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


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?

Wildlife Promise: Save Ice Cream! #HelpHoneyBees

In an effort to raise awareness for the decline in honeybee populations around the world, they are helping fund research for scientists to learn more about the problem and find solutions. Over the last three years, one in three honeybee colonies has died. Scientists are calling the phenomenon CCD for Colony Collapse Disorder. In CCD cases, all of the bees in a colony abruptly disappear, deserting the hive.


Fast Honeybee Facts:

  • One of every three bites the average American eats is directly attributed to honey bee pollination.

  • Honey bees are responsible for the pollination of more than 100 crops, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

  • They provide 80 percent of the country’s pollination services.

  • Without honey bee pollination, one-third of our food supply would be in jeopardy.

How You Can Help Honeybees:

  • Tweet using #helphoneybees: For every tweet between Nov. 5-11 that includes #HelpHoneyBees, Häagen-Dazs will donate $1 to the University of California at Davis, which is doing great research into Colony Collapse Disorder. The donations are capped at a maximum of $500 for each of the 7 days (a total of $3,500). Find out more…

    For easy copying and pasting:

    Häagen-Dazs to donate $1 for every #HelpHoneyBees tweet Nov. 5-11 to fund Colony Collapse Disorder research (via @NWF)


  • Learn more about Häagen-Dazs’ efforts to “Help the Honeybees”: Not only can you spark donations through Twitter, but also with your “bee built” ice cream purchases. They even created a special flavor as a tribute: Vanilla Honey Bee.

  • Turn your garden into a Certified Wildlife Habitat™: Provide habitat suitable for bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators.

More Honeybee info:

“The Buzz on Native Pollinators” – National Wildlife® magazine: As European honeybees decline, indigenous bees and other pollinating animals can

There’s a lot more detail at the site… I know that we’re establishing a new hive in the spring on our acreage, hoping to avoid CCD in the hive.

Take a look at the article, go take a look at, do a good thing, if you have a balcony or a back yard you can help.

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?
Continue reading

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 Global Premier of “The Age of Stupid”

The Global Premier of The Age of Stupid will launch in America on September 21st 2009 from a solar-powered cinema tent in New York LIVE to over 400 movie theatres across the country. The timings are: 7:30 PM ET/ 6:30 PM CT / 5:30 PM MT / tape delayed 8PM PT. The film is a mix of drama, documentary, and animation skillfully blended together to Continue reading

How we got here

The short version:

We’ve known about carbon-based greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, etc) for 150 years, global warming for over 100 years, solar and orbital influence on climate for 68 years. Scientists started warning us about bad things coming more than 50 years ago. Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and Bush (senior) all warned us about the dire consequences. The US Senate was unanimous that we must address Global Warming before the threat became too high. Right up until it looked like it might cost something.

In 1997 Continue reading