Archive for June, 2008

Death by irony

Ok, so this shows some pretty poor taste but I just can’t let it slide. The Herald website’s breaking news column currently shows a story I found at DrudgeReport yesterday (!), in which a teen sadly lost his life at a popular American amusement park… (Italics indicate my emphasis, not the original author’s)

A teenager was decapitated by a roller coaster after he hopped fences and entered a restricted area yesterday at Six Flags Over Georgia, authorities said.

Authorities were investigating reports from witnesses who said the teenager jumped the fences to retrieve a hat he lost while riding the Batman roller coaster.

Guess he won’t be needing that hat now?

A couple more inconvenient truths

Energy Guzzled by Al Gore’s Home in Past Year Could Power 232 U.S. Homes for a Month

Gore’s personal electricity consumption up 10%, despite “energy-efficient” home renovations

Is hypocrisy a sin? I remember the Catholic church added a few more no no’s to the seven deadly sins earlier this year. I know ‘obscene wealth’ was on the list, but IIRC hypocrisy wasn’t. Methinks the church and Gore are both bloody thankful for that omission.

On that, I also note that ‘collaborating with the Nazis’, ‘genocide’ and ‘abetting systematic child abuse’ didn’t make the list either. Lucky for them, hey?

The funniest thing I’ve read in ages

Techmeme served up this story this morning, a pretty interesting piece about how ABC has started letting advertisers take makegood inventory (definition below) from ABC on its ABC.com video player during episodes of specific shows.

A makegood is defined as: Credit given to an advertiser (or advertising agency) by a publication or broadcast medium for an advertisement or commercial spot to make up for an error or unavoidable cancellation on the part of the publication or broadcast medium. The credit is usually in the form of a rerun of the advertisement or commercial.

The main point of the article was that some TV advertisers were being given free digital ad space in lieu of an airtime credit when something went wrong with an ad they had paid for, and in many cases the digital credit was more valuable. This is a pretty new development and one that makes sense for advertisers and the networks – if your TV ad schedule is packed but you have latent digital inventory then it makes sense to give the latter away, regardless of its book value. The alternative – underselling airtime to allow for all the freebies you owe to disgruntled advertisers – is damn costly, and is becoming something of a nightmare for networks battling viewer erosion.

The thing that really grabbed me though, was this fantastic passage mid-way through the article. I’ve maintained for some time that ad execs and their TV counterparts have their heads in their asses, but I never imagined one of them would be stupid enough to state it for the record (albeit anonymously). Of course, I should have known better:

More than a few media executives were astonished that some marketers would agree to [substituting digital makegoods]. “What have we come to?” asks one disgruntled executive. “How can this beat full-screen television? We don’t even know if they can measure the Internet properly, let alone giving us a demographic breakdown.”

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Are you fucking kidding me? Let’s respond to each point in turn, shall we?

“What have we come to?” It’s called the twenty-first century. You might have heard of it? It started about 70 years after the birth of the TV industry, and ten years after the end of the decade you, your colleagues and the entire advertising industry are stuck in (in case you’re still hungover from yesterday’s coke-and-Dom-fueled “lunch”, I’m referring to the 80’s). Were the 90’s that scary? Was grunge so terrible you all just decided “Fuck this, we’re going back to the 80’s. Shoulder pads, Miami Vice and Flock of Seagulls. Woohoo!” If and when you do decide to catch up with the rest of the world, brace yourself: OJ killed somebody but got away with it, Magic Johnson got HIV but it didn’t kill him, America invaded Iraq (twice), Michael Jackson molested a bunch of kids, and to make matters worse they made a Sex and the City movie!

“How can this beat full-screen television?” Um, by being relevant, interactive, measurable and less intrusive. You should give this Interweb-thingy a try sometime, dude – it’s really swell!

“We don’t even know if they can measure the Internet properly, let alone giving us a demographic breakdown.” WTF? Of course we can measure the Internet properly! We can measure everything, that’s what’s so damn cool about the medium! Sure, some analytics tools are better than others, but even the crappy hit counters we used to stick on our FrontPage sites in the 90’s were more accurate than anything the TV networks have. I mean for God’s sake – do any of you know someone with a people meter? Talk about the pot and the fucking kettle!

What the hell, I needed a laugh today. Sweet.

The Myth of Man-Made Global Warming

The following is a transcript of a recent statement by meteorologist John Coleman to the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. Coleman has a PhD in Meteorology and a long, distinguished career in the field. Among other things, he founded The Weather Channel. Bio, credentials etc can be viewed here.

Before anyone launches into the character assassination that typically follows such pieces, please note that a bunch of sheep mindlessly baa-baa-ing “he’s full of shit” does not make for successful discrediting of an author. I also suggest you read this and this and this and this before blindly dismissing the article as an isolated attack from the fringe. You’d be waaaaaaaaaaaay off the mark there, sonny.

I’ve reproduced the statement in its entirety, rather than simply linking to the original article, because it’s just too damn important that you read this. Please do, and encourage your friends to do the same (I don’t give a shit if you send them here, or to the original article).

Note. Italicised portions of the text indicate my own emphasis and not the original author’s.

Global Warming and the Price of a Gallon of Gas
by John Coleman

You may want to give credit where credit is due to Al Gore and his global warming campaign the next time you fill your car with gasoline, because there is a direct connection between Global Warming and four dollar a gallon gas. It is shocking, but true, to learn that the entire Global Warming frenzy is based on the environmentalist’s attack on fossil fuels, particularly gasoline. All this big time science, international meetings, thick research papers, dire threats for the future; all of it, comes down to their claim that the carbon dioxide in the exhaust from your car and in the smoke stacks from our power plants is destroying the climate of planet Earth. What an amazing fraud; what a scam.

The future of our civilization lies in the balance.

That’s the battle cry of the High Priest of Global Warming Al Gore and his fellow, agenda driven disciples as they predict a calamitous outcome from anthropogenic global warming. According to Mr. Gore the polar ice caps will collapse and melt and sea levels will rise 20 feet inundating the coastal cities making 100 million of us refugees. Vice President Gore tells us numerous Pacific islands will be totally submerged and uninhabitable. He tells us global warming will disrupt the circulation of the ocean waters, dramatically changing climates, throwing the world food supply into chaos. He tells us global warming will turn hurricanes into super storms, produce droughts, wipe out the polar bears and result in bleaching of coral reefs. He tells us tropical diseases will spread to mid latitudes and heat waves will kill tens of thousands. He preaches to us that we must change our lives and eliminate fossil fuels or face the dire consequences. The future of our civilization is in the balance.

With a preacher’s zeal, Mr. Gore sets out to strike terror into us and our children and make us feel we are all complicit in the potential demise of the planet.

Here is my rebuttal.

There is no significant man made global warming. There has not been any in the past, there is none now and there is no reason to fear any in the future. The climate of Earth is changing. It has always changed. But mankind’s activities have not overwhelmed or significantly modified the natural forces.

Through all history, Earth has shifted between two basic climate regimes: ice ages and what paleoclimatologists call “Interglacial periods”. For the past 10 thousand years the Earth has been in an interglacial period. That might well be called nature’s global warming because what happens during an interglacial period is the Earth warms up, the glaciers melt and life flourishes. Clearly from our point of view, an interglacial period is greatly preferred to the deadly rigors of an ice age. Mr. Gore and his crowd would have us believe that the activities of man have overwhelmed nature during this interglacial period and are producing an unprecedented, out of control warming.

Well, it is simply not happening. Worldwide there was a significant natural warming trend in the 1980’s and 1990’s as a Solar cycle peaked with lots of sunspots and solar flares. That ended in 1998 and now the Sun has gone quiet with fewer and fewer Sun spots, and the global temperatures have gone into decline. Earth has cooled for almost ten straight years. So, I ask Al Gore, where’s the global warming?

The cooling trend is so strong that recently the head of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had to acknowledge it. He speculated that nature has temporarily overwhelmed mankind’s warming and it may be ten years or so before the warming returns. Oh, really. We are supposed to be in a panic about man-made global warming and the whole thing takes a ten year break because of the lack of Sun spots. If this weren’t so serious, it would be laughable.

Now allow me to talk a little about the science behind the global warming frenzy. I have dug through thousands of pages of research papers, including the voluminous documents published by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I have worked my way through complicated math and complex theories. Here’s the bottom line: the entire global warming scientific case is based on the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels. They don’t have any other issue. Carbon Dioxide, that’s it.

Hello Al Gore; Hello UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Your science is flawed; your hypothesis is wrong; your data is manipulated. And, may I add, your scare tactics are deplorable. The Earth does not have a fever. Carbon dioxide does not cause significant global warming.

The focus on atmospheric carbon dioxide grew out a study by Roger Revelle who was an esteemed scientist at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute. He took his research with him when he moved to Harvard and allowed his students to help him process the data for his paper. One of those students was Al Gore. That is where Gore got caught up in this global warming frenzy. Revelle’s paper linked the increases in carbon dioxide, CO2, in the atmosphere with warming. It labeled CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

Charles Keeling, another researcher at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute, set up a system to make continuous CO2 measurements. His graph of these increases has now become known as the Keeling Curve. When Charles Keeling died in 2005, his son David, also at Scripps, took over the measurements. Here is what the Keeling curve shows: an increase in CO2 from 315 parts per million in 1958 to 385 parts per million today, an increase of 70 parts per million or about 20 percent.

All the computer models, all of the other findings, all of the other angles of study, all come back to and are based on CO2 as a significant greenhouse gas. It is not.

Here is the deal about CO2, carbon dioxide. It is a natural component of our atmosphere. It has been there since time began. It is absorbed and emitted by the oceans. It is used by every living plant to trigger photosynthesis. Nothing would be green without it. And we humans; we create it. Every time we breathe out, we emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is not a pollutant. It is not smog. It is a naturally occurring invisible gas.

Let me illustrate. I estimate that this square in front of my face contains 100,000 molecules of atmosphere. Of those 100,000 only 38 are CO2; 38 out of a hundred thousand. That makes it a trace component. Let me ask a key question: how can this tiny trace upset the entire balance of the climate of Earth? It can’t. That’s all there is to it; it can’t.

The UN IPCC has attracted billions of dollars for the research to try to make the case that CO2 is the culprit of run-away, man-made global warming. The scientists have come up with very complex creative theories and done elaborate calculations and run computer models they say prove those theories. They present us with a concept they call radiative forcing. The research organizations and scientists who are making a career out of this theory, keep cranking out the research papers. Then the IPCC puts on big conferences at exotic places, such as the recent conference in Bali. The scientists endorse each other’s papers, they are summarized and voted on, and viola, we are told global warming is going to kill us all unless we stop burning fossil fuels.

May I stop here for a few historical notes? First, the internal combustion engine and gasoline were awful polluters when they were first invented. And, both gasoline and automobile engines continued to leave a layer of smog behind right up through the 1960’s. Then science and engineering came to the environmental rescue. Better exhaust and ignition systems, catalytic converters, fuel injectors, better engineering throughout the engine and reformulated gasoline have all contributed to a huge reduction in the exhaust emissions from today’s cars. Their goal then was to only exhaust carbon dioxide and water vapor, two gases widely accepted as natural and totally harmless. Anyone old enough to remember the pall of smog that used to hang over all our cities knows how much improvement there has been. So the environmentalists, in their battle against fossil fuels and automobiles had a very good point forty years ago, but now they have to focus almost entirely on the once harmless carbon dioxide. And, that is the rub. Carbon dioxide is not an environmental problem; they just want you now to think it is.

Numerous independent research projects have been done about the greenhouse impact from increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. These studies have proven to my total satisfaction that CO2 is not creating a major greenhouse effect and is not causing an increase in temperatures. By the way, before his death, Roger Revelle coauthored a paper cautioning that CO2 and its greenhouse effect did not warrant extreme countermeasures.

So now it has come down to an intense campaign, orchestrated by environmentalists claiming that the burning of fossil fuels dooms the planet to run-away global warming. Ladies and Gentlemen, that is a myth.

So how has the entire global warming frenzy with all its predictions of dire consequences, become so widely believed, accepted and regarded as a real threat to planet Earth? That is the most amazing part of the story.

To start with global warming has the backing of the United Nations, a major world force. Second, it has the backing of a former Vice President and very popular political figure. Third it has the endorsement of Hollywood, and that’s enough for millions. And, fourth, the environmentalists love global warming. It is their tool to combat fossil fuels. So with the environmentalists, the UN, Gore and Hollywood touting Global Warming and predictions of doom and gloom, the media has scrambled with excitement to climb aboard. After all the media loves a crisis. From YK2 to killer bees the media just loves to tell us our lives are threatened. And the media is biased toward liberal, so it’s pre-programmed to support Al Gore and UN. CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The LA Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press and here in San Diego The Union Tribune are all constantly promoting the global warming crisis.

So who is going to go against all of that power? Not the politicians. So now the President of the United States, just about every Governor, most Senators and most Congress people, both of the major current candidates for President, most other elected officials on all levels of government are all riding the Al Gore Global Warming express. That is one crowded bus.

I suspect you haven’t heard it because the mass media did not report it, but I am not alone on the no man-made warming side of this issue. On May 20th, a list of the names of over thirty-one thousand scientists who refute global warming was released. Thirty-one thousand of which 9,000 are Ph.ds. Think about that. Thirty-one thousand. That dwarfs the supposed 2,500 scientists on the UN panel. In the past year, five hundred of scientists have issued public statements challenging global warming. A few more join the chorus every week. There are about 100 defectors from the UN IPCC. There was an International Conference of Climate Change Skeptics in New York in March of this year. One hundred of us gave presentations. Attendance was limited to six hundred people. Every seat was taken. There are a half dozen excellent internet sites that debunk global warming. And, thank goodness for KUSI and Michael McKinnon, its owner. He allows me to post my comments on global warming on the website KUSI.com. Following the publicity of my position form Fox News, Glen Beck on CNN, Rush Limbaugh and a host of other interviews, thousands of people come to the website and read my comments. I get hundreds of supportive emails from them. No I am not alone and the debate is not over.

In my remarks in New York I speculated that perhaps we should sue Al Gore for fraud because of his carbon credits trading scheme. That remark has caused a stir in the fringe media and on the internet. The concept is that if the media won’t give us a hearing and the other side will not debate us, perhaps we could use a Court of law to present our papers and our research and if the Judge is unbiased and understands science, we win. The media couldn’t ignore that. That idea has become the basis for legal research by notable attorneys and discussion among global warming debunkers, but it’s a long way from the Court room.

I am very serious about this issue. I think stamping out the global warming scam is vital to saving our wonderful way of life.

The battle against fossil fuels has controlled policy in this country for decades. It was the environmentalist’s prime force in blocking any drilling for oil in this country and the blocking the building of any new refineries, as well. So now the shortage they created has sent gasoline prices soaring. And, it has lead to the folly of ethanol, which is also partly behind the fuel price increases; that and our restricted oil policy. The ethanol folly is also creating a food crisis throughput the world – it is behind the food price rises for all the grains, for cereals, bread, everything that relies on corn or soy or wheat, including animals that are fed corn, most processed foods that use corn oil or soybean oil or corn syrup. Food shortages or high costs have led to food riots in some third world countries and made the cost of eating out or at home budget busting for many.

So now the global warming myth actually has lead to the chaos we are now enduring with energy and food prices. We pay for it every time we fill our gas tanks. Not only is it running up gasoline prices, it has changed government policy impacting our taxes, our utility bills and the entire focus of government funding. And, now the Congress is considering a cap and trade carbon credits policy. We the citizens will pay for that, too. It all ends up in our taxes and the price of goods and services.

So the Global warming frenzy is, indeed, threatening our civilization. Not because global warming is real; it is not. But because of the all the horrible side effects of the global warming scam.

I love this civilization. I want to do my part to protect it.

If Al Gore and his global warming scare dictates the future policy of our governments, the current economic downturn could indeed become a recession, drift into a depression and our modern civilization could fall into an abyss. And it would largely be a direct result of the global warming frenzy.

My mission, in what is left of a long and exciting lifetime, is to stamp out this Global Warming silliness and let all of us get on with enjoying our lives and loving our planet, Earth.

What will YOU be doing this July 4th?

Sadly, I’ll still be waiting for this movie to come out. Scheduled for release in the US on their Independence [sic] Day, but I dare say it’ll be ages before we see it here in NZ. As you all know I’m waaaaaaaay to honest and law abiding to do anything so horrible as to download an illegal copy on the Internet (whatever that is). *sigh*

Yeah right! (Sod it – Hunter would understand) No sign of it at The Pirate Bay as yet. Will keep you posted.

Stop! It’s Jimmy the Dwarf

The clip below comes from “Jono’s New Show”, a pretty typical no-budget local show that ran on C4 earlier in the year. As a whole, the show was crap. However…

Want to know the collective term for a group of dwarfs, by the way? A flock of sheep. A murder of crows. A gaggle of geese. A shortage of dwarfs: 🙂

Have a great weekend.

Words you SERIOUSLY don’t want to see in your mail

Sarah just got in from work, having cleared our mailbox on the way home. My sole piece of correspondence had a massive Ministry of Justice seal on it, and when I opened the envelope the first word i saw… SUMMONS in big bold upper-case letters.

What’s next – a plague of locusts?

Thankfully it turns out that the offending word was proceeded by the word JURY, and accompanied by instructions to be at the High Court at a given date and time next month, lest I be torn a new one. Not only am I not dreading jury duty and trying to think of a way to get out of it, I CAN’T FUCKING WAIT!

I’ve always been pretty critical of our jury system. I mean, you’re supposed to be judged by a jury of one’s peers, but all my peers have demanding careers and would never let themselves get sucked in to six weeks’ slog in the jury room for less than minimum wage. The only people with the time and inclination to sit on juries – with the exception of my own sweet self – are old people and the unemployed, and though I hope to be old one day and have endured the odd bout of unemployment in the past would certainly not consider them my peers.

Anyhoo, that’s my big news of the day. Will let you know how I get on, and hopefully have a blow-by-blow for you if I end up being selected. Wish me luck!