Mercurius’ Rules from Larvatus Prodeo

[voice over of Narrator from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Movie]  “Long ago and far away there existed a a fascinating blog originating in Australia named Larvatus Prodeo. And then it didn’t exist. And then it did. And now it doesn’t again.”don__t_panic_wallpaper_by_vantaj-d4fgo87

Actually it’s in archive state, which means it’s probably not staying active in trends etc. So I’ve resurrected a charming bit posted originally by Mercurius, called “The Rules”.

This bit of satire easily demonstrated the tactics in play at the time. The movie “An Inconvenient Truth” was still fresh in people’s minds, the Climategate affair was underway but not yet public. And a pivotal moment for global action to save civilization from itself was just a few months away. While we knew that some millions of dollars were flowing from the fossil fuel industry to professional disinformation campaigns, we still did not have evidence of the Exxon Mobil involvement, nor the amount of activity coming from the Koch brothers.

I’ve taken the liberty of adding some “pictorial” commentary. Thanks to Glen Welch and the Fallacy Ref page for the extra material. Can you Imagine a Fallacy Ref attempting to keep track and stop all the fallacies in this one little bit of prose? This of course was 2009, just as the Denial campaign was getting into full swing.

For your reading pleasure, here are:

 The rules

Hello world. It’s your friendly neighbourhood denialist here. Look, we need to talk. I think we got off on the wrong foot. You’ve got me all wrong. I’m really an open-minded guy. All I’m asking for is evidence of your AGW claims. Surely that’s not too much to ask?

And please note, that when I say evidence, I mean:

Ref - Continuum Fallacy1) Nothing that was recorded by instruments such as weather-stations, ocean buoys or satellite data. Since all instruments are subject to error, we cannot use them to measure climate.

Ref - Nirvana Fallacy2) Nothing that has been corrected to account for the error of recording instruments. Any corrected data is a fudge. You must use only the raw data, which is previously disqualified under rule #1. Got that? OK, moving along…

Ref - Goalpost move3) Nothing that was produced by a computer model. We all know that you can’t trust computer models, and they have a terrible track record in any industrial, architectural, engineering, astronomical or medical context.

Ref - Cherry PickingRef - Troll4) Nothing that was researched or published by a scientist. Such appeals to authority are invalid. We all know that scientists are just writing these papers to keep their grant money.

Ref - Proof ReversalSee? I’m a reasonable guy. I’m perfectly open to being convinced by real evidence — you know, the kind that doesn’t rely on scientific instruments, or corrected data, or computers, or results recorded by other scientists. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and I’m sure you’d agree that any evidence which meets my criteria would be extraordinary indeed.

Ref - False EquivalencyAnd before you accuse me of hypocrisy, I apply all these rules to myself. For example, I have perfectly good evidence that the ETS will destroy the economy. I haven’t relied on any measurements, or projections, or the advice of economists in making this prediction. Therefore my evidence for this prediction of economic doom is water-tight. (On a related note, how can you predict the climate next decade when you can’t predict the weather next week? And did you know I can predict economic doom from the ETS next year, even though I can’t predict the stock market tomorrow?)

Before I go, here are some corollaries that devolve from the above 4 rules:

Ref - Argument from FallacyA) Any previous errors in climate science are automatic proof that new data is also wrong. For example, if you produce results which show a reduction in ice coverage, or a warming of ocean temperatures, all I have to do is shout ‘Hockey Stick!’ and the new data is instantly dispelled.

Ref - Goalpost moveRef - Nirvana FallacyB) So, before I will accept your new data, it must retrospectively correct any errors in past data, and erase them from the space-time continuum as though they never occurred. Furthermore, if you do manage to perform this feat, your data will be invalid because corrected data is disqualified under rule #2.Ref - Spotlight Fallacy

Ref - Ad HomC) Al Gore is a big fat hypocrite and a liar and a fraud who jets around the world and has a big house and eats puppies for breakfast. And will you please stop the ad hominem attacks on Ian Plimer?

D) Will somebody, please, somewhere, anywhere, address the science in Ian Plimer’s book? I mean, surely that’s not too much to ask? Ref - YogiismRef - Argument from SilenceBy the way, anybody who addresses the science in Ian Plimer’s book is just a nit-picker who hasn’t addressed the main issue.

E) Please, spare me your conspiracy theories. It’s not my fault that AGW is a giant hoax perpetrated by Big Green to take over the world in a socialist plot.Ref - echo chamberI’m just trying to uncover the truRef - Bandwagonth here, with the assistance of a lot of commentators, media personalities, corporate executives and hired scientists who just happen to share similar political views to my own.

Ref - TrollF) Your position is based on religious faith, not on the science. I can tell because you pay attention to Ref - False AttributionRef - Non-Central Fallacythe scientific instruments, the corrected data, the computer models and the writings of published scientists, instead of what I know, deep in my heart to be the truth: that AGW is a giant hoax and a fraud.

Ref - Ergo DecedoConfusedG) If you ever refuse to debate with me, that is proof that your position is untenable, you’re frightened of the truth and you don’t have the evidence. Ref - Neutral Zone

Ref - ClickbaitRef - Red HerringAnd, by the way, when will Burt Newton respond publicly to the claims that he’s a trans-gender vampire who was regenerated in a vat from a single hair of Vlad the Impaler? His silence on this issue is telling…


ConfusedRef - SpreadingRef - Slippery SlopeRef - Out of ContextRef - Occams RazorRef - False EquivalencyRef - False DichotomyI’m so glad we could have this chat. I’m sure if we can just conduct this discussion using the rules and corollaries above, it will be an enlightening and fruitful enterprise that is well worth the time and effort of everybody involved.

Ref - RepetitionI look forward to having this debate, at every opportunity, on every forum, on every website, from now until the end of time.Confused

I give upYours truly,

The Marquess of Queensbury


American Petroleum Institute Voting Record Grid

The Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act would broadly define price manipulation and include heavy fines/penalties for infractions.

Fascinating… did you know that the American Petroleum Institute has a voting guide for Congressional Representatives and Senators? You can find it at the link above. I also find the idea that the preferred voting position for the Price Gouging Prevention Act was “NO”… as if avoiding Price Gouging was a bad idea for Americans…

Fancy that…. Take a look at the site… try sorting along party lines and see if you can guess how the vote breaks out. LOL.

Posted via web from TweetingDonal’s Temporary Insanities

FOOTPRINT? How to adjust the size of your stompers!

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A stomper

A stomper

There are lots of words being tossed around by people who claim to know how to fix things. Some of the words were invented by scientists to describe something they were seeing. Some were borrowed by people trying to explain what they meant. The result is confusing to nearly everyone who isn’t in the middle of the conversation. One of the most popular terms is something about “your ____ footprint”.  That blank spot is where you insert words like ‘carbon’, or ‘water’, or ‘power’ or… you get the idea.

What do we mean by “footprint”?

We are all travelers here.  As we pass through our world, our lives leave footprints, marks on our world that said we were here. Your passage leaves a trail of damage that the planet must repair so that those that come behind you (like your children) will have somewhere to travel.

These “footprints” come in different sizes.

If you are American, or from one of the more advanced countries, you’ve been encouraged to leave elephant sized footprints. Your government, the businesses you deal with, and sometimes even your family has encouraged you to stomp around and use up as much as you can, as if it were a contest. Remember the “the one with the most toys wins!” from a decade ago?
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Arctic Ice: the best explanation you can get in under 5 minutes

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A Beautiful but Terrible Scene: Sunset over Arctic Summer Sea Ice

A Beautiful but Terrible Scene: Sunset over Arctic Summer Sea Ice

Arctic sea ice extent and volume in the summer and winter has gotten lots of attention lately. The ice is a thin skin, more like ice covering a water filled bucket left out in the cold. Lots of the thicker ice has melted and hasn’t re-frozen. I’m sure some people wonder why anyone besides Polar Bears and Eskimos would care?

Set aside that Polar Bears are in trouble because their hunting ranges were out on the now melting Arctic ice. The bears that survive the swim back to land are heading south, closer to human settled areas, to hunt and scrounge…

Ignore that “Eskimos” and other indigenous populations are losing their livelihoods. Pay no attention to the soil under their homes that’s melting away as the frost gets taken out of the ‘permafrost’…

Ignore all that…

The Arctic ice cap is part of our planetary thermostat. The reflective ice cap helps keep temperatures where we’re used to experiencing them. Those of us with automobiles, particularly in the U.S., could think of the cap like the reflective sun shades some of us put in behind our car’s windshields… it can’t stop the heating from the sun, but it can help keep it from getting seriously hot. Don’t put the sun shade up, and the temperature starts rising.

The good folks at NASA are studying ice all over the planet, and have put together a video to help explain to people why that melting ice is important to them. Check it out.

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The Human Face of Climate Change

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Climate level impacts are being felt around the planet, from just a 0.7°C change. Recent data indicates we have less time than we thought, that the IPCC’s AR4 (2007) estimates were entirely too optimistic. This isn’t coming from a spin factory, it’s solid empirical data coming in from the field. The “bad” year 2100 scenario looks like it will happen around 2060. Yes, if you’re young and able to read this blog, you’ll probably be alive to see it, along with all the ugly stuff that will happen to get there.

Here’s an example of the human side of what’s to come, just the leading edge of the “storm”.

If you’re ready to do something about this, visit: and get involved! If you’re really motivated, get involved in the 10:10 Global campaign, it’s barely a week old, but growing fast. And the Global action needs organizers in each country.

10:10 Global is an outgrowth of the UK based 10:10 UK campaign to gain personal commitments from everyone to cut their carbon footprint by 10% in 2010. The UK Parliament and 10s of thousands of others have already signed up.

For most of us, cutting 10% of our carbon footprint is a pretty easy target. The 10:10 UK site has suggestions about how to make a 10% cut on a pretty painless level. Check them out.

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The Court Jester returns once more. Wutz up Wid Dat?

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“We’re in a giant car heading toward a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit.” ~David Suzuki

The United Nations Environment Programme recently published the “Climate Change Science Compendium 2009”, a prodigious effort to bring a more current view of climate science and climate change to the public. According to the UNEP, the publication is: “a review of some 400 major scientific contributions to our understanding of Earth Systems and climate that have been released through peer-reviewed literature or from research institutions over the last three years, since the close of research for consideration by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.”

This makes the Compendium a sort of “catch up” report that explains what happened in the Climate Science community after the cut off for AR4.  The new data that has been so carefully gathered and examined in the past 3 years has given us a clearer picture of what’s going on with the planet. Unfortunately, it also shows that AR4 was too optimistic, that we have solid evidence of climate change happening under our noses, and that action in the next few years is absolutely critical.

But wait, where does a court jester play in this? Well, there are lots of ways to describe jesters. Other words in the same vein are buffoon, fool, or poltroon. While I prefer the poltroon definition in this instance, the proper association here is the image of the Fool in the tarot deck. The tarot depiction of the Fool includes a man walking forward distracted by pretty things while unknowingly walking off the edge of a cliff. tarotfool

Yes, this is where Anthony “the man in motley” Watts steps in. The new UNEP “Compendium” has 76 pages of explanation about how things are getting worse faster than expected. What is the major critique that Watts must raise a hue and cry over? One of the graphs in the backgrounder section intended to illustrate how atmospheric CO2 and average temperature measurements have some clear correlation, WAS NOT PEER REVIEWED!

OH MY HEAVENS, it’s a chart from WIKIPEDIA!!!  How dare they?!?! Well, obviously this means that all the science is invalid. Toss it all!

In fact, it’s as dastardly as when Continue reading