Monday, 31 March 2008

Appeasers of Islamism are betrayers and cowards

Mr. Ellian, who fled Iran in 1983, is a professor of legal philosophy at Leiden University. He has a piece in the WSJ on the recent release of Fitna that is a powerful criticism of fecklessness in the face of Islamic threats.
'Fitna" has arrived.

Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders put the 15-minute movie about the Quran on the Internet Thursday night. But for weeks before anyone saw it, the Dutch flag was burned around the Islamic world. Iran's undemocratically-elected parliament endorsed a boycott of the Netherlands, and Web sites linked to al Qaeda called for terrorist attacks.

Americans may be accustomed to images of angry bearded men setting their flag alight. The Dutch aren't. In response, the government raised the national terrorist threat level to "substantial" while Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende distanced himself from the movie. Until the last moment, he urged Mr. Wilders not to show the film.

The message of "Fitna" is that the Quran is the living inspiration for jihadists. Without the Quran's violent passages, the film suggests, Islamic terrorism would not exist. Mr. Wilders shows verses from the Quran alongside hate speeches by imams and graphic images of Islamic terrorism -- from 9/11 to the Madrid train bombings in 2004 and the London attack a year later. He uses footage from the video-taped beheading of a hostage by Islamic terrorists. He also shows the most famous of the Danish cartoons (the one with a bomb on Muhammad's head) that triggered demonstrations across the Muslim world two years ago.

The Western world long ago learned to criticize, even mock, religion. Think of such movies as "The Life of Brian" and "The Da Vinci Code" or more serious texts on Christianity by Nietzsche, whose famous phrase "God is Dead" is part of popular culture. Competition of ideas is fundamental to the Western way of life. The Islamic world isn't accustomed to such discussions.

As in other countries, the terrible attacks of 9/11 raised existential questions in the Netherlands that remain the subject of heated debate to this day. They paved the way for the political rise of Pim Fortuyn, a flamboyant, openly gay former university professor and writer. Fortuyn fulminated against the dark sides of political Islam -- terrorism, the subjugation of women and homosexuals, and anti-Semitism. His murder in 2002 by an extreme leftist was seen as an assault on Holland's democratic order.

That shock was compounded in 2004 when in Amsterdam, the capital of freedom and tolerance, a Dutch Muslim of Moroccan descent shot and nearly decapitated filmmaker Theo van Gogh. The murderer declared that Islam demanded of him to kill Van Gogh, who had made a short movie that criticized the mistreatment of women in Islam. After the murder, the filmmaker's collaborator, Somali-born parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, was put under 24-hour police protection.

When Ms. Hirsi Ali went to live in the U.S. in 2006, Geert Wilders picked up the baton. He takes a hard stance on Islamic terrorism and calls for a stop to immigration, at least until Dutch Muslims are better integrated. Some of his arguments are pure polemic. For instance, he says the Quran is a "fascist" book. Since it is illegal in the Netherlands to publish Hitler's "Mein Kampf," he argues, so it should be illegal to publish the Quran. One can have a debate about the Quran, but to ban the book altogether is ridiculous, and he knows it.

Yet his outrageous remarks have stirred a constructive discussion about the Quran and Islam in the Netherlands that is more vigorous than in any Western or, for that matter, Muslim country. And uncomfortable as they may be for Dutch Muslims, they help them view their religion in a more critical light. Notwithstanding the growing appeal of radical Islam, the political participation of moderate Muslims is on the rise, a positive sign of integration. For the first time in Dutch history, two Muslims are in the cabinet.

Dutch Muslims have so far reacted calmly to "Fitna." There have not been any demonstrations, peaceful or violent, in the Netherlands. Perhaps this is further evidence that the hard debate has helped Dutch Muslims to understand Western values.

The issue isn't really Mr. Wilders's movie, or whether it incites hatred, which I doubt. It's whether we are capable of defending our values against the intolerance of radical Muslims. Some people wanted "Fitna" banned before seeing it. That's disconcerting. Dutch law prohibits a priori censorship.

A strand in Western society -- a combination of European nihilism, self-loathing and timidity -- favors appeasement. It is not the strength of our enemies but our weakness that might be our ruin.

Should "Fitna" lead to violence and protests against the Dutch, Europe will hopefully show more solidarity than it did with the Danes during the cartoon crisis. Any weakness in the resolve to defend our democratic legal order should be seen for what it is: Betrayal and cowardice.
That's it. If you take the side of these Muslim loons on the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend basis then you're not only a Moral Idiot but a coward and cultural traitor, as well.

Unfortunately, there are far too many on the Left who are prepared to betray their culture.

(Nothing Follows)

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Sunday night rock 'n' roll

Coldplay are a British rock band. Formed in 1998 in London, the group comprises vocalist/pianist Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion. Coldplay achieved worldwide fame with their 2000 single "Yellow", followed by the success of their debut album, Parachutes, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Coldplay went on to be nominated for this prestigious award on two further occasions, once in 2003 and again in 2005. Coldplay have been one of the most commercially successful acts of the new millennium, selling over 30 million albums. The band are also known for hit singles, including "In My Place" and the Grammy Award-winning "Clocks".

Coldplay's early material was compared to acts such as Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, while also drawing comparisons to U2 and Travis. Since the release of Parachutes, Coldplay have also drawn influence from other sources, including Echo and the Bunnymen and George Harrison on A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) and Johnny Cash and Kraftwerk for X&Y (2005). Both of these albums were released to great critical acclaim and commercial success. In 2002, A Rush of Blood to the Head was named as NME's Album of the Year.

I saw Coldplay at Melbourne Park (I say so many concerts at Rod Laver Arena/ Vodaphone arena that I can never remember which one I was at without looking at the ticket) when they toured about three years ago. They were absolutely fantastic; certainly much better than I expected.

I took a few videos myself, the best of which is Clocks (missed the start). Given it was taken on a Nokia N70 it's come out quite well.

Jack's video of Clocks from Melbourne 2005

video

In My Place



The Scientist



(Nothing Follows)

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Earth Hour. Putting the 'mental' back in environmental.

That tonight's Earth Hour will make its holier than thou, onanistic environmental participants feel good about themselves is beyond doubt.

Also beyond doubt is that it is already an embarrassment. Huge amounts of energy have already gone into promoting the event, surely offsetting what little will be 'saved' during the event's one hour duration. Andrew Bolt has
been reporting on some of the insanity that includes light bulb shaped hot air balloons floating over Sydney to promote the event. A fleet of Hummers running for a day and a half put out less CO2 than that little exercise. Tim Blair recommends an Hour Of Power in order to offset the damage being done by the Earth Hourians.

It is claimed that last year Sydney's electricity supply dropped 10% during Earth Hour. In fact it was around 2% - statistically indistinguishable from normal. What you aren't being told is that in the two hours before Earth Hour got under way, electricity use rose considerably because everyone was getting things done in order to prepare for having no power. The net effect? More electricity was used on that day than normal.

Way to go, guys.

It has been quite cold here in globally warmed Canberra over the last few days. I have asked my Big Green supporting mates whether they're going to turn everything off during Earth Hour including the heater. It will be very cold at 8PM here. None have given me a straight answer. Are those people hosting Earth Hour parties requiring everyone to bring a blanket, hat and gloves so that they can avoid getting some illness?

Earth Hour? More like Mirth Hour. It's all so silly.

Still. It's the symbolism that counts. Symbolism is a primary value to the Left.

Unfortunately, the whole thing is an Australian idea. Long ago are the days of famous Aussie inventions like the black box flight data recorder, Hills hoist, combine harvester, box kite, latex gloves, the pacemaker, the infamous winged keel, penicillin, Vegemite and, of course, the boomerang. If we weren't so good in the field of medicine - spray on skin, Relenza etc - we'd have nothing to show for the last 20 years. These days we're reduced to exporting pathetic, meaningless gestures.

Wikipedia's Earth Hour entry
includes:
Earth Hour, under the working title 'the big flick', was conceived by members of WWF-Australia's communication team in December 2005 as a possible campaign to engage all parts of the Australian community on the need to address climate change.

A partnership was formed in August 2006 between WWF-Australia's Andy Ridley, Leo Burnett's Nigel Marsh and Fairfax Media's Phil McLean with a planned campaign date of early 2007. Earth Hour was launched publicly as a Sydney-only event on December 16, 2006 by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and took place at 7:30pm on March 31 2007.

Following significant interest from both inside Australia and around the world, Earth Hour was formed into a non-profit entity owned by WWF-Australia, Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media. The decision was taken to make Earth Hour an open source model, allowing any genuinely interested individual, company, media or government anywhere in the world to adopt the campaign for 2008.

The 2007 Earth Hour was part of a wider awareness campaign that aimed to reduce Sydney's carbon emissions by 5%. 68,506 individuals and 2,270 businesses registered their intention to participate on the Earth Hour website. EnergyAustralia, a utility, attributed a 10.2% decrease in consumption during the hour to the campaign. A poll of about 1000 people conducted afterwards suggested that 57% of Sydneysiders participated – some 2.2 million people.
2.2 million people out of a population of 3.8 million participated and could only reduce power use by 2%. Even using the WWF's 10.2% it's still a miserable effort. It really should give people cause to contemplate the extent of reductions necessary in order to hit proposed CO2 reduction targets if that's all of the impact that can be achieved. Mind you, the 2.2 million figure was obviously achieved by using The Lancet's methodology for counting things, which means it's probably out by a factor of 10.
Strong backing from the City of Sydney and its Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, helped to make Earth Hour 2008 an international event. As of 27 March, over 11,900 businesses and over 200,000 individuals had indicated their intention to participate at earthhour.org.
People may also recall that some media outlets Photoshopped images of Sydney in order to make them look dimmer than what they actually were. The fact was that the city of Sydney was just as bright for Earth Hour as both before and after. No doubt there'll be more of the same this year in the post-event propaganda.

Earth Hour. Putting the mental back in environmental.

UPDATE: Sky News is running the following poll:


There is no vote count but the poll has been up for a long time. These online polls that go against leftist positions tend to get hit with a burst of one-sided votes, as I've proved before. Let's see whether Sky's polling software is tamper-proof.

(Nothing Follows)

Friday, 28 March 2008

Fitna - when will the moral equivalence start?

There's little doubt that Geert Wilders' new movie showing the violent side of Islam is a provocative piece.

It's interesting to note that the usual Muslim suspects were seething before the film had even been shown. Along with the seething came the usual death threats against Wilders and promises to undertake attacks in Holland.

By taking this action Muslims act in exactly the way that the film portrays them. Irony does not seem to be understood in the Ummah.

What's also interesting is that there are a lot of parallels between Communism and Islamism. It's very clear when you see what Ahmadinejad and others have to say about Islam taking over the world.

The clock is running now on when a professionally produced film comes out that does the same thing to the West or to the USA in an attempt to create a moral equivalence between the two cultures and to provide fodder for the Kos Kids, HuffPo crowd and rest of the tin foil hat community.



(Nothing Follows)

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Alcohol played a large role in his life

In the short but sweet category comes a report that has even made it into Fox News.
SYDNEY — A New Zealand man has been sentenced to community service after telling police he was raped by a wombat and the experience had made him speak "Australian".

Arthur Ross Cradock, 48, from the South Island town of Motueka, called police on February 11 and told them he was being raped at his home by the wombat and he needed help, The Nelson Mail newspaper reported.
Readers may or may not be aware that Sydney is home to the vast majority of those activists-in-animal-costumes that annoy the crap out of everybody who's more than 10 years old and who scare the crap out of the kiddies. I suspect that one of them, still dressed in his work clothes, stumbled into the wrong house after getting tanked at the local enviro-pub and proceeded to set about what he thought was his partner. It is Sydney, after all.
The orchard worker later called back and said: "Apart from speaking Australian now, I'm pretty all right, you know."
Who would have thought that there was such as simple way to get people to talk Australian? No longer do we have to have government instructions printed in every language ever spoken since Babylonian times. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship just needs to hire a few wombats to do the job on arriving immigrants and voila, sie spracht Strine.
Cradock pleaded guilty in the local court to using a phone for a fictitious purpose. He was sentenced to 75 hours' community work.
If using a phone for fictitious purposes is a real crime then all of us are in a lot of trouble. "Honey, I'm working back late..." is enough for weekend detention when it really involves the close company of your receptionist (or wombat or favourite other marsupial) and inappropriate use of the board room table.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Chris Stringer told the court alcohol played a large role in Cradock's life.
You don't say?

(Nothing Follows)

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Female Syrian Minister bags Australia for supporting Israel

Truth, as we all know, is not something that Middle Eastern nations have a particular affinity for. In this morally repugnant opinion piece published in Asharq Alawsat, Syrian Minister for Expatriates gets stuck into Australia - the world's most fair-minded nation - for committing genocide while at the same time supporting that most evil of nations, Israel.

Her bio reads: Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban is Minister of Expatriates in Syria, and writer and professor at Damascus University since 1985. Before assuming her current ministerial position, Dr. Shaaban was Director of the Press Office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Syria. She received her Ph.D. in English Literature from Warwick University in England in 1982, and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an advisor in 1988. Since then, she has represented Syria as a spokeswomen on an international level. In 2005 Dr. Shaaban was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and in the same year, was presented with "the Most Distinguished Woman in a Governmental Position" award by the Arab League. Dr. Shaaban has published four books, and contributed to numerous others.

No doubt the Left will applaud her for her 'courage' and 'speaking the truth'. Why anyone thinks that a government hack from a socialist dictatorship speaks with anything other than a well-trained, well-used forked tongue is beyond my ken.
Only few weeks after the apology of Kevin Rudd, the newly elected Prime Minister of Australia, to the Aborigines, the indigenous inhabitants of Australia, he was party to a motion in Parliament describing Israel as a "robust democracy" and a "custodian of freedom" in a region abounding in autocracies and theocracies!

Opposition Liberal party leader Brendan Nelson said that in a region "characterized more by theocracies and autocracies, Israel is the custodian of the most powerful of human emotions – that is hopeful belief in the freedom of man, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly ".
And both Rudd and Nelson are absolutely correct. Israel is the Middle East's only democracy. Arab Israeli citizens have the highest standard of living in the entire Arab world and unlike in the rest of the Arab world - they can vote - with the result that a number of Arabs sit in Israel's parliament, the Knesset. Israel's deputy-President is an Arab Israeli.

Here's a pop quiz for you:

In which Middle Eastern country can a Muslim parliamentarian loudly denounce his country, call for its military defeat and then leave parliament without needing bodyguards, go home and not fear being arrested?

A) Syria;
B) Saudi Arabia;
C) Libya; or
D) Israel.

Tick, tock, tick, tock...thinking time is really not required, is it?
All this was expressed in the aftermath of Israeli Killing of over 130 Palestinians in Gaza, 39 of them were children, and 12 women and the rest were young men in their twenties aspiring to live in peace and dignity on their own land. The question that came to mind upon reading the disappointing news of the motion in the Australian Parliament was whether Kevin Rudd and his colleagues want to wait for 200 years to apologize from the Palestinians as they apologized from the aborigines, but only when it becomes too late and almost of no value to a people and culture who have been almost completely destroyed. If the world expressed its absolute shame of the way the “stolen generations” were treated in Australia, it should be more ashamed of the “slaughtered generation” in Palestine that is being collectively punished and ethnically cleansed in the most abhorrent racist policies adopted by any state in the world, including the past apartheid regime in South African.
Leaving aside the fact that there is no such thing as the Stolen Generations, and never has been, what culture is being destroyed in Palestine? It's a non-place; there's never been any such country. It's never had a language, or money, or art, or philosophy, or trade, or government...or culture. Apologising to the so-called 'slaughtered generation' carries as much validity and honesty as the Stolen Generation apology did.
To Kevin Rudd and Brendan Nelson, I would like to say that Gaza is not on the moon; it is only a few miles from Jerusalem and you may easily visit or send a camera and a journalist to take you pictures of what is happening to the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis, and to see for yourselves, what kind of “custodian of freedom” you are supporting! A million and a half Palestinians are imprisoned in a big jail called Gaza, after they have been transferred from Southern Palestine. The small West bank has over 400 check points and a tall apartheid wall that prevents children from going to schools and farmers from reaching their lands, and in the case of Qalqilia, prevents the sun from reaching windows of houses. Palestinians in Gaza are killed by Israeli missiles, tanks and fire, whether they are men tending their cattle or women making their bread at home, or children playing football, or simply attending schools.
In fact, you cannot send journalists with cameras in to see for yourself what is happening. As has been well documented, if Hamas or Fatah don't like what you're reporting then you get a warning to leave and never return with the threat to life and limb being obvious. It's certainly accurate to say that the population of Gaza has been imprisoned but who actually imprisoned them? Israel? No. The rest of the Arab world imprisons them and uses them for Palestine-As-Cause propaganda. Why does Egypt have a security wall along the border between the Sinai Desert and the Gaza Strip? To keep Egyptians from getting in? Hardly. It's to keep Palestinians from getting out. Why do so many Arab nations forbid migrants from Palestine and not accept Palestinian refugees - including Dr Shaaban's own country of Syria? And to claim that cattle herders and school children and women making bread are the targets of Israel - while at the same time saying nothing about Hamas' own Katuysha rocket attacks that are deliberately aimed at civilian targets - rivals anything Goebbels could come up with.
It is these immoral, illegal, and inhuman crimes perpetrated by Israeli forces against the Palestinians on a daily basis that prompted Iian Pappe, the Israeli historian from Haifa university (who was later virtually expelled, and he is now a professor at Exeter University, England) to say “I don’t think there is one moral person in the world that supports what Israel stands for” (Yedioth Ahranot, March 16, 2008).
Ilan Pappé is an Israeli Communist. He was expelled for supporting Hamas and promoting boycotts against Israeli universities. As the old saying goes, you can judge a man by who his enemies are. It works with his friends, as well. From his Wikipedia article:
Pappé's works have been praised by many other historians, academics and writers, such as Walid Khalidi, Richard Falk, Ella Shohat and John Pilger. According to John Pilger: "Ilan Pappe is Israel’s bravest, most principled, most incisive historian."
When John Pilger is on your side you know you're waaaaaaay left.
Critiquing Pappé's 2004 book, A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, historian Benny Morris wrote in the New Republic: 'Unfortunately much of what Pappe tries to sell his readers is complete fabrication. [...] This book is awash with errors of a quantity and a quality that are not found in serious historiography. [...] The multiplicity of mistakes on each page is a product of both Pappe's historical methodology and his political proclivities[.] [...] For those enamored with subjectivity and in thrall to historical relativism, a fact is not a fact and accuracy is unattainable'.

Benny Morris is an Israeli historian who supports the Palestinian cause and he's basically calling Pappe a liar.

Back to the article:
I am sure whether the Australian Parliament that lauded Israel and congratulated it on its 60th anniversary is aware that the president of the Palestinian Parliament Aziz al Douek and 15 of his colleagues who were democratically elected in elections that was described by ex-president Carter as the most democratic and transparent, that they are imprisoned and tortured in Israeli jails for the last two years, and no Parliament in the world has put forward a motion for their release or threatened to boycott their jailors (the Israelis) if they do not release them.
She has her numbers wrong. Of the 132 elected officials, fully 26 of them are 'detained in Israel' on charges of being associated with Hama' or Fatah's terrorist wings. Most are from Hamas - a proscribed terrorist organisation in most Western nations.
This moral support that is given to the racist, criminal policies of Israel against the Arabs is, partly, morally responsible for the crimes perpetrated. The balance of military power is by far in Israel’s favor, and the only hope for the Palestinians is to have the moral and political support of peoples of the world who gave us all hope when they kept mounting pressure on the ex-apartheid regime of South Africa till they brought it to an end.
So, she prefers to provide moral support to the terrorists and murders who have perpetuated the conflict long past a time when it was clear Israel would do what it had to in order to achieve peace, which goes all the way back to the early 80s. Furthermore, to describe Israel as an apartheid regime when, as I mentioned, people with Arab backgrounds do so well there is absurd.
The very same effort is badly needed today to free the Palestinian people from the last occupation in the twenty first century. Let’s again listen to the best expert on Palestinian-Israeli affairs, Professor Iian Pappe: “I believe that things would change only if Israel receives a strong message that as long as occupation continues it would not be a legitimate member of the international community, and that until then its academics, doctors and authors would not be welcome. A similar boycott was imposed on South Africa. It took 21 years, but it eventually led to the end of Apartheid.” (Yedioth Ahranot, March 16, 2008). Much sooner than 21 years, the Australian people will be ashamed of the motion passed by the Australian parliament.
Australians will certainly be ashamed of the Apology to the Stolen Generations when it causes the destruction of that culture in years to come. We will never be ashamed of standing up for free and democratic nations, especially when they come under such sustained attack as Israel has from dictatorships that back terrorist organisations, assassinate Lebanon's political leaders willy-nilly and have appalling human rights records of their own such as Syria.

(Nothing Follows)

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Why support Palestine but ignore Tibet?

The great Dennis Prager makes a reasonable point. Why is it that Palestine attracts so much support from the UN, international media and leftist organisations when there's a much more valid case for supporting Tibet against China?
The long-suffering Tibetans have been in the news. This happens perhaps once or twice a decade. In a more moral world, however, public opinion would be far more preoccupied with Tibetans than with Palestinians, would be as harsh on China as it is on Israel, and would be as fawning on Israel as it now is on China.

But, alas, the world is, as it has always been, a largely mean-spirited and morally insensitive place, where might is far more highly regarded than right.

Consider the facts: Tibet, at least 1,400 years old, is one of the world's oldest nations, has its own language, its own religion and even its own ethnicity. Over 1 million of its people have been killed by the Chinese, its culture has been systematically obliterated, 6,000 of its 6,200 monasteries have been looted and destroyed, and most of its monks have been tortured, murdered or exiled.

Palestinians have none of these characteristics. There has never been a Palestinian country, never been a Palestinian language, never been a Palestinian ethnicity, never been a Palestinian religion in any way distinct from Islam elsewhere. Indeed, "Palestinian" had always meant any individual living in the geographic area called Palestine. For most of the first half of the 20th century, "Palestinian" and "Palestine" almost always referred to the Jews of Palestine. The United Jewish Appeal, the worldwide Jewish charity that provided the nascent Jewish state with much of its money, was actually known as the United Palestine Appeal. Compared to Tibetans, few Palestinians have been killed, its culture has not been destroyed nor its mosques looted or plundered, and Palestinians have received billions of dollars from the international community. Unlike the dying Tibetan nation, there are far more Palestinians today than when Israel was created.

None of this means that a distinct Palestinian national identity does not now exist. Since Israel's creation such an identity has arisen and does indeed exist. Nor does any of this deny that many Palestinians suffered as a result of the creation of the third Jewish state in the area, known -- since the Romans renamed Judea -- as "Palestine."

But it does mean that of all the causes the world could have adopted, the Palestinians' deserved to be near the bottom and the Tibetans' near the top. This is especially so since the Palestinians could have had a state of their own from 1947 on, and they have caused great suffering in the world, while the far more persecuted Tibetans have been characterized by a morally rigorous doctrine of nonviolence.

So, the question is, why? Why have the Palestinians received such undeserved attention and support, and the far more aggrieved and persecuted and moral Tibetans given virtually no support or attention?

The first reason is terror. Some time ago, the Palestinian leadership decided, with the overwhelming support of the Palestinian people, that murdering as many innocent people -- first Jews, and then anyone else -- was the fastest way to garner world attention. They were right. On the other hand, as The Economist notes in its March 28, 2008 issue, "Tibetan nationalists have hardly ever resorted to terrorist tactics…" It is interesting to speculate how the world would have reacted had Tibetans hijacked international flights, slaughtered Chinese citizens in Chinese restaurants and temples, on Chinese buses and trains, and massacred Chinese schoolchildren.

The second reason is oil and support from powerful fellow Arabs. The Palestinians have rich friends who control the world's most needed commodity, oil. The Palestinians have the unqualified support of all Middle Eastern oil-producing nations and the support of the Muslim world beyond the Middle East. The Tibetans are poor and have the support of no nations, let alone oil-producing ones.

The third reason is Israel. To deny that pro-Palestinian activism in the world is sometimes related to hostility toward Jews is to deny the obvious. It is not possible that the unearned preoccupation with the Palestinians is unrelated to the fact that their enemy is the one Jewish state in the world. Israel's Jewishness is a major part of the Muslim world's hatred of Israel. It is also part of Europe's hostility toward Israel: Portraying Israel as oppressors assuages some of Europe's guilt about the Holocaust -- "see, the Jews act no better than we did." Hence the ubiquitous comparisons of Israel to Nazis.

A fourth reason is China. If Tibet had been crushed by a white European nation, the Tibetans would have elicited far more sympathy. But, alas, their near-genocidal oppressor is not white. And the world does not take mass murder committed by non-whites nearly as seriously as it takes anything done by Westerners against non-Westerners. Furthermore, China is far more powerful and frightening than Israel. Israel has a great army and nuclear weapons, but it is pro-West, it is a free and democratic society, and it has seven million people in a piece of land as small as Belize. China has nuclear weapons, has a trillion U.S. dollars, an increasingly mighty army and navy, is neither free nor democratic, is anti-Western, and has 1.2 billion people in a country that dominates the Asian continent.

A fifth reason is the world's Left. As a general rule, the Left demonizes Israel and has loved China since it became Communist in 1948. And given the power of the Left in the world's media, in the political life of so many nations, and in the universities and the arts, it is no wonder vicious China has been idolized and humane Israel demonized.

The sixth reason is the United Nations, where Israel has been condemned in more General Assembly and Security Council resolutions than any other country in the world. At the same time, the UN has voted China onto its Security Council and has never condemned it. China's sponsoring of Sudan and its genocidal acts against its non-Arab black population, as in Darfur, goes largely unremarked on at the UN, let alone condemned, just as is the case with its cultural genocide, ethnic cleansing and military occupation of Tibet.

The seventh reason is television news, the primary source of news for much of mankind. Aside from its leftist tilt, television news reports only what it can video. And almost no country is televised as much as Israel, while video reports in Tibet are forbidden, as they are almost anywhere in China except where strictly monitored by the Chinese authorities. No video, no TV news. And no TV, no concern. So while grieving Palestinians and the accidental killings of Palestinians during morally necessary Israeli retaliations against terrorists are routinely televised, the slaughter of over a million Tibetans and the extinguishing of Tibetan Buddhism and culture are non-events as far as television news is concerned.

The world is unfair, unjust and morally twisted. And rarely more so than in its support for the Palestinians -- no matter how many innocents they target for murder and no matter how much Nazi-like anti-Semitism permeates their media -- and its neglect of the cruelly treated, humane Tibetans.
To those who think that the issues in Palestine are created by the Israelis you should seek the answer to a question. Why is it that if you live in Gaza or the West Bank then you cannot migrate to any other Arab country (with only a couple of exceptions)?

Here are some possible answers:

A) Hamas (Gaza) or Fatah (West Bank) do not allow it;
B) You are too poor to migrate; or
C) Other Arab countries do not allow you to migrate to them.

(Nothing Follows)

Monday, 24 March 2008

ABC interviews Climate Blasphemer - reasonable discussion ensues!

I listened to Jennifer Marohasy on ABC Radio National's Counterpoint program last week. In an interesting and, for the ABC, surprisingly balanced interview by Michael Duffy she summed up the state of climate science, the new data that completely destroys the CO2-as-world-destroyer myth and revealed the head scratching that even the most senior ranks of the Climate Faithful are doing.

Duffy should be congratulated on his performance. For someone who is clearly of the left he managed to keep his own views out of the discussion. Tony Jones could learn a lot from Duffy on how to conduct a balanced interview, especially after his appalling performance in the post-Great Global Warming Swindle ABC discussion last year.

Naturally, to those Climate Faithful who have no understanding of basic science and, especially, statistics - prerequisites for being part of that group - Marohasy is a Big Oil funded, Big Pharma, Big Business, pro cigarette, Climate Denier who struts around in private in a Hitler uniform throwing babies into a fire.

To everyone else she comes across as a voice of calm and reason. Check out her blog here.

At The Australian, Christopher Pearson sums things up nicely:
Last Monday - on ABC Radio National, of all places - there was a tipping point of a different kind in the debate on climate change. It was a remarkable interview involving the co-host of Counterpoint, Michael Duffy and Jennifer Marohasy, a biologist and senior fellow of Melbourne-based think tank the Institute of Public Affairs. Anyone in public life who takes a position on the greenhouse gas hypothesis will ignore it at their peril.

Duffy asked Marohasy: "Is the Earth still warming?"

She replied: "No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not what you'd expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years."

Duffy: "Is this a matter of any controversy?"

Marohasy: "Actually, no. The head of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has actually acknowledged it. He talks about the apparent plateau in temperatures so far this century. So he recognises that in this century, over the past eight years, temperatures have plateaued ... This is not what you'd expect, as I said, because if carbon dioxide is driving temperature then you'd expect that, given carbon dioxide levels have been continuing to increase, temperatures should be going up ... So (it's) very unexpected, not something that's being discussed. It should be being discussed, though, because it's very significant."

Duffy: "It's not only that it's not discussed. We never hear it, do we? Whenever there's any sort of weather event that can be linked into the global warming orthodoxy, it's put on the front page. But a fact like that, which is that global warming stopped a decade ago, is virtually never reported, which is extraordinary."
It's only extraordinary if you don't understand that the mainstream media is an instrument of the left of which climate change is currently its primary vehicle to inflict big government, socialist policies on the world.
Duffy then turned to the question of how the proponents of the greenhouse gas hypothesis deal with data that doesn't support their case. "People like Kevin Rudd and Ross Garnaut are speaking as though the Earth is still warming at an alarming rate, but what is the argument from the other side? What would people associated with the IPCC say to explain the (temperature) dip?"

Marohasy: "Well, the head of the IPCC has suggested natural factors are compensating for the increasing carbon dioxide levels and I guess, to some extent, that's what sceptics have been saying for some time: that, yes, carbon dioxide will give you some warming but there are a whole lot of other factors that may compensate or that may augment the warming from elevated levels of carbon dioxide.

"There's been a lot of talk about the impact of the sun and that maybe we're going to go through or are entering a period of less intense solar activity and this could be contributing to the current cooling."

Duffy: "Can you tell us about NASA's Aqua satellite, because I understand some of the data we're now getting is quite important in our understanding of how climate works?"

Marohasy: "That's right. The satellite was only launched in 2002 and it enabled the collection of data, not just on temperature but also on cloud formation and water vapour. What all the climate models suggest is that, when you've got warming from additional carbon dioxide, this will result in increased water vapour, so you're going to get a positive feedback. That's what the models have been indicating. What this great data from the NASA Aqua satellite ... (is) actually showing is just the opposite, that with a little bit of warming, weather processes are compensating, so they're actually limiting the greenhouse effect and you're getting a negative rather than a positive feedback."

Duffy: "The climate is actually, in one way anyway, more robust than was assumed in the climate models?"

Marohasy: "That's right ... These findings actually aren't being disputed by the meteorological community. They're having trouble digesting the findings, they're acknowledging the findings, they're acknowledging that the data from NASA's Aqua satellite is not how the models predict, and I think they're about to recognise that the models really do need to be overhauled and that when they are overhauled they will probably show greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide."
How long have I been saying that climate models don't work? To anyone who has even the most basic understanding of how they're programmed the fact that their predictions for precipitation are massively wrong should be enough to write off their credibility altogether. The primary greenhouse gas is water vapour. It is referred to as a 'feedback' in climate science. CO2 (and other GHGs such as NH4, O3 etc) have a 'forcing' effect that starts a warming process which is then amplified by the feedback mechanism of water vapour. Climate models not only do not model water vapour (to be fair, it's too complicated) but the fact that they get precipitation so wildly wrong means that there's much less real world amplification than models predict.
Duffy: "From what you're saying, it sounds like the implications of this could be considerable ..."

Marohasy: "That's right, very much so. The policy implications are enormous. The meteorological community at the moment is really just coming to terms with the output from this NASA Aqua satellite and (climate scientist) Roy Spencer's interpretation of them. His work is published, his work is accepted, but I think people are still in shock at this point."
I'm in shock that anybody could be in shock. What am I feeling now? Cold when I should be still enjoying the last vestiges of summer's warmth.
If Marohasy is anywhere near right about the impending collapse of the global warming paradigm, life will suddenly become a whole lot more interesting.

A great many founts of authority, from the Royal Society to the UN, most heads of government along with countless captains of industry, learned professors, commentators and journalists will be profoundly embarrassed. Let us hope it is a prolonged and chastening experience.
When Deniers are referred to as Flat Earthers by the Climate Faithful they at least understand the irony that it's actually the Faithful themselves who take the unscientific, Flat Earth equivalent position.
With catastrophe off the agenda, for most people the fog of millennial gloom will lift, at least until attention turns to the prospect of the next ice age. Among the better educated, the sceptical cast of mind that is the basis of empiricism will once again be back in fashion. The delusion that by recycling and catching public transport we can help save the planet will quickly come to be seen for the childish nonsense it was all along.
It is no surprise that it's childish nonsense - it's promoted by people who have never grown up intellectually - the Left. And I'm not too sure that Pearson is correct when he says that empiricism will come back into fashion. There are powerful forces at work - the UN, EU, environmental lobbies, higher education institutions and mainstream media - that are not going to go down without a fight.
The poorest Indians and Chinese will be left in peace to work their way towards prosperity, without being badgered about the size of their carbon footprint, a concept that for most of us will soon be one with Nineveh and Tyre, clean forgotten in six months.

The scores of town planners in Australia building empires out of regulating what can and can't be built on low-lying shorelines will have to come to terms with the fact inundation no longer impends and find something more plausible to do. The same is true of the bureaucrats planning to accommodate "climate refugees".
Anyone who is involved in the planning for the accommodation of 'climate refugees' needs to be sacked. Kevin Rudd can get his razor gang to make some quick savings right there.
Penny Wong's climate mega-portfolio will suddenly be as ephemeral as the ministries for the year 2000 that state governments used to entrust to junior ministers. Malcolm Turnbull will have to reinvent himself at vast speed as a climate change sceptic and the Prime Minister will have to kiss goodbye what he likes to call the great moral issue and policy challenge of our times.
It is the great moral issue of our time. The truth of empirical, scientific endeavour versus the hysteria of socially and, paradoxically, environmentally destructive policies brought about by appalling, agenda-driven science that will harm us for decades to come.
It will all be vastly entertaining to watch.
...but it won't be too entertaining to live...
THE Age published an essay with an environmental theme by Ian McEwan on March 8 and its stablemate, The Sydney Morning Herald, also carried a slightly longer version of the same piece.

The Australian's Cut & Paste column two days later reproduced a telling paragraph from the Herald's version, which suggested that McEwan was a climate change sceptic and which The Age had excised. He was expanding on the proposition that "we need not only reliable data but their expression in the rigorous use of statistics".

What The Age decided to spare its readers was the following: "Well-meaning intellectual movements, from communism to post-structuralism, have a poor history of absorbing inconvenient fact or challenges to fundamental precepts. We should not ignore or suppress good indicators on the environment, though they have become extremely rare now. It is tempting to the layman to embrace with enthusiasm the latest bleak scenario because it fits the darkness of our soul, the prevailing cultural pessimism. The imagination, as Wallace Stevens once said, is always at the end of an era. But we should be asking, or expecting others to ask, for the provenance of the data, the assumptions fed into the computer model, the response of the peer review community, and so on. Pessimism is intellectually delicious, even thrilling, but the matter before us is too serious for mere self-pleasuring. It would be self-defeating if the environmental movement degenerated into a religion of gloomy faith. (Faith, ungrounded certainty, is no virtue.)"

The missing sentences do not appear anywhere else in The Age's version of the essay. The attribution reads: "Copyright Ian McEwan 2008" and there is no acknowledgment of editing by The Age.

Why did the paper decide to offer its readers McEwan lite? Was he, I wonder, consulted on the matter? And isn't there a nice irony that The Age chose to delete the line about ideologues not being very good at "absorbing inconvenient fact"?
Why? It's not for nothing that The Age is referred to as the Spencer Street Soviet. Like all good socialists they take the Three Monkeys approach to any facts that don't support their orthodoxy.

A saying I heard that I like goes along the lines: being on the right means I don't have to wake up each day and live a lie.

To the non-nuanced left that does not mean people on the right don't lie to achieve their goals; it means that people on the right have a clear-eyed view of the world, understand human nature and know how to progress society effectively in a way that those on the left don't.

(Nothing Follows)

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Sunday night rock 'n' roll

William Joseph Martin "Billy" Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American pianist and singer-songwriter. He released his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973. According to the RIAA, he is the sixth best-selling recording artist in the United States.[1]

Joel had Top 10 hits in the '70s, '80s, and '90s; is a six-time Grammy Award winner; and has sold in excess of 150 million albums worldwide.[2] He was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (Class of 1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Class of 1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (Class of 2006). Joel "retired" from recording pop music in 1993 but continued to tour (sometimes with Elton John). In 2001 he subsequently released Fantasies & Delusions, a CD of classical compositions for piano. In 2007 he returned to recording with a single entitled "All My Life", followed by an extensive "World Tour" from 2005-2008, covering many of the major world cities.

Billy Joel is an amazing performer. Piano Man ranks alongside Crocodile Rock as the greatest of the piano rock 'n' roll tunes. Joel's range from true rock to ballads, along with memorable, meaningful lyrics, make him one of the greatest performers of all time.

It's Still Rock And Roll To Me (Live '82)



Piano Man



Honesty



New York State Of Mind



(Nothing Follows)

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Pope to baptise prominent Italian Muslim

This has to be a spectacularly unhealthy action for a Muslim to take...
POPE Benedict XVI will baptise one of Italy's most prominent and outspoken Muslim commentators at today's Easter Vigil service, the Vatican has announced.

Magdi Allam will become a Catholic during the traditional night-time service that takes place between Good Friday and Easter Sunday at St Peter's Basilica.

Mr Allam, the deputy editor of a leading Italian newspaper, is one of Italy's leading commentators on Muslim and Arab affairs, the Associated Press reported.

He has been a long-time advocate of tolerance over extremism.

The Vatican said anyone who wishes to convert to Catholicism of their own free will has the right to be baptised.

The Pope would administer the sacrament "without making any 'difference of people,' that is, considering all equally important before the love of God and welcoming all in the community of the Church".

The Vatican announced the high-profile conversion shortly before the long Vigil service started with Benedict XVI blessing a solitary white candle.

He slowly made his way through the pews of St Peter's, lighting worhsippers' candles from his own.

The pontiff was forced to pace himself yesterday, cancelling a planned processional walk during the Way of the Cross in Rome.

The Pope had been due to carry a plain, white cross part of the way around the Colosseum, but heavy rain and a packed schedule forced Vatican officials to rethink the idea.

The 81-year-old instead touched and blessed the cross, then remained under cover.
(Nothing Follows)

Friday, 21 March 2008

Washington DC cherry trees bloom at normal time. Climate Faithful see it as a sign of global warming.

In the article below, Stanford University biologist Terry Root is either:

a) quoted out of context;
b) an incompetent clown;
c) a liar; or
d) an environmental activist
WASHINGTON - Pollen is bursting. Critters are stirring. Buds are swelling. Biologists are worrying.

"The alarm clock that all the plants and animals are listening to is running too fast," says Stanford University biologist Terry Root. The famous cherry trees in Washington, D.C., are primed to burst out in a perfect pink peak about the end of this month. Thirty years ago, the trees usually waited to bloom till around April 5.
Thirty years ago I suppose they would. The world was coming to the end of three to four decades of relatively cold temperatures. It's a classic example of climate science's use of outliers and low-end data points as a comparison point.

But what does a quick Internet search tell us? How about this?
When do the cherry blossoms bloom and when do they reach their peak?

The date when the Yoshino cherry blossoms reach their peak bloom varies from year to year, depending on the weather. Unseasonably warm and/or cool temperatures have resulted in the trees reaching peak bloom as early as March 15 (1990) and as late as April 18 (1958). The blooming period can last up to 14 days. They are considered to be at their peak when 70 percent of the blossoms are open. The dates of the National Cherry Blossom Festival are set based on the average date of blooming, which is around April 4th.
Sooooo, they bloomed in 1990 earlier than 2008? Sound the alarms!

Back to the article...
In central California, the first of the field skipper sachem, a drab little butterfly, was fluttering about on March 12. Just 25 years ago, that creature predictably emerged there anywhere from mid-April to mid-May.

And sneezes are coming earlier in Philadelphia. On March 9, when allergist Dr. Donald Dvorin set up his monitor, maple pollen was already heavy in the air. Less than two decades ago, that pollen couldn't be measured until late April.

Blame global warming.
I stubbed my toe this morning. I blamed global warming. The headache I had last week was quite bad. I blamed global warming. Last week I went to the Coke machine; it swallowed my money and gave me no delicious, black elixir. More global warming. Back in January I had to put blankets on the bed in what is usually the hottest month of the year here. Global warming. The heat sends people crazy, they sign up for loans they shouldn't have and can't repay leading to the collapse of Bear Stearns. Conclusive proof of global warming.
The fingerprints of man-made climate change are evident in seasonal timing changes for thousands of species on Earth, according to dozens of studies and last year's authoritative report by the Nobel Prize-winning international climate scientists. More than 30 scientists told The Associated Press how global warming is affecting plants and animals at springtime across the United States, in nearly every state.

What's happening is so noticeable that scientists can track it from space. Satellites measuring when land turns green found that spring "green-up" is arriving eight hours earlier every year on average since 1982 north of the Mason-Dixon line. In much of Florida and southern Texas and Louisiana, the satellites show spring coming a tad later, and bizarrely, in a complicated way, global warming can explain that too, the scientists said.
Florida, Texas and Louisiana all had later springs and that's somehow proof of global warming? I presume that in those states drab little butterflies weren't prancing around earlier than usual and allergy sufferers started sniffling later? And 1982 - there's that low starting point in action again.

By the way. If the world was cooling and it could be blamed on, say, man made aerosols then wouldn't the article use the Florida, Texas and Louisiana situation as proof of global cooling?

Biological timing is called phenology. Biological spring, which this year begins at 1:48 a.m. EDT Thursday, is based on the tilt of Earth as it circles the sun. The U.S. government and some university scientists are so alarmed by the changes that last fall they created a National Phenology Network at the U.S. Geological Survey to monitor these changes.

The idea, said biologist and network director Jake Weltzin, is "to better understand the changes, and more important what do they mean? How does it affect humankind?"

There are winners, losers and lots of unknowns when global warming messes with natural timing. People may appreciate the smaller heating bills from shorter winters, the longer growing season and maybe even better-tasting wines from some early grape harvests. But biologists also foresee big problems.

The changes could push some species to extinction. That's because certain plants and animals are dependent on each other for food and shelter. If the plants bloom or bear fruit before animals return or surface from hibernation, the critters could starve. Also, plants that bud too early can still be whacked by a late freeze.

The young of tree swallows - which in upstate New York are laying eggs nine days earlier than in the 1960s - often starve in those last-gasp cold snaps because insects stop flying in the cold, ornithologists said. University of Maryland biology professor David Inouye noticed an unusually early February robin in his neighbourhood this year and noted, "Sometimes the early bird is the one that's killed by the winter storm."

The checkerspot butterfly disappeared from Stanford's Jasper Ridge preserve because shifts in rainfall patterns changed the timing of plants on which it develops. When the plant dries out too early, the caterpillars die, said Notre Dame biology professor Jessica Hellmann.

"It's an early warning sign in that it's an additional onslaught that a lot of our threatened species can't handle," Hellmann said.

It's not easy on some people either. A controlled federal field study shows that warmer temperatures and increased carbon dioxide cause earlier, longer and stronger allergy seasons.

"For wind-pollinated plants, it's probably the strongest signal we have yet of climate change," said University of Massachusetts professor of aerobiology Christine Rogers. "It's a huge health impact. Seventeen per cent of the American population is allergic to pollen."

While some plants and animals use the amount of sunlight to figure out when it is spring, others base it on heat building in their tissues, much like a roasting turkey with a pop-up thermometer. Around the world, those internal thermometers are going to "pop" earlier than they once did.

This past winter's weather could send a mixed message. Globally, it was the coolest December through February since 2001 and a year of heavy snowfall. Despite that, it was still warmer than average for the 20th century.

Canadians endured almost six months of brutal winter weather that plunged the Prairies in the deep freeze, Prince Edward Island in the dark and central and Atlantic Canada under mounds and more mounds of snow.

And now the top weather man says the country's groundhogs got it wrong - even as spring arrives according to the calendar, Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips is forecasting six more weeks of winter. Environment Canada is predicting that the first month of spring, mid-March to mid-April, is going to be colder than normal across the country.

Phenology data go back to the 14th century for harvest of wine grapes in France. There is a change in the timing of fall, but the change is biggest in spring. In the 1980s there was a sudden, big leap forward in spring blooming, scientists noticed. And spring keeps coming earlier at an accelerating rate.

Unlike sea ice in the Arctic, the way climate change is tinkering with the natural timing of day-to-day life is concrete and local. People can experience it with all five senses:

-You can see the trees and bushes blooming earlier. A photo of Lowell Cemetery in Lowell, Mass., taken May 30, 1868, shows bare limbs. But the same scene photographed May 30, 2005, by Boston University biology professor Richard Primack shows them in full spring greenery.

-You can smell the lilacs and honeysuckle. In the West they are coming out two to four days earlier each decade over more than half a century, according to a 2001 study.

-You can hear it in the birds. Scientists in Gothic, Colo., have watched the first robin of spring arrive earlier each year in that mountain ghost town, marching forward from April 9 in 1981 to March 14 last year. This year, heavy snows may keep the birds away until April.

-You can feel it in your nose from increased allergies. Spring airborne pollen is being released about 20 hours earlier every year, according to a Swiss study that looked at common allergies since 1979.

-You can even taste it in the honey. Bees, which sample many plants, are producing their peak amount of honey weeks earlier. The nectar is coming from different plants now, which means noticeably different honey - at least in Highland, Md., where Wayne Esaias has been monitoring honey production since 1992. Instead of the rich, red, earthy tulip poplar honey that used to be prevalent, bees are producing lighter, fruitier black locust honey. Esaias, a NASA oceanographer as well as beekeeper, says global warming is a factor.

The early red maple is creating buzz, as well as sniffles. A New Jersey conservationist posted an urgent message on a biology listserv on Feb. 1 about the early blooming. A 2001 study found that since 1970, that tree is blossoming on average at least 19 days earlier in Washington, D.C.

Such changes have "implications for the animals that are dependent on this plant," Weltzin said, as he stood beneath a blooming red maple in late February. By the time the animals arrive, "the flowers may already be done for the year." The animals may have to find a new food source.

"It's all a part of life," Weltzin said. "Timing is everything."

Thursday, 20 March 2008

The Islamification of France

When a society decides to pursue equality of outcome over equality of opportunity then that society has abandoned its values system. When confronted with the backward, racist, sexist, homophobic and violent Religion of Peace the society's non-values cannot hold off Islam's bad values.

In the picture tells a thousand words category, check out the following couple of graphics showing the rise in the number of mosques in each department (the numbers on the map) from 1985 to 2008...





With a huge Muslim population that is particularly fecund, who's willing to bet that France will survive as a free democracy through the next 30 years?

By the way, France is the world's most disgusting free nation in terms of promoting peace and stability in the world. Their record in Africa is especially egregious and perhaps the Islamification of the place will be for the better.

(Nothing Follows)

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

More Inconvenient Truth for the Climate Faithful - Oceans don't know they're meant to be warming up

All predictions of future climate conditions come from climate models. The UN IPCC uses a blend of about 20 models to create high, low and average scenarios.

As I've commented before, climate models have a zero (nil, nada, none, bugger all) percentage success rate at predicting earth's climate. The Climate Faithful use the hilarious example of Hansen's 'Scenario B' to show that models do, in fact, work.

For the uninitiated - Scenario B is one of NASA climate scientist James Hansen's models that proved to be reasonably accurate. "Huzzah!" cried the Climate Faithful, "Models do work!" Unfortunately, Scenario B uses parameters for greenhouse gasses that do not reflect what actually happened - not even close - meaning that the right result was achieved with the wrong method. I don't know how your maths papers were graded when you went to school but when I did if I presented a solution to a problem that got the right answer but with the wrong method then my test would come back with a dirty great X next to it.


It goes without saying that there are a lot of Xs in climate science.

With that as background we now have an article published in NPR The Mystery of Global Warming's Missing Heat, which details that the oceans are not warming up in the manner that they're supposed to be according to climate theory and the predictions of climate models.
Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them.
Seriously? What's not to understand? The robots are telling them exactly what's happening.
This is puzzling in part because here on the surface of the Earth, the years since 2003 have been some of the hottest on record. But Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the oceans are what really matter when it comes to global warming.

In fact, 80 percent to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. They hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans.

"There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant," Willis says. So the buildup of heat on Earth may be on a brief hiatus. "Global warming doesn't mean every year will be warmer than the last. And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming."
Don't you worry about that, though, all of you Climate Faithful. Climate science has a solid track record at fudging figures, from NASA's GISS data to the Hockey Stick to UHI adjustments and to ground station data manipulation. Just give them a year or so to 'explain' why the robots are producing 'wrong' results and order will be restored.
In recent years, heat has actually been flowing out of the ocean and into the air. This is a feature of the weather phenomenon known as El Nino. So it is indeed possible the air has warmed but the ocean has not. But it's also possible that something more mysterious is going on.
Sounds like a job for Dirk Gentry's Holistic Detective Agency to me.
That becomes clear when you consider what's happening to global sea level. Sea level rises when the oceans get warm because warmer water expands. This accounts for about half of global sea level rise. So with the oceans not warming, you would expect to see less sea level rise. Instead, sea level has risen about half an inch in the past four years. That's a lot.
Or the measurements are wrong. Climate science is all about low-balling previous numbers to make current data look high by comparison.
Willis says some of this water is apparently coming from a recent increase in the melting rate of glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica.
Except for the fact that both continents are quite stable in net ice cover and even the worst predictions of sea levels rises can't create four inches in four years.
"But in fact there's a little bit of a mystery. We can't account for all of the sea level increase we've seen over the last three or four years," he says.
That's not "a little bit of a mystery". If it's actually true then it's a huge mystery.
One possibility is that the sea has, in fact, warmed and expanded — and scientists are somehow misinterpreting the data from the diving buoys.

But if the aquatic robots are actually telling the right story, that raises a new question: Where is the extra heat all going?

Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research says it's probably going back out into space. The Earth has a number of natural thermostats, including clouds, which can either trap heat and turn up the temperature, or reflect sunlight and help cool the planet.
Climate models are spectacularly bad at modelling how much heat makes it into space because they have no capacity to model cloud cover.
That can't be directly measured at the moment, however.
They can't???? But, but, but...ah, what the heck. Wreck economies, spend trillions of dollars. It'll be OK. Not.
"Unfortunately, we don't have adequate tracking of clouds to determine exactly what role they've been playing during this period," Trenberth says.
Told you. For 'adequate' read 'any'.
It's also possible that some of the heat has gone even deeper into the ocean, he says. Or it's possible that scientists need to correct for some other feature of the planet they don't know about. It's an exciting time, though, with all this new data about global sea temperature, sea level and other features of climate.
"...correct for some other feature of the planet they don't know about"? What did I tell you? Expect a huge data fudge sometime soon.
"I suspect that we'll able to put this together with a little bit more perspective and further analysis," Trenberth says. "But what this does is highlight some of the issues and send people back to the drawing board."

Trenberth and Willis agree that a few mild years have no effect on the long-term trend of global warming. But they say there are still things to learn about how our planet copes with the heat.
I don't know why they say 'mild' when half the planet has been freezing their collective arses off and all indicators are that lack of solar activity will bring even more cold in years to come.

(Nothing Follows)

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

The Art of Climate Science - Redux

I wrote this spoof interview over a year ago. The name 'Malcolm Bradmann' comes from the creators of the infamous and now utterly discredited Hockey Stick while 'Steve Mullofkintyre' is a play on the great Steve McIntyre of Climateaudit fame who is doing sterling work analysing the data that the global warming hypothesis is based on.

Since this was first posted climate science has become an even greater parody of itself with outrageous claims of doom that have very little basis in real science.

The BBC’s chief science correspondent, Jasper Fothingham, interviews renowned climate scientist, Malcolm Bradmann, on the state of climate research and discusses the likely impact of our failure to heed the signs of global warming.

Fothingham:

It’s no understatement that the world faces a challenge like never before in its history. The scourge that is Global Warming has led to not only record high temperatures around the globe but also withering blizzards, torrential flooding, an increase in hurricane activity and intensity, longer droughts, and the loss of vast tracts of Antarctica’s and Greenland’s ice sheets, which leading scientists in the field tell us will inevitably lead to unparalleled human catastrophe. At the root of the problem is mankind and its insatiable appetite for energy, pumping huge quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere resulting in the planet warming dramatically. To paint us a picture I’m joined by renowned climate scientist, Malcolm Bradmann, who has spent most of the last twenty years devoted to better understanding the field. Welcome to the program, Malcolm.

Bradmann:

Thank you, Jasper. It’s very good to be here.

Fothingham:

Malcolm, there’s quite clearly an overwhelming consensus among climate scientists on the scale of the problem. What’s the up to date view?

Bradmann:

Yes. You’re right, Jasper. The consensus view is that global warming is real, that it’s anthropogenic in origin – that is, to say, man made – and that unless we do something about it immediately the world will face the huge problems you described in your introduction.

Fothingham:

There has been quite a bit of controversy, especially in the last year or so, from scientists opposing the consensus and actually challenging the fundamentals of climate science. How do you respond to them?

Bradmann:

In the normal course of events I don’t respond. When you have in your corner such scientific luminaries as James Hansen, James Lovelock and Lonnie Thompson you know you’re in good company. The science is completely established, and accepted, as fact, so the views of these Flat Earthers really does nothing more than make us waste time on the debate.

Fothingham:

I’m sure that viewers will be interested in putting that one to bed so I’d like to get you to comment on some of the criticisms. Out of left field has come a statistician, Steve Mullofkintyre, whose analysis of the iconic Hockey Stick used to support the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change position on global warming has seemed to gain traction with many of the critics. What’s your position on Mullofkintyre?

Bradmann:

Ha-ha. Yes. Ha-ha. Well, not only is Mullofkintyre not a climate scientist but he has also worked for Big Oil so your viewers can decide for themselves what his real motives are in attacking us. But seriously, Jasper, we pointed out errors in his analysis a long time ago and, as far as climate science goes, the debate has moved on since then.

Fothingham:

Yes, you did point out the errors but weren’t Mullofkintyre’s statistics demonstrated to be valid by none other than Edward Wegman, a very well respected statistician and chair of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics in his report to the Barton Commission? Doesn’t that call into question the validity of your work?

Bradmann:

No not at all. Certainly Wegman sided with Mullofkintyre on the statistical method that he used but as we pointed out they used the wrong method. We have our own method that is peer reviewed and validates our results.

Fothingham:

Well, can you explain the method you used, then?

Bradmann:

Unfortunately, no. I’m a climate scientist. I am not a statistician.

Fothingham:

You mentioned before that the debate had ‘moved on’. Can you expand on that statement for our audience, please?

Bradmann:

Certainly! To remind people, our work is based on the field called dendroclimatology. That is, the use of tree ring data to analyse the earth’s climate from the distant past. By looking at how the tree rings are formed we can make an assessment of the impact of CO2 and other factors and make predictions about what climate changes the world faces with the current increase in CO2. However, there is a new field of research that has climate scientists even more excited than dendroclimatology.

Fothingham:

And what’s that?

Bradmann:

Artoclimatology!

Fothingham:

Artoclimatology?

Bradmann:

Yes! Artoclimatology.

Fothingham:

I must confess that I’ve never heard of the term. Please tell us what that is.

Bradmann:

I’m not surprised that you haven’t heard of the field yet, Jasper, as it’s very new and very exciting and there are only a few people working in it. The use of proxies is what underpins any analysis of past climate. Therefore, we look for those things that provide an indicator of climate through history. What better way to view nature than through the eyes of those people who were alive at the time and who actually painted the scenery? Artists! There are thousands of examples of the same landscape being painted by artists through the ages so an analysis of these paintings provides a huge clue as to the prevailing climate of the time. Thus, artoclimatology.

Fothingham:

Fascinating! And what is the research showing?

Bradmann:

The best way to demonstrate the results is to show people a number of views of the same landscape that have been painted at different periods, hundreds of years apart. I’ve brought in paintings from the same scene at the lovely Hyde Park in London. The first is a picture of a lady painted by monks in around 1300. At that time, Hyde Park was part of the Manor of Eia, which was run by the monks. The second painting is also of a lady and it was painted just before the civil war in about 1630. Finally, we have a painting from 1998, the warmest year on record, also of a lady.

Fothingham:

So, Malcolm, why are the paintings important and what can we deduce from them?

Bradmann:

Well, Jasper, as you can see these three paintings are all of exactly the same scene and are painted at the same time of the season. The reason that these paintings are important is that the first was painted when there was supposedly a medieval warm period, the second during a supposed little ice age and the third during the hottest year ever. When we examine them we see that the women in the first two paintings are wearing pretty much the same outfits, indicating that the temperature must have been much the same. This supports the conclusion of our research, which is that there was no Medieval Warm Period and no Little Ice Age. Dress standards had obviously changed by the twentieth century but there’s no doubt that the subject is wearing much less because it’s so much hotter.

Fothingham:

She’s wearing a bikini!

Bradmann:

Of course she is. It’s the warmest year ever.

Fothingham:

Malcolm, I can’t help noticing that the lady in the first painting is standing in the shade of the tree and has a closed parasol by her side. Wouldn’t that seem to indicate that it was indeed warm at that time?

Bradmann:

I agree that her position and the parasol are anomalous but my team did extensive research on 14th century fashion and parasols were quite the order of the day. As for standing in the shade – you can see that she’s quite a pale lady and she’s probably protecting her complexion from the sun.

Fothingham:

Hmmmm. OK. So this second painting indicates that there was no Little Ice Age because she’s dressed the same way?

Bradmann:

Well done! That’s exactly correct, Jasper.

Fothingham:

It appears to me that it really must be a deal colder because…well…um…this is a general viewing rated program so I need to be careful how I put it…her nipples seem to be standing out due to the hardness caused by the cold. Isn’t it possible that it really was colder when this was painted?

Bradmann:

To be perfectly frank, we were quite concerned by the hard nipples at first. However, if you look at the lady’s face you’ll see a little smile, sort of mischievous, and a bit of a gleam, a spark, in her eye. We believe that the painter was her lover and that she was simply aroused by it all.

Fothingham:

You’re not serious?

Bradmann:

Absolutely serious, Jasper. This is the future of the planet we’re talking about here!

Fothingham:

Well then, can you tell who the painters are and look at any of their other work? Does their style give a hint to their identity?

Bradmann:

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you. I’m a climate scientist. I am not a classical painter.

Fothingham:

So how much more research is there to be done in the field of artoclimatology?

Bradmann:

As I mentioned earlier, it’s a very new field but the results are so promising that we’ve been awarded quite a few million dollars from the IPCC to continue the research.

Fothingham:

And do you have any other paintings that you’re able to compare from different centuries?

Bradmann:

We do already. There are quite a few of the Swiss Alps, Paris and from Egypt and Mesopotamia that we’re looking at. Fortunately, the grants allow us to do quite a lot of flying to Switzerland, Paris, Egypt and the Middle East to continue our research.

Fothingham:

Flying? But isn’t that a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions?

Bradmann:

It certainly is, Jasper, but our research is so important that the environmental damage our flying around does just has to be borne. It’s a race against time and time is running short. If we can’t do this work and then Greenland melts in ten years’ time, putting us all under twenty feet of water then what will people say then?

Fothingham:

They probably won’t say much, Malcolm, as they’ll be quite drowned by then. You don’t happen to live on the coast do you?

Bradmann:

As a matter of fact I do.

Fothingham:

Goodly. Let’s hope that we get at least a little global warming, eh! Thank you, Malcolm Bradmann for being with us tonight.

Bradmann:

It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for inviting me


(Nothing Follows)