Friday, August 31, 2018

More crooked science:  Another researcher who won't release the raw data behind his controversial claims

We see below that Warmists are not alone in that fraud.  Making your raw data available is basic to science.  But since the Left has become overwhelmingly influential in the universities, scientific ethics are much decayed.  Why be honest about your research when you believe that "There is no such thing as right and wrong"?  The Replication crisis has revealed that up to 70% of published research is unreplicable, meaning that its conclusions are almost certainly wrong

A shock 2016 study argued that the U.S. accounted for nearly one-third of all mass shootings, sparking global headlines about the dangers of an American gun culture.

Now another researcher says the original study “botched” the data.

John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, crunched the numbers and said his count shows that the U.S. had less than 3 percent of the world’s mass public shootings over a 15-year period.

That is smaller than the 4.6 percent of the world’s population that the U.S. accounts for — and way less than the 31 percent of global mass shooters that Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama, claimed in his widely publicized studies.

“If you fix the data, you get the opposite result from him,” Mr. Lott said. “He has the United States way out there, all by itself in terms of mass public shootings. He’s simply wrong. The United States, when I go through this, ranks 58th in the world in the rate of mass public shootings and 62nd in the world in terms of murders from mass public shootings.”

Mr. Lott said he tried to get Mr. Lankford to disclose his data but the professor won’t share it with him or other researchers, making it impossible to double-check the original claims or to figure out why Mr. Lott’s numbers are so different.

Mr. Lankford’s research, first released in 2015 and presented to the American Sociological Association in 2016, garnered stories from The New York Times, Newsweek, CNN and The Washington Post, among dozens of others, that said it was proof, as CNN put it, that “the U.S. has the most mass shootings.”

Mr. Lankford studied the period from 1966 to 2012 using data from the New York City Police Department’s active shooter report, a 2014 FBI active shooter report and some foreign accounts.

He identified 292 incidents worldwide in which at least four people were killed — the FBI’s definition of a mass murder. Of those, 90 were in the U.S. — 31 percent of the total among 171 countries.

The professor also found that shooters in the U.S. were more likely to arm themselves with multiple weapons and more likely to attack at schools and business locations.

Mr. Lankford, who claimed to be the first to attempt a global survey, said his results suggested there was something to the American psyche that left people disaffected when they failed to achieve the American dream. He said they turn to violent outbursts with firearms.

“It may thus be the lofty aspirations and broken dreams of a tiny percentage of America’s students and workers — combined with their mental health problems, distorted perceptions of victimization, delusions of grandeur, and access to firearms — that makes them more likely to commit public mass shootings than people from other cultures,” he postulated in his 2015 paper.

Yet he has failed to post the data on all 292 shootings. Early academic critics said it’s easy to find data for U.S. shootings but trickier for tracking incidents in foreign countries.

Mr. Lott, meanwhile, turned to data from the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database and followed up with Nexis and web searches to try to catch cases that the database missed.

He said good data exist only for recent years, so he looked from 1998 to 2012 and found 1,491 mass public shootings worldwide. Of those, only 43 — or 2.88 percent — were in the U.S. Divide that by per capita rates, and the U.S. comes in 58th, behind Finland, Peru, Russia, Norway and Thailand — though still worse than France, Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Looked at from the number of victims in those shootings, the U.S. again ranks low, with just 2.1 percent of mass shooting deaths, Mr. Lott said.

He has released a 451-page appendix detailing each of the shootings and his thoughts on how he classified it, and he shared his data with other academics, including, he said, Mr. Lankford.

The professor, though, told The Washington Times that he wasn’t going to get drawn into a back-and-forth over the issue.

“I am not interested in giving any serious thought to John Lott or his claims,” he said in response to an email seeking comment.

Another professor, Carl Moody, an economist who studies crime at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, said Mr. Lott got it right.

“When I saw John Lott’s paper, I went to the Global Terrorism Database … and counted the number of mass shootings in the U.S. compared to everywhere else. Lott is right,” he said by email.

He added: “By the way, anybody can do this. The GTD database is free and available to all.”

Mr. Lott said his study still overstates the U.S. problem compared with the rest of the world.

He said it’s easy to get good data about shootings in the U.S., but tracking down attacks in far corners of the globe is tough. In some countries, he said, violence is so common that shootings of four people — the minimum for a mass public attack — merits little or no coverage.

Then there are places such as the Solomon Islands that suppress news reports “The police made it clear that since their nation gets most of its revenue from tourism, they saw little benefit to providing this information,” he said.


Global Warming Brings Snow To Europe In Summer

In case you missed it, there is repeated allusion below to a statement made in 2000 by Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia.  He said: "Within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event. Children just aren’t going to know what snow is".  One of Warmism's more amusing false prophecies.  Note that Britain's CRU is one of the great temples of Global Warming

Good news. Children who don’t know what snow is can now ski in summer. Heavy Summer Snowfall in the European Alps – Austria, Italy, Germany & Switzerland Receive Up To 40cm -- Matt Wiseman, Mountainwatch

Heavy snow fell above 1500 meters across the European Alps this weekend with a number of destinations reporting over 40cm of the fluffy white stuff.

While it is still summer in Europe, temperatures dropped over 15 degrees and dipped into the negatives in less than 24hrs

European heatwave comes to an abrupt end -- Debbie White,  Mail Online

There’s been a dramatic plunge in temperature across parts of Europe where searing heat has suddenly given way to heavy snowfall of up to 40cm – despite it still being summer.

About 25cm of snow was dumped on Germany‘s highest peak, the Zugspitze, where temperatures reached a decidedly chilly 19.4F (-7C) yesterday.

Even Italy gets snow and a minus 8 C freeze.  A ski resort in northern Italy was coated with 10cm of snow on Sunday as  temperatures plunged to -8C.

Snow is also falling on Calgary and Alberta too.

Locals are a bit surprised: Monday, August 27, 2018, 9:59 AM – We know it’s Monday, so we won’t blame you for doing a double or even triple take of this August snow in Alberta. That’s right we said SNOW.

No doubt, climate change will be blamed for this freak weather.

Soon, children won’t know what science is.


France’s environment minister quits, raps Emmanuel Macron

Macron is actually less popular than Trump

French President Emmanuel Macron’s reputation as a leading climate change activist suffered a blow Tuesday with the abrupt resignation of his environment minister.

Nicolas Hulot, an outspoken environmentalist and former journalist, unexpectedly announced his departure in the midst of a routine interview on France Inter radio. He cited constant disappointments with what he considers the French government’s lax approach to tackling climate change, as well as its dependence on nuclear power.

"I no longer want to lie to myself," he said. "I don’t want to give the illusion that my presence in the government signifies that we are answering these problems properly. So I have made the decision to leave the government."

The president has been widely seen as the chief defender of the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Accords, as well as one of the few world leaders willing to stand up to President Trump on the issue.

After Trump announced in June 2017 the United States would withdraw from the Paris agreement, Macron pledged to "make our planet great again." He has received positive press for luring US climate scientists to France.

Hulot suggested on Tuesday that there was little substance behind those grandiose declarations.

"Have we begun to reduce the use of pesticides? The answer is no. Have we started to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? The answer is no. Or to stop the erosion of biodiversity? No."

Hulot’s resignation was particularly striking because it took Macron’s government by surprise. Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux, a guest on BFM TV at the same time as Hulot’s bombshell interview, acknowledged that Macron had not been warned. Some of Hulot’s colleagues, making the usual rounds on the morning shows, were visibly stunned when presented with the news.

"Is that a joke?" asked Marlene Schiappa, France’s gender equality minister, her face angled in an amused smile.

They also struck back at Hulot’s criticisms. "I hear his disappointment, but we must give him and the government credit for what has been done over the course of a year," Griveaux said, citing incremental progress on saving species and transitioning away from nuclear energy. "We can’t have results in just one year, and Nicolas Hulot knows that."

Macron was elected in early May 2017 and took power shortly thereafter.

Hulot’s departure means the loss of one of the most popular members of Macron’s entourage. The minister is a former TV personality whose program endeared him to many in the generation of younger voters who came of age in the 1990s.

It also adds to a quiet but constant stream of turbulence at the Elysee Palace. Although Macron is often seen abroad as the composed, stable antidote to the political tumult in the London of Brexit and the Washington of Trump, four members of his Cabinet have resigned after charges related to political corruption.

Additionally, Macron’s chief of staff, Alexis Kohler, is under investigation for alleged influence peddling and violations of conflict-of-interest rules. Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen is under investigation for having illegally enlarged the premises of the publishing house she ran before entering the government. Budget Minister Gerard Darmanin was investigated for rape earlier this year; the charges were later abandoned. Hulot, too, came under fire in February for allegedly sexually assaulting a granddaughter of former French president François Mitterand in the late 1990s — an allegation from 2008 that he denied. The government stood by him.

The government has also been plagued by a scandal concerning one of Macron’s former personal security guards, Alexandre Benalla, who was caught on camera beating and dragging two protesters during the annual May Day demonstrations.

The way Macron appeared to protect Benalla before the footage was revealed in the press has cost him significantly. The most recent Ifop poll, published Sunday, showed 66 percent of the French public is dissatisfied with his performance, a five-point boost from the month before. Thirty-four percent of those consulted expressed a favorable view.

Hulot’s resignation may portend a shift in the public identity of a government that styles itself as "neither right nor left." From the beginning, the key players in the Macron Cabinet were defectors from France’s traditional center-right party, and Hulot’s absence will mean even less of a voice for those on the left.

Macron’s nominally centrist party, La République En Marche ("Republic on the Move”), holds an absolute majority in Parliament. But what remains of a political opposition immediately seized on Hulot’s resignation as a sign of further trouble ahead.

"The resignation of Nicolas Hulot serves as a vote of censure against Macron," announced Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the far-left France Unbowed faction, on Twitter. "Macronism begins its decomposition."

The president took the news in stride. On an official visit to Copenhagen, Macron refrained from criticizing Hulot, saying he hoped "always to be able to count on the engagement of this free and convinced man."


Climate Activists Want Gov. Brown To Shut Down Fossil Fuel Production In Calif.

On the heels of Judge William Alsup’s decision to dismiss San Francisco’s and Oakland’s climate change lawsuits, local California officials are turning to new symbolic tactics, including pressuring Governor Jerry Brown ahead of his Global Climate Action Summit.

A group of 150 local elected officials sent an open letter to Governor Jerry Brown last week to chastise him for not completely shutting down fossil-fuel production in the state.

In the letter, the local officials demanded that Governor Brown pursue a meaty list of harmful and unrealistic policies:

"Recognizing that we are in a climate emergency, as you have rightly done, and given the grave public health and environmental justice consequences of fossil fuel production in California, we respectfully urge you to make a new statewide commitment and lay out a plan for California to achieve the following:

"End the issuance of permits for new fossil fuel projects, including permits for new oil and gas wells, infrastructure for fossil fuels, and petrochemical projects in California.

"Design a swift, managed decline of all fossil fuel production, starting with a 2,500-foot human health buffer zone around all occupied structures, public parks, and farms to protect public health and vulnerable communities.

"Commit the state to 100% clean, renewable energy, starting with significant investments in disadvantaged communities and areas that are already suffering the most from the negative impacts of fossil fuel extraction.”

To attract additional attention to the letter, Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson and Richmond Vice Mayor Melvin Willis wrote an op-ed that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and decried the "toxic consequences of California’s complicity in one of the most toxic, polluting, dangerous industries on Earth…”

It is important to note that Richmond is one of the cities that filed a climate change lawsuit nearly identical to the lawsuits dismissed from officials in San Francisco, Oakland, and New York City.

The letter comes after reports that extreme environmentalists are livid that Governor Brown has refused to deny all new fossil fuel development in the state.

Kassie Siegel, a climate program director at the activist group Center for Biological Diversity, articulated this goal in response to a statement from the California Department of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources about California’s stringent environmental standards.

"There’s no way that any new fossil-fuel development can be compatible with a safe climate,” Siegel claimed.

In addition to the Center for Biological Diversity, anti-energy groups like, Earthworks, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Hollywood United for a Healthy California, Oil Change International and others have partnered to create a campaign ominously named Brown’s Last Chance to pressure the retiring Governor ahead of his climate summit.

The campaign also calls for the immediate ban of new fossil fuel production in California, as well as a plan to "phase-out all fossil fuels as quickly as possible.”

Notably absent from the list of activists attacking the governor are some of the country’s largest environmental groups, such as the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Resources Defense Council, and even the Sierra Club.

In an op-ed ‘bravely’ written for the New York Times, a newspaper published approximately 3,000 miles east of Sacramento, founder Bill McKibben attempted to explain the intense focus on Governor Brown:

"So far, Mr. Brown has not stood up to the oil industry. He’s not alone, of course — very few leaders have shown this kind of courage. (In Canada, the theoretical climate champion Justin Trudeau recently nationalized a pipeline in order to make sure that the exploitation of Alberta’s dirty tar sands could continue.) But Mr. Brown is term-limited, not to mention 80 years old; he’ll never run for office again, so like no other leader, he could resist the financial might of the fossil fuel industry.”

In other words, Governor Brown has nothing to lose since he is on his way out the door.

As the climate change lawsuits brought by local governments continue to fail, local officials and radical environmentalists are becoming increasingly desperate in their attempts to take down the oil and gas industry.

Instead of recognizing Governor Brown’s role in enacting aggressive climate change policies, local officials are now throwing the Governor under the bus to distract from their own failed efforts.

Instead of working toward consensus-oriented solutions to mitigate climate change, environmentalists continue to fight amongst each other over how best to attack oil and gas companies.

We can only wonder how much more chaotic this will become if additional climate lawsuits are similarly thrown out by the courts, as many legal experts expect to happen.


Australia to prioritize electricty prices over climate policy. Power bills to drop more than $400

Household energy bills could drop by as much as $400 under Federal Minister for Energy Angus Taylor's new plan. Mr Taylor set out his priorities before his first speech to parliament today after being sworn into the role.

He will outline the plan, which is focused around better competition, better reliability, a price safety net for consumers, and steps to end price gouging, at a small business summit in Sydney. 

'I'm focused on getting prices down while I keep the lights on. I've got one KPI. I've got one goal,' he told on The Australian on Thursday.

'At the end of the day, we just want to get prices down. We're not going to get ideological about it; we just want to get the outcome. It's very pragmatic,' he said.

Mr Taylor says reducing emissions in line with Paris Climate Agreement targets, which previous plans had said was needed to provide certainty to the industry, is not part of his brief.  'Frankly, I think there is some naivety in the idea that governments can largely eliminate uncertainty, or should even try,' Mr Taylor said.

The price safety net Mr Taylor wants to implement is based around the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's proposed default market price to replace unregulated standing offers, which could save households up to $416 a year and small businesses up to $1457. 

Mr Taylor takes charge of energy after it was broken off from the Environment portfolio by new PM Scott Morrison in a gesture signalling major market reform.

While working as a financial analyst for Port Jackson Partners in 2013, Mr Taylor authored a report that suggested the costs of electricity could be reduced by dropping the Renewable Energy Target. Speaking at an event in 2013, Mr Taylor said dropping subsidies for wind farms would cut energy bills by more than $3billion. Mr Taylor also argued emission targets could still be met and the savings could be up to $300 per household by 2020.

Energy and emissions targets have long been a dividing issue in party rooms with policies going as far back as the Rudd government's proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme failing to gain consensus.

The latest iteration of the policy, which Mr Turnbull called the National Energy Guarantee, was instrumental in his downfall because the conservative faction in the Liberal Party is staunchly opposed to the plan.

A key point was to legislate a reduction in emissions of 26 per cent, a number in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, but one critics said was pointless if big emitters did not follow suit.

As the new front bench was sworn in on Tuesday, Mr Morrison labelled Mr Taylor his 'most important minister'.

'A tough job, but an extremely important one that has a big impact on so many Australian households and businesses,' Mr Taylor tweeted of the appointment.

Many see Mr Taylor, who has a Master of Philosophy in Economics from Oxford University, as the man to bring sense to the debate.

'The problem with energy policy for years is it doesn't focus on the energy, it focuses on if you are in favour of coal, wind, solar or hydro,' Mr Taylor said. 'What we should be wanting is reliable, affordable power that brings down our emissions.'

The 'Minister for getting energy prices down' as the new PM labelled him when he announced his new front bench on Sunday, has long been a critic of rushing into a transition to renewable energy, particularly the wind farms being built in his electorate of Hume.

'The obsession with emissions at the expense of reliability and affordability has been a massive mistake,' he told radio shock jock Ray Hadley two weeks ago. 




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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