Thoughts on economics and liberty

Category: Bad ideas!

The 97% fraud and nonsense on steroids

This fraud seems to have caught on. Here are the facts:

ANALYSIS BY ALEX EPSTEIN

Source

One of the main papers behind the 97 percent claim is authored by John Cook, who runs the popular website SkepticalScience.com, a virtual encyclopedia of arguments trying to defend predictions of catastrophic climate change from all challenges.

Here is Cook’s summary of his paper: “Cook et al. (2013) found that over 97 percent [of papers he surveyed] endorsed the view that the Earth is warming up and human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause.”

This is a fairly clear statement—97 percent of the papers surveyed endorsed the view that man-made greenhouse gases were the main cause—main in common usage meaning more than 50 percent.

But even a quick scan of the paper reveals that this is not the case. Cook is able to demonstrate only that a relative handful endorse “the view that the Earth is warming up and human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause.” Cook calls this “explicit endorsement with quantification” (quantification meaning 50 percent or more). The problem is, only a small percentage of the papers fall into this category; Cook does not say what percentage, but when the study was publicly challenged by economist David Friedman, one observer calculated that only 1.6 percent explicitly stated that man-made greenhouse gases caused at least 50 percent of global warming.

Where did most of the 97 percent come from, then? Cook had created a category called “explicit endorsement without quantification”—that is, papers in which the author, by Cook’s admission, did not say whether 1 percent or 50 percent or 100 percent of the warming was caused by man. He had also created a category called “implicit endorsement,” for papers that imply (but don’t say) that there is some man-made global warming and don’t quantify it. In other words, he created two categories that he labeled as endorsing a view that they most certainly didn’t.

The 97 percent claim is a deliberate misrepresentation designed to intimidate the public—and numerous scientists whose papers were classified by Cook protested:

“Cook survey included 10 of my 122 eligible papers. 5/10 were rated incorrectly. 4/5 were rated as endorse rather than neutral.”

—Dr. Richard Tol

“That is not an accurate representation of my paper . . .”

—Dr. Craig Idso

“Nope . . . it is not an accurate representation.”

—Dr. Nir Shaviv

“Cook et al. (2013) is based on a strawman argument . . .”

—Dr. Nicola Scafetta

Think about how many times you hear that 97 percent or some similar figure thrown around. It’s based on crude manipulation propagated by people whose ideological agenda it serves. It is a license to intimidate.

It’s time to revoke that license.

ANALYSIS BY Joseph Bast And Roy Spencer (SOURCE)

One frequently cited source for the consensus is a 2004 opinion essay published in Science magazine by Naomi Oreskes, a science historian now at Harvard. She claimed to have examined abstracts of 928 articles published in scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and found that 75% supported the view that human activities are responsible for most of the observed warming over the previous 50 years while none directly dissented.

Ms. Oreskes’s definition of consensus covered “man-made” but left out “dangerous”—and scores of articles by prominent scientists such as Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Sherwood Idso and Patrick Michaels, who question the consensus, were excluded. The methodology is also flawed. A study published earlier this year in Nature noted that abstracts of academic papers often contain claims that aren’t substantiated in the papers.

Another widely cited source for the consensus view is a 2009 article in “Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union” by Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, a student at the University of Illinois, and her master’s thesis adviser Peter Doran. It reported the results of a two-question online survey of selected scientists. Mr. Doran and Ms. Zimmerman claimed “97 percent of climate scientists agree” that global temperatures have risen and that humans are a significant contributing factor.

The survey’s questions don’t reveal much of interest. Most scientists who are skeptical of catastrophic global warming nevertheless would answer “yes” to both questions. The survey was silent on whether the human impact is large enough to constitute a problem. Nor did it include solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists or astronomers, who are the scientists most likely to be aware of natural causes of climate change.

AND SO ON.

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Know thy enemy: a list of recent anti-GM posts by activists and confused journalists

I have been neglecting to read and keep track of these anti-GM people. I should, if only to get a big laugh. A few of the ones that I’ve chanced upon:

==

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION – Colin Todhunter 15 June 2019, Kashmir Times

Save Akola farmers – Indra Shekhar Singh, The Pioneer, 29 June 2019

‘Multinational companies aim to control world through seeds’ – Hardeep Singh Bedi, 3 July 2019, One India

From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Toxic Agriculture Is the Problem Not the Solution – Colin Todhunter, 5 July 2019, Sabrang

+ the two posts Kavitha wrote in TOI blogs.

Food safety concerns – Sandhya Jain, 9 July 2019 The Pioneer

  • comment on Jain’s article: There is not one scientific peer reviewed source in this piece. It quotes Seralini, who had to retract his fabricated rat study and is not a credible scientist. There is so much misinformation here. In the case of oil and sugar, the process of refining eliminates genetic material so there is actually no detectable genetic material in oil. The science in GMOs is proven and tested and growing number of countries are adopting it including Bangladesh and soon Pakistan.

 

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Dossier on Vandana Shiva – a foreign-funded violence-supporting saboteur who can’t identify a rice plant

I had heard about Vandana Shiva in the past but thought she is just plain stupid – intellectually feeble, being incapable of understanding science and economics. In recent days I’ve come across a really dark side to her approach and am starting this a public dossier. This post will evolve as more information comes in.

Report on her foreign funded activism by Intelligence Bureau

See: What the IB said about FOREIGN FUNDED Vandana Shiva and Kavitha Kuruganti

I raised some of these issues here: What’s behind the science denial of anti-GM activists?

“Eco-Warrior” Vandana Shiva, at $40,000 a Speech, Rejoins Hawaii Anti-GMO Crusade, But Truth Is the Victim

Anti-GMO activist Vandana Shiva earns $40,000 per speech advocating policies harming poor – Forbes 2014

Complete ignorance about plants

Strong support for extreme violence

More on the Eco-Arsonist Sentenced to Nearly 22 Years

Vandana Shiva Endorses Murder of Biotech Supporters

Blatant lies regarding “genocide” (farmer suicide)

“Suicides have intensified after the introduction of GMO Bt cotton [in India],” she has written again and again [Source]

“Yes, Indian farmer suicide is a real phenomenon, but genetically engineered crops are not the cause of this incredibly complex national tragedy. Around one Indian farmer takes his own life every half hour, but the suicide rate has remained relatively steady despite the growing acreage of genetically engineered crops.” [Source]

there’s Shiva’s most widespread claim: That farmers are killing themselves because GMO seeds mire them in debt. If this were the case, we’d expect to see an increase in the number of suicides as GMOs were introduced and became widespread. But the suicide rate among farmers in India remained level (here’s where I looked at this before). Check out this graph from Nature: [Source]

Farmer Suicides

Chronic BIG TIME liar

Shiva said last year that Bt-[genetically engineered] cotton-seed costs had risen by eight thousand per cent in India since 2002. In fact, the prices of modified seeds, which are regulated by the government, have fallen steadily. [Source]

Shiva also says that Monsanto’s patents prevent poor people from saving seeds. That is not the case in India. The Farmers’ Rights Act of 2001 guarantees every person the right to “save, use, sow, resow, exchange, share, or sell’’ his seeds. [Source]

SHE LIES REALLY BIG TIME AGAINST THE GREEN REVOLUTION!

She argues that “that the introduction of modern agricultural techniques in India – the ‘green revolution’ – has led to a state where: “The rich diversity and sustainable systems of food production are being destroyed in the name of increasing food production.”

BUT THE FACTS – 

“Today, India produces 204 million tons of grain a year. To produce that quantity with 1960s techniques would require three times as much land under cultivation. If India had stuck to traditional methods, by now it would be seeing millions of deaths from starvation every year – and it would have ploughed all the wild land.” [Source]

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Anand Prasad’s “Liberal Party of India” is socialism on steroids – and a bunch of loonies, I’m afraid

I attended an event in Gurgaon on 13 February in which Suman Malhotra and Plaban Bhattacharjee of the so-called “Liberal Party of India” attended prior to the main event and provided me with a document containing their views.

I realised later that this is the same obnoxious “Liberal Party” that Anand Prasad is involved with and which I’ve thoroughly critiqued here and here.

It appeared to me for a while that these two were listening carefully and might actually be capable of understanding what I was trying to say, but very soon it became clear that this was not the case. They insisted on making me hear their ridiculous “proposals” that I’ve discussed below. LPI’s new approach is EVEN WORSE to what Anand Prasad had produced – and it is hard to beat that rubbish. Worse, this man Plaban was absolutely unwilling to even listen to my reasons for rejecting ALL his ideas. I’ve outlined these reasons below, but I doubt he will understand them.

LPI’s ideas are entirely illiberal. In fact, these people are socialists on steroids. It is extremely painful exercise for me to spend my time on this rebuttal of LPI’s “proposals”, but I must, so the public record is clear about the gross incompetence of this “liberal party” outfit. Stay away from them if you want to maintain your sanity.

LIBERAL PARTY OF INDIA’S WORTHLESS IDEAS (MY COMMENTS IN BLUE)

PRESS  RELEASE

A press conference was held at the party headquarters on 09.01 2019. On the occasion  Ms. Suman Malhotra, National President, declared a brief about the formation and vision of the party covering important aspects of the governance.

Primarily Liberal Party of India has been formed to transform the existing national political character. It will work for restoration of the lost dignity and respect of citizens. [Sanjeev: Respect is hardly the issue. The issue is liberty.]

It was felt imperative because we have n-number of rules and laws but only selective  enforcement and implementation are resorted to. This happens because the political system is not answerable to public as was enshrined in the constitution.

The main cause of this precarious situation is faulty election process being followed till date. [Sanjeev: This might seem promising but look at their solution and you can work out how puerile this party’s ideas are]

Therefore, to conduct corruption-free and fair elections, Liberal Party of India envisages

  1. Casting of vote compulsory for each citizen. [Compulsory voting is the least of India’s problems. This “remedy” displays no understanding of the dysfuntion of the electoral system]

2. Cast vote through mobile phones. [Absurd. When the basic causes are not resolved, why create further complexity and confusion? Even in Australia, people go physically to vote. There is nothing wrong with physically showing your face to vote. At the least no one will be able to vote on behalf of dead people.]

3. The candidate after being elected as an MP, has to relinquish membership of the party. He now becomes the member of the Parliament and has to work for the country and not for the party. [Sanjeev: This is even more crazy. There is such a severe difference between a liberal and socialist party – how can this be glossed over?]

4. The President, PM, CJI, CEC, RBI Governor, CAG, CVC, and candidates for all other statutory positions are to be directly elected by the public. They will be answerable to public, not to politicians. [Sanjeev: This is berserk. There is definitely some role for Parliament in selecting judges, but this approach is inconsistent with the Westminster system. More problematically, it does not address any problem. A puerile proposal.]

5. The priorities will be

a Health

b Education

c .Employment

For Health….all hospitals will be standardized. No Govt. and private hospitals will be there. [What!!?All hospitals will be offering same standard of service. [Sanjeev: This is absurd nonsense What is the meaning of standardisation? And what is the business of government, the servant of the people, in such a matter? Let the government focus on security and justice, that’s all]

For Education……. all schools will be standardised. All schools will be of same standard. [The less said the better about this. Why should government – our servant – get involved in “standards” for schools?]

For Employment…..:all educated people will be employed on the basis of their skill. No rejection will be there. The employers will be directed to engage all educated citizen. [Oh god!! And these are allegedly liberals?]

The political parties after independence, adopted the same work culture which was carried out by the British. They treated the country as military state. We treat the nation as a Welfare state and all our policies will be for the welfare of people. “Divide and Rule” policy will be replaced by “Unite and Enjoy” policy. [Is it even possible to talk more nonsense and yet claim to be “liberal”?]

To change the mind set created by the political parties during the last 71 years will be the most challenging situation for us. The people have been subjected to a ‘Trader’s policy’ in the name of Governance. [Sanjeev: What? Socialism is now called “trader’s policy?” Did these people even get basic education?] The propriety and priority were misplaced. Industrialists were considered most important as they funded the election expenses for the parties. The food producers were kept as slaves by Govt. to take advantage of business houses.

Liberal Party of India is prepared to replace the oppressive priorities. Our policy will be to restructure the society in the following five layers. [Sanjeev: These people will ACTIVELY “STRUCTURE” SOCIETY!! And they are “liberals”???!!! They never heard about freedom and choice, did they?]

a Agriculture

b Teaching

c Security and Health

d Service

e Politics

a Agriculture will be declared as an industry. The Kisan will be named as Agriculture Scientist and all others working with him will be designated as Agriculture Engineers. The agricultural income will come under industry category. Govt. will be the JV partner and will be responsible for providing finance. [Sanjeev: So now anyone and everyone can become a scientist or engineer, and employed/paid by government? Socialism on steroids. I don’t know where to start.]

b Teachers will come next as they will train and skill the youth. They need food so they are placed next to agriculture [What! Are these people in the “liberal party” IDIOTS on steroids!]

c Soldiers and Doctors. These two categories are needed to protect all. They need food and teaching, so come in third place. [What!!!!!]

d Service people, Govt. and Private. This category is dependent on the first three categories, so come in at fourth place

e Politicians come next as they need the support of first four categories and are assigned to serve all of them and themselves.  [Too much to take – let me move on]

This policy is for the welfare of every citizen. Once in place, this policy will revolutionize the thought process of the public and replace the age old mind-set.

By strictly enforcing the existing Service Conduct Rules among the bureaucrats, police and judiciary, the proposed system will be in place. Now they will be answerable to public and not ministers. [Sanjeev: What? So the existing system is fine? Are these guys lunatics? Why do I even bother to write this post? Anand Prasad’s puerile nonsense was bad. This is beyond redemption. Spare me!]

Tax structure reform

The multiple tax liability will be done away with. The revenue will be generated from composite tax structure. [How is “composite” different from “multiple”?] Income tax will be replaced by Security Tax. [Sanjeev: What is this? Never heard of it in my life] Social facilities will be provided against the tax paid. All have to share the financial burdens. All will pay tax. Similarly the Govt. services will be made available to all. [This is the extent of their “tax policy”? Are these people even educated?]

Policies for Social and Cultural perspective.

The social perspective will be based on cultural priorities. The entertainment programmes will connect all irrespective of any other parameter. [What are these people trying to say? Try getting basic education in English, first. And what is the role of government in entertainment?]

Reservation system.

In a country structured on the principles of Cooperation and Coexistence, the concept of reservation will be wiped out. When all will be enjoying the resources through sharing, nothing will need to be reserved. [An extremist communist group, this]

Eligibility criteria of the elected representatives.

It is most important. The education system will be modified.  After +2 stage

all students have to work in Agriculture Sector for one year and then in Defense Sector for another year before joining college.

An aspiring candidate must have a PhD in any subject and an experience of 5 years of professional service. So minimum age for a candidate for elected position will be 35 years. [Sanjeev: Every Indian citizen must have FULL RIGHTS to contest and be a representative. This idea of “qualification is anti-democratic in addition to being puerile. This I know that millions of illiterate farmers are far more competent and sensible than these people.]

Supported by the public it may take about 5 years to set things in order.

We trust the people to come to power…….

LIBERAL PARTY OF INDIA

6/12. SARVAPRIYA VIHAR

NEW DELHI …………110016.

liberalpartyofindia24@gmail.com

This tweet I put out a couple of days ago applies perfectly to this loonie bin called LPI

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