Archive for the ‘idiocracy’ Category


A big setback for the Michael Mann smear campaign.

Here‘s the science relevance context, the subject area Mann has worked on, temps in the 1000 year timescale. While some others work on instrumental records, say last 100 or 200 years, some work on ice age stuff that takes 100,000 years etc etc. Some of the 1000 year reconstruction papers were by him, and hence the lines in that IPCC graph labelled MBH1999 and MJ2003 and I don’t know if he’s the M in some other too.

But he hasn’t also worked, at least to my knowledge on other stuff like radiative forcing. Notice how nicely the report is laid online, for everyone to read, hint hint…

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From all places, a libertarian, who is arguing for laymen to trust experts.

Come to think of it, there’s a certain class of rhetoric I’m going to call the “one way hash” argument.


The talking point on one side is just complex enough that  it’s both intelligible—even somewhat intuitive—to the layman and sounds as though it might qualify as some kind of insight. (If it seems too obvious, perhaps paradoxically, we’ll tend to assume everyone on the other side thought of it themselves and had some good reason to reject it.) The rebuttal, by contrast, may require explaining a whole series of preliminary concepts before it’s really possible to explain why the talking point is wrong. So the setup is “snappy, intuitively appealing argument without obvious problems” vs. “rebuttal I probably don’t have time to read, let alone analyze closely.”

Hat tip to Scruffy Dan again for the link.

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Gate N

This time seems a sloppy reference to Amazon droughts in IPCC AR4 WG2 that turns out to be correct in the end. Scruffy Dan:

Sounds, like the same type of issue as the Himalayan glacier error, citing the grey-literature, rather than the peer-reviewed literature. But on closer inspection the text of the IPCC is correct, and consistent with the science. The error was lazy citation.They should have cited the peer-reviewed literature, rather than a report from WWF.

So this is Amazongate. Awaiting for the next gate.

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It seems the US is getting onto private aviation bashing. No trailerable aircraft to airports or automobile gasoline for the engines. The former could be seen to be motivated by trying to prevent building bombs into aircraft, the latter is a bit more obscure, probably having to do with ethanol additives that some aircraft engines (or fuel pipes and seals) can’t handle. But it’s peculiar to outright ban auto fuel. The people can deal with this themselves. Probably you could easily produce ethanol kits for most auto fuel engine systems.

I’m reminded of Finnish automobile laws which are probably the strictest in the world. You can’t do this or that and even if you do something out of the ordinary within the very narrow limits, your new vehicle will probably be taxed to death. Even ordinary new or used imported cars have high taxes in Finland and gasoline costs over 1.3 euros per liter. The roads take a lot of effort to build and maintain because the harsh winters cause the ground to freeze, causing bumps in anything but very deeply and thoroughly based roads, the snow has to be plowed and salt is dispensed to melt it, lots of streetlights are used since the winters are dark, frequent repaving is needed because of winter tires grinding the asphalt etc. This money has to be taken from somewhere. That I understand.

But try to bring a used car from say Germany to Finland. It’s a disaster. A friend of mine spent the summer in central Europe and bought a decent smallish German car for 1500 euros. He drove around Europe a few thousand kilometers with it with the temporary registration and everything worked fine. I was on a trip too and joined him in Poland and we drove the car to Finland. It was a well working machine with no problems whatsoever, I’ve driven worse perfectly legal vehicles in Finland. It even had air conditioning which made the trip nice. But when he arrived in Finland, the problems started piling. First lots of customs payments, then he had to bring the car for checkup so it could be registered in Finland. Just that exact model had not been imported to Finland. The inspector demanded some changes to be made at a repair shop (changes that would not affect the car’s function in any way, may I add!), to make the car resemble more its ordinary sibling model. Yet when some were made at a great cost, it was discovered by another inspector the changes were actually wrong. It was made clear that the car could not be registered. My friend contemplated a lawsuit, but here they take so many years and so much money. In the end the perfectly good drivable and safe car ended up to be crushed. All because of stupid overstrict laws and an incompetent inspection system. This is not protecting road safety, it’s protecting local car dealers.

Vehicle changes and registrations are really a complex world here. There’s a group of people working on an “open source hardware” electric conversion of Toyota Corolla, sähköautot.fi. Even the prime minister has promised tax exemptions for electric vehicles but I think at the moment they’re taxed as harshly as diesel vehicles (which is much more than gasoline, but the fuel is cheaper – but for electrics the fuel is cheaper anyway!). Same with a guy who has a home made biogas facility at his cow farm in central Finland. The overregulation is strangling innovation and experimentation. Meanwhile in Sweden they are experimenting with all kinds of alternative fuels and give perks like free parking to less polluting vehicles. The Finnish car factory in Uusikaupunki that used to do Porsche Boxters is now changing over to electric vehicles to be on the leading edge. And none of them will be on sale locally, all for export, because of the tax system and regulations. Someone should wake up!

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Richard Rood has a thoughtful piece written up on contrarianism, irrationality and disruption. It seems a bit naive for me but then again I don’t have much of the same experiences…

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Tim Lambert examines one of the specific fraud claims in the CRU code.

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Winter War

Seventy years ago today, 26 of november 1939, Soviet Union claimed Finland had fired cannon shots across the border to the village of Mainila. In reality these shells were shot by Soviet cannons. Wikipedia has more.

And that’s how it is. The plight of the Finns started with gross lies and accusations… Only after the Soviet Union broke up, could there be admission of this theater, and yet many Russians to this day keep the schoolbook snippet how the Shelling of Mainila was done by Finns. Who controls the information, controls the people.

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