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Scientists behaving badly — more retractions are cheats, not mistakes

Who said scientific experts should be trusted?

Is corruption endemic? Fully 43% of retractions in the life science and medical research journals are due to fraud or suspected fraud.

Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications

Ferric C. Fang R. Grant Steen and Arturo Casadevall

PNAS  PNAS 2012 109 (42) 16751-16752; doi:10.1073/iti4212109

Abstract

A detailed review of all 2,047 biomedical and life-science research articles indexed by PubMed as retracted on May 3, 2012 revealed that only 21.3% of retractions were attributable to error. In contrast, 67.4% of retractions were attributable to misconduct, including fraud or suspected fraud (43.4%), duplicate publication (14.2%), and plagiarism (9.8%). Incomplete, uninformative or misleading retraction announcements have led to a previous underestimation of the role of fraud in the ongoing retraction epidemic. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased ∼10-fold since 1975. Retractions exhibit distinctive temporal and geographic patterns that may reveal underlying causes.

Plus this published correction.

RetractionWatch points out that this could be the tip of the iceberg

The question, of course, is, how common is scientific misconduct? The simple but unsatisfying answer is that we don’t know, certainly not based on this study, because it’s only of retractions. Some of the best data we have comes from a 2009 paper in PLoS ONE by Daniele Fanelli. In it, Fanelli does his own survey, and combines findings from other surveys. He concludes:

A pooled weighted average of 1.97% (N = 7, 95%CI: 0.86–4.45) of scientists admitted to have fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once –a serious form of misconduct by any standard– and up to 33.7% admitted other questionable research practices. In surveys asking about the behaviour of colleagues, admission rates were 14.12% (N = 12, 95% CI: 9.91–19.72) for falsification, and up to 72% for other questionable research practices. Meta-regression showed that self reports surveys, surveys using the words “falsification” or “fabrication”, and mailed surveys yielded lower percentages of misconduct. When these factors were controlled for, misconduct was reported more frequently by medical/pharmacological researchers than others.

Considering that these surveys ask sensitive questions and have other limitations, it appears likely that this is a conservative estimate of the true prevalence of scientific misconduct.

In other words, 2% of scientists admit to having committed misconduct, but almost three-quarters say their colleagues have been involved in “questionable research practices.” But those may be low figures.

This research applies to life science and medical papers. Where are the studies on retractions in the world of climate science?
At least in medicine, companies that compete with each other would have an interest in exposing fraud related to competitor’s products. In climate science, as we have discussed so many times, the monopolistic forces line up on one side of the table, big-government wants more power, big-bankers want more carbon markets, big-renewables depend on the Co2 scare for their existence, big-UN committees need it to justify big-junkets and big-jobs. And many in big-Green and big-media have dug their graves on this — their reputations and credibility dependent on them not being seen as “the gullible sods who fell for it”. It’s a life and death kind of thing for careers. Only those who had the humility to say the science was not yet done and dusted have a way out.

This PNAS paper was mentioned in yesterday’s thread about the shut-down of the Science Fraud site. Clearly we need better mechanisms to protect and encourage whistleblowers and to report possible fraud.

———————————————————–

REFERENCES

Ferric C. Fang R. Grant Steen and Arturo Casadevall (2012): Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications  PNAS   2012 109 (42) 16751-16752; doi:10.1073/iti4212109

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Scientists behaving badly -- more retractions are cheats, not mistakes, 9.4 out of 10 based on 62 ratings

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114 comments to Scientists behaving badly — more retractions are cheats, not mistakes

  • #
    Joe V.

    There seems ever greater need for scrutiny of published papers, not being able to rely on the rigours of publication to ensure quality output any more, as publication seems to have become an end in itself to secure credibility & funding and we see BEST getting its long awaited paper released by way of an OMIC publication.

    Berkeley Earth finally makes peer review in a never before seen journal


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      cohenite

      But Berkeley are trying hard; look they even critique Hansen’s latest effort about an alleged increase in extreme weather events under AGW; I think.


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      Nice One

      And, I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong. I’m taking this bold step because the method has promise. So let’s not pay attention to the little yippers who want to tear it down before they even see the results. I haven’t seen the global result, nobody has, not even the home team, but the method isn’t the madness that we’ve seen from NOAA, NCDC, GISS, and CRU, and, there aren’t any monetary strings attached to the result that I can tell. If the project was terminated tomorrow, nobody loses jobs, no large government programs get shut down, and no dependent programs crash either. That lack of strings attached to funding, plus the broad mix of people involved especially those who have previous experience in handling large data sets gives me greater confidence in the result being closer to a bona fide ground truth than anything we’ve seen yet.

      Anthony Watts


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  • #
    Peter Miller

    Climate science is progressively being held in lower and lower regard.

    Why?

    Gravy trains, false promises and predications, data manipulation and a dubious sense of ethics (e.g.”the end justifies the means”) amongst far too many of these individuals, have caused more and more of the general public to place them into the same category as professional politicians. In other words, trust them if you dare.

    As to fraud in climate science, it is clear it has to be much more prevalent than in the real fields of science due to widespread grant addiction. Mann is just one – and probably the best known – example of those practicing fraud.


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  • #
    KinkyKeith

    The success of the Climate Change Industry is a reminder that wisdom, or truth is not found in Crowds or Consensus but in Individuals.

    Peer review has not worked although it could have.

    All it would have taken was a few experts in Thermodynamics and Physics to “peer review” and completely

    rubbish the idea of CO2 based warming but they were not asked; and that is the question; why were the experts

    in this topic not requested to provide peer review.

    There has been fraud.

    The problem is just how do we, as a community, organise ourselves to prevent this delusional type of engagement with non issues that has taken us down a very rocky road to an expensive dead end.

    The only things we have to show for all the stolen tax money and effort consumed by this monster idea is serious division within the taxpaying community, a serious distrust of “Science” as a solution to problems and gargantuan government debt left to future taxpayers.

    Some method of accountability for damage done to the community must be devised or this theme will keep repeating itself over and over.

    It is unacceptable for Governments to direct huge sums of public money to the “Solution” of issues than are little more than a fantasy.

    At best it is delusion, more likely it was theft.

    KK


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    • #
      Allen Ford

      why were the experts in this topic not requested to provide peer review[?]

      For the same reason that competent statisticians were not consulted before embarking on dodgy number crunching. At least the physicists are starting to come out of the woodwork, e.g., Salby, Cotton, Johnson, Nasif Nahle.


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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Hi Allen,

        Yes there have been many who have come out to comment on CAGW mostly from the point of view of pure physics and this is a good start.

        It would have been even better if people with qualifications in Engineering Thermodynamics had been invited

        to “peer” at the original thesis linking man made CO2 with atmospheric temperatures.

        The thing would have been knocked on the head inside ten minutes, but of course the correct peer review never

        took place and even a postmortem Review was difficult because all pertinent detail about the CAGW concept was

        deliberately held from scrutiny.

        Because the MM CO2 thesis required assessment of Mass, Heat and Momentum Transfer within the atmosphere, and

        because the appropriately qualified Reviewers were not called, the Papers claiming to show MM CO2 based AGW

        are NOT PEER REVIEWED.

        My own personal view is that the peer review process has been abused and again; someone is accountable.

        KK


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  • #
    Bite Back

    Is it really necessary to do so much research in the first place? Spending more time looking at the research proposals with a critical eye and less time researching would go a long way toward two goals: wasting less money and cleaning up the dishonesty.

    Not all research is created equal and no one has a God given right to government funding, not even at government institutions. In fact, no one has a God given right to do research. You want the taxpayer’s money? Then justify it with real public benefit from the research, not advancement of your career, pursuit of some cause or the prestige of a university.

    We who pay the bills are not your free ride to fame, fortune and a Nobel Prize.


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  • #
    amcoz

    There is, of course, a very simple solution to all this: Every paper submitted by an author to a publisher must be accompanied with a security, say $10,000, in favour of the publisher to protect them should any paper turn out to be a fraud. Except, for the likes of Al Gore and Co, it should be $10,000,000 where clearly there has been a profit motive in cranking up the apocalyptic scares under the fallacious title of ‘climate change’.

    Just how many glow-bull scientists would stake their livelihood if their own money (albeit gotten via the taxpayer) was put at risk?


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  • #

    Yes, they lie. Most of these scientists are probably lying just to advance their own careers, but warmist scientists & politicians give another justification for deception. A post in Real Science talked about leftists in NY shamelessly exposing the addresses of gun owners, and I look at that as part of the wider practice of leftists not being that concerned about the inherent morality of their actions (if a greater goal is sought), and so it follows that they have no qualms at all about lying. My comment:

    Unlike conservatives, the leftist philosophy is to win at any cost.
    To them, the ends justifies the means. Go ahead and be immoral if it is in pursuit of as a higher moral goal; it’s very Nietzschean. Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment was about a misguided individual with a bloated sense of his own value who thought he could justifiably even commit murder if it allowed him to gain resources and so advance larger moral goals (of course, not to give it away, but he was an idiot and flubbed it all up). Warmists also subscribe, all of them essentially, to this Nietzschean view. Look at their quotes where they imply that it’s fine to lie if a larger beneficial goal is at stake:
    “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing …” -leftist Senator Tim Wirth, 1993
    “We have to offer up [bullshit] scary scenarios… each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective [lying] and being honest [ineffective].” -Stephen Schneider, lead ipcc author, 1989
    etc etc as far as more similar quotes ….
    One takeaway from the point I’ve made about the leftist win at any cost philosophy, and their aggressive desire to humiliate or criminalize the opposition (and their skill and perseverance at that), is that we need anonymity in politics, and especially in political finance… contributions to political causes should be anonymous because the libs are much more effective in intimating contributors to conservative causes; we are not on an even playing field there, as we are unfortunately never going to have the gumption or will to humiliate leftist contributors.

    Moral: when leftists talk about campaign finance reform and “transparency” in donations, run from that idea like it’s the plague.


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    • #
      Len

      I would imagine the “libs’ mentioned by Eric would be the US Democratic Party rather than the Australian Conservatives, the Liberal Party.


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      • #

        Exactly right, my bad. To internationalize, or Australianize it, before posting here, I took my original comment and actually edited it, replacing the term “liberal” with “leftist.” But one “libs” reference snuck through the cracks, though.


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    • #
      Alice Thermopolis

      Eric

      Is this the same Nietzsche who wrote:

      “For one thing is needful: that a human being attain satisfaction with himself…only then is a human being at all tolerable to behold. For whoever is dissatisfied with himself is always ready to revenge himself, therefore; and we others will be his victims…”

      Die Frohliche Wissenschaft (1882)

      What, precisely, do you mean by “Nietzschean”?

      Can you support your view with specific quotes from his works?

      Thanks

      Alice


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      • #

        Lol, I didn’t expect to have to pass an examination!
        But I refer to Nietzsche’s concept of a “super man,” and though I know that it’s exact import has been a subject of much debate, the freedictionary says: “An ideal superior man who, according to Nietzsche, forgoes transient pleasure, exercises creative power, lives at a level of experience beyond standards of good and evil.” The idea is that the superior ones can transcend mundane morality in order to achieve their “benevolent” ambitions. There isn’t space in this forum to get in to too deep a philosophical debate, but here’s a quote from Nietzsche:

        The possibility has been established for the production of .. a master race [sound familiar??], the future masters of the earth; a new, tremendous aristocracy, ..in which the will of philosophical men of power and artist-tyrants will be made to endure for millennia — a higher kind of man who, thanks to their superiority in will, knowledge, riches, and influence [will reign].” -Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, Book IV, Paragraph 960

        Further:

        Neither Manu nor Plato nor [etc.] have ever doubted their right to lie… Expressed in a formula, one might say: all the means by which one has so far attempted to make mankind moral were through and through immoral.” -Friedrich Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols, The Improvers of Mankind, Paragraph 5


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        • #
          Alice Thermopolis

          Thanks Eric

          May I suggest you read some Nietszche before using “Nietzschean” in this pejorative sense?

          You (unintentionally) do the philosopher an injustice – as did, notoriously, his sister Elizabeth and the Nazis – by nailing him on the cross of the “ubermensch”.

          The Ubermensch actually refers to person who has “overcome himself”, sublimated his impulses, etc, (Freud). The “will to power”, then, is a will to self-perfection and not – as widely misunderstood – some kind of “blond beast” lust for worldly power.

          Try reading “What the Germans lack”, for example, in “Twlight”; and especially “The Four Great Errors”.

          “Learning to think: our schools no longer have any idea what this means. Even in our universities, even among students of philosophy themselves, the theory, the practice, the vocation of logic is beginning to die out.” (7)

          With regard to your “Twilight” quote, suggest you read the whole chapter, “The Improvers of Mankind”, to understand the context.

          Better still, as “Twilight” is Nietzsche’s summary of his books written hastily just months before the end of his creative life, try “Beyond Good and Evil”.

          And for the AGW debate, perhaps “Human, all too Human:
          http://nietzsche.holtof.com/Nietzsche_human_all_too_human/sect3_Religious_Life.htm

          “Religion and real science live on different stars. Any philosophy that allows a religious comet to trail off ablaze into the darkness… makes suspicious everything about itself that it presents as science; presumably all this too is religion, although decked out as science.”

          All good preparation for that examination?

          Alice


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          • #

            Good points Alice, great post. Time permitting I want to examine in particular the AGW link you give. And you give a good roadmap for beefing up my Nietszche knowledge, and acing that exam!


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          • #
            KinkyKeith

            Hi Alice.

            I have read “Thus Spake … ” a couple of times and each time I was impressed.

            So long ago now that I can’t remember anything about it but that and the fact that whoever did the translation was brilliant.

            Maybe it’s time to have another look at it with the hindsight of the last twenty years or so.

            KK :)


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          • #
            Alice Thermopolis

            Why not, KK?

            ZARA reminds us that we are free to choose not only what to value, but (for some) how to live.

            ZARA: who “could make a man richer in himself, newer to himself than before, broken open, blown at and sounded out by a throwing wind; perhaps more unsure, tenderer, more fragile, but full og hopes that as yet have no name, full of new will and currents, full of new classifications and undertones.” (Nietzsche in Ecce Homo)

            But be warned: most youthful Nietzscheans invariably end up Schopenhauerians,Dionysus defeated by “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”, etc.

            Nietzsche tried all his life to overcome the influence of his mentor.
            Schopenhauer’s “Das Welt als Wille und Vorstellung” (1818) had a big impact on him, but he couldn’t stomach his “pessimism”.

            “Hope: the confusion of our desire for something with its probability”, etc.

            Make sure it’s the Walter Kaufmann translation.

            Alice


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  • #
    Bob Malloy

    Forgive me for being so far off topic,put this one in the too stupid to be true basket.

    Perfect Match’s Greg Evans Recommends Falling In Love With Solar

    MEDIA RELEASE 21 January 2013: Former Perfect Match host and marriage celebrant Greg Evans will be performing a unique commitment ceremony this Valentine’s Day where he will marry the most ‘cheated-on’ Australian electricity user to an Energy Matters solar panel in a protest against the 91% price hike in energy bills over the last five years*.

    “Electricity companies have had the upper-hand for far too long and it’s only now we’re starting to realise the full consequences,” said Greg. “Australian consumers need to put trust back into the equation, demand an open relationship with their provider and think about the environment; it’s time to save money, use our abundant Australian sunshine and find a sustainable energy solution without being held to ransom.

    “Partnering with a solar energy company such as Energy Matters means you can harness the sun’s free energy and be less reliant on traditional more expensive resources. Consumers can literally turn back electricity prices far below what they were even five years ago and the feeling of ‘making your own’ is wonderful


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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Perfect Match’s Greg Evans Recommends Falling In Love With Solar

      He looks like a man with some influence. Just think what he might accomplish if he had his head screwed on straight. Maybe he could even manage to marry your government to a permanent pink slip.


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    • #
      old44

      If he thinks that solar power will supply all of his energy requirements he is an idiot, if he wants to screw the electricity company, put in a massive bank of batteries and charge them during the off-peak period.


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      • #

        Again, allow me to stress the absolute hypocrisy of those people hyping up rooftop solar power. They even take pride in virtually saying that bludging off every other consumer is a good thing, asking them to help pay off your system, cleverly never explaining who actually pays for that enormous Feed In Tariff. (FIT) That FIT can be as high as 45 cents per KWH (and higher) paid to the rooftop system owner for the excess they feed back to the grid, and every other consumer pays for that in increased costs for grid supplied electricity. That FIT can be as high as double the retail price for electricity, and up to 5 times and more what the grid pays wholesale for the generated electricity.

        They artfully say that a rooftop system can supply all your household needs, averaging around 20KWH per day.

        However, a system of this size and grid connected to take advantage of that FIT still means that the residence is a net consumer of electricity FROM the grid, as up to two thirds of residential power consumption is after the Sun Sets and before the Sun rises, even in the Summer Months. They still say that the rooftop system provides all your needs because the system might generate up to 20KWH in normal daylight hours and the residence may use only that same 20KWH per day, so one equals the other. However, the excess during the day fed back to the grid the owner is being paid for. So you cannot be paid for that and then still claim it as personal use. The grid is not your personal battery so you can just recall the excess at non Sun periods, that same electricity you have already been paid for anyway.

        If you must do Rooftop Solar, do it properly. Have a system that generates your residential power and the excess power, instead of being fed back to the grid is used to charge a battery bank. Then, after the Sun sets the battery provides the power to run the Inverter which then supplies your home.

        So, why isn’t this being hyped up as a means to actually lower grid consumption.

        Therein lies the rub.

        To do it correctly, you need a battery bank that can actually provide the power you consume. Then, on top of that, the best advice is that you have an added factor to make certain, a multiplier ranging from 1.6 to 2.2, depending on where you are. Then, on top of that, the best advice is that you have battery power to cover power consumption for low or no Sun days, and that means enough for 3 to 5 days, and 3 is the minimum.

        Then, the batteries themselves will only last between 5 and 7 years. (7 being the absolute best case scenario)

        So what are we looking at here.

        An average 20KWH rooftop system, grid connected costs around $20,000, and that’s after the rebate (a Government subsidy) of $4200.

        An average 20KWH rooftop system with the proper battery bank costs, wait for it, $67,000, after a $4500 rebate. (if you are less than 1Km from any grid)

        Now note the extra cost, $45,000, and that’s just for the correct battery bank, and keep in mind that extra 45K comes up again every 5 to 7 years for a replacement bank, and here I mean do it properly, not just hope that replacing one or two batteries will cover it.

        See now why the grid connected hypocrisy is hyped.

        Tell people to do it properly, show them the true cost, and then see how how many of these rooftop systems get sold, and you tell me your guess as to how many of them.

        Rooftop Solar power makes me absolutely furious because it’s a money grabbing con, and at every level, both for suppliers and most importantly for greedy consumers, smug that they think they are doing something good, and making the rest of us pay for their systems, while they still suck two thirds of their electrical power needs from the same grid supplied sources they eschew as being so bad.

        Bloody hypocrites the lot of them I say.

        If you want Solar Power, then do it right.

        Otherwise, shut up.

        I won’t.

        Tony.

        There might be someone out there, who shall remain nameless, (but his name is Ross James) who think I just make all this up, and are so proud to be bludging off his fellow man an owner of a rooftop system. Well here’s the references.

        Grid Connected Rooftop Price Structure

        Stand Alone Rooftop Price Structure


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        • #
          old44

          TonyfromOz
          January 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm · Reply

          Tony, I have a 5Kw rooftop system but going into it knowing it was a ripoff I don’t consider myself a hypocrite, I gladly take pride in rubbing it in the faces of the greens and Labor voters I know who complain about the evil Liberals putting up electricity prices.

          The Feed In Tariff. (FIT) in Victoria is actually 60 cents per KWH and I get a bonus of 8 cents/Kw for not changing supplier.

          pays wholesale for the generated electricity.

          They artfully say that a rooftop system can supply all your household needs, averaging around 20KWH per day.

          What they say is rubbish, my system produces an average of 9.4 Kw per day with a maximum of 21.8 and a minimum of 0.322 Kw.

          I understand your anger as I felt the same way, but I thought bugger it and got on the bandwagon, it is the first lurk I have benefited from and it eases the pain of a pathetic part pension.


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  • #

    The area always cited involving research corruption is pharmaceuticals, for the simple reason there are usually big bucks directly involved. What seems to have slipped under the radar is climate science, where there are several orders of magnitude more of bucks involved.

    Anyone care to guess why it’s the only branch of research requiring FOI legal actions for raw data, by people wishing to replicate the research to verify it?

    Pointman


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    • #
      Tel

      The difference with big-pharma is that a lot of government money goes into trying to make the population healthy, so government wants to see results for its money in terms of measurable health outcomes.

      With climate science the main purpose is keeping the population obedient and maintaining the “only government can us” meme, so government is paying for political outcomes — and they get value for money on that basis.


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  • #

    The thing about scientists is that they have to publish. As CG1 demonstrated, that is their Achilles heel, and they know it. The tip of the iceberg is either visible, or even more “visible” if they try to hide it :-)
    In Australia we appear to have a number of climate “behaviourals” who are also quietly and comfortably involved in steering curriculum development.

    The bad behaviour is becoming widespread. As someone who has been a public servant for 25 of my 43 years of professional experience, I am very much aware of principles such as public duty of care, rule of law etc. These seem to be followed less and less these days. At least three times a week I get asked for an opinion by people who have found out for themselves, or been told, that there is no point asking anyone else.

    Hooaah …. The Bluff Act reigns supreme …


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  • #
    Redress

    When this generic type of commentary is published in mainstream media

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2013/01/17/3670931.htm

    then ‘scientists behaving badly’ are given legitimacy for their perverse research.


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    • #
      Andrew McRae

      ABC’s guest pundit said:

      Even so, we have been slow off the mark to discuss the linkage between extreme weather events and climate change and those discussions were still limited in extent. I’m hoping that the extreme heatwave is a ‘shot across the bow’ notice that we need to take climate change seriously — but already the climate denial camp are viewing these extreme events as business as usual.

      The USA had a similar experience last year with Superstorm Sandy: a nasty, unprecedented weather event of horrendous impact that was also in line with the predictions made by climate science over the last couple of decades.

      Wow.

      For the regulars around here, outrage may now be difficult to muster due to desensitisation and it should suffice to say that clearly the “deniers” are not the only ones who’ve handled the recent hot weather as “business as usual”. ;)

      For the newcomers, yes both of you, please consider…

      • that the technical definition of a heatwave is available from the WMO for anyone (including Dr Willis) to read, and that one (or even three) hot days in a row does not technically qualify, as in the recent case of Sydney last Friday.

      • that the technical definition of “climate” is also available from the WMO for anyone to read (including “Dr” Willis), and leaping to the conclusion that a few hot days around the country is a sign of things to come is rather moot when measuring a single climate data point requires averaging 30 years of measurements.

      That is just some basic definitions which show this “doctor’s” consternations as ill-informed, without even getting into the messy details of how the climate works. The proposition that

      …insurance underwriting giant Munich Re issued a report just before Superstorm Sandy hit their eastern seaboard. …

      “… Nowhere in the world is the rising number of natural catastrophes more evident than in North America” and “Anthropogenic climate change is believed to contribute to this trend”.

      When an organisation like Munich Re issues a report like that, people, business and politicians sit up and take notice.

      A logical fallacy; the argument from popularity and consensus. When the insurance company says other people believe anthropogenic climate change is real, it doesn’t mean the insurance company itself believes it. Even if they believed it, that doesn’t make it so. This is propagandists quoting their own propaganda being reflected back to them, as though circular reasoning proves anything.

      Jo has previously expounded on how cyclones have not increased in frequency in the last decade compared to the decades (and indeed millenia) prior to 1980.

      Even if you believed the IPCC’s bogus models, and their exaggerated CO2 climate sensitivity parameter, and the alleged “costs” of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, you would still only come to the conclusion that China, India, and the USA would have to cut their emissions to stop warming Australia’s climate, as a carbon tax on Australia would be entirely futile.

      But forget the economics and get back to climate science, what is Dr Willis’ scientific justification for linking recent hot weather to CAGW?

      While this or any specific event cannot be predicted by climate change models, the facts that they occur and their nature, is exactly what climate change models have been predicting.

      Complete propaganda. Doctor (in title only) Willis employs the long standing alarmist tactic of conflating “a change in climate” with the man-made global warming term “climate change”. Thus the reader is misled into believing that because some hot days have happened this summer the whole globe must have warmed, and that any warming in climate proves that the models of man-made climate change must be correct. Two errors of reasoning smuggled into the public discourse.
      Since the sun came up this morning, and that is also exactly what climate models predicted, perhaps the existence of day and night confirms man-made global warming too? But of course hot weather has happened and will happen regardless of human activity, and only the 30 year trend can be used for gauging climate – by definition. Extremes are useful to extremists.

      In further support of his consternation Dr Willis then has the audacity to reference a propaganda flyer published by the Green/Left activist group GetUp which courtesy of the BoM supplies us with two entirely newly invented statistics of recent extreme weather, neither of which match the WMO definition of a “heatwave”, and even if they did would count for just 1/10950th of a measurement of climate.

      But this mishmash of factoids and misinformation wouldn’t be complete without dissing “the deniers”.

      Almost as soon as the discussion got started in Australia, the forces of denial and ignorance sprang back into life. On 9 January acting Opposition Leader, Warren Truss, was quoted thus:

      “Indeed I guess there’ll be more CO2 emissions from these fires than there will be from coal-fired power stations for decades.”

      This is, indeed, only his guess with no numbers or data to back it up.

      Ah the forces of denial! Did infidel scientists deny that hot days occurred? Did anyone who claims to understand climate science make an egregious error of attribution for these events? Perhaps, but if any did we will never know as Dr Wilis proceeds to apply every lesson he learned whilst working for the ABC and thus avoids any discussion of scientific evidence offered by skeptics and instead singles out a National Party politician for attack.

      Ironic also that the IPCC’s estimate of climate sensitivity of 2.1°C per doubling of CO2 is also a guess with no real world evidence to back it up.

      Let us hope that future discussions around climate change and what to do about it will be free of invented factoids and misinformation. It’s time to take the science seriously.

      An impressive motherhood statement that I’m sure we all genuinely agree with.
      Hey Doc, here’s a science paper saying an anthropogenic signal of warming won’t emerge from natural noise until 2020.
      Hey Doc, here’s a new science paper deriving a climate sensitivity of only 0.18°C per doubling of CO2.
      Yes, it’s time to take science seriously. You first, Dr Willis!


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    Sonny

    It’s this simple.

    If you work for the government and are payed by the government for your services YOU ARE A POLITICIAN.

    You can dress up in a white coat and all the rest but you will PLAY THE TUNE the government wants to hear or you’ll be OUT ON YOUR EAR.

    Down with Government Climate Science!


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      Greg Cavanagh

      Sonny, you’re generalising way too wide.

      You clearly hate the government and anyone who gains a wage from the government. However, the experience from one within government says very differently. We do our job, with pride for doing it correctly and with many layers of overseers and accountability watching our every move. You’re pointing at the notable few, and assuming that behaviour is endemic. It is not.


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        can only agree with you Greg. Sonny’s statement makes me wonder how he will avoid going to a public hospital emergency department, staffed by all those politicians, after he crashes his car on the private road he is traveling on to avoid the roads built by the politicians in their fluoro vests.


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        Greg House

        Greg Cavanagh says(#11.1): “…the experience from one within government says very differently. We do our job, with pride for doing it correctly and with many layers of overseers and accountability watching our every move.”
        ==================================================

        Let me guess: if the many layers of overseers tell you to do a wrong thing, you refuse proudly, right?


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        Tel

        … with many layers of overseers and accountability watching our every move …

        So where do those layers of overseers and accountability ultimately lead back to?

        I’m a taxpayer, so presumably those people must be accountable to me, can you just post a URL for my benefit so I can do a bit of overseeing myself?

        For starters I was hoping to get a full list of all the school halls built under the BER scheme, including location of the hall, size, purpose, who requested it, who signed off on it, who built it and how much it cost. I know the database exists, and since I paid for it, I’d just like to inspect it. That should all be fine, right? Right?

        Just put the link to that publicly available database down below…


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        Tel

        Actually, while you are so generously offering accountability to us taxpayers, I have some more questions.

        I’ve been trying to explain why the BOM maximum values for a site tend to sit around a degree higher than the half-hourly readings coming off the same site at the same time. Can you find the documentation of when they switched over from a manual weather station to an AWS and ran the two in parallel at exactly the same site (i.e. just a meter or two apart) ? For that matter can you find the experiments where they ran two or more AWS’s side by side to check the consistency of their readings?

        I’ve been searching their website, can’t find documentation of these experiments, but without that we can’t have accountability of how the old data aligns with the new data. Do these different types of equipment measure the same thing? I suspect the answer is, “no”.


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    Greg House

    “Where are the studies on retractions in the world of climate science?”
    ===========================================

    Climate science is not a fraud, absolutely not! (just kidding)


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      Roy Hogue

      You’re right, Greg. Climate Science is not a fraud, not anymore. It’s a bad experiment, a practical joke on humanity gone horribly wrong, an unholy Frankenstein monster of a joke. And as in the novel, the monster now has a life of its own and it’s loose on human society with no one both willing and able to restrain it.


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    Kevin Moore

    Who said scientific experts should be trusted?

    CLIMATE change lessons should be removed from Queensland’s classrooms because it was “environmental propaganda” used to brainwash children.

    And Asian and Aboriginal history should not be taught at the expense of western history and Christian values.

    These were among the submissions made as two resolutions for change to Queensland’s education system were passed at the 2012 LNP Convention in Brisbane today.

    A delegate from the Toowoomba North State Electorate Council told hundreds of LNP members the current curriculum set out to shape the next generation of leaders rather than just teach them.

    He said the ALP had been “ruining the minds of our children” as he moved a motion to license independent curricula that met nationally-consistent standards but were not bound by a nationally-determined agenda.

    He said the “rigid and ideologically selective cultural agenda being imposed on all students” was dangerous.

    “The ideology here is so flagrant, teachers may as well tell the kids who to vote for,” he said.

    The delegate also suggested the culture war would result in “fewer and fewer free thinkers to support conservative values” before the motion was carried.

    Queensland Senator Brett Mason also spoke to the motion, saying he was taught reading, writing and arithmetics but now the national curriculum taught “republic, reconciliation and about refugees”.

    “I think it’s far more important they learn how to read and write than be politically-correct,” he said.

    Richard Pearson, from the Noosa State Electorate Council, successfully moved a resolution to call on the education minister to require Queensland government schools to remove “environmental propaganda material, in particular post normal science about climate change” from the curriculum.

    He said young minds were being poisoned and brainwashed by misleading information about climate change…….
    http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/lnp-convention-talks-education/1452448/


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      AndyG55

      If the LNP wants to be a future elected party, they MUST get rid of all the leftist brainwashing that occurs so much in the social studies/humanities side of the education curriculum.


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        Greg Cavanagh

        I can’t see that happening AndyG55. They show every indication of believing whole heartedly in the socialist agenda. The better outcome would be for the people who vote to understand what the LNP is truly about.

        I used to believe the Labor party was the better choice, on the simple premise of what they said and what their policy was. It took me many years to understand that they do the opposite of what they say they will do. Now that I understand this, I will NEVER vote Labor again as long as I live.

        To restate: it’s not the Labor party that has to change; it’s the government in power that must be changed by popular vote. To a party that looks after its people, rather than ruling the people.


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        Tel

        You think there’s a plausible chance the LNP can lose the next election?

        They would have to do something incredibly dumb…


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      Kevin Moore

      Richard Pearson, from the Noosa State Electorate Council, successfully moved a resolution to call on the education minister to require Queensland government schools to remove “environmental propaganda material, in particular post normal science about climate change” from the curriculum.

      Post-normal science

      From Wikipedia.

      Post-Normal Science is a concept developed by Silvio Funtowicz and Jerome Ravetz, attempting to characterise a methodology of inquiry that is appropriate for cases where “facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent” (Funtowicz and Ravetz, 1991). It is primarily applied in the context of long-term issues where there is less available information than is desired by stakeholders.

      According to its advocates, “post-normal science” is simply an extension of situations routinely faced by experts such as surgeons or senior engineers on unusual projects, where the decisions being made are of great importance but where not all the factors are necessarily knowable. Although their work is based on science, such individuals must always cope with uncertainties, and their mistakes can be costly or lethal.

      Because of this, advocates of post-normal science suggest that there must be an “extended peer community” consisting of all those affected by an issue who are prepared to enter into dialogue on it. They bring their “extended facts”, that will include local knowledge and materials not originally intended for publication such as leaked official information. A political case exists for this extension of the franchise of science; but Funtowicz and Ravetz also argue that this extension is necessary for assuring the quality of the process and of the product.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        … situations routinely faced by experts such as surgeons or senior engineers on unusual projects, … where not all the factors are necessarily knowable …

        The problem is not new, and the solution was being discussed a lot earlier than 1991. In fact, situations where critical decisions needed to be made, without sufficient information, were described by the great military strategist, Sun Tzu in the fourth Century B.C.

        In those days, Generals who made bad decisions were executed, either by their opponent or by the ruler they served. They quickly developed techniques for ensuring that their error rate dropped close to zero. Some of the techniques established by Sun Tsu are still taught at Military Staff Colleges today.

        Post-normal science has a lot less to do with assembling and interpreting the facts that you have, in order to derive “the best” solution possible in the circumstances, than it does about selectively using the facts that you have, in order to win a debate.

        One has only to look at the techniques and tactics used by most of the trolls on this site, to see what I mean. Post-normal science is all about being “right.” It does not really care about being “correct,” or “honest,” or “ethical,” or even “beneficial” other than to the grant recipient.


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    Louis Hissink

    The problem is too many people doing research and bean counters running the universities. The rot started when the progressive political parties decided that, worshipping the altar of egalitarianism, that all who wanted a university degree, should be allowed to get one. It’s been downhill ever since.

    And given that the progressive side of politics basically fabricate their realities, fabricating research results isn’t considered a fault but merely an expression of diversity of opinion.

    It too decades to get this state of affairs, it will take longer to get out of it.

    Want a welfare state? Great but are we prepared to pay the price?


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Greg,

      Is that a pregnant pause, by any chance?


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        Roy Hogue

        I thought he had just quietly slipped into a comma from all the stress. ;-)


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          Greg House

          A good one. :lol:

          This way I subscribe to the followup comments, because I do not like going through the whole stuff every time I want to read new comments.

          Does anybody know a better solution? No one? So, you guys actually go through the whole stuff every time you want to read new comments only? :shock:


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            Roy Hogue

            You can check the box that says to notify you of follow-up comments by email when you post your first comment. You would then have each new comment to read. But by now I suspect you know you’ll get a deluge of email that way. So no, it’s pretty much go through it all.

            Internet Explorer will do a search for anything I tell it to find, so the first thing I do is a search on my name in case anyone replied to something I said. But after that it’s all up to me.


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            Greg House

            Roy Hogue says (#15.1.1.1.1)(: “You can check the box that says to notify you of follow-up comments by email when you post your first comment. You would then have each new comment to read. But by now I suspect you know you’ll get a deluge of email that way. So no, it’s pretty much go through it all.”
            ===========================================

            Thanks, I know about checking the box, this time I forgot to do it, therefore I posted my “,” and checked the box. You can not just check the box, you need to post something to activate the function.

            The problem is that if you do not post a comment on a thread and visit it more than once you can not select only new comments to read. Since people use the “reply” button, you do not see the comments in the chronological order, so you have to go through the whole stuff again. Not good.


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            Roy Hogue

            I remember now that there used to be a box to check that allowed you to get email notification without posting a comment. It disappeared somewhere along the line.

            I wonder if we could get it put it back. How about it, Jo?


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    I am not entirely in agreement with the following
    Clearly we need better mechanisms to protect and encourage whistleblowers and to report possible fraud.
    It is quite right that people should be protected and encouraged to expose wrong-doing. But this is shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. There should be other standards. Like most people who visit this blog I am mostly aware of “climate science”. Here it would seem the following would also help.
    - Spend more time on setting standards for peer review, but recognizing that it is limited as a quality standard.
    - Encouraging diverse philosophies of science.
    - Encouraging different views, realizing that the best theories arise through competition, not through dogma.
    - Recognizing that evaluating the science with respect to public policy-making is a separate discipline, quite separate from the science AND from political views. The scientists should merely feed their results into those capable of translating this into policies that are capable. An analogy is with medicine. Identification of a disease or ailment does not give knowledge of the pharmaceutical that will treat the disease. Diagnosis of a known disease may not be sufficient to proscribe the appropriate drug and the dosage. The drugs proscribed should also account for effectiveness and possible adverse side-effects. But in the area of climate change, it is deemed appropriate for scientists with no expertise in economics or public policy-making to “proscribe” policies, with absolutely no thought of the collateral damage.


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    katio1506

    A few thoughts about peer review from somebody who was involved for 30-40 years.

    Since the 60′s, there has been an explosion in the number of Journals. I guess the numbers are available, but I’m sure I can describe it as an explosion. This makes it a nightmare for some Journals to actually get people to referee a paper, so that the reviewers finally secured are not necessarily ‘top draw’ in the field.

    I often remember having an “Oh, No’ moment when a request to review a paper hit my desk. It usually happened just when my own research interest was at some sort of peak, making it hard to dedicate time to critically examine the manuscript. I believe I tried to spend sufficient time, knowing that some other poor sole would have to do the same with a manuscript from me. But could I have spent more time, perhaps chasing down every literature citation, for instance? Yes.

    My point is that Peer Review should not be taken as a process that gives a manuscript a total clean bill of health. In many cases it merely provides a mechanism for identifying glaring errors. The real review begins after a paper finally appears and is critically examined by the ‘experts’ if it appears to have sufficient merit.


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    Roy Hogue

    Lest it go unnoticed, today Barack Hussein Obama was quietly administered the oath of office, thereby beginning his second term as President of The United States of America.

    The official ceremony is tomorrow but today, January 20, is the constitutionally prescribed day so he must be sworn in today. It will be a sham tomorrow, including his second inaugural address.


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    Tel

    I don’t regard duplicate publication to be scientific fraud, it might be annoying to the journals but then scientists should refuse to sign over their copyrights to journals and then they can publish as many times as they like.


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    Peter Crawford

    An underlying problem is that all scientists have a bit of a God Complex. Even low level ones. My professional science acquaintances spend most of their time squabbling about who should or should not have their own personal office with their name on the door (at Glaxo-Smithkline-Beecham that is Scientist Grade 2). It is pathetic and yet they all think they are the heirs to Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Crick+Watson etc.

    Now consider what happens when such vain and fractious types start getting the ear of journalists, when politicians start soliciting their opinions, when they get invited on telly to give the benefit of their views…the puffed up pride goes into overdrive and there is no end to their ambition.

    Or their hubris. And there, of course, is where it will end.

    In the meantime my leccy bills have trebled in five years and it is -10c outside. Thanks for that.


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    old44

    Your last two headlines

    “Scientists behaving badly — more retractions are cheats, not mistakes”

    and

    “Whistleblower Science Fraud Site is Shut Down”

    says it all.


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    Rick Bradford

    It’s hard to blame them; in a fiscally tight situation where government is the only source of funding, and government the only consumer of results, the pressure to conform must be considerable, and the price paid for breaking the oath of omertà considerable.

    And with climate “science” being such a new and vaguely defined enterprise, it is not surprising that dodgy activities flourish there.


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    MadJak

    Look this has to be said and I am so glad that it’s getting some airtime.

    When policies are being determined based on any source of information, that information, data and methods must be made available to the public for scrutiny.

    I know to someone in the academic community a peer review process may seem like some form of uber quality control measure.

    It is not, it never was and was never intended to be a quality control measure.

    A Higher degree of quality control needs to be instigated at all steps for research for it to be valid.

    It absolutely disgusts me that us taxpayers are currently providing >$200,000,000 per year in australia to fund the Department of Climate change so they can try and prove their beliefs post hoc. And why do they see this as being necessary? No it isn’t because they’re concerned about us, the reality is that the only reason they get that funding was because some lawyers and politicians were STUPID enough to put their political careers on the line because of what some academics believed. And the public asked the simple scientific question – where is the evidence? And the evidence has not been forthcoming.

    We are all paying far too much money in order for a face saving exercise from our [un]elected leaders who lacked the intelligence, scepticism or wisdom to even ask some of the most basic questions.

    If I wanted to help someone prove their beliefs, I would donate to a church.


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    Dr Roy Spencer is, I’m afraid to have to say, also one of those scientists “behaving badly” in that he continues not to acknowledge his fundamental error in assuming conduction (diffusion) in a vertical plane causes isothermal conditions. It does not. It creates isentropic conditions, and thus a thermal gradient in a gravitational field.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics states (from Wikipedia)

    An isolated system, if not already in its state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously evolves towards it. Thermodynamic equilibrium has the greatest entropy amongst the states accessible to the system.

    Hence the Second Law of Thermodynamics confirms that, at equilibrium, an isentropic state will develop, simply because that is the state which has the most entropy of all states “accessible to the system.”

    This is why diffusion creates equal temperatures in a horizontal plane, but also unequal temperatures in a vertical plane. Isentropic conditions apply in each plane in equilibrium, but in the vertical plane potential energy varies, and thus kinetic energy does also so that PE+KE=constant..

    Hence an autonomous thermal gradient in a gravitational field is a direct corollary of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and so the GHE is debunked by standard physics.

    See the comments starting here …

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/01/misunderstood-basic-concepts-and-the-greenhouse-effect/#comment-69064

    Roy Spencer’s error will be very widely publicised within 2 or 3 weeks in an article likely to be read by tens of thousands.


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      John Brookes

      Roy is quite right to ignore you Doug. You are wrong, but you can’t see it. Roy doesn’t have to try and convince you.


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      Kevin – you could look up “entropy” in Wikipedia. Better still, read my paper, including the Appendix and cited references. You’ll find it with Google if you copy the title “Planetary Surface Temperatures. A Discussion of Alternative Mechanisms.” There’s also a video and an article on this linked from my website, so just click my name above.


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      Tel

      An isolated system, if not already in its state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously evolves towards it. Thermodynamic equilibrium has the greatest entropy amongst the states accessible to the system.

      I’ve tried to point out in the past that the surface of the Earth is NEVER in a state of thermodynamic equilibrium. Every day the surface gets warmer (hot sun transfers energy to the surface), every night it gets cooler (surface transfers energy up to cool space). That’s because the Earth is spinning in space. However, evaporation and convection makes it a lot more complex (transfer of heat from equator to the poles, plus chaos theory).

      The climate data is generally based on taking the maximum temperature and the minimum temperature and then averaging for at least one whole month. There’s no particular reason to believe that the resulting average value will obey the laws of thermodynamics, because 99.9% of the time, the actual temperature of the surface is something other than the climate average.


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        Tel – it’s all about a propensity towards isentropic equilibrium, not isothermal equilibrium. The surface of the ocean is never a perfect portion of a sphere. Think about it. Read my new article on PSI when it is published in a few days.


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    AndyG55

    Is Tony about ??

    Someone today was telling me that someone called Lambert(or somthing like that), was saying that for 3 days earlier this month, South Australia was getting all its necessary power from wind.

    Do you have any real data associated with this anywhere?

    Thanks.


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      Andy, you ask:

      Someone today was telling me that someone called Lambert(or something like that), was saying that for 3 days earlier this month, South Australia was getting all its necessary power from wind.

      Do you have any real data associated with this anywhere?

      They didn’t even get close, and yes I do have verifiable information.

      Here’s a task for those of you who actually want to check just to be sure. I did the task for every day of January so far, and the whole exercise for the whole Month so far took me around a quarter hour, and I’m only going to ask you to do the task for just one day, so it’ll only take a couple of minutes.

      The closest they came was at 9AM on Sunday 6th January, when Wind Power in Sth Australia supplied 72% of Sth Australia’s total demand for that one point in time. Note that this is Sunday, a non work day, and note that it’s only at that one point in time, 9AM, because before and after that time it was lower.

      That is the closest for the whole Month.

      Now here’s the exercise.

      Take the following link.

      Wind Energy In Australia: Wind Farm Performance

      The top chart shows the wind output from all the major wind farms across all States barring WA and NT.

      The second chart shows total Output, the black line and State by State Output, the coloured lines below that.

      Now, scroll down to the third chart, cleverly placed off screen and in a much different scale, and this shows total power consumption across that same area.

      OK now, scroll back up to the top, and see there at the top right above the top chart is a tab titled Change Date. Click on that, and the dates come up for the previous three weeks, conveniently, the whole Month of January so far.

      Now, click on 6th January, and note it’s a Sunday.

      When the charts come up, you’ll see all three charts for that day. Now, under the second chart are the ticked boxes for all those Plants in every State.

      UNTICK all the Plants not in SA, and also untick the box at the right titled All.

      Now, on that second chart see the black line there. That is the total for all those SA wind plants.

      Note the highest point on that chart, 9AM, and just under 830MW.

      Now, scroll down to the third chart, and untick every State except SA, and also untick All. What you see there is a red line indicating SA total power consumption for that day.

      Note the curve start to rise at 10AM and then staying up, bar for a small dip after 6PM, but at its lowest consumption in the early AM, when everybody is asleep, and then at Church. (Nyuk nyuk nyuk, after all Adelaide is the city of Churches.)

      Note the low point, around 9AM, when total consumption is around 1150MW.

      So, wind is supplying 830MW of those 1150MW, or around 72% of all power consumption for the State.

      At 9AM on one Sunday morning.

      Oh for joy. We’re all saved.

      Tony.


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        ianl8888

        The data are supplied by the AEMO (Aus Energy Market Operator)

        The AEMO membership is split, according to the information supplied, Govt 60% to private 40%

        Reliability ??

        It’s a little astonishing that such data are actually supplied to the public. One wonders for just how long, given the depressing accuracy (for the renewabubble zealots, anyway)


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        AndyG55

        Thanks Tony,

        The guy is actually my boss and a sort of lukewarmer, I think.. hard to tell..(so I have to be a bit careful),

        But he does like his so-called renewable energy.

        Will be interesting to see what he says. ;-)


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    gbees

    I’ve been researching health for 15 years … the ‘promoted’ falsehoods remind me very much of those in climate science … follow the money trail in the health industry also … this one is from 1991, however it is still relevant today …

    “Only about 15% of medical interventions are supported by solid scientific evidence according to David Eddy (Cardiothoracic surgeon & prof of health policy & management – Duke University, also holds a degree in Mathematics). Only 1% of articles in med journals are scientifically sound & many treatments have never been assessed at all. Often the evidence available contradicted current practice: ex: of 17 RCTs on lidocaine prophylactically in Ps w chest pain, 16 showed no effect & 1 showed a positive result – yet the practice was to give lidocaine. The weakness of scientific evidence underlying medical practice is one of the causes of wide variations in medical practice. The evidence on effectiveness is poor, but the info needed – by purchasers – to choose among different treatments is almost never available. Smith, R. Where is the wisdom? BMJ 1991; 303(Oct 5): 798-799.


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      John Brookes

      Yes, gbees, the vast majority of medical practices are not supported by solid scientific evidence. But that is not a bad thing. I’m sure no one has ever done a proper double blind trial on people with broken arms – where one group has the arm set, while the other group are just told to carry on and take panadol if the pain becomes unbearable…

      Having said that, there certainly are many treatments of very dubious merit. One of the few surgical procedures to be properly evaluated is one where the knee is opened up and the cartiledge trimmed, and any floating bits of gunk cleaned out. And it turns out that the benefits of this procedure were indistinguishable from just making a cut and sewing up again.


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        Winston

        As one who suffered a bucket handle tear of a medial meniscus with knee locked at 30 degrees, given instant relief by said procedure, I would say a lot depends on the context of the patients chosen for these kinds of study as to it’s merits. My result, and any population of similar patients selected would give unequivocally positive results. A population of asymptomatic individuals would, I’m certain, give a negative result.

        Just another example is treatment of otitis media in children, where a study showed no appreciable difference in treated or untreated groups re various complications, though the study carefully excluded severe otitis, and significant comorbidity in the children. It also used Amoxycillin as the “gold standard” treatment, even though this particular drug has high levels of resistance in otitis, as well as failing to cover a significant percentage of pathogens anyway due to often mixed infection.

        All GPs know through clinical experience that this drug is useless in otitis media over the 12-18month age group for this reason. The rare but deadly consequences of OM could not taken into account by the study due to sample size( meningitis, mastoiditis, etc), yet it did not stop these researchers coming to the conclusion that all antibiotics are not warranted in all uncomplicated cases of OM. These sweeping generalizations are largely politically motivated and are merely suppositions unsupported by facts, notwithstanding the undoubted over prescription of antibiotics in both the community and hospital setting.


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          AndyG55

          Been there done that, the old keyhole knee op. (Both knees at different times)
          Could barely move for the 2 weeks before the partial menisectomy, was back playing sport 1 week after. Don’t tell me they don’t work.


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            Winston

            Andy,
            The above is precisely what happens when people uncritically read the conclusion of a study, and fail to analyse how they came to their conclusions.My experience is rarely does the methodology warrant the confidence in the conclusions drawn from them, nor does it take much effort to poke holes in the investigators’ often dubious logic.

            Fact is you can prove almost anything with a properly slanted study to suit whatever your particular prejudice requires. A great example of this is the landmark nurses study which received great publicity in its deliberate thinly veiled attempts to discredit HRT as an increase risk for breast cancer, cardiac events and stroke. The preliminary finding was released prematurely and failed to correct for lead time bias and for different forms of HRT used historically. They reported fracture reduction (a positive finding) as monthly rate, while cardiac and cerebrovascular and breast cancer rates as annual rates hoping to hide good data. They avoided publicizing data which showed that Oestrogen only HRT actually lowered breast cancer risk by 30%, and they have failed to publicist that in the 10 years since the release of the preliminary findings that those who took HRT subsequent to the commencement of the trial 30 years ago had NO increased incidence of IHD or CVA at all, while breast cancer risk was only marginally elevated in combined therapy, but had a uniformly better prognosis than those not on HRT, being less aggressive and more likely to be cured.

            Needless to say they accomplished their mission of discrediting HRT and consigning those women suffering from crippling symptoms to suffer needlessly from fear based on biased reporting of a dubiously constructed study.


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        Roy Hogue

        Yes, gbees, the vast majority of medical practices are not supported by solid scientific evidence. But that is not a bad thing.

        What you’re talking about is experience. If there’s ever an opportunity I’ll tell you about a horror story and the success it turned into. Suffice it for now that sometimes success requires taking a long shot, giving it all you have and then waiting to see what happens. Sometimes at the start you don’t know if you can save the patient but you try anyway. No study will tell you anything about these situations. Believe me, I’ve been there and I know.

        Experience brings judgment, the ability to know what to do when the science cookbook says you’ll fail. We’re fast turning into a society that can no longer think through a situation and arrive at good conclusions. Instead we open the book and look for the closest match to the problem. Voila, apply the magic formula and you succeed! Only sometimes you don’t. What then?


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        Hello John. I’m waiting for your appropriate argument based on physics as to why you think I am wrong. Let’s start with common ground, because my paper draws conclusions directly from the Second Law of Thermodynamics as it is stated in Wikipedia “Laws of Thermodynamics” item thus …

        “An isolated system, if not already in its state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously evolves towards it. Thermodynamic equilibrium has the greatest entropy amongst the states accessible to the system.”

        So do we both agree upon this statement as being correct as common ground to start with?

        Anyone else who agrees with the Wikipedia statement, but disagrees with my conclusion is welcome to join in.

        I suggest all read my latest paper and article, and perhaps watch the introductory video, all three of which are linked from my site which you can access by clicking my name.
         


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        Tel

        One of the few surgical procedures to be properly evaluated is one where the knee is opened up and the cartiledge trimmed, and any floating bits of gunk cleaned out. And it turns out that the benefits of this procedure were indistinguishable from just making a cut and sewing up again.

        I had that done, because of an injury that resulted in strangely the knee locking up at random times. It literally locked, but a carefully chosen percussive maintenance strike from the correct angle would usually unlock it, with practice it gets easier to do. After the operation the knee no longer locked up, but it has never been as good as new (put that down to wear and tear I suppose).

        Many years later I found that various Glucosamine-based supplements made my knee joints much springier and more supple and it would be interesting to know if I should have tried those before than the operation (maybe even before the injury), but anyhow you can’t go back.

        With early versions of this operation, they had no visibility until they opened it up and got in there, because x-ray does not show cartilage but in modern times they have magnetic resonance images (MRI) so I would suggest anyone thinking about this at least get an MRI done so you know what you are up against, and maybe try Glucosamine-based supplements just in case they help (well, they can’t hurt, but I guess you might waste your time and money).

        I might point out that as modern humans we don’t eat the whole animal any more, so liver, stomach, tendons, joints, etc all get thrown away, but quite likely our ancestors did eat all that stuff so it isn’t an outrageous concept that a modern diet might be lacking. Go to a Chinese shop and try “shank and tendon soup” it’s very lip smacking, in fact it almost glues your lips together, so it shows that someone has traditionally eaten this stuff.


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    I’m sure no one has ever done a proper double blind trial on people with broken arms – where one group has the arm set, while the other group are just told to carry on and take panadol if the pain becomes unbearable…

    I wouldn’t say that too loudly, if I were you John, around anybody who had to cope with badly injured people following the Christchurch earthquake.


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    Bob Malloy

    Off Topic, Just followed Jo’s link to Quadrant and was met by a page saying firefox warns that this page maybe unsafe, giving me the option to get out of here fast or take the risk and accept the risk.

    I look at Quadrant nearly every day and have never before encounted this screen. Could this just be a glitch or is Quadrant the newest target of those trying to close down free speech.


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      Quadrant and was met by a page saying firefox warns that this page maybe unsafe

      Sounds like you have an add-on like WOT (World of Trust – not) or similar.
      Most sites of a skeptical nature have had similar attacks, eg ACM, Galileo Movement.


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        Roy Hogue

        Bob,

        If you’re using an antivirus product like Norton Internet Security does it try to track safe vs. unsafe sites? That might be another possibility.


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          Tel

          Joe’s link to the site is using “HTTPS” or Transport Layer Security, and quadrant has an expired certificate.

          For a few hundred bucks they can buy a new certificate to make the error go away, or you can just ignore it, or use non-encrypted access and then ASIO will know which parts of quadrant you are reading (hopefully they keep it to themselves).


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    pat

    this case needs to highlight the cost of CAGW alarmism to society. it is not a game:

    21 Jan: Courier Mail: Mark Solomons: Maurice Blackburn’s maps show properties that would have been spared “if dams were properly managed” in 2011 floods
    He (Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale) blamed a “drought mentality” for poor decision-making.
    “We went from a drought mentality to a flood mentality and we couldn’t make the switch,” Cr Pisasale said.
    “Wivenhoe Dam was being used for water storage instead of flood mitigation.”…
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/maurice-blackburns-maps-show-properties-that-would-have-been-spared-if-dams-were-properly-managed-in-2011-floods/story-e6freoof-1226557993142


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      AndyG55

      The really absolutely moronic thing is that they had just built a massively expensive desal plant, and STILL treated Wivenhoe as a water storage. ! DOH !!!


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    Ace

    Jo says:
    “At least in medicine, companies that compete with each other would have an interest in exposing fraud related to competitor’s products”

    I think actually it works the other way around. In dread seriousness (as someone on the wrong end of pharmaceutical misrepresentation, painfully, cripplingly) drug companies have a shared and mutual interest not to rock the boat, not to show each other up and to endeavour to keep any misconduct in their midst under wraps, whoever is responsible in whichever company.Even nominalcompetitors. A cartel situation is not really competition in that sense.

    I am no student of pharmaceutical exposes but I dont recall a single instance of what would be the news-worthy case of one drug company blowing the whistle on another. There is such a thing as honour among thieves.


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    Streetcred

    Treat fraud in research in exactly the same way as in a public / commercial environment … a trial and useful sentence complete with a criminal record. Real consequences will reap results.


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      Streetcred

      Judge in L’Aquila Earthquake Trial Explains His Verdict by Edwin Cartlidge

      He explains that the trial was not against science but against seven individuals who failed to carry out their duty as laid down by the law. The scientists were not convicted for failing to predict an earthquake, something Billi says was impossible to do, but for their complete failure to properly analyse, and to explain, the threat posed by the swarm. Billi ruled that this failure led to the deaths of 29 of the 309 people killed in the quake and to the injuries of four others. “The deficient risk analysis was not limited to the omission of a single factor,” he writes, “but to the underestimation of many risk indicators and the correlations between those indicators.”


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    Jim Hansen, Roy Spencer (and IPCC et al) are all wrong in assuming the atmosphere would be isothermal without GHG. They are all “scientists behaving badly.”

    They are also wrong in assuming that the Sun was capable of warming the surface of Venus, Earth or other planets to the observed temperature which is then maintained by back radiation being supposedly the only process that slows such surface cooling. They forgot that conduction and evaporation also decrease with a narrowing temperature gap.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics is stated (in Wikipedia “Laws of Thermodynamics”) thus …

    “An isolated system, if not already in its state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously evolves towards it. Thermodynamic equilibrium has the greatest entropy amongst the states accessible to the system.”

    If there were to be a sealed cylinder of air which was isothermal, then there would be an “ordered” state with more total energy (PE + KE) at the top. Hence this would not be an equilibrium state, because entropy could increase, and it must. There will only be equilibrium when the sum (PE+KE) is the same at all heights.

    A vertical isothermal state in a gravitational field has less entropy than an isentropic state, the latter having maximum possible entropy, and thus being the equilibrium state as referred to in the Second Law of Thermodynamics as I quoted it above from the Wikipedia “Laws of Thermodynamics’ item. Hence a thermal gradient forms autonomously by diffusion at the molecular level.

    Furthermore, any additional thermal energy deposited at the top can, and will, diffuse towards the bottom, creating a new equilibrium. This means there can be a heat transfer up the thermal gradient if that gradient is equal to or less in absolute magnitude than the normal equilibrium thermal gradient.

    This is how energy absorbed in the Venus (or Earth) atmosphere at any altitude from any source, be it upwelling or downwelling radiation or latent heat release (on Earth) can flow towards the surface, heating the base of the atmosphere and subsequently heating the surface, or “supporting” its existing slightly warmer temperature by slowing the rate of cooling.


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      Greg House

      Doug Cotton says (#32): “…They are also wrong in assuming that the Sun was capable of warming the surface of Venus, Earth or other planets to the observed temperature which is then maintained by back radiation being supposedly the only process that slows such surface cooling. They forgot that conduction and evaporation also decrease with a narrowing temperature gap.”
      =================================================

      …which means that back radiation does slow surface cooling, according to you.

      The problem with that effect of the back radiation on the temperature of the source is that it apparently has not been proven experimentally. Anyway, no warmist I talked to on various blogs was able to present a real experiment confirming that notion. Looks like the “back radiation effect” has no basis in real science and is simply a fiction.


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        Mark D.

        Oh it’s the off topic team slayer……..


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        Greg, yes it does. It is well known that radiation from a cooler source slows that component of cooling of a warmer target which is itself due to radiation. Read my paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” published on a few websites in March 2012 and linked from my website which you can access by clicking my name. Then read the latest paper and article, and maybe watch the video, if you want to learn about the new 21st century paradigm shift in climate change science, which is based on the autonomous thermal gradient resulting from the entropy requirements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. There is absolutely no net warming effect from carbon dioxide, but a significant cooling effect from water vapour, reducing surface temperatures from over 300K back to about 288K.

        Doug Cotton
        Sydney
         


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      Tel

      At least in the case of Venus, the surface is dry, so evaporation does not cool the surface. That makes it a completely different situation to Earth where the majority of the surface is wet. There is speculation that the surface was once liquid long ago, but that is purely a theory with no evidence yet discovered to back it up.

      Also, in the case of Venus, the visible light from the sun does not shine down to the ground because the clouds are too thick, so the radiation mechanism must be fundamentally different than Earth. But then, neither can radiation escape for the same reason.

      Finally, the temperature profile with respect to altitude is not what a simple “greenhouse” theory would suggest because there is a coolest altitude with both above and below being warmer, so whatever mechanism is at work, it is strongly different from Earth.


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        “so evaporation does not cool the surface”

        But conduction does instead. What’s your point? Cool from what temperature?

        My question was how do the POLES of Venus get to over 720K in the first place? Only 1W/m^2 of Solar radiation penetrates the surface, so no more than 1W/m^2 comes out again into the atmosphere, so no more than 1W/m^2 comes back down as radiation.

        But SBL says you’d need over 16,000W/m^2 to maintain a temperature like that.


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    My response to all the above (including Tel’s comment) is in my paper.

    Please read this comment first:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/01/tipping-point-boris-johnson-writes-bravely-maybe-its-the-sun/#comment-1227798
     

     


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    In his comment on 21st Jan. @ 1:43 pm Allen Ford said “ .. At least the physicists are starting to come out of the woodwork, e.g., Salby, Cotton, Johnson, Nasif Nahle .. ”. Three of these are either members of or are/have been closely associated with the blogging group Principia Scientific International and what PSI’s “CEO & Legal Consultant” John O’Sullivan has referred to as “Slayer science” (http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/selected-e-mails-with-slayerspsi.html).

    Contrary to what Allen says, in my opinion Dougy Cotton is no more a “physicist” than I am but does try very hard to give the impression that he is one. Although I don’t see him listed among PSI’s “ .. selection of our valued members .. ” (http://principia-scientific.org/about/why-psi-is-a-private-assoc.html) last March he declared to Dr. Roy Spencer (a real scientist) that he is ” .. proud to be a member of PSI and an author of one of only six selected publications on their site – publications which talk real science, Roy .. ” (http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/global-warming-as-cargo-cult-science/#comment-40081).

    For many months Doug has been spamming the Internet with comments about what he refers to as his “papers”, getting his arguments thrashed over and over again but he keeps bouncing back for more. A comment on Dr. Spencer’s thread summed him up nicely “ .. Will Nitschke says: March 18, 2012 at 8:05 PM I’m not sure what poor Dr Spencer has done in a past life, but he attracts an extraordinary number of cranks to his blog. I suspect Cotton is the crank of all cranks. He must be working his way through every climate blog on the internet until he finally gets banned from them all, just for the nuisance factor alone .. ” (http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/global-warming-as-cargo-cult-science/#comment-39169).

    Yesterday Doug warned me that the “Slayers” have a ground-breaking, greenhouse SMASHING document coming out soon. I remain unconvinced and speculated that this new “ground-breaking .. document” will equally soon be torn to pieces just like his “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” article was on the Tallbloke blog and elsewhere. As David M Hoffer said ” .. I HAVE read enough of your paper to know that it is based on so many fallacies that the criticisms would run longer than the paper itself. As gallopingcamel said upthread, it contains many half truths, the debunking of which is often more complex than dealing with an outright lie. But conclusions based on a collection of half truths are, nonetheless, wrong .. (http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/comment-page-1/#comment-19958).

    Doug’s reaction was to ask me to remove him from my circulation list used for advising “Slayers”/PSI members and others of updates to my blog Global Political Shenanigans.

    If anyone is interested I have added a new “Section 3.14 Member Douglas Jeffrey Cotton” to my SpotlightOn – Principia Scientific International thread (http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/spotlighton-principia-scientific.html) which I invite Doug to look at and advise if I have misrepresented anything. The last thing that I wish to do is mislead others about PSI members.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley


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      I forgot to mention an interesting comment that was posted by Tallbloke during his wasted efforts to educate Doug Cotton QUOTE: .. the reference [14] is to Planck 1922-27 p89.

      Clearly the transfer of energy from a cooler body to a hotter one is compensated by the transfer of energy from the hotter body to the cooler one. So I don’t see any problem with energy being transferred from cooler to hotter by radiation. Obviously, the radiation from the cooler body isn’t going to make the hotter body any hotter than it was, it will slow its rate of cooling according to Planck’s scheme. This is because the hotter body won’t be losing total energy as quickly as it would if the cooler body weren’t there. Again, the above is subject to the proviso that the cooler body is warmer than the ambient surroundings .. UNQUOTE (http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/comment-page-1/#comment-20036).

      Best regards, Pete Ridley


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        Greg House

        Pete (#34.1), I just hope it was not your intention to let Tallbloke’s words look like they were said by Plank.

        Because, Pete, you completely cut out Plank’s words quoted by Tallbloke from Wikipedia and started quoting Tallbloke’s own words with a remark unrelated to his words: “the reference [14] is to Planck 1922-27 p89“.

        I mean, Pete, if it had been intentional, you would have committed a little fraud, but you did not, right?

        Second, the (omitted by you) quote from Wikipedia/Plank absolutely does not support what Tallbloke said (and you quoted). Let us look at it closely. Here is what Tallbloke quoted from Wikipedia (allegedly Plank’s words):

        The second law of thermodynamics requires that the transfer of energy from one body to another with an equal or higher temperature can only occur with the aid of a heat pump by mechanical work, or by some other similar process in which entropy is increased in the universe in a manner that compensates for the decrease of entropy in the cooled body, due to the removal of the heat from it.[14]

        the reference [14] is to Planck 1922-27 p89.

        (This is well known: to pump energy from a colder body to a warmer one requires external work.)

        Now look, what Tallbloke derived from that: “Clearly the transfer of energy from a cooler body to a hotter one is compensated by the transfer of energy from the hotter body to the cooler one. So I don’t see any problem with energy being transferred from cooler to hotter by radiation.” Totally unrelated stuff, absolutely no logical connection. Complete nonsense. You can tell Tallbloke that I said that, if you like.


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          Hi Gregg,
          You are quite correct. I had misread what Tallbloke had posted and thanks for clearing up my misrepresentation. BTW, I don’t do fraud although in my opinion there are far too many involved in this CACC debate who deliberately mislead others.

          Best regards, Pete Ridley


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