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New Scientist? Reedeeming themselves? You’re kidding right?

A few skeptics got half-way excited when they saw the New Scientist’s editorial a couple of weeks ago, and wondered if it meant the editors were changing their views.

No such luck.

This is a magazine which held the multi-part-Denier-Special-extravaganza only two months ago. When it comes to standing up for independent thinking, maverick scientists and whistle-blowers who bust the establishment, New Scientist don’t just ignore the unfunded little guys, they practically phone the Establishment to ask if they can help with PR to quash the dissent.*

A single editorial and minor article that admits the obvious (for a change) is a good step, but we’re still 42 kilometers (26 miles) from the end of the marathon — and from the rest of the articles in this single print edition, it appears New Scientist is running the race backwards.

The editorial Without Candour We Can’t Trust Climate Science was a landmark event for New Scientist, it was just what we’d expect of any half way serious magazine. Crikey – The Muir investigation didn’t look into the science? It didn’t even ask if those scientists deleted the emails that they conspired to delete? What scientist wouldn’t be outraged at the white-wash.

Despite this moment of reason, seven months after ClimateGate the New Scientist editors still can’t bring themselves to even consider that their favourite hypothesis might not add up.  Do they have a full opinion piece from a skeptic who predicted the failures long before the unauthorised emails confirmed them? A luke-warmer? A climate scientist whistleblower? No, No, and Not even close. Instead they invite a failed Greens candidate from Australia, a public intellectual (whatever that is), and he gets more column inches to share his opinion than any skeptical scientist ever has. Clive Hamilton calls the atmosphere evil and makes out that “think tanks” full of deniers are pushing geoengineering. Hello strawman – here we come.

As David Archibald so aptly put it: “Nature (the journal) seems to have degenerated to occupy the niche formerly occupied by New Scientist, and New Scientist has degenerated into the publishing arm of Greenpeace.”

In the world-according-to-Hamilton, he thinks the climate will become a hotbed so hellish that countries will go vigilante-geoengineering without democratic approval. Is this like a scenario where, say, the French try to cool the world on-their-own by launching aerosol-pumping-planes, while the Russians, who don’t need more permafrost,  shoot the planes down?

This, coming from the man who wants democracy suspended (but only for his own goals, not someone else’s).

Hamilton is big on vague sweeping generalizations, not so big on details.

A number of right-wing think tanks actively denying climate change are also promoting geoengineering, an irony that seems to escape them.

So can he name those nasty right wing institutions? Not one. The best he can do is name a paper, sitting on a pro-carbon-trading-site, which was commissed by Bjorn Lomborgs agency, which is partly funded by the Danish Government. Not exactly big oil. They paid for an author who is listed as connected with the “American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research”. Hence, by this association, all conservative think tanks get slogged.

O-boy-the-Oxygen-Scare

Later in the same edition as their collectors-item (the sane editorial) is a full feature on the scare of oxygen levels falling. Ho Ho Ho. There’s no space in this magazine/propaganda-brochure to give Anthony Watts or Steven McIntyre a full four page feature on the decrepit state of our thermometers, or the inept disaster that is climate-science-statistics, but there is space to worry about all the implications of how oxygen levels are falling by 20 ppm a year. New Scientist do a decent effort at putting this into perspective, though they don’t actually point out that oxygen levels are currently 210,000 ppm, so a fall of 20ppm a year is only so scary. If O2 levels fall to 19%, we humans may notice the effects of oxygen deprivation (or not), so possibly (if nothing else changes) a few people might be aware of something untoward maybe a thousand years from now.

The magazine speculates that if we burnt the lot (meaning, all the remaining fossil fuels) oxygen could fall all the way from 20.95 per cent of the atmosphere down to … sit down …  20.87 per cent.

In every edition that they censor the unfunded scientists who are busting $4 billion dollar agencies and embarrassing Intergovernmental Panels, it’s another week that they could have been real journalists seeking the truth, instead of propaganda agents for the government, and against the people.

But whatever, I don’t mind this navel gazing pursuit of trivial inanities, but let there be no illusion: New Scientist has space for real pertinent science about current issues, and ignores it in favor of highly speculative minor postulations. It lets its readers down every week. In every edition that they censor the unfunded scientists who are busting $4 billion dollar agencies and embarrassing Intergovernmental Panels, it’s another week that they could have been real journalists seeking the truth, instead of propaganda agents for the government, and against the people.

One week later and nothings changed

Pat truisms hide the PR. It’s pretender journalism. They’re pretending to be journalists while they feed in the PR. It’s more insidious than a government brochure. Michael Le Page uses a common sense headline “Record Breaking Heat Does Not Prove Global Warming”. Whoo-hoo I think. Neat. But from that short article… half way through they press the “play” button on the Scare Campaign promotional material, just in case their readers haven’t read this 245 times this year.

I’ve finished off their sentences with what they could have said:

The various measures of average global temperatures, however, do suggest that surface temperatures are the hottest they have been since records began.

… since records began in 1850, although hundreds of studies with proxies and boreholes show it was warmer than this 800-1000 years ago.

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for instance, June was the fourth consecutive warmest month on record. According to NASA, the average temperature over the past 12 months has been the hottest ever.

…the hottest “ever”. (“Ever”doesn’t mean forever, it means the hottest in 150 years, but things were hotter  5000 years ago, 100,000 years ago, and for countless millions of years before NASA started asking for your money.)

Is it a record? Sure, it’s a record number of airports, flights, air-conditioners, and cubic meters of concrete near sensitive thermometers. Don’t get me wrong, the world has warmed since the 1812 overture was written, but we are talking about 0.7 degrees last century, and nearly 90% of the thermometers setting these records have some artificial influence.

But the next time there is an El Niño, especially if it coincides with a high in solar activity, we are likely to see a lot more records shattered.

…or we might not. If the solar cycle guys are right and a Dalton Minimum blitzes the planet…

* See the CRU email where Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt pat themselves on the back for helping New Scientist dismiss the skeptics.

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76 comments to New Scientist? Reedeeming themselves? You’re kidding right?

  • #
    Mark D.

    Jo, I am feeling weary, tired and weary….I think all the warmists screaming and wailing are using up more oxygen than they deserve. Who can I sue for justice? It is clear to me they must be told to hold their breath.

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    elsie

    I recently saw a report on TV about the “hole” in the ozone layer. Remember that? In the 80s there was a lot of media attention given to it. Ozone was being depleted especially above Antarctica because of CFCs -chlorofluorocarbons. A Montreal agreement banned their use and the hole is slowly closing. If it had not then by 2050 all the earth would have been subject to extreme UV radiation. The reason why the action to ban CFCs was that the science explaining the problem was very simple to explain and demonstrate to the public. It was a case of explaining that 3 combined oxygen atoms in the upper atmosphere could have one atom stripped by CFCs leaving only 2 combined oxygen atoms. The former could block UV best while the latter could not. However, when it comes to showing or proving how CO2 warms the atmosphere there is no similar attempt to educate the public as to how this occurs. We are just told to accept at face value what the scientists say and leave it at that. It is all very well showing file footage of glaciers calving and scenes of drought but those are not explanations. Small rises in temperature shown in graphs are not enlightening. What sceptics and the general public would like are some physical explanations in the media the same way as the ozone problem was dealt with. It may not be as simple to do but it should be at least on a far higher level than, say, the Al Gore scare movie which explained nothing about how CO2 raises the atmospheric temperatures. Just because something is believed does not make it a fact. For centuries it was a fact that the earth was flat and the sun orbited the earth. It was fact because it was believed to be true by consensus.

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    pattoh

    Hey you won’t see a XXXOS on the front cover of a “gen x” magazine any time soon, but the developed world is getting fatter!

    Editors, like politicians, (& former politicians?) do their market research & play to an audience & make them feel smart , beautiful, lucky, cognizant…….building nice warm fuzzy balloons of self delusion. It sells more copy.

    Unfortunately that “warm fuzzy” does not drive turbines that turn on the light or drive tractors that plant the crops.

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    Mark D.

    Mark that is hilarious!

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    Mark

    Mark D

    Yep, just what I needed on a cold morning.

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    Elsie@2

    Unfortunately it isn’t that simple. There are problems with the chemistry models to do with reaction rates, amongst other problems. Ozone is unstable. There is an equilibrium between ozone formation by UV absorption and ozone decay to oxygen. This is another area where there is not enough long term data. You might also ask why the ozone was being depleted above Antarctica when most CFC use was in the Northern Hemisphere. You’ll find a lot of arm waving.

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  • #

    A little off topic, but: global population is an issue again. I wonder if this is where the science opportunists are positioning themselves now that global warming isn’t quite so hot (sorry, couldn’t resist.)
    I’m just old enough to remember the dire predictions of the late 60s and early 70s. Vast crowds everywhere, no room to sit and contemplate. But as it happens we’re still waiting for Soylent Green to appear on the supermarket shelves.

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    cohenite

    Hamilton says this in the linked article:

    “IN 1892 Edvard Munch witnessed a blood-red sunset over Oslo, Norway. Shaken by it, he wrote in his diary that he felt “a great, unending scream piercing through nature”. The incident inspired him to create his most famous painting, The Scream.

    The striking sunset was probably caused by the eruption of Krakatoa, which sent a massive plume of ash and gas into the upper atmosphere, turning sunsets red around the globe and cooling the Earth by more than a degree.”

    Krakatoa exploded in 1883; the atmospheric effects lasted about 2 years as have the effects from more recent volcanic eruptions:

    http://junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Stratosphere1278-1204.gif

    Whatever Munch was seeing probably came out of a bottle; to explain Hamilton would require something even murkier I suspect.

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    Binny

    elsie:
    I was in the US when the ozone scare was at its peak, and I can still remember an ad I saw at the time. It featured Olivia Newton-John and was about Australia in that they showed a graphic of the hole in the ozone layer supposedly passing over the southern reaches of Australia (complete with scary music, I think it may have been the theme from Jaws.)they also quoted the statistic that Australia had the highest level of of skin cancer in the world. Accompanied by a very graphic imagery of someone who had lost their nose to skin cancer.
    The obvious implication was that the hole in the ozone layer was causing record skin cancer amongst Australians.
    My immediate thought at that time was, these people have just used two truths to tell a lie.
    Yes Australia does have the highest level of skin cancer in the world, but we also have the highest per capita of Caucasians living in the tropics anywhere in the world.
    Not surprisingly the overwhelming majority of Australia’s skin care cases, occur in the tropics. Nowhere near where the hole in the ozone layer was supposedly passing over Australia.
    In a lot of ways, that is what originally made me cautious as to the hype and hysteria that was being pumped out about global warming.

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    allen mcmahon

    cohenite, whenever I come across a Hamilton article I see red, regardless of the time of day, and feel the urge to scream.

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    Colin Henderson

    I used to subscribe to New Scientist but after numerous (unpublished) letters to the editor pointing out the absurdity of carbon induced AGW It finally dawned on me that they were part of the UN, IPCC, NOAA, Nature, media AGW brainwash. I dropped my New Scientist subscription and tried Science News only to discover that they are no better that the aforementioned.

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    Jaymez

    Thanks for your persistence in this area Jo. I reckon you should have run as a Senate candidate. You may have ended up with the balance of power. Now that would have been good.

    Here’s the latest garbage to come out of the UN Climate talks in Bonn this week. “Record global temperatures, forest fires in Russia, lethal floods in Pakistan are all consistent with the kind of changes we could expect from climate change, and they will get worse if we don’t act quickly,” said US negotiator Jonathan Pershing.

    The climate alarmists want to claim they have the position of scientific authority, but then come out with garbage like this and no-one in the alarmist community or the media challenge it. Of course single weather events which happen all the time are not indicative of long term climate change, but even if they were, where is the connection to the evil CO2 emissions, which is what the Bonn talks were all about?

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    Bulldust

    I see our mate, John Cook, of Skeptical Science fame has got some virtual inches at The Gaurdian this week bagging the new skeptic iPhone app:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/aug/06/iphone-climate-denial-app

    I am sure you could have a field day with the garbage in this piece.

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    Tel

    The irony of the situation is that clicking on the New Scientist link above leads to a pay-wall. Yes you heard me right: someone expects normal people to pay for the privilege of reading what Clive Hamilton has to say (even after the first two paragraphs are easily demonstrated to be wrong as cohenite points out above).

    This leads to a deeper problem for the scientific publications industry which is that they are no longer remotely relevant in today’s world of cheap and easy web publication. If you want to publish in Nature or similar, they expect you to willing sign over the Copyright of your own work forever so you can have the prestige of saying you got an article into Nature. You end up no longer even owning your own article. Anyone whose work has real value would refuse such an obviously one-sided offer… the result is that only people whose work has minimal value would agree to be published in this manner.

    Everyone else just puts it up on their website, where they can own and control their own work (as it should be).

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    A C of Adelaide

    In this post modern world, history, like temperature records, can be rewritten to suit the current narrative. Science and History are now just tools that serve political ends. The world is full of Winston Smiths and room 101s.

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    janama

    Binny: @ 11.

    Back in the early 90s a doctor friend of mine pointed out how the skin cancer scare had got it wrong. They made the mistake of paying doctors $70 for every skin cancer they removed. So doctors were checking their patients and taking off this one, that one, these ones $$$$$$etc.

    The government suddenly realised it was costing a fortune so they changed the ruling yo the doctor had to do a pathology test proving the mole was malignant, within months the figures on who was susceptible to skin cancer changed dramatically, it was no longer the gnarled old farmer but the Sydney office worker who constantly went to Cairns every holiday and returned red as a lobster.

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    Stephan

    Looking really very bad for the AGW theory
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php
    Keep an eye out for attempts by others such as NSDC/NASA etc to massage data/graphs as this one is one they simply cannot accept….

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    dave ward

    “* See the CRU email where Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt pat themselves on the back for helping New Scientist dismiss the skeptics.”

    According to the US EPA these were just “candid discussions”, and those who attempted to interpret the e-mails came to “faulty scientific conclusions” and “resorted to hyperbole.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-10899538

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Moderator:

    Could you please forward the email address on this comment to Mark D at #1?

    Sorry to ask, but have had an email malfunction, and lost his address.

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    BobC

    elsie (@2):

    elsie:
    August 7th, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I recently saw a report on TV about the “hole” in the ozone layer. Remember that? In the 80s there was a lot of media attention given to it. Ozone was being depleted especially above Antarctica because of CFCs -chlorofluorocarbons. A Montreal agreement banned their use and the hole is slowly closing. If it had not then by 2050 all the earth would have been subject to extreme UV radiation.

    And Mike (@8)

    Mike Borgelt:
    August 7th, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Ozone is unstable. There is an equilibrium between ozone formation by UV absorption and ozone decay to oxygen. … You might also ask why the ozone was being depleted above Antarctica when most CFC use was in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Mike is right, elsie — the ozone scare was also a scam. Susan Soloman got a lot of the credit for figuring out the chemistry behind the depletion in the Antarctic. Back in the 80s, I went to a seminar she gave at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) here in Boulder, Colorado. There were 12 attendees, including me. Some interesting things I found out:

    1) The depletion chemistry only worked at extremely cold temperatures — essentially only during the winter over Antarctica. (It can’t happen at mid latitudes.)
    2) There is essentially no UV irradiation of the stratosphere in midwinter over Antarctica.
    3) The winter Antarctic Vortex isolated the air over the pole and allowed the depletion to built up.

    The implied threat was that when the vortex broke up in spring, the ozone hole could migrate north and cause higher UV at ground levels.

    At the end of the seminar, I noticed that there was one crucial piece of information that Dr. Soloman hadn’t covered; so I asked her “what is the lifetime of an ozone molecule in the stratosphere?” Bizarrely, Soloman didn’t seem to want to answer, so I elaborated the question, pointing out that it wasn’t possible to quantify the risk unless you knew this. I was about to conclude that I would have to look it up at the library, expecting the answer would be a number of months, when Soloman answered: “Three days.” The meeting then broke up.

    Three days! This means that, if the ozone hole started moving north in the spring, 50% of the ozone would be replaced in 3 days, 75% in 6 days, etc. Since the latitudes that the hole could reach in a week would be, in early spring, not subject to high UV levels yet, the ozone hole would be no more than a slight nuisance — there is NO WAY it could be a serious danger to the world at large.

    Ozone is generated in the stratosphere by the very thing we need it to protect us from — UV (and an inexhaustible supply of oxygen). If you could magically destroy ALL stratospheric ozone suddenly, it would be 75% returned in less than a week. CFC’s can’t destroy ozone except over Antarctica in mid-winter (where there is no UV anyway) — they are a complete non-problem.

    The entire scare campaign was a fraud. It did succeed in destroying a $B industry, however. Perhaps it was a trial run for CAGW.

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    BobC

    Re: Ozone depletion

    I might note that the Polar Vortex, by isolating the air mass over Antarctica in the winter when there is no UV to regenerate ozone, you would expect that an “ozone hole” would naturally form due to ozone decay.

    As far as I know, there is no data that would allow you to figure what part of the ozone hole is caused by this natural decay, and what part by CFCs — mostly because we didn’t have the technology to detect the hole before CFCs became widely used. The fact that we still detect the hole is attributed to CFCs being extremely long-lived in the stratosphere — another supposition we can’t confirm.

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    Phillip Bratby

    I remember a couple of years ago writing several times to New Scientist, including asking them to include interviews with Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts. Never got an acknowledgement. After they printed a letter from the leader of the Green Party and ignored my concurrent letter, I gave up my subscription. I’ve never regretted it or looked back.

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    Athelstan

    Eons ago, I used to peruse the New Scientist in the school library, at the time I though it fairly lightweight- a comic for young nerds.
    If anything, it has excelled itself, now filling it’s pages with the worthless opinions of preening dorks.
    Dumbed down (if were possible) even further; the standard of scientific teaching is partly responsible, as is the politicisation of many of these substandard glossies.
    Nature, was a serious periodical but now seems to be ploughing a similar furrow.

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    bulldust

    Heads up – I see RC is running an article accusing Lord Monckton of fraud:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/08/monckton-makes-it-up/

    I can’t wait to see milord rip this guy a new one. The fact that he can’t even make the case without resorting to words like fantasy in challenging science is rather telling. Here’s his conclusion to whet your appetite:

    “These errors compound into a rather stunning display of complete incompetence. But since all, or at least nearly all, of this has been pointed out to Monckton in the past, there’s just no scientifically valid excuse for this. He’s just making it up.”

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    janama

    Bulldust – it’s a bit of a stretch for professor Barry Robert Bickmore, a Mormon Apologist, to accuse anyone of fantasy!

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    janama

    OT – with the flooding of the Indus River in Pakistan I went searching for the flood history of the river to find out if this current flood is a precedent.

    In Wikipedia I found the following statement:

    Effects of climate change on the river

    The Tibetan Plateau contains the world’s third-largest store of ice. Qin Dahe, the former head of the China Meteorological Administration, said that the recent fast pace of melting and warmer temperatures will be good for agriculture and tourism in the short term; but issued a strong warning:
    “Temperatures are rising four times faster than elsewhere in China, and the Tibetan glaciers are retreating at a higher speed than in any other part of the world…. In the short term, this will cause lakes to expand and bring floods and mudflows. . . . In the long run, the glaciers are vital lifelines of the Indus River. Once they vanish, water supplies in Pakistan will be in peril.”[3]

    “There is insufficient data to say what will happen to the Indus,” says David Grey, the World Bank’s senior water advisor in South Asia. “But we all have very nasty fears that the flows of the Indus could be severely, severely affected by glacier melt as a consequence of climate change,” and reduced by perhaps as much as 50 percent. “Now what does that mean to a population that lives in a desert [where], without the river, there would be no life? I don’t know the answer to that question,” he says. “But we need to be concerned about that. Deeply, deeply concerned.” [4]

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    Ross

    Bulldust — I think the RC people just “talk amomg themselves”. Recent data shows the website has not grown its traffic to any extent over the last year or so. ( I could use more colourful language to describe my ideas of their antics but I’m sure Jo would not appreciate it on the site.)
    The question you have to ask is why do they keep trying to go after Monckton if they think he is so hopeless? Answer- they know he is a very good communicator, very well informed and literate on the subject and a thorn in their side.

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    Roy Hogue

    BobC,

    I found (by accident) mention of a research team finding the ozone hole in the mid or early 1950′s. They recorded it in their notes and then continued on with their work. They didn’t think it anything worth more than a passing reference, much less doing something about.

    I wish I’d known it would be useful later so I could have saved the link.

    The moral of this story is that when someone tells you that a gas you know is unstable, has a short half life and only exists at all because solar radiation is constantly creating it, is suddenly under dire threat of extinction, get ready to be screwed.

    And that’s exactly what happened. The best refrigerants are now banned. The replacements are more costly, require far more toxic chemicals in their manufacture and are still highly stable compounds that will stick around in the atmosphere for a very long time. And worst of all, the ozone hole is still there, doing no harm and is still being used as justification for banning CFCs. Of course, no one talks directly about the thing any more because even after phasing out CFCs the hole is still there as big and bodacious as ever.

    I looked up the half-life of ozone and the 3 day figure is for 20 C, essentially surface temperature. At lower temperatures it goes up to as much as 3 months at -50 C.

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    Binny

    I read an article about the ozone layer a few years back. It said, ‘saying that the ozone layer protects us from UV is like saying that the surf protects us from the ocean’. The ozone layer is caused by UV radiation hitting the upper atmosphere. Basically when UV radiation hits the upper atmosphere it creates ozone and dissipates. The reason why there is no ozone over the Antarctic in late winter is because no UV hits the the Antarctic atmosphere during the winter to create ozone. The ozone that was formed during the summer has broken down and the Antarctic vortex prevents any outside ozone from coming in.
    Does anyone with a bit more knowledge on the subject now if this is right?
    I think that the ozone hole is very valid to the climate change debate.
    I’ve heard people say that it was just a test run for the climate change scare, and I suspect they might be right.
    If the science was dodgy, and the media hype over the top. It certainly proves ‘a previous record’ in regard to the climate change debate (or lack of).

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    Binny

    Ross:
    Regarding the alarmist websites:
    From what I’ve seen of them I think it’s a case of the kids congregating there and trying to outdo each other with doomsday scenarios.
    Kind of like telling ghost stories on a camping trip.

    If they’re doing this just before bedtime is not surprising that they are giving each other nightmares.
    Those sites should have a disclaimer on them telling the kid’s to ask mum or dad for a glass of warm milk before they go to bed.
    (I found that helped with my kids when they insisted on watching a scary movie just before bedtime)

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    Ross

    Well put Binny @33.

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    janama

    Tom-R made the following comment on WUWT last year

    It’s not CFCs that destroy the ozone, it’s chlorine. The CFC/ozone theory claims that chlorine gets into the stratosphere as a component of the CFC molecule. I believe chlorine is the 3rd most common element in the oceans. I wonder why oceanic chlorine can’t also reach the stratosphere? It was an amazing coincidence that the CFC/ozone theory came about just as the patent on Freon-12 expired.

    The owner of the patent was DuPont.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/22/study-shows-cfcs-cosmic-rays-major-culprits-for-global-warming/

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    Tel

    The fact that we still detect the hole is attributed to CFCs being extremely long-lived in the stratosphere — another supposition we can’t confirm.

    Well, after waiting long enough we will be able to confirm how much of the hole is natural, maybe another 50 years of measurements. Of course, should we discover in 50 years time that it was all a scam, the perpetrators will be clear and safe, and quoting the Precautionary Principle as a universal defense against any and all accusation. Ozone hole measurements don’t seem to be getting as much publicity lately…

    O-boy-the-Oxygen-Scare

    I have to blame the very large numbers of oxygen thieves, for leaving the rest of us gasping.

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    elsie

    Roy Hogue,31, I found similar information reading a library book about Australian scientists in Antarctica during the 1957 IGY (International Geophysical year). A radio operator realised the ozone layer was depleting as winter wore on and reached its minimum when the coldest time was reached. It grew back to a lesser extent as summer approached. Of course no one can say how the ‘hole’ behaved prior to 1957 one way or the other. But I think it could be presumed that it did exist before humans came along.

    janama,29, The media keep saying that the floods in Pakistan are the worst in 80 years; not the worst ever. Since it has happened before if cannot be unprecedented due to something like AGW. I find it amusing that the media were saying just prior to the floods that the north west of the sub-continent was heading for crop losses due to the failure or weakness of this year’s monsoon season. Sometimes it would be better if weather forecasters just shut up. I still remember in early 1974 a long range forecaster (non scientific admittedly) Lennox Walker in TV ad’s selling garden sprinklers. He said it would be a dry year. But then we had the great flood of 1974. That flood was not as big as the 1893 flood which was a double flood. And in 1823 John Oxley, an explorer, noticed debris in trees higher than for the 1893 flood and confirmed by stories by the aborigines.
    This may not be interesting but Brisbane’s Wivenhoe Dam could hold twice the water it now has but empties any above half height. It was built to hold back any future flood. Some say we should let it fill to save building desalination plants but then next time a flood event hits the screams would be deafening. And for sure, when the next ‘event’ comes the AGWs will claim they predicted it.

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    janama

    Elsie – the area in the north is part of the land the Indians call the Punjab which is the richest soil in India and no doubt is constantly replenished by flood waters – a similar system to the rich Canterbury plains in New Zealand where the waters flow out of high snow mountains and slowly meander over the countryside dropping fresh soil.

    I once heard a Punjab farmer state that they get 3 crops a year without the need for fertiliser.

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    Bernd Felsche

    Coincidentally and somewhat appropriately; Nigel Calder, former editor of New Scientist blogs on peer review

    Amid growing recognition of problems with peer review, a few scientific journals tested various remedies. As reported by The Scientist magazine, by 2010 they included ending the anonymity of reviewers, so that they could both be held responsible for their comments and be acknowledged for their work, which was time-consuming. Another policy was to insist that reviewers should concern themselves only with the rigour and proper reporting of the work, not with its impact or scope. And to speed up publication, reviewers’ comments made for one journal might be passed on to others. Some journals went so far as to publish preliminary versions of papers before the peer-review process was complete.

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    I read somewhere that the British Antarctic Survey were first to find to Ozone “hole”. Around 1954. That’s why the ozone measurements are in Dobson units after the scientist who found the “hole” then.

    I have a small problem with the circumpolar vortex preventing mixing of air thus not replacing the ozone during the winter. We’re told that there is really no separation of CO2(concentration gradient) and the other air constituents in 30 Km vertically of atmosphere despite CO2 molecules being roughly 50% heavier than air. Yet horizontal mixing doesn’t happen? The edges of the circumpolar vortex are regions of high wind shear. Usually this produces turbulence i.e. mixing.

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    cohenite

    The O3 issue is an interesting one; attempts have already been made to marry the O3 ‘problem’ with AGW;

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL037524.shtml

    This is a classic and the abstract is worth quoting in full:

    “Based on a new analysis of passive microwave satellite data, we demonstrate that the annual mean extent of Antarctic sea ice has increased at a statistically significant rate of 0.97% dec−1 since the late 1970s. The largest increase has been in autumn when there has been a dipole of significant positive and negative trends in the Ross and Amundsen‐Bellingshausen Seas respectively. The autumn increase in the Ross Sea sector is primarily a result of stronger cyclonic atmospheric flow over the Amundsen Sea. Model experiments suggest that the trend towards stronger cyclonic circulation is mainly a result of stratospheric ozone depletion, which has strengthened autumn wind speeds around the continent, deepening the Amundsen Sea Low through flow separation around the high coastal orography. However, statistics derived from a climate model control run suggest that the observed sea ice increase might still be within the range of natural climate variability.”

    So, even though the Antarctic has been increasing in ice extent, against the AGW trend, it’s still our fault due to the O3 issue; but then the whole thing is probably just a natural process.

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    pat

    methinks new scientist was trying to get back some of its subscribers!

    meanwhile, LOL:

    5 Aug: Time: Bryan Walsh: Climate Change: How Adapting to Warming Could Make It Worse
    The study team—led by Will Turner at Conservation International—project the impact of future adaption efforts as warming worsens, and the picture isn’t pretty:…
    http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2010/08/05/climate-change-how-adapting-to-warming-could-make-it-worse/?xid=rss-topstories

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    Ross

    Bernd @ 39. Recently I was involved ( not as an author ) in trying to get a paper published through one of the Biomed Central group of publications. The particular journal had a policy of publishing the reviewer’s and editor’s comments and responses from the authors with paper when it went online.( They referred to it as “pre publiacation history”) I think this sort of transparencey is great — obviously it is easier for online publishers to use.

    I sent an email to the editors of E&E suggesting they look at adopting it as way to stop the stupid sniping they often get from the “Team” and their followers.

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    OzWizard

    The Ozone Hole story on ABC TV, Catalyst is even worse than you think (if that’s possible). It links to the ScienceDaily website (See “Related Info”, titled “Ironically, repair of the ozone hole could increase climate warming in Southern Hemisphere” below the program transcript), which discusses how the self-repairing ability of the ozone hole might counteract the beneficial cooling effect of ‘aerosols’.

    ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2010) — The hole in the ozone layer is now steadily closing, but its repair could actually increase warming in the southern hemisphere, according to scientists at the University of Leeds.
    ———–
    The Antarctic ozone hole was once regarded as one of the biggest environmental threats, but the discovery of a previously undiscovered feedback shows that it has instead helped to shield this region from carbon-induced warming over the past two decades.

    “These clouds have acted like a mirror to the sun’s rays, reflecting the sun’s heat away from the surface to the extent that warming from rising carbon emissions has effectively been cancelled out in this region during the summertime,” said Professor Ken Carslaw of the University of Leeds who co-authored the research.

    The key to this newly-discovered feedback is aerosol – tiny reflective particles suspended within the air that are known by experts to have a huge impact on climate.

    Greenhouses gases absorb infrared radiation from the Earth and release it back into the atmosphere as heat, causing the planet to warm up over time. Aerosol works against this by reflecting heat from the sun back into space, cooling the planet as it does so. [my emphases added]

    How ironic that these newly-discovered, useful aerosol features of the sky above (also known as ‘clouds’ – NEWLY-DISCOVERED in Jan 2010), which tend to cool us down, just might be counteracted completely by the ability of the sky to repair its own sun-screen layer of UV-protection (ozone).

    It’s no use!
    We’re all doomed!
    Even when we win, we lose.

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    John Brookes

    I think a brief summary of Jo’s article is needed:

    We thought New Scientist were going to be nice, but they are still nasty.

    New Scientist hates us. They hates us Precious. Stupid fat hobbits!

    Nasty New Scientist, never write anything bad about their favourites, even after orcs (we are not scared of orcs, are we precious?) stole those nasty nasty emails. Those fat hobbits at New Scientist never tell our stories. We hates them, precious, We hates them. We hates Clive Hamilton, and they publish him. Its so unfair. I know Precious, lets say that nasty Clive says the atmosphere is evil. What’s that Precious, context? They not likes us Precious, so I not use context.

    Precious, lets say New Scientist is like A Current Affair. What’s that you say Precious, too far? I suppose you are right, we might hates them, but it is almost impossible to be as bad as ACA without descending into parody, and we wouldn’t want to go there, Precious, we is scared of parody, we sometimes go there by mistakes, and everybodies laughs at us, Precious. We says they are like Greenpeace (and we hates them, and we are pretty sure everyone hates them). We have got friends, Precious, think tanky friends, and nasty Clive hates our friends. We hates Clive.

    Those nasty fat hobbits at New Scientist, they write about whether cream is nicer than milk, Precious, when we are lucky to eat a fishy yesterday. We hates them, because they ignores us, Precious, they want a world without us Precious. We hates them. We hates them because sometimes they pretend to be our friend, but they hates us. We’ll show them Precious, we’ll show them.

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    Baa Humbug

    John Brookes: #45
    August 8th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    What a disappointing post by you John. Lift your game.

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    Bruce of Newcastle

    Mr Brookes #45

    I’ve been subscribing to NS for a long time, I forget but it must be 15 odd years by now.

    I find that now I can read maybe 2/3rds of each weekly issue, as the other third has become green theology. They are fine on hard sciency stuff, but anything vaguely environmental they go all gushy and wobbly. Lose all rigour. I am maintaining my subscription for the other 2/3rds, and skip these theological digressions.

    Same went for SciAm, which I subscribed for maybe 20 years before it went to seed sometime around year 2000. I really don’t want to cancel NS, I hope they improve as some good ole SC24 empirical evidence pours cold water down their warmist underpants.

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    John Brookes

    Sorry Baa Humbug, but when I read Jo’s piece, that is what came into my head. It did occur to me that I was not being kind, but unfortunately it does summarise how I feel about the article – it is a pretty pathetic piece of writing (sorry). You can do better Jo. Please try and rise above this petty us vs them stuff. New Scientist may be taking a stance against you, but you can’t blame them when you look at the scatter-gun approach skeptics take against climate science. To use an AFL analogy, when you are playing bad football, the umpires punish you – but there is no point getting upset, the only way to win over the umpires is to play better footy.

    There are skeptics capable of making a valuable contribution to climate science, and you are better off getting their ideas out there, rather than making sneering attacks on New Scientist. If you guys are right, then you need to win the war on the actual battlefield.

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    cohenite

    John Brookes says: “If you guys are right, then you need to win the war on the actual battlefield.”

    It was won in 2007, with Miskolczi, and again in 2010 with his follow up paper. It was won with Koutsoyiannis’s paper in 2008:

    http://www.itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/850/

    More recently Lindzen and Choi have responded to criticism of their 2009 paper dealing with TOA OLR showing negative feedback to temperature change and therefore much smaller climate sensitivity than AGW needs, with a corrected paper which confirms their earlier finding:

    http://www.legnostorto.com/allegati/Lindzen_Choi_ERBE_JGR_v4.pdf

    AGW has no evidence to support it; produce one bit of evidence “precious” [how derivative!].

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    Roy Hogue

    John Brookes,

    If you think this is all so bad why do you stick around? It doesn’t appear to make any dent in you that no one has had a change of mind because of your criticism. If you point out factual errors people pay attention. But frankly, no one is interested in your critique of Jo for simply doing what she established this blog to do.

    What errors of fact has Jo made?

    Who are these skeptics, “…capable of making a valuable contribution to climate science,” whose ideas we should be pushing? What are their ideas? You don’t go on and say the details so we know what your alternative really is.

    Are you just a chronic complainer or do you really have something to add to the discussion?

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    janama

    It’s a dark moon tonight – the lunatics are on the grass.

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    @Jaymez
    UN Climate talks in Bonn made it to the Sydney Sun Herald. My complaint to Sun Herald:
    Please respond to my complaint against the outrageous headline ‘Climate change whips up floods, fire and ice’. This is advocacy, not reporting, as it is unsupported by the article or any science authority. Even CSIRO and BOM are careful to never say that weather is climate.

    Your article’s only support for this unequivocal statement of causality is that
    “One US delegate said Russia’s heatwave and the recent floods that have devastated Pakistan are ‘consistent with the kind of changes we would expect to see from climate change and they will only get worse unless we act quickly’.

    This is akin to making a headline “Abbott bans abortion” based on an some activist having said that “that is the kind of policy we would expect under his government”.

    Where are your editors – have you lost all sense of reason or just all integrity?

    Link

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    Peter

    Jo,

    I still think you need to critique the work of Wilson de Silva and Cosmos in this arena also. Clearly in my mind WdS is particularly vitriolic or alternately dismissive of any arguments that do not support AGW.

    I supported this Cosmos initiative from Issue 1, despite my discomfort at the (occasionally bordering on strange) sci-fi fantasy content. I wish I could still support it with my money. Sadly now I wait to see if my subscription is lapsed. I have set up a very scientific program where each day I observe whether Cosmos has been delivered. Frustratingly, of course, it is very hard to prove the absence of something.

    Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Anthropogenic Global Warming.

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    Rod Smith

    For some strange reason this discussion reminded this ancient weatherman of an Aussie weather forecaster I met during the 60′s in the tropics. If you had a drink with him, he would pick up his glass, raise it to a bit above eye-level, and say, “Up yours!”

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    janama

    WUWT has discovered this interesting page at NOAA

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html

    enter time period 2000 – 2010. annual mean temperature.

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    Regarding John Brooks at post # 45.

    Does that mean you failed to spot any significant flaws in her presentation?

    Otherwise what you typed make people wonder if you are losing it.

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    Connie

    To “John Brookes”.

    You poor frightened diddums.
    Clearly you are so scared for the future that you are unable to reason logically.
    DO US ALL A FAVOUR AND TAKE THE RED PILL!

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    John Brookes

    Hey Connie@57 – mine was a bit funny – yours not so.

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    Mark

    Glad you thought yours was funny John. Don’t give up the day job just yet.

    (crickets)… and the sound of one hand clapping.

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    Bob Malloy

    Connie: @57

    Maybe not funny Connie, but accurate and to point.

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    Baa Humbug

    John Brookes: #48
    August 8th, 2010 at 9:53 pm said…

    If you guys are right, then you need to win the war on the actual battlefield.

    John you’re getting the battle fields mixed up. The pro AGW side didn’t engage at the science battle field nor will they next time.
    I’ll explain; There were plenty of sceptical peer reviewed papers available to the IPCC, NOT ONE OF THEM MADE IT INTO THE AR4. Remember the “we’ll keep this paper out of the AR somehow” comment from the East Anglia emails? Now there are many more PR papers out there. Would you like to take a guess as to how many will make it into the upcoming AR5?
    There is no science battlefield. The science was settled 150 years ago remember? lol

    The pro AGW side is the one that’s been getting it’s knickers in a knot about better communication and more engagement. That’s where the battle field lies, that’s where Jo is engaging them. Your advice to Jo is illconceived.

    You also said…

    To use an AFL analogy, when you are playing bad football, the umpires punish you – but there is no point getting upset, the only way to win over the umpires is to play better footy.

    Actually John, in your analogy, when you are playing bad football IT’S YOUR OPPONENTS THAT PUNISH YOU. Umpires only punish players who break the rules. Bad football isn’t outside of the rules.
    The Hockey Team has been playing terribly badly and they’ve been rightly punished by the opposition (that’s us), even though they’ve been getting lots of easy free-kicks from the likes of New Scientist.

    And remember John, sceptics only have to do one thing, STOP ANY AND ALL CARBON TRADING/TAX. So far we are winning on that front and your side knows they are running out of time, IT’S COOLING JOHN.

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    Bob Malloy

    janama @55

    Well spotted, but to quote the warmist it only covers CONTIGUOUS UNITED STATES so shows no relevance to the world temperature.

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    Connie

    GREENS AIM AT A BLACK FUTURE FOR ALL AUSTRALIANS.

    The media focus is on Abbott and Gillard.

    But the real battle is for the marginal votes and the marginal seats
    in both houses of Parliament. That is where the election will be determined.

    Here the preference deal between Greens and ALP threatens to give the Green minority a major say in Australia’s future. They could hold the balance of power in the Senate, with veto power over either side. (There may already be a deal with the ALP on what is passed on Global Warming.)

    If you think we need to have some sense on Climate and Carbon,

    PUT THE GREENS LAST ON EVERY BALLOT PAPER.

    Who should get your No 1 vote?

    Naturally “Carbon Sense” recommends those parties with Carbon Sense.

    Our No 1 recommendation is “The Climate Sceptics”,
    with Senate Candidates in every state.

    Check this site for candidates:

    http://climatesceptics.net/?page_id=1258

    After that, almost every minor party except the Greens is sceptical of the idea that we should try to remove carbon dioxide, the Gas of Life, from our atmosphere.

    The Nationals and Family First have vigorously opposed Penny Wong’s Ration-N-Tax Scheme Scheme in the Parliament and deserve support.

    As do Dennis Jensen & Cory Bernardi, who are consistent opponents of Carbon Stupidity.

    The DLP and the Liberal Democratic Party have sensible carbon policies.

    And there may be other minor parties and individual candidates with
    Carbon Sense.

    And despite Greg Hunt and Malcolm Turnbull, the Liberals have more Carbon Sense than ALP, so the ALP should be second last.

    In summary, number every square, put those Parties with Carbon Sense first, and

    PUT THE GREENS LAST.

    None of the Climate Sceptic Candidates will get exposure in the big media.

    So we must spread their word via the internet, letters, and personal contacts.

    This is a crucial election.

    Please make a Special Effort to Spread the Word.

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    Folks, John Brookes is a waste of time. Getting a couple of bits of idiot warmist propaganda published on the letters page of “The Australian” seems to have gone to his head. I doubt he understands any physics, chemistry, meteorology etc and has no intention of doing so.

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    wes george

    To understand how Labor and the Greens are systematically deconstructing to Australia…. Take a look at California today for a preview of our tomorrow:

    http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_3_california-economy.html

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    cohenite

    Everyone, I would like to roadtest this ad;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGryolWfKwE

    Comments please.

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    BobC

    John Brookes @ 45:

    Your post reminds me of a quote from Abraham Lincoln:

    “Better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

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    Bob Malloy

    cohenite: @ 68

    After seeing the three ads the climate sceptics have put forward for this campaign i believe this one the best.

    On another front I have noticed a lack of promotion for the climate sceptics on main stream media, I am fully aware of the outrageous cost of a heavy media advertising campaign but feel the party should be trying to promote their cause on talk back radio, I believe the 2sm network in the eastern states would be receptive. Try Gary Stewart, midnight to dawn as well as Grant Goldman at breakfast.

    I believe you stated in a previous post you are in Newcastle, if so Richard King has been giving time to local candidates on 2hd in the mornings, including a lengthy piece by a greens candidate (phillipa parsons) last week claiming green energy at an economical rate is already available, this propaganda needs to be challenged and someone such as yourself needs to come forward on behalf of the party and expose it for the fraud it is.

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    cohenite

    Thanks Bob; I get on 2HD as much as I can. The ABC won’t take my calls.

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    Bob Malloy

    cohenite:

    The ABC won’t take my calls.

    why am i not surprised.

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    John Brookes

    Mike @64 – “idiot warmist propoganda”, that’s a bit harsh! BTW, the national tabloid no longer publish my AGW letters, but they give you guys a good run. The editor likes you guys, I think.

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    BobC

    Connie:
    August 9th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    To “John Brookes”.

    You poor frightened diddums.
    Clearly you are so scared for the future that you are unable to reason logically.
    DO US ALL A FAVOUR AND TAKE THE RED PILL!

    It occurs to me that the people who are criticizing Connie’s clever post are not familiar with the movie “The Matrix”, from which the concept of the “red pill” came. To quote Wikipedia:

    The movie relies on the premise that an artificial reality that is advanced enough will be indistinguishable from reality and that no test exists that can conclusively prove that reality is not a simulation. This ties in closely with the skeptical idea that the everyday world is illusory. In the movie, a Redpill is the term used to describe a human who has been freed from the Matrix, a fictional computer-generated world set in 1999. Bluepill refers to a human still connected to the Matrix.[1]

    Borrowing from the movie, the terms blue pill and red pill have become a popular metaphor for the choice between the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue) and embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red).

    Connie is imploring John Brookes to wake up from his artificial reality (AGW).

    So yes; Connie’s post was funny (and perceptive). John’s was, at best, sophomoric.

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    Mark

    BobC:

    Hate to be pedantic but did you perhaps mean “soporific”?

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    BobC

    Mark:
    August 11th, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    BobC:

    Hate to be pedantic but did you perhaps mean “soporific”?

    Soporific: “Inducing or tending to induce sleep.”
    Yeah, I did start mentally cruising about half-way through — it was pretty predictable after the first sentence or two.

    But:
    Sophomoric humor: Juvenile, puerile, and base comedy that would normally be expected from an adolescent
    Definitely.

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