Thursday, 29 April 2010

On Tolerance

“Tolerance” is a feel-good buzzword in our society, but I fear people have forgotten what it means. Many folks are proud of their “tolerance” for gays, working women, Tibetan monks in cute orange outfits, or blacks sitting at the front of the bus. But what they really mean is that they consider such things to be completely appropriate parts of their society, and are not bothered by them in the slightest. That, however, isn’t “tolerance.”

“Tolerance” is where you tolerate things that actually bother you.

Continue reading - Alex Tabarrok @

Monday, 5 April 2010

Twitter Predicts the Future.

The Technium - Twitter Predicts the Future

If the future can be predicted then perhaps it can be changed.

Is there a purpose to twitter after all?

Saturday, 6 March 2010

How safe is the Consensus on Climate Change.

The IPCC was created in 1988 to establish a consensus within climate science wrt climate change.

The Science of Climate Change. Science 18 May 2001

The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science. We recognize the IPCC as the world's most reliable source of information on climate change and its causes, and we endorse its method of achieving this consensus. Despite increasing consensus on the science underpinning predictions of global climate change, doubts have been expressed recently about the need to mitigate the risks posed by global climate change. We do not consider such doubts justified.

The balance of the scientific evidence demands effective steps now to avert damaging changes to Earth's climate.

In effect, whilst dissenting voices were recognised apparently they were not allowed to influence the consensus.

Unfortunately, the Climategate scandal has raised some questions with respect to the methods by which that consensus was reached and is being defended. Whilst suspicion isn’t proof of guilt this inevitably casts some doubt over the consensus itself.

A number of investigations into Climategate are planned or ongoing.

In addition the UN is reported to be planning its own investigation into the working of the IPCC.
UN to commission independent scientific inquiry into IPCC. Guardian 26 February 2010

UN climate body to appoint scientists to review climate change panel as UK climate change secretary writes to Rajendra Pachauri to express concern over 'damaging mistakes'

The experts will look at the way the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) operates and will recommend where they think changes are needed.

There appears to be sufficient doubt to warrant the investigations as cited above. We need to wait until those investigations have reached a conclusion. Only then will the reliability of the IPCC processes and findings be fully understood.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Climategate - CRU e-mails

The media representation of climategate didn't turn out to be totally accurate.

House of commons science and technology sub-committee - 1st March 2010 - The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

Some procedural issues to address but nothing earth shattering.

Follow on investigations by:

See summary at

New evidence for man-made global warming

Man is responsible for global warming, according to a new report that hits back at the growing scepticism around climate change.

"If the study confirms what the UN has been telling us - that global warming is real and man made and really happening - that would be great. But the scepticism is much more on the actual impacts and what we are doing," he said. "Just like other serious problems we should not magnify global warming for affect."
Where's the truth in all the confusing and seemingly conflicting information about climate change?