Woo hoo, fame at last!

It appears that I now have my very own Josh cartoon, currently being promoted on Bishop-Hill and Watts Up With That. I think I made an appearance in an earlier one, but this is the first to focus only on me (I think William Connolley has a pithy comment about things being about him, but I can’t quite remember it). It’s this kind of gentle joshing (see what I did there) that makes me feel as though I’ve finally been accepted as part of the climate science blogging community. I get the feeling that the intention of the cartoon was to be explicitly insulting, but I guess I can interpret it any way I like. Also, I did find it a little amusing. If you can’t at least have a laugh now and again, there’s not really much point in being involved in these kind of things. The only thing that confuses me is how Josh knew what I looked like.

Maybe the most ironic aspect of this is that I think it relates to a discussion between Andrew Montford and myself in which Andrew had rather a large sense of humour failure when I was a little more robust (honest?) than maybe I should have been. By should have been I mean if I wanted to avoid annoying Andrew, that is. Even discussion is not quite the right word as it mainly involved Andrew being defensive and then getting cross. I guess if you don’t really know what you’re talking about, but don’t want to admit it, then that might be the only way to engage in such exchanges (ooops, is that a little too robust again, sorry).

Anyway, I guess the only thing I need to decide now is whether or not to print this out and put it on my office door.

Credit : Cartoons by Josh

Credit : Cartoons by Josh

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This entry was posted in Climate change, ClimateBall, Comedy, Personal, Satire, Science and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

95 Responses to Woo hoo, fame at last!

  1. Andrew Dodds says:

    Well, he has benefited the world by very slightly reducing the size of the OED. The entry for ‘Swiftian’ is now defined as ‘Not Cartoons By Josh’. Shelves everywhere rejoice!

  2. Are you sure that’s for you? I thought it was for Nick Stokes. AW has a major Really Angry episode in the comments of the recent Greenpeace post (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/17/moore-tour-needs-some-backers/#comment-1711339).

    The Oscar Wilde quote I use you’re looking for is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxXW6tfl2Y0&list=PL1AjY1mbZCj4DxYWjWOyXZPkBIJtMNwHB Or perhaps you could use Shaw’s “you bastards” if you’re looking for a new tagline.

  3. William,
    I did say “appears” just in case I was wrong. The comments on the B-H post (see Shub’s for example) appear to relate to me, so I’m not alone. Would be disappointed if it turned out I was wrong 🙂

  4. William and Wotts, I would say that the headline “And Then There’s Trolls” and the “We do fizzix” graffiti are the clues, although it is a remarkable likeness 🙂

  5. BBD says:

    ATTP

    Anyway, I guess the only think I need to decide now is whether or not to print this out and put it on my office door.

    Ahem. I think the proper place for displaying such memorabilia is in the downstairs toilet. Next to the photos of you with Al Gore, James Hansen, George Monbiot etc

  6. Eli Rabett says:

    And the Watties wonder why Eli is Eli.

  7. So much for trying to remain anonymous. Someone is bound to recognise you now!!

  8. > “We do fizzix” graffiti are the clue

    Oh yeah, good point. Duh.

  9. > a discussion between Andrew Montford and myself in which Andrew had rather a large sense of humour failure

    Could you link to the post? Montford got so pissed of with me that I’m IP-banned from there (and you think *you’re* famous). I can use trickery to get round that for individual posts, but it makes browsing thankfully tedious.

  10. William,
    It’s this one.

    and you think *you’re* famous

    Don’t you worry, I don’t think I’m even close to your level of fame 🙂

  11. Marco says:

    William, you are a liar. No other option, because as we all know, the septics do not ban people. Never ever. No way. That’s what the other side does because it does not like to discuss inconvenient facts.

    The sky dragons(*) being banned at WUWT doesn’t count, they were just spouting nonsense, so they deserved to be banned!

    * excluding Tim Ball, of course – we need our monthly dose of his prose.

  12. Andrew Dodds says:

    @Eli –

    I thought it was because if anyone revealed that your name was Rumpelstiltskin the spell would be broken. Is it not?

  13. Anyone else think that the eighth comment on this post is one of the most ironic comments made on a “skeptic” blog ever.

  14. John Mashey says:

    Josh could make you as famous as he did with Murry Salby. … although that didn’t work out so well.

  15. anoilman says:

    One of things that I find perplexing is that those other blogs spend so much time worrying about other blogs. (To be fair, you started it….) But why? Why are they so insecure? What is so broken in their brains that they need to worry about you? What are they afraid of? Evidence showing flawed thinking?

    If you’re so insignificant Anders, why do they fret about you so? Heck you have their leader Tony Watts threatening to out you? Why does he think its important? What is he afraid of?

    Worry Warts and Fear Mongers spreading FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt).

  16. John Mashey says:

    anoilman:
    1) BH is run by Andrew Montford, He Who Quotes Dog Astrology Journals, as per this, from 2010

    2) Some blogs might be called “D-K Corrals”, places where people who can get affirmation and support for repeatedly demonstrating negative competence, and can convince each other that they are infinitely more competent than anyone who actually publishes peer-reviewed research papers.

    3) In BH’s case, the blog posts may provide fodder for analysis, but people might peruse the DIscussion section..

  17. anoilman says:

    Off topic: How many people here have lived on different continents?

    Andrew Dodds recently pointed out some Denial Think was merely American in origin in another thread. This is something I notice quite often in Global Warming Denial. Its as though, those Americans think that their 1.9% of the earth’s surface is all that is important, and that it defines how all global political parties and and systems function.

  18. anoilman says:

    Maybe that’s on topic… Thanks John.

  19. anoilman says:

    I just had to share this;

    A definition for Trolls would be useful too;
    “Troll” is the fuzzy term for agitators who pop up, often anonymously, sometimes in mobs, in comment threads and on social networks…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/15/technology/web-trolls-winning-as-incivility-increases.html

    By definition, that’s the people popping up here… and spreading FUD.

  20. Fame is overrated. Individuality is the way to go!

  21. John,
    I had actually thought that maybe Andrew was worth talking to. I had been rather strong in some of the things I said – “If you don’t mind saying silly things, that’s fine with me, but that won’t stop me from pointing them out” – but wondered if maybe noone had ever pointed these things out. I’m guessing they have and they’ve been ignored.

    TLE,
    There was an element of irony to my blog post’s title.

  22. BBD says:

    ATTP

    but wondered if maybe noone had ever pointed these things out. I’m guessing they have and they’ve been ignored.

    Richard Betts put a good deal of time and effort into AM, but to no avail. AM just knows he’s right and the whole thing is a mix of corrupt science and scare-mongering by ‘environmentalists’. Who control the BBC, amongst other things.

  23. BBD,
    Yes, that is my impression. How anyone can write a report called Climate Control : Brainwashing in schools, and not expect to be mocked, is beyond me.

    Possibly another reason Andrew is not that happy with me is that our original discussion started when he suggested that he was being criticised for writing a report like the one above. I pointed out that, actually, he was being criticised for mainly getting the science completely wrong. When he asked if I’d read the report, I responded with something like “I did have a look, but it was too full of conspiracy ideation to really bother putting any effort into actually criticising it.”

  24. anoilman says:

    Anders… Perhaps we should teach “coloring with crayons” instead of physics. Russel Seitz would would do well. (A backhanded compliment.)

    Here’s a music video for the authors of “Climate Control : Brainwashing in schools”;

  25. Steve Bloom says:

    aom, why then was it a Canadian band that summed things up so well? Border leakage, I suppose.

  26. Steve Bloom says:

    I had actually thought that maybe Andrew was worth talking to.

    You continue to exhibit that particular sort of naivete like a badge of honor. A suitable degree of cynicism would save you a lot of time.

  27. Steve,

    A suitable degree of cynicism would save you a lot of time.

    I showed the cartoon to my wife who said that it doesn’t look like me (Phew) and that I shouldn’t talk to such mean people. I suspect deep down, though, that she’d like to say something similar to what you’ve said : if I didn’t blog about climate science I’d save myself an awful lot of time (and I’d have finished painting the house a good deal earlier too).

    On a more serious note, every now and again someone will tell me not to bother with certain people. I typically won’t simply take someone’s word for it. It’s good to confirm such things for yourself. Noone’s been wrong, so far, though.

  28. Rachel M says:

    It’s a waste of time engaging with people like Andrew Montford. Skeptics are best ignored in my opinion. Sure, debunk the misinformation, but don’t talk to them.

    There’s a group of people who have an intense dislike of greenies and many skeptics fall into this category. They dislike greenies so much that any policy that is also supported by greenies is rejected regardless of whether it has the science to back it up. Greenpeace would probably gain more traction if they rejected the science of global warming and aligned themselves with skeptics.

  29. Rachel,
    It’s Greenfleece, not Greenpeace 🙂

    but don’t talk to them.

    I get the impression that that has rather been decided for me. I don’t think Andrew has banned me, but a cartoon depicting me as a troll is a rather strong message.

  30. Steve Bloom says:

    I suppose I may have the advantage of having grown up (in the rural American midwest) knowing about people like this. There’s a history.

  31. Joshua says:

    I must say, it does bear an uncanny resemblance – or at least I imagine it would if you got a haircut, shaved, lost 40 or 50 lbs., and got those teeth fixed.

  32. anoilman says:

    Joshua, the nose is pretty close.

  33. jsam says:

    John Cook’s cartoons are better. Now that’s ironic,given the spewdo sceptics calling him “the Cartoonist”. Recursive irony even.

  34. Joshua says:

    This little cartoon episode should serve as a reminder of just how incredibly juvenile the climate war tends to be. I mean, really? What would distinguish that level of engagement from what you’d typically find among middle school-aged (or younger) kids?

    Think of this behavior from Anthony and friends the next time they talk about their focus on “pure” science and saving children from suffering from energy deprivation.

  35. Joshua,

    This little cartoon episode should serve as a reminder of just how incredibly juvenile the climate war tends to be.

    I tend to agree. I often wonder what I’m doing associating with what is essentially a series of remarkably childish exchanges.

  36. If anoilman can bring himself to click the ‘ORIGINAL CARTOGRAPHER’ link in my offering, he’ll discover the coloring with crayons is Josh’s handiwork.

    No extra charge for the physics.

  37. anoilman says:

    Joshua, Anders… Tony Watts only has a high school diploma and he does appear to be their leader.

    Russell: I’m a fan of your work, but man, that link was very small print. Please make the link larger and easier to see. Perhaps you should have studied graphic design instead of twiddling time with physics? 🙂

  38. Joshua says:

    ==> “I tend to agree. I often wonder what I’m doing associating with what is essentially a series of remarkably childish exchanges.”

    Ditto.

  39. If Josh ever fails to amuse the assortment of Yorkshire coal barons and the odd earl presently employing his services as court jester, gainful employment awaits him as a face painter in the Harry Potter theme park Northumberland has set up outside Alnwick castle

  40. bill says:

    Long after the dust has settled on this debate, long after the last clouds of dust have blown from the fields-turned-desert, long after the oceans have finished rising and the great migrations are over, the people of the future will look back at us in wonder and ask themselves that one, still unresolveable, question; “How did anyone ever imagine ‘Josh’ was funny?”

  41. Chandra says:

    Is it just that one needs to lean in a sceptic direction to find Josh´ comments funny? I´ve never seen any humour in his doodlings although some are quite nicely drawn.

    On thinking that talking to AM is likely to achieve anything, probably a mistake. Anyone who is happy to print clear lies and distortions is not open to reasoned debate. All the same, pointing out those lies for what they are is perhaps necessary. I got banned from BH for it.

  42. Rachel M says:

    It’s Greenfleece, not Greenpeace 🙂

    Exactly! Those damn greenies just want to force us all to use bicycles and get fit, healthy, and happy, while making the air cleaner for our kids, and cleaning up the waterways, and improving biodiversity, and slowing species extinction, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and protecting fisheries and coral reefs. It’s all a secret ploy to take over the world!

  43. Chandra,
    Yes, I remember some of your attempts to clarify things on BH. A good attempt but, as you say, doomed to failure.

    Rachel,
    Yes, I never quite understand the whole anti-environmentalism rhetoric “how dare people want to look after the environment on which we rely!”

  44. Congratulations!! Josh did get the haircut right.

    Why is a Josh “Cartoon” a sign you are not welcome one Bishop Hill? BH publishes them every time, not?

  45. Victor,

    BH publishes them every time, not?

    Possibly, I don’t know. I may well be welcome and that this is only a bit of a joke (which, in a sense, it is). Andrew, however, appears not to have much of a sense of humour (or, rather, can have some rather severe sense of humour failures) so I’m assuming that it is more a message than a gentle jibe. Additionally, whether welcome or not, my interest in engaging there is somewhat lacking, at the moment at least.

  46. bratisla says:

    ATTP, Nick Stockes was the main subject of several Josh cartoons published on WUWT. It didn’t stop him commenting there. Anthony Watts is not Andrew Montford, but I would dare to say that you won’t know until you try.
    If you want to try. If I were you, I would not, but you have proven to have far more patience and open mindness that I have (whatever the people claiming censorship say).

  47. foxgoose says:

    Rachel M says:
    August 19, 2014 at 5:43 am
    It’s Greenfleece, not Greenpeace 🙂

    Exactly! Those damn greenies just want to force us all to use bicycles and get fit, healthy, and happy, while making the air cleaner for our kids, and cleaning up the waterways, and improving biodiversity, and slowing species extinction, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and protecting fisheries and coral reefs….

    …….. not forgetting getting rid of despicable DDT and restoring the malarial mosquito to its rightful place in our ecology, turning over 5% of all arable land to biofuel production and sabotaging evil, man-made “golden rice” – so that 3rd world kids can enjoy the character building effects of vitamin A deficiency.

  48. FG,
    The world’s just full of conspiracies, isn’t it.

    For everyone else’s benefit, let’s not start a debate about DDT, biofuels, golden rice, and other such topics. We discuss enough contentious topics here without adding more.

  49. foxgoose says:

    …and Then There’s Physics says:
    August 19, 2014 at 9:26 am
    FG,
    The world’s just full of conspiracies, isn’t it…

    No – just well meaning, misguided activists 🙂

  50. Joshua says:

    ==> “For everyone else’s benefit, let’s not start a debate about DDT,…”

    Damn. That one always turns out so worthwhile!

  51. “I may well be welcome and that this is only a bit of a joke (which, in a sense, it is).”

    Or more accurately: intended as a bit of a joke.

    Or I am missing the famous libertarian sense of humor. In the comments below the cartoons people do claim to find them funny.

  52. DDT is so … 1940’s. Most of us have moved on.

  53. guthrie says:

    Thomas, it’s not a matter of moving on, it’s that any claims that environmentalists stopped the use of DDT and allowed malarial mosquitoes to return is a complete lie.
    Meanwhile, biofuel production was campaigned against by a number of environmentalists, but it carried on because large corporations made money out of it.
    As for the golden rice, that wasn’t ever going to make much difference anyway, much simpler to give people vitamina A pills.

  54. geronimo says:

    [Mod: Inflammatory]

  55. Geronimo,
    I’ll allow your comment – unless Rachel, who’s a better moderator than me disagrees – but I’m not really going to respond to it. Others might like to, but let’s avoid the standard, infantile tit-for-tat that one normally sees on what Geronimo would probably regard as a first division climate “skeptic” blog.

  56. By moving on from DDT I meant rather to neonicontinoids. That worked out really well for you too.

    I’m sure you’ll have some more lame excuses. If it ain’t one thing, it’s another. Sooner or later somebody (usually a scientist or a group of scientists) is going to call you out on your bullshit.

  57. TLE,
    Not entirely sure who you’re aiming your comment at.

  58. BBD says:

    Chandra

    I got banned from BH for it.

    I thought you might, sooner or later. Well, welcome to the club 😉

  59. Marco says:

    ATTP, the cynic in me says geronimo is just trolling, hoping that you will censor his post and/or block him, so he can whine about it elsewhere (probably at BH).

    The slightly stronger cynic in me says he actually believes the stuff he writes.

  60. Yup, told you Rachel was a better moderator than me. I’m just an old softy 🙂

  61. Well, welcome to the club

    It seems that I haven’t been and, now, Nic Lewis – broadly – agrees with me (well, about one thing, not about everything).

  62. ligne says:

    [Mod : relates to a deleted comment.]

  63. John Mashey says:

    RC has the Borehole, others have the equivalent, but a Black Hole would fit here.
    One of these years, blog software will work better.

  64. BBD says:

    ATTP

    It seems that I haven’t been and, now, Nic Lewis – broadly – agrees with me (well, about one thing, not about everything).

    So I see, which is something. But leaving aside the non-ban and NL’s beliefs about low climate sensitivity, it’s a shame AM felt it necessary to have you caricatured as a troll in the first place.

  65. Michael 2 says:

    AnOilMan asked who has lived on different continents as it might relate to denial thinking. I see no obvious connection. I’ve lived in many places but not really continents in my Navy career. I’ll admit that my calibration of “history” was dramatically changed by living in Iceland, a nation celebrating 1100 years since the founding of Reykjavik. They are also direct beneficiaries of the gulf stream and about half the population died in the little ice age. Very sensitive to climate change in other words. It changed noticeably in the three winters I was there. So did Alaska and for similar reasons, right at the shifting boundary of the polar air mass (or so I suppose).

    The United States has a dwindling culture of independence, a residue from a time when essentially everyone was from somewhere else, for a wide variety of reasons but in common being they were FROM Europe mostly and abandoned European socialist thinking — keeping the “all men are created equal” rather than “all men will be made to be equal”. Subtle but important difference provoking a reaction against imposed solutions even to possibly real problems.

    But hardly unique to North American given that Australia has repealed its carbon tax.

  66. Joshua says:

    ===> “The United States has a dwindling culture of independence,”

    Is this just a feeling that you have, or do you base such a sweeping characterization of a macro-;level societal trend on solid, quantified, and verified evidence? What metrics are you using, that were measured longitudinally, to reach your conclusions?

    You know, people have been saying “Kids today” since the dawn of civilization…

  67. Sorry, my neonicotinoid comment was pointed at the DDT comment, By lame excuses I meant apologizing for or promoting the continued injection into the environment of things that are well demonstrated to have unintended bad consequences. Even worse, financially profiting from it.

    It’s kinda on topic I guess, but there are so many bad things happening it almost defies belief.

  68. John Mashey says:

    Science is based on measurements, which first requires metrics.
    This post suggests one for “badge of honor for irking pseudoskeptic dismissives.”
    To develop the scale, we can do comparisons of specific items to see which are “worth” more, which ought to create ordered chains, that can be combined into a directed acclic graph, and finally evolve a numeric scale.
    For instance, in the BH realm, I’d suggest that:
    a) Getting a Josh cartoon of your own probably rates above
    b) being banned at BH, and that outranks
    c) Being attacked by AM (which I think is less points that b)
    d) Being insulted by an anonymous commenter
    A similar order might apply at WUWT, although one needs to cover both Watts and dbstealey separately, and it is unclear how those compare to the ranks at BH.

    Then there are things like:
    Monckton actually sends threatening letter to someone’s organization., although the frequency of this has probably lowered the point score from when it was unusual. It still likely worth more than merely being denigrated by Monckton on some blog..

    All this might be on a log scale, as item d) above must be worth something, but probably not much.

  69. dhogaza says:

    M2:

    “they were FROM Europe mostly and abandoned European socialist thinking — keeping the “all men are created equal” rather than “all men will be made to be equal”.”

    My great-grandparents were escaping European militarization, not European socialism (which was politically very weak during the era of the great migrations from Europe to the US, and not anything one would bother fleeing from).

    Who, in their right mind, when thinking of Europe from say the late 1860s to 1945 thinks “socialism!” rather than “war! and millions dead!”?

    The latter was something worth fleeing from, the former, not so much …

  70. Marco says:

    Micheal 2, the severe population decimation on Iceland during the initial stages of the LIA (in some regions of the world the 15th century actually was the “MWP”) is ascribed to the Black Death. The 18th century saw another major killed: smallpox. Harsh climatic conditions may have played a role, too, but my dear Icelandic colleague(*) cannot remember it was ever mentioned in her history classes.

    (*) Just for the wonderful trivia, allow me to mention she can trace a common ancestor with her current boyfriend (IIRC) 8 generations back. Gotta love their genealogy!

  71. Marco,
    I once emailed someone on a genealogy site to ask about some information they had, and it turned out that we were 7th cousins.

  72. KatyD says:

    re John Mashey, I followed your suggestion “3) In BH’s case, the blog posts may provide fodder for analysis, but people might peruse the DIscussion section..” & was reminded, via first link, of the Bristol lectures by Michael Mann & John Cook. Despite all the jumping up & down by BH & AW about crafting a ‘skeptics conference’ & swamping the lectures with followers there are plenty of tickets left (85 for Mann & 389 for Cook). In July Lucia suggested ‘tickets are going to go fast’. AW amassed a large fund to get over for these, I wonder how he’s getting on with planning his tour?
    I’ll be there.

  73. Re ”
    Monckton actually sends threatening letter to someone’s organization., although the frequency of this has probably lowered the point score from when it was unusual.”John Mashey will find that Monckton’s fans now send them in his stead .

  74. Katy,
    I would be quite keen to go to those, but am teaching and it’s a little far.

    Russell,
    Yes, I imagine there’s no real shortage of people willing to send unpleasant emails to people they don’t agree with or to those people’s employers.

  75. Andrew,
    I’m in esteemed company now 🙂

  76. John Hartz says:

    Speaking of trolls…

    What I learned from debating science with trolls by Michael J.L. Brown (The Conversation, Aug 18, 2014) is a hoot!

    Perhaps ATTP should post a silmilar OP where we could all share our own experiences?..

  77. Eli Rabett says:

    Chandra says

    “Is it just that one needs to lean in a sceptic direction to find Josh´ comments funny? I´ve never seen any humour in his doodlings although some are quite nicely drawn.”

    Denialists don’t do irony. Much more into Moe Larry and Curley

  78. Eli Rabett says:

    Guthrie

    As for the golden rice, that wasn’t ever going to make much difference anyway, much simpler to give people vitamin A pills.

    You have Vitamin A pill seeds that can be raised in the backwoods?

  79. Many cartoonists are popular in part because they agree with the prejudices of their audience, the best perhaps for the opposite reason.

  80. “You have Vitamin A pill seeds that can be raised in the backwoods?”

    Would you like people in the backwoods to rely on a monoculture for their nutrition? Sounds like a bad idea for food security.

  81. John Mashey says:

    Try the responses to Josh cartoon on Salby. It fit what people wanted to hear and many praised it. A day later, the hammer fell.
    Towards the end of that thread, we find:

    Salby would seem to have had a chequered career. 2446
    http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/07/12/murry-salby-galileo-bozo-or-p-tbarnum
    Jul 13, 2013 at 11:26 PM | 23{Entropic Man}

    Entropic Man: Any chance of a Josh cartoon on that? Or an “Oopsie sorry;
    maybe too hasty” to the Uni ?
    I doubt it.
    These propaganda sites are pretty much worthless, beyond alerting that something-or-other is going on. Which is a pity, particularly for this site, because some of Montford’s writing is good.
    Jul 14, 2013 at 1:48 AM | 23{Szilard}

    (Sadly, I am unaware of any such Josh cartoon.)

  82. John,
    I just brought up Salby on Bishop-Hill. It didn’t go well. Not only would they not consider that his ideas about atmospheric CO2 are garbage, but when I suggested that they read William Connolley’s blog, RealClimate, or Skeptical Science, they called me a troll! What is the world coming to?

  83. Eli Rabett says:

    You don’t need a monoculture of golden rice, you just need some. As to relying on monocultures, that ship sailed in the 1960s with improved rice and wheat cultivars developed at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center. So yeah, without monocultures driven by ag research there would have been a whole lot of dead people.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Revolution

  84. Ian Forrester says:

    There are potential problems which have to be investigated before golden rice can be assumed safe for general consumption. Just Google “eccentric cleavage of beta carotene” to see that one cannot assume that retinoic acid will be the only metabolite produced from beta carotene when it is produced in rice. Whenever potential problems like this are brought up the GM promoters just shrug their shoulders and say it will never happen. How many times have we heard that from them?

  85. Ian Forrester, good point. And about half of the people cannot convert beta carotene into Vitamin A.

    I guess putting Vitamin A in a food that normally does not contain it in such huge quantities, would qualify as supplementation. This is different from getting your Vitamin A from food because then also other nutrients are available in quantities expected by the body. For example, Vitamin A and Vitamin D in isolation are quite quickly poisonous; taken together there is much less danger of overdosing.

    For supplementing Vitamin A, a meta study found: “Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality. The potential roles of vitamin C and selenium on mortality need further study.”

    May I thus ask whether there is an independent study that shows that golden rice actually would bring a benefit? Or is this rice just engineered as a weapon in the political fight on genetic modification?

  86. Pingback: Salby again! | …and Then There's Physics

  87. Ian Forrester says:

    Victor Venema:

    May I thus ask whether there is an independent study that shows that golden rice actually would bring a benefit?

    Unfortunately that is not how things work in the area. Experiments are set up to show lack of harm. But as anyone who has worked with an animal model in these type of experiments it is very easy to set up experimental protocols which are clearly designed to show “lack of harm” rather than harm. Why do “lack of harm” experiments only last 90 days while experiments which last longer (2 years or multi-generational) actually show harm?

    There was one paper published on golden rice fed to children. It was retracted because of an unethical protocol, the authors did not receive permission from the parents and there was no mention that the rice had been genetically modified. How anything meaningful could have been determined from a very, very limited exposure to the rice is beyond me.

    http://retractionwatch.com/2014/07/17/rice-researcher-in-ethics-scrape-threatens-journal-with-lawsuit-over-coming-retraction/

  88. While this is all very entertaining, and the various badges of honor delightful, I wish all this energy could be put into solutions. Of course, that is the point, to take up endless energy and time.

    However, I’m surprised that nobody mentioned that Montford is Judith Curry’s favorite go-to guy, and in her strange worldview if you don’t read and believe it, you are not thinking straight.

  89. afeman says:

    Have any institutions working primarily in food security expressed interest in Golden Rice as a solution, as opposed to ones specializing in crop development? In other words, is anybody saying “this can solve our problem” as opposed to “this can solve your problem”?

  90. dhogaza says:

    “…in her strange worldview if you don’t read and believe it, you are not thinking straight.”

    Indeed, Judith Curry credits his book as being the source that led to her shedding the scales that previously had blinded her, or whatever. When she first popped up talking about her conversion at RC, she repeatedly challenged people to not only read “The Hockey Stick Illusion”, but to take everything Montford said as gospel.

    This after repeated attempts by posters including Gavin Schmidt to get her to acknowledge some of the blatant errors in the book. “Read it, your eyes will be opened” pretty much summarizes her response to her critics in that original thread.

  91. Susan,

    Of course, that is the point, to take up endless energy and time.

    Yes, I think you’re probably right.

    However, I’m surprised that nobody mentioned that Montford is Judith Curry’s favorite go-to guy, and in her strange worldview if you don’t read and believe it, you are not thinking straight.

    I was going to say that I don’t quite understand that, but nothing that Judith does really surprises me anymore.

  92. If any semiotic conundrum of the Climate & Nutrition Wars risks attracting the wrath of the irony gods, it is that the only known cause of fatal vitamin A intoxication is eating polar bear liver.

    CF Nature 164, 530-531 (24 September 1949) | doi:10.1038/164530a0

    Rodahl, K. Toxicity of Polar Bear Liver

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