We’re made of starstuff: video of the week

Nothing climate today: being Sunday, let’s share a moment of wonder.

“We are their children”.

95 thoughts on “We’re made of starstuff: video of the week

  1. Eric Worrall says:

    The comment in the video that we are “parasites” on plants is interesting, and probably an oversimplification.

    Dr Allan Savory has an interesting theory on how pachyderms (grazers) are actually necessary for the healthy maintenance of grasslands.

    http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/03/06/how-cows-could-repair-the-world-allan-savory-at-ted/

    Dr Savory has been involved in desertification projects for a long time. He was once involved in the cull of over 3000 elephants – the prevailing theory at the time was overgrazing, excessive resource stress, was causing deterioration of grasslands and the spread of deserts.

    But to his horror, the deterioration accelerated! So he looked more closely, and discovered that grazing animals, proper grazing of grasslands, is actually vital for the health of the grass.

    For the past decade or so he has been applying this theory – teaching farmers in Africa how to reverse desertification of arid land, by herding cattle across it.

    The key is the cattle have to keep moving – if you pen them in, try to build a farm with a fence, the grassland is destroyed. But if the cattle are allowed to roam naturally across the grassland, they bring tremendous benefits.

    Interesting stuff. And if correct, a significant contradiction to the idea that we are “parasites” on plants.

    • john byatt says:

      Straight over your head

      “Human beings grew up in forests; we have a natural affinity for them. How lovely a tree is, straining toward the sky. Its leaves harvest sunlight to photosynthesize, so trees compete by shadowing their neighbors. If you look closely you can often see two trees pushing and shoving with languid grace. Trees are great and beautiful machines, powered by sunlight, taking in water from the ground and carbon dioxide from the air, converting these materials into food for their use and ours. The plant uses the carbohydrates it makes as an energy source to go about its planty business. And we animals, who are ultimately parasites on the plants, steal the carbohydrates so we can go about our business. In eating the plants we combine the carbohydrates with oxygen dissolved in our blood because of our penchant for breathing air, and so extract the energy that makes us go. In the process ew exhale carbon dioxide, which the plants then recycle to make more carbohydrates. What a marvelous cooperative arrangement–plants and animals each inhaling the other’s exhalations, a kind of planet-wide mutual mouth-to-stoma resuscitation, the entire elegant cycle powered by a star 150 million kilometers away.”

    • Nick says:

      Sagan is talking about energy dependence and hierarchies,Eric. All animals depend/’are parasites’ on the photosynthetic abilities of green life. Animals can only exist on the ability of plants to convert solar energy into a form animals can then use.

      Certainly animals can influence the distribution and diversity of plant communities through the ways they ‘parasitise’ .

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Interesting research, but I’d not worry about the word parasite. As a metaphor it works, and as Nick notes it explains the complex interplay between life and the earth system as a whole.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I’m probably being overly analytical🙂. Its a beautiful video. I just found the word “parasite” in the context of the relationship of animal life to plant life a little discordant, with unnecessarily negative connotations.

        Yes we use energy provided by plants, and we eat them, but we also tend them, plant them, take care of them, supply them with bees when they need pollination, and in many ways, as the research into desertification I provided shows, they depend on us.

        A relationship which probably began in the unimaginably distant past as pure predation is in many ways now a symbiosis.

  2. Nick says:

    “The universe is matter,the stars are matter and we are matter,and it doesn’t matter” -Captain Beefheart, [in flagrant disregard of antimatter].

  3. john byatt says:

    eric and mark on the climate sceptic scientists and their misinformation campaigns of smoking/cancer, asbestos/cancer, etc etc.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Its rather sad how you keep trying to conflate people who have the same position on one topic, but diverse opinions on a range of other topics, into the same group.

      To show how silly this is, Osama Bin Laden once made a speech supporting CO2 emissions reduction. Does this mean all people who believe that it is necessary to reduce CO2 emissions should be conflated with terrorists?

      http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2010/01/20101277383676587.html

      • john byatt says:

        interesting way that you dealt with the cognitive dissonance

        you are saying that Lindzen’s misinformation campaign, paid for by the asbestos and tobacco industry was okay because he only “had a different opinion” and not because he was paid to create uncertainty and delay action, action which would have resulted in millions spared the agony of untimely and horrendous deaths?

        because after all, Bin Laden accepts climate change.

        sure it will end up in someone’s paper

      • john byatt says:

        Lindzen has repeatedly threatened with litigation anyone who asserts that he denies that smoking causes lung cancer but, here again, he is just being disingenuous, playing with words, and trying to re-write history. The plain facts of this matter are that he was for many years periodically paid large sums of money by Phillip Morris to defend their product against claims that smoking was detrimental to the health of those that smoke and/or others present when they do so.

        Not only was it a tobacco company executive who, in order to maintain sales and profits, once infamously decided “doubt is our product”,

        It was a tobacco industry lobby group (The Advancement for Sound Science Coalition [TASSC]) that also brought into common parlance the terms “sound science” and “junk science” in an attempt to deny the seriously detrimental health effects of long-term cigarette smoking (see Ong and Glantz (2001)

        So it is that these mischievous right-wing ideologues have repeatedly sided with special interests groups (i.e. business leaders – be that in the pesticide, tobacco, or energy industries) in a series of campaigns that have – make no mistake – been against the public interest.

      • Mark says:

        “Lindzen’s misinformation campaign, paid for by the asbestos and tobacco industry”

        Evidence? (Sorry to use words you don’t understand)

      • john byatt says:

        Interesting , eric accepts the facts about Lindzens disinformation and senate testimony and dismisses it as just a difference of opinion on topics such as the cancer/tobacco link and the asbestos/cancer link climate change, whereas

        Mark just remains in denial.

      • Mark says:

        John,

        Eric can speak for himself. I was asking for your evidence that Lindzen was “paid for by the asbestos and tobacco industry”

        You know, the issue you are now trying to avoid. Gutless?

      • john byatt says:

        heartland . richard lindzen science advisor

        you can enter search terms smoking, asbestos, and any other poisons which he has claimed the science to be uncertain before congressional hearing

        http://news.heartland.org/search/apachesolr_search/asbestos

        stay in denial

        have already put up details of phillip morris paying lindzen for misinformation campaign

        can’t you read ?

      • john byatt says:

        A few of thousands of references (Phillip Morris paid richard Lindzen)

        Wunder Blog | Weather Underground
        wunderground.com/blog/ScienceCop/comment.html?entrynum…‎
        Richard S. Lindzen Facts Found on the Open Public Internet. ….. a front group created to assist the Philip Morris tobacco company in its fight against regulation of


        The Heartland Institute – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        .org/wiki/The_Heartland_Institute‎
        In the 1990s, the group worked with the tobacco company Philip Morris to question the science … Convention speakers have included Richard Lindzen, a professor of …. Some of the documents also contained details of payments to climate …
        Petroleum and Propaganda: The Anatomy of the Global Warming …
        monthlyreview.org/2012/05/01/petroleum-and-propaganda‎

        May 1, 2012 – The manager for industry affairs for Philip Morris, Roy E. Marden, … The documents describe payments by Heartland to some contrarian …. Powell discusses S. Fred Singer, Freeman Dyson, Richard Lindzen, and Tim Ball.
        Credibility up in smoke — Crooked Timber

        so where is lindzens denial that he was paid money by Phillip Morris ?

      • john byatt says:

        And on (Richard Lindzen asbestos industry) , again a few of thousands of references

        The CORRUPT RICHARD S. LINDZEN, DESPICABLE OUTCAST …
        phorums.com.au › … › USENET / Newsgroup gateway › aus.* › aus.legal‎
        Mar 31, 2007 – lung-killer industries tobacco and asbestos, and Lindzen was a prominant hoaxer at this event. Lindzen has been paid in a CRIMINAL …

        groups.google.com/group/sci.geo…/tree/…/e4808c0ad311eabc?…
        Apr 18, 2007 – lung-killer industries tobacco and asbestos, and Lindzen was a prominant hoaxer at this event. Lindzen has been paid in a CRIMINAL …
        ABC Online Forum
        tools.scribblygumwiki.net/thread_cache.php?thread=243593‎
        Apr 11, 2006 – 10 posts – 5 authors
        Sorry I can’t provide a link. afr.com makes you pay to look at stuff. …. by two lung-killer industries tobacco and asbestos, and Lindzen was a .

      • zoot says:

        Evidence? (Sorry to use words you don’t understand)

        Damn! That’s another irony meter destroyed.

      • Dr No says:

        Eric=pure Florence Jenkins.

        Have,nt we all heard this butchering of clear thinking many times before?

      • Mark says:

        “can’t you read ?”

        Rather illogical. Its like phoning someone and asking “are you deaf?”.

      • john byatt says:

        crap

        caller ” we need you to go into microsoft”

        answer ” I do not have microsoft”

        caller ” we think that you have a virus”

        answer ” are you deaf?

    • john byatt says:

      Mark says:
      May 26, 2013 at 9:09 am
      Let’s recap, shall we.

      According to John, I (and Eric, but he can speak for himself) was too gutless to respond to his devastating information that scientists who reject his consensus also took money to spread disinformation on a range of other issues. Oh and,apparently, I was also a retard for avoiding the issue. Quite a guy is John.

      In not avoiding the issue, I opined that John might have been exaggerating a tad and asked for some examples of these evil scientists.

      By way of example he offered one quote from Jim Hanson attacking Lindzen as one such evil scientist. Apparently it didn’t occur to John that Hansen might be just a little biased.

      So I offered Lindzen’s refutation of Hansen wherein he categorically denied that he’d testified on behalf of Big-Tobacco. Let’s also recall that John’s original assertion was that these people had been the recipient of funding to spread this disinformation. That claim seems to have gone by the way-side as John scrambles to find some way of extracting himself from the hole he’s dug for himself. I’m guessing that it never occcurred to him that there might be no evidence for the claim that the climate sceptics were in the pay of big tobacco. He’d been told it was true by his preferred sources (RC, sks, who knows) and, like the claim that Glaciergate was just a typo, he’d bought it hook, line and sinker.

      So that’s where we stand. Out of all the evil sceptic scientists who took money from all those evil capitalists, John has one example that is about as believable as John’s other assertion that Mann isn’t part of the consensus.

      You can always tell when John knows he’s wrong…he doubles down and tries to change the subject.

      eg “Mark thinks it [the dangers of ets] is still in dispute and cheers Lindzen on for the disinformation.

      Since the sum total of my posting on this, up to this post, was to simply observe that some scientists had said ets wasn’t as dangerous as asserted and to quote Lindzen on his refutation of Hansen, I wonder how John knows that I cheer “Lindzen on for the disinformation.”. But John wasn’t seeking to be factual but to simply draw attention away from the fact that his original assertions have been shown to be utter BS.

      I know that these claims are often made. We really can’t blame John for believing them…he seems to believe whatever he’s told, so long as it comes from approved sources.

      OK, unleash the swarm.

      • john byatt says:

        see above

      • john byatt says:

        Lindzen’s Smokescreens for the Tobacco Racketeer’s Science Frauds (Courtroom Evidence found in Tobacco Co. file-cabinets):
        tobaccodocuments.org/pm/2025528294-8299.html
        Richard Lindzen, Robert Bailing, William Nierenberg, Fred Seitz, Patrick Michaels, Fred Singer, Sherwood Idso — scientists opposed to global warming issues, as cited by Peter Samuel. Kay H. Jones, Seattle, Washington pollution consultant, was formerly responsible for air quality analysis for the Council on Environmental Quality. Our city air has been getting steadily better and justifies a less demanding set of government rules and regulation.

        /tobaccodocuments.org/pm/2046323437-3484.html Page 36: 2046323472
        Richard Lindzen, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has emphasized that problems will arise where we will need to depend on scientific judgement, and by ruining our credibility now we leave society with a resource of some importance diminished. The implementation of public policies must be based on good science, to the degree that it is available, and not on emotion or on political needs. Those who develop such policies must not stray from sound scientific investigations, based only on accepted scientific methodologies. Such has not always been the case with environmental tobacco smoke.
        http://tobaccodocuments.org/lor/88478091-8097.html Page 3: gun43c00

        /tobaccodocuments.org/pm/2025802450-2451.html
        Philip Morris
        Scientific Integrity in the Public Policy Process Semi-Final Program 930524 – 930525 the Madison Hotel 15th and M Streets, Nw Washington, D.C.
        Date: 19930525/D
        Length: 2 pages

        tobaccodocuments.org/pm/2502284041-4042.html

      • john byatt says:

        check out the comments

        “just because lindzen is retard about health and smoking does not discredit his climate change position”

        http://crookedtimber.org/2006/04/23/credibility-up-in-smoke/

      • john byatt says:

        Lindzen weasel words

        “Sound Science” and Climate Change – Deltoid – ScienceBlogs
        scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2004/03/06/soundscience/‎
        Mar 6, 2004 – “Sound Science” and Climate Change. Posted by … (5). More ». Last month I wrote about how junkscience.com and The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition were fronts set up by tobacco companies to oppose regulatioon of smoking. … Again, Lindzen is one of the authors of the report. How can he

      • john byatt says:

        http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29182

        Here is a letter from Garrey Carruthers to LINDZEN about forming and joining the The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC). The organization cited in the article.

        /tobaccodocuments.org/pm/2046…5Ba-z%5D%2A&#p1

        Its a Phillip Morris & big energy shill. Lindzen went up on Capital Hill and testified science doesnt support that smoking is bad for you.

      • Mark says:

        Well John, your original assertion was that “this secret funding has been used to fund disinformation campaigns on tobacco, asbestos, seat belts and climate change and usualy using the same paid for scientists”. When I asked for these scientists names you provided one – Lindzen; and one piece of support which turns out to be an unsupported accusation from Hansen which Lindzen has specifically repudiated in both detail and in general.

        Since then we’ve seen you trying to muddy the water by throwing links around with gay abandon. but not a single one of those links, NOT A SINGLE ONE, supports your original assertion. Mostly they are just pages where the word tobacco appears on the same page as Lindzen’s name. Not entirely convincing methinks.

        We also get assertions that ” Lindzen went up on Capital Hill and testified science doesnt [sic] support that smoking is bad for you.”. Well provide evidence for that please John. (Btw, the spelling mistake is in the original quote but we wouldn’t know it was a quote because you presented it as your own words. Don’t worry, I’m sure the quote-police will, as usual, avert their eyes when one of their own does this).

        Do you know why I’m so certain that there is NO evidence that Lindzen was paid to support assertions that smoking was safe? Because even Sourcewatch, who’ve never seen a rumour about sceptics that they didn’t accept as absolute fact,even they can’t bring themselves to believe the rubbish you’re going on about.

        Let’s face it John, you have no evidence. This meme about sceptic climate scientists being, in the past, shrills for Big-Tobacco, is just another of those things that alarmists such as yourself just accept as fact without the need to actually verify. You’ve been told it’s so and you so want to believe it that you just accept it. So when you so confidently asserted it was so and were so anxious that I comment on it, little did you know just how fragile your facts were.

      • john byatt says:

        well you can deny that heartland is involved in denial of links between asbestos and cancer and smoking and cancer and seatbelts but all the evidence for that is on their own site, you can also deny that singer sietz and lindzen are heartland’s science advisers for these things but again all the evidence is there on their own site

        lindzen has never denied his testimony for big tobacco and asbestos industries, he plays with the fact that he was on the team at senate inquiries into cigarette/tobacco link asbestos /tobacco links

        You have convinced yourself that lindzen is not a industry paid liar, despite the many thousands of links within google scholar,

        you even then excuse lindzen for his testimony regarding 2nd hand smoke,
        Now they represent the tobacco industry against litigation from the victims of smoking and again same players sietz singer and lindzen all part of the misinformation and false testimony

        here is what Hansen said

        In a 2001 profile in Newsweek, journalist Fred Guterl wrote that Lindzen “clearly relishes the role of naysayer. He’ll even expound on how weakly lung cancer is linked to cigarette smoking”
        . James Hansen recalls meeting Lindzen whilst testifying before the Vice President’s Climate Task Force: “I considered asking Lindzen if he still believed there was no connection between smoking and lung cancer. He had been a witness for tobacco companies decades earlier, questioning the reliability of statistical connections between smoking and health problems. But I decided that would be too confrontational. When I met him at a later conference, I did ask that question, and was surprised by his response: He began rattling off all the problems with the date relating smoking to helath problems, which was closely analagous to his views of climate data.”

        ” He had been a witness for tobacco companies decades earlier”,

        where is the claimed denial of that?

      • Mark says:

        John,

        Your original assertion was that Lindzen was being paid from secret funding to issue disinformation over smoking. You specifically asserted that the disinformation was over smoking and that it wasn’t about ets which was, in your fevered mind, something I’d fallen for.

        Now we find that your evidence is reduced to the rather pathetic claim that these silly assertions are proven because Lindzen is shown as an advisor (actually expert) for Heartland who also do work on tobacco, seat belts etc.

        Nowhere can you show that he offers any help to Heartland on anything other than climate issues (he is specifically shown as their climate expert) or that he gets paid for anything other than his work on climate issues. Actually payment isn’t covered either but I assume he gets paid when he gives lectures and talks on climate to Heartland.

        Grow a pair and own up that your original assertions where bollocks.

        In the end you rely on Hansen’s attack on Lindzen. I’ve already shown you the rebuttal to that here (can’t you read?) where Lindzen specifically says:

        “3. In his book, Hansen goes so far as to claim that I testified on behalf of the tobacco industry. This claim is absurd.”

        Nowhere can you (or anyone else for that matter) show that Lindzen testified for the tobacco industry. Its a Hansen fantasy.

        Nowhere can you show that Lindzen testified to Congress on tobacco.

        Nowhere can you show that Lindzen has denied a smoking/cancer link.

        Its over John. Learn from it and move on.

      • john byatt says:

        At wunderground, links broken to stop moderation

        learn from this mark

        Lindzen’s Smokescreens for the Tobacco Racketeer’s Science Frauds (Courtroom Evidence found in Tobacco Co. file-cabinets)

        :
        ://tobaccodocuments.org/pm/2025528294-8299.html
        Richard Lindzen, Robert Bailing, William Nierenberg, Fred Seitz, Patrick Michaels, Fred Singer, Sherwood Idso — scientists opposed to global warming issues, as cited by Peter Samuel. Kay H. Jones, Seattle, Washington pollution consultant, was formerly responsible for air quality analysis for the Council on Environmental Quality. Our city air has been getting steadily better and justifies a less demanding set of government rules and regulation.

        /tobaccodocuments.org/pm/2046323437-3484.html Page 36: 2046323472
        Richard Lindzen, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has emphasized that problems will arise where we will need to depend on scientific judgement, and by ruining our credibility now we leave society with a resource of some importance diminished. The implementation of public policies must be based on good science, to the degree that it is available, and not on emotion or on political needs. Those who develop such policies must not stray from sound scientific investigations, based only on accepted scientific methodologies. Such has not always been the case with environmental tobacco smoke.
        /tobaccodocuments.org/lor/88478091-8097.html Page 3: gun43c00

        ://tobaccodocuments.org/pm/2025802450-2451.html
        Philip Morris
        Scientific Integrity in the Public Policy Process Semi-Final Program 930524 – 930525 the Madison Hotel 15th and M Streets, Nw Washington, D.C.
        Date: 19930525/D
        Length: 2 pages

        ://tobaccodocuments.org/pm/2502284041-4042.html

      • john byatt says:

        you are in denial

        Lindzen and Singer are both associated to the Heartland institute and Cato Institute, extreme-rightist think-tanks and eager defenders of the big coal, oil, tobacco, arms, chemicals and asbestos industry – and funded by these. Heartland institute promotes the extreme neo-conservative approach to economy and regards any efforts by the government to restrict free market forces and big (American) multinational corporations as a nuisance, and perceives e.g. President Obama as a kind of a muslim communist. Government is regarded as an evil force that intrudes on private citizens and puts restrictions on private initiatives (read American multinational corporations). Governments should therefore be kept as small as possible to ensure “freedom”.

        Some of the scientists associated to Heartland institute and other similar think tanks were witnesses for the American tobacco industry, claiming that it was not possible to prove a clear connection between lung cancer and smoking. The parallell between the tobacco industry and the big coal and oil industry is striking. It is now evident that smoking cigarettes is addicting and deadly. When the tobacco corporations understood in the 1980’s that they were facing a court trial with compensation claims to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, they invented the term ‘Junk science” about mainstream medical science, and mobilised “the merchants of doubt”. They had previously bought medical doctors to recommend cigarette smoking, and to claim that the purported hazards of smoking were hysterical. They bought spin doctors and connected these to PR-firms and think tanks. They gave the impression that the government is scaring the public to accept taxes on tobacco by making the warning texts on tobacco products mandatory. The message is that the government just pretends to protect us while in reality they manipulate us and extort our money.

        – Again we see that the American coal and oil industry repeat history. – Even according to president George Bush, we all “are addicted to oil”. Lindzen and Singer defended the tobacco industry 20 years ago and still do, e.g. by claiming that passive smoking is harmless.

        http://grimstad.uia.no/puls/climatechange/nnm03/07nnm03a.htm

      • john byatt says:

        some of the key documents merchants of doubt

        http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org/keydocs.html

      • Mark says:

        OK, so we’ve gone from your (over)confident assertions that Lindzen was paid via secret funds to assist the tobacco industry in its fight to show smoking was safe, to your current position that Lindzen offers a little advice and the ocassional talk on climate change for a group that also has some people who do a little work for it and who used to help the tobacco industry 30yrs ago. Wow John, compelling evidence there.

        I also managed to track down one of your screwy documents. the one that you quoted as:

        /tobaccodocuments.org/pm/2046323437-3484.html Page 36: 2046323472
        Richard Lindzen, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has emphasized that problems will arise where we will need to depend on scientific judgement, and by ruining our credibility now we leave society with a resource of some importance diminished. The implementation of public policies must be based on good science, to the degree that it is available, and not on emotion or on political needs. Those who develop such policies must not stray from sound scientific investigations, based only on accepted scientific methodologies. Such has not always been the case with environmental tobacco smoke.

        Firstly this is about ets which you originally ruled out as part of your evidence.

        Secondly, the document is not a Lindzen document. It merely refers to something Lindzen said elsewhere about how important it is that public policy be based on good data. He’s not even referring to tobacco when he made that comment.

        OK John, I’ll drop this subject now. Even I’m feeling embarrassed for you.

        Hope you’ve learned something.

      • john byatt says:

        It was part of the evidence used by the tobacco denying scientists

        here is a bit more

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_C._Marshall_Institute

        Historian Naomi Oreskes states that the institute has, in order to resist and delay regulation, lobbied politically to create a false public perception of scientific uncertainty over the negative effects of second-hand smoke, the carcinogenic nature of tobacco smoking, the existence of acid rain, and on the evidence between CFCs and ozone depletion.[

        and you will find all of your climate change denier scientists named including Lindzen

      • john byatt says:

        “must not stray from sound scientific investigations, based only on accepted scientific methodologies. Such has not always been the case with environmental tobacco smoke.”

        Mark ” He’s not even referring to tobacco when he made that comment.”

        comprehension problem?

      • john byatt says:

        mark “Firstly this is about ets which you originally ruled out as part of your evidence.”

        ruled out ets ?

        ” Lindzen and Singer defended the tobacco industry 20 years ago and still do, e.g. by claiming that passive smoking is harmless.

        you claimed that ets was the only tobacco fraud that lindzen was involved with

        heartland and lindzen went from denying a link between smoking and lung cancer to denying that environmental tobacco smoke was a problem and also defending tobacco companies against claiming

        how can anyone hold lindzen up as a reliable scientific source after finding out that he is nothing more than a paid misinformer?

        easy, they clutch at any source no matter how disreputable to maintain there anti science nonsense

      • Mark says:

        “comprehension problem?”
        Yep, on your part.

        The quote you have there isn’t from Lindzen, its from the authors of the paper. this shouldn’t be so hard. but it is, so I’ll try to make it a simple as possible.

        The authors are making an argument. The argument is that public policy should be based on good science. They further argue that ETS policy isn’t based on good science.

        To bolster their case that public policy should be based on good science they refer to Lindzen who’d made that same point elsewhere.

        again,Lindzen is NOT the author of this paper.

      • john byatt says:

        I know that Lindzen was not the Author I read it before , they are citing him

        they are the scientists that we are talking about “the merchants of doubt”

        There is no indication that the complete statement is not from lindzen

        Richard Lindzen, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has emphasized that problems will arise where we will need to depend on scientific judgement, and by ruining our credibility now we leave society with a resource of some importance diminished. The implementation of public policies must be based on good science, to the degree that it is available, and not on emotion or on political needs. Those who develop such policies must not stray from sound scientific investigations, based only on accepted scientific methodologies. Such has not always been the case with environmental tobacco smoke.

      • Nick says:

        I believe Hansen’s recollection of his conversation with Lindzen over smoking,but for the congressional testimony. I have not read Hansen’s book,so cannot comment further on that.

        I believe Hansen is in error to claim that Lindzen actually testified before congress on that issue [certainly Fred Singer did so]. Had Lindzen done so, a transcript[s] would be widely disseminated by now. However,Lindzen has allowed himself to be associated with those who do take tobacco and coal money to shill,and has according to undisputed claims been paid to testify on behalf of coal interests,which makes his mutterings about others over science and advocacy hypocritical. I do think that generally Lindzen is more careful than some over not accepting funding from vested interests,however his authority is freely granted to and used by astroturfers who do seriously shitty disinformation as operational normality.

        Of course those [including Lindzen] who accuse ‘government’ scientists,or those in receipt of government grants of being motivated by funding streams,will note that Lindzen claims to be only government funded. His professorship at MIT is funded by the Alfred Sloan philanthropic fund. I guess this covers the infrastructure and support,and not the research. Those who accuse scientists of doing government work in receipt for government funding will henceforth treat Lindzen with the same suspicion. [sarc]

        Lindzen has made many appearances delivering expert testimony on climate science,and while his details are mainly consistent [some consistently misleading],his estimate of warming to be expected is always lowball and has been a bit slippery. In the early days–1980s-mid 1990s–he estimated warming per doubled CO2 at a few tenths of a degree,or 0.3C. Within a decade or so that warming was realised and we are a fair way off doubling. He will be dead by the time his predictions are thoroughly buried, but they are certainly in an open grave already. He tends not to bring those old estimates up,keeping his arguments for low sensitivity more general.

        Lindzen has burned a lot of bridges,and accused people like Kerry Emmanuel and Jim Hansen [as can be seen in his reply to Treadgold,of the Heartland co-funded NZCSC] of going for the cash and glory,which probably explains why he hasn’t sued Hansen. A counter suit would not take much work.

      • john byatt says:

        Had read about it many years ago nick, and yes Singer was the front man who did the talking, but lindzen was also there with him,

        which is why the mention of the three at capital hill as found in the searches

      • john byatt says:

        goldmine

        PM data on line as ordered to do so

        http://www.pmdocs.com/Disclaimer.aspx

      • john byatt says:

        39 documents match your search criteria “richard lindzen”

        @ Phillip Morris documents

      • Mark says:

        “which is why the mention of the three at capital hill as found in the searches”

        Singer testified to Congress on second hand smoking? Evidence?

      • Nick says:

        Sponsored by two Reps,Singer [working for a lobby group] gave a joint briefing on environmental regulation to which all Members of Congress,staff and media were invited. The venue was in Rayburn House,part of the House of Reps quarters. The invitation was by two members,using the congressional letterhead. Environmental tobacco smoke was on the agenda. So,not before a committee,but at the hill.

      • Mark says:

        Ok, so we’ve gone from Singer testifying to Congress (with Lindzen hovering in the background) so as to convey paid-for misinformation to gullible Congressmen, to Singer having a meeting with some congressmen about issues other than smoking but where passive smoking might have been on the agenda, but wasn’t, according to the documentation, discussed.

        Wow chaps, your evidence is mind-boggling.

  4. john byatt says:

    The Higgs boson and the future of physics

    great if you have the time and in layman language

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2013/05/20/3760627.htm

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Thanks John – love this stuff. Used to be heavily into the lit on physics + cosmology.

  5. john byatt says:

    Have not been reading the nutters for awhile

    Did you know that the move to recognise local councils by referendum is part of the great Agenda 21 hoax, part of the OWG push ?

    http://justgroundsonline.com/forum/topics/local-government-do-we-really-want-these-people-to-gain-more

  6. john byatt says:

    2001 Lindzen ” we are half way to doubling CO2 .. senate hearing

    2012 lindzen we are 80% or have effectively doubled CO2… london talk

    , but Lindzen’s point is fundamentally flawed. Temperatures will respond to net forcing – not just CO2, or CO2-eq, and net forcing is around 1.7 W/m2 from the pre-industrial – that is under 50% of the forcing from 2xCO2, not 80% nor ‘almost’ a doubling. Claims that we should have reached equilibrium with that forcing are equally risible. Lindzen is effectively assuming zero heat capacity in the oceans and that aerosol forcing is 0 W/m2 with no uncertainty. The statements he makes on this have only rhetorical content – no science. – gavin]

    • Lindzen had a hypothesis – and it’s been proven wrong. At least he has his emeritus pension.

    • Nick says:

      Lindzen was quoted in a 1989 or 1990 piece in Science,Vol. 246,as saying that CO2 levels would double “..sometime in the next century,but the atmosphere will likely warm at most by a few tenths of a degree..”

      Since 1990 GAT has risen buy 0.4C,and we are some time from doubling.

    • Nick says:

      In May 1995, Lindzen,on behalf of Western Fuels Association,testified to the Minnesota legislature on the environmental cost of burning fossil fuels in power plants.

      He claimed that doubled CO2 would lead to a maximum global mean temperature rise of at most 0.3C.

  7. john byatt says:

    Love it

  8. Stuart Mathieson says:

    Migratory grazing animals that are in more or less dynamic equilibrium with their environment is one thing but modern intensive farming using pesticides and chemical fertilisers is something else again. In fact non intensive traditional planting and harvesting by tribal societies over many centuries is or was obviously sustainable and non intensive use of domesticated animals likewise. Eric was in such haste to report his little bit of contrarianism he failed to notice or report the Savory article went on to lament increased CO2 emissions combined with reduced plant cover (desertification) is a double jeopardy situation.

  9. lensville says:

    The beautiful irony of this video is that some of us think of Carl Sagan as a kind of star….nice share, Mike.

  10. john byatt says:

    A friend who lives down near Bribie Island just phoned, the king tides have covered the roads and filled the gutters, even coming up across the paddocks further inland, water table .

    long term locals (forty years) have never seen the water this high.

  11. john byatt says:

    This may be spread about a bit.

    claim and response from Gavin Schmidt at RC

    The MET has just been forced to agree that global rises in temp since late 1800s are well within what could be attributed to natural variability. Comments?

    [Response: Well, it’s good to have a laugh on a holiday morning. More seriously, the Met Office have admitted nothing of the sort. This is all about people fitting statistical models to the temperature record. This can be done to any precision required (using sufficiently complex models) and tells us nothing about the ‘significance’ of the recent trends with respect to natural variability. Significance does of course have two meanings here: The colloquial meaning of something that is ‘worthy of note’, and a statistical meaning – something whose probablity is less than 5% under the assumption of a particular null hypothesis. With the colloquial meaning, there is no doubt that recent trends are significant, and nothing the Met Office said about null hypotheses has anything to add since this ‘significance’ comes from the best estimates we have of natural variability (control runs of climate models, estimates of naturally forced responses and analyses of paleo-climate data, etc.). Turning to the other (technical) definition, it is straightforward to fit statistical models to data and then look at the signficance of the recent changes. However, this is far less meaningful than one might think since the model is being fit to the data you are wanting to test. This is one kind of data-snooping and it is easy to show that you can always find a statistical model that fits any particular data-series as well as you want it to. This has nothing to do with actual attribution. For that you need a statistical model of internal variability + response to natural forcings that does not use the recent trends as input. Then a calculation of how significant the recent observations are would be of interest. An example of this (done with GCMs) shows that current temperatures are around 4 to 5 sigma away from what would be expected with natural variability along. Sounds pretty signficant to me. – gavin]

    • Nick says:

      Yes. Staring at some data looking for a ‘trend’… “This has nothing to do with attribution” look at the physical system that it providing the data,rejectionists.

    • I love the nonskeptics use of the word “admits”. On its own it demonstrates their anti-science point of view.

      • Nick says:

        A tabloidism much overused. Everything [that they had no clue about] is ‘admitted’ by someone…or ‘someone is ‘forced to agree’…it’s their authoritarian streak,and paranoia about their science ignorance.

    • Mark says:

      I just love the MET…the gift that keeps on giving.

      With all the help its been giving the sceptics in the last few years, its only a matter of time before Oreskes decides that it must be in the pay of the Merchants of Doubt.

    • john byatt says:

      carbon tax is having an effect already

      http://www.smh.com.au/data-point/carbon-tax-contributes-to-emissions-drop-20121017-27rl6.html

      emissions will soar under Abbott’s direct action non plan

      it will however be too late by the time that the coalition is defeated, our 2020 emissions will be way above Abbot’s promise of a 5% reduction.

      Abbott’s plan is going to come straight out of general taxation.

      • Mark says:

        “emissions will soar under Abbot”

        And the effect on temperatures will be? anyone, anyone….bueller, bueller?

      • john byatt says:

        Australia’s contribution is 1.5% of global emissions, our pp rate is one of the highest in the world .

        We would not be contributing to any effort to keep the global anomaly below 2DegC if our emissions soar.

        Our planet and climates are a common resource

        http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/ten-reallife-examples-of-the-tragedy-of-the-common.html

        .No Planet B, this is it

      • john byatt says:

        The population of Australia represents 0.33 percent of the world´s total population

        .33% of global population, 1.5% of emissions, over four times the global average emissions

      • Nick says:

        Geez,Mark why keep up the dumb rhetorical question? Of course the contribution will be physically small,but the idea is to show political will to the international community,to test mechanisms -take them from the theoretical to the applied-,and to make a gesture. The response from the opposition has been negative,hysterical and anti-enlightenment,outsourcing their argument to cretinous News Ltd bloggers and op-eds.

        What you want is for everyone to go one with the pretense that their country’s environmental destiny is independent of others,living the tragedy of the commons at every scale. Of course getting international co-operation is fraught,difficult and may ultimately be too weak,but the need is physically realistic and intelligent people are obliged to act.

      • Mark says:

        “Geez,Mark why keep up the dumb rhetorical question?”:

        Because people keep carrying on as though what we do matters. It doesn’t.

        The rest of the world couldn’t give two hoots what we do,even if they are aware of it, which I’d doubt.

        Since we announced we’d introduce the world’s highest CO2 tax as a example for the world, the world has yawned and moved in the other direction.

        Yes yes I know about all the rationalisations alarmists go through: Europe’s ETS, Britain’s ambitious aim, 6 (or is it 7?) US states, China’s ETS promise. But all of this is just self-delusion. The world has no intention of doing anything to reduce emissions that might impact their economy and our deciding otherwise won’t make the slightest difference to the environment or what other countries do.

        Incidentally, a mere month ago I was directed to this site because of an article that purported to prove that Abbott was about to disappoint those evil deniers by not remove the plant food tax….. :https://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/how-tony-abbott-killed-the-australian-climate-sceptic-movement-and-schooled-them-in-realpolitik/

        As I recall you and most of the rest of the swarm heartily endorsed that view and serially attacked Eric for not.

        Now you are fretting about the inevitability of the rescinding of the tax.

        Must be convenient to have such ‘flexible’ opinions.

      • john byatt says:

        Mark’s Link

        “Abbott has just recently indicated that once he becomes Prime Minister he will work with China and the United States to formulate a global agreement and (believe it or not) raise their emission reduction targets:”

        at the bottom we read

        “After the 2013 election the LNP will face enormous pressure from business to shift its position. ( KEEP THE TAX MARK)

        The hard sell will be trying to convince the voting public retaining a price on carbon is not a price on carbon. But a price on carbon is here to stay.
        Would not the public see that as a cynical ploy, thus hurting freshly minted Prime Minister Abbott’s approval ratings? More than likely.
        But the LNP will have a sizable majority in the lower house and the potential to ride out initial voter backlash.
        Cynical? Perhaps.

        and you read that as “to prove that Abbott was about to disappoint those evil deniers by not remove the plant food tax…”?

        and the only swarm there is eric who seems to be the only one of a few who really thought it a possibility’ and was upset with the change of direction by hunt.

        whats with the sceptics and there ilks, swarms, cabals, teams etc,? must prove something in their mini minds

        now my ABC link also is about Abbott’s dilemma after the election.

        http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4716804.html

      • Mark says:

        “and you read that as “to prove that Abbott was about to disappoint those evil deniers by not remove the plant food tax…”?”

        Did you read the title of the thread?

      • Nick says:

        Apparently,the world hadn’t heard about what we did,but they reacted to the announcement by yawning. Yes, Mark.

        It’s not a tax,it’s a carbon price on perhaps 300 major emitters that barely applies at the moment. Taxpayers were compensated. It has not ruined the economy despite the Axis of Idiots/usual supects co-ordinated messaging. Carbon pricing is inevitable,because the largest economies understand that the market alone will be too slow to get the transition to renewables underway. FF miners will always try to game the market to believe its product is affordable and sustainable in every sense of the word. China does not want to be dependent on foreign coal,and is chewing through its own massive reserves with mind-boggling rapidity. It plans to impose a price to drive efficiency and transition faster.

        I fret about politicians generally,as they are too close to business. They will not resist populist demonisation of taxation,indulge in it themselves,and are scared to tell people how it really is. If they want services,they have to pay. A bit of hardening up on Cook Islands style avoidance and the revenue stream will be healthier.

      • john byatt says:

        the 2012 link

        https://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/the-coming-disappointment-how-the-deniers-are-about-to-learn-some-harsh-lessons-in-realpolitik/

        he made some predictions. he did not offer any proof

        Abbott and hunt are moving towards accepting the science and taking action, that is the lesson for the sceptics . how politics works , say whatever you like to get elected,

        the sceptics were all hoping that Abbot was lying when he said that he will bring in his direct no action plan, It is obvious that they are moving towards even more action
        .

        again there is no proof offered that the carbon tax will stay.

        where is the bit where mike has proved that Abbott will keep the tax

      • Mark says:

        “Carbon pricing is inevitable,because the largest economies understand that the market alone will be too slow to get the transition to renewables underway.’

        Oh good. So if its inevitable we don’t need to be an example to the world then. We can just sit back, wait for the major economies to succumb to the inevitable and then join in, instead of getting ahead of the game and weakening our economy. Phew, problem solved. Next problem please.

      • john byatt says:

        Australia goes it alone, right

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_tax

      • john byatt says:

        well at least they have gone from wrecking the economy to weakening the economy.

        fizzer actually

        http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2012/12/17/australian-news/climate-spectator-how-we-survived-carbon-tax

      • Nick says:

        Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die…that’s you,Mark.

  12. john byatt says:

    In the beginning was the Direct Action PLAN
    And then came THE ASSUMPTIONS
    And the assumptions were without form
    And the plan was completely without substance;
    And darkness was upon the faces of the voters
    And they spoke amongst themselves, saying,
    “IT IS A CROCK OF SHIT AND IT STINKS!”

    And the voters went unto their local members saying, “It is a pail of dung and
    none may abide the odor thereof.”
    And the local members went unto their minister saying, “It is a container of
    excretement and it is very strong such that none may abide by it.”
    And the minister went unto the cabinet saying, “It is a vessel of fertilizer
    and none may abide its strength.”
    And the cabinet went unto ABBOTT saying, “It contains that
    which aids growth and is very strong.”
    And ABBOTT went unto the media bosses saying, “It promotes
    growth and is very powerful.”
    And the media bosses went unto the voters saying, “This new direct action plan
    will actively promote growth and efficiency in Australia
    And the voters looked again upon the plan and and still thought it was a crock of shit

  13. john byatt says:

    Oh thanks for this Sou

    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/05/duke-ing-it-out.html

    grab some jaffas and head over to WUWT to see the comment contradictions

    Sou said to note WUWT sticky “it’s not Warming

  14. john byatt says:

    just cooking up nine mud crabs,

    unusual for them to be still active and full after april

    the new normal?.

  15. john byatt says:

    Three weeks ago skeptical science

    Dana1981 (a nick often used by Dana Nuccitelli of Skeptical Science) responded to the stable readership of SkS and RC:
    “I have a hunch that Skeptical Science is going to have a big jump in traffic in the near future.”
    My first guess was that Skeptical Science is negotiating a merger with WUWT.

    Another guess could be that Skeptical Science has hacked the computer of Anthony Watts and stole his correspondence with all the other main “sceptic” bloggers, where they make fun of their gullible readers.

    Does anyone have a better idea? I will be waiting for the day that Skeptical Science will halt their blog for two days before they reveal the big surprise.

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