Saturday, December 19, 2009

S.Yorks Police Farce - at it again - negiligent, abusive cowards

Right. I've had it with South Yorkshire Police Farce. I've now witnessed dozens of cases, and know of many others anecdotally, where they have behaved in a completely negligent, bullying, cowardly, abusive - and quite possibly criminal - fashion. I've never seen a Police Farce like it. Its time to start making a record of their actions and this blog is as good a place to do it.

A bit of personal background just to clarify matters - I've worked as a nightclub doorman on and off for over a decade. Truth be told I haven't needed to do the job for years, what with jobs during the day ranging from IT consultant to researcher. I've kept my hand in though because I don't want to go soft and I see tough times ahead. It also confers a lot of social benefits, including having a much better intelligence network in the City than the police have. They could share it if we trusted eachother, but since the introduction of the complete farce and sinkhole of money that is the SIA (Security Industry Authority), relationships between doorstaff and the police in the city have moved rapidly from neutrality to complete distrust. The Police - apparently driven by targets madness - find doorstaff a particularly easy group to score points off and there's no better way to do this than use the threat of the idiot SIA. But that's another story.

This week they took the piss beyond belief. I don't like to litter too many of my blog posts with swearing, in this case however I have to use the expletives to express the rage and frustration at what is occurring - and is largely invisible to the general public.

Wednesday 16th Dec 2009 - Incident 1
Wednesday night they arrive at the club for one of their regular 'harassment rounds'. They said they have come to find drunk people in the club (!!). In they go, search through roughly 1100 people and manage to find one person who, they think, is "too drunk". They drag him out into the freezing weather. He's just wearing a shirt. He seems to sober up pretty rapidly and is compos mentis. He asks if he can go back in to find his friends and get his jacket and wallet (apparently in the care of his friends). On account of his distinctly non-paralytic state the club staff are more than happy to let him back in. The police refuse however. They send him on his way, in the freezing cold, without his friends, jacket or wallet. Presumably because they couldn't stand the possibility that he was actually in a relatively fit state and it was more important to save face than consider his well being.

But wait, there's more.....

There are six police officers stood intimidatingly outside the club. A call comes in over the emergency radio (given to all venues in the City) from another venue. Its kicking off and they need police assistance urgently. The CCTV centre tells them that "there are no units available". Oddly enough our lying eyes can see six "units" doing fuck all stood outside our venue. The member of staff in the box office who looks after the radio comes out to the front and demands that the police go to assist immediately. After a bit of grumbling they piss off.

Ten minutes later they are back, "looking for drunk people", Oh and holding the club responsible for what people half a mile a way are doing through being "too drunk". Meanwhile, calls are coming in again over the emergency radio from the same venue, more desperate this time, saying that the situation is escalating and they really really need the police there. The "units" outside our place stay put, busy "looking for drunk people".

Friday 18th Dec 2009 - Incident 2

The police turn up mob-handed again. Go in for another one of their tours looking for "drunk people". They come out of the club and announce to the staff that the club is "serving alcohol to drunk people". What the fucking fuck? Its a nightclub you stupid cunts. And those who know our venue know that its one of the safest places to be in town drunk or sober. (Meanwhile we have the Gangster's paradise around the corner that attracts gangs from all over the country who regularly attack eachother with champagne bottles, bring knives, guns, set fire to cars outside etc. But they get a clean bill of health from South Yorks Plod...).

Anyway, the "units" announce that they will return in half an hour and if we are still "serving alcohol to drunk people", they will close the venue down.

There aren't words to describe the seething anger at this point.

They turned up again later and planted themselves in a line a few meters away, directly opposite the main entrance to the club. Anyone would think that we had just had a riot at the club. The club's customers come out, as they always do, generally chilled out and happily drunk to be presented with intimidation from our local "units".

I spoke to the club management about it. Apparently the club is coming in for "special treatment". Why? Well the council has decided that the era of cheap alcohol must come to an end in all venues. Our venue doesn't agree and is still providing cheap vodka deals. So, in the absence of any vaguely fucking relevant laws, they decide to engage in harassment.

South Yorkshire Police Farce has form.

I wish these kinds of incidents were the exception rather than the norm with South Yorkshire Police. To my great disappointment they are not. Here's a small selection of other similar incidents recently:

- After talking to staff from other venues it appears that, often on the same nights, there are mysteriously "no units available" when an emergency call goes in. The emergency radio isn't used lightly - calling the police out on it can cause problems when the venue's license is up for review. A particularly low example was when one venue's doorstaff pulled all the customers back in and barred the doors because there was a gang outside brandishing a shotgun. An emergency call went out - apparently the police would not come unless the staff "were sure that it was a real firearm".

- Brett Blake was stabbed to death last year in a city venue. Here's what the news reports didn't mention: The police were already outside the venue in force when it was kicking off inside. They refused to go in. Multiple people were hurt with knife wounds, including staff. The venue in question only had two exits, easily covered. The police could have easily nabbed the people responsible literally red handed. One of the doorstaff who had been fighting to protect customers inside from at least one knife-wielding assailant came out, covered in blood. He demanded that the police go in. They refused. He called them "a bunch of useless bastards". They arrested him.

- About a year back I gave evidence in legal proceedings that directly contradicted the "evidence" provided by one of our wonderful local officers who was trying to climb the greasy pole by getting a club closed down "for not operating a membership scheme for its under 18s night" (n.b. this was an occasional night that was kept completely separately from the adult nights, ending at 8pm....). What, it transpired, the police had been doing is engaging in what I can only describe as "evidence construction". Aside from my testimony as a witness, I also pointed out that if the police are to construct evidence then they might want to use a calendar. The night on which several officers apparently claimed to have seen several youths under 18, (n.b. they didn't actually age check these alleged youths), clearly under the influence of alcohol,(they saw from being sat in their car) and clearly having had attended the under-18s night (there was no under-18s night on the night specified - in fact, the date they gave was for a night renowned throughout the city for having an average age of 35+).

- We had a massive ruck outside the club with a gang of 20-something hoolies. They were throwing bricks, sticks and whatever else they could find at us. A police car had been sat about 200m away watching the whole thing. After the gang had gone, they cruised down and demanded to know what we had done to start it. (This was one of many incidents where police were actually there, witnessing something from beginning to end and letting the assailants walk away scot free).

- We threw three lads out who had been causing trouble inside. When outside the club they threatened two separate groups of people with a knife, then ran up the road, beat up some kids (including one girl) and came back to stand outside the club again. One of the groups called the police. Two officers turned up. Despite multiple witnesses we had to harass them - harass them!! To go and have a word with the lads in question. They didn't even search them, despite allegations from multiple witnesses that they had been threatened with a knife.

- One of our staff was on their own working the early doors for a band. A group of kids came running down the street being chased by another gang Of No Specific Appearance. Our member of staff let the kids hide inside the club and told the following scrotes to fuck off. They did and came back later with two dogs and knives. An emergency call went out. Apparently the police were too busy (at 7pm) to come deal with knife wielding Youths of No Specific Appearance with dogs, threatening to kill a member of staff and do god knows what to a bunch of kids.

I could go on.....these stories go on and on and I'm sick to fucking death of it. And those are just some of my stories - there are plenty of other people in South Yorkshire who could tell you more. So I've resolved to start making a record of every one of these incidents. I've got to the point where I really don't care about my badge any more. Frankly, if you're interested in keeping people in a nightclub safe from predatory criminals and just garden variety dickheads, you're better off being a member of the public than a badged member of door staff. And forget phoning the police for help. I don't understand what we pay the South Yorkshire Police to do except make "normal" people's lives a complete and abject misery.

If it keeps on this way there is going to be some kind of ugly reckoning.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Green snake in the grass

What would you think if I told you that the furore over climategate was not the most critical topic where the AGW lobby was concerned? How would you feel if I said that the EU and our almost silent drift into a federal super-state should not be at the top of your list for ways to raise your blood pressure? What would you think if I pointed out, at the centre of all of this - where Climategate has been the signal symptom pulling back the curtain - there was, at base a sustained assault on reason itself?

Hyperbole? Paranoia? Read on....

Buried deep within the furore over Climategate is a deeper and far more insidious issue, so far only mentioned in passing by a few in the odd comment on Climategate, and only one politically focused blogger recently (at least in direct relation to AGW "science"), along with a handful of lone voices scattered around from some time before climategate - for example here. Despite its critical seriousness, this issue didn't reach critical mass in the blogosphere, being commented on by a few disparate observers.

What is this hidden monster to which I refer?

It is the fact that many of those involved in what I will call the 'AGW confluence' (the historically unprecedented coming together of (many previously disparate) interests around the AGW issue), are followers of the philosophy of "post-normal science".

As BuyTheTruth explains in their blog on this topic. This isn't just a case of science being politicised and brought, or even a case of moving from modern to "post-modern" science (where post-modernism at least provides a useful contribution of highlighting the subjective element in everything). It is an altogether more fundamental shift. And in using the term "post normal science", they hoped we wouldn't notice. They were right.

BTT's blog really deserves very wide readership - wider than that of Climategate itself. The stakes here couldn't be higher. I've tried getting a few of the high-traffic Libertarian bloggers interested, but no joy so I decided to go into some detail on this issue myself and hope it will be picked up by my fellow bloggers:

The idea behind "post normal science" (PNS) is to make science instrumental and democratic (even "moral"). I hope you balked at reading that idea, just like I did. We libertarian minded folk naturally seek a political settlement that maximises the liberty of the individual. The idea of applying such a principle to Science however is pure anathema, yet that is exactly what has happened. And it has not simply morphed into a scientific tyranny of the majority (despite the oft cited "thousands" of scientists supposedly supporting the IPCC conclusions unequivocally) - it is the brought and paid for appearance of (tyranny of the) majority that counts. PNS scientists and philosphers don't care for truth you see - only 'values'.

The originator of this philosophy is one Jerome Ravetz. If the following quote from Ravetz doesn't make your head explode, you probably need to read it twice:

"…climate change models are a form of “seduction”…advocates of the models…recruit possible supporters, and then keep them on board when the inadequacy of the models becomes apparent. This is what is understood as “seduction”; but it should be observed that the process may well be directed even more to the modelers themselves, to maintain their own sense of worth in the face of disillusioning experience.

…but if they are not predictors, then what on earth are they? The models can be rescued only by being explained as having a metaphorical function, designed to teach us about ourselves and our perspectives under the guise of describing or predicting the future states of the planet…A general recognition of models as metaphors will not come easily. As metaphors, computer models are too subtle…for easy detection. And those who created them may well have been prevented…from being aware of their essential character."

This is as nasty and insidious as nasty and insidious gets.

And the glove fits more perfectly than you could imagine:

"The theory of Post-Normal Science…needs to be renewed and enriched…The time is not ripe for a modification of PNS, and so the best move forward is to raise the issue of Sustainability. For that I sketch a theory of complex systems, with special attention to pathologies and failures. That provides the foundation for a use of ‘contradiction’ as a problem incapable of resolution in its own terms, and also of ‘characteristic contradiction’ that drives a system to a crisis. With those materials it is possible to state the characteristic contradiction of our modern industrial civilisation, and provide a diagram with heuristic power."
[emphasis mine]

I'll repeat BuyTheTruth's commentary here as there is no point paraphrasing what is probably expressed more succinctly than I would have done:

"Heuristic power is the power to explain ‘factual novelties’. ‘Contradiction’ and ‘characteristic contradiction’ are Marxist speak. Heard about ’sustainability’ recently? You bet! Ravetz gives the Greens the tools they need to do their dirty work. He gives them the philosophical blueprint to attack modern industrial civilization. Now, let’s be clear: post-normal science is one of the manipulative arts that Machiavelli would have been proud of."
[My emphasis]

Instead of "truth", what we should have instead is "quality" (c.f. the idea of "value added data" coming out of Climategate.....)

Another doozy is quoted by BuyTheTruth, from Eva Kunseler, Towards a new paradigm of Science in scientific policy advising:

"The exercise of scholarly activities is defined by the dominance of goal orientation where scientific goals are controlled by political or societal actors…Scientists’ integrity lies not in disinterestedness but in their behaviour as stakeholders.

....he guiding principle of normal science – the goal of achievement of factual knowledge - must be modified to fit the post-normal principle…For this purpose, post-normal scientists should be capable of establishing extended peer communities and allow for ‘extended facts’ from non-scientific experts

....Involved social actors must agree on the definition of perceptions, narratives, interpretation of models, data and indicators."

Is *any* of this making you feel sick yet? For me its positively vomit inducing. Are you getting this? Scientists should no longer pursue the goal of being "disinterested", they should be considered, instead "stakeholders". This is a paradigm shift onwards from the post-modernist observation that no science, or scientist is value free. That's one of the whole points of the scientific enterprise - that different scientists correct one another's bias.

Another quote provided by BuyTheTruth from a critic of "post normal science", Richard Fernandez really hits the spot:

"All in all, the notion of “post-normal science” seems like a complete contradiction in terms or a perversion of the standard definition of science as commonly understood. It appears to be an elaborate and dishonest attempt to pass off the preferences of a single group as some kind of pseudo-science. There’s a much simpler term for this dishonest phrase: politics. Post-normal science is nothing but a cheap and lying term for a political diktat; for the rule of the self-appointed over everyone else. Whatever truth “Global Warming” may contain it has surely been damaged by its association with this disreputable and vile concept which brazenly casts aside the need for any factual basis and declares in the most unambiguous terms that whatever values it chooses to promote constitutes a truth unimpeachable by reality and a set of values that none dare challenge."

I'm at risk of repeating BuyTheTruth's entire blog, so I must recommend in the strongest possible terms that you read the original in full. As far as I'm concerned, the collated quotations from Mike Hulme are more damning than if he was caught anally raping goats (without lube) in sacrificial rituals to gaia and the almighty Al Ogre (and this list of quotes alone is worth reading BTT for). And claiming "out of context quotes" won't cut it. He hides these conclusions in amongst lots of reasonable sounding points. I've read enough of his quotes in context now to see that he does indeed mean it.

Look at the way Hulme, in the Guardian, dismisses sceptics Singer and Avery: "So this book from Singer and Avery can be understood in a different way: as a challenge to the process of climate change science, or to the values they believe to be implicit in the science, rather than as a direct challenge to scientific knowledge."

At points in Hulme's piece in the Guardian it seems that his main intention is to ask scientists to be very open about the values that inform their inquiry. Obviously this is something I applaud. However, his conclusion - here and elsewhere - appears to be that because scientists do bring values to the table, we should give up on rational truth-seeking traditional scientific behaviour and focus instead on transmitting these values, using science as a vehicle, as he reveals here: "What matters about climate change is not whether we can predict the future with some desired level of certainty and accuracy; it is whether we have sufficient foresight, supported by wisdom, to allow our perspective about the future, and our responsibility for it, to be altered."

Shockingly, the highest profile treatment this has received has been from Melanie Phillips, who draws equally sinister conclusions to myself, BTT and the few others who have encountered these carrion ridden philosophers.

The reason they escaped notice is because - in 2007 when Phillips was writing - no one even realised what the CRU was, or how critical it was to the IPCC conclusions, never mind the individual names of its members. What climategate has done for us is more valuable than reveal the dodgy science behind a key pillar of the "consensus" - it has revealed the work of this insidious bunch and their underlying philosophy. Instead of just asking "is this junk science", we are now obliged to ask - did they ever, at any point, even care that it was junk science if they believed in PNS?

One scientific blogger writes:

"Hulme has collected some of the most disgraceful, immoral, anti-scientific, and anti-civilization principles how science should interact with the society that I can imagine. He has brought the methods of the Inquisition right to the 21st century and combined them with the most modern methods to brainwash, corrupt, and intimidate people.

He is completely open that he wants to return us to the Middle Ages when a church ideology dictated what scientists could think and what they couldn't think, what they could learn and what they couldn't learn if they didn't want to lose influence or life, for that matter. It just sounds extremely worrisome."

And later he says... "Why should anyone sensible ever take Hulme's criticism of Fred Singer and Dennis Avery seriously if Hulme's approach to science is a self-described fraud?"

Why indeed. And this was precisely the question I was asking myself whilst originally reading Hulme's proclamations on Singer and Avery.

A problem we have is Hulme can make himself appear as one slippery customer. He makes a lot of valid points about the philosophy of science and subjectivity (I can fully appreciate this as I'm a philosophy graduate myself). Yet the fact he makes a few reasonable and insightful points should not, by any stretch of the imagination, distract one from witnessing the conclusions he draws. One trap that it is easy to fall into is to assess his writing using rationalist, scientific values yourself. To do that is to not understand Hulme et al. You see - he himself is already beyond those values, engaging in "Post Normal Science".

To be fair to Ravetz, it appears that Hulme and others have taken and twisted his orginal philosphy somewhat, at least if one of the commentators on BTT's blog is to be believed (see the entries from 'tallbloke'). I've yet to spend much time on Ravetz's original work, though I intend to go through everything produced by these folks, from Ravetz onward, with a very fine tooth comb. Reading Hulme in the original is pretty clear though. He really does believe this philosophy, even if it is a distorted version of Ravetz's original vision. I'm having trouble believing Ravetz's innocence however, given that he has been appearing, with Hulme, to comment on Climategate. And if you read the comments from 'tallbloke' over at BTT, you realise he might have made the same mistake I almost made - forgetting that these guys are not writing from the same rationalist perspective as you, already having 'gone beyond' as it were.

Both of them have written an article for the BBC on this issue. I find this equally disturbing and hilarious and wonder what the hell the BBC editor was smoking when he agreed to publish it. Apparently "Doing science in 2010 demands something rather different from scientists than did science in 1960, or even in 1985." - it does? Other than perhaps now requiring a desktop computer and internet connection? Read their proposals for "extended peer review" - to include "individuals from industry, environmental organisations and government officials as peer reviewers of early drafts of their assessments".

In the article they also subtly (re)introduce the idea of the "democritisation" of science. Something that sounds so reasonable on the surface because so many unthinking dolts have been trained to think that "democracy" automatically equals "good"; worse they do this under the cover of demanding more openness. More openness and "democratised science" are most certainly NOT synonymous.

The calls for publicly owned scientific knowledge and increased openness are so seductive. Yet these are things that should affect the end-result of investigations, not redirect the flow of the scientific method itself. "'Show your working' is the imperative given to scientists when preparing for publication to peers.

There, it refers to techniques.

Now, with the public as partner in the creation and implementation of scientific knowledge in the policy domain, the injunction has a new and enhanced meaning."

Amen to the first sentence. Of course we want to see how scientists have worked out their data. As to the second part though - no, no and thrice NO! The 'public as a partner in the creation of scientific knowledge'? When it enters the realm of politics, there is certainly a case to be made for public involvement in the "implementation" stage (assuming this doesn't have a special "post normal" meaning). But creation? What is this supposed to be? Interactive myth making?

This is terrifying, even in the lamed-down version for the BBC (which, I suspect was much more subtle owning to Ravetz's influence...).

And its funny how so many of these confluences come together. Again - from BTT: Not just a radical Marxist past for Hulme. Also apparently a major player previously in CND. This is particularly apropos to note given the recent questions raised by UKIP's Nigel Farage regarding the most powerful woman in the world, Cathy Ashton, and her past. And then there's the revelations about just how much influence the Soviets had, via espionage, over (now) prominent Labour figures back in the 80s.....

The more I have looked into this, the more the metaphor of a snake is very appropriate, given the mythological links to notions of original sin and - of course - snake oil salesmen.....only in this case it isn't a snake in a tree offering us a bite of the apple of knowledge. Its one hidden in the grass at our feet, about to bite us and sap our strength before we even dare reach for the goddamned tree....

And some people appear to be making the dangerous mistake of thinking that Hulme is giving us description of what has occurred. No folks - he's selling us a prescription!!

From inside the science bunker

A quick bit of background - I'm a philosophy and politics graduate. Twice in philosophy (BA, MA) and once in Politics (MA). I've also spent the last three years working at a scientific lab in a university. So I thought I'd seek out some reactions on climategate - and boy, have they been depressing.

A lot of the scientists appear to have taken the official damage control line at face value. They simply would not believe the most damaging accusations. One of them, someone I actually hold in high regard, even patronisingly accused me of not being critical enough and of 'believing everything I read in the papers'. If only it had been in the damn papers! I asked him if he'd looked at the emails, or files himself? No. Interestingly I also argue with him frequently on the EU too. And no, he hasn't read the consolidated treaties as amended by Lisbon. Who the hell isn't sufficiently critical?

Another scientist said he was completely unsurprised and said he thought it was completely normal that they'd seek to protect their funding first and foremost. All well and good but this is research that will fundamentally change the world. Literally. He opined that research funding is fundamentally too politicised. Which was amusing to hear from a scientist. I've been pilloried by a number of my (now ex) friends who were committed AGWers for constantly asking the political questions. Climategate has completely vindicated me on that score (hasn't changed anything for them though, I got back in touch with one who's reaction was that 'even if it turned out CRU was an al-quaeda front, it wouldn't change anything because the rest of the science is settled and CRU were such a small part of it'). Right.

I also had a bad experience with senior staff from the EU commission who attended a conference I was supposed to be presenting research at last week. They seem to think the Commission's priorities and choice of research funding is value free. The discussion was on the future direction of technology and what the EU will fund. It seems decisions on this will be made on the basis of 'European values'. When pressed they said that "of course" principles like "solidarity" will trump those of "subsidarity". That 'value free' research funding again, from the body that is the buyer, seller *and* regulator of the research. I think I scotched a few career opportunities here by asking too many pointed questions and regularly trying to draw people back to the politics of the science. I guess maybe I'm behind the times and with regard to the EU, we're in the realm of "post normal" politics.

One minor victory I did have however was speaking to one of the lead scientists behind what one could consider the university's environmental unit. He didn't believe it at first, but went away and had a look himself at the climategate material, only to return quite shaken. Good. As much as I like the man, and didn't want to upset him it at least caused him to reassess.

The problem is, there seems to be an institutional bias to take things on trust from other scientists. I used to feel like that until I started investigating the politics, realising that - just like with journalists - I would finally have to check everything myself.

Hulme is - to repeat the point - a slippery one because he appears to occasionally attack the "consensus", including colleagues such as Jones. The problem is, he's not criticising them for having engaged in a travesty of science, not to mention academic integrity, he's criticising them from the position that they aren't engaging properly in Post Normal Science.

Also - see this bizaare op-ed from Hulme in the WSJ. A common thread in Hulme's work is to point out how unbelievably complex climate science is, whilst at the same time proclaiming that the AGW is certain. Apparently the old model of science, and how science should be used, "places much too great a burden on science, certainly on climate science with all of its struggles with complexity, contingency and uncertainty.". He goes on to identify the fact that climate science had been so politicised as a fundamental flaw in the traditional model of science itself. Never mind the fact that it was the AGW shills themselves who polarised it themselves. Lots of readers have already expressed disgust (and cancelled subscriptions) at publications such as Nature and Scientific American for shamelessly promoting the "denier" meme. That wasn't a failure in the scientific method, it was a consciously made and personal failure of the scientists themselves.

Another disturbing angle is the fact that we've heard this kind of thing before...

Back to the future - Neocons reloaded

The editor of, Justin Raimondo, tirelessly documented many of the hidden links and shenanigans of that cabal we came to know as the 'Neocons'. One of the most striking aspects of his research was to spell out the philosophy underlying that collection of warmongering corrupt liars. The similarities with the philosophy of 'post-normal' science are striking.

The neocons were inspired by philosopher, Leo Strauss. For Strauss, society should be 'guided' by an appropriate self-appointed elite.He also praised the art of political lying - lying for the 'social good'.

Raimondo also details that other common thread - the radical left wing past of the main actors. Its a shame he doesn't go into more detail on that other pernicious strand - the fact that as soon as bad things are done with state power a concerted effort is made to associate this with the 'right'.

On that issue, Burt Blumert from is worth quoting: "Neocons, as ex-Trotskyites, are bad enough, but those who follow the pro-pagan Leo Strauss are deadly. He advocated the Big Lie. Forgive me for all the gory details, but these people – with their other leaders like Bill Buckley and Irving Kristol and the help of the CIA – perverted the American right into loving the welfare-warfare state."

These were also the chaps who famously derided the anti-war movement as part of "the reality based community". The neocon vision was to 're-shape' and determine reality (for social good, of course!).

Sound familiar?

It's one of those things that ensure partisan divisions keep the elements of the 'left' and 'right', who actually substantively agree on certain issues, fighting uselessly with one another. Meanwhile the powermongers at the helm continue directing the ship of state to despicable ends and they don't care whether we call them 'left' or 'right'. Worth noting perhaps how the current crop of neocons have lauded their new War President. The confusions in names, allegiances etc, almost seem sometimes to be consciously chosen to maximise confusion, doubt and conflict - acting like a chinese finger trap for your mind.

The similarity of vitriolic counter-attack is also striking: People attacking the neo-cons were labelled 'anti-semitic'. Critics of AGW - as we all well know now - are 'deniers'. Curious, no?

So what next?

Apologies to those who have been waiting for the next part of the Lisbon treaty analysis - it is coming. This current issue however, in my view, is so serious it trumps everything else I've been concerned about for the last few years. What these "post normal scientists" are discussing is the murder of reason. And for very particular political goals, supposedly for our own good. Climategate has given the opportunity to see how one particular cell has been influence directly by this kind of arrogant misanthropic anti-scientific thinking. What needs to happen now is not just a weeding out of everyone who was part of the Climategate team, and mapping the extent to which their flawed research has infiltrated and corrupted the body of research making up the IPCC. I, for one, intend to go far beyond that and seek out all of these 'post normal scientists'. They don't just threaten the end of our economies, or freedom, or even the end of science. They promise the end of reason itself.

I've found the enemy's heart and I intend to stab it.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Registering the Climategate Dissent

I have in the offing a longer piece on Climategate, dealing with an underlying issue that I've not seen taken up in detail yet. Whilst there is a lot of good work already done on analysing the confluence of political, financial and media interests behind Climategate, there is a snake in the grass yet to be properly aired.....more on that in the next few days.

In the meantime I felt compelled to write a brief blog post though because of today's headlines. Whilst a lot of deserved focus has gone to the Express printing a Climategate story on its front page, the lesser known breakthrough appears to have been in the Environmental-Shill extraordinaire - the "Independent".

For as front page news, the "Independent" has reported on the climate sceptics within the Tories. As soon as I saw it I wondered how many people, up until that point, were even aware that there *were* climate sceptics in the party. What is especially surprising is that the coverage of this dissent actually seems fairly even handed. They still couldn't bring themselves to mention Climategate however, though it was great to see David Davis's contribution, referring to proposed Green measures as "hair-shirt policies".

Then, of course, one gets to the rest of the paper.

On the front page, above the 'Cameron hit by Tory backlash on environment' is a big 'RED ALERT' banner highlighting the "FREE 20-page climate change supplement" inside. Looking through it after having read the coverage of the Tory sceptics, it is difficult to believe that the paper does not have an editor who not only has multiple-personality disorder, but also co-exists in two different parallel universes.

All the usual platitudes are there in the supplement:

- The front page of the supplement has the obligatory picture of cooling towers belching evil -uh - water vapour into the air.

- Turn the page and not only are we told that we have "Twelve days to save the world", but "We face a threat as terrible as that posed by Hitler". Godwin's law invoked even before we hit the first sentence? For fucks sake.

- Next its "Time to confront the invisible enemy that threatens us all". This section goes on to detail how "No government in the world now thinks that global warming is hugely exaggerated".

- Loads of terrifying statistics on the next page, including the Independent surpassing itself yet again, and after its recent screaming frontpage warning of rises of 6 degrees, now ups the stakes to 7 degrees. No source is given of course.

- And then, (after a full page advert for Soya) - surprise! The recent floods in the UK are signs of AGW! Full colour, two page spreads of high waterlines.

- It gets even worse on the next double page - almost nothing but dramatic pictures of the recent bushfire in Australia.

- And more! Another two page spread showing the devastation from Hurricanes. All courtesy of course of our invisible enemy!

- The final doublespread - showing a large body of ice - quotes "a selection of public figures who ought to know what they are talking about". I found that particularly funny as I thought I'd zero in randomly on one and landed on James Lovelock. He says "...the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now unprecedented". This is a blatant falsehood. If he'd appended "human- contributed" carbon dioxide it would have been true. Who cares about precision on this issue though, eh?

- We're almost done at this point - with a full page table outlining different scenarios given various rises in temperature, from 2 degrees through to six degrees. All of which, as the article states at the top, based upon the figure that "the world grew 0.74 degrees hotter in the 20th century". What seems to have passed the writer by is that it is this very figure that is now in serious doubt as a result of Climategate. Doesn't stop a good bit of scaremongering though, because the page is finished off, after detailing successively more terrifying scenarios with - guess what!? That's right, the obligatory picture of a stranded polar bear. FFS.

Hidden bonus!

If you're still conscious at this point, a big bonus buried within pages 26-27 of the paper is a hit piece on Ron Paul who is - according to the "Independent" a promoter of a "radical brand of extreme libertarianism" (I thought it was just plain old 'Libertarianism' myself...) He apparently appeals to "libertarian-minded college kids" (not us, sensible, adults obviously) and is "the token nutjob". Of particular note is what the paper has to say on his economic policy; apparently wanting to end the monopoly position of the Fed is wanting to "take the US back to a Nineteenth-centure version of every-man-for-himself capitalism".

It's been a long while since I've read anything in the Independent beyond its latest hysterical front page. Its simply difficult to imagine a more sickeningly obvious propaganda rag with a very loose grasp on accuracy. I can only hope - like the New Statesman - that it continues hemorrhaging readers. Its demise is long overdue and well deserved.