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.

CSIRO: science as a public good

Much fuss about the cuts at CSIRO climate research. This reminds me of a less serious situation 10, or perhaps 15 years ago, when cuts were proposed – I can’t recall if they actually happened – due to a conversation somewhat like:

Scientists: Global Warming is Real!
Government: OK, we believe you’re, we going to stop funding you looking for it.
Scientists: Oh wait, we didn’t quite mean it that way.

Cue today: as the Graun puts it In the email to staff on Thursday, Marshall said that since climate change was proven to be real, CSIRO could shift its focus.

Before I go further, to avoid confusion, I should say that for much of this I’m with Robert Wilson it has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to help make it worth defending. So it is possible to quibble many things – Cape Grimm CO2 monitoring for example: do we really need it, since we have Mauna Loa and others, and anyway we already know CO2 is going up. But really all that stuff is pretty cheap anyway, provides useful and interesting work for a variety of people, and makes the country a better place. OTOH, just as Controlled Washington, D.C. Wildfires are Crucial For Restoring a Healthy Political Environment science funding needs to be shaken up every now and again to stop people getting fat and lazy and blinkered.

But although Australia will lose some stuff of local relevance (VV points out why local stuff may well be useful), really most climate science is inevitably global; you can study the effects of El Nino on Australia but if you want to understand the mechanisms you need to look at least the whole tropics, and probably globally. Climate science is a public good, which is why governments fund it, but there’s the inevitable free-rider problem. Which in this case appears to be met with the usual free-rider response: disapproval from one’s peers, and loss of respect. Whether that will help is another matter.


* The gutting of CSIRO climate change research is a big mistake – John Abraham in the Graun (note errors; they aren’t “slashing hundreds of jobs”; note grotesque hyperbole, “CSIRO is also a modeling superpower. Their climate models form the backbone of our understanding of what changes have happened and what changes will happen because of human greenhouse gases” is silly).
* Apparently climate science can stop now – better late than never I guess 🙂

Economist watch: Cruz denies climate change

The Economist, about Ted Cruz, in an article about his presidential hopes:

Conversely his appeal to moderates is limited. He has had little to say to or about the poor, beyond his perpetual gratitude that, when his father was washing dishes for 50 cents an hour, no one was sent by the government to help him. His flagship economic policy is a regressive flat-rate income tax of 10%. Black Americans, anyone concerned about climate change (which he denies) and non-Christians should look elsewhere. Ditto homosexuals: “This shall not stand,” Mr Cruz declares of gay marriage. That grandiloquent but fuzzy pledge exemplifies his gambit: making impossible vows to disoriented voters which are all, at bottom, a promise to reverse history and revive a fairy-tale idea of America.

(my bold). In the real world that’s uncontroversial. But I think it is a shift in language at the Economist; not long ago they would have phrased it rather more softly.

Oh, and speaking of presidential races: you USAnians really need to get yourselves some credible candidates. Sanders is a mess, Trump a joke, Cruz a disaster, Clinton I feel not the least enthusiasm for and she’d probably lose to Rubio. Perhaps he wouldn’t be a disaster? Speaking of which the Economist also says Ted Cruz may have won, but Marco Rubio came out on top. On GW, he appears to be a tosser (etc.), but that’s practically the entry requirement for Repubs nowadays (pace BB). In other ways he doesn’t appear to be a total disaster.

Kal cartoon 2016/01/23 balloon headed trump

Update: Economist, 2016 / 02 / 27 “For example, though Mr Rubio doesn’t deny climate change, as Mr Cruz does, he says, in effect, that America shouldn’t do much about it”.


* CIP: Robo-Rubio
* Stoat watch: The tale of a stoat Otago Daily Times. Spoiler: does not end happily.
* Do You Believe in Magic? asks CIP.

Another funeral advances science

2044116081_bbcde3047f_o Pattern Recognition in Physics (or, if you prefer, Pattern Recognition in Physics) appears to have finally shuffled off this mortal coil; h/t DM. As late as January 2016 its arid mummified cadaver was propped up at But it would appear that either the vast expense of maintaining a domain, or perhaps the sheer embarrassment of the grinning corpse staring back as a reminder of their own mortality has caused whoever owns the thing to pull the plug. Or perhaps it was so unloved that they just forgot to renew the domain. Here’s an of it showing up as a network error. Or perhaps the nutters can only sustain one enthusiasm at a time?

whois says:

Domain Name:
Registry Domain ID: 1844470430_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server:
Registrar URL:
Updated Date: 2016-01-28T08:49:58.0Z
Creation Date: 2014-01-27T19:30:11.0Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2017-01-27T19:30:11.0Z
Registrar: OVH, SAS
Registrar IANA ID: 433
Registrar Abuse Contact Email:
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +33.899498765
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Domain Status: clientHold
Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: Ouadfeul Sidali
Registrant Organization:
Registrant Street:, office #6707412, c/o OwO, BP80157
Registrant City: 59053
Registrant State/Province:
Registrant Postal Code: Roubaix Cedex 1
Registrant Country: FR
Registrant Phone: +33.899498765
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email:
Registry Admin ID:
Admin Name: OIS DZSecurity
Admin Organization: DZSecurity
Admin Street: Résidence Yasmine Beni Mered
Admin City: Blida
Admin State/Province:
Admin Postal Code: 09000
Admin Country: DZ
Admin Phone: +213.553364247
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax:
Admin Fax Ext:
Admin Email:
Registry Tech ID:
Tech Name: OIS DZSecurity
Tech Organization: DZSecurity
Tech Street: Résidence Yasmine Beni Mered
Tech City: Blida
Tech State/Province:
Tech Postal Code: 09000
Tech Country: DZ
Tech Phone: +213.553364247
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax:
Tech Fax Ext:
Tech Email:
Name Server:
Name Server:

The status – clientHold – is an odd one, it says: This status code tells your domain’s registry to not activate your domain in the DNS and as a consequence, it will not resolve. It is an uncommon status that is usually enacted during legal disputes, non-payment, or when your domain is subject to deletion. So, likely they just can’t be bothered to pay the bill. If any of my readers are better at reading whois info than me, please comment with any further gleanings.

Update: well I say “funeral” but of course the Dear Departed didn’t have a proper funeral; perhaps this is it.