Open Thread #?

I’m working on a post but it won’t be ready for a while due to other commitments, so I thought I would start a new open thread so you can discuss anything your heart desires related to the topics at hand – climate science, denialism, skepticism, global warming — as long as it’s relevant, please feel free to indulge.

I’ll start with this bizarre bit of news re: Mark Lynas’s new book, The God Species:

In the news, Mark Lynas’s new book “The God Species” has apparently been pulled for review at Amazon.uk due to complaints of some readers that the paperback version is not what was described, or something to that effect. There is a bit of discussion as to whether this is his critics in the religious/environmental movement trying to scupper his book sales. Don’t know yet what to think but it appears to be on sale at Amazon.com and other venues.

I tried to go and read his blog for an update, but apparently, I am not permitted to access his blog. Don’t want to get all paranoid that he’s blocked me from reading his blog, so I assume this is a technical glitch resulting from concerns over possible hacking. He wouldn’t block lil ol me from reading his blog, do you think?

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62 Responses to “Open Thread #?”

  1. “He wouldn’t block lil ol me from reading his blog, do you think?”

    Obviously you should assume that he has and post to that effect, then other blogs can pick up the story and go with it adding a “-gate” in somewhere.

    (also I get a 403 error too but that just means the conspiracy runs deeper than we thought)

    • I’ll take off my tinfoil hat, then, although I’m sure it prevents those government brain reading beams from penetrating my cranium… 😉

      • News from Mark’s twitter feed that an Amazon insider said it was an admin cockup that had to do with the difference between the hardcover an paperback so all that speculation about environmentalists and suchlike and Amazon’s monstrous power to censor seems to have been premature…

        Also, looks like Neil Gaiman’s tweet to his 1.2M followers might have contributed to the crashing of Mark’s blog, so I guess I’m not so important and powerful that I must be blocked after all. 🙂

        • Putting on my own tinfoil hat, I’d say it’s a nice PR stunt by Lynas. Gaiman, along with key denialist blogs, have picked up on the story, which allows his book to be promoted there among an audience that would normally never consider reading it. Lynas knew his claims were silly but without them, would not get the massive attention. It’s sadly all too familiar a tactic…

          You see, assuming bad faith is very easy.

          • I doubt it was a PR stunt. I bet Lynas is sensitive to potential sleights because of the backlash against him for his comments on McIntyre and whole IPCC WGIII / Greenpeace kerfuffle.

            That said, no publicity is bad publicity and so he will likely sell a number of books that he wouldn’t have otherwise.

  2. Amazon’s monstrous power to censor seems to have been premature…

    Oh what actually happened doesn’t matter! What’s matters is what could have happened!

    Where are the policies that prevent Greenpeace perverting Amazon’s systems!? Nowhere that’s where. That means it could be and therefore is happening all the time!

    • This is the problem I see played out on various skeptic blogs, and I use the term skeptic with my nose plugged. Speculate on what might be going on when you have no clue, raise all kinds of possibilities, impugn motives, and let others speculate as well, so that it feeds on itself. There is usually a valid explanation that does not involve conspiracy and fraud…

  3. For those who haven’t seen it, try Bottling Up Global Warming Skepticism at CHE, with discussion ongoing there and Deltoid, href=”http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/07/peter_wood.php”>Peter Wood’s double standard on plagiarism. If you join in at CHE *please* be polite.

  4. Here is a blog post by Kai Nagata about why he quit his media job, with reference to the state of the media, the direction that Canada is going, and some mention of climate change.

    It is well-written and is being widely disseminated and praised by journalists and others; many people agree with his opinions.

    http://kainagata.com/2011/07/08/why-i-quit-my-job/

    Also a follow-up post:

    http://kainagata.com/2011/07/09/a-lot-can-happen-in-24-hour/

  5. Here’s an excerpt from Nagata:

    “Right now, there’s a war going on against science in Canada. In order to satisfy a small but powerful political base, the PMO is engaged in a not-so-clandestine operation to dismantle and silence the many credible opponents to the Harper doctrine. Why kill the census? Literally in order to make decisions in the dark, without the relevant data. Hence the prisons. Why de-fund scientific research? Because whole branches of the natural sciences are premised on things like evolution, a theory the minister responsible made it clear he doesn’t understand – and likely doesn’t believe in. Why settle for weak platitudes on climate change? Because despite global scientific consensus, elements of the Conservative base don’t believe human activity could warm the planet. Centuries of rational thought and academic tradition, dating back to the Renaissance, is being thrown out the window in favour of an ideology that doesn’t reflect reality.”

    • I’m getting to be a fan of the fights on twitter between various journalists (almost as good as quidditch!); this morning there is a long twitter argument about Nagata’s statement, starting here:

      “I like Kai Nagata’s spunk, but he says Harper gov’t “de-funds science” because it doesn’t believe in evolution. Wrong.”

      And many posts by Kady O’Malley, such as this one:

      Basically, Wells and O’Malley, both intelligent good journalists, argue there is no evidence that the Conservative Government policy is anti-evolution or anti-science. They want evidence, which is reasonable.

      My feeling is that important members of the current government of Canada are anti-science and anti-evolution, but it would take a lot of work to assemble the evidence and see if government members’ beliefs are affecting policy decisions, including funding decisions on science, (I could try to do it if someone would pay me to, but that is unlikely to happen)

      • Holly,

        DeepClimate et al. should explore this some more. The rumour mill is running OT in the federal government right now. The feds cannot meet their targets by attrition only– something is amiss, and rumour has it that Environment Canada (and others) will take a really big hit. Bad enough that they are muzzled and pretty much no funds to do what needs to be done.

        Instead of asking for evidence and help, O’Malley and Wells should do some bloody leg work, some investigative journalism and some digging and see what they can dig up. What the hell happened to journalism? Really guys!

        • I don’t think either of them reports on the environment, but O’Malley knows Parliament and Wells reports sometimes on some research activities. But I don’t know if either of them would have the time or inclination to bring it all together. Mike De Souza and Antonia Zerbisias are paying attention to environmental issues, and Nikiforuk and Dembicki and others in the Tyee.

  6. Finally the carbon pricing scheme has been formally announced in Australia. It should get through Parliament as it currently has the support it needs. Not enough but a start plus a pathway to better things to come.

    The opposition opposes everything (dumb opposition leader) but can’t see them keeping their ‘promise’ to tear it down if they get elected next time around.

    • @ Sou, yes it may have its flaws (loadsa ca$$h shovelled at the mining sector being not the least of them), but it’s a better bet than the previous Rudd Government’s CPRS, and it is at least a start, which is a lot further down the road than we (in Oz) were some months or years ago.

      Stand by for the spin, rhetoric and misrepresentation from the usual quarters.

      • Yes, the spin started as soon as Abbott opened his mouth in reply (Abbott is the opposition leader for those outside Australia.) He quoted the IPA line that China will increase emissions by 500% by 2020 – which is contrary to their target of almost no increase by 2020, with a drop in emissions of 40-45%/GDP and a rise in GDP of about 50%. China might or might not make it. They are exceeding their wind targets so they might do better (or they might do worse). Either way it’s a long way from a 500% increase.

        Tony Abbott lies shamelessly when he isn’t just saying No..No..No.

        (The IPA is a right wing unthink tank.)

  7. What ever happened to the Berkeley Earth Temp Study? Afetr the initial flurry and attention seeking from Muller, it’s all gone strangely quiet…

    • They made a lot of noise before they even had anything to contribute with their own record. I suspect Muller was sure he would easily and quickly find all sorts of problems with the data and be able to publish. Instead he found what was there was already pretty good.

      That’s not to say they won’t publish anything but it’s probably not the low hanging fruit he was imagining.

    • “What ever happened to the Berkeley Earth Temp Study”

      The politically incorrect version is that they proved themselves to be full of shit in regard to their original assumptions that climate scientists are retarded people inflicted with Down’s syndrom, i.e. an own goal. Turns out that mainstream climate scientists are quite smart and the Berkeley people (embarrassingly) helped to establish that fact.

      Own goal.

      Thus far, the denialsphere first responded in anger, then decided that ignoring the project, making it disappear, was the best course.

  8. Nothing to do with the climate but the past 10 days in politics in the UK has been insane. A world turned upside down

    • Aye. It’s possible the surface has barely been scratched. General election next year?

      • There is more going no here than meets the eye. Hayman (the bent copper now writing for news international) intervened in a Guardian investigation back in about 2000 and convinced the editor Rusbridgers to drop the contracts of two journalists Gillard and Flynn.
        The investigation was into police corruption around a former officer and now private detective, Rees, who murdered his partner.
        Fast forward 10 years and Rusbridgers warns Cameron of off Coulson due to his associations with Rees and a whole pile of mess is falling out of the cupboard. Now Cameron is nailed due to ignoring that advice, though I think he will survive.
        What I will say is former News of the World editor Brooks is widely being regarded as being held onto by News International because she can drop a certain well son of a well known merchant of doubt right in it, having had dealings with Rees.
        I am not exaggerating though to say if this does all collapse into the open it may yet have an impact on the global climate debate. It may yet change what people see when they see a fair and balanced viewpoint.

  9. Here is an interesting thread:
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/07/fundanomics-the-free-market-simplified/#comment-17613
    An insight into the roots of climate “skepticism”: far right dogmas. Notice the entertaining definition of the role of any good science researcher. Hard to take Dr Spencer seriously anymore. Talk about ideology and bias!

  10. Might be worth putting on your blog roll, Shewonk:

    http://itsnotnova.wordpress.com/

    Doing for Jo Nova/Codling what Ben does for Watts.

  11. efs_junior has two or three posts in that comment thread, all worth reading if you have any interest in coastal policy issues.

    Pilkey is the scientist whose work should be read first. Two brief excerpts just as a sample:

    20 years ago:
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/4297507
    Summary of beach replenishment experience on US East Coast barrier islands
    OH Pilkey… – Journal of Coastal Research, 1989 – JSTOR
    Speaking in broad terms, one can say that our society has three avenues of response to an eroding shoreline. These options are (1) hard stabilization, ie seawalls and revetments; (2) soft stabilization, or beach replenishment; and (3) retreat or relocation of buildings….

    Now:
    http://coastalcare.org/2011/01/sea-level-rise-and-the-worlds-beaches/

    “Miami illustrates a rather spectacular problem facing many cities that must try to preserve themselves as sea level threatens to inundate them. The city sits atop the highly porous Miami Limestone, which allows water to flow freely through it. If a seawall were built to hold back the sea, the water level would be the same on both sides of the wall. Instead of seawalls, Miami will have to build dams that surround the city and extend to the base of the porous rock formation, greatly increasing the cost of response to a rising sea. It may some day be called the Great Miami Dam!

    It seems likely that the cities will be where the world’s national treasure will be expended and the remaining shorefront communities will face eventual abandonment. For the sake of the beaches we can only hope that a real retreat policy will be instituted and as communities are abandoned, their buildings will be demolished and removed. Otherwise we can expect that within 40 to 60 years, the world’s beaches will begin to be lined with debris from abandoned and deteriorating buildings providing much hazardous material to pollute the oceans.

    If our beaches are to survive for our grandchildren’s enjoyment, the time has come to plan the big withdrawal….”

  12. And from the same article:

    “Sea level rise is not to be easily dismissed.

    Yet in the December 27, 2010, issue of Forbes magazine is an article that argues sea level is not rising. Swedish geologist, Nils Axel Mörner has written a pamphlet entitled Sea Level Rise is the Greatest Lie Ever Told. These and many other expressions of skepticism about sea level rise are part of a larger deniers movement largely funded by energy companies and libertarian organizations. It’s hard to fathom how a 150-year record of tide gauges and 19 years of satellite measurements of sea level change can reasonably be refuted….”

  13. beyond insane

  14. Hi Susan, please can you get in touch with me off your blog? Thanks, Tenney (no need to publish this comment)

  15. You should probably update this post.

  16. Susan, you’ll enjoy the latest post at climateaudit. Technically accurate information…the comments make the actual story. Wear a tin-foil hat!

    • It’s MENTAL!

      • This is a corker. McIntyre’s revealing more about himself than he is about UEA.

      • What I pick up on from the thread is that McI’s nose has been put out of joint because UEA hired help to deal with the aftermath of Climategate. In other words, they’re not the pushover he thought they were. It has to be said that the help was pretty crap as the PR was still a disaster, but it clearly rubs him up the wrong way to see that his favourite punchbag didn’t take things lying down, and he doesn’t have the control that he likes to think he has.

  17. While Canada’s energy ministers are being wined and dined by the oil corporations, we learn that the feds are cutting funding to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency:

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/Black+green+jobs+Feds+prepare+environmental+agency/5133311/story.html

  18. de Freitas feeds his students sceptic propaganda

    But it gets worse. The last two slides on the next page of the workbook pdf (p3 of the hi-res pdf, p62 of the low res) include little inset graphs. The first of these is a graph of monthly global satellite temperatures with the increase in CO2 overlaid, prepared by US weatherman and noisy climate denier Joe D’Aleo. The last slide on that page includes a little inset graph that looked familiar.
    […]
    It took a little hunting, but I eventually tracked down the original4, from Christopher Monckton’s March 2009 SPPI Monthly CO2 Report at the web site of the Science and Public Policy Institute, the US lobby group that promotes many of Monckton’s activities:

    Unbelievable.

  19. Warning — totally OT and self-promotion of a sort.

    I’ve been thinking of this idea for a while and yesterday, an exchange with Steve Easterbrook on Twitter cemented the desire to follow through. I’m posting this link to a blog I created called “Music Club”. Please take a look and join in you’re interested. I don’t know if it will fly, but if so, it might be fun and a way to find new music. I admire all your minds so I expect you likely have some interesting music in your playlists. I’m very eclectic in my music tastes, liking everything from alternative rock to power pop to prog rock, to British Invasion, Australian Invasion, classical, jazz, C&W, blues and I even have a copy of Marty Robbins “El Paso”on my playlist — my dad was a big ‘stereo’ fan back in the day when it was new and I grew up listening to his music and it’s just become a part of me. I’m always interested in finding new music.

    Here’s the link:

    http://newmusicclub.posterous.com/

    Anyway, totally OT but this is my blog, and I get to break the rools. 🙂

    Here’s the twitter exchange that got me thinking:

    thepolicylass Susan
    Porcupine Tree: A Smart Kid – Stupid Dream youtube.com/watch?v=QlDSbx… via @youtube Just because I felt like posting this.

    23 Jul
    »

    SMEasterbrook Steve Easterbrook
    @
    @thepolicylass A Smart Kid indeed. Your music choice is as impeccable as your taste in WordPress themes 🙂

    22 hours ago

    SMEasterbrook Steve Easterbrook
    @
    @thepolicylass I see you Porcupine Tree, and raise you a Gazpacho – Winter is Never bit.ly/psMsVr

    21 hours ago

    thepolicylass Susan
    @
    @SMEasterbrook – #Gazpacho – Winter is Never. Fabulous!
    20 hours ago

    p.s. I hope Steve doesn’t mind that I posted his tweets. Steve, if you read this and if you want, I can remove.

  20. Policy wonks may find this interesting:
    Tuesday 26 July 2011
    The Risks Digest Volume 26: Issue 50
    Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems
    ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
    New Court Filing Reveals How the 2004 Ohio Presidential Election Was Hacked
    http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/26.50.html#subj2

  21. MapleLeaf :
    Holly,
    DeepClimate et al. should explore this some more.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    Yes, DC noted Green Party Elizabeth May’s run for office. Here is she, displaying her brand of intellectual integrity.

  22. Saw this pointed out in comments at RC.

    Requiem for the sea: State of the Seas report concludes “negative changes” to the oceans exceed IPCCs worst case scenarios.

    Main points from the PDF of Rogers,  A.D.  &  Laffoley,  D.d’A.  2011.  International  Earth system  expert  workshop  on  ocean  stresses  and  impacts.  Summary  report.  IPSO Oxford,  18  pp.

    • Human actions have resulted in warming and acidification of the oceans and are now causing increased hypoxia.

    • The speeds of many negative changes to the ocean are near to or are tracking the worst-case scenarios from IPCC and other predictions. Some are as predicted, but many are faster than anticipated, and many are still accelerating.

    • The magnitude of the cumulative impacts on the ocean is greater than previously understood

    • Timelines for action are shrinking.

    • Resilience of the ocea to climate change impacts is severely compromised by the other stressors from human activities, including fisheries, pollution and habitat destruction.

    • Ecosystem collapse is occurring as a result of both current and emerging stressors.

    • The extinction threat to marine species is rapidly increasing.

    The participants concluded that not only are we already experiencing severe declines in many species to the point of commercial extinction in some cases, and an unparalleled rate of regional extinctions of habitat types (eg mangroves and seagrass meadows), but we now face losing marine species and entire marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs, within a single generation. Unless action is taken now, the consequences of our activities are at a high risk of causing, through the combined effects of climate change, overexploitation, pollution and habitat loss, the next globally significant extinction event in the ocean. It is notable that the occurrence of multiple high intensity stressors has been a pre-requisite for all the five global extinction events of the past 600 million years (Barnosky et al., 2009).

  23. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-14744240

    FOI being used to get information on young smokers by big tobacco. Thanks Steve McKintyre for your tireless work in helping companies exploit science to kill people.

  24. > metaclimate

    Was it something i said?

    😉

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