Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Ghost of Scienceblogs

So for Halloween, I dressed as the ghost of Scienceblogs.


I am still working on getting all the old posts copied over here, but it shouldn't take much longer.

Monday, 20 June 2005

Nature it ain't

Last week I wrote about
how Bob Carter was out by a factor of 20 in an estimate of how much
warming could be attributed to human activity. He has now posted the
text of another
talk where he
gives a source for his bogus claim. It's href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,123013,00.html"
rel="nofollow">this FOXNews opinion piece by Steve
Milloy
. Carter is a
Research Professor at James Cook University, so you would have thought
he would be aware that opinion columns by non-scientists aren't the
best source of scientific information, but I guess not.


Some highlights of his talk: He said:



Their assertion is a symptom of a disease called Hansenism which has
gripped western media sources and political, business and public
opinion in a deadly grasp. Hansenist climate hysteria is driven by
relentless, ideological, pseudo-scientific drivel, most of which
issues from green political activists and their supporters, and is
then promulgated by compliant media commentators who are innocent of
knowledge of true scientific method. Opportunistically, and sadly,
some scientists, too, contribute to the Hansenist alarmism. Sir
Roderick Carnegie was quite correct when he formerly identified such
environmental lobbying and emotional propaganda as a greater threat to
our society and way of life than, in its heyday, was communism.



James Hansen. Worse than Stalin and Mao COMBINED!!



Why Hansenism? Because James Hansen was the NASA-employed scientist who started the climate alarmism hare running on June 23, 1988, when he appeared before a United States Congressional hearing on climate change. On that occasion, Dr Hansen used a misleading graph to convince his listeners that warming was taking place at an accelerated rate (which, it being a scorching summer's day in Washington, a glance out of the window appeared to confirm).



What actually happened was
that Hansen presented to Congress a graph showing scenarios for high,
medium and low CO2 growth and said that the medium growth
scenario was most likely. The medium growth scenario has turned out
to be a good prediction of the subsequent increase in temperatures
When Michaels testified before Congress ten years later he
erased the medium and low curves and claimed that
because the high prediction was wrong, the climate model was faulty.


And while we are on the subject of misleading graphs, Carter presents
a
graph
that shows average temperatures falling since 1998. Oddly enough, he
uses a 25 month moving average to smooth the curve instead of the
conventional five year moving average. If you smooth it in the
normal way

the average doesn't fall, but increases steadily.


Carter goes on to say that "Hansenism" is like Lysenkoism, only worse,
cite Bray's bogus survey and the Oregon petition and to suggest that
Australia hire Bjorn Lomborg to run an Institute of Environmental
Assessment because CSIRO and BOM can't be trusted.


I dunno about the last one, maybe Philip Cooney would be a better choice?


I have rewarded Carter with his own category on my blog.

Saturday, 18 June 2005

Hate mail from Joe Cambria

The gentleman who I disemvowelled emailed me complaining about the lack of vowels in his comment. I wrote back:



[Name deleted], you are not banned from commenting on my blog. If you can work
out how to post something other than flamebait, I'll leave the vowels
in next time.



His reply is below the fold because it contains bad language.

Thursday, 16 June 2005

Spambots and trolls

One of the drawbacks of switching to a more popular blogging platform is more spam. Spambots just did not know how to comment on the old blog -- I got two just spams this year. In the last 24 hours spambots have tried to post about 100 comments. The spam filters stopped all of them, which is good, but they also sometimes catchlegitimate comments. I fish those out, but it's still a pain for everyone concerned. If your comment gets caught please be patient and blame the vile parasites that run spambots.


I've also changed the technique I'll be using against trolls. Posts by trolls will be disemvowelled. Just to be clear, since some people abuse the term, a troll is not someone who disagrees with me, but someone who tries to disrupt discussion by posting abuse or specious arguments. Trolls aren't interested in learning anything, but get their kicks from the attention they get. The best thing to do with trolls is to ignore them, but if they are good at their little game it can be hard to do. So I'll help by removing all the vowels from their comments.


If you see a disemvowelled comment, just ignore it. You can still read it if you try hard enough, but trust me, it's not worth the effort. If your comment gets disemvowelled, go away. If you were genuinely trying to make a point, then you need to reconsider the way you expressed yourself.

Tuesday, 14 June 2005

How to get unscientific rubbish in the Age's science section

This
story
on Bob Carter in the Age is a good one for playing
[Global Warming Skeptic
Bingo](http://deltoidblog.blogspot.com/2005/04/gwsbingo.php). Though I think I
should add a rule to the effect that if a numerical claim is wrong by
more than an order of magnitude you get a free square on the bingo
board. Look at what Carter claims:

>Carbon dioxide was a minor greenhouse gas, responsible for 3.6 per
>cent of the total greenhouse effect, [Carter] said. Of this, only 0.12 per
>cent, or 0.036 degrees Celsius, could be attributed to human activity.

Actually, [calculations
show](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=142) that without
CO2 the Greenhouse effect would be about 91% as strong.
Further, he implies that only 0.12/3.6=3% of the CO2 in the
atmosphere is due to human activity. But the concentration of
CO2 in the atmosphere has increased [from 280 ppm to 380
ppm](http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/fig3-2.htm) and this
increase is [all due to human
activity](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=160). So, correcting
Carter's numbers we have that 100/380=25% of the CO2 in the
atmosphere is anthropogenic, so 25% of 9%=2.4% of the greenhouse
effect or 0.7 degrees Celsius is man-made. Carter is wrong by a
factor of 20. Actually he's wrong by more than a factor of 20 since
his calculation assumes that the quantity of water vapour in the
atmosphere is fixed and this isn't true. As the globe warms there is
more water vapour in the atmosphere and this further strengthens the
greenhouse effect.

So how did something this inaccurate get into the Age?
Well, Carter gave a speech to the Victorian Farmers Federation so the
reporter who wrote the story was their agricultural reporter rather
than their science reporter who might have noticed that Carter was
spouting a load of rubbish.

Hat tip: euan