Photograph of women in hijabs on billboard advertising Australia Day celebrations sparks heated online debate

One would think that Australia day would celebrate Australia as it is.  It is definitely NOT Muslim. They are a small minority and a poorly assimilated one that that. They are distinguished mainly by their high rate of welfare dependency, meaning that the positive contribution they make to the rest of us is minimal

I can see a case for celebrating Australia's diversity with a picture that included someone from our largest minority -- people of Han Chinese ancestry.  They have fitted in brilliantly and differ from Caucasians mainly in their superior educational achievements.  With the many services they provide to us all -- from medical specialists to restaurateurs, we are lucky to have them. That could indeed be celebrated

A billboard advertising Australia Day celebrations in Melbourne sparked debate online for appearing to feature two women wearing hijabs.

A picture of the huge sign showed it having an Australian flag on the left with the two smiling women on the right underneath the event details. There were no other people in the design.

It was said to be by the side of a road in Cranbourne, in Melbourne's southeast, and first shared by far-right groups on Facebook on Friday.

The debate attracted hundreds of comments with a variety of opinions, and was shared thousands of times.

Some commenters were outraged that Australia was only represented by a pair of Muslim women instead of a more diverse crowd.

'Some culture doesn't belong! Meh all this multi cultural bs being rammed down our throats,' one angry Facebook user wrote.

'Muslims on that is a disgrace... I don't know what's going on in this country... It's just going downhill... Muslims are not the face of Australia,' another said.

'PC to the extreme. There's nothing wrong with including people from different backgrounds as Australia is more or less a melting pot of different cultures,' a third wrote.

'But to represent Australia as just Muslim people (as the billboard implies) is just as ignorant as assuming Australians are all Caucasian,' they added.

'I find this advertisement for Australia day offensive yes I'm proud that we are a multi cultural nation but sorry to all the bleeding heart public and politicians when it comes to Australian views on Muslim values,' another wrote.

But the billboard also had its supporters, with many pointing out that Australia was a diverse nation of different people that should be celebrated. 'It doesn't matter what is on the board. Only thing is Australia is [a] multicultural county and everyone who lives there must be proud [of] Australia. So stop that nonsense,' one wrote.

'I don't get why people seem to think that one race or any race owns any land more so then the other. Those views are so close minded. We share this earth together, even if you don't like it,' another said.

A third person replied to another commenter claiming the billboard was evidence of the government 'bending down to the minority to make them feel better about themselves' and that Australia would slowly become Muslim.

They replied: 'No one seems to be suffering mate, our country is multicultural and if you've got a problem with that then you've got a problem with Australia.'

The billboard was advertising a RACV Australia Day Festival at the King's Domain Gardens in the centre of Melbourne, including a parade and flag raising ceremony.



SALT -- SALT  --  SALT: Dispelling the myths

1). A good example of an epidemiological disproof concerns the dreaded salt (NaCl). We are constantly told that we eat too much salt for good health and must cut back our consumption of it. Yet there is one nation that consumes huge amounts of salt. So do they all die young there? Quite the reverse: Japan has the world's highest concentration of centenarians. Taste Japan's favourite sauce -- soy sauce -- if you want to understand Japanese salt consumption. It's almost solid salt.

2). We need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. So the conventional wisdom is not only wrong. It is positively harmful

3). Table salt is a major source of iodine, which is why salt is normally "iodized" by official decree. Cutting back salt consumption runs the risk of iodine deficiency, with its huge adverse health impacts -- goiter, mental retardation etc. GIVE YOUR BABY PLENTY OF SALTY FOODS -- unless you want to turn it into a cretin

4). Our blood has roughly the same concentration of salt as sea-water so claims that the body cannot handle high levels of salt were always absurd

5). The latest academic study shows that LOW salt in your blood is most likely to lead to heart attacks. See JAMA. 2011;305(17):1777-1785. More here and here and here for similar findings. Salt is harmless but a deficiency of it is not. We need it. See also here

German Greenies turn German water supply brown

Which has been very vexing. When water comes out of your faucet brown, you know something bad has happened.  You expect that only in poor countries like India. I have seen it in India.  The German authorities do in fact manage to bleach the water before it goes out to households but that's expensive. So why are German streams running brown anyway?

It's because of the German government's hostility to industry.  High electricity prices and other policies have chased a lot of German industry to saner countries and the remaining industries are heaviliy regulated in order to reduce pollution of all sorts.

And one effect of that has been a reduction in the industrial emissions of nitrogen compounds into the air.  But such componds do not stay in in the air forever.  They gradfually fall out into the soil.  And in the soil they react with a lot of other stuff, binding it so that it stays put.  So in the absence of all those nitrates  various other compounds are set free and get washed into the rivers.  And among those are brown plant wastes, "dissolved organic carbon".

So where to now?  Nowhere to go.  They just have to spend more money on treating the water before it is reticulated.  Extensive chemical treatment of the water supply before people drink it doesn't seem very Green, though, does it? Maybe brown drinking water is the way ahead for Germans! LOL

The abstract below puts what I have just said into more precise scientific terms

An interesting sidelight. Andreas Musolff  has written a book on Hitler which dodges the fact that Hitler's policies were socialist.  How did he get from history into hydrology?

Unexpected release of phosphate and organic carbon to streams linked to declining nitrogen depositions

Andreas Musolff et al.


Reductions in emissions have successfully led to a regional decline in atmospheric nitrogen depositions over the past 20 years. By analyzing long-term data from 110 mountainous streams draining into German drinking water reservoirs, nitrate concentrations indeed declined in the majority of catchments. Furthermore, our meta-analysis indicates that the declining nitrate levels are linked to the release of dissolved iron to streams likely due to a reductive dissolution of iron(III) minerals in riparian wetland soils. This dissolution process mobilized adsorbed compounds, such as phosphate, dissolved organic carbon and arsenic, resulting in concentration increases in the streams and higher inputs to receiving drinking water reservoirs. Reductive mobilization was most significant in catchments with stream nitrate concentrations less than 6 mg L−1. Here, nitrate, as a competing electron acceptor, was too low in concentration to inhibit microbial iron(III) reduction. Consequently, observed trends were strongest in forested catchments, where nitrate concentrations were unaffected by agricultural and urban sources and which were therefore sensitive to reductions of atmospheric nitrogen depositions. We conclude that there is strong evidence that the decline in nitrogen deposition toward pre-industrial conditions lowers the redox buffer in riparian soils, destabilizing formerly fixed problematic compounds, and results in serious implications for water quality.


The latest Bureau of Meteorology shenanigans

This summer has been very frustrating for the BOM.  As tireless global warming missionaries, they wanted the Sydney summer to be the "hottest yet".  And the headlines they generated have on several occasions claimed just that.

But the thermometers have in fact been unobliging.  If you read the small print, coastal Sydney has failed to get into the 40s. It was only localities that are normally hot which did that.

And hanging over their heads is the awful truth that the temperature in coastal Sydney reached 42 degrees (108F) in 1790, long before there were any power stations, SUVs and all the other Greenie bugaboos in Sydney.

So what  to do?  They have had a brainwave (below).  Instead of reporting maximum temperatures they are now reporting MINIMUM temperatures.  They say that various minimum (night-time) temperatures have been unusually hot.  But global warming is supposed to cause high maximum temperatures so it is a pretty desperate bit of fake news

SYDNEY residents sweltered through the harbour city’s hottest January night in recorded history last night.

But the good news for the sleepless masses is relief is in sight, with a cool change on its way.

Temperature records tumbled across Sydney as the extreme heatwave peaked overnight.

Among the new records set were in Observatory Hill, where the temperature dropped only to 26.4C, Bankstown (26.2C), Camden (27.1C), Penrith (28.6C), Richmond (28.2C), Horsley Park (26.2C), and Terrey Hills (26.9C).

But relief is on its way.

Conditions across the southern half of NSW are expected to ease over the weekend but the mercury will likely remain in the low to mid 40s in the state’s north.

After copping temperatures up to 45C on Friday, Sydney’s west is forecast for a milder maximum of 35C on Saturday while in the coastal parts of the city it is due to reach 31C.

But for those in the far north it is expected to remain hot with a predicted high of 41C at Grafton.

Queenslanders who have been in the grip of the same heatwave are set to endure another day of blistering conditions before conditions cool on Sunday.

A top of 34C is forecast for Brisbane on Saturday, which is five degrees above the average maximum for this time of year.

(Rubbish!  The temperature in my anteroom regularly tracks the official observations for Brisbane and at 34.5C yesterday  afternoon it did go higher on my thermometer than the forecast. But it had been right on 34C for a week or so)




A new taste sensation!  Last night I had a dinner that I had never tasted before.  I have been eating out off and on since I was 16 and I am now 73 so it is rare to find a dinner that is new to me.  I have eaten much from all the world's cuisines.  I have had Chinese food in Hong Kong, Philippine food in the Philippines, Mexican food in Mexico, South African food in South Africa, French food in France, Indian food in India and Indian food in England (don't mention English food).  And during my 15 years in Sydney just about all the world's foods were available right there anyway. So I was surprised to encounter a taste I had not had before

It all began when I somehow noted that people in Northern Europe grow and eat a lot of barley.  I had never had anything made from barley.  So I bought some. And I wandered around the net looking for barley recipes.  I found one that looked promising.  But it looked a bit complicated for me to make so I put off making it.  Eventually I told Anne that I was going to cook some barley for our next dinner.  She was amused.  She was even more amused when she saw the recipe.  "You'll never make that!", she said. She knows that most of my cookery is just heating up something already prepared by the chefs at Woolworths.

So in the kindness of her heart Anne offered to make it for me.  There was clearly a lot of time and work in the recipe so I gladly accepted her offer.

And I have just had the result.  It was very good.  On the plate it looked rather like savoury mince but the taste was quite different:  Not a strong taste; a subtle taste but very more-ish.  I am going to be asking Anne for more of it.  I got the recipe off the barley organization so I imagine I might be getting some free barley soon if Google leads them to this post.

The recipe is below.  Anne used pork mince and cut up the mushrooms finely. The recipe says "cooked barley" without explanation so Anne soaked it in for half a day and then boiled it until it was soft.   Anne was surprised about the amount of salt but it was OK.  Despite what the food freaks say, salt is good for you.

Barley Mushroom Stroganoff

Family favorite with a twist.

1 pound lean ground turkey, chicken
or beef
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon chicken seasoning base
2 cups low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 cups cooked pearl barley*
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Spray large skillet with non-stick cooking
spray; heat over medium heat. Add ground
turkey; crumble and cook until turkey is no
longer pink. Remove from pan and drain.
Pour off liquid from pan. Add olive oil,
onion and mushrooms; saut‚ 4 to 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Season with oregano,
salt and pepper. Cook 4 more minutes. Stir
in water and chicken seasoning. Blend
together sour cream and flour. Stir in sour
cream mixture, cooked barley and meat.
Continue to cook over low heat until heated
through. Garnish with parsley, if desired,
and serve.

Makes 8 servings.


The Mediterranean diet nonsense again

It is hard to know what to laugh at first in the report below.  For a start, where did they find eaters of a Mediterranean diet in Scotland?

Secondly, Scottish food makes English food look gourmet.  Scottish food is extraordinarily plain, with "mince 'n tatties" being the staple.  So any departure from it should increase the range of nutrients consumed.

Thirdly, do we know that diet had anything to do with it at all?  Scots who deviated from their traditional diet could well have been more health-conscious and done other things to keep themselves healthy -- like jogging and having a "doch 'n doris" (alcohol) less frequently.

Fourthly, if a Mediterranean diet is so good for you, how came Australians are exceptionally long lived?  Foods such as hamburgers, steak, sausages, beef pies and sausage rolls are Australian staples and they are about as far from a Mediterranean diet as Australia is geographically far from the Mediterranean

The study tells us NOTHING about the Mediterranean diet

IT is never too late to start eating a Mediterranean diet, as a study shows it could stop the brains of people in their seventies from shrinking.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and even a glass of wine a day, may protect the grey matter which declines as we age.

A study of pensioners with this diet found their brain shrinkage, associated with memory loss and Alzheimer’s, was half of others their age.

The benefits are believed to come from the antioxidants found in vegetables, olive oil and even the glass of red every day which forms part of the Mediterranean diet. These are thought to reduce damage in the brain from oxidation, which leads to neural degeneration.

Lead author Dr Michelle Luciano, from the University of Edinburgh, said: 'As we age, the brain shrinks and we lose brain cells which can affect learning and memory,

'This study adds to the body of evidence that suggests the Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on brain health.'

The latest study, published in the journal Neurology, gathered information on the dietary habits of almost 1,000 people in Scotland aged 70.

A Mediterranean diet was judged as one high in fruit and vegetables, beans and grains such as wheat and rice, including the mono-unsaturated fats found in olive oil, and even allowing for moderate consumption of up to the equivalent of a large glass of wine a day for women or two for men.

People of this age would be expected to lose around 18ml of their brain volume in the three years between 73 and 76. Up to two per cent of the brain is lost every year as we grow older.

But those found to have most closely stuck to a Mediterranean diet when questioned about it by researchers experienced less than half of that shrinkage, MRI brain scans showed.

This is important because a loss of brain volume as people get older affects their memory, increases the speed at which they process information and even the speed at which they speak and their attention span.

Dr Luciano said: 'In our study, eating habits were measured before brain volume was, which suggests that the diet may be able to provide long-term protection to the brain. Still, larger studies are needed to confirm these results.'


UPDATE:  The academic journal article is "Mediterranean-type diet and brain structural change from 73 to 76 years in a Scottish cohort". The only social controls applied were for education and IQ.


"Safe Schools" is not a return to the Cold War (?)

An amusing tilt at windmills by some young Yugoslav guy below.  I suspect that he hankers after Josip Broz Tito. The Cold War was a military confrontation so pointing out that an Australian school program is not a return to the Cold War is something that only Seb Starcevic would feel a need to do.

The essence of his little rant is that the "Safe Schools" program is not Communist-inspired and is not designed to lead children towards Communism.  That is actually an extraordinary claim.  The authoress of the program, Roz Ward (the manlike figure in the red jacket giving the Communist salute in the picture above) is an openly-acknowledged  Marxist and has said that she intended to use the program to promote Marxist thinking.  Seb is in the grand tradition of Leftist liars

"Safe Schools" is a sexual indoctrination program, under the guise of “anti-bullying”, which asserts extreme fringe views of gender and sexual fluidity.  It is in the grand tradition of old Karl himself, who saw the normal family as an obstacle to the implementation of his ideas

Something amusing:  In a speech at the 2015 Marxism Conference, Ward argues, “LGBTI oppression and heteronormativity are woven into the fabric of capitalism” and “it will only be through a revitalised class struggle and revolutionary change that we can hope for the liberation of LGBTI people”.

Which stands truth on its head, in the usual Leftist way. Homosexuality was severely repressed in the old Soviet Union.  It is only in the tolerant capitalist societies that homosexuals have gained broad acceptance.  Try being queer in Africa or the Muslim lands.  Maybe Roz should take her evangelism there

After the USSR collapsed in the 1990s, critics of communism were momentarily assuaged by the knowledge that the greatest threat to the American hegemony had been tossed into the dustbin of history.

With the stranglehold of socialism lifted, the Kraken-like monster depicted in so many comics was finally slain. The West could breathe easy, meaning office-bearers had to find something else to harp on about. Or so it seemed.

Which brings us to today.

With the rise of Trump and resurgence of McCarthyism in 2017, the hard right have trotted out the socialist scapegoat once again, deploying anti-communist rhetoric that would be at home in US propaganda from the 1950s.

Look no further than the scandal surrounding the Safe Schools program which, according to Senator Cory Bernardi, hopes to “indoctrinate children into a Marxist agenda of cultural relativism”.

Similarly, LNP backbencher George Christensen slammed Safe Schools for “originating in an ideology of queer gender theory and Marxism.”

This sort of blatant, baseless fearmongering draws on the historical existential dread associated with the Reds.

Never mind that a program intended to create safe and inclusive environments for vulnerable young LGBTQI people has little to do with an economic ideology dreamt up by some now dead Russians. All that matters is slinging the right buzzwords to push the barrow.

Of course, this strategy is nothing new. Pairing the two undesirables together has worked well in the past, at least for McCarthy, who once conflated communists with “cocksuckers,” implying that his detractors were either Soviet sympathisers or homosexual fornicators — both socially unacceptable in the monochrome 1950s.

Indeed, traditionally the quickest and simplest way to destroy someone’s credibility was to infer that they subscribed to socialism, and this practice has carried into the present day.

Just ask Bernardi and Christensen. Or Reagan and Johnson. Or Trump.

But in reality, just as universal healthcare wasn’t a gateway to communism then, Safe Schools isn’t part of some sparkly socialist agenda now. Demonising it as such only shows a profound ignorance of history’s affiliation with anti-communist hate.

And that thought is much scarier than any imaginary Red Menace.



Are conservatives moral?

They are certainly not the unprincipled authoritarians that the active Left are but are they consciously concerned about morality? Dennis Prager (below) says they are but he speaks both from his own religious background (Jewish) and from the background of the United States, where conservatism and Christianity are closely linked.  And there is absolutely no doubt that Christianity focuses heavily on morality and moral improvement, partly on sexual morality but also on morality in one's dealings with others generally.  And, as Prager says, Christians are constantly being urged to improve their behaviour and to avoid sin.

But I live in a very conservative country by world standards that is also irreligious. There is for instance no homosexual marriage in Australia nor is there likely to be -- despite frantic pushes for it from the Left.

From its foundation in 1788, Australia has always been a traditionally unholy place with a very low rate of churchgoing. Americans trace their founding fathers to religious zealots but Australians trace their foundations to convicts. And other major population elements in the white settlement of Australia -- such as goldrush "diggers" and Irish rebels -- did little to alter the culture originating from our convict origins.

A majority of Australians have some religious affiliation but only a tiny minority go to church regularly.  When I was young, it was still common for official forms to ask your religion.  My father never set foot in a church after he was married in one but he would always put on the forms as his religion: "C of E" (Church of England).  So census statistics tell you nothing about religion in Australia.  More revealing is that Australians rarely know and rarely ask about any religious affiliation of people they deal with daily -- let alone people they encounter casually.

So an irreligious conservative is both possible and is the norm -- in Australia.

Prager's stress is on moral improvement rather than morality as such.  There is a difference.  Because they are basically contented with their society, conservatives tend to adopt its values.  And as a post-Christian society, Australian values are largely Christian.  The Ten Commandments are respected if not always obeyed.  Additionally there are some other, purely Australian commandments that have never been officially promulgated in any way but are generally accepted in a quite heartfelt way.  To breach them is to expose oneself to scorn. Here is one formulation of them:

* Thou shalt not dob in thy mates
* Thou shalt not bung on an act.
* Thou shalt not be a tall poppy
* Thou shalt give everyone a fair go
* Thou shalt be fair dinkum
* Thou shalt not crawl to the boss

Translating these into standard English yields APPROXIMATELY the following:

* You must not incriminate your friends to the boss, the police or anyone else. Loyalty to your associates is all-important.
* You must not be ostentatious or pretend to be what you are not.
* You must treat others as your equals. If you are seen as being better than others in anything but sport you will be made to suffer for it.
* You must be fair and permissive in your treatment of others.
* You must not be insincere or dishonest.
* You must not be hypocritical towards you employer or try to ingratiate yourself with him.

And wherefrom come those commandments?  From nowhere in particular.  They are just values that most Australians have had from the early days: Particularly working class Australians.  We just absorb them daily from other Australians that we interact with.  Australians will, for instance, generally be rather tolerant of a man who commits adultery but will be utterly contemptuous of a man who crawled to the boss or who bunged on an act.

So Australian are in fact highly moral despite being irreligious. But the idea that they seek to improve themselves morally is basically unknown outside the churches.

So what Prager says about conservatism is probably pretty right about America but not right about conservatives generally. I would juxtapose to the Leftist desire to change society a conservative satisfaction with the way things generally are -- requiring only minor adjustments -- mostly adjustments to get rid of Leftist attempts to tyrannize us into becoming something that we are not.


A teachable moment: Muslims burn German church.  Or did they?

A Breitbart report that a Muslim mob attacked a German church has been taken up by many other publications and seems to be widely believed.  German police, by contrast say that the night concerned was "quiet".  So whom do you believe?  I would normally believe the police but the German police are well-known to either ignore or play dow any disorders associated with Muslims.

Other German sources support the police account.  But Germany is very politically correct and you can in fact be prosecuted for hate speech if you say anything negative about Muslims.  So, again, whom do you believe?

On balance, I suspect that the Breitbart account was exaggerated.  But how exaggerated I have no means of knowing.

Medical journals regularly feature what they call a "teachable moment":  A story about some adverse event in treating a patient which they believe everyone should learn from.  I think this Breitbart story is a teachable moment for the press coverage of Islam and for political censorship generally.  Leftists are behind both those problems.  Their constant attempts to suppress news and views that they do not like has had a lot of success.  They have largely destroyed impartial journalism.

And Leftist causes are suffering from it.  Because we no longer have any reliable news sources, people will readily believe what could be false accounts about Muslims.  There is no effective kick-back against the Breitbart story, for instance. The Left-leaning media are in the position of the boy who cried wolf.  Even when they are speaking truth, what they say will now be widely discounted and dismissed as propaganda. So in their efforts to protect Muslims, they have in fact exposed Muslims to unfair abuse and the possibility of attack.  

As is so often the case with Leftist policies, their censorship attempts may have achieved the opposite of what was intended.  They have endangered Muslims not protected them.  Their trust in deception has backfired.  And their lack of moral principles is behind their trust in deception.  It is the Left who have created the environment in which fake news thrives.  They are now bemoaning it as it hits them but it is they who have enabled it -- by their own deceptive practices.

So what is increasingly happening now is a very wide split in the population.  With the decay of generally trustworthy news sources, both sides retreat into reading news sources which tell them what they like.  Leftists read Leftist sources and conservatives read conservative news sources.  The two sides live in completely different mental worlds.

That can hardly be good for mutual understanding.  And without mutual understanding you tend to get hate.  And hate begets hate crimes.  Which is where we are now.  Leftist attack Trump supporters and to a limited extent Trump supporters hit back. If that continues to develop America could become like an ungovernable Latin-American hellhole where nobody is ever safe.

Leftist lack of moral anchors has led us all into a dangerous situation.

Below is an account from Germany disputing the Breitbart story:

Journalists have condemned a report by Breitbart news that claimed a mob of 1,000 men had attacked police and set fire to a church, calling the article a distortion of facts.

Breitbart wrote an article about New Year's Eve in Dortmund on Tuesday with the headline “Revealed: 1,000-man mob attack police, set Germany’s oldest church alight on New Year’s Eve”.

"At New Year’s Eve celebrations in Dortmund a mob of more than 1,000 men chanted ‘Allahu Akhbar’, launched fireworks at police, and set fire to a historic church," the alt-right website reported.

The report was attributed to local news site Ruhr Nachrichten, which fired back on Wednesday, accusing Breitbart of “using our online reports for fake news, hate and propaganda.”

Ruhr Nachrichten pointed out how Breitbart attributed separate unconnected incidents to a larger, collective "mob".

There was in fact a total of around 1,000 people gathered to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Leeds Square, including “large and small groups” of young, foreign men as well as families with children, according to Ruhr Nachrichten.

The original report by the local news site from that night describes how some individuals did start launching fireworks from within the crowd towards police, who told them to stop but were ignored. Broadcaster WDR reported that officers then issued orders for some people to leave and took some into custody.

While Breitbart wrote that the "mob" set the roof of Germany's oldest church on fire, Ruhr Nachrichten pointed out that this was also not accurate.

St. Reinold is not Germany's oldest church - that would be the Cathedral of Trier - and a small fire had started on some netting on scaffolding around the church, not the roof, due to one firework.

And while Breitbart states that the "fireworks were launched at" the church, there was no indication from local news outlets or from the fire services that the fire had been started intentionally.

The fire was small and lasted 12 minutes before firefighters put it out, Ruhr Nachrichten reports.

Police told local media that overall it was a quiet night.

In a report released on Thursday, Dortmund police stated that the number of times they were called out during New Year’s celebrations this year was down from 421 in 2015-16 to 185 in 2016-17.

Breitbart also wrote that a group of Syrians gathered at the square to celebrate the ceasefire in their home country, but claimed that a video posted by a Ruhr Nachrichten journalist showed them holding up a flag of al-Qaeda and Isis collaborators.

In fact, the video shows a man holding a flag widely flown by those opposing the current government.

Ruhr Nachrichten also accuses Breitbart of overemphasizing the fact that the celebrating Syrians chanted “allahu akbar” - which means God is great.

“This statement is a Muslim prayer as normal as ‘Amen’ in the church,” Ruhr Nachrichten's editor wrote. “Fake news producers are connecting the groups of people in Leeds Square to [terrorist] attacks… The fact is: there was no sign that terrorism was being celebrated in Dortmund.”

As Benjamin Konietzny from broadcaster N-tv wrote, the Breitbart report was problematic for how it presented the events. “There are differences in the critical details,” Konietzny stated.

“The report is a lesson on the deliberate over-twisting of facts,” wrote another journalist from the German Meedia industry publication.



The fish-oil fad is fading

Medical wisdom about diet keeps getting overturned.  One of the most enduring bits of "wisdom" is the multifarious benefits of fish oil. But it seems that even that may be a total myth.  The latest  review article in JAMA is:  "The Unfulfilled Promise of ω-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation" by Gregory Curfman, MD.  It is in JAMA Intern Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8236.  A couple of extracts below:



Another brainless study about living near a highway being bad for you

The Left hate major roads and motor vehicles generally but make heavy weather of condemning them.  So they are always keen to show that roads are bad for your health. And living near a busy road may indeed be bad for you.  There are some theoretical reasons which could lead to that conclusion.  And there seem to be an unending stream of studies "confirming" the connection. But they are all rubbish, as is the one below.

Why? Because they all fail to account well or at all for an obvious confounding factor:  Poverty.  As has been shown many times, the poor have worse health all-round and are more likely to live near a busy road.  "Noise affected" real estate often trades at a one-third discount.  Living near a busy road is a lot cheaper and often it is the only place where the poor can afford to live.  So to show any association of traffic on health, you have to control for income.  If you do not, you could be looking at an effect of poverty, not an effect of traffic.

Statistical control would have been possible but the study reported below did not control for ANYTHING.  I would never have passed it for publication were I the journal editor concerned. Marie Pedersen is a dimwit

Expectant mothers living close to busy roads are at greater risk of serious complications in pregnancy, experts have found.

Pre-eclampsia – a condition suffered by 42,000 pregnant women in Britain each year – is made more likely by noise and pollution from roads, according to a large study.

Researchers believe the toxins from vehicles and sound of traffic from nearby roads may increase stress levels and cause inflammation that leads to rising blood pressure associated with the condition.

The Danish study of 73,000 women - the first to establish a link between traffic and pre-eclampsia - adds to growing concerns about the health impact of air and noise pollution.

Pre-eclampsia affects around 6 per cent of pregnancies in the UK - and in severe cases can lead to stillbirth or maternal death.

Researchers found that for every 10-decibel increase in noise from traffic – roughly a doubling in audible volume - there was a 10 per cent increase in the risk of pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure problems in pregnant women.

Similarly, for every 0.01 micrograms of nitric dioxide from car exhausts in a litre of air - a tiny increase - the risk of the condition rose by 7 per cent.

Study leader Professor Marie Pedersen, of the University of Copenhagen, said: ‘The rise in risk we saw is significant in terms of impact on a population level, as a 10-unit increase in pollution and noise is very small.’

Professor Pedersen said her study shines new light on the root causes of the condition, which has been poorly understand in the past. She said: ‘Air pollution causes inflammation and oxidative stress, which has been linked to damage to blood vessels, immune system changes and elevated blood pressure.

She and her colleagues, whose work is published in the journal Epidemiology, studied data collected from 72,745 pregnancies in Denmark and modelled the noise and air pollution at their addresses.


The journal article is "Impact of Road Traffic Pollution on Pre-eclampsia and Pregnancy-induced Hypertensive Disorders"


Al Gore eat your heart out: Another example of a sea-level FALL

Moreton Bay borders Brisbane.  A Brisbane reader emailed me as follows:

I thought you might be interested in this photo of our old family home site at Cleveland Point, Moreton Bay. That old jetty is one I helped build in 1946. And in the years from '46 to '53 the fine weather king tides [~ normal BP] just covered the decking on that jetty [decking now missing but 30 mm higher than remaining bearers]. This photo was taken at the top of the highest king tide of this summer [15/12/16] and as you can see this tide is at least a foot lower than the top of the jetty. I have been doing this check regularly for the last 6 years and it is always the same. Around a foot lower.

Not only is there no acceleration in SLR in this isoststically stable part of the world but there is NO SLR at all. There have been no hydrodynamic changes anywhere near this very exposed part of the bay to possibly influence tides.

The new owners have wisely built a mezzanine wall and filled the site because apart from being at king tide height the lawn would be under water by up to a foot with cyclonic storm surges which happened quite often in the past though rarely nowadays.

It is interesting when you talk to council engineers and others in authority who should know -- like university professors advising on coastal city planning etc. -- just how little they really know about the true sea level situation.

There is no continuous tide gauge data and they all believe in the satellite altimetry  -- JI

Comment: To those who have been fed Greenie propaganda, this must seem inexplicable but it is in fact a common finding.  The very carefully set (in 1841) Isle of the Dead gauge in Tasmania also shows a mean sea-level fall of about a foot  -- and a survey of Australian tide gauges found that nearly half of them showed falls.

And because Australia is remarkably stable geologically, Australian data is of particular interest.  Rising and falling of the land can mostly be ruled out in Australia.  So, contrary to the IPCC, the sea level has not risen as a result of the slight C20 temperature rise. 

There are many sea-level records showing falling in the Northern hemisphere too. So how come we haven't heard of them?  Because the commonly published records are ADJUSTED ones.  We rarely get to see the raw data. The theory is that the ground is rising as a rebound from the weight of ice that vanished after the last ice age (isostatic rebound).  So the Warmists have a formula to "correct" for rising of the ground.  And that highly theoretical formula turns a sea-level fall into a slight rise.

But the last ice age went away thousands of years ago.  Surely any rebound effect would have completed long ago.  So it is pure theory and quite improbable theory which tells us that sea levels have been rising over C20 and earlier.  It is not only the temperature readings that have been adjusted.  The sea level data has been adjusted too.

Even if we allow the possibility that there is still some isostatic rebound going on, can we believe a rise of a foot in very recent times?  It's just another fraud. With an acceleration like that, most of Europe and North America should be as high as the Himalayas.

So where has the missing water gone?  It's confirmation of the  "Simpson Effect".  Simpson predicted that warming would cause water to be trapped in glacial ice at the poles.  And Antarctic ice has in fact been increasing overall.

Read John Daly on the matter.  He knows where all the skeletons are buried.  There's a whole graveyard of them

The unfortunate Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor has taken huge criticism for his brave stand that "frankenfoods" (GMOs)are safe and beneficial.  He has a long article outlining that here. It is far too long for me to reproduce here.

Suffice it to to say that he thought his credentials as an established environmentalist would protect him from criticism and cause his arguments and information to be heard.  It did not. He was demonized with all sorts of false allegations and his erstwhile friends on the Green/Left deserted him.  The only friends he ended up with were people at Monsanto, the plant breeders who are arch-villains to most of the Green/Left.  He concludes that you cannot blame journalists for failing to expose  popular anti-science beliefs.  The backlash if you do is too awful.

Something that he uses to cling on to respectability is his criticism of Donald Trump and his support for global warming. Trump is an easy target because of the loose way he speaks so that does not earn Kloor much kudos.  It is global warming that  is his reputational lifeline.  If he rejected that he would be sunk in just about every possible way.  His only friends would be people he has spent much of his life opposing.  Rather awful!

So there are good reasons why Kloor clings to the global warming theory.

But it is nonetheless a wonder that he cannot see that Warmists do exactly the sort of thing that the anti-GMO brigade do. They rely heavily on appeals to authority, "ad hominem" abuse and easily refuted "science".  If he would just read all sides of the debate on the key issue of climate sensitivity, he would see that Warmist claims are at least highly speculative if not built entirely on sand. But he is a journalist so perhaps that is too complex for him.  With climate science, he too relies on appeals to what passes for authority.

Keith is halfway up the hill leading to the broad sunlit uplands of truth.  He should complete the journey.  Global warming is dead anyway.  Trump will see to that.


There was NO "hiatus" in global warming -- if you include El Nino

Practically everybody, from Warmists to skeptics, accepts that global temperatures plateaued in C21.  There was a "pause" or "hiatus" in global warming.  Yet in the latest study we have powerful proof that there was NO plateau, no "hiatus' no "pause".  Big upset.  But is it?

The guys behind the new study have no shame.  They have done careful work but made a most convenient and demonstrably false assumption.  It does sounds like they have used a meticulously validated data set.  And they have.  But the study has a couple of old Warmist lags behind it so I knew that a quick look at the raw data would expose fraud.  It took me only minutes to see it but there it is as plain as the nose on your face in their summary graph reproduced below.

They include in their data the whole of the 2015/2016 El Nino episode, a natural climatic fluctuation unrelated to anthropogenic global warming. Have a look at the graph up to 2014 only and there is that pesky plateau again: ups and downs but no trend.  The claims made by the authors are a calculated deception.

Warmists did early on in the El Nino period discount the El Nino influence and claimed that the temperature rise was mainly due to anthropogenic global warming.  But as the figures came in that became untenable.

1). For a start, the El Nino period just happened to coincide with a flatlining in CO2 levels.  So with no increase in CO2, a temperature increase could not be due to CO2.

2).  My favourite graph below shows a temperature history that is typical of El Nino (a rise followed by a fall) but which is totally unlike what we would expect from an increase in CO2 levels.  Rises of CO2 in the period of interest are permanent.  They don't suddenly go into reverse.  It is the whole Warmist case that CO2 rises are cumulative.

Note that the graph refers to sea-surface temperature, which is  the main focus of the current study. There is just no honesty in these galoots

A new independent study shows no pause in global warming, confirming a set of temperature readings adjusted by U.S. government scientists that some who reject mainstream climate science have questioned.

The adjustments, made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2015 to take into account changes in how ocean temperatures have been measured over the decades, riled a House committee and others who claimed the changes were made to show rising temperatures.

The House Science Committee subpoenaed the agency's scientists and then complained that NOAA wasn't answering its requests quickly enough.

Last year,the NOAA updated its main SST reconstruction, its Extended Reconstruction Sea Surface Temperature, or ERSST, accounting for the recent spike in buoy measurements and incorporating adjustments to ship-based measurements.

NOAA’s latest numbers increased the SST trend estimate over the last 18 years from 0.07° Celsius per decade to 0.12° Celsius per decade, highlighting a notable difference between NOAA’s latest ERSST record and three other commonly-used SST measuring series.

The new international study looked at satellite data, readings from buoys and other marine floats for ocean temperatures.

Each measurement system independently showed the same 20 years of increase in temperatures that NOAA found: about two-tenths of a degree Fahrenheit per decade since 2000, said the study's lead author, Zeke Hausfather of the University of California, Berkeley.

'Our research confirms that NOAA scientists were right,' Hausfather said. 'They were not in any way cooking the books.'

NOAA adjusted past data to take into account old measurements by ships that often recorded temperatures from their engine rooms, where heat from the engines skewed the data.

Buoys and satellite data don't have such artificial warming, Hausfather said.

In 1990, about 90 percent of the ocean temperature readings were done by ships, now it is about 85 percent by the more accurate buoys, Hausfather said.

Scientists Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M University and Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who weren't part the original study or the more recent one that confirmed its conclusions, called both accurate.

'This paper further allays any qualms that there may have been scientific errors or any non-scientific agendas,' Trenberth said in an email.

Officials at the House Science Committee did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Hausfather's study was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances .

SOURCE.  The journal article ("Assessing recent warming using instrumentally homogeneous sea surface temperature records") is here


Are Liberals Bigger Drug Users?

They are, but why?  This author asserts that drug use MAKES people liberal and gives an extensive rationale for that view but I think it could well work the other way.  Leftists are angry at the world and hence contemptuous of it so to reject its standards of behaviour and conventional ideas of wisdom should come naturally.  And drug use is a good example of that rejection.  Contented people don't need drugs.  Discontented people do

Author Peter Schweizer wanted to know if there could be a link between a person’s political leanings and illegal drug use. His eye-opening finding: Liberals are five times more likely than conservatives to use marijuana and cocaine.

His findings are explored in his latest book: “Makers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic and Envious, Whine Less … and Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals.”

Schweizer, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, writes in his new book “Makers and Takers”:

“Academic studies have found that those on the political left are five times more likely to use marijuana and cocaine . . . Another survey found that Democrats were five times more likely to use marijuana than Republicans . . .

“A study published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse found that among heavy drug users, the ratio of Democrats to Republicans was more than 8-to-1.”

Yet another survey found a “direct and linear relationship” between liberalism and the use of any illicit drug.

Schweizer, whose other books include “Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy,” observes: “The liberal search for autonomy and the credo ‘if it feels good do it’ have a strong influence on who uses drugs and why. Many liberals denounce drug use as a danger while at the same time engaging in a wink-wink attitude towards its actual use.”

Drawing on extensive attitude surveys, Schweizer also details in his book how liberals are more motivated by money than are conservatives, are angrier than conservatives, give less to charity, and are more likely to believe in ghosts, ESP, and reincarnation.


UPDATE about Chris Brand:

I have just heard from his wife, Dr. Fang, that he is on the mend but not expected out of hospital soon. She was with him for the ringing in of the New Year -- but she is beside his bedside most of the time.  Natalia Fang is a quality lady so it tells you something about Chris that he has her devotion.  Her degree is in fine arts and she has publications in that field.  The usual Leftist morons would call Chris a racist but the fact that he is married to a very fine Han Chinese lady might make that hard to sustain.

My son Joe is over there at the moment so I liked Natalia's comment about that. She said:  "I met Joe some while ago. He is a dashing, smart and thoughtful young man indeed".  Forgive fatherly pride.  


Feminism has no chance in Britain

I know a rather "modern" mother who has a little daughter who declares that she is a "princess".  She didn't get it from her mother so wherefrom did she get it?  Mainly from books and movies, most probably.

But feminists would love to banish all such influences.  The very idea of "princess" is anathema to them:  archaic, deluded, patriarchal etc. But they will never succeed in Britain while Britain is Britain. Why?  Because real life there leaves all fantasies for dead.  Great Royal occasions in Britain are magnificent and inspiring.  Just hark back to the coronation of the present Queen.  Watch for a while the video below:

Around the 11 minute mark, we see a young princess being escorted to her coronation in a real gold coach drawn by eight magnificently caparisoned horses and accompanied by a long line of men from the world's most colourful military establishment -- and all amid the great love of her people.  What little girl would NOT want to be the princess in that coach?  Feminists eat your heart out!

And it's not much different in other parts of the British Commonwealth.  Elizabeth is Australia's Queen too -- and Canada's.  Those great royal occasions are our occasions too -- JR.


What does Greenland's Petermann glacier tell us?

Warming evangelist Chris Mooney below focuses on a glaciologist, Andreas Muenchow, who studies the Petermann glacier and notes that Muenchow has become more convinced that, over time, the glacier has been shrinking.  It probably is.  Glaciers advance and retreat all the time.  As some melt, others will be advancing -- usually in response to movements in precipitation.   So you can make no valid generalizations from what one glacier does.

And the amusing part is that the Petermann is a SHELF -- floating ice -- and we have known since Archimedes that the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level.  Mooney indirectly acknowledges that by saying that the Petermann is "holding back" other ice.  Maybe.  But if the other ice is grounded why should anything move it other than its own internal processes?

Mooney is just a teller of tall tales

So let us look at what Mooney does NOT tell us.  I have long said that volcanic heat at both poles stands behind a lot of occasional ice melts.  So let us see what Muenchow says about that.  Below is a recent (2016) abstract from an article by him:

Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet represents a major uncertainty in projecting future rates of global sea level rise. Much of this uncertainty is related to a lack of knowledge about subsurface ocean hydrographic properties, particularly heat content, how these properties are modified across the continental shelf, and about the extent to which the ocean interacts with glaciers. Early results from NASA’s five-year Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission, based on extensive hydrographic and bathymetric surveys, suggest that many glaciers terminate in deep water and are hence vulnerable to increased melting due to ocean-ice interaction. OMG will track ocean conditions and ice loss at glaciers around Greenland through the year 2020, providing critical information about ocean-driven Greenland ice mass loss in a warming climate.

Muenchow explicitly admits that subsurface heat might cause the melting, not anthropogenic global warming.  Need I say more?

As one of Greenland’s largest ice shelves shrinks, a once-doubtful scientist has come around to the role of climate change in melting it.

Half a decade before he took this trip to the farthest reaches of the north, Andreas Muenchow had his doubts about whether warming temperatures were causing one of the world’s great platforms of ice to melt and fall apart.

He even stood before Congress in 2010 and balked on whether climate change might have caused a mammoth chunk of ice, four times the size of Manhattan, to break off from this floating, 300-square-mile shelf. The University of Delaware oceanographer said he wasn’t sure. He needed more evidence.

But then the Petermann Ice Shelf lost another two Manhattans of ice in 2012, and Muenchow decided to see for himself, launching a project to study the ice shelf intensively.

He was back again in late August, no longer a skeptic. It was hard not to be a believer here at 81 degrees north latitude, where Greenland and Canada very nearly touch. The surface of the bumpy and misshapen ice was covered with pools and puddles, in some cases frozen over but with piercing blue water beneath. Streams carved through the vast shelf, swelling into larger ponds or even small lakes.

The meltwater was a sign the ice shelf was growing more fragile, moving closer to the day when it might give up more city-size chunks of ice.

The Petermann Ice Shelf serves as a plug of sorts to one of Greenland’s largest glaciers, lodged in a fjord that, from the height of its mountain walls down to the lowest point of the seafloor, is deeper than the Grand Canyon. There’s enough ice piled up behind Petermann to raise oceans globally by nearly a foot someday.

The question for Muenchow is no longer whether Petermann is changing — it’s how fast it could give up still more ice to the seas.



Australia: Big storm in June 2016 in Sydney area

Some extensive excerpts below from an end-of-year climate report by shifty Peter Hannam, environmental reporter for the Leftist Sydney Mourning Harold. In a possible example of a Trump effect, Peter for once mentions "climate change" not once!  Is he losing the faith? 

Out of all the weather in the whole vast continent of Austraila, the only extreme weather event Peter could find to mourn in the whole year was a big mid-year storm in Sydney that caused a lot of beach erosion. But storms that cause beach erosion are old hat in Eastern Australia, including places just North of Sydney  like Byron Bay.  Note the following quote:

"Since settlement, the Byron Shire coastline has endured a long history of large coastal storms and coastal erosion and as a result suffered major losses to its dunal system. The properties that lie along Belongil Beach have lost significant portions of their land as the relentless effects of the ocean have eroded away its foredune."
So beach erosion proves nothing. It's routine.

Peter then goes on to temperature, heading his subsection:  "Record breaking heat".  And Peter goes on to give a careful selection of statistics about temperature.  And its all laughs from then on.

The one thing he does not give is the actual maximum temperature for Sydney 2016.  He just says vaguely: "40-degree readings".  But those readings were all in Western Sydney, far from the sea, where it is always hotter.  From what I can gather, coastal Sydney stayed BELOW 40.

He then goes on to say: "Sydney will notch its highest readings since reliable data gathering began in 1858 for each of the main measures: for minimum, mean and maximum temperatures"

Note that date, 1858.  Convenient. You can prove almost anything by choosing your starting point. Watkin Tench in 1790 was at least as good a scientist as many modern meteorologists -- he didn't "interpolate" [guess], for instance -- and he recorded a maximum temperature in coastal Sydney of 108F (42C).  Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

See here and also here for a confirmation of Tench's observations

But the funniest bit of all is Peter's link to a study by dear little Acacia Pepler. I have for many decades had the habit of going back to the original text of anything quoted. And it has been my impression previously that Acacia has got more honesty in her than most BoM personnel -- maybe because she is still a student. And she did not disappoint this time.  She was just using rubbishy models -- as they all do -- but reported a run that others -- I suspect -- would have quietly hidden away.

I give the Abstract at the foot of Peter's eructation.  She actually predicts a DECREASE in big storms!  Pesky! And big East Coast storms are actually Acacia's area of expertise.  So Peter certainly gave me a few laughs today.

The storm was generated by a monster east coast low, arguably the state's most significant weather event in 2016, if not Australia's.

In its special climate statement on the event, the Bureau of Meteorology list the tempest's remarkable features. For NSW, it dumped an average of 73.11 millimetres of rain along the state's coastline, the most ever for a single day for any month, beating the previous high set on January 19, 1950, of 68.89mm.

The scale of this mid-latitude cyclone also stretched further, from Queensland to Tasmania, where it broke the Apple Island's drought with record rains.

Also, to underscore the tropical features of the event, all previous storms approaching the amount of rain dumped on eastern NSW had occurred during summer rather than the start of winter, and were linked to tropical cyclones or former ones.

As with other big natural events, social, economic and environmental impacts have lingered long after the storm. Insured losses alone were about $250 million. It has also laid bare vulnerabilities, particularly for coastal communities, of the more intense storms expected as the climate warms. The challenges facing governments include trying to boost resilience and adaptability for residents in a manner that's fair and foresighted.

While major east coast lows have hammered the coastline previously, such as in 1974 and 1978, impacts are likely to worsen with climate change, researchers including Acacia Pepler, a bureau climatologist and UNSW scientist, have found.

For one thing, a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture – 7 per cent more per degree of warming – and therefore dump more rain. The impact of storms on coasts will also likely be made worse by rising sea levels, with storm surges riding on a higher base.

Record-breaking heat

For Sydney, 2016 had other noteworthy weather, perhaps none more so than the outstanding warmth even if heatwave peaks weren't as frequent as the summer of 2013-14.

As parts of Sydney closed out 2016 with their first 40-degree readings of the summer, the year's last burst of heat was a fitting end to the city's hottest year on record, Weatherzone says.

Sydney will notch its highest readings since reliable data gathering began in 1858 for each of the main measures: for minimum, mean and maximum temperatures.

For day-time temperatures, the city's average day in 2016 will come in at about 23.8 degrees, and nights about 15.5 degrees, Weatherzone estimates. The bureau will release its assessments next week.

For perspective, it's as if Sydney's average year-round conditions matched those of a typical November.

Compared with long-run average, days were about 2 degrees warmer than normal and nights 1.5 degrees. Should similar anomalies by overlaid on 2016 in future years – an increase within the bounds of projected climate change – year-round temperatures would start to feel like a typical December.

'Persistent warmth'

Looking back over the year, Sydneysiders might be forgiven for thinking 2016 was not a remarkably hot year – the last few days notwithstanding.

The city did set a few high marks, including the hottest April day on record with 34.2 degrees set on the 6th. December 14 was another standout with its warm minimum of 27.1 degrees, the hottest overnight temperature for the month but the second for any month.

But generally few months set new high marks and autumn was the only season to do so for mean, minimum and maximum temperatures. The average of day and night temperatures easily eclipsed the previous high set in 2014 by 0.4 degrees, the bureau says.


Projected changes in east Australian midlatitude cyclones during the 21st century

Acacia S. Pepler et al.


The east coast of Australia is regularly influenced by midlatitude cyclones known as East Coast Lows. These form in a range of synoptic situations and are both a cause of severe weather and an important contributor to water security. This paper presents the first projections of future cyclone activity in this region using a regional climate model ensemble, with the use of a range of cyclone identification methods increasing the robustness of results. While there is considerable uncertainty in projections of cyclone frequency during the warm months, there is a robust agreement on a decreased frequency of cyclones during the winter months, when they are most common in the current climate. However, there is a potential increase in the frequency of cyclones with heavy rainfall and those closest to the coast and accordingly those with potential for severe flooding.



PROOF of global warming(!)

A delightful article below by Thomas Levenson, a professor of science WRITING.  He applies his writing profession to explain and prove global warming.  It's a long article with a lot of initial  throat-clearing but rather than bother with the superficialities there, I reproduce below just his attempt to get down to tintacks in a 3-part argument.  But that argument is very simplistic and in fact falls at the first hurdle. 

1). He begins by harking way back to the original Arrhenius experiment to prove that CO2 does cause warming.  I could argue with that but I won't.  As is usual with Green/Left writing, far more important is what Levenson omits.

He omits to tell us that Arrhenius gives us no figure on HOW MUCH warming a given amount of CO2 will cause.  That figure is called the climate sensitivity and what the figure is, is a matter of great dispute.  There are both theoretical and empirical grounds to believe that the figure is small and that global warming is therefore of trivial importance and may even be undetectable.   That is my position and the position of most climate skeptics.  So the whole Warmist argument falls at that hurdle.  Without a solid figure for climate sensitivity, the baneful effect of CO2 is mere speculation.

2). Levenson goes on to tell us that CO2 has risen a lot in the last century.  It has.  But so what?  We cannot conclusively tie any degree of warming to it

3). His third point is that human beings emit a lot of CO2.  But again, so what?

Levenson points to various climate facts but ignores the one crucial issue.  So he proves nothing.  Amusing that he tried though.  That's more than most Warmists attempt

Here are some key facts about humankind’s impact on the earth’s climate. Taken together they form a bedrock of understanding for which any attempt to dispute the global warming picture must account.

The founding insight can be traced back to a precise place and time: Stockholm, Dec. 11, 1895, when Svante Arrhenius stood before the Swedish Academy of Science to present his paper "On the Influence of Carbonic Acid upon the Temperature of the Ground." (Carbonic acid is now better known as carbon dioxide.) Arrhenius began by recalling how his predecessors had shown that the gas is transparent to visible light — the sun shines perfectly happily through all the CO2 between it and the earth’s surface — but absorbs energy at longer wavelengths of light — infrared radiation, what we feel as heat.

Arrhenius then took this basic physical insight and used it to build a picture of a planetwide process. He showed that "if the quantity of carbonic acid [in the atmosphere] increases in geometric progression, the augmentation of the temperature [at the earth’s surface] will increase nearly in arithmetic progression" — which is to say, more carbon up there leads directly to more heat down here. He went on to discuss a possible link between CO2 levels and the ebb and flow of ice ages — and he even noted the possibility that burning coal or other fossil fuels might affect the carbon content of the atmosphere.

There it was: One hundred and twenty years ago physicists and chemists already knew that atmospheric CO2 molds global climate. There was and is no disagreement on this. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It allows visible light to penetrate the atmosphere, and it acts as a blanket, keeping heat from radiating back out into space. This knowledge does not depend on any indirect measurements, assumptions, or elaborate numerical analysis. Rather, it emerges directly from the extremely well established basic understanding of the behavior of atoms and molecules.

The second piece of the puzzle is equally solid. We know how much carbon is in the atmosphere; we know that its concentration is going up; we know by how much. This isn’t a case of argument-by-proxy, an attempt to reconstruct a record through pollen deposits or tree ring data or what have you (though such methods are powerful tools to extract information from the past). There is no question about these facts — because, more than 50 years ago, a guy climbed a tall mountain to find out.

In the mid 1950s, Charles Keeling was a postdoc in geochemistry at Caltech. While there, he built the first instrument that could accurately measure CO2 concentrations in atmospheric samples. He tried his new device out on trips around California, but it was only when he moved to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography that was able to begin an experiment that has outlived him. Beginning in 1956, Keeling and his successors have measured atmospheric CO2 at an observatory high on the flanks of Mauna Loa, one of the two giant volcanoes that dominate the Big Island of Hawaii. There is nothing there to confound the work — no smokestacks, cars, anything. The graph that records what they’ve found over six decades is now called the Keeling Curve — and it is unequivocal.

One of the first things Keeling saw was a jigsaw trace tracking the change of the seasons. As plants grow in the land-rich Northern hemisphere in spring and summer, they grab CO2 out of the air. In winter, as leaves die and fall, some of that carbon gets released back into the atmosphere. As one of the obituaries that followed his death in 2005 put it, Keeling "had discovered that the earth itself was breathing."

But such small fluctuations can’t hide the overall trajectory. When Keeling first began his measurements, carbon dioxide accounted for 310 parts per million of the atmosphere. Since then, each year has seen an increase, drawing a curve that is pretty close to a line pointing ever upward. As of April 13, 2016, the Mauna Loa observatory counted 408.70 parts per million of CO2.

That’s just the way it is: a number that corresponds to a real quantity out there in nature. Like the figure for acceleration due to gravity at the earth’s surface (about 9.8 meters/ second squared) or the chemical composition of water (two atoms of hydrogen bound to one of oxygen), it’s not subject to debate. It’s not an article of Trump’s (or anyone’s) belief. We live on a planet that until recently sported 310 parts per million of carbon dioxide as a thermal blanket — and now has more than 400. Any debate about global climate begins from that unvarnished, unchallengeable reality.

The third beyond-dispute fact about climate change concerns who’s responsible for that rise in atmospheric CO2.

It’s us.

Human society excretes a lot of carbon. The numbers are somewhat less precise than the Mauna Loa measurements — but they’re still based on direct observation. A number of different agencies and research centers collect the various data sets on industrial activity, power generation, deforestation, and the like. In 2014, all that work put together tallied 35.9 billion tons of CO2 produced by burning of coal, oil, and gas, plus or minus a small variance. Land use changes added another 3.3 billion tons of the gas per year over the last decade, though here the uncertainty is larger — plus or minus 1.8 billion tons. (There are other greenhouse gases for which good estimates of human production exist — notably methane — but CO2 remains the single largest culprit in the climate change story.)

From Arrhenius’s first musings about the impact of human action on climate, the key question was whether any possible carbon sinks — especially the oceans — could absorb both natural sources of CO2 (volcanoes, forest fires, and the like) and that released by everything people burn. Now we know — thanks to Keeling’s observations — that the answer is no. The oceans do absorb some of the annual production of CO2 from both natural events and what we produce, but the way we live now creates an excess of carbon that overflows all such natural reservoirs.

These three facts: Atmospheric carbon dioxide regulates temperature at the earth’s surface, its levels have been and are continuing to rise, and human beings are behind that increase — lead directly to a simple conclusion. All else being equal, human action is driving a global process that will create and likely already is leading to a warmer world.

Everything else isn’t equal, of course. The global climate system is intricate, difficult to untangle, tricky to measure, and home to plenty of uncertainties. But here’s the nub: Any claim that the world isn’t getting hotter now and won’t warm in the future can’t rely on just one scrap of information or another. It has to make a bigger argument — some coherent account of why ever increasing amounts of carbon produced directly by human activity won’t end up where at all our basic understanding of how nature works suggests it should.

So, when Ted Cruz argues that all of climate science is a hoax because one piece of information — squinted at just right — suggests a gap in the warming record, he’s not thinking like a scientist. Instead, he’s making a lawyer’s case, pounding the table for the defense. That’s fine work as rhetoric; we’re trained through cultural understanding and uncounted hours of TV courtroom drama to see cases turn on each individual piece of evidence. "If the carbon don’t fit, you must acquit" and all that.

But that’s not how science works, not when studying climate or anything else. A century ago, Albert Einstein produced his General Theory of Relativity, a radical conception of gravity that displaced Isaac Newton’s version. Yet Einstein’s theory didn’t erase all the successes the older idea had in explaining the motions of everything from the moons of Jupiter to tides here on Earth’s tides. That’s why one of the first calculations Einstein performed to test his new idea was to see if it could reproduce Newtonian results at the appropriate scales. Even the greatest discoveries don’t invalidate older knowledge. Rather they frame such prior ideas within their newly emerging picture.

Much of contemporary science has accumulated into a deep understanding of the natural world that is inconvenient for the leading Republican candidates for president. Willed ignorance is a disaster for climate policy in particular. It is worse as an approach to science in the public sphere. For centuries, human curiosity led us to the point where we know so much; it would be good — more, it may well be a matter of survival — to put all that knowledge to use.



2016: Historic Year for Climate (?)

Jeffrey Berardelli, the writer below, says he has a degree and career expertise in Atmospheric Sciences.  He heads his post with the graph below, which is correct in saying that CO2 levels have increased greatly in recent years

But that is actually an embarrassment. He knows perfectly well that the effect of that rise is supposed to be a leap in global temperature.  If there is no such accompanying leap, the entire Warming theory is wrong.  But there has been no such leap.  Now that the effect of El Nino has faded, temperatures have dropped back to the plateau that they have been on for the whole of this century.  See my favourite graph below:

He circumvents that awkward truth by saying that the earth probably had its warmest year this year. It probably did. But that is an excellent example of lying with statistics: Using an inappropriate statistic. As my favourite graph shows, all the high temperatures were in the first half of the year. So if you average the temperatures of all the the months of the year, you get an elevated average mainly because of those early high temperatures. But is an average meaningful in those circumstances? Not if it disguises a trend, which it does. An average would be meaningful if there were highs and lows randomly throughout the year -- but that was not the case. The average does not reflect where the temperature was going and where it ended up. In failing to acknowledge that, Berardelli is simply being dishonest.

Furthermore Berardelli is imprecise in what he says about CO2 levels.  They did NOT rise during the 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 present high levels of CO2 have done nothing.  Warmist theory is wrong

Why is Carbon Dioxide such an important part of our climate system? First I should mention that C02 makes up less than 1% of the atmosphere. But as you may have read CO2 is a Greenhouse Gas. That means it is very effective at absorbing energy in the infrared spectrum (ie. heat). Basically the sun heats the Earth. The Earth releases that heat and it is then absorbed by greenhouse gases like C02 and methane. So the more greenhouse gases you have, the more heat that is absorbed. It's really quite simple.

So why are we so alarmed? From ice core data we know that C02 has never been over 300 parts per million in the last 800 thousand years. Before the industrial revolution (in the 1800s) C02 concentration was at 270 parts per million. But in the last 150 years, with the increasing population and increased burning of fossil fuels for energy, that number has leaped to an unprecedented 400 parts per million.

To repeat what was just stated: in 800 thousand years of records we have never had C02 concentrations above 300 ppm, but now we have leaped to 400 ppm. Clearly humans have changed the chemical composition of the atmosphere. We have changed the balance that has existed for 800,000+ years. That's how an exponentially expanding population of tiny people can overwhelm a relatively large Earth.

Regardless of feelings, this jump in greenhouse gases, most notably CO2, is now driving the Earth's temperatures to record levels year after year. Although not completely done yet, 2016 is on pace to be the warmest ever. Part of that is due to El Nino. But it should be noted that El Nino ended in the Spring of 2016 yet record Global heat was observed well through summer. Since 1880, all of the top 15 warmest years globally, except 1998(an El Nino year), have occurred since the year 2000. We could go on and on about the record setting heat.