Absolutely Hilarious

I know I am late on this but I am trying to spool back up on this site so allow me to catch up.  It turned out that that the IPCC’s Amazon claim (that 40% of the rain forest was at risk from global warming) came from the Facebook page of a 12-year-old girl.  OK, just kidding, it didn’t, but the source is not much better — apparently the claim was just thrown up on a web page of a Brazilian activist organization in 1999, and then pulled down in 2003.  Everything since has been one long game of “telephone.”  The whole story is fascinating and worth reading.

12 thoughts on “Absolutely Hilarious”

  1. Yep. I fucked it up. I do that all the time. Watch out for how frequently I mis-spell Anthony Watts’s name, even while I profess to be a great admirer of his inane ramblings!

  2. The Trolls pay complements, and argue one’s case, to the extent of their vociferous and sophomoric activities.

    One might as well take a gander at this virtual Rain-forest of unsubstantiated (and actually ludicrous) contentions…all made in good cause one might assume http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm ….but then, what’s that? They’re a Complementary and Alternative Medical supply concern? Whatever their intentions encouraging sloppy analysis and abandonment of any kind of rigor in assessment of anything would be their personal interest.

    No wait, how about any of the other countless sources that endlessly pontificate about a purported relationship between hypothesized AGW and loss of Brazilian rainforest? None of them has any scientific basis beyond something like “if it rains less the forest won’t regrow…&etc” pure speculation based on pure speculation.

    Whatever the trend turns out to be for Climate Change, that rainforest is going ‘bye bye’ (at least as we now know it) in any event…simply because the folks down there will chop a lot of it down, thin it out and change it’s character to enrich their own lives….just like we did with our own aboriginal forests long ago. Deal with it. It’s really inevitable. Retreat to the ‘la la land’ of appeals to heroic action may be emotionally satisfying, but counterproductive, as they distract attention and resources from real positive activities that might actually improve eventual outcomes.

    But then it makes sense, since environmental advocacy really is all about self-actualization after all, not the environment (except the internal self-conceptual environment, anyway).

  3. The Facebook page of a 12 year old girl? No
    The webpage of a Brazillian activist organisation? also no

    The cliam comes from an IUCN/WWF report Global review of forest fires, which in turn bases its claim on Nepsted et al. 1999. Large – scale Impoverishment of Amazonian Forests by Logging and Fire, Nature, Vol. 398, p. 505

    While the cliams of the IUCN/WWF report can’t really be born out in the Nepstead study so the 40% claim is a bit of a leap and probably not correct its hardly as “hillarious” as portrayed by the headline.

    I don’t think this hysterical headline is justified. It might have actually been better just to have reported the facts, but I suppose actually its not about facts is it.

  4. The source of the assertion in the WWF fire report ( obtainable at http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wwf.de%2Ffileadmin%2Ffm-wwf%2Fpdf-alt%2Fwaelder%2Fbrnde%2FForest_Fires_Report.pdf&ei=mIA_TMjRE4OC8gbGq6mKCw&usg=AFQjCNEauN2LGuqp1yBYG5egJlwOnJXO7A&sig2=fJotqFUbGmhInVIgp3DJRg) turns out to be a small environmental advocacy group associated with Woods Hole Institute, from advocacy propaganda they’d presented.

    See http://www.globalpost.com/webblog/united-kingdom/the-source-amazongate

    Warren’s characterization is not far off the mark at all…..

    One should remember the WWF is itself simply a advocacy group, and not at all objective in any sense. It serves its own agenda, not truth or scientific accuracy. That’s not to say it’s any worse than any other such group, or the worst among them….but that’s still what the WWF was and is.

  5. @ FDUK:

    “The cliam comes from an IUCN/WWF report Global review of forest fires,…”


    And if the claims “can’t really be born out in the Nepstead study”, how can you say the report “bases its claim on Nepsted et al. 1999”

    Your credibility is nearly as bad as the IPCC’s.

  6. Russ R,:

    You can find the WWF’s Forest Fire ‘Report’ (a nice title for advocacy literature, IMO) at http://data.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/2000-047.pdf and the WWF’s apologetic for using the Brazilian environmental group’s literature as a source, without citation at http://www.wwf.org.uk/wwf_articles.cfm?unewsid=3684 including their claim that the Nepsted work ( http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v398/n6727/full/398505a0.html) corroborates their assertion.

    The more recent NASA study calls such contentions very much into question, since it counters their model based speculative predictions with actual observed results to the contrary. For my part it seems pretty clear. If the Forest is so sensitive to drought, why’s it there at all? I mean, there have been numerous periods of prolonged drought there in the past, and yet these didn’t eliminate the Forest extent present at the beginning of the most recent period of general climactic conditions. It seems easily the safest basic assumption is for relative drought resilience rather than extreme sensitivity. And this is on top to the fact that to date observational data does not reveal any increase in forest fires, nor any increase in drought, corresponding to either general changes in overall temperatures (from whatever cause) or increases in the concentration of CO2 itself (although I’d venture a guess any relation to the latter would be positive with respect to Forest resilience rather than negative).

    At any rate there’s nothing anywhere that can be objectively claimed to support the contention made by the IPCC and charges it amounts to nothing other than non-scientific speculation don’t appear answered (or perhaps even answerable).

    On this one the score is

    Skeptics: 1
    Climate Alarmists: 0

  7. In his science fiction Robert Heinlein imagined a set of mechanical servo-mechanisms referred to commonly, based on the work, as “Waldoes”. The point was their being engineered for highly refined, sophisticated and very fine manipulation almost transparently at the will of whomever directed them. If they’re limited to crude, blunt swipes (even in mindless service to the dictates of a fading convention) they don’t deserve the name Waldoes, but should more properly be referred to as ‘Puppets’.

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