The final part (I really hope it is the final part) of Adam Curtis’ trilogy on “Evil” Computers and “Devillish” Enviromentalists – “All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace” – a title drawn from a poem written by what would appear to be a madman – has now been uploaded to YouTube, allowing me to view it without taking part in the memory-eating public monitoring disappointment that is BBC iPlayer :-
Adam Curtis certainly reveals himself as a little monkeyish in this episode, throwing overarm and underhand javelins at “liberals” of all hues and cries, particularly environmental ones; and throwing in liberal references to primates wherever he can, seemingly to suggest that mankind has un- or de-evolved by adopting computing tools and studying the natural world.
Well, it would seem the wheels have definitely come off the Climate Change sceptic-denier trolley bus, and the passengers are raving, and metaphorically drowning in their own pus-riddled intellectual bile, judging by the spluttered, splattered comments I am receiving on this web log.
Wegman is going down (the anti-science, anti-Hockey Stick Wegman Report, you understand, not the man himself) – and I mean down; down to the depths of dissmissal and reproach, and scorn mountains will be heaped, and his “strange scholarship” will be ribbed and ridiculed and his assertions and claims fobbed off for ever more, it seems, by those whose opinions really count :-
Michael Mann was right. You, dear sceptic-deniers, are wrong. Even the Daily Mail newspaper says so, and don’t retort that, of course, the Daily Maelstrom is not exactly the Source of All Validity, and testily question why I trust the Daily Maul when it agrees with me, and not otherwise :-
“Influential climate change report ‘was copied from Wikipedia’ : By DAILY MAIL REPORTER : 23rd November 2010 : Research questioning the validity of global warming was copied from Wikipedia and textbooks, it has been claimed. A report by statistician Edward Wegman criticised earlier research led by scientist Michael Mann that said global temperatures were highest in the last century than the previous 1,000 years. But according to plagiarism experts, ‘significant’ sections of the 91-page report were lifted from ‘textbooks, Wikipedia and the writings of one of the scientists criticised in the report’…”
You can take or leave your truth universe, and the Daily Mall certainly does that, but I’ll stick with the data, thanks, the hard-won, carefully-kept, un-fudged, un-compromised actual measurements… Continue reading A Fairy Castle of Froth
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.
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…
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.
Scientists are proverbially poor at communication, but we will eventually be able to explain to you what is happening to the Earth in a way that you will understand.
You need to give some time to the data, to the arguments. You need to read the significant research papers, learn how to read graphs, learn the acronyms, abbreviations, technical terms.
You will need to be able to weigh in your mind the significance of probabilities, the risks of extremes, the trends, the changing patterns.
After a while, you will start to reappraise the evidence, and start looking into the data and see the conclusions for yourself.
You will begin to appreciate the strong line of reasoning, and come to be in awe of the minds of many who work on Climate Change.
I’ve become impressed by the body of scientific evidence, that’s why I will always be aligned with the Climate Change science community.
We’re not going anywhere. We’re here, and we’re right. There has already been significant change in the Earth’s climate due to humankind’s mining-to-burn activities, and the projections are for further, possibly very dangerous change.
The scientists know what the problems are, and what the engineering solutions are. Some companies/corporations, economists and politicans and sadly even some compromised “environmentalists” promote non-solutions like carbon pricing, Carbon Taxation, Carbon Trading, Carbon Capture (and Storage), GM Crops, Nuclear Power, geoengineering – but the academies of scientists are telling you they won’t work, or won’t solve all the problems.
What is needed is wholesale removal of Fossil Fuels from the global economy in order to prevent further deterioration and disruption in the global climatic conditions. Either BP, Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil hang up their boots forever, or they need to embrace new clean energies (not Nuclear Power) to stay in business.
Oil, gas and coal depletion in the production facilities of those countries that are national players will mean that they will go bust, because a consistently high price for Fossil Fuels is not supportable, because the global economy is so Fossil Fuel-dependent currently. This is both a buyer’s market and a seller’s market, so the price will be governed by the operation of this two-sided cartel, not by the theories of “scarcity economics”.
Either Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, China, Venezuela and so on are on their way to extreme poverty, or they will embrace new clean energies (not Nuclear Power) to stay economically developed.
Meanwhile, the project of empirical scientific enquiry continues apace, and even though rich fossil fuel businesses are financing doubt, even though people with pension funds in mining pour scorn on Climate Change science, and even though the mainstream media can’t recognise uneducated propaganda when they meet it; you need to trust the intellectual community of Climate Change science researchers.
Stop listening to accusations of malpractice, dodgy data, weak methods, poor models. Do you really know what you are talking about when you pass judgement on the scientific community ? Who told you that scientists were wrong ? Can you really trust the people who tell you not to trust the scientific community ? Do you have the right or the authority to lay somebody else’s fabricated blame at the door of those whose whole lives are devoted to discovering the truth ?
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 ?
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
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
They couldn’t have done worse if they had been deliberately
trying to be annoying, in my view.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Is something ailing The Register’s Lewis Page ? Despite having access to the text of a recent research paper about the Sun’s recent output, and its short-term impact on surface temperatures on Earth, and having had plenty of time to read plain English reviews of the paper’s findings in everyday language, he still writes it up poorly (in my humble opinion). Could this be due to internal bias, I ask myself ? Or is Lewis Page being wilfully contrarian ? Who can say ?
If you, dear Reader, are a Republican American, and you are demographically “middle class”, and you support the Tea Party movement, you are likely to have been seriously deceived – by Big Energy. Or Big Mining.
Who are these “Big Diggers”, propagandising the naive, well-intentioned, right-wing citizens of the United States of America, so they don’t realise they’re thinking somebody else’s thoughts, shouting somebody else’s slogans, riding somebody else’s train ?
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”.
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).
“CLIMATE CHANGE: FAILURES OF GLOBAL WARMING PROBES ‘LET DOWN PUBLIC’ : Wednesday September 15, 2010 : By John Ingham, Environment Editor : PUBLIC inquiries into the Climategate scandal have failed to restore confidence in the science behind global warming, a report claimed yesterday. It branded as flawed the three inquiries into the leaking of e-mails by scientists at East Anglia university’s world-leading Climate Research Unit. And it called for independent inquiries into the ethos of climate research and the science itself…”
We’re post-modern 21st Century humans. It’s OK to question everything. There’s every likelihood that we control our own destinies by our thoughts; that tobacco doesn’t cause lung and pancreatic cancer; that sexual intercourse between a male and a female is not the cause of human reproduction; that Jesus was Catholic, and not Jewish; that so-called waterborne diseases aren’t caused by microscopic organisms; that infection by the HIV virus doesn’t lead to AIDS; that Barack Hussein Obama is a non-American Muslim; that the CIA planned 9/11 (no, really, they did !); that mobile phone masts are killing bees (well, it can’t be the pesticides, can it ?); the moon landings were staged; that wind power will never amount to much, and that chocolate doesn’t give you spots.
If you want to believe that DDT controls malaria, then go right ahead. We live in a tolerant society, and your knowledge is just as good as mine, really :-
Several commentors appear quite relieved that she has decided to stop (pa)trolling their websites and has gone off to draw all the sceptic hormonally-charged untrained non-scientists beta males to hers.
Phew ! Now perhaps we can get on with the Science and the Data in peace !
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.
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.
Looks like Christopher Booker may have fallen from the safety net of sanity, judging by his latest output, which appears to be a jumble of trick-of-the-light semantics, plays on words, reheated half-errors and unwarranted accusations :-
“A cunning bid to shore up the ruins of the IPCC : The Inter-Academy report into the IPCC, led by Rajendra Pachauri, tiptoes around a mighty elephant in the room, argues Christopher Booker. : By Christopher Booker : Published: 6:38PM BST 04 Sep 2010 : A report on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on behalf of the world’s leading scientific academies, last week provoked even some of the more committed believers in man-made global warming to demand the resignation of Dr Rajendra Pachauri as chairman of the IPCC. But is the report all that it seems? Last winter, the progress of this belief – that the world faces catastrophe unless we spend trillions of dollars to halt global warming – suffered an unprecedented reverse. In Copenhagen, the world’s leaders failed to agree a treaty designed to reshape the future of civilisation. This coincided with a series of scandals that blew up around the IPCC’s 2007 report. Since then several inquiries, including three into the leaked “Climategate” emails, have tried to hold the official line, all following a consistent pattern. Each has made a few peripheral criticisms, for plausibility, while deliberately avoiding the main issue. Each has then gone on to put over the required message: that the science of global warming remains unchallenged…”
“…demand the resignation of Dr Rajendra Pachauri…” ? Why ? Just because the world’s media are hounding him ?
“…a series of scandals…” ? What, the non-scandals puffed up into “news” that several newspapers have had to print retractions for ?
And they pay him to write this stuff ?
Clearly, the Daily Telegraph have money to burn.
Why is Christopher Booker’s opinion piece so poor (in my view) ?
For a start, read this web log post from Bart Verheggen :-
“…most IPCC mistakes were minor or even imaginary, and most were in working group 2 about (regional) effects of climate change; they did not concern the physics of climate and why it is changing…”
He quotes the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant :-
“On the one hand climate scientists are expected to keep themselves to the facts only. At the same time their results and understanding are also arguments in the societal discussions about climate change. But as soon as they participate in this discussion accusations of bias come up. A more professional IPCC should not only work on the internal weaknesses and make and present itself as scientifically solid as possible. It will also have to make clear that its work has political implications, but that that doesn’t mean that it’s engaged in doing politics…”
This shows up the possibility that Christopher Booker’s writing is probably strongly biased as well as likely inaccurate.
How can it be that Christopher Booker (in my humble opinion) portrays the real situation so erroneously ?
Where does he get his views from ?
What is he trying to fight, here ? And why is he using rusty, broken weapons ? How is it that journalists and commentators have become so mistaken about an issue that’s so important to get right ?
Apart from its one-sided title (‘Debate: Is ‘global warming’ just a con?’), I particularly enjoyed the illiterate reference to “LOSS OF CREDIBITY”. Well, after all, ‘The Daily Express’ should know about loss of credibility!
Policy and Communications Director
Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
London School of Economics and Political Science
London WC2A 2AE http://www.lse.ac.uk/grantham
from: James Pavitt
date: 31 August 2010
Have you seen the headline and front page??? This is the worst case of climate misrepresentation I’ve ever seen. I have made a complaint to the Press Complaints Committee, and urge others to do so too.
If you, or anyone dear to you, is a closet Climate Change sceptic, then you quite possibly have David Koch, of Koch Industries, and his allegedly personally paid-for propaganda machine to thank.
Climate Change denial was invented in the United States of America, but has since been imported into the United Kingdom and Australia, tripping up intellects and intelligences everywhere it shows up.
It makes a person look really uneducated when they recite the mantras of Climate Change scepticism and denial. Trouble is, it’s so pervasive and seemingly anodyne when you first encounter it, that many people just fall for it hook, line and sinker.
What’s so wrong about saying “The climate has always changed” for example ? Yes, of course it has, but not like it’s changing now.
“COVERT OPERATIONS : The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama. : by Jane Mayer : AUGUST 30, 2010 : On May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was the seventieth annual spring gala of American Ballet Theatre, and David H. Koch was being celebrated for his generosity as a member of the board of trustees; he had recently donated $2.5 million toward the company’s upcoming season, and had given many millions before that. Koch received an award while flanked by two of the gala’s co-chairs, Blaine Trump, in a peach-colored gown, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, in emerald green. Kennedy’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, had been a patron of the ballet and, coincidentally, the previous owner of a Fifth Avenue apartment that Koch had bought, in 1995, and then sold, eleven years later, for thirty-two million dollars, having found it too small. Continue reading Made up in America
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 :-
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.
What do you get when you compare an exponentially rising trend (economic losses from Climate Change damage) with another two exponentially rising trends (human population growth and economic development), and use the last two to factor away the first ?
Andrew Montford (Bishop Hill) appears on BBC Newsnight, the flagship British widescreen influential TV show for those who work until super-late o’clock and want to watch something serious after having a few beers, and all he can say is “we just don’t know” to the Kirsty Warkian question of whether Climate Change is (a) happening or (b) problematic.
Come on Andrew ! It’s not “too early to say” or even “too early to call”. It’s in black and white and online. It’s called the IPCC report, and has been followed by American and European government studies, and a mountain of academic research analyses which back it up : the world is warming, the reports are that change is already significant, and the prospects are risky.
There is still something that “we just don’t know” about. We just don’t know if Andrew Montford has read the Science. If he were to put his virtual nose between some of its digital pages he might well learn a thing or two. He seems fairly intelligent. So, here’s hoping.
Oh, and by the way, will he feel he has to disguise himself if he wants to come and talk to the freethinking carbonbusters at Climate Camp ? No need, Andrew. Peace-loving people will welcome you for a vegan curry over at the RBS Royal Bank of Scotland Headquarters, no worries, mate. But can you please take off the earnest brown tweed jacket ? It makes you look so much like Nicholas Stern, love.
As you can see, there are Climate Change sceptic-deniers everywhere, even in the most knowledgeable and respectable circles.
Countering Climate Change denial from so-called “sceptics” takes a lot of time and energy, and is a bump-in-the-road nuisance/irritation distraction from the main priority for human civilisation, which is how to stop being addicted to Fossil Fuels.
How paranoid is Andrew Montford of Edinburgh, Scotland ? Does he have any reason to be afeard now that the Climate Camp has parked up on his doorstep ?
Don’t worry. This isn’t a threat, Andrew. It’s a invitation. When the rocket stoves have been lit and the canvas staked out, you’re invited to come and talk with real people about the realities of Climate Change instead of being cooped up with your hot laptop at home cooking up hurtful and inaccurate things to say about working Scientists and activists.
By the way, I rocked with laughter at this recent review of your book “The Hockey Stick Illusion” :-
“Nation’s battered satellite environmental monitoring program : Top Climate Scientists Speak out on the Satellitegate Scandal : By John O’Sullivan Monday, August 16, 2010 : US Government admits global warming satellite sensors “degraded” – temperatures may be out by 10-15 degrees. Now five satellites in controversy. Top scientists speak out. In an escalating row dubbed ‘Satellitegate’ further evidence proves NOAA knew of these faults for years. World’s top climate scientists and even prior governmental reports cite underfunding and misallocation as the trigger for spiraling satellite data calamities. Key flaws with five satellites undermines global data. Most disturbing of all is that it took publication of my article last week to persuade the authorities to withdraw the errant NOAA-16 satellite from service. But as Dr. John Christy indicates, the real Satellitegate is not about one satellite. The scandal is endemic with comparable flaws across the entire network; the scandal is also that it took a tip off from a member of the public and the widespread broadcast of my article before one of the offending junk boxes, NOAA-16, got taken down…”
Anyone who’s doubting that we’re back to the bad old days of outright denial should pay attention. Next thing you know, the Climate Change contrarians will be claiming that the whole of Science is dubious…what ? They did that already (for the last 25 years) ?
Statistical analysis of the raw data on Global Warming suffers from two major pitfalls :-
1. You are looking at the combined effects from several causative sources. Unless you have the means to distinguish the various factors, you cannot apply statistical techniques to the data and expect to get anything truly meaningful out. All that can be said, at best, is, “The Globe. Still Warming.”, as the warming trend over a long enough period of time has managed to stand out over the short-term variations.
2. Looking at the data purely by eye, some of the warming or cooling effects are clearly short-term, others longer-term; so picking a range of years/months/seasons at random, or according to some bias, is likely to distort the analysis. This is known as “cherry-picking”. The results of cherry-picking include the fallacious and discredited claim that, “Global Warming stopped in 1998”, or the much more crafty and misleading, “There has been no statistically significant Global Warming since 1998”.
Some researchers are content just to point to the overall effect of the raw data – global temperatures on land and at sea are rising sharply and the charts should be sufficient to understand the basic problem.
However, some people still contest that Global Warming is taking place, or that if it is, it isn’t serious. This then, is the cue to do an in-depth analysis into the known factors in global temperatures, and to attempt to “deduct” obvious short-term warming and cooling features in order to eyeball the underlying trends :-
Over at Science Mag, Richard A. Kerr is trying to tell us not to panic, everything’s going to be OK, really, with a “more balanced message”. The net effect on me, personally, is to be exceptionally, yet rationally, very concerned indeed :-
“Science 6 August 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5992, pp. 620 – 621 : DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5992.620 : NEWS FOCUS : CLIMATE CHANGE: ‘Arctic Armageddon’ Needs More Science, Less Hype : Richard A. Kerr : Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas 25 times [23 times, Richard] more potent than carbon dioxide, and the ongoing global warming driven by carbon dioxide will inevitably force it out of its frozen reservoirs and into the atmosphere to amplify the warming. Such an amplifying feedback may have operated in the past, with devastating effects. If the modern version is anything like past episodes, two scientists warned earlier this year, it could mean that “far from the Arctic, crops could fail and nations crumble.” Yet, with bubbles of methane streaming from the warming Arctic sea floor and deteriorating permafrost, many scientists are trying to send a more balanced message. The threat of global warming amplifying itself by triggering massive methane releases is real and may already be under way, providing plenty of fodder for scary headlines. But what researchers understand about the threat points to a less malevolent, more protracted process.”
Deliberately toning down a warning is something that piques my propaganda radar. This is a prime case of “hiding the incline”…