IPCC report lacks credibility

Years ago I decided to check if the IPCC report on climate change was developed using scientifically sound methods. Sadly, my conclusion was that is was not. It based the predictions of future CO2 emissions on references to another report that referenced a third report that referenced a forth report and so on, and when I came to the end of the chain, it turned out that there was no basis whatsoever for the particular values chosen. They were just examples, dummy data basically. Based on those dummy data they predicted that strong global warming was virtually certain. Garbage in, garbage out.

By now a new report has come out. One would hope that it has a better foundation. But a new article in Sunday Times indicates that it may be a futile hope. The problem they report is very similar to what I found. Quoting of other reports without evaluating their scientific reliability. Garbage in, garbage out.

No, those who like me this cold winter have been putting their hope on the global warming that we have been promised, must presumably realize that once again, the politicians have failed us. Put your sweaters on!

Media: DN.

New data on Y-chromosome origin in Western Europe

A recent study, Balaresque et al. (2010) in PLoS Biology, reports that some 80% of the genetic origin of European males probably originates from an expansion in Anatolia after the Ice Age. They link it to the spread of agriculture in Europe.

It pleases me to see that they are using the geographical tools for analysis that I advocated in Européernas DNA (2003). The number of haplotypes on the Y chromosome has increased significantly since I did that little study. Back then, the available data indicated that haplogroup R1b was the dominating one in Western Europe, and R1a1 in Eastern.

The new study shows that a sub-haplogroup to R1b, namely R1b1b2, accounts for the majority of Y chromosomes in the west (cf. Fig. 1B). The same figure shows the so-called microsatellite variance, in panel C. The variance is expected to be highest in the area where the mutation happened – in this case in Anatolia near the Aegean Sea. Areas with high concentration and low variability indicate a founder effect, i.e., a rapid population growth from a small original group. We see this in the – generally speaking – Celtic area of Europe.

The authors connect is to the Neolithic expansion, which I have referred to as the Neolithic ®evolution (since although it was a long and slow process the term Revolution has become almost a fixed idea). Perhaps they are right, but perhaps not. Their conclusion assumes that men had a gender-specific advantage of agriculture, which I doubt, since it was typically a women’s task.

Also, the fact that there appears to be a correlation to the Celts should raise an alert. Agriculture spread, from what I seem to recall from doing research for that study, along the Danube. It does not match the pattern of R1b1b2 at all. On the other hand, Celts are famous for weapons. It is rather self-evident that having the better weapon is a gender-specific advantage for males.

Although it is an interesting article, I am sure, there is still much more to be done, and I am certain that new results will come out when geneticists become (even) more inter-disciplinary in their work.

Media: DN.

Honduras Accuses OAS for Coup d’État

Honduras president Micheletti today accused Insulza, president of the Organization for American States (OAS), for being an accomplice in Zelaya’s failed coup d’état in Honduras June 28 last year.

The interview is published in the Tegucigalpa newspaper El Heraldo. When Zelaya, then president of Honduras, was preparing to hold a referendum that had been declared illegal by the Supreme Court, Insulza nonetheless sent official election observers, in open spite of the democratic institutions of Honduras. As then president of the Congress, Micheletti tried to talk some sense into Insulza, questioning how OAS (known as OEA in Spanish) could support an unconstitutional act by the president of Honduras, but the Chilean was unreasonable.

“I hold [Insulza] responsible for what happened in the country,” said Micheletti.

On the follow-up question “Was Insulza an accomplice to Zelaya?”, he replied, “He was an accomplice, he became an accomplice, and he remains an accomplice.” On an earlier question he had responded that “[Zelaya] was trying to do a coup d’état” (estaba tratando de dar un golpe de Estado).

The irony is that the purpose of OAS is to defend democracy, and here they were supporting a coup d’état.

Take a deep breath and think about it.

The interviewer continued, “How would the country be today if the intervention on June 28 had not taken place?”

“We would have had a dictator, a bunch of people taking away people’s rights and properties,” replied Micheletti. From a European perspective it might seem that this statement would need support, but from a Latin American perspective, all the support required can be found in the actual developments of the other countries where the same chain of events has taken place: Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador. Just the other day there was news from Chávez that he is expropriating a large chain of supermarkets because he doesn’t like their prices. All the tracks go in one direction.

“Are you convinced of this, Mr President?” continued the reporter.

“-Without a moment of doubt I respond: I am totally convinced, totally convinced.”

He recounts earlier in the interview how on 5 different occasions a number of people, including U.S. ambassador Llorens, tried to convince Zelaya not to go ahead with the illegal referendum, but to no avail. Micheletti interprets this to mean that Zelaya had made a promise, a commitment [to Chávez], that he couldn’t break no matter how illegal it was.

In that connection Llorens said that the U.S. would not recognize Honduras if they deposed Zelaya. This swayed some members of congress, whom Micheletti refers to as “cowards” rather than by name.

However, Zelaya’s acts grew increasingly criminal in the following days, and the decisions were taken at haste. What happened was not planned, it was an emergency decision to save democracy, he recounts.

After taking office Micheletti started calling people to set up a government. Although he warned them that their government would not be recognized by the world, not a single person turned down his request. As he puts it, he found himself surrounded by people who were prepared for a fight against wind and tide, “contra viento y marea”.

PS. Is it too far-fetched to suspect that Obama has withdrawn U.S. visas from leading personalities in Honduras just to prevent them from coming here and giving interviews, thus revealing what actually happened?