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Scepticism’s limits

Posted on December 13th, 2009 at 9:53 by John Sinteur in category: News


So, after hours of research, I can dismiss Mr Eschenbach. But what am I supposed to do the next time I wake up and someone whose name I don’t know has produced another plausible-seeming account of bias in the climate-change science? Am I supposed to invest another couple of hours in it? Do I have to waste the time of the readers of this blog with yet another long post on the subject? Why? Why do these people keep bugging us like this? Does the spirit of scientific scepticism really require that I remain forever open-minded to denialist humbug until it’s shown to be wrong? At what point am I allowed to simply say, look, I’ve seen these kind of claims before, they always turns out to be wrong, and it’s not worth my time to look into it?

Well, here’s my solution to this problem: this is why we have peer review. Average guys with websites can do a lot of amazing things. One thing they cannot do is reveal statistical manipulation in climate-change studies that require a PhD in a related field to understand. So for the time being, my response to any and all further “smoking gun” claims begins with: show me the peer-reviewed journal article demonstrating the error here. Otherwise, you’re a crank and this is not a story.

And then I’ll probably go ahead and try to investigate the claim and write a blog post about it, because that’s my job. Oh, and by the way: October was the hottest month on record in Darwin, Australia.

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  1. Well, looking back at the hacked emails scandal, if those emails were real, then the data has been falsified consistently, and admittedly because they couldn’t find the warming.

    Mind you, I don’t deny climate-change.
    But now there is a big leak in the boat, and the climate change supporting scientist have successfully lost a lot of credibility.
    And the credibility of the peer-reviewed-journals.

  2. What I saw didn’t show falsification. It showed brainstorming to try to understand the data … which was presented by the post-hack spinmeisters as falsification, since they don’t seem to understand the process of “how can we understand this voluminous data” including some unfortunate gaps in historical records. Brainstorming involves loose language and lots of ideas that don’t work out. The goal is to throw out enough ideas that some good ones eventually surface.

    The whole point of the breakins is to create ways to attack credibility, that’s true, and there are media who are willing to do so regardless of the facts at hand.

    What’s sad is that not only is so much of the so-called “analysis” just frankly credulous anti-science reportage… but the folk being credulous are not even considering the crimes (this hack, break-ins, thefts from those Canadian researchers) and motivations on the part of the folk who are attacking science. On one side, clear criminal behavior. On the other side, creative intellectual processes at work.

  3. Well the “I can’t find the warming” and “removed some data to match the expected” sounds like, you know..
    And then next week a bunch of scientific institutions stated that “yes, that group has bad data, and we don’t ever use their data for our own researches, because we don’t trust their data” which actually gave more credibility to the accusations.

    But actually it won’t have consequences. Those who never believed, won’t believe in the future.
    Those who believed will believe in the future. And those who are not convinced, won’t be convinced.
    Storm in a chamber pot.

Ringing of the Bells

Posted on December 13th, 2009 at 9:28 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!

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Cash from organized crime ‘rescued’ banks during crisis

Posted on December 13th, 2009 at 8:42 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


drugmoney Cash from organized crime rescued banks during crisis: UN officialThe vast majority of an estimated $352 billion in proceeds of organized crime, mostly from the drug trade, was funneled through the global banking system during the financial crisis of the past two years, and in some cases, the money rescued banks from collapse, says the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Antonio Maria Costa told the UK Observer that intelligence agencies and prosecutors alerted him 18 months ago to evidence that drug money was being “absorbed into the financial system.”

“In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital,” Costa said. “In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor.”

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How To Make The World’s Easiest $1 Billion

Posted on December 13th, 2009 at 8:34 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


So here’s how to make the world’s easiest $1 billion:

STEP 1: Form a bank.

STEP 2: Round up a bunch of unemployed friends to be “bankers.”

STEP 3: Raise $1 billion of equity. (This is the only tricky step. And it’s not that tricky. See below.*)

STEP 4: Borrow $9 billion from the Fed at an annual cost of 0.25%.

STEP 5: Buy $10 billion of 30-year Treasuries paying 4.45%

STEP 6: Sit back and watch the cash flow in.

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Beck – Not So Mellow Gold

Posted on December 13th, 2009 at 8:30 by John Sinteur in category: News

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Beck – Not So Mellow Gold
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

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