Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Under the Jacaranda Tree: Bart Simpson and Jin Jing’s spin-doctors

April 22, 2008

omnologos Says:
22 April, 2008 at 10:39 pm

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter any longer. The pictures are out there. There are two assaults, not just one. Ms. Jin’s facial expression is that of a person in distress, or an unexpectedly great actress.

So obscure photographic analysis and talks about the behaviour of foreigners marching towards a demo in Paris, won’t do the trick. You may as well try to stop a tsunami with a teaspoon.

IHT: Opining without Reading

February 15, 2008

Dear Editors

Wouldn’t it be wiser for columnists to read first about what they want to write, rather than rely purely on soundbites and media-generated hearsay?

Mona Eltahawy, in “Delusions in Canterbury” (IHT, Feb 15) says about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ideas on Shari’a law that “words are especially cheap“, and “he probably thinks his ‘tolerance’ for Shariah is progressive“. She even wonders “whose version of Shariah he meant“.

There is no need for wondering or probability. Archbishop Williams originally gave a thoughtful lecture on the topic, as part of a series, on February 7. The lecture is available online and consists of 8 densely-written pages, where many if not all of the objections have already been answered.

Perhaps it was the length, combined with the complexity of the topic: or perhaps it was the objective difficulty in translating a long and reasoned argument into a few journalistic words. In any case, anybody reading the original will be able to understand how much the Archbishop’s thoughts have been distorted in hundreds and hundreds of reports.

Shari’a law, Muslim integration in Europe, the status of women and gays are very serious topics. I just wish Ms Eltahawy and everybody seriously considering them will make a point of finding the time to explore proposals such as Archbishop Williams’ fully and on the original sources, instead of by whatever appears on TV or newspapers.

Reason Magazine: Science Writer’s Motto: We Don’t Ask Questions. That Is Not Our Role.

February 13, 2008

I recommend reading the Skeptic Society’s essay:

“Journalist-Bites-Reality!
How broadcast journalism is flawed
in such a fundamental way that its utility as a tool for informing viewers is almost nil..”.

It explains many, many things…

http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/skeptics-society-how-broadcast-journalism-is-flawed/

http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-02-13.html#feature

Contrappunto: Mario Pannunzio arruolato nei teocon?

February 5, 2008

Questo paese migliorera’ quando uno potra’ esprimere la propria opinione senza che questa venga considerata un’offesa personale da qualcun’altro. In altre parole: quando si comincera’ a discutere del merito invece che solo del metodo.

Crisis: A che ora e’ la fine del mondo?

January 23, 2008

47. Maurizio Morabito, Oggi, ore 12:39

> catastrofisti, apocalittici, pessimisti. Non è cosìAhem…ma se lo siete (catastrofisti, apocalittici, pessimisti) perche’ vergognarsene??

Real Climate: Con Allègre, ma non troppo

January 15, 2008
  1. (40) Maurizio Morabito Says:
    16 October 2006 at 12:20 PM The Climate-Change-Is-Very-Bad community has huge communication issues wrt the general public and it is telling that the main gist of Allegre’s article is completely lost to the RealClimate commentator

    Allegre, as others have said, is a politician, so his words must be “decoded” thinking of a politician’s language, not a scientist’s

    It then becomes a matter of practical action in the real world. And in the real world, Allegre can see “the ecology of the powerless protester” (”l’ecologie de l’impuissance protestataire”) having become a good business, whilst _nothing_ serious gets done (even Al Gore thinks nothing of perpetually jetting around the world)

    My personal view on the upcoming (or not) catastrophe of global warming are somewhere in the archives of RealClimate. But those are beside the point

    The question to ask is what if anything is preventing the entire world from acting even remotely in step with what is written day in, day out on RealClimate and other similar fora, newspaper articles and now even documentary movies

    Allegre thinks the issue is that disasters are not predicted to happen before another half a century. An interesting point indeed

    [Response: Why do potentially sensible comments on appropriate policy responses need to come packaged with demonstrably erroneous science then? There are plenty of serious commentators discussing these issues, and it can be done without distorting the science. -gavin]

  2. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    16 October 2006 at 5:47 PM Re: 40

    “Why do potentially sensible comments on appropriate policy responses need to come packaged with demonstrably erroneous science then?”

    Perhaps because the scientific details are not relevant to Allegre’s argument? All he needs is “the doubt”. If he had cared about the sources he would not have mixed up Nature and Science

    For an example of science-less policy, think of the “War on Drugs”

  3. Alastair McDonald Says:
    17 October 2006 at 2:31 AM Maurizio, are you saying that “a barrage of stories on disappearing species, uncontrollable pests, rising seas, floods, droughts, heat waves, fires, violent storms, scarce food/jobs/resources, and forecasts of millions of human deaths” are “demonstratably erroneous science”?
  4. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    17 October 2006 at 5:10 AM Re: 41

    Alastair

    No I am not. “Demonstrably erroneous science” was a comment by Gavin on Allegre’s words

    Besides, the fact that there is a barrage of stories of impending doom is just that: a fact

    To be 100% clear: I am not hell-bent in demonstrating that contemporary climate science is a load of rubbish (it isn’t). I am simply and fundamentally “allergic” to hysteria and prophecies of doom

    If I could show that all as based on “demonstrably erroneous science” I guess we would not be here talking about it 8-)

  5. Alastair McDonald Says:
    17 October 2006 at 7:13 PM Maurizio,

    So you agree with me -) http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/10/how-not-to-attribute-climate-change/#comment-20023 that one of those [old prejudices that we all retain], which is common to all people including myself, is that disaster is not just around the corner.

    Despite the “barrage of stories on disappearing species, uncontrollable pests, rising seas, floods, droughts, heat waves, fires, violent storms, scarce food/jobs/resources, and forecasts of millions of human deaths” you are convinced it is all “hysteria”.

    You think that we should not report the truth because it does not “serves any purpose apart from scaring people”?

  6. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    18 October 2006 at 2:38 AM RE: 44

    Alastair

    In truth our two points do not necessarily contradict one another. It can still be “truth” but reported as “hysteria”

    As for people not avoiding the wall until they get their nose flattened up against it, well, it would help if the likes of Al Gore were not out there disseminating contrails to tell us not to fly any longer…

    The medium is always part of the message, and for every Cassandra predicting it as it will be, there is a crying-wolf 8-)

  7. Alastair McDonald Says:
    18 October 2006 at 10:21 AM Re #46

    Well, perhaps I am a Cassandra. However, don’t forget that Cassandra was right but was cursed by the gods and so no-one believed her. (I know how that feels.) So Troy fell despite her warnings -( And don’t forget that in the story of The_Boy_Who_Cried_Wolf the villagers’ flocks were destroyed because the boy was having fun lying.

    Do you really think all these reports are lies, or when a respected diplomat such as Sir Crispin Tickell was Speaking Out on Climate Change to the AAAS, he was doing it for fun?

    The AAAS reported:
    “The business-as-usual way of dealing with the Earth’s system is not an option,” warned Sir Crispin Tickell, delivering the 2006 Robert C. Barnard Environmental Lecture to a full auditorium at AAAS in Washington, D.C. The director of the Policy Foresight Programme of the James Martin Institute at Oxford University first brought the problem of human-induced climate change to wide public attention nearly 30 years ago. Today, he states that global climate change poses a greater threat to society than terrorism and that vested interests in the United States are preventing a swift global response.

  8. Dan Says:
    18 October 2006 at 5:20 PM re: 46.
    “As for people not avoiding the wall until they get their nose flattened up against it, well, it would help if the likes of Al Gore were not out there disseminating contrails to tell us not to fly any longer…”

    Sounds like someone has taken in by right-wing political commentary against Gore speaking out about global warming. As Google or Yahoo! can show you, Gore’s effort to inform people about global warming is carbon neutral.

  9. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    18 October 2006 at 5:58 PM Re: 47

    Alastair: Hysteria is a way of communicating. It has nothing to do with truth or fakehood. One can be hysterical while saying the truth. In no way what I write should be read as affirming that any scientist in the Climate-Change-Will-Kill-Us camp is saying so “for fun”, or knowingly distorting the data

    They (you) see something and yell out your concerns. I see the same things but no reason (yet) to be concerned: and definitely no reason to cry wolf, even if as in the fairy tale the boy was “third time lucky” (in the sense that the third time, really there was a wolf)

    Re; 48

    Dan: Whatever Al Gore is doing to be carbon-neutral (and the amounts to offset do vary from website to website), it is not part of any article I have ever read about his movie

    Wonder if the great unwashed are supposed to be googling about the Man?

    ClimateCrisis clear states “Fly less”: the air-travel offset is supposed to be an alternative, if one really cannot fly less, not the main message. Has Mr Gore organized the launch of the movie in different countries so he would minimise the amount of miles, one wonders

    And most of all, why oh why could he not ram in the clear-and-present-danger of climate change by presenting the movie via internet conferencing?

    ————

    For other examples of “greenwash”, read UK commentator, environmentalist extraordinaire and Guardian editorialist George Monbiot, unless you believe he has been taken in by right-wing political commentary too (”Heat: how to stop the planet burning”: website: http://www.turnuptheheat.org/ )

  10. Dan Says:
    18 October 2006 at 8:19 PM re: 47.
    “…the great unwashed…”. That sort of ad hominem speaks volumes.

    Compare GHG emissions between planes and fossil-fuel fired power plants for context. Clearly, the attacks on Gore’s presentations are not scientifically motivated because the science speaks for itself through the scientific method and peer-reviewed studies in various journals. The attacks are politically motivated and often personal. They are subsequently fed to and regurgitated by those who look for things to throw out to laymen to obfuscate the scientific issues and belittle Gore.

  11. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    19 October 2006 at 3:02 AM Re: 50

    Dan

    Regarding regurgitations, please do read a comment before replying

    The “great unwashed” was about people like me

  12. Barton Paul Levenson Says:
    19 October 2006 at 8:06 AM Re #49 and “Dan: Whatever Al Gore is doing to be carbon-neutral (and the amounts to offset do vary from website to website), it is not part of any article I have ever read about his movie…Wonder if the great unwashed are supposed to be googling about the Man?…ClimateCrisis clear states “Fly less”: the air-travel offset is supposed to be an alternative, if one really cannot fly less, not the main message. Has Mr Gore organized the launch of the movie in different countries so he would minimise the amount of miles, one wonders…And most of all, why oh why could he not ram in the clear-and-present-danger of climate change by presenting the movie via internet conferencing?”

    I take it this poster would ignore a doctor’s advice to quit smoking if the doctor was a smoker himself. That’s a logical fallacy, buddy. Try talking about the issue instead of the people presenting the issue.

    -BPL

  13. Dan Says:
    19 October 2006 at 12:09 PM re: 51. “Wonder if the great unwashed are supposed to be googling about the Man?” and “The “great unwashed” was about people like me”.

    It certainly does not read that way.

  14. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    20 October 2006 at 6:09 PM RE: 52

    BPL: I didn’t say _we_ should not follow Gore’s advice because he’s more of a global warming “sinner” than most of us.

    I wrote that “it would help” if _he_ would follow his own advice

    I am sure “Gore pledges not to travel by air” would be headline news for days

    Re 53:

    Dan: Apologies for not having been clearer. You had suggested to google about Gore. My point was that most people reading all the commentaries about the movie should not “have to” google.

    Somehow the message about him being carbon neutral is not filtering through to the newspapers, the vast majority of whose articles I have read talk positively about Gore’s efforts

    And in any case the question remains: what’s so wrong with internet conferencing, nowadays? Especially in a circumstance where its usage would underly the message so effectively

Quinta’s weblog: Fa pensare…

September 29, 2007

Mi piacerebbe vedere le barre di errore in questi grafici…

Se ci limitiamo al dopo-1900 quando presumibilmente i valori sono piu’ precisi, c’e’ un bel salto della “derivata” nel 1950 da 10 a 62 milioni all’anno (“rivoluzione agricola”?) ma perche’ sia cosi’ bassa negli ultimi due anni (38), non e’ ben chiaro

Forumeye: Dialogo sul Cambioclimatismo

September 23, 2007

Messaggio inviato da Maurizio Morabito Domenica 23 Settembre 2007, 01:12 AM

Grazie a The Believer per il linkaggio e a tutti per i commenti. Certo sarebbe stato piu’ interessante leggere critiche puntuali a quanto ho scritto, ma comunque e’ sempre meglio suscitare irritazione che essere ignorati cool.gif

Permettetemi quindi di rispondere brevemente un po’ a tutti.

Qualcuno si chiede perche’ non dovremmo preoccuparci dei problemi che potrebbero capitare ai nostri figli. Mi piacerebbe essere cosi’ sicuro, di quali saranno quei problemi. Posso solo constatare che 35 anni fa, mio padre non poteva neanche immaginare i problemi del mondo di oggi. E 35 anni prima, nel 1937 suo padre non poteva avere idea dei problemi del 1972. E quindi tutto quello di cui posso preoccuparmi e’ poter dire a mio figlio, nel 2042, beninteso, se il Misericordioso ci permettera’ di vedere quell’anno, che mi sono impegnato in quello che credevo, e ignavo non sono mai stato.

Riguardo i ghiacciai: nel discorso con Cambioclimaticio (un gruppo di persone, non un solo interlocutore) ho tenuto a sottolineare che quando si dice che “tutti” stanno diminuendo di dimensioni, cio’ non e’ assolutamente vero. Ho portato l’esempio della Patagonia e del fatto che un’improvvisa ritirata possa essere legata a questioni meccaniche e non climatiche. Poi si e’ anche saputo che il Kilimanjaro sta perdendo ghiaccio, ma per motivi diversi dal riscaldamento globale. Poi si e’ saputo che sull’Himalaya il problema e’ il pulviscolo, non la CO2. E in Alaska c’e’ un bel ghiacciaione che avanza tranquillo.

Insomma che ci posso fare io se tutte le volte che investigo la situazione di un sistema di ghiacciai, finisce sempre che cause locali o comunque non la CO2 risultino dietro eventuali avanzamenti o arretramenti?

Alcuni parlano del permafrost e del metano che ne starebbe uscendo. Io mi chiedo: tutto quel metano come ha fatto a congelarsi? Non e’ mica piovuto dal cielo, o uscito dalle viscere della Terra. Se la pupu’ di Mammuth e’ nel ghiaccio, si vede che quando e’ venuta fuori dal Mammuth ghiaccio ce n’era poco. Analoghe considerazioni possono essere fatte per i vari reperti anche archeologici che stanno venendo fuori dai ghiacciai del Canada.

A proposito: si parla di riscaldamento globale, si parla di siccita’. Questa e’ una relazione che non ho ancora capito. Nelle epoche passate, la siccita’ era un problema legato all’arrivo delle glaciazioni, proprio perche’ c’era meno acqua in giro per far piovere. E anche adesso, ai tropici e’ la stagione calda a coincidere con le piogge. Boh.

A chi dice che la soluzione sia togliere di mezzo la razza umana: ci sono gia’ gli svitati del VHEMT, che pero’ non possono sciogliere un problema filosofico: se gli umani decidessero di autoeliminarsi perche’ “cattivi”, sarebbero automaticamente troppo “buoni” per potersi meritare l’eliminazione. Forse un problema di sovrappopopolazione esiste, ma possiamo parlarne un’altra volta.

Sul perche’ ci sia tanto catastrofismo in giro: alcuni sicuramente lo fanno per sentirsi bene, altri perche’ e’ politicamente troppo allettante, altri infine perche’ seguire le mode porta fama e potere. Comunque l’idea che bisogna comunque dare l’allarme e’ un po’ vecchia: quando tutto e’ allarme, niente e’ allarme, e tutto diventa solo spettacolo televisivo. Anche il Presidente Napolitano se ne e’ accorto.

Riguardo l’inquinamento: naturalmente sono per la riduzione di gas nocivi, figuriamoci. Solo che ce ne sono tanti, non solo la CO2. Perche’ non proviamo ad essere eco-logici, invece che solo eco-emotivi? Si tratta di fare scelte che quasi mai sono senza problemi. Per esempio sostituire le lampadine normali con quelle ad alta efficienza energetica significa risparmiare petrolio ma anche mettersi in casa dei contenitori pieni di mercurio, con tutti i rischi del caso.

Perche’ staremmo vedendo un aumento delle temperature globali, se non a causa della CO2? Prima di tutto, l’aumento e’ stimato a 0.7C o giu’ di li’. Permettetemi di dubitare che cio’ sia significativo, altrimenti vorrebbe dire che la Terra e’ un climatizzatore che miracolosamente rimarrebbe naturalmente a non piu’ di mezzo grado di distanza dalla “media”. Neanche al sistema di climatizzazione che ho in automobile chiederei tanto. E comunque sul lungo termine stiamo uscendo da una glaciazione, e sul breve termine dalla piccola era glaciale. Magari sarebbe preoccupante se il globo si stesse raffreddando (anche perche’ i morti per freddo sono molti di piu’ di quelli per caldo)

A chi si chiede quali idee politiche ci siano dietro: Nel 1971, la NASA diceva che sarebbe arrivata una glaciazione a causa dell’uso di combustibili fossili. Oggi, la NASA dice che arrivera’ il riscaldamento globale a causa dell’uso dei combustibili fossili. Non occorre dire altro.

Per chi ha chiesto numeri, invece che parole: ho fatto un po’ di calcoli riguardo il pianeta Venere, e neanche li’ riesco a vedere “riscaldamento globale da CO2”, invece che ad esempio un normale processo adiabatico con temperature alte legate a pressioni enormi. Boh.

Dobbiamo allora tralasciare il rischio legato alla CO2? Certo che no. Quello che voglio e’ che pero’ sia trattato come un rischio, assieme a tutti gli altri rischi.

E infine a chi si lamenta di quanti pretendono di “vedere per credere”: qual’e’ l’alternativa? Andare tutti dietro al primo predicatore? Il quale ci dira’: Pentitevi prima che sia troppo tardi! Cambiate la vostra vita adesso invece di aspettare il Disastro Prossimo Venturo!

Guarda caso, quello che ci dicono i catastrofisti climatici…

Bad Astronomy’s “The Amazing Cruise Day 3”

September 8, 2007

Ironically, the USGS reported in 2003 that the Hubbard Glacier was
growing and advancing in spite of global climate change

I wonder if more recent data confirm the advance? The USGS fact sheet above goes as far as to say that

Calving Glaciers are Unresponsive to Climate…Hubbard Glacier is defying the global paradigm of valley or mountain glacier shrinkage and retreat in response to global climate warming. Hubbard Glacier is the largest of eight calving glaciers in Alaska that are currently increasing in total mass and advancing. All of these glaciers calve into the sea, are at the heads of long fiords, have undergone retreats during the last 1,000 years, calve over relatively shallow submarine moraines, and have unusually small ablation areas compared to their accumulation areas.”