Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another example of strange data selectivity by British climatologists

The official British Met office in this case. An email below from a reader -- noting that once again the best data for a location is ignored -- apparently in favour of something that suits Warmist assumptions better. There was a lot of that with the CRU treatment of the Russian data too. The record referred to below which the meteorologists do use has so many gaps in it that one suspects that the gaps are the attraction. Such gaps can be filled in by Warmist guesses

On this page station temperature files for several countries can be downloaded.

Living in the Netherlands Antilles, I checked: there are only records for Juliana Airport, St. Maarten (788660). That station was only opened in 1951 while records are available for Curaçao island since 1894 but are not listed here. St. Maarten temperature records are available from 1920, long before the airport opened its station.

St. Maarten lists a total of 187 "-99" [no record], figures out of 708 monthly averages. I am quite sure that the Curaçao, main island of the country, records are much more complete than that. One wonders then why records for Curaçao have not been used.

CRU now rejecting their own "landmark" findings

$10Mill worth of landmark IPCC climate research – now struck out at CRU

This CRU webpage where you can still download the CRUTEM3 datasets reveals the stunning fact that they no longer include the landmark paper Jones & Moberg 2003 in the list of references.

Instead, to keep their “chain of evidence” alive the CRU-Meisters now jump back to Jones et al 1999. CRU front page 29 Dec 2009: "Jones, P.D., M. New, D.E. Parker, S. Martin, and I.G. Rigor. 1999. Surface air temperature and its changes over the past 150 years. Reviews of Geophysics 37:173-199".

This raises all sorts of questions because the latest masterwork Brohan et al 2006 (Brohan, P., J.J. Kennedy, I. Harris, S.F.B. Tett, and P.D. Jones. 2006. Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: a new dataset from 1850. J. Geophysical Research 111, D12106) is written as an evolution from Jones & Moberg 2003 – further and surprisingly there is NO REFERENCE to Jones 1999 in Brohan et al 2006.

Reading the Abstract and first paragraph of the Introduction to Jones & Moberg 2003 – the authors are clearly updating directly from Jones 1994, ignoring the more recent and we would assume improved over 1994 – Jones et al 1999.

So I am saying that there is much evidence here of striking out references to previously lauded Jones versions that one would expect to be naturally included in the “chain of evidence”. I can only conclude that for example, Jones & Moberg 2003 does not measure up now as a work that CRU or the UKMO wants to refer to. Taxpayers may never know the reasons for these odd visible twists and turns in the cloistered and highly secretive IPCC world.

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Major northern hemisphere cold snap coming

Cold event setups in atmospheric circulation patterns are aligning. Two days ago I brought to your attention that there was a strong downspike in the Arctic Oscillation Index and that the North Atlantic Oscillation Index was also negative. See The Arctic Oscillation Index goes strongly negative

Yesterday, Senior AccuWeather meteorologist Joe Bastardi let loose with this stunning prediction on the AccuWeather premium web site via Brett Anderson’s Global warming blog:
What is facing the major population centers of the northern hemisphere is unlike anything that we have seen since the global warming debate got to the absurd level it is now, which essentially has been there is no doubt about all this. For cold of a variety not seen in over 25 years in a large scale is about to engulf the major energy consuming areas of the northern Hemisphere. The first 15 days of the opening of the New Year will be the coldest, population weighted, north of 30 north world wide in over 25 years in my opinion.

The Climate Prediction Center discussion for their forecast also concurs with both of the above:

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Obama official embarrassed by Democrat plans to convert cropland to forestry

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has ordered his staff to revise a computerized forecasting model that showed that climate legislation supported by President Obama would make planting trees more lucrative than producing food.

The latest Agriculture Department economic-impact study of the climate bill, which passed the House this summer, found that the legislation would profit farmers in the long term. But those profits would come mostly from higher crop prices as a result of the legislation's incentives to plant more forests and thus reduce the amount of land devoted to food-producing agriculture.

According to the economic model used by the department and the Environmental Protection Agency, the legislation would give landowners incentives to convert up to 59 million acres of farmland into forests over the next 40 years. The reason: Trees clean the air of heat-trapping gases better than farming does.

Mr. Vilsack, in a little-noticed statement issued with the report earlier this month, said the department's forecasts "have caused considerable concern" among farmers and ranchers. "If landowners plant trees to the extent the model suggests, this would be disruptive to agriculture in some regions of the country," he said.

He said the Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model (FASOM), created by researchers at Texas A&M University, does not take into account other provisions in the House-passed bill, which would boost farmers' income while they continue to produce food. Those omissions, he said, cause the model to overestimate the potential for increased forest planting.

Mr. Vilsack said he has directed his chief economist to work with the EPA to "undertake a review of the assumptions in the FASOM model, to update the model and to develop options on how best to avoid unintended consequences for agriculture that might result from climate change legislation."

The legislation would give free emissions credits, known as offsets, to farmers and landowners who plant forests and adopt low-carbon farm and ranching practices. Farmers and ranchers could sell the credits to help major emitters of greenhouse gases comply with the legislation. That revenue would help the farmers deal with an expected rise in fuel and fertilizer costs.

But the economic forecast predicts that nearly 80 percent of the offsets would be earned through the planting of trees, mostly in the Midwest, the South and the Plains states. The American Farm Bureau Federation and some farm-state Republican lawmakers have complained that the offsets program would push landowners to plant trees and terminate their leases with farmers. The model projects that reduced farm production will cause food prices to rise by 4.5 percent by 2050 compared with a scenario in which no legislation is passed, the department found.

A department spokesman declined to comment about how quickly the review would take place or whether Mr. Vilsack would revise the department's economic-impact projections.

The Senate has not taken action on climate legislation, although the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a bill similar to the House's last month. That measure did not include agriculture provisions.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas Democrat and chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, has said she will hold hearings on climate provisions but has not indicated when those will take place.

The ranking Republican on the committee, Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, and his counterpart on the House Agriculture Committee, ranking Republican Rep. Frank D. Lucas of Oklahoma, wrote to Mr. Vilsack and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson earlier this month to ask for new economic analyses of the House and Senate bills. "EPA's analysis was often cited during debate in the House of Representatives and the study had a great impact on the final vote. If there was a flaw in the analysis, then it would be prudent to correct the model and perform a more current and complete analysis on both [bills]," they wrote.

In a statement, the EPA said: "EPA looks forward to working with USDA and the designer of this particular computer model to continue improving the analytical tools that all of [us] use to predict the ways that different climate policies would affect agriculture."

Allison Specht, an economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation, said other studies have largely confirmed the results of the EPA and Agriculture Department analysis. "That's one of the realities of cap-and-trade legislation. The biggest bang for your buck for carbon credits is planting trees," she said.


Another Greenie industry in need of a handout

Large fuel cells at risk without U.S. aid. Fuel cells are not only of interest to Greenies but their "clean" energy gives them Greenie cred

The United States leads the world in manufacturing stationary fuel cells — large sources of clean energy — but the industry is warning Congress that the technology and expertise could be shipped overseas unless the federal government does more to encourage domestic production and use.

Stationary fuel cells are on-site power generators that emit almost no pollutants while producing energy. They are powerful enough to supply electricity, heating and air conditioning for a 1,000-room hotel, a 33,000-student college campus or large industrial structures such as the Pepperidge Farm plant in Connecticut and Sierra Nevada brewery in California.

The energy source is pricey, though, ranging in the millions of dollars per unit. Yet demand for the fuel cells in Japan and South Korea far outstrips domestic supply, partly because foreign governments provide tax incentives or subsidies to companies that import and use the stationary fuel cells. "We need legislation with provisions to promote deployment of fuel cells," said Bill Foster, vice president of government business development for FuelCell Energy Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of stationary fuel cells.

Mr. Foster said that including the industry among the many "green" technologies being supported by the federal government is critical to keeping jobs in the U.S. and ramping up the use of this clean energy supply. The Obama administration's main fuel cells focus has been on cars and buses, largely overlooking the stationary sources.

UTC Power, a division of United Technologies Corp. that manufactures stationary fuel cells, said the industry "needs the government to become a customer." "We need volume, we need customers, and I think the government could become a large consumer," said Michael Brown, vice president of government affairs and general counsel to UTC. "To have the government step up and say, 'We're going to buy 500 fuel cells a year' would jump-start the marketplace."

Mr. Foster said that his Danbury, Conn.-based company is working with Congress for special attention in upcoming bills. He asserts that allowing more energy from fuel cells to be counted as part of a federal renewable-electricity standard (RES) would also promote wider use. The standard is part of pending energy legislation and would mandate that a certain percentage of the nation's energy come from clean sources by a certain date. The proposed RES would only allow fuel-cell energy generated from qualified biofuel sources — not natural gas — to contribute to the standard.

In the meantime, in the absence of federal legislation to drive fuel-cell use, some states are using the federal Investment Tax Credit to promote the use of stationary fuel cells. California and Connecticut also have incentive programs that when coupled with the federal tax credit have helped expand the use of stationary fuel cells.

Mr. Brown said additional incentives and partnerships with energy companies and utilities also would benefit the young industry.

The industry is also targeting Connecticut lawmakers in Congress to include fuel-cell provisions in federal legislation. Mr. Foster said Democratic Rep. Christopher S. Murphy and Democratic Rep. John B. Larson have been fuel-cell champions because FuelCell Energy Inc. and UTC Power both have their headquarters in Connecticut.

Although the technology is commercially viable, it is still relatively unknown, posing a major roadblock for the industry, the industry asserts. Stationary fuel cells range in size, with some measuring about one-fourth the size of a tennis court. They are powered by biofuels — gasses from food processing, landfills and wastewater treatment — natural gas, ethanol, diesel and coal gas. The fuel cell is a combustion-free energy source, as it produces heat and electricity directly from chemical energy, somewhat like a battery. It also emits negligible amounts of nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides as well as relatively small amounts of carbon dioxide compared to fossil-fuel-powered electricity plants.

Fuel cells are also a baseload power source and can compete with nuclear and coal-fired electricity to provide the minimum amount of power a utility must make available to its customers. In contrast, wind, solar and other renewable sources can only supply peak-load power, power largely demanded in the late afternoon when consumers return home from work.

The upfront capital cost to produce stationary fuel cells is high, so a larger customer pool, especially in the U.S., would help bring down the cost, the industry asserts.

FuelCell Energy Inc. has sold or has orders for 91 megawatts of stationary fuel cells, with 68 megawatts of that sold to South Korea. The company said it is fearful that without government help, the domestic manufacturing industry will be transferred to nations with a greater demand — a fate that already has befallen wind turbine and solar panel makers. UTC Power, a South Windsor, Conn.-based company, also produces stationary fuel cells that can heat and cool commercial buildings and fuel cells for transportation.


Fireplace fascism in California

Burn wood in the Bay Area, and your neighbors will rat you out and send inspectors to your door who will slap you with a fine. Even on Christmas Day. From the Contra Costa Times:
Bay Area air pollution inspectors found 47 violators burning wood fires illegally during Christmas Day's Spare the Air alert — which was declared because cold, unhealthful air had been forecast. Violators get written warnings for a first offense and $400 fines for a second offense.

"We know a lot of people like to burn on this holiday, but it's our duty to protect public health," said Ralph Borrmann, the spokesman.

It demonstrates once again that there is no limit to how intrusive and destructive government can become in the name of protecting from real or imaginary public threats to safety and health.


Australia: Paint roofs white, says "Green" mayor

FORGET painting the town red - Lord Mayor Robert Doyle wants Melbourne's roofs painted white. Cr Doyle believed slathering the tops of inner-city buildings with a white coating would make them cooler and more energy efficient, according to a report in the Herald Sun. He said the whitewash could reflect the sun's rays, reducing temperatures inside skyscrapers, apartment towers, shopping centres and other city structures.

Cr Doyle hit on the city-wide paint job idea after talking to New York mayor Michael Bloomberg at the Copenhagen climate summit. Mayor Bloomberg recently launched a "Cool Roofs" pilot scheme backed by former vice-president and environment campaigner Al Gore. Volunteers in New York will daub 10,000sq/m of roof space white to reduce air-conditioner use.

Cr Doyle has asked Melbourne council officers to investigate how the scheme could be implemented here. "I think it is a real alternative for us," Cr Doyle said.

US President Barack Obama's green guru has encouraged Americans to consider white roofs for the environmental and economic benefits. The special reflective white surface is rolled or sprayed on roofs and dries like rubber. White roofs are easier and more affordable than roof-top gardens, which are also promoted as a way of reducing a city's carbon footprint.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Britain's major Leftist newspaper, The Guardian, is at least good for a laugh!

Britain's Guardianistas really do take the cake. They are so wrapped up in their own little fantasy world that they have no idea how absurd they can sound to others. For example: This article blames China for the now universally acknowledged "failure" of the Copenhagen climate conclave (There's a tongue-twister for you!).

As the writer himself acknowledges, it is an unwritten rule that the holier-than-thou crowd must never blame poor countries for anything. Only the "rich West" can do wrong. But apparently China is now rich and powerful enough to have lost that protection. So our climate apostle has got daring.

But the funny bit comes towards the end of his article when he concludes in sorrow and in anger that China is not playing the Guardianista game at all. He seems surprised that he has to conclude: "This is fast becoming China's century, yet its leadership has displayed that multilateral environmental governance is not only not a priority, but is viewed as a hindrance to the new superpower's freedom of action".

China is not interested in global governance! How awful! How concerning! How disillusioning! What is left? Fancy China wanting to run its own affairs! How can those nice Communists be so awful? It's all a terrible shock to a Guardianista!

The Guardian has its flock, however. My first wife (the first of four) has always been Left-leaning and she has just emailed me to tell me that she is now very angry with China! LOL! She would once have turned a deaf ear to any criticism of China.

It reminds me of Israel. For a couple of decades after WWII, the Left were supportive of Israel. But after Israel won the six-day war, that steadily eroded and Israel is now regarded with widespread hostility among Leftists. Leftists just hate other people doing well for themselves. They only like people that they can look down on and patronize. One of the reasons I support Israel is that it gives me pleasure to see other people doing well -- but that makes me a conservative, of course. No Leftist would understand that. I even think highly of Bill Gates!

Oh, Yes, Copenhagen

by Paul Greenberg

The other day a friend asked us if I'd written about the Copenhagen conference on climate change, carbon control, environmental technology, the ecological future of Spaceship Earth, cabbages and kings, and the 101 other Very Important Things covered by that huge, long-awaited and now suddenly fizzled international gabfest.

No, I hadn't written about it. Maybe because it ended not with a bang but with a whimper heard 'round the world: a flurry of non-binding agreements, aka vague misunderstandings. It was the biggest anticlimax since Geraldo the Great Rivera opened Al Capone's vault to find little more than dust. Any actual policies to come out of Copenhagen promise to be as empty.

To sum up the essential deal made at Copenhagen: The developed world sort of promises to give the undeveloped one $30 billion over the next three years -- plus $100 billion a year after 2020 -- in exchange for its separate but equally nebulous promise not to develop too quickly. As with Obamacare, the theoretical benefits are to come first, then the real pain by some always-delayable deadline. It's more convenient that way. Just charge it to some future generation.

Besides the cocksure confidence the delegates displayed in man's ability to reset the world's thermostat, this kind of deal-making in which no one takes the deal made very seriously was the one consistent thread in the tangled web woven at Copenhagen.

There is consolation to be taken in the grand fizzle at Copenhagen. For there is something worse than the conference's failure. And that would have been its success at slowing the world's economic recovery and so dooming still more in the Third World to the bitter fruits of abject poverty: more malnutrition, more disease, and more chaos and instability in general.

Doing nothing has certain advantages over doing the wrong thing, especially on a grand and confusing scale. Besides, the failure of this lavish conference means the delegates can now anticipate many more equally elaborate confabs around the world on the public's tab, complete with equally hyped media coverage and just as inconsequential results. Nice work -- or play -- if you can get it.

Maybe I hadn't written anything of substance about the grand conference at Copenhagen because it proved so insubstantial. My long established policy is, when I have nothing to say about a subject, I try not to say it. Maybe because I've read too many editorials over the years that, having nothing to say, make the grave mistake of saying it. At length. It doesn't exactly make for fascinating reading.

There were doubtless plenty of agreements made at Copenhagen but the major ones were non-binding. Those are the kind of deals that delegates embrace enthusiastically in their speeches but take care not to sign lest their countries be held to their word. They're the kind of oral agreements that the irrepressible Sam Goldwyn, Hollywood mogul and Mr. Malaprop himself, once described as not worth the paper they're written on. Or rather not written on.

Almost coincident with the grand conference at Copenhagen a treasure trove of leaked documents appeared out of the very center of global alarmism over climate change, the Climatic Research Unit of East Anglia University at Norwich, England, which is "widely recognized as one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change," according to its Web site. These days it's widely recognized as a center for the suppression of any and all dissenting views about the causes of global warming. If this is science, what would dogma be?

Conspiracies to suppress scientific dissent scarcely ended with Galileo's trial, but at least the church eventually repented and begged pardon. There is little if any sign that the wannabe Al Gores at East Anglia, more politicians than scientists, have been chastened by what's come to be known as Climategate. Instead, they have adopted a variation of the Dan Rather defense: falsified maybe but accurate.

Barack Obama's appearance at the last minute was the final, flashy touch at Copenhagen as he made much ado about much of nothing. The president hasn't demonstrated his diplomatic finesse so convincingly since he went to the same city not long ago to not get the Olympics for Chicago. Which may have been a blessing in disguise, too. (The traffic in the Loop is already bad enough.)

Naturally the president and his handlers came back from Copenhagen declaring a great victory -- Carbon Control in our Time! But surely even they didn't believe it. Certainly the Europeans didn't. As soon as the Grand Conference concluded, the market for carbon-control permits on the European continent dropped dramatically, as if investors were confirming that the countries represented at Copenhagen weren't serious about controlling carbon emissions. No poll is more reliable than the market, where people put their money where their opinions are. It's a great test of sincerity.

The final accord at Copenhagen didn't specify, not in writing, how much big countries like the United States and mainland China are now supposed to reduce their carbon emissions. Nor did the conference decide precisely how much all the other countries were going to sacrifice in order to clean up the world's climate. Just about the only thing the delegates could agree on was to jet off to the next world climate-change conference, which is already scheduled for Mexico City, the one sure effect of which will be to add still more carbon to the Earth's atmosphere.


Britain's official meteorologists goof again

In line with their Warmist ideology they keep predicting warm dry seasons -- but the weather fails to oblige

Met Office predictions of a mild winter have begun to fall flat as more snow is forecast in parts of Britain tomorrow and temperatures are expected to drop to below freezing over the New Year period. With many people heading back to work after the Christmas break, drivers were warned to take extra care.

Up to four inches of snow is forecast in the Midlands, and falls of up to a foot were predicted on higher ground in Wales. Passengers due to fly from Cardiff Airport today were advised to check flights were on schedule if there was snow.

The turn of the year is set to offer no respite with freezing conditions forecast across Britain. Temperatures are expected to plunge to minus 3C in most of England and Wales on Thursday night, New Year's Eve, and minus 8C in Scotland, with widespread snow showers also predicted. New Year's Day will also be chilly, with the northern half of Britain struggling to get above freezing during the day.

In October, the Met Office predicted Britain would have a mild winter, despite the inaccuracy of its “barbecue summer” forecast which drew strong criticism, after heavy rainfall saw the wettest July for almost 100 years. It said the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 were likely to be “milder than last year” and that there was an 85 per cent chance of normal or above average conditions. Preliminary forecasts for December predicted that temperatures would be above the 38.6F (3.7C) average.

However, after the predictions for the summer turned out to be inaccurate, the forecasters sounded a note of caution, saying there was still a “one in seven chance” of a cold winter. A Met Office spokesman said: “That forecast was dealing with the whole of the winter. December has certainly been cold but the prediction is for December, January and February.” He believed the “climate team” was updating the prediction “perhaps over the course of the next week.” The spokesman added: “It has certainly been a cold winter so far in most parts but the seasonal forecast has not been proven one way or the other.”

He said the weather was expected to remain cold for “the next week or so” but he could not comment on the longer term....

The Met Office defended its forecast of a “barbecue summer” and said its long term prediction was mainly accurate, in particular that temperatures would reach 30C.


The "Consistent With" Fallacy: How Not to Compare Predictions and Observations

Over at Real Climate there is a misleading post up about IPCC global temperature projections as compared with actual temperature observations, suggesting success where caution and uncertainty is a more warranted conclusion.

The scientists at Real Climate explain that to compare a prediction with observations one must assess whether the observations fall within a range defined as 95% of model realizations. In other words, if you run a model, or a set of models, 100 times, you would take the average of the 100 runs and plot the 95 individual runs closest to that average, and define that range as an "envelope" of projections. If observations fall within this envelope, they you would declare the projection to be a predictive success.

Imagine if a weather forecaster said that he ran a model 100 times and it showed that tomorrow's temperature was going to be between 25 and 75 degrees, with 95% confidence, with a "best estimate" of 50 degrees. If the temperature came in at 30 degrees you might compare it to the "best estimate" and say that it was a pretty poor forecast. If the weather forecast explained that the temperature was perfectly "consistent with" his forecast, you'd probably look for another forecaster. If the true uncertainty was actually between 25 and 75 degrees, then one might question the use of issuing a "best estimate."

Gavin Schmidt explains how this works in the context of the current "pause" (his words) in the increase in global average surface temperatures over the past 11 years (emphasis added):
The trend in the annual mean HadCRUT3v data from 1998-2009 (assuming the year-to-date is a good estimate of the eventual value) is 0.06+/-0.14 ºC/dec (note this is positive!). If you want a negative (albeit non-significant) trend, then you could pick 2002-2009 in the GISTEMP record which is -0.04+/-0.23 ºC/dec. The range of trends in the model simulations for these two time periods are [-0.08,0.51] and [-0.14, 0.55], and in each case there are multiple model runs that have a lower trend than observed (5 simulations in both cases). Thus ‘a model’ did show a trend consistent with the current ‘pause’. However, that these models showed it, is just coincidence and one shouldn’t assume that these models are better than the others. Had the real world ‘pause’ happened at another time, different models would have had the closest match.

Think about the logic of "consistent with" as used in this context. It means that the larger the model spread, the larger the envelope of projections, and the greater the chance that whatever is observed will in fact fall within that envelope. An alert reader points this out to Gavin in the comments:
I can claim I’m very accurate because my models predict a temperature between absolute zero and the surface temperature of the sun, but that error range is so large, it means I’m not really predicting anything.

Gavin says he agrees with this, which seems contrary to what he wrote in the post about 11-year trends. Elsewhere Gavin says such statistics are meaningful only for 15 years and longer. If so, then discussing them in terms of "consistency with" the model spread just illustrates how this methodology can retrieve a misleading signal from noise.

About 18 months ago I engaged in a series of exchanges with some in the climate modeling community on this same topic. The debate was frustrating because many of the climate scientists thought hat we were debating statistical methods, but from my perspective we were debating the methodology of forecast verification.

At that time I tried to illustrate the "consistent with" fallacy in the context of IPCC projections using the following graph. The blue curve shows a curve fit to 8-year surface temperature trends from 55 realizations from models used by IPCC (the fact that it was 8 years is irrelevant to this example). With the red curve I added 55 additional "realizations" produced from a random number generator. The blue dot shows the observations. Obviously, the observations are more "consistent with" the red curve than the blue curve. We can improve consistency by making worse predictions. There is obviously something wrong with this approach to comparing models and observations.

What should be done instead?

1. A specific prediction has to be identified when it is being made. A prediction in this case should be defined as the occurrence of some event in the future, that is to say, after the prediction is made. For the IPCC AR4 this might generously be defined as starting in 2001.

2. Pick a quantity to be forecast. This might be global average surface temperature as represented by GISS or CRU, the satellite lower tropospheric records, both or something else. But pick a quantity.

3. Decide in advance how you are going to define the uncertainty in your forecast. For instance, the IPCC presented an uncertainty range in its forecast in a manner differently than does Real Climate. Defining uncertainty is of critical importance.

For instance, eyeballing the Real Climate IPCC Figure one might be surprised to learn that had there been no temperature change from 1980 to 2010, this too would have been "consistent with" the model realization "envelope." While such uncertainty may in fact be an accurate representation of our knowledge of climate, it is certainly not how many climate scientists typically represent the certainty of their knowledge.

If any of 1, 2 or 3 above is allowed to vary and be selected in post-hoc fashion it sets the stage for selections of convenience that allow the evaluator to make choices that pretty much show whatever he wants to show.

4. A good place to start is simply with IPCC "best estimate" One can ask if observations fall above or below that value. Real Climate's post suggest that actual temperatures fall below that "best estimate."

5. You can then ask if falling below or above that value has any particular meaning with respect to the knowledge used to generate the forecast. To perform such an evaluation, you need a naive forecast, some baseline expectation against which you can compare your sophisticated forecast. In the case of global climate it might be a prediction of no temperature change or some linear fit to past trends. If the sophisticated method doesn't improve upon the naive baseline, you are not getting much value from that approach.

The bottom line is that with respect to #4 Real Climate shows that actual temperatures are running below a central estimate from the IPCC AR4 as well as below the various scenarios presented by Jim Hansen in 1988. What does this mean? Probably not much. But at the same time it should be obvious that this data should not be used as evidence to announce the successes of climate predictions, as Real Climate does: "the matches to observations are still pretty good, and we are getting to the point where a better winnowing of models dependent on their skill may soon be possible." Such over-hyping of the capabilities of climate science serves neither science nor policy particularly well. The reality is that while the human influence on the climate system is real and significant, predicting its effects for coming years and decades remains a speculative enterprise fraught with uncertainties and ignorance.


French carbon "leadership" crumples

France's new carbon emission tax ruled illegal -- too much corruption even for France

FRANCE'S new carbon emission tax, due to have gone into effect on Friday, has been ruled illegal by the country's constitutional court on the grounds it exempted too many polluters. The Conseil Constitutionnel struck down the tax as the exemptions "create a breach of the principle of (tax) equality."

It estimated that 93 per cent of industrial emissions outside of fuel use, including the emissions of more than 1000 of the country's most polluting industrial sites, would be exempt from the tax of 17 euros ($30) per tonne of emitted carbon dioxide.

The ruling is a severe blow for President Nicolas Sarkozy as the measure was one of his flagship initiatives to cut emissions of greenhouse gasses that fuel climate change.

It also leaves the government scrambling to plug a hole of 4.1 billion euros ($6 billion) in the 2010 budget.


GROW UP, GREENS! Greenie founding father says we need nukes and G.M. crops

A BOOK REVIEW of "Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto" By Stewart Brand. Review by Bryan Appleyard, a journalist on 'The Sunday Times' of London

In 1968 Stewart Brand produced the first edition of the Whole Earth Catalog. It had a picture of the earth seen from space on the cover and inside were lists of useful tools for transforming the planet by distributing power to the people. I remember seeing it in bookshops. Thrilling and demanding, it called on me to join my generation. Like Woodstock, student demos, dope, tie-dyed T-shirts and improbably flared trousers, the Catalog told us we were different.

We were. But now different has become mainstream. The Catalog was, above all, Green. It treated the planet as a single, finite system whose contents could be catalogued. Now the whole world is Green and the Internet lists its contents. David Cameron and Ed Miliband believe what only doped-out freaks in sandals and Afghan coats believed in 1968. And so Stewart Brand returns to take stock.

Whole Earth Discipline is immensely entertaining, moving and slightly confusing. The confusion is twofold. First, Brand is an unreconstructed cataloguer. The book is, at one level, simply a list of developments in biotechnology, climate science, urbanisation, agriculture and so on. This tends to leave one wondering if these things do tie together in quite the way Brand says they do. Secondly, much of the book is about the author's changes of mind. He is now, for example, pro-nuclear power and genetically engineered foods. This is honourable but it does cast a slight shadow of doubt over his latest enthusiasms.

That said, the book brilliantly defines our present predicament - our need to deploy science to clean up the mess made by science. The modern world was made by burning half a trillion tons of carbon since the Industrial Revolution. The next half trillion will be burned in about forty years at present rates of increase. If that happens, then global temperatures will rise by up to 4 degrees and it is reasonable to assume, on the basis of current scientific thought, that our species' continued existence will be at risk.

As Brand, heavily influenced by James Lovelock, perceives, this means that the Greens are going to have to reverse some of their primary positions. In the giddy days of 1968, eco-awareness was an aspect of the ideological package that included resistance to the Vietnam War and to The System, often defined as the military-industrial complex. We wanted to get 'back to the garden', to a condition of pastoral simplicity. This pastoralism seemed to be the way to save Spaceship Earth and it still clings to the Green movement with its belief in organic foods, wind power and sustainability in general. None of this will work because climate change is happening too quickly.

'That means', writes Brand, 'that Greens are no longer strictly the defenders of natural systems against the incursions of civilization; now they're the defenders of civilization as well. It's a whiplash moment for everyone.'

Climate change really means Mother Nature is preparing to rid herself of humans. If we are to survive, we can no longer worship her, we must fight back with smart weapons. So we have to embrace nuclear - there is no other source of clean energy which can sustain our societies - and genetically engineered 'Frankenfoods'. Ideally, these would be synthesised in laboratories. Farming, as Lovelock has pointed out, is a planetary catastrophe, stripping out biodiversity and filling the atmosphere with the methane from cow farts.

The Green dream must thus become a very hi-tech dream rather than the muddy paradise of Woodstock. Brand's conversion to this view is the central drama of this book and it sends him off on a genial and enthusiastic safari through wild science and cool facts.

Did you know, for example, that only a tenth of the cells in your body are you? The rest are microbes - 'We are a portable swamp.' Did you know that Stora Enso in Sweden is the oldest surviving corporation? King Magnus IV granted its charter in 1347. Did you know that in a fifth of a teaspoon of seawater there are a million bacteria and ten million viruses? Well, now you do.

This is all good fun but the heart of the matter is the word 'ecopragmatist' in the subtitle. Brand's big point is that we must do what works without prejudice. Green prejudices have, in the past, often been on the wrong side of the argument. The campaign to get DDT banned because of its effects on birdlife, for example, may have cost the lives of 20 million children in Africa who were left to die of malaria. And The System we all hated in the Sixties and Seventies produced Norman Borlaug, the man behind the very capitalist Green Revolution - increased crop yields - which may have saved a billion lives.

Now the Greens are threatening to do more damage. They're suckers for anything labelled 'natural'. 'In the marketing world,' remarks Brand, '"natural" now means anything the seller wants to charge extra for or distract your attention with.'

They also resist nuclear power and persist in deluding people into thinking all we have to do is build wind farms and cycle to work. They also go on about the loss of the rainforest when, in fact, fifty-five times more is growing back each year than is being cut. Perhaps worst of all, for Brand, they advocate the Precautionary Principle which requires that any new technology has to be shown to do no harm. This is, of course, impossible. It is also self-fulfilling because it effectively prevents the testing of new technologies to establish risk. Greens have not escaped the pastoralism of their roots and thus find themselves not just on the side of nature, but on the side of nature against humans.

But Stewart Brand lives in hope and this is a very upbeat book. He plainly thinks we'll get there in the end. The Greens are going to have to grow up. This book should help get them out of the nursery.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Warmist foghorn George Monbiot admits that Warmism is really about changing people

It is just another variation on the old and arrogant Leftist aim of creating "a new Soviet man". Warmists and Leftists both hate the world they live in -- particularly its people. They are misanthropes. Monbiot's own headline on the article below reads: "This is bigger than climate change. It is a battle to redefine humanity"

It's hard for a species used to ever-expanding frontiers, but survival depends on accepting we live within limits. This is the moment at which we turn and face ourselves. Here, in the plastic corridors and crowded stalls, among impenetrable texts and withering procedures, humankind decides what it is and what it will become. It chooses whether to continue living as it has done, until it must make a wasteland of its home, or to stop and redefine itself. This is about much more than climate change. This is about us.

The meeting at Copenhagen confronts us with our primal tragedy. We are the universal ape, equipped with the ingenuity and aggression to bring down prey much larger than itself, break into new lands, roar its defiance of natural constraints. Now we find ourselves hedged in by the consequences of our nature, living meekly on this crowded planet for fear of provoking or damaging others. We have the hearts of lions and live the lives of clerks.

The summit's premise is that the age of heroism is over. We have entered the age of accommodation. No longer may we live without restraint. No longer may we swing our fists regardless of whose nose might be in the way. In everything we do we must now be mindful of the lives of others, cautious, constrained, meticulous. We may no longer live in the moment, as if there were no tomorrow.

This is a meeting about chemicals: the greenhouse gases insulating the atmosphere. But it is also a battle between two world views. The angry men who seek to derail this agreement, and all such limits on their self-fulfilment, have understood this better than we have. A new movement, most visible in North America and Australia, but now apparent everywhere, demands to trample on the lives of others as if this were a human right. It will not be constrained by taxes, gun laws, regulations, health and safety, especially by environmental restraints. It knows that fossil fuels have granted the universal ape amplification beyond its Palaeolithic dreams. For a moment, a marvellous, frontier moment, they allowed us to live in blissful mindlessness.

The angry men know that this golden age has gone; but they cannot find the words for the constraints they hate. Clutching their copies of Atlas Shrugged, they flail around, accusing those who would impede them of communism, fascism, religiosity, misanthropy, but knowing at heart that these restrictions are driven by something far more repulsive to the unrestrained man: the decencies we owe to other human beings.

I fear this chorus of bullies, but I also sympathise. I lead a mostly peaceful life, but my dreams are haunted by giant aurochs. All those of us whose blood still races are forced to sublimate, to fantasise. In daydreams and video games we find the lives that ecological limits and other people's interests forbid us to live.

Humanity is no longer split between conservatives and liberals, reactionaries and progressives, though both sides are informed by the older politics. Today the battle lines are drawn between expanders and restrainers; those who believe that there should be no impediments and those who believe that we must live within limits. The vicious battles we have seen so far between greens and climate change deniers, road safety campaigners and speed freaks, real grassroots groups and corporate-sponsored astroturfers are just the beginning. This war will become much uglier as people kick against the limits that decency demands.

So here we are, in the land of Beowulf's heroics, lost in a fog of acronyms and euphemisms, parentheses and exemptions, the deathly diplomacy required to accommodate everyone's demands. There is no space for heroism here; all passion and power breaks against the needs of others. This is how it should be, though every neurone revolts against it.

Although the delegates are waking up to the scale of their responsibility, I still believe they will sell us out. Everyone wants his last adventure. Hardly anyone among the official parties can accept the implications of living within our means, of living with tomorrow in mind. There will, they tell themselves, always be another frontier, another means to escape our constraints, to dump our dissatisfactions on other places and other people. Hanging over everything discussed here is the theme that dare not speak its name, always present but never mentioned. Economic growth is the magic formula which allows our conflicts to remain unresolved.

While economies grow, social justice is unnecessary, as lives can be improved without redistribution. While economies grow, people need not confront their elites. While economies grow, we can keep buying our way out of trouble. But, like the bankers, we stave off trouble today only by multiplying it tomorrow. Through economic growth we are borrowing time at punitive rates of interest. It ensures that any cuts agreed at Copenhagen will eventually be outstripped. Even if we manage to prevent climate breakdown, growth means that it's only a matter of time before we hit a new constraint, which demands a new global response: oil, water, phosphate, soil. We will lurch from crisis to existential crisis unless we address the underlying cause: perpetual growth cannot be accommodated on a finite planet.

For all their earnest self-restraint, the negotiators in the plastic city are still not serious, even about climate change. There's another great unmentionable here: supply. Most of the nation states tussling at Copenhagen have two fossil fuel policies. One is to minimise demand, by encouraging us to reduce our consumption. The other is to maximise supply, by encouraging companies to extract as much from the ground as they can.

We know, from the papers published in Nature in April, that we can use a maximum of 60% of current reserves of coal, oil and gas if the average global temperature is not to rise by more than two degrees. We can burn much less if, as many poorer countries now insist, we seek to prevent the temperature from rising by more than 1.5C. We know that capture and storage will dispose of just a small fraction of the carbon in these fuels. There are two obvious conclusions: governments must decide which existing reserves of fossil fuel are to be left in the ground, and they must introduce a global moratorium on prospecting for new reserves. Neither of these proposals has even been mooted for discussion.

But somehow this first great global battle between expanders and restrainers must be won and then the battles that lie beyond it – rising consumption, corporate power, economic growth – must begin. If governments don't show some resolve on climate change, the expanders will seize on the restrainers' weakness. They will attack – using the same tactics of denial, obfuscation and appeals to self-interest – the other measures that protect people from each other, or which prevent the world's ecosystems from being destroyed. There is no end to this fight, no line these people will not cross. They too are aware that this a battle to redefine humanity, and they wish to redefine it as a species even more rapacious than it is today.


Democrats pose threat to President Obama’s cap-and-trade climate Bill

Less than ten days after claiming a breakthrough on climate change in Copenhagen President Obama is facing a mutiny from senior Democrats who are imploring him to postpone or even abandon his cap-and-trade Bill.

Democratic Senators, fearful of a drubbing in the mid-term elections next year, are lining up to argue for alternatives to the scheme that is the centrepiece of the carbon reduction proposals that Mr Obama hopes to sign into law. With the Congressional battles over Mr Obama’s healthcare reforms fresh in their memory senior Democrats are asking the Administration to postpone the next big climate change push until at least 2011.

Senators from Louisiana, Indiana, Nebraska and North Dakota, some with powerful energy companies among their constituents, are falling out of love with the idea of a large-scale cap-and-trade scheme — which seeks to allocate tradeable permits to major polluters — in favour of less ambitious proposals that put jobs and the economy first.

Each of their Senate votes is vital for any climate change Bill to have a chance of being passed, and a firm American commitment to cap and trade is essential for similar carbon reduction mechanisms to be effective on a global scale.

Asked if she has urged the White House to abandon cap and trade — at least until after the mid-terms — Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana told the Politico website yesterday: “I am communicating that in every way I know how.”

At least five other high-ranking Democrats have lobbied the Administration in similar terms. Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota said that winning passage of climate change legislation in an election year had “very poor prospects”, and Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska said that he would “just as soon see [climate change] set aside until we work through the economy”.

Even more significant — as indicators of the majority party’s resolve to pass climate change legislation in the face of almost unanimous Republican opposition — were remarks from Dick Durbin, the Senate Majority Whip, and John Kerry, the Massachusetts Senator who is in the process of drafting a climate change Bill favoured by the White House.

“At this point, I’d like to see a complete Bill but we have to be realistic,” Senator Durbin said. Senator Kerry, speaking at the Copenhagen climate conference this month, said: “I can’t tell you the method or the means by which we might price carbon. We haven’t resolved that issue yet.”

Proponents of cap and trade argue that allowing polluters to trade carbon permits gives them a powerful incentive to emit less than the maximum imposed by the cap — and ensures that these emission reductions are achieved by the most cost-effective means available, whether by investing in new, clean technology at home, or in offsetting schemes in developing economies where greater reductions can be achieved per dollar spent.

Critics of the system point to teething problems in the European pilot scheme, begun under the auspices of the Kyoto Protocol, when the price of carbon collapsed because of excessive free allocations of carbon permits to big, politically connected polluters such as the power generation industry.

Mr Obama has been a personal convert to cap and trade since witnessing the success of a scheme limited to the control of sulphur dioxide emissions in the 1990s. The creation of a market in tradeable sulphur dioxide permits cut emissions of the gas so swiftly that the acid rain it produces has disappeared from the Midwest as a serious environmental issue.

Congress will return from its winter break with healthcare reform unfinished, Democrats wary of any new proposals that can be presented as a further burden on the economy and Republicans eager to depict cap and trade as just such a burden.

The official position of the White House remains that “a cap-and-trade mechanism is the best way to achieve the most cost-effective reductions” — but it is not yet embedded firmly in the Senate Bill being drafted by Senators Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman.

That Bill is one of nine competing proposals before the Senate and while most Democrats can be relied on to support it, a half-dozen defectors would leave the party short of the 60-vote majority that they need to overcome a Republican filibuster.

Senator Graham, a Republican, has said that he believes others from his party can be won over. If so, they have gone to ground.

Senator John McCain, once a vocal supporter of cap and trade, now wants huge federal backing for the nuclear industry in return for his vote. Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska has called the scheme “a death sentence” for farming.

Mr Obama put his political prestige on the line in Copenhagen to reach agreement on a pact to curb carbon emissions while trying to shore up his domestic flank amid rising scepticism about a new climate Bill in the US.

He declined to offer new sweeteners to get a deal, rebuked China’s reluctance to allow outside scrutiny of action on greenhouse-gas emissions and warned developing states that they could forget aid that had no strings attached.


Who's in denial now?

By Kenneth P. Green (Former IPCC reviewer Kenneth P. Green, has his doctorate in environmental science and engineering)

Responses to "Climategate"--the leaked e-mails from Britain's University of East Anglia and its Climatic Research Unit -- remind me of the line "Are your feet wet? Can you see the pyramids? That's because you're in denial."

Climate catastrophists like Al Gore and the UN's Rajendra Pachauri are downplaying Climategate: it's only a few intemperate scientists; there's no real evidence of wrongdoing; now let's persecute the whistleblower. In Calgary, the latest fellow trying to use the Monty Python "nothing to see here, move along" routine is Prof. David Mayne Reid, who penned a column last week denying the importance of Climategate.

Unfortunately for Reid, old saws won't work in the Internet age: Climategate has blazed across the Internet, blogosphere, and social networking sites. Even environmentalist and writer George Monbiot has recognized that the public's perception of climate science will be damaged extensively, calling for one of the Climategate ringleaders to resign.

What's catastrophic about Climategate is that it reveals a science as broken as Michael Mann's hockey stick, which despite Reid's protestations, has been shown to be a misleading chart that erases a 400-year stretch of warm temperatures (called the Medieval Warm Period), and a more recent little ice-age that ended in the mid-1800s. No amount of hand-waving will restore the credibility of climate science while holding onto rubbish like that.

Climategate reveals skulduggery the general public can understand: that a tightly-linked clique of scientists were behaving as crusaders. Their letters reveal they were working in what they repeatedly labelled a "cause" to promote a political agenda.

That's not science, that's a crusade. When you cherry-pick, discard, nip, tuck, and tape disparate bits of data into the most alarming portrayal you can in the name of a "cause," you're not engaged in science, but in the production of propaganda. And this clique tried to subvert the peer-review process as well. They attempted to prevent others from getting into peer reviewed journals -- thus letting them claim skeptic research wasn't peer-reviewed -- a convenient circular (and dishonest) way to discredit skeptics.

Finally, people know that a fish rots from its head. The Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia was considered the top climate research community. It was the source of a vast swath of the information then that was funnelled into the supposedly "authoritative" reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

If scientific objectivity is corrupt at the top, there's every reason to think that the rot spreads through the entire body. And evidence suggests it has. A Russian think-tank recently revealed the climate temperature record compiled by the Climatic Research Unit cherry-picked data from only 25 per cent of Russia's climate monitoring sites, the sites closest to urban areas, biased by the urban heat island effect. The stations excluded data from 40 per cent of Russia's total land mass, which is 12.5 per cent of all the Earth's land mass.

Reid's indignation about Climategate is beyond ludicrous. "It is wrong," intones Reid, "to castigate people for things said in private, and often taken out of context." He equates the response to Climategate with a "lynch mob." Funny, the professor seems to have highly selective indignation; he is apparently unaware of the unremitting attacks on people skeptical of climate science or policy by climate scientists and politicians.

People skeptical of any aspect of climate change have long been called "deniers," an odious linkage with Holocaust denial, and various luminaries have called for them to be drowned, jailed, and tried for crimes against humanity. One prominent columnist called skepticism treason against the very Earth itself.

As for indignation about the release of private correspondence, where was Reid's indignation when Greenpeace, looking for something to spin into an incriminating picture, stole skeptic Chris Horner's trash? Where was his indignation a few years ago when scientist Steve Schroeder showed a routine letter of mine to another climate scientist (Andrew Dessler), who posted it to the Internet where it was spun into the scurrilous accusation that I was trying to bribe UN scientists? Reid's indignation is the chutzpah of a man who kills his family then wants pity because he's an orphan.

The Climategate scandal, like others in biology and medicine erodes the credibility of both the scientists involved, and the institution of scientific research. And it should: it has become evident that there is a lot of rot going on in the body of science, and too little effort made to fix it.

A start could be made. They should start by practicing the scientific method: release all data, and release all assumptions and methods used to process the data at the time of publication. Make it available to researchers (even lay researchers) who are outside the clique so the work can be checked. Had the researchers involved in Climategate done this from the beginning, instead of circling their wagons and refusing to allow outsiders to check their work, they would have taken less hectoring. As a bonus for them, Climategate would never have happened.


Get the U.N. Out of the Climate Business

The political theater in Copenhagen shows that we need realistic answers that don't require economic suicide to the challenge of rising global temperatures


In the aftermath of the Copenhagen Climate conference, it is clear that the United Nations-driven process is a bust, and that any similar process requiring economic suicide and massive wealth transfers will go nowhere. It is long since time to drop this charade, take the question of climate change out of the hands of the U.N., and implement more reasonable policies.

Fostering the resilience of societies around the world in case climate disaster strikes would be a start. Central to this process is for governments to stop making things worse, as they do when they subsidize risk-taking.

One reason that predicted damages from rising sea-levels and more powerful storms are so high is because of the popularity of coastal locales for high-density business and upscale residential development. As a result, damages from extreme coastal weather events have been fantastically expensive. The damages from Hurricane Katrina for example, reached over $150 billion. The question, however, is why there was so much value that was so badly protected against completely predictable events? Why were levees and sea-walls so under-designed? Why were so many houses and businesses uninsured? As Charles Perrow observes in "The Next Catastrophe," "Even in areas known to be hazardous, only about 20% of homeowners purchase flood insurance, and less than 50% of businesses purchase flood and earthquake insurance in risky areas."

In many cases, the answer is that governments stand as insurance stop-gaps, allowing the uninsured to depend on grants to rebuild in vulnerable areas should disaster strike, or otherwise cushioning the real costs of exposure to extreme weather.

Researchers at the Wharton Risk Center observed in a 2007 paper: "Highly subsidized premiums or premiums artificially compressed by regulations, without clear communication on the actual risk facing individuals and businesses, encourage development of hazard-prone areas in ways that are costly to both the individuals who locate there (when the disaster strikes) as well as others who are likely to incur some of the costs of bailing out victims following the next disaster (either at a state level through ex post residual market assessments or through federal taxes in the case of federal relief or tax breaks).

Stripping government measures from the risk market would help reveal the real costs of building in disaster-prone areas, and likely encourage development in more stable locales.

Another near-term option is privatization of infrastructure. Governments are quite good at building infrastructure. After all, what politician doesn't enjoy a ribbon-cutting ceremony for some new element of name-bearing infrastructure? But governments are dismal at maintaining infrastructure. They rarely establish revenue streams to keep up with repairs, nor do they set up systems to provide feedback on whether a particular road should be raised, or power-capability increased, or a water-treatment facility expanded. Roadways, electricity infrastructure, water-treatment infrastructure, and flood-control infrastructure would all benefit from such systems—the kind that private owners have an incentive to develop, since ensuring that future changes in climate do not disrupt their long-run cash flow is critical to their current financial performance.

Over the mid-term, we should consider the proposal of Ross McKitrick, a Canadian economist, who has suggested what he calls a Tropical Tropospheric Temperature (T3) tax—that is, taxing carbon dioxide emissions based on changes in the global average temperature. Ideally, this would be a revenue-neutral tax with all revenues rebated to the public in the form of reduced distortionary taxes, such as income tax.

A T3 tax has the advantage that should be attractive to both global warming skeptics and those who fear Climageddon: If temperatures remain low, as skeptics believe, the tax will stay low. If temperatures rise sharply, the tax will rise also, and incentives will grow to decarbonize energy systems around the world. Carbon taxes are a vastly superior policy option when compared either to cap-and-trade, or command-and-control regulation. Indexing the tax to the temperature of the atmosphere that shows anthropogenic change most clearly is only common sense. Mr. McKitrick suggests starting out small with something politically innocuous, on the order of 10 to15 cents per ton of carbon dioxide emitted.

In the long term, we should trust in resilience and a carbon price, but tie up our camel. We should insure against the possibility that temperatures rise toward the higher-end scenarios of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, by speeding the development of a robust geoengineering tool box, with multiple techniques that have been tested long before they might be needed. Such research should be accelerated now, to give us an insurance policy against the calamity predictions. There is at least one well-known mechanism by which Mother Nature cools the planet, and that is when volcanic eruptions launch sulfur dioxide high into the atmosphere, brightening clouds, and increasing their reflectivity. Some scientists have estimated that this could be done extremely inexpensively without harmful environmental impacts.

What went on in Copenhagen was more political theater than an effort to think about realistic approaches to managing the risk of climate change, whether man-made or natural. The world would be better off with a fresh start and a process that isn't run by U.N. bureaucrats for whom every problem is an excuse to expand their power.


The New Climate Litigation

How about if we sue you for breathing?

Fresh from the fiasco in Copenhagen and with a failure in the U.S. Senate looming this coming year, the climate-change lobby is already shifting to Plan B, or is it already Plan D? Meet the carbon tort. Across the country, trial lawyers and green pressure groups—if that's not redundant—are teaming up to sue electric utilities for carbon emissions under "nuisance" laws.

A group of 12 Gulf Coast residents whose homes were damaged by Katrina are suing 33 energy companies for greenhouse gas emissions that allegedly contributed to the global warming that allegedly made the hurricane worse. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and seven state AG allies plus New York City are suing American Electric Power and other utilities for a host of supposed eco-maladies. A native village in Alaska is suing Exxon and 23 oil and energy companies for coastal erosion.

What unites these cases is the creativity of their legal chain of causation and their naked attempts at political intimidation. "My hope is that the court case will provide a powerful incentive for polluters to be reasonable and come to the table and seek affordable and reasonable reductions," Mr. Blumenthal told the trade publication Carbon Control News. "We're trying to compel measures that will stem global warming regardless of what happens in the legislature."

Mull over that one for a moment. Mr. Blumenthal isn't suing to right a wrong. He admits that he's suing to coerce a change in policy no matter what the public's elected representatives choose.

Cap and trade or a global treaty like the one that collapsed in Copenhagen would be destructive—but at least either would need the assent of a politically accountable Congress. The Obama Administration's antidemocratic decision to impose carbon regulation via the Environmental Protection Agency would be even more destructive—but at least it would be grounded in an existing law, the 1977 Clean Air Act, however misinterpreted. The nuisance suits ask the courts to make such fundamentally political decisions themselves, with judges substituting their views for those of the elected branches.

And now that you mention it, the U.S. appeals courts seem more than ready to arrogate to themselves this power. In September, the Second Circuit allowed Mr. Blumenthal's suit to proceed, while a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court's dismissal of the Katrina case in October. An en banc hearing is now under consideration.

But global warming is, well, global: It doesn't matter whether ubiquitous CO2 emissions come from American Electric Power or Exxon—or China. "There is no logical reason to draw the line at 30 defendants as opposed to 150, or 500, or even 10,000 defendants," says David Rivkin, an attorney at Baker Hostetler and a contributor to our pages, in an amicus brief in the Katrina case. "These plaintiffs—and any others alleging injury by climatic phenomena—would have standing to assert a damages claim against virtually every entity and individual on the planet, since each 'contributes' to global concentrations of carbon dioxide."

In other words, the courts would become a venue for a carbon war of all against all. Not only might businesses sue to shackle their competitors—could we sue the New York Times for deforestation?—but judges would decide the remedies against specific defendants. In practice this would mean ad hoc command-and-control regulation against any industries that happen to catch the green lobby's eye.

Carbon litigation without legislation is one more way to harm the economy, and the rule of law. We hope the Fifth Circuit will have the good sense to deflect this damaging legal theory before it crash-lands at the Supreme Court.



Three current articles below:

Man dying because of Warmist laws

As his health begins to fail, protesting farmer Peter Spencer swore yesterday he would die before giving in to a Federal Government decision to make his farm a carbon sink. That vow came as his four children and newborn grandchild arrived in Canberra from the US to support the 58-year-old on day 37 of the protest, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Mr Spencer, who is chained to a wind tower more than 20m above ground, claims the government declared his property in Shannons Flat, north of Cooma, a carbon sink without offering any compensation. He says the move has left him unable to earn a living because he cannot clear land and redevelop the farm, and he is demanding a personal meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to discuss the issue.

Aaron, Emma, Kahn and Sarah Spencer, who were all raised on the property, arrived home on Christmas Day and intend to stay until January 8. Sarah, 30, a registered nurse in her adopted home of Grand Rapids, Michigan, planned to examine her father yesterday after introducing him to her four-month-old son Saxon. "I've got my stethoscope and blood pressure cuff so I want to assess him," the farmer's daughter said. "I want to listen to his lungs, check his blood pressure and look at the swelling on his ankles. The problem is even if I tell him that I think he's coming down with pneumonia or that his kidneys are weakening ... he won't come down.

"It's heartbreaking ... but he's still very much with it mentally and is the same father we've always known. I just don't know how quickly he'll deteriorate. We're going to support him. He will come down if [Mr Rudd] makes an agreement or he'll die waiting." Aaron and Kahn climbed the tower to give their father warm clothes and helped set up a tent to protect him from heavy rainfall.

A spokesperson for Mr Rudd yesterday said the Government had "urged" Mr Spencer to stop the protest. "The Agriculture Minister responded to Mr Spencer's letter on the Prime Minister's behalf, however the Government believes this matter should be settled through the legal system and urges Mr Spencer in the strongest possible terms to end his protest and seek medical attention," the spokesperson said. "The Government sets policy in the national interest. This policy will not be changed by threats of violence or self-harm."


More evidence that CO2 is not the culprit for warming

By Michael Asten (Michael Asten is a professorial fellow in the school of geosciences at Monash University, Melbourne)

THE Copenhagen climate change summit closed two weeks ago in confusion, disagreement and, for some, disillusionment. When the political process shows such a lack of unanimity, it is pertinent to ask whether the science behind the politics is as settled as some participants maintain.

Earlier this month (The Australian, December 9) I commented on recently published results showing huge swings in atmospheric carbon dioxide, both up and down, at a time of global cooling 33.6 million years ago.

Paul Pearson and co-authors in a letter (The Weekend Australian, December 11) took exception to my use of their data and claimed I misrepresented their research, a claim I reject since I quoted their data (the veracity of which they do not contest) but offered an alternative hypothesis, namely that the present global warming theory (which was not the subject of their study) is inconsistent with the CO2-temperature variations of a past age.

Some senior scientists, who are adherents of orthodox global warming theory, do not like authors publishing data that can be used to argue against orthodoxy, a point made by unrelated authors with startling clarity in the Climategate leaked emails from the University of East Anglia.

In the scientific method, however, re-examination of data and formulation of alternative hypotheses is the essence of scientific debate. In any case, the debate on the link between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature will continue since it is not dependent on a single result.

Another example is a study by Richard Zeebe and colleagues, published in Nature Geoscience, of a release of CO2 and an increase in temperature 55 million years ago. At this time there was an increase in global temperature of between 5C and 9C, from a temperature regime slightly warmer than today's (that I will call moderate Earth) to greenhouse temperatures. It can be argued this example may have a message for humanity because the rate of release of CO2 into the atmosphere at the time of this warming was of a similar order to the rate of anthropogenic release today.

However, the analogy turns out to be incomplete when the data is compared with present estimates of climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2, and Zeebe and his colleagues conclude that the large temperature increase cannot be explained by our existing understanding of CO2 temperature linkage. Indeed, they write, "our results imply a fundamental gap in our understanding of the amplitude of global warming associated with large and abrupt climate perturbations. This gap needs to be filled to confidently predict future climate change."

I argue there are at least two possible hypotheses to explain the data in this study: either the link between atmospheric CO2 content and global temperature increase is significantly greater (that is, more dangerous) than the existing models show or some mechanism other than atmospheric CO2 is a significant or the main factor influencing global temperature.

The first hypothesis is consistent with climate change orthodoxy. Recent writings on climate sensitivity by James Hansen are consistent with it, as was the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its pre-Copenhagen update, The Copenhagen Diagnosis.

Indeed, the 26 authors of the IPCC update went a step further, and encouraged the 46,000 Copenhagen participants with the warning: "A rapid carbon release, not unlike what humans are causing today, has also occurred at least once in climate history, as sediment data from 55 million years ago show. This `Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum' brought a major global warming of 5C, a detrimental ocean acidification and a mass extinction event. It serves as a stark warning to us today."

We have to treat such a warning cautiously because, as Pearson and his colleagues pointed out in their letter two weeks ago, "We caution against any attempt to derive a simple narrative linking CO2 and climate on these large time scales. This is because many other factors come into play, including other greenhouse gases, moving continents, shifting ocean currents, dramatic changes in ocean chemistry, vegetation, ice cover, sea level and variations in the Earth's orbit around the sun."

Sound science also requires us to consider the second of the above two hypotheses. Otherwise, if we attempt to reconcile Zeebe's observation by inferring climate sensitivity to CO2 is greater than that used for current models, how do we explain Pearson's observation of huge swings in atmospheric CO2, both up and down, which appear poorly correlated with temperatures cooling from greenhouse Earth to moderate Earth?

The two geological results discussed both show some discrepancies between observation and model predictions. Such discrepancies do not in any sense reduce the merit of the respective authors' work; rather they illustrate a healthy and continuing process of scientific discovery.

In addition, unrelated satellite data analyses published in the past two years by physicist David Douglass and distinguished atmospheric scientist John Christy in two journals, International Journal of Climatology and Earth and Environment, provide observational evidence that climate sensitivity associated with CO2 is less than that used in present climate modelling, by a factor of about three.

Thus we have two geological examples and two satellite data studies pointing towards a lesser role of CO2 in global warming. This argument does not discount the reality of global warming during the past century or the potential consequences should it continue at the same rate, but it does suggest we need a broader framework in considering our response.

The Copenhagen summit exposed intense political differences in proposals to manage global warming. Scientists are also not unanimous in claiming to understand the complex processes driving climate change and, more important, scientific studies do not unambiguously point to a single solution. Copenhagen will indeed prove to be a historic meeting if it ushers in more open-minded debate.


Warmist bribes will cost the country dearly

It is no surprise that the government doesn't count on the altruism of the Australian voter in framing policies. Rather, it relies on providing favours to powerful constituencies to buy support. Nowhere is this clearer than in its proposed emissions trading scheme, with the government strenuously proclaiming that 70 per cent of households will be "more than compensated" for any adverse effects. Generous compensation also will be provided to business.

Far from the "hard reform" the Prime Minister keeps announcing, what is promised is therefore a painless warm glow. That promise is, of course, too good to be true. In fact, the compensation, far from offsetting the harm, will add to it. This flows from some basic properties of taxes on "bads", such as pollution.

In theory, these are the most efficient taxes, for they raise revenue not by distorting market choices but by correcting them. However, these taxes typically raise a great deal of revenue relative to the change they purport to make. This is because while the tax is collected on every unit, the overall fall in output of the bad is small. In the case of the ETS, each emission requires the purchase of a permit, but each year total emissions fall by only a few per cent. As a result, how a tax on a bad affects efficiency depends to a large extent on what is done with the revenues. When those revenues are wasted or used to distort markets, society is worse off, even if the harm done by the bad is reduced.

In the proposed ETS, there is the Swiss cheese of payments to polluters, aimed at buying the acquiescence of a business community that, for more than a century, has more than made up in rent-seeking prowess for all it lacks in insight and backbone. These payments will distort economic activity for decades to come. For example, firms that obtain free permits cannot sell them on exit from the industry. This encourages them to continue to operate even if their output could be more cheaply supplied by others.

The compensation to households is even worse. Those payments will be income-based, phasing out as income rises. This will increase marginal tax rates that are already high, with the lost compensation meaning that each additional dollar in pre-tax earning could translate into less than 60c of take-home pay. Combined with the increase in prices relative to wages caused by the ETS itself, the effect will be to reduce the incentive to work. If this departs from self-interest, it is not out of altruism but folly.

How great are the resulting costs? Unfortunately, none of the distortions arising from the compensation package are captured in the published Treasury modelling. As a result, that modelling provides little guidance as to the efficiency effects of the ETS.

This is not to suggest that a pure ETS, pristine in its underlying economic intent, is politically possible. What it does mean is that the comparison to be made is not between a textbook ETS and less perfect alternatives. Rather, it is between an ETS mired in sordid deals and other options that may be better or worse.

Were altruism to break out, goals such as reducing emissions might be achieved without give-aways and concessions. We know tragically little about how to produce some of life's most important goods, such as mutual respect, tolerance and a genuine interest in the welfare of others. Until that secret is unlocked, government interventions will be shaped by rent-seeking and will often impose costs far greater than its benefits.

Business's search for handouts has long been a primary factor in this respect. Environmental fundamentalism adds dangerous impetus to the pressures. As the ETS shows, our political system, under the guise of public beneficence, panders all too readily to these single-issue voters, while shifting costs around, including on to future generations, in ways that are as opaque and inequitable as they are inefficient.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Monday, December 28, 2009

More Warmist pseudo science: "CO2 unleashes more warming than thought"

They assume what they have to prove: That CO2 is the cause of warming. And they are supposed to be paleoclimatologists -- yet paleoclimate data indicate that CO2 rises FOLLOWED temperature rises -- so could not be the cause of the temperature rises. The study is no more than a grovel to the established faith. It is not science

Carbon dioxide indirectly causes up to 50 percent more global warming than originally thought, a finding that raises questions over targets for stabilising carbon emissions over the long term, a study said on Sunday. In a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, British scientists said a tool commonly used in climate modelling may have badly underlooked the sensitivity of key natural processes to the warming caused by CO2. As a result, calculations for man-made global warming on the basis of carbon emissions may be underpitched by between 30 and 50 percent, they said.

The study was coincidentally published on the eve of a 12-day UN conference in Copenhagen aimed at providing a durable solution to the greenhouse-gas problem. The authors stressed that the more-than-expected warming would unfold over a matter of hundreds of years, rather than this century. The findings do not mean that the predictions for temperature rise by 2100, established notably by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), should be rewritten, they said. "We don't want to be overly alarmist here," said lead author Dan Lunt of Britain's University of Bristol. "But if people are thinking about stabilising CO2 at a certain atmospheric level, or putting together a treaty, or having a debate about what the levels should be, it really is important to know what the long-term consequences of those emissions are going to be, because CO2 hangs around for so long."

Lunt and colleagues decided to test a widely-used climate model on an epoch called the mid-Pliocene warm period, about three million years ago, when Earth heated up in response to natural processes. Cores drilled from ocean sediment provide a good idea about atmospheric carbon levels and temperature at the time. What the team found, though, was that the CO2 levels in the Pliocene -- around 400 parts per million (ppm) -- were not consistent with the warming, which was around three degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than today.

The difference could only [ONLY??] be fully explained by the long-term loss of icesheets and and changes in vegetation, says the paper. These changes cause Earth's surface to absorb more solar radiation, which causes more warming, and so on.

When applied to what awaits us this century, the adjusted model suggests that nothing significantly different will happen compared to what has already been estimated. "In that time scale, we don't think the Greenland icesheet is going to melt completely or that East Antarctica will melt. That was what we saw in the model for three million years ago, but it is unlikely to take place in the next century," said Lunt.

Where it poses a dilemma, though, is how to fix a target for stabilising CO2 emissions so that future generations, centuries from now, are not hit by this long-term warming mechanism. A popular goal is to limit warming since pre-industrial times to 2 C (3.6 F), a figure that in mainstream climate models typically equates to about 450 ppm. At present, Earth's CO2 concentrations are at around 387 ppm.

Lunt says that today's level may already be too high in this context. "Our work says that at 400 parts per million, you are looking at more than two degrees C [3.6 F]. "To stabilise at two degrees C, you would have to aim for something like 380 ppm. But remember, this is the sort of level that applies if you want a long-term commitment that goes on for centuries, for generations to come."


Cap and Trade: An expensive Federal license will be required to sell your home

We encourage you to read the provisions of the Cap and Trade Bill that has passed the House of Representatives and being considered by the Senate. We are ready to join the next march on Washington! This Congress and whoever on their staffs that write this junk are truly out to destroy the middle class of the USA....

Thinking about selling your house - A look at H.R. 2454 (Cap and trade bill) This is unbelievable! Only the beginning from this administration! Home owners take note & tell your friends and relatives who are home owners!

Beginning 1 year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this Act. H.R. 2454, the "Cap & Trade" bill passed by the House of Representatives, if also passed by the Senate, will be the largest tax increase any of us has ever experienced.

The Congressional Budget Office (supposedly non-partisan) estimates that in just a few years the average cost to every family of four will be $6,800 per year.

* No one is excluded. However, once the lower classes feel the pinch in their wallets, you can be sure these voters get a tax refund (even if they pay no taxes at all) to offset this new cost. Thus, you Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class America will have to pay even more since additional tax dollars will be needed to bail out everyone else.

But wait. This awful bill (that no one in Congress has actually read) has many more surprises in it. Probably the worst one is this:

* A year from now you won't be able to sell your house. Yes, you read that right. The caveat is (there always is a caveat) that if you have enough money to make required major upgrades to your home, then you can sell it. But, if not, then forget it. Even pre-fabricated homes ("mobile homes") are included.

* In effect, this bill prevents you from selling your home without the permission of the EPA administrator.

* To get this permission, you will have to have the energy efficiency of your home measured.

* Then the government will tell you what your new energy efficiency requirement is and you will be forced to make modifications to your home under the retrofit provisions of this Act to comply with the new energy and water efficiency requirements.

* Then you will have to get your home measured again and get a license (called a "label" in the Act) that must be posted on your property to show what your efficiency rating is; sort of like the Energy Star efficiency rating label on your refrigerator or air conditioner.

* If you don't get a high enough rating, you can't sell. And, the EPA administrator is authorized to raise the standards every year, even above the automatic energy efficiency increases built into the Act.

The EPA administrator, appointed by the President, will run the Cap & Trade program (AKA the "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009") and is authorized to make any future changes to the regulations and standards he alone determines to be in the government's best interest. Requirements are set low initially so the bill will pass Congress; then the Administrator can set much tougher new standards every year.

* The Act itself contains annual required increases in energy efficiency for private and commercial residences and buildings.

* However, the EPA administrator can set higher standards at any time.


Sect. 202: Building Retrofit Program mandates a national retrofit program to increase the energy efficiency of all existing homes across America .

Beginning 1 year after enactment of the Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this Act.

You had better sell soon, because the standards will be raised each year and will be really hard (i.e., ex$pen$ive) to meet in a few years. Oh, goody! The Act allows the government to give you a grant of several thousand dollars to comply with the retrofit program requirements if you meet certain energy efficiency levels. But, wait, the State can set additional requirements on who qualifies to receive the grants.

You should expect requirements such as "can't have an income of more than $50K per year", "home selling price can't be more than $125K", or anything else to target the upper middle class (and that's YOU) and prevent them from qualifying for the grants. Most of us won't get a dime and will have to pay the entire cost of the retrofit out of our own pockets. More transfer of wealth, more "change you can believe in."

Sect. 204: Building Energy Performance Labeling Program establishes a labeling program that for each individual residence will identify the achieved energy efficiency performance for "at least 90 percent of the residential market within 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act."

This means that within 5 years 90% of all residential homes in the U.S. must be measured and labeled. The EPA administrator will get $50M each year to enforce the labeling program. The Secretary of the Department of Energy will get an additional $20M each year to help enforce the labeling program. Some of this money will, of course, be spent on coming up with tougher standards each year.

Oh, the label will be like a license for your car. You will be required to post the label in a conspicuous location in your home and will not be allowed to sell your home without having this label. And, just like your car license, you will probably be required to get a new label every so often - maybe every year. But, the government estimates the cost of measuring the energy efficiency of your home should only cost about $200 each time.

Remember what they said about the auto smog inspections when they first started: that in California it would only cost $15. That was when the program started. Now the cost is about $50 for the inspection and certificate; a 333% increase. Expect the same from the home labeling program.

Sect. 304: Greater Energy Efficiency in Building Codes establishes new energy efficiency guidelines for the National Building Code and mandates at 304(d), Application of National Code to State and Local Jurisdictions, that 1 year after enactment of this Act, all state and local jurisdictions must adopt the National Building Code energy efficiency provisions or must obtain a certification from the federal government that their state and/or local codes have been brought into full compliance with the National Building Code energy efficiency standards.


Taxpayer Robbery Gate

Aside from ideologues, hydrocarbon haters, Gaia worshipers, profiteers and power-grabbing politicians, most of the sentient world now realizes that the hysteria over global warming disasters is based on dubious to fraudulent temperature data, analyses, models, reports and peer reviews.

Climate Research Unit emails, HARRY_READ_ME.txt computer memos, and blatant tampering with Australian, Russian, UK and US temperature data make the scandal impossible to ignore or explain away. They certainly helped Copenhagen descend into an expensive, carbon-emitting gabfest, and cause China and India to reject any deal that would force them to curtail their energy generation, economic growth and poverty reduction programs.

Senator Barbara Boxer is an exception. Not only does she ignore the obvious. She is doing her best to divert attention from the scandal, circle the alarmist wagons, cover up the fraud, obstruct justice – and ram through yet another legislative power grab. “This isn’t Climategate,” the California Democrat insists. “It’s email theft gate.” The problem isn’t the fraud; it’s that a hacker or whistleblower revealed the fraud.

Wrong, Senator. It’s not theft gate. It’s Taxpayer Robbery Gate. We, the taxpayers, We the people – paid for this “research.” We paid billions of dollars for it – and providing the data, computer codes and analytical methods is a condition of the employment and research grants for these scientists. The work belongs to us. We own it.

We the People, our elected representatives and our climate realist scientists have a right to examine this supposed evidence of planetary disaster, to ensure that it’s driven by science, and not ideology. That it’s complete, accurate – and honest. That it backs up the alarmist scientists’ call for draconian, life-altering restrictions on energy use. That the CRU Cabal did not alter, lose, ignore, toss or destroy “inconvenient” data and evidence that might get in the way of their agendas and predetermined results.

Not only were we stonewalled for years, while these UK and US scientists refused to divulge their data, computer codes and methodologies. Not only did the scientists who wrote these emails and did this bogus research refuse to let taxpayers, other scientists and even members of Congress (and Parliament) see their raw data and analyses. Not only did they prevent debate and replace peer review with a perverted system that allowed only a small network of like-minded colleagues to examine – and applaud – their work. They also excluded, denounced and vilified anyone who asked hard questions or challenged their actions. In short, we were robbed! They took our money, and defrauded us.

Even worse, the Taxpayer Robbery Gate scientists are working hand-in-glove to pressure the United States, Great Britain and world into spending trillions of dollars fighting “catastrophic manmade climate change” … slashing our energy use, living standards and employment base … enacting unaccountable global government … redistributing wealth and technology … restricting our liberties and civil rights … and keeping millions of families deprived of energy and in permanent destitution.

This is the same California Senator who berated an Air Force general for calling her Ma’am. Who treated scientist, physician and author Michael Crichton like a child molester, for daring to disagree with her on global warming and suggest that double-blind climate studies would guard against errors and fraud. Who displays an un-American intolerance for any witnesses before her committee who question her views.

The Boxer-White House effort makes the Watergate cover-up and obstruction of justice look like a juvenile offense. It’s paving the way for cap-tax-and-trade laws that would nationalize the entire US economy – by the same divisive, dictatorial elements that are nationalizing our banking and healthcare systems. They understand, even if the general populace still does not, that by controlling carbon they will control our lives. And if they need fraudulent science and Nixon-era tactics to achieve their goal, so be it.

Just imagine the Boxer, White House and media outcry and denunciations if these emails and fraudulent actions had involved oil companies and climate disaster “deniers.” But of course, if Boxer & Co. didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards.

“We’re honest. We have nothing to hide,” the accused scientists keep saying. That’s wonderful. We’re glad to hear that. But then why don’t they just come clean. Stop hiding everything. Open all their emails. Cooperate with investigators. Honor FOIA requests. Share their data and computer codes. Stop attacking scientists who disagree with them. Put all climate studies, for and against manmade global warming disaster claims, in professional journals – subject to real peer review. Debate their critics. In short, help clean up the mess they created. Or suffer the consequences.

This bogus science and cover-up operation is behind every US, EU and UN proposal to restrict and control our energy, economy, living standards and most fundamental liberties – in the name of preventing alleged global warming disasters.

We need to get to the bottom of this mess. We need a full and complete investigation, by an independent, incorruptible team of knowledgeable scientists, modelers, lawyers and statisticians. We need to start over on the global warming science and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – with honest scientists who do everything in the open. We need to bring honesty, transparency, robust debate and accountability back to the legislative and public policy process.


Defund Taxpayer Supported Science Fraud

Trofim Lysenko was Stalin’s favorite scientist because he liked his meshing of evolution and Marxism. Comrade Lysenko “proved” that there is no such thing as a gene. A lot of money was dumped into the “research” of this crackpot, and woe to those who declared that the emperor had no clothes. Lysenko’s gene-free view of science led to claims that wheat plants could produce rye. Any disagreement was labeled as “political sabotage” -- similar to the contemporary global warming “elite” who libel and banish those who do not worship at their altar.

It turns out that Lysenko’s spiritual children are the global warming alarmists in today’s scientific establishment. The recent dumping of their emails on the internet exposed the fact that their “research” was as invalid as Lysenko’s. As an aside, it seems that the emails were posted from a server in Tomsk, a Russian secret police city. If the Ruskies did the deed, the best guess is that this major oil producer was alarmed by the West’s efforts to commit economic suicide by forcing a cutback in petroleum consumption.

The emails were parked on computers at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England. But the scandal is not just a British booboo. America’s leading climate Casandras were also part of the scam.

Perhaps you have heard of the now-infamous “hockey stick” graph that supposedly proved the Industrial Revolution, which massively improved the lives of millions of people, was the cause of global warming? The “hockey stick” was a fraudulent representation of data which showed a straight line of constant temperatures with a sharp uptick at the end. That uptick is allegedly the time that industrialization supposedly started generating global warming. Well, it turns out the “hockey stick” graph was as valid as a three-dollar bill.

Those of us active in defending the right to keep and bear arms don’t find it surprising that when politicians fund research, you get political science, not real science. Dr. Arthur Kellerman is the Trofim Lysenko of research on guns and public health. He grabbed some of our money that was funneled by the drunken spenders in Congress through the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

In exchange for our hard-earned money, Kellerman came up with a study that “proved” that someone with a gun in their house is 43 times more likely to be killed than a disarmed householder. Kellerman’s “research” made a few questionable assumptions to ensure that his conclusions arrived at the proper outcome. For example, he stipulated that a successful self-defense use of a gun had to result in the death of a home invader. Cute. Real scientists such as Dr. Gary Kleck of Florida State University find that of the more than 2 million times a year that Americans use a gun in self-defense, they only fire their gun two to three percent of the time.

Kellerman’s methodology is equivalent to the “hockey stick” tricked up by Penn State’s Dr. Michael Mann. One way Mann “found” that global warming did not begin until the last 150 years was to overlook the centuries during the Middle Ages that were warmer than now (where they were growing vegetables in what is now Greenland’s tundra, for example). Like Kellerman, Mann simply ignored data that didn’t support his theory.

The chaps at East Anglia did the same thing that Kellerman did until he got caught. Their modus operandi is “don’t let the public see the data they paid for.” The British Lysenkos destroyed a lot of their data and otherwise refused to comply with British Freedom of Information laws. Kellerman withheld his data for years until Congress forced the Centers for Disease Control to tell him to cough it up.

Is it not time we cut off the looting of our pocketbooks with this kind of fraud?


"Earth-Friendly" Elements are Mined Destructively -- and are dependant on China

Some of the greenest technologies of the age, from electric cars to efficient light bulbs to very large wind turbines, are made possible by an unusual group of elements called rare earths. The world’s dependence on these substances is rising fast. Just one problem: These elements come almost entirely from China, from some of the most environmentally damaging mines in the country, in an industry dominated by criminal gangs.

Western capitals have suddenly grown worried over China’s near monopoly, which gives it a potential stranglehold on technologies of the future. In Washington, Congress is fretting about the United States military’s dependence on Chinese rare earths, and has just ordered a study of potential alternatives.

Here in Guyun Village, a small community in southeastern China fringed by lush bamboo groves and banana trees, the environmental damage can be seen in the red-brown scars of barren clay that run down narrow valleys and the dead lands below, where emerald rice fields once grew. Miners scrape off the topsoil and shovel golden-flecked clay into dirt pits, using acids to extract the rare earths. The acids ultimately wash into streams and rivers, destroying rice paddies and fish farms and tainting water supplies.

On a recent rainy afternoon, Zeng Guohui, a 41-year-old laborer, walked to an abandoned mine where he used to shovel ore, and pointed out still-barren expanses of dirt and mud. The mine exhausted the local deposit of heavy rare earths in three years, but a decade after the mine closed, no one has tried to revive the downstream rice fields. Small mines producing heavy rare earths like dysprosium and terbium still operate on nearby hills. “There are constant protests because it damages the farmland — people are always demanding compensation,” Mr. Zeng said.

“In many places, the mining is abused,” said Wang Caifeng, the top rare-earths industry regulator at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China. “This has caused great harm to the ecology and environment.”

There are 17 rare-earth elements — some of which, despite the name, are not particularly rare — but two heavy rare earths, dysprosium and terbium, are in especially short supply, mainly because they have emerged as the miracle ingredients of green energy products. Tiny quantities of dysprosium can make magnets in electric motors lighter by 90 percent, while terbium can help cut the electricity usage of lights by 80 percent. Dysprosium prices have climbed nearly sevenfold since 2003, to $53 a pound. Terbium prices quadrupled from 2003 to 2008, peaking at $407 a pound, before slumping in the global economic crisis to $205 a pound.

China mines more than 99 percent of the world’s dysprosium and terbium. Most of China’s production comes from about 200 mines here in northern Guangdong and in neighboring Jiangxi Province. China is also the world’s dominant producer of lighter rare earth elements, valuable to a wide range of industries. But these are in less short supply, and the mining is more regulated.

Half the heavy rare earth mines have licenses and the other half are illegal, industry executives said. But even the legal mines, like the one where Mr. Zeng worked, often pose environmental hazards.

A close-knit group of mainland Chinese gangs with a capacity for murder dominates much of the mining and has ties to local officials, said Stephen G. Vickers, the former head of criminal intelligence for the Hong Kong police who is now the chief executive of International Risk, a global security company.

Mr. Zeng defended the industry, saying that he had cousins who owned rare-earth mines and were legitimate businessmen who paid compensation to farmers.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a draft plan last April to halt all exports of heavy rare earths, partly on environmental grounds and partly to force other countries to buy manufactured products from China. When the plan was reported on Sept. 1, Western governments and companies strongly objected and Ms. Wang announced on Sept. 3 that China would not halt exports and would revise its overall plan. But the ministry subsequently cut the annual export quota for all rare earths by 12 percent, the fourth steep cut in as many years.

Congress responded to the Chinese moves by ordering the Defense Department to conduct a comprehensive review, by April 1, of the American military’s dependence on imported rare earths for devices like night-vision gear and rangefinders.

Western users of heavy rare earths say that they have no way of figuring out what proportion of the minerals they buy from China comes from responsibly operated mines. Licensed and illegal mines alike sell to itinerant traders. They buy the valuable material with sacks of cash, then sell it to processing centers in and around Guangzhou that separate the rare earths from each other. Companies that buy these rare earths, including a few in Japan and the West, turn them into refined metal powders. “I don’t know if part of that feed, internal in China, came from an illegal mine and went in a legal separator,” said David Kennedy, the president of Great Western Technologies in Troy, Mich., which imports Chinese rare earths and turns them into powders that are sold worldwide.

Smuggling is another issue. Mr. Kennedy said that he bought only rare earths covered by Chinese export licenses. But up to half of China’s exports of heavy rare earths leave the country illegally, other industry executives said. Zhang Peichen, deputy director of the government-backed Baotou Rare Earth Research Institute, said that smugglers mix rare earths with steel and then export the steel composites, making the smuggling hard to detect. The process is eventually reversed, frequently in Japan, and the rare earths are recovered. Chinese customs officials have stepped up their scrutiny of steel exports to try to stop this trick, one trader said.

According to the Baotou institute, heavy rare-earth deposits in the hills here will be exhausted in 15 years. Companies want to expand production outside China, but most rare-earth deposits, unlike those in southern China, are accompanied by radioactive uranium and thorium that complicate mining.

Multinational corporations are starting to review their dependence on heavy rare earths. Toyota said that it bought auto parts that include rare earths, but did not participate in the purchases of materials by its suppliers. Osram, a large lighting manufacturer that is part of Siemens of Germany, said it used the lowest feasible amount of rare earths.

The biggest user of heavy rare earths in the years ahead could be large wind turbines, which need much lighter magnets for the five-ton generators at the top of ever-taller towers. Vestas, a Danish company that has become the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturer, said that prototypes for its next generation used dysprosium, and that the company was studying the sustainability of the supply. Goldwind, the biggest Chinese turbine maker, has switched from conventional magnets to rare-earth magnets.

Executives in the $1.3 billion rare-earths mining industry say that less environmentally damaging mining is needed, given the importance of their product for green energy technologies. Developers hope to open mines in Canada, South Africa and Australia, but all are years from large-scale production and will produce sizable quantities of light rare earths. Their output of heavy rare earths will most likely be snapped up to meet rising demand from the wind turbine industry.

“This industry wants to save the world,” said Nicholas Curtis, the executive chairman of the Lynas Corporation of Australia, in a speech to an industry gathering in Hong Kong in late November. “We can’t do it and leave a product that is glowing in the dark somewhere else, killing people.”


Australia's proposed Warmist laws: Grocery industry attacks fraudulent government cost estimates

THE grocery industry has sided with the Coalition's claim the Rudd government's emissions trading scheme will be a big tax.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett said yesterday that claims by the Australian Food and Grocery Council that food prices would be pushed up by 5 per cent overstated the reality by seven times. "The Treasury modelling found that in 2013, the average price impact of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme on food bills will be around $68 a year -- less than 1 per cent of household food bills," Mr Garrett said.

However, the council chief executive Kate Carnell said this was not realistic, given the role of electricity in the processed food supply chain. "The average shopping basket is about $200 a week, so the government's modelling suggests a barely 0.5 per cent increase off the back of increases in electricity prices of 20 to 40 per cent. That is not even vaguely credible in a manufacturing industry," she said.

Her estimate of a 5 per cent rise was based on internal modelling by food companies. She said the modelling had been presented to Coles Myer and Woolworths. "They didn't suggest we were off the money," she said.

Mr Garrett said that throughout the debate on climate change, "various industries have paid for modelling designed to suit their lobbying purposes".

A spokesman noted that Woolworths had rejected the council's claim of a 5 per cent rise when it was first presented in August. The company had put out a release in response, declaring its support for theemissions trading scheme, and noting that the exclusion of agriculture would reduce what was only ever going to be a "slight price rise". Woolworths is a signatory of the Copenhagen Communique on Climate Change, a document developed by global corporations and endorsing ambitious emission reduction targets. [Woolworths is obsessively "Green" in many ways]

However, the grocery council's renewed attack on the scheme highlights the Coalition's support base among industries which believe they will be adversely affected. Ms Carnell said baking, dairy and tinned processed food, such as canned spaghetti, were the most energy intensive parts of the food industry.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Climate Change Scam: A Concise Summary

In the wake of Climategate, common sense deniers like to say that there is lots of other evidence for global warming, in addition to that which has been debunked by the East Anglia whistleblower. Actually, however, the scientific evidence for AGW is remarkably weak. At Icecap, Lee Gerhard, geologist and reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sums up the key scientific evidence with admirable brevity:

It is crucial that scientists are factually accurate when they do speak out, that they ignore media hype and maintain a clinical detachment from social or other agendas. There are facts and data that are ignored in the maelstrom of social and economic agendas swirling about Copenhagen. Greenhouse gases and their effects are well-known. Here are some of things we know:

• The most effective greenhouse gas is water vapor, comprising approximately 95 percent of the total greenhouse effect.

• Carbon dioxide concentration has been continually rising for nearly 100 years. It continues to rise, but carbon dioxide concentrations at present are near the lowest in geologic history.

• Temperature change correlation with carbon dioxide levels is not statistically significant.

• There are no data that definitively relate carbon dioxide levels to temperature changes.

• The greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide logarithmically declines with increasing concentration. At present levels, any additional carbon dioxide can have very little effect.

We also know a lot about Earth temperature changes:

• Global temperature changes naturally all of the time, in both directions and at many scales of intensity.

• The warmest year in the U.S. in the last century was 1934, not 1998. The U.S. has the best and most extensive temperature records in the world.

• Global temperature peaked in 1998 on the current 60-80 year cycle, and has been episodically declining ever since. This cooling absolutely falsifies claims that human carbon dioxide emissions are a controlling factor in Earth temperature.

• Voluminous historic records demonstrate the Medieval Climate Optimum (MCO) was real and that the "hockey stick" graphic that attempted to deny that fact was at best bad science. The MCO was considerably warmer than the end of the 20th century.

• During the last 100 years, temperature has both risen and fallen, including the present cooling. All the changes in temperature of the last 100 years are in normal historic ranges, both in absolute value and, most importantly, rate of change.

Contrary to many public statements:

• Effects of temperature change are absolutely independent of the cause of the temperature change.

• Global hurricane, cyclonic and major storm activity is near 30-year lows. Any increase in cost of damages by storms is a product of increasing population density in vulnerable areas such as along the shores and property value inflation, not due to any increase in frequency or severity of storms.

• Polar bears have survived and thrived over periods of extreme cold and extreme warmth over hundreds of thousands of years extremes far in excess of modern temperature changes.

• The 2009 minimum Arctic ice extent was significantly larger than the previous two years. The 2009 Antarctic maximum ice extent was significantly above the 30-year average. There are only 30 years of records.

• Rate and magnitude of sea level changes observed during the last 100 years are within normal historical ranges. Current sea level rise is tiny and, at most, justifies a prediction of perhaps ten centimeters rise in this century.

The present climate debate is a classic conflict between data and computer programs. The computer programs are the source of concern over climate change and global warming, not the data. Data are measurements. Computer programs are artificial constructs.

Public announcements use a great deal of hyperbole and inflammatory language. For instance, the word "ever" is misused by media and in public pronouncements alike. It does not mean "in the last 20 years," or "the last 70 years." "Ever" means the last 4.5 billion years.

For example, some argue that the Arctic is melting, with the warmest-ever temperatures. One should ask, "How long is ever?" The answer is since 1979. And then ask, "Is it still warming?" The answer is unequivocally "No." Earth temperatures are cooling. Similarly, the word "unprecedented" cannot be legitimately used to describe any climate change in the last 8,000 years.


Historical background: IPCC’s Second Assessment Report (IPCC-AR-2, 1995, published in 1996)

IPCC assessment reports, and particularly their Summaries for Policymakers (SPM), are noted for their selective use of information and their bias to support the political goal of control of fossil fuels in order to fight an alleged anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

Perhaps the most blatant example is IPCC’s Second Assessment Report (SAR), completed in 1995 and published in 1996. Its SPM contains the memorable phrase “the balance of evidence suggests a discernable human influence on global climate.” You may recall that this 1996 IPCC report played a key role in the political deliberations that led to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

This ambiguous phrase suggests a group of climate scientists, examining both human and natural influences on climate change, looking at published scientific research, and carefully weighing their decision. Nothing of the sort has ever happened. The IPCC has consistently ignored the major natural influences on climate change and has focused almost entirely on human causes, especially on GH gases and more especially on carbon dioxide, which is linked to industrial activities and therefore ‘bad’ almost by definition.

How then did the IPCC-SAR arrive at “balance of evidence”? It was the work of a then-relatively-junior scientist, Dr Benjamin D. Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), who has recently re-emerged as a major actor in ClimateGate. As a Convening Lead Author of a crucial IPCC chapter, Santer carefully removed any verbiage denying that human influences might be the major or almost exclusive cause of warming and substituted new language. There is no evidence that he ever consulted any of his fellow IPCC authors, nor do we know who instructed him to make these changes and later approved the text deletions and insertions that fundamentally transformed IPCC-SAR.

The event is described by Nature [381(1006):539] and in a 1996 WSJ article by the late Professor Frederick Seitz (See also my Science Editorial #2-09). Seitz compared the draft of IPCC Chapter 8 (Detection and Attribution) and the final printed text. He noted that, before printing, key phrases had been deleted from the draft that had earlier been approved by its several scientist-authors. For a full account of these text changes see my Hoover Essay in Public Policy No. 102 [2000] “Climate Policy: From Rio to Kyoto”

Exec Summary

Essay pdf

Essay Notes

Seitz wrote [WSJ, Aug 13, 1996]:
“Last week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations organization regarded by many as the best source of scientific information about the human impact on the earth's climate, released "The Science of Climate Change 1995," its first new report in five years. The report will surely be hailed as the latest and most authoritative statement on global warming. Policy makers and the press around the world will likely view the report as the basis for critical decisions on energy policy that would have an enormous impact on U.S. oil and gas prices and on the international economy.

This IPCC report, like all others, is held in such high regard largely because it has been peer-reviewed. That is, it has been read, discussed, modified and approved by an international body of experts. These scientists have laid their reputations on the line. But this report is not what it appears to be--it is not the version that was approved by the contributing scientists listed on the title page. In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.

A comparison between the report approved by the contributing scientists and the published version reveals that key changes were made after the scientists had met and accepted what they thought was the final peer-reviewed version. The scientists were assuming that the IPCC would obey the IPCC Rules--a body of regulations that is supposed to govern the panel's actions. Nothing in the IPCC Rules permits anyone to change a scientific report after it has been accepted by the panel of scientific contributors and the full IPCC.

The participating scientists accepted "The Science of Climate Change" in Madrid last November; the full IPCC accepted it the following month in Rome. But more than 15 sections in Chapter 8 of the report--the key chapter setting out the scientific evidence for and against a human influence over climate--were changed or deleted after the scientists charged with examining this question had accepted the supposedly final text.

Few of these changes were merely cosmetic; nearly all worked to remove hints of the skepticism with which many scientists regard claims that human activities are having a major impact on climate in general and on global warming in particular.

The following passages are examples of those included in the approved report but deleted from the supposedly peer-reviewed published version:

· "None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases." "No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic [man-made] causes." "Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced."

The reviewing scientists used this original language to keep themselves and the IPCC honest. I am in no position to know who made the major changes in Chapter 8; but the report's lead author, Benjamin D. Santer, must presumably take the major responsibility.

IPCC reports are often called the "consensus" view. If they lead to carbon taxes and restraints on economic growth, they will have a major and almost certainly destructive impact on the economies of the world. Whatever the intent was of those who made these significant changes, their effect is to deceive policy makers and the public into believing that the scientific evidence shows human activities are causing global warming.

If the IPCC is incapable of following its most basic procedures, it would be best to abandon the entire IPCC process, or at least that part that is concerned with the scientific evidence on climate change, and look for more reliable sources of advice to governments on this important question.”

But in addition to these text changes there are also two key graphs that were doctored in order to convey the impression that anthropogenic influences are dominant. Again, my Hoover essay gives the details.

1. According to all climate models, GH warming shows a characteristic ‘fingerprint’: a ‘hot spot’ in temperature trend values in the tropical upper troposphere. Michaels and Knappenberger [Nature 384 (1996):522-523] discovered that the IPCC’s claimed agreement with observations was spurious and obtained by selecting a convenient segment of the radiosonde temperature data and ignoring the rest.

2. Santer also claimed that the modeled and observed patterns of geographic surface temperatures were correlated, with the correlation coefficient increasing over time (suggesting to the reader that a growing human component gradually emerged from background noise). I found, however, that Santer had obtained this result by simply deleting from a published graph all the trend lines that disagreed with his desired outcome [Eos 80 (1999):372]. In fact, the original paper had Santer himself as lead author and did not appear in print until after the IPCC report was completed – in contravention of IPCC rules.

It is interesting that these several documented falsifications went largely unreported and had little impact on scientists and politicians, who went on to support the passage of the Kyoto Protocol -- in spite of the absence of any scientific support. A wide-ranging investigation of ClimateGate may yet serve to bring this IPCC triple-malfeasance to light.

SEPP SCIENCE EDITORIAL #41-2009 (Dec 26, 2009)

APS Appeals to Authority

There are no authorities in science. Experts, yes. Brilliant, well educated experts, yes. Mistaken, brilliant, well-educated experts, yes. (The only people who never make mistakes are those who never do anything.) But there are no authorities.

It is therefore distressing to find that an ad-hoc committee of the American Physical Society (APS) has asserted on no uncertain terms that authority rules.

The background is this. The Executive Committee of the APS issued a statement in November 2007 saying:
"Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes. "The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

"Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth's climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases."

The second and third lines of the first paragraph are reasonable statements of fact, and the only other reasonable part is "the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth's climate." Would that they had followed their own counsel, and even broadened the sentence to include natural effects on the climate.

About 100 APS members, including many Fellows and Distinguished Professors have signed a petition submitted by Robert H. Austin [1] challenging the APS 2007 Statement on Climate Change. One very good reason for issuing the challenge was not in the petition: the executive board has no business pretending that they speak for the membership. A second is that the board itself has no expertise in climate science.

The petition drive was initiated because the Statement is riddled with unproven assertions. The petition did not seek to discard the Statement, but instead to supplant it, using phrases like, "[M]easured or reconstructed temperature records indicate that 20th - 21st century changes are neither exceptional nor persistent." Later, "The APS supports an objective scientific effort to understand the effects of all processes-natural and human- on the Earth's climate and the biosphere's response to climate change."

Accordingly, the APS cobbled together an ad-hoc committee to consider the petition. The Chairman was Dan Kleppner (MIT) who has expertise in laser cooling and trapping [TEA January 2009, "Optical Molasses"], a topic that relates to precisely one component of climate. Robert Adair (Yale) has written some nice books about the physics of baseball. I am unacquainted with the others, David M. Ceperley (theoretical physics, U. of Illinois) Alexander L. Fetter (bosonic gases, Stanford), Helen R. Quinn (missing antimatter, CP violation, Stanford), and Ellen D. Williams (surface physics, U. of Maryland).

This is obviously a group of brilliant people-but where is the expertise in anything related to climatology? Anybody who has followed the global-warming discussions would know that skeptics challenge the data, methodology, and conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Accordingly, it would be reasonable to do some independent investigation of those topics. Apparently the ad-hoc committee did no such thing. I quote:
"To review these issues we have relied primarily on the 4th Assessment Report [AR4] of the International Panel on Climate Change, in particular its first volume: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group 1 to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon et al, Cambridge University Press]. (PSB). We have also turned to the NRC report Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years, Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years, (National Research Council, 2006). (STR).

It may come as a surprise to the ad-hoc committee, but skeptics have also read those reports-thoroughly-and still disagree. (By its vocabulary, the NC's STR seems to have been lifted uncritically from AR4.) It adds no intellectual or scientific content to the two reports merely to read and parrot them. To put it fairly but bluntly, the ad-hoc committee of the APS said that the reports are true because the reports say they are true.

[1] Robert H. Austin, Professor of Physics, Princeton University, Fellow APS, AAAS; APS Council: 1991-1994, 2007-2010, Member National Academy of Sciences, American Association of Arts and Sciences


Cheap Natural Gas and Its Enemies

A vast reservoir of clean-burning natural gas could be available at reasonable cost in the coming years, freeing us from some of our dependence on imported energy. Yet there are those who consider such a development a threat.

A small group of billionaires (and mere multimillionaires), formed under the aegis of the Democracy Alliance, has amassed a great deal of political influence in America on behalf of the Democratic Party and Democratic politicians. Among the more important members of this "club" are George Soros and his liberal allies, Herbert and Marion Sandler. The latter two are billionaire beneficiaries of the mortgage bubble who timed their exit from the savings and loan industry before the bubble popped. They went on to fund (with George Soros) the Center for American Progress -- otherwise known as Obama's "idea factory."

One other venture that the Sandlers started is a media group called Pro Publica -- an outfit supposed to "engage in investigative journalism" and provide its findings to larger media outlets for greater impact. These "exposés" are provided at no cost to newspapers (and others), who, in an era of cutbacks, are happy to have good copy written by respected journalists. Free material is a no-brainer.

But why would the politically active Sandlers suddenly enter the media world? Perhaps it's because they realize the political and financial benefits that can flow from influencing the news. We may be seeing a sample of this type of handiwork now.

Among the first "exposés" Pro Publica undertook was an attack on energy companies for developing the Marcellus Shale, a vast natural gas reservoir stretching across several states. The "exposé" focused on putative environmental effects that might result from tapping these reserves. The technology used to unleash this natural gas from the shale in which it is trapped is called "fracking." Energy companies inject water, sand, and drilling fluids into the rock to "crack" it and release the natural gas. The potential for this technology is huge: America is a vast storehouse of this type of gas. Much of this is located not just in the Marcellus formation, but throughout the Rocky Mountain states. Also, the Barnett Shale region of Texas and the Bakken Shale region of North Dakota are rich with this type of natural gas.

Fracking is a proven technology. Energy experts are now predicting this technology will help free us from dependency on foreign sources of natural gas. The quantity is so vast that there is even potential for substituting natural gas for petroleum in cars and trucks. Natural gas is a clean-burning fuel that can replace coal in electric power plants. Already, the impact of this technology is beneficial. The prospect of this huge resource being tapped for years to come has brought down the price of natural gas, both in the spot market (where it is priced now) and in the futures market (where it is priced for future delivery). Indeed, the price has come down so much that the publicly held exploration and production companies that focus on natural gas have seen their share prices weaken.

Exxon Mobil was so entranced with the prospects of this technology that it has offered $31 billion dollars for XTO Energy, an energy company that has vast reserves of shale gas that can be tapped at a relatively small cost through fracking.

But there is one potential snag in the deal: Exxon can walk away if laws are passed that restrict the use of fracking. These laws would be a response to claims that fracking can harm the environment. Already, Representative Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), Chairman of the House Energy and Environmental Subcommittee (of the Energy and Commerce Committee -- the Russian-doll nature of Congressional committees and subcommittees can be mind-boggling) has called hearings into the Exxon-XTO deal. He will focus on the environmental concerns related to air pollution and water contamination (fracking uses water).

Now how coincidental is it that the Sandler-funded Pro Publica focuses on "fracking" as their inaugural topic? The Sandlers have no apparent experience in or knowledge of the energy industry. Why not have Pro Publica focus on other investigative topics -- say, the savings and loan crisis and the malefactors of great wealth who made out like the proverbial bandits? We know the answer to that question, but maybe we have an inkling of why Pro Publica has been pushing the "fracking" story, and why Democrats in Congress are going along with the media/political campaign.

George Soros is a pal and ally of the Sandlers. He also owns major stakes in energy companies that don't rely on shale gas for their revenue. These companies would be harmed and become less profitable if shale gas were released onto the market in the vast quantities industry experts believe are available through fracking. He also owns a major interest in InterOil, an energy company that has discovered a vast natural gas find in Papua New Guinea. The potential of that find is enormous and could lead to a very profitable export of liquefied natural gas to the American market.

However, the potential value of InterOil and Soros's other investments would suffer if the vast reserves of shale natural gas that lie below much of America are tapped. Furthermore, Soros operates through a hedge fund domiciled overseas. We cannot know who his investors are. They are rumored to include some of the world's petrocrats, who also have a vested interest in ensuring that America's own energy resources remain undeveloped so that we can send our billions to them...but of course, only Soros insiders know.

Did Soros foresee the problem that shale natural gas might pose? He is a legendary investor who sees risks and reward years before anyone else. That is how he made his billions. Did he ask the Sandlers to have Pro Publica focus on fracking? Is he now using his vast influence with the liberal wing of the Democratic Party (symbolized by Congressman Markey, also a pal of one of those petrocats, Hugo Chavez) to derail the potential of fracking? Will Soros use his influence with Barack Obama to command the Environmental Protection Agency to focus on the environmental consequences of fracking? Is he behind efforts by Senator Feingold (D-WI) to give the EPA more power over water resources throughout America?

Of course, this is all conjecture. After all, George Soros and company are not the type of people who leave e-mails on servers or fingerprints on their plans.


No Substitute For Fossil Fuels

Earlier this year, Congress approved a scheme to pour $80 billion — on top of the tens of billions already spent — into renewables. A government report released last week indicates the money will be wasted.

Renewable energy is the shiny gem that everyone wants but no one can have. Not even a president. Campaigning last year in Lansing, Mich., President Barack Obama said that it was his goal for the U.S. to generate 10% of its electric power from renewable sources by 2012 and 25% by 2025. But he cannot, by the force of will or executive order, change the laws of physics and economics.

America has long relied on fossil fuels to power its economy. Oil, natural gas and coal provide about 84% of the nation's energy. And for good reason. They are plentiful and typically easy to retrieve, and, consequently, cheap.

At the other end of the spectrum are renewable sources such as solar, wind, biomass and geothermal. They supply only about 4% of our energy, the remainder coming from hydro and nuclear power.

An axis of environmentalists and Democrats want to change this ratio, because, according to the usual complaint, we depend too heavily on the fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide. Trouble is, the market for renewables is poor. Few want to use the inefficient, unreliable and expensive sources. But that hasn't slowed the renewable energy campaign, which has succeeded in persuading the public that renewables are a sensible energy source and convincing Congress to fund supporters' daydreams.

The government can continue to "invest" in renewables, and the dreamers will keep using public money to find the magic formula. But little will change over the next 25 years. The federal Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook says in 2035, demand for liquid fuels will increase by almost 10% over 2008 levels, natural gas by nearly 7% and coal by 12%. While use of renewables will increase as well — by 81%, including hydropower — they will still be unable to unseat our dominant energy source. Fossil fuels' share of consumption will fall by only six percentage points, from 84% to 78% by 2035. Renewables will provide about 8%.

It's clear that renewables, which have benefited from government subsidies far in excess of what fossil fuels have received, can't compete in today's market and won't be faring much better a quarter century from now, according to the government's own reckoning. It's just as clear that throwing taxpayers' dollars at renewables has produced little progress.

Spain provides perhaps the best lesson. The government there has spent $43 billion on solar energy projects, yet solar provides less than 1% of the country's electric power. It was a bad investment.

Chasing the wind is just as ineffective. When Congress temporarily eliminated wind power credits in 1999, 2001 and 2003, the number of new turbine projects fell sharply. The Texas Public Policy Foundation says that providing a modest level of wind power in that state would cost taxpayers at least $60 billion through 2025.

Biomass is also a poor substitute. It's both primitive — its sources are wood and trash — and an environmental nightmare, devouring in some cases as much as 10 times the land mass than needed to create a wind farm. And wind farms themselves are big land eaters.

Geothermal energy, considered "free" energy from the earth, is also a space eater that requires heavy capital investment, which is often hard to recoup. In California earlier this month, a geothermal project was abandoned, despite a $6 million grant from the Energy Department and roughly $30 million in venture capital. Geothermal has, as well, some environmental drawbacks. The day before the California project was closed, Swiss government officials permanently shut down a geothermal project in Basel because, the New York Times reports, "of the damaging earthquakes it produced in 2006 and 2007."

Maybe some of these renewables will one day be cheap and reliable. Technological advances will help. But today they are neither cheap nor reliable, and, based on the government's report, won't be for another generation. Until they can compete, the country has to rely on proven sources: fossil fuels and nuclear power. To force cutbacks on these so that renewables can get a bigger market share, and to continue to fund projects with public money, is foolish and irresponsible.


What’s Next? Fish for Fidos

Since the United Nations Copenhagen Climate Change Conference ended in complete failure, some on the eco-left are engaging in a bit of gallows humor including Head of Research for Oxfam Duncan Green who writes on his blog:
The BBC’s ‘Ethical Man’ (probably another cat lover) has done the numbers. Keeping a medium-sized dog has the same ecological impact as driving a 4.6 litre Land Cruiser (I assume that’s some kind of car) 10,000km a year.

Using a unit known as a ‘global hectare’ – a measure of the land area needed to support a certain ecological footprint, growing and manufacturing the 164kg of meat and 95kg of cereals a border collie or cocker spaniel eats every year takes about 0.84 gha. A bigger dog such as a German shepherd consumes even more – its carbon pawprint is more like 1.1 gha. That is more than the environmental footprint of the average Indian person, who uses just 0.8 gha of resources. If you are a multiple dog owner you are in even more trouble. Two big dogs are responsible for more carbon emissions than some British citizens.

By contrast a cat (hah!) needs 0.15 gha, a hamster 0.014 gha, and a canary 0.007 gha. The most carbon efficient pet is a goldfish. Its carbon finprint requires just 0.00034 gha. That’s over 3,000 fish per pooch.

So if you care about climate change, join my new campaign. Our key demand is a ‘fish for fidos’ scheme, loosely based on Cash for Clunkers, whereby people trade in their dogs in return for goldfish. It makes at least as much sense to promote this as a solution to climate change as human population control in poor countries.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Yet Another Human Climate Warming Effect In The Arctic – Aircraft Contrails

We have reported on the role of black carbon (soot) as a major non-greenhouse gas human climate forcing in the Arctic; e.g. see: "New Study On The Role Of Soot Within the Climate In The Higher Latitudes And On “Global Warming" -- where an article in Scientific American by David Biello based on a study by Charlie Zender, a climate physicist at the University of California, Irvine stated: ““…. on snow—even at concentrations below five parts per billion—such dark carbon triggers melting, and may be responsible for as much as 94 percent of Arctic warming”.

Now we have yet another human climate forcing that was reported by Rex Dalton of Nature News in the article: "How aircraft emissions contribute to warming – Aviation contributes up to one-fifth of warming in some areas of the Arctic."

The article includes the text: "The first analysis of emissions from commercial airline flights shows that they are responsible for 4–8% of surface global warming since surface air temperature records began in 1850 — equivalent to a temperature increase of 0.03–0.06 °C overall. The analysis, by atmospheric scientists at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, also shows that in the Arctic, aircraft vapour trails produced 15–20% of warming.”

The photo in the news release has the caption: “Aircraft emissions could be having a dramatic effect on the warming of the Arctic”.

Clearly, as we summarized in our EOS article: "the human role in the climate system is much more than the human emissions of CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The Population Control Agenda Behind The Global Warming Movement: For The Environmental Extremists At Copenhagen Population Reduction Is The “Cheapest” Way To Reduce Carbon Emissions

For the environmental extremists attending the U.N. climate change summit in Copenhagen, fighting global warming is not just about reducing carbon emissions or promoting alternative energy. Rather, public documents released by some of the most important organizations represented at Copenhagen reveal an absolute obsession with population control and a bizarre belief by environmental extremists that population reduction is the "cheapest" way to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions. You see, to many of those gathered in Copenhagen, the math is simple. Less people = less carbon emitters. In fact, a carbon offset initiative launched by the Optimum Population Trust even allows people to offset their "carbon footprint" by making online payments to support "family planning" in poor countries. In other words, you can now be forgiven for your carbon "sins" by paying for a baby on the other side of the world to be killed.

As bizarre as this may seem, it is actually happening. These new "population carbon offsets" are being offered by the Optimum Population Trust. The OPT calls itself "the leading think tank in the UK concerned with the impact of population growth on the environment". The truth is that the OPT does have some really big names associated with it. Just some of the world famous individuals involved in the Optimum Population Trust include Sir David Attenborough, Stanford Professor Paul Ehrlich and Dr. Jane Goodall. One of the stated goals of the OPT is to "advance the education of the public in issues relating to human population worldwide and its impact on environmental sustainability".

The OPT's website even includes a "Stop At Two" pledge which asks people to take "another green step towards environmental survival for all" by making the following pledge: "I'm going to try not to have more than two children"!

To show just how committed they are to the population control agenda, the OPT launched this population carbon offset scheme on December 3rd - just prior to the beginning of the Copenhagen climate change summit.

In his report on this new carbon offset initiative, John Vidal, the environment editor for the Guardian, noted that many of the participants at the Copenhagen summit could easily offset the carbon emissions that they would be producing during their travel to the conference by paying for one child in Africa to be killed.... Calculations based on the trust's figures show the 10 tonnes emitted by a return flight from London to Sydney would be offset by enabling the avoidance of one unwanted birth in a country such as Kenya.

In fact, the OPT has launched a dedicated website,, which allows people to offset their carbon footprint by making online payments to OPT which will go towards "family planning" around the world.

But not only that, earlier this year the Optimum Population Trust commissioned the London School of Economics to produce a report on population issues. The final report, entitled "Fewer Emitters, Lower Emissions, Less Cost", says that the best way to reduce "greenhouse gases" is to have fewer people on earth.

This report by the London School of Economics actually performed a "cost-benefit analysis" on the various methods for reducing carbon emissions around the world, and they found that the "cheapest" way to reduce carbon emissions by far was to increase funding for "family planning".

But not only is population control the official agenda for organizations such as the OPT, it is also the official agenda of the United Nations. Very few people have talked about the U.N. Population Division policy brief from March 2009, but it is an absolutely explosive document. This shocking policy document openly asks how fertility decline in the least developed countries can be "accelerated" as quickly as possible.

The entire March 2009 U.N. Population Division policy brief can be read here. The policy brief begins with this shocking question.... "What would it take to accelerate fertility decline in the least developed countries?" The report then proceeds to discuss how the earth's population is clearly unsustainable (especially in "developing" countries) and it considers what can be done to make sure that fewer babies are born in the "least developed" nations.

But as bad as that report was, the U.N. recently released a report on population that was even more shocking.

The United Nations Population Fund recently released its annual State of the World Population Report entitled "Facing a Changing World: Women, Population and Climate". This stunning report goes farther than any U.N. report has ever gone before by unequivocally linking population growth with climate change. The report states that the only way a climate disaster can be avoided is to radically increase "family planning" services around the globe and to do whatever it takes to reduce worldwide fertility rates. In a statement accompanying the release of the report, UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid stated that "rapid population growth and industrialization have led to a rapid rise in greenhouse gas emissions. We have now reached a point where humanity is approaching the brink of disaster."

The director of the UNFPA says that we are on the brink of disaster. A "climate change" disaster. And what is causing it? According to him, the biggest cause is population growth.

But the truth is that mankind is not even causing climate change. For those who do not yet understand this, we highly recommend that you read a comprehensive article that we posted about this issue on our sister site entitled "How To Save The Environment? Get Al Gore The Heck Away From It".

But even if you concede that humanity is causing climate change, the truth is that there is still no justification for reducing the population in order to combat it. But according to the authors of this new U.N. report, the link between population growth and climate change is undeniable....


Good Science, Bad Politics

'Climategate' reveals a concerted effort to emphasize scientific results useful to a political agenda

By HANS VON STORCH (Von Storch is director of the Institute for Coastal Research at the GKSS Research Center in Geesthacht, Germany, and a professor at the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg)

"Frankly, he's an odd individual," a well-known climatologist wrote about me in a private e-mail to a friend in the U.K. On this, we agree—I am an odd individual, if by that we mean a climatologist whose e-mails would not document a contempt for such basic scientific virtues such as openness, falsifiability, replicability and independent review.

The colleague is a member of the CRU cartel—the influential network of researchers at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit and their colleagues in the U.S.—whose sanctum was exposed last month when a whistleblower or hacker published e-mails and documents from the CRU server on the Internet. What we can now see is a concerted effort to emphasize scientific results that are useful to a political agenda by blocking papers in the purportedly independent review process and skewing the assessments of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The effort has not been so successful, but trying was bad enough.

We—society and climate researchers—need to discuss now what constitutes "good science." Some think good science is a societal institution that produces results that serve an ideology. Take, for instance, the counsel that then-Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen gave to scientists at a climate change conference in March, as transcribed by Environmental Research Letters: "I would give you the piece of advice, not to provide us with too many moving targets, because it is already a very, very complicated process. And I need your assistance to push this process in the right direction, and in that respect, I need fixed targets and certain figures, and not too many considerations on uncertainty and risk and things like that."

I do not share that view. For me, good science means generating knowledge through a superior method, the scientific method. The merits of a scientifically constructed result do not depend on its utility for any politician's agenda. Indeed, the utility of my results is not my business, and the contextualization of my results should not depend on my personal preferences. It is up to democratic societies to decide how to use or not use my insights and explanations.

But it seems I am an odd individual for taking this position. As a scientist, I strive for independence from vested interests. I am in the pocket of neither Exxon nor Greenpeace, and for this I come under fire from both sides—the skeptics and the alarmists—who have fiercely opposing views but are otherwise siblings in their methods and contempt.

I am told that I should keep my mouth shut, that criticizing colleagues is not "tactful," and will damage the reputation of science—even when the CRU e-mails have already sunk that ship. I hear that the now-notorious "trick" is normal, that to "hide the decline" is just an unfortunate colloquialism. But we know by now that the activity described by these words was by no means innocent.

And what of the alarmists' kin, the skeptics? They say these words show that everything was a hoax—not just the historical temperature results in question, but also the warming documented by different groups using thermometer data. They conclude I must have been forced out of my position as chief editor of the journal Climate Research back in 2003 for my allegiance to science over politics. In fact, I left this post on my own, with no outside pressure, because of insufficient quality control on a bad paper—a skeptic's paper, at that. But in 2006 I urged a CRU scientist to make his data public for critics and, yes, skeptics—as documented in one of the stolen e-mails.

We need to repair the damage, and heal the public's new mistrust of the workings of climate science. True, we are in a difficult situation: Climate science is in an abnormal situation, hounded by manifest political and economic interests of different sorts, and the uncertainties in our work are large and unavoidable. Then this abnormal brew forms, with scientists acting as politicians and politicians posturing as scientists.

But the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest. Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation. Such a change causes stress for societies and ecosystems. More emissions mean more stress, fewer emissions less. Thus, when society wants to limit this stress, it has to make sure that fewer greenhouse gases enter and remain in the atmosphere. Societies have decided they want to limit the stress so that temperatures rise no further than the politically produced number of two degrees Centigrade, relative to pre-industrial conditions. Fine. For this goal, it does not matter whether the sea level will rise 50 cm or 150 cm by the end of this century, or if hurricanes do or do not become significantly more severe. These are relevant scientific issues, with great importance for the design of adaptive strategies—but not particularly relevant to the political task of coming to an effective agreement on reducing emissions.

What we need to do is open the process. Data must be accessible to adversaries; joint efforts are needed to agree on test procedures to validate, once again, already broadly accepted insights. The authors of the damaging e-mails would be wise to stand back from positions as reviewers and participants in the IPCC process. The journals Nature and Science must review their quality-control measures and selection criteria for papers.

So please, you media, you NGOs, and you Mr. Rasmussen: You have the knowledge you need for the political decisions. Let us sit in our studies and discuss the remaining issues, the sea level, the ice sheets, the hurricanes, and other issues. Give us time to consider, to test alternative hypotheses, to falsify theories—to do our work without worrying if the results support your causes. Science is a valuable and unique societal institution, but not if it is consumed by short-sighted political goals.

But, admittedly, I am an odd individual, one who loves København—when it is not the "Hopenhagen" for thousands of COP-15 activists, lobbyists, business leaders, and politicians.


From Nicaea to Copenhagen

The global warming jamboree in Copenhagen was surely the most outlandish foray into intellectual fantasizing since the fourth-century Christian bishops assembled in 325 AD for the Council of Nicaea to debate whether God the Father was supreme or had to share equal status in the pecking order of eternity with his Son and the Holy Ghost.

Shortly before the Copenhagen summit, the proponents of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) were embarrassed by a whistleblower who put on the Web more than a thousand e-mails either sent from or received at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, headed by Dr. Phil Jones. The CRU was founded in 1971 with funding from sources including Shell and British Petroleum. It became one of the climate-modeling grant mills supplying tainted data from which the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concocted its reports.

Deceitful manipulation of data, concealment or straightforward destruction of inconvenient evidence, vindictive conspiracies to silence critics, are par for the course in all scientific debate. But in displaying all these characteristics, the CRU e-mails graphically undermine the claim of the Warmers that they command the moral as well as scientific high ground. It has been a standard ploy of the Warmers to revile the skeptics as whores of the energy industry, swaddled in munificent grants and with large personal stakes in discrediting AGW. Actually, the precise opposite is true. Billions in funding and research grants sluice into the big climate-modeling enterprises and a vast archipelago of research departments and "institutes of climate change" across academia. It's where the money is. Skepticism, particularly for a young climatologist or atmospheric physicist, can be a career breaker.

Many of the landmines in the CRU e-mails tend to buttress longstanding charges by skeptics (yours truly included) that statistical chicanery by professor Michael Mann and others occluded the highly inconvenient Medieval Warm Period, running from 800 to 1300 AD, with temperatures in excess of the highest we saw in the 20th century, a historical fact that makes nonsense of the thesis that global warming could be attributed to the auto-industrial civilization of the 20th century. Here's Keith Briffa, of the CRU, letting his hair down in an e-mail Sept. 22, 1999: "I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards 'apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data' but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. ... I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago."

Now, in the fall of 1999, the IPCC was squaring up to its all-important "Summary for Policymakers" — essentially a press release, one that eventually featured the notorious graph flatlining into nonexistence the Medieval Warm Period and displaying a terrifying, supposedly unprecedented surge in 20th-century temperatures.

Briffa's reconstruction of temperature changes, one showing a mid- to late-20th-century decline, was regarded by Mann, in a Sept. 22, 1999, e-mail to the CRU, as a "problem and a potential distraction/detraction." So Mann, a lead author on this chapter of the IPCC report, simply deleted the embarrassing post-1960 portion of Briffa's reconstruction. The CRU's Jones happily applauded Mann's deceptions in an e-mail in which he crowed over "Mike's Nature trick."

Other landmines include e-mails from Kevin Trenberth, the head of the Climate Analysis Section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. On Oct. 14, he wrote to the CRU's Tom Wigley: "How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geo-engineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!"

Only a few weeks before Copenhagen, here is a scientist in the inner AGW circle disclosing that "we are no where close to knowing" how the supposedly proven AGW warming model might actually work, and that therefore geoengineering — such as carbon mitigation — is "hopeless."

This admission edges close to acknowledgment of a huge core problem: that "greenhouse" theory violates the second law of thermodynamics, which says that a cooler body cannot warm a hotter body without compensation. Greenhouse gases in the cold upper atmosphere cannot possibly transfer heat to the warmer earth, and in fact radiate their absorbed heat into outer space. (Readers interested in the science can read Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf Tscheuschner's "Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within the Frame of Physics," updated in January 2009.)

Recent data from many monitors including the CRU, available on, show that the average temperature of the atmosphere and the oceans near the surface of the earth has decreased significantly across the past eight years or so. CO2 is a benign gas essential to life, occurring in past eras at five times present levels. Changes in atmospheric CO2 do not correlate with human emissions of CO2, the latter being entirely trivial in the global balance.

The battles in Nicaea in 325 were faith based, with no relation to science or reason. So were the premises of the Copenhagen summit, that the planet faces catastrophic warming caused by manmade CO2 buildup, and that human intervention — geoengineering — could avert the coming disaster. Properly speaking, it's a farce. In terms of distraction from cleaning up the pollutants that are actually killing people, it's a terrible tragedy.

Alexander Cockburn is co-editor with Jeffrey St. Clair of the muckraking newsletter CounterPunch. He is also co-author of the new book "Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils," available through To find out more about Alexander Cockburn and read features by other columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


Warmism now in the textbooks

The change from pure science to political science has invaded college atmospheric science classes. A few months ago one of us and another co-author lamented the intrusion of politics into the science debate concerning climate change (see "Global-warming politics," The Washington Times, April 22). Now, much of the same politically motivated "science" is appearing in the newest editions of university textbooks.

Hopefully, the students exposed to these instances of revisionist history will have knowledgeable professors and the personal critical evaluation skills to see through the deception. Sadly, though, many in academia accept textbook information as gospel truth, and future generations of students will be indoctrinated through exposure to "fancy," rather than fact.

A specific example from a popular climatology textbook is most egregious. The example involves the infamous "hockey-stick" graph, supposedly portraying global temperature fluctuations over the past 1,000 years, with the long, relatively flat handle for the first 900 years and the sharply upward-angled head of the stick for the last 100 years. This temperature graph became the showcase of the Summary for Policymakers, Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in 2001. The diagram was instrumental in convincing many in government to buy into the idea that human-related emissions of carbon dioxide were causing an unprecedented increase in global temperature.

But there was a problem. The "hockey stick" contradicted the time-tested, nonpolitical temperature trend graphs generated by climatology professionals dating back to the science's beginning.

In the early days of climatology, it was anybody's guess how global temperatures fluctuated in the distant past. So, the pioneers of the field coupled recent temperature measurements with "proxy" data (such as historic written records, tree ring growth patterns, polar ice core analysis and river bed sediment studies) to estimate temperatures back more than 1,000 years. Data gleaned by numerous atmospheric scientists revealed a distinct medieval warm period from roughly 950 to 1250 A.D., which they labeled the Little Climatic Optimum. The scientists also documented a significant cooling period between 1645 and 1715, called the Maunder Minimum because of the apparent lack of sunspots. Climatologists believed these temperature extremes in the historic record, and climatology textbooks displayed a temperature trend chart showing such extremes.

Alas, these dramatic events were missing from the hockey-stick graph. How could that be? The investigative work of a couple of dedicated scientists demonstrated how the raw proxy data was analyzed and subjected to questionable statistical manipulation to create the hockey stick. By 2005, the graph had been exposed as invalid, and it is now disavowed by climate scientists. Even the IPCC stripped the graph from subsequent publications of its organizational reports.

Despite the rejection of this particular piece of tenuous science, the new editorial team tasked with producing the 2010 edition of the particular textbook in question has resurrected the hockey-stick graph. In this newest edition, the hockey-stick graph replaces the original temperature trend graph that remains the field's accepted and verified representation of temperature changes over the past 1,000 years.

Scientific theory should not be discarded because it conflicts with a popular political agenda, or because it is desirable for someone in a position of power to advance their personal agenda. And it is unconscionable for educators to present refuted data and theories to students as the prevailing state of the science. You may be entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. Working with reality produces better results than relying on fantasy.

The truth can be hard to see when a lie is hidden in plain sight. The hockey-stick graph and the rewriting of climate history may be honest misrepresentation. However, the cumulative effect of invalid theories and manipulated data is damaging to the science of climatology in particular and the practice of science in general.

Moreover, the damage goes beyond science. Classroom science eventually makes its way into the community as educated citizens are asked to consider and vote on consequential programs such as carbon emission "cap-and-trade" legislation. The entire rationale for restricting carbon dioxide emissions is a concern that carbon dioxide emissions will impact global temperatures. But, if temperature trends and other data are manipulated to influence voters and the decision-makers to a particular outcome, our planet is indeed in trouble.


Let's face it: Australia's ETS is dead

By financial journalist Terry McCrann

TONY Abbott almost singlehandedly put the Emissions Trading Scheme on life support. Now Copenhagen has killed it stone cold, motherless dead. Climate change minister Penny Wong, who is too emotionally committed to it to accept that truth, will carry it into the new year.

A responsible prime minister would give the ETS a decent Christian burial. And it has to be a formal state funeral. A Treasury that was not so absolutely compromised by a bizarre combination of religious zeal, institutional pomposity and basic incompetence would be gently but persistently and emphatically advising the government that the ETS was no longer a good idea. If indeed it ever was.

While an argument could have been mounted before Copenhagen for moving towards an ETS, that is not possible after the chaos in doleful Hamlet's hometown that produced the "China solution".

There will be no global agreement to cut emissions of carbon dioxide. Formally, it was "Chindia" -- China and India. But China is the elephant in that pairing. And in any event, nothing that President Barack Obama might have promised in Copenhagen was ever going to be endorsed by the US Senate, as it has to be.

While we wouldn't have quite seen a replay of the 95-0 vote that rejected the Kyoto Treaty in 1997, there is zero prospect of the US adopting either binding CO2 emission targets or a cap-and-trade policy, their name for an ETS.

So we have a situation post-Copenhagen, where the two countries that between them are responsible for nearly half of all global emissions of CO2 are not committed to cutting emissions, far less binding targets. And more pointedly, they won't have an ETS.

It is the latter that makes any move by Australia to have an ETS even more senseless than before. We would become ground zero for every spiv and main-chancer that would have an emission permit or million in their pocket to sell us. Indeed, even "respectable" Wall Streeters would be -- correction, are -- salivating over the next big thing.

Two things simply cannot be denied about Copenhagen. Australia locking in its ETS wouldn't have made the slightest difference to the outcome. Not even Kevin Rudd is delusional enough to believe that if only he and Penny had been able to arrive with their bit of paper, China would have agreed to destroy its future.

Secondly, but for Abbott's aggression -- helped in no small part by Malcolm Turnbull's overweening arrogance -- we would have been locked into a bad policy and a disastrous process, which is even worse. The ETS.

It's time the business community woke up from its dozy slumber, with the doziest of all being the Business Council. This is something they should be able to understand. Copenhagen has shattered any prospect of a local ETS delivering the "certainty" they crave. Now it would only be the certainty of the grave. That of carbon export and permit volatility and rip-offs.

That's the export of jobs, businesses and investment to other places that had no price on carbon dioxide. Those "other places" are essentially the rest of the world except for Europe -- which doesn't matter and in any event has totally debased the permits system, just as it has cynically approached the whole sorry climate saga, starting with Kyoto.

Our ETS could only work as part of a properly regulated and audited global system in which at the very minimum the US, the second-biggest emitter, participated. Even then it would still have been extremely volatile, open to manipulation and outright rorting: the very antithesis of certainty. Without the US, an Australian ETS is an invitation to chaos.

Are our Australian Federal "Carbon Cops" Police going to control the permits that would fall from the sky like confetti from Africa, Asia and Russia? Do you sincerely believe that ASIC, Australia's Simply Ineffective (corporate) Cop, is a match for the masters of Wall St manipulation? They couldn't nail Jodee Rich and Andrew Forrest. But never fear, they'll be right on top of global real-time trading in complex permit derivatives.

It remains extraordinary that any government could embark on a policy that directly attacked its own country. The "production" of carbon dioxide is the absolute foundation of not just our economy but our modern society. It is an ironic comment on the crass stupidity of both our politicians and our bureaucrats that if they'd actually succeeded at Copenhagen, they would have succeeded in destroying our future export growth.

The issue of emission cuts has to be cut free from the dead parrot, the ETS. That leaves one or both of Abbott's direct action emission cuts or a carbon tax. If we believe we have to join hands with the rest of the world in a mutual suicide pact, let us at least choose the more efficient method.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Friday, December 25, 2009


My survey of current news and current commentary has been a bit abbreviated today due to Christmas celebrations but I think that there is still some interesting stuff below:

The Copenhagen Crash and Global Cooling

If you're wondering why the national political news focus has been on health care and not on the aftermath of the historic conference in Copenhagen, Denmark which ended less than a week's because nothing productive happened there. Even worse, more lies have been exposed from the IPCC report, more agendas uncovered about leaders at the United Nations and the "accord" that was supposedly reached at the 11th hour in Denmark is already falling apart. In addition, the planet continues to cool and we'll likely see that cooling accelerate in the coming years. I touch on these topics and more in a podcast interview you can listen to here.

Here are just a few of the stories developing since the Copenhagen conference, which cost the United States millions of dollars in travel and accommodations alone and left a huge carbon footprint from 1,200 limousines and hundreds of private jets.

First, it was fitting that President Obama returned to Washington D.C. in a snowstorm. However, aside from Air Force One, he brought little else back from the conference. Here is a story from the UK Guardian.

The accord is already in trouble and may fall apart soon. Just days after the conference ended we have this story from the Financial Times. For what it's worth, there wasn't much of an agreement anyway since it was all about the United States and other "wealthy" (and cleaner) countries sending billions of dollars to developing (third-world and more polluted) nations. That's it, nothing more. There was no science discussed, no sharing of ideas from both sides and certainly no acknowledgement of reality from the leaders of more than 100 countries. Instead, there was an agreement to transfer our hard-earned money to other countries and to meet again in the near future. I want to personally thank every leader involved for this fantastic failure...the best possible outcome of this conference.

But wait, there is much more. It turns out that the head of the UN's Climate Change panel has some conflicts of interest and stands to make millions of dollars because of the global warming fraud. Here's the story from the UK Telegraph. Apparently, Dr Rajendra Pachauri has vested interests in a number of companies that benefit greatly from carbon trading...and this is the supposedly unbiased head of a panel on climate change, which I have known all along was a fraud consisting of hand-picked scientists (only 50 to 60, not the 2,500 or more you heard about) who support the global warming (GW) religion.

And it continues with revelations that Wikipedia has (or had) an administrator with a warming bias who routinely edited articles to his world view and rejected editing by those who know the truth. You can read more about this huge Wikipedia scam here and here. There is an additional update here.

I also just read a lengthy but interesting article about the abuse of the "peer-review" process in which climate skeptics had research put on the shelf for months before being approved while research that supported global warming was fast-tracked for publication. Read that scary account here.

One journalist who was a big GW believer has now seen the light and discusses it in this article. Remember, all of the above have happened since the end of the Copenhagen conference, and we're not finished yet.

A new study indicates that CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and Cosmic Rays may be the real culprit in any warming and cooling we have seen in recent decades, and you can read that here. No matter what the cause or causes, one thing is clear. We really don't know how or why our climate changes the way it does. This is something that scientists are still trying to figure out...but nothing is "settled" except the fact that we just don't know.

You think that's enough? Well...there's more. The State Climatologist in Texas found a HUGE error in the IPCC's latest report concerning the melting of glaciers. You have been hearing that most glaciers will disappear by 2050, right? Did you know that the original report listed a date that was 200 to 300 years later and that the study quoted by the IPCC was never peer-reviewed? The shocking details here.

Remember that arctic ice which was supposedly melting away? Well, we know Al Gore got that horribly wrong, but since I am highlighting new articles just in the past few days as the Copenhagen conference collapsed, I won't go over that again, but I need to let you know that a new study shows that we had much less ice thousands of years ago and what we're seeing now (ice levels have returned to normal levels) is nothing unusual in earth's history. Read the highlights of that breaking news here.

Finally, the sick scare tactics of the GW alarmists and worshipers continue with this from a company that should fold up its tent and go home...Build-A-Bear. Check out their pathetic attempt to frighten children here.

The party is over for Al Gore and all the corrupt scientists involved in Climate Gate, the IPCC, the Hadley Climatic Research Unit, and in some departments at NASA, NOAA / NCDC and Penn State University. This may be the Merriam-Webster definition of Failure, but I think we can shorten that to: Copenhagen!


Disappearing sunspots may signal end to global warming

Oh, where, oh where have all the sunspots gone? The fiery orange ball overhead has quieted during the past three years. Quiet in the sense that there have been very few sunspots – those black blotches on the sun’s surface caused by intense magnetic activity. But just how quiet is quiet? Well, so far during the recent solar minimum (a period of low activity during the sun’s typical 11-year solar cycle), we’ve seen 183 sun-spotless days in 2007, 266 in 2008 and 259 in 2009 (as of Dec. 16 2009). Earth hasn’t witnessed a similar three-year stretch (1911, 192, 1913) of sun-spotless days since the early 1900s.

The blank sun has not gone unnoticed by the experts. "We're experiencing a very deep solar minimum," says solar physicist Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "This is the quietest sun we've seen in almost a century," agrees sunspot expert David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center.

So why are sunspots under the spotlight? Because, according to solar scientists, their declining numbers, significant even by solar-minimum standards, could be the harbinger of colder temperatures ahead. If so, it won’t be the first time the earth shivered as sunspots numbers declined. In the 17th century, the sun experienced a sunspot drought, dubbed the Maunder Minimum, which lasted 70 years – from 1645 until 1715. Astronomers at the time counted only a few dozen sunspots per year, thousands fewer than usual.

As sunspots vanished temperatures fell. The River Thames in London froze, sea ice was reported along the coasts of southeast England, and ice floes blocked many harbors. Agricultural production nose-dived as growing seasons grew shorter, leading to lower crop yields, food shortages and famine.

Canadian author and National Post environmental columnist Lawrence Solomon describes the period: “Glaciers advanced rapidly in Greenland, Iceland, Scandinavia and North America, making vast tracts of land uninhabitable. The Arctic pack ice extended so far south that several reports describe Eskimos landing their kayaks in Scotland. Finland’s population fell by one-third, Iceland’s by half, the Viking colonies in Greenland [yes, it was once green, with forests and pastureland] were abandoned altogether, as were many Inuit communities. The cold in North America spread so far south that, in the winter of 1780, New York Harbor froze, enabling people to walk from Manhattan to Staten Island.”

Is mankind headed for another cool-down or big freeze? Based on recent scientific findings, it might be a possibility. A Danish research team led by Henrik Svensmark, director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen, has discovered a strong correlation between sunspot activity, galactic cosmic rays and variations in the earth’s climate, a theory (supported by experiments) that challenges the prevailing concept of human-induced climate change, popularly known as anthropogenic global warming.

Henrik and his team have discovered that increased solar activity in the form of sunspots, flares and other disturbances generate solar winds that strengthen the magnetic fields surrounding earth, creating a bubble that suppresses cosmic ray penetration, inhibiting cloud formation and causing warming.

Conversely, when solar activity diminishes, the protective magnetic bubble weakens and more cosmic rays penetrate the earth’s atmosphere. The high-energy particles serve as host nuclei around which water vapor can condense and form droplets, resulting in more cloud cover and precipitation. Temperatures begin to fall as the clouds reflect more sunlight back into space.

“Galactic cosmic rays carry with them radiation from other parts of our galaxy,” says Ed Smith, NASA’s Ulysses project scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “With the solar wind at an all-time low, there is an excellent chance the heliosphere [earth’s protective bubble] will diminish in size and strength. If that occurs, more galactic cosmic rays will make it into the inner part of our solar system.”

If Svensmark and other climate scientists are correct, the decline in solar activity may be responsible for the recent fall in global temperatures. In 1998, global temperatures at the earth’s surface began leveling off and have actually declined slightly since 2001, despite an increase in CO2 levels, calling into question the accuracy of climate models that predict catastrophic global warming.

The decade-long cool-down is clearly visible in satellite temperature measurements, which are widely viewed as more accurate than land-based temperatures readings, according to Dr. David Evans, who was a researcher with the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1995 to 2005. Such readings, he says, are often skewed by what is called the “urban heat island” effect, which articially elevates temperatures.

“NASA reports only land-based data, and reports a modest warming trend and recent cooling,” says Evans. “The other three global temperature records use a mix of satellite and land measurements, or satellite only, and they all show no warming since 2001 and a recent cooling.”

As Svensmark observes: “In fact, global warming has stopped and a cooling is beginning. No climate model has predicted a cooling of the Earth – quite the contrary. And this means that the [global warming] projections of future climate are unreliable.”

If what Svensmark and other researchers say is true, it is very likely that when the heated debate between global warmers and global-warming skeptics finally ends, cooler heads may ultimately prevail.


Why the Global Warming Hoax?

The major unanswered question are the motives behind all the lies, exaggerations, cover-ups, and suppression of opposing views. The scientists’ actions can be understood in part because of all the fame, luxury meetings, and millions of dollars of government money they received to promote their agenda—namely, (1) that the world was warming and (2) that human beings were responsible. If sunspots were responsible for the warming cycles, then there would be little justification for government money to subsidize the scientists to find ways to stop it.

Similarly, many big corporations saw billions in government “carbon” subsidies for windmills, research, and such, so they supported the theories as well. They could sucker the taxpayers while making for themselves an image of concerned citizens helping to “save the world.” (See Climate Money–$79 Billion So Far and Trillions To Come from the Science and Public Policy Institute.) For comparison, think also of the way many businesses supported the lies about ethanol saving energy–with billions of dollars in subsidies for ethanol production. The whole hype was another hoax. Historians one day will write in awe of America’s unbelievable waste of money and resources during the Bush-Obama years.

The crazy big-media hype was mainly for the same old reason newsboys used to shout “FIRE!” or “MURDER!” The “end of the world” is always a good topic to pique readers’ and TV viewers’ interest. Circulation and money drive big media. Everyone would pay to learn about coming disasters. Remember how, a little while ago, they were telling us that more and stronger hurricanes would be coming every year.

However, there were some real brains with other motives for promoting the lies. Extreme environmentalism has become the new socialism, an excuse for dictatorial rule to limit consumption and justify highly centralized government power “to save humanity.” Below is a list of quotes from leading leftists. There were brains behind it all, the old socialists looking for a new justification for government takeover of the economy, for a “planned” economy which they would plan and manage. Man-made global warming became the substitute agenda for Leftists who had been discredited by Reaganomics and the collapse of communism.

The following quotes were first circulated by Ralph Voss, editor of the Unterrified Democrat published in Linn, Mo. They well explain the agenda. They provide much hard evidence about the hoax.
“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.” Timothy Wirth, President of the U.N. Foundation and former Democratic U.S. senator from Colorado.

“No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” Christine Stewart, former Canadian minister of the environment who led that country’s delegation to Kyoto.

“A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States,” John Holdren (Obama’s Science Czar) wrote in a 1973 book he co-authored with Paul R. Ehrlch and Anne H. Ehrlich. “De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.” See also John Holdren and the Anti-Growth Malthusians for interesting links and quotations.

“The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the U.S. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.” Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton professor and member of Environmental Defense Fund.

“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” Maurice Strong, a native of Canada considered by some to be one of the leading environmentalists in the world. He is an official at the U.N.

“It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” Paul Watson, co-founder of the environmental group Greenpeace.

“My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with its full complement of species, returning throughout the world.” Dave Foreman, U.S. environmentalist and co-founder of radical environmental group Earth First.


Don’t confuse environmentalism with science

Truth is not determined by majority vote. Any talk of a "consensus" in science is best not taken as the final word. As Somerset Maugham once put it, "If 40 million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one, but the wise man is foolish to give them the lie."

Climatology is a science, not to be confused with environmentalism. The heart of environmentalism is not to be found in the natural sciences. It is ideology and nothing more. That is why it ends in "-ism."

Environmentalism is itself not a monolith, but its dominant strand is distinctly statist in character. As such, its main nemesis is the science of economics, not climatology or any of the other natural sciences.

A sound understanding of economics is all that is needed to discredit the emerging interventionist social agenda of the environmental movement. The methods that they recommend cannot deliver the results that they promise.

It is common to hear accusations of "junk science" hurled against environmentalists, particularly those touting the dangers of climate change.

These accusations might be well taken and, if so, would be sufficient to derail the CO2 "Cap and Trade" juggernaut. But the real objective of the environmental movement appears to be in the social realm. That means the control of people, with environmental controls serving merely as the instrument.

We have had considerable domestic and international experience with governments that micromanage the lives of their residents. The more governments interfere in our lives, the more things go wrong. The people are poorer, less healthy and less able to adapt to the vagaries of nature and of other men. If ever a science were settled, this would be it.

It should be obvious that each individual's actions affect the rest of us to some greater or lesser extent. The same is true with respect to the environment around us. Complex interactions present us with great regularities, as well as many unexpected events. It has always been so; and we can expect it to remain so.

The environmental activists of Copenhagen need to mature a bit and come to understand that we have less to fear from CO2 than from bad ideas.

Instead of sucking the oxygen out of the debate, they should admit that they know far less than their claims would suggest. They need to learn humility, an essential ingredient in anyone who would speak of science.

We need not con ourselves that we know enough to predict the Earth's temperature 100, or even 20 years from now. Even less certain should we be that we have the power to control it.

What we can control is our readiness to face whatever comes. But to follow the advice of the Copenhagen activists, or those who voted for the Waxman-Markey bill, is the path of fools.

It is the path of weakness and dissipation.

We know better, and we have done better. It is free societies that have done the best in meeting economic and environmental challenges. It is free societies that have led the way in developing new energy sources and making them incrementally more efficient.

If we, as consumers, really feel that burning coal for energy is too dirty, we don't even need to put a tax on it. All we need to do is stop wasting money on subsidies to low-yield, low-reliability sources, such as wind and solar and remove the irrational and crushing regulatory burdens from more promising energy sources, such as nuclear. We don't need to subsidize any energy source.

The technology has already advanced sufficiently that private competition to serve customers would result in a systematic replacement of old energy sources by cheaper and cleaner sources.

If governments would stick to their job of protecting us from aggression, rather than blocking us from progress, we would now be wealthier, healthier, safer and cleaner.


A green, sustainable future that doesn't work

In the high desert of central Arizona, more than five thousand miles from the global-warming summit in Copenhagen, sits an aging and unfinished vision of the enviro-friendly, sustainable life that some climate change activists foresee for us all. It's called Arcosanti, created in 1970 by the Italian architect Paolo Soleri, and it is the prototype of a green community of the future. The only problem is, it doesn't work. And it never did.

Arcosanti is an "arcology," a word Soleri coined by combining "architecture" and "ecology." In Soleri's vision, an arcology is a self-contained city in which hundreds of thousands of people live in a small space, their needs met by green energy sources, recycled and sustainable products, and carefully planned social and cultural events. There are -- God forbid -- no cars.

In a Soleri design, masses of people are packed into the small-footprint arcology so that the land surrounding the community can remain pristine, unpolluted by human touch. It was an idea much in fashion a few decades back. "As urban architecture, Arcosanti is probably the most important experiment undertaken in our lifetime," wrote Newsweek in 1976.

Soleri designed models of many futuristic communities, guided by his intense dislike of U.S.-style development. "The 'American Dream,' as physically embodied in the single-family house," he once wrote, "has to be scrapped and reinvented in terms which are coherent with the human and biospheric reality." Despite his many designs, the only community Soleri ever attempted to build is here, on the edge of the Agua Fria River canyon about 70 miles north of Phoenix.

Arcosanti was never intended as a full-scale arcology. Rather, it was to be a small model, eventually becoming home to 5,000 people. It would include a common area, composed of an open-air theater, shops, offices, and parks under a soaring, 25-story half-dome. The half-dome would have a hivelike structure in which residents would live in little honeycomb-style apartments. The whole thing would take up no more than 25 acres, surrounded by thousands of acres of empty Arizona landscape.

But today, after nearly 40 years, just a few buildings of the common space have been built, and those are gray, leaky and crumbling. On the chilly December day when I visited recently, there were maybe 50 people there, and there are never, even in good weather, more than 100 or 150 inhabitants, mostly students who come to learn about Soleri's radical environmental and architectural ideas.

In one of the common areas, there were piles of empty cardboard boxes, an empty Mountain Dew carton, a couple of children's bikes with training wheels, and pools of water from the previous day's rain. When I took a look at the "Sky Suite," a spare and minimally furnished apartment with a lovely view of the canyon, the man staying there had put a towel under the door in an attempt to keep the water out. It didn't work; on the floor was a soaked towel and a little pool of water. Everyone was cold, despite Arcosanti's vaunted solar heating system.

There's no half-dome, no honeycomb of apartments, no nothing. Soleri never had enough money to build his dream, and the project never made sense to any investors who could have made it happen. Instead, Arcosanti supports itself largely from the sale of bronze and ceramic wind chimes, made here, and from the student tuition. It's enough to keep a bare-bones operation going, but nowhere near what would be needed to construct an arcology, even a tiny, prototype arcology.

Soleri is still around, now 90 years old. His reputation faded as Arcosanti struggled, but now that has changed. "As the world wakes up to the grim realities of climate change, peak oil and sustainability," a recent account in the Guardian observes, "[Soleri] is now something of a guru: in demand on the lecture circuit and, recently, offering sage advice in Leonardo DiCaprio's 'How can we save the world?' documentary The 11th Hour."

Soleri's vision -- of Earth's population confined to high-density communities -- is shared by some of the more extreme elements of the environmental movement now gathered in Copenhagen. There's even a new, Soleri-inspired project starting in Abu Dhabi. But it's hard to imagine many Americans ever living in an arcology, except perhaps at gunpoint. If you want to see why, just pay a visit to Arcosanti.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yet another gaping hole in the Warmist story

Study shows CFCs, cosmic rays major culprits for global warming

Cosmic rays and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), both already implicated in depleting the Earth's ozone layer, are also responsible for changes in the global climate, a University of Waterloo scientist reports in a new peer-reviewed paper. In his paper, Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, shows how CFCs - compounds once widely used as refrigerants - and cosmic rays - energy particles originating in outer space - are mostly to blame for climate change, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. His paper, derived from observations of satellite, ground-based and balloon measurements as well as an innovative use of an established mechanism, was published online in the prestigious journal Physics Reports.

"My findings do not agree with the climate models that conventionally thought that greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, are the major culprits for the global warming seen in the late 20th century," Lu said. "Instead, the observed data show that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays most likely caused both the Antarctic ozone hole and global warming. These findings are totally unexpected and striking, as I was focused on studying the mechanism for the formation of the ozone hole, rather than global warming."

His conclusions are based on observations that from 1950 up to now, the climate in the Arctic and Antarctic atmospheres has been completely controlled by CFCs and cosmic rays, with no CO2 impact. "Most remarkably, the total amount of CFCs, ozone-depleting molecules that are well-known greenhouse gases, has decreased around 2000," Lu said. "Correspondingly, the global surface temperature has also dropped. In striking contrast, the CO2 level has kept rising since 1850 and now is at its largest growth rate."

In his research, Lu discovers that while there was global warming from 1950 to 2000, there has been global cooling since 2002. The cooling trend will continue for the next 50 years, according to his new research observations.

As well, there is no solid evidence that the global warming from 1950 to 2000 was due to CO2. Instead, Lu notes, it was probably due to CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays. And from 1850 to 1950, the recorded CO2 level increased significantly because of the industrial revolution, while the global temperature kept nearly constant or only rose by about 0.1 C.

In previously published work, Lu demonstrated that an observed cyclic hole in the ozone layer provided proof of a new ozone depletion theory involving cosmic rays, which was developed by Lu and his former co-workers at Rutgers University and the Université de Sherbrooke. In the past, it was generally accepted for more than two decades that the Earth's ozone layer is depleted due to the sun's ultraviolet light-induced destruction of CFCs in the atmosphere.

The depletion theory says cosmic rays, rather than the sun's UV light, play the dominant role in breaking down ozone-depleting molecules and then ozone. In his study, published in Physical Review Letters, Lu analyzed reliable cosmic ray and ozone data in the period of 1980-2007, which cover two full 11-year solar cycles.

In his latest paper, Lu further proves the cosmic-ray-driven ozone depletion theory by showing a large number of data from laboratory and satellite observations. One reviewer wrote: "These are very strong facts and it appears that they have largely been ignored in the past when modelling the Antarctic ozone loss."

New observations of the effects of CFCs and cosmic rays on ozone loss and global warming/cooling could be important to the Earth and humans in the 21st century. "It certainly deserves close attention," Lu wrote in his paper, entitled Cosmic-Ray-Driven Electron-Induced Reactions of Halogenated Molecules Adsorbed on Ice Surfaces: Implications for Atmospheric Ozone Depletion and Global Climate Change.


Journal abstract follows:

Cosmic-ray-driven electron-induced reactions of halogenated molecules adsorbed on ice surfaces: Implications for atmospheric ozone depletion

By Qing-Bin Lu

The cosmic-ray driven electron-induced reaction of halogenated molecules adsorbed on ice surfaces has been proposed as a new mechanism for the formation of the polar ozone hole. Here, experimental findings of dissociative electron transfer reactions of halogenated molecules on ice surfaces in electron-stimulated desorption, electron trapping and femtosecond time-resolved laser spectroscopic measurements are reviewed. It is followed by a review of the evidence from recent satellite observations of this new mechanism for the Antarctic ozone hole, and all other possible physical mechanisms are discussed. Moreover, new observations of the 11 year cyclic variations of both polar ozone loss and stratospheric cooling and the seasonal variations of CFCs and CH4 in the polar stratosphere are presented, and quantitative predictions of the Antarctic ozone hole in the future are given. Finally, new observation of the effects of CFCs and cosmic-ray driven ozone depletion on global climate change is also presented and discussed.

The guesswork that passed for climate science at CRU

They made stuff up willy nilly

In Part 1 of this series we learned that Ian "Harry" Harris was creating a different data set for the 2006-2009 temperature readings that excluded Alpha values, those values that pose a risk for rejecting the global warming trend. In short, eliminating problematic values.

In Part 2 of this series we learned that Ian "Harry" Harris claimed Dr. Tim Osborne was using the wrong temperature values when performing comparisons with temperature anomaly values. Also, when doing compiling the precipitation results, Harry commented Tim's program for doing the compilation was "Not good enough for the bloody Sun!!!" and caused several errors. Harry was able to get the precipitation results to compile with Tim's program, but only after replacing questionable values with a default filler value of "-9999". Harry also indicated that he and Tim's results differed by at 5%.

In Part 3 of this series we learned that the precipitation temperature database file dates were altered, but not actually updated according to the modfied dates. In short, the final version of the precipitation files compiled by Dr. Tim Osborne could not have been using the latest precipitation database (as Harry said). The synthetic Cloud precipitation values were missing from 1996-2001 and lost by a collegue of Harry's by the name of Mark. To accomadate, Harry found a Fortran program created by Mark to convert Sunshine temperature values (those temperatures with no Clouds) to "Psuedo Cloud" temperature values. In short, convert many of the Sunshine temperature values to more Cloud-like temperatures (which often run warmer). Not finding a good database with precipitation values (because everything was undocumented), Harry just picked one he thought would be a good Candidate for the compilation of precipitation results and forming a standard grid model for those results.

In Part 4 of this series we learned there were 6003 missing precipitation temperature values out of a possible 15,942 temperature readings. The missing 6003 values were not recovered. Also, there were over 200 weather stations with a temperature reading of '0' (North Africa and the West coast of South America) for their cells. According to Harry, there was a '0' reading for each of these 200+ stations throughout the whole temperature series from 1901-1996, thus making Phil's comment illogical in that a '0' meant the climate has not changed since the last reading. If this were the case, North Africa and the West coast of South America would not have had a temperature change ever since recording of the temps!

Moving on through this data file (see part 1 for brief explanation of this file), Harry notes this is the worst project he's ever attempted: "Wahey! It's halfway through April and I'm still working on it. This surely is the worst project I've ever attempted. Eeeek."

Adding US temperatures, more lost data and "no time to follow-up on everything"

The next step was to merge the US normailzed temperature readings into the new database Harry generated in the previous sections. After doing a merge, Harry says there were 210 duplicate and non-missing lines found (comment 26): "What's worse - there are STILL duplicate non-missing lines, 210 of them. The first example is this:"

Not much Harry could do other than to write it off as "one of those things": "I just do not have the time to follow up everything. We'll have to take 210 year repetitions as 'one of those things'." Harry, after-all, was able to remove allot of the duplicates, yet there were still several.

Longitude and Latitude readings off by a factor of 10

Many, if not most, of the US station locations were off by a factor of 10 in terms of their longitude and latitude coordinates. Writing yet another small program (proglet) to do some patching and correct the values (thus causing an even larger margin for error), Harry finds he is able to correct the normal temperature longitude and latitude stations (having those readings) but the stations' longitudes and latitudes with precipitation readings were still amiss.

Australia stations missing 800 out of 1000 values

Now that the US was indexed into the new database, Harry attempts split this database up into two new databases, one holding all the minimum temperatures (t-min) and one holding all the maximum temperatures (t-max). Before proceeding, Australia needs to be factored into the mix. After receiving two files with Australia's temps from a colleague named "Dave L.", Harry notes that these two files for Australia have over 800 stations out of a 1000 with no values. In order to rectify this, Harry sets out to write yet another program to find matches in earlier database and use those values in place of the missing values: "But what about the others?! There are close to 1000 incoming stations in the bulletins, must every one be identified in this way?!! Oh God. There's nothing for it - I'll have to write a prog to find matches for the incoming Australian bulletin stations in the main databases."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

On scepticism about climate change

Some letter excerpts in "The Economist"

Passion is the root problem in what you term “the modern argument over climate change” (“A heated debate”, November 28th). You state, for instance, that the “majority of the world’s climate scientists have convinced themselves” that human activity is the cause of climate change. I know of no poll that confirms this, but your choice of words is telling. In science, our interpretations of nature are based on observation, experiment and evidence, not self-conviction.

Those of us who are dismissed, often derided, as sceptics have waited a long time for the chicanery behind the global-warming movement to come to light. But we should not blame scientists—however unprincipled—nor UN organisations, nor national governments. The true culprits are the latter-day Nostradamuses who, under their icons of cuddly pandas and polar bears, have misused science to stoke fear, guilt and a craving for atonement in the minds of the public. Governments have been browbeaten to respond to these catastrophists, and some scientists, dependent on public money, have fashioned their behaviour accordingly.

Nikolay Semyonov, a Soviet scientist and Nobel prize winner in chemistry, wrote that: “There is nothing more dangerous than blind passion in science. This is a direct path to unjustified self-confidence, to loss of self-criticalness, to scientific fanaticism, to false science. Given support from someone in power, it can lead to suppression of true science and, since science is now a matter of state importance, to inflicting great injury on the country.”

Semyonov was referring to the ruthless manipulation of Soviet science by Trofim Lysenko and other opportunists. In a similar vein, it is time we recognise that we are becoming prey to a new fanaticism, a religious fervour that runs contrary to rational society.

You proclaimed that a scientist’s effort to “hide the decline” was “not sinister” (“Mail-strom”, November 28th). What is it, then, when a scientist formulates a hypothesis that growth patterns follow temperature, and tests the hypothesis against data only to find that growth patterns do not follow temperature at all for 30% of the data and only partially for the rest? Do you then conclude, as would any sane person, that your hypothesis is not valid? Or do you instead take the road followed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and conclude that data which undermine your favoured hypothesis are not valid, and throw out the data? If this is “not sinister”, then it is flabbergastingly stupid.


Solar Shutdown: Feinstein to Block Energy Projects

There's no such thing as a happy Greenie

We need to transform to a new, clean energy economy but we can’t build solar panels in the Mojave Desert if California Senator Diane Feinstein has anything to say about it:
Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation in Congress on Monday to protect a million acres of the Mojave Desert in California by scuttling some 13 big solar plants and wind farms planned for the region.

But before the bill to create two new Mojave national monuments has even had its first hearing, the California Democrat has largely achieved her aim. Regardless of the legislation’s fate, her opposition means that few if any power plants are likely to be built in the monument area, a complication in California’s effort to achieve its aggressive goals for renewable energy.

Developers of the projects have already postponed several proposals or abandoned them entirely. The California agency charged with planning a renewable energy transmission grid has rerouted proposed power lines to avoid the monument.”

Years of subsidies and tax credits haven’t helped wind and solar projects compete with more reliable sources of energy. Solar power supplies less than one percent of the country’s electricity demand; wind does slightly better. That’s not necessarily a red flag to stop building more, but it is indicative of how far we have to go and how costly it would be “transform to a clean energy economy” as President Obama said in his remarks to the delegation at the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen.

If the private businesses deem it in their interest to pursue renewable energy projects (without federal help), they should be able to do so. But where these projects may be the most economically viable, such as the Mojave Dessert, the government is shutting them down.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., environmentalist and a partner with a venture capital firm invested in solar, told the New York Times, “This is arguably the best solar land in the world, and Senator Feinstein shouldn’t be allowed to take this land off the table without a proper and scientific environmental review.”

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, the renewable projects have either been thwarted or put on hold because of self-interested in politicians. Cape Wind spent millions in litigation costs, delays and regulatory hurdles in attempting to build a 130-turbine offshore project in the Nantucket Sound that Senator Ted Kennedy long opposed despite the turbines being barely visible from the horizon.

The Mojave Dessert situation is slightly different because Sen. Feinstein says, “the lands were purchased with nearly $45 million in private funds and $18 million in federal funds and donated to the federal government for the purpose of conservation, and that commitment must be upheld. Period.” But if an environmental group wants to preserve these lands, they shouldn’t rely on the taxpayer to fund the purchase nor fund the conservation of the land. In fact, many environmental groups do just that. Private property rights make it possible for the Nature Conservancy and Ducks Unlimited to protect habitat by purchasing land and establishing wildlife preserves.’

Nantucket and the Mojave Dessert aren’t unique. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Project No Project shows that the “Not in My Back Yard” crowd is everywhere. It’s not just anti-oil and anti-coal, it’s anti-energy and anti-development.

Even with subsidies, tax breaks and mandates, shifting our energy away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy will be a prohibitively costly and difficult task. Senator Feinstein is about to make it that much more difficult.


Environmental attention-seeker said just 15 months ago: Global warming means no snow or cold in DC

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who flies around on private planes so as to tell larger numbers of people how they must live their lives in order to save the planet, wrote a column last year on the lack of winter weather in Washington, D.C.
In Virginia, the weather also has changed dramatically. Recently arrived residents in the northern suburbs, accustomed to today's anemic winters, might find it astonishing to learn that there were once ski runs on Ballantrae Hill in McLean, with a rope tow and local ski club. Snow is so scarce today that most Virginia children probably don't own a sled. But neighbors came to our home at Hickory Hill nearly every winter weekend to ride saucers and Flexible Flyers.

In those days, I recall my uncle, President Kennedy, standing erect as he rode a toboggan in his top coat, never faltering until he slid into the boxwood at the bottom of the hill. Once, my father, Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy, brought a delegation of visiting Eskimos home from the Justice Department for lunch at our house. They spent the afternoon building a great igloo in the deep snow in our backyard. My brothers and sisters played in the structure for several weeks before it began to melt. On weekend afternoons, we commonly joined hundreds of Georgetown residents for ice skating on Washington's C&O Canal, which these days rarely freezes enough to safely skate.

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil and its carbon cronies continue to pour money into think tanks whose purpose is to deceive the American public into believing that global warming is a fantasy.

Having shoveled my walk five times in the midst of this past weekend's extreme cold and blizzard, I think perhaps RFK, Jr. should leave weather analysis to the meteorologists instead of trying to attribute every global phenomenon to anthropogenic climate change.


Fun! Do Electric Cars Cause Cancer?

The world of electric cars is a rah-rah world. There are numerous economic arguments against their widespread adoption, but that hasn’t stopped government officials, environmental activists, and most importantly automakers from moving aggressively toward electrified transportation. On balance, ramped-up EV development is a good thing: Over the next 40 years, our existing oil supplies are going to run out, according to a set of more-or-less accepted geological assumptions generally referred to as "peak oil." The concept, which was first articulated in the 1950s by a petroleum scientist named M. King Hubbert, doesn’t say, Bam! We’re suddenly going to have no more oil in 2020 or whatever. Rather, the theory says that petroleum discovery and production will at some point peak, after which it will follow a declining rather than ascending curve. Depending on whom you talk to, peak oil has already happened, is happening, will happen soon, or is a few decades off. But there’s agreement that it will take place.

So we need to switch over to alternative forms of transportation, or at least prepare ourselves to do so. Because transportation consumes a major amount of oil, bringing EVs into the picture in a big way is seen as a solution, with the added benefit of eliminating tailpipe emissions and at least stabilizing global warming (although the burning of coal for energy also has to go away). Obviously, however, an EV running off an electric motor with a battery that can weigh 600 lbs. raises the health-hazard issue: Does the electromagnetic field generated by the car pose a threat to drivers and passengers?

This question has been bandied around the blogosphere, and answered as best as can be, given limited research, much of which is extrapolated from EMF studies of the fields generated by power lines, cell phones, household appliances, and so on. The National Cancer Institute says that there are indications that EMFs can cause certain cancers, but the research is far from conclusive. EVs and hybrids haven’t been in the market long enough for studies to be done, although automakers have tested their vehicles for EMFs (conventional cars as well as hybrids and EVs), and found them to be within accepted limits.

Unfortunately, nothing in this area is completely benign. Autos pose risk simply because they go fast and there are lots of them, enough for 40,000 people to die in accidents every year. But we trade that off for the convenience of personal mobility. EVs will solve peak oil and some emissions problems, but they will also stress the power-generating grid, initially run, in a matter of speaking, mostly on coal, and create thousands of new, rolling EMFs. Ultimately, the only way to completely dodge these problems is to remake society according to radical efficiency principles: live in compact communities (as large as megacities or as small as rural villages, but no gray-area exurbs in between), generate power from sources such as wind and sun (which means much less power than what we currently get from fossil fuels), abandon personal mobility, limit freight shipping, etc., etc., etc.

That’s right, it’s not going to happen. So even in the seemingly unlikely event that EVs and hybrids do cause cancer, we’ll have to tolerate that risk, if we’re going to move forward rather than back.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"The CRU webserver is gradually being rebuilt"

(CRU being the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, Holy of Holies in the temple of Warmism)

Or so we learn from their minimalist webite. One consequence of the "rebuilding" is that the picture of Phil Jones that I had at the top of this blog is now no longer hosted by the UEA. Amusing. Is the "rebuild" designed to distance the UEA from him? You decide. I have however rehosted the picture so it still appears in its accustomed place here. There is an even tinier picture of him hosted by the UEA here though.

I note that they have still got their amusing graphic of global warming up though. See above. Ignore the arbitrary horizontal line they have put through it, however, and you see that it in fact shows a steady process of warming from 1910 onwards -- not from the late 20th century as they usually claim and as their graphic purports to show. The warming began, in other words, long BEFORE the era of mass industrialization, so cannot be attributed to it. So even after all their "adjustments" to the raw data, it is still only chartmanship (deceptive graphics) that allows them to make their case! All the huge political activity over global warming depends on deceptively presented graphics!

There is actually a second deception in the graphic as well. And perhaps a worse one. Because mere tenths of one degree Celsius are graphed (in another classic tactic of chartmanship), the slope of the graph is vastly exaggerated. You would be unlikely to notice it, but from top to bottom the temperature rise over the entire century totals only about one degree Celsius. If the room you are in now warmed up by that tiny amount, you wouldn't notice it! The change is trivial in reality but made to look huge in the graph. If units of just one degree (which is probably what most people would expect) had been used, the graph would show a flat line instead of a rising one!

Climate Change: Hoax of the Century

Carbon dioxide, a benign, life giving molecule has been miscast by a world wide political movement to be an environmental hazard in what will soon be discovered to be the hoax of the century. This molecule, CO2 is vital to all life on earth. It is exhaled by all living things and even comes from nocturnal emissions by plants. It forms the bubbles in your soda, wine and beer. Standard air has 370 parts per million (PPM) of carbon dioxide of which 93% comes from “natural sources” which are all beyond human control. These sources include decomposition of organic matter, exhaling by living things and volcanic vents, which is by far the greatest atmospheric source.

The climate change hoax is based on faulty science from two things. First, hoaxers assume that ice layers give information on temperature like tree rings do with rainfall. Ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica, from thousands of years of deposits, are measured for CO2 content of the air at the time the snow layer was deposited and thickness of the ice layers. The thickness of these snow fall layers is then assumed to be an indication of global temperature. There are numerous errors in this assumption, which have been presented in a more technical analysis, but for now pretend that this evidence is true. The hoaxers then show graphs over time with a near perfect match of CO2 levels and snow thickness and by implication the earth’s temperature.

The second bit of “proof” of human caused global warming is the Global Climate Model which is available to all at Wikipedia. By their own admission, this model was developed for SHORT RANGE weather forecasting and we all know how accurate that is. This formula, though not given on this web site, has a hundred parameters each with its own coefficient and exponent. By manipulating these numbers the hoaxers are able to “prove” that an increase of CO2 will raise world temperature.

The whole concept of “greenhouse gas” is absurd. The earth receives a full spectrum of electromagnetic radiation by day (Duh!) but by night only a portion, the infrared stored on the surface, is radiated back into space. There is no gaseous one way control of this energy. The atmospheric gasses can absorb or reflect some of this energy but can not increase the incoming amount. Carbon dioxide is a three-atom molecule that cannot possibly determine that all radiation should be allowed in by day, but none can escape by night. Consider the insulation or radiant barrier in your home’s attic. The radiant barrier bounces solar radiant energy away from your living space in the summer and bounces radiant energy trying to exit back into your house in the winter. Insulation does the same thing with convective energy, keeping heat out in summer and heat in during the winter.

The atmosphere behaves the same way. To claim that any gas, whether CO2 or methane or any other, can simultaneously allow energy in by day but block energy exit by night is absurd. To think that the hoaxers claim of a change in 10 parts per million of CO2 molecules could effect the earths climate in any way is insane. IF CO2 had these miracle properties then all double pane glass panels would be filled with CO2 and the magic molecules would work like little Venetian blinds allowing full heat by day and no loss at night. In fact, greenhouse glass does not block radiant heat loss at night, but only a fraction of convective heat loss that is trapped by the physical glass barrier.

If you Goggle the Last Glacial Maximum you will see maps of the thousands of square miles of ice and the ocean levels over 400 ft below current levels. All of this ice melted in 100 years. There is no evidence that humans caused this so we must look for the force that could cause this change. The earth does not rotate in a circle around the sun but rather in an ellipse, varying our distance between 91 and 93 million miles. Because of this we receive a 4% change in solar radiation every year but this has no effect on earth’s climate.

Our seasons are the result of the planets 23 degree axis of rotation. Our summer occurs when we are farthest from the sun. The southern hemisphere has summer when the planet is closest to the sun. There is little difference in latitude by latitude comparisons of these opposite globe seasons. Based on this fact, even a 10% change in solar activity would have negligible effect. A ten percent change is beyond any observed solar cycle. The earth’s crust is a 10 to 20 miles thick layer of solid rock that floats on 7000 miles of molten rock. Gravity cannot provide the pressure necessary to melt this much rock. What causes this rock to melt and the earth to have massive periodic climate changes is the irregular decay of uranium in our earth’s core.

A more technical analysis of this earth warming force has been presented to members of Congress and for scientific peer review but for this presentation just consider two elements that result from this uranium decay. Radon, the radioactive gas we are warned about constantly can only occur from nuclear reaction and has a half-life of 3.8 days. A one pound container of Radon would only weigh 1/8 of an ounce in just 23 days. The fact that Radon is a health hazard is proof of its daily production. Helium, another inert element, is eight times lighter than air and all helium released on earth is lost to outer space in just minutes. Helium does not come from the break down of any compound but only from nuclear reaction. It is occurs in natural gas deposits in just a few locations on earth.

The geo-nuclear energy that melts our core and creates these gases is also the greatest variable in the earth’s climate. This geo-nuclear energy is at present beyond human control or understanding. It is most convenient for the hoaxers to neglect this greatest variable in climate change from their defective climate model. The graphic match of CO2 and ice core layer thickness (earth’s temperature ?) is also matched by the amount of ash in the layer. When volcanic energy is released it produces large amounts of heat….and ash…. and CO2. Blaming CO2 for climate change is like saying ashes cause fire. CO2 is the effect of heat and not the cause.

Our democracy depends on informed consent. Informed should not be limited to lies told by a political movement. When the full scope of the scientific errors involved in this hoax are exposed everyone will realize this has been the greatest folly since the flat earth theory. We deserve a real debate. In this case, the truth will be very inconvenient.


Think the World Isn't Coming to an End? It's All in Your Head

The Green/Left always turn to sneers and contempt when the facts do not suit them

In the latest example of "accountability journalism," the Associated Press holds "ordinary folks" accountable for lacking "a sense of urgency" about global warming. The wire service puts us all on the couch:
It's hard for people to get excited about a threat that seems far away in space and time, psychologists say. "It's not in people's faces," said psychologist Robert Gifford of the University of Victoria in British Columbia. "It is in the media, but not in their everyday experience. That's quite a different thing." . . .

Janet Swim, a psychology professor at Pennsylvania State University, recalls a conversation from last month with a taxi driver in Cape Town, South Africa. "I don't think there's climate change," the driver said. "If there was climate change and sea levels were rising, I would have seen it."

He was going by his own experience, said Swim, who studies how people feel about global warming. "People experience weather on a day-to-day basis, and that's how they think about climate change," she said. In fact, it takes careful analysis of lots of data from lots of places to tease out the signal of global warming, she noted.

Right, careful analysis involving "tricks" to "hide the decline," and efforts to suppress alternative hypotheses and to ensure that "lots of data from lots of places" are never made public so that the conclusions can be checked by others. The AP story makes no mention whatever of the recent revelations of corruption by climate scientists--revelations that suggest ordinary people are a lot saner, or maybe just smarter, than the journalists who suggest they're crazy.

Radical cooling not predicted

Autumn ended with a brutal storm in the American Northeast, but the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Friday that not everyone saw it coming:
"This could wind up being a historic event," said Louis Uccellini, a winter-storm expert who is director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, outside Washington. . . .

"It looks really impressive," said Henry Margusity, a meteorologist with Accu-Weather Inc., the commercial service in State College, Pa. . . .

The latest forecasts are starkly different from the outlooks earlier in the week when the computer models that meteorologists use to forecast the weather had the storm passing out to sea, with minimal impact on Philadelphia.

Uccellini said that some of the early model runs had heavy snow in Delaware and nothing in Philadelphia. However, subsequent runs have brought the snows farther north and west. "The computer models play their own games," said Margusity, "but the reality is they always come farther north."

If only they had a trick to hide the decline, we could have enjoyed a nice balmy weekend.


Green dream is just alien

By Andrew Bolt

MOST people will date the death of the great global warming scare not from the Copenhagen fiasco - boring! - but from Avatar. It won't be the world's most expensive warmist conference but the world's most expensive movie that will stick in most memories as the precise point at which the green faith started to shrivel from sheer stupidity. Avatar, in fact, is the warmist dream filmed in 3D. Staring through your glasses at James Cameron's spectacular $400 million creation, you can finally see where this global warming cult was going. And you can see, too, everything that will now slowly pull it back to earth.

December 2009. Note it down. The beginning of the end, even as Avatar becomes possibly the biggest-grossing film in history. Cameron, whose last colossal hit was Titanic, has created a virtual new planet called Pandora, on which humans 150 years from now have formed a small settlement. They are there to mine a mineral so rare that it's called Unobtainium (groan), of which the greatest deposit sits right under the great sacred tree of the planet's dominant species, humanoid blue aliens called Na'vi.

If Tim Flannery, Al Gore and all the other Copenhagen delegates could at least agree to design a new kind of people, they'd wind up with something much like these 3m-tall gracelings. The Na'vi live in trees, at one with nature. They worship Mother Earth and, like Gaians today, talk meaningfully of "a network of energy that flows through all living things". They drink water that's pooled in giant leaves, and chant around a tree that whispers of their ancestors. They are also unusually non-sexist for a forest tribe, with the women just as free as men to hunt and choose their spouse. Naturally, like the most fashionable of Hollywood stars, they are also neo-Buddhist reincarnationists, who believe "all energy is borrowed and some day you have to give it back". And, of course, the Na'vi reject all technology that's more advanced than a bow and arrow, for "the wealth of the world is all around us".

Sent to talk dollars and sense into these blue New Agers and move them out of the way of the bulldozers is a former Marine, Jake Sully (played by Australian Sam Worthington), who drives the body of a Na'vi avatar to better gain their trust. (WARNING: Spoiler alert! Don't read on if you plan to see the movie.) But meeting such perfect beings, living such low-emission green lives, Sully realises instead how vile his own species is. Humans, he angrily declares, have already wrecked their own planet through their greed.

"There is no green" on their "dying world" because "they have killed their mother". Now we land-raping humans plan to wreck Pandora, too, with our "shock-and-awe" bombings, our war on "terror" and our genocidal plans to destroy the Na'vi and steal their lands.

So complete is Cameron's disgust with humans - and so convinced he is that his audience shares it - that he's made film history: he's created the first mass-market movie about a war between aliens and humans in which we're actually meant to barrack for the aliens.

(WARNING: Second spoiler alert!) In fact, so vomitous are humans that Sully, the hero, not only chooses to fight on the side of the aliens but to actually become an alien, too. He rejects not just humans but his own humanity.

All of this preaching comes straight from what's left of Cameron's heart after five marriages and a professional reputation of on-set meanness. Avatar, he's said, tackles "our impact on the natural environment, wherever we go strip mining and putting up shopping malls", and it warns "we're going to find out the hard way if we don't wise up and start seeking a life that's in balance with the natural cycle on life on earth".

Mind you, most of this will be just wallpaper to the film's real audience, which won't be greenies in Rasta beanies or wearing save-the-whale T-shirts made in Guatemala. No, scoffing their popcorn as they wait impatiently for the inevitable big-bang shoot-'em-up after a fairground tour of some cool new planet will be the usual bag-laden crowd from the Christmas-choked megaplex - the kind of bug-eyed folk who thrill most to what Cameron claims to condemn, from the hi-tech to the militaristic.

Still, you can hardly blame them if they don't buy the message that Cameron's selling, since he doesn't really buy it himself. Here's Cameron condemning consumerism by spending almost half a billion dollars on a mass-market movie for the Christmas season complete with tie-in burger deals from McDonald's and Avatar toys from Mattel. Here's Cameron damning our love of technology by using the most advanced cinematographic technology to create his new green world. In fact, here's Cameron urging his audience to scorn material possessions and get close to nature, only to himself retire each night to the splendid comfort of his Malibu mansion.

Not even his own creations live up to the philosophy he has them preach. For all their talk of the connectedness of nature, the Na'vi still kill animals for food - although not before saying how sorry they are, of course, since we live in an age in which seeming sorry excuses every selfishness. Likewise, despite all their lectures on not exploiting nature, the Na'vi still come out top dog in the food chain. Even when they physically become at one with wild pterodactyls, by hooking up to them through some USB in their blue tails, they manage to convince their flying reptiles to act like their private jets.

Isn't this against the rules? I mean, in this caring and at-one-with-nature world, shouldn't a plugged-in pterodactyl just once in a while get to direct its human passenger instead - by either telling it to take a flying jump or to at least act like lunch?

In all of this, Avatar captures precisely - and to the point of satire - the creed of the Copenhagen faithful. Rewind what you've seen from those Copenhagen planet-savers in the past two weeks. There were the apocalyptic warnings of how we were killing the planet. There were the standing ovations the delegates gave last week to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's furious denunciations of capitalism, consumerism and the US military. There was Bolivian President Evo Morales' cry for a simpler life: "It's changing economic policies, ending luxury, consumerism ... living better is to exploit human beings."

THERE were great crowds of activists such as Australia's Professor Clive Hamilton, who, like Avatar's Jake Sully, sermonises on the need to embrace "Gaian earth in its ecological, cybernetic way, infused with some notion of mind or soul or chi". And there was the romanticising of the primitive by the demonstrators outside dressed as ferals and wild bears, as they banged tribal drums or chanted "Om" to Mother Earth.

Of course the Cameron-style have-it-both-ways hypocrites were there, too, luxuriating in the very lifestyles they condemned. Take Prince Charles, who flew in his private RAF jet to Copenhagen to deliver a lecture on how our careless use of resources had pushed the planet "to the brink". And then had his pilot fly him home to his palace.

But, yes, you are right. How can I say this great green faith is now toppling into the pit of ridicule, when Avatar seems sure to do colossal business? Won't a whole generation of the slack-jawed just catch this new green faith from the men in the blue costumes? That's a risk. But having the green faith made so alien and such fodder for the entertainment of the candybar crowds will rob it of all sanctimony and cool.

Would a Cate Blanchett really be flattered to now be likened to a naked Na'vi, running from a pack of wild dogs in a dark forest? Would an Al Gore really like to have millions of filmgoers see in 3D where his off-this-planet faith would lead them - up a tree, and without even a paddle? No, we can now see their green world, and can see, too, it's time to come home.



By Nigel Lawson

The world's political leaders, not least President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, are in a state of severe, almost clinical, denial. While acknowledging that the outcome of the United Nations climate-change conference in Copenhagen fell short of their demand for a legally binding, enforceable and verifiable global agreement on emissions reductions by developed and developing countries alike, they insist that what has been achieved is a breakthrough and a decisive step forward. Just one more heave, just one more venue for the great climate-change traveling circus-Mexico City next year-and the job will be done.

Or so we are told. It is, of course, the purest nonsense. The only breakthrough was the political coup for China and India in concluding the anodyne communiqué with the United States behind closed doors, with Brazil and South Africa allowed in the room and Europe left to languish in the cold outside.

Far from achieving a major step forward, Copenhagen-predictably-achieved precisely nothing. The nearest thing to a commitment was the promise by the developed world to pay the developing world $30 billion of "climate aid" over the next three years, rising to $100 billion a year from 2020. Not only is that (perhaps fortunately) not legally binding, but there is no agreement whatsoever about which countries it will go to, in which amounts, and on what conditions.

The reasons for the complete and utter failure of Copenhagen are both fundamental and irresolvable. The first is that the economic cost of decarbonizing the world's economies is massive, and of at least the same order of magnitude as any benefits it may conceivably bring in terms of a cooler world in the next century.

The reason we use carbon-based energy is not the political power of the oil lobby or the coal industry. It is because it is far and away the cheapest source of energy at the present time and is likely to remain so, not forever, but for the foreseeable future. Switching to much more expensive energy may be acceptable to us in the developed world (although I see no present evidence of this). But in the developing world, including the rapidly developing nations such as China and India, there are still tens if not hundreds of millions of people suffering from acute poverty, and from the consequences of such poverty, in the shape of malnutrition, preventable disease and premature death.

The overriding priority for the developing world has to be the fastest feasible rate of economic development, which means, inter alia, using the cheapest available source of energy: carbon energy.

Moreover, the argument that they should make this economic and human sacrifice to benefit future generations 100 years and more hence is all the less compelling, given that these future generations will, despite any problems caused by warming, be many times better off than the people of the developing world are today. Or, at least, that is the assumption on which the climate scientists' warming projections are based. It is projected economic growth that determines projected carbon emissions, and projected carbon emissions that (according to the somewhat conjectural computer models on which they rely) determine projected warming (according to the same models).

All this overlaps with the second of the two fundamental reasons why Copenhagen failed, and why Mexico City (if our leaders insist on continuing this futile charade) will fail, too. That is the problem of burden-sharing, and in particular how much of the economic cost of decarbonization should be borne by the developed world, which accounts for the bulk of past emissions, and how much by the faster-growing developing world, which will account for the bulk of future emissions.

The 2006 Stern Review, quite the shoddiest pseudo-scientific and pseudo-economic document any British Government has ever produced, claims the overall burden is very small. If that were so, the problem of how to share the burden would be readily overcome-as indeed occurred with the phasing out of chorofluorocarbons (CFCs) under the 1987 Montreal Protocol. But the true cost of decarbonization is massive, and the distribution of the burden an insoluble problem.

Moreover, any assessment of the impact of any future warming that may occur is inevitably highly conjectural, depending as it does not only on the uncertainties of climate science but also on the uncertainties of future technological development. So what we are talking about is risk. Not that the risk is all one way. The risk of a 1930s-style outbreak of protectionism -if the developed world were to abjure cheap energy and faced enhanced competition from China and other rapidly industrializing countries that declined to do so- is probably greater than any risk from warming.

But even without that, there is not even a theoretical (let alone a practical) basis for a global agreement on burden-sharing, since, so far as the risk of global warming is concerned (and probably in other areas too) risk aversion is not uniform throughout the world. Not only do different cultures embody very different degrees of risk aversion, but in general the richer countries will tend to be more risk-averse than the poorer countries, if only because we have more to lose.

The time has come to abandon the Kyoto-style folly that reached its apotheosis in Copenhagen last week, and move to plan B. And the outlines of a credible plan B are clear. First and foremost, we must do what mankind has always done, and adapt to whatever changes in temperature may in the future arise.

This enables us to pocket the benefits of any warming (and there are many) while reducing the costs. None of the projected costs are new phenomena, but the possible exacerbation of problems our climate already throws at us. Addressing these problems directly is many times more cost-effective than anything discussed at Copenhagen. And adaptation does not require a global agreement, although we may well need to help the very poorest countries (not China) to adapt.

Beyond adaptation, plan B should involve a relatively modest, increased government investment in technological research and development-in energy, in adaptation and in geoengineering.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the Copenhagen debacle, it is not going to be easy to get our leaders to move to plan B. There is no doubt that calling a halt to the high-profile climate-change traveling circus risks causing a severe conference-deprivation trauma among the participants. If there has to be a small public investment in counseling, it would be money well spent.


The plight of the the green fashionista

Is fur making a comeback?

IT BEGAN with the gift of a vintage rabbit fur coat. Not for me; for my friend. Really, my friend. Who was faced with a modern-day fashion dilemma. For most of her life, she had been opposed to fur on the grounds that it was cruel, unnecessary, gauche. But this coat was so adorable . . . and so thin . . . and so warm. And it was vintage. Which means that, when you think about it, the rabbits were already gone. And when you compared her fur to the alternatives - the fleece sweatshirts that don’t biodegrade, the “vegan leather’’ jackets made from PVC - the winner of the do-good outerwear derby wasn’t entirely clear.

As the Copenhagen climate talks draw to a close, it’s worth noting how much our culture has come to value the merits of green - both because people truly care about the Earth, and because caring about the Earth has grown so chic. But the actual rules of green living are surprisingly hard to navigate, not least of all when it comes to choosing clothes.

Do you want to save the animals or the planet at large? Do you focus on your outfit’s origins, or its afterlife? Do you submit to the harsh realities of the food chain? Or do you fret about the death of cows and bunnies while the planet weeps over your petroleum-based pleather?

The decline of the anti-fur stigma shows just how complex the rules have become. Jo Paoletti, an American studies professor at the University of Maryland, recalls that she once gave away a vintage fur cape because too many people glared at her at parties.

But over the last decade, many fashion houses have begun to embrace fur again. Onetime PETA models Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford have fronted ad campaigns for high-end furriers. Bravo’s Rachel Zoe wears luscious fur vests in public with no apparent guilt. And when my friend started asking around about her coat, she found a lot of people who weren’t appalled by rabbit pelts. Someone told her that Canadians wear fur because it’s warmer than any alternative. Someone else pointed out that people eat rabbit, so why not use all of the rabbit?

These days, the fur industry seems especially emboldened. The Fur Council of Canada has launched an ad campaign declaring that “Fur is Green’’ - in the sense that trappers kill animals who might have overpopulated forests, and that fur breaks down in landfills, unlike performance fleece. The council also takes pains to claim that trappers and farmers treat animals humanely, a byproduct of shame for which animal-rights activists deserve some credit.

But PETA has devolved into self-parody of late, chastising the president for swatting a fly, putting too many naked models in lettuce bikinis, acting overzealous with red paint. When a furrier from Brookline died last month, his obituary ran after his funeral service had taken place, presumably to stave off protesters who had vandalized his store. It’s easier to sympathize with his family than with any friend of the minks.

When it comes to fashion, it seems, everyone has to decide how and when to be cruel, where to stake her own spot on the fur-to-leather-to-meat-to-clean-air continuum. Paoletti points out that, however “natural’’ fur may be, the fur-production process still takes a big environmental toll. But then “greenwashing’’ is rampant in the fashion world today, she says: Fabric made from bamboo is marketed as earth-friendly, but it’s chemically identical to rayon, and manufactured in a way that’s decidedly bad for the planet.

Besides, Paoletti notes, you can make a bigger impact with your laundry habits than with any piece of clothing you buy - and you can also help the Earth by buying fewer clothes in general. In that context, vintage fur could either be the world’s biggest cop-out or a brilliant solution, a way to embrace recycling and luxury at once.

Paoletti isn’t passing judgment, though she wishes my friend could wear a button on her rabbit coat that says, “It’s vintage!’’ Style still has a lot to do with what other people think. But my friend figures that if anyone looks sideways at her coat, she’ll simply tell them it’s a fake.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lead Author Admits Deleting Inconvenient Opinions From IPCC Report

Global Warming Profiteers Exposed -- Giant Hole In Climate Change Fraud

The latest installment of Jesse Ventura’s highly successful Conspiracy Theory show exposed millions of viewers on national TV last night to the climate change fraud, blowing a giant hole in the global warming scam by exposing how its adherents comprise wealthy industrialists making billions in profits by fearmongering about the environment.

Ventura and his team attempted to track down the key architects of the scheme, a search which led them to Beijing China and the heavily guarded residence of global warming pioneer and billionaire Maurice Strong.

The show lifts the lid on how the very same alarmists pushing the threat of climate change are profiting in the billions from carbon trading systems in which they have a huge personal stake.

The most damning part of the program is when Ben Santer, a climate researcher and lead IPCC author of Chapter 8 of the 1995 IPCC Working Group I Report, admits that he deleted sections of the IPCC chapter which stated that humans were not responsible for climate change.

Accusing Santer of altering opinions in the IPCC report that disagreed with the man-made thesis behind climate change, Lord Monckton told the program, “In comes Santer and re-writes it for them, after the scientists have sent in their finalized draft, and that finalized draft said at five different places, there is no discernable human effect on global temperature – I’ve seen a copy of this – Santer went through, crossed out all of those and substituted a new conclusion, and this has been the official conclusion ever since.”

“Lord Monckton points to deletions from the chapter, and there were deletions from the chapter, to be consistent with the other chapters we dropped the summary at the end,” Santer admits to the program.

Commenting on The Alex Jones Show today, Lord Monckton said that this was the first time Santer had publicly admitted to deleting the information.

Santer was intimately involved in the Climategate email scandal, communicating with other IPCC-affiliated scientists who conspired to “hide the decline” in global warming.

Does Santer’s shocking admission that he deleted the opinions of scientists who stated that human activity did not cause global warming from a key IPCC report represent Climategate 2?

Watch the clips below. One of the most insightful moments in the show arrives when Amit Chatterjee, CEO of Hara, a company that sells carbon credits, is confronted with the fact that his business is bankrolled by an investment firm partnered with Al Gore. After admitting that the “carbon market” will be worth a trillion dollars by 2015, and that his company will rake in billions, but then denying that he will profit from lobbying for cap and trade laws as well as any link to Al Gore, Chatterjee is confronted by Ventura.

Watch the clip. “We don’t have any direct relationship with Al Gore,” claims Chatterjee, despite a June 2009 Reuters report headlined, Gore-backed Hara sees profit from low-carbon economy. “Hara, a 25-employee company that debuted in 2008, provides online software to help companies reduce their carbon footprint — a $2.5 billion market that will grow 10-fold if the proposed energy bill, which will require companies to get permits for emissions, becomes law, Chief Executive Amit Chatterjee said,” states the report. The Reuters report states that Hara is “An environmental start-up backed by Al Gore’s venture capital firm.”

Ventura challenges Chatterjee on his denial of a connection with Al Gore, at which point Chatterjee’s slick demeanor changes to that of a deer trapped in the headlights. “No relationship with Al Gore? Let him tell that to me,” comments Ventura. Chatterjee then becomes evasive and refuses to comment when Ventura points out that Chatterjee’s company will make a fortune as a result of Al Gore’s lobbying for cap and trade to be passed. Ventura makes Chatterjee look like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. “Maybe they never met at the company picnic, but Al Gore owns a piece of his business,” comments Ventura, “He makes sure they make payroll.”

The trail then leads to Maurice Strong, “the world’s leading environmentalist, who just happens to be a billionaire industrialist.” As we have documented, Maurice Strong, who is regularly credited as founding father of the modern environmental movement, serves on the board of directors of The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). Strong was a leading initiate of the Earth Summit in the early 90s, where the theory of global warming caused by CO2 generated by human activity was most notably advanced.

By using his considerable wealth and influence to lobby for cap and trade and a tax on CO2 emissions, Strong stands to enrich his company’s coffers to the tune of trillions if a binding agreement on carbon dioxide is formulated in Copenhagen. Strong and his close ally Al Gore come from a stable of elite groups that have long sought to use the environmental movement to advance their agendas. Strong, who was groomed by David Rockefeller to eventually serve as Director of the Rockefeller Foundation, is also a member of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Club of Rome.

In their 1991 report, The First Global Revolution, the Club of Rome, a powerful globalist NGO committed to limiting growth and bringing in a post-industrial society, conspired to exploit fears about the environment to make humans the enemy so they could usher in a global government. “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill…. All these dangers are caused by human intervention… The real enemy, then, is humanity itself,” states the report.

Ventura and his team are unable to confront Strong, as he remains ensconced in his heavily guarded Beijing residence, but they do talk to whistleblower George Hunt, an official with the World Wilderness Conference who worked with Strong in 1987. Hunt tells Ventura that Strong is one of the leading conspirators behind a plot on behalf of aristocratic billionaires to use global warming as a justification for a one world bank, a global currency and a global government – which is exactly what’s unfolding right now in Copenhagen with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon insisting that global governance will be imposed to enforce CO2 regulations.

Ventura concludes the show by stating that global warming is a fear tactic invented to control people and make trillions in profit. Ventura signs off by stating that people who preach the global warming gospel, “Are not out to save the world – they’re out to run it.”

SOURCE (See the original for videos)

Viscount Monckton on Copenhagen:

Parturient montes: nascetur ridiculus mus (Monckton read classics at Cambridge)

The mountains shall labor, and what will be born? A stupid little mouse. Thanks to hundreds of thousands of US citizens who contacted their elected representatives to protest about the unelected, communistic world government with near-infinite powers of taxation, regulation and intervention that was proposed in early drafts of the Copenhagen Treaty, there is no Copenhagen Treaty. There is not even a Copenhagen Agreement. There is a “Copenhagen Accord”.

The White House spinmeisters spun, and their official press release proclaimed, with more than usual fatuity, that President Obama had “salvaged” a deal at Copenhagen in bilateral talks with China, India, Brazil, and South Africa, which had established a negotiating bloc. The plainly-declared common position of these four developing nations had been the one beacon of clarity and common sense at the foggy fortnight of posturing and gibbering in the ghastly Copenhagen conference center. This is what the Forthright Four asked for:

Point 1. No compulsory limits on carbon emissions.

Point 2. No emissions reductions at all unless the West paid for them.

Point 3. No international monitoring of any emissions reductions not paid for by the West.

Point 4. No use of “global warming” as an excuse to impose protectionist trade restrictions on countries that did not cut their carbon emissions.

After President Obama’s dramatic intervention to save the deal, this is what the Forthright Four got:

Point 1. No compulsory limits on carbon emissions.

Point 2. No emissions reductions at all unless the West paid for them.

Point 3. No international monitoring of any emissions reductions not paid for by the West.

Point 4. No use of “global warming” as an excuse to impose protectionist trade restrictions on countries that did not cut their carbon emissions.

Here, in a nutshell - for fortunately nothing larger is needed - are the main points of the “Copenhagen Accord”:

Main points: In the Copenhagen Accord, which is operational immediately, the parties underline that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time ; emphasize their “strong political will to urgently combat climate change”; recognize “the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 C” and perhaps below 1.5 C; aspire to “cooperate in achieving the peaking of global and national emissions as soon as possible”; acknowledge that eradicating poverty is the “overriding priority of developing countries”; and accept the need to help vulnerable countries - especially the least developed nations, small-island states, and Africa - to adapt to climate change.

Self-imposed emissions targets: All parties will set for themselves, and comply with, emissions targets for 2020, to be submitted to the secretariat by 31 January 2010. Where developing countries are paid to cut their emissions, their compliance will be monitored. Developed countries will financially support less-developed countries to prevent deforestation. Carbon trading may be used. New bureaucracies and funding: Under the supervision of a “High-Level Panel”, developed countries will give up to $30 billion for 2010-12, aiming for $100 billion by 2020, in “scaled up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding” to developing countries via a “Copenhagen Green Fund”. A “Technology Mechanism” will “accelerate technology development and transfer” to developing countries.

And that’s it. Expensive, yes. Unnecessary, yes. But earth-shaking? No. The disconnect between the gaseous halations of various grandstanding “world leaders” about the supposedly urgent need to “Save The Planet Now” and the puny outcome of the Copenhagen Non-Event is dazzling. And it is welcome.

For all the rhetoric - or the flatulence that passes for rhetoric these days - it has begun to dawn on the “leaders” of those nations that subject them to regular recall and re-election that the people no longer believe the mad scientists are telling them the truth. And the people are right.

What is more, after the failure of the mainstream news media to report what the malevolent and unpleasant scientists involved in the Climategate affair had written to one another about those with whom they disagreed, or about what they had done to invent, fabricate, contrive, fiddle, tweak, alter, massage, conceal, hide or even destroy scientific data for the sake of protecting and peddling the pseudo-science in which environment correspondents had so readily and so ignorantly believed, the people no longer trust the media.

And that is bad news for a governing class that has come to develop a far-too-cosy relationship with the mainstream media. It is also very bad news for the mainstream media themselves, which are now rapidly losing circulation and ad revenue as the people rightly desert them for the Internet, where - notwithstanding various expensive attempts by the over-funded international Left to interfere with Google and Yahoo searches - the truth is still available if you know where to look.

Copenhagen was the last-chance saloon not for the planet, which does not need saving, but for the UN’s world-government wannabes. They blew it, big-time, by believing their own overspun propaganda about planetary peril and thinking they had “world leaders” where they wanted them. They overreached themselves, and have paid the price.

Even though next year is an el Nino year accompanied by fast-recovering solar activity, 2010 may not, after all, set a new global-temperature record to overtop that which was set in 1998, the year of the Great El Nino. By the time the next yackfest takes place in Mexico City in December 2010, the steam will have gone out of the “global warming” scare. We should not let our guard down, but Copenhagen is more than the end of the beginning for Green fascism: it is the beginning of the end. The eco-Nazis’ attempt at global bureaucratic coup d’etat has failed, and no such attempt is likely to succeed again. Too many of you are watching.


Obama Gives China a Free Pass to Emit CO2

The U.N. Climate Control Conference in Copenhagen ended in failure in that no binding agreement was reached to reduce CO2 emissions. China nixed the agreement by refusing to compromise on the issue of international verification as noted by a British newspaper called The Independent:
When the [U.S.] President, in an unyielding speech, said that without international verification "any agreement would be empty words on a page", that was too much for [Chinese Premier] Mr Wen. He left the conference in Copenhagen's Bella Centre, returned to his hotel in the city, and responded with a direct snub of his own - he sent low-level delegates to take his place in the talks.

At the end of the conference, President Obama and leaders of India, Brazil, South Africa, and China negotiated a possible framework for the next conference. In order to be seen as effective, Obama caved in to the demands of the developing countries, which produced the "Copenhagen Accord."

India, Brazil, and South Africa got the reparations they wanted. The developed countries (the U.S., Europe, Japan, etc.) would pay $30 billion by 2012, and $100 billion per year starting in 2020 (U.S. share $10 billion by 2012, about $33 billion per year by 2020), into a fund to be distributed to the developing countries based upon need. The accord states:
The collective commitment by developed countries is to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments through international institutions, approaching $30 billion for the period 2010-2012 ... In the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, developed countries support a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries.

Meanwhile, China, the world's fastest-growing CO2-polluter, got what it wanted. The accord would let China avoid transparency and international verification by opting out of the reparations. China would generate reports every two years, but only those developing nations receiving reparations would be subject to the transparency requirement in the accord:
Nationally appropriate mitigation actions seeking international support ... will be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification in accordance with guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties.

President Obama was changing the terms of the original reparations offer, as announced by his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on December 17 at the conference. She had told the delegates that the $100 billion per year reparations pledge would apply only if there was an agreement involving "all major economies" with "full transparency":
And today I'd like to announce that, in the context of a strong accord in which all major economies stand behind meaningful mitigation actions and provide full transparency as to their implementation, the United States is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries.

In summary, the "Copenhagen Accord," if negotiated in Germany next year, would mean:

1. Rising U.S. energy costs. The U.S would reduce CO2 emissions, increasing U.S. energy costs, causing inflation, and worsening the trade deficits.

2. Substantial reparations. The U.S. would pay reparations of $10 billion by 2012, about $33 billion per year by 2020.

3. Stable Chinese energy costs. China would be able to increase or, at least, not decrease CO2 emissions, keeping energy costs stable and her economy growing.

The Copenhagen Conference ended in failure. The "Copenhagen Accord," negotiated by a few of the participants at the end, is worth only the paper it will be printed on. It is a possibly disastrous framework for future negotiations to take place in Bonn, Germany in mid-2010. It suggests that the U.S. will once again pay most of the costs and get few of the benefits, if any.

Before the Bonn conference, President Obama will try to unilaterally reduce American CO2 emissions through cap-and-trade or EPA regulation. If he succeeds, the rising U.S. energy costs combined with stable Chinese energy costs will send more manufacturing jobs and more investment to China.


The politics of panic

This is supposed to be the opening video used at the InterGOVERNMENTAL Panel on Climate Change. This is a political body controlled by politicians where the "scientific process" is overriding by the politicians and bureaucrats who actually write the final reports. Each step of the way is designed to remove debate. I know some people who served as expert reviewers for the IPCC and all of them said that the material is rewritten to reflect political agendas before being presented to the public. Numerous members of the IPCC have publicly said that they are portrayed as part of the "consensus" when they are not, the false claim that all the scientists who contribute in any way are members. And, of course, there were some notable resignations by scientists who said that their own conclusions were rewritten and distorted in order to satisfy the political agenda of the governments that run the IPCC.

This video, if it is what it purports to be, shows that the IPCC is purposely using the politics of panic in order to push their very political agenda. This is fear-mongering intended to try and stampede the public into accepting the massive state controls that the Left wants in the name of climate change. It is not reason, it is not debate, it is not science. It is unmitigated propaganda meant to terrorize people.

I have no doubt that some people are driven by a pure belief in the theory that they popularize. I also have no doubt that many of the major drivers in the climate debate are politicians with very open political agendas. And the political agenda means they will fudge the science, exaggerate the science, play down the doubts, etc. The number of top warming hysterics who have openly admitted that they do that has been documented on this blog before. The more I watch the debate the less respect I have for the alarmists who seem to be getting desperate as they lose the battle for public opinion—they get more rabid and fanatical the closer they are to failure.

If they are right, and I always accept that possibility although I don't think they are, then much of the reason for their losing this debate is because they have been so rabid in their exaggerated claims. They play the fear card so often that they come across as the boy who cried wolf too many times. If the warming wolf does show up, in the terms they claim in their hysterical moments, it will be in part because they have alienated the public with their intentional fear mongering and political manipulation.

While I've always been skeptical of their claims, and most claims made by political special interest groups, my skepticism has grown the more I watch the debate. Apparently I am not alone. Rasmussen recently polled on the question of global warming and its causes. They do this every so often. I point this out, not because I think polls establish truth, as some critics of mine have claimed, but because it shows how opinion in shifting and in what direction. It says something about how the public perceives the debate.

In April 2008 47% of the public said warming was man-made and 34% said it was primarily due to natural causes. While the numbers have been up and down the trend is fairly clear. The latest poll shows that belief in human-induced warming has dropped to the lowest level since the almost monthly surveys began. It is now at 34% while those who say it is a natural phenomenon have increased to 50%.

Rasmussen also divides people by ideological content those who favor governmental control in general are called the "Political Class." These are people who like big government and think politicians are peachy. Among them the numbers who blame humans for alleged climate change are 80%. Among the group that Rasmussen calls the "political mainstream" the percentage who say that warming has natural causes is 60%.


Glaciers melt, sea level drops

I think that the writer below is wrong in one minor detail. It is true that ice has a larger volume than the water that it contains but the effect when floating ice melts is to leave the water level unchanged. The "missing" volume is the bit above water level. His basic point that melting land-based ice can cause the apparent sea level to FALL is however correct

Actually it is the land that is rising. More on that later. But just as the Church of Global Warming overlooked the possible effects of a drop to zero in solar activity, it seems these Brainiacs overlooked the effects of ice melting.

They have been saying the melting ice will cause the sea to rise. But when sea ice melts the sea level drops. Ask Archimedes about water displacement.

When glaciers melt (ice on land) the sea gets more water. But the land rises, too. At least in Alaska it has been rising.

“The geology is complex, but it boils down to this: Relieved of billions of tons of glacial weight, the land has risen much as a cushion regains its shape after someone gets up from a couch. The land is ascending so fast that the rising seas — a ubiquitous byproduct of global warming — cannot keep pace. As a result, the relative sea level is falling, at a rate ‘among the highest ever recorded, according to a 2007 report by a panel of experts convened by Mayor Bruce Botelho of Juneau,” the New York Times reported.

Now we know that shorelines shift over time. It has nothing to do with mankind producing carbon dioxide.

The predictions of the ice melting and swallowing up San Francisco as sort of a modern version of Sodom and Gomorrah is amusing. The adherents of the Church of Global Warming use parlor tricks and the general lack of knowledge among the general population to push this phrenological-style pseudo-science.

The New York Times story contains not one benefit — other than golf course — of the expansion of the land surface of Alaska. The story is as mournful as missing the glaciers that melted and gave us the Great Lakes after the last Ice Age ended.


Global Warming's Forlorn Hope

Back in the days when war was a form of romance, there was a tactic called the "forlorn hope." When an army reached the end of its string while laying siege to a fortress or walled city, a single unit of several hundred men would be selected for a final attempt at overcoming the walls. Artillery would fire one last series of rounds to make a breach, and the forlorn hope would make its mad dash toward the walls, to try to overcome by muscle and will what months of patient strategy had failed to do. As for the level of success...

Well, the name says it all. While a small proportion of such attempts succeeded, most forlorn hopes wound up being annihilated, after which the besieging army would pack up and seek a softer target.

Copenhagen was the Green left's forlorn hope, their last chance at breaching the wall of public suspicion and stubbornness to impose environmentalism as a governing system through the threat of global warming. Within those walls lay the promise of lifetime sinecure positions, total social control, absolute power, and unlimited free money. One final push, one blind rush up the ladders, and it would be theirs. They had all the big artillery -- the legacy media, "science," the U.N., the international NGO bureaucracy -- on their side. The walls had already been deeply breached. How could they possibly fail?

But they did fail. What's that, you say? They have an agreement! So they do: an agreement that has brought about the loudest keening and caterwauling from the environmental aristocracy that we've heard in quite some time. This "accord," as it's being termed, is not quite what the Greens ordered. Before looking closer, we'll consider what Copenhagen was supposed to produce.

* A total reorganization of the world's economy based on "sustainable" principles.

* A new Green bureaucracy with supranational powers, almost blatantly presented as the template of a world government to oversee all matters of climate and energy.

* The promise of hundreds of billions in payoffs to third-world states, most of it at the expense of the American taxpayer.

* An open-ended commitment of unlimited international resources and effort for the purpose of overcoming a natural phenomenon that has been occurring and recurring for billions of years.

* The subjection of every last human being, both living and yet unborn, to all the above for an undefined and possibly endless period.

Now how much of this did they get? None of it, really. What they got was a nonbinding agreement stating that further discussion and negotiation will take place at some time or other. The Copenhagen accord requires all signatory countries to "list" actions taken to cut CO2 emissions. It asks these states to think very hard about limiting the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Centigrade. It promises at least $30 billion -- and maybe more -- to poor countries to aid in the warming struggle, without any clear notion as to where this money will be coming from.

That, pretty much in toto, is the document that Barack Obama, who scuttled away to Air Force One before the signing occurred, calls an "unprecedented breakthrough." Years of planning, two weeks of effort, over 35,000 delegates, 193 countries represented, a carbon footprint equal to that of the state of Texas (or alternately, Al Gore's Tennessee mansion), and here's our breakthrough. The whimper that ends the AGW story.

Don't get me wrong -- we haven't heard the last of it by any means. There will be no end of chatter concerning climate change, rising temperatures and seas, and threatened species, particularly over the next few weeks and months. We will be told that something is bothering the coral. That the Madagascar Fringed Weevil is suffering from heat prostration. That ice is melting in the summer. That the oil companies don't want Phil Jones to get his job back. But it will all be echo, not even amounting to sound and fury, no more than a faint susurrus slowly fading to unintelligibility

As any conman can tell you, you get one opportunity to talk your way into the bank vault. You can't flub it and then try again next week. The Greens had their chance, and they fumbled it, and it is gone. Al Gore may speak hopefully about the July meeting in Mexico City. He won't be lonely there -- with talk of billions in the air, plenty of delegates will show up, at least from the undeveloped zone. (Among them will certainly be Lumumba Di-Aping, who accused the West of utilizing the agreement to carry out a Holocaust against Africans, debuting a new corollary to Godwin's Law: anybody who attempts to aid his cause by degrading the Holocaust has already lost. We'll pause here to mention -- since nobody else has seen fit to -- that Di-Aping was the delegate from Sudan, which has been engaged in genocide in Darfur for a good dozen years now.) But the money is all they'll be willing to talk about. AGW will be a secondary issue at best from here on out.

We have a number of factors to thank for this outcome. The East Anglia CRU e-mails, in which Phil Jones and company revealed to the world exactly how to load the temperature dice, played a huge role. The brave whistle-blower responsible certainly deserves whatever prize is created to replace the Nobel. The Russians, who politely waited until the Copenhagen proceedings reached a crescendo before revealing that the British Meteorological Office's Hadley Centre had been for years misstating the temperature readings from Russia's vast network of weather stations, also rank high on the list of people to thank. With that revelation, the carpet has been well and truly pulled out from beneath the discipline of climatology. Not a single major institution in either Europe or the U.S. remains untouched by scandal. Climatology is now an empty shell, and it will have to be rebuilt from the ground up.

But the true killer, the real silver bullet, was fired by whoever got the brilliant idea of using AGW as yet another means of holding up the West. That's what put warming to sleep -- one from which it is never going to awaken.

In the old days, barbarians would simply leap into a longboat or mount a shaggy pony, make their way to civilized lands, and loot to their heart's content. Today, they have been reduced to going to the U.N. to whine with their hands held out. The decision to introduce the possibility of Western industrial states funding anti-warming efforts in the Third World turned the entire AGW campaign into another whimper-and-loot raid. Now that AGW has been connected with such figures as Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabe, and Evo "Bagel Hat" Morales, it is doubtful that the movement will ever shake them off. Just as the e-mails assure that it will always be associated with fakery, so Copenhagen has sealed the link between AGW and attempts to extort danegeld on behalf of the world's tramp leaders.

As for serious world leaders -- for our purposes defined as those whose countries pay their own bills -- they didn't even bother to wait for their pictures to be taken. When's the last time a roomful of politicians failed to do that? No further evidence is needed to demonstrate that all sense of expectation has fled the AGW movement. It is dead in the water, and requires only a final torpedo to send it to rest.

It won't get one. AGW remains useful in a limited sense and in a number of quarters. Warming will become one of those eternal grievances endlessly discussed at the U.N. Al will continue to sell carbon indulgences -- he needs enough loose cash to put up his own space station so he can get away from the courts and Interpol. The grants engine will continue to funnel money to researchers engaged in rapt study of a phenomenon that for all practical purposes exists in theory, but not in reality.

For the rest of us, AGW will simply become one of those weird things that people used to get caught up in, like flagpole sitting, hula hoops, or more to the point, the Dutch Tulip Craze of 1636-37, in which the entire Dutch nation went utterly mad for tulip bulbs, selling them back and forth to each other for astonishing sums, until the bottom inevitably fell out, leaving Holland in a deep depression with millions of tulip bulbs cluttering the landscape.

We have not progressed much in 370 years. It's a sobering thought in a world featuring nuclear weapons and looking forward to the prospect of synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and similar treats. It would be a smart move for someone to set aside a little AGW grant money to study this class of phenomenon. After all, it doesn't seem to take much to trigger one of these chiliastic crazes. All you need is a threat that is:

* Universal

* Created by mankind

* Associated with capitalism

* Threatens utter extinction

...not to overlook the money you can make off it. There's some big money there, as Tennessee Al can tell you. So human nature being what it is, the next doomsday campaign will be upon us soon enough. Climate's been used twice in the last forty years and is pretty much worn out. But biology's always good, particularly when you throw in genetic engineering. I'd vote for something scary involving microbes. What do you think?



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Monday, December 21, 2009

The Copenhagen farce is glad tidings for all

After two weeks of increasingly ill-tempered negotiations, one of the European delegates at the Copenhagen summit “to save the planet” had clearly reached breaking point; or perhaps it was the ingratitude of the people he was trying to save that caused this negotiator to tell the BBC’s science correspondent, Susan Watts, that millions of Africans now “deserve” to be incinerated.

Watts was reporting a conversation she had had with an unnamed “European negotiator” after South Africa decided to join the quartet of America, India, China and Brazil in putting its name to a statement rejecting any binding emissions targets, and thus comprehensively sabotaging the entire conference. “South Africa has signed up to this!” the delegate told Watts. “They’re going to fry — and they’ll deserve it.”

One’s heart does not warm to anyone expressing such sentiments, but it’s easy to understand the fury that must have overcome this delegate. Here was Europe offering to impose vast costs on its own industries and peoples to save Africa from the alleged perils of runaway CO2 emissions — and that continent’s most powerful international voice says, thanks very much for the offer, but we think we can best provide health and prosperity to our people by being free to expand our economy exactly as you did in the industrial revolution, by using the wonderfully cheap forms of energy that nature affords: fossil fuels. After all, why is it that in the US many fewer people die as a result of very high temperatures than used to be the case a hundred years ago? Air-conditioning.

I know that for those thousands of “climate activists” who descended on Copenhagen, the idea of air-conditioning in African homes is something almost too revolting to contemplate; but then they have never understood that, for the real inhabitants of the developing world, the American example of achieving health and comfort through technology and subverting harsh nature for human ends is something to be emulated, not shunned.

The climate catastrophists naturally insist that if the developing countries — notably China and India — follow the American path, the planet will become uninhabitable. The most quoted expression of this came in 2004 from Britain’s chief government scientist then, Sir David King, when he said that if we did not act to reduce our carbon emissions, by the end of the century Antarctica would be the world’s only habitable continent.

Even if you share King’s view of what some of the climate models project in terms of anthropogenic CO2’s effect on global temperatures, his apparent belief that man is completely unable to adapt to a changing environment suggests that, whatever his claims as a scientist, he knows next to nothing about either human nature or history.

Unfortunately for those in the same camp as King, the leak of lethally embarrassing emails from the world’s foremost academic climate research unit, at the University of East Anglia, confirmed the suspicions of roughly half the British population, that too much political faith had been placed in the omniscience of a small group of scientists.

The most interesting of those leaked emails came from Kevin Trenberth, head of the climate analysis section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado. After observing — this was an email dated October 12, 2009 — that in freezing Boulder, “We have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record ... it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F”, Trenberth turned to the fact that the planet’s average temperature over the past 10 years seemed to have been static and wrote: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of global warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” Two days later he reiterated: “We cannot account for what is happening in the climate system.”

Asked last week by the BBC about these emails, King would say only that their leak and publication in the run-up to the Copenhagen summit had to be the work of some malign national agency (the CIA? The Russians?). Since we know that a Briton with Asperger’s syndrome, working on a domestic dial-up internet connection, managed to hack into the Pentagon’s most secret codes, King’s insistence that only a national agency could have hacked into a non-secure academic research unit’s emails seems as sensible as the assertion that we must all plan to settle in Antarctica. Even if he is right that UEA’s emails were put in the public domain as a result of theft, he deserves as much respect for his reaction as any MP whose only response to the leak of Commons expenses claims had been that the newspaper that bought the disc with all the information had broken the law. As a matter of fact, no MP was quite so arrogant.

King’s old boss, Tony Blair, turned up in Copenhagen to give his take on the leaked emails. The former prime minister declared that they did not lessen by one jot what he called “the need for action” and added: “It is said that the science around climate change is not as certain as its proponents allege. It doesn’t need to be.” Blair is clearly not troubled by irony, since this approach is exactly the one that got us into such a mess over Saddam Hussein’s suppositious biological threat. The actual evidence was tenuous at the time — but to persuade the public of the need for action, Blair was prepared to say that it was watertight. For weapons of mass destruction, read weather of mass destruction.

Blair now argues that even if the science is less clear than is claimed by the climate catastrophists, we have to act because of the risks to humanity if their worst fears turn out to be well founded. This would make perfect sense if there were no risks attached to what he calls “action”, just as it would if there had been no lives put at risk by attacking Iraq. In fact, there are vast costs involved in the war against weather, which could actually cost lives. The highly respected climate economist Professor Richard Tol, a senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has said that the CO2 tax required to bring emissions down to the levels demanded by the IPCC would reduce global GDP by an amount that would equate — in 2100 — to $40 trillion (£25 trillion) a year. It’s pretty obvious, really: just as cheap energy has transformed the lives of millions for the better, it follows that reversing the process would have an opposite effect.

Carbon cap and trade, recommended by the EU as an alternative to tax, has its own malign effect. Just ask the 1,700 employees being made redundant at Corus’s steel plant in Redcar. The owners of Corus could receive up to $375m (£230m) in carbon credits for laying off those British workers. Then, if they switch production to a so-called clean Indian steel plant, Corus could also receive millions of dollars annually from the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism fund. The net effect of all that on the environment could be safely estimated as zero.

Gordon Brown, who seems to be embarking on a scorched earth economic policy in his final months in power, evidently regards this as worth it — he wants to go down in history as the man who saved the climate. Yet this government — or the next one — has been given a golden opportunity by the farce in Copenhagen: to abandon the carbon witch hunt altogether. If India, China, America, Brazil (and Uncle Tom Cobley and all) carry on with “business as usual”, then anything Europe does to cut its emissions is irrelevant, at best: it will cause pain and hardship for its own citizens to no purpose whatever.

So let’s toast the negotiators of Copenhagen. By failing so spectacularly, they have presented us with a wonderful Christmas present. All we have to do is open it.


Chicken or Egg Questions finally getting some prominence in the Climate Debate

Attention being drawn again to the crucial role of clouds in warming/cooling -- and the dubious assumptions about them that the Warmists make

Which came first, the warmer temperatures or the clearer skies? Answers to that and similar "chicken or egg" type questions could have a significant impact on our understanding of both the climate system and manmade global warming.

In an invited talk the week of December 14 at the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting, Dr. Roy Spencer from The University of Alabama in Huntsville discussed the challenge of answering questions about cause and effect (also known as forcing and feedback) in the climate. "Feedbacks will determine whether the manmade portion of global warming ends up being catastrophic or barely measurable," Spencer said recently.

Spencer's interest is in using satellite data and a simple climate model to test the simulated feedback processes contained in climate models that are used to forecast global warming. "I am arguing that we can't measure feedbacks the way people have been trying to do it," he said. "The climate modelers see from satellite data that warm years have fewer clouds, then assume that the warmth caused the clouds to dissipate. If this is true, it would be positive feedback and could lead to strong global warming. This is the way their models are programmed to behave. "My question to them was, 'How do you know it wasn't fewer clouds that caused the warm years, rather than the other way around?' It turns out they didn't know. They couldn't answer that question."

One problem is the simplicity of the climate models. Because cloud systems are so complex and so poorly understood, all of the climate models used by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change use greatly simplified cloud parameters to represent clouds. But the calculations that set those parameters are based on assumed cause-and-effect relationships. Those assumptions might be working in the wrong direction, Spencer said. "What we have found is that cloud cover variations causing temperature changes dominate the satellite record, and give the illusion of positive feedback."

Using satellite observations interpreted with a simple model, Spencer's data support negative feedback (or cooling) better than they support positive feedback. "This critical component in global warming theory -­ cloud feedback -­ is impossible to measure directly in the real climate system," Spencer said. "We haven't figured out a good way to separate cause and effect, so we can't measure cloud feedback directly. And if we don't know what the feedbacks are, we are just guessing at how much impact humans will have on climate change.

"I'm trying to spread the word: Let's go back to basics and look at what we can and cannot do with measurements of the real climate system to validate both climate models and their predictions."


How Wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles

The Climategate Emails describe how a small band of climatologists cooked the books to make the last century seem dangerously warm. The emails also describe how the band plotted to rewrite history as well as science, particularly by eliminating the Medieval Warm Period, a 400 year period that began around 1000 AD. The Climategate Emails reveal something else, too: the enlistment of the most widely read source of information in the world — Wikipedia — in the wholesale rewriting of this history.

The Medieval Warm Period, which followed the meanness and cold of the Dark Ages, was a great time in human history — it allowed humans around the world to bask in a glorious warmth that vastly improved agriculture, increased life spans and otherwise bettered the human condition.

But the Medieval Warm Period was not so great for some humans in our own time — the same small band that believes the planet has now entered an unprecedented and dangerous warm period. As we now know from the Climategate Emails, this band saw the Medieval Warm Period as an enormous obstacle in their mission of spreading the word about global warming. If temperatures were warmer 1,000 years ago than today, the Climategate Emails explain in detail, their message that we now live in the warmest of all possible times would be undermined. As put by one band member, a Briton named Folland at the Hadley Centre, a Medieval Warm Period “dilutes the message rather significantly.”

Even before the Climategate Emails came to light, the problem posed by the Medieval Warm Period to this band was known. “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period” read a pre-Climategate email, circa 1995, as attested to at hearings of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. But the Climategate transcripts were more extensive and more illuminating — they provided an unvarnished look at the struggles that the climate practitioners underwent before settling on their scientific dogma.

The Climategate Emails showed, for example, that some members of the band were uncomfortable with aspects of their work, some even questioning the need to erase the existence of the Medieval Warm Period 1,000 years earlier.

Said Briffa, one of their chief practitioners: “I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. … I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1,000 years ago.”

In the end, Briffa and other members of the band overcame their doubts and settled on their dogma. With the help of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the highest climate change authority of all, they published what became the icon of their movement — the hockey stick graph. This icon showed temperatures in the last 1,000 years to have been stable — no Medieval Warm Period, not even the Little Ice Age of a few centuries ago.

But the UN’s official verdict that the Medieval Warm Period had not existed did not erase the countless schoolbooks, encyclopedias, and other scholarly sources that claimed it had. Rewriting those would take decades, time that the band members didn’t have if they were to save the globe from warming.

Instead, the band members turned to their friends in the media and to the blogosphere, creating a website called “The idea is that we working climate scientists should have a place where we can mount a rapid response to supposedly ‘bombshell’ papers that are doing the rounds” in aid of “combating dis-information,” one email explained, referring to criticisms of the hockey stick and anything else suggesting that temperatures today were not the hottest in recorded time. One person in the nine-member team — U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley — would take on particularly crucial duties.

Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known – Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned his attention to the hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the band. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists, were among his early targets, followed by others that the band especially hated, such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, authorities on the Medieval Warm Period.

All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.

The Medieval Warm Period disappeared, as did criticism of the global warming orthodoxy. With the release of the Climategate Emails, the disappearing trick has been exposed. The glorious Medieval Warm Period will remain in the history books, perhaps with an asterisk to describe how a band of zealots once tried to make it disappear.


U.N. climate chief has snout in trough too

Questions over business deals of UN climate change guru Dr Rajendra Pachauri

No one in the world exercised more influence on the events leading up to the Copenhagen conference on global warming than Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and mastermind of its latest report in 2007. Although Dr Pachauri is often presented as a scientist (he was even once described by the BBC as “the world’s top climate scientist”), as a former railway engineer with a PhD in economics he has no qualifications in climate science at all.

What has also almost entirely escaped attention, however, is how Dr Pachauri has established an astonishing worldwide portfolio of business interests with bodies which have been investing billions of dollars in organisations dependent on the IPCC’s policy recommendations. These outfits include banks, oil and energy companies and investment funds heavily involved in ‘carbon trading’ and ‘sustainable technologies’, which together make up the fastest-growing commodity market in the world, estimated soon to be worth trillions of dollars a year.

Today, in addition to his role as chairman of the IPCC, Dr Pachauri occupies more than a score of such posts, acting as director or adviser to many of the bodies which play a leading role in what has become known as the international ‘climate industry’. It is remarkable how only very recently has the staggering scale of Dr Pachauri’s links to so many of these concerns come to light, inevitably raising questions as to how the world’s leading ‘climate official’ can also be personally involved in so many organisations which stand to benefit from the IPCC’s recommendations.

The issue of Dr Pachauri’s potential conflict of interest was first publicly raised last Tuesday when, after giving a lecture at Copenhagen University, he was handed a letter by two eminent ‘climate sceptics’. One was the Stephen Fielding, the Australian Senator who sparked the revolt which recently led to the defeat of his government’s ‘cap and trade scheme’. The other, from Britain, was Lord Monckton, a longtime critic of the IPCC’s science, who has recently played a key part in stiffening opposition to a cap and trade bill in the US Senate.

Their open letter first challenged the scientific honesty of a graph prominently used in the IPCC’s 2007 report, and shown again by Pachauri in his lecture, demanding that he should withdraw it. But they went on to question why the report had not declared Pachauri’s personal interest in so many organisations which seemingly stood to profit from its findings.

The letter, which included information first disclosed in last week’s Sunday Telegraph, was circulated to all the 192 national conference delegations, calling on them to dismiss Dr Pachauri as IPCC chairman because of recent revelations of his conflicting interests.

The original power base from which Dr Pachauri has built up his worldwide network of influence over the past decade is the Delhi-based Tata Energy Research Institute, of which he became director in 1981 and director-general in 2001. Now renamed The Energy Research Institute, TERI was set up in 1974 by India’s largest privately-owned business empire, the Tata Group, with interests ranging from steel, cars and energy to chemicals, telecommunications and insurance (and now best-known in the UK as the owner of Jaguar, Land Rover, Tetley Tea and Corus, Britain’s largest steel company). Although TERI has extended its sponsorship since the name change, the two concerns are still closely linked.

In India, Tata exercises enormous political power, shown not least in the way it has managed to displace hundreds of thousands of poor tribal villagers in the eastern states of Orissa and Jarkhand to make way for large-scale iron mining and steelmaking projects.

Initially, when Dr Pachauri took over the running of TERI in the 1980s, his interests centred on the oil and coal industries, which may now seem odd for a man who has since become best known for his opposition to fossil fuels. He was, for instance, a director until 2003 of India Oil, the country’s largest commercial enterprise, and until this year remained as a director of the National Thermal Power Generating Corporation, its largest electricity producer. In 2005, he set up GloriOil, a Texas firm specialising in technology which allows the last remaining reserves to be extracted from oilfields otherwise at the end of their useful life.

However, since Pachauri became a vice-chairman of the IPCC in 1997, TERI has vastly expanded its interest in every kind of renewable or sustainable technology, in many of which the various divisions of the Tata Group have also become heavily involved, such as its project to invest $1.5 billion (£930 million) in vast wind farms.

Dr Pachauri’s TERI empire has also extended worldwide, with branches in the US, the EU and several countries in Asia. TERI Europe, based in London, of which he is a trustee (along with Sir John Houghton, one of the key players in the early days of the IPCC and formerly head of the UK Met Office) is currently running a project on bio-energy, financed by the EU.

Another project, co-financed by our own Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the German insurance firm Munich Re, is studying how India’s insurance industry, including Tata, can benefit from exploiting the supposed risks of exposure to climate change. Quite why Defra and UK taxpayers should fund a project to increase the profits of Indian insurance firms is not explained....

But this is peanuts compared to the numerous other posts to which Dr Pachauri has been appointed in the years since the UN chose him to become the world’s top ‘climate-change official’. In 2007, for instance, he was appointed to the advisory board of Siderian, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm specialising in ‘sustainable technologies’, where he was expected to provide the Fund with ‘access, standing and industrial exposure at the highest level’,

In 2008 he was made an adviser on renewable and sustainable energy to the Credit Suisse bank and the Rockefeller Foundation. He joined the board of the Nordic Glitnir Bank, as it launched its Sustainable Future Fund, looking to raise funding of £4 billion. He became chairman of the Indochina Sustainable Infrastructure Fund, whose CEO was confident it could soon raise £100 billion.

In the same year he became a director of the International Risk Governance Council in Geneva, set up by EDF and E.On, two of Europe’s largest electricity firms, to promote ‘bio-energy’. This year Dr Pachauri joined the New York investment fund Pegasus as a ‘strategic adviser’, and was made chairman of the advisory board to the Asian Development Bank, strongly supportive of CDM trading, whose CEO warned that failure to agree a treaty at Copenhagen would lead to a collapse of the carbon market.

The list of posts now held by Dr Pachauri as a result of his new-found world status goes on and on.....

As a vegetarian Hindu, Dr Pachauri repeated his call for the world to eat less meat to cut down on methane emissions (as usual he made no mention of what was to be done about India’s 400 million sacred cows). He further called for a ban on serving ice in restaurants and for meters to be fitted to all hotel rooms, so that guests could be charged a carbon tax on their use of heating and air-conditioning.

One subject the talkative Dr Pachauri remains silent on, however, is how much money he is paid for all these important posts, which must run into millions of dollars. Not one of the bodies for which he works publishes his salary or fees, and this notably includes the UN, which refuses to reveal how much we all pay him as one of its most senior officials.


Confessions of a Doubter

This is the time of the year when millions of people celebrate the central tenets of their faith. It is, in particular, the time of year when even the poorest among us are now looking hopefully to the far north for the promise of gifts. It is the religious framework that gives rise to this hopeful vision. Yet, as a profound doubter, I have to admit I have hard time entering into its spirit.

How shall we set the scene? Should we talk about the remarkable celestial event that seemed to herald the fact that something of significance for all mankind? Should we talk about the fact that the alleged promise of this religion is nothing short of the salvation of all mankind from prophesied potential death and destruction? Need we even mention that its adherents hope, as a result of their devotion and diligence to create a purer, more perfect Earth?

Perhaps. Yet, despite all of these good tidings of great joy, I still entertain reservations in my heart. I still have the inextinguishable urge to utter, “Bah humbug!”

Of central concern to me is the clash between the central tenets of this religion and science. I cannot ignore the numerous historical accounts of the outright persecution of scientists who failed to bring their own scientific views in line with what this religion said that they ought to be. Deep within me I cannot help but think that such repression of open scientific inquiry is wrong, even if the sought-after religious ends are deemed to be good.

I’m bothered by the fact that sincere scientists, earnest in their pursuit of truth, seemingly have little hope of convincing the adherents of this religion otherwise. Regardless of what evidence enters their purview, the dogmatists maintain their core beliefs as sacrosanct, as articles of faith immune from falsification by any scientifically obtained observational results.

Of concern to me also is the linking of this religion’s values and influence with politics. The Founders of our nation rightly saw the pitfalls of establishing a State Religion. But it seems as though the wisdom and good sense of our Founding Fathers is now being ignored as ardent proponents of this religion become increasingly more powerful and influential in government.

More and more governmental policies are now being shaped by the values and priorities of this religion—so much so lately that one wonders: Are we now on our way to establishing a State religion after all? Other nations, particularly in Europe, already seem to have done so. The results have been suspect, at best. Yet, are we next?

Now, lest any readers take umbrage because they think me a skeptic of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or even Rastafarianism, rest easy. The religion under discussion is, of course, Environmentalism, with its central tenet clearly the belief in Anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming as a phenomenon that threatens our very continued existence on earth and offers belief in Environmentalism as the one safe haven offering Salvation from the catastrophic effects of greenhouse gasses, especially carbon dioxide—Salvation for all Mankind!

Environmentalism, claims physicist Freeman Dyson, “has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion.” But I am afraid that I, like Sarah Palin, am a doubter. High Priest Al Gore has us both pegged right. As a skeptic, I believe that there is a Naturalistic explanation for the strange celestial event in the skies over Copenhagen—it was just a failed Russian rocket.

And I am inclined to reject the religions’ central tenet: If 650 thousand years of ice core sample data show that periods of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere followed periods of increased global warming by hundreds of years, then the religion has the cause and effect relationship between warming and carbon dioxide wrong. Periods of increased warming result in heightened levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not the other way around.

And what of the many poorer nations who are now looking to the far north, to Copenhagen, for gifts—for a UN administered program that punishes the sins of richer, more prosperous nations by redistributing some of their wealth into the coffers of the ne’er do wells? Well, like the Christmas Grinch, I can only hope that they leave Copenhagen sorely disappointed, or – dare I say? – perhaps even with coal in their stockings.


Weak Copenhagen outcome a boost for Australia's conservatives

Copenhagen's wishy-washy outcome is a boost for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and a setback for the Prime Minister, as they look to an election year in which climate policy will be a core issue.

A strong agreement would have given Kevin Rudd backing for his decision to bring back rewritten emissions trading legislation in February. At a personal level, a successful conference would have been a diplomatic plus for Rudd, who was a "friend of the chair". Instead, the minimal progress, with eyes shifting to yet another conference some time next year, has made it easier for Abbott to maintain that other ways to cut emissions are better than a "great big new tax".

Rudd so hyped the need to get his scheme through before Copenhagen that, now the conference has ended with only a weak "accord", people will be inclined to say, "So what was the hurry? And why rush now?". The need for hastening the Australian legislation, which both Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull understood, was because of just what's happened. If Copenhagen delivered little, it was always going to be hard to get the wind back into the emissions trading sails here.

While Abbott is helped by Copenhagen, the climate issue will still be a slog for him. Possibly some voters will transfer their anger at lack of international progress on to those at home who have been sceptics or reluctant to do much. Climate will remain a significant issue, and if Abbott is to have credibility his alternative "direct action" policy will have to do enough and be properly costed.

Soon both Abbott and the Government will specify their targets for cutting emissions within Australia's currently declared range, announced for Copenhagen, of 5-25 per cent.

Rudd said at the weekend that "once we've put together all developed and developing countries' targets and commitments", Australia would determine its own target. Rudd is adamant that "Australia will do no less and no more than the rest of the world … That is why we'll wait 'til we see a pulling together of the aggregate commitments from the rest of the world."

The Opposition does not want an argument about the final target - that would complicate its challenge to the ETS. There will be timing issues - when the Opposition policy is released compared to when the Government sets the target. The Opposition will want to know the official target as soon as possible and its current aim would be to match that target, so it can argue it would do as much at less cost.

Abbott will be fighting not just Rudd but Turnbull. In a tough article in The Times, Turnbull has attacked Abbott, saying if he were "a leftist you could understand his reluctance for market-based mechanisms for putting a price on carbon". From now until the election Turnbull will be sitting on the backbench like a black crow, swooping from time to time to attack the man who deposed him over an issue that has become a passionate cause for the one-time environment minister.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Sunday, December 20, 2009

The world is COOLING not warming says scientist Peter Taylor ... and we're not prepared

Natural scientist Peter Taylor is afraid we are not preparing for a global cool-down that could be part of a long-term cycle. In his provocative book Chill, he warns that the world is cooling not warming and that solutions proposed at Copenhagen ignore the risks of a possible return of the Ice Age...

Like a magician who fools themselves but not audience, the Anthropomorphic Global Warming (AGW) lobby have identified the wrong problem and the wrong solution. Global cooling threatens disaster for humanity in the developed and developing world alike, yet the media and the scientific consensus ignores this peril.

The Climategate controversy revolves around whether warming has been real and why it has not persisted – but it misses the point. Cycles are involved, not short-term trends, and many respected scientists, especially those in Russia and China, think that a cooling cycle is coming.

The AGW brigade have mistaken the current warm period for a trend caused by carbon emissions. But the detailed science says it could be natural and part of a cycle. Behind the scenes at the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change there is no consensus – the dissenting views have been covered over in the summary documents for policy makers – and among UK and EU politicians it’s even worse, and criminally expensive for the British taxpayer.

The real science points to the sun’s magnetic cycle as the key driver by unknown mechanisms. Right now, Nasa is throwing its hands up and saying ‘we’ve never seen anything like it and can’t tell what it is going to do next’. Many scientists expect a repeat of the Maunder Minimum of the 17th century when the Thames froze every winter – and famine spread through Europe and China.

Natural climate change, especially cooling, is already dangerous for very large numbers of people who are vulnerable to climate changing - the urban poor in the developed world, including the UK, plus the poor nations currently dependent on food aid. Cooling reduces food surpluses upon which we all depend. The biofuels programmes aimed at preventing climate change will expose them to greater risk by decreasing the amount of land available and raising costs of food, while this problem coupled with peak oil will affect everyone worldwide and drive up transport and manufacturing costs to levels even the super rich will struggle to afford. These threats are real and here now, not in 50 years time.

Some dramatic changes are needed but not those proposed the EU, IPCC and UK politicians as they try to hunt down the will-of-the-wisp that is CO2 emissions. Business as usual is not an option since cooling actually does put humanity at risk. The apocalyptic scaremongering has made us weary and casual about such threats but we need to act if we are to maintain our humanity.... Food not energy will be the big issue we urgently need to address in the next few years.

Climategate does not just demonstrate the corruption of science and peer-review; it also demonstrates the incompetence of specialists who do not understand planetary ecology, especially its cycles. We’re being fatally led up the wrong garden path by green businesses, politicians, the IPCC and their computer geeks with their doctored spreadsheets and forecasts. They need to get out more and study the real world – not their virtual reality – because, like the asset bubbles of the financial crisis, the global warming bubble is about to burst…


Unprecedented breakdown of channel tunnel trains due to exceptionally cold weather

Another sign of global cooling

MORE than 2000 passengers spent a chilly and hungry night stranded in the Channel Tunnel linking France and Britain after cold weather caused five trains to break down. The trains failed as they moved from the freezing air of northern France into the warmer temperatures of the tunnel on Friday evening, operator Eurostar said. All Eurostar services were suspended until today.

Some passengers complained they were left to fend for themselves when the trains were halted under the English Channel during one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Lee Godfrey, who was travelling back to London from Disneyland Paris with his family, said: "We were without power. We ran out of water, we ran out of food and there was very very poor communication from the staff. "We lost air-conditioning when we lost the power. We had to open the emergency doors ourselves.

Eurostar said all the passengers had been evacuated from the affected trains, which were all travelling from France to Britain. It said the cold weather had forced the suspension of services until Sunday, adding to the chaos for travellers trying to reach their families for Christmas. "We have not had a situation like this in 15 years," Eurostar executive Nicolas Petrovic said.

The problems with the Eurostar trains added to an already difficult situation on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year in Europe as temperatures dropped as low as minus seven degrees Celsius.


Blizzard blasts United States, one of the worst in a decade

Another sign of global cooling

A deadly storm described as one of the worst in a decade blanketed much of the eastern United States overnight, grounding flights and bringing traffic to a standstill on the last weekend of the holiday shopping season. In the bullseye of the historic storm, the cities of Baltimore and Washington - in a snow emergency - were on track to topple December snowfall records, with about 30 to 60 centimetres forecast by dawn this morning. That would eclipse Washington's 30 centimetre December record set in 1932, and Baltimore's record 35.8cm from December 1960.

President Barack Obama, attending a heated UN summit in Copenhagen where world leaders struggled to hash out a plan to battle global warming, raced home to avoid the worst of the storm that hammered the East Coast two days before the official beginning of winter.

After snow ploughs cleared the runway at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington for the presidential jet, Obama stepped off Air Force One and into a heavy snowfall shortly after 1am (5pm AEDT). In a rare move he was whisked to the White House by motorcade rather than his traditional Marine 1 helicopter due to the treacherous weather....

"This is a very serious storm," said Maryland Emergency Management chief Richard Muth. "The next 12-to-15 hours are going to be very hazardous," Muth added, warning people not to drive unless in an emergency. Virginia Governor Tim Kaine earlier declared a state of emergency, urging people to stay home, while Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley followed suit.

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty declared a snow emergency.


NYT edits out cold weather

In a perfect end to a perfect global warming conference, Barack Obama has left Copenhagen “in order to return to Washington before a major snowstorm hits.” It might be only the 12th white Christmas for Washington in weather-recording history. The beauty of this moment was too much for the New York Times, which initially reported, accurately enough: "Aides said he left to get to Washington ahead of a major snowstorm headed toward the capital".

But that piece has since been re-written, omitting a certain word: "Mr. Obama, who left before the conference considered the accord because of a major storm descending on Washington …"


Warmist scientists 'crying wolf' over coral reefs

At last some logic and common-sense. I notice that alarmist Hoagy is not saying much these days after some of his own research showed great resilience in coral. It's just amazing how Warmists routinely ignore the fact that corals survived much warmer episodes in the prehistoric past

A SENIOR marine researcher has accused Australian scientists of "crying wolf" over the threat of climate change to the Great Barrier Reef, exposing deep division about its vulnerability.

Peter Ridd's rejection of the consensus position that the reef is doomed unless greenhouse emissions are checked comes as new research on the Keppel group, hugging Queensland's central coast, reveals its resilience after coral bleaching. Professor Ridd, a physicist with Townsville's James Cook University who has spent 25 years investigating the impact of coastal runoff and other problems for the reef, challenged the widely accepted notion that coral bleaching would wipe it out if climate change continued to increase sea surface temperatures. Instead of dying, the reef could expand south towards Brisbane as waters below it became warmer and more tolerable for corals, he said.

His suggestion is backed up by an Australian Institute of Marine Science research team headed by veteran reef scientist Ray Berkelmans, which has documented astonishing levels of recovery on the Keppel outcrops devastated by bleaching in 2006.

Professor Ridd said scientists who predicted corals would be mostly extinct by mid-century had a credibility problem because the Great Barrier Reef was in "bloody brilliant shape". He said the reef had defied predictions that it would be overwhelmed by crown of thorns starfish, smothered in sediment from river runoff or poisoned by sediment and chemicals washed on to corals from the mainland. He accepted that ocean acidification associated with climate change was a genuine danger because it could impede the process of coral calcification, destroying the reef's building block. Scientists responsible for "crying wolf" over lesser threats had done the research community a disservice, he said.

"Ten years ago, I was told that the coral was going to die from sediment, and we have proved that is complete rubbish," Professor Ridd told The Weekend Australian. "They are saying that pesticides are a problem, but when you look at the latest data, that is a load of rubbish. They are saying bleaching is the end of the world, but when you look into it, that is a highly dubious proposition. "So when something comes along like the calcification problem, you are sort of left with this wolf story . . . they are crying wolf all the time."

Leading scientists including former AIMS chief scientist Charlie Veron and reef research pioneer Ove Hoegh-Gulberg, who attended the Copenhagen talks on climate change, have warned that the Great Barrier Reef will be destroyed by the middle of the century if ocean temperatures continue to rise, unleashing more frequent and lethal bleaching. Mass bleaching was recorded on the Great Barrier Reef in 1998 and 2002, affecting up to 60 per cent of all corals. The last severe outbreak, in which stressed corals eject the symbiotic algae that provide them with nutrients, causing many to die, was localised on the Keppel reefs three years ago.

More than 95 per cent of the corals were affected, of which about a third died. The corals became stressed after the water temperature topped 28.5C and began to die when it hit 30C and stayed at that level for a week or more, with limited wind or cloud cover to ease the heating.

Scientists have found the tolerance level of corals varies. Reefs around Magnetic Island, off Townsville, can withstand water temperatures in the low 30s, while those off Yemen, at the foot of the Arabian peninsula, live in temperatures that can reach 34C.

As The Weekend Australian reports today, some of the corals on the Keppel outcrops are more thickly covered in coral than before bleaching in 2006, raising hope the living heart of the reef can acclimatise to spikes in water temperature through a remarkable process of algal shuffling. "That was a real surprise," Dr Berkelmans said, conducting us on an underwater tour of what he calls his "lab rat" reefs at the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef.

He said the findings made him more optimistic about the ability of corals to adapt to climate change, especially on inshore reefs such as those in the Keppels. "People say the reef is dying," Dr Berkelmans said. "The Great Barrier Reef is 2000km long, with 3000 reefs. Are you telling me all of it is going to die?

"I don't think so. There are some areas that are naturally more resilient than others, there are some areas that see warmer temperatures less frequently because of favourable oceanography or other factors . . . We might lose species, and we might lose them at many reefs. The Great Barrier Reef would look vastly different, but the reef would still be there."

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chairman Russell Reichelt, a former AIMS scientist who worked on crown of thorns outbreaks, said Professor Ridd had cherrypicked data to support his thesis that the threat to the reef was exaggerated. "I would liken it to the medical debate around `Does smoking cause cancer?'," Dr Reichelt said. [No facts. Just abuse. Typical Warmist]


Australia: Greenies think that libel is free speech -- when they do the libelling

A Greenie MP's costly outburst raises questions about free speech. Must we watch what we say in the tea room? Might we be taped? Note however that the offender is a notorious extremist

The politician who said too much will return to the scene of the crime tonight. There'll be music and comedians at a fund-raiser for Ian Cohen at the Suffolk Park Progress Association hall, just south of Byron Bay. "And I might walk around with a gag on," says Cohen, a NSW Greens upper house MP. "The less I say, the better."

It was in this same hall in April 2001 that Cohen now admits he was unwise to speak out about a local developer, Jerry Lee Bennette, during two benefit concerts for Bill Mackay, a school teacher. Bennette had been suing Mackay for defamation over a letter to a newspaper criticising an environmental award to the developer for his gated community. Cohen was helping to raise funds to cover Mackay's legal costs. Little did Cohen know that Bennette had sent in private investigators who secretly taped his address. As three courts have heard, Cohen called Bennette a thug and a bully who was suing to stop criticism and stifle public debate - a so-called SLAPP suit (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation).

For that outburst, which was found to be untrue, Bennette sued Cohen, too. The MP now owes the developer more than $1 million, only $15,000 of which is the damages for the defamation. The rest is legal costs. "It is not as though he called him a pedophile or a wife-beater or something," Cohen's barrister, Clive Evatt, told the High Court last month. To no avail. Tonight's show will make a small dent in Cohen's bill. He is selling his Tamarama flat, which might cover half of it. He has raised another $45,000 in donations. He's been offered loans.

But this case is about much more than Ian Cohen, Evatt says. It has "very big" implications for freedom of speech, he claims. The barrister says the NSW Court of Appeal has significantly narrowed the common law defence of qualified privilege for defamation. Evatt warns this should alarm anyone inclined to speak their mind in a small forum, or anyone who dares to make robust comments about their boss or the strata manager.

"That's rubbish," says Bruce McClintock, SC, who represented Bennette. "The defence of qualified privilege has never protected gossip, backstabbing or abuse." McClintock says it has nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with a long-term malicious vendetta against his client by green groups in Byron Bay.

While a jury had found in 2007 that Cohen did indeed defame the developer, Justice Ian Harrison accepted Cohen's defence of qualified privilege. To rely on this defence, a person must have an interest or a duty - legal, social or moral - to make the statement to the people receiving it, and they must have a reciprocal interest or duty to hear it. Those who attended the hall had paid an entry fee in support of Bill Mackay. Justice Harrison suggested it was contrary to society's interest that people's rights should be hampered "by constant fear of actions for slander".

The judge ruled there was no malice in Cohen's remarks, at least in those inside the hall. But Justice Harrison said Cohen did demonstrate malice when, in November 1999, he called a local surf club and suggested, without foundation, that Bennette had assaulted a junior member.

The judge also said Bennette had been "prepared to dish it out when it suited him" and had "dedicated much of his life to putting people offside". He considered Bennette's 1996 conviction for assaulting the filmmaker David Bradbury, altercations with neighbours and an often "poisonous" relationship with Cohen. This included Bennette's apprehended violence order against Cohen, later dropped, in 2000. Bennette told the Herald he had been subjected to a malicious campaign, and he disputed Justice Harrison's remarks.

In March this year, the Court of Appeal overturned Justice Harrison's finding. Declaring Bennette was "a thug and a bully does not advance the cause of free speech, the environment or justice", Justice David Ipp said. The High Court refused Cohen leave to appeal last month.

McClintock said: "It is simply ridiculous to say that this case has any freedom of speech implications whatever. What sort of society would we live in if people could purvey … false gossip to their friends under the protection of the law?"

Cohen accepts the right to seek legal redress for defamation. After all, he sued Channel Seven and The Daily Telegraph. But he says there is a key difference: his own remarks, secretly taped, were never meant for wide consumption. Nevertheless, Cohen says: "The damages against me of $15,000 - I can cop that. But when you have a bill for costs from the plaintiff for $1,015,000, there's quite a discrepancy." He now self-censors his remarks.

"That is no good for democracy," says Bob Brown, the federal Greens leader, who believes others will be hushed. Brown was one of the so-called Gunns 20 - the 17 individuals and three organisations that the forestry company sued in 2004 for $6.4 million for activities ranging from protest to public statements. Five years and $2.8 million later, Gunns has dropped its case against 16 of the defendants, including Brown. Its claims against the remaining four amount to just $184,000.

The ACT has adopted the Greens' anti-SLAPP legislation. Brown wants the rest of Australia to follow its lead and that of some US states and introduce the legislation to ensure cases are thrown out if they are designed to prevent protest or debate.

But McClintock rejects the notion that Bennette's cases were SLAPP suits. They were "quite different from Gunns' misguided case … It was not started to shut Cohen up but to vindicate the plaintiff from a false (as the judge found), defamatory (as the jury found), public attack on him."

Cohen will retire in March 2011. Before he goes, he is considering a private member's bill seeking to ensure costs in such cases are commensurate with any damages.

The debate on freedom of speech is far from settled, but there are two certainties: a considerably poorer politician and an aggrieved small-time developer.

Cohen had been planning, in retirement, to do volunteer work in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. "I had big plans but they've been cast astray." He will have to see, but he is not crying poor. He has one property and a stake in another, both with mortgages, around Byron Bay. He knows others do it much tougher. He works with the disabled. Cohen recalls a Buddhist saying: "If they burn down your house, the better you can see the moon."

Jerry Lee Bennette is not so sanguine. "It is not possible to put into a few words the hurt to my family and myself caused by Mr Ian Cohen MP in what I regard as a malicious campaign to destroy my reputation and business."


Australian conservative leader slams Leftist Prime Minister over Copenhagen 'failure'

THE Copenhagen conference on climate change has been a "comprehensive failure" for the prime minister, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says. After 13 days of tortuous talks the representatives of 192 nations have set a goal of limiting warming to 2C and earmarked $US10 billion ($A11.28 billion) in early funding for poor countries most at risk from climate change.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd threw his support behind the deal as "a significant global agreement on climate change action", but said much more remained to be done. "Some will be disappointed by the amount of progress, the alternative was frankly catastrophic collapse," he told reporters at the troubled summit.

However, Mr Abbott said the result was a rebuff to the prime minister. "Intentions are better than nothing, but Mr Rudd has failed his own test," Mr Abbott told Sky News today. "He said a few years ago that what we wanted to get were real targets against real time lines ... and certainly by that standard it's been a comprehensive failure."

He said such agreement as was reached by world leaders was too unspecific to be of value. "We can all say let's get temperature increases down, but they haven't said what they would do to bring that about ... They've said let's not let the temperature go up by more than two degrees but they haven't said how they're going to achieve it. "No country at Copenhagen has committed to any particular way forward. That's why I think it's very disappointing and that's why I think it's very hard for the prime minister, who always said real progress meant real targets against real time lines, it's very hard for him to claim any kind of a victory."

Mr Abbott added: "What this shows is that Kevin Rudd was very unwise to rush Australia into prematurely adopting a commitment in the absence of similar commitments from the rest of the world, and I think it certainly entirely vindicates the opposition's stance in rejecting Mr Rudd's great big new tax on everything when parliament was sitting earlier this month."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hot air in Copenhagen, if nowhere else

The climate deal reached between U.S, China and other great powers on Friday night is so vague, hastily hatched and non-binding President Obama isn’t even sure he’ll be required to sign it. “You know, it raises an interesting question as to whether technically there's actually a signature… It's not a legally binding agreement, I don't know what the protocols are,” said a bleary-eyed Obama, before hopping in Air Force One for the trip back to Washington.

Even as he left, it wasn’t clear that the pact Obama described as “meaningful” would even pass muster with the European Union – or attract enough votes with the 193-nation COP 15 conference to become an official declaration. "It’s a catastrophe," said Dan Joergensen, a member of the European delegation. "We’re so far away from the criteria that was set up in order to call it a success, and those weren’t really that ambitious to start with."

Obama told reporters he was able to extract a first-ever commitment by India and China to subject their internal monitoring of emissions to international scrutiny, a move he had earlier tied to American participation in a $100 billion-per-year fund for poor nations. “Those commitments will be subject to international consultation and analysis” similar to World Trade Organization rules but “will not be legally binding,” said Obama. “It will allow each country to show to the world what [they] are doing.”

But the agreement – reached in Friday night talks with leaders of China, India, South Africa and Brazil – was more notable for what it doesn’t accomplish than what it does, an inconvenient truth Obama ruefully acknowledged to reporters. “This is going to be hard,” Obama said. “This is hard within countries; it's going to be even harder between countries. And one of the things that I've felt very strongly about during the course of this year is that hard stuff requires not paralysis, but it requires going ahead and making the best of the situation that you're in.”

He conceded that no more specific deal – much less a legally binding one – was possible until the issue of “trust” between industrialized and developing nations was resolved.

The agreement contained none of the specific emissions targets European and African negotiators had hoped to nail down, simply a broad-brush promise by the countries in the room to cap the overall global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius and provide a written record of their planned reductions.

It's unclear how many nations, particularly poorer countries who felt shut out of the process, were included in the final deal or how they will vote if the deal is put to one. It’s also unclear how the president’s half-a-loaf approach will sit with a deadlocked Senate or the Africans, Europeans and Asians who view him as the quintessential 21st Century leader.

"Squarely the blame is on President Obama. When you look very carefully and dig into what happened, you find that there is no difference whatsoever between President Obama and President Bush, except one of them tells it as it is," said Lumumba Di-Aping, the chief negotiator of the G77 bloc of developing countries, in an interview with POLITICO. He added: "This deal confirms what we have said about the lack not only of transparency but the undemocratic bent of developed nations' leaders… “It is a mockery."

But administration officials painted a different picture, claiming Obama playing an extraordinarily direct – even tactile – diplomatic role, with the president demanding to be admitted to a closed meeting of other countries over the objections of a Chinese protocol officer.


The Real Melt-Down in Copenhagen

By Alan Caruba

If the United Nations cannot run a conference in Copenhagen without riots in the streets, why would anyone want to turn over the governance of the world to these people? For old “skeptics” like myself, watching the chaos in Copenhagen was sheer joy. It’s always a mistake for liars to gather in one place to trumpet their lies because it always attracts people who believe that the truth is the best antidote.

And for believers in the universal God of mankind and the universe, how lovely to see four inches of snow fall on Copenhagen in the midst of speeches and panels claiming that the Earth is warming. Even atheists who understand that global warming was and is a fraud could take some pleasure in that. In German, it’s called “schadenfreude.”

What became abundantly clear was that the Climate Change Conference was not about climate at all. It was about getting the developed nations to send billions to the undeveloped nations that have, as in the case of Africa, lived off of this largess while loudly criticizing the donors for being horrid capitalists.

The other aspect of the conference was the way the handful of global warming entrepreneurs like Al Gore (a) journeyed there in their private jets, (b) drove around town in their rented limousines, and (c) desperately repeated all the worn-out and discredited global warming claptrap about melting glaciers and ice caps, the die-off of every species known to man, including man, and the fact that this would occur in five, ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty or fifty years. Take your pick.

Who do you think is heavily invested in and dependent on the sale of bogus “carbon credits” for the use of “dirty” fuel such as coal, oil, and natural gas? Answer: Al Gore and the other scoundrels who have spent years creating the mechanisms to cash in on this. When the Russians sold their oil or natural gas in Europe, they were delighted to also sell the carbon credits necessary to use it under European Union (Kyoto Protocol) rules.

The other melt-down involved the totally specious “science” that carbon dioxide has anything to do with the Earth’s climate. Or that man-made CO2 can or does change the climate. The carefully constructed spider’s web of lies put forth by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were destroyed by the release of thousands of emails by the “scientists” who, it turns out, were deliberately falsifying the data.

The new addition to the Big Lie of global warming is that the Climate Research Unit of East Anglia University had its computers “hacked” when it is abundantly obvious all the emails and other data were on a CD in the event that it was demanded under Britain’s Freedom of Information Act. It was leaked, not hacked. Similarly, the U.S. Act is being used to secure the data behind NASA’s claims supporting global warming.

Naturally, Al Gore claimed that the CRU emails were at least ten years old. NOT! He also managed to claim that all the ice at the polar caps was melting. NOT! And that the center of the Earth is millions of degrees hot. NOT!

And, of course, like a moth drawn to a candle, President Obama had to make an appearance and repeat all the global warming lies that no one believes any more except for the 20% of the U.S. population that thinks he is the Second Coming. NOT! Take note, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, was also there telling lies.

In the weeks, months and years ahead is the slow unraveling of the past twenty years of unrelenting lies about global warming. It will be slow because the mainstream media will be the last to acknowledge that they were wrong. What lessons can we draw from this huge fraud?

* Given control or the collusion of the mass media, it is possible to fool a lot of people a lot of the time.

* Given the backing of the government, billions in taxpayer’s money can be given to organizations and individuals who are delighted to cash in on the fraud.

* Those entrusted with teaching our children the truth about the real world betrayed them.

* Those perpetrating the global warming fraud are among the worst liars and hypocrites to walk the Earth.

* There is no end to the evil of Marxist socialism. It must be fought every day and all through the night. It takes many forms, but it is always about enriching an elite few at the expense of freedom for the rest.


Carbon-Spewing Climate Conference Attenders Offered "Hypocrisy Offsets"

The National Center for Public Policy Research is showcasing the hypocrisy of the carbon-emitting travels of global warming activists at COP-15 in Copenhagen by offering conscience-clearing "hypocrisy offsets" to attendees. The hypocrisy offsets parody carbon offsets sold and traded allegedly to allow people to live carbon-neutral lives. The hypocrisy offsets also highlight the insincerity of world-traveling, energy-guzzling COP-15 delegates.

"Many of those in attendance to press for additional commitments for carbon reductions traveled thousands of miles and used substantial amounts of carbon-emitting jet-fuel just to get to the conference," said David Ridenour, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. "We are exposing the hypocrisy by offering them 'hypocrisy offsets' to alleviate their green guilt. As one who is skeptical of the necessity of draconian carbon cuts, I plan to do my part to ensure plenty of hypocrisy offsets are available. I'll refrain from reducing my own personal carbon footprint."

"Environmentalists are in Copenhagen demanding global limits on emissions, but they don't want to follow the very rules they are proposing for the rest of the world," said Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. "Their participation may earn them some media coverage, but it is having no effect on an agreement. In fact, the United Nations mostly banned them from even entering the conference, so their voluntary contribution to carbon emissions -- emissions they insist imperil the planet -- from this unnecessary travel is a stunning act of hypocrisy. Because we know they must be feeling very guilty about what they've done, and in most cases intend to continue doing indefinitely, we invented hypocrisy offsets as a humanitarian act."


New Zealand climate crooks ducking and weaving too

NIWA have published misleading material on their web site and seem to have advised the Minister for Climate Change Issues to give evasive answers to questions in the Parliament.

For those unfamiliar with the story: NIWA keeps raw data for the national NZ temperature record and makes it available on their web site. The Climate Conversation Group and the NZ Climate Science Coalition conducted a joint study of the temperature record, researched by a science team and published on 25 November under the title: "Are we feeling warmer yet?".

That study demonstrated that the official graph does not represent the raw temperature data. NIWA told us that adjustments have been applied so we’ve asked for the details. So far they obfuscate. We don’t know why they refuse to disclose what the weather has been. We conclude that NIWA’s response to our enquiries has been defensive, obstructive and oddly disparaging.

The Hon Rodney Hide became concerned about deteriorating standards in public science and asked in the Parliament whether the Hon Dr Nick Smith would require NIWA to release the full data for the official NZ temperature record. On the last possible day for answering, Nick finally replied: “You must ask Wayne Mapp; he’s the responsible minister (for Research, Science and Technology, the portfolio that covers NIWA).” We won’t get any Parliamentary questions answered now until well into the New Year, so Nick Smith has caused a considerable delay in getting this information to the public.

Gratuitously, he added: “I would note however that the NZCSC have had this information since 2003.” He hoped that little factoid would hurt the Coalition’s reputation, but it won’t, although it might hurt his own — because the Coalition didn’t exist until 2006.

NIWA say that the Coalition have had all the information needed to reproduce the official graph since 19 July, 2006, when, they say, “NIWA advised NZ Climate Science Coalition member Dr Vincent Gray” of the need for adjustments and gave him a couple of examples. Dr Gray has located an email of that date and we can now reveal that it was from Dr Jim Salinger, not NIWA, it was not addressed to the Coalition and did not mention the Coalition.

It was sent just a few weeks after the Coalition was created, before they ever discussed the national temperature record. Dr Gray tells us that and other emails before and since were not official communications on either side — they were letters between two scientists who had known each other for years.

But most significantly the email does not give details of the adjustments made to the temperatures, nor does it give the information required to derive the adjustments. Dr Salinger just discusses the changes in a general way and gives a few examples and that’s all. NIWA’s assertion that that email contains the requested information is not supported by reading the email.

If Dr Gray had received the information he asked for in 2006, it would have made no sense to ask for it again last October, so the fact that he did ask again is further evidence that NIWA have never supplied the information and they are misinforming us and misleading the public. Even now, Dr James Renwick has not answered Dr Gray, neither has Dr David Wratt, despite a further plea from Dr Gray only three weeks ago.

We are asking valid, reasonable questions of a public body, the very same questions which Dr Gray has been asking for many years. Why don’t they answer? It is unprofessional of them to refer to private emails and give replies that are readily shown to be unfounded. Their refusal betrays a deep reluctance to assist


How to Manufacture a Climate Consensus

The East Anglia emails are just the tip of the iceberg. I should know

By PATRICK J. MICHAELS (Michaels was formerly professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia)

Few people understand the real significance of Climategate, the now-famous hacking of emails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Most see the contents as demonstrating some arbitrary manipulating of various climate data sources in order to fit preconceived hypotheses (true), or as stonewalling and requesting colleagues to destroy emails to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the face of potential or actual Freedom of Information requests (also true).

But there's something much, much worse going on —a silencing of climate scientists, akin to filtering what goes in the bible, that will have consequences for public policy, including the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent categorization of carbon dioxide as a "pollutant."

The bible I'm referring to, of course, is the refereed scientific literature. It's our canon, and it's all we have really had to go on in climate science (until the Internet has so rudely interrupted). When scientists make putative compendia of that literature, such as is done by the U.N. climate change panel every six years, the writers assume that the peer-reviewed literature is a true and unbiased sample of the state of climate science.

That can no longer be the case. The alliance of scientists at East Anglia, Penn State and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (in Boulder, Colo.) has done its best to bias it.

A refereed journal, Climate Research, published two particular papers that offended Michael Mann of Penn State and Tom Wigley of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. One of the papers, published in 2003 by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas (of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), was a meta-analysis of dozens of "paleoclimate" studies that extended back 1,000 years. They concluded that 20th-century temperatures could not confidently be considered to be warmer than those indicated at the beginning of the last millennium.

In fact, that period, known as the "Medieval Warm Period" (MWP), was generally considered warmer than the 20th century in climate textbooks and climate compendia, including those in the 1990s from the IPCC.

Then, in 1999, Mr. Mann published his famous "hockey stick" article in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), which, through the magic of multivariate statistics and questionable data weighting, wiped out both the Medieval Warm Period and the subsequent "Little Ice Age" (a cold period from the late 16th century to the mid-19th century), leaving only the 20th-century warming as an anomaly of note.

Messrs. Mann and Wigley also didn't like a paper I published in Climate Research in 2002. It said human activity was warming surface temperatures, and that this was consistent with the mathematical form (but not the size) of projections from computer models. Why? The magnitude of the warming in CRU's own data was not as great as in the models, so therefore the models merely were a bit enthusiastic about the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Mr. Mann called upon his colleagues to try and put Climate Research out of business. "Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal," he wrote in one of the emails. "We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board."

After Messrs. Jones and Mann threatened a boycott of publications and reviews, half the editorial board of Climate Research resigned. People who didn't toe Messrs. Wigley, Mann and Jones's line began to experience increasing difficulty in publishing their results. This happened to me and to the University of Alabama's Roy Spencer, who also hypothesized that global warming is likely to be modest. Others surely stopped trying, tiring of summary rejections of good work by editors scared of the mob. Sallie Baliunas, for example, has disappeared from the scientific scene.

GRL is a very popular refereed journal. Mr. Wigley was concerned that one of the editors was "in the skeptics camp." He emailed Michael Mann to say that "if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official . . . channels to get him ousted." Mr. Mann wrote to Mr. Wigley on Nov. 20, 2005 that "It's one thing to lose 'Climate Research.' We can't afford to lose GRL." In this context, "losing" obviously means the publication of anything that they did not approve of on global warming.

Soon the suspect editor, Yale's James Saiers, was gone. Mr. Mann wrote to the CRU's Phil Jones that "the GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/ new editorial leadership there."

It didn't stop there. Ben Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory complained that the Royal Meteorological Society (RMS) was now requiring authors to provide actual copies of the actual data that was used in published papers. He wrote to Phil Jones on March 19, 2009, that "If the RMS is going to require authors to make ALL data available —raw data PLUS results from all intermediate calculations— I will not submit any further papers to RMS journals."

Messrs. Jones and Santer were Ph.D. students of Mr. Wigley. Mr. Santer is the same fellow who, in an email to Phil Jones on Oct. 9, 2009, wrote that he was "very tempted" to "beat the crap" out of me at a scientific meeting. He was angry that I published "The Dog Ate Global Warming" in National Review, about CRU's claim that it had lost primary warming data.

The result of all this is that our refereed literature has been inestimably damaged, and reputations have been trashed. Mr. Wigley repeatedly tells news reporters not to listen to "skeptics" (or even nonskeptics like me), because they didn't publish enough in the peer-reviewed literature —even as he and his friends sought to make it difficult or impossible to do so.

Ironically, with the release of the Climategate emails, the Climatic Research Unit, Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley have dramatically weakened the case for emissions reductions. The EPA claimed to rely solely upon compendia of the refereed literature such as the IPCC reports, in order to make its finding of endangerment from carbon dioxide. Now that we know that literature was biased by the heavy-handed tactics of the East Anglia mob, the EPA has lost the basis for its finding.


Britain: What’s liberal about booing off Johnny Ball?

The jeering of a climate sceptic by supposedly liberal atheists confirms that questioning manmade climate change is the new blasphemy

Everyone hates the tabloid phrase ‘You couldn’t make it up’, I know, but there are times when no other form of words will do. On Tuesday night Johnny Ball, the veteran children’s TV presenter who introduced my generation (thirtysomethings) to the wonders of science and maths, was booed and slow-handclapped off stage in London for daring to express scepticism about manmade climate change. And who was in the audience, doing the booing, the jeering, the hissing and the chanting of ‘shame, shame, shame’ until a ‘shaken-looking’ Ball agreed to ‘leave the stage’? (1) Liberal atheists who claim to be allergic to orthodox beliefs, and campaigning scientists who have defended ‘free speech for scientists’. As I said, you couldn’t make it up.

Ball was invited to speak at ‘Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People’, one of an increasing number of religious right-style get-togethers at which hundreds of individuals mock and pour scorn on the deluded masses - except the gathered individuals are self-styled rationalists rather than Bible-bashers, and their targets are the thickos who believe in God or receive chiropractic treatment rather than drunks or single mums. Ball, who presented the BBC kids’ science show Think of a Number from 1977 to 1984, decided to devote his stint on stage to singing a George Formby-style ditty about the English physicist John Dalton, before making a speech in which he criticised the ‘bad science’ of global warming and said that natural emissions from insects and spiders (‘spiders farting’) are more damaging to the climate than fossil fuels (2).

Bad move. The new collective of liberal atheists, of agitated ‘rationalists’, of Keepers Of The Scientific Truth As Revealed Unto Them By Richard Dawkins, can tolerate nothing so intolerable as someone taking the piss out of scientific theories about climate change. According to one report there were ‘slow handclaps, whistles and jeers’ (3). A blogger who attended the event said ‘a cry of “shame” from the audience broke the dam, the boos started, and a perplexed and shaken-looking Ball was finally forced from the stage’ (4). No wonder Ball looked perplexed: he thought he had been invited to a free, open-minded, rationalist ideas-knockabout and then found himself being ‘forced from the stage’ as if he were a tattooed Satanist who had gatecrashed a bishops’ tea party down Lambeth way.

Ball says ‘the reaction of the audience [depressed] me’, as well it might. He also says that he just wants to poke holes in the idea that the world is spinning towards some kind of bad behaviour-induced hellfire (global warming): ‘We are depressing children by saying the world is coming to an end through climate change. This is simply wrong’, he said in an interview. Whatever about ‘farting spiders’, on that point he is absolutely right: the warping of scientific facts to tell a story about an imminent End of Days that is being somehow caused by cheap flights and hamburgers is one of the worst aspects of the politics of climate change. (Someone being booed by atheists for challenging the notion of End of Days? Once again, and hopefully for the last time, you couldn’t make it up.) But Ball now says he realises his speech was ‘a mistake’ and he won’t be repeating it at future atheist-scientist gatherings. Reader, he has been re-educated, or at least silenced, his ranting consigned to the Sin Bin of History by the illiberal liberals, or maybe intolerant toleraters, who make up contemporary ‘rationalist’ circles.

There are more ironies to this story than even Alanis Morissette could handle. First there is the irony of liberal atheists, gathered together by the liberal-atheist comedians Robin Ince and Chris Addison (‘Liberal-atheist comedians’? Come back, Jimmy Tarbuck, all is forgiven), booing someone for questioning what has become a debate-strangling, genuflect-demanding orthodoxy: that man caused global warming through his wicked behaviour, that he now must repent for it, and that if he doesn’t we are Doomed with a capital D. In fact, how’s this for ironic: Tuesday night’s Ball incident confirms that the real religiosity that governs society today - far more successfully and suffocatingly than the Catholic Church (collapsing) or the CofE (collapsed) or the religious right (bogeyman) - is the religiosity of climate change, attended and promoted not by smock-wearing God-squadders but by corduroy-sporting God-doubters.

In so many ways, climate-change alarmism, that ugly mish-mash of scientific findings, political hysteria and industry-demonising greenery, resembles traditional religious outlooks. The Science has replaced The Gospels as the container of truth about mankind’s downfallen condition and what he must do to rectify it and save himself. Green activists now march behind banners saying ‘The Scientists Have Spoken’ and give interviews in which they say ‘The Science demands that we [insert some miserabilist policy idea here]’ in the same way that priests once said ‘God demands that we [insert something about not having sex here]’. Carbon-offsetting, where you pay to plant a tree to make up for your eco-sins, smells a lot like Catholic penance. Talk about the ‘heat death of the universe’ (atheist hero Christopher Hitchens’ words) sounds a lot like Armageddon. And most importantly, the labelling of anyone who questions the politics, the science or the consequences (less development, more mud huts) of climate-change alarmism as a ‘DENIER’ springs straight from The Inquisition, when those who questioned the Bible were similarly branded with the D-word. It’s a very weird atheistic rationalism which borrows so liberally from the illiberalism of religious tyranny.

But the key thing here is that climate-change alarmism only ‘resembles’ traditional religions - it’s not the exact same thing, of course! No, because, if anything, it’s actually kind of worse. At least the old religions encouraged us to bend the knee, to live in a state of bread-and-butter self-denial and to censor our inner doubts in the interests of finally getting to some heavenly place in which we would meet Jesus Christ, live in the clouds and eat Philadelphia cheese all day. The dogma of environmentalism, by contrast, wants us to partake in all those backward things - especially self-denial and self-censorship - merely as a way of keeping the planet clean and tidy and not leaving behind an ‘eco-footprint’ when we leave. There’s no transcendence of everyday tedium, no final reward for goodness, no pearly gates… it’s just self-punishment for the sake of self-punishment. Life’s a bitch and then you die.

The second, and most notable, irony of this week’s Ball debacle is that many of those who attended the atheist shebang are defenders of ‘free speech for scientists’. They support Simon Singh’s campaign to reform the English libel laws after he was sued by the British Chiropractic Association for questioning their claims and practices. Indeed, Singh was in the audience that seems to have momentarily forgotten about, er, free speech, as it forced the shaken-looking Ball to leave the stage. The comedian Dara O Briain, who was on telly the other day slagging off the libel laws for curtailing scientific debate and ‘quashing dissent’ (5), compered the atheist get-together at which scientific debate was curtailed and dissent was quashed, announcing ‘I am shell-shocked’ - no, not by the treatment of Ball, but by Ball’s sinful words. ‘I’m discombobulated by a childhood hero doing that’, O Briain announced (6).

This reveals a high level of hypocrisy and double standards amongst today’s defenders of free speech for some (respectable scientists) but not for others (evil deniers). But it also reveals something very important about free speech itself - namely that it is threatened by laws, yes, but is often more urgently and thoroughly threatened by conformism, by a generally accepted way of viewing things, by what that great warrior for liberty John Stuart Mill described as ‘custom’. Indeed, Mill said that of the three major threats to liberty, the ‘tyranny of custom and tradition’ - that is, a non-statute based sense of correct wisdom - was the worst. These binding rules are enforced not by coercion, said Mill, but by the notion of unquestionable ‘right and proper ideas’ held by all respectable members of society. Or as the Ancient Greek leader Pericles described it: ‘that code which, although unwritten, cannot be broken without acknowledged disgrace.’ (7)

Climate-change alarmism has become just such a code. The ‘despotism of custom’, accepting the general and apparently correct view of things, is a ‘hindrance to human advancement’ and the ‘sprit of liberty’, said Mill. It discourages inquisitiveness and eccentricity of thought and action: ‘[T]he mind itself is bowed to the yoke… peculiarity of taste, eccentricity of conduct, are shunned equally with crimes, until by dint of not following their own nature, these [followers of custom] have no nature to follow: their human capacities are withered and starved; they become generally incapable of any strong wishes or native pleasures, and are generally without either opinions or feelings of home growth, or properly their own.’ (8) If there is a better description of the robotic adherents to the scientific-political dogma of climate-change alarmism, I have yet to read it.

And now another eccentric, with his nonsense about ‘spider farting’ and his common sense about this not being the end of the world, has been publicly humiliated and intellectually cowed. Yes, the use of libel laws against scientists (responsible or otherwise) and against anyone else is a disgrace, as spiked has been arguing for considerably longer than many of today’s libel reformers. But the use of unwritten codes to make a public example of disobedient thinkers, and to discourage serious, critical, eccentric or, yes, sometimes bizarre question-asking, is in many ways more frightening still. And the fact that those unwritten codes are being wielded precisely by the ‘free speech for science’ lobby… well, I’m going to have to say it one more time, aren’t I? You couldn’t make it up.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Friday, December 18, 2009

Statistically sophisticated Model Predicts Flat Temperatures Through 2050

And refutes Greenie attempts to dismiss the temperatures of the last 10 years

While climate skeptics have gleefully pointed to the past decade's lack of temperature rise as proof that global warming is not happening as predicted, climate change activists have claimed that this is just “cherry picking” the data. They point to their complex and error prone general circulation models that, after significant re-factoring, are now predicting a stretch of stable temperatures followed by a resurgent global warming onslaught. In a recent paper, a new type of model, based on a test for structural breaks in surface temperature time series, is used to investigate two common claims about global warming. This statistical model predicts no temperature rise until 2050 but the more interesting prediction is what happens between 2050 and 2100.

David R.B. Stockwell and Anthony Cox, in a paper submitted to the International Journal of Forecasting entitled “Structural break models of climatic regime-shifts: claims and forecasts,” have applied advanced statistical analysis to both Australian temperature and rainfall trends and global temperature records from the Hadley Center's HadCRU3GL dataset. The technique they used is called the Chow test, invented by economist Gregory Chow in 1963. The Chow test is a statistical test of whether the coefficients in two linear regressions on different data sets are equal. In econometrics, the Chow test is commonly used in time series analysis to test for the presence of a structural break.

A structural break appears when an unexpected shift in a time series occurs. Such sudden jumps in a series of measurements can lead to huge forecasting errors and unreliability of a model in general. Stockwell and Cox are the first researchers I know of to apply this econometric technique to temperature and rainfall data (a description of computing the Chow test statistic is available here). They explain their approach in the paper's abstract:
A Chow test for structural breaks in the surface temperature series is used to investigate two common claims about global warming. Quirk (2009) proposed that the increase in Australian temperature from 1910 to the present was largely confined to a regime-shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) between 1976 and 1979. The test finds a step change in both Australian and global temperature trends in 1978 (HadCRU3GL), and in Australian rainfall in 1982 with flat temperatures before and after. Easterling & Wehner (2009) claimed that singling out the apparent flatness in global temperature since 1997 is ’cherry picking’ to reinforce an arbitrary point of view. On the contrary, we find evidence for a significant change in the temperature series around 1997, corroborated with evidence of a coincident oceanographic regime-shift. We use the trends between these significant change points to generate a forecast of future global temperature under specific assumptions.

The climatic effects of fluctuations in oceanic regimes are most often studied using singular spectrum analysis (SSA) or variations on principle components analysis (PCA). In other words, by decomposing rainfall and temperature into periodic components. Such approaches can capture short period phenomena like the effects of El Niño , and the potential impact of longer term phenomena such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) on variations in global temperature. These phenomena take place over a period of years or decades. For finding and testing less frequent regime-shifts different techniques are called for. According to the authors: “An F-statistic known as the Chow test (Chow, 1960) based on the reduction in the residual sum of squares through adoption of a structural break, relative to an unbroken simple linear regression, is a straightforward approach to modeling regime-shifts with structural breaks.” All the statistical details aside, the point here is that a sequence of data that contains sudden shifts or jumps is hard to model accurately using standard methods.

The paper investigates two claims made in the climate literature: first, a proposed regime-shift model of Australian temperature with a slightly increasing trend to 1976, rapidly increasing to 1979 (the shift), and slowly increasing since then; and second, a claim of lack of statistical significance regarding the declining temperature since the El Niño event in 1998. Regarding the first, the authors state: “The increase in Australian temperature of around 0.9°C from the start of the readily available records in 1910 is conventionally modeled as a linear trend and, despite the absence of clear evidence, often attributed to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs).” The main reason to apply econometric techniques to climate time series data it that simple linear forecasting can fail if the underlying data exhibit sudden jumps. “That is, while a forecast based on a linear model would indicate steadily changing global temperatures, forecasts based on shifts would reflect the moves to relatively static mean values,” the study states. The choice of underlying model may also impact estimates of the magnitude of climate change, which is one of the major points put forth by this work.

As for the “cherry picking” assertion, the authors claim that the flat global temperatures since 1998 are not an anomaly but are representative of the actual climate trend. That climate trend exhibits two distinct breakpoints, one in 1978 and another in 1997. The proposed new climate model is what is know as a change point model. Such models are characterized by abrupt changes in the mean value of the underlying dynamical system, rather than a smoothly increasing or decreasing trend. Confidence in the 1978 breakpoint is strengthened by the results for global temperatures since 1910. These data indicate the series can be described as gradually increasing to 1978 (0.05 ± 0.015°C per decade), with a steeper trend thereafter (0.15 ± 0.04°C per decade).

The Chow test since 1978 finds another significant breakpoint in 1997, when an increasing trend up to 1997 (0.13 ± 0.02°C per decade) changes to a practically flat trend thereafter (−0.02 ± 0.05°C per decade). Contrary to claims that the 10 year trend since 1998 is arbitrary, structural change methods indicate that 1997 was a statistically defensible beginning of a new, and apparently stable climate regime. Again, according to the authors: “The significance of the dates around 1978 and 1997 to climatic regimeshifts is not in dispute, as they are associated with a range of oceanic, atmospheric and climatic events, whereby thermocline depth anomalies associated with PDO phase shift and ENSO were transmitted globally via ocean currents, winds, Rossby and Kelvin waves .”

Perhaps most interesting is the application of this analysis to the prediction of future climate change, something GCM climate modelers have been attempting for the past 30 years with little success. Figure 3 from the paper illustrates the prediction for temperatures to 2100 following from our structural break model, the assumptions of continuous underlying warming, regime-shift from 1978 to 1997, and no additional major regime-shift. The projections formed by the presumed global warming trend to 1978 and the trend in the current regime predicts constant temperatures for fifty years to around 2050. This is similar to the period of flat temperatures from 1930-80.
Prediction of global temperature to 2100, by projecting the trends of segments delineated by significant regime-shifts. The flat trend in the temperature of the current climate-regime (cyan) breaks upwards around 2050 on meeting the (presumed) underlying AGW warming (green), and increases slightly to about 0.2°C above present levels by 2100. The 95% CI for the trend uncertainty is dashed. Figure 3 from Stockwell and Cox.

What is even more encouraging is that, even though temperatures resume their upward climb after 2050, the predicted increase for the rest of the century is only about 0.2◦ C above present levels. That is around one tenth the increase generally bandied about by the IPCC and its minions, who sometimes predict as much as a 6°C rise by 2100. It must be kept in mind that this extrapolation is based on a number of simplifying assumptions and does not incorporate many of the complexities and natural forcing factors that are incorporated in GCM programs. Can a relatively simple statistical model be more accurate than the climate modelers' coupled GCM that have been under continuous development for decades?

Mathematical models based on statistics are often the only way to successfully deal with non-linear, often chaotic systems. Scientists often find that physical reality at its most detailed level can defy their computational tools. Consider fluid flow, which can be either laminar or turbulent. Laminar fluid flow is described by the Navier-Stokes equations. For cases of non-viscus flow, the Bernoulli equation can be used to describe the flow. The Navier-Stokes equations are differential equations while the Bernoulli equation is a simpler mathematical relationship which can be derived from the former by way of the Euler Equation.

In effect, both are ways of dealing with massive numbers of individual molecules in a flowing fluid collectively instead of individually. At the finest physical level, fluid flow is a bunch of molecules interacting with each other, but trying to model physical reality at the level of atomic interaction would be computationally prohibitive. Instead they are dealt with en mass using equations that are basically statistical approximations of how the uncountable number of molecules in flowing fluid behave. Often such mathematical approximations are accurate enough to be useful as scientific and engineering tools.

Indeed, many of these types of equations find their way into GCM to model parts of the system climate scientists are trying to simulate. Instead of simply looking at the statistical behavior of Earth's climate, GCM try to model all the bits and pieces that comprise the Earth's climate system. Unfortunately, not all of the pieces of the Earth system are well understood and many factors cannot be modeled at the course physical scales forced on the modelers because of the lack of computational capacity. As I have discussed on this blog before, simply changing the structural components of a model, leaving all of the scientific assumptions and factors intact, can radically change the answers a model cranks out (see “Extinction, Climate Change & Modeling Mayhem”). Beyond that, there are the matters of inherent data inaccuracy and error propagation as presented in The Resilient Earth chapters 13 and 14.

If the new model's prediction is true, global temperatures in 2100 will not even approach the tripwire-for-Armageddon 2°C level set by the IPCC as humanity's point of no return. Can a statistical model be better at predicting future temperatures than complex yet incomplete GCM? With the lack of theoretical understanding, paucity of good historical data, and overwhelming simplifications that have to be made to make climate models run on today's supercomputers I would have to say that the statistical model comes off pretty well. Give me a well known statistical technique over a fatally flawed climate model any day.

Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.

SOURCE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

East Anglia CRU’s below-standard computer modeling

While the rest of the world focused on the e-mails from East Anglia’s CRU describing attempts to “hide the decline” and silence critics, a programmer in the UK focused on the programming code for CRU’s computer modeling. John Graham-Cumming says he’s not an AGW skeptic, but he’s becoming a skeptic of East Anglia, thanks to its below-standard computer programming for its climate modeling. Breitbart TV has his assessment and damning conclusion in this clip, which gets down to the brass tacks: would you spend money on any conclusions offered by these models? Watch the clip below for the answer:


NASA admits sun/temperature link

It's been known to others for over 100 years but what the heck!

New measurements from a NASA satellite show a dramatic cooling in the upper atmosphere that correlates with the declining phase of the current solar cycle. For the first time, researchers can show a timely link between the Sun and the climate of Earth's thermosphere, the region above 100 km, an essential step in making accurate predictions of climate change in the high atmosphere.

Scientists from NASA's Langley Research Center and Hampton University in Hampton, Va., and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., will present these results at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco from Dec. 14 to 18.

Earth's thermosphere and mesosphere have been the least explored regions of the atmosphere. The NASA Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) mission was developed to explore the Earth's atmosphere above 60 km altitude and was launched in December 2001. One of four instruments on the TIMED mission, the Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) instrument, was specifically designed to measure the energy budget of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. The SABER dataset now covers eight years of data and has already provided some basic insight into the heat budget of the thermosphere on a variety of timescales.

The extent of current solar minimum conditions has created a unique situation for recent SABER datasets. The end of solar cycle 23 has offered an opportunity to study the radiative cooling in the thermosphere under exceptionally quiescent conditions. "The Sun is in a very unusual period," said Marty Mlynczak, SABER associate principal investigator and senior research scientist at NASA Langley. "The Earth's thermosphere is responding remarkably -- up to an order of magnitude decrease in infrared emission/radiative cooling by some molecules."

The TIMED measurements show a decrease in the amount of ultraviolet radiation emitted by the Sun. In addition, the amount of infrared radiation emitted from the upper atmosphere by nitric oxide molecules has decreased by nearly a factor of 10 since early 2002. These observations imply that the upper atmosphere has cooled substantially since then. The research team expects the atmosphere to heat up again as solar activity starts to pick up in the next year.

While this warming has no implications for climate change in the troposphere, a fundamental prediction of climate change theory is that the upper atmosphere will cool in response to increasing carbon dioxide. As the atmosphere cools the density will increase, which ultimately may impact satellite operations through increased drag over time.

The SABER dataset is the first global, long-term, and continuous record of the Nitric oxide (NO) and Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the thermosphere. "We suggest that the dataset of radiative cooling of the thermosphere by NO and CO2 constitutes a first climate data record for the thermosphere," says Mlynczak.

The TIMED data provide a fundamental climate data record for validation of upper atmosphere climate models which is an essential step in making accurate predictions of climate change in the high atmosphere. SABER provides the first long-term measurements of natural variability in key terms of the upper atmosphere climate. As the TIMED mission continues, these data derived from SABER will become important in assessing long term changes due to the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


Lying About Climate Change

The despicable Al Gore features in this story of how climate alarmists have knowingly and persistently lied to support their cause (or obsession). But so do prominent scientists who presumably should be held to a higher standard. Paul Reiter, a professor of medical entomology, writes in the Spectator:
I am a scientist, not a climatologist, so I don't dabble in climatology. My speciality is the epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases. As [Al Gore's] film [An Inconvenient Truth] began, I knew Mr Gore would get to mosquitoes: they're a favourite with climate-change activists. When he got to them, it was all I feared. In his serious voice, Mr Gore presented a nifty animation, a band of little mosquitoes fluttering their way up the slopes of a snow-capped mountain, and he repeated the old line: Nairobi used to be 'above the mosquito line, the limit at which mosquitoes can survive, but now...' Those little mosquitoes kept climbing.

The truth? Nairobi means 'the place of cool waters' in the Masai language. The town grew up around a camp, set up in 1899 during the construction of a railway, the famous 'Lunatic Express'. There certainly was water there -- and mosquitoes. From the start, the place was plagued with malaria, so much so that a few years later doctors tried to have the whole town moved to a healthier place. By 1927, the disease had become such a plague in the 'White Highlands' that £40,000 (equivalent to about £350,000 today) was earmarked for malaria control. The authorities understood the root of the problem: forest clearance had created the perfect breeding places for mosquitoes. The disease was present as high as 2,500m above sea level; the mosquitoes were observed at 3,000m. And Nairobi? 1,680m.

These details are not science. They require no study. They are history. But for activists, they are an inconvenient truth, so they ignore them. Even if Mr Gore is innocent, his advisers are not. They have been spouting the same nonsense for more than a decade. As scientists, we have repeatedly challenged them in the scientific press, at meetings and in news articles, and we have been ignored.

In 2004, nine of us published an appeal in the Lancet: 'Malaria and climate change: a call for accuracy'. Clearly, Mr Gore didn't read it. In 2000, I protested when Scientific American published a major article loaded with the usual misrepresentations. And when I watched his animated mosquitoes, his snow-capped mountain was oddly familiar. It took a few moments to click: the images were virtually identical to those in the magazine. The author of the article, Dr Paul Epstein, features high in Gore's credits.

Dr Epstein is a member of a small band dedicated to a cause. And their work gains legitimacy, not by scholarship, but by repetition. While they publish their work in highly regarded journals, they don't write research papers but opinion pieces and reviews, with little or no reference to the mainstream of science. The same claims, the same names; only the order of authors change. I have counted 48 separate pieces by just eight activists. They are myth-makers. And all have been lead authors and/or contributory authors of the prestigious [United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] assessment reports.

Take their contention, for example, that as a result of climate change, tropical diseases will move to temperate regions and malaria will come to Britain. If they bothered to learn about the subject, they would know that in a period climatologists call the Little Ice Age, when Charles II held ice parties on the Thames, malaria -- 'the ague' -- was rampant in the Essex marshes, on a par even with regions in Africa today. In the 18th century, the great systematist Linnaeus wrote his doctorate on malaria in central Sweden. In 1922-23 a massive epidemic swept the Soviet Union as far north as Archangel, on the Arctic circle, killing an estimated 600,000 people. And malaria was only eliminated from the Soviet Union and large areas of Europe in the 1950s, after the advent of DDT. So it's hardly a tropical disease. And yet when we put this information under the noses of the activists it is ignored: ours is the inconvenient truth.

That's the story of climate activism. Whenever one portion of the evidence alarmists rely on is shown to be fraudulent, the response is, "But there's lots of other evidence." Yes, and that other evidence is fraudulent, too.


What Energy Crisis? The Truth About America's Oil Reserves

One of the stories that we’ve been hearing for years now, in justification of the government’s refusal to allow any more drilling or the construction of any new refineries, is that our oil reserves are so low that they won’t last us very long if we use them.

It’s true that many people believed that in the past, and many apparently still do, but the truth that’s beginning to emerge now, is going to bury that idea, in the same way that we’re currently debunking the absurd idea of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

While there have been some stunning new discoveries, a huge part of our new found reserves, has come as a result of recent developments in drilling technology which now allow us to drill far deeper, as well as allowing us to change the direction that we’re drilling in once we’re already down quite deep. As a result of these new techniques, many of the existing proven reserves, can now supply us with far more oil than we thought possible before.

But the numbers are still stunning! According to our government’s Energy Information Agency’s (EIA) latest report (March 2009) the total known oil reserves of the world amounted to roughly 1.3 trillion barrels of which the USA had only 21 billion. While that may sound like a lot of oil to some, it amounted to only 1.6% of the world’s known reserves. According to those statistics, Saudi Arabia, with 265 billion barrels, had close to 13 times as much oil in reserves, as the entire United States.

Now here’s the good news: According to an Investor’s Business Daily ( report dated Nov 5, 2009, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) in now reporting that the total known energy reserves of the world amounts to roughly 5.58 trillion barrels which is 4.3 times greater than what we had previously been told by the EIA. What’s even more exciting, is that Saudi Arabia, with 540 billion barrels no longer has the biggest slice of the pie. WE DO!

That’s right. According to the CRS statistics, America has 1.32 TRILLION barrels of reserves, or 2.4 times as much as Saudi Arabia, and this doesn’t include all the oil in the shale & tar sands which are mostly in Canada anyway. According to the report, the breakdown of the world’s major reserves are as follows: (in billions of barrels)

1: USA: 1,320
2: Russia: 1,250
3: Saudi Arabia: 540
4: China: 490
5: Iran: 430

Numbers 6 thru 10 belong to the lesser Gulf States, along with Canada at 220, Venezuela at 160, and Nigeria at 130

The truth about the reserves has been known around the oil patch for some time now, but it totally freaks out the enviro fascists, because the majority of these reserves are located in our territorial waters, and all those mindless fools can think of is images of oil rigs visible all along the west coast, and the east & gulf coasts as well. Of course the truth of the matter is that very few of those rigs would be visible at all, as most of the deposits are far enough from the beaches that they couldn’t be seen at all.

The next cry we’ll hear from the enviro fascists is how those rigs would cause an environmental disaster that would destroy the oceans of the world. By the time that happens we’ll probably be referring to BS like that as an “AlgorLie”, because it’s so darn far from the truth.

If you ask any experienced fisherman about offshore oil rigs, you’ll learn that the rigs actually become artificial reefs that attract marine life, not repel it. Fishermen LOVE them, and just like hunters, fishermen for the most part are the true environmentalists of their realm.

The risk to the environment from spills from offshore rigs, is extremely small, and frankly insignificant by comparison to the benefits that they will produce. With the trillions of dollars in wealth that they’d be creating, we’ll be able to clean up the worst possible spills far more efficiently than we have in the past, and we must remember that even the worst spills can indeed be cleaned up. It took quite a while to clean up the majority of the mess from the EXXON Valdez, and mother nature will take care of the rest over time, but the bottom line is that taking such a small risk in order to bring America back from her current bankrupt condition back to being the richest nation in the world once again, is a risk well worth taking. The only potential concern that I have is that we must first get rid of the socialists and communists who are currently running our country, because if a sociopath like Obama were to get his hands on that much wealth, we’d never be able to get out from under his control.

Is there nobody in the government or mainstream media who will tell us the truth about anything anymore? “America has an energy crisis, America is bad, the Israelis are the real terrorists, and on top of that, the world’s about to be roasted on a spit”


The biters bit: Greenie thugs complain that the Japanese use aggressive tactics

They don't like a dose of their own medicine. Typical attitude: Everybody else has to obey the rules but we can do as we like. This lot are very vicious and have attacked whaling ships in the past so the Japanese are fully entitled to use strong countermeasures

THE anti-whale hunting group the Sea Shepherd said a Japanese security ship has illegally followed them into French Antarctic waters and fired "a military class weapon" at their helicopter. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said the Japanese ship the Shonan Maru No 2 had been following its vessel, the Steve Irwin, for nine of the 10 days it had been sailing since leaving Fremantle. Sea Shepherd said the Shonan Maru had been constantly reporting the Steve Irwin's location, preventing it from closing in on the Japanese whaling fleet.

A Sea Shepherd spokeswoman said the Steve Irwin entered French Antarctic territorial waters, with permission from the French Base at Dumont Durville, in a bid to lose the Shonan Maru. But, the Shonan Maru No 2 followed the Steve Irwin without the French's permission, Sea Shepherd said. The Sea Shepherd group said the French base had confirmed that the Japanese ship neither requested nor received permission to enter French waters.

The spokeswoman said the Steve Irwin helicopter then flew back to film the Shonan Maru in its pursuit. "In response, the crew of the Japanese ship activated their Long Range Acoustical Device (LRAD) at the Sea Shepherd helicopter," she said. "LRAD is a military class weapon." Helicopter pilot Chris Aultman said activating the weapon was extremely irresponsible. [And ramming whaling ships IS responsible??] "That device can cause nausea and disorientation and the use of it against an aircraft is extremely dangerous," he said.

The Sea Shepherd helicopter returned to the Steve Irwin for safety, at which point the Shonan Maru increased speed and aimed their water canons at the helicopter on the landing pad, the spokeswoman said.

Steve Irwin Captain Paul Watson said the situation was now very dangerous. "We have deliberately led the Japanese ship into thick ice in order to lose them in the ice," he said. "The icebergs could easily damage either vessel."

Sea Shepherd said had reported the incident to the French authorities adding that so far the Steve Irwin ship was undamaged but that the pursuit continued.



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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Russian scientists say that CRU shamelessly distorted the Russian temperature record to exaggerate global warming

And Russia is a very large part of the Earth's surface. This does sound like the end of the CRU at least

Climategate just got much, much bigger. And all thanks to the Russians who, with perfect timing, dropped this bombshell just as the world’s leaders are gathering in Copenhagen to discuss ways of carbon-taxing us all back to the dark ages. Feast your eyes on this news release from Rionovosta, via the Ria Novosti agency, posted on Icecap.
A discussion of the November 2009 Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident, referred to by some sources as “Climategate,” continues against the backdrop of the abortive UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) discussing alternative agreements to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that aimed to combat global warming.

The incident involved an e-mail server used by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, East England. Unknown persons stole and anonymously disseminated thousands of e-mails and other documents dealing with the global-warming issue made over the course of 13 years.

Controversy arose after various allegations were made including that climate scientists colluded to withhold scientific evidence and manipulated data to make the case for global warming appear stronger than it is.

Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.

The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.

The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process, rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations.

On the whole, climatologists use the incomplete findings of meteorological stations far more often than those providing complete observations.

IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.

The scale of global warming was exaggerated due to temperature distortions for Russia accounting for 12.5% of the world’s land mass. The IEA said it was necessary to recalculate all global-temperature data in order to assess the scale of such exaggeration.

Global-temperature data will have to be modified if similar climate-date procedures have been used from other national data because the calculations used by COP15 analysts, including financial calculations, are based on HadCRUT research.

What the Russians are suggesting here, in other words, is that the entire global temperature record used by the IPCC to inform world government policy is a crock. As Richard North says: This is serial.

UPDATE: As Steve McIntyre reports at ClimateAudit, it has long been suspected that the CRU had been playing especially fast and loose with Russian – more particularly Siberian – temperature records. Here from March 2004, is an email from Phil Jones to Michael Mann.
Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR and for GRL) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised, but you never know with GRL.

And here is what one of the commenters has to say about the way the data has been cherry-picked and skewed for political ends:
The crux of the argument is that the CRU cherry picked data following the same methods that have been done everywhere else. They ignored data covering 40% of Russia and chose data that showed a warming trend over statistically preferable alternatives when available. They ignored completeness of data, preferred urban data, strongly preferred data from stations that relocated, ignored length of data set.

On the final page, there is a chart that shows that CRU’s selective use of 25% of the data created 0.64C more warming than simply using all of the raw data would have done. The complete set of data show 1.4C rise since 1860, the CRU set shows 2.06C rise over the same period.


Say what?! Stanford's Schneider claims: 'Hockey stick never used as proof of anthropogenic global warming by IPCC'

So sad to see such desperate attempts at rewriting history

Over at The Huffington Post, Stanford's Steve Schneider makes this remarkable claim: "The amazing scientific thing that nobody seems to be covering is that the "hockey stick" was never used as proof of anthropogenic global warming by IPCC"

This statement is just not true (maybe that will help to explain why no one seems to be covering it). Consider the image below of a BBC news story which covered a 2001 press conference on the occasion of finalizing the IPCC Third Assessment Report.

The man in the photo is John Houghton, head of the IPCC at that time. Look carefully in the background, that is the "hockey stick" graph up on a screen at the press conference. Well, this is perhaps circumstantial evidence. What did the IPCC actually say in its report?

In 2001, the Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC TAR included a section with the following heading: "There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities". In that section it reported: "There is a longer and more closely scrutinised temperature record and new model estimates of variability. The warming over the past 100 years is very unlikely to be due to internal variability alone, as estimated by current models. Reconstructions of climate data for the past 1,000 years (Figure 1b) also indicate that this warming was unusual and is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin."

What was Figure 1b? Why, the "Hockey Stick"!

If climate scientists want to regain lost credibility, and indeed not see it diminish further, they are going to have to stop playing the rest of us for fools. One way to do that is avoid saying things that are not true.


Zogby poll: More Americans Have Little or No Concern About Climate Change

Survey finds less than half (44%) believe U.S. should act to reduce energy use if it means major lifestyle changes

As the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen heads into its final week, nearly half of Americans -- 49% -- say they are only slightly or not at all concerned about climate change, while 35% are somewhat or highly concerned, a new Zogby Interactive survey shows. Zogby's latest polling shows an increase in those who hold this view compared with 2007, when 39% said they were slightly or not at all concerned about climate change and 48% said they were somewhat or highly concerned.

Intensity of concern about global climate change has shifted over the past three years in favor of those who are not at all concerned - 27% held this view in 2007, compared to 37% who say the same now. Fewer now say they are highly concerned - 20% today compared to 30% in 2007. This latest survey shows more than two-thirds of Republicans (68%) and 46% of political independents say they are "not at all concerned" about global climate change and global warming, compared to just 7% of Democrats. Thirty-eight percent of Democrats are highly concerned, compared to 4% of Republicans and 14% or independents.


Climategate’s Inconvenient Truth

As global-warming alarmists try to recover from “Climategate,” they have returned to the first principles of selling their product to the public. Among the most important of these, as any advertising professional can tell you, is delivering simple message. And so, following the script, alarmists world-wide spent a great deal of time last week declaring that not only is climate science settled, but the ways in which climate forces affect the entire planet is also beyond dispute.

In an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell last week, the high-priest of the First Church of climate change, Al Gore, said: “A hundred and fifty years ago this year was the discovery that CO-2 traps heat. That is a — a principle in physics. It’s not a question of debate. It’s like gravity; it exists.”

One wonders why Mitchell didn’t ask the obvious follow-up questions: If the science is indeed that cut and dried, why are scientists across the globe spending billions of dollars to confirm something so blindingly obvious? Indeed, why did delegates at Copenhagen commit to spending billions more to explore a question that, according to Gore, does not merit further investigation?

On December 8, New York Times columnist Thomas Freidman echoed the alarmists’ party line, writing: “This is not complicated. We know that our planet is enveloped in a blanket of greenhouse gases that keep the Earth at a comfortable temperature. As we pump more carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases into that blanket from cars, buildings, agriculture, forests and industry, more heat gets trapped.”

Both statements belie a shocking ignorance of the science involved. Even the leading degreed cheerleaders in the alarmist community, like NASA’s Gavin Schmidt or Penn State’s Michael Mann, would hurry to distance themselves from these sorts of blanket declarations. It’s one thing to simplify scientific concepts. It’s quite another to bastardize them.

Consider Al Gore. There is one ironic truth in Gore’s statement: there is a striking similarity between the theory of gravity and the science of climate change. Scientists universally acknowledge that a force known as gravity exists, but, though theories abound, none can say how it works. In the same vein, it is undeniable that the earth’s climate fluctuates over time, but anyone who tells you that they understand all of the complex mechanisms that influence those changes displays the sort of hubris that would have either struck a chord with ancient Greek playwrights.

The most important scientific law at issue, when it comes to climate change, is Beer’s Law. Put in technical terms, Beer’s Law, which Gore by all accounts has not yet moved to invalidate, says that the relationship between the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the global warming effect of carbon dioxide is logarithmic, not linear. Put in more friendly terms, Beer’s Law is the law of diminishing climatic returns: The more carbon dioxide one puts into the atmosphere, the less effect it has on the climate.

Water vapor is, by far, our most important global warming gas. Its global warming potential is over forty times that of carbon dioxide and there is over fifty times more water vapor in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. All told, the net warming effect of water vapor exceeds that of carbon dioxide by a factor of more than two thousand.

The alarmists’ argument, such as it is, declares that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide will result in the evaporation of more water vapor, just enough – in theory – to “tip the balance” and lead to an uncontrollable increase in planetary temperatures. This is a more subtle, and much more difficult to demonstrate, argument than that proposed by alarmists like Gore and Friedman.

Skeptical scientists counter that the tiny amount of increased water evaporation associated with increasing carbon dioxide concentrations might just as well result in increase cloud formation, which everyone acknowledges would have a cooling effect, along with increased evaporative cooling. The alarmists spend an untold amount of time and an unimaginable amount of dollars attempting to prove that those mechanisms are not meaningful. It’s the twenty first century equivalent of determining exactly how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, with about as much practical relevance and at much more a cost to society.

If the public truly understood the subtle nuances of climate change science, along with the way that the alarmists have twisted science in order to further their own agenda and further their grant-funding, it’s hard to imagine that any significant portion of public opinion would express a preference for further climate change legislation or regulation.

The only hope, especially in the aftermath of Climategate, for true believers like Gore and Friedman, is to convince the public that there is nothing remarkable or nuanced or complicated about climate science.

The truth of the matter is quite the opposite. Climate science is enormously complicated. The more we learn about it, the less human activity seems to affect the climate. That may be an inconvenient truth, but based on all of the data we have gathered after spending untold billions of dollars that would appear to be the honest truth – even if it doesn’t support Al Gore’s doom-saying prophecies.


Global warming as a political tool

By Jonah Goldberg

On Monday, Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, formally announced that her agency now considers carbon dioxide to be a dangerous pollutant, subject to government regulation. The "finding" comes two years after the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 falls under the EPA's jurisdiction.

A day later, an unnamed White House official told Fox's Major Garrett that the message for Congress is clear: "If you don't pass this (cap-and-trade) legislation ... the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area. ... And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it's going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty."

And such "uncertainty" is a huge "deterrent to investment," which will hurt the economy even more. Translation: We don't want the EPA to kick the economy in the groin, but if Congress doesn't act, well, a-groin-kickin' we shall go.

This is grotesquely dishonest. The White House and Congress could, quite easily, do something about the EPA's threat. President Obama could instruct Jackson to interpret the Supreme Court's 2007 decision granting the EPA power to regulate greenhouse gases more loosely. He could ask Congress to simply rewrite the Clean Air Act so as to exclude carbon dioxide from its list of official pollutants - the policy the EPA followed for years until the Supreme Court reinterpreted the Clean Air Act.

But no. As part of the enduring statist desire to penetrate ever deeper into every nook and cranny of our lives, Greens have wanted to find a way for the government to regulate CO2, a natural byproduct of fire and breathing, for decades. Now they can.

That is why the White House will use Jackson as a Medusa's head, to petrify cap-and-trade opponents with the prospect of something even worse: the effective seizing of the means of production. The White House says nothing of the sort is going on. Jackson, the former chief of staff to lame-duck New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, is an independent, disinterested public servant simply following sound science with no concern for politics.

If Jackson cares so much about sound science, why is she basing some of her policies on data from the discredited scientific frat house, the Climatic Research Unit? If Jackson cares so little about politics, why did she make her announcement to such fanfare at the opening of Climapalooza in Copenhagen?

In fairness, Jackson is only a Medusa's head to those who care desperately about economic growth and who don't think draconian taxes on energy and massive wealth transfers for white elephants in the Third World are the answer to our problems. But for others, she represents another icon from Greek mythology: the Golden Fleece.

Jason and his Argonauts set out to find the fleece so they might place Jason on the throne of Iolcus. The original story is one of power-seeking in a noble cause. It's debatable whether the modern tale of Jackson and the Goregonauts is quite so noble. But it's obvious they're interested in power and hell-bent on fleecing.

Indeed, some of loudest voices have a weird habit of telegraphing their priorities. Tim Wirth, a former Senator and now chairman of the United Nations Foundation, once said: "We've got to ride the global-warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy." New York Times columnist and prominent warm-monger Thomas Friedman has repeatedly said (most recently this week) that he doesn't care if global warming is a "hoax" because even if it is, the fear of it will force us to do what we need to do.

And it just so happens that with the exception of nuclear power - which most greens still won't support - global warming fuels nearly every progressive ambition. Wealth transfers from rich to poor nations: Check. The rise of "global governance" and the decline of American sovereignty: Check. A secular fatwa not only to erode capitalism but to intrude on every aspect of our lives (Greenpeace offers a guide to carbon-neutral sex): Check. Weaning us off of oil (which, don't let the Goregonauts fool you, was a priority back when we were still worried about global cooling): Check. The checks go on for as far as the eye can see, and we will be writing them for years to come.


Copenhagen 'a big gravy train', says Australian conservative leader

Nice to hear a politician call it for exactly what it is

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott says the climate change summit in Copenhagen is turning into a gravy train for some countries. Wealthy nations in Copenhagen have so far pledged some $US22 billion ($24.43 billion) to bankroll the war on global warming. Australia was one of six developed countries that promised to set up a fund to fight the loss of forests in neighbouring countries - a leading source for rising temperatures.

Mr Abbott told a gathering of Liberal Party members in the seat of Deakin in Melbourne's east that the coalition would be bringing out its own climate change policy in a few weeks.

He fears that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who is in Copenhagen, will do a deal that will hurt the Australian economy while not doing much to advance world environment. "My problem is, why does Mr Rudd think the best way to save the environment is to increase your cost of living?" Mr Abbott said. "Why does he give us a tax policy and tell us it's an environment policy?" He said the Coalition policy on the environment would be one that tackles the problem and not one that pretends to fix the environment.

"My worry is that the more we see of Copenhagen, the more it looks like a great big gravy train for people whose objective is not so much the environment but it is to get more for them by leaping on the climate change bandwagon."


CFACT drops the banner on Greenpeace ships in daring land and sea raids

Activists tag Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior with “Propaganda Warrior” banner; Arctic Sunrise hit with “Ship of Lies” banner earlier in the day

Global warming skeptics from CFACT yesterday pulled off an international climate caper using GPS triangulation from Greenpeace's own on-board camera photos to locate and sail up long-side of the infamous Greenpeace vessel, Rainbow Warrior. Then in Greenpeace-like fashion, the CFACT activists unfurled a banner reading "Propaganda Warrior" which underscored how the radical green group’s policies and agenda are based on myths, lies, and exaggerations.

Earlier in the day the activists daringly boarded Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise with neither stealth nor force, but by baffling the crew with doughnuts, and unfurled a banner that read “Ship of Lies” off the starboard side. “Greenpeace has been using these kinds of tactics for decades, and now they can find out what it’s like to have a little taste of their own medicine, “ said CFACT executive director Craig Rucker who masterminded the operation.

CFACT unfurled the banners for two reasons, CFACT president David Rothbard explained. “Greenpeace ships, like the Rainbow Warrior and Arctic Sunrise, have become global symbols for radical environmentalism, and we wanted to call attention to the harm these groups are causing. And second, it seemed appropriate to use one of Greenpeace’s favorite tactics to make this point.”

Greenpeace protesters frequently hang banners from factories and office buildings, paint slogans on smokestacks, and employ other publicity stunts. Some are relatively harmless, but others reflect a willingness to lie or even destroy property to make a point.

In 1995, Greenpeace launched a $2-million public relations campaign against Shell Oil, claiming the company was planning to dump tons of oil and toxic waste in the ocean by sinking its Brent Spar platform as an artificial reef. It was a full year before the group issued a written apology, admitting it knew all along that there had been no oil or chemical wastes on the platform.

Greenpeace has frequently destroyed bio-engineered crops, wiping out millions of dollars in research efforts designed to develop food plants that are more nutritious, withstand floods and droughts better, and resist insect infestations without the need for chemical pesticides. It has also waged an unrelenting campaign against insecticides and insect repellants that could prevent malaria, a vicious disease that infects 500 million people a year, kills over 1 million and leaves millions more with permanent brain damage. “Greenpeace employs the same deceitful tactics in opposition to nuclear, hydroelectric and hydrocarbon energy, even though 1.5 billion people still do not have electricity – and thus don’t have lights for homes, hospitals and schools, or power to purify water and run offices, shops and factories,” Rucker says.

Rothbard acknowledged Greenpeace was launched for the best of reasons. “But it radicalized its mission. The more power it acquired, the more it abused that power,” he said. “Some of Greenpeace’s original cadre has left, feeling they can no longer associate themselves with its current agenda.”

Greenpeace claims that human carbon dioxide emissions are causing “dangerous global climate change.” Hundreds of climate scientists and thousands of other scientists disagree with that assertion, as frequently noted by Lord Christopher Monckton, former science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and a CFACT advisor. “The continuing scandal over falsified and destroyed temperature data, manipulated climate models, and a perverted scientific and peer review process further demonstrates that there is no valid basis for this anti-energy, wealth-redistribution, global governance Copenhagen treaty,” said Rucker.

Anti-energy policies represent a “clear and present danger to the health and welfare of billions,” he added. Mandates for wind and solar would send energy prices skyrocketing, sharply constrict economic opportunities and destroy jobs. “People in developing countries simply want to improve their living standards, and give their children a chance to live past age five,” Rothbard said. “Greenpeace is diametrically opposed to giving them access to the modern technologies that would help them do that.”

Greenpeace is one of the “most unethical and irresponsible corporations on Earth,” said Christina Wilson, a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. “It’s time to expose it for what it is, and help promote real environmental justice. So I was really excited to participate in this human rights effort.”

“The ‘Ship of Lies’ and ‘Propaganda Warrior’ banners are part of CFACT’s long-term effort to bring sense and balance back to the environmental debate,” said Rothbard.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

And these are the people who think that they can control the world's climate

They are just clueless blowhards pumped up with excessive self-esteem

COPENHAGEN DIARY: THERE was a touch of excitement when a group of African delegates stormed out of a working group at the start of the all-important second week of climate change talks, but at that moment I had more important things to worry about.

As the Africans were walking out, I was desperately trying to walk in. Along with more than 1000 other registered attendants at the conference, I was trapped outside in sub-zero temperatures waiting for the remarkably incompetent UN machinery to let us into Copenhagen's Bella convention centre. We were not exactly blow-ins. Registration had ended weeks earlier so the organisers would know exactly who was coming, and the queues were dotted with officials from government delegations who were supposed to be inside taking part in the talks.

When I joined the queue to pick up my credentials just after 9.30am, I found myself standing near two women who represented one sixth of Iceland's delegation. Like me, they had already lost one full day's work because they had flown in on the weekend only to find the UN organisers had changed their plans and refused to issue accreditations on Sunday.

People queuing started out cheerfully because everybody thought the exercise would be reasonably quick. By 11.30am, and with the queue hardly moving, I began to wonder how the geniuses managing this process could possibly oversee not just the complicated science and politics of this final week's climate change negotiations but the logistics of overseeing any actual climate deal for decades to come.

A deal to combat climate change is likely to include the organisation of trillions of dollars of financial transfers to developing countries and the sophisticated monitoring and reviewing of carbon emissions around the globe. That will take complicated calculations and this was a pretty easy test in simple logistics and arithmetic: what happens when you register 45,215 attendants for a conference that is being held in a convention centre that has a maximum capacity of 15,000 people?

The obvious solution was to have a serious cull of the 22,387 lobbyists and activists registered by non-government organisations so some work could be done by the 192 governments which are parties to the conference, and by the 3547 media representatives who are in Denmark to tell the world what is going on in the talks. Obvious, but not obvious enough for the UN.

At noon, as the first light sprinkling of snow appeared overhead, it became apparent the organisers had come up with the temporary solution of refusing to issue any new credentials at all. By 3pm, the lack of food and toilets was making things uncomfortable and the temperature was sliding towards -2C. At 4pm, the UN officials announced they were curbing the number of NGO members to be admitted to the conference.

A UN official emerged at 5pm to say everybody had to leave because officials were to stop doing accreditations at 6pm. Overtime was obviously out of the question.


Soot warming 'maybe bigger than greenhouse gases' - NASA

Researchers from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre, also the home of famous carbopocalypse doom-prophet James Hansen, have repeated earlier assertions that atmospheric soot may be as important as greenhouse gases in driving global warming.

This could be good news for humanity, as atmospheric soot levels would be much easier to reduce. Filtering soot out of exhausts from diesel engines and coal burners is simple compared to removing and sequestering CO2, and as an added benefit the effects would be rapid: soot doesn't persist in the atmosphere for long periods the way greenhouse gases do, as it is washed out by rain or snow. However, many environmental campaigners would resist the idea of soot taking centre stage, fearing that this could lead to a reduced emphasis on greenhouse-gas emissions reductions.

Earlier investigations including the effect of soot had focused on the Arctic, where Goddard scientists have previously suggested that "the impact of aerosols is just as strong as that of the greenhouse gases". Aerosols include soot, which tends to heat the atmosphere, plus sulphates and others which cool it. Unfortunately sulphates also cause acid rain, and clean-air regs in the US and Europe have seen them massively reduced - and the Arctic warm up.

Now, Goddard researchers have carried out new investigations into the effects of sooty aerosols on the glaciers of the Himalayas - sometimes known as the planet's "Third Pole". Glacial melting in the Himalayas has received a lot of play in the greenly-inclined media lately against the background of the COP15 international climate talks underway in Copenhagen; it is widely felt that the mountain ice is disappearing much faster even than CO2-alarmist climate models predict, and that this is a reason to suggest that the Copenhagen talks - focused entirely on greenhouse-gas emissions - may be the last chance for humanity to save itself from a disastrous climate apocalypse.

But according to NASA this week: "The new research, by NASA’s William Lau and collaborators, reinforces with detailed numerical analysis what earlier studies suggest: that soot and dust contribute as much (or more) to atmospheric warming in the Himalayas as greenhouse gases."

"We need to add another topic to the climate dialogue," says Lau. Hal Maring of NASA headquarters goes further, though he cautions that more field results from the "roof of the world" are necessary to validate Lau's modelling. "Even at this stage we should be compelled to take notice," says Maring. “Airborne particles have a much shorter atmospheric lifespan than greenhouse gases, so reducing particle emissions can have much more rapid impact on warming.”

One of the most troublesome types of aerosol is "black carbon", dark particulate soot emitted when fuel is incompletely burned. Diesel engines are a particular villain here, but coal burning and primitive cooking are also big contributors. If the new research is right, huge reductions in warming are on offer from comparatively easy initiatives such as better stoves, more efficient modernised diesel engines and cleaner coal powerplants, boilers etc. These measures would also take effect much more quickly than comparatively difficult, expensive and unpopular cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases like CO2 or methane.

Even Lau's Goddard colleague Dr James Hansen, who has spent the last several decades relentlessly bigging-up the greenhouse gas threat and pushing for emissions cuts, now admits that soot is a major issue - though he can't bear to suggest it might actually be bigger than greenhouse gases. "Black soot is probably responsible for as much as half of the glacial melt," he says.

It seems that the assembled, warring delegates at the Copenhagen greenhouse-gas talks - trying to prevent global temperature rises in the next few decades, ie in the fairly short term - may be arguing over the wrong things. According to the latest NASA research the human race might achieve more by sorting out its soot emissions first, a thing which would be comparatively easy to do, and get to the much more difficult, unpopular and less effective greenhouse gas cuts afterwards.


U.S. government lawyers wary of document destruction by Warmists

The following DOE Litigation Hold Notice was widely circulated to offices concerned with climate

DOE-SR has received a “Litigation Hold Notice” from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) General Council and the DOE Office of Inspector General regarding the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England. Accordingly, they are requesting that SRNS, SRR and other Site contractors locate and preserve all documents, records, data, correspondence, notes, and other materials, whether official or unofficial, original or duplicative, drafts or final versions, partial or complete that may relate to the global warming, including, but not limited to, the contract files, any related correspondence files, and any records, including emails or other correspondence, notes, documents, or other material related to this contract, regardless of its location or medium on which it is stored. In other words, please preserve any and all documents relevant to “global warming, the Climate Research Unit at he University of East Anglia In England, and/or climate change science.”

As a reminder, this Litigation Hold preservation obligation supersedes any existing statutory or regulatory document retention period or destructive schedule. The determination of what information may be potentially relevant is based upon content and substance and generally does not depend on the type of medium on which the information exists. The information requested may exist in various forms, including paper records, hand-written notes, telephone log entries, email, and other electronic communication (including voicemail), word processing documents (including drafts, spreadsheets, databases, and calendars), telephone logs, electronic address books, PDAs (like Palm Pilots and Blackberries), internet usage files, systems manuals, and network access information in their original format. All ESI should be preserved in its originally-created, or “native” format, along with related metadata. Relevant backup tapes and all indexes for those tapes should also be preserved. Further, information that is reasonably accessible must nonetheless be preserved, because such sources will, at the very least, need to be identified and, under compelling circumstances, may need to be produced.

If you have any doubts as to whether specific information is responsive, err on the side of preserving that information.

Any employee who has information covered by this Litigation Hold is requested to contact Madeline Screven, Paralegal, SRNS Office of General Council, 5-4634, for additional instructions.


UN Security Stops Journalist’s Questions About ClimateGate

A Stanford Professor has used United Nation security officers to silence a journalist asking him “inconvenient questions” during a press briefing at the climate change conference in Copenhagen. Professor Stephen Schneider’s assistant requested armed UN security officers who held film maker Phelim McAleer, ordered him to stop filming and prevented further questioning after the press conference where the Stanford academic was launching a book.

McAleer, a veteran journalist and film maker, has recently made a documentary “Not Evil Just Wrong’ which takes a sceptical look at the science and politics behind Global Warming concerns. He asked Professor Schneider about his opinions on Climategate – where leaked emails have revealed that a senior British professor deleted data and encouraged colleagues to do likewise if it contradicted their belief in Global Warming. Professor Phil Jones, the head of Britain’s Climate Research Unit, has temporarily stood down pending an investigation into the scandal.

Professor Schneider, who is a senior member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said he would not comment on emails that may have been incomplete or edited. During some testy exchanges with McAleer, UN officials and Professor Schneider’s assistants twice tried to cut short McAleer’s question.

However as the press conference drew to a close Professor Schneider’s assistant called armed UN security guards to the room. They held McAleer and aggressively ordered cameraman Ian Foster to stop filming. The guard threatened to take away the camera and expel the film crew from the conference if they did not obey his instructions to stop filming Professor Schneider. The guard demanded to look at the film crews press credentials and refused to allow them to film until Professor Schneider left the room.

McAleer said he was disappointed by Professor Schneider’s behaviour. “It was a press conference. Climategate is a major story – it goes to the heart of the Global Warming debate by calling into question the scientific data and the integrity of many scientists involved.” “These questions should be answered. The attempts by UN officials and Professor Schneider’s assistant to remove my microphone were hamfisted but events took a more sinister turn when they called an armed UN security officer to silence a journalist.”

Two officers corralled the film crew and one officer can be seen on tape threatening the cameraman. The Guard can also be heard warning that if the crew did not stop filming their would seize the equipment and the journalists expelled from the conference.

McAleer says he has made an official complaint about the incident. “I have met Mr Christopher Ankerson the UN’s head of security for the conference and he has confirmed it was Professor Schneider’s staff who asked the security guards to come corral us at the press conference. Mr Ankerson could not say what grounds the security guard had for ordering us to stop filming.” “This is a blatant attempt to stop journalists doing journalism and asking hard questions. It is not the job of armed UN security officers to stop legitimate journalists asking legitimate questions of senior members of the UN’s IPCC.”

Professor Schneider was interviewed for McAleer’s “Not Evil Just Wrong” documentary but lawyers later wrote to McAleer saying he was withdrawing permission for the interview to be used.

McAleer, who is from Ireland, has gained quite a reputation for asking difficult questions of those who have been promoting the idea of man-made Global Warming. His microphone was cut off after he asked former vice-president Al Gore about the British court case which found that An Inconvenient Truth had a nine significant errors and exaggerations. Almost 500,000 people have watched the incident on youtube.



Three current articles below

Greens take moral high road - and finish last

By Peter Costello a former Liberal Party federal treasurer and the outgoing member for the Higgins electorate

Two days out from the Higgins byelection Malcolm Mackerras, Australia's leading psephologist, predicted a Greens victory. Mackerras not only knew the result, he knew the reason for it, forecasting the Liberal candidate would be defeated because of the "arrogance" of the resigning MP and the elevation of Tony Abbott.

When the poll was declared on Monday, the Liberal vote had in fact increased. Mackerras has moved on to other predictions. But the forecast excited the Greens leader, Bob Brown, enough for him to make a whistlestop tour before the ballot, hoping to associate himself with the victory. He appeared in the Melbourne suburbs to tell the media about the concerns of local voters. Surprisingly, they were all his pet policy projects.

I was with the Liberal candidate, Kelly O'Dwyer, that day. The press smelled a rat. "Haven't you been forced into the electorate to counter Bob Brown?" one journalist asked me. I pointed to my former office nearby, explained I had lived in the area for 20 years and that we were in my local shopping centre. "I don't travel here, I have to travel to get out of here," I replied. It was clear the media momentum was on the side of Brown.

It is hard to think of circumstances more propitious for the Greens: a sympathetic press, no Labor candidate, a Liberal leadership spill, parliamentary debate on the emissions trading legislation and the media focus on Copenhagen. And Abbott, as new Liberal leader, didn't get time for a visit. Still the Greens fluffed it. This did not stop Brown declaring a great triumph. As usual, there has been little critical appraisal of his performance. So what went wrong?

In contrast to the Liberal candidate, who was outstanding, the Greens chose a bad candidate. Their central command overrode local supporters to impose someone who lived in Canberra. Most people think an MP should represent locals to Canberra. The Greens had the idea they could represent Canberra back to the locals. And what a representative. When it comes to alarmism, Clive Hamilton is almost without peer.

These days he preaches destruction from climate change. In 2000 Hamilton forecast the GST would kill people on the roads - 65 a year - because it would lead to increased motor vehicle use and pollution. That means the GST has caused well over 500 deaths by now, which is nothing like the body count Hamilton is forecasting from global warming. But it is still a decent set of fatalities he can lay at the feet of the Liberal Party.

Secondly, some Labor voters - particularly among lower-income earners - will not vote for the Greens. To maximise their joint position, the Greens and Labor need to run three-cornered contests, like the Liberals and Nationals do in regional electorates. The Liberal campaign was assisted mightily by Labor's decision not to run.

Thirdly, the Greens have to scale down the sanctimony. They thrive on a message of impending doom. These days the cataclysm is global warming. Previously it was logging, or nuclear annihilation. Only by repentance and obedience to their doctrine can we escape the wrath to come.

But educated people are a little less credulous than that. They know in political policy, outcomes rarely match the promises, particularly the overblown promises of zealous activists. They know that moral absolutists rarely deliver what they promise.

The Greens have a moral superiority complex. In their mind they are not only right but virtuous, which makes their opponents not only wrong but immoral. This is why Hamilton has compared climate sceptics with Holocaust deniers - if you disagree with his policies you are complicit in, or covering, up mass murder. Robert Manne, who launched the campaign for Hamilton, put it this way: "If the Greens can achieve a breakthrough in the byelections … [this] might come to be seen as a turning point in the moral history of this country."

In Melbourne on December 5 electors could have turned to good from evil, to Green from Liberal. Instead, by voting Liberal out of concern for their children's education, or for the lack of aged care, or for their job or business, they demonstrated moral inferiority. One day it might dawn on Brown, Manne and Hamilton that voters do not like moral condescension. Sanctimony can make you feel good, but it rarely appeals to those listening.


Politicians talk green, drive fuel guzzlers

The usual Greenie hypocrisy. It's other people who have to make changes or do without

FEDERAL politicians are using a taxpayer-funded perk to pay for gas-guzzling SUVs, with more than 90 percent of them driving six or eight cylinder cars. A staggering 225 out of the 243 private-plated cars chosen by MPs and Senators have six or eight-cylinder engines, in contrast to the national trend towards smaller, more fuel efficient models. Only a handful of MPs drive low-emission hybrids.

The list, published today on The Punch, shows the most popular car among federal politicians is the Ford Territory, Australia’s answer to the SUV and possibly the heaviest Aussie-built passenger car ever made. It was chosen by 81 MPs, including many who live in suburban electorates. The Federal Government’s own Green Vehicle Guide gives the Territory a woeful 2.5 stars out of five.

The details, released under Freedom of Information laws and current as of March 1 this year, show only 10 MPs drive low-emission hybrids.

All MPs and Senators are entitled to at least one private-plated vehicle for personal use as part of their salary package. They can choose from a list of 35 cars valued at up to $48,990 or with approval from the Special Minister of State, select a “non-standard vehicle”. Apart from the Territory, other popular vehicles include the Holden Berlina and Calais vehicles or the Toyota Aurion V6. Some of the Toyota Landcrusiers, preferred among some country-based MPs, are diesel or in the case of one or two six cylinder cars, dual fuel LPG operated.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was embarrassed into swapping his private-plate Territory for a hybrid Toyota Prius in 2007 when, as Opposition Leader, it was revealed he was calling for action on greenhouse while driving a Territory.

Special Minister of State Joe Ludwig, a Territory driver, said the government was examining “cleaning up” the parliamentary entitlements framework, including the private-plated vehicle scheme. An independent committee would report to him next year with some recommendations intended to “reduce cost and increase transparency”.


The Quixotic war against carbon to add a third to power bills, which will cost $1000 more over three years

AUSTRALIANS will have to pay up to an extra $1000 over the next three years for power, with about a third of the extra cost directly attributable to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. The NSW regulator yesterday issued a draft ruling allowing the state's three electricity companies to raise their charges over the next three years, and it is the first such ruling where the cost of a CPRS can be exactly determined. The federal government has estimated that an ETS would add $1100 a year to the average family's bills, with gas, fuel and groceries set to rise along with electricity.

Power prices in Australia are set by each state within a national framework, and the Australian Energy Regulator recently issued guidelines for South Australia and Queensland, with those for Victoria due to be released in the new year. But these rulings allow only for increased charges for network costs and not a CPRS, making yesterday's ruling by the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal the first on what it sees as the potential cost to consumers of a CPRS.

While NSW is the first state to make such a call, its figures would be a guide for other state regulatory bodies when they issue their rulings for possible rises. Under the NSW body's draft ruling issued yesterday, the three main energy companies would be able to start charging for a CPRS from the middle of next year, even though the scheme was not due to start until the middle of 2011.

Notes issued with the ruling show that customers of Energy Australia would pay an extra $288 over three years for a CPRS, while those with Integral Energy would pay an extra $314, and those with Country Energy an extra $302. This represents a rise in cost between now and 2012-13 of 23 per cent for Energy Australia, 25 per cent for Integral Energy, and 21 per cent for Country Energy. In the case of all three distributors, the cost of a CPRS is about half the overall increase recommended by the independent regulator, with most of the extra cost to consumers coming from the need to replace ageing infrastructure.

The overall costs allowed by the NSW pricing tribunal would see rises over three years of $554, or 44 per cent, for customers of Integral Energy, $727, or 58 per cent, for those of Energy Australia, and $893, or 62 per cent, for those signed to Country Energy.

Tony Abbott seized on the last figure as evidence of how the CPRS would hit ordinary consumers. He claimed that "those massive increases are due in significant measure to Mr Rudd's emissions tax". "There is a real problem here. Mr Rudd is trying to tell us that there is a painless way to tackle climate change," the Opposition Leader said. "There isn't. And we have learnt today from the NSW authorities that Mr Rudd's emissions tax is likely to impact massively on Australian families." But the federal government planned to allow full or partial compensation for electricity consumers who earned less than $160,000.

The NSW opposition said the planned increases showed the extent that basic infrastructure such as powerlines had been allowed to run down under the Labor government.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More evidence of GHCN corruption

For the past six days, several climate scientists have discovered an alarming trend: clear evidence of alteration of historical data at weather stations around the world, in order to support the contention of anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

The changes appear to affect the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN), a project of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climate Data Center. Note that this is the same agency that employs Dr. Eugene Wahl, who might be implicated in the research misconduct allegations made against Michael E. Mann at Penn State University.

Richard Keen at the University of Colorado was the first to notice the changes. On December 5, he published this report comparing his own research into the climate of Alaska with the official version of the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). He found no evidence of warming in Alaska over the past three decades, and no substantial difference in average temperature between 1935-1944 and the present time. Overall he found a warming trend of 0.69 Kelvin per century over the span of the twentieth century--while the GHCN dataset projects a warming trend of 2.83 K/century. (The Kelvin is the International System equivalent of a Celsius degree.)

Keen published his findings at They were little noticed until three days later, when Willis Eschenbach published this entry at WattsUpWithThat, containing an analysis of the raw data at the weather stations in and around Darwin Airport in Australia, and the data as adjusted by GHCN. Eschenbach charged that the Darwin data had been distorted, not adjusted, and suggested that the data ought to have been left alone, or else given one single adjustment, downward by 0.6 Kelvin, of the temperature record of 1941 and prior. The result of the official adjustments was a linear warming trend of 1.2 K/century, whereas the raw data showed a cooling trend of 0.7 K/century. Had the data received the single adjustment proposed by Eschenbach, the trend might have been nearly flat.

Worse yet, says Eschenbach, the data from just one station, identified as Station Zero or Darwin Zero, received an adjustment giving it a warming trend of 6 K/century.

Those, dear friends, are the clumsy fingerprints of someone messing with the data Egyptian style … they are indisputable evidence that the “homogenized” data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming.

Eschenbach admitted at the time that his findings at Darwin could be an isolated case. But shortly after the Eschenbach entry appeared on WattsUpWithThat, a reference to it appeared at The Air Vent, whereupon a reader mentioned and linked to Keen's Alaska study. Furthermore, another blogger published this entry (repeated here at WUWT) concerning faulty weather-station siting in Western Australia.

Today, Anthony Watts himself reported on a comment by a reader on the most disturbing finding yet: several GISS station datasets have been altered. The only reason why Watts and his commenter could detect the deletion is that Watts had saved the data from two of the affected weather stations (Orland, CA and Fairmont, CA) two years ago. The alteration at Orland is more serious: prior temperature records (between ca. 1880 and 1900), clearly warmer than subsequent temperatures, are now missing. Those data were in place as recently as 29 December 2008 and are not present today. By way of explanation, the GISS data selector (captured by Watts) says this:

Note to prior users: We no longer include data adjusted by GHCN and have renamed the middle option (old name: prior to homogeneity adjustment).

Watts suggests that the problem might be not with the GISS data but with the GHCN dataset upon which GISS depends for historical data.


ClimateGate Research Unit Disables Its Website

More lies and evasions

The Climatic Research Unit at the heart of the ClimateGate scandal has taken down most of the information previously available at its website.

Prior to November's release of controversial e-mail messages and documents from Britain's University of East Anglea, there was a separate website for the institution's CRU that allowed readers to review articles and studies created by and for the Unit.

Now, no matter what link one tries to access via a Google search, it directs you to a page that reads: "Due to the present high volume of visitors to this page, you will shortly be directed to the latest news about CRU on the main University of East Anglia website, or you can go there immediately by clicking on this link."

Once there, readers are exclusively offered the following:
CRU Statements

* Sir Muir Russell to head the Independent Review into the allegations against the Climatic Research Unit (CRU)

Today the University of East Anglia (UEA) announced that Sir Muir Russell KCB FRSE will head the Independent Review into allegations made against the Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

* CRU update 3

Professor Phil Jones has today announced that he will stand aside as Director of the Climatic Research Unit until the completion of an independent Review resulting from allegations following the hacking and publication of emails from the Unit. Read more

* CRU update 2

The University of East Anglia has released the following press release and statements from Prof Trevor Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Prof Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit, and from CRU.

* CRU update 1

It is a matter of concern that data, including personal information about individuals, appears to have been illegally taken from the university and elements published selectively on a number of websites.

As such, you can now only retrieve statements from CRU concerning the current controversy, but NOT information and data related to it.

For instance, as Anthony Watts reported moments ago, you can no longer retrieve information about Keith Briffa's tree ring data which is so crucial to the whole manmade global warming myth.

In fact, the following links available at Google all redirect to the CRU Statements page:

* Climatic Research Unit

* Index of /cru

* Temperature Trends: Surface (CRU)

* Data available from CRU

* About the Climatic Research Unit

* CRU information sheets

Some pages don't redirect at all. Temperature Trends: Surface (CRU) goes to a page that says, "Sorry, but the page you requested does not exist."

As for the idea that this is because of "the volume of visitors," Watts noted, "[I]f indeed 'traffic' is a concern, redirecting to another page on the UEA server system doesn’t do much for the load, it just moves it around."

Will global warming-obsessed media that have been either ignoring or downplaying ClimateGate notice what's happened at the website of the CRU in the middle of this scandal, and if they do, how will they report it?

SOURCE. See also here for more comments.

The world must take action on climate change even if the science is not correct?

My! How the false fronts are falling!

Following the ‘climategate scandal’, Mr Blair said the science may not be “as certain as its proponents allege”. But he said the world should act as a precaution against floods, droughts and mass extinction caused by climate change, in fact it would be “grossly irresponsible” not to.

The first week of key UN negotiations on climate change saw clashes between the rich and poor world over the failure of countries like the US to commit to strict cuts in carbon dioxide. Later this week world leaders, including Gordon Brown and President Barack Obama, will arrive.

Mr Blair admitted that the talks are “one of the toughest negotiations that international leaders will ever have been involved in.” But despite sceptics claiming emails stolen from the University of East Anglia question the science, he said it was urgent to act now. “It is said that the science around climate change is not as certain as its proponents allege. It doesn’t need to be. What is beyond debate, however, is that there is a huge amount of scientific support for the view that the climate is changing and as a result of human activity,” he said.

“Therefore, even purely as a matter of precaution, given the seriousness of the consequences if such a view is correct, and the time it will take for action to take effect, we should act. Not to do so would be grossly irresponsible.”

A new report from the ‘Breaking the Climate Deadlock Initiative’ found that the current commitments of rich countries would not be enough to stop global warming. But Mr Blair insisted that even a weak agreement would set the world on a path to a "low carbon future" by encouraging investment in green energy and he suggested a review every five years to toughen targets. He also called for an agreement to halt deforestation that is responsible for a fifth of the world's emissions by paying poor countries not to chop down trees.......


The "Warmest decade" claim

Don Easterbrook shows below that even if we accept the "massaged" figures from the Warmists, the claim is still misleading

Figure 1. Atmospheric temperatures 1900 to 2009. The blue line shows global cooling for the past decade; the red line shows the length of the decade

The decade of 2000 to 2009 appears to be the warmest one in the modern record, the World Meteorological Organization reported in a new analysis on Tuesday. Does that mean that the past decade has been cooling? No—of course not. Comparison of the red line in Fig. 1 with pre-1998 decades shows that the past decade is warmer, but the blue line shows cooling during the past decade—although the decade is warmer than previous decades, the climate did cool during the decade.

Thus, the claim that this proves no global cooling during the past decade is totally false. This is a difficult concept for non-scientists (and apparently some scientists!) to grasp. An analogy would be riding a bicycle up a long hill for a century, going over the crest of the hill and coasting downhill for a decade. Even though you have been going downhill for a decade, you are still higher up the hill than previous decades.


Inconvenient truth for Al Gore as his North Pole sums don't add up

Media No Longer Giving Gore Free Ride!

There are many kinds of truth. Al Gore was poleaxed by an inconvenient one yesterday. The former US Vice-President, who became an unlikely figurehead for the green movement after narrating the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, became entangled in a new climate change “spin” row.

Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years. In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

However, the climatologist whose work Mr Gore was relying upon dropped the former Vice-President in the water with an icy blast. “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

Mr Gore’s office later admitted that the 75 per cent figure was one used by Dr Maslowksi as a “ballpark figure” several years ago in a conversation with Mr Gore.

The embarrassing error cast another shadow over the conference after the controversy over the hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, which appeared to suggest that scientists had manipulated data to strengthen their argument that human activities were causing global warming....

Perhaps Mr Gore had felt the need to gild the lily to buttress resolve. But his speech was roundly criticised by members of the climate science community.

“This is an exaggeration that opens the science up to criticism from sceptics,” Professor Jim Overland, a leading oceanographer at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. “You really don’t need to exaggerate the changes in the Arctic.”

Others said that, even if quoted correctly, Dr Maslowski’s six-year projection for near-ice-free conditions is at the extreme end of the scale. Most climate scientists agree that a 20 to 30-year timescale is more likely for the near-disappearance of sea ice. “Maslowski’s work is very well respected, but he’s a bit out on a limb,” said Professor Peter Wadhams, a specialist in ocean physics at the University of Cambridge.

Dr Maslowki, who works at the US Naval Postgraduate School in California, said that his latest results give a six-year projection for the melting of 80 per cent of the ice, but he said he expects some ice to remain beyond 2020.

He added: “I was very explicit that we were talking about near-ice-free conditions and not completely ice-free conditions in the northern ocean. I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this,” he said. “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at, based on the information I provided to Al Gore’s office.”

Richard Lindzen, a climate scientist at the Massachusets Institute of Technology who does not believe that global warming is largely caused by man, said: “He’s just extrapolated from 2007, when there was a big retreat, and got zero.” [i.e. another stupid and dishonest straight-line projection -- in an area where there are no stright lines]


Oklahoma senator plans to rain on climate talks

The final week of the United Nations climate change summit boils down to a battle between President Obama and the self-described "skunk at the picnic." Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who has called global warming a "hoax," plans to travel this week to Copenhagen. He'll stay just long enough — as few as three hours, he says — to tell heads of state that the Senate will not pass an energy bill that would limit greenhouse gas emissions. "We know (the bill) is never going to go to a vote," Inhofe said in a recent interview. "It's dead. It's gone … I'm not going to allow them to think America is going to do something it's not."

Delegates from other countries say that without Congress' support, Obama won't be able to keep whatever promises he makes when he arrives here Friday to try to seal a deal on capping emissions. Without the full cooperation of the world's second-biggest emitter behind China, any broad agreement to address global warming by the 192 nations gathered in Copenhagen will simply fall apart, they say.

"Unless the U.S. has the political will to make the necessary sacrifices, none of this will work," said Sudanese diplomat Lumumba Di-Aping, the lead representative for more than 130 developing nations at the summit.

Obama has proposed cutting greenhouse gas emissions by about 17% by 2020, compared with levels in 2005. He says a firm cap on carbon dioxide produced by U.S. industry, as mandated by a House bill passed in June, will help slow global warming and provide an incentive for companies to invest in cleaner energy. The Senate is to debate an energy bill early next year.

"There are many (U.S.) companies and investors … waiting for Congress to act, waiting for some certainty before they make these investments," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. He said Chinese companies were moving ahead with "green" technology: "If we don't watch out … they'll end up with all those jobs."

Even Republicans who say global warming may be a problem, including Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., say a cap on carbon emissions would damage the U.S. economy by pushing up energy prices. Carbon emitters such as power plants and factories would have to pay for permits to keep burning coal and oil at the same levels. The cost, Republicans say, would be passed on to consumers in higher energy bills.

The U.S. debate is one of many issues unresolved as the summit enters its second week....

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei cautioned countries against trying to save face at the summit by agreeing on goals far into the future — such as in 2050. "If you cannot deliver on the short term or medium term, you cannot talk about the long term," the minister said Friday. By 2050, he said, "most of us will not be here anymore."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Monday, December 14, 2009

Another UN Scientist Bails: UN IPCC Coordinating Author Dr. Philip Lloyd calls out IPCC 'fraud'

Note: The UN IPCC’s Dr. Lloyd wrote this on November 23, 2009 and apparently did not yet know about Climategate and makes no reference to it

Prof Bruce Hewitson (Uninformed vitriol, November 19) pontificates on Andrew Kenny’s assessment (Ideology and money drive global-warming religion, November 16). Unfortunately for him, there has been a reformation. The time for pontification is over. The critics must be answered. Instead Prof Hewitson stood in his pulpit and preached the gospel according to St IPCC.

He says he was a lead author for the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). That is not material — I was a co-ordinating lead author, but it gives me no mantle of infallibility. Instead, it gave me insight into the flaws behind the whole process.

The IPCC claims that it has thousands of scientists and almost as many reviewers of the scientists' work to produce their reports. There are two problems, however. In the scientific world I move in, “review” means that your work is scrutinised by several independent, anonymous reviewers chosen by the editor.

However, when I entered the IPCC world, the reviewers were there at the worktable, criticising our drafts, and finally meeting with all us co-ordinators and many of the IPCC functionaries in a draftfest. The product was not reviewed in the accepted sense of the word — there was no independence of review, and the reviewers were anything but anonymous. The result is not scientific.

The second problem is that the technical publication is not completed by the time the IPCC reports. Instead, it produces a Summary for Policy Makers. Writing the summary involves the co-ordinators, the reviewers and the IPCC functionaries as before, and also various chairmen.

The summary goes out in a blaze of publicity, but there is no means of checking whether it represents what the scientists actually said, because the scientific report isn’t published for another four months or more.

In the Fourth Assessment, the summary was quietly replaced several months after it was first published because some scientists who were involved complained of misrepresentation.

In the early years of the IPCC, there was a slightly different process. The Summary for Policy Makers and the scientific reports were issued at the same time. In those years, however, the Summary for Policy Makers bore a warning that it was the last current word on the subject, whereas the scientific reports were correctly identified as being subject to continuing development. Someone smelled a rat about the “last word” story, so the process was changed, and now the summary is issued with no means of checking.

It isn’t necessary to list all the changes I have identified between what the scientists actually said and what the policy makers who wrote the Summary for Policy Makers said they said. The process is so flawed that the result is tantamount to fraud. As an authority, the IPCC should be consigned to the scrapheap without delay.


Is this a last hurrah for ocean acidification?

Below is an article from "The Times" of London. The writer has not kept up with the science however. His high-school chemistry has not prepared him for the complexity of nature: Both shellfish and corals THRIVE under higher levels of CO2. And warmer water EXPELS CO2 anyway, which is probably what is causing the present slight elevation of atmospheric CO2 levels. The Comments on the article give the author quite a caning anyway. He really is a drip who should stick to something he knows about. He is just a smug journalist with a chip on his shoulder

Ocean acidification has been quite scandalously left out of the reckoning in the past few weeks. I am not for a moment belittling the science behind man-made global warming. This still seems to me solid, despite the shenanigans at the University of East Anglia. That levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are rising is not disputed. We have known since the 19th century that carbon dioxide was a crucial greenhouse gas. Venus has a lot of it and is hot as hell. Mars has almost none and is cold as ice. [Errr... could we mention their very different distances from the sun?]

However, even if you happen to believe that everything we know about greenhouse gases is illusory — unlikely though that is — we would still need to agree at Copenhagen this week to cut our emissions of carbon dioxide because of what is happening to the sea, the source of roughly half our food and provider of other useful services that we tend to take for granted.

We know the ocean absorbs about 25% of the carbon dioxide we emit each year. This CO2 dissolves through wind and wave action to form carbonic acid. This is altering the chemistry of the seas in ways that are not disputed and are far simpler to understand than the effect the same pollutants are having on the atmosphere. I recommend the startling practical demonstration on YouTube of what acidity will do to the oceans given by Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to a congressional select committee this month.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in about 1750, sea water acidity has increased by 30%. The speed and degree of this change are faster than anything that had happened for 55m years. The changes being observed are beginning to disrupt the ability of any organism to make shells out of calcium carbonate. Organisms that do this include corals, crabs, lobsters, small creatures vital to the diet of fish and plankton of the kind that die and form chalk deposits such as the white cliffs of Dover.

Projections show that by 2060, given the current rate of fossil-fuel emissions, sea water acidity could have increased by 120%. Lubchenco showed Congress a scary picture of what a shell would look like if it had spent a month in water as acidic as this. The shell had begun to dissolve.

Such an effect could trigger a chain of reactions through entire ecosystems, from whales to fish and shellfish, with huge implications for economies and wildlife. It could even stop the sea absorbing as much carbon dioxide as it does now, accelerating global warming. It is pretty scary stuff.

Predictably, the science of ocean acidification, which is accepted by governments on both sides of the Atlantic, does not go uncontested by the global warming sceptics. They say you can’t acidify the ocean because it washes over alkaline rocks. This process of weathering rocks is indeed how the alkalinity of the ocean will recover, but leading scientists say it will take hundreds of thousands of years. At the unprecedented speed that acidification is happening, the marine organisms will be knocked out before the rocks can dilute the acid.

There is plenty we still need to know about the acidification of the ocean. However, it looks as if unpleasant things start to happen if we go beyond 450 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (bear in mind we reached 390ppm earlier this year). That is, coincidentally, the threshold for holding the Earth’s average temperature rise down to a relatively “safe” 2C.

So ocean acidification, which people are beginning to call climate change’s “evil twin”, may be an even more pressing reason to move to a low-carbon economy than climate change itself. And that makes it doubly irresponsible for those people who scorn the need to cut carbon emissions to ignore what is going on in the oceans.


A.A. Gill in Copenhagen

Gill is famously in love with words but he has an important point below: Warmism is the establishment now. He does not consider that we may be seeing its highpoint before a decline -- a sort of Edwardian England in 1913

Standing here for half an hour to get my accreditation, which is all done by Danish schoolgirls with impeccable mockney accents, I realise that I am standing on one of those ley lines of history, a joint in the space-time continuum. I am stepping across an invisible border, balancing, Nureyev-like, on a pivot of a remarkable moment, a moment of moment.

This chilly melee is the tipping point. Not the climatic one — more important than that. Copenhagen is where the principle and the process of environmental change and global warming have gone from being the exclamation of a pressure group, and a charity whine, to being the orthodoxy, the accepted wisdom, the mainstream.

The environment was outside the big tent. Now it’s inside and it makes absolutely no difference what opinion polls or referendums say. It matters nought that the Green party has singularly failed in every democracy. It doesn’t matter that they’re all as boring and righteous as goodness. It doesn’t matter that scientists fake messages and bury statistics, that they do everything in secret. None of this matters now. It doesn’t even matter if it’s actually going to happen. All that matters is that the people who matter think it matters.

When the heads of nearly every government turn up here to make promises, sign agreements that they will undoubtedly break and fudge and chuckle over and lie about, that’s not what’s important. They may bounce the cheque, but they won’t bounce the reason for writing it. They’re on board for global warming.

Global warming is where the momentum is. Global warming is the future. The deniers, the sceptics, are now the crusties, the Swampies, the loonies with the sandwich boards, the swivel-eyed Cassandras. They will of course go on complaining and gainsaying, they will pick nits and write books and turn up on late-night cable TV shows. But they’re out of the big room. This is the new deal.

Inside the Bella centre you notice a number of things. First, that the Danish don’t make pastries and, second, that there aren’t any signs. They don’t like to tell you what to do.

I spend three days dazed and lost, aimlessly skidding round thousands of folk in bits of tribal costume sitting in makeshift huddles round the communal computer. Talking endlessly and tapping ancient rhythms into their keyboards.

There is a distinct absence of hippies, although there are three Asians dressed as trees. There aren’t any ponytails; there are hardly any beards or home-knits or hand-woven things. The people here aren’t the ones you see in the demos. They’re not wearing Peruvian hats. They haven’t shaved up the sides of their heads while drunk and they’re not the kids outside doing street theatre.

This is the third generation of ecowarrior. It started with the wild prophets in the 1970s, who wrote books in woad and became hermits in distant wildernesses, listening to Gaia and talking oblivion. And then it was their students, the alternative geeks, the white rastas, the furless models, skinny boys in bands, fashion designers, folk who made cider and grew hemp. But they’re all gone. Now there’s traction. And it’s being made by professionals. The technocrats.

This room is full of thousands of the overqualified, who are softly spoken in four languages. They’re the people you find running NGOs and huge charities and UN agencies. The alternative bureaucracy of the world and they’re almost all under 45.

The ecology thing has become too big, too momentous, to be left to romantics with nits. Let them write blogs, build cycle paths. In here, it’s about arranging the world economy for the next century.

So big business is here. Car manufacturers, airlines, oil companies. Energy providers. They know which way the wind farm’s blowing. They all want to be inside the tent. They understand that environmentalism has edged closer to the axis of power and cynicism.

There are untold fortunes to be made in fighting global warming, in technology, innovation, carbon trading, grants and guilt. Guilt is big money. And the people you want as customers are all here: young, clever, savvy, global civil servants.

In the southern, developing world, apart from tourists, the only people you see on aeroplanes are locals flying to environmental and medical conferences. This is where all the smart cash is, not with the ancient sceptics or deniers. They aren’t going anywhere. They’re not buying anything. Their only aspirations are to keep everything as it is and win a Test match.

None of this could have happened without the laptop. Everyone here has one; everyone is constantly lit from beneath, like a character from a gothic movie. They call it the green movement because that’s what it makes you look like.

None of them will ever complain or campaign about the carbon expended on the web, or by search engines, or the resources used in manufacturing laptops, or the wages of the workers who have to make them. These tools are their swords of burning gold, their chariots of fire. The ecology movement was made possible by the web, the blogs and the emails and computer modelling. Fifteen years ago, nobody would have been here.

That of course doesn’t mean there’s no more paper: there’s unfeasible reams of it. Every stall, every nation, every special-pleading NGO prints acres and acres of booklets and pamphlets and study documents, all scribbled in a densely illiterate techno-speak. The entire convention is of course plastic-bag-free, so they hand out printed and dyed cotton bags instead, which are far more wasteful and damaging and expensive.

In the two main halls (all the rooms are named after famous Danes: the biggest one is Isak Dinesen, who you’ll remember had a farm in Africa) the bureaucratic official business creeps along with all the wit, excitement and warmth of a receding glacier.

There are the bureaucratic points of order, the bland language of government, the weight of an international organisation being built like a great pyramid, with none of the excitable shouting or enthusiasms of a student demo. The delegates fit in their nationally adopted seats, dying of jet lag, boredom and incomprehension.

This for a moment is the world turned upside down, the first are last and the last are first. The developed, industrial, postcolonial world is at the bottom of the pile; the pariahs who must do the most to catch up. On top are the specks of land, the minute and unvisited corners. So let’s hear it for the Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Togo.

Few things infuriate quite as much as the constant reference to indigenous people. Everyone has to say indigenous people at least once in every statement. I fight the urge to put up my hand and shout: Please sir, can you point out those that are not indigenous persons? Which of us is a disindigenous human? Which the Caliban-bastard, unconnected to even a square foot of this earth?

The patronising of indigenous people is hideous. Indigenous of course means prehistoric, ancient, pettable. The indigenous are spoken of like endangered hominids, elevated to the iconic status of pandas and polar bears. Their pictures, in colourful Victorian anthropological outfits of fur, feather and face paint, grace every stall and poster.

Because we’re up north, Eskimos abound in kayaks, hunting with spears, something they haven’t done in a generation. Eskimos hunt with rifles in plastic boats with outboard motors, wearing North Face parkas. The reason polar bears are scarce in Greenland is not because the ice is melting so much as they are being shot to shreds by unemployed Inuit with nothing better to do.

One of the things that is most depressing and disturbing about this whole green thing is that they seem to have no sense of taste at all.

They don’t care what they eat, they don’t care what they wear and they don’t care what’s on the walls. They have no concept of their own culture, only of other people’s, which they revere without criticism, grabbing bits and pieces of primitive pattern, handprint and rock carving.

All the delegates are dressed appallingly in Lego shoes and flappy fibrous urban survival gear, sporting that old school tie of liberal sensibility, the ethnic scarf.

Even communism and fascism managed to translate their philosophies into an aesthetic. The green movement is just too crap and shabby and unimaginative. It doesn’t have time. It doesn’t think it’s worth it. It’s too glued to its models and its blogs to even make up some decent protest music. No art, nothing but some sadly punning slogans and the most uninspired, turgid and solipsistically verbose writing.

But, despite that, what makes the green movement triumphantly successful is that it has the most important and precious of things: it has a story.

It is telling us our own saga, the adventure of saving the world. This has all the elements of a great myth, the impossible trials, the dragons and giants to be defeated, the magic seeds to be found, the wells and fountains of health and youth, the band of brothers, the implacable enemy. The princesses to be rescued. The kingdoms to be won.

If you look at the global warming debate as simply the first draft of the first new creation myth to be invented in thousands of years, then you see why it’s irresistible. Who wouldn’t want to be part of their own fairy tale?


British officials cover up wind farm noise report

Coverups are the name of the game for the Green/Left

Civil servants have suppressed warnings that wind turbines can generate noise damaging people’s health for several square miles around. The guidance from consultants indicated that the sound level permitted from spinning blades and gearboxes had been set so high — 43 decibels — that local people could be disturbed whenever the wind blew hard. The noise was also thought likely to disrupt sleep. The report said the best way to protect locals was to cut the maximum permitted noise to 38 decibels, or 33 decibels if the machines created discernible “beating” noises as they spun.

It has now emerged that officials removed the warnings from the draft report in 2006 by Hayes McKenzie Partnership (HMP), the consultants. The final version made no mention of them. It means that hundreds of turbines at wind farms in Britain have been allowed to generate much higher levels of noise, sparking protests from people living near them.

Among those affected is Jane Davis, 53, a retired National Health Service manager, who has had to abandon her home because of the noise. It lies half a mile from the Deeping St Nicholas wind farm in south Lincolnshire whose eight turbines began operating in 2006. “Our problems started three days after the turbines went up and they’ve carried on ever since. It’s like having helicopters going over the top of you at times — on a bad night it’s like three or four helicopters circling around,” she said. “We abandoned our home. We rent a house about five miles away — this is our fourth Christmas out of our own home. We couldn’t sleep. It is torture — my GP describes it as torture. Three hours of sleep a night is torture.”

The HMP report was commissioned by the business department whose responsibilities for wind power have since been taken over by Ed Miliband’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The decision to stick with existing noise limits became official guidance for local authorities ruling on planning applications from wind farm developers. It has also been used by ministers and officials to support the view that there was no need to revise official wind farm noise guidelines and that erecting turbines near homes posed no threat to people’s health and wellbeing.

In 2007 Mike Hulme of the Den Brook Judicial Review Group, a band of residents opposing a wind turbine development close to their houses in Devon, submitted a Freedom of Information request asking to see all draft versions of the study.

Officials refused the request, claiming it was not in the public interest for them to be released. Hulme appealed to the information commissioner’s office, which has ordered Miliband’s department to release the documents. The drafts show the HMP originally recommended that the night-time wind turbine noise limit should be reduced from 43 decibels to 38, or 33 if they made any kind of swishing or beating noise — known as “aerodynamic modulation”.

The HMP researchers had based their recommendations on evidence. They took noise measurements at houses close to three wind farms: Askam in Cumbria, Bears Down in Cornwall and Blaen Bowi in Carmarthenshire. They found that the swish-swish signature noise of turbines was significantly greater around most wind farms than had been foreseen by the authors of the existing government guidelines, which date from 1996. They also found that the beating sound is particularly disruptive at night, when other background noise levels are lower, as it can penetrate walls. In their draft report the HMP researchers recommended that “Consideration be given to a revision of the night-time absolute noise criterion”, noting that this would fit with World Health Organisation recommendations on sleep disturbance.

However, an anonymous government official then inserted remarks attacking this idea because it would impede wind farm development. He, or she, wrote: “What will the impact of this be? Are we saying that this is the situation for all wind farms ... I think we need a sense of the scale of this and the impact.”

The final report removed any suggestion of cutting the noise limits or adding any further penalty if turbines generated a beating noise — and recommended local authorities to stick to the 1996 guidelines.

Hulme said: “This demonstrates the conflict of interests in DECC, because it has the responsibility for promoting wind farm development while also having responsibility for the wind farm noise guidance policy ... meant to protect local residents.”

Ron Williams, 74, a retired lecturer, lives half a mile from the Wharrels Hill wind farm in Cumbria. He has been forced to use sleeping pills since its eight turbines began operating in 2007. “The noise we get is the gentle swish swish swish, non-stop, incessant, all night,” he said. “It’s like a Chinese torture. In winter, when the sun is low in the sky, it goes down behind the turbines and causes flickering shadows coming into the room. “It’s like somebody shining car headlights at your window ... on and off, on and off. It affects us all. It’s terrible. Absolutely horrible.”

Lynn Hancock, 45, runs a garden maintenance business. She has suffered disruption since 2007 when the 12-turbine Red Tile wind farm began operating several hundred yards from her Cambridgeshire home. “Imagine a seven-ton lorry left running on the drive all night and that’s what it’s like,” she said. “People describe it as like an aeroplane or a helicopter or a train that never arrives. It’s like it’s coming but it never gets here.”

Such problems are likely to increase. Britain has 253 land-based wind farms generating 3.5 gigawatts, but this is expected to double or even triple by 2020 to help to meet targets for cutting CO2 emissions.


Black Activist to Obama: Promote Job Growth by Killing Cap-and-Trade

If the White House jobs summit is more than a publicity stunt, says Deneen Borelli of the Project 21 black leadership network, Obama should abandon efforts to implement a cap-and-trade policy, as it would kill jobs.

"If Obama is sincere about finding ways to fix our country's employment crisis, he should start by putting the brakes on job-killing cap-and-trade legislation," said Deneen Borelli, a Project 21 fellow.

Obama is promoting today's summit as a gathering of experts to "jumpstart" hiring and create new jobs. Unemployment recently rose to 10.2 percent, the highest rate since 1983.

Commenting on Obama's upcoming trip to the COP-15 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen later this month, Borelli said: "President Obama will propose reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels to 'save the planet.' Tragically, even his own EPA administrator says this proposal would have no meaningful impact on the climate if done unilaterally, as he would. One thing it will do is have a devastating impact on jobs."

Cap-and-trade would limit the amount of emissions industry can release. It seeks to reduce consumption of traditional fossil fuels - such as coal, oil and natural gas - by making them more expensive. Higher costs will ultimately be borne by consumers and workers. As a candidate, Obama admitted that, under such a plan, "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

Legislation to implement cap-and-trade in the U.S. passed Congress in June and a similar bill is pending in the Senate. The Heritage Foundation estimates that the House version would cause job losses of about 1.15 million jobs annually between 2012 and 2030 - rising to almost 2.5 million per year by 2035.

An international scandal currently rocking climate change science makes the need for such onerous policy increasingly questionable. Concerns about climate data manipulation, as exposed in recently-posted private e-mails among prominent climate researchers, has heightened the uncertainty about the scientific basis of the theory that mankind is causing severe global warming.

"I think it's irresponsible for Obama to continue to push a destructive energy agenda while there is a growing scandal in the scientific community that turns the underpinnings of cap-and-trade policy on its ear," Borelli noted. "How can the Obama Administration move forward in good faith while so many questions about this potential miscarriage of science remain unresolved?"

"With unemployment at 10.2 percent nationwide and food stamps feeding more than 36 million people, it's common sense to stop imposing new financial burdens on America that would kill jobs and cause more individuals to be enslaved by a reliance on government aid," said Borelli.


Australian conservative spokesman challenges climate giveaways to the Third World

Given the parlous state of Australian public hospitals, the giveaways are a disgrace

BARNABY Joyce has demanded Kevin Rudd reveal how much money will be siphoned out of hospitals and roads to help developing nations meet climate change goals. World leaders, including the Prime Minister, will this week arrive at the critical point of the United Nations global climate change talks, which have become bogged down about the responsibilities of developed and developing countries.

Mr Rudd in recent days has spoken to several world leaders, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg about the meeting. "The leaders agreed on the need to increase the momentum for a successful outcome to the Copenhagen meeting and to work closely with Australia to that end," a spokesman for Mr Rudd said yesterday.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong yesterday said she was hoping for an outcome on mitigation and financing. "We will do our fair share . . . (because) we're not going to have a global agreement unless there are arrangements around financing, including private and public," she said.

But Senator Joyce, the Opposition's new finance spokesman, was concerned about Senator Wong's plan to commit Australia to a worldwide fund to help poorer countries cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Senator Joyce said Australia was broke and if it had to help pay for other countries it would have to borrow money. "Australian taxpayers have a right to know how much Mr Rudd and Senator Wong have decided to give people who do not pay tax in Australia," Senator Joyce said. "How much are we going to give to (Zimbabwean President Robert) Mugabe (and) the regime in Sudan?

"I'm scared he's going to be a big man with someone else's cheque book. "For every dollar spent on developing countries is a dollar that can't be spent on hospitals and roads in Australia."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Daily Mail" digs deep

The Daily Mail is a popular (print circulation over 2 million) British conservative newspaper that specializes in exposing scandals of all sorts. And in bureaucratic Britain, there is plenty to expose. And below they have got onto the huge and gaping hole in the Warmist story: The demonstrable invalidity of tree-rings as measures of temperature. The coverage below will reach many people and may even inspire better coverage from the rest of the British press

The claim was both simple and terrifying: that temperatures on planet Earth are now ‘likely the highest in at least the past 1,300 years’. As its authors from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) must have expected, it made headlines around the world. Yet some of the scientists who helped to draft it, The Mail on Sunday can reveal, harboured uncomfortable doubts. In the words of one, David Rind from the US space agency Nasa, it ‘looks like there were years around 1000AD that could have been just as warm’.

Keith Briffa from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), which plays a key role in forming IPCC assessments, urged caution, warning that when it came to historical climate records, there was no new data, only the ‘same old evidence’ that had been around for years. ‘Let us not try to over-egg the pudding,’ he wrote in an email to an IPCC colleague in September 2006. ‘True, there have been many different techniques used to aggregate and scale data - but the efficacy of these is still far from established.’

But when the ‘warmest for 1,300 years’ claim was published in 2007 in the IPCC’s fourth report, the doubters kept silent. It is only now that their concerns have started to emerge from the thousands of pages of ‘Warmergate’ emails leaked last month from the CRU’s computers, along with references to performing a ‘trick’ to ‘hide’ temperature decline and instructions to resist all efforts by the CRU’s critics to use the Freedom of Information Act to check the unit’s data and conclusions.

Last week, as an official inquiry by the former civil servant Sir Muir Russell began, I tried to assess Warmergate’s wider significance. The CRU’s supporters insisted it was limited. ‘In the long term, it will make very little difference to the scientific consensus, and to the way politicians respond to it,’ Professor Trevor Davies, the university’s Pro-Vice Chancellor and a former CRU director, told me. ‘I am certain that the science is rock solid.’ He admitted that his CRU colleagues had sometimes used ‘injudicious phrases’, but that was because they kept on being ‘diverted’ from their work by those who wished to scrutinise it. ‘It’s understandable that sometimes people get frustrated,’ he said. The only lesson the affair had for him was that ‘we have got to get better in terms of explanation. Some scientists still find it quite it difficult to communicate with the public.’

Others, however, were less optimistic. Roger Pielke, Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado, could in no sense be described as a climate change sceptic, let alone a ‘denier’. ‘Human-caused climate change is real, and I’m a strong advocate for action,’ he said. ‘But I’m also a strong advocate for integrity in science.’

Pielke’s verdict on the scandal is damning. ‘These emails open up the possibility that big scientific questions we’ve regarded as settled may need another look. 'They reveal that some of these scientists saw themselves not as neutral investigators but as warriors engaged in battle with the so-called sceptics. ‘They have lost a lot of credibility and as far as their being leading spokespeople on this issue of huge public importance, there is no going back.’

Climate science is complicated, and often the only way to make sense of raw data is through sophisticated statistical computer programs. The consequence is that most lay individuals - politicians and members of the public alike - have little choice but to take the assurances of scientists such as Davies on trust. He and other ‘global warmists’ often insist that when it comes to the IPCC’s main conclusions - that the Earth is in a period of potentially catastrophic warming and that the main culprit is man-made greenhouse gas emission - no serious scientist dissents from the conventional view. Hence, perhaps, Gordon Brown’s recent comment that those who disagree are ‘behind-the-times, antiscience, flat-Earth climate sceptics’.

In fact, there is a large body of highly-respected academic experts who fiercely contest this thesis: people such as Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a disillusioned former IPCC member, and Dr Tom Segalstad, head of geology at Oslo University, who has stated that ‘most leading geologists throughout the world know that the IPCC’s view of Earth processes are implausible if not impossible’.

These dissenters focus their criticisms on the IPCC’s analysis of the way the atmosphere works and the models it uses to predict the future.

However, Warmergate strikes at something more fundamental - the science that justifies the basic assumption that the present warming really is unprecedented, at least in the past few thousand years. Take the now-notorious email that the CRU’s currently suspended director, Dr Phil Jones, sent to his IPCC colleagues on November 16, 1999, when he wrote he had ‘just completed Mike’s Nature trick’ and had so managed to ‘hide the decline’.

For example, some suggest that the ‘medieval warm period’ was considerably warmer than even 1998. Of course, this is inconvenient to climate change believers because there were no cars or factories pumping out greenhouse gases in 1000AD - yet the Earth still warmed.

The CRU’s supporters have protested bitterly about the attention paid to this message. In the course of an extraordinary BBC interview in which he called an American critic an ‘****hole’ live on air, Jones’s colleague Professor Andrew Watson insisted that the fuss was completely unjustified, because all Jones had been talking about was ‘tweaking a diagram’.

Davies told me that the email had been ‘taken out of context’ adding: ‘One definition of the word “trick” is “the best way of doing something”. What Phil did was standard practice and the facts are out there in the peer-reviewed literature.’

However, the full context of that ‘trick’ email, as shown by a new and until now unreported analysis by the Canadian climate statistician Steve McIntyre, is extremely troubling. Derived from close examination of some of the thousands of other leaked emails, he says it suggests the ‘trick’ undermines not only the CRU but the IPCC.

There is a widespread misconception that the ‘decline’ Jones was referring to is the fall in global temperatures from their peak in 1998, which probably was the hottest year for a long time. In fact, its subject was more technical - and much more significant. It is true that, in Watson’s phrase, in the autumn of 1999 Jones and his colleagues were trying to ‘tweak’ a diagram. But it wasn’t just any old diagram. It was the chart displayed on the first page of the ‘Summary for Policymakers’ of the 2001 IPCC report - the famous ‘hockey stick’ graph that has been endlessly reproduced in everything from newspapers to primary-school textbooks ever since, showing centuries of level or declining temperatures until a dizzying, almost vertical rise in the late 20th Century.

There could be no simpler or more dramatic representation of global warming, and if the origin of worldwide concern over climate change could be traced to a single image, it would be the hockey stick.

Drawing a diagram such as this is far from straightforward. Gabriel Fahrenheit did not invent the mercury thermometer until 1724, so scientists who want to reconstruct earlier climate history have to use ‘proxy data’ - measurements derived from records such as ice cores, tree-rings and growing season dates. However, different proxies give very different results. For example, some suggest that the ‘medieval warm period’, the 350-year era that started around 1000, when red wine grapes flourished in southern England and the Vikings tilled now-frozen farms in Greenland, was considerably warmer than even 1998. Of course, this is inconvenient to climate change believers because there were no cars or factories pumping out greenhouse gases in 1000AD - yet the Earth still warmed.

Some tree-ring data eliminates the medieval warmth altogether, while others reflect it. In September 1999, Jones’s IPCC colleague Michael Mann of Penn State University in America - who is now also the subject of an official investigation --was working with Jones on the hockey stick. As they debated which data to use, they discussed a long tree-ring analysis carried out by Keith Briffa.

Briffa knew exactly why they wanted it, writing in an email on September 22: ‘I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards “apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more”.’ But his conscience was troubled. ‘In reality the situation is not quite so simple - I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1,000 years ago.’

Another British scientist - Chris Folland of the Met Office’s Hadley Centre - wrote the same day that using Briffa’s data might be awkward, because it suggested the past was too warm. This, he lamented, ‘dilutes the message rather significantly’.

Over the next few days, Briffa, Jones, Folland and Mann emailed each other furiously. Mann was fearful that if Briffa’s trees made the IPCC diagram, ‘the sceptics [would] have a field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith [in them] - I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I’d hate to be the one to have to give it fodder!’

Finally, Briffa changed the way he computed his data and submitted a revised version. This brought his work into line for earlier centuries, and ‘cooled’ them significantly. But alas, it created another, potentially even more serious, problem. According to his tree rings, the period since 1960 had not seen a steep rise in temperature, as actual temperature readings showed - but a large and steady decline, so calling into question the accuracy of the earlier data derived from tree rings.

This is the context in which, seven weeks later, Jones presented his ‘trick’ - as simple as it was deceptive. All he had to do was cut off Briffa’s inconvenient data at the point where the decline started, in 1961, and replace it with actual temperature readings, which showed an increase. On the hockey stick graph, his line is abruptly terminated - but the end of the line is obscured by the other lines.

‘Any scientist ought to know that you just can’t mix and match proxy and actual data,’ said Philip Stott, emeritus professor of biogeography at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. ‘They’re apples and oranges. Yet that’s exactly what he did.’

Since Warmergate-broke, some of the CRU’s supporters have claimed that Jones and his colleagues made a ‘full disclosure’ of what they did to Briffa’s data in order to produce the hockey stick. But as McIntyre points out, ‘contrary to claims by various climate scientists, the IPCC Third Assessment Report did not disclose the deletion of the post-1960 values’. On the final diagram, the cut off was simply concealed by the other lines.

By 2007, when the IPCC produced its fourth report, McIntyre had become aware of the manipulation of the Briffa data and Briffa himself, as shown at the start of this article, continued to have serious qualms. McIntyre by now was an IPCC ‘reviewer’ and he urged the IPCC not to delete the post-1961 data in its 2007 graph. ‘They refused,’ he said, ‘stating this would be “inappropriate”.’

Yet even this, Pielke told me, may not ultimately be the biggest consequence of Warmergate. Some of the most controversial leaked emails concern attempts by Jones and his colleagues to avoid disclosure of the CRU’s temperature database - its vast library of readings from more than 1,000 weather stations around the world, the ultimate resource that records how temperatures have changed. In one email from 2005, Jones warned Mann not to leave such data lying around on searchable websites, because ‘you never know who is trawling them’.

Critics such as McIntyre had been ‘after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone’.

Yesterday Davies said that, contrary to some reports, none of this data has in fact been deleted. But in the wake of the scandal, its reliability too is up for grabs.

The problem is that, just like tree rings or ice cores, readings from thermometers or electronic ‘thermistors’ are open to interpretation. The sites of weather stations that were once open countryside become built up areas, so trapping heat, and the type of equipment used changes over time. The result is what climate scientists call ‘inhomogeneities’ - anomalies between readings that need to be ‘adjusted’. But can we trust the way such ‘adjustments’ are made?

Last week, an article posted on a popular climate sceptic website analysed the data from the past 130 years in Darwin, Australia. This suggested that average temperatures had risen there by about two degrees Celsius. However, the raw data had been ‘adjusted’ in a series of abrupt upward steps by exactly the same amount: without the adjustment, the Darwin temperature record would have stayed level.

In 2007, McIntyre examined records across America. He found that between 1999 and 2007, the US equivalent of the Met Office had changed the way it adjusted old data. The result was to make the Thirties seem cooler, and the years since 1990 much warmer. Previously, the warmest year since records began in America had been 1934. Now, in line with CRU and IPCC orthodoxy, it was 1998.

At the CRU, said Davies, some stations’ readings were adjusted by unit and in such cases, raw and adjusted data could be compared. But in about 90 per cent of cases, the adjustment was carried out in the countries that collected the data, and the CRU would not know exactly how this had been done. Davies said: ‘All I can say is that the process is careful and considered. To get the details, the best way would be to go the various national meteorological services.’

The consequences of that, Stott said, may be explosive. ‘If you take Darwin, the gap between the two just looks too big. ‘If that applies elsewhere, it’s going to get really interesting. It’s no longer going to be good enough for the Met Office and CRU to put the data out there. ‘To know we can trust it, we’ve got to know what adjustments have been made, and why.’

Last week, at the Copenhagen climate summit, the Met Office said that the Noughties have been the warmest decade in history. Depending on how the data has been adjusted, Stott said, that statement may not be true. Pielke agreed. ‘After Climategate, the surface temperature record is being called into question.’

To experts such as McIntyre and Pielke, perhaps the most baffling thing has been the near-unanimity over global warming in the world’s mainstream media - a unanimity much greater than that found among scientists. In part, this is the result of strongarm tactics. For example, last year the BBC environment reporter Roger Harrabin made substantial changes to an article on the corporation website that asked why global warming seemed to have stalled since 1998 - caving in to direct pressure from a climate change activist, Jo Abbess. ‘Personally, I think it is highly irresponsible to play into the hands of the sceptics who continually promote the idea that “global warming finished in 1998” when that is so patently not true,’ she told him in an email. After a brief exchange, he complied and sent a final note: ‘Have a look in ten minutes and tell me you are happier. We have changed headline and more.’

Afterwards, Abbess boasted on her website: ‘Climate Changers, Remember to challenge any piece of media that seems like it’s been subject to spin or scepticism. Here’s my go for today. The BBC actually changed an article I requested a correction for.’

Last week, Michael Schlesinger, Professor of Atmospheric Studies at the University of Illinois, sent a still cruder threat to Andrew Revkin of the New York Times, accusing him of ‘gutter reportage’, and warning: ‘The vibe that I am getting from here, there and everywhere is that your reportage is very worrisome to most climate scientists ... I sense that you are about to experience the “Big Cutoff” from those of us who believe we can no longer trust you, me included.’

But in the wake of Warmergate, such threats - and the readiness to bow to them - may become rarer. ‘A year ago, if a reporter called me, all I got was questions about why I’m trying to deny climate change and am threatening the future of the planet,’ said Professor Ross McKitrick of Guelph University near Toronto, a long-time collaborator with McIntyre. ‘Now, I’m getting questions about how they did the hockey stick and the problems with the data. ‘Maybe the emails have started to open people’s eyes.’


Media deception about Copenhagen

As the world trains its attention on Copenhagen for the United Nations climate change summit, much is being made in the mainstream media about the bold pledges global leaders supposedly are making to combat rampant warming. Not surprisingly, however, the press is bungling the climate change story.

The Los Angeles Times trumpeted that China—the planet’s leading emitter of greenhouse gas emissions—had pledged to cut those emissions an astonishing 40-45 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. The Washington Post did much the same, with a front-page story headlined: “China Sets Target For Emissions Cuts.” India, meanwhile, was reported by numerous outlets to have made a similar pledge to cut its rapidly rising greenhouse gas output.

And President Obama garnered front page headlines all over the world with an announcement setting a U.S. emissions reduction target of 17 percent below 2005 levels in 2020.

There’s a big problem with this emerging storyline of a unified international community willing to make the hard choices and sacrifices necessary to save the planet: It’s patently untrue. Despite the evident desire of the mainstream media and the Obama administration to advance the idea that global climate change regulation is inevitable, the facts tell otherwise.

China, for instance, did not pledge to cut its carbon emissions, but rather its carbon intensity. Those are two very different things. Carbon intensity is the measure of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP. China is industrializing and modernizing its economy at breakneck speed. As it grows richer and its economy grows more efficient, China’s carbon intensity naturally will decline.

As for China’s presently soaring carbon emissions, those will continue to rise in absolute terms even as carbon intensity drops. China is averaging building one new coal plant every week or so to fuel its economic expansion, and the mandarins in Beijing have made clear they plan to continue along that path for years to come.

Consider these Energy Information Administration (EIA) numbers: In 2006, China’s electric generation amounted to 2,773 billion kilowatt hours, of which 79 percent came from coal. In 2030, the Middle Kingdom’s electric generation is estimated to more than triple, to 8,547 billion KWh.

The EIA figures that coal will account for only 75 percent of China’s electric generation two decades from now. That’s a slightly smaller share of the pie compared to today. But the pie will be vastly bigger in 2030, so China’s greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation could be roughly three times more than they are today. Factor in hundreds of millions of peasants upgrading from bicycles to motor vehicles, and CO2 emissions soar further.

India’s story is much the same. Its diplomats head to Copenhagen not with an official promise to curb carbon emissions but to cut carbon intensity by 24 percent by 2020. Like China, its emissions will keep rising.

The Los Angeles Times was forced to run an embarrassing correction admitting it had had muddled the distinction between carbon emissions and carbon intensity. That confusion, inspired by media cheerleading for another landmark climate change pact, probably explains most of the sloppy journalism on this important issue. But what is its excuse for blowing coverage of the Obama administration’s strategy?

The White House announced that Obama would travel to Copenhagen to personally pledge that the U.S. intends to cut its own emissions by 17 percent over the next decade compared to 2005 levels. The media reported that correctly, and loudly. But what it failed to note is that this is a promise Obama does not have authority to make on his own. For that Obama needs Capitol Hill, but Senate Democrats have made clear they will not pass any cap-and-trade emissions reduction scheme this year. The chances of getting the full Congress to pass cap-and-trade in 2010, when the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate face re-election, are no less remote.

Perhaps Obama and his friends in the nation’s newsrooms believe that their brand of global warming reporting is a self-fulfilling prophecy: Publicizing that certain things are happening will cement in the public’s mind that they are, thus making them inevitable. Declaring that China and India are slashing emissions is supposed to guilt American lawmakers into passing a regulatory scheme to cut our absolute emissions.

We have been down this road before. Those agitating for major governmental controls to fight global warming have insisted the argument is over. They hoped that declaring the science to be settled would settle the matter in their favor. But the recent scandal at the Hadley Climate Research Unit in England, which revealed the perfidy of several of the world’s most important advocates of that notion, starkly shows that the science is not settled at all. The arguments for global warming regulation rest too heavily on easily manipulated computer models and data that global warming alarmists admit were massaged to fit their biases.

That outrage is the real news about climate change as Copenhagen gets under way, yet the media has largely ignored it. Instead of investigating the scandal, the press has chased a different story—about nations supposedly united to cut emissions—and gotten it wrong to boot. No wonder the newspaper industry is in such dismal shape, and that increasing numbers of people claim to get their information not from traditional media outlets but from blogs or the Daily Show.


Climate Change and “Climategate”

Bjørn Lomborg

Thousands of politicians, bureaucrats, and environmental activists have arrived in Copenhagen for the COP15 global climate summit with all the bravado – and self-regard – of a group of commandos who are convinced that they are about to save the world. And, although the political differences between them remain huge, delegates are nonetheless congratulating themselves for having the answers to global warming.

The blustery language and ostentatious self-confidence that fill the Bella Center here remind me of a similar scene: Kyoto, 1997. There, world leaders actually signed a legally binding deal to cut carbon emissions – something that will elude the Copenhagen summit-goers. But what did the Kyoto Protocol accomplish? So far, at least, virtually nothing.

To be sure, Europe has made some progress towards reducing its carbon-dioxide emissions. But, of the 15 European Union countries represented at the Kyoto summit, 10 have still not meet the targets agreed there. Neither will Japan or Canada. And the United States never even ratified the agreement. In all, we are likely to achieve barely 5% of the promised Kyoto reduction.

To put it another way, let’s say we index 1990 global emissions at 100. If there were no Kyoto at all, the 2010 level would have been 142.7. With full Kyoto implementation, it would have been 133. In fact, the actual outcome of Kyoto is likely to be a 2010 level of 142.2 – virtually the same as if we had done nothing at all. Given 12 years of continuous talks and praise for Kyoto, this is not much of an accomplishment.

The Kyoto Protocol did not fail because any one nation let the rest of the world down. It failed because making quick, drastic cuts in carbon emissions is extremely expensive. Whether or not Copenhagen is declared a political victory, that inescapable fact of economic life will once again prevail – and grand promises will once again go unfulfilled.

This is why I advocate abandoning the pointless strategy of trying to make governments promise to cut carbon emissions. Instead, the world should be focusing its efforts on making non-polluting energy sources cheaper than fossil fuels. We should be negotiating an international agreement to increase radically spending on green-energy research and development – to a total of 0.2% of global GDP, or $100 billion a year. Without this kind of concerted effort, alternative technologies simply will not be ready to take up the slack from fossil fuels.

Unfortunately, the COP15 delegates seem to have little appetite for such realism. On the first day of the conference, United Nations climate change chief Yvo de Boer declared how optimistic he was about continuing the Kyoto approach: “Almost every day, countries announce new targets or plans of action to cut emissions,” he said.

Such statements ignore the fact that most of these promises are almost entirely empty. Either the targets are unachievable or the numbers are fudged. For example, Japan’s pledge of a 25% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 sounds incredible – because it is. There is no way the Japanese could actually deliver on such an ambitious promise.

China, meanwhile, drew plaudits just before the Copenhagen summit by promising to cut its carbon intensity (the amount of CO2 emitted for each dollar of GDP) over the next ten years to just 40-45% of its level in 2005. Based on figures from the International Energy Agency , China was already expected to reduce its carbon intensity by 40% without any new policies. As its economy develops, China will inevitably shift to less carbon-intensive industries. In other words, China took what was universally expected to happen and, with some creative spin, dressed it up as a new and ambitious policy initiative.

Then again, spin always trumps substance at gatherings like this. Consider how quick the Copenhagen delegates were to dismiss the scandal now known as “Climategate” – the outcry over the release of thousands of disturbing emails and other documents hacked from the computers of a prestigious British climate-research center.

It would be a mistake not to learn lessons from this mess. Climategate exposed a side of the scientific community most people never get to see. It was not a pretty picture. What the stolen emails revealed was a group of the world’s most influential climatologists arguing, brainstorming, and plotting together to enforce what amounts to a party line on climate change. Data that didn’t support their assumptions about global warming were fudged. Experts who disagreed with their conclusions were denigrated as “idiots” and “garbage.” Peer-reviewed journals that dared to publish contrarian articles were threatened with boycotts. Dissent was stifled, facts were suppressed, scrutiny was blocked, and the free flow of information was choked off.

Predictably, the text of the more than 3,000 purloined emails have been seized on by skeptics of man-made climate change as “proof” that global warming is nothing more than a hoax cooked up by a bunch of pointy-headed intellectuals. And this is the real tragedy of “Climategate.” Global warming is not a hoax, but at a time when opinion polls reveal rising public skepticism about climate change, this unsavory glimpse of scientists trying to cook the data could be just the excuse too many people are waiting for to tune it all out.

What seems to have motivated the scientists involved in Climategate was the arrogant belief that that the way to save the world was to conceal or misrepresent ambiguous and contradictory findings about global warming that might “confuse” the public. But substituting spin for scientific rigor is a terrible strategy.

So, too, is continuing to embrace a response to global warming that has failed for nearly two decades. Instead of papering over the flaws in the Kyoto approach and pretending that grand promises translate into real action, we need to acknowledge that saving the world requires a smarter strategy than the one being pursued so dogmatically in Copenhagen.


Swingin' Copenhagen

This is a light-hearted comment from comedian Dennis Miller but, like the best comedy, it has much truth in it

So it's come to this. If, and I say if only because it isn't, global warming is a man-made desecration of the planet, the head table of that desecration has been set up this week in Copenhagen under the aegis of stopping the man-made desecration of the planet.

Crazy, huh? But there is a darker vibe about the craziness this time around. I used to feel it was funny crazy, UFO-Loch Ness crazy. Now though, it's becoming disturbing crazy.

In the wake of the publishing of the East Anglia e-mails, I'm beginning to see a Roy Cohn-at-Tailgunner-Joe's-side quality in some of the more zealous climatological gurus' incessant bleats. (By the way, how much CO2 does a whiny bleat put out into the atmosphere?)

Some of them are no doubt vaguely cognizant of the fact that they might have way overbet this hand and that there's now something much more important in play than the plight of the planet. And that of course would be their reputations and standing in the herd of man.

You ever come across raccoons in the outdoor trash can at 11:30 or so at night? As soon as they're exposed by the beam of the flashlight (by the way, how much CO2 does the beam of a flashlight put into the atmosphere?), they turn on you with fangs and paws and let you know what follows will be a short conversation with very little talking involved.

Currently, climate scientists are raccoons hip-deep in statistical garbage and you should approach them with caution because they are unarmed (with facts) and dangerous.

In lieu of having the facts (i.e., the thermometer!) bear out their hypothesis, they are now going to have to get creative. They are going to have to press the bet now and steer into the delusional skid, and that sort of desperation makes for a really unsavory individual no matter how much good they are ostensibly doing for their fellow man.

Deniers will be disparaged, data will be fudged and theories will be advanced that are, if possible, even more wing-nuttier than some of the claptrap currently out there. If heretofore depictions of Manhattan under water in the year 2057 were shown to sixth-graders, they're going to have to drop it down to preschoolers in deference to the Gullibility Expansion Joint.

I say we offer them a lifeline right now. Come back little Sheba. Come to Papa. You went a little nuts. We understand. Of course, now that the fever dream has broken, you, too, realize that the ups and downs of temperature are what we call "the weather."

Of course the only truly creepy thing "the weather" could do would be to remain perpetually constant. Now that would be weird!

Prodigal your loony self right back over here! We forgive you and we just thank God that the light bulb of pragmatic inspiration finally switched on for you. (By the way, how much CO2 does the light bulb of pragmatic inspiration finally switching on for you put into the atmosphere?)


The Hitlerettes of “SustainUS”

By Christopher Monckton in Copenhagen -- responding to attacks from ecofascists

Here in Copenhagen, the “global warming” conference is hotting up despite the freezing weather. A couple of nights ago, a peaceful meeting of Americans for Prosperity was broken up by several dozen chanting preppie goons from SustainUS, a Hitlerian environmental pressure-group largely funded by US taxpayers. The thugs and thugettes were determined to exercise their right of free speech at the expense of ours.

These animals’ loutish assault on our meeting, and my conversation about it the next day, have gone viral on the internet as people realize – many for the first time – that, in today’s environmental movement, the intolerance, arrogance, and viciousness of Nazism is back – and this time it is worldwide.

A student at a British university did not like it when the members of our audience – reported by me on German television and subsequently worldwide - gave their opinions that the SustainUS thugs were no better than the Hitler Youth. Here, in full, is his complaint, and my reply.
Dear Lord Monckton, – I write, perhaps as one of many, with the deepest regret for your actions in Copenhagen this week. By resorting to ad hominem attacks on members of SustainUS you have sabotaged your own cause by reducing your credibility. I feel aggrieved that a person who takes such actions as you may still claim the title ‘Lord’.

Previous to your comments I disagreed with you on the issue of climate change but nonetheless followed your views and read your articles as a student of the topic. Now I feel you have crossed the line and shown that your arguments cannot stand alone without resorting to insults and patronising comments to those who wish to civilly discuss with you.

I am a member of the youth of this nation, and perhaps by my actions and opinions you might also call me a member of the ‘Hitler youth’. But make no mistake, the youth are the future and by your actions you have alienated them and inspired many more to oppose you.

Initially the opposition to you was about science. Now the opposition is to you as a person for your hateful remarks. Yours in disappointment, – A student.

Dear Student, – Thank you for taking the trouble to let me know what you think. Perhaps a little background would be helpful. Some 50 robotically-chanting thugs invaded a meeting that some colleagues and I were holding, jostled and intimidated us, and did their best to interfere with our right of free speech for as long as they could get away with it. They showed not the slightest intention of engaging in civil discussion with us.

Three German and one Danish members of our audience were distraught. They said no attempt like this to prevent free speech had ever been seen in Copenhagen since the Nazis had occupied the city during the Second World War. The Hitlerettes had lied in order to get into the meeting, and had clearly been lavishly funded (by taxpayers, mostly, according to our enquiries for the police report) and had also been very carefully briefed. Peaceful protesters would have demonstrated outside, rather than violently breaking up our meeting in the manner all too familiar to those who know the mid-20th-century history of Europe.

I broadcast their remarks on German television and, the next morning, when I was visiting the stands operated by various (again almost exclusively taxpayer-funded) environmental organizations, several of them surrounded me and began saying how displeased they were that I had compared them to the Hitlerjugend. I explained my reasoning, and refused otherwise to have anything to do with any of them.

With my colleagues, I am considering at present whether we should report these gruesome louts to the police, who have been given very wide powers to prevent precisely this sort of violent intrusion into what had been, until they lied and cheated their way in, a peaceful meeting.

On YouTube, where the video these goons shot of my refusal to knuckle under to their intimidating terror tactics is displayed, to their horror the comments on the video are running at well over ten to one in my favour. And, though my comments have been publicly available for two days, you are the first and only person who has written to me as you have. Free speech is a precious commodity, and, whether you like it or not, I intend to speak out for it as clearly as possible while I still can.

For years, we who have been quietly conducting careful scientific research and publishing our counter-consensual results both in and out of the peer-reviewed journals have been subjected to daily accusations in the news media that we are climate “deniers” or “denialists”, with calculated and malevolent overtones of Holocaust denial. In short, we are regularly, and with no justification, subjected to exactly the opprobrium which, with full justification, I heaped upon the Hitlerettes of SustainUS, whose faces, bullying tactics, and incapacity to argue sensibly for their opinions are now rightly notorious round the world.

Therefore, I shall ask you two questions.

First, have you ever, at any time, written to any of those who have described scientific sceptics in these malicious terms to remonstrate with them as you have with me, or are you, perhaps, being selective in targeting me, either through prejudice or because you have simply become so inured to the foul insults that are so routinely hurled at those of us who are, in the words of Al-Haytham, the father of the scientific method, merely “seekers after truth”?

Know this. James Hansen, a paid public official of NASA, has publicly and repeatedly demanded that those of us who dare to question what is now known to be the serially unsound and dishonest pseudo-science of the UN’s climate panel and of the various national scientific institutions that contribute to it, should be put on trial for what he has called “high crimes against humanity”. He knows, and the Administrator of NASA knows, that the penalty for crimes against humanity is death. Hansen is asking for those of us who disagree with him to be tried by the Staatssicherheitsdienst and then killed, and the Administrator of NASA continues to allow him to get away with it.

So my second question is this. Have you ever, at any time, contacted Mr. Hansen or NASA to protest at his – and by implication their – demand that those who have genuine and well-founded doubts as to the magnitude of CO2’s warming effect should be tried and by implication executed, and, if not, why not?


Australia in on the carbon scams too

The best-known of the carbon scams is the way Germany and Russia were allowed under the Kyoto treaty to count the meltdown of their former Communist industries as carbon reduction credits. And Britain was allowed to count the conversion of much of its electricity generation from coal to gas -- which was in fact done to save money. And America counts the relocation of much of its industry to China. And China and India were exempted altogether, of course. So it must be no surprise that Australia's negotiators found a comfortable little loophole too -- comfortable for the government but hard on Australia's farmers. The coverage below is, rather surprisingly, from the Green/Left blog "Crikey". I notice that they are very wobbly about the difference between "effect" and "affect". I think I have corrected most of the bloopers concerned. I have tamed a few excess apostrophes too

Over the coming week Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will attend the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference and be hailed as one of the world leaders on climate change action. The PM attends the meeting with Australia being one of a handful of developed countries to have met their Kyoto Treaty obligations. Australia’s Kyoto commitment was to limit the Nations Carbon Dioxide emissions to 108% of 1990 levels.

The Carbongate “Trick”

The “trick” is how Australia, with a rapidly growing economy over the last two decades, has been able to achieve this. Emissions from energy and transport have increased by 23% over 1990 levels. Australians might wonder how with our rapidly growing population and economy over the last two decades, as a nation we seemed to be in a position to claim that we only increased our total emissions by 9%. Well, we haven’t. Our emissions have increased by 30% but thanks to the “carbongate” swindle we can claim it’s only 9%.

Here is the “trick” and it is not PM Kevin Rudd’s “trick”, it was actually the Liberal / National Coalition Howard Government’s master stoke. At the Kyoto negotiations in November 1997 Senator Ian Campbell was able to negotiate into the agreement what controversially became known at the “Australian clause” . Clive Hamilton documents the trickery of the Coalition’s bargaining that brought about the inclusion of the Australia clause in his book “Scorcher”. Indeed he devotes a whole chapter to it – Chapter 6 Drama at Kyoto. From page 72: “As emissions from land-clearing had decline sharply since 1990, their inclusion in the base year would give us a cushion of ‘free’ emissions reductions. our fossil-fuel emissions would be able to increase to at least 120 percent of 1990 levels by 2010 while still coming in under overall target of 105 to 110% . The Australia clause represented a loophole in the Kyoto Protocol that a couple of Bulldozers with a chain between them could drive through.”

The brilliant “win” for the Federal Government at Kyoto was only the first part of the “trick”. To make it work the Howard Government then had to stop private property owners land-clearing. Not only did they have to stop them but as private property it had to be done at no cost to the Commonwealth. This in the face of the Constitution which states that if the Commonwealth takes a private citizen’s property for its’ benefit it must compensate the citizen on “just terms”.

The Howard Government then set about having the Carr and Beattie State Labor Governments introduce Vegetation Management laws that effectively locked up 109 million hectares of privately owned land into the world’s largest privately owned carbon sink. The “trick’ is with the Native Vegetation laws being passed by State Governments Under the Constitution the State Governments have no obligation to pay private landholders compensation. Brilliant, they’d created the world’s largest carbon sink – at no cost to the Commonwealth.

With the “trick” now in place Australia’s Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 22% when you add back in the 83.7 millions tonnes of CO2 that was not emitted from land that may have been cleared at no cost to the Commonwealth. This and this alone has allowed Australia to meet its Kyoto Protocol Treaty Obligations and in doing so has saved the Commonwealth tens of billions of dollars in compliance penalties by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Australian family farmers have never been compensated for this Kyoto “free kick” that the nation and in particular the energy and transport industries have received.

That is how the Liberal National Coalition government effectively “stole’ what has amounted to 83.7 million tonnes of Carbon Credits from private individual landholders and is the sole reason that todays Labor Prime Minister can be heralded as a true warrior of climate change with Australia having met its Kyoto obligation – cost free.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong being interviewed in Copenhagen on the ABC 7.30 report admitted that the only reason Australia was able to claim it had met its’ Kyoto commitments was thanks to the blanket ban on broad scale land clearing. “I think what you’re referring to is the way we account for emissions from land clearing, which was agreed at the Kyoto Protocol. And Australia did respond to that. We did reduce our land clearing. We took active steps, particularly in Queensland, and Queensland is to be congratulated for fact that the reduction in land clearing in that state and also NSW has reduced Australia’s national emissions.”

The affected Australian family farmers are not celebrating their contribution. The impact on the relatively few citizens who have been asked to bear this enormous burden should outrage each and every fair minded citizen of this country.

The lock-up of their land has caused great hardship and driven many devastated landholders to desperate measures including suicides. A symbol of the despair and desperation felt by those carrying the Nation’s entire Kyoto burden is New South Wales farmer Peter Spencer who is in the 20th day of a hunger strike on a two metre platform high up a 300 foot tower on his property just outside of Canberra. See Video ACA interview with Peter Wednesday 9th – Dec – day 18 of Peters Hunger Strike.

Peter says that Federal Government has declared his 5,385 hectare property a carbon Sink without compensating him. Peter had never wanted to clear his land, but under the vegetation management act the entire property is rendered off limits to any form of development.

These affected Australian farmers have been responsible for virtually the entire burden of the Nation’s greenhouse gas emission reductions but their efforts worth billions of dollars have not been recognized or financially rewarded.

These farming families have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by about 70 million tonnes since 1990 and by 2010 the saving will be about 83.7million tonnes. To put that into context that is equivalent to eliminating the entire annual emissions of New Zealand or Ireland. Over that same period of time emissions from energy and transport have continued to skyrocket.

Hide the takings

Peter’s hunger strike has gathered support from grassroots people from Australia, the US, UK, Pakistan and Malaysia. On the Peter Spencer Hunger Strike causes site over 150 people have been lobbying frantically to get the mainstream media to cover the story and for politicians to intervene on Peter’s behalf.

Peter’s supporters have been bombarding State and Federal Labor, Liberal and National Party Politicians and the mainstream media to bring attention to his cause. But Peter’s story is being stonewalled by the mainstream media and Politicians of all colours and creeds. So far they have managed to have Peter’s story covered by 2GB’s Alan Jones with a live interview with Peter Spencer and his barrister Peter King by mobile phone on Tuesday morning and one with Alastair McRobert who is at the property with Peter on Thursday morning and a 5 minute spot on Channel 9’s A Current affair on Thursday night (the video above).

Fairfax Media, News Corporation and the ABC have steadfastly refused to run the story except for The Telegraph which ran a small piece last Sunday on page 42 titled He’s the Darryl Kerrigan of Climate Change. There has been a small amount of coverage in regional media - see a full list here. The group knows that the mainstream media is stonewalling the story because a journalist from the Sydney Morning Herald was due at the property Tuesday – but the story was pulled without any reason offered by the papers editor.

Peter’s supporters have contacted by phone or email or in many cases both, Andrew Bolt, Laurie Oaks, Miranda Devine, Paul Kelly, Kerry O’Brien, Tony Jones and every major metropolitan TV, Radio and Newspaper with no result. You can read all of there efforts on the Peter Spencer Hunger Strike group wall.

The response from politicians is equally frustrating. Liberal and National politicians for obvious reasons are ducking for cover, not wanting to get involved and saying it is a matter for the Rudd Government to sort out. The Prime Minister has referred Peter’s letter to him to the Federal Police. That is the extent of his response and Labor politicians State and Federal everywhere want nothing to do with the issue.

To his great credit one Federal Liberal Politician Alex Hawke the member for Mitchell was one of the earliest people to join and show his support.

Peter Spencer’s peaceful protest has the potential to embarrass a great number of politicians from all sides of politics , State and Federal, who have been complicit in the “Carbongate” great Carbon Credit theft. They are all keen to “hide the takings”.

How is it that they can all condone the taking of billions of dollars of benefit for the nation from private citizens, yet look at paying the huge polluters billions of dollars of compensation to cut carbon emissions through the Rudd Government’s proposed CPRS? “Carbongate” – is truly an incredible blight on our democracy and an embarrassment to our nation.

Peter's supporters, the majority of whom are from urban areas and from all walks of life, are desperate as time runs out for Peter.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Saturday, December 12, 2009

NOAA/GHCN, the "Global Historical Climate Network", are crooks too

Willis Eschenbach (sounds like a pen-name of someone with a job to lose) has been looking in great detail at the work of one of the alternatives to the CRU. We know that CRU are crooks but what about the alternative sources of climate history? There are only two major alternatives and one of those is NASA/GISS run by Jim Hansen. So you have got the fox minding the henhouse there. That leaves only GHCN. So do they "adjust" their data in the same way that CRU do? Eschenbach uses the data from the Darwin area in Australia as a case in point. He presents the raw data -- which shows FALLINg temperatures -- and then the GHCN adjusted data -- which show RISING temperatures. And the adjustments done to achieve that are just plain weird. An excerpt from Eschenbach below followed by some comments on the risible "reply" to Eschenbach by Tim Lambert:

Then I went to look at what happens when the GHCN removes the “in-homogeneities” to “adjust” the data. Of the five raw datasets, the GHCN discards two, likely because they are short and duplicate existing longer records. The three remaining records are first “homogenized” and then averaged to give the “GHCN Adjusted” temperature record for Darwin.

To my great surprise, here’s what I found. To explain the full effect, I am showing this with both datasets starting at the same point (rather than ending at the same point as they are often shown).

YIKES! Before getting homogenized, temperatures in Darwin were falling at 0.7 Celsius per century … but after the homogenization, they were warming at 1.2 Celsius per century. And the adjustment that they made was over two degrees per century … when those guys “adjust”, they don’t mess around. And the adjustment is an odd shape, with the adjustment first going stepwise, then climbing roughly to stop at 2.4C....

Intrigued by the curious shape of the average of the homogenized Darwin records, I then went to see how they had homogenized each of the individual station records. What made up that strange average shown in Fig. 7? I started at zero with the earliest record. Here is Station Zero at Darwin, showing the raw and the homogenized versions.

Yikes again, double yikes! What on earth justifies that adjustment? How can they do that? We have five different records covering Darwin from 1941 on. They all agree almost exactly. Why adjust them at all? They’ve just added a huge artificial totally imaginary trend to the last half of the raw data! Now it looks like the IPCC diagram in Figure 1, all right … but a six degree per century trend? And in the shape of a regular stepped pyramid climbing to heaven? What’s up with that?

Those, dear friends, are the clumsy fingerprints of someone messing with the data Egyptian style … they are indisputable evidence that the “homogenized” data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming.

One thing is clear from this. People who say that “Climategate was only about scientists behaving badly, but the data is OK” are wrong. At least one part of the data is bad, too. The Smoking Gun for that statement is at Darwin Zero......

What this does show is that there is at least one temperature station where the trend has been artificially increased to give a false warming where the raw data shows cooling. In addition, the average raw data for Northern Australia is quite different from the adjusted, so there must be a number of … mmm … let me say “interesting” adjustments in Northern Australia other than just Darwin.

And with the Latin saying “Falsus in unum, falsus in omis” (false in one, false in all) as our guide, until all of the station “adjustments” are examined, adjustments of CRU, GHCN, and GISS alike, we can’t trust anyone using homogenized numbers.


Tim Lambert teaches computer science at the university of NSW (my old stamping ground) so he has a good brain. But, like most academics, he is a very conventional thinker much given to defence of Leftist pieties. He certainly displays the anger that is characteristic of the Left. He is as unhappy with the world he lives in as I am happy with it.

And his latest exudation, dependant on just one of Eschenbach's eight graphs, is in the usual Leftist style: Abuse, accusation, appeals to authority and ignoring the full facts. Most risibly, he accuses Eschenbach of "cooking" the books, even though he admits the fact that Eschenbach argues against making ANY adjustments to the raw data at all! That's "cooking" with the stove off! He justifies his assertion by noting something that Eschenbach dealt with at great length: The discontinuity of the various records. He fails to acknowledge Eschenbach's main point that none of the records show an upward trend -- with the records before 1941 tending clearly downwards and the post-1941 records pretty flat. He also accuses Eschenbach of not taking into account the apparent step-change around 1941 when Eschenbach in fact dealt with it at great length and looked at the effect and rationale of making allowances for it.

Lambert then goes on to to parrot the BOM line, perhaps hoping that people will be unaware that the BOM under their present leadership are committed Warmists. And to be a Warmist you have to ignore an awful lot -- the "local" medieval Warm period for starters -- a period so "local" that records of it can be found in such widely separated places as Greenland, Argentina and New Zealand. Only a Warmist would call that "local". But the Warmists are desperate, of course. They first tried to pretend that the MWP did not exist but when that didn't work, they just exchanged one form of dishonesty for another.

So Lambert's parroting of the BOM line is merely amusing. It is similar to a pair of thieves giving one-another an alibi. The BOM "results" are very similar to the "results" published by GHCN so are just as susceptible to Eschenbach's criticisms as are the the bizarre GHCN "results". Lambert makes no detailed effort to rebut those criticisms. He simply rejects them "a priori".


From Petr Chylek []. (Chylek is a Laboratory Fellow and Remote Sensing Team Leader ISR-2 MS-B244 at the Los Alamos National Laboratory)

I am sure that most of you are aware of the incident that took place recently at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU). The identity of the whistle-blower or hacker is still not known. The selected release of emails contains correspondence between CRU scientists and scientists at other climate research institutions. My own purely technical exchange of emails with CRU director Professor Phil Jones is, as far as I know, not included.

I published my first climate-related paper in 1974 (Chylek and Coakley, Aerosol and Climate, Science 183, 75-77). I was privileged to supervise Ph. D. theses of some exceptional scientists - people like J. Kiehl, V. Ramaswamy and J. Li among others. I have published well over 100 peer-reviewed papers, and I am a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the Optical Society of America, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Within the last few years I was also honored to be included in Wikipedia’s blacklist of “climate skeptics”.

For me, science is the search for truth, the never-ending path towards finding out how things are arranged in this world so that they can work as they do. That search is never finished.

It seems that the climate research community has betrayed that mighty goal in science. They have substituted the search for truth with an attempt at proving one point of view. It seems that some of the most prominent leaders of the climate research community, like prophets of Old Israel, believed that they could see the future of humankind and that the only remaining task was to convince or force all others to accept and follow. They have almost succeeded in that effort.

Yes, there have been cases of misbehavior and direct fraud committed by scientists in other fields: physics, medicine, and biology to name a few. However, it was misbehavior of individuals, not of a considerable part of the scientific community.

Climate research made significant advancements during the last few decades, thanks to your diligent work. This includes the construction of the HadCRUT and NASA GISS datasets documenting the rise of globally averaged temperature during the last century. I do not believe that this work can be affected in any way by the recent email revelations. Thus, the first of the three pillars supporting the hypothesis of manmade global warming seems to be solid.

However, the two other pillars are much more controversial. To blame the current warming on humans, there was a perceived need to “prove” that the current global average temperature is higher than it was at any other time in recent history (the last few thousand years). This task is one of the main topics of the released CRU emails. Some people were so eager to prove this point that it became more important than scientific integrity.

The next step was to show that this “unprecedented high current temperature” has to be a result of the increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. The fact that the Atmosphere Ocean General Circulation Models are not able to explain the post-1970 temperature increase by natural forcing was interpreted as proof that it was caused by humans. It is more logical to admit that the models are not yet good enough to capture natural climate variability (how much or how little do we understand aerosol and clouds, and ocean circulation?), even though we can all agree that part of the observed post-1970 warming is due to the increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration. Thus, two of the three pillars of the global warming and carbon dioxide paradigm are open to reinvestigation.

The damage has been done. The public trust in climate science has been eroded. At least a part of the IPCC 2007 report has been put in question. We cannot blame it on a few irresponsible individuals. The entire esteemed climate research community has to take responsibility. Yes, there always will be a few deniers and obstructionists.

So what comes next? Let us stop making unjustified claims and exaggerated projections about the future even if the editors of some eminent journals are just waiting to publish them. Let us admit that our understanding of the climate is less perfect than we have tried to make the public believe. Let us drastically modify or temporarily discontinue the IPCC. Let us get back to work.

Let us encourage students to think their own thoughts instead of forcing them to parrot the IPCC conclusions. Let us open the doors of universities, of NCAR, NASA and other research institutions (and funding agencies) to faculty members and researchers who might disagree with the current paradigm of carbon dioxide. Only open discussion and intense searching of all possibilities will let us regain the public’s trust and move forward.



An email from Rupert Wyndham [] below:

In his Open Letter, Petr Chylek writes: "This includes the construction of the HadCRUT and NASA GISS datasets documenting the rise of globally averaged temperature during the last century. I do not believe that this work can be affected in any way by the recent email revelations. Thus, the first of the three pillars supporting the hypothesis of manmade global warming seems to be solid."

I venture to differ. I am currently in Australia. The Sydney press last week reported that "Climategate had hit Australia". Specifically, it was reported that temperature data submitted to CRU from here had been found to be a complete shambles - in one cited example, thirty years of data from 1963 apparently submitted from a station which was not inaugurated until 1993. If accurately reported, great stuff!

Moreover, the temperature record for the last 160 years (usually 150, but let's not quibble) is also severely compromised, is it not? We now know that in broad brush terms,

• the start of the period corresponds with the gradual closure of the Little Ice Age;

• the absolute number of measuring stations globally during that period has declined by a factor of around two thirds;

• historically, the design of measuring apparatus from country to country was far from uniform;

• the reliability of record keeping was likewise far from uniform;

• a large percentage of vanished measuring stations were located in areas of climatic extremes, eg Siberia;

• measuring stations even in the more politically stable and uniform USA over time have become hopelessly compromised by urban expansion and altered land usage;

• thanks to the work of Anthony Watts, in particular, many American sites are now, and have been for some time, quite simply not fit for purpose;

• and finally, and perhaps most significant of all, HadCRUT and NASA GISS fail to correlate with 30 years (+/-) of satellite/radiosonde data which, unlike weather station data, have been scrupulously audited.

No, for strictly technical/scientific reasons, these data sets should be regarded as highly questionable. Added to that, we now have detailed confirmation of malfeasance, by inference always suspected, but never demonstrated in such damning detail.

In other respects, Dr. Chylek's observations are to be welcomed.

The Warmist war on science

Some prominent climate scientists involved in these e-mail exchanges have clearly abandoned a profession for a cause. They appear to exaggerate their public certainty on disputed issues, shade the presentation of information for political effect, tamper with the peer-review process, resist reasonable requests for supporting data and urge the destruction of e-mails to avoid embarrassment. Other scientists in these e-mail chains resist these abuses. But the dominant voices are ideological. The attitude seems to be: Insiders can question, if they don't go too far. Outsiders who threaten the movement are "idiots."

This attitude is demonstrated, not only by private e-mails, but also by the public reaction of prominent scientists to those e-mails. They show "scientists at work." They are "pretty innocuous." They are "understandable and mostly excusable." "We are all humans; and humans come with dogma as standard equipment." This "kind of language and kidding goes on verbally all the time." Criticism is based merely on "ignorance" and critics have "more screws loose than the Space Shuttle Challenger." It is the scientific equivalent of discounting Watergate as a "second-rate burglary."

Climate scientists are clearly accustomed to deference. It is a community coddled by global elites, extensively funded by governments, celebrated by Hollywood and honored with international prizes.

But outside the Copenhagen bubble, the field of climate science is deep in a crisis of professional credibility, which many scientists seem too insular to recognize. Fifty-nine percent of Americans now believe it is at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research to prop up global warming claims. If the practices at East Anglia are dismissed as "scientists at work," skepticism will rise as surely as temperatures.

It often goes unnoticed how much we rely on the self-enforced standards of professions -- journalists who bury their biases to report the news, judges who suspend their own views to enforce the law. If we view these professionals as politically motivated, we no longer trust the information or judgments they provide.

This professional objectivity is precisely what the hacked e-mails call into question. Some of these scientists are merely activists, deeply invested in a predetermined outcome. They assume that political change is the goal; the scientific enterprise is the means -- like a political ad or a campaign speech. But without trust in disinterested, scientific judgments on climate, most non-scientists will resist costly, speculative, legislative actions. When the experts become advocates, no one believes the experts or listens to the advocates.

It is an irony of the first order. Having accused others of a "war on science," it is climate scientists who are assaulting the authority of science more effectively than anyone else.


Lord Turnbull Questions UK Climate Policy In The House Of Lords

Good to see climate skepticism reaching the political level

House of Lords, 8 December 2009: Lord Turnbull: My Lords, on first reading the Committee on Climate Change's latest progress report, I found it an impressive document. It was broad in scope and very detailed. But the more I dug into it the more troubled I became. Below the surface there are serious questions about the foundations on which it has been constructed. There are questions in four areas-the framework created by the Climate Change Act 2008, the policy responses at EU and UK level, the estimate of costs and finally the scientific basis on which the whole scheme of things rests. I will consider each in turn.

Unlike many of those involved in the climate change field, I have no pecuniary interest to declare, but I am a founder trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which seeks to bring rationality, objectivity and, above all, tolerance to the debate.

I have long been in the camp of what might be called the semi-sceptics. I have taken the science on trust, while becoming increasingly critical of the policy responses being made to achieve a given CO2 or global warming constraint. First, let us look at the Climate Change Act, which has been highly praised, even today, as the most comprehensive and ambitious framework anywhere in the world-a real pioneering first for the UK. However, it has serious flaws. It starts by imposing a completely unworkable duty on the Secretary of State to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, even though many of the actions required lie outside his control. It would have been better, as the noble Lord, Lord Crickhowell, and I argued, for the duty to be connected to what the Secretary of State can control, such as his own actions and policies, and not the outcome, which he cannot.

In the Act's passage through Parliament, the target was raised from 60 per cent to 80 per cent, with little discussion of its costs or feasibility. It is a simple arithmetic calculation to show that if the UK economy continues to grow at its historic trend rate, we will need, only 40 years from now, to produce each £1,000 of GDP with only 8 per cent of the carbon we use today. That is a cut of [92] per cent. Many observers think that this is implausible. A recent report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers reported that the rate of improvement in carbon intensity/productivity would need to quadruple from the 1.3 per cent achieved in the five years up to the recession to around 5.5 per cent. It would need to be even higher at the end of the period to make up for what the noble Lord, Lord May, calls falling behind the run rate.

Professor Dieter Helm has pointed out that the measurement system used in the Kyoto framework and in the UK's carbon accounts is a misleading guide to what is really being achieved. The carbon accounts use the territorial method-that is, the emissions from UK territory. In this way, the UK is able to claim that CO2 emissions have been reduced, but that is a misleading way of measuring a nation's carbon footprint and its impact on the world. It should include the carbon in its imports. If this was done it would show that we are going backwards, since we would be forced to take responsibility for the manufacturing that we have outsourced to such countries as China but are still consuming. The current method is, of course, politically very convenient as it allows us to label China as the world's largest emitter. The embedded carbon calculation is, I accept, far more complicated, but it is far more honest.

Another flaw in the framework is that the targets are unconditional. It is a legal duty, irrespective of what other countries achieve. Some, including me, argue that there should be two targets: one of which is a commitment, and a higher one which we will argue for internationally but only undertake as part of an agreement. Ironically, this is precisely the approach that the EU is taking with its 20 per cent reduction target by 2020, which would be raised to 30 per cent as part of an international agreement. The danger is that by going it alone we could face a double whammy, paying for decarbonising our own economy, yet still having to pay for the costs of raising our sea defences if others do not follow suit.

Secondly, let us consider the specific policies that have been adopted. Current EU policy follows two inconsistent paths. On the one hand, the ETS seeks to establish a common price for CO2, against which various competing technologies can be measured. The market share of each is determined by the relative costs. This is attractive to economists, since it allows the cost per tonne of CO2 abated to be equalised at the margin, thereby ensuring that the cost of achieving any CO2 target is minimised. The problem is that, despite its theoretical attractions, the ETS is failing. It provides no clear signal on the price of carbon on which investors can base their decisions. The committee, in this report, estimates that the ETS CO2 price in 2020 will be around €22 per tonne. The committee has rightly identified the central contradiction in its own report: the carbon price will be too low and too uncertain to stimulate the low-carbon investments needed to validate the committee's projections.

At the same time, the EU is following a different approach under its 20:20:20 plan-to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in CO2 by 2020, with 20 per cent of energy coming from renewables. In this way, it predetermines a market share for a technology-renewables-rather than letting the merit order decide. The danger is that in pressing to achieve this target, which implies that over 30 per cent of electricity generation will come from renewables, some renewables capacity will be created which will be more expensive than other responses.

There is also a lack of clarity about the true cost of wind power, once we factor in the cost of retaining a large amount of underutilised conventional capacity, and the extension of the grid. The noble Lord, Lord Reay, has said more than enough on that so I do not need to follow that line of argument.

There is illogicality in the treatment of nuclear energy in the climate change levy. It is ridiculous that nuclear power, as a low-carbon source, is still in the taxable box. For 50 years, a major experiment has been conducted just 20 miles off our coast. France has generated three-quarters of its electricity from nuclear power. The French believe that it has been a huge success, delivering electricity which is secure, cheap and stable in price. France's carbon intensity is 0.3 of a tonne per $1,000 of GDP, compared to 0.42 in the UK, 0.51 in Germany-so much for it being a market leader-and 0.63 in the US. However, the French option has barely been considered in this country.

As part of the EU plan, 10 per cent of road fuel is mandated to come from biofuels, but by the time this was enacted the credibility of first-generation biofuels had collapsed. Finally, our policy framework lacks balance. It is almost exclusively focused on mitigation through CO2 reduction, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has argued for what it calls a MAG approach, with effort being committed not just to mitigation but to adaptation and geo-engineering.

Thirdly, there is the issue of cost. All we had to go on at the time when the target was set more ambitiously was the estimate by the noble Lord, Lord Stern, of 1 per cent of GDP. Many people were sceptical at the time and probably even more are now, including, it seems, the noble Lord, Lord Stern, himself. It was reported in the press last week that he now thinks that it might be 2 per cent, but could rise to 5 per cent. I hope he will clarify this when he speaks to us shortly.

In the document that we have before us, the committee says that it previously estimated that costs in 2020 would be about 1 per cent of GDP. That is consistent with its view that it might get to 2 per cent by 2050. In the new report it simply reaffirms the 1 per cent figure in just one paragraph in 250 pages. That is it. I have to say to the noble Lords, Lord Krebs and Lord May, that I do not think that that is adequate. It is difficult to relate these figures to what we are observing on the ground about the difficulties and costs of bringing on stream different technologies such as offshore wind and CCS.

One of the problems bedevilling the debate is the lack of transparency over the huge cross-subsidies that are being created by the renewables obligation and the regime for feed-in tariffs. There is no assurance that their extent is commensurate with the benefits in CO2 abated. My electricity costs me 11p per kilowatt hour. If I erected a wind turbine, I could sell the power I produced to the grid for a whopping 23p. I think I would go out and buy a gizmo which linked my inward meter to my outward meter. That excess cost is averaged over the bills of consumers as a whole, but how much is it in total, or for individual consumers? Here I differ from the noble Lord, Lord May. The whole issue of cost must be given far more attention. The Government cannot ask people to make radical changes to their lifestyle without being more open about the costs that they are being asked to bear.

I accept that "do nothing" is not the right option. Some measures, such as energy efficiency, heat recovery from waste and biomass, and stopping deforestation are probably justified on their own merits. More nuclear power which, in turn, would open the way for electrification of our transport fleet would enhance security of supply. Other measures may be justified as pure insurance, given the uncertainty that we face. But what is badly needed is a consistent metric that allows us to judge whether any given objective is being achieved at minimum cost. The recent book by Professor MacKay, the newly appointed scientific adviser at DECC, provides an excellent starting point. I also very much welcome the intervention by the noble Earl, Lord Selborne, debunking the waste hierarchy and the act of faith that that embodies.

There is the issue of the science, which I had previously taken as given; but many people's faith is being tested. We are often told that the science is settled. I suppose that is what the Inquisition said to Galileo. If so, why are we spending millions of pounds on research? The science is far from settled. There are major controversies not just about the contribution of CO2, on which most of the debate is focused, but about the influence of other factors such as water vapour, or clouds-the most powerful greenhouse gas-ocean currents and the sun, together with feedback effects which can be negative as well as positive.

Worse still, there are even controversies about the basic data on temperature. The series going back one, 10 or 100,000 years are, in the genuine sense of the word, synthetic. They are not direct observations but are melded together from proxies such as ice cores, ocean sediments and tree rings.

Given the extent to which the outcome is affected by the statistical techniques and the weightings applied by individual researchers, it is essential that the work is done as transparently as possible, with the greatest scope for challenge. That is why the disclosure of documents and e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit is so disturbing. Instead of an open debate, a picture is emerging of selective use of data, efforts to silence critics, and particularly a refusal to share data and methodologies.

It is essential that these allegations are independently and rigorously investigated. Naturally, I welcome the appointment of my old colleague, Sir Muir Russell, to lead this investigation; a civil servant with a physics degree is a rare beast indeed. He needs to establish what the documents really mean and recommend changes in governance and transparency which will restore confidence in the integrity of the data. This is not just an academic feud in the English department from a Malcolm Bradbury novel. The CRU is a major contributor to the IPCC process. The Government should not see this as a purely university matter. They are the funders of much of this research and their climate change policies are based on it.

We need to purge the debate of the unpleasant religiosity that surrounds it, of scientists acting like NGO activists, of propaganda based on fear, for example, the quite disgraceful government advertisement which tried to frighten young children-the final image being the family dog being drowned-and of claims about having "10 days to save the world". Crude insults from the Prime Minister do not help.

The noble Lords, Lord Krebs and Lord May, and their eminent colleagues on the CCC have a choice. They can take the policy framework as given, the policy responses as given, the costs as given, and the science as given, and then proceed to churn out more and more sophisticated projections, or-as I hope-they can apply the formidable intellectual firepower they command and start to find answers to many of the unsolved questions.



By Martin Cohen, writing in "Times Higher"

Is belief in global-warming science another example of the "madness of crowds"? That strange but powerful social phenomenon, first described by Charles Mackay in 1841, turns a widely shared prejudice into an irresistible "authority". Could it indeed represent the final triumph of irrationality?

After all, how rational is it to pass laws banning one kind of light bulb (and insisting on their replacement by ones filled with poisonous mercury vapour) in order to "save electricity", while ploughing money into schemes to run cars on ... electricity? How rational is it to pay the Russians once for fossil fuels, and a second time for permission (via carbon credits) to burn them (see box page 36)? And how rational is it to suppose that the effects of increased CO2 in the atmosphere take between 200 and 1,000 years to be felt, but that solutions can take effect almost instantaneously?

Whether rational or not, global warming theory has become a political orthodoxy. So entrenched is it that those showing any resistance to it are described as "heretics" or even likened to "Holocaust deniers".

Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize-winning economist, professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University and columnist for The New York Times, has said: "Is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn't it politics as usual? Yes, it is - and that's why it's unforgivable ... the deniers are choosing, wilfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it's in their political interest to pretend that there's nothing to worry about. If that's not betrayal, I don't know what is."

Another columnist, this time for The Boston Globe, has written: "I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, although one denies the past and the other denies the present and future."

Such pronouncements from these commentators and from other people highly placed in government, international organisations, the press, academia and science make the debate seem closed and the conclusion beyond dispute. Yet the plain fact is that there is something deeply unscientific about the theory of global warming. Despite this, it has gained such widespread, uncritical acceptance that any scientist expressing a doubt often finds his or her actions tarred with accusations of the rankest political and personal motivations.

How this situation came about says much about how science is co-opted to sway public opinion. The case is built, deliberately or not, on misleading images and interpretations that have been perpetuated by parties with a vested interest. It morphs into a tool for governments to intimidate their populations into passive acceptance of very real changes: from the tiny, such as accepting miserable fluorescent light instead of the incandescent light we've been used to; to the major, like welcoming nuclear power plants and obliging rainforest tribes to make way for biofuel plantations.

Indeed, much of what is presented as hard scientific evidence for the theory of global warming is false. "Second-rate myth" may be a better term, as the philosopher Paul Feyerabend called science in his 1975 polemic, Against Method.

"This myth is a complex explanatory system that contains numerous auxiliary hypotheses designed to cover special cases, as it easily achieves a high degree of confirmation on the basis of observation," Feyerabend writes. "It has been taught for a long time; its content is enforced by fear, prejudice and ignorance, as well as by a jealous and cruel priesthood. Its ideas penetrate the most common idiom, infect all modes of thinking and many decisions which mean a great deal in human life ... ".

But call it what you will, as long as you don't think that by calling it "science" it becomes irrefutable. Because that it ain't.


It really WILL be a hot summer next year say British weathermen... But where have we heard that before?

After the fiasco of this year's 'barbecue summer' prediction, you might have thought the Met Office would have hesitated before making such grand statements again. But yesterday it declared that 2010 will be a 'barbecue year'. Forecasters say it is likely to be the hottest year globally since records began nearly 160 years ago.

The prediction follows the announcement that the 'noughties' were the warmest decade on record, while 2009 was the fifth warmest year. But sceptics accused the Met Office of political lobbying and timing the release of climate data and forecasts to influence the United Nations climate change talks in Copenhagen.

The Met Office's Vicky Pope said global temperatures next year were expected to average 14.58C (52.24F) - around 0.06C warmer than the previous record of 1998. This is partly due to El Niño, the weather phenomenon which has seen warmer than usual water in the Eastern Pacific in recent months. El Niño is forecast to last until May, affecting weather around the world.

The Met Office claims its track record on global weather forecasts is good, with predictions right to within 0.06C over the last decade. But it conceded that the outlook was not guaranteed. 'A record warm year in 2010 is not a certainty-especially if the current El Niño was to unexpectedly decline rapidly near the start of 2010 or if there was a large volcanic eruption which would cool the planet,' it said.

Three years ago, Met Office scientists predicted that 2007 was likely to be the warmest year on record globally. It turned out to be the sixth warmest. Then in April, its longrangeforecast said it was 'odds on for a barbecue-summer'. Although temperatures were warmer than average, the balmy weather implied in the forecast failed to materialise. And despite a brief heatwave in June, much of the summer was grey and damp - with 40 per cent more rain than normal.

The predictions take into account levels of greenhouse gases, volcanic activity, sun activity, sea surface temperatures and El Niño.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation - a sceptical think tank set up by former Chancellor Lord Lawson - has accused both the Met Office and the World Meteorological Organisation of playing politics over their predictions on the warmest years. Although the final temperature data for 2009 will not be made available until March, the estimates were released early in time for the climate change talks in Copenhagen. 'We are very concerned that both agencies have overstepped their scientific remits, which are supposed to provide balanced advice and empirical data,' Dr Benny Peiser, the director of the GWPF said.



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Friday, December 11, 2009

Some perspective

I’m looking at the temperature record as read from this central Greenland ice core. It gives us about as close as we can come to a direct, experimental measurement of temperature at that one spot for the past 50,000 years. As far as I know, the data are not adjusted according to any fancy computer climate model or anything else like that. So what does it tell us about, say, the past 500 years? (the youngest datum is age=0.0951409 (thousand years before present) — perhaps younger snow doesn’t work so well?):


Well, whaddaya know — a hockey stick. In fact, the “blade” continues up in the 20th century at least another half a degree. But how long is the handle? How unprecedented is the current warming trend?


Yes, Virginia, there was a Medieval Warm Period, in central Greenland at any rate. But we knew that — that’s when the Vikings were naming it Greenland, after all. And the following Little Ice Age is what killed them off, and caused widespread crop failures (and the consequent burning of witches) across Europe. But was the MWP itself unusual?


Well, no — over the period of recorded history, the average temperature was about equal to the height of the MWP. Rises not only as high, but as rapid, as the current hockey stick blade have been the rule, not the exception.


In fact for the entire Holocene — the period over which, by some odd coincidence, humanity developed agriculture and civilization — the temperature has been higher than now, and the trend over the past 4000 years is a marked decline. From this perspective, it’s the LIA that was unusual, and the current warming trend simply represents a return to the mean. If it lasts.


From the perspective of the Holocene as a whole, our current hockeystick is beginning to look pretty dinky. By far the possibility I would worry about, if I were the worrying sort, would be the return to an ice age — since interglacials, over the past half million years or so, have tended to last only 10,000 years or so. And Ice ages are not conducive to agriculture.


… and ice ages have a better claim on being the natural state of Earth’s climate than interglacials. This next graph, for the longest period, we have to go to an Antarctic core (Vostok):


In other words, we’re pretty lucky to be here during this rare, warm period in climate history. But the broader lesson is, climate doesn’t stand still. It doesn’t even stand stay on the relatively constrained range of the last 10,000 years for more than about 10,000 years at a time.


The real scandal is in the CRU computer code

The emails and programmer comments have the advantage that anyone can understand them but -- as damning as the emails and comments are -- the real "smoking gun" evidence of fraud lies in the computer code used to produce the "statistics" that the CRU has published. They are not even "cherrypicked" statistics. They are a straight fraud. It's only by adding completely arbitrary and artificial "adjustments" to the data that they got their "hockey stick" -- thus making the CRU warming claims a complete and deliberate fraud -- an out-and-out hoax

It is fascinating to watch the mainstream media in America duck (and/or make excuses for) the greatest scam in modern history: the "science" behind man-made global warming. Even more entertaining, and far more enlightening, is to follow the analyses by the experts in computer programming of the recently disclosed methods used by the Climate Research Unit (CRU) from the University of East Anglia.

Most commentators in the media have been talking about the "REM" statements in the purloined e-mails and computer codes from the CRU [i]. True believers in anthropogenic global warming (AGW), especially those in the mainstream and "scientific" media, are pooh-poohing such words as "tricks" or "hide the decline" as interoffice slang that had no real impact on how the science was conducted.

But the real action (and the evidence for chicanery) is in the computer code obtained from the CRU. Our own computer guru Marc Sheppard, writing for American Thinker here and here, was one of the first to offer an accurate diagnosis of this fraudulent method of computer programming. Analyzing the code, as Marc has indicated in his work, is a complex business. As he pleads in one article, "please bear with me while I get a tad techie on you."

For the layman readers of American Thinker, I want to explain in a simple manner what went on in the construction of one piece of the controversial programming.

A bit of background: The cornerstone of the evidence for global warming presented by Al Gore and the AGW crowd was a notorious graph that became known as "the hockey stick graph." The graph is based on computer models that supposedly prove our planet has heated exponentially in the last half-century due to increasing amounts of man-made CO2 released into the atmosphere. Proponents further claim (and the computer models purport to show) that temperatures will continue to increase exponentially. The implication is that unless we drastically curtail human output of CO2, the "escalation" in temperature is going to get even worse even faster.

Turns out that these claims are absolutely false, and the computer models have been rigged.

Here is one version of the famous "hockey stick" graph:

Now that is scary [ii]! According to the now-debunked myth, global temperatures started going through the roof about sixty years ago. They will to continue to rise and bring unimaginable disaster. Except they haven't, and they probably won't.

Now to the CRU code that maintains these fictional monstrosities. Pay particular attention to the black line at the far right of the "hockey stick" in Graph 1. The black line starts at about 1900. (This is the same period of time addressed by the code we will examine.) The black line looks something like this very simplified version:

The x-axis (horizontal) shows time. The y-axis (vertical) shows temperature. In the last few decades, the temperature, according to AGW enthusiasts, has been climbing off the charts.

Marc Sheppard discovered and showed us this bit of programming taken from the CRU documents:


valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75         ; fudge factor

The long string of bold numbers in the second set of brackets is the "fudge factor" applied (supposedly) to the raw data [iii]. This string of numbers "adjusts" the raw data from 1904 to 1994 in five-year increments. Here is what these nineteen numbers roughly look like on a simple graph (each bar below represents a number in bold above):

I have left a space between the bars that represent each number so the reader can compare the temperature line to the numbers from the program. Time is once again indicated by the x-axis (horizontal). Temperature is portrayed on the y-axis (vertical).

The numbers in the code indicate a degree of cheating that is actually much larger than I was able to show with the bars in Graph 3 [iv].

We can now prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the hockey stick is an absolute ruse. The hockey stick graph cannot possibly be based on the actual data. (...Wherever and whatever that data might have been, that is. The CRU has admitted destroying the raw data.)

Even if the numbers in the program were not added to the aggregate temperatures (of each preceding period [v]), the numbers in the code plot like this:

Graph 4 this still looks an awful lot like the "hockey stick." In short, no matter how you read the code, it was designed to create a phony outcome.

But don't take my word for it. Computer experts everywhere are all over this particular con game, and many other deceptions, that came out of the CRU files.

Many years ago, I was an instructor in logic at the university level. Some of my best students were young people who planned on entering the new, exciting, rapidly expanding, and lucrative fields of computer science and computer programming.

A solid grasp of logic was, and still is, a great way to start an education in the computer sciences -- since computer programs are grounded in the basic rules and the syntax (sometimes slightly adjusted) of Boolean logic.

Computer programmers are often referred to as "nerds." In fact, they are meticulous; they have to be. Their programs don't work if they're lazy, or skips a step, or ignores the rules of logic and syntax that make computers do the job they are supposed to do. This is why competent computer programmers can spot a phony and a cheater from a mile away.

Writing the beautiful and logical structure of a computer code is almost like writing music. It is very easy for a skilled computer programmer to detect code that is "out of tune." Computer nerds are literally shouting about the audacity of the obviously contrived bit of code we have just examined. They are screaming in Germany, in America, and in lots of other places. Read the comments to these postings -- there are some good ones. (There are also efforts by true believers to justify the code. Try following the logic of the post in that last link.)

The bottom line is that if this kind of code were to be used by, say, an insurance actuary -- or by someone writing banking software or for tracking the stock market -- the programmer would immediately be fired...and probably face criminal prosecution.

The truth about the hockey stick hoax is slowly leaking out. New Zealand climate scientists released a similar doctored graph (for temperatures in New Zealand) that looked like this:

The scientists in New Zealand didn't destroy the raw data. (Oops.) The raw temperature data from New Zealand, when fed into a computer without a "fudge factor," looks like this:

In short, New Zealand has not heated up in the last 150 years. Not a bit. Zealous scientists promoting AGW (not the actual weather) caused the "warming" in New Zealand.  (Notice how closely the doctored Graph 5 from New Zealand resembles doctored Graph 1 and the code from the CRU we have examined.)

Any computer programmer worth his or her salt will tell you, "Garbage in, garbage out." The garbage in the AGW debate turns out to be the scientists who are writing fraudulent computer codes. Time to take out the trash.


Recalculation of climate data is the ONLY legitimate option

Approximately two weeks ago we all learned of e-mails written by those individuals supposedly considered to be the leaders in climate research that discussed manipulation of data and suppression of alternate positions. At the very least, these e-mails demonstrate an appearance of impropriety. Alternately, they may likely be evidence of outright fraud.

Investigations are planned or underway at the University of East Anglia and Penn State University. These investigations alone are insufficient. Science and politics are so deeply entangled that honest debate is practically impossible.

As an example, the UK Met Office is planning on re-examining 160 years of climate data to re-assure the public that the conclusions that warming is real are legit. But hasn't the planet been warming over the past 200 years on average having emerged from the Little Ice Age? Would not such an assessment simply re-validation of the same preconceived conclusion?

Met Office to re-examine 160 years of climate data (Times Online) Hat tip Climate Depot
The Met Office plans to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by leaked e-mails.

The new analysis of the data will take three years, meaning that the Met Office will not be able to state with absolute confidence the extent of the warming trend until the end of 2012.

The Met Office database is one of three main sources of temperature data analysis on which the UN’s main climate change science body relies for its assessment that global warming is a serious danger to the world. This assessment is the basis for next week’s climate change talks in Copenhagen aimed at cutting CO2 emissions.

The data from the past 1000 years must be assessed - all the data. Then a comparison of temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period with present day temperatures can show whether or not the warming seen at the end of the 20th century is necessarily a prelude to a catastrophe.

This week begins the UN's climate conference in Copenhagen. All of the data and conclusions based on that data are suspect. Until this situation can be clarified, there is no legitimate basis for the draconian measures planned to reduce energy consumption and lessen CO2 generation. Governments and individuals who say we need drastic action now are putting politics ahead of science. Scientific rigor and academic honesty require that the data be reanalyzed.

The new analysis cannot simply be a rehash of the same-ol same-ol. The data must be made public. Academia, government and private industry all have a stake and scientists from each of these areas should have access and be allowed to draw their own independent conclusions. The studies must be peer reviewed for the legitimacy and appropriateness of the method - not based on where the funding came from. If the science is sound it does not matter who is paying for it even if the conclusions are different.

The Copenhagen conference should take place as schedule. The agenda must be radically changed. The conference needs to become a working meeting in which the leaders of the conference publicly recognize that the science is not sound and place a moratorium on further actions until and unless the science can demonstrate that the changing climate in indeed being caused by human activity.

Proof of human cause is needed, not just the repetition of theory. The existence of global warming does not prove that it is man made. Proxy data for millions of years shows temperatures and CO2 concentrations far warmer and far cooler than exist today. Data from the Middle Ages and Little Ice Age show similar fluctuations during historical times. Recent temperature data shows natural cooling along with increasing CO2 concentrations. All natural sources must be accounted for and accurately represented.

The Copenhagen conference needs to be a turning point in which the UN IPCC recognizes that mistakes were made - possibly some deliberate. The IPCC must agree to a public accounting of what happened and who was involved. a follow-up conference should be schedule for 2012 or later after the data has been properly vetted.

Anything less would be illegitimate and truly does represent fraudulent behavior in light of the allegations that have come to light.


Another "trust us" claim

Not a single scientific fact is referred to below. This is bureacracy, not science

The Met Office has embarked on an urgent exercise to bolster the reputation of climate-change science after the furore over stolen e-mails.

More than 1,700 scientists have agreed to sign a statement defending the “professional integrity” of global warming research. They were responding to a round-robin request from the Met Office, which has spent four days collecting signatures. The initiative is a sign of how worried it is that e-mails stolen from the University of East Anglia are fuelling scepticism about man-made global warming at a critical moment in talks on carbon emissions.

One scientist said that he felt under pressure to sign the circular or risk losing work. The Met Office admitted that many of the signatories did not work on climate change.

John Hirst, the Met Office chief executive, and Julia Slingo, its chief scientist, wrote to 70 colleagues on Sunday asking them to sign “to defend our profession against this unprecedented attack to discredit us and the science of climate change”. They asked them to forward the petition to colleagues to generate support “for a simple statement that we . . . have the utmost confidence in the science base that underpins the evidence for global warming”.

Met Office reports on temperature changes draw on the work of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, from which the e-mails were hacked. Phil Jones, unit director, has agreed to stand down while an investigation takes place into claims that he manipulated data to exaggerate the warming trend and tried to block publication of alternative views.

One scientist told The Times he felt under pressure to sign. “The Met Office is a major employer of scientists and has long had a policy of only appointing and working with those who subscribe to their views on man-made global warming,” he said.

Professor Slingo denied that the Met Office had put anyone under pressure. “The response has been absolutely spontaneous. As a scientist you sign things you agree with, not because you are worried about what the Met Office might think of you,” she said.

The 1,700 signatories, a fraction of the research scientists working in Britain, include Sir John Houghton, former chairman of the science working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Sir Brian Hoskins, head of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College, and Professor Lord Hunt of Chesterton, a climate scientist at University College London.

Professor Slingo said the statement was carefully worded to avoid claiming all climate scientists were beyond reproach. It says the evidence for man-made global warming is “deep and extensive” and comes from “decades of painstaking and meticulous research by many thousands of scientists across the world who adhere to the highest levels of professional integrity”.

Benny Peiser, of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which claims man-made climate change has been exaggerated, said the petition showed that the Met Office was rattled.


Surprise, Surprise, Many Scientists Disagree On Global Warming

There is hardly unanimity among scientists about global warming or mankind's role in producing it. But you wouldn't know it if you just listened to the Obama administration.

As the Climate-gate controversy continues to grow, amid charges of hiding and manipulating data, and suppressing research by academics who challenge global warming, there is one oft-repeated defense: other independent data-sets all reach the same conclusions. "I think everybody is clear on the science. I think scientists are clear on the science ... I think that this notion that there's some debate . . . on the science is kind of silly," said President Obama's Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, when asked about the president's response to the controversy on Monday. Despite the scandal, Britain's Met, the UK’s National Weather Service, claims: "we remain completely confident in the data. The three independent data sets show a strong correlation is highlighting an increase in global temperatures."

But things are not so clear. It is not just the University of East Anglia data that is at question. There are about 450 academic peer-reviewed journal articles questioning the importance of man-made global warming. The sheer number of scientists rallying against a major intervention to stop carbon dioxide is remarkable. In a petition, more than 30,000 American scientists are urging the U.S. government to reject the Kyoto treaty. Thus, there is hardly the unanimity among scientists about global warming or mankind's role in producing it. But even for the sake of argument, assuming that there is significant man-made global warming, many academics argue that higher temperatures are actually good. Higher temperatures increase the amount of land to grow food, increase biological diversity, and improve people's health. Increased carbon dioxide also promotes plant growth.

Let's take the issue of data. The three most relied-on data series used by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report came from the University of East Anglia, NASA, and the British Met Office. As noted in my previous piece for the Fox Forum, the problem of secretiveness is hardly limited to the University of East Anglia. NASA also refuses to give out its data. NASA further refuses to explain mysterious changes in whether the warmest years were in the 1930s or this past decade. The British Met office, too, has been unable to release its data and just announced its plans to begin a three-year investigation of its data since all of its land temperatures data were obtained from the University of East Anglia (ocean temperatures were collected separately), though there are signs that things might be speeded up.

Neither the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia nor the British Met are able to provide their raw data to other research scientists because of the confidentiality agreements that Professor Phil Jones at CRU entered into. Unfortunately, Jones did not keep records of those agreements and, according to the British Met, can neither identify the countries with the confidentiality agreements nor provide the agreements. Earlier this year the British Met wrote the following to Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit:

"Some of the information was provided to Professor Jones on the strict understanding by the data providers that this station data must not be publicly released and it cannot be determined which countries or stations data were given in confidence as records were not kept."

A press spokesman for the British Met, John Hammond, confirmed this statement in a telephone conversation on Monday to But the claimed confidentiality restrictions have hardly been followed consistently. When asked why the University of East Anglia was allowed to release the data to the Met but not to other academics, Mr. Hammond e-mailed back: "This is a question for the UEA." Unfortunately, however, neither the University of East Anglia nor anyone associated with the CRU was willing to answer any questions about the climate research conducted at the university.

But why would countries want confidentiality agreements on decades old data that they are providing? "Climate data continues to have value so long as it is commercially confidential," Mr. Hammond says. But when pushed for evidence that this was in fact the concerns that countries had raised, Mr. Hammond said: "Although I do not have evidence to hand at the moment, some nations, especially in Africa for example, believe that the information does have commercial value." Earlier, in July, the Met had raised a different issue -- that scientists in other countries would be less willing to share their scientific research if the Met could be expected to pass on the data to others.

However, professional meterologists are unimpressed by the claimed reasons for confidentiality. "Research data used as the basis for scientific research needs to be disclosed if other scientists are to be able to verify the work of others," Mike Steinberg, Senior Vice President, AccuWeather, told In addition, while the data access may be restricted in some countries because they sell data and forecasts, that doesn't explain why the data isn't released for all other countries.

It is not just the University of East Anglia that has been accused of massaging the data (what they called creating "value added" data). Recently, New Zealand has also had its temperature series from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) challenged. Still the NIWA continues to insist that the "Warming over New Zealand through the past is unequivocal." Indeed, the institute claims that the New Zealand warming trend was 50 percent higher than the global average. But the difference in graphs between what NIWA produced after massaging the data and what the original raw data showed was truly remarkable and can be seen here. As the Climate Science Coalition of New Zealand charged: "The shocking truth is that the oldest readings have been cranked way down and later readings artificially lifted to give a false impression of warming, as documented below." Similar concerns have also been raised about Australian temperature data.

Global warming advocates may believe that if they just keep shouting that everyone agrees with them, they will be able to enact their far-reaching regulations before everyone catches on. With President Obama's -- and the Democrats' -- fondness for more spending and increased regulations, our hope may have to rest with India and China to finally bring the Copenhagen conference to its senses.


Climate Liars: Are Pacific Islands Being Swamped From Rising Seas? Only If You Believe Political Hacks @ Copenhagen

Read here. Despite the embarrassment of the Climategate data fraud and conspiracy scandal, it has not stopped the politically motivated and financially hungry at Copenhagen from making every effort to lie and mislead the public about the actual global climate condition. As an example, a favorite lie is to claim that the islands of the Pacific are being inundated by the rising seas caused by global "warming." It's a whopper of a lie, which the mainstream press repeats reflexively, without checking an iota of data concerning the bogus claim. Below is a chart for two of those islands.

The facts: The seas fluctuate up/down over time, rarely exceeding a one-tenth meter change. The sea level changes are recorded by state-of-the-art equipment, installed and maintained by the Australian government. The chart is from the latest 2008 survey.

More here (See the original for link)

Big Oil Behind Copenhagen Climate Scam

Shell Oil and British Petroleum express their vehement support for a global carbon tax in “Copenhagen Communiqué”

The big irony behind top globalists descending on Copenhagen in luxury private jets and stretch limos is not just the fact that their own behavior completely contradicts their self-righteous hyperbole about CO2 emissions, but that their propaganda is vehemently supported by the very same big oil interests they accuse climate skeptics of pandering to.

Probably one of the most flagrant examples of climate cronyism to emerge from the climategate scandal were emails in which CRU scientists, the body that provides much of the foundational global warming data for the UN IPCC, discuss how they conducted meetings with Shell Oil in order to enlist them as a “strategic partner” while getting them to bankroll pro-man made global warming research.

The emails reveal that the CRU was also trying to get money from oil giants British Petroleum and Exxon-Mobil, under its former identity as Esso.

“Now who is the shill for Big Oil again?” asks Anthony Watts. “Next time somebody brings up that ridiculous argument about skeptics, show them this.”

A “Copenhagen Communiqué” put out by leaders of over 500 global corporations in advance of this week’s summit calls for drastic measures on behalf of developed countries to “de-carbonise their economies” – a move that would completely devastate living standards and lead to gargantuan levels of unemployment.

The communiqué also demands that a global carbon tax be implemented via a carbon trading system. Bear in mind that the very people calling for such a system are the same people who will benefit from it to the tune of billions, as we shall explore later.

The statement calls for, “Measures to deliver a robust global greenhouse gas emissions market in order to provide the most effective, efficient and equitable emission reductions. It would be comprised of a growing series of national or regional “cap-and-trade” markets linked together, in which the “caps” are brought down in line with the targets that have been adopted for emission reduction.” The document also states that CO2 emissions need to be reduced by a staggering 50-85% by 2050, a process that would return humanity to a near stone age level of development.

And who are the radicals calling for such severe measures in the name of fighting the evil life giving gas that humans exhale and plants breathe? Greenpeace? Al Gore? Namely – James Smith, chairman of UK Shell Oil, Tony Hayward, Group Chief Executive, British Petroleum, along with hundreds of other global corporate giants, many of whom are directly tied in with big oil, and central banks who, far from bankrolling climate change skeptics, are directly invested in the scam of human-induced global warming.

A common charge leveled against global warming skeptics is that they are on the payroll of transnational oil companies, when in fact the opposite is true, oil companies are amongst the biggest promoters of climate change propaganda, emphasized recently by Exxon Mobil’s call for a global carbon tax. According to Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson, the cap and trade nightmare being primed for passage in the Senate doesn’t go far enough – Tillerson wants a direct tax on carbon dioxide emissions, essentially a tax on breathing since we all exhale this life-giving gas.

In a speech earlier this year, Tillerson brazenly called out the cap and trade agenda for what it was, an effort to impose a carbon tax camouflaged only by a slick sales pitch and deceptive rhetoric. “It is easier and more politically expedient to support a cap-and-trade approach, because the public will never figure out where it is hitting them,” said Tillerson. “They will just know they hurt somewhere in their pocketbook,” he added, pointing out that he disagreed with this convoluted method of introducing a carbon tax, arguing instead that it would be more successful to openly propose a straight carbon tax.

Tillerson firmly expressed Exxon’s support for climate change alarmists in stating, “I firmly believe it is not too late for Congress to consider a carbon tax as the better policy approach for addressing the risks of climate change.” Exxon’s push for a carbon tax was subsequently restated by its vice president for public affairs Ken Cohen, who told a conference call that he wants a climate policy that creates “certainty and predictability, which is why we advocate a carbon tax.”



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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Climategate: ordering a better scare for the colonials

The exchange and comments presented below by Andrew Bolt include something that is really explosive for anyone with the most basic knowledge of statistics. The Warmist scientist has undertaken to present changes that are not statistically significant (i.e. random changes) as if they WERE statistically significant. See the update at the foot of the article. Once again we see a total lack of scientific integrity among Warmists. The UEA is just a propaganda institution. It's not a real university's anus

CSIRO alarmist Barrie Pittock tells off Climategate scientist Mike Hulme of the University of East Anglia for not presenting material that’s scary enough for green groups:
I would be very concerned if the material comes out under WWF auspices in a way that can be interpreted as saying that “even a greenie group like WWF” thinks large areas of the world will have negligible climate change. But that is where your 95% confidence limit leads.
Sorry to be critical, but better now than later!…

Dr A. Barrie Pittock

Post-Retirement Fellow*, Climate Impact Group

CSIRO Atmospheric Research

Hulme agrees to help, up to a point, to hide some doubts:
My reason for introducing the idea of only showing changes in T and P that *exceed* some level of ‘natural’ variability was a pedagogic one, rather than a formal statistical one (I concede that using ‘95% confidence’ terminology in the WWF leaflet is misleading and will drop this). And the pedagogic role of this type of visual display is to bring home to people that (some, much or all of) GCM simulated changes in mean seasonal precip. for some regions do *not* amount to anything very large in relation to what may happen in the future to precip. anyway…

The point behind all this is to emphasise that precip. changes are less well-defined than temp. changes *and* that we should be thinking of adaptation to *present* levels of precip. variability, rather than getting hung up on the problems of predicting future precip. levels. This pedagogic thinking is hard to communicate in a short WWF brochure.

Your concern about my message is well taken, however, and I intend to remove any reference to 95% confidence levels, to re-word the text to indicate that we are plotting precip. changes only ‘where they are large relative to natural variability’, and to reduce my threshold to the 1 sigma level of HadCM2 control variability (e.g. this has the effect of showing precip. changes for the majority of Australia even in the B1 scenario).

But I do not intend to abandon the concept. I think it important - even for Greenie groups - to present sober assessments of magnitudes of change. Thus making it clear that future changes in T are better defined that future changes in P, and also to point out that future emissions (and therefore climate change) may be as low as the B1 scenario (is B1 climate change negligible? I almost think so), whilst also being possibly as high as A2 is I think very important.

The alternative is to think that such a more subtle presentation is too sophisticated for WWF. But I think (hope) not. Thanks again Barrie for forcing me to think through this again.

Pittock then explains why he’s so keen to “improve” this material - and also illustrates just how close green groups are to the CSIRO (whose climate change risk expert Penny Whetton is married to a Greens politician):
I should perhaps explain my delicate position in all this. As a retired CSIRO person I have somewhat more independence than before, and perhaps a reduced sense of vested interest in CSIRO, but I am still closely in touch and supportive of what CAR is doing. Also, I have a son who is now a leading staff member of WWF in Australia and who is naturally well informed on climate change issues. Moreover, Michael Rae, who is their local climate change staffer, is a member of the CSIRO sector advisory committee (along with some industry people as well) and well known to me. So I anticipated questions from WWF Australia, and from the media later when the scenarios are released...

Hulme then alerts another colleague to this exchange, under an interesting header, as an example of the massaging of their message to fit an audience:
From: Mike Hulme

To: Jennifer F Crossley

Subject: Re: masking of WWF maps

... it illustrates nicely the nuances of presenting climate scenarios in different Fora

Word sure had got around the green traps about how helpful the University of East Anglia was prepared to be to green campaigners. Here is an email from green entrepreneur Adam Markham to Hulme, asking for “beefed up” scares and directing him to Pittock’s more alarming scenarios, as and example of what WWF likes:
From: Adam Markham

Subject: WWF Australia

Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 09:43:09 -0400

Hi Mike,

I’m sure you will get some comments direct from Mike Rae in WWF Australia, but I wanted to pass on the gist of what they’ve said to me so far. They are worried that this may present a slightly more conservative approach to the risks than they are hearing from CSIRO. In particular, they would like to see the section on variability and extreme events beefed up if possible. They regard an increased likelihood of even 50% of drought or extreme weather as a significant risk. Drought is also a particularly importnat issue for Australia, as are tropical storms.

I guess the bottom line is that if they are going to go with a big public splash on this they need something that will get good support from CSIRO scientists (who will certainly be asked to comment by the press). One paper they referred me to, which you probably know well is:  “The Question of Significance” by Barrie in Nature Vol 397, 25 Feb 1999, p 657

Let me know what you think. Adam


Reader Grant:
There is an explosive admission in this exchange that needs to be drawn out and it is to do with the following comment:
Your concern about my message is well taken, however, and I intend to remove any reference to 95% confidence levels, to re-word the text to indicate that we are plotting precip. changes only ‘where they are large relative to natural variability’, and to reduce my threshold to the 1 sigma level of HadCM2 control variability (e.g. this has the effect of showing precip. changes for the majority of Australia even in the B1 scenario

In statistics this is important because any 1st year undergrad is told that the scientific approach for testing for significance is a 2-sigma test; ie the 95% confidence interval. Results that are significant at no more than 1-sigma significant are as good as meaningless in the sense that they are no different to sheer randomness and would be laughed all the way out of a 1st year course on stats.


Nature will decide Earth's future

By Professor Bob Carter, currently aboard a research ship near New Zealand. He is a research professor at Australia's James Cook University - where he was Professor and Head of School of Earth Sciences between 1981 and 1999 - and the University of Adelaide

AS the core samples from deep underground pass through the logging sensor before me, the rhythmic pattern of ancient climate change is clearly displayed. Friendly, brown sands for the warm interglacial periods and hostile, sterile grey clays for the cold glaciations. And for more than 90 per cent of recent geological time the Earth has been colder than today.

We modern humans are lucky to live towards the end of the most recent of the intermittent but welcome warm interludes. It is a 10,000 year-long period called the Holocene, during which our civilisations have evolved and flourished.

The cores tell the story that this period is only a short interlude during a long-term decline in global temperature - they also warn of the imminence of the next glacial episode in a series stretching back more than 2 million years.

Together with 50 other scientists and technicians, I am aboard the drilling ship Joides Resolution. JR, as it is affectionately known, is the workhorse of the Ocean Drilling Program, an international program that is to environmental science what NASA is to space science.

JR's drilling crew can retrieve cores up to 1km or more below the seabed and we are drilling today about 80km east of South Island in New Zealand. The ancient muds and sands that make up the sediment layers we pass through are the most important record of ancient climate that scientists possess. And they tell the tale that climate always changes.

Some core alterations are ruled by changes in the Earth's orbit at periods of 20,000, 40,000 and 100,000 years, others by fluctuations in solar output and others display oceanographic and climate shifts caused by . . . we know not what. Climate, it seems, changes ceaselessly: sometimes cooling, sometimes warming, oft-times for reasons we do not fully understand.

Similar cores through polar ice reveal, contrary to received wisdom, that past temperature changes were followed - not preceded but followed - by changes in the atmospheric content of carbon dioxide. Yet the public has been misinformed to believe that increasing human carbon dioxide emissions will cause runaway warming; it is surely a strange cause of climate change that postdates its supposed effect?

The now numerous special interest groups who continue to lobby for unnecessary and economically harmful carbon dioxide taxation need to appreciate that nature, not the world's governments, will determine future climate. Second, that there is no scientific evidence that warmings greater than the much-talked about 2C will cause environmental catastrophe; rather, this number is one plucked out of the air for reasons of political targetry and control. And, third, that to limit atmospheric carbon dioxide to 450ppm, also a widely touted figure, makes no sense, because past carbon dioxide levels attained more than 10 times this without known adverse environmental effects, while greening the planet.

Politically popular though it may be, the belief that atmospheric carbon dioxide is the primary driver of average planetary temperature is junk science. For instance, Earth experienced an ice age about 450 million years ago at a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are estimated to have been 15 times the pre-industrial level.

It is simply science fiction to believe that 450ppm of atmospheric carbon dioxide and 2C of warming are magic numbers that somehow mark a "tipping point"in Earth's climate system. Rather, they are politically contrived targets, erected for the purpose of stampeding scientifically innocent citizens into a gaping corral of carbon dioxide taxation.

The simplest explanation for the mild warming that occurred in the late 20th century is that it was part of Earth's ever-changing pattern of natural climate change and the job of scientists is to seek evidence to test that interpretation. They have and literally thousands of scientific papers to date have described climate evidence that is consistent with natural change.

Despite all the efforts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the expenditure of about $100 billion of research money since 1990, no scientific paper exists that demonstrates that the late 20th century warming, or the past 10 years of cooling for that matter, fall outside the rates and magnitudes of past (geological) climate change.

Melting glaciers (but, in some places, advancing), rising sea levels (but, in some places, falling), increasing numbers of storms (actually, currently at a 30-year low), increasing numbers of polar bears and changes in migratory patterns of birds may very well all have happened or be happening. But these facts say nothing about a human causality for such changes.

It is not for the independent climate scientists (the so-called "climate sceptics") to disprove that dangerous human-caused warming is happening. Rather, it is for the alarmist scientists of the IPCC and CSIRO to show that the simple idea of natural climate change can be invalidated. This they have failed to do.


The tide is turning: CNN Extensively Covers Viewpoint of Climate Change Skeptics

CNN made a real, day-long effort on Monday to address the climate-change debate as a debate, giving skeptics of manmade climate change a series of chances to match the leftist view, especially during its evening programming. CNN is also the only U.S. TV news outlet so far to send an anchor to the Climate Research Unit at the center of the ClimateGate controversy.

International correspondent Phil Black's interview of Lord Christopher Monckton, a prominent skeptic of the theory of manmade global warming, ran four minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour. The “passionate skeptic on climate change,” as Black referred to him, traveled to Copenhagen for the UN’s climate change summit, and is one of the few skeptics of the theory of manmade climate change in attendance. The CNN correspondent actually compared belief in the theory to a religion at the beginning of his report: “Copenhagen’s Bella Conference Center has become an international temple for thousands of true believers, people who have no doubt the planet is warming and humankind is to blame. But there are a few people here who do not believe.”

Black included four sound bites from Monckton in his report, and two from manmade climate change believers- Rajendra Pachauri from the IPCC and Alex Steffen of the website
MONCKTON: Most of the politicians don’t know any science-

BLACK: Lord Christopher Monckton is one of them. He’s a member of the British aristocracy and a passionate skeptic on climate change.

BLACK (on-camera): So you believe all of this is a colossal waste of time and money?

MONCKTON: There’s no need for it.

BLACK: None?

MONCKTON: None whatsoever.

BLACK: There are a lot of people here who disagree with you.

MONCKTON: Yes, but they haven’t studied the science, most of them-

BLACK (voice-over): Monckton says the planet is not getting hotter, its recent changes are natural, and there’s science to prove it. He’s among the skeptics who have been emboldened by the so-called ‘ClimateGate’ scandal. Monckton says e-mails hacked and leaked from an English university show climate scientists are fiddling with their figures and misleading the world.

MONCKTON: Those scientists have been fabricating, inventing, tampering with, altering, hiding, concealing and destroying data.

BLACK: The scientists who wrote the e-mails deny the allegations, but they have developed so much momentum they were addressed directly during the opening ceremony of the conference. Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, who leads the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, defended his organization against what he suspects is a direct attack.

DR. RAJENDRA PACHAURI, IPCC: The recent incident of stealing the e-mails of scientists at the University of East Anglia shows that some would go to the extent of carrying out illegal acts, perhaps in an attempt to discredit the IPCC. But the panel has a record of transparent and objective assessment stretching over 21 years, performed by tens of thousands of dedicated scientists from all corners of the globe.

BLACK: At this conference, Dr. Pachauri enjoys a clear majority of support among activists, analysts, delegates- well, pretty much everyone.

ALEX STEFFEN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, WORLDCHANGIN.COM: It really has reached a point where climate skepticism has been pretty comprehensively debunked as a theory.

Lord Christopher Monckton; & Phil Black, CNN International Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgBLACK: Try telling that to Lord Christopher Monckton.

BLACK (on-camera): So what is your message to many thousands of people who have come here from around the world that surround us now?

MONCKTON: Go home, enjoy some quality time with your families- stop worrying about the climate.

Two hours later, Campbell Brown moderated two separate panel discussion segments with two climate change skeptics- Stephen McIntyre of the Climate Audit blog and Chris Horner, author of the book ‘Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed;’ as well as Professor Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University, a proponent of the theory of manmade climate change. Anchor John Roberts also participated in the first segment, which was part of special coverage on Brown’s program titled “Global Warming: Trick or Truth?” Other than the first segment at the beginning of the hour, this special coverage took up the 8 pm Eastern hour. A transcript of excerpts from the first segment:
BROWN: Stephen, let me start with you here. You’re personally attacked in some of these e-mails. You’re called everything from a ‘bozo’ to a ‘moron’ to ‘the Joe McCarthy of climate change.’ How do you characterize what’s going on with the e-mails? Do you think this is an attempt to shut down criticism?

MCINTYRE: Sure they are. In discussion of the ‘trick,’ let’s be quite frank about it: it was a trick. The tree ring records went down in the late part of the 20th century. Instead of disclosing that in the 2001 IPCC report, they didn’t show the decline. In another document, the 1999 World Meteorological Report- that is the subject of the e-mail in question- they simply substituted temperature information for the tree ring information to show the record going up when it went down. There’s nothing mathematically sophisticated about that.

BROWN: Let me go to Michael here. Michael- Professor, you were a recipient of some of the hacked e-mails in question. To a layperson, I mean- Stephen just gave us two examples there. To somebody like me who is not a scientist, it does look like these scientists cherry-picked certain bits of information to make the case.

OPPENHEIMER: There was no deception here. I mean, let’s step back. From a scientific point of view, before this episode occurred, we knew the earth was warming, sea level was rising, glaciers are melting, the sea ice is retreating, the ocean is becoming more acidic, all due to the build-up of the greenhouse gases. Nothing in this episode changes any of that. Even if you think that the British group was somehow cheating, which I don’t believe it was, you could throw them out, and there are three other groups, the Japanese group and two American groups, who’ve done analysis on the temperature data and reached the conclusion that Earth is warming and the warming is unique in climate history. So there’s nothing here that changes the picture....

BROWN: One of the critics you just mentioned is Chris Horner, and Chris, I know you’re not a scientist. You’re an attorney. You’re a longtime critic of this- a skeptic, and you have long argued that scientists are cooking the data. But, I mean, what’s the motive for that?...

HORNER: Well, I don’t argue that they’re cooking the data. I named these guys names and I described what they were doing, relying in great part on Stephen McIntyre’s terrific work, among others, in ‘Red Hot Lies.’ It’s out there, and now we know, in their own words, what they were doing. And why is- well, you know, we’d have to perform brain surgery on these people, but the fact is scientists are people too, and they’re subject to every human motivation, including tremendous amounts and increasing amounts of taxpayer funding, which increases with the alarm, as well as ideology, in the President’s chief science adviser’s case, an anti-population bent, and so on....

BROWN: But it’s beyond this group. I mean, you’re talking about other people who found very similar results.

HORNER: Let’s talk about the falsified results. That’s ‘ClimateGate.’ ‘It’s the fraud, stupid,’ to oversimplify it, and that’s what we’re talking about. We don’t have to keep changing the subject. It’s not about locker room talk between scientists. It’s the fraud. Stephen proved it. These people have admitted it.

BROWN: But Stephen, let me just go back to you, because I know you are a skeptic and you have raised questions. But you’re- and tell me if my read is not accurate- your criticism is a little more nuanced than that. I didn’t read you as saying fraud, but you tell me.

MCINTYRE: Yeah. You’re right, my criticism is a lot more nuanced than that. There’s no question that it’s warmer now than it was in the 19th century. The battleground issue is whether it’s warmer now than in the 11th century, and whether the data that we have enables you to say that with any degree of certainty. One of the e-mails in the ‘ClimateGate’ letters is from Keith Briffa [of the Climate Research Unit], who says it was his opinion that it was as warm a thousand years ago as it is today. That’s something he doesn’t say in the IPCC reports, and it’s disquieting to read that in this correspondence....

BROWN [to Oppenheimer]: And let me get a bottom line sort of account from you, in your view.

OPPENHEIMER: Let me make two points. Number one is to the point of a massive fraud- individual scientists are people- big news. They’re fallible. But if you accuse the scientific community of a fraud, you have to say that the 2,500 scientists that are part of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change are part of a massive conspiracy. You have to say that the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, which looked at this specific issue several times, is part of a conspiracy. You have to say that the Bush administration, which conducted its own review of climate change, is part of a massive conspiracy. I’m sorry, I don’t buy that.

Later in the program, Brown featured another segment from Roberts with excerpts from his interview of Peter Liss, the interim director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (other excerpts from the interview were played earlier in the day during American Morning’s slanted coverage of ClimateGate). Roberts also toured the CRU’s facilities with Liss. The CNN anchor is the only major TV news anchor based in the U.S. to travel to the university to report on the ClimateGate scandal.


Climate change ‘ forcing polar bears to become cannibals’

But Inuit leaders have dismissed the idea, saying that it is a normal occurrence totally unconnected with global warming

A male polar bear dragged the grisly remains of a cub that it caught and killed in the Hudson Bay area, Canada, after separating it from its mother — one of a growing number of instances of cannibalism on record, according to climate change campaigners.

The bears may be forced into eating their own kind when the slower formation of Arctic ice leaves them with a shrinking platform from which to hunt seals, according to a study by American and Canadian scientists in 2006. The World Meteorological Association reported yesterday at the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen that this decade is on track to become the warmest since records began in 1850, and 2009 could rank among the top five warmest years.

However, a local Inuit leader dismissed the idea of any link between cannibalism and climate change. Jose Kusugak, the president of the Kivalliq Inuit Association, told reporters: “A male polar bear eating a cub becomes a big story and they try to marry it with climate change and so on. It becomes absurd — when it’s a normal, normal occurrence.”


Four Colossal Holes in the Theory of Man-Made Global Warming

Repeating the words "scientific consensus" over and over and telling sad stories about polar bears does not qualify as "science." So, why is it that the people who insist that Man-made global warming is based on science, not politics, always get shaky and defensive when people want to actually talk about the reasoning behind it?

When was the last time you heard a scientist get hysterical when you asked him to explain Einstein's theory of relativity? If you ask a scientist why nothing can move faster than the speed of light, he doesn't tell you a terrible story about how koala bears will die if you don't believe the theory is right, does he? Scientists who are confident and in command of the facts don't need to distort data and duck basic questions about the assumptions that are behind scientific theories.

So, why is it that the people who insist that man-made global warming is occurring right now can't come up with coherent answers to many of the most basic problems with the ideas that undergird their theory?

Climate change has been around as long as the earth: If you listen to global warming alarmists, you'd think the climate had been a flat line until mankind started industrializing, after which the temperature rocketed straight upwards. However, the reality is far different, as even the New York Times has been willing to admit:
In October, Dr. (Don) Easterbrook made similar points at the geological society meeting in Philadelphia. He hotly disputed Mr. Gore's claim that "our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this" threatened change.

Nonsense, Dr. Easterbrook told the crowded session. He flashed a slide that showed temperature trends for the past 15,000 years. It highlighted 10 large swings, including the medieval warm period. These shifts, he said, were up to "20 times greater than the warming in the past century."

So, the planet has had bigger temperature shifts than the one we're experiencing now. It has also been warmer than it is today:
The...warming before our last ice age was much warmer than anything we've had since. We had a warming that peaked 9000 years ago, another warming that peaked 5000 years ago. Both were warmer than today. Probably the Roman warming and the medieval warming were both warmer than today -- and we've had 8 warmings of the earth since the last Ice Age.

So how can we, given our limited knowledge of how the climate works, attribute the extremely limited amount of warming we experienced over the last century to mankind? The honest answer is: We can't.

The earth was cooling from roughly 1940-1976: Despite the fact that widespread industrialization was occurring during that 30 year time period, temperatures dropped so much that there were claims we were going into a dangerous period of "global cooling." If global temperatures are tightly bound to man-made greenhouse gasses and those gasses were being rapidly introduced to the atmosphere, then the earth should have been warming, not cooling during that period. The obvious conclusion is that global temperatures are not nearly as closely associated with man-made greenhouse gasses as some people would have us believe.

So, if it's global warming, why isn't there any warming occurring now? One of the many revelations from Climategate is that behind-the-scenes, scientists who buy into man-made global warming are admitting what skeptics have been saying publicly for years now: The globe has been cooling since 1998. Again, if global warming has its bootlaces hitched to the amount of man-made greenhouse gasses that are being produced and those numbers are increasing, why hasn't the temperature gone up as well? There's a simple answer: Man-made greenhouse gasses are not a decisive factor in raising or lowering the temperature of the earth.

Climate models can't accurately project the weather 100 years in the future: The truth is that we don't fully understand how our planet's climate works and thus, our climate models don't work very well. Since the climate models can't explain the climate over the last 25 years and they can't explain the leveling off of temperature since 1998, why would anyone believe they can predict conditions in 100 years? As computer programmers say, "garbage in, garbage out."

The Doomsday predictions from global warming alarmists are absolutely meaningless because they're based on climate models that don't work very well in the first place. As Dennis Avery, co-author of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years has said:
I think they pull their predictions out of their hats and I don't think they have any validity whatsoever.

What the global warming alarmists are asking of people is no small thing. They want us to spend trillions of dollars, dramatically impact our economies, and change the way people across the world live for the worse. Those are not trivial changes and simply having scientists -- who've been put under enormous political pressure and make a living off global warming grants – say, "Trust us, it's real," isn't going to cut it for proof. If global warming alarmists can't even deliver plausible answers to the most obvious problems with their theory, then no one should take them seriously.


How it all works out in the weird world of Warmism

The EU Referendum blog has a fascinating story on how Cap'n Trade--or, as it's called in Europe, the "emission trading scheme"--works. It seems that the Corus Group, a London-based steel maker that is a subsidiary of India's Tata Group, is shutting down one of its plants--a plant the company bought just two years ago "as part of its strategy to give it better access to European (including UK markets) [sic]."

Closing the plant, the site explains, will give the company an ETS jackpot:
With redundancy and decommissions costs, very little of that can actually come from the process of closing down the Redcar plant. But, with a capacity of 3,000,000 tons of steel, closure of the plant will deliver further "savings" over 6 million tons of carbon dioxide, worth an additional £80 million per annum at current rates but around £200 million at expected market levels.

This, even for a company the size of Tara steel, is a considerable windfall, over and above the money it will already make from the EU scheme. But, with a little manipulation, the company can still double its money. By "offshoring" production to India and bringing emissions down – from over twice the EU level--to the level currently produced by the Redcar plant, it stands to make another £200 million per annum from the UN's Clean Development Mechanism.

Thus we see Indian plants being paid up to £30 a ton for each ton of carbon dixoide "saved" by building new plant, while the company which owns them also gets gets paid £30 for each ton of carbon dioxide not produced in its Redcar plant. That gives it an estimated £400 million a year from the closure of the Redcar plant up to 2012--potentially up to £1.2 billion. And that is over and above benefitting from cheaper production costs on the sub-continent.
So the company gets a windfall for moving jobs from Britain to India, and the new plant will produce no less carbon than before. Brilliant, isn't it? We can't wait till America has such a policy.


Science czar's guru called for MORE carbon dioxide

With perfect logic that seems to be lost today

In the 1950s, before climate scientists had targeted carbon dioxide as a dangerous chemical, atomic scientist Harrison Brown, one of Obama science czar John Holdren's acknowledged gurus, called for a global increase in carbon dioxide, precisely because of its perceived greenhouse gas effects.

Harrison Brown – a geochemist who supervised the production of plutonium for the Manhattan Project – wrote in his 1954 Malthusian book "The Challenge of Man's Future" that the production of the food needed to feed an increasing world population could be advanced by human-manipulated greenhouse effects, including forcing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In 1986, science czar Holdren co-edited a scientific reader, "Earth and the Human Future: Essays in Honor of Harrison Brown." In one of his introductory essays written for the book, Holdren acknowledged he read Brown's "The Challenge of Man's Future" when he was in high school and that the book had a profound effect on his intellectual development. Holdren acknowledged Brown's book transformed his thinking about the world and "about the sort of career I wanted to pursue." Holdren further commented in glowing terms that Brown's book was a work "that should have reshaped permanently the perceptions of all serious analysts about the interactions of the demographic, biological geophysical, technological, economic and sociopolitical dimensions of contemporary problems."

Lamenting on page 140 that "the earth's atmosphere contains only a minute concentration – about 0.03 percent" – Brown observed, "It has been demonstrated that a tripling of carbon-dioxide concentration in the air will approximately double the growth rates of tomatoes, alfalfa, and sugar beets." Brown then argued on page 141 that "controlled atmospheres enriched in carbon dioxide" would be an essential component of enormous greenhouses built to grow plants in nutrient-rich solutions.

His conclusion? Pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in all regions of the world. "It would perhaps be easier to adopt methods which would increase the carbon-dioxide concentration in the atmosphere as a whole than to attempt to build elaborate greenhouses to confine the enriched air," Brown wrote on page 142. "If, in some manner, the carbon-dioxide content of the atmosphere could be increased threefold, world food production might be doubled."

Brown was clear that world governments should cooperate to generate excess carbon dioxide, not to reduce human-generated carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. "One can visualize, on a world scale, huge carbon-dioxide generators pouring the gas into the atmosphere," he wrote.

Brown went so far as to recommend burning more coal to generate electricity, precisely because burning coal emitted carbon dioxide. "There are between 18 and 20 tons of carbon dioxide over every acre of the earth's surface," he noted on page 142. "In order to double the amount in the atmosphere, at least 500 billion tons of coal would have to be burned – an amount six times greater than that which has been consumed during all of human history."

In the absence of coal, Brown recommended producing the needed carbon dioxide from limestone: "In the absence of coal, the equivalent in energy would have to be provided from some other source so that the carbon dioxide could be produced by heating limestone."

Brown ultimately rejected the construction of vast greenhouses or the use of a carbon-dioxide enriched environment because they would be too expensive, not because the methods would not work to stimulate food production.

Writing about algae farms in the tropics, for instance, Brown observed: "If air that is enriched with carbon dioxide could be used, even higher yields might be obtainable, but we have seen that operating costs, and in particular energy costs, become very large if carbon dioxide must be manufactured."



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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Monbiot in the pay of big oil

Alarmist George Monbiot writes in the Guardian on how we're just stooges of the oil industry. An excerpt:
In Climate Cover-Up, in Ross Gelbspan's books The Heat is On and Boiling Point, in my book Heat, and on the websites and, you can find dozens of such examples. Together they expose a systematic, well-funded campaign to con the public. To judge by the comments you can read on this paper's website, it has worked.

But people behind these campaigns know that their claims are untrue. One of the biggest was run by the Global Climate Coalition, which represented ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, the American Petroleum Institute and several big motor manufacturers. In 1995 the coalition's own scientists reported that "the scientific basis for the greenhouse effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well-established and cannot be denied". The coalition hid this finding from the public, and spent millions of dollars seeking to persuade people that the opposite was true.

These people haven't fooled themselves, but they might have fooled you. Who, among those of you who claim that climate scientists are liars and environmentalists are stooges, has thought it through for yourself?

What I really love, however, is the giant ad for "Shell" served alongside Monbiot's piece:


It's absurd to say that Monbiot is in the pay of big oil because a small part of his paycheque comes from them. But it is equally absurd to say that climate skeptics are in the pay of big oil because a tiny minority of them have received small amounts from big oil. Another example of similar Warmist absurdity here, where the revolt against Warmist laws among Australian conservative politicians is attributed to a "holy war" -- because one tiny and wholly marginal Christian denomination opposed such laws

Understanding Climategate’s hidden decline

The Warmists knew that their temperature "proxies" diverged from thermometer readings -- so were not in fact a valid measure of temperature -- but they still used the "proxies" right up until they showed cooling rather than warming. It was a very deliberate fraud

Close followers of the Climategate controversy know that much of the mêlée surrounds an email in which Climate Research Unit (CRU) chief Phil Jones wrote about using “Mike’s Nature Trick” (MNT) to “hide the decline.” And yet, 17 days and thousands of almost exclusively on-line op-eds into this scandal, it still seems very few understand exactly which “decline” was being hidden, what “trick” was used to do so, and why Jones’s words have become the slogan for the greatest scientific fraud in history.

As the mainstream media move from abject denial to dismissive whitewashing, CRU co-conspirators move to Copenhagen for tomorrow’s UN climate meeting, intent on changing the world as we know it based primarily on their now exposed trickery. Add yesterday’s announcement of a UN investigation into the matter, which will no doubt be no less corrupt than those being investigated, and public awareness of how and why that trick was performed is now more vital than ever. So please allow me to explain in what I hope are easily digestible terms.

First and foremost -- contrary to what you’ve likely read elsewhere in the blogosphere or heard from the few policymakers and pundits actually addressing the issue, it was not the temperature decline the planet has been experiencing since 1998 that Jones and friends conspired to hide. Certainly, the simple fact that the email was sent in November of 1999 should have allayed any such confusion.

In fact, the decline Jones so urgently sought to hide was not one of measured temperatures at all, but rather figures infinitely more important to climate alarmists – those determined by proxy reconstructions. As this scandal has attracted new readers to the subject, I ask climate savvy readers to indulge me while I briefly explain climate proxies, as they are an essential ingredient of this contemptible conspiracy.

Truth be told -- even reasonably reliable instrumental readings are a relatively modern convenience, limiting CRU’s global measured temperature database to a start date somewhere in the mid-19th century. That’s why global temperature charts based on actual readings typically use a base year of 1850 or somewhere thereabouts.

And yet -- most historical temperature charts, including the one Al Gore preached before in An Inconvenient Truth, go way back to 1000 AD. That’s where proxies come in. While historical documents (e,g, ship’s logs, diaries, court and church records, tax rolls, and even classic literature) certainly provide a glimpse into past temperature trends, such information is far too limited and generalized to be of any statistical value. So climate scientists have devised means to measure variations in such ubiquitous materials as lake sediments, boreholes, ice cores, and tree rings to evaluate past temperature trends.

They then employ complex computer programs to combine such “proxy” data sampled throughout a region to plot that area’s annual relative changes in temperature hundreds or even thousands of years prior. By then combining the datasets, they believe they can accurately reproduce hemispheric and global temperature trends of the previous millennia.

And while reconstructions -- as past temperature interpretations from proxy data are called -- can differ greatly from one source to another, those generated by the CRU have often been accepted as the de facto temperatures of the past. Largely because the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) proclaims them to be.

Warmist Public Enemy Number One: The Medieval Warming Period

It’s important to understand that early analyses of these “proxies” clearly demonstrated that three radical temperature shifts occurred within the past millennium, as do many contemporary studies. Indeed, the years 900-1300 AD were labeled the Medieval Warming Period (MWP), as global temperatures rose precipitously from the bitter cold of the previous Dark Ages to levels several degrees warmer than today. The Little Ice Age, a sudden period of cooling, then followed and lasted until the year 1850. And then began the modern warming period, which was by no means unique and appears to have ended with the millennium itself.

Originally, even the IPCC accepted that pre-20th century analysis. In fact, the 1990 First Assessment Report used this schematic IPCC 1990 Figure 7c (courtesy of Climate Audit) to represent last millennium’s dramatic temperature swings.

But this image of a fluid climate system subject to abrupt and natural up-and-downturns made unprecedented 20th century warming about as marketable as Florida swampland. And opportunists who depended on the aberrance of post-industrial revolution warming in order to condemn and control mankind’s CO2 emissions soon recognized that perhaps the LIA but most certainly the MWP simply had to go. And as many of these hucksters were closely connected to the IPCC – both sender and recipient names on those illuminating CRU emails include many of its editors, lead authors and contributors -- that task was far less daunting than one might imagine.

Proxies, Tricks and Hockey Sticks

The first step was taken in the 1995 Second Assessment Report, when the above Figure 7c was replaced with a 1993 reconstruction from RS Bradley and PD Jones that used 1400 AD as its base – effectively wiping the MWP off the radar-screen. But it wasn’t until the 2001 Third Assessment Report (TAR) that the MWP simply vanished. This multi-proxy reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperature anomalies appeared in chapter 2, page 134, of the Working Group 1 (WG1) report [PDF].

Of course, the first thing you’ll notice is that both the MWP and LIA have indeed disappeared. In fact, temperatures appear to trend downward throughout the millennium until a sharp jump upward last century. But if you look closer, you’ll also notice that the “reconstructed” series terminate in 1980. What forms the dramatic blade to the hockey stick shape (yes, this is indeed the famous “Hockey-Stick” graph) is instead the distal segment of the 1902 to 1999 instrumental data series.

Mann has recently claimed that the available proxy data ended in 1980, but even his coconspirators at RealClimate admit that’s nonsense. The truth is that the proxy data was scrapped because unlike those measured, reconstructed temperatures showed a marked decline after 1980. And, as the chart plotted temperature anomalies against what the plotters selected as the “normal” period and temperatures of 1961 to 1990, the reconstruction would have been quite unremarkable otherwise. So at the 1980 mark, the actual post-1980 measurements were actually attached to the truncated proxy series to create the illusion they were one.

The figure below, found on the same page of the WG1 report reveals this trick more clearly. This chart plots the original 4 reconstructions used: 2 from Mann et al, 1 from Jones et al and 1 from Briffa et al. Notice how all but the first series continue to trend downward around 1960 while instrumental readings begin to trend upward? And even that series ends abruptly in 1980.

So not only did conspirators cherry-pick the one series of the four that approximated measured temperatures the longest, they also terminated that series at the point that it too, began to trend down. They then joined it to the actual 1980-1999 temperatures to “hide the decline” in the final product, as that decline created an inexplicable divergence between the reconstructed and measured temperatures. The existence of which challenges the entire series dating back to 1000 AD.

Remember, all of the temperatures prior to 1850 were estimated by computer algorithms and no actual readings exist to prove or disprove those figures. So a relatively short window of opportunity exists to test the programs against observations. Had 20th century measured temperatures continued to align with those recreated as smoothly after 1960 as they did previously, then the programmers could declare their code and hence their millennial temperatures sound. But the divergence, if allowed to stand, instead revealed serious design flaws in the proxy reconstructions. Which suggests that just as the decline was dealt with through trickery, so was the MWP.

And it seems that each time the trick was used, its involvement would be more deeply concealed...


Copenhagen conference in 'disarray'

TALKS at the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen have broken down over leaked documents indicating that wealthier nations would be given more power in future climate change negotiations.

The documents seem to allow a handful of rich countries to have larger emissions and more control over future talks within a "circle of commitment" and have enraged delegates from developing countries.

The US, UK, and Denmark are among the countries included in the so-called "Danish text."

The document also sets unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050; meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much under the proposals.

The secret draft agreement worked on by a group of individuals known as "the circle of commitment" - understood to include the UK, US and Denmark - has only been shown to a handful of countries since it was finalised this week, The Guardian reports.

The agreement, leaked to the paper, is a departure from the Kyoto protocol's principle that rich nations, which have emitted the bulk of the CO2, should take on firm and binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gases, while poorer nations were not compelled to act.

The draft hands effective control of climate change finance to the World Bank; would abandon the Kyoto protocol - the only legally binding treaty that the world has on emissions reductions; and would make any money to help poor countries adapt to climate change dependent on them taking a range of actions.

The document was described last night by one senior diplomat as "a very dangerous document for developing countries. It is a fundamental reworking of the UN balance of obligations. It is to be superimposed without discussion on the talks", the paper reports.


Cherrypicking A Standstill

During the recent Munk Debate in Canada, Lord Lawson seemed to astound the other contributors when he said that the world’s temperature hadn’t increased for a decade. They were incredulous and dismissed the assertion that the world hasn’t warmed for a decade as being misinformation.

A day later, one of them, George Monbiot, wrote in the Guardian about Lord Lawson during the debate, “...he said some pretty daft things such as: “There has been no further warming this century.” When I pressed him on this, he said his contention was supported by the HadCRUT3 temperature series. What it actually shows is that eight out of the 10 warmest years since records began have occurred since 2001. Lawson, of course, was deploying that tired old trick of cherry-picking his starting date. If you began the series at 1998, you might indeed conclude that temperatures have fallen, since 1998 was the hottest year ever recorded. But you begin with 1997 or 1999 or any other year in the 20th century, you discover that there has been plenty of global warming this century. That wasn’t the most sophisticated ruse, was it?”

The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment said, “What Lawson neglected to mention and which no journalist sought to quiz him about was a graph featuring prominently at the top of every page on the foundation’s website, using data published by the Climatic Research Unit and the Met Office’s Hadley Centre. Nor did he reveal that the foundation had “hidden” the temperature record prior to 2001, so that visitors could not tell that eight of the 10 warmest years since the instrumental records began in the 19th century have occurred since 2000.”

Contrary to those comments, it is now well established that the world’s average temperature has not changed this century. Recently, the Journal Science said the pause in global temperatures is real. In State of the Climate in 2008, a special supplement to the August Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Dr Jeff Knight et al of the UK Met Office Hadley Centre confirmed that in the past ten years the HadCRUT3 temperature data shows no increase whatsoever. Their analysis showed that the world warmed by 0.07 +/- 0.07 deg C from 1999 to 2008, not the 0.20 deg C expected by the IPCC. Corrected for the large 1998 El Nino event (that made 1998 the hottest year on record) and its sister La Nina, the last decade’s trend is perfectly flat. It’s a finding that has been confirmed in many of the world’s top peer-reviewed journals. There has not been “plenty of global warming this century.” Official.

We live in the warmest decade, no one doubts that, and this explains why the world’s warmest years are clustered during that period. Look at the order of the warmest years and you will see they are jumbled up and sit well within each others errors of measurement. There is no upward trend, just a plateau.

But is it cherrypicking? Why not, as The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment suggests, pick another start date.

The HadCRUT3 graph of the global temperature anomaly since 1975 is obviously something that surprisingly few environmental campaigners are familiar with, nor are they with good scientific procedure. The HadCRUT3 graph shown here is 35 years long and follows a period since 1940 when global temperatures were constant. The IPCC states that all temperature variations before the current warm period as shown in the graph are due to natural variations. So all of mankind’s influence on global temperatures is shown on this graph. Note that the errors of measurement are quite large encompassing all of the variability since 2001 so that, statistically speaking, the only permitted ‘curve’ since 2001 that adequately describes the data is a constant straight line.

It is normal scientific practice to look at such data and see what it shows; where is it increasing, where decreasing, and where is it flat. This is not cherry-picking, this is reading the graph as any impartial scientist would do.


Puncturing the Climate Balloon

by Bill Gray (Gray is the renowned hurricane forecaster and Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University)

Had I not devoted my entire career of over half-a-century to the study and forecasting of meteorological and climate events I would have likely been concerned over the possibility of humans causing serious global climate degradation.

There has been an unrelenting quarter century of one-sided indoctrination of the western world by the media and by various scientists and governments concerning a coming carbon dioxide (CO_2 ) induced global warming disaster. These warming scenarios have been orchestrated by a combination of environmentalists, vested interest scientists wanting larger federal grants and publicity, the media which profits from doomsday scenario reporting, governmental bureaucrats who want more power over our lives, and socialists who want to level-out global living standards. These many alarmist groups appear to have little concern over whether their global warming prognostications are accurate, however. And they most certainly are not. The alarmists believe they will be able to scare enough of our citizens into believing their propaganda that the public will be willing to follow their advice on future energy usage and agree to a lowering of their standard of living in the name of climate salvation.

Rising levels of CO_2 are not near the threat these alarmists have portrayed them to be. There has yet to be a honest and broad scientific debate on the basic science of CO_2 's influence on global temperature. The global climate models predicting large amounts of global warming for a doubling of CO_2 are badly flawed. They should never have been used to establish government climate policy.

The last century's global warming of about 1 degree F is not a consequence of human activities. This warming is primarily the result of a multi-century changes in the globe's deep ocean circulation. These ocean current changes have lead to a small and gradual increase in the globe's temperature. We are coming out of the Little Ice Age and into a generally warmer climate state. This is akin to the warmer global climate of the Medieval Period. We can do nothing but adapt to such long period natural temperature changes.

The recent 'ClimateGate' revelations coming out of the UK University of East Anglia are but the tip of a giant iceberg of a well organized international climate warming conspiracy that has been gathering momentum for the last 25 years. This conspiracy would become much more manifest if all the e-mails of the publically funded climate research groups of the US and of foreign governments were ever made public.

The disastrous economic consequences of restricting CO_2 emissions from the present by as much as 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050 (as being proposed in Copenhagen) have yet to be digested by the general public. Such CO_2 output decreases would cause very large increases in our energy costs, a lowering of our standard of living, and do nothing of significance to improve our climate.

The Cap-and-Trade bill presently before Congress, the likely climate agreements coming out of the Copenhagen Conference, and the EPA's just announced decision to treat CO_2 as a pollutant represents a grave threat to the industrial world's continued economic development. We should not allow these proposals to restrict our economic growth. Any United Nations climate bill our country might sign would act as an infringement on our country's sovereignty.


Climate claims fail science test

By Michael Asten, a professorial fellow in the school of geosciences at Monash University, Melbourne

THE UN Climate Change Summit started this week in Copenhagen with far more dissent than its organisers hoped for from two extremes of the climate change debate We had the "grandfather of climate change", James Hansen, describing the proceedings as counter-productive and "a farce", while the chief Saudi Arabian negotiator to the summit, Mohammed al-Sabban, doubts the current science and suggests there is no longer any point in seeking agreement to reduce emissions.

It is therefore certain that the global political debate on managing carbon emissions and climate change will continue well beyond the Copenhagen summit. It is to be hoped that the scientific debate is also permitted to continue.

Results released this year suggest that the degree of scientific certainty falls short of that desirable before we set binding targets and dollar values on carbon emissions. Indeed, Tim Flannery, chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council admitted that: "We can't pretend we have perfect knowledge: we don't."

This is a refreshingly honest comment when contrasted with some of the statements in the hacked emails of the Climatic Research Unit, UK, made by leading British and US climate scientists, who were caught with their fingers on the "delete button" when faced with climate data that failed to agree with their computer models.

Meanwhile two recent results published by top scientists cast doubt on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's theory about the link between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global warming. These are of of significance because whereas the climate models used by the IPCC rely on software to represent a large number of highly complex Earth processes, these results are equivalent to experimental observations on the Earth itself.

Paul Pearson of Cardiff University and his international team achieved a breakthrough recently, published four weeks ago in arguably the world's top scientific journal, Nature. They unravelled records of atmosphere, temperature and ice-cap formation 33.6 million years ago, when the Earth cooled from a greenhouse without ice caps, into something quite similar to our present day. These results from "Laboratory Earth" have a particular advantage: we can see what happened after the event for two million years. With today's records we see changes in atmospheric CO2 and temperature over 50 years and seek to project what will happen in the future.

Pearson's work contains a couple of remarkable results. First the greenhouse atmosphere pre-cooling contained a CO2 concentration of 900 parts per million by volume, or more than three times that of the Earth in pre-industrial days. We can't be sure what triggered the Earth to cool despite, or because of, its changing green-house atmospheric blanket, but once it did, cycles of ice cap formation and glaciation commenced, apparently governed by the same variations in the Earth's orbit that govern the ice ages of the past million years.

Second, while the cooling of the Earth took place over a time-span of around 200,000 years, the atmospheric CO2 first dropped in association with the cooling, then rose to around 1100ppmv and remained high for 200,000 years while the Earth cooled further and remained in its new ice ages cycle.

We can compare these huge swings (both up and down) in atmospheric CO2 with current computer-modelled estimates of climate sensitivity by the IPCC which suggest that a doubling of CO2 relative to pre-industrial times will produce a temperature increase of 2.5C to 4C.

If the Earth started a cycle of ice ages 33.6 million years ago while having its very carbon-rich atmosphere, and if the Earth showed cycles of ice-age activity when atmospheric CO2 was four times the level that it was in humankind's pre-industrial times, what new information must we incorporate into our present climate models?

Another key parameter in climate modelling is the warming amplification associated with increasing CO2 in our atmosphere. This amplification factor is generally believed to be greater than one, giving rise to an understanding that increases in atmospheric CO2 amplify warming (a positive feedback in the physical process), and the IPCC has quantified this to deliver the finding that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in man-made greenhouse gas concentrations.

However since the IPCC's fourth report, our Laboratory Earth has also delivered new data on this CO2-induced amplification factor. The tool for the study in this instance is recent satellite-based temperature data now extending over 30 years. Building on a methodology published 15 years ago in Nature, climatologist and NASA medallist John Christy and colleague David Douglass studied global temperature impacts of volcanic activity and ocean-atmospheric oscillations (the "El Nino" effect) and separated these from global temperature trends over the past 28 years. The result of their analysis is a CO2-induced amplification factor close to one, which has implications clearly at odds with the earlier IPCC position.

The result was published this year in the peer-reviewed journal Energy and Environment and the paper has not yet been challenged in the scientific literature.

What this means is that the IPCC model for climate sensitivity is not supported by experimental observation on ancient ice ages and recent satellite data. So are we justified in concluding that the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is not the only or major driver of current climate change? And if so, how should we re-shape our ETS legislation?

I don't know the answer to these questions, but as Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman observed: "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong."


Global warming has stopped, says Australian conservative leader

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has gone one step further from being a climate change sceptic and has questioned if the world is warming. The comments were seized upon by Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, who will arrive in Copenhagen today for climate change talks that aim to set the foundations for cuts to global greenhouse gas emissions. It comes as the US Environmental Protection Agency plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions because they "threaten the public health and welfare of the American people".

When Mr Abbott seized the Liberal leadership from Malcolm Turnbull last week he rejected criticisms that he was a climate change denier, but said he was sceptical about what level mankind had contributed to the problem. His position yesterday raised further questions about his intentions to address climate change. "Notwithstanding the dramatic increases in man-made CO2 emissions over the last decade, the world's warming has stopped," he told Macquarie Radio.

Senator Wong, who has been accused of not giving enough funds to helping the Torres Strait cope with climate change, hit out at Mr Abbott. "He is out there publicly talking about the world cooling when we have so many world leaders ... going to Copenhagen because they are concerned about climate change," she said. ["World leaders" matter more than the facts? She is a pure apparatchik] "We see Mr Abbott talking about the globe cooling as the rest of the world is trying to work its way to tackling climate change."

A gobsmacked Greens Leader Bob Brown said Mr Abbott's comments would alienate conservatives. "In a world where both big and small business understand the science of climate change and the need for appropriate action," Senator Brown said.

It comes as Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt has said tackling climate change would come at a cost. Mr Abbott has guaranteed there will not be any taxes, either "by stealth" or otherwise to mitigate the problem. "There are no cost-free options, but there are dramatically lower cost options," Mr Hunt said. "The Government picked the highest cost of all the major mechanisms (through its carbon pollution reduction scheme)."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Tuesday, December 08, 2009


There is so much being written about climate at the moment that it is difficult to know what to put up. One thing I am NOT putting up is any of the "defenses" by the IPCC and others in answer to "ClimateGate". Why? Because I have yet to find ONE such defence that mentions a single scientific fact. All the defences are solely ad hominem. They say that something is right because of who said it. Such arguments are among the classic informal fallacies of logic and deserve no respect from anybody at any time. So on to some more factual reports and commentaries -- JR

More acidic oceans DON'T dissolve shellfish

Big blow to a big scare. Another simple theory does not survive an encounter with reality

In a striking finding that raises new questions about carbon dioxide's (CO2) impact on marine life, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists report that some shell-building creatures -- such as crabs, shrimp and lobsters -- unexpectedly build more shell when exposed to ocean acidification caused by elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

Because excess CO2 dissolves in the ocean -- causing it to "acidify" -- researchers have been concerned about the ability of certain organisms to maintain the strength of their shells. Carbon dioxide is known to trigger a process that reduces the abundance of carbonate ions in seawater -- one of the primary materials that marine organisms use to build their calcium carbonate shells and skeletons. The concern is that this process will trigger a weakening and decline in the shells of some species and, in the long term, upset the balance of the ocean ecosystem.

But in a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of Geology, a team led by former WHOI postdoctoral researcher Justin B. Ries found that seven of the 18 shelled species they observed actually built more shell when exposed to varying levels of increased acidification. This may be because the total amount of dissolved inorganic carbon available to them is actually increased when the ocean becomes more acidic, even though the concentration of carbonate ions is decreased.

"Most likely the organisms that responded positively were somehow able to manipulate…dissolved inorganic carbon in the fluid from which they precipitated their skeleton in a way that was beneficial to them," said Ries, now an assistant professor in marine sciences at the University of North Carolina. "They were somehow able to manipulate CO2…to build their skeletons."

Organisms displaying such improvement also included calcifying red and green algae, limpets and temperate urchins. Mussels showed no effect.

"We were surprised that some organisms didn't behave in the way we expected under elevated CO2," said Anne L. Cohen, a research specialist at WHOI and one of the study's co-authors. "What was really interesting was that some of the creatures, the coral, the hard clam and the lobster, for example, didn't seem to care about CO2 until it was higher than about 1,000 parts per million [ppm]." Current atmospheric CO2 levels are about 380 ppm, she said. Above this level, calcification was reduced in the coral and the hard clam, but elevated in the lobster

The "take-home message, " says Cohen, is that "we can't assume that elevated CO2 causes a proportionate decline in calcification of all calcifying organisms." WHOI and the National Science Foundation funded the work.

More HERE (The rest of the article is a collection of ad hoc theories designed to rescue something for global warming. The factual bit is above)

Dutch study: Gore Wrong on Snows of Kilimanjaro

Newspapers and news sites in the Netherlands today extensively broke the news of the findings of a research team led by Professor Jaap Sinninghe Damste — a leading molecular paleontologist at Utrecht University and winner of the prestigious Spinoza Prize — about the melting icecap of the Kilimanjaro, the African mountain that became a symbol of anthropogenic global warming.

Professor Sinninghe Damste’s research, as discussed on the site of the Dutch Organization of Scientific Research (DOSR) — a governmental body — shows that the icecap of Kilimanjaro was not the result of cold air but of large amounts of precipitation which fell at the beginning of the Holocene period, about 11,000 years ago.

The melting and freezing of moisture on top of Kilimanjaro appears to be part of “a natural process of dry and wet periods.” The present melting is not the result of “environmental damage caused by man.”

Professor Damste studied organic biomarker molecules in the sediment record of Lake Challa, near Mount Kilimanjaro, and reconstructed the changes and intensity of precipitation in this part of Africa over the last 25,000 years. They observed an 11,500 year cycle of intense monsoon precipitation. In the dry period between 12,800 and 11,500 years ago, Kilimanjaro was ice-free. At the end of this period, a dramatic climate change from very dry to very wet took place — driven by changes in solar radiation — resulting in the creation of an icecap. At the moment, this part of Africa seems to be at the end of a similar dry period, resulting in the disappearance of the famous icecap.

DOSR calls Al Gore’s iconic use of the melting cap of Kilimanjaro “unfortunate” — since it now seems to be mainly the result of “natural climate variations.”

The journal Nature published the highly technical article by Professor Sinninghe Damste’s team. The website of Elsevier magazine — the Netherlands’ most circulated political weekly — broke the news as follows: “Dutchman discredits Al Gore’s climate evidence.”


Computer Models vs. Physical Evidence

The debate over "climate change" is odd, in that the climate changes constantly, and always has. Like most natural processes, maybe all, the climate never stands still. The Earth is always getting either warmer or cooler. At various times in the past it has unquestionably been warmer than it is today, and also colder--as when the place where I am typing was buried beneath ice a half-mile thick. That being the case, the fact that global temperatures have risen a bit during the last couple of decades is hardly a shock.

In the 1970s, when temperatures had been dropping for a while, there was a "global cooling" crisis in which many scientists predicted that humanity was doomed by catastrophic cooling. As soon as temperatures rebounded, what happened? Naturally, we had a "global warming" crisis. The two crises were polar opposites, except in the measures that were recommended to fend them off: government control over the economy.

In order to persuade anyone to take the most recent crisis seriously, the alarmists had to argue that there was something different, something unprecedented, about the slight warming that we have recently experienced. Hence the famous "hockey stick" graphs that alarmists have created, purporting to show that the rate of temperature increase in the last couple of decades is unique, and that present temperatures are warmer than those of the Medieval Warm Period and other historically warm eras. This required them to write revisionist history, using computer models to override physical evidence of past warm eras.

Kenneth Haapala of the Science and Environmental Policy Project explains:
As the questionable actions of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia are being revealed, we are witnessing how the life work of Hubert H. Lamb was tarnished by the very organizations he helped create. A pioneer in the scientific study of climate change, H.H. Lamb was the founder and first director of the CRU.

After he retired, Lamb wrote the classic, Climate, History and the Modern World, (Routledge, 1982 & 1995). Lamb synthesized the physical evidence demonstrating that since the last ice age ended, the earth has been both warmer and cooler than today. For over 3,000 years, 5,000 to 8,000 years ago, it was 2-3 degrees C warmer than today. The evidence for the Northern Hemisphere is extensive. Throughout North America and Eurasia trees grew 200 to 400 km closer to the North Pole than they grow today and in the mountains grew at higher elevations than they do today. The Sahara Desert was wetter. For example, cave paintings in the middle of the Sahara show natives hunting hippopotami in canoes or boats.

Because the land mass of the Southern Hemisphere is far less than the land mass of the Northern Hemisphere there is less physical evidence in the Southern Hemisphere. However, in the mountains of the Southern Hemisphere trees grew at higher elevations than today and Australia was wetter.

Lamb contended that temperature and climate changes were not uniform and differed both spatially and temporally; but, they existed world-wide and that temperature changes were more pronounced in the mid and upper latitudes than in the tropics. Based on his analysis, Lamb stated that warm periods were beneficial for humanity, and cold periods were harmful. He advocated that governments should fund studies on climate change so humanity will be better prepared for the next cold period that was sure to come. In the 1995 edition, he expressed concern that the study of climate change (global warming) had taken a wrong turn.

Lamb's research has been largely dismissed by the human caused global warming community. For example in discussing Lamb's work, Chapter 6, "Palaeoclimate" of the 2007 The Fourth IPCC Assessment Report (AR4) states:
These local warm periods were very likely not globally synchronous and occurred at times when there is evidence that some areas of the tropical oceans were cooler than today (Figure 6.9) (Lorenz et al., 2006). When forced by 6 ka orbital parameters, state-of-the-art coupled climate models and EMICs capture reconstructed regional temperature and precipitation synchronous and occurred at times when there is evidence that some areas of the tropical oceans were cooler than today (Figure 6.9) p. 460.

The IPCC offers a graph showing a cooling of the tropical North Indian Ocean and the tropical Pacific Ocean as claimed proof that the extended warm period demonstrated by Lamb was regional, not global. Of course, there is little physical evidence of warming or cooling of these oceans to verify or contradict the computer simulations. Thus according to the IPCC, compelling physical evidence of extensive warming in one part of the globe is counterbalanced by computer simulations of cooling in another part of the globe for which physical evidence is lacking. The life work of Lamb in compiling physical evidence has been trumped by computer simulations with little or no supporting physical evidence.

And yet we know that those computer models are wrong, because they can't account for the past, they can't explain the geographic and atmospheric distribution of temperatures, and the current flat-to-cooling trend lies outside of the range of temperatures that they predict.


US scepticism grows over manmade global warming theory

AMERICANS who think global warming is caused by human activity, including vehicle and industrial emissions, are now a minority for the first time in nearly two years, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. Only 45 per cent of the 1041 adults surveyed on December 2-3 believed global warming was a proven fact and mostly caused by human activity, down from 56 per cent in October 2007.

By comparison, Americans who believed global warming was caused by natural changes unrelated to man have increased to 22 per cent from 20 per cent two years ago, and those who believed global warming was a yet unproven theory grew to 31 per cent from 23 per cent.

Regarding how the United States should tackle global warming, 58 per cent of those surveyed said it should cut carbon dioxide emissions unilaterally, down from 66 per cent in October 2007. Those who thought the United States should cut CO2 emissions only if other countries do so as well remained basically unchanged at 17 per cent, from 16 per cent two years ago.

But those who said carbon emissions should not be cut regardless of what the rest of the world does jumped to 24 per cent, from 15 per cent two years ago.

With a three per cent margin of error, the poll coincided with the start yesterday of a landmark, 12-day conference on tackling climate change in Copenhagen attended by more than 110 heads of state or government.


More hatred of democracy from the Green/Left

The More Americans Learn about Global Warming, the Deeper in "Denial" They Sink

It must be true; I heard it on NPR this morning. On my way to work, I was listening to this segment on NPR's Morning Edition about how and why climate change has become less and less a priority for Americans.
A recent Harris Poll, among the latest of several over the past year, shows that barely half of the American public believes that the carbon dioxide that's building up in the atmosphere could warm up our planet.

But here is the best part about this segment: After explaining that Americans have much to worry about these days and that, naturally, they will tend to worry more about things that are of more direct concern to them, we find out that democracy is an important reason for this problem:
Even as scientists become more confident that climate change is a serious hazard, public opinion is shifting the other way, says Kari Marie Norgaard at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. "This seems irrational," she says. "And in that sense, it's challenging the basic premise that we have of an enlightened, democratic, modern society."

Or is it simply fear and denial?
Norgaard studied this shift in public opinion and found that as people start to feel overwhelmed by the scope of the problem, they simply turn away from the topic. It's a form of denial, she says. "We just don't want to know about it, so we are actively distancing ourselves from it or trying to protect ourselves from it."

So basically, the more we know about global warming and believe in it, the more we want to bury our heads in the ground like ostriches.

Seriously? Yes. However, in this craziness I would like to salute the host of Morning Editions, whose name escapes me at this time. He noted that because Obama, our green leader, had changed his plans about attending the Copenhagen meeting from the start and would now only show up at the end, he will have to make a separate trip to Oslo to receive his Nobel Peace Prize, seriously increasing his carbon footprint. That must be denial.


Australian conservatives riling UN climate bosses

THE head of the world's top climate research body has compared Tony Abbott to former US president and climate sceptic George W. Bush and conceded the failure of Australia's cap and trade carbon bill has given momentum to climate naysayers worldwide. In an exclusive interview with The Australian just hours before he was to deliver the keynote address on the opening day of the Copenhagen global climate summit, Rajendra Pachauri denied the defeat of the legislation would provide enough impetus to derail negotiators at Copenhagen from delivering an agreement.

But Dr Pachauri, who chairs the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former US vice-president Al Gore, said more important was the decision of US President Barack Obama to defer his Copenhagen trip to coincide with the leaders meeting on the last day of the summit. "Yes, of course, it will be a motivator (for climate sceptics), but several positives have taken place, like President Barack Obama coming on December 18th and not the 9th," he said. "The Chinese and Indian prime ministers are also coming."

Asked how he might deal with Mr Abbott -- who has previously described global warming as "crap" -- should he topple Kevin Rudd at the next federal election, Dr Pachauri cited US president George W. Bush's reversal on climate change during his second term. "You don't know what a person will do from one point in time to another. People have also been known to change their opinions," Dr Pachauri said. "I talked to George W. Bush on his sixth or seventh year as president and his beliefs had changed drastically from when he first took office."

As well as the defeat of the Australian legislation, the lead-up to the Copenhagen conference, which began last night, has been complicated by the scandal of "Climategate", the leaking of emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit which appear to undermine data showing global warming.

IPCC vice-chairman Jean-Pascal van Ypersele said the theft of the emails was not the work of amateurs, but was a sophisticated attempt to destroy public confidence in the science of man-made climate change. He said the fact the emails had first been uploaded to a sceptics' website from a computer in Russia was an indication the hackers were paid. "It's very common for hackers in Russia to be paid for their services," he said. "If you look at that mass of emails, a lot of work was done, not only to download the data, but it's a carefully made selection of emails and documents that's not random at all. This is 13 years of data, and it's not a job of amateurs."

UN Environment Program director Achim Steiner said the theft of the emails had echoes of Watergate -- the burglary of the US Democratic Party's offices at the Watergate building in Washington in 1972. "This is not climate-gate, it's hacker-gate. Let's not forget the word `gate' refers to a place where data was stolen by people who were paid to do so. So the media should direct its investigations into that."

In Adelaide yesterday, Climate Change Minister Penny Wong conceded she would go to the Copenhagen summit with Australia's position significantly weakened because of parliament's rejection of the ETS. "We wanted to go to Copenhagen with a plan to meet our targets; it's unhelpful that we're not," Senator Wong said. "But of course Australia will still be doing all we can to contribute to getting the agreement Australia needs and the world needs."

Senator Wong said that although it was unlikely a legally binding treaty would be finalised in Copenhagen, she was determined to get an "effective political agreement". "We need to do what President Obama said: that is, an agreement that's comprehensive and that has immediate effect," she said.

Last week's Senate vote on the ETS legislation, which would have seen emissions trading in Australia begin in July 2011, had been closely scrutinised by the US and other Western nations which are considering similar domestic measures to help cut greenhouse gas emissions. A political agreement on carbon trading in Australia, the developed world's biggest per capita emitter, would have helped to garner support for action in Copenhagen from other countries. But the legislation was voted down after a mutiny within opposition party ranks led by Mr Abbott, who overthrew former leader Malcolm Turnbull over his support for the ETS legislation.

Dr Pachauri described Mr Rudd, whom he met last month during the Prime Minister's lightning trip to India, as a "remarkable leader and an experienced politician". He said he was confident the ETS bill's defeat last week was a "minor setback". During his India visit Mr Rudd pledged $70 million in funding for a host of new joint agriculture and energy research projects, several of which involved India's top environmental organisation, TERI (The Energy Resources Institute), which Dr Pachauri also heads. "It seems to me the Australian public is fully committed to taking action because Australia is probably one country that has suffered from the impacts of climate change more than any other," Dr Pachauri said from Denmark. "(Climate sceptics) will get momentum from time to time but they are certainly a minority so I don't see in a democracy how they would succeed. "I think as long as Kevin Rudd is the Prime Minister of the government in power and he wants to move in a particular direction the country will rally around the PM."

Dr Pachauri said he was "pretty optimistic" an agreement could be reached in Copenhagen and had been encouraged by commitments made in the past fortnight by China, India and the US.



In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is deeply unimpressed by some openly acknowledged media collusion designed to promote the Copenhagen climate conference.


For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Monday, December 07, 2009

The IPCC shares the blame for Climategate

An email from Madhav Khandekar [] below. (Khandekar was an expert reviewer for the IPCC 2007 Climate Change report)

Does the IPCC share some responsibility in this climategate? Most cetainly it does.

The problem of access to full and unprocessed raw temperature data from around the world has NOT developed over just last few weeks. It has been brewing for long, perhaps for months and years. Several scientists and professionals, not directly connected with climate science were denied access to the data for no valid reasons. Why did the IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri NOT intervene at the time and made sure that the basic raw data must be made available to anyone and every one? Does one have to hold a Ph D degree in atmospheric science or meteorology to get access to the data?

The CRU has defended its policy of NOT sharing data to anyone on grounds of "growing cost of servicing so many requests!" This is nonsense! The IPCC , a UN Body is supported by funding from all member countries and as such a person of any nationality can and must have full access to the data.

If the IPCC Chair had intervened long ago and made arrangements to transfer adequate funds from its overall budget to the CRU, we would not be in this sordid mess by now. The whole science of global warming & climate change rests with accurate determination of temperature trends and its independent verification by other scientists not necessarily connected with IPCC.

The IPCC Chair seems to have completely forgotten the basic tenet of weather & climate science, namely independent assessment of weather data NOT from within BUT from without. The IPCC Chair has dropped the ball on mean temperature calculation! it is a sad state of affairs for climate science!


Suspicions were growing last night that Russian security services were behind the leaking of the notorious British ‘Climategate’ emails which threaten to undermine tomorrow’s Copenhagen global warming summit. An investigation by The Mail on Sunday has discovered that the explosive hacked emails from the University of East Anglia were leaked via a small web server in the formerly closed city of Tomsk in Siberia.

The leaks scandal has left the scientific community in disarray after claims that key climate change data was manipulated in the run-up to the climate change summit of world leaders.

The row erupted when hundreds of messages between scientists at the university’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and their colleagues around the world were placed on the internet along with other documents. The CRU is internationally recognised as one of the most important sources of information on the rise in global temperatures. Its data is relied on by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN body which co-ordinates the world response to climate change. But now the CRU’s findings are under suspicion.

The leaked emails appear to show that CRU director Professor Phil Jones and colleagues attempted to manipulate the figures and hide their raw data from researchers with opposing views. Prof Jones has stepped aside from his post while claims are investigated that he wanted certain papers excluded from the United Nations’ next major assessment of climate science.

Russia – one of the world’s largest producers and users of oil and gas – has a vested interest in opposing sweeping new agreements to cut emissions, which will be discussed by world leaders in Copenhagen tomorrow. Russia believes current rules are stacked against it, and has threatened to pull the plug on Copenhagen without concessions to Kremlin concerns.

The Mail on Sunday understands that the hundreds of hacked emails were released to the world via a tiny internet server in a red brick building in a snow-clad street in Tomsk. The original internet link was quickly removed after the information spread from it like wildfire on to international websites. A message written in English accompanied the leaked package of emails. It read: ‘We feel that climate science is too important to be kept under wraps. 'We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code and documents. Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.’

Climate-change sceptics in the West seized on the emails as evidence that the books were being cooked by the global-warming lobby. Stories highlighting the ‘scandal’ began to appear from November 21, three or four days after the information was first released on to the server. Some of the leaked emails date back to March, 1996.

Tomcity – the server – and Tomline, its parent company, were unavailable for comment yesterday. The firm offers an internet security business to prevent hacking and bugs and the ‘compromising of confidential information’. Other divisions of the firm are involved in laying the cable which provides high-speed internet access to companies in the Siberian city. The server is believed to be used mainly by Tomsk State University, one of the leading academic institutions in Russia, and other scientific institutes.

Computer hackers in Tomsk have been used in the past by the Russian secret service (FSB) to shut websites which promote views disliked by Moscow. Such arrangements provide the Russian government with plausible deniability while using so-called ‘hacker patriots’ to shut down websites. In 2002, Tomsk students were said to have launched a ‘denial of service’ attack at the Kavkaz-Tsentr portal, a site whose reports about Chechnya angered Russian officials. The FSB office in Tomsk put out a special Press release saying that what the students had done was a legitimate ‘expression of their position as citizens, one worthy of respect’.

A Russian hacking specialist said last night: ‘There is no hard evidence that the hacking was done from Tomsk, though it might have been. 'There has been speculation the hackers were Russian. It appears to have been a sophisticated and well-run operation, that had a political motive given the timing in relation to Copenhagen.’ And news website, having received information about the Tomsk server connection, said: ‘Presumably it was Russian hackers who broke into the servers of the university.’

The university said that there was strict security on its server, heightening the theory that an extremely sophisticated hacking operation was carried out to obtain it.

East Anglia University has gone out of its way to promote itself to students from the former Soviet Union. Its website says that 33 Russian students currently study there. It is not known if they have fallen under suspicion as part of the police investigation.

Tomsk – 2,190 miles east of Moscow – was closed to foreigners during the Soviet era. Its population of 630,000 includes the secret satellite city of Seversk, formerly known as Tomsk-7 and seven miles to the north, which houses strategic uranium and plutonium plants and remains shut to Westerners. It was built in the Fifties by 20,000 prisoners from nearby Siberian labour camps. Today, the city, and especially Seversk, remains closely monitored by the FSB, the successor security service to the Soviet-era KGB....

The Mail on Sunday tracked down Professor Ross McKitrick, a world-renowned expert on the economic effects of climate change, who said Prof Jones had tried to stop his findings being published in an influential UN report. Prof McKitrick concluded that Jones and his colleagues at the CRU had overstated the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on global temperatures by failing to take account of external factors linked to population growth and urbanisation.

The attempt to silence McKitrick was revealed in an email from Jones to a US colleague in 2004, when the UN was preparing for a major report by the IPCC. After describing McKitrick’s findings as ‘garbage’ and dismissing another researcher’s work as inaccurate, Prof Jones wrote: ‘I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is! Cheers, Phil.’ ‘Kevin’ is understood to refer to Dr Kevin Trenberth, a Jones ally and climate analyst at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.


IPCC investigation likely to be biased

The United Nations panel on climate change has promised to investigate claims that scientists at a British university deliberately manipulated data to support the theory of man-made global warming. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said that the allegations raised by leaked e-mails in the so-called "climategate" controversy were too serious to ignore. "We will certainly go into the whole lot and then we will take a position on it," he told BBC Radio 4's The Report programme. "We certainly don’t want to brush anything under the carpet. This is a serious issue and we will look into it in detail."

The controversy was sparked by the publication two weeks ago of hundreds of hacked e-mails to and from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Climate change sceptics around the world jumped on the e-mails as proof of a long-running conspiracy to skew the science of global warming and have prompted a public debate on the real threat from climate change ahead of next week's summit in Copenhagen.

Critics of the IPCC, which has spent more than 20 years engineering what it says is a now global consensus on climate change, today questioned whether it could be trusted to make an unbiased examination of the case. "I don't think anyone can trust the IPCC on this particular issue," said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which was set up by the former Tory chancellor Lord Lawson. "Obviously the IPCC has a vested interest in this," he added. "It's not transparent and it's inherently biased on this issue. We welcome the independent inquiry, but we are spectical about the IPCC."

The UEA has already appointed a former civil servant, Sir Muir Russell, to head an independent inquiry into allegations of misconduct by its scientists. The director of the CRU, Professor Phil Jones, has announced that he will stand down for the duration of that inquiry.

One of the leaked e-mails suggested that Dr Jones wanted certain papers excluded from the UN's next major assessment of climate science. Dr Jones strenuously denies this was his intention and says other e-mails have been taken out of context. He labelled suggestions of a conspiracy to alter evidence to support the theory of anthropogenic global warming as "complete rubbish".

Sir Muir's review will also look at CRU’s policies and practices for acquiring, assembling, reviewing and publishing data and research, and its compliance with the university’s rules on freedom of information inquiries. The investigation would review and make recommendations on CRU’s security and the security, integrity and release of the data it holds, the university said. It would be completed by spring next year and its conclusions made public.

Critics of the CRU say that it was instrumental in rewriting the historical record of climate change to erase what is known as the "medieval warm period" from the graphs to make it appear that the rise in global temperatures in the industrialised era are unprecedented and more than just a normal statistical deviation. The medieval warm period was followed by a period of cooling in which the Thames froze over.

The row has coincided with a hardening of positions before the Copenhagen summit, which is due to hammer out a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol to be signed by 192 states on December 18. Speaking at an event at the Natural History Museum in London, the Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, welcomed the IPCC's decision to look at the CRU e-mails but said that it would not affect the scientific consensus. "We need maximum transparency including about all the data but it’s also very, very important to say one chain of e-mails, potentially misrepresented, does not undo the global science," he said. "I think we want to send a very clear message to people about that. The science is very clear about climate change and people should be in no doubt about that."

Mr Miliband warned that in the run-up to the crunch talks in Copenhagen, where world leaders will attempt to secure a new deal on cutting the emissions causing climate change, there were attempts to "throw dust" in people’s eyes over the issue. "We must resist that, and keep listening to the science and not subscribe to people who are frankly flat Earth-ers," he said. "There will be people that want to use this to try and undermine the science and we’re not going to let them."

He said reports that Saudi Arabia believed the e-mails cast doubt on the evidence of man-made global warming and would have a huge impact on the climate talks in Copenhagen did not tally with his conversations with ministers from the country.


Which side do you trust?

Despite the unfolding international "climate change" scandal involving the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, President Barack Obama's ideological presuppositions on global warming remain unshaken, and he will still happily attend the Copenhagen global warming conference.

This unprecedented fraud by a "team" of politicized scientists whose research has generated some $20 million in research grants for the CRU hasn't deterred Obama from his energy- and economy-destroying agenda any more than double-digit unemployment figures have dissuaded him from his failed Keynesian policies. Nor is Obama bothered by the incestuous relationship among the CRU, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Copenhagen summit.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs sniffed that corruption at the highest levels of climate change intelligentsia -- corruption, mind you, that bears directly on the underlying science -- doesn't alter the president's firm opinion that "climate change is happening." "I don't think that's anything that is, quite frankly, among most people, in dispute anymore," said Gibbs. "I think there's no real scientific basis for the dispute of this."

Oh? Is this administration so myopic as to be dangerously ignorant? So arrogant that it deems dissenting opinions unworthy of acknowledgment? Or just old-fashioned liars?

The intellectually honest can't deny there is widespread debate over the existence of man-made catastrophic global warming. More than 31,000 scientists, 9,000 of whom have Ph.D.s, signed a petition urging our government to reject the Kyoto Protocol, and 100 more endorsed an ad by the Cato Institute disputing the president's "facts" on global warming. Also, countless books have been written refuting the exaggerated, distorted claims of the warming lobby.

Just this week, Australian professor Ian Plimer, author of "Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science," skewered the global warming movement for treating the public like "fools" and using climate change fears to increase taxes. The "climate lobby," he said, is committed to keeping the "gravy train" going. Plimer told his London audience: "Climates always change. They always have, and they always will. They are driven by a number of factors that are random and cyclical."

Plimer dismissed the notion that man-made increases in CO2 levels are the driving force behind temperature changes, saying they are instead caused by natural events, such as the shifting of the Earth's orbit, cosmic radiation and volcanic eruptions. "Carbon dioxide levels have been up to 1,000 times higher in the past," he said. "CO2 cannot be driving global warming now."

Also contradicting Gibbs' pronouncement are Craig Idso, S. Fred Singer and dozens of their scientific colleagues, who authored the scholarly 2009 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, "Climate Change Reconsidered."

The NIPCC was established "to examine the same climate data used by the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change" in support of its three-volume report alleging the catastrophic effects of global warming.

The NIPCC rejected the IPCC's finding that "most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations." The NIPCC, like professor Plimer, concluded just the opposite -- that "natural causes are very likely to be the dominant cause."

None of this would be that newsworthy but for the fact that the left, including the Obama administration, is trying to make fundamental changes to our political system and our economy based on this highly disputed, secular, faith-based alarmist "science."

Indeed, the Copenhagen summit seeks to secure what the Kyoto treaty could not: a binding commitment of the United States to forfeit and delegate its sovereignty through international treaties that would require us to radically reduce our CO2 emissions and damage our economy more than Kyoto would have while exempting major developing countries and producing negligible environmental benefits. (The Heritage Foundation reports that an Energy Information Administration study projected costs of U.S. compliance with Kyoto to be between $100 billion and $397 billion annually. Heritage also reveals that since Kyoto in 1997, its signatory countries have increased their emissions faster than the U.S., which declined to ratify it.)

In light of ClimateGate, serious people studying the global warming issue and the staggering consequences of political decisions based on it should consider the relative credibility of the opposing sides of this debate. Which of the two sides insists, despite vigorous dissent, that there is no debate; uses intimidation and ridicule to suppress and discredit this dissent; refuses to hold itself accountable for repeated false alarms (e.g., Paul Ehrlich, Ted Danson, Al Gore, etc.); has often been caught manufacturing data to fit its predetermined conclusions; has an economic and political agenda driving its science; has been tainted by millions of dollars in corrupting research grants; and is recommending policies that are objectively imprudent and to the manifest detriment of the United States?

Which side do you trust?


Himalayan Glacier Melt Timetable in error

The UN panel on climate change warning that Himalayan glaciers could melt to a fifth of current levels by 2035 is wildly inaccurate, an academic says. J Graham Cogley, a professor at Ontario Trent University, says he believes the UN authors got the date from an earlier report wrong by more than 300 years. He is astonished they "misread 2350 as 2035". The authors deny the claims.

Leading glaciologists say the report has caused confusion and "a catalogue of errors in Himalayan glaciology".

The Himalayas hold the planet's largest body of ice outside the polar caps - an estimated 12,000 cubic kilometres of water. They feed many of the world's great rivers - the Ganges, the Indus, the Brahmaputra - on which hundreds of millions of people depend.

In its 2007 report, the Nobel Prize-winning Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said: "Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. "Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 square kilometres by the year 2035," the report said. It suggested three quarters of a billion people who depend on glacier melt for water supplies in Asia could be affected.

But Professor Cogley has found a 1996 document by a leading hydrologist, VM Kotlyakov, that mentions 2350 as the year by which there will be massive and precipitate melting of glaciers. "The extrapolar glaciation of the Earth will be decaying at rapid, catastrophic rates - its total area will shrink from 500,000 to 100,000 square kilometres by the year 2350," Mr Kotlyakov's report said.

Mr Cogley says it is astonishing that none of the 10 authors of the 2007 IPCC report could spot the error and "misread 2350 as 2035". "I do suggest that the glaciological community might consider advising the IPCC about ways to avoid such egregious errors as the 2035 versus 2350 confusion in the future," says Mr Cogley.

He said the error might also have its origins in a 1999 news report on retreating glaciers in the New Scientist magazine.


Australia: Climate backlash hits a government in denial

When Julia Gillard faced the media outside Federal Parliament in Canberra on Wednesday she looked shell-shocked. She then proceeded to give the most jittery, hollow, nonsensical performance of her career. It was pantomime of the lowest order. "Today the climate change extremists and deniers in the Liberal Party have stopped this nation from taking decisive action on climate change," the Deputy Prime Minister said, deadpan, into a thicket of cameras and recorders.

Extremists and deniers. In case anyone had missed the point, she repeated the phrase five times. "Now [we] have been stopped by the Liberal Party extremists and the climate change deniers. This nation has been stopped from taking a major step in the nation's interests by Liberal Party extremists and climate change deniers." This is clearly going to be the mantra the Rudd Government uses to describe anyone who opposes its pointless legislation on an emissions trading scheme.

Gillard used the terms "denier" or "denial" 11 times, pointed words because they carry the connotation of Holocaust denial. The last time that tactic was used in the national debate, after the release of the Bringing Them Home report, it exploded on those who used it.

So this is going to get interesting because the political ground has shifted in the past six months. It is now the Rudd Government that appears to be in a state of denial. And not just the Rudd Government. The election analyst Malcolm Mackerras told The Australian on Friday: "I think there will be a big swing against the Liberal Party in both Bradfield and Higgins [byelections on Saturday]. The effect of that swing will be that the Greens will take Higgins from the Liberals … Higgins and Bradfield would be the electorates in which people most strongly feel resentment at climate change denialists. That is why electing Abbott was a complete disaster. They will get a terrible shock on Saturday night, they really will."

In contrast to this nonsense, Australia's top election expert, Antony Green, predicted on his ABC blog that the Liberals should win both races comfortably. After the results were in, Green found no discernible swing to the Greens. So who is in denial now? Tony Abbott's political manifesto, Battlelines, published on July 28, confronted the subject of climate change. He quoted and supported the Swedish climate dissident, Bjorn Lomborg: "Natural science has undeniably shown us that global warming is man-made and real. "But just as undeniable is the economic science, which makes it clear that a narrow focus on reducing carbon emissions could leave future generations lumbered with major costs, without major cuts in temperatures."

Abbott reiterated this position at his first press conference as leader on Wednesday: "I think that climate change is real and that man does make a contribution … [But] the last thing we should be doing is rushing through a great big new tax just so that Kevin Rudd can take a trophy to Copenhagen."

Abbott is thus neither an extremist nor a denier on climate change. He is a sceptic about emissions trading schemes. It is a defining difference, because there is much to be sceptical about. The Greens, in voting down the legislation, said they would rather have no scheme than this scheme. At the other end of the analysis spectrum, the noted business commentator Robert Gottliebsen wrote: "Finally the full horror of Kevin Rudd's carbon trading legislation for business is starting to dawn on some Liberal Party politicians."

The public mood has also shifted. There is now majority support for waiting until after the Copenhagen climate summit this month and the setting up of a global template for action.

The upswelling of grassroots opposition to the Rudd's ETS was impressive in both its scale and vehemence. Here, too, there has been a great deal of denial. When I wrote last week that more than 400,000 emails had been sent to Coalition members urging them to vote down the ETS, some people commented that this was a bogus number and a bogus campaign, driven by the technology of mass emailing. This, too, is wishful thinking. As the Liberal senator Cory Bernardi explained: "These are not spam emails. They are not like the junk mail campaigns that the Greens run and Get Up! run. These are real people writing about their personal situations." Coalition members have been logging the email traffic because it is a precious electoral resource, and most of the emails are individually written, not group mail. I've looked at hundreds of them. "I've never seen any like it," Bernardi said. "My office has received more than 10,000 emails. When I put an online petition against the ETS on my website last month I got 4818 responses in about 60 hours. Most of my colleagues have seen traffic like this."

The point Gillard missed in her "extremists and deniers" pantomime was that her government had failed dismally to explain its legislation to the public. People crave authenticity in their elected representatives, not spin. Thus the unlikely hero to emerge from the Liberal carnage last week was Ian Macfarlane, the man with a gravel pit for a larynx. People love authenticity and loyalty and Macfarlane has these qualities in spades. He should be promoted when Abbott remakes his shadow ministry.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Climategate Professor reduced to obscene abuse in lieu of intelligent discussion

That rather tells its own story. He couldn't handle the truth of what was being said

A professor who is accusing global warming skeptics of engaging in "tabloid-style character assassination” of scientists, called an American climate skeptic “an assh*le” on the December 4, 2009 live broadcast of BBC's Newsnight program. “What an assh*le!” declared Professor Watson at the end of the contentious debate with Climate Depot's executive editor Marc Morano. A clearly agitated Watson had earlier shouted to Morano “will you shut up.”

The remark was broadcast live on BBC and prompted an on-air apology to viewers from the BBC later in the program for the offensive language.

Watson (Email: is a professor at the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, which was the source of the disclosed files. Watson's emails appear in the hacked Climategate files.

During the live debate, Morano challenged Professor Watson for being in “denial” over the importance of Climategate and noted that “you have to feel sorry for Professor Watson.”

“[Watson's] colleague, [Professor] Mike Hulme at the University of East Anglia is saying this is authoritarian science, he is suggesting the [UN] IPCC should be disbanded based on what Climategate reveals," Morano said.

"[UK environmentalist] George Monbiot is saying many of his friend in the environmental and the climate fear promoting business -- as Professor Watson is part of -- are in denial. You have to feel sorry for Professor Watson in many ways here,” Morano explained.

A clearly agitated Watson blurted out “Will you shut up just a second!?”

Morano summed up his views on what ClimateGate reveals during the debate. “It exposes the manufactured consensus. Your fellow colleagues are saying this,” Morano said to Watson.

SOURCE (See the original for links, video)

Sarah Palin comes out swinging

Palin Challenges Obama: Boycott Copenhagen, Investigate Climate Change "Experts"

Earlier today, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin posted the following note on her Facebook page, addressing the recent Climategate scandal and President Obama's upcoming trip to the Copenhagen climate change summit:
The president’s decision to attend the international climate conference in Copenhagen needs to be reconsidered in light of the unfolding Climategate scandal. The leaked e-mails involved in Climategate expose the unscientific behavior of leading climate scientists who deliberately destroyed records to block information requests, manipulated data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures, and conspired to silence the critics of man-made global warming. I support Senator James Inhofe’s call for a full investigation into this scandal. Because it involves many of the same personalities and entities behind the Copenhagen conference, Climategate calls into question many of the proposals being pushed there, including anything that would lead to a cap and tax plan.

Policy should be based on sound science, not snake oil. I took a stand against such snake oil science when I sued the federal government over its decision to list the polar bear as an endangered species despite the fact that the polar bear population has increased. I’ve never denied the reality of climate change; in fact, I was the first governor to create a subcabinet position to deal specifically with the issue. I saw the impact of changing weather patterns firsthand while serving as governor of our only Arctic state. But while we recognize the effects of changing water levels, erosion patterns, and glacial ice melt, we cannot primarily blame man’s activities for the earth’s cyclical weather changes. The drastic economic measures being pushed by dogmatic environmentalists won’t change the weather, but will dramatically change our economy for the worse.

Policy decisions require real science and real solutions, not junk science and doomsday scare tactics pushed by an environmental priesthood that capitalizes on the public’s worry and makes them feel that owning an SUV is a “sin” against the planet. In his inaugural address, President Obama declared his intention to “restore science to its rightful place.” Boycotting Copenhagen while this scandal is thoroughly investigated would send a strong message that the United States government will not be a party to fraudulent scientific practices. Saying no to Copenhagen and cap and tax are first steps in “restoring science to its rightful place.”


Hot Earthers and the Era of the Post-Credible

An article published last year by current EPA Administrator Lisa Heinzerling reveals a startling shift in strategy by those arguing for significant policy changes based on the now—discredited “science” of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming.

In short, they have come up with a duplicitous strategy that goes from viewing the theory as an insufficiently supported scientific theory to portraying it as a sacrosanct piece of pseudo-science, immune to disproof by observational evidence.

In “Climate Change, Human Health, and the Post-Cautionary Principle” Ms. Heinzerling advocates that we move from thinking about manmade climate change “in terms of a pre-cautionary principle, which counsels action even in the absence of scientific consensus about a threat.” That, she feels, provides too much leeway for those who, based upon the data at hand, might argue otherwise.

Instead, she urges that it be considered a “post-cautionary” principle where some “very bad effects of climate change” are depicted as “unavoidable” and others are seen as avoidable only by drastic measures. And that, of course – since it is all post-cautionary – defines the matter as a closed case, a fait accompli, permitting no further discussion.

This, I would remind readers, comes from a woman who now has it in her power to foist such transparently shoddy thinking onto the entire scientific world.

Under the old pre-cautionary principle, its adherents tried to generate a sense of urgency for immediate government action by claiming that “the evidence of an impending catastrophe was strong enough” to justify such action notwithstanding the fact that the jury was still out on the science behind the matter. Give credit where credit is due: at least the old “pre-cautionaryists” conceded that all the evidence was not yet in.

Fast-forward to 2008. Heinzerling, deciding that she and her cohorts had not prompted sufficient governmental action with that far-too-evenhanded approach, now proclaims that “we probably blew past our precautionary opportunity.” Instead, she posits, we actually live in a “post-cautionary world” where we must act with a renewed sense of urgency to implement governmental policies combating the alleged ill effects of man-caused global warming – despite the lack of true scientific evidence.

She then makes a rather stunning declaration about what precipitated this change. Taking the line recently adopted and popularized by Al Gore, she states that: “The scientific debate over whether climate change is happening, and whether it will hurt us, is over…”

And just what is her support for this bold claim?

It seems to rest on nothing more than an appeal for a contrived consensus from scientists at the IPCC who themselves proclaimed that global warming was indeed happening and that humans are partly responsible. They “declared that the world was warming” and “identified a ‘discernible human influence’ on the climate.”

But, as it turns out, this appeal comes from an organization whose findings are now being brought under serious suspicion in the Climategate scandal. In order to generate and defend their contrived consensus on anthropogenic global warming, the Hot Earthers at IPCC relied heavily on data from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU). And according to recently uncovered e-mail exchanges, members of the CRU regularly modified or suppressed data that tended to disconfirm (falsify) the theory of man-caused global warming.

Now, it has become abundantly clear that those discredited CRU “scientists” still viewed man-caused global warming as nothing more than a scientific theory, capable of being proven false by observational evidence. Else why fudge the data? And why manufacture a counterfeit consensus where none actually exists?

In declaring the debate on anthropogenic global warming over, that is exactly what Lisa Heinzerling and Al Gore have done. And in so doing, they have deliberately plunged the world not only into the nebulous arena of the “post-cautionary,” but into the nefarious era of the post-credible as well.


Canadian broadcaster doesn't mince words about Climategate

CBC's Rex Murphy Unloads About ClimateGate: It 'pulls back the curtain on pettiness, turf protection, manipulation, defiance of FOIA, loss or destroyed data and attempts to blacklist'

Canadian CBC TV commentator Rex Murphy, unleashed on the top UN scientists involved in the growing Climategate scandal during a December 3, 2009 television broadcast. CBC's Murphy declared that Climategate “pulls back the curtain on a scene of pettiness, turf protection, manipulation, defiance of freedom of information, loss or destroyed data and attempts to blacklist critics or skeptics of the global warming cause.”

“You wouldn't accept that at a grade 9 science fair,” Murphy stated. Murphy's commentary appeared on “The National” program, CBC's flagship nightly news program.

Murphy was a former a executive assistant to the leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland. “Climate science and global warming advocacy have become so entwined, so enmeshed into a mutant creature,” he added. “Climategate is evidence that the science has gone to bed with advocacy and both have had a very good time,” Murphy continued.

Murphy's criticism aims directly for the top UN scientists involved in this scandal. “Too many of the current leadership on global warming are more players than observers. Gatekeepers not investigators. Angry partisans of some global reengineering, rather than some humble servants of the facts of the case,” Murphy explained.

“Read the emails, you will never think of climate science, quite the same way again,” Murphy implored. “Let's here no more talk of the 'science is settled' when it turns out some of the principle scientists behave as if they own the very question of global warming,” he added. 'Climate science has been shown to be in part to be a sub branch of climate politics,” Murphy explained. “Climate science needs its own reset button,” he added.

SOURCE (See the original for links, video)

New Australian conservative leader challenges Prime Minister to debate climate change

Rudd is too smart to get sucked into that one -- he knows he will lose -- but a refusal will undermine his credibility

FEDERAL Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has challenged Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to a series of public debates on climate change.

The Government plans to re-introduce its emissions trading scheme (ETS) legislation into Parliament when it resumes in February, after the bills were defeated in the Senate last week.

Mr Abbott says most people want more information on the scheme. "That's code for saying that they don't understand it," he told the Nine Network on Sunday. "I'd like to challenge the prime minister to a series of public debates on this subject before Parliament comes back. "This big emissions tax, it's going to be not just for this year or next year, it's going to be forever if it comes in, and it shouldn't come in with(out) the public understanding exactly what it means."

Mr Abbott said the debates could be in a town hall and broadcast to the public or beamed live from a television studio. "We'll debate it up hill and down dale, we'll debate it once, twice, three times, four times, however many times is necessary until the public feel that they have had their questions answered to their satisfaction," he said.

Referring to former federal opposition leader John Hewson's inability to explain a Goods and Services Tax (GST) to the public, Mr Abbott said: "Perhaps he (Mr Rudd) can explain what the emissions tax will do to the price of a birthday cake".

Mr Abbott said he was prepared to allow the prime minister to choose the debate venue. "It's really up to him but he can't and shouldn't run away from explaining fully this great big new tax to the Australian public," he said.

He said Mr Rudd often sounded more like a public servant in a seminar than a "retail", or one-on-one, politician. "But look, I don't under-estimate him. He didn't get to be the prime minister by being foolish or by lacking the ability to communicate and I'm sure he would give a good account of himself."

Citing comments from Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board member and economist Warwick McKibbin, Mr Abbott said Australia could reduce its carbon emissions by at least five per cent without an emissions trading scheme (ETS). "I haven't said it will be cost-free ... but I think there are all sorts of ways of paying for this that don't involve a great big new tax that we will live with forever," he said.

"Don't assume that I want regulation, what I want is appropriate incentives. "You could have a fund that would directly purchase emission abatements and that would be a lot less than the $10 billion or $12 billion a year money-go-round which Labor is proposing." Mr Abbott said tree planting and more energy-efficient buildings could make a significant contribution to slashing carbon emissions.


Bureaucratic inertia and vested interests block "Green" truck in Britain

Wacky Greenie schemes are celebrated but when an environmental initiative that makes sense comes along it is not permitted in sclerotic Britain

It was hardly The Dukes of Hazzard. The 74-year-old outlaw trucker donned his bifocal driving glasses, adjusted his panama hat and made a break for the highway. Barely 50m from the haulage yard, the local police chief was lying in wait to stop the supersized lorry taking to Britain’s roads. At 25.25m (83ft), he suspected that it was longer than the legal limit and the lorry’s inaugural road test would have to wait. Government inspectors do not want such long vehicles on the road, fearing environmental damage, wear and tear on the network and potentially devastating crashes.

But the double articulated lorry, designed to carry bulky supermarket freight, was simply too big to reverse back into the yard. So police guided the Denby Extra superlorry on a mile-long drive through the outskirts of Lincoln, as far as a roundabout on the A46, where the 18 wheels could find room to turn and take the truck back to its siding.

The driver, Dick Denby, a grandfather of six, descended from his cab and declared: “A change is as good as a rest. A new experience every day is my motto in life.”

In his hand was the pink notice served by an inspector from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) informing him that his pioneering vehicle would have to be removed from the road for inspection. “This is a notice really to bugger off, to get off the highway, ‘get back to your rat hole, matey’,” Mr Denby said.

And with that he followed the inspector and the head of collision investigation at Lincolnshire Police, Sergeant Dave Kay, into his office to be formally notified that the lorry could go no further. “Arrest is always the last option,” Sergeant Kay said. “I hand it over now to our VOSA colleagues.”

An inspection team set about measuring the 44-tonne lorry. Mr Denby claims that he is exploiting a legal loophole that allows such monsters on the roads. They are, he says, more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly than standard juggernauts, which measure 54ft. Tests on private land have found that the lorries burn 15 per cent less fuel than conventional trucks to carry an equal volume of cargo. Two trucks can carry the load of three existing lorries, so that fewer vehicles need take to the road, he says.

But the Department for Transport is against the road trials, fearing a backlash from drivers and the rail industry, which could see their market for freight undercut.

“Last year, following independent research, we announced that goods vehicles substantially larger than those currently permitted would not be allowed on UK roads for the foreseeable future,” a DfT spokesman said.

As inspectors set to work, the key point of contention on Mr Denby’s truck was the first trailer section — at 7.82m, according to VOSA, it was too long to run on British roads. Mr Denby said that a thick bulkhead fitted inside the Dutch-built lorry had reduced the length of the cargo hold to 7m and it was therefore legal under the 1986 Road Vehicles Construction and Use Regulations. The inspector’s report was to be sent to his superiors with the possibility of a prohibition order being imposed. Mr Denby was consulting his lawyers.

The DfT said that it was prepared to go to court to prevent a challenge to any prohibition order.

The haulage industry is divided on the merits of adopting the large trucks, even if they already operate in the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland. The manufacturers of light, bulky goods such as toilet paper are most interested in the technology.

With the lorry parked back in his haulage yard and the lawyers alerted, Mr Denby, who had not driven a lorry for 14 years, left for an old boys’ reunion at Fortnum & Mason.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Britain's official meteorologists rattled

Met Office to re-examine 160 years of climate data

The Met Office plans to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by leaked e-mails. The new analysis of the data will take three years, meaning that the Met Office will not be able to state with absolute confidence the extent of the warming trend until the end of 2012.

The Met Office database is one of three main sources of temperature data analysis on which the UN’s main climate change science body relies for its assessment that global warming is a serious danger to the world. This assessment is the basis for next week’s climate change talks in Copenhagen aimed at cutting CO2 emissions.

The Government is attempting to stop the Met Office from carrying out the re-examination, arguing that it would be seized upon by climate change sceptics. [Truth? Who cares about that? (apparently)]

The Met Office works closely with the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), which is being investigated after e-mails written by its director, Phil Jones, appeared to show an attempt to manipulate temperature data and block alternative scientific views.

The Met Office’s published data showing a warming trend draws heavily on CRU analysis. CRU supplied all the land temperature data to the Met Office, which added this to its own analysis of sea temperature data.

Since the stolen e-mails were published, the chief executive of the Met Office has written to national meteorological offices in 188 countries asking their permission to release the raw data that they collected from their weather stations.

The Met Office is confident that its analysis will eventually be shown to be correct. However, it says it wants to create a new and fully open method [What a change!] of analysing temperature data.

The development will add to fears that influential sceptics in other countries, including the US and Australia, are using the controversy to put pressure on leaders to resist making ambitious deals for cutting CO2. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change admitted yesterday that it needed to consider the full implications of the e-mails and whether they cast doubt on any of the evidence for man-made global warming.


Is the global warming scare mere chartmanship?

It is well-known that statistics can be made to deceive but so can charts and graphs. Such deceptions are called chartmanship. Examples here and here

A reader has calculated the graphic below to show that climate alarmisn can be seen as mere chartmanship. Pick a certain temperature out of thin air -- as the Warmist pseudo-scientists do -- and describe any deviation from that temperature as an "anomaly" and you can convert any rising set of numbers into something that looks as if a big change is going on. But if you are more scientific and DON'T pick numbers out of the air you get an entirely different picture. You get a picture of a steady long-term temperature rise that began long before the industrial era (late 20th century) that Warmists demonize.

A great chartmanship trick is to use tiny units of measurement to magnify artificially the apparent size of tiny changes -- so note that the figures in both charts are calibrated in tenths of a degree. For comparison, most of us would experience temperature variations of somewhere around 100 times more than one tenth of a degree in the course of a normal day. So, no matter how you look at it, world temperature changes have been minuscule. We actually live in an era of exceptional climate stability. What tiny trend there is is a rising one but the rise clearly predates postwar industrialization so cannot be blamed on postwar industrialization.

Just for laughs, my reader has added onto the bottom of his graphic the temperature record for Copenhagen, where the big Warmist conference will shortly take place. There is clearly NO systematic trend in any direction. So it is a considerable irony that the Warmists are going to be pontificating about warming in a place that has seen NO warming for over a century. Copenhagen temperatures have varied but only in a random way. They depart from the average both downwards and upwards in roughly equal measure. Overall, Copenhagen temperatures are as flat as a pancake. And that's relying on the "massaged" figures of Jim Hansen!


Whoops! There IS a trend there in the Copenhagen data but so slight that I could not see it. Note again, however, that the trend is a long-term one -- not the recent change that Greenies claim.

Australian climate records a mess too

And note that Australian records are a large part of what data we have about one half of the globe (the Southern half)

Australian weather records for an international database on climate change were a "bloody mess", riddled with entry errors, duplication and inaccuracies, leaked British computer files reveal. The Herald found the criticism in a 247-page specialist programmer's log, unearthed among the thousands of files hacked from East Anglia University, which is at the centre of a climate change email scandal. Labelled "HARRY-READ-ME", the log catalogues problems with the raw, historical climate data sent from hundreds of meteorological stations around the world.

The Australian data comes in for particular criticism as the programmer discovers World Meteorological Organisation codes are missing, station names overlap and many co-ordinates are incorrect. At one point the programmer writes about his attempts to make sense of the data. "What a bloody mess," he concludes. In another case, 30 years of data is attributed to a site at Cobar Airport but the frustrated programmer writes: "Now looking at the dates. something bad has happened ... COBAR AIRPORT AWS [automatic weather station] cannot start in 1962, it didn't open until 1993!" In another he says: "Getting seriously fed up with the state of the Australian data ... so many false references ... so many changes ... bewildering."

The log spans four years of work at the university's Climatic Research Unit, the British keeper of global temperature records. The programmer rails that the information has "no uniform integrity".

His criticisms relate solely to the construction of the database and do not question the validity of historical temperature records or analyses that suggest the impact of human activity on global warming trends. "I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations, one with no WMO and one with, usually overlapping and with the same station name and very similar co-ordinates. I know it could be old and new stations, but why such large overlaps if that's the case? Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight."

Michael Coughlan, the head of the National Climate Centre at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, said it was difficult to comment without knowing the source of the raw data. It was unlikely to have come directly from the bureau's centre because unchecked, raw data was rarely requested for climate analysis. The bureau had a network of more than 100 specially selected weather stations ["SELECTED"?? Selected on what grounds? Selected to be near urban heat islands? I'm betting that not many rural stations made the cut.] to monitor climate change, and a century of records from them had been checked. "We've put an enormous effort into developing a high-quality reliable climate record for Australia and all that data is freely available," Dr Coughlan said.

But he said that if the British programmer had been using raw weather data, which is sent around the world in real time for weather forecasting, it would not be surprising that it contained errors. This raw data could have come from countries other than Australia, and would have been difficult to correct without access to information in Australia, such as the original field books. "A computer programmer sitting in England won't have the resources to make those corrections. I can understand their frustrations," Dr Coughlan said. [That naughty raw data again]

The programmer's log is one of the most read files worldwide since the email archives were leaked. The log has been treated particularly sympathetically as it reveals his blow-by-blow frustrations, which seemed to be unfolding as his scientist colleagues, including the head of the Climatic Research Unit, Phil Jones, appeared to discuss via email ways to avoid freedom-of-information requests for raw data and to denigrate their critics. Professor Jones, who has denied a conspiracy to manipulate global warming statistics as "complete rubbish", has stood down from his post while the university investigates the leaks.

The Herald attempted to contact Professor Jones and spoke to the computer programmer we believe to be the author of the file. The programmer did not deny his name but referred queries to the university's media unit. Professor Jones has not responded. RealClimate, a website run by climate scientists, confirms the log as the work of a specialist charged with upgrading data.

"Anyone who has ever worked on constructing a database from dozens of individual, sometimes contradictory and inconsistently formatted datasets, will share his evident frustration with how tedious that can be," it says. [Tedious?? It sounds more than tedious. Try complete failure]


Saudis the first country to embrace Climategate

SAUDI Arabia has seized on a series of stolen British university emails to become the first country to cast doubt on the consensus about man-made climate change ahead of next week's Copenhagen summit. The world's largest oil exporter claims the emails stolen from researchers at the University of East Anglia undermine the scientific case that human activity is overheating the planet.

Britain's Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change, Ed Miliband, yesterday said it was "absolute and utter nonsense" to suggest the controversial emails weakened the evidence about climate change.

The emails were illegally hacked from a computer system at the University of East Anglia and then stored on a Russian web server. On November 19, a computer in Saudi Arabia was used to post a link to the stolen emails on a website popular with climate change sceptics and deniers....

Saudi Arabia has long been reluctant to agree to any action to reduce carbon emissions and has only recently gone along with the 192 other governments attending the Copenhagen talks in accepting scientific evidence of man-made climate change.

But its chief Copenhagen negotiator, Mohammad al-Sabban, suggested in an interview with the BBC yesterday that there was now no longer any point in seeking an agreement to reduce emissions. "It appears from the details . . . that there is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change," he said. "Climate is changing . . . but for natural and not human-induced reasons. So whatever the international community does to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will have no effect on the climate's natural variability."

His government might be prepared to take "no cost" measures to control emissions but more drastic and painful action would be out of the question until there was "new evidence" about what was causing climate change, he said.


The Left's Climategate: A Scandal for Journalism, Too

For Decades, the Media Chose to Champion, Not Scrutinize, Claims of Global Warming Alarmists

Two weeks ago, unnamed whistleblowers exposed years of e-mails from scientists working at Britain’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU). The CRU’s Web site describes it as “one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change,” but the e-mails paint the CRU as more of a political “war room” for radical environmentalists.

As Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby observed Wednesday: “Assuming the e-mails are genuine, they are nothing short of scandalous. They reveal celebrated climate scientists apparently conspiring to corrupt the peer-review process, to suppress or finesse temperature data at odds with global-warming alarmism, to silence or discredit climate experts who criticize their work, and to hide or eliminate the raw data on which their own much-trumpeted claims have been based.”

Yet since the story broke, the MRC’s Business & Media Institute (BMI) discovered just one broadcast news reference to the “Climategate” e-mail scandal, on ABC’s This Week November 29; CBS and NBC have yet to inform their viewers. The media’s current silence is made worse by the decades they spent promoting the Left’s alarmist global warming agenda and excluding any doubters from the discussion, as documented by numerous MRC studies:

* MRC’s Free Market Project found that between January 1993 and October 1997 — a period leading up to the Kyoto conference that December — just 5% of global warming stories on the ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC evening newscasts mentioned the arguments of skeptical scientists, and 85% of stories did not even acknowledge the existence of scientific skeptics.

* From January 20 through April 22, 2001, as liberals were condemning President George W. Bush for his failure to push ratification of the Kyoto treaty, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows completely excluded the views of global warming skeptics from their coverage, while just one story on CNN included a dissenter — a 97% skew in favor of the doomsayers.

* In early 2007, as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth was handed an Academy Award, the broadcast network morning news shows ramped up their global warming coverage. But skeptics were once again frozen out: MRC analysts found just 3% of stories contained any mention of dissent from Gore’s approach to global warming — and even those were heavily stacked in favor of his “climate crisis” position.

* BMI analysts reviewed ABC, CBS and NBC’s morning and evening news shows from July 1 through December 31, 2007. Once again, 80% of stories failed to acknowledge any dissent from the liberal orthodoxy on warming. CBS was the most lopsided, with 97% of its stories carrying only the alarmist perspective.

More than 20 years ago, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell admitted how the media had taken sides on global warming. “The networks have made that decision now, where you’d have to call it advocacy,” Mitchell announced at a September 16, 1989 global warming conference held at the Smithsonian (later quoted in the Wall Street Journal).

When journalists become advocates, they inevitably fail to hold both sides accountable. If reporters had maintained an unbiased approach to global warming, they conceivably could have uncovered Climategate years ago. The question now is, will they admit the Left’s global warming scandal even exists?


No global warming in Texas

Houston had its earliest snowfall on record Friday, with several inches accumulating in counties southwest of the city. The previous record for early snow in Houston was Dec. 10 in 1944 and again last year, said Charles Roeseler, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Snow is rare in the nation's fourth largest city. In the past 15 years, it has snowed four times, including Friday.

Accumulations of 3 to 4 inches of snow were reported in counties southwest of Houston. The city got a half inch or less of snow, and its suburbs reported 1 to 2 inches, according to the National Weather Service. "It's going to continue to snow through the afternoon," Roeseler said in the early afternoon. "We'll pick up another inch or so across parts of Houston."

The city and other parts of Southeast Texas were under a winter storm warning that was expected to remain until Friday evening. Other parts of Texas, including El Paso and Dallas, also had snowfall this week.

Many government offices and businesses around Houston shut down early Friday, said Francisco Sanchez, a spokesman for the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Houston Mayor Bill White directed city departments to send nonessential employees home Friday afternoon.

The Houston school district did not shorten its school day Friday, but many other districts and colleges around the area sent students home early. "We're trying to make sure people stay off the roadways," Sanchez said. "We want to get them home earlier today."


Biofuel Backfires

Using biofuels won't reduce "greenhouse" gases

For compelling economical, geopolitical, and environmental reasons, biofuels are considered an attractive alternative to fossil fuels for meeting future global energy demands. Melillo et al. (p. 1397, published online 22 October), however, suggest that a few serious drawbacks related to land use need to be considered. Based on a combined biogeochemistry and economic model, indirect land use (for example, clearing forested land for food crops to compensate for increased biofuel crop production on current farmlands) is predicted to generate more soil carbon loss than directly harvesting biofuel crops. Furthermore, increased fertilizer use for biofuels will add large amounts of nitrous oxide—a more effective heat-trapping molecule than carbon dioxide—to the atmosphere. Policy decisions regarding land and crop management thus need to consider the long-term implications of increased biofuel production.


Journal abstract follows:

Indirect Emissions from Biofuels: How Important?

Jerry M. Melillo et al.

A global biofuels program will lead to intense pressures on land supply and can increase greenhouse gas emissions from land-use changes. Using linked economic and terrestrial biogeochemistry models, we examined direct and indirect effects of possible land-use changes from an expanded global cellulosic bioenergy program on greenhouse gas emissions over the 21st century. Our model predicts that indirect land use will be responsible for substantially more carbon loss (up to twice as much) than direct land use; however, because of predicted increases in fertilizer use, nitrous oxide emissions will be more important than carbon losses themselves in terms of warming potential. A global greenhouse gas emissions policy that protects forests and encourages best practices for nitrogen fertilizer use can dramatically reduce emissions associated with biofuels production.

Science 4 December 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5958, pp. 1397 - 1399


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Friday, December 04, 2009

A reply to an old bull

The old bulls of the global warming industry are coming out in defence of the University of East Anglia fraudsters -- using the Dan Rather defence: "The data is fake but accurate". Below is a comment (no. 13) put up as a reply to old bull James McCarthy

I am a climate scientist, and it is clear that the evidence that "human activity is prominent [sic] agent in global warming" is NOT overwhelming. The repeated statement that it is does not make it so. Further, even if we accepted the hypothesis, cap-and-trade legislation does not do anything about it.

Here are the facts. We have known for years that the Mann hockey stick model was wrong, and we know why it was wrong (Mann used only selected data to normalize the principal component analysis, not all of it). He retracted the model.

We have known for years that the Medieval Warm period occurred, where the temperatures were higher than they are now (Chaucer spoke of vineyards in northern England). Long before ClimateGate it was known that the IPCC people were trying to fudge the data to get rid of the MWP. And for good reason. If the MWP is "allowed" to exist, this means that temperatures higher than today did not then create a "runaway greenhouse" in the Middle Ages with methane released from the Arctic tundra, ice cap albedo lost, sea levels rising to flood London, etc. etc.), and means that Jim Hansen's runaway greenhouse that posits only amplifying feedbacks (and no damping feedbacks) will not happen now.

We now know that the models on which the IPCC alarms are based do not do clouds, they do not do the biosphere, they do not explain the Pliocene warming, and they have never predicted anything, ever, correctly.

As the believers know but, like religious faithful, every wrong prediction (IPCC underestimated some trends) is claimed to justify even greater alarm (not that the models are poor approximations for reality); the underpredictions (where are the storms? Why "hide the decline"?) are ignored or hidden.

As for CO2, we have known for years that CO2 increases have never in the past 300,000 years caused temperature rise (CO2 rise trails temperature increase). IPCC scientists know this too (see their "Copenhagen Diagnosis"); we know that their mathematical fudges that dismiss the fact that CO2 has not been historically causative of temperature rise are incorrect as well.

We have also known for years that the alleged one degree temperature rise from 1880 vanishes if sites exposed to urban heat islands are not considered. We have long known of Jones's paper dismissing this explanation (Jones, et al. 1990. Assessment of urbanization effects in time series of surface air temperature over land, Nature 347 169- 172) is wrong and potentially fraudulent (see the same data used to confirm urban heat islands in Wang, W-C, Z. Zeng, T. R Karl, 1990. Urban Heat Islands in China. Geophys. Res. Lett. 17, 2377-2380).

Everyone except Briffa knows that the Briffa conclusions are wrong, and why they are wrong; groups in Finland, Canada (lots of places actually) show cooling by this proxy, not warming; the IPCC even printed the Finn's plot upside down to convert the fact (cooling) into the dogma (warming).

Prof. McCarthy is, of course, part of the IPCC that has suppressed dissenting viewpoints based on solid climate science. His claim to support by "peer review" is nonsense; he has helped corrupt the peer review process. We now have documentary evidence that Jones, Mann, and the other IPCC scientists have been gaming peer review and blackballing opponents. On this point, the entire IPCC staff, including Prof. McCarthy, neither have nor deserve our trust.

We have tolerated years of the refusal of Mann and Jones to release data. Now, we learn that much of these data were discarded (one of about 4 data sets that exist), something that would in any other field of science lead to disbarment. We have been annoyed by Al Gore, who declared this science "settled", refused to debate, and demonized skeptics (this is anti-science: debate and skepticism are the core of real science, which is never settled). The very fact that Prof. McCarthy attempts to bluff Congress by asserting the existence of fictional "overwhelming evidence" continues this anti-science activity.

All of this was known before Climategate. What was not known until now was the extent to which Jones and Mann were simply deceiving themselves (which happens often in science) or fraudently attempting to deceive others. I am not willing to crucify Jones on the word "trick". Nor, for that matter, on the loss of primary data, keeping only "value added" data (which is hopelessly bad science, but still conceivably not fraud).

But the computer code is transparently fraudulent. Here, one finds matrices that add unexplained numbers to recent temperatures and subtract them from older temperatures (these numbers are hard-programmed in), splining observational data to model data, and other smoking guns, all showing that they were doing what was necessary to get the answers that the IPCC wanted, not the answers that the data held. They knew what they were doing, and why they were doing it. If, as Prof. McCarthy insists, "peer review" was functioning, and the IPCC reports are rigorously peer reviewed, why was this not caught? When placing it in context made it highly likely that this type of fraud was occurring?

The second question is: Will this revelation be enough to cause the "global warming believers" to abandon their crusade, and for people to return to sensible environmental science (water use, habitat destruction, land use, this kind of thing)? Perhaps it will. Contrary to Prof. McCarthy's assertion, we have not lost just one research project amid dozens of others that survive. A huge set of primary data are apparently gone. Satellite data are scarcely 40 years old. Everything is interconnected, and anchored on these few studies. Even without the corruption of the peer review process, this is as big a change as quantum mechanics was in physics a century ago.

But now we know that peer review was corrupted, and that no "consensus" exists. The "2500 scientists agree" number is fiction (God knows who they are counting, but to get to this number, they must be including referees, spouses, and pets).

The best argument now for AGW is to argue that CO2 is, after all, a greenhouse gas, its concentration is, after all, increasing, and feedbacks that regulated climate for millions of years might (we can hypothesize) be overwhelmed by human CO2 emissions. It is a hypothesis worthy of investigation, but it has little evidentiary support.

Thus, there is hope that Climategate will bring to an end the field of political climatology, and allow climatology to again become a science. That said, people intrinsically become committed to ideas. The Pope will not become a Protestant even if angel Gabriel taps him on the shoulder and asks him to. Likewise, Prof. McCarthy may claim until the day he retires that there remains "overwhelming support" for his position, even if every last piece of data supporting it is controverted. As a graduate student at Harvard, I was told that fields do not advance because people change their minds; rather, fields advance because people die.

Posted by Sean December 2, 09 11:26 PM


Rasmussen poll: Americans Skeptical of Science Behind Global Warming

Most Americans (52%) believe that there continues to be significant disagreement within the scientific community over global warming. While many advocates of aggressive policy responses to global warming say a consensus exists, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 25% of adults think most scientists agree on the topic. Twenty-three percent (23%) are not sure.

But just in the last few days, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs seemed to reject any such disagreement in a response to a question about global warming, “I don't think … [global warming] is quite, frankly, among most people, in dispute anymore.”

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Americans say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming. Thirty-five percent (35%) say it’s Very Likely. Just 26% say it’s not very or not at all likely that some scientists falsified data.

This skepticism does not appear to be the result of the recent disclosure of e-mails confirming such data falsification as part of the so-called “Climategate” scandal. Just 20% of Americans say they’ve followed news reports about those e-mails Very Closely, while another 29% have followed them Somewhat Closely.

That’s a lower level of interest than has been shown about the White House party crashers and suggests that Americans have had their doubts about the science of global warming for some time.

One reason for this skepticism may be the role the United Nations has played in promoting the global warming issue. Only 22% of Americans consider the UN to be a reliable source of information on global warming. Forty-nine percent (49%) disagree and say the international organization is not reliable on that topic. Twenty-nine percent (29%) aren’t sure. Still, 46% of Americans say global warming is a major problem. However, 36% disagree, and 18% remain undecided.

President Obama and other U.S. officials are planning to attend a UN summit in Copenhagen, Denmark next week intended to further advance a proposed international treaty on global warming. Obama recently committed the United States to a 17 percent emissions cut by 2020 if Congress agrees, but critics say such a cut would seriously hurt the U.S. economy.

But then Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party are more likely than Democrats to see disagreement in the scientific community over global warming and to suspect that data has been falsified.

Even as Obama and senior members of Congress are pushing major anti-global warming initiatives, Americans overwhelmingly believe they should focus on the economy instead. Seventy-one percent (71%) say the bigger priority for U.S. national leaders is stimulating the economy to create jobs. Only 15% say they should focus instead on stopping global warming to save the environment.


Phil Jones offers myriad reasons for not sharing data

It was always crystal clear that he had lots to hide

Phil Jones, of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, has stepped "aside" during an internal university investigation into the ethical questions arising from the thousands of e-mails and computer code recently released.

Three months before “stepping aside” from his position atop the most prestigious climate change institute in the world earlier this week, Phil Jones made a number of interesting comments. The first was this: “In the UK I am not considered a public servant.”

It was August, months before the explosion of Climategate, and I was drawing to a close the research for my forthcoming book on climate, Don’t Sell Your Coat. Jones was good enough to respond to questions I had then about data sharing, transparency, and United States Department of Energy funding. For, although an English researcher, Jones counted on the United States Department of Energy for substantial sums of money – millions of dollars.

Public servant or no, Jones was evidently bound by the Department of Energy’s data-sharing protocols, which were stringent: “Open sharing of all program data among researchers (and with the interested public) is critical to advancing the program’s mission … a copy of underlying data and a clear description of the method(s) of data analysis must be provided to any requester in a timely way.”

As Jones dealt with several such requests, but principally from his arch-nemesis, the Canadian amateur climatologist Steven McIntyre, he found it distasteful in the extreme to share raw temperature data that would allow McIntyre to look for problems in his data and work. As the world recently learned reading the e-mails among Jones and fellow-scientists, Jones threatened to delete data if McIntyre ever learned of the United Kingdom’s Freedom of Information Act.

But as the Department of Energy policy from this side of the Atlantic makes clear, no Freedom of Information request is even necessary in order to compel Jones, or any other DOE-funded scientist, to share all data as well as all code that is used in grooming the data for publication (in such documents as the IPCC 4th Assessment published in 2007). What Freedom of Information policy in the United Kingdom does require, however, is preserving any documents that are known to be sought via Freedom of Information request. Jones, in the trove of released e-mails, asks his peers to delete precisely these e-mails. Whether the internal investigation being conducted by the University of East Anglia determines that this was ethical remains to be seen. It also remains to be seen whether parliamentary investigations will be launched into the matter, as well as any inquiry by Scotland Yard.

As I said, Jones made several odd comments in August regarding unavailable data. The second bizarro statement regarded the meteorology agencies from which his Climatic Research Unit obtained data in the first place. “It is the Met services that you should be lambasting,” Jones wrote. “I have been for years, but have not gotten very far.” Two quick points: First, I never lambasted Jones but merely asked if he thought that greater transparency might better serve science, and himself, in the long run. Second, Jones, at least until today, could not verify his claim to have fought with European meteorological agencies himself. He had, however, alluded in one of the recently released e-mails to just such a gambit involving the agencies: “Data is covered by all the agreements we sign with people, so I will be hiding behind them.”

Just to be safe, however, Jones did have data removed from a University of East Anglia server during the summer of 2009. When pressed by me in our e-mail exchange in August, his reasons for making the data disappear seemed disingenuous, at best:
Our ftp site has had some data deleted from it. It is a site we use when working with other scientists around the world. The datasets were not explained. It seemed easier to stop people wasting their time trying to determine what it was.

The words “other scientists” here are code for “people other than the Canadian amateur climatologist Steve McIntyre.” While McIntyre is a statistician without a Ph.D. in a climate-related field, he has nonetheless proved himself to be a capable intellectual adversary of Jones. Jones’s e-mails allude, more or less obsessively, to the Canadian, as do those of many of Jones’s closest colleagues. Far from being at risk of wasting time deciphering what he had in front of him, McIntyre had by that point been veritably begging for Jones’s data and computer code for years. He had been joined in his pursuit of data, by the way, by Ross McKitrick, with whom he had also authored a peer-reviewed paper successfully dressing down American climatologist Michael Mann.

It was Jones’s 2009 summertime deletion of data that prompted me to ask him about transparency in the first place. One other reason Jones offered for refusing to share data appeared bizarre, to say the least:
I will say one more thing. Have you considered this issue from a perspective of a Met Service in Africa or South America. I have been told by people from these Met Services that one of the reasons they restrict access to data is that scientists in Europe and North America use their data to further their own scientific ends. This is a sort of data imperialism. They get nothing back and think of themselves as mere data collectors. They want to improve the lot of their scientists. I am able to help a few of them with grants to come and do MSc and PhD courses here at UEA, but it is only a few.

I take Jones at his word here, but it has been a matter of some surprise that he has not mentioned these issues in dealing with other journalists. More to the point, alluding to the plight of underprivileged meteorologists as a means of explaining why data sharing should not be moved forward as expeditiously as possible is, for lack of a better word, weird.

It’s interesting, and there’s likely a story there, but it’s still weird. Jones’s data, as he is very aware, is one of the linchpins of the IPCC’s sternest warnings about the fate of humanity and our ability to continue operating world economies with energy sources that are available now. While preserving the feelings of several dozen meteorologists might be praiseworthy, compared to deciphering what is actually going on with the world’s climate it seems to be a trifling matter.

It will be interesting to see whether Jones is reinstated by his university and whether the world climatology community returns him to his former position as one of its top four or five de-facto leaders. If it does, you can bet that he will avoid sending e-mails like the following about the Canadians McKitrick and McIntyre that he sent in 2005:
The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.

As always, he signed it, “Cheers, Phil.”


Climategate: Science Is Dying

Science is on the credibility bubble

Surely there must have been serious men and women in the hard sciences who at some point worried that their colleagues in the global warming movement were putting at risk the credibility of everyone in science. The nature of that risk has been twofold: First, that the claims of the climate scientists might buckle beneath the weight of their breathtaking complexity. Second, that the crudeness of modern politics, once in motion, would trample the traditions and culture of science to achieve its own policy goals. With the scandal at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, both have happened at once.

I don't think most scientists appreciate what has hit them. This isn't only about the credibility of global warming. For years, global warming and its advocates have been the public face of hard science. Most people could not name three other subjects they would associate with the work of serious scientists. This was it. The public was told repeatedly that something called "the scientific community" had affirmed the science beneath this inquiry. A Nobel Prize was bestowed (on a politician).

Global warming enlisted the collective reputation of science. Because "science" said so, all the world was about to undertake a vast reordering of human behavior at almost unimaginable financial cost. Not every day does the work of scientists lead to galactic events simply called Kyoto or Copenhagen. At least not since the Manhattan Project.

What is happening at East Anglia is an epochal event. As the hard sciences—physics, biology, chemistry, electrical engineering—came to dominate intellectual life in the last century, some academics in the humanities devised the theory of postmodernism, which liberated them from their colleagues in the sciences. Postmodernism, a self-consciously "unprovable" theory, replaced formal structures with subjectivity. With the revelations of East Anglia, this slippery and variable intellectual world has crossed into the hard sciences.

This has harsh implications for the credibility of science generally. Hard science, alongside medicine, was one of the few things left accorded automatic stature and respect by most untrained lay persons. But the average person reading accounts of the East Anglia emails will conclude that hard science has become just another faction, as politicized and "messy" as, say, gender studies. The New England Journal of Medicine has turned into a weird weekly amalgam of straight medical-research and propaganda for the Obama redesign of U.S. medicine.

The East Anglians' mistreatment of scientists who challenged global warming's claims—plotting to shut them up and shut down their ability to publish—evokes the attempt to silence Galileo. The exchanges between Penn State's Michael Mann and East Anglia CRU director Phil Jones sound like Father Firenzuola, the Commissary-General of the Inquisition.

For three centuries Galileo has symbolized dissent in science. In our time, most scientists outside this circle have kept silent as their climatologist fellows, helped by the cardinals of the press, mocked and ostracized scientists who questioned this grand theory of global doom. Even a doubter as eminent as Princeton's Freeman Dyson was dismissed as an aging crank.

Beneath this dispute is a relatively new, very postmodern environmental idea known as "the precautionary principle." As defined by one official version: "When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically." The global-warming establishment says we know "enough" to impose new rules on the world's use of carbon fuels. The dissenters say this demotes science's traditional standards of evidence.

The Environmental Protection Agency's dramatic Endangerment Finding in April that greenhouse gas emissions qualify as an air pollutant —with implications for a vast new regulatory regime— used what the agency called a precautionary approach. The EPA admitted "varying degrees of uncertainty across many of these scientific issues." Again, this puts hard science in the new position of saying, close enough is good enough. One hopes civil engineers never build bridges under this theory.

The Obama administration's new head of policy at EPA, Lisa Heinzerling, is an advocate of turning precaution into standard policy. In a law-review article titled "Law and Economics for a Warming World," Ms. Heinzerling wrote, "Policy formation based on prediction and calculation of expected harm is no longer relevant; the only coherent response to a situation of chaotically worsening outcomes is a precautionary policy. . . ."

If the new ethos is that "close-enough" science is now sufficient to achieve political goals, serious scientists should be under no illusion that politicians will press-gang them into service for future agendas. Everyone working in science, no matter their politics, has an stake in cleaning up the mess revealed by the East Anglia emails. Science is on the credibility bubble. If it pops, centuries of what we understand to be the role of science go with it.


Climate change sceptics are 'muddled', says Lord Stern

But does not offer a single example of just where and how they are muddled and confused

Speaking after the posting online of stolen emails between climate scientists which sceptics claimed showed researchers manipulating the data to back up their theory, Lord Stern said evidence of climate change was "overwhelming".

While he said it was important for all views to be heard, he said the degree of scepticism among "real scientists" was very small. Climate science had a strong basis stretching back 200 years, while evidence for global warming came from a number of sources including ice cores which went back as far as 800,000 years into the past, he said.

"This is evidence that is overwhelming, from all sources, that's the kind of climate science we're talking about," he said. "I think it is very important that those with any kind of views on the science or economics have their say - that does not mean that unscientific muddle also has the right to be recognised as searing insight." He added: "If they are muddled and confused, they do not have the right to be described as anything other than muddled and confused."

Lord Stern was speaking at the launch of studies looking at whether the UN climate talks starting next week in Copenhagen could deliver a deal which would keep temperature rises below the 2C increase that could lead to "dangerous" global warming.

The emails and other material were taken from servers at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit before being published on websites run by climate change sceptics, possibly in a bid to undermine the global summit in Denmark.


Climate cabal unity crumbling

Climategate: Phil Jones accused of making error of judgment by colleague

Prof Jones, director of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) has been accused of manipulating climate change data following thousands of leaked documents that suggested academics delete sensitive emails to evade Freedom of Information requests from climate change sceptics.

Prof Jones, who has denied altering figures, has since said he would stand down from his post while an independent review is carried out

One of the scientists to whom the emails were addressed, Professor Michael Mann, the Director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University has moved to distance himself from some of the comments in the emails that suggest scientists did not want the IPCC, the UN body charged with monitoring climate change, to consider studies that challenged the view global warming was genuine and man-made.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight, Prof Mann said: "I can't put myself in the mind of the person who wrote that email and sent it. I in no way endorse what was in that email."

Prof Mann also said he could not "justify" a request from Prof Jones that he should delete some of his own emails to prevent them from being seen by outsiders. "I can't justify the action, I can only speculate that he was feeling so under attack that he made some poor decisions frankly and I think that's clear."

Prof Mann then argued however that there was "absolutely no evidence" that he too had manipulated data, while he also said "I don't believe that any of my colleagues have done that". [Of course Mann has not manipulated the raw data -- Running invalid analyses is his specialty]

While climate change sceptics argue the emails are proof scientists have been hiding evidence of temperature decline, Prof Mann said he believed the incident "false controversy" manufactured by sceptics "to distract the public and to distract policy-makers to try to thwart efforts next week in Copenhagen". "The emails are genuine and have been misrepresented, cherry-picked, mined for single words and phrases that can be completely twisted to imply the opposite of what was actually being said, manufactured controversy and the timing of it is not coincidental as far as I'm concerned," he added. [Of course it is not coincidental. Stopping the runaway Copenhagen freight-train is vital to the welfare of the world]


Australia: Gagged government scientist resigns

Politicized climate science again. Warmism is a cancer of the intellect

Eminent scientist Clive Spash has resigned from the CSIRO and called for a Senate inquiry into the science body following the censorship of his controversial report into emissions trading. Dr Spash has lashed out at the organisation which he says promotes self-censorship among its scientists with its unfair publication guidelines. He has been stunned at the treatment he's received at the hands of CSIRO management, including boss Megan Clark, and he also believes he's not alone.

"I've been treated extremely poorly," he told AAP on Thursday. "There needs to be a Senate inquiry. "The way the publication policy and the charter are being interpreted will encourage self-censorship. "It's obviously happened before at the CSIRO - and there's issues currently."

Last month, Dr Spash accused the organisation of gagging him and his report - The Brave New World of Carbon Trading - and restricting its publication. The report is critical of cap and trade schemes, like the one the federal government is seeking to introduce, as well as big compensation to polluters. Dr Spash advocates a direct tax on carbon.

The CSIRO said the report was in breach of its publication guidelines, which restrict scientists from speaking out on public policy. But it provoked accusations the CSIRO is censoring research harmful to the government. Under intense pressure, Dr Clark publicly released the report on November 26 but warned Dr Spash would be punished for his behaviour and his refusal to amend it.

"I believe that internationally peer-reviewed science should be published or, if Dr Clark wishes to have her own opinion, then she should publish her own opinion," Dr Spash said, who has been on sick leave. "I've been to the doctor under extreme stress. "I was surprised at senior management and how I was treated."

He had been ordered not to speak to the media while working for the CSIRO, which originally headhunted him for the job. Dr Spash, who is heading to Europe where he plans to stay indefinitely, was reluctant to openly criticise the government but noted that Science Minister Kim Carr had been abreast of the situation.

Journal New Political Economy had written to Senator Carr, detailing the changes the CSIRO had demanded and refusing to publish the censored version of the paper. "They cut the conclusion by half, 11 per cent of the text, changed the thrust of the meaning from being an index criticism of an ETS to being an argument that it stands to be redesigned," Dr Spash said. "I was clearly censored."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Jon Stewart Mocks: 'Poor Al Gore. Global warming completely debunked via the very Internet you invented!'‏


A satirical look at the claims of "Bristlecone" Mann


Contrast the two articles below

Hansen thinks that the cause is lost

A top NASA scientist says he'd would rather see no agreement at the Copenhagen climate conference because the whole approach to climate change is so deeply flawed that it would better to start from scratch. James Hansen told The Guardian newspaper that he believed any agreement that may emerge from the upcoming conference will be deeply flawed. "I would rather it not happen if people accept that as being the right track because it's a disaster track," Hansen said.

He added: "The whole approach is so fundamentally wrong that it is better to reassess the situation. "If it is going to be the Kyoto-type thing then (people) will spend years trying to determine exactly what that means."

Hansen, who heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, is sometimes called the godfather of global warming science. He sounded the alarm bell about global warming in June 1988 during a Washington heat wave, telling a Senate hearing that global warming was already here.

He spoke to The Guardian a few days before the 192-nation conference in Copenhagen, which aims to set parameters for a new climate change agreement to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. That agreement required 37 wealthy nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2012, but made no demands from rapidly emerging economies like China and India.

Hansen said no political leader can grasp the importance of the issue. "We don't have a leader who is able to grasp it and say what is really needed. Instead we are trying to continue business as usual," he said. Hansen said dealing with climate change allows no room for political compromises. "This is analogous to the issue of slavery faced by Abraham Lincoln or the issue of Nazism faced by Winston Churchill," he said. "On those kind of issues you cannot compromise. You can't say let's reduce slavery, let's find a compromise and reduce it 50 per cent or reduce it 40 per cent."


Economist Stern is bullish

Rather good proof that both Hansen and Stern are just guessing

World leaders are more than halfway towards the kind of promises needed to save the planet at Copenhagen, according to UK expert Nicholas Stern. Lord Stern has crunched the numbers on climate change and found the pledges to cut emissions are in the ballpark of what's needed. "We can do this," an upbeat Lord Stern, the UK equivalent of Australia's climate adviser Ross Garnaut, told reporters in London. "I think we have a moment now when we could get a strong agreement."

The air of pessimism over the UN climate conference at Copenhagen, which starts on Monday, is lifting as countries have upped their promises to cut emissions. Many world leaders want a deal which would restrain global warming to two degrees.

In a report issued this week, Lord Stern has calculated that the Copenhagen promises made so far go more than halfway towards the cuts needed to have a good chance of meeting the two degree goal. World emissions are currently 47 billion tonnes of greenhouses gases a year, and are on track to reach 52 to 58 billion tonnes in 2020.

To have a 50-50 chance of limiting warming to two degrees, Lord Stern says emissions must be about 44 billion tonnes in 2020. The Copenhagen promises would result in emissions of around 49 billion tonnes in 2020. "We're not there, but we can see how far we have to go," he concluded. "The world already intends to achieve more than half of the reductions that are required."

Lord Stern's calculations are based on each country going to the upper limit of their promises to cut emissions.


12 Days, 3 Networks and No Mention of ClimateGate Scandal

Even as Copenhagen looms, broadcast news ignores e-mails suggesting warming alarmists 'manipulated' data, conspired to destroy information and thwarted peer reviews.

It’s been nearly two weeks since a scandal shook many people’s faith in the scientists behind global warming alarmism. The scandal forced the University of East Anglia (UK) to divulge that it threw away raw temperature data and prompted the temporary resignation of Phil Jones of the university’s Climate Research Unit.

Despite that resignation and calls by a U.S. senator to investigate the matter, ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news programming has remained silent – not mentioning a word about the scandal since it broke on Nov. 20, even as world leaders including President Barack Obama prepare to meet in Copenhagen, Denmark next week to promote a pact to reduce greenhouse gases.

Other news outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and Associated Press have deemed ClimateGate worthy of reporting, but the networks were too busy reporting on celebrity car accidents and the killer whale that ate a great white shark. Instead of airing a broadcast news segment that might inform the public about the science scandal, both ABC and CBS relegated the story to their Web sites. There was one mention of the scandal on ABC’s Sunday talk show: “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

The ClimateGate scandal, as it is being called, has the hallmarks of a major news story: private emails purporting to show unethical or illegal behavior supplied by a hacker or whistleblower, high profile scientists like James Hansen and Michael Mann, and a potential conspiracy to distort science for political gain. But the networks haven’t bothered with the story. Patrick J. Michaels, a climatologist and BMI adviser, said Nov. 20 of the leaked e-mails and documents: “This isn’t a smoking gun, it’s a mushroom cloud.”

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs responded to a question about ClimateGate by insisting that “global warming is happening” and that for most people it isn’t really a question anymore. That is the same message viewers get from the network news about climate change.

An examination of morning and evening news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC since Nov. 20 yielded zero mentions of the scandal, even in the Nov. 25 reports about Obama going to Copenhagen to discuss the need for emissions reductions. But during the same time period, the networks reported on pro-golfer Tiger Woods’ “minor” car accident at least 37 times. They also found time to report on an orphaned Moose and the meal selection at the president’s State Dinner.

ClimateGate began after someone (hacker or whistleblower) attacked servers of University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) and made thousands of e-mails and documents public. Those e-mails appear to show a conspiracy to falsify temperature data, a willingness to destroy information rather than release it under Freedom of Information (FOI) law and the intimidation of publications willing to publish skeptical articles.

CRU’s director Phil Jones admitted real CRU e-mails had been stolen when he told New Zealand’s Investigate magazine, “It was a hacker. We were aware of this about three or four days ago that someone had hacked into our system and taken and copied loads of data files and emails.” Others argue a whistleblower was responsible for the breach.

One of those alleged e-mails was from Jones to Michael Mann (famous for his hockey stick graph of global warming) and two others appeared to indicate manipulation of scientific data. Jones wrote: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [Sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”


Climategate - read all about it

By Andrew Bolt

Christopher Monckton writes the first book(let) on Climategate, the greatest scientific scandal in our lifetime. The summary:

The whistleblower’s data file revealed, for the first time, the innermost workings of the tiny international clique of climate scientists, centered on the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia, that has been the prime mover in telling the world that it is warming at an unprecedented rate, and that humankind is responsible… He had revealed what many had long suspected:

# A tiny clique of politicized scientists, paid by unscientific politicians with whom they were financially and politically linked, were responsible for gathering and reporting data on temperatures from the palaeoclimate to today’s climate. The “Team”, as they called themselves, were bending and distorting scientific data to fit a nakedly political story-line profitable to themselves and congenial to the governments that, these days, pay the bills for 99% of all scientific research.

# The Climate Research Unit at East Anglia had profited to the tune of at least $20 million in “research” grants from the Team’s activities.

# The Team had tampered with the complex, bureaucratic processes of the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC, so as to exclude inconvenient scientific results from its four Assessment Reports, and to influence the panel’s conclusions for political rather than scientific reasons.

# The Team had conspired in an attempt to redefine what is and is not peer-reviewed science for the sake of excluding results that did not fit what they and the politicians with whom they were closely linked wanted the UN’s climate panel to report.

# They had tampered with their own data so as to conceal inconsistencies and errors.

# They had emailed one another about using a “trick” for the sake of concealing a “decline” in temperatures in the paleoclimate.

# They had expressed dismay at the fact that, contrary to all of their predictions, global temperatures had not risen in any statistically-significant sense for 15 years, and had been falling for nine years. They had admitted that their inability to explain it was “a travesty”. This internal doubt was in contrast to their public statements that the present decade is the warmest ever, and that “global warming” science is settled.

# They had interfered with the process of peer-review itself by leaning on journals to get their friends rather than independent scientists to review their papers.

# They had successfully leaned on friendly journal editors to reject papers reporting results inconsistent with their political viewpoint.

# They had campaigned for the removal of a learned journal’s editor, solely because he did not share their willingness to debase and corrupt science for political purposes.

# They had mounted a venomous public campaign of disinformation and denigration of their scientific opponents via a website that they had expensively created.

# Contrary to all the rules of open, verifiable science, the Team had committed the criminal offense of conspiracy to conceal and then to destroy computer codes and data that had been legitimately requested by an external researcher who had very good reason to doubt that their “research” was either honest or competent.


Claims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre

By RICHARD S. LINDZEN (Lindzen is professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Is there a reason to be alarmed by the prospect of global warming? Consider that the measurement used, the globally averaged temperature anomaly (GATA), is always changing. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes down, and occasionally —such as for the last dozen years or so— it does little that can be discerned.

Claims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre. There is general support for the assertion that GATA has increased about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the middle of the 19th century. The quality of the data is poor, though, and because the changes are small, it is easy to nudge such data a few tenths of a degree in any direction. Several of the emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) that have caused such a public ruckus dealt with how to do this so as to maximize apparent changes.

The general support for warming is based not so much on the quality of the data, but rather on the fact that there was a little ice age from about the 15th to the 19th century. Thus it is not surprising that temperatures should increase as we emerged from this episode. At the same time that we were emerging from the little ice age, the industrial era began, and this was accompanied by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2, methane and nitrous oxide. CO2 is the most prominent of these, and it is again generally accepted that it has increased by about 30%.

The defining characteristic of a greenhouse gas is that it is relatively transparent to visible light from the sun but can absorb portions of thermal radiation. In general, the earth balances the incoming solar radiation by emitting thermal radiation, and the presence of greenhouse substances inhibits cooling by thermal radiation and leads to some warming.

That said, the main greenhouse substances in the earth's atmosphere are water vapor and high clouds. Let's refer to these as major greenhouse substances to distinguish them from the anthropogenic minor substances. Even a doubling of CO2 would only upset the original balance between incoming and outgoing radiation by about 2%. This is essentially what is called "climate forcing."

There is general agreement on the above findings. At this point there is no basis for alarm regardless of whether any relation between the observed warming and the observed increase in minor greenhouse gases can be established. Nevertheless, the most publicized claims of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deal exactly with whether any relation can be discerned. The failure of the attempts to link the two over the past 20 years bespeaks the weakness of any case for concern.

The IPCC's Scientific Assessments generally consist of about 1,000 pages of text. The Summary for Policymakers is 20 pages. It is, of course, impossible to accurately summarize the 1,000-page assessment in just 20 pages; at the very least, nuances and caveats have to be omitted. However, it has been my experience that even the summary is hardly ever looked at. Rather, the whole report tends to be characterized by a single iconic claim.

The main statement publicized after the last IPCC Scientific Assessment two years ago was that it was likely that most of the warming since 1957 (a point of anomalous cold) was due to man. This claim was based on the weak argument that the current models used by the IPCC couldn't reproduce the warming from about 1978 to 1998 without some forcing, and that the only forcing that they could think of was man. Even this argument assumes that these models adequately deal with natural internal variability—that is, such naturally occurring cycles as El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, etc.

Yet articles from major modeling centers acknowledged that the failure of these models to anticipate the absence of warming for the past dozen years was due to the failure of these models to account for this natural internal variability. Thus even the basis for the weak IPCC argument for anthropogenic climate change was shown to be false.

Of course, none of the articles stressed this. Rather they emphasized that according to models modified to account for the natural internal variability, warming would resume—in 2009, 2013 and 2030, respectively.

But even if the IPCC's iconic statement were correct, it still would not be cause for alarm. After all we are still talking about tenths of a degree for over 75% of the climate forcing associated with a doubling of CO2. The potential (and only the potential) for alarm enters with the issue of climate sensitivity—which refers to the change that a doubling of CO2 will produce in GATA. It is generally accepted that a doubling of CO2 will only produce a change of about two degrees Fahrenheit if all else is held constant. This is unlikely to be much to worry about.

Yet current climate models predict much higher sensitivities. They do so because in these models, the main greenhouse substances (water vapor and clouds) act to amplify anything that CO2 does. This is referred to as positive feedback. But as the IPCC notes, clouds continue to be a source of major uncertainty in current models. Since clouds and water vapor are intimately related, the IPCC claim that they are more confident about water vapor is quite implausible.

There is some evidence of a positive feedback effect for water vapor in cloud-free regions, but a major part of any water-vapor feedback would have to acknowledge that cloud-free areas are always changing, and this remains an unknown. At this point, few scientists would argue that the science is settled. In particular, the question remains as to whether water vapor and clouds have positive or negative feedbacks.

The notion that the earth's climate is dominated by positive feedbacks is intuitively implausible, and the history of the earth's climate offers some guidance on this matter. About 2.5 billion years ago, the sun was 20%-30% less bright than now (compare this with the 2% perturbation that a doubling of CO2 would produce), and yet the evidence is that the oceans were unfrozen at the time, and that temperatures might not have been very different from today's. Carl Sagan in the 1970s referred to this as the "Early Faint Sun Paradox."

For more than 30 years there have been attempts to resolve the paradox with greenhouse gases. Some have suggested CO2—but the amount needed was thousands of times greater than present levels and incompatible with geological evidence. Methane also proved unlikely. It turns out that increased thin cirrus cloud coverage in the tropics readily resolves the paradox—but only if the clouds constitute a negative feedback. In present terms this means that they would diminish rather than enhance the impact of CO2.

There are quite a few papers in the literature that also point to the absence of positive feedbacks. The implied low sensitivity is entirely compatible with the small warming that has been observed. So how do models with high sensitivity manage to simulate the currently small response to a forcing that is almost as large as a doubling of CO2? Jeff Kiehl notes in a 2007 article from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the models use another quantity that the IPCC lists as poorly known (namely aerosols) to arbitrarily cancel as much greenhouse warming as needed to match the data, with each model choosing a different degree of cancellation according to the sensitivity of that model.

What does all this have to do with climate catastrophe? The answer brings us to a scandal that is, in my opinion, considerably greater than that implied in the hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit (though perhaps not as bad as their destruction of raw data): namely the suggestion that the very existence of warming or of the greenhouse effect is tantamount to catastrophe. This is the grossest of "bait and switch" scams. It is only such a scam that lends importance to the machinations in the emails designed to nudge temperatures a few tenths of a degree.

The notion that complex climate "catastrophes" are simply a matter of the response of a single number, GATA, to a single forcing, CO2 (or solar forcing for that matter), represents a gigantic step backward in the science of climate. Many disasters associated with warming are simply normal occurrences whose existence is falsely claimed to be evidence of warming. And all these examples involve phenomena that are dependent on the confluence of many factors.

Our perceptions of nature are similarly dragged back centuries so that the normal occasional occurrences of open water in summer over the North Pole, droughts, floods, hurricanes, sea-level variations, etc. are all taken as omens, portending doom due to our sinful ways (as epitomized by our carbon footprint). All of these phenomena depend on the confluence of multiple factors as well.

Consider the following example. Suppose that I leave a box on the floor, and my wife trips on it, falling against my son, who is carrying a carton of eggs, which then fall and break. Our present approach to emissions would be analogous to deciding that the best way to prevent the breakage of eggs would be to outlaw leaving boxes on the floor. The chief difference is that in the case of atmospheric CO2 and climate catastrophe, the chain of inference is longer and less plausible than in my example.


The Mathematics of Global Warming

The forecasts of global warming are based on mathematical solutions for equations of weather models. But all of these solutions are inaccurate. Therefore, no valid scientific conclusions can be made concerning global warming. The false claim for the effectiveness of mathematics is an unreported scandal at least as important as the recent climate data fraud. Why is the math important? And why don't the climatologists use it correctly?

Mathematics has a fundamental role in the development of all physical sciences. First, the researchers strive to understand the laws of nature determining the behavior of what they are studying. Then they build a model and express these laws in the mathematics of differential and difference equations. Next, the mathematicians analyze the solutions to these equations to improve the scientists' understanding. Often the mathematicians can describe the evolution through time of the scientists' model.

The most famous successful use of mathematics in this way was Isaac Newton's demonstration that the planets travel in elliptical paths around the sun. He formulated the law of gravity (that the rate of change of the velocity between two masses is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them) and then developed the mathematics of differential calculus to demonstrate his result.

Every college physics student studies many of the simple models and their successful solutions that have been found over the three hundred years since Newton. Engineers constantly use models and mathematics to gain insight into the physics of their field.

However, for many situations of interest, the mathematics become too difficult to be helpful. The mathematicians are unable to answer the scientist's important questions because a complete understanding of the differential equations is beyond human knowledge. A famous, longstanding example is the n-body problem: if more than two planets are revolving around one another, according to the law of gravity, will the planets ram each other or will they drift out to infinity?

Fortunately, in the last fifty years, computers have been able to help mathematicians solve complex models over short time periods. Numerical analysts have developed techniques to graph solutions to differential equations and thus to yield new information about the model under consideration. All college calculus students use calculators to find solutions to simple differential equations called integrals. Space-travel is possible because computers can solve the n-body problem for short amounts of time and small n-values. The design of the stealth jet fighter could not have been accomplished without the computing speed of parallel processors. These successes have unrealistically raised the expectations for the application of mathematics to scientific problems.

Unfortunately, even assuming the model of the physics is correct, computers and mathematicians cannot solve more difficult problems, such as weather equations, for several reasons. First, the solution may require more computations than computers can make. Faster and faster computers push back the speed barrier every year. Second, it may be too difficult to collect enough data to accurately determine the initial conditions of the model. Third, the equations of the model may be non-linear. This means that no simplification of the equations can accurately predict the properties of the solutions of the differential equations. The solutions are often unstable. This means that a small variation in initial conditions will lead to large variations some time later. This property makes it impossible to compute solutions over long time periods.

As an expert in the solutions of non-linear differential equations, I can attest to the fact that the more than two-dozen non-linear differential equations in weather models are too difficult for humans to have any idea how to solve accurately. No approximation over long time periods has any chance of accurately predicting global warming. Yet approximation is exactly what the global warming advocates are doing. Each of the more than thirty models being used around the world to predict the weather is just a different inaccurate approximation of the weather equations. (Of course, this is an issue only if the model of the weather is correct. It is probably not, because the climatologists probably do not understand all of the physical processes determining the weather.)

Therefore, one cannot logically conclude that any of the global warming predictions are correct. To base economic policy on the wishful thinking of these so-called scientists is just foolhardy from a mathematical point of view. The leaders of the mathematical community, ensconced in universities flush with global warming dollars, have not adequately explained to the public the above facts. President Obama should appoint a Mathematics Czar to consult before he goes to Copenhagen.


Climate sceptics triumphant in Australian conservative politics

At the recent United Nations climate summit in New York, Barack Obama told his fellow leaders that "the threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent and it is growing". The Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, calls the threat "catastrophic", the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, believes addressing it is "crucial for the future of mankind".

Just months ago Tony Abbott described the same threat as "absolute crap". Yesterday the new Liberal leader backpedalled just a little by saying his words were "hyberbole" for debate. "I think that climate change is real and I think that man does make a contribution," he said, before adding the great qualification of sceptics: "There is an argument first as to how great that contribution is, and second, over what should be done about it."

There is no argument that Abbott's leadership marks the triumphant return of the climate sceptics to the top of the federal Liberal Party. Just last month Abbott attacked as "climate change alarmists" those scientists who worked on the peak UN scientific advisory body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and who are warning about the threat from climate change.

Abbott described them on Four Corners as "the people who will tell you as if it's as obvious as night following day that we have a huge problem and that unless we dramatically change the way we live, life as we know it will be under massive threat. As I said, there's an evangelical fervour about those people which you don't normally associate with scientists".

As a member of Malcolm Turnbull's shadow cabinet Abbott cheerfully championed the work of the prominent Australian climate sceptic Professor Ian Plimer. "I think that in response to the IPCC alarmist - ah, in inverted commas - view, there've been quite a lot of other reputable scientific voices. Now not everyone agrees with Ian Plimer's position, but he is a highly credible scientist and he has written what seems like a very well-argued book refuting most of the claims of the climate catastrophists." His remarks were a direct challenge to Turnbull, who had warned that he could not lead a party that did not take climate change seriously.

A decade ago, the Liberal Party's climate sceptics, backed by some of the world's big minerals and energy companies, fought an epic battle inside the Howard government to stop Australia taking action on climate change, ratifying the Kyoto Protocol or passing an emissions trading scheme. With the substantial support from the then Western Mining boss, Hugh Morgan, and successive heads of Rio Tinto, the sceptics quashed Howard's first environment minister, Robert Hill, who had endorsed Kyoto.

The Kyoto fight was lost on World Environment Day 2002, when Howard backed the sceptics. By then, Hill had been replaced by David Kemp, a vocal sceptic of the science on climate change. Only when Howard was under huge electoral pressure before the 2007 election did he moderate his own sceptical views, appoint Turnbull as his environment minister and promise an emissions trading scheme.

Last week Turnbull, at the death knell of his short leadership of the Liberal Party, had no doubt the sceptics inside the party were again fighting to regain control. "The people that have sought to tear me down do not even believe in the policies we took to the last election," he said bluntly. "They basically believe or regard John Howard as being too green. They don't believe in climate change, they don't think we should take any action on climate change."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Wednesday, December 02, 2009


An email received:

"I called CNBC yesterday and asked them that since climate data had been falsified that they should alert investors on their potential exposure/risk to owning or buying energy and environmental stocks. There was dead silence on the phone for a few seconds until I gave examples on their special guests' interviews on global warming issues and how they can capitalize on climate change. If your emails go all over the country, why not suggest to your email readers to call CNBC and start asking questions about why they are silent on this issue. Their telephone is 201-735-2622"

Modeller thinks fraud is normal

But climate modelling is itself a fraud. It pretends to a skill it does not have. Excerpt below from an interview with an alleged scientist who says of the leaked CRU emails: "All scientists know that this kind of language and kidding goes on verbally all the time". It is "kidding" to hide your data? By this guy's definition I am not one of his "all scientists". I have had 200+ papers published in the academic journals of social science but I have never heard that "kind of language and kidding" from colleagues.

But he also believes in tree rings as an index of temperature so he is just a fool, a conventional fool but a fool nonetheless. Vision-impared Freddy knows that SEVERAL factors impact tree-rings. But that is not the funny bit. He does NOT believe in tree-ring data after about 1960, because it indicates a temperature decline! So after 1960, thermometer data only is used. His own findings show that tree-rings disagree with thermometers but he still uses them as an index of temperature! He is more than a fool. He is another one of the frauds -- a white-haired fraud but a fraud nonetheless

Now, on to Professor North, a physicist who specializes in investigating the causes of climate change through the use of various types of computer models, among other techniques. He is especially well-qualified to comment on this controversy because of his role in investigating the work of one of the key players in the e-mail flap, Michael Mann of Penn State University.

Andrew Freedman: What are your thoughts on the significance of this scandal, both in terms of what it may mean scientifically and for public perceptions of climate science?
Gerald North: Scientifically, it means little. All scientists know that this kind of language and kidding goes on verbally all the time. Some of us forget that email has the potential to become public at any time. The public perception is another matter. There may be some people who do not know any scientist personally and think they are lily pure, dedicated (do-gooder) nerds. These private comments might lead to less confidence in science. It is a shame, since our country is so scientifically illiterate and is easily swayed by perceptions that have little to do with scientific method and culture. They have very little influence on my opinion.

AF: Do these hacked e-mails make you question the "consensus" on climate change at all, or to a greater extent perhaps than you did before?
GN: I accept the IPCC [U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] procedure of assessment. It is not perfect, but it is probably the best we can do in learning the state of the science at an instant in time. It employs people who work actively in the field. Sometimes they are assessing their own work - egos clash. They are drawn together in workshops; then they separate to write the chapters of the report. There is a huge amount of anonymous refereeing of the reports. Monitors check that every complaint is at least discussed (in writing but not necessarily in the final report). There is a tendency to make the report reflect the mainstream view and de-emphasize some things that contradict it.

This is the way science works. People follow an established paradigm. They stay with it until it becomes uninteresting or stagnant. A paradigm can fall by an internal inconsistency that cannot be reconciled, or it may face an insurmountable contradiction with observed data. This latter does not happen overnight. Usually, with long standing paradigms, the data or its interpretation turn out to be wrong.

Climategate [the nickname of the email controversy] is not even close to causing active researchers to abandon the anthropogenic [manmade] global warming hypothesis. This hypothesis (Anthropogenic GW) fits in the climate science paradigm that 1) Data can be collected and assembled in ways that are sensible. 2) These data can be used to test and or recalibrate climate simulation models. 3) These same models can be used to predict future and past climates. It is understood that this is a complicated goal to reach with any precision. The models are not yet perfect, but there is no reason to think the approach is wrong.

Was data manipulated? I do not think so. In the NAS 2006 Report on Reconstruction of Surface Temperatures for the last 2000 Years (I was Chairman of that committee, and it took a different approach to assessment: a panel of experts who are not directly involved in the controversy - note the difference from the IPCC approach), we constructed our own hockey stick curve. We put the tree ring record on the graph and stuck the instrument record on for the last 50 years in exactly the way [Phil] Jones in his [leaked] email referred to as a "trick".


The Tangled Web of Climategate

It's hard to keep your story straight when you are lying

Oh, what a tangled web. As the Climategate scandal continues to unfold, serious questions have arisen as to whether it will ever be possible to confirm how broadly the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) manipulated data upon which the “man-made” global warming “consensus” is based.

According to Times Online, reporting on November 29th, “Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based… The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.”

That’s shocking, to say the least. However, there was no mention of this in the University of East Anglia’s press release of November 28th responding to the scandal. “It is well known within the scientific community and particularly those who are skeptical of climate change that over 95% of the raw station data has been accessible through the Global Historical Climatology Network for several years,” said the UEA’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research Enterprise and Engagement Professor Trevor Davie.

So, was the data dumped, or not? The release continues, “The University will make all the data accessible as soon as they are released from a range of non-publication agreements. Publication will be carried out in collaboration with the Met Office Hadley Centre. The procedure for releasing these data, which are mainly owned by National Meteorological Services (NMSs) around the globe, is by direct contact between the permanent representatives of NMSs (in the UK the Met Office).”

And, said Trevies in an earlier statement, “No record has been deleted, altered, or otherwise dealt with in any fashion with the intent of preventing the disclosure of all, or any part, of the requested information. Where information has not been disclosed, we have done so in accordance with the provisions of the relevant legislation and have so informed the requester.” Really.

A problem then emerges with the CRU’s story. In particular, the story of Roger Pielke, Jr., who as professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado had requested the raw data used by the CRU to bolster the UN International Panel on Climate Change’s “man-made” global warming consensus. He was told that the CRU did not have it. Period.

According to the National Review’s Patrick J. Michaels, after Pielke made his request, CRU Director Phil Jones responded, “Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e., quality controlled and homogenized) data.”

While the account of Pielke confirms the Times Online’s story, Jones’ previous response to Pielke directly contradicts the UEA’s official story, namely that 95 percent of the data has been “accessible” for years, and that the UEA will now make all of the data available as soon as they are released from a number of non-publication agreements.

So, there is a big problem. Specifically, how can the UEA now be in a position to release the data if much of it was dumped it some 20 years ago? The answer is: it isn’t. Not yet.

According to Pielke’s blog of November 29th, “Today I received an email from a climate scientist of CRU-email fame complaining about my quote in the Times. He says that the national meteorological services have the original data, suggesting that I was misrepresenting the situation.” This would confirm the CRU’s release of November 28th, but it raises an even more important question. If the CRU never had the originals, had global climate researchers outside of the CRU and the IPCC ever had access? Had anyone besides the stations?

Pielke replied, “If… an economic research unit were releasing analyses of global economic activity in support of policy claimed to not hold the original country data — instead saying, well the countries have it — that would be highly problematic.” Because it would mean that the CRU never had the original data to begin with, but copies.

It gets worse. Scientists, academics, and others who, like Pielke, requested the very same information were told entirely different stories by the CRU prior to the scandal breaking, according to the Times Online:

* When David Holland, an engineer from Northampton, requested the data, he was told it was “not in the public interest”.

* Steve McIntyre, owner of the Climate Audit website, was turned down because he was not an “academic.”

* Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph in Canada, said he was told “they had obtained the data under confidentiality agreements and so could not supply them. This was odd because they had already supplied some of them to other academics, but only those who support the idea of climate change.”

So, to summarize: 1) the CRU did not retain the data that was sent to it by the National Meteorological Services (NMS); 2) data was suppressed because the CRU arbitrarily deemed it not to be in the “public interest”; and 3) the UEA will not release the data without each station’s express permission (which it has routinely denied to non-Hot Earthers).

Assuming that to be the size and shape of the scandal currently, there is a lot of fallout. Clearly, if the CRU was suppressing data release under Jones’ watch, then the CRU may have violated UK Freedom of Information law. And, if the original data is not released in full by the NMS, then it will continue to be impossible to prove what global temperatures even were for a number of years, let alone that increases could be attributed to man.

But, most importantly, if the data was “massaged” and adjusted to show an increase in global temperatures where there was none, then the CRU defrauded the entire world. And, that looks like exactly what happened.

The American Thinker’s Marc Sheppard has confirmed that the CRU did indeed use sophisticated statistical software coding to manipulate their dataset:
“[T]here are hundreds of IDL and FORTRAN source files buried in dozens of subordinate sub-folders… [Many] fall into the precarious range between highly questionable (removing MXD [maximum latewood density, the growth parameter commonly utilized by CRU scientists as a temperature proxy] data which demonstrate poor correlations with local temperature) to downright fraudulent (replacing MXD data entirely with measured data to reverse a disorderly trend-line)…”

Some programmers even attached warning notes about the data to the plotting programs. One reads:
“The data after 1960 should not be used. The tree-ring density records tend to show a decline after 1960 relative to the summer temperature in many high-latitude locations. In this data set this "decline" has been artificially removed in an ad-hoc way, and this means that data after 1960 no longer represent tree-ring density variations, but have been modified to look more like the observed temperatures.”

But, believe it or not, it gets even worse. After the CRU scandal broke, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Senior Fellow Chris Horner announced that he had served “three Notices of Intent to File Suit against NASA and its Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), for those bodies' refusal - for nearly three years - to provide documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.”

This is significant because, like the CRU, NASA’s GISS is the world’s other preeminent proponent of the “man-made” global warming consensus. And apparently, they are stonewalling the release of critical information, too.

According to Horner, the unfulfilled Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is intended to uncover, amongst other information, “internal discussions about NASA's quiet correction of its false historical U.S. temperature records after two Canadian researchers discovered a key statistical error… [and] internal discussions relating to the emails sent to James Hansen and/or Reto A. Ruedy from Canadian statistician Steve McIntyre calling their attention to the errors in NASA/GISS online temperature data…”

And, making matters yet worse, according to Viscount Christopher Monckton, writing an exclusive to Pajamas Media, that data has been manipulated, too:
“Unfortunately, the British researchers have been acting closely in league with their U.S. counterparts who compile the other terrestrial temperature dataset — the GISS/NCDC [National Climatic Data Center] dataset. That dataset too contains numerous biases intended artificially to inflate the natural warming of the 20th century.”

All of which means, of course, that Congress is duty-bound to the American people to get to the bottom of this growing scandal and to abolish any and all laws and regulations that depend upon this now-suspect research.

Certainly, that would be the proper course of action. Instead, after weeks of the White House stating that he would not do so, Barack Obama is preparing to travel to Copenhagen, Denmark to negotiate a draconian treaty drastically reducing carbon emissions in the industrialized world. And Congress is moving to pass its own carbon caps in the Senate.

But, Obama and his Congressional counterparts should be careful, lest they get caught in the tangled web of lies, manipulations, and distortions of Climategate, and go down with the ship once public outrage over the scandal reaches critical mass, as surely it will.


One down. More to go

The chief of a prestigious British research center caught in a storm of controversy over claims that he and others suppressed data about climate change has stepped down pending an investigation, the University of East Anglia said Tuesday.

The university said in a statement that Phil Jones, whose e-mails were among the thousands of pieces of correspondence leaked to the Internet late last month, would relinquish his position as director of Climatic Research Unit until the completion of an independent review.

The university's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research Trevor Davies said the investigation would cover data security, whether the university responded properly to Freedom of Information requests, "and any other relevant issues." The statement said the specific terms of the review will be announced later in the week.

Jones has been accused by skeptics of man-made climate change of manipulating data to support his research. In particular, many have pointed to a leaked e-mail in which Jones writes that he had used a "trick" to "hide the decline" in a chart detailing recent global temperatures. Jones has denied manipulating evidence and insisted his comment had been misunderstood, explaining that he'd used the word trick "as in a clever thing to do."

Davies said there was nothing in thestolen material to suggest the peer-reviewed publications by the unit "are not of the highest-quality of scientific investigation and interpretation."

But the correspondence from Jones and others — which appears to include discussions of how to keep critical work out of peer-reviewed journals and efforts to shield scientists' data and methodology from outside scrutiny — have been seized upon by those who are fighting efforts to impose caps on emissions of carbon dioxide as evidence of a scientific conspiracy.

Sen. James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican and a vocal skeptic of global warming, called Tuesday for Senate hearings on the e-mails. In a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who chairs the environment committee, Inhofe said the e-mails could have far-reaching policy implications for the United States. Both Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency are taking action to curb global warming based on a report that uses data produced by the Climate Research Unit.

A House committee has scheduled a hearing Wednesday on the status of climate science. Two prominent Obama administration scientists — White House science adviser John Holdren and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration administrator Jane Lubchenco — are expected to be questioned about the e-mails.

Davies defended Jones and his colleagues, saying the publication of their e-mails "is the latest example of a sustained and, in some instances, a vexatious campaign" to undermine climate science. The sentiment was echoed by Nicholas Stern, a leading climate change economist, who said the person or people who posted the leaked e-mails had muddled the debate at a critical moment. "It has created confusion and confusion never helps scientific discussions," Stern told reporters in London Tuesday. "The degree of skepticism among real scientists is very small." [Confusion is never helpful in science??? I would have thought it was the starting point for new knowledge. I suppose skepticism is bad too]


Academic Questions 'Green' Initiatives on Cutting Carbon Footprint

Global carbon markets may well have been hailed as the saviour of the planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but in many ways they are doing more harm than good, according to new evidence. In fact, two academics have compiled a book which argues that measures put in place to reduce carbon emissions following the Kyoto Protocol Treaty on climate change have only made matters worse.

Launched to tie-in with next month's United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen (COP15), Dr Steffen Böhm and Siddhartha Dabhi's new book, Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets, challenges the environmental claims made about carbon markets and carbon offsetting schemes. The book -- which collates contributions from more than 30 leading experts -- is another voice in the growing criticism about the business of carbon and how it has failed to deliver promised reductions in greenhouse gases.

Few would argue that climate change is the biggest challenge the world has ever faced, and reducing our carbon footprint is essential to the future of the planet. Carbon offsetting has become a multi-billion-dollar global business which has captured the imagination of organisations worldwide who want to do something to help combat global warming. The reality, however, is that many of these schemes have actually made matters worse.

Dr Böhm and Mr Dabhi, of the University of Essex-based Essex Business School, advise businesses and organisations to reduce their carbon footprint by undertaking initiatives closer to home than funding carbon offsetting programmes in deprived countries thousands of miles away.

'Carbon offsetting and carbon markets haven't really delivered the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions they claimed and in many ways have just made the problem worse,' they explained. 'These schemes have often just provided an incentive for big polluting companies to continue emitting greenhouse gases rather than to change their ways. 'Often, carbon offsetting schemes have very negative effects on local communities and eco-systems in developing countries.'

The book contributes to a growing field of critics of carbon markets by highlighting several up-to-date examples of where the system has failed and often led to negative social, economic and environmental impacts in deprived countries.

'Carbon markets simply don't address the underlying and root causes of climate change, which is an over-consumption of finite fossil fuels,' added Dr Böhm and Mr Dabhi. 'We are addicted to oil, gas, coal and a whole range of other fossil fuels, which, when burned for heating, electricity generation or other usages, release greenhouse gases. It is now time to make up for the lost decade since Kyoto and start to deal with our underlying reliance on fossil fuels.'

They also warn that companies claiming to be 'carbon neutral' due to carbon offsetting, need to be careful as the schemes they are supporting may not be as green as they think.


Australia: Conservative politicians block climate deal in Senate

At last the Liberal party has a real conservative in charge

The Coalition has managed to block the the Government's plan to fight climate change. The senate eventually voted 41-33 to defeat the government's climate change scheme despite two key Liberal moderates, Judith Troeth and Sue Boyce, crossing the Senate floor.

Blocking the emissions trading scheme (ETS) - which would set a limit on carbon pollution, then allow companies to trade permits to pollute within that cap - has handed Kevin Rudd a trigger for an early election.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong hit out at opposing senators before the final vote, saying changing Australia's economy is crucial to fighting climate change. "You do not tackle climate change unless you change your economy," Senator Wong told the senate. "You have to make polluters pay."

Mr Rudd has said publicly he has no interest in going to the polls early, but Labor insiders have said many Government number crunchers are open to the idea. A March election is touted as the most likely timing, if Mr Rudd decided to call a snap poll.

New Liberal leader Tony Abbott, led a revolt against Malcolm Turnbull over a deal done with the Government that would have seen the Opposition support the scheme. But in a secret ballot of Liberal MPs straight after the leadership spill, a majority voted to renege on that deal.

The scheme would make household items and bills more expensive, because polluters would pass on the cost of polluting to consumers. However the Government has promised most families will be no worse off. Mr Abbott has called the scheme a "$130 billion tax". "This great big new tax is not actually going to reduce our emissions, it's just going to make a whole lot of things more expensive," he said on Macquarie radio this morning. "I am confident ... this legislation will be defeated in the Senate today."

Mr Abbott said yesterday he was not frightened by the prospect of fighting an election against Mr Rudd on climate change. He has promised an alternative policy on climate change next year, arguing there is no need to rush a policy that important.

But the Government is already painting Mr Abbott's leadership as a relic of the Howard era, with no new ideas for the future. Mr Rudd and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong had set a deadline of last week for the climate deal to be passed, but offered it again to Mr Abbott after yesterday's spill. The deal negotiated with the Opposition gave billions of extra dollars for polluters in compensation for when the cap is introduced.

The Government wanted the deal passed in time for next week's UN climate conference in Copenhagen. It is supposed to secure a successor to the Kyoto climate treaty, although no-one thinks it will achieve anything binding. Senator Wong has said she will go the summit early to try to salvage something, but it will be harder without an ETS deal.

Meanwhile Liberal Party strategists are plotting a strategy of using the ETS to target the PM as failing to deliver on promises that he would ease financial stress on families. Sources told The Australian that party research showed battlers were angry that costs were rising on Mr Rudd's watch - and that he was proposing to add to the burden with the climate plan.

Mr Abbott said he would pursue Mr Rudd for driving up interest rates with profligate spending, pointing to yesterday's decision by the Reserve Bank to lift the official cash rate by 0.25 percentage points to 3.75 per cent. The Opposition Leader also foreshadowed industrial relations reform. While admitting the Howard government's Work Choices laws had gone too far, he said they had created two million jobs and that "a free and flexible economy" was vital.



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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

ClimateGate Who's Who

E-Mail Fracas Shows Peril of Trying to Spin Science

By JOHN TIERNEY, writing in the NYT

If you have not delved into the thousands of e-mail messages and files hacked from the computers of British climate scientists, let me give you the closest thing to an executive summary. It is taken from a file slugged HARRY_READ_ME, which is the log of a computer expert’s long struggle to make sense of a database of historical temperatures. Here is Harry’s summary of the situation:

Aarrggghhh! That cry, in various spellings, is a motif throughout the log as Harry tries to fight off despair. “OH [EXPLETIVE] THIS!” he writes after struggling to reconcile readings from weather stations around the world. “It’s Sunday evening, I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity. ...”

Harry, whoever he may be, comes off as the most sympathetic figure in the pilfered computer annals of East Anglia University, the British keeper of global temperature records. While Harry’s log shows him worrying about the integrity of the database, the climate scientists are e-mailing one another with strategies for blocking outsiders’ legal requests to see their data.

While Harry is puzzling over temperatures — “I have that familiar Twilight Zone sensation” — the scientists are confidently making proclamations to journalists, jetting to conferences and plotting revenge against those who question the dangers of global warming. When a journal publishes a skeptic’s paper, the scientists e-mail one another to ignore it. They focus instead on retaliation against the journal and the editor, a project that is breezily added to the agenda of their next meeting: “Another thing to discuss in Nice!”

As the scientists denigrate their critics in the e-mail messages, they seem oblivious to one of the greatest dangers in the climate-change debate: smug groupthink. These researchers, some of the most prominent climate experts in Britain and America, seem so focused on winning the public-relations war that they exaggerate their certitude — and ultimately undermine their own cause.

Consider, for instance, the phrase that has been turned into a music video by gleeful climate skeptics: “hide the decline,” used in an e-mail message by Phil Jones, the head of the university’s Climatic Research Unit. He was discussing the preparation of a graph for the cover of a 1999 report from the World Meteorological Organization showing that temperatures in the past several decades were the highest of the past millennium.

Most of the graph was based on analyses of tree rings and other “proxy” records like ice cores and lake sediments. These indirect measurements indicated that temperatures declined in the middle of the millennium and then rose in the first half of the 20th century, which jibes with other records. But the tree-ring analyses don’t reveal a sharp warming in the late 20th century — in fact, they show a decline in temperatures, contradicting what has been directly measured with thermometers.

Because they considered that recent decline to be spurious, Dr. Jones and his colleagues removed it from part of the graph and used direct thermometer readings instead. In a statement last week, Dr. Jones said there was nothing nefarious in what they had done, because the problems with the tree-ring data had been openly identified earlier and were known to experts.

But the graph adorned the cover of a report intended for policy makers and journalists. The nonexperts wouldn’t have realized that the scariest part of that graph — the recent temperatures soaring far above anything in the previous millennium — was based on a completely different measurement from the earlier portion. It looked like one smooth, continuous line leading straight upward to certain doom.

The story behind that graph certainly didn’t show that global warming was a hoax or a fraud, as some skeptics proclaimed, but it did illustrate another of their arguments: that the evidence for global warming is not as unequivocal as many scientists claim. (Go to for details.)

In fact, one skeptic raised this very issue about tree-ring data in a comment posted in 2004 on RealClimate, the blog operated by climate scientists. The comment, which questioned the propriety of “grafting the thermometer record onto a proxy temperature record,” immediately drew a sharp retort on the blog from Michael Mann, an expert at Penn State University:

“No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, ‘grafted the thermometer record onto’ any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation Web sites) appearing in this forum.”

Dr. Mann now tells me that he was unaware, when he wrote the response, that such grafting had in fact been done in the earlier cover chart, and I take him at his word. But I don’t see why the question was dismissed so readily, with the implication that only a tool of the fossil-fuel industry would raise it.

Contempt for critics is evident over and over again in the hacked e-mail messages, as if the scientists were a priesthood protecting the temple from barbarians. Yes, some of the skeptics have political agendas, but so do some of the scientists. Sure, the skeptics can be cranks and pests, but they have identified genuine problems in the historical reconstructions of climate, as in the debate they inspired about the “hockey stick” graph of temperatures over the past millennium.

It is not unreasonable to give outsiders a look at the historical readings and the adjustments made by experts like Harry. How exactly were the readings converted into what the English scientists describe as “quality controlled and homogenised” data?

Trying to prevent skeptics from seeing the raw data was always a questionable strategy, scientifically. Now it looks like dubious public relations, too.

In response to the furor over the climate e-mail messages, there will be more attention than ever paid to those British temperature records, and any inconsistencies or gaps will seem more suspicious simply because the researchers were so determined not to reveal them. Skeptical bloggers are already dissecting Harry’s work. As they relentlessly pore over other data, the British scientists will feel Harry’s pain:

Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight.


Climategate: Why it matters

The scandal we see and the scandal we don't

Reading the Climategate archive is a bit like discovering that Professional Wrestling is rigged. You mean, it is? Really?

The archive - a carefully curated 160MB collection of source code, emails and other documents from the internal network of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia - provides grim confirmation for critics of climate science. But it also raises far more troubling questions.

Perhaps the real scandal is the dependence of media and politicians on their academics' work - an ask-no-questions approach that saw them surrender much of their power, and ultimately authority. This doesn't absolve the CRU crew of the charges, but might put it into a better context.

After a week of scrutiny of the emails, attention is now turning to the programming source code. Three quarters of the material released is the work of the academics, much of which they had jealously guarded. This includes a version of the world's most cited and respected temperature record - HADCRUT - and a number of surveys which featured prominently in the reports of the UN's climate change panel, the IPCC. The actors here shaped the UN reports, and ultimately - because no politician dare contradict the 'science' - shaped global policy.

The allegations over the past week are fourfold: that climate scientists controlled the publishing process to discredit opposing views and further their own theory; they manipulated data to make recent temperature trends look anomalous; they withheld and destroyed data they should have released as good scientific practice, and they were generally beastly about people who criticised their work. (You’ll note that one of these is far less serious than the others.) But why should this be a surprise?

The secretive Jones is no secret: The secretive approach of CRU director Jones and his colleagues, particularly in the paleoclimatology field, is not a secret. Distinguished scientists have testified to this throughout from the early 1990s onwards. A report specifically commissioned four years ago by Congress, the Wegman Report, identified many of the failings discussed in the past week.

Failings are understandable, climatology is in its infancy, and the man-made greenhouse gas theory is a recent development. However no action was taken. A little like Goldman Sachs, the group that includes the CRU Crew was deemed to be important to fail - or even have the semblance of fallibility.

A lightning recap of what CRU is, and what role it plays, helps bring the puzzle out of the shadows.

CRU was founded in 1972 by the 'Father of Climatology', former Met Office meteorologist Hubert Lamb. Until around 1980, solar modulation was believed to be the driving factor in climatic variation. A not unreasonable idea, you might think, since our energy (unless you live by a volcano vent) is derived from the sun. Without a better understanding of the sun, climatology may be reasonably be called "speculative meteorology".

But CRU's increasing influence, according to its own history, stemmed from politicians taking an interest. "The UK Government became a strong supporter of climate research in the mid-1980s, following a meeting between Prime Minister Mrs Thatcher and a small number of climate researchers, which included Tom Wigley, the CRU director at the time. This and other meetings eventually led to the setting up of the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, within the Met Office," the CRU notes.

Lamb (who died in 1997), however remained sceptical of the greenhouse gas hypothesis to the end.

In addition to inheriting all the problems of climatology, the greenhouse gas hypothesis has several unique issues of its own, and addressing them is a challenge for the most scrupulous researcher. How CRU addressed them was to define climatology for two decades - and ultimately defined the public debate and policy, too.

The gas theory is based on an elegant 'energy budget' model, but it leans heavily on positive feedbacks resulting from greenhouse gases such as CO2 in order to produce the warming CO2 cannot do by itself. Yet no simple empirical laboratory tests are of use here. Nor is there a ‘fingerprint’ or tell-tale signal that anthropogenically produced gases are the primary forcing factor. Hence climatology's increasing reliance, since 1980, on a range of anecdotal evidence and computer modelling.

In a fiercely contested field, both methods were fiercely guarded. The result of this was the blurring of the line between correlation and causation, and hindcasting and forecasting. Slowly, but surely, an "assertion" was becoming "proof".

The first IPCC report in 1990 used the established temperature record created by Lamb. It's very different to the one we're familiar with today - and that's the work of CRU director Phil Jones, CRU's pioneer dendrochronologist Keith Briffa, and their colleagues in (mainly) US institutions. You can see the difference here.

Although Lamb's version is supported by historical accounts, archaeology, geology and even contemporary literature, two key differences are the decreased significance of the Medieval Warming Period (CRU and its allies prefer the term 'MCA', or "Medieval Climate Anomaly") and a radically warmer modern period.

Jones and his team began to produce work that contradicted the established picture in 1990 - and CRU was able to do so from both ends. By creating new temperature recreations, it could create a new account of history. By issuing a monthly gridded temperature set while making raw station data unavailable for inspection, it defined contemporary data. So CRU controlled two important narratives: the "then", and the "now".

In the FOIA.ZIP archive, we find Jones unambiguous in an email: "We will be rewriting people's perceived wisdom about the course of temperature change over the past millennium," he wrote.

In text books co-authored with Ray Bradley (1992 and 1996) and a landmark paper with Ben Santer (1996), Jones described artificial reconstructions that questioned the established historical record. Jones and Briffa were both co-authors of a 1995 paper for Nature - Unusual Twentieth-century Summer Warmth in a 1,000-year Temperature Record from Siberia - that used a tree ring reconstruction from the Urals to claim that the mean 20th Century temperature is higher than any period since 914. Sympathetic researchers in the US produced similar graphs, again emphasising that modern warming (0.7C in the 20th Century), was anomalous.

Since these scientists declined to document their methodology and the raw sample, they were difficult to dispute. By 2001, with the IPCC's Third Assessment Report or TAR, the new version of history was the established one. The 'Hockey Stick' controversy only broke three years subsequently.

That resulted in the Wegman report. Although CRU hadn't produced the Hockey Stick (the work of American metereologist Michael Mann) or used his statistical techniques, Wegman implicated leading CRU figures as part of a close knit network.
In our further exploration of the social network of authorships in temperature reconstruction, we found that at least 43 authors have direct ties to Dr. Mann by virtue of coauthored papers with him. Our findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface.

Wegman also criticised their workmanship:
[...]the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community. Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.

Wegman had identified other networks in climate science which also "peer reviewed" each other's work, removing criticism from the record, and acting as gatekeepers.

Over four years later the 'Climategate' archive provides evidence to support this. We find Jones discussing how to avoid FOIA requests, advising the deletion of email and telling his own information officers not to release data to critics. Earlier this summer, CRU said that it had failed to maintain the raw station data it had gathered, citing lack of storage space.

But to what purpose were these networks acting? Playing politics - or feeding a demand?

'Climategate' raises far more questions than it answers, and one of the most intriguing of these is how a small group (backing a new theory, in an infant field) came to have such a huge effect on global policy making. Is it fair to hang CRU Director Jones and his colleagues out to dry - as some climate campaigners such as George Monbiot have suggested? If the buck doesn't stop with the CRU climatologists - then who or what is really to blame?

Poring over the archive, it's easy to find a nose here, and a large leathery foot over there - and to conclude that the owner of the room may have a very strange taste in furnishings. The elephant in the room can go unnoticed.

The CRU team may have stepped into a scientific vacuum, but that doesn't account for the qualities of the climate debate today. It is beset with a sense of crisis and urgency, and the ascendancy of a quite specific and narrow set of policy options that precludes the cool and rational assessment of the problem that an engineer might employ. Or equally, the cost/benefit calculations that an economist might use. (Actually, many have, and here's a good recent example from Richard Tol - but this is not part of the public discourse, or diplomatic agenda as illustrated by the Copenhagen Conference, where the focus is on emissions reductions).

Briffa himself apparently found being "true" to his science and his customer difficult. "I tried hard to balance the needs of the science and the IPCC, which are not always the same," he writes, after wrapping up the chapter on which he was joint lead author for the fourth IPCC report published. in 2007

The ignorance of the natural world displayed by the scientists is remarkably at odds with the notion that the science is "settled". Where's the Global Warming, asks NCAR's Tom Wigley. His colleague Kevin Trenberth admits they can't answer the question. "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't... Our observing system is inadequate." Trenberth goes on further, and admits the the energy budget hasn't been "balanced". Wigley paraphrases him: "we are nowhere close to knowing where energy is going". It is climate experts admitting that they don't know what they're doing.

But were such reservations communicated to the policy makers or media?

As I mentioned earlier, the very nature of the problem itself has led the "science" onto shaky ground - onto modelling (which has no predictive value) and anecdotal evidence (which merely demonstrates correlation, but not causation). That's why the 'Hockey Stick' was a very big deal: it substituted for hard evidence; if fossil fuel emissions affected the climate at all significantly, this remained a future threat, and certainly not an urgent one.

The demand from institutions, (principally the UN, through its IPCC), national policy makers and the media has taken climate scientists into areas where they struggle to do good science. Add professional activists to the mix - who bring with them the Precautionary Principle - and the element of urgency is introduced.

The situation is largely self-inflicted. The scandal is that science has advanced through anecdote and poorly founded conjecture - and on this slender basis, politicians and institutions lacking vision and confidence (and given the lack of popular support, legitimacy too) have found a cause.

Perhaps some readers may find this too forgiving of the participants. Three years ago Jones confessed to climatologist Christy both the state of the "science", and some of his own motivations.

"As you know, I’m not political. If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish".


Document Reveals U.N.'s Goal of Becoming Rule-Maker in Global Environmental Talks

Environmentalism should be regarded on the same level with religion "as the only compelling, value-based narrative available to humanity," according to a paper written two years ago to influence the future strategy of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), the world's would-be environmental watchdog.

The purpose of the paper, put together after an unpublicized day-long session in Switzerland by some of the world's top environmental bureaucrats: to argue for a new and unprecedented effort to move environmental concerns to "the center of political and economic decision-making" around the world — and perhaps not coincidentally, expand the influence and reach of UNEP at the tables of world power, as a rule-maker and potential supervisor of the New Environmental Order.

The positions argued in that paper now appear to be much closer at hand; many of them are embedded in a four-year strategy document for UNEP taking effect next year, in the immediate wake of the much-touted, 11-day Copenhagen conference on "climate change," which starts on Dec. 7, and which is intended to push environmental concerns to a new crescendo.

The major difference is that the four-year UNEP plan expresses its aims in the carefully soporific language that U.N. organizations customarily use to swaddle their objectives. The Swiss document makes its case passionately — and more important, plainly — than any U.N. official document ever would.

The ambitious paper, entitled "The UNEP That We Want," was the product of a select group of 20 top environmental bureaucrats and thinkers, including UNEP's current No. 2 official, Angela Cropper. The document was later delivered to UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

Other participants included Janos Pasztor, currently head of the team pushing U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's unprecedented Seal the Deal lobbying campaign to pressure U.N. member governments into signing a new environmental agreement at Copenhagen; Julia Marton-Lefevre, head of the World Conservation Union; Dominic Waughray, currently head of environmental initiatives at the World Economic Forum; and Maria Ivanova, a Bulgarian academic who is director of the Global Economic Governance Project at the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy.

Another important attendee was John Scanlon, listed on UNEP's website as principal advisor to UNEP's Steiner. Among other things, Scanlon is credited in his UNEP biography with being the leader in developing UNEP's new medium-term strategy, "Environment for Development," covering the period from 2010 to 2013. The draft version of the strategy was presented to a UNEP's Governing Council and a meeting of the world's environmental minister's in February 2008, and subsequently approved.

The Swiss paper was written not by Scanlon but by Mark Halle, the Europe-based director of trade and investment for an influential environmental think-tank, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), which originated in Canada and now operates in some 30 countries. IISD, which still has heavy Canadian government support, bills itself as a research institute promoting policies that are "simultaneously beneficial to the global economy, the global environment and to social well-being."

Even though all of the Swiss participants took part in the brainstorming, the responsibility for the ideas in the paper are his own, Halle emphasized to Fox News, after he was contacted last week about the document. The paper itself says it offers "elements," not a "complete offering," of what UNEP should consider for its role in the years ahead.

Despite those limitations, the report was "very well received" by UNEP's hierarchy, according to Halle, and "it has had a great impact internally." He added, "I have participated in several discussions and presentations of the ideas."

In fact, there is a high degree of overlap between the ideas pulled together at the small Swiss meeting of experts and the ideas that also appear in the new strategic plan for UNEP, a copy of which has been obtained by Fox News.

Those ideas are being espoused at a highly charged time. Both environmentalists and the entire United Nations, led by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, are still fervently pressuring governments around the world to sign a legally binding and more global successor to the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas suppression, which expires in 2012. At the moment, that deal appears likely to be delayed, at least until next spring, as some wealthy countries, including the U.S., balk at the high cost and potentially crippling economic impact of targets to reduce carbon emissions into the earth's atmosphere, even though President Barack Obama supports an ambitious Copenhagen deal.

But UNEP's strategic plan, as well as the IISD document that grew out of the Swiss gathering, look well beyond the horizon of Copenhagen in suggesting the outlines of the world's environment-centered future, to what the strategic plan calls "the next phase in the evolution of UNEP."

Among other things, both documents argue for:

—a "new and central position for environmentalism in the world's thinking," as the Swiss paper puts it. "The current environmental challenges and opportunities will cause the environment to move from often being considered as a marginal issue at the intergovernmental and national levels to the centre of political and economic decision-making," says the medium-term plan.

—a new position in the international power game for UNEP, reaching far beyond the member governments that currently finance its core budget and make up its normal supervisors. "It will have to make itself relevant well beyond the world of those already concerned with the environment, including very prominently its own formal constituency," as the Swiss paper puts it.

UNEP will "actively reach out to Governments, other United Nations entities, international institutions, multilateral environmental agreement secretariats, civil society, the private sector and other relevant partners to implement the Medium-term Strategy," says the UNEP document.

—a major restructuring of international institutions to merge environmental issues with economics as the central priority. "We require an Environmental Bretton Woods for the 21st Century," Halle argues — a reference to the meeting that laid the foundations of Western international finance and economic regulation after World War II. "The linkages between environmental sustainability and the economy will emerge as a key focus for public policymaking and a determinant of future markets opportunities," according to the UNEP strategic plan.

—new environmental rules, regulations and standards, and the linking of existing environmental agreements, in a stronger global lattice-work of environmental law, with stronger authority to command national governments. The Swiss paper calls it a series of "ambitious yet incremental adjustments" to international environmental governance. Indeed, the document says, UNEP's "role is to 'tee up' the next generation of such rules."

The UNEP four-year strategy puts it more obliquely, and only in a footnote on page 7 of the document: "UNEP will actively participate in the continuing international environmental governance discussions both within and outside the United Nations system, noting the repeated calls to strengthen UNEP, including its financial base, and the 'evolutionary nature of strengthening international environmental governance.'"

—an extensive propagandizing role for UNEP that reaches beyond its member governments and traditional environmental institutions to "children and youth" as well as business and political groups, to support UNEP strategic objectives.

As the Swiss paper puts it, UNEP "should pioneer a new style of work. This requires going beyond a narrow interpretation of UNEP's stakeholders as comprising its member states — or even the world's governments — and recruiting a far wider community of support, in civil society, the academic world and the private sector." At the same time the paper warns that these groups need to be "harnessed to the UNEP mission without appearing to make an end-run around the member governments."

The official four-year plan uses more restrained language in declaring that "civil society, including children and youth, and the private sector will be reached through tailor-made outreach products and campaigns.... Civil society will also be engaged to assist with UNEP outreach efforts." (The term "civil society," as used by the U.N., usually refers to organizations and associations that have received formal recognition from one branch or another of the sprawling world organization.)

—along with increased political leverage for UNEP, bringing increased financial leverage to its cause, once again by reaching beyond the national environmental ministries that traditionally are the organization's financial base to more powerful sectors of government as well as business and other interest groups that will see profit and advantage in the new, environment centered approach.

Says the Swiss paper: "UNEP must focus on priorities that meet two characteristics: they should appeal to the more powerful [government] ministers responsible for economic policy; and they should empower environmental ministers at the cabinet table. UNEP's message is not for environment ministers — the already converted.... It must aim higher."

As UNEP's four-year strategy more circumspectly puts it: "Mobilizing sufficient finance to meet environmental challenges, including climate change, extends well beyond global mechanisms negotiated under conventions. It will require efforts at local, national and global levels to engage with Governments and the private sector to achieve the necessary additional investment and financial flows."

As far as UNEP itself is concerned, the document says, the organization "will raise contributions from the private sector, foundations and non-environmental funding windows…Funds will also be drawn from humanitarian, crisis and peacebuilding instruments, where appropriate."

—Perhaps the most important function both documents see for the newly enhanced UNEP is to seek influence as the world's guiding arbiter of a new measurement of human development. "We believe the environmental argument should be recast in terms of its importance for and potential contribution to prosperity, stability and equity," the Swiss paper argues.

Or, more discreetly, as the strategy document puts it: "Integrated environmental assessments that highlight the state of the environment and trends will be used to inform decision-makers and ensure UNEP plays its lead environmental role in the United Nations system and strengthens its capacity to respond better to the global, regional and national needs of Governments."

According to Halle, however, in an e-mail exchange with Fox News, there are signs that the hugely ambitious role he and his fellow-thinkers sketched for UNEP as religion's main competitor are "beginning to happen." Halle pointed to UNEP's espousal this year of a so-called Green Economy Initiative, a proposal to radically redesign the global economy and transfer trillions of dollars in investment to the world's poorest developing countries, but one that is couched in terms of providing new green jobs, an end to old, unfair carbon-based energy subsidies, and greater global fairness and opportunity. Halle called the development "quite exciting."

The Green Economy Initiative, also called the Global Green New Deal, is a major counterpart to the new treaty on greenhouse gas suppression that all branches of the United Nations, and a horde of environmental organizations, are lobbying loudly to bring to agreement at the environmental summit in Copenhagen.

It is certain to remain a UNEP rallying cry long after the Copenhagen meeting is over — and while the other brainstorming ideas that went into the new four-year strategy, not to mention the strategy itself, go into effect.


Let the Great Global Warming Cover-Up Begin!

By Alan Caruba

Now that some enterprising and possibly conscience-stricken soul has served up the emails and other data of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, revealing the deliberate efforts to hide the corrupted research that justifies the “global warming” fraud, all the various journalists and alleged climate scientists who have been a party to it are trying desperately to cover up or minimize the scandal.

Others like the U.S. “Climate Czar” Carol Browner have announced their faith in the disputed data, but Browner, who served as EPA Director in the Clinton administration has never shown any interest in honest science and is not likely to have left a paper trail in her present position. No word yet from Obama’s loony “Science Czar”, John Holdren.

The truth is, those closely allied with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been suppressing the real science, substituting their own corrupted data, and trying to avoid the process of “peer review” by which other scientists, the real ones, can test the data for accuracy and validity.

Thousands of real scientists have signed petitions over the years demanding that global warming claims be submitted to rigorous examination. The Heartland Institute, a non-profit, free market think tank, spent—-for them-—an enormous amount of money to put on international conferences that brought together top scientists who demonstrated how utterly false the IPCC, CRU and other data was, but the mainstream media simply mocked their effort.

Initially, the culprits at the CRU claimed that their computers had been “hacked”, but many others believe that the data and emails had already been culled by CRU insides for the purpose of removing it from any impending investigation.

In England, its Freedom of Information Act, similar to that in the U.S., had been used to demand the data supporting the global warming theory which, at one point, Phil Jones, the CRU director, claimed had been “lost.” Reportedly, Jones has attracted more than $22 million in grants to the CRU for climate research!

His colleague, Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, became famous for concocting a “hockey stick” graph that depicted a sudden rise in the Earth’s temperature that was later revealed to have been falsified, but these concoctions have been used for decades by the IPCC to claim that global warming is real and on-going.

The prevailing belief now is that the emails and data were already on a disk that a conscience-stricken CRU staffer decided to make available on the Internet for all to see and examine before it too became “lost.”

You can be sure, however, that the global warming journalists whose careers have been based on furthering the fraud will continue to emphasize the “hacking” theory to suggest this “stolen” data lacks merit and those using it, the so-called “skeptics” and “deniers” are still not to be trusted.

In the U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) who has been the lone voice in the Senate debunking “global warming” has called for an investigation. Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank, has already filed three Notices of Intent to File Suit against NASA and its Goddard Institute for Space Studies that, for three years, has refused to provide documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

In the United States, James E. Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute, got the “global warming” hysteria going in the 1980s when he testified before Congress that his research revealed an incipient catastrophe if the U.S. did not significantly reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that he said were causing “global warming.” The result was that NASA has averaged more than $1 billion each year since 1995 for climate research.

Estimates of the amount of money the U.S. has spent on all manner of “research” and related programs peg the figure at $50 billion or more. That’s a lot of money for something that was NOT happening and in 1998 the Earth entered a natural cooling cycle; one in which we’re likely be for two decades more or longer.

All of this is exacerbated by the fact that the President of the United States will briefly attend the forthcoming December UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change being held in Copenhagen. He has made it clear that he believes the false data put forth by the IPCC and wants the U.S. to sign a treaty that would yield U.S. sovereignty to the United Nations.

President Obama has repeatedly said the United States has to reduce its CO2 emissions, the mantra of the global warming liars. It would destroy what's left of our battered, debt-ridden economy. So a major cover-up will be the objective of the U.S. news media that has pushed “global warming” for years with one scare story after another aimed at energy producers and users.

The battle now is to force the mainstream media to tell the truth about “global warming” and to find out just how many billions of taxpayers dollars have been squandered on junk climate science and policies detrimental to the nation. As for President Obama, he should just pick up his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, give another florid speech, get on Air Force One, and come home.


Dislike of Warmist laws causes change in Australian conservative leadership

TONY Abbott's Liberal leadership is a remarkable result for the Liberal party and a victory for those two camps who wanted to remove Malcolm Turnbull and oppose the Rudd Government’s ETS. Abbott’s position will now be to oppose the ETS but faces the prospect of rebels immediately undermining his leadership by supporting the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

Mr Divisive – as he is seen – will now have to be the conciliatory and healing leader that Joe Hockey had promised to be.

In the end Abbott’s decisiveness as a potential leader has triumphed over Turnbull’s dictatorial style and crash through approach and Hockey’s attempts to compromise so much he threatened to leave the party without a policy position.

The Liberals have voted for decisiveness and character over indecision from Hockey and overbearing character from Turnbull.

The scene is now set for further ructions within the Liberal party or revolts in the Senate and a Liberal-nationals Coalition attacking the Rudd Government’s ETS as a new tax.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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