Climategate 2011 : It’s like déjà vu, all over again

If I had funding of the order of £494,625.00, I wouldn’t waste most of it on legal costs, I would spend it on a decent communications campaign – something fresh and not smelling of two year old turkey sandwiches.

Climategate 2011 ? It all smells like déjà vu, all over again. It’s so fresh, it’s practically putrid. Who’s going to take this seriously ?

If I were to have a word with the media outreach team of the organisation behind Climategate, I’d recommend they try climbing up the strategy ladder a bit. As Michael E. Mann says, this latest “release” of electronic mail, that is actually several years out of date, is “pathetic“.

Electronic mail is informal – it does not constitute official publication of facts or figures. It is not formal research; it is “free speech” dialogue, protected under numerous laws in many jurisdictions. For the climate change sceptics to base their arguments against climate change science on the basis of climate change scientists’ e-mail is ridiculous. No, it’s worse than ridiculous, it’s laugh-out-loud weak. Anyone who has been drawn into the Climategate narrative is not thinking very carefully, or they would realise how tendentious and flimsy it is.

Look guys, we’ve had the inquiries, the reports, the investigations, the debates. You lost. Get over it. The climate change scientists have done nothing wrong. Start reading the actual science instead of the trumped-up nothing-there scandal.

Global Warming is a fact. It’s caused by excessive human greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Change is real, it’s happening now, and it’s causing damages around the world. It’s going to get worse – much worse – if we don’t have an integrated policy response.

All the recommendations of the economists have failed. All the international negotiations have so far failed. Many of the promises of the technologists have failed.

My dear climate change sceptics and skeptics, we need to pull together to resolve this. All your carping, speculation and stirring the pot isn’t helping. Can you please find some arguments that have a foundation in reality; proposals that can contribute something positive – or just get out of the road – you’re snarling up the traffic of genuine progress.

6 thoughts on “Climategate 2011 : It’s like déjà vu, all over again”

  1. Jo Abbess in a comment @ : “Nov 22, 2011 at 3:21 AM | jo abbess @BishopHill

    Please note that matthu is repeating an unfounded assertion, when he notes : “Roger Harrabin was also the one who altered a BBC article after pressure from Jo Abbess” at Nov 21, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Both Roger Harrabin and myself do not agree with this interpretation of what took place. ”

    Jo abbess in an email to Roger Harribin: “It would be better if you did not quote sceptics. Their voice is everywhere on every channel.” [Really? She should try watching BBC sometime]. “They are deliberately instructing the emergence of the truth. I would ask: please reserve the main BBC Online channel for the emerging truth.”

    When Harrabin replied, not altogether unreasonably, that there were no factual inaccuracies in his story, Abbess made [what certainly appears to be] a threat:

    “I am about to send your comments to others for their contribution, unless you request I do not. They are likely to want to post your comments on forums/fora, so please indicate if you do not want this to happen. You may appear in an unfavourable light because it could be said that you have had your head turned by the sceptics.”

    care to comment?

    BBC : Balance Restored
    April 4, 2008 by jo (Abbess)

    “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, but I’m not really sure if the result is that much better.

    Judge for yourselves…”

    Jo abbess in a comment “Nov 22, 2011 at 3:21 AM | jo abbess

    Please note that matthu is repeating an unfounded assertion, when he notes : “Roger Harrabin was also the one who altered a BBC article after pressure from Jo Abbess” at Nov 21, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Both Roger Harrabin and myself do not agree with this interpretation of what took place. ”

    Care to comment, Ms Abbess?

  3. Straw man. Most sceptics are claiming that to say ‘the science is in’ can only be true when we understand not just the greenhouse effect, but also all the other aspects of our planet’s thermal dynamics – clouds, ocean heating/cooling, atmospheric physics, solar effects etc. And obviously, to the extent that the observations diverge from the models, it is reasonable to hope for better models. Funnily enough, in these recently released emails, you’ll see (if you can be bothered to look) plenty of ‘onside’ climate scientists referring themselves to exactly those problems.

    Sadly, this is not about truth, it’s about tribes. Hence, in your mind, the sceptics must be saying something clearly stupid and/or mad, because they are the anti-tribe to your good and righteous tribe. Actually, the sceptics are not, in the main, significantly more stupid than you. You’d do yourself a favour by noticing that.

  4. Jo, thanks for posting my comment on your green strawberry thread.

    Since you evidently do have an open policy I would like to engage and give you at least an insight into the rational behind climate sceptics, as you don’t appear to have much understanding of the issues in question.

    Very few sceptics dispute that the world is warming; the data clearly shows that average global average temperatures have risen by about 1-1.5C in the last 100-150 years. However this rise, once seen in the context of the warming we have seen since the end of the little ice age (LIA) in the early 1800s, is coincidentally also the beginning of the period when instrumental temperature records began to be accurately recorded – Hence, the rise in temperature is not as alarming as is typically portrayed by many in the WWF, Greenpeace, and the IPCC. It is also very
    unlikely that current global temperatures are unprecedented, as it was clearly just as warm (if not warmer) in the Medieval Warm Period and 1-2C warmer in the Minioan WP, and even warmer than that in the Holocene Optima c.8000 years ago – (note that this graph does not show the last 100 years of data, so to bring this up to date, the red line should end a bit higher, roughly -31C).

    So the key question is not has it warmed, but how much of the 20th century warming is due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions (if any), as opposed to natural variation/rebound from the LIA. In other words what is the climate sensitivity from increased
    atmospheric CO2 concentrations. You may not realise that the IPCC alarmist projections, of 2-6C warming by 2100, do not come
    directly from increased C02 concentrations, but from the assumption that consequent increased atmospheric water vapour (which
    is a much more significant greenhouse gas) will act as a positive feedback. However, as Lindzen and Spencer contend, this is a rather spurious assumption to make, and it is just likely (if not more) that increased water vapour will act as a negative feedback. Think about and it is obvious – more water vapour will lead to more clouds, which have a significant net cooling effect (through their higher albedo) as they will decrease the insolation (the amount of solar energy which reaches the ground/sea). It is not simple however, because this cooling will be more pronounced from clouds in the equatorial regions and mid latitudes, than it will be in the polar regions, where clouds may well have a net warming effect, at least at night-time and hence primarily the winter seasons, when there is much less incoming solar energy (so higher albedo is not so significant overall). So there are diurnal and seasonal factors, and the also issue of whether the effects of increased cloud cover are the same over land as they are over ocean. The point is that these fundamental aspects of the atmospheric science is little understood and the IPCC’s models are ludicrously simplistic and fundamentally flawed for that reason alone. One of the really interesting and significant things about the climategate emails is that many of the top scientists are privately aware of the inadequacy (and hence uncertainty) of the atmospheric models; but rather than lay this on the table for decision makers, they keep these concerns to themselves, lest they upset the applecart and ‘scientific consensus’.

    There are of course other issues which sceptics rightly raise – e.g. the role played by UHI in exaggerating the rise of global
    temperatures, and the role the sun’s variable magnetosphere could play in determining/influencing global cloud cover.

  5. continued from above

    tSo There is no evidence what-so-ever that the warming we experienced in the late 20th century has increased the number of tropical storms, hurricanes, or tornadoes in the US or elsewhere, e.g. .
    Again, in the climategate emails we send evidence that climate scientists were well aware of these issues but actively worked to keep them out of the journals and IPCC reports, lest they harmed the so called consensus that CO2 is the only culprit. The emails also clearly show that Jones and Mann in particular had fallen for noble cause corruption and effectively became more activist than scientist.

    I am trying to reach out to you here Jo, as an sceptic but an informed one – I have a degree in the environmental sciences – not that that amounts to much nowadays – critical thinking is of much more value and they don’t teach that at university. I
    went along with the AGW thesis for nearly 20 years, mainly because the physics of CO2 appeared to be well understood, it
    seemed to make sense in that the 1990s did seem to be typically warmer than the 80s and 70s, (though in retrospect I’d say it
    was more mild winters rather than any blisteringly hot or warm summers), and because I believed in the precautionary principal (and still do). I (and other sceptics I know for that matter) am green-minded, and recycle stuff, and am a cyclist etc. I even doshed out a few thousand quid of my own cash on a solar system a few years ago – and not for the FITs, I needed an off-grid backup system for when the grid falls over, and prefer solar to a noisy (but much cheaper) generator.

    So just because some sceptics (especially from the USA) tend to be more right-wing than left, does not make us all crazy polar bear hunter in the pay of big oil, and more importantly it does not invalidate the many questions that sceptics have rightly raised about the scientific integrity and so called impartiality of many of the leading scientists within the UEA and IPCC. Just read through some of the emails – – there is clear and damning evidence of noble cause corruption,
    dishonesty, dubious data selection and manipulation, and scientific/statistical incompetence. If the IPCC is the gold standard of science then science is truly [violently assaulted], and the world has been badly mislead.

    This is what really annoys me about AGW, there are much more serious environmental and humanitarian problems which we should be addressing, i.e. pollution of the land and seas by heavy metals, over-fishing of the oceans, provision of clean and safe drinking water for sub-saharan Africa, and cheap electricity etc. The west has spent over 80 billion dollars funding research into AGW in the last 25 years,and all we have for it is some dodgy computer models and a few well funded university departments. A total and disgraceful waste of money, considering the
    good that could and should have come from it.

  6. continued from above…

    By the way, good luck with your solar installation, it will make you some dosh in the summer months (well the FITs will, thanks to subsidy from other consumers like me) but don’t expect much from October through to March when chances of getting significant energy from the Sun (at least here in Scotland) are minimal. Even in summer the output from my panels was negligible, and most have been put into storage, as I only need a couple of wee panels to keep the backup batteries topped up. Solar and wind are nice in theory, and very useful in off-grid and remote locations, but they will never produce enough to power even a post-industrial country. Wishful thinking does not overcome engineering and economic realities, which is that the UK needs a stable 60GW to keep the grid balanced and renewables jusy can’t get close to that even if we covered the entire country with windmills. And don’t think that off-shore wind, wave and tidal will make the difference, salt water and spray will make these extortionate to maintain even if we can afford the build cost.

    So when national grid peak demand exceeds the generation capacity in future winter cold spells (which will happen in 5-10 years whenever the wind doesn’t blow) the lights will go out and the riots will likely start up, at least in urban areas. As you sit in the cold and dark you will soon wish the politicians had listened to the grid engineers, and not WWF, before shutting down the old coal power stations, and subsidising lots of inefficient and expensive and unreliable renewables. Best wishes.

    (I had to split this admittedly long message into three parts to get it past the spam checker)

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