The UnAustralian

Thursday, June 24, 2004
Climate Models

A new climate model, CCSM3 has just been released.

No doubt, the climate change skeptics, who don't believe that climate models are relevant to the real world will be downloading it* and generating some results which support their case... Hang on, that would be in a world where the climate change skeptics actually have some integrity. They simply sit around asserting that climate models aren't relevant to the real world.

* or an earlier version, if they don't have a supercomputer at home.
| 7:24 PM
Quote of the Day

Political Scientist Christopher Carney, who was brought in to look at documents by Doug Feith's Office of Special Plans so as to second-guess trained analysts at the CIA who actually know Arabic, first made the mistake of identifying the two. Carney is an Americanist at Penn State and had no business butting in.

The family name (here, nisba) of the al-Qaeda guy in Malaysia is Azzawi.

The family name of the guy in Iraqi intelligence is Ahmad.

Do you notice how they are not the same?

The personal or first name of the al-Qaeda guy is Ahmad.

The personal or first name of the Iraqi intelligence agent is Hikmat.

Do you notice how it is not the same?

So, Ahmad Azzawi is not Hikmat Ahmad. See how easy that is?

Mr. Ahmad Azzawi has a couple of middle names, to wit, Hikmat Shakir. Having a couple of middle names is common in the Arab world.

Lt. Col. Hikmat Ahmad just has one middle name, Shakir. This is the only place at which there is any overlap between them at all. They share a middle name. And, o.k., one of Azzawi's middle names is the same as Lt. Col. Ahmad's first name.

--Juan Cole brutally takes Christopher Carney apart
| 7:14 PM
The Day After Tomorrow... Again

Pharyngula gives The Day After Tomorrow a serve. Can't find much to disagree with, apart from the part about it being worse than Van Helsing - I thought that the movie was simply typical Hollywood crap.
| 7:07 PM

Another article in today's Oz is John Hirst advocating for more flags in schools and all of the associated junk (my words, not his) that go along with it.

I have very little sympathy for his viewpoint. I feel that oaths, saluting flags etc is worthless, unless the adult (not child) who is doing the swearing/saluting is doing it because they feel that it is worthwhile, not because they have to.

If it had have been an option when I was a child, I (along with all of my friends) would have mocked the whole process mercilessly. Upon reflection, a bit of skepticism and sarcasm towards authority isn't a bad thing.

As an aside, how ridiculous would Hirst's old school oath sound now;

I am an Australian
I love my country the British Empire
I honour the King
I salute his flag the Union Jack
I promise cheerfully to obey his laws.

| 6:55 PM

Ross Terrill has an interesting article in today's Australian on Taiwan.

While I don't know to much on recent Chinese history, I'm sympathetic towards the Taiwanese independent leaders. My general philosophy is that if the people of a region want to breakaway (subject to referenda etc), then so be it.
| 6:49 PM
Sunday, June 20, 2004
The Day After Tomorrow

It seems that all blogs which comment on climate change need a post on the movie, The Day After Tomorrow, and now that I've seen it; here's mine.

The movie is based off a book, The Coming Global Superstorm by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber. These two authors are a class act. When not covering climate change, they look into subjects such as alien abductions and government conspiracies. The science in the movie, is about what you'd expect for this type of author.

The movie itself is enjoyable, but has about as much science in it as any typical blockbuster.

Personally, abrupt climate change doesn't really worry me that much (at least not in the short-term). While a possibility, it is unlikely to occur until the climate has warmed significantly (perhaps in the region of 4 degrees). And if it does happen, the consequences should be much less than what is portrayed in the movie. By that time, our knowledge of climate systems will be orders of magnitude better than what it is now, so will our ability to cope with the changes. Abrupt climate change, is an important issue, but it frequently gets too much attention relative to other climate problems.

Of course if you, like Strieber and Bell, believe that climate scientists have got it wrong, then perhaps you should worry...
| 6:59 PM
Back from the Dead

One of my blogrolled blogs, A Token Lefty, has come back from the dead.

Unfortunately this blog, The Unaustralian, can't decide whether it is back from the dead or just twitching...
| 6:51 PM
Website of the Day

Exxon Secrets profiles all (hopefully) of Exxon's contributions to the climate skeptic industry.
| 6:47 PM