Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Jun, 2015
Well, NZ has had some extreme weather over the last week, which provides the perfect opportunity to ask: how did Ken Ring's astrology based weather forecasting perform? Did the soothsayer see it coming or was he out to lunch?
The events I'm referring to are these: 'State of emergency in Whanganui as flooding hits lower North Island', where suburbs of Whanganui are isolated after the biggest flood on record hits the city, and while the north floods, especially the Taranaki region, the south freezes: '-20 in Canterbury: Country's big chill'. That article states that 'New Zealand has nearly shuddered itself to the MetService's record books... most of the South Island recorded sub-zero temperatures including the minus 20 at the Pukaki Aerodrome'. Another article — 'Winter storm cuts power, closes roads' — tells us that 'Severe weather has closed roads and schools, cut power, disrupted flights and caused flooding in Otago, Southland and the West Coast'.
If there's one thing that Ring's forecasts have going for them it's consistency. They consistently miss the nasty weather that we'd like to be warned about. Here's what his clients would have read in his Mid June newsletter:
So no hint of flooding or torrential rain for Taranaki, and rather than receiving snow and being bitterly cold, Ring assured us that it would be 'Dry and warm in the south of the South Island'. He also referred us to his full June Summary (Ken has since removed the link), so might his more detailed forecast have revealed the flooding that was to hit Taranaki? umm... no! Just the opposite in fact, since it said that 'For North Island, BoP may be wettest and Taranaki driest'. Oh... how embarrassing. What about the south and its snow? Ring predicted that Canterbury, Coastal Otago, Dunedin and Southland will all be 'average to warmer'. Only for Inland Otago does he predict that some places might be 'cooler than average'. As for southern flooding, for the West Coast he forecast 'Drier than average (except for Greymouth)', Inland Otago and Coastal Otago, Dunedin were to be 'Average to drier' and Southland would be 'Drier than average'. Hmmmm... I think not.
Next 4 weeks:
Dry and warm in the south of the South Island.
Wet in the east and north of the North Island. Cool but sunny in the North island.
Click here to read the rest of the New Zealand June Summary
Extracted from the 2015 New Zealand Almanac'
And it's not as though Ring doesn't try to predict unusually cold weather. Let's remember that Daryl highlighted above (#709) where Ring predicted that:
'one of the coldest days of this year is likely to be 7 July, and may even break some 20-year records. Grass level temperatures may plunge to between minus five and ten in inland locations'.
Ring believes that in July 'temperatures... between minus five and ten' may break records, and yet in June we've already had minus 20 degrees! How would that work?
This morning I picked up a freebie Christian evangelist magazine, and emblazoned across its cover were the words: 'Why are things going WRONG?' Ken must ask himself that same question every morning when he compares his predictions to the real world.
Comment by Ken Ring, 29 Jun, 2015
What part of the word "flooding" do you not understand?
See entry for 14 June, p247 of the Weather Almanac 2016 for New Zealand. I had it very widespread.
Also see the "very heavy" rain listed on p248 for the North Island in the past few days, and in the South Island to S Cant, and also good rain but not as heavy in Southland.
Also on p252, see the word "flood" for all the North Island, and the north and west of the South island, and the word "snow" everywhere.
See also the snow/ice maps on every page for June in the almanac, p254-282, very severe on some days.
Yes, some places have actually had sun and warmth. I did not say all, and the almanac has adequately warned about heavy rains, and when and where they would flood on the high tidal variation days. It is easy to quote out of context to justify your own private war against my work, but genuine readers are not fooled. I have had very positive feedback about some of the warnings in this year's almanac, but mealy mouthing off by miserable muckrakers is really all one can ever expect to find here. Who and what are you going to find to write about when the cyber-bullying law takes effect??
You won't find much about real weather in your Christian Evangelical magazine, but as a subscriber to it, it does explain where you are coming from, and why you find any 'predictions' other than the ones God has made anathema to you. I do not write for religious publications, neither those you subscribe to nor those that host the global warming religion.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 29 Jun, 2015
Ken, in your newsletter under 'Mid-June Summaries: New Zealand', you never once mentioned the word 'flooding', nor did you mention it in your more detailed 'New Zealand June Summary' article on your website, which you have since removed the link to. Nor did you even hint of flooding through the use of other weasel words such as 'very heavy rain'. Why would your clients suspect flooding and prepare for flooding when you made no prediction of flooding in your newsletter or on your website? Do you think your clients are psychic Ken?
You imply that your almanac's June 14th entry specifically mentions widespread flooding, and also that 'very heavy rain' was predicted over the past few days. Well I haven't wasted good money on buying your almanac so I can't confirm that at present, but even if it did predict that, the floods in question, ie Whanganui, happened on the 21st June. They didn't occur on the 14th or in the past few days, so those predictions of yours were quite wrong. As usual.
As is typical of you Ken, you make many different predictions and sprinkle them all around: in your newsletter, on your website, in your almanac, in the media, on Internet forums etc, and when a certain weather event happens you search out the prediction that best fits reality and point people to that source, while blindly ignoring the rest. If you knew there would be widespread flooding and warned about it in your almanac, then why when you provided a summary in your newsletter and on your website that you claimed was 'Extracted from the 2015 New Zealand Almanac', did your two summaries not also mention that flood warning? If your summaries are not going to include the important predictions from your almanac, then you are misleading your clients by providing mediocre predictions in your newsletter. If you can't accurately summarise your almanac, then you should simply insist that your clients buy your almanac and forgo your worthless and misleading summaries.
You claim that your 'almanac has adequately warned about heavy rains, and when and where they would flood', but since in your above comments you don't point us to the page where you warned the residents of Whanganui, our readers can assume that no such warning can be found in your almanac.
You have also argued of late that it is not your job to make specific predictions, that it is the sole responsibility of the reader of your weather opinions to discern what weather might happen based on your vague utterances. Well, based on your June summaries that you freely provided us all with, we discerned that there was no way that intelligent, informed people in Whanganui would have suspected a record flood was coming. That was a rational call to make based on your information, and yet now you're arguing that our interpretation was wrong, that we should have apparently ignored your summaries and followed some vague warnings you claim are buried in your almanac. But this is you asserting your expertise and insisting that we follow your predictions rather than decide for ourselves what you might have meant. Make up your mind Ken, do you make the predictions or does your reader? As I've said, to explain your failures you insist that the reader must make the predictions, and this reader says that you're providing worthless information to work with.
As for your mention of a cyber-bullying law, we assume you're talking about the 'Harmful Digital Communications Bill'. That bill is out to stop 'communications that are grossly offensive or indecent, obscene, menacing or knowingly false' and that 'incite a person to commit suicide'. It's to stop people sending text such as 'Die you ugly bitch' to vulnerable 12 years olds. None of this applies to comments we make on 'Silly Beliefs', whether it's about your claims Ken or gods or psychics etc. Our comments are not 'grossly offensive or indecent, obscene, menacing or knowingly false', whereas the communications that you have sent us on the other hand have been offensive, menacing and knowingly false. Remember that you're on record of calling me, among other insults, a 'misogynist... white supremacist red-neck jack-booted fascist nazi... that hates Catholics, the Irish, Muslims, Jews'. You've been menacing, eg you've threatened us with lawyers, and knowingly false, eg continuing to falsely claim that Newton was an astrologer and that we're secretly in league with Microsoft to destroy your business. The only one here that has anything to worry about with this bill is you Ken. You may be annoyed that we say astrology is silly nonsense and that you've lied in many of your articles, but this is the demonstrable truth, not 'knowingly false'. Likewise, to highlight the false claims that you make is not 'grossly offensive or indecent, obscene or menacing', anymore than saying Santa Claus or God is not real. The bill may mention 'cyber bullying', but as we've continually pointed out to you, explaining why astrology is bullshit is not bullying, anymore than you criticising climate change proponents is bullying. If you have been eagerly awaiting this bill as a means to stop people challenging your silly beliefs, then you are in for a huge disappointment.
As for the silly religious accusations you finished with, are you really that obtuse and your thinking that muddled that you believe an outspoken atheist such as myself would subscribe to a Christian evangelical magazine and be supportive of God's Biblical predictions? How can your meagre supply of neurons even start to form the harebrained belief that me picking up a silly Christian magazine somehow explains why we expose your nonsense? Is this going to be another of your lies on other forums Ken, that we at 'Silly Beliefs' are actually all covert pawns of the Church, and this fits with your silly belief that it's the Christians that are really out to destroy astrology? The reality is Ken that I occasionally read silly Christian magazines for the same reason I read your nonsense, I enjoy a good laugh.
The silly thing Ken, is that it's you that adopts a pathetic and ignorant religious argument, by falsely asserting that publications discussing climate change would be 'religious publications' that 'host the global warming religion'. Religious fundamentalists falsely claim that science is a religion and that atheism is a religion, and your similar assertion that acceptance of 'global warming' is also a religion speaks either of ignorance or deception on your part. Either way your claims can be ignored.
Comment by Ron, 29 Jun, 2015
Hi John. Was surprised to see your own comment in your comments section titled "Ken Ring and those surprising floods". It sure needed to be said. He was as wrong as wrong can get but that's par for the course. I thought you were very easy on him, quite polite in fact. Perhaps you should have replied to your own comment with much stronger words as you do so ably!!!
I was perplexed by a comment Ring made in his early June related newsletter where he said it was possible the 1912 sinking of the Titanic was caused by the moon. He will say anything, obviously, to bolster his perceived effectiveness of his moon methods. As you may know that year the moon came closer to earth than it had done previously for very many centuries. He does not suggest how this could be so. The circumstances leading up to the glancing collision with the berg are well documented. Also the prevalence of icebergs in the vicinity at that time were recorded as normal. In that same newsletter he informed us about cold outbreaks due over winter. For June he stated 4th -10th and the last week. OK, it has been very cold in central but didn't the near records temps come after the 4th-10th prediction? Also central does get extremely cold most winters with minus double figures quite the norm. Here in Christchurch it got very cold for 2 days in that period that would qualify as a polar outbreak. As for the last week of this month, totally wrong. Frosty but mostly sunny pleasant days for June. Today was a warm NW and not unlike a day in late Sept. Plus he said for July cold outbreaks for the first and last weeks. Now in todays latest news epistle he has changed to second and last week. Whoa. How can Ken do this. Apart from the deceit side, I thought the moon and its influences were set in stone, immutable. Sure shoots the moon method down in flames in my books anyway. Can we ask for an explanation? In his latest there are some more silly buggers. In Omarama on July 7 and Lauder on the 27th, expect possible low temps. Oh dear oh dear. Such lunacy again. Those centres sit in very cold locations with Lauder not far from where the coldest temps in NZ were recorded. In July should we really have thought they would receive 28 degrees? Then he still harps on about mid-winter not being on the solstice but later due to the sun not quite at its furthest from earth. Does he really think a bit more will make us much colder. Once he gets an idea in his head its near impossible to shift it. And some more bunkum in a similar vein today. "Mars is 4 degrees from the sun (so what about it) so that brings dryness. (where) The moon is in Sagittarius on 1 July, a fire sign. Fire means heat." Gee thanks Ken. I learn something new from the guru every bloody week. So, he tells us, that due to the Full moon on July 3 coinciding with its furthest southern declination a heatwave is coming to London and other unnamed cities. Because these moon events will somehow drag warm air from near the equator all that way up to latitude 51 north and roast them. He mentions this Thursday July 2. So I checked the BBC weather for London. There is a short heatwave for June 30 and July 1. with temps 30-32 dropping to 26 on Thurs. But I am suspicious of Ken here. Firstly, it could be a complete coincidence or how do we know he didn't research those forecasts as well, before he wrote his latest? So easy to do, anyone could do it. Kens track record is so diabolical that naturally I can only come to these conclusions. I have not an ounce of faith or confidence in any of these "predictions" for NZ let alone the other side of the world.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 30 Jun, 2015
Hi Ron. As you will have now noticed, Ring has since responded to my flood comments and he didn't think I was being at all polite. You just can't please some people.
I was perplexed by the entire article in which Ring mentioned a connection between the Titanic and the Moon. Called 'Why more earthquakes in some months?', I notice that he has now deleted it from his website, but luckily I saved a copy before apparently Ring regretted writing it and removed it.
Regarding his Titanic nonsense, Ring wrote that:
'The closest the moon has been to Earth in recent times was on 4 January 1912. It was also full moon. The resulting distance of 356,375kms was the closest the moon had come for 1400 years. As all perigees bring extremes it is possible that this was a factor in the Titanic disaster a few months later'.
Ring clearly implies that in 1912 the Moon for some unstated reason snuck much closer to the Earth than is normal and thus disasters were almost assured. But let's look at the reality of what really happens. The Moon's orbit is an ellipse, not a perfect circle, so it's distance from the Earth varies between a maximum and minimum distance, but other factors are also at work and so the monthly maximum and minimum also varies slightly.
I used a 'Lunar Perigee and Apogee Calculator' to look at 1912, and it gives the following perigee figures for January and April. The closest perigee for 1912 was indeed in January at 356,378 kms, but the Titanic didn't hit that iceberg until April 14 when the perigee for that month had increased to 369,436 kms. Ring doesn't explain why the January perigee matters rather than April, but a little research shows that the thought is that the Moon's 'Strong gravitational pull might have sent icebergs on a collision course'.
But what does that January distance mean, was it freakishly close? Let's compare it to this year, 2015. This month the perigee is 369,712 kms, quite close to the perigee when the Titanic sunk, a difference of merely 276 kms, and back in February the perigee was just 356,991 kms, which is much closer to the closest perigee in 1912. I put some dates at random into the calculator and the closest perigee in 1930 was 356,399 kms, a mere 21 kms different to that in 1912! While Ring 'may' have been correct in that the 1912 perigee was the closest in the last 1400 years, he is being very deceptive by implying that this was somehow really unusual. And in fact he's not even correct that 1912 perigee was the closest for some 1400 years, meaning between 615 CE and now. The perigee in 796 CE was closer at 356,368 km.
All this pretence that 1912's perigee was dangerously different to what happens every year is simply a conman's sneaky attempt at duping his clients. Ring's desperation to find disasters that he can attribute to the machinations of his evil Moon is quite laughable.
And yes Ron, cold temperatures in Central Otago during winter, who would have thought that might happen? And as ignorant as Ring is, he's not that ignorant that he hasn't heard on the news of heatwaves overseas and so he will of course be working them into his predictions. Anyone can describe what's happening around them in real time.
And as for Ring's quote that you highlight:
'The moon moves into the constellation Sagittarius on 1 July which is a fire sign. Fire suggests heat and heat manifests as evaporation which brings rain'.
Telling us that Sagittarius is a 'fire sign' and that 'Fire suggests heat' is pure, primitive astrological nonsense, and yet Ring continually bleats that he isn't an astrologer. Yeah right.
Comment by Graham, 30 Jun, 2015
Hi John. Meanwhile Ken remains an international man of incompetence. At the beginning of the month he tweeted:
"Next significant rain for Central Wheat belt, WA, about mid July, 6 weeks away. Not good news for growing season."
Unfortunately for Ken from 17 June onwards, rainfall worth an estimated billion dollars fell on the Wheatbelt.
'Big rain delivers $1b bonus to WA grain farmers'
I'd call that significant.
Of course a share in that billion dollars is only available to farmers who ignored Ken's opinion and actually planted a crop.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 30 Jun, 2015
'An international man of incompetence'.
I like that description Graham, it has a certain ring to it, and of course it's so true.
Comment by Ron, 30 Jun, 2015
John, re. your last sentence on comment 721.
You wrote 'I like that description, Graham, it has a certain ring to it, and of course it's so true'.
Was that cute little pun in the centre intentional?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 30 Jun, 2015
Of course Ron I'd like to say it was intentional, but unlike Ring, I can not tell a lie to bolster my reputation. The pun was merely fortuitous, but I did recognise it and thus left it in.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 02 Jul, 2015
Thanks for your patience Ken. As you requested (in #716 above), we have finally sighted your 2015 Almanac (I'm sure you didn't really mean that we consult your 2016 almanac), and as we suspected, your claims that it contains clear and specific warnings for those floods, snow and frosts are utterly bogus. Let's expose your lies. You wrote: 'What part of the word "flooding" do you not understand? See entry for 14 June, p247 of the Weather Almanac 2016 for New Zealand. I had it very widespread'.
Your almanac prediction reads:
'14th: Chance of heavy rainfall resulting in slips and flooding in the Wairoa region but there may also be heavy falls from Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, eastern Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and other parts of Hawke's Bay with possible flooding in these places. Southwesterly change.'
You do indeed mention flooding in this prediction, but embarrassingly for you, the floods in question, ie Whanganui, happened on June 21st, not on the 14th. And the regions that you mention for the wrong day are indeed widespread, but again, the one region you fail to give a flood warning for is Taranaki and Whanganui. So that's a fail.
You then requested that we 'Also see the "very heavy" rain listed on p248 for the North Island in the past few days, and in the South Island to S Cant, and also good rain but not as heavy in Southland'.
Straight away we saw that this was a lie, since you don't even have a '"very heavy" rain' category. You only offer the following categories of rain: 'mainly dry, light showers, passing showers, significant showers, rain and heavy falls'. Your top rain scale is 'heavy falls', it doesn't extend beyond to 'very heavy falls'. How did you expect us to find and verify your reference to "very heavy" rain when surely you know that your scale doesn't even go that high? So that's a fail.
But if we ignore your devious exaggeration, did you perhaps predict heavy rain or even rain for Whanganui for the 21st? Starting with the date you focused on, the 14th, and running through to the floods on the 21st, you predicted: 'mainly dry, mainly dry, mainly dry, light showers, mainly dry, mainly dry, mainly dry'. So perhaps you can see why we're confused when you now angrily write: 'What part of the word "flooding" do you not understand?' The bit we don't understand is why you think rational people would interpret your phrase 'mainly dry' as a warning for 'flooding'. So that's a fail.
But of course you don't stop there, you ask us to look 'Also on p252, see the word "flood" for all the North Island, and the north and west of the South island, and the word "snow" everywhere'.
The word 'flood' does feature on this page, but again embarrassingly for you, not for the Taranaki region that actually received the record breaking floods and not the correct day, ie the 21st. Here are the regions and dates that you predicted floods for in June:
North Island Widespread = 28
What you fail to grasp Ken is that for one of your predictions to succeed the word 'flood' must match up with the location and date of a real flood. Simply having the word 'flood' appearing somewhere in the month of June and somewhere in the North Island is not good enough. Not by a long shot. So that's a fail.
North NI = 3, 4, 12, 13, 28
East NI = 3, 12, 13, 28
Central NI = 4, 13
West NI = NA
South NI = 28
As for your talk of 'the South island, and the word "snow" everywhere', not surprisingly this is bogus as well. The South Island's big chill and fall of snow, especially that in Central Otago, occurred on the 23rd June. Looking at your predictions for the 'Central SI', you predicted snow on the 15th, then frosts from the 16th to the 19th, then nothing at all from the 20th to 23rd, and then calm on the 24th, the very time that there was snow and minus 20 degree frosts. You then predicted snow from the 25th to the 29th, by which time it was all over. So yes, you did mention the word 'snow' in June, and frosts, but like your use of the word 'floods', you just didn't match them with real weather events. Even the village idiot can predict that Central Otago will get frosts and snow at sometime during winter. You predictions are no better. So that's a fail.
But you don't know when to quit, so you tell us to 'See also the snow/ice maps on every page for June in the almanac, p254-282, very severe on some days'. And again this is all devious misdirection on your part. On the 23rd when almost the entire South Island froze, you predicted that only the 'South SI' would see a frost, the rest were clear. Oops! As for your daily 'snow/ice maps', they are actually labelled 'Frost/Snow' maps! Ken, you can't even quote yourself accurately! And looking at these maps, on the June 23rd page when everyone froze, only Otago has a black 'Frost/Snow' map, the rest of the SI is completely clear, even Southland! Yet as we've said, on a different page you predicted that the 'South SI' would see a frost, and since Southland is part of the 'South SI', we should have expected a frost, but your June 23rd page contradicts this, predicting that only Otago will see frost. Or maybe snow, the problem with having a combined 'Frost/Snow' map is that the reader never knows which to expect, or maybe both? Even if we allow you your bogus 3 day window, none of your 'Frost/Snow' maps show a frost risk for the entire SI. So that's a fail.
We really don't understand Ken why you'd challenge our integrity by foolishly demanding, 'What part of the word "flooding" do you not understand?' People talk about goldfish having terrible memories (wrongly as it turns out), but you seem to share this mythical trait with them Ken. Have you truly forgotten that this silly ploy of yours doesn't work? Your almanac is public record, we can all see that it doesn't say what you pretend it says. If you want to lie about the contents of something that we can't contest, try your underwear drawer.
Comment by Daryl, 03 Jul, 2015
Hi John, I suspect Ken's almanac wouldn't have shown any flooding in Taranaki due to this statement from his 'Long Range weather chat'
'...with Taranaki possibly the driest North Island district for the year with only two or three above-average rain months in total.'
Oops! Up to three already so far. Seriously Taranaki?, there are plenty of other regions you would of had more luck guessing with. I can hear you now Ken, 'I call it as I see it'. You might want to have your eyes checked.
Also, while I'm pointing out erroneous predictions from the International man of incompetence (hehe)
From the article 'Fickle winter weather this year'
'The first polar blast of winter for Canterbury that blocks roads, closes schools and traps motorists is not expected until the last few days of June'
Ron has covered this in his comment above (#718), and it's another big fat fail for the Moon man.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 03 Jul, 2015
It is surprising Daryl, just how much Ring has written in various articles that all points towards him being wholly deserving of that 'international man of incompetence' label. You don't have to take it on faith, the evidence is there for all to see, provided by the man himself.
Of course this realisation also provides the answer as to how he might hide his future failures. If he were to stop documenting his silly and inevitably mistaken astrological predictions then his critics would have nothing to challenge and laugh at. Psychic mediums have wised up and refuse to knowingly perform in front of skeptics, but Ring still thinks that he's fooling the general public, when in fact we long ago saw through his tricks.
For his venture to survive I think he needs to go underground. Like nefarious endeavours such as drug dealing, child pornography, people trafficking and recruiting for Islamic State, he needs to retreat into the shadows and only reveal his ancient knowledge to those that deliberately seek him out and can prove their allegiance. Perhaps a presence on the dark web, secret handshakes, and requiring clients to sign a non-disclosure agreement, in blood. Ring needs to insist on a real commitment from his potential clients to signal their loyalty, at the very least a sizeable amount of money needs to change hands. No more free newsletters delivered right into the mailboxes of skeptics. Look at the likes of the Freemasons and the Ku Klux Klan, they don't reveal their secrets in bookshops, in the media and on the web for the public to criticise, as Ring does. This is his downfall, openly appealing to intelligent, informed adults and expecting them to naively accept his medieval nonsense.
Look at those child-abusing Catholic priests, they don't advertise their deviancy on the web or even to their parishioners, and yet while Ring is definitely becoming more circumspect, and now clearly worries over who he can trust in the modern world, he still hasn't grasped that openly professing belief in weather astrology marks him for ridicule. Like people that say they can talk to the dead, that claim to have been abducted by aliens, and that feel that God is watching them in the shower, Ring is captivated by a silly belief that he hasn't realised would be best kept to himself and the deluded minority that believe likewise. Thus Ring should invoke an identifying tattoo, invisible ink and high level encryption on the dark web to ensure that his ancient astrological predictions stay with those that believe, and who wouldn't think of giggling or asking an impertinent question of the great soothsayer.
I realise we're giving Ring the answer to his problem, which if implemented would make our skeptical evaluation of his predictions very difficult, but after so many embarrassing failures, it's hard not to feel a little sorry for the guy.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 02 Aug, 2015
On several occasions Ken Ring has claimed to be a scientist, a mathematician and a psychologist, all careers for which he lacks the necessary qualifications. And in his latest newsletter he again demonstrates why he should stick with what he knows, which is ... umm ... well maybe we could come back to that. Weatherwise we're two days into August and both days have been the complete opposite to Ring's predictions. So nothing unusual there. But what caught my eye was a relatively new addition to Ring's newsletters: 'In The News', and his view on a recent discovery made by astronomers:
'NASA Finds Closest Earth Twin Yet in Haul of 500 Alien Planets
Note how peeved Ring is that astronomers are exploring the universe and seeking answers to the big questions, when I assume he thinks they should be poring over astrology charts and determining what will happen when Pluto wanders into Sagittarius or aligns with Mars. If all humans were as backward thinking as Ring then we'd still be living in caves and running from our shadows. And speaking of shadows, concerning this new exoplanet Ring claims that 'Neither has anyone even seen it, but only its passing shadow'. Ring clearly doesn't understand the science involved, since the planet and its shadow would be roughly the same size, so if astronomers could see its shadow they could also see the planet itself, which they can't. Plus, using the principles of physics rather than astrology suggests that the planet's shadow would project out into space and be lost from view anyway. But it's not even Ring's anti-science stance that annoyed me the most, after all he's an astrologer and conspiracy theorist, it was his appalling use of maths to bolster his argument. Again remember that this is a man who claims to be a mathematician and who says he has spent years teaching maths to children.
What is incredible is the wasted resources that go into discovering something about as useful to mankind finding out as how many fairies can dance on the end of a pin. Clling it Earth-like is a mistake. The only thing that is like our planet is that it orbits its sun at roughly a similar distance. Neither has anyone even seen it, but only its passing shadow. It is not as if anyone will be visiting it anytime soon. It is1400 light years away so there will be rather a lot of travelling. A light year is a year spent travelling at 700 million mph. or 10 million million miles per year, so making the planet Kepler 452b 14000 million million miles away. That's a 140x further away than the sun. Our fastest mode of transport is the space shuttle, at 17000mph or 100 million miles per year. Just to get there would require 140 million years for the one way journey. That's a whole lot of reheated airline meals and cramped seating.'
Ring tells us that the planet called Kepler 452b is '1400 light years away so there will be rather a lot of travelling', and using his maths expertise Ring explains to us plebs what a 'lot of travelling' really means. Apparently falling back on one of his earlier bogus claims — 'I am a scientist, university trained', Ring continues with:
'A light year is a year spent travelling at 700 million mph or 10 million million miles per year'.
Actually a light year would be the distance covered if you travelled for a year at a constant 670,615,200 mph. So that's roughly 671 million mph and not 700 million mph as Ring claims. You might think that 700 million is not that far from 671 million, especially for someone like Ring with a shaky grasp of maths and science, but a small error here just turns into huge errors elsewhere when you move from talking about one light year and then onto hundreds, thousands and millions of light years.
Ring then tells us that if you travelled a year at 700 million mph you would cover 10 million million miles. That's not even close to the correct answer. At that speed you would actually only travel 6,136,200,000,000 miles per year. So that's just over 6 million million miles per year, nowhere near Ring's figure of 10 million million miles per year (10 trillion miles). In reality, using the correct value for the speed of light — 186,282 miles per sec — means that a light year is actually 5,878,612,843,200 miles, or 5.8 trillion miles, and certainly not 10 trillion miles.
Using his bogus figure, Ring assures us that this makes:
'the planet Kepler 452b 14000 million million miles away.'
Amazingly Ring multiplies '10 million million miles per year' with the distance to the planet Kepler 452b — 1400 light years — and reaches the correct answer: '14000 million million miles'. But unfortunately this is still quite wrong, since as we've said, the figures Ring uses, '700 million mph' and '10 million million miles per year', are wrong. Since a light year is actually 5.8 million million miles (5.8 trillion miles), then the planet Kepler 452b is really 8,230,057,980,480,000 miles away. That's 8,230 trillion miles, not 14,000 trillion as Ring claims. Quite a considerable error in distance.
With his bogus distance of '14000 million million miles' Ring then confidently informs us that based on his calculations:
'That's a 140x further away than the sun'.
If Kepler 452b really was 14,000 trillion miles away, would that equate to it being '140x further away than the sun'? The sun is 93 million miles away, which divides into Ring's '14000 million million miles' some 150,537,634 times. That's right, Kepler 452b would be roughly 150 million times further away than the sun, not a mere 140 times. But of course the distance figure Ring used — 14,000 trillion miles — is bogus, the actual distance to Kepler 452b is 8,230 trillion miles, so it's really some 88 million times further away than the sun. That's roughly half the value that Ring's calculation should have arrived at, but there is still a huge gulf between 88 million times and the number Ring did arrive at: a mere 140 times. Even the closest star to the sun, Proxima Centauri at 4.3 light years, is some 272 thousand times further away than the sun. But according to Ring's claim, the planet Kepler 452b and the star it orbits must be the closest thing to our solar system, just over the fence so to speak. It's strange that I can't see it when I look at the night sky.
But Ring's fantasy calculations don't stop there. Next he claims that:
'Our fastest mode of transport is the space shuttle, at 17000mph or 100 million miles per year.'
His first claim is false since the Saturn V rockets that sent the Apollo missions to the Moon had to reach 25,000 mph to escape Earth's gravity. If he's retorts that the Saturn V rockets aren't flying anymore so they don't count, then I'd reply, neither is the space shuttle. The reality is that if we chose to build an interstellar craft, our present technology would allow us to build one that goes at least 25,000 mph. And let's ignore Ring's oversight that his craft couldn't go anywhere if it's top speed was 17,000 mph. But if we use Ring's figure of 17,000 mph, the speed required to reach and maintain Earth orbit, how far could we travel in a year? The answer is 149 million miles per year, which is nearly 50% further than Ring calculated we could travel, which was '100 million miles per year'. How does he get his answers so wrong? Are the carved notches on his counting stick getting too worn to be felt accurately?
In his space shuttle going flat out all the way, Ring assures us that:
'Just to get there would require 140 million years for the one way journey'.
But of course the figure Ring uses — '100 million miles per year' — is wrong, so his journey time is also wrong. The actual journey time, at 17,000 mph, would be just over 55 million years. Still a ridiculously long duration of course, but only a bit over a third of the time that Ring calculated it would take. So we wouldn't have to pack any near as many reheated airline meals as Ring thought.
It's important also to note that Ring didn't just make one unfortunate mistake with his initial calculation which caused all his following calculations to be out too. He makes mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake. Hopefully I haven't made any embarrassing mistakes, but then I'm not claiming to be a mathematician. Is Ring just a fool, utterly ignorant of his mistakes, or did he just deviously make up some numbers to support his argument, knowing — hoping — that no one would check them?
But either way, unfortunately Ring's supporters will likely read his piece and nod in agreement with him, scientists are wasting our money, and Ring provides the figures to prove it! And if the truth be known, those photos they revealed recently of the surface of Pluto were probably faked in the same studio that was used in the Moon landing hoax.
Comment by Graham, 04 Aug, 2015
Hi John. Nice reworking. As a former maths teacher I would have had the big red pen out on his effort. But I think believing Ken Ring and being mathematically and scientifically ignorant go hand in hand so he fears nothing from making up his own Maths.
Thanks for linking to his newsletter. Like Moss laughing at a circuit board in the IT crowd I was having a good chuckle at Ken's weather chart. He's chosen one chart that he says shows how accurate his forecast "trends" are. I can assume it must be the best one he can find because he's so proud of it. While he's correctly predicted a cold front in the southern ocean during winter (well done Ken), he clearly thinks, and is probably right, that his supporters are too stupid to notice the elephant in the room: the huge low pressure system off the WA coast that caused this Farmers rejoice as deluge fills rain gauges in Perth, Wheatbelt
Since Ken and his gullible supporters evidently can't read weather charts, I've conveniently marked the offending feature with a pink elephant. Maybe they'll notice that. So if you were using his chart to forecast the weather on that day, you would have got NZ, Tasmania and Victoria mostly correct (although nothing surprising for that time of year), but would be wrong in NSW (high in the wrong spot), most of SA and the complete opposite of what actually happened in southern WA. It's the dry season in the tropics so no points for getting that right, but in the south 50% accuracy on a day chosen be Ken Ring himself. And he wants us to pay to see the rest of them.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 04 Aug, 2015
As with any con artist Graham, it's all about misdirection. Normally when they show us something it's to divert our attention from something they'd rather we not see. It's not what he's telling us, it's what he's not telling us that should concern us. It's not why this map is close in parts, but why the ones he doesn't mention aren't. Ring trots out around 30 weather maps every month, 365 every year, so surely if he was as good as he claims to be then we could compare his map to reality every day of the year and be impressed by its accuracy. But apparently this is not the case by any stretch of the imagination, in fact Ring getting his map to match reality is so rare that when by mere chance it does roughly match he feels compelled to scream about it from the rooftops, or at least in his newsletter.
Ring tells readers that 'From time to time it is worth checking our maps. We are running fairly close to the mark at the moment'. One can almost detect the surprise in his voice that for once his map is 'running fairly close to the mark'. I thought they did this consistently? And wouldn't you think that someone in the prediction business would be constantly checking his maps against the actual weather rather than just 'from time to time'? Wouldn't you want to know if your predictions were correct? If you were genuine, of course you would, and even Ring will be regularly comparing his soothsayer predictions to the real world, hoping for a hit. He only mentions this once in a blue moon success with his map because it is a rare thing, like spotting Bigfoot buying lingerie for his mate's birthday.
Comment by Doug, 05 Aug, 2015
Please be very clear the weather maps that Ken uses are not his. He has purchased them from a Met Office. His theory is that because the moon repeats its position every 18 or so years (I know that's not the real figure but it's something like that) then all he has to do is get the map from 18 years ago and it will tell him what the weather will be. Simple idea. Easily done. Totally unreliable except in a very general sense.
What is even more disturbing is that the maps are generated by meteorological scientists using the scientific instruments, methods and theories that he is so critical of. Just like creationists he feels that he has to legitimise his craft by trying to apply selected scientifically derived data. Which is gross misuse and downright dishonest but there you are.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 05 Aug, 2015
You're quite right Doug, the maps Ring uses are not of his making, he simply buys old used maps and recycles them, since as you say he believes we're all living in an extended version of the movie 'Groundhog Day', where we get to experience the same weather over and over again. And it is disturbing that he sees nothing ironic in the fact that he utilises and makes money off the data of the meteorological scientists that he hates with a passion. Comparing Ring to those ignorant creationists is quite apt, with him attempting to discredit science with his selective use of science, coupled with his blind belief in nonsense that became quite silly centuries ago.
Comment by Ron, 07 Aug, 2015
Hello again John.
Excellent piece from you re. Ken Ring's mathematical inability relating to the planet recently discovered. I often wonder how those pupils taught by him are faring today out in the world!!!
At the risk of sounding repetitive again I wish to express more comments and observations re. his newsletter opinions based on his almanac. Oh, we are told the 2015 version is now out of stock.That should upset many. If one was silly enough to purchase for $50 for just 5 more months does Ken give you a proportional discount I wonder? Of course a foolish buyer could try going back over the last 7 months with research and patience to check accuracy etc. Anyway, for July we were to receive a week long very cold outbreak lasting from 24th to 31st. This simply did not happen. Here, in CH.CH. we were to get our heaviest rains on the 20th and 24th. Both were dry and settled, not only those dates but well beyond, either sides. Ken berates those like me for signing up for his newsletters then criticizing. At least they are free, but it is hard not to show up these terrible anomalies for all to judge. The only correct predictions are so few that they must be just luck or the law of averages striking the jackpot occasionally. The latest August version again shows very amateurish writings with nonsensical statements and contradictions. He says one day Darfield will be rainy but not Christchurch nor any other nearby places ie Springfield, Hororata. For those in the dark, Darfield is a small rural town some 20 mins inland on the plains, but seems to have its own mini climate now. One summary appears to have Hawkes Bay as dry another says wet conditions. Sth Canterbury is indicated as being wet, another says below average rain. Ring will only say "you don't have to read it". Another stupid one is Aug 19 where he states Hanmer Forest will be unusually cold. He made this same silly prediction last winter and I criticized it and you, John, added some comments. Does he not read anything or is it bad memory? Again for the unfamiliar, Hanmer is an alpine resort town in Nth Canterbury. It gets really cold in winter. Hanmer forest can be mighty cold in winter like many others. People flock there for the hot pools. I don't think hordes will be walking amongst the trees mid-week mid-august. What is the point of a dopey statement like that?
I just read an article from the June 19, 2014 edition of the Irish Times which gave an overview of Ring's weather predictions for Ireland for the rest of that year. What gagged me was this paragraph by an obviously ill-informed reporter about KR "A writer, he had been a keen amateur weather observer before his accurate predictions of the 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch brought him and his unusual technique to international attention". Oh really? This year it seems KR predicted a quite pleasant summer for Ireland with av. rain, warmer max. temps and a bit cooler minimums. Many grumblings are occurring with his name popping up often. They have so far had a poor, washout summer. Their best month, July, is being touted the worst ever, with large amounts of rain and cold windy conditions forcing many to have their fires going and jacket wearing the norm. As one wag said, summer was ok for June and July, it was ok June 30th and July 1st. In reference to Ring a writer said "it is difficult to predict irish weather 1 week out, let alone 1 year out". Long range weather forecasting is a very inaccurate science in reality. No wonder UK and Irish met services don't wish to predict weather any more than 5 days. Here we have our own resident weather guru who can reach out to 20 yrs and beyond.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 08 Aug, 2015
Hey Ron. Many of Ring's ex-maths pupils are probably some of his ignorant clients now, others will be getting conned by pyramid schemes and Nigerian bank scams and many will no doubt be going slowly insane as they struggle — and fail — to balance their finances using the methods Ring taught them.
As for Ring making obvious statements, such as that in winter 'Hanmer Forest will be unusually cold', and your question: 'What is the point of a dopey statement like that?', we must remember that Ring writes, as all good writers should, to match the intellectual level of his audience.
You're quite right to be annoyed with the 'obviously ill-informed reporter' writing in the 'Irish Times'. Ring never made 'accurate predictions of the 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch' and he was already infamous for his bogus weather almanac, which he had been selling for many years. The trouble is that most reporters, rather than doing some real research and exposing his lies, simply turn to Ring and ask: Why do you think you're so wonderful?
Comment by Ken Ring, 08 Aug, 2015
My method generally gets the trends correct
It has been the same all over Ireland, and is the reason I was sponsored this year by the largest manufacturer of a popular outdoor product, also huge in NZ.
It has been the same in NZ over this past year. I have gotten correct the late snows on Ruapehu, the current rains, the timing of the cold blasts and snows in both islands. I always said Ruapehu skiing would only start in mid July and the season should be extended to November. I said El Nino would kick in this year after autumn and last about a year. Only now are NIWA, who wrongly insisted El Nino would arrive last year, at last concurring. In Australia I got the winter trends correct and the current good rain for the growing season in WA and SA, when the BoM were talking up drought all year a few months ago. My farmer clients across the south of Australia have big smiles on their faces.
No, I may not get the day-to-day forecasts bang-on, but neither do NZ Metservice. All forecasters will tell you it is not an exact science. We all aim for 80-85% and admit to our limitations. All we wish is that our suggestions are more useful than having nothing at all. That is how we stay in business - those who understand that will, as they have done for the past 15 years, make good and profitable use of the work; but those who misunderstand will always be blinded by their own bias and misled by the professionally jealous.
I have never made any secret that I use past maps with written permission of the NOAA, BoM and Lands and Survey (now NIWA). So what? Oceanographers use past maps, doctors and earth scientists use the work of those who have contributed before. There is no need to keep reinventing the wheel. Present day astrologers still use the work of Hindu that is 5000 years old.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 08 Aug, 2015
Ken, you claim that your 'method generally gets the trends correct', but no one wastes money on your almanac to learn of trends. Even the village idiot knows that the trend is that winter is colder than summer, that night is darker than day, and that black clouds often mean rain. It's not rocket science!
Just as you now claim that you don't make predictions, you merely throw out opinions, you're now trying to say that you only try to guess climate trends, even though you market your almanac on 'specific event' accuracy. For example, here are some quotes from your past advertising:
'Weather for your Event
You're not saying that you can sense a trend, you're promising that you can predict the weather on a specific day at a specific location for a specific event. Your almanac provides a specific prediction for every single day of the year, it's not just a few pages talking about expected trends. But your predictions for specific events are so inaccurate that you're now falling back on weasel words to explain your failures — they were simply opinions about wider trends!
Planning an [sic] wedding, or other event? ...
I would like to think moon forecasting might be of help to those who are already making planning decisions... like when to book hay, shearing or building contractors, or weddings
Perhaps you are trying to decide the date of a wedding and you need a fine day... Maybe you are a farmer who only wants to employ a hay contractor when the weather is suitable.
There are many special day requirements. For example pesticide... and a calm day with no strong winds is needed. A fine day for a reunion... A business deal on a fine morning... a working bee for a charity that involves hundreds of volunteers being outdoors.
Event Planning... to ensure a perfect wedding or well-attended event without the dread of being ruined by rain.'
Finally, and surprisingly, for once you're upfront and acknowledge what has been obvious to anyone that has investigated your weather predictions, that they're utter crap: 'No, I may not get the day-to-day forecasts bang-on, but neither do NZ Metservice'. Unlike you Ken, the MetService do actually get many of their 'day-to-day forecasts bang-on', mainly because they aren't silly enough to try and make them a year or so before the due day. Furthermore, if they see an unexpected weather front developing they change their forecast and warn the public, unlike your prediction that is set in stone and can never be changed, regardless of what the real weather is doing. The worldwide reality is that if your method was better or even equal to that of meteorologists then astrologers would be filling the weather spot on our nightly TV news, but not a single country employs astrologers rather than meteorologists. Why is that Ken? I'm guessing a worldwide conspiracy by the mysterious powers that be?
I also noticed that in the past you've repeatedly claimed that you always achieve around 80-85% accuracy, now you're starting to say that you merely 'aim for 80-85%'? That's like NASA and me both saying that we're aiming to put astronauts on Mars by 2030. We can both aim towards the same goal, but realistically only NASA has any hope of achieving it. And truthfully Ken, you should be aiming for 100% accuracy in your predictions, but regardless of what you aim for, the only important result is the accuracy you actually achieve. And what might that accuracy be — 5%, 10% or even 50%, the same as a coin toss? As I've said Ken, in the past you've always claimed that your 80-85% accuracy had been independently demonstrated, but you've always refused to produce the evidence. Now you're not even prepared to make false claims, you're just going to say that you're aiming for 80-85% accuracy. Just as I'm aiming to win Lotto this weekend. And you've ignored my query in the past so I'll ask again, where does the likes of the MetService say they only aim for 80-85% accuracy?
You say that you were 'sponsored this year by the largest manufacturer of a popular outdoor product, also huge in NZ'. Why do you hide who this sponsor is? Are they ashamed of their connection with you? While they might believe in what you do, would they rather that their customers not know that they sponsor an astrologer?
I had to giggle (or in Interweb speak — LOL) when you said that regarding your work, 'those who misunderstand will always be blinded by their own bias and misled by the professionally jealous'. I don't see that I'm being blinded by some bias by accepting the robust evidence of science that debunks astrology as ancient nonsense. When I accept that the Earth isn't flat and the Sun doesn't orbit us, am I also being blinded by my own bias? As for me being 'misled by the professionally jealous', I assume you're referring to scientists, especially meteorologists, climatologists, astronomers, seismologists, vulcanologists, physicists etc. Do you seriously believe that these scientists are jealous of what you do, and are falsifying data and telling lies to discredit you? Seriously? You've admitted that you're a conspiracy theorist Ken when it comes to explaining why the entire scientific world is against you, and like most conspiracy theorists you're the one that's been seduced by a fantasy.
As for you using old maps purchased from meteorologists, I have no problem with that per se. As you say, doctors and scientists use the work of others. For example, Newton and Einstein both used data produced by scientists before them. But the difference is that both Newton and Einstein respected and acknowledged the contribution made by earlier scientists on whose work they built. You on the other hand are utterly dismissive of scientific views of your method, you hold your critics in contempt, and you've argued that meteorologists, academics and universities are all conspiring to suppress the truth about astrological weather forecasting. You've labelled science and weather organisations as 'corrupt' and academics as 'liars and frauds'. You've written that:
'My peers are not meteorologists, nor scientists, nor anybody university trained... None of the aforementioned know anything about weather'.
So Ken, how can you have any confidence in the isobaric maps that you purchase from these corrupt know-nothing liars and frauds? As Doug said, these 'maps are generated by meteorological scientists using the scientific instruments, methods and theories that he is so critical of'. How can you trust a weather map made by someone that you believe knows nothing about the weather? You are a first-rate hypocrite Ken. You want to use scientific data to show that science is wrong, but if science is wrong, then the scientific data that you used to reach this conclusion is also wrong, thus your conclusion is wrong, based as it is on faulty data. To show that science is wrong would require that you collect your own astrological data, not simply buy some corrupt data from your nemesis.
I would have no problem if you used the maps to demonstrate that there is a repeatable pattern to our weather that meteorologists have missed, but of course you haven't done this, and you refuse to release any of your data to support your claims, unlike the MetService releasing their data to you.
As for your claim that 'Present day astrologers still use the work of Hindu that is 5000 years old', even if that were true it's as silly as saying that 'Present day witches still use the magic spells used by witches 5000 years ago'. The reality is that regardless of what you and your fellow astrologers believe Ken, our modern world is not built on astrological beliefs. If it rains on me tomorrow it won't be due to the Moon holding a grudge against me.
Comment by Graham, 08 Aug, 2015
Hi John. It took about 2 minutes of research to find out what Ken was actually saying to the Irish media at the beginning of the year about the Irish summer. But that's 2 minutes more research than was done by the Connacht Tribune's Denise McNamara, if I may name and shame.
Ken's "trend": "Summer will be sunnier than the average, with warmer maxima and average minima, and average rainfall overall for the country."
When in reality: "Worst Irish Summer in Decades..."
Of course summer isn't over yet, so it must have been pretty bad for the media to have called it this far in advance. But after the end of this month you can check the seasonal summary on the Met Eireann page here. I'm pretty sure "sunnier than average" won't be a phrase you'll see in that document.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 09 Aug, 2015
Hi Graham. Thanks for exposing another of Ken's deceptions. Frankly I didn't even bother checking his link. Experience has shown that on the very rare occasion where Ken points to apparent support for his method, it's either misleading nonsense from an ill-informed believer, or a fluke success. After all, considering the hundreds of predictions Ring makes each year, it would be truly weird if he didn't get a few right by mere chance alone.
While Ring desperately wants us to believe that his 'method generally gets the trends correct', the only accurate trends I've discerned over the years involving his predictions are that the number of failed predictions is greatly increasing (due to more predictions being made), and the number of people that believe in his nonsense is greatly decreasing. Of course for Ring to be the success he believes he is, both of these numbers should be trending in the opposite directions.
Comment by Ron, 09 Aug, 2015
Hi John. How can Ken sit there straight-faced and write such stuff, that is, he got all the cold blasts and snow predictions correct? What time frame does he refer to? To me, this winter so far, almost all have been wrong. In July Ken had cold blasts for 2 full weeks which cunningly covers half the month. Here in CHC, today we've had snow, sleet and rain. On the metservice all NZ map at 11am we were the coldest shown at 1 degree. Heavy snow fell for a time late Friday evening. This constitutes a very cold outbreak to me yet all I have from Ken here is only one nasty episode in last week of Aug. His newsletter for today vaguely states westerlies, changeable. Is that for Invercargill, Hokitika or all of NZ. I guess his almanac for today will have useful info. such as very cold in Ophir and Omarama and cold in Cragieburn and Peel forests, the latter possibly of use to resident possums if they could read. Though I am married I cringe at the thought of planning that very special day based on predictions from Ken and his almanac. How cocky and over-confident can he get expecting clients and others to plan their special events around what he says. After all, not only does history speak for itself but predictions became only opinions, now they are morphing into "suggestions". Ah well, at least I don't need to spend fifty dollars to get predictions from Metservice. As you say, John, they change their forecasts frequently but on the day or close to it one can get an updated, generally reliable forecast.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 10 Aug, 2015
Hi Ron. You wonder how Ken can be so cocky and 'sit there straight-faced and write such stuff'. And let's be frank, where you diplomatically write 'stuff', I would write 'bullshit', or at the very least 'silly nonsense'. If we look at the bigger picture, Ring is simply going through the motions that all scammers go through. When we look at what psychic mediums, faith healers, homeopaths and priests etc say to their gullible followers we're confronted with the same glaring problem. How can these people sit there straight-faced and say such stuff, such bullshit, and how can their listeners blindly swallow such nonsense? The hardcore scammers are of course motivated by greed, their followers must be convinced to part with their hard earned cash to gain what the scammers are offering. And as you say, in Ring's case that's $50 each year.
Those pushing a silly belief, be it weather astrology, talking to dead people, healing with crystals or invisible gods, know that they must always exude unshakeable confidence with no admission of errors or hints of doubt. Of course they know that informed, intelligent people view their silly belief with contempt and have considerable evidence that exposes it as a scam, but they also know that there will always be a proportion of the public that will opt for superstition over reason. And it is to them that they must aim their performance. While naturally weather astrologers, psychics and priests don't like it that skeptics point out the laughable failures and blatant flaws in their specific silly belief, they are forced to ignore our criticism, or childishly argue that black is white and up is down, all in an attempt to maintain their veneer of steely confidence for the benefit of their deluded followers. People searching for the truth, scientists for example, will happily debate their theories, share their evidence, admit to their errors, and if presented with good reasons, change their views completely. Scammers on the other hand are simply searching for an easy income, and aren't concerned whether it's an ethical income. Since the truth is of no concern to them, and since openness and integrity would only expose their lies, they have no interest in honestly debating their theories, sharing their data, admitting to errors, or, god forbid, changing their view. They want us to believe that astrology can predict the weather, or that they can talk to ghosts, or that their magic water can heal us. And if we believe in them, and bring along some money, we can share in their amazing abilities.
But to keep people believing in them they must never waver, never admit to error or uncertainty. Image is everything. Of course they come across as right nutters to rational people, but their unwavering conviction against all the odds is, they hope, enough to keep a steady trickle of society's less astute coming their way.
Comment by Daryl, 10 Aug, 2015
Hi John, just some points I would like to raise about Ken's 'predict-o-pinions' he is claiming success for in comment 734.
Ken says.... 'I have gotten correct ....... the timing of the cold blasts and snows in both islands'.
I say, you're wrong. Your article where you deliver a mid winter report for queenstown you say under August.....
'First week dry and frosty'
Hmmmmm, it's rained/snowed in Queenstown everyday until the 9th except for the 2nd.
You said 'I always said Ruapehu skiing would only start in mid July and the season should be extended to November.'
I say, this is not any sort of prediction. Anyone who skis Ruapehu on a regular basis knows this happens 9 out of 10 winters. Season proper is late July to late October. RAL regularly close off their winter season late October and offer a few weeks of spring slush fun in the first two weeks of November. Some cheap points for you to point out to any doubters Ken.
Although not to be a complete party pooper, in general, you were ok (2-4 days out) on the two of three snow events you predicted for July. I'm impressed by your luck.
As for El-nino, here you are covering your bases in this article, by including Jan, Feb, March and April as possible El-nino declaration times.
'.....which is what NZ's coming early-to-midsummer should deliver. At the moment the next El Nino is still in the brewing stage, and may be declared around next March/April'.
So you have chucked in early to mid summer (Jan, Feb) and then later on, March and April. In comment 734 on this page you have changed all that to 'I said El Nino would kick in this year after autumn and last about a year'. Covering the rest of the year. Very sly.
Also regarding the WA growing season, I seem to recall you saying a while back it would be dry for 6 weeks across the wheatbelt which was not good news for growing season, and a few weeks later someone posted on this site and included a link to an article entitled something like "billion dollar rainfall for WA farmers'.....
And Ken, when are you going to give away the earthquake predictions?
Comment by Jamie, 11 Aug, 2015
Hi John, last night Ken tweeted some advice for anyone planning a ski trip to Mt Ruapehu today:
"Where to ski in NI tomorrow
So now Ken is suggesting he can pinpoint the best weather from two locations that are only around 6 or 7 kms apart. What happened to the "within an 80km radius" error factor that he's talked about in the past?
Turoa: morning sunny, afternoon cloudy and odd flurry.
Whakapapa: morning cloud and rain.
My choice: Turoa"
Anyway, I've just had a quick look at Ruapehu's website and it seems Ken has got it wrong again.
Click to view webcam stills of both fields. Looks to me like Whakapapa is currently basking in sunshine, while Turoa is shrouded in cloud.
Oh dear, poor Ken. He can't even get it right 12 hours before the event.
Comment by Jamie, 12 Aug, 2015
Update: The sun is still shining on Whakapapa this afternoon. Turoa still looks rather gloomy...
Comment by Jamie, 13 Aug, 2015
Hi John. Adding to Daryl's comment back on 12th June regarding Ken's prediction on the state of the Southern Hydro lakes this winter, remember Ken was quoted as saying, "The southern hydrolakes will be seriously low before August, prompting media speculation of a looming power crisis".
Well, here's an update on the current situation (see this screen shot).
"Controlled storage as of 9 August is 2121 GWh, which is about 65% of the maximum South Island controlled storage. This is higher than average for the time of year. This amount of controlled storage places the column in the Security Normal range, which means that the risk of hydro shortage is assessed to be less than 1% (barring major unexpected equipment failures)."
You can see clearly on the graph that since June levels have remained above average.
Wrong again Ken.
Also, I notice he is now including Earthquake predictions in his new 2016 Almanac:
"Also for the first time ever, due to public requests we have included an earthquake diary, and monthly summaries at a glance for all regions."
A bargain at Only $51!
This reminds me of Mark Quigley's famous quote regarding Ken Ring's past earthquake predictions: "opportunistic and meaningless self promotion during a time of national crisis".
Ken's response to this has always been that he makes no money from his Earthquake predictions, that he does it as a "public service", free of charge.
Well he can no longer use that as an excuse!
I can't help wondering if he has decided to change his policy due to declining sales revenue. After all, his 2016 Almanac is now only available via his website, and not through your local Booksellers via Random House publishing.
My guess is, he now gets his Almanac printed through his local commercial printer on-demand. That would explain the new A4 format ("printed...in A4 size, for easier reading", not to mention easier printing).
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 13 Aug, 2015
Yes indeed Jamie — 'Wrong again Ken'. With his truly appalling success record, if Ring were the likes of a surgeon or a commercial pilot, he would have killed who knows how many people by now, people that placed completely unwarranted trust in his abilities.
And I wonder if Random House publishing ditched him as a client or whether he just couldn't afford to retain them as his publisher any further? In his latest newsletter Ring notes that he's 'grateful for the assistance of Ian Wishart of Howling at the Moon publishing', so I assume Wishart is his new publisher. Talk about strange bedfellows, Ian Wishart is a Christian fundamentalist and Ring hates Christianity with a passion. It was those bloody Christians, in Ring's mistaken view, that caused the world to ridicule and condemn his beloved astrology. But both Ring and Wishart are climate change deniers so I guess they're prepared to put their differences on hold for a common cause. It's like Christians, Jews and Muslims suppressing their hatred of each other and joining forces to combat us evil atheists.
And you're right, Ring can no longer claim his quake predictions are just freebies and aren't part of his business. I suspect he has included them in his new almanac as an extra incentive for unsophisticated folk to consider purchasing it. He probably didn't include it in the past since most people weren't interested and didn't know that they needed to worry about killer quakes whenever the Moon was at certain locations. Now many of his deluded clients probably fear quakes more than they do severe weather events, so having created the angst Ring is now in a position to sell the cure. As Rule 27 from the Scammer Handbook says: 'Give the fools what they want'.
Comment by Daryl, 13 Aug, 2015
Hi John, found this pearl of wisdom on Ken's twitter feed....
'Re global warming and sea level rise, Hold a 2000C blowtorch above a pan of water the water will boil and the level go down. A 2C blowtorch?'
Wouldn't a 2 degree blowtorch expedite the melting of the worlds ice and cause sea levels to rise? Actually, the more I read this statement, the more confused I get by it. Perhaps it actually just means nothing, a throwaway for Ken's mesmerised audience of believers. But I am going to stick with my original take on what he was getting at: that a 2 degree rise in temperature will eventually cause sea levels to drop.
Isn't this an extremely simplistic (not to mention completely wrong) and narrow view of a complex problem with a dizzying mix of inter-related factors? I'm just guessing here but I assume it is possible that at a certain temperature the sea will evaporate faster than it can rain, but I also assume the ice will have melted by then and we will all be dead. Just not from a 2 degree rise in temperature.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 14 Aug, 2015
Hi Daryl. I suspect that, unlike you and me, Ring no doubt finds great profundity in his blowtorch argument, but it makes no sense to me either. Philosopher Daniel Dennett has termed statements like this 'deepities'. A deepity is 'a statement that is seemingly profound yet trivial on one level and meaningless on the other'.
Ring starts by describing a '2000C blowtorch' at work, and then finishes with the question: 'A 2C blowtorch?' Does he mean that global warming of just 2°C could never cause evaporation and sea levels to fall since this requires at least a 2000°C heat source? But clearly this isn't true since water is continually evaporating from our oceans, even though they're not boiling. Sweat evaporates from our skin without the need of a 2000°C blowtorch. But Ring apparently believes that you need at least 2000°C to cause evaporation, since in another silly piece he claims that:
'You need a blowtorch 6000degC, to evaporate enough moisture from the vast store of the earth's moisture that we call the sea, to cause rain.'
Even though Ring has upped the required temperature by 3x, again, clearly water does evaporate from the seas and results in rain, and yet there is no 6000°C blowtorch being held over the sea to achieve this. If there were then we would all have been fried to a crisp every time we went out on the water. So why might Ring talk of needing a 2000°C or 6000°C blowtorch acting on the oceans? Perhaps he's thinking of the sun as a blowtorch? The photosphere, the part of the Sun we see, is around 5,500°C, but that's at the Sun's surface, it's clearly not that hot at any beach I've been to. And if we're going to use solar temperatures in our arguments, the core of the Sun is around 15 million °C, which would make an even more impressive blowtorch. But perhaps Ring isn't really thinking of the Sun as a blowtorch since in yet another article he writes:
'Just hold a blowtorch over a filled bath. The surface will warm, yes, but water is a poor conductor, and the warming will stay on or near the surface. The only thing that can warm the sea is heat from below.'
So there you have it, straight from the astrologer's mouth, the Sun can't do anything but warm the surface waters. But now I'm confused, since in his previous quoted statement he appeared to argue that 'You need a blowtorch 6000degC, to evaporate enough moisture from... the sea, to cause rain.' So do the oceans evaporate and cause rain due to heat from above or below? Typically for Ring his grasp on how the natural world works is still mired in the ignorance of medieval superstition.
Ring's argument seems to be that if global temperatures did rise, even by 2000°C, the oceans would evaporate and levels would drop, not go up as predicted. But I agree with you Daryl, his view is extremely simplistic, informed as it is by primitive astrology. If the Earth were subjected to Ring's blowtorch temperatures, and in a billion or so years due to extreme changes in the Sun it will be, then the oceans will indeed boil and completely evaporate, never to refilled as rain. Water vapour in the atmosphere will be broken into hydrogen and oxygen by sunlight and escape into space. Life will be exterminated, although no doubt, right to the end, Ring's descendants will still be selling his Weather Almanac, and saying, 'Drought... what drought? There's no drought! Did we predict a drought?'
But the oceans don't need to boil for evaporation to occur, and in the present world and as evidence has shown following numerous ice ages, when the temperature rises ice on the land melts, flows to the sea as water and levels rise. More water will enter the oceans than will evaporate from them, and Ring even seems to overlook that evaporation is part of the water cycle, that evaporated water will return to the oceans as rain, it doesn't remain forever locked up in the atmosphere. It's not rocket science. But clearly it's way beyond Ring's ability to understand. But then this is how astrologers viewed the world centuries ago too, 'We just need to understand what the stars are telling us and all will be well. And anyway, God would never let harm come to His creation. He wouldn't have made those idyllic islands just to later flood them'.
Comment by Ron, 14 Aug, 2015
Hi John. Another day older and another newsletter from Ken. Something odd with this one. The general August summary is the same as 2 weeks ago but is dated 1 January 2009. The heaviest rain days for Canterbury have changed from 10th, 21st and 30th to 13, 14, 15 and 30th. That damn moon is as changeable as the weather, or maybe Ken is fiddling again. Yesterday, the 13th, he says snow to low levels in Southland. Checked down your neck of the woods and the 13th was dry and 13 degrees with no snow forecast next 5 days. Wrong again. Never in the field of human endeavour have I ever known such eternal, persistent wrongness. Godfathers. Today's newsletter starts by informing us the 2016 almanac is out earlier, in time for fathers day, thanks to Ian Wishart. So, get in early as numbers limited and 2015 edition sold out before orders stopped. Could it be that the reason is deliberate, that smaller print due to declining demand? He says they have hit the bookshelves. I thought there was to be no more sales from shops. New features in this 2016 edition, including an earthquake diary, all at readers requests. What is this diary? A form of quake predictions? I hope no silly readers asked for such as he never gets them right, never has. Naturally, he says he does and that is good enough for various fools. Of course, the cold day in Hanmer forest still on for the 19th. Geez that man is infuriating.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 15 Aug, 2015
Hi Ron. Regarding the Jan 2009 dates, maybe Ring is busy at the moment, perhaps at an astrology or alternative history conference, and thought no one would notice if he just reused an old forecast. Remember he insists our weather goes around in circles anyway, and one August is going to be as accurate (or wildly inaccurate) as any other August.
Looking at Ring's prediction for the 13th, he states:
'13th: Chance of snowfall in high country areas, possibly affecting Desert Road and Lindis Pass. Snow to sea-level in Southland.'
Note that by his wording he wasn't absolutely sure about snowfall in high country areas, there was only a 'chance' it might come to pass. But for Southland he was apparently certain: 'Snow to sea-level'. Which as you say, never happened. I hope Ring is starting to embrace his proclivity for being wrong, because unless he gives up his belief in astrology it's not going to change.
You're right that Ring did hint that in the future his almanac wouldn't be found in bookshops. Maybe Wishart talked him out of it, or perhaps he mentioned that possibility just to raise our spirits and then dash them.
Comment by Daryl, 25 Aug, 2015
Hi John, some more gold from Ken.
Here he is tweeting little to no rain in Sydney....until October!!
10 days later
He also seems to think Autumn is approaching, and that Australia will be hot with fire risks. Really putting his rep on the line with that one.
Ken's now branching out into solar financial advice
If this doesn't set off alarm bells, then you deserve to be ripped off by this scam artist.
Here's Ken predicting snow to low levels today in southland with thunder-storms and snow for queenstown ski fields.
The reality? Fine with light winds in Queenstown, the odd shower about Invercargill but way to warm to snow.
Here he is predicting a cold blast today for the north island
Reality? It's a rainy day Ken but this is no cold blast.
The list of failures goes on and on and on, how do you get away with this stuff? When will you accept the moon method doesn't work and has been thoroughly debunked Ken?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 26 Aug, 2015
Hey Daryl. I suspect that Ring knows all too well that his moon method doesn't work, but while there's still easy money to be extracted from suckers, we shouldn't expect to see a reduction in his erroneous predictions. On the bright side we'll be able to laugh at his monumental failures for some years to come, and laughter they say is good for us.
Comment by Ron, 04 Sep, 2015
Hi John. I note that Ken Ring's latest newsletter starts with a huge "wrong again" in the Sept. NZ summaries. For the 1st and 2nd he warns of cold southerlies, snow to sea level in Canterbury and Otago incl. Christchurch. What bloody snow. Nothing like it. No snow was forecast, or occurred here in Chc, nor in QT, Dun., or Inv. The 2nd was a pearler here with temps nudging 20. I will give him a tick for cold southerlies which have prevailed over 3 of the last 4 days of Sept. Ken and a number of his followers will accept this as a success. I do not. It is wrong and therefore useless. He is still adamant and instilling fear for central NZ with his prediction of a mighty 7+ mag. quake between Marlborough and Wairarapa in 2016. You can find the dates in the almanac as he is still banned from posting them on his site. Good on you, Nick Smith!! Oh, I recall this same prediction some yrs ago. Did it happen?
Comment 749. Some good links from Daryl and I can feel his frustration with KR coming through. Daryl would sense a lot of my frustration shining thru in many of my comments about this man over the yrs.
The newsletter was a little later than usual as the guru himself was swanning around the Eyre peninsula in Sth Australia on a roadshow. I read his report expecting anger and boredom. I was right. He did a fair bit of crawling to his hosts and others there. I assume this trip was all paid for as he thanks his "generous hosts" who are a couple who own an agricultural brokering business. Why did they invite him, I wonder? His mission? Ken says it is to impart workable methods of predicting weather so attendees can verify techniques themselves by applying cyclical formulae to their own historical records. These tools will enable farmers to see where and when rain and droughts in the driest state may eventuate and prepare before yield prices plummet. Gee, he even met many previously faceless clients, some over 10 yrs. He thanks those who turned up expressing support and interest in his methods. Of course he will love those people. I'm sorry but I can only say his generous hosts and long time clients are fools in my opinion. Apart from believing in him and all he says at face value did they bother to check out NZ sites and feedback about this man and his incredibly appalling track record in this country? Do they know that he has made statements (that are later contradicted) such as that his business is just a bunch of opinions with no claim to accuracy or proof. Nothing other than he has opinions. What sort of a funny damn world do we live in when these people invite this guy to fly to Adelaide and tour around the hinterland, all expenses paid all for just a bunch of his worthless opinions? He has no relevant qualifications at all, and no, psychology doesn't count!!! Dammit, I have many strong opinions on many topics but I'm sure nobody wants to pay me a red cent for them. He sucks up to them by telling us how spectacular the scenery is over there. I recommend he visit the South Island soon where he will find "spectacular" almost everywhere but I doubt it as he may have to pay out of his own pocket.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 05 Sep, 2015
Yes Ron, his opinions are 'wrong again'. But I really can't grasp how Ring's clients can be so moronic as to accept his disclaimer that after reading his predictions, they should then 'Allow 1-2 days leeway'. If they read his silly predictions to see if a particular Saturday will be fine for holding some outdoor event, how can they then be happy if it actually rains heavily but it's fine 2 days earlier on the Thursday? Why can they not realise that a weather prediction, to be of any use at all, must apply to an exact day and location? They're just not too bright I guess.
As for your query, 'What sort of a funny damn world do we live in when these people invite this guy to fly to Adelaide and tour around the hinterland, all expenses paid all for just a bunch of his worthless opinions?', this irrational sort of behaviour is unfortunately quite common. Look at the thousands that flock to see the pope when he goes on tour, taking his worthless opinions seriously and even hoping that they might be lucky enough that he will wash and kiss their feet. How sick and depraved is that? Likewise we invite and pay for wealthy English princes to visit and gush over their worthless opinions, and people pay ridiculous amounts to attend concerts of visiting celebrities such as Oprah. Then we have others throwing away good money to hear the nonsense spouted by visiting mediums and alternative healers. Sadly there are many people around the world that willingly worship and throw money at visiting morons, and Ring takes every advantage of this.
Comment by Ken Ring, 06 Sep, 2015
Yes, sure is a funny world. Whilst in South Australia I was interviewed by ABC Lincoln. The reporter told me that the accuracy of our lunar method of forecasting was well known all over the Eyre Peninsular, with many farmers running their farms according to what my team have been providing. The reporter did not, knowing I was from NZ, say that the names Ron and John were better known amongst farmers there. Does that not strike you as a tad strange?
Unlike you, farmers understand how to interpret my data because they actually use the method. They have to, because one crop costs a million dollars, and there is the need to decide early whether to plant e.g. wheat or perhaps peas depending on expected soil moisture and ground softness in 6 months when it comes to harvesting.
Also, as they have my tools of trade, they find it relatively easy to apply sun and moon cycle average annual returns, based on ingresses of seasons, based in turn on planetary orbits, to their own records after I show them a few relevant algorithms. They clearly believe this is the meteorology of the future, far too premature for the BoM and CSIRO but applying now for agriculturalists.
The utter nonsense you claim about my techniques are laughable, and you might just wonder why Aussie farmers, who are not fools, would want to bring me over there so often (I am sponsored to Australia about 6 to 8 times per year). Also the Seven Network are still very supportive and clearly do not share your scorn. You may also like to wonder why I have been offered a seven figure sum for my business by a very prominent US-based trading company.
So ask yourselves, are all the farmers over there wrong and you the only Voice of Truth? Perhaps you need to actually study my method in order to comment on it, or apply logic instead of emotional bias based on your viewpoint that what I am doing is your warped idea of 'astrology'. It is far from it, but you will not ever be told.
Just remember that if you use time, calendars, astronomy, cycles of nature, universities, and the scientific method you buy 100% into the version of the very astrology (because it was called that 5000 years ago by the Hindu) that I employ. And if you celebrate Christian holidays and festivals, be aware that they too come from the same well. I suggest your hate speech is not based on fact - it is a paranoia without foundation, perhaps rooted in fear of your inability to understand an alternative viewpoint that is probably in the too hard basket because of its complexity. Your opposition towards me says more to me about your own fears of life than anything to do with my method.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 06 Sep, 2015
At times Ken I truly struggle to comprehend how deluded brains view the world. Why on earth should you think that it would strike me as a 'tad strange' that farmers in South Australia don't know who I am? Next you'll be telling me that the pope hasn't heard of me either! Are you still labouring under the delusion that 'Silly Beliefs' is a company offering weather forecasts in competition to you, with the secret support of the likes of Microsoft and the NZ government?
You claim that 'The reporter told me that the accuracy of our lunar method of forecasting was well known all over the Eyre Peninsular'. And what reporter was this, the one that normally reports about a new panda at the local zoo or interviews the homeless person that claims he saw a flying saucer or chats with the likes of Justin Beeber if they were ever to visit? How can you imply that this reporter has apparently confirmed the accuracy of your method when you yourself will not (and presumably cannot) provide any independent evidence as to your accuracy? Perhaps you could request the evidence this reporter has and let us all consider its worth? We await it with bated breath. (Well, actually no we don't, because we know you never back up your claims.)
You say that these particular farmers 'understand how to interpret my data', that they 'have my tools of trade', and that 'after I show them a few relevant algorithms' ... 'they find it relatively easy to apply sun and moon cycle average annual returns, based on ingresses of seasons, based in turn on planetary orbits, to their own records'. So let me get this straight. Contrary to what you've claimed for years, farmers can't hope to accurately forecast the weather by simply buying and reading your weather almanac? They have to first learn how to interpret your data? They have to understand 'a few relevant algorithms' and then 'apply sun and moon cycle average annual returns, based on ingresses of seasons, based in turn on planetary orbits, to their own records'? Since your almanac doesn't reveal these crucial relevant algorithms or provide details of planetary orbits etc, and since those who merely purchase your almanac never get this additional tutoring and apparently can't divine an accurate forecast without them, then your almanac is worthless, nothing but an expensive paper weight.
So which is it Ken, can people purchase your almanac and accurately predict the weather, or is it worthless without those crucial relevant algorithms and details of planetary orbits? If these add-ons aren't needed by farmers, then why do you say that they can only apply sun and moon cycles after you reveal 'a few relevant algorithms'?
You go on to say that 'The utter nonsense you claim about my techniques are laughable'. We've made many, many criticisms of your weather and earthquake prediction techniques Ken, so you're going to have to be a little bit more specific if you what us to respond and explain (yet again) why your claims are nonsense, such as your claim that 'It is conceivable that dolphins and whales use sonar systems to navigate, beamed toward the Moon', that stars are rocks, that the Moon is a planet, and that 'Constellations are really declination-energy roadmaps'.
You say that we 'might just wonder why Aussie farmers, who are not fools, would want to bring me over there so often'. Actually no, we don't wonder at all. Anyone, whether they be an Aussie farmer, Kiwi farmer, fisherman, sportswoman or registered naturopath is acting foolishly by believing your astrological crap, and being doubly foolish for paying for the pleasure. But I guess if you can get 6 to 8 holidays to Oz every year paid for by your client base then you're not going to stop your soothsaying any day soon. It's the same reason that spam email for Nigerian bank scams and cheap Viagra isn't going to stop, there's always enough suckers out there to make it profitable. And look at the crowds that flocked to hear the pope talk when he visited Oz. By your logic Ken, attracting large numbers of Catholic followers means that they weren't fools and the pope's claims were true. The numbers have spoken. And yet I know Ken that you agree that the pope's followers are deluded, that his devoted following does not mean that we should believe his claims. Likewise you can't point to your followers and simply leave it at that.
And yes, I do wonder why some US-based company would offer a 'seven figure sum' for your business. But then you've said many things in the past that you later admitted weren't true. Anybody willing to risk a million dollars plus on a little kitchen run company that you've often said struggles to make money must have plenty of money to play with, and usually those sort of people and their lawyers aren't so stupid as to be sucked into a scam. Unless they're an even better scam? If not, my advice would be to take the money and run. You're not getting any younger and it's astronomically unlikely that anyone else will want to buy a struggling astrology-based weather prediction company. You could then afford to move to South Australia permanently. And honestly, wouldn't you prefer someone else had to deal with our unceasing criticism? So go on, give that company a ring back. Please.
You ask, 'are all the farmers over there wrong and you the only Voice of Truth?' No of course not, since not all of the farmers are your unsophisticated followers, and we don't see ourselves as the 'Voice of Truth', merely the voice of reason. We aren't telling people what the 'truth' is, we want people to use reason to examine claims and evidence on both sides of the debate and reach their own conclusions.
You mention the astrology you employ and our 'warped idea of "astrology"', and yet year after year you refuse to define what you mean by astrology. We've given widely accepted definitions by both academics and professional astrologers, all of which you say are wrong and mistaken. Still refusing to provide your definition, you recently referred us to astrologer Nicholas Campion, suggesting that we 'read Campion's work... acquaint yourself with some serious reading of what astrology actually is... Then come back informed enough to discuss the real thing'. We did that, and as we said, nothing your designated expert astrologer said convinced us that astrology is anything but superstitious nonsense, as we've always maintained. His definition of astrology matches ours, not your ... umm ... invisible one. Compared to your view of astrology, you say that our view 'is far from it, but you will not ever be told'. An apparently we 'will not ever be told' what your view of astrology is because you won't ever tell us.
As for your misplaced nostalgia, that 'time, calendars, astronomy, cycles of nature, universities, and the scientific method' are all a 'version of the very astrology... that I employ', only one of your 5,000 year old astrologers would fall for that. Your childish argument is that if we accept the likes of astronomy, chemistry, medicine, evolution, reason and atomic clocks, then we must also 'buy 100% into' — that is, accept as equally valid and useful — their ancient predecessors; astrology, alchemy, magic, creationism, religion and water clocks. If we believe in living in houses, wearing clothes and using soap, we must also believe in living in caves, public nudity and never washing. Really Ken, you need to move on and let it go. Your ancient, primitive, superstitious beliefs may indeed have played an important part in ancient societies, but like magic, slavery, cannibalism and kings ruling by divine right, modern, sophisticated folk have seen the errors of the past and have moved to a more enlightened society, where astrology is only used as silly entertainment for people struggling to keep up.
As for your claim that the scientific method is part of astrology, it was actually the scientific method that showed that astrology was superstitious nonsense, and it's for this very reason that you are now forced to repeatedly lament that no university teaches astrology. As for insisting that 'Christian holidays and festivals' all come from astrology, are you now claiming that Jesus was an astrologer? Should we add him to the long list of historical people that you've falsely claimed were astrologers, such as Archimedes, Copernicus, Galileo, Lamarck, Laplace, Brahe, Kepler, Franklin, Descartes, Newton, Herschel, Flamsteed etc?
And I wish Ken that you could discuss the validity of your method without screaming that anyone that disagrees with your view must be spouting hate speech. Trying to intimidate your opponents into silence by falsely accusing them of hating you personally is not the honest way to win a debate. Can you not grasp that we are not opposing you per se, we are opposing the weather astrology you promote? What arrogance and duplicity you exhibit when you criticise the likes of Al Gore on climate change and call it free speech, and yet when we criticise you on weather prediction you call it hate speech. Clearly not everyone has equal rights in Ringworld.
Regarding your belief that we criticise your astrology simply because we are 'rooted in fear' due to our 'inability to understand an alternative viewpoint that is probably in the too hard basket because of its complexity', you really are struggling to find a valid argument aren't you? At its most basic level, our challenge to your astrological weather predictions has nothing to do with its complexity (or lack of). It doesn't matter how complex it is behind the curtain, it simply comes down to one very simple question. Does it work? I don't have to understand how a TV or a jet aircraft works to know if they do, any fool can see whether the screen lights up or the jet flies. Likewise I don't have to understand how many chicken entrails you had to read, what spirits you had to channel, how many astrology charts you had to consult or whatever it is you do to come up with your weather horoscopes. All I need to check is whether your predictions match reality. Do they work in the real world? And the examined evidence says no! Whatever complexity your 'alternative viewpoint' is based on, it is clearly flawed and thus delivers a flawed output. We could reasonably leave it there and remain ignorant of the reasons that your weather predictions fail, but we have actually peeked behind the curtain. And we discovered that your predictions are astrology-based, and since astrology has long been exposed as pseudoscience, we know exactly why your predictions fail. As the computer programming phrase goes: garbage in, garbage out.
Your argument that we're not qualified to comment since we don't understand the details of astrology to the degree that you do, is as silly as a witch saying that since we don't understand how eye of newt and wing of bat actually affects the strength of a spell, we can't comment on magic either. But again, it doesn't matter what goes into the horoscope or the spell, what matters is whether it works. And neither the weather horoscope or the magic spell work, and never have.
Ken, you say that when I encounter something I don't understand I become 'rooted in fear', and that my opposition towards you 'says more to me about your own fears of life than anything to do with my method'. But the reality is that I don't understand the complexities of quantum mechanics, relativity, cryptography, microprocessor architecture, chicken sexing, Morris dancing and a raft of other topics, and yet that doesn't cause me to be 'rooted in fear' and see me actively criticising quantum physicists and Morris dancers on our website. Surely Ken if I were 'rooted in fear' over your spooky pronouncements and intimidating debating skills, then the last thing I would be doing is deliberately provoking the beast?
Of course all this is not to say that I don't have genuine fears, I do, and one is that education and the media aren't doing nearly enough to eliminate ignorance and superstition, and this century will end, like the last, with far too many people still having Ring's almanac on their coffee table, homeopathy potions in the bathroom cabinet, a Bible on the bookshelf, and a ghost on the sofa.
Comment by Jamie, 09 Sep, 2015
Hi John, just stumbled across this gem via the "Another Irishman's Diary" blog:
Seems Iím not the only person who has been doing a #kenringwatch - the Clare People newspaper has been keeping an eye on the Kiwi cointosser too. No link to the story (not been able to find the article online) but it merits three minutes of Neil Delamereís time on the Anton Savage Show, here (starting at 55:30) [14th August 2015 - The Anton Savage Show, Part 1]. Ouch.'
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 10 Sep, 2015
Hi Jamie. It's good to see some in Ireland exposing Ring's bogus predictions.
Comment by Daryl, 21 Sep, 2015
Wow, just wow....
Hi John, read this yet from St Ken? — 'THE PLANET IS DOING FINE'
So....if you disregard everything (particularly the environment) and stop thinking about well, anything, and instead carry around some balloons and smile at kids, then all is well and happy. Crazy stuff, although I agree with the message of a positive mind frame, perhaps he could of just chucked up the lyrics to that song, 'you gotta aaaaaaccentuate the positive and eeeeeeliminate the negative and......'
Even though this piece is accompanied by some photos of happy kids, and bears a message about positivity, it is easy to see Ken's frustration and anger (and warped sense of what these people must be like) at people concerned about the environment, mainly issues around global warming. They just aren't focusing hard enough on the astrology!!!
Clearly, these people are 'immature adults with personal difficulties of adjusting to their own miserable existences.' Hmmm, sounds angry and negative St Ken, but please do go on, 'They will regard the world as a nagging place where nothing they do will be right and where they do not really have high value because they are denied a selected place. They have role modeled this from significant others who feel intruders in some pristine garden of eden, disturbers of the ground, and polluters. It is child abuse.'
Child Abuse you say? Oh my, who are these Sickos?! Please St Ken, continue to enlighten me about these angry child abusers with a passion for recycling. 'Instead of grumbling through the day complaining about the planet's demise we can work with the circumstances we find ourselves in. This means gently going forward, as a child does. A child does not wish to remember yesterday - there is too much going on today. The child does not wish to be made accountable to something said last week.'
So I can say and do what I like and not be held accountable for my actions and be just like you St Ken?
Then things get weird, 'I carry long balloons in my pocket for when I see a crying child at a bus stop, or bored out of its brain and inflicting its frustration on those around him. I make an animal balloon and the whole scene changes. Smiles and giggles replace screaming and kicking. There are a lot of disgruntled children around. Like dogs, they resent being tied up all day with no stimulation just because the owner/parent has chosen to live that way. It is not the fault of the climate nor the cities, nor modern life replacing old ways nor what is in any 'environment''.
It appears these child abusing recyclers also enjoy boring their kids until they kick and scream, oh and they tie them up like dogs because they moan and groan about global warming all day. Don't worry though, St Ken is going to save the day and give your kid a balloon and a nice big smile.
There really is some disturbing reading here. And it's quite sad that Ken is using the 'Won't somebody please think of the Children' argument in his crusade against people who are trying mitigate, legislate and educate against effects people have on the environment. Surely we as humans have some responsibility there?
Anyway Ken, stay away from my children.....!
Comment by Jamie, 22 Sep, 2015
Hi John, re Ken's latest climate change denial article — 'THE PLANET IS DOING FINE'
What a load a drivel. Trying to convince us to forget about climate change so that kids can grow up happy. Well, that might work for a generation or three, but after that, there might not be much left to smile about!
It's also pretty rich coming from a guy who's more than willing to scream doom and gloom when it comes to earthquakes! How does he think that would affect a child? Telling the child that the family needs to pack up the car and leave town for a few days because Uncle Ken says the ground might start shaking!
Case in point: Back in 2011, Ken was caught posting this garbage on facebook leading up to a large school camp at Spencer Park in Christchurch...
"Ken Ring Predict Weather:
I heard many anecdotal reports of parents removing their kids from this event due to Ken's warning. Nice one Ken, that'll keep 'em smiling!
I have been made aware of 4000 children descending on Spencer Park at Spencerville for a camp on 22 April. This, I fear, is EXTREME FOLLY.
I am very scared. I can tell reveal that some councils on the coast are worried about tsunami risks at about this time, between 18-25 and have been in secret consultation with me, under the media radar, at their own instigation.
I would urge the organisers to hold this camp at another time, just to be safe, otherwise arrange for massive evacuation contingencies should they be needed, possibly deploying the armed services.........
Given the recent seismic activity in the whole region, and this so close to the next kingtide time (actually just a day past it) I think it is RIDICULOUS to expose 4000 children to such a risk. The decision should not be because of something I am saying, but should come from the organisers themselves.
Anyone in the region knows that earthquakes are now appearing further east. You can trace this yourself - Darfield then Rolleston theen Redcliffs then Lyttelton, then..? And some have occurred in the last week off New Brighton....."
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 23 Sep, 2015
Thanks Daryl and Jamie for linking to Ring's article, in which he comes across as exactly the sort of person he's apparently warning us about. He describes someone that 'ends up lonely and without friends, disgruntled, angry and fearful', and having followed his many abusive outbursts over the years, having been told tearfully how academia rejects his ancient beliefs, having been informed of the death treats and his stint in hiding a few years ago, I can't believe Ring isn't subconsciously describing himself.
Talk about an extreme case of denial! Essentially Ring's argument is that bad people are terrifying young children with lies about climate change, and it has to stop. Put the blinkers on, place your hands over your ears and scream in a loud voice, 'La, la, la... I can't hear you'. This is Ring's juvenile answer to the world's ills. People fighting and dying in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, earthquakes, forest fires and floods destroying lives and property, women and apostates being stoned to death, Catholic pedophiles stalking children and rapists and muggers hiding who knows where. According to Ring as long as we smile at children and they smile back then all is well with the world. As long as we maintain this blinkered, positive view then there is nothing that has to be done to combat problems in the world, because there are none. The planet is fine. Keep smiling.
Ring assures us that,
'It is healing for the soul to sit by a beach or watch a sunset... There is magic everywhere if we wish to look... The choice is entirely ours to ask what is wrong with any of these scenes or to simply be a quiet witness to the beautiful science of life'.
For a start Ken, there are no souls sitting on the beach, nor is there magic everywhere, or anywhere. Souls and magic were mistaken ideas invented by our ignorant ancestors, please read up on what 21st century knowledge tells us about the world. But the major flaw with Ring's argument is in thinking that 'The choice is entirely ours', that we can decide that the world is either all beautiful beaches and sunsets, or it is all natural disasters, suffering and hardship. Our choice. The reality is that it is both. I can appreciate a beautiful sunset and (for a time) think of nothing else, but elsewhere people are still dying in wars or from malaria. Ring apparently wants us to think only of those beautiful sunsets and banish any thoughts of people that might not be lucky enough to be on a beautiful beach without a care in the world. What sort of people does Ring mix with? When someone points out a beautiful sunset in Ringworld, apparently everyone else destroys the moment by reminding that person about the refugees fleeing Syria or the starving in Somalia or how their auntie has just been told she has cancer. On Facebook Ring says he wrote his article 'to answer the miserable handwringers who seem intent on spreading doom and gloom'. Ring is apparently surrounded by a circle of ' miserable handwringers' intent on spoiling every joyous moment.
Speaking for myself and my friends, none of us have any difficulty separating joyous and relaxing occasions with serious and stressful occasions. When we're watching a beautiful sunset or comedy or having sex, we're not ruining the moment by forcing ourselves to consider those elsewhere in the world that might be experiencing the opposite emotions. Likewise we can have thoughtful discussions on problems facing the world without turning Ebola into a cuddly children's story.
We all know some truly horrifying facts about our world and the future, events that will without doubt happen to someone, somewhere in the world everyday. Someone will be raped, tortured, murdered, starved, and sold into slavery. Someone will be injured and/or killed in a war or in a natural disaster. Someone's business will fail, someone's crops will die because of drought or disease, houses will be destroyed by fire, earthquakes, floods and mudslides. Someone will get skin cancer and someone will die a terrible death neglected in a rest home. Someone will kill innocent shoppers in a marketplace with a terrorist bomb. And even if we avoid the natural disasters, bombs and killer robots, death will still catch up on us. Eventually the Sun will swell to a red giant star and fry us all.
But here's the problem with Ring's fantasy, just because informed adults know that the world isn't all beautiful sunsets and ice cream, he believes that we can't help but grab every young child we can find, even babies, and terrify them with horror stories of the myriad ways of how they and their world may — nay, will — come to a end. But seriously, what responsible adult, even those that foresee imminent disasters such as sea level rise or a zombie apocalypse, are pushing graphic descriptions of our demise onto little kids?
So what the hell has a smiling baby got to do with the problem of climate change? As you say Daryl, Ring's plea is nothing but a silly take on the 'Won't somebody please think of the Children' argument, where Ring's deceptive plea is designed to distract people from the facts and real arguments. The reality is that climate change is either happening or it's not (it likely is), but whatever we decide to tell the kids won't change that. Responsible adults that are arguing that changes need to be made to combat climate change are targeting politicians and voters, not kindergartens and playschools as Ring implies with his rant. And worse still, Ring argues that we are terrifying even babies with climate change horror stories and inane political arguments:
'But they will remember if you smiled at them when they wanted daily reassurance. They do not know they want it because they don't have the words to ask. But to a child a smile, not a political cause, is love'.
How desperate Ring must be to argue that we're scaring babies by targeting them with talk of anthropogenic global warming. Even Ring struggles to understand the science and politics behind the climate change claims, so how does he seriously think a young child, let alone a baby, can grasp the problem and become fearful and depressed?
Of course the, 'Won't somebody please think of the Children' argument, does actually have validity in this case. We must accept that climate change is either happening or it's not. If it turns out that it is, then surely we should consider what our potential future might be like, and whether we can mitigate some of the more disastrous predictions. Because it is our children and their children that are really going to be impacted by climate change, not us. So by considering the scientific evidence and political solutions to see if they are valid and workable, this action is indeed thinking of the children, and the world we hope to leave them.
Based on his deep astrological knowledge (and no doubt various conspiracy theories) Ring denies climate change is happening, and thus telling children that it is would simply be lying to children, lies that would lead to nightmares and despair as they grow up. (Of course he doesn't rant about religious parents lying to their children.) But even if Ring did believe climate change was happening, his argument appears to be that we should still hide it from the children. I can see how he would hate that parents lie to their children, as do I, but I can't understand why he would still want them to hide the truth from them! If climate change is real then it is the children that need to be made aware of the threat since it is them that are really going to have to deal with it. They don't have to be fed horror stories like Christian parents telling their children about Hell and damnation, they merely have to be told of changes they can make now that might help reduce climate changes in the future. Indeed, kids are often quite positive about recycling and reducing pollution and grasping that the Earth's resources are finite, it's their parents and their parents' astrologers that struggle to believe that a few humans could despoil an entire planet or even wipe out the dodo. Just as kids are informed about the dangers of electrical outlets, poisons, smoking, sexual predators and crossing the road without looking, they also need to be informed about climate change and the things the family can do to help. It's part of their education, part of being human, that children have to be told that the world is not all smiles and balloon animals. The world's woes won't miraculously disappear if we simply lie to children.
Continuing his misleading fantasy, Ring tells us that,
'Sooner or later one comes into contact with children... The little creatures are everywhere... If I decide to be a grumpy alarmist, concerned that the world is ending soon... the children I encounter will role model discontented joyless shadows of real children. Such kids may not be allowed to climb trees or get dirty and stay dirty all day, because I would be forever in their way'.
Firstly, what the hell has climbing trees got to do with climate change? Nothing. Ring simply throws that unrelated PC nonsense in to further rile up his supporters, falsely implying that climate change and 'no tree climbing' go hand in hand. In fact if grumpy alarmists were convinced the end was nigh, wouldn't they be encouraging kids to climb trees before they disappeared? Secondly, Ring paints those that believe climate change is real as the 'grumpy alarmist, concerned that the world is ending soon'. Typical of Ring he distorts the argument, he falsely describes the scientists as 'alarmists', which would only be true if the world's scientists knew climate change was bogus and were only promoting it for devious gain. Furthermore none are saying 'the world is ending soon'. It's easy to make the argument sound silly when you misrepresent it. What about those people that went public about abusive Catholic priests, about the dangers of cigarette smoke, or the Muslim extremists buying bomb materials, these would all be 'grumpy alarmists' in Ring's view that should have simply kept quiet. For the good of the children. Ring will teach the children he meets to ignore anything in the world that they might find worrying, disturbing or simply unwanted. Or that conflicts with the ancient beliefs of their ancestors.
What do you call it when you tell a child an unpleasant or unwanted truth? For example you reveal that their pet hamster has died, that jumping off the roof, even with a Superman cape on, will break bones, that they can't drive the car, that they can't shoplift and that people really do die in wars. Or horror of horrors, you let slip that adults aren't doing a very good job of looking after the planet? Well according to Ring, 'It is child abuse'. That's right, in Ringworld telling children the truth is seen as child abuse. Which is no doubt why Ring grew up believing in astrology, his parents didn't want to be seen as child abusers by telling him the truth.
As you say Daryl, Ring's argument that we should behave like children means that we couldn't be held accountable for our actions. On top of that we should forget the lessons of the past, don't plan for the future and live simply for today. Ring says we should approach the problems of the world by 'gently going forward, as a child does'. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all acted like young children? We'd be back in the Stone Age if not extinct before we knew it. Astrologers like Ring can believe in childish notions and still lead a good life only because most everyone else chooses to live as responsible adults, and we do the work that maintains our society. We don't live our lives 'as a child does', and while I'm sure we'd all like our adult lives to be as happy, healthy and carefree as our childhood, we know that's impossible. We'd like the world to be as safe and friendly as it was in fairy stories, with good people living happily ever after. And we'd like to believe that little ol' humans couldn't harm the environment, that the earth will endlessly provide a bounty of food, clean water and whatever resources we need, but only a fool, or a child kept ignorant in Ringworld, can believe that now.
Ring says that,
'Discovery drives the healthy child. The unhealthy child has closed down and believes nothing will be good again. Discovery is overlaid with depression. There is a belief that the best times are over and it is a struggle to survive day to day'.
But what if the healthy child grew into a healthy adult and their discovery is that climate change is real? Apparently if this were to happen then 'Discovery is overlaid with depression. There is a belief that the best times are over...' Ring's child, and the adult he grows into, is a defeatist. Discover bad news and they simply give up, and it becomes 'a struggle to survive day to day'. But again, Ring seems to describing himself here rather than the people that made the discovery about climate change, they don't seem to be depressed or struggling to survive, and neither are people like myself who understand the potential consequences of climate change. In fact the ones exhibiting childlike behaviour with their angry tantrums are those that have retreated behind primitive superstitions such as astrology (and religion) and that believe that if we simply smile at children — making a balloon animal would be even better — then we'll all feel safe and the planet will be just fine.
Apparently we are in control of our destiny. Ring assures us that 'The key word is choice. Anyone can choose to be content or discontent'. Ring says that, 'I try to smile at all children whenever I see them. I believe it reassures them that the world is a happy place. I like to imagine a world in which all adults did that'. Even though most adults I know do indeed smile at small children (although I've never visited Ringworld), the reality is that the world is not a happy place, no matter how much Ring, or even I, may wish it was. The world simply is, it wasn't designed to be a happy place, it simply is what it is. There are certainly places where people are happy, but there are likewise many places where happiness has failed to make an appearance. The world is not Sesame Street. Of course I'm not suggesting for one moment that we honestly inform young children about all the suffering in the world, but I don't think that we should deliberately set out to deceive them either. Sometimes bad things happen; people die, disasters happen, and even kids need to learn that good or bad events are not simply a matter of choice as Ring claims. He's talking like one of those New Age nutters who ignorantly quote quantum mechanics and claim that the world is what we make it, that the world literally changes based on our thoughts. Of course if that were true, it's always mystified me as to why they created a world where they are viewed as nutters rather than celebrities!
And speaking of intellectual failings, Ring never fails to sprinkle his articles with silly arguments. Consider this one:
'Cities run on engines... Pollution comes with all cities. If we think we can reduce fumes we must be prepared to do away with cities'.
Rubbish. No wonder Ring thinks he relates so well to young children, his mentality hasn't gone beyond theirs. We don't need to destroy cities to remove engine pollution, we simply need to produce engines that don't pollute, along the lines of replacing open coal fires with heat pumps. Then he adds,
'As Tony Robbins says, pain is unavoidable but is temporary, whereas suffering is a choice'.
I'm not surprised Ring falls for empty nonsense like this. Contrary to what he claims, pain can be avoidable. For example, by not touching a hot element I can avoid pain. Pain is not always temporary, some diseases cause ongoing pain until you die. Suffering is not always a choice. People do not choose to suffer from cancer or war or a death in the family. It's depressing that many adults blindly accept bogus statements like that as 'wisdom'. Ring also tells us that,
'Children who are smiled at are given a feeling that they have been noticed. This gives them, even for a short time, a place-value and identity. This in turn leads to place value in mathematics and a sense of numerical identity which in the child's brain means he is now some "one".'
How does a smile lead to a young child, a baby even, to suddenly start thinking about mathematics? And if the child does grasp that they are but "one" person, one out of 7 billion plus people on the planet struggling to make their mark, how is that in any way consoling rather than terrifying for a little kid?
Ring finished by asking,
'So do we want to spread love or misery? ... is there a lot of laughter or does hand-wringing fill the air?... who is looking after the community's mental environment, and who is polluting it with doom and gloom?'
His conclusion was that we realists should hide our views (in reality, the truth) from the vulnerable children. Carry on as normal, smile and all will be well. But as Jamie then pointed out, what did Ring do when one of his earthquake horoscopes threw up an ill omen back in 2011? Expecting the high likelihood of a tsunami striking a camp of 4,000 children, did Ring keep his foreboding to himself? No, he informed parents and everyone else that he was 'very scared' and that it was 'EXTREME FOLLY' and 'RIDICULOUS' for the camp to go ahead. And of course Ring has done this many times, advised parents and their children to flee town, disaster was on its way. As Jamie said, how could this panicked fleeing into the countryside not be seen as polluting the community's mental environment with doom and gloom? How would this not terrify the children? What happened with making the world fine with smiles and balloon animals? And need we remind people that no tsunami struck? Ring's talk of doom and gloom was ill-founded, councils holding secret consultations were made fools of, and children (and adults) were traumatised for no good reason.
In Ring's mind, only he is qualified to scream that the sky is falling, qualified to recognise when smiles and balloon animals won't be enough to change the future. And so fellow citizens, until our beloved astrologer sees another ill omen in the skies we can all rest easy in our beds. Your smiles will see off climate change, and he'll keep us advised of when next to race for the hills.
Comment by Gerald, 23 Sep, 2015
As long as we're posting links to daft articles by Ken, how about this one
'Tsunamis' where Ken says tsunamis are only tsunamis if they are huge destructive waves, and that tsunami warnings after large earthquakes are just "scaremongering" by "the media" "...salivating, hoping for a tsunami so they can gleefully report a certain number of deaths".
Most his articles seem to be this nutty and ill-informed. I don't think he even bothers to do basic research into his topics. He just makes stuff up all the time. Personally I think they're great entertainment. I doubt anyone would take this sort of stupidity seriously.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 23 Sep, 2015
'I doubt anyone would take this sort of stupidity seriously'.
Ahhhh Gerald, if only that were true. Ring has just recently re-established his Facebook page, and referring to Ring's 'THE PLANET IS DOING FINE' article, one of Ring's supporters writes: 'Nice work', followed by another, 'Yes, great article'. After posting his 'Tsunamis' article on Facebook, a supporter responds: 'Finally some sense in the mater' [sic]. Following a post where Ring explains that NZ receiving tsunamis from Chile is impossible, another supporter comments: 'Ty [thank you] for your sanity, Ken! We NEED You....... Shine on ...' On top of that, Ring's page has 1,271 'likes'. (It's a real shame that Facebook refuses to offer a 'dislike' option.) So clearly there are a lot of people that take Ring's 'sort of stupidity seriously', that's why he's still in business. I'm sure what you meant was that you doubt any intelligent, informed person would take this sort of stupidity seriously. I look at religion and am incredulous that people can swallow those silly beliefs, but billions do.
You're right though that his articles are great entertainment. They're like those puzzles where you have to find hidden words in a maze of letters, hidden horizontally, vertically and diagonally, only in Ring's articles you're looking for the nonsense arguments, outright lies, plagiarised text and primitive superstitions. And yes, apart from the plagiarised text, it is all just made up. Research to Ring is like sunlight is to vampires.
Ring writes that, 'When I was a child I did not ever hear the word 'tsunami'. But it was probably not that they did not occur then'. He's right, when I was a kid no one talked of tsunamis, but they did talk of tidal waves, which is what they used to call them. Obviously someone, probably a scientist, eventually convinced people that 'tidal waves' was a misleading name, since they're not caused by the tides, and they adopted 'tsunami' instead. There could be two reasons why we hear of more tsunamis now than in the past, better communication and recording, and more earthquakes, undersea landslides and volcanic eruptions causing tsunamis. Ring, a firm believer in ancient cycles, seems to imply that tsunamis should be repeating on a regular basis, you know, like whenever Mars is passing through Aquarius, so we shouldn't see more in one decade than we did in previous decades. Unfortunately, much to Ring's consternation, it can't be shown that tsunamis take any notice of what constellations the planets are in. Thus Ring must fall back on conspiracy theories, claiming as you say Gerald that the media are either 'scaremongering', lying to us about harmless events, or acting like ghouls, 'salivating, hoping for a tsunami so they can gleefully report a certain number of deaths'.
It's also hypocritical of Ring to accuse the media of 'scaremongering' when they warn of a tsunami, remembering that the media are responding to advice from scientists and real time observations, but when the warning comes from him, a silly astrologer, we should take him seriously and flee, as he expected people to do in the above 2011 warning for Spencer Park.
How frustrating it must be for Ken Ring, knowing that scientists and governments are lying to us, but no one, beyond a few that think Elvis is still alive, will believe him!
Comment by Daryl, 24 Sep, 2015
Hi John, thanks for your response, a great read as always. You're certainly a lot quicker at seeing the real meaning of messages in an article than I.
Regarding the facebook dislike button from your reply to Gerald, one is apparently on the way! Zuckerberg announced its impending arrival last week.
On another note, Stuff.co had an article yesterday about an astronaut who took a photo of earth from space and in the image was a plane flying with a vapour trail. The comments section had a few people screaming 'CHEMTRAILS!!' So I posted a link to your article debunking them, hope you don't mind? Maybe there are now a few more rational people out there after reading it.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Sep, 2015
Hi Daryl. I often see more nonsense in Ring's articles than your casual reader solely because years of reading them has demonstrated that, no matter how reasonable and factual they may initially appear, if you scratch the surface, one is soon assaulted by the stench of the underlying excrement. I write more than I should have to because unfortunately Ring needs to read a complete barrage of criticisms before he's willing to slink away, if only temporarily. Mention just a single error and Ring thinks, 'So... apart from that one little typo, you're happy with the rest?' Ahhhh... no.
Re Facebook, I'm sorry but I must burst your bubble, since while the media and Zuckerberg both talk about a 'dislike' button, and he says they are working on new options that will allow people to 'express empathy', I saw Zuckerberg say in an interview that they definitely won't be offering an actual 'dislike' button. They probably think that people would use it to bully others, or, actually think about what they're writing in the first place. One quote said that 'Facebook was against any sort of "dislike" button because it might discourage people from sharing'. And without mindless sharing of inane crap Facebook will never achieve world domination.
Ah yes, chemtrails. It's amazing how most people you encounter seem completely normal, then they start talking. I can understand how people can be ignorant about many things, I know I am, but I can't understand how they can argue so passionately about those things about which they know so little.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 25 Sep, 2015
In Ken Ring's latest free newsletter (Mid-September 2015), he included the following paragraph:
'Climate Change Nonsense Still In The News
Since it is chock full of science facts and calculations, both of which we know Ring really struggles with, we thought we would take a closer look at the claims he makes. I mean, expecting it to be error free is like expecting to win a million dollar lottery two weeks in a row.
Most of the atmosphere is nitrogen. Only 21% is oxygen. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is 0.03%, very close to nothing. So 99.97% of the air contains no CO2. Of that 0.03%, 0,002% [sic] is made by Man, in other words 0.0000006%, or 0.000000006. So how can that be the primary cause of climate change?'
So essentially Ring's argument is this: 'The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is... very close to nothing'. And of that 'close to nothing' amount, humans contribute a minuscule, teensy-weensy amount — 0.000000006 — leading Ring to ask: 'So how can that be the primary cause of climate change?'
The core myth behind Ring's argument is that it fails to grasp that something small can have a big effect. It's true that 'CO2 makes up 390 ppm (0.039%) of the atmosphere' and as one of the greenhouse gases it contributes to the greenhouse effect that helps to keep the Earth's atmosphere warm. Some climate change deniers accept that the greenhouse effect is real, some do not. Ring's argument appears to accept that greenhouse gases, including CO2, do create a greenhouse effect, but that humans can't influence the temperature stabilising effect it has by changing the atmospheric CO2 content by a puny amount of 0.000000006.
Common sense would seem to agree with him. But then the world takes no notice of common sense. If CO2 is so inconsequential that it must be next to worthless, then surely it can have no real, noticeable effect on the Earth? Right? But don't we find that vegetation is pretty much everywhere on the Earth, both on land and in the water? And isn't CO2 essential for plants, just as oxygen is essential for us? There aren't many animals compared to plants, but 21% of the atmosphere is oxygen so we have plenty to breathe compared to plants, with their essential gas at just 0.03%. So how does vegetation not just survive but actually thrive if the gas it needs to live is 'very close to nothing'? Might planet-wide vegetation suggest that a very small amount of CO2 (compared to oxygen and nitrogen) can indeed have a huge effect?
This article — 'CO2 is just a trace gas' — on the 'Skeptical Science' website offers a good explanation of this 'trace amount' argument. Here are some 'common sense' examples it offers:
'He wasn't driving drunk, he just had a trace of blood alcohol; 800 ppm (0.08%) is the limit in all 50 US states, and limits are lower in most other countries).
Recalling that 'CO2 makes up 390 ppm (0.039%) of the atmosphere', which is a very small amount compared to the total, how could just 0.08% of alcohol in our blood affect our ability to drive, and why should we believe that water with just 0.000001% arsenic (0.01 ppm) can have a real effect when a CO2 level 39,000 times higher can't? Are the experts lying about the very small amount of alcohol and arsenic that it takes to influence our bodies? Can we all ingest a lot more alcohol and arsenic with no noticeable effect? I think not, so clearly a trace amount of something can potentially have a huge effect, far greater than its size would immediately suggest.
That ibuprofen pill can't do you any good; it's only 3 ppm of your body weight (200 mg in 60 kg person).
Your children can drink that water, it only contains a trace of arsenic (0.01 ppm is the WHO and US EPA limit).'
So Ring's argument fails right there, based as it is on the flawed 'common sense' notion that small things can't hurt us. If that were true we'd be impervious to viruses and speeding bullets. Of course not all small things harm us or have effects out of proportion to their size, but Ring isn't making the argument that low CO2 concentrations don't affect us, he's saying they can't affect us. How can they, they're just too small? I've found that people that embrace ancient superstitions, like astrology, often have real trouble believing how things they can't see could affect us, if indeed they even exist.
But of course it's unheard of for Ring to just have a single error in any paragraph he writes. And of course he doesn't disappoint. He states that:
'The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is 0.03%... Of that 0.03%, 0,002% is made by Man, in other words 0.0000006%, or 0.000000006.'
We are agreed that around 0.03% of the atmosphere is CO2, but then Ring claims that 'Of that 0.03%, 0,002% is made by Man'. Typically for Ring he doesn't explain where he got that more controversial figure from. I'm no expert on this, but I couldn't find any articles, not even crappy ones, that said that human-contributed CO2 was only '0,002%' of the total CO2. Here's what Anthony Watts, a climate change denier, thinks the correct percentage is:
'a new paper "that finds only about 3.75% [15 ppm] of the CO2 in the lower atmosphere is man-made from the burning of fossil fuels, and thus, the vast remainder of the 400 ppm atmospheric CO2 is from land-use changes and natural sources such as ocean outgassing and plant respiration."'
And other sites I found seem to agree, the human contribution to CO2 is around 3%, not '0,002%' as Ring claims. The true value is at least 1,500 times greater than what Ring says it is. So where did he get his '0,002%' value from? Maybe some will defend Ring and say that he clearly meant human-contributed CO2 made up only '0,002%' of the entire atmosphere, not '0,002%' of the CO2. But using Ring's words, if I said that you and I had won $200, and of that $200, 50% is yours, wouldn't you expect to receive $100? Surely you wouldn't think I meant that 50% of my entire wealth is yours? And anyway, if one calculates 0.002% of 0.03% you get 0.0000006%, exactly what Ring said the puny amount of human-contributed CO2 was. And again, it's around 1,500 times greater than this. So apparently Ring is trying to sway people to his way of thinking by telling porkies. But then this is how myths survive.
'about 3% of atmospheric carbon dioxide is attributable to human sources'
But let's not stop there, I'm sure we can wring more misdirection from Ring's short paragraph. In his attempt to convince us that CO2 is utterly inconsequential and can't do squat, Ring paints the picture that '99.97% of the air contains no CO2'. To me this is misleading, since it suggests that if you captured 100 cubic metres of air and sampled each cubic metre, 99 samples would contain no CO2, with only one sample having a minute amount of CO2 in it. The image is that most of the atmosphere simply couldn't influence the temperature since there is no CO2 in it. In reality though, 100% of the air that we breath contains CO2.
Think of this analogy. Most of a cup of coffee is just hot water. For argument sake, let's say only 10% is actually added coffee. So by the logic of Ring's statement, 90% of your coffee, most of your coffee, contains no coffee. So when drinking a coffee, 9 out of every 10 mouthfuls will taste like plain water, only 1 in 10 mouthfuls will taste of coffee. Is this true, is this what a cup of coffee tastes like? Of course not, every mouthful tastes of coffee, and none taste like plain water. Why? Because the coffee is mixed evenly throughout the entire cup of water. Each mouthful will be a 90/10 mix of water and coffee, and no matter how small a sample you take (within reason), it will still be 10% coffee.
So just as all the cup contains coffee, all of the atmosphere contains CO2. Ring saying that '99.97% of the air contains no CO2' is as misleading as me saying that 90% of a cup of coffee contains no coffee.
As a soothsayer Ring was amazingly prescient with his title: 'Climate Change Nonsense Still In The News', but what he didn't realise is that he would be referring to his own work.
Comment by Daryl, 02 Oct, 2015
Hi John. Looking back to my comment earlier in the year (621) I quoted Ring from one of his articles... 'When and where is the next big NZ earthquake?'.
"....... I am doing the same now, 5 months beforehand. I am suggesting the date of 28-29 September 2015 as an important earthquake risk window."
Not only has Ring said previously that he never gives dates, but nothing of note happened in Ring's "earthquake window". No 7+ magnitude quake for central New Zealand, in fact, no 7+ magnitude quake anywhere in the world on those dates and a day either side (as far as I looked). This prediction was a miserable failure. I assume he dreamt it up because of the supermoon/eclipse and maybe bought into some of those crazy prophecies about a doomsday, wait for it....because they coincided with some Jewish holidays!
To top it all off, if you cut Ring's quote I have provided and try to find those words in his article, you won't, because it has been rewritten, deviously changed to omit the failures and keep the "potential timing's" always in the future. Now he is bleating on about 2016, and that "There will be further postings of information as to actual dates in 2016 for the suggested potential earthquake damage - these dates have already been calculated".
This load of cr*p is the same method as Ring's weather forecasts, he has been caught and called out time and time again.
It sickens me that he uses lies, deception, manipulation and all sorts of other dirty tricks to sucker people out of their money. He is either plain crazy, or has zero conscience.
On the other hand, if fools keep paying you money for your trickery, and you continue to get away with it, then fair play to you, why would you stop?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 02 Oct, 2015
Hi Daryl. You're quite right that Ring uses lies, deception and manipulation to scam suckers out of their money. And the correct answer is that he has zero conscience, rather than simply being a crazy old astrologer. Greedy? — definitely. Devious? — yes. Not too bright? — obviously. But not crazy. You can't rip people off if you're crazy and can't remember that you should hide things, that you should sneak back and delete failed predictions if you can. And lacking a conscience, Ring will see no reason why he should stop asking fools for money, and scaring them with threats of doom to encourage compliance.
I note too that he didn't just delete the prediction you quoted, in the original article he predicted the following, and he has now deleted all the text that I've put in bold:
'One final note concerning timing. Bigger shakes can occur on either side of kingtide... So with the kingtide occurring on 29 Sept 2015, a few days either side may be on the money. Therefore, assuming the supermoon situation of 28 September is a risk focus-date, it may be more prudent to set the leeway for between 27 Sept - 3 Oct 2015'.'
Like a serial killer burying the bodies in the woods under the cover of darkness, Ring hides the things he'd rather people not know about. As you say Daryl, now he's burying the failures of 2015 and diverting our attention to 2016. Like all soothsayers, such as astrologers, psychics and tea leaf readers, Ring wants to talk about future events, events that we can't discount at this time. And he hopes, like they all do, that by the time the predicted event comes around, everyone will have forgotten about his prediction, and he can sneak in and delete all record of it, hide the fact that it failed. Again.
But note that Ring is scared, writing that before he releases his 2016 predictions he insists that,
'a way must be found that does not compromise the health and safety of my family in the way that that happened following an interview on 28 February 2011 with a well known broadcaster, now relieved of his position. His week-long public inquisition and hate-speech incurred death threats which involved the police on four occasions and a media witch-hunt on a scale that is relatively rare in NZ.'
Contrary to what Ring suggests, it was Ring himself that received death threats, not the broadcaster, and he fled into hiding. He also falsely implies that this broadcaster — presumably John Campbell — was eventually dismissed due to the interview. This is bogus, Campbell worked for another 4 years before his show ended. Campbell offered justified criticism of Ring's silly predictions, that beyond being nonsense and made by an astrologer, they were clearly terrifying many Canterbury locals for no good reason. Furthermore there was no 'witch-hunt', everyone knew who the witch was — or should we say wizard — the old guy in the black hat.
Ring again repeated that he stopped making earthquake predictions because 'a cabinet minister publicly threatened "legal accountability" if I made further earthquake predictions'. And yet Ring knows this excuse is bogus since he's clearly never stopped making public earthquake predictions, hence his need to hide his failed 2015 predictions, and he tells us he's soon to release his 2016 earthquake predictions. Clearly Ring is not afraid of the threat of 'legal accountability', all this silly talk is just a ruse to make us think he's being falsely and unfairly persecuted.
Strangely Ring then claims that the death threats, political comments and public criticism 'would never have happened if the predictions had turned out wrong'. Say what? His predictions did turn out to be wrong! His infamous 20 March 2011 killer quake — 'another for the history books' — never happened. He was pilloried because he was wrong, not because he was right. I seriously can't understand how Ring has convinced himself that people are challenging him because — wait for it — he was proved right! Hmmmm... perhaps my original assessment was a little hasty. Maybe he is crazy?
Comment by Jamie, 08 Oct, 2015
Hi John. After the last few days of unseasonably warm weather here in Christchurch, I thought I'd check if Ken had predicted anything remotely like this. After all, as you've pointed out many times, it's the extremes which Ken needs to get right to claim any sort of success for the "moon method". In his mid-september newsletter, he says:
"Mid-September to mid-October......Very dry on West Coast and the Southern Lakes. Temperatures below average overall, especially in the south and east."
Well, by my reckoning the exact opposite has been the case. That is, wet on the West Coast and way above average temperatures in the south and east.
Oh, and he didn't mention anything about strong winds.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 08 Oct, 2015
I'm beginning to suspect Jamie, that expecting Ring to guess the correct weather is as childish as expecting the Norse god Thor to turn up and resolve the problems in the Middle East.
The gale force winds that we got in the south, that disrupted power, TV broadcasts and brought down trees, will have come as a complete shock to Ring, as does pretty much all of the extreme weather that we get. As you say Jamie — epic fail. I think Ring should adopt that phrase as being descriptive of his efforts over the last couple of decades.
Comment by Daryl, 09 Oct, 2015
Hmmmmmmm, Jamie's comment has given me an idea. The exact opposite of what Ken says. Sort of like a twisted Bizarro world where the "Moon man" will be a crazy astrologer with no conscience who stares at the moon and makes weather 'predictopinions'. I will assume the role of the equally crazy "moon boy". I will wear my underpants on the outside, and perhaps don a tinfoil hat. Moon boy will stare at the Earth from his perch on the moon and reverse the sonar signals beamed from the "Moon mans" evil dolphin gang (these evil Dolphins will be "Moon man's" minions who assist him to gather his predictopinions).
"Moon boy", even in his deluded state, will eventually realise that he is helping "Moon man" by reversing his predictions, because his success rate is starting to soar, and the good people of thraE are being fooled into thinking the "moon man" knows what he is talking about. "Moon boy" stops reversing the sonar signals from the evil dolphin gang and after a short time the good people of thraE realise they were being conned. "Moon man" is consigned to the history books, farmers chase him with pitch forks and he goes down in a ball of flames, hurling insults about Nazis and Stalin while pleading for people to leave him alone at the same time (one of "Moon man's rare talents). The curse is lifted upon "Moon mans" demise and the evil dolphin gang go back to just being friendly (albeit a little rapey) dolphins.
"Moon boy" desends to thraE, but gets sucked into the solar wind during his desent and taken exactly 1 light year away from the Sun, where he will freeze his b*lls off for all of time.
Earth returns to normal, and people go back to checking the weather in the paper......The end.
I think that would make a great comic strip! Seriously though, I wonder what the success rate would be if you flipped Ken's predictions on their head?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 09 Oct, 2015
I suspect Daryl that flipping Ring's predictions would have no real overall impact, they'd still be failures. As we all know, Ring uses astrology to make his predictions, and as they say, 'garbage in, garbage out'. If you turn garbage over it is still garbage. You could even put a false beard and a black hat on it, but it would still be garbage.
Comment by Daryl, 12 Oct, 2015
Hi John. True, it would still be garbage given what it is based on, I just think it might be a better grade of garbage. If Ken's nonsense is worse than a coin toss, and if the exact opposite of what he says also scored better then well, how embarrassing.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 12 Oct, 2015
Hi Daryl. If weather was binary, say we only had the option of steady rain or sunny days, then if Ring was consistently wrong, by simply reversing his predictions we would get accurate predictions. But unfortunately there is no opposite or reverse of a rainy day. It could be a sunny day, or occasional light showers, or snow, or a hurricane, or numerous other types of weather. All we can say about Ring's predictions is that they are generally wrong, and by mere chance occasionally correct, but as regards the great majority that are wrong, there is no clear indication (before the event) as to what they should have been replaced by to obtain a better prediction. The varied options in the weather bag are just too great. Simply making random guesses at the weather would deliver a poor success rate, but it must be embarrassing for Ring to learn that his astrology derived predictions apparently perform even worse than mere chance.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 16 Oct, 2015
Have you seen the latest from fantasy writer Ken Ring? He calls it 'Earthquakes Hammer The North Island', and it can be found in his latest newsletter and on his Facebook page. Here's the newsletter version:
'News & Views
You might be thinking that you don't recall hearing on the news that earthquakes had recently hammered the North Island. This is of course because Ring's title is a fiction, designed to shock and mislead, the damaging earthquakes it reports never happened. There was indeed a magnitude 5.8 earthquake in the lower North Island near Pongaroa, but as the 'NZ Herald' that Ring links to mentions: 'No one has reported damage' and 'it wasn't unusual to have an earthquake in the area'. So assuming Ring has read the news article he links to, he will have known all too well that there was only a single earthquake, not many earthquakes as he falsely claims, and they did not 'Hammer The North Island' which means to hit repeatedly.
Earthquakes Hammer The North Island
The New moon of 13 October was exactly over the North island of NZ on 13 Oct, just after midnight. We (at 9.05pm) had a 5.8mag in Pongaroa approaching the underfoot position (for NZ) over Spain. It indicated some risk of a large event close by. Our October newsletter warns of chances of above 4-mag activity for NZ between 11th-14th of this month.
Then he claims that 'The New moon... was exactly over the North island of NZ on 13 Oct, just after midnight'. What does it mean to say that the Moon 'was exactly over the North island'? If I said the Sun or a huge thundercloud or alien spacecraft 'was exactly over the North island', people would expect to be able to look straight up and see the Sun, cloud or spacecraft, and to be 'exactly over' them would mean that it would be directly over them, not, say, just above the horizon. That's what it generally means to be over something. And yet if you had looked up into the night sky on Oct 13th, you wouldn't have seen the Moon, not just because it was in the New Moon phase, but because it was well below the horizon and actually very near to the Sun. And of course you don't expect to see the Sun exactly over the North Island just after midnight. So in what imaginary sense was the Moon 'exactly over the North island... just after midnight', if it was actually on the other side of the planet? Ring appears to suggest that it has to do with the antipodes, the idea that if you drilled a hole directly through the centre of the Earth from NZ you would come out in Spain. Ring tells us that when the magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck near Pongaroa, the Moon was 'approaching the underfoot position (for NZ) over Spain'. So in reality, the Moon was actually much closer to being over Spain than NZ, half a world away. With the Moon over Spain, Ring predicts that 'It indicated some risk of a large event close by'. According to Ring's geography, Spain and NZ are apparently close to each other. So it seems we're not safe even when we can't see the Moon, it can and will strike straight through the Earth to get to us.
But this again raises a major problem we've tried to get Ring to explain many times. For a start there is the silly nonsense that the Moon 'was exactly over the North island of NZ' and yet it wasn't over the South Island for some reason. Ring has even often said that Moon is over a particular city, eg Christchurch, and yet somehow not over Dunedin at the same time. How can the Moon be over one location and not another nearby one? An aircraft or thundercloud can certainly be above one city and no other, because they're very close to each other, but the reality is that the distant Moon is over all of NZ, and Australia and many other countries at the same time. So if there are evil rays emanating from the Moon causing earthquakes, and if the Moon 'was exactly over the North island of NZ' then the whole North Island should have experienced quakes, not just poor unfortunate Pongaroa. Why is the Moon so selective, its quake causing waves gingerly feeling their way over the entire North Island but only hitting at Pongaroa with a surgeon's precision?
But it gets worse, not only is little old NZ at risk when the Moon is actually in the sky, now we're told that even when it's on the other side of the planet the vindictive Moon can strike at us right through the planet. We're never safe! But if Ring's antipodes quake theory made sense, the Earth should be racked with continuous quakes. In the past Ring has asserted that 'Earthquakes are triggered... [because] the Sun and Moon acting together can exert a maximum combined gravitational force through a narrow force corridor from space, and yet be unopposed by Earth's gravity'. This is pure pseudoscience, but let's assume that NZ is hit by this 'narrow force corridor from space' whenever the Moon is 'above' Spain, this would of course be bad for us since we'd get quakes every 24 hours. But of course antipodes don't just work for NZ and Spain, every spot on Earth lines up with another spot on the other side of the planet. So for example when the Moon is over central Europe it should be causing quakes in the Pacific. As I said before, when the Earth rotates and the Moon moves through the sky, we should see quakes travelling around the Earth like a Mexican wave. Ring needs to explain why we don't see this, and why his 'narrow force corridor from space' remains switched off for much of the time, and only switches on occasionally to smite some innocuous little spot on the Earth. And we must remember that the Pongaroa quake didn't actually happen when the Moon, Spain and NZ aligned, it actually happened when the Moon was something like midway between being in line with Spain and then NZ, it was at a time when, if Ring was correct, no quake should have happened. As usual, Ring is told of a quake and he then blames the Moon, no matter where it is in the sky. If it's visible in the sky, somewhere, then the Moon did it, but if we can't see the Moon, then of course it still did it, because it's still out there somewhere. Oh it hates us, it hates us so much.
Comment by Ron, 17 Oct, 2015
Hello John. I read Ken's comments about the moon sending a shot through the earth and hammering the Nth Island. I was going to comment on SB but have done so in that vein several times before. I saw it as more absolute non sense from him under his heading news and views. He thinks the world at large is clamouring to hear these views does he? Certain dull cretins no doubt believe all he spouts, as coming from the knowledgeable one, however, and thank goodness for humanity, many do not.
A mag. 5.8 is big enough to generate its own series of aftershocks, there were some 3 and 4 + mags but the thing is Pongaroa and area get very many quakes. I regularly check the Geonet site and Pongaroa is mentioned most frequently. Most are between 2 and 3 and rated as light. Seems normal for that neck of the woods. No damn connection to the moon whatsoever. This exasperating man continues with this same crap yr after yr, he will not listen to any intelligent, common-sense, logical comment and think about it. It's enough to give anyone severe hypertension. In his Oct. weather summary, which, of course, are almanac excerpts, he says in one that Canterbury will likely get flooding around 14th-15th, then in another section lots of rain in lower N.I. with flooding possible for the Hutt River on 15th-16th. Driving this, presumably, is a low, he said would cross central NZ at this time. All completely bloody wrong. This period was dominated by a large high in the eastern Tasman and NZ area. Nice weather here all thru. For mths he was saying October would be a lousy, chilly, cloudy month. Did he mean the Auckland Islands? But oddly and unacceptably he changed that in this months newsletter telling us the SI would be ok, drier, warmer, sunnier and it has been wonderful, very warm at times. Perhaps, just before sending to his 11000 recipients, he "borrowed" some forecast material from NIWA?? Is not the moon totally neutral and doesn't know one month from another? When he refers to Canterbury in his summary, which part? This is a large province. The weather just east of the divide where the province starts has mostly very different weather to down here near the coast, and it's a long way from the Conway to the Waitaki. Ken is doing himself a great disservice and shooting himself in the foot by sending these almanac snippets every 2 weeks. They are so reliably wrong that anyone with quarter of a brain could surely see this and that he must be eroding away any last vestige of credibility out there for his blasted almanacs. Was talking to my local Paper Plus manager today. They had 8 of the darn things in stock so he is still trying to saturate the marketplace. I asked if they sell well. The answer was hesitant then a slow "yeah, they do sell". Well, what more can I say. I've said it all before. I've given up trying to fathom people, esp. those who cannot even indulge in a simple bit of checking, research. Does laziness rule these days?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 18 Oct, 2015
The depressing reality is as you say Ron, that 'Certain dull cretins no doubt believe all he spouts'. Ring could tell them that the Moon was indeed made of green cheese and they'd believe him.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 18 Oct, 2015
I see on Ken Ring's Facebook page he has now added this post, since apparently Ring is running scared, the powers that be are on to him:
'Back copies of our free newsletters are here, including the latest (mid-October). There are articles we don't put in the website anymore for legal reasons, so they will be accessible only through the newsletter links. They are on the website but hidden from public view..
Has justice and decency finally caught up with Ring? Unfortunately no. Like people dealing in child pornography and illegal drugs, Ring has finally realised that he must use code words and euphemisms to advertise his product and keep it hidden under the counter until the password or secret handshake is produced. Note that he hasn't stopped dealing in what he believes the law has deemed illegal, he has merely moved it to ensure it's 'hidden from public view'. He implies that there are legal reasons why he shouldn't issue warnings of extreme weather and earthquake events, but this doesn't see him desist in making such warnings. He merely goes underground with his warnings, but then, strangely, publicly tells everyone how they can easily access his hidden and 'illegal' warnings. Even on his website homepage Ring publicly tells anyone that visits that many of his articles are hidden for 'legal reasons', but don't worry, they're not really hidden, just click on his link:
'Back copies of newsletters
If we follow his public link to access his hidden articles, the page begins by explaining — in Ring-speak — why he has been forced to become a criminal, pushing contraband from a hidden webpage:
From February 2012 to present day. Many articles in our free newsletters are not displayed elsewhere on this website for legal reasons.
'The free private newsletters were started after a legal threat made to us by Dr Nick Smith.
So did Dr Nick Smith really threaten Ring with legal action, carefully explaining why his actions were illegal, and were these legal reasons personally reaffirmed by the Prime Minister? According to the NBR article Ring refers to,
A personal letter from John Key confirmed Smith's challenge. Apparently warnings about cyclones, floods, snow dumps, earthquakes, tsunamis and tornadoes are legal only if some state-salaried person makes them.'
'ACC Minister Nick Smith has said that earthquake soothsayer Ken Ring was "reckless and "irresponsible" and that he ought to be held to account for his predictions of a further earthquake in Christchurch.'
I'm no lawyer, but I can't see the 'legal reasons' that would stop Ring publishing his nonsense or force him into hiding his articles on his silly version of the 'dark web'. Yes Ring was and still is being reckless and irresponsible, but so are lots of people, such as homeopaths, Reiki therapists, anti-vaccine proponents and Catholic priests telling people not to use contraceptives. There is no law against being foolish or for communicating foolish views. Smith simply expressed the thought, held by many of us, that Ring 'ought to be held to account for his predictions'. I often think that the likes of priests, alternative therapists and racists, as well as Ken Ring, ought to be held to account for all the lies and nonsense they spread and the harm they cause, but this isn't a threat that I've hired lawyers and either they desist in their actions or I'll see them in court. Smith is simply lamenting that in the 21st century fools like Ring still exist and can recklessly and irresponsibly influence people and not be held accountable when their advice is shown to be wrong. Unlike the likes of doctors, engineers and pilots which must be qualified, licensed and accountable, unfortunately astrologers, natural therapists and evangelists teaching in our schools are not qualified, licensed or accountable.
The NBR article did quote Nick Smith as saying, 'Frankly what Mr Ring is doing is no better than people crying fire without cause in a packed stadium or picture theatre'. And you can be arrested for doing that, since the resulting panic often results in injuries and/or deaths, but while Ring is definitely creating fear with his predictions, I don't see it as being at the same level of harm. There is a simmering panic and a feeling of dread rather than an immediate panic and a real risk of physical harm.
But maybe I'm wrong, maybe Ring really was threatened with legal action. Ring implies that Smith's threat came solely from his quotes in the NBR article. Ring makes no mention of a letter or visit from Smith's lawyers, and surely Smith can't have assumed that Ring reads the NBR. Ring does mention that 'a personal letter from John Key confirmed Smith's challenge'. Why has it changed from 'a legal threat' to a 'challenge'? A challenge means a contest, a call to confrontation or a demand for an explanation, so what did Smith challenge Ring to? A contest to provide more accurate predictions than the seismologists, a battle in court, a challenge to explain how astrology predicts earthquakes or perhaps to lose a few kilograms? We ask Ken Ring to make John Key's letter public so we can judge for ourselves what Smith's challenge was and whether it amounts to legal reasons for Ring to flee screaming onto his version of the 'dark web'.
But of course I jest, Ring's hidden articles are not hidden in any real sense. He publicly advertises their location and takes anyone, even those under 18, straight to them with a simple click of a mouse. Or you can walk into your local bookstore and buy his latest almanac for a mere $51 (if you're foolish), or if you're wise, enter a public library and peruse it for free (they frown on loud giggling though). You see it's not just his earthquakes predictions that Ring claims he must hide from public view 'for legal reasons', since he states that 'Apparently warnings about cyclones, floods, snow dumps, earthquakes, tsunamis and tornadoes are legal only if some state-salaried person makes them'. So this means that he believes his almanac, which is just one huge weather warning (cyclones, floods, snow dumps etc), is also illegal. So why isn't he frantically getting his almanac pulled from bookshops and libraries? Why isn't he selling it in a plain wrapper in some dark alley if he truly believes that it's illegal to push his weather and earthquake warnings to the public?
It's all a pathetic sob story on Ring's part, pushing the lie that he's being unfairly persecuted by unscrupulous government forces, a deliberate conspiracy against the little astrologer just trying to expose the truth, that the Moon really is out to get us. Especially you Christchurch.
Of course I couldn't resist a laugh so I clicked on Ring's first well hidden newsletter: February 2012. In it he published a letter of complaint that he wrote to The Press regarding a comment that reminded reader's that 'the Moon Man spectacularly failed to predict the two biggest earthquakes that Christchurch has ever experienced'. In response Ring said,
'May I point out that the two biggest earthquakes in the city's history were on 9 March 1929 and 4 September 2010. I can hardly be blamed for missing the first one as it occurred 81 years before I was born. It would have been very spectacular for someone unborn to predict that.'
Well I think it very spectacular that Ring, using his exemplary maths skills, has calculated that the 1929 quake happened 81 years before he was born, meaning he's claiming he was born in 2010. This makes him around five years old as I write this, and just a few months old when he claims he made his 2010 quake prediction. Clearly a precocious child. But since we have evidence that he started his astrology prediction business in the late 20th century, apparently while he was still 'unborn', I thus can't see why he couldn't have predicted the 1929 quake. Clearly being 'unborn' is no excuse. Lest you think that this is an easy mistake to make, an assertion Ring made in another newsletter (April 2012) assures readers that when Ken Ring makes a statement, we can be very confident it is correct:
'I am often challenged, so have learned to be sure of something, backed up by figures before I make any claims.'
OK, so Ken Ring is around five years old. Maybe he's talking intellectual age rather than physical age? Hmmm...
Of course we can write this off as Ring being absolutely useless at maths (supported by numerous other examples), as well as being useless at comprehending what he's written, but incompetence aside, his claim also contains a deliberate lie. The fact is that no big earthquake hit Christchurch on 9 March 1929. The quake Ring refers to actually hit
Arthur's Pass, which to my knowledge is not a suburb of Christchurch. This site says that the 'earthquake toppled chimneys and furniture in the Arthur's Pass area', so it is utterly dishonest on Ring's part to try and pretend that the quake is actually part of Christchurch's history rather than Arthur's Pass. That's like someone in Wellington trying to claim the quakes that devastated Christchurch simply because they felt them too.
Thanks for putting all those old newsletters on your 'dark web' Ken, I can see they're going to be a great source of amusement. Watch this space.
Comment by Anonymous-19, 09 Dec, 2015
Hi John, all quiet on the Ring front at the moment?!
He's posted another rant on climate change http://www.predictweather.co.nz/ArticleShow.aspx?ID=561&type=home, clearly jealous that world leaders attending these summits are bathing in champagne and caviar. He must not get the 5 star at the conferences he holds (which for a low low price oddly includes bogus astrological financial advice as well????)
I'll leave the majority of this article for yourself or others to comment on, I just wanted to point out one thing.
Ken says......(after a poorly cited cut and paste job)........
'As for CO2 polluting the earth, CO2 is 0.03% of the atmosphere, very close to nothing. Of that 0.03%, 0.002% is made by all of Man, in other words 0.002% of 0.03%, i.e. all of mankind supplies 0.0000006%, or 0.000000006 or a 6 thousand millionth of CO2 to the atmosphere. Because of that we are supposed to have an emissions target, to protect the planet. But how does that get to be the primary cause of climate change, and not the other 99.9999994%? I hope someone asks that during question time in Paris..'
And I hope someone next to that person duly slaps them, and tells them to fuck off. Then I hope the media decide to make an example out of this moron and do an expose' on pseudoscience. I'm sure Ken has tried this type of bogus argument before.....?
Now, Ken (I know you trawl here), do you know this argument is incorrect, but write it anyway in the hope of getting a few bites?
For Ken's benefit, let's use an analogy. I'm thinking pancakes. I've sifted my flour, whisked in my egg and chucked in some milk, now, time for a sprinkle of salt (I have no idea why I even put it in, my mum just told me to do it when I was a kid, and you don't mess with your mum's recipes). The majority of my batter is flour (78%), milk (20%) and the rest, egg and a very tiny bit of sa......wait, i've fucked this up, i got confused between tsp and Tbsp, oh well, it's quite a bit more salt, but only a tiny fraction of the total mixture. she'll be right, the other 99% is all good. So I cooked them, but Ken, my pancakes taste like a salty pile of shit!
Anyway Ken, you almost had me for a minute there! Co2 is a heat trapping gas, identified as the primary greenhouse gas, one humans are producing buttloads of. The 99.9999994% you speak of is mainly oxygen and nitrogen and has no business here. So looking at Co2 in isolation, if the total amount of it in the atmosphere continues to rise, then so will the temperature. There is obviously a whole bunch of other factors involved which could mitigate or exasperate global warming, but that's what scientists get paid to think about (hint for Ken, it's not oxygen or nitrogen) Don't worry though Ken, might still be able to get you on that trip to Mars!!
I know it's easy Ken to get angry at these politicians for wanking around at conferences (but come on, who doesn't love wanking around at a conference!?!), but these people actually have access to big business and the ability to change laws. At least it's not a conference on reducing oxygen and nitrogen!!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 09 Dec, 2015
Yes Ring has been quiet of late, I was thinking he might have been committed on account of his delusional fantasies, but if he was, he's now been released, or has escaped.
You're correct when you write that 'I'm sure Ken has tried this type of bogus argument before.....?' We tried to explain to him back in Sept (Comment #764) that his logic was flawed, people call it the 'trace amount' argument, and that some of his figures were bogus. The human contribution to CO2 is around 3%, not '0,002%' as Ring claims. The true value is at least 1,500 times greater than what Ring says it is. So Ring does indeed know that he is spouting bullshit, but experience has taught us that no matter how many times one tries to correct him, once Ring has invented a lie then he will never let it go.
And Ring is your typical hypocrite to condemn conferences, while at the same time promoting his own conference to be held at the Quality Hotel Melbourne Airport in Feb 2016. Look at how he criticises the conference atmosphere when world leaders are involved:
'The conferences are always junkets held in exotic locations in 5-star hotels, a chance every few years to leave the spouse at home and holiday with your secretary and... a larger influx of hookers.... Everyone wants to be seen to be there... Being seen is the thing... as they munch caviar and drink champagne... photographed between bouts of boozing... Most of the time at these conferences is spent in deciding where the next one will be held... There will be backslapping and the usual feel-good euphoria that comes after every conference anywhere... but it will all vanish when they get back home to the real world'.
I've been to a few conferences, but clearly the conferences Ring runs and attends are a world away from mine, since I had no sexy secretary to take, there were no hookers, caviar or champagne, and the accommodation wasn't anywhere near 5-star. Ring is charging $500 for his conference, so I wonder how many hookers that includes, since I still haven't got a sexy secretary to take.
As with all of Ring's rants, he's just extremely pissed off that no one takes astrologers seriously anymore, and I can understand his anger and frustration. Like people trying to buy video tapes for their Betamax VCR or bats' wings for their potions, it can't be easy to accept that the modern world has left them behind.
Comment by Rose, 31 Dec, 2015
I'm having an argument on a fb page about this guy predicting this mornings quakes. He said today's one would be over 5, well I guess 4.7 is close. Shame he said nothing about the two in CHC, this morning that were 2.6 & 3.00. The best thing I found until now was an article that says there will be a 7 quake in WEL before 2016, I guess he has a few hours left to get it right. Would love you to join me on the page to help show they are wrong.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 01 Jan, 2015
What Ring does Rose is the same as what all fortune tellers do, they make an enormous number of vague predictions for every week of the year that can apply to just about anything that happens. And of course 'things' always do happen somewhere, so it's simply a matter of trolling back through their raft of predictions and locating a single statement that can be twisted to fit the occasion, while at the same time burying the multitude of predictions that never did come to pass. Highlight a fluke and hide all your failures. Also the quake you mention was not over 5, so Ring was wrong, and 4.7 isn't really close to a quake over 5 since the scale is logarithmic, meaning a quake over 5 is a lot more powerful and potentially destructive than one at 4.7.
And of course it is now 2016 as I write this and no mag 7 quake hit Wellington, so clearly Ring was just guessing and he will never mention it again. Any soothsayer can make a living by predicting the future as long as their clients never bother to go back and check how often they got it right. The reality is that Ring has NEVER predicted a single major earthquake, anywhere, regardless of the claims he makes. They are all bogus. Of course he may have apparently predicted that a minor quake might hit somewhere in NZ, but it was just because he makes so many predictions. Imagine if I got up each morning for a month and said, I think it will rain today! The odds are that sooner or later I would be right, and on the day that it does rain, if I showed people a date-stamped video of me predicting that rain, then as long as I don't tell people that I say this every day, they would think that I was good at predicting rain. That's how Ring works. He cons people.
Thinking people have actually known for a long time now that astrologers can not predict earthquakes, or the weather.
Update: Wellington quake predictions were all lies on Ring's part, see here.
Comment by Daryl, 07 Jan, 2016
Hi John, not sure if you have read Ring's latest article? — 'LONG RANGE ANAYSIS FOR NZ FOR 2016'. More of the same rubbish, but I'd like to point out a couple of glaring errors and hypocritical statements.
Firstly, after some shameless self promotion about how successful he was last year, Ring says 'For example, the NZ Metservice have said that the 36C day in Christchurch was the hottest ever'. Then includes a link that clearly says it was a DECEMBER record. Then says 'but it was over 41C in 2009' and includes a link to an article which is for JANUARY. Clearly Ring does not understand what a moonth (Ring speak) is. But this basic error erodes the basis of his whole argument as he uses this fictitious 'misrepresentation' of data to go on to say 'One therefore has to conclude that data is being selectively chosen just to make a case for a news story and for a case for global warming, for which funding is available to study it.' So Ken's poor reading skills have let him down again.
Ken then goes on to say that meteorologists are just winging the whole el nino thing and making it up as they go along. Then, he produces this. And this John, may well be my all time favourite Ring quote.
'So shouldn't the public doubt anything they say? The meteorologists in the video cannot themselves be long range forecasters if they don't believe in it. What is more it defies the null hypothesis which defines science. This is the classic test of any science. One must ask, by what means can one falsify this hypothesis? What set of observations over what period of time would be enough to refute a/the theory? Are there any predictions that come as a result of this theory that can then be tested against the real world or real observations? If the answer to that is no then a theory is not science but pseudoscience.'
Mr Ring, not immune to a Freudian slip, has just described exactly what HE is trying to sell as psuedoscience. The exception in this quote is that he believes in what he is doing, no matter how many questions he leaves unanswered. Ken states 'Are there any predictions that come as a result of this theory that can then be tested against the real world or real observations? If the answer to that is no then a theory is not science but pseudoscience.' Oh Ken, the memory of a goldfish. How many times has he stated that his theory cannot be tested, instruments have not been developed to test it yet, it is pre-science and cannot be tested, and dolphins beam sonar signals to the moon. He counters these statements by saying his theory has been tested, by school kids and a university, but cannot produce these results.
Then after bagging Metservice and NIWA, Ken goes on to say 'Further, it cannot be called an El Nino if some places get affected and others not. For example 3 of the last 7 so-called strong El Ninos have been low snow years in California (Squaw Valley, NorthStar, Mammoth Mountain). The other 4 were really high. They are having a mild winter in the UK, but really mild winters come every 9 years and are always wet. It is just varying weather patterns.'
After completely misunderstanding what El Nino is and the differing effects it can have on a global scale, he states that it's not El Nino it's just 'varying weather patterns'. What does Ring do next? You guessed it, goes on to predict the El Nino! Remembering here that in Ring's opening paragraph, he gloats about how he predicted this El Nino event. Let me summarise, I predicted this El Nino, It cannot be El Nino, I am predicting a weak El Nino. Are you still doubting Ring's sanity John?
Ring then provides us with a gold-mine of predictions for 2016, most of which are useless (it will be wet in Fiordland). Never the less, some good stuff to keep an eye on.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 07 Jan, 2016
No Daryl, I hadn't read Ring's latest article, since one of my New Year resolutions was, on medical advice, to reduce my intake of mind-damaging bullshit. However we all know these resolutions don't work, so I took a look, and yes, it's typical Ring rubbish. As an admitted conspiracy theorist, Ring deliberately misrepresents various quotes in order to mislead his readers and promote his fantasy. Since the facts don't support his arguments, then he has no choice but to make things up, like a father explaining to his naÔve young children how Santa delivers all those toys in one night. Of course most children grow out of their belief in fantasies as they become better informed, but in his old age Ring is actually becoming more committed to silly beliefs. And his lies pay the bills, so he can't stop now.
You jokingly liken Ring's memory to that of a goldfish, but this isn't true. Goldfish have much better memories than Ring, and you no doubt know that it's a myth that goldfish memory only lasts 3 seconds, but that said scientists have yet to prove that Ring's memory extends much longer than this.
Ring must hold the record for contradicting himself from, not just article to article, but even from comment to comment within the same article. In the above article Ring states that,
'The lunar method of long range forecasting is something that puts predictions of events way ahead of time. Therefore real world observations can be compared to what was predicted.'
Clearly what readers are meant to take from this claim by Ring is that he predicts the weather. And yet in the past Ring has repeatedly, and angrily, stated that.
'I don't claim to predict the weather. No one can... what I say is opinion.'
As you note Daryl, in Ring's recent article he states that anyone who isn't making testable predictions is pushing pseudoscience, not science. So Ring has outed himself. And Ring also consistently refuses to release his past prediction data so that it can 'be tested against the real world'. Clearly he is terrified of what honest, independent analysis would reveal, whereas real scientists quickly release their data so it can be independently verified.
'Whatever it is that I do... is too inexact to fit an experiment... They are not testable predictions because they are opinions. I do not suggest they are testable. That people find them so is their affair.'
And speaking of real scientists, I also noticed recently on one of Ring's Facebook pages that he is again misleading people by suggesting, as he has claimed in the past, that he has a 'university science education', that he is 'university trained'. On Facebook he writes that he 'Studied Science and arts subjects at The University of Auckland, Attended from 1965 to 1969'. But what he deviously neglects to mention is that he also failed his science studies, and then swapped to the arts, and failed that as well, and left without any qualification whatsoever, either in science or the arts. When a real academic says they studied cosmology at Oxford or philosophy at Yale, the assumption is that they succeeded at their studies and left with a real qualification, so it is quite deceptive of Ring to continually imply that he is also qualified to do what he does. Ring has also claimed in the past that, 'I am science-trained, at the University of Otago and Auckland', and yet his recent Facebook page makes no mention of any study at the University of Otago. Why has he forgotten about his time there? Even my goldfish remembers where he went to school.
And as you say Daryl, Ring is utterly confused about El Nino. But I guess that's like saying priests and witches are confused about science. Unfortunately it goes with the territory, immersing yourself in nonsense does you no favours when you try to understand the real world.
As for an example of Ring flip-flopping in the same article, when talking of his farmer mates he writes that, 'The coming dryness will remind people of what happened in 1992, and 1968... So farmers are best advised to go to their data records and look those years up'. But then in the next section when he talks of those incompetent meteorologists he writes that, 'conditions in 1965-66 would be the most destructive El Nino so far... but most would have forgotten or lost data from those years'. So is weather data from the 60's available or not? We're expected to believe that farmers recorded comprehensive weather data and kept it for nearly fifty years and yet meteorologists, whose job it was, unlike the farmers, to record the weather, have likely lost whatever data they might have bothered recording. Whether data is diligently kept or carelessly lost depends not on the facts but on the argument that Ring is trying to make. And I'm not even sure Ring is deviously constructing these conflicting fantasies, I suspect that often he won't even realise that he's contradicting himself. Apparently your ability to keep weather data from the 60's depends on whether Ring likes you or not.
Finally, regarding Ring's opening paragraph, 'First, let us look back at our 2015 track record... ', people should never be allowed to judge themselves and gauge their own success. No doubt some people can be brutally honest and acknowledge failures if need be, but over the years Ring has consistently demonstrated he's not one of those people. Any appraisal of Ring's claims of success must be performed by an independent body, since Ring can clearly not be trusted to mark his own paper. He has been caught cheating and lying just too many times. I would want to see the actual predictions that Ring made and check them against the real world. His claims of success are just too vague to be of any use, eg 'We said Jan would be wet but Feb dry and sunny, and the last half of Feb would be rain-free, which it was'. Are we expected to believe that everywhere in NZ for the entire month of January was wet? Not where I live it wasn't. And the 'last half of Feb would be rain-free', not where I live it wasn't. Ring claimed that 'we said that... El Nino would be very much in the news - it has been'. Was it really? How do you define 'very much in the news'? And really, predicting that El Nino might be mentioned is as childishly simple as predicting that sport might be mentioned in a year leading up to the Olympics.
Ring also claims 'correct predictions' for earthquakes in 7 months out of 12 in 2015, but since as we all know, and is demonstrated in his monthly newsletters, he predicts many earthquakes for every month of every year, none of which he gets right, contrary to what he later claims. If Ring predicts a mag 5 quake in the North Island in late June and a mag 4 quake happens in the South Island in early July, then Ring counts this as a successful prediction. I'm sure he must have hundreds of unlucky Lotto tickets that he's arguing with the Lotto people over, insisting that the numbers on his tickets are close enough to the winning ticket to surely count as winners too. He just doesn't grasp what it means to make an accurate prediction. Utterly unsure as to when or where a serious quake might strike, he makes a multitude of vague predictions that can essentially be summed up as: There is potential for an earthquake somewhere in NZ, or the world, sometime in the coming year... maybe.
Comment by Daryl, 08 Jan, 2016
Hi John, thanks for your reply. So Ring is trying to lure more people into swallowing his nonsense on facebook now! I notice he has a couple of people keeping him honest on his twitter feed, so it's only a matter of time before people will see through the lies and deception on facebook as well.
Regarding his triumphant, generous recap of his success last year, I definitely concur with you over this statement 'We said Jan would be wet but Feb dry and sunny, and the last half of Feb would be rain-free, which it was'. There was 5mm of rain in Jan where I live, Feb was a dry month (it is summer) except for rain at the start and maybe some at the end, with a total of 33mm. So comparing Ring's whole statement, a big fat fail.
The El nino, well, he just kept changing the time frame until it fit, classic Ring. He also says May was unusually dry, but where I live, we had 40% more rain than the average. A quick check on Metservice shows Dargaville, Taupo, Wellington and Queenstown had more rain in May than the average, with CHCH considerably drier. He also states 'a relatively late winter with NI ski fields unable to open until mid July, and that's exactly when they did.' This is not late, I have been skiing that mountain since the early 90's, they always open late July, they open the learners slope mid July because they have the technology to make enough snow when the temp falls low enough. And Ken said this from an article 'Fickle winter weather this year' : 'But at the late end to the North Island ski season, ski operators will not be too displeased with the year if they decide to extend the season by a month'. When did they close? 28th October, a par closing date. Another buried failure. Same old Ring really, nothing new there.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 08 Jan, 2016
Like psychic mediums and fortune tellers Daryl, Ring relies on human behaviour, and knows that he can make vague predictions about future events and that very few of his clients will ever bother checking if they came true, if they even remember that he made them. Likewise he can claim success with past predictions that no one remembers or even cares about since they're now in the past. Ring survives because of the apathy of his clients, along with their stupidity of course.
Comment by M, 24 Jan, 2016
To say he is a scam is a bit strong.
Indigo Jones was an Australia weather forecaster who used the moon also in early 1900. His business has been taken over by Hayden Walker & son. Indigo did all this in the 1920 before the bom.gov.au got started. And helped many farmers with his predictions. In fact my Aunty was doing up a house in North Queensland in 2000 to find a weather prediction by Indigo in 1950 newspaper , stating draught was going to happen in the year 2000. Fifty years before hand.
You see Ken is not the only one doing it and as reportedly stated in the movie the big short, Truth is like poetry, it just that no one likes poetry.
Also to add, the great stock trader W. D. Gann used astrology to make his trades in 1910 to 1930 and an Australian named D, Bowden who worked out Ganns trading system in the 1980s, stated Wars, weather and stocks can be worked out with his system. However trading stocks are more profitable.
Being a critic is easy. Making a name for yourself is hard. Here is a criticism for you. Do not knock what you clearly have not even tried to understand. it would appear that your silly belief is, If you think it's not possible it isn't. I bet you have been proven wrong many a times.
If you think you know it all then you would not be interested in learning more. But in case you do, go check out sitm.com.au, Indigo Jones, Gann, David Bowden and walker weather
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 25 Jan, 2016
Sorry 'M', but I must disagree. Lying and cheating to fool gullible, superstitious people into believing in primitive nonsense like astrology and then to take money from them for said nonsense is definitely a scam.
Suggesting that I need to do more study, it amazes me that you think that Jones used the same method as Ken Ring does, claiming that 'Indigo Jones was an Australia weather forecaster who used the moon'. Clearly you know little about Jones as you call him 'Indigo Jones', when actually his name was Inigo, not Indigo. According to this Wikipedia page on Jones, his long-range forecasts were derived by examining 'the interaction of the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune' and their effect on the Sun's sunspots. Jones did not look to the Moon as Ring does, it was the Sun in his opinion that caused our weather. Ring on the other hand disagrees with the view that Jones' held, and is on record as stating that 'a dwindling few still claim that the Sun causes the weather'.
Maybe it is you that 'clearly have not even tried to understand' what it is that morons like Ring, Jones, Gann and Walker have been pushing. I mean, seriously, to argue that astrology can be used to predict, not just the weather and earthquakes, but wars and the stock market is the height of stupidity. Sure, primitive folk believed in this nonsense hundreds and thousands of years ago, that mysterious bodies in the heavens were conspiring against them, but are you really going to argue that George Bush had no choice but to invade Iraq, because Jupiter was passing through Aquarius, or that the Moon was in the 4th House and this always predicts war, or a fall in coffee bean prices?
Regarding his forecasts based on the Sun, it may well be true that Jones 'did all this in the 1920 before the bom.gov.au [Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology] got started'. But I could equally say that people consulted witchdoctors and shaman before modern medicine got started, and travelled by horse before the industrial revolution got started. Just because astrologers once flourished and even kings sought their counsel, doesn't mean that they weren't talking absolute nonsense. Science has long shown that there is no evidence to support astrology and the world has moved on, it's time you did too.
As for your aunty finding an old newspaper prediction by Jones 'stating draught was going to happen in the year 2000', are you claiming that Australia has not had a single drought between 1950 and 2000? It can't have since apparently the newspaper prediction by Jones didn't mention any. Rather than trumpet one that he might have fluked, why not explain all the droughts that he missed in the intervening years? Plus I'm assuming that all the other weather predictions that Jones made in that article didn't come to pass, since you don't bother to mention them.
Regarding your movie quote, 'Truth is like poetry, it just that no one likes poetry', it's utter nonsense that no one likes the truth, or that no one likes poetry for that matter. There are many things that are true that I love. For example, that I'm alive and healthy, that I live in a safe country, that I have sufficient intellect to spot bullshit, that I have ice cream in my freezer, and that the Sun isn't likely to explode any time soon. There are also things that I don't like, but that I still accept as being true, such as terrorism being on the rise, that I will die some day, and that many unsophisticated folk still believe in superstitious nonsense. I don't deny these things as being the truth, just because I would rather that they weren't. Likewise I don't dismiss silly astrology just because I don't like it. I accept reality as it. If astrology were true, and the likes of Ring refuse to produce evidence that it is, then all rational, sane people would accept it as true. Scientists accept the likes of quantum mechanics and relativity which make claims far weirder than astrology, the difference is that they are supported by evidence.
And it astounds me that you apparently don't find anything hypocritical about criticising me for being critical of astrology. When I offer considered criticisms of an astrologer's claims, and you take umbrage at them, then it's your job to refute them, to explain why they might be unfounded, not merely to criticise me for daring to criticise in the first place.
As regards astrology, you're correct in one regard, if I 'think it's not possible it isn't'. Nothing that science has revealed about the working of the universe suggests that astrology is valid, that's why it was ditched and we now look to astronomy for answers. It would be very foolish of me, or anyone really, to accept that astrology is silly nonsense, ie not possible, and yet, because I want it to be true, still continue to believe what astrologers like Ken Ring are saying in their horoscopes. Where would it all end if I was to blindly embrace things that reason, evidence and common sense tells me are not possible? If astrologers can predict wars, then why can't witches cast spells, psychics talk to dead people, ghosts walk through walls and gremlins hide my car keys? What a silly world it would be if I believed in your world, where apparently evidence isn't important.
And yes, I have been proven wrong before. When I was very young and ignorant I believed that Santa Claus was real, also the Tooth Fairy, and years ago I thought that Istanbul was the capital of Turkey. However people wiser than me eventually convinced me that I was wrong by exposing me to reason and evidence. But just because I've been wrong in the past, that's no reason to start questioning everything I now believe to be true. Am I perhaps wrong about the Earth not being flat, or that it orbits the Sun? Am I also wrong about witches and trolls under bridges? Am I wrong to think that men and women are equal and that homeopathic remedies won't ward off malaria? If I was the only one that thought these things, or was in small minority, then perhaps I should feel worried that I might be wrong. But my views are not held in isolation, they are informed by a worldwide scientific consensus. As Ken Ring has reminded us several times, his treasured astrology is not found in any university, but only as a joke in trashy magazines. Why, why, why should I begin to suspect that the evidence put forward by scientists is wrong and instead embrace a silly belief that was thrown out centuries ago and is now only peddled by charlatans?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 26 Jan, 2016
It may have infuriated some of Ken Ring's acolytes when in our previous post we described his work as that of a liar and cheat, so we thought we'd give another example of his devious machinations. At the end of 2015 Rose mentioned 'an article that says there will be a 7 quake in WEL before 2016'. There wasn't, so clearly another major fail on Ring's part. However we believe we've now found the article Rose had likely seen. It was written in 2011 and entitled 'Moon Man predicts big quake by 2016'. In a public talk at the Upper Hutt Library Ring confidently informed his audience that,
'I do expect earthquake activity exceeding 7 on the Richter to come about every 11 to 13 years, as they have done in Wellington in February 1893, August 1904, August 1917, July 1929, August 1942, May 1968 and May 1992. As the last in the series of above-7s was in 1992 we can reasonably expect a 7 mag between 2013 and 2016.'
Ring clearly states that he expects 'earthquake activity exceeding 7 on the Richter to come about every 11 to 13 years', so let's say, every 12 years on average. Starting with the first date he gives — 1893 — let's see if his dates reveal a 12 year cycle, plus or minus one year.
1893 + 12 = 1905 — Ring's date: 1904 — OK, within Ring's 3 year quake window
His first four dates do indeed reveal a 12 year cycle, plus or minus one year, however then the cycle misses a step, but is almost picked up again on the next pulse. Then this complete miss and a close miss repeats once more, followed by yet two more complete misses. But a cursory glance does suggest that there might be glimmerings of a pattern here, that M7+ earthquakes hit Wellington at multiples of approximately 12 years. Could Ring really be on to something?
1905 + 12 = 1917 — Ring's date: 1917 — OK, within Ring's 3 year quake window
1917 + 12 = 1929 — Ring's date: 1929 — OK, within Ring's 3 year quake window
1929 + 12 = 1941 — Ring's date: 1942 — OK, within Ring's 3 year quake window
1941 + 12 = 1953 — Nothing!
1953 + 12 = 1965 — Ring's date: 1968 — Miss. Ring's window must extend to 7 years to claim 1968 quake
1965 + 12 = 1977 — Nothing!
1977 + 12 = 1989 — Ring's date: 1992 — Miss. Ring's window must extend to 7 years to claim 1992 quake
1989 + 12 = 2001 — Nothing!
2001 + 12 = 2013 — Nothing!
But before we consider sending him some money to aid his research, perhaps we should double check Ring's claims first, since he has been known to fudge his 'facts' to match his claims. And this is where we discover some inconvenient facts. Looking at Ring's first claim, that 'earthquake activity exceeding 7 on the Richter' hit 'Wellington in February 1893', we discover that this is simply not true. In fact, we discovered that not only did a M7+ earthquake not hit Wellington in 1893, the reality is that Wellington has NEVER in recent history been hit by a M7+ earthquake! (For our information we referred to this Wikipedia page: 'List of earthquakes in New Zealand'.) So immediately we can dismiss Ring's claim to have discovered a 12 year cycle for Wellington M7+ earthquakes as utterly bogus, as pure fabrication. As yet more lies. These major Wellington quakes simply never happened except in Ring's deceitful talk.
So did Ring just make up those dates, hoping that no one would ever check his claims? Well, yes and no. Of course he does hope that no one ever tries to confirm what he says, but on some of his dates major quakes did happen, just not in Wellington, and on some of his dates nothing happened, they were invented. So let's look at when he claimed M7+ earthquakes struck Wellington — 'February 1893, August 1904, August 1917, July 1929, August 1942, May 1968 and May 1992'. Did major quakes occur elsewhere in NZ that Ring is hoping we'll confuse with his Wellington claims? The following are Ring's dates with what major earthquake actually happened:
February 1893 — Nelson Tasman Bay — M6.7
So four of the dates do match Ring's dates, but no quake struck Wellington and none exceeded 7 on the Richter scale. On the other three dates, no major quake struck anywhere, let alone Wellington. Some might argue that the quakes in 1893, 1942 and 1992 were likely felt in Wellington, but quakes are identified by their location and point of maximum impact, not labelled vaguely by remote cities that may have felt a slight tremor, and also none of those quakes were Ring's M7+. We should also note that there were two major quakes in 1929 (Jun 1929 — Murchison, West Coast — M7.3 and Mar 1929 — Arthur's Pass, Canterbury — M7.0), and even though these were M7+, neither occurred anywhere near Wellington or in July, the location and date that Ring gave.
August 1904 — nothing!
August 1917 — nothing!
July 1929 — nothing!
August 1942 — Masterton, Wairarapa — M6.8
May 1968 — Inangahua Junction, West Coast — M6.7
May 1992 — Wairau Valley, Marlborough — M6.8
So every single one of Ring's claims, that M7+ earthquakes struck Wellington on seven different occasions are all deliberate lies. Lies invented by Ring to fool the gullible. And since the quakes never happened, then of course there can't be any pattern for Ring to discern with his silly astrology. The only pattern discernible is that Ring has once again woven a fictitious tale to cheat people with his lies and deceptions. And not just cheat people, terrify them as well, with his cool assertion that devastating earthquakes will strike Wellington, and not just once, but returning every 12 years. If I foolishly believed Ring and lived in Wellington then I'd certainly be worried, and looking at moving somewhere that doesn't have a 12 year earthquake cycle.
And lest you be fooled into thinking that earthquakes have never struck the Wellington region, here are some that Ring should have mentioned and taken into account when looking for a predictable pattern:
Jan 1855 — Lake Wairarapa, Wairarapa — M8.2
So why didn't Ring mention these quakes? The answer is simple, most didn't fit onto his mystical 12 year pattern or exhibit 7+ magnitude. The April 1966 quake in Cook Strait did almost fit his pattern; right location, right year but unfortunately not powerful enough. Still, it would have made more sense to lie about the strength of that quake rather than the location and strength of the May 1968 quake as Ring did. The reality is that if Ring had thought that these real quakes centred in the Wellington region might have helped him flesh out his tale then he would surely have highlighted them, but since he didn't, then clearly he preferred to pretend that they never happened. Scammers must always hide inconvenient facts while inventing their own 'facts'. Clearly real earthquakes haven't read Ring's predictions and don't know when and where they're supposed to strike.
Jun 1942 — Masterton, Wairarapa — M6.5
Feb 1943 — Wellington, Wairarapa — M5.8
Dec 1961 — Martinborough, Wellington — M6.2
April 1966 — Cook Strait, Marlborough — M5.8 — Caused damage in Wellington
Jan 2005 — Upper Hutt, Wellington — M5.6 — Felt strongly throughout Wellington Region
When I first encountered the claims of Ken Ring I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed that the nonsense he spouted was due to him being woefully incompetent at doing research, and simply not too bright. But over the years he has proved me wrong time and time again. Of course I still believe he's woefully incompetent and not too bright, but I've discovered that the utterly bogus nature of most his claims is down to pure intentional deception rather than naÔve ignorance, lies deliberately created to cheat his customers. As this post shows, the fact that Ring quoted some dates on which real quakes happened indicates that he must have researched them, and thus knew that they weren't really M7+ quakes in Wellington. To then go and give a public talk and lie about their location, strength and how often they repeat is pure, devious deception motivated by nothing but naked greed.
Comment by Jamie, 29 Jan, 2016
Hi John, have you heard of "Godwin's Law"?
I came across this today: Godwin's law
It seems that our mate Ken has proven this law time and time again! haha.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 30 Jan, 2016
Yes, Jamie, I have heard of it, and we mentioned it in our 'Ring' article near the end of this section: 'How does Ken Ring respond to criticism?' As you say, Ring has compared many, many of his critics of behaving like Hitler and Nazis, for simply having the audacity to challenge his silly beliefs. For example he has called me a 'white supremacist red-neck jack-booted fascist nazi'. And that's just one outburst from Ring, not several that I've linked together! Actually 'Godwin's Law' is a good barometer of how good your arguments are at exposing the flaws and lies in Ring's claims. If he's not frothing at the mouth and calling you a Nazi then you haven't really said anything that has struck a nerve, that has got him running scared. But once the Nazi comparisons begin, and if he starts mentioning lawyers even better, then you know you've revealed things that he would prefer his gullible flock didn't hear.
Comment by Daryl, 01 Feb, 2016
Hi John, just checked Ken's latest February newsletter.
For my region (lower north island), using his 1-2 day leeway, he predicts the chance of rain on 27 out of 29 days. Why would anyone pay for information so absurdly useless?
Also in his newsletter is some historical rubbish — 'Weather modification'. I don't know anything about cloud seeding apart from 'They put stuff in the air to induce rain', but with comments like the following all I have to say is........what?!?
'There is simply no physical way that substances introduced into the air by Man can change the orbit of the moon, the electrical fields around the earth, the seasons nor the rotation of the sun. Neither can they penetrate deep into the ocean to energize or change the direction of currents, some as high as 10-storey buildings, which are induced and aided by underwater eruptions that also cannot be reached by anything from the air'.
Apologies John, I know you'll read Ken's rubbish even though it goes against your resolution, I feel like a total enabler!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 02 Feb, 2016
Hi Daryl. Regarding Ring's astrological weather predictions, you ask, 'Why would anyone pay for information so absurdly useless?' The sad reality is that there are a lot of lazy, stupid people out there who will blindly believe whatever nonsense some astrologer (or priest or energy healer etc) feeds them, and greedy scammers like Ring take full advantage of this depressing fact.
The science of how the world really works is simply too complicated for many people, and so their childish minds opt for superstitious, primitive stories that wouldn't have been out of place in Medieval times. However Ring, unlike, say, priests, sprinkles his stories with scientific phrases that coat his tales with a wafer thin veneer of modernity. He creates articles that to the unsophisticated mind sound scientific, but in reality are nothing but pseudoscience, nonsense pretending to be science. A clown in a lab coat.
The 'Weather modification' article is just another example of Ring's ignorance of science, but then what else should we expect from an astrologer, scammer and self-confessed conspiracy theorist? In it we have Ring's latest attempt to explain to us plebs as to why we have weather:
'...weather ... comes initially from the cycles of moon and sun. These cycles of extraterrestrial bodies create earth's ocean currents by way of electrical field action on the earth's inner core, which energizes ocean currents. In turn the ocean currents move upwards to create waves, wind systems, sea surface temperatures and storms. Once the potential storm systems have been put in place, nature's vast aerosols then allow condensation.'
What amazes me about Ring's explanation of how weather is created, apart from it being utter bullshit, is that it's completely different from the explanation (also bullshit) that he's been peddling for years. How many times has Ring told us that the weather is caused by tides in the atmosphere that are brought about by the Moon's gravity? For example, here are some of the many claims made by Ring in the past to explain the weather:
'By shifting the atmosphere, the Moon is directly responsible for Earth's climate.
So, in Ring's opinion, our weather is caused by the Moon's gravity creating tides in the atmosphere. Again, the important thing to take away from all this is that in simple terms (according to Ring), gravity pulls the clouds and we get weather. But in Ring's latest 'Weather modification' article, he makes no mention of gravity or tidal forces. Now the Moon's gravitational effect on the atmosphere has been ditched in favour of the Moon and the Sun's 'electrical field action on the earth's inner core'. This in turn 'energizes ocean currents' which eventually create our weather and condensation, ie rain. Anyone with a rudimentary science knowledge knows that gravitational fields and electrical fields are two completely different things, although based on his comments over the years, Ring has often conflated the two. But in his article he makes no effort to explain what these extraterrestrial electrical fields might be, nor how they cause the Earth's inner core to generate ocean currents. But that doesn't matter, since his explanation will sound like science-speak to anyone who knows or cares little about real science, and they are of course the people that Ring targets. And Ring's next article will likely have him again arguing that the Moon's gravity is the cause of our weather, or perhaps an alien destructor ray emanating from Planet X. Scammers will go with whatever makes them money, and of course most of their customers won't even notice that the story keeps changing.
You might want to think of weather as air tides.
It is little known that there are at least four separate... tides caused by lunar gravitation... the sea-tide... the inner-core tide... the land-tide... the air-tide
So is it too silly to state that if it has an effect on the atmosphere then it must control the weather by distribution of the clouds?
Weather is a form of tidal disturbance that is caused, like our sea tides, by outside forces and transmits itself through whatever atmosphere a planet has...
[My weather] predictions have been generated only by calculating the orbits of the moon.
The science is based around the concept of risng [sic] and ebbing in the daily tide of the air
I admit I use the ancient astrology that was the forerunner of astronomy. It was the same gravitational science as used by Galileo, Kepler and Newton. So I am in good company.'
Based on his silly fantasy of how the weather originates (this week anyway), Ring then goes on to make plausible sounding but actually bogus arguments, stating that we can't affect the weather because 'There is simply no physical way that substances introduced into the air by Man can change the orbit of the moon... etc'. And his gullible followers, ignorant as they are of science, will likely know just enough to realise that Ring's statements are probably true. 'Silly scientists!', they'll think, 'Why do they even bother?' But of course scientists aren't trying to 'change the orbit of the moon', since they know all too well that the Moon doesn't make it rain on our barbecues.
Note also that he claims that ocean currents, 'some as high as 10-storey buildings... are induced and aided by underwater eruptions'. What evidence is there that, say, the Gulf Stream current, is 'induced and aided by underwater eruptions'? Since the Gulf Stream current has been flowing for probably thousands of years, that means some huge underwater volcano has been erupting for all that time to keep it moving. Why is it that scientists have found no evidence of this sizeable undersea volcanic eruption? Again Ring relies on the hope that his followers have heard mention of undersea volcanoes, perhaps from having watched 'Finding Nemo' or some other similar intellectual movie.
Having explained what causes weather, Ring describes weather modification as 'the notion of changing weather patterns by introducing particles (called aerosols) into the air'. He then adds that this is foolish, since:
'weather is generated between the ground and 40kms into the atmosphere, far too high for any manmade substances, which are mostly heavier than air anyway, to reach to.'
My understanding, informed as it is by science and not medieval astrology, is that weather generally happens in the troposphere, which is the layer of our atmosphere closest to the Earth, and which extends some 8-17 kilometres above the ground, not 40 kilometres as Ring claims. No doubt he quotes 40 kms to make it appear out of our reach, which of course it's not, but even if it were, he actually states (falsely) that 'weather is generated between the ground and 40kms'. He doesn't state that rain, for example, is generated 40 kms up, merely that it happens somewhere 'between the ground and 40kms'. That somewhere could be merely 1km up, which we have no trouble reaching. He then stupidly claims that anywhere above the ground is 'far too high for any manmade substances, which are mostly heavier than air anyway, to reach to'. But then he immediately talks of air pollution 'happening in places like Beijing', and since we know that air pollution is formed from 'manmade substances', by what magical means do these particles stay high up in the atmosphere? Elsewhere Ring has noted that carbon dioxide is heavier than air, and has argued that it also won't be found up in the atmosphere, and yet strangely it is. Ring just doesn't think his arguments through, and if he does detect the gaping holes in them, he hopes his followers won't.
The strange thing is that Ring appears to accept that seeding the atmosphere could theoretically cause rain, since he agrees that 'it is true that raindrops gather around dust particles', but then he argues that 'it is absurd to think that Man, still almost completely absent on 98.4% of the surface of the globe, could add any significant proportion of aerosols to the available air'. So according to Ring humans can only be found on 1.6% of the Earth's surface. Where does he get this figure from, 'The Big Boy's Medieval Book of Facts, Astrology and Magic', published in 826 CE?
How much land humans occupy is a rather fuzzy question, but even if you just look at cities it is at least twice what Ring claims. However Ring's argument revolves around what influence humans have or could have, not how much land their house occupies, and indeed argues that for most of the planet, humans are 'almost completely absent'. But the reality is that humans have spread to every continent, we harvest the seas, and our influence is widespread, as this article from National Geographic states:
'Human "Footprint" Seen on 83 Percent of Earth's Land
The other problem with Ring's argument is that he insists that thanks to nature, 'it is a fact that the amounts of dust and volcanic impurities in the atmosphere at any one time is so immense and outweighing, and so ongoing on such a huge scale for the thousands of millions of years' that humans couldn't hope to override nature's efforts in making it rain. This is true, but in attempting to seed clouds for some rain, humans are working on a minute, local scale, not on a global scale like nature. Ring's correct that we can't possibly make it rain or affect the weather at will on a global scale, but he's falsely implying that that is what is being attempted. As usual Ring creates silly strawman arguments that he can rubbish, hiding the fact that he's attacking a fantasy of his own making.
Scientists have produced the first map that traces human influence on the natural world, and the numbers are big. Overall, 83 percent of the total land surface and 98 percent of the areas where it is possible to grow the world's three main crops — rice, wheat, and maize — is directly influenced by human activities.'
I had to giggle when Ring wrote that 'species vanity is what we specialise in. We think humans are the Master Race... More accurately we are the Dumb Race'. Speak for yourself Ken. You shouldn't judge everyone else by your shortcomings. That 'Master Race' quip is Ring's worrying fixation with the Nazis, and his suggestion that that's who we all identify with. He then falsely claims that, unlike humans, 'Almost all other species of living creatures, be they insects, birds, fish or mammals, can detect weather changes, earthquakes, droughts and floods, with good time to spare to move nests or temporarily relocate'. It's unbelievable that this guy supposedly lives on the same planet that we do. The reality is that nature causes a humongous death toll on the other species that we share the planet with. Ring has been reading too many Peter Rabbit books if he believes that most other life forms pack up their belongings, put a temporary hold on their mail, and go inland to stay with their country cousins well before any natural disaster strikes. Ring is really quite misanthropic, stating that we humans 'are unable to adequately feed, shelter, protect or nurture our own species, which is rare in nature. Our Greed Gene conflicts with our sense of survival... ' Again, what planet is he looking at? Has he never ventured out into nature, or at least watched a nature documentary on TV? What sheep or kangaroo has better shelter than you or I do, a wider choice of food, a police force that will protect them, and a desire to nurture not just our own species, but other species as well? To argue that we're the 'Dumb Race' and that we're all motivated by 'Our Greed Gene' is really nothing more than Ring unfairly placing his feeling of self worth on the rest of us.
Comment by Ben, 06 Feb, 2016
There was a news item in Friday's DomPost that reads:
The Moon can influence the rainfall on Earth, scientists have discovered.
If you wish I can scan the item and send it to you although if you Google the authors name, Tsubasa Kohyama you will probably find it and the research as well. Sorry, but I cannot be bothered.
When the Moon is high in the sky, lunar forces create bulges in the planet's atmosphere that change air pressure to make rainfall lighter, etc, etc.
My fear is that Ken Ring will take this as an endorsement and start using it in his marketing.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 06 Feb, 2016
Hi Ben. There was also a pathetically brief and misleading article in the NZ Herald, so Ring will have likely seen it and he will without doubt start using it to promote his nonsense. After all, he invents false evidence and lies about scientific support, so he certainly won't pass up the opportunity to embrace research that actually is valid.
This article — 'Moon's tidal forces affect amount of rainfall on Earth' — is more informative, but even it is misleading, in that a cursory read suggests something that isn't in the detail. Look at the heading, it tells us that the Moon affects the amount of rainfall. For most of us, that suggests that you and I should be able to notice the impact that the Moon will have on the amount of rain that falls and when. And yet hidden in the article we learn that researcher Tsubasa Kohyama has found that the Moon actually
'...creates imperceptible changes in the amount of rain that falls...
Another article rewords the research slightly,
the lunar forces affect the amount of rain — though very slightly.
The change is only about 1 percent of the total rainfall variation, though, so not enough to affect other aspects of the weather or for people to notice the difference.
"No one should carry an umbrella just because the moon is rising," Kohyama said.'
'The variations in rainfall levels are so slight as to be almost imperceptible to most of us.
Contrary to what the article implies, and that many readers may be unaware of, scientists have long known that the Moon exerts a tidal force on the atmosphere. As Ring has correctly asserted, the Moon causes tides in the air, the sea and the land. This is not a new discovery, although the article kind of hints that it is. The point is not whether the Moon has a tidal effect on the air, sea and land, it does, but whether this tidal effect is of such a degree that it not just influences rainfall in some 'almost imperceptible' way, but actually causes the weather, along with earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and the stranding of whales as Ring claims. Is the Moon's effect so great that it causes clearly predictable changes in the atmosphere and the land, and that these changes can be unambiguously foreseen and planned for? I would argue no, and I believe the researchers would agree with me, stating as they do that the variation in rainfall caused by the Moon is almost imperceptible, or 0.78 micrometres per hour. As one comment to the article highlights, '0.78 micrometers is 10 times smaller than a cotton thread... 5 to 20 times smaller than dust mite scat, 17 times smaller than a human hair'. I'd like to see Ring measure that difference in his rain gauge.
The change caused by the Moon is about 1 percent of the total variation in rainfall, according to the researchers, so you probably won't see weather forecasters adjusting their maps with lunar data anytime soon. Statistically speaking, the variation caused by lunar activity works out as 0.78 micrometres (1 micrometre is 0.001 millimetres) per hour.'
Also Ring claims that the different phases of the Moon, eg Full Moon, causes different weather. I mention this because evidently the reporter originally mentioned 'phase of the moon' in their article and the researcher asked her to remove it. Clearly the researcher doesn't see an affect that Ring does, even though Ring hasn't done any research himself.
So yes, Ring will undoubtedly frame this article and hang it on his wall, and he'll link to it every time someone questions his claims, but it is typical of many articles found in the media in that it simplifies, and in doing so, misrepresents, the science, and gives Ring a little credibility that he in no way deserves. The researchers are a doctoral student and a professor in atmospheric sciences working at the New University of Washington, while Ring is still just an astrologer, who at most, based on a past career, may have graduated from clown college.
Comment by Graham, 06 Feb, 2016
Hi John. The funniest thing about this is that in his 4 Feb tweet, the clown college graduate has actually accused the authors of plagiarism (below). Notwithstanding the unlikely scenario that scientists would copy the work of an astrologer, the word "hypocrite" springs to mind.
As you said, this paper far from endorsing his method actually shows why it can't work. There are so many inputs into the weather on any given day and this study shows that the moon's effect on rainfall, while it exists, is tiny. And Ken is on record as saying that his method doesn't work for amounts so he doesn't agree with them anyway.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 07 Feb, 2016
Hi Graham. If researchers investigating the Moon's gravitational effect on the atmosphere and rainfall is plagiarism, apparently because they didn't discover the air tide or the idea that it might affect our weather, then Ring's own work is plagiarism too. His books are called 'Ken Ring's Predict Weather' and 'Ken Ring's New Zealand Weather Almanac', and they make no mention of the fact that the method he uses — astrological analysis of the air tide — was simply copied from those that came before him. Ring plastering the phrase 'Ken Ring's... ' on everything he produces gives his customers the false impression that the method he uses was his idea. That's the very definition of plagiarism. And it is very rich of Ring to accuse others of plagiarism when we have exposed numerous examples of him stealing the work of others and passing it off as his own. In fact, back in 2011 we showed that some text in his book that he mentions — 'The Lunar Code' — was actually stolen word for word from the Internet. You're right, he's a hypocrite.
I guess he's peeved with the researchers because he, surprisingly for Ring, apparently grasps that a close reading of the article actually harms his business, since as one of the researchers says, 'No one should carry an umbrella just because the moon is rising'.
Comment by Jamie, 12 Feb, 2016
Hi John. In case you haven't heard Ring's latest interview on the Farming Show, here's the link.
"...you can't influence anything 'just a bit', anymore than you can kill something 'just a bit'..."
What a load of nonsense! You can measure influence Ken.
and then this gem: "The tide of the atmosphere is the weather".
So, I'd like to ask Ken this: Why don't we have storm charts and rain charts in our local newspaper, just like we have tide charts? If the moon solely controls the weather, and the air tides ARE the weather, then we should be able to predict the weather to the same accuracy that we can predict the sea tides. So why can't we Ken? Enlighten us with your medieval wisdom.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 13 Feb, 2016
Hi Jamie. Well, I haven't had a chance to listen to that interview, with far more pleasurable engagements calling for my attention at the moment, like getting my bikini line waxed, but for Ring to say that 'you can't influence anything 'just a bit'...', I mean seriously, can he really be that stupid?
Based on many similar things he's said in the past, it seems that yes, he is that stupid. For example, he once claimed that 'By definition an opinion, just like a feeling cannot be wrong'. umm... I have a feeling, and I'm of the opinion, that Ken Ring is ripping people off with his astrology scam. And I guess that's absolutely true, since a feeling or opinion can't be wrong, according to Ken.
So I look forward to Ken's dull-witted answer to your very reasonable query Jamie, assuming he can remember how to switch his computer on.
Comment by Sam, 17 Feb, 2016
In a ridiculous interview with Ken Ring on Radio Live — 'Each earthquake is its own earthquake' — this gem of advice stood out:
"What I'm telling people Christchurch is to get a large plastic dish, you know, just buy it from the Warehouse or anywhere, just fill it with water, stick it outside the kitchen window where you can keep an eye on it, and when it starts to ripple, well that gives you time to get out of the house. Because the ripples will appear in the dish quite a while before they come up through the [ground]."
A legendary level of stupid even for Ken.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 17 Feb, 2016
Thanks for that. Well, I'm no seismologist, or even an astrologer, and being able to afford to go to clown college was never more than a dream for me, but I got to thinking. What is it that likely makes the water in the dish begin to ripple? Surely it is because the dish itself is moving and passing this movement on to the water contained within it? But now we're forced to ask, OK, so what makes the dish move? Well surely the movement of the dish is caused by movement of the ground which is caused by the earthquake? And yet Ring claims that 'ripples will appear in the dish quite a while before they come up through the [ground]'. So if it's NOT ground movement that causes the water to move, since Ring claims the water moves long before the ground does, what spooky force is it that reaches out and causes the ripples on the water? An astrological force I guess, something only an astrologer can imagine.
And why does the dish of water need to be outside on the ground if the ground movement isn't causing the ripples? Why not keep the dish inside, and have several of them, like smoke alarms? That way you wouldn't have to live in your kitchen continuing staring out the window, and you wouldn't need to install a spotlight so you can see the dish during the hours of darkness. And since no one can stay awake and stare continuously, you're clearly going to have to organise shifts with other family members.
Seriously, what does Ring think Christchurch people spend their days doing? Apparently he believes they're all in their kitchens 24/7, and religiously staring out the window at the ground. So if they're staring anyway, why not stare at a large plastic dish of water? None have gone to work or are sleeping or are watching TV in another room. And even those that are in the kitchen are apparently not busy preparing meals or eating or updating Facebook. They are mindlessly staring out the kitchen window. Ring doesn't say what the delay is between the water moving and then the ground moving, beyond saying it's 'quite a while', but it must be considerable since it 'gives you time to get out of the house'. But even if Ring's dish of magical water did give an early warning of say 5-10 seconds, what is the likelihood that you would be in the kitchen staring intently at it at the very second it moved? I wonder how many idiots are presently positioning a large plastic dish of water outside their kitchen window, and using what few brain cells they have to stare at it, ready to sprint from the house if they detect the slightest ripple? Let's hope a heavy truck doesn't rumble pass.
As you say, 'A legendary level of stupid even for Ken'. But unfortunately it's not just Ken that's struggling to keep up, he's also supported by friends in the media that help keep his primitive, superstitious astrology alive. What drives them to help him publicise his nonsense, is it stupidity or plain greed for an audience, no matter how gullible and uninformed? Probably both.
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