Monday, April 29, 2013

A Query

A Question for Supporters of the Supposedly Scientific but Self-Serving, Partisan Propagandists of the Failed Conjecture of Anthropogenic Global Warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

It’s “ipcc
this” and “ipcc that”
all across the land;

the argument from
authority is getting
wholly out of hand.

Do tell us: what part
of “intergovernmental”
don’t you understand?

Even the very silly Prof. Tim Flannery—in The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth (Melbourne, 2008)—notes that:
the pronouncements of the IPCC do not represent mainstream science, nor even good science, but lowest-common-denominator-science—and of course even that is delivered at glacial speed.  [p. 246]
Immediately, however, the professor, in assuete denial of consecutive thinking, observes:
If the IPCC says something, you had better believe it—and then allow for the likelihood that things are far worse than is says they are.  [loc. cit.]
UPDATE I (7 May):  see “Two Views on Science, Pollution & Pristine Lakes” by Donna Laframboise (of Delinquent Teenager fame):
Today’s moral lesson: scientists aren’t holy men, pronouncing the gospel truth.  They may, in fact, be closer to circus performers. 
UPDATE II (9 May):  see “Secret UN ‘ZOD’ climate deliberations: UK battles to suppress details” by Andrew Orlowski:
It’s a common misconception—a sign of the media’s deference to scientists, perhaps—that the IPCC consists of a properly appointed actual panel somewhere.  As [Peter] Stott [of the UK Met Office] cheerfully confirmed, beyond a small technical administrative support team called the TSU, there isn’t really “an IPCC” at all.  Self-selecting scientists kick off the assessment process, often gatekeeping material by their friends and colleagues, hard-green campaign groups etc.  From the Second Draft stage of the review process the room is full of government officials—the international bureaucracy effectively takes over.  The rules are set by the participants, making it up as they go along, Lord of the Flies-style.  The Osborne-Stocker exchange illustrates a normal example of one scientist colluding with another in an attempt to prevent the public finding out how the process works.  Stott described in court the process which allows any member of the public to “self-certify” as an Expert Reviewer and join the process at the First Order Draft (i.e., the second) stage.
UPDATE III (24 May):  download a PDF of What is Wrong with the IPCC? Proposals for a Radical Reform, by Ross McKitrick.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Carbon Dioxide Blamed Again

Speak of noxious fumes and a modern researcher’s first thoughts fly to carbon dioxide.  In The Daily Telegraph, we may read that “Archaeologists have uncovered ‘Pluto’s Gate’, an ancient gateway to Hell, in Turkey”:
A group of Italian archaeologists have announced they have found the legendary “Pluto’s Gate”, a portal filled with foul-smelling noxious fumes which inflicted a quick death on any person or beast that was driven into its embrace.
The temple complex in Hierapolis, now the volcanic-spring restort town of Pamukkale, featured in many ancient legends and historical texts.
“This space is full of a vapour so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death,” the Greek historian Strabo wrote in 24AD*.
“I threw in sparrowsand they immediately breathed their last and fell.”
[quoting Strabo’s Geographica, XIII, iv, 14]
Now, “foul-smelling noxious fumes” can’t be carbon dioxide because carbon dioxide is odourless. What were unspecified noxious vapours, however, are swiftly identified:
Francesco D’Andria of the University of Salento said the “visions” were probably hallucinations caused by breathing diluted fumes wafting up from the Gate to Hell.
And the portal is still a killer, he said.
“We could see the cave’s lethal properties during the excavation,” D’Andria told Discovery News.
“Several birds died as they tried to get close to the warm opening, instantly killed by the carbon dioxide fumes.”
*  Strabo died, at the latest, around the year 24 when he was 87 or so; I doubt that he wrote the thirteenth of his seventeen books of Geographica in the last months of his long life.
†  Strabo’s word, στρουθία, appears to refer to unspecified small birds rather than to sparrows in particular.