Category Archives: Classic denier comments

More Wind Turbine Syndrome madness

Many years ago, I was living and working in Tasmania on a number of research projects which saw me driving all over the State and getting to see the best that Tassie has to offer. I love the place.

Early on in my stint, I noticed as I drove up the Midland Highway, a number of old Eucalyptus trees standing alone in paddocks with sheets of tin wrapped around their bases looking a bit worse for wear. I mistakenly assumed the tin was placed on the trees to prevent cows from rubbing the bark off them. That was until I asked one particular farmer. He told me “the bloody possums are killing the trees.” I was reliably informed that this was a common thought amongst a number of farmers in the district. Apparently someone saw a few possums in a tree and then a month or two later the tree was looking sick. The possums hadn’t been seen there before and now the tree was sick. Logical? Yes. Correct? No.

The possibility that a few nectar slurping marsupials can kill a large gum tree through undetermined means does exist but the probability is close to zero. What is more likely is that these very old, remnant forest trees, now isolated and subject to a century or more of soil compaction, changed soil chemistry, nutrient deprivation and drought were simply pegging out. Any effect of possums likely negligible.

This sort of simple logic is what drives belief in “Wind Turbine Syndrome” or as I like to call it “NIMBY + fossil fuel funded misinformation syndrome”. I wasn’t going to do any more posts about this bullshit but sometimes the stupid burns so much I have to get it off my chest.

I have to thank Ketan for this retweet.

howgreen

I couldn’t resist. After all the other weird and whacky symptoms and effects attributed to wind turbines I’ve read about I couldn’t resist one involving mustelids in Denmark. So I followed the link and before reading, did a quick scroll and was horrified to see this image…

mink and baby

I thought “OH MY GOD!” Wind turbines are causing babies to be infested with ferrets! On reading though I was relieved that this wasn’t happening. It was just the equally implausible idea that wind turbines were causing spontaneous abortions in minks on a mink farm in Denmark as well as causing the mustelids to attack and kill each other…allegedly.

I’m not going to bother explaining again that WTS has no basis in medical science and that infrasound is all around us (and produced by us) in levels greater than that caused by wind turbines. Feel free to search this blog for all that stuff. I’d like to look at a couple of other things…. like what could be the possible cause of the miscarriages and fighting in these rodents and the possible motivation for blaming wind turbines.

Something to note about this article is that it is very vague. It mentions veterinarians but does not provide any references to any official reports about the incident. The author does provide a link to a Danish blog that mentions the farmer and where his farm is and discusses his submission to a Danish parliamentary committee. The language in that article is very emotive and would appear to be written with a particular slant. It also doesn’t cite any official veterinarian reports, merely mentions “veterinarians”. The farmer himself, as reported, made claims that the politicians must all be deaf and in need of hearing aids and are “in the pocket” of the wind farm industry. On reading it I was given the impression of a crazy old farmer with NIMBY syndrome and an anti-green bent looking to blame someone for problems on his farm.

So, what could be the problem? Firstly, I’m not a mink expert, but just a little bit of reading the scientific literature reveals that minks are subject to a range of diseases and conditions including botulism, black leg,  septicemia, encephalitis, rabies, deafness, dwarfism, distemper, liver flukes and other parasites. Some of these diseases result in a range of abnormal behaviours including cannibalism and tailbiting. Of most interest though, is the possibility that these minks contracted Aleutian Disease. This disease is well documented (paywall) as causing spontaneous abortions in minks. Maybe that’s it?

This paper discusses the disease in Denmark. The part that I find particularly interesting comes from the very first lines of the abstract.

In Denmark Aleutian mink disease (AMD) is a reportable disease with law enforced annual screening of all mink farms. Furthermore, all mink moved between farms have to be tested negative for AMD before moving. If more than 3 seropositive animals are found by counter current immune electrophoresis (CIEP), the farm is regarded as AMD infected according to the legislation.

That would be a real bummer for a mink farmer in Denmark with a dislike of politicians. How much easier to blame those awful wind turbines? Just saying.

So what about the Wind Turbine Syndrome blog? It has Nina Pierpont listed on its header. She is a medical doctor  who is the architect of “Wind Turbine Syndrome”, which has no basis in medical science. As far as I can tell Pierpont has never published a medical or scientific paper on any subject.

The contact details for the blog are for someone from the World Council for Nature. While on the surface, many of their “concerns” seem noble, I find it odd that they claim to be all about protecting the natural environment but don’t see fit to mention climate change. It is the elephant in the room when it comes to ecology and the environment. They do however not like any forms of renewable energy. On the surface it is a very very strange ideological position to take. Perhaps they are one of these strange “God’s will” mobs? I don’t know.

But back to the article in question. It relies heavily on references from the Waubra Foundation. Sourcewatch has a comprehensive discussion about them and I urge you to read it all. I will sum it up though. They don’t live anywhere near Waubra, spread misinformation about wind power, actively lobby against it in Australia, are funded by fossil fuel interests and have very close associations with conservative politicians and a far right-wing fossil fuel funded “thinktank”. Can anyone say “vested interests”?

In conclusion, what we have here is……well….I’ll leave it to my readers to decide.

 

 

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It’s all so obvious! AGW is a hoax…no really!

I received a random tweet today from a gentleman telling me the real reason for observed climate change. There’s nothing extraordinary about that. I often receive messages, usually via email, that tell me I’m wrong to listen to climate experts. I usually read a line or two before writing them off as yet another whackjob. Today was different. The tweet was innocuous enough.

The gentleman obviously earnest and I have to admit, his website was very convincing. It certainly didn’t have the usual characteristics one expects from unqualified technologically challenged people. You know what I’m talking about? There were no dodgy font changes, overuse of underlining or bolding, double-linking, inconsistent font sizing, picture placements and certainly no references to legitimate but misunderstood/misrepresented sources.  This regular person, without a single shred of formal qualification, has dedicated his life to exposing the real causes of climate change and has single-handedly overturned an entire discipline, like a modern day Galileo.

So without further ado, here it is…the real reason for climate change. It’s shocking. Wear headgear.

http://globalwarming31.blogspot.com.au/

UPDATE: From my emails it seems that a number of deniers think I seriously believe this guy… *sigh* Please don’t congratulate me for finally “seeing sense” or “admitting that AGW is a scam.”

 

 

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NZ television takes climate change seriously

I’m constantly disappointed in climate change coverage in the MSM here in Australia. There are rarely any serious discussions about what is happening and what actions we might take in response.

This morning I received a dodgy comment from an anthropogenic climate change denier in New Zealand who ironically provided me with an excellent television discussion of the problems climate change pose in relation to the Antarctic. Thanks Mack.

Interview: Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson

Saturday 19 Apr 2014 2:14p.m.

Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson

Oceanographer Professor Chuck Kennicutt and Otago marine scientist Professor Gary Wilson

Lisa Owen: I’m going to come to you first Chuck, let’s flesh out why this matters. What is Antarctica doing for the rest of the globe?

Chuck Kennicutt: To put it simply Antarctica serves a critical role in the earth’s system and this is related mainly to the energy, the heat but also the water budget. So in areas like Antarctica that change, they affect the entire global system and this is seen through melting of ice, warming of sea water, changing of weather and also the ozone hole which has led to effects that we see around the globe.

So basically it’s the engine room?

Yes

So in light of that, the IPCC says that we’re not cutting greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to keep temperature rises below 2 degrees so what would that mean for Antarctica?

 Well, what we see and these predictions are based on the best scientific knowledge that we have today. And what we understand is that those types of temperature rises will continue not only in the trends that we already have seen but accelerate them. So there’ll be more melting of ice, there’ll be more rising of ocean water temperatures and air temperatures so we can very accurately predict now that continuing along the same path that we’ve been following will simply make the effects that we see much worse into the future.

So what are you seeing now in terms of changes?

Well what we see is loss of sea ice which is generally related to a rise in sea level globally, we see the disintegration of ice shelves, retreat of glaciers we see across the globe and also shifts in the populations of various species so it’s a real wide range of impacts across the spectrum of the physical and living environment.

So it’s the West Antarctic Ice Shelf that’s making scientists particularly concerned isn’t it? Why is that?

That’s an interesting question and what leads to that is most of the West Antarctic Ice Shelf is actually below sea level so it means that the ice is below the surface of the water and it raises a lot of questions. And we know over geologic history that that ice shelf has completely disintegrated and the question is, is that the most vulnerable part of Antarctica? As we heard there’s about 60 metres of sea level rise that potentially would happen if all of Antarctica melted and about 20 metres of that is in West Antarctica.

And what are the other consequences of that, you know, does it dilute a nutrient-rich ocean, what happens?

It fundamentally changes the heat and energy balance of the planet. The most direct connection though is the actual supply of water into the ocean. Typically you see particularly around Auckland and other major cities worldwide, they’re very close to the water so very small, literally feet, metres rise of sea level will inundate most of the major cities worldwide.

That’s the perfect opportunity to bring Gary into the conversation – what impact will it have directly on New Zealand then, starting with say the weather here?

Gary Wilson: Well I think the first point is to just go back and say Antarctica might seem like this place on the bottom of the planet but yes, it’s connected directly to here so the Antarctic Circumpolar Current washes across southern New Zealand and all the ocean fronts are kind of stacked up in the New Zealand part of the world.

So what does that mean for us – rainfall you’re talking about here?

That’s just in the ocean but when it comes to the atmosphere the same is true. That the atmosphere is subdivided so you’ve got a cold polar cell of circulation around Antarctica and that boundary and the westerly wind system comes across New Zealand and the westerly winds bring our rainfall, certainly in the South Island. But that’s the major contributor to rainfall in the South Island.

So our economy – fishing, farming, tourism – how dependent is all of this on Antarctica?

I mean most of it’s dependent on primary industries so it’s all dependent on the environment and it’s all dependent on ocean and climate and in the long term those things are connected to what’s driven out of Antarctica. In the short-term, we see some impact from the north as well and the interaction between the warm north and the cold south but in the long term it’s the Antarctic that’s driving those longer term trends.

What will those trends be? We talk about one-in-one hundred year storms – that will become potentially a storm a year? What are the consequences?

I think the contribution from Antarctica can be considered something of a baseline so if you’re raising sea level, yes you might see incremental rises in sea level of millimetres per year and centimetres per decade but as you increase the sea level the storm intensity and the ability of the storm to inundate coastal areas of course is intensified. So that’s, the two go hand in hand really.

So we know that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsed before so it’s conceivable it could happen again. What is the best scientific guess for if, and when that might happen again?

Well rather than guessing if we look back in geological time, what we know is that the last time the Earth had a CO2 level of about 400 parts per million in the atmosphere, then that was the end solution of a prolonged earth in that state, was that the West Antarctic ice sheet retreated. In a couple of years we’re in 400 parts per million, the question then is –

So we’re heading into the danger level is what you’re saying?

We’re certainly heading into the danger level but the question is what’s the pathway to get there? Are we going to see incremental melting and incremental increase in the climate warming if you like or are there going to steps and changes and thresholds and tipping points in that so that it kind of goes up in jerky movements rather than just the straight line condition and that’s the unanswered question. What’s that going to look like.

So we have about a hundred thousand New Zealanders who are living within I think it’s three metres of the coastline and we’ve got a lot of low-lying cities, all our airports seem to be right next to the ocean. Even this week when we had a storm, a number of the roads were covered in water because they’re right next to the ocean so are we ready for the worst?

Well the short answer is no. We’re not ready. But the real question is how do we get ready? And that’s where the research comes in. It’s a question of you know, what are the timeframes on this change, what can we work out about how fast this change is going to happen. We kind of know the end game, we don’t know the rates of getting there. So really that’s where the research comes in. I’d like to think that over the next, 10, 20 years we can actually get some solid research in to be able to develop the policies and plans around it.

But what can we do now from what we know now?

I mean there’s two answers to that. And one is you know one is can we mitigate this or are we planning to adapt and I guess we’re planning to adapt. But at some point we probably want the world to take more notice because we’re a pretty small emitter here and really New Zealand can play on the international research stage and point out what it is that’s so important about this part of the world and these currents that we’re talking about, the westerly winds and what does that mean globally, so that globally people take a bit more attention, pay some attention

I just want to pick up on what you said there, you said we’re moving to adaption. So are we talking about life behind sea walls or do we actually need to make some radical changes like saying leave your car at home two days a week, cap dairying or are we just accepting this is a fait accompli and we’re just working with it.

Well, yeah, that’s an interesting question. I mean –

What do you think though?

We’re certainly committed to a degree of change. We’re certainly committed to some change at this point so it’s not good enough to just say we can now mitigate the change because CO2 levels haven’t actually leveled out in the atmosphere yet. They’re climbing faster than ever. So we’re certainly committed to seeing some change so we’re going to have to do some adapting. We’re not going to be able to maintain some of these coastal infrastructures and we’re going to have to think about how we use our land.

So what do you think of that Chuck? We’re accepting it, we’re just going to tinker?

Well essentially what Gary is saying, if we do not act we are committed to the changes not only that we’re seeing but as I mentioned accelerating changes and the only recourse at that point will be adaption, which as you say, will be moving away from coastal areas, sea walls, a number of ways of addressing the change in climate and so it really becomes a matter of public will. And are we willing to do things that really impact our daily lives but solve these problems in the long term and that’s really I think the political debate that’s going on now.

I want to pick up on willingness in the context that we know one of the biggest drivers of our problems here is economic growth. We’re getting millions of people out of poverty around the world, through development, we’re feeding them our dairy products at a massive rate, how do we balance that tension between slowing climate change and bringing people’s lot up?

There’s two assumptions there. One is that economic growth is only realised at the cost of environmental impact and I think that’s a sort of false bargain. And so the question is, is future growth going to follow the same trajectory that past growth has. A lot of the technologies we currently use were really invented in the 1950s, 1960s and as we go forward it’s not necessarily the case that future economic growth is going to follow using these same technologies and there’s a lot of effort now to really reduce the per capita consumption of energy which is the fundamental currency which drives climate change. And if those technologies are put into place you can have both economic growth at the same time as protecting the environment. So I don’t think you necessarily have to sell your future simply to have to raise the level of the economy worldwide.

I want to just touch on another issue, which is resources. We know that there’s a treaty aimed at protecting Antarctica but isn’t one of the big issues when it comes to this part of the world, mining and resources and a potential rush for those goodies?

That’s another very good question. The Antarctic Treaty has been in force for about 50 years, a little over 50 years and New Zealand has been a very active member in making sure that the Antarctic is managed in a ways, manner based on science. But going forward though is as we have this increasing demand for resources worldwide, will the Antarctic Treaty be stable enough to be able to manage those types of changes and it’s not clear.

The Chinese have already said that they’re looking at science there in order to, and this is a quote from the president, take advantage of ocean and polar resources. That sounds like more than just gathering information?

Yes, and that’s correct. If you look at the history of Antarctica, science is only one aspect of why people are in Antarctica. It’s also geopolitical as well as resource based and there’s many countries out there – China, including Russia – who have a clear eye on the natural resources not only oil and gas, fisheries and bio-prospecting and the use of other resources. So again, it comes back to the question of whether this international agreement called the Antarctic Treaty will be able to mediate those types of pressures going into the future.

Read the original transcript here.

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The Frontiers Recursive Fury Debacle

http://retractionwatch.com/2014/04/04/journal-that-retracted-conspiracy-ideation-climate-skepticism-paper-says-it-did-not-cave-into-threats/

Until Frontiers publishes the complaints it received I will not be convinced that it didn’t receive threats of legal action.

As for its alleged concern for identifiable individuals, those idiots publicly spout about conspiracies in various places such that even people with no psychology training can assess them as having certain traits.

What is more than likely going on here is the editorial team have lost face and come under fire from the journals subscribers. Weak.

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Denier Comment of the Day March 6, 2014

I have been avoiding doing these because it really is a bit of a waste of time in that it doesn’t really educate anybody other than to reinforce our perception that a number of climate change deniers really do lack some critical thinking skills. That said, sometimes I feel compelled to do this… for reasons that I hope become obvious.

I tend to scroll through my WordPress reader a couple of times a day looking for important news on many issues including climate change, markets, politics and a few specialised blogs related to my two areas of scientific endeavour. I also have a couple of oddball denier blogs that I follow because they give me a good laugh at times. Yes, just as my favourite part of the circus is the clown act, I like to laugh at deniers too… the really silly ones of no consequence anyway. So I checked in on “Watching Those Who Watch the Deniers”. This site was set up allegedly to refute the hugely successful Watching the Deniers blog. They are both cracker blogs for completely opposite reasons.

Well it seems the author at the former site wants to be educated about global warming…or so she claims… but then sets up some conditions on the information she wants to receive. If it isn’t to her liking she plans to not publish the responses to her questions. Some of the conditions are pretty funny and designed to confirm her bias but that’s not what I plan to write about. I was having a good chuckle at what she was writing when I came across this absolute cracker.

If the oceans rose, people would move inland (they would not be refugees–sorry.)

There is no context for this comment so she wasn’t referring to any particular country or region. It was a blanket statement. Ok…..definition time. Refugees by UNHCR definitions are people outside of their own country unable to return to their country due to fear of persecution, conflict etc and it’s pretty clear on that point, so she is correct that people leaving their homes due to rising sea levels are not technically refugees, but I have to wonder if playing semantics with words for the sake of making some inane ideological point about people who are genuinely in serious need is morally acceptable? The fact is, there are plenty of people who are internally displaced in places like Pakistan and Bangladesh due to climate change induced extremes in seasonal flooding and random weather events who are effectively homeless. They have lost everything and don’t have the means to simply “move inland”. To ignore these people by hiding behind vocabulary semantics is immoral.

But let’s get to the main point of this idiotic statement, that people will simply move inland to avoid rising sea levels…if they rise. First, to question if the oceans are going to rise is to ignore the fact that they are rising currently and just through inertia in the system constrained by the laws of physics will continue to rise through thermal expansion and ice melt from projected temperature rises we have already locked in, based on our current levels of atmospheric CO2….and that’s if we were to stop increasing GHG  tomorrow. So, oceans will continue to expand. That is undeniable. What are the projections?

Anywhere from half a metre to a metre by 2100 depending on various scenarios. So, let’s go to Tuvalu. There’s not much to say here other than the inhabitants of Tuvalu can’t simply move inland as the sea level rises. It is well established in the scientific literature that a sea level rise of 40cm by 2100 will make the atolls of Tuvalu “uninhabitable”.  At least there won’t be an refugees as defined by the UNHCR.

And then there are the islands of the Maldives. The population of the Maldives currently live in the 11th highest density in the world and while a sea level rise of 1m won’t make the entire country uninhabitable, the ~300000 inhabitants will be forced to live in the 15% or so of land still inhabitable…..though I’m not sure what they will eat or do for a living? At least they won’t be refugees.

Finally, there’s Bangladesh. The 8th most populous nation and the 12th densest losing more than 10% of its habitable land….but at least they won’t be refugees, although if wars start being fought over food and water they could well become that….as defined by the UNHCR, but they could still travel inland I guess.

Many low-lying countries, particularly island nations, are at threat from rising sea levels associated with anthropogenic climate change. Many of these are 2nd and 3rd world countries, the least able to adapt technologically as they just cannot afford it. Many people from those countries will become climate refugees…not in the UNHCR mould, but just as desperate and just as homeless nonetheless. Hopefully, they will encounter people who care enough about them to take them in. That is the moral and humane thing to do. I’m not sure the people who play word games will.

Anyway, to read the whole silly blog entry, go here. Have a go at answering the questions too and let me know if you get published. The author wants to learn apparently.

 

 

 

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When religion and ecology meet…

I bang my head on the desk. Here is an excerpt from a speech given by Tony Abbott in Canberra last night…

“Man and the environment are meant for each other. The last thing we do – the last thing we should want – if we want to genuinely improve our environment is to want to ban men and women from enjoying it, is to ban men and women from making the most of it and that’s what you do. You intelligently make the most of the good things that God has given us.”

Allow me to translate…

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

I think the key here is the final sentence, “You intelligently make the most of the good things that God has given us.” The problem is, Tony Abbott is not an intelligent man. Relying on the Bible to inform you about decisions that should be soundly informed by science is not intelligent. Presumably, if Tony Abbott was intelligent, he would recognise the contradiction between what he says and what he does and he would certainly understand the inference in the first sentence of this excerpt. He basically states that man and the environment depend on each other for survival and he absolutely correct…but not in the way that he probably thinks.

While we exist, we do indeed need the environment for our survival, and while we exist, the environment needs us for its survival in that it needs us to look after it and not over-exploit it for resources or damage it. I am 100% confident that if humans disappeared tomorrow, the environment and every living thing in it would breathe a collective sigh of relief and just get on with living and under a lot less pressure. What Tony Abbott doesn’t seem to understand is that it we are more than capable of damaging the environment to the point that it can no longer sustain human life on it. As most of my readers are intelligent, there is no need for me to go beyond referring to the end-Permian extinction that resulted in no land animal bigger than about 10kg surviving and 90% of living things disappearing. Tony Abbott doesn’t get it. It is beyond his abilities and highlights the lies in his speech.

More and more I am convinced that Tony Abbott is cut from exactly the same cloth as a large number of the loony far right Republicans in the USA, the hypocritical Bible literalists, who use their faith to justify pretty much any decisions they make no matter how wrong or stupid.

So, what does Tony Abbott view as intelligently making “the most of the good things that God has given us”? In the case of Tasmanian forests where he wants to liberate the trees, it is less of this…

and more of this…

Less of these…

and more of these…

To read all of Tony Abbott’s speech, put on your headgear, keep a bucket handy and go here.

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Going for the youth vote…inadvertantly

I promised myself I would ignore the No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics Party (CSP) because quite frankly I found them to be so far on the right hand fringe of Australian politics, they have a tiny tiny following and so are really of no consequence and very little interest except in a kind of old school, circus freak show kind of way. No offence meant to any circus freaks by the way.

I used to write about the CSP a fair bit, mostly focussing on the dishonesty of a few of their hierarchy. Nothing too serious of course, just making up grossly exaggerating professional credentials, misrepresenting blog comments and lying about stuff including their nonsense claim that they are a centrist party. Their position on climate change is out there with the wackiest of the wacky as evidenced by their devotion to the ever loopy Christopher Monckton and their endless spouting of just about every denier canard ever uttered. You will notice I’m not providing any links to anything I’ve written about them because it’s easy enough to find. Just search my blog for “CSP” and you’ll have plenty to read.

Anyway, I was sent an email today by a colleague pointing me to the AEC website and this announcement…

regI was wondering why they changed their name? Not catchy? Perhaps they realised that it’s a bit too prescriptive? Maybe a name change will result in a better result at the next election? Maybe it’s all three. In the last election they saw their vote for the Senate positions drop from 0.2% in 2010 to 0.13% in 2013. They could do worse I guess. Anyway, given the timing it’s clear they have seen how easy it was for a couple of morons from other fringe parties to get elected by vote harvesting and they want to try to get their own moron elected in the rerun for the WA Senate spots next month. They even admit as much….not the moron part but the rest, in their own Press Release. Try and ignore the spelling and grammatical errors and poor setting out.  Whoever wrote it was probably a bit excited. Link here.

Nice logo…very American looking and the Party name also has a very American feel about it. I’m almost inclined to think whomever came up with both has been spending a lot of time visiting The American GOP sites and watching Glen Beck or Sean Hannity videos on YouTube. They are always carrying on about attacks on their freedom and future prosperity. You could have gone all out and whacked “liberty” in there somewhere. The Freedom, Liberty and Prosperity Party (FLAP) Now, before anyone discounts FLAP and says that’s a bit silly, what was pointed out to me in the email, was this part…

FAP

Oh dear….. Anthony, you are either completely out of touch or a bloody genius! Even I, in my 40’s, know enough about youth culture to know there is an internet meme attached to the word FAP. Fap is…..ummmmm. Well according to the Urban Dictionary…

ud

 

Yes yes I know that the Urban Dictionary isn’t a real dictionary but I can guarantee that if you go out into the street and ask a heap of people aged 15 to 25 what “FAP” is, most of them will give you the Urban Dictionary definition. It is of course a lot older than that and it originally was an adjective meaning drunk or befuddled. Either way, whomever came up with it, clearly didn’t think it through…. or did they? I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of apathetic politically naive young voters see FAP, have a chuckle and vote for them. No harm in that, FAP will need all the help they can get. Now that people are waking up to the wrecking ball Abbott, they are hardly likely to give their vote to a party that is even further to the right than him.  The turmoil that he has created will see voters wanting stability in the Senate and these knucklehead fringe dwellers that try to vote harvest and do shady preference swaps won’t get a look in, especially if voters go and look at the policies. Speaking of which, I’m pleased to see that FAP are continuing with all their principles, including their conspiracy ideation about “Agenda 21″. Good stuff. That’s the sort of thing the loony right- wing Tea Party in the USA carry on with. Maybe I am sensing a theme here. American looking banner and American sounding name, American culture has permeated into our youth, our youth are fairly apathetic but will find FAP funny…hmmm. Genius! Anyway, speaking of American politics…

we-choose-to-fap-not-because-it-is-easy

 

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Weakest argument ever?

I’m not going to go into too much detail here. Over at the Australian Independent Media Network blog, Kaye Lee wrote an excellent piece exposing some of the poor credentials of “experts”, deniers like Tom Harris from the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) like to rely on. Well, I urge you to go there and read for yourself. In the comment section, Harris had a bit to say exposing his ignorance yet again and when handed his arse in his hat, mercifully didn’t return. One commentator though, in reference to a photograph of Christopher Monckton in a link (probably because he had nothing intelligent to say about the article), had this to say…

blackFrom what I can gather, the photo in question was this one…

monckton

Given that he posed for this photo…… Anyway, if the intention was to focus on the symptoms of his Graves Disease, Kaye could have used these pics…

GwdChristopherMonckton187654-20110701-lord-monckton

Personally, I think a more apt photo of Monckton that doesn’t highlight his eyes but his other disability, it would be this one….

lordmonckton

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Heartland relying on more non-experts with vested interests to spin garbage

Normally I couldn’t care less what the privately funded (fossil fuels, pharmaceutical, tobacco etc) loony right-wing Heartland Institute have to say, but there’s only tennis on the television and I’m a little bored. Anyway, their blog, ironically called Somewhat Reasonable has a post entitled “There is no denying mother nature” written by some bloke by the name of Paul Crovo. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a larger pile of crap.

So, before we begin looking at this no doubt informative article about mother nature (biology, ecology, physics, chemistry etc) let’s check the credentials of the author.

Heartland describe Paul Crovo as “an energy analyst [working] for a major financial institution in Philadelphia. He has followed crovothe energy industry for 27 years in his line of work and over the last five years has expanded his research to include the area of climate change science. Early in his career he became an active member in the National Association of Petroleum Analysts (NAPIA) and remains part of the organization today. He is an active participant in many local Tea Party events and has written extensively for local media on issues of energy policy and climate change.”

Allow me to paraphrase…Paul Crovo is a loony tea party capitalist petroleum analyst whose job it is to make money for his bank out of fossil fuels. He has no actual climate science expertise but publishes a lot in a local paper on the subject anyway. Sounds great. This should be a blast.

He begins…

A retrospective analysis of the year 2013 reveals one humiliating defeat after another for contemporary ecotheologians as various climatic and political events served to further undermine their case for man-made climate change.

Wait! What? Political events? I thought this was about mother nature? Oh well, I’ll examine them anyway but first, let’s look at this series of defeats. From what I can make out in the whole article Mr Crovo only discusses 5 or 6 for the year. Is that it? Really? A search of scientific literature databases reveals that globally, there were more than 55000 peer-reviewed papers published on the subject of climate change covering hundreds of  different topics including atmospheric physics, ocean chemistry, cryosphere, species range shifts, hydrology, economics, disease, tropical storms, soil carbon sequestration, plant physiology. The list is extensive. For the 5 or 6 examples of these alleged defeats, Mr Crovo offers no credible references to any scientific (or political science) journals. The only credible reference he does give is to the IPCC AR5 report and I’m guessing he hasn’t actually read it. If he had, he wouldn’t be trying to use it as a discreditory tool. Instead he cites Anthony Watts, Heartland and Wikipedia. Never a good sign. Finally, the term “ecotheologians”. To be honest, I haven’t seen the word before but I have seen the pathetic attempts to paint science acceptors as religious zealots before. The irony here is that we who accept the science have overwhelming evidence that Anthropogenic Climate Change is occurring but are always hopeful that it isn’t. Deniers on the other hand, believe that it isn’t happening without any evidence to support their position, much like people who choose to believe in a deity and of those, the ones who choose not to accept the Theory of Evolution.

For starters, a number of Western governments rejected United Nations climate change protocols. Australia (Tony Abbott, whose platform featured a rejection of climate change hokum, was elected prime minister), Japan (the country dramatically scaled back its 2009 carbon emissions pledges) and Poland (which fired its environmental minister just days into the COP-19/Conference of Parties climate change forum) all sent a clear message that they would not be bound to any economically destructive international agreements based on fraudulent science.

Ignoring Mr Crovo’s shift away from science (what the blog post was supposed to be about) to politics, let’s have close look at this claim. Firstly, the claim that the science is “fraudulent”. All Mr Crovo has done here is demonstrate just how ignorant he is of science. Science is an extremely competitive pursuit and there is nothing good scientists like more than to demonstrate where other scientists have erred or not completely explained some natural phenomena. It is what they do. They like to get to the bottom of things. One thing every scientist I know hates, is sloppy scientific exploration, methods or conclusions and they certainly don’t tolerate scientific fraud. The scientific literature in various fields is filled with papers that question the findings of other scientists. Some of the discussion sections can become quite heated and animated (in the usually polite and reserved manner of scientists) but those contradictory papers DO GET PUBLISHED. If climate science was filled with fraudulent papers, the climate science journals would be reporting it. Climate science is also a large umbrella term for many many scientific disciplines that deal with global systems. As such, the number of different journals involved is staggering. You would think Mr Crovo would be able to provide at least one credible example from the scientific literature to demonstrate that it is “fraudulent science”. Perhaps he can’t find one? I tried looking for papers that debunk the flat Earth hypothesis. Apart from those using flat Earth simulations to  calibrate various Earth science models and for use in mathematical theorems, there were very few that actually discuss the hypothesis. Why is that I wonder? Perhaps because we know the Earth is an obloid sphere?  Just as we know ACC is real.

Now, Mr Crovo mentions “a number of Western governments” allegedly rejecting United Nations protocols and then provides us with 3 examples, 2 of which were not actually examples of protocol rejection.

First, he mentions the Australian election. Yes, Australians elected a conservative government. Yes, that political party had removal of the carbon “tax” as one of its election commitments. Does that mean Australian voters are rejecting UN protocols? In short, no. Tony Abbott was elected by default by an electorate that had grown tired of the progressives. Most of the sentiment had to do with issues of party stability. Tony Abbott ran a negative campaign for three years, aided completely by a print media dominated by right-wing Murdoch owned newspapers and a compliant mainstream television media and right-wing shock jocks on radio. Interestingly, Abbott didn’t actually secure a majority with most of the disaffected shifting their vote not to Abbott, but to new parties and independents, with preferences getting Abbott over the line in marginal seats. In the end, it was only 30000 votes in marginal seats that decided it. He also didn’t secure a majority in the upper house of parliament either. Hardly a convincing win and definitely no mandate as he claims.

Second, he mentions Japan. Has Japan dramatically altered its emission target? Yes. does this mean they have some ideological opposition to the UN protocol as inferred by the Crovo article? No. In wake of the devastating tsunami and consequent meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, all Japan’s nuclear reactors have closed down for safety reasons and until they can be recommissioned or renewables established, the country has had to revert to thermal power production. It is unfortunate but necessary.

Finally, Poland sacked their environment minister. Ummmm, so?

In terms of COP-19 “accomplishments,” the Obama administration pledged to have U.S. carbon reduction targets in place by the 2015 Paris conference and there was a loose agreement on a “loss and damage” (a wealth redistribution scheme compensating developing countries for damages from greenhouse gas emissions with funds from developed countries) plan. Such “commitments” are best to be taken with a grain of salt, however, given the poor record of nations keeping such promises.

Wow! What  a devastating blow to the science! You show those pesky greenies Mother Nature…..oh wait. We’re still dealing with politics? *sigh* The US made a commitment and  an agreement to have something in place by 2015. Mr Crovo might be jumping the gun a bit here. He must have been hard up searching for these “humiliating defeats”. Next?

One 2013 event that held out hope for man-made climate change advocates was Typhoon Haiyan, a category 4 storm that struck the Philippines in early November. Having recast their focus on “extreme weather events” (instead of rising temperatures) as the litmus test for the existence of man-made climate change, the alarmists viewed Haiyan as a godsend.

In the wake of the storm, the main stream media and climate change alarmists trumpeted their message of linkage between climate change and the storm’s intensity. Following the hyperbole emanating from these messengers of doom, however, a number of scientific analyses and historical hurricane records were published that conclusively debunked any such linkage. In fact, claims of causality between purported climate change and Haiyan’s intensity carried about as much water as similar calls linking “super storm” Sandy and climate change the year before.

The typhoon was the highlight of a normally active Pacific hurricane season, but the Atlantic Basin was quite tranquil with the region experiencing the fewest number of hurricanes in 30 years. Of thirteen named storms, only two became hurricanes and only one of these made landfall in the U.S. Mexico experienced a total of eight storms, with three making landfall as hurricanes. Of greater significance, however is the long-term record that shows no trend of increase in the number or severity of U.S. hurricanes since 1990 (2013: Slowest Hurricane Season in 30 Years, Anthony Watts, November 25, 2013).

Hooray! Finally something to do with Mother Nature albeit cheapened with a citing of Anthony Watts.

The first paragraph is so offensive I have only repeated it here, to show just how shallow deniers like Mr Crovo can be. To suggest that science acceptors would view a hurricane that took many lives and displaced hundreds of thousands as a “Godsend” is even more offensive (not to mention childishly stupid) as the Unabomber billboard that even Heartland’s major sponsors thought was offensive enough to withdraw funding.

Leo-blog-The-Heartland-I-007-480x330

So, was rising temperatures the “litmus test” for ACC and did scientists switch to extreme events? No and no. I’m going to sound like a broken record here but climate science is made up of many disciplines. All of these disciplines contribute to the understanding of ACC in varying amounts. I have to wonder if the deniers’ own obsession with temperature (the ‘pause’) has led them to believe that that is all there is to climate science or that it is the most important? Perhaps keeping it simple is all they can handle?

Now I am more than happy to concede that the mainstream media and the untrained blogosphere may have “trumpeted their message of linkage between climate change and the storm’s intensity” to some degree, but I can’t seem to recall reading any scientific papers that made the link. Perhaps it’s too soon. I’m sure I did hear (and read) a number of scientists saying that they are starting to see trends in many different types of extreme weather events but that no single event (as yet) can be attributed directly to ACC although the damage caused by the storm surge associated with Hurricane Sandy was exacerbated by higher sea levels, which is a result of ACC.  Crovo however, fails to provide any links to the “scientific analyses” he mentions. Shame.

Finally, and this is another example of narrow thinking, Crovo focuses in on hurricanes as though they are the only type of weather extreme and worse, he focuses only on the US record. Given he has cited Watts, I’m not even going to bother checking the source. It’s late and facepalming hurts. The reason for focusing only on hurricanes is because deniers like Mr Crovo knows this category is one that says what he wants to say. From what I have seen, tropical cyclone numbers around the world have been fairly steady. North Atlantic hurricanes are up. But of course, this is just one type of extreme event. What about droughts, bushfires, tornadoes, floods, single day rain events, maximum hot temperatures and numerous others? A good indicator of frequency of extreme events in the USA is the number of disaster declarations for natural events.

Federal-Disaster-Declarations-1953-2011

And what about those global sea ice trends? Perhaps one should ask those aboard the MV Akademik Scholkalskiy, the misfit bunch of researchers and tourists who went venturing off to the Antarctic to see how climate change was affecting sea ice. Well, to paraphrase a famous play, a funny thing happened on the way to the Douglas Mawson base camp (the researchers mission was to recreate the 1912 exploits of the Australian scientist).

The latest news was that the ship was stuck in ice 15-feet thick with attempts by several other ships to rescue the crew members rendered unsuccessful due to similarly poor seafaring conditions. In fact, the latest satellite data shows that Antarctic sea ice is at record highs while Arctic sea ice is up 35% or more from last year’s low levels. Translation: global sea ice is now well above the historical average.

Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. Like all the denier bloggers, Crovo here wants to try to paint a picture first, that this was some sort of important scientific expedition. It wasn’t and in fact, any of the “research” done on the vessel wasn’t going to contribute a great deal to what is already known about Antarctic ice and that is that it is declining.

Second, he tries to suggest that the boat became stuck because of “record highs” of Antarctic sea ice. Wrong again. For a start, and I know this can be very confusing for some Americans, it is Summer down here in the southern hemisphere and at the moment, much of the sea ice is melting. The boat became stuck when it was pinned in by windblown pack ice that had broken off as a 20km chunk from an ice shelf.

Third, Arctic sea ice is not currently “up 35%” from the equivalent time last year. In fact it is close to a record low for this time. If Crovo is suggesting that the September minimum was up 35% from last year’s September minimum, well two years does not a trend make. If he is saying that the ice now in January is higher than in September 2012 or 2013 levels well, no shit Sherlock. I’ll chuck a few graphs in shortly.

Finally, global sea ice is well above the historical average?Ummm, without mentioning a baseline average, this statement is utterly pointless and further demonstrates the scientific illiteracy of Crovo. But for the record, global sea ice is on a downward trend.

arctic extent BPIOMASIceVolumeAprSepCurrentBIG03-sea-ice--north-and-south.gif

Perhaps the crowning achievement of the alarmist community in 2013 was the IPCC’s release of its Fifth Assessment Report, or AR5, another IPCC publication that came up well short in the credibility column.  Most laughable among the report’s conclusions was the statement claiming improved confidence in projections of rising temperatures despite the increasingly yawning disconnect between actual global temperatures and rising CO2 levels. Thus is the logic of the IPCC. Welcome to the global warming “pause,” 17 years and counting.

In an effort to refute this widening decoupling, the “true believers” like Heidi Cullen continued to grasp for straws, claiming that the earth’s warming is taking place in the deep ocean with the effects to become more profound in the future. The problem with people like Heidi Cullen, Al Gore and NOAA’s James Hansen, is that their predicted apocalyptic events are always in the future, thus in order to avoid accountability.

Oh dear! There it is…the ‘pause’ in global land surface temperatures followed by a complete dismissal of well-documented and published evidence. First, the ‘pause’. This has been so well explained just about everywhere I feel a little embarrassed to be hashing it out here again. The global land surface temperature record is not representative of global temperatures. There is no easier way to put it. The globe is a 3 dimensional object made up of land surface, water surface, water depth and atmosphere about 100km high. The land surface temperature measurements represent less than 5% of the system. All other parts must be taken into consideration and so that does mean the ocean. This is the one that always makes me mad because even a five-year old understands it. Crovo here, disputes that the ocean is warming. Well,check out this graph.

sealevel csiroIf the ocean is NOT rising due to thermal expansion, what the hell is causing it to rise? HINT: it isn’t subsidence or underwater volcanoes or lizard men from outerspace.

In the end, what we have here is a paid shill writing garbage for more paid shills whose only goal is to misrepresent facts, lie and distort so the people who write their paycheques can continue to make money by polluting the Earth. They are unconscionable and don’t care about anyone but themselves. Well, all I can say is the title of Mr Crovo’s dodgy article is the only thing he got right. There is no denying Mother Nature and she is starting to let her fury be known. Eventually, the vast majority will know the Paul Crovo’s and his ilk for what they are and future historians will not be kind. What a legacy to leave.

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Queensland Resources Council head goes the full…

I can’t actually think of the word, but a picture tells a thousand as they say. I’m starting to build a collection of these…

Head of the Queensland Resource Council, Michael Roche, sporting his new hat.

Head of the Queensland Resource Council, Michael Roche, sporting his new hat.

Yep, this supposedly intelligent person in a position of some influence and importance is a conspiracy nut. Now, I fully understand that he has interests to protect…like his job, and it is his job to try and ensure the continued survival of the industries that remove minerals from the ground in Queensland. What I don’t understand is why he is engaging in conspiracy ideation? Perhaps it’s because in the face of the overwhelming evidence that the industry he represents is bad for the planet and every living thing on it, he has nothing left in his arsenal except for a perceived mistrust of foreign greenies by those he represents?

From The Courier Mail

The once passive community associations or progress groups have turned aggressively anti-development and at least 40 activist groups are champing at the bit to take on the Queensland mining and resources industry, particularly coal.

But the mining industry claims the groups have been hijacked and that well-meaning residents have been manipulated by an international conspiracy to kill off Australia’s fossil fuel industry through a well co-ordinated and deeply funded green movement.

“There is no doubt the activists have had it all over industry in terms of their agility and their resourcing and also the lack of constraints on them,” Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said.

“The activists are very good at inhabiting those groups. There’s no doubt (they are being manipulated).

“They are very good at hijacking local concerns but then very good at turning those local concerns towards the ultimate objective which is to slow down the fossil fuel.”

So there you have it, shady international forces infiltrating local groups to implement a global agenda against fossil fuels. What this sort of nonsense does though is piles disrespect on the honest, hardworking and intelligent people with genuine concerns for their agricultural croplands, water resources and ultimately planetary warming. I say to Michael Roche, these people are intelligent people. They recognise the importance of scientific expertise. They care for their fellow humans and the environment. They also understand the vested interests of the small minority of excessively wealthy individuals you represent. Casting them as ignorant and easily manipulated is extremely arrogant and reeks of desperation and dishonesty. I also put it to you that the fact you engage in conspiracy ideation says a whole lot more about you than it does them. In the meantime, you might be interested in this.

foilIt comes in a 1000ft roll!

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