How embarrassing for Velikovsky

Before laying into Hansen’s latest, I feel a need to re-establish my taking-the-piss-out-of-the-wackos credentials. And here is a perfect opportunity:


Even Sou struggles to cover this; I think we need Inferno. Or RS. Amusingly, not one of the comments at WUWT so far has dared to mention the V-word.

[Update: There’s yet more of this drivel.]


* Finnish Man Uses Easy Open-Access Journals to Publish Junk Climate Science – Jeffrey Beall; h/t John Mashey.
* VVattsup is more enlightening.
* Number three for Watts.

The WTO Just Ruled Against India's Booming Solar Program?

Says HuffPo. It is bullshit, of course, but lots of people seem to have fallen for it. I found the HuffPo link because mt posted it; and DA quotes FOE saying Trade agreement trumps climate accord: WTO rules against India solar program. As usual, the usual suspects are so busy being outraged they barely tell you what the actual issue is.

The WTO ruling is here. There’s some lawyerly blather, but not much of it, and its not too hard to read. Skip to the “Summary of key findings” which starts:

The claims brought by the United States concern domestic content requirements (DCR measures) imposed by India in the initial phases of India’s ongoing National Solar Mission. These requirements, which are imposed on solar power developers selling electricity to the government, concern solar cells and/or modules used to generate solar power. The Panel found that the DCR measures are trade-related investment measures covered by [the WTO]

So: the Indian programme insists that people buy (some proportion, I don’t know) of domestically produced solar panels, and this is covered by the WTO. They continue the Panel found that the discrimination relating to solar cells and modules under the DCR measures is not covered by the government procurement derogation in [blah] – i.e., the Indians weren’t allowed to weasel out, fine though weasels obviously are. The Indians tried some more weaselling:

India argued that the DCR measures are justified under the general exception in Article XX(j) of the GATT 1994, on the grounds that its lack of domestic manufacturing capacity in solar cells and modules, and/or the risk of a disruption in imports, makes these “products in general or local short supply” within the meaning of that provision…

but that was obvious bullshit, so the panel rejected it. And there you have it. The Indian government, by restricting cheap imports, wants to have fewer solar panels than they could otherwise afford. This is stupid, but an all too common reaction. Because its the – gasp, ZOMG, evil – WTO making the ruling on behalf of the (obviously) bloated plutocrats of the – gasp, ZOMG, evil – US zillionaires (although the connection there is somewhat tenuous; I’d have thought it was the Chinks who would be supplying the cheap panels), the usual idiots jump up and down and complain. When the people they should be complaining about are the idiot Indian government which is desperately trying to make its own people poorer. The WTO is not resticting the number of solar panels that India can install; to the contrary, they are helping them install more. Predictably enough, Timmy gets it right though I’ll point out that my comment at QS predates his post.

[Update: there’s also India’s Quite Right In The WTO Complaint Over US Temporary Visa Fees. My confident prediction is that not one of the people up in arms over the WTO when it ruled against India will display the slightest interest.]


* No Slowdown – Tamino.
* Timmy against tariffs
* CIP is pugnacious – or so he says.
* Terrible Economics From The Lancet On Food Supplies And Climate Change – Timmy
* More than half of top-tier economics papers are replicable, study finds

Terence Mills does not believe his “forecast” and other hits

Before I go any further, here’s some hot bummping action from today:

Right, I’m glad I’ve got that out of my system. It was a glorious afternoon for it. And there will be more tomorrow; Christ’s get a shot at Kings, Pembroke get their’s at Jesus which could be exciting; and in the women’s world Jesus probably take the headship from Christ’s. I’d put money on that, if anyone cares to bet.

* No, Terence Mills does not believe his “forecast” says James. Where do these idiots come from? Essex it appears – say no more. ATTP was there first (but RT wins. No, not that RT, the other one:-). Thanks for NS for the pufferfish.
* Bernie Sanders Is Right On Wall Street: Just Not Right On How says Timmy, desperately trying to point out why Yet More Regulation isn’t the answer. Pearls before swine, I fear. BTW, did you know that Timmy is a professional Bernie Sander conspirator?
* Top 10 Tricks to Find That Temperature Trend You Always Dreamed Of by Inferno.
* Global surface warming continues without pause contrary to denier claims says Sou, which i kinda the bleedin’ obvious, but I thought I’d throw it in to burnish my sadly tarnished credentials.

The Heartland Institute is sad

The Heartland Institute is sad. Because, like the Watties, they don’t like their wiki page (ar). But they aren’t going to take it lying down, oh no:

In recent months, left-wing activists have hijacked The Heartland Institute’s profile at Wikipedia, removing objective descriptions of our programs and publications and replacing them with lies, errors, and outright libelous claims. Our efforts to correct the site have been rejected by the editors of the self-described “free encyclopedia.” Can you help?

(my bold). Weirdly, although that was posted on “February 19, 2016” not a simple wacko denialist has showed up to help1; their bench really is very thin indeed nowadays. And that’s despite them posting careful instructions for how to edit the page into the shape they want. As Trump would say: Losers!


1. Shortly after I wrote this a couple showed up, and then went away again. See discussion in the comments.


* Deepak Chopra vs Wikipedia

Two views of Kiribati Bails Out

mt notes that “Kiribati Bails Out”:

The low-lying island nation of Kiribati (formerly “Christmas Island”) is buying real estate on the larger Fiji Island and planning to move everybody out, on account of, well, you know, water.

The usual story of atolls being submerged by global warming. Or not; but that’s not the point here, so I won’t go into that. My response was

Could be a sensible solution. How does it stack up, cost-wise?

That wasn’t the reply that mt was looking for, of course, for he replied The point is not how individuals or particular groups cope so much as that the problems are already starting and getting in gear for the adaptation is happening in some quarters.

Whether or not the proposed movement is even serious is not clear; as they say Mr Tong said there had been some criticism of Kiribati’s purchase of land in Fiji, but he said its main value has been the international publicity and giving his people a sense of security so, pffft, cheap PR only perhaps.


But how much would it cost? To move people from one island to another? Having pondered this fairly shallowly, I argue that if not done in a hurry the costs are near zero. I mean “true cost” or “ecological cost” or “carbon cost”, not financial cost (I trust we’re all united in the readership of this blog in despising utterly those who put finance before carbon). So they have to buy land, but all that does is transfer money from one person or group to another, so that’s ecologically free. They have to transfer people from one island to another – that’s cheap. They have to rebuild houses – but if you spread the move over 20 or 30 years that’s cheap or free too, since they were going to need rebuild, repair and maintenance anyway (possibly less time than that, looking at the pix of houses they show).

There’s a cultural problem, of course, in moving. Or at least, there could be. mt remarked Odd, coming from someone like you who lives in such a culturally and historically rich place. It would indeed be sad if all of England were abandoned, but that’s not in prospect. I’ve moved from where I grew up – Berkhamstead – and really it never occurred to me that I might actually live there when I grew up. My mother grew up in London; my father in Jamaica; neither of them, as far as I can tell, pined deeply for their birthplaces. When you want to make a point, it is easy to put up obstacles to any given action, which would all be swept away by a feather if you decided to favour the action.

[There is a small prize if you can work out the relevance of the picture to this post. I warn you the question is almost impossible, and will prove uninteresting if I ever reveal the answer.]


* Why will nobody move to Pitcairn, the Pacific island with free land?

The Greatest Liberty Of Subjects, Dependeth On The Silence Of The Law

Hobbes, of course. Occasioned by the death of Scalia; it wasn’t the bit I was seeking for, but it was too beautiful to overlook, and almost relevant. And who could resist The Fourth Law Of Nature, Gratitude. But I must stop, and come to my point.

Which was: Hobbes insists on undivided power – he explicitly rejects the separation of powers the USAnians are so keen on. And in case of Justice, he argues that the Sovereign must inevitably have The Right Of All Judicature; And Decision Of Controversies because without the decision of Controversies, there is no protection of one Subject, against the injuries of another; the Lawes concerning Meum and Tuum are in vaine; and to every man remaineth, from the naturall and necessary appetite of his own conservation, the right of protecting himselfe by his private strength, which is the condition of Warre; and contrary to the end for which every Common-wealth is instituted. However that bit doesn’t say what I wanted to find, which is where he says, and I paraphrase, “if the ‘sovereign’ doesn’t decide cases, then someone else does, and that other person or body is actually the sovereign”.

And when you look at, e.g., the US Supreme Court on a 5-4 vote issued a stay of the application of the Clean Power Plan to emitters, I hope you’ll understand my point without me belabouring it.

The rest of this is merely me trying to find the quote I wanted. I think its the first of bolds below.

The Interpretation Of The Law Dependeth On The Soveraign Power

The Legislator known; and the Lawes, either by writing, or by the light of Nature, sufficiently published; there wanteth yet another very materiall circumstance to make them obligatory. For it is not the Letter, but the Intendment, or Meaning; that is to say, the authentique Interpretation of the Law (which is the sense of the Legislator,) in which the nature of the Law consisteth; And therefore the Interpretation of all Lawes dependeth on the Authority Soveraign; and the Interpreters can be none but those, which the Soveraign, (to whom only the Subject oweth obedience) shall appoint. For else, by the craft of an Interpreter, the Law my be made to beare a sense, contrary to that of the Soveraign; by which means the Interpreter becomes the Legislator.

All Lawes Need Interpretation

All Laws, written, and unwritten, have need of Interpretation. The unwritten Law of Nature, though it be easy to such, as without partiality, and passion, make use of their naturall reason, and therefore leaves the violators thereof without excuse; yet considering there be very few, perhaps none, that in some cases are not blinded by self love, or some other passion, it is now become of all Laws the most obscure; and has consequently the greatest need of able Interpreters. The written Laws, if they be short, are easily mis-interpreted, from the divers significations of a word, or two; if long, they be more obscure by the diverse significations of many words: in so much as no written Law, delivered in few, or many words, can be well understood, without a perfect understanding of the finall causes, for which the Law was made; the knowledge of which finall causes is in the Legislator. To him therefore there can not be any knot in the Law, insoluble; either by finding out the ends, to undoe it by; or else by making what ends he will, (as Alexander did with his sword in the Gordian knot,) by the Legislative power; which no other Interpreter can doe.


* Justice Scalia Dead Following 30-Year Battle With Social Progress
* Law of the case – Brian at Eli’s.
* Burning Down the Constitution – CIP
* Who killed Justice Scalia? Anthony Watts sets some rules for crazy conspiracy theories at WUWT – Sou
* The Senate’s subversion of the Supreme Court – FT
* One of his clerks remembers Scalia
* Hayek vs Hobbes and the theory of law
* Judge tosses case, saying that court-ordered retractions are not part of scientific publication – an example of the law wisely choosing to stay silent.