Today’s links to interesting news and analysis. If you find this useful, pass it to a friend or colleague.
- Forgetting our history means forgetting who we are: “Ulysses Grant: Our Greatest President?“, Nathan Newman (bio), at his blog, 4 July 2006
- Important material from our man in Kabul, speaking honesty to our leaders in Washington: Ambassador Eikenberry’s Cables on U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan from November 2009, posted by the New York Times.
- This should not surprise us, as California always leads the nation: “America The Ungovernable“, Newsweek, 25 January 2010 — “Three forces have conspired to prevent President Obama from running the country effectively: congressional Republicans, congressional Democrats, and the American people.” But it need not be like this, as we need only the wit and will to govern ourselves.
- An accurate but impolitic way to say this: “Too Dumb to Thrive“, Joe Klein, blog of Time magazine, 25 January 2010 — “Absolutely amazing poll results from CNN today about the $787 stimulus package: nearly three out of four Americans think the money has been wasted.” But it is a success for Republican propagandists!
- Wild guesses about threats keeps the proles nervous and obedient: “What’s the next U.S. terror threat?“, USA Today, 26 January 2010 — Fame and high office goes to those with the most vivid imagination and story-telling skills.
- We see their true nature from the cover-up even more than the inital scandal: An annotated version of the IPCC Statement on Trends in Disaster Losses“, Roger Pielke Jr, at his website, 26 January 2010
Today’s special features
- I’ll bet Lord Hutton has a good reason for classifying this as top secret
- Another example of the IPPC show the corruption of science
(A) I’ll bet Lord Hutton has a good reason for classifying this as top secret
Excerpt from “David Kelly post mortem to be kept secret for 70 years as doctors accuse Lord Hutton of concealing vital information“, Daily News, 25 January 2010:
Vital evidence which could solve the mystery of the death of Government weapons inspector Dr David Kelly will be kept under wraps for up to 70 years. In a draconian – and highly unusual – order, Lord Hutton, the peer who chaired the controversial inquiry into the Dr Kelly scandal, has secretly barred the release of all medical records, including the results of the post mortem, and unpublished evidence.
The move, which will stoke fresh speculation about the true circumstances of Dr Kelly’s death, comes just days before Tony Blair appears before the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War. It is also bound to revive claims of an establishment cover-up and fresh questions about the verdict that Dr Kelly killed himself.
Wikipedia entry for David Kelly:
David Christopher Kelly, CMG (1944– 2003) was an employee of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MoD), an expert in biological warfare and a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq. Kelly’s discussion with BBC Radio 4 Today programme journalist Andrew Gilligan about the British government’s dossier on weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq inadvertently caused a major political scandal. He was found dead days after appearing before the Parliamentary committee charged with investigating the scandal.
The Hutton Inquiry, a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his death, ruled that he had committed suicide, and that Kelly had not in fact said some of the things attributed to him by Gilligan. The following day, 28 January 2004, the Independent ran a special issue, the front cover being largely blank and containing in the centre, “WHITEWASH? THE HUTTON REPORT. A SPECIAL ISSUE.”
(B) Another example of the IPPC show the corruption of science
Excerpt from “The corruption of science“, Richard North, EUReferendum, 26 January 2010:
Thus, from an assertion (IPCC) that “up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation”, we see this relying on a statement (Rowell & Moore) that “up to 40% of the Brazilian forest is extremely sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall.” But that seems to rely solely on the assertion that: “Logging companies in Amazonia kill or damage 10-40% of the living biomass of forests through the harvest process.”
Turning this round and starting at the Nature end, we have “Logging companies in Amazonia kill or damage 10-40% of the living biomass of forests through the harvest process,” turn into, “up to 40% of the Brazilian forest is extremely sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall,” which then becomes “up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation”.
And that is what Jean-Pascal van Ypersele calls, “assessing the quality information about climate change issues in all its dimensions.”
Answering our own question as to why the IPCC authors did not use the peer-reviewed Nature reference rather than the secondary source, the reason now becomes clear. The paper simply did not support the assertion they wished to make.
… By any measure, and by any possible construction, the Nature paper cannot be taken to support the assertions made either by Rowell & Moore or the IPCC. As with the assertion on the Himalayan glaciers, the IPCC passage should be withdrawn.
The articles discussed here are:
- “Global Review of Forest Fires“, Andy Rowell and Peter F. Moore, International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN), 30 June 2000
- “Large-scale Impoverishment of Amazonian Forests by Logging and Fire“, Daniel C. Nepstad et al, Nature, 8 April 1999 — A free copy of the paper is here.
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