It woz the volcanoes wot dunnit

Feb 4th, 2024 8:57 am | By

A thing dissenters say about global warming is that volcanoes contribute way more than human activities. Back in 2009 Scientific American said nuh-uh.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the world’s volcanoes, both on land and undersea, generate about 200 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, while our automotive and industrial activities cause some 24 billion tons of CO2 emissions every year worldwide. Despite the arguments to the contrary, the facts speak for themselves: Greenhouse gas emissions from volcanoes comprise less than one percent of those generated by today’s human endeavors.

200 million v 24 billion. Hard to argue that it’s close.

Another indication that human emissions dwarf those of volcanoes is the fact that atmospheric CO2 levels, as measured by sampling stations around the world set up by the federally funded Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, have gone up consistently year after year regardless of whether or not there have been major volcanic eruptions in specific years. “If it were true that individual volcanic eruptions dominated human emissions and were causing the rise in carbon dioxide concentrations, then these carbon dioxide records would be full of spikes—one for each eruption,” says Coby Beck, a journalist writing for online environmental news portal “Instead, such records show a smooth and regular trend.”

You also have to wonder why the whole warming thing started around the same time the first railroads were built.

No replies

Feb 4th, 2024 8:46 am | By

Hey kids: never ever do this.

Never ever say you’ve demanded a meeting with someone high up in government followed by speculation on the someone’s reasons for ignoring you.

Why? Why never ever do this?

Dear oh dear isn’t it obvious? I’m quite sure it’s obvious.

To remind them

Feb 3rd, 2024 12:38 pm | By


Oh that’s not censorship, it’s just…er…not having.

Guest post: Fact check your “fact checking”

Feb 3rd, 2024 11:25 am | By
Guest post: Fact check your “fact checking”

Originally a post at Miscellany Room by Your Name’s not Bruce?

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith set to announce changes to policies around “gender” issues

(A link in the above piece takes you to a “CBC Explains: How gender-affirming health care for kids works in Canada” page that carries lots of trans talking points and next to no dissenting ones.)

Most of the above measures seem to be aimed at keeping minors from irrevocable changes. Prime Minister Trudeau has done the forced teaming work for Team Trans, calling the proposed policies “most anti-LGBT policies anywhere in this country.”

Not to be outdone by the CBC, Global News flaunts its own captive status allyship by supposedly “fact checking” Smith’s claims about “trans women” athletes.

It spends most of its space discussing the Semenya case and testosterone levels. It downplays the irreversible musculoskeletal and cardio-pulmonary advantages that male puberty confers on trans identified male athletes, and quotes a study that concluded that

The CCES study also noted that social factors have a greater impact on athletic performance than hormones.

“Researchers in the sociocultural field of study argue that social factors contribute to performance advantages to a far greater extent than does testosterone and that assessing testosterone levels is another way to perpetuate the long history of policing women’s bodies in sport,” the report reads.

“Researchers highlight the many social factors that contribute to differences in athletic performance, including, for example: discriminations, disparate resource allocations, inequities, and violence against women in sport in the forms of sexism and sexual violence in sport contexts, arbitrary differences in rules and equipment between men’s and women’s sport, as well as histories of barring women from certain sports.”

(This “study” was discussed on B&W.)

I decided to “Report an error” on the Global News “Fact checking” piece. This is what I wrote:

You might want to fact check your “fact checking.” Here’s a critique of the CCES report upon which this story so heavily relies:

One of its conclusions is that ‘the CCES strategy is a continuity with the history of the exclusion and oppression of female athletes in sexist, misogynist, patriarchal sport structures whilst, at the same time, masquerading as inclusive, anti-sexist and anti-misogynist.”

Also, as a basic fact, humans can’t change sex. Trans identified males remain male, however they dress, whatever name they give themselves, and whatever “gender” they claim to have. “Gender identities” don’t play sports, human bodies do. Sports are segregated by sex so that women can have their own level playing field. Letting men cheat their way into women’s sports under the guise of “trans inclusion” destroys fairness for women in favour of men, obviating the reason that women’s sports were established in the first place. But sure, you go ahead and keep saying that men in women’s sports have no advantage: 

It probably won’t do a goddamn thing, but still worth it.

The wounded sufferer

Feb 3rd, 2024 11:14 am | By

Sidney Blumenthal on DARVO Trump:

Time after time, with predictable regularity, never missing a beat, Donald Trump proclaims his innocence…

Then, he declares himself to be the victim. Whatever it is, he is falsely accused. But his self-dramatization as the wounded sufferer is only half his story: he insists that whoever has accused him is in fact the offender. He emerges triumphant, the martyr, the truth-teller, courageously unmasking the real villain. J’accuse!

Trump’s pattern is textbook manipulation – literally. It has a precise name given to it after decades of academic research. Jennifer Freyd, now professor emerita of psychology at the University of Oregon, developed the theory over her career studying sexual assault, trauma and institutional betrayal. She named the process by which the perpetrator seeks to avoid accountability Darvo – a strategy with the elements of denial, attack, and reversal of victim and offender.

Or in a single word: bullying.

Trump’s instinctive reliance on Darvo goes beyond the mean-spirited tactics he learned from Cohn. Those lessons settled long ago into his pathology, becoming something more pervasive, systematic and fundamental, defining Trump’s behavior in every area of his life.

I think it’s probably even more fundamental than that: I think it’s probably that he just is a poisonous, mean, selfish, sadistic shit. Tragically for all of us he’s a poisonous, mean, selfish, sadistic shit who was able to leverage his daddy’s real estate business into a major cash cow, upon which a brainless tv network decided it would be a good idea to make him a star. It would be nice if he were just a poisonous, mean, selfish, sadistic shit of a minor Queens landlord, but that’s not the world we live in.

Enhance all the games

Feb 3rd, 2024 10:55 am | By

Arwa Mahdawi on the malign influence of Peter Thiel:

He, along with a group of other venture capitalists, is currently deploying part of his vast fortune to help bankroll a pro-drugs version of the Olympics called the Enhanced Games. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a sporting competition in which participants are encouraged to take as many performance-enhancing substances as they can get their steroid-enlarged hands on. All in the name of science and innovation, naturally.

Much science! Peak innovaty! Artificial enhancements are good at artificial enhancement. Who knew?!

Honestly? It sounds amazing. I would 100% watch. It’s a real shame Thiel, who currently runs spy tech firm Palantir, doesn’t spend all his resources on reality TV ideas masquerading as science instead of his many other dystopian projects. Thiel, you see, isn’t just a guy who really likes the idea of bionic boxing: he’s a libertarian and ideologue who has an exerted an oversized and pernicious influence on American politics and culture.

For all his obsession with innovation, Thiel has some stone-age views on the world. He doesn’t seem completely sold on the whole women-having-rights thing, for example. In 2009, for example, he published an essay lamenting that women being given the right to vote had dealt a blow to libertarianism. His exact words: “Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women – two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians – have rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron.”

By “libertarian” of course Thiel means “letting billionaires do whatever they want all the time.”

He wasn’t even talking to her

Feb 3rd, 2024 10:00 am | By

A feel-good story from Paris:

A French policeman who called a female sexual assault complainant a “whore” has been let off by a police court.

The incident happened in February 2022 when the woman filed her complaint at a Paris police station. The officer later rang her and left a voicemail message about paperwork but his insults were accidentally recorded after he thought he had hung up…

During the hearing, the court was to asked consider that the officer made the insults to himself or to his colleagues, and that they were not aimed directly at the woman…A female judge ruled that the comments had not amounted to a sexist insult and acquitted the officer.

Well, sure, it’s not a sexist insult because women who report sexual assault obviously are whores, also bitches and cunts and Karens. Bitches.

The repellent front pages on Mars

Feb 3rd, 2024 9:46 am | By

Just a straight-up lie. Many people have lined up to point out that there are no such front pages. No newspapers are glorifying the children who killed Brianna Ghey. (It would be extremely odd if there were. What would that even look like?)

Puberty made everything worse

Feb 2nd, 2024 11:03 am | By

The NY Times has plucked up the courage to run a piece on detransitioners.

Grace Powell was 12 or 13 when she discovered she could be a boy.

Well, no, she didn’t discover “she could be a boy.” She discovered she could claim to be a boy, identify as a boy, pretend to be a boy. Let’s be careful about how we word things, ok?

Growing up in a relatively conservative community in Grand Rapids, Mich., Powell, like many teenagers, didn’t feel comfortable in her own skin. She was unpopular and frequently bullied. Puberty made everything worse. She suffered from depression and was in and out of therapy.

“I felt so detached from my body, and the way it was developing felt hostile to me,” Powell told me. It was classic gender dysphoria, a feeling of discomfort with your sex.

What? How do we know it wasn’t “classic” discomfort with puberty? Why assume it’s “classic” gender dysphoria? Isn’t that how we got into this mess in the first place?

Reading about transgender people online, Powell believed that the reason she didn’t feel comfortable in her body was that she was in the wrong body. Transitioning seemed like the obvious solution. The narrative she had heard and absorbed was that if you don’t transition, you’ll kill yourself.

Yes, like that. It’s a socially constructed belief, fostered by “reading about transgender people online.” Hold that thought: it’s important.

At 17, desperate to begin hormone therapy, Powell broke the news to her parents. They sent her to a gender specialist to make sure she was serious. In the fall of her senior year of high school, she started cross-sex hormones. She had a double mastectomy the summer before college…

Well thank god they made sure she was serious first, and then a week or two later let her get her tits chopped off.

At no point during her medical or surgical transition, Powell says, did anyone ask her about the reasons behind her gender dysphoria or her depression. At no point was she asked about her sexual orientation. And at no point was she asked about any previous trauma, and so neither the therapists nor the doctors ever learned that she’d been sexually abused as a child.

So what did the “gender specialist” actually talk to her about?

“I wish there had been more open conversations,” Powell, now 23 and detransitioned, told me. “But I was told there is one cure and one thing to do if this is your problem, and this will help you.”

I guess her parents picked the wrong gender specialist.


Feb 2nd, 2024 10:47 am | By

Oh hey, the queer rivers book is published by my neighbors at the University of Washington.

A snip at $30 for the paperback.

Rivers host vibrant multispecies communities in their waters and along their banks, and, according to queer-trans-feminist river scientist Cleo Wölfle Hazard, their future vitality requires centering the values of justice, sovereignty, and dynamism. At the intersection of river sciences, queer and trans theory, and environmental justice, Underflows explores river cultures and politics at five sites of water conflict and restoration in California, Oregon, and Washington.

What intersection is that exactly? In what way do river sciences and trans theory intersect? For that matter what is “trans theory”?

The politics of rivers in the west is in fact both important and interesting. There’s a lot of real content in that subject. What it has to do with people who think they’re the opposite sex is…opaque.

Incorporating work with salmon, beaver, and floodplain recovery projects, Wölfle Hazard weaves narratives about innovative field research practices with an affectively oriented queer and trans focus on love and grief for rivers and fish. Drawing on the idea of underflows—the parts of a river’s flow that can’t be seen, the underground currents that seep through soil or rise from aquifers through cracks in bedrock—Wölfle Hazard elucidates the underflows in river cultures, sciences, and politics where Native nations and marginalized communities fight to protect rivers. The result is a deeply moving account of why rivers matter for queer and trans life, offering critical insights that point to innovative ways of doing science that disrupt settler colonialism and new visions for justice in river governance.

Yeah I don’t believe a god damn word of that. I think the result is, on the contrary, an obnoxious change of subject from something that matters to something that is utterly trivial and narcissistic. Put it in a box and bury it.

Queering the rivers

Feb 2nd, 2024 10:34 am | By

Heads up! It’s time – long past time, actually – to learn about queer river justice.

Sure sure sure, you can totally see it. Rivers are queer as fuck. They’re long, they can wind, they flow, they’re deep (except when they’re not), they have indigenous names, they’re special, they have souls – the list is endless.

Rivers matter for queer trans lives. Rivers have long been places of encounter for those outside of straight settler propriety; they are brown in the way that José Esteban Muñoz describes, “the way in which they suffer and strive together, but also the commonality of their ability to flourish under duress and pressure…they smoulder with life and persistence.”

That’s so beautiful, and so profound. Look at the Thames now – so far outside straight settler propriety.

Wait what is straight settler propriety exactly? Not humping the cattle on Sundays?

If they’re smoldering they’re probably in Akron or Pittsburgh or Flint, because normally rivers are too wet to smolder. Sounds nice and Heathcliffish though, doesn’t it.

Queer-trans people make joyous moves of solidarity when we swim in rivers and splash along other shorelines – to wear what we like to the beach, to see and support one another, to be admired in our bodies without apology. Such everyday acts of life, love, and dreaming big transgress settlers norms of sexuality and family and require uprising and political transformation.

Yep. That hot new bikini totally trangresses those settler norms. Uprise in your bikini and claim all the rivers for TransForMation!

Safer for women and girls who shut up when told

Feb 2nd, 2024 9:38 am | By

Filia reports:

On 29th January I attended an event organised by the local council and billed as one of a series, with the aim of ‘hearing your ideas’ to ‘create the positive change you would like to see’ in Brighton & Hove.

This particular evening, the focus was supposedly on making the city safer for Women and Girls, which is why I was there. I’m the co-founder and CEO of a Feminist charity called FiLiA. Many of our team members are survivors of male violence, and we work to amplify the voices of Women, particularly those less often heard or purposefully silenced. What I witnessed during the course of the two-hour workshop left me shocked; silencing, intimidation and a lack of willingness to engage on what is one of the key topics within the VAWG sector currently.

Let’s guess. Someone dared to talk about women? Not women and men who pretend to be women, but just women?

Brighton Sisters have highlighted that 100 Sussex police officers have been investigated for allegations of domestic abuse in the past five years and that the police force has failed to record almost 10% of sexual offences. Brighton & Hove’s own Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy (2023-2026) reveals that ‘during 2021/22, the police recorded 1,239 sexual offences in Brighton and Hove, of which 1,077 were serious sexual offences including 397 rape offences.’ 463 crimes and incidents of stalking were logged in the same period and 45% of respondents to a survey about VAWG in public spaces stated that they had experienced sexual harassment.

It is this context in which the Re-Imagine Brighton event took place.

First the ground rules were set, which included:

  • Treat everyone with respect, empathy and kindness
  • Allow individuals to share their stories at their own pace and comfort level

One survivor of male violence, Allison Hooper, welcomed the Re-Imagine Brighton initiative. She asked that the issue of Women self-excluding from mixed-sex services please be addressed. Allison raised the case of Sarah Summers who is suing Brighton’s Rape Crisis Centre Survivors’ Network for discrimination because it ‘refused to provide a women-only peer support group’. Allison had chosen to share her story and request via the printed page, which was distributed by a couple of attendees at the start of the workshop.

An enraged council employee and facilitator (who I believe has something to do with policy and communications) tore around the room with fury across her face, snatching the document from hands and tables. When she reached for mine, I had to place my hand firmly on top of the paper as she tugged at it. ‘No’ I said firmly, looking her in the eye, and she retreated to the remaining tables to complete the task as best she could. The task contradicted everything the workshop was supposed to be about and set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Sooooo that’s treating everyone with respect, empathy, and kindness is it? That’s allowing everyone to share her story?

At the end of the two hours, an attempt was made to redistribute Allison’s contribution which (if handled properly) could have provided an opportunity for an important and respectful discussion that clearly needs to take place in this city.

What followed was intimidation of the Woman doing the distributing. One individual simply stood and stared intently at her for a lengthy period; another followed her out of the room to tell her that she had no right to hand out such leaflets. The two security personnel were busy chatting with the aforementioned policy and communications facilitator at the back of the room and did nothing to intervene to de-escalate the situation.

An article in Brighton and Hove News claims ‘She and other council officers and councillors described them to other attendees as “offensive” and “transphobic”.’

So an event billed as about improving things for women turns out to be about coddling men who pretend to be women while abusing and silencing women who try to talk about…improving things for women.

It’s not a free choice

Feb 2nd, 2024 7:25 am | By

How dare she.

Women and girls are whipped, beaten up, imprisoned, killed for not wearing that loathsome snuffer. What is the purpose of it? To keep men from getting erections because a woman has hair on her head. How about forcing men to wear iron underpants instead of forcing women to wrap blankets around their heads?

Hur hur bananas

Feb 1st, 2024 5:10 pm | By

And so we arrive at full circle: contempt for and mockery of lesbians by The Most Oppressed of Them All.

I’m gobsmacked by that, I must say. The new contempt for lesbians just like the old contempt for lesbians. Don’t worry: just be sure to mock and dismiss women and you’ll always be on the right track.

People want to speak up but

Feb 1st, 2024 5:04 pm | By

That Tweet is providing cover.

Dawkins is now a human shield!

20 decks, 40 restaurants, and a waterfall

Feb 1st, 2024 4:49 pm | By

Bloomberg on the cruise ship question:

When Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas embarks on its first official voyage on Jan. 27, the journey is sure to make waves. The world’s largest cruise ship, the Icon is over 1,000 feet long (360 meters) and weighs in around 250,000 gross registered tons. It boasts 20 different decks; 40 restaurants, bars and lounges; seven pools; six waterslides and a 55-foot waterfall. Royal Caribbean says its boat will usher in “a new era of vacations.”

Maybe so. But the Icon is also a doubling down on a negative aspect of cruising’s current era: greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2022, Bryan Comer, director of the Marine Program at the International Council on Clean Transportation examined the carbon footprint of cruising as compared to a hotel stay plus air travel — since cruises are effectively floating hotels. His analysis found that a person taking a US cruise for 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) on the most efficient cruise line would be responsible for roughly 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms) of CO2, compared with 518 pounds (235 kilograms) for a round-trip flight and a stay in a four-star hotel. In other words: Taking a cruise generates “about double the amount of total greenhouse gas emissions” as flying, Comer says.

Also, Bloomberg goes on to say, people usually fly to get to the cruise ship.

People are also going on cruises in bigger numbers than ever.

Cruise ships’ climate impact isn’t limited to emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere. The enormous vessels also spew a soot-like substance known as black carbon, which absorbs sunlight and traps heat on the ground. In the Arctic, which is playing host to a growing number of cruises, black carbon can settle on snow and ice, speeding up the rate at which glaciers melt. Bartolini Cavicchi says that while cruise ships account for around 1% of the global fleet, they’re responsible for 6% of black carbon emissions.

Well maybe once Alaska is covered in soot people won’t want to take cruises there any more.

Just kidding. By that time people will be killing each other for a loaf of bread.

But liquid natural gas! Better!

LNG-powered ships do emit 25% less CO2 than those running on conventional marine fuels, but one 2023 investigation by environmental activists found that cruise ships running on LNG often leak some of it directly into the atmosphere as methane, a greenhouse gas that in the short term is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide. For three out of four engine types, the investigation determined that LNG was worse for the climate in the short term than conventional fuels.

Ok ok ok but long term it will be great. Somehow.

Starmer’s pets

Feb 1st, 2024 11:22 am | By

Joan Smith on Keir Starmer’s buddy relationship with the People of Gender:

[G]ender-critical women’s organisations and even some of his own MPs struggle to get a meeting with Sir Keir Starmer. 

Not so trans activists, for whom Starmer apparently has all the time in the world. This week he welcomed members of the lobby group LGBT+ Labour to a reception at Westminster and offered them everything the most dedicated trans activist could want, short of self-ID. Starmer was accompanied by a raft of frontbenchers including his deputy, Angela Rayner, and the Shadow Women and Equalities Minister, Anneliese Dodds.

“Together we’ll ban conversion therapy, strengthen hate crime laws and tackle health inequalities,” Dodds posted excitedly on X.

But the “conversion therapy” she means isn’t conversion therapy, and by “health inequalities” she probably means the tragic unfairness of not being able to swap sex as easily as you can swap hats. Meanwhile, what about women? The people who are subject to rape which goes uninvestigated, unprosecuted, unconvicted, unpunished? Any inequalities there?

It must be galling for Labour MPs such as Rosie Duffield, who has been relentlessly targeted by LGBT+ Labour, to see the party’s leading figures palling up to its members. Starmer has not spoken to Duffield for more than two years, leaving her to cope unsupported with endless smears and demands that she should lose the Labour whip. He is evidently more comfortable with the widely-ridiculed MP for Jarrow, Kate Osborne, who was at the reception despite having boasted on X about her delusion that some women have a penis. 

It’s galling for Rosie and for all of us – galling, infuriating, frustrating. It feels as if 50 years of progress have been torched.

Too busy yelling at clouds

Feb 1st, 2024 9:00 am | By

Trump loses another fight. Loser.

Donald Trump’s attempt to bring a case in the UK against a former MI6 officer who compiled a salacious dossier linking him to Russia has failed. The former president had been seeking to use data protection laws to sue the company run by Christopher Steele but the High Court has thrown out the case.

Mr Steele compiled the dossier which contained unproven allegations about bribing officials and sex parties. It was leaked to the media just before Mr Trump was sworn in as president.

It was BuzzFeed that leaked it, not Steele.

Trump filed the case too late. He says that’s because he was too busy being president. Too busy tweeting is more like it.

The non-binary faithful obsess

Feb 1st, 2024 7:44 am | By

Dawkins is prodding the gender ideologues.

The way the non-binary faithful obsess about intersexes, and about individuals who can’t produce gametes, amounts to a pathetic clutching at straws while they drown in postmodern effluent. Yes, some fish change from sperm-producing male to egg-producing female (or vice versa). That very statement relies on the gametic definition of male & female. Ditto hermaphroditic worms & snails who can produce both male & female gametes.

In any case, the existence of intersexes is irrelevant to transexualist claims, since trans people don’t claim to be intersexes. Also, as if it matters, humans are not worms, snails, or fish.

The rare tetra-amelia syndrome (babies born without limbs) does not negate the statement that Homo sapiens is a bipedal species. The rare four-winged bithorax mutation does not negate the statement that Drosophila is a Dipteran (two winged) fly. Similarly, the occasional individual who can’t produce gametes doesn’t negate the generalisation that mammals come in only two sexes, male and female, defined by games size.

Sex is binary as a matter of biological fact. “Gender” is a different matter and I leave that to others to define.

It’s interesting that there aren’t equivalents for “gender” in other physical categories of human. There aren’t claims that species is physical while [???] is social or cultural. I suppose it’s only a matter of time.

Meanwhile of course the People of Gender are lining up to tell Dawkins how wrong he is.

(Remember Dear Muslima? I lined up to tell Dawkins how wrong he was that time, but then Dear Muslima was not, repeat not, a matter of science, or even about science or a scientific claim.) (Also, the origin of Dear Muslima was a post of PZ’s that was about an incident that happened to me, along with a different incident that happened to Rebecca. I was naturally interested in the comments on that thread.)

Well, yeah, obviously

Feb 1st, 2024 4:05 am | By

More on that “trans people have worse mental health” gotcha:

In fact there’s a large stream of people saying “Well duh of course they have more mental health issues, like for instance thinking they’re in ‘the wrong body’.”