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


Scorching August sets record as Fort Collins’ hottest ever | The Coloradoan |


COLORADO-NEAR FORT COLLINS – NARA – 543712 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Interestingly enough, we were just discussing the change in summers here in northern Colorado. My conversation partner is a young woman who has lived a large percentage of her life here, and we were both remarking that things began to change during her High School years, how the heat had increased to the point that many times in summer it was a challenge to make yourself go outside.

This is quite a statement from someone who is clearly a fan of sun and warmth.

Northern Colorado was a wonderfully temperate place. When I was young and visited the Centennial State, the weather and the people were profoundly different enough to make me determined to move back to Colorado once I’d “grown up”.

Well, after almost a decade of struggles in the job market, I finally made it back. By this time it was 1988 and Colorado’s climate had begun to change. In 1998, due to the vagaries of life and work around the Defense Department, I moved to northern Colorado, just 50 miles south of the Wyoming border.

Here I am, in 2011, it’s hotter, drier, and the weather is weirder than I’ve seen in almost 24 years. Unfortunately, this all just confirms what I already know is happening around the world. Since I tolerate floods better than I tolerate heat, I may be looking to move farther north, possibly even moving to the other side of the Continental Divide. I haven’t decided yet. At present, we’ll see how things go. This chunk of Colorado is one of the few that has relatively minimal impacts, so it may be worth staying.

We’ll see.

Blazing summer proves to be fourth hottest

–>If this summer has seemed hotter than usual, it’s no illusion.

Last month was the hottest and fifth-driest August recorded in Fort Collins, and this summer has shaped up to be the fourth-hottest in 123 years of recordkeeping at Colorado State University.

This summer’s heat is part of a trend: The eight-hottest summers on record here have all occurred since 2000.

“The fact of the matter is, the state as a whole has had many of the warm summers since the late 1990s,” said Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken.

“That’s consistent with what many climate scientists predict will be part of a response to greenhouse gas emissions. Whether we can make that direct tie, I don’t know, but it’s certainly a correlation.”

Eight temperature records were either tied or broken in August, with one of the hottest records shattered on Thursday when Fort Collins’ high of 97 degrees broke the previous Aug. 31 record of 95 set in 1960, according to Colorado Climate Center data released Thursday.

The highest temperature of the month was reached on Aug. 23, when the high of 98 degrees that day shattered the previous record of 94 set in 1919.

On Aug. 28, the nighttime temperature failed to dip below 65 degrees, shattering the record for highest low temperature for that date – 61 degrees – tied in 1929, 2002 and 2010.

The average temperature for August was 74.3 degrees, or 4.1 degrees above normal for the month, putting last month atop the list of hottest Augusts on record.

Not only was the month hot, but it was exceptionally dry, too. The city received only 0.16 inches of rain, 1.43 inches below normal for the month, which was the fifth driest ever in the city. The last year August saw less rain was 1974.

For the three-month summer season – June, July and August – this summer is the fourth hottest on record, with an average temperature of 72.2 degrees, only a few tenths of a degree below the all-time record set in 2006 when the average summer temperature was 72.8 degrees.

“We were clearly part of a large-scale regional persisting weather pattern,” Doesken said. “That heat wave and drought over Texas extended out in all directions.”

With the heat in Fort Collins rising to 91 degrees or higher, the first day of September didn’t break the heat wave.

However, it isn’t rare for 90-degree temperatures to occur in late summer and early fall. Fort Collins has even seen 90-degree heat in October, Doesken said.

The heat won’t last, though, said Don Day of DayWeather in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Cool air is expected to settle in over the weekend, with some areas of Northern Colorado expected to see high temperatures around 80 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.

The high on Sunday in Fort Collins is expected to be 75.

“The temperatures are going to start to inch back up Sunday and Monday,” Day said. “Next week, it looks very September-like. There’s a bit of a weak cool front coming in the middle to the end of next week. We’ll be returning a lot closer to normal.”


Saul Griffith, “Climate Change Recalculated” – The Long Now Blog

“Two terawatts of photovoltaic would require installing 100 square meters of 15-percent-efficient solar cells every second, second after second, for the next 25 years. (That’s about 1,200 square miles of solar cells a year, times 25 equals 30,000 square miles of photovoltaic cells.) Two terawatts of solar thermal? If it’s 30 percent efficient all told, we’ll need 50 square meters of highly reflective mirrors every second. (Some 600 square miles a year, times 25.) Half a terawatt of biofuels? Something like one Olympic swimming pools of genetically engineered algae, installed every second. (About 15,250 square miles a year, times 25.) Two terawatts of wind? That’s a 300-foot-diameter wind turbine every 5 minutes. (Install 105,000 turbines a year in good wind locations, times 25.) Two terawatts of geothermal? Build 3 100-megawatt steam turbines every day-1,095 a year, times 25. Three terawatts of new nuclear? That’s a 3-reactor, 3-gigawatt plant every week-52 a year, times 25.”

Working on the Realities: Why would we ever think there’s a single solution for renewable energy, or that it will happen quickly?

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

Pwn-Fest continues despite Superfreaks PR spin attempts « Greenfyre’s

Pwn-Fest continues despite Superfreaks PR spin attempts

pwnBPSDB Why the on-going fascination with the error filled climate change chapter in Superfreakonomics? Quite simple really, it’s a rare opportunity to get some anecdotal evidence on whether the climate science blogosphere has an impact, what kind of impact, and how much. This particular issue is valuable in that it has spilled over into the more public realm while still clearly ‘tagged’ as Superfreakonomics.

Naturally anecdotal evidence is far less than what we could wish for, but at least it is something. A sputtering match is still better than the usual darkness that we fumble around in.

Oh yes, there is also a link to where you can read the climate chapter if you haven’t yet and still want to ….


So I have been spending far too much of my life looking at blogs, reviews, and news stories which I will not be inflicting on you (why should you suffer too?). Nor am I even going to guess at how many, because frankly it’s a blur. Instead I will just offer some impressions of what I found.

The attempts to spin the book are interesting in that, other than the most brain dead climate change Deniers, for the most part no one is attempting to directly defend the chapter as accurate per se. Instead the defences seem to be taking two main forms, one Red Herring fallacy, the other a Straw Man Fallacy, both subsets of the larger Red Herring fallacy.

Greenfyre’s having a field day… impressive because the blogs/posts/articles that had to be reviewed were enough to melt your higher functions into a fused mass, requiring large quantities of C2-H5-OH as a solvent to break things loose. Be sure to read the whole article, and beware pop culture books pretending to be science.

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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