Saturday, January 30, 2010

It is like watching the Berlin Wall being torn down, concrete slab by concrete slab


That's the IPCC and climate change alarmism that is.


It is like watching the Berlin Wall being torn down, concrete slab by concrete slab, brick by brick, with cracks appearing and widening daily on every face - political, economic, and scientific. Likewise, the bloggers have been swift to cover the crumbling edifice with colourful graffiti, sometimes bitter, at others caustic and witty…

And, as ever, capitalism has read the runes, with carbon-trading posts quietly being shed, ‘Green’ jobs sidelined, and even big insurance companies starting to hedge their own bets against the future of the Global Warming Grand Narrative. These rats are leaving the sinking ship far faster than any politician, many of whom are going to be abandoned, left, still clinging to the masts, as the Good Ship ‘Global Warming’ founders on titanic icebergs in the raging oceans of doubt and delusion.


The tipping point has been reached and the dam wall has broken. (Yes, yes, I know that's probably a mixed metaphor, but I don't care. Alright?)

For years now sceptics have pointed out what should have been a central features of the debate, that is, the influence of water vapour on global temperatures, and the fact that the influence of CO2 had been exaggerated.

As you can see from following the two links above, further confirmation of these points has come recently.

And dear oh dear, Kevin Rudd must feeling like a total dick right about now!
PM KEVIN RUDD: Well, I just look at what the scientists say. There’s a group of scientists called the International Panel on Climate Change - 4000 of them. Guys in white coats who run around and don’t have a sense of humour. They just measure things…

I stand by what the International Panel of Climate Change scientists have had to say.


He might, but you will find it hard to find anybody else who does now.

The IPCC has taken one hit after another and really, you'd have to say that its credibility has been destroyed.

Following on from Climategate we've had Glaciergate and Amazongate follow in quick succession.

Amazongate has basically been laughable in exposing the fact that the IPCC, contrary to its claims, has not just used the best research published only in the peer-reviewed journals.

Now we know that unscientific reports produced by Greenpeace and the WWF were incorporated into the last assessment report. The Amazon one was by somebody describing himself as a 'policy analyst,' with the other author a freelance journalist!

But wait, there's more! Now one of the 'scientific' sources quoted by the IPCC was an article in Climber magazine.

Glaciergate started out as equally ridiculous, with fun being had by all as the IPCC had to admit that its claim that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035 was based on nothing more than an offhandedly speculative comment by an obscure glaciologist quoted in New Scientist in the 1990s and then picked up by, yes, you guessed it, the WWF.

From there it found its way into the Fourth Assessment Report.

Then however, it got worse and worse.

Turns out that obscure glaciologist then got employed by IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri's TERI company and that TERI has picked up many hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants based upon the false claim.

Then, we find out that the IPCC knew the claim was false to begin with, but used it because it suited the political message it wanted to send.

Finally, Pachauri has been caught out as a liar when he said that the first he'd heard about it all was only just recently when the story broke in the media. The truth is he knew about it several months prior to the Copenhagen summit, but kept quiet about it.

From the same source we see that patience has worn out in India.


According to The Guardian, V K Raina, formerly deputy director general of the Geological Survey of India, has joined calls for Pachauri's resignation.


The Guardian cites India's Economic Times from over a week ago, which criticised the IPCC for damaging its own credibility, noting that "it would now seem that Mr Pachauri's steadfast unwillingness to consider an alternate position could well have given climate sceptics a stronger footing.


"But today, the Deccan Herald also weighs in, declaring: "The [glacier] incident reflects poorly on the professionalism and scientific rigour of the IPCC and has done damage to its credibility." The writing is not so much on the wall as obliterating it.


Adding to the graffiti, in yet another development, the popular Indian magazine Open rips apart global warming, labelling it: "The Hottest Hoax in the World." Indian blogger Gurmeet in Liberty News Central thinks this could be the most hard-hitting article in the Indian MSM on AGW fraud ever.



Anyway, it's just getting too much to keep up with things now. There seems to be at least one new revelation every day.

More here and here and here and here.

As a special treat though, you can read about Dr Pachauri's smutty novel, chock full of badly written sex scenes, here.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Pakistan fans burn with shame


Pakistan fans burn cricket effigies after humiliating loss to Australia at Perth's WACA on Friday.
Pakistan fans burn cricket effigies after humiliating loss to Australia at Perth's WACA on Friday. Photo: AFP

Pakistan's humbling one-day defeat in Perth on Friday night seems to have been the last straw for the fans back home, who took to the streets in their hundreds to burn bats, stumps and an effigy of PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt in protest.

Mohammad Yousuf's team play their last game of a disastrous tour at the WACA Ground today, trailing the series 4-0 and facing the prospect of a one-day whitewash to follow the 3-0 defeat in the Test series.

After witnessing the 135-run massacre in WA, furious fans and around 250 young cricketers from various academies in Karachi chanted slogans against the team and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) during the hour-long protest under the banner of the “Save Pakistan cricket campaign.”

The protesters chanted "Go, Butt, Go!", "President Zardari, save Pakistan cricket", and "Goodbye Pakistan cricket" as they burnt dozens of cricket bats, stumps and an effigy of PCB chairman Ijaz Butt.

Amir Akram, chairman of the recently-formed campaign, said President Asif Ali Zardari must remove Butt, blaming him for destroying the game.

"Cricket is our love and the recent defeats have disheartened millions of fans across the country, so we demand President Asif Zardari to remove Butt, who is too old to run the board," Akram said of the 71-year-old PCB chairman.

Zardari is the patron of the PCB and appointed Butt in October 2008.

Butt has also come under pressure from the National Assembly’s standing committee on sports, which has been demanding his removal since last year.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Dr Rajendra Pachauri's astonishing worldwide portfolio of business interests


No one in the world exercised more influence on the events leading up to the Copenhagen conference on global warming than Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and mastermind of its latest report in 2007.

Although Dr Pachauri is often presented as a scientist (he was even once described by the BBC as “the world’s top climate scientist”), as a former railway engineer with a PhD in economics he has no qualifications in climate science at all.

What has also almost entirely escaped attention, however, is how Dr Pachauri has established an astonishing worldwide portfolio of business interests with bodies which have been investing billions of dollars in organisations dependent on the IPCC’s policy recommendations.

These outfits include banks, oil and energy companies and investment funds heavily involved in ‘carbon trading’ and ‘sustainable technologies’, which together make up the fastest-growing commodity market in the world, estimated soon to be worth trillions of dollars a year.

Full article here

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Indian media goes quiet on the murder of Ranjodh Singh


For the simple reason that this terrible crime cannot be shoehorned into a simplistic narrative of Anglo-racism against people from India.

Police are fairly sure that when Singh was set on fire by three people of Indian origin, he was still alive.
Three Indian nationals faced court yesterday charged over Singh's murder after police arrested the third suspect, a 25-year-old man, in Wagga Wagga.

Gurpreet Singh, 23, and his wife, Harpreet Kaur Bullar, 20, faced Sutherland Local Court, and Harpreet Singh appeared in Wagga Wagga Local Court. Neither Gurpreet Singh nor Ms Bullar applied for bail. They were arrested by NSW homicide squad detectives on Thursday.

The killing has drawn little attention in India.

I don't think this means that there hasn't been a problem faced by Indian students in Australia. Especially now that the Victoria Police has admitted that it felt there was a problem as far back as two years ago.

But the hysterical treatment of the issue by the less reputable sections of the Indian media has not helped.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

New Species of Tyrannosaur Discovered in Southwestern U.S.


The skull of a new tyrannosaur.
A Bistahieversor sealeyi dinosaur skull found in the Bisti/De-na-zin Wilderness of New Mexico

Great, a name so hard to make sense of they had to provide a pronunciation guide.

Bistahieversor sealeyi - pronounced: bistah-he-ee-versor see-lee-eye.

From Discovery:
A newly found 29-foot-long tyrannosaur flashed more teeth than the well-known Tyrannosaurus rex, with which it shared a common ancestor, according to a paper in the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Remains of the badlands dinosaur, Bistahieversor sealeyi, were collected in the first paleontological excavation from a federal wilderness area, the Bisti/De-na-zin Wilderness of New Mexico. The dino's remains were removed VIP-style, airlifted by a helicopter operated by the Air Wing of the New Mexico Army National Guard.

"Bistahieversor sealeyi is the first valid new genus and species of tyrannosaur to be named from western North America in over 30 years," said co-author Thomas Williamson, curator of paleontology at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History.

It lived 74-75 million years ago, close to 10 million years before T. rex emerged. The earliest known tyrannosaurs date to about 167 million years ago and came from the American West, according to Carr. It is now therefore believed that the rough and tumble Tyrannosauridae family was born in the U.S.A.

Several features distinguish the new dinosaur, according to Williamson's partner on the project, Thomas Carr, who is director of the Carthage Institute of Paleontology and an assistant professor of biology at Carthage College.

It had around 64 teeth, while adult T. rex, had just 54.

More reports here and here

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Friday, January 29, 2010

Two radio interviews with Lord Monckton. Professor Andy Pitman chickened out of one.

Have a listen to Lord Monckton and make up your own minds. It has been clear what tactic the alarmists have decided to use against him, ie try to avoid his substantive arguments and instead paint him as some kind of wild-eyed crazy. (Perhaps made easier by the fact that a thyroid condition does give him very prominent eyes.)

Two good radio interviews with Monckton. Here the ABC’s Karyn Wood notes that no warmist (including Professor Andy Pitman) would come on the show to debate Monckton, who then repudiates Pitman’s ludicrous claim about wicked corporations funding sceptics such as himself. They then discuss other scare claims.

And here is 4BC’s Michael Smith and his listeners exploring the issues with Monckton.

Tim Blair comments:

Several readers credit Readfearn for having the courage to actually appear. By contrast, the latest to dodge Monckton is Professor Andy Pitman, who apparently declined a radio invitation. It’s a curious thing; Al Gore travels the world to speak at events closed to media and routinely declines debate challenges, while Monckton travels the world looking for debates but finds people running away. This may say something about the relative confidence they have in their arguments.

It’s interesting, too, that leftists applaud the widespread reluctance to debate Monckton, but then tune in anyway to see comrade Readfearn get belted. Where’s the solidarity, brothers?

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

The Courier Mail - Lord Monckton & Ian Plimer won the Brisbane debate "in straight sets"


This shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody who has been paying attention these last few years.

It's the real reason why alarmists tend to run for cover when challenged to open debate. As the Intelligence Squared debate in New York a couple of years ago and the more recent one at the University of St Andrew's have shown, once people are exposed to the counter arguments they begin to question how strong the case for anthropogenic climate change is, or at least begin to question whether it is as pressing an issue as it has been made out to be.

From the Bolter:

Bruce McMahon of the Courier Mail shows no mercy to green colleague Graham Readfearn, who foolishly agreed to join a debate in Brisbane with climate sceptics:

Aided by Adelaide’s Professor Ian Plimer, Lord Monckton cruised to victory before a partisan crowd of suits and ties, movers and shakers.

Hundreds of them were there for the sell-out, $130-a-head Brisbane Institute lunch – and scepticism was applauded.

Climate change scientist Professor Barry Brook and teammate Graham Readfearn, The Courier-Mail’s environment blogger, were stoic in argument (even if Mr Readfearn may have foot-faulted once or twice and had to be pulled into line by moderator Ray Weeks).
Readfearn has not commented on his ordeal, merely posting this audio extract and this.

Our alarmist friend Professor Barry Brook also took part in the debate, but he seems to have lost some of his old certainty.

In 2007 Brook claimed that while, yes, nature had been holding climate change at bay, ”all hell is about to break loose” from 2009, and he last month claimed ”2010 (is) looking likely to be the hottest ever”.

But in debate with Monckton and Plimer he conceded “we don’t know how much it (global temperature) is going to change in the future” (first audio clip), and urged instead that we cut our gases just in case.

Monckton’s retort to this citing of the “precautionary principle” is magisterial - that it is nonsense to consider only the risk of not Doing Something, without also considering the risks that Doing that Something involves.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Osama bin Laden gets his Gaia on


From Tim Blair:

AL QAEDA’S AL GORE
 
Community leader Osama bin Laden gets his Gaia on:
Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, has condemned the US and other industrial economies, holding them responsible for the phenomenon of climate change.

In an audio tape obtained by Al Jazeera, bin Laden criticised George Bush, the former US president, for rejecting the Kyoto pact and condemned global corporations.

“This is a message to the whole world about those responsible for climate change and its repercussions - whether intentionally or unintentionally - and about the action we must take,” bin Laden said.

“Speaking about climate change is not a matter of intellectual luxury - the phenomenon is an actual fact.”
Argument by assertion, speaking to “the world”, blaming the west, a demand for unspecified “action” … this guy has read every page of his greenoid tactics manual, including the chapter on drastic solutions:
He blamed Western industrialized nations for hunger, desertification and floods across the globe, and called for “drastic solutions” to global warming, and “not solutions that partially reduce the effect of climate change” …

The speech, which included almost no religious rhetoric, could be an attempt by the terror leader to give his message an appeal beyond Islamic militants.

Among your deeper Greens, recycling bin Laden already holds a certain appeal. Now he’s just aiming for a formal Blair’s Law alignment.

UPDATE. James Delingpole:
Some commentators are suggesting that this is a just cynical, Steve-Hilton-style attempt to “decontaminate the brand” after over a decade’s poor press for Al Qaeda. By repositioning himself as Mother Gaia’s Caring Sharing Friend Bin Laden may yet win the hearts of a broad new constituency ranging from Al Gore and NASA’s Dr James Hansen to soap-dodging crusty climate activists and carbon-trading oligarchs all the way to fragrant Yummy Mummies from Notting Hill who are BFs with Samantha and Dave Cameron, only eat organic, and do most of their shopping at I Saw You Coming.

Others argue that this is a naked bid for the IPCC chairman’s position shortly to be vacated by his near-doppelganger Dr Rajendra Pachauri.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Haplocheirus, the alvarezsauroid that looked normal


This illustration of Haplocheirus shows the short forelimbs and claws put the dinosaur in the alvarezsaur family.
This illustration of Haplocheirus shows the short forelimbs and claws put the dinosaur in the alvarezsaur family

Abstract:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/327/5965/571

Jonah N. Choiniere, X. Xu, J.M. Clark, C.A. Forster, Y. Guo, F. Han. 2010. A
Basal Alvarezsauroid Theropod from the Early Late Jurassic of Xinjiang,
China. Science 327:571-574 DOI: 10.1126/science.1182143

The fossil record of Jurassic theropod dinosaurs closely related to birds remains poor. A new theropod from the earliest Late Jurassic of western China represents the earliest diverging member of the enigmatic theropod group Alvarezsauroidea and confirms that this group is a basal member of Maniraptora, the clade containing birds and their closest theropod relatives. It extends the fossil record of Alvarezsauroidea by 63 million years and provides evidence for maniraptorans earlier in the fossil record than Archaeopteryx. The new taxon confirms extreme morphological convergence between birds and derived alvarezsauroids and illuminates incipient stages of the highly modified alvarezsaurid forelimb.

The Theropod Database blog takes issue with the claim that it represents a basal member of the Maniraptora.

A newly discovered dinosaur species is helping paleontologists figure out how bird-like characteristics evolved in dinosaurs that aren't directly related to birds.

The dinosaur, Haplocheirus sollers, was three-metres long with short, powerful arms and three claws on each hand. It is an early member of the alvarezsaur family, a strange group of dinosaurs characterized by stubby forelimbs and hands reduced to a single claw.

Haplocheirus is 63 million years older than any other members of its family, helping to clear up the evolution of the meat-eating dinosaurs, the theropods, which includes velociraptors and T. rex.

"Haplocheirus is a transitional fossil, because it shows an early evolutionary step in how the bizarre hands of later alvarezsaurs evolved from earlier predatory dinosaurs," said Jonah Choiniere of George Washington University, in a statement.

The alvarezsaurid Mononykus olecranus:


Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Fall of dishonest doctor who started MMR/autism scare


Note that the crap was published in "Lancet" -- another reason not to trust that once-fine journal

The doctor who sparked a worldwide panic over the MMR vaccine could be struck off after being found guilty yesterday of a series of misconduct charges related to his “unethical” research. Andrew Wakefield, who in 1998 claimed an unfounded link between the vaccination and autism, “showed a callous disregard” for the suffering of children, subjecting them to unnecessary, invasive tests, a hearing found.

The General Medical Council (GMC) ruled that he abused his position of trust as he researched a possible link between the MMR vaccine, bowel disease and autism in children. It found that Wakefield and two colleagues acted dishonestly and irresponsibly in carrying out research on children against their best interests and without official permission.

Full article here

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

An educational rap on economics - "Fear the Boom and Bust," a Hayek vs Keynes Rap Anthem


#

I am of course a Hayekian.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New paper in Nature on CO2 amplification: "it's less than we thought"

from ScienceDaily (Jan. 28, 2010) — A new estimate of the feedback between temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration has been derived from a comprehensive comparison of temperature and CO2 records spanning the past millennium.

The result, which is based on more than 200,000 individual comparisons, implies that the amplification of current global warming by carbon-cycle feedback will be significantly less than recent work has suggested.

Climate warming causes many changes in the global carbon cycle, with the net effect generally considered to be an increase in atmospheric CO2 with increasing temperature — in other words, a positive feedback between temperature and CO2. Uncertainty in the magnitude of this feedback has led to a wide range in projections of current global warming: about 40% of the uncertainty in these projections comes from this source.

Recent attempts to quantify the feedback by examining the co-variation of pre-industrial climate and CO2 records yielded estimates of about 40 parts per million by volume (p.p.m.v.) CO2 per degree Celsius, which would imply significant amplification of current warming trends.

In this week’s Nature, David Frank and colleagues extend this empirical approach by comparing nine global-scale temperature reconstructions with CO2 data from three Antarctic ice cores over the period ad 1050-1800. The authors derive a likely range for the feedback strength of 1.7-21.4 p.p.m.v. CO2 per degree Celsius, with a median value of 7.7.

The researchers conclude that the recent estimates of 40 p.p.m.v. CO2 per degree Celsius can be excluded with 95% confidence, suggesting significantly less amplification of current warming.

Journal Reference:

  1. David C. Frank, Jan Esper, Christoph C. Raible, Ulf Büntgen, Valerie Trouet, Benjamin Stocker, & Fortunat Joos. Ensemble reconstruction constraints on the global carbon cycle sensitivity to climateNature, 2010; 463 (7280): 527 DOI: 10.1038/nature08769

Full story here at Science Daily

From http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/28/new-paper-in-nature-on-co2-amplification-its-less-than-we-thought/

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Why 'Avatar' is actually the 26th biggest movie


Via http://twitter.com/suzydoosy/status/8322605675

Here's the Top 20 movies of all time ... by number of tickets sold:

1 "Gone With the Wind" (1939) 202,044,600
2 "Star Wars" (1977) 178,119,600
3 "The Sound of Music" (1965) 142,415,400
4 "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) 141,854,300
5 "The Ten Commandments" (1956) 131,000,000
6 "Titanic" (1997) 128,345,900
7 "Jaws" (1975) 128,078,800
8 "Doctor Zhivago" (1965) 124,135,500
9 "The Exorcist" (1973) 110,568,700
10 "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) 109,000,000
11 "101 Dalmatians" (1961) 99,917,300
12 "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) 98,180,600
13 "Ben-Hur" (1959) 98,000,000
14 "Return of the Jedi" (1983) 94,059,400
15 "The Sting" (1973) 89,142,900
16 "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) 88,141,900
17 "Jurassic Park" (1993) 86,205,800
18 "The Graduate" (1967) 85,571,400
19 "Star Wars: Episode I" (1999) 84,825,800
20 "Fantasia" (1941) 83,043,500

"Avatar," despite topping the worldwide gross list, by and by, is only No. 26 on the ticket sales list with 76,421,000 sold ... at least, so far...

The Hollywood Reporter

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Dinosaur Extinction Grounded Ancient Birds, New Research Finds


Emus. New research suggests that ancestors of the African ostrich, Australasian emu plus cassowary, South American rheas and New Zealand moa became flightless independently, in close association with the extinction of the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.

ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2010) An abundance of food and lack of predators following the extinction of dinosaurs saw previously flighted birds fatten up and become flightless, according to new research from The Australian National University.

The study, led by Dr Matthew Phillips, an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow at the ANU Research School of Biology, looked at the mitochondrial genome sequences of the now-extinct giant moa birds of New Zealand. To their surprise, the researchers found that rather than having a flightless relative, their closest relatives are the small flying tinamous of South America.

Full article here

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

More reasons to distrust the surface temperature record

Two months after “climategate” cast doubt on some of the science behind global warming, new questions are being raised about the reliability of a key temperature database, used by the United Nations and climate change scientists as proof of recent planetary warming.

Two American researchers allege that U.S. government scientists have skewed global temperature trends by ignoring readings from thousands of local weather stations around the world, particularly those in colder altitudes and more northerly latitudes, such as Canada.

In the 1970s, nearly 600 Canadian weather stations fed surface temperature readings into a global database assembled by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Today, NOAA only collects data from 35 stations across Canada. Worse, only one station—at Eureka on Ellesmere Island—is now used by NOAA as a temperature gauge for all Canadian territory above the Arctic Circle.

The Canadian government, meanwhile, operates 1,400 surface weather stations across the country, and more than 100 above the Arctic Circle, according to Environment Canada.Yet as American researchers Joseph D’Aleo, a meteorologist, and E. Michael Smith, a computer programmer, point out in a study published on the website of the Science and Public Policy Institute, NOAA uses “just one thermometer [for measuring] everything north of latitude 65 degrees.” ...

More here

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Did the "Marsupial Lion" Climb Trees?


Restoration of the skull of Thylacoleo. From The Ancient Life History of the Earth.

Thylacoleo was one strange mammal. A close relative of living koalas, kangaroos, and wombats, the largest species of Thylacoleo were lion-sized carnivores that stalked the Australian continent between 2 million and 45 thousand years ago. Despite its popular nickname "marsupial lion", however, Thylacoleo was quite different from any feline predator. Even though its long forelimbs were tipped with retractable claws its skull more closely resembled that of a koala, with curved incisors set in front of a pair of cleaver-like shearing teeth. This resemblance caused some naturalists to believe that Thylacoleo was just another herbivore, but more recent studies have confirmed that it most certainly was a carnivore.

But what kind of predator was Thylacoleo? Some have proposed that it hunted down prey and then dragged it into the trees, as a leopard does, while others have argued that it was more lion-like in habit. The entire argument hinges upon whether Thylacoleo could climb trees or not, which in turn rests on our understanding of the predator's anatomy. The details of the skeleton of Thylacoleo, particularly its hands and feet, can provide paleontologists with clues as to what it was capable of. Unfortunately scientists have had to cope with an incomplete understanding of the hind feet of Thylacoleo for years, but a recent discovery from an Australian cave has brought new information to the discussion. As reported by paleontologists Roderick Wells, Peter Murray, and Steven Bourne in the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology a complete hind foot of Thylacoleo has finally been found.

Full post at Laelaps

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Tet Zoo guide to the creatures of Avatar


From Tetrapod Zoology:

Tone and I recently went to see Avatar. I've been reading up on the movie for months and was really looking forward to seeing it. I mostly liked it, though did think it was a bit clichéd and predictable. But I'm not here to talk about storylines and plot devices... you want to know about the creatures. A lot of thought and time obviously went into the design of Pandora's ecosystem and creatures. In part, I'd say that this was a success: a lot of people (even many not that interested in the natural world) have been very much taken in by the movie's xenobiology - if only this inspired them to become interested in, and passionate about, the biology and ecology of the real world. Without further ado, here are my assorted musings on Pandora's creatures. Would be interested in your take on them too!

WARNING: major spoilers ahead. Turn back now if you haven't seen the movie. This is your last warning.

Hammerhead_titanothere_Jan-2010.jpg

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Latest attackers of Indian students in Melbourne Asian

I thought so! Was watching the footage of the accused on the SBS news tonight. Faces obscured and several wearing hoodies, but the first one on screen was definitely either Chinese or South-East Asian.

Equal opportunity racism

Eight men have been arrested following an overnight "race attack" on two Indian students in Melbourne. Though neither victim was seriously injured in the attack, one of the men requires surgery to repair a damaged ear.
The assailants are not your typical "rednecks":
The offenders were described as being of Asian appearance.
It's good to see that whites don't have a monopoly on hateful stupidity.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Chinese Official: Next IPCC Report Should Incorporate Sceptical Views

Amid controversy surrounding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on melting glaciers, Xie Zhenhua, Vice-Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, today urged the UN panel to make the fifth assessment report comprehensive by also citing contrarian views.

He said there is a view that climate change is caused by the cyclical element of nature itself. “Climate change concerns survival and development of people. We need to adopt an open attitude to scientific research and incorporate all views,” said Xie, while addressing a conference of BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) countries here today.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Monday, January 25, 2010

The influence of the WWF on the IPCC must be investigated

The scandal deepens – IPCC AR4 riddled with non peer reviewed WWF papers

24 01 2010
All the years I’ve been in TV news, I’ve observed that every story has a tipping point. In news, we know when it has reached that point when we say it “has legs” and the story takes on a life of its own. The story may have been ignored or glossed over for weeks, months, or years until some new piece of information is posted and starts to galvanize people. The IPCC glacier melt scandal was the one that galvanized the collective voice that has been saying that the IPCC report was seriously flawed and represented a political rather than scientific view. Now people are seriously looking at AR4 with a critical eye  and finding things everywhere.

Remember our friends at World Wildlife Fund? Those schlockmeisters that produced the video of planes flying into New York with explicit comparisons to 9/11?

911tsunami-large

The caption in the upper right reads: “The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11. The planet is brutally powerful. Respect it. Preserve it.”

Well it turns out that the WWF is cited all over the IPCC AR4 report, and as you know, WWF does not produce peer reviewed science, they produce opinion papers in line with their vision. Yet IPCC’s rules are such that they are supposed to rely on peer reviewed science only. It appears they’ve violated that rule dozens of times, all under Pachauri’s watch.

A new posting authored by Donna Laframboise, the creator of NOconsensus.org (Toronto, Canada) shows what one can find in just one day of looking.

Here’s an extensive list of documents created or co-authored by the WWF and cited by this Nobel-winning IPCC AR4 report:

You can read the list here, but right at the end two IPCC sources are mentioned, one by "Leisure" and the other by "Event Management."

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Obama shuts up the singing terrorist

Feel safer in the air, now that Barack Obama is leading the war on Islamist terrorists?
President Barack Obama is under fire over claims that the Christmas Day underwear bomber was “singing like a canary” until he was treated as an ordinary criminal and advised of his right to silence.

The chance to secure crucial information about al-Qaeda operations in Yemen was lost because the Obama administration decided to charge and prosecute Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as an ordinary criminal, critics say…

The lawyer for the 23-year-old Nigerian entered a formal not guilty plea on Friday to charges that he tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on December 25 – even though he reportedly admitted earlier that he was trained and supplied with the explosives sewn into his underwear by al-Qaeda in the Arab state.

“He was singing like a canary, then we charged him in civilian proceedings, he got a lawyer and shut up,” Slade Gorton, a member of the 9/11 Commission that investigated the Sept 2001 terror attacks on the US, told The Sunday Telegraph.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

After lying to us about shrinking glaciers, increasing hurricanes, and rising sea levels...

...today's revelation is about the Amazonian rainforest.

And guess what? It's involves another one of the seemingly endless torrent of reports commissioned and paid for by the WWF. Gosh, they really do seem to have lots and lots of money to splash around.

And yet again the IPCC has been caught out using, (despite what it has always claimed), "research" that has not been peer reviewed.

Oh, and the "experts" that produced it? A 'policy analyst' and a freelance journalist!

From Watts Up With That?:

De Jour-gate flavor: Amazon

25 01 2010
The IPCC “Flavor of the day”-gate is now the Amazon Rain Forest. What will tomorrow’s flavor be?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3640/3300527819_6b9a79eb4a.jpg

James Delingpole of the Telegraph says this better than I ever could, so I’ll provide his summary here. Note that there are plenty more cases of unsubstantiated non peer reviewed references in the IPCC report, a list of which you can see here. For those wondering what “Load of porkies” means, see this.

Delingpole relays North’s analysis:

Here’s the latest development, courtesy of Dr Richard North – and it’s a cracker. It seems that, not content with having lied to us about shrinking glaciers, increasing hurricanes, and rising sea levels, the IPCC’s latest assessment report also told us a complete load of porkies about the danger posed by climate change to the Amazon rainforest.
This is to be found in Chapter 13 of the Working Group II report, the same part of the IPCC fourth assessment report in which the “Glaciergate” claims are made. There, is the startling claim that:

At first sight, the reference looks kosher enough but, following it through, one sees:

This, then appears to be another WWF report, carried out in conjunction with the IUCN – The International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The link given is no longer active, but the report is on the IUCN website here. Furthermore, the IUCN along with WWF is another advocacy group and the report is not peer-reviewed. According to IPCC rules, it should not have been used as a primary source.
It gets even better. The two expert authors of the WWF report so casually cited by the IPCC as part of its, ahem, “robust” “peer-reviewed” process weren’t even Amazon specialists. One, Dr PF Moore, is a policy analyst:
My background and experience around the world has required and developed high-level policy and analytical skills. I have a strong understanding of government administration, legislative review, analysis and inquiries generated through involvement in or management of the Australian Regional Forest Agreement process, Parliamentary and Government inquiries, Coronial inquiries and public submissions on water pricing, access and use rights and native vegetation legislation in Australia and fire and natural resources laws, regulations and policies in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa and Malaysia.
And the lead author Andy Rowell is a freelance journalist (for the Guardian, natch) and green activist:
Andy Rowell is a freelance writer and Investigative journalist with over 12 years’ experience on environmental, food, health and globalization issues. Rowell has undertaken cutting-edge investigations for, amongst others, Action on Smoking and Health, The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, IFAW, the Pan American Health Organization, Project Underground, the World Health Organization, World in Action and WWF.
But the IPCC’s shamelessness did not end there. Dr North has searched the WWF’s reports high and low but can find no evidence of a statement to support the IPCC’s claim that “40 per cent” of the Amazon is threatened by climate change. (Logging and farm expansion are a much more plausible threat).

Read Delingpole’s blog here, North’s Blog here

I recommend adding them to your blog roll. I have.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Sunday, January 24, 2010

NASA and Nicholas Stern start to purge their websites

The fallout from what appears to be a cascade of revelations about the sloppy and dishonest goings on at the IPCC begins.

NASA here.

Lord Stern here:

Last night I pointed out how NASA had quietly purged IPCC AR4 referenced glacier melting claims from its climate.nasa.gov website, especially since they upped the year from 2035 to 2030 on their own. Now Roger Pielke Jr. points out that another curious purge has been spotted:

Excerpts:
There is another important story in involving the Muir-Wood et al. 2006 paper that was misrepresented by the IPCC as showing a linkage between increasing temperatures and rising damages from extreme weather events. The Stern Review Report of the UK government also relied on that paper as the sole basis for its projections of increasing damage from extreme events. In fact as much as 40% of the Stern Reivew projections for the global costs of unmitigated climate change derive from its misuse of the Muir-Wood et al. paper.
As I was preparing this post, I accessed the Stern Review Report on the archive site of the UK government to capture an image of Table 5.2. Much to my surprise I learned that since the publication of my paper, Table 5.2 has mysteriously changed! Have a look at the figures below.

The figure immediately below shows Table 5.2 as it was originally published in the Stern Review (from a web archive in PDF), and I have circled in red the order-of-magnitude error in hurricane damage that I document in my paper (the values should instead by 10 times less).


Now, have a look at the figure below which shows Table 5.2 from the Stern Review Report as it now appears on the UK government archive (PDF), look carefully at the numbers circled in red:

There is no note, no acknowledgment, nothing indicating that the estimated damage for hurricanes was modified after publication by an order of magnitude. The report was quietly changed to make the error go away. Of course, even with the Table corrected, now the Stern Review math does not add up, as the total GDP impact from USA, UK and Europe does not come anywhere close to the 1% global total for developed country impacts (based on Muir-Wood), much less the higher values suggested as possible in the report’s text, underscoring a key point of my 2007 paper.
I’m betting that instituions around the world are working fast to distance themselves from some of the IPCC claims. We’ll likely see more of this.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Lord Monckton debates Ben McNeil on Sunrise

It's a shame there wasn't more time. You could see how nervous McNeil was and that Monckton would have taken him apart.

You can alsp listen to his interview on Alan Jones' program here http://2gb.com/index2.php?option=com_newsmanager&task=view&id=5507

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Eh, @KevinRuddPM gave $1 million of our money to IPCC head's company?

And let’s not forget which warmist dupe - and wannabe UN secretary general - has also tipped Pachauri’s TERI another $1 million of taxpayers’ funds:
When wild and baseless scares are pushed by a man who makes serious money from them, it’s time to call in the auditors. Pachauri may be innocent of any wrong doing, but only a fool would be blind to the danger of corruption when so many millions are being thrown at pushers of the warming faith.

Question: could the Nobel Prize be withdrawn from the IPCC if more such revelations come to light?

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

High-Fat Diet Ends Epileptic Seizures For Boy

A lot of people don't realize that we need cholesterol for brain function. It is a scandal that such a well-documented diet is not tried more quickly more often. The fat phobia has a lot to answer for. Note that the high fat diet did NOT elevate serum cholesterol, contrary to the usual superstition

A trip to the doctor is all good news these days for 4-year-old Max Irvine. Just a year ago, however, Max was enduring more than 100 seizures a day. Even a barrage of tests at the famed Mayo Clinic's Epilepsy Laboratory revealed no clear medical explanation. Epilepsy was consuming every waking hour of Max's life. "It got to the point where he couldn't walk or talk or function, or even eat hardly," said Max's father Troy Irvine.

Medications control epilepsy for 75 percent of children, but not for Max. His family watched helplessly as the light disappeared from his eyes. Max's playful nature vanished. Priceless intellectual developmental time was being lost.

Finally, Mayo Clinic Pediatric Neurologist Elaine Wirrell, an epilepsy specialist, proposed trading all of Max's meds for a radical change in diet.

Full article here

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Saturday, January 23, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: scientist admits IPCC used fake data to pressure policy makers

Bloody hell, I can't keep up with this anymore!

Looks like the wheels are well and truly starting to come off the whole IPCC/climate change bandwagon!

This follows on from disclosures that the company run by the head of the IPCC, Dr. Rajenda Pachauri, had received grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds based upon the false glacier claims referred to here.

You can follow the link below to the story in the Daily Mail, but here is a perfect example of the "science" as practiced by the IPCC:
However, an analysis of those 500-plus formal review comments, to be published tomorrow by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the new body founded by former Chancellor Nigel Lawson, suggests that when reviewers did raise issues that called the claim into question, Dr Lal and his colleagues simply ignored them.

Now, I can tell you that while this may be the first time this sort of complaint has made it into the mainstream media, it has been one repeated again and again by numerous people involved with the IPCC over the years, ie, that objections that undermined the political message that it wanted to send where routinely ignored.

And here is the whole problem with the IPCC - it's a agency of the UN and nothing at the UN is ever free from the effects of politics and ideology. It was always doomed to this outcome.

The IPCC is now damaged goods. Pachauri is toast, and nobody will be able to cite the IPCC AR4 again without this being brought up.

The Daily Mail’s David Rose in the UK broke this story, it is mind boggling fraud to prod “government action” and grants. Emphasis in red mine.

From the Daily Mail

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’

Chilling error: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change wrongly asserted that glaciers in the Himalayas would melt by 2035

Dr Lal’s admission will only add to the mounting furore over the melting glaciers assertion, which the IPCC was last week forced to withdraw because it has no scientific foundation.

According to the IPCC’s statement of principles, its role is ‘to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis, scientific, technical and socio-economic information – IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy’.

The claim that Himalayan glaciers are set to disappear by 2035 rests on two 1999 magazine interviews with glaciologist Syed Hasnain, which were then recycled without any further investigation in a 2005 report by the environmental campaign group WWF.

It was this report that Dr Lal and his team cited as their source.

The WWF article also contained a basic error in its arithmetic. A claim that one glacier was retreating at the alarming rate of 134 metres a year should in fact have said 23 metres – the authors had divided the total loss measured over 121 years by 21, not 121.

Last Friday, the WWF website posted a humiliating statement recognising the claim as ‘unsound’, and saying it ‘regrets any confusion caused’.

Dr Lal said: ‘We knew the WWF report with the 2035 date was “grey literature” [material not published in a peer-reviewed journal]. But it was never picked up by any of the authors in our working group, nor by any of the more than 500 external reviewers, by the governments to which it was sent, or by the final IPCC review editors.’

In fact, the 2035 melting date seems to have been plucked from thin air.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

"should be held indefinitely without trial under the laws of war"

Pardon?
A Justice Department-led task force has concluded that nearly 50 of the 196 detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be held indefinitely without trial under the laws of war, according to Obama administration officials.

You'll see the irony here immediately of course. Poor George W Bush was the focus of a relentless and merciless campaign from the media and the Left about the oh-so-shock-horror crime perpetrated against the inmates held in Guantanamo Bay, whereby it was asserted that they should be treated like common criminals via the regular criminal justice system.

Except it never was going to be that easy or that simple.

Now that reality has caught up with Mr Obama and the Democrats.

There is indeed a cadre of highly dangerous men, committed to violence as a means of advancing their religious ideology, who for one reason or another simply cannot be dealt with in this way.

So it turns out the Bush Administration was right when it claimed that it not only had the right under the 'laws of war' to detain these men, it had a duty to do so.

But you can guarantee that Mr Obama wont get anywhere as much grief from the media and human rights activists as Mr Bush did over this.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

"Chef" Pollan's Daily Special: Lousy Advice on Food

Self-styled food guru Michael Pollan’s latest rant against modern farming, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, lists 64 rules for healthy eating. Pollan says they are meant to be taken as “Food Don’ts” -- for the sake of our health and the environment. And as usual, America’s “foodies” are going ga-ga over someone whose claim to fame is repeatedly lecturing others to “Eat Food.” So let’s take a close look at what this journalism professor has to offer in his latest diatribe on what you eat.

Pollan admits he ignores nutrition science, which he derides as inexact. But perhaps the real reason he avoids citing actual research is because he knows it doesn’t support his pseudo-scientific beliefs.

Take Rule #22, “Eat mostly plants.” Pollan claims vegetarians are “notably healthier” and live longer than meat-eaters. Yet, a 2006 study by researchers at the University of Oxford found that vegetarians died of strokes and cancers of the colon, breast and prostate at the same rate as omnivores. The mortality rate, the Oxford team wrote, “appears to be similar in vegetarians and comparable non-vegetarians.” In other words, vegetarians don’t live longer than meat-eaters – though life may seem interminably long if you spend most of your time choking down Tofurky and soy-cheese lettuce wraps.

Pollan blows it again with Rule #27, which holds that meat from “wild” free-range animals eating grass is more nutritious than from grain-fed animals raised in feedlots. Before you drop half your paycheck on “artisanal” porkchops, know this: Free-range meat carries health risks that slow-food advocates like Pollan won’t tell you about.

A study published in the journal Foodborne Pathogens and Disease found significantly higher rates of salmonella in free-range pigs when compared with pigs raised on larger farms. Pigs raised in the roof-covered, environmentally-controlled surroundings of the much-maligned Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are actually less conducive to disease. And pigs that spend time outdoors are more likely to come into contact with disease-carrying animals.

And if you don’t eat for your health, how about the health of Planet Earth? Pollan’s advice may actually lead to greater environmental damage. The CAFOs that he demonizes use less land to raise more animals than the free-range method. Grass-fed cows, for instance, can require up to 10 acres of pasture per head. If today’s cattlemen exclusively used 1950s technology, they would need an additional 165 million acres of land – roughly the size of Texas -- to produce the same amount of beef. And since niche-market cows don’t grow as big as their more conventional counterparts, a wholesale backpedal to old-school farming would increase levels of animal-waste pollution by nearly 30 percent.

Is this the environmental outcome Pollan seeks?

Maybe it’s not fair to criticize Pollan for his scientific illiteracy. After all, he gives himself an out in his final Rule #64, “Break the Rules Once in a While.” If there’s a sequel, we think it should begin with Rule #65: Break most of Pollan’s rules most of the time.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Overheard after lunch at a restaurant in midtown Manhattan recently

Speaking of Al, Lauri B. Regan reports:
This past week, I was having lunch at a restaurant in midtown Manhattan when my colleague noticed Al and Tipper Gore dining across the room with another couple. It was a frigid day, with record-breaking temperatures keeping most people indoors, and we were the last two tables in the restaurant.

As the Gore party started walking out of the room, my colleague called out, “Hey, Al, how’s all that global warming working out for you?” Gore turned around and stared at us with a completely dumbfounded look on his face. He was speechless. With a smile, my colleague repeated the question, again to a hapless look of dismay.

And then mysterious F-350 fumes filled the room.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hey @KevinRuddPM, what do you think about those 4,000 guys in white coats measuring stuff now?


(And not that I would suggest that our dear prime minister, K R Puff'n'Fluff, would ever be untruthful - *cough, cough* - but when did even the IPCC claim it was composed of 4,000 scientists?

It never even (officially) used the much more frequently quoted wrong number of 2,500.

Love the final reference to Rudd's claim he saw Colin Cowdrey batting in a game he didn't play in )
Things have changed since 2008, when Kevin Rudd was the IPCC’s leading yay-boy:
Well, I just look at what the scientists say. There’s a group of scientists called the International Panel on Climate Change - 4000 of them. Guys in white coats who run around and don’t have a sense of humour. They just measure things. And what they say to us is it’s happening and it’s caused by human activity.
 
They also said that Himalayan glaciers would vanish by 2035. More 2008-era Rudd:
Well, I stand by what the International Panel of Climate Change Scientists have had to say. There will always be argy-bargy about elements of the detail.
 
Such as elements so bogus that the head of the UN’s climate change is now talking about “taking action” against IPCC authors. One more line from our newly climate-shy PM:
Here’s a measurement which people should just sit back and pay a bit of attention to - the 12 hottest years in human history have occurred in the last 13 years. That’s a fact.

It’s also a fact that Rudd once witnessed Colin Cowdrey stride out to smite global warming in Brisbane. Kevin seen it with his own eyes, he really did!

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

New York's crusade against salt based on false assumptions & doomed to failure

Another example of a puritanical fad dressed up as science, when the reality is that the hard evidence does not support it.

Interesting that there does appear to be evidence that our bodies "know" how much salt they need and adjust our appetites accordingly. Maybe there is more to those cravings for potato chips than we imagined?

On Monday, city officials rolled out an initiative to curb the salt content in manufactured and packaged foods. But the idea behind it -- that salt intake has reached extreme levels in America -- is a myth, and this "solution" wouldn't work, anyway.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley aims to lead a national campaign to reduce the amount of salt in manufactured foods by 25 percent over the next five years. Cutting salt intake is supposed to reduce hypertension-related health problems. But while doctors may advise particular patients to cut down on salt, the science tells us that this is not a public-health problem.

Nutritionists at the University of California/Davis just published the first and only study to address salt intake and public policy. They found that people are naturally inclined to regulate salt intake to physiologically determined levels by unconsciously selecting foods to meet their needs -- and even the most extreme interventions don't do much.

The UC Davis study (published in the October issue of The Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology) looked at data from more than 19,000 individuals from 33 countries worldwide. It determined that daily sodium intake ranges only from 2,700 milligrams to 4,900 mg, with the worldwide average of 3,700 mg.

It also determined that the average American consumes about 3,400 mg a day -- disproving the claim spread by advocates such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest that US salt consumption is out of control.

In other words, Farley's trying to fight a problem that doesn't exist. Worse, his new guidelines say that daily sodium intake for most people shouldn't exceed 1,500 mg -- which is a ridiculous 45 percent below the bottom of the normal consumption range the UC Davis study identified, and a full 60 percent lower than the worldwide average.

The researchers also cite decades of research describing the specific mechanism by which the central nervous system, acting together with several organ systems, controls our appetite for salt. One of the studies they cite involved hundreds of participants in what was to be a three-year sodium-intake intervention, with the goal of reducing daily intake to 1,850 mg.

But after six months, researchers noted that participants were simply unable to cut sodium intake below about 2,750 mg a day -- close to the bottom of the range the UC Davis study identified.

Another study had used intensive dietary counseling to get participants to cut daily sodium intake to an average of 1,775 mg over four weeks. After that, the subjects, while still receiving counseling, were randomly split into two groups -- one getting a sodium tablet, the other a placebo.

Those who got the placebo still raised their intake by nearly 1,000 mg, while those on the sodium tablet actually cut their dietary-sodium consumption to compensate.

These people didn't know how much sodium they were getting -- they unconsciously changed their diets to match what their bodies "knew" they needed.

The UC Davis study also cites surveys showing that sodium intake in the United Kingdom has "varied minimally" over the last 25 years, despite a major government campaign to reduce it.

Overall, the researchers found, salt intake "is unlikely to be malleable by public policy initiatives," and attempts to change it would "expend valuable national and personal resources against unachievable goals."

The New York guidelines are voluntary -- for now. But the city's ban on trans fats started that way, too. And the federal Food and Drug Administration has also been looking to get in on the action -- it may classify it as a "food additive," subject to regulation, sometime this year.

But this campaign isn't about public health -- it's about grandstanding on a pseudo-issue ginned up by activists, when science clearly shows that there's neither a crisis nor a way for the government to actually alter our salt intake. All these initiatives do is win headlines for ambitious policymakers (New York's last health commissioner parlayed his trans-fat activism into a promotion to FDA chief), while making food slightly more costly and leaving a bad taste in the mouths of consumers -- literally.

SOURCE

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Aussie water bills to spiral thanks to desalination plants

HOUSEHOLDS will pay hundreds of dollars extra for water as state governments splash $9 billion of taxpayer funds on energy-guzzling desalination plants that will produce nearly a third of capital-city supplies within two years. The seawater purification "factories" - which can pump out enough drinking water each year to fill Sydney Harbour - will operate around the clock at taxpayer expense, even when high rainfall means their expensive output is not required.
SOURCE for full article

Again, I suspect that we are seeing politicised "science" spooking politicians and bureaucrats into bad policy choices.

Maybe not here in Western Australia. Our average rainfall does indeed seem to be declining and has been for thirty or more years.

But elsewhere I'm still not convinced that we are not mistaking natural variability as long term trends produced by climate change.

But of course, this is the problem when people decide to jump on a bandwagon. However, by the time people start to realise that maybe they jumped too soon, (and I think that is starting to happen now), it will be too late.

So much money will have been spent on such projects and it will be impossible not to use, no matter how expensive.

Not saying that as our population rises such plants wont be necessary, and I suppose you can say that at least they are there to cater for this, but I still reckon we could have done much more to use water more effectively and reuse and recycle it more completely.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Ontario to throw money to the wind

In a signing ceremony Thursday for a $7-billion deal with Samsung to build wind and solar facilities, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said: “This means Ontario is officially the place to be for green energy manufacturing in North America.”

Quite right. Texas lost that title last week when billionaire T. Boone Pickens abandoned his plan to build 4000 MW of wind capacity in Texas — twice as much as the Samsung wind plan — when no financier could see how building the things made any financial sense. Other jurisdictions have also seen plans for wind vanish, along with plans for solar and other forms of renewable energy. Stock prices of most players in the wind industry, such as Broadwind Energy, GE’s supplier, are heading south.

But Ontario is different. Just as it built nuclear reactors into the 1990s after everyone else in North America bailed out to stop the bleeding — Ontario’s Darlington Nuclear complex was the last to be completed — Ontario has positioned itself to be the last gung-ho jurisdiction for so-called green technologies.

Full article here

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

How to catch up with Lord Monckton, @KevinRuddPM yet to answer challenge

Christopher Monckton, who conducted this brilliant Socratic dialogue with a Greenpeace supporter, is touring Australia from next week. Lecture dates and booking details here. When Kevin Rudd answers Monckton’s challenge, I’ll post that, too.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Spot what's missing from K R Puff'n'Fluff's Australia Day speeches?

Last year Kevin Rudd claimed global warming was the “great moral challenge of our generation”

But the climate sure has changed since Climategate and the farcical failure in Copenhagen. This year global warming is the scam that Rudd barely dares to mention:
Kevin Rudd has made Australia Day policy speeches around the nation on each of the past five days, with two to come. We’ve heard about productivity, fiscal responsibility, infrastructure, jobs and disadvantage. Today he speaks about health; tomorrow (unless there is a change) he’s due to talk about cities.

Anything odd about this list? You’ve got it. Climate change and the need for an emissions trading scheme haven’t been the focus of any speech so far.
Remember how Malcolm Turnbull last year warned his Liberal Party to pass Rudd’s emissions trading scheme or face a double dissolution election on the issue that would wipe them out? Just months later, climate change is in fact so smelly that Rudd would like it to disappear as an election issue completely. So fast has this faith imploded.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Demonstrate outside a university's social anthropology department instead?

It’s probably not enough to argue the Chestertonian point that the decline of organised religion has led to paradoxical irrationality, “misinformation packaged as fact”, although there is an element of truth in it (organised religions do at least have mechanisms for dealing with phoneys). Part of the reason that increasing numbers seem to reject western medicine – mankind’s greatest legacy, as anyone who has attended a birth will attest – has to be the wider anti-Westernism in the air, especially coming from the education system, where even established medical and scientific facts are presented as merely “subjective” because these bodies of knowledge are overwhelmingly European.

So maybe the anti-homeopathy protesters should get to the root of the problem and demonstrate outside a university’s social anthropology department instead.

Full article here

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

The root-rat of the bird world

Most promiscuous bird 'exposed'
By Jody Bourton
Earth News reporter

A bird living on the coast of the US is the world's most promiscuous bird, say scientists.

The saltmarsh sparrow, a bird that lives in the marshes of Connecticut, was found to have extreme levels of multiple mating.

Full article here

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

Aborigines, not climate, killed megafauna - report

This shouldn't be controversial.

After all, it appears to be a repeated pattern around the world that in places like the Americas the arrival of modern human beings causes immense dislocation of the existing environment.

It would certainly appear that in the Americas the disappearance of megafauna coincided with the colonisation of the continents by people.

But here in Australia, as elsewhere, we still labour under the myth of the "noble savage" - the white middle class fantasy whereby our grief at a perceived loss of innocence and connexion with the natural world is psychologically projected onto primitive tribal peoples and cultures.

It is a process where these societies are almost magically endowed with a so-called 'spiritual' relationship with nature.

Some idiot at some point here actually said that the aboriginal people trod every inch of this vast land and yet disturbed nothing.

Fuckwit.

No, that's right, you arrive in a place that has never seen human beings before with a brain unlike anything seen in the history of the planet, armed with spears and the intelligence to plan ahead, and then also start to burn the country several times a year (instead of once every several years naturally), and that had no effect whatsoever!

This story from the news.com site is interesting. I've taken the title of this post from it, but while the story also appeared in this morning's issue of The Australian, it did so with another heading - Humans get the rap for killing megafauna giants.

So, in The Australian, despite the usual thing these days when an opportunity is never lost to remind us that the aborigines have been in this land for 50,000 years or so (and rightly so), a story about the extinction of Australia's megafauna 40-50,000 years ago does not mention the word aborigine once!

Maybe a middle class sacred cow being saved from slaughter?
THE giant marsupials, reptiles and flightless birds - known as megafauna - that inhabited Australia more than 40,000 years ago were most likely killed off by early Australians, according to new research that shows mankind and the huge beasts co-existed only for a short period, The Australian reported.
The findings challenge the long-held theory that climate change wiped out the animals, which included giant wombats and kangaroos.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous