Zorita scents gravy

Every cloud has a silver lining, and it looks like Zorita is jockeying for some of the silver: the Future of IPCC apparently is to morph into one of those nice International agencies which pay so well and are headquarted in rather nice cities, staffed by… well, clearly by the likes of independent-minded folk such as Eduardo. As he says so wisely As with finance, climate assessment is too important to be left in the hands of advocates, or other scum like the current IPCC authors: sweep them all away and leave it in the hands of people who are prepared to admit their errors… oh, wait.

And I cannot resist a totally off-topic link to Eli’s Cthulhu Explains it All. Wonderful.

Speaking very vaguely of which (I mean, of being off-topic): why not read about Coverity?

Not a good try and definitely no cigar

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Ho ho.

Indians go wacko

Asian ones that is, not red ones. And not all of them of course, only Minister for environment & forests Jairam Ramesh so far. The Torygraph says:

“There is a fine line between climate science and climate evangelism. I am for climate science. I think people misused [the] IPCC report, [the] IPCC doesn’t do the original research which is one of the weaknesses… they just take published literature and then they derive assessments, so we had goof-ups on Amazon forest, glaciers, snow peaks. “I respect the IPCC but India is a very large country and cannot depend only on [the] IPCC and so we have launched the Indian Network on Comprehensive Climate Change Assessment (INCCA),” he said.

He also, said (in essence disowning his earlier report, so clearly someone has stomped on him. But there is some bizarre revisionism elsewhere, with him saying “My ministry brought out a discussion paper on glaciers after it was found that major divergence of views existed between Indian scientists and the IPCC,”):

The UN panel’s claims of glacial meltdown by 2035 “was clearly out of place and didn’t have any scientific basis,” he said, while stressing the government remained concerned about the health of the Himalayan ice flows. “Most glaciers are melting, they are retreating, some glaciers, like the Siachen glacier, are advancing. But overall one can say incontrovertibly that the debris on our glaciers is very high the snow balance is very low. We have to be very cautious because of the water security particularly in north India which depends on the health of the Himalayan glaciers,” he added.

This is just politicking, and while it makes for some fun snarking there is precious little substance here. Someone will get a nice little empire out of managing the thing, and someone will have to produce some kind of output to stop the minister looking too stupid, but there will be nothing valuable produced by this project. I notice they say: The body, which he said will not rival the UN’s panel, will publish its own climate assessment in November this year. So (in the current absence of a sea ice bet) anyone care to put an anything on this? I take the side of: the report will be delayed, or if it appears on time will be an obviously valueless and hastily-cobbled together.

Any takers for the “it will be on time and clearly valuable” side?

ps: the actual setup seems to be at http://moef.nic.in/modules/others/?f=event, if you care.

pps: rather oddly, http://moef.nic.in/downloads/others/Final_Book.pdf says the thing was launched in 7/10/09. Did everyone just quietly ignore it for months?

Poor old Monckton

Off in Wootsup land someone called Gudfry is having trouble with the portrayal of Monckton on wikipedia, saying:

I see Connelly and his “tag-team” are at it again. This time it’s about the many disputed entries about Lord Monckton, the prominent anti-AGW campaigner.
Many contributors have argued that they have chosen a picture of him which is unflattering, and at worst, deliberately derogatory – which is agaist wiki rules.
After a temporary removal, there has been an edit war which Connelly’s tag-team have won, insisting that it stays. See “Discussion” page on

They’re fascists.

If you like these kind of disputes, this one is quite amusing. The problem, of course, is that the picture makes Lord M look like a bit of a wacko (see endless debate on the talk page). Now you or I might make the obvious rejoinder, but clearly his supporters can’t. The usual folk have been removing the image with some utterly implausible assertions (e.g. [1]). Wiki would be happy to use any other decent pic of him, but he hasn’t made a PD one available. I would have thought that the solution to this problem is to write to his fully-staffed PR dept and get them to OK one, but that doesn’t seem to have happened.

But if you want the piss really being taken out of Lord M, you want Bad Boy Gareth.

Poor old Watts refers.

Oh dear oh dear oh dear

Roger is having a spot of trouble: everyone is being nasty to him. Once upon a time the mighty Prometheus bestrode the world like a Colossus and ate big fish for breakfast, but now it seems Roger swims with the minnows and it isn’t a nice world down there. Eli shows him no mercy – wabbits are a vicious bunch – and Tim Lambert is not kind either but Whiskey Fire probably has the best take on all this.

Incidentally, it isn’t really Roger’s fault but he does seem to be attracting the wacko septics in the comments, for example Of course DeepClimate consistently refuses to publish my charts documenting the on-going, unbroken 10,000 year cooling trend in both the northern hemisphere AND the southern hemisphere. Yes, DeepClimate doesn’t publish that because it is rubbish. Sigh. Roger really needs to weed out the wackos. A comment policy that deletes irrelevant rubbish is *good* not bad.

Still, I’ll take Pielke over, say, Romm any day but this recent post does him no favours.

[Updates: Romm says Roger Pielke Jr. is the most debunked person in the science blogosphere, possibly the entire Web but this is twaddle.

More interestingly (thanks Hank) I’ve finally found fame and fortune in Nature (Louise, eat your heart out):


Why has the man got a penis-shaped fish resting against his backbone? I’m baffled -W]

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling (and some other stuff)?

I liked Freakonomics, so I’m a bit sad to see the (inevitable) sequel being so hopelessly wrong. Probably this is a case of the old rule: whenever you see people write about stuff you know, they get it wrong. Joe Romm has a fairly characteristic attack; and just for a change I’ll agree with him; though he chooses odd bits to assault. It looks like the “global cooling” junk is just one chapter, but of course it is the only one I’ll pay any attention to.

Diagnosis, in brief: (1) they write about stuff they clearly don’t understand (2) they pick a catchy reverse-common-wisdom nugget as a headliner without the having the slightest interest in whether it is true or not (mind you, plenty of more respectable folk do the same) (3) they pick an expert to talk to, but since they don’t have a clue about the subject they don’t know how to pick a good expert, or even understand what the expert says (4) there is a grain of sense in there, but so badly wrapped in trash it is nearly unfindable.

The entire piece is riddled with errors. Reading it all would be tedious. So, before reading it in detail I decided to set myself a target of 10 major errors and then stop. Kindly, Romm has provided a PDF of the offending chapter, so you can play along at home.

[Update: The Economist (along with everyone else) shreds them too; but does it in measured language and speculates on the damage to their reputation -W]

[Late update: Harry Hutton hits the nail on the head -W]
Continue reading “SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling (and some other stuff)?”

Yes, they are mad

One of the more regrettable aspects of having children – other than the entire lack of a life – is interaction with the school inspectors. And the insanity reaches its peak in the inspection of after-school clubs. Its all such an utter waste of time that I’d rather ignore it than bother mock it, but since my wife was reading “Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage” and found this, I had to share it:

From the “Numbers as Labels and for Counting” section, under 40-60+ months:

* Use rhymes, songs and stories involving counting on and counting back in ones, twos, fives and tens.
* Emphasise the empty set and introduce the concept of nothing or zero.
* Understand the limitation of Riemann integration and the need for Lesbegue integration.

OK, I made that last one up. But hands up all those who have failed to emphasise the empty set to their three year olds.