After Climategate, Pachaurigate and Glaciergate: Amazongate | James Delingpole

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After Climategate, Pachaurigate and Glaciergate: Amazongate

January 26th, 2010

AGW theory is toast. So’s Dr Rajendra Pachauri. So’s the Stern Review. So’s the credibility of the IPCC. But if you think I’m cheered by this you’re very much mistaken. I’m trying to write a Climategate book but the way things are going by the time I’m finished there won’t be anything left to say: the battle will already have been won and the only people left who still believe in Man Made Global Warming will be the eco-loon equivalents of those wartime Japanese soldiers left abandoned and forgotten on remote Pacific atolls.

Here’s the latest development, courtesy of Dr Richard North – and it’s a cracker. It seems that, not content with having lied to us about shrinking glaciers, increasing hurricanes, and rising sea levels, the IPCC’s latest assessment report also told us a complete load of porkies about the danger posed by climate change to the Amazon rainforest.

This is to be found in Chapter 13 of the Working Group II report, the same part of the IPCC fourth assessment report in which the “Glaciergate” claims are made. There, is the startling claim that:


At first sight, the reference looks kosher enough but, following it through, one sees:


This, then appears to be another WWF report, carried out in conjunction with the IUCN – The International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The link given is no longer active, but the report is on the IUCN website here. Furthermore, the IUCN along with WWF is another advocacy group and the report is not peer-reviewed. According to IPCC rules, it should not have been used as a primary source.

It gets even better. The two expert authors of the WWF report so casually cited by the IPCC as part of its, ahem, “robust” “peer-reviewed” process weren’t even Amazon specialists. One, Dr PF Moore, is a policy analyst:

My background and experience around the world has required and developed high-level policy and analytical skills. I have a strong understanding of government administration, legislative review, analysis and inquiries generated through involvement in or management of the Australian Regional Forest Agreement process, Parliamentary and Government inquiries, Coronial inquiries and public submissions on water pricing, access and use rights and native vegetation legislation in Australia and fire and natural resources laws, regulations and policies in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa and Malaysia.

And the lead author Andy Rowell is a freelance journalist (for the Guardian, natch) and green activist:

Andy Rowell is a freelance writer and Investigative journalist with over 12 years’ experience on environmental, food, health and globalization issues. Rowell has undertaken cutting-edge investigations for, amongst others, Action on Smoking and Health, The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, IFAW, the Pan American Health Organization, Project Underground, the World Health Organization, World in Action and WWF.

But the IPCC’s shamelessness did not end there. Dr North has searched the WWF’s reports high and low but can find no evidence of a statement to support the IPCC’s claim that “40 per cent” of the Amazon is threatened by climate change. (Logging and farm expansion are a much more plausible threat).

Watts Up With That provides a further, worryingly long list of the non-peer-reviewed papers from the World Wildlife Fund cited as evidence in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment report. Time, it asks, for the IPCC to be stripped of its Nobel Peace Prize?

We can but dream.

UPDATE: If you want cheering up, I highly recommend this fascinating article about 12 More Glaciers Which Haven’t Heard The News About Global Warming.

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One Response to “After Climategate, Pachaurigate and Glaciergate: Amazongate”

  1. daddy dave says:January 26, 2010 at 8:38 am

    A climategate book is needed. I wouldn’t worry about it not being edgy and controversial enough. You’ll be dealing with living people, practicing scientists who are still getting funded, bureaucrats who still hold their jobs, politicians who are still in power, propaganda that’s still in fourth grade classrooms, and so on.
    It will be plenty controversial.
    And even if you’re spelling out the bleeding obvious, there will be many who will find it an eye-opener. They may have heard something about this “climategate” business, but many people are not following it closely and are unsure what to believe.

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Climategate goes American: NOAA, GISS and the mystery of the vanishing weather stations

For those who haven’t seen it, here’s a link to US weatherman John Coleman’s magisterial demolition of the Great AGW Scam.

I particularly recommend part 4 because that’s the one with all the meat. It shows how temperature readings have been manipulated at the two key climate data centres in the United States – the NASA Goddard Science and Space Institute at Columbia University in New York and the NOAA National Climate Data Center in Ashville, North Carolina. (Hat tip: Platosays)

This is a scandal to rank with Climategate.

What it shows is that, just like in Britain at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) temperature data records have been grotesquely distorted by activist scientists in order to exaggerate the appearance of late 20th century global warming. They achieved this – with an insouciant disregard for scientific integrity which quite beggars belief – through the simple expedient of ignoring most of those weather station sited in higher, colder places and using mainly ones in warmer spots. Then, they averaged out the temperature readings given by the warmer stations to give a global average. Et voila: exactly the scary “climate change” they needed to persuade bodies like the IPCC that AGW was a clear and present danger requiring urgent pan-governmental action.

The man who spotted all this is a computer programmer called EM Smith – aka the Chiefio. You can read the full report at his excellent blog. In the 70s, the Chiefio discovered, GISS and NOAA took their temperature data from 6,000 weather stations around the world. By 1990, though, this figure had mysteriously dropped to 1500. Even more mysteriously this 75 per cent reduction in the number of stations used had a clear bias against those at higher latitudes and elevations.

Here’s an excellent example of this: Bolivia.

Notice that nice rosy red over the top of Bolivia? Bolivia is that country near, but not on, the coast just about half way up the Pacific Ocean side. It has a patch of high cold Andes Mountains where most of the population live.

One Small Problem with the anomally map. There has not been any thermometer data for Bolivia in GHCN since 1990.

None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing. Empty Set.

So just how can it be so Hot Hot Hot! in Bolivia if there is NO data from the last 20 years?

Easy. GIStemp “makes it up” from “nearby” thermometers up to 1200 km away. So what is within 1200 km of Bolivia? The beaches of Chili, Peru and the Amazon Jungle.

Not exactly the same as snow capped peaks and high cold desert, but hey, you gotta make do with what you have, you know?

Meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo has also been on the case. You can find a link to his superb analysis of the scandal at Watts Up With That. (Sorry: I would give you a more direct link to his pdf file but I can’t work out how to do it)

In Canada the number of stations dropped from 600 to 35 in 2009. The percentage of stations in the lower elevations (below 300 feet) tripled and those at higher elevations above 3000 feet were reduced in half. Canada’s semi-permanent depicted warmth comes from interpolating from more southerly locations to fill northerly vacant grid boxes, even as a pure average of the available stations shows a COOLING. Just 1 thermometer remains for everything north of latitude 65N – that station is Eureka. Eureka according to Wikipedia has been described as “The Garden Spot of the Arctic” .

You know what this means, don’t you? It means the ragbag of eco-loons, politicians and technocrats pushing AGW can no longer plausibly deploy their main excuse about Climategate – that it was all a little local difficulty of no great importance because the HadCrut temperature data sets were independently confirmed by those at GISS and NOAA. What this story demonstrates, as many of us suspected all along, is that not just the British temperature records but those in the US too have been hijacked by political activists. I need hardly say that this breaking scandal has been almost completely ignored by the MSM.

Not unpredictably, the director of one of the two institutions implicated in this – Dr James Hansen of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies – has issued a (very carefully worded – which makes you wonder what he’s not telling us) denial of any skullduggery.

“NASA has not been involved in any manipulation of climate data used in the annual GISS global temperature analysis.”

The idea that a man of Dr Hansen’s radical persuasion should be running an organisation as important as GISS is looking increasingly absurd. To get an idea how absurd, think Tony Benn in charge of Britain’s defence policy, or – let’s get really weird – imagine if Ed Balls were in charge of Education or Gordon Brown were running the country. More on Hansen’s activist sympathies in another blog.

One Response to “Climategate goes American: NOAA, GISS and the mystery of the vanishing weather stations”

  1. Steve Carson says:January 19, 2010 at 8:32 pmI would have to take issue with “magisterial demolition” of AGW.He claims to debunk the IPCC in his first section and instead points out a flaw in Al Gore’s movie without referencing anything the IPCC has ever written.

    In fact, his particular point that CO2 has lagged temperature rises in the past is not only well known but also agreed with by the IPCC and in their reports.

    In what way has he debunked the IPCC?

    Magisterial?

    http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/01/15/co2-lags-temperature-in-the-ice-core-record-doesnt-that-prove-the-ipcc-wrong/

  2. ramspace And you, you icon of probity, reference . . . what? Nothing. He has not debunked the IPCC report per se;–he has debunked its recommendations for policy makers. Moron. Take issue with what you like. You’re still a goddam fool.

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‘AGW? I refute it THUS!’: Central England Temperatures 1659 to 2009 | James Delingpole

January 15th, 2010

If there’s anyone left you know who STILL believes in Anthropogenic Global Warming, you might want to show them this chart.

The Central England Temperature dataset is the oldest in the world – with 351 years of temperature records drawn from “multiple weather stations located both in urban and rural areas of England, which is considered a decent proxy for Northern Hemisphere temperatures – not perfect, but decent.” Climate Cycles Change provides the analysis.

The first characteristic of the graph to note is the green trend line. That line indicates an overall warming of 0.26°C per century rate since 1659. So, for some 350 years central England, and the world, have been warming. No big surprise there since Earth has been continuously warming since the end of the Little Ice Age; and, at the end of that 350 year trend line of warming is the first decade of the 21st century.

The second characteristic of the graph is that temperatures just seem to have this habit of going up and down, for extended periods. What’s really amazing is that they did this consistently before the large increase of human CO2 emissions, pre-1946. Okay, maybe that’s not so amazing since this is called temperature variability and represents the natural, dynamic nature of our climate….That variability, as displayed by the CET data in the graph, has experienced temperature changes as much as 2.5°C from one year to the next. A change of 2.5°C in a single year! Keep that figure in mind as we further analyze the dataset. Please note, the graph also reveals very similar temperature variability post-1946, after the huge atmospheric input of human CO2 emissions.

The Climate Cycles Change post was inspired by an analysis of CET done earlier this month by Czech physicist Lubos Motl, which is well worth reading. Because Climate Fear Promoters make such a big deal of warming trends in the last 30 years, Motl applied the same technique to the full dataset. Was the recent warming trend, as we’re so often told, dramatic and unprecedented?

Not at all. Here’s what Motl found:

In the late 17th and early 18th century, there was clearly a much longer period when the 30-year trends were higher than the recent ones. There is nothing exceptional about the recent era. Because I don’t want to waste time with the creation of confusing descriptions of the x-axis, let me list the ten 30-year intervals with the fastest warming trends:

1691 – 1720, 5.039 °C/century
1978 – 2007, 5.038 °C/century
1977 – 2006, 4.95 °C/century
1690 – 1719, 4.754 °C/century
1979 – 2008, 4.705 °C/century
1688 – 1717, 4.7 °C/century
1692 – 1721, 4.642 °C/century
1694 – 1723, 4.524 °C/century
1689 – 1718, 4.446 °C/century
1687 – 1716, 4.333 °C/century

You see, the early 18th century actually wins: even when you calculate the trends over the “sufficient” 30 years, the trend was faster than it is in the most recent 30 years.

Climate Cycles Change confirms this with some charts of its own. They all show that, far from being dramatic, dangerous and unprecedented, Central England Temperature changes in the late 20th and 21st Century have in fact been quite tediously uneventful.

What about all the 40 and 50-year temperature change periods, which have been influenced by all those human-made CO2 emissions since 1946? Glad you asked. The ten largest 40-year period temperature changes did include year 2002 in 8th place. But alas, the largest 50-year temperature changes did not include any years from the ‘oughts’ decade. (See below the years with the largest 40-year and 50-year changes.)

2010-01-12_135246

Climate Cycles Change’s conclusion:

Summary: Unprecedented warming did not occur in central England during the first decade of the 21st century, nor during the last decade of the 20th century. As the CET dataset is considered a decent proxy for Northern Hemisphere temperatures, and since global temperature trends follow a similar pattern to Northern Hemisphere temps, then the same conclusion about recent warming can potentially be inferred globally. Based on the CET dataset, the global warming scare has been totally blown out of proportion by those who can benefit from the fear.

Amen to that.

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2 Responses to “‘AGW? I refute it THUS!’: Central England Temperatures 1659 to 2009”

  1. Tweets that mention ‘AGW? I refute it THUS!’: Central England Temperatures 1659 to 2009 | James Delingpole — Topsy.com says:January 15, 2010 at 7:00 pm[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Matt Deficit and John Polling, Dave Foy. Dave Foy said: Anyone who still believes in AGW might want to look at this chart: http://j.mp/6Pyc4D […]
  2. Brian H says:January 21, 2010 at 8:13 pmIf it weren’t for lies, fudges, and fiddles, the warmists would have nothing to talk about at all.

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Steven Mosher: the real hero of Climategate? – James Delingpole

January 15, 2010

Steven who?

Well according to a superb and profound piece of investigative journalism by Patrick Courrielche at Big Journalism, he’s the eminence grise of the Climategate leak. (Hat tip: PlatoSays)

Few outside the climate skeptic circle have ever heard of Steven Mosher. An open-source software developer, statistical data analyst, and thought of as the spokesperson of the lukewarmer set, Mosher hasn’t made any of the mainstream media outlets covering the story of Climategate. But make no mistake about it – when it comes to dissemination of the story, Steven Mosher is to Climategate what Woodward and Bernstein were to Watergate. He was just the right person, with just the right influence, and just the right expertise to be at the heart of the promulgation of the files.

More thoughts on this and on the wider ramifications of Climategate tomorrow.

Related posts:

  1. Julian Assange is not a Climategate hero
  2. Climategate: how the ‘greatest scientific scandal of our generation’ got its name
  3. Climategate: Obama’s boot boys strike back
  4. Climategate 2.0: the Warmists’ seven stages of grief

 

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Climategate investigated by – WTF? – the ‘National Domestic Extremism’ team | James Delingpole

Finally the Norfolk rozzers are on the case of Climategate.

Are they investigating fraudulent misuse of grant funds? Misleading manipulation of data by a taxpayer-funded research institute? Conspiracy to encourage the squandering of trillions of dollars on a non-existent problem?

Not according to the researches of the estimable blogger Bishop Hill. This morning he contacted the Norfolk Constabulary to ask them how the case was going: had they yet ascertained whether it was a leak or a hack. His response has just arrived:

Norfolk Constabulary continues its investigations into criminal offences in relation to a data breach at the University of East Anglia.  During the enquiry officers have been working in liaison with the Office of the Information Commissioner and with officers from the National Domestic Extremism Team. The UEA continues to co-operate with the enquiry however major investigations of this nature are of necessity very detailed and as a consequence can take time to reach a conclusion. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

4 Responses to “Climategate investigated by – WTF? – the ‘National Domestic Extremism’ team”

  1. Tempe Harvey says:January 9, 2010 at 2:26 pmHi James – We heard you in a radio interview broadcast in Brisbane in 2009 – and rushed out and bought “Welcome to Obamaland” – IT’S FANTASTIC !!!!We see you doing a great public service exposing global warming lies. When you have a moment please consider writing something against the socialist agenda to use the tax system in the UK & Australia to redistribute family wealth to the daycare industry. The Australian govt. spends around 2x as much on families that use daycare than parents who actually raise their own children. I have an email from a Swedish public servant confirming that 81.3% of 1-5 year olds there attend daycare. Social problems of institutionalising small children are catastrophic, because daycare kids are more likely to have emotional & behavour problems AND because parents impoverished by daycare taxes are conscipted to paid work & unable to spend time with their teenagers either.Our Australian parent organisation has links with Full Time Mothers UK http://ftmuk.wordpress.com/

    Kind regards,
    Tempe Harvey
    President, Kids First Parent Association of Australia

  2. Atheist Ranter says:January 9, 2010 at 10:41 pmYou need to remember that the police are very busy – just think of all those speeding motorists who need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And fined of course, plus the £15 ‘victim surcharge’ on top – one of the may euphemisms used by the government to collect even more ’stealth tax’.
  3. Patrickdj44 says:January 10, 2010 at 5:35 amSo Delingpole, what’s your point?There are two facts relating to the CRU emails:-
    1/ The emails were stolen, stealing is a criminal act. Or to you does the means justify the cause. If and when you get your 50″ plasma TV and someone steals it will you applaud the thief?
    2/ Irrespective of the few cherry picked and edited emails that were published it has not altered the fact one iota that Global Warming is here and now and is happening, or are you still confused with the difference between climate and weather.
  4. CliveH says:January 15, 2010 at 7:38 pmTwo facts Patrick?I do not think so – the emails were leaked by a researcher fed up with the “Old Guard” spinning the truth and refusing to release the relevant data under legitimate FoI requests.As for Global warming being here – presumably that is why Mann had to hide the decline in his tree ring data post 1960 and use manipulated ground station data. Data that now has less reference points due to many stations being off line in colder areas and so the “Crimatologists” just fill in the missing bits with extrapolated data from adjacent – usually warmer weather stations.

    As for anyone being confused by weather and climate – it has to be you because the only difference is the scale of time frame.

    But then anyone that asks such a question relies on the spin that Climate is when it gets warmer and weather is when it is cold.

    Just except the fact that for years all the hints and glimpses of dodgy doings creating dodgy dossiers – from Saddams WMD’s and the 45 min – to the 20 ft wall of water of Al Go(d)res Inconvenient Truth (TRUTH???????) – it has all imploded on the “census” that was in reality a mutual admiration society of circa 27 people who created their own personal Gravy Train.

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Childhood hero

Never big enough.

I think I might be about the second-last person on earth finally to have replaced his squat, bulbous, stone-age TV set with one of those new angled, wide-screen, narrow, HD-ready jobs. My worry is it’s not big enough.

‘No, you can’t have a 50-inch. No way are you having a 50-inch. Not in MY house,’ said the wife, as the kids and I all begged and begged to no avail.

Of course, I understand where the wife is coming from. There was indeed an era when to have a large TV screen dominating your sitting room would have been considered vulgar or nouveau-riche or what we now call chavvy. But that was 20 years ago. Times have changed. Plus, I’m a TV critic — sort of — so I jolly well should.

The other new technology we’ve just acquired is a Virgin box because we’ve just changed our account from Sky so as to get one of those all-in phone, internet and digital TV deals. I’m not yet convinced the service is any better. The Virgin box makes a terrible loud whirring noise, whereas the Sky box was quieter. But it does have one clever feature — a Catch Up TV function — which means you don’t have to worry about videoing stuff any more. You can just scroll through a menu and catch up with all the worthwhile programmes you missed.

This is what I did with The Day of the Triffids (BBC1).

(to read more, click here)

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The problem with Dave Cameron (No.203) | James Delingpole

January 9, 2010

Over at my other home the Spectator, four writers have been trying to fathom what David Cameron’s big idea is. They have about as much chance as if they’d gone looking for the G Spot.

“You wait till he gets elected. Then you’ll see what a proper Conservative he is,” say all the Kool-Aid drinkers who seem to infest the comments section of any blog when you try to point out this self-evident truth.

To which I reply: by his deeds shall ye know him. Never mind all those rumours you hear about how secretly virulently anti-Europe he is and how passionate he is about the environment: the story I’m about to tell has the virtue of being true and effectively scuppers both.

Did you know that under three successive Tory leaders – Hague, Iain Duncan Smith, and Howard – it was official party policy to pull out of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)? This is the iniquitous EU arrangement – negotiated under the auspices of the beyond-dreadful Ted Heath – whereby the fishing rights to Britain’s territorial waters (once the most fish-rich in all Europe) were divvied up among the European Community member states in return for what benefit to British interests no one has ever fathomed.

The CFP was a disaster socially and economically, for it has all but destroyed our fishing industry and deprived 22,000 fishermen of their livelihoods. But it was an even greater disaster environmentally. Every year, thanks to the EU’s ludicrous quota system, billions of fish have to be chucked back dead into the sea. Furthermore, it has led to the overfishing not just of British waters but (thanks to bribe money paid to sundry Third World basket cases) of most of the coast of West Africa (save Namibia), to the point where, like the Grand Banks, fish stocks will probably never recover.

If ever there was a EU policy worthy of negation  it was the CFP, which is why the Conservative party was committed to pulling out of it unilaterally. At least it was till Dave Cameron took over in 2005, at which point – true the spirit of his soul-mate Ted Heath – he surreptitiously shelved the project.

When I crossly pointed this out to a Cameroon Conservative the other day, his defence was that Dave was of a mind that his party had to pick carefully where to fight its battles. If he was going to confront the EU, he wanted it to be over economic and working directives, rather than over fish.

I suppose the Kool-Aid drinkers will see this as an example of good old Tory pragmatism. I see it as moral cowardice marinaded in dishonesty and slily served with a subtle pinch of hypocrisy. When something is as manifestly wrong in every way as the CFP is, surely the right thing to do is take a stand against it. It’s all very well wittering on about how Green the Conservatives now are, but – unlike some problems I could name which begin with “Anthropogenic” and end with “Global Warming” – overfishing represents a clear and present danger to our ecosystems.

I’m afraid it’s precisely this kind of spinelessness which explains why some of us find it so hard to be enthusiastic about the prospects of a Cameron administration.

Related posts:

  1. How can you tell when Dave Cameron’s lying?
  2. Enough eloquent excuses, Dave: the only place for a Conservative Britain in Europe is out
  3. 10 Reasons to be Cheerful About Dave’s New Coalition of the Unwilling
  4. David Cameron, renewable energy and the death of British property rights.

 

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Build-a-Bear: The Sinister Green Plot to Turn Our Kids into Eco-Fascist Manchurian Candidates

Do Al Gore or Dr Rajendra Pachauri own shares in the international toy franchise Build-A-Bear? Here is a video – one of a series of three – that the company’s impressionable young customers are being directed to watch via its website www.buildabearville.com. (Hat tip: Plato Says)

You can watch the other two here and here.

America’s parents aren’t happy at this kind of eco-indoctrination. Here’s a taste from Big Government.

Every year we take the kids to Build-A-Bear, but we have now gone for the last time. I get enough indoctrination from the main stream media, and now I need to worry about what political messges Build-A-Bear feels a need to pass on to my grandchidren? I don’t think so. They just made sure that we will now switch to a store that sells toys that don’t come with political indoctrination. Build-A-Bear, you just lost an entire family and generation of good customers.

Leave our children alone Build a Bear. I once thought your store was cute …. the whole concept of it but not anymore. Let children be children. They should not have to deal with heavy subjects such as Global warming which is a hoax anyway. Pure disgusting on your part and I will no longer shop at your stores or online.

Wow … more like build-a-scare than a bear. This is unconscionable. My kids have a dozen of their products but we will NOT be shopping there anymore. I just can’t believe they actually did that. I shouldn’t be surprised but what a mistake.

and here is Build-A-Bear’s CEO’s not altogether convincing response.

Our goal with the online webisodes was to show children, through two animated polar bears and a penguin, how they could also make a difference in big and small ways. The animated story occurs in the North Pole where the 2 polar bear characters live and they want to help keep the ice from melting so Santa and the reindeers can take off safely in time to deliver all their gifts. Thanks to the giant ice cubes created by the bear and penguin team they replace the melting ice and all is well so Santa and the reindeers do not miss a beat.

We had no other intentions with the story whatsoever. we do hear you and will certainly take your opinion into consideration when developing future stories. It is interested customers like yourselves that help us do a better job.

Sincerely,

Maxine Clark

Maxine Clark
Founder and Chief Executive Bear

Merry Christmas, Maxine. Something tells me that your Yuletide sales figures are about to stink like Mr Hankey.

2 Responses to “Build-a-bear: the sinister green plot to turn our kids into eco-fascist Manchurian candidates”

  1. Rupert says:December 30, 2009 at 11:33 amWhat were the Penguins doing at the North Pole? Another nail in the coffin of Geography teaching in the US….
  2. connie says:January 12, 2010 at 7:15 pmbuild a bear is great, they are just teaching our kids not to be wasteful and help the planet.
    it does not matter where the animals are based in the story it is ment to be a fun childrens programme and they will learn where the animals actually live. in the end everything turns out great and santa delivers all the excited childrens gifts. the morral of the story is that if you think of good ideas, help paople and make a small difference it can help alot. maxine clark your great i take my kids to build a bear all the time and i go myself the idea is great i love it there was no need for this just beacause of a fun, delightful winter proggramme.
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Records of the Year 2009

This is terrible: for the first time in as long as I can remember the Sunday Telegraph hasn’t found space to run my records of the year. So here they are anyway. My taste is immaculate: you cannot go wrong. They’re in only rough order of preference, though the top five probably are my favourite top five. Enjoy!

The Decemberists – The Hazards Of Love (Rough Trade) *****

Whaaaat? Can I really have given it just a miserly four stars when this came out? The Hazards Of Love is so totally my album of the year, imbued with the shades of all manner of leftfield Americana from early REM to Neutral Milk Hotel, but undoubtedly its main influence is the codpiece n beards hey nonny nonny of Seventies folk rock. Their pre-Raphaelite lyrics about maidens and mythical creatures are pure Fairport Convention; their light/shade dynamic of bucolic folk whimsy and heavy guitar breaks are echt Jethro Tull. It is, of course, an utter joy from start to finish.

Maps – Turning The Mind (Mute) *****

This offering from whispery-voiced Northampton DJ James Chapman came oh so close to knocking The Decemberists off their perch as most utterly essential purchase of the year. More than fulfilling the promise of last year’s We Can Create, it’s the missing link between the DIY electronica of Stereolab, the moodiness of Underworld, the epicness of epic trance, the drugginess of Spiritualised and the immense catchiness of the Pet Shop Boys. Possibly, there are some tiny weak moments but at its majestic best – Papercuts, especially – the only response is to prostrate yourself with awe.

Butcher Boy – React Or Die (How Does It Feel To Be Loved) *****

I’m worried that if I give it five stars you’ll go out and buy it and sniff: “Hmm. This is a bit slight” – because it does initially sound quite fey and fragile and it’s only a measly half hour long. Trust me, though, it’s a grower and a joy. Butcher Boy are fronted by a thirtysomething Scots poet named John Blair Hunt, whose sweet vocals, gnomic, off-kilter  lyrics, neat, folk-tinged arrangements and restrained but gently lilting melodies call to mind Belle And Sebastian at their best.

Patrick Kelleher – You Look Cold (Osaka) *****

“Why does James always recommend music that makes you want to blow your brains out?” complains one of my Facebook friends. Because I’m a miserable bastard, obviously. But I do have immaculate taste and if you do too you’re going to love this Dublin-based bedroom DJ’s moody debut. It veers from morose James-Yorkston-type folk via eerie, distorted do-wop, to bleak Joy Division electronica to really quite heavy, brooding, urgent techno, all done with a fuzzy, home-made-on-cheap-instruments aesthetic. Not depressing, though, really, I promise. Just ruddy marvellous.

Wild Beasts – Two Dancers (Domino) *****

Leeds four-piece Wild Beasts aren’t much good at your catchy three-minute pop single. Their tracks meander slinkily and artily to some exceptionally Eighties sounding percussion and chimey guitars (and 80s production generally in fact) while the singer croons away in his odd falsetto. It’s like listening to the missing link between Antony and the Johnsons, the Associates and the Wedding Present, but in a good way obviously which is why I’ve given it five stars.

The xx – ‘xx’ (Young Turks) ****

Sparse, understated, and as jolly and lively as (and not dissimilar in sonic style to) Joy Division meeting Portishead on valium, this grows on you hugely with lovely, vaguely Lou-Reedy boy/girl duetting from songwriters Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim. “Bedroom-reared concrete soul” it has been called. Oddly, they went to the same South London comprehensive – Elliot School – that gave us Burial, Hot Chip and Kieren Hebden. So if you want your kids to become electro-indie miserabilists, you know where to send ’em.

The Witch And The Robot – On Safari (Atic) ****

If you’re a fan of Love’s hippy classic Forever Changes, this delightfully authentic-sounding piece of retro psychedelic folk from a band of eccentrics from Ambleside ought to be just your cup of tea. I’m not totally sure about the spoken-word tale on the final track (another song would have been better), but for the most part it’s as if the years post 1967 – dig the twittery flute intro on track four, man – just never happened. Great tunes; lyrics at once bizarre and erudite, especially the song about the Beatification of St Thomas Aquinas; groovy arrangements.

The Veils – Sun Gangs (Rough Trade) ****

Led by Finn Andrews (whose dad was in XTC) the Veils get better and better. They started out as promising Morrissey impersonators hampered by thinnish material, they’ve now got a lot more sonically adventurous, sounding like a very pleasing cross between Talking Heads (but in a good way), the Smiths, the Doors, and Echo and The Bunnymen. Epic, tortured, doomy but most importantly catchy.

Calvin Harris – Ready For The Weekend (Sony) ****

“Embrace the cheese, my old mucker!” Such was my DJ chum Eddy Temple-Morris’s advice when I’d expressed doubts about the new Calvin Harris album’s borderline-handbag tendencies. And how right he was. The fly-eyed young Scotsman’s second album is one mighty slab of floorfilling summer fun: squelchily synthetic, and, yes, a bit girls-night-out-in Ibiza, but with some magnificent touches, such as the Radiohead-like guitar intro to Worst Day and his unusually attractive (for a DJ) vocals. Dance Wiv Me – his collaboration with Dizzee Rascal – is a work of such almighty genius I feel almost unworthy of dancing to it.

Jamie T – Kings and Queens (Virgin) ****

Jamie Treays’s second album is a real gem, and a huge improvement on the slightly whiney, irksome Mercury-nominated debut Panic Prevention. Of course one’s natural instinct is to loathe any friend of Lily Allen’s who raps a bit like The Streets, only with a black south London accent. But the hooks are way too strong, his compositions (a lot of them on acoustic guitar this time) too versatile – on Spider’s Web like a cross between the Kinks and Marc Bolan, on Emily’s Heart like Lloyd Cole, plus lots of urban beats – and his lyrics too pungent and potent for you not to succumb eventually.

Editors – In This Light And On This Evening (Kitchenware) ****

Finally they’ve done it. Up until now, I’ve always felt that Birmingham’s Editors were a squandered opportunity. They had the wonderfully rich, doomy baritone of Tom Smith; and both the Euro industrial portentousness and rainwashed miserablism of the bleaker end of late 70s/early 80s synthpop, but what they lacked was the conviction to be something a bit more exciting than Coldplay dressed in black. To those who criticise them for being just a modern update of John Carpenter, Kraftwerk and Joy Division, I say: “Well, Mozart was just a modern update of Bach.” A triumph!

Mumford And Sons – Sigh No More (Universal) ****

When I first heard this, I would have laid money on the fact these musicians all wore bushy beards and dungarees, lived in the backwoods somewhere in the Bible Belt and had all married their cousins. Not so. They’re a bunch of West London poshos – fronted by Laura Marling’s drummer/squeeze Marcus Mumford – who just happen to sound like a hugely authentic banjo-plucking, God-fearing, barnstorming yearningly emotional cross between early REM, Neutral Milk Hotel, the Pogues and every alt-country act you ever loved from Fleet Foxes to the more bearable end of Kings of Leon.

Florence And The Machine – Lungs (Island) ****

Until quite recently Florence Welch used to be our babysitter, but was obviously far too shy and modest ever to mention she was about to become the hottest property in weird, angry-girl pop, winning every best newcomer prize going and wowing audiences with her mighty tonsel power and insane charisma. Anyway, her debut has quite rightly made her enormous. It’s great – raw, gothic, bloody, strange but not in a way that’s going to put you off if you like a strong, catchy tune and the idea of a Kate Bush meets Bjork and Siouxie with the attitude of PJ Harvey, the cred of Sarf London and a judicious hint of posh then this will do you nicely. And live, she’s even better.

Trentemoller – Harbour Boat Trips (HFN Music) *****

Is there anyone out there with better musical taste than Danish DJ Anders Trentemoller? Not on the evidence of this truly awesome mix album whose sole duff truck – some arty French bird emoting drearily – serves only to emphasise how mightily gorgeous the rest is. The mood ranges from sinister folk of Gravenhurst and neo-psychedelia of Brian Jonestown Massacre to the pulsing techno of Muscleheads and an awesome cover with the Raveonettes of Joy Division’s She’s Lost Control. Most perfect downtempo compilation album you’re going to hear all year.

Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (Columbia) ****

I’ve always loved Kasabian for not taking themselves too seriously and my only objection to their third album as that there’s a whiff of major-label-itis about it: sacrificing some of their shambolic, balls-out, hedonism to an excess of polish, sophistication and one slow number – Happiness – it almost nullifies their entire career. But not quite. These are minor quibbles about what is still essentially another great Kasabian album, with top floor-filling anthems, a sensibility between Oasis, the Prodigy and (this time) West Coast hippy rock and a greater willingness to experiment.

Nancy Elizabeth – Wrought Iron (Leaf) ****

One of my big musical treats of the year was catching Wigan multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Nancy Elizabeth at English-folk central, the ineffably odd Cecil Sharp House. It amazes me that such a great talent isn’t more widely known and adored. Her 2007 debut Battle And Victory is a gem I highly recommend – especially the liltingly infectious, hammer-dulcimer-enhanced I Used To Try, and this follow up is no less of a sly, subtle joy. This is melancholy, wistful, pared-down folk – like a cross between flintier, slowed-down Kate Bush and a less abrasive PJ Harvey – which really grows on you.

Franz Ferdinand – Blood (Domino) ****

Did I mention when I reviewed Franz Ferdinand’s Tonight how much it was crying out for a dance remix? Well if I didn’t, I meant to. This is it and it’s marvellous – knocking spots off the original album. Though it’s billed as a “dub” album – remixed by Dan Carey a student of the Mad Professor – it’s much more than just Franz Ferdinand with a skanking, boomy bassline tacked on. Some of it – notably Die On The Floor – tends towards the floor-filling clubland anthem, some towards the stoner chill-out. Almost enough to restore one’s faith in their precocious talent.

Little Boots – Hands (Atlantic) ****

Ten years ago pint-sized Blackpool lass Victoria Hesketh was rejected in auditions for X-Factor by Simon Cowell. Little Boots is her spectacular revenge: here she’s sounding very much like the new Kylie, with a similarly broad appeal extending from tweenagers (my kids were instantly smitten) through to gay clubs and even ageing musos like me. In places you could almost be listening to Goldfrapp, at others it teeters dangerously on the brink of Euro cheese, but the melodies are irresistible and the production as clever and sheeny as a Britney Spears record.

Patrick Watson – Wooden Arms (Peacefrog) ****

Patrick Watson and his band come from the same Montreal scene as Arcade Fire, but I much prefer them. I suppose the most obvious analogy is if Antony [and the Johnsons] Hegarty were to have made an album with late Radiohead – sweet, wistful, haunting vocals meets meandering, dreamy electronica – except it’s stranger and more complex than that with echoes of Michael Nyman, ghostly piano, shimmering strings, Tom-Waits-like waltzes, all very cleverly arranged with gorgeous bits of detail like when the balalaikas come in on the title track.

Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport (ATP) ****

Completely-does-your-head-in, My-Bloody-Valentine-style electronic noise for the post-E generation. It’s jolly good. And I like their very rude name.

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino) ****

You’re just going to have to trust me on this: they meander, and they’re quite difficult and not obviously melodic. But Animal Collective are the business. And they don’t sound like anybody else.

Related posts:

  1. My Records of the Year
  2. Records of the Year 2011
  3. Four Tet, Owl City, Hot Chip
  4. Dodgy GISS temperature records exposed: the US Climategate?

 

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Climategate: The Corruption of Wikipedia

December 26, 2009

If you want to know the truth about Climategate, definitely don’t use Wikipedia. “Climatic Research Unit e-mail controversy”, is its preferred, mealy-mouthed euphemism to describe the greatest scientific scandal of the modern age. Not that you’d ever guess it was a scandal from  the accompanying article. It reads more like a damage-limitation press release put out by concerned friends and sympathisers of the lying, cheating, data-rigging scientists

Which funnily enough, is pretty much what it is. Even Wikipedia’s own moderators acknowledge that the entry has been hijacked, as this commentary by an “uninvolved editor” makes clear.

Unfortunately, this naked bias and corruption has infected the supposedly neutral Wikipedia’s entire coverage of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory. And much of this, as Lawrence Solomon reports in the National Post, is the work of one man, a Cambridge-based scientist and Green Party activist named William Connolley.

Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known – Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned his attention to the hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the band. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists, were among his early targets, followed by others that the band especially hated, such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, authorities on the Medieval Warm Period.

All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.

Connolley has supposedly been defrocked as a Wikipedia administrator. Or so Wikipedia claimed in its feeble, there’s-really-not-much-we-can-do response to anxious questions from one of Watts Up With That’s readers.

In September 2009, the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee revoked Mr. Connolley’s administrator status after finding that he misused his administrative privileges while involved in a dispute unrelated to climate warming.

If this is true, it doesn’t seem to have made much difference to his creative input on the Wikipedia’s entries. Here he is – unless its just someone with an identical name – busily sticking his oar in to entries on the Medieval Warm Period (again) and the deeply compromised, soon-to-be-leaving (let’s hope) IPCC head Dr Rajendra Pachauri. And here he is again just three days ago, removing a mention of Climategate from Michael Mann’s entry. And here is an example of one of his Wikipedia chums – name of Stephan Schulz – helping to cover up for him by ensuring that no mention of that embarrassing Lawrence Solomon article appears on Connolley’s Wikipedia entry. And here he is deleting criticism of himself.

Connolley, it should also be noted, was one of the founder members of Real Climate – the friends-of-Michael-Mann propaganda outfit (aka “The Hockey Team”) which, in the guise of disinterested science, pumps out climate-fear-promoting hysteria on AGW and tries to discredit anyone who disagrees with the ManBearPig “consensus”.

Here he is, for example, being bigged up in a 2006 email from Michael Mann:

>> I’ve attached the piece in word format. Hyperlinks are still there,
>> but not clickable in word format. I’ve already given it a good
>> go-over w/ Gavin, Stefan, and William Connelley (our internal “peer
>> review” process at RC), so I think its in pretty good shape. Let me
>> know if any comments…
>>

and here are some of his associates:

From: Phil Jones
To: William M Connolley ,Caspar Ammann
Subject: Figure 7.1c from the 1990 IPCC Report
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2007 13:38:40 +0000
Cc: Tom Crowley ,”Michael E. Mann” , “raymond s. bradley” , Stefan Rahmstorf , Eric Steig ,gschmidt@giss.nasa.gov, rasmus.benestad@physics.org,garidel@marine.rutgers.edu, David Archer , “Raymond P.” ,k.briffa@uea.ac.uk, t.osborn@uea.ac.uk, “Mitchell, John FB (Chief Scientist)” , “Jenkins, Geoff” , “Warrilow, David (GA)” , Tom Wigley ,mafb5@sussex.ac.uk, “Folland, Chris”

Get that? The guy who has been writing Wikipedia’s entry on Climategate (plus 5,000 others relating to “Climate Change”) is the bosom buddy of the Climategate scientists.

Nope, this isn’t a problem that is going to go away. Wikipedia may well be beyond redemption – as this useful resource site for Wiki-inaccuracies would seem to suggest. Like so many hippyish notions, Jimmy Wales’s idea of a free encyclopedia for everyone was a noble intention which has been cruelly and horribly abused by some very ugly people.

Do you want to know just how ugly? I’ve been saving the worst till last. Here it is: William Connelley’s Wikipedia photograph.

Connelly

UPDATE: (thanks, wondrous Thomas 33 for your delving). Et Tu, Jimmy Wales? It seems that the dread Connolley once earned the approbation of the Wiki-King himself, as he boasts here on an old blog:

 

2005-12-19

 

Connolley has done such amazing work…

Back to wikipedia… Nature has an article on wikipedia vs Britannica. It was an interesting exercise, and as the most notable climatologist on wiki :-) they interviewed me, which lead to the sidebar article “Challenges of being a Wikipedian” (see the Nature article; click on the “challenges” link near the bottom). It contains the rather nice quote from Jimbo Wales “Connolley has done such amazing work and has had to deal with a fair amount of nonsense” (does Lumo still read this?).

He can also be found gloating evilly over his powers:

2006-01-16

Wikinews

A few snippets from wikipedia… I’m now an admin, and hence have ultimate power to CRUSH ALL MY ENEMIES HA HA HA HA!!! <evil laugh trails off into the distance>. Sadly no: the rules prohibit me from abusing my powers and there are always other people watching anyway. And not that I have too many enemies, Of Course. Some of the comments are interesting though: try the RFA, scroll down for the Opposes. 

And I’ve just made my 10,000th edit. That slacker Lubos only has 2.3k, & Charles matthews has a feeble 54k.

Related posts:

  1. Wikipedia Bias – Jimmy Wales does the right thing
  2. Climategate 2.0
  3. Uh oh, global warming loons: here comes Climategate II!
  4. Climategate 2.0: junk science 101 with Michael Mann

5 Responses to “Climategate: the corruption of Wikipedia”

  1. Cassandra Troy says:December 26, 2009 at 10:44 amHi James. Thanks for all the great posts!

    “Climatic Research Unit e-mail controversy”, is its preferred, mealy-mouthed euphemism to describe the greatest scientific scandal of the modern age.”

    Haven’t you heard? It’s “SwiftHack” now (as in “swiftboating”): http://www.bluecommonwealth.com/diary/1704/your-climategate-swifthack-holiday-primer – LOL

  2. Gregory Kohs says:December 28, 2009 at 2:35 amIn this season of fundraising for the Wikimedia Foundation, it would be nice if people actually looked into WHY the Foundation that runs Wikipedia gets only 2 stars (out of four) for “organizational efficiency”. Donors should just throw 60 cents down the drain for every dollar they give this idiotic organization.

    http://www.tinyurl.com/WMF-myths

  3. PhilBest says:December 28, 2009 at 3:49 amJames, I’m trying to get your attention with THIS: (I posted it 5 days ago on another thread, the one about being a proud parent. And James is that; that’s all the more reason to have all the angles of this scandal covered by him)

    One thing James Delingpole actually does not seem to have caught up on yet, is the Google hits manipulation scandal. He says 31 million hits. But it was nearly that high 3 weeks ago, only to mysteriously drop to below 20 million, while Yahoo has gone up to over 50 million. “Bing” apparently went to 50 million 2 weeks ago, only to even more mysteriously drop back to below 10 million.

    I won’t post links in case this blog doesn’t like them. Check out the online articles “Googlegate” by Harold Ambler and “Google Carrying Out More Purges Than Stalin” by Kathy Shaidle.

  4. Bob Innes says:January 5, 2010 at 12:10 amJames: A change is as good as a rest so if that novel got you down, have a gander at a different but similar situation in which interested parties have kidnapped a wiki subject –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_(finance)

    If you scroll down to a section called euphemistically, Views of Short Selling, you will see the whitewash job someone has done on the subject. Narry a mention of any immoral or criminal aspect. For that, one has to go to the talk page and also start looking at the history page about early summer 2009. Naturally the industry wants nobody to understand how this practice creates virtual duplicates and /or counterfeits.

    If you want to delve further into the whole mess, there are several sites to visit. The most active would be
    http://www.deepcapture.com/
    Jim Wales gets his share of ink.
    Another i like is
    http://www.rgm.com/
    Lots of sites object to the illegal naked shorting. I seem to be alone in being opposed to legal shorting, per my site.

    If you’re suitably horrified (maybe you own some shares) you can go to a petition (one of several) aimed at outlawing this situation.
    http://www.petitiononline.com/shortNOT/petition.html

    Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to follow up. I’m not sure what to do about Wikipedia. There seems to be copy cat sites springing up, even one called Conservapedia! so maybe the whole thing will collapse into a useless bog. Trying to keep up with these jokers seems to be hopeless. The folks making the money got time to burn.

    Keep up the good work.

    Bob

  5. Bob Innes says:January 5, 2010 at 12:23 amAddress correction. Please forgive & delete.
    Bob
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