Monday, 14 December 2009

Opportunity

Distilling the essence of the past, which is experience; and
connecting it to the future, which is opportunity.”
- Ron Manners

Heroic MisadventuresI’m really enjoying reading Ron Manners’ memoirs at the moment—a record of the failures, success and thoughts of a remarkable West Australian and “an inspiring story of the power of ideas, combining a wealth of entertainment, wisdom and practical advice and an eloquent and compelling defence of individual freedom.”

Adventurer, miner, money-launderer and entrepreneur, the head of (among others things) the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, his book Heroic Misadventures is subtitled ‘Australia: Four Decades - Full Circle.’ Why? Essentially because the woes endured here are really no different in The Lucky Country, and those woes been returning:

    In the 1970s we saw Australia’s Federal Government doing stupid things. Future generations regretted that damage to our Australian economy as we paid the ongoing price.
    “Now, following a period of prosperity where industry and entrepreneurship was encouraged, we see our debt (over-stimulation) and damage (ETS) and the resultant costs and uncompetitiveness being passed onto future generations.
    “We are also forced to listen to political incompetents who claim that ‘governments create jobs’ as they gamble with our future.
    “Equally appalling is the sight of ‘big business’ lining up like pigs at a trough to collect the taxpayer-funded subsidies as their prize for demanding ‘certainty’ as the ETS inflicts another tax on anyone who produces or has the courage to engage in productive activities.
    “My book Heroic Misadventures is not entirely about such Shakespearian tragedies, it is mainly a collection of stories on how resilient individuals can rise above political nonsense, in their efforts towards survival and self-sufficiency

It’s a great and irreverent book, and a great stocking stuffer for the favourite resilient individual in your life. Ron has the tremendous ability to tell a colourful down-to-earth tale while slipping in a moral before you’ve even realised it. Even simple stories like this one about the ongoing opposition of compliance versus creativity, offered to graduating students at the WA School of Mines, which could be the theme of the 2025 Task Force:

    _quoteSo, what of the future?
    “Why am I an Optimist?
    “Well, I was thinking about that this morning when I realised I felt more adrenaline flowing from having dinner last night with our own management team of 20 executives [in his family-owned company] than I did from spending last week in Queensland at the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Annual Conference, where 500 of Australia’s captains of industry were gathered.
    “Why was that?
    “I think that Australia’s corporate captains feel that they have already reached the ‘dizzy heights,’ and are preoccupied 90 per cent of the time with compliance issues with only 10 per cent devoted to creativity.
    “With our team, we are still on the way up, with much more yet to achieve, so we focus 90 per cent on creativity issues and only 10 per cent of our time on compliance.
    “. . . If you let compliance with the the myriad of regulations . . . take over, then nothing will be discovered or produced. . .”
    “Don’t let the detractors deter you from your productive challenges.  Anyone without a clear vision of their future ceases to live. . . Henry David Thoreau once said:
_quoteYouth gets together the materials for the bridge to the moon, but later the middle-aged man decides to make a woodshed with them."
     “As you embark on your careers, don’t let lesser people turn your ‘bridges to the moon’ into any ‘old woodshed.’ 
    “Let your visions shape your destiny, and if anyone like this gets in your way—run right over the bastards!”

Nearly at the two-million mark!

I should probably tell you that this blog is almost officially at the two-million mark. 

As I write this, my trusty Statcounter tells me that NOT PC has just had its 1,997,136th “page load” since Statcounter was first installed in April 2005, meaning that in the next day or so this blog will tip over into 2,000,000-plus hits.

Feel free to clap—but maybe wait until the milestone is passed before you actually throw money.  :-)

Making opposing commenters disappear? [updated]

I’ve been appalled to visit the comments section of Kiwiblog and FrogBlog recently. Not because of the standard of the comments, which hasn’t changed, but because both now boast a new system in place by which regular readers can rate each other’s comments, and by so rating make them either become more prominent or disappear. 

It’s fair enough, I guess, that comments rating well with regulars get a highlight that makes them more prominent, but a feature that hides all the comments that don’t rate well makes me distinctly uncomfortable.

The Standard (unusually) captures how I felt about seeing that particular innovation:

_quote This type of innovative hiding of comments based on anonymous voting . . . removes all level of personal responsibility for what is effectively a ban. It significantly reduces the feedback that follow-up comments by other commentators or moderators would give. As such you’d have to question its value . . . You’d have to say that this system, while low maintenance in terms of moderating effort, is very good at stifling robust debate on Kiwiblog to a relatively small cohort of possible opinion sets. . .  Before, there was at least a chance the uniformed might glance at ‘non conforming’ comments on their way to have their prejudices reinforced. Now they can be made to disappear . . . ”

And I’m not sure I like that, especially if it’s going to be a growing trend. 

Sure, we all know the problems with trolls, and every blog has their own way of dealing with (and defining) them. But I really hope other blogs I frequent don’t pick up this particular innovation.

I like the cut and trust of healthy, open debate on a blog—rather than the quiet concealment of views to which a blog’s particular “goon squad” are opposed, on whom a blogger with such a system might be expected to vote for censure at appropriate moments.

Better, it seems to me, to answer opposing comments than to pretend they don’t exist.

In effect, the enforced conformity of such a system is a variant of what Ayn Rand called The Argument from Intimidation. Commenters at both Kiwiblog and The Standard should enjoy her observations on the phenomenon:

    _quote This method bears a certain resemblance to the fallacy ad hominem, and comes from the same psychological root, but is different in essential meaning. The ad hominem fallacy consists of attempting to refute an argument by impeaching the character of its proponent. Example: ‘Candidate X is immoral, therefore his argument is false.’
    “But the psychological pressure method consists of threatening to impeach an opponent's character by means of his argument, thus impeaching the argument without debate. Example: ‘Only the immoral can fail to see that Candidate X's argument is false [and therefore needs to be hidden].’
    “In the first case, Candidate X's immorality (real or invented) is offered as proof of the falsehood of his argument. In the second case, the falsehood of his argument is asserted arbitrarily… offered as proof of his immorality [and used to conceal his point of view].
    “In today's epistemological jungle, that second method is used more frequently than any other type of irrational argument. It should be classified as a logical fallacy and may be designated as ‘The Argument from Intimidation’ . . .
    “In our political life, the Argument from Intimidation is the almost exclusive method of discussion. Predominantly, today's political debates consist of smears and apologies, or intimidation and appeasement. The first is usually (though not exclusively) practiced by the liberals, the second by the conservatives.”

Feel free to comment. :-)

UPDATE: A few people suggested David Farrar might have switched the system off over at Kiwiblog. Not so, as David clarifies in the comments below:

    _quoteNot switched off but I keep adjusting the thresholds so you now need 50 negative votes to be hidden (not removed).
    “It is an experiment and not a very successful one at the moment as there seem to be around 40 or so people who vote on every comment.
    “The highlighting of very high scoring posts is working somewhat ok. Can be useful in a long thread.
    “I may keep adjusting the hide threshold upwards so no one can ever be hit with it. It is being abused too often.”

As it always will be. All new is not always all good.

“Champagne for my real friends . . . ”

RealPain Health news today that says your Christmas celebrations might be good for you, if you take Cactus Kate’s advice and stick to champagne and lots two glasses of it.

_quote We have found that a couple of glasses a day has a beneficial effect on the walls of blood vessels – which suggests champagne has the potential to reduce strokes and heart disease," Dr Jeremy Spencer of Reading University told the Observer. "It is very exciting news."

Sure is.  Just make sure those glasses are large ones!  Because it’s entirely self-evidence that flourishing and being happy about it is good for you. If it doesn’t make you live longer by pursuing eudemonia then it certainly seems like much longer if you don’t—and you hardly need a scientist to tell you that.

So as Tom Waits once said, “Champagne for my real friends, and real pain for my sham friends.”

And to celebrate this great news, here’s the Champagne Song from Die Fledermaus: “It’s not how much you drink, it’s what you drink.  A toast to King Champagne!” (The toast, by Kiri te Kanawa, starts about 2:00 in.)

Conflict of interest? Not when you’re a climate alarmist [update 4]

The hacked ClimateGate emails “don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked” says a thorough word-by-word study by . . . Seth Borenstein, one of the very journalists whose cosy relationship with warmist “scientists” was exposed by the emails themselves.

And not only that, his dismissal of the oceans of hacked data and more than 2000 emails was based in large part on “reactions” from so-called “moderate” scientists, which those emails themselves showed not to be moderates at all but “full-fledged warmists.” As Andrew Bolt says, “Borenstein is sure the Climategate emails don’t amount to much because he asked global warming believers if they now admitted they were wrong.”

So much for journalistic integrity.

D’you think The New Deniers – who are legion – even understand the concept of conflict of interest? Or integrity. Or the first thing about confronting the real facts? Let me give them some advice. In fact, let George Monbiot, writing in the Guardian, give them some advice:

_quote Confronted with crisis, most of the environmentalists I know have gone into denial. . . Pretending the climate email leak isn't a crisis won't make it go away. . . There is no helping it; Phil Jones [the source of most of the emails] has to go, and the longer he leaves it, the worse it will get. “

And AP’s science reporter Seth Borenstein has to go as well – if not from his job at AP, but at the very least from the pages of the Herald where his bullshit is being peddled.

Why not write and tell them so? It only takes a minute.

UPDATE 1: Andrew Bolt reports a similar theme from Aussie journos:

The ABC’s chief science reporter, Robyn ”100 metres” Williams, writes nearly 1000 words to dismiss the Climategate emails as a storm in a teacup. Of all those words, these are all you need read:

So what do the emails reveal? I hesitate to pronounce. I haven’t read them.

UPDATE 2: And Paul Walker reckons things haven’t changed much in sixty years.  Here’s peer-reviewed science circa 1945.

UPDATE 3: Maybe local journos are doing better than we think, at least at Newstalk ZB.  Petra Bagust, (yes, Petra Bagust!) put together the two scientists that Mark Sainsbury should have had on his Close UP programme recently: Jim Salinger and Bob Carter, over two hours last night.  Here’s the first hour, which was mostly Salinger, and here’s the second. (Scroll past the news at the start of each hour.)

And Kerre Woodham spent part of her Sunday programme harassing Jeanette Fitzsimplesimons. Good stuff, apparently. The interview starts around fifteen minutes into this this audio.

UPDATE 4: They faked the Siberian tree figures. They put their CO2 measuring meters next to volcanoes and exhaust systems. They warmed up the data in Wellington. They warmed up the data in Darwin.  They warmed it up in Alaska and Orland. And now they’re warming it up in Antarctica.

Crikey, it’s almost as bad as Bob Jones’ satirising The Beards in his novel Full Circle, in which a ship full of hookers parked up at the Pole for the winter to keep the Beards company raised weather temperatures to record levels by dumping hot water on the thermometers.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Friday morning ramble #666

Okay, time to ramble round the web again on another fine Friday, based on links I’ve been updating at my Twitter page.  There’s a bit of a theme here, this week . . .

 

  • Check this out.  'There's probably no God' coming to a bus near you.
    http://bit.ly/8W4wMC
    Come on NZers-vote like the world is watching, because they are:
     http://bit.ly/7ki7fS)
  • Updated blog post: Scroll down to see John Christy debate Gavin Schmidt on CNN
    http://tinyurl.com/yba9lsz -
  • Yaron Brook talks ClimateGate, explaining the ethics & politics at the heart of the warmist religion:
    1. Guilt &
    2. Redistribution of wealth
    It’s politics, not science.
    http://bit.ly/5HLuq2
  • New blog post: http://tinyurl.com/ykztosa - Easter in the bureaucracy
  • Here’s the interview Frank Bainimarama needs to hear. In this interview, Ayn Rand discusses:
    The importance of a written constitution; A republic vs. a democracy; The nature of the checks and balances in America’s constitution; Electoral re-apportionment and “one-man-one-vote”; Amending the Constitution.
    Listen Now: Structure of Government [audio]
  • Speaking of interviews, Raymond Chandler & Ayn Rand both appear on Kim Hill’s show tomorrow, Saturday. Well, a Rand biographer anyway - of sorts. Along with talk about my favourite Chandler, The Big Sleephttp://bit.ly/5ABjm1   
    Listen in here: www.radionz.co.nz/saturday
    [UPDATE: That was appalling.  One of the first jobs of a biographer is surely to know her subject, but Heller falls down completely on that job.  To take just one example, to talk about your subject’s “contradictions” as she did is simply an admission that you don’t know your subject.  It’s a biographer’s job to explain things that to them appear contradictory; to be unable to do so is a confession that you’re not up to the job. Which Heller clearly isn’t. Bizarrely, Kim Hill appeared to know more.]
  • And speaking of Ayn Rand biographies, Robert Mayhew reviews the other Rand biography making waves at the moment, Jennifer Burns’s Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand & the American Right
    He says, “What readers might have expected—what such a book could have been—is a presentation of the development of Ayn Rand’s political thought and its basis in her more fundamental philosophy, a history of her political activities and interactions with others on the right explained largely in terms of her philosophy, and a discussion of how she compares to others on the right in terms of essentials… Burns, however, has no grasp of or interest in Rand’s philosophical ideas or arguments, and chose to write a different sort of biography . . . ”
    Read REVIEW: 'Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right' by Jennifer Burns
  • When in Rotorua this summer, check out the award-winning Croucher's beer-one of 8 beers judged as NZ's best.
    http://bit.ly/87fwyy
  • A Hockey stick has been observed in NOAA ice core data:
    http://wp.me/p7y4l-3CP
  • "An Answer for Businessmen" by Ayn Rand: ". . . to save capitalism there is only one type of argument you should adopt." Here it is:
    http://bit.ly/5YPN54
  • Now this is real science. CERN's Big Bang machine records first hardcore atom smash. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10614570 
  • New blog post: Warmist Witch Doctors
    http://pc.blogspot.com/2009/12/witch-doctors-meet-attila.html
  • New blog post: A tribute to the model-makers of climate & macroeconomics . . .
    http://tinyurl.com/yet8rns
  • It’s a ClimateGate Christmas, y’all


  • 12 NZ children were killed through abuse over the two years since Sue Bradford’s anti-child-abuse law was introduced. That’s as many as the previous two-year period. So that worked well.
    http://bit.ly/7X3OiB
  • New blog post: http://tinyurl.com/yz4xd5p - School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore–CPG Consultants
  • New blog post: http://tinyurl.com/yzweow9 - Quote of the day: Comrade Lysenko in Copenhagen 3:24 AM Dec 9th from API
  • Marsha Enright on "Montessori's Liberating Ideas on Social Skills": “

    “Maria Montessori's thinking and work presents some of the most liberating ideas about education to be found on the planet.
    “Here's her answer to a question about how the set-up of her classrooms advances excellent social skills which prepare the child for a life of productive work, trade, collaboration, and individual expression . . .”
    http://direttoressa.livejournal.com/22842.html

_quote So the New Zealand Government is reforming SOEs
to forcibly reduce power bills, having just legislated
an Emissions Trading Scheme to increase power bills. Clever.”

        - Mark Hubbard

  • CO2 Regulation: “It’s the essence of immorality”:



  • The evidence really does say ”we can’t account for the lack of warming” and we are going through ”a slight cooling trend.” How inconvenient.
    http://bit.ly/7VGzk9
  • Save, save, save we’re told; we need to save the economy.  What’s this “we”? Whose “need”?
    "Saving money is not an end in itself, and forcing me to do so is wrong."
  • Many parents use rewards -- stamps, star charts and the like – as a means to discipline their children. Two good posts here argue the point:
    Rational Jenn doesn’t use reward systems to encourage our kids to do certain things or behave in a certain way, and she explains way. “There's some interesting discussion in the comments, too."
    Read Discipline Without Rewards.
    Jenn says no, Amy Mossoff says “sometimes."
    Read Reward Systems.
    (And if you’re really interested in the subject and want more, read Alfie Kohn’s excellent book Punishment by Rewards.)
  • Andrew Bernstein answers questions:
    • Is the purpose of Objectivist ethics to increase the number of human beings and maximize their number?
    • How does Ayn Rand’s egoistic ethics reconcile with the fact that we live in a universe of finite resources?

 

  • Observe the long queues and organisational cock-ups at the CopenHuggin- the UN can’t organise a simple conference yet they assume they can restructure the global economy! Yeah right.
    http://bit.ly/86aRI9
  • Last year, ExxonMobil donated $7 million to a grab-bag of public policy institutes, the bastards.
    http://bit.ly/5OAtBg
  • At Wall Street Journal's site, Bret Stephens on Copenhagen and the psychology of true belief [HT Stephen Hicks]:
    http://tinyurl.com/ykf4atj
  • Warming, cooling, warming, cooling . . . 100 years of climate scaremongering reveals a basic AGW fact: Fear equals funding.
    http://bit.ly/18c6sD
  • "Look at the graph." Which graph? James Hansen's GISS keeps changing them. See:
    http://bit.ly/5OLVa6
  • It’s the new Father Ted - 'For The Love of Mrs Brown' - [HT Simon Pound]. Very funny if you like good Irish old person comedy : http://bit.ly/632v2Q


  • GlobalWarming science is settled? Not so, say 141 scientists from 17 countries in an open letter tabled in CopenHagen
    http://bit.ly/89iH0a
  • A bar owner uses the Coase Theorem to flout anti-=smoking bans. Smart stuff!
    http://bit.ly/8I5sjd
  • Top 10 travel loves and hates. What are yours?
    http://bit.ly/4Kq122
  • Horner, McIntyre & Oppenheimer Speak Up on #Climategate http://bit.ly/90M0da revealing the "trick." James Hansen concedes the point.
  • Daily Beast fabricates an AynRand quote, see article http://bit.ly/6y2hUO then c/f w/ actual text: "Loathe your ideals." http://bit.ly/8LQQAr Typical web scholarship.
  • "Atlas Shrugged and Public Choice: The Obvious Parallels"
    http://ow.ly/JZwP
  • America's Religious Right Takes a Deep (& Frightening) Philosophical Breath
    http://bit.ly/5niAKJ
  • Cooking the decline [update 5: TVNZ debate climate & ClimateGate]
    http://tinyurl.com/yzjsx3t
  • It’s NOT just "scientists are bad, but the data is OK.” The data is bad, too. The Smoking Gun is Darwin Zero.
    http://bit.ly/7Hy40x
  • American's belief of global warming sinking - below 50% for the first time in 2 years:
    http://wp.me/p7y4l-3BH
  • #Climategate in WSJ: "latest twist is hidden notations in the data": "Apply a VERY ARTIFICIAL correction for decline!"
    http://bit.ly/8lj3Fa
  • A Climate Depot Exclusive: Real Climate Exposed! A Comprehensive Report on "neutral" climate blog RealClimate.org, run by Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann, and Gavin “Warmist Shill” Sdhmidt.
    http://bit.ly/eYcL4

_quoteThe EPA declared CO2 a pollutant, and I joked that maybe I should stop breathing.
Then realized that was the whole point.”

- Vodka Pundit

  • mg20427381.200-1_300 The world is divided into "dog people" and "cat people," each passionately believing that their preferred pet is superior.
    New Scientist magazine checks out new evidence either way.
    Read Dogs vs cats: The great pet showdown
  • New blog post: Cooking the decline [update 4: Darwin & the Smoking Gun]
    http://tinyurl.com/yzjsx3t
  • CBS finally reports on Climategate. Expat kiwi Kevin Trenberth defends his work & his email . . .
    http://bit.ly/8La8Xf
  • Lapped by the Gulf of Mexico, Houston normally boasts balmy year-round climate. Except this winter and the last one, when they’ve been shovelling up several inches of global warming.
     http://bit.ly/7PPL4q
  • Mises' Theory of Money and Credit: Beautiful Cover, Amazing Price, Best explanation yet for booms and busts.
    http://tinyurl.com/yd96f9d
  • New book 'An Ideal Guide to Keynes's Dangerous and Destructive Economics .' And so it is.
    http://bit.ly/5OcbZ3
  • Sitting down, Kiwis? Chris Trotter thinks National Govts follow laissez-faire - ROTFL. http://bit.ly/7K2D6B
  • New blog post: Warmist flip-flops
    http://tinyurl.com/yer9cob
  • New blog post:NOT PC’s Blog Stats for November
    http://tinyurl.com/yhb2dsq
  • There’s no other way to say it. Reading ClimateGate’s "HARRY_READ_ME.txt" it's clear that the data & files representing the backbone of climate science are a mess.
    http://bit.ly/5G6QSj 


               _quoteComplex things must have been created by even more complex beings.
  (Note: doesn't apply to me.)”

- Tweeted by @almightygod

  • New blog post: Stossel on Fox, Rand, Gekko and more
    http://tinyurl.com/ybghubc -
  • Sarah Palin: "I feel so at home here in Washington. I can see the Russian Embassy from my hotel room!”
     http://bit.ly/4xslHi
  • CNN: Climategate “has landed like a bomb” -- Phil Jones Has 'Literally Gone Underground' - well, figuratively anyway.
    http://bit.ly/5cPgwI
  • And for Copenhagen's opening ceremony some fear mongering
    http://bit.ly/8pYEXB
  • Ocean Acidification: Another Failing Scare Story?  You betcha.
    http://bit.ly/7UN88Y
  • Check out this hilarious site:
    http://autocompleteme.com/
  • ClimateGate: One by one they’re waking up. Megan McArdle is persuaded there IS something to see here. "I've become considerably more concerned"
    http://bit.ly/5uVvq2
  • Ben Bernanke's great. "Inflation will not get out of control," he says. No, really, he is great.  His comedic skills rival those of Baghdad Bob.
    http://bit.ly/6hZfwu

 

_quoteI now accept that it is looking increasingly likely that
Tiger Woods is, in fact, straight.”
- Stephen Fry

 

  • Straw man alert! Who says the market economy is a perfectly balanced, self-regulating machine? Certainly not market economists anyway!
    http://bit.ly/4qnCpu
  • While NIWA was cooking the data their raw figures were cooking themselves: NIWA's Kelburn station, against which all Wellington’s data for one-hundred years is correlated, is surrounded by cars, asphalts and tourist buses. Can they even spell Urban Heat Island?
     http://bit.ly/7ZbRGb
  • Here's how to "hide the decline": just ramp up the fudge factors to fake the figures. That's how Keith Briffa does it
    http://bit.ly/84UGfN
  • ClimateGate: BBC's Newsnight examines the CRU source code : well below commercial software standards say s-ware dvlprs
    http://bit.ly/8wuN72
  • ClimateGate fallout continues Stateside:
    http://bit.ly/6d8CjX
  • More measurement errors: If you want to measure the world's CO2, why would you measure it next to the world's volcanoes and exhaust stacks? Unless . . .
    http://bit.ly/4Rj5PY


_quoteShould the next Nobel Peace Prize go to the
unnamed Hadley hacker or whistleblower?”

- EricCrampton

  • Enviro-wacko Ed Begley does shoutfest & finger pointing about ClimateGate "You're spewing your nonsense again" he doesn’t say to himself.
     http://bit.ly/6LeIJv
  • New blog post: 2025, Don Brash, Garth George, and the letter the Herald would/wouldn‘twould/wouldn‘t print
    http://tinyurl.com/yfwmuuw
  • New blog post: Here’s rejection letter we'd like to see
    http://tinyurl.com/ykh8mdh
  • New blog post: That homeopathic emergency room look
    http://tinyurl.com/ydkkk4k
  • 1,200 Limos, 140 Private Jets—Let the Copenhagen Hypocrisy Begin!
    http://bit.ly/6m7d5x
  • McCartney’s Meat-Free Mondays? Why stop there? Meat-Free Mondays, Travel-Free Tuesdays, Wash-Free Wednesdays, Technology-Free Thursdays...
    http://bit.ly/6mwPEU
  • New blog post: How do you feel about that “That Afghan Plan."
    http://tinyurl.com/ycb44u4
  • Updated Anna Woolf's ‘Last Post’ with her funeral music and ongoing tributes: http://tinyurl.com/ybe5az7
  • New blog post:- Anna Woolf's Funeral, and the catharsis of music
    http://tinyurl.com/yflffp6
  • And finally, courtesy Lindsay Perigo, the Finale to Tchaikovsky's Second Symphony. To the Grandeur of Man. Between us we dedicate it to Phil Jones, Anne Heller and the world they don't believe in:

Tuvalu: not drowning, just waving

Since Tuvalu “stopped” the CopenHagen Hug-In yesterday to call for even greater impositions on the world’s producers  – sparking cheers from ignorant young “climate activists” in the room—saying in essence that sea levels are rising at an increasing rate, that industrial production is causing the increase, and therefore without a complete shut-down of the world’s economies low-lying Tuvalu itself will soon be buried under sixty centimetres of water, and the world’s producers are responsible, and should be made to pay.

Sounds like a money grab to me.

And sounds like all those “climate activists” should start getting their “science” from somewhere other than an Al Gore movie.

Because that fact is that Tuvalu’s very real problems have nothing to do with global warming.

Let’s start with seal level. The mean world sea level has been rising at around 3mm per year for at least the last century, and the latest figures confirm that this rate has continued in recent decades. The rise has been constant for at least a century. No acceleration, no increase; no increase, nobody to blame. Which means Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu, the Maldives, and Uncle Tom Cobley and all should look to other means to rescue themselves from their penury instead of coming to the world’s conclaves with a begging bowl in one hand and a gun at the world’s producers with the other.

Because there’s no doubt at all that there’s been no rising sea levels due to global warming: since the rise has been constant and has accompanied periods of both cooling and warming, it’s simply not possible to draw that sort of conclusion.

And there’s no doubt either that sea levels themselves around Tuvalu itself haven’t been rising at all (as data gathered by the National Tidal Facility of Adelaide demonstrates).

But the fact remain that all those islands do have problems with sea water. So what’s going on?

Well, despite what everyone knows or think they know about Tuvalu, as the late John Daly pointed out a few years back,

_quote The reported `plight' of the Tuvaluans is not about sea level rise at all - it's about over-population. With such a high population density, the fresh water table on the atolls is subject to rapid depletion, especially in dry years. In addition, the development which would follow from such a high density will bring the inevitable coastal erosion, a problem which the Tuvalu government falsely blames on climate change and sea level rise. Tide gauge data from all around the South Pacific shows the same pattern as the one at Funafuti - no sea level rise. It is, and always was, a bogus claim, with few in the outside world bothering to check the accuracy of the claim.”

Now, you might object that John Daly wrote those words back in 2001, and that things have changed since then – and you’d be right.  One thing has changed. What’s changed is that the outside world has started to realise this is all a load of horse manure. Indeed, when a British High Court did bothered to check the accuracy of the claim, as found in the very Al Gore film that those dimwit “climate activists” got their climate learning from, it discovered that the film was “littered with nine inconvenient untruths,”* including the one Tuvaluans thought would be their meal ticket.

Too bad that the world is now on to them. They were told by the CopenHagen group gropers to go take a hike.

* * * * *

* Regarding the Goracle’s film, be a good time for you to check out the nine "errors" found by the British court, the "thirty-five" inconvenient truths found by Christopher Monckton, or the 120 one-sided, misleading, exaggerated, speculative, or wrong assertions that Marlo Lewis points out in his 'Skeptics Guide to An Inconvenient Truth.

* * Just to counter the notion that non-New Zealand readers might hold, as a result of Al Gore’s lies, that New Zealand has been inundated by thousands of “climate refugees” fleeing Tuvalu, the raw figures are these (from the 'Pacific Profiles: 2006'  report of the NZ Statistics Department):

In 2006, Tuvaluan were the seventh largest Pacific ethnic group in New Zealand, making up 2,625 or 1 percent of New Zealand's Pacific population.

  • The Tuvaluan population increased by 34 percent (660) between 2001 and 2006 [largely through births].
  • Tuvaluans born in New Zealand account for 37 percent (954) of the total Tuvaluan population.

The Defense of Sebastopol - Alexander Deineka, 1942

deineka-seb42

Here’s a question for you: does heroic art supersede the politics it celebrates? In other words, is good art didactic, or something else.

In the painting above, by the Soviets’ leading figurative painter, Russian fighters defend the Soviet city of Sebastopol from Nazi invaders.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Christmas gifts for the real man in your life

_quote Among real men there’s always been one simple rule:
Never settle with words what you can settle with a flamethrower.”

- Bruce Feirstein

Other sites offer advice on what to buy the woman in your life this Christmas. Here, I’d like to offer readers advice on what to buy the real man in your life.

Here they are, a small sample of the sort of gifts that will make your real man melt this Yule – or at least let his stern steel-grey eyes flicker towards you more benevolently. [Hat tip Peter L.]

ATT00074
                      ATT00071

                     ATT00086ATT00077 ATT00089  ATT00095       ATT00098

ATT00080 ATT00092

An Easter tale, sadly not a fairy story

One upon a time in a pathetic authoritarian backwater . . .

Easter_Trading

And so it was, and so it ever shall be. The end.

Moral of the story: The state still owns your shop at Easter. And it still owns you all year.

[Cartoon by Nick Kim, originally in The Free Radical ]

Warmist Witch Doctors [updated]

THE REVELATIONS OF CLIMATEGATE have bruised the Copenhagen conclave, but not battered it. Why would they, when everyone there has the same single ambition – which is anything but science.

But first, let’s just remind ourselves what was revealed by ClimateGate’s whistle blower.

Certainty, What Certainty?

CLIMATEGATE SHOWS THE LEADING warmists with their pants down – and I don’t just mean the free sex that delegates to Copenhagen are enjoying with their caviar wedges.

If the leading revelation of the entire treasure trove is the sort of jiggery-pokery exposed in the ReadMe file of Ian ‘Harry’ Harris and the fudge factors added to temperatures to jack up the temperatures of recent decade (and hold down those of the past), then the leading revelation of the emails published so far is that when talking in public the IPCC coterie and their model-makers evince absolute certainty -- “the science is settled!” they huff – yet in private they’re much more tentative. In fact, they’re downright uncertain.  Notes Robert Murphy,

_quote The true signficance of Climategate [is that] . . . experts such as Lindzen, Michaels, and Spencer have raised serious critiques of the global climate models used by the IPCC, or at least of the conclusions that the IPCC has drawn from such simulations. In response, the IPCC’s standard bearers (such as the crew of RealClimate) have confidently stated that the consensus is in, the debate is over, there is no serious doubt about what the models are telling us, etc.
    “Now as an outsider with no formal training, I personally can’t truly judge these disputes. I can think of analogies in economics where the position of Phil Jones et al. is understandable. For example, a few years ago many critics of outsourcing were arguing that the standard economic case for free trade was based on flawed assumptions. Most economists–including me–dismissed these “dissenters” as making minor technical objections that didn’t really affect the final policy decisions, and worse they were feeding into the hands of politicians who cared nothing about economic models but wanted to pass pro-union protectionist legislation. So I thought it was certainly possible that the mainstream climate modelers were telling the truth when they said they had no doubt about the reliability of their models. Perhaps their critics–who may have been perfectly sincere–really were making mountains out of molehills, and worse yet were being used by politicians who didn’t really care about the truth of the science.
    “The revelations from Climategate have made me much more willing to believe the critics who claim that the global climate models cannot bear the weight that so many are putting on them.”

I think that’s true, and in their more honest public moments so too do the likes of Brit eco-warrior George Monbiot and even Aussie eco-worrier Tim Flannery, chairman now of the Copenhagen Climate Council, who admitted that: "We can't pretend we have perfect knowledge: we don't."

They sure don’t, but they do pretend. At least when they’re out in public.

Outlook Instead of admitting it out in the open however, the high priests of warmist are instead circling the wagons. Like conjurers they’re playing with either misdirection or flat-out lies in response to the lid being lifted on their private doubts – or, like a little child or Al Gore, they’re just not reading them at all in the hope they go away.

Nothing to see here? There sure as hell is. What they most don’t want you to notice is the degree of their own uncertainty about their so-called science – their own knowledge that when you pull back the curtain on all their leading studies and assumptions (all the stuff backing up all the projections of disaster on which all the politics is based) it’s all held together with little more than string and sellotape and a lot of ‘white lies.’ 

Lies

MURPHY TALKS, FOR EXAMPLE, about the email exchange between Kevin Trenberth and Tom Wigley in which Trenberth stated, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

And so it is. But there was an even more jaw-dropping confession of their science’s uncertainty in that same email chain, [scroll down to ‘True Jaw-Dropper: The Wigley and Trenberth Exchange.’], and more examples in other Wigley emails of what Australian journalist Andrew Bolt reckons are scientists “choking on the deceit.”

As evidence, Bolt posts a series of emails in which Wigley

  • attacks Keith Briffa’s hockey stick and tree-ring charade as “a mess,” which is being polite;
  • expresses his concern over Phil Jones intention to withhold his data from outside study;
  • tells off Mr Hockey Stick himself (Michael Mann) for sending a “very deceptive” graph, and suggests too many warmist scientists rely on “dishonest presentations”;
  • and expresses extreme concern that his colleagues, the world’s so-called leading climate scientists, don’t appear to be properly addressing some very serious objections to how they address the Urban Heat Island Effect – i.e., the means by which modern temperatures are adjusted down (or are supposed to be) to account for the increasing heat of increased urbanisation – the importance of which was dismissed by Phil Jones in the IPCC’s report, based mostly on the now discredited work of a Professor Wang Wei-Chyung of Albany, State University of New York.

And what did Wigley say when his bald statements going to the heart of his science were held up to the light of day? He thrice denied them. He said he didn’t say them. He said plain English was something else. He said data wasn’t destroyed when it and wasn’t withheld when it was; that what amounts to a record of his private doubts have “no significance”: that what he said he didn’t say. He went on Australia’s ABC and told a pack of lies to extricate himself and his colleagues from their richly-deserved opprobrium.

Andrew Bolt has the whole sorry saga.

Misdirection

SO THEY’RE LYING NOW in public attempting to cover up what they said in private. That what they’re peddling is literally Mann-made global warming. And to cover that up they’re now circling the wagons and pointing in all different directions, mocking “deniers,” uttering soothing reassurances, and talking all sorts of nonsense about one world government and the like simply to misdirect attention from the heart of the story: that the level of their private uncertainty about their science is as great as the skeptics’ public assertions of uncertainty – the chief difference is that the warmists don’t have their integrity.

The Pay-off

WHY DO THEY DO this? Why does their private uncertainty butter no public parsnips? Why does the climate bandwagon roll on regardless – right over the facts, and right over the real data?  The answer is simple: it’s power.  The answer is simple: it’s not science, it’s politics – as becomes clear when science and data not consistent with the politics are either suppressed or distorted or simply fudged to fit.

Don’t follow the money, follow the power.

It’s not about global government or anything so conspiratorial.  It’s all about simple human power lust. Climate scientists and politicians are natural allies against liberty.

Scientists want their research grants, true – CRU’s Phil Jones, for example, was sucking down 22 million dollars worth of those – which buys them more than just a good a meal ticket. But what it buys them chiefly is power and influence, celebrity and vanity, a place in the sun and a seat on a plane to every world warmist conference in every warming part of the world. 

And the politicians? They want the warmists’ science, no matter how tainted – a Lysenko-like science that gives them (they think) an excuse for socialism, central planning and big government. And what politician could resist such an invitation, especially when they get to play the hero?

Both the Witch Doctors of warmist science and the Attilas of politics need each other – and always have. As Ayn Rand noted,

_quote Just as the Witch Doctor is impotent without Attila, so Attila is impotent without the Witch Doctor; neither can make his power last without the other.

Attila and the Witchdoctor are a team, and have been for most of history – one the controller of men’s production, the other the controller of his ideas – one ruling his body, the other his brain - one preaching enslavement, the other carrying it out – one bearing a gun, the other bearing a parchment, or a clipboard.

Behind every King is his Priest extolling the ‘Divine Right of Kings’; behind every politician at Copenhagen is a Witch Doctor calling for action – for government action to ban private action. As Mike sums up:

_quoteThe job of the Witch Doctor [has always been] to provide Attila with a moral justification or at least a rationalization for his continued rule by force.”

Neither the Attilas in their limousines nor the Witch Doctors eating caviar wedges are going to abandon that job voluntarily.

UPDATE: When Ian Wishart & Gareth Morgan clashed on TVNZ’s Close Up the other night, I and other bloggers said that while it was great finally seeing that sort of debate on prime time local  television, it was a pity that TVNZ hadn’t instead engaged two actual scientists for the debate.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer has gone to that trouble, putting two of the heaviest hitters in climate science head-to-head on his CNN programme to discuss ClimateGate, climate modelling and climate science: UAH’s John Christy (who collects the reference-standard satellite data) and Real Climate’s Gavin Schmidt (who’s been running interference full-out on his blog since the ClimateGate storm broke).

Take-home message from Christy” when they say ‘hide the decline’ that’s exactly what they were trying to do – it even is in the computer code.” And then there was this exchange:

CHRISTY: “Our ignorance of the climate system is enormous, and our policy-makers need to know that.”
SCHMIDT: “Our ignorance of climate systems is very large . . . ”

And by the way, I’ve linked before to debates featuring both Schmidt and Christy in which the character of both men is starkly revealed.

And just so you know, Gavin’s site Real Climate carries water for every single one of the people in those hacked CRU emails, as one of  them demonstrates:

From: “Michael E. Mann”
To: Tim Osborn, Keith Briffa
Subject: update
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2006 16:51:53 -0500
Cc: Gavin Schmidt

guys, I see that Science has already gone online w/ the new issue, so we put up the RC post. By now, you’ve probably read that nasty McIntyre thing. Apparently, he violated the embargo on his website (I don’t go there personally, but so I’m informed).

Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold
comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.

You’re also welcome to do a followup guest post, etc. think of RC as a resource that is at your disposal to combat any disinformation put forward by the McIntyres of the world. Just let us know. We’ll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics dont’get to use the RC comments as a megaphone…

You can only imagine the emails that are going around now that the wagons are circling.

A tribute to the model-makers of climate & macroeconomics . . .

. . . because they’ve all done so well lately, haven’t they.

economy_climate [Hat tip Sterling Burnett]

School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore – CPG Consultants

amazing-green-roof-art-school-in-singapore-by-ali-kriscenski 
Three views of this five storey grass-roofed art school in Singapore, finished in 2007. More here and here.

amazing-green-roof-art-school-in-singapore master-plans-amazing-green-roof-art-school-in-singapore

green-roof-art-school-in-singapore-pool

The architects’ website is here.
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