Sunday, April 18, 2010

Our audit of the IPCC: Torpedoed again.

With what is now becoming a horribly frustrating irony, the denial that anything is remotely wrong in alarmist circles is now nothing short of astonishing, not to mention frightening.

This week, Canadian sceptic, Donna Laframboise of released our Audit, for which I was one of the auditors, of the IPCC's supposed gold standard peer review references in their 2007 report.

If you're short on time, the press release is here, which gives the main points. 21 of the chapters provide less than 60% peer-reviewed references, despite the continual claims by Rajenda Pachuri that their work uses only peer reviewed work.

The work we did got front-paged on climate depot and Watts Up With That but - unsurprisingly - didn't make it much further beyond the sceptical blogosphere. It is however further hard evidence of the IPCC's, and in particular its chairman's mendacity and yes you can check the raw data for yourself and see the methods used to gather it.

Back to the future

In the course of this investigation, one of the auditors noticed something remarkable that really deserves much wider acknowledgement: "While doing the Audits assigned to me (and skimming each of the above 44 documents while standardizing the formatting), a number of questions and quite a few anomalies jumped out at me – not the least of which were several references to articles and other material with a publication date of “2007“. I thought this rather odd, in view of the fact that the publication deadline for inclusion of material in the 4th Assessment Report was December, 2005 (or sometime in February 2006 at the very latest.)"

Just a few typos right? Wrong:

"Together, team IPCC succeeded in taking a combined total of 354 leaps back to the future.
This astounding number raises far more questions than it answers."

The most obvious conclusion is that the IPCC included 354 references outside the review process, and presumably in the final editorial stage of the document.


Incredibly, now their manifesto has been released it appears that the Greens have managed to piss off even Sunny Hundal and his merry band with their "anti-science" (their words) approach: "In short, while The Greens mean well, we found that their science policies in many areas were a disaster" - yes you read that right. Furthermore: "The truth isn’t democratic, and the whole structure of the party works against the idea of evidence-based policy." - welcome to the world of Post Normal Science guys - it is has become the Green's forte.

The fact that this is on Liberal Conspiracy of all places, is off the scale. Sadly, reading through to the linked Guardian article, it is clear that they i) haven't considered the possibility that if the Greens have such a shoddy understanding of science generally whether this might also apply to Climate Science and ii) still present climate scepticism ("denialism" - oh yea gods, the irony!) as fundamentally irrational without having yet - to my knowledge - debunked any of the massive holes ripped in the Alarmist case.

It is, in fact, now so laughably straightforward to debunk that I challenge any alarmist out there to make their case to me. The brain of the enormous Tyrannasaurus is dead yet the body still stomps around causing untold damage.....

.....speaking of which - despite all of the alarmist hysteria, it appears a single volcano has single handedly done more damage to the U.K. in a few days than what we are told "global warming" will do to the country over the course of the next century.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The economy of the Digital Economy Bill

'Economy' in the title here is meant in the sense of 'making savings' - for that is exactly what our wonderful Lords and Masters have done in following appropriate procedures for consideration of this legislation. For, almost as awful as the legislation itself is the contempt our politicians have shown us in the way they pushed it through.

The Digital Economy Bill, now Digital Economy Act is shortly to become law. Whilst some of the worst draconian provisions have been removed or amended, many still remain. And like so much government legislation, contains a number of 'reasonable' (as far as any fresh legislation can be said to be so) provisions, along with a number of extremely dangerous clauses that never would have passed muster if proposed alone.

Much has been written already on the issues with the Bill. The long and the short of it is that it hands the government an enormous amount of power with regards to shutting off people's internet access and blocking websites that are accused of "copyright infringement", all on the basis of a bare minimum of evidence. It has 'bad legislation', 'law of unintended consequences' and 'guaranteed abuse' written through it like a stick of seaside rock.

For what I consider to be a highly optimistic (and unlikely to my mind) account of what the Act will now mean read the Register's article here. For a more realistic and wide ranging analysis, try this telegraph blog.

Their contempt for us is total

What really struck me about this legislation however, is in spite of the valiant efforts of organisations like ORG, is how it demonstrated just how much contempt the political class hold us in. This is possibly the most important and controversial piece of legislation under the aegis of this government since the Lisbon Treaty was ratified.

Here was parliament for the second reading of the bill:

And here was parliament for the third reading of the bill:

Notice a problem? That's right - most of our so-called "representatives" are missing. In the second reading, no more than 50 MPs were present. So nearly a whopping 600 could not be bothered to show up. The third reading, when the vote was taken, was not much better and also demonstrated one of those MP behaviours that makes me want to smash their teeth out with a hammer - a handful of dedicated politicians actually debate the bill, then when it comes time to the vote the numbers swell to approximately 200 so the MPs can vote according to whatever the whip tells them. Given the severity of this legislation this is absolutely unforgivable.

In any case, if you want to check to see if your MP was there, pop by the public whip. If they did not even turn up, perhaps when they are campaigning for your vote you might want to ask them why the fuck they weren't there and why anyone should vote for them if they can't even be bothered to do their job and turn up to debate and vote.

You'll note that the CHAMPION, nay the LION of civil liberties, Nick Clegg was absent. I checked his whereabouts and according to his itinerary he was in Westminster that day for Prime Minister's Questions. Why he couldn't stick around for the evening debate and vote I'd really like to know - I guess the Vote-grubbing tourbus and its groupies was too much to resist. I'll be pursuing this one for sure and have already written to him, though I think the best explosion can wait until I can catch him in public again. Here are the details of my last encounter with the Cleggover.

Miserable enough yet? There's more!

If you're ready to beat your head on the desk until unconscious, read this article. You'll see there that our "Digital Tsar" - 'Minister for Digital Britain' and chief cheerleader for the Digital Economy Bill, Stephen Timms writes the most colossally embarrassing drivel for someone in his position. The fact he obviously has NO CLUE what Internet Protocol (IP) is should be grave cause for concern for our entire political establishment and everyone that suffers under its yoke.

On the bright side.

There is an upside - I thought this comment over at boingboing was particularly apropos and funny, maybe even practical:

"This is great news, it will bring about a new era of lols.

I offer a reward of 1 million internets to the person or group who manages to disconnect a member of Parliament or recording industry executive for an alleged copyright infringement."

And another:

"No effort must be spared in getting MPs and their families banned from the internet with only accusations, no proof..."

Particularly impressive is the official position of TalkTalk, who have publicly stated that the company will resist the Act on behalf of its customers:

our pledges to our customers:

* Unless we are served with a court order we will never surrender a customer’s details to rightsholders. We are the only major ISP to have taken this stance and we will maintain it.
* If we are instructed to disconnect an account due to alleged copyright infringement we will refuse to do so and tell the rightsholders we’ll see them in court.

I can only hope their bravery will gain them lots of custom and inspire others to resist this, truly, the most awful and corrupt of all parliaments.