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Democracy English Italy Politics

The Secret Of Berlusconi’s Success

The Secret Of Berlusconi’s Success

Silvio Berlusconi’s opponents cannot admit that his success may be due not to sinister trickery, but to his greater popularity – an article by Filippo Facci available on The Guardian’s website.

Categories
Italia Italiano Politica

Immigrazione E Laicita’ Positiva

L’idea della “laicita’ positiva” rilanciata su Fare Futuro da Andrea Verde la comprendo.

Alla fine della fiera, qualunque movimento migratorio che diventi poi stanziale deve farsi assimilare/essere assimilato dalla societa’ ospite (a meno che non risulti da un’opera di conquista). E tenere le comunita’ separate, illudendosi che i turchi in Germania siano solo “di passaggio” dopo tre generazioni, o che non importi che fra gli indiani di Slough vicino Londra sia possibile vivere senza parlare una sola parola d’inglese, serve solo a ritardare l’inevitabile.

La soluzione francese pero’ la vedo come soluzione…francese. Dove altro al mondo sarebbe possibile imbastire un processo basato sulla sostituzione dello Stato alla religione (a quella cattolica, evidentemente) se non la’ dove a un certo punto c’erano i mesi del Brumaire e del Messidor? La stessa nazione e societa’ capace di tirar fuori la Commune, Gambetta e Bernadette di Lourdes nello spazio di pochissimi anni (e non parliamo neanche di quella Rivoluzione di cui come si sa e’ ancora troppo presto per comprenderne le conseguenze).

In Italia (che soffre ancora del famigerato tentativo dei Savoia di copiare le istituzioni francesi) bisogna trovare una soluzione italiana. Le premesse ci sarebbero pure, e perche’ no, visto che la “paura del diverso” nel Regno Unito si manifesta nei nazisti del BNP, in Francia nella cattiveria xenofoba di Le Pen, e in Italia invece nella Lega che vuole convincere i milanesi a considerarsi alla stregua degli anziani e delle donne incinte, e gli italiani a far finta di essere indiani pronti per le riserve.

Chiedere agli italiani di seguire le proprie regole mi sembra un obiettivo troppo ambizioso. Un modo per andare avanti invece potrebbe essere quello che Giulio Busi descrive sul Domenicale del Sole24Ore del 15 marzo scorso: “L’Europa illuminata dovrebbe, una volta per tutte, rinunciare a definire, oltre a se stessa, anche il proprio interlocutore, attribuendogli d’ufficio fisionomia, motivazioni, errori e offrendogli percorsi di riscatto.[…] Se dev’essere un dialogo, cerchiamo innanzitutto di fare abbastanza silenzio per sentire se qualche voce viene anche dall’altra parte“.

Un “modello francese” insomma che pero’ abbia il coraggio e si conceda il lusso di accogliere idee che sono diverse finche’ non diventano anch’esse condivise. Invece di tracciare linee di confine nella sabbia e trincerarsi dietro di esse, sarebbe molto piu’ utile essere se stessi e non aver paura di perdersi.

Categories
catastrophism Climate Change Culture Global Warming Omniclimate

BBC Wakes Up To Benefits Of Warming (And To AGW Skepticism)

It’s an early Christmas for AGW skeptics in the UK with the BBC all of a sudden abandoning it’s monolithic “the world will turn into cinder” orthodoxy.

Step forward Stephen Sackur, broadcasting a series of programmes about Greenland (with one article saying that scientific studies of the Greenland Ice Sheet” may not necessarily “indicate that catastrophe is around the corner; and a video with a very optimistic Greenlander (at around 1m30s) who should be made to tour all Greenpeace and WWF meetings).

And step forward…Roger Harrabin (!!!), finally fed up alongside millions of fellow citizens with the baseless climatic forecasts by the MetOffice, demonstrably wrong for three years in a row. So fed up, Mr Harrabin, that he’s given some  BBC space to Piers Corbyn (!!!!!).

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English Internet Journalism

Feeling Sorry For Douglas Bailey…

It is with deeply-held feeling of sorry for its author that I am going to comment on Douglas Bailey’s “Do not comment on this article” (IHT, 25 July 2009; as one should expect, still not available on the NYT website…).

Mr Bailey wishes publishers would abandon “comment forums at the end of articles on newspaper Web sites“, because those are “insidiously contributing to the devaluation of journalism, blurring the truth, confusing the issues and diminishing serious discourse beyond even talk radio’s worst examples“. Can’t Mr Bailey simply avoid reading comment forums, one wonders? Or has he been ordered to do so by the doctor? (if that’s the case, it’s time for a second opinion!)

How thin can the skin of journalists be, and how soft-bodied their stories if all it takes to “tear down” one of their articles is for “some agenda-driven bonehead” to publish a comment? And what should worry us most…allowing people to freely express and exchange their ideas, or the unremitting deluge of scaried-up, sexed-up, hyped-up invariably “breaking” news pieces that has been befalling upon us since the invention of news business and especially after the advent of 24/7 news?

All in all, what I am really, really sorry about is to see a person like Mr Bailey approach the internet by renouncing critical thinking, and believing instead that writing a note in a web site grants “an aura of legitimacy from the association with the host’s brand“. Yeah, right…with such an attitude, I wish good luck to Mr Bailey’s business.

Categories
Astronautics Astronomy & Space English Moon

Going Back To the Moon: The Simplest Argument

It’s going to be far simpler to explore the Solar System with humans (and with robots) by starting from the Moon.

What is in fact at present the minimum requirement to reach orbit?

On Earth: Atlas LV-3B / Mercury (the one used in the John Glenn’s launch below)
Total Mass: 116,100 kg (255,900 lb)
Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft)
Length: 25.00 m (82.00 ft)

On the Moon: Apollo Lunar Module Ascent Stage
Mass: 4,670 kg (10,300 lb)
Diameter: 4.2 m (13.78 ft)
Length: 3.76 m (12.34 ft)

Case closed.

Categories
AGW catastrophism Climate Change Culture Dissent Global Warming Omniclimate Policy Politics

Deimocracy, Or Why The UK Government Is So Pumped Up On AGW

“The point is this: as the pandemic develops the onus is on officialdom to flag fact, prediction and possibility accordingly, and the media, charities, professional bodies, scientists and academics to keep these distinctions as sharp as possible at all times.”
Sam Lister

Perhaps it started with the Mad Cow disease scare. Perhaps it was a phenomenon associated with Tony Blair’s “leftists” policies becoming almost indistinguishable from good old Tory “rightist” policies, resulting in an emptiness of political argument.

For whatever reason, at least since 1997 the United Kingdom has been governed by a succession of states of fear, a veritable deimocracy (from “deimos“, ancient Greek for “dread”, i.e. “extreme fear”). In the UK, we have had innumerable scare stories about Y2K, child abuse, droughts, bird and swine flu, Iraq being capable of launching a missile attack within 45 minutes, terrorists ready to blow themselves up all over the country, and of course anthropogenic global warming (AGW) (I have already explored the link between deimocracy and AGW several months ago).

Given how almost each and every past scare has ended (disappeared into nothingness, all of them apart from the single episode of 7/7 terrorist bombings), one would expect a healthy skepticism about present and future scares on the part of the public. That is happening indeed, both about swine flu and AGW.

What is much more difficult to understand, is why the Government would want to appear confused and on the edge of panic as each new scare pops up: unless of course one understands how important deimocracy has become. As argued by Frank Furedi in “The Politics of Fear”:

With [the Left and Right] sides of the political spectrum practicing the politics of fear, we are left with neither an orientation towards the future nor a defense of society’s historic gains. Instead, we have presentism – a conformist sensibility that seeks to manage society in the here and now, against a backdrop of fear about the future and discomfort with the past. […] The political elite, disengaged from society and focused entirely on the present, pushes a misanthropic agenda that emphasises people’s vulnerability and sees individual behaviour as a problem to be managed. The elite demonstrates a strong element of paternalistic contempt, although, says Furedi, ‘they don’t recognise it in that form – it’s more a sense that there are all these dark savages out there, who need to be told what to do’.

Dark savages? Cue the recent drift towards theatrocracy

=================

As already mentioned, the behavior of the UK Government about the swine flu epidemics does not bode well for the future. Has anybody realized that for mysterious reasons the H1N1 virus looks like preferring to infect people in the old island of Albion? How can that be possible? Is there really no indication of an epidemics of overreaction and hyper-diagnoses, where every throat ache is immediately classified as “another swine flu victim”?

Of one thing there are all sorts of indications indeed: the UK Government’s communications and information management strategy has been a total failure. Writes Sam Lister in The Times of London:

“The importance of filtering the reasoned calculation from the increasingly wild speculation – and the importance for the media to report on the basis of robust evidence and credible opinion – will become ever more central as the pandemic evolves…Likewise official figures need to carry all their necessary caveats”

That is exactly what the UK Government has not been doing, all too ready to pass “wild speculation” as “established fact”. Yes, exactly as concerning AGW.

And who would have guessed? The grand total of purely swine-flu-related deaths in the UK as of today is…one!

“Another issue worth reiterating is the difference between a death from swine flu and the death of a person who had contracted the virus. The former sounds like a causative link, but to date has been inaccurate in most cases (a man from Basildon is the only person confirmed to have died after contracting swine flu with no other underlying health problems).”

Lister concludes with what might as well be the AGW Quote of the Week: it’s up to a society’s institutions, from the State to the media to scientis, to become able to accurately and intelligently inform the public, and all the more so when one has to deal with a topic of much uncertainty:

“The point is this: as the pandemic develops the onus is on officialdom to flag fact, prediction and possibility accordingly, and the media, charities, professional bodies, scientists and academics to keep these distinctions as sharp as possible at all times.”

Categories
AGW catastrophism Climate Change Global Warming History Omniclimate Politics Science Skepticism

How Much Wrong Can Joe Romm Be? That Moon Hoax Again…

I have already blogged some time ago about the flawed comparison between AGW skeptics and people believing in the Moon landing hoax. It takes just a sentence: the Apollo mission are historical events (i.e.: they belong to the past, they have already happened), global warming is a forecast projection (i.e.: it is about the future, it has not happened as yet).

Or to explain it the way of Donald Rumsfeld: arguing if an apple that is already on the ground, is on the ground, is absolutely different than arguing if apple that is still on the tree, will or will not eventually be on the ground.

With the usual bottom scraping and blatant headline-following that characterizes his blog, it is now Joe Romm’s turn to recycle the same logic-free pontificating, on the back of the 40th anniversary of the first Apollo lunar landing. Only this time, the point appears to be about an “overall conspiracy“.

According to Romm in fact, claims for a “large conspiracy” would be needed to keep AGW skeptical arguments alive, just as they are fundamental to all Moon-hoax accusations. Citing Harold Ambler by way of Anthony Watts, Romm writes:

Watts approvingly reprints denier manifestos that claim global warming “is the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind” — see here. As I’ve written, such a statement is anti-scientific and anti-science in the most extreme sense. It accuses the scientific community broadly defined of conspiring in deliberate fraud

But that is simply not true: it is just a form of reductio ad absurdum (as if one needed any more evidence of Romm’s inability to properly argue a point without infantile rhetorical attempts).

——————–

In general, the fact that people sell a “whopper” does not necessarily mean they are knowingly participating in a conspiracy and/or committing fraud: otherwise, jails the world over would be full of astrologers, wizards, sorcerers, and most probably experts in homeopathy and chiropractic practitioners.

And very pertinent to the AGW skepticism case is that the history of Science is full of examples where quite large “whoppers” have been “sold to the public” by scientists building up and then defending a flawed consensus. Perfectly honest scientists, one can safely assume, with a deeply-held belief that their consensual understanding of the world was the right one.

We know now that such a “consensus” attitude has hindered the scientific careers of scientists, among them Galileo Galilei, Alfred L Wegener, J Harlan Bretz, Sir Gilbert WalkerJohann Ludwig Wilhelm Thudichum, Reg Sprigg. Recent Nobel Prize winners Barry Marshall and J. Robin Warren may have been just lucky to see their consensus-busting findings recognized whilst still alive.

Still, the fact that scientists fall repeatedly and across the centuries in the trap of “consensus” needs no conspiracy. It cannot be interpreted in any other way than as demonstration that scientists are human beings and that like all other human beings they introduce their subjective feelings, emotions, tribal drive, and who knows what else in the purportedly objective scientific process.

Nobody needs a “large conspiracy” to explain why it is so difficult to publish anything that does not include the customary “this may be caused by global warming” statement. All it takes is a large enough amount of scientists and science-related people convinced of the “truth” of Anthropogenic Global Warming, determined to read and to support only whatever confirms their prejudices.

The “consensus” behavior in AGW is exacerbated further by so many AGWers living under the impression that they are saving the planet. Under those circumstances, the esprit de corps is understandably as strong as it can be (this explains the existence of anti-skeptic rants such as Romm’s).

——————–

All in all, it is deeply ironical to find that it is Romm’s statement the one “anti-scientific and anti-science in the most extreme sense“, deep in its core. Because if there is one thing everybody in the scientific community should be well aware of, it is that whatever they will tell the public, it is likely to be wrong one way or another. As per this Bertrand Russell quote:

Although this may seem a paradox, all exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation. When a man tells you that he knows the exact truth about anything, you are safe in inferring that he is an inexact man. Every careful measurement in science is always given with the probable error… every observer admits that he is likely wrong, and knows about how much wrong he is likely to be.

Categories
Astronautics English Moon

Four (New) Faces Of Buzz Aldrin

from the Sueddeutsche Zeitung's weekly magazine. Picture quality deliberately reduced.

Here’s four sides of Buzz Aldrin one seldom sees in the news:

Categories
AGW Climate Change Culture Dissent Freedom Global Warming History Omniclimate Science Skepticism

Another Example Of A Bankrupt Scientific Consensus

Scientific work, unless accurately done, had better not be done at all
Preconceived opinion is the pretended assumption by man of godly attributes which he does not possess
JLW Thudichum

As synchronicity has it…

Days ago, the BBC mentioned the controversy that prevented scientists from recognizing pre-Cambrian complex lifeforms for some 93 years.

Now it’s The Scientist dedicating an article to Oscar Liebrich and Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Thudichum and five lost decades in Science, on the basis of Theodore Sourkes’s book titled The Life and Work of J.L.W. Thudichum (click here for an alternative review).

Liebrich was the first to propose “that brain tissue was composed of a single giant molecule called ‘protagon’” (an idea destined quickly to become the “Protagon Consensus”). Thudichum was instead the brilliant scientist, “disenchanted with Liebrich’s theory“, able to “carefully [detail] the chemical constitution of the brain” decades ahead of his time, and of course victim of the consensus: dismissed by his colleagues as a “liar“.

The same concepts are reported by Daniel D. Christensen, M.D. in the Am J Psychiatry 160:459, March 2003:  (here another version of the same article):

[Thudichum’s] attempts to understand the chemistry of the brain were often hotly debated and mocked. At times, even his personal character was attacked, as well as his honesty and motives. In the scientific press, he was called a “liar” and accused of “patent falsification.”

Thudichum’s main book on the topic dates 1884, some twenty years after the establishment of the Protagon Consensus and more or less the same span of time before its final demise. But Liebrich had started from a very strong position, being “a pupil of Hoppe-Seyler, one of the founders of biochemistry“. Dr. A Gamgee, Professor of Physiology in Manchester, didn’t waste much time to think about “protagon” before jumping in it with both his feet.

And so as late as 1909, somebody like W. Cramer could still be arguing for protagon, with M Steel and William J Geis spending twenty pages on the topic .

Another of Cramer’s Protagon Consensus articles shows characteristics that will not be unfamiliar to the AGW skeptic: interminable arguments deeply buried underneath layers of apparently scholarly reasoning (something we now know as utterly baseless); a pro-protagon explanation always at hand; and the wholesale dismissal of non-consensus ideas.

In an ironic twist, there is no space any longer for Liebrich in the history of biochemistry. And Thudichum is nowadays perhaps excessively celebrated, with a Medal Lecture in his honour. Still, his words are as true as ever: “Preconceived opinion is the pretended assumption by man of godly attributes which he does not possess“.

Categories
Astronautics Astronomy Astronomy & Space English Moon Science Space

The Tragedy Of The Anti-Space Travel Space Scientist

One can only feel sad upon reading Giovanni F Bignami’s op-ed piece about the race to the Moon and what choices to take for the future (“Once in a Blue Moon “, IHT, 18-19 July 2009). Prof Bignami’s argument appears to be about treating space-faring as a purely novelty product, like a fairly curious but ultimately useless item on a late-night TV shopping channel. Something you may be convinced to buy, but just the once.

And even if we have spent less than a week in total time exploring a few square miles of a place as big as the former Soviet Union, Prof Bignami tries to seriously argue that there is no “compelling reason” to go back to the Moon. And that we should embark on the enormous effort to reach Mars instead, presumably for a couple of trips before getting bored with travelling millions of kilometers too.

Here’s a “compelling reason” then: as it is well known, one needs a lot less fuel to travel to Mars from the Moon, than from Earth. Most of the launch cost lies in getting from our planet to low Earth orbit: beyond that, the whole planetary system is within relatively easy reach.

Prof Bignami remarks also that “the notion of mining on the moon would also [be] environmentally offensive“. I for one do not understand how will humans ever be able to “environmentally offend” a surface pummeled for billions of years by asteroids of all sizes, by a perfectly unhindered solar wind, and by cosmic radiations of all sorts. That is the Lunar surface, made of a type that likely covers several billion square kilometers on hundreds of natural satellites in our Solar System alone.

Paradoxically, the astronomical/astronautical community has been unable to support its own cause since the launch of the Sputnik. Nobody has gone anywhere because of effective lobbying by planetary geologists or solar scientists.

Bignami’s op-ed appears to be yet another example of how bizarrely brainy arguments about going to Mars vs returning to the Moon have succeeded so far only in keeping the human race in low Earth orbit, literally going around in circles instead of literally reaching for the stars.

Categories
English Science

The Great Haddock Revival…

Too much of a good news, one imagines, so it won’t make mainstream headlines any time soon: “The Great Haddock Revival – In the near-empty seas, one species has surged back to life. Can the others follow?

today, despite the odds, haddock stocks are soaring

Alas, nobody has got much clue about why haddocks are back, or more precisely, why there are even more of them than ever recorded.

The Great Haddock Revival
The Great Haddock Revival

Suggestions on the reasons abound, let’s see what researchers will come up with and more importantly, if any other previously-overfished species becomes a success story as well.

Categories
AGW catastrophism Climate Change CO2 Emissions Cooling Global Warming Omniclimate Policy Politics Science Skepticism

Swanson's AGW Song, or How At RealClimate, It's Always Naivety Time…

Sometimes I ask myself if the RealClimate guys understand the implications of everything they publish on their site.

For example some time ago Gavin Schmidt more or less told the whole world that to him observations were of little interest apart than as a way to improve climate models (thereby denying the very possibility that climate models could be demonstrated false, under any circumstance).

Now it’s the turn of a guest blog by Kyle Swanson, encouraged and published by Raymond T. “Raypierre” Pierrehumbert. The stated intent of the blog is to show that Swanson and Tsonis’ recent paper about “Has the climate recently shifted?” has “very little” to do with Global Warming, of the anthropogenic variety obviously. But its actual practical consequences are more interesting.

(1) Andy Revkin through Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog notes that Swanson and Tsonis take off the steam yet again from anybody and everybody that tries to “portray global warming as an unfolding catastrophe here and now“.

That is, with RealClimate in tow, and after Swanson and Tsonis, we can yell out loud and clear that the scientific consensus says that all AGW-related troubles that we could be concerned about, they belong to the future.

Repeat with me: AGW as a matter of grave concern for the whole of humanity, is not happening. That is, there is no scientific justification at all to discuss AGW as an issue for the present instead of properly, as a risk management question involving some decades in the future.

(2) All this discussions about the recent “pause in warming” (in Swanson’s words…as if it had any meaning given the above) are ammunitions that will be used to argue against AGW once the warming resumes (eventually, it will…). If 10 years can’t say much in a direction, they cannot say much in the other direction either.

(3) In other words, all scientific discussions in climatology should confine themselves to the climate of the end of the 1970’s. Anything that has happened after that, it’s by definition too early to talk about.

(3) Raypierre tries at length to justify Tsonis’s words published in an interview. Among those:

if we don’t understand what is natural, I don’t think we can say much about what the humans are doing. So our interest is to understand — first the natural variability of climate — and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural

I am afraid all “comments were taken out of context” (Raypierre’s defense) are excuses simply demolished by Swanson’s writing that:

humanity is poking a complex, nonlinear system with GHG forcing – and […] there are no guarantees to how the climate may respond

Repeat with me: We have little clue about the Earth’s climate will respond to anything, be it natural or man-made. The final result might be a cooling, a warming, or no much change at all.

And so about AGW, we should be spending time reflecting about the opportunity of reducing that “poking”, not on idiotic multidecadal projections of various degrees of warming.

=======

Let me finish by noticing two details. First of all, in Swanson’s words presumably approved by Raypierre/RC, Global Warming (AGW) is now “the century-scale response to greenhouse gas emissions“. And I thought it was multidecadal? Not any longer: even 50 years of global cooling will be compatible with AGW.

But to conclude on a high note: the anti-skeptic RC filters of old don’t appear to have been heavily used this time. Who knows, it might even be a way to show that the RC folks are thinking of getting rid of their aburd fear for debating.

But don’t hold your breath about that…especially when they will realize what the stuff they publish actually means.

Categories
AGW catastrophism Climate Change Culture Data Dissent Freedom Global Warming Omniclimate Policy Politics Science Skepticism

How Science Will Get Rid Of The AGW Dogma

(thanks to BBC’s In Our Time for inspiring this blog)

Will Science ever get rid of the silly “It’s all CO2/It’s all global warming” dogma that AGW has degraded into? Yes it will, as a matter of course (“you can fool all of the people some of the time…” and all that). But when? And can we draw down a likely process that will make that happen?

Yes we can.

It’s rather straightforward, and on past performance suggests any date between 2018 and 2091 as the year CO2-based AGW (or CO2-AGW) went the way of the dodo (using a quasi-arbitrary baseline of 1988 as when AGW became mainstream, with Hansen’s testimony to the US Senate).

Here’s the outline then for how Science will reject CO2-AGW:

  1. Wait a suitable number of years (could be 30, could be 93)
  2. Present yet more irrefutable evidence and improved measurement techniques to a recognized expert in the field

How can we know? What we need is an example from the history of Science, showing:

  1. how for decades all evidence contrary to an established, multi-disciplinary consensus had been there for all to see
  2. how that evidence went repetitively rejected, for years and years again and again even when yet new evidence of the same sort kept surfacing (thereby showing how the consensus had turned into a dogma)
  3. how peer-review failed miserably because of the dogma
  4. and finally how a new consensus supplanted the old dogma mostly because:
  • a new generation of established scientists became available, with nothing personal at stake in defending the established consensus/dogma;
  • the newest new evidence was recognized as incontrovertible (together with the old one, with the wisdom of hindsight) also thanks to the development of new measurement techniques

And here’s the example. It involves the Ediacaran animals (let’s call them “animals” shall we), at least 3 scientists either wholly diregarded or actively isolated by the consensus/dogma crowd, a few rejected scientific papers, for example by Nature magazine, and a consensus/dogma in the shape of the rather odd theory that complex animals popped up on this planet all of a sudden in the Cambrian era (around 540 million years ago).

To us it might as well appear quite obvious that Earth has been populated by something larger than bacteria before the “Cambrian explosion” (the Ediacarans being our “lucky strike” in finding something across such an enormous span of time, somehow imprinted as a fossil). But that was not the consensus until around 50 years ago, and it is actually still being used to nag poor Darwin, of all people the one more at pain in understanding why nobody could find complex lifeforms before the Cambrian geological strata.

But that was not the case. Such lifeforms’ fossils were found as early as 1868:

The first Ediacaran fossils discovered were the disc-shaped Aspidella terranovica, in 1868.

At least one scientist understood they were fossils, as early as 1872 (note how others had been blinded by…the established consensus!!):

However, since they lay below the “Primordial Strata”, the Cambrian strata that were then thought to contain the very first signs of life, it took four years for anybody to dare propose they could be fossils.

Alas, consensus won the day, and buried the fossils into the forgetfulness of history:

Elkanah Billings’ proposal (see here) was dismissed by his peers […] the one-sided debate soon fell into obscurity.

Six decades on, more pre-Cambrian stuff is found. Guess how it all ends:

In 1933, Georg Gürich discovered specimens in Namibia, but the firm belief that life originated in the Cambrian led to them being assigned to the Cambrian Period, and no link to Aspidella was made.

Thirteen more years pass, and a strong-willed Australian paleontologists gets involved. Consensus still (barely) wins, although against the first signs of a breakdown:

In 1946, Reg Sprigg noticed “jellyfishes” in the Ediacara Hills of Australia’s Flinders Ranges but these rocks were believed to be Early Cambrian, so while the discovery sparked some interest, little serious attention was garnered.

And here’s how the story ends, and the dogma, with an already well-respected scientist called Martin Glaessner and yet more evidence:

It was not until the British discovery of the iconic Charnia in 1957 that the pre-Cambrian was seriously considered as containing life. This frond-shaped fossil was found in England’s Charnwood Forest, and due to the detailed geologic mapping of the British Geological Survey there was no doubt that these fossils sat in Precambrian rocks. Palæontologist Martin Glaessner finally made the connection between this and the earlier finds, and with a combination of improved dating of existing specimens and an injection of vigour into the search, many more instances were recognised.

Of course, some things never change: Nature rejected Sprigg’s original article, then published Glaessner’s letter.

So much for “peer review”.

Reg Sprigg switched to the Energy&Environment equivalent of the time, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia. Glaessner’s appeared on International Journal of Earth Sciences Volume 47, Number 2 / June, 1959.

The partner of Sprigg’s son is his biographer and has more about that:

If you look at them now I find it very hard [to think] that anybody could doubt them: they are about the size of the palm of your hand and you can quite clearly see they are circular, they look as you’d expect a jellyfish to look if it had dried out, or some kind of worm or something. But back then, yeah, he wrote a paper and submitted it to Nature, which is one of the most prestigious journals in the world, and they rejected it, they didn’t believe either in what he’d found. And it was about another 10 years before some amateur naturalists went back to Reg’s site and found some more specimens, different ones again, and took them again to the museum. And by then the museum was a little bit more interested and they organised their own expedition and brought back two truckloads of material and from then, the momentum grew.

What rules can we identify for the AGW debate? Nothing to be too proud of:

  • You might as well present irrefutable evidence against the dogma. Yet, it may be too early, in other words no recognized expert will be available to pick it up, so your efforts will only be good as backup material to future, post-dogma researchers (think Steve McIntyre)
  • Without improvements in the measurement techniques, we would still be discussing the possibility of exiting the old “Cambrian” dogma. (think Anthony Watts…it means “keep up the good work on the surface stations, don’t expect too much coming out of the rest of the WUWT blog for the time being” (see rule (a))
  • If the irrefutable evidence and improved measurement techniques meet a budding or rather unknown scientist (Sprigg) rather than an authority (Glaessner), well, it will be up to the authorities (Glaessner) to have the courage to follow up (see rule (a)).

Let’s be pragmatic and accept that’s just the way things are: CO2-AGW is a “conspiracy” where most of the “conjurors” have little idea they are actively practising it. Still, they are.

Categories
AGW catastrophism Climate Change Data Global Warming Omniclimate Science Skepticism

There Is No Evidence

From Icecap why Global Warming Clearinghouse, here’s an intro to “There is no evidence” by Dr David Evans:

Let’s break down the case for human-caused global warming logically:

1) There is plenty of evidence that global warming has been occurring recently.
2) There is ample evidence that carbon emissions causes warming and that the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is increasing.
3) But there is no evidence that carbon dioxide emissions are the main cause of the recent global warming.

The alarmists focus you entirely on the first two points, to distract you from the third. The public is increasingly aware of this misdirection. Yes, every emitted molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2) causes some warming – but the crucial question is how much warming do the CO2 emissions cause? If atmospheric CO2 levels doubled, would temperatures rise by 0.1, 1.0, or by 10.0C?

We go through the usual “evidence” offered by alarmists, and show that in each case either it:

• Is not evidence about what causes global warming. Proof that global warming occurred is not proof that CO2 was mainly responsible.
• Is not empirical evidence; that is, it is not independent of theory. In particular models are theory, not evidence.
• Says nothing about how much the temperature would rise for a given rise in CO2 levels.

[…]  If they just had some evidence of (3) they could just tell us what it was and end the debate.

[…] Typical Alarmist Offerings of “Evidence”: Polar Bears, Glaciers, Arctic Melt, Antarctic Ice Shelves, Storms, Droughts, Fires, Malaria, Snow Melt on Mt Kilimanjaro, Rising Sea Levels, Ocean Warming, Urban Heat Island Effect. Although each of these issues may say something about whether or not global warming is or was occurring, none of them say anything about the causes of global warming. It would make no difference to these issues if the recent global warming was caused by CO2 or by aliens heating the planet with ray guns.[…] Often the assumption takes the form that nearly all the temperature rises since the start of industrialization are due to CO2 rises, or that there are no other possible significant causes of global warming.

Computer Models are Evidence
Computer models consist solely of a large number of calculations that, individually, you could do on a hand-held calculator. So models are theoretical, and cannot form part of any evidence.

Computer Models Incorporate a Lot of Sound Empirical Science
Yes they do. The climate models contain some well-established science that has been verified by empirical observations. But they also contain a myriad of:
• implicit and explicit assumptions
• omissions
• guesses
• gross approximations.

A single mistake in any one of these can invalidate the climate models. Typical engineering models that mimic reality closely contain no untested assumptions, material omissions, guesses, or gross approximations. They are the result of mature understanding of the reality being modelled, and have been tested ad nauseum in a wide range of circumstances. On the other hand, climate science is in its infancy, individual models routinely fail most tests, the climate models are riddled with untested assumptions and guesses, they approximate the atmosphere with cells a hundred kilometres square and hundreds of meters high, and they do not even attempt to model individual cloud formations or any feature smaller than the cell size. Don’t let the word “model” fool you into thinking climate models are better than they are.

Categories
Berlusconi Italia Italiano PdL Politica

All’Armi Siam Dipietristi!

(originariamente pubblicato su ItaliaChiamaItalia il 10 luglio)

In che cosa crede Antonio Di Pietro? E’ quanto viene da chiedersi mentre ci guarda dal paginone acquistato sull’International Herald Tribune del 9 luglio (“Appello alla Comunita’ Internazionale – La Democrazia e’ in pericolo in Italia“). E con quale obiettivo ha deciso di “alzare la posta” riguardo il Lodo Alfano rivolgendosi “urbi et orbi”?

Dunque cominciamo. Possiamo essere sicuri che l’on. Di Pietro non crede (niente congiuntivo) nel Governo. Come ripete ormai spesso, lo considera “regime piduista fascista razzista”. Di Pietro non crede neanche nel Parlamento (d’altronde, se pensa che in Italia ci sia un “regime”, che senso avrebbe?), perche’ di indignazioni l’ex-Magistrato se ne riempie la bocca ma poi in materia di proposte di legge concrete e fattibili non brilla certo per iniziativa.

L’on. Di Pietro non crede neanche nei Giudici e nella Giustizia. Ci avesse creduto di piu’, probabilmente non sarebbe passato da uno dei Poteri dello Stato a un altro, fondando addirittura il suo Partito. La sua fiducia nella Magistratura italiana e’ cosi’ bassa, da aver fatto recentemente ricorso alla immunita’ parlamentare europea, invece di provare la sua innocenza che tutti dichiarano palese. E come non notare che anche De Magistris, novello parlamentare europeo dell’IdV, continua a ripetere che come giudice non lo hanno fatto lavorare? Suggerendo, appunto, che la Giustizia in Italia non funziona piu’ (a parte, forse, quando insegue Silvio Berlusconi).

Il fondatore dell’Italia dei Valori non crede neanche piu’ nella Presidenza della Repubblica, dove Giorgio Napolitano, un leader internazionalmente riconosciuto come appena sancito dal Presidente Obama, viene ripetutamente liquidato dall’on. Di Pietro con frasi poco gentili, come “a volte il suo giudizio ci appare poco da arbitro e poco da terzo” (seguito da un famoso “il silenzio e’ mafioso” poi frettolosamente ritrattato); e “[c’e’] un golpe e Napolitano usa la piuma”. Tanto per dirne due.

Quanto sta accadendo in questi giorni rivela anche che l’on. Di Pietro non crede nella Corte Costituzionale. Non e’ solo un problema legato alla “cena galeotta e carbonara” di Manzella e Paolo Maria Napolitano (ma i Carbonari si facevano davvero beccare a cena da estranei?). La Corte Costituzionale, che dovra’ giudicare entro alcuni mesi sul Lodo Alfano, e’ composta da quindici giudici, e si puo’ anche dubitare sul significato e l’efficacia di un eventuale tentativo di influenzare le decisioni di appena due di essi, peraltro gia’ noti esponenti della parte politica del premier Berlusconi.

L’on. Di Pietro non crede neanche negli elettori italiani. E’ stata appena fatta una nuova tornata elettorale, e francamente solo in Italia ottenere il favore dell’ 8% dell’elettorato (una persona su tredici, anzi considerato il numero di votanti una persona su venti) viene considerato un successo. In altre realta’ qualcuno si sarebbe reso conto che non sono certo quelli i numeri per andare al Governo, e quindi il futuro per chi crede davvero nelle proprie idee sarebbe il confluire in una formazione politica piu’ grande. Ma per l’on. Di Pietro queste cose sicuramente sono quisquilie di scarsa importanza, visto che lui sta difendendo la Democrazia (e gli elettori si sono fatti imbonire dal monopolio radiotelevisivo del Primo Ministro). Non aveva annunciato un referendum per abrogare il Lodo Alfano, qualora questo venisse approvato dalla Corte Costituzionale? Perche’ allora cercare di coinvolgere la Comunita’ Internazionale ben prima che possa essere tentato un meccanismo legale e democratico grazie al quale gli elettori italiani possono cancellare leggi ritenute ingiuste o inique?

Non abbiamo finito. L’on. Di Pietro non crede neanche negli elettori italiani all’estero. Se avesse avuto un minimo di senso civico nei loro confronti, non li avrebbe sottoposti all’imbarazzo di vedere un politico di un Paese democratico pagare un’intera pagina per un appello per la Democrazia, per fare un appello poi a chi italiano non e’, come se ogni altra strada fosse ormai preclusa e gli Ayatollah iraniani, il Partito Comunista Cinese o il Governo nordcoreano stessero facendo abbeverare i loro cavalli di fronte a San Pietro. Praticamente, un modo per dire che secondo l’on. Di Pietro, non e’ possibile piu’ credere neanche all’Italia. La quale Italia andrebbe salvata richiamando i Lanzichenecchi, pardon, volevo dire trasformandola magari in un protettorato ONU o mettendola sotto la tutela della Unione Europea (non e’ dato sapere quale sia la preferenza del leader dell’IdV).

Ma siamo sicuri che l’on. Di Pietro creda nella Comunita’ internazionale? Anche li’ i dubbi sono prossimi al livello delle certezze. Per esempio nel 2006 il Consiglio d’Europa ha dichiarato che in Italia “nonostante la concentrazione della proprieta’ [delle televisioni nazionali], c’e’ considerabile varieta’ di contenuti nei giornali nazionali e negli altri mezzi di comunicazione di massa”.

Smentisce le dichiarazioni di Di Pietro anche il recente rapporto di Freedom House che ha declassato l’Italia da “Libera” a “Parzialmente Libera”, rapporto commentato da tanti ma letto praticamente da nessuno (la bozza della relazione sull’Italia e’ gia’ disponibile ma solo su richiesta). Le preoccupazioni di Freedom House non si limitano certo a Mediaset e alla RAI, e includono le leggi italiane sulla diffamazione (che nessun partito sembra interessato a cambiare), la crisi che ha investito La7, le minacce a Saviano da parte della camorra, e gli attacchi a Roma di gruppi di stampo fascista contro i giornalisti che volevano scrivere articoli sulle loro attivita’ soprattutto xenofobe. Tutto cio’ riguardo la liberta’ di stampa (viene anche fatto notare come il blog di Grillo sia uno dei piu’ frequentati al mondo..e questo sarebbe “regime”?): ma se guardiamo a un altro rapporto della stessa Freedom House, l’Italia e’ (ovviamente) indicata come politicamente
libera.

E poi, a chi e’ rivolto l'”appello alla Comunita’ internazionale”? Non certo alle Istituzioni, come l’Unione Europea, la NATO, l’ONU o qualunque altra ci possa mai venire in mente come possibile recipiente di un appello fatto attraverso le pagine di un giornale, invece che tramite i canali appropriati inclusi quelli diplomatici. Chi leggera’ mai un “appello” che puzza molto di bega esoterica di politica interna, rispetto ai morti in Iraq, Afghanistan e Pakistan, in Tibet e Xinjiang in Cina, e rispetto al golpe in Honduras, alle manifestazioni in Iran?

A parte sconcertati emigrati italiani, leggeranno solo persone che gia’ sono interessate all’Italia, e quindi probabilmente si sono gia’ fatte un’idea che non sara’ cambiata da questo o quell’annuncio pubblicitario. Insomma e’ come se il Tonino nazionale avesse detto al mondo: “Fissati antiberlusconiani di tutto il mondo, unitevi”. E avesse poi continuato: “Non credo a niente delle Istituzioni e fondamenta democratiche dell’Italia. Non credo nel Governo, nel Parlamento, nella Magistratura, nella Presidenza della Repubblica, nella Corte Costituzionale, negli elettori in Italia e all’estero. Non credo nell’Italia e non credo nel Consiglio d’Europa. Non credo a Freedom House, e non credo alle Istituzioni internazionali”.

Ma proviamo a riflettere: se per l’on. Di Pietro le istituzioni democratiche e repubblicane non sono importanti, almeno non quanto la sua personale interpretazione della Costituzione; e se verra’ deciso altrimenti da quella, e la Corte Costituzionale lascera’ in vigore il Lodo Alfano; e se mancheranno interventi dall’estero; e se il referendum fallira’: essendo in pericolo a suo dire la Democrazia in Italia, cosa gli restera’ da fare? Di fronte al piu’ classico “a mali estremi”, quale potra’ mai essere la risposta?

E non e’ necessario che sia proprio l’on. Di Pietro a lanciarsi apertamente e consapevolmente per quella strada. Chissa’ quanti sono pronti a completare il proverbio, a esplicitare il sillogismo in sua vece.

Qualcuno controlli i traffici d’armi. Furono quelli i primi segnali della guerra in Jugoslavia

Categories
AGW Climate Change Culture Dissent GHG Global Warming Omniclimate Policy Politics Science Skepticism

climate science: UK TO HOLD CLIMATE WEEK

York, 26-30 October

climate science: UK TO HOLD CLIMATE WEEK.

Categories
AGW catastrophism Climate Change Culture Dissent Omniclimate Policy Politics Science

The Double Hell Of Science-Led Policy

Scientists should be on tap, but not on top.
Winston Churchill

A chilling story just published in the BBC News online Magazine shows all that can go wrong when Science is taken as the one-stop-shop for all answers, and all decisions

The ultimate mea culpa – No childhood traumas could be blamed on my parents because they had an alibi – a doctor on the other side of the world, says Laurie Taylor in his weekly column

Mr Taylor, known to late-night Radio4 listeners for his rather peculiar “Thinking Allowed” programme, proceeds with explaining how his mother made large use of “scientific principles“. That is, of the child-rearing notions set up by a Doctor Truby King in New Zealand.

I realise that I’d stumbled upon my mother’s scientific procedures. There, laid out in stark clear terms, were all the rules which had to be followed if you were to produce a child who resembled any of the strong, morally upright offspring who leered out from its pages. The author was a New Zealand doctor called Truby King and it didn’t take me long to realise that he had little time for my sort of childish tantrums.

What was behind Dr King’s push to reach out to parents and help educate the children of the world?

King went on and on about how now was the time when science must take over from such non-scientific matters as a mother’s instinct when it came to bringing up children

And here the core messages:

Children, I learned, must never be allowed to dominate their parents […] Children had to learn that they couldn’t eat or sleep or defecate when they felt like it. There were proper times and places for everything. […] On no account should children be regularly cuddled.

In hindsight, there was little Science, rather something very sinister in Dr King’s thinking, since his “childcare organisation rallied under the alarmingly patriotic slogan: ‘The race marches forward on the feet of little children.’“. The white race, most likely, rather than the rat race…

Was that something Mr Taylor’s parents should have spotted on their own? We cannot be sure. What we can infer is that they were all for what they perceived as “Science”. And that made their child a victim: and their child’s child

When my own son was born I was determined that he should not be subject to such an authoritarian regime. His mother and I embraced a far more libertarian code […] he turned to me one night in the pub […] he’d always resented one aspect of his childhood. “Why,” he asked. “Did you never make me learn things properly? Why didn’t you insist that I learned to play the piano or to speak French? Why did you let me get away with it?”

=============

Note how the abuse of Science as the answer to everything leads also to an avoidance of responsibility

“You can’t blame us for what you are,” [Taylor’s mother] said. “You were brought up according to strict scientific principles.”

=============

There we have it all. Excessive confidence in Science. Disregard of anything not already fully boxed-in to the Science (we may call that “skepticism”). Disregard of people’s aspirations and personalities. Victims all around, sacrificed to a hell-on-earth or a higher purpose. And when disaster strikes, a quick hand-washing, blaming Science. Finally, a backlash in the opposite direction, creating a new kind of hell for even more victims.

Is that what the XXIII century book “A Brief History of the AGW Obsession” will talk about?

Categories
America Italiano Politica

Isaia: 11, 6

Isaia: 11, 6
Isaia: 11, 6

Il lupo abiterà con l’agnello, e il leopardo giacerà col capretto, il vitello, il giovin leone e il bestiame ingrassato staranno assieme, e un bambino li condurrà

Categories
America Antiterrorism English Politics USA

Isaiah: 11, 6

Isaiah: 11, 6
Isaiah: 11, 6

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them

Categories
AGW Climate Change CO2 Emissions Global Warming Omniclimate Policy Politics

BBC's Climate Thought Police In Action

Remember the BBC’s Science and Environment team dedicating more than twice as many words to critical rather than to supportive comments for the Japanese Government’s recent decision on emission targets?

They’re back. Only this time, the trouble is how to report about a call by a group of AGWer “to ditch climate policies”. Rather awkward, one would think, as the opponents are AGWers as well. Then magic strikes.

It’s 180 words supporting the “call”; against 177 words making the point against it (and 77 neutral words).

And so it’s full AGW Balance restored! Saving AGW, one day at a time!

Categories
AGW Climate Change Culture Omniclimate Politics

At The BBC, Not Even Religious Programmes Are Sacred

Not one, but two sections of the July 5 edition of “Sunday: Religious News“on BBC Radio4 have been dedicated to climate change/global warming.

The total duration of “Sunday” was 44m 04s. Of those, 06m 20s were spent on a “Church’s campaign to combat climate change” (children dressed as animals in a Noah’s Ark, converting to renewable energies, etc etc). And 05m 27s on a baffling “interview with the UN Assistant Secretary General on how faith groups can fight climate change” (baffling as parts of the interview had absolutely nothing to do with Faith, rather perhaps with faith in AGW).

That means 11m 47s for climate-change-related stuff, 27% of the whole programme.

Truly AGW is the new religion at the BBC.

Categories
Climate Change CO2 Emissions Humor Omniclimate Policy Politics

A Plea To The (Almighty) G8 Group

Dear Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Group of Eight

I am glad to hear that you have “agreed on Wednesday to try to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius“.

While you’re at it, could you also please try to transform parts of the central Mediterranean into jacuzzis during the month of August, and provide in those same areas a gently cooling breeze, preferably between 2-4pm?

The final bill, to the taxpayer of course!

Many thanks and Best Regards
Maurizio

(heavily inspired by a comment to this blog)

Categories
Climate Change Dissent Freedom Global Warming Omniclimate Politics Skepticism

Calls For AGW Skeptics To Be Silenced (Or Worse) In The USA Are Unconstitutional

US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr writing his dissenting opinion in November 1919 (Abrams v. United States):

Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power and want a certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition….

But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe […] that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas—that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market….

That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment…. While that experiment is part of our system I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country.

Justice Holmes’s and the whole of the USA’s journey towards contemporary interpretation of the meaning of free speech in America is the subject of “Justice Holmes and the ‘Splendid Prisoner’” by Anthony Lewis, published in The New York Review of Books, Volume 56, Number 11 · July 2, 2009.

Categories
Climate Change Democracy English Global Warming

Calls For AGW Skeptics To Be Silenced (Or Worse) In The USA Are Unconstitutional

US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr writing his dissenting opinion in November 1919 (Abrams v. United States):

Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power and want a certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition….

But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe […] that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas—that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market….

That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment…. While that experiment is part of our system I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country.

Justice Holmes’s and the whole of the USA’s journey towards contemporary interpretation of the meaning of free speech in America is the subject of “Justice Holmes and the ‘Splendid Prisoner’” by Anthony Lewis, published in The New York Review of Books, Volume 56, Number 11 · July 2, 2009.

Categories
AGW Climate Change Culture Omniclimate Science Skepticism

Feeling Like A Bee…

Interestingly, sadly buried news about yet another Moonwalker skeptical of AGW

while trying to spread the word about the possibilities of space, Dr Aldrin said he was sceptical of climate change theories.

“I think the climate has been changing for billions of years,” he said.

“If it’s warming now, it may cool off later. I’m not in favour of just taking short-term isolated situations and depleting our resources to keep our climate just the way it is today.

“I’m not necessarily of the school that we are causing it all, I think the world is causing it.”

Let’s hear comparisons of Buzz Aldrin to the nazis, shall we?

Categories
catastrophism Climate Change CO2 Emissions Culture Global Warming Omniclimate Policy Politics

Please Move To Costarica (And It Won't Be Enough…)

The nef people have just told us that “good lives don’t have to cost the Earth” in their 2009 “The (un)Happy Planet Index 2.0” report.

Or do they? Top of the list comes Costarica, a wonderful country if you ask me, the best place on Earth to live in if you don’t want to be poor, have your life cut short or live iwth a gian ecological footprint. But alas that is not enough:

Costa Rica narrowly fails to achieve the goal of ‘one-planet living’

Unbelievable, isn’t it? On a positive note, nef acknowledges that previous “Happiness” measurements were a tad too fundamentalist, with that paradise called Haiti ranked first, despite its murder rate, abysmal poverty, garbage-built shanty towns, etc etc

The country with the highest I based on the data for 2005, would be Haiti – which has very poor levels of life satisfaction and life expectancy, but the smallest ecological footprint: 0.5 gha

Anyway…let’s wait until nef moves its HQ from London to somewhere near San José, shall we…

Categories
Berlusconi Italia Italiano PdL Politica Repubblica

Trascinandosi Stancamente, Fra Uno Scandalo Inconcludente E L’Altro…

In preparazione per il G8, si prevede una nuova raffica di scandali grandi e piccoli con al centro Silvio Berlusconi. Un film gia’ visto? Ahinoi, da quindici anni. Visto come ha funzionato bene tirar fuori scandali riguardo Berlusconi per quindici anni, eccoci a ripetere l’esperienza.

Che furbata, eh?

In realta’, a furia di essere posto davanti a uno scandalo dietro l’altro, tutti invariabilmente senza alcun successo, all’elettore medio italiano degli scandali non importa piu’ di tanto.

Se odia Berlusconi, lo odiava anche prima, non c’e’ certo bisogno di un nuovo scandalo. Se non odia Berlusconi, dopo un po’ si stufa della politica degli scandali (e della indignazione) e non sara’ l’ennesimo scandalo a fargli cambiare idea.

Anzi.

Categories
Asia Democracy English Politics UN

Ban Ki-Moon Has Lost The Plot

What the &^%$ did UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon think he would be doing, by going to Burma only to come back absolutely empty-handed?

The risks were fully known, but Ban Ki-Moon vowed the “right things” and then dedicated a speech in Yangon with the “right words” inside but…is it really the business of the UN Secretary-General to fly around the world begging to visit local dissidents, and then to lament his “disappointment” when not allowed to?

There’s plenty of low-ranking UN diplomats that perfectly able to do just that.

The bloody Burmese junta has made the usual electoral promise (this time for 2010…yeah, right!).

It could all have been so simple:

  1. Ban Ki-Moon lands in Yangon
  2. Ban Ki-Moon asks to see Aung San Suu-Kyi
  3. Ban Ki-Moon is refused to see Aung San Suu-Kyi
  4. Ban Ki-Moon flies away (immediately that is)

One would think even the current UN Secretary-General could devise such a complex plan, couldn’t he?

Perhaps in the post-Cold War world there is something fundamentally wrong in the way UN Secretary-General are chosen.

Categories
AGW catastrophism Climate Change CO2 Emissions Culture Dissent Global Warming Omniclimate Policy Politics Science Skepticism

Richard Black Sees The Light

Rejoice all ye faithful! Warmist Extraordinaire, BBC News environmental expert journalist Mr Richard Black has started to grasp all that is wrong with AGW messages such “the planet is burning”, “humanity is in peril”, “climate change is a bigger threat than nuclear war”.

I would have never expected to read Mr Black (with whom I have a long list of past disagreements) write statements such as

Climate change is projected to become a major driver of biodiversity decline […] but at the moment, the major factor is habitat loss as the human footprint expands. When it comes to fisheries […] the single biggest driver is undoubtedly over-consumption […] And underlying it all is the growth in the human species

[…] if climate impacts are at present largely reversible but the loss of a species self-evidently isn’t, does that make biodiversity loss more important than climate change?

[…] if the fundamental drivers of all the trends are the swelling in the human population and our expanding thirst for raw materials, why aren’t these the things that politicians and environmental groups are shouting about and trying to change?

The blog in question is titled “Does climate cloud the bigger picture?“.

Mr Black goes as far as to admit that

some of the policies being considered as a response to climate change […] could exacerbate other environmental problems

Perhaps he (and some among my twelve readers) will now understand why I simply cannot bear the constant barrage of absurdist climate change claims (shrinking sheep included). AND the BBC’s own fixation with all things global warming.

IMNSHO, anybody that cares about the environment should be wary of overshooting remarks about any particular environmental issue: those will not help solve anything, and likely will make things worse overall.

Categories
Berlusconi Italia Italiano Politica Radicali

Indignarsi Perennemente, Un Segno Di Indegnita’

Spero che un giorno l’attuale opposizione la finira’ con questa politica della indignazione perenne, anche perche’ non puo’ funzionare se a senso unico (vedi vicenda Vaccarella). La politica dell’indignazione finisce solo con il riempire le bocche e scaldare i cuori. E a me (come, spero, a tanti) delle bocche piene e dei cuori caldi non potrebbe importare meno.

Cosa mi importa invece? Mi importa che dopo decenni di indignazione contro la CEI, nei giorni scorsi per la prima volta un Governo italiano ha detto ai Vescovi di stare zitti. Senza indignarsi, senza promettere sterile guerriglia di posizione. Magari fossimo stati capaci di tanto quando Prodi poteva far passare i DICO, e le potenti forze anticlericali della sinistra non sono riuscite a fare niente (a parte indignarsi delle ingerenze dei Vescovi).

ps questa non e’ una critica all’operato di alcun Senatore. Darei sette ottavi del mio sangue per averne dieci se non cento come la Poretti e il Perduca. E sono sicuro che se i Radicali avessero i voti che ha il PD (non dico, il PDL) i Vescovi starebbero anche piu’ zitti di adesso. Ma se sei piccolino, allora importa sapere con chi stai, per sapere cosa vuoi davvero fare a parte che passare il tuo tempo a indignarti.