Saturday, December 5, 2009

Scientists Behaving Badly

Steven Hayward provides a definitive synopsis of Climate Gate. Key bit:

As in the furor over Dan Rather's fabricated documents about George W. Bush's National Guard service back in 2004, bloggers have been swarming over the material and highlighting the bad faith, bad science, and possibly even criminal behavior (deleting material requested under Britain's Freedom of Information Act and perhaps tax evasion) of a small group of highly influential climate scientists. As with Rathergate, diehard climate campaigners are repairing to the "fake but accurate" defense--what these scientists did may be unethical or deeply biased, they say, but the science is settled, don't you know, so move along, nothing to see here. There are a few notable exceptions, such as Guardian columnist George Monbiot, who in the past has trafficked in the most extreme climate mongering: "It's no use pretending that this isn't a major blow," Monbiot wrote in a November 23 column. "The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. .  .  . I'm dismayed and deeply shaken by them. .  .  . I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely."

SEAL Support!

Snowing in Maryland. You know what that means! We're all gonna' die!

With due credit to Sean Baligian in Detroit, the first time it snows, even in Detroit, irrational panic sets in. Television news saturates the area with "TEAM COVERAGE." The storm is usually named as if it were a hurricane.

Baligian would always break out "team coverage," ala callers to his Sports Talk show. His name for the storm: "Death Storm (fill in year)." He would even break out the Doors' "Riders on the Storm" as background music.

Ah, funny stuff indeed.

Here, in Maryland, where it snows less frequently, and it sticks to the roads even less frequently, all of this occurs,

and schools close for weeks..

AND the local grocery stores experience a run on two items:

Toilet Paper and Bread. Go figure.

[The graphic is old, but apropos]

Dec. 12 -26 1944, A Christmas Story: Patton's weather prayer and the relief of Bastonge

From Ladislas Farago's Patton: Ordeal and Triumph

"Chaplain," Patton told O'Neil, "I want you to pray for dry weather. I'm sick and tired of these soldiers having to fight mud and floods as well as the Germans. See if you can't get God to work on our side."

"Sir," the Chaplain replied, 'it's going to take a pretty thick rug for that kind of praying."

"I don't care if it takes a flying carpet," Patton said. "I want you to get up a prayer for good weather."

"Yes sir," Chaplain O'Neil said. "But, permit me to say, General, that it isn't the customary thing among men of my profession to pray for clear weather to kill our fellow men."

"Chaplain," Patton began to fume, "are you teaching me theology or are you the Chaplain of the Third Army? I want a prayer."

"Yes sir," Colonel O'Neil said. When he was outside he asked Harkins, "What do you think the Old Man wants?"

"The General wants a prayer," Harkins said crisply, because, as he put it, this whole transaction was perfectly clear to him. "He wants it right now, and he wants it published to the Command."

...The Lord was in no special hurry to answer the prayer. It was only on December
23rd that He and His inscrutable wisdom deemed it the right time to stop the rains and clear the weather. The timing was superb, because, as we shall see, Patton by then needed clear skies..

For, by then, Patton had been assigned a different task. He needed those clear skies to relieve the 101st Airborne, stubbornly holding on in Bastogne against heavy German attack..

"For the first time in weeks, the weather was actually fine. The clear skies were promptly filled with Allied aircraft - 7 groups of fighter-bombers, 11 groups of medium bombers, a division of the 8th Air Force, and a smattering of RAF planes.

Patton was jubilant. He called Colonel Harkins to his office at Luxembourg and received his Deputy Chief of Staff wearing a smile from ear to ear. "Goddamnit, Harkins," he exclaimed, "look at the weather! That O'Neil sure did some potent praying. Get him up here. I want to pin a medal on him."

Chaplain O'Neil was still in Nancy, but now he was rushed to Luxembourg on Patton's orders. The weather was still fine the next day when he walked into the General's office. Patton jumped to his feet and approached the embarrassed Colonel with hand outstretched. "Chaplain," he greeted him, "you're the most popular man in this Headquarters. You sure stand in good with the Lord and soldiers." Then he pinned the Bronze Star Medal on his chest.

"Everyone offered congratulations and thanks." Harkins recalled, "and we got back to the business of killing Germans."

The story as told by, who else, the Weather Channel:

And the famous 1970 film version of the prayer itself, as read by George C. Scott, accompanied by the incomparable Jerry Goldsmith score:

Flight 297 Update from Airtran: Urban Legend

According to AirTran, the author of the original e-mail was never on the flight. Looks bogus in large parts. Looks like we've been had!

A group was taken of the flight, allowed back on. Several passengers did leave, crew did leave, there was a two hour delay, but TSA was never involved.

More than a few of the details in the email look to have been embellishments made up from whole cloth.

Keep checking SNOPES for updates.

Army Navy Spirit Spot 2002

The Girl from Ipomena?? That really is old school elevator music.

Army Navy Spirit Spot 2004: The Good Bad and the Ugly

Wow, these young'ns know about that movie?

On the Horn with the Warming All-Stars - Stephen Spruiell - Planet Gore on National Review Online

On the Horn with the Warming All-Stars - Stephen Spruiell - Planet Gore on National Review Online

Main thrust of the defense:

1. The science is reliable, honest.
2. Those that are saying the emails, etc., indicate the science is not reliable are on a smear campaign, honest.
3. Yes, some of the emails are ethically suspect and sounded conspiratorial, but honest injun, we didn't do the things we were talking about.
3. We did not try to game the 'peer review' system, honest.
4. We are not political..honest.

Army Navy Spirit Spot 2007, Southpark Style