For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a warm and safe Christmas, and may 2010 be a year of health, happiness and success for you and your loved ones.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Conspiracy, huh?

Every now and then, some "skeptic" would write that the AGW hoax was a thinly veiled attempt at forming a world government.  They would, of course, be immediately shouted down as conspiracy theorists.

The problem?  Well, Al Gore has said it (video: at 1 min. 10 sec).  Chirac has said it (see last paragraph of his speech). Ban Ki Moon is saying it (second question).  PM Brown is saying it.  Now the Greek PM, Papandreou is saying it.

So much for it just being a "consipracy theory."

Friday, December 18, 2009


It's been a week since I've posted last, but it sure hasn't been for lack of subject matter!  With all the stuff surrounding Copenhagen, there's almost too much to keep up with!

The last little while, though, I've just been feeling tired, tired, tired.  Too tired to write.  Too tired to think clearly.  Too tired to keep on top of things.  It doesn't help that my husband has been ill a lot lately, so I'm rather concerned about him, too.  He's been put on a new cocktail of meds to try and control his blood sugars, since his body has been doing the opposite of what it's "supposed" to do.  So there's a whole new batch of side effects to deal with.  His back gave out on him again, and the pain is so bad it makes him dizzy and nauseous - which just happens to also be some the side effects of his medications.  He just got a refill of meds for his back, which actually do help, but wipes him out.  When he got his refill he was told to take it three times a day, which he's NEVER been able to do.  Just taking one knocks him out for the day, so he tries to take them only just before bed.  The dr. wanted to give him something else for his back, too, but with the side effects of that drug, on top of the side effects of the others, he didn't think that would be a good idea. 
At least these latest drugs are actually covered by his insurance plan, and he doesn't have to pay up front and submit receipts for reimbursal.

Meanwhile, there just doesn't seem to be an end to the things that need to get done, and the way I'm feeling, they just don't get done at all.  We were supposed to take a group photo last weekend, so I could use it to make up a Christmas e-card to send out, which we've been doing every year since moving away from family.  I was assured we'd get it done, but when the weekend came, nothing happened.  We've actually been meaning to get a new group photo for some time now, as the only ones we have are about a year old.  When the time comes, though, it just doesn't happen. 

I still haven't finished putting up Christmas decorations around the house.  I'd intended to make the place look more festive, but just can't seem to gather the energy to do it.  It doesn't help that I seem to be the only one that's even interested, since the tree's been put up.  Eldest did some decorating while I was out with Youngest and did a great job of it, but nothing's been done since.  Well, unless you count taping things to a door to replace something I had to take down.  I've got strings of lights I want to put around windows, but don't have the energy to clamber around shelves, onto chairs, or over counters.  I've got garlands I wanted to hang at various places around the main floor, etc. and it's just not happening.  I tried to get into the spirit of things by playing Christmas music. Thanks to my sister, I even have some Polish carols I remember from my childhood.  My husband, however, has a habit of mocking songs.  He means to be funny, playing around with the lyrics and stuff (and is really quite creative at it), but it totally ruins the songs for me.  I'd rather not play the songs at all than have them lampooned like that.  I get the impression he really, really hates Christmas music.

I need to figure out a menu for our Wigilia dinner.  Every since we've lived in this province, we've been celebrating Wigilia on Christmas Eve instead of Reveillion after midnight, as we'd done at Dh's parents every year before the move.  Today I brought it up, as I need to plan my grocery shopping.  Youngest looked at me blankly, having no idea what I was talking about (I guess she'd forgotten the name?) and Dh "corrected" me by saying "Reveillion?"  How can we have celebrated Christmas with Wigilia for 3 years in a row, and neither of them remembers?

I'm starting to really not look forward to planning the menu.  Eldest and I both would like to try something different.  She'd like to have a fish dish - which would actually be much more traditional, since Wigilia is supposed to be a meatless meal.  I'd have liked to try a goose.  Dh won't eat fish, though, and his reaction when I mentioned a goose was ... less than positive.  More like stunned that I would even suggest such a thing. :-P  I have no idea what Youngest would like, because she doesn't contribute any ideas or opinions at all. I end up feeling like I'm trying to coerce everyone, and it shouldn't be that way.  If I *don't* say anything, though, no one else will step up to the plate.  Sometimes, I feel like we could forget Christmas completely, and no one would notice. 

Bah.  I probably shouldn't write at all when I'm feeling tired like this.  Friggin' depressing.  A good night's sleep and some iron in my blood will probably go a long way to me feeling better about the whole thing. :-P  Not that the problems would go away.  They just wouldn't bug me as much.

Time to see if there's any red meat in the fridge I can eat. ;-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Is Palin the new Bush?

I've noticed something interesting lately. 

While GW Bush was president, he was frequently vilified by the left.  Comparing someone to Bush was almost a standard, knee-jerk insult.  Now that Bush is no longer in office and Obama can do no wrong, there was a gap in evil right wingers to blame on things.

In the past few days, however, I've noticed that Palin's name is being flung about in the same was Bush's was.  I myself was recently "insulted" by being compared to Palin by someone who didn't appreciate my disagreeing with their ACC (anthropgenic climate change) views.  I've seen several other emails, editorials and news articles in the past few days that have similarly cast Palin as the face of Bush-like evil.

Of course, like Bush, Palin's popularity has been increasing, while Obama's has been decreasing. 

So what does that tell us?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Trying to sweep it under the rug...

I've been trying to keep on top of things while running around and preparing for Christmas, among other things.  The news is full of stories about COP15 in Copenhagen, most mindlessly spouting AGW dogma.  The National Post is one of the few papers that's actually calling a spade a spade and pointing out a lot of the hypocrisy of the conference, as well as countering false claims with fact.

As much as many in the warmist camp have been trying, "climategate" isn't going away.  Since it's not going away by ignoring it, a few papers and columnists are trying a different tactic: write about it, but try to sweep it under the rug as being meaningless.

Today, Lyn Cockburn wrote a particularly disgusting column in her attempt to make light of the leaked/hacked documents.  I won't bother touching her attempt to redicule climategate with ridiculous "comparisons" to child abuse scandals, infanticide and WMD's.  I'll just cover some of her closing remarks.

The scientific body of climate research conducted by tens of thousands of scientists from many nations is not in question.
 This is one of the more amusing claims.  The number is always changing, too.  First is was 2000 or 2500 scientists, in reference to the IPCC contributors.  Never mind that the contributers didn't all agree, were specialists in a variety of fields and wrote only on their specialties, that the actual number of scientists putting all these contributions together was about 53 (it wasn't the same number for every report) and the final say was for even fewer people on the IPCC panel who weren't contributors at all, but bureaucrats.  Al Gore recently claimed 4000 scientists, and one commentor defending the "science" of global warming actually said "hundreds of thousands."

To begin with, there aren't that many climate scientests.  I've heard as many as 250 people worldwide are dedicated climate scientists, and that only 8 could be truly considered experts.  There are, of course, many more fields related to climate either directly (ie: meteorology, and specialists studying hurricanes, tornados and the like) or indirectly (ie: geologists, marine biologists, etc.).  Some are in completely different, but useful fields.  Computer modellers, statisticians, economists, etc. all have valuable contributions to make.

The reality is that there are not thousands of scientists conducting climate research (unless you use a very loose definition of what climate research includes), and there has never been a concensus even among those that believe in AGW.  It's also a fallacy to say their research is not in question, because the scientific method itself is based on the questioning of research.  Questioning is the foundation of scientific research, and scientists continue to question even the most basic assumptions, like the laws of physics.  That's what science is supposed to be all about.

In regards to the climategate emails and computer codes, however, it does call to question the work of so-called scientists all over the world, not just inside the CRU.  The CRU data is used by other researchers, so if the foundational data is corrupt, any conclusions drawn from that data is questionable.  As for the other sources, HADCRUT has actually been one of the places that had the least extreme results.  When monthly averages get released, NOAA frequently shows warming greater than HADCRUT.  GISS stations are a serious problem to the point that the raw data suspect, even before homogenization, smoothing, etc. is applied.

Global warming is a reality.

A play on wording that I find irritating.  Of course global warming is a reality.  We're not, however, talking about global warming.  We're talking about anthropogenic global warming.  This is where the controversy reigns.

The danger of greenhouse gas emissions is a reality.
This is one of the more silly claims.  Dispite the EPA trying to have GHG's ruled as dangerous to humanity, this claim is pure BS.  Which greenhouse gas?  Water vapour?  Of course not, but water vapour makes up as much as 95% of GHGs.  Water vapour usually doesn't even rate a mention when GHGs are discussed.  CO2? CO2, which makes up from 2 - 5% of GHG's, has a very limited role in warming.  The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the less effect it has on warming, not more. We've had CO2 levels far higher than they are now, without any negative effect. If anything, we can be viewed as being in a CO2 famine, as rates have rarely been as low as they are now.

How about nitrous oxide? N2O is also known as laughing gas and is frequently used medically.  While potentially dangerous in concentrations as high as are used in operating rooms, atmospheric concentrations are too low to be a concern.

Methane is found in concentrations far lower than CO2, but has many times the effect of CO2.  So it must be a problem, right?  Oops... not quite.  First off, it doesn't stay long in the atmosphere, so any effect it has is short lived.  There's a bit of a mystery, though.  Methane is apparently being released into the atmosphere in far greater amounts - but the atmospheric levels aren't increasing.  They had been steadily increasing for years, but then the numbers stabilized, and have actually started to drop slightly.  Why?  No one really knows.  Either way, it doesn't seem to be having much effect on global climate, one way or another.

Check out the United Kingdom Meteorological Office, which has just released data from more than 1,300 weather stations around the world showing that the globe is getting warmer.

This is probably the most laughable claim.  Did anyone expect them NOT to claim the world is getting warmer? Or that it isn't warming even faster than expected?  Never mind that the last couple of years have seen record cold temperature around the world.  Of course, looking at the code revealed by climategate, we know exactly why they can make those claims.  Their software is designed to do nothing else.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

CTV poll question

About half way down the CTV news page and on the right is this poll question...

Should Canada put its climate change policy on hold due to information gleaned from the 'ClimateGate' emails?

At the time of this writing, there have been 1627 votes, with 966 (59%) saying yes and 661 (41%) saying no.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A little bit more...

Finally have a chance to sit down and write a bit more about the Munk debate.

There hasn't been a lot in the MSM about the debates, and "climategate" is still barely rating mention.  There are a few columnists and the National Post that will talk about it without trying to sweep the whole thing under the carpet.

In thinking about the debate (which I'll have to go back and watch agan, now that it's up on the Munk Debates website, so I can hear what Lawson was saying), I'm thinking the debaters exemplified my thoughts on logic and emotion, and the role they play in AGW alarmist/skepticism.

May and Monbiot argued from almost purely emotional viewpoints.  May did attempt to use facts and figures, but they were pure BS (more on that later).  I still can't say for Lawson, but Lomborg's position was almost pure logic.  While I disagree with his premise that AGW is real and a problem, I have no disagreement with his including climate change in his top 10 list of things we need to deal with, since adapting to climate change - warm or cold - is something we humans will always need to deal with.

I found a few of May's statements ludicrous.  For example, at one point she claimed to have followed up every single reference used in Lomborg's book and found them to all be wrong.  Every single one.  Ridiculous!  The only way that could be possible is if she allowed her own personal bias to reject any source or information that disagreed with her own conclusions.  She also tried to get all scientific in talking about the bubbles in ice cores (irritating, in that she sounded like she was talking down to the audience, as if they were children, or mentally difficient, but that could be just her speech mannerisms), and went on to claim that CO2 levels have never been this high in a million years.  Pure fallacy.  Rarely in the earth's history have CO2 levels been as LOW as they are now, and the last million years have been a slow drop, not an increase (with a few blips in each direction along the way).  Of course, there are plenty of sites that claim otherwise, but I've noticed that they are also predominantly sites that promote AGW alarmism already (ie: Wikipedia, Science and Nature magazines, and the like).  Of course, that works on the assumption that CO2 drives temperature which, again, is a false assumption.  As our technology improved and we could study various core data (ice, ocean sediments, etc), we see that CO2 is as likely likely to follow as lead, and there's very little correlation between CO2 and temp, and even less causation.

Monbiot was the champion as using the emotional arguement.  Well spoken, amiable and friendly looking, he finished off his portion of the debate with a dramatic experience of his.  In a nutshell, a Kenyan village he was supposed to visit but didn't because he ended up in the hospital got massacred, which was discovered when he finally did make it out there.  98 people were murdered, their bodies left for the hyenas.  He claims that this was done by people made desperate by a severe 4 yr drought that was "almost certainly" caused by global warming, and that this incident was the turning point for him to fight AGW.

Lets take a look at this "logic." 

First, he's assuming that the drought was caused, not just by global warming, but human induced global warming.  Because somehow, there's a difference (assuming we're actually causing any warming at all).  This implies that, if the world weren't warming, the drought wouldn't have happened.  Which also implies that, if things were cooler, there would be no drought.

Second, he blames these drought conditions for the atrocity committed by people.  If there were no drought, he implies, people wouldn't be desperate enough to kill each other.  (I noticed that, while he mentioned the villagers were cattlemen, he didn't mention if their murderers actually took the cattle, or anything else for that matter.)  No drought, no attrocities.

I happen to live in a fairly northern part of the prairies, which are typically pretty dry to start with.  We're a whole heck of a lot colder than Kenya.  We've also been experiencing drought for the last 10 years.  I haven't noticed any gangs of desperate people toting AK47's going around killing people (though we certainly have had our share of murders).  Why?

Well, for starters, I'm in Canada, where even our poor have more personal wealth than most people in third world countries.  We have a comparitively stable government and rule of law.  Canadian culture also doesn't accept AK47 toting gangs going around slaughtering entire villages.  Our desperate farmers are being forced to sell their breeding cattle because they can't afford to feed them - and those animals are going to slaughter, rather than another breeding operation.  People are losing their homes and farms, going into debt, declaring bankruptcy, and a few truly desperate commit murder-suicide.  Instead of killing other people, they kill their own families, and then themselves.

Monbiot would have us believe that, if we combate climate change, stop global warming (a questionable goal in itself) and cool down the earth (yeah... cause my garden did so well this past cold summer... NOT), there will be no more severe droughts, and therefore no more attrocities.

Pure emotionalism.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Munk Debates done - UPDATE

I just finished watching and listening to the Munk Debate. The poll results are still coming in, so the numbers are continually changing, but it looks like the pro side got a higher precentange, and the best debaters were rated as Monbiot, Lomborg, Lawson and May, in that order.*

My thoughts on the debate itself:  I can't say I was satisfied with it, but then, I'm not happy with the debate question in the first place, which was "Be it resolved that climate change is mankind's defining crisis, and demands commensurate response."  Personally, I would have prefered a debate on the science behind AGW/climate change.

Lawson wasn't particularly articulate, which was a bit disappointing.  Lomborg, as usual, was quite articulate.  He knows how to put his thoughts out understandably.  Monbiot did, too.  May was... well, her usual self.  There was a bit of a shouting match between her and Lomborg at one point.  Lomborg had cut her off to argue against something she had just said and the moderator had to shut them both down and give them a time out.  Lomborg sat down again, but May kept shouting, with that infamous finger pointing, long after her mic was shut off.

In general, the debate went over all right.  The moderator did his job and kept things going.  The speakers all went a little off topic.  I felt Lomborg kept things tightest on target.

What I found the most interesting, however, was the live discussion beside the screen.  There were several people commenting, plus people watching could send in comments, which may or may not get posted.  There was an obvious bias to the pro side going on!  A couple of commentors were constantly sending belittling remarks (did they really think climategate wouldn't be mentioned??) against Lawson and Lomborg.  Of the allowed viewer comments, if the ones I made where any example, they were extremely selective and biased as to what they allowed to be shown. Again, biased to the pro side.  There were a few people that I think were supposed to represent the balanced other view, but if they were, they didn't do a good job of it.

There were a number of claims made that I found questionable, such as May's data claiming catastrophic results if CO2 levels and temps were allowed to go any higher.  Monbiot told of a rather harrowing event in Kenya that he blamed on drought caused by global warming, which I find questionable to the extreme.  The assumption would be that, if there were no drought, people wouldn't take AK47's and murder entire villages.  Who knew that ending atrocities was as simple as controling the earth's temperature? :-/

Lomborg was very clear that he believed that climate change is a problem that needs to be dealt with, but that there are other things that would more useful to attend to first, like food scarcity, education for girls, etc.  Lawson, I'm afraid, I couldn't make out very well.  I have trouble hearing words that aren't articulated clearly (there's even a name for it, I've found out - Auditory Processing Disorder), and I'm afraid most of what he said, my brain heard as little more than gibberish.  I literally could not hear what he was saying (I had the same problem, though not as severely, when May spoke).  I'm going to have to see if there's a transcript later on.

* regarding the poll numbers, they stopped collecting them very quickly - and I noticed that it was stopped when the pro side was at a higher, rather than lower, point (it was fluctuating from about 63% to 74% pro).  At closing, it's at 72% pro, 27% con.  Interestingly, the running tally under the player reads 59% pro, 41% con.

I'll probably post more on this later, but I need to get off the computer.

UPDATE: Okay, something is fishy here.  I went back to the Munk Debate site to look something up and noticed the running tally votes have changed.  Now they read:
Pro: 922 votes (60%)  Con: 612 votes (40%)

At the end of the debate, when I originally posted, it had read:
Pro: 680 votes (59%) Con: 470 votes (41%)

Is the vote is still open (since I voted during the debate, I can't see if it is or isn't)?  It was strange enough that the running tally was accepting votes before the debate even started, but they're still taking votes while the debate is long over?