15, 2011

    Tom, indeed. It’s always fascinating, in a macabre sort of way, to see how some people are so willing to accept almost anything as a contributory factor for a given event except for climate change and ridicule anyone who does propose climate change as an influence.

    I don’t actually think it’s an explicitly deliberate tactic, but rather one that has evolved over time. The survival of the fittest, where ‘the fittest’ is the approach that drives all other competition away.

  88. #88 anon
    February 15, 2011

    That’s right sciencey types, if you dislike what I write, I must be a sock puppet of someone who dislikes you.

    It could not possibly be in a world of 9B there are TWO people that dislike you.

    And yes Mandas, as you write in Latin, you should feel free to not use the most common understanding of your latin phrases but those definitions most complementary (and complimentary) to your argument, regardless of how those definitions are completely different than what people believe.

    And to believe there is only one person who disbelieves you is the Occam’s Rule, most sciencey, not the least narcissistic belief, and doesn’t designate you in denial whatsoever,

    And the belief that you are free to make words mean what you want without regard to the rest of the world, well that comes straight from Alice, doesn’t it?

    When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less

    Sorry Mandas, you keep digging yourself deeper and deeper.

    Tom Curtis, the appeal to the null hypothesis is the last refuge of the scoundrel? To quote Lisa Simpson, “Really? Really?”

    Tom, with apologies to your ego, I’ve never heard of you before. What is your background in science? “But if not a scientist, what am I? By training, I am a philosopher, ” Lulz dude.

    Do you think you could say that in front of any scientist and get any buy in? If so, please do. I would be enlightened.

    Heraclitus, no one here is unwilling to accept climate change as a contributory factor, but we are asking use to take your link of speculation and understand it’s just a bar game you’re playing, if you want to make a case for it as a scientific argument, to use something more than argument by slamming the bar.

    Jeez, dudes, for a science blog you guys are amazingly great. Coby, you should be proud of the science performed around here.

    Wow, stop touching yourself.

  89. #89 Wow
    February 15, 2011

    “That’s right sciencey types, if you dislike what I write, I must be a sock puppet of someone who dislikes you.”

    That’s right, paranoiac, anyone who says you MAY be a sockpuppet is saying you ARE a sockpuppet.

    Then cry like a baby.

    So sad.

  90. #90 D. Robinson
    February 15, 2011

    Tom Curtis & Others:

    I understand the desire to have something tangible to blame on AGW. However, the situation in Egypt is way too complicated. They have a good, if warm, climate for growing crops but they only get about 2″ of rainfall per year so they get all their water from the Nile. There are all sorts of international treaties and arguments going on with regards to Nile water use. Egypt is at the END of the river and population increases up river (and in EGYPT!) are reducing the water flow.

    Compare the temperature rise over the last 10, 20 or 30 years to the population increases along the Nile. The resulting water usage from temp increase will be DWARFED by the increased use due to population changes.

    To put it another way, Egypt would not be in better shape with regards to water or their ability to grow food if there had been zero temperature increase over the last 30 years.

  91. #91 Wow
    February 15, 2011

    “I understand the desire to have something tangible to blame on AGW.”

    Does this have any bearing on whether climate change has its part to play?

    No.

    I see your “desire” and raise you a “So what?”.

    “However, the situation in Egypt is way too complicated.”

    EVERYTHING is complicated. Yet we still have avenues to explain the universe. Stock markets do this all the time.

    It’s pretty simple: when food gets scarce, it becomes expensive. When food becomes expensive, poor people get poorer. When food becomes too scarce and expensive, they get cheesed off at those in power.

    “Compare the temperature rise over the last 10, 20 or 30 years to the population increases along the Nile.”

    I thought it was too complicated?

    Now you’re saying you can explain it with population numbers?

    However, have you checked the food grown over the last 10, 20 or 30 years and the population increase of the Nile?

    “To put it another way, Egypt would not be in better shape with regards to water or their ability to grow food if there had been zero temperature increase over the last 30 years.”

    You assert this but there’s no proof other than your assertion.

    To put it another way, Egypt would be in a better state with regards to water or their ability to EAT food (note: not just GROW, you CAN import this stuff you know, or sell it as exports) if there had been no temperature change in the past 30 years.

    Point in support: Wheat prices and the failure of the Russian wheat harvest in 2010.

  92. #92 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    anon @88, I assume that this barrage of ad hominen is your tacit admission that when push comes to shove, you cannot find any facts to support your case, but must simply rely on unsubstantiated speculation.

    As to my training as a philosopher, I do not see the relevance. If you are suggesting it means I have no right to comment on this issue then you are being hypocritical, and I suspect twice over. Hypocritical because if you are going to appeal to authority, then you have no ground for rejecting the IPCC. Once you appeal to authority, picking an authority who disagrees with the consensus to appeal to shows that it is not the authority that you recognize, but only an opinion you find comforting. And hypocritical also, for it is plain from your posts that you also are no scientist.

    What is more, and this should be very obvious, the issue actually under discussion here plainly falls under the discipline of sociology, and area in which (unlike most scientists) I have undertaken tertiary study.

    Finally, you may not have heard of me, but I have heard of anon, and he is ever the source of cowardly and pathetic opinions that no one would want to put their name to.

  93. #93 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    D Robinson @90, my desire (as you put it) to have something tangible to blame AGW for can be illustrated by my first post on this subject in which I wrote:

    “There may well be a connection, but …

    [...] as this is a causal chain, to determine the probability that global warming contributed to the toppling of Mubarak, we need to multiply the two preceding probabilities. In all likelihood, the result will not be significant.”

    I was, perhaps, too dismissive of the idea because I was not aware of the Egyptian crop failures brought about, not by lack of water, but by heat. (See 54 above) Never-the-less, I still maintain the situation is too complex to conclude that global warming was a major, or even a significant factor in the events in Egypt.

    On the other hand, it is too complex a situation to dismiss global warming as a significant factor as well, as apparently you (and certainly others) want to. It may well be that proper analysis with more information than we have available on the net will conclude that global warming was in fact the determining factor; or such such an analysis may confine global warming to a foot note. But such an analysis would be obviously incomplete if it included no discussion of the effects of global warming on food prices, and the effect of food prices on the revolt.

    Therefore I reject strenuously attempts to close down discussion of the issue as worthless “speculation”. And have no doubt, anon and Crakar’s purpose was not to debate the issue, but to shut down debate on the issue.

    Finally, while your comments about Egypt’s water problems are accurate, you provide no evidence as to their relevance. Let me reiterate, Egypt’s food worries in 2010 and early 2011, to the extent they depend on specific crop failures, have come about because of the global warming related Russian heatwave and drought, Australia’s global warming related floods and drought (depending on which wheat growing area you are discussing), and Egypt’s own heat stress related agricultural failures.

  94. #94 mandas
    February 15, 2011

    Anon

    Ok. You carry on about how we ‘sciencey types’ get upset if people write things that we don’t like. So let’s do things your way and see what happens.

    You want to play silly semantic games over my use of the phrase ‘prima facie’, so I am just going to concede defeat and say you are 100% correct. I was wrong and should never have used it in that context. Are you happy now?

    So, let’s now move on to one of your other points – what is my ‘null hypothesis’? Now, you obviously don’t know what the phrase ‘null hypothesis’ means or the context in which it should be used otherwise you wouldn’t be asking this question. But I will not be as pedantic about phraseology in the same way that you are, so I will just accept that we CAN have a discussion on this matter.

    My ‘null hypothesis’ in regard to this issue is that ‘climate change played no part in the revolution in Egypt.’ I think that most people would agree that would be the most appropriate, but if you disagree please let me no.

    So now we need to test that ‘null hypothesis’. In order to do so properly, we would need to assign values to all the various factors involved. Unfortunately, this would be extremely subjective, and I suggest that there is no way we could come to an agreement on this. So let’s not even bother. It isn’t necessary anyway, as I will show you.

    Now we need to determine what confidence level we are going to apply to our test. 95% is the default standard used in most testing, but we can change that if you wish as well. But once again, it doesn’t matter for the point of the discussion since we haven’t assigned values to the factors involved anyway.

    If we were to then plug all this data into some form of test of significance, we could then determine whether we should ‘reject’ the null hypothesis. We would do that if there was a 95% chance or greater that the results obtained were not the result of random occurrences, and there was a 95% chance that climate change DID play a part in the revolution.

    Alternatively, if we determined that we should NOT reject the null hypothesis, then it simply means that we are unable to draw a conclusion. The null hypothesis may be true or it may still be false. The only information we have is that it there is less than a 5% chance that climate change played a role in the events. Importantly though, the probably of that climate change played a role can NEVER be zero. In any statistical testing of the null hypothesis, you can NEVER get a 0% probability. The probability may be vanishingly small – but it is NEVER zero.

    So – let’s just compare this little statistical exercise with the positions we have both already taken on this issue.

    I have said that climate change MAY have played a role, but it was likely to be a VERY minor one at best; whereas you (and others like crakar) have said that climate change DID NOT play a role.

    Therefore (or to use the Latin “ergo”) if we are to use a test of the null hypothesis as you have repeatedly demanded, your position is wrong. You CANNOT state that climate change played no part, as even if the null hypothesis is NOT rejected, you are unable to conclude that it is true, and there will always be a statistical probability – no matter how small –that climate change played a role.

    So to sum up, let me give you some advice. If you are going to use big words, you should understand what they mean first. If you want to discuss science and statistics, you should have an understanding of science and statistics first. And if you are going to play stupid semantic games, make sure your own use of language is above reproach.

    I think the correct phrase to use here is “hoist with your own petard”.

  95. #95 anon
    February 15, 2011

    “The only information we have is that it there is less than a 5% chance that climate change played a role in the events.”

    Mandas, this is just very quick, but you don’t even understand what significance levels mean, do you?

    Tom, ad hominem? Where? In stating you are a philosopher, not a scientist and lulz, that explains how you think you can toss out the null hypothesis? That’s ad hominem?

    As I said Tom, find some scientists as eager as you to toss out the null hypothesis and that agree as you do that “The appeal to the null hypothesis is the refuge of the scoundrel. It is always an intellectual sleight of hand that tries to set up the appellants favored hypothesis as being the default hypothesis which alone amongst all others requires no proof to be accepted.”

    Hey coby, I don’t want to be CYniCal but give me a break, your AIs need quite a bit of domain training. They are amusing, but kind of retarded.

    Tom, I am not concerned about your tertiary study, I think you may wish to be more concerned with your tertiary syphilis, I think it’s gone to your head.

  96. #96 anon
    February 15, 2011

    Mandas,

    I do apologize if I’ve embarrassed you in this thread. I didn’t mean to out you as a know nothing, bullying blowhard, and you do have my sincerest apologies.

  97. #97 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    Mandas:

    “Alternatively, if we determined that we should NOT reject the null hypothesis, then it simply means that we are unable to draw a conclusion. The null hypothesis may be true or it may still be false. The only information we have is that it there is less than a 5% chance that climate change played a role in the events.”

    I think you will find that if you determine that you should not reject the null hypothesis, then there is a greater than 5% probability that the events occurred by chance, or a greater than 5% probability that climate change did not play a role in the events, given the evidence used in the test.

    It is certainly possible, for example, that the test should show a greater than 99% probability that the events did not occur by chance, and a 94% probability that global warming played a role and, by your test of statistical significance, you would not be able to reject the null hypothesis. This is based on the logical relationships in the test as you state it.

  98. #98 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    Chris S in 80,

    Ask and you shall recieve,

    http://article.wn.com/view/2011/02/12/Cold_snap_hits_Mexico_maize_crop/

    For those who like reading the most popular blog

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/12/mexicos-biggest-freeze-since-1957-means-us-produce-price-will-skyrocket/

    I did have a third link but unless you speak Spanish it is useless

  99. #99 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    Anon in 96,

    No need to apologies we already knew he was a know nothing, bullying blowhard.

    By the way i reckon the title of this thread should be changed to:

    “Darwin airport gets 388 millimeters of rain in 24 hours, a new record. Is there a climate change connection”.

    Come on boys give it your best shot.

    PS to those that live by the old ways 388 mm is 15.28 inches.

  100. #100 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    Tom in 97,

    WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Get a life.

  101. #101 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    Anon, I am quite aware of the tightly constrained use to which “null hypotheses” are used in tests of statistical significance. I also know that the null hypothesis is never, absolutely never, the default hypothesis. Failure to reject the null hypothesis is never finding support for the null hypothesis. A test can produce results with a much higher probability given hypothesis being tested than the probability given the null hypothesis and still fail the test of statistical significance. Further, use of tests of statistical significance using the null hypothesis are not the only weapon in the arsenal of statistical analysis, and only the appropriate one in fairly rare circumstances in which a simple laboratory experiment can be set up with a limited number of possible results.

    As used by internet blow hards, deniers, and creationists, however, the “null hypothesis” is always set up as being the hypothesis which is to be accepted by default if the alternative hypothesis. It is also waver around by said blow hards on the assumption that every statistical analysis must make use of null hypotheses.

    In other words, it is used as a rhetorical device to baffle and confuse – in fact as you have used it. In particular, when you said, “If you can’t give us a reason to reject the null hypothesis, I’ll stand on my claims”, you clearly set up the null hypothesis as a default hypothesis. And the complexities in Egypt are clearly not amenable to simple experimental testing and hence the technically correct use of null hypotheses.

    Further, if your were serious about discussion, you would be responding to my comments about contrary hypotheses:

    “If you want to make an honest appeal, ask for a reason to reject the contrary claim. In this context, the claim is that food price rises brought about by GW (A or otherwise) had a significant impact on events in Egypt. The contrary hypothesis is that food price rises had no significant impact. Well, the fact that food price rises in Egypt has led even middle classes to being periodically hungry; that it has led to protests about food prices three years ago, and again as recently as four months ago; and that these protests where put down by repressive means, thus bringing a larger proportion of the Egyptian populace into personal contact with the brutal means of the Egyptian police; these facts pretty much lay the contrary hypothesis to rest.”
    (From 66)

    Note, it is a contrary hypothesis, not the contradictory because it is in fact impossible to test a theory against all possible contraries (ie, the contradictory) except in very simple cases. Further, it is “the” contrary in that the test is made only against reasonably cogent alternatives actually up for discussion (again out of practical necessity). (You could also read with advantage my comments about necessary and sufficient conditions.)

    You may wish to fool yourself that just because I spent my time studying the philosophy of science, epistemology and logic rather than (for example) physics, that therefore I am somehow incompetent on the subject of scientific reasoning. However, in assuming that, you only make a fool of yourself.

    Finally, as to Mandas’ technical errors on significance testing, they are irrelevant to the thrust of his comment 94. In fact, had he got the technical details right, his point would have been made even more forcefully. Every time you dodge the substantive issues (which is far as I can see is every post), you make clearer and clearer that you are not interested in rational discussion even if (which is as yet unproven) you are capable of it.

  102. #102 mandas
    February 15, 2011

    anon

    “….Mandas, this is just very quick, but you don’t even understand what significance levels mean, do you?…”

    I am pretty confident that I have good handle on it. But, whilst I freely admit that I am not a statistician (and have done so on many occasions), if you think I am wrong in what I wrote before why don’t you enlighten us all? Don’t just say – you’re wrong. I am only too willing to learn from an expert – which I assume you must be. If I am wrong about something I will admit as such and learn from the experience.

    And since you are such an expert, why don’t you choose to enlighten everyone here with your extensive knowledge? It is painfully obvious that there are a number of people with even less statistical expertise than me, and who are trying to do far more. Or would you prefer not to be critical of a denier?

    And you are correct in what you said at #97 – I admit I poorly stated the correct relationship over the statistical probabilities of chance vs the role of climate change. Thank you for pointing that out.

    In the process, thank you for further strengthening the case I was making that you CANNOT categorically rule out climate change as a potential factor. Or do you disagree? If so, why?

    How about instead of playing semantic games, you actually come right out and say what YOU think. Because none of what you have claimed in your games demonstrates in anyway that the position I have adopted is incorrect. In fact, all you have done is strengthen it.

    So don’t feel bad for thinking you have embarassed me. I feel no embarassment whatsoever. As I have said repeatedly, I am always willing to admit to mistakes and to learn. So go ahead – educate me (us). In the process, tell us all what you think about the question coby posed, and why you think the way you do.

  103. #103 mandas
    February 15, 2011

    Tom

    I should be thanking YOU for pointing out that information. I should have realised that anon is exactly what he is accusing me of being.

  104. #104 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    Speaking of education Mandas have you discovered yet what the 12 strongest La Nina years have in common?

  105. #105 mandas
    February 15, 2011

    crakar

    WTF was your comment in #100 about?

    Tom corrected an error I made (thanks Tom). I would have thought you would have been all over that like a cheap suit. The great mandas makes an error! But instead, you criticise the one correcting me. How about – instead of making idiotic comments – you learn from someone who knows what they are talking about it for a change? I certainly did.

    And its probably obvious in my post #102 that I incorrectly attributed Tom’s post #97 to anon – sorry about that Tom. But I will say one thing – at least even when I THOUGHT it was anon’s post, I was willing to concede that someone on the ‘opposite’ side may be right and I may be wrong.

    A characteristic that only appears to be inherent in ‘blowhards’ and not in deniers. What do you think that says about us?

  106. #106 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    Crakar @98, I’ll see your 4 million tonnes of maize (corn) lost in February, 2011 due to cold, and raise you 18 million tonnes of wheat lost in Russia (alone) in July/August 2010 due to the Russian heat wave. (This does not include 10% plus of the Ukraine’s wheat which was also lost. Nor the heat related crop losses across North Africa including Egypt and Tunisia, which was especially hard hit.)

    Now I wonder which had the biggest impact on the cost the wheat imported by Egypt in the lead up to the start of protests in January 2011?

    I also note in passing that the high maize prices in 1997 led to food riots in Mexico.

    But I forgot, “I think [Coby is] scraping the bottom of the barrell on this one in an effort to keep the faith alive, in fact i would say it is desperation on the cusp of madness to suggest the Mubarak resignation is linked to AGW.” (Crakar @20)

    Let me review:

    High food prices consistently lead to riots in demonstrations in poor nations, including in Egypt;

    Egypt’s domestic food production has been sharply curtailed because of excessive heat;

    World wheat prices have soared because of large crop losses in Russia and the CIS due to severe heat and related drought; but

    “… it is desperation on the cusp of madness to suggest the Mubarak resignation is linked to AGW.”

    Sure, that’s a rational opininion.

  107. #107 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    Crakar @99, the cause of Darwin’s rainfall is without doubt the nearby tropical low which may develop into a category 1 cyclone later today.

    Now, would you care to explain why Darwin Airport has received more rain in 24 hours than it received in the entire month of December 75 when the category 3 cyclone Tracy ran over the top of it? Or why it has now received 640.4 mm of rain for February to date, where as it received 370.1 mm and 514.5 mm for the entire month of February in 1974 and 1975 respectively (both very strong La Nina years, in fact probably stronger than 2010/11). Or why it shattered its previous highest daily total by 49.2 mm?

    Perhaps it may have something to do with the record high sea surface temperatures around Darwin this year?

    Hang on! Wait just a second! Record high temperatures? Global warming? Naah! There couldn’t be a connection there, surely?

  108. #108 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    The commonality between the 12 strongest La Nina years?

  109. #109 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    Lets stick to facts rather than insults shall we, is it your position that GW/CC/CD caused or played some part in the 388mm record rainfall?

    Yes or No

  110. #110 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    Yes, to state the blindingly obvious.

    More specifically, global warming was one factor amongst several that contributed to the high rainfall, and without global warming the peak rainfall would have been probably be around 50 mm less, ie, more in line with the 1974/1975 peak daily rainfall of 277 mm on December 25th 1974 (which to correct my previous post, was the actual date of Cyclone Tracey).

    All this with the caveat that due to the chaotic nature of weather, we cannot know that absent global warming that a tropical low would form of Darwin in February 2011, or that 2010/11 would be a La Nina year. But absent global warming, some tropical lows would still form of Darwin, and some years still be La Nina years, and in those years, peak rainfall would be likely to be less than the current record.

  111. #111 mandas
    February 15, 2011

    crakar (at post #56)

    “…..Fuck off Mandas dont respond to any of my posts again…..”

    Make up your – for want of a better word – mind. Do you want me to respond or not? If so, what changed?

  112. #112 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    Mandas,

    You would respond to my posts when you see fit no matter what i say. In any event i thought you could at least tell me what all 12 la nina years have in common or you could ignore my posts i dont really care…..you decide.

  113. #113 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    Tom,

    So it is your position that gw has enhanced the amount of rainfall in Darwin. I will assume this is because CO2 increases the amount of WV in the atmosphere and due to the hydrologic cycle we therefore get more rain.

    I have one question for you Tom in what decade would you say CO2 levels began to have a discernable affect on the weather. Now i want to be crystal clear here lets say in 1750 CO2 was 275ppm, so did the weather begin to change via CO2 at 300ppm, 310ppm etc.

  114. #114 mandas
    February 15, 2011

    crakar

    WTF is this at post #108?

    “….Lets stick to facts rather than insults shall we…”

    Is this an indication of how you plan to operate in future? If so, I will be only to happy to go along. Please let us all know.

    And perhaps you could give me a hint about what you are asking re what the La Nina years have in common. After all, they all had 12 months – but that is being facetious and I am sure that isn’t your real question.

  115. #115 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    Hey Chris here is a link your religion will let you view re Mexican crop failures due to climate disruption.

    http://www.mexidata.info/id2946.html

  116. #116 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    Once Chris digests the links to Mexican crop failure due to climate disruption which also played a part in Egyptian revolts maybe he can tell me if CD was the cause of the biggest snowfall in 100 years in Korea?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12445509

  117. #117 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    114,

    Mandas,

    In response to speculation from Tom i gave him some of my own speculation and that is that we get strong La ninas during a -ve PDO now depending on the strength of the PDO and the strength of the La Nina we can get the types of weatehr we are seeing now (in Australia for example).

    You replied by gibbering on about the 12 strongest La Ninas and how they have not all produced the same type of weather (BOM link).

    What all 12 have in common is that they occured during a -ve PDO. Now if we look at the strength of the PDO and the strength of the La Nina the current one has a SOI of 28 or so and we have had heavy rain and of course floods in conjunction with a cyclone.

    I then prompted Tom to respond with thoughts about the heavy rain in Darwin which he feels was helped by AGW.

    I then asked him to tell me when he thinks agw began to rear its ugly head, the reason for this was that the last La Nina with a similarly large soi occured in 1974.

    In 1974 Brisbane flooded due to heavy rain and a cyclone and as Tom has revealed Darwin also recieved heavy rain and as we all know a cyclone.

    So we have two dates seperated by 36 years that have two things in common, in both years we had a very -ve PDO value and we had a very strong La Nina.

    I speculate that the cycles of the PDO and ESNO are the sole reasons for this weather and increasing CO2 levels have played no part.

    If you wish you can attempt to show my speculation wrong and of course produce an alternative, an alternative that does either of the following:

    1) Show how AGW is the cause or is an addition to these weather events in 2011 but not 1974. This is a tricky one because you will need to show a natural cause to 1974 and a CO2 cause to 2011 which produced almost identical result.

    2) Show how AGW is the cause or is an addition to these weather events in 2011 and 1974 but be careful with (2) because you will also need to explain why these events occured 36 years apart and why these events have not been increasing in tempo and magnitude for the past 36 years.

    Take you time…………..

  118. #118 mandas
    February 15, 2011

    crakar

    I would like to read more on the link you are suggesting between a correlation between PDO, SOI and extreme rainfall events.

    Could you please let me know where you got this information from so I can do some background reading please.

  119. #119 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    Crakar, I know your trying to set up some kind of “gotcha” moment here, but out of morbid curiosity …

    Anthropogenic CO2 variations have been influencing climate for millenia. Specifically, CO2 levels 8000 years before present were at around 260 ppm. Temperatures are widely believed to have fallen since then, by as much as a degree globally, which would lead us to expect a fall in CO2 levels due to ocean absorption of around 12 ppm. Instead they rose by around 15 ppm to 1750. The difference comes from loss of biomass and the introduction of methane to the atmosphere be the expansion of rice cultivation. Some of that increase is due to natural events such as the desertification of the Sahara, but most is due to human land management (will still accounts for 20% of total emissions even in the industrial era). Allowing 2/3rds of the difference being due to anthropogenic causes, then at the height of the LIA, CO2 levels would have been 16 ppm lower; amounting to a reduction in global mean temperatures of 0.3 degrees C. That difference might have been enough to stop us sliding into a new ice age at that time. It is close to the threshold for such a slide, but the threshold is insufficiently well defined to be certain.

    In other words, your question is based on a false premise, ie, that anthropogenic co2 emissions can only have influenced climate since the onset of industrialization.

    However, to show willing, by 1910 CO2 levels had risen to 300 ppm, leading to an equilibrium temperature increase forcing of 0.46 degrees, of which 60%, or 2.8 degrees C would have been realized 1940 (the delay being due to thermal lag). That would certainly be enough to influence climate, but not enough to generate a statistically detectable signal distinguishable from decadal variation.

    Based on IPCC attribution studies, a statistically significant AGW signal is detectable by about 1980. So at any time post 1980, the AGW signal is strong enough to be distinguished from background variation. However, this does not mean the signal did not exist before 1980. It existed before then, and increased gradually through out so that there is not sharp demarcation between 1960 and 1980 other than that caused by limitations in the emissions of aerosols.

    Turning to Darwin Airport, it shows a strong increase in the linear trend for annual rainfall since 1900*, with an average increase of about 20% over the period 1900 to 2010. Annual mean temperatures show a similarly strong increase, with an average (approx) 1.2 degree C increase over the same period. The diurnal temperature range has narrowed sharply over the same period, with a decrease of about 2 degrees C, or about 20%, very strong primary evidence that the cause of the temperature increase is an increase in greenhouse gasses. Over the period of 1955 to the present, daily cloud cover, 9:00 am cloud cover, and 3:00 pm cloud cover show very slight increases. That refutes the notion the temperature increase is due to variations in cloud cover (which would cause an opposite trended change) and strongly rebuts the notion that changes in diurnal temperature range is due to changes in cloud cover.

    In other words, the evidence from Darwin paints a very clear, very consistent picture of increasing temperatures being driven by increased greenhouse gasses, and in turn drive increased precipitation.

  120. #120 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    Amendment to my preceding post:

    1) I misplaced a decimal point – 2.8 degrees should obviously be 0.28 degrees;

    2) (more importantly) Darwin Airport is listed by BOM as being active since about 1942, but their long record shows data back to 1900. Presumably the long record is a composite of local stations, about which I do not know the details. As the majority of the trends indicated comes after 1950, this is probably not significant.

  121. #121 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    Mandas,

    I do believe there is a paper or two that talks about this but i cannot recall the title/s there are however many articles written on this subject that can be found via google which can give the reader a general understanding of the concept.

    In short i am sure there are a few factors which influence the strength and even timing of an El Nino or a La Nina but one thing is for certain (well speculation on my part here) the phasing of the PDO plays a role. How big i dont know.

    I will try and remember the paper i read it in.

  122. #122 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    Crakar @116 “Once Chris digests the links to Mexican crop failure due to climate disruption which also played a part in Egyptian revolts …”

    Can I recommend that you read comment 106. You are currently arguing that a very recent crop failure whose impact on prices is yet to be felt has played a part in the Egyptian revolt; but at the same time you maintain that it is “… scraping the bottom of the barrel …” and ” …desperation on the cusp of madness …” to “… suggest the Mubarak resignation is linked to AGW.” You do this even though heat related impacts on crop yields were more than four times larger (much more than four times larger across all nations) than those due to cold, and significantly preceded the events in Egypt so that their effects had time to feed into those events. Put starkly, your current position is that the loss of 4 million tonnes of maize “played a part in the Egyptian revolts”, but that it is “desperation” to suggest the loss of 18 million plus tonnes of wheat (not to mention the loss of 70% of Egyptian crops) due to AGW could play any part in those revolts.

    Seriously, you need a reality check.

    While taking it, you may also want to check out the heatwave related drought in Tunisia in 2010 and consider any possible connection to later revolts.

  123. #123 crakar24
    February 15, 2011

    No real gotcha moment here Tom, just trying to get a start point out of you.

    By looking at your post it would seem you have read Tim Flannery’s book and swallowed it hook line and sinker so no point looking to history for debating the effects of CO2. According to Tim we changed the climate after we chopped down the first tree using his logic the herbivore dinosaurs CO2 foot print must have been huge.

    Turning to Darwin, i would like to leave my rebuttal until tomorrow if i may?

    But you do raise one of those nagging questions (you know the type) so if CO2 increase causes a temp increase and this temp increase causes an increase in atmospheric WV which in turn causes global warming then i am confused…

    You see if we accept all this as fact and we also accept that the floods in Aust, PAkistan etc and the increase in snow and ice throughout the NH is caused by AGW as we have been told as fact.

    Then would it be fair to say that these are in fact negative feed backs? Bear with me here you claim Darwin has got hotter by AGW you also claim it has got more rain by AGW, so if it gets hotter the surface gets hotter and we get more evaporation which cools the planet or in this case DArwin, if we get more rain then the rain will also cool the planet and dont forget rain comes from low lying cloud whic is also a negative feed back.

    Now we come to snow and ice, the more snow and ice we get the more albedo we get, the surface cools the planet cools and so on.

    Any thoughts Tom?

    Until tomorrow.

  124. #124 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    Crakar you want to make much of the PDO/La Nina connection. Fair enough, the La Nina certainly exists and effects Australia’s weather far more strongly than the influence of global warming. The PDO may well also exist, and may also influence Australia’s climate. So granted that the primary explanation of Australia’s wet year in 2010, and early 2011 is the conjunction of La Nina with a negative PDO.

    That still does not explain why 2010 was wetter than 1974, even though each has similar strengths of La Nina and PDO. It does not explain why both 1974 and 2010 are wetter than 1955, which had a stronger La Nina, and more strongly negative PDO. It does not explain why 1950 (strong La Nina and negative PDO) has less rainfall again.

    You evidently only have a partial explanation, and the factor you are very studiously ignoring is the rise in sea temperatures over that period. In fact, that connection is obvious. Both La Nina and negative PDO result in cold water displacing warm water in the Eastern Pacific, resulting in warmer waters around Australia. There is only one driver of moist climate in northern Australia, warm sea waters. And there are three drivers of warm sea water around northern Australia, La Nina, PDO and global warming. Of these, La Nina has by far the largest short term (decadal) effect, but global warming is not an oscillation, so it drives the long term trends.

    So, why was 2010 wetter than 1974? Because the coral sea was 0.2 degrees warmer than in 1974 – and that 0.2 degrees is directly attributable to global warming.

  125. #125 Tom Curtis
    February 15, 2011

    Crakar, as it happens I have read Flannery’s “The Weather Makers” but that has nothing to do with hooks, lines or sinkers. My thoughts regarding past climate change come from reading primary literature, and in particular Indermuhle et al, 1999.

    As regards your thoughts, evaporation does not, and cannot “cool the planet”. It merely shifts heat from the surface to the atmosphere. For it to “cool the planet”, the evaporated water vapour would need to escape the atmosphere to space, which obviously does not happen. Rain also does not cool the planet. It again simply moves heat, this time from atmosphere to surface. The combined net effect is to act as a heat pump whereby solar energy absorbed by the surface is transferred to the atmosphere. There is no negative feedback involved.

    Low cloud is a negative feedback in daytime (and a positive feedback at night). However, in Darwin’s case total cloud cover has only increased by 1.4% over 55 years, and maximum temperatures have increased by 0.2 degrees over the same period, with mean and night time temperatures increasing much more. Clearly, the net feed backs are positive for Darwin, and primarily driven by the greenhouse effect. The primary source of that greenhouse effect is the water vapour feedback, but the water vapour feedback depends on an initial driver of temperature increases, ie, CO2.

    Finally, we have not been told that the increased snow and very cold early winters in the NH are the result of AGW as “fact”. One climate scientist has suggested a mechanism whereby open arctic waters in late fall could drive such a temperature variation, and provided some empirical support; but most climate scientists are sceptical, and have stated so in public. That has certainly been the position at Real Climate.

    You need to stop swallowing WUWT’s propaganda and start actually reading climate scientists with an open mind.

  126. #126 Wow
    February 16, 2011

    “Fair enough, the La Nina certainly exists and effects Australia’s weather far more strongly than the influence of global warming.”

    On a year to year (or decade to decade) basis, but on a century-to-century basis, La Nina has nothing to do with the 33C warming that GHG give the earth.

  127. #127 Wow
    February 16, 2011

    “Now i want to be crystal clear here lets say in 1750 CO2 was 275ppm, so did the weather begin to change via CO2 at 300ppm, 310ppm etc.”

    Oh dear. You really don’t understand physical processes.

    Weather begins to change when the things that affect the weather begins the change. When CO2 was 275ppm, weather was different than when it was 190ppm. It was different again when CO2 was 280ppm.

    The affect on the weather is different between those two cases, but then again you merely said “changed”.

    If you don’t think the weather has changed, then you have stopped thinking that weather is chaotic. 5ppm CO2 is very much bigger than any butterfly’s wings in the tropics.

  128. #128 Tom Curtis
    February 16, 2011

    Wow @126, thanks for the clarification.

  129. #129 crakar24
    February 16, 2011

    122,

    Once again Tom you are confused, the purpose of the mexican crop failure due to cold is to point out the stupidity of your claims. Nothing to do with Egypt.

  130. #130 mandas
    February 16, 2011

    Crakar

    In regard to your query regarding the intensity of precipitation etc and flooding in Queensland, and the role played by the SOI and PDO, might I suggest a couple of things.

    Firstly, what you say sounds reasonable. There may well be a correlation between the intensity of precipitation in SE Queensland (and other parts of the country), and strongly positive SOI and negative PDO events. How about you do the research and let us know the results? Most of the information is available on the BOM website link I previously provided. It has the years, the SOI indices, and information on summer rainfall over the entire continent. All it needs is for you to add the PDO data, and you can make an assessment and let us know what you discover. But as I said, it sounds like a reasonable hypothesis.

    However, just because there is a correlation there – and you are still to demonstrate there is – does not mean that there is no climate change signal in the most recent or even previous events such as the 1974 floods. Certainly, the most recent event was the most severe ever experienced, so one would have to ask why that is the case. We ‘believers’ have never said that the current level of climate change will necessarily produce weather events such as the ones experienced recently – rather that it will intensify and cause more extreme weather events.

    You might also wish to have a read of this paper, which was fortuitously published in Nature today. I have only had a very quick look, but it does suggest there is a detectable climate change signal in the intensity of rainfall events over the second half of the twentieth century. It is northern hemisphere – and whether you can extrapolate to Australia is an issue in itself – but it does make interesting reading on the very subject we are discussing.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v470/n7334/full/nature09763.html

    I look forward to hearing the results of your analysis of the SOI/PDO information.

  131. #131 crakar24
    February 16, 2011

    124,

    Tom this is a gotcha moment and it is all of your own doing.

    Firstly lets get a few things straight.

    The pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) is a change in ocean currents which in the end change the SST. There are two states +ve or warm phase and -ve or cool phase.

    A warm phase warms the majority of the pacific but cools the waters between Darwin and Tahiti, the opposite is true for the -ve cool phase (counter intuitive i know).

    The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a measurement of the SST between Darwin and Tahiti and is expressed as the Southern OScillation Index (SOI), for example if we get a SOI of 8 or above for 3 months running it is considered to be La Nina conditions.

    We are currently in a -ve phase of the PDO since early 2000′s so this condition will continue for another 20 odd years and the SOI is very high at around 28.

    You then state “That still does not explain why 2010 was wetter than 1974, even though each has similar strengths of La Nina and PDO. It does not explain why both 1974 and 2010 are wetter than 1955, which had a stronger La Nina, and more strongly negative PDO. It does not explain why 1950 (strong La Nina and negative PDO) has less rainfall again.”

    From the BOM link Mandas produced we find the SOI for 1955 was 15.8 and 1956 it was 9.4 looking a bit deeper we find that 1973 the SOI was 14.3 and in 1975 it was 18.6 so you are incorrect to state they were of similar strength as we are currently above 28.

    I think i have just explained why both 1974 and 2010 are wetter than 1955. You may wish to check the rainfall in 1917 as the SOI that year in conjunction with a -ve PDO was 25.0.

    You then state (and this is the gotcha moment) “You evidently only have a partial explanation, and the factor you are very studiously ignoring is the rise in sea temperatures over that period. In fact, that connection is obvious. Both La Nina and negative PDO result in cold water displacing warm water in the Eastern Pacific, resulting in warmer waters around Australia. There is only one driver of moist climate in northern Australia, warm sea waters. And there are three drivers of warm sea water around northern Australia, La Nina, PDO and global warming. Of these, La Nina has by far the largest short term (decadal) effect, but global warming is not an oscillation, so it drives the long term trends.”

    If you wish to parrot the squealing of stupid politicians from now on i suggest you stop and think before you do.

    -ve PDO’s give us frequent and strong La Nina’s and infequent and weak El Nino’s for obvious reasons +ve PDO’s give us the opposite. So if AGW is now raising the SST by 0.2C as you proclaim (without evidence i might add) then we MUST i repeat MUST get weaker El Nino’s and Stronger La Nina’s in future. This will mean we will get an increase in rainfall but how can this be? All the climate models predict we will suffer longer and more severe droughts but as you claim this cannot happen.

    So which is it Tom, will we get stronger El Ninos causing drought or will we get stronger La Nina’s giving us good rains for many years to come?

    This is very good advice “You need to stop swallowing WUWT’s propaganda and start actually reading climate scientists with an open mind.” I suggest you follow it.

  132. #132 crakar24
    February 16, 2011

    125,

    Tom the heat removed from the surface via evaporation and expiration is transported up into the atmosphere via the hydrologic cycle and has nothing to do with CO2, the heat travels up until it hits the cold air beyond the reaches of CO2 the heat is removed and the water droplets form as clouds and the subsequent rain falls back to the surface.

    In your humble opinion this heat stays there? WTF!!!!!!!!! If that were the case the Earth would have reach 1 gazillion degrees 500 million years ago.

    Have a think about this and come back with a revised version of events.

  133. #133 crakar24
    February 16, 2011

    Mandas,

    I have looked at this in the past and compared it to the PDO phase changes and as i said all 12 strongest La Nina years occured during a -ve PDO. If you like i could dig up a few links for you?

    We both know correlation does not mean causation but it is a hell of a start. The difficulty for you would be to show how CO2 has made things worse.

  134. #134 crakar24
    February 16, 2011

    Mandas,

    Here are a couple of BOM links

    http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/climate/levelthree/c20thc/flood.htm

    Just to whet your appetite, scroll down the page until you get to the bit called “Flooding and La Niña/El Niño”, look at the dates:

    1916/17: SOI 11.9, 25.0 PDO -1
    1950 & 54 thruogh 56: SOI 16.1, 15.8, 9.4 PDO -1, -2 & -1
    1973 & 75 SOI: 14.3, 18.6 PDO -2, -1

    This link is from the BOM where they talk about the correlation from this link you may be able to find a BOM study looking at this

    http://www.bom.gov.au/announcements/media_releases/990507.shtml

  135. #135 adelady
    February 16, 2011

    Crakar ” In your humble opinion this heat stays there? WTF!!!!!!!!! If that were the case the Earth would have reach 1 gazillion degrees 500 million years ago. ”

    Of course not. What you’re overlooking here is the tremendous heat capacity of the oceans and the ice – *and* the function of greenhouse gases in radiating some, but not all, of the heat in the atmosphere out to space.

    When climate conditions are pretty stable, as they’ve been during the Holocene until now, the sun warms the oceans and the land. Convection and conduction shunts that warmth around with freezing, thawing, evaporating, raining, ocean currents and all those other activities in a warm system. That system has an atmosphere which conveniently radiates out the amount of radiation required to keep things in fairly good balance.

    Note that the balance involved is not like the artificial day-to-day balance of ‘This Perfect Day’. Being in balance on this global scale allows for extended droughts in certain areas under the influence of repeated events like El Ninos. If ocean currents happen to work that way by having several ocean heat releases in a row instead of neatly spacing them out the way a human person might like, well, too bad. The climate works on timescales and laws of physics unrelated to human preferences or lifetimes.

    Temporary perturbations like large volcanic eruptions near the equator or variations in the sun’s output can affect things for a year or several years, but things can settle down once that perturbation is over. The problem with increasing GHGs from human activities is that the perturbation is not just continuing but accumulating _and_ increasing.

    What’s so hard about that?

  136. #136 mandas
    February 16, 2011

    crakar

    Thanks for that information. As I suggested, the idea that -ve PDO may intensify rainfall associated with +ve SOI appears to be reasonable. Perhaps you could produce a table or similar which shows the correlation for all the +ve SOI periods from the BOM link. It would be interesting to see whether the rule is a ‘hard and fast’ one (ie there is definite causation and it ALWAYS results in flooding), or whether it does not always occur and there may be other factors (IOD?)which need to be considered.

    But also as I said – none of this precludes the possibility that there is a climate change signal in the intensity of the precipitation events. Have a read of the paper released today that I linked to and tell me what you think.

  137. #137 Me again
    February 16, 2011

    Trying to beat the spam filter

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/glossary/elnino/elnino.shtml

    Cheers

    Crakar

  138. #138 crakar
    February 16, 2011

    Here is a quick and dirty graph showing SOI v PDO

    http://faculty.washington.edu/kessler/pdo/pdo-time-series-n-soi.gif

    Coby’s spam filter is working well so whilst i am here (hope this post makes it)

    To adelaidy and to Tom aswell,

    The only role CO2 plays in setting the temp is via IR absorption, it has nothing to do with the hydrologic cycle, the H cycle transports massive amounts of heat from the surface (cools it) up to the TOA and out into space. If you honestly believe CO2 traps this heat (hydrologic heat) then you need to read more.

  139. #139 Tom Curtis
    February 16, 2011

    Crakar @129, your explicitly stated, and I quoted you as stating that the cold spell in Egypt “… played a part in Egyptian revolts …”. You cannot not pretend that you made no such claim. The lie of such a claim is revealed by simply perusing again comment 116.

    @Feb 16, 2:28 pm, first, the SOI is not the only index of the ENSO. The following are the monthly values for the ENSO Multivariate Index. You will notice that while the 2010/11 La Nina is considerably weaker over the last two months (December/January) than over the corresponding period in 1973/4, and that the peak monthly value (to date) is higher in 1974/5 than in 2010/11. You will also note that the 1955 La Nina was stronger than both.

    ENSO MEI

    “1953 0.025 0.366 0.261 0.711 0.855 0.27 0.431 0.25 0.544 0.091 0.054 0.311
    1954 -0.043 -0.031 0.143 -0.598 -1.423 -1.603 -1.389 -1.454 -1.142 -1.369 -1.145 -1.108
    1955 -0.762 -0.702 -1.151 -1.607 -1.637 -2.286 -1.911 -2.03 -1.815 -1.743 -1.824 -1.867
    1956 -1.441 -1.307 -1.399 -1.142 -1.319 -1.517 -1.214 -1.133 -1.356 -1.457 -1.044 -1.027
    1957 -0.951 -0.381 0.114 0.359 0.913 0.752 0.948 1.139 1.172 1.11 1.133 1.239″

    “1973 1.723 1.506 0.878 0.5 -0.145 -0.801 -1.07 -1.363 -1.75 -1.698 -1.515 -1.864
    1974 -1.94
    -1.767 -1.753 -1.658 -1.089 -0.656 -0.74 -0.634 -0.61 -1.05 -1.253 -0.927
    1975 -0.55 -0.587 -0.85 -0.93 -0.879 -1.17 -1.504 -1.731 -1.867 -2.001 -1.783 -1.756
    1976 -1.617 -1.382 -1.235 -1.162 -0.491 0.303 0.595 0.666 1.048 0.956 0.473 0.553″

    “2010 1.125 1.502 1.383 0.875 0.539 -0.412 -1.166 -1.81 -1.99 -1.911 -1.606 -1.519
    2011 -1.624

    The SOI shows a different picture. Below are the SOI values for Nov 1973 to March ’74; and those for Sept 2010 to January ’11. Clearly again the peak strength of the 74/5 La Nina is stronger than that of the 2010/11. Further, the La Nina was stronger in January 1974 than January 2011. The big difference is in December, with 2011 being much stronger than 1973. The peak for the SOI in 1955 was 19.2.

    However, the SOI is just an index of the pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin. During much of December, a large low sat over the Arafura sea. This was part of a bizzare weather pattern in which large lows in the Timor Sea, Arafura Sea and Coral Sea and where connected by an extended trough, with the low in the Arafura sea being connected by a trough in the Great Australian Bight (and later Bass Straight). Therefore it is reasonable to believe that the SOI has been distorted in December by an unusual local weather pattern and reflects that rather than the relative strength of the trade winds.

    That being the case, the MEI is the preferable index, and we can conclude that the current La Nina is weaker than that of 1974/5.

    “31.6 16.9
    1974 20.8 16.2 20.3″

    “25.0 18.3 16.4 27.1
    2011 19.9″

    With regard to the PDO, December 1973 was less negative than December 2010, but not as strong as November 1973. The peak to date of the current negative phase of the PDO is -1.61, compared to -2.08 in 1975, and -3.08 in 1955

    “1954 -1.32 -1.61 -0.52 -1.33 0.01 0.97 0.43 0.08 -0.94 0.52 0.72 -0.50
    1955 0.20 -1.52 -1.26 -1.97 -1.21 -2.44 -2.35 -2.25 -1.95 -2.80 -3.08 -2.75
    1956 -2.48 -2.74 -2.56 -2.17 -1.41 -1.70 -1.03 -1.16 -0.71 -2.30 -2.11 -1.28″

    “1973 -0.46 -0.61 -0.50 -0.69 -0.76 -0.97 -0.57 -1.14 -0.51 -0.87 -1.81 -0.76
    1974 -1.22
    -1.65 -0.90 -0.52 -0.28 -0.31 -0.08 0.27 0.44 -0.10 0.43 -0.12
    1975 -0.84 -0.71 -0.51 -1.30 -1.02 -1.16 -0.40 -1.07 -1.23 -1.29 -2.08 -1.61″

    “2010** 0.83 0.82 0.44 0.78 0.62 -0.22 -1.05 -1.27 -1.61 -1.06 -0.82 -1.21″

    In summary, the claim that the current La Nina is stronger than that of 74/75 is debatable at best, and based on just one months record in just one index, and index and month for which there are known and very strong confounding factors. The claim that the PDO was weaker in 74 and 55 than in 2010/11 is just false. So you still need to explain the temperature difference.

    The stated temperature difference in December in the Coral Sea is taken directly from the BOM’s website; as is the fact (not yet alluded to) that average SSTs around Australia set a new record in 2010. (I had assumed, evidently falsely that somebody that wanted to pontificate about PDO’s and La Nina’s would actually check readily available data on the internet.)

    Finally, your “gotcha” is based on a lie currently very popular in Australian denialist circles, ie, that climate scientists have not predicted increased rainfall in Australia as a result of global warming. In fact they have been predicting just that since at least 1990 (specifically in relation to Brisbane in my most readily available source) and as recently as October (from memory) of last year in a Queensland Government report. The standard prediction is that:

    1) Overall rainfall across northern Australia including Qld and NSW will increase due to warmer seas;

    2) Overall rainfall in parts of Southern Australia, particularly around Perth will decrease because strengthening of the Hadley Cell pushes the prevailing Westerlies further south;

    3) More frequent droughts in Eastern Australia, particularly in Queensland and NSW due to longer lasting and stronger El Nino episodes; and

    4) More intense rainfall when it occurs, leading to larger floods.

    Predictions 1, 2, and 4 are fairly certain, being supported by nearly all (all SFAIK) models, and by geological evidence of weather patterns in warmer periods of Earth’s history. Prediction 3 is less certain, being supported by only about half of the models, and also by geological evidence.

    No “gotcha’s”. No Politicians. Just science, which you have evidently failed to read, relying on propaganda sites like WUWT instead.

  140. #140 mandas
    February 16, 2011

    crakar

    At #131 you said this:

    “….-ve PDO’s give us frequent and strong La Nina’s and infequent and weak El Nino’s for obvious reasons +ve PDO’s give us the opposite. ….”

    Maybe it was just a mistype, or I have misunderstood what you are saying, but you appear to be confusing SOI and PDO. These two events are not the same thing, nor do they occur in the same locations or on the same cyclical frequency.

    However, their phases may overlap and reinforce or cancel each other out with regard to their influence on weather. As you appeared to be suggesting initially, a strongly -ve PDO occuring at the same time as a strongly +ve SOI may result in much higher than average rainfall over parts of Australia – particularly SE Queensland. You provided a couple of examples at post #134, but we would need to see more and you would also need to show what the weather was at the time of these occurences so you could determine the validity or otherwise of any hypothesised correlations.

    But there is also the important point that I keep making about there being nothing in any of that which disproves any climate change signal in the extreme weather events. If you think it does, you would need to say why (and just suggesting it has happened in the past is not an explanation). I provided a link to a paper published in Nature today on that very issue, and there is also the information provided by Tom on the predictions of increased rainfall and I have previously linked to a Trenberth paper from 1999 which said exactly the same thing when we had the discussion about snowfalls in the UK and US.

    So lets see your analysis of all the +ve SOI events and what the influence of PDO was at the time and what the resulting precipitation over Queensland was at the time. And have a look at the Nature paper.

  141. #141 crakar24
    February 16, 2011

    Tom if you want to take me on thats fine but please dont make shit up.

    Post 116 in its entirety (minus link)

    “Once Chris digests the links to Mexican crop failure due to climate disruption which also played a part in Egyptian revolts maybe he can tell me if CD was the cause of the biggest snowfall in 100 years in Korea?”

    Tom, in regards to measuring the strength or weakness of a La Nina it is measured by the southern oscillation index (SOI) now you can dispute this but i suggest you take the issue up with the BOM and not me. Ths link will get you started

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/glossary/soi.shtml

    This has been the strongest La Nina since possibly 1917 measured as a SOI so all that you wrote in an effort to prove me wrong was a waste of time.

    Next:

    YOU ARE A COMPLETE IDIOT this from your post:

    You first state

    1) Overall rainfall across northern Australia including Qld and NSW will increase due to warmer seas;

    3) More frequent droughts in Eastern Australia, particularly in Queensland and NSW due to longer lasting and stronger El Nino episodes; and

    So we have computer models that predict the opposite, ok so which ones are wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are certain point 1 is correct so therefore point 3 is wrong….idiot.

    If as you claim the sst will rise then we will not get droughts and El Nino’s will be weaker so we dont need a bloody computer model to tell us that.

    So Tom all you have to do now is show me how much increase of sst is caused by C02 and no not via a computer model but by experiment.

  142. #142 Tom Curtis
    February 16, 2011

    Crakar @138, your linked graph is clearly mislabeled. It does not show the SOI which has negative values for El Nino’s, but some other index of the southern oscillation (not the MEI either as far as I can tell). Nor does the green line map the standard index of the PDO, which shows a much stronger negative phase in 1955 than in 1974/5. It does, however, illustrate the point that both 1974 and 1975 had coupled both a strong La Nina’s and a -ve PDO; which leaves you struggling to explain why 2010/11 is so much wetter.

    Your struggle is particularly stark if you try to explain the then record floods in Queensland of March of 2010. Those floods involved a then record extent with an area the size of Victoria being flood effected. That record was shattered in December/January with an area greater than that of NSW being flood effected (excluding the floods in NSW, Victoria, SA, and Tasmania). Your problem is that in March of 2010, the PDO was positive, and we were experiencing a strong El Nino. But sea temperatures around Australia were very high.

    This is your fundamental problem. You wish to argue that the PDO and La Nina cause rainfall in Australia by bringing warm water to Australian seas; but deny that the warming of those seas by global warming could cause increased rainfall. Your position is internally inconsistent. At the same time, you wish to deny the emperical evidence that peak rainfall events have in fact been increasing. Inconsistent and non- empirical, ie, classic deinialism, but not the product of rational thought.

    Finally, you are both misinterpreting what I said about evaporation, and showing clear conceptual confusion (what a shock). First, I said that evaporation does not cool the earth because it only removes heat to the atmosphere. I said nothing about how the atmosphere itself is cooled, and your attempt to imply that I deny it is cooled is a blatant attempt to construct a straw man.

    As it happens, except for a negligibly small amount of heat carried into space by the escape of light molecules, rare meteor debris, and now some space craft, all heat escaping from Earth does so as radiation. Evaporation has no connection to this except as a mechanism to carry heat to radiating molecules in the atmosphere, and of placing an absorbing and radiating gas (water vapour) into the atmosphere.

    With regard to your conceptual confusion, water never gets “beyond the reaches of CO2″. CO2 is a well mixed gas, so its mixing ratio at the top of the stratosphere is almost identical to that at the base of the atmosphere. In contrast, because water vapour precipitates out, it is largely confined to the bottom half of the troposphere. In the upper half of the troposphere, and above, CO2 is by far a more important greenhouse gas than H2O, even though H2O dominates in the lower troposphere.

    Further, no gas simply absorbs radiation. Any gas that absorbs also emits at a rate determined by its temperature. In the troposphere, greater altitude equals lower temperature, so the higher the layer of the gas, the lower its emissions. As it happens, the typical altitude from which H2O emissions escape to space is several kilometers above the surface, and the typical altitude from which CO2 emissions is several kilometers higher again. That means thermal radiation from the surface is trapped by H2O and CO2 and then emitted at a lower rate. In other words, the energy escape to space would have been more efficient if the H2O and CO2 were not there. And if you reduce the efficiency of energy escape, you need a higher base temperature to retain equilibrium with incoming energy.

    So the long term effect of evaporation is to place water vapour in the atmosphere, which heats the Earth. The short term effect is to carry that heat up to the atmosphere.

    In that part of the spectrum where CO2 and H2O overlap, emissions from H2O lower in the atmosphere are absorbed by CO2 higher in the atmosphere, then reradiated at a lower rate, thus reducing the efficiency with which heat escapes to space still further.

    So on every point of your described mechanism, you are simply wrong. So wrong in fact that it becomes clear that you do not even understand the theory you criticize. (Again, very typical of deniers.)

  143. #143 crakar24
    February 16, 2011

    Tom, I forgot this link where scientists talk about science, something you mention quite often, unfortunately for you none of them are part of your religion.

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2011/02/07/3132144.htm

  144. #144 Tom Curtis
    February 16, 2011

    Crakar @142

    First, I did not make anything up, and you clearly stated that the crop failures in Mexico had an effect in Egypt. It is irrelevant that you were trying to make some other empty rhetorical point.

    Second, the SOI is an index of ENSO. Other indices include MEI and ENSO1, ENSO2, ENSO3, ENSO3.4, ENSO4 and the MEI. In fact, even the BOM gives prominence to ENSOs 3, 3.4 and 4; even though it is the BOM that tracks the SOI. Further, what sort of bizzare view of science to you have that you think the institutional choices of one Australian organization should automatically constrain the research methods of all scientists everywhere?

    Third, consider the following two number series:

    A) 1,0,3,11,0,2,4,1,18,2; and

    B) 3,4,3,3,4,4,5,4,6,2.

    (A) has a mean of 4.2, while that of (B) is 3.8, so (A) has the higher mean. However, (A) also has more low values (<3) and longer sequences of them. According to you, I am an idiot to believe both those claims about (A) and (B).

    I believe that reveals you to be a complete and utter fool who does not even understand simple arithmatic.

    I believe this is an appropriate time for me to exit this debate. I have absolutely trounced you and anon on every point. You have revealed yourself to be ignorant of the theory you criticize, to play fast and loose with facts, to be ignorant of even basic information about complex matters you rely on as evidence, to be unable to keep consistent, let alone cogent opinions, and now to be incapable of simple mathematical reasoning. In short, you have displayed all the stirling intellectual qualities we have come to expect from deniers everywhere.

    You have revealed yourself so completely a fool that I no longer find any interest in debating you. Nor is there much profit, for transparently anyone seeking a rebuttal of your claims need only reread whichever post you are responding to.

  145. #145 mandas
    February 16, 2011

    But back on the original question:

    Last August, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev spoke to a meeting of the country’s Security Council:

    “….our country has not experienced such a heat wave in the last 50 or even 100 years….I want to say that this is, of course, a severe trial for our country, a great trial indeed……Everyone is talking about climate change now. Unfortunately, what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past. This means that we need to change the way we work, change the methods that we used in the past….”

    Last week, the Economist magazine – hardly a bastion of leftie thinking, had this to say:

    “….The high cost of food is one reason that protesters took to the streets in Tunisia and Egypt. The price of bread has shot up since last summer when a drought in Russia, one of the world’s largest wheat suppliers, hit harvests and prompted an export ban….Analysts at Goldman Sachs point out that countries in the region may feel the need to head off political instability by spending to stockpile grain….”

    So it would appear that coby’s original question – far from being the ridiculous proposition that the usual suspects have decried, is actually a very pertinent and sober analysis which is well supported by politicians and economists alike.

  146. #146 crakar24
    February 16, 2011

    Mandas in 140,

    Just to clear your confusion.

    I am not sure how connected the PDO and ENSO is but i think it is fair to say that the PDO influences the SST where the SOI is measured. The PDO switches phase about every 30 years this causes the sst to change.

    ENSO obviously has an effect on this and the warmer the SST is the stronger the La Nina, cooler it is the stronger the El Nino. Therefore we see stronger El Ninos in +ve phase and stronger La Nina’s in -ve phase.

    If we look back through history we see weather events like now in 1974/5 and 1916/17 these dates correlate well with -ve PDO and strong La Nina.

    The graph i link to in post 138, the graph that Tom has constructed his own reality around in an effort to debunk shows the correlation between PDO and SOI quite well.

    Look at this way Mandas, if you have a mixer in an audio circuit you have two inputs and two outputs. The outputs are the sum and the difference between the two inputs. As the inputs change so do the outputs, perhaps this is how SOI and PDO interact? In otherwords it is possible to see a correlation between pdo and soi but to say “if pdo is this and soi is that in 1974 then we should get this and that in 2010/11 but we did not so you are wrong” would be a gross over simplification of these events.

    Dont forget we also have the Indian di pole, Arctic oscillation, atlantic oscillation and so on to consider all these oceans and more seem to march to the beat of their own drums so we have many cycles all interacting with each other. To simply try and compare one event to another that happens 36 years apart in isolation to try and solve a problem is ludicrous.

    In regards to any AGW influence i am not sure how you could seperate it even if it was there, dear old Tom has found a link which claims the sst was 0.2C higher now than in 1974 and due to his extremely limited world view he is now proclaiming it must be from AGW. Of course this is not acceptable as evidence of any kind. In fact i think we have reached the heart of the problem how would one show an AGW impact here even if it did exist?

  147. #147 crakar24
    February 16, 2011

    Tom,

    I have lost interest with reading your posts, they are long winded and are simply boring to read. Your condescending tone is also irritating.

    To simply observe one event and state CO2 has risen as a cause is not sufficient to prove your case.

    Here is how i see you,

    Firstly you begin by telling me CO2 is causing heat waves and droughts across the world which triggered the Egyptian riots one can only assume this is because as time goes on more and more Wv will be suspended above our heads.

    Then you tell me the droughts in Australia were caused by CO2 and now the floods and cyclones where caused by CO2.

    You then launch into a tirade of how gases absorb radiation but we are not talking about radiation here we are talking about heat.

    I think we have discussed this issue to the point of absurdity, please pick a new thread if you wish to continue airing your knowledge.

  148. #148 crakar24
    February 16, 2011

    Mandas in 140,

    All you have to do now is show how CO2 caused the russian heat wave, whilst at the same time caused freezing winters in the NH whilst at the same time causing floods here and no dont insult my intelligence with a model prediction and if that is all you have then i suggest you keep your speculation to yourself.

  149. #149 mandas
    February 16, 2011

    crakar

    I think post #147 highlights perfectly one of the issues that you are failing to grasp about this whole debate.

    You want me to point to a single event and demonstrate conclusively what the influence of climate change was. Tom tried to do that by stating that climate change has caused a rise in SST, but you scoffed at him. So it would appear that you will not accept that sort of evidence. Therefore one would have to ask what evidence you will accept?

    In any case, I will not take the same approach as Tom – and I know that you will not accept my answer, because you have failed to do so in the past when exactly the same argument has been presented to you. Nonetheless, I will present it once again.

    You need to start thinking in terms of statistical probabilities, rather than demanding that a particular event be attributed to climate change. A hotter, wetter atmosphere and a hotter ocean will most likely cause an increase the number and severity of extreme climate events. More intensive rainfall events, even in areas where the overall level of precipitation falls (Trenberth predicted that in his 1999 paper). Different storm patterns. 1 in 100 year events happening more frequently (say 1 in 20 years).

    You are asking us to do something akin to pointing at something that is exactly on the mean of a sample and saying that it perfectly represents the population. It doesn’t. A single storm or a single weather event is the result of a lot of complex factors – and climate change is but one of those factors. What climate change is doing is changing the mean of the sample. As an example, before climate change, the mean number of storms per year in a given region may have been 4.5. After climate change it might now be 4.7. (those are made up numbers by the way – feel free to scoff as much as you like)

    That might sound like a bunch of intellectual wank – but it is the only correct way of viewing it. I keep urging you to read the paper published in Nature today, and I will urge you once again to do so. It says pretty much exactly what I have just said to you.

    You may also tell me to ‘keep my speculation to myself’ because you don’t accept model predictions. However, that is a ridiculous statement to make. YOU make model predictions all the time. EVERY time you make a prediction you use an internal or external model to extrapolate known information to potential future events. Who do you think will win the AFL flag this year? I bet you wouldn’t put any money on the Tigers, because your model tells you that they are going to be a crap side with no chance. So please – get off your high horse about models. We always have and always will use them – and so will you.

  150. #150 adelady
    February 16, 2011

    ” To adelady and to Tom as well,

    The only role CO2 plays in setting the temp is via IR absorption, it has nothing to do with the hydrologic cycle, the H cycle transports massive amounts of heat from the surface (cools it) up to the TOA and out into space. If you honestly believe CO2 traps this heat (hydrologic heat) then you need to read more. ” Whaaaaa ??!!?

    I’m sorry you misunderstood what I was getting at. I’ll have a think and see if I can come up with a way to express those ideas more clearly. (I thought I was fairly clear, but apparently not.)

  151. #151 Chris S.
    February 17, 2011

    apropos of crakar’s derailment of the thread: Two papers from the latest Nature:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v470/n7334/full/nature09762.html
    Anthropogenic greenhouse gas contribution to flood risk in England and Wales in autumn 2000

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v470/n7334/full/nature09763.html
    Human contribution to more-intense precipitation extremes

  152. #152 Wow
    February 17, 2011

    “You want me to point to a single event and demonstrate conclusively what the influence of climate change was.”

    I’d like to ask cracker-ass whether he can prove that La Nina affected the storm and demonstrate conclusively what that effect was and its magnitude.

    cracker has this hypothesis that La Nina causes a change to the climate, but he hasn’t yet proven this case.

  153. #153 skip
    February 17, 2011

    Thank you, Chris.

    Did you notice that one of the coauthors of the second piece also coauthored the one your buddy Richard W. always referenced as “vindicating” his Tmax analysis?

  154. #154 crakar24
    February 17, 2011

    [comment remove by blog administrator]

  155. #155 mandas
    February 17, 2011

    [comment remove by blog administrator]

  156. #156 crakar24
    February 17, 2011

    Mandas 149,

    All Tom did was highlight a 0.2 rise in sst and then by leap of faith claimed it was caused by CO2, he did not demonstrate conclusively CO2 to be the cause and yes if you want to be taken seriously you need to point to a single event and provide evidence that CO2 is at fault.

    I would not put money on the Tigers because they had a poor list last year and it has not improved, no model required here Mandas.

    I read the paper Mandas….well the abstract the problem is for every paper you produce there is another that suggests the opposite and that is the problem with AGW. It is an elusive beast that cannot be singled out amongst the crowd so in the end it will never be found but keep searching anyway. By the way you told me i could not rule out AGW by simply saying the 1893, 1917 and 1974 Brisbane floods were just as bad so i suggest you stop quoting storm numbers even if they were made up.

    Chris 151, Not sure i should take all the credit for the derailment but i definetly played a part along with you. Thanks for the links though.

    WOW 152, just call me ass crack and get it over with. Agreed i may not have proven my case but that is a lot more than “Its raining a lot, please,please,please let it be CO2″

    Adelaidy 150, Give it another go OK.

  157. #157 crakar24
    February 17, 2011

    [comment remove by blog administrator]

  158. #158 mandas
    February 17, 2011

    crakar

    Quite frankly, your comments are racist, and completely unacceptable and dispicable.

    [comment remove by blog administrator]

    Apologise for your remarks right now. This is not a request – it is a demand.

  159. #159 mandas
    February 17, 2011

    Coby

    I would not normally request that someone be banned, because a free exchange of ideas is important, and I don’t even usually care about insulting remarks or colourful language.

    But this time crakar has gone way beyond the pale. His raacist remarks at post #154 and #157 are completely unacceptable here or anywhere other that a KKK rally.

    He should be censured by everyone and should be required to apologise or be banned.

    Because quite frankly, if he doesn’t, I am out of here forever.

  160. #160 crakar
    February 17, 2011

    [comment remove by blog administrator]

  161. #161 Tom Curtis
    February 17, 2011

    Crakar wishes to characterise attributing a 0.2 degrees C increase in sea surface temperatures to global warming as a leap of faith.

    He ignores the fact that Global Sea Surface Temperatures have increased by significantly more than 0.2 degrees C since 1980, an increases not explicable by attribution to natural means alone, as shown by IPCC modelling. He further ignores the Southern Hemisphere increase of about 0.2 degrees over the same period, again not attributable to natural causes. He further ignores that these increases are straight forward predictions from well known physical laws and the known fact of increasing CO2 levels.

    Most importantly he ignores the fact that every Australian coastal station in the “High climate quality network” between Darwin and Port Macquarie (inclusive), bar six shows an decrease of diurnal temperature range of around 0.5 and 1.6 degrees C over the last century, a clear signal that an increased greenhouse effect is the major driver of temperature changes at those stations. That’s 12 out of 18 stations.

    Of the six exceptions, two (Innisfail, Port Macquarie and Maryborough) have had a decrease of over 2 degrees C, presumably due to local factors. The other three (Ayr, Gladstone, and Yamba) show a 0.1 degree increase over the century, again presumably because of local conditions.

    In all, that is very strong statistical confirmation that an enhanced greenhouse effect is warming Asutralian, and in particular Queensland coastal waters.

    Of course, this comment is probably too long for Crakar to read. After all, it is actually long enough to rebut is gish gallop of lies and mistatements. Apropos of that, he now appears to be asserting that the SOI (and index of differences in sea level pressures) is a measure of sea surface temperatures, that IR radiation has nothing to do with heat, and that CO2 absorbs and does not emit radiation.

    For any of those readers still undecided on the issue of global warming, please notice how Crakar sets up this rhetorical dichotomy. If a post is long enough to rebut his gish gallop, it is “long winded and boring”, but if it only points to facts that disprove his claims without going into details, then it is instantly dismissed as “speculation” or “a leap of faith”. This is the perfect recipe for close minded ignorance, which Crakar displays in abundance.

    You will also notice that Crakar does not explain how the PDO and La Nina effect rainfall in Australia. Doing so would require reference to warm sea surface temperatures, which would give the game away. Not only does he rely in staccato lies and mistatements, piling up falsehoods to fast to be refuted (a gish gallop); but he carefully relies on keeping thinking at the shallowest possible level – because if you actually stop and think, he is undone. His intellectual construct refutes itself.

  162. #162 Tom Curtis
    February 17, 2011

    Mandas,

    I agree completely with your sentiments about Crakar. I am ashamed for Australia that he is one of our residents, and can console myself only in that it is demographically unavoidable that even the best of nations should contain some of the worst of people. However, it may not an available option for Coby to simply ban Crakar, so please do not make your threat to leave unconditional. I agree, however, that to the extent that Crakar should be made persona non grata, he should be.

  163. #163 crakar24
    February 17, 2011

    You will also notice that Tom blames AGW on higher food prices which contributed to Egyptian revolts but fails to even mention that India has produced a record high grain crop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  164. #164 crakar24
    February 17, 2011

    [comment remove by blog administrator]

  165. #165 mandas
    February 17, 2011

    crakar

    [deleted]

    I have two aboriginals in my workteam, and both of them are far better human beings than you. I work with aboriginal communities on a regular basis, and every single one of them have far more integrity and sense of community that you have ever or will ever possess.

    For our American friends, ask yourself this. If someone had posted on this blog a remark that said, “all niggers are thieves”, what do you think would happen to the person who posted it? Because that is EXACTLY what crakar just said about aboriginals. And then he has the unmittigated gall to try and justify his remarks with that moronic post #164, where he takes the actions of some individuals and tries to extrapolate them to an entire race of people.

    [deleted]

    My promise stands – both of them.

  166. #166 crakar24
    February 17, 2011

    [deleted]

  167. #167 Tom Curtis
    February 17, 2011

    Crakar has noticed that there is predicted to be a record wheat crop in India when it is harvested over March, April and May. This predicted record is expected to increase wheat production by 0.8 million tonnes of wheat, compared to the estimated 3.6 million tonnes of wheat lost in western Europe, let alone the 18 million lost in Russia and other large losses in CIS countries.

    What surprises me, however, is not that Crakar just grabs any factoid that might appear to support his case without actually checking even the relative proportion of the different effects. That is after all, par for the course. Rather, it is that he is now invoking backward causation in time. Apparently wheat harvests three months after the event are now supposed to be relevant to events in Egypt, so long as they are not caused by GW; while events that preceded events in Egypt by months, or were concurrent, are deemed irrelevant if GW can be seen to be their cause.

    Crakar’s reasoning now depends not only on factual errors, inconsistency and innumeracy, but now also on magical thinking. Next he’ll be telling us the Egyptians are revolting because they did not use the proper rituals to bring in the cargo.

  168. #168 Tom Curtis
    February 17, 2011

    Coby, is it possible to increase the number of links before the spam filter cracks down above two?

    [sorry, I can't control that, and though I can whitelist people, it doesn't have any effect I can discern. Even my comments get caught for three links. An email may get my attention sooner, especially on busy threads...coby]

  169. #169 mandas
    February 17, 2011

    [deleted]

  170. #170 crakar24
    February 17, 2011

    [deleted]

  171. #171 mandas
    February 17, 2011

    [deleted]

  172. #172 skip
    February 17, 2011

    This is too absurd to really happen, but I wonder if Adelady could show up and video this and Coby could post it as a lead in to its own thread: “Fight Night with Crakar and Mandas”

  173. #173 Chris S.
    February 17, 2011

    Post #164 looks like it’s come straight out of the BNP* handbook** – the only thing missing is the exhortation for them to go back where they came from, oh wait…

    *BNP = British National Party – google them.

    **a few cherrypicked examples used to bolster a faith (now, where have I seen that before?) and as an excuse for bigotry.

  174. #174 adelady
    February 18, 2011

    Oh dear. Sort of amusing in that completely barmy surreal way that erupts on here from time to time.

    Unfortunately, =using crakar’s logic= I couldn’t possibly be anywhere near men, especially outside a pub. I spent several quaking years in my 20s with a man bearing that unmistakable aura of boozy, incipient violence. Plainly, on that crakar-logical basis =all= men cannot be trusted to restrain violent impulses when I’m around so I’d have to stay away, even from men I might like to meet. (My husband is merely the exception that proves the rule – or some such nonsense.)

    Honestly crakar. I’m starting to think you’re one of those people who’d prefer to be clever or have an argument or be ‘different’ or something … rather than be right. This one is too much, way too much.

  175. #175 coby
    February 18, 2011

    Wow. How unpleasant.

    crakar refuses to apologise, but he says he is leaving. Whatever happens, that kind of racism is not acceptable anywhere.

    My apologies to innocent bystanders for the spectacle and also for the deleting of comments, something that goes against the spirit of internet discussions IMO, but it was the lesser of evils in this instance.

    What a good night to have insomnia…

  176. #176 Wow
    February 18, 2011

    “He ignores the fact that Global Sea Surface Temperatures have increased by significantly more than 0.2 degrees C since 1980, an increases not explicable by attribution to natural means alone, as shown by IPCC modelling”

    And, moreover, not proved incorrect by any other method.

    Just in case there are some idiots who think that computer modelling MUST be wrong. For some reason, they’re not ready to do the maths by hand…

  177. #177 Wow
    February 18, 2011

    I would warn people that, just like there was a crackar12 before cracar24, we’re probably going to see a crackar25 turn up any day now…

    He may or may not have a capital letter.

  178. #178 Chris S.
    February 18, 2011

    coby: “My apologies … for the deleting of comments, something that goes against the spirit of internet discussions IMO, but it was the lesser of evils in this instance.”

    Most definitely called for in this instance. Naked bigotry with no relation to either the subject of the original post or the direction discussions had turned. Disappointing to read and deservedly deleted.

    It should be noted though that mandas’s deleted posts consisted of him calling crakar out nothing more nefarious than that.

    [Further on this, I don't want the fact that some of mandas' comments were also removed to leave the impression this was a "two sides to that story" moment, it was not. But however justified he may have felt in his tone and intent, I am not interesting in being called to Australia to testify on my role as host and enabler in an assault (or worse!) trial - coby]

  179. #179 Tom Curtis
    February 18, 2011

    Coby, thanks for your response at 168; and thanks also for removing Crakar’s offensive comments.

  180. #180 mandas
    February 18, 2011

    coby

    Please allow me to apologise for some of my comments – to you and to everyone.

    I went a little over the top and I should not have abused your hospitality the way I did.

    My apologies to you and to everyone else here.

  181. #181 mandas
    February 18, 2011

    Tom

    A way around the 3 link spam filter problem is to change some of your hyperlinks into text. Just remove the http:\\www. from the front of the link.

    We can still follow the link ok by cutting and pasting the text.

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