Archive for November, 2009

The Al Gore Climate Song

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Kate has found the perfect song for Al Gore and the climate alarmists:

Tuna or not tuna

Friday, November 27th, 2009

That is the question.

Charlatans and thieves

Friday, November 27th, 2009

I’ve always been suspicious of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). I don’t doubt that climate is changing; it’s always changing. I’ve just been leery of trusting the predictions, particularly since reading some years ago that scientists can’t tell whether clouds are an overall positive or negative contributor.

It now appears that that mistrust was justified; the release of the emails and other files from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit demonstrate that these people have been lying for years in order to advance the agenda of the “we’re all gonna die – government’s gotta take charge now!” people.

These people aren’t doing science; there’s evidence that they’ve colluded to prevent scientists with contrary positions from being published, lamented that they had to manipulate the data because it didn’t match their positions, and conspired to thwart releasing their data and code in response to Freedom of Information requests.

Even though it’s an English university, it’s important to Americans – indeed, to everyone in the world. It’s apparently one of four “authoritative” climate research centers in the world, and is partially supported by funds from American taxpayers.

People have pointed out suspicious language (“hide the decline”) and possible criminal conspiracies in the emails, but the key files appear to be related to the computer code they used for their “models.” I put the word “models” in quotes because they don’t appear to have actually used any modeling in their projections; they merely extrapolated trend lines. Unfortunately, the trends they’re extrapolating don’t appear to be real and accurate. Not only have people found artificial “hockey-stick-shaped” corrections in the code that get applied to the data, there is a file named Harry_Read_Me.txt in the released files which contains the notes of a programmer working on the code they used to make their projections. Among his notes and comments, we find the information that he couldn’t replicate their published results, and that the data files were improperly identified, didn’t have consistent format, and had automatic and manual adjustments applied to them. When the CRU “scientists” blew off a FOIA request by saying that they’d “lost” the original data (at least one of the emails contained a threat to delete the data rather than release it), they may not have been lying.

Replication is key to science. Scientists are expected to release their data and methodology, and other scientists are expected to try to poke holes in it. The CRU people have prevented this, and along with the revelations in these files, it means that everything the CRU has released that promotes the view that AGW is real and a problem has been discredited. We can’t trust anything they’ve said. It also means that none of the actions that have been called for to deal with the “problem” of AGW should be taken – why should we take action based on information that we can neither trust nor verify?

This issue not been covered much by the major new media. Ace notes that that fits his expectations that, with respect to hacked information, the media cover the contents of the information if it works against the right, and focuses on the method of acquisition if it works against the left.

Reference links:

A personal history of dealing with CRU concerning FOI requests.

Daily Bayonet’s Weekly Roundup

A good roundup on the CRU computer code.

Charles Martin on the CRU computer programs. Don’t miss this comment, specifically, the second paragraph.

Good information on Harry_Read_Me.txt here, particularly in the comments.

More on the computer programs.

Something else about one of the CRU “scientists” here.

This is not related to the CRU scandal, but it shows how much of our efforts may be incorrectly-focused.

Thoughts from esr on transparency and trust in science.

I’ve written about AGW before, here and here. I thought I’d written about the discovery that the famous “hockey-stick” graph of global temperatures was based on cherry-picked data, but I guess I hadn’t.

But will she be faithful?

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Life imitates art.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Three Beers Later has two classic Thanksgiving clips; one from the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and the other the infamous WKRP Turkey Drop.

I saw the Tonight Show clip a few years ago, when I checked the “Best of Carson” DVDs out of my local library. I have to admit that I fell to the floor laughing so hard I almost choked when Doc responded to Johnny’s invitation.

Truth in Advertising?

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

I have the annoying habit of not moving photos from my camera to my computer in a timely basis. As a result, when I import the photos into iPhoto, and it asks for an event or roll name, I usually don’t provide one, since there are normally a half-dozen or more “events” represented among the photos.

In any case, this particular photo dates from a trip to a discount bookstore about a month ago. I just thought it was an interesting category for the book to be filed under.

Obama Book for Sale

In the news

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

While I’ll admit I’m in need of work, and I used to work as a babysitter while I was in high school, I doubt that it would ever have occurred to me to drug the child I was watching and rent it to a beggar. Of course, with the Democrat’s economy going the way it is, that may become a viable option in future.

I’m surprised that this sort of thing doesn’t seem to happen more often. “Of course our suspicions fall on the driver,” prosecutor Xavier Richaud told the private iTele television channel. No, really? Just because he and the money disappeared, and his bank accounts had been closed, is that a reason to suspect him?

Perhaps we should take this news story as an aspiration, rather than a cautionary tale. I think ratings would improve for beauty pageants if we had the contestants fight each other … perhaps in jello pits.

Bad news for those of us who like to stay up later than we ought. Unfortunately for me, I can’t normally sleep eight hours at a stretch – five or six is more usual. Naps are certainly an option, though – until I find a job, anyway.

Not a very impressive sale

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Big Sale on Cookware

I can’t say that I’m very impressed.

Miscellany 4

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Lots of miscellaneous stuff here today. I actually started the post yesterday, but my browser crashed. Good thing I’d saved a copy of the article-in-progress before that happened.

First, Everything You Need To Know About Human / Cat Relationships Summed Up In One Picture.

Need a laugh track? Perhaps something more versatile?

Guns are such horrible, evil, nasty things that in England, you can now be convicted and sent to jail for turning in a weapon someone discards on your property.

I can’t say that I listen to girl groups much (Värttinä is the only recent one that comes to mind, and given that they’ve released a 25th anniversary CD, aren’t they a “woman” group rather than a “girl” group?), but there are certainly some girls in girl groups that are really cute (perky brunette alert … yow!). It would have been an attractive dress even if someone hadn’t taken scissors to it.

Frankie Sandford

Worst storm of the year in England. I thought this photo was particularly impressive:

Newhaven lighthouse

I never realized that Charles Dickens based Ebenezer Scrooge on a real person.

You say you know a couple who’ve been together a long time? This long?

I knew there was a reason I didn’t like amusement park rides. Several years back, there was a major hailstorm in Denver (baseball-sized hail in some areas), and at least two employees at Elitch Gardens abandoned their stations, leaving people stuck on the rides. I guess the lesson here is never to get onto any ride that you can’t climb down from unassisted. Think anyone will let you practice?

Sure, deck your lower limbs in pants,
Yours are the legs, my sweeting.
You look divine as you advance –
Have you seen yourself retreating?
– Ogden Nash

This makes an uncomfortable amount of sense.

An explanation of computation theory for lawyers. I remember courses described as “Physics for Jocks,” but this isn’t the same sort of thing.

This sounds like a fun game, but I imagine, based on the name, that you’re supposed to play quietly.

One from each state?

Monday, November 16th, 2009

James Carville says the Democrats only have 57 Senate votes in support of Obamacare.