Really Sciency

Visit my other blog 'Really Sciency' looking at Climate Science and its portrayal, misrepresentation and denial in the media.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Daily Fail

Just when The Daily Mail started to publish articles that actually bore a resemblance to real world science it prints an article under the headline;

Climate change deniers will be despised just like racists one day, says Al Gore

Yes the infamous 'Daily mail Reporter' strikes again with a piece that deserves to be looked at very critically - and things are not good. Twice in the short piece 'The Daily Mail Reporter' uses the term 'climate change alarmists'. I'm not exactly sure who these 'climate change alarmists' are are but it is already clear that this piece is not going to be unbiased or balanced. Science is not mentioned at all so I can only assume that anyone who does not hold the ignorant opinion of the Daily Mail Reporter falls into the 'climate change alarmists' box regardless of data and evidence.

But I have no love for Al Gore so even with this obviously biased piece, Gore shouldn't be saying those who deny science will be despised like racists so it is good that this 'Reporter' has brought this issue to our attention - isn't it?

Except Gore never said anything at all about despising people like they were racists. There is nothing in the quotes attributed to him and nothing in the linked video this article is supposed to be reporting on. The only reference to racism is when an anecdote comparing this time to that of the civil marches which he grew up through and about winning the conversation with those who reject the science in the way the conversation with civil rights was won, and rightly or wrongly Gore sees  the measures that he believes are needed as a civil rights issue.

So for The Daily Mail it is business as usual;


Monday, 29 August 2011

Phony Hurricane Kills at least 21.

Why is it that extreme events always bring the creeps and sickos out?

Creep 1

Steven Goddard of the ironically named 'Real Science' blog posted on Hurricane Irene with this headline;

NOAA’s Phony “Hurricane” Coming On Shore With 33 MPH Winds

 You see Mr Goddard has a thing about NOAA, namely that it supplies climate data which tells him things that he doesn't want to hear so any chance, even the slimiest extremest chance, of casting doubt on their information is taken.


Firstly there is absolutely no doubt at all that this storm was a Hurricane. It touched on Category 3 when in the Caribbean and was a Cat 1 when it made landfall in the US, before being down graded to a serious and tropical storm by the time it reached NYC and is now on it's way to Canada as predicted. 

But Goddard cannot take NOAA's word for it. So when some ground weather stations in the area reported wind speeds below hurricane strength Goddard posted to downplay this storms seriousness  and claiming it was 'just barely a tropical storm'.

Well Goddard is in no way qualified to decide how a storm should be described and it now turns out that this phoney hurricane that was barely a tropical storm has killed at least 21 people, left five million homes without power, and costs running into billions of dollars.

Creep 2 


In yet another example of the Kooks coming out, US broadcaster Glenn Beck has stated that Hurricane Irene and East Coast earthquake a ‘blessing’ from God. Apparently they were both warnings to 'be prepared'. It seems to be some sort of call to stock pile food and prepare for end times. I thought that the world had already ended but no one was that interested.



Creep 3

I missed this from Forbes Magazine;

 AGW denier Pat Michaels said on Friday before Hurricane Irene had fully finished with the US;

Get Real: Hurricane Irene Should Be Renamed "Hurricane Hype"

 In the article he rather stupidly and callously says;

" It is doubtful that Irene will even cough up eight bodies (the number killed by Gloria)"

As of now I believe the deaths attributed to this Hurricane/Tropical Storm in in the thirties including an 11 year old boy.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


What would a real sceptic do?

I came across ‘The Rational Optimist’ blog which has a rehash of the old AGW denier argument; ‘The cure is worse than the symptoms’. In support of this argument an example was used to down play the serious of erratic changing climate by reporting on a research paper in the Journal of Coastal Research which (apparently) concludes;

“Our analyses do not indicate acceleration in sea level in US tide gauge records during the 20th century. Instead, for each time period we consider, the records show small decelerations that are consistent with a number of earlier studies of worldwide-gauge records. The decelerations that we obtain are . . . one to two orders of magnitude less than the +0.07 to +0.28 [millimetres per year squared] accelerations that are required to reach sea levels predicted for 2100 by [three recent mathematical models].”

To translate: sea level is rising more slowly than expected, and the rise is slowing down rather than speeding up. Sea level rise is the greatest potential threat to civilisation posed by climate change because so many of us live near the coast. Yet, at a foot a century and slowing, it is a slight nosebleed.”

Ok, as a real sceptic I am very doubtful about the interpretations of these conclusions simply because no reference to this ‘science’ is given other than it is supposed to have appeared in the Journal of Coastal Research. Why no Volume and issue No., paper title or author? 

Skeptic Skydiving Flowchart

Let’s Pretend

But let’s suspend our critical thinking on that particular point and pretend that we know everything above is kosher. Let’s say we are fairly certain that there is a good, properly peer reviewed paper in the scientific literature that is able to conclude based on the research that “sea level is rising more slowly than expected, and the rise is slowing down rather than speeding up”. What would a real sceptic do?
Given that anyone who has ever considered the predicted effects of anthropogenic climate change would have had the impression that ice caps are melting, glaciers are retreating and therefore sea levels should be rising or rising very soon, as a sceptic they would ask WHY? Why does this paper seem to contradict everything I have been lead to believe? How does it fit in with the overall body of scientific research?

Something very similar happened in climate circles a decade or so ago. Satellite temperature measurements showed much less warming than ground records. Real sceptics, the scientists, asked; Why? Why were the two records different? Why when the ground station records tallied with other signs of warming, (changes in seasons, melting of ice etc), did the Satellite record which could measure parts of the globe where no recording equipment existed, show little warming. The so called ‘Skeptics’ didn’t bother to ask why, they just chose the temperature record they preferred to support whatever point the needed it for.

As it turned out the Satellite record was in error and was due to diurnal drift. Skeptical Science has a good explanation of this and how when corrected the two records more closely matched.

So what does the Rational Optimist do? Unfortunately it is a epic fail because not only do they accept that their interpretation of this single paper is enough to dismiss any science to the contrary, but on the strength of it they are willing to base all the worlds global warming policies.

Certainly optimistic but very far removed from rational!

If you do think Sea level rise is exaggerated and this is a problem that can be used to ignore all other related climate change research it would be worth considering what Skeptical Science has to say

The second example used to support the idea that climate change isn’t worth the effort is the idea that growing biofuels are causing thousands of deaths – a classic straw man argument. Whether biofuels are being produced with the stated aim of mitigating emissions or just as a commercial enterprise says absolutely nothing about the impact climate change will have. And climate change certainly says nothing about what policies must be adopted in response to it, especially one that could involve using arable land more useful for producing food crops.

BTW 2.
Skeptical science also has a page on “It's not bad”;

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Fruits of Divine Grace Mega Sale!


In what I can only describe as a sale to rival any BOGOF, the Vatican has made a deal with God for some very special limited offers to be made available for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day in Madrid.

Offer 1

Having an abortion is such a heinous crime that it usually warrants excommunication but God has allowed all the priests taking confession at the event the power to lift such an excommunication and the post sinners will be welcomed back into the church.

So if you have had the misfortune to have had an abortion at any time get yourself down to World Youth Day and tell all to one of the blocks in a frock and an eternal life in heaven that you though was lost to you forever can still be yours.

 Offer 2

A Plenary Indulgence allowing you to spend less time in purgatory. These used to be only available by paying out your hard earned cash but you can now get one free with every confession.

Why not try confessing several times this day, you may miss out on your stay in purgatory all together, just remember not to enjoy the sinning required before each subsequent confession too much.


Two for the Price of One.

Of course confessing to an abortion means you qualify for both these fantastic offers, a true and divine BOGOF.

So why not make you way down to the massive Catholic Church’s World Youth Day in Madrid event and grab yourself a bargain of an eternal lifetime!