Useful questions

Submitted by naught101 on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 14:05

Been thinkin' with a few friends, about what makes people get up and get active around problems like climate change. For some of my friends, it's love - for family, for society, for other species. For me it's anger. For some, anger comes because others are infringing on their own rights.

Journalism, truth, and climate change.

Submitted by naught101 on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 14:32

I'd like to declare here and now that I'm sceptical about the "reality" of the round earth. There are many dissenting voices, sceptics of the current "consensus", and significant evidence to show that the earth is not round. Not to mention that it's bleedingly obvious - just look out the window: No curvature there, eh?

But despite this, dissenting voices in the debate are silenced. Proponents of the round earth hypothesis pursue their beliefs with a zeal unmatched even by the world's most fundamentalist religions. While it's true that many scientists believe that the earth is round, there are also significant dissenting voices, but were one to mention this in general conversation, or on talk back radio, one would immediately be shouted down, cut off, ostracised. In short, censored.

This is not how science should operate. Science is not decided by majority opinion, but by healthy debate. And while one side is being censored, there can be no real debate.

I'm not saying definitively that the earth flat or round - I'm still undecided, just that the debate needs to be opened up, so the true process of science can run its course, with maximum access to evidence and competing theories from both sides. Until all the information is on the table, I'll be most skeptical of the majority-imposed "consensus".


Sound familiar? The above arguments are frequently used by the denial-o-sphere (denial-o-plane?). While obviously climate change science is not so developed, or certain (or simple) as planetary physics, that does not mean that the above arguments have any weight in a climate context.

Climate Stats tutorial, how to, and how not to.

Submitted by naught101 on Mon, 01/19/2009 - 03:31

I've been starting to learn Octave, a maths programming language. Octave is similar to other packages that are often used to create nice graphs that you often see around the place, especially when it relates to climate change. This is a bit of a slap-dash tutorial on how to get some graphs happening with Octave.

Looks like the Clean Coal Carollers got cleaned out.

Submitted by naught101 on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 07:55

There was such an uproar in response to this hilariously crap PR campaign, that America's Power has killed it. It's not on facebook, and it's not even on their own website any more. Fucking classic. That PR agency won't be popular next year. America's Power's has made some weak excuse for killing the little bastards. "Behind the plug" - so that's what it was?

CSS3 advanced layout module: templates. Discussion and proposal.

Submitted by naught101 on Fri, 11/28/2008 - 18:56

CSS template-based layouts, or something like them, have been a long time coming. John Resig has blogged about them recently, echoing the attitudes of a few people, it seems. I generally agree: this looks great, and will be a vast improvement for HTML+CSS web development: finally HTML document structure will be largely separate from visual layout. This is something that CSS grids/tables completely fail to do - divs still have to be in row>column order: a semantic change from HTML tables, and nothing more, and they still aren't supported by ie yet anyway (EDIT: Xanthir points out below that I was confused: CSS3-grid is actually a completely separate proposal to tables, and it's basically the same as what I suggest here, albeit without the ability to name the grid).

But...

Yep, of course there are a few things I'm concerned about (and as there should be - if there weren't I'd know I hadn't been looking hard enough). First, there are a few minor points (Disclaimer: I may have missed or misunderstood parts of the spec. Feel free to correct me):

Arctic ice melt in the 1930s: Another denier argument debunked.

Submitted by naught101 on Thu, 11/27/2008 - 16:32

When I'm reading about climate change in public forums like the internet, or newspapers, I expect to see denial argments all over. Usually, they're the same old shit, that's been roundly debunked by numerous people. So it's a pleasant suprise to find new arguments - it gives you something to think about.

This one really was suprising though: Richard Lindzen is well known for being a good debater, and well-read. He's one of the last deniers that mainstream seems to accept.