Harold Lewis : Flipping Out

Professor Emeritus Harold Warren Lewis of University of California Santa Barbara’s Institute of Theoretical Physics has apparently decided to resign from the American Physical Society, because it appears he thinks the Science of Global Warming is a “scam” :-

http://climateprogress.org/2010/10/11/hal-lewis-resigns-from-the-american-physical-society/

By the way, this gentleman is not the same as the other theoretical physicist, also called Harold W. Lewis, of Duke University, who died in the year 2000, just before you ask :-

http://www.phy.duke.edu/history/DistinguishedFaculty/HaroldLewis/

I have three questions :-

1. Why now ?

Why has Professor Lewis decided to break with the American Physical Society at this moment precisely ? Or was the timing of this “resignation” carefully chosen ?

It seems likely that Professor Lewis was not altogether happy about the Science of Global Warming for some years. After all, he participated in the “TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES: YOU ARE BEING DECEIVED ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING” Open Letter to the Congress of the United States of America of 1st July 2009 :-

http://www.examiner.com/weather-in-baltimore/read-scientists-open-letter-to-congress-you-are-being-decieved-about-global-warming

(Note : co-signed by Professor S. Fred Singer).

Professor Lewis been a member of the American Physical Society for a number of decades. So why resign now ? And what for ? What possible reason can have arisen recently, or may be about to happen, that could have forced his hand ?

2. Why does Harold Lewis’ resignation letter read like it was written by somebody else ?

Hal Lewis’ normal style of speech can be read in a transcript of an interview with the American Institute of Physics on 6th July, 1986 :-

http://libserv.aip.org:81/ipac20/ipac.jsp?uri=full=3100001~!4742!0&profile=newcustom-icos

http://www.aip.org/history/ohilist/4742.html

The style of the resignation letter just recently published with Harold Lewis’ name on it is very informal. Yet, for something seemingly written by Professor Lewis in a conversational style, it is chock-full of sarcastic, sardonic remarks, the kind of device that really isn’t found in the 1986 interview, where Hal remarks on his position as the chair of a top secret advisory group :-

“The important thing in running JASON is to have the respect of the members, because if they don’t respect you, you can really get into trouble.”

Throughout his career, which spanned the academic, commercial and political worlds, he would have needed to use extra-diplomatic language, something that this recent letter of resignation doesn’t demonstrate.

Simple textual analysis suggests he didn’t write this letter of resignation.

3. What is his health like ?

What is Professor Lewis’ current state of health ?

As it says in the AIP interview :-

Aaserud: “You were born in New York City on the 1st of October, 1923.”
Lewis: “That is correct.”

Which would put him currently in his late eighties. Is he perhaps unwell ? Has he seen this document that he is supposed to have written ? Does he even know this letter of resignation has been written, in his name, but quite probably not in his normal style ?

This looks surprisingly like political ghostwriting, of the kind that allegedly tripped up Roger Revelle :-

http://www.desmogblog.com/the-deniers-the-world-renowned-scientist-who-got-al-gore-started

See the comments by Justin Lancaster here :-

http://www.desmogblog.com/the-inconvenient-truth-about-robert-c-balling

Who is Justin Lancaster ? Somebody who tried to stand up for the views of Roger Revelle :-

http://rabett.blogspot.com/2007/04/if-richard-lindzen-shows-up-at-your.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Revelle

“…Justin Lancaster, Revelle’s graduate student, alleged that Revelle was “hoodwinked” by Singer into adding his name to the article and “he was intensely embarrassed that his name was associated” with it and charged that Singer’s actions were “unethical”. Under threat of lawsuit by Singer, Lancaster recanted his statement, but years later has reiterated his charges and withdrawn his retraction…”

In conclusion, the letter of resignation from Harold Lewis may show us the ideological DNA of Fred Singer. Or it may not. It might be a callous hoax by someone much younger and with far less finesse.

Something that James Delingpole would possibly find it hard to detect, despite his enormous skill with the English language :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100058265/us-physics-professor-global-warming-is-the-greatest-and-most-successful-pseudoscientific-fraud-i-have-seen-in-my-long-life/

Wind Power : Material Fatigues

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).

Continue reading Wind Power : Material Fatigues

Mini Hockey Sticks (4)

Totally new data set – totally new temperature proxy – totally the same Hockey Stick.

Michael Mann, Phil Jones and all the experts are more than vindicated.

Steve McIntyre, Marc Morano, and your “tribes”, will you stand aside, please ?

You’re just getting in the way of the true course of discovery.

Lords of Timewasting ?

The not-widely-awaited “investigation” into the official inquiries into “Climategate” from the Nigel Lawson “social experiment”, the “Global Warming Policy Foundation”, looks to me rather like a botched piece of cosmetic surgery on first scan.

I’d recommend avoiding it, as it seems to me like a total waste of valuable time, based, as I believe it is, on an obvious absence of leg-shaped support.

I wouldn’t have bothered spending five vacant minutes commenting on it unless I knew my various sceptic readers were standing by, eagerly salivating over tearing me to shreds about any statements I might make.

Lunch, boys ?

If you are a proper Climate Change researcher, unless you’ve got the time and funds and staffing to launch an investigation into how the Climategate Media circus was ever allowed to happen, I’d suggest you avoid entering into any kind of discussion about this latest seemingly vapid wraith of veneer.

http://www.thegwpf.org/climategate/1532-damning-new-investigation-into-climategate-inquiries.html

I am sure you will detect what looks like irascible sniping from Andrew Montford (as known as “Bishop Hll”) in various newspaper reports that follow on from this outpouring of apparently obsessive introspection into a non-scandal that’s deader than a century-old donkey’s fetid tail.

But nothing will trounce the ultimate truth – Climategate will never breathe another modecule of serious Media oxygen, even if it lives on in rabid obscurity in Internet zombie-blog-land.

Science Politics for Classics Students

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.

Continue reading Science Politics for Classics Students

The One-Dimensional James Delingpole

A nod in the direction of Michael Tobis, who alerted me to the fact that James “Jems” Delingpole has been attempting to think his way out of the development box again :-

http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/09/demographic-transition-cause-and-effect.html

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100052106/and-your-solution-to-the-us-problem-would-be-what-exactly-boris/

James Delingpole recognises that Boris Johnson has decided to latch onto an easy picking :-

“…Lots of nice, sensible people will have agreed with him, I’m sure. It’s an easy political point to make: like being against chewing gum stuck on pavements or uncleaned up dog poo or boisterous, drunken youths in town centres or battery chickens or bear baiting. Of course we’d all like the world to be less populous…”

After all, those in the world who are busy reproducing are the poor, and it’s easy to promote the idea that they should show more responsibility in fecundity. Because they are over there, and we are over here. And telling other people what to do is always easier than changing ourselves.

Some people even go so far as to base their “overpopulation in developing countries” argument on the notion that all the poor people with their multitudes of poor children are deforesting the tropics for fuel wood – how terrible !

But really, the populous poor have a much smaller impact on the environment than the minority rich. And I’m talking general environmental terms, not just Climate Change.

But if you want to talk Global Warming, it’s the non-multiplying rich people who are causing the significant problem with their unrelenting Greenhouse Gas emissions. For example, the United States with only 400 million people, produces over 25% of global Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Continue reading The One-Dimensional James Delingpole

Hell Freezes Over : BBC Apologises

Jaw-droppingly, the BBC have apologised for the contents of a Today Programme. Not the one that caused poor, deceased Dr David Kelly so much embarrassment, God rest his soul. No, the one that featured the breaking of the “Climategate” e-mail scandal :-

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/bbc_apologizes_to_university_o.php

The BBC picked the wrong scandal story to run with, it appears.

The real scandal of Climategate is how the scientists’ e-mails were “liberated” from the University of East Anglia, and then annotated to give heavily biased interpretation, then released to the general public via the Internet, and how the Media were taken in.

Certain people at the BBC chose to go with the fake scandal, it seems – the narrative fabricated and dictated to them by Climate Change deniers.

Anyway, now the BBC have made an apology, of sorts. Better late than never, but all the same, it would have been better earlier rather than later.

Thankfully, despite the late apologies, this particular alleged witch-hunt didn’t end with a suspected suicide. Although it did include reports that Professor Phil Jones had, in fact, contemplated suicide; the reporting of which just added to his completely groundless public humiliation at the hands of the Press. Which they should apologise for, in my humble opinion. Just as good (old) George Monbiot had the good grace to offer some regret for :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/jul/07/russell-inquiry-i-was-wrong

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7180154/Climategate-Professor-Phil-Jones-considered-suicide-over-email-scandal.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7017922.ece

http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/rebuttalsandcorrections/johnhumphrys

“BBC apologises to University of East Anglia for “incorrect” remark”

“The BBC has apologised for an “incorrect” remark made by John Humphrys that UEA researchers had “distorted the debate about global warming to make the threat seem even more serious than they believed it to be”.”

Continue reading Hell Freezes Over : BBC Apologises

James Delingpole : Yours, Unfactually

Seemingly without knowing anything significant about energy, or the systems used to produce it, James Delingpole makes several key blunders, in my view, in his latest rant :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100048905/we-need-to-talk-about-wind-farms/

“We need to talk about wind farms…” : By James Delingpole : July 28th, 2010

I know the cure for his error-riddled beliefs ! Send some real live energy engineers to his office to talk to him about their industry.

I’m sure the thought of several serious and strangely bearded, slightly obsessive individuals coming to actually talk to him about wind power might be a cue for him to actually start doing some research.

Continue reading James Delingpole : Yours, Unfactually

Christopher Booker : Sniping Smearduggery

The Liberal Democrat and Conservative Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom spent almost an entire week crafting a political framework for power-sharing after the “hung” General Election.

Those considered the most appropriate people were appointed to positions in the central Cabinet, people from both political parties, with the aim and ambition of working together closely and fraternally.

Back room agreements were painstakingly forged, deals were clearly made, and explained publicly in a transparent fashion. In the day-to-day operation of Government, it is made clear who is speaking on behalf of themselves, their party or the Coalition.

This is probably the best example of cooperative, progressive politics since…I don’t know when. But all Christopher Booker seems to want to do is snipe, moan and smear, and appears to throw in as many factually incorrect allegations and fake statistics about wind power as he possibly can.

I certainly wouldn’t pay him to write such divisive, unreferenced, unverified stuff. What’s he trying to do ? Split public opinion ? :-

Continue reading Christopher Booker : Sniping Smearduggery

Phil Jones : Back At Work

Glad to see Professor Phil Jones is back at work and enrolling students for the autumn on the Climate Change MSc postgraduate degree programme at the University of East Anglia (UEA) Climatic Research Unit (CRU) :-

http://www.uea.ac.uk/env/courses/msc-climate-change

This course would probably be useful for a number of mainstream media journalists to follow. Even if they don’t have an appropriate background in Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Environmental studies or similar, it could be of benefit to ameliorate their world view.

They could learn something from the lectures and coursework – that the Science of Climate Change is a serious and rigorous endeavour – unlike the apparently lax behaviour of their own profession over the last year or so.

Investigative journalism without the “investigation” part appears to be a mishmash of unverifiable facts and unfounded opinions. You need to know who is credible at the very least, and you can’t get that from following the vindictive views of public contrarians.

If you want to understand Climate Change, you need to study the Science, not just read denier-sceptic web logs or talk to Steve McIntyre, Benny Peiser, Marc Morano, Anthony Watts, Doug Keenan, Nigel Lawson or Christopher Monckton, and think that you have thereby become sufficiently informed.

“Climategate”-style attacks on Climate Change Scientists by negatively-motivated commentators are completely unacceptable. Media workers need to learn to identify those whose opinions they cannot trust.

James Delingpole Has Kittens

Poor, dear James Delingpole has been passing kitten-sized anxieties and angry thoughts again; fear and accusations all completely unfounded :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100046150/how-come-we-now-have-to-go-to-the-chinese-for-the-truth-about-global-warming/

A number of indignant inaccuracies and strident claims I will pass over, but here are a few I think I shall contest. Just to show that I do bother to read his work (even if I smirk about it most of the time).

Continue reading James Delingpole Has Kittens

Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Image Credit : Gilbert & George, “Nettle Dance”, White Cube

I’m in the Climate Union. Are You ?

Soon we could all be, if the expansionist plans of a group of social campaigners come to fruition.

Taking in the unions, faith communities and the usual rag-tag bunch of issues activists, the Climate Union aims to establish itself as a political force for Low Carbon.

First of all, however, it has to tackle the uneasy and prickly problem of the exact name of the movement, and the principles under which it will operate.

The flag has been flown : a set of principles has been circulated for discussion amongst the “Climate Forum”. I cannot show you the finalised document yet, but I can offer you my comments (see below).

If you want to comment on the development of this emerging entity, please contact : Peter Robinson, Campaign against Climate Change, mobile/cell telephone in the UK : 07876595993.


Comments on the Climate Forum Principles
Jo Abbess
28 June 2010

I am aware that my comments are going to be a little challenging. I made similar comments during the review of the ClimateSafety briefing, which were highly criticised.

I expect you to be negative in response to what I say, but I think it is necessary to make sure the Climate Forum does not become watered-down, sectorally imprisoned and politically neutered, like so many other campaigns.

Continue reading Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Sceptic Backlash : Questions Answered

Last Wednesday’s “Sceptic Backlash” meeting ended with a lively Question and Answer session. Here it is as I recorded it :-

http://www.campaigncc.org/scepticsmeeting


Q. (from Christian Hunt, a plant in the audience from Greenpeace)

– You say it’s just the journalists who are the sceptics. What happens if another Government comes in and scepticism gets political footholds ? [ reference to Conservative Party Climate Change sceptics ]

A. (Phil Thornhill, Campaign against Climate Change)

– People shy away from the problem if they can’t find solutions. We propose a million Climate jobs – there are lots of ways of dealing with the crisis. That’s the kind of thing we should be emphasising.

Q. Andrew Neill interviewed Caroline Lucas and asked her about the Phil Jones interview with the BBC where he said there had been no “statistically significant” warming in the last 15 years. Has there been no statistically significant warming or not ? Why wouldn’t Caroline Lucas, head of the Green Party, say “you’re wrong” ?

A. (Phil)

– I wrote her a rather long e-mail. You can’t really debate Science in the popular Media. Most people don’t understand.

– The tip for answering this kind of question is – in 15 years, it’s hard to spot a trend against the background noise. It’s a difficult thing to explain.

– It’ a clear case of how once you start debating the Science it gets twisted. She should have said “this is a typical case of the misrepresentation of Science”.

A. (Ben Stewart, Greenpeace Media)

– She was fine to say “I’ll take a pass on that”.

Continue reading Sceptic Backlash : Questions Answered

James Delingpole Warmly Invited

Here is a copy of the contact I just submitted at JamesDelingpole.com :-

http://jamesdelingpole.com/contact/


Dear Mr Delingpole,

You are cordially invited to a presentation, with question and answer session, on the nature of Climate Change scepticism in the Media :-

http://www.campaigncc.org/scepticsmeeting

This will take place tomorrow, Wednesday 14th April 2010, 6.30pm (or 18:30), at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, off Russell Square, in Venue G2. Entry for you, as for all attendees, will be free and for gratis.

As you will be able to see from the fact sheets and articles associated with the event, Climategate features quite highly in the analysis, and presumably will be one of the main subjects of the debate :-

http://www.campaigncc.org/sceptics

http://climatesafety.org/climategate-a-briefer/

Now, as one of the principal architects of the Media scandal known as Climategate (in fact, if I’m not mistaken, you named it), I am sure you would like to contribute your insight and experience to the discussion, and that your contribution would be most welcome.

In addition to hearing your erudite commentary in person, I am sure that your presence at the event will contribute an enormous amount in terms of raising the profile of the subject of the Media treatment of Climate Change.

It would also be an opportunity to meet some of your opponents in person, in a public space, and talk things over in a calm, civil manner, which I’m sure you would appreciate; perturbed, as I know you are, by the whole subject of Climate Change communications.

I fully intend to attend the event myself, and it would be a pleasure to meet you in person, shake you warmly by the hand, and thank you vigorously for raising the level of Climate Change urgency in the Media.

Happy Days,

Ms J. Abbess BSc


Let’s see if the great man responds…

George Monbiot : Wrong Call

There was a long time during my life when I refused to read British newspapers. They irritated me. The stories hinged on the opinions of a few unresearched writers; facts were dubious; the ideological cultures distinguishing the publications were artificial; and the constructed narratives offended me.

I distinctly recall the day I decided I needed to read the newspapers again. It was a chance glance at the Guardian Weekly, on the shelf in an international bookshop in Brussels. In there, I read a piece by George Monbiot, and my reaction was, in paraphrase, “how can he be allowed to write such a thing for publication ?” I was impressed, both at his audacity and his plainspeaking, and the facts to back up his position looked credible.

In overview, it was a good thing that I started to read the newspapers again, even though I have had to wade through interminable barrelloads of rotten opinions and poor research in following the public story of Climate Change and Energy Revival. I have traced the emergence of some almost acceptable Science and Environment writing in the Press, but there has been a remarkable turnaround just recently.

Continue reading George Monbiot : Wrong Call

James Delingpole : Editing Out The Truth

It appears that James Delingpole seeks to edit out the facts that don’t fit with his perrrculiarly sensationalist narrative.

I thought to engage in a little frank discussion, contributing the benefit of my wisdom at this post :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100032622/inside-the-seething-green-roach-pit-where-they-eat-their-own/

But I was thwarted.

What happened ?

Continue reading James Delingpole : Editing Out The Truth

James Delingpole : Cruel Jester

Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters (and those who are hermaphrodite, or in other ways gender-alternative) when you face trials and tribulations of many kinds, from those who have not recognised in you the Light, the Truth and the Way.

James Delingpole is doing his very best-worst to be annoying, or even insulting, I’m not sure, by levelling some personally negative comments towards me. But I have responded in friendliness and lovingkindness, although I might get moderated off the comments page, so I’ve included my words here :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100032622/inside-the-seething-green-roach-pit-where-they-eat-their-own

Continue reading James Delingpole : Cruel Jester

James Delingpole : Recycling Silliness

I think somebody should take James Delingpole quietly to one side and have a little word in his ear about the ineptitude of recycling silly stories :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100028631/what-dave-and-his-chum-barack-dont-want-you-to-know-about-green-jobs-and-green-energy/

“What Dave and his chum Barack don’t want you to know about green jobs and green energy : By James Delingpole Politics : March 6th, 2010 : Green jobs are a waste of space, a waste of money, a lie, a chimera. You know that. I know that. We’re familiar with the report by Dr Gabriel Calzada Alvarez of the Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain which shows that for every “green job” that is created another 2.2 jobs are LOST in the real economy…”

Here Mr Delingpole, you are on the shakiest of grounds from my point of view. Your writing suggests that in the field of Energy Engineering you have even less knowledge about the technological and economic data than you do about Climate Change Science, and what you have acquired is apparently deeply misinformed. With only the briefest of Google searches, you could have discovered what the Huffington Post uncovered on 2nd May 2009 :-

Continue reading James Delingpole : Recycling Silliness

James Delingpole vs George Monbiot

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00r9x9n/The_Daily_Politics_04_03_2010/

James, James, yet again you betray your apparent lack of comprehension about Science, the way it works, the things it says, the truth it holds. Your accusations are in my opinion completely unfounded, baseless. It seems your inquiring mind has been corrupted by the Climate Obstructers’ continual rant of denial after denial.

Here’s a challenge : read up about the “time lag”, the “warming inertia” in the Climate system, and then come back with an alternative scenario that other people can accept, with facts, figures and falsifications of mainstream opinion. I’m sure your employer could come up with the funds to buy the research papers you need to read to come to an well-informed view. Alternatively, you could try e-mailing the authors for gratis copies of their work. If you show yourself a genuine student of Science, I’m sure people will share their data and research with you freely :-

Continue reading James Delingpole vs George Monbiot

Steve McIntyre Spins Newsweek

Newsweek spins a heart-warming yarn about the “granddaddy of the global warming “denial” movement”, Steven McIntyre. You would be forgiven for adopting his point of view, he has such a homestead glow :-

http://www.newsweek.com/id/233887

“…he says, people tend to use hockey-stick graphs when they are trying to pull one over on you. “Reality usually isn’t so tidy.”…”

Er, no. Nobody could rightly assert that Climate scientists have been trying to trick anybody. Why does Newsweek not decline his argument ?

Continue reading Steve McIntyre Spins Newsweek

James Delingpole : “Little Wart”

It pains me to report that the American Energy Secretary thinks that James Delingpole’s favourite e-mail scandal is a “little wart”.

That’s “pains” as in “doubles me up in stitches, laughing” :-

http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/18/scienceenergy-secretary-steven-chu-interview-financial-times-ipcc-climategate/

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a71cf176-1bff-11df-a5e1-00144feab49a,s01=1.html

“…The public polls go up and down on this, with Climategate and all these other things. But if you step back and dispassionately look at it, this is a little wart on the overall amount of information. It’s a little bump…”

To think that James Delingpole will be forever connected to the epithet of “little wart” is highly amusing, in the extreme.