Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How the British media plays 'slap and tickle' in Afghanistan

That type of incident, though tragic, does not amount to a state secret. But how the British press covers such incidents is an example of why many people believe the British press to be even worse than our own. The British press often plays slap and tickle: they issue sharp-tongued remarks about American troops (slap), while moments later shamelessly gratifying hometown readers with reports about the superiority of British troops (tickle). And so it was not surprising when the British media mostly ignored the incident where about a dozen Afghan police were mistakenly shot by the British Army.

Imagine the coverage of an incident like this in the American press had it been American soldiers firing their weapons. But how the British press went from ignoring that incident straight into a tickling frenzy defies easy explanation. My high regard for the people of the United Kingdom is evident in my writing. This is especially so for their military men and women serving alongside us in these wars. Their blood is ours. When a British, Canadian, Australian or Kiwi soldier is lost, I always feel like we lost one of our own. But the press in each of these countries can be shameless and can make ours seem almost responsible by comparison, and that is precisely why I am warning our great friends and allies that they are rumbling toward disaster in Afghanistan. Please do not let your respective media delude you: we are winning in Iraq, but we are going to lose increasing numbers of people in Afghanistan. I would not be surprised to see a base overrun.

Yon's full article is here

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Like many bad ideas, the current Keynesian revival began under George W. Bush

I'm not one for Bush bashing, quite the opposite really, but it does make for a snappy heading.
Today's G-20 meeting has been advertised as a showdown between the U.S. and Europe over more spending "stimulus," and so it is. But the larger story is the end of the neo-Keynesian economic moment, and perhaps the start of a healthier policy turn.

For going on three years, the developed world's economic policy has been dominated by the revival of the old idea that vast amounts of public spending could prevent deflation, cure a recession, and ignite a new era of government-led prosperity. It hasn't turned out that way.

Now the political and fiscal bills are coming due even as the U.S. and European economies are merely muddling along. The Europeans have had enough and want to swear off the sauce, while the Obama Administration wants to keep running a bar tab. So this would seem to be a good time to examine recent policy history and assess the results.

Like many bad ideas, the current Keynesian revival began under George W. Bush.

You can read the rest here.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Media hacks who pumped Rudd's tyres for years now hailed as far-sighted

As recently as a year ago, the media pack was almost united on three articles of faith.
First, global warming was an unquestionable crisis.

Second, no political leader could oppose the immediate adoption of emissions trading and be credible.

Third, Kevin Rudd was a brilliant salesman and astute politician who had the next election virtually all sewn up, especially thanks to his global warming policies.
Some examples? Here’s Paul Kelly last year:
I believe that the (Liberal) party room will endorse a series of amendments (to the Government’s emissions trading scheme) which will be the basis for negotiation with the Rudd Government. I mean frankly if they oppose that, that would be signing their own political death warrant… This raises the prospect that the legislation won’t pass and that the election next year will see climate change as a frontline issue. Now this will be a mortal political threat to the Opposition.
Then there’s Michelle Grattan:
This was Michelle Grattan on 25 November 2009: ‘It is in the Liberal party’s interests to vote for the ETS and get the climate change issue as much off the election agenda as possible.’ Earlier, she described resistance to an ETS among Liberal MPs as ‘ill-judged’ because ‘Turnbull’s instinct in wanting to help the government get the legislation through is correct’.
Dissent from any of this was not just rare, but an invitation to retribution. Ask the ABC’s then political editor, Chris Uhlmann, who eight months ago dared to write of Rudd:
There is a view that he [Rudd] has the face and a bearing of a parson, and the heart and soul of a dictator. He has cowed his party, his caucus, his cabinet and the bureaucracy. He holds all the prizes, and anyone who wants to advance must pay homage to him. He bludgeons alternative opinions to death.
Wonder where Chris is now? And would a “sorry” make it all better?

Shouldn’t the media now engage in a mea culpa? After all, global warming seems far from as urgent as everyone thought, both major parties have lost the leaders who once foolishly promised an ETS, both parties are now led by more popular leaders who have shoved the ETS to manana, and the collective wisdom now is that Rudd is and always was a disaster and a klutz.

But here’s how the media works. Those pundits who have only argued over the past couple of weeks that Rudd was a disaster - Laurie Oakes, for instance - are now hailed as far-sighted, despite having pumped his tyres for years, while those very few who have warned for two years he was trouble remain dismissed as ideologues.

And so the caravan moves on…

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Fad diet leaves actress with brittle bones

Don't these people ever learn?
HOLLYWOOD star Gwyneth Paltrow was a pin-up for "healthy" living but her extreme dieting may have given her the bones of an 80-year-old woman. The 37-year-old actress - who has followed a macrobiotic diet for 11 years and exercises up to three hours a day - has revealed that she has been diagnosed with osteopenia, an illness that can lead to the serious bone disease osteoporosis.

You can read the rest here.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Is it time to put the CSIRO out of its misery?

It had largely already degenerated into a sad joke compared to its glory days.

Simon McKeon has just the right credentials for the Gillard Government to appoint him our new CSIRO chairman. Sure, he’s got no scientific background at all, but he has the right attitude. For instance, he’s the kind of guy to snatch at any local quirk of the weather as evidence of global warming:
Mr McKeon recalls a rainy wind that blew regularly from the south-west across Waratah Bay, next to Wilsons Promontory… ”In the last few years, that wind has … evaporated,” Mr McKeon says.

This observation helped convince him to begin minimising carbon emissions.
And he’s dedicated himself to the politics of the utterly useless gesture:
.... his conviction has led him to become a business community ambassador for Earth Hour, advocating to businesses the value of switching off their lights for one hour at 8pm on March 29.
Claims that the IPCC quoted dodgy research to assert that 40 per cent of the Amazon was threatened by global warming have been withdrawn. Christopher Booker wonders why.

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Shock! Kathy Lette endulges in boring, stale and unfunny stereotypes about Australia

I'm actually a big fan of Julia Gillard. Intend to vote against the Labor Party at the next election, but that doesn't change my view that she is not only a person of immense ability and genuine human warmness, she is also the best person to lead the Labor Party at the moment and thus be this country's prime minister.

As for the infantile idiot Lette and those who are stupid enough to take her seriously....


Australia has its first ever woman Prime Minister — and the average Aussie male is quaking in his Ugg boots.

Why? Because Julia Gillard is not just a woman, she’s an unmarried, childless, proudly undomesticated feminist agnostic — who also happens to be shacked up with a hairdresser.

In the land of cold beer and untrammelled misogyny, this is about the worst kind of human being possible… Even worse, in the eyes of Australian manhood the new premier — who replaced Kevin Rudd after she challenged his leadership this week — is not even a proper Aussie.
Lette’s fantasy betrays not just the disdain felt by a member of the celebrity Left for what was once called the “lower classes”. It also betrays the fact that she hasn’t lived in Australia since the ‘70s.

The 1870s, I’d say, considering the staleness of her stereotypes.

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The nastiness of NICE: The addled tyranny of the anti-junk food crusade

‘Forty thousand deaths a year due to junk food’, declared the UK Daily Telegraph yesterday, reporting on new policy recommendations produced by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). But the evidence on which this claim is made is highly dubious. What the report really represents is the coming together of the same-old NGOs and health policy wonks to tell us - for the umpteenth time - how we must live our lives.
Full article here.

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Is Peter FitzSimons the most clueless commentator in Australia?

Peter FitzSimons On Why Kevin Rudd Will Prevail
It’s about the Rudd thing. I just don’t get how a bloke who had nigh on record popularity only a short time ago can so suddenly be on the nose with so many voters when, to my eyes, nothing has particularly changed, apart from the mining tax.  And I know, I know, the mining magnates are saying it is the end of the world as we know it if a larger chunk of the common wealth of the country goes to the Commonwealth of Australia to pay for schools, roads and hospitals, instead of into their pockets. But why do such a broad mass of people seem to be saying that, too?  Particularly when they must know that if the money doesn’t come from the likes of the magnates then it will have to come from you, me and them.  My bet is that if the government sticks to its guns, the electorate will realise exactly that, and Rudd’s numbers will rise again.

[Peter FitzSimons, “The Fitz Files”, The Sun-Herald, 20 June 2010.]
That was on Sunday. The office removalists arrived at the Prime Minister’s office on Wednesday.
The rest here.

The Bolter is apparently expecting an apology tomorrow on Insiders.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Ross Gittens - government & mining industry both using KPMG to produce economic modelling to support them

And both sides have "independent modelling" to support their claims.

If that doesn't make you sceptical about the use of modelling in the political debate, it should. But if you need more, try this: the two seemingly diametrically opposed modelling exercises were undertaken by the same commercial firm, KPMG.

It's taking people - even those close to the political action - a long time to wake up to the truth that the use of modelling in political arguments is just a way of conning the electorate. The less you know about economic models and how they work, the more impressed you are by their seemingly authoritative results.

The economy is a highly complex mechanism, which economists don't understand all that well. When you construct a mathematical model of the economy, you end up with a hugely oversimplified version of the real thing.

Sigh. It is a bit like pointing out the bloody, bleedin' obvious, or should be. But people are always suckered by claims that a study has shown this or that.

The first question should always be "has it?"

By that I mean a study is only as good as its methodology.

If that is wrong or suspect or weak, then so is the study's results. But as Gittens observes, you'd never know this from the way they are used politically. All the "heroic" and "courageous" assumptions (ie educated guesses) underlying the results are ignored. So too the margins of error of the results themselves.

All too often the media then lets us down by simply repeating the results as fact, never bothering to look behind the executive summary to try and determine how valid they are.

Finally, the weaknesses of mathematical models to produce robust results about complex and not completely understood systems has another real world example, and that is climate change.

All the scary scenarios presented to you about how you are going to fry/freeze/die of thirst/drown in the future is based on nothing more than mathematical models that do not even come close to adequately modelling the actual climate. this is for the simple reason that we just don't know how large parts of this system operate.

How can you model what you don't know?

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Is the Nielsen poll a rogue?

Reader Scott doesn’t trust that Nielsen poll claiming a 55-45 lead for Gillard’s Government:
The headline 2PP figures of ALP 55 - 45 Coalition are really misleading.

If you take a look at the Nielsen tables it’s almost all exclusively from Victoria where all of a sudden the ALP is getting 67% 2pp in this poll.The coalition is leading in WA, SA/NT, QLD and the result is close in NSW.

I would consider this to be a rogue poll due to the ‘The PM is a Victorian!’ novelty factor.
Victoria was the state where Rudd was doing well, too. It will do Gillard little good to be popular in Victoria if she can’t win votes in NSW and Queensland in particular.

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It was Gillard and Swan who urged the dumping of the ETS and adoption of the mining tax

If this is true, then this must raise further doubts about Julia Gillard's grasp on economics and her political judgement. After all, it was she who was the architect of the insane Medicare Gold policy that did so much to damage Mark Latham.

And it is Ms Gillard who has presided over the administrative disasters that are the school computers program and the Building the Education Revolution (the program were builders have ripped off taxpayers for billions of dollars by massive over-charging for school buildings).

Though, to the contrary, the ETS decision was a good call. As more and more people came to realise that it would have no meaningful effect on the world's carbon emissions, but would still drive the cost of everything here up and make Australia less competitive against our competitors, it would have become poison for the government.

Patricia Karvelas has had the best account so far of the plotting that brought down Kevin Rudd. What she also reveals is that the new leadership duo of Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan are the very people who pushed on him the policies that finally destroyed him in the polls:
He gave a sombre speech (to Caucus in conceding), which was both “statesmanlike” but also dug the knife into Gillard and Swan - essentially blaming them for the RSPT and the abandonment of an ETS.
So if you are angry about the dumping of the emissions trading system or the imposition of a “super profits” tax, it isn’t Rudd you should want punished, but the two people who have deposed him.

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NYT - Most turtle deaths due to shrimping, not the oil spill

The rush to assemble death toll figures for marine life supposedly killed by the current terrible oil spill of the coast of the United States has always made me uneasy.

Animals die from a variety of causes every day. That's nature. It was always dangerous to just assume that every dead animal within the area affected must have been killed due to exposure to oil.
A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist says he believes most of the dead turtles that have been examined since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill died not from the oil or the chemical dispersants put into the water after the disaster, but from being caught in shrimping nets, though further testing may show otherwise.
Full article here.

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Octopus tips Germany to beat England. No, really!

Thank you SBS news:

BERLIN (Reuters) - An octopus born in England and living in a German aquarium that has correctly picked the winner of Germany's three World Cup results so far on Friday tipped Joachim Loew's side to beat England in Sunday's match.

The eight-legged octopus named Paul, a denizen of Sea Life in Oberhausen, has become a celebrity oracle in Germany after accurately predicting Germany would beat Australia in the opening Group D match, would lose to Serbia and then beat Ghana.

On Friday, Paul once again was given the choice of picking food from two different plastic containers lowered into his tank -- one with an England flag on it and one with a German flag.

The container Paul opens first is seen as his pick.

Paul moved quickly and opened the box with the Germany flag, a selection that soon made it into national news broadcasts across Germany. Paul was born in Weymouth, England.

"Paul went rather quickly for the Germany flag," said Sea Life spokeswoman Tanja Munzig. "He's got a 100-percent average in the World Cup so far. At the Euro in 2008 he got it right for four out of Germany's five matches."

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Climate science after the 'hockey stick' affair

In Canada, for example, the government even sent a leaflet out to every home in the country showing the conclusions of the graph: that current warming temperatures were historically unprecedented. That indicates how important, how influential this piece of research was. Indeed, it has been cited more than possibly any other paper in the field.

But then, in 2002/2003, a Canadian geologist called Stephen McIntyre came on to the scene. Having been a recipient of one of the Canadian government’s leaflets, he just thought the graph looked a bit, well, odd. So he went through the original research, and because of its rather dramatic shape showing steady temperatures for centuries and centuries and then a sudden lurch upwards in the twentieth century, McIntyre thought this just all seemed a bit dodgy.

This was partly due to McIntyre’s professional background in mining: in mining, the hockey-stick graph is a familiar phenomenon. It is a way for mining companies to encourage people to invest in them, so it probably set his alarm bells ringing.

Now McIntyre was to find two things wrong with Mann’s hockey-stick graph.

The rest here.

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The boy screamed for his parents as the militants put a rope around his neck

We were told by the BBC to focus more on the humanity of the Taliban:
A BBC presenter has attacked coverage of Afghanistan’s ongoing war, claiming TV reporters are not covering the ‘humanity of the Taliban’.
Lyse Doucet, a presenter and correspondent on BBC World News, was speaking at a discussion of TV reporting of the war in the country…

Asked what was missing in British coverage, she added: ‘It may sound odd but the humanity of the Taliban, because the Taliban are a wide, very diverse group of people.”
So let’s try to spot the humanity here:
THE Taliban’s execution of an eight-year-old accused of ‘’collaborating’’ with foreign forces has proved too much even for Afghans hardened by three decades of fighting.

‘’Islam does not permit anyone to sentence a minor to execution,’’ said Mawlawi Mehr Del, deputy head of the Muslim clerical council in Helmand. ‘’It is against Islam, against sharia. God may be extremely upset with them. Those who do something like this are neither jihadis nor Taliban, they are enemies of human life.’’

Islamic law prohibits the execution of anyone under 18. The Taliban’s own code of conduct, drawn up by the movement two years ago, stipulates that no commander may order the execution of minors.

But a senior Taliban member, Mullah Abdul Bari, suggested that code of conduct did not apply in Helmand: ‘’The code has been changed for Helmand because the number of infidels there has increased, and the Taliban don’t have the time to hold trials.’’ ...

Witnesses said the execution of the child, named Delawar, took place in a garden near his home in the village of Heratian in the Sangin district of Helmand.

About a dozen men took part in the hanging death of the child, whom they accused of spying for British forces. Sangin resident Taza Gol, 60, said the boy screamed for his parents as the militants put a rope around his neck.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Solar energy company sends a dismantled bomb to critic of green jobs

The author of a damning study about the failure of Spain’s “green jobs” program — a story broken here at PJM — received the threatening package on Tuesday from solar energy company Thermotechnic.

June 24, 2010 - by Christopher Horner

Spain’s Dr. Gabriel Calzada — the author of a damning study concluding that Spain’s “green jobs” energy program has been a catastrophic economic failure — was mailed a dismantled bomb on Tuesday by solar energy company Thermotechnic.

Says Calzada:
Before opening it, I called [Thermotechnic] to know what was inside … they answered, it was their answer to my energy pieces.
The rest here.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A list of seats Labor was going to lose, including Maxine McKew's & Kate Ellis'

The internal Labor polling that brought down Rudd (actual figures withheld on request) showed a wipeout on the way:

Labor-held marginals:
Macarthur - huge loss
Macquarie - big loss
Swan - huge loss
Corangamite - big loss
Hasluck - huge loss

Bass - narrow retain
Bennelong - big loss, Bye bye, Maxine
Robertson - big loss
Solomon - big loss
Gilmore - huge loss
Herbert - huge loss

Deakin - narrow retain
Longman - big loss
Eden Monaro - big loss
Flynn - big loss
Page - narrow loss
Dawson - huge loss

Braddon - retain
Forde - loss
Franklin - retain
Brisbane - retain
Dobell - either way
Leichhardt - huge loss
Petrie - either way
Kingston - big loss
Hindmarsh- loss
Adelaide - loss. The photogenic Kate Ellis.
Wakefield- loss

Makin - retain

Coalition marginals
Bowman - Lib win
McEwan - Labor win (Fran Bailey retired)
Patterson - Lib win
La Trobe - Lib win
Cowan - Lib win
Dickson - Labor win (Peter Dutton’s dithering.)
Hinkler - Lib win
Hughes - Lib win
Sturt - Lib win
Ryan - Labor win (that sacked idiot Michael Johnson)
Cowper - Lib win
Stirling - Lib win
Labor’s net loss of seats predicted under Rudd: 18. And that’s presuming all the 50-50 contests went his way. Comfortable Liberal win.

LABOR party polling shows Julia Gillard is “miles ahead’’ of Kevin Rudd as preferred leader… The internal polling has been done across the key marginal seats that Labor will need to hold in the next federal election.

Sources within the party said things are looking “catastrophic’’ for the Prime Minister… “Voters are turning off Kevin in a very personal way, not just on the issues.’’

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Behind the scenes at the Oxburgh inquiry - Oxburgh was led by the nose

Slowly, but surely, the curtain is being lifted on Lord Oxburgh's inquiry into the science of CRU. Today I received a response to my FoI request for the emails of Sir Brian Hoskins and Professor David Hand (both of Imperial College, London) related to the Oxburgh inquiry. They are going to make a bit of a splash I think.

The emails can be downloaded here. There's a file for each man's correspondence and another for the attachments to Hand's emails. There's a lot of administrative stuff, but there is much of interest and some that made me laugh out loud.

I particularly liked the bit Oliver Morton of the Economist asks Oxburgh who chose the papers for the inquiry. Oxburgh replies:
Thanks for your message - the answer is that I don't know! What I received was a list from the university which I understand was chosen by the Royal Society The contact with the RS was I believe through [redacted - probably Martin Rees] but I don't know who he consulted. [Name redacted], when I asked him, agreed that the original sample was fair.
 A summary of the Hand emails is here. The Hoskins emails are here. Just the attachments to do.

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The Doncaster revolution. Viva la Revolución!

At last, somebody is putting in place all the policy reforms I would if given the chance! Only a pommy local council, but it's got to start somewhere.

All the useless parasites that infect both government and private enterprise these days, at huge cost to us all, could be got rid of tomorrow with hardly anyone noticing - diversity officers, equal opportunity commisssioners, wellness officers etc etc.
Gerald Warner hails the counter-revolution that’s broken out in the Yorkshire town of Doncaster, thanks to the new directly elected mayor, Peter Davies:
In his first week in office he cut his own salary from £73,000 to £30,000, which is putting one’s money where one’s mouth is. He also scrapped the mayoral limousine. He is ending Doncaster’s twinning with five towns around the world, an arrangement which he describes as “just for people to fly off and have a binge at the council’s expense”. He intends now to reduce (that’s right, reduce) council tax by 3 per cent this year.

The “diversity” portfolio has been abolished from the council’s cabinet. From next year no more funding will be given to the town’s “Gay Pride” event, on the grounds that people do not need to parade their sexuality, whatever it may be, at taxpayers’ expense. Black History Month, International Women’s Day and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month are similarly destined to become history.

Council funding of translation services for immigrants has been scrapped because he believes incomers should take the trouble to learn English… He aims to abolish all non-jobs on the council, as epitomised by “community cohesion officers”. He is taking advice from the Taxpayers’ Alliance and the Campaign Against Political Correctness…

He disregards all “green claptrap”, is creating more parking spaces to encourage traffic in the town for the benefit of business ("I’m not green and I’m not conned by global warming"). He has asked the Electoral Commission to reduce the number of Doncaster’s councillors from 63 to 21 ("If Pittsburgh can manage with nine councillors, why do we need 63?").
A radio interview with the mayor here.

Here’s the first radio interview he gave after winning, in which he walks out on a sneering BBC interviewer - who has since been proved utterly wrong:

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Anthony Watts talks about what happened when Sydney's weather station was moved

He's touring Australia at the moment and was on the morning show of Melbourne's MTR 1377AM radio this morning.

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Dr Roy W. Spencer: The Global Warming Inquisition Has Begun

A new “study” has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) which has examined the credentials and publication records of climate scientists who are global warming skeptics versus those who accept the “tenets of anthropogenic climate change”.

Not surprisingly, the study finds that the skeptical scientists have fewer publications or are less credentialed than the marching army of scientists who have been paid hundreds of millions of dollars over the last 20 years to find every potential connection between fossil fuel use and changes in nature.

After all, nature does not cause change by itself, you know.

The study lends a pseudo-scientific air of respectability to what amounts to a black list of the minority of scientists who do not accept the premise that global warming is mostly the result of you driving your SUV and using incandescent light bulbs.

Full article here

It's interesting to note that this "study" counts Roger Pielke Snr as a sceptic, when he isn't, and NASA's James Hansen as a supporter of the IPCC position when he clearly is not, being of the opinion that it isn't alarmist enough.

More here

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Scientific American: The Dirty Truth about Plug-In Hybrids @happy_squid

From Scientific American. Article isn't available free on the net yet.
In the months after Nissan’s announcement last year that it would soon introduce the Leaf, the world’s first mass-market electric vehicle, the company embarked on a 24-city “zero-emission tour” to show off the technology. The Leaf’s electric motor draws its energy from a battery pack that plugs into an outlet in your garage. It has no engine, no gas tank and no tailpipe. And during the time the car is on the road, it is truly a zero-emission machine. But at night, in your garage, that battery pack must refill the energy lost to the day’s driving with fresh electrons culled from a nearby power plant. And zero emission it ain’t.

Tried to point this out to an idiot who just ran away saying he preferred to speak to "positive" (ie naive and gullible) people only.

But the fact remains that almost without exception, these "zero emission" vehicles effectively transfer their emissions elsewhere; in most cases to power plants burning fossil fuels and emitting carbon dioxide.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

A Current Affair hits new journalistic high!

From Tim Blair:
A Current Affair tonight ran a piece on office meltdowns, featuring this clip:

According to ACA’s voiceover, this was a genuine incident in a Russian workplace.
Not so. It’s a two-year-old fake intended to promote a film. Other fakes also appeared in the report, which was something of a … meltdown.

Good to see the usual standards of commercial TV current affairs being maintained though.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pew Research says poll claiming that Americans still overwhelmingly concerned about climate change faulty

The war between the global warming pollsters is on. Last week, in a NYT op-ed that was widely discussed in the media, Stanford’s Jon Krosnick asserted that
national surveys released during the last eight months have been interpreted as showing that fewer and fewer Americans believe that climate change is real, human-caused and threatening to people.

But a closer look at these polls and a new survey by my Political Psychology Research Group show just the opposite: huge majorities of Americans still believe the earth has been gradually warming as the result of human activity and want the government to institute regulations to stop it.
Not so fast. Yesterday, in a NYT letter to the editor that seems to have gone virtually unnoticed in the blogosphere, the Pew’s Andrew Kohut says that Krosnick’s survey is marred by faulty methodology. This latest poll, according to Kohut, used words that encourged a positive response:
this is known in the polling world as acquiescence bias.
Kohut admits that none of the many questions pollsters use to gauge public attitudes on global warming are perfect,
but almost all, except Mr. Krosnick’s, show a significant decline in belief in climate change. Pew Research not only found fewer in 2009 seeing solid evidence of global warming, but also fewer calling it a very serious problem and fewer naming warming a top priority for the president and Congress.
Now I happen to think the big news on Krosnick’s survey revealed more important and uncomfortable truths that climate advocates would rather not deal with. But because there is such a tussle over these polls, I think it’s worth drawing attention to Kohut’s NYT letter, including his final thrust:
Far from being definitive, Mr. Krosnick’s finding is but one indicator and an outlier at that.
How did people miss this yesterday? Kohut’s pushback seems to have escaped even Morano’s notice, who surely would have trumpeted it on Climate Depot [he's seen it now. That's how I found this piece.] had he seen it.

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Researcher apologises for over hyping Arctic sea-ice loss in 2007

An article in Wired magazine recounts how sea-ice modellers are sharing data and methods and are learning from each other in the process. It's not obvious whether the sea-ice community have actually made their data and code open to the world or whether this is just a case of sharing within the community, but it's a step forwards at least.

It's also nice to see Mark Serreze apologising for his role in stirring up scare stories in 2007:

"In hindsight, probably too much was read into 2007, and I would take some blame for that,” Serreze said. “There were so many of us that were astounded by what happened, and maybe we read too much into it.”

If climatologists are now going to eschew scaremongering then that is certainly welcome.
"The Arctic is screaming," said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government's snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colo.
Serreze: I have yet to lose any sleep over what is talked about in WattsUpWithThat or any other similar blog that insists on arguing from a viewpoint of breathtaking ignorance.

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Bye bye, Maxine McKew?

One can only hope so.

I cannot vouch for the following. But I have had sent to me what I am told are the results of Labor polling over the past six weeks of the 40 most marginal seats, plus 15 most likely to be affected by the “super profits” tax debate. I’ve been asked not to reveal the specific two-party preferred votes, but will say the following:
- Of all the marginals under 4%, the Coalition is ahead in 30 and Labor in just 10.

- The swings in some of the safer - but “super profits” tax-affected seats are astonishing, The Western Australian seat of Brand, for instance, held by Parliamentary Secretary Gary Gray with a supposedly healthy margin of more than 6 per cent, would fall easily to the Coalition.

- Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith is struggling to hang on in Perth.

- Bye bye, Maxine McKew.

- Lindsay, the seat that takes in Penrith, will fall the same way, and almost as decisively.

- The Coalition could win four seats in South Australia alone.

- Some huge anti-Labor swings in NSW and Queensland seats.

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Tea is bad for...oh, sorry, no, it's good for

Go here and have a look over the last couple of days posts.

Dr Ray points to the usual epidemiological bullshit that produces these rounds of yes it is, no it isn't health reporting in the media.

None of this crap should be mentioned by journalists. None of the so-called studies, (or very few anyway), are worth anything in scientific terms. Instead, most are simply number crunching by computers looking for correlations in large data sets.

Within any large enough data set you will find correlations, but the often unanswered question is: are these correlations significant or not?

There are measures, such as relative risk, that try to give a sense of the robustness of a studies findings, but few journalists seem to be aware of this and certainly never think to ask questions about these.

Trouble being that so many of the epidemiological studies used as fodder by the media as either health shock stories or excessively optimistic ones have relative risk ratings of less than 3.0 and, at times, even below 2.0.

What this means is that a study's findings are weak and probably more to do with coincidence than an actual signal of causation.

A former prominent medical journal editor once said he would not consider any epidemiological study worthy of publication unless it had a relative risk of at least between 3.0 and 4.0.

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Does "Scientific American" still employ scientists?

Something else from Dr Ray:

Does the "Scientific American" still employ scientists? They certainly still employ credulous journalists. I reproduce the first part of a rave by a panic-stricken little fluff-head below and follow with some comments by "eminence grise" Fred Singer. See also the article following the one below

The EPA found there is only a 1% chance of avoiding the increasing incidence of climate-caused catastrophes like floods, droughts and sea level rise without passage of this year’s American Power Act (APA) to place a cap on carbon emissions and then lower the pollution permittted each year.

This week the EPA released its findings on the environmental impact of the legislation: a 75% chance of a livable climate with passage of APA, only a 1% chance without it. Armageddon that is preventable, by our actions.

Yet, despite these truly dire findings for the real cost to us of inaction, news stories covered the estimate of the financial impact if we do act (20 – 40 cents a day or less than a postage stamp) but completely omitted any mention of the only 1% chance at a future in which to spend pennies, if we don’t act.

A 99% chance of catastrophe without legislation that is under threat of filibuster by the Senate GOP should be news to all US voters, including the increasing numbers of climate-related disaster victims, not just to readers of Wonkroom and the NRDC.

Especially when the odds are much better of keeping global average temperature rise below 2° C (or 3.6° F) if we pass climate legislation this year....


Fred Singer points out that the journalist has simply swallowed the EPA assertions, hook, line and sinker:

EPA's 'analysis' of the American Power Act is so bad, I wonder if a response to Scientific American is worthwhile.

1. It assumes a climate sensitivity that is not justified by any evidence

2. It ignores all forcings except CO2

3. It assumes that China and India will go along in rationing energy use

4. It uses the 'magic' 2 degC threshold -- for which there is no scientific evidence

5. It assumes that Floods, Droughts etc will all increase with temp

6. It ignores the benefits of GW and Increased CO2

7. It uses made-up risk probabilities, disguised as science


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Global Average Sea Surface Temperatures Continue their Plunge

Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) measured by the AMSR-E instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite continue their plunge as a predicted La Nina approaches. The following plot, updated through yesterday (June 17, 2010) shows that the cooling in the Nino34 region in the tropical east Pacific is well ahead of the cooling in the global average SST, something we did not see during the 2007-08 La Nina event (click on it for the large, undistorted version):

The rate at which the Nino34 SSTs are falling is particularly striking, as seen in this plot of the SST change rate for that region:

To give some idea of what is causing the global-average SST to fall so rapidly, I came up with an estimate of the change in reflected sunlight (shortwave, or SW flux) using our AMSR-E total integrated cloud water amounts. This was done with a 7+ year comparison of those cloud water estimates to daily global-ocean SW anomalies computed from the CERES radiation budget instrument, also on Aqua:

What this shows is an unusually large increase in reflected sunlight over the last several months, probably due to an increase in low cloud cover.

At this pace of cooling, I suspect that the second half of 2010 could ruin the chances of getting a record high global temperature for this year. Oh, darn.

SOURCE (See the original for links & graphics)

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Music for what's left of Sunday Morning - Lamb: Gorecki

"Mooj shoot­ing at us poor­ly. Sick light show though."

Incoming Tracers - Afghanistan

Crazy shit...The hole in the netting wasn't there in the beginning of the video.

From soldier "Mooj shoot­ing at us poor­ly. Sick light show though."

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Friday, June 18, 2010

I have an earworm

LCD Soundsystem - Dance Yrself Clean

And I'm not even sure why.

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The Great Wind Farm Disaster (You Have to Laugh)

Otherwise the extraordinary and absurd amounts of money and resources being wasted on wind farms would make you cry.

Heard a great story the other day from Matt Ridley, author of the absolutely essential The Rational Optimist.

He bumped into an engineer who was hoping to land one of the lucrative contracts for the massive, insanely expensive offshore wind farm programme which Dave’s new “Greener Than Anyone” administration hopes will reduce Britain’s carbon footprint while simultaneously creating that the philosopher’s-stone-type marvel that some men do call Green Jobs.

“What’s the chance of them being built on time?” Ridley asked.

“Zero,” said the engineer.

“And once you’ve stuck these things in the sea-bed, how long do you think they’ll last?” Ridley asked.

“Oh, virtually no time at all.”

“So if these offshore wind farms are going to be impossible to put up and are going to fall down as soon as you do, why are you vying for this multi-billion pound government contract?” asked Ridley.

“Duh,” said the engineer.

When Mary Tudor died, she predicted, they would find Calais engraved on her heart. My prediction when my old mucker Dave Cameron pops off, they will find “wind farms” engraved on his. Of all the damage his lousy administration will do to this country of ours, none will be so mighty, permanent or thoroughly inexcusable as his wind farm programme.

Here’s further cause for gloom from the excellent German blogger P Gosselin, whose reports on what’s happening in Germany gives us an idea of the disasters coming our way soon.

Originally estimated to cost €189 million, the Alpha Ventus park has been plagued by cost overruns and delays. In late summer and autumn of 2008, bad weather made installation of the first 6 turbines impossible. Then the equipment to install the monster turbines was not available. Next there were major problems with the transformer facilities.

A few weeks ago the temperature of the bearings in the turbine made by Areva Multibrid was too high and thus they had to be taken out of operation. Now the turbines have to be removed from their 500+ ft. high towers and the bearings have to be replaced. Repair works will take weeks and extend into late summer. It’s still unclear if the other four of the Multibrid turbines have a problem. The remaining 6 turbines are made by Repower and are reported to be running smoothly. There are no reports on how high the costs for the troublesome dismantling and repair works will run.

And if that weren’t bad enough, the construction works on the massive Bard Offshore 1 commercial windparks have been delayed as a 300-foot foundation column crashed onto the construction ship Wind Lift 1 three weeks ago. Now other turbines have to be thoroughly inspected. The Bard project foresees the installation of 320 five-megawatt class turbines over the coming years. The cost for the first 80 Bard turbines alone is climbing far beyond original estimates. First they were estimated to cost over €500 million. Now it’s estimated costs will exceed a billion euros. German online newspaper projects the costs will even reach €1.2 billion.

The promoters of the offshore projects cannot say they weren’t warned of the risks of installing windparks in the North Sea’s harsh conditions. The Nysted offshore windpark and Horns Rev park in Denmark are examples, and have struggled with big problems. For example in 2007 a transformer malfunction occurred at Nysted just 4 years after being commissioned, causing a months-long shutdown. At the Horns Rev windpark there were problems with the turbines only 2 years after they had gone into operation. World leading turbine manufacturer Vestas had to remove all 80 turbines, haul them onshore and perform extensive repairs. Luckily these turbines were only of the smaller 2 to 2.3-MW class, and so much easier to do repair works. Repairs and maintenance on the 5-MW monsters will be much tougher and expensive.

But as long as windpark companies continue to have the full backing of wasteful governments, costs won’t matter.

Amen, brother.


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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Labor man: 'Mate, one day the Australian public will grow to hate Kevin Rudd as much as I do'

Read Alexander Downer's comments below. I suppose I can luxuriate in that comfortable place of I Told You So, but still, it continues to baffle me.

It was all there before the last election. I told anybody who would listen, ie virtually nobody. Nobody wanted to listen, nobody wanted to look at all the things that just didn't add up.
I sat with a Labor luminary having a late-night drink in June 2008. He turned to me and said: ‘Mate, one day the Australian public will grow to hate Kevin Rudd as much as I do.’ That day has arrived.

Former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on Kevin Rudd, the strange and deeply insecure man he once told me was “not worthy” to be Prime Minister:
Members of the Federal Parliament all know each other; not necessarily well, but at least a little. Over the past 20 years, few, if any, MPs have been less popular than Kevin Rudd. All politicians are at the very least a trifle vain. They like to be the centre of attention, to be in the media, to be ‘consulted’. There is barely an exception. All of them think they are a bit better than they really are. Nearly all of them are ambitious, many furiously so. But on all of those counts, no one in recorded Australian political history has ever exceeded Kevin Rudd…

What MPs didn’t like about Rudd, the backbencher, and Rudd, the shadow minister, was his conceit and vanity.

On 9 September 2004, an Islamist fanatic tried to blow up the Australian embassy in Jakarta… I told my staff we ought to go immediately to Jakarta… Indirectly, I let Rudd know he was invited. I drove to my office to prepare for my departure. There was a message to call Rudd. He was furious. The f***ing VIP plane wasn’t going via Brisbane to pick him up. It f***ing had to. He ordered me to change its f***ing flight schedule.

I explained ...(that) to travel via Brisbane would add hours to the journey. Instead, we would pay for a commercial flight for him.... A fusillade of abuse, much of it with sexual references, ensued…

The point is clear: people at the embassy had died, we needed to get the Indonesians onto the case to establish who the culprits were, we had to show support to the embassy staff ... But for the member for Griffith it was about one thing: himself…

Rudd wants fame. He wants to be on TV every night. He wants to be recognised everywhere he goes. He wants to be the centre of attention… Something happened (in his childhood) made him determined one day to be famous… But like all people who seek fame for themselves at the expense of others, his fame will eat him up…

I sat with a Labor luminary having a late-night drink in June 2008. He turned to me and said: ‘Mate, one day the Australian public will grow to hate Kevin Rudd as much as I do.’ That day has arrived.

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Tea parties pop up in places like Moscow, Tel Aviv and the Hague


Не потопчите на мне
As Tea Party protests pop up in places like Moscow, Tel Aviv and the Hague, Americans may question whether the Tea Party platform can cross international and cultural borders. For activists outside the U.S., the answer is a resounding “yes.”
Betreed niet op me
“I think the message of the American Revolution is global.The message of natural, unalienable rights, the message of opposition to tyrannical government — that’s not just well-known, that’s universal,” Boris Karpa, organizer of the Israeli Tea Party, told The Daily Caller in an e-mail. “As you know well, many countries have based their founding documents on the U.S. Declaration of Independence or other American documents.”
לא לדרוך לי
Although several international organizers had never even heard of the Boston Tea Party until U.S. protests brought the events of 1773 back into the spotlight, they now wear the Tea Party badge proudly as an example of American exceptionalism worth emulating.
Please, go read the whole thing.

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IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri now says he welcomes debate with sceptics

In a stunning reversal, beleaguered UN IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri is now claiming he has nothing but respect and acceptance for skeptics of man-made global warming claims.

Pachauri, in a June 15, 2010 BBC commentary, declared “I am not deaf to those who do not agree with the scientific consensus on man-made climate change.” Pachauri also added: “The IPCC and the scientific community at large should welcome the development of a vigorous debate on the science of climate change.”

Oh really?

The rest here.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spam:Why no tears now for dead asylum seekers?

Simple answer - they are no longer convenient as tools to bash John Howard with.

WHERE are they now, those hypocrites who once noisily wept over John Howard’s “cruelty” to boat people?
Why aren’t they shedding tears over the 170 boat people since believed killed under these more “compassionate” policies they voted for?

Twelve more suspected deaths at sea last week. Another 100 feared dead last October. Families drowning in the months before that. Five men blown up at Ashmore Reef.

So many bodies in the sea. So many people recklessly lured to their deaths.
So why this cowardly, guilty, avert-the-gaze silence from those once so quick to cry over boat people when the Liberals were in charge?

I’m talking about the kind of activists who erected hundreds of decorated poles in a Canberra park to mourn the 353 SIEV X passengers who in 2001 drowned in Indonesian waters - but under Howard’s watch.

I’m talking about activists such as former ambassador Tony Kevin, who falsely suggested the SIEV X was “almost certainly sabotaged” by agents of this evil Howard regime.

I’m talking about...
The rest here

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Is the common brown butterfly emerging 10 days earlier than it did 65 years ago because of climate change?

The answer actually appears to be that nobody really knows!

More misleading warmy bullshit revealed and, my God!, is that an urban heat island effect there?

And warmies cherry picking data to get the "right" result? Surely not!

Mr Bolt reports:

The Age was very excited in March by the latest research of climate alarmist David Karoly:

Researchers have found that because of a rise in temperature, caused by an increase in greenhouse gas emissions by humans, the common brown butterfly now emerges from its cocoon 10 days earlier than it did 65 years ago.

Professor Karoly seized on the study as proof of man-made global warming:

This new work has tied the earlier emergence of butterflies directly to a regional temperature increase, and has tied the temperature increase very strongly to increases in greenhouse gas concentrations caused by humans...

I was immediately suspicious, noting the glaring evidence of an urban heat island effect at Laverton that could have explained plenty.

In fact, the study that so pleased The Age was so dodgy that some PhD student, Marc Hendrix, now comes along and blows it to pieces with a quick letter that the Royal Society considers so convincing that it’s obliged to publish. The main charge is cherry picking. Some extracts:

I have obtained the same data used in this study as Kearney et al. and am unable to confirm the results for the historical observation data. I count 239 observations made in Oct-Dec from 1942 to 2009. The annual data show a wide range of earliest observation dates (Figure 1), and at face value the use of 5 year or 10 year averages appears to be a convenient statistical method that hides the very wide spread of observation dates. Applying a linear regression to a graph of the earliest observation date for each year indicates a trend of -0.7 days per decade. However, with an R2 of 0.0091 the trend has no statistical significance....

Indeed the caption for Figure 1a is incorrect and misleading. The graph is in fact a measure of earliest “observance” times, not emergence… The historical trends identified simply reflect variation in the time collectors have ventured out to observe and collect butterflies. The databases in question do not record a single observation of natural emergence of H.Merope. Indeed no work has been published that records natural emergence times for the butterfly concerned…

There is also a considerable bias in observation locations, with the vast majority collected in Melbourne’s east and none in the vicinity of Laverton, the weather station that was used to characterise temperature change over the whole of the study area (Figure 2).

The other issue relates to the use of this Laverton weather station to characterise temperature over the very large and geographically diverse study area, amounting to approximately 12,000km2 (37.60-38.54 S, 144.17-145.48 E). The paper does not mention well documented Urban Heat Island effects over Melbourne that encompasses Laverton that have clearly affected temperature at this station over the period of study (see Morri and Simmonds, 2000 and Torok et al., 2001)… It seems the authors have chosen one station that favours their theory without adequately explaining why others should be rejected…

Trends for other stations (eg Durdidwarrah) fall well within the limits of natural temperature change indicted by Kearney’s Figure 1d and provide an indication that observed temperature trends over parts of the study area can be adequately explained by natural factors without recourse to warming through increased green house gases.

Based on these points, I believe that the authors’ conclusions remain unsupported by the data presented.

Buit, of course, the correction will receive none of media publicity that Karoly’s original scare did.

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The Simpsons and soccer

Sunday, June 13, 2010

UCLA professor of geology - Climategate "the greatest science scandal in my lifetime"

I must preface my remarks by saying that I believe that there has indeed been climate warming over the past few decades and I believe that human action may be one of the causes. While Climategate may bring into greater question some of the work underlying climate warming, it decidedly does not disprove it.

Having said that, I must add that Climategate is, in my view, the greatest science scandal in my lifetime. Beyond any scientific implications are the implications of the behavior of the East Anglia scientists and their correspondents - suppressing information, denigrating those who don’t agree with them, trying to deny others access to scientific journals, questioning motives, and conniving to disfellow skeptical colleagues. These are the earmarks of zealotry. While maybe not illegal, they are most certainly unethical. Civilized people, much less scientists, just don’t do those things - but then, apparently they do.

Full article


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His "unsavoury policies" include issues like "freedom of speech, female equality and gay rights." Pardon?

Andrew Bolt:

The New York Times brands Dutch political leader Geert Wilders an ‘extremist” and “populist” who causes trouble for “mainstream” politicians with his “unsavoury policies”. It then calls on a Dutch academic to help explain how bad this “outspoken critic of Islam” really is:

Dick Houtman, a professor of political sociology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, said that Mr. Wilders had built on Mr. Fortuyn’s legacy, successfully avoiding the overtly racist language of far-right politicians in other countries by highlighting issues like freedom of speech, female equality and gay rights. ”That serves to exclude Muslims from the Dutch political consensus,” he said.

Are these guys listening to themselves? If “highlighting issues like freedom of speech, female equality and gay rights” does indeed “exclude Muslims from the Dutch political consensus”, then who is the real problem here? Which side of the debate does indeed have “unsavoury policies”?

This siding with the threat rather than the threatened is already sick enough, But note also that Wilders’ forerunner, gay academic Pim Fortuyn, was murdered by a green activist upset by his warnings of the threat to freedom posed by Islam, and that Wilders himself is now under 24-hour guard merely for speaking his mind.

Michael Finch sums up:

Apparently to be part of the postmodern Western “political consensus”, too be inclusive of Muslims, we need to be against freedom of speech, gay rights and female equality?

Houtman, aware of it or not, has made a brilliant, if obvious, observation. In order for many Muslim immigrants to feel culturally and politically included in the West, most clearly in Holland, they need to exist in an environment that is not open to the pluralistic, open and free West of the Enlightenment of the past 300 years.

So when a Western politician like Wilders openly embraces the values of liberty, he is called an extremist, hate monger and radical with ties to neo Nazis. The elite class, currently in Washington and throughout the halls of Western academia and the media, feel it more important to be inclusive of Muslims then holding true to the values that created the most open and free society the world has ever seen. And to oppose this new orthodoxy makes one a criminal, as the Left hopes to make of Wilders.

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Rudd's "4000" scientists turn to just "dozens"

Though of course, Rudd seems to have pulled the figure of 4,000 out of his arse. Climate hysterics actually used to go on about how a mythical 2,500 scientists all agreed with each other, even though that number was bullshit too.

Mr Bolt reports:

Kevin Rudd tells yet another lie to justify his global warming policies:

And the most recent IPCC scientific conclusion in 2007 was that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and the “increase in global average temperatures since the mid 20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” This is the conclusion of 4,000 scientists appointed by governments from virtually every country in the world...

Mick Hulme, Professor of Climate Change at the University of East Anglia and an IPCC’s co-ordinating Lead Author, corrects the record:

Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous. That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies; other IPCC authors are experts in other fields.

Just a few dozen scientists, not Rudd’s “4000”. The man is utterly shameless.
But this raises the question: how easy is it for such a small group to become slaves of group think - or, indeed, to become intoxicated with their enormous and flattering influence on geo-politics?

In 2006, Professor Edward Wegman raised this very fear in his report, commissioned by the United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee to examine the IPCC’s discredited “hockey stick”, devised by Michael Mann, which purported to show unprecedented warming last century:

One of the interesting questions associated with the ‚"hockey stick controversy’ are the relationships among the authors and consequently how confident one can be in the peer review process. In particular, if there is a tight relationship among the authors and there are not a large number of individuals engaged in a particular topic area, then one may suspect that the peer review process does not fully vet papers before they are published…

However, it is immediately clear that the Mann, Rutherford, Jones, Osborn, Briffa, Bradley and Hughes form a clique, each interacting with all of the others. A clique is a fully connected subgraph, meaning everyone in the clique interacts with every one else in the clique....

Michael Mann is a co-author with every one of the other 42 [in his clique]. The black squares on the diagonal [fig. 5.2] indicate that the investigators work closely within their group, but not so extensively outside of their group.

Note those names again: Michael Mann, Scott Rutherford, Phil Jones, Tim Osborn, Keith Briffa, Ray Bradley and Malcolm Hughes are all climate scientists implicates in the Climategate scandal.

And Rudd not only fell for it, but lied for it.

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Steve McIntyre has started a new series on the "the trick," which to this day almost nobody understands

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sorry Lady GaGa, but if you go to the game dressed like a two-bob trollop...

Some pop stars go to baseball in their underwear and are so surprised that the media is not just there but clicking away that they give them the finger:
Lady Gaga was so fed up with the photographers hounding her during a New York Mets game at Citi Field yesterday that she showed them the middle finger.

Apparently she didn’t take kindly to the prime seats she was given right behind home plate, and was caught on camera flipping off any onlookers while receiving a chorus of boos from the crowd. Not surprisingly, her random appearance drew the attention of New York fans, photographers and one confused bat boy, who all flocked to her premium seats near home plate...:

If she didn’t want to stand out in that crowd of T-shirt-wearing, baseball-capped fans, why in the world was she dressed in her “Telephone” costume? A metal-studded black leather bra and matching knickers are bound to be noticed, no matter who is wearing them.

Lady Gaga and her group relocated to Jerry Seinfeld’s luxury box later in the game, where she continued to give any onlookers two middle-finger salutes. If she wants to go unnoticed, maybe wearing pants would attract less attention. I have been to many baseball games and have managed to put ALL of my clothes on for every one of them.
But this is how Western culture now works. Such stupidity, such exhibitionism, such vulgarity, such barbarism - it’s all rewarded with attention (like this) and increased wealth. Unless more of us start laughing and stop buying.

Do your bit.

The harm done to other brands may yet help us:
Gaga was watching the New York Mets play the San Diego Padres at Citi Field in New York, when she flipped cameras the bird.

The singer happened to be sitting in Jerry Seinfeld’s VIP suite, and so The Mets issued an apology to the comedian.”We deeply regret that Jerry Seinfeld has been associated with this matter and have apologized to him,” the organisation said in a statement. “The use of Jerry Seinfeld’s suite was unauthorized and unknown to him at the time. We made a quick decision to place Lady Gaga and her group in a private suite because of issues related to her visit.”
America really is different. True, it’s actually the cutlrue which gave us Lady Gaga, yet at the same time it’s the culture which gives us media outfits that pixilate the extended middle digit, as you’ll see in the clip above.

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