Fra un tira e molla e l’altro, ecco cosa rischia (positivamente) il Popolo della Liberta’

(questo testo e’ apparso anche su ItaliaChiamaItalia e su L’Occidentale)

E’ ovviamente difficile seguire il turbinio di dichiarazioni e controdichiarazioni che provengono in queste settimane dal PdL. Ed e’ ancora piu’ difficile quando bisogna farlo da circa 1200km di distanza. Sembra non passare giorno senza che qualcuno, compiaciuto o meno, annunci la fine dell’esperimento politico inaugurato con la Convention di Roma del Marzo 2009, mentre dall’altro lato si sentono i mormorii soddisfatti di un’opposizione che non vedrebbe l’ora di veder implodere il lavoro di Silvio Berlusconi, misteriosamente ignara del fatto che non esistendo alcuna alternativa seria toccherebbe all’Italia un periodo particolarmente buio e difficile.

Diciamoci allora: davvero stanno per suonare le campane a lutto per il Popolo della Liberta’! E’ vicino il capolinea, buonanotte suonatori, e l’ultimo chiuda la porta!

Anzi, no. Chiediamoci invece: i cambiamenti che tutti sanno essere necessari a livello economico e sociale, possono davvero essere raggiunti da soporosi gruppi di persone categoricamente sempre d’accordo su tutto (leggi, il PD) o succubi al Leader su tutto (leggi, l’IdV)? E dunque: e se tutti i segnali di sconvolgimento dall’interno del PdL non fossero altro che la prova che il PdL stesso sia un partito (anche troppo!) vitale, e che si trovi alla vigilia di una fase di sviluppo e capacita’ di riforma davvero fuori dal comune per un Paese come l’Italia?

E’ proprio questo, dopotutto, che viene indicato dalle teorie di psicologia sociale. In particolare quanto sta accadendo ricorda molto da vicino il modello di evoluzione della vita di gruppo proposto nel 1965 dall’americano Bruce Tuckman, sulla base della sua esperienza come psicologo nella Marina degli Stati Uniti, modello successivamente modificato fino a includere cinque stadi di sviluppo:

  1. Formazione (=”forming” nell’originale)
  2. Conflitto (=”storming”)
  3. Strutturazione (=”norming”)
  4. Attivita’ (=”performing”)
  5. Trasformazione (=”transforming”)

Cosa significano i vari stadi? Inizialmente (la “Formazione”), il gruppo e’ creato dalla volonta’ in tal senso dei suoi membri. Non vengono quindi discussi gli argomenti piu’ scottanti, ma ci si concentra sullo stabilire i meccanismi e le regole necessarie al funzionamento del gruppo stesso. Questo e’ il periodo piu’ tranquillo, del “volemose bene”, e anche se non vengono ottenuti molti risultati pratici, i partecipanti hanno l’occasione di conoscersi meglio l’un l’altro.

A un certo punto pero’ i nodi arrivano al pettine e si passa al “Conflitto”. Quali sono le priorita’? Come verranno coordinate? Come potranno essere riconciliati aspetti e prospettive individuali a tutta prima inconciliabili? Come reagiranno i vari membri alle situazioni difficili? Questo e’ il periodo meno tranquillo, quando la tolleranza, il rispetto e la pazienza reciproci sono messi a durissima prova. C’e’ chi si vuole allontanare, altri che vogliono allontanare, ogni tanto qualcuno inspiegabilmente sembra impegnarsi a distruggere tutto e tutti.

Alcuni gruppi non sopravvivono allo stadio del “Conflitto”, ma secondo Tuckman non e’ possibile lavorare insieme in maniera efficiente e fattiva senza passare per lo stadio del “Conflitto”: anzi, un eccessivo uso della diplomazia a questo punto puo’ risultare, paradossalmente, nell’autodistruzione del gruppo stesso. Il gruppo che invece sopravvive si trova poi nell’invidiabile situazione di avere finalmente individuato un unico e chiaro scopo comune, a cui tutti cominciano a lavorare in maniera responsabile per il successo di tutti (=”strutturazione”). Si puo’ quindi passare all'”attivita'”, dove i problemi vengono risolti praticamente senza piu’ conflitto interno, e dunque alla “trasformazione”, incidendo in maniera efficace e significativa sul mondo.

Non si tratta di idee campate in aria, visto che sono applicate (ed esperite!) da 45 anni con poche modifiche. E se e’ vero che Tuckman pensava a gruppi piccoli, e’ anche vero che i meccanismi della politica italiana significano che in un partito come il PdL la dinamica piu’ appropriata da osservare e’ quella fra la manciata di personalita’ di spicco. A che punto siamo dunque, secondo il modello di Tuckman? Piu’ o meno dall’autunno 2009, il PdL e’ ovviamente entrato nella fase del “conflitto”: il che vuole anche dire che la struttura di partenza e’ stata messa insieme con una rapidita’ straordinaria. Comunque, c’e’ poco di che lamentarsi nell’attuale tempesta, che anzi deve essere la benvenuta: il PdL sta attraversando uno sviluppo assolutamente naturale, dietro il quale non esiste altra regia che quella della natura umana.

Il rischio e’ che il partito scompaia da un giorno all’altro, semmai le “corde” vengano troppo tirate, o le parole risultino troppo forti, o le dichiarazioni di mutua inimicizia diventino troppo roboanti. Ma questo e’ il prezzo da pagare per un “rischio” ben piu’ grande e positivo, quello di diventare come PdL quel gruppo di riformatori, liberalizzatori e modernizzatori che tutti aspiriamo essere.

A questo punto, e’ solo una questione di tempo…

Cap-And-Trade, Killed By (Lack Of) Consensus

There’s much commentary of course about the recent “death” of climate-change related cap-and-trade legislation in the US Congress (eg by Krugman, Douthat and Wasserman at the New York Times).

It is not straightforward to follow all the various, complex reasonings used to apportion blame. And is all that really necessary? At the end of the day, in a modern democracy bills are approved because a suitable majority of Parliamentarians votes for them. And such a majority only comes together because a consensus is built around each bill.

In this context, Walter Russell Mead’s “The Big Green Lie Exposed” makes perfect sense. In fact, who has actually tried to build a consensus in the USA regarding cap-and-trade? Those activists liberally accusing the rest of humanity of “denialism”? Or those promising a Nuremberg-style trial to all “dissenters”? Or those more or less explicitly trying to manipulate primal fears in order to change society wholesale?

In the Bible, Qohelet says: “Whoever watches the wind will not plant – whoever looks at the clouds will not reap“. Indeed.

The Big Green Lie Exposed – Mandatory Reading

Thanks to Andy Revkin, here’s the link to Walter Russell Mead‘s blog post “The Big Green Lie Exposed“, that I believe vindicates all The Unbearable Nakedness of CLIMATE CHANGE has been writing about since December 2007.

The text is incredibly jam-packed with quotable remarks, such as:

the reason that the Great Global Green Dream is melting lies in the sad truth that whatever the scientific facts of the matter, the global green movement is so blind and inept when it comes to policy and process that it has deeply damaged the causes it cares most about

(about Climategate) The greens were found innocent of inventing the science, but guilty of systematically hyping their case

excitable greens have oversold a wide variety of worst case scenarios — and underestimated the complex nature of the relationship between climate change and world politics

The Big Lie is that the green movement is a source of coherent or responsible counsel about what to do

Many leaders of today’s environmental movement are like the anti-alcohol activists before Prohibition

The green movement’s strategic failure is also reminiscent of the Peace Movement of the 1920s

You can diagnose a disease but have no clue how to treat it. You can be an excellent climate scientist and a wretched social engineer. You can want to do good and end up furthering exactly the evils you most deplore

The real and lasting damage that the green movement sustained in the last eight months has been the revelation that it is strategically and politically incompetent

Precisely because a growing body of science points to the existence of some serious concerns about climate, we must think carefully and clearly

Alcohol abuse was a real problem in 1918, but the Prohibitionist belief that there was One Big Legislative Answer only made things worse

At best, the green movement might be compared to an alarm clock: jangling shrilly to wake up the world. That is fair enough; they have turned our attention to a problem that needs to be carefully examined and dealt with. But the first thing you do when you wake up is to turn the alarm clock off; otherwise that shrill beeping noise will distract you from the problems of the day

And so on and so forth. Whatever one thinks of AGW, “The Big Green Lie Exposed” has to be mandatory reading!

A Genuine (Doom-laden) Website?

Connolley’s is just too algid. RC is just too onanistic. Tamino’s is just too quixotic. Skeptical Science is just too embarrassing (and for the wrong reasons). Desmogblog is just too self-contradictory. Greenfyre’s is just too impermeable to outside contributions. And so on and so forth.

Is there a genuine pro-catastrophical-AGW website out there where the basic tenets of debate and exchange of ideas are not seen as a backdoor for denialism? Perhaps there is: in “Science of Doom” one can even read about “why Global Mean Surface Temperature should be relegated, or mostly ignored“. And the post about the “lunar greenhouse effect” or lack thereof explicitly steers clear from the usual puerile mudslinging attempts of so many other websites.

Time will tell if SoD will slip down the activism route or provide a stable science-based counterpoint to Roger “I can’t believe my fellow AGWers behave so idiotically” Pielke Jr.’s.

In Case You Happened To Think Any Good About The BBC…

…here’s a story that will make you stop fantasizing.

There’s an old Italian proverb, “mal comune mezzo gaudio“, i.e. “a shared pain is half a pleasure”. Evidently, the destruction of journalistic standards about science has now spilled way beyond climate change.

Perhaps we could all save a quid or two on the TV licence by replacing all BBC science hacks with press release feeds based on RSS. At the very least, those are supposed to be verbatim copies of somebody else’s work…

UPDATE 25 Jul: The following comment of mine at the BBC is still in the “moderation queue”. Go figure.

To Tom (the commenter): Had Tom (the journalist) and the BBC reacted more promptly, none of the accusations would have appeared. There’s full 25 hours between comments 2 (Switek pointing out the similarities between his blog and Feilden’s) and 4 (the first comment about “Shame!”), and the “correction” must have happened three days after Switek raised the issue.

If you’re ever in court and you think you can reply to questions and requests with a 72 hours’ delay, you’re going to have a hard time whatever the jury…

To Tom (the journalist): Had you put a link to Switek’s blog, nobody would have ever accused you of plagiarism. Now, could you and the BBC Editors please come around to understand what the Internet is, and stop agonising about adding any link to outside sources??? THANK YOU!

UPDATE 26 JUL: As if by magic, the comment above has now been released from the moderation queue.

Is Anthropogenic CO2 To Blame For Increase In Women’s Breasts?

It’s a scandal! There are 760 “things caused by global warming” on Numberwatch, and not even one of them makes the obvious connection between the observed decadal increase in average bra size, and the vast amounts of greenhouse gases we humans have been pumping in the atmosphere for decades.

Who knows…perhaps somebody out there will try to score a “Cello Scrotum” against Nature or Science, or boobs (rather than tits of all sorts) will contribute to the IPCC AR5…

Peer-Review Flaws, circa 2002

People familiar with what happened in climate science during the last year might find Lawrence K. Altman’s NYT article “THE DOCTOR’S WORLD; When Peer Review Produces Unsound Science” of June 11, 2002 more than prescient (emphasis all mine, of course):

[...] Yet for all its acclaim, the system [of peer-review] has long been controversial. Despite its system of checks and balances, a number of errors, plagiarism and even outright fraud have slipped through it.

[...] A particular concern is that because editors and reviewers examine only what authors summarize, not raw data, the system can provide false reassurances that what is published is scientifically sound.

[...] Researchers reported [in the "The Journal of the American Medical Association" in June 2002] considerable evidence that many statistical and methodological errors were common in published papers and that authors often failed to discuss the limitations of their findings. Even the press releases that journals issue to steer journalists to report peer reviewed papers often exaggerate the perceived importance of findings and fail to highlight important caveats and conflicts of interest.

[...] Because the anonymous peers chosen to review manuscripts are often the authors’ scientific competitors, jealousies and competitive advantage can become factors in the reviews.

[...] The peer review system also tends to set a very high barrier for authors to publish truly novel findings.

[...] Yet research on peer review has found that many studies are conducted without the benefit of adequate consultation with statisticians, sometimes because none were available.

[...] Once statistical errors are published, it is hard to stop them from spreading and being cited uncritically by others. [...]

Climategate: Mr Bean At The UEA

If I had to bet money on Climategate, most of it would go to back up Fred Pearce’s interpretation, as described in Damian Carrington’s blog about the Jul 14 Guardian debate:

Pearce was passionate in arguing that ‘Climategate’ was a very human tragedy, in respect of scientists feeling under siege and becoming fiercely defensive – which only spurred on the sceptics, who thought there must be something to hide. But he thought many CRU critics were not sceptics at all: “They are actually data libertarians, rather than climate sceptics, still less climate deniers. It turned into data wars.” Pearce’s conclusion was that at this turning point for climate science, more “candour” was needed from all.

Count me in as Data Libertarian!

Scientists feeling under siege and becoming fiercely defensive – which only spurred on the sceptics, who thought there must be something to hide“? Just like Mr Bean at the airport then…

And yes, I would recommend medication for anybody still trying to smother FOI and/or in the business of hiding any data directly related to published scientific papers…

Next Stop, Pyongyang (The New York Times vs FOI)

to Letters IHT
date Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Dear Editors,

Is climate change a threat large enough to make you undermine the very foundations of your trade? That’s the most important question upon observing your cavalier attitude to Freedom of Information (FOI) in the editorial titled “A Climate Change Corrective” (printed on the IHT on 14 Jul 2010), regarding the alledgedly “manufactured controversy” also known as Climategate.

Forget science, and forget politics for a moment: Climategate, as established by every official British investigation about it, has shown a deliberate, concerted attempt at circumventing the letter and the spirit of the local FOI Act. In more than one circumstance, the Information Commissioner’s Office has found that FOI requests were not dealt “as they should have been under the legislation“. Lord Oxburgh’s and Sir Muir Russell’s reports say as much too, just like the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s.

A wide range of commentators of all scientific and political stances have remarked this, and the general consensus is that from now on science itself will have to change its practice, becoming more transparent and open especially to knowledgeable members of the public. We are talking FOI, after all, an extension to the freedom of speech, a right that people including journalists, and The New York Times, have successfully fought for during the past half-century.

It’s only because of the statute of limitations that there has been no prosecution in the UK regarding the attacks on FOI revealed by Climategate. And what do you have to say about that instead? Absolutely nothing, apart from an absurdly understated remark about “a timid reluctance to share data“.

And so you have sacrificed the right to FOI in an attempt to get “firm action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases“. Good for you. And good for Governments the world over: they will surely rejoice upon hearing that the most influential and authoritative global and US newspaper does not care about FOI. Why, all they have to do is claim “a timid reluctance” to open up their files: and all you will be able to print, will be regurgitated propaganda and half-truths.

I have heard the hamburgers are good, in Pyongyang.

saluti/regards
maurizio morabito
journalist and blogger, “The Unbearable Nakedness of Climate Change

Report From Climategate Guardian Debate with Monbiot, McIntyre, Pearce, Watson, Keenan and some uea guy

As posted by Latimer Alder in my previous post:

Just back from the Climategate debate run by the Guardian tonight. We’re assured that the Guardian website will have a full video of the whole proceeding sometime tomorrow. So just some very sketchy impressions.

Steve obviously read the remarks from last night’s meeting and insisted on speaking from a lectern. This was a good move as it gave him more ‘authority’. And he was (mostly) crisper…making his points more directly. The others spoke while seated.

George Monbiot chaired the meeting and I think he did a fair job of it. He tried hard to be unbiased, and only once or twice strayed into partisan territory. And he managed to keep the speeches and questions mostly to time and to the point

Fred Pearce took a longer perspective than the others. He spoke well and described Climategate as a tragedy rather than a conspiracy…the tragedy being that the CRU guys had adopted siege mentality. Climategate has certainly widened his perspective.

Trevor Davies representing UEA/CRU was appallingly bad. He mouthed platitudes by the shedload, but was unfamiliar with the details of any of the subjects likely to be raised. And was several times embarrassed by doing so. Apart from the fact that he had a sharp suit. I can find nothing positive to say about him. Struck me as a devious smooth cove.

Bob Watson opening remark was that he hadn’t read the e-mails in question. This was a bad mistake – many in the audience were very familiar with them, and not happy to be lectured by somebody who wasn’t. IPCC was imperfect but the best that could be devised 95% of scientists agree…it is now just a risk management exercise. Errors corrected quickly…As good as having Ravendra, but no need for the extra slot at Heathrow for him to land his jet. Very much the Scientific Establishment figure.

Keenan was interested in research fraud and the lack of accountability in science as a whole. He accused Jones of committing fraud, even after being given a chance to withdraw the remark. Davies tried to defend Jones but had no details. Keenan showed a more street-savvy business approach than any of the other participants. I’d like to have heard him at greater length.

Overall conclusion: there was no conclusion. Everybody agreed that openness and transparency were good, that debate should be with all parties and that uncertainties should be made more clear.

But my own view is that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. This one still has legs and will run and run.

Next Stop, Pyongyang (The New York Times vs. FOI)

to Letters IHT
date Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Dear Editors,

Is climate change a threat large enough to make you undermine the very foundations of your trade? That’s the most important question upon observing your cavalier attitude to Freedom of Information (FOI) in the editorial titled “A Climate Change Corrective” (printed on the IHT on 14 Jul 2010), regarding the alledgedly “manufactured controversy” also known as Climategate.

Forget science, and forget politics for a moment: Climategate, as established by every official British investigation about it, has shown a deliberate, concerted attempt at circumventing the letter and the spirit of the local FOI Act. In more than one circumstance, the Information Commissioner’s Office has found that FOI requests were not dealt “as they should have been under the legislation“. Lord Oxburgh’s and Sir Muir Russell’s reports say as much too, just like the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s.

A wide range of commentators of all scientific and political stances have remarked this, and the general consensus is that from now on science itself will have to change its practice, becoming more transparent and open especially to knowledgeable members of the public. We are talking FOI, after all, an extension to the freedom of speech, a right that people including journalists, and The New York Times, have successfully fought for during the past half-century.

It’s only because of the statute of limitations that there has been no prosecution in the UK regarding the attacks on FOI revealed by Climategate. And what do you have to say about that instead? Absolutely nothing, apart from an absurdly understated remark about “a timid reluctance to share data“.

And so you have sacrificed the right to FOI in an attempt to get “firm action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases“. Good for you. And good for Governments the world over: they will surely rejoice upon hearing that the most influential and authoritative global and US newspaper does not care about FOI. Why, all they have to do is claim “a timid reluctance” to open up their files: and all you will be able to print, will be regurgitated propaganda and half-truths.

I have heard the hamburgers are good, in Pyongyang.

saluti/regards
maurizio morabito
journalist and blogger, “The Unbearable Nakedness of Climate Change”

Live Microblogging Of McIntyre and Holland At Climategate GWPF London Event

I just came out of tonight’s GWPF event in London, chaired by Benny Peiser and with Lord Lawson in the audience.  Guest speakers about Climategate were David Holland and Steve McIntyre.

(links added – most of them… I will put all the links tonight)

As usual, here my notes as published live on @mmorabito67 (my “main” Twitter account remains @omnologos):

(for clarity, my own remarks are in italic)

  1. Around 35 in the audience so far. Holland already seated
  2. Lord Lawson and McIntyre in the room
  3. There we go. Attendance around 50
  4. Peiser quotes damning article by Harrabin in December (and here’s the quote unless the UEA inquiry is demonstrably impartial it will fail, and a new fully independent enquiry will almost certainly have to be formed“)
  5. Holland first, about his data requests
  6. Holland details how nobody could have checked the data before Kyoto’s
  7. Holland “no poor soldiers, only poor generals”
  8. Holland’s tells a tale of obfuscation by MetOffice reminding me of opening chapter of HHGTTG
  9. Holland: Russell report full of factual errors, no investigation of effort to delete emails
  10. Room almost full now
  11. McIntyre’s title slide “The ‘Inquiries'”
  12. McIntyre: 98% emails about Hockey Stick
  13. McIntyre: independent temp reconstructions not so – same names keep appearing
  14. McIntyre: Jones, Mann, Briffa prodigious writers of HS-related articles also reviewing each other
  15. McIntyre: CRU secretive to protect funding without investing on quality control
  16. FOI at stake on this but many don’t get how important it is
  17. McIntyre: first upload of emails was to RealClimate, as if a prank
  18. McIntyre makes fun of counterterrorism involvement
  19. McIntyre: UEA not investigating in the open – parliamentary reporters too clever compared to environmental ones?
  20. McIntyre: parliamentary committee left science to Oxburgh
  21. McIntyre: “trick” needed to “preserve the message” by IPCC
  22. It all sounds like propaganda reports before the Vietnam war opened eyes of journalists to the now-obvious lies
  23. McIntyre: independent science Oxburgh commission sent email from UEA
  24. McIntyre: Oxburgh left no notes or any documentation – no science examined – articles chosen by UEA
  25. Why would Lord Oxburgh want to associate his name to such a disaster?
  26. McIntyre: mention “sleight of hand” quote by UK MP
  27. McIntyre: Russell’s findings not based on anybody else but UEA, (slightly nutty) reference to “natural justice”
  28. McIntyre: mentions Harrabin referring to him as the most knowledgeable about CRU science outside UEA
  29. McIntyre: Muir Russell did not go to Jones’ interviews – no rigour, no due diligence
  30. McIntyre: odd that interviews conducted by climate activist with years of UEA work
  31. McIntyre: Jones’ request to delete emails a day later FOI request
  32. McIntyre is steadily destroying Sir Muir Russell’s credibility
  33. McIntyre: no accountability in the system
  34. McIntyre: climate science is being depreciated among public by hiding of adverse data
  35. McIntyre: climate sensitivity an issue. We can’t wait for absolute certainty
  36. First q: did MWP happen?
  37. I asked about consequences on democracy and why bother at all. Upbeat answers by Peiser and Holland
  38. Peiser speculates scientists’ jobs at stake, grandees took credibility hits as no gross misconduct apparent
  39. IPCC is not following most/any of the recommendations
  40. McIntyre: grudging consensus against preventing the release of data – would be idiotic strategy in civil lawsuit
  41. McIntyre: EPA has hockey stick among evidence – very unwise (I can’t find where and when that happened)
  42. Climategate has put the EPA in “uncomfortable position”
  43. Peiser: GWPF’s push for effective policies is gaining ground
  44. Peiser: GWPF report by Andrew Montford out end of Aug 2010
  45. Sunday Times enviro journalist: have scientists tried to present a clean narrative where knowledge still fuzzy?
  46. Holland hopeful science community understands things have to change
  47. McIntyre sees no change, grand statements, critics being blamed
  48. McIntyre: if hockey stick won’t matter, get rid of it. Plenty of PhD’s in readership, IPCC should focus more
  49. Peiser concludes hoping Climategate has changed Science and made it more open and transparent

British Manipulation Of Scientific Publishing, circa 1964

Worried about some dodgy behavioural traits of some prominent British scientists? Astonished at the cavalier attitude regarding publications and dates by IPCC Lead Authors?

Stop worrying and be astonished no more. It’s common practice:

[John Maynard Smith, the famous British evolutionary biologist] coined the term “kin selection” in an article that ran off with Hamilton’s idea without giving him much credit. In the meantime, Maynard Smith was one of the anonymous reviewers on Hamilton’s seminal 1964 paper elaborating on the idea, which was delayed for nine months while Hamilton made the requested changes, thus allowing Maynard Smith’s article to appear first — something Hamilton harbored a grudge about his whole life.

Therefore (according to Sir Muir Russell), nothing in the above does “threaten the integrity of peer review or publication” (p.68, chapter 8.6 item 18).  How nice.

Catastrofismo, Al Limite Dell’Inumano

I “Quattro incubi energetici” sognati da Michael Klare su Notizie Radicali del 7 luglio scorso sono fantasie basate su informazioni fuorvianti, e al limite dell’inumano.

Prendiamo ad esempio l’incubo numero uno, riguardo un immenso iceberg che colpisce la piattaforma Hibernia al largo di Terranova nel gennaio del 2018 proprio dove la “nave appoggio” Ocean Ranger e’ affondata nel 1982. Peccato che se Klare si fosse informato meglio, avrebbe ovviamente spostato il suo romanzo a febbraio, mese in cui un incidente come quello descritto avrebbe almeno qualche probabilita’ non remota di capitare (la stagione tipica degli iceberg nel Nord Atlantico e’ da febbraio ad agosto).

Basta poco poi per stabilire come la Ocean Ranger fosse una “unita’ mobile semi-sommersa di trivellazione d’alto mare” (“semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit”), cioe’ una piattaforma galleggiante, altro che “nave appoggio”. La Hibernia invece e’ tutta un’altra cosa, un’isola a tutti gli effetti, piu’ di 600mila tonnellate appoggiate sul fondo oceanico, e infatti (guarda caso) e’ sempre al suo posto dall’estate del 1997.

Sono passati insomma quindici anni dalla tragedia del 1982 alla produzione nel 1997. Sono cambiate naturalmente tante cose, incluso il concetto stesso di piattaforma per lo sfruttamento del giacimento al largo di Terranova. E invece Klare e’ ancora qui a disinformare.

Prendere tragedie passate ed estenderle al futuro come se nessuno imparasse mai niente e’ un filosofare disutile, perche’ estraneo alla realta’. Se uno la pensa davvero in quel modo, allora e’ inutile discutere di alcunche’, visto che presuppone che non ci sia mai alcun progresso.

Climategate: Stones That Should Be Left Unturned?

Anybody in need of yet more investigations? Over at DotEarth, there’s a Greenpa Minnesota (comment #20) clamoring for the hackers’ blood (figuratively speaking):

This time, kiddies- it is time for us scientists to DEMAND an EQUAL investigation be made into the identities of the hackers. I am dead serious. We need to demand it- loudly and publicly, and KEEP demanding until the FBI and similar world organizations are directed to do it.

But few if anybody at UEA are pushing for the hackers to be identified. The reason for such distinctively peculiar behavior is anybody’s guess.

Perhaps some stones are better left unturned…

…just as in the case of Kevin Trenberth, quoted by Roger Pielke Jr (comment #21) with words as pleasant as nails scratching a blackboard, including a reference to “unjustified criticisms and the widespread abuse and misuse of the emails” (no wonder some think AGW activism is ultimately an attack on civil liberties), and a mention of “lazy skeptics who want only to disprove the results“, a surefire candidate for the most childish opinion of the decade.

Climategate: It's Richard Black vs Roger Harrabin, Sir Muir vs Fred Pearce

UPDATE: Phil Jones reinstated at UEA within minutes of the Russell report being published. Final proof the Professors behave as absolute fools in matters of Public Relations.

And so when the Sir Muir Russell’s Climategate report came out, confusion reigned. Richard Black is now claiming “skeptical circles” had issues with the Oxburgh Science-but-not-science report (what are you implying, Richard, has your BBC colleague Roger Harrabin entered any “skeptical circle” of late?).

And Sir Muir (according to what is reported by Black) appears to have spent untold amounts of public money only to miss at least two of the “five key leaked emails” identified (at no cost to the taxpayer) by Fred Pearce.

There we are then: three Climategate Commissions, and the only thing that is clear is how important FOI is.

If this is the way climate-related stuff is publicly handled, Lovelock might have been right, after all.

WE ARE DOOMED!

Maybe not because of AGW, maybe not because of swine flu, but one day surely something serious is going to hit us, and all we’ll get will be obfuscation, retrenchement, delays, half-baked reports…

ps in the meanwhile…can I have my UK tax money back please?

Of Lords And Sirs, And Climategate Enquiries

I’d bet both of my hands on the results of Sir Muir Russell’s enquiry on Climategate already being common knowledge among British hacks (otherwise some strange noises wouldn’t be easy to explain).

Hence a certain feeling that something rather big will be mentioned during the July 7, 1pm press conference. How big? Certainly not big enough to shatter the Scientific Establishment, in this country or anywhere else.

Why, Lord Widgery didn’t mind to go down in history associated with a now-discredited April 1972 “Report” on “Bloody Sunday”, less than 3 months after 14 people died. It took 26 years for Tony Blair to criticize “the rushed process in which Widgery failed to take evidence from those wounded and did not personally read eye-witness accounts“, and then 12 more years for the Saville Report to supersede the old one. That’s 38 years vs. 3 months.

Therefore, why should there be any surprise in Lord Oxburgh’s undermining the credibility of his own rushed-up work on Climategate, given also the fact nobody has been killed about it?

We can all dream on about Sir Muir then (and more realistically, await for some more serious UK official analysis around the year 2048…)

Climate: Adulthood (Urgently!) Required

Whilst Phil Plait struggles with the first example of a non-cause causing a series of effects, and Andy Revkin finds himself for the n-th time marginalized by the rabid section of the Warmist Party, Rob Lyons manages to write a perfect synthesis of what would happen in a world where people were serious about the risk of climate change:

A new approach is required that takes a more grown-up approach to climate change, one that is based on dealing with a potential practical problem of rising temperatures rather than an existential crisis that demands the wholesale impoverishment of society in the name of ‘the planet’. Let’s keep working on the science, without any preconceptions of what the outcome will be. Let’s work on new energy technologies because we’ll need lots more power in the future. Let’s see what rising temperatures might mean and how we can best adapt to them, or even use them to our advantage. Let’s cut out the moralism and the name-calling.

How difficult a concept can that be? And yes, that’s exactly in tune with what I wrote in The Spectator:

This might be the most important lesson of the 1974 report on global cooling: that we need to grow up, separate climatology from fear, and recognise – much as it pains politicians and scientists – that our understanding of how climate changes remains in its infancy.