Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category
GEORGETOWN – Sussex County Council members are not on the same wave length regarding the debatable issue of sea level rise.
At the May 7 council meeting, Susan Love, a planner with the Department of Environmental Control and Natural Resources’Coastal Management Program, delivered an update on progress made by the state’s Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee…
An A to Z of Climate Change Denial
A is for Anthropocentric
B is for Belligerent
C is for Counterintuitive
D is for Delusional
E is for Ecophobic
F is for Fallacious
G is for Growth-oriented
H is for Heliocentric
I is for Incoherent
J is for Juvenile
K is for Kamikaze
L is for Libertarian
M is for Misguided
N is for Nonsensical
O is for Obfuscatory
P is for Perverse
Q is for Quackery
R is for Reactionary
S is for Sociopathic
T is for Tendentious
U is for Unfalsifiable
V is for Vacuous
W is for Witch-hunt
X is for Xenophobic
Y is for Yellow-bellied
Z is for Zzzzzz.
Regular and longer-term subscribers to this blog may recall some of my exchanges with Doug Swallow (a.k.a. jdouglashuahin) who claims to be a US citizen resident in SE Asia somewhere. Whoever or wheresoever he may be, English is clearly not his mother tongue; and rationality is clearly not his strong suit.
Anyone who is not familiar with Doug Swallow, should take a quick trip to the Climate Asylum blog of Barry Bickmore, Professor of Geological Sciences at the Brigham Young University in Utah, where Doug’s entirely repetitious modus operandi is played out in one single (lengthy) exchange:
Those of you who need no such reminder may wish to cast a quick eye over the exchange of comments leading up to those appended below, over on Peter Sinclair’s Climate Denial Crock of the Week blog (search for “jdouglashuahin”). However, even if you cannot be bothered to do that, the following is pretty self-explanatory…
charleszeller: To revisit this site is like making a trip through the graveyard with the ghost of Martin Lack howling like a banshee and, as usual, saying nothing and that is about like the video that I wasted 11 minutes watching a guy trying to sell books and no where addressing my challenge about providing an experiment that shows that the amount of a trace gas, CO2, at .037-9% of the total atmosphere and that naturally decreases with altitude to where at 18,000′ there is only 50% of the atmosphere there is at sea-level present, nor have I seen any link or information coming from you about this experiment ever having been done let alone an answer to the point about the mathematical derivation of CO2 forcing.
The reason I do not generally say much to you anymore, Doug, is that I have previously said it all (and so have you). Furthermore, as many others have said, the fact that you go from website to website endlessly repeating the same questions and cutting-and-pasting the same spurious information tends to suggest you are being paid to waste the time of people who are trying to clear the fog of misinformation peddled by the fossil fuel industry (i.e. as was the well-documented tactic of the tobacco industry before it). Either that, or you are not paying attention to the rebuttals you receive, or you are simply incapable of understanding their implications.
Whichever is the case, your repetitive request (reminiscent of [most-recently] Matt Ridley on the GWPF website) to be given the results of laboratory experiment that proves that CO2 is the primary cause of warming presupposes that the vast majority of relevantly-qualified scientists (who have concluded that it is) are either being stupid, illogical, or mendacious. Unfortunately, such a presupposition can only be made by people who believe in a scientific conspiracy or believe that they are cleverer than the climate scientists themselves. This is not only highly improbable; it is not consistent with all the available evidence (i.e. of both historical industry-led misinformation campaigns and of theoretically-deduced science validated by empirical observation and computer modelling).
However, I am already repeating myself so I will simply conclude by apologising for my earlier impolite remarks (which were prompted – but not justified – by your unfounded, illogical and disparaging remarks about my blog). Goodbye.
Dear Peter, Can you confirm whether this contribution from Doug is the longest-ever single sentence comment your site has received? Credit where credit is due it; it is a pretty impressive piece of syntax avoidance.
I hope he took a breath during that.
I admit that, in the above, some of my own sentences are quite long, but, they do at least make sense. However, if this were not so sad (and/or evidence of criminal insanity and/or intellectual incapacity), it would be funny.
With my thanks to the Keep Britain Tidy campaign for inspiring this post.
I believe the time has long since past for us humans to admit that the scale of many of our activities now exceed the capacity of our environment to assimilate and recycle the wastes we produce.
Because it is not just plant food, these wastes include carbon dioxide.
As I have said many times before, a frontier mentality is no longer sustainable: Using a passing river as a source of water, a laundry, and a toilet is OK if you live in a sparsely populated wilderness but; when you live in an overcrowded slum it is likely to lead to premature death.
Many things that we humans now do have become a problem simply because of the scale at which we are now doing them; and that includes the doubling of the CO2 into our atmosphere (which we look likely to achieve within the next few decades).
Is this to be the White Man’s Folly?
For this spoof of the Anglican version of the Nicene Creed I apologise to all those who lack a sense of humour:
We believe in some gods,
like Professor Ian Plimer,
writer of ‘Heaven and Earth’,
of all that is mean and not green.
We believe in some lords; John Christy
and in Richard Lindzen.
Endlessly they are proven wrong and yet still,
from their shite we recite,
true lies from sad guys,
opinions, not facts,
of one thing we are certain,
through them all truths were made.
For us and for our salvation
they came down from science:
by the power of our human folly,
they became embedded in ideology,
and made their plan.
For our sake they were crucified by climate scientists;
they suffered ‘death’ and were ‘buried’.
On the third day they rose again
in accordance with the sceptics;
they returned to their jobs,
and are seated in academic tenure.
They will come again in future to fudge the reason and the facts,
and their soapbox will have no end.
We believe in the wholly spurious, our god, the slither of doubt,
which precedes our judgement of evidence.
With the money and the vice it is worshiped and glorified.
It is supported through the profits…
We believe in one wholly cynical and irrational church.
We acknowledge one purpose; for the pursuance of greed.
We look for the perpetuation of growth,
and the life of the World to shun.
[Please be seated]
Copyright © Martin Lack 2013
No it is not; but thanks to R.E.M. for the inspiration!
Just over a week ago, David Rose posted an article in the Mail on Sunday claiming that climate change has stopped happening. Despite a howl of protest (including my own) – and some very thorough rebuttals in various publications (pointing out things like 98% of energy the Earth receives from the Sun is being absorbed by its oceans) – he decided to repeat his nonsense again at the weekend. This comment (below), by someone who is clearly unaware of the track-record that businesses have for denying responsibility for bad things that happen to their customers, caught my eye – for all the wrong reasons:
“Asking scientists to deny climate change is like asking Cadbury’s to deny Easter. Ask yourself, how many scientists are involved in climate change research, sustainable energy research, carbon capture research, etc, etc? It’s a cash-cow, and the rest of us are providing the hay.” – Had enough, London, United Kingdom, 21/10/2012 13:35.
So, to answer my question… Yes, apparently they really can be this stupid!
Please enjoy the video:
Why the picture of monkeys?
The short story:
1. Lord Monckton believes Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD) is a myth (i.e. a hoax or a false alarm).
2. Rev. Foster believes that ACD is inconsistent with God’s plan for humanity (i.e. as revealed in the Bible).
3. Dr. Peiser presumably believes ACD will go away if he ignores it (i.e. he has not responded to my emails).
The slightly longer story:
I recently sent an email to Lord Monckton (ex-UKIP), Rev Philip Foster (Repeal the Act) and Dr Benny Peiser (GWPF). I thought my email was reasonable and polite, whereas the response I got from Monckton was neither. Both my email and a summary of Monckton’s response were posted on this blog last week. However, as I have explained, Monckton was not willing to admit any possibility of his being wrong: Anthropogenic climate disruption is a myth. End of story. Therefore, he appears to be the Hear No Evil monkey. Today, as promised, I will explain why Rev. Foster appears to be the See No Evil monkey; and Dr Peiser appears to be the Speak No Evil monkey.
Rev. Foster is actually a retired Church of England vicar and a published author. He is also, unsurprisingly perhaps, a very nice person. However, just like me, he is not infallible. I have previously tried to engage Rev. Foster in debate regarding the content of his book, While The Earth Endures: Creation, Cosmology and Climate Change. In order to do this, I apologised to him for any offence caused by the humorous title I gave to my factual review of his book on Amazon. However, he will still not even admit that the famously unreproducable 1909 experiment of Professor R. W. Wood (demonstrating that a greenhouse gets hot by preventing convection not by trapping radiation) means that our “greenhouse” analogy is poor: It does prove that atmospheric CO2 cannot trap outgoing long wave radiation. This is just as well really; because Life on Earth would be impossible if CO2 did not do this.
Another favourite tactic of Rev. Foster is to accuse me of what C.S. Lewis called ‘Bulverism’ (i.e. telling someone they are wrong without first demonstrating why they are wrong). This is a very facile criticism to make; especially if you are in the habit of rejecting as suspicious any evidence that does not confirm to your pre-existing view of reality: If that is the case, this then becomes an entirely self-referential position; a completely impregnable fortress of confirmation bias; and an utterly unfalsifiable argument.
Finally, there is Rev. Foster’s theology; as set out in his book and expounded to me in his emails. Although he is clearly not a Young Earth Creationist, I think Rev. Foster is an eternal optimist; because he appears to believe that:
– Ecological scarcity is not possible because the Bible says God has made abundant provision for humans;
– Over-population can’t happen because we have been commanded to go forth and multiply; and
– We cannot trash the planet because God won’t let us.
I have suggested to him that the history of the Jews as set out in the Old Testament – and indeed the entire history of human civilisation – suggests he may be wrong about these things. Sadly, Rev. Foster doesn’t see it that way… He is the See No Evil monkey.
As for Dr Benny Peiser being the Speak No Evil monkey; that’s an easy one: He has never responded to any email I have sent him; whether it was addressed to him personally or copied to him. Presumably, like Monckton, he has also chosen to be offended by my use of humour (e.g. in my entirely factual account of his misrepresentation of climate science and scientists). As does Monckton, he presumably also mistakes this for an ad hominem attack. Unfortunately, they are both wrong, because the term is conventionally used when someone attacks the messenger because they cannot falsify the message. However…
I don’t need to falsify their messages because they have been falsified already; and
the Laws of Physics cannot be changed by endlessly repeating erroneous ideas.
Some may say that a Monarchy is the abrogation of democracy but, with respect, I think they confuse Monarchy with Dictatorship.
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second is said to be the most photographed person on Earth today and, in an incredible period of seemingly-accelerating change, she has been a remarkable constant. This was one of the points made by HRH The Prince of Wales in his Diamond Jubilee tribute to his mother. Broadcast on Friday, this was a wonderfully-endearing personal tribute to his “Ma-maa”; a reflection upon her 60 year-reign; and a whole lot more: It included a lot of previously-unseen cine film footage shot by his parents (before and after the death of his grandfather in 1952); including behind-the-scenes footage of both public events and very private family occasions.
This is viewable (if you live in the UK) on the BBC’s iPlayer or (if elsewhere) on You Tube. It is 60 minutes of very entertaining viewing and, if ever issued on DVD, I would be willing to bet it will be a top-seller.
Prince Charles pointed out that, just as Sir Winston Churchill, the UK’s octogenarian Prime Minister in the early 1950s, was a source of inspiration and comfort to our young Queen, so she herself has become the same to her equally young Prime Ministers today.
However, as my personal tribute to Her Majesty, I should like to propose some less jingoistic replacement verses for our National Anthem; more appropriate to the times in which we now live:
God help us all today,
Even though we don’t pray,
What’s right to know.
Please help those in denial,
To put aside their bile,
And from folly resile,
Carbon must go.
Our Queen’s out-lived a lot,
She does not lose the plot,
Great her insight.
We don’t want ecocide,
Please help us to decide,
We need to turn the tide,
And do what’s right.
To mark the slightly-weird occasion of the Eurovision Song Contest coming from Baku (4 hours ahead of the UK and almost as far east of London as as Titanic wreck off Newfoundland is west), I am going to take a break from environmental politics and return to my first love – geography.
Things were much simpler for me as a child: Warsaw Pact countries weren’t really in Europe; they were part of the very un-European USSR. As for the other point of potential ambiguity in Turkey; it was simple enough to draw the line at the Bosphorus. By the time I reached the age of 25, the Berlin Wall was being pulled down and suddenly we had Western Europe and Eastern Europe again: With the dismantling of the USSR it became very clear to me that Russia had just temporarily suppressed the European-ness of a large number of countries; but I would still have thought of Russia and the Ukraine as Asian countries – and I was still adamant that, although Turkey straddled the border, it was almost entirely part of Asia. However, the key to answering the question, “Is Azerbaijan in Europe?”, is to decide whether you are talking about physical or human geography.
Taking physical geography first, it is important to understand that – although there is an awful lot of science in Geography – it is not like maths or physics. So, there is not always a right and a wrong answer; and the boundary between Europe and Asia is a case in point: The notion that the city founded by the emperor Constantine – and later re-named Istanbul – lay at the boundary of two continents was a convenient historical illusion re-inforced by a physical barrier that was only tamed by a bridge in the late 20th Century. In the current century, a tunnel has been constructed that has incorporated some very clever technology to overcome the other reason that I personally have always drawn the line at the Bosphorus; that being earthquakes. However, although a common misconception, the plate boundary causing the earthquakes does not pass from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea via the Bosphorus.
I should imagine that most people born after about 1950 have at least a basic understanding of plate tectonics and, given a map of the Earth, could probably draw plate boundaries along the mid-ocean ridges that split both the North and South Atlantic in half; and around the great Southern Ocean to encircle Antarctica. Furthermore, thanks to Michael Palin, quite a lot of people are familiar with the term “Ring of Fire” but, as a plate boundary, I doubt that many could position it correctly on a blank map of the Pacific Ocean. However, like I said, geography is not like maths; everything is not straight-forward: We call Africa a continent; but it includes the East African Rift Valley and is very slowly tearing itself apart. Similarly, we refer to North America as a continent but it has an even more famous plate boundary messing-up our attempt to impose order on chaos – the San Andreas Fault. This is where plate tectonics starts to get complicated: There are actually three types of plate boundaries; constructive (where new crust is being formed), destructive (where it is being destroyed), and conservative (where lateral movement is preserving the crust on both sides of the boundary).
Now things get really messy: The plates that form the Earth’s surface are not all similar sizes; some are huge and some are tiny. Rather than being thought of hexagons on the surface of a (soccer) football; it is better to think of them as pieces of floating sea ice – a random mixture of all shapes and sizes. Hence we have huge plates like the in the Pacific (with destructive boundaries on almost all sides) and small plates like the Caribbean. Thus, if you asked people to draw lines on a map to show where the African plate from its neighbours, some might include the East African Rift Valley, most would probably draw a line up the middle of the Red Sea and hopefully link up with the Jordan Valley… but where then? Similarly, most would draw a line west to east through the Strait of Gibraltar through the Mediterranean (but where exactly – and where does it go after Istanbul?).
So then, continents are not defined by plate boundaries; they are a social construct – an invention of the human mind. Having grasped this, we are now ready to try to answer the question in physical terms. Or rather, we would be but for one slight problem: Europe and Asia are not two separate continents; they are a single Eurasian plate. Thus there is now no obvious boundary between Europe and Asia – in terms of continents or plate tectonics at least. This is why, if they have to, most geographers will draw the line along previous collision boundaries – delineated today by the crumple zones of the Caucasus and Ural mountains. However, if that is the case, part of Kazakhstan may be in Europe – but Azerbaijan is not.
This is clearly a bit of a mess; and I therefore yearn for the simplicity of my youth: I think we should all have stuck with the simplicity of human geography and history that would exclude from Europe – Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan. That would leave Ukraine in Europe (because it is north and west of the Caucasus Mountains) and Russia… Oh goodness, I dont’ know! Personally, I don’t consider it to be part of Europe in any normal sense but, if Ukraine is in; how can Russia be out?
So, in terms of human geography, Europe is a social construct and, given that most contestants sing in english but vote for their neighbours, the Eurovision Song Contest is a complete load of bullsh…