Filed under: Australian News, Australian Politics, International News, International Politics, Science
‘ClimateGate’ is the name given to the controversy surrounding the leaking of emails belonging to the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia that took place in late November. This institute is a major research centre that played a key role in promoting Global Warming Alarmism and contributing to the IPCC report on Global Warming.
There has been some coverage in the Australian mainstream media, but most of it has completely ignored the meat of the issue, and instead focussed on ‘computer hacking’ or how it could impede the Copenhagen climate summit. The most thorough coverage has been in the Australian newspaper and the blogs of News Ltd. columnists Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair.
For those of you that are unfamiliar, emails contained in these archives strongly suggest that academics at CRU have prepetrated widescale scientific fraud and engaged in highly unprofessional, if not criminal conduct. Furthermore, it casts a strong shadow of suspicion and doubt on their conclusions of future global climate catastrophe.
These practices include:
- Suppressing the views of dissenting scientists
- Mathematically manipulating climate data to hide features of the curve that disagree with alarmist opinions
- Knowingly incorporating poor quality, unreliable data into their research
- Subverting the peer review process
- Withholding and destroying information in response to Freedom of Information requests
I have no doubt that ClimateGate played a significant role in increasing opposition to the Australian ETS legislation and the fall of Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull.
Plenty of great posts have been written that explain the content of these emails and surrounding issues in depth, so I will just include the links:
Infectious diseases are an increasing problem in big cities with high population densities. Indeed, fears of a swine flu (H1N1) pandemic have dominated media headlines this year. Diseases are frequently spread when people with dirty hands touch shared surfaces. For example, if a sick person covers their mouch when coughing, and then uses that same hand to open a door, the door handle may harbour their germs. Other people who touch that door handle may be infected.
Copper doorhandles may help prevent the spread of germs. The antimicrobial effects of copper have been known for thousands of years, but recent studies have shown that the antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA (Golden Staph) that is commonly found in hospitals, cannot survive on copper surfaces for more than 90 minutes:
- Could a copper door handle help to beat MRSA?
- Copper alloy hardware is naturally antibacterial:
- Putting copper into action: copper-impregnated products with potent biocidal activities
In contrast, the more common stainless steel surfaces allow germs to survive for days, and can only be effectively cleaned using antiseptics, which need to be frequently reapplied and can cause allergic reactions in some people.
This means that reducing the spread of germs around our homes and offices may be as simple as installing copper doorhandles, and copper versions of other fittings with frequent human contact like taps, faucets, push plates and elevator buttons. The copper-containing alloys brass and bronze are also effective, but take longer to kill germs.
The federal government will spend $2 million attempting to turn Australia’s high school students into science nerds.
This is the opening paragraph of ninemsn’s article on the Australian Government’s new $2 million initiative to improve the participation of year 9 and 10 high school students in science, named STELR – The Science and Technology Education Leveraging Relevance program.
Although the journalist was probably attempting to be funny, his or her choice of phrase to “turn high school students into science nerds” perfectly sums up the anti-intellectual attitudes towards scientific pursuits in Australian society, and exposes the heart of the problem: image conscious high school students who want to be cool do not want to be labelled as “science nerds”, hence choose not to study science in years 11 and 12, and do not pursue scientific careers.
I praise the Government’s initiative as a very positive step. $2 million is far too little, but any step forward is a good one. I also praise the decision to target the year 9 and 10 age group as this age group is still young enough to be impressionable, are very conscience about their self image, yet are starting to consider their future after high school. If this program succeeds, it will allow sufficient time for these students to choose science electives for years 11 and 12.
I wish to suggest some further ways to enhance this initiative:
- Extra pay for teachers who hold masters degrees and doctorates
When I was in high school, some science teachers had science degrees, but many didn’t. Even those who did made few efforts to update their knowledge. I can’t blame them completely – there was no incentive or recognition for those teachers who went beyond the bare minimum required to do their job.
- Advertising and promotional material featuring handsome/beautiful scientists
Yes, they exist and I have met them. In fact, a female scientist I know who works in the pharmaceuticals industry has graced the covers of a woman’s fashion magazine.
The old and tired stereotypical nerd with horn-rimmed glasses and a speech impediment promoted on TV and in movies must be destroyed once and for all.
- The right slogan
Science must be promoted as an empowering field that gives a person understanding and control over the world – to save the world, or to make it better.
What are your thoughts?
This was an ad for AGL gas in 1983, broadcast on Australian TV, showing their future vision of Sydney’s weather.
In it, you can see beautiful shots of Martin Place covered by snow, and people ice-skating in Circular Quay, with the Harbour Bridge visible in the background.
You see, climate change afficionados had slightly different expectations back then.
I am in full agreement with the first comment on the video:
“Is the pattern of the world’s weather changing?” Ha Ha. Al Gore must have been in town. This ad of course dates from the days when the coming ice age was the big climate scare. Back when silly religions used to sacrifice a goat in a futile effort to influence the weather, rather than trying to sacrifice entire economies.
I am sure that this does not come as a surprise to anyone living through the current Australian Winter, but this year, 2008, has been the coldest this century. So reads a fantastic post at slashdot.
But does this reality make the anthropogenic global climate change believers start having some doubts?
Of course not! It appears that they now say that a combination of phenomena – the La Niña effect and “Atlantic Multidecadal Information” will buy us another decade or so of unusually cold temperatures – plenty of time to concoct a new explanation to resolve their past inconsistencies.
This was the title of a recent special issue of Time Magazine
The moment saw it, I immediately recalled the climactic line from the movie Wargames, when the military computer Joshua discovers the futility of nuclear war and announces – “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play”.
I state my view straight up with no sugar on top. Global Warming Alarmism is Bullsh**. It is the greatest scientific embarrassment of the 21st century. I have not yet seen any evidence that proves that human activity has had a significant impact on Global Climate.
Children are having nightmares about disappearing polar bears and living in underwater cities. Billions of dollars are being spent on promoting monopoly money (carbon credits) and the whole thing stinks.
Amongst the most recent stupidities, the great polluting nation of New Zealand has announced that its Kyoto Protocol liability will exceed $1 Billion. Our own Government plans to spend $2.3 Billion of the budget windfall on fighting climate change.
In the process or whipping up this world frenzy, I have seen the following fundamental scientific and logical errors:
- Lack of falsifiability in weather predictions
- Combining measurements obtained using inconsistent methods, e.g. those used to produce graphs of historic temperature, ice thickness
- Mapping a relationship between variables by curve fitting instead of creating a correct model of the underlying process
- Retrospectively adjusting models to fit experimental data after abherrations are found
- Violating Occam’s Razor
- Confusing causation and correlation
To my knowledge, these are the only things that have been proven:
- We have more Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere today than we did at the turn of the century, largely attributable to industrialisation
- Global temperature was in a downward trend between 1940 and 1970 and since then has been in an upward trend.
- Animal migration and breeding is linked to the weather in a certain area.
I include the following websites that do a far better job of explaining the specifics:
I expect a barrage of criticism, so I preemptively will answer the following questions:
What about the Polar Bears stranded on ice?
This is a myth that originated from a widely published photo. Polar bears can swim.
What about the Movie, “An Inconvenient Truth”?
A High Court judge in the UK found that the contains 9 scientific errors covering many of its key points concerning attribution of certain events to anthropogenic climate change.
What about the “Scientific Consensus”?
Science is not a popularity contest. The only valid science comes from the application of the scientific method – you need to have a testable hypothesis.
What about the IPCC report?
Short answer: the contributors who disagreed had their opinions suppressed.
OK Mr Skeptic, then, do you believe that CFCs harm the Ozone Layer?
That was genuine science. The ability of CFCs to break down Ozone was experimentally proven, and the presence of CFCs was detected in the upper atmosphere.
In fact, the evidence was so convincing, that the Montreal Protocol that phased out the use of CFCs was ratified by more countries than the UN Declaration on Human Rights.
What has made Global Warming Alarmism so popular?
These are my guesses:
- Economic rivalry between Europe and the USA
- A convenient distraction for the UN to cover up its failure to act on Human Rights Abuses throughout the world
- A way for the Left to attack Capitalism
- A sure-fire way to attract research funding for academics who otherwise struggle for money
I will update this article with more comments at the next convenient opportunity.
In March, the Vatican official Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, named the new mortal sins in an interview with the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. .
In response, I have created my own alternative list of virtues and corresponding sins:
- Critical Thinking vs Blind Faith
- Logic vs Rhetoric
- Win/Win Negotiating vs Zero-sum (Win/Lose) Negotiating
- Lifelong Learning vs. Ignorance
- Good Hygiene vs Bad Hygiene
- Financial Literacy vs Financial Illiteracy
- Consistency vs Hypocrisy
This article was sitting on the back burner, and I didn’t want it to get too stale. This list isn’t in any order. I plan to add comments about each when [if] I have time. Your comments and criticism are welcome.