Thursday, 6 March 2014

"Mine Is Not The Only Candle"

My posting has been infrequent here over the past few weeks; in part this is because of distractions such as the new job, the new house, the other little odd jobs I do, the reservoir project and the ongoing necessities of taking care of my six dogs. And.... things are about to get busier still, as I shall soon be taking on additional work beginning next week; yet more early mornings following late nights.

Despite this I have still managed to get well on my way to fitness again; in the last few months of 2013 onward, I had stopped my regular work-out routines and since the summer had lost nearly seven pounds - all of it muscle - but that weight is nearly all back now as I have been back on an improved routine for the last month or so. The new routine still has some of the same core muscle exercises, push-ups and pull-ups as the last one, but I've added six core muscle exercises and a new upper body exercise for which I don't have a name yet (it works the pectorals and the brachialis). This week and maybe next week is the transition from six sets of twelve pull-ups to six sets of fifteen pull-ups. When I reach nine sets of fifteen pull-ups, then I'll be back at the level I was at last summer. I've also added more running and also running with weights, but the bicycle hasn't seen any action for a while. 

I was hoping to go back to Wushantou reservoir again this weekend, but the weather forecast doesn't look good. Hopefully, the meteorologists are wrong but what I'd like more than just an absence of rain is for the rain to come early and clear out the haze in time for the weekend. I just don't hold out much hope of that happening. 

Exercise, photography, work, dogs and other necessary distractions aside however, I have not taken my eye off what's been happening in the blogosphere, if that word can still be used. In particular, there have been two excellent posts by David Friedman recently, the first of which is entitled "A Climate Falsehood You Can Check for Yourself" and concerns the claim by John Cook (in Bedford and Cook 2013), maintainer of the "Skeptical Science" blog, that a study of over 4,000 abstracts he and colleagues published in 2013 found that...
"...over 97% endorsed the view that the Earth is warming up and human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause."
Friedman checked the 2013 Cook et al paper and found the "97%" figure to have been a bare-faced lie: specifically, only 1.6% of the abstracts were listed in the first category which identifies human emissions of greenhouse gases as the main cause. Naturally there plenty of other abstracts that fell into other categories in which human emissions of greenhouse gases were identified as a cause of climate change but just not specifically the main cause. So John Cook's lie was to misrepresent 1.6% of the abstracts studied as 97%, which lie was then enthusiastically repeated by ostensible journalists in the media - as well as by various other obnoxious specimens.

The second post by David Friedman makes the larger point that...
"If the publicity campaign to convince the public that all scientists agree with the IPCC version of truth is successful and it then becomes clear that that version was false, it will become considerably harder to persuade the public to take seriously scientific opinion in other fields."
That is certainly one possibility, and one that is becoming more and more likely in my opinion. I don't know whether there is any sanction appropriate to the sheer scale of a wrong like this, but clearly it ought to be identified with all the visceral connotations carried by the word "criminal". 


  1. Scandalous, Mike. I'm certain you'll be trolled.

    Hope all is well.

  2. We expats in China tend to be very busy, as I am discovering more China blogs, this is what I observe.

    Greetings from Shandong province

  3. Nate: cheers mate.

    Hans: of all the places in China I would like to visit, Shandong is near the top specifically for the "German city" Qingdao. I was given a book about it, and the city does look very strangely European (cobbled streets and so on).

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