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  • Cancun Day #1 : “Tapestry of Compromise”

    Posted on November 29th, 2010 Jo No comments

    The United Nations have gathered in Cancun, Mexico, for the annual Climate Change negotiations. It’s only the first day, but already the talk is of compromise :-

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ca6a3e58-fbe8-11df-b7e9-00144feab49a.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz16i2D3k1V

    “Cancún hears call for ‘tapestry of compromise’ : By Fiona Harvey in London : November 29 2010 : Governments meeting to negotiate an agreement on global warming this week must learn to compromise, the UN’s top official on climate change said. Christiana Figueres told the opening meeting of the talks, being held in Cancún, Mexico, that only through giving up entrenched positions could countries at the talks hope to find common ground. “A tapestry with holes will not work,” she told officials from more than 180 countries. “The holes can only be filled with compromise.” … For the UN, therefore, Cancún is a test of its ability to carry forward the negotiations, which have been taking place for two decades. Officials are also hoping to make progress on vital issues – such as financial assistance for poor countries to cut their emissions and adapt to the effects of global warming – and a possible deal on preserving the world’s forests…”

    Hmm. Let’s take a quick look at what these two highlighted proposals are :-

    1. “…financial assistance for poor countries to cut their emissions…”

    This is being worked up in a bunch of vehicles, including the initiative that David Cameron writes so emotionally about, the Capital Markets Climate Initiative :-

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/nov/28/david-cameron-climate-change-cancun

    “Use the profit motive to fight climate change : The prime minister argues that there are huge gains to be made from a green economy : David Cameron, The Observer, Sunday 28 November 2010 : …I passionately believe that by recasting the argument for action on climate change away from the language of threats and punishments and into positive, profit-making terms, we can have a much wider impact. That’s why this government has set up the Capital Markets Climate Initiative – to help trigger a new wave of green investment in emerging economies and make the City of London the global capital of the fast-growing green investment sector…”

    So, it’s not donations, or even grants or other forms of aid – it’s debt – debt that’s no longer possible to create in the Credit Crunched developed nations.

    It’s probably not quite what Nicholas Stern was thinking of when he said that $100 billion needs to be made available to the Global South in the next decade for Adaptation to Climate Change.

    It’s certainly not the redistribution of global wealth that the rightwingers fear from the great “eco-socialist conspiracy”.

    It’s an attempt to shore up the corroding economies of the Global North by putting the Global South into further debt.

    Score : 0 out of 20.

    2. “…a possible deal on preserving the world’s forests…”

    This is the policy proposal known as REDD – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, which most people translate as meaning (a) cut down some of the forest for economic purposes in order to (b) protect the rest.

    I mean, how likely is that to work ?

    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/tags/redd

    Plus, it could become a vehicle to justify the continued existence of the oil and gas industry :-

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/nov/28/redd-forest-protection-banks-oil

    “Oil companies and banks will profit from UN forest protection scheme : Redd scheme designed to prevent deforestation but critics call it ‘privatisation’ of natural resources : John Vidal, environment editor, in Cancun, guardian.co.uk, Sunday 28 November 2010 : Some of the world’s largest oil, mining, car and gas corporations will make hundreds of millions of dollars from a UN-backed forest protection scheme, according to a new report from the Friends of the Earth International…”

    Score : -40 out of a possible 20

    With these kind of compromises on the table, do you think the Global South will be any more willing to sign onto any “Accord” any more than they were at Copenhagen ?

    Unless and until corporate interests are removed from the United Nations Climate Change treaty, the world’s poorest, their habitats are our futures are being betrayed.

  • Green Peace

    Posted on November 20th, 2010 Jo No comments

    Peace would be truly green – besides eliminating a vast source of greenhouse emissions and environmental toxicity, the end to extensively militarised conflict would no doubt singlehandedly rescue the world’s major economies from the “double dip” or “permanent implosion”.

    Thousands of marchers in London, England today repeated the public demands to de-escalate the “war on terror” :-

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/20/protesters-march-against-afghanistan-war-london

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11803918

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Article/201009115820164

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Hot Old Forests

    Posted on November 12th, 2010 Jo No comments

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/12/global_warming_good_for_rainforests/

    The Register reports that way back, way back, when the rainforests were good and hot, they prospered and life proliferated.

    “Global warming is actually good for rainforests, say boffins” reads the headline from Lewis Page, “plus 3 degrees C, 1000 parts per million Carbon Dioxide did jungles a world of good last time”.

    Not quite, Lewis old chap. Not quite.

    1. The change in global temperatures at the Paleocene-Eocene border was only “rapid” in geological time – at around 20,000 years for the whole event. Plenty of time for rainforests to adapt. Not like now.

    2. “There is no evidence for enhanced aridity in the northern Neotropics”, says the Abstract of the research paper “Effects of Rapid Global Warming at the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary on Neotropical Vegetation” by Jaramillo C. et al., in Science, 12 November 2010, Volume 330. Number 6006, Pages 957 – 961, DOI: 10.1126/science.1193833

    Yet evidence of severe droughts in the Amazonian rainforest area today makes the analogy with the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum rather thin. With the current incredibly fast rate of warming in South America, it’s unlikely that regular, intense, droughts are going to reduce in the rainforest area.

    Added to the current data, there is every reason to believe that the climate in the tropics was very different at the time of the PETM – the Americas had not yet met, and no Gulf Stream northwards existed.

    3. “”It is remarkable that there is so much concern about the effects of greenhouse conditions on tropical forests,” says Jaramillo’s Smithsonian colleague Klaus Winter”, write Lewis Page. Klaus, who ? He’s not even listed on the research paper author listing. Does Mr or Dr Winter have anything to do with this research ? Why does Lewis Page quote hiim ?

    4. Have you seen the organisations that contributed to this research ? They include “Colombian Petroleum Institute”, “Petróleos de Venezuela S.A.” and “Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos, Bogotá, Colombia” and a number of mining companies. What do they want out of research into rainforest productivity 55 million years ago ?

    5. Have we talked about the massive extinction of animal life that took place at the PETM ? Well, perhaps we should…

    I wonder what Dr Simon Lewis, rainforest expert, will make of this latest “atrocity” from The Register ?
    [ UPDATE : The Daily Mail reported Dr Simon Lewis' views some way down in an article on the subject here. By e-mail, Dr Simon Lewis wrote to me, "[One] obvious point is they are happy to extrapolate 56 million years to now from three points in a tiny corner of South America, which is a bit different from their usual views about historical proxy data…” ]

    When I get the access to this report, I will need to delve deeper into the reasons why Lewis Page has proved, once again, that he doesn’t understand current Climate Change science, and doesn’t understand why the climates of yesteryear often have very little to say about the climate of today and tomorrow.

  • Homo Disruptus

    Posted on October 28th, 2010 Jo No comments

    Image Credit : FerdiEgb

    Some straight-talking in the New Zealand Parliament (see below). But just what does he mean by “…[a]fter 10 millennia, especially the past two centuries, it is the moment of truth” ?

    Our species is not “Home Sapiens”, it is “Homo Disruptus” and we’ve been interfering with the Climate for about 10,000 years.

    This speech was made by [Green] Dr Kennedy Graham in the New Zealand
    Parliament within in the last few hours.

    To send him some appreciation his address is: -
    kennedy.graham [at] parliament.govt.nz

    C&C on the growing record: -
    http://www.gci.org.uk/endorsements.html


    “As the Minister made clear recently in question time, the state of play
    is the Copenhagen Accord, with voluntary commitments to national cuts.
    These are demonstrably inadequate to the science-based judgment of what
    is required to avert failure, but we pretend that it is a useful start
    to greater things. We are told that global emissions must peak within
    about 7 years, and we know that the Accord is way short of achieving
    that, so we mumble about bigger cuts later and avoid looking into our
    children’s eyes.”

    “Let us address some facts. To achieve a 2 degrees Celsius threshold, we
    must reduce our global carbon budget from 50 gigatonnes today to 36 by
    2020, and seven by 2050. The rich countries must cut from about 40 today
    to 11 by 2020 and one by 2050. That is correct: we in the rich world
    must emit only one gigatonne in 2050, out of the seven emitted by the
    world that year. It is called contraction and convergence, and it is the
    only way humanity will successfully deal with climate change. That is
    when our moral and political standards will merge at the global level.”

    http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/un-climate-change-negotiations-cancun-and-new-zealand-dr-kennedy-graham

    “I rise to address the issue of climate change and this Government’s
    failure to develop adequate national policy to combat it. Climate change
    has slipped below the threshold of daily media focus and that is the way
    that this Government seems to want it.”

    “The failure at Copenhagen to tackle the global threat head on has sent
    the international community into a state of collective catatonia. We see
    this in the lack of leadership from the UN itself, in the actions of
    national Governments around the world, and in the attitude of much of
    the public around the world. The problem we have is that Nature is not
    disposed to wait for humanity to iron itself out morally and get its
    political act together.”

    “The poor countries rail against us for historical responsibility and
    insufficient reduction targets. The rich countries fear the projected
    population growth among the poor and insist that they enter binding
    commitments before we sign on to medium-term cuts.”

    “Humanity probably faces only two global threats: immolation through
    nuclear conflict, or suffocation through global warming. The first is
    the product of traditional enmity; the enemy was the other tribe or the
    other nation. Climate change is the product of a new enemy: it is us.”

    “We try to cut nuclear arsenals by changing the enemy’s behaviour; we are
    required to cut carbon emissions by changing our own behaviour. It is no
    surprise that we are not succeeding. Most Governments lack the political
    courage to convey the magnitude of the climate change threat to their
    peoples, and they lack the political insight to prescribe the required
    global and national policies that are necessary.”

    “Before, during, and since Copenhagen the threat of serious unpredictable
    climate change has grown. Our scientists do not know when non-linear
    change might occur, but they warn that tipping points exist. If the
    precautionary principle is to mean anything, we must all move with
    speedy purpose and resolve. Translated politically, that means we must
    act not as an international community of states, but as a global
    community of peoples who are represented by Governments. If the
    difference seems vanishingly small, then we do well to act on it none
    the less, lest our prospects of survival prove to be the same.”

    “Our professional negotiators are rearranging the deckchairs,
    contemplating whether we shall have one or two legal agreements, and
    whether it will be next year or 3 or 10 years from now. Our political
    leaders dampen our expectations with appeals to realism. We all suffer
    from cognitive dissonance. Every so often we see the magnitude and
    imminence of the threat, and it is simply too frightening to accept
    individually and politically, so we basically return to business and
    government as usual.”

    “As the Minister made clear recently in question time, the state of play
    is the Copenhagen Accord, with voluntary commitments to national cuts.
    These are demonstrably inadequate to the science-based judgment of what
    is required to avert failure, but we pretend that it is a useful start
    to greater things. We are told that global emissions must peak within
    about 7 years, and we know that the Accord is way short of achieving
    that, so we mumble about bigger cuts later and avoid looking into our
    children’s eyes.”

    “Let us address some facts. To achieve a 2 degrees Celsius threshold, we
    must reduce our global carbon budget from 50 gigatonnes today to 36 by
    2020, and seven by 2050. The rich countries must cut from about 40 today
    to 11 by 2020 and one by 2050. That is correct: we in the rich world
    must emit only one gigatonne in 2050, out of the seven emitted by the
    world that year. It is called contraction and convergence, and it is the
    only way humanity will successfully deal with climate change. That is
    when our moral and political standards will merge at the global level.”

    “After 10 millennia, especially the past two centuries, it is the moment
    of truth. For our part, New Zealand has to agree through treaty or by
    voluntary declaration in advance to cut our national emissions
    proportionately. That means we must cut from 78 million tonnes today to
    56 million tonnes in 2020, down to 1.6 million in 2050.”

    “That is the scale of the challenge before New Zealand. It is as well
    that we face up to it now, not when it is too late.”



  • Hunter’s Moon

    Posted on October 23rd, 2010 Jo No comments

    Image Credit : iammarlon

    Gazing up at the Full Moon this evening in Central London, I noticed the strong corona as light, high clouds wafted across its face.

    Later in Outer London, I looked up again, and saw the Moon Ring was wider, and perhaps more brown.

    I saw a man eating an apple on the train platform who also looked up.

    “It’s going to be a cold night tonight”, I ventured, “there’s ice clouds around the moon.”

    “It’s not ice”, he intimated, “…it’s the gases….”

    An exceptionally chilly English October, and yet still the Earth is heating up, on average :-

      

      

    More pictures of lunar corona :-

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/2010.01.31_Lunar_Corona.jpg
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/p_VGEENd_iAfpwK4K9sNig
    http://www.astronet.ru:8104/db/varstars/msg/1201568
    http://epod.usra.edu/blog/2010/06/aureole-around-full-moon.html

  • Adam Fleming : BBC Complaint

    Posted on October 20th, 2010 Jo 2 comments

    Dear BBC

    I am writing to complain about a short news article presented as online video, narrated by Adam Fleming, which contains a number of inaccuracies regarding the operation of Climate Change science and the results of inquiries into it.

    The piece that I am referring to is here :-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11574503
    “Doubts over scientists’ climate change debate claims”

    =x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=

    TEXT ON WEB PAGE

    19 October 2010
    Last updated at 13:48

    Press coverage has cast further doubt on climate scientists’
    claims that man-made global warming is real and adversely
    affecting the planet.

    Polls show that the public are becoming increasingly confused
    about the issue. Adam Fleming reports.

    =x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=

    TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO IN FILM PRESENTATION

    It’s the year that “uncertainty” became the buzzword in the
    climate change debate, even for scientists who are convinced
    that human activity is warming the planet.

    Last year saw the publication of private e-mails written in
    these buildings, the Climatic Research Unit at the University
    of East Anglia. Experts spoke of doing “tricks” with numbers.
    They hinted at the deletion of data that didn’t fit their
    theories.

    This summer, an inquiry, the last of three, left the
    scientists’ reputation intact, but told them that they had to
    be more honest about how they reach their conclusions.

    Then came “Glaciergate”. In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel
    on Climate Change, the group of international scientists that
    inform global environmental policy, had written a report
    saying that most of the glaciers in the Himalyas could melt by
    2035, but that was proved to be wildly inaccurate.

    The head of the IPCC, the Indian academic Rajendra Pachauri
    came under pressure to quit. In future [the] chairman will
    serve just one term, and again the academics were told to be
    more honest about the question marks in their research.

    Back at home, David Cameron has pledged the “greenest
    Government ever”, but there are limits. This week the Coalition
    announced it wouldn’t fund tidal power in the Severn Estuary
    because the bill was too high.

    =x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=

    Firstly, and most importantly, Adam Fleming repeats not once, but twice, the erroneous view that scientists were instructed by the “Climategate” inquiries and the IPCC review to be more “honest”.

    That is not only a poor choice of word, it completely undermines the results of the inquiries and the review, which recommend more “openness” about data and methods, whilst at the very same time vindicating scientists of any wrongdoing whatsoever. Much of Climate Change science is very public already. Many data sets are totally within the public realm, and all the research papers are widely available. There are moves to publish more of the data and more of the methods for the models and computer programming. Some of the data and methods have been proprietary, or countries, universities or even individual researchers have placed restrictions on their use. The basic problem is that a non-expert cannot look at some of the data and understand it without background information (“metadata”) on how the data should be treated, how it was assembled and which adjustments should be made to make sense of it in a variety of frames of reference. For example, if I were to give you a database about road traffic accidents at a variety of blackspots and I didn’t tell you what the data measured, the parameters for how data was included, or how information was collected, how could you understand what it really signified ?

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is to undergo reform in order to deal more effectively with the public, including the media, as it appears that the media consistently get the messaging wrong. The IPCC is not going to undergo reform in order to change its basic discoveries from the science. The science still stands, and the scientists are still right. The implications of the synthesis of Climate Change science is that there are very real risks of very serious disruption to the Earth’s climatic regime, and the evidence is constantly accumulating to back up this projection.

    Uncertainty did not become a “buzzword” last year. Way back in 2007, the IPCC published (for free, on the Internet) their Fourth Assessment Report, which contained very clear summaries of which parts of Climate Change Science are robust and where the uncertainties are.

    The use of the phrase “even for scientists who are convinced that human activity is warming the planet” suggests that there is a significant portion of scientists who are not convinced that human activity is warming the planet. This is misleading. Of those scientists who have researched Climate Change, the overwhelming majority accept that human activity is warming the planet. Global Warming from humankind’s emissions of Greenhouse Gases is basic Physics, and it’s ridiculous to even suggest otherwise.

    The “Climategate” e-mails were not put to “publication” last year. It would be more accurate to say that they were “leaked”, but the actual process of how they came to be in the public domain is more complicated than that. It appears that a number of people had access to the material well before it was broadcast as the e-mails were released with additional material alongside suggesting all manner of nefarious goings-on that could not be drawn from the e-mails themselves, when read in their proper context. A more accurate description would be to say that the e-mails were “stolen” and their contents “hacked” with unfavourable commentary before they were released onto the Internet in a carefully staged campaign to create maximum disturbance to the Copenhagen UNFCCC conference.

    “Experts spoke of doing “tricks” with numbers.” This sentence is incorrect. The “tricks” were not to change the numbers in the data, but ways to present the data to reveal certain trends.

    “They hinted at the deletion of data that didn’t fit their theories.” That claim is “wildly inaccurate”.

    “…told them that they had to be more honest about how they reach their conclusions.” This is incorrect. The three inquiries sought to persuade Climate Change science as a whole to share more data and methods than they currently do, so that others can understand how the data is used to come up with the conclusions. It is a call for full disclosure, not a reprimand over deception.

    “Then came Glaciergate.” That is incorrect. The typographical reproduction error regarding the fate of the Himalayan glaciers was discussed in the media before “Climategate” unleashed badly commented confidential e-mails on the world. If you don’t know that, you haven’t done your research properly.

    “…that was proved to be wildly inaccurate.” The use of the word “proved” is contentious, as it suggests that somebody did some science that contradicted what was in the IPCC. Not a bit of it. There are still ongoing discussions as to the speed of glacier melt, and its extent, and data collection is continuing. “Glaciergate” was an error in transmission, with an unsupported source. It was like a genetic coding error that leads a cell to a cancerous state. But the medicine is now available – the IPCC will be much more rigorous in future in double-checking what they report from.

    “[the IPCC] had written a report saying that most of the glaciers in the Himalyas could melt by 2035″. It was not the IPCC who wrote the original error. Since Adam Fleming does not appear to know, it needs to be said again – the IPCC only reports on other peoples’ work – it doesn’t do any scientific research of its own. Minor mistakes in IPCC reports do not break Climate Change science.

    “…the Indian academic Rajendra Pachauri came under pressure to quit”. The so-named “pressure” has only from the Climate Change sceptics and the dogbark media. I do not know of any person in the Climate Change science community who is applying “pressure” of any kind for Rajendra Pachauri to quit.

    “…again the academics were told to be more honest about the question marks in their research.” This is incorrect. The IPCC are already very open about the “question marks” in their research. If Adam Fleming were to take the time to actually read the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, (note well, Richard Black, senior environmental reporter has admitted that he has not yet done this), you would discover the normal academic presentation of both sides of every argument about every facet of the science. They could not be more “honest” about how they arrive at their conclusions. What will change is that they will start to be more “transparent”. There is a major media initiative going on in the IPCC management to use modern communications techniques to present the findings to the public in a more structured, accessible way, in order to restore public confidence in the work of Climate Change science.

    I don’t expect the BBC to answer this complaint in the time period that they pledge, and I don’t expect them to answer correctly.

    I don’t expect the BBC to start getting their Climate Change information right at the moment, but when the IPCC media team get to work, I can assure you the BBC will be changing its tune.

    The BBC has proved consistently that it cannot report accurately on Climate Change. It would be far better if they outsourced their reporting on Climate Change to people who actually know something about it, instead of repeating Climate Change sceptic arguments as if they were the truth. This article by Adam Fleming is a revision of history and the current state of play and is not only “wildly inaccurate” to use his own phrase, it is “informationally contentious” in a manner that is misleading and ultimately incorrect.

  • BBC : Licence to Manipulate ?

    Posted on October 19th, 2010 Jo No comments

    Another Earth-shatteringly ridiculous piece on the practice of Climate Change science has dribbled from the loudspeaker of the BBC :-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11574503
    “Doubts over scientists’ climate change debate claims”

    Why am I surprised that they seem content to repeat falsehoods and rehearse a patronising tone ?

    Where’s the proper investigative journalism ? Why get somebody so young and fresh-faced as Adam Fleming to tear up his good reputation so soon into his career ? I mean, he’s only done kids’ TV before now, as far as I know. Why was he only briefed with Climate Change “sceptic” fantasy nonsense ? And what will the University of East Anglia Press Office do to react ?

    =x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=

    Date: Tue 19 Oct 2010
    From: Jo Abbess
    Subject: The BBC Gets It Completely Wrong Once Again
    To: Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia Pres Office

    Dear Press Office at CRU UEA,

    I am completely astonished at the paucity of the latest
    offering from the BBC on so-called “Climategate” (see
    forwarded e-mail I have sent to Professor Phil Jones).

    I would see this as a prime moment to correct the BBC
    publicly, and you could be the people for the job, which is
    why I am drawing this to your attention.

    I’m sure you don’t need me to pinpoint the inaccuracies in the
    BBC piece, but I can offer comments if you would like to hear
    them.

    Regards,

    Jo Abbess

    =x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=

    Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2010
    From: Jo Abbess
    Subject: The BBC Gets It Completely Wrong Once Again
    To: Professor Phil Jones
    Cc: Dr Ben Santer, Dr Gavin Schmidt

    Dear Professor Jones,

    I can’t help asking myself why it is that the BBC has got
    Climate Change science so, so wrong yet again.

    Can’t they read ? And who have they been listening to ?

    This is a really appalling re-write of recent history from the
    BBC (see below). It’s insulting, judgemental and just plain
    inaccurate.

    They couldn’t have done worse if they had been deliberately
    trying to be annoying, in my view.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11574503
    “Doubts over scientists’ climate change debate claims”

    I counted at least 10 “revisions of history” in a piece of
    film shorter than an ad break.

    Surely some of your colleagues have the energy left to
    complain ?

    =x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=

    TEXT ON WEB PAGE

    19 October 2010
    Last updated at 13:48

    Press coverage has cast further doubt on climate scientists’
    claims that man-made global warming is real and adversely
    affecting the planet.

    Polls show that the public are becoming increasingly confused
    about the issue. Adam Fleming reports.

    =x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=

    TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO IN FILM PRESENTATION

    It’s the year that “uncertainty” became the buzzword in the
    climate change debate, even for scientists who are convinced
    that human activity is warming the planet.

    Last year saw the publication of private e-mails written in
    these buildings, the Climatic Research Unit at the University
    of East Anglia. Experts spoke of doing “tricks” with numbers.
    They hinted at the deletion of data that didn’t fit their
    theories.

    This summer, an inquiry, the last of three, left the
    scientists’ reputation intact, but told them that they had to
    be more honest about how they reach their conclusions.

    Then came “Glaciergate”. In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel
    on Climate Change, the group of international scientists that
    inform global environmental policy, had written a report
    saying that most of the glaciers in the Himalyas could melt by
    2035, but that was proved to be wildly inaccurate.

    The head of the IPCC, the Indian academic Rajendra Pachauri
    came under pressure to quit. In future [the] chairman will
    serve just one term, and again the academics were told to be
    more honest about the question marks in their research.

    Back at home, David Cameron has pledged the “greenest
    Government ever”, but there are limits This week the Coalition
    announced it wouldn’t fund tidal power in the Severn Estuary
    because the bill was too high.

    =x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=

    Met vriendelijke groeten,

    jo.

  • Pete Ridley : Three Strikes

    Posted on October 18th, 2010 Jo 10 comments

    In a spirit of complete transparency, I share with you an e-mail from Peter Ridley CEng MIEE (see below), a moving, rambling feast of what some would call complete irrelevancies.

    Pete, if you’ve got something to share that’s positive, productive and progressive, then please do so. However, this recent e-mail from you (see below) ticks none of those boxes and I shall not waste my time by replying to your e-mail or taking it seriously.

    You have three more strikes and then you’re out, unless you stick to the subject of this web log in your communications to me.

    This web log is about keeping the Climate stable – it’s about the problems already being caused by Global Warming and about efforts to address those.

    Yes, it’s also about hearing different views, and about working out what to accept and ignore.

    Most of the comments made here by Climate Change sceptic-deniers are pure entertainment for those who know what’s really going on.

    It’s rare to read something that’s free from irrational argument from Climate Change sceptic-deniers.

    I’m sure you wouldn’t want to have your efforts become ridiculed, so please start being serious about the science of Climate Change instead of complaining about perceived political bias.

    Climate Change is not a polarised political argument as you seem to think judging by your web log. Policy thinkers and workaday politicians of all stripes and none are engaged on a common agenda to tackle the root causes of excess Carbon Dioxide emissions.

    The reason that politicians and diplomatic missions take part in the United Nations process on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the reviewing of the IPCC reports, is because the environmental and economic impacts of global warming are likely to have serious consequences.

    It’s lazy to dismiss all politicians as selfish, money-grabbing and power-hungry without a moral duty to the truth. There are many politicians who are genuine, upright and want what’s best.

    You must be able to work this out – it can’t be that every last Member of Parliament is on the take or working for backhanders, as some commentators continue to insist, can it ?

    And what about Climate Change Science ? How could people survive unchallenged in academia if they cut-and-paste or fabricate ? Upholding the good reputation of the academic institutions is why I will not enter into general discussion about my course of study on this web log, so please don’t press me on that issue any further. Surely you could have worked this out ? You’re smart enough.

    Please drop the conspiracy theories and start thinking logically about the Science of Climate Change and the implications it holds.

    Slightly tangentially, I am currently reading a book by Gwynne Dyer called “Climate Wars”. Although I don’t like some of the attitudes and some of the views of some of the people he mentions in the field of national and international security, at least they take Climate Change scenarios seriously, and are willing to try to navigate the future in the best way.

    You would earn my respect if you could do the same.


    from Peter Ridley
    to Jo Abbess
    date Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    Jo, please excuse me for contacting you by E-mail uininvited but I wanted to respond privately to one of the comments on your “The Messia: With us …” thread.

    Ref. the comment bt “Stormboy” on October 18th at 03:13, the original comment was posted by the real Stormboy (AKA Phil – who runs the evangelical Bloodwoodtree blog at http://bloodwoodtree.org) on 14th February at 08:23:48AM following months of exchanges between us on Australian Senator Steve Fielding’s blog. Despite repeated requests Phil was unprepared to reveal any evidence of having demonstrated scientific expertise regarding global climate processes and drivers, e.g. through peer-reviewed papers. Phil had said that he used a false name because of previous threats against him and his family.

    Towards the end of our public exchanges Phil persistently called me a con man, which I did not appreciate, coming as it did from someone who I considered was cowering behind a false name, so I decided to try to track him down. I was astounded that I was able to find out, in only four hours on the Internet using Google, who he was, where he worked, his E-Mil address and details of family and friends. This was from information that he had put into the public domain. One source of much of this information was Facebook, which brought home to me the importance of heeding repeated police warnings of the dangers of the Internet. I immediately warned members of my family about taking great care on Facebook. I also contacted Phil, through Facebook, by E-mail and on his own blog, about how easy it had been to track him down but in the process frightened his wife and of course gave Phil a scare too. He didn’t know what kind of a person I am and was understandably concerned. That was why he posted that comment on Steve Fielding’s blog.

    I quickly apologised to Phil for frightening his family and since then we have resolved any differences that we had (other than about the causes of global climate change) and have exchanged numerous friendly E-mails. Phil confirmed to me a few days ago, after that comment of his appeared recently on the Greenfudge blog, that he has only posted the comment once, on Senator Fielding’s blog in February.

    That comment of Phil’s has been posted repeatedly by another person who hides behind numerous false names. These include Cooloola, Guess Who, Lord Monkton, Phoenix and JA. She has also pretended to be me and fellow sceptics PeggyB and Colin. Now she has started posing as Stormby himself. She is a thoroughly nasty, dishonest, cowardly, bullying Australian from Queensland who has been hurling vile abuse at any sceptic who upset her on Senator Fielding’s blog. Now that it has closed (he’s no longer a Senator) she is looking for anywhere else to spit her invective. I’ve tried very hard to track her down and expose her but could only get as close as the Maroochidor/Noosa/Cooloola area of Queensland.

    If you are interested you can pick up those repeats by Googling “he spent four hours on the net hunting down my last name”. The ones on Steve Fieldings blog are cached versions.

    Best regards, Pete


  • Dearth of the Oceans

    Posted on October 12th, 2010 Jo 2 comments

    An incomplete recording of the BBC Horizon programme “The Death of the Oceans ?” narrated by David Attenborough is below.

    It’s about Global Warming, of course (and overfishing, and sonar making whales deaf – which is the bit that’s missing at the end). But it’s also about Global Warming’s evil twin – Ocean Acidification.

    Believe what you will about the Anthropogenic component of Global Warming, and I know some of you resist the Science as if it were a hairy, sweaty, alcoholic dentist threatening to pull your teeth without Novocaine, but there’s no way you can deny that the increasing concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, most of it a direct result of humankind’s burning of Fossil Fuels, is turning the Oceans into a giant bucket of fizzy soda, and is threatening marine life, which is a huge risk to the whole of Life on Earth.

    The only solution is to stop burning so much Coal, Oil and Gas. Really, that’s the only way.

    Oh, you can fight this inevitability with every brain circuit you have, trying to force others to believe that everything’s still OK, that the Earth is not dangerously heating up, that Life on Land and in the Oceans is not on the cusp of mass extinction, and that Progress is just fine, and Economic Recovery, or Shiny New Technology, or Geoengineering will save us, but one day you will understand. You will accept. The global systems of production, transport and agriculture have to change. The Carbon-based Industrial Age will be gone in only a few decades, only a couple of hundred years after it started.

    You can relax. Everything will be fine – eventually. When we have Wind Farms on every ridge top, Solar Power plants in every desert, Geothermal stations in our Town Halls, Combined Heat and Power running on Biomass in every street, Marine Power-gathering machines, Organic food, small electric cars, useful 24 hours-in-a-day networks of electricity-powered public transportation. The time is coming for the new human world to be born – and it will be green, clean and less energy-hungry than before.

    It’s going to be a bit of a traumatic birth and the Climate Medics are working hard in the delivery suite, but soon, very soon, Green Investment will see the light of day – those who are wealthy will, as one, put their finances towards Renewable Energy and Energy-efficient machines and Energy Demand Management, real assets, with real returns on investment, and the future will be secured.

    Part 1/4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4rloPBrA6w

    See at top for video.

    Part 2/4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdn1RpqKziE

    Part 3/4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKPNcQyljds

    Part 4/4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIKOKG3L3zo

  • All Quiet On The Policy Front

    Posted on October 7th, 2010 Jo No comments

    Where’s Climate Change at ?

    Behind closed doors. Swept under the mat.

    I think a number of people are coming to terms with the fact that carbon pricing cannot possibly sort the problem of emissions. The only way forward is regulation, legislation, rules, laws.

    So, where are the policymakers ? And what are they saying ?

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Wind Power : Material Fatigues

    Posted on October 5th, 2010 Jo 2 comments

    Image Credit : Cape Cod Living

    James Delingpole follows in a long line of commentators with zero engineering experience in pouring scorn on a technology that could quite possibly save our skins :-

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100056158/wind-farms-yet-another-brewing-disaster/

    I don’t know what he harbours in his heart against wonderful wind turbines, but he seems to be part of a movement who delight in their failure. Just ask the Internet to show you “exploding wind turbines”.

    For example :-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKkTUY2slYQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nSB1SdVHqQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkGXoE3RFZ8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOfHxINzGeo

    Clearly, you need to be in full protective fatigues when battling this kind of bad press…in fact “fatigue” is exactly the right word to come back at Mr Delingpole’s cracked warning (of cracks in wind turbine bases).

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Royal Society : Progress By Degrees

    Posted on September 30th, 2010 Jo No comments

    The Royal Society today publishes its latest layman’s summary of Climate Change, and thankfully manages to avoid several representational pitfalls that sceptic-deniers could have leapt on and said “See ! We told you !”

    http://royalsociety.org/climate-change-summary-of-science/

    Unfortunately, to my mind, it still has a few chinks in the door that should have slammed shut and permanently sealed off the sceptic-denier “contributions” on the subject.

    Let’s look at the Royal Society narrative of progress by degrees, for example.

    In section 28, “Aspects of climate change on which there is wide agreement : Climate forcing by greenhouse gas changes”, it reads :-

    “…Application of established physical principles shows that, even in the absence of processes that amplify or reduce climate change [...], the climate sensitivity would be around 1 degree C, for a doubling of CO2 [Carbon Dioxide] concentrations [in the atmosphere]…”

    The related material in section 36, “Aspects of climate change where there is a wide consensus but continuing debate and discussion : Climate sensitivity”, goes on to talk about how global warming causes changes in the hydrological cycle, and how water vapour builds up in the atmosphere because of global warming, leading to further global warming :-

    “…The more complex climate models, supported by observations, allow climate sensitivity to be calculated in the presence of processes that amplify or reduce the size of the climate response. Increases in water vapour alone, in response to warming, are estimated to approximately double the climate sensitivity from its value in the absence of amplifying processes. There nevertheless remain uncertainties in how much water vapour amounts will change, and how these changes will be distributed in the atmosphere, in response to a warming. Climate models indicate that the overall climate sensitivity (for a hypothetical doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere) is likely to lie in the range 2 degrees C to 4.5 degrees C; this range is mainly due to the difficulties in simulating the overall effect of the response of clouds to climate change mentioned earlier…”

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • George Marshall : The Dying of the Light

    Posted on September 29th, 2010 Jo No comments

    In the orange light-filled advertising corner : the oil and gas companies proclaiming new, untold riches beneath the melting Arctic. Technology will make us stronger, less polluting and improve the lives of the countless poor.

    In the blue chain-smoking activist corner : Climate Change and Peak Oil are really, really serious, destabilising and horrible and we should all get depressed and go and lie down in a darkened room for a while.

    On the other hand, most people don’t fall in one camp or the other. We worry about Climate Change some days, but we’re too pre-occupied with trivia on other days.

    We have a natural in-built “happy button”, according to recent research mentioned in New Scientist magazine, so we can’t sustain feelings of doom and gloom for too long unless we’re clinically unwell :-

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727791.000-how-to-be-happy-but-not-too-much.html

    We’re born to be sunny, optimistic (Teddy Miliband’s favourite word) and relaxed, only reserving adrenalin and noradrenalin for times of stress.

    So why does George Marshall try to convince us that everyone is dangerously susceptible to “apocalyptic” language ?

    http://climatedenial.org/2010/09/29/collapse-porn/

    People can cope with being given bad news as long as they have some strategy with which to combat the problem.

    It’s not wrong to tell people the truth about Climate Change just in case they get scared and worried.

    Alarm is a good thing – I’d rather a fellow pedestrian shouted at me to “look out !” if I’m about to be mown down by a car as I cross the street, rather than just watching on and wincing at the crunch moment.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Chin Up, George Monbiot !

    Posted on September 23rd, 2010 Jo No comments

    George Monbiot looks back in regret at Copenhagen :-

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/20/climate-change-negotiations-failure

    “…The closer it comes, the worse it looks. The best outcome anyone now expects from December’s climate summit in Mexico is that some delegates might stay awake during the meetings. When talks fail once, as they did in Copenhagen, governments lose interest. They don’t want to be associated with failure, they don’t want to pour time and energy into a broken process. Nine years after the world trade negotiations moved to Mexico after failing in Qatar, they remain in diplomatic limbo. Nothing in the preparations for the climate talks suggests any other outcome…”

    Copenhagen was never seriously going to deliver, and I don’t think most of the protesters on the streets in Copenhagen thought so. Activist demands, including from activist nations, were always going to be ignored, The solutions really didn’t come to the conference, and the problems really lay elsewhere.

    But there’s no need to utterly despair, George !

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Undue Optimism

    Posted on September 18th, 2010 Jo No comments

    We learn from Caroline Spelman, care of Fiona Harvey, that Climate Change could be good for British farming :-

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4e2c238e-c276-11df-956e-00144feab49a.html

    “Climate change could benefit UK farmers : By Fiona Harvey and George Parker : Published: September 17 2010 : Climate change and global food shortages could bring unexpected benefits for British farmers in the next two decades, ultimately relieving taxpayers of the burden of subsidising them, Caroline Spelman, environment secretary, has claimed. Ms Spelman said the UK was unlikely to suffer the severe water shortages that scientists predict will afflict other parts of the world, and that British farmers should be able to exploit greater demand for their produce…”

    Note that the argument is not that Climate Change will create better conditions for growing food in the UK.

    Instead, the logic is that because we live in North Western Europe, which will see less Climate Change than other parts of the world, our agricultural produce won’t be affected as badly as, say, Asia, so, suddenly British food production will have stronger commercial value as export.

    That’s rather perverse, isn’t it ? Profiting at others’ expense never looked so…existential, so morally challenged.

    I think that what will happen is that British food production will be increased in order to give it away, in the form of international disaster aid.

    The Common Agricultural Policy could become the Crisis Agricultural Subsidy.

    In a never-ending rolling disaster, the ethics of meeting basic human needs will surely take precedence over business competition.

  • Remembering Pakistan

    Posted on September 17th, 2010 Jo No comments

    Found at : Only In It For The Gold

    Will the long-term future for much of inundated Pakistan resemble a country-wide-scale New Orleans – destroyed and mostly deserted ?

    Where will the people go ? Or will they rot and die in “temporary” camps ?

    What will become of those stranded in their villages – they stayed to protect the land – they didn’t realise the floodwaters would be like never before – coming to take away their livelihoods and possibly their lives.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jX_KetVCMo64AOZxSMudPWArFrJgD9I946KG0

    “US envoy warns Pakistan of flood funding shortfall : By SEBASTIAN ABBOT (AP) : 16 September 2010 : KARACHI, Pakistan — The world will only be able to fund around 25 percent of the tens of billions of dollars needed to rebuild Pakistan after the floods, and its government will have to make up the shortfall, the U.S. envoy to the country warned Thursday. Richard Holbrooke said America would not condition its assistance to the country, but warned that the U.S. Congress might not be generous if it felt that Pakistan was not taxing its own citizens enough. Pakistan’s rich have traditionally not paid much tax on their income or their property — either because they evade them or are exempt — and the country’s collection rates are among the lowest in the world…Monsoon rains triggered massive floods six weeks ago that spread across the country and are still continuing in parts of the south. Some 8 million people have been made homeless in what Pakistani and U.N. officials have said is one of the largest humanitarian disasters in living memory…”

  • Seasonal Switcheroo

    Posted on September 14th, 2010 Jo No comments

    Almost everybody who watches the charts knows that the La Nina swing of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in 2010 has probably been the largest contributor to global temperatures moving consistently downwards since March – it should be an obvious logical connection to make for even a casual observer :-

    Up until this month, however, despite the La Nina effect, 2010 still ranks as one of the hottest, if not the absolute hottest, years on record so far, according to NASA GISS :-

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2010july/

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Roger Harrabin : Potentially Alarming

    Posted on September 13th, 2010 Jo 2 comments

    I have been rather, erm, critical, of Roger Harrabin’s approach to reporting the “Climate Change narrative” in the past, but I have to say, I think he has pulled up his socks somewhat with a two-part Radio 4 presentation “Uncertain Climate” :-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00tj525/Uncertain_Climate_Episode_1/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00tmcz3/Uncertain_Climate_Episode_2/

    But of course, the BBC has to keep people sweet, and obviously continues to “play both sides”, don’t they ? How else did Roger get to interview Steve McIntyre of the truly annoying Canadian whine (it’s not his fault, I have to add, that I find his voice unbearable) and Nigel Lawson ? And Judith Curry ?

    Or maybe not. Roger Harrabin admits to a stand-up row with Al Gore. Hopefully he’s still welcome in the United States of America.

    There seem to be about 50 mentions of the word “uncertainties”, and an obsession about temperature rise projections – with no focus on the melting Arctic – which is not at all uncertain as it is a demonstrable fact.

    Wake up ! The Arctic’s melting !

  • Just So You Don’t Know

    Posted on September 13th, 2010 Jo No comments

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the backbone of the British Civil Service (the unelected slice of governance), the people who helpfully retrieve UK citizens from Indonesian prison cells, Colombian drug kidnaps or Egyptian terrorists, or even France if you lose your passport, all your money, all your plastic, your keys and your mobile phone whilst on a picnic, (yes, Sarah, I’m talking about you), have trouble detecting Climate Change in the extreme weather events currently going on :-

    http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=22831648

    “Is climate change responsible for natural disasters? : 09 September 2010 : Extreme rainfall in Pakistan and high temperatures in Russia have recently raised questions about how much climate change could be to blame. Without strong scientific evidence it is difficult to know whether climate change is a factor and if we can expect more of these types of events in future. Our understanding is that climate change is likely to increase the frequency of such extreme heat and rainfall events and while we can’t relate these recent events directly to climate change, they are a reminder of how damaging extreme climate events can be and why we should be concerned to limit the level of climate change…”

    But, fortunately, being rational, they are going to set about finding out :-

    “…A group of scientists from some of the world’s leading meteorological organisations, including the UK’s Met Office got together for a discussion on the Attribution of Climate-related Events (ACE). FCO staff in Houston have been supporting this as part of an initiative between the Met Office, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). UK and US scientists will work together with the UK Met Office, NOAA and NCAR to carry out attribution experiments to better enhance their understanding of the scientific basis to climate events. Another of the ACE’s aims will be to provide clear statements on the meaning and implications of the scientific findings of natural disasters so policy leaders and governments can make informed judgments…”

    Expect the Climate Change sceptics to go wild (or at least a little flagrant) about this one !

  • Spoilt for Choice

    Posted on September 13th, 2010 Jo 1 comment

    September 2010 is turning out to be a veritable over-stuffed cornucopia of Climate Change- and Energy-related events.

    This week, 15th September 2010 breaks the record for the number of useful things I could be doing. I am effectively quintuple-booked, and something’s got to go (well, nearly all of them, actually).

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Science Politics for Classics Students

    Posted on September 8th, 2010 Jo 5 comments

    Image Credit : Mil (Dan Woods)

    Like my anti-hero, James Delingpole, I am going to make a capitalised comment : THIS IS SO ABOUT THE SCIENCE, JAMES DELINGPOLE :-

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100052655/im-funny-official/

    “I’m funny: official…the same tired old smears and inaccuracies. Sceptics are funded by Big Oil; they’re a weird, swivel-eyed minority; Climategate was “a storm in a tea cup” which did nothing to shake the underlying science; etc. Am I bothered? More weary than anything, for we have all heard these canards many, many times before (and no doubt will do again in some of the comments below), and I’m not sure it’s a game I can be bothered to play any more…The debate on CAGW, I’ve come to realise, is as futile as the one about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Which isn’t to say I don’t hugely respect the work done by the likes of Watts Up With That and Climate Audit and Bishop Hill to expose the flaws in the Warmist scientists’ dodgy theories. We need such indefatigable seekers-after-truth in this war but what we also need to realise is that this is never an argument that is going to be won on the science alone. That’s because the CAGW craze is and never was about the science, any more than the Eighties “Acid Rain” craze was about the science, or the Nineties BSE craze was about the science. They’re all just branches of political activism…THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE SCIENCE.”

    Oh yes it is, Jems dear. It is 100%-a-mento about the Science. And it’s also about the de-Scientising of the Science.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Cuccinelli : Want Fries With That ?

    Posted on August 27th, 2010 Jo 4 comments

    Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli appears to be permitted to pursue in the law courts his alleged “witch hunt” of everything liberal, free-thinking, freedom-loving, tolerant and open-minded that ever breathed – just because he can – this time kicking at the pit-props of intellectual freedom in research in Climate Change Science :-

    http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/228460-ruling-on-global-warming-professor-coming

    “24 August 2010 : Ruling on global warming professor coming : BY JESSICA M. KARMASEK : CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (Legal Newsline) – A ruling is expected in a week on a demand by Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli that the University of Virginia release research records of a well-known climate change researcher, according to The New York Times. Cuccinelli has demanded that the university produce information relating to grant applications by Michael E. Mann, who the Times calls a “prominent climate scientist.” It was Mann who produced the widely publicized “hockey stick” graph showing a sharp increase in global average temperatures in the industrial age. Mann worked at UVA from 1999-2005 and has since taught at Penn State University. His work was called into question in the investigations into the so-called Climategate scandal following the unauthorized release of hundreds of e-mails from a British climate center last fall. Several investigations, including an extensive review of his research by PSU, have cleared him of academic misconduct. Cuccinelli, a Republican and climate change skeptic, has already sued the federal Environmental Protection Agency to try to prevent it from imposing regulations on carbon dioxide and other climate-altering gases. Now, the attorney general has demanded that UVA release documents relating to Mann’s grant applications at the university. According to an article published in the Times on Tuesday, Cuccinelli suspects Mann may have violated the state’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act by manipulating data in applications for more than $450,000 in research grants. But Mann and the university contend the attorney general is engaged in a “witch hunt” and is violating both academic freedom and the First Amendment…”

    Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli appears to be wasting a lot of the State’s time and money on this derelict non-scandal. One wonders whether the citizens of Virginia will continue to require the services of Cuccinelli in future – if so, would he be reducd to serving in roadside diners at some point in the future just to make a living ?

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Hello Again, Rupert Wyndham

    Posted on August 25th, 2010 Jo No comments

    I always know something’s afoot (ametre ?) in Climate Change Denial Fantasy Land when Rupert Wyndham (as known as “wind em up Rupert”) writes one of his scornful, crumb-full little e-mails and sends it on to me, even if it’s only in “Carbon” copy :-

    re: Odysseus felled by climate change. Royal Society report‏
    from: Rupert Wyndham, rupertwyndham AT gmail DOT com
    to: Brice “Boz” Osnich, bosnich AT rsc DOT anu DOT edu DOT au

    “Brice : Your reference to The Royal Society triggers this. There’s an intriguing clip in the Today programme, the BBC’s flagship radio news roundup. One Roger Harrabin, a pusillanimous toad masquerading as the BBC’s “Environmental Analyst”, who alters reports under 3rd party pressure – even from the terminally pathetic such as religious propagandists, is to run a climate change series, in which is asked the question: “Has the pudding been over egged?” or words to the like effect. I’m not sure that I shall be able to summon the mental resources actually to listen to this garbage (after all, it never changes), but it’s interesting that the BBC should even be asking the question. What seems clear is that they must have been driven to it. Has the RS yet reported? Is there any chance that something might have been leaked? Interesting times! In the meantime, in the same news roundup is the story of a WW1 Italian soldier discovered in the Dolomites, a find attributed to glacier retreat – well, naturally!”

    Oh dear. I do hope Roger Harrabin doesn’t feel peeved by Rupert’s description of him. Seems ungentlemanly to me.

  • Flogging a Dead Non-Scandal

    Posted on August 25th, 2010 Jo No comments

    Despite the fact that Robin McKie killed off Climategate on 1st August 2010 in his article for The Observer (thankfully, Will Hutton was away, allowing Robin McKie to venge forcefully) :-

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/01/climate-change-robin-mckie

    it seems that the Climate Change deniers simply cannot let go of the dead story and bury it. Benny Peiser of the adroitly named “Global Warming Policy Foundation” (suggested motto “We want policies to guarantee Climate chaos” ?), is to publish a report at the end of the month written by Andrew Montford, of Bishop Hill web log fame :-

    http://www.thegwpf.org/climategate/1204-investigation-into-climategate-inquiries-announced.html

    Sorry to say, but this will be a “we told you so” affair :-

    1. We told you so here first – it will be roundly criticised by those who are expert in the subjects of Climate Change and environmental policy.

    2. We told you so here first – it will contain a number of significant Scientific claims that will not stand up to close scrutiny.

    3. We told you so here first – it will sell.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Newsnight : Complain to the BBC

    Posted on August 24th, 2010 Jo 86 comments

    I don’t expect much from it in terms of any kind of sensible, relevant reply, but here’s my two eurocents’ worth, as loaded at :-

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/

    The BBC are undergoing a review on balance in Science reporting. They need to get Climate Change right, and that could start by one of their programme editors actually trying to understand what programmes like this do to an unprepared or semi-prepared audience.

    The Newsnight audience have been left with the view that “maybe Climate Change is not so bad after all”, which is the worst take-home message they could be given.

    See further down the post for e-mail traffic related to the Newsnight broadcast of 23rd August 2010.

    Read the rest of this entry »