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Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category

Yeah, yeah. I know. Weather is not climate. Unless it’s warm, then it is.

But the National Snow and Ice Data Center (University of Colorado) reports that Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 (via Watts Up With That).

And compare a photo image of current Northern Hemisphere snow and ice cover with an image of the same area a year ago.

When will the world listen to science that works, as opposed to what does not work?

That is the question posed by astrophysicist and long range weather forecaster Piers Corbyn:

Any pretense at decency or moral values by the Sea Shepherd mob is a sham.

Paul Syret at the Courier Mail writes:

THAR she blows. And no, it’s not a humpback whale surfacing and venting, but Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson once again blowing off great clouds of sanctimonious steam as only true zealots of any persuasion can do.

Personally, I’ve never met a whale, but I’m sure they’re very nice.

The problem is the Japanese and other whaling nations also seem to think they’re very nice, particularly with a dash of soy sauce and some wasabi on the side.

And the whales need saving apparently, or before you know it, the only chance we’ll get to see Free Willy in the flesh is in an upmarket Tokyo sushi bar.

Enter stage right the swashbuckling Captain Paul, a big, bearded bear of a Canadian who likes to sail under the Jolly Roger – the skull and crossbones flag of the maritime pirate.

Indeed, the Sea Shepherd conservation society has admitted to sinking various whaling boats over the years in operations from Iceland to Antarctica.

When you have right on your side, you can do as you damn well please in terms of innovative direct action tactics it appears.
 …

How would we as a nation feel if Japanese protesters took to using innovative direct action tactics to disrupt the kangaroo meat industry?

We might have plague proportions of the things in some areas, and they can taste pretty good after a quick barbecue sear and then a stint in a slow oven with a red wine, garlic and rosemary jus and a side of julienne potatoes, but poor little Skippy.

So how would we react if the Tokyo Marsupial Shepherds decided to embark on a campaign of harassment, vandalism and intimidation on our shores (and remember here that Sea Shepherd claims these waters are Australia’s responsibility)?

… they are just sea-going terrorists and blowhards with politically correct bumper stickers.

And then there is this video showing the Ady Gil shooting arrows at the Japanese:

Gavin Atkins has more.

It is certainly hot in South Australia – over 40 degrees on Kangaroo Island. Adelaide is even hotter – about 43 degrees.

One or two very hot spells in a season are not unusual, however. The hottest day I have ever lived through was 46 degrees in the early 80s, also in Adelaide.

Has the last decade been the hottest on record in Australia, as Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology says? I noted a couple of days ago that even it were, this is no reason to assume that human activity is responsible.

In fact, there is no correlation between human production of CO2 and changes in climate, but very strong correlation between solar activity and global temperature change.

I also noted that there have been no new temperature records, hot or cold, in the last decade.

Warwick Hughes has shown that in the case of Darwin and Alice Springs, the temperature data do not supprt the BOM’s claim.

There is also considerable doubt that the BOM has adequately taken into account the Urban Heat Island Effect.

These graphs, also from Warwick Hughes, demonstrate the IPCC orthodox warming of about 0.6 degrees in large Australian cities over the 20th century, but no warming at all in rural centres:

Australian Capital City Temperatures 1882 -1982

Australian Regional Temperatures 1882 -1982

Then there is the fact that data has been carefully ‘corrected’, almost always so that older temperatures are lowered, and more recent temperatures increased.

This graph from Watts Up With That shows adjusted data versus raw data for Darwin over the period 1880 to 2000:

Darwin Raw vs Adjusted Temperatures 1880 to 2000

Then there is the fact the even the warming alarmists at East Anglia CRU found the Australian temperature records so poor they are almost incomprehensible. A couple of quotes from the Climategate emails:

I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations, one with no WMO and one with, usually overlapping and with the same station name and very similar coordinates. I know it could be old and new stations, but why such large overlaps if that’s the case? Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight… So, we can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!

OH F%*# THIS. It’s Sunday evening, I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found.

Getting seriously fed up with the state of the Australian data. so many new stations have been introduced, so many false references.. so many changes that aren’t documented. Every time a cloud forms I’m presented with a bewildering selection of similar-sounding sites, some with references, some with WMO codes, and some with both. And if I look up the station metadata with one of the local references, chances are the WMO code will be wrong (another station will have it) and the lat/lon will be wrong too.

So how much confidence can we have in the BOM’s claim that this has been the hottest decade since records began?

Very little.

Well, that’s what it amounts to.

Dr Patrick Nugawela took his Lamborghini to be serviced. The mechanic took the car for a test drive. An extended test drive, at speeds of up to 160kmph in a 90 kmph zone.

The police caught the mechanic, and impounded the car for 28 days. They are required to do this under West Australian ‘hoon’ laws. Cars driven recklessly must be impounded.

Except that the WA government seems not to have taken into account that cars being driven recklessly are also likely to have been stolen. And that impounding a stolen vehicle will further inconvenience the owner, already a victim of theft. And that then requiring the owner of the stolen vehicle to pay a $900 fee to get the car released may be just a little unfair.

WA Police Minister’s initial response of ‘tough luck’ was not well received. He has agreed to bring forward a review of the relevant legislation:

Yesterday Mr Johnson was adamant the law would not be reviewed for another year, even though he admitted that in the case of the doctor, the law was not fair. But in a statement late yesterday the minister said he had decided to bring forward the review after examining the legislation. He said he had decided there was room for a minor amendment which may allow for the substitution of an offender’s vehicle in place of an innocent person’s vehicle.

I dont know it is possible this legislation could have been enacted without such an obviously necessary provision. And at this stage there is still no indication Dr Nugawela’s car will be returned in returned in reasonable time.

What on Earth is the Press Association thinking with this headline:

Malaysian church attacked in feud ?

This is the fourth church to have been bombed in the last week.

Malaysian police say the attacks were probably carried out by mischievous pranksters.

Really?

This is not a feud. A feud involves bitter and drawn out hostilities on both sides.

There is certanly hostility here, but on one side only.

This is not a feud, it is terrorist persecution of a religious minority.

Miss Newfoundland and Labrador, Sara Green, has been targetted by anti seal hunt groups after wearing a borrowed seal-skin coat in a Christmas parade.

A photo showing Miss Green waving at crowds during the parade was photo-shopped to make it look as if she was covered in blood, surrounded by seal carcasses, and waving a hackapik.

But Miss Green is not bowing to pressure:

“It was gruesome. It was unnecessary … when I saw the photo, of course my jaw dropped,” she said in an interview. “I couldn’t believe it, but it gave me a bigger motivation to stand up for the seal hunt.”

Sara has a firearms licence and plans to join her grandfather and uncle on their annual seal hunt this spring.

She said the hunt is needed to control voracious seal populations that feast on fragile cod and herring stocks. 

It’s been a part of our heritage for hundreds of years and there’s no reason to be bashing it.”

Of course wearing cow skin is really like, totallyyyy different from wearing seal skin. Not.

So all you greenies can get back in your genuine leather Birkenstocks and Doc Martins and go home.

Sara sounds like a sensible girl. I wish her well.

According to the Australian BOM the last decade has been Australia’s hottest since record keeping began.

Even if this were true, this in itself is no reason to jump to the conclusion it is all our fault and the world is going to hell in a handbasket. No matter what the ever amusing Minister for Rabbits Peter Garrett has to say.

In fact, as I noted a couple of posts ago, there is no evidence this is the case at all.

But the BOM’s clams are doubtful for a number of reasons.

I’ll say more about this tomorrow, but for today I just note that not one Australian temperature record, high or low, has been set in the last ten years:

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

Highest Recorded Temperature:

 Canberra  42.2 C  (108.0 F) on the 1st February, 1968

Lowest Recorded Temperature:

 Canberra  -10.0 C  (14.0 F) on the 11th July, 1971

NEW SOUTH WALES

Highest Recorded Temperature:

 Wilcannia  50.0 C  (122.0 F) on the 11th January, 1939

Lowest Recorded Temperature:

 Charlotte Pass  -23.0 C  (-9.4 F) on the 29th June, 1994

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Highest Recorded Temperature:

 Finke  48.3 C  (118.9 F) on the 2nd January, 1960

Lowest Recorded Temperature:

 Alice Springs  -7.5 C  (18.5 F) on the 12th July, 1976

QUEENSLAND

Highest Recorded Temperature:

 Birdsville  49.5 C  (121.1 F) on the 24th December, 1972

Lowest Recorded Temperature:

 Stanthorpe  -11.0 C  (12.2 F) on the 4th July, 1895

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Highest Recorded Temperature:

 Oodnadatta  50.7 C  (123.3 F) on the 2nd January, 1960

Lowest Recorded Temperature:

 Yongala  -8.2 C  (17.2 F) on the 20th July, 1976

TASMANIA

Highest Recorded Temperature:

 Hobart  40.8 C  (105.4 F) on the 4th January, 1976

Lowest Recorded Temperature:

 Shannon  -13.0 C  (8.6 F) on the 30th June, 1983

VICTORIA

Highest Recorded Temperature:

 Mildura  47.2 C  (117.0 F) on the 10th January, 1939

Lowest Recorded Temperature:

 Mt Hotham  -12.8 C  (9.0 F) on the 13th August, 1947

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Highest Recorded Temperature:

 Mardie  50.5 C  (122.9 F) on the 19th February, 1998

Lowest Recorded Temperature:

 Booylgoo Springs  -6.7 C  (19.9 F) on the 12th July, 1969

Figures from an amateur site on world temperature extremes. Some readings not yet verified.

It is clear to all except the most violently irrational or funding dependent warming alarmists that there is no correlation between human produced CO2 and changes in global temperature over the last century.

However there is general agreement that there has been some warming, about 0.6 of one degree Celsius, over the last century.

If human activity has not caused this temperature increase, what has?

If we can learn what has caused past temperature change, we should be able to predict future change, and prepare for it.

Neither the UK Met Office nor the Australian Bureau of Meteorology have had much success in predicting recent seasonal changes.

This is because both Met Office and BOM predictions are based on ideology – theories about what the weather should be doing – rather than observations of what the weather really is doing.

Has anyone got it right?

Yes. In a letter posted on Jon Ray’s Greenie Watch, astrophysicist Piers Corbin writes:

Further to Newsnight tonight (7th Jan 2010) where the Met Office and BBC so-called expert lied about the reality of long-range forecasting:

We at WeatherAction predicted this very cold weather SIX months ago using solar activity (nothing to do with CO2) and added extra detail weeks ahead. Our forecasts of EXTREME events are consistently 85% reliable.

There is no need for the UK and Europe to be unprepared and run out of salt. The consequent suffering and road deaths are a direct consequence of the Met Office and BBC failed science and litany of lies.

Would the BBC care to hear from us as to why the Met Office fail, fail and fail again in medium and long range forecasting and when this cold weather will end and then return? I Suspect not. Would you care to consider the following –

1. The Met Office statement on Newsnight that they ‘verify’ their climate forecasts against past dates

2. That the said past data was fraudulently produced by, for example, the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia and exposed in the CLIMATEGATE files..

3. It is therefore unsurprising that the Met Offices climate and season ahead forecasts fail fail and fail again. They are rooted in failed science and falsified data.

– The world has been cooling for at least 7 years while CO2 has been rising – contrary to their foreacst.

– The floody ‘non barbecue’ summers of 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the cold winter 08/09 and now 09/10 were ALL the opposite of the Met office forecast and ALL as predicted by WeatherAction months ahead. Met Office scored 0/5 and WeatherAction scored 5/5.

4. The failed Met Office forecast for this winter and the consequent unnecessary suffering and road deaths should be laid at the feet of the University of East Anglia, the Met Office and the BBC — and charges of collective manslaughter be issued.

Piers is understandably angry. Accurate forecasting, that is, forecasting based on observation rather than ideology, saves lives.

You can check the accuracy of Pier’s own predictions at Weather Action.

Piers uses ‘predictable aspects of solar activity – particle and magnetic effects from the Sun – as the basis for forecasting weather many months and even years in advance.’

This works for two main reasons. More solar activity means the sun produces more heat and light.

More solar activity also means fewer cosmic rays reaching Earth.

Cosmic rays encourage the development of clouds. Clouds reduce the temperature. So more solar activity means less cosmic rays, which means fewer clouds, which means higher temperatures.

There is no meaningful correlation between human production of CO2 and changes in temperature. There is a very close correlation between decrease in cosmic rays and increase in temperature:

Cosmic Rays and Global Temperature

KFC Australia have withdrawn a TV ad after claims it was racist.

Except that it isn’t racist. At all. Not remotely.

You would only think this was racist if you viewed it through a large number of racist assumptions. Or with the assumption that US stereotypes about African Americans apply in Australia to any non-European people.

The people in the ad are West Indians. Unsurprisingly, they are supporting the West Indies cricket team.  The white guy is not West Indian. He is supporting the Australian cricket team. As in most sporting events, people tend to sit with people who support the same team they do.

Would this be an uncomfortable situation? Oh yes. Would sharing food everyone enjoys make a difference? Maybe. It’s pretty obvious the West Indians are having a good time anyway.

Although I dont’t know why they would be.

The misperceptions of a few whiners in the US don’t make a perfectly innocent and amusing ad into something suspicious.

KFC should have told the whiners to sod off.

Caving into pressure to cut the ad looks like an admission they had done something wrong.

They hadn’t.

A recent Malaysian court ruled that a Catholic newspaper could continue to use the world ‘Allah’ for God. Bombings of churches naturally ensued.

Allah is simply the Arabic word for God. It was used by Jews and Christians for hundreds of years before Mohammed came along.

But some Malaysians believe that use of the word Allah by non-Muslim religions may encourage people to think that those religions are acceptable alternatives.

In English, this would be like the Catholic church burning down Mormon temples because they have been using the word ‘God’ for God.

Religious freedom is guaranteed to non-Muslims under the Malay constitution, but Malays are Muslim by definition – Malaysia is a Muslim country – and Malays are not permitted to convert.

Strange how the liberal media seems to think it is perfectly OK for Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran, etc, etc, to be Muslim nations, but that it is racist for Israel to be a Jewish nation.

There are some positives, however.

First, in the court’s recognition that under the Malaysian constitution, other religions had the right to use the word Allah for God.

Second, in the clear statements by many Malaysian political leaders and journalists that this kind of violence is not acceptable.

The problem is that many Muslims know very well that Mohammed would have found it acceptable. And Mohammed is the model for every Muslim, not the constitution of any country, even a Muslim one.

Radical feminist lesbian ‘theologian’ Mary Daly’ has died.

When I was at Flinders University in the early 80s I spent most of my time in the Philosophy Department. It was a Marxist department.

Being a unique individual who was able to think for myself, I thought exactly what I was told, and became a Sandinista supporting, land rights demanding, tree hugging member of the Socialist Workers’ Party – the only political party of which I have ever been a member.

I enrolled in Women’s Studies (and I was dutifully grateful for the opportunity to do so – not every university allowed men to participate).

I only lasted a couple of months. Not because I found it challenging – I had already read Greer and Friedan, and knew that men, especially white men, were the scum of the earth, rapists and pillagers who had never done anything good – but because even as an obedient little left-wing clone, I found it mind bogglingly dumb.

Mary Daly was a leader in the mind-bogglingly dumb, Elvis has left the building version of feminism. Germaine Greer was strikingly obvious, but not competely nuts, so I had no trouble with her.

Ten years later doing post-graduate studies at the University of Queensland, we were still being invited to draw from the deep well of Dalyan drivel.

Here are a couple of samples of drivel from an article on the Millenium Project:

It is also of obvious significance that other lethal purifying medicine is working to ensure an even earlier extinction of women. Now that the model of female moral purity has been converted into pure sexual availability, the Purifiers have produced The Pill. This is known to increase risks of …[long list of claims] … Premenopausal Pill-popping thus prepares the way for premature death, the ultimate purification.

(The writer of the article notes: One of the feminists loons that I was forced to associate with told me that using only female subjects in clinical trials of contraceptive pills was an example of how the patriarchy treated women as disposable, worthless objects. My questions about the usefulness of including men in trials designed to test the disruption of embryo attachment to the endometrium were brushed aside as examples of patriarchal ignorance.)

Dreadful, Deadless Women are the ones who have never stopped trying and who have continued to Hope. Our Hope is vigorous and active, and it is sustained and continually inspired by the Outrageous Courage of our Sisters/Foresisters who are ever more intensely Present to us, beckoning and Daring us to move further into The Fifth Spiral Galaxy. They are Calling us to continue our work of Metapatriarchal Metamorphosis Here and Now. This will require a New/Archaic Awakening.

It is never right to rejoice in the death of another, and I don’t rejoice in Mary Daly’s. I am sorry that so much of her life was wasted in pointless resentment and silliness.

I hope now that she knows the truth, she is able to find peace, and accept the certainty of being loved and valued by the Father God she so vehemently rejected on Earth.

Research shows the small amount of electro-magnetic radiation from mobile phones may help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

So that’s yet another failed science scare.

Although, to be fair, I’m not sure it was ever scientists who were behind the mobile phones will fry your brain theory. I think that was Richard Branson. The same guy who made a fortune selling mobile phones.

But never mind, even if mobile phones aren’t scary any more, and no one believes the global warming stuff any more, new science scares can always be found.

But scientists in Britain have really excelled themselves with this one.

A star called T Pyxidis 3260 light years away might explode in a supernova some time in the next 100 years. Maybe.

If it does, it might explode with force of a billion billion billion megatons of TNT. Some good highlights to look forward to in the MTV best explosion category that year.

If it does, the explosion could, possibly, in about four or five thousand years, strip away the ozone layer from the Earth.

And then we’ll all die. Perhaps.

Plenty of funding opportunities there, chaps.

Sadly, the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way is not chewing its way through the galaxy as quickly as previously thought.

Ah well, there’s still the Large Hadron Collider to worry about. Or use as an excuse for sex.

US Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano claimed ‘the system worked’ in relation to the near miss bombing attempt on Northwest flight 253 on Christmas Day.

It did, but only to the extent that once the plot was foiled by courageous passengers, the threat was communicated to other planes, airports and travellers.

The ‘system’ did not work to stop the attack from occurring – that was purely luck.

So I can understand Obama’s angry claim that “We dodged a bullet, but just barely. It was averted by brave individuals, not because the system worked and that is not acceptable.”

Obama Points The Finger

Obama Points The Finger

Obama said he would not tolerate any finger pointing amongst security staff. Again, fair enough.

What is less fair is Obama’s vehemently and publicly pointing the finger at those same security personel, making it clear he blames them for this failure.

It is less fair not only because it was rude and unneccesary, but because clear policy directives from the top have made it virtually impossible for security staff to do their jobs.

If staff are forbidden to profile on the basis of race, forbidden to profile on the basis of religion or nationality, what are they to do?

Rely on second hand information? Well yes, to some extent.

As Napolitano points out, Abdulmutallab was on a ‘tied list,’  on the basis of such information. But there are over half a million people on that list.

And whatever US security staff did would not have mattered anyway.

Abdulmutallab was checked in and boarded the plane to Detroit in Amsterdam. Increased check-in security procedures in the US, increased information sharing, or even race/religion/country profiling, would not have made any difference.

So what exactly were Obama’s security staff getting blasted for?

I’m sure I don’t know. But it certainly made him look as if he was serious.

The bow of the Ady Gil was sheared off in a collision with a Japanese whaling vessel. It is taking on water, but all crew members have been rescued.

It’s not fair, says anti-whaling person Paul Watson, from the Steve Irwin mother ship, ‘this seriously escalates the whole situation.’

Oh dear.

Of course the protest vessel was quietly minding its own business at the time …  No?

Actually, the Ady Gil was launching projectiles at the Nisshin Maru and attempting to entangle its propellers with rope.

What sort of projectiles? By the protestors own admission, some of them were chemical containing projectiles:

Earlier the campaigners – who are trying to stop Japan’s whaling fleet – said they threw chemicals onto the whaling boat to prevent it being used.

So we have a high speed anti-whaling vessel circling a commercial ship while throwing out ropes to entangle its propellors and tossing chemicals on to its decks, when there is a collision. Whose fault is this?

The Japanese are certainly not in any doubt.

Japan’s Fisheries Agency said:

“These acts of sabotage that threaten our country’s whaling ships and crew were extremely dangerous. It is totally unforgivable.”

Apart from the unforgiveable part – nothing is unforgiveable – I agree. Not only that the protestors are to blame, but that the anti-whaling protest is hypocritical.

There is no shortage of Minke whales – in fact they reduce the krill vailable for other endangered species.

Whales have similar intelligence to other grazing animals like cows.

A modern harpoon kills quickly, and no more painfully than halal methods of killing sheep, goats and cattle.

So if the protestors eat beef, what basis do they have for complaint about Japan’s carefully managed whale harvest?

Could it be racism? Cultural insensitivity? Or just plain old hypocrisy?

Update:

Who rammed who?

The Ady Gil is a much faster, smaller, more nimble boat. If they didn’t deliberately ram the Japanese ship, they certainly put themselves in its way.

Having their fathers around:

The report cites half a dozen pieces of research that demonstrate pretty conclusively that children do better in terms of mental health and social adjustment when their fathers as well as their mothers are involved in their upbringing. Children are 40 per cent more likely to suffer mental health problems if they do not have contact with one parent. Girls are more likely to have healthy relationships with men – as you’d expect – if their fathers are part of their lives.

Getting a smack from time to time:

 According to research from Marjorie Gunnoe, professor of psychology at Calvin College in the US State of Michigan, children smacked before the age of six perform better at school when they are teenagers. They are also more likely to do voluntary work and to want to go to university than their peers.

Professor Gunnoe interviewed 2,600 teenagers about being spanked. She found that when participants’ answers were compared with their behavior, such as academic success, optimism about the future, antisocial behavior, violence and bouts of depression, those who had been physically disciplined only between the ages of two and six performed best on all the positive measures.

No surprises in either case, really – it’s about being loved, feeling secure, and having clear boundaries.

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