Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The problem with high gas prices

... is that it sends a signal to consumers that they need to conserve it!!!

So says Myron Ebell in a quote in an article on the American Family Network.

This is either the kind of publication that's in favour of families that look after children as well as what they will predictably face in the future, or it doesn't give a rat's ass that the children of those children will be doomed to a life locked up in a dungeon, merely so some already rich people can get some kicks out of making a little bit more money by lying, cheating, lobbying, and doing everything they can to encourage society to burn as much of this product as they can in spite of the dire consequences.

Given the clear record of Myron Ebell and his toxic Competitive Enterprise Institute, we know where the American Family Network stands. The road to hell is paved with bad reporting.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The worst newspaper in the country

I know journalism standards have slipped into the basement, but this takes the biscuit. It's by Christopher Booker in the Daily Telegraph, on 20 April 2008.

It's so bad I went out and bought a copy so I can use it as hard evidence.

In his article, Booker praises a lie sheet by Dr S Fred Singer, a former tobacco lobbyist a "distinguished US scientist" ("just Google "sepp" and "NIPCC" for a copy", Booker says, although it doesn't work). Booker, who enjoyed this after-dinner speech, writes:
One of the central flaws in the IPCC's case is its reliance on computer models, based only on those parts of the evidence which suit its chosen "narrative", omitting or downplaying hugely important factors which might produce a very different picture. These range from the role played by water vapour, by far the most important of the greenhouse gases, to the influence of solar activity on cloud cover.

The report's most startling passage, however, is one that examines the "fingerprint" of warming at different levels of the atmosphere which the computer models come up with as proof that the warming is man-made. The pattern actually shown by balloon and satellite records is so dramatically different that, even on the IPCC's own evidence, the report concludes, "anthropogenic greenhouse gases can contribute only in a minor way to the current warming, which is mainly of natural origin".
Now the cloud-cover solar-activity horse dump has been looked at and rejected comprehensively, not least because the Sun's brightness has not been magically changing except on its 11 year cycle, but this newspaper doesn't seem to care. And even Myron Ebell knows that the discrepancy with the balloon and satellite data were corrected four years ago.

But still, this is complex science. The pages of right-wing national Sunday newspaper, and after-dinner speeches by washed-up corporate bozos to an audience of ignorant journalists is not where it gets settled. If you have compelling evidence that some important factors are missing from the physical calculations, you take it to the scientific establishment and publish it in journals, and get people with actual scientific competence to believe you. That is guys who have proved themselves by making an actual contribution to the state of knowledge.

The allegations are wide-ranging. If S Fred Singer had any substance to him, you'd think he could make some pretty major contributions to astrophysics. Step aside the cepheid variable star documented by Henrietta Swan Leavitt when working on stellar photometry at Harvard in 1908 and which formed the basis of the evidence for the Big Bang Theory, we now have Fred Singer variable stars, of which the Sun is one such example. What a genius. All these men and women devoting their lives for centuries to the deep study of the physical sciences to give us all this precise knowledge of the way the world works and how to do really cool engineering, and this one grey-haired guy who's given us nothing but an extra two unnecessary decades of passive smoking and needless suffering, sweeps it all aside like the trinkets of a dead religion. Who are we to give him even the time of day, let alone coverage in a national newspaper, which at this point must join the ranks of institutions, along with Exxon, who are morally guilty of the disaster which is upon us?

It's a common accusation that those who recognize the serious consequences of fossil fuels want to take us back to a time when we were living in caves -- even though at the dawn of fossil fuels at around 1850, we did not live in caves! And now we've got electricity and high technology, which they did not have in those days. The people who really want us to live in caves are Christopher Booker and Fred Singer, who reject science, because that has a much longer history of lifting us out of the stone age.

Oh yeah, the comments on that article. Those PR organized trolls worked through the night filling it up with their denialist bile. Don't think it's obvious. Who's paying them now?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Do not feed the trolls

The following is a statement by Myron Ebell, Commissioner of Bumfaarts at the Dinosaur Extinction Institute:
"It would destroy President Bush's legacy now to adopt Al Gore's global warming policies after pursuing much more effective policies for seven years. It is true that global warming alarmists are filing multiple lawsuits to use the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act to cause a regulatory trainwreck. But President Bush should not give into this political extortion. Instead, he should ask Congress to pass legislation to avoid the regulatory trainwreck, which would then allow an open public debate on global warming. Such a debate is not possible as long as the threat of extortion is there."
The number is 202-320-6685. Even though the media is populated by bad journalists appointed by even worse editors who insist on taking statements from wholly unqualified liars, it doesn't sound like he's very busy at the moment. In advertising terms, it's long past time for shutting down this astroturfing outfit and giving the money to a new one.

Recently, there was short conference in a Sketptic Tank. This is a really good one.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Losers too late

The CEI is sinking fast as they go nuts over the opposition's $300 million ad campaign while apparently lacking any matching funding from their Exxon scums. They're running on fumes -- and it's fun to watch, even though their success over the past decade means we'll all go down with them in the same ecosystem they helped to wreck.

To announce the CEI's piss-poor response to the Alliance for Climate Protection's PR campaign, Myron appeared in an extreme Republican web-page (admire the more than 40 anonymous and almost certainly placed comments at the foot of the article) to explain their new ad, which bases its story around the installation of the first street-lamp in a village in Haiti to illustrate the blessings of electricity. The ad begins with a flickering old-fashioned and six-times-more-inefficient-than-modern-technology filament light-bulb as a metaphor of their declining fortunes.

Check it out...


Due to a copyright claim by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association it's been taken down.
In addition, NRECA is currently working in 9 countries to provide technical and management assistance, create cooperatives and other decentralized utilities, administer training programs, and introduce renewable energy programs (wind, solar, hydropower and biomass).
Can't have that. Nevermind. There's always something else to say.

Or maybe not. The next CEI video is a tired jibe at Al Gore's household energy use with its tear-strained female narration going on about how "people who can afford three luxury homes will still squeak by somehow."

For a pack of right-wing nut-jobs to be calling on the politics of envy, they're either getting pretty desperate, or they're stupid. How are they going to continue to explain that we shouldn't tax these people?

BTW, they've found a new home for their crappy dim bulb TV ad. I can't wait to see if is more or less concerned about copyright infringement than youtube.

UPDATE: The alien mind Michelle Malkin has printed the legal exchange between NRECA and CEI. Though the CEI might have a point in its legal claim of "fair use", everything they're trying to get across is a dangerous lie -- and they know it. As climate change bites even harder, crops fail, and droughts get more severe, this ad is going to look awfully trivial. There's not a person in the world not on a life-support system who would rather go for a month without food than a month without electricity.