But as records of courts and justice are admissible, it can easily be proved that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed and were a scourge to mankind. The evidence (including confession) upon which certain women were convicted of witchcraft and executed was without a flaw; it is still unimpeachable. The judges' decisions based on it were sound in logic and in law. Nothing in any existing court was ever more thoroughly proved than the charges of witchcraft and sorcery for which so many suffered death. If there were no witches, human testimony and human reason are alike destitute of value.
- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
You could measure how much money the Tooth Fairy leaves under the pillow, whether she leaves more cash for the first or last tooth, whether the payoff is greater if you leave the tooth in a plastic baggie versus wrapped in Kleenex. You can get all kinds of good data that is reproducible and statistically significant. Yes, you have learned something. But you haven't learned what you think you've learned, because you haven't bothered to establish whether the Tooth Fairy really exists.
- Dr Harriet Hall
So we're to believe that it's a "global problem requiring global solutions." Yes, I'm one of those "Global Warming Deniers" who's in league with the likes of "Holocaust Deniers" for threatening the lives of our children in the, you know, "dark dungeons of the Internet."
I'm told to believe that there is a "scientific consensus" that the world is burning up due to CO2 emissions from human activity. Johnny says somebody needs to take some hard looks at the scientific credentials of those so-called scientists. It's science Jim but not as we know it.
The first, and most obvious point, is that science is not a consensus activity. All the scientists in the world could be convinced that "junk DNA" is "junk" that does nothing and they were wrong, wrong, wrong. (From my reading of the current literature it's clear the overwhelming majority of them don't understand just how very wrong they still are about "the genetic code" but that's an argument for another day.) Scientists assured us that, "nuclear power will provide us with electricity that's too cheap to meter" and they were wrong, wrong, wrong. OK, so make your own list. Most of what you believe to be true is simply a first approximation to reality and the rest of it most likely completely made up. Get over yourself.
So let's examine some basic facts on the "Anthropogenic Global Warming" (AGW) issue.
But before I become completely enraged with the idiocy of the AGW viewpoint, let's step back and assume for a moment that Tony Bliar is right and this is a real problem, not simply a political project. (I am a Discordian after all.) So let's look at the track record of governments with global problems…
…I don't think I need to go on. Get your brain in gear and make your own list. History amply demonstrates that governments are very good at killing people - in the tens of millions at a time - but not so much at organising things the other way around.
It's fortunate that there is no actual "global warming crisis" because if there really was we'd be so screwed now government is on the case. Wake up people. It's yet another another political project to convince you that you need to live in fear, make ritual sacrifice, and keep paying your taxes…like the good slave you so earnestly desire to be.
Unfortunately for those of us with functioning frontal lobes the politicians only have to convince the bottom end of the IQ range to vote for them thanks to the wonders of modern representative democracy.
We're entering the New Dark Ages in more ways than one…don't forget to switch off the lights on your way in.
My comments, originally sent via email to acquaintances, on this piece of nonsense: Grauniad Unlimited | Comment is free | This is a dazzling debunking of climate change science. It is also wildly wrong
George Monbiot, a.k.a. Moonbat by those who know him and accordingly loathe him (ad hominem being entirely appropriate for this propaganda shill who is trotted out every time a rent-a-quote environmentalist is required and especially given it's his stock in trade) was formerly a high heidyun in some government-funded environmentalist organisation or another but proved too incompetent for that so now pimps himself out as freelance journalist.
This is a dazzling debunking of climate change science. It is also wildly wrong
Moonbat will write a short piece, with short sentences, and simple assertions, so's people who're too lazy and/or stupid to read through Monckton's voluminous material can assume Monckton is wrong and quote Moonbat as the authority.
Deniers are cock-a-hoop at an aristocrat's claims that global warming is a UN hoax.
Johnny says…it's a political project that's managed to unite warmed-over Marxists (hence the pop at aristocracy) and global corporations. The global corporations plan on making a killing from "emissions trading" and obsoleting perfectly sound technologies so we all have to buy lots of new stuff, or at the very least pay for it through our taxes. The warmed-over Marxists want to be the ones who get to decide who gets the pie and how it's "fairly" distributed.
But the physics is bafflingly bad
Is too difficult like numpties for you to get to grips with, so listen to argument by authority instead.
Tuesday November 14, 2006 The Guardian
That well-known balanced and objective organ of mainstream public opinion with a fine record of objective science reportage.
For the past nine days my inbox has been filling up with messages labelled "Your scam exposed", "The great fraud unravels" and "How do you feel now, asshole?". They are referring to a new "scientific paper", which proves that the "climate change scare" is a tale "worthier of St John the Divine than of science".
Irrelevant verbiage. Or are we supposed to care that Moonbat is outraged that global warming deniers are "allowed" to roam free?
Published in two parts on consecutive Sundays, it runs to a total of 52 pages, containing graphs, tables and references.
Don't bother with looking at the source it's far too complicated for numpties like you - the mighty Moonbat will dismiss it in a couple of paragraphs and you can go back to sleep.
To my correspondents, to a good many journalists and to thousands of delighted bloggers, this paper clinches it: climate change is a hoax perpetrated by a leftwing conspiracy coordinated by the United Nations.
I hardly think Monckton said that - but it claiming he did lets Moonbat slip in an ad hominem that brands anyone who doesn't agree with him as a Nazi. For myself, I've never been sure whether it matters to me that collectivists are leftwing or rightwing and which I'm most offended about. I have a hard time deciding what leftwing and rightwing is supposed to mean nowadays - you certainly can't get a fag-paper between Bliar and Bliar-lite Cameron for starters. I'd like to see their heads on sticks whoever the hell they are. A statesman is a dead politician; we need more statesmen.
So which was the august journal that published it? Science? Nature? Geophysical Research Letters? Not quite. It was the Sunday Telegraph. In keeping with most of the articles about climate change in that publication, it is a mixture of cherry-picking, downright misrepresentation and pseudo-scientific gibberish. But it has the virtue of being incomprehensible to anyone who is not an atmospheric physicist.
Argument by authority parcelled up with ad hominem. It's science and it's too hard for you unless you have the proper qualifications - and apparently my science degree doesn't count or remotely equip me to address science outside any areas I'm credentialled in. Only the guardians of the holy consensus can handle the occult knowledge.
The author of this "research article" is Christopher Monckton, otherwise known as Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. He has a degree in classics and a diploma in journalism and, as far as I can tell, no further qualifications. But he is confident enough to maintain that - by contrast to all those charlatans and amateurs who wrote the reports produced by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - he is publishing "the truth".
If Moonbat is asserting there is such a thing as settled scientific truth he'd better go back to University because he's pretty much missed the entire 20th Century. Oh wait, I forget, there's "consensus" which now equals "truth."
Mind you, I'm sympathetic to his implication that journalistic credentials automatically disqualify you from being able to provide a reasonable and balanced analysis. In fact Monckton has somewhat more going for him in the way of credentials than Moonbat asserts here but of course Moonbat is happy with the belief we can't bothered to read a lengthy piece and draw our own conclusions.
Charlatan is the perfect term for those involved in the IPCC but they certainly aren't amateurs.
The warming effects of carbon dioxide, Lord Monckton claims, have been exaggerated, distorted and made up altogether.
You don't need Monckton's research to know that, just read the newspapers and watch TV.
One example of the outrageous fraud the UN body has committed is the elimination from its temperature graphs of the "medieval warm period", which, he claims, was "real, global and up to 3C warmer than now". He runs two graphs side by side, one of which shows the temperature record over the past 1,000 years as rendered by the UN panel, and the other purporting to show real temperatures over the same period. The world was so hot 600 years ago, he maintains, that "there was little ice at the North Pole: a Chinese naval squadron sailed right round the Arctic in 1421 and found none". By contrast the planet is currently much cooler than climate scientists predicted. In 1988, for example, the world's most celebrated climatologist, James Hansen of Nasa, "told the US Congress that temperature would rise 0.3C by the end of the century (it rose 0.1C), and that sea level would rise several feet (no, one inch)".
Moonbat and Monckton are both in error here in that "mean global temperature" is clearly a nonsense and quoting figures of fractions of degree is absurd in this context. Makes perfect sense in politics of course but it is not science. Moonbat may be confused about precision versus accuracy but some of us aren't.
Arguing the toss about propaganda as if it were something to do with science is a classic global warming true believer's method of confusing those without a scientific background.
Most importantly, "the UN repealed a fundamental physical law", doubling the size of the constant (lambda) in the Stefan-Boltzmann equation. By assigning the wrong value to lambda, the UN's panel has exaggerated the sensitivity of the climate to extra carbon dioxide. Monckton's analysis looks impressive. It is nonsense from start to finish.
His claims about the Stefan-Boltzmann equation have been addressed by someone who does know what he's talking about, Dr Gavin Schmidt of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He begins by pointing out that Stefan-Boltzmann is a description of radiation from a "black body" - an idealised planet that absorbs all the electromagnetic radiation that reaches it. The Earth is not a black body. It reflects some of the radiation it receives back into space.
Monckton addressed this very criticism in his spiel. Presumably Moonbat is relying on the fact we can't read anything longer than a few paragraphs, especially if it has long words in it. This is blatant argument by authority with mis-direction/straw man thrown in, not an analysis of what Monckton said with respect to this issue.
Schmidt points out that Monckton also forgets, in making his calculations, that "climate sensitivity is an equilibrium concept": in other words that there is a time-lag of several decades between the release of carbon dioxide and the eventual temperature rise it causes. If you don't take this into account, the climate's sensitivity to carbon dioxide looks much smaller. This is about as fundamental a mistake as you can make in climate science.
This barely makes it to sophistry. Either the computer models predict what actually happens fairly closely, reliably (and preferably agree amongst themselves) or you might as well throw some dice. You can wheel out a climatologist's computer model that, depending on what weighting you give to feedback mechanisms and thermal sinks etc., gives any value you like for temperatures. Hence it's a "heads I win, tails you lose" shell game. Putting the predicted values sufficiently far into the future simply makes the "predictions" - actually scenarios - completely untestable. Whatever the hell it is, it's certainly not science as we know it, Jim.
Meantime the actual records we can glean from looking at estimates of CO2 and the climate back over geological time suggest that CO2 levels are not a determinant of climate. Hence all the bullshitting about "the rate of increase in CO2 is so large" that AGW true-believers are so fond of.
What of his other claims? Well, the reason the "medieval warm period" doesn't show up on the UN panel's graphs is simple. As far as climatologists can tell, there wasn't one. So why did the Vikings, as Monckton points out, settle in Greenland? As a paper published in Reviews of Geophysics shows, Vikings first arrived in Greenland at the very beginning of the "warm period" Monckton discusses, when temperatures, even according to his graph, were lower than they are today. They did so because life had become too hot for them in their adopted home (Iceland): not climatically, but politically. There does appear to have been a slight warming in some parts of the northern hemisphere. There is no reliable evidence that this was a global phenomenon. As for the Chinese naval squadron sailing round the Arctic, it is pure bunkum - a myth long discredited by serious historians.
As ever, AGW true-believer trying to deny climate variability by asserting it never happened. Facts be damned.
So what of those graphs? Look at them carefully and you see that they are measuring two different things: global temperatures (the UN panel's progression) and European temperatures (Monckton's line). You will also discover that the scales are different.
Either "global temperature" matches what happens globally or it doesn't. The concept of "global temperature" is bullshit from start to finish Moonbat - why the hell can't you understand that simple fact?
As for James Hansen, he did not tell the US Congress that temperatures would rise by 0.3C by the end of the past century. He presented three possible scenarios to the US Senate - high, medium and low. Both the high and low scenarios, he explained, were unlikely to materialise. The middle one was "the most plausible". As it happens, the middle scenario was almost exactly right.
Bullshit. You can measure such a thing as "global temperature" and you can measure it to fractions of a degree? What planet are you on Moonbat? Been watching too much "Star Trek" and "CSI: Bloody Everywhere" I guess. Is this ground station measurements, balloon measurements, satellites data? What's "corrected" for what to get your fraction of a degree accuracy in measuring "global temperature." How stupid am I supposed to be?
He did not claim, under any scenario, that sea levels would rise by several feet by 2000. But a climatologist called Patrick Michaels took the graph from Hansen's paper, erased the medium and low scenarios and - in testimony to Congress - presented the high curve as Hansen's prediction for climate change. A memo sent in July from the Intermountain Rural Electric Association, a US company whose power is largely supplied by coal, revealed that Michaels has long been funded by electricity companies. "In February this year, IREA alone contributed $100,000 to Dr Michaels." Michaels, it says, meets periodically with industry representatives to discuss their activities in countering stories about climate change.
Ad hominem. Here he seems to be claiming that evil oil companies are discrediting global warming by taking their more alarmist claims at face value. Presumably Moonbat is equally pissed when someone points to the low end of true believers scenarios and says there's nothing to worry about. When they're all just figures plucked out of the ether anyhow why should I care?
The fact is the climatologists, including Hansen for all I know, have predicted that AGW will "cause" anything from a drop in temperature (e.g. by shutting down ocean circulation) to runaway greenhouse causing us to end up like Venus. Meanwhile making the bizarre claim that the climate has been magically "stable" since the end of the last Ice Age and will stay "stable" forever if we don't keep pumping out that evil poisonous CO2. If that's science let's just consider the Enlightenment a mistake and get back to burning heretics at the stake.
Or maybe they really do have alien tech stashed away in Area 51 and they can actually control the climate.
Pat Michaels's misrepresentation of Hansen's claims was picked up by Michael Crichton in his novel State of Fear, and somehow transmuted into an "error" of 300%. Monckton gives no source for his claim about Hansen, but Crichton's novel features in his references.
See the pic.
The howlers go on and on. There is scarcely a line in Lord Monckton's paper which is not wildly wrong.
So put up or shut up Moonbat, you haven't come up with anything substantive that's wrong so far other than where both of you are adrift and manage to confuse propaganda with science on the basis of who said it when.
Yet none of this appears to embarrass the Sunday Telegraph, which championed his findings this week in a leading article. I think I know what the problem is. At a meeting of 150 senior journalists last year, who had gathered to discuss climate change, the chairman asked how many people in the audience had a science degree. Three of us raised our hands. Readers cannot expect a newspaper editor to possess a detailed understanding of atmospheric physics, but there should at least be someone who knows what science looks like whom the editor consults before running a piece.
And that's certainly not Moonbat given the evidence of this and his previous output. But if Moonbat is saying you should never believe what you read in the press then I'm with him on that one.
A scientific paper is one published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Much utter, utter bollocks appears in peer-reviewed scientific journals, especially nowadays after being filtered through political correctness, let alone what we will later realise with the benefit of hindsight.
This means it has been subject to scrutiny by other experts in the field.
Who naturally tend to agree amongst themselves and have a whole plethora of special interests and grant funding issues not to mention their own agendas, political and otherwise.
The important reason why climatologists have a predilection, pretty much a necessity, for believing in AGW (both unconsciously and consciously) is that if they're observing what is fundamentally a natural process (which they are) they're as irrelevant to real peoples' lives as, say, astronomers. By claiming there's a terrible problem they hold the occult knowledge to they gain stature and position. It's inevitable the "experts" believe what they believe, nothing else makes sense in their world. But it's not science and it's not my world.
Geologists, for instance, have a rather different view of the Earth's climate history. And much better empirical evidence.
Bias in 'science' isn't restricted to one field, Antidepressants Under Scrutiny Over Efficacy.
Science is not a consensus. It stands or falls on whether it matches reality or not. 99 times out of a 100 you'll only know that much after the fact. Meantime test that new bridge design in a wind-tunnel if you know what's good for you. Meantime climate models conveniently predict things we can't actually measure back here in the real world and hence are immune to credible attempts at verification.
This doesn't suggest that it's the last word on the subject, but it does mean it is worth discussing. For newspapers such as the Sunday Telegraph the test seems to be much simpler. If they don't understand it, it must be science.
On the basis of what he's written Moonbat wouldn't know science if it was shoved up his arse. He needs to go a lot further than ad hominem, argument by authority and argument by assertion.
I'm quite happy to meet collectivists on the grounds of science and rational argument - wake me up when we get any. Meantime AGW is a political project trying to shore up the Marxist theory that there's only so much pie and we must share it out "fairly" - for some definition of fairly that I'm not required to have a say in but I need to pay through the nose for.
We're now in thrall to a proliferating, cancerous, eco-theocracy where your "carbon footprint" is the spreadsheet age embodiment of original sin. Sadly, the world is full of weak-minded fools eager to embrace any cause that they imagine will clothe them in virtue. For myself, I shall revel in my heresy.
Roll on the collapse of so-called civilisation…it can't be long at this rate with the fuckwits that are in charge nowadays.
Unstoppable Solar Cycles
Climategate: Dr. Tim Ball on the hacked CRU
Update - Climategate - CRU Source Code
ClimateGate Who's Who
Mind you, there is something we could switch off that would save an awful lot of electricity…
"The Internet is on track to be consuming half of all the world's output of electricity by the end of the first decade of the 21st Century."
-- Wired, "The Information Factories"