This bizare headline might have past me by if not for a lecture I recently attended given by Professor Marguerite Hatch at the Irish Skeptic Society (of which I am a member) in Dublin entitled ‘Caught between a rock and a hard place: Kidney stone disease is common in Ireland’. Yes yes, I know, what was I doing attending a lecture on Kidney Stones? Well it was just that I was passing, on my way to buying an anorak! But here’s the kicker, it was one of the most fascinating lectures I have been to in years – no I’m serious.
What is so intriguing about these two pieces of research is that one has come up with some preposterous correlation between kidney stones and temperature while the other would appear to have actually found a cure for 80% of kidney stones commonly found in the general population. But which piece of research is getting the most press, the cure for kidney stones? No of course not, it’s the fallacious link between kidney stones and Global Warming. How often do we have to say it – just because there is correlation does not mean there is causality. I think Professor Hatch’s research makes the point most clearly.
This Monday 7th July 2014 sees the opening of the 9th International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas Nevada. Do not expect to find the great and the good of the alarmist environmental movement or anyone from the IPCC in attendance. This is strictly for us global warming sceptics – though of course all are welcome!
I will be in attendance (my first ICCC) where I will be launching my book ‘To Kill an Error’. I never imagined that I would be doing a book launch at such an exotic venue but it seems a shame to pass up such an ideal opportunity.
Wish me luck.
What do Mary Robinson (Ex president of Ireland who slapped the Irish people in the face by resigning before the end of her first term in office to take up a better job at the UN), Nostradamus (medieval charlatan soothsayer) and Thomas Malthus (18th Century Philosopher and mathematician) have in common – they have all pretended at some time or other, that they could see into the future?
To this list you might also add the likes of Al Gore (the US President that never was). In 2006 Gore predicted that within 10 years we will hit a Climate tipping point. With two years to go we wait with bated breath. Ex Irish President Mary Robinson leaped into the fray (again) last month with the dire prediction that global leaders had “at most two decades to save the world” – ‘Quick Virgil prepare Thunderbird One – anything can happen in the next half hour’. Pause for hysterical laughter. Al and Mary would not have looked out of place among the pages of the late Sir Patrick Moore’s book ‘Countdown!… or how nigh is the end?‘ a chronicle of all the wacky doomsday predictions that have been made over the years.
Politicians such as Gore and Robinson cannot resist this ‘pretence of knowledge’. They claim with such certainty to know the future when in reality they are some of the most ill-informed and biased purveyors of misinformation on the planet.
I am in a parochial mood at the moment. I have just been listening to NewsTalk – an Irish news and current affairs radio programme. They were interviewing Architect and environmentalist Duncan Stuart who presents environmental and eco-friendly housing programmes on Irish television. He had agreed to come on to the program to discuss Climate Change and his recent criticism of the Irish media relating to their even handed approach to the topic of climate change. His argument? Manmade climate change “it’s not about opinion it’s not about belief, it’s fact”. Yes his argument is, there is no argument. Just believe what I say and stop being a denier. He made the usual analogies with holocaust deniers and smoking causing cancer deniers. Those were the more cogent parts of his rant. He crashed and burned. I have never heard anyone self-destruct on radio before. It seems Mr. Stuart intended to use the radio broadcast as a launch pad for a run at a European seat in the upcoming elections, on the platform of Global Warming alarmism. Don’t give up the day job Duncan – oh, too late you have.
Podcast of Interview
In February 2014 Alasdair MacLeod – head of editorial standards and compliance for BBC Scotland, sent an e-mail to BBC producers and editors which said that “we should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics.” You would think that the BBC would be a little more circumspect with its censoring of scientific content after the debacle that was 28Gate. There has been a degree of controversy recently over the labelling of some Global Warming Alarmists as Environmental Nazis. Is it any wonder this epithet is being bandied around when senior executives of the British state run news service are acting like Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and censor-in-chief of the German state run news and film service. But this is all in a good cause – Hang on where have I heard that before ah yes “Propoganda, Certainly, Good Propaganda for a good cause”. Guess who said that.
When I was studying physics at school as a late teenager I was told that outer-space was cold- very cold in fact it was as cold as it gets. And my physics text books told me that scientists knew that temperature and that temperature was -273 deg. Centigrade. Now to be strictly accurate that temperature is -273.15 deg. Celsius or is that -273.16 deg. (some confusion around freezing point of water and triple point of water). But then of course when I went to university I was told that even deepest darkest space was not at absolute zero it was a couple of degrees above absolute zero because of background microwave radiation. But then does space have a temperature at all. After all it is a near perfect vacuum – does a vacuum have a temperature? But one thing we can be sure of – nothing can be colder than absolute zero. At least on this one point all scientists are agreed – thank goodness the science (of absolute zero) is settled. There is a satisfying consensus, not 97% of scientists, not 98% of scientists but 100% of scientists agree. Phew, how comforting to be surrounded by people who agree with your point of view.
Oh darn – now some pesky meddling sceptic, denier scientists have come along and crashed the party. What’s this about quantum gases and sub absolute zero temperatures. Who let that lot in?
I shall finish on a famous, and very apt, quote by Albert Einstein:-
“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”
John Coleman is best know as founder of the Weather Channel in the US. He has a real knack for getting across the salient points of Global Warming scepticism. His latest 30 minute video is his best yet. He charts the history of the scare and (spoiler alert) details the change of heart of the scientist who started the whole thing in the first place. A very convincing argument.