Scientific guide on how to scientifically mention the scientific pause^Hstandstill in global temperatures

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!

Votare PDL Perché: l’Argumentum ad Excludenda

Votare PDL perché? Eppure non è molto difficile.

In due parole, perché non ha senso votare chi non vuole il tuo voto.

Quali sono le alternative disponibili:

  • Non voto: questo è un modo di dire che non importa chi vinca. Quindi, è un voto per chi vince. E non parliamo per favore della bislacca idea della “Dichiarazione del Non Voto“. Scelta illogica.
  • Grillo e Cinque Stelle: seguaci delle idee strampalate di Casaleggio. Andranno in Parlamento determinati a non fare accordi con nessuno, e quindi costretti a stare zitti. Chiusi al mondo esterno, si ritengono settariamente superiori. Impossibili da votare per chi è stato nel PDL.
  • Ingroia: un gruppo di ex-Giudici così interessati alla legalità e alla Costituzione da non pensarci due volte a trasferirsi dalle aule processuali al dibattito televisivo. Determinati a portare avanti le loro battaglie in altro consesso. Ciechi e sordi ai problemi della Giustizia al di là di quelli di categoria. Impossibili da votare per chi è stato nel PDL.
  • Bersani e il PD: reduci cattocomunisdemocratdisinistadessosolodemocratici che hanno cestinato l’idea di Renzi di aprire al voto già PDL, voto che quindi NON vogliono. Basterebbe questo a renderli impossibili da votare per chi è stato nel PDL. Poi aggiungiamo la patrimoniale e la morte collettiva per tasse, e stiamo a posto.
  • Monti: dopo aver tenuto l’indice di produzione industriale in un trend negativo per quindici-mesi-quindici, alleato a Casini e Fini. Descrive gli elettori PDL come topi. Davvero e assolutamente impossibile da votare per chi è stato nel PDL.
  • Giannino e FARE: conosce tutte le soluzioni e le applicherebbe anche, ma passa il suo tempo a spiegare a tutti perché non sia d’accordo con ciascuno dei tutti. Spreca inutilmente energie per unirsi all’antiberlusconismo. Magari un’altra volta: impossibile da votare per chi è stato nel PDL.

Silvio B avrà i suoi difetti, ma le elezioni non sono mai un concorso per scoprire la persona più adatta a governare fra tutti i cittadini della nazione. Sono un modo per scegliere il meglio che c’è.

Al cospetto dei concorrenti, e indipendentemente dal suo programma elettorale, Berlusconi rimane l’unica scelta.

The only thing to worry about is worry itself (and densely networked self-selecting intellectuals…)

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

It is actually the right time for making such a guess. Edge.org has chosen angst for its 2013 theme

2013 : WHAT *SHOULD* WE BE WORRIED ABOUT?

(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:

  • Chinese eugenics
  • Black swans
  • Ingenuous viruses
  • Rejection of Darwinism applied to humans
  • Misplaced worries
  • Catastrophic risks
  • Misinformation about science
  • Planetary catastrophes
  • Collective delusions
  • Internet drivel
  • Abandoning politics
  • Debt implosion
  • Search engines as arbiters of truth
  • Shortage of valuable mates
  • Tech fascism
  • Censorship
  • Data-controlling power
  • Loss of patience
  • Underpopulation
  • End of big experiments
  • Tools too strong for our own good
  • Infectious diseases
  • Search for ecstatic experiences
  • Pessimism that makes us accept human destruction as inevitable
  • Cultural homogenisation
  • Misunderstanding free will
  • Prolonged lifespans
  • Limits in science
  • Anti-intellectualism
  • Criminal-controlled states
  • Misunderstanding of probability
  • Missing out on non-human sentience
  • Myths about men
  • Science by social media
  • Public lying and cheating
  • The Singularity
  • Nuclear war
  • Squandered opportunities
  • Wrong incentives
  • Misunderstanding of quantum mechanics
  • Enforced global psychiatric standards
  • Too much focus on novel findings in science

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
John Tooby
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.” [...]

 

Insanity in the media (Australian temperature colours, and beyond…)

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.

(123F=50.56C)

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”.

Insanity at the IPCC

A comment by geoffchambers left at the Bishop Hill blog post about Donna Laframboise’s latest IPCC exposé:

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.

Voto e Italiani all’Estero: Piccoli Partiti Perdono

Centratissimo post di Stefano Fugazzi oggi sul tema “POLITICHE 2013: RICOMPATTARE IL CENTRODESTRA ALL’ESTERO“.

Per il voto degli Italiani all’Estero infatti solo un bipolarismo secco ha senso e significato – chi divide, distrugge. Chi fosse contrario a questo sta semplicemente chiedendo ai suoi elettori di votare per non ottenere niente. Peggio: chi desse priorità a ciò che ci divide a Roma invece che a quanto di unisce in Provincia, non ha evidentemente a cuore gli interessi di noi abitanti della Provincia.

Il problema di ogni Piccolo Partito è politico. Pochi capiscono come i meccanismi all’estero siano diversi da quelli in Italia, ma provo a spiegare. Un Piccolo Partito non può ottenere altro che nutrire la vanità di un paio di individui.

Pensiamo infatti se facesse “cappotto” e facesse eleggere tutti i deputati e senatori all’estero. Purtroppo all’estero abbiamo però solo una manciata di persone da eleggere. In Parlamento ci sarebbe del Piccolo Partito comunque uno sparuto manipolo incapace di ottenere molto se non fortunato come ai bei tempi di Prodi e del governo sempre a rischio di cadere (e che infatti durò pochissimo).

Ma naturalmente è impossibile acchiapparsi tutti i seggi. Al massimo il Piccolo Partito avrà uno o due eletti. Costoro da soli in Parlamento varranno meno di zero.

Quindi il Piccolo Partito ha bisogno di allearsi. Niente PD o PDL (altrimenti non ha ragione di esistere), rimane (all’estero) l’UDC. Il partito del 6% o meno. Il partito di Monti e dei preti. Altro che “italiani all’estero”.

Facciamo allora che il Piccolo Partito abbia il suo deputato e il suo senatore nell’UDC. Per far passare una loro proposta dovranno convincere i propri, poi sperare che quelli dell’UDC siano convinti abbastanza da convincere di quella proposta anche gli altri partiti con cui saranno al governo, sempreché siano al governo. Quindi il deputato Piccolo Partito e il senatore Piccolo Partito saranno praticamente comprimari anche nelle loro stesse proposte di legge.

Alla fine votare per partitucoli all’estero significa far eleggere un candidato PD se sei di destra e PDL se sei di sinistra. Con l’aggiunta di dividere l’elettorato e togliere importanza anche a quelli eletti nei partiti maggiori.

Tutto questo per cosa? Per la vanità di presentarsi come candidati, l’hubris di andare a Roma come eletti per poi passare cinque anni alla ricerca di qualcosa o qualcuno cui aggrapparsi per non tornare alla vecchia vita. Con tanti saluti ai problemi degli Italiani all’estero.

Chi ha a cuore i problemi degli italiani all’estero, rompa ogni indugio quindi e torni al PDL. Il resto, è vanità.

Addio, @SenatoreMonti !

(con tante scuse a tal Alessandro M.)

Addio, Monti sorgente da Bilderberg e Napolitano, ed elevato al cielo dalla UE; cima dai risultati inuguali, noti a chi è ti è stato sottoposto, ed impressi nella sua mente, non meno che lo sia l’aumento delle tasse a se e ai suoi più familiari; torrenti di denari prelevati, de’ quali distingue il dolore, come il disperare delle voci domestiche; boiardi sparsi ed opulenti sul pendìo del disastro e della recessione, rifocillati di risorse da ogni parte mentre subiamo come branchi di pecore pascenti; addio!

Quanto è gioia il passo di chi, da te schiacciato, ti vede allontanar! Alla fantasia di pensarti andato via volontariamente, pieno di speranza di trovare un altro posto dove sarai osannato, in egli si aggiungono, in quel momento, i sogni di poter risparmiare almeno il proprio; egli si maraviglia d’essersi potuto lasciar abbindolare, e mai tornerebbe indietro, anche se pensasse che, un giorno, potrebbe tornare lo spread.

Quanto più scompari dietro cattedre e convegni, il suo occhio si apre felice, gustoso e attivo, dalla ritrovata ampiezza di opportunita’ multiforme; l’aria gli pareva gravosa e morta, ora s’inoltra attento e speranzoso nelle città di nuovo operose; case vendute come case, strade che si aprono in strade, pare che gli ridiano il respiro; e davanti agli edifizi bramati dallo straniero, pensa, con desiderio pregno, al campicello del suo paese, alla casuccia a cui ha già messo gli occhi addosso, da gran tempo, e che comprerà, si’ comprerà, tornando ricco di fiducia e speranza, perche’ senza Monti.

Triste e’ il pensiero invece per chi non aveva mai spinto al di là di te neppure un desiderio fuggitivo, chi aveva composto in te tutti i disegni dell’avvenire, e n’è sbalzato adesso con Fini e Casini, e Montezemolo, da una forza perversa! Chi, staccato a un tempo dalle più care abitudini, e disturbato nelle più care speranze, si e’ affidato a te Monti, per avviarsi in traccia di sconosciuti che non ha mai desiderato di conoscere, e non hanno mai combinato niente in politica e non può adesso prigioniero dei Centrini e dei Perdenti con l’immaginazione arrivare a un momento stabilito per il ritorno al bipolarismo che solo puo’ pensar di fare!

Addio, IMU sulla casa natìa, dove, sedendo, con un pensiero occulto, s’imparò a distinguere dal rumore de’ passi comuni il rumore d’un passo aspettato di Equitalia con un misterioso timore.

Addio, disoccupazione sempre sentita straniera, lavoro mancante sogguardato tante volte alla sfuggita, passando, e non senza rossore; nuovamente la mente si figura un soggiorno tranquillo e perpetuo di cittadino attivo e partecipe.

Addio, inflazione. Addio, perdita di ogni rispetto agli occhi di chi preferisce il tecnico al democraticamente eletto. Addio, calo della produttivita’ e della produzione, dove l’animo tornò tante volte disperato, piangendo nel buio le lodi della liberta’ d’impresa a Monti invisa; dov’era promesso, preparato un mai visto decreto sviluppo; dove il sospiro segreto della felicita’ doveva essere solennemente benedetto, e la ripresa venir comandata, oramai quasi santa; addio! Chi toglieva a noi tanta giocondità è perduto; e non turbera’ piu’ la gioia de’ nostri figli, se non per esser loro monito per una più certa Italia e più grande.

Science and Politics: Giving Up the Delusion

The delusion, that is, that Science can be somehow shielded from Politics.

Science is big and needs public money. Public money distribution is dictated by policy. Policies depend on politics. Therefore science depends on politics.

Therefore science is bound to be politicized. In the US it will forever slide between all-Dems and all-GOP according to contemporary mores.

In the UK, Science will remain forever prisoner of the Establishment. In Italy, it will be allowed to do whatever doesn’t hurt whoever is in charge of the “control room”.

The only way out is to make Science become the Fourth Branch of Government.

Any snake oil salesman…

Perfect comment by Ferret at WUWT about the latest scientific disaster at COP18, the enthusiasm for an absurd anti-exhalation mask:

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 on 28Gate

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.

Something happened on the way to Climate Change heaven…

What if (C)AGW is a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing? So they were asking at COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009.

What indeed. But it’s not 2009 any longer. What have we learned?

  1. Enthusiasm for green projects has already damaged the environment eg by producing biofuels from forests and especially rainforest
  2. The Mohammed al-Ajami story has shown that human rights are too easily trumped by green considerations
  3. Green thinking has let dubious claims pollute the scientific discourse, or even kill it
  4. The BBC has lost its face and a lot of money for nothing at all in 28Gate
  5. There is lots of aimless activity on the CO2 emission side
  6. Plenty of bankruptcies and broken green promises in the fields of energy generation and cars

The list could continue for ever and ever. What if there is a Brave New Climate World in front of us instead?

COP18 – BREAKING NEWS – A turkey voting for Christmas as a few dozen protest…ahem…demonstrate peacefully

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 ).

BUT WAIT!

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.”

That was Mr al-Mohannadi, from today on known as Abu Deek Rumi. (note to Qatari censors: that was a joke).

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…

The danger of ideas…

(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?

No.

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.

Meet the COP in COP18 – A Secret Policeman (yes, it’s another disaster for environmental journalism)

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.

 

CAGW Science – or what if Velikovsky had won

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.

The review (by Steven Shapin) is available for free and in full at the LRB website.

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.

 

BBC won’t deny if Jimmy Savile was at the 28Gate seminar

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?

Global Warming? Nevermind the Warming, still nobody knows if it’s Global…

first reported by Fabio Spina on Climatemonitor.it - in Italian

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:

Challenges in Climate Observations

Challenges in Climate Observations

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…

The CIA is even worse than the BBC

Funny June 2012 FOI story showing a distracted CIA even less internet-capable than the BBC /sarc

From techdirt.com:

=====

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.

And Oblate took it one step further:

Not sure if this is what he was looking for:
http://www.foia.cia.gov/32CFR.asp
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.

=====

Halpern joins the 28Gate dance

(comment posted at Rabett Run)

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.

What has happened is that a Big Bully in the form of a Big Corporation has lost its $200+k fight against a pensioner (Newbery), and a felllow internet user (me).

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.

28Gate: The Guardian was for FOI before it was against it

Not a peep on The Guardian about 28Gate. How is it possible, a clear-cut human-rights-cum-FOI case involving a lone pensioner and a big bullying Corporation, the Little Guy against the Establishment, Six Lawyers against Man-and-wife…and still, only silence from the esteemend beacon of progressive albeit evidently at least a tad hypocritical thought?

Nevermind. We can warm up your hearts by reading…The Guardian. Step forward Polly Toynbee (whom I shared guesthood with a few years ago at a lunch offered by the outgoing Italian Ambassador in London). It was 13 Apr 2007, and Ms Toynbee posted this comment to her own piece “Our press, the worst in the west, demoralises us all“: (my emphasis)

on Freedom of Information: there should have been a privacy law to go with it. As it is, the press often uses it as a lazy way to fish out bits of information by firing off a hundred questions, mostly on relatively frivolous stuff. It’s not exactly fearless investigation. Meanwhile, they rarely bother with what is really difficult – penetrating the opaque world of business. Imagine if business had to be as transparent, if shareholders had the same FOI rights to ask anything. That really would shake things up. Why so many petty questions about government costs, and never a word about the ‘executive’ culture of business travel charged up to our pensions?

Way to go Polly. Imagine if the BBC had to be as transparent, if licence fee payers had the same FOI rights to ask anything. That really would shake things up.

In fact, things are being shaken up by FOI at the BBC as we speak

Fast forward last May and FOI campaigner and journalist” Heather Brooke: (my emphasis throughout)

the FOI Act doesn’t work in a timely way…The reason people have to make FOI requests is because the data isn’t there…The culture is that the people in power know best for everyone else. FOI levels the playing field…We need legislation – it is the only way to get the right to know taken seriously by government and public service, with sanctions if it’s not obeyed….the public need to know about the lobbying that went on behind the scenes. FOI gives the people who control the information the power to decide whether they’re going to release it or not. Outside people need to be able to get into the heart of power.

Heather is spot-on. It all applies perfectly to the BBC. And there is more by her:

where you have an exemption, it quickly becomes abused. National security is the ultimate exemption, and sins and incompetencies can be hidden. The reason there is a lot of distrust about the motivation of politicians to want this safe space comes from the Iraq war minutes [the cabinet meeting where the legal status of the war was discussed].That was onGe of the first FOI requests I made, and a lot of journalists made it, and we didn’t get it. Eventually the commissioner ruled it had to be released, but it was a ministerial veto that overturned it.

…By making it clear the public can’t find out how a decision is made, you risk a politician making a poor decision….

Yes Heather! By making it clear the public can’t find how a decision is made, you risk the BBC making a poor decision. Plus you know what? The revolution is being digitised! (my emphasis again)

Book Description “The Revolution will be Digitised: Dispatches from the Information War”
Publication Date: 18 Aug 2011
There is more information in the world than ever before – but who is in control?

At the centre is the Establishment: governments, corporations andpowerful individuals who have more knowledge about us, and more power, than at any other time in history. Circling them is a new generation of hackers, pro-democracy campaigners and internet activists who no longer accept that the Establishment should run the show.

In her gripping, revelatory new book, award-winning journalist and campaigner Heather Brooke takes us inside the Information War, from the hackerspaces of Boston and Berlin to the UK’s journalism hub and Iceland’s free speech revolution; from the headquarters of Google and Facebook to Collateral Murder, Cablegate and the murky world of Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

Along the way Brooke explores the most urgent questions of the digital age: where is the balance between freedom and security? In an online world, does privacy still exist? And will the internet empower individuals, or usher in a new age of censorship, surveillance and oppression?

For one day last week, I have been the pro-democracy campaigner and internet activist (a hacker, not really).

I, the revolutionary! Thank you Heather, thank you Polly, thank you Guardian!

(Shame on you, Guardian!)

TwentyEightGate – the story so far

(translated from Italian following requests)

Brief summary on TwentyEightGate, my last…ahem…second journalistic “scoop” that has now traveled around the world as a nice, clean, legal cybertripping of the FOI bully called BBC.

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.

Here the original link to my blog where I showed the list to the world.

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.

Some clarifications:

  • I haven’t been interested in that list, first requested five years ago. I had not even bought the e-book from Bishop Hill.
  • The idea that the BBC really changed its editorial policy January 26, 2006, seems a hoax through-and-through, however a hoax told the BBC itself.
  • It is the BBC and not me which gave importance to that list. It is not my fault if the BBC has decided to throw away £40,000 per day for four days two weeks ago and against a pensioner.
  • The “scoop” is in the fact that I found posted online (by another of the organizers) what the BBC kept claiming it was a secret. Maybe they could have paid one fewer lawyer and get another person to search for the document.

We now know that:

  • The BBC may as well have lied when it said the list was a secret (we’re talking about a list of names, not what they actually said at the meeting)
  • The BBC may as well have lied when it said he was a high-level meeting
  • The BBC may as well have lied when it said that the meeting had changed everything about its climate reporting
  • Neither the BBC nor any of its overpaid lawyers are able to use the internet (as I said I found the list on Monday evening in half an hour).

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:

  • I do not care if the BBC gets its editorial policies from magicians and fairies. I care that the BBC should be explicit, clear, clear and transparent on its editorial policies, and say so when they are inspired by magicians and fairies. It’s a matter of Trust, in every sense of the word.
  • I do not know how many have noticed, but there was no one at that meeting from the Met Office….
  • The BBC has all the rights in the world to use lawyers in court. But to me what matters is that the BBC, after having taken £145/year from me and millions like me, then should not spend that going around bullying FOI requestors – I am still waiting to find one-person-one who will justify the need to hire six lawyers against a pensioner. Not one lawyer (as would have been reasonable), two (if one can afford them), not three (already too many) – but six!

Child Abuse or FOI bullying – it’s one and the same problem at the BBC

On the back of today’s Christopher Booker column in the Sunday Telegrapha 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.

TwentyEightGate – il mio scoop giornalistico che ha fatto il giro del mondo

Breve excursus sul TwentyEightGate, il mio ultimo..ahem..secondo voglio dire “scoop” che ha fatto il giro del mondo essendo un bello (e legale!) sgambetto al bulletto chiamato BBC.

È uno “scoop” importante abbastanza da aver portato quasi 21mila visitatori su questo blog in un giorno solo (13 Novembre).

In poche parole: la BBC ha combattuto per cinque anni contro un pensionato (il blogger Tony Newbery ad Harmless Sky) per impedirgli di ottenere una lista di nomi di partecipanti a un seminario sul cambiamento climatico, tenuto il 26 gennaio 2006. Io ho trovato quella lista (in maniera perfettamente legale, già su internet) e ne ho facilitato la lettura.

Maurizio 1 – BBC 0. In altre parole, Gente Comune 1 – Bulletti 0.

Che quella lista fosse importante non lo dico io, lo dicono le 140mila sterline (175mila euro) spese in QUATTRO GIORNI dalla BBC stessa per avere SEI, dico SEI avvocati in tribunale a difenderne il segreto, mentre Newbery era presente senza avvocato, e con la moglie, avendosi dovuto sobbarcare un viaggio da fuori Londra.

Di fronte a tale bullismo di bassa caratura, una volta che il Tribunale ha dato ragione alla BBC (e te pareva!), come si dice “non c’ho visto più” e mi sono messo di buona lena a cercare la lista su internet. Ho pensato che visto il numero di partecipanti (una sessantina) a qualcuno potesse essere “sfuggita”.

Infatti ho trovato una pagina di uno degli organizzatori (lo IBT) dove per farsi belli come si suol dire hanno un bel giorno deciso di mettere online la lista di tutti i partecipanti ai seminari con la BBC dal 2004 al 2007.

Il file PDF non era più su quel sito, ma bene in vista sulla “Wayback Machine”, un sito dove vengono conservate copie di tante pagine su internet.

Qui il link originale al mio blog in inglese dove mostro la lista al mondo.

In inglese ne hanno parlato in molti su internet, in Canada, USA, Australia, Regno Unito (per esempio Bishop Hill ha un po’ di link). Ci sono anche articoli in Francia e in Olanda. Prima o poi ne farò una lista. Ho anche partecipato come ospite per parlare proprio di “28Gate” alla recente maratona TV online di 24 ore sul clima, organizzata da Anthony Watts su WUWT (il video sarà messo qui appena disponibile).

Il nome “28Gate” è stato dato da uno dei commentatori su WUWT, in assonanza con il mitico Watergate e il numero di “esterni” presenti al seminario BBC, che erano appunto ventotto (o almeno così diceva la BBC…ora se ne vedono trenta. Boh.)

Sulla carta stampata è uscito un articolo di James Delingpole sullo Spectator, dal titolo al solito molto esplicito “Ecco lo scandalo alla BBC che dovrebbe davvero farvi sentire disgusto” (ricordiamo infatti che la BBC in questo periodo va da uno scandalo all’altro – fra l’altro i quattro alti dirigenti appena dimessisi erano tutti al seminario del 2006).

In Italiano ne hanno parlato Piero Vietti de Il Foglio (online e su carta) e Guido Guidi di climatemonitor (online). Più un altro blog dove l’ossessione nei miei confronti non ha limiti…ma quando io sono l’argomento di discussione, non c’è evidentemente da sprecare neanche un link.

Qualche precisazione:

  • io di quella lista, la cui prima richiesta è di cinque anni fa, non mi interessavo. Non avevo neanche comprato l’e-book da Bishop Hill.
  • Che la BBC abbia davvero cambiato linea editoriale il 26 gennaio 2006, mi sembra una bufala fatta e finita, una bufala raccontata però dalla BBC stessa.
  • È la BBC e non io ad aver dato importanza a quella lista. Non è colpa mia se la BBC ha deciso di buttare via 40mila sterline al giorno per quattro giorni due settimane fa e per giunta contro un pensionato.
  • Lo “scoop” è nel fatto di aver trovato pubblicato online (da un altro degli organizzatori) quello che alla BBC hanno spergiurato essere un segreto. Magari potevano pagare un avvocato in meno e far cercare il documento a una persona in più.

Adesso sappiamo che:

  1. la BBC ha probabilmente mentito quando ha detto che era un segreto (stiamo parlando di una lista di nomi, non di cosa abbiano detto al meeting);
  2. la BBC ha probabilmente mentito quando ha detto che era un meeting di alto livello;
  3. la BBC ha probabilmente mentito quando ha detto che quel meeting aveva cambiato tutto;
  4. nessuno alla BBC né alcuno dei suoi strapagati avvocati sono capaci di usare internet (come detto ho trovato la lista lunedì sera in una mezz’oretta).

Ci sono cose ancora più gravi (la presenza di qualcuno dall’Ambasciata USA al seminario sarebbe una violazione dei principi fondativi della BBC) – ma non mi interessano almeno per il momento.

Tengo anche a dire il seguente:

  • A me non importa se la BBC si ispira editorialmente a maghi e fatine. A me importa che la BBC sia esplicita, chiara, limpida e trasparente, e dica a tutti quando si fa ispirare da maghi e fatine. È una questione di Trust, in tutti i sensi della parola.
  • Non so se qualcuno ha notato, ma non c’era in quel meeting nessuno del Met Office…come se in Italia la RAI facesse un meeting sul clima senza invitare il CMCC. Se vi va bene così…
  • Padronissima la BBC di usare avvocati in tribunale. A me però importa che la BBC, dopo avermi preso 145 sterline all’anno, non le dedichi poi al bullismo, perché di questo si tratta – continuo ad aspettare di trovare una-persona-una che giustifichi la necessità di ingaggiare sei avvocati contro un pensionato. Non uno (ragionevole), due (se se li possono permettere), non tre (già troppi) – addirittura sei!

There’s a bit more to “student” Eleni Andreadis

Participation of “student” Eleni Andreadis has raised a few questions among the many for 28Gate. Her LinkedIn page is a bit short on CV:

Experience

  • Member of the Board SANI SA January 2008 – Present (4 years 11 months)
  • Founder/Director Planet Agents January 2008 – Present (4 years 11 months)

Education

  • 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):

Presenter/Reporter/Journalist
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.
TV/RADIO CREDITS
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.
2007 -
current
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,
London
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.
OTHER EXPERIENCE
July – Oct
2007
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.
OTHER
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.

BBC: The most curious piece of evidence of institutional AGW bias

From “Yes, John: Steve Jones Is Wrong And The BBC Totally Unbalanced On Climate Change“, 1 year 3 days ago on this site – see what happens when everybody including the Head of Comedy is pushed to insert climate change / global warming in their BBC output:

[...] 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!”

[...]