Saturday, October 18, 2014

The things that you're liable to read, thanks to the bible, and thanks to Prof Spurr and the reptiles at the lizard Oz too ..

(Above: R. Crumb, click to enlarge)

Professor Spurr recommended a return to the Bible - which he believes is the foundational text of Western civilisation - with tales like Noah’s Ark to be a focus... (The Australian, here)

Because the pond can never get enough tales of a genocidal maniacal patriarchal god willing to wipe out all life on earth except for a chosen few ... 

And what better role model for interventionist big government wanting to pick winners?

And because the pond can never get enough incitement to violence, what with the way the bible explains exactly why western civilisation has been riddled by wars, racism, violence, imperialism and colonialism, all given a free pass by example:

Thus saith the LORD of hosts ... go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. (1 Samuel 15:2-3, and more incitements to violence here).

Don't forget the goats!

Take that Islamic fundies, there's how to do fundamentalism.

Of course if you follow Rusty's interpretation of the text, Noah was a brooding drunk with mental health issues - as you'd expect of a conspirator in genocide with sexual issues in the family - who stumbles into Lord of the Rings, but that too might help explain why Christopher Pyne is Christopher Pyne ...

Will the poodle ever get suspended?

Nope, it's back to the future, and More bible study, less dreaming stories, less enjoyment, more memorising ...

Will his minions tease out the implications in the Noah story? 

The chosen people routine that still leads to tears, the nonsense of a 600 year old man, the essential stupidity of a creation myth designed to make the Aboriginal Dreaming seem not such a bad idea....

Nope, it will be nothing more than a blip, a road bump, on the road traversed by Pyne's crazed cultural warriors in a bid to bring back the 1950s...

With any luck, these brave jihadists, these cultural warriors, will reduce Australia to the fundamentalisms they deplore in Islam, peddling religious tales of ultimate violence and wickedness ...

So how are the brave Xian warriors hanging in for the weekend?

Oh dear, a woman has had to do all the work and pick up the pieces and once again restore some semblance of domestic sanity, after the foaming of the crazed bovver boy bully patriarch ...

Detailed and constructive talks? Gained assurances from Putin? Didn't bluster and froth and foam?

You know, it might just occur to someone in the Liberal party, just before the next election they might be better off  dumping the bully, and hiding behind a skirt, and nothing wrong with that ...

But what's this?

Has Abbott been shirt fronted on his doorstep?

Not really, not if you read Joko Widodo's blunt warning to Prime Minister Tony Abbott (forced video at end of link), but the chances of the blundering bull in the pottery shop doing some damage to bilateral relations remains high...

Where does this leave national security?

(and more Leunig here)

Which brings the pond to an honourable mention, a weekend tip of the hat, with Moir establishing the tone:

(and more Moir here)

You see over at the lizard Oz, there has been no more diligent, hard-working reptile beavering away at the coal face of climate science doubt, fear, scepticism and denialism than Graham Lloyd.

And hallelujah, he's at it again today:

It's a classic text, reminiscent of all those efforts of diligent journalists over the years explaining that all the talk of the harmfulness of tobacco was much exaggerated, or just plumb wrong.

In the end, only science was certain to be ruined for its unscientific attacks on poor harmless tobacco ...

Now the pond won't provide a link to A pause for this message: climate change numbers aren't adding up, because it would only lead to a tasteless begging letter from the paupers of the press, but you can google this:

Science, like climate, can take a long time to change direction. 

When Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri first acknowledged to this newspaper in February last year the existence of a pause in global surface temperatures of more than a decade, his comments were met with incredulity. 
But as the political and diplomatic world strives to deliver meaningful action on climate change, momentum is building behind the controversial view that the numbers don’t add up. 
A rising chorus of literature in the world’s best scientific journals and most prestigious opinion pages has argued the climate change math is flawed. Like a freight train that has left the station, questions about an 18-year “hiatus” in global average surface temperatures and the location of “missing” heat from the climate system are building a head of steam.

There, that's an excellent head of steam.

The point you see is to argue the controversy, teach the controversy, print the controversy, and in the process raise saucy doubts and fears.

Is science failing, is it in crisis, has it lost its way, is it losing its direction?

Is it all due to not being brought up on tales of Noah's Ark? Or is it because scientists were fed too many tales of Noah's Ark and became obsessed with rising seas in their infancy?

Are there doubts about science going - gasp - post-modernist?

It is a crucial time for science. 
Garth Paltridge, former chief research scientist with the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research and chief executive of the Antarctic Co-operative Research Centre, fears the rise of “postmodern” science. In the world of postmodern science, he says, results are valid only in the context of society’s beliefs, and where the very existence of scientific truth can be denied. 
 “Postmodern science envisages a sort of political nirvana in which scientific theory and results can be consciously and legitimately man­ipulated to suit either the dictates of political correctness or the politics of the government of the day,” Paltridge says.

But why has that sort of defamatory twaddle been introduced into the discussion?

Well because it raises doubts, it raises concerns. There are dangerous signs that science is pretty post-modernist weird, and might even have left Noah's Ark behind.

The other techniques are equally familiar.

Do a tour of familiar deniers and sceptics, and pump up the volume on their scepticism and doubts.

But first, be careful. Establish a tone of balance:

Michael Asten, from the school of earth atmosphere and environment at Monash University, says there have been 15 articles commenting on and analysing the pause, or hiatus, published by the top journal group Nature in the past two years. 
 “While opinions on causes differ, existence of the pause is settled; only activists dare claim the pause in global temperature does not exist,” Asten says.

Ah activists, with their saucy doubts and fears. Come on down, Judith Curry. She agrees with Partridge that science has gone post-modern. She has a most impressive list of credentials. She raises saucy doubts and fears, and is given much space.

But remember, you too are only teaching the controversy, and so it's important to put up some balancing comments.

Come on down, Amanda Mckenzie from the Climate Council, come on down David Karoly from the school of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne...

And after all that, come on down Greg Hunt, and let us not talk of walri this day.

But what's that? It seems the minister might have been nobbled, it seems that all he can do is parrot instructions issued by his minders:

Responses from Australia’s key science organisations show they remain in lock-step with the IPCC and their advice is accepted by Environment Minister, Greg Hunt. 
Helen Cleugh, science director at CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, says measurements do show that the rate at which global mean surface temperature has warmed in the past decade is less than the previous decade. However, while the rate of increase is lower, the temperatures are not lower, she says. Measurements across the oceans and Earth system as a whole show that warming has continued unabated. “A reduction in the rate of warming (not a pause) is a result of short-term natural variability, ocean absorption of heat from the atmosphere, volcanic eruptions, a downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle, and other impacts over a short time period,” Cleugh says. After taking advice from the Bureau of Meteorology, Hunt tells Inquirer the warming of the climate system is “unequivocal”. “The climate system, which ­includes the atmosphere, oceans, land and ice has continued to ­accumulate heat over the last 18 years,” Hunt says. Although there has been a slower rate of atmospheric warming during the past 18 years, this does not undermine the fundamental physics of global warming, the scientific basis of climate models or the estimates of climate sensitivity.

Yes, there you go, he's just recycling the propaganda that's been drilled into his brain. Note the key words ... he remains in "lock-step", and is forced to take advice, and once he's taken the advice, he's "unequivocal".

Put it another way, a pathetic, broken hack of a post-modernist who doesn't know squat about anything (sssh, please don't mention the walri).

But wait, in a valiant, bold move, he's broken free from his minders, he suspects that there might be another side to the story, he offers hopes that it can all be sorted with a green army here and there.

However, he says he is “exceptionally interested” in the latest reports that there may be even greater capacity for plants and soil to absorb carbon. “While this will be the subject of significant global research over coming years, it underscores the importance of protecting the great rainforests of the world and helping to revegetate our landscapes,” he says. 

Yes, direct action for a problem that might well not exist.

Why it might even be possible, even at this late stage, to re-investigate tobacco and discover its dangers have been much exaggerated ...

What else? Well you have to mention Christine Milne, even though or perhaps because everyone knows she's a rabid zealot and a post-modernist.

And it's wise to do a tour of the Brit Met and BoM, before returning to the nub, the heart of the saucy doubts and fears.

Dispute, disconnect, less credible, heat gone missing from the oceans, the missing heat was never there, yadda yadda ...

And here, by implication, you show where your heart really belongs, to the saucy doubts and fears.

Sure, you've done your best to teach the controversy, but you have to end on a high, you have to end strong, you have to note that postmodernist climate science is about to reduce centuries of hard-won tradition to rubble:

Whatever you've read in the preceding pars, you will be left with those final saucy doubts and fears.

Paltridge says that the prospect of “missing heat” being located in the oceans is a double-edged sword. 
 “We are being told that some internal oceanic fluctuation may have reduced the upward trend in global temperature,” he says. 
 “It is therefore more than a little strange that we are not hearing from the IPCC that some natural internal fluctuation of the system may have given rise to most of the earlier upward trend. 
 “In light of all this, we have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seri­ously overstating the climate problem in its effort to promote the cause. 
 “It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society’s respect for scientific endeavour.” 

Well the truth is, given the way Lloyd has structured and concluded his piece, we have to conclude that Lloyd risks destroying the reputation of himself and the reptiles of the lizard Oz ...

Oh wait, Lloyd and the lizard Oz already have sweet bugger all by way of reputation when it comes to climate science ...

And this outing shows why. It's superficial, shoddy, its intent so naked, so obvious, it's methodology so blatant, that it sheds neither heat nor light on the state of the science ...

You will note that not much science has crept into the pond's notes on Lloyd. But that's because there's bugger all in Lloyd ... just headlines and summaries all designed to lead to the notion that climate science is likely to destroy the reputation of science for centuries to come ...

Here's the thing. What's the point of ending with the defamatory suggestion that somehow all the current science is dishonest, and when it's exposed, its dishonesty will destroy the reputation of science for centuries to come ...

Because that's the tone, that's the taste in the mouth, that Lloyd wants to leave with his readers ...

Because, it seems, mug punters have a blind religious faith in science and scientists?

By golly, it's time for a series of incisive stories about postmodernist science and tobacco ... thanks be to Noah ...

... oh okay, that's only an excuse to provide a link to Fangate, and The Absolute Weirdest Thing Ever to Happen At A Political Debate... with bonus close up of fan, and video link that kills a minute or four ...

The pond has no excuse for the one below, except that Prof Spurr would surely approve:

(A note: Readers might see a difference in font and presentation in this post. It would seem that changes have been unilaterally introduced by Blogger. Some might like the larger size, some might not notice, and meanwhile the pond is off deep in HTML land).


  1. "OK" to the larger font, DP. Makes it easier for OAPs.
    Have you been watching Brian Houston? He'd make a sterling CoS for Abbott, if Ms Credlin moves on.
    Tony's repertoire of tics seems to be expanding. We see the lip-lick, the shirt-eating grin, the raised eyebrow, the sly wink and the nod to all his fanboys at the ABC, all in one gig. Where's he going with all that?

  2. Crumb is great - he of Fritz the Cat fame. Remember he had to cancel a trip to Sydney because of tabloids (and the SMH at the time) labelling him as a pervert?

    And I sense a touch of Blake in his religious parodies.

  3. Hi Dorothy,

    Not happy with the results you are getting from da science? Well don't you worry about that, just attack the scientific method, with it's dodgy use of logic and reproducible experimental results. Why can't it be more exact and truthful like that bastion of rigour and precision - journalism.

    Of all the reptiles at the Oz, I think Graham Lloyd is the one who has made the made the worst Faustian pact. His duties as "Environment Editor" appear to be rounding up the latest conspiracy theories from the nutters and mixing them up with the carefully crafted obfuscation from the fossil fuel lobby - a truly stygian task.

    Typically his concern and worry over the much hyped 18 year warming hiatus comes just when it is to be brought to a abrupt close. Nasa recently announced that the last six months warmest ever recorded and 2014 is well on the way to being the hottest year ever measured.

    Still that's just propaganda from them scientists and all their dodgy ways.


  4. The item font has changed, but not for comments. Weird?

  5. Hi Dorothy,

    Where is the "missing heat"? Maybe Lloyd could have included the latest measurements from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California which appear to show that the oceans of the southern hemisphere have been sucking up more than twice as much heat trapped by our excess greenhouse gases than previously calculated.


  6. Ms Pond
    Some years ago, when northern Australian crocodiles developed a taste for our American tourist cousins (you must remember that very un-PC joke "how do you stop a crocodile biting you?...give it a yank") a TV news report carried an item about another attack in the NT. My young daughter (about 6 at the time) commented "god made the crocodile do that"
    I sought elucidation and young SLDR told me that her religious class teacher told her that before Noah, all animals were vegitarian and it was only after the flood that some animals were made to eat meat (Women and Men included) so it was God (the vengefull?) who actually was responsible for the young tourist's death

    Genesis 9:1-3 says: "Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all of the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, now I give you everything."

  7. Why is it that people who hug the Bible tight don't seem to value the Sermon on the Mount, the great Code for Christian Living. Why are they unaffected by parables like the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, the Wedding of Caana, the Widow's Mite etc etc.

    It is a real puzzle for me why people like Prof Spurrrrt can bang on about the importance of the bible and yet call people Chinky-Poos. It staggers me that a former seminarian can treat those seeking asylum so cruelly and seem so unmoved by that suffering.

    Some of the best people I have ever met have been practiising Christians who live their faith by helping others in a low-key, non-judgemental way. Unlike big donors to political parties they expect nothing in return but their rewards are manifold because they are invariably liked and loved.

  8. What do the loons think of Cormann's Arnie impersonation?

    Maybe they are getting good feed-back about shirt-fronting.

    Anyway as a lady I am feeling quite shirty about 'girly man'. A slur on women. Does it mean that softer female qualities are to be despised?

    Hasta la vista baby as someone on twitter put it.

    Miss Pitty Pat (indignantly)

  9. Strangely enough, I still blame Jesus for Robert Crumb, Weird Al, and the Food Club of Rome.


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