by way of wheels, and ice skates
More amazing pictures at meteoweb.eu (scroll to the bottom of the page)
by way of wheels, and ice skates
More amazing pictures at meteoweb.eu (scroll to the bottom of the page)
Transcript of President Obama’s Inaugural Address (Jan 20, 2009):
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood [...] each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
Transcript of President Obama’s Inagural Address (Jan 21, 2013):
We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But American cannot resist this transition. We must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries. We must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure, our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.
Note how climate change with Obama keeps leading to energy, as always.
Editorial, The New York Times, “New Day on Climate Change”, Jan 26, 2009:
In one dramatic stroke, President Obama has removed any doubts that he intends to break sharply from President George W. Bush’s policies on yet another vital issue — this time repudiating Mr. Bush’s passive approach to climate change.[...] after eight years of inaction, this is a wonderful start.
Michael D. Shear, The New York Times in “Obama Sets Goal to Broaden Equality”, Jan 21, 2013:
The president also singled out the issue of climate change, a subject that he raised in his first Inaugural Address but has struggled to make progress on in the face of fierce opposition in Congress and in countries around the world. In his 2009 speech, he warned about environmental threats to the planet; on Monday, he vowed to confront them.
“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” he said. “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.”
Mr. Obama left the details of his second-term agenda for his State of the Union speech in three weeks. But he hinted at the two major legislative battles that he has promised to wage: reform of the immigration system and new laws intended to reduce gun violence.
Note how climate doesn’t make it into the “two major legislative battles” ahead.
Four years ago, I surely thought AGW would
slowly wither away, ironically under an AGWer President just as it kept on growing during the 8 years of an anti-AGW White House Resident
In truth, it disappeared completely from the Presidential campaign. Is AGW coming back now? Or are these renewed empty promises a surefire sign the President doesn’t have much of positive he himself believes in his grasp?
There are so many people commenting at WUWT, I seldom if ever write anything here about it.
After all this is a blog for turning otherwise-unturned stones so little appears that has been already dealt by others.
However, my fifteen readers know I cannot tolerate bullying. And in the case of Laden’s filthy anti-WUWT post, echoed in other places such as unwittingly-self-proclaimed climate loser Romm, it’s been a clear case of bullying.
All details of the story here and here. Basically Laden has tried to manipulate his readership by showing a screenshot of the WUWT site cut exactly in the only way that could put the site, and Anthony Watts, in a bad light.
Laden has retorted to the obvious by puerile statements such as
[Watts] is upset because in a screen shot of him talking about a totally absurd pseudo-scientific claim that should have been rejected out of hand, I failed to include enough of the post to show that he was skeptical about the claim [...]
I did not need to show that Anthony Watts was skeptical because that wasn’t the point. The point was that it was funny that he was looking at this claim at all. But, fine, if he really needs me to include the snippet where he expresses his laughable skepticism, I can do that. Here, Watts says.
This looks to be a huge story, the first evidence of extraterrestrial life, if it holds up.
… thus indicating skepticism. I’m sorry I did not include that sentence in the … wait, wait, hold on a sec. Hey, I DID include that phase about “if it holds up” in the original post? But Watts is saying that I did not include any of his skeptical language.
However, Laden being disingenuous, a liar or a stupid ignoramus is demonstrated by a simple observation.
The expression “if it holds up” doesn’t indicate skepticism. Nobody who reports astrology, homeopathy or UFO sightings indicates skepticism by saying “if it holds up“.
OTOH everybody who has learned skepticism from the likes of Randi, Shermer, Sagan (and Plait) knows that skepticism means saying “extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence” or an equivalent statement.
That is exactly what appears in WUWT a single line below the curiously cut screenshot by Laden.
I [Watts] would remind readers that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence“. This needs to be confirmed by others in the science community before it can be taken seriously.
IOW as Laden must have known (unless he truly knows nothing of Randi, Sagan and the others), inclusion of a few inches more would have invalidated his argument completely.
I rest my case.
ps to the enlightened souls proclaiming that the “Meteorite with life” story should not have been published in the first place, see how it has been picked up by MSN. You can also check at the BA blog that the story reached Plait presumably independently from WUWT.
pps IMNSHO the “Meteorite with life” story is complete bunk and the only sin committed by Watts (and Willis Eschenbach) has been their unfamiliarity with Fred Hoyle student N. C. Wickramasinghe. His name is well-known among astronomy buffs and not as a source of likely-true findings.
UPDATE ppps Wickramasinghe’s dreams picked up also by The Huffington Post (look down and hard before Plait and any skepticism show up in that article).
Have global temperatures paused in their warming rise? Nonsense, according to SkS. Are we experiencing a standstill in global temperatures in their warming rise? Yes, according to Hansen et al. Have global temperatures continued to increase in their warming rise? No, according to a PR guy meddling with statistics.
So who’s right, and who’s wrong? Well, it depends the on context.
“Temps at standstill, and global warming stopped” = WRONG
“Temps at standstill, but global warming will resume later” = RIGHT
In fact, you can say pretty much anything and, as long as you add the mandatory “, but global warming will resume later“, the biggest scientific institutions in the world will support you wholeheartedly, maybe Bob Ward too.
Let’s give it a try..
“Polar bears are ok, but global warming will resume later”
“Arctic won’t be free of ice any time soon, but global warming will resume later”
“A lot of model-based literature is rubbish, but global warming will resume later”
“West Ham playing superbly, but global warming will resume later”
“Elvis is alive, but global warming will resume later”
“Porcine and bovine flight sightings, but global warming will resume later”
See? It’s easy, and it gets you a free ride indeed. Citizen science at its best!
Two degrees climate target means global emissions *must* peak by 2016, says new scientific research: reading.ac.uk/news-and-event…
— Mark Lynas (@mark_lynas) January 14, 2013
or so tweeted on Jan 14 Mark Lynas of various fame including a “Six Degrees” book I analyzed numerically a few years back, and recent GMO repentance.
One should be forgiven for finding the juxtaposition peculiar to say the least. Shouldn’t Mark be wary of scares, having just discovered years of activism were not based on science?
Or perhaps he belongs to the category of people that really need to find a worry to be scared about, if only to be activists about something. I suggested
— Maurizio Morabito (@omnologos) January 14, 2013
It is actually the right time for making such a guess. Edge.org has chosen angst for its 2013 theme
(Twitter hashtag: #edgeq13)
There are 152 contributions at that site, too many to mention and probably too many to make a wager about too. Here’s an initial list:
On the positive side, it’s not just a collection of miserabilism. I particularly liked this one:
Unfriendly Physics, Monsters From The Id, And Self-Organizing Collective Delusions
Founder of field of Evolutionary Psychology; Co-director, Center for Evolutionary Psychology, Professor of Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara
[...]Because intellectuals are densely networked in self-selecting groups whose members’ prestige is linked (for example, in disciplines, departments, theoretical schools, universities, foundations, media, political/moral movements, and other guilds), we incubate endless, self-serving elite superstitions, with baleful effects: Biofuel initiatives starve millions of the planet’s poorest. Economies around the world still apply epically costly Keynesian remedies despite the decisive falsification of Keynesian theory by the post-war boom (government spending was cut by 2/3, 10 million veterans dumped into the labor force, while Samuelson predicted “the greatest period of unemployment and industrial dislocation which any economy has ever faced”). I personally have been astonished over the last four decades by the fierce resistance of the social sciences to abandoning the blank slate model in the face of overwhelming evidence that it is false. As Feynman pithily put it, “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.” [...]
Much ado about new colours added to the Australian coloured temperature maps.
Then one reads (in a Revkin DotEarth post maddeningly relying on Joe Romm and Jeff Masters) “For the moment, while extreme and widespread heat is predicted to persist, the country looks to be avoiding the new purple zone“. So they could have added 15 colours for all we should care.
Then one reads (in a cursory NYT archive search on “australia heat”) the following piece from January 3, 1960:
Australia has a heat wave – SYDNEY, Australia, Jan, 2 (AP) – A heat wave gripped large areas of eastern and central Australia today. The highest official reading was 123 degrees at Codnadatta, in central Australia.
Who knows how many more examples of heat wave in early January in Australia one could find. But who cares.
What matters is that Global Warming has transmogrified into “it’s hot in summertime”.
A quick look, more or less at random, at “WG2 chapter 10.2.1. Energy Demand” suggests to me that the whole IPCC process is insane, and that anyone taking it seriously is [...].
Take the introductory paragraph:
The general patterns are that in countries and regions with already high incomes, climate-related changes in energy demand will be primarily driven by increasing temperatures: heavier use of air-conditioning (hence increasing electricity demand) in warm climatic zones, and lower demands for various energy forms (electricity, gas, coal, oil) in temperate and cold climatic zones, while increasing incomes will play a marginal role.
Take a random ten year period in the future for a random country or region, and think about it. Average income will probably increase by anywhere between 0 and 100%. Gas and oil prices may go up 100% or down 50%. Add in political change, technical change, population growth somwhere between -5% and +20%, and anything else you can think of. Then try to estimate what effect a rise in temperature of one fifth of one degree will have on the use of air conditioners.
It’s insane. And the same insanity is repeated page after page for three thousand pages every five years.
It does show the mindset of these people who are making decisions. Any snake oil salesman can earn a pretty penny from these people as long as you act like you are saving the world.
That’s why “saving the world” is bound to ruin it.
ps I wonder how many would sign a petition to convert all cars and power plants to emit CO instead of CO2?
Richard D North, the one person who had volunteered to Tony Newbery details about the BBC/CMEP seminar of 26 Jan 2006 as early as Dec 2008, has published some remarks about 28Gate in a comment at his site:
I have just caught up with [28Gate]. [...]
I haven’t quite worked out why the BBC were so keen to keep private the list of participants to the seminar. It may not be sinister or stupid. I am fairly sure that I feel some scruple toward any publication of details of “Chatham House” seminars. I know that one mustn’t ascribe particular remarks to particular participants. And, actually, I don’t think I have ever named the participants at such a gig. I would be inclined to check that they were OK with being named before I did so.
I am pleased that nothing I have heard about the seminar contradicts what I did recall and say about it. I did find the event quite depressing and I was peeved that the possibility of my helping to introducing the BBC and its audiences to all sorts of interesting ways of thinking rationally about climate change were not advanced by my attendance. I did think and did say that reporting on climate change would improve as broadcasters realised that their audiences did not want to do very much about it. I think that has come to pass.
What indeed. But it’s not 2009 any longer. What have we learned?
The list could continue for ever and ever. What if there is a Brave New Climate World in front of us instead?
The protest for Climate Justice has taken place in Doha, Qatar, during the Saturday break of COP18 talks. It’s the first ever protest demonstration held in Qatar, a phenomenon greatly helped by the support given to the protest by the local Government.
Otherwise, the organizers might have found themselves in perpetual State-paid accommodation, like poet Mohammed al-Ajami a few days ago during COP18 among the general indifference by hypocrites parading as shameless eco-activists and greenie-journalists.
Google News reports two links right now as News for “Mohammed al-Ajami COP18″: Democracy Now (by mistake, evidently) and Limes (in Italian – the only news outlet capable of mentioning in the same article the two Big Things happening in Qatar right now ).
Actually, no protest has taken place in Doha. From Karl Ritter on the Huffington Post (where the video of the rally has not been made available to all):
Khalid al-Mohannadi, one of the organizers, noted that “it’s not a protest, it’s a march for peace.”
Anyway…the people-formerly-known-as-protesters marching now for peace. Why not. One can only assume sarcasm, and also in Ritter’s description of the demonstrators as a “well-behaved crowd“. In fact, the suspicion (of a veil of journalistic irony) arises when one looks at the actual crowd, reported as “a few hundred people” (video available to all at Brisbane Times).
The fact that sympathetic journalists can only talk of a very limited number of
protesters peace marchers means there were even fewer people than a few hundred. From the video, an estimate varies between 60 and 150 perhaps (addendum: this is because every shot of the demonstration covers one or two seconds at most, exactly what happens when the crowd is very small). Plus a guy dressed in local attire (Mr Rumi, I presume?).
The metallic, prefabricated female voice on Brisbane Times makes perfect sense in that context.
Not much for Climate Justice, uh? If that’s what happens to it, with its own proponents putting it more or less aside not to displease or agitate the hosts, then really there is no such a thing as Climate Justice.
If I were an inhabitant of the Northern regions of the Sakha Republic, I would be mightily disappointed by that…
(comment posted at Climatemonitor.it – in English)
I really do not understand what’s Alessio moaning about.
Tim [Cullen] had several ideas and researched them. He published his thoughts (twice) on the Talkshop and Guido [Guidi] deemed them interesting (or perhaps, intriguing) enough to see them reposted [on Climatemonitor.it].
Is Tim wrong? Who knows. Is he wrong on each and every aspect of his ideas? Who knows. But AFAIK Alessio’s point is not about Tim’s wrongness, rather a general cry against the publication of ideas he (Alessio) finds wrong.
Now…what is the danger there? Will hordes of Climatemonitor acolytes jump off as one man and start suggesting little children, grandmas and other unsuspecting quasi-skeptics that all solar science is wrong “because a guy called Tim says so“? Will physics faculties get their fundings slashed, astronomers start selling hamburgers, satellites [end up] burned deliberately in the atmosphere because of Tim’s (and Guido’s) shaming of a profession and of a science by way of a blog post or two?
As Douglas Hofstadter is fond of saying, there is only one way to get the truly good ideas published, and it involves getting a million not-so-good ideas published too. If we started censoring off whoever sounds unorthodox, we would smother solar science (any science!) ourselves in the process.
These are considerations of pure and basic logic.
And whatever the true figures behind Tim’s ideas, those ideas are obviously intriguing per-se. These have been my take-home messages wrt them: what if SORCE is not measuring just-and-only TSI? What if atmospheric effects interfere, what if the data is affected by the position in the Earth’s orbit (i.e. by the time of the year)? Have all those effects been taken into account? Is SORCE’s raw data processed accordingly?
Perhaps the answers are yes some, others no. But whatever the outcome, I for one am grateful to Tim for having been made possible to me and possibly others, to ask those questions: because at the end we will of course be much wiser for them.
How apt to learn that as COP18 struts along in Doha, Qatar towards the first ever protesting demonstration in the country (organized, as it happens, by the local Government), a poet is jailed for eternity or a little less….in Doha, Qatar. And after a secret trial where he could not defend himself.
Nevermind…when there is a planet to save who cares about a jasmine?
Perhaps Mohammed Al-Ajami can spend his newly-found free time writing an eulogy of Greenpeace, thereby earning a get-out-of-jail card.
In the meanwhile notice how Reuters talks about the imprisonment but does not mention at all the fact that 17,000 people are in Qatar at this very moment. The BBC fares better this time around but remarkably only speaks of “a major international climate change conference” thereby making sure nobody will find the inconvenient news when searching for “COP18″ (or even “global warming”). And The Guardian with Amy Goodman takes no notice at all of any poet.
Ms Goodman has reportedly been seen “contemplating”.
Myself, I have learned this only from an Italian climate-related mailing list, posted by FS on the back of an article published in the website of a solidly-warmist newspaper (check it out in original or with Google Translate, and you will find COP18 well mentioned indeed).
I guess at least in Italy, human rights still take precedence over climate change hype.
The LRB recently dedicated some thoughts to the Science/Pseudoscience battle at the times of Immanuel Velikovsky. It’s especially interesting considering what has happened since, with catastrophism ruling for years in matters of climate science.
It really reads like a slightly modified version of contemporary CAGW, starting from its enormous, mysterious popularity, inclusive of some cult-like admiration for The Man:
[...] By the late 1960s and 1970s, Velikovsky’s books must have been in most American college dorm rooms. [...] Velikovskianism had gained so much traction in America that in 1974 there was a huge set-piece debate over his views at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His scientific opponents reckoned he was ‘quite out of his tree’, while some of his acolytes – and these included an assortment of scientists with appropriate credentials – were of the opinion that Velikovsky was ‘perhaps the greatest brain that our race has produced’.
There was also something akin to the invention of the Hockey Stick accompanied by the deletion of the Medieval Warming Period:
Although Worlds in Collision was a pastiche of comparative mythology and planetary astronomy, its major purpose was a radical reconstruction of history.
Mainstream science of course was not on Velikovsky’s side. Still, the behavior of the “community” won’t surprise anybody familiar with Climategate:
Elite scientists, notably at Harvard, reckoned that they might be able to control what Macmillan published when it was represented as science. A letter-writing campaign was organised to get Macmillan to withdraw from its agreement to publish the book; credible threats were made to boycott Macmillan textbooks; hostile reviews were arranged; questions were raised about whether the book had been peer-reviewed (it had); and, when Worlds in Collision was published anyway, further (successful) pressure was exerted to make Macmillan wash its hands of the thing and shift copyright to another publisher. The editor who had handled the book was let go, and a scientist who provided a blurb and planned a New York planetarium show based on Velikovsky’s theories – admittedly not the sharpest knife in the scientific drawer – was forced out of his museum position and never had a scientific job again.
Just like with Climategate, none of that made the “elite scientists” look any good:
From an uncharitable point of view, this looked like a conspiracy, a conspiracy contrived by dark forces bent on the suppression of free thought and different perspectives – and the Velikovskians took just that view. [...] ‘Perhaps in the entire history of science,’ Velikovsky said, ‘there was not a case of a similar violent reaction on the part of the scientific world towards a published work.’ Newsweek wrote about the spectacle of scientific ‘Professors as Suppressors’ and the Saturday Evening Post made sport of the establishment reaction as ‘one of the signal events of this year’s “silly season”’. [...]
Einstein, in whose Princeton house Velikovsky was a frequent visitor, was one of them. Interviewed just before his death by the Harvard historian of science I.B. Cohen, Einstein said that Worlds in Collision ‘really isn’t a bad book. The only trouble with it is, it is crazy.’ Yet he thought, as Cohen put it, that ‘bringing pressure to bear on a publisher to suppress a book was an evil thing to do.’
So why would the scientists be doing evil things?
It was American scientists who went ballistic over Velikovsky, not historians, and one purpose of Michael Gordin’s probing and intelligent The Pseudoscience Wars is to ask why they responded to Velikovsky as they did. [...] Scientists in the years after World War Two were upset by Velikovsky because, Gordin argues, they felt insecure, uncertain of the new authority and influence they had apparently gained by building the bomb and winning the war. [...]
First, there was concern that political support might translate into political control. [...] And there were the McCarthyite witch-hunts, some of which targeted distinguished scientists. How much autonomy did American scientists actually have? How vulnerable was that autonomy to the dictates of politicians and to the delusions of popular culture? No one could be sure.[...]
We know that the climate answer to that has been a full cooperation between some politicians and some scientists, mutually supporting each other.
In another analogy with the present, the pseudoscience side went for self-fulfilling diagnoses of mental illness among opponents:
The greatest ingenuity of Velikovsky’s thought lay in its merging of naturalistic catastrophism and psychoanalytic theory. [...] what was the violence of scientists’ opposition to Velikovsky’s ideas but a persistence of that same tendency to deny the catastrophic truth of what had happened to the human race, how very close it had come to obliteration? The fact that the scientists were leagued against him was precisely what Velikovsky’s theories predicted. It was further evidence that he was right. What the scientists needed, indeed what the culture as a whole needed, was therapy, a cure for collective amnesia.
Shapin turns the table around, and embarks in a good explanation on why so many people are attracted to catastrophism, an explanation that applies to Velikovsky fans like to Gore supporters:
Here are the reasons for the enormous appeal of Velikovsky’s theories to Cold War America, and, specifically, to the young, the angry and the anxious. Lecturing to campus audiences, Velikovsky told the students what they already knew: the world was not an orderly or a safe place; Armageddon had happened and could happen again:
- The belief that we are living in an orderly universe, that nothing happened to this Earth and the other planets since the beginning, that nothing will happen till the end, is a wishful thinking that fills the textbooks … And so it is only wishful thinking that we are living in a safe, never perturbed, solar system and a safe, never perturbed past.
Alfred Kazin, writing in the New Yorker, understood that this was part of Velikovsky’s appeal, and tellingly linked the great pseudoscientist with the Doomsday warnings of orthodox atomic scientists: Velikovsky’s work ‘plays right into the small talk about universal destruction that is all around us now’, he said, ‘and it emphasises the growing tendency in this country to believe that the physicists’ irresponsible scare warnings must be sound.’
The review ends with a brief discussion on how to evaluate what is scientific knowledge (with Shapin strangely unfamiliar with Sagan’s famous quote “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence“), plus a history of how the term “pseudoscience” came into being, once again reminding the reader of contemporary debates, in this case about blogging:
By 1964, some of Velikovsky’s scientific critics were drawing a [...] lesson from the affair: the nuclear chemist Harold Urey was concerned ‘about the lack of control in scientific publication … Today anyone can publish anything,’ and it was impossible to tell the signal of truth from the noise of imposters. We must return to the past, Urey urged, when there was a proper intellectual class system and a proper system of quality control: ‘Science has always been aristocratic.’ In a society insisting on its democratic character, that was not a wildly popular position, though doubtless it had appealed to the scientists who tried to prevent the original publication of Velikovsky’s book and who sought to block his later efforts to publish in mainstream scientific journals.
Even the very end of the review is still relevant:
if it struts around the barnyard loudly protesting that it’s a duck, that it possesses the very essence of duckness, that it’s more authentically a duck than all those other orange-billed, web-footed, swimming fowl, then you’ve got a right to be suspicious: this duck may be a quack.
And that’s where mentions of 2,500 IPCC scientists and 97% consensus spring to mind.
Yes, they won’t. From “Solve BBC bias”, a new low in the BBC’s incompetent lawyering:
Today the BBC replied to my FOI request with the predictable “Please note that the information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’” So despite the names of the seminar delegates now being freely discussed in the public domain, the BBC won’t confirm or deny that Jimmy Savile was present, let alone comment on who was present at the seminar which resulted in the BBC changing their editorial policy towards climate.
Whose presence shall we ask about then? Dr Mengele? Frankenstein? Elvis?
How Global is Global Warming? A very interesting slide from the “WMO Technical Conference on Meteorological and Environmental Instruments and Methods of Observation“ organized by CIMO WMO (Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observations of the World Meteorological Organization) (Brussels, Belgium, 16-18 October 2012).
The slide is from “Introduction on WMO Priorities” by Wenjian Zhang, Director, Observing and Information Systems Department, WMO. It was in the second presentation for the day, after the introduction by the CIMO President. One might logically assume that Zhang’s was one the most important presentations of the whole conference.
The slide shows Dr Zhang’s thoughts on the “key challenges” as “identified through widespread consultations with experts of key communities“.
Remember, this is from the people that actually observe the globe:
Every “key challenge” would be interesting to explore but of course the one about “Data” is particularly telling: “The current availability and quality of climate observations and impacts data are inadequate for large parts of the globe“.
For all the discussions and conferences and proclamations we have been having since the IPCC AR4 in 2007, one has to wonder how little we have moved on the basics.
Five years ago in fact, two thirds of the landmass was still forgotten from the WG2 chapters. And with 96% of Significant Changes coming from Europe alone, the open question was if “Global” Warming could be just European.
We have twice as many changes that are INCONSISTENT with warming in Europe, than CONSISTENT with warming in the rest of the world.
Thousands are waiting in Qatar right now for COP18 to open in a few hours. This news can’t be good. Unless, as suggested by Fabio, every area of the world is equal in importance for the global climate, but some are more equal than others…
Funny June 2012 FOI story showing a distracted CIA even less internet-capable than the BBC /sarc
For editor’s choice, we have a combination of two comments on our story about a freedom of information request to the CIA about its own rules for declassifying a document. The CIA came back with a letter saying that it searched for the regulations — which were clearly named in the request (32 C.F.R. 1908) and came back empty, saying “We processed your request in accordance with the FOIA…. Our processing included a search for records as described…. We did not locate any records responsive to your request. Although our searches were thorough and diligent, and it is highly unlikely that repeating those searches would change the result….” ReaderAnymouse_cowherd discovered that perhaps the CIA needs better search tools:
FWIW… I diligently typed “32 C.F.R. 1908″ into Google and found a copy in .035 seconds.
I’m now officially better than the CIA and especially Michele Meeks.
Not sure if this is what he was looking for:
That’s right, the CIA has a link on their own website to download an electric copy of the document they said they don’t have an electronic copy of. In their FOIA section. Maybe it’s on a domestic server, and the FBI should have looked for it?
Of course you can always download CFR from the GPO. It seem ridiculous to submit an FOI for a whole section of the CFR when it’s freely available, but it’s even worse for the CIA to give this response. Is there a ‘secret’ subsection of 1908 that was specifically requested? The article doesn’t indicate anything other than the entire section being requested.
Am always surprised by these calls for a “conspiracy narrative”. AFAIK there is no “conspiracy” involved in this case as the seminars were put together in the open by known organizations.
It would be quite strange to find out you guys prefer to be on the Big Bully’s side after all the mentions of Big Oil and the likes. But strangeness is the name of the game.
(translated from Italian following requests)
It is a “scoop” important enough to bring almost 21 thousand visitors on this blog in a single day (November 13).
In a nutshell: the BBC has fought for five years against a pensioner (blogger Tony Newbery at Harmless Sky) to prevent him from getting a list of names of participants in a seminar on climate change, held on January 26, 2006. I found the list (in a perfectly legal way, as it was already on the internet) and facilitated its reading.
Maurizio 1 – BBC 0. In other words, Ordinary People 1 – FOI Bullies 0.
The fact that the list is important is not just an opinion. It has been made important by the BBC itself, and specifically by its decision to spend around £140,000 pounds (€175,000 or $225,000) in FOUR DAYS for SIX yes SIX lawyers to defend a “secret” that wasn’t, while on the other side Newbery was without a lawyer, accompanied by his wife on a trip of a few hundred miles to London.
In the face of such crass bullying, once the Court ruled in favor of the BBC (as if the verdict could have gone the other way!), I literally saw red enough to warrant spending some time looking for the list on the internet. My thought was, given the number of participants (sixty) someone could as well have “outed” the list for whatever reason.
In fact, I found a page of one of the seminar organizers (the IBT) where with a mixture of pride and publicity seeking somebody had decided to put online a list of all the participants in the workshops with the BBC from 2004 to 2007.
The PDF file was no longer on that site, but in plain view on the “Wayback Machine”, a site which keeps copies of many pages on the internet.
In English this has been mentioned in many places on the internet, in Canada, USA, Australia, United Kingdom (for example, Bishop Hill has a few links). There are also articles in France and in the Netherlands. Sooner or later I’ll make a list. I also participated as a guest to talk about “28Gate” in the recent online WUWT-TV marathon, organized by Anthony Watts of WUWT (the video will be placed here as soon as available).
The name “28Gate” was given by one of the commentators on WUWT, in consonance with the legendary Watergate and the number of “outsiders” at the seminar BBC, who were just twenty-eight (or so did the BBC say … now one can see thirty of them. Who knows.)
In the print media there is a James Delingpole article on the Spectator, entitled as usual very explicitly as “Here’s a BBC scandal that should really make you disgusted” (it should be kept in mind that, of late, the BBC moves from one scandal to another – notably, the four top executives who have recently resigned or stepped aside were all at the seminar of 2006). Also the Sunday Telegraph spoke about 28Gate in the Christopher Booker column for Nov 18.
This scandal has been mentioned also in Italian by Piero Vietti of Il Foglio (online and in print) and Guido Guidi of Climatemonitor (online). Plus in another blog where the obsession with me has no limits … but when I’m the topic of discussion, there is evidently no need to waste even a link.
We now know that:
There could be more serious things to talk about (the presence of a representative from the U.S. Embassy in the seminar would be a violation of the founding principles of the BBC) – but I do not have time for that, at least for the moment.
I also want to say the following:
On the back of today’s Christopher Booker column in the Sunday Telegraph, a comment left by “michel” at Bishop Hill deserves as much attention as possible: because it’s not by chance that the BBC is mired into scandals.
What people are saying is that there is institutional dysfunctionality at the BBC. You will recall the remarks from the Lawrence inquiry, that there was ‘institutional racism’ at the Met. The implication was not that it was racist at a policy level. But the implication was that it was more than a few individual aberrations. They’re definitely not saying that the BBC ‘consciously allowed this to happen’ as a policy level.
They are saying that there’s a culture in which standards of behaviour are not enforced and may not exist at all. The claim is that Saville and his collaborators were widely known about by individuals at a personal level but that they turned a blind eye, and that the institution at a policy level avoided confronting the issue. They are saying that people behaved like this because they believed that this was just the norm at the BBC.
They did not believe child abuse was the norm. They believed that turning a blind eye was the norm.
People here are then going on to say something else. They are saying that there are key elements to the culture of turning a blind eye which can be seen in other unrelated episodes. They take the issue of the seminar and the 28 and the FOI request, and see some of the key elements to the toleration of Saville in this episode too. The elements are secretiveness, lack of any real management, indulgence of groups who are within the fold, closing ranks against any critics. The lack of any standards and any culture of enforcement of those standards. They are saying a group, as long at it has certain key buttons pressed, is going to be able to avoid scrutiny and behave by most standards very bady in a variety of ways, some worse than others, because of the mixture of the turn a blind eye culture, and what they see as kneejerk reactions of approval to groups within the BBC who are ideololgically correct.
So, for instance, Saville touched the charity and the viewing figures buttons. The journalistic bias that the seminar introduced, they are saying, was a total breach of integrity and impartiality, but the turn a blind eye culture allowed it (and defended it in the FOI case) because the hot button of environmentalism and endorsement of CAGW meant that it was generally approved of as a direction. This allowed the implications of the policy for journalistic integrity to avoid notice or intervention.
They are not, obviously, saying that the episodes were morally comparable, or that the FOI episode was as bad as the Saville one. Obviously it was not, it lasted a shorter period of time, and it was a breach of journalistic integrity, not the infliction of damage on children.
When we think about institutions we need to look at them in the round, and if we are going to accuse a culture, we need to point to more than one manifestation of it. One product safety failure is an aberration which we deal with by a recall. A series, even if some lead to less human tragedy than others, is evidence of a pattern and a cultural issue.
What people are saying is basically that the BBC has a problem. It seems unable to enforce standards of behaviour on its staff and contributors. It may not even have any to enforce. They are tying this to guaranteed tax payer funding. Their argument is, this and lack of public accountability either through market mechanisms or through Ofcom has produced a culture in which abuses of various sorts have flourished. They are not saying that all the abuses that have flourished are comparable in gravity or extent. They are saying that they flourished in the same fertile soil.
Personally I cannot see the BBC News department survive without severing most if not all ties to the Corporation.
Its a serious argument. It tends logically to a change of structure. For instance, making subscription voluntary. Regulation by Ofcom. Or sharing the license fee income if its kept with other broadcasters. Its not an argument [snip] that some of the abuses were worse, a lot worse, than others.
- Member of the Board SANI SA January 2008 – Present (4 years 11 months)
- Founder/Director Planet Agents January 2008 – Present (4 years 11 months)
- Harvard University Masters in Public Policy, Environmental Policy, Government Strategy, Media 2004 – 2006
- University of Bath BSc in Management, Business 1996 – 2000
However the Wayback Machine (what else?) can help fill the gaps. At some point, Eleni had her TV presence managed by Take 3 Management. The site included a CV (broken link)(wayback machine link for Sep 5, 2008 snapshot):
Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government
Masters in Environmental Policy and Media.University of Bath, School of Management, with year study at University of Virginia.
First Class Honours BSc (Hons) in Business Administration 2000.
|2007 – ongoing||GREEN TV, London||Presenter and Green Talk Host. Work at the UNEP/Greenpeace sponsored channel & iTunes Top Science/Tech podcast, includes green event coverage as well as interview with prominent environmental figures.|
|SMARTPLANET, London, UK||Presenter of online environmental video podcasts for CNET’s new green lifestyle website (launching October 2007). CNET Networks is an American company with millions of viewers each month in the US, Europe and Asia.|
|2007 – ongoing||NEW CONSUMER TV,
|Presenter of online and TV green and ethical lifestyle weekly video pod casts from across the UK. Pieces include organic farm visits, fair-trade coffee tasting, eco-tourism destination and green technology reviews.|
|2007||THE REAL NEWS, Canada||Presenter/producer of pilot programme Global Warning, a longer-form news segment on the independent news world network focusing on environmental issues, launching late Autumn 2007 and London environment correspondent.|
|2006 – 07||CURRENT TV, New York||Freelance Presenter/Producer – wide range of stories in US|
|2006||Kennedy School of Government, Harvard||Video Documentary Director and interviewer for the Communications Dept. Directed 5 documentary shorts over 5 months profiling the non-profit work of alumni. Interviewed in India, Vietnam, Serbia & US for Harvard’s website & DVD.|
|2006||THE TODAY PROGRAMME||Freelance US Producer for the programme – BBC Radio 4.|
|2005 – 2006||CAMBRIDGE MEDIA & ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM(supported by BBC News) US||US/UK Researcher & Writer. Led & conducted over 30 interview in the area of climate change media coverage.|
|2005||THE TODAY PROGRAMME,BBC Radio 4||Journalist intern in London. Researched & booked guests, conducted interviews & broadcasted packages- included coverage of the London bombings, essays with historian Eric Hobsbawm & Joseph Rotblat on Nuclear proliferation.|
|July – Oct
|PARTICIPANT PRODUCTIONS/CENTURY FILMS, UK||Environmental Consultant for feature-length climate change documentary for international cinematic release.|
|2003 – 04||FRIENDS OF THE EARTH, UK||Researcher & briefings Writer, Policy and Campaign Dept. Directed research with the Policy & Campaign Dept to quantify the regional impacts of climate change in twelve UK regions. Authored public briefings for each region for the 200 local groups & volunteers.|
|2001 – 03||ACCENTURE||Senior Analyst, Government Strategy (UK, Ireland & Canada.|
|2000 – 2001||Assistant Science officer
& Honduras – trained volunteers
|PADI Scuba Diving Master at Coral Cay Conservation in in Scuba diving & underwater species recognition.|
It seems Ms Andreadis was more qualified to attend than at first hypothesised. The trouble of having BBC News sponsor a Masters student to work at CMEP to lobby the BBC, it’ll be for another day to understand.
No prize to guess the name of the “feature-length climate change documentary for international cinematic release” worked on in 2007. Who knows what happened at the end of that year though, that made Eleni change her life’s focus.
Green TV doesn’t show anything when her family name is used.
[...] I can now present [...] the most curious piece of evidence yet of BBC’s institutional bias in favor of AGW proponents and away from skepticism.
And yes, this evidence makes a mockery of Steve Jones’ allegations too. Introducing Spiked Online and Patrick West’s experience with various language courses in Italian, and in particular the words dedicated to the BBC (my emphasis):
I’m currently on the second volume of the BBC’s Active Talk Italian Course. The two books and CD companions contain some bizarre diversions, Talk Italian 2 (2007) especially so. This volume is rich fare for those convinced that the BBC is governed by a liberal-left cabal, aging hippies and proselytising environmentalists.
Much of Talk Italian 2 is concerned with asking for directions in the rustic campagna of Tuscany and Umbria, where one would expect BBC bigwigs and well-to-do liberal-left champions of the corporation to take their vacations. A chapter is devoted to renting and buying luxury property (In zona panoramica e comoda… quattro camere, due bagni, cantine di 50mq, garage e giardino… Prezzo: €840,000). This no doubt appeals to Italy-loving Islingtonians who think holidaying in Spain is for the ghastly hoi polloi and that the south of France is a repository for the vulgar bourgeoisie.
The section in Talk Italian 2 on telling the time casually envisages a scenario of ‘Jorge’ and ‘Alessandro’ co-ordinating a meeting at a climate-change conference: Il cambiamento climatico: rischio per la biodiversità marina. The reader is invited to insert the Italian for ‘we start’ in the following ominous sentence ‘_____ alle dieci e un quarto con il discorso del Ministro sul cambiamento climatico’ (answer:Cominciamo) (1). Whatever happened to time-keeping dialogues simply based on railway enquiries?
On visiting the doctor, a further chapter asks you how to recognise notices for ‘alternative solutions’: medicina olistica, agopuntura, omeopatia, meditazione. Would you like to mettere in armonia le dimensioni fisiche, emotive, spirituali e sociali della persona? When ‘Simona’ complains of having l’influenza and asks for some painkillers, you, her hypothetical friend, are inveigled to suggest a superior alternative: Io ho un prodotto omeopatico molto efficace (2). Simona ought to reply Che stronzata! (3)
Some translation to help:
(1) “We start at quarter past ten with a speech by the Secretary of State for Climate Change”
(2) “I’ve got a very effective homeopathic medicine”
(3) “What a load of bull!”
I have seen replies from several warmists today claiming that 28Gate, the revelation that the list of the Jan 26 2006 participants to a BBC/CMEP seminar has been on the ‘net all along. is a non-story. Well, let’s agree with them, shall we.
The BBC has spent untold amounts of money to prevent the non-story from happening. Evidently, those warmists believe that there is no story in discovering the BBC wasting a lot of money on lawyers for no reason at all.
The BBC has fielded six lawyers against a lawyer-less pensioner to defend its right not to do anything about a non-story. Evidently, those warmists believe that there is no story when a Big Corporation tries the squash the Little Guy.
The BBC Trust has disseminated untruths: either the Jan 26 2006 meeting was not as important as claimed by the Trust (so, the Trust’s story was not true) or the participants were not as scientifically expert as claimed by the Trust (so, the Trust’s story was not true). Is this a non-story? If it is, those warmists are saying it is so common for the BBC Trust to mislead the public, there is no news about it.
There we have it then: if 28Gate is a non-story, the BBC Trust is revealed as usually untrue, the BBC as a public-money-wasting machine, and the democratic rights of the individual as betrayed without anybody worrying about them. What a nice description of the world the average CAGWer inhabits.
ps not a single pingback from warmist blogs in the day this site got 20,000 visitors. Plenty of shock to recover from, hence the lack of arguments.
updated Nov 13 23:29: those four were not actually “low level”
updated Nov 18 10:20: added direct link to Bruce’s comment
Yesterday night this site has seen the second large journalistic scoop of my life (so far): “Full List of Participants to the BBC CMEP Seminar on 26 January 2006” (here’s the first one: “World Exclusive: CIA 1974 Document Reveals Emptiness of AGW Scares, Closes Debate On Global Cooling Consensus (And More…)“).
For more background read Andrew Montford’s “Conspiracy of Green” and Andrew Orlowski’s recent article “FOlA judges: Secret 28 who made the BBC Green will not be named“.
This is for Tony, Andrew, Benny, Barry and for all of us Harmless Davids.
January 26th 2006,
BBC Television Centre, London
Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
Trevor Evans, US Embassy
Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
Anuradha Vittachi, Director, Oneworld.net
Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation
Claire Foster, Church of England
Saleemul Huq, IIED
Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University
Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia
Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
Matthew Farrow, CBI
Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
Joe Smith, The Open University
Mark Galloway, Director, IBT
Anita Neville, E3G
Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University
Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia
Jana Bennett, Director of Television
Sacha Baveystock, Executive Producer, Science
Helen Boaden, Director of News
Andrew Lane, Manager, Weather, TV News
Anne Gilchrist, Executive Editor Indies & Events, CBBC
Dominic Vallely, Executive Editor, Entertainment
Eleanor Moran, Development Executive, Drama Commissioning
Elizabeth McKay, Project Executive, Education
Emma Swain, Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual
Fergal Keane, (Chair), Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Fran Unsworth, Head of Newsgathering
George Entwistle, Head of TV Current Affairs
Glenwyn Benson, Controller, Factual TV
John Lynch, Creative Director, Specialist Factual
Jon Plowman, Head of Comedy
Jon Williams, TV Editor Newsgathering
Karen O’Connor, Editor, This World, Current Affairs
Catriona McKenzie, Tightrope Pictures firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC Television Centre, London (cont)
Liz Molyneux, Editorial Executive, Factual Commissioning
Matt Morris, Head of News, Radio Five Live
Neil Nightingale, Head of Natural History Unit
Paul Brannan, Deputy Head of News Interactive
Peter Horrocks, Head of Television News
Peter Rippon, Duty Editor, World at One/PM/The World this Weekend
Phil Harding, Director, English Networks & Nations
Steve Mitchell, Head Of Radio News
Sue Inglish, Head Of Political Programmes
Frances Weil, Editor of News Special Events
Thanks to Hurricane Sandy and a lot of malfunctioning neurons, Shashank Tripathi has ended up in the dubious category of stupidest/most evil Twitter user ever for idiocies like these:
- BREAKING: Confirmed flooding on NYSE. The trading floor is flooded under more than 3 feet of water.
- BREAKING MT @jhlipton: Con Ed shut down lower Manhattan system due to high tides
- BREAKING: Con Edison has begun shutting down ALL power in Manhattan
- BREAKING: CON EDISON SHUTTING OFF ALL POWER IN NEW YORK CITY AT 3AM IN ANTICIPATION OF POWER SURGES FROM HURRICANE SANDY
This is a real pity for two reasons. First of all it makes me wish quartering were back. Secondly, Mr Tripathi could have simply chosen a more appropriate career, for example writing the following for eager audiences at Grist, 350.org, SkepticalScience and/or The Guardian:
See? Bill McKibben couldn’t have said it better…
Anthony Watts of WUWT has been kind enough to host “The Unknown Skeptic – Journalism, awaiting to be freed“, a rather long essay of mine of the work done by James Painter and others in order to identify what makes climate change skeptical voices audible and readable more or less often in six countries.
The original and twice-as-long essay, divided in seven parts, was published on this site at the beginning of February 2012 (starting point here).
Finally and BTW, let me top this shameless self-promotion and elevate this comment left at WUWT:
John Whitman says:
Maurizio Morabito (aka omnologos ),
Your piece is a feast of ideas that I think will fertilize others to write an avalanche of additional posts on the virtues of hard core scientific skepticism toward the IPCC ‘consensus’ / ‘settled’ alarming climate science.
I really liked your, “Rather differently than Isaac Newton, Dr Painter might have found himself not on the shoulder of giants, but under the boots of minions.”
I really like your sense of style.
Read scientist Vincenzo Ferrara, former Climate Change advisor to the Italian Environment, explain how to become a famous Climatologist (from ”Rivista di Meteorologia Aeronautica”, Vol XLII n. 1, Jan-Mar 1982):
(The following is an abridged translation)
If you are a climatologist and you want to survive as a climatologist, perhaps even increasing your reputation, all you have to do is provide the exact diagnosis and prognosis that people expect.
To the question “Is the climate changing?“, by all means, never, ever reply “No, everything’s normal“, or “It’s just fakery pumped up by newspapers and on television“: because people would unanimously conclude that you understand nothing about metereology, and nothing about climate.
It would be the end of your career.
The only sensible answer is: “Of course it is changing! It’s a well-known fact, scientifically confirmed and one that none cannot argue against“. You can then launch yourself in forecasting for the next hundred years a climate identical to the current one, amplifying the latest phenomena to extreme consequences.
If it is cold you’ll therefore predict “ice ages“, if it’s warm a “torrid period“, and if there are signs of strong variability “short-term climatic extremes” and more-or-less the same climate in the long term.
You may be wondering, how can a serious climatologist provide impossible, mutually-excluding forecasts without looking silly? Fear not: science will provide all the support needed.
Because climatology has already thought of everything and will supply the right solution in every circumstance, even in the most hopeless cases.
So if it is cold, here’s what you will have to say: “The climate is changing and we are approaching an Ice Age.
This fact has already been scientifically assessed because since 1940, the average temperature of the northern hemisphere has diminished by approximately 0,4°C, probably because of a decrease in atmospheric transparency due to air pollution.
The cooling of the air causes an increase in the extension of glaciers and of snow fields, furthering lowering temperatures with their highly reflecting (high albedo) surfaces. Glaciers therefore increase even more, in a positive feedback that will bring us to a new Ice Age in a hundred years or even less“.
What if it is warm? Then the discourse becomes: “The climate is changing and we are approaching a Torrid Age.
This fact has already been scientifically assessed because since 1850 the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere has progressively increased and just in the last twenty years has gone from 315 to 334 parts for million. That means that in 2020 the accumulation of carbon dioxide will have more than doubled, taking into account the continuously increasing energy demands and consumption of fossil fuels.
The increase of carbon dioxide reduces the Earth’s long-wave emissions to space (greenhouse effect) so within half a century the average air temperature will increase by approximately 2 or 3°C; the polar ice will dissolve and a sizeable sea level increase will submerge several coastal cities“.