Sunday, August 24, 2014

Denier Smorgasbord: Old men want freedom to vacuum madly, the Arctic and Judith Curry's "interesting"

Sou | 8:26 PM Go to the first of 41 comments. Add a comment

There are two reasons why you've not seen the usual number of articles here the last few days. The first is I've been busy on other things, unrelated to climate science and its denial. The second is that deniers have been deadly dull. They've been recycling the same old tired and wrong denier memes for the most part. Nevertheless, there's always some entertainment to be had at denier blogs, even when the pickings are thin.

Making criminals of "average" people who clean their home?

The ageing conservative American men who dominate WUWT have been bemoaning the latest news about their favourite task, vacuum cleaning. A subject I'm sure they are intimately familiar with. They probably see it done several times a week, from the comfort of their favourite rocker. If they aren't out playing golf. And I'll bet that most of them swear they could do the job better than the person who actually does the vacuuming. What they are up in arms about is the idea that were they to live in Europe, in a few weeks they wouldn't be able to buy their womenfolk vacuum cleaners that suck up any more than 1600 watts of electricity (archived here). Anthony Watts even goes so far as to claim that:
"One more reason to dump the EU- they are going to make criminals out of average people who just want to keep their home clean. – Anthony". 
He probably meant "who just want their women to clean up after them". And of course, he's wrong. People can continue to use their old vacuum cleaners. Even men can do so. Even conservative ageing men who deny climate science can do the vacuuming any time. It's just that in future, if they want to buy a new vacuum cleaner, their purchasing choice will be restricted to more energy efficient units.

The Arctic is melting and it's driving deniers mad

Anthony Watts posted an extremely long (>13,000 words) and what seems to me a convoluted article by Tony Brown, of central England temperature / an ice age cometh fame. It was more of a novella than a "guest essay". (Archived here.) I might come back to that one later on. I did notice a comment by Steve Mosher at Curry's place, which related to Tony's article. Steven Mosher wrote:
August 23, 2014 at 10:14 pm
tony “However, the conclusion must be that drawn that warming was more widespread in the arctic generally -not just the Atlantic side-than is currently noted in the official sea ice data bases covering1920-1945/50 and that the official records appear to substantially overstate the ice area extent. Some of the thinning of the ice and reduction of glaciers noted today appears to have had their genesis in the period referenced, or earlier.”
with no actual numbers, no actual method, no actual uncertainty calculations, I fail to see how your conclusion MUST BE drawn.
In general we have a collection of text that is long on adjectives and short on quantitative analysis. Further since we have apples and oranges to compare its hard to say anything MUST be drawn.
Finally, I find it odd that today when it warms and the arctic melts, skeptics, such as Anthony point to the wind and soot .. as if warmer temps did nothing. but when looking at historical records they quickly assume that warmer temps mean less ice. I dont doubt the latter, I only note the inconsistent application of a principle amongst skeptics

Judith Curry finds John McLean "interesting"

Judith continues to wallow in the depths of denialism, finding an article by Australia's John McLean "interesting". John's the computer operater / climate science denier who somehow managed to get a paper published, in which he removed the temperature trend from global surface temperatures and then looked at what remained and declared there was no trend. To much hilarity from all whose knowledge of statistics was at least sufficient for them to calculate an average of two numbers. John also declared, in 2011, that  "It is likely that 2011 will be the coolest year since 1956". Guess how that turned out! John is a denier of the utter nutter kind and so is Judith Curry, for giving him the slightest bit of credibility.

From the WUWT comments

This is a bit of a mish mash from a couple of WUWT articles. First from the vacuum-cleaning experts:

Andrew N has done his sums. I wonder how many times he's pulled out a vacuum cleaner? He says:
August 22, 2014 at 9:18 pm
It appears the ecocrats of the EU have confused power with energy. If it takes you twice as long to clean while using half the power then you have used the same amount of energy. Have they factored in the CO2 generated by the increased effort required by the vacuumer in any of their saving the planet calculations?

Eric Worrall decides that using an energy efficient vacuum cleaner is the worst punishment that could be doled out to anyone, causing much pain and misery all around. He visits from time to time. Perhaps he'll share some tips from his years of experience with vacuuming cleaning his floors. He says:
August 22, 2014 at 9:46 pm
In a totalitarian state, the measure of your power is how much misery you can cause.
Anyone can be nice – but spreading pain and misery proves to your colleagues that you are powerful. 

There were 58 comments to Tony Brown's book. Here is a sample:

Nick Stokes says, of Tony Brown's article:
August 22, 2014 at 5:52 pm
Congratulations, Tony
A very informative post
I don't know which bits Nick found informative.

Paul Homewood says (extract):
August 22, 2014 at 2:43 pm
It’s a bit long!!

FergalR says:
August 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm
I can’t possibly read all this while drunk. Maybe tomorrow afternoon. More likely Monday evening.
Hans H says:
August 22, 2014 at 3:32 pm
Dunno why u spread this Noaa/Giss stuff ? Check raw data n do it again. ” as seen in the graph” is not ok..n really Wuwt must know by now ?

Sorry for the paucity of articles the last few days. I'll hope to do better this coming week.  BTW, feel free to point out how sexist I was, poking fun at all the old conservative men getting upset about vacuum cleaners. I think I was being ageist rather than sexist. And there's good grounds for the stereotyping, don't you think?

Foster, G., J. D. Annan, P. D. Jones, M. E. Mann, B. Mullan, J. Renwick, J. Salinger, G. A. Schmidt, and K. E. Trenberth. "Comment on “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature” by JD McLean, CR de Freitas, and RM Carter." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012) 115, no. D9 (2010).  doi:10.1029/2009JD012960


  1. Well, I have noticed a streak of ageism in your comments. Recently I suppressed an urge to comment on it but as you have brought it up I will now say something. So just to point out that I first used a computer keyboard over 45 years ago and a typewriter keyboard before that. Perhaps you are too young to remember typewriter keyboards but they have not changed much. So please stop saying we are incapable of using a keyboard because of our age!! :)

    1. Okay you win, Jammy You beat me to a computer keyboard by a year, or maybe two. My memory is not what it was. I'm not as young as I used to be :)

      As for typewriters, yes, and before that pen and ink. You know, not just fountain pens, the old style pens dipped in the inkwell where the ink got all over your fingers.

      Still, you'd be regarded as a progressive. The deniers I'm making fun of are predominately older, male and conservative. With all that goes along with it, like typing is for secretaries and women should know their place. :D

      That's me stereotyping (on a tablet).

    2. A tablet? Nasty new fangled things. Where's the keyboard?

    3. He he. There is a choice. One on the screen and neat little clip on one. I use it on the road (like now).

    4. Talking of vaccuum cleaners. I am going to sell mine. It is only gathering dust.

      (Attributed to Edinburgh Fringe comedian).

  2. Here in the UK deniers like to pretend that energy prices are an issue for them. At least that's what they pretend while they are claiming that renewable energy is too expensive. So there's considerable hypocrisy if they are now complaining at EU legislation intended to make appliances more energy efficient.

    Coincidentally, my energy bills now contain a comparison with other households in a similarly sized house. My energy consumption is just 17% of the average. Oh the cost of being green!

    1. How do you manage that Millicent? Small house? Very green house?

      I am feeling a bit green - with envy.

    2. I did downsize to a very small well insulated modern house. If you are influenced by mainstream media then you'd probably believe that such a small house is unpleasant to live in, but actually its very nice to have a house that is warm in winter and cool during even the hottest summer. I used to rattle about in a much larger house and I don't miss that. I did have to sort out decades of accumulated crap and take a lot of it to charity shops.

      But its not just the house: the same energy bill tells me that I use 24% of the energy used in 'efficient similar homes'. I ditched an old 1980s fridge for a modern energy efficient one, and I cook using a microwave as much as possible. The washing machine is set to low temperature. I don't leave anything on standby. I have all energy efficient light bulbs. etc. etc.

      I am working on the garden. That was made into a stone and concrete desert by previous occupants. But with decent outside vegetative cover its possible to reduce heat loss by up to 40% or so its claimed. And the garden gives me lots of food now, at least in the summer months.

    3. Sounds good. I am about to embark on a similar course and downsize my house. I had not considered a modern house much but it makes sense.

    4. When we switched to 100% wind many years ago my utility sent out information including the estimated cost of an electricity bill per quarter in a four-person household after making the switch.

      This was considerably more than we'd been paying, but we thought we ought to walk the talk, and went ahead anyway.

      Our actual costs turned out to be less than 40% of their 'average household' estimate. I sometimes wonder what 'average households' do - or, more specifically, what they run - all day...

      Now we've got PV, on a net feed-in tariff, and 100% wind for the supply gap. Energy costs aren't much of a headache!...

    5. Bill, I do not know in your country but in France every energy provider tends to overestimate the estimated bill. I guess this is for two reasons :
      - they plan ahead with a larger load, and thus are able to adapt more easily to the actual consumption (easier to provide less power than the other way around)
      - larger estimated bill -> larger income (for them) each month -> more cashflow that can be used to get more money through market shares or sparing plans interests. Even though they will give back the excess money, they still possess for a short time more money -> more profits.

      These are my guesses, second one being snarkier than the first one ...

  3. Anthony probably uses a Dyson. They're rubbish, in my opinion.

    1. Agree and I've bought two of the things. Anthony probably has the one with the ball, called Tim.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. You mean they suck?

  4. Vacuums sucking up 1.6 kW? What the hell do you need that much power for? Mine appears to take 33W, and does a fine job (battery-operated, so it also draws when it's not doing anything).

    Maybe if I had carpets I'd want something more powerful, but even 50x the power is a bit excessive.

    1. I wondered about that. 1600 W sounds like a lot and it is. That's over 2 hp.

      Our Henry (well-known brand in the UK) is rated at 1100 W max, 850 IEC (whatever that means) and current models are rated at 580 W. I wonder if *any* domestic vacs in Europe are over 1.6 kW anyway.

      33 W doesn't sound right, though.

    2. That's what the roomba's power supply is rated at apparently (according to people who have taken the thing apart and looked up the part number). It runs off a battery that lasts over an hour, so it can't be taking much juice. You have to add that it's drawing 4W when it's idle.

      As a bonus, I don't need a woman to vacuum for me. As a negative, I need to make sure I find her power supply cables and ear buds and etc before the roomba does, or they come out a bit worse for the wear.

    3. Well my old Dyson is 700W so I guess I'll need to give it some go faster stripes (and maybe mess with the exhaust to make it noisier) if I am to compete with boy racer types. It seems to do its job perfectly well without any of that however, even if I don't clean the filters as often as I should.

  5. Nick Stokes was obviously being ironic. Nick may have been testing what he's allowed to say since his temporary ban, for speaking truth to stupid, at WTFUWT.

    1. Second that. Seeing a so long post ranting about vacuum cleaners must have sucked up even his very large patience ...

    2. "Nick Stokes was obviously being ironic."
      Actually not. I was a bit brief, conscious of my uncertain status at WUWT (now restored, it seems). But I do appreciate Tony's careful search for history, even if I don't agree with what he makes of it.

  6. FWIW, the EU vacuum-cleaner stuff is barking. If we have bureaucrats with nothing better to do, we should fire them. We really don't need this level of interference in our lives.

    1. It is little different from, for example, emission controls on cars. It will encourage manufacturers to innovate. Look what happened to the American car industry when it resisted instead of getting on with it.

    2. I do not know a lot about the EU decision but I would not be quick to condemn without knowing more.

      And William - get over it. We do need that level of interference to achieve the level of carbon mitigation that is required.

      In Australia mandated energy efficiency standards have had a dramatic effect on energy usage.

      It works unlike the European ETS.

      "So what has caused our power consumption to fall rather than rise? The biggest single reason is the introduction from the late 1990s of regulations to increase the energy efficiency of refrigerators, freezers and many other residential and commercial appliances, and to increase the energy efficiency of new buildings.

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/watts-happening-electricity-demand-falling-as-prices-continue-to-rise-20140822-1072t4.html#ixzz3BMGs9mpU

    3. What fraction of energy use is from using household vacuuming? Is recreational hoovering with great high powered sport-utility vacuums a real thing in England?

    4. Efficiency standards on fridges and the like have more impact, obviously, but when the machinery is in place to set those it's hard to stop it. So it moves on down the energy-chain, only to stop after electric toothburshes. It's in the nature of bureaucracy.

    5. The only truly efficient electric toothbrush is what you might call an acoustic toothbrush - i.e. the manual version. Mission creep is a marked feature of the eternal and needless complication of products, too - indeed, regulation struggles to keep pace!

      As for regulating vacuum cleaners that use more power than a clutch of mobility scooters... 'get over it' indeed!

    6. Some considered analysis of the EU vacuum cleaner proposal.


  7. An article at Engineering.Com caught my attention - One Engineer's Perspective On Global Warming. The article has generated 228 comments and 12,600 views in 10 days time. It may be worth deconstructing this nonsense being peddled by David Simpson.

    1. Wow. That's impressively rubbish. He can't even state the theory he's attacking without utterly mangling it.

    2. The Monck appears to make an appearance in the comment section. Brrrr.....

    3. "The Monck appears to make an appearance in the comment section."

      Still claiming to have had written peer reviewed papers as well. Has he had any papers peer reviewed yet? I don't think so.

    4. Where do you start? No one can be that wrong in just about every sentence without being a liar or a lunatic (I rule out total idiot because the perp can type readable English).

    5. I see he has a gas/oil-related business http://www.muleshoe-eng.com . Would this be something we would expect a lunatic to be running?

      Oil & Gas Engineering Consultantcy

      Based in the San Juan Basin of Northern New Mexico, MuleShoe Engineering can address issues in Coalbed Methane, Low Pressure Operations, Gas Measurement, Oil Field Construction, Artificial Lift, and Project Management wherever your operation is.

    6. Didn't Upton Sinclair say something about that?

    7. This is approaching "not even wrong" territory; i.e., it's barely coherent enough for one to make a meaningful critique.

  8. There is an equally stupid article about this in the Guardian - a paper I would normally recommend. However there's a comment there (by Jdopus) that links to the EU's policy discussion:


    From that:

    Measurements however show that the declared input power is not related to the performance. Vacuum cleaners with high power have an unnecessarily high energy consumption, while not performing any better than vacuum cleaners with less power.

    1. Pfft: if true, they should publicise the info, not ban the machines.

  9. "Pfft: if true..." Well you could look at the evidence presented in the link, before expressing doubt.

  10. Full Fact article on appliances regulation. A bit worried about the idea that hairdryers can be any wattage as long as they show an improvement in performance. Could be a few heads going up in smoke.



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