’Global Warming Misconceptions - View the table of contents!

Governments this year have ramped up their global warming propaganda, but in truth, just how certain is global warming. In the process of preparing a consulting report, we undertook some research and were startled by government policy. We will show that the propaganda being financed by government is shamelessly creating hysteria for the sake of political expediency.

Global Warming Misconceptions - Download the table of contents or buy this report at our online store for just $US9.95.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

UN claims environmental damages

According to the U.N. Environmental Program, it has identified "some $6.6 trillion worth of damages" resulting from environmental devastation caused by global warming or air pollution in 2008, equal to 11 percent of global GDP. This is quite a claim considering that the science is exceedingly doggy. This issue is exceedingly political, yet the media will publish it because they love scandals, and it comes from a (inter-) government agency, so it must be true.
The evidence is the fact that Japan is experiencing 'record' temperatures after a century. Notwithstanding the 'heat island' effect, there is also the natural variations in the global temperature regime. The earth's climate varies due to natural processes. We are about due for an ice age, so ought we be concerned about a warming? The answer is no. A cooling would result in a plunge in global temperatures. The cause of global temperature decreases? The UN Climate Panel have no answer.
The problem with such agencies is that they function of simple correlation. i.e. They see a problem and they simply correlate it with any 'apparent' cause. If only real science were so simple. When such ideas are challenged, governments are inclined to finance a lot of research to prove their ideas are right. There is of course less money if you prove they are wrong; so rest assured 'academics' are going to find a problem, because they need to justify their existence. What happened to respect for truth among scientists? That has seldom escaped the power of philosophy to drive science. The missing ingredient is critical thinking.

In the coming decades we can expect the earth's climate to cool naturally because at present, according to Antarctic ice core dating, we are at the peak of a global warming. From this point on, global scientists will have accepted that there is no warming. At that point, you will see a lot of attention being given to a new crisis 'global cooling', which is actually more of a concern. My suspicion is that we will cope just fine. A lot of scare. The real threat is posed by governments, which are not driven by informed critical, objective arguments, but the biggest, most popular group of scientists you can find. i.e. Its a meritocracy of sought, but its not scientific merit, so much as Aristotle's famed 'fallacy' of appeal to authority, or professional qualifications. The sad reality is that academic tenure is considered an achievement. Its not. Academic is a pretense for intellectual and scientific acumen; a dirty rationalisation. I am currently reading the history of the Industrial Revolution. It is actually striking how many of the best scientific minds existed outside the 'establishment', and the extent to which other scientists dogged on those scientists. Edmond Halley could not even get tenure because of his religious views. He needs money, so that was his justification for trying. He had an exemplary mind, and yet he was snubbed by the Establishment....perhaps they were urked by his practicality, as he was responsible for winning support from the Admiralty to get funding to map the changes in the global magnetic field, as well as the tides. Meanwhile, academia was busy living off extorted wealth, rationalists to be sure, who achieved very little by comparison. I am sure they stumbled across some ideas. Perhaps the modern equivalent like 'frogs display evidence of emotions'.

Source article - see Japan Times.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Friday, December 10, 2010

Global warming evidence no stronger

In this CNN article, the UK's Meteorological Centre argues that the arguments for global warming are more compelling than any time ever. This makes one laugh because they posit no new evidence for their claims. Its simply more of the same. The problem is - what they consider science. Animals function on the level of 'mere correlation', humanity 'ought not'. Just because a warming phenomenon occurs when humanity is emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases is not satisfactory as a basis for causation. That is simply bad science.
The stalwarts for an 'imminent crisis' behind these stories ignore the flaws in their own evidence. My prior observation of global warming is that over the last 700,000 years the average Earth's temperature has fluctuated. The current measurements are within the pattern observed over the last 700,000 years.
At issue is the fact that the Earth's temperature record is on the cusp of a 'radical' climate change. That is the thesis, and certainly, statistically it is a possibility, given that the present climate sits at a point of inflection. i.e. It might go either way. So what does it mean to say the climate could go either way. It can mean 3 things:
1. The Earth could cool, i.e. slow its rate of heating and eventually cool in the same pattern that has occurred over the last 700,000years.
2. The Earth could continue to heat, i.e. It could develop new climatic character, which might merely reflect natural phenomena, or it could reflect human influence. Even if humans are responsible, it does not mean that we ought to worry for a number of reasons:
a. The climate will likely provide its own means of adjustment, i.e. more cloud cover, more robust vegetation growth (i.e. CO2 is actually a plant fertiliser).
b. Scientists might find a new way of coping with the problem, i.e. Say gigantic mirrors to reflect solar radiation...or simpler options like seeding the oceans to stimulate plankton growth.

The article even cites evidence to suggest the 'global warming' is starting to turn around.
"Although the warming trend is continuing there is evidence that the rate has slowed in the last ten years. Since the end of the 1970s, the rate of surface temperature warming has, on average, risen 0.16 degrees Celsius per decade, according to the Met Office. But from 2000 to 2009 that decreased to between 0.05 and 0.13 degrees Celsius, despite CO2 emissions continuing to rise".
In what sense can this be considered to be stronger evidence for global warming. CO2 emissions are rising unabated and yet temperatures are cooling. I am not saying that his proves that there is no global warming, as I would then be committing the error of my counterparts. My argument is merely that a slowing might be suggesting the historic cycle remains true. The historical record indicates that we are due for an Ice Age. That will be the next scare to strike the public. Is it possible that after the folly of this one that no one will take an ice age seriously. At least it will not be our fault. We should only be concerned about crises which we cause. Such thinking is the 'cave men' values of the Dark Ages. Should we not respond to real threats, whether they are our fault or natural phenomenon. Anyway, that is a problem on the horizon. Of course not all minds are equally compelled to see threats that lie around corners....they are too busy imagining them.

Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saving the planet for a better world

In this comedy sketch George Carlin displays a great understanding of the psyche that grips the common day environmentalist.

Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Humans are hard wired for stupidity according to Yale University fellow

A lot of what is posited as science is really nothing more than conjecture, and blatant rationalisations are just as common. Read this article from Yale University and you will hear that 'Humans have been wired by evolution to respond to the most immediate threats, ones they can hear or smell or see".
This would be amusing if the implications of such quackery were not so common in the media. The implication is that our conceptual faculty has a tendency towards the concrete, range-of-the-moment thinking, i.e. like feeding your children, and in the process neglecting the more abstract issues like climate change.
The reality is that this is true. But we are not starving. Humans have a great deal of leisure or free time these days, and surviving the next few decades, and ensuring their kids survive is important. The reality is that most of them are not conceptual, not for genetic 'hardwired' reasons, but as a matter of choice. Interestingly, most of them share the same collectivist philosophies of socialism, environmentalism, animal liberation, liberalism, democracy and conservatism that are 'concrete-bound'. If you are wondering if I left anyone out....I most certainly did....the fringe 'idiots' who know how to think critically. They have since time began been very unpopular...just ask Galileo. Critics are not liked by hysterical people with political agendas.
What difference would it make if people were more conceptual thinkers? Well, for a start they might repudiate the welfare state which shackles productive people, which leads governments to favours immigration and economic stimulus rather than productivity-based economic growth which would result in more R&D and less consumption, which people engage in because they need some physical means of overcoming their repression and anxiety. Such is the state of our distorted, 'secular' collectivist-quasi capitalist state. Don't expect any integrity from it. Don't expect any respect for facts, you will not get it based on contemporary values. The nature of government has to be changed first. Representative democracy has to be repudiated for a consensus or meritocratic based system.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Where is the climate change consensus?

I want to quote another sample of poor scientific reporting from Google Answers about the significance of 'peer reviewed' climate change articles posted in scientific journals. A person asked the following question:
"I am interested in learning about scientists who have have completed studies about global warming. Of those that submit to peer review, what percentage of them show that global warming is both (a) man-made and (b) expected to have a severe negative impact to mankind?
The reason that I ask is that a relative told me she believed it was about 99% of scientists believed that global warming was real and caused by humans...and that the remaining 1% were the fringe idiots. And, although i know nothing about the subject, her number seemed too high".
The response was:
"That hypothesis was tested by analyzing 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords "climate change" (9).
The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position. Admittedly, authors evaluating impacts, developing methods, or studying paleoclimatic change might believe that current climate change is natural. However, none of these papers argued that point"... Source: www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686.
There are several problems with this response that ought to be evident to any critical thinking scientists. These include:
1. Science is not a popularity contest. I would suggest just a fraction of scientists are critical thinkers, and most are publicly-funded academics, so they have great sympathy for the nanny state, so there is a plausible professional bias emerging because of their implied values.
2. The pollster postulated a 'false alternative' by implying that there was sufficient evidence to take a valid position on climate change. i.e. There might be 10,000 scientific researchers who would not compromise their integrity by 'shooting from the hip' by rendering scientific assertions when there was inadequate research to support either hypothesis....that the climate is warming because of humanity or not, and how significant it is. The implication is that the 'politically hysterical' scientists who are friends with Al Gore et al are the ones who attract all the media, because we all know the media loves a good story.

Then you get the community concerned, environmentalists who have a tendency towards the tragic, and school kids are all being mobilised to support an issue for which there is inadequate research to support either hypothesis. This is the state of our stupid political system. This is a source of great content for the media, and of course unthinking politicians respond in kind. See a previous article which showed Rob Oakshotte, an MP in the Australian parliament, attending a seminar by an environmentalist (i.e. not a scientist) on population control. That MP holds the balance of power in the Australian parliament. Do you think he paid a visit to some Climate Change skeptic at James Cook University? I doubt it. I agree, they are hard to find when a contrary position is so 'politically unpopular' and the media will not publish your story because anyone with a contrary opinion is considered a 'nutter' or a 'fringe idiot'.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Scientific journalism reaches a new low

Does science get any more ridiculous than science reporting. We live in a world where science is considered a political football, or a popularity contest. Science is based on evidence and testing of hypotheses. It it not a majority vote, and judging from this article in the Guardian, it is not a decision flung from one team to another depending on the daily balance of power.
Read this article, as journalism doesn't get any more pathetic. The author seems to believe that because a scientists has shifted from the Climate Skeptics to Climate Sensationalists, that this marks a turning point in the debate.
Before it was enough that a group of IPCC scientists believed that global warming is man-made. That was sufficient to call it a day and waste billions of dollars on remedial measures. Now, we are down to one guys opinion.
One needs to appreciate that not all scientists are of equal credibility. Some are more salesmen than researchers. Some are critical thinkers, whilst others are just plan old, unaccountable academics with little accountability for what they produce. They will give a degree to anyone these days. Everyone gets a "C" in most universities, and those mediocrities eventually end up in academia because they can get unconditional love and a safe salary package. That is the quality of the army fighting for global warming....and with their sense of life, they are able 'bedfellows' for political bureaucrats and ministerial meddlers.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Climate change is not recession-proof

A NZ Herald survey has shown that NZ's are growing increasing sceptical of the climate change assertions - that humans are driving the planet towards a run-away greenhouse effect. The fact that there is any human impact does not even mean that there need even be a runaway effect because CO2 is a fertiliser for plants, not a pollutant. The human population growth rate is declining with increasing prosperity, and our consumption patterns are also set to change.
People also ought to ponder why consumption rates are so high. There is a 'human values' component to this issue which people don't even challenge. The ethics involved are startling because we are being asked to embrace the save ethical system as Adolf Hitler. In the 1930s Adolf Hitler was a huge exponent of animal rights. You can argue that he was not so much a great proponent of animals. I would suggest elevating animal rights was his way of undermining human rights. The same can be said of the environment. This issue is not about protecting humanity from climate change, otherwise we would simply use common law to mount a class action against companies based on the 'evidence'. The reason why we are being 'guilt-induced' with pseudo-science from politically-motivated, uncritical thinking academics, is that these people have a tragic sense of life, and they are so loathing of humanity, they would find a crisis if they were paid to. Governments of course want a 'legislated' solution so they can control the process. A tax is not going to do anything because emitters can merely pass on the costs to consumers. It reduces wealth by funding a lot of unnecessary remedial measures. Unnecessary because there is no credible evidence that humanity is having a discernible impact on the climate.
This survey shows that most people have downgraded the importance of climate change. This is not surprising because it is a recession. The survey however also shows that the number of people who believe no climate change problem exists has increased from 17.5% to 19.3% in the last year. This might be because they repudiate the trumped up evidence, or it might be because they want to cynically repudiate climate change to allay any guilt resulting from their conflicting values. i.e. their short term economic values vs their long term, conceptual moral values. I'm not suggesting that concepts are purely a long term tool, but rather that people are inclined to take concrete steps to resolve concrete problems having already developed a long range plan.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What if global warming cause is anthropogenic?

Here is an interesting question - I did not read about it on Political Forum.com, but I will post a response to it:

The fact is that if there was a anthropogenic cause for global warming it would not make a difference because any 'negative externality' has to be established on the basis that the trend is destined to cause harm to specific individuals. The fact that the process of change takes so long and change is occurring anyway tends to underpin any such consideration.
An argument could also be made that CO2 is a fertiliser to plants, and that enrichening the atmosphere will eventually result in stimulated plant growth, and higher temperatures would result in more evaporation, cloud formation and precipitation, resulting in greater oxidation (i.e. usually by carbolic acid, i.e. CO2) and more reflection of UV back into space.

The greatest obstacle to the current climate change debate is the lack of a compelling 'causation' for it. I would however suggest solar flares is far more credible as a cause.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A proud climate change denier

Denying climate change is a matter of pride to those who embrace the idea of 'minimal anthropogenic responsibility for climate change'. Their argument fundamentally rest on the premise that climate change is a natural phenomena; that there is nothing unusual about the current fluctuations in the Earth's climate, and that whilst there might come a time when humanity poses a threat to the climate, the facts are not currently on the side of politically-motivated scientists and liberal media commentators.
The reasons why I do not support such assertions are:
1. Many such assertions have proven false in the past. i.e. Dire warnings of asteroid impacts, ice ages, so climate change needs to be treated with some suspicion.
2. Many scientists and journalists base the 'irrefutability' of the evidence - not on science - but the popularity of the hypothesis among scientists. Its not even all scientists, but that does not even matter. Its a clan of politically-motivated scientists. The problem with this is that science is a question for decade, not opinion polls. This is particularly important when you consider that probably only 3-5% of scientists are critical thinkers. The vast majority will perform science which will not contribute to the world. i.e. They are malfunctioning bureaucrats supported by similarly hopeless tenured professors who helped them get a PhD because they felt sorry for them, and they make them look good. That is the more typical climate for 'scientific advancement' in the more academic universities, and is unquestionably better in the more applied unversities. They are not all useless.

Now let us turn our attention to the journalist who incited this article - Ross Gittins, the Economics Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald with his 'beat up' on education. i.e. 'Beat a stick and they will come'. He draws an analogy in his story of climate change deniers. Gittins says:
"That's why climate change-denying scientists get a degree of media publicity out of proportion to the relevance of their qualifications or how representative they are of scientific opinion".
Actually the amount of media recognition given to 'climate change deniers' is pitifully small. Despite that a lot of people in the community remain suspicious or cynical about such claims. Is it because it has always has a political edge, because the evidence does not stack up, because the alternative hypothesis of solar flare variations have yet to be fully investigated (despite offering good correlation).
How is it that this journalist - who is an economist - can be so sure that the science stacks up if they have no training in climatology. After all the whole basis for his argument is that 'deniers' are unqualified. He also implies that science ought to be a media contest, so there is a great lack of intelligence in his assertion.
I guess he is one of the economists who think all people are rational so the media is very effective at determining the truth of arguments. Well, the profession of economics is in disrepute, and economists of this calibre are clearly to blame.
Scientific trials by media are not the way science ought to be conducted. There is a lot of bad science around, and it is being used by politicians to adopt a broader-based tax on energy. Of course they dare not do that if it cripples the economy...but don't give them that power.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I have started a debate on climate change at the Liberal Democratic Party website which you might like to follow. My response to their discussion is:
I think you drift with the tide on these issues...you present reasons why their arguments are flawed to the extent that you can, as empirical evidence is involved. It is actually not so hard because there are scientists out their who pose a different picture. More importantly, H2O is a more important greenhouse gas than CO2. Hotter mean temperatures could only result in greater average humidity. CO2 is a fertiliser, so it could only promote plant growth. The Carboniferous and Permian were coal-depositional periods for a reason.
They only accurately started investigating solar flares as a cause in 2005, and evidence to date suggests excellent correlation.

Daily I find misleading arguments in the press. Of course all this debate serves the collectivist. This is not science. You don't maintain a loyalty to scientists, you maintain it to the facts of reality. Do you blindly accept your doctor? No. You keep getting 2nd opinions until you strike a reasonable argument.

Why not be the party who stands against a scandal, and thus gets the credit for integrity, despite one's minuscule resources. Man has some influence. It is amazing how humanity can be so arrogant and so humble in the same sentence. Arrogant because you believe humanity is no important. Certainly he is important to himself; but to the external world we are just a fleeting moment. I suggest you reflect on how much oxygen and CO2 is in the world and the plausibility of you having an impact. I actually did a calculation. You can find it on my blog on climate change at www.sheldonthinks.com. Needs revision, but the fundamental point remains the same.

Of course reducing emissions will have an impact...but it need not be the impact you want. The earth in 50 years might start cooling as we enter thouse 'more frequent' ice ages. Now, we can waste untold wealth on climate change, or we can build wealth for the future, which will develop technologies and resources to deal with 'real' threats, whether meteorites or Collectivist China. This is therefore a huge opportunity cost. And you want to surrender that debate to anti-intellectual liberals.
You can follow this debate at the LDP forum. I am Shouganai1:
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Friday, July 23, 2010

How to be a good environmentalist

We might ask what qualities it takes to be a good environmentalists? Most business people are characterised as self-serving, ambitious, materialistic and unethical, with little or no regard for the impact they have on the environment. Certainly there are plenty that way; however there are a great many who display other characteristics, which we might otherwise associate with greens. There are those business people who invest a great deal in their staff, who don't cheat on their wives, who love the outdoors, who recycle their home waste, and who are not terribly materialistic. Even the most 'greedy' businessmen are often not materialistic. They are more inclined to invest in ideas and new products, and spend their time in the factory, rather than flying around in a Lear jet or jet boating in Florida. So who is more inclined to save money? The millionaire or the welfare statists who would like their wealth dispersed among themselves?

You could rightly argue that some dedicated greens are hypocrites like I describe, and that is certainly true. Some greens participate in the 'global economy' only so long as they can save enough money to buy the latest 'green technology', which is not a product of the 'greener than thou' community, but rather a product of capitalism. i.e. These people are professing to be greens, but the ultra-efficient solar panel they want, the defense from Soviet aggression they want, will ultimately come from capitalism. For this reason you can plainly see that such greens are intellectual 'cop-outs', repressing all signs of their reliance on the environment. Such 'self reliance' on nature is an illusion which they persist in maintaining. You will not see them give up toilet paper, though you will certainly see them self-righteously proclaim the benefits of 'environmentally-sound' toilet paper, which was always a rationalisation.

Why do they not then aim their guns at advertisers, salespeople and particularly politicians with their monetary stimulus, who do more to push 'conspicuous consumption' than the business people, who merely makes what people want. This is more perplexing when you consider that they are seeking solutions from the persons (i.e. politicians) who can do more for the environment than anyone, and yet they do more to sabotage it. Why? I guess because business sabotage their arbitrary assertions. The implication is that these issues are defined not by facts, but by conflicts over issues, where people fail to see the issues. People have forgot what the real issues are.
It is the poor and middle class aspirants who are inclined to spend indulgently on dubious pleasures. They are the pleasure seekers. Business and real aspirants take pride and pleasure in pursuing some purpose. They are thus inclined to save money rather than spend. They are saving for an acquisition of some business, or to start one. Production you say is the problem. Actually its not. Its arbitrary consumption which does not relate to a broader purpose. It is indulgence. It is a lack of thinking about the broader implications of one's decisions.

Clearly it is not our career which defines us. The environmentalist is of course characterised as a deluded, uneducated, tree-hugging, emotional parasite who lives on off the wealth created by those who they disparage. The lines are clearly defined by those in the media, and certainly those people who participant in the politics of global warming are like that because they are either:
1. Large companies developing huge projects
2. Environmentalists who are determined to stop them.

There is simply no place in the media for the environmentalist who simply wants to preserve a simple life, or the business person, who engages in business not to maximise output, or to have the highest market share, but simply because he derives pride from engaging in business.

I will argue that - if the environment is to be saved - and it is inevitable that growing global population is going to place pressure on our natural environment, then it is not going to be the large companies or the desperate environmentalist who dominate the media who is going to make the difference; it is going to be the 'silent majority' somewhere in between. Not fence-sitters, simply people who do things for less dubious reasons than power and material gain. I actually think these 'silent majority' are derived from the same fundamental values, though I think they have been mislead by the academic and media assault on science.

So how does one become a good environmentalist. My suggestions are these:
1. Don't interfere with the functioning of the markets, nor support governments which do the the same thing. Why? Because efficient markets result in the best allocation of resources, and thus maximum real wealth creation. This is important so we have the capacity to deal with any problem in future.
2. Support justice - that is social regulation which facilitates market optimality, rather than those government interventions which distort or undermine wealth. This does not mean supporting projects which impact others; it means respecting facts. If BP drilling poses a threat, and there is science to support those arguments, or BP has a poor safety track record, then they ought not to be awarded a license.
3. Support reason as the standard of value: Meaning that if the protection of the environment is worthy of protection, it is good for a reason, and those reasons need to be appraised in a specific context. They are not intrinsic values, and they are not dogmas.
4. Know thyself: It sounds like a Christian proverb, however a great many people engage in activities with no conceptual appreciation for the things they do. It would better serve them to develop a coherent hierarchy of values to account for what is important to them. This will help them to see the integrity and legitimacy of what they are pursuing.
These same principles hold true for business as well as environmentalists. I would argue the pragmatic businessman is equally a threat as the passionate environmentalist. A threat why? Because they both have little respect for ideas, the interests of others, or the facts of reality. They seldom attempt to see the perspective of others. There is the rare exception. The founder of Greenpeace who has celebrated a role for nuclear power. Small business people who are typically the engines of environmentally-sound technologies, whether its technological innovations like battery technologies, or new ways of thinking about the world, as I am doing.

The greens are worried about climate change. There is good evidence to suggest its a variability is caused by sun flares rather than human impacts. Greens are worried about the population explosion. The earth's population growth rate is actually slowing as people become more prosperous. Fear governments who are trying to encourage higher birth rates and promote immigration to stimulate economic growth whilst they choke productivity in the economy. The greens lament the development of new pollution-emitting plants, in the process forcing those plants to developing countries with lower standards. The wealth they create will result in better plants. The collectivism they impose on markets will only sabotage the creators of technologies which will reduce our per capita energy demand. Look at how technology has created a paperless office in a decade. Look how video conferencing will see you work from home, or local satellite offices, if not coffee shops in the next 2 decades, saving transport costs and reducing emissions. Batteries are offering longer lives, solar collectors will offer greater absorption and higher efficiencies. Just don't sabotage the process, nor allow collectivist governments to sabotage the process.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Saturday, May 15, 2010

NZ climate change data dubious

Would it concern you that climate change data in NZ does not show a 'warming' in the raw data. The premise that there is warming arises because of 'adjustments'. This is shaky science at its best. There is nothing in itself wrong with adjusting data, however it must concern people that a vast expense is being considered to reduce 'global warming' when the evidence is 'derivative' rather than primary. It of course doesn't invalidate the sciences, but it does cast doubt on the veracity of their findings. There are several problems:
1. If we chase straw men by accepting these findings we could be undermining our capacity to deal with the issue if it does arise in future. i.e. Scientists are less likely to be accepted next time.
2. We would have undermined economic growth or real wealth in order to pursue these agendas.

The reality is that global warming is evident in the sense that the Earth is hotter than it was a century ago. It is another thing entirely to suggest that this warming is because of humanity.
See the article on NZ climate debate. The ACT Party led by Rodney Hide is critical of the research undertaken by the State meteorology service - NIWA.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Emissions trading back down by Australian government

Its apparent that the Australian government is recognised the insanity of its public policies. We have seen a back-down on two STUPID policies in recent times. One was the First Home Owners Grant which encouraged people to buy at the top of a property boom. The other was the Carbon Credit Trading Scheme. This emissions trading scheme has been deferred until 2012. Trust me - it will be dropped by then completely. This is "polly-speak" for "Sorry, we were incredibly stupid".
There was no real or genuine link between climate change and humanity. The 'crisis' was simply something conjured up by academics seeking funding, or exponents with a tragic sense of life, wanting the animals to ascend to their proper place in the global hierarchy.
If you have no notion of what a government background looks like - read it and weep. Very subtle isn't it. Over the last 2 years I have done a number of things to highlight the abuse of government power. In NZ I have lobbied the NZ Broadcasting Standards Committee to ensure more credible reporting of science. I have actually to my surprise seen an improvement. Never have I seen in the media efforts to get an expert to repudiate another opinion. Three cheers for critical thinking! Go TV3 - don't stop now. I was incredibly moved by your story on retreating glaciers. I didn't know glaciers had feelings.
If you think this is the end of it. There are issues with youth alcoholism resulting in punitive taxes, there is animal rights issues which are causing farmers grief. There are silly grants to install insulation which are resulting in installers and manufacturers profiteering at the expense of taxpayers! That's right. Government is paying installers to charge you more, but you think you are getting a bargain because you get a grant. Sorry, no. Basically, if you want to understand the economics. A inverter heat pump is about as sophisticated as your home refrigerator. The difference is that the refrigerator costs $800, the inverter heat pump $3000-3500 in NZ. They are very efficient - but WAIT before installing because prices will come down when the insanity of installing them with subsidies abates.
If you are wondering if the stupidity of this scheme resembles the stupidity of the First Home Owners Scheme by forcing up prices! Congratulations! Your are our winner of the Honorary PhD from the Virtual University of Common Sense.
People there is a real crisis unfolding in the world and it has nothing to do with global warming. It is a form of fascism so insidious you have not even recognised its creeping impact. Its the power or destruction of arbitrary rule. Its antidote is reason and accountability. The poison is so-called 'representative government' and the 'numbers-driven' lobbyist.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Are greenhouse gas levels really a problem?

Here are some good articles on whether atmospheric CO2 levels are actually higher than previously. What actually does the historical record show. See this article by Dr Tim Ball. You might also like to view his other published articles.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Friday, March 12, 2010

ABC chairman attacks journalistic bias

The chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) has openly criticised journalists at the ABC for presenting a biased picture of events, particularly in response to global warming. The chairman was attacked for his comments by those who consider his statements an attack of journalistic independence. The problem of course is that its all too easy to use the threat of journalistic integrity as a basis to condemn those who might be critical of your views. Isn't anyone therefore biased for expressing the view that is not the same as journalists.
At the end of the day, what is not important is whether journalists are independent or not, but whether they are reasonable or not. If journalists and other professionals have the flexibility to be independent, but the flexibility to be incompetent or indulgent, then one would sooner educate them to the facts. Does that require coercion? No. It requires accountability and monitoring of media standards.
A bigger problem arises when agencies like the Australian Media Complaints Commission ceases to be a defender of objectivity and starts to be a defender of socialistic causes. My obser vation of the types of complaints upheld by the NZ media complaints commission is that they not willing to act on issues of objectivity in media, but they will act against the networks when their journalists expose the public to unfair or unreasonable exposure or vulnerability. Whilst I applaud these measures, a respect for facts would be a greater value, when it comes to the actual content of media. See my early post on NZ greenhouse reporting.
For more information on the ABC chairman's comments on ABC media - see this article. This article of course draws attention to the lack of scientific knowledge of media journalists as well as their lack of critical thinking skills.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Unnecessary waste - stop buying bottled water

I am among a great number of people who welcome attempts to preserve the biodiversity of the planet, but who otherwise think global warming science is just nonsense. Aside from the science of climatology, the stupidity which underpins consumer buying habits is astounding. The idea that people are buying bottles of water strikes me as lunacy. Here is a video that describes the problem. Really this is unnecessary consumption. Unless you are living in the third world there is no need to buy bottled water.

Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Biased media standards in NZ media regulators

Want some sense of the nature of our media. Consider the following story about climate change. This story by TV3 of NZ is about the receding Ngozumpa glacier in the Himalayan Mountains. If you listen to this story you get the impression that this is tangible evidence for global warming. It is not. Even if it were, there is the insinuation that Copenhagen will or could do something about it. It is full of emotive language, full of contradictions and baseless assertions. How can you equate Copenhagen with research? Copenhagen is about imposing taxes on people to address problems. It is not about further research funding.
In defense of such scientists - he problem is a babe in the woods. He was probably given a day to get his story and video, and no time to research this issue. His university training was probably an Arts rather than a science degree, and he probably never studied the concept of critical thinking. So what can we expect of him?

Anyway I was annoyed about this story sufficiently to send a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Committee in NZ. I was not alone in my annoyance with this story. There were 5 other complainants on the TV3 website.

My complaint could have been written better if I had a written transcript of the story. However it was good enough if the Standards Committee considered the story in context. I did not expect them to take a word-for-word analysis of the story. I expected them to apply the rigorous analysis to the story, rather than my complaint.

The basis of my complaint was:
Complaint-Details: The program outlines a lot of assertions about
evidence for global warming which were just farcical. There was the
internal collapse of caves/caverns in the glacier. This was attributed
to signs the glacier was no longer moving. In fact moving glaciers
fracture. Receding glaciers are not in themselves evidence of global
warming since the alternative is less snow accumulation. There has
actually been global cooling in recent years despite rising CO2
concentrations in the atmosphere. Do we ever hear that H2O is a more
important greenhouse gas than CO2? Do we ever here that CO2 is a
fertiliser for plants not a pollutant?

The report concluded that this was \'definitive evidence\' of global
warming. It was not. This was the author\'s own \'spin\' on the article.
If this was a one-off it would be just a mistake. But there is a
systematic effort by \'liberals\' in the media around the world to
misrepresent the facts. We never get the alternative view based on
critical thinking. There is either a definitive global warming or there
is a need for more evidence. Why do we never hear from well-known
critics like Prof Bob Carter at James Cook University. In this case, a
2nd scientist said there was a lot of false or outlandish assertions
made. Yet the journalist does not pull back from his agenda.

The Standards Committee response to my complaint can be downloaded here.

My response to the Standards Committee is:

Upon reviewing the Committees response to my complaint I can only conclude that they did not understand my complaint, so let me elaborate. The response was also inadequate.

A number of things have to be acknowledged:
1. The glaciologist has a bias in terms of seeing his research considered important. It serves him to see some consequence for it. If not for the 'anthropogenic' global warming hypothesis, his work would be just a curiosity.
2. Being a glaciologist with ten years experience analysing a glacier is not a substitute for facts or logic. That would be an 'appeal to authority' - a flaw of logic. For the record I am a geologist who understands the mechanics of glacial movement.
3. I don't have a transcript of the story, but one of my points was that, if you see any assertion in the story suggesting that the this is evidence of climate change, or if this is insinuated, that is a bias in the story. Or a rationalisation if you prefer. The reporter should have sought independent, critical feedback to such an insinuation. Lest we all be scared by evidence which is skewed. I would refer the Committee to the following article. See http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7553.

I wonder whether the Standards Committee actually contacted the glaciologist to see whether he supports the conclusions made in the report.

The response from the reporter was even skewed with colourful language:
1. A 'healthy glacier' - there is no such thing - it is not a living thing, yet the reporter is describing the ice as if it had qualities of a living thing. If he was a romantic poet it would be fine, but this is reporting of science, which requires more disciplined analysis and objectivity.
2. The glacier is 'rotting from the inside' - again romantic, but not evidence of anything. Glaciers are always melting, and there are dynamics between snow accumulation and melting - which is glaciation. Melting is not good or bad as far as science is concerned. Implicitly he is saying there is an anthropogenic cause to global warming. Where is the evidence?

One of the problems with the media is that they lack knowledge of the topics which they report upon. Was James Mates a science graduate? Did he have any understanding of glaciers? This shows a clumsy lack of research if he isn't because he has no capacity to critically assess the scientist for the short time that he is with him. Also it is easy for him to misinterpret his comments. He is under financial pressures, and he meets a shy glaciologist which does not say much. What happens? We get an inaccurate story. I remember a story where a reporter was covering the story of a gold mine, and because explorers use diamond drilling as a ore resource assessment tool, he thought it was a gold and diamond mine. This suggests that the media needs more specialised journalists who can report on technical issues or specialised content, as well as generalists who can broadly cover issues.

From the following quote:
Reporter: So, we're seeing here a close-up view of the death of a glacier?
Glaciologist: Exactly. It is just collapsing in on itself.
This sounds like a glaciologist being agreeable, i.e. a nice guy rather than making a scientific statement. Really it shows the reporter putting words into the mouth of the glaciologist. What is the 'death of a glacier'? Since glaciers are moving ice, it could only mean no more snow accumulation. Very hard to believe at those elevations when there is accumulation down to 1800m. So the insinuation is that the snow is melting faster than it is falling. All we are seeing in fact is a period of receding of the glacier. They are a natural phenomena. If this was suggested to the glaciologist I am sure he would agree.

The reporters closing statement was:
We’ve been shown definitively what’s happening deep inside the biggest glacier in this part of the Himalayas. What it means what if anything the world needs to do about it, well those answers are needed and soon.
We were not shown the mechanics of how a glacier works? We were given emotive language. It was not scientific or educational. It was emotive, inaccurate and misleading. The fact that its the biggest glacier is not relevant either. Its a cry for action, and it alludes to a climate change problem. Its sensationalism, whether it be subtle or blatant. Why do we need answers soon? Will the world lose all its glaciers?
For years we have been told ice sheets are melting in Antarctica - global warming? No, just skewed, context-dropping reporting. Yes, one she has been rescinding for lack of snow accumulation, and the other three ice sheets have been growing.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Climate change numbers are red not green

Want to get a sense of where the science community stands on climate change - read the following article. Given this understanding you would expect some backdown by politicians. Of course its slow in coming.....but it will come. Idiots!
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
Here is a list of people who are opposed to the 'consensus' that the world is undergoing climate change due to anthropogenic (or human) causes. This list of course does not constitute evidence of the contrarian view that climate change is a natural phenomenon akin to the normal dynamic functioning of the Earth. In fact there is strong evidence against climate change. In fact there are compelling reasons to believe that climate change is threatening the world's future capacity to deal with real crisis by undermining the creation of real wealth, and more important doing untold damage to the reputation of science. Science will no longer be treated with the same respect. People - the threat is not global warming - its a Modern Dark Ages. The last period in which civilisation went backwards was from 476-1000AD - a period of over 500 years in duration. This period corresponded to a period of diminished respect for reason and logic. On that occasion it was due to religious and political oppression. The modern curse is repression and cynicism.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

’Global Warming Misconceptions - View the table of contents!

Governments this year have ramped up their global warming propaganda, but in truth, just how certain is global warming. In the process of preparing a consulting report, we undertook some research and were startled by government policy. We will show that the propaganda being financed by government is shamelessly creating hysteria for the sake of political expediency.

Global Warming Misconceptions - Download the table of contents or buy this report at our online store for just $US9.95.