Monday, June 04, 2007

Is it too Sunny for you?

Ah, your humble Devil has found fame at last as Sunny Hundal takes a swipe at me over my denunciation of Greenpeace idiot, Ben Stewart.

Whilst one wouldn't like to sink to the level of the naughty person who has vandalised Sunny's Wikipedia entry the other day... [Emphasis, but not entry, mine.]
He is one of the founding members of the New Generation Network. A group and manifesto set up to challenge the current discourse of race relations in the UK.He also smells like cat pee.

... one really cannot let some of his assertions go. The thing is that Sunny not only knows absolutely toss all about climate change, he also, quite obviously, knows bugger all about the IPCC or, indeed, the state of scientific publishing at the moment.
I suspect Iain Dale and others on the typical Tory right have missed the point entirely.

First, I am not a Tory. Second, your links to Dizzy and myself miss a crucial point: we know a fuck sight more about science than you do, sunshine.
I alluded to this point last year in the death of debate on CIF: the view taken by some producers that they can have a ‘balanced’ discussion by inviting two completely opposing viewpoints and watching the sparks fly. Looks like Doughty Street might be going down the same route.

And what else would you suggest, Sunny? Get two people on who agree with each other? That makes for tedious television. Oh, is it because you share Dave "ignorant fuckwit" Miliband's assertion that the results are "unambiguous"? In which case, you are a fuckwit.
The reason why Greenpeace is right in avoiding such programmes with such participants is because it gives the false impression that there is still a debate to be had and that it could go either way.

Sunny, you lack-wit buffoon, in science there is always a debate to had; that is how science progresses. Go and look up falsifiability, you fucking numbskull.
No. When 90% of the evidence supports one position then such a ‘balanced debate’ only creates a false impression.

As does your fucking ignorant post, you stupid fuck. What you ignorant cretins don't seem to understand is that the IPCC has not yet actually published the "evidence". To describe you as a stupid, fuckwitted bigot seems almost charitable at this point, frankly. No, very charitable, actually. Fuck off.

What ignorant arseholes like Sunny don't understand—because the politicians don't want you to know and because journos are too lazy and ill-informed to do any decent research these days—is that the debate is far from over. The excellent Bishop Hill has been cataloguing some of the extremely dodgy practises of climate scientists; the main contentions are their cherry-picking of data, their unwillingness to publish their data and the fact that the supposed concensus doesn't fucking exist.

And the IPCC is far from being any better. Here's a comment that I left on Pickled Politics.
On a serious note, no it does not. Because the IPCC has not actually published the evidence yet. It is getting feedback from the four – count them: FOUR – “summaries for policy-makers” before it publishes the data.

This is not really usual scientific publishing procedure, believe it or not.

I get sick of repeating myself, really, hence the lazy cut and paste job.
Other than in the world of loons such as Melanie Phillips, another eminent scientist, most people have slowly woken up to the fact that we have gone past climate change to global warming and that it is mostly a man-made phenomena.

Fucking hell, you really are a sententious twat, aren't you? No, Sunny, we haven't, much as the politicians and media would like you to think that.

Just as a matter of common sense, how much of the atmosphere is made up of CO2? It's just below 0.04%. Oh, and...
Global warming on Neptune’s moon Triton as well as Jupiter and Pluto, and now Mars has some scratching their heads over what could possibly be in common with the warming of all these planets.

I simply cannot be arsed to go over this shit again: just search The Kitchen for "climate change" and you will find all the links you need. These should, at the very least, make you think properly about the whole issue rather than joining in with the kind of knee-jerk, ill-informed crap that Sunny Hundal comes out with.
That Channel 4 airs unadulterated rubbish such as The Great Climate Change Swindle doesn’t change anything.

It always amuses me that those who have a problem with that programme, which featured a large number of scientists giving their scientific opinion, seem happy to accept Al Gore's piece of shit film without question. Let me fucking remind you: Al Gore has no scientific qualifications whatso-fucking-ever. OK? 'Kay.
In fact there is so much disinformation out there that New Scientist has an extensive section dedicated just to rebutting those idiotic conspiracy theories.

Unfortunately, the New Scientist lost any credibility when it embraced, uncritically, the Stern Review which, as most of us know by now, was so fucking flawed—or, rather, deliberately deceitful—that it really is of no use at all. If they couldn't be fucking arsed to look at the report (which they very obviously didn't) then they do not deserve any kind of respect. Or credibility.

Of course, wankers like Hundal will happily accept anything that the New Scientist says because it has the word "scientist" in the title.
Anyone still willing to believe this is all a myth quite rightly deserves to be ignored by charity workers who have better things to do with their time.

Anyone who believes that scientific theories should not be questioned at every opportunity is a lack-wit arsebiscuit of the very first water and should probably stick to writing about what they know.

So, in Sunny's case, he should just shut the fuck up because a careful reading of his articles reveals that he knows fuck all about anything, especially about science.

16 comments:

bookdrunk said...

Unfortunately, the New Scientist lost any credibility when it embraced, uncritically, the Stern Review...

Which is a convenient and somewhat lazy way to avoid talking about any of the substance of the New Scientist's report.

It's hard to take seriously the accusation that someone hasn't done their reading when the person making that accusation is unwilling to.. uh.. do their reading. Substance, please.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Bookdrunk,

That is not really the point of the article: are you seriously asking me to go through and address every single "myth" there?

I'm not going to because I am, as I said, rather bored of this subject right now. The majority of them basically say "we aren't too sure" anyway.

The New Scientist embraced the Stern Report enthusiastically, basing the editorial and a number of articles in the November 2006 edition on it (I know because I bought the mag).

The fact is that the Stern Review was fatally flawed. Well, I say "flawed", but what I actually mean is that it was utter bollocks.

Yes, the Stern Review was an economic report, not a scientific one, but the eagerness with which the NS greeted a report that had already been proven to be crap before the magazine came out was just stupid.

If they could not be arsed to read or examine that report, on which they hung a substantial part of that edition, then why should we assume that they have done any more substantial reading on any other subject?

DK

Devil's Kitchen said...

P.S. The point that I am trying to make was that their whole-hearted endorsement of the Stern Report showed that they are willing to embrace any idea that reflects their worldview. They are no less biased than... oh, I don't know... me.

Anonymous said...

Well said DK unfortunately scientific ignorance is to be found everywhere. Hardly surprising given the dross that schools churn out nowadays.

Not Saussure said...

Global warming on Neptune's moon Triton as well as Jupiter and Pluto, and now Mars has some scratching their heads over what could possibly be in common with the warming of all these planets.

DK -- I'm not trying to argue with you about this, because I don't understand the science. I ask only for information.

Why is this material about global warming on other planets supposed to be such a knock-down argument? Seems to me wholly plausible (though I don't know if it's true or not) to say something like, 'increased solar activity is warming everything up and increased levels of CO2 in the earth's atmosphere is exacerbating this effect.'

Do you say that CO2 isn't exacerbating the effects of whatever the sun's doing, or that, even it is, it has so small an effect we needn't bother about it? You may be correct; I'm just trying to get the argument straight in my mind.

Devil's Kitchen said...

NS,

Yes, that's pretty much what I saying.

My main assertions run as follows:

1) the sun is the driver of climate change. The warming on other planets in the solar system indicate this to be the case.

2) water vapour has a far higher effect on global temperatures than CO2.

3) CO2 may provide a feedback effect, but does not drive climate change (the Vladivostock ice cores show this pretty conclusively).

4) the warming effect provided by CO2 is logarithmic, not exponential.

DK

Sunny said...

"Of course, wankers like Hundal will happily accept anything that the New Scientist says because it has the word "scientist" in the title"

As opposed to accept wisdom from people who cannot construct an argument without including 15 expletives with the hope that it makes their argument sound more convicing?

PS - my initial post does not mention the IPCC, there is a lot more material out there than that.

Secondly, you say: "which featured a large number of scientists giving their scientific opinion,"

There are plenty of refutations out there on the credentials of the so-called scientists in that C4 programme. If you want to take that shit at face value that's your loss not mine. Try reading around a bit more.

Bishop Hill said...

I'm cautious about commenting on the science per se. But it is pretty clear that there are questions to be answered over the lack of replicability of the paleoclimate reconstructions and over the quality of the instrumental temperature record and over the alleged existence of a consensus over the state of the science.

The New Scientist report is particularly funny since it reproduces the IPCC spaghetti graph which is, to all intents and purposes, (how to put this politely), of dubious accuracy, in that it truncates some of the proxy records which have inconveniently declined in the second half of the twentieth century. Let's be clear: if a wicked capitalist was found to have done this as part of a share offering he would be jailed, without a shadow of a doubt. Apparently this is acceptable in climate science though.

I'm interested to know how do you feel about this, Sunny? At the very least, doesn't it make you feel a little uneasy?

Amir said...

Oh gawwwd,

Sunny Hundal? Yazzmonster Brown? Johann Hari?... the mind boggles.

1) “There are plenty of refutations out there on the credentials of the so-called scientists in that C4 programme”

I agree: the documentary was dishonest and demagogic. But the exact same tendencies permeate your own arguments. For instance, you have the gall to accuse Steve Sailer of promoting “racist pseudo-science,” notwithstanding the vast sets of empirical data on race and IQ. Because you see everything through the prism of Marxism and divide everything into Marxist categories, you ignore inconvenient truths about undeniable realities. You, of all people, should know better than to accuse Chris Mounsey of plugging an “ideology” to the detriment of evidence. No one on Pickled Politics wants to talk about the disproportional level of muggings and violent crimes committed by blacks throughout Britain. Mmmm, I wonder why…?

(In any case: I don’t take your concern for the environment that seriously. Your unwavering support for large-scale immigration, which increases congestion and gobbles up the green belt, is anathema to your supposed concern for forests and furry animals. [Note to DK: next time that preening little queen Johann Hari goes on and on about global warming, just remind our readers that Hari told Tatchell in a recent interview that we need more immigrants, not less.])

2) “As opposed to accept wisdom from people who cannot construct an argument without including 15 expletives.”

Or from people who cannot construct an argument without including some sly and sinister reference to Melanie Philips’ mental condition? Your invectives against Philips are disproportional and ugly and reek of sexism. (Accusations of “lunacy,” incidentally, are used by Stalinists of all shades and stripes to produce conformity on contentious issues (or policies).)

You obviously can’t stand the sight and sound of a middle-aged woman with the chutzpah to take on your nepotistic gang of multi-culti bullyboys. (Incidentally, I think Zia Sardar is a fucking piss-poor writer... like that other mate of yours, the cringing and inarticulate Gautam Malkani. Talentless writers attract other talentless writers, like flies around feces.)

3) “If you want to take that shit at face value that's your loss not mine. Try reading around a bit more.”

I disagree with DK on the environment, but unlike you, I welcome an alternative perspective. It’s funny how you can act and speak like a rigorous empiricist on global warming, but when it comes to genetics, you display the scientific credentials of a Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell.

Amir

Devil's Kitchen said...

As opposed to accept wisdom from people who cannot construct an argument without including 15 expletives with the hope that it makes their argument sound more convicing?

My dear boy, if you removed the expletives from my writing, you would still find my arguments would stand up. There are a great number of bloggers who would agree with this: try looking at the testimonials at the side.

PS - my initial post does not mention the IPCC, there is a lot more material out there than that.

Yes, but an awful lot of it is based, to a greater or lesser degree, on earlier IPCC data. A great deal of it (tree rings, etc.) has been quietly dropped because it's rubbish.

Secondly, you say: "which featured a large number of scientists giving their scientific opinion,"

There are plenty of refutations out there on the credentials of the so-called scientists in that C4 programme. If you want to take that shit at face value that's your loss not mine. Try reading around a bit more.


Uh, yeah, right. I've been writing about this for over two years: now, you can assume that I haven't read around if you like. That's entirely up to you, sunshine.

But let us take, for example, Professor Wunsch, who insisted that he was "misrepresented" and that he would never have done the film had he known its title; unfortunately, none of this alters the fact that he said what he said (specifically about the CO2 absorption rates of the oceans at different temperatures) and was filmed doing so.

And whatever your perspective, or whatever amusing stories you find about the scientists in that documentary, that does not alter the fact that they are scientists and Gore is not even close.

DK

Andrew Field said...

"And whatever your perspective, or whatever amusing stories you find about the scientists in that documentary, that does not alter the fact that they are scientists and Gore is not even close."

Yes... But that's a slight misrepresentation of the copmarison. It wasn't the scientists' film. It was director, producer and 'marxist libertarian' (I'll leave that one to you DK) Martin Durkin's, a man with a long history of misleading interviwers and misrepresenting research and opinions for his own political ends.

And I'm afraid I'd take Gore over Durkin most days of the week.

Gracchi said...

Dk just to check up on some things- firstly on the documentary- having done one on history- standard practise is to ask the question in as many different ways as possible in order to get the answer you want to get. That's the way it works and often you get a sentence out of a paragraph that you can then splice into your footage- neglecting the bits around it that may make an opposite point.

But I don't think that's the real point here. The real point seems to me that you claim scientific expertise- I don't have scientific expertise at all- I haven't studied science since I was at school. But what scientific background do you have- why should we accept your statements about climate science- have you read the actual journal articles in the real journals- not things like New Scientist- but the journals in which research is published. I would agree for example having just done a Google Scholar search on Global warming that a 1993 study found that connections between human activity and the temperature rise observed were tentative but for instance J.D. Mahlman from Princeton concluded in 1997 that greenhouse gases have caused increased global warming. What is the status of the most recent articles in refereed journals on this subject- I know from my own subject history that basically its those that you need to look at to see the real research- so I was wondering what your assessment for instance of articles published in places like Nature and other more specific climate science journals was at the moment.

Last word on falsification- that's true but also science proceeds by paradigms. Professor Kuhn's great work on scientific revolutions illustrates this- noone for instance seeks to reprove relativity before they look at gravitation. Quite often research starts from the basis of previous research- that's ultimately why science can progress- so Popper though a good philosopher for solving the problem of induction, isn't so good at providing an account of how science actually works or how intellectual life actually works. It could well be that the scientists have accepted Global warming and now work off it in order ot work out how it might work- I don't know- again I turn to you in refereed journals (so not the New Scientist or anything less scientific than nature) do climate scientists assume global warming.

Cheers

David B. Wildgoose said...

And how do new Paradigms arise? Because some scientist has found irrefutable proof that the existing paradigm is false, thereby starting a mad scramble for a new one.

In other words, Popper is still right.

I highly recommend Steve Fuller's "Kuhn vs Popper: The Struggle for the Soul of Science".

Incidentally, if I remember correctly, DK does have a scientific background. One of the problems that those of us who are properly numerate have is with all those with an Arts background who blindly accept whatever they are told by campaigners with their own agendas without being capable of actually understanding either the arguments or the figures.

Gracchi said...

But David DK's scientific background actually doesn't help much- he may be a great quantum physicist but that doesn't mean he understands this particular branch of science. I am a PhD historian but there is plenty of stuff in history let alone the humanities that I just don't understand and can't comment on.

The people who do know stuff are the guys writing in the refereed journals and that's where I turn for my information whenever I'm looking at my own research so if this is an argument about the science then we should proceed by producing articles from journals that other experts in the area are reviweing before publication.

On Popper Kuhn- well yes that's one way of looking at it but all I was arguing was that in the majority of cases scientists aren't trying to overthrow the paradigm- indeed normal science constitutes not overthrowing the paradigm. And of course the issue of what constitutes a refutation is a fascinating one- ultimately its not really a phenomenon that can't be explained because the human mind is creative enough to explain anything- but its a law which explains things is a simpler way by Occam's razor it must be true.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Grachii,

I did two years of a microbiology degree. Now, you can say that does not make me an expert in climate science and you'd be right; however, what I do understand is a) the scientific processes that are being measured, and b) the expected tolerances in statistical measurement.

A general interest in all things, but particularly science, means that I keep up to date with processes and reports.

What do I read? Well, sometimes scientists sent me reports directly. More often, I find bloggers, such as the Englishman, who link directly to the raw studies (not summaries) and I download and read them.

When they reference other reports, I try to find and read those too. Actually, a great deal of climate science is very, very dull (I far prefer pathology), but there you go...

DK

Bishop Hill said...

Gracchi

The question is what branch of science do you think DK should be to follow the climate debate. Basic physics? Statistics would be a must for the paleoclimate reconstructions. Thermodynamics? You couldn't assess the dendrochronology work without an understanding of botany and the ecology of trees.

And anyway, climate science is legendary for being populated by people who are working outwith their field of expertise. Michael Mann, of hockey stick fame, is a physicist and freely admits that he's not a statistician, and yet his most famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) work - namely the hockey stick - is basically a work of statistics.