Datagate at the Hadley Centre

Evasion and obfuscation over climate data at the Hadley Centre.

Finally the Hadley Met Centre team have replied to Graham Lloyd regarding John McLean’s audit. Without specifically admitting he has found serious errors, they acknowledge his previous notifications were useful in 2016, and promise “errors will be fixed in the next update.” That’s nice to know, but begs the question of why a PhD student working from home can find mistakes that the £226 million institute with 2,100 employees could not. Significantly, they do not disagree with any of his claims.

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe | 56 Comments

Tony Thomas is on fire!

Call 000, call the fire brigade, no call Connor Court and order a copy or two of his latest book on growing up a generation or two ago in the Deep West. Order the other one as well!

He is on fire in The Spectator lately as well, in the current edition it is Marxist education in the schools. He encountered Marxism early when he was in the Young Pioneers and travelled to Sydney for a significant youth festival. The tireless cadres were at work and now we are where we are. Surprised?

Actually there was resistance, check out the archive of Quadrant. And the stirring (partial) success of Santamaria and colleagues versus the communists in the trade unions.

Posted in Australian Story, Rafe | 3 Comments

Q&A Forum: October 15, 2018

Posted in Open Forum | 164 Comments

Monday Forum: October 15, 2018

Posted in Open Forum | 1,817 Comments

Jordan Peterson and Brett Kavanaugh

One of the major major flaws on the right is the reluctance to the point of refusal to back its side in a fight. Donald Trump is almost unique in his willingness to contest on every patch of disputed territory. On the left, no position is ever abandoned. McCarthyism, an entirely leftist meme when it began, is now used by everyone as a synonym for smearing the blameless as part of a partisan attack more than seventy years since the left began the savaging of his character. The reality is that McCarthy was 100% right about the existence of communist agents in the State Department, and yet, even now, only a handful will say a good word about one of the bravest statesmen who has ever lived.

Jordan Peterson is on our side. He hates the left and he hates their dishonesty and the ruin their march through the institutions has brought. He understands that wherever the left are in control they cause massive harm and destruction. And till now he has not put a foot wrong in fighting our fights and defending, and even extending, our positions. And even before now I have listened to no end of people without one one-hundredth of the influence for good he has had look down on him and his efforts to preserve our Western way of life.

What has now made many dismiss Peterson was his off-the-top-of-his-head comment – now retracted – that perhaps Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed but then resign and allow someone less divisive be appointed in his place. He didn’t come out in favour of the Democrat position. He didn’t argue that Christine Blasey Ford had made her case. He didn’t suggest that Trump should find some compromise candidate who would be more amenable to his enemies. He just thought that once the confirmation was completed, then perhaps Kavanaugh might resign as a means of bringing the two sides closer together.

When I heard he had said this, I did roll my eyes. But it reminded me, as if I needed to be reminded, how difficult it is to understand politics. I did notice that no one on the Democrat side picked up this suggestion since it really has no potential. There is no possibility for compromise. And it is an oddity that even after all he has been through, that Peterson still thinks there is an ounce of good will on the left side of politics, that there are people who would understand such a compromise and work with the Republicans to find a candidate that would satisfy the aims of both sides at one and the same time.

But you know what? I don’t look to Peterson for his political judgement. His is better than almost anyone I know, but it’s not perfect (and neither is mine nor yours). But what I do know is that ninety percent of everything he says and does is working to roll back the left, from our institutions and from the mind-set of the young. This is hard work which I not only admire him for, but wish that he may long continue his work in these fields.

But to his critics on “the right” I feel only an anger at their wanton stupidity in not backing him to the hilt, and for trying to pull him down and in this way helping to advance the agendas of the left. Look at this:

Typical on the right, and how does this help our side in anything? What a smug jerk this chap is! Infuriating and far far more politically ignorant than anything Jordan Peterson has ever said or done.

Posted in Conservative politics, Politics | 61 Comments

Fake news in The Australian?

We expect fake news in the Sydney Morning Herald and we are not surprised by the headline last Monday Eliminate coal or lose the reef, says IPCC. Underneath we read that the report “distils more than 6,000 scientific references”. Elsewhere we read that the report is the work of thousands of scientists.

We expect better from The Australian but Primrose Riordan reported

The IPCC report was written by over 90 scientists and said global emissions of greenhouse gas pollution must reach zero by about 2050 in order to stop global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

She is a political reporter but that is no excuse for being so badly informed about the organisation that is doing so much damage. Can anyone contact her and any other journalists who they can find to warn them to read the Laframboise story.

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe | 23 Comments

Gone dark from end to end

It’s by David Solway and about my erstwhile home and native land: The Canadian Mind. We’re not there yet but enough of it applies to Australia to make you worry, and there is plenty of our own political meanderings to make you worry without such comparisons. A sample, but the whole of it is worth reading through.

Any nation the preponderance of whose citizens regularly elects left-wing political parties; accepts single-payer healthcare; believes in the efficacy of the welfare state; endorses the hoax of global warming; accommodates swarms of third-world immigrants and refugees who have no love for or understanding of a country becoming an open-to-all multicultural tombola with the highest proportionate rate of immigrants in the Western world; has allowed its educational industry, from pre-school to graduate school, to be corrupted possibly beyond retrieval by lockstep Leftism, “diversity and inclusion,” and “social justice” claptrap; has caved to the feminist and campus-rape fable; dutifully takes CBC Leftist propaganda as gospel; has fallen for the 16th Century meme of the “Noble Savage” in its dealings with the aboriginal peoples; extravagantly celebrates a second-rate rock band like The Tragically Hip and names a street after it; reads (when it does read) tedious scribblers like the acclaimed Joseph Boyden and Ann-Marie MacDonald; and gives a complete ignoramus like Justin Trudeau a majority government on the strength of name and coiffure, cannot be regarded as informed, well-educated or in any way distinguished. Unlike the U.S., there are no cracks, to quote Leonard Cohen, where the light gets in. The Canadian political, cultural and academic spectrum has gone dark from end to end.

Safe for now breeds cheap sentimentality and a lack of cautious good sense, but the way we are going, we wont’t be safe for long.

Posted in Cultural Issues | 10 Comments

Lomborg: spend on TB not unreliable energy

Bjorn Lomborg has a really important piece in the Weekend Australian so retrieve it from the bin and have a look. Then circulate to your green friends and relations.

I don’t have time to do justice to the amount of content, simply to say that he produces the numbers to prove that the Paris farce is absurd even on its own terms, while a fraction of the money could generate massive cost benefits (in addition to reducing suffering) by addressing TB. Didn’t realise TB is an issue? Find out more!

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe | 32 Comments

Believe some women

From my home city, once again in the news. An example of another male oppressor. And as it says at the link: “If you didn’t notice this video was satirical, that’s a commentary on you.” Even has an Australian angle towards the end. And below, a bit more from the Old Dominion, the incomparable Janice Fiamengo.

Comes with this in the comments which is an issue all on its own:

YouTube is demonetizing videos that are critical of the Left. This makes it nearly impossible for critics of feminism to survive off of their work. A viral video like this one would normally gather $2,000 per day in ad revenue, but because it criticizes a feminist position this revenue is denied. This is part of the bias that we are fighting.

Posted in Politics of the Left | 21 Comments

Boettke on Hayek’s legacy part 2

The third tension that Boettke identified in the final chapter on The Hayekian Legacy is between moral intuitions and moral demands. This is one of the topics that Boettke would like to see pursued to realise the potential of the program that emerges from Hayek’s unfinished business – the loose ends of the tapestry of his thoughts.

That is not a small program and he touches on some aspects of it – the pioneering work of Deirdre McCloskey on the role of ideas in the cultural domain (sadly overlooking the great work of Michael Novak), essentially unpacking the implications of a full-blooded “institutional turn summed up the importance of “rules of the game”.

While admittedly not the most philosophically sophisticated, perhaps the most analytically productive definition of institutions is simply the formal and informal rules of the game and their enforcement in a given society” [291]

I don’t know how much philosophical sophistication is required here but the analytical productivity is seismic. In a nutshell the “rules of the game” approach unifies Karl Popper’s philosophy of science and society, and links it with the work of his (almost) lifelong friend and correspondent Hayek.

I promised Pete that I would limit myself to one small plaintive whinge at the very end of my review and here it is.

He has flagged a newish book Exact Thinking in Demented Times. The Vienna Circle and the Epic Quest for the Foundations of Science. I am keen to find out what is being said about this movement that launched the dominant philosophy of science for almost a hundred years. It was based on two key ideas.

1. The verification principle that only statements that can be empirically verifiable are meaningful. The rest is literally nonsense (with a special dispensation for logic and mathematics). That never worked and one has an image of the circle huddled for years around the dying embers of the verification principle.

2. The quest for a logic of induction that would provide a foundation for science based on sensations from our sense organs. The quest continues, having added no value for working scientists.

Chairman Karl, the Great Helmsman of Critical Rationalism effectively strangled the ideas of the positivists at birth but he did not prevent them from lodging like cancer cells in the great universities of the west when Hitler drove the Circle members out of Europe (think of logical empiricism as Hitler’s revenge). Young Chairman Karl got on a different boat and went to Christchurch NZ where he spent his spare time writing a big book of political philosophy. Under the bad influence of his friend Colin Simkin he took little interest in cricket and less in football but he could have developed his situational analysis model by talking with an off-spin bowler.

The pursuit of logical positivism/empiricism cost a lot of money but the real cost was its impact on other fields wherever people tried to take it seriously. Part of the cost was the missed opportunity to advance the kind of program that Pete Boettke wants to see through collaboration between Popper, Mises and the American Talcott Parsons a generation or two ago. But that is another story.

Let me end this review with the suggestion that there is a Popper-shaped hole in the liberal scrum. If he is selected I think the Great Helmsman will not be found wanting in attack and defence. More game time for Chairman Karl!

Posted in Classical Economics, Philosophy, Rafe | 3 Comments