LibertyGibbert Open Forum

ArgumentI’m tied up with work at the moment so don’t have time for an in-depth article; so I’m throwing the floor over to you. A couple of starters:

A number of British readers have expressed a bit of envy at the recent turn of fortunes here in Australia. Given the public mood in the UK isn’t much different from down here, what in your opinion is stopping a Tony Abbott-like conservative resurgence in Britain? Or for that matter, in America?

Global Warming. I’ve avoided any dedicated thread recently, but the IPCC AR5 is due out shortly, and reports of leaked copies suggest the new accepted range of both projected TCR and ECS values have been reduced to the point where, statistically, any warming is more likely than not to be net beneficial. That the whole question of anthropogenesis, in other words, becomes moot. Thoughts?

Over to you.

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191 Responses to LibertyGibbert Open Forum

  1. Ozboy says:

    I’ll kick off with some physics humour (H/T Catallaxy Files)

    Sometimes I weep for the future… but then I see a kid like this 😀

  2. Kitler says:

    I doubt there will be much chance of change until the world economy collapses as per plan of these pillocks in charge so they can build a new dystopia. The MSM are too entrenched behind the leftist status quo to suddenly question anything they do.

  3. izen says:

    @- … reports of leaked copies suggest the new accepted range of both projected TCR and ECS values have been reduced to the point where, statistically, any warming is more likely than not to be net beneficial. That the whole question of anthropogenesis, in other words, becomes moot. Thoughts?

    Looks like a blatant invitation to me Oz…
    The meme that TCR and ECS are lower and therefore the warming will be mostly beneficial is designed and promulgated by the Heartland institute via New International and payed for by the K brothers. The Murdo-Koch axis of evil in ‘watermelon’ terms. {grin}

    TCR and ECS are defined metrics which are intended to describe the global surface temperature from specific increases in atmospheric CO2. They are estimated from computer models of the climate constrained by observations. So the TCR, the transient response to a rising CO2 can be constrained by the known response to volcanic events and the current pattern of temperature. It is significantly dependent on the rate at which energy enters {or leaves} the oceans.
    The ECS or equilibrium sensitivity is constrained by observations from the ice-age transitions. It has a very long timescale and includes factors like the reduction in albedo from melting ice and sea level rise. It is not constrained by a few decades of temperature observations.

    The recent slow down in the rise of surface temperature has put constraints on the upper limit of the TCR. The previous high end of 4.5degC looks much less likely now than the low end of 2degC. But constraining the top end does not force the low end lower. It has also shown that ocean mixing is greater than previously modelled. That is confirmed by the ARGO observations.

    The implication of a low TCR is that the warming caused by rising CO2 will be a little less and take longer to raise surface temperatures. It is difficult to see any logical path from that to a conclusion that therefore the amount of warming at any specific point in time will be statistically a net benefit. I think it is extremely hard to show that the last fifty years of warming have been a net benefit. Given the tendency for our agricultural and industrial infrastructure to be built with stasis as the underlying assumption with limited sustainability or adaptability in the face of a changing environment any change, or even just greater variation would be statistically a net harm.

    Because the measured energy imbalance remains, and the oceans as a more efficient energy sink have been identified the estimates of the full impact of rising CO2 are not changed by the recent surface temperature record. It is the rate of change, not the total amount that is constrained by the recent surface warming hiatus. As the Australian Liberty Gibbeters will know the local weather this year does not do much to indicate a cooling stable climate.

    The problem may be that the small numbers tossed around in arguments about TCR and ECS can make it look as is the warming we might see over another fifty years will be on more damaging to our civilisational infrastructure than the last fifty years. Someone made a comparison between the warming we might see and moving a thousand feet lower down a hillside. Depends on the wet adiabatic lapse rate but that may be about right in numerical terms.
    But that does not mean that a global increase of that magnitude will be no more significant than moving into the valley. The insurance industry already reveals the massive disparity between the rising cost of claims from weather/climate related claims and claims for other ‘natural’ events.

    The degree to which any change in the global and local climate is harmful or beneficial is much more a matter of the resilience and sustainability of the agricultural, water and energy communal systems that underpin a civilisation. That brings into play the replacement time of these systems. How many years, decades or centuries they are used before technological and resource changes replace all the old with new. Agricultural systems tend to have century plus enduring systems that make them rather difficult to adapt rapidly. Energy supply has been replaced over decades from gas to electric light and horse to petrol car. There is no reason to assume that is incapable of changing again in fifty years. I suspect auto-drive electric vehicles will be common place long before that. And local generation with smart networks that interact as autonomous cells in the national network will replace the centralised power generation. Not without resistance from the entrenched interests of course.

    The issue of climate change is rather more about societal organisation and the resilience of the infrastructure it builds for itself than the amount of warming which will occur. That is a unlikely to be very different than the amount seen over the last century, at least another degC before 2100. But with that comes an intensification of the extremes, as with any chaotic system when you input more energy, the envelope of behavior may only alter a little {2.3degC} but the local variability may double.

    Of course Australians may remain blissfully unaware of any of this as I see the new government has decided in this day and age that a government department primarily concerned with the impacts of science and technology is obsolete. And there is no requirement for an independent scientific assessment of topical issues that can report publicly. Such matters it seems are just a subset of the factors for industry and business to take into account where relevant.

    Murdo-Koch axis of evil?? You forgot to mention the twirling moustaches 🙄

    Re TCR range, you’re quite correct that “constraining the top end does not force the low end lower”. But real-world measurements do; and it’s real-world measurements that have forced the IPCC into just such a position. ECS is trickier, as we cannot measure it empirically, or compare to a control such as vulcanism; and given it could take centuries to reach anyway, it is of lesser importance.

    As to the deep oceanic heat trap argument, physicist AlecM over at DT is scathing. “Pachauri’s Demon”! I love it – Oz

  4. Luton Ian says:

    How many years, decades or centuries they are used before technological and resource changes replace all the old with new. Agricultural systems tend to have century plus enduring systems that make them rather difficult to adapt rapidly


  5. Luton Ian says:

    To be more specific, should 19th century Arabs have been stockpiling camel dung so that future generations wouldn’t go short of fuel for cooking?

  6. farmerbraun says:

    Izen :- “Given the tendency for our agricultural and industrial infrastructure to be built with stasis as the underlying assumption with limited sustainability or adaptability in the face of a changing environment any change, or even just greater variation would be statistically a net harm.”

    Oi! Sustainable agriculture is alive and well. When industrial “agriculture” goes down the gurgler, it will take a lot of urbanity with it. What’s new?

  7. Me says:

    As I’ve been saying, the Leftists (for that is what they are) lost the argument categorically in my mind (not that I bought any of their arguments, please note) when they failed even to acknowledge that the real challenge for them was not just to prove warming, but to show the difference between what man is said to contribute and what nature is doing anyway. To them, all warming had to be man’s ‘fault’. But we know that climates warm and cool all by themselves, without any input from man whatever. So how was this warming different from all the others, just because they said it must be? We never got an answer to that one.

    And then there is the question of whether CO2 causes higher temperatures, or whether (possibly naturally occurring) higher temperatures promote life and therefore cause CO2 to rise. Oh, the irony! CO2, said by the Left to be a harbinger of the death of life throughout the planet, may in fact be the effect of quite the opposite!

  8. farmerbraun says:

    ” So how was this warming different from all the others, just because they said it must be?”

    Given that we didn’t know that it was NOT natural variability, and could therefore not falsify the null hypothesis, the approach has been to develop models in which it was NOT natural variability causing the warming, and then to try to validate those models.
    Some are arguing that the models will never be validated ; others say, that with sufficient adjustments over a long enough period , the models will eventually be validated , and be useful for prediction.
    Some say that when the models accurately predict the onset of the next glaciation then they will be useful. Predicting what happens between now and then is interesting, but there seems at present to be some resistance to making the adjustments to the models.
    FB thinks that we should let the models run for another complete PDO cycle-say another 75 years, giving us 120 years of observations- and then see what adjustments need to be made.
    In the meantime it’s business as usual.
    Nothing to see here folks:-)
    Apart from the politics , that is.

  9. izen says:

    @- Luton Ian
    “…should 19th century Arabs have been stockpiling camel dung so that future generations wouldn’t go short of fuel for cooking?”

    Perceptive and presumably rhetorical question.

    Nomadic pastoralists have a sustainable food and energy supply as long as they can herd their animals to fresh pasture.
    More complex city based societies might have less resilient systems of support.

    Personally I hope not, regarding camel herding as less attractive than life in a modern technological civilisation.

    @- farmerbraun
    “Oi! Sustainable agriculture is alive and well. When industrial “agriculture” goes down the gurgler, it will take a lot of urbanity with it. What’s new?”

    Unfortunately industrial or intensive agriculture is the requirement and result of city based societies. It often carries the seeds of its own failure in soil exhaustion or reliance on water management that is unsustainable. Especially if the climate is changing rainfall patterns as well as temperature growth ranges.
    I only hope GM develops cereal crops which can fix their own nitrogen before the oil becomes too expensive to use as a source of bulk, cheap fertiliser.

  10. farmerbraun says:

    ” cereal crops which can fix their own nitrogen” .
    This is a non-problem. The atmosphere is loaded with nitrogen and legumes are already doing the necessary job , both directly as the pulses that we and other animals can eat , and indirectly by building soil nitrogen levels to sustain the growth of cereals.
    The unsustainability of cereal production lies in the detrimental effects on soil fertility of annual (usually more often than that even) cultivations, and/or , insufficient leys in between cereal crops. We’ve known that for a century or two.

    The answers lie in the development of perennial cereal crops, and in the enhancement of rhizobial fixation of nitrogen by legumes.
    The grasses/cereals already have a full complement of vesicular-arbuscular mychorrhizal fungi which are busy supplying plant-unavailable phosphorus , and other nutrients to their hosts , and receiving carhohydrates in return. It works just fine.

  11. farmerbraun says:

    “Unfortunately industrial or intensive agriculture is the requirement and result of city based societies. It often carries the seeds of its own failure in soil exhaustion or reliance on water management that is unsustainable.”

    Agreed . So why would we try to prop that up? Let it go.

    We’re all agreed. It needs a separate article someday – Oz

  12. farmerbraun says:

    “fungi which are busy supplying plant-unavailable phosphorus”
    i.e. the phosphorus is not available to the plant until the fungi makes it so.

  13. Me says:

    FB: I heard that the models are very good at predicting the past ;^). Surely models, in order to assess and therefore accurately predict anything, would have to be more than a stitching-up of this convenient proxy and that convenient huddle of readings. The models would have to give not a fig for what we make of their results. I am not convinced, after four years of reading the Telegraph and other blogs (including this one) that we have such models — or perhaps ever shall. What is more, I’m not sure of their utility. Our best plan is not to try interventions but to adapt. Leftists don’t agree, but I like to think that that is their problem, as the weather continues not to cooperate with their narrative(s).

    It’s been a fabulous 20-odd months here in the southern USA. I have never enjoyed Florida more, and North Carolina, far from suffering heat waves as in previous years, was downright (and beautifully) cool for the time of year (i.e. high summer). If this keeps on, I’ll be more inclined to think we’ve got capital-C Cooling than anything else. Though perhaps not elsewhere in the world. Because, as I’ve always said, the world has climates, not a one-size-fits-all climate.

  14. Me says:

    Hmm, is that a novel use of ‘urbanity’? I thought it referred to the noun, urbane, which of course does not mean ‘urban’. But never mind. ‘Urbanity’ is probably more useful this way.

  15. farmerbraun says:

    Hmm-urbanitas as opposed to rusticus. Yes, you’re right , but it will do.
    Just “the urban” would have been better.

  16. AlecM says:

    I’m an unusual beast, a Metallurgical Engineer and applied scientist including reasonably competent Physics, so I view the IPCC’s Climate Alchemy with a great degree of contempt.

    There are 13 mistakes in the physics starting in 1972 when the first NIMBUS report came out and Arrhenius’ fake physics us process engineers see immediately to be fake, was re-introduced.

    The we have Sagan’s incorrect aerosol optical physics introduced by Lacis and Hansen in 1974. You disprove it by seeing that when clouds develop a bimodal droplet size distribution, they go dark underneath. Australian physicist G L Stephens found the same from satellite measurements but like me has apparently been preventing from publishing the experimental fact that the sign of the effect of aerosol pollution on cloud albedo is reversed.

    We then has 1981_Hansen_etal.pdf where GISS first of all cocked up the R physics (Para 2) then ‘forgot’ that when you take out the ghgs from the hypothetical atmosphere the SW to the surface increases by 43% (no clouds r ice), meaning the real ghe = 11 K, not 33 K. So the 3x positive feedback doesn’t exist.

    We then have the failure by Meteorology for 70 years to understand that when you convert an optical pyrometer’s temperature signal by the S-B equation to a Radiation Field, that RF is a real energy flux when it’s the potential energy flux to absolute zero – only the difference of RFs denotes real energy transfer.

    So, to summarise, IPCC Climate Alchemy triples energy in then offsets half by applying incorrectly Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation at ToA, Houghton’s assumption of a grey atmosphere s wrong – it’s semi-transparent.

    The positive feedback is from tripling the and hotter theoretical sunlit ocean surface with the extra heating offset, as G L Stephens found in 2010, by double real low level cloud optical depth in hind casting.

    Those responsible for this false science should be put on trial for fraud.

    PS Including the irreversible thermodynamics at ToA, started recently by Brookhaven, and correcting the IR physics, it’s easy to show that the atmosphere is stabilised by a PID control system with near zero climate sensitivity because CO2 is the working fluid.

    Thanks for posting Alec – Oz

  17. AlecM says:

    A few mistakes above, sorry.

    The RF is a potential energy flux, not real. It’s a 70 year old mistake and has wasted 100s of man years ion Trenberth’s energy budget.

  18. izen says:

    @- Me
    ” So how was this warming different from all the others, just because they said it must be?”

    The potential for rising CO2 to cause warming was a hypothesis derived from the physics of CO2 and the atmosphere. Thermodynamics dictates that energy flows must eventually balance. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere shifts that balance, a shift that was measured long after it was predicted from the physics.
    No models are harmed in the deductive chain described above, the original development of AGW theory all predates digital computers.

    Observations of downwelling radiation and satellite measurements of the outgoing energy first detected and have since measured the energy imbalance caused by the rising CO2. It is the ineluctable imposition of thermodynamics that dictates that if you have more energy in than out the temperature will rise. It is the underlying physics that prompted scientists to conclude that if fossil fuels increased the atmospheric percentage of CO2 then the surface and oceans would warm. This conclusion was the result of attempt to understand past changes in the climate like the ice-age cycle.

    The calculated effect of increasing the CO2 is small even with feedbacks, about a tenth of the annual natural variability. The El Nino cycle can change the climate more in a year than the CO2 warming does in a decade. The difference is that the influence of the natural cycles is energy neutral while the influence of CO2 is unidirectional, driven by the energy imbalance that can be measured from observations.

    The accumulation of energy is revealed at the surface in an underlying upward trend in surface temperatures and the temperature of the oceans.
    Measuring the total temperature of the oceans is hard. The ARGO system is getting close, but still has a large range of uncertainty. However there is another way of detecting the total energy content of the oceans, from the thermal expansion. The persistent underlying trend of sea level rise, which shows no pause stall or hiatus, gives an objective measure of where 90% of the increased energy from CO2 is going.
    Historical and archeological records constrain sea level changes in the past to a fraction of the rise seen in the last fifty years. It takes a lot of energy to both melt that much land ice and expand the oceans by the amount measured, a quantity that matches the energy imbalance caused by rising CO2 in magnitude.
    Measuring surface temperatures has problems as well. The instrumental record was never intended as a global coverage able to detect small longterm trends. Going back and using it for that purpose has difficulties. Using proxy indicators reduces the resolution of the results, but since the rather messy first attempt {the notorious hockey stick!} there have been many improvements and different methodologies used which now provide a good picture of how the climate has behaved over the last few thousand years

    Orbital variations trigger the melt from the last glacial maximum to the Holocene optimum between around 15,000 and 8000 years ago. Sea levels rose rapidly as northern icecaps melted. Since then the climate has been stable in comparison with previous interglacial periods, cooling gradually by just over 0.1degC every thousand years. Lots of short term variation within that, but with a time resolution of around eigthy years it is clear that no significant excursions in average global surface temperatures happened until the last century. After seven thousand years of slow cooling the global average has returned to levels of the post melt peak 8000 years ago. Along with the sudden rise in sea level after a similar time of relative stability this demands an explanation for the source of energy to cause such a rapid reversal in the previous slow cooling trend.
    The explanation came from the physics of energy transfer in the surface/atmosphere system.

    That is why AGW is the consensus view in the field of science. The physics is supported by the observational evidence. Predictions from the theory were confirmed when the technology to measure those physical effects was developed.

    Here are links to the main observational support for AGW

    Sea level rise

  19. izen says:

    @- AlecM

    So do you reject results from MODTRAN ?

  20. farmerbraun says:

    ” The difference is that the influence of the natural cycles is energy neutral . . .”

    Over what time period(s) does that hold ? 60 years ? Obviously not.
    600 years ? Sort of.
    6000 years? Close.
    60,000 years? You’re getting warmer (sic). 🙂

  21. farmerbraun says:

    What did you think about this one Izen?

    ” For the modeled period of 1971-1997, adding the ENSO signal increased the linear trend by 34%. Maybe that’s why modeling groups exclude the multidecadal variability of ENSO by skewing ENSO to zero. That way El Niños and La Niñas don’t contribute to or detract from the warming. Unfortunately, by doing so, the models have limited use as tools to project future climate.”

  22. Me says:

    Actually, FB and everyone else, I recall now hearing that the models weren’t even good at ‘predicting’ the past. But anyway. As we now have Alec M on board we don’t need me to rehash the mashed-potatoes that is the ‘consensus’ on ‘climate change’ (aka MMGW, aka global weirding, aka whatever they feel like calling it this week!).

  23. Me says:

    Golly, someone has replied to Me.

    I have to confess, Izen, that a lot of your commentary, while it follows rules of English syntax and is impeccably spelled, does sound an awful lot to me like instructions for ratcheting the embouchure of the alumina sprocket in order to remove the sulphuric vacuum of the dynaflow. I trust you follow?

    But seriously, even though you are talking over my head (history specialist with a particular interest in English innovations of medieval church architecture, when not trying to be my own Pool Boy), I do get one or two things. When you say: ‘Historical and archeological records constrain sea level changes in the past’, there you are touching on something I know about. I know a little about historical records, and I know a bit about archaeology (that being another of my many abiding interests, none of which PAYS, of course). And I’m afraid that your calculations would have to be damn good to make up for the paucity or lack of scientifically valid evidence in re climate fluctuations for most of humanity’s sojourn on Earth. It is immensely impressive, the deductions that can be made from fossil evidence, from geologic layers, plant distribution, and so on. But that is like comparing stories of racehorses from say, Alexander the Great’s time or Shakespeare’s time or T. E. Lawrence’s time, with the photo-finish fractional-second knowledge of the Kentucky Derby winners of the past five years. There is not, and never can be, a true gauge of climate on that fractional telescopic level that the alarmist argument relies on.

    Models — any models — are just that: they are substitutes for reality. They should never be confused with reality itself, past, present or future. Paleoanthropology had to learn that the hard way when it discovered that the soft tissue evidence, which had been available to it all along, was right. It had nonetheless been ignored for over thirty years because the scientists were more taken with their models. Only the amazing discovery of Ardipithecus ramidus forced them to acknowledge their mistake, one which did not surprise a distinguished colleague of theirs, who was always skeptical but had remained silent. There are always such scientists, skeptical but silent. There are always other scientists that ‘know’ best what they would prefer to know.

  24. farmerbraun says:

    Is it true to say that, in the absence of a validated climate model indicating to the contrary, the below is our best estimate of the state of climate science in relation to CO2, at this time?

    FIGURE 1
    Summary of NIPCC’s Findings
    • Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is a mild greenhouse gas that exerts a diminishing warming effect as its concentration increases.

    • Doubling the concentration of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial level, in the absence of
    other forcings and feedbacks, would likely cause a warming of ~0.3 to 1.1°C, almost 50% of
    which must already have occurred.

    • A few tenths of a degree of additional warming, should it occur, would not represent a climate

    • Model outputs published in successive IPCC reports since 1990 project a doubling of CO2 could cause warming of up to 6°C by 2100. Instead, global warming ceased around the end of the twentieth century and was followed (since 1997) by 16 years of stable temperature.

    • Over recent geological time, Earth’s temperature has fluctuated naturally between about +4°C
    and -6°C with respect to twentieth century temperature. A warming of 2°C above today, should it occur, falls within the bounds of natural variability.

    • Though a future warming of 2°C would cause geographically varied ecological responses, no
    evidence exists that those changes would be net harmful to the global environment or to human well-being.

    • At the current level of ~400 ppm we still live in a CO2-starved world. Atmospheric levels 15 times greater existed during the Cambrian Period (about 550 million years ago) without known adverse effects.

    • The overall warming since about 1860 corresponds to a recovery from the Little Ice Age
    modulated by natural multi-decadal cycles driven by ocean-atmosphere oscillations, or by solar
    variations at the de Vries (~208 year) and Gleissberg (~80 year) and shorter periodicities.
    • Earth has not warmed significantly for the past 16 years despite an 8% increase in atmospheric CO2, which represents 34% of all extra CO2 added to the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution.

    • CO2 is a vital nutrient used by plants in photosynthesis. Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere
    “greens” the planet and helps feed the growing human population.

    • No close correlation exists between temperature variation over the past 150 years and human-related CO2 emissions. The parallelism of temperature and CO2 increase between about 1980
    and 2000 AD could be due to chance and does not necessarily indicate causation.

    • The causes of historic global warming remain uncertain, but significant correlations exist between climate patterning and multi-decadal variation and solar activity over the past few hundred years.

    • Forward projections of solar cyclicity imply the next few decades may be marked by global
    cooling rather than warming, despite continuing CO2 emissions.

    Source: “Executive Summary,” Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science (Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2013).

  25. izen says:

    @- Farmerbraun

    The major natural variations are energy neutral over a few years. The ENSO fluctuations cause the largest shift of up to half a degree from a year or two. The other longer cycles cause a much smaller shift of a tenth or two of a degree over a few decades. But all are neutral because they can neither create or destroy energy in the system. They can only change the rate at which it is distributed between the surface and the oceans.

    The Xei et al paper you reference shows that a cool ocean surface can absorb more energy {or release less in net terms} and have a wide influence on surface temperatures because the energy that will raise surface temperatures by half a degree has a much smaller effect on the oceans. Water has a high specific heat capacity. Several thousand years of climate records show that the major ocean cycles have only a short-term influence on surface temperatures and are energy neutral. Otherwise there would be something other than a slow cooling of less than one degree Centigrade over seven thousand years.

    What the Xei paper shows is how important pacific ocean currents are in shaping the distribution of energy between the sea and surface. If the oceans are absorbing more energy because of a cooler surface then surface warming is less. However there is no evidence that the proportion of energy in the oceans and land can shift far from the usual, that is why El Nino events are inherently unpredictable, but over a ~decade the El Nino/La Nina effects cancel out.

    Most of the claims from the Heartland institute report are wrong, I would go through them if you wish, but listening to Heartland on climate is like listening to Heartland on tobacco. It is paid by the producers of tobacco/CO2 to claim the products are safe.

  26. izen says:

    @- Me

    There are two archeological and historical sources that CAN define a past climate variable with the fractional accuracy of present measurements.

    One is the Roman fishpond. They were built to a specific design involving a sluice entrance carved into the seashore bedrock a specific distance under the high tide mark. That gives a good measure of sea level since the first century AD.

    However even more specific, and putting a limit on sea level chnabges far beloww anything seen in the last century are the historical records of lunar and solar eclipses. These are very dependent on the time and location they can be seen on the stable rotation rate of the Earth. That in turn is altered by the tidal drag of the oceans. The sort of sea level change seen since 1900 would have shifted eclipse times signficantly so that past reports from astrological charts back to 3000BC confirm no significant sea level change for several thousand years.

  27. Me says:

    @ Izen

    Thanks for your reply. Some thoughts: 1. I sincerely doubt one can show all that needs to be shown by reference to Roman fishponds, indicative though they may be (and what about pre- and post-Roman history?). Do remember that what we are dealing with here is not merely phenomena to be viewed but also viewers or assessors of that phenomena. We might say: nothing is a fact until it is observed; no fact is of use until it is described, recorded, and presented. I worry, for very good reasons that the disingenuous behaviour of alarmists has only strengthened, about the tendentious assumptions of the viewers — something you have not addressed. It is not enough to point to the possible source of facts when so many are hell-bent on interpreting to fit a preconceived and cherished narrative. And, please note, it is alarmists that want to impose a narrative, not people like me who are willing to accept the physical planet as we find it.

    Sea levels: don’t really grasp the supposedly crucial voilà! of this. You mention the period after 1900 as being diagnostic. But sea levels change along with other climate changes: so what? Britain alone has been losing coastline and coastal villages to the sea’s encroachment for many hundreds of years. It lost its connection with France in the same way, thousands of years ago. What does that prove but that sea levels rise dramatically from time to time? FB’s point about correlation or coincidence rather than causation is an excellent one. You still have to show, as I’ve said before, what man is supposedly doing that nature wouldn’t be doing anyway (to wit, warming the whole place up in fits and starts since the end of the last Ice Age). You still have to show, what is more, that any fluctuation is not only a cause of concern (I deny flatly that it is!) but also that we can or should attempt to do anything about it, especially where it compromises known and concrete present human interests (I deny that, as well!).

  28. farmerbraun says:

    “Most of the claims from the Heartland institute report are wrong, I would go through them if you wish, . . . ”

    More interesting to know which ones you concede are correct, I would say.

  29. Me says:

    Oh dear.

    Brian Sewell at The Spectator (UK, the one and only, except that the Americans have a Spectator, too) wrote a less than rave review of a new book about ‘bizarre’ cars. As I am interested in almost everything, I read it. And I commented thus:

    Yes, I know, terribly crass and self-indulgent and my god, if all authors could get away with such frivolity so easily…. The author sounds like a jerk. I know the species well.

    BUT Jeremy Clarkson (since you’ve made the comparison) won me over when he said of one car (I think the Aston Martin of some vintage, but C.M.I.I.W.): ‘it’s fast… it’s beautiful… and it’s British’. Frames of a waving yet humourous Union flag, and begorrah I felt patriotic and proud. Is it a dreadful fault?

    By the way, I have no idea what I meant by the initials. I clearly thought it was self-evident, even as one that normally avoids them: spell it out, man! But i have no idea now what I meant.

    Anyway, the author of the book under review wrote in response, to me directly:

    I don’t think I am a jerk. I wrote a lighthearted book which Sewell seems to have totally misunderstood. His review was also highly offensive in suggesting I should jump off the top of the Empire State Building. I’m taking this matter uo with the Editor. Sewell reveals himself as an ignorant offensive idiot.

    Oh dear (again). Immediate author sympathy. Oh you poor lamb! Where does it hurt, here is some myrrh (can’t even spell it) for your hot forehead! Author in distress! Well, I’m a sucker for that, even though he’s probably got gobs more money and far more connections than I (the husband’s side is doing all right, no little to thanks to Cinderella here who mops the floors, but the connections on either side are NIL).

    So I wrote:

    I certainly don’t think you should jump off a high building, Mr Ray. Working in the world of publishing is punishment enough. I hope that Mr Sewell is not actually an ignorant offensive idiot, even if he irritates you. Life isn’t easy for any of us. I’ll look your book up on Amazon.

    The book is Bizarre Cars, by Keith Ray. Might as well feed himself to the sharks, but bon voyage!

  30. izen says:

    @- farmerbraun
    “More interesting to know which ones you concede are correct, I would say.”

    Only one.
    ‘• A few tenths of a degree of additional warming, should it occur, would not represent a climate
    crisis. ‘

    I think that’s a reasonable statement. Given the problems caused by the current level of climate change of just under 1degC I doubt that a few tenths more would warrant upgrading the intensification as a crisis.

    The problem is that 97% of the scientific research thinks that ONLY a few tenths of a degree of additional warming has in Bayesian terms, a snowballs chance in hell.

    What this statement may be attempting to do is frame the issue. I presume that the Heartland institute is familiar with the research on climate if they are shadowing the IPCC. So they must be aware that the vast, overwhelming majority of scientific knowledge would reject that there could ONLY be a few tenths of a degree of additional {at least they admit there has already been some…} warming. There is also the suspicion that for US consumption the default assumption may be that these are a few tenths of a Fahrenheit degree. An even smaller magnitude of implied warming that would be lost in the inter-annual variations.

    The improbability of this scenario especially without any reference to time frame {a decade?}, makes it look less like a clear explanation of a factor in understanding the future climate, a genuine attempt to address the information deficit of the general reader, and more like a subtle rhetoric to implant the idea that future warming could be imperceptible. Despite the strength of evidence against climate stasis.

    I did – compulsively?! – go through the Heartland claims/statements even before you asked… may post that when I get back on that machine -grin-

    But I am not enthusiastic about re-rehashing the science of AGW. The debate at that level has become tribal and unpleasantly acrimonious as people get more invested in defending their team than dealing with the information deficit.

    The form of society that can best adapt to whatever human or natural changes occur is of more interest than throwing around the mountains of research that quibble over details.

    The probability of some excursion from the relatively stable climate under which human agriculture and industrial civilisation developed is almost certain. the big uncertainties are in the political and governance structures that emerge in response to those challenges.

    And how technological developments can alter the policy options but with power politics enabling or hindering the most effective responses.
    I’m still rooting for the turbo-encabulator with quantum hypercore!

  31. Me says:

    Crisis for whom or what? Measured or identified in what terms? It’s such obvious nonsense that I wonder how the alarmo-socialists have got away with it for so long.

  32. Luton Ian says:

    Izen, where do you get the idea that agriculture in general is somehow fragile?

    Certainly if I was farming in south west greenland with an ice cap a mile or so away, or in lowland eastern Kenya, where every few years the rains fail (and always have done so), then I might be concerned, but in output terms, very little of the worlds agriculture is in such climatically marginal places.

    Even on the basis of the probability density function graphs for runs of the various models, given in the current IPCC holy scriptures, the most likely changes are less than about 2 deg Celsius.

    As I’ve written before, even if that comes with a rainfall or wind increase, I’m only at most an hour or two’s drive from places with those conditions already, and I know farmers who make their living in those places, with not too different practices to the ones I use.

    I actually doubt that warming (if it comes) will bring additional rainfall to these parts – we have (probably high medieval) cultivated field systems, overlain by peat, suggesting an increase in rainfall, or at least a reduction in evapotranspiration and reduction in decay of organic matter, since that land was being ploughed and crops grown on it by its former occupants.

    Even if change or just increases in variability come rapidly, It’s pretty simple to put double wheels onto a tractor to minimise damage on wet fields, and the fields which drought off too easily now, do very nicely in wet years, we also have heavy land which do very well in dry years.

    Should it become too wet to cultivate, then the sheep flock can be increased over two to three years, and rather than making hay, as we try to now (because it’s easier to transport and easier to store for several years as a reserve than silage is), it would be easy enough to switch to silage, which can be made (less than optimally) in wet weather.

    Should things really change, then all the better, perhaps we’ll get to grow soy beans, maize and durum wheat, with a few olives, wine trees, oranges, and some nice Italian style rice, and my Italian friends and family can begin growing coffee, cocao, bananas…

    at the moment, productive olive trees are about 300m lower down the hill, and about five miles by road away from them.

  33. farmerbraun says:

    “The form of society that can best adapt to whatever human or natural changes occur is of more interest . . .”.
    Yep, and the big human changes that I see that are of immediate concern relate to the sustainability of much of the annual cropping that the Western world depends on. Even rice production is not the sure thing that it was in earlier times.
    When there is no longer sufficient quantities small grains to finish animals, the whole industrial feedlot beef/ pork /chicken edifice comes tumbling down.
    Shepherds will inherit the earth! 🙂

  34. Luton Ian says:

    I wish the biofuel scam would hurry up and come tumbling down.

    That stuff is an expensive pain in the behind. British unleaded now has a 2 week shelf life from leaving the refinery (one of our snow vehicles has a petrol engine, I managed to get some avgas for it this time which has none of that ethanol shite in it.

    All of the diseasel also has biofuel crap in it, and the slightest bit of condensation in a fuel tank, and it produces frog spawn like gel and a black dust, both of which instantly clog fuel filters – which is a real pain when the combine comes out for harvest time, or when we need one of the crawlers in a hurry. I got some of the crap in my generator, and I went through 3 fuel filters in one evening, bastards! and it was to bleed each time as well.

    incidentally, the subsidies for powerstations to burn wood, mean that instead of stumps and baled brash, whole woods are going into power stations, and the coastal and swamp woodlands of the US are coming over here too, to be burned.

    The price of fence posts has gone through the roof, and since cresote has been banned, instead of lasting 20 years plus (we’ve some that lasted over 40 years), we’ve had some preservative treated straining posts rot through in as little as 2 years.

    Firehand has a related post up about the German green power lunacy, it’s well worth reading.

  35. Luton Ian says:

    there was also a good piece by Jeffery Tucker, about American industry going off grid, to avoid the statist crony chaos of the grid.

    And Britain’s labour leader was touting price controls on power today – either that man is a cynical liar, or he’s economically illiterate, or perhaps he’s both;

    If the fixed price is above the market rate, then there will be over production (ref EEC butter mountains, wine lakes etc)

    If it is below the market clearing price, then there will be shortages (ref the South African rolling black outs of a few years back, and the Caliphornicated black outs)

    The chances of a fixed price accurately hitting the market clearing price for any length of time, is as close to zero as makes no difference.

  36. Luton Ian says:

    completely OT

    With the Nairobi shopping mall shoot out filling the news media

    I can’t work out what any group (other than a state) would have to gain from such an event.

    A state, whether the Kenyan, or the big satan, would have quite a lot to gain in support for its interference in Somalia, and its attempts to restrict gun ownership, paramilitarize its cops…

    am I missing something obvious here?

  37. Kitler says:

    Well something I have been pondering over the last few days is how much does climate affect one generations outlook on life, while one can be optimistic the next cynical and does that follow the 30 year hot then cold cycle. The boomers grew up during a warming phase, gen X a cold period, the millennial’s a warming phase, so you optimistic, cynical, optimistic and now we are in a cooling phase I expect more cynics to be born.
    Plus 97% of scientists and a few guys down the pub agree with my theory and I have a hockey shaped graph and all.

    There’s none so blind – Oz:

    Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

    Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?

    But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.

    Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.

    Jeremiah 5 21:24

  38. Luton Ian says:

    More cracks appearing in the “consensus” over “the science is settled”

    Borepatch has the report,

    Kind of you to offer, I’ll have a large bucket of popcorn please…

  39. Me says:

    Luton Ian at 2:10:18: Good stuff.

  40. Me says:

    The R. O. P. is not a joke, though it IS an absurdity: we are once again up against the worst of mankind. And, for god’s sake Cameron, if you can’t find something truly just to say, please don’t say anything at all. (Can you imagine Churchill as Cameron at this moment?)

    The Australian family of the architect gunned down with his pregnant partner in a Kenyan shopping centre have spoken about their grief at losing three family members in just a few minutes.

    Ross Langdon, a dual Australian-British national, was with his partner, Elif Yavuz, at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi at the weekend when it was stormed by al-Shabaab militants, who killed more than 60 people. The couple were among their first victims.

    Yavuz was due to give birth in two weeks.

    Langdon’s mother, Linden, and his four siblings, Craig, Amy, Anthony and Abi, released a statement paying tribute to “our beautiful Ross”, who grew up in Tasmania.

  41. farmerbraun says:

    I really like these three excerpts from the IPCC report :-

    Significant lines from the report:-

    ” Most MODELS simulate a small DOWNWARD trend in Antarctic sea ice extent,
    albeit with large inter-model spread, in CONTRAST to the small UPWARD trend in


    “There is LOW confidence in the scientific understanding of the small observed
    INCREASE in Antarctic sea ice extent due to the INCOMPLETE and competing
    scientific explanations for the causes of change and LOW confidence in estimates
    of internal variability in that region.”

    “Models do NOT generally reproduce the OBSERVED REDUCTION
    in surface warming trend over the last 10 –15 years.”

    Now , who’d a thunk it eh? I guess we should give them credit for honesty.

    The report said that? I haven’t read it yet.

    I thought they had upped their confidence from 90% to 95%. Boy, I’d love to see the curve that’s based on, and how it was generated – Oz

  42. Luton Ian says:

    Is that paradigm change meteor into the atmosphere yet?

  43. Me says:

    Did Britons get stupider since I left England? I often wonder.

    [Quoting myself] To the extent that so many readers/commenters seem to be missing the point here, it’s a bit dismaying.

    The story is NOT about sailing, folks! It’s about an elitist extreme socialist (are we allowed to call them C+mmunists any more?) wanting to destroy the Britain you know and love. It’s about your freedom and your prosperity. Wakey, wakey or this man could be your next prime minister oppressor.

    The Telegraph UK article is here:

  44. Me says:

    Ah. There was a strikethrough between ‘next’ and ‘oppressor’.

  45. Me says:

    Well, that’s mildly gratifying: I’ve got many ‘likes’ on the Miliband v. sentient beings article in a short space of time. I can’t believe the clock is saying nearly 10 past 3: doesn’t feel like it. Nice to be doing something other than tending to the dog, sorting the idiot painter’s damage to my fridge and floor — the useless twerp, who talked my ear off the whole time to add insult to injury — and managing my pool chemistry. Some twit on the has invited me to enjoy sailing. I told him the last time I tried it, I got hypothermia (which is why the scene in my book where a certain unmentionable human goes in the water unexpectedly is drawn from life, and no guess-work). Anyway, I have to go for a long walk on a white sandy beach with beautiful green-blue waves tomorrow. Must rest up for it. Tough slog, but someone’s got to do it :^o

  46. Me says:

    …said article… [missing words]

  47. Luton Ian says:

    Hi Me,

    I followed your link, Milliband does come across as a particularly unpleasant and bitter rabble rouser.
    There’s a naughty little factual slip in the piece though, the nearest golf course to the [Northumberland*] Derwent Reservoir sailing club isn’t Allendale, it’s this far more opulent place

    I was listening to Milliband’s promises to price low skilled and young workers out of the job market with the minimum wage

    perhaps some brits are thick enough to believe this will help rather than hurt those with the lowest status in the job market, by making them too expensive for employers to risk taking on, and thereby condemning them to a life on the dole, with no chance of ever building up experience, skills and reputation in work.

    Back to sailing. Even back in the 1970s, King Harold (Wilson) introduced a punitive tax on sailing, as sailing (on a yacht that was always crewed by good looking, muscular young men) was Tory leader Ted Heath’s chosen hobby.

    I’ve several friends who were boat building at that time, and one who hired out holiday boats, they were certainly hurt by the tax.

  48. Luton Ian says:

    * I stress the Northumberland Derwent reservoir
    England has at least four river Derwents, and the one which traditionally formed the boundary between Northumberland and County Durham, is probably the smallest, even if it does have the biggest dam and reservoir on it.

    the others include Derwent Water, a natural lake in the Lake district, and a couple of reservoirs on the Derbyshire Derwent.

    This of course invites confusion, and who is more prone to confusion than a statist institution, like the Ordnance survey.

    Here’s the cover of the 1:25k map for the Northumberland Derwent Reservoir, with a photo on the cover of one of the Derbyshire Derwent reservoirs – they’re only about 120 miles apart

  49. Luton Ian says:

    Silly me, I forgot to add, despite being 120 miles apart, both sets of reservoirs are built at the same geological horizon, and it appears possible that the Durham First Grit, is part of the same continuous coarse sand body as the Kinderscout Grit in Derbyshire.

    oh, and a woman I was once engaged to, lives within the area of that map, in Stanhope, and its her Birthday today.

  50. Me says:

    Hi Ian. Enjoyed your posts. The piccie does look very fetching though, does it not? Possibly the folks at Tea-Making Ordnance Survey thought that no one would notice. ‘You’ve seen one Derwent, you’ve seen ’em all’.

    Why there should be a tax on sailing as against a tax on anything else, I’ll never understand. But then, I didn’t understand VAT when it was 17.5%, and I understand it even less now. My family in England asked me once (the naifs!) why Americans were so much richer and more comfortable than English people. I was a stripling of socio-economic quasi-Socratic semi-philosopher, but at least I had the presence of mind to say ‘TAXATION!’. I’m not sure they got it.

    Since you are obviously a gold mine of info re all things mad English (I love this strikethrough thing: will they take my strikethrough privileges away?), can you explain the difference between ‘Ordinance’ and ‘Ordnance’? We’re not very bright in my family, as I think I’ve made clear.

  51. Me says:

    Never mind: strikethroughs didn’t happen. I probably wasn’t bumpfing right.

    Meant to be x Tea-Making x … and x mad x

  52. izen says:

    @- “can you explain the difference between ‘Ordinance’ and ‘Ordnance’?”

    Oh I know this one.
    Ordinance is somthing ordained or ordered by religious or political authority.

    Ordnance is military weapons, originally canon, but also now any guns.

    The maps were made so that the british military could target their canon at any invaders accurately.
    So they are canon maps for the british army which were declassified long ago and released to the public.

    Except that “canon” is a general law or principal, particularly in relation to church law.

    “Cannon” is the British field weapon to which you allude – Oz 😉

  53. Me says:

    Aha! Thanks very much for that.

  54. Luton Ian says:

    Libertarian heresies uttered by a cop

    Continuing on the northern England theme; county Durham seems to be ground zero for contradictions walking around on two legs.

    A libertarian cop is a bit like parched wetness, or freezing hell, or an athiest C of E bishop… errr, Durham actually had a Bishop who:

    Few bishops would now share the views of the former Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev David Jenkins, who caused a scandal in the 1980s when he contrasted the Resurrection with a “conjuring trick with bones”.

    Now from the chief constable of Durham:

    Mike Barton, Durham’s chief constable, says NHS ‘could be used to supply addicts’ and urges drugs policy revolution

    I disagree with the NHS (and any other state monopoly) having any roles at all – I disagree with its choice limiting, tax fattened dysfunctional existence, but still, dispite detailed disagreement, a top cop testing the reception of the idea that prohibition should be abandoned is very welcome news.

  55. Me says:

    As some of you may know, I am something of a Donald-Crowhurst-story afficionado (we misfits have to stick together). My late father-in-law never ‘got’ it: despite being a sometime somewhat seaman (peacetime coastguard officer with the cushiest job known to man, for which he can still have his cremated remains in the National Cemetery where I live, though personally I think ‘veteran’ says too much and puts him too much on a par with men and women far more deserving of the title). He had a bookseller come to his house and the Crowhurst book I gave him as a present was among those taken away. Unread. But perhaps not a real slight: having gone through his library (we inherited his house), I’ve found that his bookmarks rarely go beyond page 30 or so.

    Anyway, he was a nice man and my husband is fond and feels filial piety, so say no more. (Piety in me seems in short supply these days. I do not wish to be cynical, but most days present a sort of corrosion, and a corresponding wish to curl up in a ball. In fact I lull myself to sleep most nights by imagining a doormouse: pinks paws, shut eyes, little furry tail between the two).

    Cut to the chase, will ya? And pass the decanter. OK. My review of the latest addition to the Golden Globe race/Crowhurst oeuvre:

  56. Me says:

    Dormouse with pink paws. Must get the Dormouse book out of a box (unpacked as many of them still are) to reacquaint myself with their delicate beauty.

  57. izen says:

    I am afraid I could only watch the first couple of minutes of the video, then my cackles of hysterical laughter were attracting to much attention at work. It proved easy however to find a text original, or rather a shortened summary of the ‘secret’ document that the claim is based on. Its a survey of possible future developments in warfare put together by a scientist at NASA for the US army war college.
    In 2001, it’s twelve years old.
    Which explains some of the errors and mistakes. Does anyone see the internet revolution as causing e demise of the US underclass and the equalization of the haves and have nots!
    Heres the link to the short written version –

    What this does illustrate is the gargantuan gullibility of people with a paranoid conspiracy outlook and insufficient scientific understanding to grasp what is real and fantasy.
    Confabulating a twelve year old speculative powerpoint lecture given to the army war college with delusions that some omnipotent shadow force is going to take over the world is slightly battier than thinking a James Bond film is a documentary.

    The confirmation bias is strong in this one….

    Of course with this sort of nonsense any debunking is treated as further confirmatory evidence that ‘THEY’ are trying to hide it all. The ongoing and long historical evidence that political and ideological organisations are generally incapable of organising a inebriated event in a alcoholic beverage manufacturing plant and that SNAFU is usually the best that can be expected from any institution seems to escape the attention of those promoting this absurdity.

    Meanwhile the real shaping of peoples options in life, health and opportunities by multinational commercial organisations goes unremarked and unchecked. Most Western media is in the hands of Verizon and Murdoch. Food production and distribution is in the hands of a small cartel, of which Dalgety were a significant component the last time I looked. The amount of effort devoted to suspecting political power of malicious intent is even more amazing when contrasted with the apparent free pass given to business interests who may not be malicious, but for whom the bottom line is often in conflict with customer safety, {horsemeat} opportunity and knowledge.

    Right wing woo of the deepest hue.

  58. izen says:

    @- Except that “canon” is a general law or principal, particularly in relation to church law.
    “Cannon” is the British field weapon to which you allude – Oz ”

    Aaaargh. My inability to spell can be dammed embarrassing sometimes.
    So an ordinance may be part of a canon.
    And a cannon may be part of ordnance.

    And a canon is something between a round and a fugue…

  59. Me says:

    Izen: You should no more be embarrassed by spelling (or mis-) than by tyops. There’s no skill in spelling at all. It’s just about having a mental picture of a word (which is why frequent readers tend to be the best spellers). In that way it’s a lot like remembering people’s names on your first week at a new job, or at a party. Both the men that I have lived with had trouble recalling people’s names, but I understand that this is a general phenomenon, not restricted to the Canadian Scot and the Norwegian Yank. As I explained to them both, the trick is not to let the name of an introduced person wash over you, while you merely smile and say hello and feel aware of yourself; the trick is to make mental notes every so briefly: ‘Bob — tall skinny bit of an odd face’. Then the next one: ‘Linda — dumpy lined mouth short; wispy hair’. Laura: ‘Beautiful voice and I’ll come back to her later’.

    I have a ‘talent’ for remembering names and faces, but it’s nothing more than that.

  60. Me says:

    ‘every so briefly’: see, a ytpo. To err is to use the Internet.

  61. Me says:

    Oh, and another thing: Don’t say the name to yourself only once. At least twice. ‘Bob — skinny, tall — Bob’. It works.

  62. farmerbraun says:

    Shocking news this morning from the US. The panda web cam is down! OMG!

    We’re doomed!!!! Oz

  63. Me says:

    Now I’ve seen everything. You will have, too, in a moment. You know you’ve seen everything when you’ve seen this:

    If you’re that keen on drying a cleaned plastic bag — and I’ve been known to do it myself, once or twice, mindful that plastic waste is more damaging than any other (though frankly any individual’s conservation project is less than a drop in the ocean compared with the volcano of plastic that’s being spewed forth each year) — I suppose this would help. But so would a few chopsticks or cocktail straws in a small jar or shot glass. Materials you have already around the house (well, I do, but no surprises there!). If you’re snobby enough to want a cute little fussy stand and sticks ‘crafted from sustainably harvested birch and ash woods’, and you want it to fold for storage as opposed to just bunging the bits back in a drawer, you’ll have to shell out nearly $19.

    The decadence of those that would save the Earth knows no bounds.

  64. Luton Ian says:

    OT on a topicless thread

    Young Robbie Shone has some of his new China caves photos on Yahoo news. The artificially lit shots have two people in, the far person gives an impression of the size of the holes.

    Robbie is certainly shaping up to be one of the top underground photographers.

  65. Ozboy says:

    Just got back from a week away on business. I’ll try to put something new up later this week.

  66. Ozboy says:

    Harking back to previous threads, here’s David Leyonhjelm (H/T Catallaxy) encapsulating his policy platform into a soundbite:

    I believe many across the Anglosphere are becoming rather jealous.

  67. Ozboy says:

    The U.S. Federal government shutdown has exposed the prevalence of “bullshit jobs”. They’re not working, and nobody notices.

    (H/T Michael Smith)

    Something to consider next time you look at your tax bill.

  68. izen says:

    One is reminded of the Hitchickers Guide in which the telephone sanitation operatives, and others were shipped off in the B-Ark.
    Only for their freshly invigorated society to be wiped out by an epidemic plague… Caught from dirty telephones.

    The trouble with classifying various jobs as unessential is that there are not enough productive jobs for the full working population. Technology has replaced the majority of jobs in agriculture and manufacturing. Therefore many potential consumers will need a government subsidy to enable them to support the commercial market. Non-jobs are a effective way of providing money to consumers without intervening in the ‘free’ market.

    But the real damage done to an economy is not by government subsidised jobs whether within government or as tax credits, and welfare for low paid workers, it is the rentier class who derive money from the real productive industries. That banking is now a much bigger business than the commercial enterprises that it is meant to be providing a service too is a clear failure of markets to stop the tail wagging the dog.

    And no doubt nationalizing the banking industry would solve this, eh Izen? Oz

  69. Ozboy says:

    Want to join the science debate? Try this quick quiz.

    (H/T Fretslider)

    Be truthful, now 🙂

  70. Me says:

    I took the quiz just now, and got 12 out of 13 questions right. I muffed the question about content of atmosphere, but I won’t say how I did so as not to help others cheat! (It’s not a difficult or tricky question; I just didn’t really know.)

    I put the questions to hubby right afterwards, with my paraphrases (the results page doesn’t replay all the questions in full), but hubby anticipated the answers on that basis so did very well. He didn’t get the atmosphere question right, either. 🙂

    So: We’re male and female, both with university educations (he an MA with coursework towards a PhD, which he should have finished but never mind, me with a totally undistinguished record of boredom, perplexity, and assignations with strange books in the stacks), in the 30-49 age bracket (thanks for the compliment: we’re both 45). We’re not complete fruitcakes. Nice to know.

    Well, you both know more science than 85% of the adult population of the United States, if the study sample was representative – Oz

  71. Me says:

    Update: But should have known, given the arguments of the past 4 years of which I’ve been a part. As a gardener you tend to think that nitrogen is important but earth-bound, somehow….

  72. Kitler says:

    You scored better than 93% of the public and the same as 7%.
    Also those were junior school questions so heaven help mankind if those were supposed to be difficult.

    Amanda and spouse, it would appear, know more about science than “professors” David Suzuki and Tim Flannery, if their recent public blatherings are anything to go by. Yes, it’s schoolboy stuff, but if you can’t walk, don’t sell yourself as a runner – Oz

  73. Kitler says:

    A new post….
    It’s a picture of the land of the free where hope shines brightly…….now to figure out how I can post more than one piccy at a time it’s the tail end of Lake Huron that goes down to Lake St Clair and then on to Detroit to Lake Erie. It was fascinating seeing what had been an economic engine called Michigan destroyed by the right and left for power, money and control. One refreshing thing was the lack of racism you see in the South every day.

  74. Ozboy says:

    One for Izen and his Gini Index. The world’s wealthiest country, based on median adult wealth, is…

    Not a socialist country. At least, not any more. But, true, one with government-guaranteed universal healthcare, secondary school education and income safety net.

  75. izen says:

    @- “And no doubt nationalizing the banking industry would solve this, eh Izen”

    No, I know from observation that evolutionary competition is better than unintelligent design.
    But as with DNA and genetics it requires close regulation. genomes have comprehensive and complex regulatory systems to prevent gross mutation and correct most variation. In addition the epigenetic developmental systems have another layer of checking and rejection of distorted genetic code.
    And still cancer occurs.

    @-“One for Izen and his Gini Index. The world’s wealthiest country, based on median adult wealth,”

    Yes, most admirable, and one of the reasons that Australia is such a popular destination for immigrants, the playing field is leveller…
    I would point out also that Australia escaped much of the worst of the financial collapse because of its strict banking regulation.

    Mrs Oz used to work in banking regulation, so I’m not at liberty to argue…

    Well, up to a point. I’m not competent to argue the case in detail, but I find the Austrian case for banking deregulation compelling. No country today uses a truly Austrian banking system (most notably Austria itself!) but I suspect its adoption would have obviated the 2008 financial crisis, as it harks back to the very principle of evolutionary competition that you rightly extol.

    As to Australia’s particularly smooth wealth distribution, I’d make the case that it has as much to do with the egalitarian streak in our national culture, than any aggressive policies of wealth redistribution by socialist governments. Even the Coalition accept such institutions as Medicare, without much argument. You may recall I said as much back here – an article with which I recall you broadly agreeing. So maybe we’re actually not too far apart on this one – Oz

  76. Me says:

    Oz: Might it also have something to do with the fact that you don’t have a large underclass or unskilled immigrants to make wealth possession uneven? I know that is certainly the case in the United States. Such groups skew all kinds of numbers, and anti-American enthusiasts like to use those national averages because they make life in America look harder, less affluent, and more violent than it really is for most people.

  77. Me says:

    Kitler: Nah, I’m embarrassed about having got the wrong one wrong. If I’d considered it a moment more I’d have realized.

  78. Me says:

    Sorry, but I’m going to belabour the obvious so as to clarify, since I can almost hear people thinking ‘yes, but that’s precisely what national averages are meant to show: you can’t cherry-pick the groups you like and then boast about them’. But my point is that when you have an extremely large, heterogenous nation-state, including a significant proportion of people that aren’t even resident legally, then you get certain known groups consistently skewing the numbers. In a very real way, they inhabit a different country to the one I inhabit (Detroit being the most egregious for- instance, but there are mini-Detroits elsewhere in the country and even within otherwise thriving cities). It’s a bit like tying the Cutty Sark to an iceberg and then saying that nope, the Cutty Sark really isn’t that fast a ship. One of the problems of American life is how do you melt that iceberg? Unfortunately the Left is committed to icebergs, in more ways than one.

  79. izen says:

    @- Me
    ozboy suggests that it is an egalitarian streak in Australian culture that has resulted in the more homogeneous income distribution. I would suggest that the separate and unequal groups within US society indicate the lack of that, in fact there is a strong segregationist and divisive trait in US society that favours a monoculture and the exclusion of ‘the other’.
    If I remember rightly the enthusiasm to discriminate by a significant proportion of the US resulted in a civil war.

  80. Luton Ian says:

    The trouble with classifying various jobs as unessential is that there are not enough productive jobs for the full working population. Technology has replaced the majority of jobs in agriculture and manufacturing. Therefore many potential consumers will need a government subsidy to enable them to support the commercial market. Non-jobs are a effective way of providing money to consumers without intervening in the ‘free’ market.

    But the real damage done to an economy is not by government subsidised jobs whether within government or as tax credits, and welfare for low paid workers, it is the rentier class who derive money from the real productive industries. That banking is now a much bigger business than the commercial enterprises that it is meant to be providing a service too is a clear failure of markets to stop the tail wagging the dog.

    please, for goodness sake, will you do some actual and very basic reading in economics. I fully agree that the cronie banking sector, and all other cronies, are far bigger than they would ever be if we had a free market, but your reasoning in getting to that conclusion is way off.

    Amanda (not ours, another one – who is also 21) is producing short, cartoon chapter summaries of Hazlitt’s “economics in one lesson” These will give you a quick and very strong grounding in the basics of economics – actually a far better grounding than most journalists and politicians seem to have. please go and check them out

    also, please get your head around the principal of comparative advantage as it applies to individuals, there is infact work for almost everyone, the only possible exceptions are a very few who are too frail or too handicapped. This will get you started.

  81. izen says:

    Sorry, but I am pretty sure that Ricardos ‘law’ of comparative advantage is a conceptual abstraction with little relevance to real resource management. Take the initial example of bow ties made by Freedonia and Amerika. All that calculation of comparative advantage goes out the window if the techno-republic of Autocratia makes a machine that produces bowties at a tenth of the cost of either with no human intervention required.
    And then thee is the little matter of bowties becoming very unfashionable so that demand drops through the floor….

    All of the 19C economist from Marx through Freidman fail to grasp the impact of technological means to eliminate the need for human labour to generate material resources. A mistake that will be all the more apparent as truely autonomous machines take over more human work.
    None of them seem to have recognised the emergent chaotic complexity that is a feature of mature markets either.

    Hudson, Richard L.; Mandelbrot, Benoît B. (2004). The (Mis)Behavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin, and Reward. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-04355-0.

  82. Me says:

    I don’t see how a ‘strong segregationist and divisive trait’, which you clearly detect, is or even could be responsible for a ‘monoculture’, which you also apparently detect: conformity in American life, which Alexis de Tocqueville discussed, has more to do with our democratic attitudes and assumptions, held in common, than with a desire to exclude whoever you think we’re excluding. But yes, we are a people, which means that we do not and cannot include every human possibility, particularly those that militate against our constitutional principles. Nor can any other people, anywhere else. Honestly it looks as though you want to hold America to a different, indeed impossible, standard. It is not enough that we be more exceptional than other cultures, but to warrant appreciation we must be darn near divine according to your lights. Beyond that, your comment looks as though it’s stuck in the nineteenth century.

    You can’t condemn a whole people for being ‘segregationist’ when that same people, as you say, fought a very bloody civil war to right the initial and worst injustice — the great crime of slavery — and then within 100 years brought about massive socio-political change to undo the lingering smaller injustices and segregation (where it then existed). I do agree that the Left in this country is not interested enough in true colour-blindness, but still wants to redistribute wealth and assign taxpayer-funded goodies to favoured groups of the Left’s choosing — and that does no one any good (see the underclass, see the welfare generations (families that have not worked in generations but live at public expense), see the vilification of private enterprise and the denigration of personal responsibility, see the dumbing down of education at all levels and for all age groups). I also agree that the Left, far from wanting ebony and ivory in perfect harmony, has done all it could in the past thirty years to stoke minority grievances and to tell certain groups that they are hard done-by — instead of addressing the failure of Leftist policies, some of which I have just named, and being truthful about the meaning of racism in America. (Hint: it’s now a witch-hunt word, more real as a bogeyman than as a reality.)*

    As for talk of ‘the Other’ — you aren’t Robert Redford by any chance, are you? — America is the most welcoming to ‘all others’, whoever they may be at any given era, than any other nation ever in the history of the world. That is unarguable: it is a simple fact. I’ll remind you that I am an immigrant to these shores, as was my husband’s family.** And I’ll inform you, since I think it would do you good to know, that most of those arriving from Scandinavia (my husband’s ancestral homeland) could not speak English, and in fact his great-uncle, whose name is listed on the Ellis Island memorial where the immigrants first landed, had one battered suitcase which was the sum and total of his worldly goods. But he had a nice, comfortable, and respectable life in America, and died at the age of 90 still believing that the day he laid eyes on the Statue of Liberty, from his incoming ship, was the best and most important day of his life.

    *And: when an aggrieved person goes out of his way to say ‘hey, I’m different from you’, and he does so in a threatening and surly manner, that harmony will certainly not happen any time soon, and it’s not the fault of the innocent who are threatened. Is it? (Rhetorical question.) In short, it’s not only whites that are capable of being ‘racist’ or of putting obstacles in the way of equality. And the Left has a lot to answer for in that department.

    ** As recently as the early 1960s, husband’s father, who had worked as an academic in England, was told that ‘Britain is a non-immigrating country’ so that was the end of his England dreaming.

  83. Luton Ian says:

    thanks for the suggestion, Markets may appear chaotic, they are not, there is an amazing spontaneous order within them, but they cannot be predicted numerically.

    not because of mandelbrot – but because they are communicating the most urgently felt wants of billions of individual thinking and acting people, and their competing uses for scarce resources. That’s what a market is.

    Markets can be and are predicted consistently by some individuals, and the individuals with that rare knack can become extremely wealthy as a result.

    You are however fundamentally (?deliberately) mis understanding markets and economics.

    as to 19th century economists
    Marx, parroted second rate re-treads of Ricardo – he also seems to have completely missed the implications of comparative advantage.

    Marx was in no way at all a contributor to economic knowledge, quite the contrary. He did however have the good sense to stop pushing what he himself described as “economic shite” when he came accross the works of Walras, Jevons and Menger – the “marginalists”, realizing that with subjective marginal utility as the determinant of “value” rather than labour (although Marx is even vague about that), his entire house of cards would collapse.

    Although comparative advantage first appeared in a work by Ricardo, there is no evidence that he had the slightest interest in it, or that he even understood it, the originator appears to have been his young personal secretary, James Mill (the Lenin of classical liberalism).

    If the article I suggested is not to your liking, find one explaining comparative advantage which is. the concept is valid for as long as there are humans, mechanization does not change it, it will not go away.

    Milton Friedman was a 20th century economist, not 19th century, and I’m afraid to say, despite his eloquence and his fame, he was not among the best. I actually think that his adherence to Popper’s falsification take on Logical positivism, actually took the mainstream of economics backwards. the approach is barren.

    How did you get on with Amanda’s videos?

  84. Luton Ian says:

    “If I remember rightly the enthusiasm to discriminate by a significant proportion of the US resulted in a civil war.”

    Check out Abe Lincoln’s written views on people who had skins a different colour to his – he was both racist and segregationist, additionally, he did not move to end slavery north of the Mason-Dixon line.

    both sides agreeing on an issue of race is hardly cause for a civil war.

    The U.S. Civil War was a war over the sovereignty of individual U.S. states. Slavery law was the most prominent example of contested law, but there were others. Plus the fact that Lincoln won the 1860 presidential election without carrying a single southern state, and (largely) ignored the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott judgement regarding extraterritorial property rights in slaves.

    That’s my understanding of U.S. history. The notion that it was between broad-minded, progressive Northerners and nasty, redneck Southern bigots is a myth, as you point out – Oz

  85. Luton Ian says:

    Hi Oz
    I think the Morill Tariff, which protected north eastern crony manufacturers and which was paid in a grossly disproportionate way by the agricultural south (and enforced via coastal forts like Fort Sumter), is a much more likely candidate.

    Lincoln stood on a high tariff manifesto, and to have the payers of that tariff walk off the pitch taking the ball with them…

    The south’s great mistake was to shell Fort Sumter.

  86. Kitler says:

    Fort Sumter should have been starved into submission, however it should be noted the South was and is a racist place and that applies to white and black people and they have a definite entitlement mentality as in the world owes them a living preferably with someone else doing their work for them. If they could both sides would bring back slavery.

  87. Luton Ian says:

    You need to get out of the south, and preferably out of that country, and with those who matter to you as well.

    The more I think about it, the more I worry that that place could go tango uniform within a few minutes of some triggering event.

    Just imagine if one of those bullies in silly hats had had a negligent discharge (as they do) when the WWii veterans went to the war memorial. even if there is a kill switch for twitter and face spook, it would only take a few seconds for the word to get out and around.

    Well, I’d better go give my little swines their suppers, and I hasten to add that I’m not making any reference to John Ross’ unintended consequences, their supper doesn’t contain any long pig.

  88. Kitler says:

    Well America’s fate is sealed with the plan to debase the currency so much that economic collapse is inevitable, the choice of Yellen as the new Fed chief is the canary in the coal mine, oddly enough no one wanted the job.

  89. Me says:

    Luton Ian and Izen ought to get a room together. Ian’s view of Abe Lincoln is basically that if he didn’t spout every 20th- or 21st-century understanding or appreciation of something, he was therefore on the side of the devil. The evidence shows otherwise. Blacks in America owe more to Abraham Lincoln than to any other human being, dead or alive. Whatever the complexities of the civil war — and the South’s apology, while legitimate in its own way as an explanation of its own motivation in fighting it, is still not sufficient defence given the great crime of slavery — Lincoln was the man that spearheaded the defence of the Constitution. I shall remind you all (or y’all, since I am not in the least anti-Southerner), of what he said at Gettysburg.

    Slavery was incompatible with government of the people, by the people, for the people. That remained as ‘a great task remaining before us’, i.e. freedom is an unfinished work. And it was essential that the war be fought and that the dead be honoured fittingly —

    It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    Anyway, I’m pretty certain that we’ve had a similar discussion of this subject on this blog in the past. If I’m not mistaken about that, no one will be surprised to learn that I still think Lincoln one of the very greatest Americans, though with respect to his personal biography I can only claim to have read Lord Charnwood’s book.

    That’s it for me for a while.

    Correction: ‘the most’ in my earlier comment should have been ‘more… than any other’. This is why I like the edit function on Disqus, despite its quirks 🙂

  90. Kitler says:

    ME if Abe Lincoln was defending the constitution then he would not have freed the slaves as they were per the document only considered a 1/3rd or a 1/2 of a white person. You have to remember a lot of the founding fathers were slave holders even Franklin had owned slaves.
    I also say 500,000 dead soldiers would disagree with him as to the justice of his cause for an institution that would have died on the vine anyway thanks to mechanical automation of farming.
    A tractor is cheaper to maintain than a slave considering slaves were very expensive at the time of the civil war.

  91. Kitler says:

    Abe Lincoln was the Obama of his day.

  92. Kitler says:

    Also on a more serious note are the bubbles in beer free?

    Bubbles come from sugar. Sugar costs money – Oz

  93. izen says:

    The bubbles in beer are CO2 and should be taxed…

    Full marks for consistency, at least – Oz 🙄

  94. Kitler says:

    Izen if they are CO2 does that mean I have to buy a carbon credit every time I drink a pint?

    OZboy maybe but it’s yeast f*rts so surely it’s free reguardless.

    Yeast isn’t free either, unless you culture your own, which I sometimes do. But even that takes sugar, so no free fart – Oz

  95. Kitler says:

    Ozboy but what if the yeast have formed their own arnarcho-syndicalist commune and seized the means of production…..

    My yeast operate on piece work: they don’t work, they don’t get fed. And the only place they get to rise up is in my bread – Oz

  96. Luton Ian says:

    Kitler, you need to be aware of “the unseen”.

    The unseen with free yeast is the rat which brought it to you, by drowning and sinking to the bottom of your scrumpy vat.

    back to saint abe

    to end enforced servitude*, he used conscription which is itself… yep, sounds a bit like “destroy the economy to save the economy”
    at least one war death per 7 slaves “freed”
    political crony carpet baggers sent to “reconstruct” which they did by running up vast debts, which at the end of “reconstruction” were repudiated.
    absolutely zero effort put into suppressing the KKK and ensuring that black citizens could exercise their votes
    *in the invaded confederacy only – slaves remained slaves in the union.

  97. Luton Ian says:


    There were a couple of interesting works way back, which suggested that slavery was thriving. This is excerpted from Robert Higgs’ obituary piece for their author, Robert William Fogel:

    Having entered the economic history profession at the very top, Fogel then proceeded, along with his Johns Hopkins classmate Stanley Engerman, to tackle the subject of slavery in the United States. This time the target was the widely accepted idea that prior to the War Between the States slavery had been on its economic last legs, and therefore had the war not led to slavery’s destruction, this labor system would have died a natural death before long. In 1974, Fogel and Engerman brought their findings together in Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery, a book that probably made a bigger splash than any economic history book ever published in the United States. The main claims this time were that slavery had been economically thriving on the eve of the war, slave-plantation productivity had exceeded the productivity of comparable free-labor production, slaves had received much better treatment than generally believed, and the system had yielded handsome returns to the slave owners, in most cases at least as great as the returns that feasible alternative investments would have yielded them. The reaction to these findings bordered on academic violence as historians and fellow economists rushed to challenge Fogel and Engerman’s methods, data, and conclusions, and to indict them for omissions and errors of various sorts.

    Fogel, who believed that any research project that required less than a decade was scarcely worth undertaking, then spent much of the next decade and a half in accumulating additional evidence and carrying out additional analyses, often in collaboration with colleagues or graduate students, to support the initial findings. The fruits of these follow-up efforts appeared in a two-volume work, Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery, published in 1989.

    Later on in the piece Higgs describes how

    some of his work might now seem to me to be more scientistic than scientific.

    Fogel was after all a follower of the Chicago cult school of economics

  98. Luton Ian says:

    oops, the bit about chicago cult was mine, not Higgs’z. the dotguv shutdown must mean that html tags have stopped closing

  99. izen says:

    Okay, okay the taxing CO2 in beer was a joke, after all it is derived from sugar which is derived from atmospheric CO2 so it is part of the biological cycle not fossil carbon.

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments on the nature of US society, Lincoln and segregation. I largely agree, the segregation jibe was a gross generalisation, but was intended as a reminder that the different groups that distort US statistics did not all reach their positions voluntarily.

    @- Luton Ian
    I see a odd symmetry in my view of most economic theory being a ideologically driven exercise with arbitrarily defined data to reach preselected conclusions while climate science is a valid body of knowledge while you….
    Meanwhile one side in the US regard any action by the other as a sneaky political strategy to bind more voters into supporting them by doling out entitlements. On that basis it considers that secession from that political process a matter of self-presevation. While it has managed to block or delay some of the bribing of the electorate locally it is failing nationally.

    The other side see an ageing power base that is now a minority elite in many states {Texas} which has failed to gain support among the new {and old} groups that could gain power. They have gerrymandered their districts to make the selection process more important than the popular vote and thereby held on to political influence… Up till now.

    There are interesting political parallels with pre-civil war politics in the US, again an old elite and a new economy are sliding into conflict. Then it was slavery versus steam powered industry.

  100. Kitler says:

    Ozboy please delete my last two comments it isn’t posting the correct movie.

    Yowza – Oz

  101. Ozboy says:

    Continuing the wealth inequality discussion from above, the same Credit Suisse report that extols Australia for the fact that the wealthiest 10% of the population own just 50% of the wealth (compared to 74% in the USA and 86% worldwide), also says that in Russia, just 110 individuals (or 0.000077% of the population) own 35% of the nation’s wealth.

    Of course, the measure is rubbish, and a mere pretext for socialist gangsters to rob the most productive individuals. What matters is not relative wealth, but absolute wealth. If I’m comfortably off, if I never worry about things like how I’m going to afford my grocery or power bills, if I have access to health care, send my kids to good schools, and so on, then what would I care if I was to learn that I was in the bottom 10% of the population by wealth? For me to worry about something like that would be mere vanity at best, and dangerous envy at worst: a sentiment which, if widely held, far too many demagogues are all too ready to exploit.

  102. Luton Ian says:

    One of Karl Marx’ main predictions was that as time passed, and capitalists over-competed workers incomes would inevitably decline to starvation levels.

    empirically, the opposite happened, however, socialists have sought to correct that little problem, by redefining “poverty”

    this means that if the national average is three 100 foot yachts and five olympic size swimming pools, and you only own one 100 foot yacht and two olympic sized swimming pools, you are officially in poverty.

    Speaking of Russian plutocrats, it seems one former KGB officer isn’t doing too shabbily – Oz

  103. Luton Ian says:

    it happens:

    Sssh, the Hippos are feeding. Massive looting in Kenya.— George Ayittey (@ayittey) October 9, 2013

  104. Luton Ian says:

    and talking of high Gini indices

    @OnyangoAdede @calestous @karamoja @Africarising121 Thee is an equalizer called the Law of Gravity.— George Ayittey (@ayittey) October 5, 2013

  105. Ozboy says:

    I was hoping to get something written last Thursday, but work decided otherwise. So I’ll keep the open forum rolling for a few days yet.

  106. Luton Ian says:

    The Russian state does a Robert Maxwell with private pension funds:

  107. Luton Ian says:

    re the vasectomy wimp.
    his missus doesn’t look bad, what’s she doing with an emo like him?

    I was going to put a link in for Burdizzo bloodless castrators and elastrator rubber rings. If you look them up on wikipedia, don’t follow the link to the “BME encylopedia” it’s for folk who want to scar, castrate and otherwise mutilate their own bodies, and there are pictures of the processes, including ones that have gone somewhat wrong, yuk.

    …the age of heroism is over. We have entered the age of accomodation.

    – George Monbiot, 2009

    It’s a recurring theme with this crowd, isn’t it? Except that Monbiot has reproduced twice (that we know of). So no marks for consistency, unlike that other bloke – Oz

  108. Kitler says:

    Well I do remember having an old Geography lecturer at college who was a total lefty and and rabbiting on about the planet getting over populated he had at least 6 kids.

  109. meltemian says:

    OK, I’ve just got to brag to someone. I got all 13 questions in the Science Quiz correct!!
    (I admit I guessed a couple and I’m sure I saw someone had brain surgery using a SOUND laser but I seem to remember laser being an acronym for ‘light amplification’…something)
    Sorry been absent for a while – tourist season and all that, but it’s finished now till next year.
    Ahhhhhh…..and relax.

    Well done Mel! You know more science than 93% of American adults.

    I’m wondering, does this mean LibertyGibbert attracts a better class of blogger (of course it does), but is the survey also a sad reflection of the scientific illiteracy of American adults? Oz

  110. meltemian says:

    Meant to add, at least I’ve upped the stats for aged females.

  111. izen says:

    Here is a take on American inequality, what people think it is, what they think it should be and what it really is.

    The thing about a bad GiNI index and gross differentials is that the probability of having access to education, healthcare or even food and shelter drop precipitously with social inequality. Whatever ideological beliefs you may have the empirical data shows that the more equal the distribution of wealth in a society the less crime, health problems and social unrest any person within that society is likely to experience.

    The narrator of your clip is trying very hard to cover up what he’s really thinking; but he lets it slip occasionally by introducing concepts such as “the national wealth”, “the country’s income”, “how the wealth is distributed”, “how the wealth is divided”,and “the CEO takes home a share that is X times larger than the average worker”. Plus the spooky music track in the background, to remove any doubt. Not to mention the magical, happy “jingling” sound as the huge pile of money is divided up equally among the entire population!

    Naked agitprop. Bloody hell.

    So let’s repeat it one more time: yes, mathematically you can add up the income of everyone in the country. But it comes to an arithmetic sum, nothing more: NOT some magic entity called “the national income”, some fictional, gigantic pot of money, just waiting there to be “distributed” equitably by some wise and benevolent “distributor”, who will put that mean old CEO back in his place quick smart.

    And the defensiveness of having to repeat twice in six minutes, “oh no, I’m not advocating socialism”. Oh, yes he is! Does anyone in America go hungry? Of course not – in fact, morbid obesity is the major health problem of the poorest 10%. Or naked? Free, good-quality second-hand clothing is available everywhere. Or involuntarily without shelter, when you can buy a house in Detroit for a thousand bucks? Or not have access to basic education? America isn’t Brazil. The CEO doesn’t get chauffeured to work through favelas of the starving and diseased. So who cares how many yachts he owns?

    A presentation which is disingenuous at best, downright sinister at worst – Oz

  112. Luton Ian says:

    errr Izen,

    Gini was the surname of the econometrician who came up with the coefficeint.

    Oz, a few years back there were terrace houses in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne going for 50 pence. They did not represent good value for money.

    well put about production of wealth, and how distribution of wealth cannot be arbitrarily adjusted by coercion, or at least not without wealth production disappearing

    It’s 2013, and they still see “national wealth” as a pie than needs to be cut up more evenly. They don’t give a damn how small the pie becomes as a result – Oz

  113. Me says:

    Oz: Hear hear and well said with knobs on.

  114. Me says:

    Congratulations, Mel. If they’d pitched the quiz differently I no doubt would have got all kinds of questions wrong. Even if they’d focussed on evolution and human origins, which puts me on stronger ground. I’m sure I could be made to look a right imbecile with a quiz pitched just right to my blind spots!

  115. meltemian says:

    Thanks Me, Guess I was lucky too, I gave up on chemistry after grammar school and I gave up physics when I realised I was never going to understand electricity!

  116. izen says:

    I recognise that the video on US inequality is produced from a barely concealed ideological position. That does not make the data it contains inherently wrong. That position means it is better motivated to find and publicise that data just as the Rothbard and Mieses fans are motivated to expose other Information that the mainstream would not prioritise.

    And I acknowledge that GDP is an arbitrarily defined metric, rather like average global temperature it combines many different quantities and qualities to provide a measure or indication of the total resources available to a functioning society without much indication of how different or significant various parts of that measure may be.

    But there is a deeper conceptual difference I suspect. GDP is a collective measure and those that accept that complex systems can be described with collective properties are much happier to ascribe some meaning than those who resist collective qualities because they believe the individual elements are important with the collective outcome a mere consequence and not meaningful in the way the individual contributions are.

    In global temperature terms it would be the difference between taking the global mean as a key datum and seeing the pcean heat content or ice-cap and glacier mass balance changes as primary of which global means are just a handy shorthand indicator.

    Clearly I am in the first category, I find that the collective qualities of complex systems are significant in ways that are additional to, and different from, the individual aspects of that system. An impression shaped more by understanding of biological systems that ideological conviction.

    Obviously the US is a much less differentiated society than Brazil. Poverty, hunger disease and crime are far less, although I think there may be US charities who would question ozboy’s faith in the US being free of hunger or homelessness. The big political conflict at present is about access to collectively financed healthcare. The societal benefits have driven the expansion of access while political factions who see that as a loss of individual autonomy oppose the broadening of the collective base. Many see the extension of healthcare as a individual benefit and society gain that outweighs the loss of personal autonomy whether real or theoretical. Those with an ideological absolute opposition to any collective gains at the expense of any loss of autonomy absolutely oppose it.

    Collective provision by society is a basic feature which usually also involves some loss of individual autonomy. Education and vaccination are two obvious examples where collective provision is the only effective way of ensuring that more than 50% of the female population is literate and vaccination take up is sufficient to get herd immunity. The obvious enormous societal benefits of both require some degree of individual surrender to state governance to garner those rewards.

    P.S. The quiz was too easy, I would regard all those questions to be basic knowledge and the fact that >80% did not get all of them right is a educational deficit as disturbing as the unequal distribution of resources.

    Healthcare in America is something I’m not across, although I have read the outlines of Obamacare. It seems to be an endlessly running sore in the United States; given we have socialized basic healthcare in Australia, supported by both sides of politics, perhaps we could become a model in the future?

    I’m not disputing the numbers regarding the level of wealth inequality in America; I am merely repeating my earlier point that it is absolute, not relative wealth that is important. If America really did have a starving underclass (and it doesn’t, irrespective of what anyone says; perhaps you could provide some statistics on how many Americans starved to death last year?), it would prompt genuine calls for at least some form of wealth redistribution, together with a close look at cronyism and anti-competitive practices and the degree to which they contributed to the inequality. But such is not the case – Oz

  117. Luton Ian says:

    Indeed, Mayor Bloomberg is attempting to limit the size and type of fizzy pop available, as well as the availability of other food stuffs, to those of his constituents whom he considers too stupid to choose for themselves.

    A rather odd assessment for a politician who depends upon the choice of those same constituents for his political position: are they stoopid in the one field of choice, but not in the other?

    Izen, perhaps you would like to share with us the formula for GDP, and explain to us the rationale for each component part of that aggregate metric?
    Following that, perhaps you can then explain how each of those elements impacts upon actual wealth, in terms of the availability of choice of those goods and services which satisfy human needs in a world of scarcity?

    There’s a rather nice recent Walter Block talk about free market environmentalism up on youtube

  118. Me says:

    Izen: You scoff, but if I set a basic quiz — basic knowledge of politics and how free markets work — you would fail it.

  119. Me says:

    And — while I agree that the quiz is very basic indeed — which is just as well, since some of us were rather, cough, relaxed at the time of taking — nonetheless, some bodies of knowledge are more necessary for a free people than others. Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes remark that he had no need to study the stars, since it was the tobacco ash and footprints of this earth that made him the expert he was. Whether or not Holmes was right to ignore the stars, it seems to me that a self-governing people needs to be clear about the basis of its freedom, and from what I can tell, your views about how polities and people tick are a hodge-podge of wrongness and occasional rightness, mixed up rather incoherently.

    I found that all the science-triumphalists on other blogs are like this: they seem to think that knowledge of a discipline in the earth sciences instantly qualifies them to speak on subjects they have hardly considered, never mind studied; and they believe that science, being Queen of Knowledge in their eyes (it isn’t), absolves them from becoming properly informed about the human things.

  120. Luton Ian says:

    Hi Me,
    I’m afraid that our favourite collectivist seems to be willfully falling foul of Dunning-Kruger.

    He’s been offered some intro texts and vids on the basics of liberty and free markets, not least, another Amanda’s short videos of chapters from Hazlitt’s “Economics in one lesson”

    The red pill is there for him, if and when he is ready to take it.

    On the subject of psychedelics, I’m getting into grass, and I’m seeing the world with fresh eyes.

    agricultural grasses that is, and it’s amazing to be able to see what the soil pH of fields is as I drive past them, just from which grasses, clovers etc are growing there

    Mad (and probably sad too), I know, but I really do get a kick out of things which give me a whole new take.

  121. Me says:

    Ian: You get your kicks where you find them, and jolly good, too. I like the thought of taking up riding (horses, or a pony if I’m too small for the big guns), and I hope the kicks will be confined to how I feel and not their grumpy reaction to putting up with me.

    As for the vids and other instruction: You can lead a horse to water…. No doubt you’ve heard that one :^0

  122. Me says:

    Ian: re Bloomberg: maybe he thinks the voters are Blockheads. Ta-dum–dum.

  123. Luton Ian says:

    Heads up on today’s Mises Daily, featuring a unionized I-Paper plant closing down

  124. Ozboy says:

    For all the folks in the way of the Sydney fires:

    Mark, if you’re about, and any of my other readers in the Greater Sydney region, hope you haven’t been seriously affected.

  125. farmerbraun says:

    Izen wrote: ” the probability of having access to education, healthcare or even food and shelter drop precipitously with social inequality.”

    But you don’t say that the above correlation implies causation , right?

    ” the probability of having access to education, healthcare or even food and shelter drop precipitously with falling parenting skills”

    Again, no causation derived 🙂

    None whatsoever – Oz:

  126. izen says:

    @- farmerbraun
    Izen wrote: ” the probability of having access to education, healthcare or even food and shelter drop precipitously with social inequality.”
    -But you don’t say that the above correlation implies causation , right?

    The causation is banally obvious, if a larger proportion/ percentage of the total population are poor then the probability of being in that group are greater.
    In unequal societies, especially those without welfare safety nets, the percentage of the resource deprived is greater.

  127. farmerbraun says:

    Does this ring true?

    ” the NOAA announced that the 2013 winter was overall the coldest winter in 30 years for the entire northern hemisphere. Europe had one of the coldest springs on record. In the USA it has been overall the coolest summer for more than 30 years, notably in the West, despite some widely reported intense heat in the east.

    In North Dakota the only month in 2013 that snow has not been recorded in has been August. It has also been the coldest summer Alaska has had in many years – about 15 degrees colder In fact the Arctic has had the shortest summer on record. Normally the high Arctic has about 90 days above freezing but this year there was less than half that. There is now more ice at the Arctic than what the National Geographic map showed for 1971.

    In the southern hemisphere, Peru is having the coldest winter in 100 years, with reports of people and animals dying in exceptionally cold weather, and yet you won’t find that on our TV news. But over 250,000 alpacas have perished and there was such severe chaos to the Andes region in their worst winter in 50 years that the government of Peru declared a state of emergency across 10 different regions. The cold spell has killed at least seven people in Peru, four in Bolivia and two in Paraguay. In Chile, homeless deaths rose to 16. This is global warming?

    Tasmania has had a frozen winter, and according to the NOAA, Antarctica is having a winter -23 degrees below normal. Also, according to two recent studies (Frezzotti et al and NASA’s Jay Zwally ICESAT) the Antarctic is gaining ice mass not losing it. It is so cold in Antarctica that a major expedition to cross the ice has been abandoned, due to the impossibly harsh conditions. Said leader, Brian Newham from Antarctica. “.. we have reached an unexpected crevasse field which, from satellite images and our own local survey using ground penetrating radar (GPR), we believe could extend up to 100 km to our South. The crevasses are certainly bigger and deeper than any we have previously encountered.”

    In NZ, we have had no shortage of cold snaps and snowfalls, particularly in late June and then July, and it is not over yet as the South Island braces for more cold and snow this coming week. Despite a fairly mild August, not many Aucklanders were wearing T-shirts before October began.”

    And Canberra just had its coldest October night on record – Oz

  128. Me says:

    Matt Ridley has a piece in The Spectator (UK not US), about how the ‘scientific consensus’ says that warming is better than cooling for life on Earth. Well gee whiz. That’s not what the scientists and Goreists have been saying all this time, is it?

    Thanks to FB for giving us the world round-up on temperature. I’m one of the lucky ones, in this respect. I live in the sweet spot of the American subtropics, and I vacation in the Carolinian Smoky Mountains during the summer. Which means that I have had ideal temperatures for at least a year (the trend continues), without spoiling heat waves or atypical frosts or even the usual mixes of high heat and high humidity. It’s been like the Garden of Eden in these southern United States, and long may it continue.

    I do hope people in England will be all right with cooler weather, though. I’m personally very fond of people that happen to be very poor, and they DO go without heating because of the cost (despite my attempts to soften their hardship from over here).

  129. Me says:

    P. S. I suppose the consensus IS, the consensus doesn’t SAY. No one minds though, I trust.

  130. Luton Ian says:

    forecast here for the forseeable future (about 3 days but they give it out to about 14 days) is wet and miserable. I hope this winter isn’t like last, we had about a month of continuous snow blow in gale force winds in February and March. It got to the point that the sheep wouldn’t leave their huddle to feed.

    Alpacas and llamas are supposedly tough, but last winter had them dropping like flies here, they’re about as tough as a blue faced leicester sheep (soft as shit)

  131. Ozboy says:

    More commentary on the Sydney fires and the Greens’ policy of outlawing hazard reduction burns (H/T Andrew Bolt):

    The real firebug

    Larry Pickering chips in with a polite query to comrade Adam Bandt

  132. Ozboy says:

    More pictorial commentary in the same vein in the weekend papers (H/T Catallaxy Files). The Melbourne Herald-Sun’s Mark Knight:


    And The Australian’s Bill Leak:


    And one I found today on Facebook (targeting Labor’s new Opposition Leader rather than the Greens):


    The Greens are about to discover the tide of public opinion has turned against them, and their anti-environment, soviet blatherings—if their 30% drop in primary vote at the last elections hasn’t hinted it to them already.

  133. Me says:

    Hi Oz. Where I live — so close to, that if they ever mismanage it I could easily lose my house; I walk my dog there very frequently — intentional burning is part of the habitat management and is accepted. Visitors to the state park are informed about the controlled burnings and shown around (at any given time you can see blackened trunks and charred this-and-that). I’m no expert (no comments up sleeve, please!), but it seems that in the more southerly parts of Florida there are habitats that only exist because of frequent forest fires (which used to be started by lightning, one gathers). The fires clear the density of subtropical growth and allow for the young pines, ferns, and low-growing palms — the perfect and required environment of the Florida Scrub Jay, an extremely rare bird of the corvid family, which I have had the pleasure to know personally. (Tip: they LOVE walnuts. They don’t tolerate slackness, lateness, or other forms of human hooliganism.) If the Florida parks people did not burn in this regular fashion, the many plants and animals adapted to frequent-fire environments would disappear from the planet.

  134. izen says:

    @- farmerbraun

    For all those local weather anecdotes the actual global temperature is higher than for any month in the 80s or 90s except for the El Nino of 98.
    The quotes on ice gain in Antartica are out of date as well, the most recent view is that despite increased snowfall from increased humidity the increasing loss of ice shelf areas is allowing the glaciers to speed up

    “We find that there is good agreement between different satellite methods—especially in Greenland and West Antarctica—and that combining satellite data sets leads to greater certainty. Between 1992 and 2011, the ice sheets of Greenland, East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changed in mass by –142 ± 49, +14 ± 43, –65 ± 26, and –20 ± 14 gigatonnes year−1, respectively. ”

    Note that if this grossly wrong and Antarctica is actually gaining ice there is then the very worrying prospect that the rise in sea level, that unavoidable measure of added energy, would have to be ascribed to even more thermal expansion.

  135. izen says:

    I see the usual suspects in the MurdKoch press are objecting to anybody linking the early fire season in NSW with climate change. But denying any link is just as much a political act as exaggerating one.

    The reality is that much of Australia has a dry ecology. That means dead plant matter is not rotted back but has to be broken down by irregular fires. In the natural state without any human intervention this is still an uncertain process with occasional cataclysmic major firestorms interspersing the minor local burns that regenerate the forest because it ha evolved and adapted to the minor fire in dry undergrowth releasing the locked up nutrients from the dead leaves, grass and wood litter.

    But back at the beginning of the year when the area was experiencing significant flooding and excess rainfall fire services and weather experts were already predicting problems with the massive growth generated by the extra rainfall resulting in extra fuel for a future fire. Especially in an El Nino event lead to higher temperatures.

    Well the ENSO index has remained neutral, but Australia has had the hottest twelve months ever recorded and many more hot records have been broken than cold ones. The fact that even some cold records have been broken, and very hot dry weather has followed floods in the fire risk areas is further evidence of the Lance Armstrong climate.

    Pointing out the evident link between the changing climate and the severity of the recent fire risk is not a tasteless political act cashing in on human tragedy. WHEN THE TEMPERATURE DIFFERENCE OVER 100 YEARS IS JUST 0.6°? YES IT IS – OZ The frantic attempt by some of the media Where? to shut down discussion of the climate – fire link is avoidance of their own culpability in the past of denying the link.

    Note that the bushfire experts were predicting this enhanced fire danger well before this Australian spring based on the flooding followed by dry hot winds despite the extensive burn last year.

    On a different subject, perhaps closer to the concerns of the libertygibbert bar and grill….

    Izen, you are way out of your depth and dead wrong on this.

    Re your first link: follow the money – Oz

  136. izen says:

    @- Ozboy
    The fact that the Australian government provides funding for the bush fire service and its research arm is not an automatic sign that its findings are biased or partial.
    Denial that weather and climate shape the fire risk is idiotic and the bushfire risk was recognised by many others way back at the beginning of 2013. The bushfire crc was just one of many links I could have used predicting a higher fire risk from the changing climate.

    I recognise this has strong personal impact given your recent experience, but the attempts by the big business media to shut down any discussion of the links between climate change and fire risk is nauseating. It is time to abandon the egregious conspiracy theory that there is any kind of equality between the findings of scientific research and the opinions of writers in the business funded and controlled media. I would predict that the present government will find a way to defund or marginalise the bushfire crc on the basis that ideologues tend to shoot the messenger rather than grapple with reality.

    This sort of nonsense from your prime denialist Andrew Bolt is typical of what I mean, somehow he manages to mention the record low one night in Canberra, but skates over the hottest 12months in the historic record that dried out the extra vegetation that grew as a result of the preceding floods. He even has the temerity, or is it wilful ignorance, to claim that extra extreme floods were not part of the climate change predictions along with the climbing temperatures. It is this sort of denialism, not raising the issue of climate change impacting fire risk that is the real obscenity in the MSM.

    However that is just par for the course nowdays. The editorial on Rawls versus Nozick is perhaps concerned with the deeper issues that underly how society responds to real climate threats. Who funds research into bushfires except the government. I can see no way private business is going to contribute, especially if it finds that industry is a primary or secondary cause. Business is much more likely to use its money to undermine and subvert such findings to protect its bottom line.

    You still have provided not a scintilla of evidence that big business, Rupert Murdoch or the Koch brothers have conspired to “frantically shut down debate”. Where? The fact that News Limited employs a sceptical journalist in Melbourne does not point to any “shutting down” of debate, but rather to providing much-needed balance, in the face of near-unrelenting warmist religiosity throughout the MSM elsewhere. How is providing a contrary voice equal to “shutting down debate”? On the contrary, it starts debate. which appears to displease you.

    The warmists are the only ones guilty of shutting down debate, and they have indeed been most frantic about it, in the MSM, scientific journals and publicly-funded broadcasters. And I can give you literally dozens of examples off the top of my head, and probably dig up hundreds more on the net.

    Bolt himself has continued to ask the question no politician on either side is willing to answer: if human beings are truly warming the planet (and there is a wealth of published literature—including all major temperature datasets over the 21st century—to suggest they haven’t), then how much will the government’s mitigation policies cost, and what precisely is their projected effect: that is, by how many degrees Celcius will they cool the planet?

    All mainstream politicians are afraid to publicly admit the likely effect of their policies. Telling, isn’t it? Oz

  137. farmerbraun says:

    ” but the attempts by the big business media to shut down any discussion of the links between climate change and fire risk is nauseating”

    Taken at face value , that looks like nonsense, so I take it that you were not talking about the climate change that is ever present.

    The right door is for loading and unloading; the pass word is “climate denier”.

    Signed :

    The Central Scrutiniser.

  138. farmerbraun says:

    Damn, it should have been the white door of course. must have got up too early this morning.

  139. Ozboy says:

    Too good not to share. From the Dog House Diaries, this world map of which countries lead the world in various endeavours (click for full-size).

    World Leadership ByCountry

    I never knew Mongolia lead the world in velociraptor bones – did you?

  140. izen says:

    @- Ozboy
    “You still have provided not a scintilla of evidence that big business, Rupert Murdoch or the Koch brothers have conspired to “frantically shut down debate”. ”

    “In the real world, scientists accepting the climate consensus view outnumber denialists by more than 99 to one. In the Alice in Wonderland world of [The] Australian, their contributions were outnumbered 10 to one.”

    So a scientist who does not accept a majority viewpoint is a “denialist”. OK – at least you’ve nailed your colours to the mast. I have to inform you though, that you have just damned most of the greatest scientists since the Renaissance; men such as geocentrism deniers Galileo and Copernicus, phlogiston deniers Boyle and Lavoisier, Euclidean geometry denier Einstein, and atom indivisibility deniers Thompson, Bohr and Rutherford.


    From your second link:

    The Age was more positive than the Sydney Morning Herald, and neither paper published a single opinion piece about the Government’s carbon policy by a climate change sceptic during the period under review, finds the report

    We are swamped with warmism, both from Fairfax press and the taxpayer-funded broadcasters, ABC and SBS. They offer no balance, and indeed persist with tired old memes like how 97% (or 99%, if your sources are more accurate) of scientists are warmists. If it’s true, the overwhelming “consensus” includes this man, who deconstructs it forthwith:

    How, exactly, is the Murdoch press trying to shut down Fairfax and the ABC, with all their bias? According to your links, simply by not joining their warmist bandwagon! That’s not “shutting down debate” – it’s providing much-needed balance – Oz

  141. izen says:

    @- Ozboy
    You expect me to take seriously a scientist{?} who signs up to this load of nonsense ! ?

    We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.
    We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.

    As for calling people denialist…. If the cap fits… See above!

    The bias of the MSM is grossly anti-AGW as can be seen by the ‘balance’ of the opinions expressed. It is rather as if the issue of HIV was reported by the MSM giving the 1% who deny it is a sexually transmitted virus ten times the press exposure as the 99% of medics who recognise it is an infectious virus.
    On climate the MSM is even more biased than it is on the subject of vaccination and autism, a egregious history of misinformation.

    Another tired old argument: that a scientist’s scientific opinions are rendered worthless because of his religious beliefs. Read up on Arianism sometime, and note its most famous adherent.

    Deal with what he says on the subject at hand – Oz

  142. izen says:

    @- Deal with what he says on the subject at hand – Oz

    Okay, Dr Spencer starts by implying that there is good evidence that climate sensitivity is lower than the consensus. He is unspecific which sensitivity, whether it is the transient or equilibrium version and does not address the fact that while the higher end of the sensitivity probability range has been constrained, the low end has not been lowered and is no more likely than it was before.
    Paleoclimate also puts strong minimum constraints on sensitivity or else we would not see glacial cycles. So while the transient or fast response may be lower delaying the warming the total amount is not significantly impacted by recent work, just the speed it hits.

    Dr Spencer also implies that the consensus of 97% of papers accepting AGW is just a consensus about ‘SOME’ of the warming being anthropogenic. This is a lie. The Cook et al paper that examined the thousands of published climate papers was using the IPCC consensus of ‘MOST’ of the warming is AGW over the last fifty years at least. Although he claims to be part of the consensus it is only by misrepresenting what that consensus is.
    The claim that his recent paper with Christy supports a lower sensitivity and is a valid part of the attribution work on AGW is not credible either. His attempt to derive climate sensitivity from local short term variation is regarded by most in the field as ‘not even wrong’.

    The funniest thing about this is that despite the partial and misleading level of Dr Spencer’s ‘support’ for AGW it still gets him strong criticism from the denialist cliques who berate him for even conceding that rising Co2 might warm the climate by a well established physical process. He is in conflict with another denialist at present because they do not know the climate science literature and keep posting stuff that is already long refuted as a ‘new’ idea. Much disparagement of Roy followed for calling out another denialist for not knowing the mainstream science.
    In some corners of the denialsphere that is seen as a virtue not a fault!

    I will look into the details of the “consensus” definition and see if Spencer is, as you allege, breaking his own Eighth Commandment. He isn’t, if papers authored by himself and other prominent sceptics are, as he suggests, included in the “consensus”.

    As a matter of fact, I would agree with you as far as saying that it is not a good look, when a scientist not only publicly proclaims his own religious faith (no problem there), but then goes on to use the tenets of that faith as a hook on which to hang a scientific viewpoint, as the Cornwall Alliance webpage does (whose co-signers include not only Spencer, but a whole host of professors and other highly-credentialled scientists). The neutral observer of anything the scientist says henceforward is entitled to ask, “which hat is this person wearing when he says this – his scientific hat, or his religious one?” Oz

    UPDATE 23-Oct-2013 11:30: You were half-right, Izen. There have indeed been lies told about the definition of “consensus”. But not by Spencer:

    Cook et al guilty of bait-and-switch in “definition creep”. BTW, I’d never come across the word “agnotology” before! You learn something new every day. But it’s a wonderfully useful word, which I’ve bookmarked for future use.

    Click to access Montford-Consensus.pdf

    On that basis, count me among the 97%. And everyone else here, I think. In fact, I’d love someday to meet someone from the 3% (who?), and I’m now warming (pun intended) to your suggestion that it really is only 1% !!! Oz

  143. Me says:

    Can’t take it seriously, I’m afraid, Oz. Even for a bit of fun, any map that can say Britain leads the world in ‘fascist movements’ is causing trouble, not reflecting reality.

    Or New Zealand leading the world in sheep – Oz

  144. izen says:

    @- Me
    “….any map that can say Britain leads the world in ‘fascist movements’ is causing trouble, not reflecting reality.”

    Quite agree, Italy is obviously the source of fascist movements; starting with the Roman empire, continuing with all the Popes and culminating in Mussolini.

    Although perhaps the saying that history repeats, first as tragedy then as farce is confirmed by Benito and Belisconi !

    As a matter of fact, I went to the world’s most indisputable source on everything 🙄 – they indeed claim that the United Kingdom has had more current and former fascist movements (34, to be exact) than any other country.

    Of course it’s a paradox that Britain also gave the world parliamentary democracy, separation of powers, the writ of habeus corpus, and so on. Or maybe not – perhaps it’s an inevitable by-product of freedom of speech and association – Oz

  145. How do you ‘lead’ the world with sheep?…. Who keeps a record of Fascists ‘movements’?

    ….It doesn’t matter how many fascist movements you have, you only need one.
    ..(Einstein fleeing to America)

    The map was just a bit of fun. Or so I thought when I posted it – Oz

    Are you annoyed at the lack of reference to beagles?

  146. It was a glaring omission.

    hi Oz, just checking you’ve got fire breaks?

    We sure do, courtesy of the Tasmanian Fire Service. You can see the largest one on Google Earth, as a big ugly scar cutting right across the Ozboy estate. But the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about. Also, the old fire trails on Crown land surrounding my place have been cleared (after years of green tape letting them perforce become overgrown and impassable). Given January’s fire purged the district of ground fuel, it will be several years before there is a danger of another really big fire (and probably decades before another firestorm of the type we had this year) – Oz

  147. All sounding good Oz. Hope you’re right about decades. You have the right PM for it though. Leading from the front, putting Australia first.

  148. Luton Ian says:

    Ok, who’s been feeding our favourite warmerist on red herrings?

    what part of the subject of “sheep” are the Kiwis leading the world with? I hope it’s not attempts to create sheep/human hybrids.

  149. Me says:

    Oz: Aha! And it depends what one means by ‘sheep’. New Zealanders are mainly unknown to me (and the fact that a black sheep of the family took to it like a duck to water is no indication of generalities). But they seem a proudly independent lot, happy to go their own way, whatever the rest of the world does.

    The rugby part was probably true, though – Oz (through gritted teeth) 😡

  150. Ozboy says:

    One reason why Americans have turned off Obamacare – behold the organizational diagram. H/T Catallaxy (click to enlarge).

    Obamacare Organization

  151. Kitler says:

    Well the missus read the whole Obamacare document when it written and she told me it was going to be a cluster **** and it is full of nasty provisions that legalize infanticide, and the euthanasia for gay children/ awkward teenagers who rebel against their parents as well as death panels for anyone over 55. Oh yes it’s all in there. The left at it’s finest.

  152. Luton Ian says:

    FB, Many thanks for the Zappa
    a tape of Joe’s Garage act 1, kept me alive on a whole day long drive down from northern Scotland, the day that the news and every radio station’s coverage consisted entirely of dear leader, Tony B Liar’s triumphal entry into Downing Street…
    I think I played a Who tape a couple of times too, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.

    I don’t know the history of the term “Central Scrutinizer” but it came up in one of the adverts in the middle of Bad Quaker’s podcast with Wendy McElroy. I’d only heard it before from Zappa – was it in homage to Zappa? I’d like to think so.

    One of the youtube suggestions which came up after “Central Scrutinizer” was for Zappa debating a bunch of “mothers of prevention” in the late 1980s

    The rhetoric had my skin crawling. It was the exact same rhetoric of threat, destruction and war, and appeals to statism as the neocons and the American left- socialists use now in reference to “terrorism”.

    As Borepatch pointed out a few days back, It is the same rhetoric used by William Blake 100 years earlier:
    “nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, ’til we have built Jerusalem, in England’s green and pleasant land.”

    Blake isn’t using the “sword” as a metaphor. The little post millenialist twat meant it literally.

    Zappa, you were decades ahead of your time.

  153. izen says:

    Coincidentally the radio 4 news this morning announced the UK premiere of 200 motels. This was banned when it was first planned in 1971 because of the ‘sexual content’. Apparently UK society is now decadent and degraded enough to find FZ acceptable. As the facebook storm over beheadings show, the US is relaxed about interpersonal violence to the point of murder being generally available, but still finds sexual behaviour, or even a naked nipple beyond the pale while the opposite is true for many other societies.
    Here’s the first verse of strictly genteel, his song to the English….

    Lord, have mercy on the people in England
    For the terrible food these people must eat
    (Errrr . . . excuse me)
    And may the Lord have mercy on the fate of this movie
    And God bless the mind of the man in the street

    Help all the rednecks and the flatfoot policemen
    Through the terrible functions they all must perform
    God help the winos, the junkies, and the weirdos
    And every poor soul who’s adrift in the storm.

    Help everybody, so they all get some action
    Some love on the weekend, some real satisfaction

  154. farmerbraun says:

    Izen I’ve been floating around some alrmist websites recently wearing my “green credentials”, and I’m unable to get an answer to a fundamental question which seems to lie at the heart of the “climate denier” ( i just love that expression ; it’s a great little secret handshake) / ” rabid alarmist” schism. I know that you are not in either of those camps, but I wonder if you are able to set out , without links or quotes, just how the null hypothesis was falsified. As I see it the null hypothesis is this – observed climate change to date is predominantly the result of natural variation.

    It seems that the warmist camp is satisfied with some level of falsification while the other camp doesn’t believe that we have a sufficient level of certain knowledge about natural variation so as to be able to do that falsification. It seems like a very minor difference which would be resolved in time , if only the acrimony could be halted before war breaks out.

    How would you explain the falsification, in just a couple of lines , to a class of 15 yr old science geeks?

    About the umpteenth time I’ve seen the question raised this year alone, FB. Still not answered anywhere, and I imagine Izen will be roundly condemned by his peers if he attempts an answer (which, granted his intelligence and intellectual honesty, he’s certainly capable of).

    Falsification was always going to be a problem for the warmists, given the extreme range of natural variation of earth’s climate over geological history and the (comparatively) microscopic length of the instrumental record. That’s why warmists are so enamoured of the “post-normal” paradigm, which rejects Popperian falsifiability and substitutes it with conformance to a political ideal, truth being merely “a category with symbolic importance, which itself is historically and culturally conditioned” Oz

  155. karabar says:

    On 24 Septemnber IZEN says “The problem is that 97% of the scientific research thinks that ONLY a few tenths of a degree of additional warming has in Bayesian terms, a snowballs chance in hell.”
    on what pretense do you base this precise “97%”?

  156. izen says:

    @- farmerbraun
    “…., but I wonder if you are able to set out , without links or quotes, just how the null hypothesis was falsified. As I see it the null hypothesis is this – observed climate change to date is predominantly the result of natural variation.”

    I will give it a go, but as with all these sort of things it is more complicated than it looks and trying to simplfy it distorts the issue.

    The concept of a null hypothesis comes from experimental physics, a good example would be Tyndall’s experiments on the absorption of heat by different gas. He set up the experiment to have a null reading on a galvanometer from a heat sensor exposed to a heat source along two paths. By adding the gas under investigation to one path but not the other the null hypothesis was that the meter reading would remain zero. The null result.

    The strength of this experimental methodology predates the logical positivists and later Popper who converted this reductionist approach from physics into an epistemological concept. Back in the real world of science it became clear that both Popperian falsification and Kuhnian paradigm shifts were inadequate as a scientific epistemology, most science is not amenable to such ‘model world’ approaches, even in physics. There is an old joke that if you ask a physicist about dairy production their first response will be; ” first assume a spherical cow suspended in a vacuum….”
    There are rather better epistemological concepts of science other than the sociological nonsense ozboy references of ‘socialy defined truth’.

    But the epistemology of science is a big and complex subject that while fascinating is probably not required to deal with this issue.

    However the concept of a null hypothesis is a Procrustian fit outside the rigid and defined conditions of controlled pyysics experiments. The issue of just what the null hypothesis iS in climate studies is unclear, the timescale and parameters that are chosen have a lot more to do with the outcome because there is no controlled experiment that can be done.

    There is an reasonable assumption among climate researchers that the rising CO2 MUST cause a rise in global average temperatures just from the basic physics of radiative transfer and thermodynamics. That would be a valid null hypothesis which would be falsified if there was no evidence of a warming climate.
    The alternative assumption that some unknown homeostatic mechanism will negate the effect of rising Co2 resulting in no evidence of warming has certainly been falsified.

    That leaves a few contrarians arguing that incomplete knowledge of the possible ‘natural’ variation caused by unknown climate process might be mimicking the rate and magnitude of climate change expected from rising CO2 and therefore the falsification of no warming is spurious.

    It is because the definition of the null hypothesis is much less precise and subject to additional factors that the whole concept of null hypothesis and falsification is much less powerful in biology, medicine and climate than in experimental physics that disagreements arise and definitive conclusions are not reachable that the controversy arises. Especially if those arguing are still wedded to the inappropriate simplistic epistemology of Popperian falsification.

    The 97% figure comes from the assessment of published research in the field of climate by cook et al. But several other surveys and analysis of the published research and scientific opinion have been carried out and all return results indicating that at LEAST 90% of the research and researchers accept that the observed warming and climate change {ice melt, rising sea levels, extreme events} is caused by the retained energy from rising CO2.

    There you go, FB: falsification, at least in relation to climatology, is a “Procrustean fit”, “inappropriate and simplistic”. Don’t you know anything??? Oz

  157. karabar says:

    I thought you might have been caught in the scam by Cook, who is nothing but a cartoonist.
    His paper is the subject of a study in “Agnotology”. Agnotology is the study of how ignorance grows through repetition of misleading misinformation! Properly analysed, his results are 0.3% consensus. However, if it’s science, it not consensus. If it’s consensus, its not science.
    The “other surveys and analyis” to which you refer come from the University of Michigan.
    Survey size: 77 died-in-the-wool taxpayer-funded activists.

  158. izen says:

    @- karabar
    “I thought you might have been caught in the scam by Cook, who is nothing but a cartoonist.”

    If by caught you mean I have mistaken political theatre for science you may be mistaken.

    @-“His paper is the subject of a study in “Agnotology”. Agnotology is the study of how ignorance grows through repetition of misleading misinformation! ”

    The corollary is that knowledge grows through the repetition of accurate information. Basic educational theory, and practise, supports that I think.
    The question them becomes how to tell them apart.
    Hint, Nature gets the final say.

    “Properly analysed, his results are 0.3% consensus. However, if it’s science, it not consensus. If it’s consensus, its not science.”

    There is no ‘proper’ way to analyse the results, the claim it is 0.3% consensus is just as arbitrary as you claim the Cook survey to be on that criteria. Consensus is a reified measure, all fields of science develop a historical weight of evidence behind their central tenets. Consensus is an indirect measure of the weight of evidence for certain explanations, layers of theory and hypothesis, which has accumulated.

    Back when I spent far too much time disputing the existence and evidence for evolution by natural selection being a necessary and sufficient explanation for the emergence of our species, the counter argument was that the consensus evident in biological research was not proof of the accuracy of the science. That the picture of most research being supportive was a scam because very few papers published explicitly endorsed evo by ns, perhaps as few as 0.3%….?!

    One attempt to subvert the spurious claims of measured consensus or attacks on its validity was project Steve.
    I think there were suggestion climate science should have a project Mike. {grin}

    If you scan the literature for doubt, dissent or disputing voices in the published papers using any common name as a filter the vast majority of incidences of that name will be following the ideas established by the weight of evidence.
    It is a completely unscientific and arbitrary way of measuring what the strongly supported view in any scientific field may be, as all such measures are. But that is because it is not asking or answering a scientific question. That would involve actually learning and doing the science.
    It is a social assessment of what ideas and explanations are strongly supported in any scientific field as useful and with robust evidence.

    When you and the sites you link to invest effort in disputing these arbitrary measures of the present foundational concepts and state of the art in a field of research…. Why?
    The climate will do whatever the physics chemistry and thermodynamics of the system dictate.
    There is a body of knowledge, rooted in the same decade as Darwin and with its own leap of understanding just after Crick and Watson which is the best science has come up with on climate, asserting AGW is not a central part of that seems unrealistic.

    In other fields, especially the biological, the other negative response to an obvious preponderance of scientific research favouring a body of core knowledge has been to assert that the scientists are distorting the data and conclusions to promoted an ideological or theological position. That accusation was used by both Lysenko and the creationists against evo-ns.
    Objections to disfavoured dominant ideas in a science range from the rather mild accusation of groupthink to the extreme tinfoil hatism of global UN/Masonic conspiracy. There are common themes in the way scientific ideas move into the political economic and social spheres of society.

    Suppose our positions were reversed. That the homeostasis of the climate was the central dogma of climate research, recent excursion were regarded as rare natural variation from a chaotic system.
    AGW was a minority viewpoint by a few fringe scientists, and a lot of ideologically motivated…. cranks. {grin}
    How would you convince one of those dissenting from the consensus of the error of their ways

  159. izen says:

    @- “There you go, FB: falsification, at least in relation to climatology, is a “Procrustean fit”, “inappropriate and simplistic”. Don’t you know anything??? Oz”

    Shorter version for Oz:
    you cant make a null hypothesis to falsify about a chaotictically changing system with no zero static value to measure a deviation from.

    Only ever metaphorical to apply physics experimental methodology to complex system observational science.

    Deliberately or otherwise, you’re conflating two very different concepts. Yes: the earth’s climate is a complex, non-linear system, changing chaotically and often inexplicably – a point I’ve made on these pages many times.

    But – those pushing AGW use a linear, scalar entity known as “global average temperature”, and proceed to demonstrate their hypothesis to the public by graphing this entity across any number of time scales (except, oddly, the last seventeen years). They know (or so they claim), to the nearest tenth of a degree, by how much this entity has risen in value over the twentieth century; moreover, the IPCC assessment reports give a range (to within declared confidences) of how much the entity will rise over the twenty-first century. We also have many proxy measures of palaeotemperature reconstructions over geological history. So we have a fair idea of what natural variability looks like, also measured as a “global average temperature”.

    Viewed in this light, not only is the hypothesis of AGW eminently falsifiable, but the null hypothesis of FB’s query, and the measure of falsification of the hypothesis itself, is reduced almost to a tautology. And we’re just about there already – Oz

  160. farmerbraun says:

    “you can’t make a null hypothesis to falsify about a chaotictically changing system with no zero static value to measure a deviation from.”

    So we are reduced to having as our hypothesis – ” there is no change in the climate”

    or ” the temperature trend since the end of the LIA is unchanged”

    That last one at least is falsifiable , is it not?

  161. karabar says:

    I can put it a lot more succinctly than that. CAGW is a scam and a fraud. If you can actually digest the information I provided on Cook’s supposed paper, would you like to buy a couple of big bridges? I have one in NYC and another in Frisco. I’ll do a special deal just for you.

  162. karabar says:

    “Given the great natural variability exhibited by climate records, and the failure to date to compartmentalize or identify a human signal within them, the proper null hypothesis – because it is the simplest consistent with the known facts – is that global climate changes are presumed to be natural, unless and until specific evidence is forthcoming for human causation. It is one of the more extraordinary facts about the IPCC that the research studies it favours mostly proceed using an (unjustified) inversion of the null hypothesis – namely that global climate changes are presumed to be due to human-related carbon dioxide emissions, unless and until specific evidence indicates otherwise.”

    Therefore, on 21 May 2013, the Met Office reported to the UK House of Lords that the probability that the temperature anomalies since 1850 are ANYTHING OTHER than natural variation is one in one thousand. And that is in indelibly recorded in Hansard.

    Incidentally, welcome to LibertyGibbert (aka Ozboy’s Bar and Grill) Karabar. Nice to have a fellow Tasmanian about. Everyone, check out his website (now added to my blogroll) Oz

  163. izen says:

    @- Oz
    “But – those pushing AGW use a linear, scalar entity known as “global average temperature”

    Global average temperature is a defined metric. It is used because it relates most closely to what we directly experience and can be derived, with difficulty, from the weather records made historically or proxy indicators over longer periods.

    But it only captures about 10% of the energy balance of the climate, and the most variable aspect of the system that moves solar energy meridonaly through our biosphere.
    The majority of the energy in the system resides in water and its phase changes. That can be measured by looking for changes in the volume of water on the globe, {thermal expansion} its temperature and the ice mass balance.
    We have less data on these parameters, but what there is strongly supports AGW against invocations of natural variation. Previous significant excursions of sea level, temperature and the melting or growth of ice strongly support a climate sensitivity that makes the measured energy imbalance from rising CO2 an inevitable cause of changing climate.

    @- So we have a fair idea of what natural variability looks like, also measured as a “global average temperature”.

    This is the problem with invoking natural variability as an alternative or ‘null’ explanation for the observed changes in global average temperature or whatever other metric of the climate you use. Natural variations have natural causes. They must follow thermodynamic laws.

    @- Viewed in this light, not only is the hypothesis of AGW eminently falsifiable, but the null hypothesis of FB’s query, and the measure of falsification of the hypothesis itself, is reduced almost to a tautology. And we’re just about there already – Oz

    But only by matching to past episodes of natural variation without any evidence for the same cause for that past variation acting in the present.

    Or (given we don’t know for certain what those causes were) any evidence that they aren’t the primary drivers of climate change today – Oz

  164. izen says:

    @- farmerbraun
    “So we are reduced to having as our hypothesis – ” there is no change in the climate”
    or ” the temperature trend since the end of the LIA is unchanged”
    That last one at least is falsifiable , is it not?”

    What have you falsified and what does it imply that such a claim is falsifiable?

    Without a hypothesis about the physical processes behind any measurement all you are doing is pattern matching data.

    My sympathies if you have been reading the Bob Carter stuff. As I am sure you are aware that is not intended to convince a scientist working in the field of the error of the body of published research on AGW.
    It is targeted at the general reader who is unaware, and probably unwilling to discover, the body of knowledge that climate science has amassed in the last few decades.

    Of course you always have the option if the massive predominance of support for AGW in the published science is unpalatable to dismiss it all as fraud and hoax.
    Masonic or Communist according to taste I suppose!

    OT, I know a couple of your recent comments (and those of others here) have been held up for moderation. All my regulars are trusted and on my “white list” and normally your comments go straight through. As those of you who’ve been here long enough will well understand, due to a need to protect the site, it’s a combination of certain words or phrases, often innocuous, that’s doing it – just so you are aware… Oz

  165. izen says:

    @- Or (given we don’t know for certain what those causes were) any evidence that they aren’t the primary drivers of climate change today – Oz

    We know some, there are good observations of solar energy changes and volcanic effects.
    Such an appeal to ignorance reminds me strongly of the ‘g-d of the gaps’ in rejection of evo-ns.

    I don’t think so: to highlight the paucity of our current state of knowledge regarding the earth’s climate and its drivers, and the bizarre degree to which it has been misrepresented in the MSM and elsewhere, particularly in light of the failure of all major computer models to predict the “global average temperature” over the last decade and a half, hardly adds up to argumentum ad ignorantiam, which is a specific logical fallacy and (were it to be used in the climate context) a methodological critique – Oz

  166. izen says:

    @- Oz
    Rejecting the main conclusions of the dominant strand of climate science because of inherent inadequacies of modelling seems a tribal response. Proclaiming membership of an ideological tribe rather than a recognition of why scientists use modelling in this field.

    Set aside the policy implications, or what points it may score in the ongoing cultural conflict underlying this issue and try enjoying this bit of research involving climate modelling.
    Very simple models are used not to accurately predict stuff but to gain an insight into how the system works. This guy is probably a good example of what the science looks like, one of the 97%? without the MSM distorts.
    And there are pretty pictures!

    First you declare that the theory you support is inherently unfalsifiable; then you assert that to highlight the real current state of knowledge in the field is “a tribal response”! The discussion sounds for all the world as though it is edging further away from the scientific method with every post – Oz

  167. izen says:

    @- Oz
    “First you declare that the theory you support is inherently unfalsifiable; ”

    Not quite, I am trying to point out that the idea that falsifiability is a meaningful epistemological goal in relation to a body of knowledge like climate change is difficult without agreed definitions. Its a subject that might be best discussed over a good Quine but I doubt any useful conclusion would be reached.

    @-“then you assert that to highlight the real current state of knowledge in the field is “a tribal response”! ”

    Yes, the Cook et al paper and the invocation of the dominance of AGW in the Earth sciences as the mainstream concensus IS a tribal response. Just as Poptech’s lists of dissenting views or Morano’s list of dissenting scientists. And as for the oregon petition….. {sigh}

    @-“The discussion sounds for all the world as though it is edging further away from the scientific method with every post – Oz”

    The idea that it should be about the scientific method is part of the tribal flag waving. It has been part of the response to any science that impacted establish power, theological, political or economic from Galileo, through Darwin and then lead, asbestos, DDT CfCs SOx vaccines Fluoride, HiV….

    I am not denting the science is fun to discuss and question. But the sort and source of response to climate science with shallow appeals to epistemological verification have on past history been mistaken. It is new theories that better explain the observations that displace an existing consensus, not quibbles amongst the spectators over the finer points of methodology.
    Thats the equivalent of the each cricket teams’ fans arguing over the umpire decisions as a sign of their loyal support.

    Perhaps I should have said, “science as I was always taught it”. It’s becoming clear that you are arguing from a post-normal perspective which, I grant you, is internally self-consistent, provided you accept its fundamental presuppositions regarding truth and how it is apprehended. You are trying very hard to label the AGW debate “tribal”. OK then: but the flags we are waving are not “warmist” versus “denialist” (or whatever other word you prefer), but rather, “empirical” versus “post-normal”. You’re characterizing the debate as epistomological rather than scientific, and to some extent at least, you’re right – Oz

  168. farmerbraun says:

    Sometimes it is necessary to state the bleeding obvious:-

    From the article:

    Research by Phil Cheney, a former head of CSIRO Bushfire Research, has found “the effect of (increasing temperatures forecast by the IPCC) on bushfire behaviour, by itself, will be trivial”.

    “Fire intensity is far more significantly affected by fuel quantity, fuel dryness and wind strength than it is by temperature,” he said.

    In November 1957, bushfires driven by gale-force winds destroyed 25 homes, shops, schools, a church and a hospital in the Blue Mountains, and four young men died.

    Local resident John Macgregor-Skinner, who was part of the 1957 fire-fighting effort, said yesterday it had been 5 degrees hotter then. “The Greens might try to blame Tony Abbott but in reality the blame is firmly in their court with their continued obstruction to planned widespread hazard reduction.”

    Only what I’ve been saying on this site all year; bleeding obvious indeed! Oz

    The great Pickering sums it up:


  169. karabar says:

    I thought that when you became aware that the ‘97%’ so bandied about by the media is a hoax, you might have an OMG moment.
    But no, you still prattle on about “Cook et al” as though it were a serious work. It is an absolute disgrace. Cook and his asinine SKS blog are an absolute disgrace. If anything, Cook is an example of the rampant deterioration in Australia’s Universities. That this clown rakes in taxpayer funded ‘grants’ is an abomination. His association with another fraudster called Lewandowski only illustrates that institutionalised fraud is rampant in Australian Universities from Queensland to Western Australia. Cook made the pretense of collecting data from a survey, prepared answers to inane questions post by himself, had his cronies, ‘peer review’ it and published it. “Cook et al” if it is anything, illustrates the extent to which the entire “climate change” construct is at best political, and at worst theological, has not a skerrick of science with in it, and constitutes a full on attack on the discipline of science.
    The entire construct of ‘climate science’ and ‘climate scientists’ is a deception. Given the popularity of the vernacular “rocket science” and “rocket scientist”, the perpetrators of the carbon dioxide scandal determined that “climate science” and “climate scientist” were sufficiently obscure that the dumbed-down public would embrace them. This was in response to the realisation that the nonsensical term “Glowbull Warming” just wasn’t going to cut it in a world that isn’t ‘warming’.
    Gradually, the population is becoming aware that folks prattling on about climate change are either sinister racketeers out to gobble up as much of the billion a day that governments waste on this nonsense, or they are imbeciles and useful idiots to the perpetrators of the swindle.

  170. Ozboy says:

    Speaking of science and politics, the masterly Luboš Motl in this article dissects the composition of the new UNESCO Scientific Advisory Board (H/T Andrew Bolt).

    Succinct and hilarious.

  171. karabar says:

    Yes I thought so as well. The UN is a a bad joke. The sooner it is gone, the better.

  172. izen says:

    @- Oz
    “It’s becoming clear that you are arguing from a post-normal perspective which, I grant you, is internally self-consistent, provided you accept its fundamental presuppositions regarding truth and how it is apprehended. ”

    Ah Oz, you do know how to hurt a persons feelings!
    Post normal perspective indeed, you should be aware how low an opinion I have of the Feyebrands and Mike Hulmes of the world.

    On the basis that a simple popularist version of post-modernism involves scientific ‘truth’ being a consequence of social ideology BOTH sides have accused the other of this crime with both AGW theory and its denial being ascribed political motivation rather than empirical validity in both instances.

    But suggesting that your tribe has remained true to the real scientific methodology while your opponents are indulging in some nefarious fake version of science is part of the fanboy tribal nonsense that the climate debate has sunk too. And much of those accusations are based around a partial grasp of Popperian falsification, an epistemology that was seen as inadequate before the decade it was proposed in was out.

    There is a pattern of using tribal labels to denigrate the other side. Despite a carbon tax having nothing to do with a centrally planned economy or granting the workers ownership of the means of production there are people who will call such a policy socialist because it is a shorthand for ‘baddie’ in the ideological milieu they move in. In times past it would have been satanist no doubt.

    It has nothing to do with post modern science or theory to reject the mainstream, dominant subject of the Earth sciences as socialist, or to dismiss the inevitable and inherent emergence of global governance as ideologically motivated because it has to deal with global problems that some would rather ignore.

    You have been the straight feed to my ‘Cccrazzy’ answers for long enough on this thread. I don’t mind playing the line out to some extent, but its probably time to put together a new post rather than using me to string this one out longer.

    I agree, these discussions always end up going in circles if over-prolonged, which is where we are about now. I apologize to you and everyone for not putting up a new thread sooner. Next day or two, I promise – even if it’s a brief one – Oz

  173. izen says:

    @- farmerbraun
    “Sometimes it is necessary to state the bleeding obvious:-”

    Yeah, like it isn’t the temperature on the days of the fire that impact its course, it is the hottest year on record, earliest spring and previous flooding that have caused more underbush fuel build up, drying it out and reduced the safe climate period when hazard reduction could be carried out without starting the very blaze you are trying to avoid.

  174. Luton Ian says:

    oh dear, poor Izen begs the question, and also gets caught up with imaginary social and historical currents…

    To be fair to the warmerites, the present stasis could be be explained as warming preventing what would otherwise have been a marked cooling.

    but when that explanation is compared to “it’s just an absence of warming”

    then Occam’s Razor suggests that the simpler explanation is more likely to be the correct one,

    That doesn’t mean that it must be correct, only that it is the more elegant explanation. but that doubt is still no justification for some socialist to claim that it justifies picking my pocket or anyone else’s pocket.

  175. izen says:

    @- “it’s just an absence of warming”

    It’s is just an absence of warming in 10% of the climate system that happens to be the bit we most notice because we live in it.

    Sea level rise indicates that 90% of the global climate system has continued to warm. It takes a LOT of energy to melt that much ice and expand that much water.

  176. Luton Ian says:

    Hi Izen,
    calm down and re read my comment.

    It could be either, we have no quick way of knowing, but the “no change because no warming” is the more elegant option

    of course its elegance doesn’t mean it is necessarily correct, but it is prettier to behold.

    Sea level is still well below that at the end of the medieval warm period, even in places where the land itself is very gently sinking, for example south east England, north east France and the south coast of Ireland, also check out the viking field systems which are still emerging from under ice on south west Greenland.

  177. farmerbraun says:

    Izen says :
    “Of course you always have the option if the massive predominance of support for AGW in the published science is unpalatable to dismiss it all as fraud and hoax.
    Masonic or Communist according to taste I suppose!”

    FB : No thanks , I just want to understand why a simple null hypothesis e.g.
    “there is no correlation between anthropogenic CO2 emissions and global average temp.”

    ought not to /could not / was considered unnecessary to – be falsified.
    So far I’m not getting it. Which is it? I can’t figure out what you are actually saying.

  178. Ozboy says:

    Many thanks everyone for your patience. I finally got a few hours free today to write something!

    Here you go:

  179. izen says:

    @- farmerbraun
    ” I just want to understand why a simple null hypothesis e.g.
    “there is no correlation between anthropogenic CO2 emissions and global average temp.””
    ought not to /could not / was considered unnecessary to – be falsified.

    But it WAS ‘falsified’ couple of decades ago by the attribution studies.

    The observed warming {and sea-level rise, downwelling-outgoing LWIR, stratospheric cooling, ocean acidification etc} was consistent with the calculated effect of the rising CO2. No natural variation or cause that would produce a similar magnitude of rapid climate change can be found in the historical record for several thousand years.

    And none of the natural factors that caused big variations in the past are operating in the present.

  180. karabar says:

    “The observed warming {and sea-level rise, downwelling-outgoing LWIR, stratospheric cooling, ocean acidification etc}”
    In what universe did this supposedly occur?
    The “observed warming” in large part is a result of NASA GISS fiddling with the data. Once remote sensing systems came to the fore, it became obvious that it has actually been the opposite. the construct of a “mean global air surface temperature”, using a grid devised by the fraud Hansen, certainly does not have sufficient accuracy to postulate minute changes.
    Sea level is not a measurement but a concept. There is simply no meaningful measurement from which anyone can determine changes in terms of a few millimeters.
    Similarly, the pH of sea water varies dramatically from one location to another even a mile apart. There is no discrete method by which you can determine this to the accuracy claimed.
    All of which makes your contention “consistent with the calculated effect of rising CO2 a load of old bollocks. Face it, Izen. CO2 has no influence on atmospheric temperature, or at most an effect insignificant in comparison to the sun. The dramatic increase in ice, the early onset of winter, the record-setting low temperatures are telling you not to sell you coat.

    You’re up early, K

    Try this lecture by Willie Soon from the Harvard Center for Astrophysics (who, having once received a grant from the Heartland Institute, doubtless is a swivel-eyed, right-wing oil shill) – Oz 🙄

  181. karabar says:

    I’ve been up for an hour and a half, Oz. Chores you know.
    I like this passage from geologist Norman Page:
    “The entire vast UN and Government sponsored AGW behemoth with its endless labyrinthine conferences and gigantic schemes for UN global control over the World and National economies is a prime example of the disasters Eisenhower warned against in 1961 he said :
    “In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite. ”

    Politicians were willing to forgo the trouble of thinking for themselves and forming their own commonsense views on climate so long as their paid scientists gave them scary forecasts to use to grab power and control over economic activity. This sinister symbiotic relationship enabled politicians to reward themselves ,their political friends and corporate sponsors while at the same time feeling righteous about “saving the world” Thus, with the enthusiastic assistance of the eco-left anti -capitalist movement and a supine or agenda driven MSM the CAGW delusion took over much of the Western world as a quasi religion which will not easily fade away even though, as the AR5 science section shows, it has no connection to reality.”

  182. karabar says:

    And now we have another of these phony papers that try to suggest that recent climate is “unprecedented warming” since 44,000 years ago

    And it’s all a load of old bollocks, because the authors refuse to admit that the samples date from the MWP!

    How many charlatans are out there collecting grants to publish nonsense? Plenty!

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