Worth noting

How paradoxical.


Public opinion may be less affected than that here in Australia, it seems, but the trogs have been very effective nonetheless. The image is linked to source.

Kind of related

Phillip Adams in Louisiana

VIRGIL’S an oil man. Moved to Louisiana from Texas 20 years back. Believes our Lord put oil on Earth (and underwater) as a boon to Christians – and that oil isn’t a fossil fuel at all, but something constantly created deep inside the planet by mysterious chemical processes. Peak oil?

Nope. We can keep drilling forever. An odd mixture of religious fundamentalism and avant-garde scientific theory…

New Orleans, or what’s left of it five years after Katrina, groans beneath the bulk of its citizenry. As well as topping the homicide tables the city tips the scales as the US capital of obesity. But the US itself is obese – thanks to its appetite for oil. There are 50,000 wells in the Gulf alone. 50,000! Of which 25,000 have been capped, at least until oil prices go even higher. On the day the most famous of Gulf wells is capped (something viewed with great scepticism in New Orleans) we’re told that no laws exist requiring the other 24,999 capped wells to be inspected.

No one seems to care how many of them are leaking oil, gas or both. No trade unions, no regulations. And no will to stop the drilling. Even unemployed fishermen oppose the moratorium. Boat people were welcomed, giving the state the biggest Vietnamese population – and echo Virgil’s words “we’re in oil and fi shing”. And Virgil warns that the moratorium will soon force the rigs overseas. Yep, a lot will go to Australia.

He sounds like a representative of the Australian mining industry. As the vast, ungainly armada of US oil rigs head for West Australian waters they’ll pass Rio Tinto’s ships taking their giant bulldozers to dig holes in low-taxing countries. While neither threat convinces, Obama is faced with a potentially fatal political problem. As was Rudd.

There’s an annual Petroleum and Prawn festival here. Almost as big as Mardi Gras. A simultaneous celebration of oil and fish sounds surreal but there’s no intention of cancelling it because of the crisis. Even though the fishing industry seems doomed for a decade. Along with the beaches and the bayous. As well as no unions and no regulations, Louisiana has no Plan B.

16 thoughts on “Worth noting

  1. So Virgil the oil man ‘Believes our Lord put oil on Earth (and underwater) as a boon to Christians’.

    On that basis God sort of screwed up in the Middle East for starters, did he not?

    Virgil’s blind faith reminded me of a Texan 68 yo grannie with whom we once shared a tour of The Fall in New England. She would not leave home without her handgun, even when attending a course to qualify her to teach Bible studies.

    ‘God bless America’ is said after many an occasion in the States, often with the addendum ‘and our brave troops’. We once attended a NY’s Eve picnic in a suburban park in Boston and heard these words. It was not – NOT! – the occasion on which to interject ‘This is a whitewash of American imperialism. Bring the troops home’.

    If I had to sum up in one word the attitudes of Americans I’ve spoken to during several trips, it would be insular.

    It’s replete with anomalies and contradictions yet I love da joint.

  2. Fellow fans of ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ should be aware that Channel 99 has a one-hour program at 4.30 Saturday afternoon and a one-hour program at 2.30 on Sunday afternoon. Check your guide in case times vary.

    ‘I know nossink!’

    Schultz’ statement brings to mind something attributed to the film director Michael Curtiz On the set of ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’, when, wanting to see stray horses wandering through the battle, Curtiz directed the wranglers to “Bring on the empty horses”. When Niven and Flynn cracked up laughing, he responded with:’You people, you think I know fuck nothing; I tell you: I know fuck all”

    Just felt impelled to record these idle thoughts. NW might delete them though his reputation has never rested on ruthlessness.

  3. Interesting,

    As a believer in truth and a critic of media coverage of any event or issue, I would say that in my country, balanced reporting on AGW is non existent, 99.99% goes the AGW is beyond discussion way, and very occasionally you may see something printed to the tone of “there are still people who do not believe in AGW in spite of the mountain of evidence against them”

    Quite different from your statistics.

    By the way did you cout the scientists at http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/UN_open_letter.pdf



    in your statistics?

    Fortunately it does not take a PhD to figure out that there is something fishy about AGW. My site at http://rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com/ enables any lay person to start asking for real facts and information.

    I have an open mind but I have not seen any definitive proof of AGW either, and most certainly not any where enough certainty to justify the ruining of our economies and way of life over it.



  4. Neil,

    The fact that you can only resort to name calling and ad hominem attacks, does your own believability very little service.

    Good point about the Royal Society though who seem to have dissention developing in their ranks.



  5. Re the Royal Society.

    They have indeed a “New guide to climate science” in train, but I wouldn’t get too excited if I were you.

    Climate change is a very topical issue and is of great public interest and potential consequence. Because of the level of public interest in the topic the Royal Society will be producing a new guide to the science of climate change. The guide will be published later this summer and will provide an overview of what is well known about the climate system, what is reasonably well established and which aspects are still not understood very well.

    The Document is being prepared by a working group that is being chaired by Professor John Pethica, Vice President of the Royal Society…


    It is certain that increased greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and from land use change lead to a warming of climate, and it is very likely that these green house gases are the dominant cause of the global warming that has been taking place over the last 50 years.

    Whilst the extent of climate change is often expressed in a single figure – global temperature – the effects of climate change (such as temperature, precipitation and the frequency of extreme weather events) will vary greatly from place to place.

    Increasing atmospheric CO2 also leads to ocean acidification which risks profound impacts on many marine ecosystems and in turn the societies which depend on them.

    The Society has worked on the issue of climate change for many years to further the understanding of this issue. These activities have been informed by decades of publicly available, peer-reviewed studies by thousands of scientists across a wide range of disciplines. Climate science, like any other scientific discipline, develops through vigorous debates between experts, but there is an overwhelming consensus regarding its fundamentals. Climate science has a firm basis in physics and is supported by a wealth of evidence from real world observations….

    Further, the dissent you allude to above and in more detail on your own site has been rather overcooked. I rely on a news report for this, but so did you, or the blog you cited.

    …As for the Royal Society saying the debate isn’t settled, anyone who thinks that’s a victory for those who deny climate change doesn’t understand what science is.

    In science, there is no absolute certainty, all knowledge is tentative, and no conclusion is sacrosanct. A scientist who wants to dispute the germ theory of disease — or relativity, or gravitational theory, or anything else — is welcome to give it a go. So in saying that the science is not settled and there’s always room for new observations and theories, the Royal Society was simply reaffirming its commitment to the most basic tenet of science.

    The essential problem is that the public — the media very much included — generally doesn’t understand science. Most of us think science is a list of absolutely certain facts that are not open for debate. If a theory is on the list, it’s not debatable and we should act on it; if it’s not, it is debatable and we should not act on it.

    As a result, scientists often find it hard to communicate scientific conclusions to the public. If they speak scientifically, they have to acknowledge that even though most scientists have come to a conclusion they are reasonably confident is true, there is continued uncertainty and debate. But if they do that, people will think the conclusion isn’t yet a scientific fact — and we shouldn’t act on it.

    This drives scientists crazy. Sometimes, out of sheer frustration, they say something dumb like “the science is settled” or “the debate is over.” They often regret it.

    The one genuinely important and surprising statement made by the Royal Society was this: “Nothing in recent developments has changed or weakened the underpinning science of climate change.”

    Polls in the United Kingdom and elsewhere show that since “Climategate” and other recent scandals there have been dramatic declines in popular agreement that the planet is warming and human activity is the primary cause. Why? Because people are under the impression that the scandals revealed that core elements of the science are weak, or even fraudulent. The Royal Society just said “that ain’t so.”

    It would have been nice if reporters and bloggers had listened.

    Montreal Gazette, June 8, 2010.

    Not to mention the position taken by the current President of the Royal Society Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, in his July 2010 Reith Lectures.

    As regards the science, there is, in my inexpert view, one decisive measurement: the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than it’s been for a million years, and is rising, mainly because of the burning of fossil fuels. This finding isn’t controversial. And straightforward chemistry tells us that carbon dioxide is a so called ‘greenhouse gas’: it acts like a blanket, preventing some of the heat radiated by the Earth from escaping freely into space. So the measured carbon dioxide build-up in the atmosphere will trigger a long-term warming, superimposed on all the other complicated effects that make climate fluctuate.

    The predicted rate of warming, however, is uncertain – depending on the poorly-understood ‘feedback ‘ from water vapour and clouds, which themselves affect the blanketing. Nevertheless, even the existing uncertain science convinces me that the threat of disruptive climate change is serious enough to justify its priority on the agenda of this country and others.

    This confidence may surprise anyone who has dipped into all that’s been written on the subject. Any trawl of the internet reveals diverse and contradictory claims. So how do you make up your mind? I’d suggest the following analogy.

    Suppose you seek medical guidance. Googling any ailment reveals a bewildering range of purported remedies. But if your own health were at stake, you wouldn’t attach equal weight to everything in the blogosphere: you’d entrust your diagnosis to someone with manifest medical credentials. Likewise, we get a clearer ‘steer’ on climate by attaching more weight to those with a serious record in the subject.

    As for the “namecalling”, it is my honest assessment based on the previous discussions we had in March and was intended to forestall that pointless experience recurring. So go back to your fantasies.

  6. “Suppose you seek medical guidance. Googling any ailment reveals a bewildering range of purported remedies. But if your own health were at stake, you wouldn’t attach equal weight to everything in the blogosphere: you’d entrust your diagnosis to someone with manifest medical credentials. Likewise, we get a clearer ‘steer’ on climate by attaching more weight to those with a serious record in the subject.”

    If my health was at stake I would consider the advice that was clearly explained to me and MADE LOGICAL SENSE!
    For the last I would employ my native intelligence to understand rather than rely on anyone’s unsupported theories.

  7. Unless you are the world’s greatest polymath, or think you are, it is highly probable you not only do not but cannot follow through this philosophy, admirable as it sounds, in very many areas of your life. Good luck though.

    Comparatively speaking, it is my assessment, which you won’t agree with as your starting point is a denial of this assertion, that anthropogenic global warming is supported by many converging lines of real-world data.

    See the latest on “Climategate” and the New Scientist editorial.

    IF ONE of the aims of the persons unknown who stole thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) last November was to bring a fellow human being to his knees, they almost succeeded.

    As our exclusive interview shows, Phil Jones, then the director of the unit, has suffered terrible personal torment as a result of the vitriolic campaign against him and his colleagues.

    For years, ruthless climate sceptics have harassed scientists, drowning them in freedom of information requests and subjecting them to vicious personal attacks. Climategate was merely the public face of this insurgent war. In that hostile climate, some scientists fired off personal emails that occasionally lacked decorum. The CRU accepts this. When will their opponents apologise for their own excesses?

    Yes, questions need to be asked. Healthy scepticism is vital. But the climate sceptics need to play by the rules. For all their bleating about being excluded, science is not a closed shop. If their criticisms of climate science have merit they will be heard. These issues will be resolved only by reasoned debate, not vitriol and harassment.

    • As for Phil Jones, if his nose was clean and he had carried out his job competently, he would have had nothing to be nervous about.



  8. When you use a nom de plume (in the language of God but borrowed from some other language apparently) you should possibly change your photo. This tends to confirm my suspicion that Kevin may be your Simplicio.

  9. Not a nom-de-plume; just indicating a footnote rather than a comment. And Kevin really is Kevin. How could I possibly have invented him? 😉

  10. It seems strange to me, Neil, that you quote a survey of, what, 72 scientists from an online survey on a global warming alarmist site as proof of global warming belief. Heck, why not just do a survey of climatologists who are paid by the government to support belief in global warming? You’d get a similar and equally non-scientific result.

    See, this post is a perfect example of the catastrophic (from a scientific perspective) mistakes that most global warming alarmists make. It’s a huge part of the reason that most scientists not paid to promote global warming belief… don’t.

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