Bad Science Climate Change Media Non-Science

Daily Express : Unreliable Sources

Another pretty poor headline from the Daily Express (and we all know that outrageous headlines sell newspapers), but the majority of the article is OK, until the almost inevitable signs of “balance” by quoting Piers Corbyn and Christopher Booker :-

“…Long-term forecaster and trends analyst Piers Corbyn, of WeatherAction, said: “Global warming is a failed science built on falsified data. It is a sham to say that man has caused it.”…”

Most serendipitously, the Global Warming Science that the genuine research community have been slaving away at for the last, ooo, 25 years, has not been undermined by one freakily cold Northern Hemisphere Winter, or they’d all be out of jobs pretty sharpish.

“…Christopher Booker, author of The Real Global Warming Disaster, said: “It is amazing how this scaremongering from climate change lobbyists keeps arising even though they are constantly being proved wrong. Last year there was snow in Saudia Arabia and still they persist in saying the temperature is going up.”…”

As time goes by, and more evidence is collated and analysed and more theoretical branches are investigated, the more Climate Change Science is shown to be accurate, both in projection and qualitative prediction.

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The Spectator’s Rod Liddle Fabricates

“Questioning the Climate Change Establishment : ROD LIDDLE : THURSDAY, 7TH JANUARY 2010 : So, this is now the coldest winter for thirty years and the snow is likely to hang around for two weeks, maybe three. How does this square with last year’s prediction from eminent scientists – the Met, the UAE change-the-numbers-monkeys, Marcus Brigstocke etc – that 2010 was going to be the hottest year on record? It could still be, of course – but it will have to go it some. Let’s keep an eye on the figures – so far, coldest for thirty years, remember. December was cold too, if you remember – yet apparently not included in the figures for 2009 which, if you recall, were jubilantly announced as being the fifth hottest since records began in the middle of November – ie when there was still 11 per cent of the year to go, the coldest bit…”

You’re entirely mistaken, Rodney.

All the data from 2009 for the Central England Temperarture, for example, was used in the calculation of the yearly mean. And all the data is available on the Hadley Centre website, and pictures too :-

It’s true that NASA GISS and NOAA are a bit slow in publishing their data and charts, but in a short week or so, they’ll be posted.

Please check your facts before splurging. And that means all of you, respectable authentic journalists, opinion-formers and shock jocks alike.

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The BBC Reviews Its Trust

The BBC Trust are to review the BBC’s treatment of Science in the BBC Media. I can’t say for sure whether that’s going to result in anything helpful or not, since it’s going to be effectively an “internal inquiry”. Their quest for objectivity may end up in compromise and playing to the heckling balconies :-

Bad Science Climate Change Non-Science

Sceptics Have Infected The Guardian

It looks like The Guardian newspaper has been infected with Global Warming scepticism.

I thought the paper was supposed to have some decent editorial process on Science ! But, sadly, clearly, not.

Here are the main problems with the article :-

1. The author does not understand the processes that govern the accumulation of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere.

2. The author appears to have no knowledge of how the Earth system as a whole regulated Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere in the distant past within certain limits of extent.

3. The author does not recognise that the current level of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere is much higher than in the distant past. Neither does he offer any explanation for why the level should have strayed outside the long-term boundaries.

4. The author accepts that periods of Earth History with more Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere were warmer than periods with less Carbon Dioxide, but fails to offer a possible mechanism that could draw down Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere now to the regulated boundaries of the distant past.

5. The author does not appear to appreciate that the Younger Dryas cooling event was almost certainly entirely unrelated to Carbon Dioxide levels in the Atmosphere.

6. The author does not appear to appreciate that the Younger Dryas cooling event was not global in scope. Or rather, although there are records of effects almost universally, the effects were not the same everywhere.

7. The author does not recount the extreme warming that ended the Younger Dryas event.

Which is what you would expect, since the main cause of the Younger Dryas event was not the level of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere; and naturally, the levels of Carbon Dioxide still in the Atmosphere caused the temperatures to return to where they were prior to the Younger Dryas cooling event.

The author of the article appears to be a software engineer with an education in biological sciences. I doubt he has ever taken a course in Global Warming Science. I suggest he should. It’s all online if he wants it. Here are David Archer’s lecture videos from the University of Chicago :-

Bad Science Bait & Switch Climate Change Non-Science

Wolfgang Knorr : Denialist Soup

The new trend on the wires from the amorphous, shifting pack of wildcards that deny the very science of Global Warming – write the wrong conclusion about a piece of research by Wolfgang Knorr from Bristol University – and then circulate it on the Internet.

The research was published late last year, but it’s only in the last couple of days that the Climate Change Deniers have started a serious viral “Public Relations” campaign to promote their mis-quotation. The “Carbon Capture Report” shows an uptick in popularity of covering this paper :-

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Answer the Question, Professor Plimer

George Monbiot goes head to head with Professor Ian Plimer, but fails to get a straight answer out of the Australian mining geologist.

Bad Science Climate Change Media Non-Science

Zombie Denial : Undead Arguments Rise Again

What is it with Global Warming denial arguments ? Just when you think they’ve finally bitten the dust, up they pop again to stagger and stomp menacingly towards you in rather unconvincing make up, spattered in stage paint blood.

Today it’s the zombie return of the “urban heat island” bogeyman, courtesy of that top science boffin, James Delingpole :-

“…you need first to be aware of one of the most contentious points about Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) – the reliability of weather station records and the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI)… Put very simply, there is great concern among sceptics that the data records used to support the IPCC’s claims about “unprecedented” and catastrophic late 20th century global warming are untrustworthy… these records rely on a dwindling number of weather surface stations whose readings have been skewed either by relocation or by the warming effects of the cities which have grown around them over the years…”

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The Daily Hoaxpress ?

The Daily Express newspaper (ably echoed by its cousin The Daily Telegraph) issued an outright Global Warming denial on its front page today :-

“100 REASONS WHY GLOBAL WARMING IS NATURAL : ‘No proof that human activity is to blame’ : Tuesday December 15,2009 : By Martyn Brown : CAMPAIGNERS yesterday attempted to pour scorn on “tenuous” global warming theories by issuing a dossier detailing 100 reasons why climate change is natural and not man-made. The list includes the controversial claim that there is “no scientific proof” that rising levels of greenhouse gases are caused by human activity…”

Intrigued, I actually went to the trouble of purchasing the print edition of the newspaper, so I could gen up. On page 5, the headline “‘There’s little we can do about global warming'”. Oh, so tens of thousands of people in Copenhagen, Denmark, negotiating about the need to reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions, are all wasting their time ? I think not.

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It’s the Media, Stupid !

Some news organisations try really hard to bring you crack-up-to-date, snazzy, intriguing, hot-off-the-press narrative on the unfolding chaos of Climate Change.

Other news organisations think that writing about “Climategate”, as if it were a genuine challenge to Climate Change Science, is a serious piece of journalism.

But they’re wrong; so, so wrong.

The real story is Climate Change. It’s here, and it’s happening now. And it’s frightening.

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Clive James : Inadequate Commentator

Clive James has openly admitted that he knows nothing about Climate Change :-
“In praise of scepticism”, 23 October 2009

and yet he still continues to pass judgement on the way the Science is conducted, and accepts the validity of the arguments of the Climate Change deniers :-
“Climate change – a story too often told the same way”, 11 December 2009

I ask you this : since he knows nothing about Climate Change Science, how can he possibly justify accepting the views of the Climate Change deniers ?

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David Whitehouse Risks Inaccuracy

Dr David Whitehouse has had his personal views on Climate Change Science aired in the Daily Mail this week; yet the newspaper did not seek to offer an article responding to his position, which is somewhat at odds with the general conclusions of mainstream science :-–missing-facts.html

So, in the absence of the Daily Mail permitting a questioning or critiquing of David Whitehouse’s personal views, I shall here attempt to unpack how close he comes to inaccuracy.

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Climategate : Myles Allen is Confused

Dr Myles Allen, head of the Climate Dynamics group at the University of Oxford’s Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics Department is confused. “It is odd that we still don’t take climate change seriously”, he writes in The Guardian online, discussing the fact that a good proportion of the British public don’t believe in Global Warming :-

He might need to wake up to the fact that the British Press are being misled, and in turn, misleading the country.

Bad Science Climate Change Non-Science

Untidy Minds #8 : SuperFreakonomics

[ Tongue-in-cheek note for sedate and aesthetic viewers : apologies for the excruciatingly brash, unappealing and over-complex nature of the video above and the nasal twangs and high-pitched, high-speed ranting of the speakers in the above presentation. They’re Americans. You need to forgive them. ]

Those who laughed and joked with Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner over the Freakonomics investigations may well have cause to blanche and run away screaming at their latest tome, Superfreakonomics.

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Untidy Minds #7 : Ian Plimer

Who do you trust ? Professor Ian Plimer or 100 years of science ? I know what my money’s on, and it isn’t the Australian geologist with mining interests.

That doesn’t stop British journalists going with Professor Plimer. They are sorely in need of some decent education, in my view. Unless they’re going with a sensational story to get revenue. In which case they still need a decent education in the history of Climate Change scepticism and denial, so they know how divisive it is amongst the population. Publishing Climate Change denial makes the Media seem irresponsible, from my viewpoint.

I want to touch on just a snippet from a recent Daily Express article in order to demonstrate my resistance to Ian Plimer :-

Bad Science Climate Change Non-Science

Untidy Minds #2 : Melanie Phillips

Melanie Phillips is a journalist with an Oxford education in the English language, according to Wikipedia :-

She is also a Global Warming denier. I use the word “denier” literally, not emotively, because she denies the facts on Global Warming. If she were to express doubt about Climate Change science, then there would be some wiggle room to allow calling her a “sceptic”. But as it is, she denies it. Outright. Watch, and be amazed ! :-

Bad Science Climate Change Non-Science The Data

Untidy Minds #1 : Richard Lindzen

I must admit : even though I try to read widely, there are some things I miss. I’ve just become aware of a research paper that was published in Geophysical Research Letters in August 2009 :-

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Climategate : Too Tired To Resist ?

George Monbiot has written another post on his The Guardian weblog, anxiously chewing his own lips to bloody shreds with the stress of the Climategate situation :-

“Pretending the climate email leak isn’t a crisis won’t make it go away : Climate sceptics have lied, obscured and cheated for years. That’s why we climate rationalists must uphold the highest standards of science : Posted by George Monbiot : Wednesday 25 November 2009 : I have seldom felt so alone. Confronted with crisis, most of the environmentalists I know have gone into denial. The emails hacked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, they say, are a storm in a tea cup, no big deal, exaggerated out of all recognition. It is true that climate change deniers have made wild claims which the material can’t possibly support (the end of global warming, the death of climate science). But it is also true that the emails are very damaging. The response of the greens and most of the scientists I know is profoundly ironic, as we spend so much of our time confronting other people’s denial. Pretending that this isn’t a real crisis isn’t going to make it go away. Nor is an attempt to justify the emails with technicalities. We’ll be able to get past this only by grasping reality, apologising where appropriate and demonstrating that it cannot happen again. It is true that much of what has been revealed could be explained as the usual cut and thrust of the peer review process, exacerbated by the extraordinary pressure the scientists were facing from a denial industry determined to crush them…”

Look, George love, we’d like to do something useful, but the problem is one of sheer exhaustion. People are tired of the relentless waves of hysteria and mania coming from the “denial community”. Nothing we say makes them stop, not even for one second. On and on they moan and clatter and hammer.

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I Kiss You, James Delingpole

Sometimes I just want to run and plant a big, fat kiss on your boyish little brow, James Delingpole. Or pat your head in a more appropriately respectful, yet somehow patronising fashion.

For time and time again you prove to me that you do not know what you are talking about, squashing your own arguments flat as a pancake.

Here you prove that you (a) do not know how to do investigative journalism and are (b) quite prepared to repeat verbatim, gaffe by gaffe, what other people write :-

If you were only to skim and skate the Internet for a few minutes more, you could find out that there is an perfectly reasonable explanation for the “Kiwi Korrections” :-

Of course, since you have not been trained as a scientist, you will probably find yourself unable to fully appreciate how perfectly ridiculous you could appear in some eyes.

But not mine. All of a sudden I just love and adore you, for you have presented me with a golden gift with which I could dismiss your rantings as frustrated twaddle, egged on by a wunch of cynics.

Except I wouldn’t. I’m way too nice.

Bad Science Climate Change Non-Science

Anthony Watts’ Tree Ring Obsession

Yet another tree-ring-centric posting from Anthony (pronounced anth-o-knee) Watts, showing his complete obsession with something minuscule and mindblowingly meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

Watts will not allow fact to cloud accusation. All the charts on Global Warming show a sharp rise in the last few decades, from whichever reliable source. But Watts doesn’t see any of that. He’s fixated on Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick graph and trying to pull it down.

Tree rings. Now, trees, especially dead trees, are notoriously random in quality and style and abundance. You have to make reasonable decisions about which to keep in the data set as representative, and which to jettison. It doesn’t invalidate your results. In fact, it shows that you have done sufficient analysis to select the most accurate data.

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ExxonMobil Errs On Television

Unlocking Potential in Algae

It’s there, right in the script, an outright fallacy. If you were in converstion with your friend on the sofa you would have missed it.

ExxonMobil have been playing an advertisement on British television about algae. Apparently there’s green algae, red algae, golden… While the rest of the world is trying to get rid of pond scum, they’re growing it. To make biofuel. Green, Low Carbon driving fuel.

And it’s not competing with the world’s food supply. Hurrah !

And it eats up Carbon Dioxide, the narrator narrates in passing… “Algae are very beautiful… they absorb CO2 so they help solve the Greenhouse problem as well.”

Is that a hooray, also ? No, it’s not.

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David Miliband : Expecting Someone Shorter

To be honest, he was taller than I expected, and more Eastern in appeareance, a kind of lanky version of Mehmet behind the deli counter at my local Turkish International Food Emporium.

David Miliband was also considerably thinner than I would have liked, considering he might one day rule the New Labour Party, who might just rule my country again. We wouldn’t want him blown away by the slightest breeze, surely, would we ? He needs feeding in my opinion.

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State of Emergency

Image Credit : Rahmstorf et al. (2007)

When is Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister going to appear on TV and tell it to us straight ?

Climate Change is real, and it’s happening now, and the sceptics, deniers, delayers and cynics are all wrong. And somebody with some kind of respect needs to be saying that, regularly, with backup, in all the media channels.

It’s time that scepticism, denialism, delayism and cynicism were ruled out of order.

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BBC Complaint : Biased Reporting

“Established science is excluded from account”

It appears to me from the following blog post :-

that Richard Black is either (a) entirely ignorant of the relevant science or is (b) deliberately not including the relevant science.

He does not include the well-known counterpoints to Piers Corbyn’s theories on Global Warming.

He poses a challenge to Climate Change scientists that has already been answered in the literature.

Bad Science Bait & Switch Climate Change Non-Science

Richard Black Poses Solved Challenge

In his web log of 30th October 2009, Richard Black issues a challenge :-

Magnetic attraction of climate ‘scepticism’

Richard Black
Friday, 30 October 2009

There’s been interest on this blog and elsewhere about a meeting organised on Wednesday by Piers Corbyn, the independent UK weather forecaster who argues that the sources of modern-day climate change lie in magnetic interactions around the Earth rather than greenhouse gas emissions on it.

So – a genie to your Aladdin, though emphatically not all-powerful – I thought I’d go along.

Held at Imperial College London – Mr Corbyn’s alma mater – the meeting featured presentations from Northern Ireland’s famously “climate-sceptical” environment minister Sammy Wilson, botanist and ex-BBC TV nature presenter David Bellamy, and a handful of academics – as well as from Mr Corbyn himself.

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Black Exploitation ? Hope Not.

To: Richard Black, BBC

Dear Richard,

It is with relief (but not triumph) that I can announce to you the end of Climate Change “scepticism”.

The new Canadian publication “Climate Cover-Up”, by James Hoggan, points the finger fairly and squarely at vested corporate interests in the continuing saga of Global Warming denial and delaying tactics, both in North America and in the United Kingdom.

He has collated evidence showing that the contrarians have an agenda to confuse and disinform the public, and that the Media have just gone along with this. Probably because editors don’t know any better. Possibly because journalists are too lazy or busy to learn the science.

The Science of Climate Change couldn’t be clearer, the agreement between specialists and experts in the field couldn’t be closer; Michael Mann’s “Hockey Stick” couldn’t be more accurate, and has been vindicated by numerous proxies.