Sunday, 29 June 2014

A good example of showing up Climate Change Denialists

This is from Climate Science Watch from Around the Traps.

McKitrick tries and fails to move the goalposts on climate action

In a new Financial Post op-ed (“The Global Warming Hiatus?”), Ross McKitrick continues to try to move the goalposts on climate action with a misleading argument about global climate models, while harping on the tired old “warming pause” meme. In fact, global climate models work well for the purpose they were designed for: evaluating temperatures over long timescales. We already have all the information we need to know that action now is the cheapest and most effective way to avert dangerous climate change.
[Revised June 20]
The following is a guest post by Climate Nexus (text in PDF here):

McKitrick tries and fails to move the goalposts

on climate action

In a June 16 Financial Post op-ed (“The Global Warming Hiatus?”), Ross McKitrick continues to try to move the goalposts for climate action, while harping on the tired old “warming pause” meme. It’s been thoroughly established that short-term variation is not significant in the context of more than a century of warming. It’s also been clearly shown that it makes no sense to view warming solely in terms of surface temperatures, when heat is being stored in the ocean. McKitrick attempts to promote the “pause” while dodging these troublesome facts by asserting that validating climate model predictions is what’s really important. In line with the new mantra of the delayers, he suggests we should just wait and see what happens.
In fact, global climate models work well for the purpose they were designed for: evaluating temperatures over long timescales. We already have all the information we need to know that action now is the cheapest and most effective way to avert dangerous climate change.
Climate models are designed to work over the long term. And over the long term, scientists stand by the models’ projections. Short-term variations can be introduced because the models cannot predict the timing of significant climate factors like El NiƱo events or volcanic eruptions, although they can correctly model those events if the timing is established. The latest IPCC report concluded that short-term discrepancies did not invalidate models’ usefulness for establishing ranges of future impacts. Others have even found that observed temperature increases may be underreported, greatly reducing the significance of any recent discrepancy.
Climate models project a range of possible temperatures, not one precise temperature. The recent variations in global average temperature remain within the expected range of possible conditions. But a reader wouldn’t know this from viewing the misleading graph accompanying McKitrick’s op-ed. Instead of a range, his graph presents the average path from an ensemble of model results, misleadingly giving the impression that model results can be used to simulate and project year-by-year variations. McKitrick even claims “the black line can be described as the mainstream thinking of contemporary climate science,” a preposterous statement given that official IPCC graphics often present the projected shift in the range that is expected without even including a central trend line.
We have plenty of information now, enough to know we should take action. McKitrick states that there is a “high probability” of information emerging in the next few years that strongly affects long-term climate projections. He doesn’t state what his confident prediction is based on, and it’s difficult to imagine what it might be. Climate science is improving incrementally, but the basics have been established for a hundred years and aren’t likely to suddenly change. Emissions are causing warming. Too much warming and we’re in trouble. Any real game-changing discoveries are much more likely to alter projections for the worse, a fact that the IPCC has acknowledged.
Action is cheap and practical. The IPCC has identified many “low hanging fruits” of climate mitigation, especially through energy efficiency and the rapidly plummeting price of renewable energy technologies. Much of the needed investment could come simply from shifting resources over from fossil fuels, rather than committing additional resources.
Inaction is costly. McKitrick flat-out states that “there is no downside to awaiting this information” while waiting for “crucial facts” could prevent countries from making unspecified “costly mistakes.” This is just wrong: the IPCC, the U.S. National Climate Assessment, and many other exhaustive reports have confirmed that waiting only increases the cost of eventual mitigation, as well as committing us to costly climate impacts. The potential costs of modernizing our energy system (which we would need to do anyway and which carries many co-benefits) pale in comparison to the costs we would face in an unchecked warming scenario.
McKitrick is attempting to appear prudent with his “wait and see” mantra, but his approach fails the test of both science and common sense. His background also doesn’t lend him credibility – he has been openly adversarial to climate science for decades, and is associated with anti-science groups including the now-discredited Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute, and Marshall Institute. These groups have opposed scientific research on all fronts, including disputing the connection between cigarettes and cancer. He’s far from a neutral observer and his arguments just don’t hold up.
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Earlier posts:

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Around the Traps 27/6/14

It is time for Around the Traps again.
Peter Martin is back. I have been a bit lax on Kaiser Fung's excellent contributions as well.
Hard drive problems again so I do not know when I will update but will try

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (Mainly Stats)
Dave Giles (Econometrics)

Dianne Coyle (Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Carbon prices and the US economy

Last night we had the extraordinary performance of Clive Palmer.

Peter Martin believes he has saved the furniture! Alas he has been wood-ducked. Clive wants to abolish the existing ETS which has a fixed price on carbon and hope some time later an ETS with a flexible price will be introduced. We keep the Climate Change Authority. fine. We keep the renewable energy targets and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.However without either an ETS or a carbon tax both become meaningless.
What political parties should do is simply bring forward the flexible price on the existing ETS and see what Palmer does!
Remarkably Sinclair Davidson gets it right! Yes that's right. Mark it down ladies and gentlemen.

M0nty chimes in

The US economy contracted in the March quarter. Severe winter weather in the primary cause. Seasonal adjustment factors simply do not pick this up.
Katesy believes this is all about Keynesian economics. Err the public sector is detracting from growth. Obama is in fact doing exactly what Katesy wants!! Another own goal from a person who cannot GDP statistics.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

tobaccy agin

M0nty has done us all a favour and shows up the lies and ignorance of the Catallaxy crowd.
I am astounded, positively astounded that Davidson and Ergas cannot and do not understand basic ABS statistics!

What we have here is also the huge hypocrisy of the Catallaxy crowd. Try and see if you can comment over there and offer a different point of view!
You cannot yet they claim to believe in free speech.

You say the tightest budget we have ever seen is expansionary then they agree. you say that Treasury under-estimated the impact on the CPI of the ETS when it over-estimated then they believe you.
If you say the ABS cannot measure substitution effects when it can they will believe you.

It is the blog for Forrest Gumps!

Wow how did I miss THIS from Bill Mitchell.
The IPA really have no standards at all which is very simlar to Catallaxy

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Around the Traps 20/6/14

It is time for Around the Traps.
Updates maybe on Monday. Busy with football on Saturday and have visitors on Sunday!

Northern America

Andrew Gelman( Mainly Stats)
Dave Giles ( Econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( Quirky + Book reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Recent Lessons from the past. World Temperatures

Andreas Schmittner has THIS paper which looks at world temperatures for a very long time.
Notice what has occurred in the last thirty years?

Monday, 16 June 2014

The Kouk DEMOLISHES Judith Sloan and Sinclair Davidson AGAIN

The Kouk demolishes Judith Sloan here. It shows Judith knows basic statistics as well as she knows budget papers.
Sloan has simply taken on Davidson's argument which we must assume also doesn't understand basic statistics.
It does help to understand an argument you are mounting although she was writing in the Australian where ignorance is strength!

One really does have to wonder how anyone can have a job that writes at Catallaxy!

 Here is Sinclair Davidson on more rubbish.
Just a few points

  • Increasing market share does not mean increasing overall sales. I am surprised that an academic does not understand such a basic point. Cheaper cigarettes could well be rising but overall cigarettes falling. thus we have to say either Davidson does not understand this basic point or he does and is simply lying!
  • Well yes every statistic is subject to revision. This is what occurs when you undertake sample surveys. This does not ,mean you ignore the evidence in front of you which is what Davidson wants to do. The evidence is opposite to what he likes so he wants to ignore it until we get the final revised statistics.
  • We know why and what occurred with computers and their prices but what evidence does he give that something similar is occurring with regard to tobacco i.e. prices falling substantially. err none
A person has e-mailed me and suggested plain packaging would if anything mean less possibility for price rises and thus there should be less cheaper cigarettes with plain packaging than before it was introduced.
you could say this argument has gone up in smoke!
Further postscript
The KOUK blows Davidson out of the water. It isn't a fair fight as The Kouk is an economist.

M0nty has his say now.

Further postscript.

I notice commenter JC at Catallaxy is saying the demand curve has changed. Err no. Consumption has fallen.
The ABS clearly shows this and as the Kouk says the ABS takes into account substitution.
The demand function hasn't changed at all.
 Plain packaging may have made the demand curve less inelastic. This of course goes completely against Davidson's argument . As a great philosopher might say duh!

More evidence Davidson simply does not understand how the ABS works. how does this man have a job? And this shows he does nor understand simple demand curves!

Now Davdson is arguing black is white. Here is an article basically saying what I theorised would occur. So prices have gone down BUT we know from BAT Annual Report their volumes have fallen and the ABS says volumes have fallen.
Davidson is incapable of telling the truth! as THIS shows. Davidson has been paid for doping work at the IPA. It was finally drawn out of him at Harry Clarke's blog. He then tries to say the Kouk has been paid by big tobacco because they pay taxes. Yes he has got that bad!
More evidence. He doesn't resile from his erroneous position but will not say why. The reason? He cannot

Here is Harry Clarke

The KOUK HERE and HERE, and then hoists the OZ ans the IPA on their own petard,

The World Cup

The World Cup has started and it has been breath-taking. the quality of the football has been high and we have seen plenty of goals, good goals.

Australia could have won if the took their chances and converted pressure into goals but it wasn't to be.
given the inexperience in the teams and the injuries to key personnel we have played well thus far. Chile is a damned good team and we out-played them in the second half but there are two further games.

I have enjoyed every game I have watched and if the standard continues then this could end up being the best world cup yet.

A final of Brazil V Argentina could well be Joga Bonito in spades!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Carbon Price is working fine thank you very much.

As the KOUK shows the carbon price is doing its job very well.

As anybody who understands economics if you increase the price of something. (particularly if it is an externality thus covering all costs to society) then demand will fall. And fall it has.

( I am not surprised some political partisans have conflated a price on carbon with a tax on carbon. They didn't say an ETS with a fixed price was a tax when Howard proposed it nor when it was agreed to by Rudd and Turnbull but apparently all was forgotten when Gillard imposed it!)

Volumes have fallen as you might expect. Incidentally someone might have to point out to Sinclair Davidson that the ABS use seasonally adjusted data which is adjusted for inflation! He doesn't understand this nor do his readers!

If you are concerned about climate change then you would allow the market to change things like our ETS has done. you would do this through either a price on carbon ( an ETS) or a tax on carbon. if you did not care about climate change then you would not have either!

As an added bonus see Lenore Taylor. Thanks Steve from Brisbane

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Around the Traps 13/6/14

It is time for Around the Traps again.

I will try to update but could be hard given I have no hard drive!! Maybe Monday

Go Australia tomorrow!

Northern America
nuttin as yet

Andrew Gelman (Mainly but not only Stats)

Dave Giles (Econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Greg Jericho nails it!

Various 'conservative' commentators have been spouting that the Australian industrial relations systems has been re-regulated. These comments have always been evidence free.

Now Greg Jericho has put together an article on the statistics behind our industrial relations systems.

Please notice that wages are now rising at a slower rate than when we got hit by the GFC. Industrial disputes are very low as well. Unemployment is possibly lower than it would otherwise be not higher given the state of the economy.

All in all there is no evidence whatsoever that the labour market has been re-regulated. ( Surely a hint of this would be the number of pages in the fair work act is much lower than under workchoices!)

This won't matter in the right wing hemisphere. As we saw two days ago Sinclair Davidson can still argue consumption of tobacco is rising when it is clearly falling. They are simply incapable of telling the truth.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I have just finished reading Eric Metaxas's BONHOEFFER Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.

It was a gripping read. I had only a vague idea of Bonhoeffer before reading this book . My admiration for him simply skyrocketed after reading about his life.
He was a brilliant child amongst 8 brilliant children and had a brilliant father who was the leading teacher of psychiatry in Germany for a long period.

Although he studied under a quite liberal Professor of Theology Bonhoeffer became very much the biblical based Christian. In other circles he would be known as either evangelical or fundamentalist!

I think Timothy Keller in his foreword gets it right on how German Christians simply capitulated to Hitler.
they were predominately either formalists who simply heard God loved them and forgives everyone so it doesn't matter how you live or they were legalists  which meant God loves you because you have puled yourself together and are trying to live a good, disciplined life.

Their biblical understanding was so bad they accepted the Aryan Jesus. They accepted any Jews who converted to Christianity were not real Christians. They accepted the Old Testament was Jewish and shouldn't be read. As you read this you almost want to weep at how they simply had no biblical understanding at all. You can see this in comparing the German church reaction to Hitler to that of the church in Norway to Quisling.

Bonhoeffer saw the evil of Nazism straight away because he faithfully read his bible every day and knew what God was telling him. He also knew a lot about Luther and so could answer the Nazis when they brought up Luther's writings when he was an old, sickly and grumpy old man. Even at his worst Luther always was willing to accept Jews into the Church. Luther's early writing were very different and he was very supportive of Jews and bringing them into the church. It does show what old age and ill health can do to a person.

Metaxas is very good at showing Bonhoeffer and his understanding of the bible. He is also good at showing how the Germans accepted things little by little which by 1938  turned into maelstrom.

Although his knowledge of the period is limited it doesn't take away from the book. We know Germany was affected by the Great Depression worse than any other nation and they adopted the wrong policies to combat it. It was those very economic policies that led to Hitler gaining power. Put in the large reduction in crime that occurred after the Nazis gained power ( they were the first people to practice the broken windows theory before it was even thought of) and also that most people then begin to think only the Nazis could save them from the USSR and bingo the perfect political storm for the Nazis had arrived.

People forget that putting political prisoners in concentration camps had started in 1919 and then again when hyperinflation happened. The German people didn't think twice when Hitler did this nor when he put various people to death on attaining power. They deserved it. there was too much violence around. They didn't care about the Night of the Long knives indeed this bloody night made Hitler more popular!

They wanted Germany to be a proud country of order again. They did not see the Nazis destroying the Church.There was far too much patriotism and too little discernment.

Bonhoeffer understood God's word and how God wanted him to live and hence his decision to join forces with others, mainly (actual) Christians to kill Hitler and end the barbarity in Germany and in other nations they had conquered. He was prepared to die.

One small thing we do note was Churchill's decision to link every German to Nazism was disastrous for Germans wanting to get rid of Hitler,the irony here he did this to pacify Stalin! Bonhoeffer tried to get the British to understand this. George Bell his main intermediary was unsuccessful.

I highly recommend this book. It is the most enjoyable but possibly saddest book I have read in a long time and a highly educative one!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Catallaxy not telling the truth again.

A few days ago the tobacco lobby tried to allege smoking was rising despite government action.
Sinclair Davidson being the indolent person he is wrote about this saying how the Government had got it all wrong.
The Kouk looked into this and found it absolute crap.
Davidson then came back again and attempted to say the Kouk was cherry picking the data. Please note he never retracts his original claim based on FALSE data

See it all here at Steve from Brisbane .

One problem though. All the Kouk was doing was showing that smoking volumes had fallen quite a lot and that the tobacco lobby was lying. He was not doing anything like what Davidson was accusing him of.

This is not the first time Davidson and the truth have been very different.
Davidson is now showing up imports of tobacco. Only problem is he is comparing seasonally adjusted data in real terms with simple original data. Oh dear. Just as well Davidson is not an economist!

Now he is back saying the original story was true but unable to say why the ABS statistics are wrong. It always helps if your audience is really stupid!

Then we have this bit of nonsense from Katesy. Europe going hard on Keynesian stimulus.Except they haven't.

Katesy has a good reason for being unable to tell the truth. He has lost his marbles. In turnbull speak he is unhinged. What is Davidson's excuse?

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Eric Satie

French composer Eric Satie wrote possibly the most beautiful music I have ever heard.
The Gymnopedies No.1,2 and 3


Thursday, 5 June 2014

Around the Traps 6/6/14

It is time again for Around the Traps.

My hard drive is down so I hope to update on Sunday or even Monday which is a public holiday as we celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday?

I am updating the special Piketty edition all the time!

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( Mainly Stats)
Dave Giles (Econometrics)
nuttin yet. come on Dave!!  He crept on me!

Dianne Coyle (Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk