Hoist On Their Own Petard

AntarcticSeaIceHappy New Year to all my readers.

I thought I’d interrupt my summer holidays in balmy climes to have a bit of a chortle at two seemingly unrelated stories in the news over the last few days. One concerns cricket, and the other, climate.

For an Australian, the Christmas-New Year period is an unrelenting cavalcade of flannelled fools battering red and white balls across the nation. We have the longer (5-day) form of the game on during the day, and at night, on a different TV network, the 3-hour “Twenty-twenty” version, which is in reality just a weeks-long running advertisement for an American junk-food outlet.

Things in Test cricket are going splendidly. With just one match remaining in the 5-Test series, Australia holds an unbeatable 4-0 lead over England, and thus have reclaimed The Ashes. For British journalists, of course, this has led to much wailing and gnashing of teeth, along with the usual calls for mass sackings, formal enquiries and structural change that accompany every Ashes walloping.

No Pommie journalist has been more strident in his criticisms than a certain Piers Morgan. I’d never heard of this bloke before, but I’ve since discovered that he is particularly unpopular with pretty much every British soldier who’s served in Iraq, plus their families. Morgan was quite voluble in his pasting of the English batsmen as “gutless”. Quite a statement, for someone who has never played the game above village level.

Don’t get hit by the red one.

A little background for American readers, and others unfamiliar with cricket. Down here, we are quite amused to hear Americans refer to a baseball as a “hardball”. This, of course, is to distinguish it from a softball. But hold a baseball in one hand, and a cricket ball in the other, and you will see what a “hard” ball really means. The fastest cricket bowlers let go of the ball at about the same speed as the fastest baseball pitchers – between 90-100 mph (144-160 km/h). Being struck by a steeply lifting short ball is no fun, I can tell you.

Which is why, in defence of the English players, former Australian international Brett Lee, issued an invitation to Morgan to face an over (6 balls) in the nets during the tea break on the second day of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. Lee, once regarded as the fastest bowler of his era, is now 36 and a bit slower than at his peak, but still fearsome. A crowd of over 1,000 (most of whom, like me, had never heard of Morgan before this) gathered to watch the fun. They weren’t disappointed:

Not only did the bloke with the big mouth get his comeuppance, but having bandied about the accusation of gutlessness, refused to display any guts himself, beyond actually entering the nets at all. As you can see in the video above, every single delivery, Morgan fled to the back corner of the nets, out of the line of fire, before Lee had even let go of the ball. Not that it did him any good. When a professional batsman takes a step back to the leg side just before the bowler releases, it is not out of cowardice, but to give himself room to play the cut shot to the off side. The countering move by a fast bowler is either to follow the retreating batsman’s body, negating the extra room (which Lee did four times, hitting him on three occasions) or to aim a yorker at the stumps, which the batsman will be unable to hit (which Lee did on the fifth ball).

Poetic justice: Morgan’s injuries brought about by his big mouth include a broken rib (x-ray pictured above), cracked wrist and badly bruised hip

The really strange thing for me about this, was the number of commenters online who targeted Lee as a bully, ambushing the unsuspecting Morgan! The list of those doing so include no less an identity than New Zealand’s greatest-ever cricketer, Sir Richard Hadlee. I made my own thoughts about this clear on this blog at the DT and won’t repeat them here. But it’s a media beat-up writ large, and a depressingly typical, politically-correct inversion of natural justice.


The other big story this week concerns Catastrophic Global Warming. Caused by human beings, no less. Professor Chris Turney of the University of New South Wales’ taxpayer-funded Climate Change Research Centre, is heading an enormous, 85-person expedition to Antarctica to find how climate has changed since the expedition led by Sir Douglas Mawson 100 years ago (when, in 1912, he sailed into an ice-free Commonwealth Bay as seen below). You can watch the TV report and read the (in hindsight, hilarious) transcript here.

Like Morgan and his allegations of cricketing cowardice, the good Professor and his numerous young cohorts were utterly sure of themselves. So much so, that they saw no need to employ a special ice-breaking vessel to transport them to the Antarctic mainland during the southern summer. Instead, they chartered a much cheaper and lighter Russian vessel, the MS Akademik Shokalskiy, to carry them. Minor irrelevancies like raw sea ice data were no match for computer models, after all, right?


And sure enough, like Morgan, they, together with their delusions, were on an inexorable collision-course with brutal reality. Trapped by pack ice since Christmas, an initial rescue attempt by the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long failed, due to the ice thickness being beyond its capacity to break. The Australian Antarctic Division then sent its own, much more powerful icebreaker Aurora Australis, but that too was foiled, by pack ice up to 4 metres thick; and in the process, emitting an estimated 8,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, or about 100 tonnes for each junketeer researcher.

Caught by their own folly.

Eighty-five souls are in peril here, and it’s important to remember this. But my God, it’s hard not to laugh. Reports coming out the Akademik Shokalskiy suggest that the intrepid expeditioners have started to turn on each other (presumably blaming each other for the lack of warming). Naturally, prominent sceptical websites are making merry. The height of farce was reached the other day when, in desperation, a plea from the stricken vessel for weather forecasts in the Southern Ocean, particularly wind patterns, which may indicate when (or if) the pack ice will relent, was beamed to the U.S. Coast Guard, who passed it on to the Scripps Oceanographic Institute in San Diego; they passed the buck to local KUSI-TV, whose duty meteorologist finally got in contact with the man who ultimately provided the requisite information: Anthony Watts!

Oh, the irony!!!

Some have suggested that, like Mawson, the Global Warmists should be left where they are, stuck in the ice in Antarctica, for the next year. Perhaps, as some commenters have predicted, a Lord of the Flies-like society will develop. Or, as several biographers have alleged of Mawson, they will fall to cannibalism. We can all watch with bated breath as the drama plays out.

In 1985, a Usenet group founded a forum that developed into the now world-famous Darwin Awards. These are given annually, in the words of its founder,

In the spirit of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species’ chances of long-term survival.

If either Piers Morgan or the Akademik Shokalskiy’s Antarctic adventurers succumb to the consequences of their own actions, tragic as it might be, they will surely be strong candidates.

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107 Responses to Hoist On Their Own Petard

  1. karabar says:

    I have been imploring the Minister of Education to conduct an investigation into this UNSW folly, and roll some heads, as well as sue the bastards. Is it too much to hope for?
    Someone at the chancellor or vice chancellor level must have authorised this school yard prank. It will cost the taxpayer a kings ransom. Indebted servitude for all except the Russian crew until the bills are paid in full is not enough.

  2. farmerbraun says:

    Cartoon of the Week : The Mawson memorial ekspudishin, in which various idiots excel themselves

  3. farmerbraun says:

    Apologies to Christopher Robin ; that should of course be an ‘expotition”

  4. farmerbraun says:

    What ice ; it’s never been warmer?

    You keep calling us the West Island. But CNN reckons you’re the seventh state – Oz 😆

  5. izen says:

    There are very few things that can compensate for the depressing situation of being an England cricket fan. It has always exemplified the English culture, a disillusioned and dour acceptance of our flaws and mediocrity interspaced with brief episodes of transcendent genius and elegance.
    Embarrassment at our ineptitude is the best that English cricket fans can hope for at present, and while it certainly does not make up for losing the Ashes, seeing Piers Morgan get his just deserts goes a long way to offset the last lost match!

    Piers Moron as he is often known shows all the worst traits of the Uk tabloid editor. A complete disdain for the general public, financial corruption and sycophancy. When RW Americans started a petition to send him back to the UK because of his views on guns, another petition was rapidly started imploring that he remain in the US. It was started by brits….

    I am not blind to the ironies in the climate researchers caught in the ice either. Although the changes in sea ice extent that have caught them out are minor in general terms, a fraction of the extent and thickness changes seen in the Arctic. However the rather active storm systems around the South Pole are causing local extremes as Christine demonstrated.

    I doubt the involvement of Anthony Watts-up with that is quite as direct and unknowing as apparent, looks more like a radio station with a sense of the absurd. I also suspect this whole debacle has something to do with trying to do research on the cheap. Instead of a proper research vessel they opted for a slightly modified cruise ship that tried to sell ‘eco-cruises’ to a niche market. This Antarctic summer has not been kind so far to those wanting to use it for publicity. One of the royals I recall had to change plans a bit before xmass.

    There is for those with a taste for watching the global weather a wonderful new webpage that displays the global winds from surface to TOA. It enables you to watch the storms rolling in. Somewhere in the middle of the atmosphere is often most informative around 850- 500 hPa so that you can see the interaction between the surface and the jetstream.


    Click on the EARTH word to change the level/pressure you can also click, drag and zoom the globe or map, even without it being a realtime display of actual winds it is an impressive bit of graphic programming, very pretty!

    Indeed, very nice.

    Izen, you do “depressing” better than any Englishman since Marvin the Paranoid Android! And around the Tele’s Ashes section, there’s plenty of depression in evidence. If you’ve seen any of my comments there you’ll know I’ve been sympathetic and positive (there being too many noisily gloating Aussies there already), for if history teaches us anything, it is that cricket, like climate, is cyclical – Oz

  6. Ozboy says:

    It appears the expeditioners have now been airlifted by the Xue Long’s helicopter onto the Aurora Australis. But due to that ship’s existing Antarctic commitments, they won’t arrive back at the Hobart base until mid-January.

    Maybe I should show up at the docks to give them an appropriate welcome 😉

  7. Asmilwho says:

    That should be “Hoist by” or “Hoist with” and not “hoist on”.


    “A petard was a small bomb used to blow up gates and walls when breaching fortifications, of French origin and dating back to the sixteenth century.[1] A typical petard was a conical or rectangular metal object containing 2–3 kg (5 or 6 pounds) of gunpowder, with a slow match as a fuse.”

    “If a petard detonated prematurely, the petardier would be lifted by the explosion. In addition, the usual human response is to get away from trouble by the most direct means possible, but a straight line is rarely the safest route of departure while under fire, and this is particularly true after setting a petard. The backblast went straight back from the fortification: if the petardier also moved straight back he would be “hoist by his own petard”.”

    I’ll stop being pedantic now 😉

    Hoist with, not on… you’ve got me there.

    I’ve got to stop relying on memory, and start relying on wiki – Oz 😉

  8. Ozboy says:

    Inevitable, really (H/T Bufo):

  9. Ozboy says:

    MemoryVault’s no-nonsense take on JoNova here.

  10. Amanda says:

    What a bunch of birdbrains. Oh the avianity! It does show that some of these alarmists actually believe their own alarmism. I had more respect for them when they were merely cynically manipulating data so as to write their own Lefty fairytale.

  11. Kitler says:

    Well I won’t say much because it’s wrong to mock the afflicted…..
    New post on the new libertarianish/capitalist/tax them to death stance here in Denver.

  12. myrightpenguin says:

    G’Day Oz,

    re. MemoryVault’s comment, has Tony Abbott said anything about all the taxpayer expense, do you think he is seeing how things play out, or what?

    G’day MRP,

    No, Abbott’s walking a fine line here. There are a few voluble warmists in his own government, and he needs to keep them inside the tent, um, aiming out. Plus, there’s no need for him to say anything. Just let the warmists keep digging their own hole around them. Our Federal Budget is due in May, and given the books are far worse than Labor led us to believe, drastic cuts are required to all non-essential services. Guess which services will be deemed non-essential? Oz 😉

  13. karabar says:

    I was quite taken with the logic in this post by a contributor on JoNova. It doesn’t take much but a bit of clear thinking to see through the scam. Of course that has been the case for the last thirty years, but this passage puts things so clearly a child could understand. In the last few days the Australian, the Age, and even the SMH have published rational arguments so I think Perfessors Turkey and Fogbound with their Laurel and Hardy misadventures in Antarctica, as well as the fact that Oh!Bummer’s nuts are freezing off might turn this nonsense around.

    A discussion of politics by extreme opposing sides will almost always result in futility. A discussion of religion by extreme opposing sides will almost always result in futility. CAGW appears to me to be the marriage of politics and religion masquerading as science.

    I am no scientist, but I understand the scientific method. IMO, CAGW is not a theory. It is not a hypothesis, either. Instead, it is a group of hypotheses where if any one of them fail, the whole CAGW idea fails, or at the very least must be heavily modified. It has, in fact, already been modified to handle its evolution from MMGW, to AGW, to CAGW. The hypotheses as I see them are:

    1) The earth is warming at unprecedented, unnatural levels and/or rates of increase in said levels.
    2) This warming is caused exclusively by the extra carbon dioxide released by human activity.
    3) This warming has a net bad (catastrophic) effect to the planet and its inhabitants.
    4) This “issue” is the most important problem the inhabitants of this planet must deal with.

    The first hypothesis gained much traction with Mann’s “hockey stick”. Mann and Jones would not share their data or provide information on their methodologies; breaking a principle of the scientific method. We know that there have been periods of time long before the first SUV roamed the earth where the planet went from being totally covered in ice to having little if any ice at all. For the unprecedented and unnatural levels, one would have the ability to examine four billion years of climate on the earth to be able to make that statement. Any period of time similar in scale to what Mann and Jones used that show otherwise completely destroys the first hypothesis. My money is on the past on this one.

    If I were to ignore the problems I have with the first hypothesis the second hypothesis is problematic for me due to the sheer number of influences on this planet’s climate; many of which we don’t fully understand yet. To say that mankind as added 3% of the carbon dioxide to the atmosphere that is currently at 0.04% carbon dioxide is wreaking havoc with our climate sounds a bit silly to me when there are much larger players in the dozens and scores of other factors of our climate. The fact that some countries have labeled carbon dioxide as a pollutant amazes me. When I think of a pollutant, I think of something that must be eliminated in its entirety. The elimination of CO2 from our atmosphere would be the end of life. When is the church of CAGW going to come after our beer and fizzy drinks?

    The third hypothesis is also problematic for me. I see more reports of death during severe cold snaps than I do of severe heat waves. Periods of human expansion in population and invention seem to occur during periods where the temperature was warmer while periods of non-growth or contraction occur during cold periods. If my growing season had been just two weeks longer last summer before the first frost, I could have almost doubled my harvest of peppers and tomatoes. The mild summer with too much rain and an early frost insured that I will not have enough tomatoes to last me until the next harvest comes in. (Note: Yes, I know that last item is a localized and personal item, but for my needs, warmer and drier works better for me than cold & wet 😉

    The final hypothesis does not work for me either because it is reliant not only on the previous three hypotheses being correct, but also in the assumption that mankind doesn’t have anything else better to do. I don’t think the child starving in Africa would make that assumption. I don’t think the parent who just lost their child to a terrorist bomb would make that assumption. I would bet that scientists on the verge of a major discovery for the end of AIDS or cancer but losing funding to another “Climanic” expedition would not make that assumption. We have problems in the here and now that need to be addressed before a possible problem long into the future, IMHO.

    MemoryVault in real life was a professional journalist, and at one time was a regular here at LibertyGibbert. You might like to read this guest post he wrote here a few years ago, on the methods of post-normal science, which still gets lots of referrals – Oz

  14. Ozboy says:

    And Australia wraps up the Ashes series 5-0! Ah yes, life is sweet…

  15. myrightpenguin says:

    You are a cruel man Ozboy, but congrats nonetheless! (he says behind gritted teeth).

  16. izen says:

    @- ozboy
    MemoryVault in real life was a professional journalist, and at one time was a regular here at LibertyGibbert. You might like to read this guest post he wrote here a few years ago, on the methods of post-normal science, which still gets lots of referrals –

    I would then suggest you should also be aware that the post was a load of nonsense, scientifically ignorant, conceptually ill-informed and meretriciously biased. While it might be well written, at least for those with the confirmation bias to buy into its anti-science stance, the scorn poured on Dobson units for example is rooted in ignorance and duplicity. Perhaps the key characteristics of journalism of this ilk. I would repeat my comments on Memory Vault’s egregious post;-

    It does far more to illustrate that you are unfamiliar with the sort of units used in science when quantities or percentages are far outside the normal experience.
    Worse, it indicates that you lack the integrity to admit this ignorance or make any attempt to improve your understanding.

    The issue of the ship in the ice is being used by the anti-science side as if tourism and publicity are somehow incompatible with science. Getting trapped in the ice is an occupational hazard for science expeditions to the poles. The ship the scientists and tourist were on is safe where it is and the crew remain on board. How much science was involved in the trip and how much was a money – making exercise by the Russian operators or a economy tactic by the Australian science grant bodies is a matter of speculation.

    But even if the trip was mainly a PR tourist jolly that does not invalidate the observational measurements of signficant ice mass loss from Antarctica whatever the transient sea ice might do. It also does not invalidate the ongoing measurement of the ozone hole which continues to follow the predicted pattern of slow recovery from the CFCs destructive effects. Another reminder that despite MemoryVaults eloquent polemic both ozone loss from manmade chemicals is real and has only been avoided by global regulation, and global warming is equally real and will not be refuted by sneering at well-meaning but under-financed quasi-scientific partly PR expeditions to photogenic regions.

    I get the strong impression that much of the media storm over the trapped boat was rooted in some weird belief that because a scientific research boat got trapped in ice it somehow invalidates and refutes AGW. A moment of reflection would surely show this is irrational idiocy.

  17. myrightpenguin says:

    Izen, if you want a constructive dialogue I suggest you cut out the “anti-science side” kind of nonsense as that really just amounts to not much more than trolling and you strike me as someone who tries not to be one. Please also try to understand the context within that of Sir Douglas Mawson’s expedition 100 years ago. Turney made it very clear prior to setting off that Mawson’s expedition was being used as a baseline to present the case for alarmism (or cAGW).

  18. karabar says:

    Izen, if you are so willing to stand behind Perfessors Turkey and Fogbound, you might better listen to some of their hogwash first.
    11 Sept: ABC PM: UNSW organises Antarctic trek to celebrate centenary of Mawson expedition
    MARK COLVIN: One of the expedition leaders is climate change specialist Professor Chris Turney.
    CHRIS TURNEY: There’s a number of things we’re hoping to do, and we’re going to start the science program as soon as we head south. This is very much not just for pure science research program: we’re taking the public with us, berths are for sale…
    MARK COLVIN: Alright, well Australia’s just elected a government which, I think it’s fair to say, is more sceptical about global warming and certainly about what to do about it. Do you think they’ll be listening to you when we get back?
    CHRIS TURNEY: I think to be perfectly honest, that in the first instance, we’re just trying to get people excited by the science, and rather than it being an issue where people have a gut feeling about whether they believe in climate change or not, it’s actually getting them to be re-engaged and excited about the science.
    And if politicians listen and get excited about what we’re doing, that’d be brilliant.
    MARK COLVIN: And as you know, the scepticism has extended right into the science. What do you think about that?
    CHRIS TURNEY: It has in the public domain somewhat. Certainly in the scientific community, it’s remarkably solid…
    MARK COLVIN: But a lot of scientists feel kind of somewhat besieged at the moment because of this public scepticism.
    CHRIS TURNEY: Yeah, some do certainly; those who engage a lot with the public and some individuals do struggle with that a little bit. Other people, though, I’ve met and I’ve given talks to – when you explain the science – completely understand the basic premise and at the end of the day for us, it’s so self-evident, what we see now.
    MARK COLVIN: What is that?
    ***CHRIS TURNEY: Well, the fundamental issue is if you didn’t have carbon in the atmosphere, the planet would be about minus 50 degrees centigrade, give or take – that’s what you’d have. So a little bit of carbon warms the planet, and that’s good, it’s where we’re at today – an average planet temperature of about 14, 15, degrees.
    If you put more carbon in the atmosphere, you’d expect the planet to warm, and basically that’s what you see…
    ***MARK COLVIN: Chirs Turney, professor of climate change at the University of New South Wales and the leader of the 2013-2014 Australian Antarctica Expedition.

    Does this ACTIVIST sound like a SCIENTIST to you?
    CHRIS TURNEY: Well, the fundamental issue is if you didn’t have carbon in the atmosphere, the planet would be about minus 50 degrees centigrade, give or take – that’s what you’d have. So a little bit of carbon warms the planet, and that’s good, it’s where we’re at today – an average planet temperature of about 14, 15, degrees.
    If you put more carbon in the atmosphere, you’d expect the planet to warm, and basically that’s what you see…

  19. izen says:

    @- karabar
    “1) The earth is warming at unprecedented, unnatural levels and/or rates of increase in said levels.
    2) This warming is caused exclusively by the extra carbon dioxide released by human activity.
    3) This warming has a net bad (catastrophic) effect to the planet and its inhabitants.
    4) This “issue” is the most important problem the inhabitants of this planet must deal with.”

    If this is really the understanding you have of the AGW issue then it is little wonder you would reject it. However except for No3 your asumptions are all wrong about the subject.

    1) the Earth is warming at a rate unprecedented during the history of human civilisation and agriculture. It has certainly warmed and cooled as much{more} and possibly as fast during the several glacial cycles that modern man has lived through and has shown much greater climate change in the past before humans evolved. It is that known variability of the climate that indicates it CAN change significantly, that climate sensitivity is rleatively high because of the past changes seem before the stable Holocene climate that our agricultural and urban society relies on.

    2)This warming is mainly due to the rise in anthropogenic CO2. You could I suppose argue about the percentage, but no credible argument puts it below 50% and some analysis claim the effect of the CO2 has been partially offset by other factors like aerosols so that the potential warming from the rising fossil fuel carbon is much greater. However no scientific source claims that the climate change is exclusively caused by rising CO2, that is a red herring of your own invention.

    3)Past history confirms that civilisation collapses when climate change, drought seems to be the dominant factor, but our agricultural infrastructure is predicated on a stable climate, any change is disruptive. Most of our main food crops are now being cultivated in areas where they are already at the upper temperature limit of their productivity. Furthe warming would be MUCH more damaging than cooling for food production. Just how catastrophic that might be depends more on how resilient and robust our agricultural systems may be.

    4) this issue is as important as you choose it to be. How susceptible our societies are to climate change has more to do with how robust our infrastructure is than on the degree of climate change. Especially how sustainable our societies are in the face of increasingly extreme weather events from a changing climate.

    Your four ‘hypothesis’ certainly bear no resemblance to the real science around AGW, they do however have some resemblance to the spurious nonsense that anti-science, fossil fuel funded sources like Heartland promote. If you have some insight into the sceintific method it might be wiseto derive your ideas from the historical development of the actual science rather than the distorted and malformed ideas that emanate from the politico-economically slanted media sources.

    A hypertext history of how scientists came to (partly) understand what people are doing to cause climate change.

  20. izen says:

    @- karabar
    “Izen, if you are so willing to stand behind Perfessors Turkey and Fogbound, you might better listen to some of their hogwash first.”

    I have no interest in standing behind turkey and fogbound, it is entirely possible that the whole expedition was science junket/research done on the cheap by using a tourist ship and involving media organisations to offset the cost of it all.

    That does not invalidate the observation that however ironic a PR stunt to highlight global climate change getting caught in unusual pack ice may be the response from some quarters seems to be exploiting it to attack climate science as a whole rather than this as a specific event. Repeating the Mawson measurements a century later does have some small historical scientific worth, but it is rather minor and better data is available by other means.

    @-” Does this ACTIVIST sound like a SCIENTIST to you?
    CHRIS TURNEY: Well, the fundamental issue is if you didn’t have carbon in the atmosphere, the planet would be about minus 50 degrees centigrade, give or take – that’s what you’d have. So a little bit of carbon warms the planet, and that’s good, it’s where we’re at today – an average planet temperature of about 14, 15, degrees.
    If you put more carbon in the atmosphere, you’d expect the planet to warm, and basically that’s what you see…”

    That is a scientific statement of the known facts. Atmospheric CO2 warms the planet, the history of how we discovered that parallels human discovery of evolution and genetics and is rather more robust than evolution by natural selection. That you regard it as an activist statement may be more a product of your POV than a realistic assessment of the staement. Perhaps you dislike the policy implications of that reality…???

  21. karabar says:

    The statement is pure bullshit. There is no “carbon” in the atmosphere. There is NOTHING to suggest that CO2 plays a role in regulating the temperature of the atmosphere. It has no mechanism to perform this feat. If it did, it would violate a number of natural laws. Minus fifty degrees? What a load of old bollocks! Not even if there were no water vapour in the atmosphere.

  22. karabar says:

    You talk a load of rubbish, Izen. There is no basis to suggest that temperature, sea level, or ice extent is “unprecedented”. You are suffering under the illusion that the measurement of a parameter such as “average global temperature” is even possible, much less meaningful. In your own land is the oldest temperature dataset in the world. It extends 100 years before the taking of Quebec by your General Wolfe. It has fortunately not been bastardised by James Hansen. The temperature of central England, at an annual average of 9.56 degrees, was the same as it is today.
    You are suffering hallucinations. You do not know whether “CO2 is rising” or not. All you know is the composition of the atmosphere at the top of a mountain in a volcanic region for the last fifty years or so.
    Your “past history” is a straw man. Climate change is natural, and some ancient civilisations have fallen due to changes in the local weather. This has no connection whatsoever with CO@ in the atmosphere.
    The import is of no relevance, because the only thing “Mann-made” about Earth’s climate is the BULLSHIT that you proselytise under the premise that we have any ability to affect environment in which we live.

  23. myrightpenguin says:

    @ – Izen

    (1) Do you even accept the “hiatus” as the IPCC describes it over the last 15 years, by the way a period in which anthropogenic CO2 emissions were roughly a quarter of total anthropogenic emissions since 1750. I hope you understand this within the context of IPCC theory of CO2-AGW being the predominant driver of climate change and highly sensitive positive feedbacks (à la hockey schtick). Please respond with a simple yes or no first prior to elaborating if you elect to do so.

    (2) Do you accept this quote by Kevin “Travesty” Trenberth? Again, please respond with a simple yes or no first prior to elaborating if you elect to do so.

    “These increases are certainly less than the warming rates of the 1980s and first half of the 1990s of about 0.15 to 0.20 C (.27 and .36 F respectively) and per decade. The earlier period may have provided an unrealistic view of the global warming signal.”

    I hope you understand that there is no empirical evidence of CO2 preceding temperature, only the other way around, via. ocean outgassing, as ruled in a High Court case against Al Gore (and his film “An Inconvenient Truth”). Based on IPCC *theory* on CO2-AGW being the predominant driver of climate change coupled with purported positive feedbacks, we would expect to see a hockey stick in modern temperature records, and you will struggle to even find a linear relationship via. cherry picking a timeframe for analysis. Question (2) above is related to the fact that the science is not settled and “climate sensitivity” is very much up in the air as more and more “authorities” have accepted that previous estimations were too high.

  24. myrightpenguin says:

    P.S.: Izen, again, please try to avoid phrases such as “anti-science side”. Such unnecessary demonisation serves no purpose if you yourself are purporting to be scientific.

  25. Amanda says:

    Getting trapped in the ice is an occupational hazard for science expeditions to the poles.

    Love it! Getting trapped in ice that wasn’t supposed to be there, as the trip was meant to demonstrate is an occupational hazard disaster, all right!

    My hubby read to me tonight a headline that it’s colder at O’Hare airport (in Chicago) than at one of the poles. I didn’t inquire which one: maybe it’s both. Maybe the headline’s wrong. It certainly sounds improbable. But the certainties about AGW are now all shaken up. People have seen the rubbish weather and heard about the deaths in snow — in ENGLAND — and I’m afraid that the PNSS* Climate is not merely stuck in ice, but sunk.

    *Post-Normal Science Ship

    Reminds me of this – Oz:

    Yesterday, upon the stair,
    I met a man who wasn’t there.
    He wasn’t there again today,
    I wish, I wish he’d go away…

    When I came home last night at three,
    The man was waiting there for me
    But when I looked around the hall,
    I couldn’t see him there at all!
    Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
    Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door…

    Last night I saw upon the stair,
    A little man who wasn’t there,
    He wasn’t there again today
    Oh, how I wish he’d go away…

    Antigonish, by Hughes Mearns (1899)

  26. Amanda says:

    Strikethroughs not permitted, again. Makes a bit of a hash of my first para, but never mind.

  27. Amanda says:

    Izen mentions ‘policy implications’. Ah, so nice to have one of you address that (Rice on the DT blog was always saying in effect ‘politics? what politics?).

    But this is the whole point, Izen. Climate science as we know it exists to bolster a Leftist anti-capitalist anti-liberty agenda in the world. I don’t agree with that agenda, never mind the bogus claims made about man’s impact on climate. Now what?

    A little digging by MyRightPenguin highlighted what we suspected all along.

    As always, follow the money – Oz

  28. izen says:

    “P.S.: Izen, again, please try to avoid phrases such as “anti-science side”. Such unnecessary demonisation serves no purpose if you yourself are purporting to be scientific.”

    But it is an accurate description of MemoryVault who was cited as posting relevent imput to this issue. Ozboy is aware of the incredibaly low esteem with which I hold his views, the anti-science element is only one of his egregious faults in my opinion, amply demonstrated by his denial of the role of CFCs in ozone depletion.

    I expect you have been struck by the unintended irony in you asking me to avoid labelling certain stances as anti-science when another poster here is denying the role of carbon in warming the planet at all ! A hundred years of human discovery denied.

    Yes folks, Izen has made this clear to me, both publicly and privately.

    I went back to the article just now and recalled Izen is not-so-obliquely referred to by MV as an “idiot”. I do not endorse this, or for that matter any other personal invective directed at any of my readers. And I’d ask all posters to keep this in mind as a prerequisite of constructive debate. Play the ball, not the man.

    That aside, MV’s essay on the “Post-Modern Mamba” remains one of this site’s most-cited articles, and continues to be read frequently based on page hits – Oz

  29. izen says:

    @- Amanda
    “But this is the whole point, Izen. Climate science as we know it exists to bolster a Leftist anti-capitalist anti-liberty agenda in the world. I don’t agree with that agenda, never mind the bogus claims made about man’s impact on climate.”

    This is an anti-science narrative promulgated by those who dislike or are financially impacted by the policy implications of having to reduce atmospheric carbon to prevent further climate change. Climate science started two hundered years ago with the theory of the greenhouse effect. The role of CO2 in absorbing energy was discovered in the same year Darwin published The Origin Of Species, at the turn of the last century AGW was put forward as a speculation, by the 1930s it was a strong hypothesis. After the work done by the US military in the 1950s on heat-seeking missiles it was possible to calculate the quantitative effect of rising CO2.

    Since then the range and quality of evidence both for the change in climate and the thermodynamics of increasing CO2 have only got wider and stronger. Climate science has existed as a coherent subject for over a century, for most of that time the idea of a leftist, anti-capitalist anti-liberty agenda was not even a factor and certainly not an ideology that created the field.
    It is in many ways a mistake to see climate science as in any way separable from the general sciences. The role of CO2 was calculated as part of military research and used methods derived from astronomy. To reject the science as just the product of an ideological position would mean invoking a conspiracy that involves most of the other fields of science and decades of secret data manipulation. It would make faking the moon landings look like a walk in the park.

    Like lead, asbestos, DDT, acid rain, CFCs and tobbaco it was scientific research that identified the risks that they posed and eventually policy choices that protect us to some extent from the dangers they pose.
    Not without well funded sources disputing, doubting and denying the science behind the dangers at every turn. Including claiming that anyone pointing out the dangers of CFCs or lead was somehow anti-freedom. Its part of the disinformation playbook.

  30. myrightpenguin says:

    @ – Izen

    I don’t want to get bogged down with small ball stuff, but MemoryVault is an individual. “Anti-science side” is not rhetoric relating to just one or two individuals, no matter what you may think of them, and indeed is rather conspiratorial in nature if that is how you see anyone who has points of contention related to the contents of IPCC reports. Let me also remind you that understanding Earth’s climate is amongst thousands of scientific fields and areas of investigation in terms of advancement of human knowledge.

  31. izen says:

    @- myrightpenguin
    (1) Do you even accept the “hiatus” as the IPCC describes it over the last 15 years,

    In surface air temps at least, ocean thermal expansion and ice melt has continued unabated however. As you may be aware this represents over 90% of the energy change, air temps are a minor and very variable part of the system of interest only because thats where we live and grow food.

    @- (2) Do you accept this quote by Kevin “Travesty” Trenberth? Again, please respond with a simple yes or no first prior to elaborating if you elect to do so.
    “These increases are certainly less than the warming rates of the 1980s and first half of the 1990s of about 0.15 to 0.20 C (.27 and .36 F respectively) and per decade. The earlier period may have provided an unrealistic view of the global warming signal.”

    The rapid rise in the 80s-90s of land surface air temps was in part a product of ENSO cycles and the reduction in smoke from various clean air and anti-pollution acts. That enhanced warming from natural variation and the removal anthropogenic cooling areosols has been followed by natural variations of ocean that are burying more energy in the deep ocean as evidenced by the ARGO floats and a reduction in solar output. So the past warming was probably faster than the uninfluenced rate, the recent decade has been slower.
    Sea level rise and ice melt have continued unabated however.

    @- “I hope you understand that there is no empirical evidence of CO2 preceding temperature, only the other way around, via. ocean outgassing, ”

    Look up the PETM or how the Earth recovered from various snowball states in the past.
    But the fact that glacial cycles are triggered by orbital variations which are then driven by CO2 changes is well established, the order of events in that situation has no bearing on the known thermodynamic effects of Co2 in the atmosphere.

  32. farmerbraun says:

    ” more energy in the deep ocean as evidenced by the ARGO floats . .
    Sea level rise and ice melt have continued unabated however.”

    Got any numbers for those?
    From what depth does an ARGO float measure?
    What % of the ocean volume is below the depth sampled by ARGO?

  33. Amanda says:

    That ditty made me smile, Ozboy. And I see that Delingpole in the DT has taken up the theme of the climate warmth that is cunningly hiding under all the snow, if only we would realize it.

    May I suggest, in that spirit, some updated words?

    Yesterday, upon the snow,
    I glimpsed a warmth that wouldn’t show.
    It wasn’t there again today,
    I wish the burn would go away…

  34. Amanda says:

    By the way, I see that Delingpole’s article refers to snow in Florida. I’ve not heard of any; apart from anything else, we get very little precipitation at this time of year. I did decide to wear a pair of knitted gloves when walking the dog today, though. 🙂

  35. myrightpenguin says:

    @ – Izen

    Thank you for playing with a straight bat.

    (1) “Hiatus” for the last 15 years despite anthropogenic emissions during that period being ~ 25% of total anthropogenic emissions since 1750. OK, so you accept this, that is good. Now, you can explain that the heat has gone to other places other than the surface, but there is you, me, and the IPCC, and the IPCC obviously presents climate models in its reports to plug in their theory to make forecasts of surface temperature. Neither the IPCC or any aligned “authority” predicted this “hiatus”, typified by James Hansen and his model with Scenarios A, B, and C, where global temperature is currently around or slightly below Scenario C, which was a scenario based on the complete shutting off of anthropogenic CO2 emissions from the year 2000 onwards!

    (2) Kevin Trenberth’s quote on late 20th century warming followed by this “hiatus” period, saying that the former may have wrongly been extrapolated and resulted in overestimation of climate sensitivity. OK, so you accept this, and I concur with your theories about ENSO and aerosols, but again, there is you, me, and the IPCC, and again note that the IPCC, did not present ENSO and aerosolised airborne particulates (/ cleaner air) as drivers of late 20th century warming to the extent you have, it was again that the primary driver of late 20th century warming was anthropogenic CO2 emissions, presenting a case for alarmism. Again, this manifests in the models running very hot. I will be specific on this. Currently global temperature is running well below the 75% confidence envelope for CMIP5, meaning outside 3 in 4 outcomes according to the model, which is worse than a coin flip, and is soon to fall outside the 95% confidence envelope for CMIP5, according to Ed Hawkins, University of Reading, meaning outside 19 in 20 outcomes according to the model, so that is basically terrible.

    So, again, there is you, me, the IPCC, and IPCC models. I like the fact that you are demonstrating independent thinking of the IPCC, for example the theory about cleaner air contributing to late 20th century warming is one that I concur with, but it is just one climate forcing that the IPCC has inadequate understanding of, described in more detail in a published paper by Prof. Judith Curry related to “the Uncertainty Monster” in combing through the full text of IPCC AR4 (2007) as opposed to what a lot of politicians and laymen do in just reading the IPCC’s summary.

    So, linked in with (1) and (2), do you accept that the IPCC to date has demonstrated far from satisfactory understanding of Earth’s climate, as exemplified by the poor performance of their models? You are not the IPCC, but this is important in terms of overhauling the energy sector in terms of trillions of dollars and in terms of inhibiting economic growth due to rising energy prices due to rules and regulations influenced by the IPCC.


    A few other things:

    (a) Sea level rise

    No one disputes that there has been ~0.8 degC warming since the end of the Little Ice Age, i.e. over the last ~160 years, what is disputed is *attribution*, and when I use the word *attribution* I don’t mean variable X or variable Y, *attribution* is used to describe a multivariate system. Linked in with the point of attribution please note that the *rate* of sea level rise since 1850 has been relatively constant [1]. Taking into account how anthropogenic CO2 emissions have increased substantially since 1850 in terms of Gt/yr, on considering AGW theory you would expect the rate of sea level rise to increase substantially, but that has not happened. Therefore sea level is not a “friend” for IPCC theory that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are the predominant driver of climate change. I could also bring in points about changes in the ocean basin, tectonic uplift, Univ. of Colorado adjustments, etc., but this is all unnecessary when applying Occam’s razor and the point about *rate* of sea level rise with time in terms of a disconnect with attribution to human industrialisation.
    [1] http://joannenova.com.au/2011/07/global-sea-levels-started-rising-before-1800-jevrejeva/

    (b) Polar sea ice

    Similarly, one can point to changes in polar sea ice, but the important issue once again is not whether there have been changes, because there have always been changes over the history of Earth, the issue is again *attribution*. Polar sea ice becomes very messy in terms of attribution, because it is not just temperature changes (natural or anthropogenic) that influences polar sea ice flux, but also other factors such as ocean currents, wind patterns, etc. Indeed, the overall trend for Antarctic sea ice since the satellite dataset was launched in 1979 is a minor % increase, not decrease as per “global warming” theory, and although climate alarmist advocates may explain that this is related more to geographical reasons and influence of ocean currents, this is exactly my point, because such theories about natural effects cannot be magically excluded for Arctic sea ice, because, again, for a satellite dataset only launched in 1979, there is a heavy influence via. the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and hence, again, pointing to changes in polar sea ice is one thing, but proving attribution is totally another.

    (c) Ocean heat content / “missing heat”

    We can quibble about this, and I can point to you the lack of solid experimental data to back up such a *theory*, with ARGO methodology the best we have to date, yet fundamentally lacking in terms of calibration and required accuracy and precision. I will simply say again that this is just theory (a dubious one in terms of basic thermodynamic principles), and again the IPCC is supposed to take everything into account in their models to forecast changes in surface temperature, and their models have performed poorly, as described above. Therefore, “missing heat” cannot be used to say that the models were right, the fact that it is being presented only fortifies the issue that the models were inadequate. The *theory* cannot really have weight until the IPCC can produce models that satisfactorily *fore*cast surface temperature.

    (d) PETM

    Experimental studies associated with this (isotope analysis, etc.) shows that the rate of CO2 emissions during this period was considerably lower than current, and yet, again, there is no hockey stick in modern temperature records, only if one wrongly extrapolates from late 20th century warming, which you and I both accept has been followed by a hiatus, and much of which could be explained by drivers of climate change other than anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Therefore, at best, one has to question direct translation of the PETM, a one-off, with current, and, at worst, one has to start fundamentally questioning some assumptions made related to the PETM.


    The take home as I see it though, is that there is you, me, the IPCC, and statements such as “the science is settled” which are largely political and are detached from the reality of the poor performance of IPCC models. Previous alarmist notions of climate sensitivity are having to be downgraded based on what appears to be incorrect conclusions drawn or extrapolated from late 20th century warming, which you and I, unlike the IPCC, accept could have been heavily driven by drivers of climate change other than anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

  36. Amanda says:

    I wondered whether Izen bothered to click on the links Ozboy provided above (‘follow the money’ etc.).

  37. izen says:

    @- Amanda
    I always check out any links Ozboy posts, they are often interesting and informative.
    The investment in Carbonscape shows that here is a scientist putting his money where his mouth/research is. I would expect Libertarians to favour scientists getting money via private enterprise rather than depending on government handouts/funding {grin}.

  38. izen says:

    My favourite website of the moment shows the distorted polar vortex chilling the US rather well.
    A few years back Roy Spencer predicted that global warming would be beneficial because the reduced temperature difference between the poles {arctic amplification} and equator would reduce the energy available for storms and extreme weather. Instead it has weakened the circumpolar vortex in the Northern hemisphere to the point where it wobbles all over the place.


    There is a similar smaller wiggle in the southern vortex that was cooling Tasmania last week and seems to be freezing the Godzone at present.


  39. Amanda says:

    Izen: ‘Putting his money where his mouth is’ is certainly one interpretation; conflict of interest is another — and why can the two not go together? But certainly there is a problem if one is whipping up support for an agenda/policy that one just happens to be financially, personally invested in. Can you imagine the Leftist outcry if a scientist claiming to advocate fracking (or coal power, etc.), impartially, was found to have started a fracking company or was a shareholder in one?

    Leftists are famous for their double standards. Trust me on this, if the shoe were on the other foot, we would not be hearing about integrity and putting money at the mouth level, we’d be hearing shrieks of outrage about mendacity, manipulation of the public, greed, and conflict of interest.

  40. karabar says:

    “The Wobbles”. That certainly sounds like a plausible explanation. You remind me of a neighbour with a duck with Coccidiosis. He said his duck had “the wobbles”.
    I suppose an explanation such as the observed sixty year cycle in temperatures or solar activity would never occur to you Izen. It would have to be some nonsense such as the “polar vortex” or “the wobbles”.

  41. farmerbraun says:

    “an explanation such as the observed sixty year cycle in temperatures”

    You hit the nail on the head there Karabar .
    In Godzone , we have yet another cool wet summer ; this is the norm since 1999 when the PDO moved to its cool phase.
    In the last thirteen years we have had one warm , dry summer, such as occurred with monotonous regularity between 1975 and 1998 , when the PDO was in its warm phase.

  42. karabar says:

    Have you ever had a duck with “the wobbles” farmerbraun? Or maybe a bull with “the wiggles”? Or a goat with “the shakes”. If warmists were farmers, that would be the case. It couldn’t possibly be Aspergillosis, Anaplasmosis, or Acetonemia. It would have to be in some way related to “climate change”.

  43. Amanda says:

    There’s a right ding-dong happening over at the Spectator — Mark Steyn’s new piece (‘Eco-warriors stranded in the Antarctic! It’s too good to be true’). The alarmists there are pathetic. Yours truly has been swashbuckling and I left the field with dead lies all over the place.

    They can’t answer questions, of course, because the answers would condemn them — so they either pretend that the question wasn’t asked or look there’s a squirrel! try to answer one I didn’t ask. Fact is, I could not get an answer, and my claims have been verified by their very silence and evasion. Cheers!

    Got a link? Oz

  44. Amanda says:

    P. S. I was of course accused of being delusional, unable to grasp facts, uninterested in facts, a conspiracy theorist, a fantasist: you know, the usual! Ad hom, they think, will come to their rescue. It didn’t.

  45. Amanda says:

    Karabar: I’ve had ‘the giggles’: does that count?

  46. karabar says:

    I inadvertently stumbled into a writhing mess of red ants and green maggots the other day.
    It is hard to believe that there are people out there capable of such Leftist delusions, but there they are, global warming and all, which, I understand causes cold weather as well.
    I dare you to have a peek. http://theaimn.com/
    WARNING: a more rabid nest of red and green vipers and rattlesnakes you cannot imagine!

  47. Amanda says:

    Oh, and another thing (checking my Disqus Dashboard): the alarmist side tries to smear you by association. So, this — after I said that no conspiracy was necessary — : ‘That’s quite the conspiracy theory you have going. Do you have one about chemtrails too?’

    This is just a variation on ‘when did you stop beating your wife?’

  48. karabar says:

    “every professor of climatology knows that the thickest ice ever is a clear sign of thin ice, because as the oceans warm, glaciers break off the Himalayas and are carried by El Ninja down the Gore Stream past the Cape of Good Horn where they merge into the melting ice sheet, named after the awareness-raising rapper Ice Sheet…”
    …..Mark Steyn

  49. Amanda says:

    Not to be tedious, but here’s my last retort on the Steyn article, comments section:

    I’ve just come back to have a look. Ah, no surprises here.

    Rob H. speaks of ‘right wing’. Well, he can’t be speaking of anyone I know: we’re all classical liberals and conservatives conserving the radical liberal project of democracy (self-rule is certainly a radical idea in human history). I reject ‘right wing’, just as I reject the ‘chemtrails’ smear he tried to throw at me. Typical tactic of the Left: they don’t have arguments, so they try to associate you with views you don’t hold. The most likely believers in ‘chemtrails’ are hippies and astrology believers, in my limited experience of the topic.

    Next. Rob thinks that anyone that might be open to the ‘RINO’ (Republican In Name Only) charge is someone standing against ‘extremists’. I’m a Republican and I’m here to tell you that there is nothing extreme about Republicanism (see classical liberal, above). To the contrary, it is often the so-called progressives, aka in America the Democrats that are extreme, wanting an overthrow of our freedoms and our democratic system (ironic, given the party name, but there you are).

    I think it’s extreme to demand that people compromise their wellbeing — their ability to heat their homes, feed themselves, read in the dark, power their appliances, and travel from A to B, just for starters — for the sake of a temperature change which may or may not be part of the usual vagaries of climate, and about which we can and should do nothing. But as I have said, we must understand that the ‘alarmists’ (whether genuinely alarmed or not) are not arguing from a belief in danger. They are arguing from a belief in Leftism. The whole AGW/climate change fraud and boondoggle proceeds from a belief that the West should be Left. And any old climate story will do. If you’ll remember, in the early 70s it was a scare about the coming new ‘Ice Age’.

    It’s not about climate, folks. It’s not about science. Science has nothing to do with it. Science has no moral position — nor can it. That’s not what science is or does. This is all about Leftists trying to advance their Leftist agenda.

    In supposedly ‘loving’ the planet, the Leftist climate fanatics show how much they despise the real concerns of humanity. For the sake of a perfection we can never have — cost-free power, cost-free food, cost-free quality of life — they are willing to undermine it all. The moral high ground is not with them; quite the reverse.

    For the last time: climate is healthy, and careless: it is not ailing, it doesn’t need help, and we would be fools to hurt ourselves any further in its name.

    And no, Rob, you never did address my questions and my points, as you well know.

  50. Amanda says:

    Karabar: Yes, I think the punters have made it clear to Mark Steyn that he will always be welcome at the Spectator….

  51. Amanda says:

    Off-topic: And indication of why, for me, Richard Nixon is far more normal — and appealing — than JFK, whoever he really was: http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/JFK—the-power-of-myth-7778

    If you haven’t done so, try reading Nixon’s memoirs some day – a considerably weighty tome, but a remarkable self-portrait. Hardly what I would call “normal”, Amanda, even by his own reckoning – and that was fundamentally flawed in a number of ways. But equally, far from the twitching paranoid he’s generally portrayed as – Oz

  52. Ozboy says:

    Traipsing with the family around Victoria’s far east Gippsland today – plenty of lovely native forests and spectacular high country. Back home in a few days.

  53. karabar says:

    Have fun. Drop into Dilston on your way home if you like.

  54. Amanda says:

    Karabar: Yes indeed.

    Ozboy: Enjoy your trip. Back at the corral, the shootout continues!

  55. karabar says:

    When you get a chance to look at that laptop, Oz-boy, you will enjoy reading this I am certain http://theredandtheblue.org/2014/01/10/greens-monster-how-to-lose-an-election-tasmania-style/#comments

  56. Kitler says:

    One thing about the recent JD post I find interesting is even he has realized that the so called right wing media in the UK has drifted so far to the left along with the political center of the chattering classes that papers like the DT are becoming the Guardian lite. So like the Guardian it will eventually disappear up it’s own smugness and go out of business. This can only be a good thing as it will leave a lot of useless mouth breathing lefty journalists unemployed, then they can enjoy all the fruits of the benefits cuts they promoted for the plebs.

  57. Amanda says:

    Kitler: They won’t, you know. They’ll infest the Spectator and ruin that. It is already clearly the policy of Fraser Nelson to hire writers barely out of grade school. Keeps the publication young and ‘relevant’, you know. I see it as another expression of the fact that Those That Have pass it on very quickly to their children. I see the elites in action and it makes my grapes a little sourer. I admit that I’m annoyed at my parents for being so unimaginatively lower-middle-class, and failing so spectacularly to set me up in any way in life. Just being decent is not, I’m afraid, enough in the modern world. (In early middle age I am finally in a position to judge, and I know that if I were a parent I would behave very, very differently. From this perspective, my folks were distinctly M. I. A., in ways that nothing could subsequently make up for.) When Obama said ‘you didn’t build this’, he was only half-wrong. I’ve made mistakes, for sure, but they were mistakes made in a boat that was unseaworthy boat to begin with. And I didn’t build that boat: I was given it.

  58. Amanda says:

    The second ‘boat’ doesn’t belong there. Dash it, I hate not being able to edit my posts here!

  59. Amanda says:

    Fraser Nelson or Sebastian Payne, who himself is barely past the stage of saying goodnight to Mr Rabbit (eye-roll).

  60. Amanda says:

    Oh and one other thing: lower-middle-class is a claim made only because one grandfather went to grammar school and got an M. A. in chemistry — eventually publishing a technical book that is still in print with Cambridge University Press. My other grandfather kept fish in a tank and smoked a lot. Nice bloke to me, though my mother couldn’t stand him (no worries: she couldn’t stand a lot of people, and still can’t). One of my great-grandfathers was a Cockney bricklayer. If you balance out the families, I reckon my ancestral class level is ‘working’, lately married into lower-middle, with an upswing on the chemical grandfather, who made a nice salary. Not much to go on, really, in a world that demands credentials, connections, and celebrity.

  61. Amanda says:

    Oz: Thanks: I like unconventional people : )

    Some years ago I read a Weekly Standard article on a museum exhibit dedicated to Nixon — somewhere in Washington, I believe. Wish I’d kept the article: it quoted Nixon from the many recordings you could hear at the museum, and they were all extremely interesting and often laugh-out loud funny. And, as the author of the article told us, the examples he gave were not cherry-picked but taken at random. There were hours of this stuff: Nixon against the people he rightly knew were against him and the America he loved. Even though he looked the old-fashioned fuddy-dud. (I like fuddy-duds, too. In time, they also end up being unconventional….)

    I bought Nixon Alone In the White House a long while ago, but hubby got to it first. He says it’s a fascinating read. Perhaps I’ll get to that after I’ve finished reading Re-Thinking Kennedy: An Interpretative Biography. What I can say so far is that Kennedy was a far less impressive human being than Winston Churchill. In terms of private virtue, in one respect there is no comparison. He treated young, naive, and vulnerable women as masturbatory aids, an attitude and behaviour that — surprise! — I find abhorrent. [I knew you’d be shocked by that. ;^) ] But then again, if he were a president today, he’d be vastly more at home in my party, the GOP — than the one that still claims him, and not because we believe in despoiling damsels: far from it.

  62. Amanda says:

    Ah, I see you want a link to the Mark Steyn piece. Someone has complained that the first 400 or so comments were ‘disappeared’: I haven’t checked. If my back-and-forth with one Rob Honeycutt (a warmist said to be representing a warmist entity) is no longer there, then yes, comments were yanked and someone pressed the re-set button. I don’t know. http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9112201/ship-of-fools-2/

  63. meltemian says:

    Darn it Oz’ did you have to post that link to MV’s entry??
    I’ve just started catching up with work here after being in the UK for 3 weeks and I SHOULD have been doing 3 weeks worth of Greek homework……..instead I’ve spent the whole afternoon on re-reading it and all the comments. I’ve gone all nostalgic, we did have fun didn’t we?

    The joint was jumpin’ back then, that’s for sure. Though TBH, I prefer the bar a bit quieter, as it generally is these days – Oz

  64. meltemian says:

    Amanda: Looked for the comments on the Spectator link but they seem to have ‘turned-up-missing’
    Shame, I was looking forward to them.

  65. Amanda says:

    Hi Meltemian. If I haven’t wished you a Happy New Year yet, here it is!
    I don’t know why the first batch of comments were pulled. A strange practice. Steyn’s piece must be something like a record-breaker for comments at the Speccie. Perhaps comments are seen as grains of sand: one is just like another, and quickly forgotten. I suppose it’s true. But not while an article is still ‘hot’.

  66. Amanda says:

    Further thought: Do comments take up a lot of space (bandwidth, or whatever the Star Trek term is)? Do they matter after a week? Three weeks? Six months? Why should a website retain them? Who looks? How important are comments anyway? Aren’t they rather like waves hitting the shore and dissolving into the next wave? Yes, they are. But I do think that deleting comments on a fresh article seems like premature erasure.

    Grammar goof: ‘batch of comments was pulled’.

    Not sure, but comments take up such miniscule storage space that there’s no practical limit to how many you can have. Put another way, there’s no technical justification for deleting them.

    LibertyGibbert is fortunate enough to have had many brilliant commenters over the years; I’d be disappointed indeed if I had to delete any comments because of mere space considerations! I still refer back to some of the more memorable ones – Oz

  67. Amanda says:

    Hmm, thanks Oz. Raises a question then, doesn’t it? If it’s no sweat to let the comments stand, why disappear them? Is there a face icon suitable for that? A raised eyebrow and a skeptical mouth.

    Maybe something like this? (Warning – scary icons) – Oz

  68. meltemian says:

    Thanks Amanda, Happy New Year to everyone as well, albeit a bit belatedly.Καλά Χρονιά

  69. Amanda says:

    Καλά Χρονιά : I like that!

  70. Amanda says:

    Lordy, Oz: I like the suggestive swipes and swirls the keyboard gives us — nothing to infect one’s dreams at night!

  71. karabar says:

    Lots of chatter over at Tallblokes Talkshop.
    Because of this statement ““This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project.” the warmistas shut down a journal.
    The NWO mafia are frantic that nature refuses to conform to their dumb theories.

  72. izen says:

    Here is a PURELY hypothetical senario.

    A bunch of well known advocates for alternative medicine who regularly dispute the efficacy of standard medicine approach a publisher with a proposal to start a new journal with a general view on… Lets say orthomolecular therapy in medicine. The publisher expresses doubts, saying that given the known enthusiasms of the editors for rejecting mainstream medicine they do not want to be the conduit for crackpots to smuggle their nonsense into a respected stable of published science journals.

    The editors assure the publisher that they intend to cover the full scope of the subject, not promote their contrarian views.

    The first issue has a couple of general papers and a whole bunch of crackpot anti-medicine nonsense. The second issue is a special with all the spurious anti-medicine stuff.

    The publishers realise they have been had, that the assurances by the mainstream medicine denialists that the journal was on general biology and not a trojan horse to smuggle their nonsense into the published literature was worth about as much as Axel-Morner’s dowsing skills.
    They shut down the journal.

    The inability to publish nonsense in respected sources of science research {medical or climate} is not censorship.
    Its quality control.

  73. izen says:

    Second Version:

    1) A couple of Creationists propose to set up a journal on Taxonomy in Biology with a reputable publisher.
    2) After assurances from the editors it will not just be an anti-evolution tract the publisher agrees.
    3) the first special issues is all from the editors and their creationist collegues about how their ideas refute evolution. They ‘pal review’ each others papers.
    4)The publishers close the journal admitting they were conned to avoid looking any more foolish and damaging their reputation further.


  74. farmerbraun says:

    You’ll have to spell it out for me Izen. I can’t see the relevance of your scenarios to this statement :-
    “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project.”

    “Pattern Recognition in Physics”. Never heard of it before, I admit. Though I’m no longer following the minutiae of the CAGW saga as closely as I used to. Journal cancelled, not because of any specifically identified quality issues, but because of the conclusion reached in one paper. Everyone’s talking about it at the moment; I’m sure James will give it a run soon.

    We were alarmed by the authors’ second implication stating “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”.

    Let me try to untangle that: alarmists alarmed, by lack of, um… alarm. Whew!

    Izen’s characterizations of the authors are what they are, and are hardly unexpected to us here. But those are opinions. The publisher’s comments are fact – now a matter of record.

    As a matter of fact, the journal will survive in some form. Eric Worrall, an expert in online delivery systems, has offered his time to make the journal available on the internet. So the journal’s apparent demise tells us far more about the publishers than it does about the contributing authors – Oz

    Update – it’s also hard not to notice the appearance of William Connolley, the Wiki-troll, on several of the sceptical blogs I’ve read today in catching up on this. He clearly seems to regard the journal’s demise as something of a personal triumph, and I wonder what else may lie beneath this “publicity blitz”.

  75. karabar says:

    The mainstream media are certainly anxious to jump off the alarmist bandwagon.
    I like this article in the Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/16/another-year-of-global-cooling/http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/16/another-year-of-global-cooling/

    “It seems now that everyone is qualified to have an opinion on global warming. In a recent column, theology professor Susan Thistlethwaite explained that “frigid weather” was an “example of the kind of violent and abrupt climate change that results from global warming.” Sometimes, I just feel so stupid. I thought cold weather was attributable to the annual phenomenon known as “winter.” The good professor also claimed that cold weather in the United States is a punishment sent by God for “our sinful failure to take care of the Creation.”

    If the current cooling trend continues for a few more years, the theory of global warming faces imminent extinction. It will then join a long list of other expired environmental doom-and-gloom predictions, including overpopulation, peak oil and nuclear winter. …..David Deming

    As for Izen’s fuming, it reminds me of Barry Marshall and the discovery that helicobacter pylori causes stomach ulcers. He was driven to giving himself ulcers because the “experts” insisted on throwing their soothers out of the pram.

  76. Ozboy says:

    Well, seeing as it’s topical, I’ll put it on in the main bar today.

    Nice version, recorded before the word unplugged entered the lexicon.

  77. karabar says:

    “For When propositions are denied, there is an end of them, but if They bee allowed, it requireth a
    new worke. …… The Essais of Sr. Francis Bacon , London, 1612
    This article may be of interest http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/30865

  78. izen says:

    @-farmerbraun says:
    You’ll have to spell it out for me Izen. I can’t see the relevance of your scenarios to this statement…

    My apologies, it was a rather obscurely meta response to an OT interjection…
    I’m not sure how much Ozboy would want me to spell out the details of this latest storm in a tea spoon of the CAGW minutiae given my dubious spelling {grin}.
    It’s a matter of appeals to authority and entryism. Go ahead: do your worst – Oz 😉

    Most field of science have a mainstream model defined by the stuff published by the leading names in that subject area in the most prestigious journals. Examples would be evo/devo in biology, drugs and disease processes in medicine and AGW in geophysics.
    All of these disciplines have contrarians, cranks and quacks who are excluded by the mainstream. Examples; intelligent design advocates, homeopathy interests and climate change rejectionists.

    How and why the mainstream exclude, censor and close out the groups that reject the standard model in any particular scientific field or issue is a subject of endless discussion.

    The result is twofold. Those excluded from the mainstream proclaim with delight any paper or research published in the journals that are cited as part of the mainstream. Last I looked the answers-in-genesis website had a link to the list of published papers disproving evolution… sites advocating alternative medicine will list published studies and of course poptech had a list of expanding published research supporting doubt of AGW. This is an appeal to the authority embodied in the mainstream, if association with published mainstream work had no value there would be no point in boasting of it.

    Each of these contrarian minorities also complain that the general exclusion from the mainstream is unjustified protectionism by a colluding clique.

    The world of scientific publishing is undergoing the same assault on its business model that the music industry is weathering with digital downloading. You no longer need to distribute lots of hardcopy, the prestige of a major label/journal with a respected name in rock/ice dynamics is diluted by the infinite ease of distribution at zero cost.
    But the kudos and credibility of association with a publisher of stuff with mainstream authority still carries some weight. Meanwhile the scientific publishers are trying to leverage their prestige in this new business environment by setting up ever more specialised journals covering increasingly obscure subgenera of the leading title in a subject that they publish. They charge for the privilege.

    So some climate contrarians persuade a publisher that pattern recognition in physics will cover a wide and general field over a range of problems in physics and not just claim it has refuted the standard model in mainstream climate science.
    Then they publish a special issue consisting of climate contrarian skeptics and make the rough equivalent of :-
    “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of {evolution of modern humans from hominid species by natural selection / drug effects at fentogram doses / a continued, even accelerated, warming} as claimed by the {Darwinians,/bigpharma/IPCC project.}”

    Seeing their business model threatened by such outrageous behaviour by a band that had trojaned its way onto the label the distributer rapidly dropped them. Especially when its established mainstream acts voiced complaints about sharing itunes adverts with that sort of objectionable nonsense just because it has the same publisher….
    And so dies pattern recognition in physics, taking the p out of PRiP.
    The band of contrarians howl that their artistic freedom/scientific integity is being surrpressed, censored, excluded by the mainstream cabal… Cue conspiracy theories!.and getting picked by an independent label..?

    Well something like that {Grin}
    I suspect the accountants are regretting the setback, vanity publishing at half a k a paper is probably pretty lucrative, unless it undermines the credibility of the brand in the mainstream so that you cannot command that price.

    You know what? I’m willing to bet that in the foreseeable future, or even near future, scientific journals won’t carry anything like the kind of cachet they do at the moment. Technically, anyone can set up a journal these days, it hardly presents a logistical problem any more. So holding up the fact that a viewpoint has been published in the mainstream scientific literature, as evidence of its validity, will go by the wayside. So too will traditional peer review, as the supposed “gold standard” of quality control (too easily corrupted and, yes, it can work both ways), give way as some form of crowdsourcing gains general acceptance. Which would render that particular argument somewhat moot – Oz

  79. Amanda says:

    Am I the only person that says (and spells it) ‘phew!’ any more? Not that I say ‘phew!’ very much. Phew with that explosive ffff sound, as against the mysterious ‘whew’.

  80. Amanda says:

    I have to attend a National Cemetery tomorrow, for the funeral of my father-in-law. Since he died more than a year and a half ago, it would seem to be more a memorial than funeral, but his ashes will be put in their niche and some sort of military musical honour will be given him as a veteran (everyone avoiding the fact that, far from sacrificing for his country, the two or three years on the Coast Guard ship were the jolliest and most memorable of his life). We slot people into categories in which they don’t, sometimes, fit. In fact, the good times as a conscripted nautical officer were a double-edged sword, infecting my f-in-law with a sense of what he wasn’t and knew he wasn’t, for the rest of his life. The fact that others knew he wasn’t, too, can be a bit awkward at times like this. Not to put too fine a point on it, the younger generation asked the widow to do without the bugling and flagwaving on behalf of a grateful nation (f-in-law had a cushy academic existence for a long time, never saw action, and retired early in life, with pots of money). There is piety and there is reality. The two don’t always mix.

    I’m hoping that the designer Georgiou suit I last wore about 15 years ago, when I was nearly as many pounds lighter (it’s muscle, you know, some of this new weight %^[] ), will still flatter me. I used to look a million bucks in a worsted wool suit, with the jacket just down to there and the skirt up to here. I had women complimenting my boss on how the pretty the secretary was, fercrissake. (Treasure those memories: you’ll never be younger again!) As an aspiring writer and dog-mummy, I don’t dress in suits these days.

    I told my friend I wasn’t looking forward to the funeral but I planned to wear a suit. He said ‘Knock ’em dead’. Which reminds me a bit of the adolescent Jim Morrison’s at-home telephone greeting: “Morrison’s Mortuary: You stab ’em, we slab ’em”.

    Right. Stockings on (even though it’s Florida and I’ll probably be desperate after an hour), strong dark lipstick, and a funeral face — whatever that is. “A kind heart and a noble soul”. It’s the epitaph we should all hope for.

  81. Amanda says:

    P. S. Jim Morrison was a native of St Petersburg, where I lived before moving recently. Florida was a much more fuddy-dud place when he was growing up. Now, the only states I think quite as interesting and varied as Fla are New York State and California (though most of the other states are fascinating in their own ways, excepting a few, which patriotism forbids me to name).

    And I see I made a tyop. What a surpries. Happens I find when your mind is moving faster than your typist’s fingers. It gives you ‘word wrap’, a usually supporting word that is supposed to come after a noun or verb but ends up coming before it, as well. And then there is all the unconscious correcting your mind does, letting your tyops get by. I had typed ‘Georgian calendar’ on my blog post about Julius Caesar, and it took my friend Dawn Mayes to tell me (though other friends had read it, long since, and I had read it over again, too) that what I really meant was ‘Gregorian’.

  82. Amanda says:

    Update: Watched the ceremonial Coast Guard ceremonial honor guard today. The way they fold the flag, with precision and subtle communication (a double nod from one to the other). The secured, perfect triangle was presented to my mother-in-law, on behalf of the president, the Coast Guard, and a grateful nation (if I remember correctly). The very large flag (we looked) is made in the U. S. A.

    The bugling was done out of sight. Hubby tells me that it is so hard to find buglers, for the fallen of Iraq and Afghanistan, that there is now a recording that plays when the bugle is held aloft. Hubby thinks it may have been the case today. I myself could not say.

    Another thing: I have never known a people to ‘do’ patriotism as comfortably, easily, casually even, as Americans. This is not a criticism. To the contrary: my respect for the American people, who have in their great generosity allowed me to be one of them, though I am myself a proud native of a very great nation myself, never ceases to stoke my affection and loyalty. They are almost the nicest, friendliest people on Earth. Very often I tell my hubby, when we pass some stranger who smiles or says hello in the street — ‘What friendly people Americans are!’ It is no amazing statement for an American to fly his country’s flag on his own house. They do it by the millions all the time. Especially in Texas (I love Texans!). Such a maligned, envied nation. So many sour grapes, so much simplification of a highly sophisticated and extremely radical two-century-old experiment in self-government. I live in a Golden Age, never to be seen again. I won the lottery twice: I was born English. And I became American.

    You’ll have to visit Australia some day – Oz

  83. meltemian says:

    I gather the Turkey (sorry Turney) expedition finally got ashore in your neck of the woods.
    Looks as though the insurers are very interested in finding out whose fault it was they got stuck in the ice after a 4 hour delay in leaving!


    Aurora Australis finally reached port in Hobart yesterday. I had planned to go down to the docks and give them a fitting welcome, but the whole household are down with a virus at the moment.

    It’s now clear that Turney ignored orders to get all passengers back on board ASAP as the captain knew pack ice was closing in fast behind the ship. The consequent rescue operation looks to have cost upwards of AUD 4 million, and the Australian Antarctic Division are determined to ensure the taxpayers don’t foot the bill – Oz

  84. izen says:

    The Turkey expedition actually spent longer traped on the Australian ice-breaker that ‘rescued’ them than they did ‘trapped’ on the Russian ship that got stuck making its planned visit to a research base further along the coast.
    Its a stormy area and ships, research, tourist and trade get stuck on a regular basis. There is a bit of a tradition of everyone helping each other out in the area when it does happen.

  85. Amanda says:

    Interesting about the Tur(k)ey mishap and aftermath. And that’s a good question, is it not: if you venture somewhere fraught with danger, who is responsible when you and danger finally meet? Why should the more cautious, more earth-bound taxpayer pay to bail you out?

    I see that my latest post amply demonstrated my earlier observation about word wraps and repetition. ‘A great nation myself’: I assure you, I do not consider myself a great nation ;^)

    Oz: I’d almost be afraid to visit Australia. I have an unfortunate tendency to fall in love — and not only with the male of the species. Australia, to my freedom-loving, nature-curious eye, is almost too tempting to contemplate. And then there is New Zealand….

  86. karabar says:

    But wait, Amanda, there’s more, just like on a K-tel commercial Tasmania is like New Zealand on steroids. An island the size of Ireland, with on ly half a million human inhabitants. Mountains, sea, forests, wide open spaces, horses, deer, and the best cattle you will find anywhere. And then, of course, there is Oz and me.

  87. meltemian says:

    Don’t know about Amanda but I’m sold!
    What more could a girl want?

    Cue the shameless plug – Oz:

  88. Amanda says:

    Karabar: We sail tomorrow! I’ll make sure hubby is occupied with luggage and sampling the native drink while I sample the er, other native delights!

  89. Amanda says:

    Well I’ve seen the video and husband is NOT seeing it. He’s asking me about it right now. Do I share it with him? He said ‘Oh I’d love to go’. Hmmm……

  90. Amanda says:

    Karabar: How do YOU know about K-Tel? It’s classic American kitsch….

  91. Amanda says:

    By the way, my first comment of the evening is awaiting moderation. I mentioned ‘native’ twice. All very innocent (am I ever anything else?). But I tripped a switch.

    Now as for ‘but wait, there’s more’: that isn’t K-Tel. That’s the Ginsu knife. And Karabar: you must not be a native Tasmanian. I’m wagering that you are a native of upstate New York. Am I right? Or possibly of southern Ontario, Canada.

    My toes are curling, watching this:

  92. karabar says:

    Amanda, we do have television here, too. but Damn! I hate it when Aussies spot my accent. It’s British Columbia, although I have lived in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. And lots of time in PEI, New Brunswick, and the Yukon.

  93. Amanda says:

    Karabar: A-ha! That’s a pretty damn impressive C. V.!

  94. Amanda says:

    In fact, I’m racking my brains to think WHICH part of Canada you haven’t lived in. The Northwest Territories. And that johnny-come-lately splinter called Inuvik. What else? You seem to have covered the lot….

  95. Amanda says:

    Oh wait, Inuvik seems to be just a town in the NWT. It’s not as bad as I thought : )

  96. Amanda says:

    And… the NWT is just the part of Yukon that got full of itself. Rather (I imagine) like my ancient county of Sussex becoming East and West Sussex, for no very good 20th-century reason.

  97. karabar says:

    There is no Northwest Territory. The whole thing West of Ontario was at one time. Then for most of the twentieth century it was the Far North. Now it is divided in two. The Eastern half is called “Nunavut”, and the Western half is called Bob. That’s right. Most of the Inuit live in the Eastern part, so they wanted a name in Inuktitut. The other half had a referendum and the winning name was Bob.

  98. karabar says:

    The only full length movie produced in Nunavut was “Atanarjuat, the fast runner” 2001. If you would like an insight into life the Far North, I highly recommend it. The entire cast is Inuit. The Producer and director are Inuit. It is about three hours long.

  99. Amanda says:

    Karabar: Hilarious!

  100. Ozboy says:

    Here’s something totally OT but pretty funny. Bill Gates appeared on a Norwegian chat show the other day where he was invited to a chess game with local whiz kid Magnus Carlsen, who at 23 is a grand master, is currently ranked world #1 and holds the highest Elo rating in history. Poor old Bill lasted all of 79 seconds:

  101. Kitler says:

    If he had stolen his opponents pieces and then sued him immediately afterwards for intellectual theft he might have won, allegedly.

  102. Amanda says:

    I feel sorry for the genius that is only second in the world. And what can you do with it? Chess-playing doesn’t really impress the girls. Is it a byproduct of other abilities that make one good at business? I’m not sure I’d want to be Guinness-Book-best at anything unless it could lead to the life I want.

  103. meltemian says:

    Well our blokes failed but at least the girls did the business!


    Perhaps the women’s team could sneak into the second T20 match, a la The Life of Brian’s stoning scene – Oz

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