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Comment: Re:Oh, the delicious irony! (Score 2) 923

by The Askylist (#41010443) Attached to: Ecuador Grants Asylum To Julian Assange

Douchebaggy - maybe.

Informative - definitely.

If some asshat in the Foreign Office hadn't tried to force the issue by invoking a law not designed for this sort of situation, perhaps a less pissed-off Ecuador would have made a different choice. I'm no fan of Assange, but the legal process in which he is enmeshed appears to be ever so slightly fishy, and invites reactions like the Ecuadorean one.

Comment: Re:Common Sense prevailed (Score 1) 103

by The Askylist (#40791979) Attached to: "Bomb Threat" Tweet Conviction Overturned By UK Appeals Court

This case was brought under the last Labour government - and it is well known that the self-righteous lefties have no sense of humour or of proportion.

Only under the totalitarian comrades would such a case be brought - the problem now is that we have a CPS full of part-trained 'ooman rights idiots for the foreseeable future.

Comment: Blair had it nailed (Score 1) 306

Here in the UK, we learn that during the "cash for honours" scandal, a separate non-government computer was operating in No. 10 specifically for the purpose of doing business without oversight.

The arsehole also shredded all his expense data just before the storm over MPs claiming for duck ponds and tennis courts broke.

Labour, Democrat - it seems they are all in it together.

Comment: Re:Headline should say... (Score 1) 786

by The Askylist (#40628479) Attached to: Nature: Global Temperatures Are a Falling Trend

If the result of doing nothing is incredibly dire

That's a very big if, and is the nub of the matter. If the continued release of CO2 will definitely cause catastrophe, then there is a reason to act.

However, all we have are very poor models and pretty poor data, at least for pre-1950s temperatures. To take action based on something which is by no means certain is another misappliance of the precautionary principle - a principle which it seems can be stretched ever further by those with an anti-capitalist agenda.

You go ahead and reduce your emissions if you like - I'd rather let the market and human ingenuity take care of things.

Comment: Re:El Reg anti-AGW propaganda again (Score 1) 786

by The Askylist (#40628393) Attached to: Nature: Global Temperatures Are a Falling Trend

Both the Guardian and the Indy allow opinion to leak into their reporting (all papers do). The Guardian is the voice of the public service worker, and the Indy is, alas, now controlled by an oligarch and much poorer for it.. The Indy also put up with the ridiculous plagiarist Johann Hari, not even sacking him when he was found out.

By choice, I read the Telegraph, but also read the Indy frequently - I only browse the Mail for Littlejohn's amusing and irreverent invective.

The secret is to be able to notice the bias of each rag - as I say, all of them are guilty of proselytising in their news coverage.

Comment: Re:Headline should say... (Score 2) 786

by The Askylist (#40620421) Attached to: Nature: Global Temperatures Are a Falling Trend

The problem is not that I don't believe in the greenhouse effect, but that the current political actions appear to be based on the premise that CO2 is the only driver of climate, when solar variation, orbital variation and precession are just as likely to be influential.

The statement "CO2 is a greenhouse gas" is falsifiable but true.

The statement "atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing" is falsifiable but true

The statement "Man is dumping a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere" is falsifiable but true

Any conclusions based on these statements, however, are conjectures that are neither falsifiable nor demonstrably true - they are guesses based on necessarily incomplete models and are neither scientific nor useful.

I'm all for reducing reliance on fossil fuels - they are dirty and pollute from their extraction to their consumption, and are in any case running out. But to impose controls on human action based on what is a very wobbly piece of thinking is wrong.

Comment: Re:Headline should say... (Score 1) 786

by The Askylist (#40620171) Attached to: Nature: Global Temperatures Are a Falling Trend

I'm with you on the need to move away from fossil fuels, but we part ways when you propose trying to change behaviour through taxation.

My view on the AGW question is that yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and yes, we have chucked a lot of it into the atmosphere over the past 250 years or so, but to base our conclusions only on data from the past 150 years is likely to overstate the effects of CO2 when orbital variations and precession act over a longer timescale.

But yes - I'm a libertarian and every new regulation is another nail in the coffin of individual freedom.

Comment: Re:Headline should say... (Score 1) 786

by The Askylist (#40620021) Attached to: Nature: Global Temperatures Are a Falling Trend

Wrong.

As a sceptic, I want to reduce dependence on coal, oil and gas, because they all cause pollution in their extraction, and they appear to be running out.

The political action by AGW proponents is likely to make it more difficult to come up with ways to do this, because it is a direct attack on the industrialised world.

Or do you believe that progress towards cleaner, more sustainable energy is likely to come as a result of politicians? The only way that could be true is if we had a politician breeding program and burnt the buggers as fuel.

Comment: Re:El Reg anti-AGW propaganda again (Score 2) 786

by The Askylist (#40617697) Attached to: Nature: Global Temperatures Are a Falling Trend

Trends depend critically on the time window chosen. Over the 2,000 year period, there is a noticeable downward trend. If you choose your window size carefully, you can identify several periods with a "steep upwards trend".

The value of this study is that it may give a better idea of the magnitude and frequency of orbital forcing in the pre-carbon era, which could and should be used in the analysis of the current, carbon era data.

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