Number of the Month

March  2009

Fit for purpose?

An attempt to write a piece involving comparisons of data for predicted and actual temperatures prompted a search for illustrations. It was rather disturbing to find how many of these were based on linear trend lines only, without inclusion of the original data. We have discussed elsewhere some of the problems associated with linear trends, but perhaps a cruder illustration, provided by a couple of minutes with Excel,  will serve to underline a cause for concern,

Imagine a phenomenon, recorded yearly, that is free of noise and absolutely constant, except that a disturbance occurs over two years. The diagrams show the artificial data plotted for twelve years at one stage and then the same six years later. Linear trend lines have been added. The identical phenomenon has produced both an increasing and a decreasing trend which have nothing to do with the properties of the original data source.

Now add a bit of Gaussian noise and you could be talking, for example, about global temperatures disturbed by, say, El Niño. At first the data could be claimed by global warmers as a vindication of their theory, while six years later the global coolers would be bagging it.

This outbreak of chartmanship has got completely out of hand, with warmers and coolers waiting anxiously for the next month’s results. It matches the worst excesses of the financial pages of the newspapers. Every random noise spike is endowed with a significance to which it has no claim. A little temperance, Gentlemen, please!

17/03/09

This blissful life

Where ignorance is bliss ‘tis folly to be wise
Gray

After the conservation laws, the most fundamental laws of physics are the related continuity laws. The people who have hijacked control of science openly display their ignorance of such matters, while hurling abuse at those know better. A classic example occurred back in September 2003. That was when the notorious Hockey Stick was going through the triumphal stages of Langmuir’s Laws of Bad Science before it met its inevitable demise under law six. The ad hoc explanation for the freezing of the Thames during the “non-existent” Little Ice Age was that the structure of London Bridge reduced the flow rate.

It is not as though the continuity law is counter-intuitive. If water is arriving at a point in a channel, it will still arrive at the same rate after you have inserted an obstruction. One of two things must happen: either the water overflows the channel walls or the difference in head rises to accommodate the same rate of flow. There is nowhere else for it to go. Not, as they say, rocket science.

Now a professor, no less, has stated that beavers by building dams will “slow rivers and control flooding”. Well, if a professor says it, it must be right. Best for those of us who are so old that we studied physics at school to stay shtum: otherwise we might be likened to those who deny the holocaust and be cast in to the outer darkness, instead of being allowed to exist in the comfortable world of the BBC and the like.

19/03/09

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Extraordinary

Jonathan Leake is one of the most reliable propagators of Greenie propaganda in the UK media. He has suddenly produced a coherent and truthful article on wind power, telling hoi polloi things they are not supposed to know. What is this, a damascene conversion, an isolated fit or the end of the beginning?

29/03/09

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Number of the month 1,815,778 and rising

This is the number (as of 15.00 GMT) of internet viewings of the speech by Daniel Hannan MEP in response to Gordon Brown’s address to the European Parliament. It marks the beginning of the end of The Censorship, a loose but all powerful process by which the New Left Media Establishment control what hoi polloi are allowed to see and hear. It is a remarkable number, given that it represents people who have gone out of their way to gain access to it, rather than sitting passively on a sofa, accepting what the BBC deigns to make available.

The BBC way of dealing with inconvenient deviants (such as David Bellamy, who declines to recite the compulsory credo of Global Warming) is to ignore their existence. So, while the Prime Minister’s speech was given the full treatment, the Hannan response was deemed never to have happened. Solely through the power of the internet, people have discovered that someone had said to the Prime Minister (and most effectively) just what they, themselves, wanted to say. This is a historic moment.

Nigel Farage was also eloquent, but he is even further off the BBC scale of recognition, because of his annoying habit of saying what most people are thinking about the intrinsically corrupt EU.

Rarely has parliamentary democracy reached such low standing in the UK . MPs, having handed to the EU most of the powers and functions granted to them by the electorate, appear to spend much of their new free time fiddling their expenses. They are now about to receive an above inflation pay rise at a time when ordinary people are suffering job losses and pay freezes. Meanwhile the whole establishment avoids the indelicacy of admitting that most of the absurdities currently inflicting the nation (declining refuse collection, rising food and energy prices etc.) result from EU bureaucratic diktats and not our own democratic processes. The BBC, in particular, is generously funded by a poll tax on the populace, yet it has abandoned the standards that made it famous worldwide. Not only is it sifting the news and comment, but valued traditions, such as uninterrupted drama, have almost disappeared. With an all but invisible opposition, under the leadership of  Stuntman Dave and Boy George, the internet is the one redeeming feature of our bleak political landscape.

31/03/09

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Index

 

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