Monday, December 27, 2010

Global Warming Denier Tells it like it is!!!!

I love this article. Amamzing conspiracy theory that is soooooooooooo crazy that it makes a box of frogs look sane. It argues that security restrictions on air travel are being driven by a global warming agenda. Yes. But it is the first line of the article that is the most fun:

I have no proof to support my opinion on this….read on and let me know what you think.

Yes, he opens his argument admitting that there is no evidence only opinion and with a stroke underlines the approach of most global warming denial. 0% Evidence 100% Opinion.

Top 10 Anti-Christian Acts of 2010? Get a Grip...

Jebus H Mice. Some American Christian's are sooo self-obsessed and obsessed with homosexuality. Here is their take on how persecuted they are... about 9 examples of 17-odd supposed examples of 'anti-Christian' acts seem to be about gay sex. Guess what is not on the list? The evisceration of Iraq's Christian community. Yes, Iraq has churches that date from the 7th Century and yet the Christian community being killed and exiled in the waves of violence and fundamentalism unleashed by the botched US-led invasion. An invasion the US Christian Right cheerled for.

Iraq's defence ministry has said that the army will be on high alert this Christmas. It said it had received intelligence indicating Christians could be attacked. On Wednesday, two people were killed when a bomb exploded outside a church in the northern city of Mosul, one of the latest in a series of attacks against Christians there in recent months. According to some estimates, half of Iraq's Christian minority have left their homes since the American-led invasion in 2003.

Should that not be on the list? I'll let them know... see if it makes it.

(Hat-tip to RationalWiki)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WikiLeaks: Royal Bank of Scotland Shocka!

Now remember before I continue that there are people arguing that we should not know the information in the WikiLeaks cables.

Ok, so Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) collapsed during the finaincal crisis and had to be bailed out using our money. Just prior to the collapse chief executive Fred Goodwin gets £700,000 per year pension award from RBS. Then a month later RBS announced that its 2008 loss totalled £24.1bn, the largest annual loss in UK corporate history.

So who was to blame for this? Turns out - nobody! Like rain or loosing a sock, itturns out it was just one of those things..

The Financial Services Authority is poised to announce it has closed its investigation into Royal Bank of Scotland and will take no further action against any of its former directors – including chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin – despite the £45bn bailout of the Edinburgh-based bank.

The City regulator appointed accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct a detailed analysis of the events that took place in the run-up to the near-collapse of the bank in October 2008. They are understood to have concluded that while management made poor judgments, there are no grounds to take enforcement action against the individuals involved.

Then comes WikiLeaks and in private conversations it was revealed that perhaps somebody was to blame after all..

The cables sent from the US embassy in London, report that [RBS Chairman Philip] Hampton told a visiting delegation of politicians that one of the biggest mistakes made by the bank was its takeover of Dutch bank ABN Amro just as the credit crunch began in the autumn of 2007. This acquisition left the bank with a wafer-thin capital cushion and ultimately led to the £45bn taxpayer bailout of the bank in October 2008.

But again, there are some who argue we should not know this information...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

WikiLeaks Expose - Fighting for Democracy with Feudalism

Now remember lots of people in the ruling elite don't want to us to know this kind of stuff!

Outrage of the day;

The post-Soviet state of Uzbekistan is a nightmarish world of "rampant corruption", organised crime, forced labour in the cotton fields, and torture, according to the leaked cables.

But the secret dispatches released by WikiLeaks reveal that the US tries to keep President Islam Karimov sweet because he allows a crucial US military supply line to run into Afghanistan, known as the northern distribution network (NDN).

So because of the fight for freedom in Afghanistan our rulers are willing to spend our money propping up a violent despotic feudal regime.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

We are All WikiLeaks

This is it folks! This is the moment that web technology promised, but that never arrived - until now. We can now say no to the Man. The Man wants to keep us in the dark about His wheelings and dealings. We say NO, WikiLeaks gives us the power to say no.

I'm with I Heart WikiLeaks in downloading the Insurance Torrent.

We are all WikiLeaks now;

WikiLeaks has never been charged with a crime, let alone indicted for one or convicted of one. A consensus of legal experts agree that prosecuting the organization or Julian Assange for any of its leaks would be difficult in the extreme. Despite those facts ... Just look at what the U.S. Government and its friends are willing to do and capable of doing to someone who challenges or defies them -- all without any charges being filed or a shred of legal authority. They've blocked access to their assets, tried to remove them from the Internet, bullied most everyone out of doing any business with them, froze the funds marked for Assange's legal defense at exactly the time that they prepare a strange international arrest warrant to be executed, repeatedly threatened him with murder, had their Australian vassals openly threaten to revoke his passport, and declared them "Terrorists" even though -- unlike the authorities who are doing all of these things -- neither Assange nor WikiLeaks ever engaged in violence, advocated violence, or caused the slaughter of civilians.

The Man, like an angry parent caught in His double standards wants to shut down the open door into His secret room. Our job is to make sure that the door is kept firmly open and that we defend those trying to keep it open. I quote;

In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said "only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government". The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth.

We are all WikiLeaks.

PS If in London, there is a Demo on 11th Dec.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Climate Change Data Scandal You Won't Read Much About in the Telegraph, Mail or the Express

This is a very techey story and much of it is above my knowledge but from what I can understand, but it is very, very interesting. It also shows the inner workings of a denial home-goal. Here's the background. There is this statistics professor Wegman who gets commissioned to write a report examining the famous Hockey Stick (that's the graph that shows global temperatures with a sharp and scary rise at the end of the 20th Century.) Now, climate deniers hate the Hockey Stick and they hate it's most prominent author, Michael Mann. I guess because it's an easy to understand graphic that communicates the serious situation we find ourselves in and also became Mann speaks his mind.

So they went after it. They commission Wegman who produces a big report and it's conclusions tear into the Hockey Stick and all the denialists cheer! Woo! Woo! The meat of the report is an allegation that the computer code that Mann and others used to error-correct the data for the Hockey Stick was doctored to produce a hockey-stick shaped graph, whatever the data that was input. In short they are saying that Mann faked it and the Wegman report proves it.

Except that there a murmurings of problems with this report. Murmurings that wont die. First there is an accusation of plagiarism; the unattributed copying of somebody else's work. This is a serious charge in academic circles. Second the data analysis that 'proves' the fake Hockey Stick result itself looks, well, fake...

[George Mason University] spokesman Daniel Walsch confirms that the university, located in Fairfax, Va., is now investigating allegations that the Wegman report was partly plagiarized and contains fabrications. Last month, a 250-page report on the Deep Climate website written by computer scientist John Mashey of Portola Valley, Calif., raised some of these concerns. Mashey says his analysis shows that 35 of the 91 pages in the 2006 Wegman report contain plagiarized text (with some of the wording taken from a book, Paleoclimatology: Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary, by Raymond Bradley of the University of Massachusetts) and contain erroneous citations of data, as well.

Some denialists have argued that this is just about a missing attribution and it means nothing. Now remember that a couple (out of thousands of studies) of incorrectly attributed references to a study in an IPCC report was blown out of all proportion by the denialosphere. But now they argue we should not worry about a couple of attribution errors.. (Can't have it both ways!)

Here's the interesting bit; about the Hockey Stick. In essence the data analysis used by Wegamn, which was copied uncritically from the work of a couple of other denialists, generated some noisy data (but meaningless) data then feed it into a version of Mann analysis and out pops a Hockey Stick-like result.

Except that the generation of the input data was far from random - oh no! It generated 10,000 sample sets of data - then selected the 100 from that huge pool that were the most hockey-stick like! These 100 cherry picked results are then fed into the replication of Mann's analysis. Wegman's analysis is far from an objective analysis. It would appear that far from being a random test, Wegman was using loaded dice. It seems the Wegman report may be a huge fudge. (You can read a very detailed breakdown of the full fudgey nature of the fudge here.)

Forget the so-called 'climategate' - this is the Climate Change Data Scandal You Won't Read Much About in the Telegraph, Mail or the Express

Student Plan to 'Decapitate' LibDems - Stephen Williams is on the 'chopping block'

After the big demo and as the dust still settles (somewhat) on all that, the NUS has decided to leave moaning about some smashed windows and instead concentrate on a 'decapitation' strategy of ousting some LibDem MPs.

Its great news that they are opening up new fronts in the war on the LibCon cuts, however my local MP Stephen Williams is one of those targeted to removal. Now I voted for him a few years back as a protest against Labour (yes I vote, I agree with Ian Bone on this issue). Now he's unhappy about all this attention:

Stephen Williams, MP for Bristol West, accused Aaron Porter, the NUS president, of playing partisan politics rather than engaging in the debate, as it emerged that students planned to try to oust him from his seat.

“It is not going to change my mind on any issue,” said Mr Williams, who has yet to say which way he will vote on the issue of increasing tuition fees.

“I don’t think students are im­pressed with it either. Rather than the NUS engaging with the issues and talking about what we are doing, they are playing partisan politics, and Aaron is playing to the Labour party gallery rather than standing up for students.”

He added: “I don’t recall them having a decapitation policy against Labour MPs who introduced tuition fees in the first place.”

His comments came as the NUS said it would make use of a coalition idea for holding MPs to account, dubbed the “right to recall” initiative, to try to force by-elections in targeted sets.

Get a grip Stephen, any campaign group must be expected to campaign for their constituents and you so publicly opposed tuition fees that a U-turn on that is just pure hypocrisy, and if you can't be trusted to vote on the basis of what you stood for in the election, then it's bye-bye time as far as I'm concerned.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Government harassing and intimidating Wikileaks Supporters

Typical. Back to the dark Bu$h days and so much for free speech...

In July of this year, U.S. citizen Jacob Appelbaum, a researcher and spokesman for WikiLeaks, was detained for several hours at the Newark airport after returning from a trip to Holland, and had his laptop, cellphones and other electronic products seized -- all without a search warrant, without being charged with a crime, and without even being under investigation, at least to his knowledge. He was interrogated at length about WikiLeaks, and was told by the detaining agents that he could expect to be subjected to the same treatment every time he left the country and attempted to return to the U.S. Days later, two FBI agents approached him at a computer conference he was attending in New York and asked to speak with him again. To date, he has never been charged with any crime or even told he's under investigation for anything; this was clearly a thuggish attempt by federal officials to intimidate any American citizen involved with or supporting WikiLeaks.

That campaign of intimidation is now clearly spreading to supporters of Bradley Manning. Last Wednesday, November 3, David House, a 23-year-old researcher who works at MIT, was returning to the U.S. from a short vacation with his girlfriend in Mexico, and was subjected to similar and even worse treatment. House's crime: he did work in helping set up the Bradley Manning Support Network, an organization created to raise money for Manning's legal defense fund, and he has now visited Manning three times in Quantico, Virginia, where the accused WikiLeaks leaker is currently being detained (all those visits are fully monitored by government agents). Like Appelbaum, House has never been accused of any crime, never been advised that he's under investigation, and was never told by any federal agents that he's suspected of any wrongdoing at all.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Students Get Angry, Media Does Same-old, same-old

So at the demo against the cuts to education and the ramping up in fees - making education something only for the rich, people got angry and stormed the Tory Party HQ.

The predictalbe media coverage follows focusing of the 'violence' (in the main some broken windows) and not the issue (the cuts). Lots and hand wringing follows and complaints about the 'violence' and how it 'spoil it' for the majority.

Look Mainstream media; you can't have it both ways. If the march had passed off peacefully it would have got little to no coverage. If trouble happens, it gets coverage - though mainly of the trouble itself. Protesters can't win.

If the media vowed never to cover an event where trouble kicked off, and always covered peaceful demos, that might send a message that is consistent with their claimed views. But that is not what happens; all sensationalism.

Where is the handwrining of the coverage over the Wikileaks revealed violence in Iraq? Now that is real violence. Ten of thousands of dead and tortured people, not a few windows. Yet pundits bang on about the realease of the info instead. Assemble these words into an order: point, You, missing, the fucking, are.

I'm with the message from UCU Goldsmiths: The real violence relates not to a smashed window but to the destructive impact of the cuts and privatisation.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Rightward Drift of Politics

It has been claimed that there is a right-ward drift in US politics. I don't know enough about it to say either way, but the Republican gains in the recent US election are depressing. Not that the White House under democratic rule was doing much to be happy about. As ever the US elections have implications for us globally and again I'm depressed that political parties there to represent the working people are either so hamstrung or so two-faced due to the corporate funding they get, that there seems little hope for mainstream politics. Here's a couple of examples of what I mean:

In the US:

The Democrats aren't preparing to stand up for anything, either. They're already talking about backing down on the repeal of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy in the military. I didn't vote for the Democrats so that they could turn tail at every Republican whim: they're supposed to work for the policies Democrats claim to stand for.

In the UK:

Thirteen years ago, I had my defence epiphany on the lay committee for Labour's first and only strategic defence review in 1997. This was under George Robertson. I vividly remember our first meeting when we were given our terms of reference. Such was the radical mood of those euphoric early Blair days that were told to think the unthinkable and discuss everything, no holds barred.

This lasted about five minutes. It turned out we could not discuss the nuclear deterrent; we could not question the Trident programme and its submarines; we could not discuss the Eurofighter contract; nor could we discuss the need for two or perhaps three new aircraft carriers. I remember the smug look on the faces of service chiefs in the room. Our excluded items had nothing really to do with Britain's defence. They were political. Robertson and his colleagues were under instructions not to give an inch to the Tories on defence procurement, lest they be seen as soft on defence. We could think the unthinkable – but not the thinkable.

Thanks Labour, 'cos it's worth spending billions of crappy weapons systems of little use to us to keep the Daily Mail and crew of your back... Thanks Democrats, your inability to fight for things you believe in and push to compromise with people only willing to compromise to the right has now given us a man running for House Energy and Commerce Committee, John Shimkus, who thinks we don't need to worry about climate change because God says it's all ok.

And behind all this pumping out piles and piles of shit is the rightward media...

Secret Meetings to Control the World...

Sort of. This is a great post about a couple of secret(ish) meetings that are claimed to impact us. One is called by a couple of billionaire oil magnates who gather right-wing politicians and executives to plot election strategy and the other is a group of climate scientists who talk science...

It must be wonderfully liberating to be a hard-core conspiracy theorist, casting off the limiting constraints of reality - common sense and facts be damned! [climate scientist] Mike Mann is plotting the socialist takeover of the globe using tree-rings and obscure statistical techniques to control the UN while naive, mind-their-own-business, successful capitalists are in danger of being tossed out of their hard-earned mansions just because they want all of us to be as wealthy as they are. Or something.

Yet those spending millions to derail climate legislation and roll back welfare, they all about freedom and shit.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wikileaks: Iraq is a deeper blood bath than we knew

Thanks god for Wikileaks. They are exposing the massive, massive, criminal, violent and messy bloodbath that is Iraq. One we paid for in taxes and the Iraqi people paid for in blood. It's is gobsmacking how low, how deep the void of horror this conflict has opened, is: case in which he claimed a British rifleman had shot dead an eight-year-old girl who was playing in the street in Basra.

"For some reason the tank stopped at the end of the street, she's there in her yellow dress, a rifleman pops up and blows her away."

It's not just that: It turns out they did do body counts; and the majority of those dying in the coalitions own figures, are civilians. Given that I'm sure soldiers sometimes lie about who they had killed to cover-up mistakes - this is still a staggering figure..

Leaked Pentagon files obtained by the Guardian contain details of more than 100,000 people killed in Iraq following the US-led invasion, including more than 15,000 deaths that were previously unrecorded.

British ministers have repeatedly refused to concede the existence of any official statistics on Iraqi deaths. US General Tommy Franks claimed in 2002: "We don't do body counts."

The mass of leaked documents provides the first detailed tally by the US military of Iraqi fatalities. Troops on the ground filed secret field reports over six years of the occupation, purporting to tot up every casualty, military and civilian.

The ignoring of torture - and remember that Bliar and Bush took us into Iraq to stop the torture of Saddam - and they turn out to be almost as bad. With us paying the tax bill... and the Iraqi's paying the butchers bill:

This is the impact of Frago 242. A frago is a "fragmentary order" which summarises a complex requirement. This one, issued in June 2004, about a year after the invasion of Iraq, orders coalition troops not to investigate any breach of the laws of armed conflict, such as the abuse of detainees, unless it directly involves members of the coalition. Where the alleged abuse is committed by Iraqi on Iraqi, "only an initial report will be made … No further investigation will be required unless directed by HQ".

Frago 242 appears to have been issued as part of the wider political effort to pass the management of security from the coalition to Iraqi hands. In effect, it means that the regime has been forced to change its political constitution but allowed to retain its use of torture.

I've run out of outrage words to describe all this....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Climate Change, Extinction: It's not just for Polar Bears anymore

It's for us. Yes I'm alarmist, 'cos I'm alarmed. Calling people alarmist does not make the alarm go away, it just points to the alarm.

That's one of the many things about denialists, they claim that things won't be so bad yet none of them are doing any original research to establish if this is true... They just cherry-pick holes (or try) in other peoples' hard work...

It’s the same tiny bunch of skeptics being quoted by right-wing blogs. None are doing new research that casts the slightest doubt on the scientific consensus that’s been forming for two decades, a set of conclusions that grows more robust with every issue of Science and Nature and each new temperature record.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting the CO2 Cuts to work...not easy...

Getting the cuts in CO2 is going to be hard... This is from an email FWed to me by a friend (I'm hot claiming the credit for it).

This is an interesting carbon calculator, which lets you see the consequences of possible actions to hit the 'scientific minimum' target for reduction of UK emissions of 80% by 2050.

I tried the following scenario:
Reduce domestic power consumption by 50%;
Major shift from road transport to low carbon;
Halving of all road freight;
50 new nuclear power stations;
New desert solar project;
20,000 new onshore wind turbines;
24,000 new offshore wind turbines;
Sequestration of 30 million tonnes of carbon underground.

With all of that, plus a lot of other measures, I could only get a reduction of 57%!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Cuts and the Financial Crisis - What the fuck happened?

So the Tories (sort of) have got into power the the mantra of the coalition government is cuts, cuts, cuts. What is hard about all this is that there are so many factors at play and so many issues that are woven into the issue that it is hard to unpick what is what.

Its also why we're all looking for easy stories that explain it and easy fixes that will solve the our woes. Problem is, that I suspect there are none. The whole thing is a monstrous fuckup that is getting more fucketyuped day by day.

I'm been trying to make sense of it all myself - and in trying to make it touches on other political beliefs that I hold - which also need to be re-examined, that the whole thing becomes a mess in my head. In short, I'm getting nowhere trying to understand the whole and what we should do about it. So this article is an attempt to make sense of it.

So I'm going to start with some of the basics...

What the fuck happened?

Here is my understanding of it: Back in 2006 everything seemed business as usual with the leviathan global economy. However what most of us did not know then was that a series of complex financial products that were being brought and sold for many years, where in fact highly unstable investments. Investments that many mainstream banks had put lots of cash into. Once conditions in the global economy ceased to favour these risky investments (mainly due to a loss of liquidity) then they started to explode in the faces of whoever held them at that point. This in turn triggered a series of other conditions that in turn triggered other mini-crises and so on and so forth until it became a huge financial crisis. Faced with a meltdown of the underlying baking system, most governments responded with bailouts . Pouring billions into the mainstream banks fearful that if they did not the wave of triggering crisis would go on and on.

However this is where the complexities start to mount. Many cited the lack of regulation of the financial markets as the problem. Other claimed too much regulation was the problem. Some claim that without the bailouts, it would be much worse. Others claim that the bailout are perpetuating a rotten system and we should have let the banks fail. I have no idea as to the correct answer. Try to get your head around all the variables that you would need to understand to get a clear answer and the scale of the problem of understanding becomes apparent; regulation, speculation, the shadow banking systems, trade deficits, exchange rates, commodity prices, GDP, interest rates and more - and for each country that was a player in the drama - the US, China, UK, Germany, Greece, Japan and so on... That's just the stuff we know about - what was the impact of the costs of all the wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo, Colombia, Palestine etc...) ongoing in this? Where is the role of peaking oil supplies in all this? Climate change? Shifts in global power? Technological change? Ecological damage? Human population growth?

Its a quantum mechanics of an equation to try and understand it. Put simply, us humans tend to only be able to follow a few threads of a story. We seek to find a simplified way to understand it all then relegate those bits we can't have the space brain-space for as minor variables in the whole. This is not because the evidence suggests that this is what we should do but because we don't like to think that we are wilfully ignoring something important, so we just find a way to rationalise ignoring it. "The real issue in all this is..." "What most people don't get is..." "The important factors in this crisis are..."

Just because something has not featured in our analysis of events, does not mean it was not significant. Indeed, each of us (me included) carries a set of cognitive filters in our own head (called Selection Bias) that means we tend to pick things as important not based on the evidence set before us, but because of pre-existing prejudices, political views and emotions.

So the bankers are unlikely to fully consider a Marxist view of what happened and why. But an anarchist is unlikely to consider the evidence that if the state had not bailed the banks out, it would be much, much worse now than it is. Capitalists are going to wave the free market around as a solution to all the problems and anarchists will point to mutual aid as the only way out. Given the number of variables and variable-variables, how could any of us know? Who'd be willing to risk finding out?

Here's how I understand it... The UK government debt is about £1000 billion and the state borrows about £160 billion per year. Officially we spent about £850 billion bailing banks and the like out. Unofficially this figure may be higher; possibly over £1000 billion. It is more complex than this - we now own big chunks of banks and we have had some of the money paid back...

Either way, the figures seem to suggest that if we had not have to bail the banks out, we'd not be in the mess we are. So why don't we hear much (if anything) about the financial sector doing anything to help us out of the mess they so clearly contributed towards?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why Climate Denialists Never Seem to Use Coherent Arguments

When you debate with climate change deniers, they have these annoying habitats of:

1. Never stating their position in any concrete terms.
2. Adopting contradictory positions and never acknowledging this.

This make is hard to have a real debate with them because point 1 means you're never told what position you are debating against is, and point 2 means they are always a moving target jumping from nonsense point to point as you shoot each argument away.

You'll be hard pressed to find them making a factual assessment they can be held to, as does the IPCC. So the IPCC may say they think there will be a 2 degree rise over a set time and give the statistical probability that this forecast is accurate. Then they'll revise and amend that forecast as new evidence emerges. That's why it's a science.

By contrast the denialist talks of 'alarmism' and 'concern' other woolly terms that don;t really means anything tangible. They are deliberately vague emotional terms that allow them to escape making solid predictions over which they could be held to account. Denialism never seems to propose research methods that would show what is going on in the climate system - it always relies on cherry picking other peoples data and producing critiques of others hard work. There is nothing itself wrong with criticism - its an essential part of science. But after a while you want the people saying "that's wrong" over and over to show you how it's done right. After all, millions of dollars have been (and are) being pumped into denial by vested interests. Should be simple to fund a few bit of original research that says 'the temperate change will be X degrees over Y years...?

So why is this?

They have to have points 1 and 2 in operation else the carefully woven tissue of conspiracy and obfuscation would collapse under the weight of it's own contradictions. How do they do this? By making an emotional and not a scientific argument...

“…I’ve come to view “denial” as reflective of an individual values, rather than an emotional state they pass through. It is a culture war issue, in the same way abortion, stem cells, Sharia law and creationism have become litmus tests for conservative Christians, Muslims etc.

…Creationist reject evolution because it contradicts their literal reading of the bible. Ergo, thus *must* reject the science in order to affirm their tribalism and confirm their membership to the creationist “tribe”. It’s about outward signs of orthodoxy and inwardly managing ones identity.

Free market libertarians, culture warriors and ultra-conservatives see climate change mitigation as deeply threatening to their “choices” within the market and individual “liberty”.

If your committed to small government and limited intervention in the market, then things such as a carbon tax, ETS or regulation are anathema. After all, the “market” will fix this.

Why is also why you find conspiracy theories, crazy analogies in thier postings - indeed anything but rational thought. To understand them you also need to understand the conspiracy mindset and how it works.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Black Hole of Stupid: US Right Goes (Even More) Mental

This is a staggering political position to end up with as a major political party in a democracy:

The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones. ... Just for the record, when the nonpartisan National Academy of Sciences last reviewed the data this spring, it concluded: "A strong, credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems." Not only William Hague but such other prominent European conservatives as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have embraced that widespread scientific conviction and supported vigorous action.

Indeed, it is difficult to identify another major political party in any democracy as thoroughly dismissive of climate science as is the GOP here. Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says that although other parties may contain pockets of climate skepticism, there is "no party-wide view like this anywhere in the world that I am aware of."

Wow - serious nuttyness. What is also staggering is the position that so many denialists seem to have which is if they don't know about and/or understand the science of climate change, then it can't be true. As if the laws of nature only operate if we humans can get on consensus on understanding...

It's a black-hole of stupid that is also sucking vast sections of the media (Fox, Telegraph, Dail Fail etc) in with it.

ScepticGate: The climate scandal you won't read about in the Telegraph

So the so-called 'Climate Gate' scandal has come and gone and left more than a few people wondering about why it was even given the media coverage, out of proportion to the non-scandal it appeared to become in print etc.

But there is another scandal brewing about academic standards; however this is one the Denialists are keeping very quiet about - why because it may well be a huge home goal for them.

Our tale starts with a report known as the Wegman Report, after it's author co-author Edward Wegman. This report was commissioned by two republican politicians. One was Joe Barton who gained notoriety when he apologised to BP after the oil spill because Obama (sort of) went after the company. He's also heavily funded by the oil industry.

Anyway, these guys commission Edward Wegman, who is chair of the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, to look into the famous 'Hockey Stick' graph produced by climate scientists including Michael Mann. Wegman does so and when it gets released it has lots of coverage and denialists point to it over and over and say, 'see, we told you (insert whatever odd position the denialist has here: the world is not warming/it's a conspiracy/the sun is doing it/ec)'.

For example it's currently one of the key documents being used by Republican and Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli in his witch-hunt against Michael Mann.

Except that after the reports release, amongst other criticisms of it, Raymond Bradley complained that about a third of it had been lifted from a 1999 textbook he had written. This is called plagiarism and is a serious charge in academia. Bradley complained years ago and the shrouded process only now seems to be moving. This is in contrast to the so-called ClimateGate investigations which were public and started almost straight away:

When a formal research or professional misconduct complaint is received, universities are required to open an inquiry. This is a less formal procedure, usually conducted by administrative personnel with or without academics taking part. it is very confidential. Only when the inquiry finds strong evidence of misconduct is a formal investigation opened. In this regard what Penn State did with respect to charges against Michael Mann was exceedingly irregular. First, they opened an inquiry without a formal complaint (which can be anonymous) on the basis of the uproar fed by friends of Judy (and no one else). Second they published their report, something that can be done but usually is not. Third they started a formal investigation without the inquiry finding grounds for it.

Now Mann agreed to the irregular way it was done - I guess he was confident that there was - and the findings showed - nothing wrong.

So why does this all matter? First off, if the findings go against the Wegman Report, then a whole plank of denailism falls away. It's hard to complain the hockey stick is broken when your main tool for breaking it, is itself broken.

Second, Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli's second attack on Mann is severely blunted if the accusations are upheld (his first was struck down by the courts for being not 'objective.'

Third it (again) shows us why denialists are denialists; they can happily chat about evidence that agrees with their bias but have trouble processing information that not not agree with their pre-conceived notion.

Fourth it is interesting to see the (lack of) media coverage of a growing scandal of denial, in contrast to the rubbish written about ClimateGate.

Download the report on Wegman from DeepClimate if you want to read more...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pyrrhic victory: Another denialist admits climate change is real

Time to add another denialist to the growing list of high-profile U-turns.

Republican strategist Frank Luntz and editor of sceptic magazine Michael Shermer and oil giant Exxon and then Lomborg.

Now to the list we can add Daily Mail science correspondent, Michael Hanlon:

I have long been something of a climate-change sceptic, but my views in recent years have shifted. For me, the most convincing evidence that something worrying is going on lies right here in the Arctic. Because while across most of the world evidence for current climate change is often inconclusive and anecdotal, the huge ice sheet which sits atop this, the largest island in the world, appears to be cracking up before our eyes. And on a timescale of decades rather than the millennia many predicted.

Just five days ago, a 'superberg', measuring 100sq miles broke off the Petermann Glacier in the north-west of the island and floated into the ocean - the largest chunk of ice to break off Greenland for nearly half a century.

(Amazingly he still thinks it might be eagerated a bit after that, but hey, you don't expect Rome to be built in a day - at least now he's open to the evidence).

Great commentary on this and more here.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Cutting to the Chase of Morality

Lots of loose talk about morality and culture - you see it in politcs of all sorts, so it's great to see somebody cut to the chase - in this case it's John Gray in reviewing 'The Quest for Meaning' by Tariq Ramadan...

Ramadan wants to replace this practice with a high-minded attitude of mutual respect. Each of us, he writes, must accept that "the presence of the other within my own conception of the world is both a fact and a necessity". I am not sure what this means – assuming it means anything and is not just hot air – but if Ramadan is suggesting that in order to tolerate repugnant views one must empathise with those who hold them, he is plainly wrong.There is a conventional view that says we can despise someone's beliefs while respecting them as individuals, but there are plenty of people who deserve contempt. If we tolerate the hateful views of Holocaust deniers, the reason is not that we think such people have any kind of moral worth. It is because free speech is much too important to be compromised for their sake.
Mesmerised by this empty dream, he is scornful of talk of civilisation. "The definition of the term 'civilisation', he writes, "is very relative." But stoning women and gay people is an atrocity no matter how many cultures have sanctioned the practice. Torture is abhorrent whether it is inflicted by the Taliban or by Americans in Guantánamo. Civilisation comes in many forms, but barbarism is always the same.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Another Denialist Talking-Point Retracted; Telegraph Officially A Shit Newspaper

That bastion of journalism sub-GCSE science science reporting paper, the Telegraph has had to retract another climate-linked story;

In reports in December 2009 we said that Tata had used the carbon trading scheme to transfer steel production from Redcar to India, pocketing £1.2 billion in carbon credits at the cost of 1700 jobs. We accept this was wrong. ... We also accept Tata’s assurance that it has no relationship with the Chairman of the IPCC, Dr Rajendra Pachauri.

We apologise for these errors.

What the denialists-in-residence at the paper had been doing is trying to make the IPCC look dodgy by hugely over-playing reports of inaccuracies and trying to insinuate it's chair was corrupt. In this instance by linking him to a carbon trading scheme.

So now we have:
- Retraction of the IPCC-Tata-carbon trading scheme (it's a myth)
- Retraction of story suggesting that the chair of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri cashing in on climate change (also a myth)
- Retraction of bogus rainforest claim (IPCC was right, Telegraph was 100% wrong)
- Totally wacked-out coverage of the so-called Climategate scandal (the scandal was that there was no scandal)
- Telegraph Pulls Blog Failing to Toe the Party Line
- Telegraph commentator claims big oil interests were not funding climate change denail (they were wrong - oil interests are funding denial)

...and that's just the Telegraph!!!

Wow, what will they get right? Only the cover price and date, I suspect.

Bliar's Journey (to the Hague)

I saw a tiny bit of Tony Bliar on TV banging on about how the invasion of Iraq was the 'right' decision. Decisions, decisions - that all he talked about re Iraq. By focusing on the decision alone it allows him to ignore/forget the cack-handed, terrible, inhumane, murderous, idiotic, hubris-tic and racist manner in which 'the decision' was carried out. Oi! Bliar! Even if you'd decided to go into Iraq, your neo-con makes were hell bent on ignoring advice about how best to to it so it resulted in the minimum loss of life. They (and you) ignored any counter-view and set up a group-think empire that just followed free-market fantasies about how to invade, asset-strip and re-brand a country - and you gamely followed along.

Still guilty IHMO, decision or not;

So what happened? A Journey is a re-writing of history, events seen through the rear-view mirror from a man who hitched his wagon to the Bush neocons and learned some of their tunes.

You may not have wished to count the Iraqi dead - but they have no choice but to. I'd like to see you on 'a journey' to the Hague.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Former Climate 'sceptic' Lomborg now believes global warming is one of world’s greatest threats

Lomborg is one of those names that sceptic love to cite. Wrongly, often as he's always accepted the findings of the IPCC, just disagreed that we should spend any money to do much about it. I've had confused denialists cite Lomborg then Monkton - both denialists - but who contradict each other in their reading of the science. Plus neither of them is a statistician. Anyhow, Lomborg is the most recent of the line of high profile figures (such as Republican strategist Frank Luntz and editor of sceptic magazine Michael Shermer and oil giant Exxon - though they are still at it on the sly...) moving from denial to accepting that we need to act:

Lomborg's latest book, published by CUP next month, is likely to reignite these passions, because it appears to contradict so much of what he has said before and because he is straying into newly controversial territory. He is advocating that much more attention and money be lavished on climate engineering methods, such as whitening clouds so that they reflect back more of the sun's heat.

Heat is something he is resigned to. When he gives talks, he says, he often meets "people who come up and say: 'I thought I'd hate you.'"

But Lomborg's record on climate change is more nuanced than the stereotype suggests. From the beginning, he has said global warming is happening and is largely caused by humans. However, he has been consistently critical of what he sees as exaggeration of how much this matters, and of policies to tackle the problem. These would achieve too little and cost too much, he argues, meaning the money would be better spent on, say, reducing malaria and HIV/Aids, or extending clean water and sanitation.

Though other argue, he's just shilling another book.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Climate Denial Myth Bites the Dust

Climate Change Deniers, having long ago lost the argument of the science - have concentrated much of their energy on smearing the most prominent people associated with the IPCC: chair of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri came in for loads of flack about him cashing in on climate change - serious allegations - except that none of it was true. So yet again the bastion of anti-science reporting, The Telegraph got it wrong - 100% wrong;

In December, an article in the Sunday Telegraph had claimed that the UN climate chief was "making a fortune from his links with 'carbon trading' companies" and that payments from his work for other organisations "must run into millions of dollars". The article has since been removed from the newspaper's website.

Last weekend it issued an apology to Pachauri. "[The article] was not intended to suggest that Dr Pachauri was corrupt or abusing his position as head of the IPCC and we accept KPMG found Dr Pachauri had not made 'millions of dollars' in recent years. We apologise to Dr Pachauri for any embarrassment caused."

This is after another withdrawn article on climate science, alleging that claims over rainforest depletion in the IPCC report were wrong and unsubstantiated - when they were right and substantiated. Again 100% wrong.

Again, it's a huge fail.

PS. On the bright side the climate denailists are typically humbled and conciliatory..
He is one of the global warming liars and is scum. I will apologise when hell freezes over.


PPS. AND! don't forget that Dr Pachauri was the choice of Bush's administration, who lobbied (and put pressure on other countries to lobby) the IPCC into picking him over Bob Watson, who was considered too extreme for Bush & co!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Australian Elections Sees Climate Change Denial Spanked!

We are always hearing hyperbole from climate change sceptics denialists telling us that 'people' are 'waking up' to the 'fraud' of climate change and will reject it - soon. Any day now. That this is an issue about freedom, liberty and all that. Well in Australia they had an election and climate change was a clear issue in the election - so clear that it was the emergence of a single issue political party dedicated to giving the voters a chance to vote for freedom! Enter The Climate Sceptics Party!

Interestingly within the taxonomy of climate change denial these lot are from the 'it's all natural' school of thought; "From us, we know that the climate change issue has been exaggerated. It is not man-made, it is cyclical." However they also claim nobody knows, "The alarmist theories propounded by the IPCC and other political bodies are crippled by huge uncertainties." Which is an odd contradictory position to say that 'it is uncertain that climate change is happening, but if it was humans would not be to blame.' Sounds like somebody making a excuse up in advance, 'Nobody can say a crime has been committed but even if you find evidence to say a crime has been committed then I'd like to point out in advance that I didn't do it!'

So how did voters respond to this golden opportunity to send a clear message to the political class?

The Climate Sceptics Party attracted just over 18,000 votes across the country. If their presence was designed to embarrass the Greens, which by definition must be a climate change acceptor’s party, then they failed. The Greens received 1.26 million votes in the Upper House.

The Greens, as noted before, attracted the biggest swing of 3.9 per cent. This was followed by the Sex Party and the Shooters Party. The electorate has spoken and this might be its plan: tackle climate change, make love and, then shoot the lights out.

Election fail. Climate Sceptics were beaten by the Sex Party.

Yup, climate was an election issue - but not the dumb-ass denial way - check this - not from some far-left eco-green fascists magazine but from Business Spectator!!

They need to note that most of the votes they chased so desperately ended up with the Greens, who picked up a substantial swing of 3.9 per cent. And they need to realise why, which is because both mainstream parties failed to deliver a long term vision or address the difficult long-term policy issues.

Climate change, of course, is one of these. This should not come as a surprise to either party. Howard lost in 2007 because the electorate did not trust him to move on climate change, Rudd triggered his precipitous decline when he backed away from the ETS, and Gillard’s honeymoon came to an abrupt end when she trotted out the idiotic idea of a citizen’s assembly.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Perfect Cherry Picking Example from Climate Change

This is just gold. Cherry picking is taking on small bits of data that prove your case and ignoring other data that does not. Climate change denialists love to do this. Here's Monkton 'proving' that the ice at the Arctic is not melting...

It's a slam dunk, yes? Lets plot those data points in Monkton's pretty pictures into a graph..

And now fill in the missing bits of data Monkton decided not to show us...

Ooops. Just goes to show that there are lies, damn lies and statistics Monkton.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Climate Science in a Nutshell

There is a great post - it's about boiling down complex answers to typical denial schpeel into easy to digest introductions. For example:

Denial: “It’s the sun”
Answer: The sun’s output has barely changed since 1970 and is irrelevant to recent global warming.

Denial: “Climate’s changed before”
Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time, which now is dominated by humans.

Denial:“There is no consensus”
Answer: 97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.

Denial:“It’s cooling”
The last decade 2000-2009 was the hottest on record.

I've posted a few suggestions too...

Denial:“Other planets are warming”
Answer: The other planets in our solar system do not support life. Lets focus on planets that do.

Denial:“Climategate CRU emails suggest conspiracy”
Answer: Then the Pacific oyster must be part of the conspiracy as it’s breeding in now warmer waters that only a few years ago it could not survive in.

Denial:“Polar bear numbers are increasing”
Answer: Polar bear encounters are increasing around human settlements as widen the search for food due to ice loss, but sadly overall numbers are on the decline.

Denial:“Pluto is warming”
Answer: That idea is based on 2 measurements 14 years apart whereas Pluto’s orbit is takes 248 Earth years; it proves nothing about nothing.

Lots more here...

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

This is the way the Iraq War ends: Not with a bang but a whimper.

I've been blogging about Iraq for a loooong, loooong time. So as the last of the US troops heads home, the utter cluster-fuck that was the Iraq War, moves from the occupation phase into a fully fledged low-intensity civil war phase. From start to now this was a massive cock-up that will forever be the albatross around the necks of Bu$h and co, Bliar and his sycophants in Neo-Labour. A pox on all their houses. Juan Cole sums it up well:

T.S. Eliot wrote in “Hollow Men,” that “This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.” And so too does the US combat mission in Iraq, initiated by George W. Bush and Richard Bruce Cheney in March, 2003 to promises that US troops would be garlanded and greeted as liberators by exultant Iraqis. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz told Congress that the US troop strength would be down to about a division, some 25,000 men, by fall of 2003. Even in September of 2010, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, over 3000 dead US troops, over 30,000 seriously wounded ones and over a trillion dollars later, there are still going to be twice that number.

The US did not ‘win’ the Iraq War. It simply outlasted it. It was strong enough to remain, during the Sunni guerrilla war and the Sunni-Shiite Civil War, until the Iraqis exhausted themselves with fighting. But the massive violence provoked by the US occupation so weakened the Bush administration that it was forced to accept a withdrawal timetable dictated by the Iraqi parliament, in part at the insistence of deputies loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr and others connected to Iran.


The main thing to remember is that the US military, all the time it was in Iraq, was never really in control at a neighborhood level and that tens of thousands of US troops could not prevent the Civil War from killing so many Iraqis. So there is no reason to think that keeping a large US combat force in Iraq could eliminate political violence. In fact, since the guerrillas used to lay roadside bombs for US convoys, and often missed and killed civilians, the end of active US patrols in the cities actually contributed to a fall in violence.

Moreover, US combat troops cannot help anyone form a government and are irrelevant to Iraq’s stalled political process. ...

The Climate Models Were Right!

I've heard the deniers go on and on about how the models used in climate prediction are wrong, or can't be right or are just models and don't mean anything in the real world. Problem is, they are right:

Last January, the Met Office announced that it believed this year would, indeed, be a record scorcher. Given that Britain was then coated in thick snow, the prediction was brave.

It was accurate nevertheless. Western Europe and eastern America may then have been going through a grim, cold winter but other areas – including Asia and western America – were experiencing unexpectedly hot weather. The overall trend was a warming one. Few took notice, however, and the Little Englander's myopic view of the world – that only local events matter – continued to dominate newspaper columns and blogs. Global warming was nonsense, they insisted.

Thus the deniers got it wrong while climate scientists got it spectacularly right. Indeed, we should note just how prescient the latter have been. In 1999, the Met Office's head of climate modelling Peter Stott – working with Oxford University's Myles Allen and other meteorologists – published a paper in Nature on the likely impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Using temperature data from 1946 to 1996, the paper estimated future global temperatures and included a graph of a range of predicted outcomes for 2000 to 2040 with a dotted line indicating the most likely path. Crucially, for the year 2010, that dotted line showed there would be a rise of 0.8C since the Second World War– which is exactly what we are experiencing today.

So scientists not only predicted how hot this year was likely to be six months ago, they forecast a decade ago just how much the world would heat up 10 years later. Bear this in mind when deniers tell you climate science is a conspiracy or the work of charlatans. They are talking rubbish.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Climate Change Denier has been wrong again and again...

The climate change lobby loves to roll out S. Fred Singer to mount an argument form authority. He's a scientist and he says it all wrong, so it must be wrong. Except look at the issues he's been wrong on? All of 'em. He's a paid shill;

One of my favorite Jerry Seinfeld episodes is the one where George Costanza tells Jerry that every decision he has ever made has turned out to be wrong. Jerry suggest that George should then “do the opposite” and maybe his luck would change. When George does the opposite, he begins dating a beautiful woman and lands a job with the New York Yankees.

S. Fred Singer is a lot like George Costanza.

S. Fred Singer is one of the notorious Merchants of Doubt described by Oreskes and Conway in their new critically acclaimed book titled Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. S. Fred Singer has been on the wrong side of the scientific consensus on important issues such as:

1) Smoking and cancer
2) DDT
3) Acid rain
4) Ozone depletion
5) Manmade climate change

It is truly absurd that ANYBODY listens to this guy because his position is usually wrong. He is the George Costanza of science.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wikileaks Fallout: Fox News Comments are Nuts!

This is no big surprise - the commentators on Fox News are nuts - and nothing brings the nuts to the surface like a big news story pushing reality into their cosy neo-con world view as the fall out from the wikileaks story contines... Here's a tiny sample of the crazzzsy on offer there:

We are fighting a war here folks,s--t happens in war. If we have a group targeting our worst enemies,good for them,and i wish them much success. We already know Pakistan cannot be trusted,and that Iran assists our enemies,so what's new? Get out of the way Mr. President,and liberal anti-war activists,and let us win this war! Otherwise, Afghanistan will indeed be O'bama's Vietnam,and another of many blights on his legacy. Imagine being a worse President than Jimmy "pea-nuts" Carter.

Right - 'cos for the bulk of the war - from 2001 until 2009, the forces of the right were in control and they did sooo well winning the war. Not. Face it, the right had this war, ran it as it saw fit - and fucked it up royally. Next.

I say Obama himself is behind all this mess. Who else would have easy access to so many classified WAR documents? IMPEACH OBAMA, IMPEACH WIKILEAKS!

This has to be a joke. So Obama, who has taken over the war, leaks documents that embarras his running of the war and you want to impeach Wikileaks - a website? Woah. Logic died today.

There is no doubt in my mind that this leak and others is a deliberate attempt by left wing liberals worldwide to undermine us in the USA. We should be concentrating the Justice Department force on this, NOT the Arizona Laws. As long as this administration is run by left wing radicals you can forget having ANY secrets as there are traitors in our midst at ALL levels. It is time for the truth to be told that the USA has been infiltrated by communists for many years just waiting for the opportunity to destroy us. The fact that SERVING members of our military forces are part of this illegal exposure of what are effectively SECRETS should be a warning to all real Americans who do NOT want to be part of the New World Order as espoused by many of our politicians.

Ah, the New World Order - those sneaky people are behind everything! So the war that was started by the NWO is now being exposed by the NWO? Woah. Logic died today. Again.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Afgan War: It's a Huge Cluster-Fuck

Like we didn't know it, but now the evidence is there to back it...

[The] collective picture that emerges is a very disturbing one. We today learn of nearly 150 incidents in which coalition forces, including British troops, have killed or injured civilians, most of which have never been reported; of hundreds of border clashes between Afghan and Pakistani troops, two armies which are supposed to be allies; of the existence of a special forces unit whose tasks include killing Taliban and al-Qaida leaders; of the slaughter of civilians caught by the Taliban's improvised explosive devices; and of a catalogue of incidents where coalition troops have fired on and killed each other or fellow Afghans under arms.

Reading these logs, many may suspect there is sometimes a casual disregard for the lives of innocents. A bus that fails to slow for a foot patrol is raked with gunfire, killing four passengers and wounding 11 others. The documents tell how, in going after a foreign fighter, a special forces unit ended up with seven dead children. The infants were not their immediate priority. A report marked "Noforn" (not for foreign elements of the coalition) suggests their main concern was to conceal the mobile rocket system that had just been used.

In these documents, Iran's and Pakistan's intelligence agencies run riot. Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is linked to some of the war's most notorious commanders.

Man, where to start...

- Civilians killed left, right and centre; and the coalition does not seem to care much, "casual disregard for the lives of innocents..."
- "hundreds of border clashes between Afghan and Pakistani troops, two armies which are supposed to be allies..."
- "slaughter of civilians caught by the Taliban's improvised explosive device"

And so on... a massive cluster-fuck.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fighting for God - Fighting Evil (eeek!!!)

So what does this image show?

A religious nutter with holy book and gun.

So what does this image show?

Religious nutters with holy books and guns.

Not much difference between the two - one Muslim and one Christain, both convinced that in the battle of good vs evil they are on the side of good along with thier version of God.


And here's a scary story where soldiers in the US military opposing the Christianisation of it, get death threats - including ones aimed at their kids. Prince of peace? Hmmmm.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Climate Deniers Call for Censorship

Climate deniers like to trumpet the ideas that they are about freedom and openness and against censorship:

It seems NASA has an agenda concerning Global Warming, and if you don’t believe the Cult, you’d better keep your mouth shut.

Yet they always seem to call for censorship when people in turn criticise them - like their so-called scepticism - only runs one way. They want censorship for their critics but freedom for them just as they shout about the most mundane error in climate science and ignore the huge whoppers they and their followers commit. Here's another example of the double standards:

Please contact Father Dennis J. Dease, President of St. Thomas University,, and invite him - even at this eleventh hour - to take down Abraham's talk altogether from the University's servers, and to instigate a disciplinary inquiry into the Professor's unprofessional conduct, particularly in the matter of his lies to third parties about what I had said in my talk at Bethel University eight months ago? That would be a real help.

That's what I call freedom, debate and openness.

Hottest June on Record

More worrying temperature data as June turns out to be the hottest month on record. Now all of a sudden the climate change deniers understand the difference between 'weather' (what is happening now) and 'climate' (the long term trend). They could not get their heads round these concepts when it was cold and snowing (in part of the world) and they could all have a laugh about things and ignore that in other parts of the world it was all too hot (Australia was having a heat-wave at the time). This comment sums it up in a tongue-in-cheek manner:

So when the weather's hot, short-term fluctuations are totally irrelevant and we need to look at the picture over the very long term. When the weather's cold it disproves the reality of climate change. Basically AGW is false, and we know this because any evidence to the contrary must be wrong.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Info tour - US anti-war activists imprisoned in Iran

An event worth looking at:

At short notice a number of individuals from various Bristol networks have pulled together to host this event about the strange arrest of US anti-war and justice activists arrested on the Iraq/Iran border. Come and find out about this tricky situation...

Info tour about US anti-war activists imprisoned in Iran

On July 31, 2009, Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Josh Fattal - were arrested at the border of Iran. After nearly a year, they are still being held without charges, without a single visit from their lawyer, under allegations of espionage. The families still have no idea when they might be released.

A fourth member of the group, Shon Meckfessel narrowly avoided imprisonment himself and is kicking off a thirty city European tour in Bristol to publisise their situation and to call for their release. Shon will be speaking about the three activists, their work and their current situation at 7.30pm, Wednesday 14th July, at Kebele Social Centre, Robertson Rd, Easton, Bristol BS5 6JY.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Metro needs to get a sense of humor

Getting the lawers out to tackle a spoof - seems a bit like bullying to me...

The Metro has obtained a High Court injunction against “all persons responsible for the publication and/or distribution” of a Metro spoof paper that was distributed by campaigners at London tube stations on Friday morning. But since the spoof was produced and distributed anonymously, the injunction seems to have been served upon the wrong people, in what appears to be a guilty-by-association verdict.

The spoof paper, which has also been circulated on the web, has a similar masthead and layout to the free daily, with a zero instead of the O. The owners of Metro, Associated Newspapers Limited, claim this is an infringement of the company’s trademark copyrights, while campaigners argue the company directors “do not have a sense of humour” and have “gone too far in suppressing free speech to protect their commercial interests.”

You can see the spoof in question here:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

David Mitchell Spells it Out

Great polemic that makes a lot of sense...

We are going to need people like David to counter the denial bullshit - why because the denial crew have got a lot of things in their favour.

- Using oil and stuff has lots of nice things about it - like flying.
- The right-wing media (which is most of it) are on their side so can be relied upon to twist, distort and bullshit along with then.
- There is lots of money on the denial side - big oil and think thanks have pumped the denial side with lots of cash.
- Most people would rather it is not happening. We'd all love to be told it's not true. Thus counter information appeals to us while the facts don't.
- We tend not to like scientists much - we think of them as smart asses. (Which is not true if you meet them)

However as David says - the facts are it is true. After the denial crew and their wealthy and powerful allies have been attacking every single pillar of climate science relentlessly for decades, the science (not it's perception) is more solid than ever. It's more real than ever and getting real-er!

So we have to get real.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Climate Science Is Right

The main news from the final of the slew of inquiries into the hacking of some climate scientist's email (the CRU or Climate Research Unit) is that apart from a few minor areas, they were honest and accurate in thier work. Put simply - climate science is right. Not that you'd know that from the right-wing media who are busy focusing on the minor points - but then they have to else it makes all the rubbish they wrote prior to this look like, well... rubbish.

Within the denailosphere, the predictable doddering ediface of conspiracy grows ever more absurd. Why? Because when a conspiracy thoery encountered information that disproves it, it must grow and absorb the counter-information into the conspiracy. Hence all the climate-creationsist conspiriacy does it grow more and more absurd by the day... Here's what one denialist had to say:
I guess the main question coming out of the Muir Russell report is: when is he going to be appointed to the House of Lords and his choice of appellation? Lord Muir of Holyrood? They adopted a unique inquiry process in which they interviewed only one side – CRU. As a result, the report is heavily weighted towards CRU apologia.

See how that works? The twisted logic is; Muir Russell does not agree with denail therefore Muir Russell must be in on the scam.

But lets ask another question - how do we know that the climate science is right? The report's authors did a very clever thing to test if they were right. What they did is got hold of some publically avalible temprature data (not from the CRU) and got hold of some publically avalible computer code to analysie it (not from the CRU) and ran the analysis. If the CRU were lying/wrong then the tempature reconstructions would look different to the results the CRU got. If the CRU were right, then the resonstructions would look the same as the CRU's results. What happened? The resonstructions looked the same as the CRU's results. Slam dunk. Here's how one commentor put it:
the report has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Inquiry had enough independent brains to reproduce the software code on the original information available in a short space of time.

Which in turn proves that all climate sceptics who complain about the code not being available are not particularly bright - at least when it comes to writing and/or understanding code.

Which in turn also makes me openly wonder whether climate sceptics bleating about unavailability of the code would even have the faintest idea what to do with it if it was served to them on a silver platter.

Give it up mate. You guys are really starting to look like a flock of headless chooks now.

Amen. And here's the kicker to the conspiracy theory - there are very powerful forces who would love nothing more than climate change to turn out to be a scam - the Republican Party, the oil, coal and gas industries, the right-wing media, Russia, Saudia Arabia (home to the largest reserves of oil) etc. If somebody could come out and show it's a hoax, from from being in danger - they'd be fetted by all of the above and more as heros. So why would sombody risk thier reputation to back a handful of climate scientists? Again, this comment sums it up...
After each inquiry we all have heard the same calls long and loud from the denialosphere: "Whitewash, whitewash ..." but it can be shown to hold no water with a simple explanation. I have a coin (20c)and i'll flip it. If it comes up heads then you can have the coin. If it comes up tails then you give me $100. Will you take that bet? No? Why? Because it is a dumb bet. Only an idiot would risk $100 to win 20c. This is the case with these inquiries. If it were truly a whitewash then I do not know anyone who would risk their reputation and the reputation of an institution to which they belong to rescue the reputation of another. If there was even a hint of impropriety, Mann, Jones and the CRU would have been hung out to dry and the members of these panels would have distanced themselves quicker than you can pass wind. When the currency of these researchers and institutions is reputation, if dodgy deeds were done no-one would risk their reputation to ressurect another's. Why? Because it is a dumb bet.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

(Even) More Evidence for Climate Change

This is a great piece of evidence to add to the mountain - great because it's a simple one that even people with no formal science can understand: There is a new and emerging field of research called 'ice patch archaeology' which is basically about finding out about the past from cool and interesting things that are dropping out of glaciers as they melt. It's new because before the glaciers were not melting before and melting glaciers are proof of global warming:

To the untrained eye, University of Colorado at Boulder Research Associate Craig Lee's recent discovery of a 10,000-year-old wooden hunting weapon might look like a small branch that blew off a tree in a windstorm. Nothing could be further from the truth, according to Lee, a research associate with CU-Boulder's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research who found the atlatl dart, a spear-like hunting weapon, melting out of an ice patch high in the Rocky Mountains close to Yellowstone National Park.

Lee, a specialist in the emerging field of ice patch archaeology, said the dart had been frozen in the ice patch for 10 millennia and that climate change has increased global temperatures and accelerated melting of permanent ice fields exposing organic materials that have long been entombed in the ice.

"We didn't realize until the early 2000s that there was a potential to find archaeological materials in association with melting permanent snow and ice in many areas of the globe," Lee said. "We're not talking about massive glaciers, we're talking about the smaller, more kinetically stable snowbanks that you might see if you go to Rocky Mountain National Park."


Saturday, June 26, 2010

More Climate Creationism

Even more linkages between the voodoo cult of anti-evolution and the bat-shit crazy of climate change denial. Here's the new Texas Republican Party Platform on science teaching:
Realizing that conflict and debate is a proven learning tool in classrooms, we support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories, including evolution, Intelligent Design, global warming, political philosophies, and others. We believe theories of life origins and environmental theories should be taught as challengeable scientific theory subject to change as new data is produced, not scientific law. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.

Yeah - teach the debate: teach the science debate as to if the earth was formed by cooling gases and space debris or in fact created by the giant Mbombo. No science teacher should be in trouble for teaching the Mbombo theory as fact.

Fucking idiots; yes, teach this stuff in cultural studies, literature, history and/or religion classes but science? Mbombo says no.

In Science a Scientific Law comes from repeated observations that the same thing happens over and over and over. That's why it's a law and not a trend or tendency. If there was new data showing that what we thought happened under a law, did not happen over and over and over - then it ceases to be a law and becomes a a trend or tendency. I think the Texas Republican Party are confusing legal laws with the Scientific laws. Somebody who can't understand the difference between legal laws and Scientific laws should not be writing science policy.

I think the Texas Republican Party are confusing logic with dogma.

But then this is the Texas Republicans - and you don't mess with the Texas Republicans - even if they are bat-shit crazy ('cos they're armed).

They are also a nasty bunch of homophobic pricks too. Climate change deniers; with friends like there...

Friday, June 25, 2010

666 Science and the Method Machine Death Cult

Catchy title for a post about climate change. But I promise there will be a little Satanism later on... So there has been some important new research about the consensus on climate change:
Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that 1) 97-98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and 2) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.

Translated this means the more science a scientist does in the area of climate change (as indicated by publishing papers on the subject) the more they think that climate change is real, humans are causing it and we need to act. Simples. It also shows the less science a scientist does in the area of climate the less likely they are to think that climate change is real, humans are cuasing it and we need to act now. Not only that the different is stark - the dividing line between the two groups is 97-98% of active climate scientists think climate change is real,humans are causing and we need to do somthing and only 2-3% don't accept this view. It's not a 100% consenus, but it's within 2/3% of being one, and that is very, very strong for science. This study also confirms pervious studies looks at the same issues.

Now to the Satanism bit. (And this made me laugh out loud when I saw it) There is an Australian blogger called Jo Nova and she's not a climate scientist, nor does she do any research on science. But she thinks she knows best. She decided to comment on the above research using the same insightful and analystic techniques used by celebrity blogger Perz Hilton... To dismantle the evil warmist research, Jo re-created the cover of the science journal to stick it to the man!! Yeah!!! Here is the before:

And here is the Satan-inspired after:

Amazing - Super-dooper-Nova! Can you see what she's done there? Clever shit! It's now issue '666'. Rofl! 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Science' becomes (wait for it...) 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sorcery' Fucking genius. Here's my fav bit... 'Evidence? Who needs it! We vote for Laws of Nature'...

Hang on? 'Evidence? Who needs it! We vote for Laws of Nature' Wtf?? That makes no this a view into her neo-con mindset? Crazy is as crazy does. The who thing is beyond parody. 'Tis said that any sufficiently advanced technology would be considered magic by more less technologically-advanced people. Here we see Jo demonstrating that any sufficiently advanced scientific method (all of it) would be considered sorcery by less logically-advanced bloggers.

Love the cover Jo - your photoshop skills are clearly considerably more developed that your logic and science ones.

Jo Nova is bat-shit nuts. (Yes I am name-calling - it's as sophisticated as Jo's cover re-desgin.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Climate Change Deniers Freeze Up

Back in March this year, the climate change deniers were crowing that there was slightly more sea-ice than in February...
But March brought good news for the Polar Bears, and bad news for the Catlin Expedition and any others looking for bad news. Instead of ice extent declining through March like it usually does, it continued to increase through the month and is now at the high (so far) for the year. If it keeps this trend unabated, in a day or two it will likely cross the “normal” line.

But then it went and dropped off a cliff and is now well below the average and the touted 'return to average' never happened. Instead we're tracking record lows. Reality's a bummer.

Here's how the denailist wanted things to look (on a pretty graph):

But here's how it ended up looking :(

(hattip to wottsupwiththat)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wikileaks Under Attack

Please the first casualty of war is not truth - that's always a casualty - but open information... WikiLeaks reporting the sad killing of civilians via US botched airstrikes - and rather than trying to find out what happened - the US is trying to shoot the messenger - Wikileaks:
One of our alleged sources, a young US intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, has been detained and shipped to a US military prison in Kuwait, where he is being held without trail. Mr. Manning is alleged to have acted according to his conscious and leaked to us the Collateral Murder video and the video of a massacre that took place in Afghanistan last year at Garani.

The Garani massacre, which we are still working on, killed over 100 people, mostly children.

Mr. Manning allegedly also sent us 260,000 classified US Department cables, reporting on the actions of US Embassy's engaging in abusive actions all over the world. We have denied the allegation, but the US government is acting as if the allegation is true and we do have a lot of other material that exposes human rights abuses by the United States government.

Mr. Manning was allegedly exposed after talking to an unrelated "journalist" who then worked with the US government to detain him.

Some background on the Manning case:

[ note that there are some questions about the Wired reportage, see: ]

WikiLeaks a small organization going through enormous growth and operating in an adverserial, high-security environment which can make communication time consuming and the acquisition of new staff and volunteers, also difficult since they require high levels of trust.

To try and deal with our growth and the current difficult situation, we want to get you to work together with our other supporters to set up a "Friends of WikiLeaks" group in your area. We have multiple supporters in most countries and would like to see them be a strong and independent force.

Please write to if you are interested in helping with Friends of WikiLeaks in your area. You will receive further instructions.

We also have significant unexpected legal costs (for example flying a legal team to Kuwait, video production. Collateral Murder production costs were $50,000 all up).

Any financial contributions will be of IMMEDIATE assistance.

Donate if you can!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Telegraph Shamed By Bogus Rainforest Claim

In Torygraph world, up is down and down is up. Here's a extract from a 'news' story:
IPCC Shamed By Bogus Rainforest Claim by Jonathan Leake, The Sunday Times
A startling report by the United Nations climate watchdog that global warming might wipe out 40% of the Amazon rainforest was based on an unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had little scientific expertise.

Here's the truth from a retraction by the Torygraph:
The article "UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim" (News, Jan 31) stated that the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report had included an "unsubstantiated claim" that up to 40% of the Amazon rainforest could be sensitive to future changes in rainfall. The IPCC had referenced the claim to a report prepared for WWF by Andrew Rowell and Peter Moore, whom the article described as "green campaigners" with "little scientific expertise." The article also stated that the authors' research had been based on a scientific paper that dealt with the impact of human activity rather than climate change.

In fact, the IPCC's Amazon statement is supported by peer-reviewed scientific evidence. In the case of the WWF report, the figure had, in error, not been referenced, but was based on research by the respected Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) which did relate to the impact of climate change. We also understand and accept that Mr Rowell is an experienced environmental journalist and that Dr Moore is an expert in forest management, and apologise for any suggestion to the contrary.

Wow - how could you get is so wrong - almost the total opposite of what was said - but then this is Jonathan Leake writing, for whom up is down and down is up. So let's help correct that article:
IPCC Telegraph Shamed By Bogus Rainforest Claim by Jonathan Leake, The Sunday Times
A startling An accurate report by the United Nations climate watchdog that global warming might wipe out 40% of the Amazon rainforest was based on an unsubstantiated a peer-reviewed substantiated claim by green campaigners an expert in forest management who had little scientific lots of expertise.

That's better. As for Jonathan Leake - Epic fail: