JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Busted predictions from brazen prophets

What is most astounding about the human race is that people like Erhlich, who predicted vast coastlines would be evacuated due to rotting fish by 1980, or Oppenheimer with a black blizzard of sand covering a continent (by 1995), people who have long proven to be arrant failures at making predictions are still invited to speak or write.  Some commentators still mention their name or quote them with a straight face.

Surely it takes a special kind of braggadocio and a certain delusion- of-grand-proportions for these would-be leaders to appear in public after predictions like these?

And yet they do.

Adapted and rearranged from Fox News

1 “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

Ehrlich, Speech at British Institute For Biology, September 1971

2 “In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.”

Ehrlich, speech during Earth Day, 1970

3 “[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots…[By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers.”

Michael Oppenheimer, published in “Dead Heat,” St. Martin’s Press, 1990

4 “If present trends continue, the world will be … eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.”

Kenneth E.F. Watt, in “Earth Day,” 1970

5 “Arctic specialist Bernt Balchen says a general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the polar ice cap and may produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2000.”

Christian Science Monitor, June 8, 1972.

6 “Using computer models, researchers concluded that global warming would raise average annual temperatures nationwide two degrees by 2010.”

Associated Press, May 15, 1989

7 “By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.”

Life magazine, January 1970

8 Within a few years “children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” Snowfall will be “a very rare and exciting event.” (I covered this prize example in detail on this page.)

David Viner, East Anglia CRU, 2000

9 In June 2007, Tim Flannery warned Brisbane that its “water supplies are so low they need desalinated water urgently, possibly in as little as 18 months”.  Last month Brisbane recorded the wettest December in 150 years.

10 But of course, who could forget the Australian BOM which predicted that “The national outlook for total rainfall over spring (September to November), is neutral for most of the country” which was promptly followed by record downfalls and widespread floods with some areas getting 400% of the average rainfall. The only part of the country the BOM predicted  “a wetter than normal spring” was in South West WA (which recorded one of its driest springs since measurements began).

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Aug 2010

Read the original story at Fox News

All additions to this list are welcome. Who can come up with the most preposterous past prediction? (Andrew Bolt has an impressive top ten from 2008: here.)

Thanks to Brice Bosnich and observa

Image Credit: Wiki (Back in the days when 2 cents meant something)       For tweeting | http://bit.ly/icDuzG

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61 comments to Busted predictions from brazen prophets

  • #
    DirkH

    The Club Of Rome, Limits To Growth, naturally. We should have run out of all kinds of resources in the eighties. Now, how does the CoR react on criticism? Never admit you’re wrong, first rule!
    “In 2008 researcher Peter A. Victor wrote, that even though D.H. Meadows et al. probably underestimated price-mechanism’s role in adjusting, their critics have overestimated it. He states that Limits to Growth has had a huge impact on how we still think about environmental issues and notes that the models in the book were meant to be taken as predictions “only in the most limited sense of the word” as they wrote.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_to_Growth
    It surely had a huge impact on me – since experiencing the 70ies, when “Limits To Growth” was the anti-industrial bible of all German greens and reds, since that time i know that they’re all uncapable of reasoning. Because back then i found a book from 1977 in German
    “Grenzen des Elends. Das Bariloche- Modell. So kann die Menschheit überleben”; by Amilcar O. Herrera, Hugo D. Scolnik

    Unfortunately, wikipedia looks wiped clean… i think they used to have an article about this book but it looks like INGSOC erased it. Anyhow, it explained a countermodel to the simple malthusian model of the CoR.

    So i think to be a commercially or politically successful forecasting entity, you have to announce a total catastrophe in about 20 years, sell a lot of units and NEVER admit you’ve been wrong. Your critics will be forgotten and millions of gullible idiots will hail you.


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  • #
    Athlete

    Here are a few other classics:
    # 1895 – Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up Again – New York Times, February 1895
    # 1902 – “Disappearing Glaciers…deteriorating slowly, with a persistency that means their final annihilation…scientific fact…surely disappearing.” – Los Angeles Times
    # 1912 – Prof. Schmidt Warns Us of an Encroaching Ice Age – New York Times, October 1912
    # 1923 – “Scientist says Arctic ice will wipe out Canada” – Professor Gregory of Yale University, American representative to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress, – Chicago Tribune
    # 1923 – “The discoveries of changes in the sun’s heat and the southward advance of glaciers in recent years have given rise to conjectures of the possible advent of a new ice age” – Washington Post
    # 1924 – MacMillan Reports Signs of New Ice Age – New York Times, Sept 18, 1924
    # 1929 – “Most geologists think the world is growing warmer, and that it will continue to get warmer” – Los Angeles Times, in Is another ice age coming?
    # 1932 – “If these things be true, it is evident, therefore that we must be just teetering on an ice age” – The Atlantic magazine, This Cold, Cold World
    # 1933 – America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-Year Rise – New York Times, March 27th, 1933
    # 1933 – “…wide-spread and persistent tendency toward warmer weather…Is our climate changing?” – Federal Weather Bureau “Monthly Weather Review.”
    # 1938 – Global warming, caused by man heating the planet with carbon dioxide, “is likely to prove beneficial to mankind in several ways, besides the provision of heat and power.”– Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
    # 1938 – “Experts puzzle over 20 year mercury rise…Chicago is in the front rank of thousands of cities thuout the world which have been affected by a mysterious trend toward warmer climate in the last two decades” – Chicago Tribune
    # 1939 – “Gaffers who claim that winters were harder when they were boys are quite right… weather men have no doubt that the world at least for the time being is growing warmer” – Washington Post
    # 1952 – “…we have learned that the world has been getting warmer in the last half century” – New York Times, August 10th, 1962
    # 1954 – “…winters are getting milder, summers drier. Glaciers are receding, deserts growing” – U.S. News and World Report
    # 1954 – Climate – the Heat May Be Off – Fortune Magazine
    # 1959 – “Arctic Findings in Particular Support Theory of Rising Global Temperatures” – New York Times
    # 1969 – “…the Arctic pack ice is thinning and that the ocean at the North Pole may become an open sea within a decade or two” – New York Times, February 20th, 1969
    # 1969 – “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000″ — Paul Ehrlich (while he now predicts doom from global warming, this quote only gets honorable mention, as he was talking about his crazy fear of overpopulation)
    # 1970 – “…get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters – the worst may be yet to come…there’s no relief in sight” – Washington Post
    # 1974 – Global cooling for the past forty years – Time Magazine
    # 1974 – “Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age” – Washington Post
    # 1974 – “As for the present cooling trend a number of leading climatologists have concluded that it is very bad news indeed” – Fortune magazine, who won a Science Writing Award from the American Institute of Physics for its analysis of the danger
    # 1974 – “…the facts of the present climate change are such that the most optimistic experts would assign near certainty to major crop failure…mass deaths by starvation, and probably anarchy and violence” – New York Times
    Cassandras are becoming
    increasingly apprehensive,
    for the weather
    aberrations they are
    studying may be the
    harbinger of another
    ice age
    # 1975 – Scientists Ponder Why World’s Climate is Changing; A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable – New York Times, May 21st, 1975
    # 1975 – “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind” Nigel Calder, editor, New Scientist magazine, in an article in International Wildlife Magazine

    Happy New Year Australia!


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  • #
    Adolf Balik

    To DirkH 1:

    Limits of the growth are not a menace it is a dream about a paradise. Well, not for us consumers but for privileged corporations with asymmetric status to the rest of market and under a powerful political patronage. Artificial shortage of sources that sours their prices to the elastic part of demand curve is a dream of monopolist. Lack of investment to the source exploitation due to Green barriers, environmental limits and “wise” protection of sources is the best way for cartel protection against competitors and shortage maintenance.

    All these Limits are the only ways to establish CORPORATIVISM. Corporativists being called fascists in these days were defeated in WW2 but they won in 1970s with the Limits and green agendas. Now they want to accomplish their victory with Cap-and-trade. That is the best way to establish corporativism since Hitler’s acts on compulsory cartelization.


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  • #

    “Surely it takes a special kind of braggadocio and a certain delusion-of-grand-proportions for these would-be leaders to appear in public after predictions like these?”

    We have a species that believes in religion, which is the ultimate of delusion (any of thousands of various religions throughtout the years, each one untrue except, of course, for their own), and the vast majority of people believe they and their loved ones are immortal, and will live in bliss (or, alternatively, torment), forever.

    So while I see what you’re getting at with Erhlich, etc., it really doesn’t surprise me at all. Humans are even more capable at fooling themselves than others, especially when they want to believe.


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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    Hi Jo,

    What was that about the cat being away … ? :-)

    Only two of these examples (3 and 8), as quoted, are actually definitive statements where the speaker feels so sure about the prediction that they place their reputation on the line. I suspect however that example 3 is still equivocal because of the way it is worded.

    1. If I were a gambler …

    Any statement that uses the word “if” is suspect because it always leaves the opportunity to say, “Well, since I am not a gambler, the statement obviously didn’t apply.”

    2. … all important animal life …

    This depends on your definition of “important”.

    3. A statement? Well perhaps …

    But notice the use of the word “would” in the phrases “effect would be”, and “the … river … would be dry”. I suspect (but don’t know) that this example is preceded by a paragraph or sentence that sets out criteria that serve to make everything that follows conditional, and thus give an “out”, should the writer be shown to be wrong.

    4. If present trends continue …

    Our good ol’ standby “if” again.

    5. … and may produce …

    Any statement that uses the word “may” is suspect, and should be interpreted as, “may, or may not”.

    6. Using computer models …

    Garbage in garbage out: “The computer got it wrong – not my fault”.

    7. … by one half.

    This is a subtle trick. The question the reader needs to ask is, “By one half of what?” There is no base line to compare the statement to.

    8. A statement!

    But,it begs the question, “Which children are being referred to?” What about the Eskimo and Inuit children? Ah, they don’t know what the word “snow” means, because they have lots of different words for the white stuff on the ground. so that’s all right then.

    9. … in as little as …

    Gives an indeterminate time scale, it could even be “… in as much as …”, the actual time scale of options is missing, and so makes the phrase meaningless.

    And last, but not least:

    10. … is neutral … and … for most of the country.

    What is the meaning of the word, “neutral”, in this context? I could accept “mean”, or “average”, but “neutral”?

    “Neutral” is a word related to opinions and feelings and emotive states, none of which should apply to a rigourous evaluation of data related to scientific observations. Through sloppy writing and poor editing, they reveal their true intent. Epic Fail 1.

    Then they left themselves an “out” by saying, “… for most of the country”. What are the chances of getting a “Big Wet” right now, and what of the chances of it being across the whole country? Epic Fail 2.

    I get criticised for reading too slowly, and for writing too fast. Now you guys know why.

    One of the things that propagandists rely on, is the fact that a lot of busy people prefer to speed read by skimming over the written word. The equivocal adverbs, adjectives, and prepositions, inserted in a paragraph to give the writer a “get out of jail free card”, just get skimmed over in preference for the verbs and nouns that are thought to represent the “real meat”.


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  • #
    Rainer S

    Dear all,

    A Happy New Year to everybody – and my heartfelt compassion for the Australians hit by the floods!

    On a major German TV network, they are claiming the current floods to be exactly what “climate scientists” (no names given) had forecasted because of cAGW.

    Given the performance of the BOM, this appears quite strange.

    Hints and comments, anybody?

    Best regards from Germany

    Rainer


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  • #
    Dave N

    It’s not so bad that people make failed predictions; it’s part of human fallability. What is bad is how outlandish some of the predictions have been, and that is not just in hindsight; I’m talking about when the predictions have been made. One need only listen to the rants of the likes of James Hansen recently.

    What becomes worse, as you have pointed out, is when they make such outlandish predictions, they fail, yet many still look to the same people for more.

    One could be forgiven for thinking that Phil Connors (Groundhog Day) was right: “People are morons”


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  • #

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by eapr9, Peter Jaworski, Truth Tweeter and others. Truth Tweeter said: Busted Predictions from Brazen Prophets http://bit.ly/fLuTzR #globalwarming #climate #climategate #agw #pbs #cnn #news #tcot #twisters #sgp [...]


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  • #
    observa

    A hundred years before the coming of these left green paedophiles in our schools frightening children with their junk science predictions, we had poets who understood our world better-

    The love of field and coppice,
    Of green and shaded lanes.
    Of ordered woods and gardens
    Is running in your veins,
    Strong love of grey-blue distance
    Brown streams and soft dim skies
    I know but cannot share it,
    My love is otherwise.

    I love a sunburnt country,
    A land of sweeping plains,
    Of ragged mountain ranges,
    Of droughts and flooding rains.
    I love her far horizons,
    I love her jewel-sea,
    Her beauty and her terror -
    The wide brown land for me!

    A stark white ring-barked forest
    All tragic to the moon,
    The sapphire-misted mountains,
    The hot gold hush of noon.
    Green tangle of the brushes,
    Where lithe lianas coil,
    And orchids deck the tree-tops
    And ferns the warm dark soil.

    Core of my heart, my country!
    Her pitiless blue sky,
    When sick at heart, around us,
    We see the cattle die -
    But then the grey clouds gather,
    And we can bless again
    The drumming of an army,
    The steady, soaking rain.

    Core of my heart, my country!
    Land of the Rainbow Gold,
    For flood and fire and famine,
    She pays us back threefold -
    Over the thirsty paddocks,
    Watch, after many days,
    The filmy veil of greenness
    That thickens as we gaze.

    An opal-hearted country,
    A wilful, lavish land -
    All you who have not loved her,
    You will not understand -
    Though earth holds many splendours,
    Wherever I may die,
    I know to what brown country
    My homing thoughts will fly.


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  • #
    janama

    Before anyone starts screaming AGW in regards the Rockhampton floods here is a quote from the BoM

    The Fitzroy River at Rockhampton has a long and well documented history of flooding with flood records dating back to 1859. The highest recorded flood occurred in January 1918 and reached 10.11 metres on the Rockhampton gauge. The most recent minor flood for the Fitzroy River was in 2008 and reached 7.50 metres on the Rockhampton gauge. This flood event also provided Emerald with its second largest flood on record registering 15.36 metres on the Emerald gauge. The figure below shows the significant flood peaks which have occurred at Rockhampton during the last 150 years.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/hydro/flood/qld/brochures/fitzroy/pk_rockhampton.gif

    http://www.bom.gov.au/hydro/flood/qld/brochures/fitzroy/fitzroy.shtml#PreviousFlooding

    This current flood is expected to reach 9m on Wednesday making it the 3rd worst according the the Rockhampton Mayor who was quick to point out Rockhampton’s flood history this morning on 2GB.


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  • #
    Neville

    What a pity that 20 to 30 of the worst CAGW predictions haven’t been packaged in a prof TV documentary and shown around the world with commentary from top sceptical scientists.

    If it was properly promoted it would allow the ordinary voter the opportunity to assess whether they may have been conned out of a sizably proportion of their taxpayer dollars that should have been spent on better health, education,roads,in fact all types of infrastructure like new dams and research into adaptation as a response to real weather events, like extreme droughts and floods, cyclones, tornados etc, etc, etc.

    UK’s channel 4 are you listening?


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  • #
    Mark

    Again, don’t take our eyes off the main event here. These crooks don’t give a damn if they’re right or wrong as long as the agenda creaks along to what they seek as the ultimate victory. World Government under the auspices of the UN.


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  • #
    JanL

    From someone who lived near Emerald as a child and regularly experienced floods, I was appalled to learn from a relative that some of the flood plains around Emerald were now suburbs. Houses where they used to store the rescue boats kept in times of flooding! What stupidity allowed that to happen.


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  • #
    janama

    here’s another one:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11435522

    About 80% of the world’s population lives in areas where the fresh water supply is not secure, according to a new global analysis.

    Researchers compiled a composite index of “water threats” that includes issues such as scarcity and pollution.

    The most severe threat category encompasses 3.4 billion people.

    Writing in the journal Nature, they say that in western countries, conserving water for people through reservoirs and dams works for people, but not nature.

    They urge developing countries not to follow the same path.

    So it’s fine for the western societies to build dams and clear wetlands and irrigate crops but the developing world is not allowed to. The US has over 80,000 dams for water supply and irrigation – Sheesh – some people’s arrogance!


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  • #
    MikeO

    “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future”. Neils Bohr

    The problem with experts is that they do not know what they do not know. Lack of knowledge and delusion about the quality of your knowledge come together—the same process that makes you know less also makes you satisfied with the knowledge.

    I repeat we are explanation-seeking animals who tend to think that everything has an identifiable cause and grab the most apparant one as the explanation. Yet there may not be a visible cause; to the contrary, frequently there is nothing, not even a spectum of possible explanations

    Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan.

    Taleb also writes of the fact that what is correct is confirmed but that which fails is not. There are many areas this occurs in. Taleb’s advice to those who make a living from expert prediction is get a different honest job.


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  • #
    ColinD

    Here’s a nice bit of new year’s reading!

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/believe-it-or-not-climate-debate-heats-up-20101231-19c0d.html

    Apparently the Black Saturday bushfires were all Neville Nichols fault for not warning everyone they were coming.

    I guess he will also take the blame for the QLD floods that were never supposed to happen any more.

    And a nice quote

    A University of Maryland study published last month found Fox News viewers were 30 percentage points more likely to incorrectly believe that most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring, or that views are split.


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  • #
    Bulldust

    DirkH @ 1:

    The natural antidote to Limits to Growth is Scarcity and Growth by Barnett and Morse:

    http://www.amazon.com/Scarcity-Growth-Economics-Resource-Availability/dp/0801800579

    We read the two books back-to-back in my Mineral Economics Readings class at the University of Arizona at the end of the 1980s. Barnett and Morse explained the failings of the Club of Rome models and demonstrated from empirical evidence that the long-run real price trend in the major commodities (including exhaustible resources) was downwards over a century or so of their data. The downward-trending price data flies in the face of the resource depletion scenarios modelled by the CoR.

    Even now with the oil price at relatively high levels, one has to remember that this is only because we use the US dollar as the pricing benchmark. Remember that the Aussie was below US50c not so long ago, so in Aussie terms the US dollar has devalued by 50% since then. It’s all a question of perspective.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Digression
    Singularity fun: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/youve-seen-the-movie-now-try-the-gadget-20110101-19cle.html


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  • #
    Eddy Aruda

    I am so tired of the “World to end at ten, film at eleven” mantra from the ecopocalypse crowd. Don’t children in school read, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” anymore?

    P.T. Barnum allegedly said that there is a sucker born every minute and there is someone there to take him! What we need to do is [snip that].


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  • #
    elsie

    The Emerald flood is worsened by the fact that the upstream Fairbairn Dam has no floodgates as does the Wivenhoe Dam for Brisbane. So floods can’t be controlled. It is a result of cheapskate planning. The Fitzroy river basin is the second largest in Australia. But it has no significant dams and never will under present policies for all parties. Lungfish before people. The same applies to other east flowing river; Burnett..Bundaberg and the Northern rivers of NSW which often flood Kyogle, Lismore and Casino. Think of the huge reservoirs of water that could help in times of drought if these rivers were controlled and the floods lessened. But that is too much vision for politicians worried about the next election.


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  • #
    pat

    5 pages, quite interesting.

    13 Dec: New Yorker: Jonas Lehrer: The Truth Wears Off
    Is there something wrong with the scientific method?
    “It wasn’t a very satisfying explanation,” Schooler says. “One of my mentors told me that my real mistake was trying to replicate my work. He told me doing that was just setting myself up for disappointment.”…
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/12/13/101213fa_fact_lehrer

    [Thanks Pat! --JN]


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  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    It is amazing how theories trump “actual physical evidence”.


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  • #
    Jim Barker

    I keep hearing the meme that perception is everything. Obviously they got it wrong. What will it take to bring reality back into our belief stream? It can not just be poorly educated individuals. It must have something to do with expectations. Are we actually expecting the worst, as defined by idiots? Somehow we have to regain our ability to accept what is and Work to make it better.


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  • #
    handjive

    This article has more failed predictions than swiss cheese has holes, but that is a distraction to the author’s claims.

    In the range of his genius, Freeman Dyson is heir to Einstein-a visionary who has reshaped thinking in fields from math to astrophysics to medicine.
    How could someone as smart as Dyson be so dumb about the environment?

    The Danger of Cosmic Genius
    DECEMBER 2010 ATLANTIC MAGAZINE by By KENNETH BROWER

    Freeman Dyson has become, now that Michael Crichton is dead, perhaps our most prominent global-warming skeptic.
    Dyson did not deny that the world was getting warmer.
    What he doubted was the models of the climatologists, and the grave consequences they predicted, and the supposition that global warming is bad.

    THE QUESTION THAT phrases itself now, in the minds of many, is: how could someone as smart as Freeman Dyson be so dumb

    .

    The author asks, “How could someone as brilliant as Freeman Dyson take the positions he does on global warming and other environmental issues”?
    Yes, he has a number of theories. Contrariness, He Doesn’t Really Mean It, Educated Fool, Old Age, Collision of Faiths.

    But, the cognitive dissonance of the author, a pre-requisite for any believer in the hypothesis of AGW, is displayed in this wonderful description of wisdom from his dear ‘ole’ Dad, a environmentalist like himself:

    Environmentalism does indeed make a very satisfactory kind of religion. It is the faith in which I myself was brought up. In my family, we had no other. My father, David Brower, the first executive director of the Sierra Club and the founder of Friends of the Earth…The tenets go something like this: Nature runs the biosphere much better than we do, as we demonstrate with our ham-handedness each time we try.

    Bingo! Kenneth obviously supports a tax on carbon dioxide to tackle climate change, but believes, like his Dad, that man can’t change nature. Huh? Dumber is pointing out whats dumb?

    *The connection to failed predictions is:

    Water is a vanishing commodity in the American West, where I live, and where, like the Australians and Sudanese and many others, we are enduring a succession of increasingly prolonged and severe droughts.
    Drought is a paleontological fact in the American West, but the latest desiccations have a new signature, and my region’s climatologists, hydrologists, foresters, and water managers are nearly unanimous in their conviction that what we are seeing now is climate change, the anthropogenic kind, a consequence of too much CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

    My money is on the ‘smart guy’.


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  • #
    DirkH

    janama: #8
    January 3rd, 2011 at 7:55 am
    “Before anyone starts screaming AGW in regards the Rockhampton floods here is a quote from the BoM”

    Too late.
    http://notrickszone.com/2011/01/02/frigid-temperatures-projected-to-plague-much-of-globe-in-january/#comment-8198
    (With link to German ZDF TV report stating exactly that. Albeit only casually, in a by-sentence, you know, the sheeples know the drill and it only takes a remark in passing to reinforce the conditioning.)


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  • #
    Ian Mott

    Who could forget how that darling of the left, Dr Benjamin Spock, spent two decades on numerous best sellers with the message that spanking children was all bad. People still quote him and the literature searches fail to ever report on his most important utterances of all. After finally confronting the consequences of his own actions in failing to discipline his own kids his final conclusion never got the coverage it deserved. He made it absolutely clear that his earlier views were wrong and he had the revolting, antisocial progeny to prove it. Those who always knew he was a crock of the proverbial were never going to pay good money for a book with his final conclusions. And those who took him seriously were too much in denial over their own part in their children’s personal tragedies to buy the book as well.

    So the truth never made it into the literature reviews and we still have 12 year olds who still believe that belting someone else over the head with a stick is nothing more than a pretext for on-going negotiations. The bullies in most classrooms are the ones that were never given non-negotiable limits, reinforced by a firm hand in a timely manner.

    They grow up (if you can call it that) to become Council Planning Officer, Departmental Compliance Officers, EPA thugs or Green Activists, all with a calous disregard for the people they are supposed to serve.


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  • #
    handjive

    IT MAY be time to stop describing south-eastern Australia as gripped by drought and instead accept the extreme dry as permanent, one of the nation’s most senior weather experts warned yesterday.

    “Perhaps we should call it our new climate,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s head of climate analysis, David Jones.

    This drought may never break, SMH January 4 2008

    The only uncertainty now was whether the changing pattern was “85 per cent, 95 per cent or 100 per cent the result of the enhanced greenhouse effect”.


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    Myrrh

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2007/09/19/nasa-scientists-predicted-new-ice-age-1971

    Hansen & CO in 1971 predicting ice age in next 50 years because of coal dust in air blocking out sun, he could still be right about the cooling… Another ten years and he’ll be saying ‘I told you so’, reversing his 40 year campaign on warming without missing a step.

    Interesting bit on Carbon Dioxide, in 1971 he said that while increased levels would lead to warming, more of it would result in cooler temps.

    This I imagine was in reference to the earlier Callendar et all global disaster scenario for using fossil fuels and promoting the idea that it was CO2 which would lead to temperatures burning up the earth. Which made it then fit in with the anti coal by dust cooling predictions.

    More 70′s cooling

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html


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    handjive

    From the satirical site ‘The Onion’ comes this piece with snowmen making failed snow predictions:

    Nation’s Snowmen March Against Global Warming, The Onion JANUARY 25, 2006

    WASHINGTON, DC—Braving balmy temperatures and sunny skies, millions of scarfless snowmen and snowwomen gathered in cities across the world Tuesday to raise public awareness about the heavy toll global warming is taking on their health and well-being.
    “Humans sneer at us, ‘If you want to stay intact, go to the North Pole and live with Santa,’” said Susie Flakeman, a Thunder Bay, Ontario snowwoman waiting in line with hundreds of others to use a Porta-Freezer.
    “But less than one-half of 1 percent of us ever receive that honor. Most of us end up victims of the scourge that almost killed Frosty: man-made climate change.”

    It’s even funnier because it’s true!


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    Ross

    Pat @ 20 –thanks for the link. A very interesting read.


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    Bob Malloy

    STOP PRESS! PREROGATIVE WRITS OF MANDAMUS SERVED IN THE HIGH COURT TODAY!

    In an historic first for Australia, Prerogative Writs of Mandamus were served in the High Court in Canberra at about 3.48 pm this afternoon pertaining to the illegal “corporations” that have been formed, and are being operated under the “Commonwealth of Australia” ABN122 104 616 and the America Securities Exchange Commission No. 000 080 5157, and commanding that this fraudulent “corporation,” and all of the fraudulent subsidiary “companies” – being those in each of the States – be dissolved. Queenslanders will no doubt be familiar with the “Brigalow Corporation,” brought to the attention of the people some years ago by Sue Maynes in New South Wales, Brian Shaw in Victoria, Wayne Glew et al in Western Australia, as well as many other good and hard-working people for the cause in many other States.

    This action will have repercussions throughout Australia, and around the world, and result in the formation of the King’s Bench, which may result in the dissolution of all of the governments – State and Federal – as they are all guilty of fraud – and possibly the arrest and jailing of a number of people – politicians, government “advisers” and lackeys, judges, and many others. The list is already quite extensive, including former politicians and Prime Ministers, Premiers, on and on it goes! As we said in a previous issue of the Voice, “Runnymede, here we come again!”
    http://www.freestatevoice.com.au/politics/item/531-stop-press-prerogative-writs-of-mandamus-served-in-the-high-court-today

    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia defines Prerogative writs in the following way.

    Prerogative Writs: Prerogative writs are a class of writs which originate from English law. Originally they were available only to the Crown, but later they were made available to the king’s subjects through the courts.

    And Mandamus as

    A writ of mandamus or mandamus (which means “we command” in Latin), or sometimes mandate, is the name of one of the prerogative writs in the common law, and is “issued by a superior court to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly”.

    What do other readers make of this.


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    manalive

    Surely it takes a special kind of braggadocio and a certain delusion- of-grand-proportions for these would-be leaders to appear in public after predictions like these?

    And it takes a generation of asinine commentariat, ‘journalists’ etc., who seem to have had their bullshit detectors excised, to still take them seriously.


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    handjive

    An early warning about the greenhouse effect from a Pulitzer Prize–winning author.

    Trouble in the Stratosphere (November 1982) by Tracy Kidder

    ON SEPTEMBER 26, 1974, a headline on the front page of The New York Times announced: “Tests Show Aerosol Gases May Pose Threat to Earth. The trouble, the story said, began with synthesized chemicals called fluorocarbons. Some scientists believed that these manmade substances would destroy a large part of the atmosphere’s ozone layer. The results would likely be dire.

    In the early days of the alarm, some scientists went before Congress and on the basis of meager evidence drew the worst of imaginable conclusions. Hyperbole was rampant.

    The National Academy of Sciences issued its latest report on these matters in 1982. This document states that if the 1977 rate of fluorocarbon production should hold throughout the next century…

    Those predictions, in any case, leave out several other important substances, probably the most important of which is carbon dioxide.
    Inclusion of carbon dioxide, as the National Academy’s report points out, leads to the intriguing but hardly comforting possibility that one threat to the planet’s environment may cancel out another.

    Calculations that throw fluorocarbons, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide into one computer program treat the theories as if all of them were true. In fact, atmospheric scientists haven’t proven any of the theories to their satisfaction, and in almost every paper on the stratosphere an ominous phrase “missing chemistry” appears. Scientists, in other words, worry that their models of the stratosphere may leave out something important.

    “The carbondioxide theory conjures up odd visions of caravans evacuating the seacoasts, of farmers gazing sadly out over parched fields, of rain forest springing up where once was permafrost.
    Substantiation is missing, but such imaginings are plausible and they make good copy.
    The chief villain of the theory is combustion of fossil fuel.”

    And so it began…


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    val majkus

    for sea level rise enthusiasts http://wattsupwiththat.com/
    Bangladesh, the Poster Child
    summary last para
    Deltas are formed at the boundary of rivers and oceans. The rivers that build deltas flow to low and slowly sinking parts of the crust, where large volumes of sediment are being deposited. They will always be in balance with sea level but almost by definition increase in size, if rivers are allowed to follow their course. Deltas, by their very nature are building out and up. They also tend to flood frequently and seasonally, often with disastrous effects on the inhabitants. People living in deltas should learn to swim, have a boat and generally be aware of what can happen. Sea level rise is not an issue in large deltas; they have been proven to be able to keep up with any sea level rise. Flooding disasters are seasonally the result of excessive run-off, and occasionally due to unfortunate storm surges that result in breaks through natural barriers, but this has nothing to do with sea level rise. Bangladesh will be there, even if all the ice in the world has melted, with its people still fighting floods while farming the fertile floodplains.


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    handjive, it appears that Brower is a living example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.


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    Len

    Brendon Grylls in WA wanted to develop a river basin up north. However the shonky advisors told the powers to be that it was not sustainable. There needs to be a clean out in the biased Universities and departments to give a balanced view on the matter.


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    Ferdinand

    It is not the statements by these people that is worrying but the gullibility of their listeners. Almost every act in life is disciminatory yet most people fail to question on the simplest terms the predictions of these so called experts. Why ? It is we who are the fools.


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    Bob Malloy

    Again with the hottest year, then again I suppose it is the start of a new year.

    Ten ships, 600 crew trapped in frozen Sea of Okhotsk

    Rescue efforts are under way to evacuate more than 600 crew on 10 ships trapped in ice in the Sea of Okhotsk.

    The ice is up to 30cm (12 inches) thick in some places, according to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12099928

    P.S. in reference to my earlier post at 31, does any one out there know if the story I linked to is legit, or BS.


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    John Brookes

    Hey Pat@20, thanks for the link. A very interesting article. Reminded me a little of a book I read a few years ago about our brains, “A Mind of its Own”, by Cordelia Fine. See http://www.cordeliafine.com/a_mind_of_its_own.html

    Mind you, in the light of the New Yorker article, I wonder just how much of the research in Cordelia Fine’s book will stand the test of time.

    I recall someone telling me a few years ago that students at UWA who had been to government schools tended to outperform private school students with similar entrance scores. The idea was that cossetted private school students failed to cope at uni, while government schooled students were used to looking after themselves. I found this thinking compelling.

    Last year I did a quick analysis of students in a 1st year physics unit, and discovered that there was no link between what type of school you went to and how you did in that unit. So while the idea was compelling, at least in the limited realm of PHYS1101 it had no validity.


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    val majkus

    It’s such a cold December: 2010 ends on a chilly note where people live
    Dr. Ryan N. Maue

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/03/its-such-a-cold-december-2010-ends-on-a-chilly-note-where-people-live/#more-30811
    conclusion
    We are talking hundredths here? Really?
    It’s a foregone conclusion that the official government data from whatever nation or agency will show that 2010 was the hottest year ever. It just has to be that way — please don’t look at that snow burying NYC or the bone-chilling historical cold throughout the UK and Europe, that’s just the weather. Instead, look at the articulate press releases with the bubble-plots from NOAA/NASA to see the real story of 2010, the hottest year ever by a few hundredths of a degree C. Yes, we are talking about hundredths and tenths of a degree during the past 10 to 30 years– that’s all. The Earth’s temperature varies a lot, from hour to hour, day to day, season to season, year to year for a bunch of reasons of which the sun is order 1, but even through all of that, you must know that the global temperature has changed only on the order of a 1-3 percent during the past 30-years. And, it isn’t a spatially homogeneous change, either. Not even close. AGW is built upon the premise of a slow, very slow upward trend that will eventually accelerate. But, that’s a long ways off — today, we are talking about hundredths of a degree C. How many trillions of dollars is that worth to you?


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    mango

    @Jo #1:

    “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people…If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

    In fairness to Erhlich, the only thing he got wrong was the date and hunger -the UK is a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million people and, of course, we are all now card carrying members of the Peoples Republic of Europe

    ;-)

    /Mango


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    MadJak

    Pat@20,

    Thanks for that link. Really interesting. Of course, things get compounded by the availability heuristic - namely that if you think of something it must be correct before it’s proven to be incorrect.

    Of course, I’m not exactly astonished that they cite Ecology and Psychology – they’re both areas which have a large degree of random and difficult to measure aspects. And I think we all know there are some important things that are impervious to being measured.

    After all, if everyone remembered all their little failures in life instead of their successes, you would feel about as down as the Australian Labor Party, would you not?


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    Mervyn Sullivan

    I have only one thing to say. Tim Flannery became such an expert in warning us all about the doom and gloom awaiting us, due to global warming caused by CO2 emissions from human activity… you know, warmer temperatures, increasing drought, blah blah blah blah bah…. he now finds himself up the creek without a paddle! How so very wrong could a man ever be than Tim Flannery!


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    BobC

    pat: @20
    January 3rd, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Is there something wrong with the scientific method?
    “It wasn’t a very satisfying explanation,” Schooler says. “One of my mentors told me that my real mistake was trying to replicate my work. He told me doing that was just setting myself up for disappointment.”…

    Nothing wrong with the scientific method — if only scientists would use it. In engineering, if something won’t work every time (that is, it isn’t infinitely replicable), it is a failure and the assumptions leading to its development are false (one of them, anyway).

    Nothing but peer review enforces the scientific method in many areas of science, however; and peer review is such an obviously corruptible process that it isn’t tolerated in most areas of interest to society. The usual process is to have people who share no interest in your success audit and replicate your work. (I’m talking about drug approval, environmental permitting, aircraft certification, etc.)

    In climate science, the peer review process is corrupted and climate scientists actively resist outside audit — even to the extent of conspiring to break the law, as shown in the Climategate emails. As a result, no result from climate science can be trusted or acted on by society until such outside audits occur.

    The quote above shows just how far parody has penetrated unacknowledged into academic science. One of “Murphy’s” Laws was often said to be: “If a result must be repeatable, only do it once.”


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    Jaymez

    Dr Roy Spencer’s post ‘Why Most Published Research findings are False’, is very relevant. He ends with “when some scientist says we “know” that warming is human-caused, I cringe at the embarrassing abundance of scientific ignorance on display.”

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/01/why-most-published-research-findings-are-false/


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    Ferdinand

    I have had it pointed out to me that the entire human population of the World could be got onto the Isle of Man – overcrowded planet ? (The Isle of Man is is in the Irish Sea off the English coast.)


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    Baa Humbug

    Bob Malloy: #31
    January 3rd, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Bob that story does NOT look legit.

    Firstly, that 9 digit number cannot be an ABN. ABNs are 11 digit numbers used for taxation purposes. However, an ACN is a companies number of 9 digits.
    You can easily track an ACN by doing a search at the ASX website.

    Secondly, there is no such thing as ‘America Securities Exchange Commision’. It’s correct title is ‘US Securities Exchange Commission’.


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    Bob Malloy

    Baa Humbug:
    January 4th, 2011 at 4:14 am
    Bob Malloy: #31
    January 3rd, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Bob that story does NOT look legit.

    Thanks for that Baa, I heard a caller relaying the story on the 2sm network yesterday. At first I took it as fact, the caller is a regular, and politicaly savvy, he often breaks political stories and is always close to the mark, this time I was’nt all that convinced.
    Bob


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    Ian Mott

    We, of the nonsmokers rights movement, took out a mandamus writ in 1984 to force a reluctant Broadcasting Tribunal to prosecute Channel 10 for turning the Rugby League Grand final into one huge tobacco advert. It did so and the Windfield signs were never seen again on TV.

    In most states the functions they serve have been replaced by actions in judicial review. So it is not some arcane historical legal artifact but, rather, an essential, but underutilised tool for stamping out improper exercise of power.

    I am familiar with the arguments put forward by Sue Maynes and that group. They appear to have merit but only a proper testing in the appropriate court can ensure that the whole issue, and all relevant material, is examined. If this action brings greater clarity to the whole issue of property rights then we are all better off.


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    Baa Humbug

    Bob Malloy:
    January 4th, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Hi again Bob

    I can’t find that ABN/ACN number, however the Commonwealth of Australia is listed as a company with the US Securities and Exchange Commission with the quoted number.

    If you log onto the USSEC and search that number, 000 080 5157 you will find documents filed by our treasurer such as a Guarantee for a loan by the Queensland Government and many others.\ called CIKs

    Start HERE and HERE is a sample.

    Looks to me like this crowd is using an old constitutional law to stop Fed and State Govts from borrowings and other activities carried out like a company. So maybe not a hoax afterall.

    Enjoy digging


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    Baa Humbug

    Ian Mott: 50
    January 4th, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Thnx for that informative post Ian.


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    Jim Barker

    Don’t know if this has been posted here before. The comment about everyone living on the Isle Of Man, made me recall it.

    An Engineer‟s Critique of Global
    Warming „Science‟

    This presentation can be downloaded at http://rps3.com/
    Or, Google “burt rutan climate change”


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    Nano Pope

    Don’t forget all the things directly caused by AGW: http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Bob Malloy, Baa Humbug

    Governments have taken a liking to “owning” corporations. In New Zealand, the Government is the sole owner of New Zealand Post and Kiwirail, as two examples. Usually they are enterprises that nobody who is in their right mind would invest in – they ain’t profitable.

    Both of the examples I quoted here, used to be Government Departments, and then got “corporatised” (sic) to try to improve work practices, cost management, et cetera. In reality, the corporate structure just ring-fences the losses to help the Government of the day look better at budget time.

    But if a Government was, for example, to set up a financial trading company, that was trading stocks on the various markets around the world, you would have to ask if that was a valid use of taxpayer funds?

    There are lots of grey areas, so perhaps these writs are a way of shining a bright light into some very dark places.


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    Tim

    It seems to be that the ‘brazen prophets’ are simply just mortals motivated by the ‘brazen profits’

    The bottom line that I look for in any entity twisting reality with religious fervor is simply:
    who benefits?

    Occam’s Razor seems to sum it up for me.


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  • #

    Sadly the answer to your Question Jo lies in how the world follows America (even while many do hate the beastie). You see in this country, if you are “caring”, then your failures are lionized because “your heart was in it”. In other words, for the liberals who promote failure, it is not whether you succeed of fail, but rather that your intentions were good (the ends are worthless only the means count).

    As such, failures are lionized (now even by the Nobel Prize Committee) in America and that has spread to other countries as well. Mind you not all follow this mantra (China and Russia laugh, while promoting failure because they want to get ahead, not because they think it is noble).

    Just remember – in America the more a person is lionized in the press, the more likely they are to be a failure in real life.


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    MikeO

    Ferdinand
    If my maths is correct that means you would have 880 square cm each. I have heard this sort of stat before and it sounds really good but I am not sure what it says.


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    [...] Busted Weather Predictions from Brazen Prophets [...]


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    [...] Busted Weather Predictions from Brazen Prophets [...]


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