Wednesday, May 14, 2014

After the trick exploding cigar ...

In a time of dire emergency, the pond has decided to ignore the hypocrisy, the lies, the broken promises, and the concocted, faux emergency lathered and whipped up by the federal deviants, and their perverted knob polishers and hagiographers.

Oh sure it's fun to berate them for the way they've decided to punish the young, the old, the poor, the unemployed, the sick and the maimed, while erecting delusional tributes to roads and medical research.

But all that was known due to substantial leaks designed to soften the assorted blows, and all that's left is for Tony 'Ozymandias' Abbott to contemplate the statue he's erected ...

No, what caught the pond's eye was the headline West Antarctic Glacier Loss Appears Unstoppable.

A new study by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea. 
The study presents multiple lines of evidence, incorporating 40 years of observations that indicate the glaciers in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica "have passed the point of no return," according to glaciologist and lead author Eric Rignot, of UC Irvine and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The new study has been accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. 
These glaciers already contribute significantly to sea level rise, releasing almost as much ice into the ocean annually as the entire Greenland Ice Sheet. They contain enough ice to raise global sea level by 4 feet (1.2 meters) and are melting faster than most scientists had expected. Rignot said these findings will require an upward revision to current predictions of sea level rise.

Luckily, on conservative estimates, the process might take a few centuries. Or it might happen more quickly. Do you feel lucky, Greg Hunt punk? Well do you?

Unluckily, this study happens to be based not just on the modelling routinely attacked by denialists, but on observation.

Why does it matter?

Well Antartica has long been the playground of the denialists, and the Federal Government is full of denialists, and denialists like Greg Hunt who deny that it's full of denialists, while doing as much as they can to facilitate the denialists.

The Bolter is at the forefront of these denialists.

Cue his piece on 30th December 2013, Warmists trapped by irony off Antarctica.

There the Bolter had fun about a research ship and scientists getting stuck in the ice, which makes as much sense as the pond generalising from its current local and specific circumstances - though it should be noted that it's unseasonably warm in Sydney, that the bloody mosquitoes are out in force, and that the parrots in the nearby gum tree are as excitable and as agitated as Shakespeare in love or a stallion in spring.

Here’s how it’s changed, boys. There is more ice.

The Bolter had an enormous amount of childish fun and glee.

Luckily some of the links to the Bolter's blog are currently down, so there's no need to encourage the man's frauds by linking to them, but you can catch the drift with these sorts of headlines (screen caps, no hot links):

It's a long running Bolter theme, a pet line that he's returned to regularly over the years:

And so on and so forth.

Unluckily the links to the blog are now back up.

Google up "Andrew Bolt Antarctica" and you can see that the Bolter is a relentlessly stupid linking and publishing machine, unstoppable and abusive, with a "warmist" here and a "warmist" there.

He really could be considered for the role of a head villain in a Michael Bay Transformers movie - a kind of Decepticon based in Antarctica (formal notice to Michael Bay, this idea is copyrighted to the pond, you will have to pay and pay dearly for all the cruelty you have unleashed on the world, which on the scale of things, rivals jolly Joe Hockey's efforts).

Now the question arises.

Which findings should you accept? (Let us not talk of belief or faith, let's compare and contrast people who actually observe and those who don't).

Those of the Decepticon Bolter, or those of the NASA scientists?

The accelerating flow speeds and retreating grounding lines reinforce each other. As glaciers flow faster, they stretch out and thin, which reduces their weight and lifts them farther off the bedrock. As the grounding line retreats and more of the glacier becomes waterborne, there's less resistance underneath, so the flow accelerates. 
Slowing or stopping these changes requires pinning points -- bumps or hills rising from the glacier bed that snag the ice from underneath. To locate these points, researchers produced a more accurate map of bed elevation that combines ice velocity data from ERS-1 and -2 and ice thickness data from NASA's Operation IceBridge mission and other airborne campaigns. The results confirm no pinning points are present upstream of the present grounding lines in five of the six glaciers. Only Haynes Glacier has major bedrock obstructions upstream, but it drains a small sector and is retreating as rapidly as the other glaciers. 
The bedrock topography is another key to the fate of the ice in this basin. All the glacier beds slope deeper below sea level as they extend farther inland. As the glaciers retreat, they cannot escape the reach of the ocean, and the warm water will keep melting them even more rapidly. 
The accelerating flow rates, lack of pinning points and sloping bedrock all point to one conclusion, Rignot said. 
"The collapse of this sector of West Antarctica appears to be unstoppable," he said. "The fact that the retreat is happening simultaneously over a large sector suggests it was triggered by a common cause, such as an increase in the amount of ocean heat beneath the floating sections of the glaciers. At this point, the end of this sector appears to be inevitable."

The NASA story provides plenty of links, and there's plenty of other material to hand, such as The 'Unstable' West Antarctic Ice Sheet: A Primer, which inter alia provides these details on NASA's Operation IceBridge:

NASA's Operation IceBridge, which began in 2009, continues to fly one extended research campaign over Antarctica each year. IceBridge flights put multiple scientific instruments over key regions of the ice sheet to measure glacier thinning, the shape of the bed and other factors. 
In 2017, NASA will launch ICESat-2, the follow-up mission to ICESat, which operated from 2003 to 2009. ICESat-2 will use laser altimetry to make precise measurements of glacier heights. Combined with the ICESat and IceBridge data records, the ICESat-2 measurements will allow for a continuous record of year-over-year change in some of the most remote regions of the world.

Up against this sort of research grunt, what does the Bolter offer?

An embittered opera lover and red wine drinker and culture vulture snob, shackled to a computer in Melbourne, recycling second and third hand denialist reports garnered over the internet, and spun into blog entries ...

If it wasn't so pitiful, it would be incredible that so many people still attach so much weight to the words that spill from this relentless cut and paster.

Well if you want some graphs and videos for a cut and paste, head off to NASA on West Antarctica here, and on IceBridge here.

The story has been picked up by popular science sites, of the kind you can find under the header NASA West Antarctic Ice Sheet Findings (though it seems Bolter followers infest the comments section).

Now the fall back theory that is routinely presented when it comes to discussing these matters is that the IPCC, the world's climate scientists, including NASA and the CSIRO, are in the grip of some vast international conspiracy, designed to defraud punters and allow said scientists to live on grants designed for the fat cats to purr in the lap of unparalleled luxury ... you know, trudging around Antarctica and getting trapped in ships on the way to or from Antarctica.

That's in contrast to the Bolter sipping his red and luxuriating in his opera collection.

The Bolter has in his day produced a fine collection of memes. This one turned up on Media Watch, here:

Turning science into a religion so it can be dismissed as a cult is one of the most pathetic and disingenuous gambits.

But thanks to CNN, here, it's worth remembering the sort of company the Bolter routinely keeps:

Now it might be proposed that this is defamation by association.

But that's the point. That's the company that the Bolter and the Abbott government keep.

The usual way to smear the science is to call it warmist and alarmist.

But truth to tell, the pond isn't alarmed, and will be long gone by the time the world begins to encounter real difficulties arising from the science. In the meantime, the Sydney winter is pleasantly, if unseasonably warm, and there's always spray to knock off the mosquitoes.

No, it shouldn't affect the ozone layer, and yes, the world managed to reduce the use of HCFCs, Greg Hunt it here, and yes, there are still denialists out there who don't accept this action was necessary, because the stupidity of proto-Bolters is unimaginably fierce, and yes, they infest the Bolter's pages, as you can read in Save the planet! Destroy the ozone layer, and Unsettled science: now it's the ozone layer's fault.

Infinitely stupid readers of a man who cultivates a certain cunning, and a certain form of cleverness, which in the end isn't enough to conceal his ineffable stupidity and the stupidity of the readers that he services with nonsense ... and then has the cheek to talk of cults ...

Is it wrong to gloat at the Bolter's blog fucking up?

Not really. The pond is delighted to dance on its grave.

So why has the pond decided to swim against the tide on this day of budget infamy, of Abbott lying his way to power and then breaking all the promises he made? Of his abuse of the poor, the weak, the unhealthy, the unemployed?

To the point where Christine Milne called him "warped", and the pond could only think of abusing her for resorting to understatement.

How about a lying, hypocritical, cheating pervert?

Never mind, that's already done and dusted.

The real fun will come when the new Senate settles into considering the assorted outrages. Then the hagiographers and knob polishers will have to resort to Michael Bay style hyper-drive.

And besides there's an honourable literary tradition to follow when it comes to the Bolter:

And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of the Bolter's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Murdoch's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. All the way from Tailem Bend to quality red wine and a fine collection of operas ...

He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. 

The Bolter believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther, mock science even more, deride science as a religion . . . And one fine morning---- 

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. (And with apologies, the rest of The Great Gatsby here for free on the Australian Gutenberg. You can, if you like and really want to offend the Bolter, set it to Prokofiev's music for The Fiery Angel).

And besides, what more needs to be said that the cartoonists haven't already said ...

If nothing else, jolly Joe has produced a symbol of the Abbott era which will haunt Abbott and his henchmen for years to come. Guess what it is ... (and yes, you can be sexist when there are very few henchwomen to be found).

And if you haven't yet worked out that there's more Rowe here, and more Pope here, you haven't been reading the pond closely enough.

And of course you can find First Dog and his cartoon response here. A sample:


  1. Note - Abbott on AM this morning - "Labor 's preferred socialised medicine."

    Socialised medicine? WTF?

    And Hockey's repeated references to "their" schools and hospitals when questioned on reduction of funding to the the states. It's not our job, it's the states.

    They're softening up us for worse to come.

  2. Very good, DP. Santorum's comment doesn't even make sense: "I've never before seen any scheme or even accepted the junk science behind the whole narrative."

    Can you tell me what the blue bits on the Antarctic graph are, DP? Perhaps they're areas where the flow has slowed? Perhaps they will give something for the denialists to hit back with? You know, something like "well the flow of this particular glacier shows that NOT ALL glaciers are receding?"

    1. The denialists will always deny Ian, that's why they like to confuse and conflate science with religion. The Bolter knows how to preach to the faithful, but he's never done an honest day's first hand scientific research in his life ...

  3. Volcanoes releasing chlorine is the cause of the ozone layer? You're right, they are stupid!

  4. Oops!

  5. Love this from the Bolter's stable:

    gez replied to AS
    Fri 22 Apr 11 (12:03pm)
    AS, why did the Vikings call Greenland by that name when they dicovered it, because it was, explain to me the reason for that, it was long before global warming.

  6. From this point, no reference to Hockey should be made without the cigar-puffing picture. Says it all. Like you, I still seethe at the lies and broken promises and those accomplices who went along with them, and even now are attempting to defend the indefensible. We saw it all coming but it doesn't lessen the anger or pain.

    Your choice to go with Climate Change instead was a good one. (On that point, one of the few good things in the Budget was that Direct Action has been put on the back-burner.) I came across this sketch from John Oliver pointing to the problem of the media trying to give proper weight to all views.

    1. Picture joyous Jolly Joe puffing and sweating and dancing the Hokey... *

      I had a dream so big and loud
      I jumped so high I touched the clouds

      The unemployed, the sick,
      The welfare recipients
      By the budget hit
      It won't be the best day of their life

      But this is gonna be the best day of my life
      My li-i-i-i-i-ii-ife
      This is gonna be the best day of my life
      My li-i-i-i-i-ii-ife

      *The Swedish cover by fast Forward Music is more better

    2. Excellent link Gorgeous Dunny. The pond should have provided that one to John Oliver, who's showing a lot of promise, and can be picked up around the traps for those who don't have access to HBO.

  7. Just for a bit of balance for the benefit of Greg Hunt.

    1. Oh dear. Thanks for the link Anon, and never mind the ensuing depression :)

  8. Hi Dorothy,

    New Scientist has a report this week that meteorologists are predicting a huge El Nino later this year. Severe droughts and wildfires for Australia and Asia and possibly the failure of the monsoons which may cause major food shortages.


  9. I know - $7 levy for the Godwin jar.

    1. Overarching promises not promises scripted under rapid fire in the heat of verbal combat, so to ahh er speak or not, ahhh er um are the response you deserve

    2. Just so the punters know and will click, the first link is to another Downfall riff, and well worth a $7 Godwin levy, while the next is an assembly of Abbott's most hideous moments, making you wonder how anyone could have voted him.

  10. Humans and Greg Hunt will adapt to the direct action of climate change on the abalone industry via the power of analogy alone. We are a World of lifters, not leaners!

    "Race against the tide, risking death under huge blocks of ice" (utube)

    1. that's an unnerving link Anon, not for claustrophobes ...:)

  11. Just playing the Devils advocate on the issue of Antarctic sea ice.

    A few days before this news hit, the Bolter posted this.

    The layman may assume that the truth is somewhere in between.

    Savvas Tzionis


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