Archive

Archive for June, 2008

>French fire real bullets for first time since WW2

>For over 50 years the French have carefully nurtured their reputation as cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Preferring talk and negotiation to taking direct action has seen the French army become the butt of many jokes.

Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion – Jed Babbin

“Somebody was telling me about the French Army rifle that was being advertised on eBay the other day – the description was, ‘Never fired. Dropped once.'” – Rep. Roy Blunt (MO).

“Do you know how many Frenchmen it takes to defend Paris? It’s not known, it’s never been tried.” – Rep. R. Blount (MO).

War without France would be like, uh, World War II.

And my favourite…

“It is important to remember that the French have always been there when they needed us.” – Alan Kent.

So news overnight that the French army had actually used live bullets and injured people comes as something of a surprise:

Seventeen people, including a child left in a critical condition, were injured when soldiers fired live bullets instead of blanks during an open day display, regional officials have told AFP.

Fifteen civilians and two soldiers were injured in the incident, of which the details remained unclear, involving a demonstration by members of a marines parachute regiment of hostage liberation exercises, the regional authority said.

Four of the 17 were seriously injured, with two described as critical following “incomprehensible” scenes at the barracks near Carcassone, in the country’s southwest.

According to local authorities, five children were among the injured.

Five helicopters, 11 firefighters’ first-aid vehicles and two ambulances rushed to the scene to help the injured.

One soldier had been detained, although no explanation was immediately forthcoming for why the wrong ammunition was loaded into weapons.

Let’s hope that everyone injured is OK.

What lesson will the French take from the incident?

Using real bullets gets people hurt.

Another 50 years of feckless pacifism seems likely in spite of Sarkozy’s noise about France rejoining NATO.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: France, Stupidity

>Sunday night rock ‘n’ roll

>The Moody Blues are an English rock band originally from Birmingham. Founding members Michael Pinder and Ray Thomas performed an initially rhythm and blues-based sound in Birmingham in 1964 along with Graeme Edge and others, and were later joined by John Lodge and Justin Hayward as they inspired and evolved the progressive rock style. Among their innovations was a fusion with classical music, most notably in their seminal 1967 album Days of Future Passed.

Nights In White Satin

The Other Side Of Life

I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band)

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Music

>Man in black doesn’t understand half black man

>The perennially black-clad Phillip Adams represents all that is wrong with today’s Left. Full of hatred; enablers of racism; eisablers of solutions for Aborigines; and ignorant of history, which means they lack wisdom.

And truly Morally Incompetent.

In his latest column in The Australian Adams shows that he’s certainly a light of other days…

I’m grateful to a reader for giving me a great gizmo. It’s a credit-card-sized clock that flashes, to the tenth of a second, the time that Bush has left in the White House.

One has to admit that it’s a pretty funny gizmo to have if you’re a Bush hater.

As I tap out these words Bush has 214 days, six hours, 14 minutes and 31.6 seconds left, and I’m willing the microchip to move things along; 214 days, six hours, 14 minutes and 29 seconds is still too many days, hours, seconds and tenths – more than enough time for the lame duck to remember that the presidential seal features a Roman-style eagle and behave like a headless chook. Urged on by the neo-cons and theo-cons, the worst president in history could wreak even more national and international havoc.

George W Bush will not only not be rated the worst president in history but will annoy the heck out of the left by being very highly regarded for being one of the few Western leaders who had the moral courage to take on the worst form of extremism.

So it’s better to focus on the fact that the presidential election that will replace Bush takes place in early November, two-and-a-half months before inauguration day. To stay with the avian, should Donald Duck win office as a third-party candidate the world could feel like the cat that ate the canary. Even John McCain would be a considerable improvement – despite the fact he’s abandoned all the principles that made him a “maverick”. He was for the reform of campaign funding, and pro-choice on abortion; he was against torture and took a progressive stand on illegal immigrants. These ideas, he told us, represented his core values. And he’s dumped them all in the interests of getting elected. Every other day, another 180-degree turn. Oh McCain, you’ve done it again.

If Adams would like to look up what the McCain-Feingold bill is then perhaps he wouldn’t make such an ignorant statement. Further, if he looked at Obama’s record on the issue he’ll see more flipping and flopping than a fish out of water. McCain is still against torture and he still has a ‘progressive’ stand on illegal immigrants so I don’t know where Adams gets the idea that McCain is anything other than solid in his beliefs.

I’ve been barracking for Barack since he made his debut on the national stage with a splendid speech at the 2004 Democratic convention. So I’m hoping he’ll storm home. But as I wrote months ago, Obama faces the immense risk of assassination. During the 82 days of Bobby Kennedy’s primary campaigning it was widely believed he’d be killed. Nixon thought it highly likely, and the FBI’s Clyde Tolson thought it highly desirable (he was clearly echoing the hopes of his boyfriend, J. Edgar Hoover). Right-wing shock jocks and columnists called upon patriotic Americans to blow Bobby’s brains out – and the candidate himself, when asked what stood between him and the White House, said: “Men with guns.”

Adams ‘wrote months ago’ that Obama faces the ‘immense risk of assassination’ and compares him to Bobby Kennedy. He then goes on to talk about right-wing shock jocks while completely failing to tell us that Bobby Kennedy was killed by a Palestinian, Sirhan Sirhan, ostensibly over Kennedy’s support for Israel. His brother, JFK, was killed by a communist, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Martin Luther King Jr was killed by James Earl Ray, a man with a criminal record including burglary, armed robbery and mail fraud. Hardly a rogue’s gallery of right wing death beasts, is it? Perhaps it’s Adams’ own understanding of the violent instincts of the Left that lead him to fear for Obama’s safety?

Otherwise Obama risks the death of a thousand cuts, the wearing down of the candidate, employing the many weapons of bigotry. Apart from the rabid, racist right who’ll call a spade a spade, much of it, most of it, will be in code. And it will appeal to the national subconscious.

It is pure projection that the right is racist. The right is perfectly happy to vote for a black man or woman for president as long as they agree with their values. That’s why Michael Steele is chairman of GOPAC, for example. Who has included more African-Americans or Hispanics in senior roles than George W Bush? Certainly not any Democratic president hitherto…

It’s one thing to vote for Obama in a primary. That’s no risk. Voters can enjoy the pleasures of being progressive, of expressing the belief in a “post-racial America”. But they’re not actually sending Obama to the White House by choosing him over Clinton. They’re identifying with the movement of history – or, to use a word I detest, the zeitgeist. They can focus on all the reasons it’s time to support an African-American heavyweight in something other than rock music or boxing. It’s a feelgood thing to do.

If there’s something that the Left excels at it’s doing the feelgood thing. No doubt about it. Horrible outcomes but, gee, I feel good about myself for having tried.

It’s quite another thing to vote for Obama in the presidential elections. From now until election day millions of voters will be looking for reasons not to vote for him. And the Karl Rovelutionaries in the Republican camp will be doing everything they can to help.

I suppose they would. That’s their job.

McCain promises a clean campaign but the opportunism he displayed in changing positions on the very issues that enabled and ennobled his career will come into play. At best he’ll claim a disapproving distance from the hate-speak and innuendo while happily accepting any electoral advantage. It’s the oldest trick in the book. And we saw in McCain’s embrace of the looniest of evangelical preachers that he’ll gratefully accept an endorsement from anyone.

Adams shows his intellectual laziness with this comment. John Hagee is no parallel to Reverend Wright and not even close. If any reasonable person was to listen to what Hagee said regarding Catholics and the Holocaust in context then it would be clear what he was talking about and that he is far from loopy.

Many voters believing themselves above and beyond racism will yield to it, in its various guises and disguises. Obama’s youth? His inexperience? His overenthusiastic pastors? His wife’s comparative radicalism? All will be used to eat away at the feeling of hope and safety that he was, in the beginning, able to provide. Barack was a walking, talking comfort zone. But the Sidney Poitier of US politics will be muddied somehow, anyhow, with the stickiest mud they can find or invent. And people will find excuses not to vote for him. Oh, it’s nothing to do with his colour! What a suggestion! God forbid! I’m all for a black president. But not this one. Not now.

The irony is that Adams is talking about Democratic Party supporters not voting for Obama because he’s black! Republicans would vote for a black person whose values they agreed with in a heartbeat, which is why they were clamouring so much for Colin Powell to run.

To their eternal discredit the Clintons rehearsed some of the Republicans’ dog-whistling campaign – and in a few states it worked all too well. So Obama will be prepared. And while his dream of a campaign that transcended race is a delusion, his colour is also his greatest advantage. We’re seeing unprecedented numbers of black voters registering and kids of all colours rushing to Obama’s. But dark forces within the American psyche, somewhat repressed of late, are about to be released. Remember One Nation in tolerant Australia?

One Nation didn’t beat the Labor Party, Phil, so I don’t know what the comparison means.

If you talk to any young person at university and particularly those studying in the Arts faculties then they all sound like little versions of Phillip Adams. Like Adams their knowledge of history is abominable and, like Adams, they use pejorative terms against their opponents in place of the arguments that they haven’t bothered to learn. Like Adams they think that being smart creates wisdom.

Obama is odds on favourite to be the next US president but not for any of the reasons Adams puts forward.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Media

>Climate models cop another battering

June 26, 2008 4 comments

>Do climate models include an allowance for the destruction of ozone over the tropical Atlantic Ocean?

Let’s have some time to think about that.

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock…

…No.

Large amounts of ozone — around 50% more than predicted by the world’s state-of-the-art climate models — are being destroyed in the lower atmosphere over the tropical Atlantic Ocean. This startling discovery was made by a team of scientists from the UK’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science and Universities of York and Leeds. It has particular significance because ozone in the lower atmosphere acts as a greenhouse gas and its destruction also leads to the removal of the third most abundant greenhouse gas; methane.

The findings come after analysing the first year of measurements from the new Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory, recently set up by British, German and Cape Verdean scientists on the island of São Vicente in the tropical Atlantic. Alerted by these Observatory data, the scientists flew a research aircraft up into the atmosphere to make ozone measurements at different heights and more widely across the tropical Atlantic. The results mirrored those made at the Observatory, indicating major ozone loss in this remote area.

So, what’s causing this loss? Instruments developed at the University of Leeds, and stationed at the Observatory, detected the presence of the chemicals bromine and iodine oxide over the ocean for this region. These chemicals, produced by sea spray and emissions from phytoplankton (microscopic plants in the ocean), attack the ozone, breaking it down. As the ozone is destroyed, a chemical is produced that attacks and destroys the greenhouse gas methane. Up until now it has been impossible to monitor the atmosphere of this remote region over time because of its physical inaccessibility. Including this new chemistry in climate models will provide far more accurate estimates of ozone and methane in the atmosphere and improve future climate predictions.

Professor Alastair Lewis, Director of Atmospheric Composition at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and a lead scientist in this study, said: “At the moment this is a good news story — more ozone and methane being destroyed than we previously thought – but the tropical Atlantic cannot be taken for granted as a permanent ‘sink’ for ozone. The composition of the atmosphere is in fine balance here- it will only take a small increase in nitrogen oxides from fossil fuel combustion, carried here from Europe, West Africa or North America on the trade winds, to tip the balance from a sink to a source of ozone”

Professor John Plane, University of Leeds said: “This study provides a sharp reminder that to understand how the atmosphere really works, measurement and experiment are irreplaceable. The production of iodine and bromine mid-ocean implies that destruction of ozone over the oceans could be global”.

Dr Lucy Carpenter, University of York and UK co-ordinator of the Observatory added: “This observatory is a terrific facility that will enable us to keep an eye on the chemical balance of the atmosphere and feed this information into global climate models to greatly improve predictions for this region in the future”.

No matter that the world is cooling and that models are yet to get anything right even once. Let’s spend trillions of dollars anyway.

How will the James Hansens and Al Gores and Nicholas Sterns and Tim Flannerys be viewed in years to come?

Not well, I suspect.

Probably in the same light as eugenics advocates.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Climate Change

>Demographic survey results give Obama the edge

June 25, 2008 4 comments

>Rasmussen Reports does some fascinating work in the field of political surveys.

Here are the summaries from June’s Demographic factors:

June 25, 2008: Just 22% now say the McCain is too old to be President, down from 30% who held that view earlier. Forty-one percent (41%) continue to believe that Obama is too inexperienced.

Age will probably not be that much of a factor in this election. There are too many hot issues that will frame the debate.

June 23, 2008: Currently, Obama and McCain are essentially even among men while the Democrat leads by twelve among women. McCain leads 49% to 42% among White Voters but trails 93% to 3% among African-American voters. Among voters who see economic issues as most important this year, Obama leads 59% to 32%. As for those who view national security issues as most important, McCain leads 59% to 37%.

How amazing is that? McCain trails 93%-3% among African-American voters. That really does show how much race is a factor this year. What’s equally amazing is that Obama has such a big lead on economic issues given that every policy he’s ever supported has pretty much come from Karl Marx’s handbook.

June 22, 2008: New data released today shows that 63% of voters think McCain views U.S. society as generally fair and decent. Forty-five percent (45%) believe Obama holds that same view.

Again, if the economy was going very well then this might affect people’s vote.

June 19, 2008–McCain leads among voters who earn $40,000 to $75,000 a year. Obama leads among those who earn less than $40,000 annually and those whose income tops $75,000.

Now, that is amazing. The average American supports McCain. The poor and the well-to-do support Obama. The less well off I can understand but it still amazes me that educated, high earning people do not understand that an Obama presidency would not only reduce their income but reduce the poor’s income, as well.

June 15, 2008–Obama is viewed favorably by 58% of women and 50% of men. McCain earns favorable reviews from 54% of men and 50% of women.

June 14, 2008–Obama is viewed favorably by 58% of women and 52% of men. McCain earns favorable reviews from 54% of men and 51% of women.

Among voters under 30, 62% have a favorable opinion of Obama. Those ratings decline steadily by age—just 49% of seniors (65+) have a favorable opinion of the Democratic candidate. McCain is viewed favorably by 59% of seniors, his highest rating from any age group. His weakest reviews come from 30-somethings. Among these young adults, 49% have a favorable opinion of the Republican standard bearer.

Few surprises are seen on a partisan basis. Obama is viewed favorably by 82% of Democrats and 25% of Republicans. McCain is viewed favorably by 81% of Republicans and 29% of Democrats. For all the talk of post-partisanship, the campaign is shaping up so far along fiercely partisan lines. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, McCain is viewed favorably by 55%, Obama by 51%.

Given those figures you would have to say that Obama is looking good in November. The fact is that the young don’t get out to vote so that’s no advantage but that will be made up by the lead Obama holds in the 30s age bracket.

June 13, 2008–Obama attracts 84% of political liberals while McCain is supported by 76% of conservatives. While there are more conservatives than liberals in the nation today, Obama also enjoys a twenty-eight point advantage over McCain among moderates.

The moderates will decide the election and if he holds a 28 point lead through to the election then he’ll have a clear win.

Fifty percent (50%) of voters say federal spending will increase if Obama is elected and 33% say the same will happen if McCain wins. Forty-five percent (45%) say taxes will increase if there is a President Obama. Twenty-eight percent (28%) say tax hikes will result from a McCain Administration.

It’s strange that people reckon taxes and spending will increase under Obama but trust him more on economic issues.

Voters see a clear distinction between the two leading candidates on the issue of Iraq. Eighty-one percent (81%) say Obama is more interested in getting troops home from Iraq than finishing the mission. Seventy-four percent (74%) say that McCain is more interested in finishing the mission An earlier survey found that 52% of voters say getting the troops home is the higher priority.

Forty-three percent (43%) of voters say McCain is a better leader than Obama while 38% hold the opposite view. When asked which candidate has personal values closer to their own, 43% name McCain and 42% say Obama.

June 12, 2008–Obama currently leads by eleven points among women but trails by a single point among men (including leaners). Thirty-nine percent (39%) of women say they are certain they will vote for Obama in November. Another 10% say they would vote for him today but could change their mind, and 3% are leaning towards voting for Obama. For McCain those numbers are 30% certain, 8% who could change their mind, and 3% leaning towards voting for him.

Thirty-six percent (36%) of men are certain they will vote for McCain while 34% say the same about Obama.

Obama is now viewed favorably by 56% of voters nationwide and unfavorably by 42%. The numbers for McCain are 54% favorable and 44% unfavorable. Among women, Obama is viewed favorably by 57%, McCain by 52%. Among men, McCain earns positive reviews from 56%, Obama from 54%.

Opinions are held more strongly about Obama–33% have a Very Favorable opinion of the Democratic hopeful while 27% hold a Very Unfavorable opinion. For McCain, those numbers are 18% Very Favorable and 18% Very Unfavorable. As with the topline numbers, these ratings reflect a slight softening for Obama and little change for McCain.

June 10, 2008–In December, before the Iowa caucuses launched Obama’s successful campaign for the nomination, the Illinois Senator was seen as politically liberal by 47% of voters nationwide. By April, that number had grown to 54%. Today, 67% see him as politically liberal including 36% who say he is Very Liberal.

A similar pattern is seen for John McCain. The presumptive Republican nominee was seen as politically conservative by 31% of all voters in December, by 41% in April, and by 57% today. Just 19% say he is Very Conservative.

These numbers reflect much more movement than was seen by the more established candidates running four years ago. While the number seeing Obama as liberal has already shifted by twenty percentage points, John Kerry’s numbers shifted just eight points in a roughly comparable time frame. Kerry was seen as politically liberal by 37% in January 2004 and by 45% in May 2004. By the end of Election 2004, 53% saw Kerry as politically liberal.

McCain’s numbers have shifted even more than Obama’s this year—twenty-six percentage points so far. Four years ago, President Bush was seen as politically conservative by 48% in January and 57% in May. That’s a shift of just nine points. By the end of Election 2004, 64% saw Bush as politically conservative.

It’s worth noting that both Bush and Kerry experienced as much of a shift from May to October as they did in the first part of the year. It is certainly reasonable to assume that more changes are ahead for McCain and Obama. Rasmussen Reports will be tracking this data on a weekly basis to monitor ongoing movement.

June 9, 2008–Obama is supported by 81% of Democrats and now holds a very modest three-point edge over McCain among unaffiliated voters. Both those figures reflect a significant improvement over the past week. McCain attracts 83% of Republicans Still, 30% of all voters either have no preference at this time or could change their vote before Election Day.

June 7, 2008–Obama’s bounce is primarily the result of Democrats beginning to unify behind his candidacy. For the first time all year, Obama is supported by 80% of Democrats over McCain. In recent months, his support from Democrats has typically been in the high-60’s or low-70’s range.

McCain is supported by 84% of Republicans and holds an eight-point lead among unaffiliated voters. The bad news for McCain is that there are a lot more Democrats than Republicans. Obama’s party now enjoys a ten-percentage point advantage in terms of party identification.

June 5, 2008–As the General Election season begins, Obama attracts 96% of the African-American vote while McCain holds a thirteen-point lead among White voters. Obama leads by nine among voters of other racial and ethnic backgrounds, primarily Latino voters (these figures are based upon the results including leaners).

Obama leads by a two-to-one margin among voters under 30 and holds a significant lead among 30-somethings. McCain has the edge among those 40 and older, attracting the votes from 50% of these voters.

McCain leads by ten percentage points among White Women. However, Obama has the edge among White Women Under 40 while McCain enjoys a substantial advantage among older White Women.

Government employees are essentially evenly divided between the two candidates. McCain has a 53% to 39% advantage among Entrepreneurs while Obama leads 50% to 41% among those who work for someone else in the Private Sector.

From a partisan perspective, McCain attracts 83% of Republicans while Obama is supported by 76% of Democrats. McCain has an eight-point advantage over Obama among unaffiliated voters. Keep in mind that many of this year’s unaffiliated voters were Republicans four-years ago. The number identifying with the GOP has declined from just under 37% in 2004 to 31% today. At the same time, many unaffiliated voters from four years ago, now consider themselves to be Democrats.

June 4, 2008–As the General Election season begins, Obama attracts 96% of the African-American vote while McCain holds a thirteen-point lead among White voters. Obama leads by nine among voters of other racial and ethnic backgrounds, primarily Latino voters (these figures are based upon the results including leaners).

Obama leads by a two-to-one margin among voters under 30 and holds a significant lead among 30-somethings. McCain has the edge among those 40 and older, attracting the votes from 50% of these voters.

McCain leads by ten percentage points among White Women. However, Obama has the edge among White Women Under 40 while McCain enjoys a substantial advantage among older White Women.

Government employees are essentially evenly divided between the two candidates. McCain has a 53% to 39% advantage among Entrepreneurs while Obama leads 50% to 41% among those who work for someone else in the Private Sector.

Yesterday’s Gallup Poll shows that Obama and McCain are even at 45% each.

While things are going well in Iraq McCain has a chance in November but he will need the economy to show some improvement from its current lethargic state.

The Republican brand has been hurt on a number of fronts but especially by their own hand in the form of undisciplined spending. McCain has fought hard to maintain his ‘maverick’ image in order to not be seen as an extension of Bush-Cheney.

The Democrats are referring to a McCain presidency as “George Bush’s third term” and the Republicans are saying that Obama represents Jimmy Carter’s second term. That won’t work, especially as too many voters don’t remember what an unmitigated disaster Carter was not only for the United States but also for the rest of the world.

As things stand Obama has a clear edge over McCain.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Politics, United States

>It’s time to put James Hansen on trial for fraudulent science

>So Al Gore stooge and Climate High Priest James Hansen now wants to put oil company CEOs on trial for ‘crimes against humanity’?

James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.

Hansen will use the symbolically charged 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking speech (pdf) to the US Congress – in which he was among the first to sound the alarm over the reality of global warming – to argue that radical steps need to be taken immediately if the “perfect storm” of irreversible climate change is not to become inevitable.

Speaking before Congress again, he will accuse the chief executive officers of companies such as ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy of being fully aware of the disinformation about climate change they are spreading.

In an interview with the Guardian he said: “When you are in that kind of position, as the CEO of one the primary players who have been putting out misinformation even via organisations that affect what gets into school textbooks, then I think that’s a crime.”

He is also considering personally targeting members of Congress who have a poor track record on climate change in the coming November elections. He will campaign to have several of them unseated. Hansen’s speech to Congress on June 23 1988 is seen as a seminal moment in bringing the threat of global warming to the public’s attention. At a time when most scientists were still hesitant to speak out, he said the evidence of the greenhouse gas effect was 99% certain, adding “it is time to stop waffling”.

He will tell the House select committee on energy independence and global warming this afternoon that he is now 99% certain that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has already risen beyond the safe level.

You mean the James Hansen whose software code is so robust and whose algorithms are so sound that he is 99% certain that we’re all doomed?

Luckily for the real world, Steve McIntyre has been doing yeoman’s work analysing Hansen’s code:

Here are some more notes and scripts in which I’ve made considerable progress on GISS Step 2. As noted on many occasions, the code is a demented mess – you’d never know that NASA actually has software policies (e.g. here or here . I guess that Hansen and associates regard themselves as being above the law. At this point, I haven’t even begum to approach analysis of whether the code accomplishes its underlying objective. There are innumerable decoding issues – John Goetz, an experienced programmer, compared it to descending into the hell described in a Stephen King novel. I compared it to the meaningless toy in the PPM children’s song – it goes zip when it moves, bop when it stops and whirr when it’s standing still. The endless machinations with binary files may have been necessary with Commodore 64s, but are totally pointless in 2008.

Because of the hapless programming, it takes a long time and considerable patience to figure out what happens when you press any particular button. The frustrating thing is that none of the operations are particularly complicated.

There’s much more of that at Climateaudit, one of the most important sites on the web today in the field of climate science.

I’m finally stating to come up for air after dealing with the fetid grubs and maggots of Hansen’s code. Needless to say, key steps are not mentioned in the underlying publications, Hansen et al 1999, 2001. I’m not going to discuss these issues today. Instead, I want to show 3 case studies where I’ve been successful in replicating the Hansen adjustment. In the more than 20 years since Hansen and Lebedeff 1987 and the nearly 10 years since Hansen et al 1999, to my knowledge, no third party has ever examined Hansen’s adjustments to see if they make any sense in individual cases. Some of the adjustments are breathtakingly bizarre. Hansen says that he doesn’t “joust with jesters”. I guess he wants center stage all to himself for his own juggling act.

NASA recently had to correct an error in Hansen’s work after McIntyre pointed out an error. The result was that the warmest year in the US record now belongs to 1934 not 1998.

The fact is that Hansen has been fudging the temperature data for many years and the consequence has been to increase apparent recent warming.

It’s climate scientists like Hansen who should be put on trial. Because of people like him money that could be used for worthy causes such as those listed at the Copenhagen Consensus Centre go unfunded.

I’ve pointed out previously that James Hansen will be remembered in history alongside other scientific fraudsters such as Lysenko and Hwang. The sooner his scam is exposed to the world the better off we’ll all be.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Climate Change

>Aussies fatter, drunker and carry more STDs than ever before

>A report released today highlights an important social issue:

Australians are fatter, drunker and have more sexually transmitted diseases than ever before…

The truth is that those things are connected.

Women are getting fatter. Men need to drink more to be interested in sex. More alcohol means less chance of remembering to practice safe sex. Thus, more are getting sexually transmitted diseases.

That seems a reasonable enough connection to me.

The report includes:

AIHW director Penny Allbon said about 7.4 million Australians were overweight and almost one-third of those were obese.

That’s about 2.5 millions obese people.

From a report dated 20 June:

Almost four million Australians are obese, according to a comprehensive study.

Can someone please make up their mind about the real figure? It sounds like they’ve pulled a number out of their clacker for the purpose of scaring/forcing us all into action. And if the study that found that 4 million of us are obese was ‘comprehensive’ then what was the study from the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare’s study showing 2.5 million?

According to a report in The Age on 20 June says:

AUSTRALIA has overtaken the United States as the world’s most obese nation, a new report says.

The report, Australia’s Future Fat Bomb, says 26 per cent of adult Australians – almost 4 million people – are now obese, 1 million more than the last calculation in 1999.

Woohoo! First the America’s Cup and now, after years of stuffing our faces with pies and chips, we can claim the World’s Fattest Nation title. Brings a tear of pride to a patriot’s eye…

Naturally, the government is going to tackle the crisis in the same feckless way it’s going about dealing with high fuel and grocery prices – by forming a committee to look into taking action sometime. According to Health Minister Nicola Roxon:

Obesity was a national priority and the government hoped to have an effective nation-wide strategy implemented in the next 12 months, Ms Roxon said.

A government-initiated inquiry into obesity would consider a range of measures, including gym membership rebates, Ms Roxon said.

“We expect to have a full comprehensive strategy in place by the middle of next year … obviously this (report) increases the urgency for that work to be undertaken.”

Rebates on gym membership. That’s the ticket! Why didn’t anyone think of that before?

The whole issue is, of course, a stalking horse for the anti-fast food fascists who want us all to eat lentil soup and spinach as our staple diet.

A Deakin University academic told the inquiry a tax on junk food and reducing junk food advertising targeting children was essential.

Professor Boyd Swinburne, the director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, said a junk food tax could be offset by subsidies on healthy foods.

Taxing junk food first emerged earlier this year at the Rudd Labor government’s 2020 idea summit.

Taxing food is an idea from the 2020 Summit?

Is there anything that it wasn’t suggested should be subject to a tax at the Summit?

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Health