Friday, November 28, 2008

Media Bias

The Australian Newspaper rightly criticizes the Fairfax press for their treatment of Anthropogenic Global Warming (,25197,24722322-16382,00.html).

The basis for this appears to be the view that the science is settled and there is consensus on the issue. This is utterly false. There remains substantial dissent on the issue. The debate held at the conclusion of the climate change session at the 33rd International Geological Congress in Oslo in August this year is a good example. The words of Galileo still ring true: "In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual." Despite what some alarmists are saying there remains plenty of time to keep an open mind.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Prince of Precaution: Big Tim's Little Monster

Coming soon from Marc Hendrickx.

Big Tim is the Prince of Precaution. He has seen an Angry Green Warty monster in the cave off Mint Fry Lane. He rushes back to town to warn everyone. After hearing Prince Tim's hair raising description the townsfolk drop everything to help rid the kingdom of the beast. They prepare for the battle through the harsh winter and eventually they are ready. As they approach the cave to confront the beast they realise it's not quite what they expect it to be.

It seems that Big Tim has some explaining to do.

Friday, November 21, 2008

We're not scared anymore Mr Gore Electronic Edition Free Download

An electronic (PDF) edition of We're not scared anymore Mr Gore has now been released. Free to download, but donations are certainly welcome!

Just click HERE or right click the link and save target.

Submit to donations through Paypal using email address

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Praise for "We're not scared anymore Mr Gore" "Thats awesome! Love it."

We received the following review of We're not scared anymore Mr Gore from reader Dana Francis:

"We're not scared anymore Mr Gore is one of the sweetest parody's around. Is it the only one on climate change? Portraying Mr Gore as Death complete with Hockey Stick graph as scythe is a classic. The special edition with Mrs Pailing (aka Sarah Palin) was especially amusing, and most timely. Is that a pump action shotgun she is holding? I'm looking forward to more from geologist author Marc Hendrickx. Definitely worth the $20 bucks. More please!"

From Watts up with That? reader
Paul S: "Thats awesome! Love it."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why most published research findings are false

Michael Duffy interviewed Professor John Ioannidis (Professor: Department of Hygiene & Epidemiology University of Ioannina Greece) on ABC Radio National program Counterpoint on Monday. Professor Ioannidis is co-author of a paper titled "Why most published research findings are false". This makes interesting reading and listening for those who still believe that published papers are without flaws.

The paper is available through Pub Med at:

And the interview via ABC at:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Carr's Curse

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett blasts Macquarie Bank employee and former NSW premier Bob Carr in today's Australian.,25197,24667522-601,00.html

Like many former ALP leaders Bob Carr suffers from selective amnesia and attempts to adjust history in his favour. The fact remains that Carr’s obsession with cutting debt, to sate the whims of now discredited financial rating agencies, at the expense of spending on much needed infrastructure improvements in areas of transport, health and education has left much of Sydney looking like east Berlin after the fall of the Berlin wall. It will take many years to undo the damage. Jeff suggests at least five but it will be more like 10 for the necessary infrastructure to be built. We can only hope that a change of government will see an end to his damaging influence on NSW state politics. Amazingly Carr continues to suck at the public teat while in the pay of Macquarie Bank. In prior centuries such behaviour from public officials was rewarded not with a government pension, but with a jail cell on the likes of the island of Elba…or worse. I wonder if there remains room on this little island to house our own man of letters?

Nathan Rees has the golden opportunity to go down in history as the best premier of this lamentable era if only he decides to save us all by falling on his own sword and call an election. Call it now Nathan, lest we storm the barricades.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Debate on Peer review continues

Letter writers to the Sydney Morning Herald continue to hash out ill informed debate on the peer review system.

As flawed as it is, it remains the best system science has and as Marc Hendrickx pointed out last week: "The best tests of science remain the long-term reproducibility of results and strength of theories against falsification. "

Friday, November 14, 2008

Does psychology count as serious science?

Is the ultimate arbitrator of psychology: Morning TV and talkback radio? Is this really a serious science? Your comments appreciated!

"most peer-reviewed published science is useless rubbish"

It seems that Marc Hendrickx's criticism of the peer review system has struck a cord with at least one of the Sydney Morning Herald's readers. Letter writer Jon Jenkins makes the following point:

From today's Sydney Morning Herald 15/11/2008:

"The system of peer review in science has become corrupted, with rorts such as rampant cross-authoring (putting names of non-contributing colleagues on papers to build their CVs) and "coffee time" agreements to approve each other's works.
Almost all grants, funding, pay, promotions and accolades are as a result of numbers of papers published. A far more useful statistic would be the number of citations, a measure of the work's usefulness.
As stunning as it is that most published papers are found to be false within five years, two other statistics are even more blunt: 50 per cent of publications are never read by anyone, and 95 per cent of peer-reviewed science is never cited, other than by the authors themselves.
In other words, most peer-reviewed published science is useless rubbish. "

Hard to agrue with those figures Jon, but were they peer reviewed?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Peer review problems

As the following letter by Marc Hendrickx in today's Sydney Morning Herald points out, it ain't all plain sailing in the world of academia!

"The peer-review system for publication in science journals is inherently flawed and in desperate need of an overhaul. Emeritus Professor Brian Milton's comments (Letters, November 13) in support of the system reveal a naivety that appears common among senior academics raised at a time when academic performance, pay and position were not so closely tied to publishing papers.
The pressure to churn out papers has put exceptional demand on the peer-review system and resulted in many low-quality papers slipping through - often by watering down or exaggerating conclusions to pander to the whims of editors or high-profile reviewers.
The chances of publication are boosted by adding the names of well-credentialled supervisors or senior academics who typically contribute nothing or very little. This would be considered fraudulent in most other fields of publication.
In my experience, blinding reviewers to the names of authors and vice versa is practised by only a few journals. Reviewers are not paid for their time and there is little recognition of their work. Their opinions are often disregarded by editors keen to fill journals and meet publication deadlines.
The failures of the system were highlighted by the paper by the epidemiologist John Ioannidis, presumably peer-reviewed, cited by Michael Duffy ("Truly inconvenient truths about climate change being ignored", November 8-9). It suggests most published findings are proved false within five years of publication. If the system is as good as Emeritus Professor Milton suggests, how can this rubbish, produced by "pure-minded" academics supported by "independent" government funds, get a tick?
The best tests of science remain the long-term reproducibility of results and strength of theories against falsification. The current theory of dangerous climate change driven by anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions has not yet passed those tests. Getting published these days is no guarantee of quality."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We're not scared anymore Mr Gore - SPecial Edition

We're not scared anymore Mr Gore SPecial Edition now available!
21 colourful pages of hard hitting parody, a steal at $20 USD plus postage.
Contact to place an order!
Don't miss this great Christmas gift for the little skeptic in your family.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

NSW mini budget a farce!

With the Mini budget a farce it appears New South Wales are set to endure another 2 years of torture at the hands of the NSW ALP as they squander more opportunity and sell off more assets to support a collapsing balance sheet to protect an irrelevant AAA credit rating. We do not ask that much of our leaders but we do require that they have a modicum of competence, integrity and a basic understanding of the role that governments play in making things better for their constituents. NSW ALP simply do not understand these basics and looking back at the scant legacy of former leaders Carr and Iemma it is clear that they never did. The sad thing is that we have yet to hear anything constructive from the opposition who have also had plenty of time to built an alternative vision for the state. Given the wasted landscape painted by the ALP this should be a walk in the park for the Barry O’Farrell and yet all he has to show us after 12 years is a blank canvas. It's about time Barry started painting!

Climate models must be reliable!

Gavin Schmidt (Sydney Morning Herald Letters, 11/11- claims that the inability of climate models to predict the current hiatus in global warming is irrelevant. He is plainly wrong! The fact that climate models have been unable to reliably forecast what is now a decade long period of natural temperature stability does not bide well for their ability to extend these forecasts out to the end of the century. This fact is highly relevant to policy makers who are relying on these models to forecast future changes in climate and the effects of costly mitigation measures. If the models are wrong then what is the basis for the current crisis?

We're not scared anymore Mr Gore

Ms Green is surprised when Mr Gore comes to teach the class about the dangers of climate change. Mr Gore looks at the evidence and the outcomes of man made global warming. It's scary stuff. He gets a lot of help on the way from Ms Green but in the end It's Mr Gore who learns a thing or two about the climate. How fast can you run Mr Gore?

A climate change spoof by geologist Marc Hendrickx.

For orders please email

$20 USD per copy plus postage-Paypal only

Aslo We're not scared anymore Mr Gore Special Editon featuring Mrs Pailing

And coming soon:

Big Tim's Little Monster (a fable about the precautionary principle)