Category Archives: Uncategorized

"Big Victory"

Whatever your views on politics may be, I think we should all be able to get a good chuckle out of this. Now that we know Democrats have won the House, Donald Trump is going around boasting about the "Big Victory" Republicans just had.

What a world we have where it's a "Big Victory" when you lose because you didn't lose by as much as you could have.

Yes, Words Can Have Multiple Meanings

I've been sick for a little while, and while it's not too bad, it has sapped me of almost all my energy. As a result, I was hoping to lie in bed resting and casually browsing the internet without any stress or need for coherent thought. That didn't work out. Instead, I wound up involved in an incredibly dumb argument.

It all started because of an unremarkable news article which discussed plans to install more battery storage capacity in the United Kingdoms electrical grid. Battery storage is primarily used for load balancing, where batteries are charged during periods of low demand so they can provide additional energy during periods of high demand. The use of stored energy for load balancing in electrical grids is commonplace and entirely unremarkable. When the article said:

Planning applications in the UK to install just 2MW of battery storage capacity in 2012 have soared since then to a cumulative total of 6,874MW in 2018. (92% of applications for storage projects are approved first time).

It should have been viewed as an innocuous statement the same as one might see in any of a hundred news articles. Instead, a number of "Skeptics" decided it was wrong. In fact, one decided it was not just wrong, but nefarious:

Why? Because they felt they get to dictate how the word "capacity" can be used. Continue reading

But... He Didn't Say That!

I have a number of hobbies I don't typically talk about here as that's not the purpose of this site, but today I want to share something that came up due to my involvement in a gaming ocmmunity. Given the title of my last post, it seems fitting.

For a bit of context, a person made a video talking to people about a type of strategy they can use in timed matches for a card game. A different person made a response condemning the first video for openly promoting "slow play," a method of play that is against the game's rules. Here's a ~30 second video showing why I feel this is relevant.

I can't think of the last time I've seen such a blatant misrepresentation of what a person said..

But... It Doesn't Say That!

I had a post planned for today, one which is half written, but I'm going to have to call an audible. I came across something that's too weird not to discuss. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report makes this claim in its Summary for Policymakers (SPM):

Coral reefs, for example, are projected to decline by a further 70–90% at 1.5°C (high confidence) with larger losses (>99%) at 2ºC (very high confidence). The risk of irreversible loss of many marine and coastal ecosystems increases with global warming, especially at 2°C or more (high confidence). {3.4.4, Box 3.4}

This is a dramatic claim which holds (virtually) all coral reefs in the world will die. Given such a serious claim, I'd expect there to be lot of good research supporting it. Instead, it turned out not even cited portions of the IPCC report make the same claim.
Continue reading

Skeptics Will Believe Anything (Part 1?)

I was wanting to discuss a couple substantive issues with the latest IPCC report and how the review process either failed, or actually introduced new problems, but unfortunately the IPCC has not published the draft versions and reviewer comments they said they'd publish. They explain this:

Which is rather strange given the IPCC has launched a PR campaign in which it talks about how the latest report has now been published. The contradiction here doesn't seem to bother the IPCC. I've talked about it before, and I've actually contacted the IPCC directly about this issue in the past. Their response has always been to shrug it off, because apparently it is okay for the IPCC to blatantly contradict itself. Because... consensus?

I don't know what to make of the IPCC simultaenously saying this report is both published and not published. I don't know what to make of the IPCC saying draft versions can't be quoted, cited or distributed while running a PR campaign in order to get as many people to read a draft report as they can. It's weird. And perhaps more importantly, it interferes with anyone's ability to fairly judge the reports the IPCC makes. I don't know how the IPCC can "publish" its report then say it won't release its drafts and reviewer comments for months because the report isn't published. What I do know is there's a lot of material we can't effectively discuss because of it.

That all said, Skeptics don't care about this. You won't see them complaining about this. They won't complain because they don't care. Skeptics are lazy and don't actually want to examine things. They just want easy talking points they can throw around. This report is providing some perfect examples. Today, I'd like to highlight one from the big name Ross McKitrick:

This is idiotic. The highlgihted passage by the IPCC cites two trends, one from recent times and one from times long ago. As references, it cites two sources, one a temperature record of modern times and the other a temperature reconstruction of olden times. McKitrick says this is wrong because the second source, the one reconstructing temperatures thousands of years back in time, can't be used to show modern temperatures. In doing so, he simply ignores one source is a reconstruction of modern temperatures.

There are many problems with the new IPCC report, and oen could even argue this particular passage is wrong. But as long as Skeptics keep making and embracing these sort of lazy, idiotic talking points, why should anyone listen? Why should anyone care? They shouldn't. They won't.

Still, tomorrow I'll talk about a troubling issue in this IPCC report. I can't give as much context as I'd like since the IPCC knowingly makes false claims to the public, but I'll do what I can.

Totally Unbiased

Sometimes people make it too easy. I saw this tweet yesterday:

So I commented on how people who write that sort of headline are a key reason meaningful action won't be taken to combat global warming. That sort of headline inspires distrust as it makes it appear the source is extremely biased. I won't dwell on that since it's boring to drone on ad nauseam about how people are so partisan truth accuracy seem to have little value anymore. Suffice to say, the headline is terrible. The fact it went to print speaks volumes about the BBC.

Which is why the BBC secretly changed the headline. You can see the original article here. You can see the current one here. The headline has been changed to read:

Final call to save the world from 'climate catastrophe'

If terribly biased (and incidentally, inaccurate) headlines aren't enough to show you're untrustworthy, secretly changing your publications to try to hide your idiotic mistakes arising from your bias ought to be.
Continue reading

Conspiracies Everywhere

There was an odd post over at Climate Audit a couple months ago which observed a web domain name involved in a hacking attempt attributed to Russian operatives is now being hosted in New York. A commenter quickly observed the domain name has simply been bought by a company which holds onto hundreds of thousands of otherwise unused domain names as part of its business. The post was updated to note this, observing the apparent oddity was in fact nothing.

All in all, it was a nothing post that wouldn't merit any further discussion. However, posts like it have encouraged a certain segment of the site's audience to discuss ideas which are, to be blunt, nuts. I find it amusing to look at these comments from time to time, and a week ago, I saw one which I thought merited a response. The comment I submitted landed in moderation and has been stuck there for the last week (I presume because the blog is largely inactive now). I don't really care if shows up there, but I do think it's something people should at least consider so here is a screenshot of the exchange:

Nevous? Go With a Friend

It's another busy week as I've decided to go to a nerdy card game tournament at the last minute, and I want to prepare so I might not make too much of a fool of myself. It's nice not to be spending my time dealing with the insanity of things like the global warming debate for a while, but I don't want to be silent so here's a picture from my small trip last week. Remember folks, if you're nervous, go with a friend: