Rafe’s Roundup, 18 Jan climate collection

In case you were wondering about the weather. You don’t live in Sydney? Tough! Is that my fault?

EU Carbon Price hits a new low.

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters Point Carbon) – EU carbon prices hit a fresh record low on Thursday as poor economic data from Germany and relatively healthy supply of coal continued to force European power and coal prices lower.

In related news, California says they aren’t going to get involved in Australia’s carbon Market via any price linkages.

Green energy stocks in Australia.

On the bright side, bush ticks hate the heat.

The infernos that Greens create by preventing proper bush maintenance.

We are warned.

Dr Christine Finlay, who completed a PhD in bushfire research at the University of NSW in 2005, said the recent spate of bushfires in NSW could have been prevented if authorities had adopted a tougher burn-off policy.

“They should have been cool-burning in winter, when it was safe to do so, to reduce fuel loads,” she told AAP on Monday.

Dr Finlay also questioned whether prescribed burns had actually reduced fuel loads and whether NSW authorities had miscalculated their response to the recent firestorm.

“It’s just this massive domino effect of miscalculations, set up in a miscalculated way so that the catastrophe happens,” Dr Finlay said.

The researcher was also critical about the spread of national parks.

Another warning, see the chapter on Forests in the Critique of Green policies.

Clear a fire break in WA and go to gaol.

Leading alarmist Hansen concedes that the thermometer has stuck for some years.

And the British Mets find much the same but they keep it cool.

In case you have not noticed how the IPCC does business (for new Cats). Laframboise on the bias and malpractice in the political world of climate “science”.

Great Product Names, off topic but too good to languish deep in an open thread that will be left behind this evening. Thanks sdfc!

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309 Responses to Rafe’s Roundup, 18 Jan climate collection

  1. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B. says:

    I’ve just come back to this thread after having enjoyed a bottle or so of champagne with my wife

    So – he’s human after all. A wife, no less. A woman of great fortitude to be sure. She deserves a drink.

    We’ve broken out the champagne in hilarity so often over your nonsense Hammy, so no-one here begrudges you a sip or two, even if your reason is like your comments, totally spurious and ridiculous. It’s good to see a fellow human being (that is right, isn’t it?) living a little.

    But Hammy, isn’t there something wrong with drinking champagne? From what you tell us, Nanny Roxon will be after you with her standard glass measure with all sorts of threats. You know you should protect your liver and what little there is of your brain and desist. Plus it’s from France. Think of the alcohol miles in that. And the noise pollution of the popping corks? Plus they are dangerous missiles – guns have nothing on being in the way of one of those suckers expertly directed. And all those CO2 bubbles?

    Hey, how can you, Hammy, you evil man? You should reform.

    All our champagne talk is having a bad effect on your robotics.

  2. jumpnmcar says:

    Coal plants are the most polluting of all power stations and the World Resources Institute (WRI) identified 1,200 coal plants in planning across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India. The capacity of the new plants add up to 1,400GW to global greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of adding another China – the world’s biggest emitter. India is planning 455 new plants compared to 363 in China,

  3. Bruce says:

    Then there are the 23 coal plants that Germany is building. And here I thought Germany was the pin up menschen of the Greens.

  4. JC says:


    Germany was questioned about those proposed coal plants. Their argument is that because these plants would be covered by the Cap&trade program they see no problem.

    So set up a cap&trade, set the cost of the credits really low by flooding the market with ample credits and then some while pretending I’m holier than thou and sermonize to others.

    That’s euroweenieland.

  5. I keep saying the Greens should be in the dock in The Hague. Not the ballot paper.

    But you all knew that.

  6. manalive says:

    m0nty’s comment “… We have to take the lead and through our scientific developments help them moderate their emission spikes …” is not only arrogant but also ridiculously deluded.

  7. Myrddin Seren says:

    We may wind up tapping on the door of the Chinese asking them if they would kindly share next generation nuclear power generation with us:

    The Chinese are running away with thorium energy, sharpening a global race for the prize of clean, cheap, and safe nuclear power.

    Jiang Mianheng, son of former leader Jiang Zemin, is spearheading a project for China’s National Academy of Sciences with a start-up budget of $350m.

    He has already recruited 140 PhD scientists, working full-time on thorium power at the Shanghai Institute of Nuclear and Applied Physics. He will have 750 staff by 2015.

    The PRC can of course throw a lot of budget at white elephants. But they seem to have a very grounded view about ensuring they have the energy resources to support their growth trajectory – and therefore I would not dismiss their ambitions in the thorium arena without good reason.

  8. Bruce says:

    The Chinese can feed thorium reactors with thorium byproduct from their REE and mineral sands industries. No imports required. Its the only energy option for them where this is the case.

  9. Poor Old Rafe says:

    Thanks Monty, keep up the good work!

  10. cohenite says:

    China may have nuclear power, nuclear weapons, a space program and a highspeed rail network

    All 1960s technologies.

    monty is hanging out for ZPE to come on tap.

  11. jumpnmcar says:

    Does Australia have Thorium?
    Yes we do.

  12. Bruce says:

    Jumpnmcar – The sand miners throw it away. Less than worthless because of the radioactivity problem, so they let it go back into their pit with the spoil.

    Lots too in the REE area, which we have plenty of.

  13. jumpnmcar says:

    Radioactive problems compared to uranium ?
    I am asking from a position of zero knowledge of radioactivity in either raw material.

  14. Bruce says:

    Neither Th nor U are much of a problem really. You need to sit on a drum full of yellowcake for a week for you to get close to your annual limit of 5 mSv/a – which is tiny in the scheme of things. 5 mSv/a is about what a 747 pilot gets each year and every year.

    The rad limits are ultra cautious as you might expect, and all assume the linear no threshold model.

    Don’t eat it and don’t breath the dust, Th is mainly an alpha emitter.

    The monazite concentrate from a sand mining operation can run up to 7% Th by weight, and they don’t wear anything other than the usual overalls & fluoros.

    A Th reactor is a different fish however as you are fissioning it into daughter isotopes, which are hot. I haven’t read up on Th reactors so I don’t know the rad issues with them.

  15. Bruce says:

    Gas mantles after ashing are about 99% ThO2 1% Y2O3. They are still available I think.

  16. Myrddin Seren says:


    With energy costs escalating, more Germans are turning to wood burning stoves for heat. That, though, has also led to a rise in tree theft in the country’s forests.

    There are actually two good linkies embedded in the thread.

    Green dreams

    Merkel wants to add 25,000 megawatts of sea-based turbines by 2030, about the same capacity as 25 nuclear plants.

    Tricky bit – utilisation of a nuclear plant probably runs to about ~ 90% ?

    Wind – output is dependent on — the wind !

    As ever, effective output is NOT the same as nameplate capacity.

    And then of course in the regime of ever-spiralling energy costs, people are reverting to whatever works, as above.

  17. jumpnmcar says:

    Hey thanks Bruce.

  18. Bruce says:

    And also, by the way, don’t try this at home.

  19. Louis Hissink says:

    Bruce, much fun to be had with a scintillometer and gas lamps – the mantles are mucho active 🙂 as you noted above. Tends to unnerve some people.

  20. cohenite says:

    Thorium is a goer and there have been several operating plants.

    For the amount of money this witless government is putting into the renewables, which don’t work, Australia could have a viable Thorium powered grid.

  21. Bruce says:

    much fun to be had with a scintillometer

    Could probably have even more fun with smoke detectors. Americium 241. Actual transuranic nuclear physics in all our homes. Cool!

  22. Poor Old Rafe says:

    Following the 7.15 link on German skepticism this is another account of a German skeptic taking on the local warmies.

    At the 18:30 mark, Schier brings up Mojib Latif, one of Vahrenholt’s harshest critics. Vahrenholt said he’s somewhat disappointed how a renowned scientist like Latif can make an X look like a U before the German public. Vahrenholt then explained the workings of the stratosphere and that these were things Latif should know. Vahrenholt summed up: “Latif warned 10 years ago that school children in Germany would not know what a snowman was” and then reversed course 5 years later by claiming “that it would get colder”. On that point Vahrenholt agreed.

    Vahrenholt later in the interview claimed that the IPCC has created a climate of fear in Germany – so much so that the country, which gets about as much sunshine as Alaska, went through all the trouble of installing half of the world’s solar power capacity at an enormous cost. Indeed Today Germany is in such a state of irrational panic that it seems ready to commit economic suicide in order to save itself from a computer-modelled climate catastrophe fantasy.

  23. Cold-Hands says:

    For the amount of money this witless government is putting into the renewables, which don’t work, Australia could have a viable Thorium powered grid.
    Or of course we could have close to the world’s cheapest electricity by optimising our usage of coal-fired generation of power.

  24. Louis Hissink says:


    Exciting as it might seem, thorium isn’t the panacea it might appear. The problem with energy is that to be useful it needs to be portable.

    All said and done, nuclear, coal, Hydro and solar electrical generating plants can only operate efficiently in a static environment such as urban areas. These energy sources cannot, however, supply energy to machines used to explore new areas, since by definition exploration, in its widest sense, is bereft of any energy infrastructure.

    So the use of hydrocarbon based machines to propel humans to undeveloped areas isn’t possible if the extraction of those fuels is prohibitive.

    Hydrocarbon fuel is intrinsically portable and allows us to power machines almost anywhere, provided we have sufficient volumes of fuel at the right places in order to replenish our supplies.

    If we had a static, industrialised and planned civilizational superstructure, then energy planning might work, but if history, whether recent, or geological is any guide, that is utopian.

    The real problem is the belief that hydrocarbons are recycled biosphere. That belief fuels the plate tectonic belief, but neither ideas are sustainable empirically. That’s the stumbling block to any advances in this area.

  25. Mk50 of Brisbane says:


    And also, by the way, don’t try this at home.


  26. Louis Hissink says:

    The alternative to having energy available to explore is not having it, and to then have to put up with physical boredom as a consequence. Much intellectual mischief might be created and one wonders why Karl Marx wrote what he did, at the time. Boredom?

  27. Mk50 of Brisbane says:


    True, true.

    That said, it’s the grid which underlies our civilisation. We could work-around an actual shortage of portable fuel. Not prettily, nor easily, but the civilisation would still work just fine.

    But without the grid out civilisation drops, shot through the heart.

    Naturally, the last 20 years has seen idiot politicians ignore this fact completely, and now the emergency capacity of the grid is declining sharply.

    Six new coal fired power stations need to be built yesterday.

    As for portable fuels, we are just at the start of the hydrocarbon era, and have barely scratched the surface of what’s out there.

  28. Tel says:

    Exciting as it might seem, thorium isn’t the panacea it might appear. The problem with energy is that to be useful it needs to be portable.

    I pay a lot of money for non-portable electricity, mostly coming from the NSW coal fired system. Although portable energy is generally more useful for transport, non-portable energy is a big part of what we use.

    With abundant, cheap electricity, you can make all the hydrocarbon fuels you need for special cases such as exploration (not the most efficient option, but always an option).

    Also, battery technology is coming along slowly but steadily, it has improved and will continue to do so. There’s enormous commercial incentive just from the mobile device market, to drive battery technology.

  29. Bill Qosters says:

    Alice is on the wagon

  30. Louis Hissink says:


    I’m into gadgets and battery power is one hell of an issue.

    The second bitch with technology is display screens; yesterday I collected my lunch from my Vietnamnese provider, and stopped to allow a young fellow to pass, absorbed reading his Kindle. In bright daylight. One of the biggest complaints we in the exploration industry have is not having portable computers that have readable screens in bright daylight but book readers are easily supplied with the technology. Sure it’s greyscale, but for FS it’s proven technology.

    Mercedes Benz went through a bad patch decades ago when the sales people gained control of manufacturing; vehicle ID was, say, 350SE 6.5; which meant what – a 3.5 litre engine but replaced with a 6.5 litre engine, so why not label it as a 650 SE. Sheesh. Company was close to bankruptcy until the engineers regained control. So myth has it.

    So why is it uneconomical to produce a computing gadget with a daylight readable screen that is useful?

  31. Tom says:

    Louis, what about junk keyboards, FFS? Everyone has a computer but we’re being forced to use stupid keyboards with tiny keys, poor key response and a virtual absence of fast editing software which makes typing errors COMPULSORY and editing a time-consuming drag. Don’t get me started. My pet subject and my pet hate.

  32. Tel says:

    I’m into gadgets and battery power is one hell of an issue.

    But how is it compared to 10 and 20 years ago? Much better now in my observation.

    One of the biggest complaints we in the exploration industry have is not having portable computers that have readable screens in bright daylight but book readers are easily supplied with the technology.

    Agree, the Kindle screen would make a good laptop screen for certain markets (people outdoors mostly). There is one laptop that does this already, which is the olpc and although they don’t specifically target the mining industry, they probably should think about it. Their screen is a hybrid with a kindle-style black and white hi-resolution layer and a regular LCD style low-resolution colour layer. I saw one about five years ago, so they are probably better now.


    Also, their case is rugged, they sell a lot into Africa and to some extent outback Australia too. Annoyingly, they seem to have their own direction and not interested in spinning off franchises for specialists like yourself. I’m told they are somewhat stubborn people to deal with, but you never know your luck.

    Personally I don’t like their software much (with the proviso that I haven’t seen it recently), but to be fair, I’m far away from their target market. Their hardware is not “locked” as far as I know, different software could fairly easily be loaded.

    For that matter, you know it is possible to reload third party applications onto the Kindle? Not officially approved of course, and if you want to go that way, probably buy a second Kindle to tinker with from some ebay second-hand seller.

  33. Tel says:

    Louis, what about junk keyboards, FFS?

    I use a 20 year old Compaq keyboard myself. Works fine.

  34. Louis Hissink says:


    Interesting point. Keyboards I understand, because I spent some serious money getting an1 IBM type one last year (DAS) which had the physical click click of the original ones. No such luck, but thought the DAS one isn’t all that bad, but because its plastic it’s also no Cadillac keyboard either. Oh for the original IBM keyboard!

    As for error correcting, that’s a useful function but I wish I knew how to control the grammatical error advisories, as well, as the spelling ones. In the old days that information would be found in the win.ini file.

  35. Louis Hissink says:

    Tel, Kindles are $100 so they are petty cash items, but appreciate your advice.

    As far as Africa is concerned there is no computer that if K-Proof. Sorry, but them’s the facts. Actually I might be able to find local examples as well. 🙁

    It’s basically coping with people who don’t think abstractly, them, and we, who do.

  36. Bruce says:

    Louis has a good point.

    One reason why I like and use a Kindle is the battery charge lasts weeks.

    A colour screen tab only lasts a day on a charge.

    We’ve seen some of the problems with high charge batteries this week with the 787 battery fires. So upping the energy density even more may not help things.

    But a methanol fuel cell same size as an iPad battery could keep it going for a week. And be refueled in 30 seconds. Carrying a few methanol cartridges in your pocket would extend the lifetime to a month.

    I’m not sure where portable methanol fuel cell development is at, but this is a tech which is eminently doable.


    Only in America, Mk50, only in America. Strange country.

  37. m0nty says:

    Thanks Monty, keep up the good work!

    We’ll reconvene here next week to debate the meaning of Perth recording 50 C, Rafe. The Catallaxy position will involve Elvis, the moon landings and crop circles.

  38. candy says:

    Queensland has had below average temperatures through 2012 and into 2013, according to the BOM.
    It’s very pleasant weather indeed up here these days.

  39. Jim Rose says:

    By chance, I caught Sir Paul Nurse’s Attack on Science on cable yesterday. Nurse is president of the royal society.

    In exploring why people were unwilling to accept the word of science, Nurse interviewed James Delingpole.

    After agreeing that science does not proceed on the basis of consensus, Nurse asked Delingpole why he rejected the scientific consensus on global warming but accepted the scientific consensus on the treatment of cancer?

    Delingpole said he did not accept the analogy, but was otherwise flat-footed. I suggest the following:
    1. Medicine proceeds on the basis of double blind trials and other small field experiments. Control and treatment groups are used. Medicine is not perfect as was the case with the misdiagnosis of the causes of stomach ulcers.

    2. The lag between cause and effect are short as would be the case if you rejected emergency treatment after a car accident or cancer treatment.

    3. Medicine tests the efficacy of invasive treatments, weighs side-effects and encourages adaptation and prevention. The best way to prevent my bad back is regular exercise and adapting to my new limits. Drugs are used sparingly.

    4. The staying power of self-interest in medicine is well-known: much higher rates of surgery when there is fee for service and much lower rates of surgery if the patient is a doctor’s wife. The efforts of the medical profession to suppress new entry to inflate their own incomes are well-known.

  40. Rafe says:

    As far as I can see the scientific consensus does not favour climate alarmism, what does Nurse think IS the consensus?

    As for cancer, again, what is the consensus? there are very different views about every aspect of cancer, especially the most appropriate forms of treatment for specific cancers.

    The points about the time-frame and repetition of results are important.

  41. Jim Rose says:

    We need to emphasize why the scientific process is such a reliable generator of knowledge with its respect for evidence, for skepticism, for consistency of approach, for the constant testing of ideas

    Sir Paul Nurse

    Well-said. Popper would be proud.

  42. Jim Rose says:

    rafe, I agree on the complexity of cancer and the value of second opinions. let’s no start on side-effects requiring people to change prescriptions repeately.

    I took that low-dose aspirin for some years then my doctor said medical opinion changed on its prevention of cardiovascular disease so she no long prescribes it.

    Also, as people get older, they weigh the costs of the more invasive treatments over quality of remaining life and the chance something else may befell them first.

  43. Tel says:

    Louis has a good point.

    One reason why I like and use a Kindle is the battery charge lasts weeks.

    A colour screen tab only lasts a day on a charge.

    If you did go down the path of loading alternative software onto a Kindle platform, you would very likely find the battery usage would also change, depending on the calculating requirements. Book reading is efficient because it presumes that people sit on each page for several minutes before flipping to the next page, so long periods of time involve no calculation at all.

    You might also notice that Kindle screens are slow to update and while updating they display some sort of static that finally resolves itself into a proper screen. Any sort of animation, or video, or similar rapid update is impossible on this style of display.

    Probably for a lot of applications, that sort of thing doesn’t matter, but it isn’t entirely a free lunch, there are trade offs involved.

  44. Jim Rose says:

    Rafe, I should add that my dad was a doctor. One reason he became a GP was he was good at diagnosis. Some are better than others at solving riddles.

    The uncertainty of diagnosis was confirmed to me when I was at university.

    When recovering from the second round of surgery, I was sent along the medical student final exam as a test patient.

    after many months of treatment, I knew what I had, but they did not.

    The variety in the diagnosis they described to the examiner – who was my specialist – surprised me

    My brother’s post retirement job is as an actor in a medical school. He has a few medical problems of his own. In both cases, there is much variance in the speed and accuracy of diagnosis of the medical students.

  45. Jim Rose says:

    rafe, from http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/health-care-uncertainty-and-morality/

    Ken Arrow in 1963 concluded that virtually all the special features of the medical care industry could

    “be explained as social adaptations to the existence of uncertainty in the incidence of disease and in the efficacy of treatment.”

    Arrow went on to say that:
    1. physicians may not agree on the medical condition causing the symptoms the patient presents.
    2. even if physicians agree in their diagnoses, they often do not agree on the efficacy of alternative responses — for example, surgery or medical management for lower-back pain.
    3. Third, information on diagnosis and likely consequences of treatment are asymmetrically allocated between providers and patients. The reason patients seek advice and treatment in the first place is that they expect physicians to have vastly superior knowledge about the proper diagnosis and efficacy of treatment.

    That makes the market for medical care deviate significantly from the benchmark where buyers and sellers would be equally well informed.

    Uncertainty and asymmetry of information about the quality of goods or services is ubiquitous in economies that trade highly complex goods and services.

    Nurse – great biologist – can be forgiven for not knowing the economics of health care.

  46. Rabz says:

    I should add that my dad was a doctor. One reason he became a GP was he was good at diagnosis.

    May dad became a GP after a fifteen year career in surgery, commencing as an Army Field Surgeon in New Guinea in WWII.

    I’d be fairly certain extensive experience in surgery would help sharpen one’s diagnostic skills.

  47. Louis Hissink says:


    This link will give up to date data on abiotic oil theory and all sorts of information about hydrocarbons. It’s open file and anything might be republished providing the proper citations are given.

    It is the death knell for Biotic oil and peak oil.

    It was published last week and should also demolish the CAGW belief too. An interesting chapter is number 2 on mud volcanoes and methane. Crikey moses I had no idea these things were so common – dwarves anything humanity can come up with.

  48. Rafe says:

    “Nurse – great biologist – can be forgiven for not knowing the economics of health care.”

    I wonder how much he knows about climate science and the politics of the IPCC?

    I thought that the scientific consensus was about 1 degree of warming over the next 80 or 100 years, maybe, unless we are going into a cooling cycle.

  49. John Mc says:

    I’d be fairly certain extensive experience in surgery would help sharpen one’s diagnostic skills.

    It’s an interesting perspective that probably holds deeper than most people think. I had a significant shoulder injury from a skiing fall and after I had all the imaging and initial assessment I was referred to the specialist. When I offered him all the assessments I had done, he declined and only took the imagery. He said he usually didn’t worry about the assessments done by other people (including the GP) because they were often wrong or of little value. He’d had 30 years of looking at the imagery and then going in himself in surgery and seeing what that really looked like and really meant. He said you couldn’t get an accurate perspective of what things really meant unless you had seen the real thing yourself.

  50. Jim Rose says:

    unless we are going into a cooling cycle

    why the lack of drum-beat about a next ice age? can’t blame humanity for it, I suppose.

  51. Jim Rose says:

    rafe, The disarmingly amiable Sir Paul Nurse is an expert in genetics, not climatology.

    For some reason, his meeting with Professor Fred Singer was in a coffee shop to discuss his view how temperature fluctuations correlated better with solar activity than with levels of CO2.

    those Nurse agreed were met at their NASA office and were allowed to use many TV screens on a big wall showing actual and predicted global cloud cover as props.

    The worst part was when he said FOI requests are “a tool to intimidate some scientists”. They should have put the data on their web site to save on the compliance costs of democratic accountability. I thought releasing data was central to replication?

    Calls for no more politicized science are an argument against democracy. Both the Left and Right do it – everything from GMOs and nuclear energy to evolution.

    His 2012 Dimbleby lecture is at http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/people/fellows/2012-02-29-Dimbleby.pdf where he calls for a re-opening the debate about GM crops based on scientific facts and analysis:

    We need to consider what the science has to say about risks and benefits, uncoloured by commercial interests and ideological opinion.

    It is not acceptable if we deny the world’s poorest access to ways that could help their food security, if that denial is based on fashion and ill-informed opinion rather than good science.

    Sound fellow in his own area.

  52. Tel says:

    Calls for no more politicized science are an argument against democracy. Both the Left and Right do it – everything from GMOs and nuclear energy to evolution.

    Probably a very valid argument for one place in which democracy should be limited.

    Science and religion are both belief systems, so politics and democracy should be the result of belief, not the other way around. When politics becomes the cause of belief you are heading toward collective insanity.

  53. m0nty says:

    LOL, Louis is still pushing the abiotic oil crank theory. Kutcherov is still a clown and his papers mean nothing without proven discoveries of reserves. Shale oil has solved the problem for the time being.

  54. Jim Rose says:

    Probably a very valid argument for one place in which democracy should be limited.

    There is Christopher Robert and Richard Zeckhauser‘s taxonomy of disagreement:

    Positive disagreements can be over questions of:
    1. Scope: what elements of the world one is trying to understand
    2. Model: what mechanisms explain the behaviour of the world
    3. Estimate: what estimates of the model’s parameters are thought to obtain in particular contexts

    Values disagreements can be over questions of:
    1. Standing: who counts
    2. Criteria: what counts
    3. Weights: how much different individuals and criteria count

    Any positive analysis will tend to include elements of scope, model, and estimation, though often these elements intertwine; they frequently feature in an implicit or undifferentiated manner.

    Likewise, normative analysis will also include elements of standing, criteria, and weights, whether or not these distinctions are recognized.

    science fits in in a small way in this taxonomy and the weight given to its advice is a political question

  55. Rafe says:

    “When politics becomes the cause of belief you are heading toward collective insanity.”

    Yes, as demonstrated by the IPCC-driven scam of climate alarmism.

    Laframbose pointed out that all the IPCC leadership is politically appointed, then they recruit the scientists and ecological activists.

  56. Jim Rose says:

    Rafe, any international experts panel is political in nature. Nurse should know that.

  57. Rafe says:

    Jim wrote, a day or two ago “I should add that my dad was a doctor. One reason he became a GP was he was good at diagnosis. Some are better than others at solving riddles.”

    When I was in health services research I saw a very interesting paper which reported a negative relationship between good diagnosis and the number of questions or “readings” that the doctor used.

    My Popperian interpretation was that the good ones very quickly identify the ball park and then ask questions or get information that rapidly eliminate whole clusters of candidates. Less confident diagnosticians will ask questions that only duplicate information already in hand and so don’t eliminate any contenders.

  58. Jim Rose says:

    rafe, do not be too quick off the mark on looking again.

    someone I know was initially diagnosed as a heart attack. Then the doctors decided it was not. There were many tests and reviews of the heart imagery.

    After looking at the heart images one last time before his discharge after 10 days in hospital, the doctors worked out it was a thickening of the heart wall.

    That programme House has some basis in doctors being detectives.

  59. The southern hemisphere’s temperature data show the weather is definitely cooling except after the start of forest firestorms. After these fires get going, the mercury climbs into the 40s at Sydney’s Observatory Hill near the Opera House. Ever-worsening firestorms started in the 1920s in Australia. AND, it was only then that Observatory Hill got temperatures in the 40s and only on the days after the fires started kicking out mammoth-hot walls of fire -1600 deg C. Firestorms put out the energy of around one Hiroshima bomb about every two square kilometres. Humans & native fauna and flora do not stand a chance when fires burn this hot. 1100 deg C kills trees. These fires are so hot that without protective clothing, you will die in a few minutes if you are 120m away. Records at Observatory Hill began began in 1859 and it is only after the policy changes resulting in high fuel loads in 1919 that the trend for firestorms began. It is a Green self-fulfilling prophecy. The GW lobby has a lot to lose so is fighting to the very last man, woman and child, pity about the rest of us and all the numbats, bilbies and pygmy possums getting in the way. The Green/Labor GW lobby has attracted considerable investment in carbon trading and large amounts of money hang in the balance if the truth gets out until GW loses credibility enough for these investments to go under. Also hanging in the balance is a lot of jobs for Greens and Labor political apparatchiks. Strangely, firestorms’ incineration of the bush puts somewhere approaching the nation’s carbon footprint into the air in one hit. The high levels of carbon (as opposed to CO2) cause wild weather, which is just what happens after firestorms and the Greens start pointing to this weather as proof of GW. Then the vast tracts of incinerated bush become rainshadows, and bring drought and hotter days because blackened ground absorbs heat. It gives the appearance of GW, and that old tradition of well evidenced communication falls by the wayside. GW apparatchiks need firestorms, it may be their last hope to convince the public, by making it appear true.

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