Archive for the ‘Fraud’ Category

Searchable data base for Climategate 2 emails already online

November 23, 2011

I am not quite sure who put this together but its appearance within about 24 hours of the original data dump on a Russian server is pretty impressive.

Climategate 2 | FOIA 2011 Searchable Database

ReadMe:

This website is provided as a research resource for mining the recently leaked climate communications. Every effort has been made to redact personal contact information such as email addresses and telephone numbers. The redaction algorithms are currently tuned to be quite stringent, and they will inadvertantly obfuscate other details as well. We will continue to tune the software to improve the quality of the results.

This database was assembled in a very short space of time, and at present only provides the most rudimentary tools for exploring this vast trove of material. We will be improving the quality of the search tools and adding further metadata to the database over the course of the next few weeks.

The investigative capabilities of the on-line community when engaged is quite formidable (as I have remarked on earlier).

Europe has “wasted” €210 billion on carbon trading for almost zero impact

November 23, 2011

The Carbon Trading  scams around the world are coming undone (though Australia in it’s wisdom and its noble efforts to single-handedly save the world has just introduced a carbon tax). The Swiss Bank, UBS has produced a report for its investors with a devastating indictment about carbon trading “waste” in Europe and its bleak future.

The Australian: 

SWISS banking giant UBS says the European Union’s emissions trading scheme has cost the continent’s consumers $287 billion for “almost zero impact” on cutting carbon emissions, and has warned that the EU’s carbon pricing market is on the verge of a crash next year.

(more…)

Padre Pio and religious misconduct

November 17, 2011

Perhaps there has to be a process for retracting sainthoods in cases of religious misconduct?

A new book by Italian historian Professor Sergio Luzzatto suggests that Padre Pio’s stigmata were a fraud and the result of using carbolic acid.

Padre Pio's stigmata are being called into question (Photo: AP)

The Telegraph:

Did Padre Pio fake his stigmata with carbolic acid? That’s the claim made by Italian historian Professor Sergio Luzzatto, who says he has discovered documents including a letter from a pharmacist who supplied carbolic acid for Pio, canonised by Pope John Paul in 2002. The professor has made this claim before, drawing the following reply from the Catholic Anti-Defamation League: “We would like to remind Mr Luzzatto that according to Catholic doctrine, canonisation carries with it papal infallibility. We would like to suggest to Mr Luzzatto that he dedicates his energies to studying religion properly.

The doctrine of papal infallibility indeed.

The Catholic church and its own priests have done more to defame Catholicism than anybody else in recent times.

Diederik Stapel faked at least 30 papers

October 31, 2011

Social psychology is going to take a beating over the Diederik Stapel fraud. It provides ample fuel for the view that social psychology is no science but merely the half-baked opinions of narcissists and charlatans. Ego trips and TV appearances have governed the field rather than any scientific rigour.

The interim report of the investigation being carried out by the of Universities of Tilburg and Groningen which started in mid September is now out.

Diederik Stapel

The interim report (in Dutch) is here:

pdf Stapel interim-rapport

The extent of the fraud is breathtaking and the investigation is far from over. At least 30 papers have been found to contain fraudulent data, at least 14 doctoral theses that he supervised are compromised for using fabricated data and in all about 150 papers going back to 2004 are being investigated. Legal action is to be taken. This one is going down in the history books.

(Update! 1st November: Science Insider carries the story here)

Dutch News writes:

(more…)

Rossi and his cold fusion E-Cat still smells like a fraud

October 31, 2011

Rossi & Co. announced their nickel-hydrogen fusion reactor back in January and have made regular press releases since then to keep the interest alive. They seem to have gathered a tail of staunch believers and, of course, there is a large body of dis-believers and a smaller group of sceptics.

But they are getting some attention even in business media as with this Forbes article:

On October 28th the biggest test of Rossi’s system, which is called the E-Cat, was conducted in Italy and some results were made public ….. Rossi’s E-Cat is claimed to use a secret catalyst to react hydrogen with nickel and, in the process, transmute the nickel into copper producing considerable heat. Whether this reaction works or not and if it does, exactly how it works, has been enormously contentious and the subject of numerous learned and amateur debates.

(more…)

Nova Publishers: Scam? – Perhaps, but certainly some incompetence

October 29, 2011

I have posted earlier about Nova Publishers when I received one of their very irritating mass mailings a few days after my book was published by Springer, and again when I received an irate and threatening communication from a certain Vera Popovic:

4th April 2011: Beware Nova Publishers and Frank or Nadya Columbus – President and Editor-in-chief 

13th July 2011: Nova Publishers protests that it is not a republishing scam 

But I have now received the following response to a comment to the July post. It comes from a certain Irakli Isakadze with marketing@novapublishers.com as his email and citing http://www.novapublishers.com as his web page.

The message itself – if it is from an employee of Nova’s marketing department – is just inept. If it represents the marketing department then it provides prima facie evidence of – at least – marketing incompetence. Ostensibly it is a response to a comment on the second of my posts -

(more…)

Visa Scam at Rayat London College lays low the University of Wales

October 22, 2011

Once upon a time I was a post-doc at University College Cardiff which has a Royal Charter dating from 1883 and which was part of the University of Wales, Cardiff until 2004 when it became Cardiff University. I have fond memories of Cardiff since it was with Cardiff as a base that my colleagues ensured my education on the finer points of rugby and Welsh pubs and Dylan Thomas and rugby songs. So it was a matter of some regret for me to hear that the current University of Wales was to be abolished because of wrong-doings at one of its accredited colleges.

The University of Wales  was a federal university founded in 1893 with accredited institutions throughout Wales, including the universities of Glyndŵr, Newport, Swansea Metropolitan and Trinity Saint David. It accredited courses in Britain and abroad, with over 100,000 students but following a visa fraud at one of its accredited colleges, Rayat London College,  it no longer exists. At the time of its closure, the Chancellor of the University of Wales was HRH the Prince of Wales and the Pro-Chancellor was the Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan. Professor Marc Clement was President and the Vice-Chancellor was Professor Medwin Hughes.

It is not the first time that the techniques of academic cheating and fake degrees have been found to have been exported from India to colleges around the world.

THES:The Rayat London College which offered courses validated by the University of Wales has been linked to an alleged scam that helped foreign students to cheat their way to qualifications. The BBC found a lecturer from Rayat College London explaining to students how to cheat in exams and how to deceive the UK Border Agency. …. The scam would have allowed students to complete a 15-month course in under a week by cheating in exams. …. The college has suspended a lecturer, registrar and admissions officer, and said it dissociated itself from any wrongdoing and had referred the matter to the police.

(more…)

Now Murdoch’s WSJ caught in a circulation scam as his European publishing head resigns

October 12, 2011

It’s pretty clear that The Guardian does not much care for Rupert Murdoch or his newspapers but they are involved in so much which is shady that it provides permanent employment for some of The Guardian’s “investigative journalists” (who are not themselves above some hanky panky from time to time).

After the News of the World / News International phone hacking fiasco, this time it is the Wall Street Journal which has been found to have been cooking the books about its circulation figures. Andrew Langhoff  who is Murdoch’s publishing head in Europe has resigned to contain the damge. Executive Learning Partnership, or ELP, a Netherlands-based consulting firm is also implicated.

The Wall Street Journal also carries the story: Publisher of WSJ Europe Resigns After Ethics Inquiry

The Guardian - 

One of Rupert Murdoch’s most senior European executives has resigned following Guardian inquiries about a circulation scam at News Corporation’s flagship newspaper, the Wall Street Journal.

The Guardian found evidence that the Journal had been channelling money through European companies in order to secretly buy thousands of copies of its own paper at a knock-down rate, misleading readers and advertisers about the Journal’s true circulation.

The bizarre scheme included a formal, written contract in which the Journal persuaded one company to co-operate by agreeing to publish articles that promoted its activities, a move which led some staff to accuse the paper’s management of violating journalistic ethics and jeopardising its treasured reputation for editorial quality.

Internal emails and documents suggest the scam was promoted by Andrew Langhoff, the European managing director of the Journal’s parent company, Dow Jones and Co, which was bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in July 2007. Langhoff resigned on Tuesday.

…… In what appears to have been a damage limitation exercise following the Guardian’s inquiries, Langhoff resigned on Tuesday, citing only the complaints of unethical interference in editorial coverage. Neither he nor an article published last night in the Wall Street Journal made any reference to the circulation scam nor to the fact that the senior management of Dow Jones in New York failed to act when they were alerted last year.

The affair will add weight to the fears of shareholders in Murdoch’s parent company, NewsCorp, that the business has become a ‘rogue corporation’, operating outside normal rules. Some shareholders have launched a legal action in the US, attacking the Murdoch family after the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World and following lawsuits in which NewsCorp subsidiaries have been accused of hacking into competitors’ computers and stealing their customers. …..

……

Circulation figures directly affect the advertising rates that can be charged and this circulation scam is nothing more than a method to defraud advertisers and – eventually – all the subscribers. Even the antics at the News of the World can be put down to maintaining circulation numbers. The certainly unethical – and perhaps criminal – behaviour of Murdoch and his henchmen and his newspapers can all be put down to greed, and a touch of narcissism  coupled with highly inflated egos.

Related: Rebekah Brooks and NoW – another new low

Carbon trading fraudsters lobby hard to keep their playground unregulated

October 10, 2011

Stupidity (in introducing cabon trading in the first place) and greed among the carbon traders and speculators reigns supreme.

No surprise!

Reports calls for tougher regulation on carbon trading scheme

Reports calls for tougher regulation on carbon trading scheme: image clickgreen.org.uk

Clickgreen reports:

Finance sector lobbyists are pushing the European Commission to block tighter regulation of the EU’s carbon market, a new report from Corporate Europe Observatory and Carbon Trade Watch, published today, reveals. 

The Commission is currently reviewing regulation of the market following a number of fraud cases and leaked documents suggest that it will include carbon trading under the revised Market in Financial Instruments Directive.

But according to Letting the market play, lobbyists from the International Emissions Trading Association – the main body representing carbon traders – and BusinessEurope have sought to minimise new regulations, with BusinessEurope claiming “no further regulation” is needed. 

Report author Oscar Reyes said: “Carbon markets are a playground for fraudsters and speculators. Financial regulations are the Commission’s belated attempt to trim the excesses, but the problems lie at the core. Handing over environmental policy to traders has done nothing to address climate change.”  ……..

The report shows that while IETA has blamed a “lack of action from the side of the regulators” for the cases of carbon fraud, its lobby strategy has been driven by a desire to find new opportunities for speculation by whatever means are necessary. 

In January 2011, the European Commission halted trading on a key part of the carbon market after the latest in a series of large fraud cases was uncovered.  According to Carbon Trade Watch, less than a month later and with the suspension still partly in place, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA, the main carbon traders’ lobby group) was privately insisting to Brussels officials that “there might be no need to regulate this market”.

Carbon trading greed drives land grab and eviction of 20,000 in Uganda

October 4, 2011

I take man-made carbon dioxide (3 – 4% of an atmospheric concentration of 0.04%) as being quite insignificant and essentially irrelevant for climate change.

But global warming ideology has led to the opportunistic development of the carbon trading  obscenity which funnels vast amounts of tax money into the sticky hands of a few developers and their parasitic politicians and bureaucrats. The UN (Kyoto protocol) and the EU (carbon trading) programs are particularly to blame. The frauds and scams connected with carbon trading do nothing for our climate but they encourage the greed which leads to the most obscene and despicable behaviour. I posted recently about the excesses in Honduras which led to the murder of 23 farmers. But I had missed this story which came out in the New York Times two weeks ago. 20,000 Ugandans have been evicted, houses burned and people killed to allow a UK company to plant forests and earn millions in selling the resulting carbon credits:

In Scramble for Land, Group Says, Company Pushed Ugandans Out 

KICUCULA, Uganda — According to the company’s proposal to join a United Nations clean-air program, the settlers living in this area left in a “peaceful” and “voluntary” manner. People here remember it quite differently. “I heard people being beaten, so I ran outside,” said Emmanuel Cyicyima, 33. “The houses were being burnt down.” Other villagers described gun-toting soldiers and an 8-year-old child burning to death when his home was set ablaze by security officers. “They said if we hesitated they would shoot us,” said William Bakeshisha, adding that he hid in his coffee plantation, watching his house burn down. “Smoke and fire.”

According to a report released by the aid group Oxfam on Wednesday, more than 20,000 people say they were evicted from their homes here in recent years to make way for a tree plantation run by a British forestry company, emblematic of a global scramble for arable land.

“Too many investments have resulted in dispossession, deception, violation of human rights and destruction of livelihoods,” Oxfam said in the report. “This interest in land is not something that will pass.” As population and urbanization soar, it added, “whatever land there is will surely be prized.”

Across Africa, some of the world’s poorest people have been thrown off land to make way for foreign investors, often uprooting local farmers so that food can be grown on a commercial scale and shipped to richer countries overseas.

But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.

The case twists around an emerging multibillion-dollar market trading carbon-credits under the Kyoto Protocol, which contains mechanisms for outsourcing environmental protection to developing nations. The company involved, New Forests Company, grows forests in African countries with the purpose of selling credits from the carbon-dioxide its trees soak up to polluters abroad. Its investors include the World Bank, through its private investment arm, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC.

Read article 

That the New Forest Company is opportunistic and greedy is inevitable and understandable when the benefits of the carbon trading programs were flouted under their noses. That they were unaware of the methods used is not credible. The results of the carbon trading scams are becoming sick and despicable and the EU politicians and bureaucrats who administer such schemes cannot continue to hide behind their misplaced intentions to “save the globe” and their “rules”.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 535 other followers