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Where do I stand, and why?

By | Other | 25 Comments

Judith Curry, of the Climate etc website, found herself involved in a wide-ranging Twitter debate which prompted her to summarise her position both in American politics and philosophically. I don’t use Twitter much, and am coming to the view that I should simply dispense with it, but I thought her summary position was well expressed, and thought further, why don’t I do the same? So here is mine, using her structure simply as a beginning. I have written about many of these points in the past, but here they are brought together. My politics I grew up in the country, and…

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The January Off-Topic Thread

By | Other | 166 Comments

We still seem to be in a weak la Nina, and all the usual bushfire warnings are out. No doubt we will have some fires too. My attention was caught on Judith Curry’s website by a reference to a piece (abstract only) in Nature on the incidence of wildfires in the last two thousand years. The authors used sedimentary charcoal as the evidence and suggest that global biomass burning declined from AD 1 to ?1750, before rising sharply between 1750 and 1870. Global burning then declined abruptly after 1870. The early decline in biomass burning occurred in concert with a global cooling trend and…

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The December Off-Post Thread

By | Other | 66 Comments

I start this month with a measured piece about the mismatch between strident claims about ‘climate change’ and the declining attention of citizens, by a former Canadian Minister. Joe Oliver: Ranting about climate isn’t good government policy, and isn’t convincing anyone Later, and for the benefit of reader Chris, are the paths followed by temperature and CO2 in the recent past. I’ve used GISS, the most heavily adjusted temperature set. Later Still: I enjoyed this little take on the extermination of species theme:  

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Is comedy still possible?

By | Other | 54 Comments

When I was about seven years old I was allowed to go to the Saturday matinee with another boy my age who lived across the road. We walked there and back (perhaps a kilometre), and we each had six pence. Threepence would get us into the pictures, while the other three pennies were for sweets. A small ice-cream in a cone would require the lot, so I tended to buy a musk stick (1d) and a small packet of jubes (2d). What we saw, every Saturday, were cartoons, a Movietone newsreel and a Western. I don’t remember a serial, although…

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The Dual Citizenship scandal/imbroglio/fiasco

By | Other | 15 Comments

Though I’ve waited now a few weeks to write this essay, it is plain that the issue will go for some time. While most of the media attention is on what nine sub jure parliamentarians mean in terms of the Turnbull leadership, or the effect on citizen attitudes towards parliamentarians generally, or the outcome of by-elections caused by the dual citizenship problem, my interest lies in the deeper questions. Do we want to exclude all dual citizens from parliamentary service? Or should we extend that exclusion to the public services? I was discussing the issue with a senior lawyer while…

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August Off-Topic Thread

By | Other | 159 Comments

I should have set this up much earlier, and have done so now because I want to alert readers to an excellent essay by Willis Eschenbach about whether there has been any acceleration in sea-level rise in the satellite period. Sea-levels were the subject of a recent essay. He says No, after some straightforward analysis which is accessible to most readers. It might be more accurate to say that he cannot find any significant acceleration in the satellite data. The Comments are worth reading, because there are some interesting critical comments. And yes, Tamino says the opposite, but then Tamino…

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