Spencer and the Mystery Journal

“Dr” Roy Spencer has finally and conclusively demolished all arguments opposing his position that… well, whatever his position is. Read All About It.

But that isn’t the interesting bit, obviously. The interesting bit is that the black helicopters are coming for him and his tin-foil hat:

Given the history of the IPCC gatekeepers in trying to kill journal papers that don’t agree with their politically-skewed interpretations of science (also see here, here, here, here), I hope you will forgive me holding off for on giving the name of the journal until it is actually published.

So, great paper, but in what journal? Has Spencer done a “Lindzen and Choi“? Has he stooped as low as E&E? I can’t wait for the answer so… does anyone know?

[Update: rumour suggests that Spencer isn’t doing well: his journal-of-choice is rumoured to be Remote Sensing, which looks to be too new to trouble itself about trivia like impact factors.]

[Update (and bumped to the top therefore): mystery resolved! It was indeed Remote Sensing that Woy was being so coy about, and you can see why. Its peer-reviewed, you know.

I left this at his blog, it hasn’t appeared yet:

I did win, hurrah for me. No need to be coy any more, Roy. And who better than the Heartland Institute to announce the result?
Its so fitting! http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-data-blow-gaping-hold-global-warming-alarmism-192334971.html



* RC rips Spencer to shreds
* Barry Bickmore rips Spencer to shreds
* Bad Astronomy rips Spencer to shreds
* [Thats enough ripping Spencer to shreds – Ed.]
* Spencer & Braswell 2011: Proof that global warming is exaggerated? Or just bad science?

Those teabaggers; etc.

Misc stuff. I think I’ll press “publish” now to distract you. Oh look, there’s a badger…

Early Warning with some interesting speculation and pointers re the possible US default. The “only someone batshit crazy would do that; oh f*ck, these teabaggers *are* batshit crazy” is fun. But I like the idea that even a brief default – assuming they came to their senses and caved afterwards – would add some tiny amount to US interest rates forever after. Are they really that crazy? Or will the big money have a quiet word in the right ears?

Timmy again, this time pointing out (well, it was the point of interest to me, you might care for the wider point) just how mind-bogglingly tiny the tradeable economies of some countries are. A graph of this would be nice, I think.

Mr. Gore Finds the Link by mt and (just to provoke) Mencken on crowdsourcing by a man of many names.

Eli has a new idea for betting on sea ice (which I see is looking better just now).

Newspapers follow bias not cause it – not quite true but fairly true. Certainly, an unwelcome idea all too rarely considered. Just as a people gets the politicians they deserve, they also get the press they deserve. Not me, of course, because I get none of them; but you plebs, yes.


Pic added per comments; see-also here

Do what you’re good at

My morning blog-reading threw up Well, no Mr. Chakrabortty, no wherein Timmy is characteristically blunt about the failings of politicians. You don’t have to agree, this is only the lead-in to my own view. The problem with Timmy’s analysis is that no, most politicians aren’t idiots, they are quite clever. Or at least some of them. But they do stuff up a lot of things very badly.

So I’ll put up my own view, which is more Darwinistic: you should do what you’re good at, and free competition will select those who get it right. In an idealised free market this happens for businesses: those that succeed, errm, succeed; and those that fail, fail. In a bad market, biznizmen can capture the regulation to their own advantage. But in a sense, that is the same Darwinism in action: if you’re astute, and wish to prosper, you have to recognise what in that environment will make you prosper. If the framework is wrong, the “right” behaviour won’t help. Setting the correct framework is the politicians job. If they get it wrong (e.g. by preferring cap-n-trade over a carbon tax) then the market will inevitably respond, “wrongly”.

And so to politicians. What pressures act to select on them? I argue that the ones you would want – competence, ability to manage their brief, making valid decisions – are there, but weak. Far stronger are ability to win elections, fighting up the party hierarchy, looking good, etc. Which is why I agree that the state should do as little as possible, and concentrate on what it should do: making the framework right. One large part of which (MPs expenses, the current phone hacking stuff) is preventing corruption.

Last day

[This post written in arrears and given an in-arrears date, so few people will see it. But I care.]

So, day 4. Champs 1 again ahead of us, and we sort-of resolved to go for it rather harder this time, but in a slightly vague way. We mostly decided that we would aim to get them by the Plough; and if we didn’t, we’d take the race from there. And we knew Champs 2 were fast off the start but we knew if we held them to first post they would fade from there.

I’d watched the early divisions. Div 3 was notable for practice starts in bright sunshine followed by it pissing with rain on the division. Ah well.


At the start, I felt fairly relaxed. The terrible anticipation of the previous 3 days wasn’t there – calm instead. Good. I didn’t analyse why for fear of dispelling it. And so we went off – fairly hard, but: not quite with that killer sprint that we needed. And so we got whistles by first post, and maybe two by the Plough, but not enough. Meanwhile, behind us, Champs 2 were not playing to the plan either: they had started fast, but failed to fade in the approved fashion. By Ditton corner it was serious: they probably had a fraction of overlap. Out of the corner we pushed and dropped them, but it was close: we should have pushed earlier I think, in retrospect. In fact in retrospect, we should have given it everything down Plough reach. Champs 2 had a bowcam, so you can watch for yourself.

But they pushed us all the way to the railway bridge, so it was a good row – well worth it. We cheered them, they cheered us, we cheered Champs 1. And then it was all over for another year. A brief stop at the beer tree. Back to Corpus so we could take the boat apart (Steven, Katherine and others taking a mixed VIII to St Neots: lost to Cygnet, apparently). And then the post-bumps party at Goldie, courtesy of Chris Smith, which was awfully decent of him. Even more so at around 11 when he invited the survivors up to his flat above. Lovely balcony view. Paul had a very special pair of underpants and Simon wore his spoon with pride. I left around 1 though things were still in full flow…


* Day 3 (row over)
* Day 2 (up, City 3)
* Day 1 (row over)
* Last year, day 4
* Club blog

Mirror, mirror

Still on the rowing I’m afraid. A row-over today: two years ago we’d have killed for a high-quality row-over like tonight, but after yesterdays superb bump-up, tonight felt like a let down.

Thinking (and drinking, in the Waterman again, a pub I’m coming to like) about it afterwards, it all seemed like an unwelcome mirror of last years M2, also on day 3, albeit at a far higher standard. Just like then, we’d bumped up the day before so had no fear of what was behind us; just like then we had a crew ahead that we knew we were faster than; just like then we were a bit too confident of grinding them down, and failed to sparkle and kill them early.

The pic is from Jet Photographic, as I think you can tell from the huge letters. I hope they don’t mind me advertising their wares.

We did close on them – we had a whistle by Grassy and two (and even three) whistles later; but afterwards it became clear we’d never got closer than 1/2 a length. And down the reach we were either level or falling back a bit – I’m not sure.

Elsewhere… M2 carelessly let themselves be overwhelmed by the gleam of Tabs 7’s shiny new Stampfli, rowed like spanners and went down. M3 down (spoons beckon). W2 rowed over (again! But apparently its been really exciting) and W1 rowed over, which they are very happy with, having been chased all the way. And they have Champs 2 down ahead of them, so tomorrow beckons.


* M1 video from Rob Payne.
* GPS track
* Amy on W1
* W1 video from MadProf77.

All around my hat

…I will wear the green willow. Yes, we went up: yay! Though that doesn’t begin to capture it.


L to R: Andy Southgate (4); Steven Andrews (5); Chris Wood (2); Ollie Crabb (S); James Tidy (Cox); Chris Metcalfe (3); William Connolley (B); James Howard (7; with George); Chris Smith (6).

Yesterday, Tabs 3 caught City 3 round about Grassy; and since we mostly held station with Tabs, we were happy that we could get City in a fair fight. But! Behind us, Champs 2 had caught Nines 3 not much after the motorway bridge: and while we’d pulled away from Nines by at least 1/2 a length, that was still a touch disquieting. We told ourselves that Champs had a start but nothing more.

And so it proved. We got a marginally better start than yesterday, Champs maybe took 1/2 a length off us, but stopped coming after the motorway bridge and had faded by first post. We started getting whistles around the motorway bridge – very good to hear. It was very choppy there – its bad enough normally, worse when closing on a crew. We stayed on one whistle for a while, then up to two whistles a little after first post – it was all going beautifully, all we needed was to keep going. And we did. somewhere – it felt like the corner coming out of the Plough, though things are a touch hazy to be honest – we made a token effort to stuff it up: James T took a superb line around the corner: superb except for the fact that there was a boat bumped out there. they pulled their blades in as best they could but #3 clipped them and caught a mini-crab, just as I could see City’s stern oh-so-close out of the corner of my eye.

That must have lost us half a length, but we soon pulled it back and caught City 3 at the top of the Reach (we came up on their inside, so there was a time – maybe 3 strokes – when I could have reached across and bopped their stern. Which might have been cool, but had I stuffed it up, missed, crabbed, and ruined a certain bump I’d have been killed). Thanks to them for being quality opposition and not giving up – it was a good race. In fact it was an excellent race; once we got into our stride, which takes us a while – first post maybe – it was a pleasure to row, despite the pain.

And back for drinks – the beer tree had run out, so Waterman again – and congratulations to M2 who also went up.

Oh – and I nearly forgot to mention – we were touched by the presence of the excellent Chris “you’re all rubbish” Smith, subbing in for Tom Watt who took the tapering a bit too seriously and collapsed a lung, again, the silly boy. Best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.

And since yesterday’s plan went so well today, what is the plan for tomorrow? We think we have the measure of City 3 behind us; which will do wonders to relax us. Ahead, Tabs 3 have sent down Champs 1, which is intriguing – we should have a fair to decent chance at them, which would be very satisfying.


* Day 1: almost a bump
* GPS track


Oh very well, though I know you don’t care. It is traditional for crews that bump up to show this as they row back by taking some willow from the bank and putting it on themselves. The whistles: to encourage crews (who can’t see what is ahead of them, of course) the bank party that cycles along will blow whistles in an arranged scheme: one whistle for a length down; two whistles for 1/2 length; 3 whistles for “really close”; and continuous for overlap. First Post is First Post corner, which is about 2 minutes in to the race from our starting chain. Chains are 150 feet apart, which is 46 meters, which is ~2.5 boat length (a boat being about 18 meters), which means you have 1.5 boat lengths to gain (about 30 meters) plus a bit more to actually get the bump. Plus the wash from the boat ahead is worth about an extra half length advantage.

Almost a bump

Bumps again, hurrah. The distant sound of gunfire. The culmination of a lot of peoples training for a long time. And, as I discovered once again while waiting for the start, a deeply unpleasant / scary / unnerving experience. It didn’t help that we had to stand around for 20 mins waiting for the 4-minute gun, wondering what the hold up was: it turned out to be the bloody Georgina. Meanwhile we’re chatting, thinking, looking about, going for a wee, trying to dispel the nerves. Early rain had given way to a beautiful evening, though getting dark now. We’d done a good start after the railway bridge and a superb one after the Plough – oh no, I though, there’s our best start of the night wasted in practice. We know little about the crews around us.


(no, that isn’t us, that is M3 going round Grassy)

4 minute gun; back in the boat. Minute. Count down: push off at 30, light tap from bow (me) at 15 to straighten us off. We’re starting 14 so can cut the corner. Square at 7. Gun.

bumps-map A fair start, we’re off, nothing is happening, exactly as expected. We get through the choppy water under the motorway bridge and are settling – possibly just a bit too settled for maximum speed. Nines (3) behind us aren’t closing. Faint whistles, but not for us. First post, and behind us Nines are bumped by Champs 2. Into the gut and it starts to feel good; still no whistles for us. We expect Tabs 3 to be fast off the start. Suddenly, after the Plough, we’re screamed at to hold it up. I turn round and slap their stern in brief joy – but no, we haven’t bumped them, they’ve bumped City 3 who failed to clear. So we have to stop and restart. If it was a close race, or there was stuff behind us, this would be a disaster. But it isn’t and there isn’t, so it really doesn’t matter. Having been forced to stop for 10 secs the overbump is clearly unrealistic but James pushes us down the Reach anyway; not sure that was a good idea.

Brief stop at the beer tree, to talk over the race. Back to the boat house, more talk. To the Waterman, for some more and some beer. Delightful. Agree that tomorrow will be the test: City 3 are there for the taking, if we row well, and stay away from Champs 2.


* Chesterton club blog
* GPS track

The greenhouse effect is not the effect that warms greenhouses

Every now and again, people get a little bit confused when they realise that the thing we all call the “greenhouse effect” is not the mechanism that warms greenhouses. This is nothing new; R. W. Wood: Note on the Theory of the Greenhouse pointed it out in 1909. The wikipedia [[Greenhouse effect]] page states this explicitly (because I added it. I had a very long edit war with some bozo who didn’t believe it). Sometimes septics – or simply the badly confused – get very excited, because they think it tells you something useful about the actual greenhouse effect – usually, they think it proves it doesn’t exist. Of course, it tells you nothing useful about the physics of the greenhouse effect – this is simply a nomenclature issue. To re-use some old text: this is like asserting that the US political party called the “Democrats” must be, um, democratic; and their opponents anti-demoncrats, smimply based on names.

The latest froth around this is BREAKING NEWS: Greenhouse Gas Theory Trashed in Groundbreaking Lab Experiment by John O’Sullivan, guest post at Climate Realists which claims that “Nahle Nails Shut Climate Scare Coffin”. The poor old climate-scare-coffin has had so many “last nails” put into it over the years (if you believe folks like these) that you’d think there was no Wood left.

The source of the froth appears to be Experiment on the Cause of Real Greenhouses’ Effect – Repeatability of Prof. Robert W. Wood’s experiment who confirms that – err, yes, exactly what we knew already. Wood’s experiment is repeatable. Nahle himself makes none of the frothy claims, as far as I can tell [I’m wrong: see below]: all he says is, I reproduced Wood’s exp, and it worked. His failure, I think, is in not doing his back ground reading; perhaps this post will help him.

I wonder if any of the usual-suspect septic folk will be dump enough to fall for this?

[Update: I gave Nahle too much credit. He doesn’t claim that the (atmospheric) GHE doesn’t exist in the initial page or abstract, but he does claim it in his “sixth experiment” in the detailed PDF. This is fairly wacky: if you’re going to discover something as exciting as this, you’d put it into your abstract (unless you were hoping to sneak your paper past inattentive reviewers, that is).

So, he says:

The Greenhouse Effect hypothesis is founded in the argument that the atmosphere inhibits the direct outcome of longwave infrared radiation from the surface to the outer space… The hypothesis says that a great part of the solar shortwave radiation incoming from the Sun penetrates the Earth’s atmosphere and strikes on the surface -land and oceans- heating it up. As the solar shortwave and longwave infrared radiation is absorbed by the surface, the latter starts radiating longwave infrared radiation that is effectively absorbed by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, stored by them and reradiated towards the surface heating it up more and more.

The principle adduced by the greenhouse effect promoters is based on the idea that, in a real greenhouse, the glass panels permit the solar shortwave irradiance to penetrate into the enclosure but does not permit the longwave emitted by the inner surfaces of the enclosed space to go out.

Note the total non-sequitur in the second paragraph. The (atmospheric) GHE does not depend in any way on what happens in a glass greenhouse. Nahle is just one of the many people confused by names. Hopefully he’ll read this post, and be enlightened (he has already commented on, but clearly not read, this post).

Phone hacking

There is an excellent article from Light Blue Touchpaper about securing information (just in case you don’t get the delicate joke: Cambridge’s colour is light blue, as opposed to Oxford’s true blue; and of course “light the blue touch paper” is on the instructions of fireworks).

Part of it is just the obvious problems – people no changing their default PINs – and part more disturbing – the lack of ethics amongst a section of journalism, and more importantly the corruption of the police. And I could rant about how rubbish banks etc. are about their ridiculous phone “security”. But the more interesting bit is about designing the infrastructure to make this harder. I could talk about that I suppose but you’re better off reading LBT.

[Pulled to the top again because of the ZOMG news. Plod has pulled in Wade – but is this plod finally showing some backbone, or merely trying to look good, or just more collusion with the journo’s: where better to be at this point with a Parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday looming than snug and warm in custody, happily shielded from embarrassing questions? Big Plod has gone too – but of course saying he had done nothing wrong, ho ho.]

[Update: not-quite-so-big Plod has gone too. Unlike Big Plod, who pronounced himself totally innocent of any conceivable offense, nqsb Plod is silent so far, and “Mr Yates’s resignation came after he was informed he would be suspended pending an inquiry into his relationship with Mr Wallis.” [Updated: when will I learn to take copies? I think the Beeb have silently updated their report. Anyway, predictably enough nqsb Plod has declared himself entirely innocent, quelle surprise: “He said his conscience was clear”.]

[The picture is totally irrelevant, if you were wondering, and is from Early Warning]