Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year end lists

New Year's Eve is always a good time for year end lists: two I appreciated are here and here.

For myself, I will confine my list to an award to the Ecomyths Best Blog of the Year and for 2008 that award goes to Climate Resistance for their consistency of writing, the topics they tackle and their excellent assessment of situations.

This sample is from their last post of 2008:

  • This isn’t really a story about ‘bad science’, or bad journalism. Though it is worth asking what the point of journalists actually is if they can’t reflect critically on whatever it is they are reporting, to ask about the direction it will take us in, and what interests and agendas that are being served by the use of this kind of ‘research’.
  • What is really curious about this all too common phenomenon is the gap between ‘research’ and the story lines it is used to construct.
  • If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last 18 months, it’s that stories about climate change may be wild and preposterous just as long as they encourage the idea that climate change is getting worse.
  • You can pluck something out of thin air, and no one will call you a denier, nor challenge your sanity, motivation, or moral character.
  • Lies are allowed, just as long as they are ‘good’ lies, and help people to believe that the world is on the brink of collapse, even if the facts don’t support the idea.

See everyone in 2009.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Global warming: natural or man-made?

It is a pleasure to post a link to the new site established by Roy Spencer on global warming. In his words:

  • This website describes evidence from my group's government-funded research that suggests global warming is mostly natural, and that the climate system is quite insensitive to humanity's greenhouse gas emissions and aerosol pollution.
  • Believe it or not, very little research has ever been funded to search for natural mechanisms of has simply been assumed that global warming is manmade. This assumption is rather easy for scientists since we do not have enough accurate global data for a long enough period of time to see whether there are natural warming mechanisms at work.
  • The United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that the only way they can get their computerized climate models to produce the observed warming is with anthropogenic (human-caused) pollution. But they're not going to find something if they don't search for it. More than one scientist has asked me, "What else COULD it be?" Well, the answer to that takes a little digging... and as I show, one doesn't have to dig very far.
I love sites that are well designed, well written and present the information with source links for readers to assess for themselves. The more people educate themselves for themselves, the less they are victimized by stasist dogma.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


So here is a central question:
  • If your current computer models can't predict the known past from retroactively entered data, then why, precisely, would you expect them to accurately predict the future?

Perhaps the answer is contained in this reality:
  • The recurring climate cycles clearly show that natural climatic warming and cooling have occurred many times, long before increases in anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 levels.
  • The Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age are well known examples of such climate changes, but in addition, at least 23 periods of climatic warming and cooling have occurred in the past 500 years.
  • Each period of warming or cooling lasted about 25-30 years (average 27 years).
Which is why some people find the basis for AGW to be both uncompelling and unconvincing: i.e. a reason for skepticism.

All in all, enough to make some conclude that AGW a scam, with no basis in science.

As a minimum, it appears to be science that lacks consensus.

If it is not yet the end of AGW, it is at the very least, the beginning of the end.

And of course, the beginning is now the end, just as the end is now the beginning. See? Wasn't that easy?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Luddite's, sustainability and the human condition

Reaction to John Holdren's appointment as presidential science advisor continues. Al Fin asks: "we knew Obama was a fascist. But why did he have to go and be a Luddite fascist?"

Too extreme? A more reasoned discussion comes to the same conclusion:
  • Holdren's appointment is supposed to be some kind of victory for 'science' after the Bush administration. This highlights the vacuity of Bush's critics (that's no defense of Bush, by the way). As we can see, this 'science', isn't science. It is catastrophism (via environmental determinism and the precautionary principle), with almost no scientific basis.
  • If the only weapon that exists in the anti-Bush arsenal is a fiction, which is defended by contempt for scientific debate, what free debate - let alone scientific research - can we expect? Climate science has been thoroughly colonised by political interests.
Sadly, the as the reactions to John Tierney's follow up post indicate, a lot of people appear to have drunk, and drunk heavily, from the catastrophism Kool-Aid that is peddled as the predominant mantra of environmentalist dogma by the likes of Al Gore, Paul Ehrlich and Jared Diamond.
  • Obama’s headhunting amounts to a reinforcement of what spiked has called the New Scientism – the perversion of scientific data to reactionary political ends.
Worse, even when corrected, the Luddites still persist to assert their absolute adherence to catastrophism and their disregard for humanity, innovation, ingenuity and the capability of technology to fundamentally alter the dynamics of sustainability.

This is why ideology is so important. As the banner for this site states: facts don't change your perspective -- your perspective changes your facts. Is the greater peril to humanity the uncertain dynamics of technological progress and prosperity, or the controlling stasism of authoritarian dogma and elitist moralism? Those that are free, economically and politically, will always choose the dynamics of progress. Those who are oppressed by fear, and the elite who exert that control, will always push the "necessity" for stasist measures to preserve that hegemony.

Dynamism has faith in the human condition: stasism does not.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flawed Science, Ideology and Policy Advice

Over at the Tierney Lab, John Tierney has again raised the ire of many committed environmentalists by having the temerity to question the new US Presidential Science Advisor, John Holdren. I liked the comment and thought John made some excellent points with strong supporting links: apparently many readers feeling the need to comment disagree, and most of their posts vent their dismay at Tierney Lab for being published, quote from the dogma play book or repeat the very eco-hysteria the links disprove.

My reaction was as follows:
  • The point of this post is that Dr. Holdren has a demonstrated track record of ideologically guided "science" including resource scarcity, the Litany and AGW. That these views reflect the dominant ideology does not make them any less ideological nor does it make them any more scientifically valid. So those who believe similarly to Dr. Holden will praise his appointment and see it as non-problematic. Those with other perspectives will not be as enthused. But please, don't anyone suppose that his science is neutral nor unbiased and neither will his policy advice. Appoint a partisan, expect partisan advice.
Meanwhile, the Heartland Institute issued this release in reply to the ad hominem attacks issued by two alarmist scientists of a report refuting AGW theory.

And Lawrence Solomon has this update on an unexpected exchange when he agreed to appear at a debate on AGW theory.

People can, and will, assert that whatever they believe in is the truth. From their perspective, and within the context which it is defined, it does represent their truth.

But all truth is contingent.
Just asserting it, LOUDLY, frequently or to the exclusion of dissenting viewpoints does not make it any more "truthful". What validates our ideas, concepts and theories is experience and empirical evidence that substantiates what we suppose. And even then:

  • The biggest tragedy is to believe that the limit of our perception is the limit of all there is to perceive. Leadbetter

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Here comes Statist Claus!

The Financial Post is running a series of editorial commentaries prompted by the zeal with which renewed government intervention in the economy is currently being promoted. Terence Corcoran sets the stage with this overview, while Peter Foster issues this reminder that Keynesian economics was replaced by free market reforms in the 1990s for good reason -- Keynes was wrong!

The impulse for the Big Push by governments, despite the fact that empirical evidence invalidates any assertive claims for possible success, reflects a political and ideological allegiance to what Easterly refers to as Planning: a stasist, utopian, social engineering resplendent with Big Goals, Big Plans, fixed objectives and high moralism. Planning is the purview of the heroic politician, Big bureaucracy, unions, activists and good intentions, with very little accountability or responsibility but a lot of censure. Life is all about the planning of change, the plan and the planners, more than the change itself. Style over substance and the appearance of action, more than the results of the intervention.

The contrasting approach to resolving life's problems builds upon the creativity and dynamism of individuals, who act within local contexts as Searchers, who effect change by implementing solutions that they are accountable for, and for which they take responsibility. Situations are resolved incrementally, by trial and error and there is no grand scheme nor universal plan. Life is more of a process of continuous improvement and constant adaptation to change, creating opportunities and facilitating the capacity to engage.

This is not a new division in philosophy. Its antecedents are well defined in the work of Smith, Locke, Burke and Hayek. Postrel refers to it as dynamism and stasis, Easterly to searchers and planners: its the same ideological contest. What many do not realize, is that this same division in ideology it is played out in all policy arenas:
environmentalism, health, development, climate, politics, media, civil society, culture, education and just about everything.

We have a choice. We can create our world, or wait while someone else does it for us. This blog is for those who want to determine their own future, take responsibility for themselves, and sustain their engagement in the active improvement of their world by their actions. It has no big plan, no fixed objectives. Just an over-riding adherence to the search for sustainability:
  • the capacity of a system to engage in the complexities of continuous improvement consistent with deep values of human purpose.
It's the difference between being Santa Claus and adhering to the Stasist Clause.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Is the media corrupt, dumb, lazy, or seeking a quiet life?

That provocative question forms the central tenet of a comment from a former Reuters' Science and Technology correspondent, Neil Winton, on the failure of the media to examine the AGW doctrine with more vigor. In examining climate change, Winton summarizes that:
  • ...any rational, sane or fair person examining the evidence linking humans to climate change would be amazed by the thinness, the inconclusiveness, of the evidence. Reporters...know that the balance of evidence points to there being no link between climate change and human activity.

Sadly, all too often the MSM do not use that balance in their reporting, preferring the news "value" of alarmism, over insight or reflection.

Winton's comments also are consistent with events in Poland at the latest in the never ending merry go round that constitutes the circus of climate policy making. As Phillip Stott writes:
  • Let's be blunt: the Poznan Meeting was a disgrace. After two weeks, more than 10,000 delegates and 145 ministers could produce absolutely nothing except the release of some money (peanuts by comparison to credit crunch figures) to aid poorer countries with climate adaptation. Even I can go along with that. They are all waiting for some fairy tale solution to appear in Copenhagen next year, for their ugly duckling to turn into a swan. There will be no fairy tale; indeed, their ugly duckling could well drown in the economic floods.
  • So do not be fooled by uncritical BBC reports and newspaper stories. 'Global warming' is truly on the wane.
  • Indeed, we are at a somewhat surreal moment. There they were, those 10,000 delegates in Poland, discussing 'global warming', precisely as we in the UK are experiencing the coldest beginning to December for over thirty years.

Freedom of the press is one of the most significant aspects of democracy. Sadly, too many within the media appear bent on proving Kierkegaard right when he wrote: People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they never use.

Friday, December 12, 2008

We choose who we associate with

I was always taught that we are today who we will be in five years time apart from the books we read, what we listen to and who we associate with.  Reading develops our ideas, keeps the mind open and not closed.  What we listen to affects our attitude and our attitude determines our altitude.  Lastly, we choose who we associate with: those who seek to edify, encourage, create, praise and promote, or those who criticize, censure or vilify.
So, today, I am proud to continue to affirm my association with the growing number of experts who dissent from the AGW ideology, have the courage to think independently of the prevailing paradigm and reject dogma in favor of reasoned thought and action.
The 650 experts recognized in the EPW report are not a unified, homogeneous group.  They represent a range of perspectives and opinions.  I doubt that they conform to any specific consensus, except for their wariness and rejection of the notion that science should ever be based on consensus politics.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Rethinking Observed Warming

So, as we discussed yesterday, global cooling still represents climate change: its just not AGW for most of us. That is not news as most everyone agrees that climate has always, and will continue to, change because it is a complex, dynamic process (no one gets any money from big oil for that statement).

So the only really big question still out there for discussion is: what drives climate change?

Climate alarmists are convinced that AGW is real because their models are unable to replicate changes in climate other than with the inclusion of increases in greenhouse gasses. Leaving aside the very big problem of a self-fulfilling fallacy and the possibility that the models can't replicate changes precisely because they are models ( and thus are both a simplification of reality and a reflection of our incomplete understanding of the dynamics of climate change), the basis for continued assertion of AGW theory in an era of "non-contradictory warming temperatures" (also known as cooling to the non-converted) is the absence of an alternative explanation that does cause the climate models to simulate climate changes without increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Ask and ye shall be rewarded. As summarized here and here, a recent research paper published in the journal Climate Dynamics presents evidence that:
  • the recent worldwide land warming has occurred largely in response to a worldwide warming of the oceans rather than as a direct response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) over land.
  • ...our results emphasize the significant role of remote oceanic influences, rather than the direct local effect of anthropogenic radiative forcings, in the recent continental warming. They suggest that the recent oceanic warming has caused the continents to warm through a different set of mechanisms than usually identified with the global impacts of SST changes. It has increased the humidity of the atmosphere, altered the atmospheric vertical motion and associated cloud fields, and perturbed the longwave and shortwave radiative fluxes at the continental surface.
That would seem to suggest that the whole AGW theory might at least be worth a second look, a re-think or at least a period of extended review -- that is if the science matters at all.

As Pielke Sr. concludes:
  • This is a major scientific conclusion, and the authors should be recognized for this achievement. If these results are robust, it further documents that a regional perspective of climate variabilty and change must be adopted, rather than a focus on a global average surface temperature change, as emphasized in the 2007 IPCC WG1 report.
Now the links above are from blogs. Many academics eschew blogs and blogging, especially when they are pesky and repeatedly require researchers account for their data that they use in published, peer-reviewed papers. An audit if you will.

In this instance, blogs are used as the initial link mostly because the paper was ignored in the mainstream media and by the majority of the public (and most academics): not for any suspicious reasons but because there is just so much being published, that most research studies are read by one or two people at most.

Now Climate Dynamics is not an obscure journal (
The international journal Climate Dynamics provides for the publication of high-quality research on all aspects of the dynamics of the global climate system.) But it is a specialist journal and not one most people will read unless attention is drawn to specific findings or papers -- perhaps by a news release, a media conference or a briefing -- like, say, the ones issued by the minute at any gathering of the world's consensus on climate science, say in Poland....

The frustration for many climate realists is the continued double standard that the academy both permits and seemingly endorses:
  • papers that are alarmist and promote AGW dogma routinely pass through peer review with insufficient scrutiny, but are heavily endorsed and publicized nevertheless
  • papers that might cause a reflection, rejection or refutation of the prevailing AGW theory are ignored even when they meet the proscribed standards for peer review journal publication.
Can it be any more transparent: climate change is not about the science. It's all politics.

Just what are falling temperatures evidence of?

Following up on the earlier post concerning confusion, here is an excellent discussion from William Briggs of why it is possible for alarmists to assert that global cooling is not conclusive evidence that invalidates AGW theory.

Warming is evidence of global warming. Cooling does not mean that global warming is not happening, just that it hasn't yet...but it might, still..and then the theory will be right again...except if its not, and then it will be because something has temporarily interfered with the theory working, like cooling, but that doesn't mean the cooling has replaced the warming -- its just hiding it, for now. We know this because the models tell us. Can't be anything else happening like the sun, the oceans or any of that stuff. Why? Well, because that's why. Isn't science awesome?

And some people thought it was only used car salesmen who played fast and loose with words....

Contemporary environmentalism is rampant with concepts and constructs that invoke an impassioned response from people: the more impressionable the audience, the more impassioned but simplistic the outrage -- for some there is no compensating for plane stupidity.

The phrase pernicious moralism is often used to describe such selfishness: the activities of a privileged few, wishing to impose their vision of the world, corrected and ordered and imposed upon humanity. Saving us because we lack the intellect to both see and act "correctly".

Just this past week, a local elementary school received a lot of attention in the media for its green activities, particularly its aggressive recycling efforts. Enlisting the school children with Orwellian zeal, the school managed to remove all vestiges of waste, reducing all its garbage into recyclable materials and compost. So what could be the problem?

What happened to the recyclable materials and the compost from the school? Especially at a time when commodity markets have slumped, prices for recyclables have plummeted and garbage (supply) far exceeds our capacity to produce (and the costs of) lower quality products (demand)? Answer, a
local farmer, with kids at the school and active recruits in the program, volunteered to remove and dispose of the materials as "a community service".

So now we have another generation of impassioned youth, fully invested in green dogma without any realization nor recognition of the role of economics.

Simply put, in a free market, supply expands to meet demand. Where there is no demand, there is no resource, no need for a supply. Similarly, an excess of supply causes demand to soften and prices to fall. With garbage there is always an excess of supply and insufficient demand: if there was demand for garbage, it would no longer be garbage, which is defined as stuff no longer of value to people. The flaw in green reasoning on recycling is you can not invent nor impose a market for products when the supply exceeds demand to reduce the productive value below the cost of production and the quality below that of existing alternatives. You can make toilet paper with a textured, wood chip recycled feel: you just can't sell it when it costs more to produce than triple-sheet soft toilet paper with dimple softness.

And when they grow into adulthood, what will be the eco-kids concept of economics and understanding of prices and profits? And the mechanism of how society must pay to dispose of waste, even as a community service?

Perhaps they will be like this gentleman and think they can, or at least talk about it anyways.

At least now you can understand the generation of eco-protestors and what green "education" they have received.

Remember, you only watched the Gore movie once: many kids get it three and four times by the time they finish high school.

Perhaps one of the Stansted protestors filmed their shindig: this time next year, the Oscars, the Nobel prize...or a job with the UN flying around the globe saving humanity from the thoughtless, witless and wasteful flights of people on vacations, doing business, living but not serving humanity in really big, important ways, with taxpayers money, like, y'now, us.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Humbug environmentalism

This from the always excellent Climate Resistance:
  • Climate scientists and science correspondents imbue statistics with undue political significance. Therefore, they have to resort to use combative rhetoric when the trends offer conflicting evidence they cannot yet explain. Rather than contradicting themselves about the significance of short term trends, and moving the goal posts constituting long terms trends, climate scientists ought to be distancing themselves from the political significance of their work. Because to do otherwise is to legitimise the very 'deniers' they seek to diminish. If 'climate science' is where politics happens, then it is not only reasonable to ask if changes in the direction of change do represent a weakness in the prevailing view, it is essential.
Weather, and short term trends, are not definitive: but neither should they be dismissed for ideological purposes, nor embraced for promotion of dogma.

Besides, who needs to bother with any of that stuff? Just keep modifying the data so that it fits your theory. Its not as if the real temerature data are any more reliable.
Then, of course, there is the question of the whole greenhouse supposition itself: does increased carbon dioxide in the air really constitute a problem? Do increases in emissions actually cool rather than heat the atmosphere? Confused? Don't worry, so are a lot of people.

The problem with environmentalism as an ideology is that it derives all its credibility from the certitude of its science. When that science is suspect (either through weak method, contradictory empirical data and/or appeals to consensus for authority), there is an increased tendency for that science to become politicized and the fall into the domain of hucksters, prophets and profiteers.

And to support the whole edifice, well intentioned people have their idealism and civic passion injected with a heavy dose of stasist moralism, polemics and indignant rhetoric. It is both deceitful and mean spirited. Humbug.

If Dickens were alive today, Scrooge would be a climate alarmist, trading in carbon offsets, waiting for a visit from the ghost of climate's past, present and future.

The Air Vent

Haven't posted lately as the blogosphere has been fairly quiet and most of what has been written, we have read and discussed before.  For example, there is yet another big climate conference going on (this time in Poland) and all the usual press release stuff was issued to drum up support and entice hordes to protest -- except the mainstream media hasn't fallen in line so much, the items were not really newsworthy (especially with the Mumbai terrorism, the Obama fawn fest in the US and Canada's contribution to political shenanigans), thousands did not bother to protest and, the killer blow, the weather has seen a bitter, early winter in the prime Northern hemisphere media markets -- tough to sell AGW anymore.
However, in wandering around the internet, I did come across what was a new site for me and I found it had a number of very useful posts, comments and summaries -- "because the world needs another opinion".  Good motto, good site.

Friday, November 21, 2008

There’s a lot of rich people backing this cause

Climate realists often are dismissed as "deniers" and smeared as being deluded in their perspective by bribes from Big Oil.  It is common for AGW advocates to wave away all questions of their theory with a casual wave of innuendo and a claim that all questions are fueled by corruption, veniality and stupidity.   No matter what the facts and no matter have often realists personally account for their motives, the smear is repeated often and LOUDLY so it must be true -- much like AGW theory itself in fact.
In response, here is an excellent review of Christopher Horner's new book on big business, climate advocacy and the inside story on who is funding what and why.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Two-Mile-Deep Antarctic Ice Core Reveals Stupidity of AGW Catastrophism

The image above comes from a post detailing the recently concluded conference on Quaternary Climate, entitled Epica 2008 in Venice, Italy. The image shows temperature variations, iron fluxes and carbon dioxide concentrations for the past 800,000 years from the deepest ice core ever extracted from Antarctica. Analysis of the core indicates that:
  1. the Earth's climate has been wildly oscillating between cold and warmth for at least 800,000 years, long before any sizable man-made intervention
  2. during that period, the record minimum has been reached around 20,000 years ago (10C less than today's); that's before agriculture
  3. the record maximum still belongs to around 120,000 years ago (15C more than today's); and that's before agriculture, too
  4. the concentrations of CO2 have depended on the amounts of iron in dust, with higher availability of iron resulting in lower amounts of atmospheric CO2
  5. and whilst temperatures have been at times warmer than today's, and at other times much colder, corals, mammals, birds, trees and the rest of the biosphere have chugged along nicely (in a relative way)
These results have potentially far reaching implications as they imply that the present high levels of increasing carbon dioxide may be less a function of excessive emissions and more the result of insufficient carbon sinks, deficient in iron dust.

The original source documentation summarizing the Epica 2008 conference is in Italian: not one of my languages. Since I have not (and can not) read the original for myself, I will restrict this post to what is above and hope that in the coming months the implications stemming from these ice core results inform the wider science of climate change and their implications discussed in more detail.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Fact and Fiction

A number of people had nice tributes this past week to the author Michael Crichton. This one by Jennifer Marohasy stands out because it identifies the heart of Crichton's best writing: that he challenged our understanding of what is fiction from what is fact. Crichton wrote:
  • The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance. We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we're told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.
Crichton famously identified much of contemporary environmentalism as being more akin to religion than science, resplendent with dogma rather than evidence and solid methodology.

West underscores the power of narrative in embedding an event or activity within current consciousness. History often is interpreted and explained through contempary lenses, not the context within which it occurs. Fiction becomes fact, accepted and popularized by narratives within the dominant dogma of contemporary media.

In this manner, multi-causative, dynamic and complex climate change becomes the AGW of climate orthodoxy and carbon hysteria. Fiction as fact.

Crichton will be missed by all who appreciate free thought, self-determination and books that entertain while they provoke reflection and consideration.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Questions every journalist should ask about global warming

Tom Nelson's excellent site provides this link to a series of questions posed by Ross McKittrick, for anyone seeking to form an opinion about AGW.

Advocates presume that realists are in denial about changes in climate. They accuse realists of being generally ignorant and, more specifically, of being ignorant of the facts on climate change. As Ross' questions indicate, climate realists are not in denial, neither are they ignorant of the facts: it is precisely because we have looked at and questioned the data that skeptics are climate realists.

  • Are humans modifying the climate? Of course we are, particularly in the changing land use of most places and the micro-climates of urban centers.
  • Does this constitute a crisis? No.
  • Is the human modification of climate the same as global warming? No.
  • Should climate change constitute the principal focus for environmental policy of any government, anywhere? No: both poverty reduction and continued improvements in health standards are far more pressing environmental issues.
But then again, why let science and human need determine policy when hysteria, politics and ideology are so much more fun.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Climate Science: Is It Currently Designed To Answer Questions?

Richard Lindzen has written a stimulating new paper which reflects upon the politicization of science and posits the question:

  • has global warming alarm become the goal, rather than the result, of scientific research?
Lindzen examines the shift in scientific paradigm away from a dialectic of theory and observation towards a reliance upon a convergence between simulation and monitoring. His paper discusses
  • ...the origin of the cultural changes and with specific examples of the operation and interaction of these factors. In particular, we will show how political bodies act to control scientific institutions, how scientists adjust both data and even theory to accommodate politically correct positions, and how opposition to these positions is disposed of.
Lindzen is one of my favourite climate scientists because he seeks to inform people about the science of climate, how things work and what we do and do not understand and why, without wrapping up his narrative in jargon or disguising ideological intent behind disciplinary authority.
What adds to his commentary is both his own undisputed expertise in the atmospheric physics of climate, but also his in depth knowledge of the institutional politics he describes as afflicting the topic of climate research. His critique and insight are as depressing as they are alarming to any who care about truth, the ability of knowledge to be transferred into political policies and the effective implementation of positive change.
He concludes:
  • Although society is undoubtedly aware of the imperfections of science, it has rarely encountered a situation such as the current global warming hysteria where institutional science has so thoroughly committed itself to policies which call for massive sacrifices in well being world wide.
  • Past scientific errors did not lead the public to discard the view that science on the whole was a valuable effort.
  • However, the extraordinarily shallow basis for the commitment to climate catastrophe, and the widespread tendency of scientists to use unscientific means to arouse the public’s concerns, is becoming increasingly evident, and the result could be a reversal of the trust that arose from the triumphs of science and technology during the World War II period.
  • Further, the reliance by the scientific community on fear as a basis for support, may, indeed, have severely degraded the ability of science to usefully address problems that need addressing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Researchers find arctic may have had less ice 6000-7000 years ago

In addition to the recent posts below indicating that the basic science might have reached a tipping point in disclaiming AGW theory, here is an excellent post from Anthony Watts highlighting field work from Norway indicating that fluctuating levels of Arctic sea ice are far from a new or rare phenomenon. Indeed:
  • The arctic may have periodically been nearly ice free in recent geologic history, after the last ice age. It is clear from this that we don't really know as much as some think they do about climatic and ice cycles of our planet.
  • Recent mapping of a number of raised beach ridges on the north coast of Greenland suggests that the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean was greatly reduced some 6000-7000 years ago. The Arctic Ocean may have been periodically ice free.
  • The climate in the northern regions has never been milder since the last Ice Age than it was about 6000-7000 years ago.
The research team qualify their findings with the caveat that: "Changes that took place 6000-7000 years ago were controlled by other climatic forces than those which seem to dominate today".

So, the questions that arise from both this and other evidence of past periods of climate warming would be:
  • what factors were the "drivers" of past climate shifts? and are they not now still driving contemporary climate changes? (e.g. sun spot activity, PDO, ocean/atmospheric interactions) and,
  • what happened to the basic atmospheric physics of the planet to transform carbon dioxide from a trace gas with no connection to climate shifts, to a trace gas that "drives" global warming?
Absent of clear, physically valid explanations to these two questions, data such as those for changing patterns of Arctic sea ice would seem to suggest that climate changes naturally over time, mainly due to natural forces and processes and that whatever the human modification of climate (both in the past 100 years, now and in the near future) it is but a minor variation, for which the human species has shown a tremendous capacity for adjustment and adaptation: see air conditioning, home heating, housing, development....

On a more philosophical note: why is it environmentalists who ascribe to science as their means for explanation and understanding, are so vehemently opposed to change, when all of science confirms that adaptation to dynamic change is the very basis for continued evolution?

The world is not static. It is not balanced. It is a dynamic, complex pattern of constant change and adjustment: it is only ideological dogma that wishes to define and control vibrancy and replace it with stasis.

Monday, October 20, 2008

PDO and Clouds

The latest study from Roy Spencer concerns the influence of clouds, and their interaction with oceans, as drivers of climate change.  He concludes:

  • The evidence continues to mount that the IPCC models are too sensitive (produce too much global warming). If climate sensitivity is indeed considerably less than the IPCC claims it to be, then increasing CO2 alone can not explain recent global warming. The evidence presented here suggests that most of that warming might well have been caused by cloud changes associated with a natural mode of climate variability: the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
  • I am posting this information in advance of publication because of its potential importance to pending EPA regulations or congressional legislation which assume that carbon dioxide is a major driver of climate change. Since the news media now refuses to report on peer-reviewed scientific articles which contradict the views of the IPCC, Al Gore, and James Hansen, I am forced to bypass them entirely.
  • We need to consider the very real possibility that atmospheric carbon dioxide - which is necessary for life on Earth and of which there is precious little - might well be like the innocent bystander who has been unjustly accused of a crime based upon little more than circumstantial evidence.

As noted by Lorne Gunter, there has been a resurgence in articles rejecting AGW dogma.  Blissfully, real scientists are not content to merely discredit false assumptions, explanations and orthodoxy: they also suggest alternative explanations that do accord with the facts and empirical evidence.

The Silence of the Lambs

Time to check in with the ongoing pursuit for scientific integrity over at Climate Audit, where the latest series of posts here, here and here, illustrate the persistence of basic scientific problems within the climate data that all proponents rely upon for promotion and proselytization of the accepted AGW dogma.

What has remained constant is the vigilance of Climate Audit in screening out the basics of climate reconstruction proxy studies and their meaning.  What has remained equally as intransigent, apparently, is the resistance within the principal field of dendro-chronology to any procedural adjustments that address the central constraints on the validity of the data produced by such proxy temperature studies.

What has changed, however, is the audience.  Where once Climate Audit was a solo effort of one man, Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit has developed into a community of interest, of informed contribution and much greater awareness than its initial stages.  Subsequently, the postings and comments at Climate Audit reveal a depth and quality of understanding of issues, the nuances of procedure and of the language of the dominant science that it is auditing. Moreover, other commentators from other fields  are cognizant of what is being discussed and recognize that glib appeals to intellectual authority are not a sufficient defence for silence when scientific integrity has been, and continues to be, sacrificed on a alter of ideological correctness and career advancement.

The issue in its simplest form is this:

  • can flaws in scientific methodology be overlooked if the results are consistent with "known consensus"?
Or should the focus be on:
  • science as a means of understanding is dependent upon the integrity its methodology: results are only as valid as the methodology used to create them 
  • consensus is an ideological construct suited to politics but inappropriate within science
  • science should be a tool for enlightenment, not an instrument of authoritarianism

Monday, October 13, 2008

Climate Orthodoxy, Elitism and Authoritarianism

Well, just as you think things get get any worse, they do.  As this excellent post from the good folks over at Climate Resistance documents, green politics has become both mainstream not only in its seeming acceptability but also in its ascendency to a position of presumptive authority and reflected political power:
  • The problem is simply that there is no opposition allowed into this process, either to question the science, or the way the science informs the policy decision, nor to ask whether emissions reductions is the best solution in terms of the interests of the UK population, or throughout the world.
  • The principal basis of climate change alarmism has always been that positive feedback mechanisms will produce 'runaway climate change'. As the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC), to which the UK is committed, says, lack of understanding should not be used as a reason not to act. This embodiment of the precautionary principal means that, regardless of the state of knowledge in an area of climate science, the response is the same. It makes no difference how much is understood. The effect of new research emerging since the 2000 RCEP recommendation therefore ought to make no difference to policy. What matters is the 'what if…', not the 'what'.
  • This voodoo science ritual is being used to arm politicians with something that they desperately lack: direction. The climate change aristocracy now sit and dictate what the terms, values, and principles of UK politics ought to be. And as their influence increases no doubt, so do their cash returns. While their influence extends, so the opportunities to challenge environmentalism through the political process diminishes. Now all a politician has to do to answer critics of environmental policy is say that an 'independent' committee has produced its findings.
  • Politics: available in any colour, as long as it's green.
In other jurisdictions, variations on the same theme are being played out. An orthodoxy is asserted, an elite uses the political system to assert its power to enforce that orthodoxy and an authoritarian dogma becomes a political, economic and philosophical cross that society is told it must bear.
At first, I resented being classified as a denier, preferring the more accurate description of myself as an independent thinking skeptic, wary of any dogma, any enforced consensus, certainly a climate realist and pragmatic environmentalist concerned with true integration of economy, society and environment and the implementation of effective sustainability and development.  But, increasingly, I see commitment to these ideas does indeed make me a denier -- a denier of authoritarianism, of politicized science, of elitism and of precautionary economics, environmental determinism and  social engineering.
I believe in the capability of each human being and the capacity of human communities to derive sensible futures of prosperity and tolerance for all.  In the past, this belief was called idealism, perhaps even utopianism. Guided by a  dynamist perspective and libertarianism, this is an ideology of long lineage and recognition. 
Apparently, today, it is now no longer simply an ideology of independence and freedom: it is now a denial of officially sanctioned authority, the pre-eminent dogma of scientific certainty and truth, environmentalism.  The magisterium has issued its edicts and us minions must comply or suffer the consequences.
Blissfully, history shows us that all authoritarian regimes suffer the same consequence: because they arise out of an abuse of power and they depend upon continued abuse to sustain their power, ultimately they suffer collapse and implosion because the abuse of power contains an inherent contradiction -- it is simply not sustainable. 
At the very heart of the notion of sustainability is the building of capacity and an ability to engage and benefit from change.  Merely abusing power to avert attention and assert that change is bad neither prevents change from occurring nor does it inoculate society from harm.  Assertive dogma and authoritative power merely preclude societies from developing the necessary capacity to profit from the coming change.
There is no standing still.  We either learn, adapt to change and prosper, or we assert that change is bad, build power empires to rail against the night and flounder into irrelevancy.  Label that anyway you want.

Monday, October 06, 2008

How about some science to go along with your cereal?

A nice change of blogging diet today, with this latest post from Sandy over at Junkfood Science.  Her post summarizes the latest, definitive study on sugar and diet in children which concluded that:

  • On the whole, the present study does not support the common view that the quality of carbohydrate may be implicated in the current obesity epidemic in childhood. At least among healthy young children eating 6 times/day, carbohydrate quality does not appear to be relevant to their body-composition development between ages 2 and 7 years, whether cross-sectionally, prospectively, or concurrently.
Or in simple terms, the hysteria and dogma around childhood obesity and the evils of sugar are exactly that: hysteria and dogma, not substantiated by the science.  As Sandy writes:
  • The results of this study were not unexpected. This study only adds to the body of the soundest evidence which, for some fifty years, has continued to demonstrate that sugars in any form do not lead to obesity or chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cancers. The scientific literature also shows that “healthy eating” for kids does not necessarily mean low-sugar or high-fiber.
Later she contrasts the cited science with the statements emanating from vested interest groups, including Consumer Reports. 
Often, I am asked who are people to believe when they are reading? Who do they trust?  The corollary question is, how do I distinguish ideology from science?  This post, and the obesity myth in general, are a great illustration of who and what to believe and how to distinguish "truth" from dogma.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Dogma or science?

What distinguishes science from religion as an ideology is the adherence of science to the standard of empirical evidence to validate its key constructs and contentions.

Here is the latest summation of satellite temperature data from 1979 to the present. What the data show is significant cooling, so much so that all the previous warming of the past 100 years has been supplanted. Moreover:

  • Since there was global cooling from ~1940 to ~1979, this means there has been no net warming since ~1940, in spite of an ~800% increase in human emissions of carbon dioxide. This indicates that the recent warming trend was natural, and CO2 is an insignificant driver of global warming.
Those who claim that climate change is a fact, a scientific certainty, a facing yet another crisis in their adherence to green, ideological dogma, rather than the principles of scientific enquiry.

Incidentally, NASA just published a report indicating that the past year has seen the fewest sunpots and low solar wind activity. Perhaps this is a stronger, alternative scientific explanation for climate change as a pre-dominantly natural phenomenon.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How Did Climate Science Get It So Badly Wrong?

Here is a great summary post from Al Fin on climate science and its politicization.  It provides both a great overview that ties together various elements of climate realism (with links), and a link to the latest pdf paper from Richard Lindzen.

Rational Environmentalism

When one rejects the dominant ideology of contemporary green environmentalism, it is common to be pressed (attacked?) to espouse the principles of an alternative ideology. Those in thrall to the prevailing dogma, have a hard time conceiving of what an alternative perspective might be, let alone viewing such an alternative with respect.

This post nicely encapsulates many of the key precepts of rational environmentalism as an alternative to green dogma. The predominant areas of difference are:
  • a belief that free-market capitalism provides a solution to environmental issues rather than their cause
  • that limits to growth are ideological constructs and not a physical reality
  • an emphasis on sustained globalization rather than global sustainability
  • that hysteria and politicized science are devices to obscure and dissuade widespread debate of public policy options
  • global warming is a myth that detracts attention from real issues, and
  • there are no environmental problems that are beyond our capacity to resolve.
Rejecting the prevailing dogma is not an act of immorality nor insensitivity. Disagreeing with dogma does not preclude one from being an active and passionate environmentalist. It does, however, require greater resolve and personal responsibility, not least of which is the willingness to think and act independently of the herd.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ten of the Best Climate Research Papers

One of the most common retorts to climate realism is the assertion that skepticism about AGW has to be validated by peer review for its publication to be worthy.  Anything not vetted by the scientific elite is by implication, merely biased, industry-funded hokum: if it was true, refereed journals would be publishing it.  These claims reveal a self-serving naiveté about the veracity and impartiality of the peer review process and ignore the fact that many significant advances in science throughout history have occurred outside the control of peer review.  That aside, the claims miss the point that much of the contemporary focus on climate realism reflects the use of new media, especially blogs, precisely because the peer review process within climate studies was neither impartial nor open to all viewpoints (see Wegman). 
In direct response to consistent taunting for realists to cite published, refereed publications that challenge the omnipotence of AGW theory, respondent Cohenite has posted these papers at the Jennifer Marohasy's blog. Not supringsingly, the list has generated a reactive list of counter sources. 
[Interesting question: how many of those in opposition to a particular viewpoint, have actually read the contrary perspective? On the basis of many blog postings and comments, it is clear that many people react rather than respond to views they disagree with, and many fail to understand where and how dominant constructs differ that might lead them to different conclusions about information, especially "scientific" data)].
To Cohenite's list, I would add any of Richard Lindzen's comments on climate change (e.g. this or this) and his other studies, Kristen Byne's excellent summation of the available sources and the ongoing deconstruction of the implied certitude of AGW statistics at the Climate Audit blog.
But citing a blog to answer assertive claims that science can only be science if it is published in refereed journals seems to be missing their point isn't it?  Yes, it is, because I do not accept that truth is subject to majority vote, nor disciplinary censure.  Truth is not decreed by elite groups.  Truth is determined by the veracity of its claims, the conformity with life experience, with empirical measurement and the strength of its logic -- all of which can be more immediately assessed, discussed and deconstructed within the structure of a blog much more readily that the strictures of academic convention, including peer review. 
Information and understanding are no longer confined to the hallowed walls of academia.  They never have been.  Its just that now, the information media available to the mass public allows anyone to publish and to publish directly without the control and intercession of self-interested intellectual elites. 
Get over it.  Embrace the new media and focus on the substance of the message, not its origins.  Validity and veracity will stand the test of scrutiny -- something an audit of environmental science reveals many published works of research fail.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The authorities have lied, and I am not glad

Why do ecomyths persist long after empirical data invalidate their claims of scientific veracity?
This is one of the questions Fitzpatrick touches on in his excellent review of two new books detailing how the AIDS epidemic was largely a myth.
Myths are infused with political moralism and opportunism.  Science is suborned to political and agency agendas, and the media enlisted to generate widespread public fear that is then used to justify ideological interventions that fit the world view of those profiting from the hysteria:
  • This sort of opportunism is not confined to AIDS: in other areas where experts are broadly in sympathy with government policy – such as passive smoking, obesity and climate change – they have been similarly complicit in the prostitution of science to propaganda.
That's just about a defining statement:
  • Ecomyth: the prostitution of science to propaganda

Sun spots and shifts in climate understanding

The latest data show that the sun went the past month without a single visible sunspot: for the first time in over 100 years.  In the past, extended periods of low sunspot activity have coincided with historic low temperatures. Many scientists recognize that the magnetic effects of the sun directly affect cloud formation on earth and thus influence the earth's climate to a significant extent.
Here is an excellent explanation of the present data and some possible implications.
AGW is one theory of climatic change.  One not substantiated by empirical data.  The influence of the sun offers a different approach to understanding climate change: one that does accord with the empirical data.
One offers unlimited political prospects for economic regulation, social engineering and empire building.  The other suggests the cosmos is still beyond our attempts at management.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Correlation is not Causation

There is a fundamental difference between correlation, two or more things appearing together, and causation, item A causing item B to occur. As shown by Levitt and Dubner, there are many examples in public policy where items correlate but there is no causative relationship between the variables despite common acceptance that there must be a relationship, such as homes with books in them and academic achievement (correlation but no causation).

But surely in science, causation can be identified, related mathematically and there can be no confusion between correlation and causation: right? Well, yes -- except where the science does not show a causative relationship, one can not be demonstrated in the language of science (mathematics) and indeed, what we have is not causation, but correlation.

Examples abound in environmentalism, but the most commonly asserted relationship that is not causative is that between temperature increase and anthropogenic greenhouse gasses: the whole theory of AGW rests on the presumption that there is indeed a causative relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and temperature change.

Well, that's easy, everyone knows that there is scientific consensus on this. O.K., if that's the case, then citing a refereed journal publication that shows this causative relationship should be simple. Unless of course, there isn't one. Which is the gist of a series of posts by Jennifer Marohasy who posted a request on a couple of blogs requesting citations of research papers that show a causative basis for AGW.
  • There are of course the voluminous reports from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with their findings and theories on popular Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory. The content of these reports, endorsed by governments around the world, have been repeated over and over, for example, in the recent influential report by economist Ross Garnaut to the Australian government.
  • It is apparent, however, that a body of science published in peer-review journals, establishing a causal link between anthropogenic carbon dioxide and warming and quantifying the extent of this warming, is lacking but would be expected to exist to support popular AGW theory.
Asserting that a relationship exists is not the same as substantiating one. The IPCC was not established to see if AGW exists: its mandate is to examine what is to be done about AGW -- a causative relationship is presumptive within the IPCC mandate.

Again, if something is so basic and so clear, providing a concise citation for supportive documentation should not be that taxing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another abstract environmental concept

Environmentalism is rife with good theoretical constructs that sound fine in the abstract but have no practical utility. Examples include carrying capacity, the ecological footprint, its cousin the carbon footprint and, of course, carbon neutrality. All invoke a measure of fear, concern and guilt but none are useful management tools, none are predictive and none empower individuals.

To this litany, there now can be added the concept of water neutrality.

As this excellent commentary by Brendan O'Neill shows, water neutrality suffers from the same over-bearing morality and shortage of common sense that constrain the utility of parallel constructs:
  • Water is life. There is no living creature known to man that can survive without water.
  • To feel guilty about using water is to feel guilty about being alive, to be ashamed of humanity's very presence on planet Earth.
  • Do you know what 'water neutrality' really means? Death.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Problems are blowing in the wind

As attention gradually shifts away from climate change and towards the more progressive topic of diversified energy policy, more and more basic questions are being asked.

For example, this post highlights three fundamental issues that renewable energy sources must address:
  1. neither wind nor solar can supply of continuous power
  2. lack of power concentration: both wind and solar are useful for individual, dispersed dwellings (see Amish communities, recreational cottages) but inefficient for large urban communities in terms of the amount of land required and transmission efficiencies
  3. only a select number of places are suitable for wind and/or solar power generation (from the brief amount I saw of the Beijing Olympics, the ambient conditions did not look conducive to either wind nor solar: why is China investing so heavily in coal generating power stations? for all the reasons renewables are not suitable to their situation).
So O.K., no wind nor solar safety net for China nor India: countries still developing, with large urban populations and access to cheap coal supplies and little to no inducement to worry about their carbon emissions -- poverty being a more rampant problem.

But what about developed, prosperous, not to say, green-aware countries like Canada? Well, even in politically tame Canada, questions about the suitability of more wind farms is being raised -- even by green politicians.

Not only are wind and solar still expensive options, they remain very limited in their ability to displace existing sources of energy production. And, here, as with all aspects of sustainability, economics is a key component of policy determination. Economics are not more important than social or environmental concerns: but sustainability requires the integration of economics with social and environmental imperatives, not an ignorance of, or a failure to consider, any economics that green ideology finds distasteful.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Some Inconvenient Questions for Climate Fear Promoters

Two complementary posts to bring to your attention today. The first is a series of questions that give rise to skepticism about AGW theory.

The second, provides a synopsis of common constructs that many skeptics would subscribe to as the basis for their rejection of AGW.

Both posts presume the climate change is fundamentally a question of science. It is not. It is fundamentally an organizing construct for green ideology:
  • When the issue of global warming emerged nearly 20 years ago, it offered the environmental movement -- perversely -- a kind of hope, or at the least, a much tighter focus. This was because its implications were wide-ranging in a way that those of whaling, say, or industrial pollution, were not.
  • The threat of the warming atmosphere was a threat us all; the imperative to do something drastic about it therefore a universal one.
  • For the idealists of the green movement, this meant change, which was what they had always wanted -- change in human behavior, to a more caring, less exploitative and less wasteful way of life. The climate threat seemed to mean that this would have to happen, now. People would be obliged to live in respectful harmony with the Earth. They would be obliged to alter their ways: swap their cars for bikes and public transport; substitute renewable energy systems for coal-fired electricity; and consume less of everything.
  • The alternative was catastrophe. It was go green, or die.
The problem for green ideology is that has lacked a coherent politics of hope, one with vision that empowers both individuals and communities. Rather, contemporary environmentalism is stuck in the protest, consciousness-raising mode of the Woodstock era and as a politics of reform offers nothing but constraint and regression.

What is needed is a politics with vision for positive change and fulfillment: that vision requires much more articulation and a decision by the green movement to revamp the basis for environmental ideology away from limits and towards empowerment.

It will not be an easy transition for many people, particularly those heavily invested emotionally in the existing paradigm, despite its ongoing unsustainability.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Wire

Art is a reflection of the culture that spawns it. Aside from my favourite sports, there is not much on TV that compels my viewing. HBO has stretched the envelop for North American viewers and produced a range of original series that show that TV can be an effective media for art that both reflects the dominant culture and provokes thought about the prevailing mores of that society.

Whereas The Sopranos was a series that (rightly) garnered much publicity, another HBO series ran for only five seasons but was equally compelling: The Wire.

The final season has just become available on DVD and many commentators are paying belated but deserved attention to a gritty drama set in Baltimore that examined the economics, politics and education behind the city, the drug trade and the limited options facing
inner-city youth.

The wider message of The Wire is summarized by its creator, David Simon:
  • This year, our drama asked its last thematic question: Why, if there is any truth to anything presented in The Wire over the last four seasons, does that truth go unaddressed by our political culture, by most of our mass media, and by our society in general?
  • We are a culture without the will to seriously examine our own problems. We eschew that which is complex, contradictory or confusing. As a culture, we seek simple solutions. We enjoy being provoked and titillated, but resist the rigorous, painstaking examination of issues that might, in the end, bring us to the point of recognizing our problems, which is the essential first step to solving any of them.
  • The true stories that The Wire traded in are out there, waiting for anyone willing to take the time. And it is, of course, vaguely disturbing to us that our unlikely little television drama is making arguments that were once the prerogative of more serious mediums.
The point here is this: real problems exist. They are not hard to find, but they are challenging to resolve.

Rather than address these real issues, the political culture appears to want cardboard cut-out heroes for politicians, sound-bites rather than analysis for media coverage and symbolism rather than reasoned solutions for action.

In large part, the function of ecomyths within this dynamic is to distract and deflect public attention from the real issues and to replace them with angst over unlikely scares that appear to require intervention, even if it is symbolic rather than practical. Climate change isn't real, nor can it be "solved" -- but it is a compelling drama within which the political system can appear to be relevant, while all the time remaining totally irrelevant to the realities of planetary life.

Poverty. Famine. Human rights. World peace. Real issues. But difficult and certainly not close to resolution within the existing bureaucratic structure ostensibly in place to address such issues.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Presentism and world events

It's always a pleasure to read Phillip Stott. He is of a generation of academics who not only understand their subject matter well but can place it within a broader context that encompasses a thorough grounding in the humanities, politics and real life -- in great contrast with the new generation who are encouraged by the system to narrowly focus and eschew the wider joys of intellectual freedom.

Here is a recent post by Stott, which focuses on the curse of presentism: viewing everything that might be happening today in isolation from the history and circumstances that pre-date the current situation.

Viewing constructs in isolation can constitute bias and could be construed as lying. But who could suspect today's political candidate's or even the government of that? Or today's media?

Because if the state lies and the central apparatus of the state lies, we'd be left with authoritarianism, and who would want to condone that?

What's next? Lip-syncing? Fake fireworks?