When intelligence is trumped by gullibility.

Regular reader of this organ will have realised that our assertion is freedom to choose and follow (or not follow) a religion is a very important principle, with the only caveat that doing so doesn’t impact on others’ freedom to live.

Therefore, if one chooses to believe that your prophet visited the moon on the back of a winged horse, you are most welcome to. If, however, you also believe that you must slaughter non-believers, we’re going to disagree quite robustly.

It could be argued and has been by various parties that not believing in a creator is also an act of faith; proving a negative is a particularly difficult task after all.

There are those who feel that a belief in something for which you have little to no proof other than the word of a third party (i.e. the definition of “faith”) is a form of mental illness. There’s certainly an argument to be made there but, given that existential questions of creation are unlikely to be solved to a high degree of scientific proof and we’d need to solve the problem of infinite regression, we all live with that unresolved internal discussion. We generally function on a day to day basis however.

Some religious adherents clearly are suffering from a dangerous delusion though and are a danger to themselves and/or others. When your religious beliefs require you to act out the crucifixion on Easter weekend, self-flaggelate for Ashura, murder Cathars for having the wrong version of Christianity or fly planes into tower blocks, there’s clearly a problem of the mind that is impacting physical reality.

Consider then what mental illness might look like from an atheist regressive progressive point of view;

New York lawyer self-immolated in protest against climate change.

Full disclosure; I have no evidence of what David Buckel’s religious views were at the point of death but, given his acceptance of two of the key tenants of the Cultural Marxist agenda and the extremely rare instance of anyone only believing one or two of the dozen or so must-believe doctrines, we’re guessing he didn’t believe in a creator.

Chances are he probably said, “Oh God” or “Jesus fucking Christ” at some point quite soon after flicking the flint on the Zippo though.

Bill’s Opinion

Unless he was an extremely modest polymath, it’s a safe assumption that the gay and trans rights lawyer David Buckel did not have a full and detailed understanding behind the science of climate change.

Yet he’d fully-accepted the impending doom of climate change as a solid fact based only on the testimony of third parties, like an illiterate peasant in medieval Britain blindly following the village Priest’s encouragement to join the crusades to liberate Jerusalem from heathen rule.

Perhaps he was suffering from an underlying mental illness, but perhaps the religiosity of the climate change pantechnicon and its followers is indistinguishable from religion?

Either way, the outcome is that he’s toast.

What’s not being said here?

Ellen McArthur, the legendary solo circumnavigator is leading a campaign against plastic pollution in the oceans.

Hopefully she’s not another of these Cultural Marxists who dislike inconvenient facts.

Oh, wait;

 

Is that correct? Did the massive global whaling industry stop because we ran out of whales?

Or… was it made uneconomical in the face of the new advances in refining crude oil? Whale oil became an expensive and smelly product compared to the much cheaper products of Standard Oil.

Yes, that’s right; J. D. Rockefeller should take the credit for saving the whale.

Let’s see what else she’s confused about;

Yes, that’s probably not wasted effort but, does it agree with what our old friend the Pareto distribution tells us? i.e. are we getting the biggest bang for buck, have we targeted the largest sources of pollution first?

The article is silent on this. There’s actually no figures about where the pollution comes from mentioned in the article at all, which seems strange if we’re serious about the desired outcome of preventing the plastic entering the ocean, surely we’d need to know where and who to target first?

In fact, one has to sift through several pages of comments (I wouldn’t recommend this; the Grauniad comments section has its own DSM-5 category) until we find a lone voice of reason…. which everyone else ignores!

Bill’s Opinion

90% of the plastic pollution comes from just 10 rivers. Depending on your definition of what constitutes a major river, there’s about 165 major rivers emptying into the oceans. There’s that Pareto rule again…..

If we are serious about halting the suffocation of the oceans, perhaps we should be working with China, India and the countries of North and West Africa to find ways to reduce their reliance on one-time use plastic. Don’t expect a journalist at the Grauniad to ask difficult questions like that though.

The Gordian knot of climate modelling

Australian climate scientists have built a computer simulation model to predict sea level rises in a variety of scenarios.

The headline result is a 1.32m rise in mean global sea levels by 2100, if no further progress is made in reducing CO2 emissions.

One of the more frustrating aspects of climate science is the dearth of rational, respectful discussion of predictions such as this. Climate Change has become a hugely-polarising subject, where either side of the debate shout into their respective echo chambers.

To even ask the questions we will pose below is to risk being labeled “anti science” or the deliberately provocative “denier” (provocative because we all know the only other instance that noun is regularly used).

We will pose some questions nonetheless, if for no other reason than to have it on record in the WayBackMachine that there were some who were somewhat sceptical of the accuracy of the computer models.

Questions which might be interesting to learn the answers to;

1. This latest computer model makes a prediction of sea level rises based on the computer models of other climate scientists which predict global temperature rises. Therefore to accept the 1.32m computer prediction, one must also completely accept the results of the other computer model. What has been the track record of the methodology employed by that computer model compared with observations?

2. What has been the long term trend of sea rises (or falls) and is there precedent for such a rapid rise as predicted by the computer model? If so, did this rise precede or follow a rise in atmospheric CO2?

3. What was the observed impact to life on the planet during this previous period of rising sea levels?

4. The conclusion of the report is that a 1.32m sea rise is probable by 2100 if no further improvements are made to reducing global CO2 emissions. Given that the majority of people who are alive today may not be alive by 2100, which is the more logical course of action; hobbling the global economy, particularly nations transitioning from mainly agrarian economic models and thus slowing the rate of relief from desperate poverty for their populations, OR planning for a gradual transition of populations from low-lying coasts?

Bill’s Opinion

To accept the narrative that we must deliberately slow economic growth to protect the environment requires us to believe several, increasingly unlikely propositions in serial, namely;

1. That the climate is changing.

2. That this climate change is predominately due to an increase in atmospheric CO2.

3. The climate change will be catastrophic for the planet.

4. That, by halting or severely reducing CO2 emissions, the change to the climate can be halted or retarded to a “safe” level.

5. That this halting of emissions can be achieved by governmental policy.

6. That, despite no historical evidence of any similar agreement and implementation ever occurring before in human history, enough global consensus will be achieved that the previous 5 statements are correct and what the precise mitigating action should be.

Anyone familiar with betting parlance will understand that what we’ve just described above is an accumulator. They will also know why these don’t pay out very often.

All roads lead to climate change

This is quite interesting;

“The mainland version of the Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) became extinct due to climate change between 8,000 to 3,000 years ago.”

The media reports loudly proclaim that the paper published in the Journal of Biogeology ($6 to rent) suggests that the mainland population was killed off by the ESON, or El Niño/Nina cycle.

Now this may well be a very sound scientific conclusion drawn from the 51 samples examined. However, there are some shaky steps in the logic to end at this proposition.

There are two main differences quoted in the article between the mainland and the island of Tasmania;

1. No dingoes (wild dogs)

2. Reduced human activity

Reduced human activity refers to a well-documented decline in knowledge of tools and techniques for the population of humans remaining in the island once it split from the mainland. Fishing, for example, reduced considerably over the centuries after the land bridge was lost; the theory being that there wasn’t the critical mass to maintain certain specialist activities such as hook-making, especially if the one hook maker died without training an apprentice.

There’s some other evidence worth considering.

 

With those factors considered and remembering that the simplest answer is likely to be the correct one, is it really credible that the regular oscillation in high and low pressures wiped out the mainland version of the thylacine given that they’d survived it many times previously?

Or is it more likely that they were displaced as the apex predator on the continent by a two-legged one with technology capable of making hunting weapons?

Bill’s Opinion

As with all news these days, it’s always useful to do your own research and attempt to examine the source, rather than the spin.

In this case, the answer is in the summary of the original study;

we suggest that climate change, in synergy with other drivers, is likely to have contributed to the thylacine mainland extinction

That’s somewhat couched language compared to the headlines in the media reports on the study, isn’t it? It’s perfectly reasonable to consider, when expressed that way, that a shift in weather might be a contributing factor to an already stressed population competing with an intelligent and organised group of hunters.

There’s clearly a climate change agenda being pushed with those media reports, but should we ascribe mendacity to the study’s authors?

Probably not, but one wonders whether there was perhaps a hint of a hope that, by using the climate change dogwhistle, they might be future beneficiaries of the gravy train that is climate change research grants?

Believe the action not its promise

China joined the club of countries vowing to ban diesel and petrol vehicles. France and Britain have made similar assertions.

In typically hubristic European style, the French and Brits even put a date by which it would happen… in both cases, at least 5 general elections’ time. To quote the pederast Keynes again, “in the long run, we’re all dead”.

China have been a little more circumspect; “in the near future“, was the inscrutable statement. By an amazing coincidence, this is precisely the timetable parents the world over offer in response to the question, “when can I have a pony?“.

Let’s assume the Chinese are going to follow the Anglo-Franco timetable and bring the ban in for 2040. What are the possible outcomes?

1. Automobile manufacturers will fast-track any existing R&D projects that will result in hydrogen/electric/cow manure cars in time to sell in 2040 at the same price or cheaper than the equivalent petrol/diesel vehicle… and they are successful.

2. Ditto (1) but they are unsuccessful; the cars don’t go as fast, far or cost more.

3. The current R&D projects are already due to complete well before 2040.

Looking at these in a not so random order;

Option (1) is all good, win/win for everyone and even the planet, with the not minor assumption that the Chinese can produce electricity without recourse to those pesky fossil fuels by then, otherwise we’ve just centralised the pollution.

Option (3) is pretty good for everyone too, but would suggest that government mandates don’t drive innovation, markets do.

Option (2) is a bit of a problem though, depending on the type of commitment made. In a country with a properly-functioning rule of law, there might be some delicate unwinding of legislation made by politicians who may be long departed to the retirement home or their final destination (presumably carried by eco-friendly hearses) .

If there’s a compelling feet to the fire type of commitment in place or an ideological bent to the governing party when the 2040 New Year’s Eve light show (the emissions from fireworks will surely be banned by then) happens, we might see some subsidies/tariffs/taxes given or imposed to get to that stated goal. i.e. more government intervention due to a “market failure“.

Bill’s Opinion

Originally, this part of today’s post was going to quote the story of the Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894. The trouble is, upon further research, it looks like that might have been horseshit and was most likely to be an urban myth.

But perhaps there is still a lesson to be learned from the invention of the car?

Consider the major steps in the development of human transport:

  1. Human power – we could only move as fast and as efficiently as our own bodies.
  2. Horse power – we could only move as fast and as efficiently as horses or other beasts of burden.
  3. Steam power – we could only move as fast as a steam engine powered by coal could drive us.
  4. Refined fuel power – we could only move as fast as a petrol engine could drive us.

Those last 3 steps weren’t invented as a response to a crisis but as an innovation to realise an opportunity.

The hope that innovation will be sparked as a result of creating a purely false crisis (i.e. a new law) is not supported by strong historical evidence. Perhaps opportunity drives innovation more often than crisis?

 

 

When you’re right, you’re right about everything

Consider this article in the Sydney Morning Property Advertiser.

Peter Hannam points out that the people of Houston bear a greater responsibility than most for this particularly disaster (10 dead at the time of writing this) because Houston hosts the headquarters or significant operations of several major oil and gas companies.

At the risk of over-simplifying his sophisticated and nuanced point, the flow of logic goes thus;

– The climate is changing catastrophically

– This hurricane was mainly caused by this catastrophic change in climate

– Human activity (burning fossil fuel) is mainly responsible for the catastrophic change in climate

– Houston is a major centre for the production of fossil fuel

– Therefore, everyone in Houston deserves this (un)natural disaster, including the 10 dead people, presumably

One wonders whether Peter has realised that this is the environmentalist equivalent of the Westboro Baptist Church loudly picketing funerals of fallen soldiers? Love the sinner, hate the sin, anyone?

Let’s look at the flow of logic again. We’ll ignore the first one as there are plenty of resources on the internet where we could debate away whether it’s true or not.

The second statement is easy to prove or disprove; the data from the Hurricane Research Division of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory of the United States can be found here. 1886 saw the most land-falling hurricanes, 1950 had the most major hurricanes.

Let’s leave aside the third statement for the same reason we avoided the first.

There’s little point debating whether or not Houston or Texas as a whole is or isn’t an oil and gas hub, just ask JR Ewing.

So, the last point; did everyone in Houston deserve this weather event? Of course not, there are many people living there who have never made their living from fossil fuels, including children, obviously.

In the meantime, one assumes that Peter has never benefited from anything manufactured from plastic, heated or cooled his home, worn nylon, taken an overseas holiday, driven a car or taken a taxi, etc. because he would obviously have to be considered as having the blood of 10 Houstonians on his hands, wouldn’t he?

Bill’s Opinion

Peter Hannam is an ambulance-chasing, virtue-signalling cunt who believes that his position on climate change justifies an extreme lack of human compassion.

See also Paul Ehrlich.