Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Guest post from Little Jimmy Dellingpile

Wow, crickey! What an amazing week.  Not only am I now the climate expert of choice to The Sun, which is apparently a newspaper even though you can read it without your arms aching it's so small, but now I've been invited to write an occasional column for the internationally renowned science blogger, Catmando.  Whizzo.

Actually, I feel a bit of a wet bob in all this science malarkey. When I went to school, a public one to keep me away from the hoi polloi (though you don't need to be told that hoi polloi already contains the definite article), we didn't do stinks, as the masters called science, because that might mean we would actually be able to contribute anything to practical life. Instead, we studied Shakespeare who describes the medieval warm period at length, from personal experience. "Shall I compare you to a sunny day," which I think you will agree, is a perfect summary of the entire Mini Ice Age which lasted from sometime during the Renaissance until about a week ago last Tuesday, when the Thames last froze over and there was what is known as an Ice Fair. as we all know, mums go to Ice Fair.

It was at public school that I was fag to Chrissie Boy Monckton, the jazz trumpeter who later found fame as Screaming Lord Monckton, founder of the Stupid Party that was perrennial loser of deposits at hundreds of by and general elections until he decided to take up a teaching post in Australia and finally got out of wearing tight trousers.  It was while ragging with His Eminence that I learned of the global conspiracy to make ex-public school boys, like myself, the Good Lord and Christopher Bookish, look incredibly ignorant.  In fact, there has been no significant rise in the level of our scientific credibility since 1996, or 1997, or perhaps even 2001, according to Christopher. That's Lord Monckton, not the slightly plebeian Bookish.

While I mention Monckton, I should add that,me hen the balloon goes up, when the ship comes in, when the time comes, when the tree tops glisten, if I have to be in a shithole digging, there is no one I'd rather be digging shit with than my old fag-master Viscont Biscuit of Benchmark. That man knows how to shovel shit.

But I get ahead of myself. It's a long time from school until I became an expert on the climate. In fact, I had to read a lot more novels, some of them by women writers like George Eliot and Thomas Hardy, and a lot more poetry in order to become an expert in something so scientific as climate. In fact, I only have to draw the curtains in the morning to take in my fill of climate. As we know, climate always changes and always will. In fact, sometimes the climate can be chilly when I go for my cold shower at 5am and yet very mild indeed for the time of year by lunch when my butler brings me my Earl Grey and a small finger biscuit. And, to prove how wrong those so called climate scientists, who are in the pay of Big Thermometer, because it is sometimes distinctly brisk again by the time I take my afternoon scone in the drawing room in the commercial break while Countdown is on (this is the only programme I watch on the socialist Channel 4 because Monckton and I compete to see who can come up with the longest Latin word out of four vowels and five consonants. We don't bother with the numbers round because retain an accountant whose purpose is to keep track of the numbers).  And that has happened in Central England since time immemorial, or records began, whichever is longer.
Not another cat video

The thing I am proudest of is my book, Watercress: Why Environmentalistas Are Commie Bastards. It took me a couple of weekends to research because the GCSE geography kid who went to Slough library and read a few books on the red menace and showed me how to use this infra web thing (did you know there is an entire site for people who have film their cats doing humoursous thing, and other sites for pizza delivery boys to get lessons in carnal desires?) and almost all of a Thirsday afternoon to dictate to my secretary. It is my opus pistorum. At least it was the proudest thing, even more so than my series of novels about a war hero named Custard, until I became the Sun's climate expert.

And the best thing of all, I still haven't got the faintest clue about climate.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

NASA fakes science, as reported by Christopher Bookish of the Telegraph

Revealed.  NASA has faked pictures of the planet Pluto in an effort to conceal some bit of science or other that I know nothing about, can't be bothered to find out about and which I'm not really bothered about anyone were it not for the fact that it contradicts one of my deeply held ideological beliefs.  As an increasingly elderly white man, I am totally competent to give my readers my opinion on the NASA cover-up of the planet Pluto.

Amazingly, the conspiracy to cover up the true nature of the planet Pluto was let slip in a series of highly secret tweets by NASA scientist Alex Parker who is working on the ultra secret New Horizons probe that recently passed the planet Pluto, sending back images that contained no discernible detail.  Here is the raw image.
And here is the adjusted one:
It's amazing how much the image has been adjusted to make it fit in with the models of how the planet Pluto should look.  There is, obviously (so obvious I don't have to give any evidence, even if there was any but should you want to see how little there is, just search Little Jimmy Dellingpile Plutogate), a conspiracy to cover up the true nature of the planet Pluto, which was discovered by Walt Disney in 1930, and earn more grant money and Nobel Prizes for Pluto scientists.  Even our own "Professor" Brian Cox is in on the conspiracy.
TV physics geek "Professor" Brian Cox (this is the right one, isn't it?)

What the Pluto scientists want is to hide the fact that our reptilian overlords live on the planet Pluto and are working consciously with the false President Obama, David Cameron, the EU, the UN, Agenda 21, Agenda 22, Agendas 25 to 31 inclusive, the Pope (sorry, the Antichrist Francis) and the BBC. If you didn't vote for a slice of Dundee cake in May, it is still not too late to vote for Nigel Garage to get us out of the UEFA Cup and FIFA. I think he's on the X Factory or something.

In a statement tonight, Lord Lawson of Doubt said that his charitable educational organisation, the Planetary Image Monitoring Panel (PIMP), would be launching an investigation and are welcoming submissions that can confirm their uninformed speculations.  The panel will consist of Professor Sir Richard Tol (who will be searching the published literature to see if he can find any pictures that show the Planet Pluto that haven't actually been taken), Patrick Moore (though through a secretarial cock up gremlin, we appear to have booked the actor Patrick Mower rather than TV astronomer Patrick Moore, even though he died three years ago), and someone who runs a Pluto is a planet blog from a laptop in a flat in Leeds.

(Note to the editor of the Sunday Telegraph: is this enough words or do you think I should go on about asbestos, evolution or climate change again, even though I know even less about those things than I do about astronomy.  Not my fault, I didn't do science at school or at Cambridge.  I'm not even sure they did science then. I certainly don't do science now.  I know, if you need to fill up space, you could publish an unfunny cartoon by Tosh.  He's rather good at those, though not as good as Ronald Searle at drawing funny ones.)
Ronald Searle's impression of Tosh as a skoolboy

Friday, 25 September 2015

Watts and Co still don't get the word global

(Update: for a better treatment of the science go to see Sou at Hotwhopper.)

it is a cliché that Americans don't know about the rest of the world, only America.  Anthony Watts keeps trying to confirm it.

Today he aims to show how wrong Michael Mann is again.  Not that he manages.  He won't.  By using a line in an abstract he hopes to show that Mann's hockey stick is wrong because a new study shows that temperature changes over the last 750 years haven't behaved as Mann said they did.

But there's a big problem.  Can you spot it?  (Spoiler alert: it's in the title of the study).
Well?  What could the problem be for Watts but not for Mann?  Yes, my readership is intelligent enough to spot that this is a study about the Pyrenees.  Watts might be a weatherman (which we don't need in order to know which way the wind blows) but he isn't going to get past first grade on geography.

To give him a hand, here's a world map with a big arrow pointing to the Pyrennees.

Here's a close up of Europe.

That's right.  The Pyrenees are a mountain range that comprises a small part of the European landmass.  It isn't the entire globe. Handily there's a map in the paper which might have told Watts something:

Here is the full abstract from the study by Esper et al (2015) (pdf):
Substantial effort has recently been put into the development of climate reconstructions from tree-ring stable carbon isotopes, though the interpretation of long-term trends retained in such timeseries remains challenging. Here we use detrended δ13C measurements in Pinus uncinata treerings, from the Spanish Pyrenees, to reconstruct decadal variations in summer temperature back to the 13th century. The June-August temperature signal of this reconstruction is attributed using decadally as well as annually resolved, 20th century δ13C data. Results indicate that late 20th century warming has not been unique within the context of the past 750 years. Our reconstruction contains greater amplitude than previous reconstructions derived from traditional tree-ring density data, and describes particularly cool conditions during the late 19th century. Some of these differences, including early warm periods in the 14th and 17th centuries, have been retained via δ13C timeseries detrending — a novel approach in tree-ring stable isotope chronology development. The overall reduced variance in earlier studies points to an underestimation of pre-instrumental summer temperature variability derived from traditional tree-ring parameters.
I have bolded the same sentence as Watts did.  The detail is in the paper.  Here's an important paragraph:
The detrended δ13C reconstruction exhibits decadal scale summer temperature variations ranging from +1.57°C in the 1390s C.E. to –1.83°C in the 1890s C.E. (Fig. 5a). The uncertainty band accompanying this reconstruction back to ~1260 C.E., the first decade represented by three trees, shows most of the temperature variations over the past 750 years did not deviate significantly from the 1961–1990 mean, however. The uncertainty band is increasing back in time as a function of the reduced replication of earlier chronology periods. Whereas more recently reconstructed temperatures (+1.01°C from 2001–2009) have been cooler than the late 14th and 15th centuries, the difference between these periods is insignificant.
Significance?  Watts, Monckton and their mates weave a lot out of significance.  Remember that the warming since year X hasn't been significant (therefore no warming, is the implication)?  Cuts both ways.  Esper and colleagues are too good at science to get carried away by their results and make cautious claims written in the usual language of science, the language that is seemingly impenetrable to a science doubter denier like Watts.  I can only guess that he didn't really read the paper, but that's not a surprise.

Esper & al make no big claims.  They certainly do not claim Mann is wrong.  Here's the conclusion:
The Spanish Pyrenees δ13C based reconstruction presented here shows warmer and more variable growing season temperatures during the Little Ice Age than previously described (Büntgen et al., 2008; Dorado Liñán et al., 2012). Developing this reconstruction required systematically removing lower δ13C values inherent to treerings younger than 200 years, that would otherwise lower the mean chronology levels during earlier periods of the past millennium, where these younger rings dominate the reconstruction. As a consequence, earlier warm periods during the late 14th and 15th centuries appear warmer, though not statistically significant, compared to the late 20th century. 
A major constraint of the new reconstruction is the substantial difference in recent temperature trends caused by post-1850 δ13C correction procedures. The correction applied here, accounting for atmospheric 13C/12C ratio and plant physiological effects, appeared most suitable as it produced a timeseries without any trend in residuals after regressing against instrumental temperatures. However, developing objective criteria for post-1850 correction, independent of the goodness of fit with instrumental target data, are needed to establish δ13C based reconstructions as an additional proxy for studying climate variations over past millennia.
 I have bolded the last sentence because there is another story there that wasn't picked up in Anthony's piece - there is a need to reconcile the instrumental record with the C13 results because there is a mismatch.

Oh, and there is nothing about global climate.

Luke in the comments points out:
This reconstruction is based on one location so it does not represent a fundamental challenge to Mann’s global reconstruction.
Anthony replies:
Mann’s MBH 98 was heavily weighted on one proxy at one location, Sheep Mountain...So, “Luke” if Mann heavily weights a proxy in one location to make a global claim, does that make it OK for him, but not for anyone else?
No, it doesn't work like that.  Mann (pdf) used more than one location. In fact, he used 415 proxies, covering quite a lot more of the globe than Esper's study.  "Heavily weights" is a value loaded term for which there is no real evidence.  It is Watts who has over egged this pudding. And using McIntyre for your support.  Is that the sound of a barrel being scraped?  I think it is.  Is this his textbook?

 Esper 2015 does not reinstate the non-missing Medieval Warm Period, nor destroy Mann.  Instead, it is more evidence, if more were needed, of how much deniers are afraid of the evidence of global reconstructions that smooth the MWP and the Little Ice Age.   Esper 2015 reports on a relatively unconfirmed technique in a truly local situation.

All in all, the usual denier fare from Anthony Watts.  Pick a paper, use it out of its scientific context to poke a denier's demon and end up with egg on his face.  A typical day in Deniersville.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Homeopathy for kidney stones?

Not that I'm going to do any of this but, since I am the proud possessor of a kidney stone, I thought I'd find out what homeopathy recommends for renal calculi.

If you didn't know, the symptoms of a kidney stone are basically intense agony in the affected side and throwing up.  Mine is in the right hand side and I drove myself to A&E, parking outside and chucking up in the shrubbery, then a second time in a bin before I got into reception.  My sister in law went and parked my car and my wife booked me in.  It was the shortest wait I've ever had in A&E but a middle aged man moaning in the corner and vomiting into those papier mache kidney bowls, disturbing the kids with saucepans stuck on their heads, I reckon they wanted to be shot of me forthwith.

A Google search came up with this site first, HPathy.  The closest I could see to my symptoms from their lengthy and confusing list was berberis:
 “Excellent remedy for renal calculi.” Pains shoot: radiate from a point . Cannot make the least motion: sits over to painful side for relief. Sharp, darting pains following ureter and extending down into legs. Pains run up into kidneys and down into bladder. Formation of little calculi like pin-heads in pelvis of Kidney, start to go down to bladder, with great suffering. “You will be astonished to know how quickly Berberis will relieve this particular colic.” “Anything that is spasmodic can be relieved instantly.’-Kent. Burning and soreness, lumbar, in region of kidneys. Cannot  bear any jar : has to step down carefully. Urine dark, turbid, with copious sediment: slow to flow:  but constantly urging. May be associated with biliary calculi.

But that doesn't really cover my symptoms.  My pain was very localized although I couldn't really sit comfortably.  A&E didn't give me any berberis.

So let's try another site.  Medindia anyone?  Here's what they say about berberis:
Berberis vulgaris-used in the treatment of patients who complain of sensation of some urine remaining after urination, or in those whose urine contains mucus with sediments. Also used in the treatment of bubbling sensation in kidneys, pain in loins and thighs during urination, marked soreness in lumbar region. With pain radiating to the groin
But that's not my symptoms either.  In fact, those aren't the symptoms from the first site.  What's going on?

To solve the problem of whether I should or shouldn't expect berberis to work for my kidney stone, let's go to another site altogether, Homeopathic Materia Medica, with a title that proclaims ancient knowledge in the Latin name.  Here's what they say about the use of berberis:

Rapid change of symptoms-pains change in regard to place and character-thirst alternates with thirstlessness, hunger, and loss of appetite, etc. Acts forcibly on the venous system, producing pelvic engorgements and hæmorrhoids.
Hepatic, and rheumatic affections, particularly with urinary, hæmorrhoidal and menstrual complaints.
Old gouty constitutions. Pain in region of kidneys is most marked; hence its use in renal and vesical troubles, gall-stones, and vesical catarrh. It causes inflammation of kidneys with hæmaturia. Pains may be felt all over body, emanating from small of back. It has also marked action on the liver, promoting the flow of bile. Often called for in arthritic affections with urinary disturbances. Wandering, radiating pains. Acts well in fleshy persons, good livers, but with little endurance. Spinal irritation. All Berberis pains radiate, are not worse by pressure, but worse in various attitudes, especially standing and active exercise.

Head.--Listless, apathetic, indifferent. Puffy sensation, feeling as if becoming larger. Vertigo with attacks of fainting. Frontal headache. Chilliness in back and occiput. Tearing pain in auricle, and gouty concretions. Sensation of a tight cap pressing upon the whole scalp.

Nose.--Dry; obstinate catarrh of left nostril. Crawling in nostrils.

Face.--Pale, sickly. Sunken cheeks and eyes, with bluish circles.

Mouth.--Sticky sensation. Diminished saliva. Sticky, frothy saliva, like cotton (Nux mosch). Tongue feels scalded, vesicles on tongue.

Stomach.--Nausea before breakfast. Heartburn.

Abdomen.--Stitches in region of gall-bladder; worse, pressure, extending to stomach. Catarrh of the gall-bladder with constipation and yellow complexion. Stitching pain in front of kidneys extending to liver, spleen, stomach, groins, Poupart's ligament. Sticking deep in ilium.

Stool.--Constant urging to stool. Diarrhœa painless, clay-colored, burning, and smarting in anus and perineum. Tearing around anus. Fistula in ano.

Urinary.--Burning pains. Sensation as if some urine remained after urinating. Urine with thick mucus and bright-red, mealy sediment. Bubbling, sore sensation in kidneys. Pain in bladder region. Pain in the thighs and loins on urinating. Frequent urination; urethra burns when not urinating.

Male.--Neuralgia of spermatic cord and testicles. Smarting, burning, stitching in testicles, in prepuce and scrotum.

Female.--Pinching constriction in mons veneris, vaginismus, contraction and tenderness of vagina. Burning and soreness in vagina. Desire diminished, cutting pain during coition. Menses scanty, gray mucus, with pain in kidneys and chilliness, pain down thighs. Leucorrhœa, grayish mucus, with painful urinary symptoms. Neuralgia of ovaries and vagina.

Respiratory.--Hoarseness; polypus of larynx. Tearing stitches in chest and region of heart.

Back.--Stitches in neck and back; worse, respiration. Sticking pain in region of kidneys radiating thence around abdomen, to hips and groins. Numb, bruised sensation. Stitches from kidneys into bladder. Tearing, sticking with stiffness, making rising difficult, involving hips, nates, limbs, with numbness. Lumbago (Rhus; Tart em). Metatarsus and metacarpus feel sprained. Post-operative pain in lumbar region; soreness with sharp pain following course of circumflex iliac nerve to bladder with frequent urination.

Extremities.--Rheumatic paralytic pain in shoulders, arms, hands and fingers, legs and feet. Neuralgia under finger-nails, with swelling of finger-joints. Sensation of cold on outside of thighs. Heels pain, as if ulcerated. Stitching between metatarsal bones as from a nail when standing. Pain in balls of feet on stepping. Intense weariness and lameness of legs after walking a short distance.

Skin.--Flat warts. Itching, burning and smarting; worse, scratching; better, cold applications. Small pustules over whole body. Eczema of anus and hands. Circumscribed pigmentation following eczematous inflammation.

Fever.--Cold sensation in various parts, as if spattered with cold water. Warmth in lower part of back, hips, and thighs.

Modalities.--Worse, motion, standing. It brings on, or increases, urinary complaints.

Relationship.--Compare: Ipomea-Convolvulus Duratinus-Morning Glory. --(Pain in left lumbar muscles on stooping. Kidney disorders with pain in back. Much abdominal flatulence. Aching in top of right shoulder renal colic; aching in small of back and extremities), Aloe; Lycopod; Nux; Sarsap. Xanthorrhea arborea (severe pain in kidneys, cystitis and gravel. Pain from ureter to bladder and testicles; pain in small of back returns from least chill or damp). Xanthoriza apifolia-Shrub Yellow Root--contains Berberine. Dilatation of stomach and intestines, atony, enlarged spleen.
Antidotes: Camphor; Bell.

Dose.--Tincture, to sixth potency.
Blimey.  All that.  Is there a pain that isn't included?  If I were a homeopath, I'd just give out berberis all the time.  It seems to do everything.  Except I still can't find my symptoms.

Now I know homeopaths will moan that you need to go to a trained homeopath to be properly assessed and given the individualized treatment that will ensure you and you alone get better as a result.  But, everything I read says otherwise.  That treatment X will do the job.  Besides, it all seems unnecessarily complicated.  For easier to understand advice, I went to Homeopathic Doctor where I find this for berberis:
If the stone is on the left side of the body ie left kidney or left ureter, Berberis Vulgaris is more than likely to remove the stone. There is sore bruised pain in the kidney region. There may also be numbness or stiffness in the kidney region, more so in the morning. A characteristic sensation is the bubbling sensation that is aggravated by stepping or any other movement. The pain extends from the back to the urinary bladder or the urethra. It is used both in potencies and mother tinctures.
Hang on a second.  It is good for the left kidney.  What about mine, in the right?  Never fear, help is at hand:
I have had great success in the treatment of right sided kidney stones with Lycopodium. Of course one needs to find other symptoms that match this great deep acting medicine. The characteristic symptom is the presence of red sand in the urine. There is intense pain in the back which gets better after urination. The urge to urinate is more during the night. Often the pain gets aggravated during the afternoon or in the evening.
Except I have no red sand.  Ever have the feeling that this is getting us nowhere?

Not surprising, really, since homeopathy does not and cannot work other than to "cure" diseases that cure themselves.  Kidney stones have a means of escape and, surprise, surprise, anyone taking any medicine is highly likely to credit the treatment with causing the stone to be passed.  Whether it actually passed as a result of the treatment is impossible to know, but science can answer the question of whether a treatment is effective.  Homeopathy, with its collection of anecdotal evidence, has never demonstrated its effectiveness to a level that scientists will accept.  The standards of science are much higher than those of homeopathy.

As for me, I am waiting to see if I need laser treatment to break up my stone.  Presumably a homeopathic laser would use half a dozen photons and crossed fingers.

Friday, 18 September 2015

8 Out of 10 Cats Wrong, Says Professor Richard Tol

Professor Richard Tol, the seventeenth sexiest professor of economics in the United Kingdom (and second in beard of the year to Jeremy Corbyn), has just finished his latest consensus study.  He claims to have demonstrated that eight out of ten cats do not prefer Whiskas.

Tol, who says he has done some calculations on the back of a sleeve from a second hand copy of the DVD of the blockbuster movie Gremlins which, ignoring the odd plus or minus sign, demonstrate that although several thousand cats were interviewed by the manufacturers, the responses of three hundred cats were ignored, which might have skewed the results by a tiny fraction.

"I believe that the consensus among cats is 80%" says Tol, "but the makers of Whiskas have made some serious methodological errors in their survey.  Not only that, but I shall not rest until there has been a complete retraction of this advert and an apology issued.  I shall be putting my case both forcefully and frivolously on any number of blogs and websites, includes andThenThere'sKitekat and HotFelix.  I won't care that I will be quoted by anti-feline sites such as What'sUpWithCatnip or by Judith Catty."

Tol continued, at some length: "When I resigned from the International Panel On Cat Chow (IPCC) in a huff the other year, I laid my reputation on the line.  I spent a long time questioning fundamental assumptions about cat food choices - whether they would benefit from wet or dry food, chicken or rabbit flavor, that sort of thing - and realized that, even though the number is probably right, if the method is wrong, the advert is wrong.  An advert is just a procedure after all.  It isn't anything that might actually be legal, honest and truthful."

We contacted the manufacturers of Whiskas for a comment.  Here is their statement in full: "Who?"

Monday, 14 September 2015

Denier letter at Daily Telegraph

Yesterday's Daily Telegraph contained this letter:

SIR – Lord Hutton says Britain should be phasing out fossil fuels to address climate change, with new nuclear power stations providing low-carbon energy.
As Britain is only responsible for about 1 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, whatever we do to reduce the use of fossil fuels will have no detectable effect.
He also ignores studies that suggest there has been no rise in the global surface temperature for nearly 20 years, even though worldwide carbon dioxide emissions have been at record levels, mainly from developing nations such as India and China.
We should continue to burn coal in our existing power stations and start fracking for gas to help bridge the gap between now and the advent of new nuclear power stations.
James Allan
Fellow, Energy Institute (retd)

I've picked out in bold the bit I want to respond to.  The studies were ignored because they were wrong.  Thus James Allan is awarded the fossil fuel shill denier of the day award.  He is free to come and collect from Catmando Towers any time.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Monckton pauses again and again - but when did the non-pause begin?

[MONTHLY UPDATE FOR OCTOBER 2015 - Monckton changes the start date again - now its February 2015.]
[Updated to credit Humma Kavula for the original observation.  If I have trodden on a similar exploration by Humma then I apologise.]
[Second update - see this at Daily Kos covering similar ground but in better detail]
We all know that a good story is worth telling.  So, it would appear, it a blatant lie.  Lord Christopher Monckton, the mendacious Monckton of Brenchley, the potty peer (TM Sou), likes to remind the faithful at Anthony Watts site for hypocrites and deniers, WattsUpWithThat, of the length of time that has passed since the beginning of the so-called pause.

Since this man is the acknowledged world expert on climate bull, and since it was pointed out by Humma Kavula over at HotWhopper, it would appear that the beginning of Monckton's obsession with measuring the length of the "pause" is a moveable feast. 

Start date January 1996
No significant warming for seventeen years 4 months (June 13 2013)

Start date August 1996
No global warming for 17 years 8 months (April 5 2014)

Start date September 1996
Whither Went The Warmer Weather (December 16 2013)
Satellites show no global warming for 17 years 5 months (February 6 2014)
The pause continues – Still no global warming for 17 years 9 months (June 4 2014)
RSS shows no global warming for 17 years 10 months (July 3 2014)
It’s official: no global warming for 18 years 1 month (October 2 2014)

Start date October 1996
Global Temperature Update – Still no global warming for 17 years 10 months (August 2 2014)
Global Temperature Update – No global warming for 17 years 11 months (September 4 2014)
On climate, the Right is right – Global temperature update: the Pause is still 18 years 1 month (November 7 2014)

Start date November 1996
RSS global temperature data: No global warming at all for 202 months (September 11 2013)

Start date December 1996
The 200 months of ‘the pause’ (August 27 2013)
Warming stays on the Great Shelf (February 9 2015)
El Niño or ñot, the Pause lengthens again (April 6 2015)

January 1997
El Niño begins to curtail the Pause (July 2 2015)
The Pause lengthens yet again (September 3 2015)

Start date February 1997
There's Life In The Old Pause Yet (8 October 2015)]

Start date March 2001
Temperature analysis of 5 datasets shows the ‘Great Pause’ has endured for 13 years, 4 months (July 29 2014)

This is an odd jumble of dates to be sure.  If Monckton had been consistent, he could have added 12 extra months to his non-existent "pause" but he isn't and I cannot see why.  After all, if the hiatus were a real thing, then the starting point would be the same each time.  He could just change the length of time and reprint the article.  But he doesn't.  The outlier, the most recent one, is a bit weird, being one of the two times Monckton cherry picked more than the single data set to "prove" his point.

And I should add that I haven't put in all the references, just given a sample that covers the range of dates I could find.

Furthermore, there is a bit of a problem working out the start dates in some of Monckton's articles (because of a lack of fingers and a certain level of boredom with the tedious peer's obsession).  Where he gives a date for the start point of his graph or his calculation then that is the one I have gone with and no doubt that is the one his readers at WUWT took.  That no one seems to have picked up on the jumping dates at WUWT suggests that no one is actually reading.

Now if even the world's biggest liar expert cannot agree with himself on the beginning of the non-existent pause, then why should anyone else?

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Conspiracy Ideation - why fake skeptics have it but don't get it

I've just joined twitter (@fragmeister12) in the last week.  I know I shouldn't but it has made me reach for the blood pressure pills even though I am keeping mostly to the rational end of the gene pool.  But it didn't take me long to get blocked by one Lonny Eachus, whoever he is.

Actually he seems to be a computer programmer with a thing about conspiracy theories.  I am not sure what it is but he pops up with a splenetic set of comments at this scienceblogs article.  As a result, he shouts for evidence and denies that Lewandowsky has a point, so far as I can tell (I bet he crops up in the comments below but we'll wait and see).

He does seem keen on commenting, if not tweeting.  Here he crops up (under the name Olaf) on Quark Soup, making himself look totally foolish and an outright greenhouse effect denier.  David Appell has, in my opinion and, I suspect, of a great many others, a bit better handle on climate change than Eachus does.

One of his false problems with Lewandowsky is that the idea of conspiracy ideation is not properly defined.  So I linked to the relevant Lewandowsky paper which contains a definition.  Oh, well.  I can't help it if Eachus can't read, or can't be bothered to read.  I also linked to an earlier paper that explains what we're talking about.  This one is that one, it's better.  Here's a definition:

conspiracist ideation is usually described as a belief in the existence of a ‘vast, insidious, preternaturally effective international conspiratorial network designed to perpetrate acts of the most fiendish character’
(Hofstadter, 1966, p. 14).
What's not to understand? 

Well, here's another article with another definition:

belief in conspiracy theories (which I will term “conspiracy ideation”)
 It's been said ad nauseam that almost every time a climate denier comments, a conspiracy is invoked.  Recall Monckton and his endless cries of fraud.  Booker and his endless cries of foul.  ClimateGates 1, 2 and 3 (or damp, damper and dampest squibs).  If deniers cannot overturn the science, they go for the conspiracy argument, not that it really amounts to an argument but their opinion.

The reason why LOG13 became such a hot potato was not because it contained anything particularly controversial but because some of the people who read it didn't like the obvious.  I've talked about conspiracy theories here before.  I know people who accept them, follow them, repeat them and are totally firm in their belief in them.  And they do accept a whole bunch of these "theories", not just one. 

I have some suggestions for people who think they might be stuck in a conspiracy ideation.  It isn't rocket science, as my old mate Lonny would say.  It is really simple.  The suggestions are these:

1. Read some books, papers, articles or watch some TV programmes by people outside of the ones that repeat what you already know.  Most people get interested in a subject by reading a newspaper or magazine story or seeing something on the TV.  They graduate to books about the subject without exploring whether the story is true or not.  This isn't unusual because most people don't have the time to do much about it.  But that's not an excuse if you close your ears when people point out when you are wrong.  Experts are not experts for no reason.  And it isn't enough to call yourself an expert.  That's something others will decide.

2. Er, that's it.

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P.S.  Lonny said I wasn't who I pretended I was.  I am not sure who I am pretending to be but if I am not a cat then Eli is not a rabbit.  Just saying. 

PPS Lonny defends Steyn in a non-review at