Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Swarm Intelligence

Just scanned this very interesting article about Climategate in the journal of the American Enterprise Institute's "Enterprise" blog by someone very bright called Jay Richards. The specific points he makes (extremely well) about the ongoing, forensic analysis and reconstruction of the leaked data, revealing some of the worst abuses of the scientific process imaginable, are by now quite familiar and can be found in the usual places, several of which are linked to on this blog. It's not these legitimate observations so much, explosive as they are, as his conclusions about the significance and cultural impact of the blogosphere that really intrigued me. Here's an extract:

Of course, most of the big broadcast media are still in full blackout mode on this story, choosing instead to report on breaking news about Pete the orphaned moose. They’re following the pattern of the Dan Rather Memogate controversy in 2004. With that history-making story, the legacy media mostly tried to ignore the story, and then, when it got too big, began to spin it. Rather and CBS issued increasingly bizarre denials. Even though the gig was up within a couple of days, they continued to defend the document in question, and the stories based on it, for two excruciating weeks. (Compare CRU’s Phil Jones offering similarly risible explanations.) Meanwhile, in the parallel universe called reality, unknown and often apolitical bloggers with specialized expertise in font styles, IBM Executive Series and Selectric typewriters, military protocol, and word-processing software dismantled the details for any curious person with an Internet connection. Other, politically oriented blogs consolidated, analyzed, and broadcast the findings.

MemoGate gave many of us our first taste of the swarm-intelligence of the blogosphere, and showed that it cab beat the legacy media for getting to the bottom of a story via a networked, open-source form of peer review, with a highly refined division of labor.

We may just now be seeing the potential for this new way of transferring and analyzing information. In Memogate, remember, we were talking about a single one-page Word document. With Climategate, we’re dealing with thousands of detailed, often technical documents. They may even have been compiled internally at the CRU in response to a Freedom of Information request and were then leaked instead. So the revenge of the nerds could be especially brutal and prolonged. Already, insights and analyses are proliferating on the climate blogosphere so quickly that it’s becoming impossible for even the best consolidators to keep up.

I hadn't really grasped what Guido Fawkes meant when he talked about similar things regarding, if memory serves, the expenses scandal* . I do now. The blogosphere, with its "swarm intelligence," is no longer potentially the most powerful communication medium in the world, Climategate has proved (at least to me) that it now is the most powerful communication medium in the world.

It therefore seems that it was no accident the Climategate documents weren't first leaked to a newspaper, as with the expenses scandal (the last real scoop of the dead tree press?) but to a blog instead, albeit what turned out to be the virtual dead end of a BBC weatherman's blog. I think it likely that given the technical complexity of the material, the whistleblower eventually appreciated that no MSM (what Jay Richards calls the "legacy media") provider would even want to touch it, all compromised as they more or less all are, much less spend a lot of time and money unpacking its secrets. It needed some serious processing power to do that, and, as Mr Richards asserts, the only place that that could be found was in the blogosphere.

So, complete paradigm shifts all round, then - not just in terms of the AGW belief system, but in terms of how we produce, analyse and trust our news-information supply, too.

I for one am pretty proud to contribute my modest (some would say infinitesimal) intellectual resources to The Swarm Intelligence.

(*It could have been something else, though, I'd need to check. But he does bang on about that and the fall of the dead tree press fairly regularly, it seems to me.)

Climategate: Bearing Fruit?

Two fairly devastating Sunday Telegraph Climategate stories have just popped up on their website, one of which will appear in print in today's newspaper. Both of them reveal in their different ways that the captured, self-censoring, dinosaur MSM in the UK is finally beginning to wake up to the scale of this scandal and that the pressure of the sheer fury being vented all over the world - at least on the internet - at the CRU and their cabal of intellectually incestuous, mutually peer-reviewing, manipulating, unethical, activist-scientists, is starting to bear fruit - already.

The first one:
Leading British scientists at the University of East Anglia, who were accused of manipulating climate change data - dubbed Climategate - have agreed to publish their figures in full.

The U-turn by the university follows a week of controversy after the emergence of hundreds of leaked emails, "stolen" by hackers and published online, triggered claims that the academics had massaged statistics.

In a statement welcomed by climate change sceptics, the university said it would make all the data accessible as soon as possible, once its Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had negotiated its release from a range of non-publication agreements.

The publication will be carried out in collaboration with the Met Office Hadley Centre. The full data, when disclosed, is certain to be scrutinised by both sides in the fierce debate.

A grandfather with a training in electrical engineering dating back more than 40 years emerged from the leaked emails as a leading climate sceptic trying to bring down the scientific establishment on global warming.

David Holland, who describes himself as a David taking on the Goliath that is the prevailing scientific consensus, is seeking prosecutions against some of Britain's most eminent academics for allegedly holding back information in breach of disclosure laws.

Mr Holland, of Northampton, complained to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) last week after the leaked emails included several Freedom of Information requests he had submitted to the CRU, and scientists' private responses to them.

Within hours, a senior complaints officer in the ICO wrote back by email: "I have started to examine the issues that you have raised in your letter and I am currently liaising with colleagues in our Enforcement and Data Protection teams as to what steps to take next."

The official also promised to investigate other universities linked to the CRU, which is one of the world's leading authorities on temperature levels and has helped to prove that man-made global warming not only exists but will have catastrophic consequences if not tackled urgently. Mr Holland is convinced the threat has been greatly exaggerated.

In one email dated May 28, 2008, one academic writes to a colleague having received Mr Holland's request: "Oh MAN! Will this crap ever end??"

Mr Holland, who graduated with an external degree in electrical engineering from London University in 1966 before going on to run his own businesses, told The Sunday Telegraph: "It's like David versus Goliath. Thanks to these leaked emails a lot of little people can begin to make some impact on this monolithic entity that is the climate change lobby."

He added: "These guys called climate scientists have not done any more physics or chemistry than I did. A lifetime in engineering gives you a very good antenna. It also cures people of any self belief they cannot be wrong. You clear up a lot of messes during a lifetime in engineering. I could be wrong on global warming – I know that – but the guys on the other side don't believe they can ever be wrong."

Professor Trevor Davies, the university's Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research Enterprise and Engagement, said yesterday: "CRU's full data will be published in the interests of research transparency when we have the necessary agreements. It is worth reiterating that our conclusions correlate well to those of other scientists based on the separate data sets held by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

"We are grateful for the necessary support of the Met Office in requesting the permissions for releasing the information but understand that responses may take several months and that some countries may refuse permission due to the economic value of the data."

Among the leaked emails disclosed last week were an alleged note from Professor Phil Jones, 57, the director of the CRU and a leading target of climate change sceptics, to an American colleague describing the death of a sceptic as "cheering news"; and a suggestion from Prof Jones that a "trick" is used to "hide the decline" in temperature.

They even include threats of violence. One American academic wrote to Prof Jones: "Next time I see Pat Michaels [a climate sceptic] at a scientific meeting, I'll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted."

Dr Michaels, tracked down by this newspaper to the Cato Institute in Washington DC where he is a senior fellow in environmental studies, said last night: "There were a lot of people who thought I was exaggerating when I kept insisting terrible things are going on here.

"This is business as usual for them. The world might be surprised but I am not. These guys have an attitude."

Prof Jones, who has refused to quit despite calls even from within the green movement, said last week in a statement issued through University of East Anglia, "My colleagues and I accept that some of the published emails do not read well. I regret any upset or confusion caused as a result. Some were clearly written in the heat of the moment, others use colloquialisms frequently used between close colleagues."

He suggested the theft of emails and publication first on a Russian server was "a concerted attempt to put a question mark over the science of climate change in the run-up to the Copenhagen talks".

He added: "Our global temperature series tallies with those of other, completely independent, groups of scientists working for NASA and the National Climate Data Centre in the United States, among others. Even if you were to ignore our findings, theirs show the same results. The facts speak for themselves; there is no need for anyone to manipulate them."

Message ends. But despite the typical hedging and the dogwhistle ad hominem against the 'sceptic', brave David Holland who's been taking on these bozos ("Mr Holland, who graduated with an external degree in electrical engineering from London University in 1966 before going on to run his own businesses..." - and is therefore an amateur crank with an axe to grind, we are meant to infer, presumably), this report if nothing else serves to demonstrate that the CRU's 'Hockey Team' of AGW fundamentalist, anti-science manipulators has finally been disciplined by their hitherto blind-eye-turning bosses. Well, it's a start, I suppose - and I fully expect that sacreficial resignations will soon follow. Don't be fooled by a stunt like that, though. The true scale, gravity and penetration of this scandal is still only emerging, and the second article serves to reinforce this view. Penned by Damian Thompson, the DT's blogs editor who, some might say appropriately, is usually associated with religious matters, the implications for the (current management and future of the) BBC are simply enormous:

I think we need to take a closer look at this intriguing story in the Mail:

One of [the BBC's] reporters has revealed he was sent some of the leaked emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia more than a month ago – but did nothing about them.

Despite the explosive nature of some of the messages – which revealed apparent attempts by the CRU’s head, Professor Phil Jones, to destroy global temperature data rather than give it to scientists with opposing views – Paul Hudson failed to report the story.

This has led to suspicions that the scandal was ignored because it ran counter to what critics say is the BBC’s unquestioning acceptance in many of its programmes that man-made climate change is destroying the planet.

But hang on – wasn’t Paul Hudson the “climate change correspondent” who, as I reported on October 11, filed a story reporting that global warming stopped in 1998? I wrote at the time:

Hudson’s piece must have been a nightmare to write: talk about an inconvenient truth. All the caveats are in place, distancing him from hardline sceptics and giving plenty of space to the climate change orthodoxy. But, in fact, his scrupulous approach only makes matters worse for BBC executives who have swung the might of the corporation behind that orthodoxy, often producing what amounts to propaganda.

Back to the Mail story:

Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: ‘We need to know more about the BBC’s role in this affair. Was Mr Hudson told by the BBC not to use the story?’

It was only after the same emails were published on a blog called Air Vent that Look North climate correspondent Mr Hudson owned up in his own blog to the fact he had also had the material.

In a bizarre twist, he claimed the leak had been triggered by an article he had written that questioned global warming.

Mr Hudson, 38, last night declined to comment. A BBC spokesman said: ‘Paul has nothing to add to what he has already said in his blog.’

OK, so let’s have a look at that blog entry by Paul Hudson. I’ve marked a couple of sections in bold:

Like many of you I’ve been watching the story at the University of East Anglia develop with interest. I first became aware of the news late last week, but because of my weather and filming commitments couldn’t deal with it myself and so passed the news on to some of my colleagues in the BBC’s environment and science team, including our environment analyst Roger Harrabin who wrote about it on saturday morning, and Newsnight, who covered the story last night.

As you may know, some of the e-mails that were released last week directly involved me and one of my previous blogs, ‘Whatever happened to global warming ?’

These took the form of complaints about its content, and I was copied in to them at the time. Complaints and criticisms of output are an every day part of life, and as such were nothing out of the ordinary. However I felt that seeing there was an ongoing debate as to the authenticity of the hacked e-mails, I was duty bound to point out that as I had read the original e-mails, then at least these were authentic, although of course I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the others.

There are clearly some very serious issues that arise from the information that has been released. Some people are suggesting that spin has infiltrated science. Others worry that there are suggestions that the peer review process has been compromised and those with contrary views are being frozen out. There are issues regarding data; how has it been used? But those scientists that are convinced that man is responsible for global warming are troubled that all this takes attention away from the real issue here: that action is needed to be taken from the world’s biggest polluters to cut carbon dioxide emissions. This was certainly the message that came across this morning, in this story on our science website.

How will this all be resolved? Momentum does seem to be growing, from people on both sides of the argument, behind calls for a full independent enquiry that can once and for all get to the bottom of the many issues that have been raised. A recent survey showed that climate scepticism in this country is growing, and this episode may increase it further. Some would say that an enquiry is the only way to bring clarity to the science of global warming and climate change that has enormous implications for all of us.

Reading Hudson’s blog entry, I can’t help wondering whether he was instructed to “pass the news on” to the likes of Roger Harrabin, upholder of the AGW orthodoxy, who conspiciously failed to examine the content of the emails properly. Then notice the clever language in which Hudson’s blog entry is phrased: he hasn’t retreated from his position that there’s a question mark over global warming, and he wants an independent inquiry “to bring clarity to the science of global warming and climate change”.

No wonder he was encouraged to “pass on” his story to BBC experts who believe that the science of global warming is quite clear enough already, thank you, and don’t want to see the public confused by those pesky emails.

It seems that Christopher Booker might finally be exerting some long-overdue influence on the Telegraph's hitherto schizoid editorial policy which allowed him to write seriously damning articles, week after week, about the climate change fraud, and then placed them in a comments section often right next to some dumb, ovine, AGW, goodthink editorial about the end of the world.

It also seems pretty clear that Climategate has just graduated to the "major story" division, at least in one part of the MSM. One thing is certain, the heat - and the pressure - is building. And the biggest scientific myth of all time has just come one step closer to being exploded. How big a threat the warmists regard this will be measurable by the viciousness of their propaganda backlash, something which has already begun.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Climategate: Booker's Verdict

With characteristic clarity of style, Christopher Booker has summarised the Climategate scandal and its implications in an article for the Sunday Telegraph that I've been looking forward to since the story first broke. I wasn't disappointed. It's powerful, thought-provoking and simply cannot be ignored, (can it?).
Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation
Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with the Climategate whitewash, says Christopher Booker

A week after my colleague James Delingpole, on his Telegraph blog, coined the term "Climategate" to describe the scandal revealed by the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, Google was showing that the word now appears across the internet more than nine million times. But in all these acres of electronic coverage, one hugely relevant point about these thousands of documents has largely been missed.

The reason why even the Guardian's George Monbiot has expressed total shock and dismay at the picture revealed by the documents is that their authors are not just any old bunch of academics. Their importance cannot be overestimated, What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professor Philip Jones, the CRU's director, is in charge of the two key sets of data used by the IPCC to draw up its reports. Through its link to the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office, which selects most of the IPCC's key scientific contributors, his global temperature record is the most important of the four sets of temperature data on which the IPCC and governments rely – not least for their predictions that the world will warm to catastrophic levels unless trillions of dollars are spent to avert it.

Dr Jones is also a key part of the closely knit group of American and British scientists responsible for promoting that picture of world temperatures conveyed by Michael Mann's "hockey stick" graph which 10 years ago turned climate history on its head by showing that, after 1,000 years of decline, global temperatures have recently shot up to their highest level in recorded history.

Given star billing by the IPCC, not least for the way it appeared to eliminate the long-accepted Mediaeval Warm Period when temperatures were higher they are today, the graph became the central icon of the entire man-made global warming movement.

Since 2003, however, when the statistical methods used to create the "hockey stick" were first exposed as fundamentally flawed by an expert Canadian statistician Steve McIntyre, an increasingly heated battle has been raging between Mann's supporters, calling themselves "the Hockey Team", and McIntyre and his own allies, as they have ever more devastatingly called into question the entire statistical basis on which the IPCC and CRU construct their case.

The senders and recipients of the leaked CRU emails constitute a cast list of the IPCC's scientific elite, including not just the "Hockey Team", such as Dr Mann himself, Dr Jones and his CRU colleague Keith Briffa, but Ben Santer, responsible for a highly controversial rewriting of key passages in the IPCC's 1995 report; Kevin Trenberth, who similarly controversially pushed the IPCC into scaremongering over hurricane activity; and Gavin Schmidt, right-hand man to Al Gore's ally Dr James Hansen, whose own GISS record of surface temperature data is second in importance only to that of the CRU itself.

There are three threads in particular in the leaked documents which have sent a shock wave through informed observers across the world. Perhaps the most obvious, as lucidly put together by Willis Eschenbach (see McIntyre's blog Climate Audit and Anthony Watt's blog Watts Up With That), is the highly disturbing series of emails which show how Dr Jones and his colleagues have for years been discussing the devious tactics whereby they could avoid releasing their data to outsiders under freedom of information laws.

They have come up with every possible excuse for concealing the background data on which their findings and temperature records were based.

This in itself has become a major scandal, not least Dr Jones's refusal to release the basic data from which the CRU derives its hugely influential temperature record, which culminated last summer in his startling claim that much of the data from all over the world had simply got "lost". Most incriminating of all are the emails in which scientists are advised to delete large chunks of data, which, when this is done after receipt of a freedom of information request, is a criminal offence.

But the question which inevitably arises from this systematic refusal to release their data is – what is it that these scientists seem so anxious to hide? The second and most shocking revelation of the leaked documents is how they show the scientists trying to manipulate data through their tortuous computer programmes, always to point in only the one desired direction – to lower past temperatures and to "adjust" recent temperatures upwards, in order to convey the impression of an accelerated warming. This comes up so often (not least in the documents relating to computer data in the Harry Read Me file) that it becomes the most disturbing single element of the entire story. This is what Mr McIntyre caught Dr Hansen doing with his GISS temperature record last year (after which Hansen was forced to revise his record), and two further shocking examples have now come to light from Australia and New Zealand.

In each of these countries it has been possible for local scientists to compare the official temperature record with the original data on which it was supposedly based. In each case it is clear that the same trick has been played – to turn an essentially flat temperature chart into a graph which shows temperatures steadily rising. And in each case this manipulation was carried out under the influence of the CRU.

What is tragically evident from the Harry Read Me file is the picture it gives of the CRU scientists hopelessly at sea with the complex computer programmes they had devised to contort their data in the approved direction, more than once expressing their own desperation at how difficult it was to get the desired results.

The third shocking revelation of these documents is the ruthless way in which these academics have been determined to silence any expert questioning of the findings they have arrived at by such dubious methods – not just by refusing to disclose their basic data but by discrediting and freezing out any scientific journal which dares to publish their critics' work. It seems they are prepared to stop at nothing to stifle scientific debate in this way, not least by ensuring that no dissenting research should find its way into the pages of IPCC reports.

Back in 2006, when the eminent US statistician Professor Edward Wegman produced an expert report for the US Congress vindicating Steve McIntyre's demolition of the "hockey stick", he excoriated the way in which this same "tightly knit group" of academics seemed only too keen to collaborate with each other and to "peer review" each other's papers in order to dominate the findings of those IPCC reports on which much of the future of the US and world economy may hang. In light of the latest revelations, it now seems even more evident that these men have been failing to uphold those principles which lie at the heart of genuine scientific enquiry and debate. Already one respected US climate scientist, Dr Eduardo Zorita, has called for Dr Mann and Dr Jones to be barred from any further participation in the IPCC. Even our own George Monbiot, horrified at finding how he has been betrayed by the supposed experts he has been revering and citing for so long, has called for Dr Jones to step down as head of the CRU.

The former Chancellor Lord (Nigel) Lawson, last week launching his new think tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, rightly called for a proper independent inquiry into the maze of skulduggery revealed by the CRU leaks. But the inquiry mooted on Friday, possibly to be chaired by Lord Rees, President of the Royal Society – itself long a shameless propagandist for the warmist cause – is far from being what Lord Lawson had in mind. Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with a whitewash of what has become the greatest scientific scandal of our age.

Gordon Brown: Not Just An Idiot...

Just got back from a spell of Christmas shopping. I know, a bit early for a bloke, but I thought I would miss the rush and I knew what I wanted, so I thought it would only take an hour or so. Fat chance - it was hell out there! Then driving home I wondered to myself, is this a sign of economic recovery? Could be. Could be.


...and it's a big "but" which is followed by the now all-too familiar name of the one-eyed Scottish incompetent, Gordon Brown. David Blackburn has proved that while he is many things, all bad, he's also something more, incredibly: he's politically naive. This king of bust, who presided over (as unelected Prime Minister) and largely was to blame for (as useless Chancellor who borrowed into a property bubble that his deregulation of the banks directly caused) the biggest peacetime crash since 1929 and the worst recession in post-war history, is now jeopardising the recovery as well with his stupidity and tribalism before it's even had a chance to start. Read it and weep:
The Times’ Ian King writes that Dubai’s predicament presents an opportunity for the City to attract new business. There is no reason why, with attractive incentives, London shouldn’t capitalise on Sheik Mohammed’s momentary lapse of reason. However, the appointment of Michel Barnier, an evangelical protectionist who makes Joseph Chamberlain look like the father of Free Trade, as EU regulating supremo is a disaster for Britain.

The appointment raises further questions about Gordon Brown’s acceptance of Baroness Ashton as the EU’s foreign minister. Michael Fallon is no doubt:

“Brown has been completely outwitted. We now have none of the three key economic jobs in Brussels. This has all happened at an incredibly dangerous moment when there are firm proposals which will govern regulations on banking, insurance, private equity and hedge funds.”

Despite its insistence to the contrary, Downing Street has failed to protect financial regulation from falling into foreign hands. The outmanoeuvred Prime Minister has left the City at the mercy of a politician who believes there is “too much free market liberalism”. No wonder the French are so keen on Gordon Brown. Recovery has been jeopardised by political naivety.
What we did to deserve this imbecile is anyone's guess. Oh, that's right, about nine and a half million idiots voted him in in 2005. Hang on...

Ah well, at least we'll get to vote the moron out some time next spring. I just hope that by then it's not too late.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Source Code for the Goose

A succinct deconstruction of the CRU modelling tricks that underpin what increasingly appears to be the fallacy - possibly even the fraud - that is AGW. Scary stuff.

Hat tip: Subrosa

Liddle the Umpire: Love-All

I was quite mean to Rod Liddle in a comment on his blog a while ago, though some might say justifiably so given that his remarks about Climategate appeared to be painfully unresearched and his conclusions, consequently and predictably, feeble. I wasn't the only one to think so.

To his eternal credit, however, he does not censor any of these comments, however scathing. Thus open, healthy, even robust, debate with him is enabled and encouraged. It's in this spirit that he hit back this morning, in quite a thought-provoking piece, not only at, I presume, people like me (at least indirectly) who he deems to have been pushed by AGW arrogance, certitude and flawed thinking "towards an ever more antithetical position" and that that is "a flawed, human, response – very similar to the flaws exhibited by those climate change monkeys sending dodgy emails to one another," (oh, my bad then, Rod) but directly at the AGW lobby itself. I'm afraid that if I and people like me, who, thanks to our own, (according to Rod) understandable weaknesses have been "pushed" to some sort of extreme anti-AGW position by, in particular, the Climategate scandal, have attracted merely his sympathy and counsel, the warmists have attracted nothing less than his scorn - albeit a reasonably equable scorn, in true Liddle-the-peacemaker style. But his post also contains an interesting warning for the AGW lobby at large, though delivered at a warmist commenter who left some pretty scathing remarks of his own, but from the other direction, that's worth quoting.
I find it genuinely difficult to debate with people who deny my right to debate; this is the case with the climate change lobby. The danger, if you don’t watch out, is that the arrogance and certitude of the AGW lobby pushes one towards an ever more antithetical position. This is a flawed, human, response – very similar to the flaws exhibited by those climate change monkeys sending dodgy emails to one another. If you work for, and are paid by, an institution which accepts climate change as a fact, then you will be disinclined to accept scientific evidence to the contrary. You hold climate change as an article of faith, and also a conduit for remuneration. This is how science becomes poisoned; but it happens in almost every scientific endeavour, and always has done. Scientists become trapped by their own paradigms; they are reluctant to let go of ideas. This is why it usually takes a generation before paradigms change. But change they always do. Remember that a generation ago we were worried by global cooling and the coming of the next ice age.

I have no expertise whatsoever in meteorology, but I do have a bit of knowledge about stats, and randomness and chance – and it is this that leads me to a broadly sceptical point of view regarding AGW. Jim Ryan kindly responded to my blog about the UEA debacle with a lengthy and pretty rational argument, to which he appended a list of many organisations which sign up to AGW. What he didn’t say, however, was that these organisations often heavily qualify their belief in man-made climate change, suggesting that it is “probable” or “heavily probable” or “likely”. Fine. And there are many more which will not go even this far.

But it is another part of Jim’s response that interested me, because it involves statistics and displayed the almost universal misunderstanding of statistics and chance. He wrote:

“Rod, you visit a 100 tumour specialists and 97 tell you you require an operation to treat the condition. The other 3 say it is benign and does not require any treatment “

The implication being that of course the 97 are right, and that any rational person would not question this supposed fact. A 97% certainty is pretty much a certainty, full stop, isn’t it?

Well, no. Suppose the tumour which the doctors believe afflicts me is a fairly rare type of tumour, one which affects only, say, one in 5000 people. If that is the case then the likelihood that I do not have that tumour, and that those 97% of surgeons have made a wrong diagnosis, and that I therefore do not need an operation, is far, far higher than the likelihood that I do have a tumour and do need it operated upon. Jim’s analogy utilizes that difficult thing to supposedly prove his point, the false positive.

Well, OK. I think that is a fair point about false positives - and it should actually count as a serious warning to all sides of this debate: check your facts and don't be too certain about your stats. However, he still fails, like all the other UK MSM professional journos, bar one or two, to give us the benefit of his wisdom about what have emerged as nothing more or less than faked statistics. But he simply chooses to ignore the reprehensible actions (the manipulation of data to produce misleading results, the dirty tricks, the stifling of opposition and the endless, alarmist propaganda campaign and so on), some of which constitute actual fraud given that vast sums of taxpayer funding is involved, and yet he satisfies his own prejudices by dismissing the perpetrators of these deceptions as "climate change monkeys".

So, the upshot of this is that we are none the wiser as to where, precisely, Liddle stands on any part of these issues. Is he saying that the monkeys are basically correct but they've been naughty monkeys for being so certain in their belief that they seemed to imagine all established scientific norms and moral/social (even legal) codes could be suspended, such was the size of the crisis they'd revealed? Is he arguing that this was wrong (bad monkeys) and that all it has served to do is create more monkeys (who are probably right wing monkeys, to boot)? Is he merely pretending that he is the only sane, high-brow human (therefore not a monkey) left on this crazy old planet of ours, blowing hot and cold as she endlessly does?

With the first two, from this particular post we are, indeed, left none the wiser. But I do think that my last question might have an answer - and it's most definitely a "yes". Liddle's contribution, more or less, has been to massage his own ego by placing himself firmly in the middle but raised above the scrap, sort of in the position of Umpire of the Great Global Warming Tennis Slanging Match. I can just imagine him sitting on that high chair, complete with booming tannoy, calling out the scores and overruling the line judges. "False positive: Let"; "Sceptic Monkeys' Fault: Game, Warmists." He must be loving every minute of it!

But he cannot be serious.

"Hide the Decline": Deleted Data Revealed

Steve McIntyre, the climate scientist behind has pieced together the code that reveals the data deleted by the CRU to "hide the decline" (as Prof Phil Jones now famously said in a leaked email) in post-1960 global temperatures. It provides further damning evidence of a cover-up the likes and scale of which the scientific world really has never seen before. It is devastating.

For the very first time, the Climategate Letters “archived” the deleted portion of the Briffa MXD reconstruction of “Hide the Decline” fame – see here. Gavin Schmidt claimed that the decline had been “hidden in plain sight” (see here. ). This isn’t true.

The post-1960 data was deleted from the archived version of this reconstruction at NOAA here and not shown in the corresponding figure in Briffa et al 2001. Nor was the decline shown in the IPCC 2001 graph, one that Mann, Jones, Briffa, Folland and Karl were working in the two weeks prior to the “trick” email (or for that matter in the IPCC 2007 graph, an issue that I’ll return to.)

A retrieval script follows.

For now, here is a graphic showing the deleted data in red.
Figure 1. Two versions of Briffa MXD reconstruction, showing archived and climategate versions. The relevant IPCC 2001 graph, shown below, clearly does not show the decline in the Briffa MXD reconstruction.

Contrary to Gavin Schmidt’s claim that the decline is “hidden in plain sight”, the inconvenient data has simply been deleted.

The reason, as explained on Sep 22, 1999 by Michael Mann to coauthors in 938018124.txt, was to avoid giving “fodder to the skeptics”. Reasonable people might well disagree with Gavin Schmidt as to whether this is a “a good way to deal with a problem” or simply a trick.

Meanwhile, as the UK MSM and government go on pretending that nothing has happened, merrily misinterpreting a Chinese promise notionally to cut pollution and confusing bad weather in Cumbria (in late November, no less) with "climate change," the rest of the world is beginning to wake up to the implications of this scandal. Australia's main opposition Liberal party, for instance, has gone bananas with five of its front bench members resigning over their leader's plans to support a carbon cap. Climategate really could be starting to make a difference, but not, sadly, in the UK where journalists and comedians continue to deny the scandal is anything more than a diversion.

But Barack Obama is going to Copenhagen, so that's alright then. I wonder if he's seen Steve McIntyre's report. I wonder if he cares.

The Wrinkled Weasel has a bit of a blogscoop (for me, at least - I didn't see the Mail article that carried the story) that gives you some idea about just why the UK is not yet experiencing much fallout from climategate. The BBC knew about the emails over a month ago and even had a copy of the file. But, predictably, it spiked the story. Impartiality? Not on your life. But don't worry, you and I just pay for it all: CRU, BBC, government AGW propaganda - the lot. Tidy.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

EU Declares War on the City

As if any more evidence were needed of the seriousness of the ongoing power drain from Westminster to Brussels, we now hear that the latter has now brought forward legislation to regulate Britain's all-important financial sector, its main target being the City. Dan Hannan reveals all:

When I warned against the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive five months ago, some of you felt I was laying it on a bit thick. And it’s true that my language was strong: “The City is staring into the abyss,” I wrote. “If the proposed EU directive on hedge funds goes through, London will go the way of Bruges, Venice and Amsterdam: a once dominant financial entrepĂ´t sidelined by more virile cities.”

If you still think I was exaggerating, read this. So much for the idea that the most objectionable parts of the proposal were likely to be modified. Responsibility for the oversight of financial services will be shifted, with malign and irrevocable consequences, to the EU. London will be regulated by Brussels. Three new EU institutions will be responsible for invigilating an industry which, while marginal in most EU states, is critical to the United Kingdom. Like all bureaucracies, these institutions will enlarge their remit year by year until they bear no resemblance to the agencies originally envisaged. Those who mislike and mistrust Anglo-Saxon capitalism will at last be in a position to control it. All to solve a non-existent problem.

What are you waiting for, you hedgies, you derivatives traders, you bankers who see no reason why the state should dictate the terms of your contracts, you pension fund managers, you City solicitors, you who work in the ancillary industries, from conference organisers to chauffeurs? Are you all planning to join the emigration queue? Isn’t it at least worth putting up a fight?

It might be for them, but clearly the British government, which has caved in on this and so many other issues involving the giant steamroller that is the EU, has already made its mind up about the future of the United Kingdom of GB and NI. The fight was fought and lost when we were denied the referendum on Lisbon/the Constitution. Whatever follows - and this is just the start of it - I for one fear that the blind Europhiles (and they inhabit every mainstream British political party), who've somehow been hoodwinked by the socialist-federalists into believing that if you allow unelected, faceless Brussels officials to pass laws your country must obey, you are somehow not selling out the electorate of that country, have already done the permanent damage. Against the wishes of 65%+ of the UK population, and a majority of the people of the rest of Europe, too, it really looks like they might have won. They are about to take down the City, an institution that has long been in their crosshairs. The only question left to ask, powerless spectators as we now are, is "what will be next?"

Incidentally, the article to which Hannan refers in the first paragraph reads as follows:
A pan-European watchdog should be given powers to stop short-selling, according to a European Union report that also calls for tough sanctions against hedge funds that fail to curb pay, borrowing and risk-taking.

The European Union is examining new rules for the funds and others. This week, Jean-Paul Gauzes, a French member of the European parliament appointed to broker a deal on the law, will issue a report outlining the direction the EU should take.

In the document, obtained by Reuters, Gauzes writes: "In exceptional circumstances and in order to ensure the stability ... of the financial system ... the European Securities and Markets Authority (a proposed new body) may take the decision to restrict short-selling activities".

He wants the authorities to be able to "impose a temporary prohibition of professional activity" or "request the freezing ... of assets."

Britain, which itself imposed a ban on short-selling at the height of the crisis, could view the bid to cede power to a European watchdog as an attempt to dilute its influence over London, home to most European hedge funds.

Gauzes' recommendation goes further than most had expected and is twinned with other proposals to clamp down on hedge funds and other specialist financial investment groups.

He also calls for powers for the European Commission, the EU executive, to allow it impose caps on borrowing by a hedge fund.

"It is considered necessary to allow the Commission to impose limits in exceptional circumstances on the level of leverage that Alternative Investment Fund Manager could use," he writes.

Both the European Parliament and the bloc's member states share responsibility for writing the final version of the law and Gauzes, who has been appointed to broker a deal in parliament, is central to the process.


Gauzes' views are likely to have the backing of France and will be a setback to Britain's attempts to water down the proposed rules to protect London, Europe's financial capital and a major driver of Britain's economy.

Short-selling typically involves an investor borrowing shares and selling them on in the hope that the price will fall and he can repay the lender with stock bought for less. The British government temporarily outlawed the practice when its big banks, already teetering on the brink of collapse, were further undermined by short-sellers.

Gauzes now wants the funds to give extensive information about how they are investing as well as agreeing to cap the amount they will borrow, which many will see as restricting the much-prized freedom to switch investment strategies quickly.

During the crisis, hedge funds have come under increasing suspicion, prompting the European Commission, or EU executive, to draft rules to keep close tabs on a group that one politician has dubbed locusts.
Even if we wanted to fight back, I'm really not certain we can any more. Nature - or rather history - will simply have to run its course. That history (or rather future) does not look good for Britain on the strength of this piece of evidence. It doesn't look good for Europe either, frankly. The will of the people always triumphs in the end, one way or another.

Climate Change Quiz

Click on the banner to find out how much you know, or how much you think you know, about the realities of climate change.

You might or might not be surprised by the answers, in fact. It all depends on your beliefs, which is in itself a pretty damning indictment of the level of disinformation and propaganda that's been flying around the world, mainly via, interestingly, the internet, over the past decade or so about anthropogenic global warming aka "man-made climate change". At least we now know that that much is true from the growing CRU email scandal.

The information is provided by a reputable scientific and sceptic organisation. If you want to find out more, here are the references for the quiz:

Produced with the assistance of Dr. Tim Ball & Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng. (Mech.), Executive Director, International Climate Science Coalition.
CSCCC FCPP is a member of Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change.
For more information see

Moscow Central and Ashton

Ashton in '82: 3rd agent from the left

The Times revelation today that Baroness Ashton, newly crowned Labourist foreign affairs boss of the EU, had Soviet links should come as no surprise to anyone. After all, half the current Labour party, including and especially a whole host of older government ministers, were (are?) communists. Add to that the fact that the continental left - including the far left - dominate the EU's bureaucratic machinery and its increasingly powerful political arm and you have a picture of a centralist takeover reminiscent of the thankfully defunct Soviet empire.

The fact that this sounds so bizarre to reasonable people is precisely what is allowing them ("them" being European socialists) to get away with building the new socialist empire on the sly. No wonder they don't want democracy coming anywhere near their grand federalist project. It's not just that the majority of the half billion people currently being railroaded into an undemocratic superstate would have rightly rejected Lisbon had they been given the choice, but that socialists are not interested in democracy in the first place. That is to say they are, at least, not interested in the brand of democracy you or I are used to, namely, pluralist liberal democracy and parliamentary sovereignty. They prefer the Soviet-style, trade union brand with delegates armed with the "bloc vote" of members. What is, after all, "supranational democracy" and "qualified majority voting" other than a rehashed form of block voting on an international scale? Of course this system was preferred by the left because it has all the added advantages of not only always securing the outcomes that are politically desirable, at least to the federalist movement, but of ignoring any dissenting voices. And all the time they are able to argue, as our politicians constantly do, that since our politicians have been democratically elected and they choose their members for the European Council and the European Commission, and now European "ministries" too, then all is well - we are democratically represented. Allied to this is the European Parliament, where directly elected MEPs thrash out day to day lawmaking, fiercely defending their nation's interests.

This is, of course, all garbage. In reality, all we have is delegates, hand-picked by domestic - and now often foreign - politicians who technically do not have the national constitutional and/or sovereign right to do so, who wield the power they have been given, (not with which they have been entrusted), in whatever way they see fit, basically unanswerable and unlimited. In reality, also, the European Parliament has no teeth (who would want it to anyway? I for one prefer Westminster to Strasbourg - but I digress), its members talk and talk and claim generous expenses but they don't make law, they can't hold the EU executive branches to account and they certainly won't (with notable exceptions) "fiercly [defend] their nation's interests," cohabiting, as they do, in transnational political - yeah, you guessed it - blocks. In fact, it's very hard to tell what they do do. In short, they accomplish nothing and amount to little more than a sop or nod to pluralist (genuine) democracy.

The real power is and always will be with the variously appointed EU commissioners, councellors, judges and now "ministers". The Lisbon Treaty, far from closing this democratic gap, has simply served further to widen it, which was, after all, its real purpose. The appointment of the risible Baroness Ashton, complete with "alleged" Soviet links through the CND and communist past, merely serves perfectly to illustrate the point. In fact, given how unknown and useless she and the newly installed "President" are, it appears that the commissioners are unwilling to give up the power in any event. Stitch-ups within stitch-ups, then, in what amounts to a wholly unedifying affair - and dangerous times for the continent of Europe.

Baroness Ashton of Upholland’s past came back to haunt her yesterday when the European Union’s new foreign affairs chief was forced to deny taking funds from the Soviet Union during her days as treasurer for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Lady Ashton, a surprise choice for her post, was challenged to deny that she had contact with Russian sources while she was in charge of its accounts at the height of the Cold War.

The Times has learnt that concerns about her CND involvement are felt across countries from the former Iron Curtain now in the EU and that MEPs plan to question her about it when she appears before them for the hearing to confirm her in her post.

Nigel Farage, the UK Independence Party leader, raised the matter on the floor of the European Parliament yesterday, earning himself a reprimand for referring to Lady Ashton and Herman Van Rompuy, the new European President, as pygmies

Mr Farage added: “She was treasurer during a period when CND took very large donations and refused to reveal the sources. Will Baroness Ashton deny that while she was treasurer she took funds from organisations opposed to Western-style democracy? Are we really happy that somebody who will be in charge of our overseas security policy was an activist in an outfit like CND? I do not think she is a fit and proper person to do this job.”

Lady Ashton was not present but her spokesman said: “This was more than 25 years ago. She left the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1983 and has had no involvement in the organisation since then. During her time in the CND she never visited the Soviet Union, had no contact with the Soviet Union and has never accepted any money from Soviet sources. The first time she visited Russia was as EU Trade Commissioner.”

All the candidates for the next European Commission must undergo formal hearings at the European Parliament and the European People’s Party, the main centre-right group, has pledged to reject any who have promoted communism in the past. Lady Ashton has denied being a member of the Communist Party.

She is due to have an informal meeting with the MEPs’ Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday and a formal hearing in January, although she starts her new job on Tuesday.

Krisjanis Karins, a centre-right Latvian MEP, said: “Some information has been published that she was involved in this Marxist movement. If this is the case it is disturbing. We are especially concerned how the High Representative for Foreign Affairs will conduct discussions with our eastern neighbour.”

Hynek Fajnon, an MEP for the Czech centre-right ODS party, told the newspaper DNES: “There is no doubt that the Kremlin supported CND activities. If Mrs Ashton as treasurer had played any role in that, it would be a great scandal.”

CND rejected the claims, predictably, and are now seeking legal advice about whether they should take action against Farage and his fellow Kipperist Eurotroughers. I'd would love that, especially the part where Ashton is called as a witness:

(Best Alec Guinness voice) Barrister: "Did you handle any money from the Soviet Union sent to help fund the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and other, shall we say, 'dodgy' organisations?"

Ashton (clearly flustered): "I had no links with Moscow Central in 1982 and I know of no one named 'Karla.'"


The Sceptics' Pep Talk

This is bloody all:

We're bloody well right and we've all got a bloody right to say :)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Climategate: The Smoking Gun

If you want to know what a cover-up (and the conspiracy that creates it) looks like, then read this dynamite post on the Watts Up With That website. I've not done my usual trick of ripping the whole thing and copying it here - for one thing, it's too damn long for that!

Suffice to say, as smoking guns go, this one is red hot and billowing. It might be pretty long, but it's an utterly worthwhile - and pretty shocking - read.

Hat tip (again): Bishop Hill.

Megrahi: Still Not Dead - Meanwhile Banks Rejoice

Al-Megrahi: the convicted Lockerbie bomber might still not be dead as all the Labour stooge doctors and this Labour government ghoulishly promised everyone he would be (he's a full five days overdue now), but he's still about to come back and haunt at least one of them. Yes, you guessed it, the King of Sleaze himself, Lord Mandelson of Tripoli.

Incidentally, this partridge shooting party thing of Lord Rothschild that Mandelson attended with, among others, Saif Gaddafi - I can't help but wonder whether there is any connection between this and today's "Supreme" Court ruling enabling banks to continue legally to steal however much they like from customers that their extortionate, punitive charges turned into debt slaves in the first place. After all, at least one of the judges was a Rothschild banker.

The point is that wherever you look there's some sort of Labour shadiness going on - or has been going on- so often with Mandelson right at the very heart of it. Be it Iraq, Afghanistan, the economy, the banks, education, health, PFI, Europe - the list is seemingly endless.

If and when we kick these ruinous crooks out, the Tories will have to uncover anything and everything about Labour's record of betrayal and deceit, however damaging it might appear potentially to be to the reputation of the country. Hiding it will only cause the rot to creep ever further. Revealing the truth about these long years of Labour corruption and sleaze is the only way gradually to draw Britain out of shadows into which it has been cast by the worst government it has ever had inflicted upon it.

Climategate Downfall

OMG. Not another one...

Pretty prescient stuff (it was uploaded last month) - and rather literate actually, for a change. But I'm probably not the only one who's slightly uncomfortable with the idea that that lunatic mass-murdering, warmongering, despotic Nazi would ever be on the side of reason in such a debate. Very much a 'stay off my side' situation...

Other than that fairly massive bone of contention, however, it sums up the increasing public crisis of confidence in the scientific process itself, thanks largely to the Climategate scientists' revealed, unethical (criminal?) fabrications, cover-ups, manipulations and bad practice, pretty well.

Hat tip: "Thortung" (commenter) via Bishop Hill

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Moonbat Apology

I'm a little late with this one, but it's such a wonderful turn up for the books that it deserves to be recorded as often and as widely as possible here, there and everywhere. The biggest climate change propagandist and smug, pseudo-scientific activist-journalist (even by the Grauniad's standards) in Britain, Stowe educated lefty George Monbiot, was so shocked (yeah, right!) by the CRU emails revelation that he's felt moved to apologise for being such a crap journalist. It's true! Watts Up With That? had it yesterday, but I initially stumbled upon it on first class debunking and Climategate analysis blog, Bishop Hill (having not read the Graun yesterday - and what a nice day that was as a consequence, even though I was jolly busy. But I digress).

This is what WattsUp had to say about it, himself citing Andrew Bolt, another top class climate change debunker that I - and, I suspect, many thousands of others - only recently discovered. The post is titled, in typical American summarise-the-story-for-the-thickoes fashion, "Monbiot issues an unprecedented apology - calls for Jones' resignation":

From Andrew Bolt, my “mate” down under at the Herald Sun, comes this surprise. I’ll have to say, it is to George Monbiot’s credit to do this. I embrace his first statement, because it succinctly sums up the situation:

It’s no use pretending that this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging(1). I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.

- George Monbiot on his personal blog

George seems to realize that, “it’s worse than we thought”.

From Andrew Bolt:

Even George Monbiot, one of the fiercest media propagandists of the warming faith, admits he should have been more sceptical and says the science now needs to be rechecked:

It’s no use pretending that this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.

Yes, the messages were obtained illegally. Yes, all of us say things in emails that would be excruciating if made public. Yes, some of the comments have been taken out of context. But there are some messages that require no spin to make them look bad. There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request.
Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign. Some of the data discussed in the emails should be re-analysed.

Sure, Monbiot claims the fudging of what he extremely optimistically puts as just “three or four” scientists doesn’t knock over the whole global warming edifice, yet…

If even Monbiot, an extremist, can say that much, why cannot the Liberals say far more? And will now the legion of warmist journalists in our own media dare say as Monbiot has so belatedly:

I apologise. I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely.

Scepticism is the essential disposition of our craft, yet too many journalists have abandoned it. Remember: the opposite of sceptical is gullible.

UPDATE: Here’s the screencap from Monbiot’s blog on the Guardian:

Naturally, if you check Moonbat's personal blog online propaganda and alarm generator, you will find a typically sneering and almost total qualification of this apparent outburst of sincerity and journalistic integrity.

He (and, indeed, all his little fellow zealots) reverted to type p-d-q. Quelle surprise. But the emails won't go away, and neither will the doubt they have rightly seeded, and will continue to seed, in millions of people's minds about the veracity of the science underpinning what used to be called global warming but is now, very suspiciously, simply (and simplistically) branded 'climate change'. We all now know why. The skids are now under this rampant thought disease, which has been deliberately spread by people who did know better.

Hide the decline, George. You know you want to.

Dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum to quote Descartes - accurately.

King Backs Osborne

This is the implication of Mervyn King's long-overdue criticism of Crash Gordon's mishandling of the economy and creation of the largest peacetime deficit in British history, ostensibly somehow to buy his way out of recession, but in reality to try to generate some sort of fake recovery in the run-up to the general election, thereby, somehow, securing a victory. God help us all if that works.

Well, that's precisely the point, isn't it? Whatever the motive for Brown's profligacy, it's becoming abundantly clear that it won't work. Britain is not recovering, in spite of the gazillions of pounds, much of it printed, being poured down the drain to make up for Brown's truly horrific, banana republic-style borrowing and spending splurge. King, it seems, has finally come clean on the scale of the government-led secret, further bailout of those two giant Scottish banks, RBS and HBOS, (£61Bn) whose chiefs were so very close to Brown and other Scottish Labourists, and who brought such pain to the people of Britain as a whole with their casino business practices and high risk, rank profiteering. He seems to have had enough of carrying the can for all Brown's gargantuan errors of judgment, both as Chancellor and as unelected Prime Minister.

Today's Telegraph report therefore makes refreshing reading, at least for me, loathe Brown and support the Tory plan for saving the British economy as I do.

In comments which are likely to infuriate Mr Brown, Mervyn King said that the next Government would need to “eliminate a large part of the structural deficit” over one parliamentary term alone. This proposal goes significantly further than anything penned in by the Government in the Budget, or what is demanded by the Fiscal Responsibility Bill unveiled last week in the Queen’s Speech.

In a hearing of the Treasury Select Committee, Mr King said repeatedly that the Government’s plan needed to be “credible” and detailed, or it would lose the confidence of the international investors who buy British debt. He said: “I think [the plan] has to be something where a really significant reduction in the deficit, the elimination of a large part of the structural deficit, takes place over the lifetime of a parliament, which is the period for which a government is elected. Beyond that is a statement of intent and hope rather than a plan for which someone can be held accountable.”

This, to me, represents not only a "rebuke" of Brown for his incompetence and subsequent complacency about the state of the national finances, but also a clear message of support for George Osborne. And it goes further, according to the report.

In comments which will further rattle markets, Mr King said that the top-tier rating on Britain’s debt could be at risk if the Government does not go ahead with significant cuts.

He said: “I don’t think there’s any immediate risk [of a downgrade] but of course the longer there isn’t a credible plan that sets out what actions will be taken, the more that is a risk. I myself don’t think that there is any impediment to the UK putting in place a credible plan that will convince financial markets.”

This is arguably the sternest of the numerous warnings the Bank’s Governor has issued to Mr Brown over the size of the deficit. It is the first since Mr Brown announced last week that the Government would draw up legislation forcing it to cut the deficit each year for the next decade and insisting that it halves the budget deficit within four years. Since then, however, official statistics have shown that the Government is still borrowing cash at the rate of almost £3 billion a week.

I wonder how Brown will get his revenge. Remember, you see, for 'moral compass' man, it's all about politics and always has been. He will burn anyone down who shows dissent and over whom he exercises some form of control. That's Brown's way, the way of the bully, the coward and the demagogue.

It's also the Labour way. An expert has just spoken out of turn, in this case Mervyn King. We know how Labour deals with people like that, don't we Professor Nutt?

But hey, things can only get better. We can vote the bastards out in 2010. As one poll shows, published at the same time as that Guardian Ipsos-Mori rogue, (another puts Labour back down on 22%, on point ahead of the Liberals), it's looking increasingly like that's precisely what we will do. And there's nothing Brown, Mandelson or the rest of that shower of lying, ruinous losers can do about it.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

EU Toon

Thought this Matt toon was quite funny.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Arrest Blair

His many crimes, committed while he held office, are finally beginning to emerge. And they are most definitely crimes (in the sense that, you know, he broke the law, right - so, hey, he's not actually a pretty straight kind of guy after all. Right). But hang on, if they are crimes, and crimes they are, then arrest the shit, right?

Anyway, this dynamite litany of Blairite deceit will be revealed in tomorrow's Sunday Telegraph so people can then make their own minds up about whether we've been led by crooks, incompetents and liars for the past 13 years (or not).

On the eve of the Chilcot inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the 2003 invasion and its aftermath, The Sunday Telegraph has obtained hundreds of pages of secret Government reports on “lessons learnt” which shed new light on “significant shortcomings” at all levels.

They include full transcripts of extraordinarily frank classified interviews in which British Army commanders vent their frustration and anger with ministers and Whitehall officials.

The reports disclose that:

Tony Blair, the former prime minister, misled MPs and the public throughout 2002 when he claimed that Britain’s objective was “disarmament, not regime change” and that there had been no planning for military action. In fact, British military planning for a full invasion and regime change began in February 2002.

The need to conceal this from Parliament and all but “very small numbers” of officials “constrained” the planning process. The result was a “rushed”operation “lacking in coherence and resources” which caused “significant risk” to troops and “critical failure” in the post-war period.

Operations were so under-resourced that some troops went into action with only five bullets each. Others had to deploy to war on civilian airlines, taking their equipment as hand luggage. Some troops had weapons confiscated by airport security.

Commanders reported that the Army’s main radio system “tended to drop out at around noon each day because of the heat”. One described the supply chain as “absolutely appalling”, saying: “I know for a fact that there was one container full of skis in the desert.”

The Foreign Office unit to plan for postwar Iraq was set up only in late February, 2003, three weeks before the war started.

The plans “contained no detail once Baghdad had fallen”, causing a “notable loss of momentum” which was exploited by insurgents. Field commanders raged at Whitehall’s “appalling” and “horrifying” lack of support for reconstruction, with one top officer saying that the Government “missed a golden opportunity” to win Iraqi support. Another commander said: “It was not unlike 1750s colonialism where the military had to do everything ourselves.”

The documents emerge two days before public hearings begin in the Iraq Inquiry, the tribunal appointed under Sir John Chilcot, a former Whitehall civil servant, to “identify lessons that can be learnt from the Iraq conflict”.

Senior military officers and relatives of the dead have warned Sir John against a “whitewash”.

The documents consist of dozens of “post-operational reports” written by commanders at all levels, plus two sharply-worded “overall lessons learnt” papers – on the war phase and on the occupation – compiled by the Army centrally.

The analysis of the war phase describes it as a “significant military success” but one achieved against a “third-rate army”. It identifies a long list of “significant” weaknesses and notes: “A more capable enemy would probably have punished these shortcomings severely.”

The analysis of the occupation describes British reconstruction plans as “nugatory” and “hopelessly optimistic”.

It says that coalition forces were “ill-prepared and equipped to deal with the problems in the first 100 days” of the occupation, which turned out to be “the defining stage of the campaign”. It condemns the almost complete absence of contingency planning as a potential breach of Geneva Convention obligations to safeguard civilians.

The leaked documents bring into question statements that Mr Blair made to Parliament in the build up to the invasion. On July 16 2002, amid growing media speculation about Britain’s future role in Iraq, Mr Blair was asked: “Are we then preparing for possible military action in Iraq?” He replied: “No.”

Introducing the now notorious dossier on Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction, on Sept 24, 2002, Mr Blair told MPs: “In respect of any military options, we are not at the stage of deciding those options but, of course, it is important — should we get to that point — that we have the fullest possible discussion of those options.”

In fact, according to the documents, “formation-level planning for a [British] deployment [to Iraq] took place from February 2002”.

The documents also quote Maj Gen Graeme Lamb, the director of special forces during the Iraq war, as saying: “I had been working the war up since early 2002.”

The leaked material also includes sheaves of classified verbatim transcripts of one-to-one interviews with commanders recently returned from Iraq – many critical of the Whitehall failings that were becoming clear. At least four commanders use the same word – “appalling” – to describe the performance of the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence.

Documents describe the “inability to restore security early during the occupation” as the “critical failure” of the deployment and attack the “absence of UK political direction” after the war ended.

One quotes a senior British officer as saying: “The UK Government, which spent millions of pounds on resourcing the security line of operations, spent virtually none on the economic one, on which security depended.”

Many of the documents leaked to The Sunday Telegraph deal with key questions for Sir John Chilcot and his committee, such as whether planning was adequate, troops properly equipped and the occupation mishandled, and will almost certainly be seen by the inquiry.

However, it is not clear whether they will be published by it.

It's the worst, most profligate, incompetent, deadly, destructive, arrogant and shameless government we've ever had inflicted upon us - and still the polls remain slightly volatile, nonetheless.

But not after this Iraq stuff fully comes out, though, so there's really no need to worry. Brown and Labour are still dead in the water. And Blair really should be arrested.

Plain Stupid

There must a shockvid to desperation ratio. This is a very shocking video from Plane Stupid, the AGW activist group for budding yoof bottom feeder misanthropes. Its desperation to transmit the lies of a faltering, contaminated, scientific myth to what they imagine is a very naive public by the same token is clearly enormous.

The 9/11 connotations, as James Delingpole noted earlier today, are simply disgusting.

CRU Email Hacks: Undermining the AGW Grand Narrative

According to long-time AGW sceptic, Prof Phillip Stott, the Climate Research Unit's damning hacked emails threaten to undermine the credibility not only of Global Warming's "grand narrative" (a reference to the great postmodernist, Jean-Francois Lyotard's, theories on the problems of modern knowledge gathering), but of science itself. Wisely counselling caution about their validity given the method by which they were attained and their decontextualisation, he then goes to make some powerful, if rather downbeat, points about the impact of a fabrication of this scale, if proved, on the public's trust in not only the scientific community, but the scientific process itself.
Above all, however, this episode has demonstrated, yet again, that ‘global warming’ exhibits all the characteristics of a classic post-modern grand narrative, a narrative that increasingly seems to have little to do with science. This should not surprise us. The rise of the grand narrative, as many readers will know, has been littered with deeply worrying statements, of which the following are perhaps some of the more notorious: “Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen” (Sir John Houghton); “To capture the public imagination we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to strike the right balance between being effective and being honest” (Dr. Stephen Schneider); and, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period” (Professor John Overpeck). Sadly, it is not impossible that the newly-hacked material may add to this liturgy.

In the end, I fear that, if and when the ‘global warming’ grand narrative collapses, as I judge it surely must, it could well seriously damage trust in science itself, and that would be a most dreadful tragedy for all of us.

The loss of trust in science might well be "the most dreadful tragedy for us all" but one cannot help but feel it would be the most wonderful liberation, too. Trust can be rebuilt, but only on the basis of truth. As long as the promulgation of what now increasingly appears to be the lie that is AGW - or "Climate Change" as it has curiously come to be known - is permitted to continue, suspicion alone will erode faith in the products of an abused scientific process, particularly, (but not exclusively - this type of contamination tends to spread), in the earth science fields. If Prof Stott is correct, it therefore appears that we are confronted with a choice. Either we continue to allow the myth to be made and re-made, and drift ever-further away from reality as the evidence before our very eyes increasingly diverges from the beliefs that inform the myth, or we abandon it now in order to set about the hard task of correcting the mistakes.

I know which one I prefer.

The People The Warmists Destroyed, Pt 74

David Bellamy, that avuncular botanist from my childhood who educated and campaigned, who championed the environment and celebrated the natural world with an infectious enthusiasm few could (indeed can) ever match, was destroyed by the people behind the AGW alarmism simply for being what they deemed to be a dangerous "sceptic." It seems he might finally be vindicated, at the age of 76, following the Climategate scandal. Perhaps there is a little justice in this world of ours after all. And perhaps ordinary people need finally to wake-up and be a little more choosy about which experts and what claims they decide to believe in future.

Dr Bellamy's comments in an interview he gave to the Telegraph recently are rather moving in that they give you some idea of just how much damage the alarmists have been prepared to cause in their ruthless pursuit of their goals, goals which increasingly appear to have been covertly political rather than purely scientific in nature.

I spent my 50th birthday in jail. We were protesting against the flooding of this amazing river in Tasmania. I was in solitary confinement in Hobart’s Risdon Prison and Rosemary was getting hounded by the press, who kept asking about me. She said, 'For the first time in my life I know exactly where he is.’

I’m sceptical about man-made climate change. There’s absolutely no proof that carbon dioxide will kill us all. It’s not a poison, it’s the most important gas in the world. Carbon dioxide is an airborne fertiliser. How can farmers grow increasing amounts of food without a rise in CO2?

I used to be very popular but most of the green people won’t even speak to me any more. When I was sacked from the Wildlife Trusts because of my views they didn’t tell me, I read about it in the paper.

We now have evidence of just how genuine environmental activists and scientists who, like David Bellamy, happen not to subscribe to the AGW narrative, were deliberately targeted and ruined by the powerful climate change lobby. This report, for instance, just published on the Australian news site, whose newshound Andrew Bolt is tackling the story head on (unlike the rest of the MSM), gives you a fair idea of the lengths to which "The Team" were/are prepared to go to silence their critics, particularly when they were/are fellow scientists.
Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 12:02am

This time we’ll focus on the sheer thuggery of the “The Team” - how this conspiracy of powerful alarmist scientists tried to drive sceptics and non-allies out of their jobs, and even succeeded.

Here’s three examples:

Example one is the email from Tom Wigley to IPCC author Timothy Carter about the Climate Research journal, then edited by sceptic Chris de Freitas:

PS Re CR, I do not know the best way to handle the specifics of the editoring. Hans von Storch is partly to blame—he encourages the publication of crap science ‘in order to stimulate debate’. One approach is to go direct to the publishers and point out the fact that their journal is perceived as being a medium for disseminating misinformation under the guise of refereed work. I use the word ‘perceived’ here, since whether it is true or not is not what the publishers care about -- it is how the journal is seen by the community that counts.I think we could get a large group of highly credentialed scientists to sign such a letter—50+ people.Note that I am copying this view only to Mike Hulme and Phil Jones. Mike’s idea to get editorial board members to resign will probably not work—must get rid of von Storch too, otherwise holes will eventually fill up with people like Legates, Balling, Lindzen, Michaels, Singer, etc. I have heard that the publishers are not happy with von Storch, so the above approach might remove that hurdle too.

Further emails from the team in its successful pursuit of de Freitas’ scalp:

This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?

I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor…

It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !


This second case gets to the crux of the matter. I suspect that deFreitas deliberately chose other referees who are members of the skeptics camp. I also suspect that he has done this on other occasions. How to deal with this is unclear, since there are a number of individuals with bona fide scientific credentials who could be used by an unscrupulous editor to ensure that ‘anti-greenhouse’ science can get through the peer review process (Legates, Balling, Lindzen, Baliunas, Soon, and so on)….

Example two is the blocking of papers by sceptics and the less-alarmed to the IPCC deliberations:


To: “Michael
Date: Thu Jul 8 16:30:16 2004


[personal and extraneous chat snipped]

The other paper by MM is just garbage – as you knew. De Freitas again. Pielke is also losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well – frequently as I see it.

I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !


Example three is the driving out of Professor James Saiers as editor of the Geophysical Research Letters journal, which under him had published a sceptical paper by sceptics Sallie Baliunas and Wille Soon.

Here’s Tom Wigley to Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann:

1106322460 txt

Proving bad behavior here is very difficult. If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted.

Mann writes:

Hi Malcolm,


I’m not sure that GRL can be seen as an honest broker in these debates anymore, and it is probably best to do an end run around GRL now where possible. They have published far too many deeply flawed contrarian papers in the past year or so. There is no possible excuse for them publishing all 3 Douglass papers and the Soon et al paper. These were all pure crap.

There appears to be a more fundamental problem w/ GRL now, unfortunately…


Mann again:

Thanks Tom,

Yeah, basically this is just a heads up to people that something might be up here. What a shame that would be. It’s one thing to lose “Climate Research”. We can’t afford to lose GRL. I think it would be useful if people begin to record their experiences w/ both Saiers and potentially Mackwell (I don’t know him–he would seem to be complicit w/what is going on here).

If there is a clear body of evidence that something is amiss, it could be taken through the proper channels. I don’t that the entire AGU hierarchy has yet been compromised!



Mann again:

Dear All,

Just a heads up. Apparently, the contrarians now have an “in” with GRL. This guy Saiers has a prior connection w/ the University of Virginia Dept. of Environmental Sciences that causes m some unease.

I think we now know how the various Douglass et al papers w/ Michaels and Singer, the Soon et al paper, and now this one have gotten published in GRL,


Saiers was soon gone.
And so was Bellamy. Pretty chilling stuff. I'll be following Andrew Bolt's blog with interest from now on. If you care about the truth, I recommend that you do too.

The hacked files can be downloaded here