Saturday, April 29, 2006

LA Times Book Festival

A good time with lots of talented people. I saw this author of this very lyrical New England novel, and David Rains Wallace, who I showed my copy of The Klamath Knot to from 1984 and told him how much it influenced me to do something. Alas the salmon are dwindling still. It heavily influenced my turn into conservation work at the time as did Desert Solitaire and A Sand County Almanac. The topic was what can be done through nature writing to influence policy? It's dismal, and less media real esatate is available than back then. I agree. Just try to get nature-oriented work published in The New Yorker as I have.

Gore Vidal, who is failing physically, but certainly not mentally, was a riot with Arianna Huffington.

Back tommorrow for Gay Talese and others

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I see two of my letters to the editor at the NY Times are now pay for Times Select pieces.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Book Stuff

Well here's another successful plaigiarist, and this time an ethnic teen-ager with a half-million dollar deal. Oops she just happened to copy one of those less successful authors.

Over at Miss Snark's Gin Mill the topic has been iUniverse ads in the NYTBR from whence the above story comes. "Vinnie" from Michigan, a freelance direct mail copywriter according to the bio, which is junk mail where I come from, published a book with Sourcebooks but really longs to be a iUniverse author like me. You know, someone who has been rejected by the "establishment," unfairly, and whom apparently prefers plagiarists. iU has an ongoing co-op ad program which costs each vanity press writer $2500 to get in the Times. Vinnie and even Miss S thinks iU footed the bill. Uh uh. Nope. This is vanity pressland. The writers get the check every time . And they sign on the front.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Wingnut Bingo

Tim Lambert has a great new game called Global Warming Sceptic Bingo. It tried to get GM's Corner staff to formulate an argument without using the matrix of fallacious assertion in the game and of course they couldn't since it's all they have. The hypothesis tested positive.

Spaghetti Monster

I've often wondered what this was.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Amazon Attacks

I managed to get several troll reviews removed from my sites at Amazon. It wasn't that they weren't obvious ad hominem oblivious to the books' content, [they called them novels] but deliberate political slams from conservatives and frequently cited as examples of my personal ineptitude on all matters scientific or journalistic. Pointing out that amateur these fake reviews carried no weight never stopped it. The appeal to inappropriate authority fallacy in full play was nonetheless annoying. It will be no longer. This is SOP in ideological attack politics. The attempt to discredit the messenger has been once again foiled.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Wall Street Journal Conundrum

Just when you think it's a done deal as with this Earth Day slam, in which I have the commentary lead, we find this evolution piece from the reality-based community. There may be hope yet.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

No False Balance

America's media coverage is also well behind the curve, says Harvey. "In the United States you have lots of news stories that, in the name of balance, give equal credence to the skeptics. We don't do that here—not because we're not balanced but because we think it's unbalanced to give equal validity to a fringe few with no science behind them."

And this is a pit US journalism has to climb out of lest we continue to have the most clueless society on Earth.

Read the wholeVanity Fair piece.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Diming the Sun

Great show on Global dimming from aerosols or particulates from pollution. The bad news for sceptics is this amplifies global warming. Something tells me the "dim" critics won't see it that way.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Dr. Lindzen I Presume

This astute blogger takes apart Lindzen and his ties to industry opposed to the idea of global warming. Deniers have the conservatives in their pocket in turn as ExxonMobile has them.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Murry Waas The New Woodward

That's what Jay Rosen is saying these days and he's right. Waas is the best there is now. From his National Journal latest edition: "Wilson also said that the ambassador told her that a "four-star Marine general had also already talked to current officials, and that he too had concluded and reported that he believed there was nothing to the allegations."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Fred Carter

Enough said.

Monday, April 10, 2006

An Aussie Denier

"Thanks to the work of a Canadian statistician, Stephen McIntyre, and others, this graph [Michael Mann's 'hockey Stick'] is now known to be deeply flawed."

Anyone who says this has read Michael Crichton and believed his fiction. It's not flawed at all. McIntyre is an economist and should stick to the UI rate in Canada, not gloabal warming. He's a joke and has been proven so. Why is it he can convince those who should know better. Politics. And I suspect money. A greased palm will say anything.

False Balance

"In the face of scientific consensus, creating the illusion of a debate is itself the ultimate victory."

That's the idea but the jig is about up. The sooner the better.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Lies Part II

Two senior government officials said that Tenet did recall, however, that he made inquiries regarding the veracity of the Niger intelligence information as a result of inquires from both Cheney and Libby. As a result of those inquiries, Tenet then had the CIA conduct a new review of its Niger intelligence, and concluded that there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein had in fact attempted to purchase uranium from Niger or other African nations. Tenet and other CIA officials then informed Cheney, other administration officials, and the congressional intelligence committees of the new findings, the sources said.

From Africa...oooh. He knew it was BS. Knew it. That's intent. That's deliberate. Nice work by Murray Waas of National Journal.

Did Bush Lie?

I was asked this repeatedly and I chose intentionally misleading as my language of choice on the matter, but lying by omission is better given this article.

"On at least four earlier occasions, beginning in the spring of 2002, according to the same records and sources, the president was informed during his morning intelligence briefing that U.S. intelligence agencies believed it was unlikely that Saddam was an imminent threat to the United States."

I think ignoring contrary evidence and asserting less than credible ones that support a predetermined position to invade Iraq is indeed a lie. Wanting to believe the worst with evidence things aren't that dire and people dying by the thousands as a result is well, dubious leadership to say the least and criminal negligence at the worst.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Missing Link

This is huge. This dude will be on t-shirts.

Bush Authorized Plame Leak

Politt Bureau Management

More heavy handed muffling of global warming scientists at NOAA . "It's more like the Nazis or Soviet Union over there," Jim Hansen said

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ignatius Gets It

Libelling Jim Hansen

Yeah the prince of darkness Robert Novak strikes again, joining George Will in repeating the same lies for literary effect. The TIME article has gotten the wingnuts' attention and they are moving quickly to counter Hansen and CBS for telling the truth about global warming. They're afraid big time, so trot out the lies, repeat and so on. It's what Republican operatives do with the help of their press shills.

As the RealClimate team notes "Hansen in 1988 over-predicted global warming by 400% (a story originated by Pat Michaels and subsequently propagated by Michael Crichton). This story is a fabrication that has already been set right by us in 2004."

Hansen was correct in 1988 by giving three sets of circumstances and picking the middle one which turned out to be dead on the money, but Michaels et al used the lowest with different factors and never mentioned the one Hansen chose. This is old fashioned disinformation: a smear campaign. It should be exposed as that.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Revalation

"As a former missionary in Kenya," wrote John Christy of the U of Alabama Huntsville in 2001. "We know that climate will change despite anything we might do. Glaciers and ice caps have been melting since end of the last ice age. That will continue. Sea level has been rising for thousands of years. Areas threatened by further rises will see perhaps an additional inch per decade."

This rosy scenario is from the only naysayer in the current AP story on global warming. There is a tie-in to naysayers and the clue is in the first sentence I quoted here. Relality is oh so different. Consensus doesn't mean everyone. But it means a majority less influenced by belief. We've seen the damage it can do. Let's not let it do any more.

Will's World

"But suppose the scientists and their journalistic conduits, who today say they were so spectacularly wrong so recently, are now correct."

The problem with George Will's spectacularly dimwitted observation is no scientists and their journals said this in 1976. None warned of a deep freeze on the horizon, but of course some journalists did. Editorialists like him. But they are correct now and were then.

"Will also quotes "a full-blown 10,000-year ice age" (Science, March 1, 1975). The quote is accurate, but the source isn't. The piece isn't from "Science"; it's from "Science News". There is a major difference: Science is (jointly with Nature) the most prestigous journal for natural science; Science News is not a peer-reviewed journal at all, though it is still respectable. In this case, its process went a bit wrong: the desire for a good story overwhelmed its reading of the NAS report which was presumably too boring to present directly."

The cost of doing something is too high Will says and yet he accuses sinister tax breaks for fighting carbon as reasons not to do it, since we can't be sure of anything and it will ruin the economy. Since when has that been a concern for a Republican?
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