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Does hate speech lead to hate crime?

That it does is a constant Leftist assumption. So it is no surprise that the authors below have tried to prove it.  And they claim that they have proved it.
   
According to their Table 4, however, the correlations found between speech and incidents are quite low.  A correlation of .236, for instance, indicates only 5.5% of common variance.

The biggest problem however is that they ignore the ancient statistical dictum that correlation is not causation.  That dictum tells you that there might be somewhere a third variable that is causing the correlation between the two variables you are looking at.

And in this case there is a very obvious third variable:  The incidence of refugee misbehavior.  When refugess go on Jihad and kill people (etc.) you would expect that other people would both comment disapprovingly and in some cases retaliate.  So it is not the speech causing attacks on refugees, it is the behaviour of the refugees themselves

The authors below were rather hard-working.  They gathered data from both Germany and the USA in their attempt to prove their hypothesis. I have looked only at the German data but their methodology for their U.S. excursion seems to be the same as in Germany so the same criticisms apply.  Americans are certainly not short of deplorable behaviour from immigrants to complain about.

So to be a bit Scottish about it, their claim is "not proven".  Abstract follows:


Fanning the Flames of Hate: Social Media and Hate Crime

Karsten Müller et al.

Abstract

This paper investigates the link between social media and hate crime using hand-collected data from Facebook and Twitter. We study the case of Germany, where the recently emerged right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has developed a major social media presence. Using a difference-in-differences design, we show that right-wing anti-refugee sentiment on Facebook predicts violent crimes against refugees in otherwise similar municipalities with higher social media usage. Consistent with social media being the driving force, the effect decreases with internet outages; increases with user network interactions; is not driven by the news cycle; and does not hold for posts unrelated to refugees. We find similar evidence for the United States, where President Trump's twitter activity strongly predicts hate crimes against the minorities targeted in his tweets, but not other minorities. We find no effect for the period before Trump's presidential campaign or measures of general anti-minority sentiment.

SOURCE

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New York City sues Shell, ExxonMobil and other oil companies over sea level rise

The "damage" they quote from global warming is the expense of defending the city from sea level rise. Problem: There has been no overall sea level rise in the vicinity of NYC in the 21st century. Sea levels have just bobbed up and down.  So the lawsuit is based on hypothetical future rises rather than on present reality.  Note that CO2 has continued to rise to unprecedented levels over the 21st century but it has not affected the sea level at all so the whole basis of the lawsuit is moot

 

The New York City government is suing the world’s five largest publicly traded oil companies, seeking to hold them responsible for present and future damage to the city from climate change.

The suit, filed Tuesday against BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, claims the companies together produced 11 percent of all of global-warming gases through the oil and gas products they have sold over the years. It also charges that the companies and the industry they are part of have known for some time about the consequences but sought to obscure them.

New York charges in the lawsuit that it is “spending billions of dollars” to protect its coastlines, its infrastructure and its citizens from climate warming.

“To deal with what the future will inevitably bring, the City must build sea walls, levees, dunes, and other coastal armament, and elevate and harden a vast array of City-owned structures, properties, and parks along its coastline,” the lawsuit says. “The costs of these largely unfunded projects run to many billions of dollars and far exceed the City’s resources.”

The suit does not specify precisely how much money it is asking for from the oil companies in what it calls “compensatory damages,” saying that should be established in the case.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio focused on the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, calling it “a tragedy wrought by the actions of the fossil fuel companies.” He detailed the 44 people who died in New York as a result of Sandy, as well as the estimated $19 billion in damage it caused. “That is the face of climate change,” de Blasio said. “That is what it means in human and real terms.”





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Treat women with respect

It was once normal courtesy and gentlemanliness to treat women with respect and conservatives still have some tendency to do so. Feminists too demand respect for women but rarely do anything to inspire or earn it.

For those of us who follow the news closely, there has been the unpleasant experience of reading about a date between a monkey-like man named Ansari and a pseudonymous woman named Grace.

The initial reaction to the story about that encounter told by  Grace was condemnatory.  Mr Ansari pushed himself unforgiveably on her.  Subsequent comments however have been exculpatory of Mr Ansari.  He stopped when he was formally told to so that is OK.

I am the last one to sympathize with feminist complaints and I accept that any comment on the encounter is approaching the limits of the absurd if one does not know the participants concerned -- but I do strongly disapprove of the actions of Mr Ansari.  His actions may, I suspect, have been fairly mainstream but that is in my view no praise of them.

I am of the painfully old-fashioned view that women should always be treated with respect, even if they are not paragons of virtue.  And I have been married 4 times so maybe I am qualified to have a view of such matters. I even came of age in the licentious sixties so that may be an additional qualification.

So I have experienced many occasions on which a rapport seemed evident between myself and a woman.  And such a rapport is a very valuable thing that must be left to develop in its own way and at its own pace.  And if it does end up in bed that is the most natural thing with no need for pressure of any sort.  In that context the behavior of Mr Ansari was simply ugly.  That it may also be common is saddening. For balance, I append below a defence of Mr Ansari by a conservative female columnist:


A young woman approaches a famous comedian at the 2017 Emmy Awards after-party in Los Angeles. The young photographer is excited to meet him, they chat, talk photography, take a few pictures of each other, then she returns to the dance floor with her date. Later in the evening she gives the comedian her number.

That week they exchange a few flirty texts and then agree to meet. She runs various outfits by her girlfriends and settles on a tank top and jeans. The young woman and the comedian meet up, have a few drinks and later that evening they have bad sex on his kitchen counter. And then she outs him in the media, humiliates and destroys him because the sex wasn’t romantic and the man wasn’t Prince Charming. Good grief.

This isn’t female empowerment. This is girl power gone badly wrong. The sexual revolution has given women access to sex and men on demand; it doesn’t guarantee that sex will be great or that men will be romantic. Tinder is not called Tender for a reason. The sexual revolution delivered us the ability to avoid pregnancy when we don’t want to have a baby and, if we don’t want sex, the right to say no. Or to swipe left.

This angry 23-year-old woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous while naming the comedian as 34-year-old Aziz Ansari, had chance after chance that warm evening in September last year to say no to his advances.

Ansari wasn’t coy about his desire. They drank, they kissed. She performed oral sex on him; he performed oral sex on her. She didn’t like what he did with his fingers. But she stayed. He asked her how she wanted to have sex. She didn’t say, ‘Hey, I’m not into this, I’m leaving.’ She didn’t say, ‘Hey, this isn’t what I want after all.’

She stayed. And then she told the world she was uncomfortable with his behaviour, he wasn’t very good at sex and she felt violated.

She says he didn’t read her cues that she wanted something more from the night than his desire for hot, fast sex. This week the young woman spoke to Babe.net, a feminist website “for girls who don’t give a f..k”. She decided on a graphic expose of “the worst night of my life” after the comedian won best actor for his Netflix show Master of None at the Golden Globes last weekend. On the red carpet, Ansari wore a “Time’s Up” pin and said he supported the fight against sexual assault and harassment. For that, in her mind, he deserved to be outed as a lousy lay and an even worse mind-reader.

Babe.net gave Ansari’s anonymous accuser the fictional name Grace. So let’s do the same. Grace told Babe.net that Ansari texted her the next evening saying: “It was fun meeting you last night.” And she replied: “Last night might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me … You ignored clear non-verbal cues; you kept going with advances.”

“I’m so sad to hear this,” he responded. “Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.”

The problem for Grace is she didn’t leave his apartment when she worked out that the night wasn’t the start of a grand romance. She stayed. They watched an episode of Seinfeld on the couch. When he suggested she perform oral sex on him again, she did. No wonder Ansari continued with his advances.

Before she left, she said: “You guys are all the same, you guys are all the f..king same.” She could have left it at that. Or left it at her last text message to him.

If Grace’s other sexual encounters are the same, she needs to ask how is a man meant to know what she’s thinking when she doesn’t make it clear to him? When Ansari didn’t turn out to be Mr Darcy, Grace expected him to be capable of reading her mind. That’s a big enough ask and rather tricky when you’re not sure what’s in your own mind.

Grace could have spent more time getting to know Ansari before getting naked. The idea that sex on a first date would be some magical match of sexual desires between two people who don’t know each other is plain dumb on Grace’s part.

And her whining about bad sex is downright dangerous. Not just for Ansari, who has been humiliated, his reputation being destroyed. Grace’s public shaming of Ansari is dangerous for other men too as they try to discern the unspoken words of a woman’s mind. Didn’t the sexual revolution teach women to speak up, take control, rather than give non-verbal cues?

Claims that Grace relenting is not Grace consenting may sound terribly clever in a women’s studies class but it makes no sense in the real world of sex, or life. Consent is not a checklist done before two people strip naked and then at each stage of sex. All of us relent in so many ways, every day, sometimes about sex, or at work, or negotiating with headstrong children. Relenting can often mean consenting. It’s just a slower way of getting there. When is a bloke meant to know when it’s not consent if we don’t speak up?

Grace’s problem is she can’t accept that her evening of bad sex has no more meaning than just that. It’s like a dud meal in a good restaurant, or a new pair of shoes that look great at first sight but don’t fit as well when you wear them out. It’s like a visit to the hairdresser that doesn’t pan out as expected. That’s all.

In 2009 Lily Allen sang about a bloke who treats her with respect, loves her all the time, calls her 15 times a day, “but there’s just one thing that’s getting in the way, when we go up to bed you’re just no good”.

“It’s not fair,’ sang Allen, “you never make me scream, you never make me scream.”

Complaining about bad sex should have stopped at a funny song. Grace’s clawing need to make her rotten date part of the #MeToo movement is especially dangerous to real victims, women who have been sexually abused, women who have been raped. She disrespects and devalues them.

Sadly, Grace isn’t the first to cheapen the #MeToo cause. Last month a 3000-word piece of fiction in The New Yorker went viral. Cat Person by Kristen Roupenian tells the story of 20-year-old Margot, a college student who flirts with 34-year-old Robert as she serves him popcorn at a movie theatre. They swap numbers, then some flirty texts where both try to be something they’re not. Robert pretends to own a couple of cats because that’s what girls like. Margot tries to be a sweet young thing so as not to scare him off. They go on a date, Margot drinks three beers and takes a swig of whisky and still Robert doesn’t rush things. Much to her chagrin. When they finally have sex, she’s repulsed by his weight, and the sex is disappointing. She doesn’t pull away, because that would require “tact and gentleness that she felt was impossible to summon”. In the days that follow Robert tries to understand where he went wrong, and Margot blows him off in a text.

Cat Person comes with a sting with Robert’s last text to Margot: “whore”. The more potent sting came when a neat piece of fiction about two flawed characters was elevated into revolutionary feminist art by millions of women eager to wage war on Robert.

The reaction to Cat Person is a peek into Western feminism’s fatal flaw: its obsession with the most trivial travails of dating. Here’s a summary: Cat Person is “the story of the year”, it’s “the next step in the #MeToo movement”, a “major cultural touchstone” for women by tapping into our “inner monologue”. It speaks “truth to power”. It is “the most gut-wrenching relatable content I’ve ever read”. Some girls need to get out more.

It’s true that Cat Person captures a lived experience for some. One rainy day last June, a young woman I know bumped umbrellas on a busy city street with a young man she didn’t know. He asked for her number and she gave it to him, more out of awkwardness than interest. He texted her a few days later suggesting a drink. She didn’t respond. He texted again, “will I be seeing you again?” When she didn’t respond again, he texted: “I guess not cause you are a bitch.”

That drew a response from the young woman: “woah, mate, you have no idea what’s going on in my life, I’m simply not in a position to do the whole going out on a date thing. Always act with kindness. x”

The young man started texting again: “When I stopped you on the street it’s not only cause you’re pretty, I’d like to get to know you.” When she didn’t respond, he wrote, “seeing as I can’t have you, can I ask you a question.” Eight minutes later, like the fictional Robert in Cat Person, the young man asked: “What am I doing wrong?”

These two might have followed Margot and Robert — gone on a date, had crummy sex. And so what? Alas, it was inevitable that a fine piece of fiction from The New Yorker last December would become real life, if not this week, then next week. Not just because this stuff happens between men and women, wires get crossed, expectations are often dashed for one or the other. But because the #MeToo movement was always destined to go off the rails of credibility by including silly claims that sully the serious ones.

If complaining about bad sex is the next step in the #MeToo movement, god help us all. It’s not, as some claim, overdue justice to shame a bloke for being bad in bed. It’s not, as others claim, a correction of power when millions of women coalesce on Facebook to support a fictional Margot or a real-life Grace by humiliating a young man for not being a mind-reader. It’s not a worthy form of feminism when guilt is determined by those who shout the loudest on social media platforms. If feminism has settled on this as the new battleground to bring men to heel, then the women’s lib movement is officially out of ideas.

Earlier this month, as millions of young Western women were inhaling the injustice of Margot’s treatment in Cat Person, just as they are rallying behind Grace this week, another young woman stood on a real-life platform in a Tehran street and removed her hijab, protesting against Iran’s treatment of women.

Her target is real injustice, her act one of real girl power.

SOURCE

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Experts say

Ya gotta laugh!  During the temperature rise of 2015/2016, Warmists sedulously ignored the influence of El Nino.  They pretended that the rise was due to CO2 -- anthropogenic global warming.  Now that temperatures are allegedly sinking back, the fall is  all due to El Nino.  To Warmists, having your cake and eating it too is a cinch! Let them eat  cake!

So now they agree with what skeptics said from early 2015 onwards and completely wipe off the recent warming period as irrelevant to their anthropogenic global warming story -- and say that 2017 is still warm even AFTER El Nino has gone.  But wait a minute!  How do we define the El Nino period except via temperature?  According to their own GISS data, temperatures (J-D) broke upward in 2014 and have stayed high ever since.  So who decided that 2017 was not influenced by El Nino -- which is the whole point of the article below?  Nobody knows. What we see below is the product of shifty definitions, nothing else.

In theory, you could detect El Nino by a detailed examination of sea levels but as we see here measuring sea levels is a mug's game.  By choosing different reference points you can get widely different results.  The earth is not a bowl and water does not lie flat on it.  And I won't mention the matter of hokey "corrections" for isostatic balance.

So what appears to have actually happened is that 2014-2017  temperatures have suddenly broken upwards to a new plateau, which is a common natural occurrence in the temperature record.

So say we concede all that they tell us with their array of numbers below.  Say that we really have moved to hotter average temperature levels after the temperature stasis of the first 13 years of the century.  What caused that rise?  Was it CO2?  They offer no proof of that.  It is all "Experts say".  Experts say a lot of things that are often wrong.  And Warmists have yet to make an accurate prediction.  So relying on such "experts" is very cold comfort indeed.  We could just be dealing with some of the many natural phenomena that we don't understand.

And what is the evidence for what "Experts say"?  In the large and colorful article excerpted below I strangely can find not a single statistic for CO2, the supposed cause of global warming. Why? Are the 21st century temperature changes due to changing CO2 levels, as the experts say? Do the temperature changes correspond to CO2 changes?  They do not. Philosopher David Hume insisted that the one precondition for detecting a cause was constant conjunction.  But there is no constant conjunction between CO2 changes and temperature changes.  So one did not cause the other.

Just for fun I have downloaded the CSV data file for monthly CO2 averages from Cape Grim. So is the temperature stasis up to 2013 matched by a plateauing of CO2 levels?  Far from it.  The levels show a steady rise up to the end of 2013 -- continuing to July 2016.  It's only from July 2016 that the CO2 levels get "stuck" on 401 ppm.  They don't resume rising until June 2017.

So what a laugh!  There is NO resemblance between the CO2 and temperature records.  The steady CO2 rise has now resumed and reached a new height in "cooling" August 2017, the last year for which there is data.  No wonder that the Warmist journalist below sticks to "Experts say" rather than dive into that inconvenient data.

Note:  My use of GISS and NOAA data does not constitute an endorsement of it. I use it because Warmists do.  It amuses me to  show that their own data does not support their madcap theory


Last year was the HOTTEST on record without an El Nino: New figures reveal man-made global warming has overtaken the influence of natural trends on the climate

By Daily Mail Science & Technology Reporter Tim Collins

Last year was the hottest on record without the influence of the El Nino weather phenomenon that helps push up global temperatures, a new study reports.

El Nino years happen when a change in prevailing winds cause huge areas of water to heat up in the Pacific, leading to elevated temperatures worldwide.

Including El Nino years, 2016 was warmer and 2017 was joint second warmest with 2015.

The main contributor to rising temperatures over the last 150 years is human activity, scientists have said.

This includes burning fossil fuels which puts heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

They say man-made climate change is has now overtaken the influence of natural trends on the climate.

Experts say the 2017 record temperature ‘should focus the minds of world leaders’ on ‘scale and urgency’ of the risks of climate change.

The El Nino event spanning 2015 to 2016 contributed around 0.2°C (0.36°F) to the annual average increase for 2016, which was about 1.1°C (2°F) than average temperatures measured from 1850 to 1900.

However, the main contributor to warming over the last 150 years is human influence on climate from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, experts say.

2017 remains close to 1°C (1.8°F) above pre-industrial temperatures of 1850 to 1900.

The Met Office annual average global temperature forecast for 2017 said the global mean temperature for 2017 was expected to be between 0.32°C (0.57°F) and 0.56°C (1°F) above the long-term average.

The provisional figure for 2017, based on an average of three global temperature datasets, of 0.42°C (0.75°F) above the long-term average is well within the predicted range.

The forecast, made at the end of 2016, also correctly predicted that 2017 would be one of the warmest years in the record.

Experts from the Met Office's Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit were involved in the findings.

They produce the Hadcrut4 dataset, which is used to estimate global temperatures.

This found that 2017 was almost 1°C (1.8°F) warmer than pre-industrial levels, measured from 1850 to 1900, and 0.38°C (0.78°F) warmer than average temperatures measured from 1981 to 2010.

That would make it the third hottest on record, including El Nino years.

Figures from a series of different international analyses, including from the NOAA and Nasa in the US, place 2017 as either second or third warmest on record.

Last year's temperatures were outstripped only by the record heat of 2016, and in some of the analyses by 2015.

Both 2016 and 2015 saw a significant El Nino, a natural phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean that increases temperatures, on top of human-induced global warming.

Dr Colin Morice, of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: 'The global temperature figures for 2017 are in agreement with other centres around the world that 2017 is one of the three warmest years and the warmest year since 1850 without the influence of El Nino.

SOURCE

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#MeToo isn’t enough. Now women need to get ugly (?)

Barbara Kingsolver, who writes at great length below, is a far-Leftist novelist who is in a rage at unwelcome approaches to women by men.  I sympathize with her even though my own politics are very different.  Women are generally smaller than men and must constantly feel vulnerable to some form of attack as they walk down the street.   Usually, they are visibly alert to their surroundings in the street for that reason.  I often feel glad that I am  not a woman for that reason.  I just slouch down the street in no fear of anything.  Being a tall, blue-eyed Caucasian male helps

So what is the solution to the fear in which women must often walk?

Before I look at that, I want to mention a large distinction she glides over.  The one example she gives of unwelcome advances is as follows:

Years ago, as a college student, I spent a semester abroad in a beautiful, historic city where the two sentences I heard most in English, usually conjoined, were “You want to go for coffee?” and “You want to have sex with me, baby?” I lived near a huge public garden where I wished I could walk or study, but couldn’t, without being followed, threatened and subjected to jarring revelations of some creep’s penis among the foliages. My experiment in worldliness had me trapped, fuming, in a tiny apartment.


So where did that occur?  She doesn't say.  Why?  From my reading of her biographical data, it was almost certainly in Africa or among Africans.  And it is no secret that Africans often "won't take no for an answer" from women.  They seem to show no shame in their approaches.  She writes as if all men are like that, when they are not.  I rather resent being lumped in with people who behave in such a stupid and disrespectful way. So she needs to give more attention to context in her writings rather than lumping all men into one basket.

But on to solutions:

There is of course the solution that feminists have thrown back in the faces of men: Traditional courtesy and gentlemanliness.  Women could once feel that they would be respected when they walked down the street and any "cad" would be brought up short by bystanders.  But radical feminists have destroyed that and taught that women should be expected to look after themselves.  Barbara is no doubt glad of that.  She values her independence and wants to be treated as an equal.  She just does not want to pay the price of that.  A small, weak person needs protection but she spurns that.

And there is the Muslim solution:  Wrap your women up in dark clothing so that almost nothing of them can be seen.  It would be amusing to see Barbara in such a wrap.  She would throw it off with fury.

And there is the Japanese solution, where everyone in the whole society acts considerately of one another.  Those little surgical masks you sometimes see Japanese wearing are not for their own benefit but to protect others from getting their infection.  And Japanese schoolgirls can walk down the street of Tokyo at night without fear.  But a large part of that comes from Japan being a very homogeneous society where everyone has a strong sense of belonging to a single national whole -- a sense of belonging to one-another.  Western wisdom, by contrast, preaches diversity.  So no Japanese solution for us.

Then there is Barbara's solution:  Instant aggressive shoutback at any untoward approaches.  It probably does help but Barbara herself admits it is a strain.  Women don't naturally behave like that.  But feminists have left that as the only remaining solution.  I pity them -- but folly will always have its reward.  It is angry Leftist women like Barbara who have put women into their present stressed situation.  And blaming men will change nothing


In each of my daughters’ lives came the day in fifth grade when we had to sit on her bed and practise. I pretended to be the boy in class who was making her sick with dread. She had to look right at me and repeat the words until they felt possible, if not easy: “Don’t say that to me. Don’t do that to me. I hate it.” As much as I wanted to knock heads around, I knew the only real solution was to arm a daughter for self-defence. But why was it so hard to put teeth into that defence? Why does it come more naturally to smile through clenched teeth and say “Oh, stop,” in the mollifying tone so regularly, infuriatingly mistaken for flirtation?

Women my age could answer that we were raised that way. We’ve done better with our daughters but still find ourselves right here, where male puberty opens a lifelong season of sexual aggression, and girls struggle for the voice to call it off. The Mad Men cliche of the boss cornering his besotted secretary is the modern cliche of the pop icon with his adulating, naked-ish harem in a story that never changes: attracting male attention is a woman’s success. Rejecting it feels rude, like refusing an award. It feels ugly.

Now, all at once, women are refusing to accept sexual aggression as any kind of award, and men are getting fired from their jobs. It feels like an earthquake. Men and women alike find ourselves disoriented, wondering what the rules are. Women know perfectly well that we hate unsolicited sexual attention, but navigate a minefield of male thinking on what “solicit” might mean. We’ve spent so much life-force on looking good but not too good, being professional but not unapproachable, while the guys just got on with life. And what of the massive costs of permanent vigilance, the tense smiles, declined work assignments and lost chances that are our daily job of trying to avoid assault? Can we get some backpay?

I think we’re trying to do that now, as the opening volleys of #MeToo smack us with backlash against backlash. Patriarchy persists because power does not willingly cede its clout; and also, frankly, because women are widely complicit in the assumption that we’re separate and not quite equal. If we’re woke, we inspect ourselves and others for implicit racial bias, while mostly failing to recognise explicit gender bias, which still runs rampant. Religious faiths that subordinate women flourish on every continent. Nearly every American educational institution pours the lion’s share of its athletics budget into the one sport that still excludes women – American football.

Most progressives wouldn’t hesitate to attend a football game, or to praise the enlightened new pope – the one who says he’s sorry, but women still can’t lead his church, or control our reproduction. In heterosexual weddings, religious or secular, the patriarch routinely “gives” his daughter to the groom, after which she’s presented to the audience as “Mrs New Patriarch,” to joyous applause. We have other options, of course: I kept my name in marriage and gave it to my daughters. But most modern brides still embrace the ritual erasure of their identities, taking the legal name of a new male head of household, as enslaved people used to do when they came to a new plantation owner.

I can already hear the outcry against conflating traditional marriage with slavery. Yes, I know, the marital bargain has changed: women are no longer chattels. Tell me this giving-away and name-changing are just vestiges of a cherished tradition. I’ll reply that some of my neighbours here in the south still fly the Confederate flag – not with hate, they insist, but to honour a proud tradition. In either case, a tradition in which people legally control other people doesn’t strike me as worth celebrating, even symbolically.

If any contract between men required the non-white one to adopt the legal identity of his Caucasian companion, would we pop the champagne? If any sport wholly excluded people of colour, would it fill stadiums throughout the land? Would we attend a church whose sacred texts consign Latinos to inferior roles? What about galas where black and Asian participants must wear painful shoes and clothes that reveal lots of titillating, well-toned flesh while white people turn up comfortably covered?

No wonder there is confusion about this volcano of outrage against men who objectify and harass. Marriage is not slavery, but a willingness to subvert our very names in our primary partnership might confound everyone’s thinking about where women stand in our other relationships with men. And if our sex lives aren’t solely ours to control, but also the purview of men of the cloth, why not employers too?We may ache for gender equality but we’re rarely framing or fighting for it in the same ways we fight for racial equality. The #MeToo movement can’t bring justice to a culture so habituated to misogyny that we can’t even fathom parity, and women still dread losing the power we’ve been taught to use best: our charm.

Years ago, as a college student, I spent a semester abroad in a beautiful, historic city where the two sentences I heard most in English, usually conjoined, were “You want to go for coffee?” and “You want to have sex with me, baby?” I lived near a huge public garden where I wished I could walk or study, but couldn’t, without being followed, threatened and subjected to jarring revelations of some creep’s penis among the foliages. My experiment in worldliness had me trapped, fuming, in a tiny apartment.

One day in a fit of weird defiance I tied a sofa cushion to my belly under a loose dress and discovered this was the magic charm: I could walk anywhere, unmolested. I carried my after-class false pregnancy to the end of the term, happily ignored by predators. As a lissom 20-year-old I resented my waddly disguise, but came around to a riveting truth: being attractive was less useful to me than being free.

Modern women’s magazines promise we don’t have to choose, we can be sovereign powers and seductresses both at once. But study the pictures and see an attractiveness imbued with submission and myriad forms of punitive self-alteration. Actually, we have to choose: not one or the other utterly, but some functional point between these poles. It starts with a sober reckoning of how much we really need to be liked by the universe of men. Not all men confuse “liking” with conquest, of course – just the handful of jerks who poison the well, and the larger number who think they are funny. Plus the majority of the US male electorate, who put a boastful assaulter in charge of us all.

This is the point. The universe of men does not merit women’s indiscriminate grace. If the #MeToo revolution has proved anything, it’s that women live under threat. Not sometimes, but all the time.

We don’t have unlimited options about working for male approval, since here in this world that is known as “approval.” We also want to be loved, probably we want it too much. But loved. Bear with us while we sort this out, and begin to codify it in the bluntest terms. Enduring some guy’s copped feel or a gander at his plumbing is so very much not a Valentine. It is a letter bomb. It can blow up a day, an interview, a job, a home, the very notion of safety inside our bodies.

It shouldn’t be this hard to demand safety while we do our work, wear whatever, walk where we need to go. And yet, for countless women enduring harassment on the job, it is this hard, and escape routes are few. The path to freedom is paved with many special words for “hideously demanding person” that only apply to females.

Chaining the links of our experiences behind a hashtag can help supply the courage to be unlovely while we blast an ugly reality into the open. The chain doesn’t negate women’s individuality or our capacity to trust men individually, nor does it suggest every assault is the same. Raped is not groped is not catcalled on the street: all these are vile and have to stop, but the damages are different. Women who wish to be more than bodies can use our brains to discern context and the need for cultural education. In lieu of beguiling we can be rational, which means giving the accused a fair hearing and a sentence that fits the crime. (Let it also be said, losing executive power is not the death penalty, even if some people are carrying on as if it were.) Polarisation is as obstructive in gender politics as in any other forum. Sympathetic men are valuable allies.

Let’s be clear: no woman asks to live in a rape culture: we all want it over, yesterday. Mixed signals about female autonomy won’t help bring it down, and neither will asking nicely. Nothing changes until truly powerful offenders start to fall. Feminine instincts for sweetness and apology have no skin in this game. It’s really not possible to overreact to uncountable, consecutive days of being humiliated by men who say our experience isn’t real, or that we like it actually, or are cute when we’re mad. Anger has to go somewhere – if not out then inward, in a psychic thermodynamics that can turn a nation of women into pressure cookers. Watching the election of a predator-in-chief seems to have popped the lid off the can. We’ve found a voice, and now is a good time to use it, in a tone that will not be mistaken for flirtation. Don’t say that to me. Don’t do that to me. I hate it.

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Warming and the Search for Climate Justice for the Poor

A slight temperature rise is THE big problem for the poor?  It might hurt the Filipino farmer below somewhat, who looks like he is harvesting sugar-cane, but how come he is not sitting in the air-conditioned cabin of a big mechanical harvester?  THAT is the real issue.



There are many things the poor need before they need to worry about the climate.  Such as cheap electricity, cheap petroleum products and a government that is repealing laws and regulations rather than adding to them.  That canecutter could be sitting in an airconditioned cabin and harvesting 100 times more cane than he is now if only his government had long ago decided to sit on its hands.  China did it with resounding success so the way ahead for the poor of the 3rd world is clear.  And it has nothing to do with climate


A far-reaching report being drafted by the United Nations' authoritative climate science panel explores in comprehensive detail the environmental justice, poverty and other human rights challenges facing the world as it pursues the urgent and daunting goals of the Paris Agreement.

"In a 1.5 degree Celsius warmer world"—a world we're likely to see by mid-century without a global transformation in the next decade, the latest version of the draft report says—"those most at risk will be individuals and communities experiencing multidimensional poverty, persistent vulnerabilities and various forms of deprivation and disadvantage."

To help protect them, it calls for policies "guided by concerns for equity and fairness and enhanced support for eradicating poverty and reducing inequalities."

In scope, scale and detail—but also in its careful attention to questions of ethics and justice—this report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a landmark work in progress.

The emerging report is more than 800 pages long, heavily footnoted and packed with graphics and sidebars. It lays out as never before "an assessment of current knowledge of the extent and interlinkages of the global environmental, economic, financial, social and technical conditions that a 1.5 degree Celsius warmer world represents." It takes on "complex ethics questions" that demand "interdisciplinary research and reflection."

How, it asks, will a 1.5 degree warmer world impact the human rights of the dispossessed, "including their rights to water, shelter, food, health and life? How will it affect the rights of the urban and rural poor, indigenous communities, women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities?"

The draft report gauges how the half-degree gap from 1.5 to 2 degrees of warming "amounts to a greater likelihood of drought, flooding, resource depletion, conflict and forced migration."

It notes that even if all the nations achieve their Paris pledges, the result will be worldwide emissions in 2030 that already lock in 1.5 degrees of warming by the end of this century. The temperature barrier would likely be broken by mid-century, as Reuters noted in first reporting on the draft study. Even the 2 degree target eventually would fall unless emissions are brought to zero, the IPCC and other agencies have repeatedly warned.

Either way, the outlook is dire, especially for the poor.

"The risks to human societies through impacts on health, livelihood, food and water security, human security and infrastructure are higher with 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming compared to today, and higher still with 2 degrees Celsius global warming compared with 1.5 degrees," the draft concludes.

"These risks are greatest for people facing multiple forms of poverty, inequality and marginalization; people in coastal communities and those dependent on agriculture; poor urban residents; and communities displaced from their homes."

Suitable pathways forward, the report said, must square the circle of energy use and sustainable development—not an easy task, but one that would pay off with a cleaner environment, better health, prospering ecosystems and other benefits. There would be risks for poverty, hunger and access to energy; those must be "alleviated by redistributive measures."
How to Move Forward?

The focus on justice and fairness is enlisted to press for substantial transformations of the energy landscape as emissions from fossil fuels are eliminated and changes in land management, among other steps, are pressed hard.

On the one hand, these remedies "are put at risk by high population growth, low economic development, and limited efforts to reduce energy demand," the report says. On the other hand, the solutions cannot be allowed to burden the poor.

SOURCE


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Cold Facts on the Globe’s Hottest Years

Annenberg fact checking is often recognizably biased so the presentation below has to be taken with a  grain of salt.  So let me supply some salt

But first let me congratulate author Vanessa Schipani on a scholarly piece of work.  It's nice to have a detailed discussion of the numbers for a change.  And she does concede in the end  that the "hottest year" talk so beloved of Warmists is pretty meaningless, which is pleasing.

So she says that it is the long-term trend whch we have to focus on.  So far, so good.

But a trend by itself tells you very little. The interesting question is what causes the trend.  On (rubbery) NOAA figures there has been a slight trend over the last 150 years but are the details of that trend favourable to the global warming theory?  They are not.  So we have to move on to matters that Vanessa does not consider. In particular, was the trend in temperature matched by a trend in CO2 levels?  That the two trends do coincide is the essence of the global warming theory.

To examine the question, we have to ask what are our start and finish points of any trend we want to examine.  It is an old truth of chartmanship that you can prove almost anything by a judicious selection of start and finish points.  Every such decision will have a degree of arbitrariness but some are less arbitrary than othrers.

During my research career I did a lot of factor analysis, generally principal components analysis. I even remember centroid analysis! And you can generally get quite a few factors out of  a modern analysis.  But how do you decide which factors are likely to be important?  A very common procedure is to look for the "natural break" in an ordered series of eigenvalues -- sometimes called a "scree test".  And looking at any series of numbers can involve a decision of that nature.

So, in the case of the terrestrial temperature series we can see on a number of occasions such "natural breaks".  One of them is, quite simply, the 21st century.  The 21st century temperatures bob up and down but display no overall trend.  There is NO global warming in the 21st century so the trend up to that time appears to have run its course.  It is certainly true that El Nino pushed up temperatures in 2015 and 2016 but El Nino is not a product of anthropogenic global warming and its influence has by now just about petered out, leaving the 2017 temperature very close to the pre El Nino average, which gives us temperature stasis back.

And note that CO2 levels did NOT rise during the El Nino warming event.  I monitored the CO2 figures from both Cape Grim and Mauna Loa right from the onset of the warming -- beginning roughly in August 2015.  And I noted that the 400ppm peak had been reached BEFORE that warming event and then plateaued during the warming event.  There was no rise in CO2 levels accompanying the rise in temperature.  So the temperature rise COULD NOT have been caused by a CO2 rise -- because there was no CO2 rise. And it's now in the journals that CO2 levels plateaued in 2015 and 2016.

So El Nino did not merely contribute "part" of the 2015/2016 warming event, it contributed the WHOLE of it.  So if we remove the influence of El Nino, we can see that there has been NO anthropogenic global warming for the whole of this century.  The levels of CO2 have influenced nothing.  Warmist theory is wrong


Sen. James Inhofe misleadingly claimed that the statistics behind the globe’s likely hottest years on record — 2014, 2015 and 2016 — were “meaningless” because the temperature increases were “well within the margin of error.” Taking into account the margins of error, there’s still a long-term warming trend.

Inhofe, a longtime skeptic of human-caused climate change, made his claim Jan. 3 on the Senate floor.

Inhofe, Jan. 3: The Obama administration touted 2014, 2015, and 2016 as the hottest years on record. But the increases are well within the margin of error. In 2016, NOAA said the Earth warmed by 0.04 degrees Celsius, and the British Government pegged it at 0.01 Celsius. However, the margin of error is 0.1 degree, not 0.01. So it is all statistically meaningless and below the doom-and-gloom temperature predictions from all the various models from consensus scientists.

Since Inhofe cites data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the British government, we’ll concentrate on their analyses.

According to NOAA, 2016 was the warmest year on record for the globe since record keeping began in 1880; 2015 ranked the second warmest year and 2014 the third warmest. There are uncertainties in those rankings, however.

As we explained in 2015 when then-President Obama proclaimed 2014 “the planet’s warmest year on record,” such a definitive claim is problematic. For instance, while NOAA found then that 2014 had the highest probability of being the warmest, there remained statistical odds that other years could have held that distinction. But as we explained, scientists are more concerned with long-term trends than any given year.

And 2017 is on track to be another warm year. On Dec. 18, NOAA said 2017 could end up being the third warmest on record, based on data for January to November. NOAA spokesman Brady Philips told us the agency will release information on the year as a whole on Jan. 18.

NOAA ranks years by looking at how much their average temperatures differ from the 20th century average — what scientists call a temperature anomaly.

Based on the agency’s analysis, the average temperature for 2016 was 0.94 degrees Celsius (1.69 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average of 13.9 C (56.9 F). The margin of error for 2016 was plus-or-minus 0.15 C (0.27 F).

NOAA explains that a margin of error takes into account the “inherent level of uncertainty” that comes with “[e]valuating the temperature of the entire planet.”

The agency adds that the reported temperature anomaly — 0.94 C in the case of 2016 — “is not an exact measurement; instead it is the central — and most likely — value within a range of possible values.”

For example, that range, or margin of error, would be 0.79 C (1.42 F) to 1.09 C (1.96 F) for 2016. Scientists at NOAA are 95 percent certain the temperature anomaly for 2016, or for any given year, will fall within the margin of error.

As Inhofe notes, NOAA scientists found that the average temperature for 2015 was 0.04 C less than 2016’s at 0.90 C (1.62 F) above the 20th century norm. The margin of error for 2015 was plus-or-minus 0.08 C (0.14 F), which means the range for 2015 is between 0.82 C (1.48 F) and 0.98 C (1.76 F).

The difference between 2015 and 2014, however, was wider. The average temperature for 2014 was 0.74 C (1.33 F) above the 20th century mean, or 0.16 C (0.29 F) less than 2015. The range for 2014 is between 0.59 C (1.06 F) and 0.89 C (1.60 F).

So the margins of error for these three years do overlap. When we requested evidence from Inhofe’s office, spokeswoman Leacy Burke sent us links to articles that reiterate the senator’s claim that the temperature increase in 2016 was within a margin of error – meaning, again, that while 2016 is most likely the warmest on record, other years that fall within that margin, including 2015 and 2014, could be the warmest. Still that doesn’t mean the statistics are “meaningless.” Over the long haul, data show an increasing trend, as the chart below shows.

“Overall, the global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.07°C (0.13°F) per decade since 1880 and at an average rate of 0.17°C (0.31°F) per decade since 1970,” says NOAA.

Similar to NOAA, the U.K.’s Met Office, the country’s national weather service, reported that 2016 “was one of the warmest two years on record, nominally exceeding the record temperature of 2015.” The agency also found that 2014 likely ranked the third warmest year.

Both NOAA and the Met Office note that human-caused global warming isn’t the only force behind the record temperatures.

Peter Stott, then the acting director of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: “A particularly strong El Niño event contributed about 0.2C to the annual average for 2016, which was about 1.1C above the long term average from 1850 to 1900.” El Niño is a naturally occurring interaction between the atmosphere and ocean that is linked to periodic warming.

Stott added, “However, the main contributor to warming over the last 150 years is human influence on climate from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

The Met Office’s numbers differ slightly from NOAA’s, in part, because the agency uses a different reference point.

NOAA ranks years based on how much their average temperatures differ from the 20th century norm. The Met Office uses the temperature average between 1850 and 1900 or between 1961 and 1990.

Using that latter reference point, the Met Office found 2016’s temperature anomaly to be 0.77 C, plus-or-minus 0.1 C, which was only 0.01 more than 2015’s temperature anomaly.

So Inhofe is right that the British government’s margins of error for 2016 and 2015 overlap.

But Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the Met Office, explained in an email to us why it’s important to look at the long-term trend — not just the difference between two years, as Inhofe did.

Madge, Jan. 6: When looking at global temperature rise it helps to look at the way the stats and figures are framed. For example, 2016 was the warmest year since pre-industrial times. However, it was only marginally warmer than the previous year, which was also a record. When viewed as parallel years, however, they really stand out in the long-term record. … We try to focus on the long term when presenting information. You can make a desert seem like a lush wetland if you only show the oasis.

NOAA also explains the difference between looking at single years versus the long-term trend: “As more and more data builds a long-term series, there is less and less influence of single ‘outliers’ on the overall trend, making the long-term trend even more certain than the individual points along it.”

In other words, if scientists found that the globe had just one year with an exceptionally high temperature average, they may not be convinced that global warming is occurring. But if data show that the planet has experienced a number of record warm years in a row, it suggests the warming trend is real.

In fact, NOAA says there’s only a 0.0125 percent chance of seeing three outliers in a row — and the Earth has seen many more record warm years than three.

NOAA writes that 2016 “marks the fifth time in the 21st century a new record high annual temperature has been set (along with 2005, 2010, 2014, and 2015) and also marks the 40th consecutive year (since 1977) that the annual temperature has been above the 20th century average.”

So while Inhofe was right that the margins of error for temperature measurements in recent years overlap, that doesn’t negate a long-term warming trend or render the temperature anomalies “meaningless.”

SOURCE

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The Bottom of the Ocean Is Sinking

The work noted below got its results by comparing an approximation to an estimate so is doubly guesswork. And since the decline found consisted of only eight hundredths of one inch we must allow for it being no more than an error of measurement

So I don't think I really have to mention it but the article is a crock in other ways too.  Where are the "melting ice sheets and glaciers" that they refer to?  96% of the earth's glacial ice is in Antarctica and that is  GAINING mass overall, not melting.

And if the earth's oceans are "swelling", we should be seeing big sea level rises.  But in lots of places worldwide sea levels are FALLING (e.g. here). It is only very dubious "corrections" for isostatic movements in Northern Europe that turn the falls into apparent rises

And that the isostatic adjustments are a crock is shown by the fact that there are substantial sea level falls even in isostatically stable parts of the world

Below is the raw sea level record from Stockholm, Sweden, showing a steady fall.  No wonder they called on isostatic assumptions to "correct" it!



The ice age ended long ago.  Assuming isostatic rebound from it still in the 21st century is totally implausible.

The whole article simply depends on conventional assumptions which are not supported by the evidence


The bottom of the ocean is more of a "sunken place" than it used to be.

In recent decades, melting ice sheets and glaciers driven by climate change are swelling Earth's oceans. And along with all that water comes an unexpected consequence — the weight of the additional liquid is pressing down on the seafloor, causing it to sink.

Consequently, measurements and predictions of sea-level rise may have been incorrect since 1993, underestimating the growing volume of water in the oceans due to the receding bottom, according to a new study.

Scientists have long known that Earth's crust, or outer layer, is elastic: Earlier research revealed how Earth's surface warps in response to tidal movements that redistribute masses of water; and 2017's Hurricane Harvey dumped so much water on Texas that the ground dropped 0.8 inches (2 centimeters), the Atlantic reported.

In the new investigation, researchers looked at more long-term impacts to the seafloor. They evaluated how much the shape of the ocean bottom may have changed between 1993 and 2014, taking into account the amount of water added to the ocean from liquid formerly locked up on land as ice. Previous research into seafloor stretching had omitted that extra water, the scientists wrote in the study.

To do that, they reviewed approximations of mass loss on land, as ice melted and drained into the oceans, and compared that to estimates of sea volume changes. They found that around the world for two decades, ocean basins deformed an average of 0.004 inches (0.1 millimeter) per year, with a total deformation of 0.08 inches (2 mm).

However, there were distinct regional patterns to the seafloor's bending and stretching, and the amount of sag in certain parts of the ocean bottom could be significantly higher — as much as 0.04 inches (1 mm) per year in the Arctic Ocean, for a total of 0.8 inches (20 mm), the study authors reported.

As a result, satellite assessments of sea-level change — which don't account for a sinking ocean bottom — could be underestimating the amount that seas are rising by 8 percent, according to the study.

The accuracy of future sea-level estimates could be notably improved if the sinking of the ocean floor were incorporated into the calculations, "either based on modeled estimates of ocean mass change, as was done in this study, or using more direct observations," the scientists concluded.

SOURCE

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The truly alarming scale of the global ocean plastic crisis laid bare by Storm Eleanor

A big moan from Britain about floating plastic below.  Inevitably, they want "us" to do something about it.  I am going to be most unpopular and mention what DOES need to be done about it:  We need to dissuade Africans from using their rivers as a dump.  Rivers are the basic African waste disposal facility.  And what goes in the rivers ends up in the oceans.  Western countries by contrast are very fussy about proper disposal of their rubbish.  Floating plastic waste in the Atlantic is an AFRICAN problem, not "our" problem

The only thing "we" could do is to set up barriers at the mouths of the African rivers which would catch the rubbish before it went out to sea.  Nothing as realistic as that is likely to happen, however.  It would undoubtedly be "racist", of course



The masses of plastic dumped on the beaches of Cornwall by Storm Eleanor throws into stark relief the global crisis being caused by human rubbish in the world’s oceans.

As the storm passed, pictures emerged of the picturesque Cornish coast left strewn with waste and its rockpools clogged with plastic.

In recent years rising demand for single-use items such as food wrapping and bottled water has helped lead to us producing more plastic in the last decade than in the previous century.

Fleeting conveniences such as disposable coffee cups can outlive their use in minutes, but take up to 450 years to degrade once discarded. The result is the world’s oceans are now choking with billions of tonnes of plastic.

Public awareness of the impact of plastic waste has been growing in recent years, helped in particular by the graphic portrayal of its effect on the marine environment

SOURCE

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Feminism is leading to democide

Democide is when a nation or other group wipes itself out.  People of European descent are busily doing that right now.  Most European countries and their derivative populations in the USA, Australia etc. are not having nearly enough babies to replace those who are dying.  There can be only one end to that.  Will people one day see the last European baby?

So why?  Why the baby drought? Feminism is a large part of it.  They keep telling women that for some unfathomable reason, they need to have a "career" and that relationships with men are "sleeping with the enemy".  They even refer contemptuously to women with children as "breeders".

Once that would not have mattered. Nature ensured that the babies came anyway, ready or not.  But the contraceptive pill has subverted that.  So America and Europe are keeping their populations up by importing third world immigrants at a great rate.  Recent American statistics say that International Migration Accounted for 48% of the Population Growth.

So America will in the long run become another poor Spanish speaking country.  The small brown men who cross into the USA from South are America's future.  They have IQs averaging at about 85 so will not be able to support a high level of civilization.  You can see the sort of countries they create anywhere South of the Rio Grande.

So feminism is far and away the most successful form of Leftism.  Leftism aims at destroying the society around it.  Feminism is doing that daily. Normal families are the bedrock of society so minimizing them is the ultimate tool of destruction.  Karl Marx saw that clearly.  He was very hostile to families.  So we have had plenty of warning.

Is there a way out?  There is an authoritarian way out.  Russia has a severe problem with population decline so I would not be surprised to see Vladimir Vladimirovich taking strong measures, replacing feminist propaganda with pro-natalist propaganda and denying welfare support in old age to those who have not had children, for instance.  I think all countries should do the latter.  Why should people who have not had children be supported by other people's children?

There is a sort of last-ditch hope.  There are some Western women who do have three or more children, largely because they want to.  They are maternal women.  And being maternal is highly likely to be hereditary.  So their daughters will have multiple children too.  So as the others die out there should remain a core group who keep European civilization alive.  They will exist amid a swamp of less intelligent people so their sons will have to be heroes to avoid oppression -- but Europeans are a warrior race so that may come to the fore.

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Men Resist Green Behavior as Unmanly

Probably because it is.  It is emotional rather than logical.

Feminists routinely claim that the environment is a feminist issue.  There's a whole Wikipedia article on it.  So for the authors below to have shown anything new, they would have to have established that there was no prior polarization between the sexes on environmental issues.  They did not do that, probably because they could not.

So their research was just more of the superficial and biased rubbish that we routinely get from Leftist psychologists.  I have commented on a lot of it over the years.

And I am amused that the article appeared in the "Unscientific American" -- as conservatives often call it.  How appropriate!

A surprising reason for resistance to environmental goods and habits

Women have long surpassed men in the arena of environmental action; across age groups and countries, females tend to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Compared to men, women litter less, recycle more, and leave a smaller carbon footprint. Some researchers have suggested that personality differences, such as women’s prioritization of altruism, may help to explain this gender gap in green behavior.

Our own research suggests an additional possibility: men may shun eco-friendly behavior because of what it conveys about their masculinity. It’s not that men don’t care about the environment. But they also tend to want to feel macho, and they worry that eco-friendly behaviors might brand them as feminine.

The research, conducted with three other colleagues, consisted of seven experiments involving more than 2,000 American and Chinese participants. We showed that there is a psychological link between eco-friendliness and perceptions of femininity. Due to this “green-feminine stereotype,” both men and women judged eco-friendly products, behaviors, and consumers as more feminine than their non-green counterparts.  In one experiment, participants of both sexes described an individual who brought a reusable canvas bag to the grocery store as more feminine than someone who used a plastic bag—regardless of whether the shopper was a male or female.  In another experiment, participants perceived themselves to be more feminine after recalling a time when they did something good versus bad for the environment.

Men may eschew green products and behaviors to avoid feeling feminine.  In one study, we threatened the masculinity of male participants by showing them a pink gift card with a floral design and asking them to imagine using the card to purchase three products (lamp, backpack, and batteries).  Compared to men shown a standard gift card, threatened men were more likely to choose the non-green rather than green version of each item.  The idea that emasculated men try to reassert their masculinity through non-environmentally-friendly choices suggests that in addition to littering, wasting water, or using too much electricity, one could harm the environment merely by making men feel feminine.

Ironically, although men are often considered to be less sensitive than women, they seem to be particularly sensitive when it comes to perceptions of their gender identity. In fact, a previous study suggests that men find it to be more difficult than women to choose between masculine and feminine versions of everyday food and household items and will usually change their preferences to be more manly when allowed time to think about their decisions. Something as simple as holding a purse, ordering a colorful drink, or talking in a high voice can lead to social harm, so men tend to keep a sharp eye out for any of these potential snares.

So what can pro-environmental marketers do to buffer against the threat posed to men by the green-feminine stereotype? First, eco-friendly marketing messages and materials can be designed to affirm men’s masculinity and give them the confidence to overcome their fear of being judged as feminine when engaging in green behaviors.  For example, in one experiment, men who received feedback affirming their masculinity were more interested in purchasing an eco-friendly version of a cleaning product. Men who feel secure in their manhood are more comfortable going green.

Second, green products and organizations can be marketed as more “Men”-vironmentally-friendly, with more masculine fonts, colors, words, and images used in the branding. To illustrate, men in one experiment were more likely to donate to a green non-profit with a masculine logo (black and dark blue colors featuring a howling wolf, with the name “Wilderness Rangers” in a bold font) than one with a traditional logo (green and light tan colors featuring a tree, with the name “Friends of Nature” in a frilly font).  And in a field study conducted at a BMW dealership in China, male customers were more interested in a hybrid vehicle after viewing a print ad featuring a masculine term in the model’s description than when viewing the traditional print ad.

Together, these findings highlight how the green-feminine stereotype inhibits men from taking eco-friendly actions, and suggest that masculine affirmation and masculine branding may be effective in narrowing the gender gap in environmentalism. Make the man feel manly, and he’s more likely to go green.

SOURCE

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Let's look inside a Leftist emptyhead

Alon Ben-Meir is Senior Fellow, Center for Global Affairs, NYU.  He is an elderly Jewish "expert" on peace in the Middle East.  It must be hard to be an expert on something that does not exist and shows no signs of coming to be but Ben-meir has allegedly attained it.  On his deathbed he will perhaps be wondering why he spent so much of his life on something so ephemeral.  But he has been heaped with honours and recognition from Leftists so  he might reflect that he has actually done rather well. Seeking praise and recognition is a major Leftist aim, after all.  Too bad if you accomplish nothing good.

He has recently put up an article under the heading: "A Party That Has Lost Its Soul".  And that heading typifies the article.  "Soul" is not defined nor is there any discussion of when and where and how the loss occurred.  The party concerned is of course the Republican party. So we have a meaningless but emotional outpouring.

We also learn that the GOP has failed to "safeguard America’s national interest".  How?  He does not say.

We also hear that the GOP has "no scruples and no moral compass".  So it must be the GOP that says "there is no such thing as right and wrong"?  I would have sworn that was a Leftist docrtine.

And Trump is a "president who has nothing to offer the country but disgrace".  Again no elaboration on that. I thought he offered America renewed greatness. What have I missed?

I have so far referred to his first paragraph only but the rest of his article  is similar so I think I have said enough to show that this Leftist eminence seems to have managed the remarkable feat of having emotions but no brains.  Sadly, a lot of the Left seem like that.

I note that proud RINO, Rick Moran, also accuses the GOP of having lost its soul.  But at least he says why.  It is because judge Moore was "credibly accused" of something.  No presumption of innocence?  Souls seem to fly out the window very readily these days.  As an atheist, I don't have one so I'm OK.

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Michael Mann says bitter cold is consistent with global warming

It probably is and the reasoning he gives in the article excerpted below is plausible.  The professional Warmists at NOAA, however, predicted a WARM winter:  Another failure of their theory and its appurtenant models.

Mann is however not abashed by yet another failed prediction. He "explains" it.  His explanation is however what in science is known as an "ad hoc" explanation and just about any data can be explained "ad hoc".  In plain language it is known as "being wise after the event".

In science, however, the need for an a hoc explanation is seen as damaging to the theory and requiring revision of the theory. And it normally takes only a few failures of theory predictions  for the theory to be discarded altogether.  With global warming, however, NOTHING is ever taken as damaging to the theory. And in the philosophy of science an unfalsifiable theory is regarded as not being an empirical statement.  It can only be a statement of faith.


The US East Coast is experiencing an “old-fashioned” winter, with plenty of cold weather and some heavy snowfall in certain places. Listening to climate contrarians like President Donald Trump, you might think this constitutes the death knell for concern over human-caused climate change.

Yet, what we were witnessing play out is in fact very much consistent with our expectations of the response of weather dynamics to human-caused climate change.

Dr. Michael Mann on Extreme Weather: “We Predicted This Long Ago”

Let’s start with the record five-plus feet of snowfall accumulation in Erie, Pennsylvania, in late December. Does this disprove global warming? “Exactly the opposite,” explains my colleague, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University.

Global warming is leading to later freeze-up of the Great Lakes and warmer lake temperatures. It is the collision of cold Arctic air with relatively warm unfrozen lake water in early winter that causes lake effect snows in the first place. The warmer those lake temperatures, the more moisture in the air, and the greater potential for lake effect snows. Not surprisingly, we see a long-term increase in lake effect snowfalls as temperatures have warmed during the last century

 SOURCE

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Sexual harassment in Hollywood

Perhaps because I am old and remember different ways of doing things in the past, I draw conclusions about the sexual harassment furore in Hollywood which are diametrically opposite to the current beliefs

No figures have been mentioned for how many women gave in to approaches by Weinstein and others but many clearly did.

In days of not so long ago, a man who got "fresh" with a woman would get a slap across the face from her and that would be the end of the matter. So how come that didn't happen to Harvey Weinstein as far as we know?  Weinstein himself tells us the answer to that and no-one has been able to gainsay him:  It was because the women consented to his approaches.  And the police have got nothing on him because there is no evidence that the women did not consent.

Aha!  Someone will say: But it was coerced consent.  But there is no evidence that the coercion was heavily physical.  The women would just have had to let out a big scream and Weinstein would have rapidly detumesced.

So it is undoubted that the women consented because they wanted something from Weinstein.  That was the coercion.  There is almost a physical hunger to be "in the movies" in Hollywood.  People come to that suburb of Los Angeles from all over the world in hopes of being "noticed".  And most women have had at some time the experience of having sex when they did not really want it. So what Weinstein offered was a price they were willing to pay.

In short, Weinstein BOUGHT them.  And they didn't complain at the time because they went willingly into the transaction and had good hopes of it.  They prostituted themselves to his ugliness -- to be paid not in money but in fame.

So they have nothing to complain about.  By complaining at this juncture they reveal themselves for what they are:  Prostitutes.

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2018 Will Be the Year Feminists Target Little Boys

Little boys have a way of training their mothers -- mainly by being joyously boyish -- but pity any kid who fell into the hands of the hard-hearted bitch quoted below. I tell my son that real women like real men -- but he has parents who love him so has always been allowed to be himself -- a normal male.

Our permissiveness even extended to allowing him to spend vast amounts of his childhood playing computer games.  Many wiseheads would criticize that.  But now that he is an adult he has a first class honours degree in mathematics, a pretty girlfriend who adores him and a highly paid job as an IT consultant.  A very successful outcome, I think.  He even talks to his old father almost daily


According to Time, all men are inevitably “angry.” The only way to stem this drastic tide of “angry” men is to raise them as follows: "At a young age, this should be done explicitly, in organized forums for discussions at school," Faith Salie writes. "It must be done relentlessly and organically, in our family homes. Parents must invite their sons to be sad, afraid, hurt, silly and affectionate, and must embrace them as often as they snuggle their daughters. Sweet boys learn early on that they can defend themselves against loneliness by reaching out and asking for support rather than turning into people who, literally, grab for power. Sweet boys evolve into open-hearted men who aren’t confused about consent and sexual boundaries, because they experience women as equals."

This, of course, implies that parents of boys naturally tend to push them away and train them to act more like Spartans preparing for perpetual warfare than, well, the children they are. Girls, on the other hand, can be as “fierce” as they like. And if “fierce” requires Spartan parenting skills, I guess that means girls should be, what? Hugged less? Shown Beyonce videos on a repeating track beginning at birth?

Salie exhibits the kind of feminism that held women back in 2017. This was the year in which what was once a powerful cultural movement against gross gender-based inequalities fully pandered to the outrage of its rulers, a minority class of rich, white women with no real problems and plenty of time to kill. Although 2017 is ending with the image of an Iranian woman boldly removing her hijab in a public square, it will forever be defined by the image of American WASPs marching on D.C. in pussyhats. Such is the legacy of a movement defined by women too rich to do any real work and too sheltered to ever experience true suffering.

Hence, the biggest battle in the mind of the American feminist is the one being waged against “angry men.” Forget the fact that for every Harvey Weinstein there is a Chip Gaines or a Linda Sarsour for that matter. In the mind of the American feminist the true battle is being waged, as Salie suggests, in kids’ clothing stores across America:

Walk into any baby store, and you’re greeted immediately in the boys’ department by brown and neon green layettes festooned with sharks, trucks, and footballs. Onesies for newborns declare, “TOUGH LIKE DADDY.” The boy taught from infancy to be tough is emotionally doomed... The clothes marketed to my daughter feature  unicorns, rainbows, rockets, dinosaurs, and sequins in every color imaginable. They are whimsical and sparkly.

Permit me to get truly feminist for a moment and suggest that even the mythical powers of the unicorn are phallic, as is the fencing foil Salie’s daughter crafts out of a kite. But, if a girl is in charge of the pointed object in question it’s perfectly okay. Salie isn’t arguing in favor of gender equality; she’s arguing in favor of stripping all men of their sense of an autonomous self. According to Salie, it isn’t the man himself, but the man who holds a position – any position -- of authority that is truly evil.

Don’t let Salie’s thinly veiled call for (male) empathy fool you. There is no room in her movement for empathy for girls who are forced to defend themselves against the persecution of Islamic clerics, forced genital mutilation, or sex slavery. American feminists don’t talk about having empathy for those women. They simply hashtag them and move on to fight the real battles taking place in select Carter’s and Children’s Place stores all over the country: the battle over whose logo t-shirt is truly the toughest.

2017 isn’t just the year feminism failed women. It is the year feminism failed men. Even more sadly, it is the year feminism encouraged mothers to fail their boys. Raising a child should never involve stripping him of his independence, let alone holding him up to a standard rooted in stereotypes. But, I suppose that’s what happens when you bind yourself to a movement so limited in scope and function that your pussyhat blinds you from looking past the end of your silver spoon—or Target receipt.

SOURCE

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Feminist Push to make childcare unaffordable

The Leftist IEU (Independent Education Union) have issued the call below.  Government "quality" mandates, including high staff numbers and sweeping  educational requirements for child-minders, have already pushed up the costs of child-minding to the point where most working mothers spend a large slice of their earnings on child care. The union wants a leap in pay for child minders that could push many working mothers out of the workforce altogether.  So I support the call. Young children need their mothers at home, as the research by Erica Komisar has shown.

The claim that a university education is an important qualification for becoming a child minder is absurd and I would like to see the evidence for the claim.  Some education could no doubt help but why university?


The IEU lodged evidence and submissions to support its pay equity claim for early childhood teachers just before Christmas.

This is the latest step in the IEU pay equity case that has been running before the Fair Work Commission since 2013.  The Union is seeking pay rises for university qualified teachers in preschools and child care centres.

"The claim is based on comparisons with male employees  male teachers in primary schools and male engineers.  At present, teachers in early childhood, who are almost all female, can earn tens of thousands of dollars less than teachers in schools. For example the top award rate for a teacher in a child care centre is less than $70,000 whereas a teacher in a primary school earns close to $100,000" says Carol Matthews, Assistant Secretary of the NSW/ACT Branch of the IEU.

"We are certainly not seeking rates of $156,000 as some media outlets have claimed," she added. "The top rate for a teacher in a child care centre under our claim would be just over $100,00".

The claim only affects a small proportion of the overall number of staff in services and the Union calculates the impact on costs would be relatively small.

"Parents would not necessarily bear the brunt of these increases. The sector is already funded by state and federal governments to the tune of billions of dollars.  Governments should also fund fair pay rates for university qualified teachers as they are so important to children's
development".

The Union states the importance of university qualified teachers to improved learning and social outcomes has been known for decades and is a central plank of the federal government strategy for early childhood education and care.

Via email

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Black Baltimore breaks city record for killings per capita in 2017

The AP writer below pretends it is a mystery why Baltimore is so violent.  But he knows why.  He even mentions it.  The city's black officials immediately blamed the police when a black man died in police custody.  The officers were rapidly charged with only minimal prior enquiry.  This enraged blacks who took the charges as proof of guilt.  So they immediately escalated their hostility to the police -- so that many black areas became "no go" areas for the police.

So the police have largely sat on their hands since.  They are not willing to risk their lives only to risk being charged as wrongdoers.  And with no police to inhibit it, crime thrives and black Baltimore residents are paying a high price for their community's antagonism to the police.  And the fact that all the police initially charged were eventually exonerated has just fed the hostility.  Police must be supported to be effective but that now has to be a distant vision for Baltimore.  The impetuous actions of Baltimore's black leadership have poisoned Baltimore for a long time


Baltimore has set a new per-capita homicide record as gunmen killed for drugs, cash, payback - or no apparent reason at all.

A surge of homicides in the starkly divided city resulted in 343 killings in 2017, bringing the annual homicide rate to its highest ever - roughly 56 killings per 100,000 people. Baltimore, which has shrunk over decades, currently has about 615,000 inhabitants.

"Not only is it disheartening, it's painful," Mayor Catherine Pugh told The Associated Press during the final days of 2017, her first year in office.

The main reasons are the subject of endless interpretation. Some attribute the increase to more illegal guns, the fallout of the opioid epidemic, or systemic failures like unequal justice and a scarcity of decent opportunities for many citizens. The tourism-focused Inner Harbor and prosperous neighborhoods such as Canton and Mount Vernon are a world away from large sections of the city hobbled by generational poverty.

Others blame police, accusing them of taking a hands-off approach to fighting crime since six officers were charged in connection with the 2015 death of Freddie Gray, a black man whose fatal spinal cord injury in police custody triggered massive protests that year and the city's worst riots in decades.

"The conventional wisdom, or widely agreed upon speculation, suggests that?the great increase in murders is happening partly because the police have withdrawn from aggressively addressing crime in the city's many poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods," said Donald Norris, professor emeritus of public policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Even as arrests have declined to their lowest level in years, police say their officers are working hard in a tough environment. They note the overwhelming majority of Baltimore's crime has long been linked to gangs, drugs and illegal guns.

"The vast majority of our kids and residents of this city aren't into criminal activity like this. It's that same revolving group of bad guys that are wreaking havoc for people's families," said T.J. Smith, the chief police spokesman whose own younger brother was the city's 173rd homicide victim in 2017.

Baltimore's homicide rate started to surge after Gray's death in 2015, a year when the city saw over 340 slayings. There's been a depressingly steady march of killings since.

Violent crime rates in Baltimore have been notoriously high for decades and some locals sardonically refer to their city as "Bodymore" due to the annual body count. But prior to 2015, Baltimore's killings had generally been on the decline. Before rates in recent years eclipsed it, Baltimore's homicide rate had peaked with 353 killings in 1993, or some 49 killings per 100,000 people. Baltimore had over 700,000 inhabitants back then, making the per-capita rate lower than in 2017.

Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at New York University, described Baltimore as a place "where there is an urgent need to make sure that neighborhoods do not continue to fall apart and the population doesn't give up on the city."

Pugh, who took office?as mayor in December 2016, said her year-old administration is focused on reducing crime, boosting police recruits, and improving long-neglected neighborhoods. She told attendees at a candlelight vigil she hosted for victims of violence that "this will become the safest city in America."

Attending the vigil were Norman and Yvonne Armstrong, who struggled for words to describe their heartache since losing their son, Shawn, to gun violence. The working family man, a 31-year-old father of three, was fatally shot at a Baltimore carwash in September. His murder is unsolved.

"The kids out there with guns don't care about anything," said Norman Armstrong, the pain of grief etched on his face.

Among the names behind the 2017 numbers is Jonathan Tobash, a 19-year-old college student who embodied the best hopes of his Baltimore community. Police say the sophomore at Morgan State University was shot to death Dec. 18 after stumbling onto a robbery in progress outside a convenience store near his family's home.

Ericka Alston-Buck, who founded the Kids Safe Zone community center in the rough Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, said concentrated poverty must be addressed and a measure of healing has to take place in order to truly tackle high rates of violence in Baltimore.

"Hurt people hurt people. No one's doing anything to close those holes in their souls," she said. "As long as no one does that, nothing is going to change."



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High tide at Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour

You can see that if the sea is rising, it's not rising very much.  More evidence that the alarmist figures put out by the climate bigots are a crock.  Al Gore prophecies rises of several metres



There has in fact been some rise over the 128-year-long tide gauge record. Since 1886 it indicates a long-term rate of sea-level rise of two and a half inches (6.5cm) a century. That's hardly enough to knock anybody off their horse.

But wait! There's more! Here is a plot of the rise:



You can see that the sea level has been plateaued since 1950 -- exactly the time that the climate bigots say global warming began. So NONE of the rise was due to global warming. The small amount of global warming we appear to have had in recent decades did not shift the sea level one iota. Fun!

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Will we run out of CHOCOLATE? Experts predict treat will disappear in 30 years because cacao plants are perishing in the warm climate

Ya gotta  laugh.  The climate bigots trot this scare out once a year, roughly.  And they always leave out half the story, such as the fertilizing effect of more CO2 and more rain in a warmer world

Cacao beans are grown in many parts of the world -- Peru, Equador, Bolivia, Brazil, Bali, Fiji etc.  So it is obviously not hard to plant more of it elsewhere if one particular country falls short.  There has in fact been a recent big success in growing cacao in my home State of Queensland

And the guff below is just another Warmist prophecy anyway.  The supply of cacao beans at present is in glut -- so much so that prices have dropped by a third


Experts predict the world could run out of chocolate within 40 years because cacao plants are struggling to survive in warmer climates.

The trees can only grow within approximately 20 degrees north and south of the Equator - and they thrive under specific conditions such as high humidity and abundant rain.

But a temperature rise of just 2.1C over the next 30 years caused by global warming is set to wreak havoc for the plants - and in turn the worldwide chocolate industry, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As the mercury rises and squeezes more water out of soil and plants, scientists believe it is unlikely that rainfall will increase enough to offset the moisture loss.

That means cacao production areas are set to be pushed thousands of feet uphill into mountainous terrain which is carefully preserved for wildlife by 2050.

Officials in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana - which produce more than half of the world's chocolate - will face an agonising dilemma over whether to maintain the world's supply of chocolate or to save their dying ecosystems.

Last year experts predicted that the world was heading for a 'chocolate deficit' as shoppers in developing countries snapped up more of the sweet treat.

The typical Western consumer eats an average of 286 chocolate bars a year - more if they are from Belgium, the research titled Destruction by Chocolate found.

For 286 bars, producers need to plant 10 cacao trees to make the cocoa and the butter - the key ingredients in the production of chocolate.

Since the 1990s, more than a billion people from China, Indonesia, India, Brazil and the former Soviet Union have entered the market for cocoa.

Despite the increased demand, supply has not kept up and stockpiles of cocoa are said to be falling.

Doug Hawkins, from London-based research firm Hardman Agribusiness, said production of cocoa is under strain as farming methods have not changed for hundreds of years.

He said: 'Unlike other tree crops that have benefited from the development of modern, high yielding cultivars and crop management techniques to realise their genetic potential, more than 90 per cent of the global cocoa crop is produced by smallholders on subsistence farms with unimproved planting material.'

Some reports suggest cocoa growers in the world's top producer country, Ivory Coast, have resorted to illegally farming protected forests to meet demand - what Mr Hawkins calls 'destruction by chocolate'.

He said: 'All the indicators are that we could be looking at a chocolate deficit of 100,000 tonnes a year in the next few years.'

SOURCE

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Pollution hysteria in a medical journal

Authors of articles in medical journals are just as excitable about tiny differences as are Warmists.  Warmists get excited about temperature differences of as little as a few hundredths of one degree Celsius and effects roughly as weak as that are often presented with great excitement in medical journals too.  We read below, for instance, that an influence affecting around one person in a million is of importance.

There are circumstances when a tiny difference might mean something but that would be where the measurements concerned are exceedingly precise, free from confounding and well-attested.  But that circumstance never prevails in medical or climate studies.

Just look at the dataset below.  They did NOT in fact measure anybody's exposure to pollution of any sort.  What they did was assess the pollution in an AREA and check who died in that area. That different people in the same area might for various reasons have different levels of exposure to pollution, they blissfully ignored. People who commute from the exurbs to a major city would, for instance, have different pollution exposure to people who worked locally.  So their data has some meaning but is nowhere near precise.

And even the pollution level in each area was not precisely measured. In many cases it was estimated.  So we are looking at imprecise estimates taken in an imprecisely described area.  You would have to find very strong effects indeed to take findings as imprecise as that seriously.  But the effects in the study below are in fact vanishingly small. At best, the findings could support a conclusion that "more research is needed".  They tell us nothing that is even remotely certain. That the pollution studied has no affect at all on anything would be the only cautious conclusion.  So what we actually have is an ideological conclusion: ALL pollution is BAD!

The editor of the journal might reasonably have been expected to inject a note of caution into an evaluation of the findings but he is in fact even more enthusiastic about them.  He sees major public policy implications for the findings.  Sigh!  JAMA could sometimes pass as a book of fairy stories


Association of Short-term Exposure to Air Pollution With Mortality in Older Adults

Qian Di et al.

Abstract

Importance:  The US Environmental Protection Agency is required to reexamine its National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) every 5 years, but evidence of mortality risk is lacking at air pollution levels below the current daily NAAQS in unmonitored areas and for sensitive subgroups.

Objective:  To estimate the association between short-term exposures to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone, and at levels below the current daily NAAQS, and mortality in the continental United States.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  Case-crossover design and conditional logistic regression to estimate the association between short-term exposures to PM2.5 and ozone (mean of daily exposure on the same day of death and 1 day prior) and mortality in 2-pollutant models. The study included the entire Medicare population from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2012, residing in 39 182 zip codes.

Exposures:  Daily PM2.5 and ozone levels in a 1-km × 1-km grid were estimated using published and validated air pollution prediction models based on land use, chemical transport modeling, and satellite remote sensing data. From these gridded exposures, daily exposures were calculated for every zip code in the United States. Warm-season ozone was defined as ozone levels for the months April to September of each year.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  All-cause mortality in the entire Medicare population from 2000 to 2012.

Results:  During the study period, there were 22 433 862 million case days and 76 143 209 control days. Of all case and control days, 93.6% had PM2.5 levels below 25 μg/m3, during which 95.2% of deaths occurred (21 353 817 of 22 433 862), and 91.1% of days had ozone levels below 60 parts per billion, during which 93.4% of deaths occurred (20 955 387 of 22 433 862). The baseline daily mortality rates were 137.33 and 129.44 (per 1 million persons at risk per day) for the entire year and for the warm season, respectively. Each short-term increase of 10 μg/m3 in PM2.5 (adjusted by ozone) and 10 parts per billion (10−9) in warm-season ozone (adjusted by PM2.5) were statistically significantly associated with a relative increase of 1.05% (95% CI, 0.95%-1.15%) and 0.51% (95% CI, 0.41%-0.61%) in daily mortality rate, respectively. Absolute risk differences in daily mortality rate were 1.42 (95% CI, 1.29-1.56) and 0.66 (95% CI, 0.53-0.78) per 1 million persons at risk per day. There was no evidence of a threshold in the exposure-response relationship.

Conclusions and Relevance:  In the US Medicare population from 2000 to 2012, short-term exposures to PM2.5 and warm-season ozone were significantly associated with increased risk of mortality. This risk occurred at levels below current national air quality standards, suggesting that these standards may need to be reevaluated.

JAMA. 2017;318(24):2446-2456. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.17923