Open Thread

Another open thread.

Also, if you haven’t read this, check it out. It’s funny, and hits the nail on the head.

After you’ve finished laughing at that, prepare to be sickened by this.

93 responses to “Open Thread

  1. Wayne Johnston

    Oh good grief, the second piece fulfills Godwin’s Law before the you’re done reading the title. The author seems to have based the piece on this inept syllogism.

    Greens like nature.
    Hitler had a weekend place where he could enjoy nature.
    Thus, Greens are Nazis.

    What a lot of nonsense.

    • Greens like nature.
      Hitler had a weekend place where he could enjoy nature.
      Thus, Greens are Nazis.

      What a lot of nonsense.

      Without reading the piece, I can state the corollaries …

      1. Vegetarians are nazis.

      2. Dog lovers are nazis.

      3. Highly-decorated enlisted men in the Army who serve in war are all Nazies.

      4. Failed artists are Nazis.

      5. People who love Mercedes vehicles are Nazis.

      This list can probably go on for a very long time.

      Meanwhile …

      6. Since W enjoys the armadillos on his ranch, obviously armadillos aren’t part of nature, because otherwise the author would have to admit that W is a Nazi. No?

    • Well, let’s play devil’s (or worse , in this case…) advocate here.

      There IS a strand of environmental thinking that:

      – Advocates ‘localisation’; i.e. the local generation of energy and sourcing of products.
      – Is hostile to ‘centralised’ energy production of any kind (even carbon free sources like Nuclear of Big Hydro)
      – Is hostile to new technologies such as GM, even where the potential exists to improve the environmental impact of crops.
      – Has a static view of the future, technology-wise.

      Many of these items are superficially appealing, but they add up to a highly constrained environment to live in; indeed, when such luminaries as Prince Charles (and other very upper class UK ‘environmentalists’) advocate this, you can’t help but think that what they really have in mind is a return to the ‘good old days’ of the upper class lording it over the peasants – for their own good, naturally – with everyone knowing their place and doffing their cap.

      In this case it often does seem that global warming is an excuse to promote something they would hanker after anyway. Never minding that actually implementing this program would require not only quite draconian powers but a substantial reduction in population.

      Worst of all, the compromise policy that comes out of this line of thinking (for example, the building of a small number of wind turbines) ends up doing very little to actually combat environmental problems whilst spending what political capital exists for changes.

      I personally believe that there is a massive case that needs to be made for embracing every kind of new and advanced technology we can get – whilst acknowledging and minimizing the risks. The aim should be to provide the population of the planet – which is probably going to reach 10 billion – with the standard of living currently known to the western middle classes, and at the same time reduce our environmental footprint to a fraction of the current value.

      From the viewpoint of the basic science, this is perfectly achievable; there is more than sufficient fissile material available if used correctly to provide the basic energy (with full recycling to reduce waste to minimal levels); given sufficient energy, all waste can be recycled in one way or another and – to take things further – the bulk elements of our food synthesized instead of grown.

      Yet there is essentially zero public visibility for this kind of approach. It seems we are allowed only ‘business as usual’ or a retreat into some sort of ‘golden era’. Which is probably why people end up not bothering to think about it at all.

      (Rant over now)

      • Andrew,
        OK. First, some people will always use any spur for change to advocate programs that are near to their hearts. I would contend that this position–being at least reality based–is still a big step up from the libertarian denialists who simply deny reality and offer nothing constructive at all.
        Second, my objection to nukes is that they don’t take us any closer to where we really need to be–a sustainable energy infrastructure in a sustainable economy–and they also create a new interest group that has an interest in keeping us from getting there.

        The supply of fissile materials is far from inexhaustible, and both reprocessing and waste disposal are still open problems with no satisfactory solution (security is a big problem for the former, and the Swedes are the only ones close to an answer on the latter). Both of these add significantly to the cost of nukes as a power source.

        I think it is important not to minimize the challenges we face to the continued viability of human civilization over the next couple of centuries. Its continuation will be a very near thing even if humans wise up and embrace the concept of physical reality.

      • Ray –

        I’d be interested to know what a sustainable energy infrastructure/economy actually looks like; I’ve never seen a convincing illustration of how things would work with no fossil fuels or nuclear power, and without an idea of the destination it’s hard to say how you are going to get there. Reality is that globally, coal, oil and gas usage have never been higher. How do you plan do make a dent in that?

        The problem I have is that if the alternative you offer people means lifestyle sacrifices, you are going to have serious problems getting wholehearted consent from the population, and in a democracy that means half-measures. Or no measures.

        Furthermore; imagine a world in which people lived this sustainable, essentially deindustrialized lifestyle. The knowledge of how to industrialize would still be out there and available for use by any dictator who fancied a bit of easy conquest; remembering that the very notion of international law and invasions being illegal is less than a century old. I know it’s melodramatic..

        I should probably say that by nukes I mean both Uranium and Thorium breeders – I’m not happy with the idea of burying anything but the tiniest fragment of waste; as well as this give us a fuel source which would at least extend for centuries. And I’ve been around the debate on nukes for a long time.. I’d eventually aim to phase out fission with fusion, but that would be at least a century or so down the line.

        I agree that maintain human civilization is going to be hard into the future; what is really worrying is the prospect that we end up making token gestures for the next couple of decades – if it holds together that long – and then find that it’s 2030, emissions are higher than ever, shortages are developing all over the place, the cryosphere has gone into melddown and there’s no plan B..

      • I’d be interested to know what a sustainable energy infrastructure/economy actually looks like…

        The problem I have is that if the alternative you offer people means lifestyle sacrifices, you are going to have serious problems getting wholehearted consent from the population, and in a democracy that means half-measures. Or no measures.

        Well, by definition, at some point a sustainable energy infrastructure/economy *must* emerge. When oil runs out, we’re going to be dealing with an oil-free economy whether we want to or not, for instance.

        So the real question is … do we want to be in control of the process of moving towards a sustainable energy infrastructure, or do we want that process to be driven by ever increasing prices on ever diminishing sources of unsustainable resources (and remember, oil has a lot of uses beyond simply burning it up)?

        Oh, of course, we might get lucky and learn how to build fusion reactors or find some other silver bullet (/snark).

        Furthermore; imagine a world in which people lived this sustainable, essentially deindustrialized lifestyle.

        I’d rather imagine a strawman-free world, myself.

      • Andrew.
        There’s no need for primitivism. Check out the fantastic stuff on this piece. It’s 12 minutes – but both my husband and I watched it twice – fascinating. And sets you thinking in a whole lot of new directions.

      • David B. Benson

        Participants on the this subthread are advised to read the TCASE threads linked on the side4bar of

      • Andrew, Sustainable means that we cannot consume more power than is incident on the planet, that pretty much everything gets recycled, that population does not grow beyond planetary carrying capacity and that the anyone on the globe has a reasonable standard of living regardless of the longitude and latitude of their birthplace.

        It probably means a stable population an an economic growth rate paced by technological development.

        Frankly, I don’t think we’ll get there without relying on nukes as an interim step. It would be a mistake and a distraction to become dependent on them. We’ve seen what happens when an energy interest feels threatened.

      • Brilliant link, Adelady!

        I think we do need to ‘accentuate the positive’ in addition to the ongoing efforts in ‘reality counselling.’ It’s telling, I think, that the denialists I encounter are usually also extremely pessimistic (to put it charitably) about alternate energy technologies, which are said to be “unreliable,” “expensive” “scams” that “don’t work” and “kill jobs.” (Generally with an absence of evidentiary support for the allegations.)

        But hope sells better than despair, on average–and in the long run, realistic hope sells much better than the pie-in-the-sky variety.

      • That there are people and organisations that take climate change seriously but have unrealistic and superficial preferred responses is not surprising; all the more reason to become a strong advocate of realistic and effective responses. There are also those who seek to take advantage of people’s genuine concerns to promote their own self interest and that’s hardly surprising either.

        We get inadequate responses coated with greenwash fed to a poorly informed public as solutions, we get all kinds of industries – the fossil fuel industry included – promoting themselves as environmentally aware, low emissions and sustainable.

        We also get concerted efforts to blame the loudest voices, to highlight the unrealistic and superficial and attack the inadequate responses as if those are the problem rather than the genuine problems of sustainability, climate and energy.

        At the heart of this is a failure of mainstream business, media and politics to treat the real and looming problems with the seriousness they deserve.

  2. Chladini seems to be the catchword of the day with the auditors. Your iRidge post cast some light. Any thoughts on Chladini–beyond drum heads of course.

    Paul Middents

  3. Loved the review.

    The second one… well, at least they’re not calling us all commies any more?
    Honestly, it seems like the author thought “hey, they don’t seem to be bothered by accusations of being reds, what can we call them that’s worse?”

    • Nothing’s changed. The warmofascist econazies are still trying to establish a communist world government so they can remove our freedoms and tax us back to the stone age!

    • These guys think commies and nazis are two sides of the same socialist coin.

      • Right, they believe that the only difference between the nazis and the commies is that the nazi military had better tailors …

    • But in the wacko universe these people inhabit, and contrary to all political theory and despite all the historical evidence of Hitler et al’s ardent and murderous commie and socialist hating, Nazis are socialists.

      • Dikran Marsupial

        Who better than you, Spode, to point that out?!

      • Nazi meant Nationalsozialismus or in English, National Socialism. They let you keep your property, unless of course they chose to take it or your life away from you in the interest of the German Nation or Race, but even when you kept your property it was yours only de jure — in name — not de facto — in fact — because the use of such property could be regulated by the state in the nation interest.

        However, Nazism wasn’t simply socialist but totalitarian. The same is true of communism. Socialists on the other hand generally wanted to avoid blood — which is why in Nazis regarded communists as promising recruits but took a different view of socialists of the more garden variety, lumping them together with “liberals” who supported a democracy and other institutions of a free society.

        One other major difference between Nazism and communism was that the communists at least maintained the pretense of being pro-science. Engels referred to Karl Marx’s philosophy as Scientific Socialism and Scientific Communism. Nazism however openly embraced mysticism and was ultimately anti-technology with it worship of blood and soil and the desire to return to a mythical Aryan past. Technology was merely a necessary evil as means for waging war and a means to that end.

        However, in my view the pro-science stance of communism was simply a pretense. Consider the words:

        … don’t wrangle with us so long as you apply… the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, etc. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will, whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of existence of your class…. The charges against Communism made from a religious, a philosophical, and, generally, from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination.

        Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man’s ideas, views and conceptions, in one word, man’s consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life?

        What else does the history of ideas prove than that intellectual production changes its character to the extent that material production is changed? The ruling ideas of each age have always been the ideas of its ruling class,” (“The Communist Manifesto” by Karl Marx, emphasis added.)

        I submit that Marx was raising ad hominem reasoning into a central principle of a social epistemology. In essence embracing a polylogistic communist logic similar to Aryan logic.

        I would also maintain that the opposition to the laws that regulate pollution is an opposition to the defense of property rights. Does someone’s desire to avoid the inconvenience of finding a restroom give them the right to use my pool or water tank instead?

        And there clearly are instances of externalities — that Objectivists and other libertarians find fundamentally problematic. Garbage collection, immunization, a military, justice system, highway system, sewage system, public school system and other services would at least on the face of it seem to involve just such externalities. This would at least be suggestive of there being a role for government in providing these services.

        But some libertarians go so far as to argue for the privatization of government, including the existence of competing police forces and legal systems. I believe we already have such competing services — in the form of the mafia.

        Likewise Rand at least argued for a nebulous, voluntary means of financing government. Realistically I do not think you can do away with taxation.

        With this in mind I prefer to think of myself as post-libertarian. Or as a classical liberal who knows better than to replace the principle of “No taxation without representation” with the arrogant and short-sited demand for no taxation.

      • Anyway, not trying to pick an argument or anything. But in my view it is a mistake to argue that Nazism wasn’t a form of socialism — one of a number of varieties. But it is also a bit of a caricature to argue that Objectivists (including Peikoff and Rand) saw no major difference between National Socialism and other varieties of socialism, whether they be democratic, communist, anarchic or syndicalist.

      • Nice posts, Tim. It’s interesting and important to note the rise in Objectivist/Libertarian rhetoric (IMHO). There are quite a few people who use the term “government run” as a pejorative descriptor of schools. Seem the ter, “public” isn’t good enough.

      • Timothy, I would contend that both Soviet Communism and National Socialism were more kleptocracies than they were representative of any socialist philosophy. And after all, by the time Marx died, he, himself, proclaimed that he was not a Marxist. Marxism is more than anything else a metaphysics that didn’t correspond to reality. Parts of it are brilliant, but the whole dialectic diatribe was bullshit.

        Basically, Marx is an effective indictment of the capitalism of his day, but his prescription failed utterly.

        The Nazis on the other hand were what happens when a corrupt elite set on plunder meet a diseased mind.

      • Dikran Marsupial

        Quite, just becuase something self-labels themselves as being something, that doesn’t necessarily mean that is what they actually are, c.f “skeptic” ;o)

      • Ray, what one might argue is that given the problem of economic calculation which in a free market involves the cooperation of every participant in the economy and effects a division of cognitive labor that that results in the whole greatly exceeding what any committee is capable of in terms of its ability to coordinate economic activity and otherwise engage in economic planning. Consequently a communist society of any significant complexity in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the government is doomed to fail. When it becomes clear that it is failing the blame for that failure will tend to fall upon those that are in power — unless they are able to shift that blame elsewhere, to find scapegoats.

        Furthermore the attempt impose such control will necessarily be met with great resistance by a society that has grown organically. Thus those that would impose such a top-down approach to the economic organization of society will necessarily have to employ force. And it has been said that, “When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket.” Communism, in my view, necessarily had to result in a violent kleptocracy. But once again the Nazis were a bit more open about it.

        However, whatever one’s political ideology physics remains the same, whether it be quantum mechanics, thermodynamics or the principles of radiation transfer. The principles chemistry and others underlying the carbon cycle will likewise remain the same. And the consequences of dangerously raising the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be felt for roughly a hundred thousand years. That is a great deal longer than the existence of any human philosophy or political ideology.

        Anyway, Ray, Deech56 — thank you both.

  4. The second one (or some earlier version of that) has been on circulation for at least 2-3 years. That is why I occasionally refer to WWII-style thinking when commenting on the denier books, articles, blog posts, or basically anything. It’s almost like they want to keep neonazism as an option for a society, as they continually refer to that one article or something similar (Mr.Monckton comes to mind).

  5. Wrong sequence of links, Tamino, wrong sequence.
    And one can only hope that people don’t take the title of that rag (“American Thinker”) as indicative of average American thinking. Please tell me it isn’t.

    [Response: “American Thinker” is neither.]

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      “American Stinker” is more like it.

    • My only surprise in regard to “American Thinker” is that they haven’t hired Tom Fuller to write for them yet …

      Not that I want to give them any ideas or nuthin’

  6. “American Thinker” – a misleading name for that blog.

    • When I read the “essay” at “American Thinker”, I noticed off to the right there was an ad for “How to Analyze Information.” It says, “When you learn to analyze information, you are really learning how to think.” At that point, my irony meter exploded.

  7. On the American… ahem, ‘thinker’ piece: I’m reminding of Glenn Beck’s stoned mind-mapping: leaping majestically from free association to free association. It’s a method fairly typical of conspiracy thinking.

    If anyone wants a great read on this sort of world view, I can recommend Jon Ronson’s ‘them: adventures with extremists.’ That book actually helped me think through some important stuff a few years back: what was the difference between theories I chose to believe in and David Icke’s belief that the world was being secretly run by 16 ft inter-dimensional Lizards? Before that point, I was definitely closer to the “stoned free association” school of thinking than I am now, so I can recall it’s appeal…!

  8. On the second link, I see no profit in reading the rants of fools.

  9. Hitler, therefore global warming is a lie.

  10. Someone already added a link to the American Stinker article on Schwab’s wiki page, with the claim he was “a pioneering global warming theorist”. I am unaware of any contributions he actually made to the *science* of climate change. He wasn’t a scientist.

  11. Oh dear – yet more denialist projection, this time from American Dribbler.
    Not that I’ve ever met anyone who’s heard of it.

  12. That’s the newest meme among denialists … the Nazi/”warmist” link. Delingpole has a similar one.

    I think it has to co-ordinated. Or at least “monkey see/monkey do.”

  13. So when Plass wrote his paper “The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change” in 1955, he was really just aping what Schwab had written in a novel 3 years later. And Marx wrote the *Communist Manifesto* in 1848 because he had read Darwin’s *Origin of Species* in 1859. Uh huh. Why is it that creationist logic keeps popping up in denialist circles, I wonder?

  14. I think they are trying to invoke Godwin’s Law to end the “debate” and declare victory.

    The logic used remindes me of a parody in National Lampoon that used this syllogism:

    All men are mortal.
    Aristotle is a man.
    Therefore all men are Aristotle.

  15. Just when I think denier nonsense can’t get any worse, I see that utter crap piece and have to reset my absolute zero value. WTF is wrong with so many denialists?

  16. Well, this isn’t new, but I just came across a denialist pushing it–and there’s a case for “Poe” here. Plus, it’s one of the few instances of this junk that actually made me laugh out loud for the sheer lunatic irony involved. (Though that laugh left a queasy aftertaste.)

    To tie into with the event Wales-based author and legal expert John O’Sullivan will inaugurate an annual scientific award: the “Ernst-Georg Beck Award for Scientific Integrity and Competence” (BASIC). This award is named after Ernst-Georg Beck to honour a man of great scientific integrity and to bring attention to the fact that some 80,000 accurate carbon dioxide measurements were deliberately left out of the UN IPCC documentation because Beck’s measurements went against the preferred scenario of slowly and steadily increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. A cheque for US$10,000.- will be presented to the first recipient of the Award, Mr Piers Corbyn.

    The main donor is Ken Coffman, a US based publisher and distributor of outstanding scientific books, one of his latest promotions being the Andrew Montford book “The Hockey Stick Illusion.” In addition Mr O’Sullivan will announce that Stairway Press are proud to soon be publishing the world’s first full-volume refutation of the greenhouse effect entitled “Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Theory”.

    BASICally nuts. . .

    I’d link, but anyone who wants can Google it. Despite commenting here, I don’t really want to encourage the madness further!

  17. Well, I did not see that one coming. Hang on, I thought they claimed were “watermelons”– wish that they would make up their mind.

  18. If you read the second link, you need Lewis Black’s antidote:

  19. One thread you can trace all this “Nazism isn’t right-wing it’s really left-wing” BS back to is Leonard Peikoff the anointed successor to Ayn Rand’s Objectivist garbage and his book The Ominous Parallels from the 70’s.

  20. Accroding to the “thinking” of the “American Thinker”, Henry David Thoreau must have been an ardent Nazi. And so must John Muir.

  21. DenialDepot is just wonderful. Dr Inferno is a genius. The same cant be said for “American non-Thinker”. I would appear that the US doesnt have a truth in advertising law.

  22. The Nazis also liked sports and beer! Take that, all Bud drinking Superbowl watching closet nazi bastards!

  23. A. Dodds: Furthermore; imagine a world in which people lived this sustainable, essentially deindustrialized lifestyle.

    BPL: You cannot logically go from “sustainable” to “deindustrialized.” It’s like saying, “let’s not go to an egalitarian, essentially homosexual lifestyle,” or “let’s not vote GOP and have to bioengineer ourselves as lizards.” Not that that wouldn’t be cool, of course… Gay lizards, maybe…

  24. David B. Benson

    Maybe Tamino has the time for his own take on the 2002 flooding?

  25. But in the wacko universe these people inhabit, and contrary to all political theory and despite all the historical evidence of Hitler et al’s ardent and murderous commie and socialist hating, Nazis are socialists.

    You know who else made inaccurate and paranoid historical analogies? HITLER!

    Kidding aside, the cognitive dissonance here doesn’t just involve 20th-c. history. There are plenty of active neo-Nazis in the USA at this very moment, and I don’t think they’d like being accused of leftist sympathies, let alone socialism. Last time I checked, they’re hostile to the idea of natural or legal equality, violently anti-gay and anti-immigrant, strongly misogynist and pro-“traditional” families, and inordinately concerned with entartete Kunst and cultural decadence. In short, if you excised the explicit racialist content from their statements, a lot of what they say would fit in very nicely on Free Republic or Fox News.

    As for the “American Thinker” article, the reality is that Hitler was more concerned with global cooling.

    • LOL, indeed. This bit sounds familiar:

      Hörbiger had various responses to the criticism that he received. If it was pointed out to him that his assertions did not work mathematically, he responded: “Calculation can only lead you astray.” If it was pointed out that there existed photographic evidence that the Milky Way was composed of millions of stars, he responded that the pictures had been faked by “reactionary” astronomers.

  26. Jonathan Bagley

    You’ve got to admit that Hitler and modern green campaigners do have something in common.The things they oppose are generally the things people enjoy – drinking, smoking, eating, beautiful cars. The Nazis invented the term “passivrauchen” for passive smoking (E.T.S.). Shame the Nazis didn’t object to fair haired girls doing formation exercises out in the clean fresh air. You wouldn’t now be getting so much grief from the Denialists (climate change, not Holocaust).

    • Bagley: “You wouldn’t now be getting so much grief from the Denialists (climate change, not Holocaust).”

      Care to bet?

  27. Daniel J. Andrews

    I didn’t read the full AT article, but for the parts that I read, the thing that struck me most strongly (aside from the Godwin) was this is similar to the tact creationists use. Hitler was influenced by Darwin’s survival of the fittest, his writings on “race”, improving the line etc, therefore evolution is evil. (we’ll ignore Hitler’s April 1938 Munich speech where he talked about his personal beliefs–last few paragraphs in the transcript, Google should turn it up easily enough now).

    I’m betting if Gore (or Hansen, or Mann or any other political lightening rod) were to die today, tomorrow there’d be someone claiming he recanted his AGW stance before he died a la Darwin’s death-bed “confession”.

    It seems AT’s motto is, The truth is out there—so stay inside where it’s safe. (preferably with fingers stuck in ears, eyes tightly closed, and brain sitting in a briny pickle jar so you don’t wear it out).

  28. Daniel J. Andrews

    Something else just occurred to me. The Nazis did research on cigarette smoking and cancer/disease and found such links in the forties. Therefore, this invalidates all modern research finding such a link. In fact, it is proof the government is using smoking as an excuse to pass more regulations, which is just a stepping stone to a socialist new world order.

    Besides, if smoking is dangerous, all we have to do is let the market forces do its work and drive tobacco industries out of business when their customers start dying by the hundreds of thousands per year in America, by the millions world-wide. No need for regulation. Going out of business any time now…………..ignore those bodies behind the curtain….

  29. Phila, wonderful! We now have a weapon to kill the Global Cooling nonsense!

    “And you know who else believed in Global Cooling? Hitler!”

  30. By the way, don’t forget the space program. I guess we never should have had one. Darned Nazis all over the place. Geez!

    • Holy caca! I guess that makes me a Nazi, too. And don’t forget that Hitler breathed oxygen!

    • Hmmm, seems to me that without Werner von Braun and his cohorts from Peenemunde, the US would still not have flown into space, or at least with many years delay. Nothing more superior than German engineering, and I’m serious.

      [Response: I remember a joke in the 1960s, that we were sure to beat the Russians to the moon because our German scientists were better than their German scientists.]

    • And the first 3D films, as it turns out.

      Nazis made 3D propaganda movies >> Avatar is a 3D movie >> James Cameron made Avatar >> James Cameron said that AGW deniers are “boneheads” and Glen Beck is a “****ing ***hole” >> James Cameron, those who share his views, and Avatar fans must be Nazis.

      So much for American **nker.

  31. OK, in honor of the American Wanker, the great Tom Lehrer:
    ARTIST: Tom Lehrer
    TITLE: Wernher Von Braun
    Lyrics and Chords

    Gather round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun
    A man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience
    Call him a Nazi, he won’t even frown
    “Ha, Nazi schmazi,” says Wernher von Braun

    Don’t say that he’s hypocritical
    Say rather that he’s apolitical
    “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down
    That’s not my department,” says Wernher von Braun

    Some have harsh words for this man of renown
    But some think our attitude should be one of gratitude
    Like the widows and cripples in old London town
    Who owe their large pensions to Wernher von Braun

    You too may be a big hero
    Once you’ve learned to count backwards to zero
    “In German oder English I know how to count down
    Und I’m learning Chinese,” says Wernher von Braun

  32. Inspector General’s Review of Stolen Emails Confirms No Evidence of Wrong-Doing by NOAA Climate Scientists

    “Report is the latest independent analysis to clear climate scientists of allegations of mishandling of climate information”

  33. A gift from Curry’s place.

    “steven mosher | February 26, 2011 at 6:05 am | Reply
    “Re DC, wow, you are incredibly desperate Mosher. And Mosher, pray tell, who is Goddard exactly? I heard you two “made” up in Lisbon after all.”
    [edit]……. I really have no respect for people who hide behind monikers. same with Josh Halpern or Grant Foster.

    WRT “Goddard”. After Lisbon I became aware that he was not using his real name. I wasn’t told his real name, but if you know it I have no issue with you using it. If I knew it I would use it. Since I had no problem criticizing him I’d have no problem using his real name.”

    Oops, Watts is on the record saying that he doesn’t allow people to post articles using pseudonyms. So how long has he known that Goddard was a pseudonym?

    My response to Mosher:
    MapleLeaf | February 26, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Reply
    “I really have no respect for people who hide behind monikers”
    OK, so you therefore admit to having no respect for Goddard or Nigel Persaud (i.e., Stephen McIntyre).
    Good to hear it from the horse’s mouth Steven– McIntyre will be disappointed to hear that though.

    PS: And did Charles Rotter (your roommate, at least he was a while ago) not also “hide” behind a moniker (CTM) for quite some time?”

    • Horatio Algeranon

      “From the horse’s mouth”, indeed.

      “Nigel Persuad” is not simply a pseudonym but was actually used as a Sock puppet

      Tamino and Eli rabett are pseudonyms, but not sock puppets.
      Anyone unclear on the difference, you can read Pets, Puppets and pawpets

      Writing under a pseudonym has a long, distinguished tradition (eg, Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll and possibly even the master muse, Shakespeare.) There are quite legitimate reasons for wishing to write under a pseudonym.

      [Response: And Benjamin Franklin.]

      There is only one reason for using a sock puppet: deceit.

  34. Tamino, are you willing to offer some advice? Any one else have an opinion? Should I buy or pass?

  35. Will you be posting your sea ice minimum prediction again soon? William Connolley has his prediction up and it would be interesting to compare. Although I don’t think your prediction will be distinguishable from a continuing linear trend over a single season.

    [Response: I already posted by prediction for the 2011 minimum: 4.63 +/- 0.9 million km^2.]

  36. Oops! Sorry.

    So, the quadratic and linear trend predictions are broadly in agreement for the coming minimum. Which isn’t surprising because annual variability is high and the predictions don’t diverge that much over short time spans.

    But according to over the observational record the quadratic trend is a better fit than a linear trend. But for the long run it’s better to look at a physical model than extrapolations from the past anyway.

  37. Mapleleaf
    interesting discussion. I always knew Goddard wasn’t his real name, at least now we know for sure. That being said, some have said you are Andrew Weaver from UBC but I won’t hypothesize about the reality of the statement but it does mean that you must sound knowledgeable if they think you’re a well known climate modeller haha

    • Gavin's Pussycat


      please leave such speculation aside. Tamino has chosen to use a nom-de-plume for legitimate reasons (being employed outside climatology, and trying to have a real life). Let the reputation attach to the handle.

  38. Tamino,
    do you know much about Local indicators of spatial association (LISA) statistics? In particular do you know of any R programs or packages that have used them?

  39. Barry Bickmore has a three part extended critique of Roy Spencer’s ‘Great Global Warming Blunder’ (H/T to Tim Lambert):

    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3

  40. Daniel Bailey

    Patrick Lockerby has his March 2011 Arctic Sea Ice page up. A teaser quote:

    “why I expect the central Arctic to be essentially ice-free by the end of this Arctic summer 2011”

    The melt season may already be underway…

    The Yooper

  41. Any thoughts on this paper?

    Synchronicity of Antarctic temperatures and local solar insolation on orbital timescales
    Thomas Laepple, Werner, Lohmann
    Nature, 471, 91–94, doi:10.1038/nature09825

  42. Lorius´s Car

    Dear Tamino, you kindly offered me some of your great blog posts about volcanoes and GHGs causing most of the early 20th century warming. Could you point me to some scientific papers elaborating more on the causes of the warming 1910-40?

    BTW, great blog! I´m new to the climate debates and did not even know it. But seriously, I´m impressed

    [Response: What you want is the IPCC reports. They contain both as summary of the science, and references to the primary literature.]

  43. Hey Tamino,
    I was wondering whether you had a preferred technique for reconstruction of past climates using low and high resolution proxies. Are there any straightforward ways for combining low and high temporal resolution proxies?

    • Søren Rosdahl Jensen

      Hi Robert
      I would consider Ljungqvists (Ljungqvist, 2010) version of the CPS methodology as a very straightforward way to combine low and high resolution proxies. In this method first all series that do not have annual resolution are linearly interpolated to annual resolution.
      Then 10 year averages of the proxy series are calculated and those decadal series are then averaged together with the CPS method.
      I have tried to replicate his analysis, with moderate succes. I don’t exactly replicate his series but it is probably also related to differences in the data, not all data for Ljungqvist 2010 is public.
      You could also have a look at the post “Tai Chi Temperature Reconstructions” at Skeptical Science. In my view the approach in that post is very similar to Ljungqvists, and Peter Hogarth seems to agree (check comment 69 on the post).

  44. hi Søren Rosdahl Jensen
    Interesting reads there especially regarding Hogarth’s post at SKS. I have often questioned why if we have proxies which are annually resolved we do not use the same methods as station combination methods (such as tamino’s or Roman Ms) for instrumental temperatures. Essentially do we not have the same things at that point? Individual temperature points just like GISS deals with . I don’t think Peter Hogarth combines low and high res proxies and he excludes z-scores for the most part (would one convert all to Z-scores to get around this?). How would one linearly interpolate to an annual basis with low res proxies that have different intervals for example?

    Thanks for your help.

  45. Tamino, what is your take on the Length of Day correlation to global temperature? ( I keep hearing this, from one or two posters who think it is very relevant. Unfortunately, the only causal link cited by the recent paper deals with the flux of cosmic rays, which to my knowledge has not been closely correlated to surface temperature. And even their own graph shows close correlation between LOD and T only about half of the study period. I remain unconvinced.

    [Response: I too am unconvinced.]

  46. I see Roger Pielke Jr.’s giving a promo to Robert Muller’s presentation on Hide the Decline, calling it the best concise summary so far.

    He’s wrong. Phil Jones gives the best concise summary when explaining it to the President of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse.

    Skip to 21:17


    [Response: Please no embedded video. I’d be glad if you could supply a link which won’t embed the video.]


    Phil Jones — The [World Meteorological] organisation wanted a relatively simple diagram for their particular audience. What we started off doing was the three series with the instrumental temperatures on the end, clearly differentiated from the tree ring series, but they thought that was too complicated to explain to their audience. So, so what we did was just to add them on and bring them up to the present. And, as I say, this was a World Meteorological Organisation statement. It had hardly any coverage in the media at the time, and had virtually no coverage for the next ten years, until the release of the emails.

    Paul Nurse — So why do you think so much fuss was made about the emails and this graph, rather than the peer reviewed science?

    Phil Jones — I think it’s that the number of climate change sceptics, or doubters, deniers, whatever you want to call them, just wanted to use these emails for their own purposes to cast doubt on the basic science. The basic science is in the peer reviewed literature, and I wish more people would read that than read the emails.

    • The video embeds itself. If anyone wants to see Phil Jones actually explain, from his own mouth, copy & paste this URL and replace ### with com

  47. Sorry, try this instead (same instructions):

  48. Doesn’t unchecking the Auto-embeds check box in Administration > Settings > Media SubPanel prevent auto-embedding WordPress’s white list of embeddable videos?

    Or does that prevent you auto-embedding them too? Presumably, if that were the case then they could be embedded by a coding method for your purposes.

    [Response: I’ve done that, but it still seems to auto-embed.]

  49. The global temperature record over the last 50 million years or so shows a gradual decline in average temperature, though with large glacial-interglacial cycles imposed on it in the last few million years. My understanding is that this gradual decline and then levelling off is due to net removal of carbon from the surface repositories – oceans, atmosphere, biosphere etc. – so that there is less available to be released into the atmosphere when conditions are right for outgassing from the oceans, and therefore global temperature hasn’t ever risen much above Holocene temperature in the last 3 million years. I also take it to mean that at this time there is effectively no net change in the total amount of carbon in the system, although it is exchanged between the various repositories as the climate changes.

    According to CDIAC we have put about 340 billion tons of carbon back into the surface carbon repositories in the last 250 years. So I was wondering: How far back would we have to go in the geological history of the Earth to find a time when there was the pre-industrial amount of carbon plus 340 billion tons? Is that amount too small to be significant or does it take us back to a time when the world was significantly warmer than the Holocene? I know that atmospheric CO2 can fluctuate significantly on timescales of years and decades, and thus have a big impact on global warming, but presumably the *total* amount of carbon in the system isn’t going to be changed by geological processes on any timescale that we can imagine, so we’re stuck with the consequences of the current elevated carbon level and whatever further fossil carbon we emit, unless we capture and sequester most of that 340 billion tons ourselves.

    [Response: If I recall correctly, you’d have to go back about 20 million years to find CO2 levels equal to today’s. And yes, the world back then was significantly warmer than the holocene (see this for example).]

    • It depends what you mean by “any timescale we can imagine,” but Realclimate had a post making clear that the current slug of CO2 (and other GHGs) will be affecting the radiative balance for a millenium hence.

      This was also discussed in David Archer’s “The Long Thaw,” summarized here.

    • Andrew Dodds

      Well, you can calculate it (1st order..) yourself.

      Of the top of my head, the Volcanic flux is ~120 million tonnes per year; given that the amount of carbon in the biosphere+atmosphere+ocean+soil should have been in rough equlibrium prior to human intervention, we can assume that this amount of carbon dioxide was geologically sequestered every year.

      If (big IF here) sequestration rate is a linear function of concentration, then we can assume that man made CO2 is being sequestered at a rate of ~50 million tonnes per year. Obviously if we stopped emitting now, concentrations would drop and hence rate of sequestration, but even as a very rough approximation, that gives 340x 10^9 /50x 10^6, or ~7000 years. (+- lots)

  50. Took some digging the get to the latest OT thread (page 4)… the link in the right side bar to Hadley Centre for Climate Change is broken. Not sure if this is the new one after the MET’s reorg: